The US Marines are world-famous for their exacting standards and ruthless efficiency. The conditions they operate under might be very different from those we see in the commercial world, but there are very valuable lessons that businesses can learn from the Marines.
Here, James Bowen and Brian MacNeice, authors of Powerhouse – Insider accounts into the world’s greatest high performance organisations – explain what your business can gain by studying the strategies and tactics of the US Marines. (more…)
Nobody enjoys failure, but everyone experiences it at least a few times in their life and especially as a small business owner.
While it’s one of those things that most people like to gloss over, failing is actually a hugely valuable experience, as long as you know how to make the most of it.
Leigh Ashton, co-founder of Sasudi, stresses the importance of bouncing back from a disappointment as a small business; (more…)
As a business owner, you’re also a business leader. And therefore, in order for your start-up to grow and develop beyond a one-man-band, there will come a time when you need to be able to lead other leaders within your business.
To do this successfully, you’ll need to develop a whole new set of skills and ways of operating because leading leaders is not simply a question of knowing what needs to be done and telling others to do it.
Instead, you will have to guide those leaders and inspire them to inspire their teams to deliver the results you need. When you can do that – you are a Super Leader.
To help you become a leader of leaders, in this article, Jean Gamester reveals 3 key steps, you’ll need to take; (more…)
According to Billy Ocean “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” – a sentiment many people working in business would echo and applaud. Tough is a word people often use to mean resilient. It may not scan as well, but when the going gets tough, the resilient remain resourceful, creative and healthy.
Studies have found that more resilient people are higher performers and respond better to change. They are more motivated, build better working relationships and are less likely to take time off sick or suffer from low morale. (more…)
The difference between entrepreneurs who succeed, and those who spend time just thinking about it, is taking action. Specifically, it’s about taking the right action at just the right time.
You might not realise it but, if you’re starting a business, you can gain a lot from using some age-old Buddhist philosophies. One particular Buddhist concept, called the Noble Eightfold Path, gives a very practical and useful framework to take a startup idea from its genus and genesis through to successful delivery. It’s also a graceful way to move forward with in life.
But, there’s no need to become a practicing Buddhist, or ‘Anything-ist’, to benefit from the principles of mindfulness. Here, Tom Evans, author of ‘The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness’ explains how you can help turn your business dreams into reality with these 8 mindfulness hacks;
Experience tells me that one of the reasons why people start up their own business is to be their “own boss”, and that means they don’t want to be constrained by petty, bureaucratic, small mindedness being meted out every minute of their working lives.
The reality is that we all need rules. In the words of Al Murray (“The Pub Landlord”) “Where would we be without rules? France!”
I am not going to inflict upon you here a doctrine of rule-bound obedience leading to business success, but rather propose a Ten Commandments of Behaviour which are intended as a benchmark against which to measure yourself.
You can use them when you feel that perhaps you’ve ‘missed the mark’ or, better still, use them today, right now, and see how a change in behaviour might benefit your business. So here are the 10 Commandments of Behaviour tablets, delivered to your door; (more…)
If you can create a culture of learning, not blaming, in your business, you are more likely to see your business grow and flourish.
If you allow a blame culture to take hold in a business, staff will tend to hide, or even cover up, any mistakes. This attitude can often compound problems further. On the other hand, a learning culture encourages errors to be highlighted so everybody can learn lessons from them.
To help explain the benefits a learning culture brings to your business, and how you can instil such behaviour in your team, we asked Justin Hughes, author of The Business of Excellence: Building high-performance teams and organisations to share his experiences and to explore a few of the key issues around a learning culture; (more…)
‘If you think training is expensive, try ignorance’
This oft-quoted phrase, attributed to Peter Drucker, is frequently used when businesses say they ‘can’t afford’ to train or develop their staff.
So it’s worth asking yourself how much ‘untrained ‘or ‘undeveloped’ staff are costing your business – now and, potentially, in the future? (more…)
An entrepreneur with a super power memory would be able to easily remember important business related facts & figures to demonstrate that they are the go-to “expert” in a particular field.
This person would also be able to smoothly pitch for business and give presentations from memory without notes to be more persuasive. While the ability to effortlessly recall anecdotes would allow them to quickly build rapport with clients.
A business owner like this would also great at networking because of their ability to remember the names of everyone that they meet, and important things about these people. While valuable new qualifications could be quickly gained because exam material would be easy to master.
The great news is that you can become this business person with a super power memory! You actually already have an amazing memory and with the memory training tips in this article, I’m going to help you unlock your full memory potential. Believe it or not, this is also going to be easy and a lot of fun!
How do you describe yourself? Are you an entrepreneur, a technical expert, someone who is good at a specific task or a manager? Or are you a leader?
Whether you describe yourself as a leader or not, the chances are that your business needs you to show leadership at every stage of its development. So how do you successfully lead your business?
Here’s why great leaders do less, and the 6 key steps you need to take to transform yourself into a brilliant business leader; (more…)
Research shows that people with ‘emotional resilience’ will have the best chances of not only surviving critical business events but thriving in life.
