Why, oh Why

I recently had a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious).  The most important reason that I’ve recently achieved a key goal is that I’ve found my ‘WHY’.

For many years I’ve set goals and targets, achieved many of them, and missed many too.  I’ve come to realise that the reason I have success is when I understand the purpose behind my endeavours.

As Simon Sinek says in his book, ‘Start with Why’, begin with finding your ‘why’ and the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ will follow.

On the 14th January 2019, I was blue lighted to a local hospital with, what turned out to be, a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) in my lungs, Sepsis and a chest infection.  Apparently, Sepsis makes you not care what happens; I didn’t care if I died.

After the initial emergency treatments, I responded well and soon began to improve.

I was later transferred to the Respiratory Ward, where I continued my recovery.  It was while laying in my hospital bed, that I read that only 30% of people with a PE in the lungs recover.

As the days went by, I began to get better; and I made a pact with myself… when (not if) I got out of hospital, I was going to change. This time it was to be for real… no more excuses, no more lies, for true!

I chose to become fit and 14 stone! At that time I was 18 stone 9 lbs.  I had no real idea how; just that I would.

I also chose not to share my goal with many people until I had some real results.  I’ve found that, for me, not having the pressure of ‘what I will do’, works better.  I was doing this for me; this was my Why.

I came out of hospital on the 18th January and into the tender care of my long suffering, wonderful family and friends.  I think they were just glad to get me back.

After a few of weeks convalescing, I decided to start towards my goal.  My first walk was less that ½ mile; and it took about an hour.  That’s the problem when you have blood clots on your lungs, not a lot of air intake.

As each day went by, I managed a bit faster.  ‪On the 20th February, I began in earnest. 3.33 miles in 57 minutes.  I was very pleased with this.  Jump forward to 21st August 2019… I ran my first 10k (just over, in fact) in 1 hour, 2 minutes and 35 seconds.  As I write this post, I am 13 stone and 4 lbs, and my lungs are fine.

I’m not telling you this to impress you, after all, this is my why.  The reason I want you to know, is that I did it because I found MY WHY, not yours, mine… and I own it.

Part of my mission in business and life, is to help people find their ‘Why’.  Success is so much easier when you are driven by a clear ‘Why’. Your team will follow a clear and passionate ‘Why’.

Can I help you find your ‘Why’?

 

 

Christmas 2018

verses

August 21st 2019

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 29

Who controls your financials?

Chapter 2 – Financial Control – Rule your money

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 29 – I have more than 5 strategies in place to increase my Gross Profit.

Do you consistently work on increasing your profits?  Do you have a plan of actions that you, and/or your team, can measure and follow?

There are many simple ways to grow your overall sales (or reduce your costs of sales). What works for one company may not work for yours, so define and implement your own strategies.

The ‘How to’ bit:

Here are some ideas, based on the 6 ways.

If you want to increase the number of prospects work on finding where they are looking (such as on Facebook) then build relationships and market your product so they can see it.  When you engage prospects, they will usually have a look at your offerings to see if they have an interest.

To increase the number of conversions, from interested through to purchasing, develop enticing offers via the platforms that the prospects look at.  You can use a social media platform or even more traditional types of marketing.  there are some amazingly ingenious adverts ‘often known as gorilla marketing’ that are very cost effective.

Turn purchasers into regular customers.  Build a relationship with your customers.  This could be via a membership, such as a loyalty card.  Make your customers feel valued…. AND most of all, let people know everything you sell.  One client put ‘you may be interested in this’ items on their quotes. They found an amazing 800% uplift for one particular product.  This is up-selling, and a well-known fast food chain is really good at this.

Get your customers to come back for more.  Sometimes it’s a simple as making the customers feel they got great value, and they wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.  Could you set up a Direct Debit for suppling your products?  For example, an optician has a monthly supply process.  You get a month’s supply of contact lenses and lens fluid each month on a direct debit.  When it’s that easy, people tend to stay.

