Tag Archives: business

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Through The Eyes of an Apprentice

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My name is Hollie and I am a Digital Marketing apprentice for The Business Hub. I’m currently working towards a Level 3 and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

I’ve been with the Business Hub for nearly three months now, and I must say I’m truly loving my time here. Even though I’ve only been with the company for a short period, I’ve already produced many designs, which have helped further my skills.

I was convinced I would feel distanced working within a work environment for the first time due to my age and experience but it’s completely the opposite as I’ve been made to feel so welcome by the team here and believe I’ve fitted in nicely.

My day usually starts off with organising my emails, sorting clients’ feedback, printing responses and managing my tasks assigned to me by my boss, Paul. I maintain my organisation and timekeeping by creating a daily/weekly to-do list. My role consists of designing marketing campaigns for different clients through emails, Facebook ads, flyers and brochures. I particularly enjoy the design process as I get the opportunity to see an idea transform from a scrap bit of paper to a high quality, professional printed product.

The Business Hub and I decided to complete my apprenticeship through QA. A major factor in this decision was the fact that I have the additional support of college where I get face-to-face contact with both tutors and other apprentices who are working their way towards similar professions. It’s extremely nice to talk with other apprentices about their experiences and business.

One week per month I spend my time at the QA building in Leeds, where I experience classroom based learning and I am taught useful information and essential skills needed to enhance my abilities which can be practised back at the workplace. In addition to this, I have monthly visits from my assessor updating me on my progress and setting tasks to complete within that month. I love learning new skills and seeing them being incorporated within the working environment.

Apprenticeship, QA, Business, Learning, Student, digital marketing, design

“The best way of learning about anything is by doing” – Richard Brandon

Working as an apprentice isn’t easy as it requires a lot of dedication and hard work but having a supportive work family behind me and the experiences I’ve achieved already ensures me that it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Prior to my apprenticeship, I spent two years studying my A-levels at Leeds Art College. No help was provided in my progression stage towards an apprenticeship and I found it extremely tough to leave college without a set plan. Further education was never an option for me; I loved studying through my two years but I was ready for real-life experiences.

After leaving college I had a horrible six-month period where I felt stuck in a rut searching for my next career opportunity. However, as apprentices are currently highly advocated in the educational sector for being both a qualification as well a paid work experience, I decided to delve in a bit deeper and find out more. I approached a company called The Apprentice Finder, who through thorough information and advice, helped me acknowledge that this was the perfect option for me as it provides me with the opportunity to learn new skills, gain experience in a work environment and earn a steady income, everything that I wanted.

I personally believe an apprenticeship was the best career move for myself and would highly recommend this path for either a future apprentice or business.

Please contact me if you require any more information or help through my email hm@thebusinesshub.uk.com. You can also contact QA and The Apprentice Finder who both personally helped me in my progression towards an apprenticeship.


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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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market positioning, premium brand, low-end positioning, high-end positioning, business

Put Your Business In Its Place!

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When someone ‘puts you in your place’ it’s often a negative and condescending thing to experience isn’t it? But what about putting your business ‘in its place?’

A business that doesn’t know where it’s brand lies in the market is undefined and directionless. Not knowing its own market position leaves a business’ customers and potentials confused and the company itself unable to achieve its goals.

So where is your business positioned in the market? How can you identify your company’s place in the sphere of competitors and similar ideas?

 

The key to figuring out where your business fits into the market place relies on you doing three crucial things: providing something unique, providing appeal and supplying an exclusive experience.

 

  • The unique characteristics of your business are what make it stand out from the crowd and an over saturated market. What specialties make your business rise above the rest? What differences make your enterprise memorable?
  • To ooze appeal your business needs to emit ideals and features that clients actually want or need. This doesn’t mean merely projecting values and services you think your clients need or desire. To be successful a business needs to fill a need, however niche. To do that extensive market research into customer trends and public feedback has to be carried out.

