Tag Archives: Virtual Office London

EXCLUSIVITY !

Christmas Lights on Oxford Street

As London begins its Christmas lights switch on this week – Monday saw the switch on of Oxford Street lights.  What was different this year was that it was a ticket only event.  The organisers have taken a public street, sealed it off and issued tickets.   Now before you all comment about profiteering, money making and the like, these tickets are free!

So why bother with all of the hassle?   Well, think about it.  They are creating an exclusive event.   Anyone can attend but only if they have a ticket.    It doesn’t have a monetary value, but yet it has created a desirable event and by the looks of the forums practically begging for tickets… its worked!

Similarly someone I know has recently had a break at Center Parcs.   They have taken the concept of creating value and exclusivity and applied it to their business fantastically.   The prices for their accommodation are not budget but one thing that is practically guaranteed is exclusivity.  I had a really good look at their website and through networking also know a client who has worked with them.

You can’t just walk onto a Center Parcs village and you can’t even visit for a day (unless you pay and you are visiting someone who is on holiday there).  They don’t hold public open days and even their fireworks display is strictly for their customers on site only.   They have themes such as “winter wonderland” and events to tie in with the time of year such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and so on.

That’s why they can charge what they do and why people return year after year because they have the exclusivity and have created a product of value.

So, think about your business.  Do you have a product launch or an event?   Are you networking like crazy to get people through the door to buy your service or product?

My advice this week is to create exclusivity in your business.  What do you do that you can make exclusive.   I have a client who has completely changed one of her business models that she will only take on recommended clients and if you aren’t recommended directly by another client, then she won’t take your business.   Sound crazy?   That business is the most profitable it has been in five years!  It’s also Financial Services, which is extremely competitive.

It may take some thinking.  Many business mentors and coaches can support you with this, but if you are looking to grow your business, maybe its time to think “exclusive”.

Until next week

Richard Cooper and the team at Hold Everything

Follow us @holdeverything1

 

More Perspective?

Many of our clients are small businesses and something that I feel particularly passionate about is perspective.

Whilst we have an established team here are Hold Everything HQ, many business owners work alone and the thing about this is that often, there is a different level of perspective.

I remember when I was starting out alone in business. It was me against the world.  My business was my life (and in many ways still is!).  The trouble was that because I worked only with one part time member of staff,  sometimes the pressure of everything all at once felt a little bit too much.   I would feel alone and that there wasn’t anyone I could turn to.  

As the business has grown, this has become less of an issue, however when I speak to a client who is wound up about something that really isn’t as bad as they think it is, I remember being there.

My top tips for you if you ever find that things are getting a little too much are:

1) Take a five minute break.  Sounds obvious?  Sometimes just moving about and taking a deep breath can make that difference. Ask yourself “in the great scheme of things is this really as bad as it seems.

2) If you have received a “bad” email, message or voicemail – wait 24 hours before responding. Your replies are permanent. Don’t do damage by biting back, no matter HOW tempting.

3) Find other businesses in your position.  I met numerous great businesses through business networking.   If you’re just starting out there are many that are free to go along to.   Having others to talk to really helped me to realise that things aren’t as bad as I sometimes thought.

If you are a bigger business dealing with smaller companies:

1) Remember that just because something that isn’t important to you, it doesn’t mean that it’s not essential to someone else.

2) Can YOU take five minutes to listen to a small business? What are your business doing to support start up mentoring?

3) Stay professional at all times regardless of how someone else is behaving to you and if you have been in that position, remember how it felt.

There are so many terrible events going on in the world and sometimes we need to step out and see the bigger picture.  Theres always an answer.

This week our thoughts go out to those affected by the awful events in the USA.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Hold Everything
Follow us @holdeverything1

 

You’ve got the words to change a nation

But you’re biting your tongue…..

These two lines are from the Emeli Sande track – “Read all about it.”  Overall the consensus is that this song is about being the real you?   What has this got to do with business?

Something that is really important to me is understanding what it MEANS to be a business person and identifying when I need to reassess my goals, vision and priorities.  I hope the following helps you whatever stage you are at with business, especially if you feel that something isn’t quite right or where it should be.

So why let your voice be tamed?

Firstly you need to be assertive:   Whether starting up, expanding or diversifying,  its really important to understand that everyone…. And I mean absolutely everyone will have an opinion.   Even those people who have never ever taken the step of owning a business will tell you their experiences.   The decision you have to make is 1) who to listen to and 2) Whether you compromise your vision.    Ask yourself are you biting your tongue for fear of speaking out for what you know you want?   In business you will need to believe in yourself implicitly and sometimes that has to be no matter what anyone thinks.

When did we all get so fearful?

 

Another question to ask yourself is whether you are fearless enough for your business.  Please note this is not a generalisation that you should be a bull in a china shop and know no fear, but more a point that you cannot let fear take you over in business.  It’s really important to “hold your ground” in business and not be afraid when the pressures on.

