How to get to grips with the numbers in your business

Hands up who loves working on the numbers in your business? Spreadsheets and balance sheets – woohoo! No??? Bane of your life? Stuff you constantly shy away from and leave until the last possible moment to deal with?!? OK, let’s be honest, most people do NOT love the accounting bits of their business. It’s easy to feel out of your depth and a bit overwhelmed by it all isn’t it? Which is why last week’s vlog explains exactly how to work out one of the most important figures in your business…

How To Help More Customers Say Yes

Do your potential customers see you as the expert? Or are you being a little bit too humble with your knowledge and your attributes? It can be very tempting when you’re talking to a potential new customer to be very gracious, very warm, very open; to share a lot of knowledge and information, but not to be too direct or too dictatorial about what you think is exactly the right thing for them. Because none of us want to be too salesy or pushy or aggressive, or all those awful things that we’ve seen from terrible salespeople in the past do we? But…

How To Stop Trying To Be All Things To All People

Do you ever find yourself feeling under pressure to try to be all things to all people within your business? There’s probably a huge range of products and services that you could offer. Maybe face to face services, perhaps online services, possibly one-off products, or long term retained products; all sorts of different things. Maybe you really want to deliver exclusive, high priced products, but you might still love the idea of offering some entry-level products to make it more accessible to people. And perhaps you’d also love to be offering some freebies to get people involved and to give away lots of…

How to Write Great Proposals That Gain You More Clients

Do you ever find yourself feeling bamboozled and at a bit of a loss when a potential client asks you to send them a proposal? There can be so many tricky questions about quotes or proposals can’t there? How do you know what to put in there? How do you make yourself look fabulous and professional? How do you create something compact and simple, and yet cover every possible detail in the universe so that the client is desperate to sign with you? So, I thought I would share some tips with you today about how to create a great proposal that works on your terms; that’s really simple, and that…

3 Reasons Over-Servicing Could Be Damaging Your Business

Do you pride yourself on delivering exactly what your customers pay for? Or are you one of those people that really likes to go the extra mile? Do you pride yourself instead on delivering something more than the customer is paying for? Do you believe that over-delivering, or over-servicing as we might call it, is a good business strategy? Because I know that lots of people growing a business believe that if you constantly deliver something that little bit more than the customer expects, then that will really satisfy them. They might shout about you, they might buy more from you, they…

3 Reasons Your Sales Are Slipping Through The Net

Do you ever go through those spells in your business when you’re having lots of great conversations with potential new customers who feel like your ideal customer? The conversations go amazingly well, the relationships click perfectly, and everything seems aligned for these to become your new favourite customers. And yet somehow, they all slip through the net. None of them turn into customers but you just can’t quite put your finger on why. This is something I see happening a lot and I think it’s a big challenge for a many people growing a business. So I want to share with you…

Ever feel overwhelmed?

Do you ever get the frustrated feeling that you’ve been working absolutely nonstop for the last few days or even the last few weeks but somehow you’re just not making the inroads that you want to? Do you feel as though everything you have to do for your business is just overwhelming? Like you’re struggling to see the wood for the trees and struggling to see any real progress? Because I’m working with a few new clients at the moment it feels like I’m talking to quite a lot of people about this right now. And to be honest, I think…

How can your business cope without you?

Do you think that you take enough breaks or holidays from your business? I was talking to a client over the last few days, who has taken single digits, at the most, of days away from his business in the last 12 months. He is feeling incredibly drained. He’s exhausted by it, but still thinking that the ability to actually get away for a few days is really challenging, and questioning whether the business can cope without him. Sound familiar? The ironic thing though is that the more we talked about it, the more he acknowledged the merits of a taking a break…

3 Tips To Get More Done In Your Business Every Day

Do you possess the special skill that so many people building a small business possess? Yes, I’m talking about the amazing skill of faffing. Now, I know from all my conversations over the last 10 years that faffing can become quite an art form when you’re growing your business. You know those days when you have a huge list of things to do, you work at it all day;  you barely stop for a cup of tea or a sliver of lunch, and…

How do I know what price to charge?

Do you ever find yourself having a bit of a heated internal debate about whether you’ve got the pricing right in your business? I know that for a lot of people who are growing a business, price is one of the most difficult and often most uncomfortable areas of business. It brings up all sorts of questions about worth and about value; it really does have a huge amount of emotion connected to it. It can trigger lots of questions like: “What’s my value? What’s my product or my service worth? What’s my worth? What does value really mean to my customers?…

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 - Make Things Happen

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…