Is your summer what you hope'd it would be?

It's the middle of the summer holidays and children or no children, it's the time of the year when most of us hope to take some time off, whether that's to get away or simply make the most of the better weather (??) on the golf course, in your hiking boots or in the saddle (horse or cycle).

So my question to you this week is ... are you managing to have the time off that you would like? 

I had a conversation yesterday that got me thinking about our mortality and the fact that we never quite know when our time is up.

Sorry, that's not very cheery I know, but it got me thinking about how we spend our time.  Very often business owners started their business with dreams of more time to do X but find that the business takes over and they end up spending less time with their friends and family and doing the things they wanted to do.

This is perhaps a good time of year to stand back and see how near you are to achieving what you set out to do.  If you're not getting time to do the things you thought you'd be doing over the summer then work out what's stopping you.

It might be that you're not clear about exactly what you want so you're going round in circles.  In which case you need to get clear on your goals so that you know what you're aiming for. 

Or it might be that you are too central to your business and you need to find ways of releasing yourself and getting things done without you.

If you want to chat about systems, processes and delegating and how that might help you get more time to do the things you want to do, I'm always happy to have a chat, just give me a call. 

 

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Process has revolutionised the world!

One of the things that comes up time and again when I’m speaking to people about how they can get more time back is the ability to get other people to help with some of the work.

Small businesses usually fall into one of two camps:

     1.        the owner is very precious about the work and doesn’t think anyone else can do it as well as them

     2.       they have got other people working with them but it happened organically and generally they have some really good people working for them but everyone does their own little job and no-one else really knows much about other people’s work. 

The problem with the first situation is that the business is very reliant on the business owner and a) is unlikely to survive if something stops the business owner working for a few weeks/months or b) the business will never be able to grow past the size where the business owner can handle everything.

The problem with the second situation is that the business is very reliant on a small number of individuals and a) if any one of them is unable to work for a few weeks the others probably wouldn’t know what to do to cover them and b) there probably isn’t consistency in how things are done as each person has developed their own little ways of working.

The answer to all of these issues is PROCESS.

Rather than me explaining all the reasons why having a process manual will help your business, pop over to my website where I have a selection of videos which will explain things much more eloquently than I can.

Click here to see the videos.

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Do you ask your customers for help?

I have recently launched a new service for the processorising side of my business.  Nothing outstanding in that, but I wanted to share the lessons I’ve learnt whilst I was pulling this service together.

I knew the service I was offering had to change for a number of reasons – some were personal reasons and some were about my perception of the effectiveness of the current service.  The alternative I had come up with was OK in principle but I knew that it wasn’t going to meet the needs of my potential customers and so I had been a bit stuck for a while, trying not to offer my old service but having nothing else to replace it. 

My progress changed when I had a conversation with a potential customer and I ended up asking him how he would like it delivering.  The following week I had another conversation with a different prospect and asked her how it would work best for her.  Armed with this information I found a new way of delivering this service which met both my requirements and the needs of these potential customers. 

Now I know they are only 2 people and their needs might not be the same as everyone’s needs, but it did get me unstuck and help me develop something that I think will work.  Whilst it might not be the answer for all my prospects, I am hoping that it will be the right solution for some of them, and actually some of them is all I need.

So my lessons here are:

1.       Ask your potential customers what they want – it’s no good offering a service that isn’t going to fill a need.

2.       You’re never going to please all the people all of the time.

3.       You probably only need a few customers so No.2 doesn’t matter as long as you’re pleasing someone.

If you want to find out more about the programme I’ve developed (and take advantage of the special launch offer) click here.

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