Category Archives: Blog

Step Outside your Comfort Zone with Confidence

Some may think this is an oxymoron. In a recent interview with Kookie Muhretti, a fashion stylist based in London, I shared how to do this with more ease.

So what has a stylist and a business coach got in common? A lot more than you think. As fellow business owners, we both spend time pushing our boundaries – stepping outside of comfort zones, and doing things we never thought we would do. As small business owners we both like to collaborate with other professionals outside of our particular fields, we have started making weekly youtube videos, said yes to dying my hair blue/green – Kookie, jumped at the chance to spend time in New York with my business coach – Clare. You name it we’ve said ‘YES’!

Chatting with Kookie about stepping outside of your comfort zone, we both agreed it takes confidence and a lot of faith to step out and try something different. But, which comes first? From the outside it can look easy for people. Here’s the honest truth from Kookie:

…’if you REALLY know me, then you will know when I’m super nervous I don’t clam up, oh no that would be the correct thing to do! Nope, I develop a case of ‘Verbal Diarrhoea’. My mouth opens and a torrent of words fall out, my voice goes up a few octaves and I – can’t -stop – myself! Even the little people in the control centre (brain) can’t shut me down! They try everything, emergency panic button, faint switch, the lot. Nothing works!’

Then there is the other side, too. The dark side. The part that always seems to rear its ugly little head whenever you’re too close to your ‘Comfort Zone’ boundary! That voice that tells you “you’re not good enough”, “you can’t wear that you’re too fat!” “You can’t get that job, you’re not good enough!”

This is called Imposter Syndrome and here’s how to tackle it.

What does it mean to be Confident?

Confidence means to be happy in your own skin! To be able to face your fears and challenges and overcome them. When a difficult situation arises, a large percentage of the population will say: “That’s too hard!” or “I can’t do that!” or “I’m not there yet!”. Whereas, the rest will say, “How can I do this? How can I become that confident person?”and go ahead and overcome those challenges. You have to be willing to push out of your comfort zone and not allow your ego to get in the way!

What is the Ego?

The ego reflects that negative element of our personality. Whether its come from childhood, developed from adulthood or something that has happened to us along the way. But it’s that something, that gets in the way of us feeling good, feeling confident and feeling successful. Whatever that success looks like to you. It likes to keep you comfortable and away from change or venturing into the unknown. It’s that voice that pops up and tells us we shouldn’t, it will tell us negative things to keep us from changing.

Steps to become more confident

Create a strong ‘I am’ affirmation or mantra. It’s what all the olympic champions use to keep their mindset strong. We all have hang up in some way or another, that stems back to a lack in confidence. Focus on one area you want to be confident in. Focus on it and get really specific. Write a list of all the negative thoughts attributed to that particular area. Then write a counter list of positive thoughts from there to create a strong and powerful ‘I am…’ affirmation. It has to be believable to you for it to work. For instance, Kookie mentioned her inability to run consistently, and a voice that tells her she’s not good enough – Say this ‘I am…’ affirmation out loud before and during every run – ‘I am an excellent runner, I am keeping pace and pushing forward!’ It will make a huge difference!

Stop from falling off the “Confidence Wagon”

It doesn’t matter when and if you fall off your confidence wagon. What matters is when you start beating yourself up about it! You’re allowed two days of wallowing, then after the two days, you got to let it go. It’s about recognising those trigger points, recognising when it’s going on for too long and having the right tools to get you back on track.

A vision board, which most people have heard of can work wonders for this to help keep you on track for your goals. To keep on track in my small business I use a wall of success, written on a large piece of flip chart paper. On each brick, I write what I have achieved in both my professional or personal life until it becomes a wall. This helps to surround myself with positive thoughts and recognition of the good things I have achieved, as well as keeping a grateful outlook on life and business.

You can watch the Kookie and Clare confidence interview here and find out what happens when fashion meets business coaching. To find out more about Kookie Muhretti, check out her You Tube channel.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Utopia – A place to create your business?

Whilst perfection is something I stopped seeking a long time ago (it serves no purpose other than to create stress and failure – after all what is perfect?). I did, however, love the idea of creating a coaching environment in Utopia.

an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.’

A place where an idea, product or passion could be brought to life with a helping hand. Providing everything a business needs to lay a foundation and start to grow. Creating a business that will stand out from the competition and lead the pack.

Why…

Having been in business for over ten years, the start up years were tough and it was only when I started investing in myself; working with a business coach and having an amazing team around me that I started to really reap the success I wanted and knew I was worth.

So, with this as my inspiration I have created a coaching program for business owners who not only want monthly support, guidance and accountability, but for those business owners who desire to work with a successfully proven team. Surrounded by experts, we will create a business that shines, surpasses and one that can be proudly put in the spotlight to reap outstanding results from the get go.

“Clare has great insight, drive and passion to help you achieve your goals – she asks tough questions that bring about clarity along with a list of tasks and challenges to get you to the next step on your business journey.” Raj Johal, Owner at Lanterns

Is this you?

Some business owners take months / years to decide to work with a business coach. Before that point they will have spent valuable time working with a website that doesn’t connect with their target audience, has a poor user journey and doesn’t capture anyone’s interest – constantly tweaking or overhauling along the way.

Some business owners feel embarrassed to refer customers to their marketing as they haven’t invested properly in branding, only to find it doesn’t ‘speak’ to the customers they are trying to attract anyway. Working with a disjointed branding approach across social media channels delivering an unclear, confusing and unprofessional first impression…

Kate of Curry Design Studio says, “Branding is a vital investment for any business. It should be designed to communicate your business values clearly and effectively, directly to your target audience. A strong brand will raise your profile and set you apart from your competitors, generating interest, enquiries and sales.”

Precious time and resources will have been spent putting together inferior customer facing materials when the time could have been better redistributed, spending time more productively on their real passion and area of expertise, i.e. the reasons you went into business in the first place; sharing the services you love to deliver to your clients.

