Insights Blog

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

How to Get Your Team to Work Harder

There have been a number of times where my clients have come to me saying, “Why aren’t my team members doing what I tell them to do?”

In the end, how to get your team to work harder is to give them the right kind of clarity and guidance so that they can produce the outcome you are expecting.

In this video, I explain why team members usually do not get their work done, and a simple practice that could dramatically improve their execution of tasks.

In the end it all comes down to ensuring you have some decent team management strategies in place, that you are holding the right kind of team meetings at the right frequency, that you are earning your colleagues’ trust and that you are making sure you are in the mindset of managing activities, not people.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text: [hide-this-part morelink=”Show Transcript”] Hi, this is Shweta from the London Coaching Group. What I want to talk about today is why don’t team members do what you’ve asked them to do.

3 reasons why team members do not get their work done

Now there are 3 main reasons why somebody does not do the things that you want them to do: The first being that they don’t see the value in the thing that they have to do. The second is they don’t understand what they have to do. And the third being that there’s too much to do.

Solutions

One one of the ways that you can take care of this – simple thing – that when you’re having a briefing to your team member please make it very clear that what’s required and what’s optional.

Now there’s something that is non-negotiable and you want them to do then, towards the end of the discussion a simple practice to have is to actually ask them recap what they have understood so that you and the other person could be on the same page and please also ask the question that they have everything that they need to execute the task that you’ve asked them to do and finally they are comfortable with the timeline that you have given them.

If you have this simple practice every time you ‘re having a team briefing or a team member briefing I’m quite certain that you’ll see the improvement in the execution of the tasks by your team members. [/hide-this-part]

What kind of problems have you had with your team? Let us know in the comments below and we will see if we can help.

business strategy consulting LondonWant even more solid business advice? As the business leader, you should be constantly rising to challenges and learning new ways of improving your business. Register for our free webinar where you can learn to increase the productivity of your team with only 3 small changes.  


A Recruitment Process: Pay Less to Your Next Employee

business consultancy services

Most candidates when searching for jobs end up applying for positions that pay a lower salary. As business coaches, we often help our clients with their recruitment process, and even work with a partner who offers a service of posting job ads for them on a number of tried and tested job boards.

As a result, we have posted numerous advertisements and have done quite a bit of split testing to perfect the process. One of the things we noticed is that when we have run ads for the exact same position – with an identical job description – but at different salaries, we have received more applications on the one with the LOWER salary.

Why would people apply for a job with lower salary?

Well it has to do with confidence. Many business owners/employers have become proficient in destroying the confidence and self-esteem of their employees. As a result, the job market has become rife with candidates whose own estimated worth is far lower than they are actually worth.

It has also meant that you have many talented people who are desperate to escape from a role that is simply not right for them. You can change this in your own business by implementing good practices to manage your team. Incorporating the following steps into your recruitment process will not only get you great employees, but you can also keep them for longer. It is all about creating a more nurturing environment for them.

Steps to Add to Your Recruitment Process:

Step 1: Post a job ad with a lower salary as well

First, post your ad for a lower salary than you think you would normally pay for this job and post one at the higher salary too. You are more likely to attract a larger pool of candidates – as we have seen in our numerous ad posting – so you will have broader choice.

Step 2: Interview candidates and compare

Once you have found someone you think is a winner, interview him or her closely and see how he or she stacks up against those who are demanding a higher pay. How do their qualifications compare? How does their experience and ability to talk about their work compare?

You might be surprised to find someone far better in the lower-salary group. We usually get our clients to use the 4-hour recruitment process to get their business in front of more potential employees – so that you can find someone who is really suited to the position.

Step 3: Increase their pay

The key, however, is that once you have gotten them in your business, and they have proven their worth – you then need to increase their pay! Make sure that they are being paid more than what the market would offer so that they will never leave. This is a great incentive structure because not only are you incentivising with money, but the pay raise is also praise.

You are encouraging them by indicating that you see their worth and that you are willing to pay them to keep them. That kind of encouragement and self-esteem building is invaluable – and will earn you loyal employees every time. We have seen it happen time and again, and it is a really simple process to implement in just about any business.

Of course, you cannot just increase their pay to keep them. This particular strategy should be used along with a robust recruitment process, an effective team management system, effective communication and meetings with your team, and careful attention to your company culture if you want to be absolutely sure of retaining employees.

Have you got a recruitment process that works well for you? Share it with us in the comments below.

business consultancy servicesNeed more advice on how to manage your business?

Being the leader of a business you need to be able to implement strategies not just in recruitment, but across the board.

Register for the webinar to learn strategies that we, as top business coaches in London, have used to help countless businesses expand in a sustainable manner.


