Category Archives: Setting Business Goals

Immediate Increase and Easy Growth to the Next Level

September being a month of new beginnings and the need to make fresh starts, for business owners a summer of both busyness and / or quiet, mean that by the time October arrives we can often be in a state of overwhelm, frustration and even an intense dislike towards what our business has become. Continuing in this vein will lead you into wanting to throw in the towel mixed with thoughts around not wanting to fail either. Hence major resentments towards what you’ve created and confusion around what steps to take next…

There are always solutions. When you’re in the midst of thick fog it’s little wonder you cannot see a way out. Here’s to tackling your top challenges to take your small business to the next level and get out of overwhelm.

Upskill your staff members

Your team / staff members are not working as efficiently and effectively as you believe they could be. You feel they are taking advantage of your good nature and not taking your business seriously. You know you are overpaying them for the work they are doing and could be making their roles work more for your business.

You have probably spent hours reflecting on this, thinking this way and that, bemoaning their behaviour and attitude. Let’s be more effective than this. Write down all the aspects of their behaviour and role that you want to improve (and later in the process, how) and then create an opportunity to discuss and communicate with them focusing solely on the areas that will have the most positive impact on you and your business.

Reevaluate your current processes

A dramatic change in your industry, local demographics, government policy, client contracts or political shift (Brexit) has massively impacted your customer base and their buying decisions. It’s dramatically changed your small business and impacted your usual way of operating. Something needs to change within your business otherwise you will get left behind your competition, being unable to fulfil your client contracts and working harder to deliver against less profitability.

It can be easy in our businesses to overlook the everyday activities, the ones we are doing over and over again, because we have been completing tasks this way for months and years and they work doesn’t mean they will always work best in that way, times, technology, experience changes. Go through your processes and see what can be streamlined, what’s working, what’s not working.

Recently, working with a business owner who runs a business with over 20 staff members, he went through this ‘Reevaluating Processes’ exercise and found he was losing business (and resource efficiencies) due to the fact they were mostly quoting for work whilst on site at the end of the day. He now has changed his process so all ‘quoting jobs’ are started and completed first thing in the morning. This has meant when jobs go ahead (and are now more likely to go ahead) the work can be actioned that very day, making the work more profitable; no need for return visits, making the customer happier too.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

When is a Business Coach right for you and your business?

Business coach

How do you know when coaching is right for you, will it work, how will I get a return on my investment? All valid questions, and ones I asked myself when I was selecting the right business coach to work with. Do your due diligence, background research, speak to clients they’ve worked with and so on. First of all ask, when is a business coach for me and my business…?

You want to create a better work-life balance

You’re a business owner who is working too long hours, working on aspects of your business that deep down you know you shouldn’t be working on; someone else could do them more easily, effectively for you to focus on business development tasks. When you aren’t working you and your over active brain are struggling to be present – you keep focusing on tasks that need to be done, that haven’t been and working out solutions to challenges you’re unable to overcome. If you carry on like this you know everyone around you is going to end up suffering too, if they’re not already. A client had this issue and found himself working 7 days a week, so working out his income he realised he was working for less than minimum wage and realised he wasn’t really pleasing anyone like this. Clients were asking for more and more (for less and less) and his wife was less than pleased, of course.

With a few simple tweaks to his service offering and a confident and clear pitch, he was able to go back to his same clients and offer added value (for less of his time) at a higher rate of investment. All his clients agreed and they are now referring quality leads too.

You know you could be working more smartly

Your working week is getting fogged by repetitive tasks, increasing admin related actions and generally your brain is flitting from one activity to another. You feel like your business has become less about the things you love and the purpose of why you started in the first place and more about the activities that surround the actual product and service you’re offering. Your time is being squeezed and you know there must be a better way of working as you know if you continue like you, you’ll become more demotivated and disillusioned with self-employment and what it is to run your own business.

Once you gain clarity, direction and really start to focus in on what you want to achieve and why, it’s so much easier to work more smartly. Your brain gets given the space it needs to see the wood more clearly and what needs to be done to get more out of the time you have to spend it on the activities you love to focus on.

You want to be earning more money, but feel you haven’t the money to invest.

The one clear statement to make here is: If you could have, you would have done it by now and by ‘it’ I mean created the success you want to see. Stop beating yourself up; stop telling yourself you should know how to do this, you’ve been doing it long enough or you’ve read enough books, been on enough courses etc. It can simply be about being given the time and space to think through challenges and solutions with someone who has been there, done it and can ask you all the right questions and guide you to find the right answers to unlock the success in you and your business. Remember the old adage ‘You can’t cut your own hair.’ The most successful business coaches will have a coach too. If you don’t invest what will happen?


