8 keys to a bigger, better business. Key number 7 …

21503D358DYou cannot build a great business without a team.  And you can’t build a high performance team without a great team culture. Like branding, company culture is another misunderstood and undervalued success factor in business.

As soon as you start employing people you have a need for a great culture.  Again, the biggest and best companies in the world build strong cultures – people know what to expect when they work there. An example of strong brand with a strong culture is Virgin. Everyone knows what Virgin stands for – a fair deal for the everyday person, whether its music, planes or finance.  And you can imagine what the culture is like – full of enthusiastic people who thrive on the optimism of the founder.  Richard Branson is still a figurehead but his offices all around the world don’t rely on hi to be there to keep the same team culture.

Key number 7. Build a strong team culture

Team culture is made up of these key elements:

  1. Vision… what does the company aspire to and where is it going, what is it’s purpose?
  2. Values – how does it behave and what does it believe to be right?
  3. Personality – is it a fun place, a serious place, an earnest place?
  4. Rituals – what are the things your company does that people can rely on – regular meetings each week, celebration of birthdays, rewards, social outings… just like in families, it’s the rituals that tie the people together.

You need to set the team culture before you start hiring.  Be a great employer, have a warm, embracing world for new people to come into – where they are clear where they stand and how they fit.

Be sure of your vision and your culture before you start hiring… that way you can hire the right people to fit your culture, not just people who can do your job.

Exercise:  Team culture brainstorm

Grab that pad of blank paper again.  Divide it into quarters with a pen.  Write Team Culture in the middle of the quarter lines.  Then give each quarter a heading:  Vision/Values/Personality/Rituals.

Under each heading brainstorm your ideas on that topic (do this with your business partners/team if you have them).  Don’t worry about getting it right, just brainstorm.  Then when you’ve exhausted all ideas, go back and circle your favourites.

Vision – what is the company doing that will make a difference in the future?  What’s the purpose that drives your business?

Values – what underpins the integrity of your business, what cornerstone values enable the purpose?  For example, the vision for Liber8 is ‘to set all small business owners free.’  The values are inspiration, motivation, education and liberation.  The values underpin the vision.

Personality – who are you?  How do your people behave?  Are you youthful, fun, exuberant?  Are you trustworthy, innovative yet dependable?  Your company personality should align with your customer needs.  A large accountant firm will want to be innovative, providing leading edge solutions, yet they must also be dependable, trustworthy and sincere.  An online dating company will want a personality that is warm, caring, modern and sincere.

Rituals – these create the expectations for your team that enable them connect with all of the above.  The rituals are the things your company does consistently that enable your team to come together and feel a sense of belonging.  Examples of the rituals I had at my advertising agency are: Monday morning work in progress, 8.30am with muffins and coffee; Friday evening drinks and celebrations of wins, 5pm with drinks; morning tea when it’s someone’s birthday, a paid day off as a birthday present (to be used within 8 weeks of your birthday); champagne when we won new business…. You get the idea.  People knew we cared by the way we made them feel valued.. all done by having rituals that contributed to the culture.

As usual, feel free to email me with questions and ideas at laura@liber8u.com

Happy Growing!

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PS. Early bird pricing for 2016 Acceler8or Programme ends soon.  This is a 12 month journey to accelerated growth you’ll never forget, please email me at laura@liber8u.com for more information. If you are serious about growth or creating financial freedom from your business sooner rather than later, you will want to be involved.  Only 4 places left.

 

How to motivate your team… take the check list challenge

motivation-newIn my latest book, The Liber8 Disciplines, I’m working with HR consultant Antonia Haythornthwaite on the key strategies to build a high performance team.  Antonia advises that you find out what key factors motivate a particular individual and then use these to encourage the best performance from this person.   Knowing what motivates an individual and then building this into their goals and challenges can make a stunning difference to a person’s performance. In the book, Antonia provides a check list you can give employees to find out what drives them.  I’m going to share it with you in this blog.

