Monthly Archives

December 2017

The Millennials Coach


By | Business | No Comments

So you’ve realised that vision, mission and values are important for your business and that it doesn’t require you to be a big corporate to get value in embedding these in your strategic planning. You’ve also realised that a written down, well thought through business plan will also help to keep you on track and also increase your chances of success.

But what does success actually look like to you?

Often, people will talk about having success and will not be able to clearly describe what this means to them. If you don’t know what ‘success’ will look like for you, how will you know if you have achieved it, or if you are way off-beam?

This is where great goal setting comes in!

As part of ‘The Micro-topics of a Business Christmas’ series, I am going to talk a little today about goals, but am going to conscious avoid writing another article about SMART (and all the variants in existence!) SMART is a topic that has been written about to death elsewhere and I believe there is much more to the setting of goals and objectives than this.

When approaching your business plan, it is important to give due time to goals and objectives as trying to tackle these will help you to gain clarity over the fundamental questions about your business, such as ‘Why are we in this?’ ‘What do we want to achieve from this?’ ‘What will the world be like once this product or service is out there?’ Getting a clear appreciation of what the possible future may look like is critical to any business: people enjoy a journey as much as a destination, and the establishment of specific goals that help to capture the essence of your vision, mission, and values is a powerful enabler for this to happen.

Here are some useful tips to consider when devising your business goals for 2018:

  1. Write a list of all the goals you want your business to achieve in the next 1, 3, 5 and 10 years.
  2. Chop out most of them and leave three goals for each of those milestones. The three for each should be the ones you consider the highest priority: if it is to make a profit of X by the end of year 1, state it! Only include the ones that you consider most critical.
  3. Allow your team to carry out steps 1 and 2 and see what they come up with. If they have been a part of your vision, mission, and values setting, you might find that they come up with similar goals. If they don’t, review whether their goals are actually of value to you – they may have come up with something you hadn’t considered.
  4. Link any team objectives and rewards to fulfilment of the goals – there needs to be a ‘golden thread’ running from the business goals to the goals set out for teams and individuals to ensure that they do not simply become another hollow mantra.

Finally, remember these key takeaways:

  • Any team or individual goals should be in alignment with the strategic business goals.
  • All goals should have a customer focus, otherwise they are simply outputs, rather than outcomes.
  • All goals should be complete (this is where I break my rule and remind you of SMART!)

All goals should be championed by all, at all levels. Review them regularly and ensure that progress towards achieving them is seen by everyone.
Now is a great time to review your business goals as you are in the run-up to the festive season; planning powerful goals now will enable your business to motor in 2018.

If you want support in planning your goals for 2018 and beyond, get in touch:

Alternatively, use my goal checker – follow the link:

The Millennials Coach


By | Business | No Comments

One of the ideas I truly believe in is that if you have a team of entrepreneurs in your team, you can move mountains.

Today’s article as part of ‘The Micro-topics of a Business Christmas’ is simple: ways to help turn your ‘employees’ into entrepreneurs, or more correctly ‘INTRApreneurs’.

Gone are the days where the term entrepreneur is reserved for the managing director or the founder of a company, and entrepreneurial capabilities should be fostered at all levels of a business. So what does ‘intrapreneur’ mean in reality?

A collaborative study between Future Workplace and Upwork found that 90 percent of professionals considered entrepreneurship as someone “who sees opportunities and pursues them” rather than “someone who starts a company.” (below linked article)

And what’s more:

“Fifty eight percent of millennials consider themselves entrepreneurs. This mindset is fostered at successful large companies.”

This does not mean intrapreneurship only works in large companies, I would argue that SMEs need to take advantage of the entrepreneurial capabilities of their teams even more than larger ones. You could link this to fostering a ‘start-up culture’ which is important to retain within a business no matter what size it is.

So… How do you go about establishing a culture of intrapreneurship for 2018?

Encourage innovation.

Effective encouragement comes from the simple mindset change that failing isn’t bad! In fact, failing needs to be looked at positively when it comes to innovation; we’re one step closer to taking things to the next level.

Encourage your team to take (calculated) risks and try things. Sure, they may go wrong and if they do it will be a learning point; however, what will your business look like if the calculated risk works…?

In previous articles, I have written about your vision, mission, values and business plan – go back to the statements you have or are drafting (because you are actually taking action after reading the articles, right?) and look at whether you make any reference to innovation, risk-taking and empowerment. If words like these are missing, include them as that will ensure that your people understand that you are taking this seriously. Once you have re-written your statements and plans with clear references you can then move to your processes for recruitment and retention. Hire people who demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit – if you couple this with a culture and rewards system that promotes and recognises innovation, this is a sure fire way of ensuring ideas are bouncing off the walls of the office.

What this looks like within applicants is an interesting question (perhaps an article all by itself), but briefly we’re looking for questions that demonstrate a commitment to goal setting and achievement, creativity and a desire to flip the script.

Also, don’t forget that there’s nothing like some friendly competition!

If done correctly, competition within the office can be your best friend. This can be used to spur incentive and innovation within the workplace; whether working in small teams or individually, a competition to find a better way of doing something or a new product/service that is currently missing from your line up may well be your answer.

So, as you fast approach 2018 I’d encourage you to build a team of intrapreneurs and watch your business skyrocket.

Is that the goal?

Click HERE if it is!

The Millennials Coach


By | Business | No Comments

I promised that my daily articles would be short, so whilst I am tackling the topic that is business planning today, I intend to keep it brief. I could sit and tell you what a business plan is, I could tell you what a business plan should include, but I am going to focus instead on why business planning isn’t just for start-ups.

I recently read a report produced by Palo Alto that indicated that those businesses where leaders completed a business plan were nearly twice as likely to be successful in growing their businesses or obtaining capital. Now, before people say to me: ‘He worked for a business planning software company, of course the data would show that,’ I was intrigued to read further that they had the data checked for validity by the University of Oregon who confirmed that: ‘…planning with software is highly correlated with subsequent success…’

For me, what is interesting about this statement is the reference to business planning software. Why is this interesting to me?

When many entrepreneurs are required to complete a business plan, they will often type in to a search engine and look for a free template. Templates may be useful if you are simply wanting to put some words and numbers down to satisfy a stakeholder such as a bank manager. However, the completion of a generic template is not the basis of strategic planning, and also cannot be changed and tweaked when you want to test to see what would happen to your assumptions if your circumstances changed.

Great business planning, on intutitive software, with the support of a coach or mentor will reap rewards for a business owner: a better understanding of the market will inform how you want to shape your business in the future, and will help to drive decisions on operations, finance, and people. Investing in a great business plan can help both save you from costly mistakes, but also help you to maximise profit opportunities in the future. It is no surprise therefore, that the research suggests good business planning can give your business a better chance of success than poor/no business planning at all.

What does your current business plan look like?

If you have answered this question with ‘I haven’t got one’, then that is a problem for you as you have no map to plot your journey on. You wouldn’t attempt to navigate the Peak District without a map; why would you attempt to navigate the world of business without a plan?

If you have answered this question with ‘I have one but it is out of date/unfit for purpose’, then you need to review it urgently. I would suggest to you that now is a good time before the new year (New Year, New Plan and all that!)

Don’t attempt to create a ‘free template’ business plan; it deserves more of your investment than that! Get a piece of software that can really help you create a powerful and profitable business plan, and get cracking with constructing the plan for your business to take you to 2018 and beyond.

If you need help with business planning, contact me today: