Business Like A Boss

3 MIN READ

Do you want to make eyes widen and jaws drop when people see what you are capable of in your business? Here are seven super fast ways to impress your colleagues, clients and curious passers by. Here’s how to strut your stuff in your business.

Consistency is the key to being seriously hot stuff in your business

Daily Checklists

To do Business Like A Boss all your work should be set up before you start. Nothing should be done without having it scribbled in a notebook at the very least. A diary or calendar filled with jobs and appointments will keep you productive and on task so you don’t waste time wondering what to do next, or moseying your way across to the water cooler because you have no sense of just how much needs to be done by the time you call it a day. Move fast and cross that list off like there’s no tomorrow.

Project Management Software

Project management software is like next level checklists, and this is where you really start doing Business Like A Bosss. These let you map larger ongoing tasks, then note progress milestones along the way. I’ve heard Trello software is great, and we currently use Asana for managing daily tasks and ongoing development projects. We’ll move to RTMS early in 2018 to measure our performance ratings against KPIs. It’s a subscription based model with upgrades rolling out faster than the North Korean army.

Electronic Calendars

EVERYTHING must go in your calendar if you’re doing Business Like A Boss. Appointments, meetings, phone calls, deadlines, events and reminders all need to be in there. The person doing Business Like A Boss never makes an appointment without checking their calendar and entering the details. I cry inside when I see my colleagues pull out paper diaries. Electronic calendars are accessible from your phone, desktop or other device, and can also be managed by an assistant so you don’t have to do it all.

Phone Apps

I had a business idea once that remains in the shadowy corners of my enterprising mind … what if we could sell our micro time? You know, the time we spend waiting for a public bathroom, get on a train, purchase our groceries, or even the time we spend waiting for a screen to load because the internet in our country is shamefully slow. Apps for our banking, accounting, shopping, social media etc give us new ways to invest even these tiny units of time. How many micro moments might an ordinary person be able to offer an enterprising employer who knows how to maximise resources?  With phone apps, anyone could help their employer do low level tasks like reconciling transactions, managing a calendar, monitoring emails, and ordering just about anything online. As entrepreneurs doing Business Like A Boss, we should be using these micro moments to save our larger chunks of time into the real work.

Email Filters

Most of our emails are important but not urgent. They require us to read them regularly but not daily. Using a filter to make your important emails bypass your inbox and pop them aside until it is time to read them is how you do Business Like A Boss. It keeps your inbox clear and filling only with items that must be seen immediately. This assumes of course that we are ruthless with our unsubscribes and blocking unwanted senders. An email filter with a calendar reminder to check these emails is a Boss combination.

Presets and Scheduling

Technology is the gift that keeps on giving. We are increasingly able to set things up in advance to roll out when we choose so it all flows without us. We can preset alarms, reminders and timers to keep us on track with tasks and appointments. And scheduling tools can be used to activate a myriad of things when we want them to run: emails, social media posts, automatic payments, account reports, software updates, order deliveries … heck, even your washing machine can run so it’s finishing up just as you get home!

NEVER Procrastinate

Finally, people doing Business Like A Boss never fall into the trap of putting things off. Delaying things that are meant to be done now causes stress and anxiety, reduces our potential for achievement, and creates bad habits that interrupt our work flow. Worse than all this though, is that when we don’t do the work we know we should do, we undermine our greatest source of power: Our self respect. When we procrastinate through laziness, boredom, excuses, nerves or even fear, we send ourselves the very dangerous message that what we do is not important, and that we are not quite up to the task. When we are doing Business Like A Boss we grab every opportunity that life throws us with both hands, and we run at them like a bull at a gate.

Hope Is Not A Plan

4 MIN READ

On the day my world changed I faced a rebuild that felt almost insurmountable. For twelve years I had been married to Alec, the love of my life. We had grown our family, our business, and our community together. And we had grown each other too. In losing him I had lost my best friend, my companion, my lover. I have never known a loss so gutting

In practical terms though, I had a financial crisis on my hands. Alec was a spendthrift, big time! Yes, he could make sales, close deals and win new clients. But when buying stock for our online retail business, he was like a man possessed! For a decade, he didn’t see the cost, he only saw the potential for profit. Stock could be bought at $3 and sold for $15, or sometimes even $20 or $30! … His eyes had hearts on them like an emoji as he pored over bulk offers in supplier catalogues. His last hurrah on this front was to become an importer, which had us receiving stock by the container load from China. Our cash flow was choked by supplier debt.

