start up business

Getting control over your start up business has never been so easy

When your thoughts are in a knot and your mind feels chaotic, it is inevitable that your business will follow down that same path. Tony Robbins uses the 80/20 rule when discussing success, stating that success consists 80% of psychology and 20% of mechanics. Therefore the root of a start up business is fundamentally the psychology and skills of the leader. A noteworthy understanding that is commonly overlooked by business owners is that your business is yourself. With this in mind, it becomes apparent that if you can change your own mindset and well-being, you can change your business.

This is the first step in building a better business… Mastery. This step involves taking full control of the chaos going on in your mind and business. Within this step, there are four substantial elements. Believe it or not, but having these four simple elements in place will avoid future disasters and will get your business headed in the direction you want it to go.

As business coaches, we see a start up business go from chaos to control within a few months. The difference it makes, not only in their business but their life and well being, is truly magical. Any mastery gaps within a business can be identified during an initial analysis of a business and fixed usually within a month of business coaching with us.

Over the next couple months, I will be posting blogs about each of the mastery elements. Here is a quick summary on each element to begin your process of achieving mastery to help you in your business…

Destination Mastery

This component is all about getting clear on where you want to go. In my next blog, you will notice a strong correlation between those who have a written goal and those who succeed. Their secret is that they start with the end in mind which, simply put, is setting goals. Actually… not only setting goals, but also writing them down.

Money Mastery

Most would believe that this element is all about making lots of money. More importantly in this stage of a business’ evolution, money mastery is about knowing where your money comes from and where it’s going. You will be surprised to learn how easy it is to have control of your money. It takes me a whole 10 minutes a week to have complete money mastery… Yep, you read that right. 10 minutes out of your 10,080 minute week. Since I began taking 10 minutes out of my Monday morning to update my cash flow forecast, I have had a clear view at all times of the financial outlook for my business. Combined with a monthly Profit & Loss statement, clarity on my Break-even point and good invoicing processes, this gives me complete control over my business’ money!

Delivery Mastery

Whether you like it or not, you have no business without your customers. With this in mind, it would make the most sense to excel in your customer service in order to keep your customers happy and coming, right? Unfortunately, this is not always the case… but it should be! In his book ‘The Absolutely Critical Non-Essentials’, Dr Paddi Lund stresses that all business owners should systemize the ‘little things’ in their business. By doing the ‘little things’ to deliver an incredible experience for his customers, Lund created one of the most talked about customer service experiences in the world. And what did that give him, you ask? Raving fans.

Time Mastery

The most common excuse used in today’s business world is “I have no time” or “I am too busy.” I am here to tell you that you most definitely do have time and that it should be planned and managed in a way where 60% of your time should be spent working on tasks that are important, but not urgent. These are the tasks that build a great business. Take out 10-12 minutes to plan your day, and I guarantee that this small investment of time will save you up to two hours in wasted time and unproductiveness throughout the day.

Once these steps are in place, a start up business can really begin to shine and start using growth strategies to take it to the next level.

Learn more about the steps you can implement to improve your business by calling us today on (02) 9146 4439. You can also schedule a FREE 1-on-1 meeting with one of our coaches here.

Keep your eye out for the next blog on Destination Mastery. Until then, keep the thought below in mind:

Your business will not grow unless you grow as a person. If you want to lead others, you must lead yourself first.

Building-successful-teams

We are one but we are many – understanding and embracing the different qualities your employees can bring to your business success.

There are times in business when we spend as much time with our work teams as we do with our families. And even more than with families, our work teams include a range of individuals.  The saying“we are one but we are many” might resonate with you. You are likely to recall that saying when understanding and embracing the different qualities your employees can bring to the success of your business.

This is about building successful teams. Creating a cohesive team can give you the edge over your competitors. It is what can structure and boost the growth of your business.

Consider these key questions for 2017: what do you want your company culture to be,what will your team be like, how would you like your customers to feel and how can you create a successful business with your team?

There are a number of factors you need to consider when understanding and embracing the different qualities your employees can bring success to your business and building successful teams.

The first is strong leadership. Your team will look to you for certain qualities such as guidance, growth and decision-making. Equally important is being a leader who has enthusiasm and energy – this embodies the business and people want to follow someone who loves what they do.

Having a common goal is also fundamental to building successful teams. Being clear on your goals and creating a plan on how to accomplish them may well be the single most valuable activity you accomplish in 2017.

Your employees need boundaries and to know the rules of the game. Creating the rules of the game around culture, around processes and around responsibilities will dramatically increase the consistency and reliability of your team’s operation.  Ensuring an appropriate meeting and communication schedule is upheld will then lock in the pulse of the business.

Another key element is having an action plan. Your employees need an appropriate title, a written contract that outlines their job description and explains how they will be supported in their role.

A successful team, in particular one that progresses and achieves great success, will usually give strong support to risk-taking. Breaking with convention and being open to some degree of healthy risk taking is vital for your team to flourish.

