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Hi, this blog features a variety of articles on Business.

 

There are business tips and advice and news information from a range of sources.

 

Its informative and designed to help you think about how an what you can do to grow your company.

 

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By T Horsley, Jun 10 2018 02:19PM

It has been 5 years since I started this blog on my website, covered a variety of topics and offered suggestions on how to grow, manage and guide your business to success. I hope you have liked some of the articles and in a small way they have assisted you in growing your company.


I've covered 'change' in the past but this time I'm going to cover change in a different way.


Embarking on a new enterprise is not easy, there are many obstacles along the way, putting aside, skills, knowledge, target market and money, changing your direction is bold. Why do it? Well the simple reason is that passion can come at any time of life. Do you wait though, or just put it off?


Self believe will also come into the mix, especially if its something that's very new to you, can you do it, are you clever enough, do people want it, can I live while I'm starting it up, can I make it work? Are all questions that prey on your mind.


The first point of call is research, who else is doing what you want to do. Now ignore the thoughts when you find out that there hundreds already doing it, this is a good thing which means there is a market for whatever it is you want to do.


Second part of the research is to look now at your 'competitors' and see exactly what they are offering and how, look into their companys', how many of them are there, how long have they been in operation, what markets are they actually attacking. Who are they collaborating with etc. Are they on point, in other words do you agree with them or do you think some of them are out of date etc.


The research not only covers them but also you, in so much as what new skills do you need? Is there a particular time in the future which lends itself to launching your service. If not then after you have done your research, which can take a few weeks, if you still want to go ahead then put a date in the diary for launch date.


Scary that bit isn't it? 'What do you mean I actually have to put a date down when I'm going to start?' Yes, that then will without doubt focus your mind. So lets pick this time next year. Might seem a long way off but as they say time flies.


So now work back from next June, what needs to be done? More research which is constant. Education/skill enhancement if you need it, that could take 3/4 months. Naming the company, setting up the infrastructure ie website, media etc. That will take a couple of months, location? Another month or two. Collecting target market information another 6 months, building a strategy on how to get your first piece of business and then more after that. Finance? Developing a fall back position.


And all this time, you are still working on your existing job/service etc.


Rushing into a change will not work, careful planning will, yes it takes time and there are no guarantees, however, the excitement, adrenelin and the massive positive well being you gain is worth it.


You may also doubt yourself along the way, is it really worth, am I wasting my time. Not uncommon thoughts, persevere, it will get better and the end result is a new life for you a new business and of course a new begining and there is nothing more satisfying then saying to yourself. 'I did that'.



"you are never to old to set a new goal or dream a new dream"


C.S. Lewis


By T Horsley, Nov 10 2017 05:20PM

Having spent 3 weeks on a beach in Italy this year (One of my goals) I noticed a man everyday walking up and down selling kites, nothing odd about that you might say, as on many foreign beaches people often wander up and down selling their wares.


I watched with interest though. Each morning he would start with some 15 kites floating in the breeze to catch people's attention and then he would slowly make his way up the beach selling a couple here and there. At the end of the day as he came past there was maybe 1 or 2 left, along with a few he was carrying in his bag.


Very enterprising and obviously worth his while. I left the beach mid afternoon most days and what struck me was that no one was actually flying any kites. So the following week I took a bit more interest and watched him. He would sell a kite, show them how to use it and move on.


What was interesting was the person who bought the kite, either mum or dad with a child in tow got the kite up in the air for a few moments, handed it to the child and in turn after few moments watched the kite crash to the ground. OK, so a bit of a learning curve needed, but after several attempts either mum or dad would give up and/or the child would lose interest relegating the kite to sun bathe on the sandy beach, abandonded and never again used. You may have experienced something very similar yourselves.


This is in essence the same as in business, as a business owner whether on your own or with staff you see something, bright, new, looks easy enough, doesn't sound too expensive and you jump straight in, such as magazine advertising, exhibitions, or social media.


After a while nothing seems to be being achieved, you lose patience, money of course and then you drop it and move on. The amount of businesses I see jumping into areas in which they have little or no understanding continues at a remarkable rate. Ideal for those who are selling the service of course but less appeaing to those having tried it and saw little or no results.


