Free coaching sessions in Bridgwater

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Free coaching sessions in Bridgwater

I had an opportunity to reshuffle my plans for Monday. I saw the chance to offer 6 free coaching sessions to fellow small business owners. They’re available to book now.   It’s one of the benefits of running my own business. New ideas don’t have to go through mountains of approval processes. If it feels good, it just needs me to say ‘yes’. There’s then the small point of the time needed to put it all into action. However, if it’s fun stuff and aimed at supporting small business owners, it doesn’t seem too much of a problem! Anyway, with my marketing strategy course now starting in November, I found myself with my beautiful room at Purple Square HQ in Bridgwater available on Monday 9th October. After a moment, I thought ‘free pop up clinic’. It’s been an idea on my backburner for some time. I put a timetable of 6 coaching sessions together, hopped onto Doodle, and had an appointment diary for the day up and running in no time. It’s not pretty, but it’s functional. It’s also a quick win for both me with my ambitions to support fellow small business owners in achieving their goals, and for those small business owners who’d like to benefit from some free coaching. You could use the session to help you to gain some clarity or focus around something you’re working on or being challenged by at the moment, or as a chance to sample a coaching session and find out how coaching could benefit you and your business.   As food for thought, many use coaching to provide them with a sounding board or to have someone to whom they’re accountable. Others find coaching unlocks confidence in them to do something new or differently. Some find it helps them be more effective and productive, enabling them to drive their business forwards. How to book your free coaching session Claim your free coaching session from The Business Greenhouse by entering your name in the Doodle box, then email me at lynda@thebusinessgreenhouse.co.uk to confirm your name and business name.   If you can’t make the session in person, we can Skype. Let me know by email that you’d prefer the coaching session delivered via Skype so I make sure I’m logged on. I can be found on Skype at @thebusinessgreenhouse. My email address is lynda@thebusinessgreenhouse.co.uk Do you run a small business that you’re keen to drive forwards? Feel you’re being left behind as others around you take advantage of the energy and momentum that’s in the area? My Thrive group based in Bridgwater is designed to support you. Take a...

read more

Thrive registration open

Posted by on Sep 27, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Thrive registration open

After a jam-packed-with-ideas-activity-and-thought introductory session last Monday, our new business development programme, Thrive, is officially up and running in Bridgwater*! The programme starts on Monday 16th October and is initially for 3 hours once a month for three months. There are three spaces left in an intentionally small group (three spaces have been reserved already). The view is that fewer numbers will mean more focus and support can be given to each participant. Info and Thrive registration are available here.     Who joined us at the Thrive introductory session? Participants at the intro session spanned different sectors and are all at different stages in their business. One had recently launched their business, another was running a turnover of over £1.5m. They ranged from a sole Owner/Manager, to a Director employing a team, to one representing a triad of Directors. They explored their hopes, fears and aspirations for the group and would very much like to see some more like-minds join them to enhance the creative, innovative and collaborative potential that being a part of this group offers. If you’re a small business owner, Director, or leader and a new, dynamic, way of obtaining support for not only the development of your business but for you as well, really appeals, take a look at Thrive.   More info and register for Thrive Thrive registration is open now. Let me know if you need any other info or have any questions before you sign up. My number is 07546 409 664, email me at lynda@thebusinessgreenhouse.co.uk, or message me through The Business Greenhouse’s Facebook page. All the best,       *If Bridgwater isn’t an easy location for you to get to, and you want to benefit from the Thrive programme, let me...

read more

Why is thinking time important?

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

Why is thinking time important?

Thinking time is essential. Some seriously successful people in the business world say they wouldn’t be where they are without it. Yet in talking to other business owners, ‘taking time to think’ is something we rarely do. Something else is always far more vital to our business. In just the last week, I can count three conversations where a fellow business owner’s response has been ‘I’m just too busy’. When I thought about it, they aren’t unusual. This has been a common approach amongst many people I have spoken to, and corresponded with, over the years. I can put my hand up and say I’m guilty of this too. This prompted me to do some more thinking about thinking. Is thinking time really that important? I could only conclude thinking time is essential. Yes, we’re busier than ever, but I’d really like to persuade you that, from now on, perhaps the response should really be ‘how do I make that thinking time happen?’.   Top CEO’s value time to think Consider Warren Buffett, head of the fourth largest public company in the world. You would expect him to be ‘too busy’. However, he famously values thinking time. His reason? To enable him to make the best decisions. I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think…I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions, than most people in business. – Warren Buffet, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, allegedly schedules two hours of uninterrupted thinking time every day. Read or listen to what Weiner says about the importance of carving out time. Does it resonate with you? Oftentimes, people get caught up in the day to day flow, and if challenges are coming at them fast and furious, there’s going to be a natural tendency to solve one problem after another, and it’s important to take some time. ‘Time’ is the key part…Part of the key to time management is carving out time to think as opposed to constantly reacting. And during that thinking time you’re not only thinking strategically, thinking proactively, thinking longer term, but you’re literally thinking about what is urgent versus what is important, and trying to strike that right balance. – Jeff Weiner, CEO, LinkedIn There are others, too. Bill Gates purportedly takes two weeks out every year to think. AOL CEO, Tim Armstrong, encourages his staff to make 10% of their time ‘thinking time’. That’s 4 hours out of their working week. This [thinking time] has been a total game changer for me and for AOL. The companies that take this seriously will have a major strategic advantage in the years to come. – Tim Armstrong, CEO, AOL   Is thinking time important enough for you? Weiner’s conclusions particularly mirror so many of the conversations I have with fellow business owners. The day to day running of your business throws one thing after another at you. You deal with things as they come in,...

read more

Join Thrive in Bridgwater!

