"I felt stuck and overwhelmed in my business with so many factors that were out of my control. Going through this program really helped my business get back on track through all the nuances of the pandemic. The skills I learned have not only improved my business, they have also given me vision for the future. "

Vermont Technical Assistance Program

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The Profit Plan

 Improve Financial Health and Sustainability

You, your employees, and the community need your business to be financially strong and sustainable.

Problem:  Struggle with having enough money, profitability (or could be more profitable), paying taxes, financial knowledge, financial organization in your business. 


Implement the profit first cash flow system and establish a profit plan to better manage your cash flow and finances, improve profitability, cash flow and overall finances.  Includes:

  • Implement profit plan – Set up accounting system and bank accounts for PF. 
  • Clean and organize QuickBooks first
  • Profit assessment
  • Profit improvement analysis and plan
  • Profit allocation percentages
  • Training – PF transfers hands on for 3 months
  • Weekly – biweekly check-in by Profitkeeper for 3 months
  • Profit review


Once you have implemented and operated the Profit First cash flow methodology for a few months you will start to be able to:

  • Have a better handle of your cash flow.  Know where your money went
  • Know what you can commit to for expenditures
  • Pay yourself or pay yourself more
  • Have money available to pay taxes
  • Invest in the business
  • Improve profitability
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Solutions for the Burnt-Out Business Owner

Build your best business during COVID times

Problem:  Business owner is burnt out. 

Solution:  Create a path forward that alleviates burn out.

Address the following:

  • Should I stay or should I go?  Are you committed to the business or are you looking for a way to exit?
  • Reconnect with your Why and avoid the survival trap
  • Employee engagement - Lack of employees and/or issues with current employees. Make your business work for today’s employees.  Attract new employees.
  • Simplify your business – offerings, processes and time.
  • Pricing and possible supply chain issues.

Note – If your first choice is to exit, we will go down the path of creating a plan for exiting based on discovering different options and potential business value.

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Pumpkin Plan Growth Sprints

The complete Pumpkin Plan Growth program is a twelve-month program which can be a big commitment for some business owners.  Below are three Growth Sprints which allows you to pick and choose what you want to focus and work on in a three-month time frame.

Customer Attraction Growth Sprint

Problem: Not Enough Business, Customers or Best Customers

You are looking for more business, or you have plenty of business but want more profitable business, or more repeat business.  


Determine your underlying strategy focusing on Top Customers, Niche Identification and a Unique Offering that stands out to your Best Customers.

When you understand who your best, most profitable clients or customers are, you can learn the following with the goal of attracting more of them:

  • What they care about the most
  • Where they hang out (so that you can show up there too)
  • What you do that stands out to your Top Customers
  • What you can offer that no one else is currently offering

Once you learn the answers to these questions, your marketing and sales efforts will become more

  • Targeted
  • Efficient
  • Effective
  • Profitable


Vision, Mission and Purpose Growth Sprint

Problem: Lack of clarity, motivation and direction, not achieving goals.

Why stop to work on Vision, Mission and Purpose?

Very often, when a business is experiencing the following, it is because they don’t have a clearly articulated vision, mission and purpose:

  • A lack of focus
  • Chasing a lot of shiny objects
  • Feeling chaotic and aimless
  • Attracting wrong-fit clients and employees
  • Disengaged employees
  • A lack of motivation
  • Not staying focused on and achieving goals

Some typical scenarios:

You have shiny object syndrome, constantly chasing new opportunities without following through on previous commitments and opportunities.

Employees are not all rowing in the same direction. It sometimes feels like they are working at cross purposes. There is no consistency in how they behave and interact with customers and each other.

The company makes decisions based on the opinions of people outside the business who are not stakeholders or experts (such as family members), and those decisions often do not work out well for the company.

The company takes actions and makes decisions that feel out of sync with the business owner’s personal values.

The company culture is negative, even toxic.

The owner has lost their passion for the business. It feels like a chore to get up and go to work every day.

The company is stuck in the Survival Trap, not moving towards any clear goal or vision.

The company sets vague goals and gets distracted and off track. They do not achieve their goals.

The business owner experiences constant overwhelm. They can’t prioritize and they are unable to say no. They believe they have to say yes to every opportunity that presents itself.