You’ve got the light to fight the shadows?

 

This leads back to my post on instinct.  When the chips are down and it seems like there is no way out, remember that you have the answer inside you.  The reason you are in the role you are is because you believed in yourself (if you’re employed, someone believed enough in you) that you could handle everything that came your way. Think about everything you have had to deal with so far in life, work and business.  You handled it didn’t you?   So when something happens, stay calm and think about who can help and support you through.  Go with your instincts, they’re rarely wrong.

 

Finally here’s the track.  Click here Grab a cuppa and take a listen.  What can you do differently to stay on the right track to realise your life goals and dreams.

Enjoy, and have a lovely week

Richard and the team at Hold Everything

Get a Job!

I have had a very interesting week.  When you do what I do, you deal with a variety of business people and sometimes become a sounding board for their challenges.  Sometimes even an agony uncle!

I learn so much about my clients when I listen to their challenges and they are surprised when they learn that I’ve often experienced the issues and feelings that they have.   Like many of my fellow experienced entrepreneurs, we have seen a lot.   This week was no different.  One of my clients was speaking about the economic times and her business associates changing.

She was down about the fact that a number of her close business colleagues were back in full time or part time jobs with what she described as “more financial security “ and felt dreadful that she was a little bit jealous of the new successes that they were having.  Where she used to be one of their first and foremost trusted contacts, suddenly she wasn’t. The goalposts had changed.

Things in business are always changing and the skill of handling and positively managing that change is essential.   When asked what it was that made my client feel the way she did, it came down to the fact that it was a massive change for the dynamics of her business.  She felt she couldn’t say anything for fear of how it would be seen.

So when faced with such a situation, what can you do?   Here are three quick tips!

1)      When faced with a change (which sometimes manifests itself as some kind of feeling of jealousy or unease) – ask yourself what it is exactly that you have the challenge with. What is it that you’re feeling?

2)      What’s the benefit?  It’s easy to focus on the negatives of a situation, but remember the positives too.  As I said to my client, how about the new contacts she can make?  The new conversations?

3)      Talk about it:  Speak to someone you trust and know.  It’s important to speak to a sounding board.  I have been in the situation of change more times than I can remember.  You may be surprised at the experience around you.

So what happened with my client?   Well she sat down with her colleague and they worked it out.  The real issue was that then the colleague closed their business, she felt like they took away part of hers.   Always remember to have business plans and strategy to fill any gaps for essential services you offer.

On that point remember, that change happens all of the time, but never ever underestimate the power that your decisions can have on others.  Be aware, be courteous and be kind!

Have a great week.

Richard Cooper – Hold Everything

I don’t give a Hoot!

Something that always interests me about the business people I meet, is the approach that they have to their company and those around them.

Now, whether you believe in Karma or not, I personally see an unwritten code of conduct that businesses tend to follow. Examples of this include:

  • Acting with honesty and integrity
  • Treating fellow businesses with respect
  • Good manners
  • Assertiveness without aggressiveness.
  • Basic dignity and respect as a minimum.

All pretty standard? So one would think!

Increasingly I am seeing more and more business behaviour which has an edge to it that isn’t necessarily positive.

From non negotiation to nothing more than playground bullying and games. Not talking to each other (especially business partners) and even worse, taking issues to social media to air them in public are acts I see more and more regularly.

Clients usually come to us because they want a defined barrier between their home and business life. Who wouldn’t want this?

However when businesses start attacking each other and using online tactics to put each other down, what can you do?

Marie Coles – founder of Business Connections and all round social media superstar shares the following quick tips on how to handle the “playground antics”:

1) If it’s a business partner who is taking their issues to air with facebook/twitter etc, then arrange a face to face meeting. Consider a professional mediator. The cost of their services may save you a serious amount of money in the long run. Do NOT engage with any online debates or arguments. It will damage your reputation more.

2) If it’s a competitor or business relationship gone wrong, try your best to ignore them. Most of them go away in time. However if it’s blatant slander or reputation damage, seek legal or where necessary police advice.

3) Always remember that even bullying online is still bullying. Act assertively and protect your business but always remember good ethics and manners. Don’t be afraid of the “block” button on social media.

Marie x

These tips are extremely valuable. Are you involved in any arguments or issues? Are they really necessary and are you acting like a good business should? My tip for the week is to step back from your business for an hour. Look at it and walk around your premises if you have them. Ask yourself “am I facing the issues I need to” – because if as a business manager or owner the answer is no, then you need to look at all of the people affected by it. Making changes to your business, your staff and their responsibilities isn’t easy, but its much easier than losing good business contacts and staff because you don’t. Just be wise and know your allies as well as your enemies.

Until next time

Richard Cooper