Information about Manage Those Things and how we can help you with ‘those things’ that keep you awake at night.

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Common sense GDPR for your business

Data protection and GDPR is a business process that you should be integral to your business. There are no exemptions for small and micro businesses. However, GDPR shouldn’t be scaring you, as it’s a business process for you to use and store your customers information, safely and securely.

GDPR – it’s a process for using and storing information

Annabel Kaye, KoffeeKlatch

NOTE: Replace DATA with the word INFORMATION and the process will make more sense for your business

common sense gdpr with annabel kayeI recently interviewed Annabel Kaye from KoffeeKlatch who as a employment law expert has been helping small businesses work through contracts and legal compliance since 1989. Since last summer, Annabel and her team have been sharing a common sense GDPR approach with small and micro businesses.

We like common sense & believe we share a common sense approach to business & our business support to you.

We’ve seen, and heard, many scaremongers about GDPR which has turned businesses off, rather than supporting them to go through the review process of how you manage and store information in your business. So, here’s our common sense GDPR suggestions for you to get to grips with what you need to do in YOUR business.

Common sense GDPR tips for your business

  1. Schedule a couple of hours a week to work on your own common sense GDPR processes for your business
  2. Download and use the simple plain english checklist from KoffeeKlatch
  3. List all your business software, then check their approach to storing information e.g. If you use an online or cloud based system, you need to know where & how they store their information. Most support services are being very clear about GDPR so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding what they’re doing in response to GDPR, like Mailchimp
  4. Think about your business. What information do you NEED to enable you to run your business efficiently? For example, if you have an online shop, it’s likely you need customer name and an email address, and possibly a phone number for any order queries.
  5. Thinking about your business, how long do you need to retain customer information? You will need to retain accounting records (and evidence of VAT sales) for the required time, so don’t be ditching customer records each year!
  6. If a customer signs up to a newsletter about your local service, that means, “a newsletter about your local service”.
  7. Those people on your current lists, are you happy that you can explain how they got on your list even if you’ve not got the hard copy of the original sign up form?
  8. Think about your own personal information. How do you want your own information to be stored and used by other businesses, doctors, charities, employers? Do you want it to be respected? Now think about how you can respect the information of your customers within your business, and keep it safe, without it costing you the earth in time or money (and it shouldn’t be doing either).

I’m creating diagrams of each part of my business so I can see what information I get from potential customers, existing clients, and past customers. I’m writing down all the different systems I use. I like to see things in front of me, but that may not work for you.

During the interview with Annabel, we talk through marketing CONSENT, with an example from one of our members, which is the biggest question we’re getting in the Business Cheerleading Club, where we talk through & support individual business situations.

What common sense GDPR tips would you add?

Confused, or are you all sorted with your information processes? Taking a common sense GDPR view is the best way to move forward, wherever you’re starting from at this point in time. 

Common sense business support and encouragement is available in the Business Cheerleading Club, open to any business owner looking to grow your business. For detailed support, please use the KoffeeKlatch GDPR support.

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5 tips for starting your own business

Starting your own business is an exciting step in your life. It can also be a challenge to ensure you get everything done that you need for ensuring it’s right for you, and is set up for sustainable growth, without you getting overwhelmed.

don't lose focus when starting your own businessTo help you get started, we’ve created a start up checklist for the nitty gritty of starting your own business. However, don’t get bogged down in the boring bits, when there’s lots of things to get stuck into when running your own business!

When we help start up businesses, these are the areas we get them to think about to make things a smooth transition into your new business. What would you add?

Tips for starting your own business

  1. Know your reason for starting your own business & keep that in mind. If you’ve created a new product, fantastic. Well done you 🙂 If you’re wanting more flexibility around your family, keep that in mind. Don’t get bogged down in working all hours in your business, when your whole idea was to spend more time with the family! (Believe me, it happens, which is why I mention this first!).
  2. How many hours are you working on your business each week. Be clear. If you’re working elsewhere whilst growing your business, you’ll need to be really strict with yourself. If you have other commitments, it’s good to think about what hours you’re working so you don’t get distracted.
  3. What name are you using for your business. If you’re a sole trader you can use your own name without risking contention with anyone else in business. You own your name. If you want to use a brand name or business name, check out existing trademarks to ensure you don’t get into trouble before you start.
  4. What’s your goal for the next 6 months. I’m sure you’re wanting to “make a million” next week with your business! Well, that’s unlikely to happen! So thinking about what you want to achieve in stages is helpful, even if you don’t achieve them, it’s likely that you’ll achieve something better. Often you’ll find that as you start your own business you’ll change things slightly to make them work better for you, so the goal posts will change over time as you get feedback. Having those initial 6 month, and 12 month goals will help you focus on a target that then moves with review.
  5. Who’s supporting you. Whilst you’re busy starting your own business, how are you being supported? You need to ensure your partner, family and friends are right behind you. Do you have a structure to your week that means you’ve got regular time off to do the fun things you love? Don’t stop doing them, as you can’t work in the business all the time. You need your breaks, and for your brain to switch off from the business regularly. Being strict with your time off is just as important as being strict with your time in the business.

