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Managing risks in your business

This month we have a guest blog from ISO Expertise Limited – Quality and Environmental Management Consultants supporting businesses to grow and reach new markets by implementing Quality and Environmental Management systems certified to ISO:9001 and ISO:14001.

When setting up in business you often consider the risks

  • Will it be a success?
  • Will I get any customers?
  • Will I get the right staff?
  • Will I make any money?

You calculate how much of a risk it is and then you take the leap of faith or you decide the risk is just too high and decide against it. You then set up your business and get fully immersed in the day to day and often if you are not careful the business can start to manage you.

An important thing to remember is the need to assess risk ongoing within your business. This is crucial and helps you to prepare for all eventualities and ensure that your business can continue to thrive no matter what may be thrown at it.

The best way to manage this is by taking some time out to consider what all the risks are to your business. You could carry out a SWOT analysis – a document where you list your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Particularly the weaknesses and threats sections will highlight areas you need to control.

You can then manage these by  setting up a log to record

  1. All the risks you can identify
  2. What controls you currently have in place
  3. How high a risk is it? Score 1 low to 5 high
  4. What you need to do to reduce the level of risk
  5. Who will be responsible for this action
  6. When does it need to be done by
  7. Review Date – make sure you review this document regularly

From every risk there is an opportunity to improve. Here are some examples to get you started

Example One Sole trader working alone
Risk I work on my own what happens if I am sick or unable to work
Controls currently in place I have a system to diarise all forthcoming work and a client database with all client info
How high is the risk 4
Action to reduce risk Collaborate with a trusted source who can support with workloads if something unforeseen was to occur
Appoint responsibility Yourself and make sure you do it soon so you can reduce the risk to the business
Review in 3 months

 

Example Two Limited company 20 staff
Risk Different data held on each individual PC and not using a central server for storage – Loss of Data in event of hack/breakdown
Controls currently in place Limited no cloud back up in place
How high is risk 5
Action to reduce risk 1.       Purchase server so all data can be accessed centrally (May be subject to finance available)2.       Organize cloud back up of all machines
Who will be responsible Managing Director/IT Dept/IT contractor
When Urgent

 

As you can see from these two examples by recording all this information it adds control to the process and helps you to prioritise risks in your business. Failure to address risks can have severe consequences especially for smaller businesses. Therefore by adopting this process you can be as prepared as possible and the impact, if something does happen, is reduced significantly. It also creates many opportunities for ways to improve the way you work. Rather than fear the risk – look at the positive and realise all the good that will come of it.

Risk Management is just one of the business tools that ISO9001 and ISO14001 gives you. These internationally recognised business standards set a framework to keep your business in control of all its activities and includes the target of continual improvement. If you would like to learn more about implementing the principles of ISO9001 and ISO14001 to your business please get in touch

Sharon Louca

Business Networking – Not for Me? Are you sure about that?

If someone had said to me 10 years ago, I could stand in front of a room full of my peers and deliver a 10-minute presentation – I would never have believed it?

Or I could stand and make an acceptance speech to a room of 150-200 people when I collected an Award for the Best Service Business 2014– me win an award what on earth for?

Or that I would have the opportunity to become a partner in an existing successful business and build my knowledge and experience in a completely new business sector?

Well, all these things happened, and it is thanks to networking for all of them. As a child I was very shy and lacked confidence. Starting my own business back in 2009 was more out of necessity of my family situation than a drive and ambition to succeed. Yet as the years have passed my confidence has grown along with my drive and ambition to succeed.

So, what was it about networking that made these things happen for me? Networking to me was not just about getting people to refer business to me. It was

The support network I needed to draw on

The advice, support and experience of people who had been in business for much longer than me

Sharing what went wrong for them so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes

I had always worked in a corporate environment so attending networking meetings was like getting back into the corporate world but this time I was in control of my own destiny.

Furthermore, networking has enabled me to grow my business by using associates who have been introduced to me via trusted business connections. The opportunity to set up a second business in 2014 came from an introduction from the first networking meeting I ever attended. As I write this blog, I am currently in negotiations with another trusted contact introduced via networking on how we can work together to grow my 2nd business.

