Do you have a ‘spare heir’ for your business?

Do you have a ‘spare heir’ for your business?

Much has been celebrated about the new arrival. Any birth always brings happiness and hope for the future as we feel secure (at some level) our genes have been passed down the line. There is also a lot touted in the press about Kate having produced ‘the spare’. Now Prince Harry has a replacement should something untoward happen to him. Reporting of ‘the heir and a spare’ started me thinking about owner operated businesses, and where is the ‘spare’ ? Whether you are thinking of starting your business or been operating for a while, you must consider creating systems and processes that allow you to have the business run without you at the helm, all the time. Effective systems and processes will allow you to outsource repeatable low value tasks, scale the business more easily as you can outsource discreet parcels of work. You will gain a freedom mindset, knowing that the business will not collapse without you. What would happen to your business now, if you were taken ill, get consumed by a personal situation or become engulfed in a business issue that overtakes your time? Will your business grind to a halt, as you are no longer at the helm directing and executing, or will it continue on, with effective systems and processes in place, giving you the freedom to divert your precious energy and attention? It’s often not until we are faced with an impossible pull on our time that we discover how vulnerable our business is. We have no ‘spare’. Our business is at risk of stalling. Here we some ways to get started to...
Why a successful business needs more than just a great idea

Why a successful business needs more than just a great idea

What makes a business successful? The answers to this question are infinite, ranging from market conditions, competition, the product, the marketing mix, price, and the owner and their staff. There are thousands of books written on all of these elements, but at the heart of it, you need to look in the mirror. And ask yourself, ‘do I have what it takes to make my business successful?” As founder, you become intimately entwined with the performance of your business. Click To Tweet Your confidence, doubts, natural preferences and biases become magnified through the business as you begin to work on it. In my mentoring and coaching work, I work with many clients whose growth is stalled or accelerated by how they are. Do they think naturally of success and strong growth, or naturally of failure and minor incremental growth? I have worked with business owners on each side of this spectrum, and the results of their business indicate clearly where they sit. In my first book Corporate Crossovers – when it’s time to leave the office and start your own business’, I conducted a large piece of quantitative research of 300 Corporate Crossovers in the UK and US. I also held in depth interviews with 50.  From these pieces of research and my work with over 1,500 women business owners, I have discovered the seven essential personal qualities of a successful businesswoman. Top of the list is Passion. You need to have total and utter belief that what you are doing is worth it. A feeling of being so in love with your idea and the value it will...
Are you lonely at the top in your business?

Are you lonely at the top in your business?

Recently I facilitated a seminar for women business owners with turnovers in excess of $1 million. They had all started their businesses as sole traders, and grown them into the larger operations they had today.   I love being part of a gathering of like minded women, whether their businesses are big, small or just a sparkle in their eye. The excitement, and commitment to creating something out of nothing is energising and inspiring!   At the seminar, as their plans for scale, global expansion and eventual exits were discussed, it became clear that they still shared a common concern with buisness owners of any size. Even though they had crossed significant thresholds in their businesses, they still felt lonely at the top.   Who could they talk to about cash flow, staffing issues, deal negotiations, finding new sources  of funding etc etc? Some of the issues were too delicate to discuss with staff, they no longer wanted to bother family and friends, and sometimes they needed space to throw ideas around to bring them to life.   Being ‘lonely at the top’ is a common phenomena whether you are just starting your business and have no staff or you have been leading one for 15 years with 125 staff. Wherever you are in your business growth, you need support.   Without support, you may feel isolated, as you feel no one really understands you or your business.   Or maybe you will procrastinate over an important decision because you haven’t had the opportunity to talk about it thoroughly and review all the options. So you and your business stay...
How much money do you need to start a business?

How much money do you need to start a business?

You are ready to start, you know the business structure, the resources you need to begin and how to maintain a vibrant flow of new customers. One last thing to check – how will you pay for it all?     When considering how much funding you need to start your business you need to consider: How long until your first sale from now When will you make a profit How much money you need to fund the business until profit These three elements will give you key information in determining how much money you need to start up. They will give you the foundations of your cash flow in the business. A healthy cash flow is essential for any business, big or small. If the business runs out of money, it will be impossible to pay suppliers. You may have to get other short term finance which may be expensive and it could become a very difficult time for you to trade out of. To avoid this happening, you need to estimate your future cash flow. This way, you can be sure that your business has enough cash to pay its way, and you can keep growing. This is set out like a profit and loss forecast but instead of showing when a sale is made; you put in the amounts when the bill is paid. Like a Profit & Loss statement, there are two parts – cash in and cash out!   Cash IN This is the moment your business receives cash in from a customer. If you get paid in cash at the moment you make...
5 signs it’s time to leave your job

