Thinking Beyond – The Outside of the Box

It takes a lot of self-reflection and guts, and likely many sleepless nights, to decide that it’s time to shut down a struggling business.

Owning a business is a labour of love and grief.  There are the highs and the lows.  As well as a huge amount of work it takes to get things off the ground.

Thinking back I did not want to let the business go, more out of fear for the unknown than anything else; but the pressure started to mount up and the problems we had accumulated over the last two years became untenable.  We were having a really hard time paying off past debt, while trying to buy new stock and keep up with rent and everything else. Continue reading “Thinking Beyond – The Outside of the Box”

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Tip It Up for Success (not literally!)

101 Tips for Small Business

It’s quite easy for small business owners to become distracted by their day-to-day responsibilities. But in this competitive economy you can’t afford to miss out on the newest business innovations.

That’s why we asked 50 of the top small business bloggers to share their best tips for small business owners. Their response was incredible. While some shared nuggets of wisdom, others gave us actionable tips you can use right away. Here’s your crib sheet to the best business advice the blogosphere has to offer.

On the Small Business Advantage

1. “Respond. This is the single biggest advantage you have over the big guys. Not only are you in charge, you also answer the phone and read your email and man the desk and set the prices. So, don’t pretend you have a policy. Just be human.”
— Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog

Continue reading “Tip It Up for Success (not literally!)”

Get in the Flow…

Over the last 3 years I have worked with many different types of people helping them to get their business back on track.  There are many opportunities out there for cash rich investors so choosing the right deal is crucial.

The opportunity cost of working with a business owner who doesn’t share common values can result in lost time and money.  I do not charge upfront fees, my remuneration comes in the success of the business being turned around from an insolvent liability to a saleable business.

It’s very much people first and business model and margin second, here is a summary of tips for a successful turnaround. Continue reading “Get in the Flow…”

Emergency Exit

I recently took part in a skydive for Peace One Day to raise awareness for Peace Day on 21st September.  One minute we were sat in the plane, the next we were falling through the air.

What struck me as I jumped from the plane was how calm I felt.  It was all in sync, in perfect slow motion.  

The beautiful clarity made everything fit into place for those free-fall moments.

Then it dawned on me, I had to start to think about the next step, pulling the parachute and then landing!

It gave me an insight – In life it’s easy to get caught up in the flow and forget to check where we are on the overall journey.  In our business life this can result in a “bite back” when our economy goes from growth to recession.

It may seem like a good idea to spend profit to avoid a large tax bill but when the economy starts to dip, and business start slows down, if this is your strategy, you will need quick reactions to soften the blow. Continue reading “Emergency Exit”

Is Anyone Listening?

Even the most successful business leaders who have made it to the very top will undoubtedly talk about times when they felt isolated and a little lost.

To be a great business leader is a balance between – being a great listener, excellent delegation and decisive leadership.

A major part of being a leader is managing people; which is certainly one of the most feared and yet rewarding aspects of running a business.  Everyone has horror stories of a nightmare boss and their manic tendencies that drove them crazy.  Additionally, most business leaders have experienced the pain of managing employees who are simply unwilling to change or take responsibility for their actions.

It is the job of the business leader to create an environment where people feel safe.  They are the glue that sticks the business together and gives it direction.

Employees should be inspired, take pride in owning their responsibilities, and feel motivated to grow and contribute.

A good leader will consciously demonstrate the behavior that will have the most positive effect on their employees.  Leading by example is a key part of that philosophy.

The business leader must earn the respect of the employees by being able to look at issues from alternative perspectives. If employees feel that their ideas are not being listened to and considered, they will simply stop making the effort. Continue reading “Is Anyone Listening?”