Allyson Scrutchens is a trailblazer for economic development and empowering others by providing access to information, resources and opportunities. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, the need and dedication to making a difference in society became extremely pertinent. She received a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Illinois at Chicago and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW) from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She is currently the CEO of Forward Planning, Creator of Everyday Entrepreneur and Executive Producer of #WhereIsBeauty Film.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I was motivated and inspired to start my own business because of the lack of education and resources that was available to the small business community. I decided to create an avenue for other entrepreneurs, small business owners and nonprofit organizations to be empowered through access to information.
Tell us about your business.
My business, Forward Planning, is a consulting and management company that works with small business owners, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs and politicians in the areas of strategic development, event planning, marketing, branding and public relations.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I most recently released a book called “How to Be an Entrepreneur 101” and would love to offer all LadyBossBlogger readers a promotion code “ladyboss” to purchase the book.
I have an Undergraduate Degree in Social Work and a Master’s in Public Administration.
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
- Identified my target population (potential clients)
- Officially incorporated my business in the state of Illinois
- Worked with my graphic designer to create my brand and ensure everything was consistent
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
The most effective way has honestly been word of mouth for me. I treat all my clients with great service and recommendations have allowed me to continue to expand the business and my brand.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenges so far have been maintaining my business in the midst of personal life trials and tribulations. It’s hard being an entrepreneur, but you can’t allow your business to struggle when you are dealing with a personal life challenge.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I overcame these challenges by staying focused on the blessings that God has in store. Life will get rough, but my business has to remain the constant.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
My faith and my support system. You have to keep good people surrounding you to motivate you when you can’t motivate yourself. I have been blessed to have an amazing support system and have disciplined myself to keep my eyes on the prize of the generational wealth I want to achieve.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I don’t put myself in a box and I don’t compare myself to others. I distinguish myself from my competitors by continuing to stay innovative and ensure that I am staying focused on the needs and wants of my target audience.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Move in silence and don’t feel obligated to be like everyone else on social media. My mantra is to “Make More Moves & Less Announcements” so this advice was just confirmation for that.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Fear is a liar – don’t allow it to stop you from achieving your business goals. As entrepreneurs, we are often afraid to fail which really causes us to be afraid to succeed. If you don’t do it, please believe that someone else will so step outside of your comfort zone and take that leap of faith.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
- Business Insider
I also use the app Flipboard as a business tool and an avenue to read daily.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
One of my favorite books is the “Customer Funded Business” by John Mullins.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am currently learning about expansion and potential acquisitions that will benefit my business in the long run. The premise is to prepare for the business goals of Year 10.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Launch another branch of my company called Forward Media that focuses directly on films and media.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Website www.forwardplanninginc.com, www.itsallysonrenee.com, www.howtobe101.com
Hashtags #EverydayEntrepreneur #ForwardPlanning #HowToBe101
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