Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership, Management, motivation, Relationships

Gold clients…

Business development is relentless and often it can be hard to think of a new approach.  Most of your new business will come from existing clients so we need to focus on which ones have the most potential to grow your business, and also be enjoyable to work with.

The first step is to create three categories:-

  1. Existing clients
  2. Prospective clients (warm leads not yet converted)
  3. Wish

We can then divide the existing clients into a further three areas:-

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Bronze

Really analyse your clients and decide which ones are Gold.  You may need to take some time to think about the criteria for being Gold.  We often make the mistake of focusing our time on clients who pay a high premium fee, however they demand double the time. Other clients pay a constant fee which gives you guaranteed income and need very little time.

Therefore ask some questions to create the Gold criteria:-

  • What is the current fee structure?
  • How much time do you spend on the Client account?
  • Do you enjoy working with them?
  • How much resource is required to service that account?
  • How long have they been a Client?
  • Have they given you more work?
  • Have they recommended you to other Clients?

Make the exercise visual by having your Gold clients on display in your office.

“What you focus on becomes reality”. 

Prospective Clients will need to be touched regularly as now to get to a point of sale you will need at least eight touch points if not more.  Keep a tracker and make sure it is on display to all the team.

Wish seems a bit far reaching, however again the genius of audacity you just never know.  It is a great exercise to focus on who your dream client would be as it helps with the categorisation of the Gold existing clients.

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to facilitate a management meeting bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership

Quick review of your business…

There are many detailed business review techniques however if you want to build a quick picture and show the current landscape, here is a quick tool.

Create some cards with the following headings:-

  • Core activities
  • Business efficiency
  • Financial position
  • Clients
  • Competitors

Instructions for completing cards:-

Core activities

Your core services (please use a separate card for each activity eg. sales, products, etc…).  Explain briefly during the last six months what has happened in this service area.

Business efficiency

The mechanics and processes behind your business. See suggested list below, however  add anything that is relevant to the workings and effectiveness of your business.  Please use separate cards for each new area.

  • Premises/facilities/IT
  • Team & skills
  • Procedures eg. gas safety…

Financial position

Assesing revenue streams (separate card for the different areas)

Clients

Over the last six months, which Clients have you been working with.

Competitors

Are there any highs or lows that you would like to record in regard to competitor activity.  A new service or way of doing business that has a positive or negative effect on your business.

Once you have completed your cards in all the areas, you can then sort them into the following headings:-

  • High
  • No change
  • Low

To make the exercise into a team activity you can post the cards into buckets with the headings above and then review them as a group.

Please do get in touch for nuggets to facilitate a review of your business bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals

Habits shape your identity…

Habits always start with a good intention, go to the gym, lose weight, eat healthily and then for some reason they become hassle.

We often go straight to what we want to achieve rather than looking at the process that leads there, or more importantly who we will be once we have made the habit permanent.

In James Clear’s book “Atomic Habits” he explains there are three layers:-

  • Changing your outcomes – the result eg. losing weight
  • Changing your processes – the systems and habit that lead you to losing weight
  • Changing your identity – this is changing your view of your self

Outcomes are about what you get, processes about what you do and identity is about what you believe.

A good example is someone trying to quit smoking and being offered a cigarette:-

  1. “No thanks I’m trying to quit”
  2. “No thanks I’m not a smoker”

The identity change of not being a smoker is far more powerful than the response of trying to get there.

The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity.   It is one thing to say I am the type of person who wants this.  It is something very different to say I am the type of person who is this.

Examples:-

  • The goal is not to read a book, the goal is to become a reader
  • The goal is not to run 10k the goal is to become a runner
  • The goal is not learn an instrument the goal is to become a musician

The reason habits are so hard to reverse is we have created beliefs around our identities and unless we challenge them they become the pathway.  Carol Dweck describes this as the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

  • I am terrible at Maths
  • I am terrible with directions
  • I am not good with technology

The habits we follow embody our identity.  So already you make your bed each morning therefore you have the identity of an organised person.  The more you repeat the behaviour the more you reinforce that identity.

  • Each time you write you are a writer
  • Each time you practice a musical instrument you are a musician
  • Each time you encourage your team you are a leader

The starting point is to decide the person you want to be and prove it to yourself with small wins.  What do you want to stand for? What are your principles and values? Who do you wish to become?

Think about who is the type of person that could get the outcome you want?

  • I am a team leader who stands up for the team
  • I am a Doctor who gives each patient the time and empathy they need
  • I am the person who can be relied upon to be on time

Once you have identified the person you want to be you can ask your desired identity:-

  • “Would a healthy person catch a cab or walk?”
  • “Would a healthy person choose a salad or sandwich?”

In summary the most effective way to change a habit is focus not on what you want to achieve but on who you wish to become.  Your identity emerges through your habits and each small action is a move in the direction of who you want to be.  The  real reason habits matter is not because they can get you better results, but because they can change your beliefs about yourself.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on habits or coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Leadership, motivation

Turn your event into a World Cup event…

Last Friday The Furniture Union hosted an event to present Natalie Miller the Co-Captain of Nets (indoor netball team) with her sponsorship cheque.  This August Natalie will compete in the Nets World Cup.

The team at the Furniture Union could have easily just laid on some drinks and stopped there.  However they wanted to replicate Natalie’s values and turn it into a World Cup event.

