In an online forum that I’m in, the questions was asked ‘What’s
the best piece of advice you would give to a new entrepreneur today?’
There were some great answers, so I picked out a few to share with
Don’t work without a contract, especially if you know them.
Yes! This was a hot
topic in a recent event that I hosted.
We can tend to work on trust with people we know such as family and friends
but this is invariably where things go wrong.
We never know what is around the corner and without a contract, long
standing relationships can be torn apart.
Invest in your business. Do not rely on free ANYTHING to grow your business
Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say not rely on free anything,
but yes, if you are serious about your business, you are going to need to
invest. If you rely on free everything,
it is going to take forever to get where you want to be.
Stay consistent and remember to always take a break when you are feeling overwhelmed
Yep! Couldn’t agree
more. Consistency and persistency are
key. Too many give up too early after
trying a new tactic for a week or so without results. It takes time to build your visibility and
And, yes, it is so important to take a break to rest, reflect
and recharge, particularly when we are feeling overwhelmed.
Take action sooner. Do not get stuck in a learning loop
How many courses and books have you studied but never fully
actioned? Far too many I suspect. Don’t fool yourself you are learning
more. There is no point learning
anything if you don’t take what you have learned and put it into action. I’ve read a book how to get a six pack but
still don’t have one because I don’t do the exercises!!
Have set time to work your business. It cannot be a hobby.
If you work ad hoc as and when you feel like it, don’t be
surprised when you get ad hoc results. Schedule
work time, get disciplined and work!
Never give up. And don’t take anything on board from people who want to
steal your dream. Associate with people who have drive and are positive in
Oh, those dream stealers! They all want to quash your dream because they don’t have the courage to do what you are doing. They say you will act and become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose people wisely.
Schedule your free time first and always be firm about it. — Work will take
up as much time as you give it. So, schedule your free time first and then make
the space for work around that.
When you’re on your death bed, (sorry to bring morbidity
into this) I doubt you will say you wish you had spent more time at work. Get your priorities right. Block out time for friends and family and be
present with them 100%. You can always
make more money. You can’t get more
Do your accounting and get everything setup correctly from the start!
Cash is king and is the one deciding factor on your business
success or failure. You must get a grip
on the finances. Very simply, you need
to know what money is coming in, what is going out and what is left. Profit determines success.
Be authentically you, don’t fall for the fake stats and trust your gut. You
got it…even when you doubt your ability…Keep on Pushing!
Yes, be you. You are
your business. There is no point trying
to be something you’re not as people will see through you as being fake.
You don’t need your website, business cards or a perfect branding strategy
before you start. You need to get started and keep showing up.
True! Yes, a website
and branding can help grow your business but to start with, just get out there
and start selling. There is the danger
of trying to get everything perfect before launching but this can take far too
long and cause you to miss valuable sales.
Every day do a little something to get you closer to your goal.
This is one of my favourites. If you take just one step each day, you will eventually be guaranteed to complete a marathon. Trying to do everything can seem overwhelming and so we end up doing nothing. Focus on one small thing each day and don’t give up.
Do you have something to add? Leave your comment below.
Full of ideas but have to
finish other things first
You know what you need to do
but just can’t do it.
And the list goes on ………………….
A lot of you have contacted me recently to say it does, and I include
myself in that list.
Feeling like this can be attributed to many factors and for women of a similar
age to me, Peri-menopause has a lot to answer for!
All too often we suffer in silence as we don’t want to be seen as weak when
everyone else around us seems to have it all going perfectly for them. But the reality is that others are feeling
the same also.
If you feel like this, start to keep a diary of how you are
feeling at what times. Try to see if
there is a particular time when you have more energy and focus. Block out these times to do your core work
with clients. Where you see a pattern of
times that your energy is particularly low, block this out to rest. You must take care of your health first and
With the problem of knowing what you need to do but not
doing it, this is a common phenomenon and I found a great article on this very
subject by Jon
Sometimes when our business feels like it is about to take
off, we can self-sabotage. It’s the fear
of the next step and the fear of the unknown.
We have been in our safe place building slowly and then we realise if we
do this or that, we can take it to the next level. And this is where the paralysis comes
in. We get afraid that if we go to the
next level we will open ourselves to a wider audience that may have people who
will oust us as a fraud.