Web designer, Darren, takes away all of the pain that goes with designing, creating and making live a client attractive website and delivers a professional website package that is tailored, without the hard work.

Click here to find out more about Utopia+How can you resist? 


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Work-Life Balance: The Truth about Having it All

work-life balance

Work-life balance has long since become a catch phrase of the naughties and tens, with most people either striving to achieve the elusive feeling, and the rest being highly aware of it being something they should have.

What does work-life balance mean?

Work-life balance is:

the division of one’s time and focus between working and family or leisure activities.’

Quite simple written down, isn’t it? So why does it feel so hard for many of us to achieve?

Achieving Work-Life Balance

Running a successful business and being married with two small children it can feel like a constant balancing act. Situations are always changing, therefore it requires planning, great organisation skills and small, but simple, effective ways to keep you on top of your personal and professional life so you can (have!) and enjoy the downtime. Here are a few simple strategies to help small business owners be their own coach.

The caveat to all of this is to have a partner who contributes equally to the running of the household and its functions and all that is involved in childcare. If it currently isn’t, write down a few small changes that would make a huge difference.  

“Just say No!”

….to coin a well-hackneyed phrase of my youth!

So many different things are vying for our attention; social media posts, events, potential opportunities, the list goes on…

The next time you get invited to do something or get involved, ask yourself this question – will it make me feel good and / or will it make me financially better off? Sound blunt? Good. Asking yourself these two simple questions will help you to easily make the decision that is right for you and your family. Ultimately, the only person in control of you is YOU. Set your boundaries.

Ask for help…

Seemingly, so hard for people to do, especially business owners – who are used to being self-sufficient and able to achieve masses with their day. No dilly dallying at the water cooler for us! However, there are people who run businesses, just like you, who are better equipped to deal with the tasks you don’t want to or the jobs that take you an age to complete. It will cost you less, time wise, financially and emotionally, both in the short and long term.

Create a Mini Habit

What’s that one thing you have been wanting to do / change for ages? That, in reflection, will help you create more work-life balance? Maybe it’s exercising, more mindful meditation, reading, writing? 

Stephen Guise, of Smaller Habits, Bigger Results, suggests:

‘a mini habit is a very small positive behaviour that you force yourself to do every day; a mini habit’s “too small to fail” nature makes it weightless, deceptively powerful, and a superior habit-building strategy.’

So, using this simple strategy what’s your mini habit? Guise started with one push up a day, which over time turned into exercising 3x per week.

If you would like to gain better work-life balance, more clarity and focus for you and your business, book in for your free one hour business strategy session here.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Market right and small business can be easy

In January, to celebrate 10 years in business and a brand refresh, I offered free one hour business strategy sessions. These were taken up in their droves by ambitious business owners determined to get 2018 off to a best start. Speaking to business owners across many industries, it was easy to start seeing patterns in the gaps to business development, which of course, all small business owners go through. Here’s how to combat them…

Ideal Client Clarity

In business we love to think we can help everybody, and no doubt, in lots of service led businesses we can. However, by believing we can service all people, the marketing message your business puts out is far and wide and generic in content. Instead of appealing to the masses as you may hope and plan for, the message is relatable to no one.

It’s a common misconception amongst small business owners by narrowing down your ideal client this will drive away other potential business. It won’t. Those potential clients want to become that person you’re marketing at and will still be attracted to your marketing message. So, time to get crystal clear on your ideal client – create an avatar of everything you know about them.

Feeling stuck for ways to move your small business forward?

It’s easy to feel all avenues to find new business have been tried and tested that any new ideas and inspiration have long since dried up. Working with a business coach means getting asked lots of questions, sometimes challenging, to open up new ways of thinking and approaching a problem.

The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, offers a different solution that any small business owner can undertake. She suggests to unlock creativity try something called ‘The Morning Pages’. A strangely ingenious way of getting your brain to behave more productively when otherwise it would feel closed. You spend time writing down, long hand (for 3 pages) your thoughts, even if these thoughts are complete nonsense, it doesn’t matter. They are for your eyes only. Cameron, suggest that they will change you. Having done The Morning Pages just twice since picking up the book a week before this blog post I can also see how powerful they are at unlocking creativity.

Try it.

Make the most of opportunities around you!

It’s no secret that running a small business can be a lonely business! Being able to ask for help and having the foresight to recognise that there is help, support and more often than not people around you who want to see you and your business succeed. It makes for a well oiled local and thriving community.

Be more open to what is going on in your local area; whether this is in person or through social media platforms, although the former will work better for your basic human needs. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce networking events and local community events and see where you and your business can fit in and establish how you can make of the opportunities on offer. There’s plenty out there once you start to look for them.

If you would like to gain more clarity, focus and direction for the best start to 2018, book in for your free one hour business strategy session here.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Your first steps to starting (and running a successful) small business

Start-up business concept. Businessman throw a paper plane symbolising accelerating start-up business.

The Rise of Business Startups

The rise of the second job, prominence of successful online businesses through social media feeds and the need for flexibility at home and work is creating a growing desire for wannabe entrepreneurs to set up their own small businesses.

The UK is experiencing it’s higher ever figures of people setting up in business. This is great news; more people get to create their own rules, working how and when they want, earning more than they did in employment. However, the reality of this is a little different.

People are going into business naively believing they can learn all they need to know from youtube clips, social media posts and webinars. They are spending money on a website and valuable time, energy and resources sitting behind a computer hoping for the business to take off and reach the dizzying heights of, what? Who are they comparing themselves to, they are too busy following an idealised lifestyle of a social media profile.

I recently chatted with a new business owner, through retirement and a passion towards children’s clothing had set up an online clothing company. Beautifully designed, high quality and unique items from UK and European brands. A lovely business with lots to offer the market. Clearly lots of love, time, money and resources had been poured into this business. Yet, 6 months in, it hadn’t reaped any financial return, bar purchases from friends and family.

