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6 TIPS

IN PRICING YOUR NICHE

3 Low Cost

Ways to Maximize your Visibility

A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

FINDING THE PERFECT SUPPLIERS TO BUILD A PROFITABLE, MEANINGFUL BUSINESS

your why! Understanding & Implementing with Daniel Lewis

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20 DANIEL LEWIS: YOUR WHY! UNDERSTANDING & IMPLEMENTING

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EDITORIAL K A R E N M. LOWE Executive Editor F R A N C IN E GREY Creative Editor K I M BLEY LOWE-B EN N ETT Editor N I C O LE LOWE Editor

16 L e a rn in g O n M y E n tre pre n e u ria l Jo u r n ey : UND ERSTA ND ING & D EL I V ERI NG VA L U E

By Nwamaka Agbakoba

36 4 Ste ps to R e a c h mo re c lie n ts u sin g P INTEREST By Sa ra h Wo e hle ke


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

RESO URC ES

Page 6 5 TIPS TO DIVERSIFY YOUR BUSINESS AND SERVICES By Tamika Messam

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12 TH E M ENU FOR K EEP I NG YO UR

A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN Finding The Perfect Suppliers To Build A Profitable, Meaningful Business By Michelle Fentiman

BUSINES S A R E L EVANT SUC C ESS by Dwight Boswell

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3 L OW C O ST WAYS TO M A XI M I Z E YO U R V I SIB I L ITY By Laura Connor

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W H AT IT TAK ES TO

A G uid e To C r e a tin g Yo u r

HAVE IT ALL

F I NANC IAL P RO JE CT I O N

By By Karen Lowe

Christen Irwin

40 6 TIPS IN PR ICIN G YO U R NI C H E By Deanna Johnson


editor’s note T

his issue’s featured article has me thinking about purpose and what stops us. Do we really need more motivation? Every other social media post is how to believe in yourself and get what you want, how not to settle, so why are we still struggling? Do you even know why you chose entrepreneurship? Have you indeed identified the problem you are trying to solve? Is the question actually about the customer? Or is the issue about you wanting more money? Is the problem being solved, enough to keep you motivated?

I asked each entrepreneur I interview, “what prevented you from giving up?” The answer is always the same, “I could not.” There was a myriad of reasons, but they focused on the small wins and the possibility of more. What separates those entrepreneurs from the ones who do not progress? I am currently in a position where I am tempted to choose between two dreams. I am contemplating Photo Credit: JANELLE CHIOMA a dilemma, completing my degree or continue with the magazine. I have chosen to not register for school YET, and do nothing but the norm for the magazine. That is my equivalent of not deciding for as long as possible. I have been struggling with this decision for months now, but the truth is, I cannot quit either. I have already invested three years in my degree, lots of money and time I cannot get back and like the entrepreneurs I interview, this magazine is an excellent product, it would be a waste to stop now. It is bizarre, but for me, it is quite hard to quit, and no, it is not a matter of pride. It is just really, really difficult to walk away! I have many questions and still no answer on the subject of not pursuing one’s dreams because of adversity. In this issue, you will find a few tips by those entrepreneurs who did not give up, on how to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Practical things to do that will hopefully lighten the journey for other entrepreneurs.

Stay Motivated!

KAREN M. LOWE Executive Editor


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Copyright 2019 Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine. ISSN 2562-5330 (Print) ISSN 2562-5349 (Online) All rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be copied, reprinted, displayed, edited or distributed without the written consent of Epigram Consulting Services Inc. Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine is a Canadian Magazine, published and distributed by Epigram Consulting Services, located in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.


5 Tips to Diversify Your Business and Services As an entrepreneur, your success truly depends on your hard work and determination. It is said that more than half of businesses fail within their first year. Thankful to have made it through a successful first year, it is imperative that I share Tandem Media Tips on how to diversify your business for longevity.

Become an Expert in Your Desired Market Attending school or gaining professional training to support your passion is extremely important. Education and apprenticeship help you become a critical thinker and builds your confidence. People often buy into businesses/brands they can trust. The only way they can do that is through effective

Tamika Messam

professional communication. Being an expert allows you to understand the various areas in the market where you can expand. Education does not mean classroom only; knowledge can be developed in several ways. For example, you can become an apprentice to an established expert in the field.

Continuously Develop Your Strengths Every entrepreneur has skills that set them apart from the rest. Consistently honing the skills you have, will help you remain at the forefront of your market and be successful in your industry. The business and economic environment are consistently changing; continuous self-development will allow you to be ahead of the change. As humans, we tend to become complacent when we think “we have made it�. We are never too old to learn, and each day in business should be considered an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Your professional growth extends to the growth of the business, and the best way to grow your business is by first diversifying within the same industry or market. Understanding new and future trends will allow you to do this. Offer Value to your customers/clients The best way to diversify your company is by focusing on providing the most value for your clientele. In offering a space where businesses can meet and offer their services, I promote them as an extension of my business model. I can then extend that promotion to marketing their business as a separate service. From there, I can add additional business services that are all connected. By ensuring you are offering something that provides a wow factor makes it easy for clients to return. For example, offering a loyalty program is a win-win scenario for both business and clients. They feel more inclined to spend money because they will receive added value, and in return, your business will retain its clients.

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Solidify your Team/Systems In business, it is paramount that you have a team of individuals that can help you carry out your business goals and functions. An example of what businesses may require are assistants and marketing staff. If you think your business does not need a team, it is essential that you do your research and find appropriate systems you can put in place to avoid having to hire someone. For example, Booksy and Acuity Scheduler can help you with your administration and accounting. It would be best if you then found a way to automate as much as possible to reduce the time spent on them. Be Creative Creativity is fundamental for your business to succeed. Though it is not a gift that every entrepreneur owner has, it is not the end of the world, because creativity can be gained by collaborating with others. Every business requires strategies to have constant returns on its investments. If you are selling products or offering services, you need always to find new ways to present your latest

ideas to your clientele. You can throw a significant launch, or send blast emails with a call to action, requesting they act fast.

by: Tamika Messam Contact: www.tandemmedia.ca

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a match made in heaven Photo Credit: SABRINA DOMIZE

Finding the perfect suppliers to build a profitable, A Step by Step Guide to Honing meaningful business

I

recently started a zero-waste lifestyle boutique in Calgary, Alberta, called Without Co. Yes, you read this correctly. I opened a brick and mortar retail store despite economic times, fear-mongering headlines on the fate of retail, friends and family concerns, you name it! We buy from businesses all across Canada and carry a broad product mix of zero waste lifestyle goods. Supplier relationships have been the cornerstone of our business so far.