Take a look at the check list below.  Your challenge is to book a time over the next few months with each of your team members to begin an informal evaluation process.  Create a form for them using the following checklist. Get them to complete this check list and begin to work out the high performance formula for each individual.

MOTIVATION CHECKLIST – WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Tick the five factors that are most important to you at work:

¨  Pleasant physical work environment

¨  Sense of achievement, pride in a job well done

¨  Being treated fairly compared to others

¨  Job security

¨  Knowing that I’m doing what I’m best at

¨  Variety of work

¨  Challenging work

¨  Safe working conditions

¨  Promotion opportunities

¨  Freedom to do the job as I want

¨  Collaborating with others

¨  Project work

¨  Being well paid

¨  A good relationship with my manager

¨  Study and training opportunities

¨  Spending time socially with the people I work with

¨  Flexible working arrangements

¨  Regular feedback on performance

¨  Clear systems and processes to follow

¨  Goals to work towards

¨  Recognition of a job well done

¨  Perks

¨  Communication about the direction of the organisation

¨  Knowing how I can do better

¨  New, untried experiences

Once you know what motivates someone and build these things into their work day – their happiness and desire to perform increase dramatically.  Give it a try – and let me know how you get on.

Happy team building

laura-signature

 

From the desk of Liber8me: Business mentors and publisher of Liber8 your Business:  The revolutionary business planning technique that will set every business owner free

 

Why the best business people fail… and how you can be a successful failure too

failureYou might think failure doesn’t enter the vocabulary of successful people. But willingness to fail is a key criterion for success. Here’s an unavoidable truth about business – you’re going to fail in your business at some stage. You will probably do some really dumb things and at times you may feel like an idiot. You could make bad decisions, decisions that cost you money. You might make poor employment decisions or lousy client decisions. Failure is guaranteed. What’s important is having the ability to pick yourself up and say, ‘That was stupid, I feel like a fool, but what have I learned?’ Successful people learn from their mistakes and carry on.

I love the story about IBM from the 1960s. A manager made a decision that lost the company $10 million. He was summoned to the office of the CEO, Tom Watson. When asked why he’d been called there, the manager said, ‘So you can fire me.’ Watson replied, ‘Fire you? Of course I’m not going to fire you. I’ve just spent $10 million educating you!’

All business people fail at something at some stage. The smart ones learn and use the experience to their advantage next time.

So next time you think you won’t do something important in case you fail… remember Michael Jordan’s famous quote:  “I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying”.  And get out there… do it!

This was an excerpt from Liber8 Your Business – The revolutionary business planning technique that will set every small business owner free.  Pre-order your copy here.

The ten traits of wealthy entrepreneurs. What are they and do you have them? Score yourself here

financial freedom imageOver the past two years I have interviewed over forty successful entrepreneurs.  My criteria for an interview subject is that they must have built and sold at least one successful business.  Many of them have been serial entrepreneurs – having created more than one business and learned many lessons along the way.

As I’ve talked to these people it has become apparent that they all share certain traits that ultimately lead to their success.  If you want to succeed at your business (of course you do), you could do worse than focus on developing the traits exhibited by the rich and free.  Work out which ones you have in abundance and work on the ones you don’t.

Take a look at the traits listed below and grade yourself on a score of 1 to 5, where 1 means ‘not at all’ and 5 means ‘totally got it nailed’, against each of the traits. Don’t feel you have to be close to a 5 score to be successful. This is a reality check to identify the areas you will need to work on as you grow your business.

10 Traits of wealthy entrepreneurs:

  1.  Vision. Rate the clarity of the vision you have for your business when it is complete and you’ve created financial freedom from it.

1                      2                      3                      4                      5

 

  1. Self-belief. Rate your confidence in your ability to build a business that will generate great wealth and freedom for you.