A Clear Plan of Action

Small businesses need a plan. A plan that will help you to understand exactly what you want to achieve for you and your business.

Whether this is a 3 month plan / or long term 12 months plan. Getting clearer on what you want will get your brain working out the finer details for the ‘how’ to get it.

Set aside an hour (or more) and brain dump everything you want to achieve. No restrictions, no barriers to achieving – at this time leave all these to one side and let your mental capabilities be open to working out the how’s at a later date.

A Free One hour Business Strategy Session

To celebrate the re-brand of Meta4 Business Coaching, owner Clare is opening up 3 days in January for small business owners to book in for a free one hour strategy call to get you and your business off to a flying start in 2018.  The business strategy session will give you clarity, direction, focus and a plan for your next steps to achieving.

The final day of strategy sessions is Wednesday 31st January 2018. You can select a time that works for you by booking your one hour strategy session here.  Look out for an email with a few questions to get you focused on achieving the most from our time together.

Limited availability so book your session today.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

How to rebrand and refresh your small business

Why it’s important for small businesses to keep your branding fresh

A few small business owners fail to think about their business as a brand, and that brand being a reflection of their and their business personality, core values and customer experiences.

My knowledge and experience has developed massively since the start of my business – I’m not who I was in 2007 and of course my business has evolved as a result; my brand no longer reflects the experiences my clients have and the exceptional results they achieve. The courses I’ve attended and money I’ve invested in myself and my business has meant that my values have now developed into: leadership, balance and results.

So, having celebrated 10 years in business back in July 2017, I accepted the *ahem* nudges from a valued graphic design contact, Kate, Curry Design Studio that my business was overdue a brand refresh. After all, the only constant is change…

Even with 10 years experience of running a small business, a core network of trusted small business professionals and the resources to invest, I was still filled with apprehension, nervousness and a huge leap outside of my comfort zone; however having the right team around me has been key to the success of my relaunch…

Where to start with a new or brand refresh

Get clarity around what your customer or client experiences are when they choose to work with you and how do you want your ideal client to feel when they interact with your brand?

We buy according to our emotions, how do I feel now and how do I want to feel when I’ve got this product or service. It’s as simple as that really.

How my brand looks and feels now

From outdated, broad and confusing to bold, sharp and intriguing – The Power of Business Coaching feels truly reflective of the ambitious small business owners my small business is working with helping small businesses to reduce effort and simplify and building motivation to achieve financial freedom.

A Free One hour Business Strategy Session

To celebrate the re-brand of Meta4 Business Coaching, owner Clare is opening up 3 days in January for small business owners to book in for a free one hour strategy call to get you and your business off to a flying start in 2018.  The business strategy session will give you clarity, direction, focus and a plan for your next steps to achieving.

You can select a time that works for you by booking your one hour strategy session here.  Look out for an email with a few questions to get you focused on achieving the most from our time together.

Offer open until Wednesday 31st January 2018.  Limited availability so book your session today.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

What all business owners should know about Atelophobia

impostor syndrome

What is Atelophobia?

Atelophobia is the fear of imperfection, fear of not being good enough. Also known as impostor syndrome. This comes up a lot in my line of work as a business coach and it manifests itself in lots of different ways *ahem, sometimes excuses* with my business owner clients; ‘It’s not the right time for me to get this done right now, I’m too busy with XY and Z,’ ‘That thing I’m putting together that will attract loads more clients; it’s not quite ready yet’ or  ‘I just need to get more *insert any one of – confidence, money, time, knowledge, qualifications…’

This fear of imperfection can be debilitating to your business and your own personal development. It stops you from setting goals of any kind for fear of not reaching them and ‘failing’; it prevents you from really going after what you want and what you know you could achieve, but most of all it stops you from ever finishing projects or tasks you start – which in turn has a negative impact on your mindset and becomes a fully prophesying circle of inaction. You never gain the business development traction you know you could achieve. Many projects you once had huge enthusiasm for sit dormant in folders and in-trays at 80% complete.

In our fast paced environment, if we’re not moving forwards, we’re moving backwards. I once worked with a business owner, a coach actually, who suffered with this fear of imperfection. She put together some amazing new coaching programmes she just knew would attract the kind of clients she would love to work with and knew she could really help achieve massive, positive change. Once she’d done that she filed the beautifully prepared coaching programmes and filed them in her in-tray. Job done.  She’d gone ahead and completed 80%. You never achieve results from things you don’t finish. Obvious, right?

Strategy to remove your doubts (and impostor syndrome)

I use many tools with the business owners I work with to help them move through the perfection paralysis. One strategy is to gauge your perception of the effort and results you achieve of tasks and projects you are involved in, as a percentage. Really think about what and how you deliver, review the results. Once you think and discuss this you may find you over-deliver – way above and beyond 100%. It will stop you feeling ‘not good enough’ or undervaluing yourself or allowing your clients to control your business more than you do.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Do you have the fear of goal setting?

It’s an actual thing, so you’re completely normal! You are suffering from the fear of setting goals. Why? Fear of failure is more than likely sitting at the top of the list – failure sitting there defiantly and yet quietly. You have been holding back from sharing this big fear with other people, so in your head you are justifying the reasons you are not moving forward in your life or business: it’s not the right time, the money isn’t there to support the goal, not enough people want what I want to put out there.

Whereas the real reason is that you are scared that you will fail or even worse…fail again.

By not setting any goals for what you really want to achieve you are experiencing an even greater feeling of failure, one that you are suppressing and pretending isn’t really there. You are diverting your attention onto other, lesser projects or focuses in the hope that the desire to go after that thing you really want to achieve will go away. It won’t though will it, because you’ve been thinking about that thing, whether it has a name or not yet, for a long time, maybe even years. If you carry on like this, you know eventually you’ll be left with no choice but to go after it as that is what your heart wants and it’s not going to let up, so ultimately it’s a case of now is better than later.