Finally, remember to encourage being inclusive while building successful teams. It is important to involve all of your team in decisions, plans and projects or building the company culture. As we said at the start: We are but one but we are many – understanding and embracing the different qualities your employees can bring success to your business.

Do you want to have your best year in business in 2017? Find out more about building winning teams here with this free eBook.

good-leadership-skills

How to develop good leadership skills when starting your business

What’s on your business card? Managing Director? Owner? CEO? Yes, by definition and title you are the leader of your organisation. However, the ability to empower your teams and steer the business toward success (while not doing everything yourself) is a skill that is not automatic to all business owners. More often than not; good leadership skills must be learned.

What attitude should a great leader have?

While individual skills can be learned and practiced (explained later in this article), there is an overall attitude that must be embraced by leaders when they start their business. That is, a managerial perspective. An example of poor managerial perspective is if a business is not working, a poor leader simply hires more employees. Throwing extra bodies at the problem only aggravates the situation because it fails to address the underlying root cause. Growing larger only generates a much bigger company with problems that are expanded, magnified, and much more expensive to remedy. For more on this topic, read our eBook on achieving synergy in business.

While (quite naturally) individual leaders have many unique traits, ALL leaders do share a kindred spirit, a certain type of constitution, and a special drive and willingness. And they CAN be learned!

12 characteristics common to ALL successful leaders

1. Confidence – Confidence is a hallmark of all good leaders. Not all of us are born with confidence, but that does not mean we are not capable of it. Many confident people gain their sense of self-esteem and faith in their ability to greet challenges by acting – even when they lack the confidence – and then gaining strength and belief in themselves by seeing the results and gaining the praise and respect of others.
2. A Sense of Ownership – Taking responsibility for getting things done – and doing them with care and attention – means to act like an owner. Rather than viewing a problem as someone else’s, the good leader sees it as their own and takes pride in finding a solution, leaving things in better shape than they were before. While a sense of ownership makes for a stellar employee, the good leader knows that the goal is not to be owned by the enslavement of too much responsibility. Rather than controlling situations in an attempt to possess them, the good leader teaches other people how to take charge. In that way the clever leader uses individual accountability in the ultimate pursuit of profitability, teamwork, and overall success.
3. Ability to Communicate – Excellent leaders recognize that the most important part of any business is the human element. And communication is the key to successful relationships with people. A good leader works to hone communication skills, whether those are written, spoken, or non-verbal messages conveyed through body language. And to support communication, they may even take on foreign language or public speaking classes, computer and telecom technology, search engine optimization, or specialized writing such as that needed for grants, business proposals, mission statements, or policy manuals. Above all, a good leader develops a keen ability to listen and hear what others are trying to say, because the best communicators got that way by first being the best listeners.
4. Passion for Learning – Good leaders are often “autodidactic” learners, which means that much of what they know they learned not in a formal classroom setting but instead on their own by seeking out information, asking questions, and doing personal reading and research. They also are quick to learn from their own mistakes, which means they are less prone to keep repeating them due to arrogance, ego, or a blindness to one’s own faults, shortcomings, or errors in judgement. They entertain the views of others and perspectives that may be unlike their own, for instance, in order to be better students of human nature. In this way they continue to enrich themselves with knowledge while also making a concerted effort to grow that knowledge by sharing it with others who are also front row students of life’s valuable and unlimited lessons.
5. Team Player – Those who go into business for themselves but do not utilize teamwork wind up without the team but still have all the work to get done. They shoulder the whole burden for themselves, and wind up just trading their old job for a new and more demanding one – in an attempt to be self-employed. But the new venture carries greater personal and financial risks. On the other hand, team players know how to succeed by employing the physics of interpersonal synergy and dynamic relationships. Successful leaders leverage teamwork to get the heavy lifting done without breaking stride.
6. System-Oriented – Like mathematical formulas, good systems allow us to reproduce great results every time – with less and less exertion of energy or resources. Great leaders rely upon systems before they rely upon people, and they look for system-based solutions before searching for human resource solutions. If the person gets the job done but falls sick or leaves, the job is threatened. But if a system is created to get the job done, anyone can step in and follow the blueprint to get the desired result. Similarly, when troubleshooting and problem solving, a good leader will first examine and study the system – because a flaw in the system will produce a flawed outcome each and every time. Designing, implementing, and perfecting systems is one of the most useful and rewarding skills of a leader.
7. Dedicated – Good leaders dedicate themselves to the fulfilment of their plans, visions, and dreams, and that tenacity of purpose generates electricity throughout the whole organization. One of the biggest reasons that companies fail is because they lose focus. Target a goal, clarify the objective, refine the brand, and narrow the margin of error. Regardless of what the effort might involve, a true leader brings a single-minded dedication to the task by being committed to a positive outcome and ready and willing to do the needful. No matter what that might mean in terms of rising to meet a challenge or acting above and beyond the call of duty, the leader shows steadfast dedication.
8. Grateful – Being grateful for what we have opens us up to receive more, and one reason that is true is because those who are grateful appreciate what they are given. They respect it and nurture it. They do their best to make it grow instead of allowing it to dwindle away due to neglect. True leaders learn to take nothing for granted in this world. That gives them the agility and flexibility to adapt to changes and demands, while it also invests in them a thankfulness that reminds them that riches and wealth are not about “stuff”, but are about fulfilment, satisfaction, and the pleasure that comes from one’s accomplishments and contributions.
9. Optimistic – A positive outlook is essential for good leaders, who learns to see setbacks as bargain priced tuition for the valuable business lessons gained through first-hand experience. Past shortcomings, failures, or disappointments are relegated to the past so that they cannot continue to haunt the present or obstruct the future. And when things go right and business prospers, this further fuels the optimism and positive mind-set of a leader, helping to give impetus and momentum for greater accomplishments and increased hopefulness.
10. Gregarious – Because business is all about people, great leaders tend to be socially outgoing. They get excited about sharing ideas, products, and services, and that excitement is contagious to their employees, clients, friends, and other contacts both within and beyond the business sphere. But women and men who work hard as leaders also relish the unique opportunity to have fun doing something that they love as their primary vocation. Human resource experts, career counsellors, and business psychologists all agree that those who do jobs they enjoy and are good at have higher rates of success and broader measures of satisfaction.
11. Leads by Example – Great leaders not only lead themselves through self-motivation as self-starters who jump into tasks with enthusiasm, but they are also skilled at leading others. They know the importance of teamwork, and they understand the need to appreciate others, support them, and reward them accordingly. As renowned business consultant and retired United States Air Force Major General Perry M. Smith once wrote, “Leaders who share their power and their time can accomplish extraordinary things. The best leaders understand that leadership is the liberation of talent; hence they gain power not only by constantly giving it away, but also by not grabbing it back.”
12. Not Afraid of Risk or Success – Many people could be successful if they only took chances. And many people who do take chances and become somewhat successful find the realization of their dreams an overwhelming possibility, so they sabotage their continued success by retreating back into a comfort zone of smallness. Good leaders prioritize their approach to life so that the fear of failure, frustration, boredom, drudgery, and dissatisfaction far outweighs the lingering fear of success.
Adopting these traits of the successful leader can give us a wonderfully inspiring boost of confidence, foresight, and determination when we realize that we, too, share that winning attitude. Use the above as a checklist to build good leadership skills and become a better leader for your business.

