Growth After Planning

Growth After Planning

Because I’m a numbers person, I’ve always had trouble with the “writing part” of planning and setting aside enough time to write a business plan. I knew I needed to have a plan on paper, not just in my mind.

Monica BarnardWhen Maria offered a ONE page business and marketing planning process that could be done in ONE day, I knew that could do THAT much! While preparing for the workshop, I realized that I was in a stagnant place and needed to do new things, including niching, to bring in new business.

I have a better feel for . . . important things I had never really thought about.
Maria made the one-day process so easy and straightforward.I had NEVER marketed before, but Maria and my business plan gave me STRUCTURED GUIDANCE. Maria showed me how to create a one-year vision, a five- to ten-year vision, then an exit vision for eventually leaving my company. I have a better feel for what I need to do to grow, to decide when I want to retire, and evaluate whether I’m building my business so I can sell it or turn it over to somebody else to run–important things I had never really thought about.

My customer base increased 10% after years of only 2% growth.
I updated my website to target my ideal clients and created a newsletter, which my clients and prospects appreciate! My web traffic has increased by 20%. I speak more often (CE credit classes) and have gained 12 well-qualified referrals. Niching attracts more ideal prospects to my business and my customer base increased 10% after years of only 2% growth. In July, I am attending a trade show that caters to my ideal clients–I’m looking forward to seeing those results!

I am on track to regain the clients I lost due to the economy…
I use my plan to view the progress I’m making towards my goals…and if I’m not reaching them, I re-focus to get myself in the right direction. In the beginning of the year, I reviewed my plan and ideal client profile again and made changes. The template process Maria provided is good for that because it is flexible and easy to change. As a result, I am on track to regain the clients I lost due to the economy and to reach my goal of doubling my client base within the next 5 years.

A lot of financial people are probably more focused on production than building a business. They may not be marketing consistently or monitoring their efforts. Having a business and marketing plan like this would help them focus for a longer term, as it has helped me.”

  • Liked the best about the plan: short, sweet, and to the point.
  • Main 3 benefits: putting your plan on paper, how simple it is, didn’t have to write more than one page.
  • Would you recommend the plan, and why? Yes, because it was so easy to do.
Monica Barnard, APA, CEBS

Barnard & Associates, Pension Consultant and EA Specializing in Pension & Profit Sharing Plans for USA Based Physicians

Favorite Resources

Below are some of the resources we and our clients use.

Web Site Resources

Coaching Resources

Graphics Resources

Business Plans plan


NYC – My kinda Town!

Below is a compiliation of links I posted to my old blog in the early 2000’s.  Enjoy!

The 10 Questions You Should Never Stop Asking
Thank you Marc Kramer for writing this article.

29 Great B2B Subject Lines
Enjoy this article from the Vertical Response Blog. (I did!)

Greed Has No Boundaries
See if they missed your favorites!

I use  to schedule some of my tweets.
137 Twitter Tips – Free Report

FREE tips directly from biz owners compiled by @smallbiztrends

Finding the Best Business Coach within Your Budget by Lyn Troyer
Very good article on what you should look for before hiring a coach. And if a coach seems out of your budget, but you really want to work with them, then “Just ask”.

Top Ten Ways Women Entrepreneurs Boost Productivity

The Wheel of Life Interactive Wheel
Very interesting tool to help you see where you want your life to be vs. where it is
Addicted to Twitter? Don’t Click this link!

120 Persuasive Words That Build Rapport (VAK)
While you visit the site, watch Billie Mays as he goes into McDonalds for a lot of laughs and smiles.

20 Secrets I Wish Someone Had Told Me BEFORE I Started a Business
By Gini Dietrich

Using Outlook More Productively.
I love having the knowledge of using this productivity tool for Outlook. I set up all my clients so that when they email me, I get a pop up notice. Pretty cool!

Tip by Sanjay Singh of Fiji – An ezine I get and read monthly.

Break out of your comfort zone
An execellent article by author Adrian Savage

Good article on the truth about launching a business or product

Women Business Owners: Gain Exposure for Your Business with 5 Tips

Would you like to gain exposure for your business?   NAFE, the National Assocaition for Female Executives, is looking for new articles, not yet published, related to growing businesses or growing their women business owners!  While they do not pay authors for articles, your short bio is included (think 3 lines with a link and/or phone number.

I have submitted new articles to NAFE.  However, I have also repurposed previously written articles.  That means that I turned a few of my articles, that were not top 5 articles,  into the Top 5 Tips articles that NAFE laccepts.

You do need to be a member of NAFE  to submit an article, but heck, the membership is still near the price it was when the organization began in the 70’s!  It’s $39 per year, less than that a year for 2 years.

There aren’t meetings in every area, but you can start your own under the NAFE umbrella.  While business owners can submit events on their websites, there is a good chance your event will get “advertised” in their newsletter IF you are a member.

My personal experience is that I’ve received a client and event attendees from submitting events and articles. (I can’t guarentee that will happen to you of course, it’s just my experience).

View a sample of their email at

Visit the site at

Visit the NAFE Linkedin Group at

Submit your articles to the Editor, Paula  Damiano  at   Of course Paula has the final say of whose articles appear in the newsletter.

Maria Marsala, NAFE member off and on since 1978.


41+ Must-Read Business Books for Solopreneurs

7. One Page Business Plan

Your Business Vision, Mission Statement, Objectives, Marketing Strategies, and Plans… OH MY! Can you think of anything more overwhelming to a business owner than the thought of putting all that down on paper? The One Page Business Plan, a workbook by Jim Horan, is an easy to understand and enjoyable — yes, I said enjoyable —book that will assist you as you create that solid foundation for your business. This workbook helped me create priorities to use and monitor daily. Business plans don’t have to be overly complex to work. When I first took my plan from my head and created it with this format, I realized that doing more of what I was doing wasn’t helping my business. So I changed my niche and focus from life coaching to womens business coach, and more recently to working with financial, insurance and investment advisors.

Thanks to Maria Marsala of Business And Marketing Learn more about the book at

Learn about the other 40 books at





Top 10 facts about women business owners
Types of businesses they run


Do your research
Develop a business plan

Start-up to-do list for small businesses

Stress—Triggers and coping mechanisms
Marriage—Does your relationship need a mission statement?


The business plan
How should you write your business plan?
What should the business plan tell the reader?
Outline of a business plan

Download the report here

Maria’s note: I am a member of Sams Club.