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Taking responsibility for growing your business

Some of you will know I receive weekly posts from the Entrepreneur’s Circle. This one was a great reminder of what being in business is all about. I hope it gets you thinking.

I recently met a lady who is a life coach. Now, I don’t know how much you know about the life coach business, but I can assure you, there are plenty of them around and most of them are poor.

And there are there are three reasons for this; firstly, the supply of coaches in the UK vastly outweighs the demand for their services; secondly, lots of coaches just aren’t very good – a fact that has tarnished the reputation of the whole sector; thirdly, precious few coaches are prepared to take responsibility for their own commercial success.

Don’t get me wrong, the lady I was talking to appears to be very good at what she does. She had some great case studies and stories that she shared with me and I have no doubt at all that she can make a real difference to the lives of the people that she works with.

However, she’s making hardly any money and the concept that this was in some way her fault was completely alien to her. As we talked, she opened up a little and she said something that I found very enlightening: “If I do a good enough job with my coaching and counseling, people will hear about it and discover me.”

Unfortunately, I had to burst her bubble. Fact is, there’s no business where simply being ‘really good’ at it will guarantee success. As business owners, all of us have to take responsibility for getting our message out there and communicating to our customers and potential customers, in an utterly compelling way, why they should dip into their hard earned cash and spend it with us.

It’s 100% our responsibility. The longer she kids herself that she’s living in this utopia where how well you do something is the sole factor in determining your success, the longer she’ll remain poor; unable to get her car repaired, unable to take her kids on holiday, unable to buy her husband a nice gift on his birthday, unable to shop at the supermarket she prefers and unable to reduce her credit card debt.

She’s avoiding responsibility and that’s completely bonkers. There are no such things as victims in business. Only volunteers.

I’m not saying it’s easy to grab the steering wheel of your life and turn it in the direction that you want to go (and I know that you know that too) but the rewards when you do are significant.

It may even mean doing something as drastic as changing your industry or business in order to achieve it, but again, it comes down to that one word: Responsibility.

The business you are in, who you sell to, the products and services you provide, your prices, even the place in which you live and work. Oh sure, these are tough decisions but that’s what responsibility is all about and pretending that there are things outside our control, things that we can’t change, is part of our defense mechanism.

But, trust me, it’s hardly ever true and we’re just kidding ourselves. These aren’t decisions to be taken lightly. The trick is to think deeply and carefully about all aspects of business and life and remember that the questions you ask ultimately define your lifestyle.

Only when you get into the habit of thinking about your business in this way will you start to have confidence in your ability to take full responsibility.

I am in control and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Neither should you.

Until next week,

Nigel

Why accept higher costs on your savings than you would in your local supermarket?

It is a strange phenomena that we will walk the streets of our town looking for the best bargains yet will accept the costs built into our savings plans without question.

From the start of this year, there has been a fundamental change in the way that you and I are asked to pay for the financial services we receive. Advisers no longer take commission but will charge a fee for the services they offer.

However, your existing plans will have servicing costs built into them and you may not necessarily be receiving service from the adviser or fund manager who is receiving the fees that those charges reflect.

Indeed, many advisors and investment houses recognise that those charges could come down as they are not bringing better value.

This is not small beer! Typical charges can be between 1.5% to 2% or more per year and thus reduces the growth on your investments and depletes your investments further when values are falling. When you consider that you could achieve the same results paying only 0.5% or less, reducing costs by 2/3rds or more can save you £1,000s over the years.

Don’t get me wrong. Advisers and fund managers who provide a service which delivers value to you should be paid for what they do but you need to be aware of what that fee is and what it is for.

This is your money that is being spent possibly without you even knowing about it. In these times, every penny needs to count. Go and ask your savings providers what annual charges are being deducted. If you need help with this, give me a call.

you don’t need originality to make a huge success you just need to think differently

I make no apology for just copying this email from son Paul (EC Nottingham). Read it and the look at the two links (cut and paste).
Learn the message and succeed.

Morning Team,

I hope all is well and you have had a belting week – A bit of a Friday ramble for you!

Was a doing a bit of reading last night on tinters (sad I know) but I came across a really interesting article (it’s getting sadder…) with a chap bemoaning the fact that dollar shave club (and yes I know I talk about this too much!!) get all the plaudits when actually the “cheap razorblade concept” was “invented” 2 years earlier but a Belgian company. With a bit more research I found the company in question – and it struck me that this was a classic case of Banana Syndrome -It’s not what you do its the way that you do it!

Take a look for yourself – which of these do you think appeals more to the cheap shave market

http://www.razwar.com/
or www.dollarshaveclub.com

The figures tell their own story 1451 like on facebook for Razwar and 82000 + for DSC –

Also over 10 Million people have watched the dollar shave club video on youtube – ten million!!

My point here (finally!!) is that It’s never too late – you don’t need originality to make a huge success you just need to think differently and produce a piece of marketing that is really tailored to a section of the market.

That idea you had,. that some one else did – the door is still open.

And so my question to you this fine and spring like Friday is “What can you do, that other people are already doing, that you can do better?”

Have a great Friday Guys look forward to catching up soon.

Cheers

Paul

An email from Nigel – success in a million snowflakes

You will know that I am a member of a marketing resource. One of the best decisions I ever made! I am sending you below the email I (and other members) have just received. Understand this and turn your business into what you dream it to be!

From: Nigel Botterill
Date: 25 March 2013 11:34:43 GMT
To: martin@makingmoneymakesense.co.uk
Subject: THIS is what’s largely responsible for my success

Credit to Inside Track member Jonathan Coleman for this weeks email. He wrote me an email on Saturday as follows:

Nigel,

I have been struck, over the last few days, at how lightly the snow has been falling and yet has managed to cause such massive disruption.

Even a huge branch of our apple tree, which comfortably bore the weight of both our children when they were younger, is bowed to the ground.

Yet the snow falls have not been heavy, at least in Chester. What they have been, though, is incredibly consistent.
It has barely let up even for a minute.

So the accumulation of those tiny flakes has had a massive effect, even though the temperature has been above zero for most of that time and so much of what lays is melting from underneath.

Can you think of a better way to describe the challenges of building a business AND the solution? And, right now – it is all around us!!!

He’s right of course. Super successful businesses are almost always built on the little things that happen day in, day out. And, similarly, poor, under-performing businesses get there because of what doesn’t happen day in, day out.

I’m under no illusion that it is my daily disciplines that are largely responsible for the success I’ve achieved in business and it was fascinating, last week at the MasterPlan event, that only two delegates, out of almost 100 in the room, stood up and said that they did their 90 minute chunks every day. (the rest all knew that they should but something gets in the way on at least a few days each week)

If you want to bend an apple tree, or close a road, or cover a football pitch then a hundred million tiny snow flakes is the way to do it.

And if you want to build a super-successful business then a dozen daily habits, each one on its own almost insignificant, can collectively get you there – and often much quicker than you’d think. You know that – but you still don’t do it.

Why is that?

I’ll leave that thought with you as you compromise your 90 minutes of uninterrupted time once again to do something urgent for someone else that, on its own, makes no difference, but allied to all the other missed 90 minutes this year has already set you back miles…

Nigel

Will marketing save your business and build your financial future?

Please do not confuse marketing with placing nice images, logos and having nice letterheads or business cards. Yes, they are part of the output of a marketing process but the real thrust of your marketing is having a clear understanding what your business does for its customers and then knowing how to replicate that. At that point you can decide how to find more of that type of customer and then use marketing to approach them.

It could be by way of adverts, websites or newspaper articles but it could also be through social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook or dare I say, even Twitter or just doing a neighbourly turn for someone local to you. If you want to build wealth within your business ( assuming that your business is a cornerstone of your personal financial planning and why else would you be putting yourself through all this pain), then think hard about this, well before you reach for your cheque book and start buying those letterheads, business cards, websites or adverts.

Do you agree? Disagree? Or just don’t know. I’d like to hear your opinion if you have time.

Financial planning is the same. Do not invest into anything just because some letter/newspaper enticement attracted you. Have a plan. What do you want your money to achieve and then work though from there. It is not rocket science and most of you can do it without too much help. Possibly just some general guidance. And that is what I do. Have a chat. It costs you nothing!

Call me on 07767 450097

As a fellow local business owner I know you will want to know about this….

….as a fellow local business owner I know that you will want to know that there are personal benefits that your business can pay for without it costing you anything!

Sounds Crazy?

Well it is possible, allowable and tax free …….

And it allows you the opportunity to drop some personal costs

If you work within a limited Company then that company can provide a fund for your family’s future in the event of your death, and pay for it out of the turnover, before tax! This also means you could consider saving on any existing life assurance.

As well as using your business to build your lifestyle for the future, why not let it fund your family’s lifestyle if you died too soon.

Some of the advantages

Any life assurance you are currently paying is almost certainly coming out of your personal taxed income. Don’t do that anymore. Save income tax, National Insurance and possibly Inheritance tax.

Your company can set up a policy for you and the premiums will be treated as a business expense for tax purposes and attract corporation tax relief.

Premiums paid by your company are not treated as a benefit in kind to you!

Premiums paid by your company will not attract National Insurance payments!

The benefit received will be completely free of income and capital gains tax.

The payout will normally be paid free of inheritance tax.

As you might expect, there are restrictions but I can talk you through those to see what level you are eligible for.

There are only a few providers who offer this cover. It is available to owners, directors and employees of limited companies.

Interested? Give me a call, direct to my mobile 07767 450097 and let’s chat.

THIS CAN SAVE YOU MONEY AND let your business proved support for your family

You know it is important to talk about your numbers……..

….imagine if your business could talk. Would it offer your family a guaranteed £750,000, £1,000,000, or even £5,000,000?

Crazy?

Well it is possible, allowable and tax free …….

And it allows you the opportunity to drop some personal costs

If you work within a limited Company, then that company can provide a fund for your family’s future in the event of your death and pay for it out of the turnover, before tax! This also means you could consider saving on any existing life assurance.

As well as using your business to build your lifestyle for the future, why not let it fund your family’s lifestyle if you died too soon.

Some of the advantages

Any life assurance you are currently paying is almost certainly coming out of your personal taxed income. Don’t do that anymore. Save income tax, National Insurance and possibly Inheritance tax.

Your company can set up a policy for you and the premiums will be treated as a business expense for tax purposes and attract corporation tax relief.

Premiums paid by your company are not treated as a benefit in kind to you!

Premiums paid by your company will not attract National Insurance payments!

The benefit received will be completely free of income and capital gains tax.

The payout will normally be paid free of inheritance tax.

As you might expect, there are restrictions but I can talk you through those to see what level you are eligible for.

There are only a few providers who offer this cover. It is available to owners, directors and employees of limited companies.

Interested? Give me a call, direct to my mobile 07767 450097 and let’s chat. THIS CAN SAVE YOU MONEY AND let your business proved support for your family.

I will help you clarify how to think about your options so that you can start a process of making the right decisions.

Largest growth for smallest Investment …..

Your largest growth will be when you make the smallest investment.

Talk to me and I will explain how. I can do most of the leg work for you. This can be a simple chat or more detailed. Explaining what you have and how it fits in with your aspirations. What the options are and how to go about getting them. Simply Independent advice backed by over 25 years experience. I have seen most things several times round.

You can then decide whether to spend some more time and apply these things yourself or outsource it and save time.

Invest some time now. Just a lttle. Ring me on 07767 450097 and ask me how this would work. Such a small investment which could change your future.

Please read my testimonials from real people about how I work. Ring me.

What I have learnt from my sister's gasman NOT calling!

I recently telephoned my sister in London, only to find her downstairs with a telephone trying to take a meter reading from her gas meter. There was a little cursing going on, as she was trying to get out to go into town and she had been rung by the meter reading service to ask if she could take the reading and they would call back. Her lament was “what has happened to the gas man who used to call?”.

My sister is in her retirement years and it made me think about something that we are taking for granted more and more or that for things like meter readings and checking of bank accounts, we are now expected to do it ourselves. In the past doing it ourselves would have resulted in a discount. Nowadays not doing it ourselves, is likely to incur an extra charge.

That moved me on to think about my parents and aunts and uncles saying to me, many years ago now, “I don’t envy you kids having to deal with this faster pace of life”. For my mid-thirties children, they take for granted doing all these things digitally and online but for my generation, there is a yearning at least on some things, to have it done for us. For those lucky enough to have planned ahead then hopefully their retirement funds will allow them to be able to pay for these extra things which they used to enjoy.

What is inevitable is that the younger generation will, in time, also be hankering about “how things have changed”. Will they, indeed will you, have put enough aside for your retirement years that you will be able to afford these little extras?

It’s worth thinking about. Your delay in dealing with your financial future because you are too busy with today’s issues can come back to haunt you. You can however do something about it and the first st step might be to get better informed about your options. That is what I do at Making Money M`ake Sense. Simply provide you with Information which is relevant to you so that you can then make decisions as to whether to do it yourself or outsource some or all of it to help you start to build your financial future.
If you want to afford the little things in future years, pick up the phone and talk to me now. That will cost you nothing.

What I learnt from a Smurf in Trafalgar Square

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One of the pressures of being a business owner is getting the balance right between working in the business and working on the business. I am finding more and more that my clients and I are thinking about how they are  running their business for the benefit of them and their family. A trip to London recently really brought home the point about running an efficient business..

 

Pat and I had decided to go and see the theatre show, Warhorse. (If you have not seen it I would highly recommend it. Very different from the film. Quite brilliant).

 

After being dropped off, we had some time to walk around and eventually ended up eating a sandwich sitting on the low wall outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Suddenly, across the square comes a gentleman in a red and blue leather-like suit with a kitchen stool wrapped up in shiny plastic. He puts the stall down in the square takes a Smurf’s head from under his arm, plonks it on his own head and just sits there staring out towards the column.

 

My immediate reaction was what’s that dic**ead doing, surely he’s not expecting to raise any money for that? How wrong I was.

 

Within a few moments people were coming up to him and standing next to him whilst their friends took photographs. He of course was playing the field and waving to people and drawing both the adults and children to him.

 

I walked around to take my own photograph and noted that the money in his box was certainly way in excess of the minimum wage.

 

Now what we had here was a small business owner. He had minimal overheads, minimal responsibilities but had found a niche which attracted customers. He clearly knew what the market was and how to bring income into his business. Do we have such a clear idea of our market and our overheads?

 

If all of us are going to use our businesses to drive our future wealth which allows us to then live the life we want to live we have to do the same. For those of us who are expecting our business to provide our retirement income there is a good lesson to dwell on.

 

If you own adviser is not challenging you on these issues, perhaps we should chat.