Process Improvement Consultant

When They’re Hot They’re Hot, But When They’re Not They’re Not. How To Keep Your Team On The Boil For Good.

What can I do to get my team performing consistently well? In the never-ending search for improvement and excellence in your workplace, you will come across various programs aimed at making your organization faster, better, and stronger. Which only means you’re going to be setting KPIs to establish good strong accountability measures in your workplace.

Process Improvement Consultant

“I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results.” – Michael Jordan

The idea of lead goals and lag goals is really important when you’re sitting KPIs because it’s important to know the type of goals that you’re measuring when it comes to setting up your accountability structures. So oftentimes we set measurements around lag goals. Lag goals are usually results oriented. This means they are the direct result or output of your organization’s activity. It makes lag goals easy to measure but not as easy to improve or influence. Now these goals and things like the amount of sales that are achieved or the amount of revenue that’s being produced and while these are very important to keep track of but they’re not always the most productive areas to set KPIs around because they are by definition the type of goals that lag behind the activity that we do. They only happen as a result of the daily and weekly routines that we’ve got put in place in our businesses.

So while lag goals are important to measure, it’s also vital if we’re wanting to control the activity that’s leading to those lag goals and the achievement of them, it’s important that we go ahead and set KPIs around lead goals. Lead goals, on the other hand, are easier to influence or improve since they deal with immediate progress and show the likelihood that you will achieve your goals. Now this is the activity that we’re doing and our team are doing every single day. It’s the amount of sales calls that are being made to result in the sales. It’s the amount of customer interactions that we’re having that will result in the revenue being created. It’s the amount of ads that are being presented on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to achieve the social media reach that we might be looking for.

However they’re difficult to quantify and measure at the end of your effort. This is because you need to have well-defined processes and very specific tools in place in order to measure them. So when we’re setting our goals, make sure that you know the difference between a lead goal, which is the activity that you’re doing every single day and the tasks that you’re having your team complete.

So they are your lead goals which is your daily, weekly routine activity and the lag goals, which is the result, or the output of that activity.

The point of it all is to improve leading indicators over time in order to enhance your lagging indicators. You’re tweaking your operational processes to positively impact financial results or service excellence. If you’ve got really great balance of lead goals would contribute then to the measurement of outcomes or the lag goals, you’re going to have a really great setup for accountability in your workplace that not only tracks if you’re getting to the goal, but also how you’re getting there.

Hide And Seek

The small business scene in Australia is filled with people working their industry magic behind closed doors. 61% of our small business owners are registered sole traders, dedicated to building the business of their dreams no matter how daunting or challenging the task might feel. Nearly one million small business owners run their business from home, pursuing their passion on a shoestring. These entrepreneurial soldiers draw resourcefulness and resilience from deep in their core to expand their business reach far and wide. The vision of these heroes is so gripping that the idea of not living to follow this passion is simply inconceivable. They’ve already seen the impact their business can have in their mind’s eye, and they know they will press through to world-changing impact no matter what.

Process Improvement Consultant

“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us” Marianne Williamson

Australia is a funny place. We celebrate wins together and respect the bloke who has a strong work ethic, but we have a nasty tendency to cut down those who dare to shine in dedicated excellence and outstanding achievement. We will cheer the underdog on till our throats become hoarse, but a niggly little cultural button is pressed for us when someone gets a little “too big for their boots”. Sometimes, the bloke charging to the top of the stack can only continue the mission amidst the disgruntled objections of his peers. “He’s forgotten where he came from … He’s up himself … We’re not good enough for him any more.”

Perhaps this is why so many small business owners tuck themselves and their mission away out of sight. You will see them at networking events shaking hands and sipping on champagne, and they’ll happily tell you how they’ve travelled so for.  It’s easy to share small wins with your Australian peers, and even easier to describe the obstacles and hardships beyond your control. These conversations are a dime a dozen and fit perfectly within our egalitarian sense of mateship and support. It is another thing entirely to stand in the fullness of your passion, taking ownership of the dream that has captured your heart, and boldly declaring that you have ambitions for your business that set you apart.

