We all enjoy a holiday, we work hard and deserve a break. However, as a business owner, managing annual leave requests can be a headache, especially through the Summer. How can you keep the business running smoothly while team members are off? What can you put in place to streamline the process, prevent disruption to the business and enable your team to have a well-deserved break?
We’re already halfway through the year – can you believe it? Whilst BBQs, drinks in the pub garden and summer escapes are at the forefront of your mind, I invite you to think ahead. Planning a Christmas do is time-consuming, but start early and use event planning documents to nail it!
f growth is on your agenda for the 2022/23 financial year, you may be hoping to attract investment or apply for a grant. An injection of money and business acumen can help business owners to realise their ambitions to scale, but what will ignite an investor’s interest?
Are you project managing the process of investments into your business?
There comes a point when the values, market position, mission or offer that applied when you set up in business have shifted.
Rebranding your business is one option for bringing everything back in line, but what’s involved? Let me share my experience.
Cash flow issues are the number one reason why businesses fail. How can your SME keep on top of the finances so you don’t run out of accessible cash?
Flexible and remote working had to come into play during the pandemic. After two years of upheaval, it seems that a return to the old work structures is unlikely. With internal teams, freelancers and clients working from a variety of locations, the need for secure document storage and sharing is essential for successful projects.
A list of ten essential business documents that every organisation will benefit from. They are not industry-specific and can be valuable to companies of all sizes.
You have important data to share and you want to make a point; what’s the best way to approach it? Infographics!
Infographics combine short, snappy text and data in a graphic form. The visual appeal of the infographic attracts the eye. It makes the content easy to digest and more memorable than simply presenting raw facts. In this article, we explore the role of infographics in making external and internal communications impactful.
Customers deserve to feel valued. Every interaction should reinforce the fact that they made the right decision in doing business with you. Let me share how professional, branded documents help to deliver a consistent message that differentiates your brand in a highly competitive market.
Company branding typically focuses on attracting and engaging customers. Businesses want consumers to perceive them in the best light, but what about their staff? Internal branding is often neglected. It is assumed that every member of the team is already convinced; they don’t need persuading about the brand value. Is this a fair assumption?
Well done! You have attracted a lead and engaged in conversation; all is going well. Now they have asked you to send a proposal. Does this fill you with excitement or dread?
Read more to find out about writing a winning proposal.
Picture your dream holiday. Are you relaxing and enjoying indulgent pleasures? Is that the reality of your time off, or are your constantly distracted by phone calls, work emails and remote meetings?
After the year we’ve all experienced, everyone deserves to get away, relax and recharge. That includes small business owners!
How do you know if your training materials and presentation style is hitting the mark unless you ask for feedback from delegates?
The opinions of your audience are valuable; they are your learning opportunity.
Social Media offers an accessible, affordable means of marketing. It provides SMEs with an opportunity to compete alongside established brand leaders. On the flip side, it can consume a considerable amount of time, so how can you make it work for your business?
With the right approach, appraisals can be an opportunity to show your employees that they are valued.
These exchanges recognise achievements and support the development of the individual, in ways that align with the company goals.
What are your business development goals for this financial year and how are you planning to achieve them?
Undertake a business development audit of where you are right now.
Attracting new customers is easier when you can evidence the difference your products and services make; yes, I’m talking case studies.
In these times of flux, it’s more important than ever to make new members of the team feel welcomed. Especially if they will be working remotely or at least not in the usual busy office environment of olden days!
A Staff Handbook can be a great way to make people feel part of the team and to share essential knowledge. Not only the policies but the company vision and spirit.
As a small business owner, do you pursue every opportunity or are you selective about only taking on work from ideal customers? With ideal clients, there is a synergy.
Everyone has limited capacity (yes, even you). Do you regularly feel that there is not enough time to get everything done?
Are you ready to face the capacity challenge?
As a sole trader or small business owner, what happens if the worst happens?
Your clients rely on you to provide them with a service. With all the best intentions, there may be a time when you aren’t able to turn up for work. What needs to happen to protect your business and your customers?
Improve efficiency and consistency with branded documents.
Darwin identified that survival was most likely when species were able to adapt and adjust to a changing environment. The same is true of businesses and this theory has been certainly been put to the test through the pandemic.
The prospect of shutting up shop was not an option for every
business. To ride the storm, many sprang into action. Reading the market and adapting their processes or offer, they spotted fresh opportunities and attracted new customers. Was your business one of them?
As the lockdown restrictions continue to be lifted, what is
the plan now? Will your company return to the old way of working or has diversification opened up new doors that could support business growth?
When Covid-19 hit and the country, indeed most of the world went into lockdown, businesses were stunned. Who could have predicted such a situation?
With a comprehensive risk plan we’re in the best position to respond because knowing the options will mean you can react faster to turn things around.
Whether you set goals as new years resolutions, planned your
objectives with the new school year last September or have a more relaxed view
of things, now might be a good time to review your goals.
Covid-19 will have an effect on all of us and will inevitably
mean we have to change our plans in life as well as in our businesses.
A video conference call, while not the same as a face-to-face meeting, has the same purpose: to bring people together with an agenda in common and with a view to sharing information, be that a formal client meeting or a casual chat with your friends. As Bob Hoskins said in the BT adverts of the 1990’s “It’s good to talk”
Say no: It’s time to take back control of your workload. You have your own priorities and don’t have time to do what everybody else wants you to.
