Insights Blog

Useful tools, tips and strategies to help your business learn, develop and expand.

Hard Work Is Not Enough

Most business owners would attest to the fact that running your business is hard work. However, most people know business owners who have been working day in and day out for years are are nowhere near the level of success that they could be at.

Paradoxically, ineffective hard work often leads you in the wrong direction, leading to a waste of time, money and resources – and a lack of deal flow. There is one missing ingredient that I have found people consistently overlooking in their quest for ‘doing’ more and being busy.

Even businesses with great management and leadership skills, or those who attend regular strategic planning sessions to align their businesses, can become frustrated when their consistent hard work isn’t bringing the success they desire.

While there is no single, easy solution for every business out there, there is a simple formula that can be applied to almost every aspect of business to increase success. Watch the video below to see how I teach my business coaching clients in London to direct their hard work to achieve true success:

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi this is Shweta from The London Coaching Group. What I want to talk about today is the relationship between doing and having.

What I’ve noticed is that a lot of business owners think that just working hard and working on a lot of activities will get them where they want to be. In fact, it’s generally not true. Just hard work doesn’t get you to where you really want to be.

There is another very important element in this doing and having which is called Being.

The Formula of Success

And in fact the formula of success is: your Being x your Doing = your Having the results that you’re after.

Now Doing is the activities and Being really defines what you are, what’s your competence, what’s your knowledge as far as business management and growing the business is concerned; what are your value systems, how disciplined are you, what are your belief systems. They all come into this thing called “Being”.

What is your Being?

Now think about it like this: if the Being is not in the right place, if the level of confidence and the knowledge about the business is lacking, and you don’t know what you don’t know, then obviously Doing gets impacted.

When the Doing gets impacted, the results are impacted. And in that whole process, I’ve seen so many business owners leaving money on the table just because the Being is not at the right level. So Being x Doings = Having and not just hard work, because it could be absolutely in the wrong direction leading to wastage of time, money, resources and your ambitions.

So look, if you really want to step up, in terms of your competence, I would strongly urge you to join me in the webinar that I am doing tomorrow. Would love to have you there, so that we can talk about how to become better at this so-called business, how do we better our being and therefore our doing, and eventually the results that you really deserve and desire.

business strategy consultancy LondonBetter Your “Being”

If you are looking to step up your team motivation and competence in business to help your grow your business in a smart way, then why not get a free taste of business coaching?

Register for the webinar and find out how the top business coaches in London are helping countless businesses ascend to the next level of growth quickly and retain superstars.  

Business Reading: It’s A Science, Not an Art

Almost every business owner hopes to make their next £1 million, £10 million or even £100 million with their next brilliant idea.

The problem that most come up against – and the issue I have seen with most of my business coaching clients in London – is that conventional ways of scaling sales do not work as intended.

This book contains a ground-breaking new way of looking at the sales process – and one that resonates heavily with a lot of the business strategy we teach at The London Coaching Group.

business strategy consultancy London

Hubspot’s Mark Roberge uses a unique methodology that breaks down the entire sales process into four systemised formulae:

  1. The Sales Hiring Formula – which involves ensuring you are hiring sales people using the right predictive indicators, which have been tested and measured to match your company.
  2. The Sales Training Formula – debunking the “ride along” technique and instead focusing on a repeatable scoring system that trains all your sales people the same way, focusing on key metrics of success.
  3. The Sales Management Formula – ensuring that salespeople are held accountable and managed using the same process, which targets their individual areas of improvement rather than a blanket approach.
  4. The Demand Generation Formula – which involves using inbound marketing to draw in leads so your sales people can shine. Outbound marketing alienates your potential customers, so instead it is about training sales people to guide prospects in the right direction while being helpful.

Why we really love this book is that it is almost perfectly in-line with the way we coach clients to take a metric-focused approach to growth by building repeatable systems that naturally allow – and encourage – scaling.

Whether it’s through hiring champion salespeople or teaching your team the killer sales questions, or ensuring you are segmenting your customer base properly – the fact is sales is NOT just an art: there is a science to it and there is a formula.

Once you have found the right formula for your business, it can be used over and over again to take you to new heights of growth.

I highly recommend using the methodology in this book to systemise your sales funnel, empower your team, and bring new scaling possibilities to your business.

Other business reading I have recommended:

business strategy consultancy LondonWant more direct advice than just books?

Business reading is one of the best ways to get business advice. However, sometimes we need a bit more of a push and a bit more guidance to learn the really useful stuff.

Register for our webinar and you will have access to two hours of the top business coach in London explaining the strategies she uses with her clients to grow their businesses.

Death of an Entrepreneur: 3 Pieces of Advice For Business Owners

I have often heard it said, “Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur.” A recent experience, however, made me pause and think again.

My family and I recently booked into a Bed & Breakfast as a part of a short trip around Wales. The B&B was quite well rated despite only having been around for a few years. The place was a beautiful building run by an elderly couple – George and Katie (names changed). Katie welcomed us and helped us settle in. She was the ideal hostess – helping us with dinner options and in deciding what to do around the area.

business strategy consultants london

When we sat down for breakfast the next day, I could see that Katie loved to chat with the residents and we struck up a conversation. We had been very impressed by the décor of the place and could see that a lot of money had been spent in making it look the way it did – probably a little more than required.

As we conversed, Katie told us that they had bought this property around 15 years earlier from the profits of George’s booming business. They had lived in it with their large family until around seven years ago, when they had had to close down their business and decided to convert their house into a B&B.

As a business mentor in London, I am obviously keenly interested in business success and failure. So this piqued my interest and I was keen to delve deeper into what had happened to the old business. At this point, George came in and Katie passed the conversation to him.

George described his old business – he had been on the cutting edge of the digital revolution 30 years ago! He was servicing expensive analogue printers and converting them into digital ones – before most people in the country even had a clue what the fuss was about. He had been one of the most respected technicians in the country with his business pushing the £1M turnover mark every year.

However, as manufacturers gradually stopped producing analogue printers, George’s business proposition became unviable and he had to shut down the business in 2007.

Unable to let go of this great opportunity to seek business advice for my business coaching clients, I asked George his three top learnings from his life as an entrepreneur and he happily obliged.

1. Commit to your clients

“The one thing that defined the success of our business was our commitment to our clients. Our clients knew that we would never let them down and would always be there to support their machines. This often meant on the spot decisions to fly across Europe and fix machines – and stay there until they were fixed – which could take over a week.”

“Our clients kept coming back because they knew they could rely on us. “

2. Get help

“I remember there was a time when I used to smugly boast that my business was recession proof and that I had a business that would reach the £1 million mark. The printers we serviced were used in the printing of packaging material of big name cereals and confectionaries and these would still be needed when the economy was down. Through the long and hard days of putting one foot in front of the other, I did not even pause to think that getting outside help or some sort of business mentor for experienced business advice could actually make my life easier and my business better.”

“One of the things that destroyed my business was a deal I agreed with a customer to become a potential distributor of our cutting edge product. I signed off distribution exclusivity to them and they did nothing for two years on my product – time in which they were able to build a competing product and get it entrenched into the market!”

“I was the best at changing analogue printers to digital. Everything else about my business, I learnt along the way – and I realise now that not only did I not do a lot of things that a good business should do, several of the things I did, I did after making expensive mistakes that I could have avoided.”

3. Don’t forget to live life

“I remember once when I was running at the airport to catch a flight and as I shoved past someone to reach the check in counter, I got a tap on the shoulder and the person I had just shoved aside said, “You need to slow down, mate! You’ll have a heart attack!” I laughed it off then but as I reflect now on the time I missed with my family and the physical constraints I now have to face – I do realise that while clichéd, there is a lot of value in that single piece of advice – to slow down and enjoy the journey.”

George had wistful tears in his eyes as he recounted the last part of his story. “The manufacturers moved to digital printing and our whole line of business was wiped out. We used to have a map of Europe with little lights for all our clients,” he said. “I saw the lights go off one after the other over the last three years of my business and there was very little I could do. Firing the people I’d worked with for decades was one of the toughest things I have ever had to do.”