1                      2                      3                      4                      5

  

  1. Passion. Rate your passion for your business

1                      2                      3                      4                      5

 

  1. Being goal-orientated. Rate the clarity of the goals you have set for your business

1                      2                      3                      4                      5

 

  1. Planning. Rate your current plan for a business that will feed you wealth

1                      2                      3                      4                      5

 

  1. Being action-focussed. Rate your ability to take action as needed.

1                      2                      3                      4                      5

 

  1. Determination. How do you rate your determination to succeed?

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                     

 

  1. Willingness to fail. How would you rate your willingness to learn from failures?

1                      2                      3                      4                      5

 

  1. Being wealth positive. How would you rate your willingness to be very wealthy?

 1                      2                      3                      4                      5

 

  1. Giving back. Rate your desire to make a difference through your business

1                      2                      3                      4                      5

 

Review your scores for each of the 10 traits. In which areas do you already feel strong? Which areas do you need to work on?   And what plan can you put in place to lift your game in your weaker areas?

In my book, Liber8 Your Business, I go into more detail about these traits and show you how to develop your strength in the areas you need to.  To be notified of the book launch just click here http://liber8yourbusiness.com/

 

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness. Small business mentors and publisher of Liber8 Your Business: The revolutionary business planning technique that will set every business owner free.

Pre-register for a copy of Liber8 Your Business here: http://liber8yourbusiness.com/

Find out about working with Laura here: http://www.liber8yourbusiness.com/one-on-one-mentoring-programme/

Business mentor tip # 87 – Why company culture is critical to the success of your business

company cultureI’m working with a number of small businesses at the moment.  All are committed to growth and as such are bringing on new staff members to ensure this growth can happen.  All have accepted that as owners they must let go of certain aspects of their business to allow them to focus on the really important stuff – business development, new business, structure, strategy, vision and… the word so many small business owners forget about… culture.

There’s one question I’m asking all my clients at the moment: what’s the culture you are inviting people to join?

What would be your answer if I asked you the same question?  Have you given it some serious thought?  You should do – because your culture is CRITICAL to the successful growth of your business.

What do I mean by culture?

Your culture is the world you bring people into; the world that will ultimately influence how they behave.  I assume that, as the business owner, you want a highly motivated, fully committed and productive team working alongside you.   As the leader of this team, your job is to ensure they know what is expected of them and to provide an environment in which they can thrive.

Your culture is made up of 4 key components:

  • Vision
  • Values
  • Rituals
  • Attitude/personality

Vision:  What is your business doing that means more than just making money?  What are you aiming for and how will this make a difference to your industry, community, country or the world?  People want to be part of something, they want to be inspired and feel they are contributing.  Your job as leader is to paint this picture for them.  Give them a vision they can believe in.

Values:  What do you really stand for, and how is this reflected in your business?  A company’s values usually stem from those of its founder.  Just think about Apple for a moment.  Steve Job’s personal vision was to ‘put a ding in the Universe’.  His pioneering spirit impacted directly on the values of his company. Now take a look at the Apple Values as outlined in the Apple employee handbook 1993: http://www.seanet.com/~jonpugh/applevalues.html

Who wouldn’t want to work for a company like this?  So what are your values and how can share them with your team?

Rituals:  These are the glue that binds your team together.  The things your company does regularly that people can always expect.  These include the regular meetings you have, the celebrations, the rewards and prizes your team might strive for.  At my advertising agency we met at 8.30am every Monday morning for Work In Progress.  The agency always supplied muffins.  On Fridays at 5pm we stopped to celebrate a team win for the week. The agency supplied drinks and nibbles.  On a team members birthday we organised a cake for morning break. Staff members were day off – to be taken in the month of their birthday.  When someone left there was always a gift and leaving drinks.  Every year we went off site for a planning day, with accommodation and a big dinner for all the team.  These things always happened, and the team knew they could rely on them.  Our rituals defined our team experience together.  What are your rituals?

