3 Things to take control of in 2015!
So many times I hear my clients say that they don’t know how to deal with everyday things, could be tax, could be a specific issue they face in their role or as an owner manager. This is obviously very normal but what are you doing about it?
Well the new year is approaching so rather than thinking up some new years resolutions like going to the gym (for a month, before you get bored), or cutting out alcohol (for a week), why not spend the brain power identifying the areas that you are not comfortable with and coming up with a plan to address them?
As a new years gift to you I am starting you off….. here are my 3 things to get on top of in the new year::
- Identify knowledge gaps and close them: Many owner managers in small teams have gaps in knowledge in various areas of business but cannot afford to grow their team to fill the gaps.
Solution – get some training for the team. It’s not as hard or as expensive as you think, and best of all there are organisations out there to help you do just this. Go to the business growth service to see how much match funding you can get your hands on towards senior manager training courses. My clients have done it, it is more straight forward than you might think.
Another way of achieving the same thing is attending industry specific events that contain speakers that may offer you something you need. I can give a personal example of this. I was one of the speakers at the Flourish and Prospers Wedding Academy this year and one of the reasons I wanted to take part was because some of the other speakers were covering topics I had a personal interest in. My blog is a recent thing for me and I find it difficult to come up with content, was unsure of my angle or my exact audience. One of the speakers was Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride a very well known blogger, so I wanted to hear what she had to say, to pick up tips and ideas… and I did, and it has helped me.
- Stop hiding behind your creativity: Many individuals working in creative roles claim to have difficulty with mundane, non creative tasks such as business admin and accounts. But this is just a perception they have and it needs to be changed to let them become the ‘all rounder’ they need to be. If this includes you then you need to try to change your mind set.
Solution – Make this your mantra: “Creativity is a process, not a state of mind” Some very well known creatives such as horror writer Stephen King reach their optimal creative state by following a very dull and rigid process. In Mr King’s example, he gets up at the same time each day, goes to the same room, puts on the same pice of music, uses the same stationery sits in the same chair…… you getting the idea. Its all about creating processes that work for you to reach the intended goal, be that coming up with something totally innovative or turning your hand to the very simple admin tasks involved in running a business. The secret is getting the creative and business mix in place. Have a look a this book: Manage your day to day: build your routine, find your focus and sharpen your creative mind.
- Open your mind to spot and deal with new opportunities – The world of business is always changing, sometimes it moves in a direction we are comfortable with, other times you will feel out of your depth and confused. At the end of the day, if it is where future business will be then you need to get there. You cannot pick ideas you like and avoid others, to be a successful sustainable business you need to grow, adapt and be aware of changing times, trends, technology and social feeling.
Solution – read, read, read. Newspapers, websites, business books, trending hash tags or tweets, anything and everything. They all give you an insight into what is happening in the world, what your potential customer might be looking for, you may even spot a gap in the market. Finding time to read is hard I know, I work and have two small children, but there is so much you can access via the TV, phone, computer, kindle and so on, you must be able to steal some time here and there. Just start by looking into an area you consider confusing or out of your comfort zone. The best thing about reading is that you do it privately. If you read something and you don’t understand it, no one will know. Plus you can read it again and again. Often reading a little bit from a few different sources is enough for you to start forming some sort of understanding or familiarity with it. Having some knowledge may not be perfect but it’s better than none.
So in summary:
- get some training or exposure to areas your key managers are lacking
- stop thinking ‘I am a creative my brain only works that way’ – replace it with ‘Creativity is a process just one of many I can and will master’
- Look at things you may not understand at first – Wikipedia, an article and a blog post maybe all you need to become confident with Bitcoins,carbon credits, bull markets or the capital asset pricing model? Do not limit yourself or your business.
Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!