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Small businesses

How to create more time so you can grow your business

Typically business owners try to do it all themselves. When you start out, that’s par for the course, but if you’re still doing it all two years down the line (or more), then you are probably feeling a bit frazzled or burnt out. And your business possibly isn’t growing as you’d like it to. Even if you’ve tried to improve how you’ve worked to be more efficient and it’s not er, worked, here’s another way to look at your tasks to identify what you can: Keep doing stop doing make more efficient or give to someone else to do Or, […]

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What are your biggest business challenges?

I recently sent out a survey to small business owners asking them what the biggest challenges they faced were and what success looked like for them. And the results are in!   Unsurprisingly, the biggest challenges are around not having enough revenue, clients or leads. And working too many hours, although I was slightly surprised to see that only half of people surveyed saw this as a problem. It’s great to see that no-one felt poor service delivery was an issue. Perhaps this only becomes an issue when you have too many clients that makes it difficult to provide a […]

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Top 5 applications to help your business grow for less than £50 a month

Having efficient business processes can make a great difference to your business. They help you grow through generating leads or enabling you to scale up. One of the biggest challenges small businesses or start-up businesses have though is finding the tools to help them grow which don’t cost the earth. I have spent five years trying to find the ones that work the best for me and this blog looks at the ones I use and how they fit together. I’ve included more than five, but the key ones I use are: Jotform – for creating tests and questionnaires Active […]

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3 mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your customers

It hurts when you lose a customer doesn’t it? Particularly if they were a good customer. How do you avoid losing customers? This blog highlights three mistakes that can trip you up and what you can do about it. A client of mine has just sacked their bookkeeping service for making three mistakes which could all have been avoided if they had managed things better. Not only has this company lost a client, but they’ve also left someone who is extremely disgruntled and will be expressing his displeasure far and wide. And I will never recommend them to anyone else. […]

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The high street fights back!

Despite the demise of yet more large retail businesses over the last month, there are some who are getting with the programme and working out how to keep customers coming to them through clever technology or providing an inviting experience through their shops. There is definitely still a place for the high street. I’m not a big fan of shopping, but sometimes you do want to go and browse and look at the products you want to buy. Shoes, clothing, books and computers are the ones I would happily go and rummage around for. Shoes, only because I can’t be […]

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Lean Consumption – the new way to happy customers

As I’ve written in several blogs on customer service, getting and keeping happy customers isn’t rocket science. Unfortunately, it seems to be a challenge for many organisations. Given it takes a lot less effort and money to keep your existing customers than to find new ones, it makes much more sense to set up your business to ensure they have the best experience with you so they stay with you (and hopefully buy more from you and tell lots of other people how amazing you are!). To that end, I give you – lean consumption. Not a summer diet… Lean consumption […]

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Outsource to grow your business

Are you doing everything yourself when you should be outsourcing some areas of your business? A survey carried out by the FSB in 2016 concluded that UK small business owners spend an average of four days per month on internal business administration, while 55% believe the amount of admin they face is stunting the growth of their companies. 76% of small business spend more time than they feel is necessary on compliance – tax, pensions, insurance, health and safety, accounting (and now, of course, GDPR). They concluded that the average SME small business owner spends only eight hours and 50 minutes […]

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Never give up! Is this always true?

As business owners, we are often urged to never give up. I recently watched the film Eddie The Eagle. He was a class act in never giving up. He had a dream of going to the Olympics and he didn’t stop until he got there. It made me think about whether giving up is ever an option, or whether there are times when you should throw in the towel? We all know the stories about those people who achieved success with despite multiple setbacks: J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter manuscript was rejected by 12 publishing houses. Gone With the Wind […]

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What’s your bigger game? And is it ok to have a smaller one?

Do you have a plan for business growth? And do you look at it and feel guilty if it doesn’t include world domination? That you don’t have a burning desire to want to save or create a better world with your business? I used to. There is a school of thought that we’re supposed to have a bigger game, a vision, a passion, creating something to help millions. There are people who do this – Tom Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Priestley, Mario Forleo – who says ‘The world needs that special give that only you have’. And so many others […]

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Don’t be a business dinosaur – keep an eye on the future

This week we meet some more dinosaurs of the business world with both  Toys “R” Us and Maplin going into receivership. You’d think businesses would learn from the mistakes of past spectacular failures like Blockbusters or Kodak who didn’t or wouldn’t see the future. If you don’t move with the rapidly changing times, you’re likely to get trampled in the rush of progress. Which is exactly what has happened with these businesses. I am not surprised, certainly not about Toys “R” Us – I’ve been thinking for some time how out of touch Toys “R” Us was. Those soulless shops […]

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