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.
How much control do we have over the way our lives turn out? We are taught that if we set goals, make a plan to achieve them and work hard, success will follow. This is true to a certain extent and there are many role models and case studies to prove it. Every so often though, things don’t go to plan and paths need to be changed.
Charles Duhigg, Pulitzer prize winning writer at the New York Times and author of The Power of Habit, said that companies resemble civil war battlefields more than they do “big happy families”. He describes workplaces as “fiefdoms where executives compete for power and credit – making their own performances seem superior and their rivals seem worse. Divisions compete for resources and sabotage each other to steal glory”.The cynic in me wants to say that many seemingly happy families exhibit the traits he describes and sibling rivalry is certainly a force to be reckoned with. However, most of us can recognise and relate to the situations that arise within businesses and organisations and contribute to, in the worst case failure, and at best under-performance and waste of resources.
I just counted up 8 roles I have had this week – media planner, buyer, creative director, copywriter, HR manager, coach, trainer, account manager – all in the space of 5 days. I’m also a wife, mother, daughter, grandmother – and dog owner. I can be all these things only with the support of others – colleagues, suppliers, accountant, family, cleaners, gardener (not necessarily in priority order :-)) – and of course clients, without whom we would have no money and no reason to come to work. Many other small business owners could say the same. I think that, unless we are able to recognise our own strengths and weaknesses and focus only on the things we do well, we can very easily become overwhelmed and under-effective. The lady who cleans our house promotes herself as “A helping hand for the overwhelmed” and that’s exactly what she is (Debbie Wales at ShropGirlFriday). Sarah who cleans our offices is another star who saves us from the clutter that gathers around us as we work. And Peter who does our garden not only keeps the weeds in check but also has a key in case we’re delayed. He will walk our dog, or even take food out of the freezer when I forget. Our very good neighbour Richard also has a key. This sort of help is so valuable to working people – you may have a similar support network.
It was once said that, unless you create the perfect mousetrap, nobody will beat a path to your door. As I’ve heard the patter of mousey feet and the gnawing of little teeth at night recently, I would certainly beat a path to find that product myself. But domestic issues aside, unless people know what your business is all about, they will fail to trade with you. It’s that simple. We all buy brands we know about and trust; we buy from people and companies we have heard about. And these days, there are so many ways in which your message can be seen and heard.
There’s nothing quite like first hand experience to teach you lessons in business, and in life. You wouldn’t attempt to teach someone to drive unless you had driven for a number of years and were fairly confident behind a wheel would you? And yet every day, business people put their trust in consultants who acquired their knowledge at university, or their experience in an unrelated trade, and expect to achieve good results. It was mainly for this reason that we decided to prove our ability and credentials in the food sector about 5 years ago. We had already been in business for 20 years at that point but we wanted to give ourselves a real point of difference.
Best things about 2013:
1.Growth Accelerator – we are registered to provide this subsidised service to our clients
2. Existing clients – thanks for staying with us – glad we could offer Growth Accelerator services to some of you too
3. New clients – too many to list here but you know who you are – great to have you on board