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What happens to your business when you’re not in the mood?

We all have days, and weeks, when we’re “not in the mood” to work, to talk, to play, to network, to do business, to serve customers. Really, it’s true. Don’t hide.

There’s many reasons for this not being “in the mood”, some of which are:

  • hormones (males and females are both affected)
  • moon cycles (whether you like it or not, moon cycles exist and affect our daily lives)
  • energy (or lack of it, which in turn can be caused by a number of factors)
  • holiday (just back from one, or about to go on one)
  • emotional challenges (children, parents, partner, friends)
  • unwell

is your business always in the moodSo, what happens in your business when you’re not in the mood?

I’m asking rhetorically really. You don’t have to confess, unless that will be helpful for you. I guess I’m asking you to reflect and review your business, and all aspects of it, so that when you are having an “off day”, your customers won’t notice, and your systems will pick up the slack.

Tips to ensure your business is always in the mood

  1. Support team. Having a support team around you is crucial. Whether it’s family, friends, or staff (on-site or remote), people who can pick up the slack, or the important tasks when you’re not around will help keep customers happy and the business running smoothly.
  2. Email auto-responder. Setting this up, as soon as you know you’re not “in the mood”, will ensure that you can get on with getting yourself back on track, and customers can be still be served efficiently. Do you have another team member you can encourage emailers to contact, using a click through link ideally – a general office email that you know will be checked?
  3. Answer machine message on your phone. This should be fairly easy for you to set up, and amend as your circumstances change. Again, referring callers to another number which will be answered, or giving a clear idea when you’ll get back to them, will help keep everyone informed and happy.
  4. Ordering supplies automatically. Whilst you want to control costs, there’s nothing worse than running out of milk, or toilet rolls is there? So, having some stock items for staff, or for your customers, on regular order that you check every couple of months in your stock review, will ensure nothing is missing, even if you are.
  5. Directory of contacts and contractors. When you’re not in the office, can your team contact your IT support, or plumber, or suppliers, to ensure that the business can function. Having a list of contacts and approved contractors, (even if they are your friends who help out), will ensure that if your partner has to take control whilst you’re unwell for a short time, they can do what they need to keep things running smoothly. Your contacts and contractors will also be more sympathetic as you’ll have built a relationship with them which always make things run more easily.
  6. Be honest….as honest as you can be. With yourself as well as those around you in your family and support team. If ‘life stuff’ is happening sometimes we don’t know what’s going on, so regular reviews of how best to run your business with the facts you have about your situation will serve you, your customers and your business in the best light. If you need to cut your hours, be honest. Cut them. You can only do your best, and be your best if you have the right energy and support to carry out your business tasks.

Every business is different, and each of us as business owners will react in a different way to the situations we face day to day. Whilst we are our businesses, our business can often function without us being involved 24 hours a day, or 7 days a week.

I often say to clients, “what happens when you go on holiday?”. If we can sort out the right support and structure for our business to run whilst we’re away on holiday, we can put systems and support in place for those times when we’re not in the mood, due to life’s little challenges.

Whilst being “in the mood” for business may sound flippant, we’re being honest. We’re just trying to get you to think about the wonderful customers you’ve got and how they’re going to be supported if you’re not around. The Business Cheerleading Club could be part of your support structure. A safe place for your support, and also ideas as to how you can get the right support whilst you’re away, or not on top form. You never know, you may even meet your ideal assistant, or collaboration partner there! That’s certainly been our experience so far.

What tips would you add to our list? What do you do to ensure your business is always in the mood?

 

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What is business support

What is business support in your business? Is it the support you get as a business owner, or is it the functions within your business to support the whole business to run efficiently?

I think business support is both these descriptions, but it will also be different for each business.

As a small business, you are naturally doing all things in your business – from product management, to customer service, to bookkeeping and marketing.

As your business grows, you may not actually do all these functions yourself, but you’ll have support for aspects of your business.

Business Support Services

what is business supportThis term is generally used for business admin, finance and legal functions. In more recent years, this term has been used when you outsource any aspect of your business to someone else who will take that task on for your business. Marketing, PR, IT support, social media, book keeping and general email administration are all services offered, and used by businesses.

As your business grows, you may find that you create business support services within your staff team, (or remote support staff). Think about it. You need each area of your business to run efficiently, and sometimes you need people to support all aspects of the business. For example, cleaners in your office or shop are supporting the business. They are part of your support team.

What is Business Support

For me, business support is your support structure for you to grow your business. This may well be the staff, (and contract) team around you.

  • It’s also your training, learning, development, and keeping pace with new technology and software.
  • It’s your business coach who helps you work out your next steps, and encourages you to put in place the actions you need to do to take those steps.
  • It’s your networking group, (online or offline), who will be your cheerleading team, and tell others what you do
  • It’s your family and friends who will be there for you as your business grows

Where, what and how do you get your business support?

Is it from one place – a support company who provide you with the business support you need? Or is it from a variety, a mix of all the above? Have you thought about your business support team recently? What’s working? What maybe needs reviewing?

It’s interesting that since I started Action Learning Sets, and the Business Cheerleading Club, I’ve been more conscious of my own business support structure. My family and friends and what I need from them. My coaches and mentors. My networks.