I made the systems that released me to my passion by turning hope into strategic real life action steps.

I was in serious trouble.

We were a team of four who had become three. After a couple of months my English warehouse assistant had to return home, leaving me with my warehouse manager, who was Alec’s best mate. He took the loss so hard that he too needed to leave and find his own way forward soon after.

From this mire I have emerged. I paid that decade’s worth of rolling supplier debt off in six months, and a year after that I sold the business for a profit that was equal to the debt I had been left with. I have published my book, established myself as a speaker and small business trainer, and opened a venue where I run my own events and support others in building theirs.

I am often asked “How have you done this?” Every day I live my dream and work my passion plan into reality. I get to help people to find new beginnings and new endings by doing the things I am good at … the things I love. This is true freedom.

The day after Alec died I experienced a clarity with my passion that cut through the haze of the loss. At that time I didn’t know how, but I knew what. I knew that I would transform my adversity into a freedom that would inspire others, and that I would empower people to follow their passion. Although it felt like I lost everything, I came to this season armed with a first class honours degree in education and eight years of teaching experience right through to university level. I also had spent fifteen years in business, and had a natural flair for breaking down complex tasks into simple, step by step strategies that anyone can follow. When people ask “How have you done this?” what they are really asking is “How could I do that too?”

“How could I move from where I am now, choking on the daily grind of my small business?”

I had hope that day, but I needed a plan to get out of that quicksand. You need a plan too. Here is how you can turn your hopes for your future in business and in life into a system for your passion:

Delegate: Get help!

Find one job that someone else can do for you. This brings clarity and a broader view of the possibilities in your current situation. My sister helped by answering my phones for just a few hours per day to release me to my systematic restructure.

Document: Create an instruction manual for routine daily tasks.

Duplicate your work by documenting the steps of the job and assigning it to someone else permanently. With my sister answering calls my first task was to document how she should answer the phone! I wrote up the script of what she should say and what to do with messages. Then I created step by step instructions of how she should respond to the most common inquiries. Then I just kept on going to document my processes for customer service, order fulfilment, stock management and site management. These instructions became hundreds of pages worth of manuals still used to this day.

Automate: Install software to do the job for you.

A few weeks after Alec died I had inventory management software installed to manage our stock and shipping processes. My desperation triggered THE change I needed. It reduced my workload by 20% and transformed my cashflow. There is software to automate most of what needs to be done in any small business. Take a deep breath, learn something new and release yourself into a new work mode.

Outsource: Third party service suppliers can do it all for you

With my tasks delegated, my work duplicated, and my system automated, I was ready for my final step to freedom: Outsourcing. I had invested six months to restructure my system which allowed me to contract the job to a third party supplier. I sent my two new team members to work from home, and closed my warehouse altogether. This was seven months after losing Alec.

Without embarking on this strategic business restructure my hope would never have become a reality. As small business owners working from our garages or kitchen tables we can get buried in the jobs, and one day we suddenly realise we don’t own our business … It owns us! We had always hoped that it would be different from this. Well, it can be. If you turn hope into systems for your passion.

Goal Setting Done Wrong

3 MIN READ

Business success is most often defined by output. Whether we are discussing our business with our accountant, sharing a friendly conversation with our customers, or explaining our work to our colleagues at a networking event, we are telling the story of success by casually bragging about positive outcomes. We love proudly reporting more sales, greater profit, expanding services, increased revenue. At the end of the day, the viability of our business, its progress towards expansion, and its impact on the marketplace is understood by these indicators of productivity. What we have produced and achieved is the hot topic when it comes to our business health.

We hold on to our performance goals by letting them go.

When these are struggling we know about it too, don’t we? It is unnerving to watch our sales faltering, our profits dropping, our services ailing, and our revenue depleting. We determine our business success by these things, so when there are problems, we feel it fast. We understand that something must be done this minute, or at the very least this quarter. When our business output levels begin a noticeable decline, we get very motivated to set goals to turn things around for the better.

It’s understandable that setting goals for business growth has us jumping to urgently grasp at the straws of these output measures, particularly if we are setting those goals in response to trouble on the homefront. We need growth? Then of course we should be setting goals to make more sales! Reach greater profits! Add more services! Generate additional revenue! We can’t wait to proudly report booming sales, profit, services and revenue. It seems logical that if we want more of these we must set our goals towards them, right?

Wrong.

