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...

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 #1: ACCOUNTABILITY

How many times have you said you would do something then not done it because nobody will know?   It’s amazing the power that being accountable to someone else can have as a tool to help us get things done. Many people no doubt think “we are grown-ups, we shouldn’t need to depend on others in order to get things done or stay on task.”  After all being a mature adult means having the ability to be responsible for oneself.  Surely, there is something needy and dependent about relying on someone else! However, it’s not easy maintaining momentum alone – often people start something with great enthusiasm, but a few months down the line its fallen by the wayside. I’m sure we’ve all seen that happen to people who’ve started a new weight loss regime or exercise program. This is where accountability can come in as a powerful tool. There’s something almost sacred about taking our commitments seriously when we share them with someone else or when we make a pact to reach a common goal. On a freezing January morning you might pull the covers back over your head rather than go to the gym alone. But if you’ve promised to meet someone there at 7am there’s a much better chance you’ll actually get out of bed and go – the relationship adds a significant measure of motivation. This is especially true of a commitment that involves regular and ongoing action.  A regular commitment requires sustained discipline and focus, and this is something that accountability can be used to help us maintain. This is true in all walks of...

7 “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to ensure your networking generates a return on investment

If you’ve been in business a little while the chances are you’ve come across the concept of formalised business networking, you may be a die-hard committed networker already, or you may have given it a go and decided it wasn’t for you.   What those who stick at it know is that networking has a number of purposes and the possible positive outcomes are varied.  It can be a great way to: Meet potential partners who can help you accelerate your business Find clients either through direct contact or through referral. Do market research and test your ideas Find your own suppliers To get out of isolation and mix with other business people Find advice and support   There are the less tangible benefits of networking that can make it worthwhile no matter what but if ultimately you are looking to increase leads and sales, then if you don’t put some thought into your networking strategy and approach it in the right way to achieve these tangible outcomes, it can result in a big waste of time .  And if it isn’t at least paying for itself, a waste of money!   What have you invested into networking in terms of time and money over the last year or so?  And have you got a return on that investment into your business?   With that in mind we’ve come up with 7 “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of business networking that we hope you will find useful and will help you get more out of your networking in the future.   Do take time to build relationships – Most people do business with people they feel they...

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...

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