Your business RESULTS reflect your MINDSET

I meet a lot of business owners. Many of them are from very similar businesses, operating in the same markets, in the same business environment. But their results vary wildly.

When we question the results, we get a vast array of reasons and excuses.

The business that are struggling generally focus on external factors or factors that do not involve the business owner. Things like the economy, the weather, the competition, the products, the price, the team that they have working (or not working) for them. Its is never about activity and results.

The business that are successful generally focus on understanding their business, planning for success, understanding leverage, understanding how to differentiate, understanding how to make tough decisions about team, about customers and about products. They understand and act on what is good for the business in the short medium and long term, they have a plan and they stick to the plan. They understand about ownership and accountability and most importantly, they understand about leverage and leadership. They also take massive action.

So if this is so obvious, why does everyone not do the same?

Is it because we are conditioned for instant gratification, for immediate results. Do we not understand about growing a business, how it needs structure and a plan. Do we not understand about how to hire and manage the best people.

Being in business is a long term play, it is very difficult to work a long term play when everything you do is based on immediacy and short term results. It is very difficult to build a long term business when there is no foundation in place. It is even harder to sell a business that has survived for a long time with no structure – it has no value.

Business Success starts in your mind, it needs to be developed and it needs time to develop. Are you working on this?

As a business coach, I work with client who want to build their business properly.

If you have a business that works, but only with enormous effort from you, we probably need to talk.

My direct line is 087 222 0270

 

 

“We’re happy where we are at” they said…

It’s 2015, nearly 7 years since the country fell into recession, massive drops in sales and profits, ongoing battles for survival, struggles with rents, rates, materials costs, creditors, energy prices. Many firms did not survive but thousands did survive. And they continue to survive. And they continue to work very hard and they continue to pay themselves very little and they hope that one day they may be able to pay themselves a bit more.

I met a business owner last week and as they outline the above situation for me, they also said they were happy where they were and Fear Of Crisis With Businessman Like An Ostrichdid not want to make any changes to the business. I was intrigued. A team of 8 including 4 family members. None of them were earning more than a nominal wage, all the family members were working in excess of 50 hours per week. But they were happy.

They knew their breakeven figure (based on their own poor wages).

I also happen to work with an almost identical business in another part of the country. Their situation has been transformed over the past few years because they believed there was more business out there and they went after it. They re-positioned themselves in the market, they were pro-active in their marketing, they were pro-active in their professional sales approach and they focused on making a healthy profit rather than just settling for a simple breakeven.

There are some businesses where it can be difficult to build value, where you may have an opportunity to sell the business at a later stage and finally be rewarded for your hard work.

There are other business that I would define primarily as cashflow businesses, where you have to reward yourself as you go. There is no future payday.

Operating a cashflow business at a break even position and being happy about where you are at really is a road to nowhere.

The family in question were incapacitated by fear, all they wanted to do was hold on to what they had (which in effect was nothing apart from 4 low paying jobs). They needed to look at the real possibilities that existed for their business and go for them.

If your business is not generating sufficient profit for you and your family, call me immediately.

I would be quicker doing it myself…

If you, as a manager or as a business owner ever find yourself say, “I would be quicker "  A Chain Is No Stronger Than Its Weakest Link " Written On A Bdoing it myself”, you have a problem on your hands.

Either you are not good at delegating, you are not prepared to take the time to train your team, you do not trust your team or you simply have the wrong team.

While “doing it yourself” may be the only option available to you in the moment, the problem will remain with you forever, unless you decide to resolve the problem.

Thinking that “you would be quicker doing it yourself” will lead to the following:

1. You being caught up endlessly in the “busyness” of business.

2. An ineffective team that get no satisfaction from working in your business.

3. Sluggish business growth restricted by your “busyness”

4. Poor customer service – Good while you are there but disengaged when you are not there.

5. Burnout for you.

So whats the answer?

It’s simple. If you want to grow and develop a business that can work without you, you will need to invest some of your time and some of your effort creating systems within your business.

Once the systems are created, you will need to train the team on how to use the system

If the system works properly, there should not be any reason why 80% of the tasks in the business can be completed by people other than you.

Most business owners will not take the time to create a systemised business. This is a shame as the business cannot grow beyond their own capability and the number of hours in the day.

The word SYSTEM is an Acronym for:

Saving You, Stress, Time, Energy and Money

In theory, all business owners want all of the above.

I have a list of systems required by every business. I have examples of systems that work in businesses that I have coached over the past 12 years.

If you would like a copy of the list or to see some examples, email me and I will rush them to you.

