Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category
Whilst owning and running your own business can offer you flexibility and control, it can also be lonely and frustrating. When there’s no one in the office with you to brainstorm issues or problems or even to celebrate your latest success, a feeling of isolation and overwhelm can creep in.
A good networking group gives you some camaraderie and you can build some great relationships but essentially its purpose is to gain business. So discussing your challenges or issues with a potential client or those who can refer business to you will probably not be front of mind!
So how can you prevent that feeling of overwhelm or isolation that impacts your success?
The answer is to stay in control of your time and emotions and make sure you surround yourself with the right people.
Here are my three top tips:
1) Make the time to plan achievable tasks
Put time in your diary to plan the following week’s activities to make sure they are relevant and working towards achieving your business goals. Break them down so they are achievable and can be ticked off rather than overrun to the next week.
2) Do what you do best
You know what you enjoy – anything that makes time fly and gets you the best results! Focus on your strengths, and play to the strengths of others to get more done. The cost of outsourcing or delegating what you don’t enjoy will be worth it as it will take a weight off your shoulders and give you more time to maximise your potential.
3) Hang around with the right people
Negative nellies will bring you down so ditch them for success, action oriented individuals who listen to you, offer inspiration and encourage your success. Create your own board of directors to whom you can turn for expertise, advice and non judgemental support.
“I needed an environment where I could open up honestly about the challenges I was facing, rather than try and always have my “confident, in control” face on. dma’s group coaching has met that need head on… A group of like minded business owners, able to share the trials and tribulations of working life, whilst being guided by Denise towards resolving the issues that felt overwhelming but once talked through, finally produced a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Jo-Anna Francis, Maidstone Virtual Assistant
Looking for action oriented people to hang out with?
Come and try out one of my Step Up Forum coaching groups on Tuesday 9 April.
Visit www.stepupforum.co.uk for more information and to read what members say about their group coaching sessions
To book your place now contact me on 01732 851858 or email@example.com Places are limited
When did you last really talk with your business partner about the direction of your small business and what YOU BOTH want from it?
- Want some help to establish clear business goals with your business partner?
- Is there more potential in the business but it’s just not running as smoothly as it could be?
- Want to retire or take a back seat but need to be sure that your partner is ready to take up the reins, or are you biting at the bit to take over the reins but they just don’t know how to let go?
Working with a business partner should give you a sounding board to talk through ideas, share concerns and work through the tough times together. But does it always work out that way for you?
Having a business partner brings its own challenges, even more so if you are a family run business or have set up with a friend. I often find that communication may not be as open as it could be for risk of upsetting the other party.
Avoiding sitting down and talking about the direction of the business and what each of you want from it, means you have less control over the direction of your business. Instead of working in harmony with your partner(s), there could be friction and pulling in different directions, causing personal rifts, frustration and procrastination in decision making.
Business is tough enough as it is so you really want to be pulling in the same direction – where there is least resistance and where inspiration flows! Working towards joint goals brings any potential issues into the open so they can be resolved. You need to know what your business partner wants and how that is in line with, or different to, what you want.
Not taking the time to really talk about the future with business partners is pretty common as you are so focused on running the day to day business and keeping your head above water. Taking time out to discuss the future of your business and your part within it, seems a luxury for which you just don’t have the time!
Trust me – you need to find the time. That’s where I can help. Help you work through your joint business vision and set time bound goals to ensure you are going in the same direction. That’s why I am tailoring my successful Vision Formula Workshop to specifically help business partners get their year in gear – or as it has been fondly renamed by delegates, get your ‘ar.. in gear!’
To encourage two of you to come along and work through joint vision goals, the second delegate comes free. The delegate fee is £87 – so that’s only £43.50 each! I will take a maximum of 8 delegates on the workshop so we have time to talk through specific issues and set clear goals that work for you. That means I only have spaces for 4 sets of business of partners – and one place is already booked. So email me NOW!
The 3 hour workshop is on Tuesday 12 February 9.30-12.30 at The Hand and Sceptre, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells.
You will leave the 3 hour workshop with:
- A core 3 year business vision that clarifies what you both want from your business
- A reality check on where you are now
- Key measurable goals by which to track progress
- An action plan to get you started
Places are limited to 8 delegates – that’s just 4 sets of business partners for just £87 for you both. So email me now or ring me on 01732 851858 to book your place.
My recent blog gave you some tips for loving face to face networking! As you know I network face to face quite a lot as it allows me to meet new people and build relationships with those I already know. It also gives me feedback about what business owners need.
What I am hearing is that many owner managers need support from others where they can share business issues and ideas in a confidential environment to help their growth. Networking alone does not meet this need as you could be with potential clients who want to know what you can do to help them and their clients – not what is preventing you from doing it!
If you want to grow your network and achieve better results through group accountability and support, dma’s Kingshill Step Up Forum will meet those needs for your business and personal growth – at a price you can afford!
LAUNCH OF KINGSHILL MONTHLY COACHING GROUP
Whether you want to move forward in small steps or leaps and bounds, dma’s monthly coaching group will help increase your knowledge and learning in a safe and confidential environment that provides camaraderie, fun and stimulus for growth!
Following the continued success of my Tunbridge Wells group, I am launching a second group in Kingshill. I am holding a free taster meeting on Wednesday 12 September where you can meet me and other prospective members.
Click here to find out more and to catch that EARLY BIRD BONUS for this week only…
Networking, whether it be face to face or online is a crucial part of a marketing strategy for small business owners in building a sustainable and profitable business. Without the luxury of big budgets for more traditional marketing, your biggest asset in selling your business is you.
Communicating online can introduce you to people and keep the dialogue going, but for me and my business, face to face networking really works and together with referrals, is where I gain the majority of my business.
Admittedly in my last blog, I confessed to loving face to face networking! I am essentially a team player so networking offers me the synergy that I want from working with others to achieve common goals. But I know it is not relished by all small business owners. You most likely set up your business as you are an expert in your field – but that may not include putting yourself in front of others!
To help make networking business events less daunting and a successful investment of your time and money, keep these five points in mind and you may also get to love it too!
1. Remember that networking events are just that. They are not a forum to sell direct but an opportunity to meet others with whom you feel able to build a mutually beneficial professional relationship. Helping others to network by introducing them to good contacts for their business will help others to remember you.
2. Be selective about the events that you attend. Just because they are free it doesn’t make them worthwhile. If you are new to networking, smaller groups may be better, or groups where you see the same people each time to help build your confidence in meeting new people. But be sure that the people likely to be there include professionals you are seeking to build a mutually supportive relationship with.
3. You don’t need to be gregarious, just be yourself – authentic. That is who your target market wants to meet so they can get to know you. It is an opportunity to earn their trust and confidence. I am naturally quite curious, so showing interest in where others are in their business keeps me in touch with the needs and challenges of my niche market.
4. Know why you are there! Also be open to opportunities that might present themselves. You may have a specific need, whether it be in search of a supplier or joint venture partner. You may just want to get to know more people to raise your visibility online or meet your online contacts to get to know them better. In any case it will keep you aware of what your target market needs – if you take time to listen and not just talk.
5. Follow up with those you want to build a relationship and do it within 24 hours so they remember you and know you are sincere. Acting quickly also means you will do it rather than putting it on a do list or collecting a pile of card and leaflets!
Denise Molloy works with small business owners to help them build a sustainable and profitable business that suits their lifestyle. She regularly attends BOB networking meetings and Women in Business West Kent.
I work from home and it can feel a little isolated – even though I have a ‘virtual’ team. Networking gives me inspiration, camaraderie, a chance to meet new people, build closer relationships and keeps me in touch with the needs of my niche market.
It also offers opportunities to work with other professionals to help meet the needs of your clients. I’m doing just that through my BOB networking groups. As a result of requests from attendees of my Vision Formula workshops, I will be running a further workshop alongside fellow BOB members on marketing strategy with particular focus on your niche market, branding, website design and social media.
So keep your eyes peeled for further info or better still sign up for future blogs so I can keep you updated. Next week my blog will have 5 tips to help you love face to face networking!
Denise Molloy is a business and personal performance coach who works with owner managers to build sustainable and profitable business to suit their lifestyle.
I attended a Ladies at 11 Conference last week where I heard some really interesting speakers from whom I picked up some great and practical tips. This week I’d like to share just some of the tips offered by Voice Coach Laura Hart.
Her tips touched a cord (no pun intended), as I was suffering with a sore throat yet was continuing my coaching timetable regardless of the strain it was placing on my voice – a tool without which I could not survive! So the first tip is about taking care of your voice and the others about how to better use your voice for greater impact.
1. Take care of your voice:
- Fresh air! With all the air conditioning and central heating we use to keep comfortable, don’t starve your vocal chords of oxygen!
- Water – drink it, but occasional inhaling of steaming water over a boil with open mouth will give your chords an extra boost
- If you are suffering with a sore throat – give it a rest and shut up!
2. The need for colour :
- To give colour to your voice think slow, slow, quick, quick, slow
- Deliver new content more slowly for comprehension
- When reviewing content already delivered, speak more quickly
3. Stand and deliver
- Think where best to position yourself for sound and sight
- Move your position occasionally – then stand firm and straight
- Visit as many in the room with direct eye contact
4 Get physical!
- Use gestures to release your energy overflow
- Show what you are saying with your hands when you want greater impact
- Make facial expressions too, it gains interest and attention
You don’t need to be public speakers or Adele to appreciate the need for making the best of one of your most treasured and taken for granted assets. Whatever business you are in, you need to optimise every tool in your kit bag, so make the best of your voice to be a more effective communicator to help you grow your small business.
Laura Hart is a Voice and Speaking Skills Coach. The tips above are just a hint of how Laura helps her client. To find out more visit her website.
Denise Molloy is a business coach who works with owner managers to build a sustainable and profitable business that fits their lifestyle.
A quarter of the British economy is made up of family run businesses, employing 10 million people. 1000 go bust every month! That’s how Alex Polizzi starts her weekly programme ‘The Fixer’.
Polizzi is an hotelier and part of the Forte family run business who in this series is helping 6 family run businesses who are struggling to stay afloat.
Maintaining good relationships in a small business is crucial and is even more challenging when it’s alongside family members! Are you working with your dad or your boss, your sibling or your colleague, your spouse or business partner? As Polizzi put it – ‘it’s not just profit on the line, it’s relationships’.
As a business coach I work with small businesses, a number being family run. Key to their success, whether family run or not, are the people, and that means having open communication.
Effective communication opens the door to sharing great ideas and working together to achieve the business vision. If people don’t talk openly, tensions build and concerns are bottled up waiting to be released like a pressure cooker.
I use profiling with all of my clients to find out more about their strengths, areas for growth, and sources of motivation. One of the profiles is called DISC and is particularly effective for discussing their communication style. We look at how they can think more about the way they communicate with others to better build and sustain relationships for mutual benefit.
Here are 10 tips to help you communicate more effectively and achieve the business success you want:
1. Be clear about your business vision so you can share it with others. If you don’t know what it is, others will have no chance of knowing where you are heading and how they can help.
2. Openly discuss the need to be flexible and keep up with trends and needs of your client – if you don’t, you won’t grow and may not stay in business
3. Conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis with your team to help focus on your strengths and identify areas for growth
4. Help all of your team members find their voice so they feel able to actively participate in decision making
5. Be sensitive to the needs of others and how they may interpret what you have to say
6. Don’t make it too much talk and not enough action!
7. The whole team needs to be clear who is responsible for what tasks and results. Make sure they have the authority to take the action required to get there!
8. Agree who is going to do what and by when
9. Communicate clear measurements so you know that the desired outcome is achieved
10. Finally, remember that communication is ongoing and not just a one off task to clear the air.
Regular two way communication will keep the momentum going and ensure everyone who is involved in the success of your business, be they employees or an external resource, are clear on their role, responsibilities and level of authority. They will then be happy to be held accountable.
Denise is a business coach who works with owner managers to build a sustainable and profitable business that fits their lifestyle.
If you want to be clear on your business vision so you focus your efforts and find the right people to help you, visit The Vision Formula to find out more about dma’s 3 hour workshop.
Solopreneurship can be lonely……and is one of the reasons that a lot of us like to network. But how open and honest are we when asked ‘how’s business’? It will probably depend on how well you know and trust the person who’s asking the question and whether they could be a potential client.
We love the flexibility running our own business can give us, but we all face challenges, some that inspire us and some that can daunt. That feeling of overwhelm can creep in, caused by being busy or when we’re looking to keep the pipe line flowing.
The key is to maintain control and to have the right people to turn to. Follow these 3 tips regularly to help minimise the overwhelm.
Make time to plan achievable tasks
Allocate time in your diary to plan the following week’s activities – make sure everything you are doing is relevant and working towards achieving your business goals. Chunk them down so they are achievable and can be ticked off rather than over-run to the next week.
Do what you do best
You know what you enjoy as time flies and you get the best results. Focus on your strengths and play to the strengths of others to get more done. The cost of outsourcing what you don’t enjoy will be worth it as it will take a weight off your shoulders and give you more space and time to maximise your potential.
Choose who you hang out with
Negative nellies will bring you down so ditch them for success, action oriented individuals who will make time to listen, offer inspiration and encourage your success. Create your own board of directors to whom you can turn for expertise, advice and non judgemental support.
Why not hang out with me and other action orientated people on Wednesday 28 September and learn more about my 3 stage model to stimulate business growth. I will also tell you more about my group coaching programme and coaching gym that will help you make time to focus ON your business and work through issues that may be preventing you from Stepping it Up!
Please RSVP here on my LinkedIn free event on:
Wednesday 28 September
The Royal Wells
Does it drive you crazy when someone says to you “I hear what you say” – but you really wonder if they were listening to what you have to say?
Just recently I’ve been coaching a couple of managers who know they are not very good at letting people finish what they have to say before they interject. The interruption happens as they believe they have something valuable to contribute and want to add it to the conversation before they forget it.
Whether you are in conversation with a colleague or a fellow networker, if you want someone to know you are interested in what they have to say, hearing their words is not enough. You have to actively listen. That means you need to show them you are listening and value their contribution.
The following 7 easy tips to show people you are listening may seem pretty obvious when you read them – but start practising them and you will more easily build rapport and trust and create mutual respect.
- Look at someone if they are talking to you – don’t get distracted by anything else or anyone else in the room.
- Nod your head or make the odd mm.. to let them know they still have your attention.
- Let your body language let them know you are interested. If you tend to interrupt, sit back in your chair so it doesn’t look like you are just waiting to interject, or, sit forward if you tend to get distracted – it will narrow the view around you!
- Paraphrase back to them what they have just said as proof you have listened and to make sure you have understood.
- If you want to know more or need clarification, ask open questions starting with ‘what, how or when’ to encourage them to say more.
- Don’t end their sentences, you could get it wrong and miss some vital information.
- Don’t be afraid of silence. Some of the most vital information comes out when time is given to reflect and consider a response.
I am a great fan of Andrew Marr as an interviewer, so when you see all the re runs of his interview with Obama, watch how he is actively listening whilst still being able to make it clear he has something to add or ask without talking over his interviewee. Even Obama, in his interview, states that he wants to listen more; as Presidents tend to talk more than listen!
I appear to be gaining clients that are family run businesses, be they run by husband and wife, siblings, parent and sibling, or a mixture of family and extended family. One of the key areas that we find needs addressing to step up their business, is establishing the future vision of each business partner so they are moving forward in unison. This means opening up communication.
Owner-managers in general can be so busy with the day-to-day running of the business, that they don’t make time to think about and openly discuss the future, including where the business fits into their life plans. Family members are understandably mindful not to take work home with them and make a conscious effort to try to switch off and have quality time with each other.
As a consequence this can result in skirting around issues rather than making time to have a focused conversation about the future to establish where each member sees the business going.
Open communication is key
In family run businesses, there can be a closeness that can almost inhibit open communication, either because they think they know what the other wants, or they hold back from verbalising their thoughts in fear of upsetting other family members. Discussing when each member sees themselves leaving the company is of a particular delicate nature and can be a taboo subject. It shouldn’t be – brought out into the open it helps to give the business direction and focus as they work in unison towards common goals.
When I work with any client, one of the first things I do is take them through some personality profiling to help highlight their strengths and potential limitations. The profile reports also provide a great insight into their communication style, values, needs and desires. Once in black and white, I have found that by sharing this information, it gives each family member an objective base from which to open up communication channels.
I have used this process with great success to get things moving with all my clients and it is particularly effective in family run businesses. If you want to find out more about how I help clients to establish their business vision, sign up to receive my download, ‘What’s Stopping You Step Up Your Business’ teleseminar. Just enter your details in the sign up box in the left hand column of this blog post.
KENT 2020 VISION – Come and meet me and win a free profile and feedback
You can also come and meet me at the Kent 2020 Vision Show at Detling on 7 April. At the show you will have the opportunity to win a strengths profile and discuss the findings in a 1-2-1 coaching session to help you to maximise your potential and build your business success.