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...

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...

Are you using this source of powerful information that can help you grow your business?

There are so many factors that go into making up a successful business. You’ve got to have a lot of things in place including The right product or service The right people to deliver it The right leadership The right systems and processes The right messaging to attract clients and customers The right mediums for getting that messaging to your potential clients and customers.   And that’s all before you start looking at the more nuanced but equally crucial areas of the right culture, the right mindsets, the right values.   Looking at it from that perspective, you could be forgiven for thinking that so many things have to align, that it must be almost impossible to create a successful business. It certainly highlights that business is not easy and makes it more understandable why ultimately only one in 10 new businesses survives their first 10 years.   A lot of SME business owners are making things more difficult for themselves than they need to be though by not collecting the knowledge that can help them move towards getting all of those things right sooner.   So where does that knowledge come from? It comes from data.   There are numerous potential sources of data for any business that can be used to help accelerate their growth. From straight forward things like gross profit margins, overhead costs, cash in the bank and average sick days, to the use of advanced technologies such as heat mapping in retail stores to see which parts of the store are most frequented, or using preventative maintenance monitoring devices now coming online to minimise downtime or...

How to create a powerful vision that pulls you towards greater business success

Once you have clarified your business purpose by reading the previous blog and answering the 20 Questions guaranteed to fuel the fire that will drive you to greater business success!  you should have a boost in your drive to achieve the next level in your business and move closer to fulfilling your purpose.  This is because these questions make you look beyond the challenges and obstacles you have in your way right now, that limit your expectations and can wear against your motivation. By looking towards what is possible and what you truly want it fuels the fire to make things happen, identify solutions and find a way. But what is the next level for you? It’s essential to have clarity on this otherwise how can you know what you are driving towards? It’s all about starting with the end in mind.  In order to fulfil your purpose you have to create a vision for your business to enable you to do so.  For example if your business purpose is for it to fund your retirement, then what does the business need to look like for that to happen?  Or if the purpose of the business is to be the most known business in your field in London what does that look like by when? Having a clear vision can act as a powerful draw towards what you want… “If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed.  The vision pulls you” Steve Jobs For some people who can visualise quite far ahead could be seeing as far away as 10 to even...

Are you in danger of “time bankruptcy”!?

If like many other Business Owners you struggle with balancing the amount of things you have committed to with the amount of time you have, then you may be in danger of “time bankruptcy!” This means you are reaching the point where time debt is creeping higher and higher and you are over extending your time resources the same way you can over extend financial resources.  Where you are borrowing hours from one priority for another and will never get that time back as every minute can only be lived once. Are you overextending your time resources and in danger of time bankruptcy? It seems that everyone has the tendency of wanting to do more things that they have time to do, however we would argue that this is extra difficult for business owners! One of the primary challenges we see many of our clients struggle with is dealing with day to day demands, juggling multiple priorities and having enough time to work “on” their business to improve it for the better. They end up borrowing the ever so important business development and improvement time for other reactive activities and they never get that time back.  Years can go by without really moving forward and eventually they and their business suffer as a result. What happens when you reach that point? Losing the passion for your business? Losing sight of the vision for the business you wanted to create? Losing the possibility of the lifestyle you had hoped the business will achieve for you? Being your own employee, grafting every day with not enough of a reward? When this happens...

Business Growth Acceleration Tool #2: Business Growth Indicators

How do we know if something is working? Because we can see the output / results.   We know a car engine works because we can see that it propels the car forward. We know a blender in the kitchen works because we put food in it and it blends them together. We know fitness training is working because we are able to do the same activity for longer, or we’re able to do it faster or we recover to resting heart rate quicker.   So how do we know if initiatives in our businesses are working? It’s also through seeing results. But the only way we can see results is if we look for them and then we measure them or record them.   Businesses are generally always looking to improve. They want to win more customers, win bigger contracts, deliver in a more efficient way, generate more profit, create a happier working environment and many other improvements.   In order to move a business forward in any one of these areas, one of the fundamental activities needed is to measure the impact of different initiatives or changes being tried in order to drive the improvement.   Have you ever heard a business owner use the phrase “it feels like things are getting better”? Gut feelings and instinct can be important in business, and a business owner may well have a good general sense of improvement – but unless they know to what extent and what it is that’s caused it, it’s hard to know what to do to replicate it and hard to know how much further...

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