Strategy Series Lesson 1

Before you can jump into making a strategic plan to launch of grow your business, you need to thoroughly understand where you’re going, who you need to aim for, who your competitors are and devise a plan from there. In Lesson 1 of our 10 Part Strategy Series, we share 5 of the Most Powerful Research Tools and how to use them NOW!


Reference USA   Did you know that you probably contain what’s needed to get direct access to one of the TOP and most comprehensive databases in the world? Reference USA is home to MANY different databases which can give you the tools to know who your client is, where they live, how much money they make, what percentage of them are college educated… the types of information you can find is MASSIVE. Most cities allow access to this database through the number on the back of your public library card. Yep, that’s it. If you have a free library card that your taxes have already paid for, you have access to a powerful database, which should be your first stop to setting your business goals, picking your niche, and deep diving into what you’re going to offer this niche.

EBSCO Host  Research business journals, databases, libraries, ebooks, business and media information… basically the list is endless. This is a POWER tool that most business either don’t know about or don’t use. But wouldn’t it be GREAT to know more about your client before you spend your life saving launching a business to reach them or before you go further down the wrong path? This site also allows you to research over 2700 business magazines and trade journals. WHY use the can’t afford it excuse? Here is the information you need for the cost of your time to sift through it on the internet.


Census Bureau Study your industry, find out what your competition is up to, and locate your exact demographical trends using this site. Learn your potential clients demographics, spending trends, earnings and income, health trends, labor economics and trends in technology. You pay so much in taxes...get something back and use it to launch your business or grow the one you currently have.


Kauffman Foundation was built simply help people gain economic independence through education and empower entrepreneurs. This site is not only powerful, it’s comprehensive and offers many avenues through affiliate sites to grow your business. This platform features business events, research programs, papers, studies, grant information, and a free annual insights book that you can order yearly, simply by asking for it. 


Spyfu is a great site in addition to Google Keyword Planner, to find out how many people are searching for a particular keyword. This is a quick tool to see if your current niche or an industry that you are considering jumping into is popular, where it’s being searched the most, and if there is an opportunity for you in this particular niche. Knowing what words your competitors are buying and what types of products and services they are building for your niche is great information to have as you build a strategic plan for your business. 


Good Research Questions ( and the answers to them are in these research tools) 

  • Who is my client?

  • Where do they live? Where does my best client live? Is it a city or online?

  • Do they spend on my type of product, service, or niche?

  • Are they college educated? Does that matter?

  • Who are my competitors?

  • What are my competitors doing? What types of products are they offering? What channels are they using to get their products marketed?

  • What is my competitors market share?

  • What reports can I find in my industry? What do they tell me? Do they answer the questions above? What’s happened in my industry? What’s happening now? Where is my industry going? What are the trends these reports are telling me?  Reading industry reports  is an AWESOME way to find out what’s happening, what’s coming, and what the trends are telling you about your industry or niche. Why guess? Read the numbers of people who have already put in the work to find the numbers, to survey your demographics and found out the statistics.

Bonus Tips:

Facebook Insights. Did you know that by clicking the “likes” button on your competitor’s page you can find out 3 key insights into their business:

  • the age range of their fans

  • the most popular city of their fans

  • the location of their fans

  • their most popular week

Then you can determine what type of posts they were dropping during their most popular week. Was is blog posts? Photos? Quotes? Videos? What were they doing that week that was so successful? How can you implement these types of posts into your own page ( of course in your own voice, using your own info and being authentically you)

Get FREE Reports on how your competitors are using social media to grow their businesses using Simply Measured. Make sure to at least download the free Facebook and Twitter reports.


Liked these research tools? Now I want you to drop me a comment below and let me know exactly how you will use these tools in your business TODAY!

Also, if you feel you’re ready for a focused strategy one on one, let me know here. 



kristikayne (1)

One of the BEST interviews I’ve done to date, Denise Duffield-Thomas will TOTALLY get you past your money blocks. Sometimes, where we’re in the trenches working our business, we think it’s just us alone. We think that no one else had to jump back into corporate and get a job. We think that no one else has trouble with cash flow. We think that no one else has trouble negotiating their worth. 

As we continue February focusing on money, our profit streams, and funding, I want to share with you Mrs. Denise Duffield-Thomas, who gives frank, and detailed information on how to get on the right side of money in this podcast. 

She is also quite systematic on how she runs her business and touches on that is well in this interview. 

Get your pen, paper and maybe even a tissue and sit down with this interview. You won’t regret it! 

