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Posted: February 28, 2013

Living larger: Six steps to build a business empire

Take a page from Martha Stewart's book

Teri Karjala

Martha Stewart has built a wildly successful empire that has had an impact on millions of people. Faced with tempestuous times, she has come out more resilient and determined than ever. What Martha Stewart has done is create several brands, businesses and publications for a variety of fields and industries. She is everywhere, and through that strategy has created multiple streams of income.

Recently, I launched Talking With Teri, which focuses on business coaching for other mental health providers. After giving years of free consulting, I finally decided that it was time to turn my knowledge and passion for helping others into revenue. Since then, I have created manuals based on where an individual is in their practice.

I also introduced my How to Live Deliciously Creative Journal Series. Making and selling creative journals was an idea inspired by people's interest in a journal I made for my niece. My series of unique journals with motivational and thought-provoking messages have now become the springboards for empowering workshops that teach people how to live more "deliciously."

Creating multiple businesses within your primary business can be a way for you to begin building your “empire.” If passion is present, then why not? You can begin by simply assessing a need for a product or service that you can provide.

Why not use your natural abilities and interests to fill a need in your community or even on a larger scale? What area of life do people come to you for expertise, to “pick your brain?" This knowledge, skill, or talent that you possess might be a natural place to pick up some extra income. Consultation and/or speaking are great places to begin, because they allow you to share with others information that you already possess on subjects that you are well versed and passionate about.

Create More Business Ventures

Here are some ideas to get you started in the creation of your second, third or fourth business venture.

Brainstorm additional services or products in line with your current business. Think about the goods/services that can contribute to your current business. Create a mind map.

Research and identify potential areas of need in your industry. What are the potential gaps out there? What do your clients or customers often ask or wish for? Are other providers in your area offering to fill this gap and how? These are all important questions worth asking and will be useful in creating your product or service. Once you are aware of these gaps, you can move on to the drawing board.

What do you have to offer to fill the gap/need? In what ways can you offer your services? Look at crucial factors such as resources, time, and the possible risks involved  to determine the best way for you to address the need using your unique gifts and talents.

Move on to the drawing board. Come up with a well-conceived plan to turn your idea into reality. Begin by breaking your overall creative vision into small manageable steps. Do this by asking yourself, "What would it take to create/develop that product or service?"

Assess your resources. Once you have a good understanding of what it will take to accomplish your newest venture, begin looking at your circle to identify any possible resources that you might have. Who do you know that can help to create your potential product or service? Resources are everywhere, even if you can't see them initially, and you will be surprised at how they appear once you begin your search.

Don't give up. Manage setbacks and be patient. Most business ideas do not, contrary to popular belief, take off overnight. Trust yourself and your process!

Teri Karjala is owner of the Creative Counseling Center, LLC, as well as Talking With Teri, LLC. Teri’s passion for the business aspects of owning and maintaining a business has made her a sought out coach by others in the helping fields. She is a regular columnist for ColoradoBiz Magazine and speaks to therapists across the nation in building their thriving practice. Recently she has released her “How to Live Deliciously” Creative Journal Series to help inspire and empower adults, teens, and children. These are available in print at www.talkingwithteri.com.

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

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