When you’re running your own business, you are responsible for everything. That can be wonderful, but also a challenge. There’ll be some aspects you love, and others you put to one side and leave. Start out thinking about them all and working out how they’ll all get done, even if it’s not you doing some parts.

Free Checklist for running your own business

We’re here to help support you as you grow your own business. For starters, download the free Start Up Checklist, then ask for the help you need:

What other tips would you add for others starting their own business? Let them know in the comments below.

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Do you have problems staying focused?

It’s interesting that on the day I’ve been talking about staying focused, I’ve had distractions which have taken me away from what I’d wanted to achieve! 😉

We all have distractions. We’re busy people. We have lives which are full of things we enjoy doing. We have friends and family we want to spend time with. We need to eat and exercise and sleep (not that these should ever be distractions!).

But the one thing that I hear from the business owners, in all sorts of different ways, is they struggle staying focused, and it worries them. Does it worry you too?

Staying focused

cathy presland - staying focusedI had a wonderful conversation with Cathy Presland today, (click the link or image to watch the 20 minute conversation), who in her own inimitable way, suggested that focus in itself can be a distraction to what we’re wanting to create and achieve. So anyone who came to the conversation live would probably have been disappointed not to have learnt any #tipsforbusiness about staying focused.

OK, so if staying focused is a distraction, and our to do list is a distraction, what can we do? Are we in one big vicious circle of getting nothing done?

No of course not!

Staying focused on the current activity will bring that to an end quicker. That’s an obvious statement I know, but one we often forget to carry out.

What about, as I talked about in our conversation, when you’re trying to get something done, and the children need feeding, and you remember you should be somewhere else. What then? How do you stay focused then?

Cathy suggested that you know the answer. I agree. Even though you want a checklist to work through each time this happens, a question to ask about “what is my focus?”, and that will tick all the boxes and get you back in focus, will that solve the issue?

The children will still need feeding at the same time as you should be somewhere else, whilst you’re trying to finish a piece of work. That hasn’t changed. So where should your focus be? Only you can know the answer to that. Are the children starving? How important is that other thing you should be doing?

How are you staying focused?

The scenarios we talked about may not be the focus issues you’re having. You may feel that by asking the question, “What do I know to do in this moment?” we’re not helping you get the focus you want.

What if you try it? What if you asked yourself, “What do I know to do?” and see what the answer is. Those to do lists and things you think you “should” do may take on a different perspective.

It’s interesting. A lot of the conversations we’re having in the Business Cheerleading Club are about these types of issues. If you want more help with focusing on your business, or an aspect in your business, get in touch.

Share your thoughts on staying focused in the comments below & let’s see what we come up with together.

 

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How to determine which social media network fits your business

Any business, however large or small, whatever industry you’re in, needs to know how to determine which social media network fits your business. Whether you like it or not, social media networks are here to stay, and your business needs to use them to communicate with your customers, where they are happiest.

We have some clients who tell us that, “they don’t like social networks”. That’s fine. We understand that social networking isn’t for everyone. Not all businesses have customers who use social networks. However, people who may refer your business to someone aged 80+, or buy for them, are likely to use some form of social media.

Yes, the use may well be purely social. However, our children are very social savvy, and will often tell us about something they’ve seen on a social network that interests them, or they think will interest us.

So being aware of social networks and which ones to use for your business are important. We all have choices, and if you’ve done your research and decide to focus on one channel only, that’s great. You understand what your business needs, and the resources you have available to you, and where you’re best focusing those resources.

How to determine which social media network fits your business

How to determine which social media network fits your business1. Know your audience – being really clear about who they are, what they do, and where they ‘hang out’ is your first step. Without that, (or knowing your customer avatar), you haven’t got a place to start

2. Who makes the buying decision for your product/service? If you’re a business to customer business, is it the end user who makes the purchasing decision, or someone else? (A parent, child, carer?). If you work business to business, who decides? Is it the marketing manager, the training manager, the sole person who works in and runs the business?

3. Are you promoting a lifestyle option or brand? Are you helping businesses improve their service or product? Are you creating unique products? Are you providing a service? How can you “show off” your product and/or service best to your potential customers? Is it visual? Is it through customer testimonials for your work?

We suggest you consider the demographics and usage of each social channel, as well as it’s reach. Facebook is by far the biggest social media platform, with 461 million active users a month. However, Instagram has by far the biggest engagement per 1000 followers, over seven times higher than the next channel, Facebook! Wow! So, if you’re looking for engagement, head to Instagram! [Source: New Global Social Media Research]

What are you using social media in your business for?

  • Getting traffic to your website
  • Researching customer trends
  • Customer service tool
  • Communicating with your business friends
  • Responding to journalist requests (who mainly use twitter for quick response, thanks to our recent guest Carrie Eddins for that PR Tip)

Having the confidence in all these areas, will make your decision about which social media channel/s you’re going to use for your business easier. However, we also recommend regularly reviewing if your social media strategy is working!

If you’d like some help with how to determine which social media network fits your business, book a call with Tracey-Jane, or join the Business Cheerleading Club & discuss it with other business owners, and Tracey-Jane in the group.

What social media channels do you use that work for you & your business?