  • How to Eliminate those Pesky Money Blocks for GOOD!
  • How to Leverage your Time, Money and Talents by Automating
  • How to Make it Through those Startup Years
  • How to Get Help for your Business EVEN on a Limited Budget
  • Understand and Live the phrase ” You serve, so you Deserve” 
  • Let go of the Thrill and Focus on Profits 


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This Podcast is LOADED. After you finish listening, if you LOVED it, please give us a 5 rating on iTunes and drop us a review by clicking the iTunes logo here . We’d appreciate it! 




DIY Strategy Session with Women CEO Project
You know why you have the absolute best ideas or remember the most important things while in the shower? Well, until they create an affordable waterproof cell phone, the shower is one of the only places where you can still have a few minutes of uninterrupted “thinking time”.
As soon as we hop out of the shower, we hit the ground running, often stuffing our day with “to do’s”, being more reactionary instead of proactive, please many people, take care of others, and possibly keep our job which leaves very little time to think through what it would actually take to change our lives or our businesses. 
Most folks think strategy is difficult. I used to think the same thing. I thought learning to “being strategic” was directly connected to obtaining a Harvard degree and thoroughly understanding the fundamentals of probabilities, charts, derivatives, and the like. 
Yep. I barely passed Statistics… in theory ( school) , but find that I can totally kick its butt in strategy in reality ( thinking & hitting the pavement) 
What I’ve learned, is that thinking strategically is simply a way of looking at your business, finding your best opportunities, creating angles and openings for yourself, measuring what’s working, and clearing out what’s not. 
And guess what…. you’re not alone in this process. 
My team and I have cooked up 2 POWERFUL opportunities to walk you through simple, yet effective business strategy lessons this month. But for those of you who want to know and understand the basics of what you can do now to totally change your business…. keep reading below to get the Step-by-Step DIY Strategy Timeout for FREE….
Ok, so you’re interested. Now, I want you to read through these steps, but DO NOT attempt them, until you have set aside time to give your business the respect it deserves. Depending on where you currently are in your business, this session and answering these questions could take 2-4 hours. 
Key Questions for a DIY Simple Strategic Session 
Take a massive TRUTHFUL assessment by answering these questions


What’s Your Current Situation? 

  1. What’s working in my business? Be specific and go through each product, service or event.
  2. What’s not working in my business?
  3. What am I currently measuring? ( analytics on my website, growth in database, etc.) To measure your analytics, try sites like Google Analytics, and Tweet Reach.
  4. Am I getting in my own way ( procrastinating, making excuses, wasting time, letting others waste my time)? What’s holding me up?
  5. Am I organized? Meaning, if someone were to call right now, wanting to buy my products and services, do I have a quick way to get them this information like through a consulting package,  rate sheet, speaker’s kit, portfolio, the proper documents, working and complete email addresses and websites, etc.?
  6. Am I truly ready to put in the work to make changes? 
Schedule an Uber Focused Brainstorming Session with Yourself
( a session without your phone, social media, checking email, or with noises) 
  1. How did you find your past opportunities?
  2. Are you doing that much and more to find new ones?
  3. Are you creating ways, products, or opportunities for people to get familiar with your talent?
  4. Who could help you share you message much further and have you started building a relationship with them? I don’t mean, cold emailing or contacting them and asking for help or a freebie.  Have you started to build a relationship with them by offering your services or helpful information first? 
What About Your Brand? 
  1. Do I know who your client is?
  2. How do you get on the radar of your client? 
  3. Am I giving my potential client a chance to experience my skills and talents through writing, blogging, videos, sharing useful information on social media, speaking, consulting, interviewing? 
  4. How am I leveraging social media to get my message across?
  5. Am I using my marketing and branding tools consistently to share not only my message but useful information? 
These are some preliminary, yet HIGHLY important questions to ask yourself, with answers that are very valuable to the growth of your business. You CAN make some changes to your current business and you CAN be more strategic without that Harvard degree. 
Like I said earlier, from your feedback, my previous consulting client’s issues and the massive amount of emails I get, we feel this topic and learning how to pick up thinking skills is imperative to the growth of our audience’s businesses.
So we’ve built 2 opportunities for change this month.
One being our FREE Strategy Hangout on Google, Feb 11th, that is for ONLY 50 attendees. We have a few spaces left, the session will be recorded, and we will answer the questions that the attendees have sent to us.
It will be an Answer Only session.
This live session on Feb 11th is free, however, the recording will not be. So grab one of the last seats NOW by clicking here
The second opportunity that we’ve built is our Strategy Clinic on Feb 22nd and it’s TOTALLY virtual.
Here’s were we go to level 2 with your business. 
We’ve killed the location obstacle by making this session virtual, so you can join us on Feb 22nd no matter where you are in the world.
I’m really proud of this session as my team and I put A LOT of time into your individual business- meaning, we do have a space limit for this session, so that we can give each business ample research time.
After you register, you fill out our quick Strategy Questionnaire, so that we can get an understanding of what you want to accomplish, then BEFORE the live session, our team spends time creating a business strategy recommendation plan for you. It’s a lot of work for us, but I love to do it and see the improvements it makes in our attendee’s businesses.
This session on Feb 22nd is our last live one. After the 22nd, this session will only be offered as an online course at a different price. So, if you’re really serious, I mean really, really serious, grab your seat now, and while you’re doing that, check out some of our past Strategy Clinic testimonials, and session benefits here 
 Details. Details. Details….