“I don’t think I have it in me to do it all over again now. This B&B is really Katie’s business – I only help her run it.”

As we left the B&B, I thought of all the entrepreneurs I have worked alongside as a business coach in London and recommitted to making sure that they got the best of what they deserved in their lives and in their business.

business strategy consultants londonDid this business advice resonate with you?

We believe that in business you are always a student. The market is constantly changing and no matter how experienced, there are still lessons to be learned.

When you register for our webinar you will learn the tools and strategies we use every day in our business coaching sessions in London to help them grow fast and smart.

How Do You Define Sales?

What are the first five words that come to mind when you think of a sales person? If the five words that consistently come to your mind are negative – guess what – you probably do not like sales because of your negative beliefs about it.Ultimately, almost every business will need to consider sales and marketing in some form if they are going to become successful, no matter what the business owner’s belief about sales.

My job as a coach is to help you succeed. Sometimes, this is through techniques and strategies or implementing some simple actions, such as helping your sales team to ask the right kinds of sales questions or ensuring that you hire the right kind of sales people.

Often however, it requires a shift of mind-set, not just actions. In this video, I explain how we define sales here at The London Coaching Group, so that we, and our clients, are operating in the right mind-set:

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi this is Shweta from London Coaching Group. What I want to talk about today is Sales.

What is Your Definition of Sales?

Now you know very well that every business needs good profitable sales to move forward. At the same time I’ve come across some very interesting reactions and responses to the word sales.

When I ask business owners “What comes to your mind when I say sales?” than actually think about it for yourself – what comes to your mind when I say sales. I’m sure you thought about that.

I’ve got some very interesting responses from people – it varies from saying cheesy, pushy, money, helping people to having an agenda – you can see,  right, the whole spectrum of responses here. Now look, the fact is what you think about sales pretty much reflects on your sales team and on the performance of your company. And whether it’s good or bad, whatever it is, let’s go back to the fundamentals.

Sales is an Educational Process

If you think about what is the core purpose of having a business – for any business what is the core purpose. It is actually about providing solutions to people.

So adding value and getting value in return. And therefore if sales is the mechanism, is a way to reach out to our prospects, to actually sit down or interact with them to help them with their needs and requirements, then actually sales is an education process to help your prospects to make the right decisions for themselves.

And with that definition why would we not like sales? Why would we not reach out to people to help them to actually provide them with the solution that they need? In fact, you know what? I would love to know what is your definition, what do you think about sales and how do you work in your business with your team with this concept.

So I’m sure can leave a comment right under the section which you’re seeing. I would love to hear from you and meanwhile make sure you work with the right concept and leave your team with the right essence. 

Want a Bigger Taste of Business Coaching?

Business coaching is similar to business strategy consultancy, except that we work directly with business owners to help them develop their own skills and create sustainable growth in their business.

Register for our webinar to learn the tools and strategies that some of the top business coaches in London use to help countless businesses expand sustainably.

Click Here to Sign Up

Blue Skin and Pointy Ears – The 6 Essentials to Identifying Your Avatar

business strategy consulting London

When the film ‘Avatar’ was released, the concept of a ‘representative’ quite quickly entered into popular language – and to such an extent that most of us when we think of the word would probably still immediately associate it to the film. What remains lesser known is that an ‘Avatar’ is a key concept in defining a business’s marketing strategy. One of the most important stages in any business’s marketing strategy is to identify who you are targeting – very precisely.

While most business owners usually know the answer intuitively, they are still not focusing closely on this as a component of their marketing strategy creation. I’ve found that following a step by step process to defining an ‘avatar’ for your business, invariably leads to greater clarity and a more focused marketing strategy. The most common first question I get from my business coaching clients when we start this process is, “How do I identify the target market?” or “How do I identify the target audience?”