Measures of output are nowhere near as useful for goal setting as the measurements that we can take of our input. To get our goal setting right, it is vital that we understand that our business output reflects the results of the actions that we take day by day. We can work towards increases in our business output, but first we must set goals that measure the things we need to do on a daily basis to achieve these increases. Our business output is determined by our business input, so it is here that we should focus our goal setting efforts.

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals” – Zig Ziglar

The desire to make more sales in our business cannot be achieved by putting a gigantic sales chart up for display in our office or staff tea room. To have something to record on this sales chart, we must first set goals to perform actions like generating more leads, making more sales calls, or refining our sales skills. These goals must establish how many leads, or how many sales calls, or exactly which sales training … and by what date? We can measure these actions as we perform them, which means we can track our progress in real time. We don’t need to get to the end of the sales period to be able to see how we fared. While we may not know how many sales we will make by the end of the period, we can guarantee that we will not get there if we are not performing the requisite steps on the way there.

Of course, this approach applies to all kinds of goals setting. We can’t guarantee greater profit margin, but we can adjust our pricing, negotiate better supplier agreements, and add more profitable product lines to our range. We can’t control exactly how much revenue we will generate, but we can control our trading hours, our advertising schedule, our pricing structures and the time allocations of our staff.

When we set goals for input, rather than output, we embrace our capacity for powerful leadership in our businesses. We provide clear direction for our team, and we can reward positive performance before we even arrive at the increase we are chasing. Setting input goals transforms our workplaces into a buzzing hub of activity that is vibrant with productivity and performance. With this approach we literally do everything we can do to achieve the outcomes we desire.

Small Business Freedom

3 MIN READ

Identify The Need

“If you do not change direction you may end up where you’re heading,” Lao Tzu

No change will occur where the person or organisation sees no need for change. It breaks my heart to see the small business owner who throws themselves into complaining about their current constraints without looking for alternative approaches. There are too many highly skilled, passionate practitioners whose gifts are buried under the admin, and whose services are limited because they say they don’t have the time. We need to see first that change is necessary, then that it is possible. Without this realisation dawning, there will be no new day for the overwhelmed business owner, regardless of how tired they are, or how limitless their potential is.

We need to see first that change is necessary, then that it is possible.

Plan The Change

“Failing to plan is planning to fail” Allan Lakein

Seeing the possibilities for change of course cannot create new outcomes without first making a plan for change. For the change to stick, it is vital that we don’t rush through this phase, despite how boring or tedious it might feel. To rush through the planning phase is to undermine the success of implementation. Dedicate yourself to evaluating your current practices, taking inventory of resources, identifying areas of waste, exploring and documenting alternative solutions, and setting targets to measure the effects of the change. Use all of this preparation phase to develop a strategic plan that is documented and set against a calendar and a budget.

Implement The Change

“Action is the foundational key to all success,” Pablo Picasso

Now comes the supremely fun, exciting part: Taking Action!

If you’ve prepared with thorough diligence and a visionary eye for detail, your implementation of new systems and processes will start to create results very quickly. Take a steady, disciplined approach to implement the changes you planned, so each part of the change plan is put in place with deliberate care. Consistency is key here, and deviation from the new procedure cannot be allowed. All parties involved should understand what their role is, and what successful completion looks like. And most importantly, start measuring performance against your targets so that you see quickly if you come off course.

Resolve Resistance

“On the other side of resistance is the flow,” Guy Finley

The implementation phase is fraught with bumps and humps and challenges along the way, but if we see these challenges as practice towards perfection then we will be able to push through. Human nature is always on the lookout for threat and as a defensive mechanism, change is often perceived as a danger to be avoided. The resistance to change that you experience in yourself or you see in your team simply comes from the discomfort that we feel in doing something new or different. This resistance could come in the form of objection or non-compliance, or a lazy, haphazard attitude to the new way. Persist with diligence and discipline, and do what is required to smooth the glitches along the way to facilitate faster acceptance of the change.

Acceptance Of Change

“Happiness can exist only in acceptance,” George Orwell.

It is true in business and in life that we can grow only when we finally accept the new situation and work it to our advantage. Embracing the change means seeing it come into its own in your business, and watching outcomes become increasingly bigger, better, and more rewarding. With the change planned, implemented and accepted you can get down to the business of enjoying the results. Your operations will be as smooth as silk and your team will run like a well oiled machine.

The only question left is, “Where to from here …?”

