Tag Archives: business plan

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young professional, young entrepreneur,

5 Killer Tips Young Entrepreneurs Need To Know

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Has it crossed the minds of the young people  in your life to set up a business?

There’s always a lot of pressure on the younger generation. Young people are unemployed. Young people find it harder to get on the property ladder. Young people are rude. Young people are lazy. At times that seems like the general consensus on the news and in the media but, according to The Guardian, UHY Hacker Young found there were 26,420 companies with a director aged 21 or under in the UK in 2015.

We’re in the business of helping businesses grow- that means enterprises that are in their infancy or long established, led by entrepreneurs young and old. With that in mind we’ve put together five killer tips young entrepreneurs should have in their arsenal if they’re considering launching a start-up- after all we’re depending on them to pick up the entrepreneurial mantle and carry on innovating, (no pressure!).

 

#1 Lasting Passion 

This tip isn’t just limited to young budding business men and women but all entrepreneurs. For your business to be successful you’re going to be pouring a lot of effort, energy and hours into it and making sacrifices, such as when it comes to your social life. If you set out to just make money, or launch a business just to say you have or just to be your own boss, eventually you’ll end up resenting and regretting it, especially as most successful entrepreneurs live and breathe their business.

Be passionate about your business idea from the word go. Make sure your business notion is one that you look forward to working on when you wake up, that brings a smile to your face not a groan. Ensure it’s a passion that will withstand the test of time. Have a zest for your idea, confidence in it and you stand a chance at success.

 

mentor, business, support

Valuable Insight: Your mentor can help you steer clear of business mistakes.

 

#2 Maximize Your Mentor

Owner and CEO of PilmerPR, John Pilmer recommends finding a mentor on Entrepreneur and we couldn’t agree more! Your tech and social media knowledge might be great, you might be even greater, and your idea might be the greatest but what you can’t possibly have as a young person is experience. Experience is a valuable thing. It teaches us how to avoid making mistakes, especially the same ones we have made before, and avoids wasting our time and taking unnecessary risks.

So why not find a trustworthy and knowledgeable mentor who’s been around the business block a few times? Glean all insight you can from their experiences, shadow them at work, observe, keep in regular contact with them, and take their advice on board. Having more than one mentor isn’t greedy either as we’ve all had different experience and picked up different tips along the way.

Who knows maybe your mentor’s business advice could save you from business suicide…

 

#3 Do Your Homework… And Then Some

Everyone knows starting a business involves some element of risk so why not take the riskiness out of risks? Our blog post ‘Are You A Riskaphobe?’ reveals how to turn a potentially dangerous chance into a ‘careful risk’ (and no it’s not a paradox!) but the crux of it is: never underestimate the value of doing extensive research.

Research the industry you’re going into, find out if there’s room in the market for your product, familiarise yourself with the competition and get to know your target customer inside out. That way you’ll be prepared for anything, give a great first impression to investors and people you sell your business idea to.

Startups cite the British Library’s Business and IP Centre in London for unlimited access to an abundance of market research and all for free!  They have centres  through the central libraries in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield if you’re not located near the capital.

 

#4 Have A Plan A…And Plan B

You’ve heard the saying “failure to prepare is  preparing to fail” right? Having a solid business plan can help you feel confident with the knowledge that you’ll be prepared for all eventualities and have a back-up. It can also prevent you from over estimating your budget and limits, whilst setting out bite-sized steps for you to follow to bring your business to life.

The Prince’s Trust offers some great business plans to help you get started…you can even ask your mentor for a hand!

 

business plan, business idea, success

Route to success: A business plan can keep you in check and make growing your business less daunting.

 

#5 Face-to-face is the way Forward.

Though social media is a powerful tool and a nifty way of reaching a lot of people to spread the word about your business for next to no cost, don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face networking. One day having that personal touch and taking the time and effort to follow up with prospective could help them travel that last part of their customer journey to signing up to your company’s services.

Building relationships with like-minded people can also mean you have support when you experience set-backs and people to celebrate with as your business grows.

If you’re based near us in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, there’s a great networking event held on the last Friday of every month called Young Professional Fridays– why not pop along?

For more advise on how to succeed in business contact us on 01484 401737 today or email support@thebusinesshub.uk.com. 


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perspective, bigger picture, zoning out, zeroing out, business coaching

Zeroing Out: Taking A Step Back So You Can Take Steps Forward

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Image above courtesy of Gabriel Kronisch via Flickr.

 

Have you ever had a friend affectionately tell you off and to ‘consider the bigger picture’ after you’ve dramatically had a melt down over something that, really, wasn’t that big of a deal?

It may have seemed like a huge disaster at the time, but that was because you were suffering the symptoms of tunnel vision- solely focusing on that one problem, devoting all your thoughts and emotions to the issue in question and not finding solutions or ways to overcome the obstacle. Don’t worry, we’re all human and we’re all guiltily of doing it from time to time, but sometimes in business, as well as in general life, we need to take a step back in order to take a step forward.

With taking a step back in mind, part of what we try and guide clients through in our business and sales coaching sessions is the process of ‘Zeroing Out.’ In last week’s blog post we explored the value of ‘Zoning in’, that is to focus on the nitty, gritty thing within your business like marketing, your budget, admin and sales strategy, in order to achieve your Client Hot List and eventually your Professional Wish List, that we discussed in the blog post published the week before last.

To Zero Out means to reduce something, in this case a problem your business is facing, whether that be lack of lead generation, lack of sales, poor staff or balancing of the books, to zero, nothing, so it no longer exists. It means you find a way to overcome the problem. How? By Zoning Out (and we don’t mean to lose concentration and drift off!). We mean taking a step back and instead of Zoning In and focusing on your problem, take an objective step back and look at the bigger picture for perspective. This helps you think clearly, gives you clarity and the ability to prioritize what needs doing in order to combat a problem.

“It’s easy to get lost in the weeds at work. While being heads down has its place, it’s equally critical to look up: to reflect on how things are going, to consider alternative strategies, and to ask yourself the hard, high-level questions,”  writes co-founder of Asana, a Justin Rosenstein, in his blog post for Fast Company .

 

bigger picture, perspective, business coach, zeroing out

Photo courtesy of: F Delventhal via Flickr.

 

Sometimes we forget to ask the big questions like: ‘Does my marketing strategy need an over haul?’ ‘Does my product need redesigning?’ ‘How can my team be more effective?’ ‘Is expanding too much of a financial risk?’ or ‘How can I be a better leader?’ but they need asking and pondering all the same.

This could be the prime time to invest in a business coach. The best ideas often come from talking and having someone objective, yet experienced can be incredibly beneficial. It can be reassuring, clarifying, thought-provoking and inspiring all at once.

Zoning Out to Zero Out is also a handy way of seeing the bigger picture- how the small tasks you do everyday can and should be acting as little stepping stones towards your larger scale, long term business goals. It’s hard to spot this stepping stone process when you’ve been ‘Zoned In’ too much on one problem or aspect of your business. Out tip? Prioritise and break your goals down into a logical manageable, less daunting bite sized tasks and stages. You’re much more likely to follow through on your aims that way. Make a plan and stick to it.

A business coach will be able to highlight where you’ve Zoned In to one of area of your business too much. They’ll be able to help you develop a practical, action- orientated plan that will get you the results and business growth you want to achieve. They can give you preservative, an invaluable resource when you run your own business.

Do you need someone to help you take a step back so you can take a step forward? Contact us by calling 01484 401737 or emailing support@thebusinesshub.uk.com to arrange a free 30 minute consultation, regarding business coaching. 

 

 

 


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zoning in, business growth, business improvement

Zoning In To Your Perfect Business

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In last week’s blog post we all got starry eyed as we drooled over our Professional Wish List- those multimillionaire clients we’d love to win over, luxury deluxe offices we’d love to work in and reliable trouble free staff we’d love to employ. We then took ourselves down a peg or two and realised we first had to tackle our Client Hot List- attracting clients who are closet to us, being realistic and focusing on growing our businesses on a smaller scale. 

This week we thought we’d take it a step further and really zone in on how you can make your business dreams more realistic. These things can range from rearranging your staff, tightening your book keeping, improving your business plan and marketing or transforming your sales strategy.

Budgets and admin may cause you to erupt in a long drawn out fit of bored yawns, but think about it: nothing worthwhile and enjoyable never came without practice, hard work and effort. You had to fall off and persevere to learn how to ride a bike before you could savour the thrill of whizzing down a hill. You had to channel your energy and patience into learning how to swim before you could float care free on your back. The same applies to your business.

Besides, if it’s your own business, chances are you love doing most aspects of the work when the aim is improving it, even if it means getting temporarily buried in processes and paperwork! 

 

Zoning in, business growth, business improvement, group coaching

Spotlight: What area of your business do you need to shine a spotlight on to improve and make your business dream a reality?

What nitty-gritty things do you need to focus and work on, plan and implement to make your business daydream a reality? 

 

We’ve put together 5 tips on common things you might need to work on to help take steps to make your business dream a reality.

 

Business Plan: If you don’t have a business plan that’s solid and details where you can afford to take risks and where you have to respect your own boundaries and limitations, it’s hard to know what direction to take your business in.

We’d recommend taking a reflective step back and try to establish (write things down if you have to) a clearer clarity of your business vision- i.e. your resources, your strengths and weaknesses and what your business offers and hopes to achieve. The

Prince’s Trust provide some handy business plan templates, whilst Entrepreneur take you through the step-by-step process of nailing a strong fool-proof business plan. 

 

Budgeting: Our advice when it comes to budgeting is getting the right automated system in place to help keep your finances in order and delivers prompts to you regarding areas that require your attention. Systems like Sage Accounting or Zoho Books can be ideal for this. FreshBooks Cloud Accounting provide a great guide on how to create a balanced business budget.

 

Sales Strategy: You don’t need us to tell you that your business can’t grow unless you’re getting the sales in and attracting loyal, interested clients. Our top tip is not to sell to potential clients, but make sure you understand them. Do your research. Do the people you’re targeting need/want your product or service? If they don’t, who will? Infoentreprenuers outlines different ways to truly get under the skin of your customers to understand them. 

 

customers, sales, business growth

Don’t sell to customers, understand them.

Marketing Strategy: You might be taking advantage of all the marketing methods in the world, from traditional PR in newspapers, to sponsoring local sports teams to social media and email marketing but if you’re simply talking at your audience instead of engaging with them, you’re unlikely to get anywhere.

We’d advise asking your readers questions as we all love to feel like our opinions are valued, pose thought provoking questions to inspire debate or ask them how business is going.

Offer things to make their life easier, like free tips in a blog or helpful industry news they might not know about. Be curious and informative. WordStream provide even more practical marketing tips for small business on low budgets. 

 

Overall Business Practices: You need to ask yourself is everyone you employ an asset to your business and do they contribute something unique and valuable to it? Are all your businesses policies and processes effective or even necessary?

Sometimes, a qualified and experienced objective outsider like a business coach can spot a business’ weak links and point out areas for improvement from within a business to help it grow.

 

Contact us today to find out more about the action-orientated group coaching we offer that provides you with practical and pragmatic advice on how to grow your business.

 

 


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charities, fundraising, funding, non-profit, sponsors

Business Success? Sounds Like a Plan!

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“He (or she!) who fails to plan, plans to fail”- wise and famous words from a very astute Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister during the Second World War.

This sage sentiment can be applied to many areas of life, not just in waging wars and running a nation. Think about it. Planning is essentially preparing. If you didn’t prepare for all types of weather- and with British weather you need to brace yourself- on a family day out, you’d all get soaked and lack of preparation would put a dampener (pardon the pun) on your day. The same is true for all businesses- planning is key. Yet, as well-known as Churchill’s words are, many businesses don’t put a high enough value on planning-and the effects can be disastrous.

 

Planning has two main purposes.

 

The first is it helps you avoid the pitfalls of the actions you plan to carry out. Ask yourself: What are the dangers of the decision you are about to make, and how do you plan to avoid experiencing these threats? Yes, a certain element of being successful in business is taking risks, but acting on spontaneous impulse alone will get you into hot water. It’s foreseeing these hazards and consequences of your business choices before you make them and factoring in ways to protect yourself against loss and failure that’s important. The secret to a thriving business is to balance risk taking with planning.