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Advent Calendar 2017 – showcasing small businesses

advent small business showcaseThis Advent 2017, we wanted to share some of the wonderful people we work with. We’ve had a wonderful 2017, growing our new business, and want to say Thank You to our clients.

We have the privilege of working with small businesses in a variety of different sectors, who offer wonderful products and services to their customers and clients.

As excitement mounts towards Christmas, whatever your religious or spiritual beliefs, most people get tied up in some sort of excited atmosphere at this time of year. Advent is a time of preparation for Christians, but it’s also a time of preparations for the season of Christmas festivities, parties, families catching up. For many children, it’s a time of expectation that Father Christmas will visit them.

It’s a time of giving and receiving, of love and laughter, and sharing gifts with each other across our world.

Advent 2017

We want to share some of our clients with you, to showcase what they do. December also brings us Small Business Saturday, a day of focus on small businesses, and encouragement that using small businesses is important to our communities. It’s all too easy sometimes to think, oh I’ll just pick that up when I go to the supermarket; or, I’ll pick it up on Amazon; when all these lovely people are making their livings from serving us with their skills and talents, and don’t always shout about what they do.

Running your own business isn’t always easy, and whilst business owners often love the freedom of running their own business, it brings challenges to their families and friends, especially at this time of year where some of them are doing back to back events, and working long hours to fulfill customer orders.

So, we’d simply like to say “thank you” to those clients who chosen us to work with them, to help them grow their business in some way this year. We’re honoured to work with you, and see your growth. Your growth has inspired our growth, and we celebrate that as business owners we can support each other, through all business (and life)’s ups and downs.

Happy Advent!

Tracey-Jane & the Manage Those Things team x


Every day we’ll add one of our clients to this Advent Calendar, and showcase their product or service. It may not be for you, or in your area, but you may know someone who would be interested in finding out more. Please share the business with them. Share this page as a whole, or share each business from their own page. Whichever way, thank you for getting involved, and sharing in our happy Advent season in the run up to Christmas 2017.


Day 1 Created4U

created4u

I make gift shopping for personalised hand painted and handmade ceramic gifts easy for you. By creating unique bespoke one off gifts for you to give to whoever you wish to.

I hand paint your personalised design on to ceramic pottery items in colour, along with a name and a personalised message from you if you would like one. This saves you the frustration of trawling around the shops unable to find something unique and saving you precious time in your busy life for you to spend in a happier way.

What can be better than a personalised gift created for you?

Learn more about Created4U

 Day 2  bras4mums

bras4mums

 

Maternity and nursing bra specialist with wide range of styles across the widest size range available.

Emma gives bra fitting advice to women across the country by phone, text, email or private message on social media, as well as stocking a wide range of bras on the website. If you are local to Cambridgeshire, Emma also has a home bra fitting service.

If you need advice about sizes or styles before ordering, Emma  will help you choose the right bras. With unlimited exchanges, Emma wants to make sure that you are comfortable and supported, so will keep working with you to make sure that you are wearing the right size and style bras for whatever stage of pregnancy or breastfeeding you are at.

bras4mums is here to Support You…through pregnancy & beyond!

 Day 3  Astro Innovation

 

astro innovation

Astro Innovation …..draws upon the ancient astrological database, mythological/archetypal patterns, and the New Physics to empower through insights and new perspectives on your life – and to make practical sense of today’s complex issues……

Personal Consultations – my in-depth approach to astrology reveals the core issues of your life, your strengths, talents and capabilities, your long and short-term learning lessons, your purpose and highest potential, including practical, helpful strategies, current challenges and areas of growth.

Group activities, such as the Practical Astrology Workshops are a fun introduction to using astrology in the everyday.

Learn more about Astro Innovation

 Day 4  Karen Peddie Holistics

karen peddie holistics

 

I’m Karen, I am a Usui Reiki Master Teacher, Accredited Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner and Essential Oil Wellness Advocate and I love to share my skills and knowledge to help people live their lives to the full once again.

Holistic therapy has been used effectively for centuries and modern science is now beginning to recognise the important part holistic therapy plays in maintaining health and general wellbeing.
Studies have shown that an holistic approach can help manage stress, anxiety, aid relaxation and improve sleep and mental clarity.

My aim is to guide my clients towards self-awareness to allow them to lead their own journey through self-discovery and healing.

Learn more about Karen Peddie Holistics

 Day 5  Chic Glassware

chic glassware

 

I love creating unique gifts for people to give away to loved ones, or for special occasions. I love the challenges some people give me, and whilst I don’t (can’t) share all the work I’ve done, I love everything I create. I often don’t want to hand them over to the client!

I hand paint, then seal the paint, onto glassware. If you have your own glasses you’d like me to make unique, I can do that too for you. Bespoke hand painted glasses are perfect for parties, christenings, weddings, retirements and of course Christmas.

Learn more about Chic Glassware

 Day 6  Stay Fit and Healthy

stay fit and healthy

 

 

Health is such an important gift to us, that we often take it for granted. We want everyone to explore how to stay fit and healthy their way, and find the activities they enjoy most, and the foods they like to eat with their friends and family, that will maintain their good health. We promote, share, support and encourage those around us to stay fit and healthy, and encourage people to join us on our mission to help others.

