The KBC Blog

Redefine Your Business in a Transitioning Economy

Kaye Brown discusses the transitioning economy, emerging business strategies, and how we can dynamically adapt our business and careers to the fluid environment. Originally blogged on HerMuse

All too often, crisis moments hit our businesses and our credibility hard. Although the wavering economy may have had the best of us a bit shaken and adjusting our numbers, strategies, and client services, it is how we respond to the blow that makes or breaks our forward success.

Woman Standing in a FieldEven with a majorly transitioning economy, businesses and professionals are growing their services and networks and are also finding creative ways to stand out in the crowd and – well – put food on the table. So with a flustering economy that somehow fosters growth, how will your professional strategy dynamically change to give you the confidence to step forward and obtain the results you desire?

Understand The Economy and Your Market

Like it or not, the economy is here to stay. But whether it is a good or bad economic situation, your business must have an adjustable strategy that enables you to evaluate and measure the success *or failure* of your initiatives. It is incredibly important to understand how the local and federal economies have affected your business. Don’t rely solely on news reports or the increasing gas prices as evidence of insurmountable change and run to your board room. Get involved with local chambers, attend public meetings, obtain local governmental action plans, discuss civic changes amongst other professionals and businesses, and ultimately evaluate your business numbers to understand exactly how you have been directly impacted. Career Tip: Evaluate & understand employment trends and your career needs. Is the time right to make a move?

Remember Your Passion and Purpose

No matter what environment or strategic plan it is, I always tell my clients to examine their unique DNA – which are the threads of their brand. Take a small step away to remind yourself (and your team) of your professional passion and your unique purpose. It’s simple – let your passions rejuvenate and take a moment to fully understand what YOUR new needs are. Not only should you assess whether new solutions should be provided, but assess the value of your current solutions. Perhaps you should shave a little here, and add a little there. Now you can take the next step forward to clearly identify goals and put them into motion. Career Tip: What value or expertise do you hold? Integrate it into your current position or branch out!

Evaluate the Value of Your Clients and Professional Network

During a crisis, we tend to overlook the unique market we serve. We get so caught up looking at our strategies and numbers that we pass over our built-in safety net – loyal partners, customers and colleagues that are already a valuable part of our existing network. You should evaluate how they’ve been beneficial and responsive to you in the past and reward them accordingly. What you do – giveaways, price breaks, referral discounts, etc – is solely up to you and what your customers’ heart’s desires are. Once you’ve given credit where credit is due, these resources can begin to work for you and help your brand achieve more in an inconclusive economic circumstance. Career Tip: Utilize contacts, colleagues, and available resources to broaden your network – and your knowledge.

Shine KBC SolutionsRedefining yourself or professional strategy doesn’t always mean scrapping everything and starting over. Always remember that you’ve been given a unique passion that has evolved into the unique threads of your brand DNA. Your integration of passionate purpose, strategic response, and utilization of available resources is what ultimately directs the abundance of your new creative space.

Steps to Take Before Submitting for that Grant

Grant Writing 101Many organizations, for-profit and non-profit alike, consider grant funding as a means to kick-start new organizational initiatives, fund internal programs, build new facilities, or expand existing programs. But many organizations adequately prepare for everything else, yet go in head first, unprepared for grant submission – and even worse – grant management.

Is your organization prepared to take the steps necessary to make a successful grant submission?

Several organizations mistakenly have the: “We want it. We need it. Let’s submit on it. We’ll get it!” mentality. I cannot stress how wrong this attitude is! Sure it’s great to expect positive results and feedback on project work and grants you have submitted, but approaching the grant submission and grant management process takes a little more strategic planning and organizational precision.

I can list a plethora of items, to-do lists, and perfect circumstances needed in order for organizations to be more sufficiently prepared for successful grant submission and grant management. I’ve chosen the CRUCIAL MUSTS that organizations must have prepared and in order before submitting on that $500,000 facilities needs grant!

