Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Becoming a Successful Business Owner

Are you a Business Owner in South West England?
Are you concerned about your business failing in the first 10 years?
If so, please read on.

If your business fails to grow it will most likely fail.

Research shows that 90% of businesses fail in the first 10 years often due to 2 critical factors that interact with each other

1. poor management and leadership resulting in a lack of planning and focusing on the wrong things

2. psychological weaknesses such as confidence/self-belief issues or being conflict averse

In recent CIPD [Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development] research, Leadership in SMEs, several key lessons emerged
  • The type and shape of leadership must change as a business grows - what is passionate at the entrepreneurial stage must be formalised. If this does not happen competitive advantage will reduce and the business may fail.
  • Business leaders must act strategically and delegate effectively even if it seems easier to stay hands on.
  • Business owners need to be able to coach to develop staff and grow the business, not direct people with answers.
  • Business owners need to get their customer perspective by looking in at the business, through networks that add value.
  • Staying agile with new solutions is a key capability to stay in business.
A final lesson for business owners is taking time to reflect to ensure that you choose the right direction for your business, a discipline well supported through the coaching process.

We help business owners like you to double, triple and even bigger multiples of your existing revenue, while cutting back your working hours.

We do this by helping you to improve your sales, marketing, leadership and psychological capabilities.

If you are interested we run private one to one 'Rapid Business Growth' sessions so that we can find out more about you, your business and see if we can help you.

You will leave the session with 3 additional outcomes:

1. A crystal clear vision of your ultimate business success
2. Clarity on hidden challenges that may be slowing down your business growth
3. Feeling re-energised and inspired to enjoy your business vision

If you would like to book your one to one session please get in touch via

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Business Owners Rapid Growth Coaching

Are you a business owner who wants to grow your business whilst containing or even reducing your working hours?
Is your business based in the South West? If so then please read on as West of England Coaching and Counselling wants to help you to reach the next level in your business.

This blog outlines the approach we use to help you to improve your results, most notably your bottom line whilst containing or reducing your working hours so that you continue to love what you do rather than being a slave to it.

We start with a complimentary 'Rapid Business Growth Coaching Session' with the outcome of helping you to achieve something tangible for your business and you straight away. This is often based on a priority and an intractable problem that you have been grappling with for some time. For example, a conversation with a customer about fees or one of your team that you know you should have because there is a performance issue but have been resisting. Perhaps you have an action that you decided you would take but haven't yet or a problem that is still at problem stage. Whatever the issue, we will work on it together and start to make progress.

The first meeting is an opportunity to start building our relationship as client and coach resulting in a coaching agreement including your coaching objectives, our code of ethics and agreed timings and fees. The coaching agreement exists to boundary our relationship and can be renegotiated by either party.

The coaching session following the initial meeting will be focused on your vision. Research shows that we have a tendency to be problem focused and that this tendency helps us to stay stuck in the problem. The problem may even become bigger as we analyse all of the 'what ifs' around that problem and ahead of that problem sometimes called 'negative forecasting'. What if we cannot cover our business costs? We would have to let staff go. Would we want to revert to a two person band? Should we sell the business? All this catastrophising is unnecessary. Unconsciously we are suddenly guilty of planning a route that we do not need to take. Yes sometimes businesses fail. Often, however, if spotted early enough there are better solution focused choices to make based on sound, realistic decision making.

Once we have a vision that you are passionate about, the next or subsequent session is focused on developing a strategic plan with a realistic time scale to work towards your vision. We build your commitment to your vision through two exercises that help you to visualise what is required and at the same time fine tune your plans. Along with coach validation these exercises will help you to feel your future like it is happening now. This helps your brain to motivate you to come up with more ideas and to get on with your action plan. We move at your pace so the number of sessions required does vary.

During your coaching sessions we will identify skills you require to close the gap between where you are now and your vision along with the best external environment for you to work in. There may be also aspects of your own psychology that you want to fine tune say to build your confidence or self-belief.

