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THOUGHTS, MUSINGS, INSPIRATION + TIPS

[Case Study] Web Design – Santis Pilates

How important is a website to your overall business success?

Well it depends. As I have always said, if you are not clear on your ideal client, your offers and your message, you have no business pulling together a website as you will just end up changing it once you figure those things out. For new entrepreneurs it is a procrastination tool.

However if you do know all these things, having your own digital home can go a long way in strengthening your online brand, generating leads and building your expert status.

Your website should be your 24/7 employee, making sales and gathering up leads on your behalf. It should be able to give prospective clients and customers all the answers they need to be able to make a decision to work with you. A website helps you to be found online and we all know that in order to get paid, you need to be found. So in that way, having a website is a strength to an already established and consistent visibility strategy.

In today’s case study I would like to introduce you to my client Sabine from Santis Pilates. Originally one of my very first web design students 3 years ago, when I launched Creative Web School, she built out her first website using my trainings. A star pupil, she went through all the modules and implemented everything.

Fast forward 3 years and her business has grown, her brand has matured and her website need to be upgraded too.

Together Sabine and I discussed refreshing her brand and building a new mobile responsive and modern website.

Here is old website.

Here is the new one

Check out this video where I walk through both sites.

Key things for this project:

  • A clean mobile responsive website using Divi 3.0
  • Refreshed branding. Whilst I didn’t redesign her branding, I refreshed it and updated the logo.
  • Good use of graphics and photographs, Sabine had a photoshoot prior to us starting the project
  • Personalised touches – like her hand written signature

Visit the site at www.santispilates.com

Feedback from the client:

I’m very happy with the new site and can’t wait to get clients feedback!

If you are looking for help in building or updating your online home, I would love to talk to you about how I can support you with that. Get in touch here

Seasons

This evening as I sat in darkness rocking my three year old to sleep, carefully placing him down on his bed, sneaking out of the room, only to hear cries of “mummy come and lie with me” I had this feeling of deja vu.
 
I remember the nights I would do this with my daughter and how frustrating it felt, wanting her to sleep, but she refused and she would only sleep if mummy was lying next to her.
 
Inside of me I cried with frustration, tiredness and impatience. I had things to do….why wouldn’t she let me do them.
 
Motherhood had been this enlightened and somewhat bewildering experience, learning new things and basically working hard to keep my mini human alive. Balancing the desire to do my own thing, rediscover my identity but also be there and present for her too.
 
I begun my first business (virtual assistant) 9 months after she was born. The sleepless nights worked for me, I was always a bit of a night owl.
 
I could work on my business, build my website, do client projects and nurse her back to sleep when she needed it.
 
To be honest, I don’t remember sleeping properly for the first 3 years of her life. 😂
 
And then she started sleeping through and it was as if those sleepless nights never happened.
 
And then her brother came.
 
Fast forward 3 years and here I am again.
 
But this time I feel peace, because I know “this time shall pass” and so I savour it. I breathe it in. I don’t even take my phone into the room, while I sit in darkness, I just think and reflect.
 
Seasons….
 
Life passes by way to fast and it is easy to not enjoy the journey because you are wishing it away hoping for the next phase when… (insert as appropriate).
 
But I have learnt, I am learning that my current situation is not my final destination.
 
And I can choose to see it any way or any how I like.
 
Going through a business lull?
Not booking clients?
Money not coming in?
 
It is a season.
 
Have a young family like I do, which means that you work less than someone who doesn’t. Or maybe you have other commitments which require your time and energy and you wonder when will it ever end.
 
It is okay.
 
This is a season
It is just a season.
 
What is your season telling you, what are the lessons need to learn? How can you come to embrace and appreciate it.
 
Your business will go through seasons.
Your life will go through them.
 
Know that “this too will pass”.

Entrepreneur Secrets – My first year in full time business

September will mark 12 months from when I handed in my notice in my corporate job.

The past year has been a really interesting one.

Lots of highs:

  • IPSE Freelancer of The Year Runner up
  • Launched the Podcast
  • 2 live events
  • 2 group programs
  • Filled up 1:1 practice
  • Published in the Guardian
  • 3000+ inside CEO Mastery plus much more

And also lots of lessons 🙂

In this video I peel back the curtain to share what has been happening in my business these past 12 months and the things I have learnt. Sharing what I like to call my entrepreneur truths.

Watch it below:

My flagship group coaching + mastermind program is about to reopen her doors and I couldn’t be more excited.

We have revamped, upgraded and extended this experience, to allow you create the best possible results in your business and your life.

10 month of community, coaching and clarity with me to help you build a successful business that creates the freedom you want for yourself. Sisterhood, Strategy and Success our 3 cornerstones.