Another way to increase your gross profit is to increase the price of the goods/services you sell.  This is often an area that worries clients.  Won’t I lose customers if I raise my prices?  The simple answer is, you might.  Typically, customers realise that costs do go up.  If they feel they are still getting great value, they like the service, and still want what you are selling, they will stay.

If you would like to learn about the many strategies for increasing your Gross Profit, follow this link and Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 28

Who controls your financials?

Chapter 2 – Financial Control – Rule your money

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 28 – I know how to increase my Gross Profit

Gross profit is the amount of money you have left after sales and costs for those sales. For example, if you sell a service, how much do you sell it for, and how much does it cost to provide that service. Gross Profit does not include your operating costs. Only those costs that you insure each time you provide the service you sold.

So, would you like to know some ways you could increase your gross profit?

The ‘How to’ bit:

One of the easiest ways is to reduce the costs to provide the service or costs of the products you obtain from your suppliers. I managed to reduce the item costs for a product that I used by purchasing a bulk amount directly from the main distributor. This gave me a saving of 30% on the specific item. This equated to several hundred pounds a year. I did this across the range of products I purchased and saved around 25% overall. This allowed me a greater gross profit and, by sharing the reduced costs with my customers, to charge more competitive prices.

Be careful when purchasing bulk products or longer-term services, such as leasing. This can cause issues with your chashflow, storage, or waste of products if they can go off.

Another way is to increase sales, I know, that’s obvious, but how… well, here are a few ideas to increase gross profits…

Use 5 of the 6 ways to focus on individual steps of the sales process. I’ve found that clients see quite an overall improvement in turnover when they do this exercise.

Step 1 – increase number of prospects (this is someone you are actively talking to)

Step 2 – increase number of conversions to customer (get more of your prospects to buy from you)

Step 3 – increase the average sales ticket – sell more to each customer – would you like fries with that?

Step 4 – increase number of purchases – get the customers to come back for more

Step 5 – increase your prices

If you’d like to learn strategies on how to raise your Gross Porfits, and find out the 6th way, follow this link and Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 27

Who controls your financials?

Chapter 2 – Financial Control – Rule your money

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 27 I plan for profit and set daily/weekly/monthly profit goals

‘How can I plan for the profit I’m going to make?  I don’t even know where my next customer is coming from!’  That’s the sort of comment I get from most clients when we start this exercise.

You may not know the name of your next customer, but you have to be ready to serve them when you have enticed them to buy from you with your powerful marketing, and professionally carried out sales process.

Whatever approach you take, by doing something, you should see positive changes.

The ‘How to’ bit:

First, make a plan for continued growth and then see what you will need to do to achieve it.

It can be as easy as just adding a small percentage onto the next timeframe of your annual budget plan. For example, if you sold £5000 worth of stock last month, could you up it by 2% the next month?  That would be £5100.  In 12 months of continued growth, you would have £6216.87 per month.  Just by a 2% improvement month on month you would see your sales increase by over £1200.

Alternatively, you may choose to take a more systematic approach.  This could involve using data from previous results, and the link between your marketing campaigns through to sales figures.

What activities and tasks could you work on to give you that uplift?  These tasks need to be implemented to drive up the Sales, Gross Profit & Net Profit.  No point just selling more, you need to see the positive results on the bottom line.

If you would like help to develop your profit planning exercise, and to find out more about what activities could improve your bottom line by around 50%, follow this link and Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 26

Who controls your financials?

Chapter 2 – Financial Control – Rule your money

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 26 – I have a Profit and Loss Budget for my business.

Do you know, month on month, what the expectations are for your business?

The P&L budget, usually created for the year, or years, ahead, is the forecast of how you expect your business to perform financially.  It is a forecast of the planned income and expenses over time.

The idea of the budget is to help you understand the effort and resources that will be required to deliver the predicted income, supported by the predicted outgoings. Over time these budgets should be easier to get right. Based on the results previous years, where you review actuals against targets, you can hone the forecasts to give a more accurate view of the future of your business.

If you want to get finance, this is one of the first things a lender/investor will be looking to.  If you are looking to sell your business, a buyer wants to see the last 3 years of your management accounts showing a track record of how your predictions matched reality.

The ‘How to’ bit:

Many of the financial tools will give you this facility, or you could use a simple spreadsheet.  I have one to share if you would like a copy.

Enter your income goals/targets for the year on a monthly basis and then the anticipated outgoings over the year, month by month.

Remember to add in any expenses associated with sales (Cost of goods sold). This could be for materials for a product or costs for delivering your services.

Use any previous years’ financial ‘factual’ information to help you understand what your P&L can be.  Keep it realistic.

If you would like help setting up your P&L budget, follow this link and Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 25

Who controls your financials?

Chapter 2 – Financial Control – Rule your money

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 25 I regularly review my expenses and attempt to contain or drive down these costs

A lunch out here, a new piece of tech there, that new chair for the office, first class travel to anywhere.

It’s easy to be tempted to spend spend spend on things when you’re busy and feeling that everything is going great with your business.

Now may be a good time to stop and think for a minute; are you loosing control of your spending? Do you know what that does to the bottom line?  Have you added up all the spending you are doing?  Will it affect your ability to pay the bills next month? Or cause a problems when the tax bill comes in?

There are always legitimate expenses associated with running a business.  It is wise to keep control of the expenses, especially if you have a team.

For example, if you are out of your phone contract, can you chose a cheaper rate? The price goes up anyway if you are out of contract; typically £3 per month.  That’s another £36 going out a year that could stay in your business.

If you have a meeting offsite with a number of team members attending, can they share a car, rather than individual rail tickets?

One of my clients was stopping 15 minutes early in the day, so that the team could make the workplace tidy and clean for the next day.  Suffice to say, this was a lot more costly than employing a cleaner to come in after the working day.  It resulted in a significant increase in productivity verses a small cost of the cleaner.  Also the cleaner did a much better job.

The ‘How to’ bit:

Set rules for what are acceptable expenses.  Set up a regular review schedule of the company (and yours too) spending.  Depending on cashflow and how well the rules are adhered to, you may do this weekly, monthly, or more regularly.

Regularly review your outgoings to see if the expenses can be reduced – both external and internal expenses. No point spending more than you have to.  Are there better value services that you can change to?  Or maybe do a better deal as a contract renews.

If you would like an unbiased review of your expenses, follow this link and Contact Us

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‘How To’ Coaching series – Activity 24

Who controls your financials?

Chapter 2 – Financial Control – Rule your money

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 24 – We never discount prices

That may be a bit of a simplistic statement, though each time you discount, you are potentially reducing the value of your service/product; and ultimately your profitability.

I have seen discounts of 10% on a product that sold for £10.  Sounds ok, after all, it’s only a pound off.  But when you take into account that it actually cost £9.38 total to produce, store and sell – they were making a loss of £0.38 per item sold. You wouldn’t do that would you?

I’m not saying that you should never discount, there are many profitable businesses that operate an almost continuous discount approach.

Discounting can be a useful tool for clearing old stock, getting cash flowing into the business if things are slow, but beware of the impact.

The ‘How to’ bit:

Rather than discount, how about offering more value – something that might not cost you much, if anything, but would be highly valued by the customer.  My local coffee shop does a scheme, buy six coffees and get the 7th free.  They have already made enough profit on the 6 to give a free one.  And people often buy a cake to go with that free drink – So an additional profitable sale is made.

You could choose to build your business on a discount model… on a lower price model that still gives you the profit you choose.  People love to feel they got a better deal – cynical, but true. Or, as in the case of high-end products and services, reassuringly expensive – no discount here.  Your offer is of interest to people who want exclusivity.

If you would like to better understand the impact of discounting; or have a facilitated brainstorm session on the best approach to discounting (or not) for your business, follow this link and Contact Us

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