Category Archives: Blog

Three things you didn’t know about running a small business

Is this what it really takes?

For those considering embarking on being the proud owner of a small business. I know you’ve been thinking and dreaming about it for some time now. The prospect of being your own boss. Answering to no one, being able to come and go as you please, no more office politics and to top it all off – earning more money – the kind of money you know you deserve.

Whilst this is all completely true, only business owners truly understand what it takes to get a small business to this place of utopia. As an ex employee myself with a self-employed husband it wasn’t until I was in the same position did I understand the challenges, and then the mindset required to overcome them.

Here is the truth, look away if you wish to remain ignorant of the facts:

#1 You will not achieve your dream small business on your own.

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

Running a small business requires so many different skills; marketing, copywriting, administration, accounting, PR, sales, people development, not to mention the actual delivery of the product or service your business is seeking to share with the world. Attempting to do all of this on your own would be like trying to fly a plane with no training. You are setting yourself up to crash and burn.

Seek out the right help from the outset, you will not only be saving yourself money in lost income (the income you’re not earning as you don’t know where to start first) but gaining invaluable skills and knowledge in an otherwise enormous learning curve and your first customers.

#2 Reaching your goals will always take longer than you plan for.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison

This is from someone who knows – Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts to invent the lightbulb – seemingly then, to others, a completely impossible and ludicrous task.

I’m not saying it will take you this long! But don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t get there straight away.

Be as clear as you can on what it is you are attempting to achieve and be doggedly passionate about getting there. With the right people surrounding you means that when you do get there (because you will!) it will be worth every ounce of sweat it took from you – you just don’t know it yet.

#3 You WILL be able to achieve so much more than you ever thought possible.

From the outside (full time employment – desperate to get out) you may feel you can’t write a blog post – you wouldn’t know where to start… you can’t go along to networking meetings – the thought may fill you with absolute horror… you can’t records Vlogs – maybe you don’t even know what they are!

Self-employment and running your own small successful business is 100% about putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, on a regular basis. This is where having your hand held, figuratively speaking, is invaluable to your personal and business development. Invest in you and your new business – whatever that looks like to you – a business coach, a marketing coach, a PR expert. Someone who will have your back and be able to give you the right guidance for building your new, amazing future.

Clare Whalley has just published her first book  ‘Do.It.Now! A practical workbook to let your business work hard, not you!’ You can purchase it here to get you and your business on the right track.

I found the book to be so comprehensive, clear, straightforward and user friendly, it covered everything and I was excited!! I am in the early stages of starting my business but I know with the help of this book I will be able to shape my business step by step, whilst ensuring I build it on a solid foundation.  I trust this book and it’s made me believe in the process, every time I pick it up I’m motivated to do something which is quite something for someone who had procrastination down to an art form.

Kiran Thiara


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

Friday Tip – Keep going

For the Greatest Showman and a Million Dreams fans the underlying message is right here for us business owners to take on board too.

We start out with big goals which can get dampened along the way.

Here to tell you to do this instead!

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – How to stop thinking about doing, and actually do

*Big Announcement* ish 

Is there one thing you really want to achieve or have been thinking about doing for some time?

Me too!

So here’s what I’m sharing with you to Make It Happen!

So follow my advice and help me out too.

Let me know you’re watching…

Friday Tip – Get your Sh*t together

Not sure how to set goals to achieve them or you just want to ‘Get your Sh*t Together’? This tip from Sarah Knight might help. 🙂 #fridaytip

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Create business success without sacrificing your soul

business owner making a deal with the devil

Getting out of overwhelm

I speak with small business owners all the time who are too busy working with clients (often who they do not love) and little to no time to focus on business development so the can get in front of the clients they want to work with, delivering what they really want to deliver.

Perhaps you’re working with a few big clients who demand lots of your attention and it’s draining your resources? You could be working with a small team but are still fire-fighting your way through the majority of client issues yourself, working long days and feel like you are giving your heart and soul without reaping any of the rewards.

You know what you need and want to be doing, but do not have the time to dedicate any real focus to making any of the changes you desire.

Carry on like this and you could see your business ebb away through demotivation and your current clients going elsewhere with your own levels of motivation seriously wavering.

Time to STOP!

There are always answers and solutions to every challenge and problem. You just can’t recognise it in the midst of all the paperwork, head fuzz, phone calls and emails. Take two minutes out to write down the question that you are seeking the answer to, ‘How can I…?’ ‘What do I need to do in order to…’ By writing it down it will turn your lovely brain on to actually finding the answer, rather than drowning in a sea of ‘what if’s…’, ‘I can’t seem to be able to…’, ‘That won’t work for me / my business…’

You never know what results will come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no results. – Mahatma Gandhi

You may need to step away from the question for a while or you may find the answers come flooding in or trickling in across the next few days and weeks. Either way you will find the answer that works best for you and your small business.

Take Action.

So, once the solution is found you take action on it. It’s likely to be bold action, too. You know as a business owner nothing big or new and exciting was ever achieved by staying small or playing it safe. The answer you have usually involves making an investment of some kind, monetary – speculating to start accumulating or investing time – the kind of time that you will reap back ten fold once the solution really pays off.

Take the leap and Do. It. Now.!


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

Friday Tip – What to do when a potential client says no

Business owners – what do you do when a client says no, or I’ll think about it? Rather than falling into a heap of despair or lambasting yourself for a poorly ran meeting here are some alternative solutions…

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – Relax and recharge over the children’s summer holidays

How to fully relax and be productive over the (children’s) summer holidays in your small business. No need for being switched on the whole time – here’s how to give your mind a well earned rest 🙂

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – First Steps to Tackling Resistance

Been feeling resistance to that new thing you want to do in your business? I get it. I’ve been there. I still am sometimes. Here’s what I do to overcome it 

Have a great weekend,

Clare

How to not get Distracted by your Competitors

Which camp are you in?