How to Prepare for the February 11th FREE Strategy Hangout

Register here 
– Submit your Strategy/Business question to Kristi at 
– Login on Feb. 11, 2014 at 6:30pm Central 
– Take notes, listen well
– EXECUTE on the information you receive! 
How to Prepare for the February 22nd Virtual Strategy Clinic
– Register here
– Fill out the Strategy Questionnaire that we will send to you after you register
– Read the pre-strategy information, advice and tools that we send you before your session
– Login on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at 9am Central 
– Download ALL of the documents that are included with the course
– Take notes, follow along with your documents, ask as many questions as you like
– EXECUTE on the information that you receive! 
It’s that simple. You ready???


2014 hustle

Time out for simple empowerment. What the heck is that if it isn’t making your business money? Having a no bullsh*t focus, a solid plan, and working daily, incrementally, and consistently on the right things is taking that simple empowerment and channeling it into something useful….. Money for your business.

What’s the point of feeling good, warm and fuzzy if your pockets are still empty? Learning how to flex what you DO have, the technology you have access to, your lips to say a well placed “no”, and unapologetically moving low dollar, unclear, unaligned tasks clean off your plate, should be the core of your 2014 plan.

Sound ruthless? Nope, it’s being strategic.

Having Strategy doesn’t equal needing a Harvard degree. Most times, adding simple systems, having a laser focused goal, learning where to focus your time, who/what not to give your time and exposing yourself to the right audience are all that is needed in the beginning of your strategy plan. These 7 simple strategies will bring your business clarity, help you understand where you need to allocate energy and resources and help you to meet and build relationships with key decision makers who can say yes. 


  1. Goals Strategy. An intimate understanding of your goal is more than a New Year’s Resolution. What is your goal for the year? To be successful? What does this mean? What is success to you? What would a successful year look like with numbers? With clients? With books bought? With attendees at your events? What does the picture of a successful 2014 look like? Is it to make a lot of money? What is a lot of money to you, meaning, let’s quantify it. Is it $200,000? What does $200,000 mean to you and to your family? What is the ultimate reason for your goal? Understanding what you truly want to accomplish then what that accomplishment means to your life will provide a much needed jolt of energy when you are tired, down, frustrated, or discouraged. Knowing, understanding and LOUDLY stating clearly, that you want to reach 200k this year to make your family’s life stable, to finally quit your job, and to slowly start creeping out of debt is MUCH more powerful than a simple resolution. You are now quite intimate with the what and the how of why you are working so hard. Once you finish breaking down the answers those questions truthfully, you have set up the BEST platform to jump into strategy 2….

  2. Systems Strategy. Adding systems is one of the first strategic items that you can implement in your business. Your focus for this strategy is to document items that you use often, or automate everywhere that you can in your business. If you can put all the codes and how to’s of a task on a document ready for your new assistant, how much time do you think you are saving from training? If you can build up a training program that once it’s done, it requires not one single thing from you again and your participants can watch videos, download documents and get automated emails every 4 days to assist them…. why not? Think like this, “ What can I implement in my business to make things easier, more streamlined, and automated?” You can document things like:

    1. What colors do I use often and what are the codes?

    2. What are the passwords for all of my platforms?

    3. Is my logo files in a folder?

    4. What are the steps I like to take to upload a post to my blog? What are the follow up steps? What checklist do I follow?

    5. What are the steps I take when I am planning an event? What event checklist do I follow?

    6. How to I figure out if I will take an opportunity? Can I create an opportunity checklist to make sure that I am aware of the pros and cons?

Basically, you are taking tasks that you do on a regular basis and creating documents that you can follow or that you can hand to your assistant to follow to make sure what you want done is done. Also, documenting your steps helps to make sure that tasks can get completed whether you are there or not, have a new assistant, or want to check off if something was done. How organized would it feel to have an assistant start on Monday and be able to hand her an operations manual that documents where to find your logo files, what font you want in your newsletters, what time to send your newsletter out, what template to use, what color code to use, what links to make sure to add, etc. etc as opposed to trying to search and find these things and send them to her one at a time? Creating the simplest of systems in your business saves you time so that you AND your help, can be working on the bigger picture.

