Posts Tagged mums in business

Your business, your image, so who’s in charge of it?

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Many smaller businesses get to the point of understanding that to be a business owner and not just a business operator  you need a team of people to run the business and you are now reaping the rewards from doing just that.

While you have been busy doing it and aiming to do it well, is there anything you may have forgotten? For instance the image of the business?

It could be the display space in the window, or the signage which has slowly faded, or the vehicles your delivery people charge about in. No matter what it is, it represents your business image which in turn reflects what people (customers!) think of the business.

Who’s in charge of the image is an important and often overlooked area. Simply put most organisations say it’s the job of the Marketing Dept, while others will shove the responsibility to a junior to “set up the window display”.

Think about the situation and consider having a person (perhaps with a back up person) to ensure each week the “professional image” of the business is run through a checklist. It can be simple to begin with and build from there to become a fully blown in depth process, but please make sure it is a top priority as customers can be quick to judge and long to forget.

Here are some key areas to consider:

  • How well is the cleaning done in all areas, the slightest thing can put people off.
  • Are delivery drivers forbidden from smoking in a vehicle at ALL times?
  • Do vehicles with the business name on them present really well, or do they need to be cleaned and checked more often?
  • Display areas for stock, how good are they, and what are  you comparing them too?
  • Signage, fading or in need of a clean?
  • Your uniforms… up to standard or?

Start a checklist up and ensure the person in charge of the overall image of the business uses it regularly to effectively assess the business image.

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What are your people doing, working… or?

Everyone seems busy right… But things are not moving very well, the people are all busy? Should I put another staff member on…

These and a whole bunch of other questions could be bothering you if your business is a bit bigger than a few employees.

You think back to the early days of doing everything yourself, you worked 12 hour days and then some, finally getting some breathing space when you took on some staff. You trained them and you could see great progress but now things seem different. What’s happening?

Perhaps your people have found a comfortable place for themselves and are keeping themselves busy (it makes the day go faster…) and not overly concerned about the effectiveness of things.

You have a meeting with your key people “Blah, Blah Blah!!!” you go on about how the key guys should lead the team, how they should get up noses, rattle the cage so to speak, and for a short while you see some “scared rabbits” run about and things pick up and then fade, now they are all back to busy but not overly effective.

Your method of getting people to do things seemed great at the time, but knowing it failed after a few weeks was disappointing, you feel like you have to watch the team the WHOLE time, and that’s not what you want to do.

The answer…

Take a look, wander about, listen, observe start making mental notes. What’s working, what’s not… and what are they doing to look so busy yet be so ineffective!

Ask  yourself…

  • Are they doing “administrivia” and dragging it out to fill time.
  • Are they calling suppliers to get useless info for customers who probably won’t buy anyway, or only want a small quantity of a low priced item.
  • Chatting about ‘garbage’, or doing silly rubbish, which is personal, rather than getting to the tasks, which really need to happen.
  • Are your management team, managing too much and not leading enough? Are they not in a position to connect with staff due to too much paper work, or other garbage which is really just a waste of time.

Any of these can take the wind out of the sails of your business, but before you call one of those “rant and rave” meetings to put the wind up people (which will just buy you more enemies anyway). Consider a different approach.

(And yes here’s the answer/s…)

  • Check out if the team has great technology to support them and make the tasks easy to achieve.
  • Make sure your systems are easy to learn, follow and implement.
  • Use multitasking to keep them mentally stimulated and able to do various new tasks from time to time.
  • Chat to them about what works from their point of view, become a “one on one focus group leader” with each person and get REAL information, not the sort that filters up through the ranks and becomes watered down as a result.
  • Ask what keeps them coming to work, and not just money and holidays.
  • Coach your management team to do the same, train them to build rapport, not build ramshackle bridges to nowhere.

In all honesty if you set up a great business to begin with, you will probably find it can remain that way, but it may need some of your original passion for the business to shine through, so the results you want to achieve can be very tangible, you just need to have the right things happening in the right way… Now go out there and make YOUR business highly effective and get the people doing more of the right things in the right way. Then and ONLY THEN will you really profit from the business you started out with so passionately.

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Women In Business…

Let’s talk for a moment about women in business and the ‘aura’ or’stigma’ that surrounds this concept.

Being a women in business, plus an owner of a business that targets women in business, I have found that age old impressions and attitudes still exist. I’ve found that the general thinking of many, (including some women), on the subject of business heirarchy tends to follow this outline:

Men in Business at the top of the pecking order

Women in Business coming in way under them

Mums in Business coming in after these.

Now, tell me, why can’t a mum in business shoot up to the top and sit right there with the Men in business?

How do we even evaluate that this is the correct ‘pecking order’?

Tell me some of your thoughts on women in business and why we always seem to be ‘different’….

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