5 signs it’s time to leave your job

“Should I stay or should I go now?”  is not only a great song by The Clash, but also a constant refrain in many of my clients’ minds, as they contemplate what to do with their future. Feeling disenfranchised with their work, the culture of the workplace, questioning the value they may be adding, or asking ‘is this all worth it?’, are common experiences for my clients who want to move from disgruntled employee to inspired entrepreneur. They spend time weighing up the pros and cons of staying in their job, or starting their own business. When I interviewed 50 Corporate Crossovers for my first book “Corporate Crossovers – when it’s time to leave the office and start your own business” – the criteria that they used to decide whether they should stay or go were very similar, and are best summarized in the diagram below. If you have a niggling and you feel like you are weighing up whether to stay or  go, then see if these signs apply to you. Sign 1. You are at a career crossroads. Your job no longer satisfies you, and you have a hunch that getting a different job isn’t the answer. You desire more freedom, flexibility and control over how you spend your time and what you do. Click To Tweet Sign 2. The alarm rings, you roll over hit snooze, and instead of enjoying a couple more minutes snooze, you feel dread in the pit of your stomach about going into work. Your mind springs into action as you imagine the difficult meetings and tension of the day. You are...
What’s in a business name?

What’s in a business name?

Wandering along the street to meet a dear friend for coffee, I spied this sign. “Bird on a Wire”. Intrigued, I stopped and peered inside the closed shop. Rotisserie chicken can be a dull thing. A roast bird cooked and prepared for an easy pick up, to be quickly enjoyed when you get home, or for your next picnic. Yet suddenly, this pedestrian take away sprung to life with a personality, a touch of humour and memorability. Bird on a wire is a brilliant name. It says exactly what is being sold, it has a quirkiness to it, and had made the dull memorable. Our names define us. Over many years of our life, we become attached to what people call us, what we think it means about us, how we are presented to the world..and of course, on our grave stone when we leave the world. Our name becomes the one defining piece of who we are. Choosing a name for our new business is significant. Not only will the name define the business, and what we want to create, but it will also determine who will be attracted to it. These factors will all play in our success. That’s a lot of pressure on a random collection of letters and symbols! Many of my clients who are embarking on their business start up journey agonise over their new business name. “What will people think?”, ‘what if I get it wrong?”. To help you in your business start up journey, here are my top tips for choosing names for your new business: Do you love it? This will...
Why launching a business is like getting a jumbo jet off the runway

Why launching a business is like getting a jumbo jet off the runway

Here I am sitting in the plane about to take off from Sydney to Dubai. I always love that moment of huge acceleration …that moment when you are thrust back in your seat as the plane accelerates faster and faster, gaining momentum as it is about to launch into flight. That moment is incredible! Getting a massive bulk of metal, passengers and luggage off the tarmac into the air is an amazing feat, which seems to defy the laws of gravity. Then, only minutes later, we hear the ‘ping’, the seat belt sign is extinguished and we are now gliding through the air, cruising at the altitude designed for maximum efficiency and comfort. There is a lot of similarity between a plane taking off and starting a business. If you think about the pre- flight check and preparation needed before you take off and then the immense quantities of fuel required to get the plane off the ground that is exactly the same as launching a business. The planning, setting of a destination, and the time, energy and effort to get a business of the ground calls on your personal resources of resilience, perseverance and imagination. A massive investment of your inner reserves not to mention your financial reserves. Whether you are launching a new business, or a new offering for your existing business, you still need to put in an enormous effort. The benefit of this is not just the ‘launch’ of the business or the new offering, but it is also the impetus it gives you. Setting a deadline harnesses your resources and focuses you to work...
Why Do You Do It? Thrive! TV Tips

Why Do You Do It? Thrive! TV Tips

Before you jump off the corporate ladder and leave your job behind to start up your business, take some time to get really, really clear on why you are doing it Your business will take a lot from you time, energy and money. It may even cost you relationships, your health and other opportunities. Before you fully commit to this, it is imperative that you get clear on the big reason WHY you are doing this business… When you go through those slumps and twists and turns, you need to know what the big idea is and your compelling reason why. This will keep you going in your darkest hour – it is WHY it matters. Also knowing your reason why at this early stage will help you to create the business on your terms. For instance, do you want to be financially free, or have a lifestyle business, with lots of flexibility to work around the kids? Your Action: Ask yourself these questions: Why is this important? What difference will it make to you? What difference will it make to your customers? Why do you want to start this – freedom, flexibility, passion? To use your expertise?        ...
ENDED – Fed Up With Your Job? WIN A FREE Business Coaching Session To Help You Start Your Own Business!

