The Home For Great Common Sense Business Ideas That Help!

If you have a small business and are often frustrated with 'challenges' that take away some of the enjoyment....

If you have a business where you work hard all of the time and it just never seems to quite 'make it' and give you enough headroom...

If you sit there tired frustrated and not yet rich enough to walk away...

then this is for you!

I shall share my thoughts and my ideas with the hope that they help. please, if you feel like you could do with a me and lets talk it through! You know what they say, a problem shared is a problem halved!

Yours with love

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Don't Put It Off! An Idea To Help Small Business

Don’t Put It Off!

As Susan Jeffries pointed out “Feel the fear and do it anyway”.

I know that is something that you know...and something that you have heard before...but probably it is still an area that improvements can be made in.
Over riding the fear...the minor dread, the feeling of discomfort with certain tasks... pushing yourself to face and do those less than appealing tasks... that is where your magic happens!

In business there is always a job to do that you don’t want to might be handling a stroppy who moans and you just know that when they call you are going to have a battle on your hands or a negotiation that wasn’t planned or justifiable...
Or it might be ringing someone who you owe and couldn’t pay this month...and then actually you are not going to be able to pay all next month and you are avoiding calls from their accounts department...or letters from the collector

Or it might be possibly that of ‘pro-active lead generation’ or telephone calls!

It is not the most sought after use of time...ringing prospects or potential partners and starting a conversation.... Its all very well answering one if they call are probably happy with that! But actually ringing them and having to almost invite yourself that doesn’t feel comfortable!

Well there is magic in your momentum...if you push yourself over that first call hurdle and into the second and third...then you will be massively rewarded! The Universe conspires to give you what you ask for...just ask with action!!
Make the call, ring the contact, physically call on the person or make a de-tour and ‘pop in’. There is a client that you’d like to win...ring them! There is a debt you’d like to them. There is a situation that needs sorting out but you always put off...well put it on!

Take action today to build the ‘do it anyway’ muscle...I promise that there is magic in the momentum that you create.
Today as you sit with potentially a couple of hours spare because possibly an appointment was postponed or cancelled use that time to do what you’ve been putting off.
Why not make a quick mental list of 5 tasks that ‘you really should face but don’t want to’ and then push yourself into fronting them?
A very simple but challenging step that marks the difference between winners and also-rans.
So go on, just do it! It’ll turn out to be a tremendously rewarding day!
Have a great day
With love

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Small Business Survival...How Long Does It Take?

“I’m putting everything into this...I can only let it go for so long ...”

The words of a new business owner....struggling with the challenge of growing a franchised business after only 8months.

It begs the questions ‘How long does it take to grow a small business?’ and “just what exactly can you do to make it reach break-even?”.  After all, surely  it must reach a point at which it is either paying for itself or it must be parted with?

Well how do we help?

There are as many answers as there are differing situations...every person in every town and in every industry sector will probably see things slightly differently...but if a business is to survive it must make sales...and to make sales it must have enquiries that give it sales potential...and so it hinges upon marketing activity.
How good is your marketing?
How targeted is it?
How frequent?

To grow your business you MUST PRIORITISE the activity towards ENQUIRY GENERATION.
(If you are ever in a situation where you feel that administrative tasks are needing to be done and consuming time when actually you still don’t have enough income from current business to pay your wages then something is wrong with the administrative systems that you deploy!)
If EVER a business is struggling then there will be an imbalance between time consumption tasks...usually too heavy on ‘admin’ and too light on ‘marketing and sales’.

Here is an idea:
Take your week and count ‘the hours consumed with work’
Then look at each section or task and clarify it simply call it A – Admin, M – Marketing or S- Sales
Are you spending enough time on lead generation? It really should be approx 30-40%  (unless you outsource it all but that will add to your costs)
If 30-40% is actually already spent on ‘marketing’ then you must question:
 a) the target group aimed at
b) the message that is created and sent to them
c) the medium of delivery

It sounds obvious but is your message getting seen? Is it getting seen by the right people? Is it saying the right thing to get them interested enough to respond?

As I always say...take time to think! Too often business in today’s society is rush and pressure and deadlines and stress....and not enough time to pause and think.
Stop! Stand back...look at the situation and ask great questions!
When we did that honestly and openly with my client in this instance we discovered that a lot of time was being spent but honestly that it wasn’t really effective time. It was not creating a message to a specific group – it was more ‘get it out there’ and so it ‘missed’ the ear of the target because there hadn’t been enough time and thought given to ‘who’ the target was and ‘where’ they were.
In addition it contained a message that was very general ‘tell them all that we do’...and frankly whilst this might be the sort of message that you often see in much of the ‘advertising and promo world’ it isn’t effective for a small ‘need the response today’ business.

Craft a message about a very specific pain point and send it to a very specific group...and spend your time creating more messages and keeping them targeted  -and then you will see more enquiries.

