Tina Smith Connect to Creative

Pumpkin Plan Your Business for Profit and Happiness: Tina’s Story

Tina Smith Connect to CreativeDoing it the Hard Way

Tina Smith of Creative, Inc. was building a successful small business the hard way. She was working long hours, providing a variety of great services to a variety of clients, but not getting the profitable growth and overall results she knew her business was capable of.  Her company’s finances were always tight and it felt like a huge struggle to make any progress towards greater profitability without working even longer and harder. As a result, she didn’t feel like she was always a very nice human being! And then she read The Pumpkin Plan.

“I was constantly trying to do a passion project alongside of work to make money because we are trying to make the world a better place. But I was so grumpy all the time because I didn’t have basic needs met.”

Creative, Inc. started out as a traditional marketing agency that offered a lot of different marketing services. They did everything – running ads – both online and print, social media marketing, website design and development, and more. Each of those services required specialized knowledge and specialized tools and resources.

The Change that Made the Biggest Difference

When Tina discovered The Pumpkin Plan, everything started to change. The first thing Tina did was the Top Client Assessment. As she put together her list of clients and started looking at their individual profitability, she realized that many of her most “difficult” clients were also paying her the least amount of money. Light bulb moment! Those unprofitable clients were the low hanging fruit, and she quickly off-boarded them by suggesting that they would be better off with a different agency.

Tina’s next step was to dive a little deeper into the services that she was offering and which of her clients were buying which services.

“Because we offered so many different services, we were attracting all sorts of different people. One of the things that I did was figure out what services we liked to provide and which ones we just hated.”

Tina was able to clearly and specifically define who her company serves and what services they provide to those clients. She eliminated the services that they no longer wanted to provide (such as social media marketing) and streamlined her operations to focus on website design, SEO and email marketing funnels. Tina was then able to eliminate the expenses and resources that were necessary for the services that she was no longer providing, leading to much greater profitability.

Once Tina narrowed her focus to a specific niche, growth also became easier and more profitable. Her marketing became much less costly:

  • She was marketing to a very specific group of people so she could be very targeted with her marketing dollars
  • She was speaking to a specific group so her message resonated extremely well
  • Her specific and targeted marketing lead to more word of mouth and more yeses


An Ongoing Process

Tina recognizes that The Pumpkin Plan is an ongoing process of refining your strategy and evaluating your results. After her initial success with her Top Client Assessment she decided to work with a Pumpkin Plan Strategist to guide her to amplify her results.

“You can read The Pumpkin Plan and do some things that will help you out immediately. But until you get an expert who’s seen this over and over with different businesses, and they can tell you which lever to pull at the right time, it’s hard to get as much out of it as possible.”

Working with a Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategist at Tap the Potential, Tina has continued to refine her strategy and create the processes that enable her to deliver her services efficiently and profitably, without having to work harder and longer hours.

“Every time I go through the process, whether it’s the Client Assessment or the Client Wish List or something else related to our Sweet Spot, we get better and more profitable.”

Taking the Leap

Many business owners are afraid to narrow their focus because they worry it will cause their business and their income to shrink. Tina initially had this same fear, so she took small steps in the beginning and built momentum. As she started focusing on a specific niche “something kind of magic happened.” As she started saying “no” to the less than ideal clients it opened up the possibilities for saying yes to the right clients. Tina experienced a dramatic improvement in her finances and her satisfaction with her business with much less effort. Her only regret is that she didn’t make these changes sooner!

Today, Tina says she is a much nicer person. Thanks to The Pumpkin Plan she is working with clients that she loves, she has a predictable income selling the services that she loves to offer, and she is happy instead of grumpy!

Are you passionate about supporting small businesses to grow and thrive? Become a Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategist

Would you like help and guidance to reach your business goals? Hire a Pumpkin Plan Strategist

Pumpkin Plan

The Business Strategy that Changes Lives

Successful but Miserable

Christeen Era was a successful business owner with a thriving business. And she was miserable. She had built her business from scratch. But there were elements of the business that she just hated. She had clients that made her life miserable on a regular basis. Sometimes she didn’t even want to answer the phones. She had employee headaches. She had no control over her time. Eventually, she realized that this was not how she wanted to live her life and something had to change. So she took that business apart and started over with a new business strategy.

