Tag Archives: Work Life balance

Its got to be PERFECT ……. a message from Richard Cooper

How do you run your business.  Is it PERFECT?   Many of us start a business with a vision of giving the customer better service, better value for money and the perfect client experience.

One challenge I have always faced is that no one is quite as passionate about my business and service as I am.  I’m not saying that my team aren’t amazing and efficient, but what I mean is that, I am a perfectionist.  I want to get it right every time. After all I am the business owner and the buck stops with me.  It has to therefore be perfect?  Right?

Something I am learning more and more as time goes on is that perfection doesn’t really exist.  That may sound a bold statement however, how many of us have actually reached “perfection”?  What is perfection?  And more importantly how do will instill this into our staff/colleagues and teams?   The answer is – “realistically”

SO:   Face facts: Your team/staff/clients/suppliers/contractors will NEVER feel as passionate about your business and therefore their levels of service won’t be to the same level as yours.  This DOESN’T mean excusing poor performance, attitude or behaviour.   Take a look at your clients.  Are they happy with the level of service that your team provide overall.  Are they treated professionally and are they valued?   If the answer is yes then work on developing your team, but not necessarily at trying to make them replicas of you.

Put processes in place:  If you couldn’t be in your business for 6 weeks – are there enough processes in place to get by without you in an emergency?  If the answer is no, then it’s time to start.  You never know what is around the corner.  If something meant you couldn’t be there for your clients, will someone else be there?  Again it’s not about a replica of YOU, its about meeting and exceeding your clients expectations.

I always felt that if I wasn’t involved in my business then it would crumble without me and all of my clients would leave.  I am learning that my clients want me to have a successful business and provide an effective service.  Having my skills and expertise at the healm is just an added bonus.

You don’t have to be perfect to win in business, you just have to be professional, consistent and have a great team around you.  Listen to your customers, ask them how they see your business.  Even if you think something could be ten times better, it may be just “perfect” for them.  Spend your time concentrating on being the owner and steering your company forward.

 

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary

Follow me @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

 

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