RHONDA ABRAMS: STRATEGIES
Rhonda Abrams is the
president of The Planning
Shop, a publisher of books
and software for entre-
25 years of
on your personal credit. Establish procedures to
pay your bills on time every month.
Reduce your commute. I saved the
equivalent of about 100 days over the last 25
years by working within walking distance of my
home. I probably put all that time right back into
my business working nights and weekends, but I
wasn’t stuck in traf;c.
Get things in writing. I’ve made handshake
deals, but I’ve also seen clients change their minds
and people I’ve trusted turn 180 degrees when
things have gone sour. A clear written document is
critical with any important business deal.
Establish personal savings and a
retirement account. Like most entrepreneurs,
I’ve plowed virtually every dollar earned back into
my business. But unexpected things happen.
Develop a business plan. Hey, I wrote
a best-selling business plan book; what do you
expect me to say? But truthfully, developing a
business plan—every year—has been one of the
most important reasons my business is still a;oat.
These past 25 years, it hasn’t always been
an easy ride, but at least I’ve always been in the
driver’s seat. Spending most of my life as an
entrepreneur has been great, and there’s so
much more to come! C
and the Web
OPEN recently conducted
a Small Business Search
Marketing Survey, for small
businesses using online
marketing. Here are some
• Among small
businesses that conduct
some form of online
marketing, 66 percent say
that new customers find
them through search
engines and the Internet.
• The most common
online marketing technique
is a company website,
followed by social media.
Twenty-one percent of small
businesses report that they
use search advertising.
• Small businesses
using online marketing
plan to spend an average
of $5,260 on search or social
• Three-quarters of
small businesses plan to
add some form of online
marketing in 2011. Thirty-six
percent will add a company
website; 29 percent will
utilize social media. Some
companies plan to add
search engine optimization
( 23 percent), mass email ( 22
percent) or search advertising ( 16 percent).
• Search engine
campaign management is
generally handled internally
( 73 percent), with 47 percent
of respondents indicating
that they do it themselves.
For more information, go
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, I said goodbye to my last
boss and launched my ;rst business. I’ve owned
four businesses, going through booms and reces-
sions. I’ve hired, I’ve ;red. I’ve loved it—though, I
confess, not every minute. Looking back on 25 years,
I believe these are among the most important les-
sons I’d share with other entrepreneurs:
More in archives
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search “Rhonda Abrams.”
Get going to get successful
YOU’VE SLOGGED THROUGH a recession. As
you position yourself for the next storm, are you
growing? Now is the time to take a leap forward. According to Costco member Dr. Marta C. Wilson,
founder and CEO of Transformation Systems, Inc.
www.transformationsystems.com), these tips for
imagining your boldest goals have worked for her
customers during recent economic challenges.
Get perspective. Leaders aren’t usually in the
trenches. However, with everyone’s effort needed,
maybe you’ve done some heavy lifting lately, assuming you can regain perspective when things let
up. Things won’t let up, and you need perspective
now. Today’s the day to examine the big picture
Get a plan. In tough times, planning is postponed until there are fewer fires to extinguish. Fires
will continue, and you need a living plan that is
shared with everyone now. Allow your plan to be
imperfect, because shortfall is the starting point for
kicking performance up a notch.
Get advice. Ask advisors, colleagues and strate-
gic partners to help fight the status quo by challeng-
ing you on what holds you back and what will move
you forward. Their answers will highlight what de-
serves attention and investment.