So, before you rule out networking as not for you why not go along and see for yourself. There are different events whether you prefer

  • Morning
  • Lunchtime
  • Evening
  • Formal structured meetings
  • Informal – mingling – no pressure
  • Ladies Only Groups

Find a group that works for you and your business.

Networking is fantastic for self-development as it forces you out of your comfort zone and challenges you as a person. So before you think that networking lark is not for me – give it a go, you’ll never know until you try it!

Research networking in your area and see who you can meet who can make a huge difference to you and your business.

A Simple Hello could lead to a Million Things – What have you got to lose?

If you want any advice on networking groups in the Tamworth area give us a shout

Ladies in business why not join us monthly at our Ladies Networking at The Mill Group we meet 2nd Friday of every month

Sharon Louca

Who do I need to be? To be a successful small business owner

Fancy starting your own business. Who do I need to be, to be a successful business owner?

Do you own a small business and find yourself asking that question from time to time?

I am sure I am not alone as I have asked myself that question many times over the last 10 years. My journey has been one of many winding paths and turns, ups and downs. It has also been character building and has forced me to step outside my comfort zone.

I have put together my top 5 traits of a successsful business owner:

Patience – your dream career/company is unlikely to materialise overnight. To avoid throwing in the towel at every hurdle you will need to have patience.  You will work very hard and do long hours as you strive to get your venture off the ground, and this is likely to be with little or no income too when you first start out.

 

Hard working– In the early days you will feel like you are working 24/7 as you will not switch off the minute you leave your place of employment. The upside is it is such an exciting experience being your own boss. Allowing your creativity to flow and being able to make decisions without having to consult anyone else. Hard work is what will make the difference between success and failure. But the rewards and sense of achievement are so worth it.

Resilience – There is often a lot to learn when you switch from being employed to working for yourself. There are so many more responsibilities which you probably didn’t have to worry about before.  So often working for yourself is viewed by outsiders as the easy option – however the truth is there will be knock backs, unsuccessful outcomes and missed opportunities and resilience is one of the traits you will master to manage these setbacks.

Flexible – You will write a business plan and envisage your future business. As you start to put into practice the steps of your plan you may see things differently. The ability to be flexible and not rigid in your way of doing things will enable you to move forward and in the right direction to meet the needs of your customers. Always ask for feedback from all sources this will help you to understand how your product or service is being received. Use this feedback to fine tune your offering to ensure that you get the best results.

Committed– Remember your why. Why did you set up your business? If you have adopted the above 4 characteristics you are on the right road. Commit to it, stay focused. Mix with like-minded individuals and never be afraid to ask for support. Many experienced business owners are delighted to offer advice and support. It is always good to get a view from a different perspective. There will be tough times but show commitment and never give up.

What do you think? Have you got the stamina to run your own business?

Out of all the highs and lows I can honestly say I would not change any step of my journey. It is very rewarding and getting recommendations and repeat business tells you – you are doing something right! I love being my own boss, constantly learning new skills, forcing myself out of my comfort zone. I constantly amaze myself with the tasks I set myself or the jobs I hear myself saying yes to and then must find out how to do it!

If you are currently in the process of starting your business – Good luck and enjoy the ride.

Sharon

Sharon Louca

How to Identify your Ideal Audience

How to Identify Your Ideal Audience

“Market to everyone, reach no one”

We all know that if we’re marketing to everyone, we’ll end up attracting no-one, so it’s not rocket science that we should take time to identify who our ideal customer is and make sure we’re marketing directly to them.

It’s an ongoing process, but here’s how we can work out who our ‘ideal’ customers are in 5 steps;

Step #1: Ensure your brand has a strong identity and obvious values

I can’t stress how important this is so make sure you do it first! You can’t hope to gain your ideal customer if your brand needs lots of work. Customers won’t be impressed and will be put off from doing business with you!

Step #2: Take a look at your current clients

Identify the ideal!