It’s time to start the process all over again.

Time In Motion

4 MIN READ

I was four team members down to three literally overnight in my online business, and I had to act smart and fast if I was going to save the business I had been left with. Every task was under scrutiny. Every email, every phone call, every stock order, every delivery receipt. What could we do in our warehouse or in our office that was faster? Smoother? Cheaper? More productive? What could we eliminate from our work day altogether? How could we get the most out of every moment we invested into our workflow?

When our growing business demands change, the adage is true: time is money. More than that, time is the make or break point for our sanity, growth and reward.

These desperate days brought with them many blessings in disguise. We all know Business Success 101 involves reducing inputs and increasing outputs. Reduce overheads, increase revenue. Reduce staff, increase productivity. Reduce time spent, increase efficiency. In this situation, I ran over every business process with a fine tooth comb. Did we really need to have the phones open that long? No… we turned off the phones 2 hours earlier. Did we really need to buy that much stock? No … we started buying only what we sold. Did we really need to serve those customers? No … we stopped international orders altogether. The small gains were not worth the headaches of lost parcels, items in customs, and unavoidable delays beyond our control. I literally started forcing my business to become something different.

How long does it take you to walk from your desk to your kitchen, and then back again, five times? Go ahead, time it.

If you’re smart you will pick up those five items you need from the kitchen in one trip, right? If you were paying actual money for the time it took to get to your kitchen and back, you might even consider moving your desk.

As I watched my warehouse assistant picking his orders for the day I saw how truly absurd his small basket was. So we bought him a large trolley with three tall shelves to load up.

And I watched him wheel that trolley all the way down to the end of the warehouse to pick some of our most popular filters. I knew he was walking too far each time he needed to reload his trolley, so we moved the packing bench off the wall to the centre of the warehouse. We surrounded that work station with our fastest selling lines.

Then I watched my warehouse assistant resist the use of the trolley because now, most of the stock he needed was within ten steps. Before all this restructure had been necessarily thrust upon us, he had worked largely unsupervised in that warehouse. He was reliable and his work ethic was unquestionable, so that space used to be his domain, without conversation or question. The original layout was not genius by any stretch of the imagination … In fact, it had simply been inherited from our old garage operation, back when we first started from home. Our initial warehouse setup had evolved from our early days, when all we had was a single shelf of vacuum bags tucked in behind our car. In our ten years of operating this particular business, we had never reviewed the floor plan or evaluated the locations of the stock. Heck! We had never even labelled the locations. We were like the vast majority of small start up businesses out there. We made structural changes in a random, ad hoc kind of way, and we continued to do things simply because that is how they had always been done.

My warehouse assistant wanted to go back to the old way. It was comfortable and familiar, and now with the packing bench moved to a better vantage point, and the stock he needed right there at arm’s reach, he argued that it didn’t take that much extra time to simply walk to it, pick it, walk it back to the bench, and pack it.

“How long does it take you to walk from your desk to the filter wall and then back again, five times? Go ahead,” I said, “time it.”

He responded as if I was being contrary and argumentative for its own sake, and he refused to actually take the steps of those five trips to the filters and back again. I didn’t want the interaction to become any more confrontational than it already was, so I walked that little trip back and forward a few times myself to illustrate my point. The five trips were never timed, but thankfully, they were never made like that ever again. It was clear that even the short walk to those filters would happen five times faster if all of the filters were picked in one go.

Workplace inefficiencies are largely invisible to the long term user. The cows who walk those tracks into the side of the hill would never dream of walking a different way. Those tracks have been created over months, if not years of routine. But time passes and things change, and if your business is doing what it’s meant to do, you have grown into something different now. You do not have the small operation you used to have, and your old processes don’t work the way they used to.

If yesterday’s methods continue to be used today, your business cannot grow into a new tomorrow. The growth you have worked so hard for will choke your workflow, and the growing pains will become crippling. Your daily processes will end up being the bottleneck of your operation, and it will become tiresome and overwhelming. One day you might even look in the mirror and realise that you used to say, “The sky’s the limit” and now you realise that “This guy’s the limit.”

It’s time for you to examine the time you spend in motion.

Five Business Control Levers

4 MIN READ

“Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth” Archimedes

I saw it plain as day when I was preparing my old business for sale. My husband had died and I’d been left with a business that turned over truckloads of cash, but it was choking in supplier debt. My late husband and I had started out selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door to door, and nearly two decades years later I had been left with VacuumSpot, a website that sold vacuum cleaner spare parts. It was a great online business! No-one wants to go shopping for the perfect vacuum cleaner bag! It was a fabulous business, but I had to find solutions fast if I was going to be able to clear the debt and sell this operation to launch into my own new beginnings.