The truth is out there!

It’s the sole reason why when clients come to see me to work out their future paths and what they really want to pursue in their business, at this stage they feel they don’t know what that exactly looks like. However, it never takes long before they come out with a great picture of their future business and all the intricacies of what that involves. It shows answers have been buried deep and after a little prompting, a few challenging questions in the right places and reflective exercise the answers were there and waiting all this time.

Let’s call her Pauline. Pauline came to me to gain clarity on her future career or business path. After her 3rd coaching session, Pauline shared that her real passion lies in creativity, recently renovating and up-cycling a few household items, with extraordinary results. Her body language completely lightened, her voice was full of excitement and passion and her face as the realisation dawned was priceless. That’s the power of business coaching…

I used to have the fear too, in my early days of my business. Getting frustrated with setting goals I just didn’t achieve. The difference was that I was unprepared to give up on them. So I kept setting big, bold goals and taking consistent daily, weekly action against them. I knew this was what I wanted to do and was good at; helping others achieve their dream businesses too – we are here to make a difference with other people, for me that’s helping business owners find financial freedom, balance and more simplicity and motivation for their future.

Ready to overcome your fear of setting goals for your business? Follow the link and book your place for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal Setting Workshop.  


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Who’s in your small business team?

Every small business owner needs a team around them. However small you believe your business to be; ‘Nothing ever great was accomplished alone’, so said Reinhold Niebuhr.

Becoming an ‘expert’ at skim reading?

It may be you are experiencing little time to focus on developing your small business and if you did you wouldn’t be confident you could service their needs due to busyness. You are starting to skim read important emails, client interactions, and not responding as you would like to, or know you should be, dropping the ball and generally not treat your clients to the high level of service you originally set your high standards to.

Carrying on in this vein will start to mean you feel like you’re always fire fighting; client issues, staffing problems, supplier challenges – they will start to appear from all angles if they aren’t already.

The entrepreneur not the technician

The E-myth, by Michael Gerber, spells this approach to running a small business perfectly. Are you the entrepreneur in your business or the technician? The one who is creative or the one who is ‘doing’ in the business?

Behind every successful small business you will find its owner managing relationships with a small but perfectly formed team of professionals who can be relied on to have challenges highlighted to and then come up with workable solutions, without too much need of the owner getting involved to any great degree. Running a small business now, even service led is about having a productive website (one that actually works for you) social media presence, a successful marketing plan and successful execution of it. How can you expect to do all this; being the Entrepreneur and the Technician and keep your clients happy with new business coming in at the same time? Build your business to flourish.

Stop asking so much of yourself, alleviate the pressure and start finding people around who can help take away some of the ‘technician’ jobs off your plate. There may be a little bit of short term pain, but the longer term you’ll be opening up your entrepreneurial side to increase bigger and better opportunities.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Immediate Increase and Easy Growth to the Next Level

September being a month of new beginnings and the need to make fresh starts, for business owners a summer of both busyness and / or quiet, mean that by the time October arrives we can often be in a state of overwhelm, frustration and even an intense dislike towards what our business has become. Continuing in this vein will lead you into wanting to throw in the towel mixed with thoughts around not wanting to fail either. Hence major resentments towards what you’ve created and confusion around what steps to take next…

There are always solutions. When you’re in the midst of thick fog it’s little wonder you cannot see a way out. Here’s to tackling your top challenges to take your small business to the next level and get out of overwhelm.

Upskill your staff members

Your team / staff members are not working as efficiently and effectively as you believe they could be. You feel they are taking advantage of your good nature and not taking your business seriously. You know you are overpaying them for the work they are doing and could be making their roles work more for your business.

You have probably spent hours reflecting on this, thinking this way and that, bemoaning their behaviour and attitude. Let’s be more effective than this. Write down all the aspects of their behaviour and role that you want to improve (and later in the process, how) and then create an opportunity to discuss and communicate with them focusing solely on the areas that will have the most positive impact on you and your business.

Reevaluate your current processes

A dramatic change in your industry, local demographics, government policy, client contracts or political shift (Brexit) has massively impacted your customer base and their buying decisions. It’s dramatically changed your small business and impacted your usual way of operating. Something needs to change within your business otherwise you will get left behind your competition, being unable to fulfil your client contracts and working harder to deliver against less profitability.

It can be easy in our businesses to overlook the everyday activities, the ones we are doing over and over again, because we have been completing tasks this way for months and years and they work doesn’t mean they will always work best in that way, times, technology, experience changes. Go through your processes and see what can be streamlined, what’s working, what’s not working.

Recently, working with a business owner who runs a business with over 20 staff members, he went through this ‘Reevaluating Processes’ exercise and found he was losing business (and resource efficiencies) due to the fact they were mostly quoting for work whilst on site at the end of the day. He now has changed his process so all ‘quoting jobs’ are started and completed first thing in the morning. This has meant when jobs go ahead (and are now more likely to go ahead) the work can be actioned that very day, making the work more profitable; no need for return visits, making the customer happier too.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

When is a Business Coach right for you and your business?

Business coach

How do you know when coaching is right for you, will it work, how will I get a return on my investment? All valid questions, and ones I asked myself when I was selecting the right business coach to work with. Do your due diligence, background research, speak to clients they’ve worked with and so on. First of all ask, when is a business coach for me and my business…?

You want to create a better work-life balance

You’re a business owner who is working too long hours, working on aspects of your business that deep down you know you shouldn’t be working on; someone else could do them more easily, effectively for you to focus on business development tasks. When you aren’t working you and your over active brain are struggling to be present – you keep focusing on tasks that need to be done, that haven’t been and working out solutions to challenges you’re unable to overcome. If you carry on like this you know everyone around you is going to end up suffering too, if they’re not already. A client had this issue and found himself working 7 days a week, so working out his income he realised he was working for less than minimum wage and realised he wasn’t really pleasing anyone like this. Clients were asking for more and more (for less and less) and his wife was less than pleased, of course.

With a few simple tweaks to his service offering and a confident and clear pitch, he was able to go back to his same clients and offer added value (for less of his time) at a higher rate of investment. All his clients agreed and they are now referring quality leads too.

You know you could be working more smartly

Your working week is getting fogged by repetitive tasks, increasing admin related actions and generally your brain is flitting from one activity to another. You feel like your business has become less about the things you love and the purpose of why you started in the first place and more about the activities that surround the actual product and service you’re offering. Your time is being squeezed and you know there must be a better way of working as you know if you continue like you, you’ll become more demotivated and disillusioned with self-employment and what it is to run your own business.

Once you gain clarity, direction and really start to focus in on what you want to achieve and why, it’s so much easier to work more smartly. Your brain gets given the space it needs to see the wood more clearly and what needs to be done to get more out of the time you have to spend it on the activities you love to focus on.

You want to be earning more money, but feel you haven’t the money to invest.

The one clear statement to make here is: If you could have, you would have done it by now and by ‘it’ I mean created the success you want to see. Stop beating yourself up; stop telling yourself you should know how to do this, you’ve been doing it long enough or you’ve read enough books, been on enough courses etc. It can simply be about being given the time and space to think through challenges and solutions with someone who has been there, done it and can ask you all the right questions and guide you to find the right answers to unlock the success in you and your business. Remember the old adage ‘You can’t cut your own hair.’ The most successful business coaches will have a coach too. If you don’t invest what will happen?


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Reasons for not starting your business and how to combat them

positive mindset

Developing your business from ideas through to the taking action and implementation stages can be daunting for most. Fear of failure, effort, stepping outside of your comfort zone are all common reasons for not going ahead with the steps that will encourage the positive changes you really want to see. As a business coach I hear lots of according to those giving them seemingly valid reasons for not starting and building a business. However, those who dream and plan for what they want in life and follow through with the steps that will get them achieving the change they initially envisage, the personal and professional rewards can be priceless…

The most common ‘reasons’

If I had more money or won the lottery I would…we’ve all heard of the lottery winners who have won and then lost it all again, clearly showing that money is not the answer. Being crushed by a meteor is considerably more likely than winning the lottery, so this thought process is, unfortunately, not going to help you achieve your dream business. Developing your thoughts into a plan and taking action on that plan will. Start by taking the pressure off yourself and easing those feelings of fear of failure etc. Take them out of play. At this point, it’s you or you and a coach, trusted friend getting your ideas out of your head onto paper and thinking about the steps you could take to get you closer to achieving your dream business. Acknowledge the obstacles remembering that any obstacle big or small can be overcome. Think about the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart, Steve Jobs – they must have encountered a million and one obstacles and all were solved.

If I were more clever, experienced I would…ask yourself this: in the past how have you got more clever and more experienced at something you loved to do? Is it by actually doing? If you ‘do’ working alongside an expert/more experienced person in that field and reading around the subject you will find you become more clever and more experienced more quickly. Want to start your own business? Work with a business coach, read lots of books about starting and building your business whilst following the steps above. You’ll be surprised at the building momentum.

I just need to do a little more research…this can be a real stumbling block to taking definite and clear action on a plan, how do you know when you know enough? To stop you from continually prevaricating extract small actions from your research stage that make you do and take action on something concrete. For example: speak with a key person to find out more about x, write a list of all the important bits you understand so far, develop a plan for how you might develop and implement the stuff you know so far.

If I had more time…we all have the same amount of time in any given day, week, month. The pressures on our time is continuously squeezed. It’s what we do with our spare time that makes the difference. Think about your time wasters; social media, emails, driving to and fro and so on. How can you use that time more effectively? Time chunk – only use social media and emails during a certain time of the day. Use driving to listen to business audio books. Write down daily, weekly actions big and small to follow through with during the new time you create.

I know of someone, let’s call him Adam who got given the money to start his dream business and went on to wish he hadn’t received it as he felt it dampened his drive and ambition to really achieve his goals.

The key messages are be grateful for what you do have and turn those around, use them to your advantage and start taking action; however small the steps are. Ultimately all of these are excuses. The dictionary definition of ‘excuse’ is: ‘seek to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offence); try to justify.’ Want to live a full and priceless life? Stop the excuses.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Celebrating 10 years in business! Share the success

Looking back to the beginning, I know I wasn’t able to plan for 10 years into the future of my business, who can? All I did know, back in February 2007 when I resigned from my corporate job, was that I wanted to run my own business and I would make it work, come what may! Of course along the way there have been major highs, bigger lows and now like any of my fellow happy, successful business owners, I’ve created a business I’m proud of and one that allows me to live a great life and work with people I love to help. I’m sharing my best lessons learned for you business owners out there on your path to success…

Best Learned Lessons

Get help straight away – no successful person ever said – ‘I did it all on my own’, so as soon as you feel yourself needing help or preferably before this, recognise your knowledge and skills gap and bring in the professional support you and your business need. Do this and you’ll achieve your goals so much more quickly, painlessly and above all bring in the success you seek more seamlessly than you could ever imagine – something that you can’t put a price on. Invest and back yourself from the outset, find the money; you’ll save yourself a fortune in lost earnings and stress in the long run.

Farm out the stuff you don’t want to do – as above, it’s your business, only do the tasks you love and/or you’re great at. All else, pass them on to an expert in that field. You’ll save yourself from demotivation and dislike of your business and in the process you’ll free up the time to focus on other good stuff and the tasks you love to do and that you’re great at – it’s these that will bring you your financial return. You’ll also be surprised at how more easily, effortlessly and brilliantly that same task will be completed by an expert.