As Christeen was building her new business and trying to stay on course, she discovered The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow and Extraordinary Business in Any Field, by Mike Michalowicz, and the light bulb went on for her.

The Pumpkin Plan is based on the idea that when you are operating in your Business Sweet Spot, business growth stops being hard.

The Sweet Spot is the place where 3 key elements of your business align: your Top Clients, your Unique Offering and your Systems and Processes.

Pumpkin Plan

When you have an identifiable Top Client Niche, a Unique Offering that your Top Clients want and need, and the Systems and Processes to deliver your Unique Offering to your Top Clients efficiently, effectively and profitably, you are in your Sweet Spot.

As Christeen read the book, she was able to identify the reasons why she so was unhappy in her first business, and make sure that she didn’t make the same mistakes again. The last time she was not operating in her Sweet Spot. This time would be different.

Life Changing Transformation

Christeen was so impressed with the power of the The Pumpkin Plan method, that she decided to become a Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategist so that she could help her clients undergo the life changing transformation that she was experiencing.

(Go HERE to watch a video of Christeen talking about the impact that becoming a Pumpkin Plan Strategist has had on her business).

For Christeen, that transformation started with the Mission, Vision,  and Purpose exercises from the Pumpkin Plan Program. Getting really clear on her long term vision and her business mission, as well as her core values, made a huge difference to the direction of the business. Putting these thoughts on paper enabled her to see how her business vision could enable her vision for her life.

She saw that she could have a profitable company, she could buy the house of her dreams, she could go on vacations with her family, and give herself space to not have to work around the clock to achieve her financial goals. According to Christeen: “I don’t think we would even be here where we’re at now, if we hadn’t applied the mission, vision and purpose exercises the way that we did.”

The Power of Niching

Christeen’s business, Core Growth Strategies, is a high end accounting and business growth consulting company. Initially they were serving a diverse group of small businesses. After doing the Top Client Assessment from the Pumpkin Plan, Christeen identified a niche client base – the Lawn Care and Landscape Industry. She recognized that she had a found a group of business owners that really needed her help, and she felt uniquely qualified to serve.

As she slowly started getting rid of the clients who were not ideal for her company, everything started operating more smoothly, efficiently and profitably.

Christeen saw such a big opportunity to go all-in serving her client niche that she started a separate business with a partner, Green Profit Academy, specifically focused on delivering profitable growth strategies to the Lawn Care industry. Because she knows the industry so well, and she knows their issues and challenges so well, she has been able to take a deep dive into finding solutions that are specific to their industry. She has created tools and processes, and customized the Pumpkin Plan and Profit First tools to meet the specific needs of her client niche.

Specialization has had many benefits for Christeen’s two businesses. Because they are serving a specific niche, she has been able to streamline her operations, making it easier to run her businesses.

Christeen’s team members know exactly what her clients need, and they have the systems to support that. Her employees don’t have to learn about or ask questions about many different types of businesses, because they are focused on serving one type of business.

Christeen and her companies have become known as the experts, the go-to accounting and coaching firms in the Lawn Care industry. The word has gotten out, and prospective clients are finding her. Her marketing has become highly streamlined and effective, as she can speak to the specific needs of her clients’ industry. The return on her marketing investment is high, creating higher profits in her business.

The Biggest Transformation

The biggest transformation for Christeen, however, has been how she feels about her business. She and her team members are really passionate about what they do. They know that they are making a real difference in the lives of their clients and that is very rewarding for them. Thanks to The Pumpkin Plan strategy, Christeen is bringing in the income that supports her lifestyle, she has control of her time, she is doing work she is passionate about, and she has fallen back in love with her business!