Whether you’re just needing someone to talk to about where you are now, or what health and fitness improvements you’d like to make, we can help you.

Learn more about Stay Fit and Healthy

 Day 7  One2One Listening

one2one listening

 

What is One2One Listening?

  • It’s a space to share anything that is on your mind.
  • It’s a space for you to talk in private to a trained listener who will not interupt, advise, or judge you
  • It’s a space where you will be encouraged to find your own way forward

Who is One2One Listening for?

  • Anyone over 18 who wants to talk about life issues such as bereavement, loneliness, anxiety, financial concerns, relationship and family problems, unemployment, health concerns

A listening space is a private confidential time between you and a volunteer listening in a comfortable safe room for both of you. You’ll have up to 50 minutes with the volunteer listener to talk about anything you want, and they will simply listen to you and let you say whatever you want. The process of saying your thoughts out loud will help you put your thoughts in a little bit of order, and help you decide if there’s anything you want to do after you’ve been listened to.

Learn more about One2One Listening

 Day 8  Confident Business Owner

confident business owner

 

CONFIDENT BUSINESS OWNER –

DOING BUSINESS YOUR WAY

By the end of our 6 months together:

  • you’ll be clear about the direction of your business, your involvement in it
  • you’ll know what systems will help your business run smoothly by itself
  • you’ll have a plan for yourself and the day to day running of the business
  • you’ll be doing the things you love in the business, leaving the [staff], systems and procedures of the business to do the rest.
  • you’ll be confident your business will be running the way that’s best for you

Learn more about Confident Business Owner Programme

 Day 9  Online Visibility Academy

online visibility academy

 

Marketing your business as an entrepreneur can be tough at times. You’re not just an entrepreneur; you’re a parent, a sibling, a partner, the chef and the bottle washer… You have some many capes and masks, it can be hard to remember who you are at times! And then there’s business you. You need leads, you need products and services to launch and then of course you desire leverage in order to live the life of your dreams. In fact, it can seem like you’re from outer space, that everyone everyone else is a digital native or speaking another language at times.

Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We support business focused superheros, like you, in growing your business using digital marketing. You’ll love how your time is freed up, your influence increases and your bank balance grows.

Learn more about Online Visibility Academy

 Day 10  Seatpost Man

seatpost man advent

 

My business specializes in professionally removing tight or seized seatposts from bicycle frames using a totally unique method which will withdraw the post (intact if possible) in a safe and frame friendly way. 

Over twenty years ago a friend asked me to attempt to remove a seized seat post from an old BMX frame. My method was successful and was my inspiration when more recently another friend asked me the same thing.

As this seatpost was in great condition I designed and fabricated a tool to remove it, with little or no marking, to allow it to be reused and have since used this method to great effect on more customers bikes. I have now increased my tooling and can remove damaged or fully seized seatposts from most frames.

Learn more about the Seatpost Man

 Day 11 Tech Support Mama

tech support mama

 

 

 

I am a  troubleshooter, programmer & web developer by profession and a mother of 3 kids in my chosen career – motherhood.

My aim is to provide a human touch to the traditional technical support you get from technical service providers. This helps lessen the stress and worries that you go through, knowing that you now have a partner. Your co-mama is still awake and online working with you and your business.

We find a way to make your online technical challenges easier,  make your online presence more visible and keep your business more secure.

Learn more about Tech Support Mama 

 Day 12 KCJ Gifts

KCJ Gifts give a gift and change a life

 

 

 At KCJ Gifts, we pride ourselves on sourcing a wide range of high quality jewellery, gifts and accessories from our select suppliers, which enables us to offer a beautiful selection at an affordable price.

KCJ Gifts are supporters of ‘Stir the Fire Ministries’ in Zambia. By buying a gift from us, you will be helping us to fund various projects, which will help with the building of new schools alongside a daily feeding programme where around 300 orphaned children are fed everyday. By buying a gift from KCJ Gifts, you really can give a gift and change a life.

Learn more about KCJ Gifts

 Day 13 Monks Astrology

monks astrology

 

 

 Monks Astrology specialises in creating beautiful astrological charts, all hand drawn, laser etched to a high standard then adorned with Swarovski crystals. Each one is uniquely different as the chart is a direct reflection of the planetary motions in the sky above.  Some are fitted with a clock mechanism. Each chart comes with it’s own interpretation and are a not only lovely works of art but conversation pieces as well.

Learn more about Monks Astrology & Monks Fine Art

 Day 14 Josie Dom

josie dom author

 

 

 Josie began writing stories as a young girl.  The stories were mostly based around her passion for horse-riding.  Since becoming a Mum in 2006, Josie wrote stories as a way to entertain first her son, and a couple of years later her daughter.

Josie published her first book “Lum” in 2016, which is illustrated by her husband. The next joint publication will be “Lum’s Mum” which will be available from Spring 2018.

Josie loves nonsense and creates personalised limericks, running workshops in schools, and sharing her passion for words and writing.

Learn more about Josie Dom.

 Day 15  Glenbreck Health Ltd

glenbreck health advent

 We are a group of highly skilled Occupational Health Professionals with many years experience who specialise in managing all aspects of workplace health for small to medium sized businesses.

