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,...

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...

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...

20 Questions guaranteed to fuel the fire that will drive you to greater business success!

When someone leaves employment to start their own business they experience a huge surge of excitement about the possibility of what the future can hold for them.  They are liberated from working for someone else’s gain. Away from the stress of their old employer.  Free to follow their own life’s path and pursue what they love. Free to manage their own time. Free to “write their own pay check” and earn all the money they make. Free to make their mark on the world!   Those early days are so exciting aren’t they?! That fire of pure potential driving you forward towards achieving your dreams. Uninterrupted belief and hope for the future.   Unfortunately, sometimes the reality of running your own company can really diminish this. You leave your job to be free, but over time gradually become like a slave to your business. Often working long hours, paying yourself last and stressed by all the multiple priorities and demands. It turns out to be a marathon not a sprint which can ware away at those dreams.   This can effect motivation, energy, focus and drive, which are exactly what are needed in order to keep persevering for long enough to realise your businesses true potential.   The truth of this is reflected in business failure rate. According to the office for national statistics of the businesses started in 2010, only 40% continued to exist by 2015.   Many people we speak to have lost sight of why they’re doing what they’re doing and are feeling stuck in and overwhelmed by the day to day grind.   If this sounds familiar we want...

3 Key Reasons Why Small Business Owners Waste Time

When are you wasting time as a Small Business Owner? It’s pretty simple really: when you’re doing things that won’t help you take your business where you want it to go, towards achieving the success you want in your business and life. There are a whole load of things we could be doing instead of this. We are in an age of information overload and everyone reading this will know their key foibles and pet time wasters that can cause them to get to the end of a day and think “what have I done all day?!” Never mind, “what have I done to progress my business today?” But those things are symptoms. They are the things we waste our time ON. What we’re writing about today is causes. What are the reasons that are the root of our time wasting activity? So often when people want to improve their utilisation of time, the focus is on tactical time management, organisation of workflow and the “to do lists”.  Of course developing skills in these areas are foundations of success for anyone, but as a Small Business Owner you have a different set of circumstances; you are leading a business, you are not an employee and you don’t have the luxury of the support and resources in bigger companies. Therefore there is a bigger picture to successful time utilisation (or lack of) that we are exploring here.   1) Overwhelm – leading to being reactive and “fire fighting”   A Small Business Owner can become overwhelmed because they have multiple priorities that they have to juggle at all times. This...

Stop limiting yourself and get the business success you deserve!

As a small business owner you tend to be the beating heart of your business, connected to and having an impact on all aspects of the rest of the business body. As a result your PERSONAL PERFORMANCE probably has the biggest role to play in determining whether you are successful or not. Your performance is essential to getting your business off the ground and to a level where you are making a sufficient return on the financial, the emotional (blood sweat and tears) and the time investment you have put into it so far.  However this can be incredibly challenging with many roles to play as a Business Owner, so much to do and a variety of different priorities to juggle, so working hard to make sure you’re performing at your best is key to the success of your business. A close look at the current status of your business is likely to reveal significant insights into your personal performance; where your strengths are and where you have areas for improvement! Whether you employ a large team, or operate as a sole trader, as a small business owner you need to lead and direct in all  business areas to ensure the business is moving forward as you want.  If you have a team for instance, your leadership and management capability will be a key influencer on your business success. So how would you say your current business performance is reflecting on your personal performance right now? You may be very capable in certain areas as most business owners have areas of significant previous experience, but feel completely out of their...

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