Every business has levers that can be pressed in a relatively simple, straightforward way to create a corresponding gain.

At first it was chaos. Despite receiving orders automatically through our website, we did most of the work to fill those orders and manage the rest of the business manually. As I slowly transformed this operation into something that would work on it’s own, I realised that my efforts in certain areas acted as levers, where strategically pressing on one part of the business would create corresponding results in related areas. These levers are universal in business, so these principles I learned in my own situation will apply regardless of your size, your industry, or your mode of operation.

  1. Business Processes: Leverage your routines to increase your efficiency

When businesses increase their output OR decrease the time it costs to produce this output, improvements in workplace efficiency will result. If the business can do BOTH at the same time, they are on a fast track to greater productivity, profits and staff engagement. Refining our daily workplace processes is a business lever that is often overlooked and yet it can yield the greatest results for the smallest investment. Examine your daily business processes with a fine tooth comb to eradicate time being wasted in confusion over what to do next, distraction from external sources, roadblocks of broken equipment, and the frustration of ineffective systems and procedures. Make your workplace work!

2. Pricing: Leverage your ticket pricing to increase the dollar value of your sales

So often in business we can become so mesmerised by turnover that we forget the greater benefits of profitability. The wise business owner will know that you are far better to sell three widgets easily at $40, than you are to slog it out to sell ten widgets at $20. Even though there is less cash in the till at the end of the day, you have worked significantly less to get those three sales, and there is greater business resource left to sell more widgets at the higher price. Take a good hard look at your pricing structures and find those lines that could serve you better with an incremental price rise right now. If you are like me you will spend hours poring over your pricing rules to screw down the most profitable pricing structure possible. If you get it right you will increase the average amount your clients spend with you without spending extra on advertising or serving more customers or filling more orders.

3. Advertising: Leverage your message to increase your the volume of returns

Having a strong, targeted business message is paramount to the success of your advertising efforts. It is not enough to simply sell your products. You need to have a crystal clear idea of what you do and who you do it for. Having certainty around these core aspects of your business identity will not only determine your business offering and your pricing, but it will shine a light forward for you with the types of offerings you develop, advertisements you create, campaigns you run, platforms you advertise from, times you run your advertising campaigns, and calls to action that you provide for your client to respond to your ads. You need the focus and precision of a highly trained assassin to leverage your advertising towards business growth.

4. Networking: Leverage your circles to increase the quality of your business connections

We’ve all heard it before. Jim Rohn says you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. It’s amazing how much we know this, and yet we still find ourselves trapped at the wrong tables, attending the wrong events, and stuck in conversations that are going nowhere fast. For you to make the most of your networks, the people you invest your time into should have the potential to be your closest friends, most supportive mentors, your biggest clients, your best suppliers, your most valued service providers. I cannot emphasise enough how much difference it makes to our business outcomes when we commit to being shrewd in our relationships. Not lacking in warmth or authenticity, but acting like it makes a difference to have quality connections. Because it does!

5. Staffing: Leverage your training and development to increase your productivity and retention

As the owner of your business it is your responsibility to ensure your staff have everything they need to maintain focus, productivity and engagement at work. They need to know what their job is, how to do this job, and what that job looks like when it has been successfully completed. They need to have a sense of pride and ownership in their work so they experience some kind of reward when they have done the job well. For you as their boss, this means providing instructions that are without ambiguity, and then releasing your staff to autonomy in following those instructions. Performance should be reviewed regularly and accountability measures must be built into the process of completing the job. It’s hard to say which is more frustrating for your staff: Being micromanaged to the point of suffocation, or being given so much rope that they end up hanging themselves on your absence of leadership. Management is a fine art to master, but it’s a lever that is proven to create game changing outcomes if it is pressed in just the right way.

 

Follow The Leader

3 MIN READ

I’ve been thinking a lot about business leadership lately. As my small business continues to grow and my vision continues to expand and refine I have considered the nature of leadership deeply. I have always thought of myself a leader. With this big personality and my love of people I slip into leadership roles naturally. I’m always looking for new ways to grow and to take as many others with me as possible.