My current Inner Circle members will be coming to the group over the course of the month – to share their experience during the program – so be sure not to miss those.

To apply go here. We begin in September.

The art of kaizen + why you don’t need to reinvent the wheel

THE EVOLUTION OF A PROGRAM

“KAIZEN” – The art of continuous improvement.

Sometimes as entrepreneurs it is really easy to do something once, decide it was okay and then move onto something else, rather than refine and make it better.

Obviously if something flops badly, don’t try and resurrect it, but say you release a new program or course and 3-5 people sign up. That is not a failure. It just means that you didn’t get yourself in front of enough people to market yourself. Do it again, with more visibility, you will get more numbers. The fact that you sold 3 means that people are interested.

The very first Mastermind I ran in January 2016, Purpose, Passion and Profits Mastermind, I had 6 women in the program. I was scared, this was my first group program and so I wrote a list of the women I would love to have in the group and I personally invited them. I didn’t even promote it outside of that or tell my list.

It was a small intimate group and I learnt a lot about running a group program and making sure it fit around MY lifestyle, rather than the other way round. I remember doing group calls, with my then 1 year old baby on my back, video off, jumping him up and down to sleep. It was then I decided I no longer would do calls in the evening.

At the end of the 3 months we had an in person day which was magical and I learnt that there is something super powerful when women connect face to face, tears flowed, life long friendships made.

My second Mastermind, was the Visibility Vortex Mastermind in Nov 2016, focused on helping you grow in confidence and up your visibility. I took the lessons from the first Mastermind, decided to increase the spaces and also include 1:1 calls. I hosted the group coaching calls in the day and had 11 women sign up. My goal was 10.

This was the program that supported me in the first 6 months of going full time and replaced my corporate income. I worked my but off for the proceeding month and half doing calls, connecting with people and inviting people into the program and it was filled!

A few things I didn’t factor was:
– different business types: product vs service
– different stages of business owners: just starting vs more experienced, different needs
– the important of a group being able to bond well from the get go: so important
– having different levels of access to me, so if you want 1:1 you can upgrade (I offered it to everyone)

1:1 calls were fantastic but the Facebook group…tumbleweed and I tried several times to resurrect it but in the end recognised that if you don’t set the intention clearly at the beginning and the members of the group also agree to this, it is difficult to get it later. Huge lesson there.

I also asked the ladies who were part of the program for their feedback and listened to what they said. They gave me nuggets I could use for future programs.

I was so discouraged by the lack of group engagement I almost wrote the program off and said I am never doing it again, but my mentor asked me to clarify whether that was necessary or whether I could look at ways to make it better the next time.

I chose the second option (because I genuinely love group programs), learnt lessons from this program and allowed it to influence my next Mastermind – The Inner Circle 1.0

Ahhh the Inner Circle. This has been my best group program to date.

I took the feedback, my own observations and the things that I had learnt and created a new program, which focused on community and strategy for women in years 1 to 3 of business, earning less than £2000 a month.

Helping women have a safe space to grow, learn and share. Accountability pods to support in-between group calls, pop up challenges, mini trainings and coaching from me.

I gave all the ladies a questionnaire to complete at the beginning of the program so that I could understand their needs and motivations and I also used this information to pair them into their accountability pods.

The women gelled from day 1 AND showed up. I was very intentional about this and set the tone from the beginning of what I expected of them.

Throughout the program, I didn’t have to worry about people not coming into the group, posting or asking questions. The ladies stepped up and supported EACH OTHER and I was able to be a mentor, coach and facilitator. I loved being able to deliver this program and my clients saw so many shifts in mindset, new businesses started, growth, new clients and more.

One of them made more in the first month of the program than she had, her entire time in business!

I also learned that it is important to listen to feedback and evolve. To “vet” people before hand to ensure that they are a right fit.

I hand picked all the accountability groups and they WORKED well. I also made sure that I lead by example and showed up. If I made a mistake I didn’t hide it and when part way through they said they wanted more coaching calls (not part of the original package), I obliged because at the end of the day, their results are important to me.

And so as I prepare to welcome in the new round of the Inner Circle – I am really excited about how the next 10 months will unfold.

Sisterhood

Strategy

Success

Our three cornerstones. And over the course of this month I will go into more detail about each of them.

The point of this super long post…always keep listening and developing. When something you have is good, but some part of it is not working, evolve, shift and change. If I hadn’t done that with Vortex mastermind, the Inner Circle would not have been born.

Be sure to bring KAIZEN into your business and look to improve – every.single.day!

p.s. Inner Circle my 10 month group coaching mastermind is launching again soon. If you would like more info and details, visit here.