We will review your progress against your action plan and review your objectives as well as your vision to ensure that you are on track. For example, if the coaching time line agreed is three months we may decide to meet six times in the three months for one hour and have three reviews, one at the end of each month. Experience shows that over time new information arises that may impede your plan or open up new opportunities for you. The reviews help to adjust actions so that they are appropriate now.

Let's schedule a Rapid Business Growth Coaching Session so I can find out more about your business and see if I can help you.

You may want to speak with one of my clients before you start working with me to ask questions that you would only want a business owner who has been coached to answer. This can be arranged.

You can get in touch with me via and we can set up time to talk.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Exams looming?

It is that time of year again for those at school, university or college with exams looming in May and June.

If this is you and you are somewhat anxious about what is ahead, that is a normal response.

Some anxiety, reframed 'anticipation nerves and conscientiousness' is good and can drive us harder and with better results than peers who have none of these feelings.

However, for some of us exams have caused a high level of disabling anxiety where symptoms include 'brain shutdown' - I sat in an exam at school once and could not seem to think at all for some time. Luckily for me I regained composure I think through deep breathing and my results were only slightly impacted.

Sitting exams like giving presentations can be very fearful situations for many due to what is perceived to be at stake. High stakes - opportunity losses or embarrassment - often increases our anxiety. Some students describe it to me as 'immense stress' and 'feeling completely overwhelmed particularly as other students panic around me'.

Symptoms at the high anxiety end of the scale are often multiple and varied.

One of my existing clients is suffering with perceived bladder control issues, another is unable to sleep in and around exam time. Still another worries about the sheer volume of revision study.

Some of you will have tactics and strategies that work some of the time with varying degrees of success.

5 practical tips to try from me to you include say 8 weeks in the run up to exams

  • practising relaxation and meditation techniques
  • eating healthily, avoiding caffeine and alcohol
  • recording achievements and positive feedback that relates to the exams which you can read each week to keep your confidence at a good level
  • scheduling in then thinking about activities to enjoy post exams
  • knowing your optimal productivity and taking breaks after peaks
I work with my clients on other conscious and subconscious techniques prior to their exams which help with concentration, focus and revision motivation.

In particular I teach all of my clients how to overcome their anxieties by helping to change their thinking at a deep level using a tool from CBT as well as helping to change those negative self-beliefs.

I would like to personally wish you every success in your exams and hopefully through using this blog you will steer through them with a calmer course.

If you would like to work with me to leave those exam fears in the past please get in touch via our website

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Having a Job You Want

You know that you spend a considerable amount of your life at work and realise that having work that you want to do is one of the most important priorities in your life.

But where to start?

I was reading recently that an estimated 70% plus of people are more often than not unhappy in their work.

If you think that you are part of this 70% then read on.

Step 1: start sketching out a career strategy - what images or words or feelings do you have when you think about the work that you would like to do? 

Would tweaks to your current role work or do you need do do something more radical?

Step 2: get work experience in the areas that you are interested in and look within your existing organisation  as well as outside.

If you cannot do this in work time then use weekends, evenings or holidays. When I was training myself to become a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist I took a weekend course whilst working as a management consultant during the working week.

Step 3: consider lifestyle adjustments particularly if your new work will pay less than your old work.

There are lots of good free resources available such as money manager tool from the banks which will make transparent income and outgoings so you can decide where to cut back and save.

Step 4: get action planning and network - who do you know that may be able to assist you. Add to your skills - by acquiring those that provide a gap between where you are now and where you want to be.

Do your research well and you can save time and money.

Above all ensure that your plans allow you to be authentic. Sometimes that big pay cheque/promotion comes at a cost to your happiness. If you love client contact and a promotion means losing that you may decide to turn it down.

Step 5: review your work happiness every quarter and work out what you need to do at that point to make you feel more fulfilled.

If you have read this blog and put the steps in place let me know how you get on.

If you would like support in making changes in your work life please get in touch via