Leadership has been a familiar friend for as long as I can remember. I’m the oldest of five so I took care of lots of things around our family home growing up. I also served in various school leadership roles through primary and high school. Leaving home saw me leading in church, and then leaving my first husband saw me taking up a business leadership mantle that I still carry to this day. I love the journey of change and evolution that all of us enjoy as small business owners. The task of managing business processes through from development to execution is what I love most.

“Leadership is taken, not given,” Kathrine Durham

Kerry Anne Nelson Speaker, Author, Business Process Genius. Business Like A Boss Workshops

To rise in leadership is to lead yourself in the business management processes you need for growth

Lead Yourself First

To be an effective manager of your time, money and other resources in your small business is to first become an effective manager of your self. As the owner of your business it is you who chooses what, when, how and with whom in every circumstance. Your actions drive every step, and your thoughts drive every action. There are a lot of things riding on your ability to lead yourself. Your family are counting on you, along with your clients, staff and service providers. Most of all though, you are counting on yourself.

From the moment you rise till the moment you retire for the day you are responsible for you. You are the leader of your actions, thoughts, even feelings. You make decisions about every aspect of your small business management, and these decisions come from the core of who you are as a unique person. If you are tired or flat, you are the one who must pick yourself up in motivation and dedication. If you are overwhelmed or confused, you need to manage yourself towards getting the help you need. The successful small business owner is one who can always rely on themselves to operate with determination, creativity, integrity and maturity.

Step Up To The Plate

I love that there are so many sources of support for us in our business growth journey. YouTube gives us endless motivation and instruction, and there is an overflowing abundance of seminars, classes, courses and coaches to keep us pumped and focused, and ready to take on the world. I realise the central role that all these services play in our business leadership, but I must say that I believe there comes a point where we need to remove ourselves from the seminar circuit and get down and dirty with who we actually are as business leaders.

How many conferences will you attend to learn about your potential before you step out to fulfil that potential? How many speakers will tell you that you have a powerful story before you stand up to tell your story to the ones who need to hear it? How many investment gurus will you learn from before you put your money where your mouth is to make that game changing investment? The list is endless but it all starts and ends with the same thing. If you have any desire to make an impact in your business you are like me, and this year, I am saying the buck has to stop with us!

Draw A Line In The Sand

No more productive procrastination with courses you don’t need or coaches who keep you in a loop of dependency. No more doubting our education, experience, ability or passion. No more seeking the validation of others and no more undermining our own expert authority. No more dreaming without planning, wishing without doing, hoping without action. It is time that we hold our head high as leaders and back ourselves. We know what we want, we know what we need. We don’t need to look outward to leaders in the world around us as much as we need to lead ourselves courageously from the inside.

Yes, we will still seek help. Yes, we will still share the journey. Yes, we will give and receive support to others. But this year, it is time to step up to the plate. The Giant Within has already been awakened. The Friends have been won and the Influence is there for the taking. The Seven Habits are known and now they simply need to be put into practice daily. I would love you to join me in making this year the year that you said Yes to making your daily routines into small business leadership practices. This is the year we Follow The Leader inside us.

A Message From Kerry

4 MIN READ

For the last couple of years I have been helping people to follow their passion by inspiring and motivating them with my talk and my social media posts, by coaching them, and by sharing my own unfolding story. It has been thoroughly enjoyable and I have been told frequently that I give people hope. This is an opportunity I will always be grateful for.

There has been a change coming though. Over the course of 2017, people have been indicating what they need to follow their passion by asking me this one question, again and again and again …

“How?”

“How do I follow my passion?”

I have come to realise that it’s one thing to KNOW your passion, but another thing entirely to know what you actually NEED TO DO to follow it and activate it in a transforming way, day to day. The penny dropped for me recently when I saw it clear as day. I know how I have followed my passion, and I can teach people how to follow theirs the same way.

I still help people to follow their passion, but now I teach them how I’ve done it myself. I create manuals for everything and then use these manuals to inform my daily activities. All of the steps in these manuals have managed my emails, my social media, my administrative work, accounting and superannuation, site management, event organisation, networking activities, speaking engagements, filing and data management, email campaigns, publishing my book, and all sorts of projects on the run. The steps in the manuals are turned into action by scheduling tasks in my calendar, setting reminders in my phone, and managing my work flow with project management software. The steps are customised. They are unique for what only I need in my business, and they document everything that I need to do to transform my personal passions into my actual dream life.