I have long advocated that a business owner should seek advice before engaging in what seems like a cystal oppotunity or keeping up with the Jones's (to coin an old saying)


Getting help may well cost money but and there is always a but, in my experience it is money well spent because having objective, unbiased advice is paramount to the sucess of your business.


Having an initial chat costs nothing, need to bounce an ideal, give me a ring, or drop me an email trevor.horsley@businessfrontiers.co.uk before you, crash the kite.

By T Horsley, Apr 24 2017 11:08AM

Mental Health is a much talked about subject in the press at the moment, and the health of your mind is affected in many different ways. No two people are the same and no two mental health issues are the same either.


Whilst there are traits and simalarities each person suffers differently and the outcome is also different from person to person.


The subject is broad, diagnosis can be a challenge and treatment falls more than likely way short to offer in many cases long term benefits.


The reasons are vast and plentiful, from identification too funding, from recognition too acceptance. Therein lies the biggest headache in tackling the problem.


Because the field of mental health is enormous I just wanted to touch on one element, depression. Depression is triggered by many things, low self esteem, peer pressure, not enough money, family issues, business challenges etc etc etc. I'm sure you can add to the list.


The way people handle depression is also as broad, from brooding, drinking a bit too much, withdrawal, aggression, sadness. etc etc Its hard for someone on the outside to indentify and its just as difficult for the person to acknowledge they are suffering.


The common response for most who get told by someone that has depression is:- 'Oh pull yourself together". "Look on the bright side" Those comments are made out of panick, lack of understanding and the "Its your problem not mine so don't burden me with it" None of which are helpful nor welcome.


The last thing you will do when you are suffering from depression is to seek help. And the reason is that either you don't recognise the problem or you don't want anyone to know because of the reaction you may receive.


As a business owner your ongoing state of mind is paramount to the success of your business (along with everything else) Lack of sales, awkward customers, supply chain, getting the money in, paying wages/rent etc etc all areas which can prey on your mind, set you back, knock you off kilter etc. In many instances the challenges you face are acheiveable but from time to time some issues get you down.


This can lead to depression.


If you talk to people regularly when the times are good as well as when the times are bad this in a small way will help, not only to maybe resolve a few of the issues you face, maybe put a different perspective on it, or just give you the confidence to know that you are not alone.


I'm no judge, I'm no pyschiatrist, I'm not a counsellor, I've had no training at all when it comes to mental health and I'm certainly not your fucking nanny but I will tell you this, talking on a regular basis to someone who has no axe to grind or hidden agendas will sometimes mitigate the feelings you may face.







By T Horsley, Jan 22 2015 11:42AM

The curve by the way never ends but what does it really mean? Depending on what your objectives, lifestyle and expectations are, will really determine the answer to this question but I do have a few.


Lets just take business, for many, the day to day running of the business throws up many challenges. Whether its delivery, orders, maintenance, finance, staff, operations, marketing, there is always something which needs your attention and its never ending.


Being ahead of the curve therefore can be applied singularly or grouped. The overall answer though is a sense of well-being.


Being well ahead of the curve means that you have plenty of breathing space and can channel your efforts into maximising the parts of the business that although doing well could be more effective.


Being a head of the curve means that you have a decent order intake, a good pipeline, delivery mechanism which is optimised, no real cash flow or staff issues and you can take an impromptu break whenever you feel like it and the business will not suffer for it.


Oh, not you then, maybe sometimes and bits of it but not all at the same time. I know what mean, you seem to excel in one area and another is biting you, you solve that then its something else, constant and whilst for many not insurmountable you do wonder if it will ever come good all at the same time.


For many and I expect you may have been here yourself, the inevitable is snapping at your heels.


I have no magic potion for you by the way;just some words which you may wish to reflect on and better still, if in your own way act upon them.


Each business is different, of course it is but most operate in a similar manner. You may have seen my series on How to, which covers various tasks within your business all of which you may need to address at some point.


Prioritise is the way forwad but look at it from a different ppoint of view, of all the things on your list, in your head or daily activities whatever they are, look at them from 'What happens if I don't do this by then?" This will give you your priority list, it will also focus your mind and get things into perspective.


Once you have prioritised, then allocate both time and people to do them. Being ahead of the curve is not about being lucky it is about being structured and focussed. Your business can get ahead if you take the time, you are very good at what you do but you could stretch and you never know, it might just take you ahead of, the curve.


Sam Horsley

By T Horsley, Jan 9 2015 11:05AM

'if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got'


It's a classic saying and one I have used time and time again when I run seminars and across a lot of my literature. It might be quite a hard challenge but it is most certainly worth doing because as a business person you cannot continue as you are.


A bold statement you may say, "what do you mean I can't continue on as I am, I'm doing OK am I not"?


Are you really? Is it what you want, was it what you set out to achieve, are you on the right track to meet your goals and expectations? Are the people around delivering what you wanted, are they performing as you need them too, is your business really as successful as you thought it would be?


One of the most difficult things to admit is that you have not been able to get exactly what you wanted, when you wanted it and it is unlikely to change, unless of course you take a step back and look closely at what you are doing and make an honest assessment of the current situation.


People do not like change though and herein lies the problem, most people stick their head in the sand and continue doing what they always do, eat the same food, shop in the same shop, buy the same clothes, drive the same car etc. How do I know this? well it is not only me, Tesco's, Sainsburys, Mercedes, BMW etc all follow closely peoples buying habits, look at yourself, what are your eating and where from, the car you drive, the clothes you wear, all the same as last year and more than likely the year before and as this is a business blog, your attitude to your customers rarely change either.


You go for the ones you know, the area you are most comfortable with, the price you don't want to offend anyone with , plod plod plod. You might be thinking, harsh. Well you are right I am being harsh but if you wish to achieve , grow and conquer in your business you must change something every year.


A combination of not just your target market, but your products, price, marketing strategy. You may have noticed that I not saying change you, your ethics, your integrity, the very style of what you are and the person you have become. People buy from you so therefore you must be doing something right, people like you so all I am suggesting is that you change what is within your business.


Your competitiors are, look around and see what's happening in the market place, it is changing, yes it is, take another look, its changing, your customer needs, the way they buy, what they want, it changes with every single day.


This philosophy affects everyone, an example is Tesco's, they have announced their like for like sales comparing 2013 - 2014 and they are down significanty. Why? Because they are banging out the same stuff they have been for years and also operating in markets that they don't understand, what they should do is to cut down on store development, pull out of some of the markets and change the product lines. (by the way Mr Tesco if you need any help www.businessfrontiers.co.uk )


So how do you change? Take a long hard look at all the areas of your business, your clients and your objectives for the coming year.


Now pick on say, pricing, what are your compeitiors offering, is it the same, dearer, cheaper. What are they providing compared to you, is it the same? Probably not, you may think it is but that is very doubtful can you enhance yours a little bit, do you need to change the price, the delivery mechanism. Any of which you need to shout out to your target market.


Look at your target market, is it where you want to be currently, buy a new database or engage someone to create a new one for you, is your literature or the way you engage with potential and existing customers appropriate. Set youself a target of new clients for the year.


If you want 12 new clients, that is only one a month, every market is differnt I know but to get 1 new client a month means you will more than likely need 500 new contacts, 10% of these may be interested and then 1 in 4 will become a new client.


Is your logo, company colours, clothes, van, literature reflecting your image of 2015, get some advice, create a small survey to send to your existing clients and ask them what they think, go out into the streets and survey people you don't know, if you need any ideas on how to build on this then email me trevor.horsley@businessfrontiers.co.uk


It shows you review your business on a regular basis and are prepared to make changes. It is all part of developing your business and making sure as a business person, you are working ON your business as well as working IN your business.


Have fun



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Most of the articles are written by myself or I have extracted parts from published information from people who I feel have something to offer.

 

Other articles are a straight copy of what someone else has written and I have shared this with you as I believe it adds value to your business experience.

 

So the authors are and will be referenced under:

 

T Horsley

C Shaw

Kim Garst

David Zaleski

James Caan

Chris Green

Ian Stanley

Emile Darwin

Samantha Horsley