The secret behind appeal is not trying to be a people-pleaser. Don’t try and target and satisfy all segments of your audience. This is an impossible goal. Instead, seek out a highly defined and targeted group of people to       please. This gives your brand more clarity, easily spells out who your business is and what it’s trying to achieve to potential customers and makes success more attainable.

  • To create an exclusive experience and make your business a coveted one to work with and your product or services in high demand you need to ensure you offer something distinct, a benefit that only people who buy from, are associated with or collaborate alongside your business can enjoy.

 

Once you’ve done these three things you then need to consider your competitors and how your company does in comparison to them. How do you and your customers reckon you do against your competitors?

Avoid trying to sneak your business into a market position already occupied by another competitor. You’re competitor was there first, plus you want to be original don’t you? By likening your business to another similar one, you’re in danger of actually promoting them more than your own company and highlighting how you’re second best!

If customers misunderstand who your business is and what it’s trying to achieve, you can’t just magically slot into the market position you want to be in overnight. You need to carefully and strategically plan your move from where your brand is positioned in the majority of your customers’ minds to the market position you want to occupy.

 

premium brand, premium, high-end positioning, market positioning

Sustainable: Premium brands and high-end positioning are often better market positions to hold in the long term.

Perhaps you want your business and product to be positioned as a premium brand?

 

We all want quality and even envy to spring to mind when people think of our brand or product don’t we- otherwise why else would they buy/recommend/endorse it?

According to co-founder of consulting firm Ries-Ries, Laura Ries, the best way to position a product as a premium brand is to sell it at a premium price but, she points out when writing for Entrepreneur, naturally you have to solidify your premium positioning by backing it up with a quality product to justify your high pricing.

Ries highlights how, contrary to popular beliefs, the perfect premium brands offer less choice. Using the wide selection of variety priced Apple watches as an example, she writes: “If you want to be perceived as premium brand, you should have fewer choices, especially during the initial launch. More choice makes buying decisions more challenging. Throw in a high price and it makes it even worse.”

 

Low-End Vs High-End Positioning

 

Nuvonium have done a great post on Low-end vs high-end (premium) positioning and, although they say aiming for low-end positioning means you can make quick and easy profits as you’re selling to the mass-market with lower entry costs, they dub it “playing the race to the bottom game.”

Low-end positioning is a flawed strategy in the long-term as consumer tastes and trends can change, leaving your quick success a distant memory. Meanwhile, high-end positioning is more sustainable. With a strong margin and market, high profits pave the way for your to afford to invest more in marketing, which can raise demand and establish a more prestigious brand. Not offering too much of your product or too bigger range also helps keep demand for your product high.

 

For an objective and experienced outsider such as a business coach to help you position your brand where you want it in the market and offer insight on the pros and cons of different business positioning contact us today!


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momentum, success, pace, business

The Right Pace, The Right Results

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What’s your biggest business fear? That your company won’t have enough money or a sufficient amount of customers? That your enterprise will run into legal trouble, competitor woes or employee dissatisfaction and resignations? 

We all have professional phobias that sometimes keep us awake at night, but all these fears can be grouped under one theme: we’re afraid of losing the positive momentum our business has currently been thriving on. We’re scared we can’t keep up the pace and will plummet from cloud nine into business disgrace. It’s similar to fear of failure, only businesses won’t have always have had legal troubles, money worries or employee woes so we fret about how long the legal and financial success of our business will last. Sadly it’s part of human nature to be weary. 

You’ve read many blog posts and articles, like our ‘Problems? What problems? They’re Only Outcomes!’ post, about how to take a risk, be adaptable and embrace change. So you and your business did embrace change- wholeheartedly with open arms. You might have altered your business strategy, marketing methods or rearranged your staff but then you took an extended (and most likely well deserved!) holiday to come back to find you and your business have lost your mojo. So how do you keep up the pace, keep your business reaping the rewards of the changes and improvements you implemented- and prevent the saying ‘what goes up must come down’ from becoming a reality? 