 

 

Kerry Anne Nelson Business Process Genius: "A Message From Kerry Blog" 0412 898 363

This year I have changed tack. Instead of simply telling people they can fly, now I show them how

These manuals also allow me to manage my team. Whether they are full time, part time, casual or volunteer support, each of them have their tasks clearly communicated in manuals just like these. It is the set and forget method that literally shoots me through my business growth journey faster than a speeding bullet. It is THE answer to the “How?” question that people keep asking me.

I am a born organiser with a highly strategic approach to bringing my passion to life. I have used these methods to do some amazing things … I still pinch myself some days when I stop to realise that it’s all true. Since May 2014 I have systemised my progress to:

  • manage all of the horrible jobs of my late husband’s passing
  • restructure the website business I used to share with him
  • establish pricing rules to increase the amount our clients spent on our website by 10%
  • rebuild warehouse processes of stock management, inventory control, order fulfilment, workflow
  • train new staff members from scratch in brand new business software and systems  
  • get that old business out of debt and sell it for a profit
  • establish myself as an inspiring speaker and social leader
  • write my book and publish it myself
  • open and manage an event venue called Our Place Melbourne in Camberwell
  • launch Melbourne Inner East Business in Heels branch  
  • launch several different programs and business building sessions
  • launch a business meetup group and attract strong support from members and sponsors alike
  • triple the connections across my social media networks in 6 months
  • create a full, comprehensive site management manual
  • train new on site staff and my remote assistant in different new systems, software and processes
  • mentor business clients through the creation of their own business building systems

I am a trained teacher with 8 years of classroom experience in primary, secondary, tertiary and special education settings. I have nearly 20 years of experience in business, having built businesses from scratch in service and retail industries across online settings as well as traditional bricks and mortar shopfronts. I love nothing more than to work alongside people to teach them how to empower themselves to build the structures they need for their own personal and professional growth.

Please message me today if you would like me to help you create a total business transformation. We are not talking about small tweaks or adjustments here. Together, we will conduct a complete overhaul. We will redefine how you do things to create entirely new routines, experiences and outcomes. When we do this, you will have choices that all stem from having more time. You might choose to add more team members, begin a new business project, or scale your business to new growth. You could choose to sell your business now, because you will have the support documents that you need to demonstrate its worth, and facilitate the handover to the new owners. You might simply choose to go home on time, reclaim your weekend, or even enjoy a long overdue holiday.  Your business will never be the same again.

Food for thought, right? What if it could be different? What if we could make it better, together? What if it worked? …

I know this works. It worked for me, and it will work for you.

Message me today to get started.

Not Everything We Touch Turns To Gold

Everything He Touched Turned To Gold

4 MIN READ

The only way Output Goals can be achieved is by setting and fulfilling Input Goals first. I keep learning that it’s true, but one of my earliest experiences with this lesson makes me smile every time I remember it.

Stepping Out Into The Wide Blue Yonder

Alec and I started out in business together as vacuum cleaner sales people. We then turned our work into a Godfrey’s franchise, which we changed again a few years later to open an appliance repair center. Soon after that, we took our work online, first selling vacuum spares on eBay, then opening our own website in 2004. We proudly called our online business ‘Nelson Vacuums’. This was a massive step into the unknown for us. We made it a little more manageable by buying a standardised “off the shelf” e-commerce store rather than building a website from scratch. It worked through a subscription which gave us empty website templates to populate with our logo, business blurb, images and product descriptions, and account details for payment. It was a fun toy that Alec loved playing with.

The Midas Touch

Alec always described himself as being like Uncle Scrooge. You know the Donald Duck character who used to love rolling around in monstrous stacks of gold coins? Alec had a Midas touch when it came to sales, and he loved the idea of rolling around in piles of money. He was the master of positivity and optimism, and honestly expected that everything he touched would turn to gold.

On the day he listed our first product on our brand new Nelson Vacuums website, he was like a kid in a candy store. Pure glee poured out of him. We’d not sold anything yet, but the POTENTIAL was there. That was all he needed to expect those golden outcomes he was so used to.

Waiting Game

When the listing was up, he waited in excited anticipation for our first sale. He got up, made a cuppa and came back to refresh the screen. Then he checked his emails for the notification that he was sure would come through any minute now. Then he refreshed again … and he waited some more. Then he did a test transaction to make sure it was all working properly, then he refreshed to check again. He switched back to his emails to check there again too … nothing yet, but there would be soon, without doubt!