We get scared and so use distraction techniques by over
planning and getting distracted by yet another new idea (anyone else suffer
from Bright Shiny Object syndrome?)
You need to take the leap. You need to take the next step out of your comfort zone. But with a little planning, it needn’t seem so scary. Map out what you need to do. Break it down into small steps. Give yourself a deadline for each. And then go do it.
If you are struggling and need help, come join my Facebook group to share your feelings with other women building their business and going through the same struggles.
Now then, quite a few women I have spoken with recently have told me they are feeling exhausted (and I include myself in that group)
When we feel tired and exhausted, the immediate tendency is to rest. We take time out. We sleep, meditate, take a bath, have a massage etc.
Yes, these things are important and you do need to rest but something I have learned along the way is that rest must be interspersed with activity. Sometimes, particularly when we are feeling low, continual resting can exacerbate the situation. The less we do, the less energy we have.
It really can help to beat exhaustion by getting up and do something active. This doesn’t have to be a 10-mile run. It could be something as simple as putting on your favourite upbeat music and having a boogie around the kitchen. Ok, you don’t have to go quite as far as the picture below but you get my drift.
But I’m simply too tired I hear you say. Yes, it can be incredibly hard to get up and move when you are feeling drained and exhausted but just take it in tiny steps.
Rather than thinking you have to go for a run, just put on your running gear and decide to go for a 10-minute walk. Once you are out the door you may just find that you want to jog for a minute or two. Don’t plan to dance. Just put the music on and see what happens. Do 10-star jumps. Or 5 if 10 seem too much. Or even 2. Something is better than nothing. It’s usually that initial moment of action is all that is needed to help change our mindset and get us moving.
Movement can help release energy and endorphins which in turn make us feel better. Getting the balance of rest and activity is key when we are feeling low. Try it for yourself and let me know in the comments below if it works for you.
Do you get confused when posting on social media. Are you unsure where, when and what to post. Follow these simple tips to make it all a lot easier.
Where to post
Before blindly following the crowd and using the same social media channels as everyone else, stop and think. Which channels are going to work best for YOUR business?
Who is your ideal client and where do they hang out?
Firstly, you need to be clear on who is your ideal client. You need to know who they are, what their
interests are and where they go online to ask questions and find answers to their
problems. When you know this, you will
have a better understanding of where they hang out online.
Facebook is still currently the biggest social media platform
but that doesn’t mean it is the best for your business. If you have a B2B business you could be
better placed using LinkedIn.
If your business is highly visual Pinterest or Instagram could
be the place to hang out.
Instagram has rapidly gained popularity particularly with a
younger audience, but still has to catch on with the older generation. Therefore, if you are looking to gain elderly
clients for arthritic massage sessions, Instagram may not be the best place to
spend your time.
One or two channels can be better than the whole caboodle
To avoid overwhelm, don’t go trying to post on every social
media channel going. It will simply
become too time consuming and confusing.
Choose two channels and become really good at these rather than spreading
yourself too thinly.
When to post
When planning when to post take into consideration what time
zone your ideal client is in and when are they most likely to be active online.
If your target audience is young mums,
they are unlikely to be online when it’s the early morning school run or pick
up. You may be better posting when they
have put the kids to be and are settling down in the evening.
What to post
You want to create a mix of posts both in type and content,
but to attract your ideal client you need to posting what they want to hear
Get social yourself.
Join groups where your ideal client hangs out. What questions are they asking? What are the hot topics? What frustrations are they talking
about? Use this information to create
posts that help solve their problems or give tips to help them towards gaining
solutions for their problems.
Listen to the words and phrases that your ideal clients are
using. Replicate these words in your
posts. If you hear people complaining
and asking for tips on how to get their child to sleep through nightmares,
start your post off with ‘top tip to help your child sleep through a nightmare’. Keep it simple and don’t get so creative with
your words that you lose your target audience.
Look at the interaction within these groups and also watch your competitors. What type of posts get the most response? Is it quotes, pictures, questions or top tips? Replicate these types of posts on your own chosen channel.