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

Join Thrive in Bridgwater!

Let me introduce you to ‘Thrive’, a new business development group from The Business Greenhouse.  The concept has been developed in response to feedback gathered from small business owners. Thrive’s aim is to deliver the type of support they would really value, yet isn’t easily available for this size of business. After much cultivation, I’m utterly delighted that it’s time to launch the first ‘Thrive’ group. As the town in which The Business Greenhouse is based, I’ve chosen Bridgwater, Somerset, in which to open the inaugural group. Intrigued? Read on for more information… A dynamic new business development group in Bridgwater Are you ready for your business to benefit from the energy and momentum anticipated by other organisations in and around Bridgwater? This new Thrive group aims to flip business support on its head. You won’t find a prescribed series of talks telling you what you should be doing in your business. Nor stacks of reading material. Times are challenging and uncertain. Here at The Business Greenhouse we believe there is a need to think, and do things, differently and better. In the company of like-minded small business owners and leaders, the aim of this group is to encourage a micro-culture amongst you of entrepreneurial mindset. Collaboration, learning and innovation will enable you to realise your business ambitions. Providing a collective solution-generating, impetus-giving, sounding board, the group is invested in you and your business’ success. We envisage the advantage and future opportunities for your business as you profit from shared skills, know-how, resources and the benefit of hindsight. Being part of the group will mean a ‘time and effort investment’ from you, too. Other participants will expect and value your input and support. You will also remain responsible for the development of your own business in real-time. You’ll be accountable to the group as well – for their investment in you and your business, they’ll want to see you make progress! However, with the group’s support, you will unlock confidence, capability and capacity that enables you to make things happen for your business.   Who’s the group for? This initial Thrive group is for businesses based in and around Bridgwater in the Sedgemoor District of Somerset. Our intention is that you will benefit whether you’re an owner-manager, have one or a handful of employees, or are tipping the balance into becoming a medium enterprise. Typically, you might describe your business as a micro or small enterprise.  If your business is larger than this, and you feel that you would benefit from being a member of the group or contributing, please let us know. The wider the sector representation, and the larger the breadth of experience, the better we anticipate the opportunity for cross-fertilisation of ideas.   How do I know this group will work? This dynamic business development model has been developed as a result of the work The Business Greenhouse has done with Bristol Business School and the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of the West of England...

read more

What the Taylor Review could mean for small businesses

Posted by on Jul 12, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

What the Taylor Review could mean for small businesses

Yesterday, I found myself trying to get my head around what the Taylor Review means for self-employment and small businesses. When the Taylor Review was commissioned, it had a ‘clear remit to examine the growth of self-employment‘. There has been an undeniable increase in the number of self-employed people since 2008. Forty percent of all 2.2 million jobs created since then have been self-employed. The FSB adds, ‘In 2016, there were 1.3 million employing businesses and 4.2 million non-employing businesses. Therefore, 76% of businesses did not employ anyone aside from the owner‘. So far, the sense I’ve made of the Taylor Review is as such: The Taylor Review today is quick to make a distinction between self-employment and ‘gig’ workers. Gig workers are people who work via an app or online platform such as Uber, Deliveroo, RatedPeople and People Per Hour. Much of the debate appears to be around the gig economy and the government providing more protection for these ‘dependent contractors’. The Taylor Review wants to change the terminology – ‘gig workers’ should be ‘dependent contractors’ in order to differentiate between them and self-employed. Taxes may increase to address government losses However, looking into the implications on self-employment and owner-managers, I found the issue of ‘fair tax’ rises again. Do you remember Philip Hammond backtracking after last Autumn’s budget? He faced opposition to plans aimed at taxing the self-employed on a level more akin to those employed. Yesterday I read, ‘the sharp rise in self-employment in recent years, to 15 per cent of the workforce, is effectively costing the Government around £2bn a year in revenues‘. And ‘the rising trend of self-employed individuals to create their own companies, which pay a lower rate of tax on income than individuals’. At this I wonder if a version of Hammond’s original proposal will return to the table. Then the cynic in me recalls the rise in the number of small businesses coincided with the introduction of austerity. A huge number of job cuts forced people to set up their own business in order to survive. Was the government in fact responsible for creating this loss in revenue? ‘Incentives’ to pay pension and benefits insurance Leading the review Matthew Taylor, said, “It’s a problem for the public as a whole that too many self employed people will be retiring not being able to support themselves and too many self-employed people are not insuring themselves”. This is an issue. However, I suspect not because self-employed people don’t want to insure themselves or don’t need a pension. Self-employment is incredibly challenging and risky. Your income stream can be extremely erratic. The number of hours you put in can far outweigh the level of income you generate. Business-changing contracts can be lost because you’re not considered big enough. Many also constantly fear losing work because someone else (usually a larger business) will undercut you. Beside this, you have to cover costs and wages in times when customer demand is low. Austerity, or tightening up of the supply chain you feed in reaction to Brexit uncertainty...

read more