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improving business efficiency

How To Choose What To Offer In Your Business

2 MIN READ

Choosing what to offer in business is often one of the biggest strategic challenges business owners face.

Over the years you’ve probably tried lots of different ways to take your services to market. It’s likely you have developed plenty of different packages and taken on a multitude of different projects or clients to keep the cash flowing in the right direction. That flexible responsiveness is essential in the early years of your business when you are testing the market to see what works. It will also be essential to your ongoing success as market needs and available technologies continue to change and improve. But when you’re working to bring the best out in your remote team, there’s a need for restraint.

improving business efficiency

“I wanted to figure out why I was so busy but I couldn’t find the time to do it”
Todd Stocker

A business without a clearly defined focus on what they offer and how they deliver it simply can’t grow. If you’re chopping and changing on a whim your business is reactionary, impulsive and directionless. A business like that waters down their reputation and confuses the message they take to market. You can’t experience the big growth you want if people are confused about what you do.

It’s also impossible to manage the operations of a business that keeps changing or has too many different tasks going on. If you expect your remote team to be able to work with confidence and independence, you will strategically eliminate all the noisy, frantic, unnecessary tasks from their days and give them clear and specific boundaries about what they need to do and how they need to do it.

To be plain:
One of the best things you can do for your business is to reduce how much is being done, and simplify how those things are done. Five of the best ways to do this:

1. Work with a coach to clarify your core message and refine your offerings
2. Stop delivering packages that don’t make you real money
3. Limit the amount of time you work to dramatically highlight your real business priorities
4. Use a process map to cut out the inefficiencies that waste time and money
5. Get clever with automations to eliminate repetitive tasks

business leaders inspiring their staff

Why Business Leaders Shift From Inspired to Inspiring

4 MIN READ

Like most of us, business leaders all over the world are looking for inspiration. Billions of dollars are generated each year in sales related to self-help. People spend money on life coaches, motivational speakers, and courses or events which inspire attendees to achieve new greatness. It is a massive consumer industry on the rise. Soul searching millennials, stressed-out parents, and ambitious career builders are all on the hunt for the next way to elevate themselves and enhance their futures.

To participate in this trend is easy. Social media provides access to the promotion of resources that never end. The internet delivers materials right to your inbox or Zoom screen. Your global community joins you in celebrating the learning and development. They cheer you on as you advance towards your potential.

It feels great too! Who wouldn’t want to join an army of optimistic people on a mission to achieve more, be better, pursue their own personal greatness? Sharing with others as they come into their own is uplifting; doing that yourself can be euphoric.

But today, a question for business leaders:

Are you merely inspired yourself, or do you inspire others?

“A boss has the title, a leader has the people,” Simon Sinek

There is a massive difference between sitting in the crowd and presenting from the stage. When you’re building a business, it’s all about commanding that leadership role.

Inspiration is not conveyed by mere osmosis. Simply being positive and optimistic about how things are going in your business will not make your team automatically positive and optimistic too. Influential business leaders know it’s vital to shift from being inspired yourself, to inspiring others with your business mission. You need to strategically communicate the vision you have for your team, your clients, and your community. This does not happen by accident. Here are three ways you can master the art of harnessing your own inspiration to go on and inspire others.

 

Business Visionaries Have Consistent Messaging

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” Jeff Bezos

You started your business to achieve one main thing. Clarify exactly what that mission is to make it short and sweet so it is easy for others to capture that vision.

Think tagline!

Then plaster that short, sweet mission statement everywhere: on your website, in your company email footers, on your signage and in the tea room. Print it on T-shirts, open your team meetings with reminders, put it in your team position descriptions. Put it on your company header, tell your team members in their quarterly review, make it the centrepiece of your advertising and marketing.

Do not waver. Do not deviate. Do not become distracted. Shout that one message from the rooftops so everyone can join the inspiration you have for your business mission.

 

Business Leaders Set Achievable Goals

“Process drives culture, not the other way around, so you can’t just change the culture, you have to change the system.” Eric Ries

It may not seem as romantic as your original vision, but leading others to their own inspiration starts with taking a systematic approach. The inspiration you have needs to inform not only what people believe about the business, but how they operate each day.

Think systems and processes!

Lead your team in building out the procedures that get everyone working towards that vision with momentum and confidence. Empower your team to find the most effective, efficient way to work. Then  make that way the new normal. Set up regular reviews for your team so you routinely check in with them to offer support and celebrate their progress each quarter. Have systems in place to ensure that you can help your team get back on track even when standards might start to slip at work.

Everyone in your team will be inspired when you find ways to celebrate the vision being brought to life through achievement and increase.

 

Business Mentors Build Personal Connections

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing” W. Edwards Deming

You can talk all you like about how your business is growing and your team is expanding. But taking others with you on the journey of business inspiration relies on you building a system to lead them. When you connect with other business leaders, you should be able to describe exactly what you’re doing to build the visionary leaders in your company.

Establishing ways to facilitate a sense of personal ownership, belonging and success for your team is foundational to your success. Your staff don’t only want to be acknowledged and rewarded. They actually need it. 79% of people who quit their job cite lack of appreciation as the reason, so actively demonstrating you care is vital to the long term health of your company.

Think mentorship!

When you were just starting out on your own, your job was to just keep going! With so much to do and so little time, your own inspiration was the fuel you burned to get that business off the ground. But building a business to expand and scale requires a paradigm shift. Inspiring your team to build your business for you means maintaining routines which make your staff know just how much you value their contribution. Take them under your wing. Connect with them regularly. Set them up for success with clearly defined expectations and rewards for achievement. Ask them what they want to achieve, and give them what they need to make that happen. As a business leader, you can make their days count for something more significant than their salary.

Watch what happens in your company when you shift from being inspired yourself to inspiring others.

 

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.

Cancelled

4 MIN READ

With half an hour to go before the scheduled Facebook live broadcast, I message my guest to say good morning and confirm that we are good to go at 8AM.

“I’m ready for you at 10,” he says.

I message back, my heart beating just a little bit faster, “um … no … you mean 8 right?”

“No,” he sends his reply message straight back. “I have 10 in my phone.”

Then he calls, and with 30 minutes until the broadcast he explains his father has fallen drastically ill and he had the wrong time scheduled.

Right now, he cannot make our 8 o’clock interview. He had to go to the hospital.

LIFE HAPPENS! WHAT CAN I SAY?

I’m sure I’m not the first mouse or man (or woman) whose best laid plans have gone awry. I had a plan, it was confirmed, and then it changed. It was completely understandable. A mistake mixed with a family crisis. But I was left with no-one to interview and a group that was waiting.

This interview program was only a few weeks old. I had started it simply to add value to the Facebook group I created earlier this year. The program was called #tuesdaytactics to go with Tuesday’s hashtag theme in our Facebook Group, Personal Development in Business. My intention with these sessions was to promote key members of my group through the weekly Live Interviews in Facebook, and showcase their professional knowledge and expertise for the rest of our members. Through this I had hoped to increase engagement in the group which would hopefully create greater member connection, and growth.

I always see a bigger picture…

In the grand scheme of things, the plan was to continue to invest into the growth of a strong healthy group. I wanted to give my community genuine reasons to participate, with offerings that allow them to enjoy huge value every time they check in with us. People who belong to a group like this are much more likely to come along to our monthly events, and they might even connect with me further when they are ready to develop new systems for their own business growth.

I am convinced you can give your way to business growth.

The success of any business activity is built on consistency. None of these outcomes could occur if I didn’t get an interview up today. Not only is it embarrassing to fail publicly, but worse … it reflects instability, uncertainty, and a lack of reliability. These are not the attributes of a successful business leader. For all of us, success relies on us being consistent and dependable for the people we serve. Like I always said to my children growing up:

NO, IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT, BUT IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

I am the Queen of the back against the wall moment. That rising surge of tenacity which never says die is a familiar friend of mine. When adverse changes happen, something raw (and almost primal) takes over. I refuse to accept that this undesirable outcome will be the end of the story. In business and in life

When changes happen, we must happen right back.

It would have been easy for me to pat myself on the back and tell myself I’d tried. I might have even thought I was a good person because I felt sorry for my guest whose dad was unwell. It’s amazing, the sorts of excuses we can hang our hat on. Yes, it was sad that he was sick, but that has nothing to do with the commitment I’d made. The best outcome could only occur if I saw it through. In one lightening fast moment I had gone from having a solid business building plan to facing failure, and I said NO!

I scrolled (like the Dead Sea but faster) through my Facebook friends list,   to find a new #tuesdaytactics Live Interview guest. My fingers were a blur across the keyboard as I typed fast. Copy message … Check the name is right. Read it back to make sure it suits the person. … and Send! Paste to a new friend. Paste again. Surely there would be someone online right now who would be up for a spontaneous promo interview?

Kerry Anne Nelson Melbourne based Speaker, Author, Business Process Genius

Business leaders you can depend on invest into business growth with a defining commitment to generously add value

TURN HALF AN HOUR OF HUSTLE INTO A WHIRLWIND OF SUCCESS

Not only did I find my dear, dear friend Andrea Dix to share her inspiring message from her new book Permission To Shine, but I also managed to book up five more Interviews that would see me through into next month. Andrea and I had a wonderful talk that morning and continued to chat for a while after the #tuesdaytactics Live Interview was done.

I could have seen this moment in many ways. It could have been the moment I took to console my friend whose dad was sick, and in that moment I would have felt lovely about myself and written his sadness into my own identity story. It could have been the moment I let slide because it was too late to do anything now and I could just pick it up next week. It could have been the moment that I walked away from the plan altogether. It had only been running for a few weeks, so there really wasn’t much to lose.

But I saw this moment as a defining one

I am the captain of my ship and the maker of my opportunities. In that moment, I rallied my resources of time, social connections and technology to create a new outcome from the one that my circumstance proposed.