I am searching for this tribe, and they are coming out from their faceless place in the crowd. You will know you are part of this tribe if:

• You have goals for your business that are so big they even scare you sometimes.

• You have a local business that you imagine rolling out nationally and even globally

• You hesitate to share your business dreams because you don’t want to stand out and you fear being misunderstood

• You push forward in pursuit even though you are not quite sure of the exact steps you need to take

• You are certain you can back yourself despite not having conquered the mountains ahead

• You are convinced that you will prevail over any adversity, trial or hardship

• You have realised that the person who will complete the mission is the one you are becoming

Sole Trader, you are an inspiration. Keep learning. Keep stretching. Keep reaching. Plan for growth. Build the structures. Expand the systems. Your success is my greatest passion.

Business Management Consultant

10 Quotes to Boost Your Business Mindset for 2018

Our words are connected to our power. In fact, these two parts of ourselves are tied so closely that I would call them inseparable. Both the words we say to ourselves, and the words we say out loud to others, direct us through life like a rudder on a ship. Proverbs says that the power of life and death is in our tongue, and Ghandi says “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” This means that our power is our words … In fact, it means our words have so much power that we actually become them.

  1. Learn to say no to the good and say yes to the best. – John C. Maxwell

Making room for growth in every area involves setting clear boundaries that we enforce with an iron fist. Make room for more high-quality Yesses by being discerning with what we accept. Saying no is a skill of empowerment.

2. Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.  – Guy Kawasaki

I have a personal policy of Productive Waiting. I’m not naturally patient, but I make the most of every moment by finding things I can do with the delay along the way. Even if this investment is made only into my mind set, it’s a valuable one to make.

Business Management Consultant

We are ready for new business outcomes when we write a new script for our self talk

3. Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. – Jim Rohn

My Meetup group tagline says it all: “Growing People Grow Business.” We won’t get very far at all in this marathon we call business building unless we are set on being brutally honest with ourselves and how we are travelling. Shining a brave spotlight on your thoughts, motives and feelings to is a fast track to major growth in all areas.

4.Givers have to set limits because takers rarely do. – Henry Ford

It’s all about giving sustainably. If you say yes to this person’s request, how many others will it cause you to be unavailable for. We need to be shrewd with our calendar and ruthless with our time if we are going to stretch out our business influence far and wide.

5. Quality is the best business plan. – John Lasseter

The cream rises to the top. Making a solid commitment to consistently deliver your highest possible standards will elevate you to the stop of the track more quickly than any other approach. There are few things that shine more brightly than excellence.

6. The road to success is always under construction. – Lily Tomlin

This commitment to excellence must be tempered with a gracious acceptance of the fact that we never truly “arrive” Our best in this season will certainly not be the best we can achieve in the next, so balancing ourselves between pursuit of “more” with acceptance of “enough” is the way to go.

7. There’s a big difference between a satisfied customer and a loyal customer. Never settle for “satisfied”. – Shep Hyken

When our businesses are built on the solid foundation of authentic, quality relationships, we will grow from strength to strength. From this platform we enjoy quality referrals, raving testimonials, and repeat business from clients who can’t get enough. Best of all though is the satisfaction of knowing we are building our empire on the foundations of respect and integrity

8. By changing nothing, nothing changes. – Anthony Robbins

If we are in any business we are in the business of change. Changing technologies, products, markets, consumer demands, economic climates, and popular culture. At the heart of all of this must lie a commitment to change within ourselves. We constantly evolve to become the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be, then rise again to greater heights in the next round of growth.

9. Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. – Abraham Lincoln

Some seasons are mastered simply by grabbing the bull by the horns and saying”The buck stops with me.” I am convinced that if we have knocked and kept on knocking on the doors of our passions, and the door is not yet open, it’s time to pull out the battering ram.

10. What is done in love is done well. – Vincent Van Gogh

If you’re anything like me you’ve chosen this business life because you want to do everything you can to pour your love gift out to as many people as possible. We work strategically do this as fast as we can on the tightest budget possible to build an offering that is bigger than ourselves.