P.S. Would you like help planning your social media to help increase your reach to gain more clients and make more money? Join my member’s club for a step-by-step guide. You’ll love it and start to get the results you want. Find out more here.
Have you noticed your reach on Facebook is getting less and less?
You are coming up with what you think are fabulously creative posts and yet still there the comments and likes are so intermittent as to be non-existent?
Well, here is the reason why.
Firstly, one of the simplest reasons may be the huge increase in the number of people using the platform. This means that you are now trying to gain attention from a far larger pot than you were a couple of years ago. More and pages are being created on a daily basis so you really need to make sure that you know who your ideal client is and post things that are going to captivate your audience.
But the other reason that has cropped up relatively recently is that Facebook surveyed hundreds of thousands of people and the overwhelming response was that they didn’t want to see so much promotional content. They wanted to see interesting posts.
Facebook is rewarding quality, not quantity
Therefore, Facebook decided to reward those that created quality content that their audience really wanted to hear about rather than the constant promotions and gimmicks that are so frequently posted.
Facebook is less and less likely to show overly promotional posts that use calls to action and push for sales, to enter competitions etc.
Facebook will seek out those posts that gain interactions such as likes, shares and comments which show they are quality, relevant posts and they will help these posts to reach a wider audience.
Overall, the Facebook algorithm is rewarding those pages who post less and focus on quality rather than those which post numerous times each day that is not of much interest to the audience.
Too many people trying to widen their reach when it drops by posting more often (up to 10 times per day), but this is simply going to work against you.
To increase your reach, you need to make sure you write your posts for what your target audience wants to hear and read. Stop trying to sell so much and concentrate more on giving value and starting to build trust and relationships.
You can still promote your business of course but use your language carefully.
Rather than saying ‘click the link to buy’ try something along the lines of ‘there is something amazing awaiting you on the other side – go check it out’. Do you see the difference?
A few other tips include:
Schedule posts from Facebook rather than a third party software
Some people believe that third party apps, such as scheduling posts from HootSuite, Buffer or similar, will affect reach.
I have tried to get conclusive answers to this but there is so much conflicting information out there. If your reach is significantly dropping and you use third party apps, it may be worth trialing using Facebook’s own scheduler for a while and seeing if it makes any difference. (Do let me know the results in the comments box).
Upload videos directly to Facebook, not via YouTube links
There is numerous research that Facebook favour videos that are uploaded directly to its site rather than via links from YouTube. According to a study by Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal, they discovered that on average, native videos reach 2.04 times more people, receive 2.38 times more likes, 2.67 times more shares, and 7.43 times more comments.
Quite simply, Facebook does not like anything that drives traffic away from its site to an external source. Therefore, any post taking the audience away will simply get less reach.
Don’t overuse links to your website.
Leading on from the point above, Facebook wants to keep people on its site, not to take people away to other platforms. I have seen a few people using a new trick to try and get over this were rather than putting the external link in their main post, they create the post and tell people to look in the comments below for where to go for further information. They then simply put the link as a comment below.
Aim to gain interaction.
Facebook will increase reach to those posts that get likes, comments and even the amount of time someone spends viewing the post.
So how you can encourage this?
People like to feel good, laugh, know the latest gossip and news and be shocked! Think how you can use this in your posts. Use motivational posts, let them in on something funny that has happened in your day, give them the latest hot off the press news. These can be the type of posts that will gain likes, comments, and shares. Ask simple but fun questions!
Now for a disclaimer. At the time of writing, I believe my research and findings to be correct. But good old Facebook can change its rules and algorithms at any moment so test what works for you best and keep an eye what others are doing that are getting the interaction you so desperately want.
P.S. Want a little help getting a post like? Pop the link in the comments below and I will pop over and take a look and if it’s a good one, may just leave you a like and a comment
P.P.S. Do you get stuck when trying to come up with fresh content to post on social media? Does your mind draw a blank and you get confused as to what to post next? Subscribe nowto get immediate access to my simple planner and easily create a whole month’s worth of posts to attract more attention to your business.
With being successful comes new responsibilities. And with this comes the panic of how we will
cope, how will we fit everything in? etc.
If we are truly going to be successful we are going to have to step
outside our comfort zone and step up to the plate.
Maybe this has happened to you. You are in a comfortable place right now where everything is manageable. You can choose exactly what you want to do each day and it’s all a bit cosy. And the thought of taking your business to the next level scares you.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to decide if you really want to take your business to the next level.
You need to go back to the beginning and decide what you really want in life. What is your end dream? Is it with a bigger business, having someone help with the organisation and admin and with a bigger income? Or is it staying at a comfortable level working alone a few hours each week.
How do both of the scenarios make you feel?
If you want the big bucks but it makes you scared, you are
going to have to learn how to step out of your comfort zone. The first thing is
to plan. How are you going to scale up
and cope with more clients? What hours
are you going to work? What help will
By having a plan you start to take control. The fear of success usually comes from a
feeling of being out of control and your business running away from you.
You may also be feeling aware that as your business
grows, you become more visible and
people expect more from you. Your
responsibilities grow. This is why it’s
important to plan your business growth and to take it slowly so you don’t
suddenly have a shock to the system which you can’t cope with.
Think of famous people who have suddenly become overnight
successes who simply weren’t ready for it.
They didn’t last long as they weren’t prepared. They weren’t ready for the increased public
scrutiny, the lack of privacy and lifestyle change.
Think about what you fear if you really hit those heights of
success. How are they going to impact
your life and then think about how you can cope with these? What plans can you put in place along the way
to deal with these changes? Would you
take on an assistant to help you with planning retreats and organising your
diary? Would you collaborate with
someone else in your field to take some of the pressure of yourself? Would you hire a childminder to help with the
Take time to think all these areas through so, as I’ve said
previously, you are prepared and have a plan in place to deal with each thing
as it comes along.
Also, make sure you surround yourself with positive people
and those who have already gone through what you are facing. Use them as a sounding board and to get
advice. Keep in mind the incredible
talent you have and how you are helping so many more people by growing your
business and use this to get excited.
The fear of success is all part of the journey. Embrace it, learn from it and enjoy it.
Take a look at the process of transition chart below. I bet you can immediately identify which stage you are at. Know that this is a natural part of the process, be prepared for the next stages but keep your eye on the end destination.
Everyone tells you to visualise and focus on what you want to achieve and it will come but try as you may, when the chips are down and you don’t know how you are going to pay the mortgage this month, staying positive and seeing a wealthy future is nigh on impossible.
You try to focus but every thought is consumed by the blinding panic of knowing the money has run out. Your chest feels like it is being crushed and you struggle to control the rising panic.
But it will be ok. Just read another self-help book and manifest the money.
Here’s the flaw in the plan.
Manifestation gurus tell you what to do but then also include their disclaimer that things don’t happen overnight. But you need the money now!! You don’t have time to let the manifestation work its magic. Time has run out.
What can you do to stem the rising panic that is threatening to engulf you and suck you in into its dark depths forever, never to return?
Get some perspective.
This will not kill you. There are others who have gone before you and will follow. They have survived and will continue to do so.
Sit down and look at your exact financial situation. Do a cash flow spreadsheet. You now know exactly where you are and can now plan to bridge the gap of where you need to be.
Look at your cash flow and cut out the luxuries. Don’t despair. This is a short term solution until you are back on track. Cancel sky tv. Change your mobile contract to the cheapest available. Cancel subscriptions. You can survive without all these things. Just take a look at those in third world countries. Life doesn’t end when you don’t have 100 tv channels to choose from. And you may just find your life feels freer without them.
Can you take a part time job. Sod losing face. This is about survival! What can you sell? All those clothes you have sat at the back of the wardrobe .. sell them on eBay. Do you have a spare room? List it on Air B&B.
Talk to someone.
One of the worst things is trying to remain looking super successful to the outside world and bottling everything up inside. This is like a pressure cooker. You will explode. Find someone to confide in. Someone you can be honest with and have a breakdown in front of. Sometimes jut having a bloody good cry and letting it all out can work wonders. It lets off all that steam and allows you to see clearly again
Whatever you do, don’t just bury your head in the sand. Take control and get the help you need.
Starting your own home business can be exciting, exhilarating and full of hope. But what happens if the enthusiasm starts to wane when the money does not come rolling in as expected?