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Reasons for not starting your business and how to combat them

positive mindset

Developing your business from ideas through to the taking action and implementation stages can be daunting for most. Fear of failure, effort, stepping outside of your comfort zone are all common reasons for not going ahead with the steps that will encourage the positive changes you really want to see. As a business coach I hear lots of according to those giving them seemingly valid reasons for not starting and building a business. However, those who dream and plan for what they want in life and follow through with the steps that will get them achieving the change they initially envisage, the personal and professional rewards can be priceless…

The most common ‘reasons’

If I had more money or won the lottery I would…we’ve all heard of the lottery winners who have won and then lost it all again, clearly showing that money is not the answer. Being crushed by a meteor is considerably more likely than winning the lottery, so this thought process is, unfortunately, not going to help you achieve your dream business. Developing your thoughts into a plan and taking action on that plan will. Start by taking the pressure off yourself and easing those feelings of fear of failure etc. Take them out of play. At this point, it’s you or you and a coach, trusted friend getting your ideas out of your head onto paper and thinking about the steps you could take to get you closer to achieving your dream business. Acknowledge the obstacles remembering that any obstacle big or small can be overcome. Think about the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart, Steve Jobs – they must have encountered a million and one obstacles and all were solved.

If I were more clever, experienced I would…ask yourself this: in the past how have you got more clever and more experienced at something you loved to do? Is it by actually doing? If you ‘do’ working alongside an expert/more experienced person in that field and reading around the subject you will find you become more clever and more experienced more quickly. Want to start your own business? Work with a business coach, read lots of books about starting and building your business whilst following the steps above. You’ll be surprised at the building momentum.

I just need to do a little more research…this can be a real stumbling block to taking definite and clear action on a plan, how do you know when you know enough? To stop you from continually prevaricating extract small actions from your research stage that make you do and take action on something concrete. For example: speak with a key person to find out more about x, write a list of all the important bits you understand so far, develop a plan for how you might develop and implement the stuff you know so far.

If I had more time…we all have the same amount of time in any given day, week, month. The pressures on our time is continuously squeezed. It’s what we do with our spare time that makes the difference. Think about your time wasters; social media, emails, driving to and fro and so on. How can you use that time more effectively? Time chunk – only use social media and emails during a certain time of the day. Use driving to listen to business audio books. Write down daily, weekly actions big and small to follow through with during the new time you create.

I know of someone, let’s call him Adam who got given the money to start his dream business and went on to wish he hadn’t received it as he felt it dampened his drive and ambition to really achieve his goals.

The key messages are be grateful for what you do have and turn those around, use them to your advantage and start taking action; however small the steps are. Ultimately all of these are excuses. The dictionary definition of ‘excuse’ is: ‘seek to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offence); try to justify.’ Want to live a full and priceless life? Stop the excuses.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Celebrating 10 years in business! Share the success

Looking back to the beginning, I know I wasn’t able to plan for 10 years into the future of my business, who can? All I did know, back in February 2007 when I resigned from my corporate job, was that I wanted to run my own business and I would make it work, come what may! Of course along the way there have been major highs, bigger lows and now like any of my fellow happy, successful business owners, I’ve created a business I’m proud of and one that allows me to live a great life and work with people I love to help. I’m sharing my best lessons learned for you business owners out there on your path to success…

Best Learned Lessons

Get help straight away – no successful person ever said – ‘I did it all on my own’, so as soon as you feel yourself needing help or preferably before this, recognise your knowledge and skills gap and bring in the professional support you and your business need. Do this and you’ll achieve your goals so much more quickly, painlessly and above all bring in the success you seek more seamlessly than you could ever imagine – something that you can’t put a price on. Invest and back yourself from the outset, find the money; you’ll save yourself a fortune in lost earnings and stress in the long run.

Farm out the stuff you don’t want to do – as above, it’s your business, only do the tasks you love and/or you’re great at. All else, pass them on to an expert in that field. You’ll save yourself from demotivation and dislike of your business and in the process you’ll free up the time to focus on other good stuff and the tasks you love to do and that you’re great at – it’s these that will bring you your financial return. You’ll also be surprised at how more easily, effortlessly and brilliantly that same task will be completed by an expert.

Keeping it fresh

Business Development focus – Running a business is like maintaining a well oiled machine. It always needs food, petrol, oil and maintenance of some description. Setting aside dedicated time every month to focus on business development is a must for any business owner. Don’t do this and your lovely ‘machine’ will become rusty, antiquated and eventually, due to lack of customers or poor customer retention, in need of a major overhaul that could take you years and a lot of money to get back on track. A little love and affection (focus!) each month will keep you and your business earning the money you want, working with clients you love and attracting new opportunities and business as you go.

Positive mindset

The key to any successful person, many would argue (including me) is a positive mindset. A challenge when times are tough, but practice it throughout your professional life and it becomes much easier to access. Don’t be afraid to share your fears and insecurities with your trusted network, you’ll be more respected for being open and you’ll be surprised at how many step forward with offerings of the right support and opportunities for you.