We can advise on and help with policies and procedures, statutory health surveillance, COSHH compliance, pre-employment assessment, sickness absence and the management of long term health problems which affect people at work. We have special expertise in stress management, mental health issues, musculoskeletal problems and health assessments for off shore workers.

Learn more about Glenbreck Health Ltd

 Day 16 Bra Lady

bra lady advent

 The Bra Lady network have been supporting women in their own homes since 2004. Offering a home bra fitting service, each Bra Lady runs their own business, offering bra styles and ranges of their choice. Most bra fitters in the network offer mastectomy bras, maternity bras, nursing bras, soft cup bras, sports bras, and teen bras, alongside a small range of underwired bras for everyday wear.Each Bra Lady holds her own stock, but as a network we work together to find the right bras for you, whatever you’re looking for.

Learn more about the Bra Lady network

 Day 17  Mercury Model

mercury model advent

 A new and original cognitive model for the 21st Century, the Mercury Model focuses on mental uniqueness. It easily identifies and accurately describes how our individual minds tick. It can improve learning and kick-start mutually respectful communication with people of all ages, both genders, from any culture, on any topic, in any situation – from classrooms and living rooms to boardrooms and bar rooms.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Albert Einstein

Learn more about the Mercury Model

 Day 18  Wisdom Oracle

wisdom oracle advent

 You may be feeling stuck, confused, frustrated, at a crossroads in your personal or business life and not knowing which way to turn or which direction to take.

As the Wisdom Oracle, I help you gain Clarity on any issue that you are struggling with in your life.

I can help you overcome feelings of overwhelm, procrastination, confusion, worry, anxiety or even a health issue that you cannot shift or get to the bottom of.

Learn more about the Wisdom Oracle

 Day 19  Utility Warehouse

utility warehouse advent

 

 Utility Warehouse provides over 600,000 customers throughout the UK with substantial savings on a wide range of utility services including home phone, mobiles, broadband, gas and electricity.

You may not have heard of Utility Warehouse before, as they don’t advertise. Instead, they rely on satisfied customers and Independent Distributors letting their friends and family know about the great value services they deliver.

They share the money they save with their members, which means you benefit from the best value in the UK!

Learn more about Utility Warehouse

 Day 20  Sarah Jane Lee

sarah jane lee advent

What’s your story? We all have one of course. I am fascinated by stories. I love the fact that, no matter what, we can find a connection through story.

I use drama to teach humanities, RE and literacy. Many children, (especially those struggling with traditional methods), connect through the drama process. I work in a very structured way, scaffolding the work carefully unravelling the subject matter through stories. I never say, “Make up a play”. I ask, “How do you think the girl in the factory feels at this moment? Let’s ask her”.

It’s intricate work – not drama games – and it is very liberating.

Learn more about Sarah Jane Lee & Education through drama

 Day 21  WP Fiddly Bits

wpfiddlybits advent

Here at WP Fiddly Bits we work with people like you to keep your website safely up and running, fix those niggly issues that occur and enable you to keep your site and your online marketing up to date.It’s a wordpress maintenance service with a twist.

Each plan comes with free hosting, website theme and plugin updates done for you and daily website and wordpress database backups.

You can then choose to add either one or two hours of support each month – and you can use this time to take care of even more of those fiddly bits you don’t have the time, knowledge or inclination to DIY.

Learn more about WP Fiddly Bits

 Day 22  Selling made Easierselling made easier advent  So what is it being an entrepreneur?  You want it but there is no drive.  It’s what you have always dreamed of.  The time freedom and to work whenever you want to.  And it would be even better if you just had consistent cash coming in but currently it’s probably up and down like a roller coaster.

That’s why accountability helps.   I know you have heard about accountability before but what about specific sales accountability?  

It’s totally different.  It just keeps you on track.  It actually improves your sales.  It leaves you feeling better about your business, about your life, about your sales, giving you increased income because you are actually getting down to it.

Learn more about Selling made Easier

 Day 23  Mindset Metaphors

mindset metaphors advent

 Mindset Metaphors believe that everyone has the right to live to their full potential in all areas of their life, and we support them to make that happen in three key ways:

  1. Training coaches and trainers to facilitate life changing Mindset Metaphors with their clients, including glass and fire walks
  2. Hosting events and retreats for individuals who are seeking deeper connections and conscious living.
  3. Working with organisations to develop their teams, allowing each member to experience empowerment, whilst exploring their vital role within the team. Creating a mindset for success.

Learn more about Mindset Metaphors

 Day 24  Network for a Better World

n4bw advent

Network for a Better World:

Reach the most marginalised, poorest families and provide sustainable, long term, routes out of that de-humanising & avoidable poverty.

N4BW do this through:  community health education, distribution of life enhancing items, improvement of primary school standards, action on primary school attendance, after-school clubs and provision of secondary school teacher to improve standards, micro-business schemes, micro environmental/agro schemes – and other projects which the trustees agree meet the objective.

Learn more about N4BW & the work of Marian Kearney in Malawi

 Day 25

 


What is Advent

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Are you ready for massive action your business?

No, I mean REALLY ready? I’m so excited, and it’s all because I’M really ready to take massive action and work with 6 business owners who are ready too. You don’t even need to know why you’re ready, or what you’re ready for, you just need to feel that you are. That’s all you need to be part of this.