All too often, women who start their own home business find them under stress from not knowing when the money is going to start coming in and finding they are having to scrabble around to find funds to pay the household bills. On top of this comes the added pressure from spouses or partners who may start to ask when you are going to get a proper job and start to contribute to the household expenses.
The initial passion and enthusiasm have been lost and you spend many sleepless nights worrying about the future.
Sound familiar? If this is happening to you, then I truly am sorry. I wish I could tell you to hang on in there and not give up but at some point, you will ultimately have to find a way to earn some immediate cash if customers are just not coming forward as expected.
I see this all too often and the pressure starts to build causing excess strain both on your mindset for the future running of your business and also on that of your personal relationships.
Is it time to call it a day, or is there an alternative?
Firstly, a bit of soul searching may be required. Do you remember why you started your own business? Do you still have the underlying passion for it and believe in it long-term, or has it become an all too heavy burden that you are seriously regretting having started?
If you think you can regain the passion and truly believe (and have done the research to prove it) that long term the business can be a success, maybe it is just time to have a rethink. Is there any way of generating immediate income by offering a complementary product or service alongside your existing business? Do you need to adapt your offering in some way?
Offer complementary services
Perhaps if you offer one to one services you could adapt these to group sessions whereby it becomes more affordable to your clients but you still earn an income. A make-up artist or beautician could offer classes in how to apply makeup or look after their skin. A photographer could offer a group session on how to use a smartphone camera to best effect. If you sell handmade soft furnishings, how about running a basic sewing class?
Find other ways to generate income
Do you have things that you could sell on eBay or do you know of someone who is looking for a cleaner or ironing service? Is there a local business that is looking for some ad hoc help whilst they have staff on holiday or off sick? These are things that can easily be run alongside a home business and can create some much-needed income in the short term.
Take part-time work
Or if necessary, could you continue to run the business on a part-time basis whilst taking part-time employed work?
There is nothing wrong about taking on other work whilst you continue to build your business in the background. It will take longer than you may have hoped but the extra income will help take the pressure off and may just give you renewed vigour to keep going.
One thing that I hear when I present this option to women I work with is that they will lose face and be seen to be failing at their business. They worry so much as to what others will think of them. But there is a saying:
“If you’re worried about what people will think, you’ll be surprised at how little they care”
It is far better to face up to the reality that things are not working as you expected and take action than to try and save face and end up losing both your business and possibly your relationship.
If you feel you are between a rock and a hard place at the moment and are struggling to know if it is time to give or not, take 24 hours out. Go talk to a friend you trust and throw some ideas around. Think long and hard about whether you want to, and should, continue with your business, or whether there is a workaround in the short term.
And if the decision is made to close your business, just remember, you haven’t failed. You have just learnt a valuable lesson for the future in what not to do.
I was at a networking meeting and another business woman asked me about my monthly support group.She asked me if it was for women only and when I said ‘yes’, a chap jumped in and loudly announced that he totally disagreed with my group as it was sexist.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get much chance to get a word in edgeways to discuss this comment as he proceeded to do the usual “I’ve got a kilt so I’ll come and wear that” and continued to talk about himself with no interest in finding out why my group is set up the way it is.
But how many others feel that women’s business clubs are sexist?How many others do not understand the importance of having gender-based clubs?
For anyone interested, here is why I restrict my business support groups to women only.
Women in business have different needs to men.It’s a fact.Women struggle with issues that generally affect them more than men.These include:
Having go carry on going with hormones playing havoc with emotions including self-confidence, depression, weight fluctuations etc
Running a business and being pregnant has its own set of challenges. How long can you continue to work, how long until you return to work, how to cope with morning sickness, how will your business run effectively whilst you are not able to be on hand 100%.
At the other end from pregnancy is menopause.Some women sail through this but many struggle to the point they feel they can no longer continue.It’s a subject far too detailed to go in to here but anyone who has not experienced the trauma first hand, cannot possibly fully understand.
Yes, you could argue the case on this one, but in general, for a woman to go out the door for business takes a lot more thought and planning than for a man.Think:
Tights that don’t snag
Makeup that will last the day and won’t run
Heels that are comfortable to wear all day
Consideration as to how any dress wear will be viewed and if it gives out the wrong message– too low cut, too short, too tight.