  • What do you know about your current clients?
  • What did they come to you for?
  • Where did you find them or how did they find you?
  • What groups do they belong to?
  • What social media platforms do they use?
  • What makes them ideal for your business?

Not only will this help to find trends in your customer base and help you to identify the demographic of your customers, but it could give you a clue as to which marketing methods will be the most effective.

Step #3: Look at your ‘non’ ideal clients
  • What makes them not ideal for you?
  • Are they only spending small amounts infrequently?
  • Are they making lots of enquiries but not actually converting to sales?
  • Are they totally the wrong demographic for your business aims?

Just to note – this could be anything really that makes them ‘non’ ideal for you – this will vary from business to business so be careful not to discount any potential customer because you feel they aren’t ‘ideal’, just don’t spend lots of money marketing to them!

Step #4: Focus your attention

Now you’ve worked out who your ideal customers are and identified the type of audience you are looking to attract, then make sure you focus and direct your marketing to reach out to these people in particular.

Step #5: Review

Don’t get caught on autopilot! I suggest reviewing and identifying your ‘ideal’ audience at least once a year to make sure you are still marketing to the right people. Your business may have changed, or your audience and their needs and views might have changed, so tweak things to make sure you’re still getting the return on your marketing outgoings.

If you need help discovering your ideal client, give us a call or you can contact Jacqueline by email at jacqueline@yourlocalpa.com

Look for more hints and tips on marketing your business to your ideal audience follow us on our social media platforms Instagram   Facebook

LinkedIn

Sharon Louca

Happy International Women’s Day

Today is the day we celebrate International Women’s Day so why do we recognise it?

International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

As a woman and a business woman I have had the opportunity to be surrounded by some fantastic women and have many to thank for the advice and support I have received throughout my life and even more so during the last 9 years since I set up my own business.

As a way of recognising the support I have received over the years in 2015 I decided to set up my own business networking group. To offer support to women in business who were starting their journey and may benefit from a few words of wisdom. To give encouragement to any women in business that they were not alone and to provide an environment where they felt comfortable to ask for support, advice and share ideas.

Our monthly meeting is being held today and to recognise International Women’s Day we will be sharing our success stories and celebrating our many achievements. Self-development is another huge area that has helped the women of today to have the courage to step forward with confidence and to realise all their hopes and dreams.

With each year women are becoming a force to be reckoned with – Happy International Women’s Day to all the fabulous women out there – Enjoy!

Sharon Louca
Social Meidia

Are you a fan of social media?

Social media for business and personal use is very different and should be approached very differently when it comes to your online business profile.

Whether you are a fan or not – social media is recognised as the way consumers are making buying decisions nowadays. The choice is entirely yours whether you want to avoid it like the plague or get involved and raise your company’s profile online.

If you do decide to take the plunge and put your company out there, then there are a few ground rules that you should follow to ensure that you get the best results for your efforts.

Let’s expel a few myths

Being on every social media channel will mean you get the most opportunities. It’s just not the case, if you spread yourself too thinly across all channels the chances are no one will see anything you are doing, and you will be wasting time, effort and money.

In contrast, focusing on one or two channels and doing them well will get you far more leverage than the first option. The key here is being consistent.

Doing a hard sell regime of buy this product, buy that product again is likely to put off your audience too.

Via your social media, you want to be building trust with your audience and showing them who you are as a company. The key here is being authentic.

The secret to doing well on social media starts with identifying who your ideal customers and target market are and getting to know them well.  That means you need to identify who your target audience are?

Ask yourself these questions –

  • Selling to B2C – Business to Consumer
  • How old are they?
  • Where are they geographically – UK, regionally based, worldwide?
  • Are they married, single, families?
  • What are they likely to be interested in?
  • What income level are they?

You can even drill right down to what car do they drive, what are their hobbies, do they have pets, what clubs are they members of.

Selling to B2B

What sort of companies are interested in your product or service?

Who within that company do you need to target to get your message across?

What sort of businesses can you collaborate with or complement the product or service you sell?

