It’s a small world!

I am constantly amazed at how small the world is.
The internet, and Linkedin in particular, has meant that keeping connected with clients and contacts has never been easier.
Take my client who is moving from Somerset to Cambridgeshire, for example. He has established a successful business down here but now has to move for family reasons. He was very worried that it would take him time to become established in his new location. However, by contacting clients he found that his network extends further than he had ever imagined. He has work set up for his first six months following the move, but not only that he has been busier than ever as clients ‘grab’ him before he leaves.
This is a clear example of how keeping clients and contacts up to date you can make transitions easier and more successful.
Not only that but I have used my network to help find him a bookkeeper in Cambridge so he is not bogged down by admin whilst he is trying to maintain momentum up there.
By nurturing the network we have already built up we can leverage it to achieve amazing things.
In the past we had to rely more on cold calling and other marketing means to get established. Now it is much easier because we are much more aware of our friends’ and colleagues’ networks and can ask for help in being introduced to contacts we know will be great for us.
Of course, once contact has been made we still need to ensure we invest in the time to nourish the relationship. We still need to have one to one meetings and engage on a personal level. However, the internet is certainly helpful in keeping us up to date on our network is up to.
Fiona 🙂

The Mother of Invention

The saying goes that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.I definitely feel this is so since the recession.

There are two areas in particular where I am seeing more creativity in business.

Firstly, the pressure on resources is making business owners review their spending and the way in which they run their businesses. They have realised that they cannot go on as they did when times were good. Sales are not so easy to come by and prices are continually rising. Many businesses are having to get by with lower income and this means that business owners have to be creative about how they spend their hard earned money. Every £ spent needs to be justified – nothing is spent on a whim.

This is all great stuff and I hope will lead to long term benefits for the business to carry forward when times become easier again.

Secondly, I have seen many new ideas for businesses in the last few months. This is also down to the recession. When people can count on their jobs being stable, and long term, a lethargy can descend. There is no need to be creative or to question whether you are doing what you really want with your time. You carry on in the same old way because it is easy. When times are harder we begin to look at the world in a different way.

The risks associated with employment are higher, whilst the rewards are often diminishing. This can lead to a total rethink of what we want from life. The result can be that a long held dream seems more attainable or our creative brains come up with a project we would never have considered when times were easy.

Give your inner inventor wings and see where it takes you – you may be amazed!

Fiona 🙂

It’s not just business, it’s personal!

Do you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve personally over the next 20 years? In 2031 when you look back, what goals would you like to have ticked off and what resources do you need to put into place to achieve these goals?

These are questions a good goal based financial planner helps you to get clearly defined.

But why is it important to know the answers to these questions?

Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know that I am passionate about planning and believe that it is much more likely that we will achieve the results we want, if we have a plan in place. This applies equally to personal goals and to business goals. And they are interlinked. It is unlikely that success meeting a business goal will be meaningful unless personal goals are also met. In fact, I believe our personal hopes and desires should provide the backdrop to our business goals – especially where we are business owners. After all, how is a business successful if it does not reflect the owner’s personal values and fit with their life plan?

I have discovered, by working with my goal based financial planner Andrew Stinchcomb, that there are key things I want to achieve in my life. Some of these things have always been clear to me – others have come to light through discussions with Andrew and my husband, Jeff. The key outcome has been that we now have a clear idea of what we need resource-wise (and this inevitably means money) to make our dreams a reality.

As my business is my only source of income, I now have a very clear picture of what I need to accomplish business-wise, in terms of number of clients and levels of income. This has made it much easier for me to identify good opportunities as they are presented to me and to motivate myself. I know what I will be sacrificing if I don’t push myself.

It’s funny, Jeff and I had always talked about taking a year out when our boys leave home to travel around Europe in a camper van. It was originally a pretty lose idea and more of a dream than something we thought we might really do. However, this idea has crystallised into a key goal during our discussions – such that, should it not happen, I would feel really bereft. Andrew has worked out how much this goal would cost us and we have a clear idea of how much per month we need to save to make it happen.

It equates to one new good client for me – and guess what? I am finding much easier to motivate myself to find that new client than I would if I were just looking at increasing income without a compelling reason for doing so!

So take a look at your life goals and ask yourself “Is my business providing to route to these goals?”.

Fiona 🙂