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roduct mix is everything, especially in retail. Carrying the right brands, and having the quality that people come back for, is what drives most of our customers to our store. Because of this, sourcing meaningful suppliers has been instrumental in attracting the perfect client. By meaningful suppliers I mean - they had to check our purchasing pillars as being sustainable, Canadian, and woman-run, but they also needed to have: √ Goals that align with our business’s goals √ Branding that fits with our esthetics √ Proper support and tools from the supplier (social media content, shelf-talkers, to highlight a few.) The product options are endless, the websites are daunting, the wholesale line sheets are mundane, and it is a lot to get through! So, I am going to walk through some essential steps in sourcing the right suppliers. This guide assumes you have already identified a well-suited product from a couple of different manufacturers/suppliers, and are trying to make the tough decision of whose product to carry, and whose to reject. Here are my best practices in our business to date.

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tep one: Cyber Footprint Audit

Our two main channels in our business are our website and Instagram. So it is vital for our suppliers to have a presence there as well - it means the brand awareness exists, the traffic is already there, it is just a matter of driving that traffic to you.

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Their website - does the business’s mission align with yours? For us, if it is not low waste, sustainable, and natural (and if those buzz words aren’t blasted all over their website copy), it is a pass, right off the bat. Does the esthetic of their cyber footprint align with your esthetic? If the looks of the website align, I think it speaks to the fact that both of you are chasing the same clients - which is a significant step. Does their website list stockists prominently? This was crucial for us because it is a great way to drive traffic to your website/store.

bring to your clientele? I believe that the supplier’s product should do the selling. The packaging should easily highlight why the product is a great fit while rationalizing the price point. I typically connect with our target market to see what they think of the product as well. Any way of gauging your customer’s willingness to purchase or eagerness to learn more is such a benefit before taking the plunge and bringing the line into your business. We do this with Instagram questions and polls, but you could also enlist the help of your email subscribers.

You can also use a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool to see how they rank, and what keywords they use - this is a great way to readily identify if their business fits with yours - similar keywords? Better keywords? That is an excellent start!

Price point analysis should always include a look at the margin your business would earn from sales. Preference should be given to the product that allows your business a higher profit margin (while keeping in mind the rest of the criteria), it is all about weighing the pros and cons.

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tep two: Price Point

Are you comfortable that the price point of the product/line aligns well with your target market? Is it easy to see the competitive advantages within the product and the value the product would

tep three: Try everything, really TRY it.

This should likely go without saying. But try it! Really try it. Have your friends and family try the product. Don’t just use the free testers from the

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o recap – Step one is to dive into their cyber presence, think about how it aligns with yours and how you could make their online presence work for you. Step 2 – Money, money, money. Does the retail price align with the customers you are chasing? Can you earn a sufficient margin on the product? Step 3 – Try, try and try again. If you love it, buy it. If something is not quite right, you have to keep searching. Because I own a retail store, this was written with products in mind. But the same steps can be applied to service-based businesses in sourcing the right tools for your business model. Cyber presence, financial benefits, quality of product/service, are all instrumental in identifying suppliers that are a perfect fit for your business.

company and go with it - that is not enough to truly get to know the product, and how it performs over time.

Now is the time to reflect on your current product mix. Think about how the product is serving your customers and how the suppliers are serving you. It might be time to refresh your line up!

Personal anecdote on this - I was expanding our line of natural skincare and received samples of a range. I tried the samples, loved the samples, ordered the line. When the product arrived, I had no idea how the actual packaging (in this case, a jar) of the product performed. It turned out, the whole jar of product is basically written off if you get any water in it; and considering it was a facial cleanser, water getting in the jar was nearly inevitable. Because of this, we pulled the line off the shelf; an expensive mistake. The moral of the story is, try the products in full size, send them to your friends and family, and make sure everyone is completely obsessed before committing.

“BECAUSE OF THIS, SOURCING MEANINGFUL SUPPLIERS HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN ATTRACTING THE PERFECT CLIENT. BY MEANINGFUL SUPPLIERS I MEAN - THEY HAD TO CHECK OUR PURCHASING PILLARS.” by: Michelle Fentiman, Founder of Without Co. Contact: www.withoutco.com/

Tried the product in full? For months? Still love it? Buy it! Rant to your customer base about why you are so in love. It will resonate if you have used and used and used the product.

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THE MENU FOR KEEPING YOUR BUSINESS A RELEVANT SUCCESS

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y family owned business requires ongoing innovation to remain relevant and successful. With information continuously at our fingertips, we find ourselves in an age where at a quick stroke of a keyboard,

anyone becomes the smartest person in the room. As such, we need to appreciate the power that lies within and equally in our competitors. Keeping up with the market is essential, but staying at least one step ahead is critical.

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y clients are primarily corporate with some weddings and social events as well. The size of events that I have catered for has ranged from 2 to 750 people. Many catering companies offer standard services for clients to choose from. My catering business, Chalice Catering, is all about creating a unique experience for my customers by customizing their menus to bring their vision to life while meeting their budgetary needs. My menus are culturally diverse to add a culinary adventure to each event. Of course, I do offer standardized menus for customers to select from, on our website. Sometimes when clients visit the site, it generates ideas and then we collaborate to create their unique menu. Creating an edge in this demanding market needs some key ingredients to keep my business relevant.

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Understanding the client’s vision Clients are now looking for an experience, not a product or service. Understanding what your client wants to achieve, not merely what they want, is the way to offer an experience. Several personalities are currently co-existing, and the same product will not work for all. Whatever you provide will be shown on social media. Some want it to be Instagram worthy, some Facebook

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worthy, and there is now the TicTok generation. To understand my clients’ personalities, I afford them a three-minute ‘monologue’ at our initial consultation. This practice allows them to ramble on while I listen to get to know what is essential to each customer. Then, I ask questions to get more detailed information. I make recommendations that are further discussed, to see how they align with the experience they want themselves and their guests to enjoy.

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Recognizing the culturally diverse industry in which you operate Because of the mass increase in immigration in the last several decades, no matter who you are, you will be required to serve multiple cultures, not just personalities. There was a time when persons would only buy from those in their community; this is no longer the case, so it is crucial to understand the different cultural nuances. In my case, when

some want it to be Instagram worthy, some Facebook worthy, and there is now the TicTok generation.

preparing a meal, I may need to consider a menu from four different countries as well as how each group and generation want to be served, for example, buffet or individual service. In all cases, each individual must leave, feeling like they experienced their unique style. In my industry, my client is not just the person who is paying me; it is the hundreds of persons attending the event. My service will also be impacting those who are on social media and the physical community with whom they will be discussing their experience.

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Training Training allows you to learn or create new products or service and enable you to offer the experience your clients are looking for, at the highest standard. Training does not mean just the classroom. You need to follow industry experts, magazines and organizations to see what is next in terms of techniques, trends and creativity. Use social media to learn more about your clients’ personalities and the types of experiences they are looking for. What do those experiences look like in other areas of their lives? Follow hashtags to see what is trending. Find ways to learn new skills that will allow you to compete on a higher level, consistently. Create items for testing regularly. This will enable you to be ready when the clients request something new. Presentation is a vast area in which you need to be trained, as this helps with the experience the clients want. By: Dwight Boswell Contact: www.chalicecatering.com

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“TO BE SUCCESSFUL, YOU HAVE TO HAVE YOUR HEART IN YOUR BUSINESS, AND YOUR BUSINESS IN YOUR HEART.”

