Tag: small business success

Are You Shackled By Your Business?

Are-You-Shackled-By-Your-Business Are You Shackled By Your Business?

Are You Shackled By Your Business? 

Are You Trapped By Your Business? 

Are You Working Too Many Hours? 

Do You Have A Poor Work To Life Ratio?

 

If you can answer "Yes" to any of these question, you should really read this article.
Several weekends ago, my son arranged for us to join a group on a brewery tour of a successful family brewery in Wiltshire.
I am an ex brewer and in one of my former lives, I ran a very successful microbrewery before selling in 2001. He knew I would enjoy it and I did; it was a great day touring the brewery and seeing how this particular company brewed their beer.
The reason for this article is not to tell you about the family brewery – although I might well do that at a later stage – but to tell you about the small hotel, I stayed in for the weekend whist visiting the brewery.
The brewery was located in a lovely small market town and I booked two nights in one of the several hotels in the town.  It was the sort of place that I like to stay – several hundred years old, with many of the original historic features. It not only offered accommodation but also had a full bar where you could enjoy a meal and a drink.
The room was very clean and comfortable, and a good hearty breakfast was served each morning of my stay. 
But I felt not all was well with this business.
On talking to the lady of the house, she told me the entire place was run by just her and her husband with both working 100 hours per week each and she said they had both done this for the past 20 years.
She said they employed one person, one day per week to clean the hotel rooms; this was their only employment.  She qualified this by saying that if she employed more staff, they would have to increase their prices.
Observing her, I also noticed that she obviously had health issues with a poor hip and leg, probably aggravated by the long hours and the physical toll on her body.
The couple knew I was an ex Publican and an ex Brewer but did not know I was also a Business Coach. They did not seek any advice from me nor did I offer any. I sensed that they were conditioned to this way of working and my advice would probably have fallen on deaf ears.
I know from my pub days that running such a business does involve long hours but after 20 years in this business, they should be working much fewer hours, say, 40 but no more.
During my weekend, I observed that many of the other pubs and cafes in the town were much busier than my host couple, obviously serving more drinks and food.  Also when I booked my stay, all the quality hotels were full, except for the hotel of my hosts.
While generally being happy with my stay, I would not recommend it to others and I would not choose to return again.  The interior while being historic was tired-looking in places, in urgent need of decoration and of general freshening up.
But one major thing that disappointed me was that my room was not cleaned or refreshed in readiness for my second night’s stay – I had never experienced this before and this seriously spoilt the experience, as far as I was concerned. But importantly, I am sure others staying for more than one night would have felt the same; their policy of not employing more staff was certainly a poor policy in this respect and was contributing to the low occupancy rate for their hotel rooms.

 

This Couple Are Trapped In Their Business

This couple are trapped within their business, unable to reduce their hours, risking their health and giving them a poor life to work balance.
They are living to work.
The lady of the house said that employing more staff would mean them increasing their prices. 
She was very wrong saying this.
They were probably both working to their full capacity, but I could see from the other similar business in the town, they could probably easily double their bar and hotel trade.
This extra trade and gross profit would allow them to afford to employ more staff without increasing their prices. And, the extra staff would allow them to reduce their hours and to give them a better life/work balance.

 

Long Hours Are Sometimes Necessary In Many Businesses

Long hours are very necessary in many businesses, particularly in the start-up phase, say for the first couple of years, but no business owner should be working long hours after 20 years.
Working long hours for many years is very damaging to health and should be avoided.
Over the past 30 plus years, I have seen many businesses like this one.  This couple, sadly, are not unique.
Many businesses in this situation simply do not have the time to think about how they can change things. And, even if they could see how to make the right changes, they are probably too tired to make the changes.
Also, confidence can be an issue – many business owners do not like to make changes in case they don’t work. They are fearful that making changes could worsen their situation not better it.
Many such businesses have low profits and low profitability and the owners are not prepared to risk lowering their profits still further by making the changes.

Are-You-Shackled-By-Your-Business Are You Shackled By Your Business?