The business is spending money on things they shouldn’t. They do not have a clear direction or strategy. They are not tracking the ROI’S that will give them helpful information and not connecting their actions to return on investment. They are experiencing low profitability but don’t know why.

Sales failure - people say no more than yes to sales proposals.

The client owns a business that seems to own them. They feel like they have lost control of their time and their lifestyle.


When you have a clear vision for your business, a well-articulated mission statement and a sense of purpose, the following happens in your business:

  • Employees feel motivated and inspired to come to work. They are fully engaged in fulfilling the mission of the business, creating a productive and positive work environment where everyone operates with a sense of purpose. Employee problems fade into the background.
  • The business attracts employees who resonate with the company mission and are likely to be top performers because of it. They fit with the company culture.
  • The business sets goals that are aligned with their mission and vision, and fully engaged employees happily work to achieve those goals. The business owner feels supported by the team.
  • The business attracts customers that believe in the company mission and become loyal customers because of it. Working with them makes work feel like play.
  • The business owner feels a sense of purpose and coming to work no longer feels like a chore. They regain the passion they had when they first started their business.
  • The business stops chasing shiny objects disguised as opportunities and stays focused on achieving their vision. Understanding their Vision, Mission and Purpose enables them to easily decide which opportunities are and are not aligned, and decisions become easier.
  • The team will know what you deliver and serve your clients and customers as you would.
  • Clients know what you deliver and how you deliver so they are not confused.
  • Attract the right people and referrals


Systemize and Scale Growth Sprint

Problem: Business owner has lost control of their time and the quality of their offering.

Very often, when a business is experiencing the following, it is because they don’t have clear, effective, and reliable systems in place to deliver their product or service consistently.

  • Constant “fires” and a chaotic work environment
  • The business owner is needed to solve all or most problems
  • The quality and delivery of their product or service is not consistent
  • The business can only operate effectively if the business owner and/or other key individuals are present.
  • The business cannot grow without the owner and/or other key employees working more hours.
  • The business owner does not see a way to grow beyond their current capacity
  • Employee issues, including turn over, lack of engagement, lack of consistency

Some typical scenarios:

Employees are not all rowing in the same direction. It sometimes feels like they are working at cross purposes. There is no consistency in how they do their jobs, how they interact with customers, and how they deliver on the company’s brand promise.  The company culture is negative, even toxic.

The business owner experiences constant overwhelm, feeling like they own a business that seems to own them. They feel like they have lost control of their time and their lifestyle.

The business owner feels like they spend their days putting out fires, as opposed to operating according to a plan.

The business is trying to grow, but they are at capacity. They cannot deliver on any additional commitments. They do not know how to make the changes necessary for continued growth without demanding more of the owner’s time.

Team members are capable, can make decisions, manage the company, and are highly developed. The technical foundation is not there, but the culture is well established, and the people do things well. But when they leave the company crumbles.


When a business has clearly defined systems and processes that support the delivery of their Unique Offering to their Best Customers, then the following happens in your business:

  • The business runs more smoothly, efficiently and profitably.
  • Employees have clear direction on how to consistently deliver the desired customer experience.
  • The owner gains back control of his or her time.
  • The business becomes scalable, able to deliver a high-quality offering at any level of sales.
  • The business is not dependent on any single person and can function at optimal levels when the owner or key team members are not present.
  • The owner can delegate tasks and responsibilities to other team members, freeing the owner from day-to-day functions in order to work on strategy, growth and high level activities. 
  • Fewer customer complaints, quality control issues, etc.
  • When in a crunch situation, systems can help you navigate what clients to serve when, and see which team members are not in line with the systems and brand promise.
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Boost Your Online Business

Build a productive online business.  Website review and design and online business development tools. 

  • Review website to assess how it lines up with the business’s goals and objectives and make recommendations to help the website achieve optimum performance and meet business objectives, as well as meeting criteria for best website practices.
  • Review social media platforms to determine alignment with company objectives as well as customer engagement and make recommendations to work toward goals set by business for their social media platforms.
  • Review of electronic and print marketing to determine effectiveness and develop goals strategies to improve the company’s marketing. 
  • Google search assessment to determine how the business ranks in searches and to verify the accuracy and quality of information that comes up in the search results and make recommendations for improvements,
  • Branding assessment to ensure the business has clear branding across all media platforms and make recommendations for improvements.


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