I’m really enjoying the journey, it’s fab – Karen, Karen Peddie Holistics

It’s beneficial to air a problem, and put it out there. It makes you think more deeply about it rather than it rolling around in your head. It’s lovely to have other people’s ideas & then work out what’s right for me. I recommend being part of an Action Learning Set, whatever stage of business you’re at.”, Jane, Created4U

I started Manage Those Things to help business owners, like you, manage those things you can’t, won’t or don’t want to do. That’s classic business support. But the business club and more focused coaching & action learning are directly supporting you as a business owner to give you what YOU need to support your business growth.

Let’s talk through YOUR business support and check it’s the right mix for the next year of your business development. NOTE: Business Cheerleading Club members get one to one support £20 a month cheaper than booking one off sessions.

What is business support to you?

 

 

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What to do when you feel lonely

It’s hard enough being a business owner sometimes, but when you feel lonely, life can feel so much harder.

Loneliness is becoming an ever present topic of conversation. We’re used to loneliness being talked about with our aging population. But loneliness in business owners? Really?

Unfortunately, the answer is “yes”.

At work, loneliness reduces task performance, limits creativity, and impairs other aspects of executive function such as reasoning and decision making. For our health and our work, it is imperative that we address the loneliness epidemic quickly.

Vivek H. Murthy, Harvard Business Review

There’s all sorts of research available, to show that loneliness is an increasing problem, and there’s much concern about all communities about what to do when you feel lonely.

Business owners aren’t immune to feeling lonely

As a business owner, you know how lonely it can be sometimes. Your partner doesn’t understand why you’re working so hard. Your family don’t understand why you need to work when they want you to be with them. Your friends don’t understand that you can’t go out with them tonight as you’ve just got to get this customer order finished. You have no-one to talk to, or share with.

There’s no-one in your usual support team who you think will understand what you’re going through, or the difficulties your facing of making decisions. So, you look inwards to the inner strength you have as a business owner, (it feels like you’ve got a super power doesn’t it?).

You think that running your own business is better than working for someone else, but then you find that you’ve no-one to talk to when you make a brew. There’s no-one to tell what a fantastic weekend you had when you ‘log on’ for work. It can be quite isolating.

I know this feeling only too well. I have some great friends, and lovely supporters, but I’ve had times where I felt so lonely in what I was doing. I felt I had to do “this thing” all by myself. I felt that no-one understood. For me, this period of my life started a period of depression, which took a while to come out of.

Find someone to listen to you when you feel lonely

what to do when you feel lonelyI’ve learnt so much about the power of listening in the last couple of years. It’s a powerful tool for all of us, in every walk of life. For business owners it’s even more important, that it’s something simple you can do when you feel lonely.

Your friends, family, partner, network colleagues, and strangers don’t need to understand your situation. But they can just listen to you. They don’t need to advise, or find solutions for you. In fact, that’s not what you need. You just need to share, with someone, what’s on your mind. You have all the answers in yourself, and by sharing what’s on your mind, you’ll find that it becomes clearer to you what your next steps are.

There are some listening services springing up all over the country now, as more people recognise that listening is way of helping who feel lonely and isolated. I’m a trained listener, and have helped set up a listening service in Preston, near where I live. It’s been so valuable to help those who are lonely, or don’t know where to turn.

Ensure your support network is working for you

Whatever your business, or where you’re based, your support network is important to you. Not only to support you grow your business, but to be there for you when you feel lonely.

Our support network, as business owners, may well be a network group, (online or offline), who understand our business, and our needs. It may be a co-working space we enjoy being in, which offers support to us in not being alone in our day to day work. However we see many business owners sticking with something that isn’t working for them, and that’s making them feel even more lonely in their work.

One step from today is to review who and how you’re being supported in your network. Is it working for you? Do you feel lonely as a business owner? Could you improve your support network in some way? What would that be?

This isn’t about money either. It’s not about how many networks can you be part of, so you don’t feel lonely! It’s about being with the people you feel comfortable with, who can listen to you, and you can listen to them when they need it. You may have friends and family that can do this for you. Or you may have an online group you feel comfortable with, (but there’s nothing better than talking out loud to help you – it does something wonderful in your brain. We need that connection).

Review what you’ve currently got in place, and be honest with yourself if this is serving you and your business at the moment. It’s fine to change support groups as our business grows. Think of it as a child growing up – they need different support as they grow too.

We’re hearing that business owners are finding the Business Cheerleading Club a comfortable place to get support, and be listened to. That’s fantastic, and we’re delighted to be able to offer this place where you’re listened to, you can share your anxieties and successes, and you’ll be understood for who you are, and what you do.

We hope it’s not just a place to go when you feel lonely, but for whole business support.

I also offer listening sessions to business owners, as I know how much this can help. Yes I can coach you, but sometimes, you just need someone to listen to you. Whatever support you need, don’t be lonely. Ask for help. We can’t help you unless we know, (just like your friends would tell you!).

What do you do when you feel lonely at work?

Book a listening and/or coaching session with Tracey-Jane: