Now more than ever being a business owner can be overwhelming. You may feel like you have cashflow pressure, no business strategy, low revenue or profit, people problems or generally feeling exhausted.
The coronavirus pandemic has certainly become a heavy weight to bare. We have worked with some of the region’s most successful business owners to relieve this strain and given them more freedom across three main areas: headspace, money and time.
So, how exactly do we do this and how can this accelerate your business at such a rocky time?
First of all, free up headspace.
Bupa Global’s Executive Wellbeing Index, concluded more than three-quarters of business leaders (78%) have experienced poor mental health during the pandemic and experts are warning that tighter COVID restrictions could spur a new wave, exacerbated by pressures on business, the economy and reduced personal freedoms.
How can we therefore reduce this stress? Consider the following:
- Do you have a plan? – We allow business owners to regain control by putting together a solid one page plan that addresses both personal and business goals. We ask where are you now, where do you want to be and how will you get there? We then lay foundations to reach those goals and achieve growth. By putting this down on paper you immediately alleviate this from your head and we then make each goal realistic, achievable, and designate accountability.
- Are you giving yourself the right tools to allow you space to grow? Armour yourself with the right resources to allow you to make key business decisions. Our e-learning and coaching platform the RL Fellowship is our new subscription service, which gives business owners and their staff access to custom courses, tools and diagnostics. You can take control of your own learning at your own pace.
- Do you play to your strengths? Motivational Mapping activities can identify, nurture and report on the intrinsic motivation of a business owner and their team and find strategies to help raise engagement, encourage teamwork, and improve individual and business performance.
- Practice mindsets. Look at models such as OARBED – above the line and below the line thinking. The above the line behaviours are the OAR part – this is how we should behave when working within a successful team. OAR stands for ownership, accountability, and responsibility. The BED part explains below the line behaviours. These are behaviours which will affect the team negatively. BED stands for blame, excuses, and denial. Having a positive mindset gives you so much more headspace for creativity and growth ideas.
- Stay accountable – a business coach or mentor should check in with your monthly or quarterly to ask you whether you have achieved your goals and ensure you are held accountable. If you have no one to answer to, they will not get done.
Secondly, free up finances
Financial freedom is about understanding your finances in real time and using that knowledge to reach longer term goals.
How can you improve your financial freedom? Ask yourselves the following:
- Do you leverage the right technology? The adoption of online accountancy and financial software and apps can drive efficiencies and give you real time data to allow you to plan more effectively. Invoice and debtor follow up automation tools can also help you get money quicker.
- Have you got the correct access to finance? There are several funding agencies and government grants to help make money work for you. But don’t fall into the trap of getting a business loan and mistaking this cash in the bank for profit – it all has to be paid back. A sound business advisor can not only help you with the application process but will help you plan for this recovery.
- Have you done a cashflow management and forecasting analysis, so you are aware of your business’ health and address any corrective action? A financial projection can help you strategize where you want to be and how to get there.
- Do you know when it’s your financial independence day? Wealth creation and retirement planning come hand in hand. Financial planning advice can help you understand how much money you need to make and save now to have the future you desire.
Lastly, regain time
In a world where we feel we are trying to beat the clock, lack of time can impact our motivation and consequently affect our business performance.
How can we therefore work smarter with our time? Ask yourselves the following:
- Are you practising proven time management techniques? Looking at principles such as the ‘four quadrants of time’ can help you identify what and where you should be spending most of your time, what can be delegated and deleted from your mind.
- Are you utilising cloud-based accounting and financial software and apps to help you drive efficiencies? We recommend Xero accounting software and the following app stack that integrates automatically; Receipt Bank, Go Cardless, Stripe, Chaser and Square. You really do have to try them to believe how much they really can save you time, mind and money.
- Wearing too many hats in your business? Many businesses suffer from lack of clarity around their team’s defined roles. This can result in the business owner wearing too many ‘hats’, and therefore having very little time to spend on strategic activities. An Organisational Review will give you a functional organisation chart, visually defining departments, functions, roles and responsibilities. We can help you to structure your business so that it’s sustainable, scalable, and saleable.
- Have you developed a Life Organiser to provide peace of mind and save time in future? This ensures your affairs are in order and can minimise stress for your loved ones in the event of disability or death. Covering a raft of personal, financial, property, insurance, and business details, these are documented and stored securely.
- Could you outsource? Virtual FD services are available for businesses that have grown to the point of needing more in-house financial strategy and support or who are looking to cut costs and replace their FD. An outsourced Finance Director can provide guidance, advice, planning, forecasting and accountability. It’s the perfect solution for an MD who finds themselves trapped in day-to-day financial decisions that are holding them back. You benefit from onsite industry expertise without having to commit to a salary. Whether you’re growing too fast or not growing fast enough, a virtual FD service buys you the time you need to concentrate on what you do best – leading your business not managing your finances.
If you’d like to find out more about Robson Laidler’s accelerator services, email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a call to discuss what areas of your business needs attention and action. Download a free one-page action plan template at www.robson-laidler.co.uk/accelerator