Attitude/personality: What kind of company are you? And what attitude would you like to see from your team?  Think about these questions and how they apply to your business.  Are you a creative company, do you want your team to come to you with new ideas? Are you willing to hear those ideas?  Is your business a fun place to work?  Or is it very serious?  Does your company inspire people with the vision and life up to its values?

There is a Sicilian saying: “the fish rots from the head down”.  Which means, in the context of this article, that the leader sets the tone for the rest of the team.  If you are serious, hard working, focused and driven…you’ll probably create a culture around your own personality type.  If you are young, a bit crazy and full of mischief… this will probably reflect in the type of culture you create.  If you are stressed and worried all the time, this too will probably impact on the happiness of your team and find its way unwittingly into your culture.

With leadership comes great responsibility.  Creating a culture where people learn, grow, thrive and flourish.  This is as important as developing new products, or creating a clever marketing campaign.

Look after the culture.  The results will show you the value.

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and publisher of Liber8 Your Business.  Click here to be notified of launch date http://liber8yourbusiness.com/

Want to work with Laura? : http://www.liber8yourbusiness.com/one-on-one-mentoring-programme/

 

 

 

What’s the one question every business owner should ask to decrease owner dependency and increase value?

question markWhen I interviewed 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Sam Hazledene, I asked him about his strategy for growth.  This is the guy who built the largest medical recruitment company in Australasia from scratch in a few short years.  He told me that he’d grown organically, starting out with just himself and his wife travelling the country trying to convince hospitals to use their recruitment service.  With a great point of difference and a lot of passion they rallied customers remarkably quickly.

The business expanded and Sam needed to grow his team.  He hired from the bottom up – firstly filling the more logistical roles until he could afford more specialised senior people.  This was exactly the same approach I had to growth with my first business.  When you are funding growth out of cash flow this can an effective way to do it.

At first, Sam told me, he was reluctant to let go of things, not believing anyone could do a job as well as he could (sound familiar?).  But he began to ask himself a question, which enabled him to get his ego out of the way.   It’s a question I now share with my mentoring clients and once asked, you just can’t forget it.

The question is this:

“What can I and only I do?”

Start asking yourself this question on a regular basis. Make a list of everything that you do.  Then go through the list and highlight the things that only you can possibly do.  Check the list and then sleep on it.  In the morning go through the list again and make sure you are being honest.  There will be things still on that list that others could do if you let go, trained them well and trusted them.  So ask yourself again:

“What can I and only I do?”

Be willing to let go of all the things you could hire others to do as well as, if not better than you.  These should include pretty much all administration, book keeping, project management, HR, legal and other operational roles.  And as quickly as you can afford it, replace yourself with people who have the skills and experience for all of the other roles within your organisation too.

Ultimately you want to get yourself to the point where the answer to the question is vision, strategy, business development and culture – in other words being the leader of a great team.

This is what Sam did to grow his business.  It’s what I have done with my businesses.  And it is the key to creating true value in your business.  A potential buyer will find your business far more attractive if you are leading a team rather than doing all the work.  So the next time you find yourself in overwhelm and wondering how on earth you can decrease your business’ dependence on you… remember the question and start letting go!

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and publisher of the book Liber8 Your Business – pre-order your copy by emailing laura@liber8yourbusiness.com

A business or a life-long job? Which is it for you?

guy-with-ball-and-chain1Here’s another extract from my book… to be launched late July…

 A business or a life-long job?

‘Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.’

–          John Maxwell

One of the first questions I ask when I present to business groups is: ‘Why are you here? Why are you in business? Why on earth have you left the security of a job with regular pay to start your own business, with all the uncertainty this holds?’

I always get similar answers. Mostly, people say they don’t want to work for someone else. They don’t want someone else’s culture. They don’t want to be told how the way it should be done. They want to be in control. They want flexible hours and to spend time with their children. They want to be able to go on holiday when they want. They don’t want someone telling them how many weeks’ holiday they can have a year. They want to do something they really love.