By identifying all these elements, you will have a clear idea of who you want to get your message out to. It is then, that you can decide which platforms you want to focus your attention on when it comes to online marketing.

One social media platform that ticks the boxes for most business owners is LinkedIn. 

Keyboard LinkedIn Button

LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to access to high ranking individuals within a company who you want to talk to. If you were trying the offline method, you would very likely have to go through several secretaries/gatekeepers to get to speak to them and unless you have the very best social/communication skills the chances are that you will be stopped in your tracks before you get to the target.

With LinkedIn, you have the ability to send a message and direct connection request to the person you want to connect with and worded correctly you have a much-increased chance of success. LinkedIn is also a great way of building relationships and identifying potential collaborators or synergy businesses that can work together. The key to success with LinkedIn is to build rapport and a relationship online that can move towards an offline face to face meeting to strengthen the relationship further and potentially lead to revenue and sales/business opportunities.

Facebook is still a very popular platform if you do not sell business to business and the general public are your target audience.

Facebook

Facebook has lots of opportunities to interact with your audience through posting on your business page, creating a group for your industry where likeminded people can hang out and interact and you are the facilitator so again you are building relationships with your audience.

Sponsored advertising on Facebook gets your message out to a wider audience and you can select the target whether that be geographical, or age/gender related etc.

Why not consider Instagram If you have a very visual product or service and a younger audience

Instagram is a very fast-growing platform that is bringing fantastic results for businesses. Again, by identifying your customer you will know what your audience will be looking for and you will be providing that in your content.

High quality images and preferably your own images rather than stock images will get you great results.

Instagram stories are ideal for putting the real personal touch to your business so whilst your main feed images will be very neat and polished, with Stories you can be a bit more relaxed and show the human side to your business. The use of hashtags on Instagram will get your message out to a wider audience and you can use up to 30 hashtags on each post. These are words prefixed by a # and words relating to the theme of your content added so anyone following or searching for that hashtag will see your content.

Another platform which does well for businesses is Twitter.

Twitter is very fast moving and to get noticed amongst the noise this is the channel that takes the most commitment and consistency. You need to be posting about 5 posts per day to have any chance of being spotted on Twitter!

Twitter is a great way to follow your competitors and see what they are up to.

Twitter Lists are where you can keep an eye on the competition without following them, it just keeps you up to date with what your target audience will also be seeing from companies offering similar products or services to you.

A great way to interact in real-time on Twitter is by following twitter hours in your local area. Twitter hours are set at the same time each week and you would put out your message (tweet) and add the twitter hour hashtag – then to keep up with the conversations you just search the # for the twitter hour you are on and you can see what everyone is saying and you can reply, re-post their message to your contacts by re-tweeting, liking it etc.

As you can see, I have only mentioned 4 social media platforms here and there are endless possibilities out there with 100’s of other channels, Pinterest is another popular platform.

To recap, as I said at the start of this blog don’t spread yourself thinly: –

  • Identify your audience
  • Find out where they are likely to hang out
  • Focus on those 1 or 2 channels where your audience will be
  • Share content that they will want to see – Always think ‘What’s in it For Them’ – its not about you it’s about them
  • Build trust – be authentic to your company – its values, its reputation and put that voice out on social media so it ties in with all your branding and marketing activities
  • Show the personal side to your business – post pictures of staff members (with their permission), post shots of your product or service in action, share testimonials from happy customers
  • If you get complaints online be sure to always respond to them in a positive manner. Remember we are Brits we will tell everyone if we have bad service, we rarely tell anyone if it was good!

I hope this has given you some insight into the myriad of opportunities out there on social media.

A key element of remaining consistent on social media is time

Help Support Advice

Do you have the time to do this yourself or would it be more beneficial to outsource this task? We can help you every step of the way from identifying your target audience, which channels to use, what to post, creating posts, through to working with you to manage the whole process. If time or knowledge is what has been holding you back, then let’s have a chat to see how I can help you.