Who we are and how we travel through life’s journey hangs on the power of our words. Truly knowing this as a transforming reality is empowerment defined. We all share the same superpower: Our words create reality. Let’s choose words of Life! Freedom! Success! Joy! Courage! Health! Growth! Let’s use our words to create our own personalised experience of Unstoppable Freedom

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If this article has struck a chord with you, please go right ahead and message me. I would love to hear more about what you do, and how I might be able to help you transform your business into the Freedom Machine you have wanted all along. Let’s establish a proven system in your business to create team certainty and sustainable expansion which open pathways to the lifestyle choices you’ve worked so hard for. No matter where you are, I am only a message away.

Why You Started Your Business

Freedom is often a driving motivator for the start up business owner. You know you’re an expert who changes people’s lives, so you don’t want to give your product or services away to an employer or reseller who will steal your thunder and take all your hard earned reward for themselves. If you wanted stability, security and the predictable rise of climbing the corporate ladder, you’d be working for someone else right now. You chose to be in business because you see the promise of bigger financial returns, greater professional impact, and more personal satisfaction. All of these things make your business the tool you’ve chosen to give you freedom with your time, money, and lifestyle choices.

If you serve your business, Your business will serve you.

It’s understandable then that so many small business owners resist working to a routine. If freedom is your driver, the last thing you want to do with your days is bind yourself to a repetitive timetable of processes. Why would you exchange all of that promise of free-spirited liberty for something so mundane as an unmoving schedule? From where you’re sitting now, this seems boring, it kills your creativity, and it binds up the passionate flow that got you started in the first place. I’ll tell you why …

The brutal reality is this: Most small businesses don’t make it through their first five years because they are fighting a losing battle with three core pillars of business management:

  1. Strategic Management
  2. Cashflow
  3. Financial Record Keeping

Studies consistently show that the passion you have for your core business offering is not enough to make you different from your startup peers. You need to have a passion not only for YOUR business, but for business itself. If you want to enjoy the freedom that your small business can bring you, you must embrace the need for discipline and structure. You must invest in building growth frameworks which keep a tight rein on your money and time. You must have a clearly defined strategy for building sales and keeping them on the up and up. You must know your numbers and monitor them routinely. If you can get this balance just right, three incredible things will happen:

It won’t seem boring: Your interest and engagement in your business will skyrocket

When you measure your performance, devise a plan to improve that performance, then collect the data to prove you really are kicking big goals with your targets, you will become hungry for more. The wins that were never experienced or previously hidden will suddenly be visible and you will have cause to celebrate. The confidence and conviction you’ll develop as a business owner will have you walking tall and attracting more and more success to yourself.

It won’t kill your creativity: You will have a new energy for creation and expansion

With all of those wins under your belt, and a more efficient workflow, you’ll know that time is on your side. You’ll feel the refreshing rise of new ideas, invention and opportunity. Passion projects that you had shelved will be pulled out, and you will see a domino effect of success roll out right before your eyes. People will stop and look at what’s happening in your neck of the woods, and they will want a slice of all this positive action too. Fresh seasons of imagination will thrive in the stable structures you’ve built.

It won’t bind up your flow: Your love of business itself will fuel new passion for the impact you can make

Taking part in this kind of expansion will remind you of the impact you had always hoped that you would have with your business. It might seem far fetched now, but please believe me. I know from experience that squaring away your routines and ticking all of your administrative boxes creates wide open spaces for your business to have a real effect. Try to picture what it would be like to flow in the fulfillment of your business potential, leading the field in your industry, and joining with others to make waves that ripple for generations to come.

Isn’t this why you started your business?

If I Die

I am overwhelmingly aware that I’m an involuntary member of a very diverse, vulnerable, human club. People never join this club willingly, yet its members are true heroes who soldier on in courageous love and sensitive support of those around them. This club is made up of the people who have lost their beloved and who will always carry a drop of grief in their heart. This grief emerges in surprising ways for each unique club member. But all of us know it and all of us need to deal with it, in one way or another. This time of year is festive for most, but hellish for many who have suffered the recent loss of a loved one. I apologise for bursting your bubble here, but for just a moment I would like to get honest and real about some of the practicalities of the season. There some things that must be pulled out from the shadows.