These are all honourable reasons for starting a business. But, ironically, many business owner-operators end up with the complete opposite. They find themselves with little control. They discover their clients have the control and will often demand they work longer hours than they ever did when working for someone else. Most small business owners pay themselves less than they would be paid working for another company. Crazy, I know, but it’s true. You go into business for freedom and control and end up working longer hours and earning less. Sound familiar?

Many business owner-operators don’t take holidays. They start their business believing they will be in charge of their own holidays, but they find they don’t go on holiday at all. I met a woman who owned a chain of motels with her husband. They hadn’t been on holiday for five years. When I asked her why she got into the motel business in the first place, she told me it was for the lifestyle. Go figure!

If you pay yourself too little, work long hours, and don’t take decent holidays, you can feel resentful. Worse, you can fall sick and be unable to carry on. A high percentage of businesses fail (and by fail I mean they stop; the owner gives up) within five years of start-up. Disillusionment gets the better of them. They go into business to set themselves free and find themselves with a virtual chain around their ankle. Not surprisingly, they decide they don’t want to do it anymore.

But that’s not going to be you, is it? Most people who fail to achieve financial freedom through their business do not have the right mindset. By the time you have finished this section of The Liber8 Factor, you will know how to develop this mindset and increase your chances of success.

The story of Julie and Fliss

I was having coffee with an old friend one day. Julie is an amazing lady who had started her first business and built it over 20 years until it was bought by a huge multinational group. She became wealthy and continues to build her wealth through angel investing and mentoring start-up businesses. She has a wonderful life. We discussed how special it was to be able to spend quality time with our kids after school each day and how we enjoyed helping other people learn to build a quality life through business.

We got to talking about a woman we both knew. I’ll call her Fliss, for the purposes of this story. Fliss opened a business at the same time as Julie. She is a dress designer and opened up a little retail store in the town where she lived. Twenty years later she still had that small shop and she was still making the dresses. Fliss was no better off financially and she still had to keep designing and making the dresses to sell in her shop. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that as a life choice and as far as I know, Fliss is content in her life. I don’t want to appear scornful of someone doing something they love. If you’ve got a talent for design and you’re happy with a small retail shop in a small town, there’s nothing wrong with that – as long as you are aware that this is where you are at. But what worries me with the owner-operator mindset is that Fliss, like so many other owner-operators, will wake up one day and won’t want to do it anymore. As much as she loves designing dresses, something will happen that changes her ability to live off its income, for health reasons or, more likely, because she’s lost the passion for it. The danger of not having a plan to sell is that she can end up with a business worth nothing to anyone else, meaning she’s stuck with it. What will she do for income when her desire or ability to make dresses is no longer there?

Let’s look at the situations of these two friends. Why did Julie go one route and Fliss go another? The key difference was the mindset. One knew she wanted a business she could sell and create a lifestyle where she never had to worry about money again. The other wanted to make pretty clothes. They both made their choice; probably without even realising they had done so. Fliss chose to employ herself in a job she enjoyed. She did not choose to build a business.

We make choices every day. The most important choice is one you may not have given much thought to – until now. Are you choosing to build a business that will pay you back or are you choosing to work for a living? By reading this book and completing the exercises, you are making a choice to do something different. And that’s a great start!

For about The Freedom Mindset and an exercise on assessing and addressing your attitude to wealth and money, you’ll have to buy my book when it launches late July.  To pre-order a copy just email me at laura@liber8yourbusiness.com

 

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Creating tools to set you free

 

Why bother with a company vision? If you’ve ever wondered why you need one or how to go about making one… read on!

My most inspirational role model ever!

My most inspirational role model ever!

Here’s an excerpt from The Liber8 Factor manuscript (book launching in 4 months time) about the importance of having a company vision.  Let me know what you think…

A vision is a common purpose, a reason for being.