The mistake they are making here is that they are thinking of whom they are targeting as a “target market”. As I have explained before, target markets don’t work. The first thing you need to do is think of targeting a person not a target audience. This target person is what we call your “avatar”. The next question is, “Well, how do I select this target person or avatar?” This is a valid question, and actually requires more structured thought than you might initially think. There are  6 essential qualities you should be identifying in your avatar to ensure that you are targeting the right person for your business.

1. Sees the Benefit & Relevance

On the loyalty ladder, the person that you are targeting should be your raving fan. Whatever the problem is that you are solving, you should solve it for this person and you should be the best solution that this person can think of. This is actually the most important thing. If your avatar loves you and what you do, then everything else becomes easier. They will convert more easily, they are more likely to come back again and again – every step after this becomes really easy. So focus on this one first.

2. Easy to Reach Out To

Your avatar should be someone that you could easily get in touch with. For example, if you provide cleaning contract services you could choose a target person who is the head of operations in a good-sized corporate company, or you could choose the person in charge of operations at a school. Which one do you think is easier to reach out to? It would probably actually be much easier to contact someone in the corporation – they are in a position that is designed to be contactable. You have to carefully consider how difficult it is to actually get in touch with your potential avatar, and factor that into your decision.

3. Receptive to Marketing

Your target person should also be receptive to the marketing you use. Going back to the cleaning contractor example, while it is easier to get in touch with someone at a corporation, they are less likely to be receptive to marketing. Corporate heads have marketing constantly thrown their way, while a school is less likely to get as much and will probably be more receptive. Sometimes, your avatar may not be that receptive to your marketing – that is ok. The point here is to compare between your different avatars and, ideally, choose one that is more receptive.

4. Have a Relatively Short Sales Cycle

This is another one that is more about comparison than absolute value. You want someone where the time to go from lead to purchase is minimised. You may ask, “How short is a short sales cycle?” and really, that depends on your business. What you need to focus on is choosing the target person among your choices that has the shortest sales cycles.

5. Built-In Repeatability

You want your target person to be the kind that buys from you over and over again. This may not be the case for every business – some services are one-time only. However, with most businesses, it is a waste of your marketing spend if you are incurring all costs to get a lead and they are only buying from you once. Your marketing budget should be an investment, not a “spend” – and so when you make that investment, you want it to give you as much return as possible by increasing the number of transactions that a single converted lead makes. This increases the lifetime value of your contact, which decreases the acquisition costs – and this is a critical part of creating an unlimited marketing budget.

6. Good Spend Value & Margin

Is your customer coming in and buying products or services from you that actually deliver value? Are they buying your products that actually have a high margin? Or are they only purchasing your peripheral products rather than your core ones? Do they only buy from you when you give them offers or put things on sale?

Remember, you should be segmenting your customers not just to identify their value, but also to determine how you approach them. Your target person should be a raving fan – which means they believe in what you are doing and are willing to pay for the quality products you are creating. Often, as we run through the above 6 essentials for choosing a strong avatar my business coaching clients often say, “Ok, let me create my avatar.” But here’s the key lesson: You do NOT need to create your avatar from scratch.

Your Avatar is Already a Customer

The exercise I do – both with my clients and for myself – is to take the list of customers and go through them one by one. Categorise them and assess them based on these 6 essential qualities. Make sure you choose customers you like. Would you want to have a coffee or a drink with them? You should be fond of your avatar, and they should be – I will say it again – your raving fan. I can guarantee you, if you do not skip this step and tightly identify your target person, you will be amazed at how easy it is to set your marketing strategy.

Writing your content, defining your channels, figuring out the design of your website or marketing material – all these decisions will become so much easier once you know exactly who your avatar is. Your Avatar may not necessarily have blue skin and pointy ears, but as you define your marketing plan, you should be able to clearly visualise them and understand what would and would not work for them. You should be able to place yourself in their shoes – walk around a bit – and understand what does and will drive their decisions.

Need More Marketing Strategies?

We can work with you to help you define your target avatar and marketing strategy through business coaching.

If you would like to get an idea of how business coaching works for business across London, register for our Web Event for a morning of solid learning with Shweta.

Click Here to Sign Up

Call Us