Changes Are Possible

If you are a business owner who is similarly trapped by his or her business, it is possible to remedy the situation and here is some good advice:
1.      Firstly, you must allocate some quality time out of your busy schedule for some regular, quality thinking. The brain works much better when it is not tired and not stressed so choose the right time of day when your thinking will be most effective. You should also make this thinking a daily habit.
2.      Being able to afford more help with your business relies on the ability to increase your sales, your profits and your customer numbers. As part of your thinking, you must research your trading market to assess how much all three can be increased.
3.      You should look at your products and your offerings to assess whether these are what your target customers really want and whether you can make improvements. A good way to do this is to ask your customers what their views are and to look at the offerings of your competitors.
4.      You should look at the customer experience, derived from your products and offerings and assess how good this is.  In a highly competitive market, your objective should be for an excellent customer experience.
5.      Overall customer satisfaction is the ultimate barometer for the performance of your business. You should ask your customers how satisfied they are with your offerings – this should include your actual products, customer service, pricing, ease to purchase, etc.   Really every customer contact point should be assessed with the view of optimising your satisfaction rating.
6.      Your marketing should be assessed to ensure your target customers see your marketing and understand what you are offering. For marketing to be effective, it has to be a continual process using all the techniques available.
7.      Based on your findings, you should assess what action is needed and put this into a very simple, step by step plan.
8.      With all changes, you must think that there could initially be increased costs before the extra sales and profits come to fruition. As part of your plan, you should do a rough profit and loss projection for your business incorporating the new changes. Here you should include projections for your new sales, new margin, new costs and likely net profit, etc..
9.      Don’t be frightened to ask for advice. Business can be very lonely when you are trying to do something new and on your own. The best source for advice could be from other experienced business owners, business coaches and business mentors. Be careful about advice from friends and family, though.
This is a very rough appraisal of the minimum changes required for a business owner to release the shackles of long hours. 
It is very possible to do it, but you need to have the will to do it and to be able to make the time available to think and to effect the changes.
I really fear for the couple running the hotel in Wiltshire; but I also fear that they see no need to change and have no inclination to do so at the moment. 
I really hope that their health does not deteriorate massively in the coming years.
If you wish to discuss this matter more fully with me, please contact me below or email me at Robert@prestigebusinesscoaching.co.uk.
I would love to hear from you.

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7 Ways To Achieve A Positive Attitude

POSITIVE-ATTITUDE-JPEG.jpg-2-600x319 7 Ways To Achieve A Positive Attitude

7 Ways To Achieve A Positive Attitude.

How Strong Is Your Attitude?

Having A Strong Positive Attitude Is Key To Business Success.

 

When asked, the most successful business people say that a strong, positive attitude has been more important to their success than their ability. Havard Business School has consistently reinforced this view by saying that a strong mental ability is more important than ability for attaining meaningful business success.

So how positive is your mental attitude?

Having a strong, positive attitude can give you much including having strong mental and physical energy, more clarity in your thinking and more creativity in your thinking and your actions. You will also bounce back quicker from set-backs, have a greater influence on everyone in your life, including your customers and your employees and, importantly, be less stressful.

Generally, the more positive that you are, the more successful you will be in your business.  The most successful in business often put their success down to their positivity, so if you want similar business success, you have to create greater positivity and develop a strong positive attitude, yourself.

I have found the following 7 simple ways work really well to create and enhance a strong, positive attitude:-

  1. Be optimistic
  2. Kick out negative thoughts
  3. Look to the future
  4. Don’t have problems but have challenges
  5. See the good in everything
  6. Learn from your mistakes
  7. Be grateful for what you have in life

 

BE OPTIMISTIC

Being OPTIMISTIC is a great boost to POSITIVITY and can come from belief in your own ability to succeed and the confidence to know that you will succeed.

If you have doubts about your success, keep saying to yourself: “I CAN DO THIS.”

 

KICK OUT NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

If you have doubts in your ability, these are NEGATIVE THOUGHTS and these along with other negative thoughts will diminish how POSITIVITY.

Whenever you have a negative thought enter your mind, you should think to ‘KICK IT OUT’ and replace it with a POSITIVE or a HAPPY thought.

 

LOOK TO THE FUTURE

You should always look to the future and NOT THINK about the past -  what has happened has happened and is the past and worrying about it will deflate your POSITIVITY.

Try thinking about your goals and targets in the future rather than worrying about the past.

 

DON’T HAVE PROBLEMS

Positive people don’t have problems, instead they have CHALLENGES and rather than thinking: “I can’t do that”, they instead think: “This is going to be difficult, but how is the best way to proceed?”

 

SEE THE GOOD IN EVERYTHING

Try and think that something GOOD always comes out of something BAD and always try to see the good in everything. Life does not always go to plan and there will be set-backs and you will make mistakes, but don’t dwell on these, instead bounce back quickly and continue to move forward.

You should analyze what went wrong and learn from the situation and don’t repeat the mistake.

 

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES

Successful people think that failure, set-backs or mistakes are all part of learning and are part of the success process and you must think the same.

Set-backs are there for a reason and you should see the good, positive side in every one.  You should think that every mistake or set-back has a lesson for you in how to achieve your business success.  You should learn from each and move on.

 

BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE IN LIFE

Many of us are luckier than we possibly think. We often don't stop and take stock of our lives and think about what we have and what we have achieved. This could be family or this could be career, anything really.

It is good to have a vision for your life and for your business ambitions, but too often we concentrate on what we don't have rather than what we do have and that can lead to feeling depressed or negativity.

POSITIVE-ATTITUDE-JPEG.jpg-2-600x319 7 Ways To Achieve A Positive Attitude

 

THESE WAYS DO WORK

These ways to do work:

  • Be optimistic
  • Kick out negative thoughts
  • Look to the future
  • Don’t have problems but have challenges
  • See the good in everything
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Be grateful for what you have in life

It takes a short while to develop these ways, but believe me these do work when put together. Just change your thinking to be more positive and you will be surprised how much better you start to feel.

If you would like to talk more about this article with me, please contact me at Robert@prestigebusinesscoaching.co.uk. or contact me here:

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