 

Sharon Louca

Guest Blog: Will you reach your goals this Quarter by Charles Sanders from Action Coach

 

Thank you this month to our Guest Blogger Charles Sanders from Action Coach. Last week I attended a 90 day goal planning workshop run by Charles and I now have a clear idea of what I want to achieve this first Quarter of 2019.

The contents of this blog will further help me to ensure I reach those goals and I hope they will help you to do the same.

Running a business is tough and I often hear flustered business owners say things like, “I don’t have enough time to get everything done,” and “How do I become more efficient at time management?”

Time is a limited resource. However, time cannot be managed. What you can manage are the activities that take place over time by defining the desired outcomes and then taking a course of action to reach these goals. Time management is really the conscious management of the decisions as to which actions to take – and that is the core process for effectively utilising time. It is important to recognise that you have the ability to prioritise and to control your own activities and as the New York architect and teacher Michael Altshuler said, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

There are a number of tools that can be utilised for controlling your activities related to time, such as, diaries, calendars, daily planning sheets, etc. However, it is critical to understand that effective time-management comes from oneself and not from the outside world, like the economy or your competition. It is necessary to honestly recognise that we will be doing some activities that in reality are a waste of time relative to the critical activities that need clarity and focus and generate maximum returns in business.
As a business owner, the process of determining which activities you should be focusing on begins with goal setting. This helps document your personal and business roadmap in levels of detail that represent periods of time.

The bigger picture will be visionary including broad strategies to achieve the vision over a three to five-year period. The next level of goal-setting will be for the upcoming 12 months and this will require documenting specific S.M.A.R.T goals – goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

The third level involves breaking the 12-month goals down to the activities that need to be achieved over the first 90 days (quarter) to be on track for the 12-month goals. And the final level to provide the foundation for effective control of activities is to break the 90-day goals down to the first week of this period. Then measure the results from the first week and set the activities for the next week.

The idea is to repeat this process each week and at the end of first quarter, re-establish specific goals for the second quarter and repeat the disciplined setting of weekly activities and weekly reviews. Each weekly review and planning session should take about one hour each Monday (or Friday) and should include the business owner and each direct management report to the owner.

The discipline of this process will allow the differentiation of urgent versus important activities. Important activities are those that lead to the achievement of defined goals and provide the most likely chance of achieving the desired outcomes for the business. However, many of the important activities are not urgent.

Pareto’s 80/20 rule applies here as 80 percent of the outcomes will be generated by 20 percent of the activities. Unfortunately, urgent activities tend to be part of the 80 percent of the activities only producing 20 percent of the outcomes. The process discussed in the previous paragraph is designed to help differentiate between important versus urgent activities on a weekly basis. It will help on a routine basis to identify potential conflicts and crises and to facilitate minimising the number of urgent activities.

The benefits of this disciplined approach to managing activities will be the measurable control of goal-focused activities and the actual completion of targeted goals.

This process will help facilitate the delegation of activities to appropriately skilled staff and will reduce personal stress on everyone in the company from the owner down, and there will be increased productivity and profitability no matter what the external business or economic conditions.

The business owner in particular will have the feeling of being in control of his life and destiny. And the feeling of achievement through personal discipline is very powerful.

Here are seven suggestions to apply personal discipline within the context of achieving better management of business operations and the more effective utilisation of your personal time:

 

  1. DelegateDelegate activities to the staff with the appropriate skills. Manage this approach through an organisational structure and individual Positional Agreements appropriate to the size of the organisation.
  2. PrioritisePrioritise your daily work by reviewing the next day’s important activities in a ‘to do list’ at the end of each day. You can maximise personal productivity by focusing on this list the next day. And don’t do what’s not on the list – resist the urge to be distracted and to do things that you enjoy more.
  3. Handle each piece of paper only once and never more than twice:Don’t set aside anything without taking action.
  4. Clean up:Clean up your desk and office shelves once per month. Categorise everything into four groups: ‘Do it’, ‘Delegate it’, ‘Defer it’, and ‘Dump it”. Before getting rid of anything, just ask the question, “What is the worst that can happen if the item was gone?” If the answer is “nothing”, then dump it.
  5. Put personal interruptions on hold:Put your calls and personal interruptions on hold for one hour, two hours or whatever is appropriate to your task at hand. It is amazing how much work that can be achieved by using this simple technique and not being distracted by a phone call or personal interruption – and most of these potential interruptions will not meet the definition of ‘important’.
  6. Learn to say “No”This maybe the most effective way to maximise your personal utilisation of time and is often the hardest word to use in business. Make sure that if you don’t say “No,” it is because the activity is important in context of your own role in the business.
  7. Make sure you set aside personal relaxation time during every work day. Don’t work during lunch. It is neither nutritional nor noble to skip important stress-relieving time or important energy input. Take vacations, particularly mini-vacations. The harder you work, the more you need to balance your leisure and exercise time.