 

 

Need a Business Plan that rocks!

Recently some clients and non clients have come to me with ideas for a new businesses. new manager challenging teamSome are brilliant, some less so. One thing I recommend to all prospective entrepreneurs is that they go through a business planning process. To your average Entrepreneur, this can sound like a pain worse than death. After all, the idea is burning brightly in their heads, its all they can think about, they are consumed by it, they have thought it through and can see no downside – it’s like being in love for the first time.

So my suggestion of a business plan is like bringing your mother along on your first date with the love of your life – questioning your every move, looking over your shoulder, admonishing you for every wrong move, not liking your date because they are fearful for you. But they only want the best for you – same as a business plan. Enough of the analogy…

Here’s why you need to take the time to do the plan – And I mean a proper plan where you will test all your business acumen, where you will have to think things through and where your judgement will be questions.

1. If you go through the plan properly, you will be asked to cover all the eventualities in the business. You may not have all the answers, but they will be highlighted to you.

2. You will be forced to think long term – 1,3 and 5 year because that’s what being in business is all about

3. You will be forced to think of the people you will need, the skills you require and the source of these skills.

4. This is a business, so you will be forced to look at the financials. If they do not make sense at this stage, they will not make sense when you have sunk all your money into the project.

5. You will be forced to think of your target market – who will buy your product and will they buy it again and again.

6. you will be forced to think of your marketing strategy. getting a new business off the ground, be it global, national or local, requires a strategy and it requires a continuous commitment. Who will do this and what will you pay for the privilege .

Any time you spend on your plan will be time well spent. Yes it may cost you some money but it will cost you loads more if you do not know where you are going.

Take the first step today and give me a call on 087 222 0720 – for a business plan that Rocks

 

 

Leading the team vs Managing the team

A manager complained to me recently that the team she was responsible for were not doing what they were asked and they were all useless.

“interesting” I immediately thought and asked her how long they had all worked for the organisation. It turns out that they all had at least 10 years experience.

the-office-david-brent

It turned out that the team were very frustrated and disillusioned as well and some of this was because of their manager.

To get a better understanding of the type of people we were dealing with and the dynamic between them, I asked the team to complete a Behavioural Profile called DISC – it is something we use with all our clients and their teams.

The results immediately allowed me to focus on some of the causes of the problems within the organisation.

It turned out that the manager was a very direct, take no prisoners, authoritarian type of person while her team were far more people orientated, risk and change averse and their highest motivator was security. These aspects of their profile were all being challenged in the wrong way by the manager and this was evident from the results they were achieving.

It was not that the team were bad, they just lacked some leadership and some management from a person who understood her team.

Over the next few weeks we will be working with this team to improve their understanding of each other, understanding how to communicate with each other in a more focused and positive way and help them to all work together for the betterment of the company.

The company has very high standards and its targets for the year do challenge people to improve and get better. The manager in question here has to improve in her learning and become a better leader. This is all possible.

If you would like to see how DISC Behaviour Tools can improve your business, please get in touch with us today.

How detailed is your business plan

Very few businesses achieve the level of success that they aspire to. This is a shame. Sometimes the business they have chosen may not have sufficient market to enable it to grow, some may not have the knowledge, some may not have the money and some may not have the poeple. Others just get caught in a RUT and struggle for survival every week and month.

The common trait among most of these business is lack of planning or lack of activity as a result of the planning.

Your plan will guide your success and your ability to stick to your plan will determine the level of success you achieve.

So why do so few people have a plan or ever create a plan? Too Busy, Too much indiscipline, indifference, fear that it will slow them down. Most are not valid reasons.

Some people feel it will hinder their growth – they rarely do.

Some people have plans but they are not comprehensive enough and they do not demonstrate the business owners level of research and understanding of their business or their marketplace.

ActionCOACH run business planning sessions with business owners on a regular basis. Find out more today. Get in touch and we will schedule a planning session with you.

What I learnt on my Linkedin Course

Well, I attended the Linkedin Training on Friday with Andy Gwynn. There were about 25 other attendees. Here are the top five things that I took away from the course:

1. Linkedin is not a passive networking tool. Like many other social media sites, Linkedin inoroutcan be more of a distraction than a useful tool in business. The reason is that people create a profile which is often very poorly written, with poor examples of work, poor photographs and minimal descriptions on your capabilities. Once created, they sit back and wait for the enquiries to come in. But they never arrive. And then the whining about how rubbish Linkedin is, starts. You have to work at Linkedin for it to work for you.