How to Survive your First Year in Business

business strategy consulting London The first year for any business is an exciting time and full of promise – but let’s face it – it’s also absolutely terrifying. The US Small Business Administration (SBA) states that ‘about half of all new establishments survive 5 years or more’ and about ‘one third survive 10 years or more’. Given these 50/50 statistics it’s not surprising that many entrepreneurs set out with failure on the brain. However, it’s vital to have the right frame of mind and set your business goals for success. Here are our top tips for survival in your first year in business:

Preparation is everything

So you’ve made the decision – you want to become an entrepreneur. But what now? Make sure you have a rock-solid business plan in place before you leave your current employment. Many budding entrepreneurs leave their jobs and aren’t fully prepared; starting day one of entrepreneurship with a vague plan and an enthusiastic, but flawed, business pitch. It may sound obvious, but make sure that you don’t quit what you’re doing before you know exactly what you want to do – and how you are going to do it.

Set your goals

A detailed business plan is one of the most important elements to starting and running a business; enabling you to establish your vision and define your key aims. The problems you may encounter along the way will allow you to assess your business model, structure your finances efficiently and target your audience. One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is only planning only for the short term. Creating a long term business plan safeguards you; making sure that you don’t lose sight of your ultimate goals. A well implemented business plan will work as a measure of your future success, as it can be referred to frequently in order to monitor your performance and help you to stay on track.

Manage your finances

One of the main reasons businesses fail in their first year is poor financial management. So it makes sense to keep your costs low until you are more established and have gained confidence. Make sure you cut any unnecessary or excessive costs. Think about what you need rather than what your ideal business would have:

  • How much space do you actually require?
  • Who you actually need to employ?
  • Does your business really warrant the latest equipment/software on the market?

A business is unlikely to generate a profit in its first year, therefore it makes sense to focus on cash flow projections. Forecast your finances and make sure that you look at the expenses and overheads such as salaries, rent, dividends, tax etc. In calculating these costs, you should come up with an approximate amount you may have to further grow the business or, conversely, the amount you may have to make up through external funding / other sources.

Build a customer network

First of all focus on your customer; they are the driving force behind your business and without them you won’t exist. The customer’s feedback is vital for your progress so make sure you follow up any queries and suggestions. Establish the best marketing platforms for you and your customer demographic. Marketing can be expensive and in your first year it’s crucial to choose the correct platforms (not only to drive traffic but also make sure your money is being spent in the right place). The more people you know the better – anyone is a potential customer and networking is the cheapest form of marketing your business. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people to increase your opportunities.

Keep up to date

Advances in the tech world have opened up a whole new world of opportunities and it’s never been easier to set up and run a business. Social media is vital to marketing your business – it’s free, easy to use and every tweet or status could generate a sale. And there are now plenty of low cost or free apps to help you manage your time effectively and analyse your business processes and customer information. With post scheduling, contact management and analytics apps to name a few it’s now quicker than ever to get organised.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Believe it or not, mistakes are a valuable part of the entrepreneurial process and play an important part in the growth and success of your business. Try and see these errors as opportunities to trial new procedures and use the experience to improve. All new business owners will falter in some way in their first year – but this is a vital part of the journey to success. The survivors are always the ones who learn quickly, see obstacles as challenges…and even failure as an opportunity to start again with a wiser head on their shoulders.   By Melanie Luff, staff writer for BusinessesForSale.com, the market-leading directory of business opportunities from Dynamis. Melanie writes for all titles in the Dynamis Stable as well as other industry publications.

business strategy consulting LondonWant more great tips and advice? Business coaching in London means providing the kind of business advice that can apply to a wide range of businesses and the kind of advice that actually gets results. If you’d like to learn some of the tools and strategies we actually use with our clients, register for our webinar and get a taste of what business coaching has to offer.


Top 3 Benefits of Business Coaching

I am often asked who my biggest competitor in business coaching is and while I would love to say that there is none, that is not entirely true. The biggest competitor that I have in my work of business coaching is actually YOU, my current or prospective client. The entrepreneur that I’m working with is the biggest reason holding me back from helping them.

Often business owners believe that they already have all the answers – and that to ask for help is a sign of failure.

In this video, I explain why it makes sense, practically, to have a business coach helping you to run a bigger, better business.   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. Hope you’re doing well.

Who Is Your Biggest Competitor?

I was recently asked a very interesting question – who is my biggest competitor? Now after giving it a good thought I actually said to the prospect that it’s actually you. Reason being that most of the business owners they think that they are supposed to know all the answers in their business and taking any help from outside is a sign of failing as an entrepreneur. Now I am in business of business coaching, I have my own team but I’ve got 2 business coaches – I’ve got 1 accountability coach and I’ve got 1 sports coach.

3 Benefits of Having a Professional Business Coach

If you think about that very practically that what is the benefit of having a professional coach in your business – there are actually 3 core benefits:

Objectivity

The first is that there is a pair of very objective eyes – somebody is looking at your business, looking at your actions, looking at your decisions, now when you’re busy playing the shots who is watching your game? So the first benefit is a pair of objective eyes who’s not emotional about the business, who can look at it in a very neutral way.

Cutting-Edge Resources

The second benefit is – look you’re busy, you have so many things to handle – your team, your customers, your marketing, your sales, your systems, planning, strategic thinking. Do you have really time to be on top of this profession, really knowing what are the cutting edge strategies and systems which exist. So a good coach should be able to give you all those cutting edge strategies, systems, tools and techniques which can give you that leverage.