As a business owner, the key to time-management is to build your personal and business life around your individual needs and desired outcomes through planned and measured activities. Time management is, in fact, the ultimate in self-improvement because it is the foundation for achieving your goals in every aspect of your life. 

If you would like to learn more about how Charles can help you to set and achieve your goals visit drop him an emaiCharlessanders@actioncoach.com

Sharon Louca

Why do I need to write down my goals?

New Year – New Start – New You

Its New Year 2019 and you have the whole year ahead of you? Have you made set goals for this year? Or are you just a roll with it and see what happens kind of person. Today I will show you how writing down your goals can impact on the income you earn. I will be giving you a book recommendation to help you makes those changes and stick to them. Also what you also need to consider when setting your goals.

One thing is for sure if you really want to make things happen in 2019 you need to take action/do something to make it happen. We all know how fast time passes and it will be December again before we know it.

For me I have great things planned for 2019 – not only is my business celebrating its 10 years in business, but I am myself celebrating a big birthday yes, the Big 50!! I want to make this a big year for me both personally and professionally. To do that I know if I don’t put plans in place it will pass me by and I am certain that is not what I want to happen.

So over December and the Christmas break I have been busy planning and strategizing what I need to do to make 2019 one to remember.

Make a Plan

First off – Having a plan is crucial for me to know: –

  1. What needs to be done
  2. when it needs to be done by
  3. to ensure I keep on track

So here are some tips on what you can do to make sure your 2019 goes off with a bang.

Plan –

  1. Write down what you want to achieve
  2. What do you need to do to achieve it?
  3. Who will you need to help you
  4. When you want to achieve it by

Need help goal planning – we can help

The odds of achieving are so much higher if you do.

Don’t just take my word for it – I found an article by Forbes regarding a survey Harvard University undertook with their MBA Graduates. They then contacted the same graduates 10 years later to survey them again. The findings are shown in the info-graphic but to summarise – of those surveyed

3% had written goals

13% had goals in mind but had not written them down

84% had set no goals at all

These same people were interviewed again after 10 years to see where they were at, the results were very interesting: –

The 13% group who had goals but not written down earned twice the amount of 84% with no goals.

However, the biggest impact came from the 3% group who had written goals, they earnt 10 times as much as the other 97 percent of the class combined.

That draws a pretty conclusive theory that writing down what you want to achieve will most certainly help you reach your goal.

 

 

SMART Principles

Coming up using the SMART principle to set your goals and plans.

You need to take that written goal one step further and have a plan of how you are going to get there. By writing down your goals you are setting an intention, you are drawing up a plan you are on the first step to making it happen.

When you don’t have a plan, you don’t know how you will reach your destination. Whereas when you know where you want to be, you can plan how you are going to get there. Going the direct route is going to be a lot quicker than ambling along on an unknown road that will take so much longer, and you may never reach your destination at all.

Image courtesy of Laura Olsen

I think I have demonstrated to you that if you really want something to happen then writing it down will significantly increase your chances of getting what you want. Also bear in mind when writing down your goals – follow the SMART principle: –

S – Specific – be specific on what exactly it is you are looking to achieve. It could be I want to get more customers – be specific How many new customers do you want?