For one-on-one leadership skills coaching that can help you and your business go from good to great, contact ActionCoach here or download a copy of this eBook called “Run your business like a well-oiled machine” here.

The two clichés every start-up should live by (and most don’t)

Start-Up1. Cash is King

 

Insufficient capital is one of the main reasons for small business failure.  Yet studies have shown that the vast majority of small businesses operate without any financial plan and perform no cash flow analysis at all.

 

Here are some basic cash flow management tips:

 

  • Carry out rolling three month cash flow forecasts on a daily or weekly basis.  Use one of the many tools available online or simply create a spreadsheet outlining expected cash receipts and cash disbursements for every week over the next three months.  This will ensure any potential cash shortfalls are flagged early giving you some time to find a solution.

 

  • Relentlessly chase overdue payments.  Be aware of how much accounts receivables you have outstanding and how old they are – as a rule of thumb the older they get the less likely you’ll ever collect them.  Explain to new customers upfront that you are committed to providing them and excellent product or service and that in return you expect to be paid on time.

 

  • Have daily sales KPIs (key performance indicators) to avoid unexpected variations in sales.  Good sales KPIs should give you a strong indication of what sales will be like in the near future and can be measures like number of prospects in the sales funnel, number of inbound calls or emails requesting information, number of website events etc.  They provide an early alarm bell for a possible future sales slump and allow you to take corrective action early.

 

  • Think before you spend: any money spent should be with the expectation that the investment will result in new customers or in keeping existing customers for longer.  If what you’re about to spend does not serve either purpose, do you really need it?

 

2. Time is Money

 

If there was one habit to acquire as a new business owner it would be the following: at the end of each day, ask yourself the question “How much of my time today was spent on income generating activities?”.   Just this one question could be the difference between success and failure.

 

Be aware of what you’re spending your time on and block off time every day to focus on sales and marketing.  To go back to cliché no 1, nothing is more important in this phase of your business than cash, and to generate cash you’ll need to generate sales.  And very likely in this phase of your business nothing will happen unless you’re making it happen.  So track your time, spend it carefully and calculate the cost of procrastinating: 15 minutes on Facebook every working day amounts to 55 wasted working hours over the course of a year.

 

So note down these two clichés on a couple of post-its, put them where you’ll see them every day… and now go generate some income!