Thomas Watson, Sr., former CEO, IBM


LEARNING ON MY ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY:

UNDERSTANDING & DELIVERING VALUE Before I started on my entrepreneurial journey, it all seemed so easy and being in business seemed like a no brainer. It seemed to me that if you have a great product and the passion for it, then inevitably that would lead to massive profits without too much hassle. I wish I had known even with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) under my belt that theoretical knowledge never trumps practical experience and having great products is not enough to be successful in a dynamic, ever-changing marketplace. could still be in school while you build, or you can drop everything else and pour your life’s savings into it. If you believe in your dream and have done some research, the most important thing is to start somewhere. One of the most critical things I feel would have helped me, before starting MKCurvy, would have first been for me to understand “value” in its entirety. By this, I mean understanding that the clothing I design and produce is not just products, but they fulfil a need and create value for customers who look to wear my brand.

While a great product is most definitely a key ingredient on the journey to success, many other elements come into play. These things I have learned by just starting the journey. Everything does not have to be perfect for one to start on the entrepreneurial journey. You can hold another job while you build your business on the side, or you

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you are not only creating a product or service, but there is an underlying value to what you have created. In creating this value for a customer, to carve out your niche, it is critical to look outside of what you alone individually value.

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your customer base. It is always a great idea to study; articles, books, related shows, follow other companies within your space and where necessary, collaborate with folks in your industry to build your brand. I never gave much thought as I should have to what value I was proposing to create for women. It felt right because I had successfully designed fashionable clothes for myself as a plus-sized woman; the assumption was that others would love the same things that I do. I loved fashion but constantly could not find the right balance of variety and pizzazz for my body type. So I looked to solve this issue for women who look like me.

Let us talk about what value means. Intrinsically, we believe that a person values a thing if they have ascribed a particular worth or usefulness to it. You, therefore, have to truly understand that you are not only creating a product or service, but there is an underlying value to what you have created. In creating this value for a customer, to carve out your niche, it is critical to look outside of what you alone individually value. You have to understand what your target customer base holds near and dear. Insightful market research is instrumental at these initial stages. It does not have to become an expensive venture. It just has to be very targeted and very smart. There are easy ways to send surveys to gather some insights early on in your journey as an entrepreneur. Attending networking forums and industry events are great ways to pick up tips on how to work around snags that you might have come against in the pursuit of creating a balance between keeping your costs low and creating something of utmost value to

Critical questions I had to understand as I started to produce more than the one-off piece for my target customers were: Do they value merely being clothed (cheap and cheery)? Do they want the latest and best fashions fast (fashion savvy)? Do they value exclusivity alone (quality seeking)? Are they happy to pay for owning unique pieces (quality & exclusivity)? All of these are critical for an entrepreneur to understand their cost/profit structure and entire value chain which eventually

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ends up in you understanding the price points that your customer base is willing to pay for the value that your brand is creating for them. Ultimately, what I have found, building my brand, is that my customer base wants to feel great about themselves in my pieces which are flattering for a curvier body type. They want to look attractive with some element of exclusivity. Much the same things that I loved and wanted when I decided to

not be afraid of ascribing the appropriate price tag to it. Now that you understand the building of your product; how are you going to make sure it gets in the hands of your customers? This is the distribution mix. At startup, it is fine to market to your inner circle and friends of friends; but where do you go after that? This is where understanding your customer’s shopping preferences come in. Do they need a lot of hand-holding; do they need to be taught how to combine pieces and even be convinced that they too can rock the pieces you have to offer; do they value shopping in the comfort of their home (online shopping); or do they like a the semblance of a company to affirm them while shopping? Thinking through why a customer would pick your brand and products help shape your brand. Your supply chain, production cycles, cost structure, distribution and marketing are all wrapped up in the answers to these questions. Understanding these dynamics help an entrepreneur to put their best foot forward in the initial product launch. Eventually, there will be evolution, but as long as you continue to listen to and service the needs of your customer base; tweaking your cost structure as needed, your bottom line will remain intact. I have had to learn through doing what my brand promise says at MKCurvy. I am not where I was three years ago, but every single day, I wake up eager to learn and grow. Without room for feedback and growth, the entrepreneurial journey cannot succeed.

start MKCurvy. I have become a lot more intentional about ensuring that this has become a part of my brand promise; as a customer looking to buy the most exclusive high-end clothing pieces on the market to represent me. The aspiration is to make sure I get first dibs on the best regardless of the cost associated. This is how premium brands like Apple have built a cult-like following irrespective of their products being deemed as expensive. If you believe in the value your brand is creating, do

by: Nwamaka Agbakoba Chief Creative Officer Brand Name: MKCurvy (plus size clothing line) Contact: www.mkcurvy.com Instagram: @mkcurvy

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Daniel Lewis

Your Why!

Understanding & Implementing Please introduce yourself to our readers. Daniel: My name is Daniel Lewis, and I am the cofounder of T by Daniel. I co-founded this company with my wife, Renata Lewis.

entrepreneurship. I have initiated several ideas; another clothing line, selling music and writing songs for music artists, and renting out studio space.

Do you have a business background? Daniel: Not traditionally. I dropped out of high school to pursue music because I believed that I was going to be a world-famous rapper. After some time, I realized that was not happening. Life became my teacher, and I received an education from my life experience. I learned about the business world by trial and error. When I would try things that did not work, I would know not to do that again, or to find some way to adjust. Over time I learned a lot. There are government programs and free workshops available to entrepreneurs. Sometimes the local city hall offers high-level training that is equivalent to courses that you will take when obtaining your MBA in business. I applied myself to all those avenues.

How was your business idea for T by Daniel conceived? Daniel: We want to use business as a tool to impact

What is the first event that you experienced that you feel led you towards the path of entrepreneurship? Daniel: As a child, I was operating in an entrepreneurial mindset, even though I did not know it at the time. What I did know was that I wanted control, and I wanted the ability to define and create freely; I wanted to do what I love. When I was thirteen, I started and registered a clothing line called First Concept. My friends and I would take bandanas and different fabrics and customize them to sell at our school. Shortly after, we got into customizing car interiors and alike items on a small scale. That was my first official taste of

Sometimes the local city hall offers high-level training that is equivalent to courses that you will take when obtaining your MBA in business. people’s lives positively. And that stems from our “Why�; the reason we started T by Daniel. In 2009. I went through a tragic situation, and in response, I made some really big life changes; my belief system changed, I viewed life differently, and I changed my diet. I do not drink, smoke and was very intentional on what I consumed. It was during that time I that I started drinking a lot of tea and researching their benefits. I was introduced to a vast amount of teas, and their healing properties; there was so much more than the chamomile and peppermint tea that I grew up on. I immerse myself into the culture of tea, and it developed into a new hobby. Within a year, tea had

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Photo Credit: JONATHAN PRODUCTIONS - JONATHAN LEWIS

