Hello, my name is Nell Merlino and I am thrilled to post my first blog on OPEN Forum. I have the daily privilege of running a not for profit organization called Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence that inspires, instructs and informs thousands of women on how to get control over their businesses and lives, increase revenues and generate profits. We regularly help women with micro enterprises grow to $million plus businesses. Based on our years of work with this community, Count Me In knows that women entrepreneurs grow exponentially when given access to the right tools, coaching and community. Count Me In created the Make Mine a Million $ Business program to challenge women entrepreneurs to reach $1 million in revenue and provide the resources they need to get there.
Women like Theresa Alfaro Daytner, mother of six, increased her businesses revenue from $100,000 to over $3 million in three years because she decided to set profit goals. It was the most important decision that distinguished booming women like Theresa, from those who are stuck with blah prospects, overwork and flat sales. According to the Center for Women's Business Research, women who set goals for their business are much more likely to succeed. If you don't have strategic growth goals, revenue goals and personal goals, it is harder, if not impossible, to get beyond surviving. You will always feel like you are struggling and treading water rather than swimming strong and thriving. Most of us want a better prosperous life, more opportunities for our children and stronger communities. Building your booming business might be the best way to reach those goals we share.
One of the top reasons we developed the Make Mine a Million $ Business programs at Count Me In -- with our founding partner American Express OPEN -- was to encourage women to set a goal of getting to $1million and beyond in annual business revenue. If you are one of the 96 percent of all women business owners in the United States who have yet to reach that million dollar mark, we encourage you to set a few suggested short term goals that will help you make a plan to reach your long term ones.
Make Mine a Million winner, Doris Ng, credits setting goals as the main reason for her restaurant, GingeRootz Asian Grille’s, success. Doris believes, “Setting revenue goals is one of the fundamentals of operating a successful business. Without having goals written and determined, you will struggle trying to define the actual success of your business.” Most importantly, Doris’ business is proof that when goals are set, it provides the greatest level of achievement and self reward. GingeRootz has catapulted from $800,000 in revenue to over $1 million within the last two years.
Like all aspiring athletes, models, actresses and performers, you need to apply or audition for the team, show, game or tournament. There is an online application for the Make Mine a Million $ Business (M3) competition at www.makemineamillion.org coming up in San Francisco November 7-9, 2010.
Your first short term goal is to read the Make Mine a Million Business application this week by going to www.makemineamillion.org. Your second goal is to email me directly at nmerlino @ countmein.org if you have any questions whatsoever about the application, the M3 program, or the competition. I want you to be fully prepared to meet your third goal which is to complete the application no later than Oct. 1. The process of filling out the application, what you will learn about yourself, your business’ strengths and weaknesses and how you can see your way to $million in revenue, will set you on the path to growth and discovery.
Now I know we can come up with all kinds of excuses as to why you don't have time or that you are not yet ready to apply to Make Mine a Million. It is kind of like that voice in our heads that says we will speak up and get noticed when we lose that last 10 pounds. We may never lose that last 10, but believe me, all the women who have applied to the Make Mine a Million program are busy with families, employees, households, etc.; but they made the time for themselves and their business and now they are on track to grow booming companies. So set your goals, get ready, and let me know if you have any questions along the way and please email me when you have completed the M3 application. Good luck.
Nell Merlino is Founder and President of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources for women to grow their micro businesses into million $ enterprises. She is the creative force behind Take Our Daughters to Work Day and the author of “Stepping Out of Line: Lessons for Women Who Want It Their Way in Life, in Love, and at Work,” from Broadway Books.