Hi there, my name is Alena Michelle. I am the founder and President of Connect. Adapt. Inspire. Succeed. LLC.(CAIS) I am also a wife and a mother. Balancing family and entrepreneurship has been an interesting and rewarding journey.
In my previous ventures I was not responsible for anyone other than myself. This new experience has allowed me to help my clients in a way that I never could have before, as I now have my eyes open to running/managing a business with and without responsibilities outside that business. I use this insight to develop a variety of businesses, advise entrepreneurs, and structure plans that are custom to each entrepreneur’s needs.
CAIS was started because I’ve been “the struggling entrepreneur”. Taking courses, doing research, making cold calls, and sending countless emails that went unopened. I searched for the answers and found some things that work and some that didn’t. Due to my lack of knowledge, resources, and guidance, I ended up closing my first business once my husband and I found out we were expecting our daughter. This move was devastating, but my daughter is more important. I know now that it was just a stepping stone to get me to where I’m going. Through this journey, I learned that there’s a huge difference between motivating someone and teaching them. I had been motivated by a ton of “gurus” but hadn’t learned much. Upon coming to this realization I decided to level the playing field.
Here are 4 ways CAIS helps small business owners step into the spotlight:
(Hint; it’s in our name)
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Making connections can be hard, especially when you’re just starting out and aren’t really confident in your product(s) or ability. It also doesn’t help that there are probably a few big businesses that are doing something similar to what you are. To solve this issue CAIS created Array the Business Directory and the CAIS Hunts.
On our directory, small businesses shine. Businesses listed on the directory can customize their listing, respond to reviews, generate leads, create and share deals and connect via social media. There are no Wal-Marts or Amazons on the listing, opening the market up for customers to shop small and connect with each business.
The CAIS Hunt is a week-long cyber expo designed like a scavenger hunt that rewards hunters for supporting small businesses. As with any other expo sponsors receive promotion prior to each hunt and throughout the event. The unique factor to the hunt is that the sponsors have the ability to customize how they interact with hunters.
Connecting with other businesses and customers often open our eyes to what needs to be changed within our business. Let’s say you get a less-than-favorable review of your customer service…You’re going to change something right? I sure hope you would, but I also know that it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Our customer’s needs sometimes change, or the economy, or some other force beyond our control. It’s not our fault but in order to keep moving forward we have to adapt to the changes or be left behind. To help clients to adapt to changes CAIS offers 1-on-1 coaching that’s hands on. Each session includes an accountability call that reinforces everything that was covered in the session and ensures that you stay on track.
Along the way as we’ve begun to make the right connections, make necessary changes and started to develop, we have an opportunity to reach back. I have always felt that it is important at various stages to reach back to aspiring/struggling entrepreneurs to share some insight. So I started Whatever The CAIS. I decided to focus this blog on telling the unique stories of entrepreneur’s struggles and how they were able to overcome.
This choice was made after CAIS faced a huge setback and I was faced with a choice, keep moving or give up. I realized then that I had been faced with situations before that made me make this choice and if I’d gone through this more than once it’s likely others had as well. But we really don’t talk much about the struggles and the triumph all in one so I decided to change that.
Telling your story is a way to release the weight that can sometimes bury us, and more importantly, it can give someone else who’s facing a hardship the inspiration to push through. Through our truths we can also inspire and educate aspiring entrepreneurs who don’t know where to start or if they can.
Let’s be honest we all get into business with a goal of succeeding. Success, however, looks different to each of us. Success to a boutique owner could be securing the perfect vendor, while success to a baker could be opening his first bakery. Whatever success is to you CAIS is here to see you to and through it!
Our 1-on-1 coaching doesn’t only focus on your adaptation but also on you crushing your goals. Even if you’re not completely sure what your goals are we will sit down together to figure them out and set a plan for achieving them. You can start your growth journey here.
We are also developing our course collection Building Blocks To Business to help startups get set up for success. As with our coaching, our courses are hands-on and concise. You’ll have access to a facebook group for networking and questions, virtual meetings/1-on-1 sessions. All with the goal to ensure success for you!
As you can see CAIS has a mission to enhance small businesses and give entrepreneurs a better chance at success. For more on what we do and who we are, connect with us online via Facebook, Instagram, or our website.
What’s a current struggle you’re facing with your small business?
Chat with other mamas in the comments below!