I can’t believe how excited I am! 🙂

I’ve been talking to existing clients about how they take action, and I’ve set up the Business Cheerleading Club. This is for business owners, anywhere, who want support, encouragement, training & coaching with a group business owners who are ready to grow their business. You’ve got all the tools in your toolkit now, and are ready to take those actions you’ve written in your book, or on your to do list for the past few months.

Actions speak louder than words

take massive action and your business will growWe all know that actions speak louder than words. It’s something that we’re brought up being told, and sometimes we just get on and do it, other times, well, we just sit back and let the world keep turning whilst we take a rest.

And that’s exactly why I’m so excited. I’m not ready to rest! Everything about me is ready to take action, and I know that you are too. You can’t wait either! You’ve never been more ready. You’re just not too sure what you’re ready for!

That’s OK. That’s what we’re going to work out and take action on together.

I’ve spent a long time, over my years as a business owner, thinking, planning and mulling things over. I’ve spent lots of time talking to others about my ideas. No really, I have. Lots of time bouncing things around with friends, family, and business friends. I’ve shared ideas at networking groups and people have said, “that’s fantastic! When are you doing that?”. And yep, you’ve guessed it. Those ideas have fallen by the wayside. Why? Because I didn’t take the action. I didn’t do that final step. I didn’t do those things I’ve always encouraged others to do.

So, I know exactly where you are right now. You just need someone to be right by your side and be that person whispering in your ear, “I’m going to do this right now”. There’s no need to not do those things you’ve been thinking about, or planning. Finally, they’ve got to the top of your list. Yay! I’m so excited for you 🙂

Take massive action now

I can’t believe how far I’ve come in the last few months on this programme. T-J is SO supportive and encouraging. Everything we’ve done together has helped me to take massive action in my business. I’m so clear now about how I want to grow it & I’m finally getting on with it & not getting distracted. Thank you T-J 🙂

Karen Peddie, Karen Peddie Holistics

And how are we going to do this together?

We’re going to work closely together for the next 6 months. It’s not just you and me, there’s a small group of us, all taking massive action in our businesses. We’ve got big ideas, and now we’re just going to get on and do it.

What are we going to do in the Massive Action programme?

You’ll become part of the online Business Cheerleading Club. Weekly motivation with other business owners to take action, and the place for you to commit to your action and ask for help to achieve it. It’s not a failure to ask for support in your business. We’re not experts, or comfortable with all aspects of our business.

You’ll have access to Tracey-Jane via the VIP hotline if you’re having a little wobble and just need that bit of encouragement, and no-one’s around in the online group to give you that.

Month 1 – Find your Why, or, if you’re very clear about your Why, we’ll have that time getting really really clear about your hows and whats. We’ll be spending half a day together (face to face or online).

Month 2 – Finding and getting clear on your hows and whats (or, if we’ve done this, writing a strategy for one of your whats). Another half day session together will get us through this.

Month 3 – Coaching PLUS half day group action learning

Month 4 – One to one coaching, focusing on whatever you need to take action on your next step

Month 5 – Another Action Learning Set as a group – I know you’ll love these as much as I do. They’re fantastic at really getting you committed to taking action.

Month 6 – our final coaching session, getting you ready to keep taking action after we’ve finished the programme.

We’re going to have fun together over the next 6 months, and you’re going to love taking action every week. Some weeks that action will be “rest and have a holiday”, so don’t worry that it’s all going to be work, work, work!

How much is taking action going to cost?

OK, well, here’s the immediate action part. The part where you need to commit to investing in yourself to take action. This whole 6 month programme will cost £1800 from June 2018.

But if you’re an Early Bird and ready to commit right now, you can grab this programme for £997. Sound bonkers? Well, I’m not, I just want to help you grow your business YOUR way 🙂

Yep, for only £997, we’re going to work closely together for the next 6 months. If you need help with your website, I’ll give you access to the Get Your Website Working Course, worth £197, as well.

If you’d prefer to spread the cost out, we can talk about that too. I totally understand that cash flow is tight!

READY? I am! 🙂

As there’s only a few places, get in touch RIGHT NOW & let’s chat and see if we’re a good fit to work together.

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Business tools can be time savers as well as growth tools

There are many ways we can grow our businesses, but business tools and systems are one of the quickest and easiest ways to grow your business, without too many tears.

“What do you mean by tools?” I hear you cry! Well, tools are anything that will help make your business processes easier and/or quicker.

It’s not just getting an extra pair of hands, (who you have to train to do the tasks), but systems and software can make a massive difference to your business, and your personal time working in the business.

How do you manage your customer or client details? Do you have them written in a little black book? Or on a spreadsheet? Would you like to be able to add notes to customer details so that you don’t need to remember conversations. The system does that for you. One system we really like, which is called a CRM system (Customer relationship management), is Capsule CRM. We’ve found it easy to use, it links with google mail, and mailchimp which were important for our clients. It can link to all sorts of other systems too if you want it to.

How do you manage your finances? Do you stuff all your receipts into a box & give them to your accountant or bookeeper at the end of the year? Or do you keep your spreadsheet or accounts system up to date every week? Whatever bookeeping system you use, this is a business tool.