ENDED – Fed Up With Your Job? WIN A FREE Business Coaching Session To Help You Start Your Own Business!

If you’re fed up with your job and thinking of leaving to start your own business, then this competition is for you! I know how daunting it is to take the giant leap of leaving your job and how scary it is to start your own business, but it can also be exhilarating and if done right, it can be the best thing you’ll ever do! You have ideas buzzing around in your head, and you are not sure which one to go with, or even if it will work. You are lacking the clarity and confidence to move forward. I love working with my clients to help them take their thinking out of their heads and to make their ideas real and tangible. In a coaching session we will discuss your idea, its feasibility and put some energy behind it so you feel ready to move forward. If this sounds like what you need then enter my competition below! I would love to work with you. The winner of my competition will win a FREE business coaching session worth £250 from me, Wendy; business coach, mentor and speaker to women in business. The session will last for 1 hour, held conveniently over the phone or skype and will  give you the confidence and actions needed to start your own business. Everyone that enters will also receive my ‘Five Essential steps to start your business with confidence’ bonus eBook! This book will walk you through the five essential steps you need to start your business with confidence. It’s packed full with information, ideas and templates so you can take your...
Scared Of A Skills Shortage? Thrive! TV Tips

Scared Of A Skills Shortage? Thrive! TV Tips

You want to leave your job and set up your own business, or take a big new step in your current business but you stop, you hesitate. You’re scared From my research I know you are probably scared that you will fail, and fail because you don’t have the right skills to do it successfully. This fear can paralyze us, and we end up doing nothing. We dream about taking the leap but because we don’t think it will work, instead if trying anyway, we do nothing. The best way to beat a fear is to meet it head on! So, if you think you don’t have the right skills to do something, stop guessing and get some facts together! It’s time for a look under the bonnet and time for a skills audit. These are really simple to do… Think about the job or business you want to create What skills are needed – if you don’t know go and ask someone that does that type of thing already Review your list – and mark out of 10 how well you think you can do the skills required Then make a decision – will you learn how to do it, or outsource it Volia! You have the facts – a true picture of how big… or small your skills shortage really is Would you like a weekly burst of momentum delivered straight into your in box? Simply click on the button below, we’ll send you the latest tip each week! Sign me up for weekly Thrive!...
Getting Clear On Your Business Idea

Getting Clear On Your Business Idea

So many ideas and opportunities flood your brain as you start to consider your new business venture. As you imagine who your customer will be, ideas keep tumbling into your brain as great ways to make more money, augment your business and be a success! But then you look at your notes and realise that you have created a monster and lost sight of the original idea This is a very common scenario when we first start planning our new business. We don’t want to limit the business potential and scope as we have a compulsion to maximise our business idea. The trap with this is that we can create a business concept that is unfocused, unclear and confusing. We develop a business proposition that is hard to articulate into a single sentence. Sales are slow to eventuate as a confused prospect never buys. How do you harness these opposing forces? On the one hand your unbridled enthusiasm and energy generates new ideas and fuels your effort. But on the other hand creating a concept that becomes overwhelming and difficult to find a way into. Try this three step approach to keeping your energy high to capture your brain waves and then distill it down into a tight business concept. Step 1: Have an ideas bucket This might be a notebook, a file on your compare, a note on Evernote. Use this space to dump all of your ideas, brain waves, inspirations, and observations. Write freely, don’t censor! An idea that may seem irrelevant now may be extremely useful in 12 months time. Step 2: What does your customer...
How Do I Find A New Business Idea?

How Do I Find A New Business Idea?

How do people come up with business ideas they love and that are successful? Why is it that some ideas you hear of, you know are destined for success, and others are assigned quickly into the waste basket. Is finding that killer business idea, an art or a science? From my research and interviews with many business owners over the years, I have discovered there are four ways that business owners discover that magic idea. And they are all a combination of art, science, luck and great timing! If you are searching for that fab idea to start your business, remember these two essentials: 1. Always have a notebook on hand so you can jot down your insights, observations and flashes of insight 2. All ideas are great ideas! Don’t discount any idea, as no matter how crazy it seems now, with some time and a few shifts, it may evolve into ‘the’ one. Use these tried and tested methods below to kick start your thinking! You can have an epiphany Epiphanies are a bit like buses – there is never one a round when you need one, and then three turn up all at once! The light bulb moment will happen when you least expect it, typically in the shower, as your brain churns through lots of disparate pieces of information, making sense of it all. Then ‘kapow’ you have that light bulb moment, and suddenly you get that idea or insight about what to do next. Leverage your experience Doing more of what you love and what you are good at is also a solid way to...
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