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Photo Credit: JONATHAN PRODUCTIONS - JONATHAN LEWIS

made a significant change in my life. I thought to myself, what if I use tea as a tool to impact people’s lives the same way my life was impacted during that tragic situation. Many people whom I did not know, who were considered strangers, helped save my life. What if I could use tea as a tool to save the lives of many? I wanted to help people better their lives. I want to do something positive. I love tea. How can I blend all these facts together and start a business? A year and a half later, T by Daniel was born as a tea company, with the mission of focusing on positively impacting people’s lives. Was the business idea for T by Daniel tested and how? Daniel: Yes, it was tested. I gathered one of my friends and a camera, and we went to Downtown Toronto. We stopped people at random and asked them several questions; free yet useful face to face market research. √ Do you drink tea? Yes or no? √ Do you think there is a difference between tea bags and loose-leaf tea? √ How much would you be willing to spend on

100 grams of loose-leaf tea? √ What are the main health benefits you look for? We needed to understand the demand because tea was beginning to gain interest. We wanted to see for ourselves the value that consumers put on tea. We got a lot of information from that market research. Walk us through the different stages of change that your business has experienced. Daniel: We officially registered in 2011. That year we started T by Daniel as an online company only. Very quickly after, we realized that we were going to need a physical presence to grow the business. We felt like we needed to make a name for ourselves because nobody knew who we were. So we opened up a location in Downtown Brampton. One of the two of us were always in the store, and our customer base grew because we had a real connection with our customers. The business grew and relocated to a large shopping mall. We needed to hire staff, and we no longer were able to be solely in the store as we once were. We experienced a dip in sales because our customers missed our presence.

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Photo Credit: JONATHAN PRODUCTIONS - JONTAHAN LEWIS

People were asking, “Where is Daniel?” “Where is Renata?” So, from a scaling perspective, we were not able to effectively grow our sales without being stuck behind the counter. Many entrepreneurs have experienced a similar situation; you cannot grow your business from the inside, performing the primary tasks; you must be able to step back and view your company as a whole, and look for opportunities of growth, and potential threats. About the same time, our expenses went up: minimum wage, rental costs, WSIB, and payroll. The expenses started eating away the profit. Although it is great to have a physical presence, there are so many things to consider in growing your business effectively, such as training and staff retention. Also, it depends on the type of brand you are creating. Take David’s Tea, for instance. David is not in his store. Nobody knows who David is; that is a corporate brand, and it can be built successfully. But with a personal brand, it comes with different perks, but it might require more of your time as an entrepreneur. When we started about nine years ago, online companies or online businesses were not as developed as it is today. We could thank the likes of Amazon and similar companies, who got consumers comfortable with shopping online. Back then, it was about going to a store, especially for tea products. But now today, online is a whole new ball game. It is much more profitable and more manageable; you

can control more costs by running an online store. So we decided, with a growing family, it works in our benefit, and also is a lot more profitable for us to go back to online exclusively. Check us out at www.tbydaniel.com. You co-founded T by Daniel with your wife. Has that affected your business or your marriage in any way? Daniel: People assume that there will be added difficulties when working with your spouse. That is not our reality. I am a huge believer that, in some ways, your business is a direct reflection of your life. My wife is my best friend. We have known each other since we were eight years old. We could never run a business together if we did not have a good relationship as husband and wife and as friends. I am looking out for her best interest, and she is looking out for my best interest; it naturally leaks into our business operations. Mind you, conflict happens. When there is tension between us, it sometimes spills into our business. Overall, I would say, she is strong, where I am weak, and I am strong where she is weak. So, we help each other out. We do not jump down each other’s neck. She acknowledges my strength and lets me do what I do. And I am the first to acknowledge that she is the backbone and controls a lot of what happens behind the scenes; the integral parts of running the business. Hence, we make it work.

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Photo Credit: JONATHAN PRODUCTIONS - JONATHAN LEWIS

do not have to possess every skill personally. If I lack creativity, it is easy to find someone who is creative that is willing to work with you or around you so you can gain perspective on creativity or get inspired. That is the day and age we live in that if you cannot do it, there is somebody one email away that can and is willing to help. So I do not think you have to master creativity to be an entrepreneur. I believe you need to know how to find the right talent to get the job done. I was not the greatest in numbers and finances, but I knew how to be sociable and network and eventually associate with the right people so I can learn from them. And now I have a good idea of what I am doing where numbers are concerned. I think that is what makes an entrepreneur different from, another person who is not cut out for businesses. They are not born as this perfect business person, they are far from it, but they know how to find what they need.

You are very creative in your blends; what is your process for idea generation? What, if any, training is needed for the creative side of the business? Daniel: When it comes to the blends of actual tea flavours, we both share and collaborate on coming up with funky flavours and blends. Our thought is this; what are the flavours and the foods that people enjoy every single day? People like banana bread, pumpkin, chocolate and hazelnut. These are not typical flavours for tea, but it is what makes our products unique. Our idea has changed the whole tea drinking experience into something that is more widely accepted. Even the people who do not necessarily love tea could fall in love with one of our flavours. So we are trying not to be a tea company, but rather a company that offers you an experience. I am a strong believer that in this day and age, you

What would you say to somebody who says I do not have a lot of money? How do I get the help that I need? Daniel: I learned in business that it is never about money. It is about utilizing your talent and skill. If you use your talent and your skill properly, that will generate the money you need to do what you have to do; but you have to be strategic. What do I mean by that? We never had any money to start; we never had a big loan or anything like that, but we had an excellent performance aspect to us; we knew how to stand out in a crowd. We took $30 and went to a school bizarre, and because we are very creative in our design and our approach to talking to people and telling them about our company, we made a lot of sales. We stood out from everybody else who was sitting behind the table with a business card and banner. So from using our talent and skill, we generated money, and therefore had the money to do other things that we had planned. I never believe it is about money. I think if you focus on what you are good at, then you can then generate the money from somewhere. Your branding is very consistent yet, evolving? How do you do this?

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Daniel: The website is the work of my wife. She understands where we are going as a brand and what makes us unique and different. We are known for our funky creative ideas, and translating that into the website so that people have the same sense that they did in the store. We focus on everything that is non-traditional about tea, things that are fun, crazy and appetizing. That is our design perspective for the website.

The one thing that motivates me through all of my efforts is my “Why”. My reason is the same across all platforms.