HOW DO YOU USE WHAT YOU’VE GOT?

Tips for the Day:
  1. Build a strong community of support by always giving more than you get. You never know when you will need to cash in those credits.
  2. Stand strong and firm in leadership, in business, in relationship, in yourself
  3. Never give up. Never, never, never give up (Churchill was really onto something).
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.

Why We Must Slow Down To Accelerate

4 MIN READ

Our western culture is too fast. We are too rash, too reactionary, too impatient, and too impulsive. We need everything yesterday. We demand everything now, and we want everything instantaneously. For a culture that is stricken by crisis across all areas of our mental health, physical wellness and personal relationships, our “rushing blur” lifestyle is a recipe for disaster. This is bad for everyone, but for small business owners, this microwave lifestyle creates three nasty problems:

Sales versus Cashflow

Trying to build a business on the strength of individual transactions looks very different to establishing healthy, sustainable cashflow operation. When our business works by chasing after the next big deal, we exchange the refreshing certainty of a surging income stream for the dangers of hot water. One day, that essential sale will not come, and that day will be followed by another, and then another. That quiet spell will hit us like a ten-year drought. We’ll find ourselves gasping for relief from unpaid supplier invoices and bills that we simply can’t afford. It will sap the life right out of us.

Chasing sales is a mugs game. I’ve had the stressful phone calls from debtors which leave you choking on payment plans that you’re not sure you can keep, as you splutter through yet another embarrassing apology. I know firsthand the anxiety of being desperate for the cash, when each sale that comes in is a very welcome sweetener to a very bitter situation. It’s very easy to become hooked on the pursuit of the sale and addicted to the thrill of the transaction.

Every business needs money coming through the till in one way or another, but when our entire operation hangs on the balance of each new deal, we are in trouble. Just because the bubble hasn’t burst yet, doesn’t mean it won’t. It’s only a matter of time.

Slow Down To Accelerate business Growth Kerry Anne Nelson

We need systems to turn our plans into cashflow

Ideas versus Plans

When our business is in the grips of our microwave mindset we jump at our first thought and try to sell it to someone instead of nurturing that seed of an idea through until it grows into a strong, sustainable plan. We humans have at least 70, 000 thoughts every single day, but 95% of these thoughts are ones we’ve already had before. We can’t possibly expect to build a strong, robust business that grows from strength to strength if we don’t give time to developing fresh, thoughtful, well considered plans for survival and then growth.

I’m a Doer. I’m naturally a go-getter and an action-taker and I have a million creative ideas that all feel like a stroke of genius the moment they hit my neurological synapse! When I talk, I talk fast and when I work, I am a blur. My fingers move across my keyboard with the speed of a thousand gazelles 😉

But in business, this tendency towards fast action is not always an asset. Indeed, experience has taught me that it can be my most costly liability. Spend hours, days, weeks, months and even years pouring yourself not into building growth, but into building systems for growth. The best investment we can make into our business is well-structured time to imagine, explore, research, document, structure and plan.

Jobs versus Systems

When jobs are done on impulse rather than being slotted into a workflow routine, we exchange the control of our business for a wild animal that ends up controlling us. Studies show that only 2% of us are good at multi tasking (Konnikova, 2014) , which explains why 40% of workplace productivity is lost to transitions. Random jobs do not a productive workplace make. We need tight systems to drive our business to its fullest potential.

Losing my husband was one of the most devastating events of my life. Aside from the personal loss though, was the business crisis I faced. My retail website was in debt, with no systems for stock control, order fulfilment, or workflow management. Despite turning over a million dollars annually with hundreds of weekly orders being processed through our warehouse, we’d been a small business with largely manual processes for our core operations. My survival after my husband died depended on implementing systems to make the most of the resources I did have. Within five weeks I had conducted a stocktake, installed inventory management software, and commenced the mammoth task of organising warehouse locations for every single line we carried. We streamlined our pick-pack process and used sales data to inform the stock we carried. Yes, this took work, but I knew that this short term investment would result in long term gain. I worked 16 hour days for six months straight, but by the end of 2014 had systemised every single job so that I could hand all of our warehouse operations over to a third party order fulfilment company. I sent my two new team members to work from home with voip phones, skype and Google drive. I sold the business 12 months after that. I was free!

From the moment we rise until the moment we retire, the jobs are there. Calling, hounding, screaming, rushing relentlessly. Like a woman’s work, the jobs in business are never done, and if we are not careful they will get the better of us. This might sound like where you are right now. Do not despair! You can clear the bottle neck of your business by exchanging sales for growing cashflow, by turning ideas into plans, and by creating systems for all of the jobs to work together like a well oiled productivity machine.

I Can Help

If you have been working hard to accelerate and now you see that you need to slow down and systemise, I would love to help. If you would like support with taking the first steps please Contact Me Here to learn more about what you can do to reclaim your time and reignite the passion you have for your business.

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