Collaboration is working with others to achieve your goals. It means that we can expand, think bigger and achieve more.
As small business owners, we are often encouraged to niche and specialise but that can make it hard to take work of a wider scope. Collaborating, therefore, can mean being more agile, taking on bigger projects, reaching a wider audience and involving experts that specialise in different aspects of a job.
I have met a huge variety of people running businesses that I never knew about when in my corporate life. I have worked with many businesses, in lots of different industries, seeing how they each function and helping them to grow. Reasons why small business owners should network
For many people, a spreadsheet is a tool for making lists or a way of adding a column of numbers or just something to be avoided altogether. I think spreadsheets are very underrated.
Summertime should be associated with holidays, relaxation and enjoyable days out. In reality, many people find that it brings the challenges of a work/life balance to a pinnacle.
your brand is your identity. Customers will form an opinion of your brand from your products, your services, your website, your logo, how you dress, how you sound, in fact from everything you say and do.
Your brand is your identity. It lets customers know what you are about and what they can expect from you. A great business name and an eye-catching logo can really make a business stand out from the crowd.
When presenting to an audience, making a good impression is key. Consistency in the way you look and what you say are really important. If you are using slides it’s essential that these back up what you are saying and don’t detract from your message.
Our time is precious and none of us have time to waste it in meetings that don’t achieve anything. So how do you make your meetings count? How do you keep on track and achieve the outcome you want?
We all communicate every day. The good thing about written communication is that we have longer to plan our message, which is just as well because it’s much easier to be misunderstood or simply ignored.
Whether a user guide, sales report, fillable form, meeting agenda or simply an email, communicating effectively requires some thought.
Do you ever feel like a failure? Even if you appear to be successful, are you worried that you could get found out for the fraud you are any moment? Well you’re not alone. It’s far more common than you think.
It’s that time of year when everyone starts making new year’s resolutions. But there is a big difference between having a dream and setting a goal. “Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.”
Do you think asking for help is a sign of weakness? It might surprise you that it can actually be a strength. It’s no great surprise that we consider solving challenges on our own, being independent and being self-sufficient, as strengths. But what about when we are stuck?
281 billion emails are sent and received each day worldwide, according to statistica.com. Think about your own email inbox for a moment. How many do you get a day? But more importantly, how many do you read?
NLP can totally transform your communication. In this short blog, I will give you my 3 top tips, to using the power of NLP to make your communication more positive. What is NLP? NLP standards for Neuro Linguistic Programming.
It used to be said that if someone liked your service they would tell 4 people and if they didn’t they told about 10. Now, thanks to social media, they can tell everyone they know and many more that they don’t. But that doesn’t mean that they will always tell you!
I think it is fair to say that most people avoid giving feedback. I know it can make me feel uncomfortable. But I want the people I work with to be successful, and the best way I can help them is by giving them feedback.
One of my favourite quotes about learning is by Benjamin Franklin “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”There are a few things you can do to create an environment where people feel involved, engaged and curious from the moment they walk into the room.
I have been working with developers to create system fields and liaising with account managers to understand the best solutions. I’ve had to get up to speed with some new systems pretty quickly but essentially, they are all the same, tools to help companies to better manage their processes.
I realised that I regularly spend many hours a day sat at my computer, often for several hours at a time and I know it’s not good for me. I have tension in my neck and shoulders and live in fear of developing a profile like the hunchback of Notre Dame. So, I have (ahem) taken a stand.
Project Management is all about planning what needs to be done and managing the different elements to achieve your desired outcome. Whether you are creating or updating your website, transferring from one system to another or managing building work for home.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) builds on the existing Data protection act 1998. GDPR will apply to any business that processes personal data of EU citizens and will give individuals more rights on how businesses use their data.
Ding dong… “Hello luv, can you take a parcel for number 12?” When you are a home worker you’re there to take in deliveries for half the street. Especially in December!
A thank you to my family….. I’ve had an interesting time recently. In September, 2 years ago I had put my hand up to take voluntary redundancy and was waiting for my manager and HR to say if I could leave.
You probably have a never-ending list of things you feel you need to do. I know at times it feels that my To Do list gets longer and longer not shorter. So, how can we tackle the To Do list?
Running a busy company or team takes a lot of time and if you want to grow the business you’ll need some of that time to focus on development. If you work on your own, your time will have to be split.
Sometimes it feels like I have a never-ending to do list. I could easily sit and beat myself up that I haven’t finished this or started that or cleaned out the toaster! But life is all about the balance.
Sitting by the pool enjoying my holiday…. OK, I admit it. I wasn’t able to completely forget about my business. There is always the worry when you run your own company that people won’t be able to contact you.
Networking is a key way to meet new people that may benefit your company. In business, you need customers. Everyone you meet is a potential client or knows someone who could potentially want your product or service, at some point.
When I was just starting my company, I had some advice from a business coach to get out there and network. It was one of the most terrify thoughts, I was to voluntarily walk into a room full of complete strangers and talk about myself. Crazy!
There are things we would all like to defer and sometimes the strict regime of do it, delegate it, or ditch it just doesn’t cut it! But procrastination can mean always having something from that to-do list hanging over us.
Time is money and so we strive for efficiency: we want to do the best job to accomplish success with the least amount of time and effort. The key to being efficient is knowing what you want to achieve.
Thinking about going on a summer holiday but worried about missing out on a client? You’re not alone many small business owners forgo holidays or spend hours each day while away, checking and responding to e-mails and calls to keep their business running smoothly.