CEO Mastery Inner Circle

019: How To Grow Your Business And Thrive This Summer

Transcript coming soon

Summer is here and you might be wondering how best do I manage my time so that I can grow my business and enjoy time with my family/take a holiday/rest (delete as appropriate)

In this episode Chichi shares her framework for how she plans her summer and how to grow your business when you have tiny time.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Book a strategy session with Chichi- http://www.chichieruchalu.com/strategy-session/

 

CEO Mastery- 019: How to grow your business and thrive this summer

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  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
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018: Lack Of Focus Is The Silent Income Killer

Transcript coming soon

It is so easy to get distracted in our business, but did you know that having a lack of focus could actually be costing you more than you think.

In this episode Chichi shares about how to overcome a lack of focus and get back on track with your goals

Links mentioned in this episode:

Your daily 5- http://chichie.co/yourdaily5

 

CEO Mastery- 018 Lack of focus is the silent income killer

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How to avoid financial mess in your business

Just got off the phone with my accountant.

The importance of being close to your numbers is so important.

This is not an area of strength for me but is something I am working hard to become better at.

For years I have battled with personal debt, constant overspending and mismanagement and I realised that to be successful I need to take responsibility and get a better handle on it. Which is why it has been a big goal of mine since last summer, when I knew I wanted to leave my 9-5.

It becomes even more important when you business becomes your sole source of income.

It’s all good to focus on sales, but if you neglect cashflow, tax and profit you can very nearly destroy your business.

Trust me when I say this. I speak from experience.

Things we discussed:
– income goals
– VAT registration (yes it is coming this summer)
– planning my launches and pricing to align with goals
– making sure I know my tax numbers and I am planning for them
– how I invoice and making sure I am using the right tools
– bookkeeping because I realise it is time to take this off my hands

MISTAKES THAT I HAVE MADE, THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO

CEO Money Mastery

1. Not tracking my numbers and keeping poor records

I now use Quickbooks which is synced to my bank account and paypal so all my transactions are logged and reconciled. No more guessing or wondering. You can keep things simple and use a spreadsheet or pen and paper. The main thing is to keep good records.

2. Not putting money aside for tax

I now have a separate savings account for tax savings and soon to be VAT. Nothing worse than scrambling around to find money to pay the tax man. It is the WORST. Get prepared and plan for it.

3. Not keeping track of expenses and spending in my business without checking the business could actually afford it.

I regularly review what I am spending in my business and cancel subscriptions and payments I no longer need or use. Check this quarterly for yourself. Paypal automatic payments are the worst. Go in and cancel those bad boys.

4. Focusing on revenue (which is important) rather than profitability (key).

Everyone likes to shout about revenue, but for me I have learn that is only one half of the occasion. You can be earning all this morning and spending it all thus leaving you broke and with no profit.

For an online business especially the goal of profit should a priority as our overheads are non-existent.

After all is said and done – what is your profit?

5. Not realising the importance of cashflow

Cash is king, so being able to project and know what is coming in and out of your business to see if you have enough to pay for things is key. I learnt the hard way and so now I make cashflow a priority.

6. Burying my head in the sand rather than seek help

This is the worst. Shame, embarrassment are all things that you feel when you are dealing with financial issues. But the worst thing you can do is hide away. Silence is a killer and you can’t get help if people don’t know what is going on. So be brave, reach out, tell people what is going on, you will be surprised at the positive response you get.

7. Continue to work on my money mindset.

Reading books (Get Rich Lucky Bitch, Overcoming Underearning, Profit First are my faves), practicing gratitude and having an abundance mindset.

So over to you.

Do you know your numbers?

Published in The Guardian talking Boundaries in Business

This week I was super thrilled to have my first article published in the Guardian newspaper, where I am discussing how to set boundaries for your business.

I like helping people. The vast majority of entrepreneurs do. As a coach and strategist I spend my days troubleshooting with clients, mapping out strategies and giving advice and support. I also have a web design business.

At the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey in 2012, I was overly excited. I said yes to all kind of projects, even ones I didn’t really enjoy but that paid an income. I worked all the time, worked with anyone, never took any time out and struggled to recharge properly. Needless to say juggling this with a full-time job, a young family and a partner often working away, I didn’t last long. This went on for close to a year, until I had to take a six-week hiatus while I regrouped.

Read the rest of the article over in The Guardian.

017: 5 Reasons You’re Not Getting The Results You Want

Download Transcript

Half the year is gone and in this episode Chichi shares with you what to do when you’re working in your business and not seeing the results you want or expect.

How to do a half year reset and get back on track, so that you can end the year with a bang.

Links mentioned in this episode:
www.chichieruchalu.com/vip-group-intensive/
www.chichieruchalu.com/inner-circle/

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

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