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...
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...
Shall I change my career?

Shall I change my career?

  February is my busiest month in this business. My clients have typically spent January thinking about getting a new job or starting a business, and (thankfully!) they decide to get some assistance to  work through their options. If you are sitting at your work desk, staring out the window, wondering if you should stay or go, then try this effective exercise to help clarify your thinking. This exercise is taken from my best selling book “Corporate Crossovers – when it’s time to leave the office and start your own business”. A letter to myself – Sliding Doors This exercise allows you to imagine what life could be like in five years’ time, depending on what decision you make. By thinking five years’ into the future, you loosen your grip on the current reality and your perspective shifts. This will help you make a cleaner decision away from the frenzy of the moment. Write yourself a letter entitled ‘Sliding Doors – Path A Versus Path B’. You will create two stories of your life, each one dependent on the decision you could take now. Path A: Write a story of what your life will be like in five years if you stay in your job, remaining in corporate life. Path B: The write another story of what your life will be like in five years if you leave your job now and start your own business or change your job. In both stories, be as detailed as possible. Describe clearly what your typical day and week would be like for each option five years into the future. Imagine the...
An easy way to get focus

An easy way to get focus

As all my clients will attest, I do love business plans! Yet, even with the most rigorous plan in place to grow your business, sometimes our motivation can falter. When you start a business, your verve can be diminished by any number of factors; feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks to complete, sales seeming a long way away, isolation of starting up. And if you are growing an existing business, your motivation can falter by feeling stale, tired of doing the same old thing with seemingly limited results. After more than a decade of running my own business, I have found the most effective way to keep my zest and verve in my business is to be crystal clear on what I want to achieve – beyond the numbers. As I sit down to create my business plans, before I reach for a calendar or calculator, I take a moment to pause, and ponder. I then ask myself “what three words describe what I want this year?”. Writing what ever words come into my mind, I imagine what it would be like to achieve them. Some words work, some don’t and some need a tweak or two. With more pause for thought, then, volia! I have them, the three words that represent the outcome of the next 12 months. My three words this tear are; Joy – this relates to loving what I do, being happy doing it, and working with fab people Prosperity – achieving my business plan targets, prosperous and giving in relationships, and sharing the prosperity with my clients and all I connect with Go To...
Has your year ended how you wanted?

Has your year ended how you wanted?

Among my friends New Year’s Eve is always polarizing. They fall into two camps: 1. Some love it, the idea of celebrating the year with a bang, and eagerly anticipating the new year 2. The others are rushing for the year to be over, as they didn’t enjoy it, and they are not that enthused about the coming 12 months either. Where are you? And given I love to help businesses grow – into which group do you fall when you consider your business? Especially at this time of year, we can feel busier than normal. We often miss the perfect time to take stock and reflect on what has passed. Click To Tweet We then miss out on the learnings, and therefore, risk making the same mistakes as we enter the new year. I would love you to avoid this cycle! I have made a simple reflection chart for you to complete. Below is a photo for you to copy…told you it was simple. 😉 Simply answer the questions… 1. What did you love about this year? 2. What could have been better? 3. What did you learn? Then compare your actual income for the year against your goals. How did you fare?   And from what you wrote above, what insights does that give you about your business and how you run it? Doing this work will give you a great foundation to start the planning process for the next year. And hopefully, it will give you reason to be in the first group when you celebrate on December 31st! Please set aside the time, consider it...
Do you move like Jagger?

Do you move like Jagger?

I made a dream come true on Saturday night – I saw the Rolling Stones live…..it was IN-CRED-IB-BLE!! Watching Mick strut his stuff as a 72 year old was impressive. Age was not even a consideration. He was electrifying, captivating, omnipresent and energizing. Wow – he did move like Jagger, and had the entire stadium in his hand, watching his every move. Thinking about the concert the next day, I wondered how does he do it? And what is it about him that has legions of fans globally prepared to pay hundred and thousand of dollars to follow the band on tour around the world?   Impact.   I know the Stones are legendary, and icons of the music industry but without that impact, they would be just another has-been band from the 60’s and ‘70s. Even as I write that, I can’t even contemplate the Stones just being ‘another’ band.   Whether you are still in a job, or growing your own business, what impact do you have?   Are you memorable, will people you meet be thinking about you the next day, or will you be relegated to the back of their mind? When I think about impact, I like to think about engagement. How engaging am I to the people I am with? I’m not talking about small talk scripted by Professor Higgins for Eliza Doolittle, but how engaged are you in the connection you are making. Watching Mick on stage, and we were close, he was giving it his all. He wasn’t thinking about the after-party, or what he was going to have for supper,...
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...
Is Your Success Out Of Date? Thrive! TV Tips

Is Your Success Out Of Date? Thrive! TV Tips

“Is this it? What made me think this would be a good decision?! I must have been crazy to quit my job and start my own business. No one told me it would be this hard.” “I can’t believe I left my old job, what was I thinking. When I planned this sabbatical/new job, I thought it would be the best thing in the world. But, if I am honest, I hate it.” I have heard these laments and many like them from my clients. Setting out on a new path for our lives can be much more challenging than we imagined. We often underestimate the impact of the change and how hard it can be to accept and embrace. When we work as an employee, our success criteria are often based on those external markers given to us by our company. Elements such as salary and benefits package, title, class of business travel and number of staff reporting to you can be how we measure our success in the corporate world. Starting up our own business we change many things; what we do, our title, our working structure and our place of work. But very rarely do we update our success criteria. It can be easy during transition to feel as if you are not a success any longer because the previous external markers have disappeared. In the initial stages of any career change, knowing how we judge our own success is critical in keeping our confidence, optimism and energy high. We must know deeply what success is for us. This personal definition of success will be different...
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?        ...
Lost Your Life? Thrive! TV Tips

Lost Your Life? Thrive! TV Tips

Yes, I know it’s there somewhere but chances are if you are running your own business, you may feel as if you have LOST YOUR LIFE Does this sound familiar – you are sitting on the coach for some relaxing time with the family but in reality, you have your tablet on your lap, and you are doing your social media, checking your email? So work creeps in, again. Or it’s Sunday morning, and instead of relaxing, making coffee and catching up on the papers, you are catching up on writing a report that is due in Monday. So if you feel that you don’t know where work ends and your personal life begins I recommend that you start to create some simple boundaries and stick to them. Remember it is you who controls your diary and ultimately your time. You are the one in charge of you! Too often we forget this in the rush of our lives. And if we feel like we are working all the time, we never get a real chance to recuperate, rest and feel rejuvenated for the next working day. So if you want to get rejuvenated, try these actions   Set a start time for work everyday – and your brain will thank you for it, if it’s the same time every day Finish work at the same time every day Doing this will make you feel like you have control over your working day, encourage you to put down those devices and reconnect with your personal time.   Would you like a weekly burst of momentum delivered straight into your...
Frigid About Finance? Thrive! TV Tips

Frigid About Finance? Thrive! TV Tips

Is finance leaving you frigid? Are you waking up at 2am wondering how you will pay the mortgage? You know you would really love to create the new business you are dreaming of but you are terrified it won’t make any money. Before you complete your business plan, take some time out to do some personal accounting instead. You need to make a safety net of cash to cover you just in case the business doesn’t take off like you thought it would. So, get your calculator out and work out how much money you need each month to cover your living expenses – your housing, food, utilities, clothes, travel, holidays etc. Then start saving! If you want to loosen up your fear around finances when you start your own business, having set aside a safety net of 8 months worth of living expenses will do that. Your Action: calculate how much you need to live on for each month start a savings plan That will help you rest easy and get back to your business...
When Do You Send Out The Bailiffs? Thrive TV Tips

When Do You Send Out The Bailiffs? Thrive TV Tips

Are Bad Debts Ruining Your Cash Flow? [new_line] Do you resent those clients who aren’t paying you on time, especially when you have spent late nights getting your work done on time or getting their delivery to them it doesn’t seem fair.[new_line] A poor and mismanaged cash flow is a disaster for any business. When you run out of cash, you can’t pay your suppliers or your staff and you have to borrow money. This can be an expensive option.[new_line] Instead of getting bitter and twisted about it, not to mention extremely worried, use this system to manage your cash flow and start to feel in control of your debtors.[new_line] 1. Create an Invoice Due Date:[new_line] Put it on your invoice. Maybe its 14 days, or 30 days, it is up to you. But you need to decide and then place it clearly on your invoice.[new_line] 2. Set yourself three reminders in your calendar:[new_line] i) 2 days before it is due ii) the due date iii) 5 days after the due date [new_line] 3. Use the reminders like this:[new_line] i) 2 days before hand – check if it has been paid[new_line] If it has – great! If not, send them a reminder that the invoice is due on ‘x’ date, and that you are looking forward to their prompt payment.[new_line] ii) On the due date – check again if it has been paid[new_line] Fab if it has, you might even want to thank them. If it hasn’t been paid send them an email reminder requesting payment within 5 days.[new_line] iii) 5 days after the due date – check again[new_line]...
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