When I was an aspiring artist, I learned from the music industry that you have to be constantly evolving your image, your message, and your sound. What was popular in music ten years ago is not popular today. So in my pursuit of music, I learned how to adjust and change and stay relevant. I do the same thing in business. There was a time when I was dressing up in funky costumes. I was looking to simply attract attention, but as time passed, loose leaf tea was more so viewed as a luxury product. So I had to learn how to change Photo Credit: JONATHAN PRODUCTIONS - JONATHAN LEWIS

my message from funky and humorous to luxury and high-end while keeping the message the same. I stay true to things that were genuine to me like music. I grab a lot of inspiration from the music industry, movies and fashion (things that I love) and infuse it into my business. So my love for tea was blended with everything real to me since I was a kid. That is what carved out my niche. I make it relevant to the times, the trends and to what I am trying to accomplish with my products and services. How did you get your first 1000 followers on Instagram? What advice would you give entrepreneurs to attract their clients or their customers? Daniel: When I first started with social media, I did not know it was a strategy. I took the term literally, and thought of it as simply an opportunity to be social; it was not a selling platform or an extension of my online store. I would talk about what I was doing and what I was eating. I made jokes and entertained just to be sociable. It came across very genuine and attractive to people. So I quickly reached my first thousand followers. Today, it is used as a business and lead generation tool, as well as an extension of a store. Therefore, my ‘strategy’ is to continue to be genuine. I am a strong believer that when you go on social media, you should just be yourself and give people nonharsh selling content; they will want to follow you and tag their friends. You have a book, a business, a family, and speaking engagements. How do you stay motivated through it all? Daniel: Yes, I do a lot; sometimes, too many things. The one thing that motivates me through all of my efforts is my “Why”. My reason is the same across all platforms. As stated before, I want to impact people’s lives positively. I am thinking about something much bigger than me or bigger than the book or the tea company. How can I make someone’s life better and impact them in a memorable way that can help change their life? When I think like that, it makes me get up and write. It makes me want


Photo Credit: JONATHAN PRODUCTIONS - JONATHAN LEWIS

to publish books. It makes me want to come up with cool flavours, and forge a tea with a lot of health benefits. It makes me want to speak at schools and influence youth at risk. All entrepreneurs must develop their ‘Why’. Too often, entrepreneurs just focus on making money and eventually burn out. Thinking about others motivates me daily because I deal with others every single day. Everywhere I go, I am reminded of my why; every time I leave my house, or even look online or on social media, I see the reason. That is only intensified when I look at my family and my kids, so I think when you find a good “Why”, you will stay motivated.

What are two business challenges or obstacles in starting up an operation, and how did you overcome them? Daniel: Definitely obtaining money. You need money to run business, and when you do not have that to start, things that need to happen will happen very slowly. One of the ways that we got over that was by asking for funding from the family. It was not big loans. It is just enough money to get a few things done. I asked my mom or my dad, can you lend me $200? I know with that $200 I am going to do A, B and C and from doing A, B and C properly, I should be able to generate at least $300 or $400. With my return on investment, I can pay back my family, and have a surplus to place back into the business. Growing strategically and earning the trust of your close circle can help you find funding in the early stages. An even bigger issue for us was how to grow the business without being inside of the business. It was a big issue for us. We could not get out of the store enough to do the tasks that had high priority.

because of it. I learned that there are interns that are willing to get experience for free, and they are often more skilled than you would expect. The interns are actively being taught relevant skills in school, and they want real experience to build their portfolio. They can be utilized to help with social media, cold calls or graphic design work or other administrative tasks. There are interns and other individuals who are willing to work for the promise of a future position. Go to your local college or university. Talk to the professors of the subjects that reflect your industry and the help that you need and see if there is anybody available that you can take on to shadow you and help you. You will be surprised how much of your job you can delegate. These are free and inexpensive ways of getting the help that we utilize today to help us with our business, and we recommend other entrepreneurs to do the same.

How does a small business owner not get caught up into doing everything when they have a limited start-up budget? Daniel: My wife and I struggle in this area because, for many years, we ended up wearing too many hats. I think the business growth slowed down

What are two tips or ideas entrepreneurs can use to simplify their tasks or projects? Daniel: This is something I feel like I am just in the process of learning. First, establish a process. I was the king of winging things; there is no set plan. It makes conducting business difficult. I learned

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through mentorship and different inspirations that you have to have a process. Once you have implemented that process, then you master the process. And once you have mastered the process, you can now measure. You can judge whether something works or does not work. Once you measure and make the adjustments to your process, you should automate your process. Second is implementing delegation. If I had known this back in the day, I would have paid more money to unload tasks off my shoulder. In the beginning, you should be doing everything, but there comes a point in the business where it is not your job to be behind the counter, so to speak because it is doing an injustice to you, your customers and to your staff. As the visionary, you are supposed to be reviewing the numbers and seeing where to make improvements. Entrepreneurship is heavy on time and mental capacity. Were you ever tempted to give up? If yes, what made you continue? Daniel: Yes, for sure. There were times when I was like, ‘I have obtained business skills after a year or two in business. I can get a high paying job with vacations.” So, of course, when business is hard, and sales are not coming in, you are tempted to do that. But there is something addictive about being in control of your ideas and your time. When a result comes in, whether that be a testimonial, or a client success story, or even a big sales week or month, that is enough to keep you going. When you are running your own business, even

the small things are celebrated, and that is the fuel you need. We have had moments that have fueled us. We served the prince, we got our teas into the Roy Thomson Hall, and we received a significant amount of five-star reviews. Anything you would like to share with our readers? Daniel: Two things. First, my dad taught me how I define a rich person. I love to refocus people’s definition of rich away from money. My dad taught me that a rich person is a person with a keen sense of responsibility and high regard for human life. That perspective has been a game-changer for me. I measure my success and my richness based on my care for human life, and how well I take care of my responsibilities. And second, is one of my quotes; “The secret to succeeding in business is in the first two letters of business, BU.” You are a very inspirational entrepreneur and person, and I know everyone is going to feel the same way. Thank you for sharing with us. Contact: www.tbydaniel.com/

Reuters

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advertise with us Call 647-955-3567 or Email: ads@dreamer2creatormag.ca

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What it takes to have it all Full disclosure - I am currently writing this on vacation, visiting my dad with my husband and two kids. It is Monday, and I am up before the kids to check emails, write and brainstorm. But here is the kicker, I love it. That is why I do it, that is why you want to do it. Having my own business is an addiction I cannot kick, providing a rush that no other job could. Balancing it all is a juggling act, one that will never be perfect but one for which I can offer some of my insight. .

of having two little ones sucking the life out of me, I was determined to have a business, dictate my hours and have ‘control’ over my entrepreneurial fate. I learned a lot during that time in my life, specifically about myself and my business. When you are stretched for time, you are forced to make hard decisions, most of which shaped my future and thriving business.

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have a degree in Business and Interior Design. I got married when I was 25, had my son at 26 and my daughter at 28. My friends were travelling, building their careers, and I was trying to do the same with two little ones, and it was HARD. The reason I mention my age is to show that entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart and despite being young, I wanted it badly. Regardless

ver the years, I have whittled my business down to the things I love most and removed the things I do not. That is step one: if there is a portion of your business that you do not like or that causes you anxiety, either hire someone to deal with it or remove it from your company. It may mean that you need to take a hard look at what you are doing. Does it feel like a grind every day? You might be in the wrong business. I am an interior designer and discovered that working directly with clients caused me unnecessary levels of anxiety. With two young kids, it was unmanageable. I put clients before my family, and it was not sustainable. I slowly recognized that, and eventually decided to cut that portion of my business out completely. It has made a world of difference because I was more passionate about building something for myself and my family.