There are usually two camps when it comes to how small business owners see their competition.

  • There are those small business owners who view their competition as the enemy. They don’t want to connect and engage at all with one another.
  • Then there are the successful business owners who welcome collaborations. Collaborations work well in many situations: passing work that fits better with how a competitor delivers, becoming a bigger market force to be able to deliver against larger projects and sharing knowledge and expertise in a healthier way.

Ultimately, it’s always useful to connect with those who are seemingly in the same marketplace as the right clients will choose to work with you and vice versa when it’s right to do so. It’s good to know who else is out there working in a similar market. We all have our own unique and niche way of delivering and who we work with and what problems we solve with tends to be very specific anyway (although we may not always realise it from the outset).

It’s liberating as a small business owner, with choices, to have a back-up plan – when you know someone who approaches you would be better off working with a different business.

Tackling ‘Competitor Comparison’

With social media it’s very easy to follow your competitors and their every move without them even knowing. As a business coach I would encourage small business owners to find how competitors are interacting with their audience – what kind of conversations are happening – as this is where the learning starts and newcomers can listen and watch how to find their own voice on social media. There is a line that needs to be drawn on this following, checking on them and you know when this needs to be drawn…

The best way (and only way!) to stay out of the competitor comparison trap is to focus on your own approach and this being the best you can possibly make it. This involves having a plan. What do you want to achieve with social media and your marketing and how will you go about it? There is plenty of help out there on this, so go out and find it.

Usually, if you are falling in to the Competitor Comparison trap it’s because that someone else is doing what you feel you should or want to be doing but there’s something’s getting in the way. Know what that is. It’s most likely fear of failure, fear of success – yes, this is a real thing or lack of knowledge *insert your reason here*. So learn to be more of that person. It’s likely the person (your competitor) shouting about their good news, success stories has learned exactly how to overcome a *reason* and has invested in themselves – both financially and time wise. This is a good thing, right? All small business owners are on their own path and are just trying to be the best they can be with what resources available to us at the time.

We are all unique and understanding your business USP (unique selling point) goes a long way in addressing any imbalance you may be experiencing.


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

Friday Tip – Trust Your Intuition

Ever make a decision in your business and think later on well that was the wrong one to make or it would have been better if I’d have taken that different path?

For some reason we tend to talk ourselves out of something and into the wrong one. Perhaps it’s a busy mind or old patterns or habits getting in the way. Here’s how to change that.

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – Feeling Overwhelmed?

Feeling overwhelmed? Or perhaps not feeling quite like you at the moment and not sure why? Check out these 3 strategies to help you combat. Thanks to Sharon Taylor at Complete Harmony for the inspiration x

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – Where can you find great business contacts?

Where can you meet lots of interesting, ambitious businesses on your door step, gain access to funding and attend workshops and speed networking?

Here…is where…

Have a great weekend,
Clare

Friday Tip – How to get your business development done every month

Always behind with business development, snatching an hour here, half an hour there if lucky? Here’s how to get it done every month.

Happy weekend,

Clare

Breakthrough to Financial Freedom in your Small Business

Efficiency drives business growth

This statement is so true for all sized businesses and especially pertinent for the small business owner. When, if working alone, your time is literally money. Unless you have a passive income, when you are not working with clients or directly on client related work you are not earning. So, how do small business owners get around this challenge?

Mike Michalowicz gives loads of great advice to small (and big) business owners in ‘Profit First,’ one piece is derived from Parkinson’s Law. In simple terms it’s this:

‘…if your client gives you a week to turn around a project, you’d likely take the whole week – but if she gives you just a day, you’ll make it happen in a day…’

Are you being efficient with your time? If like me, you’ve been indoctrinated with office life of working from 9 till 5 but not being productive in all those hours then some work will need to be done to turn this behaviour around. This will give you your advantage.

Unstructured and sporadic with your business approach

So many small business owners are often heard to say this: ‘Oh yeah, I used to do that, worked really well – not sure why I stopped…’ Running a business can often mean the business owner getting wrapped up in menial tasks – chasing invoices, checking accounts and cash flow, booking events, responding to -as-they-happen-comments on social media. The list goes on…

This results in hours of wasted time, interrupted work and a lack of focus due to seeming time constraints for real business development related activities. Initial time spent on setting the strategy for chasing invoices, checking accounts – systems that will create structure and drive efficiencies in your business so you can start to focus on your business.

This is when you’ll be able to spend the time attracting more clients because your systems and processes allow you time to focus on delivering your products and services.

Consistency is Queen

‘It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.’ Tony Robbins

Being consistent with marketing, messages, branding and how we operate as small business owners not only saves a huge amount of time – it’s the stopping and starting of projects where time wasting lies – it also means clients and potential clients know what to expect and when.

In line with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, humans love routine – it fulfils ‘Safety’ – predictability and order, ‘Love and Belonging’ – participation and commitment and for the business owner ‘Self-Actualisation – we need to feel fulfilled, like we are achieving, that we are becoming everything we can be.

Create consistency around business development activities coupled with spending time more effectively will make for a breakthrough to financial freedom equating to a more fulfilled, time efficient, focused, achieving small business owner.


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

Friday Tip – Get everybody talking about your business

Want to get everybody talking about you and your business? (in a good way!). Here’s how…

Happy weekend,

Clare

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.


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