Can you see? It doesn’t have to be something weird and wonderful to be a useful tool for your business!

There are tools for scheduling social media posts for your business, and scheduling appointments with customers, tools for creating beautiful images for your website or blog posts, tools for more efficient team working. In fact, there’s tools for all sorts of things to help you grow your business quickly and easily. There’s even tools to link the tools up if they’re not set up to talk to each other automatically – a tool called Zapier where you create Zaps to connect systems together.

There are so many tools to choose from, our advice to clients is try a few out and find what works for you. Just because we love Capsule CRM doesn’t mean you will too. You may find Zoho easier to navigate, or it looks better to you. Most business system tools have free trials, so use them. Put some time aside and try things out, and find the one/s that work for you.

One of the go to places where a lot of these whizzy tools are available, is AppSumo. They offer, often at the start of the growth phase for a business tool, special offers, or deals, which in turn helps the developer to improve the business tool. You can grab bargains for whatever area of work you’re wanting to improve.

appsumo store for business toolsHowever, AppSumo have put together a Briefcase full of business tools for entrepreneurs and business owners which covers most of the basics. These business tools are tried and tested, and you can get access to them all with one simple monthly payment. We really like this idea for small business owners – you know what you’re paying, and you know the systems work.

Tools we’re especially loving (as they’re new to us and we’re enjoying playing with them, plus getting so much benefit already), are GRUM (This is going to be in the Black Friday offer from AppSumo, so don’t miss out on lifetime access) – being able to schedule Instagram posts is fantastic for us. Yes, it’s important to be live on social media, but the fact you can create images on your laptop, then schedule them once in the knowledge that they’ll be sent out when you want, is perfect.

WEBSITE AUDITOR is a fabulous tool helping you to analyse your website, the traffic to it, and give you ideas of how to improve your site so it can be found more easily. You can even make the changes inside the website auditor software, making it simple to use, for everyone – even those with no technical skills. This is currently available with a massive discount for lifetime access, and we can highly recommend it.

We love business tools, and encourage our clients to make use of software and technology within their businesses to make life, and business, more straight forward.

If you’d like help with your business systems, or need help with setting business tools up, or linking them together so they talk to each other, get in touch. We can do this for you, and make the business tools you choose to use, even easier! We can even arrange training for you and your team, on site, or online, if you prefer to learn from another business owner how to make the best use of a business tool in your particular business.

What are your favourite business tools?

 

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[Research] What is stopping your business growing?

Now you may think, hold on, there’s loads of things stopping my business from growing. OK, we understand that, and it’s likely they all interlink too!

whats stopping your business growingIf you’ve not got enough time as you’re a staff member short, you can’t effectively do the promotion you want, which means you’re struggling to get customers through the door. You’re focusing on customer service, (well done, as this is one of the biggest things customers are wanting now, and set you apart from your competitors), but that’s taking you away from placing that order you need to do for more stock. It seems to be a vicious circle doesn’t it?

There is so much business growth support available, that it’s often hard to identify what it is your business needs for that next step. Or, maybe you’re thinking that you can’t grow until that ‘thing’ is sorted, so you’re not exploring business growth options just at the moment. Well, don’t wait, please. There’s never a perfect time for anything and I don’t want you leaving things too late to jump in and get the business support you need to get your business growing again.

We need your help please

We’re in the final stages of writing a course, for business owners called “How to do all those things in your business without losing sleep“. It will cover areas which are currently stopping your business growing. We want to make sure we don’t leave anything out, so will you let us know your biggest question about that thing in your business which is causing you to lose sleep, or worry, right now? It could be absolutely anything. You may think it’s silly. All you need to do is type your question in the box below and click submit.

In exchange, we’ll give you free access to the workshop, happening on 14th December 2pm. We’ll send you the details nearer the time.

The course will sell for £97 in the near future, but you’ll get special access to experience the course through the workshop when you let us know your number 1 question.

Thank you so much. We’re looking forward to helping more business owners grow their businesses, whilst sleeping easier at night

What’s stopping your business growing?

 

 

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Are you kind to yourself?

when we feel love and kindnessToday is World Kindness Day. A day for being extra kind to others. We’re encouraged to carry out random acts of kindness as a reminder that this kindness will make our world a happier place to live. It’s a day for paying it forward and showing kindness to others in all we do.

We love helping others. Individuals in our organisation offer support to others through volunteering, supporting and encouraging in different ways, both to other individuals and organisations. Sometimes we’ll just offer some time to someone who’s struggling with something to give them a bit of encouragement and support. Other times, kindness is more planned, through volunteering opportunities.

However, we often see business owners doing things for others, but not being kind to themselves.

Are you kind to yourself?

By being kind to yourself, we mean, looking after yourself. Ensuring your needs are met before you help others. This is often hard for parents who are business owners, as they juggle to look after children, as well as the business needs. Often the parent / business owner’s needs seem to come last and this can lead to exhaustion, or not enjoying life.

  • When you set your goals for the week, as a business owner, do you ensure your personal and family needs are on that list too?
  • Have you assigned time in your diary for your walks or the activities you want to do for your mental and physical health and fitness?
  • Have you specified at least one day off (or two half days) in the week?
  • What are you doing for fun this week that will make you laugh?
  • When are you catching up with friends?
  • Have you got a date night fixed in the week?