Stop berating yourself for mistakes or tasks not moving forward as quickly as you’d like, a high achieving and successful business owner once shared these wise words with me: ‘you’ll never experience entrepreneurial nirvana’. Once I allowed this to sink in I started to enjoy the day to day trials and tribulations of running a small business much more as I knew I’d never find myself in a place thinking, yes, I now have everything sorted! There’s always new and exciting things to be achieved both personally and professionally so let’s enjoy the ride!

A Business Coach’s’ Best Tips

Surround yourself with honest, positive and good people who are just like you. Like great friends and good family your business network will always be there for you when and if you need them.

Think of yourself up as a specialist or an expert from the outset. You have created your business because you love what you do, no one else on the planet does it like you do it and you will always find a way to get the right answers and solve the problem/s your customer has. Right? So, you are more than enough, go ahead and consider yourself as an expert in your field.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Get you and your small business ready for 2017

winter-road-arrow-74780

A new year, psychologically and physically, gives us all the opportunity to start a fresh, (in reality we have this every day) turn over a new leaf and achieve bigger and better things for you and your small business. The most important step is to take the time out to think about what you want to achieve for your year and ahead and commit these plans to paper. Here’s how to make a start:

What’s your plan and strategy for 2017?

Developing you and your business takes clarity, focus and commitment. Diarise at least half a day in January (and then each month) to plan. What do you want to achieve by Christmas 2017? How many clients do you want to have helped? What do you want to have helped your clients achieve? Putting your customers at the forefront will help to create the clarity you need in order to map out your plan. Once you have answered these questions it’s time to move on to the ‘how’s’…

Have you set your business goals yet?

What steps do you need to take on a monthly, quarterly basis to make your plans come to fruition? Start by writing down 3-5 actions you (or a colleague) will take each month that will get you closer to achieving your overall plans. Get a big, blank sheet of paper, a fresh new writing pad or journal and allow yourself to think big and different for your small business.

Want to get visually inspired?

As a business coach and small business owner each year I mindmap what I want to achieve for my coaching practice. I write down the steps I need to, and will take to achieve those goals. I firm these goals up by creating a vision board – a visual representation of what I want to achieve – this helps to connect with my plans and keep inspired and motivated during the times I need reminding what and why I set out to do. During busy, stressful times a few minutes spent looking over my vision board helps to reset and ground you and your business.

Keep balanced; set personal goals

As well as moving your business forward what steps do you want and need to take to help make them happen? What will help you achieve calm, peace, focus, clarity and fulfilment? Create some personal goals you can both align and separate from your small business to feed yourself mentally and nurture yourself when business gets demanding and/or overwhelming. Perhaps it’s yoga, meditation, exercise or a physical challenge…

Either way let’s make 2017 the best it possibly can be.

These are amongst the strategies I use when working with my clients. To learn more about my small business coaching programs click here or call me direct to have a chat and book your free consultation.

 

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The Best Way for Small Business Owners to Achieve their Goals

copy-of-the-best-way-for-small-business-owners-to-achieve-their-goals

With so much personal and business development fodder floating around in your timelines, it’s never been easier to pick up snippets here and there of what successful (happy, fulfilled and high achievers) do in order to achieve a life and business they can be proud of, without the huge sacrifices of old. Here are three impactful, fun and focused activities you can do to achieve your small business goals:

Develop your clear goals

To get you started and thinking clearly and as boldly as you can, imagine the next 12 months as if there are no obstacles (think Alexander Graham Bell’s thought process years ago!). Ask yourself a few important questions ‘How much do I want to be earning monthly, yearly?’ ‘What services would I love to deliver, and to whom?’ ‘What personal rewards are these achievements going to help me do?’. Once you have a clear mapping of these thoughts, start extracting some of the ‘How’s’ – what will I need to do in order to make this happen? What step/s will I take in order to get me closer to this goal? You could then rank and prioritise these steps. Then the playful bit, start collating these thoughts into visuals, develop your drawing skills or cut images from magazines, google etc.  ‘If you can see it, you can achieve it. Tim Sanders’

Daily Accountability

One of the biggest breakthroughs I’ve achieved in my business success of late is creating daily accountability for my goals. This may sound like hard work, but it is so clear and focused on what you want, it’s a pleasure to do. Each working day I print of a prescriptive sheet prompting me to create 3 daily actions that I will take in line with my big goals. Sometimes these actions are small and other times bigger or require more time (dependent upon my day). I’ve learned to be realistic yet bold about what I can achieve with the time and resources I have available to me that day. It really keeps me focused and always working on developing my small business as well as working in it. If you would like a copy of the daily accountability sheet that keeps my business growing, drop me an email.

Unwavering Self-belief

Well, you’re allowed to waiver a little from time to time – that would, of course, be human nature, as long as each time you recognise yourself wavering… ‘Can I really achieve this goal?’ ‘Who do I think I am?’ etc. You stop yourself and remember…’why not!’ and focus on all the reasons you can achieve. This is where your written and visual goals really help to elevate you back to the bold place you were in when you originally wrote them.

These are amongst the strategies I use when working with my clients. To learn more about my small business coaching programs click here or call me direct to have a chat and book your free consultation.