This routine went on in 5 minute intervals for a couple of hours. Literally! Alec was absolutely convinced that with the website up and that one single product available for purchase, he would see our first sale come through fast. Super quick. Really, he expected that it would happen instantaneously. With every passing minute it became clear that this was not going to happen.

And The Heavens Opened

Well … this story ends that after that first little window, Alec got busy listing more products, and amazingly he did see our first sale come through by the end of the day. It was miraculous in so many ways. I think it shows just how young online retail was back then, and how little competition we had in our niche. The sales trickled in over the next few days, one at a time. Over the following weeks and months we continued to populate the website with more product listings which kept sales ticking along. More importantly we learned about how to succeed in online retail, and the more we learned the more we realised how naive we were in those early days.

The Penny Drops

The more we learned the more we realised that Alec’s early expectations had been absurd. We worked hard to optimise our website, create back links with blogs, guest posts, and you tube videos, and we embarked on our first ever Google Adwords campaign. We were dedicated to the mission of making this website successful, and we had set a goal that it would generate a small income by the year’s end.

Goal setting has to be about what we put in, before we measure what we take out. Alec’s outlook at the start was comparable to the person who weighs themselves, then runs around the block, then wonders why the scales haven’t changed on their return. Goal setting doesn’t work like this. You know it, and I know it, and yet still we continue to pursue aims that focus on output rather than input.

This is important in all areas of our lives, but understanding how this works in our business can make the defining difference to our progress. When we are setting any of our goals for growth we must do this in such a way that prioritises the actions we need to perform to achieve the goal, rather than simply ‘putting it out there’ and hoping that we make it somehow. Our driving goals must be for consistent daily action.

Output goals for increased revenue need input goals for more sales or a sustainable price rise. Output goals for more profits need input goals for better supplier deals, lower overheads, or greater sales. Output goals for more sales need input goals for more sales calls, better staff training, and possibly better products or services. The same approach goes for the productivity of our staff, expansion into new offerings, promoting events and special offers, and reducing our expenditure. All of our business goals must be anchored into what must be done to achieve them.

IN SHORT:

  1. Simply “putting your goals out there” is an ineffective success strategy
  2. Goals which measure output cannot drive progress as much as goals which measure input.
  3. Goals must be clearly defined and pursued with a specific daily action plan.

 

 

When Life Gives You Lemons

Why Do Unnecessary Obstacles Block My Business?

2 MIN READ

Growing a business is not a task for the faint hearted. Every day you face the problems of not having enough time, money, support, clients, sales, opportunity. There is too many appointments, bills, needy people, frustrating customers, unmoving constraints. As start ups we were filled with optimism, but this real life business caper is not what we signed up for. With a few business years under our belts we can get to feeling like change is never going to happen and growth is impossible. We start feeling the desperation of despair and hopelessness. But I have news for you about those obstacles you face …

"Why Do Unnecessary Obstacles Block My Business?" by Kerry Anne Nelson, The Happy Widow, Melbourne based professional speaker - kerry@kerryannenelson.com - 0412 898 363

When life gives you lemons, set up a global lemonade franchise. The more lemons the better.

There are no unnecessary obstacles. every roadblock you face is exactly what you require to grow. You need them all.

Personal Roadblocks in Business

You need the ones you have made yourself because you have old mindsets that must be broken through into transformation. Start setting and stretching personal limitations with identity.

Social Roadblocks in Business

You need the ones put there by other people because they give you the chance to learn how to build a business in a world that is inherently social. Start setting and stretching personal boundaries with people.

Financial Roadblocks in Business

You need financial obstacles to make you see what I learned from Zig Ziglar: The solution to financial problems is never more money. Start setting and stretching personal strategies with resources.

Structural Roadblocks in Business

You need challenges with your structures and admin because you need to realise that without efficient, well considered systems you do not have a business that can grow … and when it’s not growing it’s dying. Start setting and stretching personal routines with time.

I have grown through seasons of hardship, challenge and trial. I have conquered through every one because I chose to see all of it as an opportunity for growth. It’s a lemons to lemonade mindset that will stop you finding reasons to stop and start you seeing opportunities to go. This blog “How You See Changes What You See” highlights my attitude best, so take a read.

There is so much you CAN do. Those challenges you call road blocks have actually built you the stage for you to grace the world with your most spectacular performance. There are no unnecessary obstacles. If you need help making a plan, this is what I do best. Contact me today to get started.