For the most practical minded amongst us, a company vision may seem a woolly, ‘pie in sky’ kind of ideal that really has no bearing on today’s sales. And in some ways this is true. A company vision is something that exists way out in the future and will most likely never be realised. However, it plays a critical role in your business success. Let me explain how.

Firstly, a vision will inspire people. Your vision is not what you do, it’s the reason your business exists and how it makes a difference. Perhaps you’ll remember earlier on the book I talked about the two reasons for being in business. The first was to make money (and hopefully you are on board with this idea by now!). The second was to make a difference. A business that sets out to change something is a business with a purpose. And a business with a purpose is one that propels forward, gathers speed and brings people along for the ride… people who care about the same purpose and want to make that change too. The people that work for you, the clients you attract and ultimately the buyer who pays your asking price – they can all be inspired by the vision your business shows them.

Your desire to change something significant can form a powerful motivator. This change can be within your own industry, if you can see better ways of doing things that will transform the way your industry operates. It could be a difference made to your community, your city, your country or on a global scale.

Your vision gives you a clear point of difference to aim for

A well considered company vision can also stamp your mark on your industry in a way your competitors may not have thought of. My vision for Red Rocks was to ‘transform the way advertising agencies treated their clients’. I had spent my entire working life in an agency, most of this as a creative person. My experience told me that advertising agencies treated their clients almost with a level of distain. The client was a pain to be tolerated on the road to a creative award and quite literally a meal ticket, needed to cover the costs of excessive long lunches. The agency would take the client’s brief and disappear for several weeks while they worked on the big idea. As a copywriter I was mostly kept separate from the client and had to rely on the brief from the client service person (or ‘suit’ as the industry nicknamed such roles). There was, in my view, a big disconnect between the clients, who had all the industry knowledge, and the creative people who came up with the clever ideas. Surely we should all work together to get the best solution? I hated the arrogance that seemed to go with my own industry and the way clients were kept out in the cold. So when I started my own agency, it was with a vision to change this… and make a difference to the industry that would live beyond my own tenure as the agency owner. The vision had our clients’ best interests at heart and we made sure we used this to our advantage when pitching against our larger competitors. Did we point out the arrogance that bothered me? Of course we did, and positioned ourselves as the opposite. On many occasions it worked extremely well for us.

‘You’ll find what you love by observing what you hate’.

Robert Kiyosaki said the above words to me as we sat having dinner one night during his Business School for Entrepreneurs in Hawaii. I’ve never forgotten them, nor stopped admiring the work Robert and Kim do to this day to make their difference in the world. If you take a look at Robert’s web site www.richdad.com you’ll see his vision right there on the home page: “Elevating the financial well-being of humanity”. It’s a vision that flows directly from his hatred of poverty and the terrible impact it has on people.

If you can find something that is frustrating you and other people out there, you can steer your vision towards fixing it. Our vision for our pet care company was ‘to make the world a happier place for pets’. This was clearly a global vision and one inspired not only by our love of pets but also by our hatred for any kind of animal cruelty. Although our core business was walking dogs and feeding cats, we saw our role in the world to be much bigger than this. We envisioned ‘an army of Pet Angels across the globe’, all committed to making a difference. Our vision enabled us to think and act on a much bigger scale than our core services. We became involved with raising funds for our local animal shelter, petitioning for more dog lighting in dog exercise areas, creating pet first aid and emergency training guides, teaching pet handling safety in schools. Everything we did was measured against our vision and enabled us to keep asking ‘will this help make the world a happier place for pets?’As a result of these activities we often found ourselves in the newspapers, or being asked to comment on important pet related issues. We had a voice bigger than our services, and we championed a cause that many people could get behind.

Think bigger than your own lifetime as owner

From a CEO point of view your role is to keep focus on the vision to drive the business forward. Ultimately your company vision is what unites your people around a common purpose that goes beyond the money. It’s about doing something you love and wanting to change the world. It’s most important role is to inspire.