It’s Not A Race: It’s great to push ourselves but sometimes we can push ourselves too far, hard and too soon. We’re all prone to comparing ourselves to others and heaping the pressure on ourselves to bring work home every day, work through our lunch and put in 12 hour days 7 days a week- totally ignoring the fact that we’re on a crash course to collide with ‘burn-out.’ But we all work differently. To be effective some work best under pressure, others operate at a slower pace- that doesn’t make them lazy and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Some people prefer to focus on one thing at once; others thrive on having lots of projects on the go at once.  Writing in an article for The Guardian, Hari Ghotra, Director and Chief Cookery Officer at Harti Ghorta Ltd, cites social media as the cause of us living in an ‘always on world’ always having a hunger to know what our friends and competitors are doing. “As a marketer I know this is invaluable insight but as a start-up owner and a consumer it can also be incredibly draining. So I’ve learned to go at my own pace.That’s not to say life isn’t hectic…It’s more about taking the time to appreciate life experiences and work out the right time to create, develop and launch new initiatives,” the entrepreneur muses.

So take time out to reflect and relish your successes. Find your balance and your optimum pace. Negative thinking spawns negative results, so instead of fearing that you and your business are going to lose momentum, stop worrying and focus on your previous successes to generate positive thoughts that will inevitable create positive actions.

 

goals, focus, business, growth, balance

Gentle Nudge: Reminding yourself of your goals each day can keep you focused. (Credit: fitwithfin.com)

 

Gentle Reminders: Far from annoying you and reminding yourself of everything you haven’t yet achieved, having a mood board in your office, or your goals written on post stick notes stuck to the staff room fridge at work or on your computer at your desk, can give you the helpful nudge that ‘yet’ is the operative word. You haven’t achieved your goals ‘yet’ but you’re on your journey to achieving them. This subtle reminder will sharpen you’re focus and motivate you to take positive steps towards attaining your goals every day, no matter how small. It’ll also serve to remind you of all that you’ve achieved so far, giving you another optimistic boost as a bonus! 

Be Kind To Yourself: A happy you outside work means a more productive you at work. Thursday Bram writing for Lifehack.org says balance is the key. “Key to creating balance is ensuring that you do follow through on any commitments you made upon achieving your goal.” If you reward yourself, after reflecting on how much work it took you to reach your business goals, and celebrate, you’re more likely to come back refreshed and reinvigorated for your next challenge and conquer that with equal vigour. 

If you reckon you’ve become disillusioned with your business or your company’s momentum has tailed off, consider booking onto our group coaching sessions by emailing support@thebusinesshub.uk.com or calling us on 01484 401737. 

 


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business idea, start-up, entrepreneur, idea, business

Top 5 Signs Your Business Idea Will Take Off

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Ideas are often great in our minds- in fact they’re epic. We’re ll James Bonds of espionage, Alan Sugar’s of business and Bill Gates of tech in our heads, but that’s all it is…all in our head. This is until we have a light bulb moment, an epiphany, a spark that this idea that we have might actually work as a fully fledged, successful, profitable, *insert positive adjective here* business venture.

Although our motto might be ‘Making it Happen,’ before anyone embarks on making their enterprising plan a solid reality there’s a few catches. As Entrepreneur contributor and founder of AudienceBloom, Jayson DeMers outlines there are some obvious risks and sacrifices involved when hopping aboard the entrepreneur express. You can kiss goodbye to the stability of a steady pay cheque as you pour your savings into trying to break even let alone make a profit straight away, wave farewell to sleep and a social life as your new start-up demands more of your time, energy and effort and you can say ‘laters’ to a stress-free life when you have product launch deadlines to meet and investors to impress.

Clearly, going into business isn’t a decision to be taken likely so we’ve put together five indicators that your brilliant idea is actually feasible and might take off…before you get too carried away.

Sign One: Remember that kids’ film Robots, where the main character and budding innovator Rodney’s inventor idol’s motto is ‘see a need, fill a need’?  A new product or service should solve an issue. The secret to a halfway decent business idea is the fact that it offers some sort of solutions. Consumers love answers, efficiency and ease. Ask yourself does your grand plan make life easier for people? Even more importantly, if your idea does solve a problem, ask the question does it resolve a dilemma big enough to make people sit up and pay attention and part with their hard earned cash?

Sign Two: Identify if a strong niche market exists for your product/idea. Just like Goldielocks and The Three Bears, you don’t want a market that’s too wide and diverse as you can’t make enough noise and compete with large corporations that appeal to broad markets and you don’t want a market that’s too niche and narrow that’s too obscure to generate any interest in your proposal. You want a market that’s just right enough for you to seem unique and stand out, preferably one with one or two companies already offering a similar service or product, so you can offer the consumers in that market a better alternative.

 

idea, business, start-up, start up, entreprenuer

Tweaking & Planning: Your idea will need a lot of adapting and researching before you Make It Happen.

 

Sign Three: You wouldn’t buy from someone that didn’t seem credible or hire a builder to renovate your house when they didn’t have any relevant qualifications to back them up would you? Having knowledge, skills and passion in your chosen business niche is essential for it to be plausible. It isn’t advisable to just set up a furniture company, say because it’s the ‘in’ thing to do or because your friends reckon it’s a good idea. After all, you will be sacrificing a lot of your spare time to get your enterprise off the ground so having a background in the services you plan to offer or enjoying creating the intended product is a must in order to be taken seriously.

Step Four: Have you tested your idea and has it passed with flying colours? Holding focus groups and conducting surveys and interviews with your target market, who will be more objective and beneficial to obtain feedback from than biased family and friends, can help determine if your idea is destined to be a flop or not- before you invest your time and energy into it.

You may have to carry out this market research around your day job in your free time but it’s worth it. You’ll have to be prepared to use your own money to fund the research, though grants may be available and things like polls on social media are free and can potentially reach a wide range of people. Be willing to implement this feedback and don’t be too proud or put-out to tweak and adapt your idea- after all what’s the point in offering a product no-one wants? Not taking constructive criticism on board is business suicide.

Step Five: Earlier this month we published a post offering tips on how to blow investors or potential clients away with a killer pitch. Somewhere down the line if you really want your idea to be a reality you’re going to have to sell your business proposal, show other people why it’s got legs, convince them that saying ‘yes’ to it is the best decision they’ll make. So ask yourself- ‘even though my idea solves this brilliant, complex and challenging problem, can I sum it up in a concise way that everyone – from a stay-at-home mum to a pensioner – can grasp what it’s about and what it’s trying to achieve?’

We don’t want to be bubble bursters so don’t be too disheartened if this particular business idea doesn’t work out as a viable notion- it just might not be the right time or place to launch the particular product or service you are considering. No one has an oracle, crystal ball or an all-seeing knowledge of the future and people and the marketplace can be unpredictable, but the above signs should go someway in telling you if it’s a smart move to invest in your idea and embrace entrepreneurship.

 

 


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business coaching, coaching

ABCs of Business Coaching

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Business coaching is the cornerstone of our business turnaround and growth services. Yet when people ask us what actually transpires in our coaching sessions, what coaching actually is, we find the definition is quite hard to pin down. That’s not because we don’t know what we’re talking about when we coach and it’s a job we’ve made up. It’s due to the fact that coaching is a multifaceted activity with many different aspects, angles, approaches and definitions- so we’ve put together a quick ‘Coaching Alphabet’ to illustrate just what this elusive term means!

A= Accountability: You don’t work for your business coach; you work with them. Nevertheless, how much more likely are you to get yourself in gear and take steps to achieve your business goals if there is someone there, propelling you forward, for you to answer to? A coach is like the proverbial prod you need to spring into action!

B= Become More:  A business coach drives you to flex your business muscles and utilise the skills you have to enhance your personal and professional development. You may not realise it straight away but after spending extensive time with a coach, you’ll gain a competitive edge, advancing your career faster than those that don’t have a coach, as you’ll be armed with more insight about yourself and enjoy the confidence that will naturally ensue.

C= Challenge: If we’re not challenged and put in unfamiliar situations every now and then, we will never grow. A business coach challenges you at your own pace and gives you that ‘push.’ That push to be more productive or to go for promotions and perform better. A recent investigation by Gallup showed that only 13% of workers worldwide are engaged at work. But according to research carried out by HCI and the ICF, coaching ups staff engagement levels with 65% of employees from companies, who place a high value on coaching deeming themselves as being highly engaged.

D= Divine Intervention: OK maybe not the godly kind, but intervention nonetheless. You may have been ‘just getting’ by with the way you think, act and work in business as many people that get coached know what they need to do or should be doing but a coach gently intervenes and helps you change your mind-set by listening to you on a deeper level and helping you understand yourself and your business.

E= Experience: Coaches are often successful entrepreneurs themselves and far from giving you business envy they will be happy to pass on any gems of advice and tips to you. They may have been coaching for a long time too, so, although everyone’s needs are different, there won’t be many issues they haven’t encountered before, so will always be able to offer you helpful support.

F= Focus: It’s easy to come distracted and if this is a bad habit of yours, having to meet regularly with your coach to report on your progress will keep you on track. Also the idea of ‘a business vision’ may seem as vague as it is daunting. A good coach will help you break down your business vision into small, bite-sized achievable steps that you can focus on.

G= Goals: Your coach will help you achieve your goals at a realistic pace. If your goal is to take up a leadership role at work, a coach can prove especially helpful as they will gradually become an influential figure in your professional life. The listening skills you will pick up from them will serve as just one of the many beneficial traits you can integrate into your business life to help you become a great leader.

business goal, business coach

Score: A business coach can help you reach your business goals and potential.

H= Happier: When we’re doing well, hitting targets, feeling more fulfilled and getting results we all feel happier, don’t we? Coaches help you filter out the noise and mess of life to narrow down your goals and reach your potential- what’s not to smile about?!

I= Infectious Confidence: Just as a good coach’s non-judgmental skills can rub off on you and be one of the ingredients for a great leader, one of a business coach’s main purposes are to build your confidence up. They will be confident people themselves, confident enough in their ability to guide you, which will naturally rub off on you, whilst you will grow in confidence as you attain more of your business goals over time working alongside your coach.

J= Just for You: While your coach may have other clients, when they’re with you, you will be their sole focus and they will be concentrating on your needs, identifying what you need to improve on, what achievements of yours need celebrating. Coaching is a personal, private and individual process.

K= Knowledge: Similar to experience, many coaches have their own coach or have had one in the past, so they will be trained and skilled in the best way to approach coaching with you.

L= Listening: When was the last time you felt truly listened to? In this social media saturated, smartphone ruling, demanding and busy world it’s rare to find someone that will listen to you on a deep level, truly take on board what you’re saying and read between the lines for underlying causes to the problems you are explaining. Guess what? A coach is all ears!

M= Motivate: Many entrepreneurs fall out of love for their business, whether it be that it is failing or that the day-to-day running of the enterprise gets in the way of doing what they’re passionate about. A business coach can re-ignite the romance between you and your business and help you get motivated about growing your company again.

N= No: As in someone to tell you ‘No’. You may be great at coming up with ideas but these ideas might be unrealistic at the moment or could actually do your business more harm than good. Your business coach is a rational voice that helps with your risk management, saving you from making rash decisions you’ll regret.

O= Objective:  Other than wanting you do to do well, your coach will have no ulterior motive or hidden agenda so will be completely objective when it comes to advising you, your sessions kept completely confidential.

P= Perspective: And a fresh one at that! If you’ve been in the same job for a while you may be an expert at your role but the saying ‘two heads are better that one’ applies. Your business coach could inspire you and be the muse for a new idea that propels your business to new heights. Coaches help you think outside the box.

Question, business coaching, coaching

The Right Questions: business coaches know the right questions to ask to get helpful answers.

Q= Question: Coaches nudge you to question why you act a certain way, why you think a certain way and helps you explore where your attitude and approach comes from. Only when you ask the right questions can you hope to find answers and solutions!

R= Reflect: A coach helps you reflect and evaluate your business journey so far, including celebrating your past successes, highlighting the need not to be too hard on yourself.

