Category Archives: Time Management

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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

 

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.


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

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


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

Small Business – How to achieve more with limited time

With so much personal and business development fodder floating around in your timelines, it’s never been easier to pick up snippets here and there of what successful (happy, fulfilled and high achievers) do in order to achieve a life and business they can be proud of, without the huge sacrifices of old. Here are three impactful, fun and focused activities you can do to achieve your small business goals:

Develop your clear goals

To get you started and thinking clearly and as boldly as you can, imagine the next 12 months as if there are no obstacles (think Alexander Graham Bell’s thought process years ago!). Ask yourself a few important questions ‘How much do I want to be earning monthly, yearly?’ ‘What services would I love to deliver, and to whom?’ ‘What personal rewards are these achievements going to help me do?’. Once you have a clear mapping of these thoughts, start extracting some of the ‘How’s’ – what will I need to do in order to make this happen? What step/s will I take in order to get me closer to this goal? You could then rank and prioritise these steps. Then the playful bit, start collating these thoughts into visuals, develop your drawing skills or cut images from magazines, google etc.  ‘If you can see it, you can achieve it. Tim Sanders’

Daily Accountability

One of the biggest breakthroughs I’ve achieved in my business success of late is creating daily accountability for my goals. This may sound like hard work, but it is so clear and focused on what you want, it’s a pleasure to do. Each working day I print of a prescriptive sheet prompting me to create 3 daily actions that I will take in line with my big goals. Sometimes these actions are small and other times bigger or require more time (dependent upon my day). I’ve learned to be realistic yet bold about what I can achieve with the time and resources I have available to me that day. It really keeps me focused and always working on developing my small business as well as working in it. If you would like a copy of the daily accountability sheet that keeps my business growing, drop me an email.

Unwavering Self-belief

Well, you’re allowed to waiver a little from time to time – that would, of course, be human nature, as long as each time you recognise yourself wavering… ‘Can I really achieve this goal?’ ‘Who do I think I am?’ etc. You stop yourself and remember…’why not!’ and focus on all the reasons you can achieve. This is where your written and visual goals really help to elevate you back to the bold place you were in when you originally wrote them.


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

Work smarter in your business

You’re running a busy, stressful business and know you need to make changes to the way in which you handle the day to day running, to develop it. Being busy has become a badge of honour. In order to make the necessary changes you need in your life and business to create good change, you need to be prepared to step outside of what you’re comfortable with, and in no time you will work smarter, not harder.

Technology Switch Off

Out of hours (amongst the busy) working is becoming common practice – an email gets sent at 9pm and it’s dealt with by five past! ‘It only takes a few minutes’, is a well trotted out phrase. But this 5 minutes here and there means your brain is always switching from relaxed to stress, to work problems etc, never really giving yourself the time to truly switch off. It’s your business, so what will really happen if you don’t respond to an email after hours? Nothing, it’ll wait till the morning and your customers will be educated that’s when emails get responded to. The big, enlightened companies are recognising the importance of technology being switched off, with Volkswagen turning email off when employees are off shift, so it’s time for you too.

Out of Hours

You’re in either one of two camps: 1) your business offers an out of hours service which your customer pays for or 2) your business offers an out of hours service which your customer doesn’t pay for. Let’s firstly deal with 1i) decide who you want to deal with these scenarios and 1ii) how you will deal with them to minimise disruption, 1iii) what boundaries can be set? 2) First question would be why are you working outside of ‘normal’ working hours and not getting paid – what other successful business owner would do that?

Delegate Out

Stop doing the tasks in your business that you don’t like or you’re not very good at. These are the jobs that cause stress, anxiety levels to rise and generally make you feel low, stupid, shy, angry etc. The time it takes you to complete that same task would take an expert a third of the time and the output, no doubt, will be far superior. Give yourself a break and concentrate on the tasks in your business which you love and which enable you to feel good and show off your expertise in the best ways possible.


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

Coaxing and Coaching, the clutter away

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Too much clutter in your life can be a symptom – and also a cause – of stress. As the saying goes, "Tidy house, tidy mind"
Being surrounded by isorganised piles of papers, things you have hoarded and don't know what to do with, and just general mess can quickly sap your energy and make you depressed, unhappy and inefficient.

It takes longer than it should to do simple jobs when the clutter stops you finding the things you need when you need them.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed if clutter has weighed down your home, your work area and your life.

But by taking small steps, one at a time, towards reclaiming a clean and clear working and living space you can start to feel re-energised and happy. You can work more efficiently and have more time for the fun things in life.

In the working day clutter can mean more than just an untidy desk and a non-existent filing system. Have you heard people talk about information overload? Are you finding your inbox full of notifications and alerts and e-newsletters that you no longer need or don't want to read? Cull them down to the essentials and free yourself from the tyranny of unread emails continually piling up all day every day. You can organise your inbox into folders so that designated must-read items can go straight into them, bypassing your inbox. Then you can allocate time in your diary to review them.

Is your computer or laptop desktop full of icons for software you no longer need and random documents and images that should be filed safely away online? A tidy desktop …can also mean a tidy mind.

Your desk and your work area can quickly become cluttered with papers and invoices, receipts and stationery in random piles. Make sure you've got enough storage space for things you need to keep so that there is "a place for everything and everything in its place.

In the home, wardrobes, drawers and cupboards are the places where clutter usually starts – and it can easily spill over on to floors and surfaces. Divide the clutter into things you need to keep, things you KNOW you should throw away and things you can donate to charity shops. Once you deal with the clutter you will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. It's as if your rooms can breathe easily again – and so can you.
It can be a vicious circle when the clutter confuses you until you can't make sensible decisions about what to do with things. That's when it might be time to call in expert outside help: Pam Beale at Mission Accomplished.

Reducing physical clutter will relieve stress and give you a feeling of freedom and liberation – but you may still need to tackle 'life clutter'. Have you taken on too many commitments at work, at home and in your social life? Are you the sort of person who finds it hard to say 'no' and ends up helping with every school, committee and charity event going? Helping others is a source of tremendous personal satisfaction – but it can go too far when you're being pulled in every direction and your own life is suffering. Think about what you really love doing – and consider opting out of the ones that are no longer enjoyable.

If you need help from a neutral and independent expert than coaching could be the answer.

A coach can help you bring some sensible structure into your life – a bit like a filing system in an office. Together you can review your daily and weekly routines and hobbies to see how you can organise your time more effectively. Get in touch with Meta4 if you think that extra help is what you need.

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.