How to overcome the loneliness of building a business

Do you ever feel isolated when you’re running your business? Does your business sometimes feel like a very lonely place? Because I think this is something the vast majority of us go through.  And not just once, it can easily rear its head again quite regularly. No matter how much our friends and family really want to support us, if they’ve never had any direct involvement in running a business, then the reality is that they simply don’t get it. They don’t understand what it feels like to have the complete responsibility of that business on your shoulders 24/7. They want to…

Do you need a business plan?

Today I want to share with you some great tips about business plans. No don’t stop reading just yet, just in case that’s giving you the heebie-jeebies! I have been talking to lots of people recently about the need for a business plan within a small business. Are they actually relevant and a good use of time or are they just corporate bull and wasting time on something that’s going to get shoved in that bottom drawer, never to be seen again? And even if you love the idea of having a plan, often it’s much easier to write the plan…

Are You Open to Feedback?

If we’re open to it, life constantly teaches us lessons about our business, even in ways that we really don’t initially see the relevance of at all. A few bazillion years ago, I used to be an athlete. I used to be a sprinter. I ran for England and for Great Britain; I was a National Schools champion three times, an Under-23 European Cup winner, and ran for the England Senior team in amazing places like Rome, Moscow, and Gateshead! And I know you’re probably thinking, “What on earth has that got to do with business, and particularly with your business?”…

When to plan, and when to get cracking!

I’ll let you into a secret. I’m really good at helping clients to get on with the things they’ve been putting off and holding them accountable to taking action. But I go through all the same mental faffing myself when I want to make a big change in my business. This month I’ve started something new that I’ve been toying with for a while. I’ve been umming and ahhing; thinking it through; considering all the ways I could get it wrong; trying to come up with the perfect strategy and basically avoiding getting on with it! So I thought it would be…

Are Bigger Customers Always Better For Your Business?

Have you ever had that conversation with yourself about chasing bigger customers? About how much easier business would be if you could make the same amount of money (or more) but work with a lot less clients? Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love that idea? It’s quite possible that working with bigger customers will actually become a necessity for you at some point if you’re going to scale your business. Because working with lots of small customers could mean that you reach your physical capacity a long time before you reach your income targets! In my experience though, it’s a lot harder…

4 Reasons Your Price May Be Costing You Money

I’ve been talking to a lot of people recently about the things they find most difficult about growing a business. And finding the right price for their service is something that keeps coming up again and again and again. It’s a real dilemma, and finding a way to define exactly what your price should be can feel like a minefield. So I thought I’d share some tips about the most common mistakes people make when setting their price. And I’ll give you a clue – most of these relate to being far too cheap rather than being too expensive!   1. Too…

4 Tasty Business Lessons From A Food Fayre

Are you like me these days and you find yourself looking at things that are nothing whatsoever to do with your business through business eyes? I have a feeling that sentence reads like a bit of a tongue twister so I’d better explain! Last weekend I visited Beaumaris Food festival and bought lots of lovely tasty things. As happens most of the time these days though, I found myself looking at everything from a business perspective.  I like doing this because sometimes observing a totally different industry can give you a surprising new perspective on your own.  And I find that…

Do you have clarity?

I think one of the biggest things that gets in the way when you’re trying to grow a business is feeling completely bamboozled by the number of ideas you have, and the volume of ‘stuff’ that you know needs doing in order to get you there. ‘Idea overload’ is definitely something I’m guilty of myself sometimes! There are always new products or services to be developed, better content or images that need adding to your website, systems to organise your finances so everything is under control, social media platforms to crack, new networking events to try out and it can…

What Does Value Really Mean?

Do you ever have that sinking feeling at the very moment you’re about to tell somebody your price, when your conscience jumps in with the ‘can I really charge that’ doubt? Am I worth that? Do I really deliver that much value? I know this is something that happens to a lot of people (I was only having a conversation about it yesterday) and it’s one of the major reasons that a lot of small businesses miss out on sales that should have been a certainty. You see, two things tends to happen when you have these doubts about your own price….

Scheduling Your Way To Becoming More Organised

Are you somebody that loves to have a really detailed schedule for the next few days? Or are you like lots of people running their own business who crave freedom, fluidity and variety in their days? A lot of my clients prefer this approach because often they’ve left behind a job or a corporate role that gave them little or no choice about how to manage their day and left them feeling penned in or held back. So they really value the ability to have free reign over what they do each day. But I’ll let you into a secret. If…

How To Write A Super Simple Business Plan

Do you have a business plan that feels like a living, breathing guide for your actions every week? Or is it one of those things that you created once, tucked away nicely in the bottom drawer and have never looked at since? I know that a huge number of people running their own businesses wish they had a plan, and feel like it’s something they should definitely do, but they simply don’t know where to start. How many pages does it need to be? How much detail should it have? How many years ahead should it forecast? And how can…

Are your Customers Always Testing Your Boundaries?

Do you have customers who always seem to work on the ‘give them an inch and they’ll take a mile’ principle? The truth is that most businesses have at least a couple of customers like that. Often it creeps up on you until you suddenly realise that you’ve delivered way more than a customer has paid for and you’re not quite sure how it happened. Over-servicing has a nasty habit of catching you out like that! The good news is that there is usually a very simple solution to this. Here are a few classic examples that may feel familiar to…

What’s The Definition of Success?

Do you have a really clear image of what your business will look like when it’s successful? I often find that people start a business with a short term financial target in mind. Most people know how much money they need their business to make for it to be sustainable, and they focus on that. I typically find that beyond that point though, the majority don’t have a clear definition of success and that’s when it’s easy to find yourself drifting or to feel as though you’re working incredibly hard but you’re not actually that clear what it’s all for.   There…

Why You Deserve A Payrise!

I’ve been talking to several clients recently about their business goals. It’s reminded me how common it is to see people running a business, working tirelessly to deliver a fantastic service to their clients but paying themselves a frankly measly salary. So many people pay everyone and everything else before they pay themselves, and are almost grateful if there’s anything actually left for themselves once everything else is covered. It’s a very British trait. But it’s bad for business! And here’s why … Because You’re Worth It! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to earn a fair wage for a fair day’s work….

The Trap of Changing Too Much Too Soon

Are you a shining beacon of organisation? Or are you like most people in business who would love to feel more organised but are too busy dealing with all the day to day challenges so they never have time to sort things out? Have you tried to put lots of things in place, like systems and templates but you quickly get frustrated with them and feel as though they’re just creating extra work so you give up after a few days or weeks? Then I have good news for you! There’s a fair chance your quest for seamless organisation has led you…