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tep two: sleep. It might sound odd or obvious, but it was not to me. I felt like I should be grinding all the time, working once the kids

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were down, late into the night, every chance I could get. It was detrimental to my business, my family and myself. Working yourself into exhaustion does not make you successful; it makes you ineffective. Recognize that the majority of incredibly successful entrepreneurs wake up at 5 am every morning. Yes, at 5 am. That means they know how much sleep they need to function in a day, and they get it. That might mean going to bed at 9 pm or 10 pm every night. Your more productive brain function happens in the first few hours of every morning. Move your body and take care of number one (that is you); it is the same as having a baby, except this baby is your business. If you are not rested, healthy and motivated, do you think your business will thrive? Will your employees feel your fire? Will you be a great leader? No. It all starts with YOU, and you should be the priority first and foremost. This positive change will help your mindset and trickle into not only your work but your family life as well.

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tep three: self-educate. Ignorance is a choice. If you do not know how to do something, research it; use the internet, read a book, listen to a podcast, find a friend that knows more about it than you. Self-educate. There is so much information available that there is no excuse to dismiss a portion of your business (social media, accounting, closing a sale, to name a few) because you feel you do not know how to do it. I am a late adopter to the self-educate philosophy. I would put off accounting and bookkeeping as long as possible because it scared me. It is probably one of the most critical portions of my business to understand, considering I am a sales-based business. I hired great bookkeepers that I felt comfortable with, I admitted my fears to them, and they took the time to explain statements that I did not understand. As a result, I now have significantly more understanding of my cash flow and how to handle it, thus, creating a more profitable, less stressful business.

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tep four: find support. Growing a business is like raising babies. They are needy, unpredictable and emotional. Without a support system such as great friends, a spouse or a mentor to help you gain perspective, your decision-making skills will become ineffective and inefficient. As a sole proprietor to start, one of the significant challenges of scaling my business was decision making. I would get stuck in my head, completely distracted with the enormous decisions that had to be made, unable to focus on my family. Gaining insight and sharing the burden with close friends and a chosen few family members made decision making easier and more effective. Embrace the people around you, they want to help, and including others forces you to flesh out ideas and hear new perspectives. A win-win if you ask me.

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howing your children the value of hard work has merit, but showing them the importance of balance is a lifelong skill that will be invaluable. Balance is an uphill battle, and you will never be perfect. Some days will be easier than others, but on average, strive for progress, not perfection. Be intentional with your time, focus on your business, your kids and your relationships, you can do it all. But know that it will not be perfect. There probably will not be home-cooked meals every night, the kids might stay late at daycare sometimes, and you will let friends down every so often, but it is worth it. You are showing the next generation the value of balance, success and the importance of pursuing your passion. Creating a life where you are the boss means many positive things, plus you can skip out of work early for the Halloween Costume Parade and who does not want that?

by: CHRISTEN IRWIN Founder of Ten and Co Contact: www.tenandco.ca/ DRE A ME R 2 C R EA T O R B USI N ESS M A G A Z I N E

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3 low cost ways to maximize your visibility There are three ways in which you can do this. None of them requires a substantial financial investment, and all are tremendously effective in generating great exposure for you and your business without breaking the bank. Unleash the Power of LinkedIn. When people start looking for a new service provider, they will immediately do online research to identify the person they will be dealing with. Because LinkedIn profiles rank very highly in search results, they will, more than likely, read your profile before they visit your website or call you. Therefore, you need an eye-catching profile that showcases the best version of you. You also need to engage and communicate with your network regularly. Most importantly, you will need to build a loyal following by sharing valuable content on the platform.

The competition for control of your target audience’s attention and finances will become fiercer than ever before. It will be more difficult for you to grow your business and be noticed among the vast sea of competitors.

While my personal favorite is for YOU to be the featured speaker at your event, you do not have to be. Just the act of hosting an event shines the spotlight on you as a successful business owner.

So how can you compete for increased visibility in your marketplace, while operating with a limited marketing budget?

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Since only 1% of LinkedIn users create content, this makes the platform an incredible place for you to be seen because hardly anyone is doing it! Even if your target audience is active on other social media platforms, LinkedIn is still the best place to generate high-quality leads, solidify your position as a sought-after leader and to network with other like-minded professionals. Take the Stage as a Public Speaker. Another fantastic way to increase your exposure is to speak at community and industry events. Public speaking costs you nothing, yet it provides you with the perfect platform to inspire, challenge and motivate your audience with your ideas. By seeking out speaking opportunities, you position yourself as a visionary, a thought leader and the go-to

Host an event. A third great way to boost your visibility is to host educational or networking events for your target audience. Events like these help to position you as a top leader in your industry and generates lots of goodwill towards you and your business. After all, would struggling or self-centred businesses give of their time and effort to serve their community in this manner? No, professionals are market shakers and trendsetters that organize these events to enrich the people they serve. Are you unsure of the type of event to host? Well, the possibilities are endless for event themes that will have your target audience willingly walking through your doors to meet you. You could have product demonstrations of the latest cutting-edge technologies. You could have networking events for your ideal clients. You could host holiday parties. You could invite local celebrities or businesses to speak on topics relevant to your audience’s interests (chefs, fitness and finance experts are excellent choices here). While my personal favorite is for YOU to be the featured speaker at your event, you do not have to be. Just the act of hosting an event positions you as an industry leader and shines the spotlight on you as a successful business owner. Events like these should be a regular occurrence in your marketing plan and can be weekly, monthly, or even quarterly. As long as you host them on a regular basis, the frequency is really up to you. Start small and then build over time, and you will remain at the top in your audience’s minds.

person for people looking for a problem solver. You become the person that other leaders want to associate, collaborate and do business with. Public speaking puts you in the position of being a person that people want to follow. Where can you find these public speaking opportunities? Community organizations, company/ industry conventions, and local chambers of commerce are just a few places that are always looking for guest speakers to speak on fresh ideas and present solutiondriven systems.

As author Karen Lamb said, “A year from now, you will wish you had started today.” Do not allow your business to be overshadowed by your competitors any longer. You do not have to have a large marketing budget to make a significant impact in your marketplace. Use these three marketing strategies to connect with your target audience in 2020 and beyond.

by: Laura Connor Contact: www.connorspeaks.com/

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4 Steps to Reach more clients using

pinterest

on Pinterest. If you follow these 4 actionable steps and pin regularly, you will be off to a great start expanding your business’ reach with Pinterest.

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Create a Pinterest Business Account First things first, you will need to make a Pinterest business account. Which will give you access to analytics, which is vital in evaluating your reach; identify what works for you and what does not. You can sign up for or convert your personal account to a business account by visiting https:// business.pinterest.com Once you have your account, you will want to fill in your biography and create boards. Below I discuss some tips for these.

