Many small businesses and startups are quite agile. The relatively simple structure of most small businesses means they are well placed to adapt to changing market conditions, the ever-increasing pace of working life and evolving customer needs.
If everyone in the business is empowered to act in the interests of your customers, you’ll find that the decisions they make and the work they do is likely to have a real impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty.
To make sure that your people are empowered to act, you need to ensure they are up-to-date with key business activities. One of the best ways you can keep everyone updated is through a simple daily huddle. (more…)
There’s never been a more exciting time to be an entrepreneur, the amount of new options and opportunities can also feel overwhelming.
Moreover, your customer has become ever more fickle and mistrustful of how companies operate and what they promise.
So how do you futureproof your business in the face of so many choices and a changing landscape? (more…)
As a business owner, you are always looking for greater efficiencies, more productivity and some general cost savings.
One of your key jobs is to make sure you are always looking for ways get your business running more smoothly and more profitably, but before you jump in and make wholesale changes to the way your business is run; ask yourself these 5 key questions; (more…)
As a leader, it’s your job to decide what kind of behaviour you would like in your organisation. But, how do you find your own style as a leader and set the tone for everybody who works with you?
Here, Kate Mercer, author of ‘A Buzz in the Building – how to build and lead a brilliant organisation’, looks at different styles of business leaders and explores the concept of partnership at work as a guiding principle…
Co-creation is the joining together of people to produce a mutually valued outcome.
In business, it is the cultivation of win-win solutions where efficiency, success, and staff fulfilment march hand in hand. Co-creation brings many benefits to businesses, such as;
- Team members feel respected and honoured, and they know their contributions make a difference.
- Job satisfaction and creativity is ignited, there is a positive flow of ideas, and problems get solved in surprisingly simple and practical ways.
- Staff remain loyal and stay longer because they love what they do.
For the entrepreneur, co-creation can be a challenge, a real anathema. The building of a business demands resolve and determination to push through ideas in the face of disbelief and scepticism.
For business owners who have honed such skills, co-creation may not come naturally. They struggle to let go of being in charge, and risk blocking further evolution of the business. Maybe this is due to a subconscious belief that no one can do the job as well as them – or indeed, a dread that others may do it better.
Uber has a new logo. And many people don’t like it. There are things we don’t mind changing – seasons, governments, underpants – but most of the time, most of us resist change.
For every innovation, from skinny jeans to a black Bond, there are plenty of us instinctively asking why? Why change? Why do the bus timetables have to change? Why do we need another damned software upgrade? Why can’t fat-free yogurt and smoothies still be good for us?
The questions may vary, but the subtext is constant: Why can’t things stay familiar, and safe? (more…)
It can be exasperating when staff don’t use their initiative, or they go about solving problems in a seemingly baffling way, but often workers donning their stupid hats as they clock-in can be because of how you act as their boss.
If you regularly find yourself cursing the stupidity of your employees, then you really need to take a look in the mirror because your actions and behaviour could well be the root cause of this. To help you understand more about how you could be inadvertently stifling your workforce, let’s look at five common reasons for staff not fulfilling their potential; (more…)
Business growth can be characterised in several ways – sales, profit, employees…. and looking to make the business scalable and capable of achieving sustainable profitable growth is a fully understandable objective.
However, whichever way you look at it, the underlying driver is likely to be that the founder wants to look beyond funding his or her lifestyle and start seeking value creation. (more…)
Employers and employees talking to each other is a good thing… right? Of course it is, but only if they’re actually listening. Key to the success of any start-up is effective communication between everybody in your team. But that means more than merely ensuring that all your staff know what’s required of them.
An employee can often feel their role is that of a worker bee, and all that’s asked of them is to get on with it. While this relationship can work to an extent, it usually results in frustrated staff because they know the business and can see how to improve aspects of their work, but there’s no outlet for them to share their unique understanding, insights and ideas.
So, if you’re starting a business, (or running an existing business), and want to harness the full talents of all your staff, you need to learn to listen actively.
It is often noted that a business is nothing without its people, but how do small business leaders create a winning team when their time and resources are often taken up with getting the business up and running?
The key is to remember that a great team with an average plan will be far more successful than an average team with a great plan. A great team is one that shares a common goal, its members are engaged and work within an environment of support and trust. Employees who are engaged and feel supported are more likely to be loyal and motivated. (more…)
One of the big problems for businesses today is that fewer than 20% of employees are fully engaged at work. This is, of course, a huge waste; for the individual, the team and the company.
As a company, you pay for 100% of employees agreed work time. If your employees are not fully engaged, this means you are only getting a small part of their paid-for capability – and they are not fully valuing their own time.
So how can you improve employee engagement in your business and what benefits will it bring?
In an increasingly competitive business world, nurturing your existing staff can help you avoid a high turnover rate. If you’re constantly losing employees you find yourself spending a lot of valuable time training new staff, but not reaping the rewards down the line.
In any small or start-up business, one of the most important aspects is to find the right staff for the company. Employees need to be a good fit for any business, and in a start-up environment staff need to have the drive, innovation and determination to ensure that they make any venture a success.
While training may be a big upfront cost, it is vital to retaining new employees and ensure that the investment you make in recruitment and training are not drained from the business as employees leave the company.
So what staff benefits can you introduce to help you draw high-calibre employees to your start-up or small business? (more…)
I used to think I used a coaching style with the teams I led. Then I went on a coaching course to learn a little bit more. Imagine how disappointed I was when I found out that I hadn’t been coaching at all!
It turned out that all I had been doing was being vaguely encouraging while I told them what to do and how do it. And I was so busy because I always needed to know everything they were doing, so I would always know what to tell them to do.
I discovered that getting people to do things my way, no matter how nice I was while I was doing it, was nothing like coaching.
Giving your customer a great experience is not just about customer service. It goes far deeper than that. It’s also essential if you want to increase your sales and make your marketing budget go further.
The reason people don’t want to do business with organisations that aren’t customer focused is because it’s so difficult to do business with them! As a start-up or small business the last thing you want to do is make life difficult for your customers!
This is why it is important to understand that delivering great customer experiences is about the WHOLE customer journey.
From website design, product design, and marketing to finance, operations, HR, procedures and policies. You name it, and it should be linked to delivering a WOW customer experience.