S= Support: A business coach will most likely become a friend to you, or at the very least, a person you can trust. We all need support and a positive uplifting, coach can be the perfect person to lean on when you’re frustrated with your business. Group coaching can also be a rewarding experience as fellow coachees will most likely be in the same boat as you.

T= Truthful: We can guarantee a coach will not be afraid to be honest with you about your flaws or what you need to improve on- after all, how else would they help you and your business grow? If a coach simply dished out false praise all the time, then it would be a waste of time hiring them.

U= Understanding: As obvious as it sounds, with the greater understanding of yourself and your business that the deeper listening a coach provides, comes more ideas and creativity. Being inside your head is a lonely place but a coach who understands you is a great person to bounce new ideas off and debate business decisions with.

V= Vision: Know what you want your business to look like but find it hard to put into words? Perhaps you have tunnel vision and never see the bigger picture of what you are working towards? A coach regularly helps you take a step back brings sharper clarity to your business vision so it’s easier to make it a reality.

clarity, vision, goals, business vision, business plan, plan

Crystal Clear: Your business coach helps you to clarify your business vision.

W= Wow Moments: By understanding and unlocking what hinders you, experiences like ‘Oh I never thought of it like that!’ will become more common and your successes more frequent.

X= X-ray the Way You Work: You can’t see something that you don’t know is there. A business coach can spot your blind spots and help you make sense of things that you don’t know.

Y= Yes: As in someone to tell you ‘Yes!” You might think this contradicts N=No but, just as it is an advantage to have someone reign us in when we are getting to carried away with far -fetched ideas, we also need someone to push us outside our comfort zone and stop us from being too cautious. A business coach prevents you from missing great opportunities.

Z= Zzzz for sleep. Your business coach will advise you to take time off when it’s due and you’ll be able to sleep better knowing that you can enjoy the fruits of your labour and your work life is a lot more fulfilled and stress-free with your coach’s help!

Now that you know your business coaching ABCs, if you’re interested in investing in coaching for yourself and your business join us or call 01484 401737 or email: support@thebusinesshub.uk.com to find out more!


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sales pitch, sales, selling, business, customer

Top 5 Ingredients for The Perfect Sales Pitch

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The age of the pushy, obnoxious salesmen is over. The art of pitching and selling is evolving and to get a result the way you deliver a killer pitch, including how you appear, what you say, how you present, all influence the outcome of the deal. With a wealth of sales and sales coaching experience behind us we wanted to share our top ingredients that combine to create the perfect sales pitch.

Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes: The minute you engage a potential customer with a pitch they are on a journey- that journey can take them to agreeing to buy a service or produce from you or result in them rejecting your pitch. You can only hope the customer journey ends in the former if you empathise with your customer and truly understand their needs. Do your homework about what your prospects want and it will show through in your pitch.

Don’t be pushy, instead offer solutions: Now that you know and understand your prospective customer’s needs you also comprehend their problems and can proceed to offer solutions to those problems and options to fulfill their needs. We all respond better to someone that brings us solutions rather than problems.

Salesforce cite Guy Kawasaki, an author and venture capitalist who said, “Enchantment is the purest form of sales. Enchantment is all about changing people’s hearts, minds and actions because you provide them a vision or a way to do things better. The difference between enchantment and simple sales is that with enchantment you have the other person’s best interests at heart too.” So enchant away!

sales pitch, selling ,sales, client, business

Fool-Proof: Through understand customers, to anticipation of objectives and practice anyone can nail the perfect pitch with preparation.

 

It’s not so much what you say it’s how you say it:  In fact, when it comes to face-to-face communication body language was found to account for 55% of communication in research carried out in 1971 by Albert Mehrabian, with tone of voice coming in at 38% and the literal meaning of the words we choose to use accounting for 7%. As Body Language Expert states, body language “is thought to be one of the most ‘telling’ modes of communication” and Mehrabian’s research is “still often quoted today.” 