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ost commonly thought of as a place for women to plan weddings they cannot afford and save recipes they never make. Pinterest has ideas, tips, and information on just about any topic you can think of, including pottery, woodworking, and self-improvement, just to name a few. Pins are more shareable than posts on other platforms, which can quickly provide a wider reach for your target market. Links connected to each pin makes it super simple for a potential client to purchase your product. Just one click will bring them straight to your product or landing page. There is potential for any product or service

Find and Use Keywords Although Pinterest is typically considered a social media platform, it is more similar to a search engine. It is not, mainly, used to connect and interact with people, but more so to search for products, services, and inspiration. So if you are familiar with SEO (search engine optimization), you should have that same approach on Pinterest. You need to use keywords your target clients would be searching for. Tips for finding Keywords Compose a list of search terms related to your product or service. Use these keywords throughout your profile wherever possible. Find more specific keywords by putting the explicit vocabulary into the search bar at the top of Pinterest. Pinterest will then suggest related words to make the search more specific. Specific searches are more likely to result in a sale if a perfect match is found. Consider “purse” versus “purple leather purse”.

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Where to use Keywords Use these keywords wherever possible on your profile. This way, Pinterest will know what you and your pins have to offer and will show your profile and pins to people who are searching for similar things. In your profile name, include your business name as well as a keyword most related to your business/ product. For example, Wild Petals Boutique | Wedding Flower Preservation Include as many keywords in your biography as possible.

Add a description to each pin. This description should include keywords that are directly related to that post. For example, “Vintage style filigree dangle bridal earrings. These stunning sterling silver earrings are the perfect elegant touch to your wedding day.”

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Create Pins Canva is a great free website to create images for Pinterest. Use a photo that relates to the link and descriptive text overlay, when appropriate. Create images that are taller than they are wide. This format will occupy more space on Pinterest, therefore, increasing the chance of being noticed. Right width to height ratio is 2:3. Your pin can link to a product page, blog posts, even your Instagram posts.Regularly pinning your products, in addition to re-pinning other pins related to your concept, will expand your reach.

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Join Group Boards Another fabulous way to increase your reach on Pinterest is to join group boards. For most concepts/ products, there are group boards which operate just like regular boards but have multiple contributors. You can regularly pin your product to these boards. It is, typically, then required that you share other people’s pins, and in turn, others share yours! This is a great way to get your work in front of people who are already interested in similar things. If you are selling jewelry, consider creating boards with titles such as bracelets, necklaces, earrings, minimalist jewelry, statement jewelry, bridal jewelry, silver jewelry, gold jewelry (the list is endless) and of course a board specific to your business. In the board description use specific keywords related to each board name, for example, your depiction for the bridal jewelry board could be “vintage style earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and accessories for your wedding day. Minimalistic bridal jewelry, statement jewelry, rose gold, gold, and silver.”

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tarting a new venture in marketing can often seem overwhelming, but if you follow these necessary steps and pin regularly, you will expand your reach and increase sales using Pinterest.

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6 TIPS

IN PRICING YOUR NICHE experiences we were not able to afford before. This is not common in my field due to the simple fact that though there is a high demand for the service, there are a lot of providers offering the service who charge less than I do. So how did I make my prices work for me? As a hairstylist living in the Greater Toronto Area, I have found it challenging to create prices for my business in a city that had so many other amazing stylists. There are many things to consider when you are creating costs within your niche. Here is a 6 step guide I used to help me hone my prices:

My name is Deanna Johnson, and I am the founder of Braids Made Perfect, where I specialize in protective hairstyles such as braid extensions, loc extensions, and cornrows for women. I have been operating professionally for a little over a year now. The work that I do is very competitive, and in the black community, it is also something women invest in because our hair thrives when time is invested in protective styles. Last year my family had a considerable income loss and left me in the position where I both needed to bring in an additional $3,000 per month while being present to raise my children. Through this business, I have been able to successfully surpass that $3,000 goal and create great family

1. What are people in my city charging for the services I offer? 2. How long does each service take? 3. How much have I invested in my services? 4. How much experience do I have/ What is the quality of my work? 5. What am I offering? 6. What is my worth? These six steps formed the process I went through as I created my prices. Now let me explain how it helped me. What Are People In My City Charging For The Services I Offer? I spent some time researching other hair stylists that offer the same service as I do, contacting them and getting prices for certain services. I also looked at their online portfolio and compared my work to theirs. What I found was that a few people offered their service in the evening and on weekends which was a win for me because I was available all day,

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How Much Have I Invested In My Services? My field of work requires products, tools, and advertising to maintain the service to the highest standards. I have invested over $1000 to get my business to where it is now. Monthly, I spend close to $100 on products and about $300 for my location. You have to consider all overhead costs when you are creating your prices.

five days a week. That gave me an advantage. I also found that many stylist’s works were not up to the high standards expected. Exploring what was out there helped me to structure my prices. How Long Does Each Service Take? Each of my services has a different time frame. Box braids range from 5-9 hours and Goddess Locs 8-12 hours, to name just a few. When pricing, you have to take into consideration what it will cost you to spend such long hours providing a service. My job is not your average 9-5, and neither am I guaranteed a weekly paycheck. I am also a mother with children, so when I am creating my prices, I have to take into consideration what it will cost me to be away from my kids.

How Much Experience Do I Have/ What Is The Quality Of My Work? Experience goes a long way. Your work and knowledge in your field give a definite advantage over someone who started yesterday. I have had over 20 years of experience in this field. I grew up in the salon with my mother, who was a professional hairdresser. I started learning at the age of 7, when I used to help my mom. By the age of 13, I had learned how to put braids in independently, and it has been an uphill journey since. I have seen it all growing up and am very aware of the pitfalls to avoid. I believe in “Protective Hairstyles” which

I have to take into consideration what it will cost me to be away from my kids.

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means when I braid I keep in mind that this style should help your hair grow and protect it while they are in braids. The quality of my work stands out amongst the many stylists out there. From my research, I have seen that a lot of people do not consider those things. I love what I do, and that is also reflected in my work. What Am I Offering? I offer a service different to others available. It is essential to give my clients experience distinctive to that of my competitors. I make it my duty to go above and beyond to provide that for my clients. I endeavour to create an experience for them that is unforgettable; from great conversations to a warm, clean and peaceful environment. I use top of the line products. I am always developing my skills, which might include taking a course to brush up on and perfecting my techniques. To stay current, I spend a couple of hours each day keeping up-to-date with styles and products that are trending. What Is My Worth? This task, probably the hardest of them all, took some time for me. It requires an internal evaluation that people like myself sometimes find difficult. When you know your worth, there is no questioning. I have learned that not knowing my worth has affected my interactions with people, including my clients. Understanding boundaries was a valuable lesson that has helped propel my business back on track. I have been running my current business successfully for a year. Previous attempts at operating a business, a couple of years ago, were unsuccessful. I had clients that did not pay, clients that missed scheduled appointments and those who demonstrated no respect for my work and time. That experience caused me to stop and re-evaluate. I evaluated how I was running the business; the factors that contributed to the state my business was in; whether I wanted to continue; and if I did, what needed to change. I spent some quality time on reflection, investing in myself and figuring out my worth. With much prayer, I have finally gotten to a place where I can start again and run a successful business where

people pay for services, priced at up to $500, without question because they see what I finally understand, my worth and the value of the service I offer. They value my art. What I do is not easy, but it is liberating because I get to create a masterpiece for each client. Once you know your worth, others will not usually question it; they will value it. Those who do question it will not phase you because you know your worth. While I do not bargain with the costs associated with my services, I do encourage my clients and source potential clients with promotions, which I do a few times throughout the year. I have also come to a place where I realize my service is not suited for everyone, but I have found my niche. In conclusion, do your research and use the 6 step guide. It worked for me, who knows where it could take you. By: DEANNA JOHNSON Contact: www.braidsmadeperfect.com