2. Like an advert, the headline and the image are important. First impressions last and given that Linkedin is a very search friendly tool, it is important that whatever content you place on Linkedin is well thought out for Search engines – i.e understand what your potential customers look for before you start writing your profile.

3. Be clear on how you help people, be clear on who you can help specifically and make an effort to niche your profile so that you get found for a specific purpose. If you do this and are still not found, then you can broaden your niche.

4. While endorsements are fine, recommendations are better. They are even better when linked to specific roles that you make have had or specific projects that you may have worked on.. You have to request the recommendation so get working on that.

5. Welcome invitations to connect but always reply with an offer to help or an attempt to start a communication. Why else would someone want to connect. Aim to help first. Your rewards will come later. Also, use your own language on Linkedin – get rid of the standard messages.

It takes time to master but Linkedin is here for the present. Get good at it, as fast as you can. There is business out there for you.

 

 

 

Smart You vs Stupid You – Who wins most often?

Business not where it should be?

Every wondered whats really holding you back? Ever wondered why you are not making more money, why you are the busy fool, why your business just is not where you feel it should be. Its probably because Stupid YOU is ruling in your world.

Assume that you are made up of 2 people Smart You and Stupid You and that you want to grow your business.

Smart YOU will make a plan and on your plan you will put all your goals and objectives. You will identify the constraints that you are faced with and decide what you needs to do to  overcome these constraints. You will identify the activities that you need to undertake and when you need to start the process. You will calculate how much money you need to make your business the success it should be. You will identify the people on your team that add value to your business and you will also identify those that need to be challenged or moved on.

You will plan out your week so that you are as productive as possible for every hour that you are at work. You will eliminate distractions – all because you have a goal that you want to achieve, one that you feel challenged by and one that you feel will make you a better person. So you are all set…

Then Stupid YOU starts to work.

Stupid YOU tells you that plans are a waste of time – what if you don’t fulfill it and then you will look a fool. –

Stupid YOU tells you that your constrains are part of who you are and that they are impossible to change at this time – anyway – you are too busy working to be addressing constraints.

Stupid YOU tells you that you also also overworked enough than to be taking on new activities – You have no time as it is – Stupid YOU KNOWS that there is no better way.

Stupid YOU tells you that there is no money left in the world, that no customer has money  anymore and that its better to mind what you have, even though you are losing money every day. Stupid YOU feels safe – like a ship in the harbour.

Stupid YOU tells you that the staff you have are ok – better the devil you know – watch out for unfair dismissal, that its too hard to find good people and its a waste of money talking to the team because they only care about wages.

Stupid YOU loves watching repeat TV, facebook, texting people – better life life now, have fun, stay with your own people and not rock the boat.

Stupid YOU is consumed by fear of failure, fear of change and probably fear of success. Stupid you is stuck in the past. There is no future there…

Does Stupid YOU or Smart YOU rule your world?

Applying for a Job by Email – Tips

If you are currently seeking new or alternative employment, the most common what of applying for a job is via email. The quality of email applications is quite frankly very poor and it often means that the CV does not even get looked at.

If you are not being asked to attend interview, then your CV or your application letter probably sucks and its time to take corrective action.

Here are some guidelines.

1. Reference your Job in the Email Subject Line. Some companies may have more than one position advertised at any point and they often receive all the applications into one email address. By including the Job Reference Number in the Subject Line, your email is easier to find and sort and will not get overlooked.

2. Say something in the body of the email. I received over 100 applications for roles in the past 2 weeks and more than 40 had simply attached a CV with no greeting, note or anything else. They may have been good candidates, but they often get deleted out of frustration.

3. Put your name in the title of the attached CV. Too often they are called MynewCV.doc or december 2008cv.doc or similar. Again this makes it very difficult for the recruiter to sort and file the documents and they may again get deleted.

4. If you are applying for a job that you may not have the exact qualifications for, then your cover note needs to be excellent. Make it brief, relevant and have some carrot for the interview. Remember, the CV and email applications role is to get you to interview.

If you are not good at writing covering letters for Job applications – get some professional help. If you cant spell properly – and believe me – the quality of spelling is dire – get help and do not rely solely on the spell checker.

5. Fonts and Colours – If you are copying and pasting and changing the details on your covering letter, make sure that the font and colour is the same – Sometime, I get applications and there is so much variation, I immediately thing “this person is lazy” and I do not interview. It is your responsibility to stack the odds in your favour.

6. Follow Up – Sometimes a quick follow up email can assist in the process because it demonstrates a certain amount of persistence and willing – don’t become a pest but it can lead to a conversation at least.

Next post will include some tips on the interview itself….