Category Archives: Effective Leadership

Exposed; the real way to build a successful team

Choosing the right people to work with

“Employees want to feel inspired by their leaders…hire individuals who will lead by example.”  Jody Kohner, VP of Employee Marketing & Engagement, Salesforce

When it comes to growing your successful small business many business owners can be terrified (OK, maybe too strong a word!) of employing. Being responsible for staff and extra team members and all that goes with that; holiday pay, sick leave, notwithstanding all the extra emotional baggage and what can come with working closely with others. It’s no wonder that some business owners prefer to go it alone and therefore stay small.

Do it right and your business could be offering a whole new value added service and take the right kind of tasks off your to do list.

Focus on soft skills

Plan out what soft skills you’re looking for rather than developing a more formal, qualifications type list job specification. The former will help to hone the kind of attributes you are looking for in your potential new team member. So, rather than ‘able to use *specific software*,’ instead try ‘have an aptitude for learning’ or ‘enthusiastic about working towards efficiency.’ For each item of essential skill you are wanting to cover think about the alternate soft skill.

One of my recent business coaching clients went with this latter approach and has just employed his most successful team member yet; someone who is adding real value to his customer experience and is showing a real flair for ideas and is generally not afraid to get involved in any aspect of the business.

Provide a clear remit

It is often easier to get into a culture of blame in an office environment. I’m sure in our past lives we’ve all worked in those types of offices.

From the outset, get clear on what tasks you want your new team member to complete. Create a monthly list of ‘Must Always Complete’ and break this down week by week. Do this alongside of setting expectations on when you want it, and where you want to see the information /completed work. Make sure that the correct training has been provided and the task and results have been understood. Then, step back and leave the how up them. Giving the team member the autonomy to complete and the trust will more likely fill them with pride and desire to do a good job.

Regular team meetings

The holy grail of successful team management! In order to achieve inspire ideas, motivate, cultivate innovation, share knowledge, plans and information. Regular team meetings are integral to all of this. This space, facilitated well, can achieve all of this in a short amount of time.

Give everybody the space to have a role within the meeting and voice their ideas, opinions, concerns and then as the business owner act upon them and you and your business will have a high staff retention and a happy, fulfilled, ambitious team eager to work hard for you and your business.

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.

Creating a Team to Work Hard for your Business

Running your own business, needless to say can be challenging. If you’re running a team too, this creates its own sub level of challenges. I dare say you’ve grown your business and developed yourself along the way, but have not thought about how you develop a team of your own. Here are some pointers to being a business coach for your team and getting them as passionate about your business as you are.

Team Meetings

Communicate clearly and regularly. This is a key component, I believe, to a successful business and team. Have a time (preferably Monday morning or Friday afternoon) where you gather your team for huddles or a meeting every week. Always have an agenda, even if it’s loose or informal and discuss the week ahead. Share what you want to achieve, what tasks, actions or projects that are high importance and give plenty of opportunity for your team to share any issues, challenges they may have. If done regularly, these meetings need only be 10 – 15 minutes and will have a huge impact on team morale, productivity and your working environment.


Many business owners can be heard saying it’s quicker to just do it myself! Yes, maybe in the short term; however longer term if you add up the time over a week or a month it takes for you to complete a basic or admin related, you could be saving yourself multiple hours. In this time you can be working on your business, developing customer relationships, business development etc. Spare the time now, empower your staff members, train them well and watch them increase in confidence and step up to the responsibility. Watch how much more motivated and involved they become in the finer workings of the business.

Motivate your Team

All business owners know what happens when a person is motivated in their job: more positive, adaptable, happier to change, spread an organisation’s reputation for the good, reduce absenteeism, reduce stress, improve performance & profit, work harder, the list goes on. First steps to motivating your team are to check in with your own assumptions and beliefs – how do you carry yourself at work, in front of your team? Are you positive, motivated, stress free? Find out what motivates your team (a task in a team meeting perhaps) is it money, time off, vouchers, recognition? Then create some motivation incentives.

Be a Transformational Leader

Before business coaching I was a people manager. Always standing by ‘don’t-ask- team-member to do something I was not prepared or knew how to do myself. This gained lots of respect and most of all puts you at the business owner in a position of understanding the skills, resources, challenges and time it takes to complete a task or project to the best outcome possible.


Clare at Meta4 has been running her own coaching and training business since 2007. Clare offers loads of great freebie resources to help you grow your business; they’re easy to implement, engaging and most of all they get you your business growth results!

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Top ten tips for running a sustainable and successful business

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Sometimes you can be so busy working IN your business – doing all those hands-on, practical day-to-day tasks – that you forget the importance of working ON your business. To have a successful and sustainable business you need to keep the clients you have already AND find new ones. This means that you can't just be 'the do-er' – you need to be your own sales and marketing specialist too. Getting and keeping customers is the most important role at any company – without customers there's obviously no business. That's why a lot of my top ten tips for running a successful and sustainable business are about reminding your customers to do business with you while reaching out to the new clients who will secure the future of your business.

1. Keep in touch with your customers – Ask them if you can add their email to an occasional newsletter where you provide special offers, showcase your expertise and highlight success stories; offer a free six-monthly check-up; connect and interact with them on social media.

2. Find, and stay in touch with, the influencers who can help you build your business – Local face-to-face networking and online networking are both ways to meet people who can evangelise about your business; establish a trusted coaching group with other business owners where you can give and take advice and support each other.

3. Offer something for nothing – Giving out top tips via your website or blog, offering free consultation and perhaps an open surgery wins trust and showcases your expertise and experience making potential customers more likely to choose YOU.

4. Make sure your customer service is better than your competition – Whatever your product or service there's always another business your customer could choose. Make sure your exceptional customer service is the reason they come back to you.

5. Reward customers and clients for referrals – If someone wins business for you offer them a gift or a discount off your products/services as a tangible way of saying 'thank you'. What others say about you is many times more powerful than what you say about yourself.

6. Spend at least 10% of your working week on developing your business – Diary regular slots when you ignore emails and other jobs and work on some of these tips. If your business is still in its early stages you need to devote more hours to growing your client base, planning for future growth and measuring the success of things you try.

7. Ensure your promotional material is professional and compelling – Review the content and images on your website, business cards, brochures, leaflets and social media platforms regularly. Is everything consistent and conveying the image you want to project?

8. ALWAYS set business goals for the next 12 months – They should be SMART – Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Targeted. Don't put them away in a drawer. Keep them in sight, adding images to fix them in your mind; measure your progress towards your goals.

9. Understand how your customers find you now – You should always know how every part of your marketing is working. A spreadsheet can be tagged or colour coded to show how customers found you; measure the return on any investment (time as well as money) that you have made; identify where you want your customers to come from and adjust your plans accordingly.

10. Your enthusiasm for what you do is infectious – If you still have pride and passion in what you do, your customers will be impressed and confident in your ability to deliver. If you have fallen out of love a little bit with what you do it might be time to invest in some coaching to get you back on track – or to help you decide to make changes.

If you want any more information about bringing about positive change in your life and your business, contact me for a free initial consultation on 07739 196896.