Feeds:
Posts
Comments

imageTime or should I say lack of time can be major issue for busy women who run a small business from home. No matter how good your intention to make time to improve or grow your business, it’s a sad truth that most of us are extremely busy already working on an ever-growing list of tasks.

Another sad truth is that no-one will achieve success in business simply by working hard on their actions and putting in long hours.

In any case, your own definition of working hard might not be the same as a successful entrepreneur’s idea of working hard. Her focus may be on making good strategic decisions whereas yours may be on juggling client work, marketing, finance and administrative tasks, looking after sick children, older relatives and supervising the builders.

All in a day’s work you may think. Many women accomplish such a lot, don’t they? But at what price?

What not to do

I once wrote a post about the importance of showing your business who is boss. A person in charge of their business will happily spend time managing and working ‘on’ the business, rather than ‘in’ the business.

The thing is, I didn’t always know that. A couple of years after starting my first business I found myself fire-fighting like crazy. I just couldn’t figure out what to do first – everything seemed equally important.

Why was that happening to me?

I had started my first training business because I loved my profession (teaching) and helping people to learn. And like many women I know, I wanted more time for my family and have a better quality of life too.

But somehow all this didn’t start to happen until I decided to take charge and stop letting the business run me.

Why effort alone doesn’t work

Having worked with lots of start-ups over the years I know that my own start-up story isn’t that unusual. Many people believe that sheer effort, persistence and hard work will lead to the results you dream of.

But sadly I have seen people work hard like this who experience a form of ‘burnout’. This can happen when the passion you may have had for your business has disappeared leaving you to feel drained disillusioned and stuck.

You may even believe that you’ve failed or that your business idea or model will never work.

Did you have any idea before you started how much goes on behind the scenes of a business that helps to make it successful (in whichever way you define success)?

Maybe you had an inkling but thought the only way is to push yourself harder to try and make sure it works?

Overworked people frequently find it difficult to see the ‘wood for the tress’ and make time for the things that matter.

watch-791714_1280

If you have a problem with taking time out whether for yourself or the business, please be careful.

It is not that difficult to get to the point where taking a complete break from the business seems like the only option.

How to take control and pave the way for success

All successful people invest time in themselves as well as in their business and this seems to be a key aspect that differentiates them from less successful people.

Of course it may seem completely counter-intuitive to spend time on you or your business particularly when you’re in the middle of a super busy period.

But I hope these amazing benefits will convince you:

  • You’ll know what REALLY matters in your business and can do more of what works – e.g. the high impact tasks – whilst also letting go of low impact, time wasting activities.
  • You’ll feel more focused and make fewer ad-hoc decisions in your business.
  • Taking time to think gives you time to plan. A clearer direction stops you from getting caught in the day-to-day stuff and keeps you in touch with the big picture.
  • You’ll unravel the causes of overwhelm,  take action accordingly and feel much calmer.
  • Finally, you’ll feel a lot less like an overworked employee and more like a business owner in charge.

Success!

So why not schedule two time slots in your diary right away? One for you and one for the business!

Just remember that if you are not making time for you or the business, then you won’t be making time for success…

IMG_6665Ute Wieczorek-King is an experienced trainer, mentor and business coach who specialises in helping busy women be focused, visible and profitable in business.  She blogs regularly here as well as at http://www.successnetwork.org.uk and http://www.attractreaders.com and has written hundreds of free articles for women in business.

A guest post from Rosie Slosek at onemanbandaccounting.co.uk

You started your business – so exciting – you’ve done the graft, the emotional roller coaster, the have-I-done-the-right-thing worries, the achievement of your first client and your second, third and tenth.

tree-1147570_640

You’re more established now, you don’t feel quite a newbie any more. You know what you’re doing and you know where you’re going. You’ve built a consistent income and you have money left over at the end of the month after essential bills.

You know now’s your time to take your business to the next level.

But how?

You started as a sole trader because the tax return was easy, or easier than a limited company, and you could do it yourself. If you’re honest, you don’t really understand limited companies and when you’ve asked questions or searched Google, you’ve left more confused than you started.

Is a limited company the next step?

You need to ask yourself 4 questions so you know if you’re ready to take your business to the next level and if a company is right for you now.

Who are your clients?

Do your plans for business growth include bigger clients who will require you to be a company? Corporates for example. Even something simple like diversifying into app building (for example) can mean needing to be a company as businesses like Apple won’t work with sole traders.

What is the risk?

When you grow your business, sometimes the risk you take grows too, and only some of that can be covered by insurance. Working with corporates, organisations or executives can be higher risk as there is less you personally control. You need to look at the risk and decide what’s appropriate.

Your personal circumstances

When you have a mortgage and dependents, you have ‘more to lose’ than if you rent and it’s only you. We don’t need any ‘you’ll lose your house if you’re a sole trader’ scaremongering but you do need to consider how comfortable you are with your clients, risk and your circumstances.

Tax

This is the last factor to consider in my opinion, not the first. Although having a limited company can save you money on tax, tax laws can change which the Chancellor has done very recently.

