Category Archives: The Next Level

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.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. 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 book in for a free one hour business strategy session

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.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. 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 book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Be Your Own Coach

Spreading February Love

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February will see me giving away; yes, giving away, a 5 session Coaching Break-through block!! All you have to do to win is contact me, tweet me, facebook me in 140 characters or less, by February 26th, as to why you should win. So, what do you win and why would you want to win it? The what: Breakthrough Blocks are designed to do just that: ensure you have a major breakthrough on solving a Life or Business issue. Whether it’s changing your career, finding career direction, starting up in business or developing an existing business. Maybe you’re asking yourself the question ‘what should I do with my life?’ or you ‘need to make more money, gain more clients’. The why: Coaching will help you achieve your goals by questionning what it is you want to achieve and why, and by getting you to put the steps in place to getting you closer. Coaching gives you accountability.

The coaching sessions are designed to challenge your thinking, get you the results you’re aiming for, and overall be a fun and engaging experience. You can expect the sessions to take place every 3-4 weeks and be very action orientated. You will be the one taking action! So, if coaching appeals to you, get in touch with me, describing in 140 characters or less why you should win this fantastic coaching prize worth over £600! Be bold, be daring, be risky, be intriguing, be surprising. Most of all GRAB my attention!

Closing date for your chance to win a 5 Session Coaching Break-through Block is Wednesday 26th February 5pm.

5 Reasons to use a Life & Business Coach

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There will be some people whose eye light up, and they’re immediately engaged when I say I’m a Life and Business Coach. Others return my statement with a blank stare and a look that says ‘what the heck does one of those do!’ So, here are 5 reasons why you would choose to use the services of a Life and Business Coach; in no particular order:

1) You’re in a career that is leaving you completely unfulfilled, unhappy and lost at the thought of what you want to spend your future doing. Working with a coach will give you the time and space to help you understand what makes you tick, understand your key skills and strengths and will enable you to map out what resources you need in order to make career change happen.

2) A great coach will equip you with the skills you need to address development areas that are getting in the way of achieving your goals. This could be confidence building, presentation skills, stress, anxiety, self-belief techniques – removing those obstacles will mean you can get on and achieve what you want to.

3) With so much going on in our lives, it’s really easy to lose focus, motivation and become generally lack lustre. Life Coaching will help you put your life back into its natural order, focussing your mind on the areas that have slipped; whether it’s your health, wealth, leisure activities, personal growth or family; coaching will challenge you to think about what makes you happy, what’s important to you and inspire you to put the steps in place to restore the equilibrium.

4) Coaching will help you work out what you want to achieve for your future. Setting goals of what you want to achieve and working out the steps you need to put in place will ensure you’re on the right road to making change happen. Coaching will challenge your ideas and make sure that your future goals are a) compelling enough for you to achieve and b) that they’re in line with all areas of your life, that are equally important to you.

5) Overall, Life & Business Coaching will give you the luxury of time devoted to you. How often is it we get to focus purely on ourselves? Our once day-dreaming selves now spend that time flicking through social media pages. Grab this time back to: talk about, and take action on what you want to achieve. Coaching gives you accountability, life-changing tools and your control back.

Becoming a Life Coach

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Many people ask me: ‘How to go about becoming a Life Coach’. Here’s a few helpful tips and information to get you started.

How to find the right qualification

This really depends on what it is you want to achieve as a Life Coach and with your future clients. What problems or issues do you want to help them solve; fears, phobias, career direction etc. There are so many different qualifications and specialism’s out there. Which direction do you want to take? Follow your heart, after all it’s your passion and enthusiasm that will get to where you ultimately want to be. Research local, national coaches you admire and see what qualifications they hold. NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is a great qualification, as it enables you to have major breakthroughs, which in turn will enable you to help clients do the same with their obstacles.

How to get started

Other than the all important qualifications, the only other major initial outlay should be invested in a website, that; firstly, reflects your values, engages with your potential Life Coaching clients, advising them how you can help them through coaching and should more importantly be found by your potential clients. Be confident in the look, feel and content of your website; it’s the first port of call for your customer. Invest in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Do your homework, there are lots of great SEO companies out there, who will help get your site found more easily.

Getting to your clients

The great news is there are so many different and accessible (and free!) routes to market: your clients. A quick and comprehensive Top 5 list: 1) Networking – this will build your confidence in your product and service more quickly than any other marketing method, will get you quickly establishing yourself  within the business arena and will enable you to build the relationships and trust necessary to getting your coaching business off the ground. 2) Have a website that you’re proud of, and will be found. 3) Run workshops, talks on your specialist subject; engage with the public and showcase how you can help. Do this for free to start with, so you can establish what works and where. 4)  Use Social Media to get your message out there. The great thing about Social media is its free, just takes your time, which in the initial stages you’ll have plenty of. 5) Get some testimonials together; practice your new skills and techniques on friends and family who want coaching. Use their feedback as the grounding for your showcasing your experience.

So, what are you waiting for, Life Coaching is fulfilling and rewarding career choice.

 

What do I need a Life Coach for?

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Why would anyone need a life coach? That was the thought that went through the mind of one of my clients, he later admitted, as he put off our initial meeting.

Although he was struggling with many aspects of his life – relationships, work and home life – he couldn’t see what value a personal development coach like me could offer him.

But he felt as if he was sinking. So finally he came to a first session where we looked at what he wanted to achieve. Before that first session, as with all my coaching clients, I asked him to complete a document that sets the scene of where they are now and where they want to be.

This is what he had to say about that first session: “I can only liken Clare to a sculptor, and thought of the conversation between the painter and the sculptor. The painter turned round to the sculptor one day and asked: ‘How is it you can carve such beautiful statues out of big lumps of stone?’. The sculptor said: ‘I don’t…all I do is chip away at what doesn’t belong and chisel and refine what’s already there. And this is exactly what Clare does. She doesn’t try and make you into anything you aren’t already. She just helps chip away the fears, the doubt, the insecurities and takes the ideas you already have and helps you turn them into a realisation that you can achieve.”

This man wanted to restructure work, his relationships and personal ethics. There were tasks along the way over the next five sessions looking at all the positives and negatives and his role at work.
His testimonial means such a lot to me because he made such a huge change to his life in such a short time.

He wrote: “In five sessions Clare turned my life around, on a personal level and on a professional level. “If you want to make yourself feel better as a person, then don’t waste money on shoes, or a car for a temporary fix, see Clare for a permanent solution. Thank you Clare. Thank you for everything. You made me open my eyes to myself.”

It’s not unusual for people to have doubts about whether a life coach can help them. Many will delay for weeks, or months, about taking action and booking that initial meeting. But stories like this one show that the results can be a permanent change for the better in your professional life and your levels of personal peace and happiness.