Posts Tagged ‘business’

What value do you put on the advice you get from your business mentor?

And how do you show respect to your business mentor?

 

I was very interested to read the James Caan article in the Guardian newspaper recently (http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2013/aug/28/business-mentor-tips-james-caan) about taking notice of your business mentor.

The first thing that sprang to mind is “I wonder how he defines mentor”. So many people seem to use the term interchangeably with coach and business advisor. (See my take on the differences here http://www.thebusinessbloggingnetwork.com/2011/03/should-you-choose-a-mentor-an-advisor-or-a-consultant-to-help-you-in-your-business-or-all-3/

It always amazes me how some businesses invest a lot of time, effort and their hard earned cash in paying for help/ support/ advice and then completely ignore it. Or don’t share the knowledge throughout the organisation, so one area will be making great changes and the rest of the business fails to keep up with them. 

 

So who or what qualities make a good mentor for you or your business?

Training is the tip of the iceberg

Tip of the icebergI used to be a management trainer with a consultancy both in the United Arab Emirates and in the UK. Everything went really well and we conducted lots of training programmes for a wide range of companies in everything from customer service to quality programmes. Then one day our best client came along and said “We love your training, everyone comes out full of enthusiasm and ready for action – BUT, after a while they seem to go back to doing things the old way and end up on the same programme again next year. How can we change this?”

Is a LinkedIn endorsement as valuable as a recommendation?

LinkedIn has recently introduced the endorsement feature making it very easy for your connections to endorse you for the skills you have in your profile, which raises the issue of having a great profile and making sure your skills are complete and prioritised but we’ll talk about that in another post.

Now I use LinkedIn to source leads for my businesses, but it is also one of my major sources of good suppliers for me. And I use it to find out more about he businesses I work with before a project starts.  So I’m a little sceptical about the benefit of these endorsements on your profile.

I am a huge fan of good recommendations. Not the ones that say “I met Philippa at a meeting and she was lovely” – which are great for the ego, but they don’t really help me when I want to find a new service provider, or to learn about the people I work with. 

What does your email address say about you and you business?

I was contacted this week by a (self proclaimed) eminent authority on social media. He contacted me by email inviting me to attend one of his “world renowned” training courses. Nothing wrong so far, except it was sent with an email address along the lines of joebloggs@anispyouwouldhaveused10yearsago.com

The information about the course was all on an eventbrite page. Again nothing wrong with that, but I would expect a link to the home page of the training provider, which was conspicuously absent.

Celebrate your successes

image supplied by http://stockmedia.cc

So in my last blog I talked about having a plan to ensure that you can actually achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself or your business. And human nature being the way it is we are always the first ones to beat ourselves up about failing to achieve these goals. But how often do we celebrate when we do achieve them? It is very easy to forget the successes we do achieve as we go about our business lives so this year I’d like you to try something. Every day write in your diary, or in your calendar, or in a separate note book ANYTHING you have done well, anything you have achieved however big or however small. And if you can write more than one thing then write all of them down. But make sue you write something down. They don’t all have to be business related. Anything you do that make you feel good, that you have been putting off, or done for the first time, then record it.

Do you want real results from your goals this year?

If you do then you probably need a plan

As business owners we are told we must have business goals and we have to achieve these goals, and that we have failed if we don’t achieve them.

But how realistic are our goals? For me the piece I most often find missing is the plan to achieve these goals.

It’s all very well setting yourself a goal, but is it actually achievable? And I’m not talking stretch goals here. I mean the goals where you say you can do something in 12 months, but based on your current performance it will actually take 16 months. Now you can cWordle: goal settinghange the goal to achieve this in 16 months, or you have to change what/ how you work. Again both valid options. But what isn’t valid is saying “I will achieve it in 12 months but I won’t change how I work/ what I do”. This means you have set yourself a goal that you can’t possibly achieve. And unfortunately we live in a culture where failure is criticised. This isn’t a failure of the goal. This is a failure of the planning process that should be part of the goal setting process.

So what does being late to a business appointment say about you?

 

 

It always amazes me when people turn up to a business appointment 10, 20 or in one case recently 70 minutes late! Having lived & worked in London I know the perils of travel & the unreliability of public transport, but when the meeting is a few minutes from your home/ office what’s the excuse? What does it say about your respect for the person you’re meeting? For me it makes me feel that they don’t value my services & even if they are paying for my time then I feel guilty that they won’t be getting good value from the time they’ve paid for, even when they have actually made that decision for themselves.

Woman V’s Woman

I am not a feminist, nor am I a traditionalist. I believe that many of our foremothers fought so hard for equality that we do them a great injustice by then fighting to be anything other than equal to men.

Recently, I have realised that actually many of our battles are not with the opposite sex, but are in fact with each other. It saddens me that sisterhood doesn’t always exist and that many of the pressures we face are placed upon us by fellow females.

Columbo

I love watching Columbo. Infact I’ll be curling up on the sofa this afternoon with a cuppa to watch it. I don’t care which episode it is. I don’t care if I have seen it 15 times already. I’ll still be glued to the TV

Even if you have only ever seen one episode you’ll probably know that Columbo often looks like he is going to leave his suspect in peace but at the last second comes back to ask ‘just one more thing.’

It’s a great technique and always gives him a vital piece of information.

As techniques go it is one that could prove invaluable to you too. Give it a go when you are next talking to a customer or prospect. If you ask one extra question you could end up getting the vital piece of information that will get you the contract, a larger order or establish a loyalty to you as a supplier that didn’t already exist.

Turning networking into business

Are you looking to get more business from your networking efforts?

Are you wondering whether you are wasting your time and effort at networking events?

Are you struggling to really see a Return on Investment?

If the answer is YES! to any of these questions then you need to consider these three key ingredients – Commitment, Consistency, Contribution

Plan your time for success

As it is the start of the new year there are many people talking about planning and visions and goals.

As you probably know by now, I love to help people to get a great return on investment in their networking – to build relationships so that their business can grow and they can have fun doing it. There is a question that I am often asked that fits in well at this time of year as we are planning our diaries and our projects for the year.

How often or how regularly I suggest or recommend that people go networking or how much time to spend networking?

Work Less, Achieve More

Can I let you in on a little secret? Next year is going to be the year when I work less yet achieve more in terms of results for my business – AND I am going to help as many people as possible along the way to do the same thing.

Interested? Intrigued?

I was thinking about the military. In a military campaign, when the armies need to move forwards, Advance, the person that gives the order is not the person in the thick of it moving the line forwards. Business really needs to be the same. In order for our businesses to advance we need to be the person giving the command, not the foot soldier in the thick of it doing all of the work to make it happen.

Let me share with you what I believe are the 5 keys to being able to work less and achieve more by being, effectively, the person that gives the “Advance” command.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen!

One of the 4Networking Directors, Tim Johnson, caused a little bit of an outcry not that long ago when he announced to members that one man bands do not work. Now I can understand why his members were initially upset, after all most networking groups are built upon one man bands. Yet what Tim actually meant was that most one man bands will always, at best, struggle. However, if business owners are open minded and look at collaborating, then their potential for success and longevity massively increases.

Meetings, Bl**dy Meetings!

“Meetings are a waste of time. I’m just too busy to spend time in meetings. I’ve got too much work to do”. Sound familiar? And when I hear this I often do see people flying around frantically fire fighting, often getting lots of interruptions and not being at all sure where they are going. Does that sound familiar too?

Don’t be afraid to ask

A while ago I was in Malta and it happened to be the weekend of the Malta Powerboat Grand Prix.

All very loud and exciting.

My husband is a brilliant photographer and is always keen to take pics of anything and everything. It was certainly a wonderful opportunity for some incredible images, especially if he could get a Press Pass to get in the pits.

That got me thinking – how could I get him in there? Who might be able to get him a Pass? Boat Magazines! They could potentially get coverage and images that they wouldn’t have been able to get and for free! I had a plan.