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PAINT OR DRAW A PICTURE OF YOUR VISION THEN HANG IT WHERE YOU CAN SEE IT ON A REGULAR BASIS.

from Dreamer to creator: reframing deterrents in our paths

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A guide to creating your

financial projection

This article assumes you have done your research and have numbers that give above average estimates. A financial projection is used to predict future income and expenses; it allows you to work towards a measurable numerical goal. This goal should be achievable. As a new hairdresser, do not set a goal of 5 million dollars in year 1 when you have no celebrity clients. Calculate how many clients (based on your set up) you can accommodate. Take into consideration your marketing activities and whatever number you come up with re the number of clients, multiply by the cost each client will pay. Next, to be conservative, take 50-70 per cent and use as your income. Be mindful that there are

other factors to consider, like seasonality, location, competition, product or service quality. Your financial projection is an estimate so adjustments must be made throughout the year once new information is received. Some line items and organization structure to consider when building your financial projection Income This can be broken down based on the products and services offered. For example, a photographer may offer a sitting fee, separated from product sales. They may also provide more than one type of

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Variable costs are associated with the number of sales. Marketing is variable; it should be a parentage of sales. Supplies are also based on sales. If you attach labels to your product, the amount you spend on them will be dependent on the number of sales. The final tax rate and the amount is dependent on sales. HST is paid depending on how much is made. Wages will be a fixed variable. This means, if you hire part-time staff, their salary will vary based on their hours worked. Full-time staff will be paid regardless of sales. photography. Break down what is on offer in a few categories to see which ones sell more and focus marketing efforts on the high-income ones. The startup cost For the first year, this will be one-time costs. Research the basic needs and expenses associated with them. Documentation, invoices and all monies spent will help with this section. Some line items will be equipment and supplies, website development and business registration. If you are a photographer, the cost of your camera is a startup cost. Another example is the cost of a lawyer to set up contracts or first and last month rent. Expenses Expenses are categorized as fixed and variable. Fixed expenses will not change regardless of whether you have clients/sales or not. They include costs like rent/mortgage, phone bill, insurance and utilities, to highlight a few. For this reason, if you can share space or work from home, do that to reduce your initial expenses. Use your cell phone as the business line or services like Magic Jack, which allows you to have cheaper phone service. Insurance covers some liability, in the event you are sued and should be a priority, depending on your industry. Association costs, bank charges and website hosting costs are all fixed costs, some may be yearly or monthly, but they are not one-off and will be incurred regardless of sales.

Financial Projection Financial projection should be broken down into monthly intervals. Larger companies focus on weekly goals, but as a new or small business, monthly goals is good enough. It would be best if you had a 1-year (12 months) projection at the minimum. If you are looking for a loan or grants, you will be told what is required. Some persons go as far as creating a 10-year projection. Calculating and Analyzing Costs I use Microsoft Excel and add formulas that allow calculations to be done once simple changes are made. For example, a cell will have =E14*10% to calculate marketing costs and another cell will have =SUM(E41: E64) to give the sum of all expenses. This allows you to play with options based on information received. If my sales were 30% less than anticipated, then I need to adjust other areas to see what profit or loss I will be dealing with and what I need to prioritize or remove. Keep in mind, even if you hire an accountant to make your financial projection, you need to have a basic understanding of what you are paying for.

Karen M. Lowe is the Founder and a Business Consultant at Epigram Consulting Services. klowe@epigramconsulting.com

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BUSINESS: THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE


resources Project management is something we all do in our

believe meet my needs as a micro-entrepreneur and

business, but we think of project management as an

the free versions are perfect.

activity for a large company. As micro-entrepreneurs

further research to find what best suits the needs of

who work from home or small offices, we rely on

your business.

You may need to do

others in other locations (or the office) to help us. Treating each task as a project will help you to keep

Four project management tools you may find useful:

on top of tasks. There are several project management

Asana (asana.com) provides templates to help with

tools which are very useful and will be beneficial as

creating projects and milestones, including business

you scale up.

plan and content calendar templates. You may view tasks as a list or as a calendar.

Here is the primary way it works. A photographer

Cost levels: Start at $10.99usd per user per month.

might use multiple second shooters over several jobs, outsourced videographer, someone who helps

Wrike (https://wrike.com) offers excellent customer

with marketing, an accountant, suppliers and an

service. Once I signed up, I received an email asking

apprentice. There are also the tasks you are working

if I wanted to set up a phone meetup to help with

on that affect everyone else’s responsibilities. That is a

anything. Once your free trial is completed, you are

lot to memorize and track. Remember, you are a small

given a choice to upgrade, if you do not, you are

business entrepreneur. The project management tool

automatically bumped to the free version.

allows you to input responsibilities for individual tasks

Cost levels: Start at $9.80usd per user per month.

based on each job, assign a person to each task, as well as assign timelines and reminders. By using the email

ClickUP (clickup.com) gives 100mb of storage for

address of each person, everyone will get reminders,

a free account. They offer templates which include

and you will be able to see, at a glance, where everyone

content calendar and templates specific to some

is with their tasks.

One of the positives of project

industries. Templates may seem excessive depending

management tools for Dreamer 2 Creator Business

on your industry, but they include lists and calendar

Magazine is that everyone knows in advance when the

views.

magazine MUST go to print and deadlines to make it

Cost levels: Start at $6.53cad per user per month

happen.

(annual plan) or $11.75cad per user per month (monthly plan).

Each tool listed below offers a free option with fewer capabilities than the paid version. The number of

Basecamp (basecamp.com) has a free version that

teams and projects allowed varies based on price and

offers three projects, which must be created by the

the project management tool chosen. The list is not

account owner, with 20 users and 1GB storage.

exhaustive. The four listed here are based on what I

Cost levels: Start at $99usd per month per team.

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IF YOU DON’T BUILD YOUR DREAM, SOMEONE ELSE WILL HIRE YOU TO HELP THEM BUILD THEIRS.

Dhirubhai Ambani, founder, Reliance Industries


BOOK AVAILABLE FOR SALE AT AMAZON.CA & CHAPTERS.CA

Profile for Dreamer 2 Creator Magazine

Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine Issue 5  

The theme of Issue 5 is Growth  In our featured article, Daniel Lewis gives us a better understanding of 'WHY.' The purpose of your business...

Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine Issue 5  

The theme of Issue 5 is Growth  In our featured article, Daniel Lewis gives us a better understanding of 'WHY.' The purpose of your business...

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