Keeping it fresh

Business Development focus – Running a business is like maintaining a well oiled machine. It always needs food, petrol, oil and maintenance of some description. Setting aside dedicated time every month to focus on business development is a must for any business owner. Don’t do this and your lovely ‘machine’ will become rusty, antiquated and eventually, due to lack of customers or poor customer retention, in need of a major overhaul that could take you years and a lot of money to get back on track. A little love and affection (focus!) each month will keep you and your business earning the money you want, working with clients you love and attracting new opportunities and business as you go.

Positive mindset

The key to any successful person, many would argue (including me) is a positive mindset. A challenge when times are tough, but practice it throughout your professional life and it becomes much easier to access. Don’t be afraid to share your fears and insecurities with your trusted network, you’ll be more respected for being open and you’ll be surprised at how many step forward with offerings of the right support and opportunities for you.

Stop berating yourself for mistakes or tasks not moving forward as quickly as you’d like, a high achieving and successful business owner once shared these wise words with me: ‘you’ll never experience entrepreneurial nirvana’. Once I allowed this to sink in I started to enjoy the day to day trials and tribulations of running a small business much more as I knew I’d never find myself in a place thinking, yes, I now have everything sorted! There’s always new and exciting things to be achieved both personally and professionally so let’s enjoy the ride!

A Business Coach’s’ Best Tips

Surround yourself with honest, positive and good people who are just like you. Like great friends and good family your business network will always be there for you when and if you need them.

Think of yourself up as a specialist or an expert from the outset. You have created your business because you love what you do, no one else on the planet does it like you do it and you will always find a way to get the right answers and solve the problem/s your customer has. Right? So, you are more than enough, go ahead and consider yourself as an expert in your field.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Need help in your business but find it ‘easier’ to do it yourself?

business success

Where’s your head at?

You have been in business for a number of years now, running it successfully and your clients love what you do. You’re now in the lovely position that you have a solid customer base who are returning to you time and time again.

You spend your week delivering a service you love but you are run ragged! As well as working hands on with your customers, (which you love to do) you’re utilising every spare minute and hour here and there on admin activities, managing your customers experience and keeping on top of the day to day with little or no time for what you know and want to be focusing on: business development and marketing activities. Your lack of business processes means you are often doing the same activity over and over, you know you have lots of inefficiencies in your business. You want to continue to grow; gain more profitable business without even more of an impact on your time and work-life balance. You think this is currently an impossible and unachievable goal.

The time is right

So, you know you need some help with your business, but you’re unsure of what kind of help you need – perhaps you feel you can’t find the right kind of support that you and your business needs and often you feel it’s more cost effective for you to do it yourself, which of course impacts on more of your time. Does this sound about right?

As time moves forward in your business, if you’re not already, you know you’re heading towards burnout, with major feelings of de-motivation on the horizon and your stress levels are peaking. Continuing to run your business in this vein will mean the service you delivered to clients who once loved you will start to wane, as you struggle to keep on top of your day to day. Your business will stagnate and you’ll be unable to progress in the ambitious way you want. In today’s market if you’re not moving forward – you are now unable to achieve a standing still position, instead you and your business will soon start to move backwards, as your competition leaps ahead with innovative ways of working, new products and services and a more efficient way of interacting with new and existing customers. Don’t get left behind.

Food for thought

I’ve worked with lots of business owners who have all experienced the same challenges. One person’s story comes to mind. Lisa runs a health and well-being practice. Due to unresolved experiences in the past and negative, scarcity beliefs around the financials in her business, coupled with feelings that she should be doing everything herself; otherwise it would feel like failure, she kept the purse strings well and truly closed. Once this particular business owner was able to relinquish the need to keep such a tight control on all aspects of her business and let these go for the greater good of her sanity, enjoyment and progress of her business, once she was able to address unresolved past negative issues, she was finally able to outsource the tasks that were taking up all her energy and time and put in place processes and procedures to remove herself from all the little time consuming activities. Only then was Lisa able to realise the kind of business she had dreamed of – a small team of assistants, bigger, more suitable premises and another team member to work alongside her and when she was away.

Always a catch 22, or now is the right time to hire in the help you and your business needs to progress? Consider these pointers for making the best step forward:

  • What will happen if you continue working in the same way?
  • Write down everything you do, that you don’t love to do in your business
  • Know that the best person/s for you and your business are out there
  • Focusing on all the work you really love in your business is more profitable in the long-term
  • Understand what your beliefs are around moving you and your business forward

Know that ultimately you have got this. You’ve built up a successful business and all this needs is the right level of focus, tweaks here and there and a level of sustainable support which means you can get your business to the next level.

I work with lots of small business owners to help them achieve big changes in their business. If you would like to find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to arrange a chat to find out what steps you can take to move you and your business forward you can contact Clare here.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

How will you achieve business success?

My ‘Make it Happen!’ Business Coaching program is delivered across 12 months. This is how long it takes for you to develop personally and hone your business skills and achieve the startup business growth results you want.

All coaching programs include:

  • Business Builder – a comprehensive book containing all resources and sheets for rapid implementation
  • Private Facebook group – a group of like-minded business owners coming together to share successes, common challenges and setting weekly goals for accountability
  • Planning and Strategy Goal Setting day (in person or virtually) to map out your year ahead
  • Free access to a meeting at Angels Business Mastermind to meet and network with like-minded business owners, share goals and delve into a business growth workshop
  • Monthly face to face coaching with your coach Clare

Breakthrough Coaching Program – Who is it for?

This program is for for business owners who are independent and self-motivated to achieve their best results. You will make continuous progress in your business at a consistent pace. You will develop monthly strategies and action to keep you focused and on track for success. With this program we will schedule one face to face meeting and an in-between monthly call so you can keep accountable and moving forward.