I have a folder in my filing cabinet called “If I Die.” I’ve put all of the sorts of things in there that I wish my late husband had provided for me when he passed away unexpectedly in May 2014. Over these next few weeks, most of us will enjoy a festive break from our work, and some will be lucky enough to shut up shop altogether. I urge you to invest some of this time into reflecting on just how much you care for your loved ones, and the circumstance they would be left in if you were suddenly gone. After the gifts have been unwrapped, the turkey carved, and the pavlova consumed, please pull this little article back out and set up your own folder. Include these items listed here so that your loved ones would have the support they need. If the worst actually happened, the last thing you would want them to deal with is the messiness of wading through an unprepared business end of the situation.

1. Update your Will

If you don’t have one, make an appointment with your solicitor and have a will drawn up in the new year. At the very least, jump online and download a free version so that you have something in writing to help your loved ones manage your affairs if they need to. If you have children who depend on you, regardless of their age, you should have a plan for their care if you meet unexpected tragedy. When you look at their beautiful faces this Christmas, remember they will rely on you for this plan even if you are gone.

2. Enduring Power of Guardianship

If you were suddenly not well enough to make your own decisions, who would make them for you? If you could no longer make choices about your work, living arrangements, health care … who would step in for you? Nominate the person you trust in writing.

3. Enduring Power of Attorney – Financial

If something happened that made you unable to manage your own finances, someone else would need to do that for you. Ensure your intentions are clear and legally binding by nominating in writing and having a witness sign too

4. Enduring Power of Attorney – Medical

While our mortality is an uncomfortable reality that is difficult to face, it is also horrible to think that we may find ourselves alive but unable to manage our own health. Discuss this possibility with a loved one and if they agree to stand in your place, get it in writing.

5. Use a password keeper like LastPass or 1Password

The only reason I could access most of my late husbands profiles and accounts is that I happened to know most of his passwords. Some remain locked to this day, over three years later. Store them securely online and document the Master Password safely.

6. Give your trusted loved one access to all of your online places – google drive / dropbox, emails, passwords, website logins

My daughter, my assistant and my current partner Rod all have access to all of my online accounts and profiles. They would be able to act immediately if required to manage my affairs and smooth the transition should something untoward happen to me.

7. Compile these insurances: Life Insurance, Superannuation, Funeral Insurance, Life insurance with private healthcare

For a relatively brief period of investing into these administrative tasks, you and your loved ones will enjoy the ongoing security of knowing that the insurances you need are in place to ensure they are provided for if the worst happened. Just imagine if you didn’t …

8. Update the beneficiaries of your insurances

It’s one thing to have the insurances in place but entirely another to have your details up to date and the details of your beneficiaries. You can guarantee that things would run as smoothly as possible if these insurances were claimed by keeping them updated.

9. Ensure that your Next of Kin is the person you want managing your affairs

If you write your best friend as your next of kin at your doctor or dentist, this gives them a legally enforceable voice if tragedy struck. Consider who you’ve nominated in your Will and  Power of Attorney documents to ensure your preferred carers can do their job.

10. Organ donor registration with Medicare and on your Drivers Licence

If this is your preference ensure it is clearly specified and documented. I carry my organ donor card in my wallet at all times because I would hate for precious moments of delay or confusion to mean the loss of benefit to another person in need of my healthy organs.

11. Funeral plans: Songs, texts, special people, broadcast online

Making plans for a funeral you never expected is a sad, dark task filled with overwhelming sorrow. Make it just a little smoother for those you love by writing up a few of the things you would like to be included. I know this would have been comforting for us.

12. Letters to loved ones

When he was gone, he was gone forever. The last thing he ever wrote to me was an email about a project we were working on with our website developer. None of us got a goodbye or farewell. Closure was ours to find ourselves. Write your last words of love and update them annually so that your people will have something to have and to hold until they too draw their last breath.