Whether walking to meetings alone on a dark night or meeting male clients alone, extra thought can be needed.Think Suzy Lamplugh.No, it doesn’t happen often, but the statistics are far higher for women being attacked than men.
Being taken seriously.
Yes, unfortunately, even today, a woman introducing herself in a male dominated environment can be subject to prejudice and outdated presumptions.
Balancing business and family
Yes, I admit a generalisation here as I personally know a few men facing this challenge, but the norm still tends to be the woman is responsible for sorting childcare, support for elderly or ill parents.This leaves them torn and stressed when having to choose between working late or another weekend yet again or taking care of their family.
With all the above aside, women tend in the main to deal with business in a different way to men.
Their selling style is different, they usually prefer a softer approach to selling than a more direct one used by men.
They tend to be more afraid of failing and suffer a lack of confidence.Much of this can stem with others looking at them with scepticism from the start whether they are starting a home-based business which can be viewed as ‘just another hobby’ or entering a male dominated industry.
I could go on and on but hopefully by now you get my drift.
Buy why a women’s only business club?
I run a women’s only club so that other women can come and discuss any issues in confidence and safety with other women who understand what they are going through.They want an environment where they can be open and honest and let the barriers down.They don’t want to go to a meeting where they feel they are once again having to prove themselves and keep up the brave face.
They don’t have to be afraid of ridicule or being seen as weak by male attendees.They also want to come with no hidden agenda, not having a man tell them ‘I noticed a young and attractive lady on her own so had to take the opportunity to come over’.Yes, this still does happen!!And was actually said at the networking meeting I was at!!
My meetings are not sexist.They are providing a need.Women’s only clubs can have more of a supportive, collaborative feel than many mixed groups where the competitive nature can be more apparent.
As mentioned in the articleNo boys allowed,having a women-only environment opens a comfortable space to start intimate, important conversations that might not otherwise happen.Personal subjects can be discussed that may otherwise be left unsaid if a man were in the room.
I’m sure this post will spark controversy, so if you have an opinion one way or the other, feel free to leave a comment below.
It never ceases to amaze me that every day new business ‘coaches’ pop up all over social media. Where do they come from? What experience do they have and more importantly, what results do they get?
Over the years I have had a few coaches come to me as a private client to find out how to grow their business. I always ask my clients how they came to do what they are doing now. All too often when I ask coaches what led them to their career choice it’s a case of they didn’t know what to do with their life, they had a chat with a friend down the pub who was in the same predicament, came up with an idea for them and was told “you’re really good at this. You should be a coach”.
Hmm! Is that really enough? In my book, far from it.
I spent years in the industry learning from the best. I spend years in my professional career as a business consultant. I spent 12 months undertaking my qualifications which included being escorted by an assessor to a number of my appointments with clients. The assessor then followed up with these clients to ascertain what credible impact I had on their businesses. (I’m proud to say that my assessor told me it was the first time he had learnt a lot from one of his students).
Many of these new ‘coaches’ I have discovered over the years have tried unsuccessfully to start and grow a business but find that they can make it up as they go along by setting up as a coach. After all, it’s simple, isn’t it?
Set up and call yourself a coach.
Do some clever marketing (fake it until you make it!)
Get some clients.
Let them ask you questions.
Go google the answer or search in forums.
Copy the answer
Send to your clients and hey ho! They will think you are marvellous!!
Little do people know who is really behind the mask.
But hang on! What about the real-life experiences here? What about when the answer you gave has been tried before but failed as there are so many variables with each and every client. Experience over the years gives the knowledge to spot when one solution will work for one particular client and when that same solution could spell disaster for another.
Experience allows a coach to pick up on the unspoken signals that something other than what is being said is causing problems that are preventing the business from working.
In my opinion, there are now more ‘business coaches’ setting up each week than I’ve had hot dinners. Anyone and everyone seem to think they can be a coach these days and set up whilst giving quite frankly dangerous advice at times. I firmly believe a licencing structure should be put in place for anyone wishing to promote themselves as suitable to be a business coach, consultant or advisor. I’m currently discussing this very subject with powers far higher than me about how to legislate business coaches.
But does it matter to you?
I would love to hear your thoughts. Let me know below.