However you assign your tasks for the week, ensure that your whole life is considered. If you’re not kind to yourself, how can you be kind to others? You may have heard the expression, “fill yourself up first”? Well, we believe that you really must be kind to yourself so you are healthy, enjoying life, and then you can give to others.

We’ve learnt from some of our life challenges that however much you want to help others, it’s kinder to them to help yourself first.

Do you make a point of being kind to others? What do you do? Let us know below.

If you need some time to help you reflect on how to prioritise things in your business and life, then let’s talk. We understand where you’re at, and we’re here to help you manage those things in your life and business.

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Is there such a thing as perfect business timing?

Over my years in business, there have been many occasions when I’ve waited far too long to do something as it wasn’t perfect, (in my eyes). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never aimed at running a perfect business, just the right business for me, and the customers I’m aiming to serve.

With waiting for perfect timing though, I’ve lost out. I’ve lost to a competitor, I’ve lost customers, I’ve lost face, I’ve lost pride, and more often than not, I’ve lost money.

Sometimes we want to wait until it’s perfect business timing. What does that actually mean?

Well, in public relations terms, you set up situations and grand launches, and embargo information until it’s the perfect time to release information about your product, service, event, award, or whatever it is you want to shout about? So what happens if your news, which you’ve been promised coverage of on radio, TV and online media, gets shunted down the priority list when a live news story is more important than your story?

It happens. I’ll never forget when I was Project Director for a charity in Preston who had been awarded a massive national lottery grant. The day chosen to release this information, and share it with the world, there was a bomb attack in Manchester (30 miles away), which was obviously higher priority to report on, than our project. All that planning, smoozing, PR training for TV and radio with all of the key team members, was lost in the space of 30 seconds gratuitous activity. We had no-where to go, apart from share our story on a lesser scale with those closer to home.

Don’t wait until it’s perfect

I’ve recently been waiting for things to fall into place so I can get my website revamped. I know, I help others create their websites, and help them with ongoing website promotion, but I haven’t spent time getting mine up to date, looking beautiful and working well.

Well, for starters, I’d been waiting until I knew what I wanted to offer my clients. Then I was waiting to work out my new branding. Then I thought I’d wait until I had the money in the bank before committing my developer’s time to create the new website. All of those things felt important to me 6 weeks ago.

And then I started thinking. OK, so my website is one place for my customers to come for information. Even if I don’t like the look of what I’m presenting, if my words are the right words, I should still be sharing them shouldn’t I? So I started to knock down all my beliefs about what was perfect for me, my business, and my website.

If I was to wait for everything to fall into place, how long do you think I’d be waiting for to give the website a refresh? No, I don’t know either, but it certainly wouldn’t have been the 2 weeks I’ve taken to get everything sorted!

So, without really thinking about it, I got on and created the course I’d been wanting to deliver for a month or so, to help existing clients get their website working.

Guess what? I’m loving it, and nothing is perfect. The branding is all over the place as I explore options and see what clients like, (and work through the lovely Brand Saschka‘s free branding and marketing course). No-one seems to be bothered about what things look like, but they’re responding to my words. What I’m offering is what clients are wanting – that’s the important part. I’m still the same person and the business becomes trusted if we deliver what we say we’ll deliver, not because we look perfect, or say perfect things.

What does perfect business mean to you?

what does perfect business timing mean to youPerfect business, to me, means that I’m inspiring confidence in clients to make things happen in their business. Whether that’s through coaching, training or done for you work, perfect is doing the work to the high standard I expect of myself and my team.

When you think about the word perfect in relation to your business, what does that look like or feel like to you? Write it in the comments below, I’m intrigued, as we’ll all have different takes on what perfect means in relation to your business.

Are you holding back on something as it’s not perfect timing, or the perfect design hasn’t been found yet? Or are you happy when you put yourself out as perfect solution to your customers problems and solve them for them.

How good do you and your team feel when you’ve done a perfect job for a customer (offered the perfect product or service at the perfect price to help them with an issue they’d had)? Was that perfection tied up in all the pfaff we often believe we need to have in our business?

Don’t be perfect, be in business

I’ve worked with clients who wouldn’t even talk to their family and friends about their business idea as they didn’t believe it was perfect enough to be talked about.

I’ve worked with clients who told me they couldn’t go to networking events as their business cards weren’t ready yet.

OK. We all have our own different needs in our lives and businesses. But seriously? If you want your business to succeed, you need to be talking about it, even sharing ideas and seeing where they land, or doing market research in networking groups and ensuring you take everyone’s card and contact them straight away with your details.

Whether you agree with me or not on doing business because that’s what we do, rather than running a perfect business, I’d love to hear from you. Have you waited too long and the opportunity has passed your business by? Or have you spent so long getting the branding perfect for your business and now you’ve lost interest in your business altogether? (It happens, so don’t worry about it).

Reach out and let’s talk if you’re concerned you’re spending too long on achieving perfection and not enough on doing business and serving your customers.

Let’s be not perfect together, but enjoy what we’re doing in our lives and business. Agree?