Tag: Businessstrategy

When I grow up, I’m going to be…

Recently I met a contact at a networking event, and he introduced me to his son. Still at school, he said he was planning on studying business at university and his dad thought it would be good for him to come along to a networking event and meet some businesspeople. This got me thinking: when is a good time to start to learn about, and have, a business?

I think there are aspects of business that I didn’t formally learn until I became self-employed: how to read a P and L sheet, how to set prices, and so many other things that this list would be too long and slightly embarrassing. The reality was that I have earnt money since I was 13. My first job was a paper round, Monday to Friday evening and Sunday morning only and that was great. I also had a babysitting job, got money from my mum and dad for washing the pots after tea, and at the same time I made money by crocheting shawls, baby clothes etc and selling them to family and friends. This continued to be the pattern of my making money, some ‘regular’ work and some side ‘business’ but I didn’t know many aspects of how to run a business and, believe me, it was a steep learning curve when I left the corporate world.

Because of this slightly random plan of action, I am always impressed when I meet some young person who knows what they want to do and has started to put the pieces in place to make this happen. As I spoke to my contact’s son it was impressive as he talked to me about his plans, how he was going to get where he wanted to be and he was really focussed. I have never had this type of plan, my progress has always been a bit random, happy to have people around me who know stuff, so I don’t need to, happy to take on new adventures which is why I have had different businesses. Perhaps it is because I’m waiting to decide what I want to be when I grow up.

How about you?

Thank you for reading, here is my gift to you: my Top 20 networking tips just follow this link: ebn.uk.com and complete the form to receive your copy.

Have fun,

Glenys

What are your work rules?

Recently I was talking to a new contact who said his diary was available “24/7” to his customers, and I asked him when he had time for himself. He said he didn’t have much time to himself, but he wanted new customers and he wanted to provide a great service to his existing customers.  This got me thinking, why didn’t I work 24/7?

I think at one level any business owner works on their business 24/7 because they have ideas about their business whether they are working or not.  I find that ideas, solutions, plans often drop into my brain when I am exercising. Now that could be because I’m focussing on something other than work, usually that focus is of the “I must be doing it right ‘cos that hurts” type. Suddenly I’ll see how something could be done or have an idea for something new or a new way of doing something. That is normal apparently.

My work thinking can happen at any time, but I do not work 24/7. Why is this? I think there are three reasons:

My age. I am now thinking about retiring and having some other new adventures. When I was younger, I had more energy, that is a reality. I can still get excited by a new project and use lots of energy implementing it. When I compare my now self with my younger self I can see the difference. I can see the difference between my now self and younger contacts, as I say they are “young and thrusting” and it is fantastic to watch but I just don’t have that level of energy anymore.

My business history. I have been self-employed for over 25 years. I’ve had different businesses throughout that time, sometimes they overlapped but mainly they were the only business I had. The business I had for the longest was a catering business, which I had for 18 years. We had snack bars, units that were on building sites, we did outside catering, and I did some consultancy. I was busy. I had a good team, but I seemed to spend lots of my time firefighting: staff not turning up, regular customers booking at the last moment, and we had lots of customers, so the firefighting was against a backdrop of 24/7 work. Our shops opened at 7 am so staff started at 6.30, and we often had events in the afternoon and others that went on till the early hours. I had lots of teams to manage and lots of projects on the go at any one time. It was fantastic, but eventually, as I got older, I began to realise it was time to sell, which I did.

My type of businesses. As I developed my current business, I vowed that, whatever happened and however I developed it, I would not work 24/7 again. I would work Monday to Friday, no evenings, and no weekends. It is true that I have a business now that rarely requires firefighting. This is partly because of the nature of my business: it is almost unknown that anyone contacts me and says, “I need to network now!” in the same way customers would ring me and say “I forgot to order lunch for today! Can you help please?”  In addition, I have an amazing team of Group Directors who run their meetings and arrange all the admin relating to their meetings. I’m not involved. My job is to build the business, implement strategy, support Group Directors and members.  

I am very protective of my personal time. I worry about people who say they work 24/7 because we all need down time, time to spend time with our beloveds, time to relax and rejuvenate. So, if you do work 24/7 my questions are: “How long can you keep going and what will happen when you reach your breaking point?”

Thank you for reading, here is my gift to you: my Top 20 networking tips just follow this link: ebn.uk.com and complete the form to receive your copy.

Have fun,

Glenys

Thanks for your opinion

Recently I was on a Zoom meeting with people I’d never met before. We had a lovely conversation about business and life and we laughed a lot. I said that I was spending some time that day reviewing my business strategy and immediately one of the people told me what my strategy should be. Not might include or, in their opinion, might be, but this is what my strategy should be.

I was surprised because:

  • they were very certain how I should grow my business, and  
  • they seemed to think I would just do what I had been told

This got me thinking.

I think it is true to say that any strategy needs to include certain things: a goal, a plan of implementation (this can be fluid), a timescale and a review process. This is my opinion. My business strategy follows that scheme and in my case, the fluid part needs to be very fluid as opportunities come my way. The issue is that whilst business strategies may be similar, we as business owners are all different. What works for you may not work for me for various reasons, our business may be at different stages of development, we may have been in business for different times, our background, and our experiences will almost certainly be different. We may have difference in the amount of risk we find acceptable and our personal business needs, and our work/life balance may be different. Which brings me to my next point.

Doing what other people tell us to do.

When I became self-employed, I didn’t know what I was going to do, so I set myself three rules. The second was “I never do anything I don’t want to do, with anyone I don’t want to do it with” or to put it another way and to quote my beloved “You don’t do bosses well” I like that all my business decisions are mine, be they good, bad or indifferent I own them. So I listen to opinions and then I decide what I take from them, and, when I give my opinion, I expect others to do the same. If they want my further input they’ll ask, and sometimes they do.

So thank you for your opinion, I may consider it further. As a thank you, here is my gift to you: my Top 20 networking tips just follow this link: ebn.uk.com and complete the form to receive your copy.

Have fun,

Glenys