Should I be developing leaders in my small business?

As a small business owner with a small team it’s easy to think you are the only one who should be leading. It’s easy to think that you need to know everything, direct everything and be in charge of everything. After all, you are employing people to complete certain tasks for you, to enable you to spend more time leading and directing.   The issue with this mentality though is that it’s not actually going to give you the best business you could have, the most enjoyable business you could have and the most scalable business you could have. Businesses where everything is always coming back to and being led by the business owner have a major problem, because they are totally reliant on that owner and become paralysed if the owner for any reason is not there or has not left clear plans and instructions for every eventuality. Also as workload increases the owner just becomes busier and busier to the point they become a bottleneck in the business.   Are you a bottleneck in your business?   Everyone has unique motivations, skills and abilities   It is also a mentality that fails to recognise that every person has unique motivations, skills and abilities and it is unlikely that within your organisation you are the person who is the most motivated, skilled and able in every area and every function of the business. If you are able to give your staff (or outsourced team members) responsibility in certain areas, to even lead you in certain areas, this gives them the potential to thrive and develop their own skills,...

A quick tip for your New Year’s resolutions

2018 is fast approaching! The new year is always a great opportunity to start with a clean slate, consider what you want to change and improve and set your resolutions for the year to come.   The concept of New Years’ resolutions can be a bit of a standing joke though can’t they? So often we set them, knowing in the back of our minds that in all likelihood we’ll be lucky to have stuck to them beyond the first few weeks or at best months of the year. Which makes the whole thing a bit of a futile exercise.   To help make them a meaningful exercise, we wanted to share with you one top tip.   Now usually we would talk about the importance of having a clear guiding goal to keep you motivated and on track and then work back from that and it’s true that we believe this is fundamental. If you can tie your resolution to a specific goal you need to achieve at a specific time in the future (like signing up to run a half marathon / bike ride / swim etc) then you are that much more likely to achieve it. However for the purposes of this blog we want to focus on something slightly different.   If you want to maintain the drive to achieve your resolutions we’d recommend considering a piece of advice our clients have found very effective in helping them actually achieve their monthly objectives: Don’t over reach!   What we mean by this is rather than overwhelming yourself with challenges and changes, take time to consider...

Why it’s essential to conduct an end of year business review?

It’s rare in business that we take time out to think about the bigger picture. We’re often so busy just keeping the business going (delivering for our clients, managing employees, keeping on top of suppliers, maintaining relationships with key partners etc) that the idea of taking time out for anything other than these core business activities can seem like a total luxury.   But review is a vital component for any business that wants to continue to progress, prevent stagnation and even better, kick on and take it to the next Level.   Below we highlight why, and what sort of questions you need to be asking yourself.   Motivation   There’s no question that running your own business can get tiring, and it’s so easy to go from one thing to the next and not realise how far you’ve come. Often, because business can be so challenging, it can seem like 2 steps forward and 1 or even 2 steps back.  It can feel like little progress has been made which can be de-motivating.   Looking back on what you’ve achieved in the last year and where you’ve come from can have a really motivating and emboldening impact. Because you’re right in the middle of it, you often don’t notice the progress that’s being made. It can feel like all the effort you’re putting in is having little or no impact, but looking back over a period of 12 months helps give a much clearer picture of just how far you’ve come, which gives a boost to go for it  again in the next year.   Getting clear...

Apple “Crumble”, Lewis Hamilton &  Poison

On Monday night I went out for a nice meal at a gastro pub in a country village. I’d not been there before and I was impressed. Nice atmosphere, tasty wines, delicious food, all was going really well until it came to desert.   I plumped for the blackberry and apple crumble as a fitting winter warmer. It came out, steaming stewed fruit and a crumble top circled in custard. I attacked it with gusto, but two mouthfuls in, something wasn’t quite right. On closer inspection of the larger pieces of crumble it was clear the crumble topping was in fact an uncooked, crushed digestive biscuit.   When I asked the waitress about it she looked like a rabbit caught in headlights. It was clear she knew something was amiss. I declined her offer of a different desert.   Looking back on it there had been a number of items they’d had to tell us they’d run out of during the course of the evening. I can only surmise that not wanting to do this again, the chef had decided to fudge a solution instead. As a consequence, what had been shaping up to be a great evening left me feeling slightly disappointed. An outcome that could have been avoided had they just stuck with their honest approach and told me the crumble too wasn’t available.   Lewis Hamilton is a bit like marmite, people either love him or hate him. I have to confess I’m a fan. I admire his focus and drive. I admire his self-belief. He is particularly confident of his abilities in the wet. He...

Recruitment? People should just be grateful for the opportunity of a job shouldn’t they!?

As an entrepreneur it can be easy to think this way about recruitment. You’ve grafted to create a company that generates enough income that you can now employ others, but it’s been blood, sweat and tears all the way. Now you’re in a position to offer someone secure employment, your taking all the risk, they get an income, surely the best candidates should be flocking to you and should be grateful?   Unfortunately, that doesn’t tend to be the case. Anyone who’s been involved in recruiting people knows that pulling together the right team to deliver for you as you expand is something you have to graft for as well.   A recent global study of 20,000 new hires found that 46 percent of them had failed within 18 months— they either were terminated, left under pressure, or received disciplinary action or negative performance reviews according to the society for Human Resource Management.   And what is the cost of a wrong hire? Its estimated at between 50% and 150% of annual salary. So it’s not something to get wrong lightly. A wrong hire can leave you in a far worse mess than when they started.   So why is it that so many hires seem to go wrong?   Well there are numerous potential reasons: The employer may have been desperate to fill the position so they didn’t put the time into making sure they’d secured the right person, who had the skills and capability to carry out the role and were a cultural fit for the company It could be that the the employee had been led...

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