  1. Understanding Your Organization’s Purpose. The biggest No-No in grant submission (or moving forward organizationally, for that matter) is not having your ducks in a row. Your organization’s mission is not only spoken, but is written in the form of a Comprehensive Program Plan, By-laws, Standard Operational Procedures, or other organized document. It is additionally practiced and implemented throughout management, staff, and each initiative and program that the organization carries out. The mission resonates strongly throughout your organization. Having a well-written plan BEFORE any initiative or grant submission simplifies the application process, allowing your grant writer to use core pieces of your plan to best sell your assets.
  2. Strategically Orchestrating Organizational Growth. Sigh…Never get caught up in “Blind Firing,” i.e., submitting on anything and everything that has a dollar amount attached to it. Take time to discuss key organizational needs amongst your management team before submitting on anything. Perhaps your organization’s growth is better planned in stages and manageable phases that help you monitor your organization’s growth in comparison to your initiatives and successes in those areas. What’s your operational, program, or new initiative budget? Is it more beneficial to submit on one large grant or break the submissions into more meaningful pieces? Having a better understanding of the phased needs of your organization helps to streamline the selection and submission process.
  3. Do Your Research! Have you taken the time to effectively partner and collaborate? Market your organization? Get to know the foundations or institutions releasing grant funding? Network locally and seek out grantors whose values match yours? Understanding the initiatives of the grantor, developing and cultivating those relationships, and being keenly aware of a grant’s needs and guidelines before you submit is one progressive MUST that your organization will appreciate.
  4. It’s All About the Timing. First of all, submit every – I mean every – grant on time. Failing to meet specific guidelines and deadlines will put you out fast! But more importantly, having an awareness of your brand’s unique needs, value, perspective, team and growth initiatives will help you to know when the time is perfect for your organization to move forward on the pursuit of a grant.

What stage is your organization in? Ready to pursue?

Join our June 4th webinar, Grant Writing 101: Preparing for Success!

Webinar | “Refresh & Recharge: Innovate, Communicate, & Grow!”

As your organization grows, refreshing your initiatives is vital to sustainability. We will discuss how to recharge your non-profit organization and effectively incorporate fresh, passionate ideas in alignment with your core values.

6.25.13 2:00pm-3:00pm| FEE: $15 | Register Today!

Refresh & Recharge NonprofitsEnhance teamwork and collaborative networking while integrating a balanced approach to utilizing current communications and online media. Here’s to taking your organization from 1.0 to 3.0 and learning how to effectively ideate, innovate, communicate and grow!

This one-hour interactive session allows you to share and ask questions specific to how your non-profit can recharge!

FEE: $15 | Sign up today via Eventbrite or AnyMeeting!


Refresh & Recharge Webinar Promo

Workshop: Avoiding Non-Profit Pitfalls

6.14.12 @ 5:45pm | Fee: $8 | Avoiding the Pitfalls of Non-Profit Management: Replay | Register!

We understand last Thursday’s storm caused a little snafu, so we’re doing an instant replay of our Non-Profit Workshop. This way, you won’t miss a thing! If you’ve already paid, we will email you a special 7-digit code to enter for your free pass. If the June 14th workshop does not gel with your schedule, please email us | unleash[at]kbc[dash]solutions[dot]com | as soon as possible, and we will set you up for September’s workshop.

Eventbrite - Avoiding the Pitfalls of Non-Profit Management: Instant Replay

Non-profit organizations have the passion to make radical change within their communities. But… passion often overrides sound business management practices. In this hour and a half workshop, KBC’s non-profit management team will share how to avoid pitfalls and sustain your non-profit objectives – long after day one.

  • Vision Planning
  • Establishing A Management Structure
  • Effective Community Partnerships
  • Branding & Marketing Your Organization
  • Financial Planning on A Shoestring Budget

Workshop includes 1.5 course hours, a training manual (electronic & hard copy), light refreshments, and mingling with like-minded non-profit organizations. Register now; space is limited! 1523 Dale Mabry Highway, Suite 201 | Lutz, FL 33548 | 813-641-4175 (just north of County Line Road in Lutz).

Weekly Business Tip: Social Branding for Non-Profits

Many non-profit organizations believe that their surrounding community or target market does not actively partake in mobile or social networking. Additionally, some non-profits believe that utilizing social media may be a waste of their time or that it may not prove to be beneficial for them. But, quite the contrary! Here are some facts for ya:

  • ½ of Americans use social networking sites, within 5 years that number grew from 5% to 50%
  • 98% of young Americans use SM
  • Email connects 85% of the world, social media 62%


These factual stats tell us that we are an increasingly mobile society, and you can bet you’ll find some of your market reach online. So how can you begin integrating social media into your existing marketing platforms? Start with the basics.

  • After selecting your favorite social networking sites, don’t be afraid to share them (@ special events on flyers, in your email newsletter, find friends/community members online and share your new links with them).
  • If you have a website, begin adding social media connections there!
  • Once you’re connected online, begin adding and sharing valuable content. Those face-to-face connections and content sharing can also be added and shared online and over social networking sites!
  • Also! Don’t forget to be as in-tuned and personal with your social networking accounts as you are face-to-face or at special community events!

Your clients and community members will appreciate being able to find and connect with you in more ways than one!