  1. Your 2014 Creation Strategy must be a priority in the new year. Why keep those ideas, those skills or those must have events to yourself? Why wait another year to start smartly packaging up that knowledge into easy to follow, step-by-step, sellable products? Now is the year, however, it won’t happen by simply wishing. You must have a plan in place, then take that plan and work backwards so that your daily, weekly and monthly tasks help you to reach your ultimate goal… have that beautiful product in your hands or neatly in a digital file on your computer, ready to sell. Your creation strategy needs a goal ( product you want to create) a tasklist ( your goal to do’s), a dream team to help you build it ( designer or writer) and a marketing plan to launch it ( multi-channel, multi-platform strategy). Sounds like a lot? No worries, we’ve broken all of your needs down in a FREE videos series here and an online course here. Get that creation strategy done NOW! It’s mandatory for your next strategy…

  2. If you want to be known by more than your mother and your immediate circle you must create a Branding Strategy that you consistently work, tweak, and refine, and it must be solid. You want that global status, but how do you get it? What platforms do you need to be on? How often do you need to get on them? How types of information should you share? Are the people you want to reach interested in that type of information? While building your branding strategy you have a multitude of options. Your major first step, is to determine who you want to know about you? Basically, who is your audience? Who do you want to work with? Who would want to work with you? Who do you service? What do they need? What are their hurts? What are their obstacles? How will you reach them how often will you touch them, and how do you get your information and messages to them? To get laser focused on who that person is so that you can start to find them, I suggest reading “Book Yourself Solid  by Michael Port. Then, once you have a solid branding strategy in place and know where and how to reach them, you need to focus on leveraging…

  3. A Powerful Leverage Strategy is using your time, your resources and your energy to maximum capacity. Sometimes, saying no when saying yes is to the detriment of your goals or vetting a potential partner thoroughly before jumping into bed with them or getting a set in stone agenda before hopping in your car to a meeting or understanding all of the benefits perceived or stated before plopping your money down for an event. Technology leverage is making sure that you use the digital tools available to you to build your brand, to reach your audience, to create a powerful system, to grow your database and your profits. Time leverage focuses on using your “business time” to building key relationships, partnerships, and having focused strategic meetings that have a profit strategy angle…

  4. But my money tho? Having a Profit Strategy is the most important strategy to keep your business afloat. A simple, “ How will this project make my business money”, is enough to save you the time and energy of a failed project. How does joining this organization help me make money? Does it focus more on camaraderie or empowerment or does it focus on making money? Does this free speaking engagement lead to money for my business? How? Am I clear on the profit streams? Are the profit streams in writing? Then why am I moving forward? Does the sponsorship of this event or organization lead to profit for my business? Are the attendees ready and open to spending money on my product or service? Are they looking for my product or service? What type of projects will my profit come from this year? Do I need to search for the opportunity and apply or do I need to create the opportunity myself. What are my costs for this year? Have I determined all of the events, conferences or trainings that I will attend? How will these trainings add to my profits? What am I expecting these trainings to add to my profits? How much money do I expect to make each month? From what?  How much money do I want to make this year? These are super important questions that many of us don’t ask ourselves before we open our wallets or to determine and claim the type of year that we really want to have.  A profit strategy is essential for today and to be in business tomorrow. Take some time, take the weekend, and answer those questions before you do anything else.

  5. None of these strategies mean squat if your package is a jacked up, done at home, not professional word document. Time out for that. Your packaging has got to be TIGHT. Understand that putting in the work to having the BEST package that you can currently afford, is one of the things that might get your foot in the door. I can think of 2 times, that my pink yet polished packaged got me in the door within the last 2 months. I’m sure a “no” was sitting on the edge of their lips, but they had to open it, and once they did….. meetings were set. Give yourself a fighting chance and raise up your Polished Packaging Strategy as best as you can. Some of my packages have gotten me speaking engagements, business partnerships, hired for consulting, and basically grew my business. What has your package gotten you lately? Let’s fix it.

Winning is not working 24/7, even though you will have many clusters of non-stop project producing weeks. Winning is finding out how to get the BEST results, working your best angle, where your best clients are hanging out and building the best business you can. 

Get a strategy plan, get intimate with those goals, polish up your package and get clear on your profit sources. In 2014, we’re not just spending our time, we’re not just spending our money playing at business. We are making sure every nickel we toss out today comes back tomorrow dressed as a dime…. Don’t waste it. 


Ready to start putting your Strategy plan together? Join us for a Virtual group session on Feb 22nd by clicking here or a private session with me here…. Let’s do it!