Mastery Coaching Program – Who is it for?

This program is for business owners who are eager to implement with access to a dedicated and highly focused work space on a monthly basis for added accountability. You will be able to get any question answered and real-time feedback and guidance from your peers and coach on any business development activity. With this program you will make new business connections and create time and space in your business to strategize and implement in the most productive environment.

Utopia Coaching Program – Who is it for?

This program is for high achievers; business owners who want to ramp up their revenue generating activities for rapid progression. In this program we schedule 4 coaching interactions each month so you experience high levels of accountability and an immediate increase in your client base. You will gain constructive feedback on your business development activities and work with other ambitious business owners on a monthly and quarterly basis to focus on crucial elements to business success.

 

Monumental increase from Greater Birmingham Chamber membership

Birmingham Chamber of Commerce

Birmingham is a recent newcomer to being talked about as a vibrant and a where-it’s-happening city. We have the biggest growth (outside of London) in business start ups to boast about and more recently we can shout about being the 3rd happiest city to work in the UK too. Inextricably linked perhaps is the facelift, from the inside out, of our Birmingham Chamber of Commerce in recent years; hosting networking meetings and events that are an upbeat, positive and outwardly looking place to be, something that in the past you couldn’t have said. With a now close to two year old little sibling of Sutton Coldfield Chamber of Commerce, just down the road, it really is a great organisation to be part of. Sitting on the board of committee members, I wanted to share with you why it’s great to be part of and how to get the best from your wider Birmingham chamber membership.

Bigger, ambitious businesses

We’re lucky to have a large number of independently run networking groups in and around Birmingham. Hosting a few through myself. The difference is many of them fail to attract larger businesses. Like attracts like. The chamber organisation has success in this area, which means entrepreneurs, micro businesses and small to medium sized businesses can mix in the same circles, share ideas and challenges and learn best practices and new innovations from one another. You get out what you put in, so find time to schedule in events to you diary that will benefit both you and your business. There’s a great choice of events to feed both of these ambitions.

Superior level of support

Where to start with this! As well as the stronger access to ambitious businesses who are committed to investing in their business development, each Chamber has a business development manager who is your direct access in. They are approachable, accessible and available to answer any questions around getting the best out of your membership. One of the hardest things to do in business, which can be the most rewarding too, is to never be afraid to ask for help and support. So, if you are ambitious and want to get more from your membership, seek it. You will also have access to a group of fellow business owners, who experience the same challenges and successes to voice any concerns or areas for improvement too – in your Chamber committee members. Being a part of this gives you and your business the opportunity to have a bigger voice in your local area.

Chamber press

With a press team who actively want to give prominent visibility to their members first and foremost, they offer a number of ways in which to give you and your business the PR it deserves and needs in order to stay ahead of your competition. The website offers suggestions and helpful, innovative ideas to market, with the very accessible ability to share articles, blog posts and offers to your wider audience. The monthly trade magazine will keep you abreast of all that is happening in your local business arena without any bias or favour towards certain industries or size of business.

From utilising all that the Greater Birmingham has to offer my membership has delivered a 96% increase in my 1st year as a member. Where else can you achieve that level of return? Use other business successes to spark ideas for your own business growth, attend the events, get along to the Solihull inaugural and follow up award ceremonies and make your mark in Birmingham, get your business standing out from the crowd.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programmes click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Learn the powerful secret to unlocking business growth

Aside from getting a business coach; talking things through, writing plans down, reflecting on the output and then taking the right kind of action are key steps to generate business growth.  All this need only take an hour or two, but what a valuable amount of time you will have spent on your business development. Coaching needn’t be a myth, it’s about all of the above, so set aside some time and create the space to unlock your most powerful secret; you.

What do you do best?

So, the most important asset in your small business is you. In your business what is your unique brilliance, that rationally thinking about means that no one else you know is doing what you do in the way that you do it?

This is worth spending 20 minutes focusing on and jotting down what you do best in your small business. This usually goes hand in hand with what you are really happy doing too. So, if you could spend all day every day doing those tasks you love to do and are pretty darn good at doing what would they be? This is your starting point…

Hopefully you have a list of around 5-8 aspects here that reflect what you love to do the most and what you feel you’re best at. Once you have this list, this will help you to develop and cement a clear message for your business; what you offer, how it’s delivered and what results and benefits your product and service offers. It can underpin your marketing message, your elevator speech (for when you’re out at networking events) and your website homepage. It sounds simple to do and remember most aspects of business can be developed from small ideas…small acorns…

I really don’t want to know!

Once you have nailed down your unique brilliance, spend some time in the opposite space – think about the tasks in your small business you are not good at and do not enjoy doing. Treat this as a cathartic exercise. Compiling this list will show you how much time you spend on the jobs you hate or that take too long because you don’t have the right skills, resources or desire to learn them. This, too, will help you to unlock a mass of business growth. If you really want to grow your small business delegate those tasks to a more skilled business owner to free your time up so you can focus on the tasks you love to do. Change your mindset around the ‘catch 22’ of needing more business growth before you can delegate the jobs you don’t like to do. Be proactive and force the change you and your business needs.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programmes click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Finding time to market your busy small business

‘…I haven’t got the time’ or ‘when I get a spare moment’ are common responses with busy business owners when asked when do you market your business? You know that allocating time for business development and marketing is essential for business growth, not to mention for the sustainability of your business. As a leader for your business, even if you have assistance with your marketing, you’ll know you still need to create and share the direction and strategy you have. So where do you find the time for this…?

How much time should I spend on marketing?