My vision for my work with The Liber8 Factor and other liber8yourbusiness programmes is “to set all small business owners financially free”. Of course this vision will never be achieved in my lifetime, but by making this my ideal I am clear that everything produced under the Liber8 brand must increase the chance of this vision happening. There are millions upon millions of small business owners in the world, so whatever Liber8 does must be accessible to as many people as possible. This vision will inspire me and those I work with to keep thinking of more ways to bring the Liber8 message to business owners everywhere.

The Pet Angels vision ‘to make the world a happier place for pets’ was an ideal both my business partner and I loved and felt inspired by. We never intended that it be measureable or even achievable. How could we ever know if we really did make the world a happier place for pets?

This is the key difference between a company vision and your business goals. Your target and goals are there to be achieved within clearly defined timeframes. Your company vision, however, is there to inspire, not be measured. Most company visions are created to have a life beyond that of the original owner.

Another of my business super heroes, the late Anita Roddick, created a global empire around her anger about the way human beings treat the planet and other animals. I love this quote from her about her vision for her business:

“I just want The Body Shop to be the best, most breathlessly exciting company – and one that changes the way business is carried out. That is my vision.”

Anita wanted to change the way ‘business is carried out’ by demonstrating that business can have high ethics, values and a greater cause behind everything her company did. In her lifetime she may not have changed the ethics of every business on the planet, but she certainly demonstrated how a business can combine financial returns whilst championing a cause for good.

I hope from the above you get a sense of how important it is for you, as the business owner, to be a visionary and create an inspirational vision for your company.  For an exercise on how to do this, you’ll have to buy my book, The Liber8 Factor.  You can pre-order your copy now by emailing me laura@liber8yourbusiness.com.

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Creating tools to set you free.

 

 

Success is a decision – but are you prepared to make it?

sam hazledineLast week I interviewed Ernst & Young’s 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Dr Sam Hazledine.  His business Medrecruit was started from nothing six years ago and has featured for the past four consecutive years in the Deloitte Fast 50, as well as winning Westpac Business Excellence Medium-Large
Business 2012.

Among other things I asked Sam what he thought stopped some business owners growing their business to it’s full potential.  His answer was that success is a decision and too many business owners simply do not decide to succeed.  They give themselves an out, he told me.  They make excuses, get themselves a part time job to pay bills or settle for less so that they don’t have to put it all on the line.  By doing so, according to Dr Sam, they make it too easy not to grow.

Business success according to Sam is 20% what you do and 80% how you think.

Think about it.  What do you think about success.  Have you made the decision to grow and succeed, or is failure to grow a genuine option for you?

Love to know your thoughts on this.

If you’d like to read the full interview with Dr Sam Hazledine, grab a copy of this month’s NZBusiness Magazine and look for my regular column entitled The Exit Factor.

 

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.

 

Business tip #85 – For the best sales person for your business, look in the mirror

Here’s a question many business owners grapple with as they contemplate their growth goals… “Should I hire a business development/sales person?”

My answer is usually ‘no’.  And here’s why…

Typically you know your business better than anyone else.  You are more passionate about your product or service than anyone else.  You have more at stake than anyone else.  You probably can’t afford someone senior enough to target the bigger clients you really need in order to create significant growth.  You are the one that needs to be out there moving and shaking and creating relationships with prospective clients.  You are the one who can get into see the senior people in the business companies.  Why?  Because you are the owner and you are the best.

Bringing in ‘sales’ people is a good idea if you have a simple, saleable commodity and your business planning clearly shows a sales force as part of your overall strategy.  But if you are selling services and you want to land good sized long term contracts (which should be one of your growth strategies by the way), then you are the one to lead the way.

You are better to hire more people to deliver the service so that you can get out there and bring home more bacon, than you are to stay in the office hoping someone more junior to you will do the selling work for you.

If you want some advice on this subject, feel free to email me at laura@liber8yourbusiness.com

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.