What To Do When Your Business Is Running You

For years I have been in one business or another. I started out selling vacuum cleaners door to door, which then took my husband and I to a Godfreys franchise, then our own small appliance repair centre, then we moved our operations to online retail, selling vacuum cleaner spare parts online from several different platforms as we outgrew each one. Along the way I became a teacher too, graduating with honours and moving to work in primary schools, high schools, and special ed. This opened opportunities for me to  train beginning teachers at university level too. I have been a busy girl! For as long as I can remember I have managed multiple pots on the boil and made progress in it all by committing first to excellence in management. Our time is our most precious resource.

When you are run off your feet chasing your business around, It is time to put yourself back in the driver’s seat.

So many business people struggle with the management of their work and run themselves ragged trying to keep their thumb in all of the different business pies at once. When people say they are having trouble running their business, what they really need is to learn how to streamline their daily management processes. It is important to realise that problems with the running of the business will affect lead generation, sales, cash flow and staffing. It is easy to jump the gun at this point and think that better staff, more money or more work will solve the problem, but let me tell you from experience that chasing these fixes will be a recipe for disaster. Business management is the umbrella that holds it all together and this is where the gains need to be made. Here are some key aspects of successful business management that will help you through:

FOCUS: Clarify the one thing you do in your business, and direct all your resources to that end. Time. Money. Physical resources. If you sell widgets, then your business is selling widgets. It’s not writing about selling widgets or telling people you sell widgets. Advertising, marketing and promotions are all vital for you to sell those widgets, but they are not your business. Keep the horse in front of the cart.

CLARIFY: Get rid of all peripheral activities. Clear your calendar of unnecessary appointments and abort projects that don’t get you where you want to be going. Unsubscribe all irrelevant emails and clean up your work space. If you are brave enough you might even consider detoxing your social circle by making choices to spend the most time with the people who contribute to your growth and well being.

CREATE ROUTINES: A big portion of your work is repetitive and like the proverbial “women’s work”, it is never done. Set your morning routine by creating a checklist of all of the ongoing tasks that will always need to be attended to. Jobs like email management, social media notifications, phone messages, opening mail etc can be done in a super fast daily routine if you have a list you work every morning to clear your mind and your desk.

GROUP TASKS: Most of the tasks you do are similar or the same in nature. Group them together and allocate a set time for them. Monday mornings for me are pays, accounting, super, bills and invoicing. Monday afternoons are for writing my blog, guest blogging for others and creating social media posts. This means I only do those tasks on those days or at the allocated time. This approach can be applied to content creation, filing, development of promotions and advertising, and meetings.

DOCUMENT: Invest time in creating detailed manuals for the repetitive tasks you do. These should be complete with every step of the task and screen shots or photos. Do Not Miss One Step. Every login, mouse click, and field to complete must be included. These documents will allow you to get help from someone else sooner rather than later. Better than this though, they will eventually become the comprehensive documentation that adds immeasurable value to a future buyer of your business. Make these as you go, right then and there, to make your connection with the job authentic.

SYSTEMISE: There are software programs, apps, and websites that will take care of many tasks you might be doing manually right now. Advance schedule emails, social media posts, and reminders with software. Put everything in the calendar you carry around with you in your phone. Everything. Organize your workflow with project software and manage your data storage and sharing with cloud tools. Do your accounting, pay your bills, and even manage your health and well being with apps that lead the way for you.  It’s time to move towards new ways of managing your work.

10 Steps To Reclaim Your Business

Quite some years ago you started out in your business, brimming with positive expectations dreams that you were going to make come true. You were excited about what your big idea could lead you to, and your passion carried you through your first few years. You didn’t know what you didn’t know and this ignorance was bliss. You took big risks and giant strides into the future that you were intent on making.

Now you are tied to it like a concrete block. You’re working far too hard and you don’t have enough to show for it. Yes, you do have sales, cashflow, leads and a robust client base, but you feel like you’re dying under the workload of serving it all. The love you used to have for your work is slowly suffocating at the hands of endless admin, frantic jobs, an uncontrollable inbox and relentless customers that always seem to want more than you can give. Lately you have become increasingly tempted to get a haircut and a real job. You started this business to follow your passion, and now it is literally pushing you to the brink.