M – Measurable – is my goal measurable so I can see whether I am working towards my end goal. By having the number of customers, you want to attain – you will be able to measure how many you have attained and how many more you need to achieve your goal.

A – Achievable/Attainable – Have I set a goal that is something I can actually achieve? You may be stretching yourself, that is absolutely fine but if you are setting out with a goal that you could never achieve in your wildest dreams it can have a very negative effect on you.

R – Relevant – Is your goal relevant? If you want to attain 100 new customers in a month do you have the product or resources to manage this? Is this the right area to be focusing on for your business as it stands today? If you are looking to grow your business but do not have the availability of stock or the resources to manage 100 customers. This might not be the right goal for you and developing your systems and processes/developing staff and training may be a better direction to focus on.

T – Time Bound – Always be specific on what you want to achieve but also set a time scale. You want to achieve more customers?  Have you set an end date of when by? If not, you will not be as focused. Whereas if you are saying I want to get 10 new customers within the next 3 months, you have something to work with. That can be broken down into 3-4 customers per month which is a clear goal and you can work towards that.

 In addition to that if you are a small business owner do you have many people around you to keep you on track? What can you do to make sure you don’t slip back into your comfort zone or old ways? Why not consider getting an accountability buddy? They will be your support network and will ensure that when the going gets tough that you can keep on the right road. Make sure you arrange regular pit stops to check in with your buddy to make sure that you have not drifted off course or if you have lost focus. They can help keep you motivated and bring you back on track.

Use books to keep you motivated

Still worried you are going to start strong then fizzle out before the year has really got started? Try using books to keep you motivated.

I read Jeff Olsen’s The Slight Edge mid 2017 and that really made sense of how to make sure goals and plans didn’t get too overwhelming that you give up. This book explains in detail how small steps taken daily can so easily manifest into something so much bigger. Consider breaking down your goals into small daily activities that will soon become a habit. They generally say do something daily for 3 weeks and it will start to become automatic and a habit that is then easier to sustain. It is a discipline and you will need to be focused. None of us are perfect, I started to lose sight of where I was going mid 2018 and I started reading The Slight Edge again to re-inforce what I already knew and re-energize myself. 

I will certainly be using The Slight Edge principles in 2019 to move my dreams of a fantastic 2019 to become a reality with memories to last a life time are you going to join me?

Don’t forget the plan may change as you go along but that is fine just reset, refocus and start again with the small daily habits that will help keep you on track.

Good luck and I would love to hear from you in the comments what your goals and plans are for 2019. Hey if you need an accountability buddy – I am here just give me a shout!!

 

Sharon Louca

Free GDPR workshop a great success this week

On Wednesday lunchtime this week Sharon Louca and Jacqueline Leake hosted a Free Talk on the impending GDPR regulations to small business owners from the local area. They provided information on the new legislation along with some practical tips on what they need to do to work towards being compliant for the 25th May deadline.

The workshop was very well received and the attendees confirmed that they had felt the session was really useful and had increased their understanding of what they need to do.

If you know of anyone who is looking for support with GDPR talk to us about workshops and practical support available

Sharon Louca

How much Do You Love your Business?

As February is the month of Love? How much do you Love your Business?

Are you giving it the time and attention that it needs? Are you nurturing it, so it will blossom and grow?

So many of us spend so much time on running our businesses, chasing the next sale, keeping our clients and staff happy. But how regularly are you setting time out of your day to day to focus on the future?

Did you set goals in January this year, do you have a plan in place of where you want your business to be in 6 months, 12 months, 5 years.

There are so many quotes out there – “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important” Stephen Covey

Are you guilty of that?

If so why not set aside an hour a day in your diary to focus on your business. If you can dedicate more time to it even better. For just £30 you can hire one of our small offices for half a day. Where you can switch off your phone and dedicate 4 quiet hours to really thinking about where you want to be and what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it.

“If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, it is not a goal it is a wish” Steve Maraboli

To show our love for our business our special offer for February for small office room hire £25 half day and £40 full day – contact us and quote ref: LOVEBIZ to claim

Sharon Louca

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