Here we are again – at the start of another year. Time to look at whether your business (and life) objectives are being met and, if not, to make changes.
Like sailing a ship isn’t it – running a business? Some business owners work without a plan and just drift along in uncharted waters in the hope that there are no icebergs under the surface and that they will arrive somewhere in the fullness of time. Others micro-manage their journey to such an extent that they will not allow for the natural changes of current and find themselves off course despite intensive efforts. It’s mixing metaphors to say that a blinkered approach is unwise in business but flexibility and intuition certainly have their place.
I’ve had the privilege over the past 2 years to work with business owners in a closer capacity than I had done previously. As a coach and trainer for Growth Accelerator I work with business owners to help them plan their course and take the steps needed to reach their objectives. This process has revealed to me the diversity that exists – select half a dozen MDs and you could find they have little in common. This has led me to wonder about motivation. Only highly motivated people would choose to run a business, one might assume, and yet the drives within people can be very different.
Some people are motivated by external factors and others by internal ones; most a mix of the two. Some are positively driven towards success, others negatively driven away from failure. It is said that the longer people survive in business, the less important their skills and intelligence become. Their sheer persistence is the greatest factor in their continued survival.
Even the most successful and highly motivated business owners suffer from fatigue at times and, at times like these, it helps to think of the sailing analogy. Remember that your intuition combined with a map to follow has served you well in the past and will do so again, even when the winds are against you.
If you would like an unbiased view on your plans for the year ahead you might like to book a FREE one to-one workshop. Sessions are available for the month of January on a first come, first served basis. We also offer a £100 voucher for redemption against any project work arising from the workshop and advice on all current funding schemes.
Call me on 07801251767.
Offering your customers too much choice can have a negative effect on sales, and on relationships, as I found yesterday at a pub lunch. A group of us had booked lunch for 12.30 – 1pm to coincide with the end of a hill walk. We arrived at 12.40, ordered drinks and were directed to our table. This very small pub was offering a choice of 3 Sunday roasts, a full menu and a specials board. We made our selections then had to wait over an hour for most of the meals to be served. Three people were served within half an hour so they had finished before the rest of us had our food. One of the group asked the landlord whether we would soon be served and, to our surprise, he became very angry. He said that, if we had arrived on time, there would have been no problem and that he was having to serve smaller tables first. He said he would get the chef to have a word with us, which sounded more like a threat than a promise! I think we all felt aggrieved but it was too late to go elsewhere – we were tired and very hungry!
When the food finally arrived it was good but none of us felt like ordering desserts and we left shortly after eating. Most of us had dogs in cars and felt under time pressure anyway.
Three points came from this:
1. Don’t over stretch yourself. A limited menu would have been perfectly acceptable and less stressful to deliver.
2. Try to foresee problems before they arise. A plate of bread and an apology would have appeased us.
3. A Basil Fawlty approach is not so funny in real life. Blaming your customers is not an option if you want them to return – and to recommend you.
I don’t envy those in food service. It is stressful as we’ve seen on many fly on the wall documentaries. As we paid our bill and left, we apologised to the landlord for putting him under pressure which took the wind out of his sales – but will we go back? Trip Advisor shows this was not a one off.
If you would like help to create products and services that you can deliver without stress, and at a profit, give us a call. 01743 236631. Funding may be available.
Have you reviewed your financial assets recently? It’s useful to do it once a year and January is as good a time as any. We all do this as a matter of course for our businesses, or our accountants do it for us, but it’s more revealing to look at your total assets as an individual or a couple.
As you may know, we’re not great advocates of discounting. BUT, as it’s January, we are offering FREE one-to-one workshops for business owners and £100 vouchers redeemable against any projects arising. Why? Because we want to get to know more business owners, show them what we can do and hopefully remain front of mind when they need help with marketing.