It took us 3 or 4 ‘visits’ but we got  my clients ‘knowledge’ to match his prospects problems...and then we understood a preferred method of delivery and then we see results.
Its like magic...there is always something that the magician does that
when you  know how you can imitate.
So have a really slow day! Stop rushing and start thinking ...and the slowly and methodically chip away at the challenge. There are enquiries out abundance, they just need to hear from you in a slightly different way!
Have a great day,
With love

Monday, 14 February 2011

Business Training Ideas And Inspiration

What are you doing tomorrow night Tuesday  February 15th?
Business Booster McMillan Fundraiser
How about giving yourself the privilege of a fantastic night being inspired by
3 great speakers... potentially meeting  exciting new clients or supply partners...
AND help raise cash for McMillan Cancer support??
click here
Portland College, Mansfield, Notts  6pm - 9pm
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Business Coaching and Nanny McPhee

“When You Need Me But Don’t Want Me, I Must Stay,,,When You Want Me But Don’t Need Me I Must Go” so said Nanny McPhee.

And when I heard that it struck me how similar the role of Business Coach is! All too often in the first instance the need isn’t seen by the client and so they don’t want you...until you get stuck-in and implement some changes that have quite dramatic effect on the business. Then the situation of wanting but not needing happily takes shape.

Whilst it is always nice on the ego to be ‘needed’ in truth the role of a true business coach,  in my humble opinion, is to become redundant. The goal always has to be teach them to think and grow and stand alone...very similar to a parenting or nannying in the Nanny Mc Phee context.

And so today,  I always draw encouragement from those potential clients who at first quite adamantly resist the mention of using a coach to help them improve things. As a business owner argues for the current scenario by saying that it is ‘just the economy’ or ‘just their industry’ or that ‘there is nothing that can be done’ I smile inwardly knowing that it is merely a need that isn’t visible to them.
(if you see a client that doesn’t think that they need a ‘coach’ or cannot see where they will benefit...but indeed you can see that they complain constantly about shortages of time, money or energy – then the truth is they are in the need of guidance and will massively benefit even tho they cannot see how so give them the Nanny McPhee line!).

How true it is that none of us can see what might happen until it happens...we do not know what we do not know...and thus we cannot visualise what might transform. We have no concept until our ‘eyes’ are opened and our mind stretched.

Out of love therefore, a coach is there to ‘open eyes’ so that minds can stretch, people can grow and improvements of lives can happen...and in that is the reward.
Not financial.
Not political or egotistical.
Merely a wonderful unspeakable inner knowing that in some small way whilst we have walked this planet we have made a difference. Giving and helping just because you can.
And in turn the coach seeks coaching to continue the upward growth and hope that we spin the wheel so that all eventually grow. A wonderful journey.
To learn, to give, to improve the lives of others – that is the coaching mission.
And when the client gains and enjoys the improvements that have been encouraged, with a wink like Nanny McPhee, he must fade away hopefully leaving an indelible memory and record of lessons never to be forgotten.
Join us in our mission and spread the word!
Have an awesome sharing day sharing.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Small Business Marketing Activity - a nudge!

" I am very busy when the phone rings"
That is what he said! at the risk of stating the obvious he was blatantly saying that if
it didnt ring he wasnt busy!

And so I ask, how many times have you said that "there is never enough time and
one is rushing and feeling pressured"

Answer: a lot!

Now the thing is here, the state of 'busy' was determined by incoming activity
and thus 'reactive', and the truth is many many business owners are actually in
the same trap...they are very busy and they do have lots of things to do...but these
are usually re-active tasks in response to either a production/job issue or in
response to staffing, logistics or internal workings.

Yes, busy, but not pro-active. Not generating new business.

I asked my client how he felt about that and he admitted that it was true and not
And so a suggestion...

Deliberately take a diary slot and make an appointment with yourself!
Create a reason to be busy. Create a scenario where you are not near the phone...
indeed pass the ringing phone over to another person or call handling supplier to
relieve you of the 'burden'.

By doing this you force yourself a) to fill the time and thus create a very powerful
discipline where you teach (remind? ) yourself that actually you are capable and
you can make it work and yes you are good enough to drive new enquiries!
and b) you allow for crucial time away from the coal face' where you can reflect and
plan and re-group your mental energies.

Stop! Stand Back...and give yourself the awesome power that you have inside of you...
allow a chance for it to come to the fore.

Allowing yourself to remain in a reactive environment - no matter how you argue
that it is 'needed' will only result in your business sliding back. As the natural effects
of attrition...where clients die off or move on...take effect you watch as your business
slowly dies! These are real issues. You can never expect to keep 100% of your client
base...and so it MUST be replenished. If you dont be proactive about this then one day
the phone stops ringing all together and you have no business!

"So before it is too late", I admonished," take back control. Give yourself power and
make it happen...make for yourself pro-active lead generation time, and allow for your
mind to work on ideas and optimism and positive thinking about what can really happen
if you just get off of that treadmill!"

And so we agreed, and I share a gentle nudge with you out of love...just a nudge to
encourage you to no longer argue for your limits but to Stop! Stand Back and proactively
make your business stand out!

Have an awesome 'deliberate' day!