The values they followed:-

Determination

The Furniture Union were determined to launch their new website on the same night and their new brochure.  Anyone involved in website/brochure design will know the pitfalls and hurdles you have to overcome.  One of the team was still finalising the right images in the earlier hours of the day before.  The dedication to get it all right, paid off as the brochure and website present the products and services beautifully and take the business to a new level.  https://thefurnitureunion.com 

Team player

Each member of the team had a different role on the night.  Some organised the look of the Showroom (which was stunning) others created display boards.  Everyone was involved and felt connected to the goal.

Passion 

In order to sell a product or service you have to believe in it and be proud of it.  The team now connect with pride and passion due to their hard work of putting together a consistent message and approach of what they are selling.

Leaders

Natalie’s words embody what all the team aspired to be on that night.

“Be the best person you can be at anytime”

Ben who initiated the sponsorship, spoke about what it means to the team and how the values will be shared between The Furniture Union and Natalie.

Resilience

After an event there is often a low after working so hard to pull off something so fabulous.  The team now need to be resilient and remember it is not always a World Cup you need to be constantly in training for the next big event.  This can be relentless and you need to be resilient to keep something in reserve and recall all the skills you used on that amazing night.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on living your values bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, motivation

Get better systems…

Making small improvements on a daily basis will lead you to greater effectiveness and ultimately success.  Too often we convince ourselves that massive success requires massive action.

Making a choice that is 1% better or doing something that is 1% worse can make a significant difference over time.   The choices you make around your daily habits will be more transformative than a once in a lifetime change.

If you think about gains and losses in life and the impact they have, these questions that you battle through will define your future self.

  • Are you spending less than you earn each month?
  • Are you making it to the gym each week?
  • Are you reading books and learning something new each day?

The difference between a goal and system:-

If you are a musician, your goal might be to play a new piece.  Your system is how often you practice, how you break down and tackle difficult parts and your method for receiving feedback from your tutor.

Goals are good for setting a direction but systems give you the progress.  Problems arise when you spend too much time thinking about your goals and not enough time designing the systems.

Achieving a goal only changes your life for a moment, whereas systems are long term. You hear the classic line “Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy” you can’t attach happiness to the goal, you need the continuity of rituals and systems.

In summary getting 1% better everyday counts in the long run.  If you want better results then forget about setting goals, focus on your system instead.  You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on designing systems bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Further reading – Atomic Habits by James Clear

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Leadership, motivation

Shared values…

Natalie Miller the Co-Captain of England Indoor Netball (England Nets) has a great story that demonstrates determination, resilience and commitment.

With many athletes their dreams get blighted by injury or lack of funding.  They don’t just have to think like a sports person about their training they need to think commercially about what is viable.  If they are lucky they find a sponsor, which immediately takes away the financial anxiety.

However what does the sponsor learn from such a unique relationship, and how do they work with the athlete.

The Furniture Union is sponsoring Natalie Miller on her journey to the World Cup August 2019.  In order for the relationship to work the two must have shared values:-

  • Determination
  • Resilience
  • Committment

Natalie’s story easily demonstrates all three.  In 2015 she was selected for the Ladies team for the Indoor World Cup in New Zealand.  The process for this World Cup was difficult one as she had to self-fund her journey.   The team exceeded expectation and finished the tournament as gold medal winners and Natalie is now a World Champion.

Fast forward to 2018, preparation for 2019 World Cup started.   Sadly her world got turned upside down on 7th January 2018. Whilst playing national league netball game for Sussex Thunder she fully ruptured her right achilles tendon. A journey to A&E and a broken heart later, she was  told that her recovery time for this injury would be at least a year.

On March 1st 2018 Natalie had an operation to reconstruct the tendon, rehab started immediately and she was determined to be travelling once again to the World Cup.

The journey has not be an easy one, it has taken countless hours of determination and going the extra mile. On her last tour the challenge not only was the hours of training but the time and energy spent to try and find sponsorship.

The Furniture Union equally demonstrate the three core values that Natalie has needed.  With over 25 years in the design industry, The Furniture Union has a first class reputation for providing their clients with creative and practical solutions across the whole spectrum of residential property.  Their services range from one-off furnishings to complete full interior service, making them a one stop shop for all requirements.

Their projects can be challenging and they need at all times to be confident in their design choices.  They are always determined to provide the best design solution, and they often have to be resilient with the many challenges of the buildings they are working with.  The Furniture Union show amazing commitment and loyalty working with clients for over 20 years.

Natalie and The Furniture Union are now both connected as they both work to the same values.

This is the beginning of a joint story and as a coach to one of the Leaders at The Furniture Union I look forward to hearing the challenges and shared learning of the partnership.

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Goals

Creating good habits

You need to embody the habit, before you have even begun working on it.  So think about what the habit gives you and what your new identity will be if you have been successful and disciplined at applying that habit.

If you want to start running, take on the identity of a runner and think of what a runner does and all the routines attached to it and how they might speak and act. Begin with the end in mind and start by writing what the habit will give you.

You are far more likely to be successful if you track your habits progress.  The journey to a habit gives you a great template for the tracker:-

  • Cue – What has prompted you to want to make a change and create a new habit
  • Craving – Which identity do you want to embody, what will the habit give you
  • Response – The actions/rituals/routines you need to put in place
  • Reward – When you have achieved the habit change acknowledge the result

Example:-

To increase readership of your blog

  • Cue – statistics on your blog
  • Craving – to be read by a wider audience
  • Response – publicise on more sites
  • Reward – business leads from the blog

This blog was inspired by the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.

Please do get in touch for nugget workshops or for coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk