Celebrating success in your business is crucially important

Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Celebrating success in your business is crucially important

This is a photo of the glass of bubbly that I had when I submitted my books to my accountant this week. I was celebrating success.   My Corporation Tax deadline is looming and I will outwardly admit that getting the business financial records together has to be one of my least favourite jobs. Consequently, I chose to tidy the house, weed the garden, and bake cakes, rather than knuckle down and get this done sooner. (Looking at it, did I actually make myself busier while distracting myself from the inevitable?) Sorry, Paul (my long-suffering accountant), if you read this, but I guess you knew this about me already! Anyway, after hours of beavering away, they’re in. I pressed ‘send’ on the email, and didn’t give it another thought. That is until my other half said ‘Congratulations!’ after finding out I’d managed to submit the figures. For a split second I paused, but moved quickly on to the job of getting tea ready for the tribe. I thought nothing of it as there was, as always, a seemingly never-ending pile of other things on my desk waiting to be done. I was already thinking about the next major thing on my list – completing the business analysis I’m carrying out for a client. Later that evening I was handed a glass of beautifully chilled sparkling wine. ‘You should celebrate,’ I was told. ‘Why?’ I asked, again thinking that this ‘achievement’ was a drop in the ocean compared to the number of items on my ‘to do’ list. ‘Because you got the accounts in. You’ve had it to do for ages, and now it’s done.’ The job was done. I hadn’t granted myself any credit. Celebrating success needs only a breath See this from this perspective, too. I place great importance on my clients a. Recognising their achievements; b. Celebrating their successes (small, significant and everything in between). I do genuinely believe this is important. Yet I had failed to stick to my own conviction. Stopping to think about what you have accomplished helps…no, is crucial…to: Understand how far you have come Feed the energy and enthusiasm you have for your business and where you’re going with it Remind yourself what you are doing and why I say to my clients, even if you don’t feel the success warrants a party, allow yourself a moment to appreciate what this means to you. In the fast paced world we live in, we rarely give ourselves that time to even take a breath and absorb what we have managed to do. I’ve certainly resolved to take the time to celebrate my achievements from now on. The feeling when I raised that glass in recognition of getting my accounts in, was really quite marvellous. It might even spur me on to get them done sooner next time! What successes are you celebrating in your business this week? Do drop me a line and let me know at lynda@thebusinessgreenhouse.co.uk or pop a message on The...

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3 beliefs Macron champions that can benefit small businesses

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

3 beliefs Macron champions that can benefit small businesses

His meeting with May last week reminded me how beliefs much associated with small business success appeared to help fuel Emmanuel Macron’s rise to President of France. Beliefs are interesting things because there’s no absolute certainty that they can be right, or bring you success! We often form them to help us connect with, and understand, our world, but it sometimes requires active thought and exploration of what we hold as important to know what our beliefs are. However, it’s also perfectly possible to challenge and re-evaluate them. Knowing what your beliefs are can be a powerful motivation to decided how to go about achieving your ambitions. As such, our beliefs can guide what we do…or don’t do – our actions. In all honesty, though, I can’t say if these are Macron’s beliefs. I didn’t interview him, nor have I done an in-depth character analysis. I literally mapped my observations from what I saw of the coverage of his election to what resonated with the small business world I inhabit. The three beliefs I homed in on are likely informed by the stories told, and conversations had, with my clients during my time working at The Business Greenhouse. It’s possible, though, that Macron also swallowed a book of commandments for entrepreneurs – I’ve sat in the audience of many talks given by leading business people all giving the same advice. So what can we, as small business owners, glean from Emmanuel Macron’s rise to President of France? This is what I saw as crucial to the success of small businesses:   1. Barriers need not be barriers It’s rather obvious to state that there are a seemingly infinite number of hurdles to jump when starting, running or growing your business. We know, too, that hurdles can escalate into brick walls. They come in various guises from red tape to discrimination, from knowledge to finding confidence. They can suck up an enormous amount of time, energy and effort as we endeavour to fight our way over them. This really does go without saying. However, not all barriers are actually barriers. Sometimes it is the perception that these hurdles and brick walls exist that deters progress. Macron refused to let age and experience stand in his way Macron elegantly demonstrates the point. He’s 39 (making him the youngest ever President of France) and has zero experience at MP or local political level, nor on the campaign trail. Age and lack of experience are oft quoted reasons for why people feel they can’t achieve their goals. Have you heard it? “I’m too old,” “I’m too young,” “I won’t be taken seriously as I don’t have a background in what I’m trying to do”. Sometimes, I’m sure, there is truth in their convictions. We know ‘ageism’ is an understood concept in today’s society, and ‘lack of experience’ isn’t commonly the key to securing a job, a meeting, or a sale. Macron has not escaped the critical views. There were many references to his being young to run...

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How your business can thrive pre-Brexit

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

How your business can thrive pre-Brexit

Brexit has become front page news again after a brief interlude over the summer, and what a return it has made! But are you any clearer as to how your business is supposed to flourish in this post-Brexit-vote/pre-actual-Brexit world? It got me thinking…if I could ask Theresa May to do one thing that would help my business in these changeable times, what would it be? My deliberations took me back to a conversation I’d had with a local business owner, Andrew Lee, earlier this summer. The conclusion is removed from policy making and political agreements. Yet it is, I think, one that would produce a positive effect on the majority, if not, all British businesses. By ‘all’, I mean no matter whether one-man bands or massive corporations. I wrote up our conversation, with Andrew’s consent – read on below. Let me know what you think!  The one thing this Bridgwater lettings agent needs from Theresa May Andrew Lee of Andrew Lees Lettings in Bridgwater, Somerset, is clear: Theresa May’s government needs to make a statement saying that Eastern Europeans are still welcome in the UK. One third of the properties his company lets are traditionally taken up by Eastern Europeans working in and around Bridgwater, Somerset. The number of Eastern Europeans wanting to rent is down by half. Asked why this is, Lee recounts one of the many conversations that he’s had with tenants over the last couple of weeks. The tenant and his family are going to return home as they’re uncertain what’s going to happen to them.  The worry that this uncertainty is causing is reflected in other families that rent their homes from Andrew Lees Lettings. Going forward, too, Andrew Lee talks of the number of Eastern Europeans who, sending their earnings home to support their families, will be affected by the change in the exchange rates. This may translate into less money available for rent, which may mean families downsize or move into different areas. It also means less money for their families. Lee is visibly worried by the effect Brexit is having on peoples lives. “My concern is that Eastern Europeans are welcome here. I’ve been running this business for 10 years and I have seen their families growing up, their small children growing up, and I want certainty for them.” What of tenants of other nationalities? Lee notes, “We have tenants from France, Portugal and Spain too, they are more confident and feel they can stay.” Lack of concern for people after Brexit vote causes business instability “Pre-Brexit, I really thought that small business ministers would say more. Did you hear anything about the people?  I felt let down by the government that they didn’t say anything. There were so many headlines. Osborne and Carney made some good statements, but all we heard about is the markets and the value of the pound. I’m fed up of hearing about the markets, and hate crime, but nothing about the people. [People’s feeling of uncertainty and word] is...

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Social media certified!

Posted by on Jul 10, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Social media certified!

Did you see that we have a bone fide social media certification here at The Business Greenhouse? Hootsuite Certified Professional status is an industry-recognised social marketing certification and our Director, Lynda, has proven herself more than au fait with the essential elements of social marketing. As a reward for her certification, Hootsuite has given Lynda a permanent online certificate to showcase her digital expertise and a listing in the Hootsuite Certified Professionals Directory, or ‘Social Media Consultant Directory’ as it’s also known.     Lynda has been putting her social media knowledge and practice to good use since she founded The Business Greenhouse is 2011. ‘I’m rather chuffed to have the bit of virtual paper, though, that proves I can do it!’, said Lynda. ‘It’ll probably be reassurance to those who are thinking about asking The Business Greenhouse to help them out with their marketing, that we’ve got the right balance of business insight and marketing nous to bring their ideas and plans to fruition.” “Social media is part of the choice of marketing channels that are available to small businesses. There are lots of ways to think about using it to best effect in your business, not least which platform or platforms you should use! We help our clients decide how to incorporate social media into their marketing activity, and how to carve out some time for it. Most of all, it becomes important how to make sure what you’re doing on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other channels actually gives you a return on the time, effort and money you give it. We can train our clients in social media, and support them in making it work for their business.”...

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More businesses to benefit from £2000 Growth Voucher

Posted by on Sep 3, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

More businesses to benefit from £2000 Growth Voucher

If you want to grow your business, and haven’t yet benefited from a £2000 Growth Voucher, now could be your chance – the Government has opened up the scheme to even more small businesses. The aim of the Growth Voucher programme is to help small businesses access the strategic advice they need to help them grow.  If eligible, you’ll be granted a £2000 Growth Voucher that you can use against one of five support areas: Finance and Cashflow; Expanding your workforce; Leadership and management; Marketing and customer service (the heading under which The Business Greenhouse can provide businesses with support); and IT and web.  You have to match fund the investment, but you don’t have to use all of the £2000 granted.   So, how is the Growth Voucher easier to access now? To make the scheme more accessible to small businesses, the government is introducing flexible payment options.  Now eligible businesses can pay their half of the voucher directly to the provider and no longer need to find 100% of the cash and claim it back. What’s the benefit of seeking strategic advice for your business? If the idea of £2000 to put towards growing your business is appealing, then you’ll probably be running through the pros and cons of actually applying for a Growth Voucher (at this stage, be aware that eligible businesses are randomly selected for a Growth Voucher so there is a possibility you might not be awarded even if you meet the criteria).  Enterprise Nation, the organisation helping to administer the Growth Voucher scheme, put this infographic together – it shows how businesses have benefited from advice they have sought: If you need further convincing as for why you should consider applying for a Growth Voucher, Lord Young, the Primer Minister’s advisor on enterprise, urges: “External, strategic advice is key to commercial success and has helped thousands of businesses to grow. I want to make it easier and more affordable for small businesses to access and the Growth Vouchers programme is doing exactly this. I have received fantastic feedback from small business owners who have taken up this great offer, using the online marketplace to select a strategic advisor to help them shape their business growth and improve performance.” Moreover, the benefits are best exemplified by the results we get for our clients when working for them on a strategic level.  Many of our clients come to us because their heads are spinning with all the whos, whys, whens, wheres and hows of marketing their business.  Does any of this sound familiar? You’ve tried every which marketing way you know with fewer results than expected.  An effective, targeted, strategy that will bring bigger returns on your investment is definitely needed. Your marketing efforts brought in more customers for a while, but the results of your efforts have now plateaued.  You really want an evolving marketing strategy that helps you to utilise the marketing tools best suited to bringing in a steady stream of new customers...

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