Are you passionate about supporting small businesses to grow and thrive? Become a Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategist

Would you like help and guidance to reach your business goals? Hire a Pumpkin Plan Strategist

Business Coaching Meeting

 The Perfect Time to Become a Small Business Coach

If you are a small business coach or consultant, or you have been thinking you want to become a small business coach, your services are needed now more than ever!

New businessesThe COVID 19 pandemic disrupted lives and businesses around the globe. It also inspired a record number of people to take the leap and start businesses in 2020 and 2021. More than 4 million new business applications were filed in the U.S. in the first 9 months of 2021. 4.4 million new businesses launched in the U.S. in 2020, up 24% from 2019, and up 51% over the 2010- 2019 average.

Wow. Those are eye opening statistics! Add these numbers to the already existing 31 million small businesses in the U.S., defined as having 500 or fewer employees, and there is a substantial market to serve!

Why Entrepreneurs Launch Businesses:

Some started businesses during the pandemic out of necessity. For others the pandemic was the push they needed to pursue a long-time dream. Regardless of the reason, many of those business are going to need coaching and advice to keep going and continue to thrive.

Most small businesses start with an idea and the founders hit the ground running. They rarely have a clear underlying strategy. This lack of strategy eventually leads to obstacles and roadblocks that the founders don’t know how to address. As a result, 20% of all small businesses don’t survive past the first year. 80% don’t make it to year 5.

Imagine the difference it would make if those struggling businesses had the help and support of an expert business coach…

Many new business founders left their corporate jobs to pursue their business idea. Business owners who are used to working at large corporations often find that their big-business skills don’t directly transfer to small business. They also realize that while they have specific knowledge and skills, there are no “other” departments to rely on for the areas that they do not have expertise in. They will need help filling in those gaps.

Other founders might leave a small business to start their own business in the same industry. They believe that they have the knowledge and skills to do it better, or maintain a better lifestyle, working for themselves instead of someone else. What they often discover, however, is that understanding how to do the work of the business does not necessarily mean they know how to devise and implement effective business strategy. They know how to work IN the business, but they don’t know how to run the business well. They need a coach, consultant or mentor to help them transition from the worker bee to the visionary leader.

Be the Lifeline

Small business coaches can be a lifeline to overworked and overwhelmed business owners who often started their business with a vision of a better lifestyle and more control over their time and circumstances, only to find that their business is running them and sucking the life out of them!

The path to success if you want to become a small business coach is to identify a niche, a defined group of entrepreneurs who have the same or similar challenges and provide a specific solution to those challenges. If you know specifically who you want to work with (for example, a specific industry or type of business), you can figure out where to find your ideal clients and target your marketing and sales in those places. If you know what their biggest problems are, you can show them that you have a solution.

The easiest way to enroll clients and deliver consistently great results is to use a prescribed process that is designed to take a business from a specific point A to a specific point B.

Make a difference – become a small business coach

For example, The Pumpkin Plan Business Growth Program takes small business owners from overwhelmed, frustrated and stuck in a holding pattern into a state of flow and  healthy, organic growth.

The Pumpkin Plan Program provides a step-by-step system of removing the obstacles that most small businesses encounter:

  • not enough visibility
  • not enough clients
  • inability to stand out
  • no consistency
  • too many daily fires
  • growth at the expense of profitability
  • growth at the expense of the owner’s lifestyle
  • employee issues
  • no control over their lives or the business

The Pumpkin Plan Strategy shows them the path to sustainable, profitable growth and time freedom for the business owner.

Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategists leverage:

  • the high visibility and continued strong sales of the book, “The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field” by Bestselling Business Author Mike Michalowicz
  • the Credibility they receive from Pumpkin Plan Training and Certification
  • and the ongoing support they receive as part of their Pumpkin Plan Membership…

…to grow their own coaching business while making a real impact on the small business world.

If you dream of becoming a small business coach or consultant, or you already are one and:

  • you are passionate about supporting small businesses to succeed
  • you want to make an impact and contribute to the strength of our economy
  • you don’t want to reinvent the wheel and create your own coaching program

Then we invite you to invest in yourself and your business and apply to become a Pumpkin Plan Strategist!