It’s worth drawing attention to the fact that Mehrabian has since noted “…Unless a communicator is talking about their feelings or attitudes, these equations are not applicable.” So the 55% figure is only applicable when the words we are saying are communicating a different message to our tone of voice or body language. 

So what should you take from this? Body language is still paramount. If you’re nervous it will show. If you’re negative it will show. If you’re arrogant and over-zealous it will show. The key is practice. There’s no short cut, practice in front of a camera, in front of objective friends, colleagues, people who will give you their honest opinions. Although it’s important not to ‘oversell’, it’s vital that you find a balance and pitch what you’re selling with conviction and enthusiasm- if you don’t truly believe in what you’re walling, how can you possibly ask someone else to invest in it?

Outsmart their objections: It’s all about anticipation. Anticipate what objections the people you are pitching to will throw at you and come up with watertight counter arguments to these beforehand. Practice them so you can automatically bounce back and they don’t throw you off guard. Again, understanding what objections your prospective customers might put to you stems from empathy and understand their needs.

Next Steps: Your pitch should always leave your prospects with the prompt or urge to take action in some way in your favour. This doesn’t necessarily have to be to buy from you straight away. The practical call to action could take the form of them downloading your brochure, visiting your website or booking a next appointment or call with you to discuss business further. If there’s no next-step the pitch can’t lead to progress and is pointless.

deal, business relationship, pitch, sales

Follow-up magic: Always present your prospective with practical next steps to progress the sale and follow up after the pitch.

 

Remember: Follow up is key. As Forbes advises:  “Eighty percent of all deals are made in the follow-up.” They recommend not continuing to follow up with the prospect until you receive a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but warn never be deterred by a lack of response. Your prospect may simply be busy and have other things on their mind. Be consistent and dependable in your follow-up. If you said you were going to send them more information or call them in a week do so!

These steps should put you in the right direction of a dazzling, fool-proof sales pitch. If you want further advice and want to grow your business why not give our first webinar: ‘How to stop selling and get more customers buying’ a watch or sign up to our innovative 90 Day business Transformation Programme?

 


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business coaching, coaching, business transformation

To Have A Coach Or Not To Have A Coach?

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Did you know feeling like you might need to turn to a business coach doesn’t mean you’ve failed? Did you also know a good business coach isn’t going to tell you some wishy-washy, mumbo-jumbo that you’ve heard before, while draining your money, time and resources as they do so?

There are a lot of myths and rumours surrounding the often very misunderstood profession of business coaching. As spring is upon us and sales and business coaching is one of the core services that we offer here at The Business Hub, we thought we’d get our feather duster out and, instead of blowing away all the coaching myth cob webs, we thought we’d blow you away with the wow-factor of what a business coach could offer you and your business.

 

coaching, business, business growth, business coaching

Spring clean: Instead of blowing away or the myths you may have about business coaching, we thought we’d blow you away with what a coach could offer  your business.

 

  • Support- So you’ve made it to the top but lately you’ve lost your mojo and aren’t bringing in any new clients or generating fresh ideas. Perhaps your business is just ticking over, just being and not amazing you or your clients and you know it could be more? No matter what size or type of business you run, it can be stressful; you can get lost in the black hole of managing and admin, tangled in the web of office politics. With there being well over 7 billion people in the world, we definitely believe we are meant to guide and help one another out. A business coach can be that de-stressing, impartial listening ear you need as a business owner.

 

  • Focus- How many times do we get distracted from our real business goals and then feel awful about ourselves when we don’t reach them? Negative thinking, the type fuelled by thinking we’re a failure, often acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy spawning actual failure. Good business coaches are positive professionals that take on your business goals as they’re own. They want you to achieve your vision as much as you do, so keep you on track and deter you from wasteful and superficial distractions.

 

  • Clarity- Picture this: you’ve been toiling at what was once your business dream and passion for a good few years and have suffered so many setbacks, changes, curve balls, and losses that you no longer remember what you wanted for your business in the long term, let alone have goals you get distracted from achieving. Sound familiar? A business coach isn’t embedded firmly in your business so won’t get distracted in the same way you might do. They can provide a powerful crystal-clear clarity on your valuable business vision, something which they can routinely remind you of.