You need to uplevel because it’s the right decision for you and the future of your business.

Taking time to explore whether a limited company is right for you is a great way of bedding down your strategic planning for how you’re going to take your business to the next level.

You’re even paid differently as a limited company, so you need to get sorted on your business and personal finances too.

It forces you to seriously think who your clients are going to be, how you’re going to expand, your financial responsibilities and goals and how your want the future of your business to look like in the next 5 years.

I know you can do it and it’s always such an exciting time growing your business. Take a moment to celebrate this step!

rosie-slosek-1353-lres-300x240Rosie Slosek helps cake-loving UK freelancers to become unstuck about accounts & tax so they can feel free to grow their business.

Join her on 14 April on a gorgeous day retreat to demystify limited companies and learn everything you need to know about company accounts & tax in 1 day.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/ltdretreat  | 07989 945918 | http://onemanbandaccounting.co.uk/blog

The following is a guest blog by Trisha Mentzel who owns B2B Event Management

I often wonder if other people had a clear cut idea after leaving school what they wanted to do. Was your school good in assisting in career choices?

sky-967964_640

I went to a small private school where we had no career advice. I only knew at the time that I wanted to further my education and ended up at Teachers Training College as at the time I did not think I would get the A levels to get into University.

As it so happened I could have but do not regret going to the college I attended at Oxford where I met and am still in contact with many students of that time who are close friends.

I feel sorry for students today who leave college or university with debt hanging over them. I remember money was tight being a student but then we did not have very high expectations regarding how we lived or socialised.

After 4 years I left with a B Ed degree which I am most grateful to but never went into teaching as it was then very difficult to get teaching jobs. How much the world has changed!

I do think it is so important to be able if possible to follow your passion, and try and work in that related field. We spend 36+ hours a week working and how depressing it must be not to enjoy or feel that you are making a contribution to your employer or the work you are involved in.

My passion was and still is horses. When I left school you either were bright enough to become a vet or good enough to be a professional rider in various equine sports. The other option was to work as a groom in whatever equine establishment.

I decided there was not enough money in being a groom and preferred to try and get a better paying job and then spend some of that money riding horses for my pleasure.

horses-1040953_640

How wonderful it is to see all the different types of jobs you can now chose in the equine field. It’s great to have the choice but also with that comes the responsibility to make the right decision.

I must say that my career path was very haphazard not planned but developed due to circumstance such as job redundancies and then having to find another opportunity.

Still I cannot complain as I have enjoyed all the various jobs I have done from working as an au pair/governess in Canada to working in a café/pub while I was trying to get started.

At one point I was an air hostess, (I still love travel) a customer liaison officer training the legal profession on photocopying machines, a customer relations representative for computerised legal accounting type recording systems, leading into marketing roles for IT companies.

I eventually ended up running my own business planning and managing events which I love despite the stress involved.

I just hope that young people starting out today may have a better idea and goal as to what they would like to do in their working life.

But, then again, as my own meandering career path shows maybe it doesn’t matter as much as we think?

As long as we have the chance and opportunity to also follow our passion and dreams, and earn a decent living in the process then at the end of the day maybe it’s more about the journey than the destination?

Trisha Mentzel is an experienced International Marketing and Event Manager who runs B2B Event Management. She specialises in cross-functional marketing, event planning and delivering large corporate conferences, exhibitions, seminars, product launches, road shows and meetings around Europe. Her clients include the British Council and businesses based in the Home Counties and London.

The following is a guest blog by Trisha Mentzel who owns B2B Event Management

Today is International Women’s Day. I suppose it is very telling of our time that we should have the need for a day to mark women’s achievements and where they are not treated in the same way as men.

It is such a shame that equality is not a given to women all over the world or that they should have to be singled out.

I have most of my life taken for granted that I will be treated with courtesy and be treated as an equal.

I was very lucky growing up as my parents treated my brother and I the same and even now my father is very fair in making sure that we are given parity.

With this upbringing I went out into the word believing the same principles in treating other people whatever gender, race or class the same way how I would like to be treated.

hands-956652_640

I know even in our civilised Great Britain this still does not always work and the unfortunate behaviour of some people who think they have power to lord it over others and take advantage of them and treat them in a shameful way.

I admire and I take my hat off to all the women who have achieved so much in their lives, work, time and giving to not only better the cause of women but also to those less fortunate.

Whatever the role of women whether a mother going out to work as well as looking after a family, or the CEO of a large corporation you do a marvellous job of multi-tasking and contributing to society.

May you continue to champion the cause.

Trisha Mentzel is an experienced International Marketing and Event Manager who runs B2B Event Management. She specialises in cross-functional marketing, event planning and delivering large corporate conferences, exhibitions, seminars, product launches, road shows and meetings around Europe. Her clients include the British Council and businesses based in the Home Counties and London.

achieve new goalsWouldn’t you just love to set new business goals knowing that you will succeed easily?

