Month: May 2014

What happens when nobody loves you anymore?

This last week has been a real eye opener to those who deem themselves the great and the good. When people around you who rely on you to do what you promise no longer love you, what can you do?

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Businesses who lose clients will find out that the majority of the clients that leave don’t do so because the service is bad or the products suddenly start to fall apart or you have become something they can’t bring themselves to stand any more time in your company any more. No – the reason they leave is because they no longer feel valued or loved by you anymore. The relationship you used to have with them is now damaged. Sometimes that damage is so bad that you will never be able to fix it.

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As many of our politcal classes are finding out what we in the business world have known for many years. All you really have in this life is your reputation and when that is gone so are you!

The importance then is so easy do what you say your going to do in the time you said you were going to do it and at the price you said you would do it for. That’s a basic the next bit is also essential. Do it with a smile on your face and warmth in your heart – go the extra mile even when there is no personal financial gain in it for you. I can assure you that there will be personal gain maybe not today maybe not tomorrow but at sometime in the future it will pay dividends to back to you.

Loose Change or Loose Morals?

Or should this be “The rant of a time poor shopper”
This is not strictly a business matter but does help to highlight the way the different genders deal with negotiating transactions.
I always seem to join a queue in a shop with a lady in front of now this lady can be any size and any age but I only notice it’s a lady because of what happens when we get to the checkout counter…

Now I, and I believe that includes most men, have some rough idea of what the items they have chosen to purchase are going to total up to so can prepare to cover the cost when asked to in a timely manner. But get behind the person I was recently, when finally the counter comes up on them it’s almost a shock and, additionally, the amount requested seems to come as a complete surprise.

The person in question is clutching hold of her handbag as if her life depends upon it and grudgingly opens it to retrieve her purse when the total owed becomes clear. This then escalates into a search of the deepest crevices of her purse to finding what cash is hiding away. After some rummaging she withdraws the amount and then what she says next brings a cold fear into my heart; “I think I have the extra change”! This throws the mathematically challenged shop assitant into a cold sweat of panic and now all calculations will have to be done again. After payment is carried out we have the purse closing ceremony where it is repeatedly checked and finally closed then returned to the handbag which is also then closed and checked, but please note this has to be done at the counter, exasperatingly we then the receipt has to be put away safely before finally moving off to one side to let the next person in the queue have their turn. If there are three or four women in the queue in front of you, take my advice, give up and go elsewhere. For me the process is simple, regardless of the total, men get out the largest note in their wallet and quickly pay taking the change and receipt in one hand and then stuffing into their pocket for later checking if they can be bothered.

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This is by no means a modern phenomenon if I remember correctly in the famous film The Glen Miller Story starring James Stewart as Glen Miller and June Allyson as his wife Helen there is a scene where Helen is tired of living the life of a nomad and wants to settle down. Glen says that they can’t afford it and Helen replies that she has saved enough for a Deposit by emptying his pockets of change every night. Now in the late 1930’s I can believe that may have been possible but now finding £50K in my pockets or down the back of the sofa is downright impossible however women are still predisposed to carry out the change liberating routine.

I would never contemplate riffling through my wifes handbag, god knows what I would find, as that would be a gross violation of trust.

The point I am making is that the speed of transation allows men to close a deal and move on where a women needs to be sure that it is all going to plan.

If nothing else it explains why I never seem to have the right change for the parking meter…

Looking beyond the immediate future

As I help a business grow it never ceases to surprise me how many owners have failed to give succession planning a seconds thought!
When I ask; where do you see this going after success? The blank looks and disregard for reality is astounding. Truth is that we are all going to die – some sooner – some later, but I can assure you without any doubt that it WILL happen. If all your hard work gets buried with you is that okay with you?
Why not just stop now, go out get drunk and spend everything before the kids notice.
Planning is so important but it has to be done while your still alive – Sorry.

Pleasure to talk as always

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Its was my pleasure at the end of last month to talk to the Ellevate networking lunch my topic was why women are better than men at networking – this went down better than I could of hoped as Ellevate is a ladies only networking group based in Salisbury and as more and more women are taking control of their working lives and starting businesses the group is destined to grow. It is less about the hard sell and more about offering the mutual support of each other. If this was a mens only group that would mean who could shout the loudest and who could brag the most. Mutual support amoung the males is not as prevalent as with the ladies!

I know which I prefer!

Why do businesses stop doing business?

You would have thought that once you know what you want to do and you have made the difficult decision to jump in with both feet. That would be incentive enough to want to be successful at it. But, in my experience the enthusiasm spent in starting up is pretty much all there is from that department…
Business owners need to both think long term, and by long term I mean 10-15 years and the next bit is the tough bit for many, believe that they deserve success. Not in a narcissistic juvenile way but in a mature considered planned and strategised way.
The number do successful or potentially successful business owners who seem to apologise for their success amazes me.
If you really don’t believe you should be successful then you won’t be. It has little to do with working hard and committing it has to do with changing the way you restrict yourself. Make it happen and make it happen well!