With emotional resilience being such an important factor in whether you and your new business start-up will be able to survive and thrive, we asked Geetu Bharwaney, Author of, “Emotional Resilience” to explain how you can build your emotional resilience to help you and your business succeed (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…
Whether you’re in the early start-up phase or you’ve been around a while – running a business will inevitably mean coping with change.
This could be the need to deal with new regulations, an ageing customer base, a new competitor, or even your company growing and expanding faster than you planned. Whatever it is – you’ll need to be able to keep your head and deal with new developments.
Our minds have a preference for the predictable – our primitive ancestors had a much better chance of staying alive if things stayed stable. We might want excitement (our ancestors did love the thrill of the chase), but we naturally want it on our terms, not someone else’s.
So how do we support change that will help us and our business evolve and grow while dealing with the feeling of being threatened by it? (more…)
When you start a new business you will need to do almost everything. This means you will need to roll up your sleeves and take a very hands-on approach. You will be working IN your business.
However, if you want to grow your business, you will need to pass on the day-to-day work to others and spend more time managing. You will need to work ON your business.
Some business owners find this shift difficult because it means giving up work that they enjoy. You, along with thousands of others, may have started your own business so you could follow a passion. But growing a business means that you can become detached from the work that fulfils you, and the very reason you started your business in the first place.
So how do you decide whether you really want to run your business?
Technology is the modern day malaise. On the one hand it has helped businesses become more efficient, but on the other it often means people are switched on 24/7 – something business owners need to overcome to improve productivity.
The Chartered Institute of Management (CIM) suggested in a report called the, ‘The Quality of Working Life’ that the ‘long-hours culture’ has now been replaced with an ‘always-on culture’ – with devices such as smart phones and tablets allowing people to be at work all the time, checking emails, answering calls wherever they are. (more…)
Most new businesses will fail within the first five years. If you are starting a business you have probably read this before. Do some research and you’ll find that poor management, inadequate funding, or failure to understand your customers tend to top the lists of why this is the case.
Continue researching and you’ll get much on how to make your business a success, with advice like write a business plan, conduct market research, and ensure you have enough capital before you begin, all good suggestions.
However, even the most innovative idea, followed by the most robust market research, accompanied by more than adequate funding can still fail. That’s because success is rarely the product of any single task or decision. (more…)
Launching a new business is a huge undertaking and, like most entrepreneurs, I am sure that you will give huge amounts of time to considering your product/service, funding and business plan, but there is one crucial component to business success that is often neglected – YOU!
We gather endless feedback on whether our new product idea will be popular, we jump through endless hoops with investors to secure funding, but for some reason we seem to forget that the single biggest variable that will determine whether we succeed, or not, is our own talents and how we apply them to our new business.
Resistance to change can be a major challenge to any new initiatives you might want to implement in your business.
Most business owners will be able to identify some employees that prefer the status quo and find new developments difficult to embrace. But before we think about how we can overcome this resistance, we need to properly understand why people resist change.
Here are 7 common reasons why people resist change, and how you can overcome each in turn, to ensure that your staff tackle changes and new developments with a positive attitude;
Whatever your position with a company – your role within the organisation matters. There are various functions that each member of the team, as well as your customers, should be able to count on you to provide.
Everyone is expected to come through on promises and commitments made, and to deliver on their responsibilities. If this isn’t the case, a business will never thrive, and may not even survive. Here, William Buist, explains why companies need to have a clear ‘baseline of accountability’ and how to instill one throughout your business.
Being a business owner, and your own boss, is one of the most rewarding things you can do in life, but it can come with some drawbacks such as long hours, stress and a poor work/life balance.
If you’re running your own business and want to stay on top of your game for the long-term, you need to look at the way you integrate work into your life. If you work too hard, you can run yourself into the ground and actually end up damaging the business, you so desperately want to succeed.
So here are 9 thing you can do to help strike the right work/life balance while running your own business; (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…)
When we are starting up and running our own business there are extraordinary demands on our time. We need to spend time on getting our product right, finding customers, seeking finance, managing staff and dealing with the latest legislation, such as the new auto-enrolment pension laws.
With the sheer range of tasks and every day duties to tackle, we can all find that our business goals can get lost in the frenzy and the frustration of not meeting our aims can get us down.
To achieve long-term success we need stay focused on our goals. And to achieve those goals, we need to keep quite a degree of discipline to ensure that our time doesn’t get sucked away and evaporate like a puddle on a sunny day.
A recent survey by the Institute of Leadership and Management (iLM) suggested more than a third of UK workers (37%) were hoping to leave their current job inside 12 months, and that a quarter of people planning to change jobs were doing so because they felt underappreciated by their current employer.
Other studies have shown that many UK employees feel undervalued at work and often it’s the small things that count. Last year recruitment website monster.co.uk found 58% of British workers don’t believe employees are thanked enough in the workplace, with 54% saying this left them feeling unappreciated and 41% feeling demotivated as a result.
So what can small business owners do to help ensure staff are motivated to do a good job and want to stay with you for the long-term? (more…)