But all too often our new goals fall by the wayside at the first hurdle. Failing to achieve goals at the beginning of the year is very common and can be the result of trying to pack too many new goals into an already jam-packed agenda.

There may be an expectation that simply working smarter (or being more productive) will help you to do and achieve much more in the little time you have.

What’s wrong with working smarter?

The secret is usually not ‘working smart’, but working smart on the right things.

Applying Pareto’s Principle, which is also known as the 80/20 Rule,  this means focussing 80 percent of our time and energy on the 20 percent of the work that really matters.

Applying this rule is easier when you know what you spend your time on, and can let go of anything that doesn’t contribute to your overall effectiveness.

What do you need to stop doing?

It is strange how we sometimes continue to do something that may not actually help us.

How often do you get distracted by the phone or the internet and social media sites?

Or attend the wrong networking events for the wrong reasons?

Or plan to start work early knowing that’s when you’re most productive but somehow struggle to get out of bed?

Most of us will be unproductive at some point – we are human after all.  For example, in my early days in business, I frequently didn’t plan or prioritise my daily tasks, which led to a fair amount of fire fighting, and sometimes even missing deadlines.

In the last couple of years I have ditched all those interesting but somehow ‘unnecessary’ projects!

I’m a bit of an innovator and my passion for new ideas can make me want to get involved in everything interesting that comes my way. Then before I know it –  ignoring my gut instinct – I feel resentful when I ran out of time for the activities that really matter.

Not saying YES to all these tempting new projects felt uncomfortable to say the least. I thought I might get bored. But the opposite happened to me.

Ditching unproductive tasks as well as bad habits and behaviours can be very satisfying as you are able to give even more quality time to what really matters. And the rewards may surprise you!

 

What will you say NO to?

This year, why not say ‘No’ more often and allow yourself more time to do what you know will make an impact in your business?

Maybe you want to have more personal time for yourself as well, something you value very highly?

If you are ready to say NO to something, then two techniques can really help you:

  1. Ask yourself, ‘What’s really in it for me?’  Answering this question will help you to discover whether what you are planning to do (or not) has any really benefits for you and your business.
  2. Reward yourself every time you manage to ditch an unproductive activity and do something more productive or meaningful instead. Without a suitable reward it is unlikely you will feel motivated enough to create a new habit. And you will probably go back to your old habits very quickly. Rewarding yourself is, therefore, very important.

So, what business activities, temptations, habits or behaviours will you say NO to this year?

Ute2013-150x150About the author: Ute Wieczorek-King helps female midlife entrepreneurs to be visible, effective and profitable in business. Sign up to her monthly newsletter on the Success Network Website to receive a free ebook that shows you how to make a living from your passion.

 

The question I got asked the other day was, ‘why bother going to networking events in the festive season? Nobody makes decisions at this time of year.’ Read what I do and why it works!

Success Network Recipes

Christmas Lunch It is that time of year again when business either speeds up or slows down for most of us, and many business owners prepare to spend special time with family and friends.

For those of you who are experiencing a slowdown –  you may be forgiven for wanting to go into hiding.  Please rest assured, I know lots of businesses (not just seasonal ones) that are busy, growing even, regardless of what we are told about the economy.

For me – whether it’s quiet or busy- this is the season to have some fun and meet people!  My diary has filled nicely with leisurely one-to-ones and seasonal events that replace the formal networking events.

I tend to spend more time and money on networking at this time of year than at any other – why, you may ask?

I find that this is the one month where people seem more…

View original post 316 more words

Great bloggers are not awesome on Day 1

Have you started a blog to help you promote your small business? Or are you a personal blogger who’d love to turn her blog into a commercial venture?

Many people have great hopes for their blog but in reality they struggle to keep it going.

Whatever the reasons, as Darren Rose said “99% of great bloggers are not awesome on day 1. Their awesomeness is the accumulation of the value they create over time.”

It’s so true… you’re not ‘awesome’ from day 1 and to achieve results can take some time. You don’t just have to ‘create value’, you also have to be able to promote yourself and your blog effectively.

Many women (especially those who are older and a little shy) don’t know how to do that. Or how to attract the right readers in an authentic way that feels comfortable.

If that’s you, please let us inspire you via Attract Readers™ – it’s where Marketer Jean Wolfe, Fairy Blogmother Alice Elliott and I (Ute Wieczorek-King) help female bloggers to promote themselves and their blog better.

Here is a just small selection of our blog posts:

How a blog can help the ‘know like and trust’ factor

Four reasons why consistency is important in blogging

How to explain confidently to others why you blog

10 reasons why writing lists posts is good for your blog

How not to let lack of motivation stop your blogging

We’ve also written about why you don’t need to be pushy or worry about SEO,  whether you need images, how to make blogging easier, and much more!

And if you like our posts you may also like our complimentary download “Four Key Mistakes Bloggers Make Who Fail To Attract Readers”

Mistakes bloggers make

Come on over and let us know what you think!

www.attractreaders.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,050 other followers

%d bloggers like this: