June 27, 2011 Program Summary

How to Get Financially FIT and Use
Strategic Partners to Increase
Your Business and Theirs”

Best practices for lightweight project management

Our jam-packed, highly informative session led by Melinda Thomas, Certified Financial Planner and principal of FIT Financial, LLC, was the final event in our chapter's “solo professional” series.

If you're a solo professional — or thinking of becoming one — you're part of the fastest-growing economic niche in the country: the enterprising “solopreneurs” who are carving their own path in the workforce. You also have unique business and financial challenges.

What's so unique about solo professionals? Working “solo” involves long hours and wearing many hats — sometimes too many — to run and grow a business. Just keeping up with normal daily business demands is taxing enough. Who has time to think about or research ways to increase and keep more of your hard-earned income? On the other hand, can you really afford not to?

Melinda opened her extensive planning tool box to help attendees understand, evaluate, and take advantage of the financial tools available to solo professionals under the current tax laws.

Her nuts-and-bolts discussion included an overview of the three-phase process she developed to help clients analyze and improve their business and personal finances and a special segment on how to attract and cultivate strategic partners for mutual leverage and financial gain.

Highlights of Our June 27th Discussion

Our event focused on two distinct but highly synergistic strategies aimed at independent professionals. For “solopreneurs” and those who are thinking of striking out on their own, Melinda explained her three-phase process for helping solo professionals and micro-business owners. (See below for the related handout on Melinda's three-phase process.)

Phase 1: Know Your Numbers

The line between personal and business expenses often gets blurry for solo professionals and micro-business owners. Do you know exactly how much you need to take home to support your desired lifestyle and cover business expenses? Melinda discussed both sides of the financial equation — business and personal — to help us assess and manage our separate and combined budgets.

Phase 2: Maximize Savings

Many business owners can strive to increase their income with the assets they already have in place. Melinda shared ways to increase our income through maximizing deductions and managing our investments. (See below for the related handout on the benefits of using Individual 401Ks for business savings.)

Phase 3: Develop Strategic Partners to Grow your Business

San Luis Obispo is the perfect community to use strategic partners to help leverage and grow your business. Melinda offered several ideas about how to use strategic partners to do the following (see below for the related handout on finding strategic partners):

  • Build a professional referral alliance
  • Contract with other professionals in your industry to assist with bigger jobs
  • Get the help you need to grow your business without hiring additional employees
  • Develop joint marketing ventures to attract customers to each of your businesses
  • Reduce the number of hours you are currently spending in your business trying to “do it all”

Discover more by downloading the resources below!

Downloads & Resources:

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Download the handouts:

Related resources:

  • Melinda's blog, which goes into greater detail on many of these topics


“How to Get Financially FIT and Use Strategic Partners to Increase Your Business and Theirs”
Date: Monday evening, June 27, 2011

Melinda Thomas, CFP© is a Founding Partner of FIT Financial, LLC in San Luis Obispo. Melinda is also a serial entrepreneur, active community volunteer, and the author of the entrepreneurial how-to book "Creating Success: My Own Plan B." With over three decades of financial and business experience, she has started, run and successfully sold several small businesses. Her passion and specialty is helping solo professionals and micro-business owners get their business "FIT."

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