The passion you had for your business can be rekindled with a specific plan to get you back there

What Did I Want? – Re-ignite Passion

The first step to reclaiming what you feel that your business has stolen from you is to remember what you started it all for in the first place. Once upon a time you loved your core business offering and you wanted to tell the world about it. You were dedicated to making it work and you envisioned where it would take you. Reignite the passion you once had for this work. It’s still in there and it can be rekindled to give you the resurgence of ambition you need to make things better.

What Do I Want Now? – Goal

With your first love reignited, it’s time to be honest, and ask yourself what you really want now. Your blissful ignorance is long gone, and now you know that the journey of getting your life back will be epic. You’re not in the same starting position you were in back then, so take a look at your new landscape. What has changed? What remains? What are your ideal outcomes from this point forward. Clarify these to create a realistic new benchmark for yourself.

What Could It Become? – Vision

Exchanging those old naive ideals for more realistic goals will help lighten the load, but don’t go so far as to lose the entrepreneurial spirit of the starry eyed adventurer. As you conceive these new pathways forward, allow yourself to imagine wild outcomes. In the best case scenario, what might still be possible from here? How far could you reach? How powerful could your impact be? The limitless possibilities make this process all worth it. Keep stoking the fire of your wildest new dreams.

What If? – Benefits

With your head somewhere between your realistic goals and those entrepreneurial visions, connect yourself to the benefits of continuing the pursuit. How does this business still serve you, and what could you gain from making it stronger? Is it the income that drives you? The lifestyle for you and your family? The difference you make? The autonomy? Or other perks along the way? We all have different sources of ambition and reward, but tapping into what you get out of this business will keep you hungry for more.

What If I Don’t? – Motivation

Similarly, acknowledging the potential costs of not pushing through will help you stay on the front foot of your motivation. There’s nothing like measuring the opportunity cost to get us really going. It’s one thing to chase the promise of reward, but truly another to be propelled to action by realising that without this surge, you may very well put your business, your family, your financial security or even your sense of identity at risk. A healthy balance of “What If I Do?” and “What If I Don’t?” will keep you on the right track.

What Do I Have? – Inventory

Now that you have your head in the game it’s time to get down to business and take an audit of what you already have to get this show on the road. You have physical resources like computers, phones, cars, shopfronts, stock, and office equipment that can be put to use straight away to begin reclaiming your business. When you combine these resources with the people in your circle, your years of professional experience, and the natural strengths you bring to the table, you’ll see there’s a lot you can do to create change now.

What Do I Do? – Strategy

This evaluation process may have inspired some strokes of genius about moving forward. To create real change, these ideas need to become specific action steps. It’s not enough to write down your general direction or ideal outcome. Reclaiming your business can only be guaranteed when you have a step by step plan to follow. Ambiguity makes positive change fall victim to tiredness, confusion, dismay, frustration, or the next urgent crisis. Writing down every single step of the strategy puts this change into autopilot.

What Do I Need? – Resources

There will be some steps that you won’t be able to take without acquiring some new things. You might need to buy new equipment or upgrade what you have now. It might be as simple as installing new apps or software, or subscribing to a new service. You could enrol in a short course to expand your knowledge or do some online training … If you are really committed to making this new mission stick, you might invest in some new social connections, and dare I say it, redefine some of your less beneficial relationships.

What Do I Do Now? – Schedule

Now you have everything you need to reclaim your business … The only thing separating you from change is your planning. Your business will return to you when you turn your strategy into a schedule in your calendar. Timeframes, appointments and deadlines will let you draw a line in the sand. To keep you and your staff on the straight and narrow, document everything to make that autopilot work for you. Checklists, diagrams, instructions and procedures will take the gamble and guess work out of this transformation.

What Have I Achieved? – Evaluate

No transformation is complete without evidence … even if it were, how could you truly know that you made it? The most vital part of the business reclaim journey is to measure your progress. Your measurements will reflect your initial goals. Were you seeking more time? Revenue? Profit? Sales? Clients? The list of areas you could have targeted in your business reclaim is endless, but across every area is the need for data to prove your progress and inform future steps. Evaluation is the lifeblood of every healthy business, and when these processes become central to your operation, you’ll find that your business can never hold you hostage again.