Tag Archives: Virtual Office London

A Festive message from Richard Cooper

Putting up the lights?

How are your Christmas plans coming along?   Have you put up your lights yet?   The man in this picture isn’t actually putting up his but taking them down.  And it was in the last couple of weeks.

Someone doesn’t like them!   This is a market town in Norfolk about 20 miles from the city of Norwich.    Read HERE  for the full article.

I’m not entirely sure what to say on this one really.   Being in the centre of London, our lights go up every year with tens of thousands of people coming along to get into the spirit of Christmas.  We’re on Regent Street just off Oxford Street so it is a different world in some respects.

However I really think that the principles are the same .   We live in a multi- faceted, multicultural society so not everyone celebrates Christmas or wants to.  However does this mean that we should stop those who do?

Did Mark Bunning – the business owner asked to remove the lights go out of his way to annoy his fellow businesses?  I very much doubt it.   Did those who complain about a local business owner taking his own time (at his own cost) to put up lights and cheer up his town, think for one minute that  he did it because he has the community at heart,  or was it just easier to criticise?

I was chatting to a couple of my clients about this and one of them sadly lost her mum over Christmas.  What were her  thoughts?  Here’s what she said:

“ When my mum passed away and we went to the solicitors, to sort out probate, it was a time of joy and happiness for most families.  Of course I didn’t want to be involved but at the time, honestly, if there had been naked dancers in the windows or real reindeer flying around I wouldn’t have noticed.  I was grieving . I wouldn’t begrudge anyone Christmas cheer and never did”.

So think about this over the festive season.  What can you do to make life easier for your business neighbours.  How can you HELP them and do you really know your clients.

And as for these lights….  Why would anyone knock a business person trying to do good.  Whether it was right or wrong – at least the thought and effort were there.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary.

Follow us @holdeverything1

A message from Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary

 

On Yer bike Pt2….

Welcome to part two of this blog.  Last week (see my last blog entry) I shared with you my biggest challenge yet.  A super –  cycle ride from the Hertfordshire to Paris and back again.

Many of us will take on a challenge, achieve it and say “OK I’ve done that now, back to business”.   It would have been very easy to do this myself.  After all I have completed the cycle ride two years in a row having never ridden a cycle before.  I have stretched my mental and physical stamina to the max.

I know that no one would blame me if I hung up my trainers and decided to call it a day.  The odd charity bike ride locally?  Maybe something in a few years?  After all I am getting married soon and am extremely busy.

However next year I will be doing it again with an additional twist.   To make it even more challenging I am going to cycle from Radelett  (near St Albans, Hertfordshire) to Dover. Take the ferry to Calais then cycle to Paris.

I will be updating you regularly on my training progress and when my sponsorship page goes live.   The reason I haven’t stopped in 2012 is because when I achieve one challenge, I move onto the next.  The same approach goes for my business too.   Having a new challenge keeps my mind focused both in my life and business.

Do you do the same?  If you don’t and I can help, just send me a message through the website anytime and I will be happy to share some tips that have supported my success.  As always keep an eye on my blog too for great hints and tips on how to make small steps to success in your business.

Until next time

Richard Cooper @ Hold everything

Follow us @holdeverything1

A message from Richard Cooper – Virtual office visionary

ON YER BIKE PT 1

What do you do when you want a challenge?

Well this year I cycled to Paris with my good friend Bern Gilbey and returned the same way but as part of a 42 strong team of riders to raise money for Crohn’s research.

Bern & I started from Radlett in Hertfordshire (near St Albans) cycled to Newhaven and then got the evening ferry to Dieppe. A few hours additional sleep and we set off early to Paris.

We then rode back from Paris as a team of 42 riders in aid of “Guts in Motion”.   I personally raised £3.5k , however collectively all riders raised over £100k.  My personal journey was a 380 mile round trip.

Why on earth did I do it?  Firstly I wanted a challenge and this was a fantastic one.  However the other big challenge was that I had never ridden a bicycle until last year. Yes, in 2011 I bought my first ever bike and in July 2011 completed Paris to London cycle ride with no experience of this kind of event.

I’m not the type of person to do things by halves, and I knew that if I was going to do this then I was going to do it properly.  No half hearted attempt and an hours cycling here and there.  It was all or nothing.  So that’s what I did.

Having seen a dear friend of mine suffer with Crohn’s Disease and the effect it had on their quality of life – this cycle ride was something which I was determined to do.   It’s this attitude that I carry with me everywhere.  It’s who I am and I feel a massive factor into why my business enjoys the success that it does.

Always remember that your personal values will determine the type of business owner that you are. Do you set yourself challenges? What can you do that sets you apart from the rest and makes you stand out?

In Pt 2  I will be sharing my challenge for 2013.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary

Follow us @holdeverything1

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