Accountability

And the third benefit of having a professional coach is actually accountability. Think about it like this – you hold your team accountable for the things that they have to do but you as a business owner, as a boss – who holds you accountable? So there is somebody who is having those weekly interventions, weekly meetings with you, making sure that you and the team is moving in the right direction that you truly deserve and desire.

The Choice is Yours

And at the end of the day if again I look at a bigger scenario – all the top 10 tennis players they have got coaches and all the top 10 business people they have got their coaches so they know all the techniques, they are number 1, number 2, they are the top players, but they still surround themselves with people who know things about their profession, about their field. So simply again what you need to really think about is that what level of game are you playing and it is a profession.

Business is a profession. Are you really professional at this or are you still playing a starters game. The choice is yours.

It’s also important to note that business coaching is the kind of mentorship or advice that’s required for a business of a certain size.

It is important that you take advice from the right kind of people for the stage of business you are at. Business coaching is really ideal for businesses who are ready for the next level of growth, but are coming up against complexities in their business that are holding them back.

Getting a fresh set of eyes on their business, teaching them team management techniques, smart marketing strategies, ways to get leverage and self-development exercises are just some of the ways that business coaches help entrepreneurs excel beyond their current status quo.

Have you been considering business coaching? What is holding you back? Let us know in the comments below.

business strategy consulting LondonNeed someone to watch your game? While you are out there, taking your shots, who is watching your plays? Is there any room for improvement in the way you run your business? Is there a new level for you to play at? Register for our webinar where you can learn more tools and strategies, and find out if Shweta, the top business coach in London, is a right fit for you.


Why is it so Difficult to Give Businesses Free Money?

business management consultant When ambitious, capable businesses improve and grow, the economy booms and the entire country benefits. The government wants to help with this so much that it is willing to give out free money – literally. Last time we checked the long list of government schemes to help businesses, there were 597! So why is it that not only are most businesses not aware of these free initiatives (a recent survey revealed that 81% of businesses in London had seldom or never sought support from gov.uk), the uptake itself has not been as high as expected?

In my view, there is a combination of reasons that have led to this anomaly.…

Realistically, the government is reluctant to give away free money to just anyone for fear of fraudsters taking advantage. To protect against this, a layer of bureaucracy has developed whereby middlemen stepped in to do the appropriate checks on the businesses and hand out the money on behalf of the government (keeping their cut, of course).

Unfortunately, but perhaps not unexpectedly, the public sector preoccupation with form-filling and box ticking seems to have permeated most of these private sector partners (the middlemen) involved, leaving business coaches and direct support providers in charge of spreading the word. 

At the receiving end, are businesses that are focused on growth – which are the ones that the government would like to support. These are businesses that typically do not have time to waste jumping through bureaucratic hoops. They would rather spend that time and effort building their business.

A lot of the businesses that are naturally drawn to the governmental business support and end up participating in these programs are those who were focused on help rather than on hard work – clearly not the ideal profile the government would like to help.

Undoubtedly, most of those who have taken on support have reported being quite happy with the level of support and the results they have achieved and have reported increased levels of profitability.

However, the potential benefits that these programs could deliver is not truly being achieved and both parties – the government and businesses – continue to grow even warier at the relevance of the support. The government typically responds by cuts to business support (as most Councils have been seeing over the last few years), restructuring previous programmes (Business Growth Service) and more experimentation.

Equally, businesses have grown sceptical of the combination of time-wasting bureaucrats and business support agents who they feel are continually trying to sell them something.

This vicious cycle effectively results in the ‘free money’ that was on offer often remaining in government coffers and never reaching the intended recipients.

In the end, the top down approach of handing out money to businesses to help them grow needs to be replaced with a bottom up approach driven by businesses and their owners recognising the value of external support to their business. There needs to be a more dedicated and sustained effort at education around what businesses don’t even know that they don’t know.

Government programs now are designed to not only help with accessing finance, but also to fill skill gaps in management teams, assist with exporting plans, encourage and develop new ideas for businesses, provide expertise and help streamlining manufacturing processes, and help provide access to a wide network of peers.

If a business seeks out a business coach/ support professional they trust, this naturally cuts the suspicion of the middleman. It also means that the government is not simply tossing money about, but is indeed investing in skills and strategies for business – a far more effective way of boosting growth.

The focus therefore needs to shift to a process of education around benefits rather than a play on some extra money available. There is now sufficient evidence across the world that business coaching and other forms of business support result in increased productivity and profitability while delivering a return on investment.

However, the proportion of people seeking external help (from any source) still remains extremely low. The proportion of businesses failing remains as high as ever (60% businesses failed in London in their first 2 years). Even among those that survived, whether they could do better with external support remains the question.

If you would like to see if you are eligible to participate in the Business Growth Service, click here to find out.  

business management consultantNeed someone to watch your game? 

While you are out there, taking your shots, who is watching your plays? Is there any room for improvement in the way you run your business? Is there a new level for you to play at? 

Register for our webinar where you can learn more tools and strategies, and find out if Shweta, the top business coach in London, is a right fit for you.

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