That being said, too much planning can become a job in itself, leading to dawdling and delays. The results? Nothing gets done, no progress is made and no business growth takes place. With our JFDI (Just Effin’ Do It) ethos, we’re big fans of the phrase ‘action plan’ at The Business Hub and use it when we help our clients construct straight forward plans to keep them on track, whether they be marketing plans, financial plans, or an overall business plan to help them reach their goals. It’s a plan of action. You plan, then you carry out the action- no more planning!

Action plan, business plan, vision, clarity

Not just any plan: Too much planning can lead to delays in doing. Make your business plan an action plan.

The second purpose of planning in business is to give yourself and your business crystal clear vision of what you want your business to be and helps you clarify that vision. You filter out the distractions, factor in the risks and incorporate ways to intelligently side step and dodge the pitfalls, to help you focus on your step-by-step journey of achieving your goals.

Ask yourself what traits set your business apart from others, what do you want your business to offer and what do you really want for the future? If you know precisely how you want your business to operate and look like and what your goals are, it’s easier to strategize how you’re going to get there, keeping you disciplined and giving you a sense of direction. Once you have a clearly defined vision for your enterprise, you can ensure your team are on board with your vision, on the same page as you to help make it happen.

So next time you face a big business decision that will significantly impact your company, think of good old Winston Churchill’s wise words, bring your clarified business vision to mind and balance risk taking with careful planning. A simple way to enhance and grow your business!


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commitment, stress, over-worked,

How to Show Real Investment in Your Business

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Sometimes, time is like quicksand. Simply running through our fingers, beyond our control, with no regard for our plans or dreams at all. Selfish time. But ask yourself this: How much time have I actually dedicated to my business recently? Is it enough? Too much? Sometimes the amount of time you invest isn’t important, it’s the quality of time and how effective the time you pour into your business is, that really matters.

With most people’s businesses being their passion, their talent, and what makes them leap out of bed in the morning, you’d expect people to spend an obscene amount of time on their business, sourcing new staff, perfecting their pitch, networking and marketing. And for the large part that’s true, with Inc.com reporting that it has been found that entrepreneurs in the UK work an average of 52 hours a week, which is 63% longer than the average worker.

But as Inc.com points out- beavering away for hours on end isn’t always the best way forward. And there’s no shame in admitting you can’t work more than 40 hours a week on your own business. It doesn’t make you any less committed or invested in your company.

Sara Robinson highlights on Salon.com “every hour you work over 40 hours a week is making you less effective and productive over both the short and the long haul.”

overworked, tired, commitment, business

Burnout: putting excessive time into your business, though tempting, can make you less productive.

Working yourself into the ground for more than 40 hours a week is a waste of your time. It may sound absurd but fatigue starts setting in after a solid 8-hour grind, our concentration wavers and quality of the work we produce declines. The longer you work the less productive you actually are in the long term.

We’re all different and work at different paces. ‘Night owls’ are people who naturally reach their peak time for efficient and successful working in the evening, whilst ‘larks’ enjoy their optimum working time in the morning. Whether you’re a ‘night owl’ or ‘lark’, we all have limited attention spans and can only work for so long. If we start pushing ourselves beyond our natural boundaries, we begin to resent the work we are trying to struggle through… even if it is related to our own business.

Entrepreneur.com that offers insight and advice to established and start-up entrepreneurs around the globe, explored the pros and cons of working part-time on your own business while holding down a full time job vs working full time on your own business. The results? Working a full time job, whilst running your business part-time leaves little time to focus on marketing and growing your business, and very little time for a life outside of work, but had the safety net of a guaranteed income. Going full time with your own business and giving up a stable job, on the other hand, involves more financial risk but frees up more valuable time.

How much time you spend on your own business is very much dependant on your situation. The amount of time isn’t a show of dedication- it’s how you spend your time that is a true indicator of a smart entrepreneur. We always advise having a realistic business plan and reasonable deadlines to help achieve your business goals. With our 90 Day Business Transformation Programme, for instance, we estimate the average business owner will spend 200 hours supporting their Growth & Transformation vision over the 90-day period.

So don’t burn out over your business. Get smart with your time. Planning, self-discipline and doing show true investment in your business dream.


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