It’s important to answer this question first. The best answer is to use the [1] 60 30 10 rule – spend 60% on marketing and sales, 30% on delivery of your products and services and 10% on administration and management. If you’re in startup phase the rules change to 80-90% on marketing and sales. So, let’s take an average working week of 40 hours, using the 60 30 10 rule, equates to 24 hours per week on marketing/sales. This may sound like a lot or a scary amount in comparison to what you do spend, however, aim to make an impact on this in whichever way you can. Here are some ideas of where you can find the time to market and strategize for your business growth…

Monthly blocked out focus

Set aside time on a monthly basis for your business development – diarise it for the month and preferably, the year ahead and let nothing get in the way of your business focus happening. Find blocks of time that work best for you and your business, half days and full days are great at the start and end of each month as you give yourself the opportunity to delve deep into your creativity, set plans at the beginning of each month and time to check in with them at the end. On these times switch your phone on to silent, switch off your email and agree (with yourself) times you will log back on, so you have full immersion to get the most out of your time. Set objectives at the start and agree what you want to achieve. Ask for my ‘Daily Accountability’ sheet and you will soon get into the habit of achieving more in less time.

Keep motivated and get creative with your time

Your business development time doesn’t have to be all reflective and office based, think about your business growth laterally too. What other ways do you wish to grow? Through networking, attending workshops, meeting with like-minded professionals, developing strategic partnerships? All this time counts towards your marketing and sales focus. So make sure you’re meeting your personal development needs too. It can be a lonely place being a business owner so put actions in place that keep you motivated and enthusiastic.

Delegate the tasks you dislike

…and focus on the stuff within your business that you love and excel at. Once you’re in business leader mode and are consistently setting out your growth plans you will feel much more confident at delegating the ‘doing’ and implementing out to trusted people. This will ensure you are always focused on the strategy of your business and not getting bogged down in the minutiae. Be abundantly clear on the ‘doing’ side, put in place timelines and processes around your delegated tasks in order to enable consistency, accuracy and gain the results you’re aiming for.

As someone recently shared with me…’success is the results of small efforts repeated day in and day out’, Robert Collier

Reference
1.    Accountants for Growth


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programmes click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Build confidence using accountability to supercharge your strategy

If you’ve set your business goals for this year, the next step to achieving is keeping yourself accountable. With the 20th of January well and truly behind us (the day where 95% of people give up on their new year resolutions and goals) those who remain are left with a clear strategy of what we want for the year ahead. We also know in order to achieve we must show diligence, persistence with our efforts and possess serious levels of commitment. Overall the more you achieve against your goals the more your confidence will increase. Easier said than done, right?! Set some accountability in place and you’ll be dramatically increasing your chances of reaching your business goals.

Build a trusted network:

It’s well documented that high achievers surround themselves with other high achievers. Napoleon Hill, in Think and Grow Rich wrote about it over 75 years ago and the advice is ever more relevant today, when many business owners can stay hidden behind email and a laptop. Right now, you will be able to think of at least 2 other people in your circle of friends, colleagues, business acquaintances who you deem to be like-minded; ambitious, determined, and professionally committed. Highly productive business mastermind groups can run anywhere from 3 – 10 people, as long as you are all able to be open and honest and you have similar ambitions with the people within your group then your business mastermind will work wonders in many ways.

Accountability

Getting together on a regular basis will mean sharing your goals take on a life of their own. Remember just by writing your goals down mean you’re 42%[1] more likely to achieve them. Your commitment levels will increase knowing you will be meeting again to feedback on your progress. This, of course, is all done through a system of support; knowing you have like-minded business owners who have your back when obstacles and challenges inevitably come your way. They help you through those times when otherwise you may not have the right people to turn to.

Support and Advice

When meeting with fellow business owners there is no doubt a plethora of experience, knowledge and skill set available at your disposal. Whatever challenges you are going through, someone has been through it and come out successfully. Whichever success you are aiming to achieve another business masterminder is on that same path or has achieved that particular success already and can help you. Your achievements can be shared for others’ success journeys too. The levels of motivation and inspired action can act as a feeding ground for your day, week, month ahead.

Think about creating your own group of like-minded business owners and make your business goals happen.

Reference

  1. Professor Gail Matthews Dominican University California

About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programmes click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Get you and your small business ready for 2017

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A new year, psychologically and physically, gives us all the opportunity to start a fresh, (in reality we have this every day) turn over a new leaf and achieve bigger and better things for you and your small business. The most important step is to take the time out to think about what you want to achieve for your year and ahead and commit these plans to paper. Here’s how to make a start:

What’s your plan and strategy for 2017?

Developing you and your business takes clarity, focus and commitment. Diarise at least half a day in January (and then each month) to plan. What do you want to achieve by Christmas 2017? How many clients do you want to have helped? What do you want to have helped your clients achieve? Putting your customers at the forefront will help to create the clarity you need in order to map out your plan. Once you have answered these questions it’s time to move on to the ‘how’s’…

Have you set your business goals yet?

What steps do you need to take on a monthly, quarterly basis to make your plans come to fruition? Start by writing down 3-5 actions you (or a colleague) will take each month that will get you closer to achieving your overall plans. Get a big, blank sheet of paper, a fresh new writing pad or journal and allow yourself to think big and different for your small business.

Want to get visually inspired?

As a business coach and small business owner each year I mindmap what I want to achieve for my coaching practice. I write down the steps I need to, and will take to achieve those goals. I firm these goals up by creating a vision board – a visual representation of what I want to achieve – this helps to connect with my plans and keep inspired and motivated during the times I need reminding what and why I set out to do. During busy, stressful times a few minutes spent looking over my vision board helps to reset and ground you and your business.

Keep balanced; set personal goals

As well as moving your business forward what steps do you want and need to take to help make them happen? What will help you achieve calm, peace, focus, clarity and fulfilment? Create some personal goals you can both align and separate from your small business to feed yourself mentally and nurture yourself when business gets demanding and/or overwhelming. Perhaps it’s yoga, meditation, exercise or a physical challenge…

Either way let’s make 2017 the best it possibly can be.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programmes click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.