‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 8

Destination photo

Chapter 1 Destination – choose your own way

This is part of the ‘How to’ coaching series.  An ongoing series of activities to make your business successful.  Follow it step by step and see positive results as you develop a robust business model set on a solid foundation.

Activity 8 – I have a documented Mission Statement

Your mission, should you choose to participate, is to make your business a success.  Mission possible!

Whereas your company’s Vision is a set of defined aspirations and goals for the ‘envisioned’ future, your Mission Statement is of the ‘now’; used to drive yourself and team; as well as helping your customer gain a better understanding of what you’re about.

A Mission Statement is a short statement of an organisations ‘why’, their purpose.  It identifies the goals of the operations, what it provides to it’s customers. The Mission Statement also states the ‘how’ it goes about providing its service or products.

For example:  you could have the following…

Our Mission is to be the 2ndbiggest car hire company in the world by the end of the current financial year!’  This is based on a car hire business that realised it wasn’t going to be the biggest at that time; ‘so we choose to stand out by providing a better service, by trying harder.  Why? Because that’s how the customer deserves to be treated.’

Or,

“Space the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise, her five-year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilization, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”       –  Star Trek’s USS Enterprise

The ‘How to’ bit:

Firstly, identity the purpose of your business, the ‘why’ you do what you do.  Then work out the ‘what’ your company will provide/deliver; then define ‘how’ it will be delivered.

It is useful to add specific targets to your Mission Statement to indicate the size of the job ahead.

There are many great examples to be inspired by – Take a look at the JFK speech to the world about going to the Moon.

…If you would like help, and are ready to take on the challenge, of building your own inspiring Mission Statement, follow this link and Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 7

Destination photo

Chapter 1 Destination – choose your own way

This is part of the ‘How to’ coaching series.  An ongoing series of activities to make your business successful.  Follow it step by step and see positive results as you develop a robust business model set on a solid foundation.

7 – I have a documented Vision for the business

The key to any journey is knowing where you’re headed and knowing when you’ve arrived.  A clear Vison statement gives your business direction. It focusses on the future of the business and gives it purpose.

Successful companies invest significant effort in understanding and stating their vision.

Your vision needs to be in-line with your values and ethics.  A well-crafted vision will help you and your team understand where, and what, the business stands for.  A strong vision will also help your customers know what your business is about.

To lock in the vision, publish it, especially to all the team.  Make it part of your marketing message. Your website is a good place to share it too.

The ‘How to’ bit:

Creating your vision starts with the business owner. To enrol and inspire your team, get them involved in the process too.

A good way to develop the shared vision, is to have a team ‘brainstorming’ session.  Make it fun and ensure everyone participates.

Share the vision via your prospects and clients.

Your Vision should include: the aspirations of the company, solutions to problems for the greater good, and also cover the ‘who’ and ‘what’ you are looking to inspire change within.

For example: Boeing in the 50s: Become the dominant player in commercial aircraft and bring the world into the Jet age.

…If you would like some inspiration and guidance on developing your Vision, follow this link and Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 6

Destination photo

Chapter 1 Destination – choose your own way

This is part of the ‘How to’ coaching series.  An ongoing series of activities to make your business successful.  Follow it step by step and see positive results as you develop a robust business model set on a solid foundation.

6 – My Life Plan has milestones that I refer to regularly

As with your any business plan, your life plan should include milestones.

It may seem obvious when creating a plan, to set milestones, but it can be all too easy to forget to keep focused on your personal dreams and aspirations.

Getting your work life balance right is very important; and different for everyone. You may need to actually block out hours, days or weeks in your diary, to get away for a break from work. Remember why you started your business, and who else is on the journey with you.  They might like some time with you too.  This is especially true if you have children.  I’ve seen ‘rich’ dysfunctional families that are less happy than those with less stuff.  The less well-off are often content as they have shared happy memories.

As an example, part of your life plan could be to live a healthier lifestyle. You may say ‘I’m going to lose weight! I have a target weight I will be by next year.  Next year, even if you set an actual date, is a long way away. Having a set of milestones along the way helps keep you focused and motivated along the way.

The ‘How to’ bit:

Make a timeline plan of your life goals.  Put in specific milestones with ‘measures’, i.e. what does the milestone mean?   So that you know if you are on track, you could put them in your diary, your weekly business progress review, or anywhere you see them regularly.

Use the milestones to drive actions; such as tasks in your diary to book and prepare for that holiday.  A prompt in the diary to book the theatre, or concert tickets in advance, rather than leave it till the last minute.

The feeling of excitement of a booked holiday really helps motivate me to get all my tasks done.  So, there is a double benefit; the pleasure of the forthcoming holiday and the motivation to work your business to be able to fund it.

…If you would like help with some inspiration and guidance on developing the Milestones for your life plan, follow this link and Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 5

Destination photo

Chapter 1 Destination – choose your own way

This is part of the ‘How to’ coaching series.  An ongoing series of activities to make your business successful.  Follow it step by step and see positive results as you develop a robust business model set on a solid foundation.

5 – I have a life plan that I refer to regularly.

Alongside the business plans, it is good to have a life plan too.  From personal experience, when you can clearly see why you are doing what you’re doing, you will have more chance of success, and a reason to put the effort into the work.

As with any plan for your business, it is important to review your life plan regularly. It is all too easy to get wrapped up in work and forget the reason you started the business.

There is a good saying, start with the end in mind.   Usually, people tell me it’s ‘to give them the life that they want’. Well that’s not nearly specific enough. The more tangible a goal is, the more chance it will happen.

It could be that you are planning on selling your business.  So, what will you do after that? Your dreams should cover the ‘what next’ part of your life.   One of the key reasons that businesses don’t sell, is that the owner has ‘sellers remorse’, and pulls out – they cant imagine not getting up early and going into work, adored by their loving team.

The ‘How to’ bit:

Make time to define where you want your life to go.  Choose your journey, and who is going to share it with you.

It is a good idea to work on your life plan with your nearest and dearest.  How about you all having a life planning day between Christmas and the new year?  Make it fun, with nice things to eat and drink.  Take time to dream about what you want to achieve in the future and what you want to achieve in the coming year.   Dreams shared by all, have greater weight.

It should be something special, something to aim for.

To find inspiration, you can look at publications, TV, friends…  also there are many resources online – websites for houses, cars, planes, holidays, sports, clubs, hobbies, the arts…

I have my dream images on a screen saver. Every time I log on, there are the images that drive me. You could also put pictures of your goals on the fridge; or anywhere you look at often.  Just little reminders of what rewards all your efforts and hard work will bring.

…If you would like help with some inspiration and guidance on building your own life plan, follow this link and Contact Us

 

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 4

Destination photo

Chapter 1 Destination – choose your own way

This is part of the ‘How to’ coaching series.  An ongoing series of activities to make your business successful.  Follow it step by step and see positive results as you develop a robust business model set on a solid foundation.

4 – The business plan has milestones I plan to achieve

As with any plan, it’s all too easy to lose track of where you are with progress.

If you add milestones to your plan, you increase the likelihood of achieving your goals within the timeframe you set.

A milestone is a specific point in time within a plan, used to measure the progress of a tangible piece of work toward its ultimate goal. … Milestones have a fixed date but no duration.  Time is a key part of hitting a milestone.  Milestones need to be realistic dates/times for the amount of work.

Measuring against a milestone, you can see if you are on track.  It will prompt you to review progress and, if you are behind (or ahead) you can then assess the current resources. Do you need to add/reduce resources for this task; or reschedule the completion date of the task.  By continuing to review progress against the milestone plan, you can adjust your plans to be realistic.

Milestone dates are critical targets to the overall success of the plan.

The ‘How to’ bit

Break down the goals, from any level of business plan, into realistic, manageable segments.   Insert milestones along the timeline on the plan that will give a useful indication of progress.

When milestones are successfully reached, remember to recognise the achievement.  A heartfelt ‘well done’ is a great motivator.

If not on track, readjust the effort and/or timescale to reflect reality.  The easy part of this exercise is inserting milestones into your plans – the hard part can be getting them right and sticking to them.

…If you would like help with defining the milestones in your plans, follow this link and Contact Us

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How a smile and a cheery attitude gets you noticed

Having recently been on the receiving end of some very friendly and happy service, I can attest to how good it feels.

I can’t think of anyone that doesn’t respond well to genuine, happy people.

At our local supermarket (part of a major retailer) there are quite a few members of staff who we head for on the tills – even waiting longer in the queue to be served by them.  Their cheerful demeanour and a quick chat, whilst they scan the purchases through the till, makes the end part of the shopping a delight, lifts the spirits and everyone has a smile.  Even a massive retailer has room for great service.

So, why is it that there are businesses whose staff, when dealing with customers, choose to be grumpy, and often downright rude.  It never ceases to amaze me.  Why do people choose to be grumpy?

I believe that a lot of it is to do with the business owners/leadership team.  The attitude comes down the line from the top.

It may seem so obvious; you may even be thinking, well that’s no surprise….. but it does influence a team’s attitude.  It is something that is so easy to create, yet so many businesses do not work on building a happy team.  And people wonder why customers don’t come back!?!

There have been more than a few major businesses that have gone to the wall in the last few years. They would have done so much better if there had been more effort made to educate the whole team; that treating customers well and making them feel wanted would have kept the business afloat when times may be a bit tougher.  

Prospect/customer interactions need to be genuine; a contrived ‘good morning, can I help you’ feels worse than no welcome at all.

One client has introduced a visitor welcome on a screen by their front door.  This way, booked visitors know they’re in the right place, expected and welcome. As the visitor comes through the door, the first team member to see them will give them a warm welcome and make sure they get a great experience.  There is a very high percentage of visitors who go on to make the purchase.

 

What could you do to make your team happy and welcoming?  After all, the person coming though the door pays the business; and ultimately, everyones wages.

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Social media is not necessarily the best place to vent your personal thoughts

It may seem obvious; so why do people still do it?

Social media is a great platform to share your thoughts on all sorts of topics.  We share everything from phots and videos of cuddly cats to strong political beliefs; and so much in between.

But, and this could be a big but… your business pages on social media are not always going to be the best place to share your thoughts on things that could turn your prospects and customers off.

There have been a number of times I’ve felt the need to unfriend/unfollow a connection due to their radical and/or unsuitable postings.

It’s good to have personal views, but sharing them can be the quickest way to alienate yourself from business opportunities.  After all, some topics have nothing to do with the business of doing business.  

There are some values and beliefs that you may hold sacred; and you may decide that these are non-negotiable.  As long as you’ve actively decided what your business stands for, and how that may impact on the customers you want to provide for, then that’s your choice.

We’ve all seen a number of instances where a company struggles with losing/getting customers when their ethics and values are at odds with their client base.  A poorly considered comment can bring down a business empire/brand that looked really strong up till that point. 

So before posting your personal rant, or making that ill judged comment during a ‘live’ social media broadcast, take a moment to think about the impact it may have on your business.

There are so many different types of platforms to make calamitous errors of judgement, but few are as immediate and irreversible as social media.

Remember, social media is a great tool for business – if it’s for business, keep it business!

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