7 Classic Networking Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Are you a networker? I’ve been using business networking as my primary marketing strategy for the last 7 or 8 years.  I met around 75% of my current clients via business networking so I absolutely know it can work. It definitely didn’t work overnight for me though. I can honestly say I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my time! There are a huge range of benefits from business networking beyond the obvious chance to find new clients. Being part of a supportive business community and spending time with people facing similar challenges to you can be very reassuring. I also find all…

Why Every Business Needs A Sales Process

When I say ‘sales process’ does that make you think of pushy, aggressive sales people who have their own inflexible approach that never bends regardless of your needs as a customer? If it does, don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone because I know it implies that for a lot of people! But it absolutely doesn’t have to mean that. I’m a huge believer that every business should have a sales process because it’s actually the best way to make sure your prospects get exactly what they need. Yes, it helps you to organise yourself and your business and to keep…

Why Pressure Is A Privilege

I was absolutely engrossed over the weekend watching the Winter Olympics. Saturday was an amazing, record breaking day for Great Britain as we won 3 medals in a day for the first time ever. What brilliant performances! There was one throwaway line in skeleton gold-medallist Lizzy Yarnold’s post-competition interview that really intrigued me though. She was asked what a difference it had made to her training and preparations to have another emerging British athlete breathing down her neck. And she replied “pressure is a privilege”. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it described that way before! It made me think about the pressure…

3 Ways To Get Paid Faster

One of the most damaging things to a small business is having clients that pay late.  The best laid plans can be shattered when expected payments don’t arrive. You may then find yourself in that awkward situation of having to juggle the payments due out of your own business and working out what’s the most urgent versus what can wait. You might have to put marketing or outsourcing plans on hold because you no longer have the budget. And of course you have the headache of how and when to follow up. How do you chase up this money…

Does Putting Your Prices Up Fill You With Dread?

At this time of year I always find myself talking to a lot of people about their prices. There’s a natural trend within all the new-year target setting for people to decide that the time has come to charge what they’re truly worth instead of underselling themselves. Price is a hugely emotive issue though, and that makes it very difficult to be objective about it when it comes to your own business. You may well know that you’re undercharging but still have a mountain of doubts about putting your prices up. Many people worry over questions like: Will people think I’m worth…

Are You Still Getting Round To It?

Are you like so many business owners out there who still have a mahoosive list of things you’re getting round to? Do you have that one thing that’s always number two on your to do list but somehow it never quite makes it to number one! You could call this procrastinating, you could call it faffing; you might think it’s because you’re disorganised or terrible at prioritising. The reality is probably a whole lot simpler though. Here’s an example of something I’d been getting around to for about the last 3 years. I’m using this to show you the three simple…

The Three Enemies of Focus and How To Avoid Them

Focus is such a straightforward thing when you think about it. I mean, how hard can it possibly be to decide what you’re going to do, get started, stay on track and get everything done? On paper it’s a doddle isn’t it? And yet all too often we start with the best of intentions but then get drawn away, distracted or diverted so that focus becomes something we crave but can never quite seem to master. And then we usually beat ourselves up about being unable to stay focused! So here are 3 of the biggest reasons that people lose focus…

Why Christmas Is A Great Time To Grow Your Business

Warning … I’m going to talk about the C word. Christmas! There I said it! Do you feel as though Christmas starts earlier and earlier every year? I do. Decorations start going up in November; Christmas gifts are in the shops months in advance; Mariah Carey is on the radio for the 14 bazillionth time; everyone at work is talking about Christmas parties and Christmas holidays. More importantly, customers and suppliers start to turn down meetings. “Let’s do that in January instead.” By mid-December the roads start to get much quieter. People are staying in their offices instead of getting out…

Why Everything You’ve Ever Been Told About Time Management Is A Lie!

Do you regularly wish there were more hours in the day? Or wonder why others seem so organised when you feel frazzled? Today I’m going to let you into 3 of my favourite secrets to overcoming the overwhelm and feeling like you’re in control of your workload. Time management is a lie! There are 24 hours in every day, 60 minutes in every hour and 60 seconds in every minute. None of that is negotiable. None of it is stretchable, shrinkable, repeatable or manoeuvrable. Time is simply not manageable. No wonder all those time management techniques don’t seem to work! The good news is…

Why Consistent Marketing is Crucial

Is your marketing planned, structured and consistent? Or are you like most people who squeeze it into whatever gaps are left once everything else is done? That’s if there are any gaps at all of course! One of the biggest reasons that businesses don’t grow as fast as they could is because they don’t have a clear marketing plan and don’t treat it as a priority.  Of course it’s always tempting to let the marketing slip when things are busy and you have plenty of clients. But so many people allow their marketing to really dry up during those times and…

How To Take More Holidays!

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my holidays. And that I regularly talk to clients about what holidays they’re planning. Whilst I do that because it’s a great subject to talk about, I’m also a massive believer in taking regular breaks to recharge your batteries, reward you for a job well done and help you refine your business plan. That’s right, I honestly believe that holidays help you to refine your business plan. By taking yourself out of the daily grind you give yourself the time and head-space to think, which can bring a level of clarity that’s very…

What’s The One Biggest Thing?

People often ask me “what’s the one change that would make the biggest difference to most businesses that want to grow?” I know they’re expecting me to say that it’s something along the lines of a great business plan; or a cash-flow forecast; or maybe a slick marketing strategy underpinned by a great USP. But the real answer is way more simple than all of those things. It’s simple, but it takes genuine dedication to truly master. It’s Responsibility. Recognising what responsibility really means and then applying this into your business every day is the difference between constantly getting round to things…

Are You Stuck Planning The Plan?

Do you set goals for your business? Or do you think that’s just text book rubbish which never seems to really work in practice? I speak to lots of people running their own businesses who’ve either given up setting goals because life, the world and everything always seems to get in the way anyway; or they don’t set them because they just don’t know where to start. Should you just put a finger in the air and pluck out some figures that sound about right? Should goals always be financial or should they be about other things? There are so…

Untangling The Confusion Around Cashflow Forecasts – Part 1

I’m a firm believer that every business large or small, well-established or brand-new, needs a cash flow forecast in place yet only around 10% of the businesses I talked to actually have one and use it regularly. The 3 main reasons people give me for not having this in place are: They don’t know how to do it They don’t see any benefit in having it so they’re not sold on why to do it (I know I’ve got enough cash in the bank to pay for everything, isn’t that enough?) They don’t want to face up to the truth…

Why It’s OK To Say “I’ll Never Be Any Good At Sales“

OK, let me ask you a question …what are the first few words that spring to mind when I say “salesperson”? Is it something like “professional, organised, well-trained and popular”? Or is it more like “pushy, sleazy, slimy, aggressive and arrogant”? This is a question I ask in lots of my workshops and I can pretty much guarantee that 90% of responses will be negative. Let’s cut to the chase here. Most people really don’t like salespeople. But wait …that’s not true. Most people really don’t like what they THINK a salesperson is. And if most people believe that becoming good…