 

business transformation, coaching, business coaching

Listening ear: A business coach can be a mentor, educator, motivator or simply a supportive friend.

 

  • Wisdom- Coaches are often successful entrepreneurs themselves, with a wealth of experience to draw upon. Far from giving you business envy, coaches can provide you with valuable insight and important nuggets of knowledge, which could enhance your business. They may not know everything, but a business coach is unlikely not to have encountered a business issue before either personally or indirectly though one of their other clients.

 

  • Colour- Your own head can be a lonely place sometimes. When you’re struggling for ideas or just stuck in a rut, the saying ‘two minds are better than one’ often springs to mind. A business coach can be the perfect person to bounce exciting new ideas off, debate decisions with, inspire you and motivate you. They can challenge you, change your mentality and mind-set for the better, nudge you out of your comfort zone to take a risk if you’re too cautious or reign you in if you’re too bold. They provide a fresh perspective and help you think outside the box.

 

So whether you just need an impartial professional friend to rant to, an experienced mentor who won’t judge you and whom you can learn from or a motivator to help give you and your business a boost, you’ll be amazed what a great business coach could do for your business.


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delegating, overworked, overstretched, team, efficiency,

Ditch the Juggling Act

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“Wow! It’s impressive that you own your own business!” people probably gush at you when you tell them what you do for a living. And whether you’ve owned your own business for a number of years, or if you’ve just recently taken on ownership of a new or established enterprise, however big or small, congratulations for being in such a positive, professional position!

But there’s more to it than just ‘owning’ a business isn’t there? What about the day-to-day running, the nitty gritty ground work that makes your business tick? Who’s at the helm for all the different areas and responsibilities within your business? We’re betting our left arm ‘me’ was what sprang to mind when you asked yourself that last question!

As Business owners it’s easy to have separation anxiety, to be clingy and too attached to your business. Business owners tend to be control freaks-but that’s understandable. After all, your business-that’s all the different branches of it, from marketing to recruiting-is your passion, focus and livelihood. It’s no wonder you find it hard to relinquish control of even little jobs to your employees. What if they say the wrong thing? Do a task wrong? Make a bad impression?

Being a business director means you have to delegate and there’s no other way to have a successful business without doing so. If you’re trying to juggle too many aspects of your company-admin, sales, management, marketing, accountancy etc.- you’re bound to spread yourself too thin meaning certain areas of your business will suffer and the quality of your business’ output, services or products will falter and inevitably decline.

You may be a business owner but you’re only human. You can’t be everything, do everything, and be everywhere all the time. You can’t wear your social media cap at the same time as your sales and accountant caps. At some point something’s got to give. Being a successful business owner representing a seamless and efficient company means knowing what you’re capable of.

delegate, share, team, resources, efficiency, productivity.

Overloaded? A successful business owner can’t wear their marketing, sales and admin caps all at once. They need to delegate.

The key is delegation. Putting your important business processes in someone else’s hands is hard but ask yourself this: why did you bother hiring your employees if you weren’t going to let them use their skills, experience and qualifications to do their jobs? How will they ever feel challenged, trusted or valued if you don’t give them responsibilities without dominating their daily tasks with your input? How will they ever get a chance to prove to you that they can do their jobs, so you know you made the right decision hiring them in the first place and the correct choice placing, say your marketing, in their hands?

Outsourcing your financing, marketing and sales to a trustworthy external company who have your best interests at heart can relieve the pressure off you. Alternatively, learning how to delegate and make the most of your existing internal human resources can have the same positive effect.

Yes, you’ll still need to be involved in everything but in an overseeing role so you’re in the loop. You’re not a bad business owner if you focus on strengthening your overall business by planning, leading, advising and strategizing ways to make your business vision become a reality and propel your business forward to thrive and grow.

A business owner does what their job title says on the tin- owns a business. A superb business owner knows what they’re capable of, uses their team smartly and delegates!


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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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