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Olympic road ahead closed-Is your Business Ready?

Olympic Cycle course
Are you ready?

The London-Surrey Cycle Classic test event

The Olympic Cycle race test event will be held on the Sunday 14th August 2011 – just over 4 weeks time – will your business be affected? Click here to view a map of the route.

The London-Surrey Cycle Classic test event being held on Sunday 14th August as part of LOCOG’s comprehensive sports testing programme. In order to deliver this exciting event there will be road closures and parking suspensions click here for more detailed information along the route within London and Surrey. Arrangements will be made to minimise disruption for local residents and businesses. The test event will provide an opportunity for you to consider how your business may be effected and the potential impacts during the Olympic event on the 28th and 29th July 2012.

Think and plan ahead, what will you be doing to ensure that you don’t lose out on valuable business during the local olympic event?

More importantly how can you capitalise on the extra potential sales of your products and services with the vastly increased numbers of potential cusromers right on your doorstep.

 

For professional & independant business advice contact  Janette Whitney at Award Winning Business Consultants, Janette Whitney & Associates on 01403 733671 or email jw@whitneyassocs.co.uk.  

 

Think about what makes you really happy………

Relax........

 
 
Let’s talk about reducing stress – it gets to us all at times and we need to know how to cope.
 
Stress is the perception that you are unable to cope with the demands being made on you.
 
 
 
Sharing your worries can give you a sense of release, and spending time with friends and family can also help take your mind off things. You may also like to consider the following tips:
 
 
 5 Top tips to reduce stress
 
  1. Exercise  It may be the last thing you feel like doing when you are stressed, but it really does help. As well as producing endorphins, the body’s ‘happy hormones’, it uses up stress hormones and helps relax tense muscles.
  2. Balance your life- Stress often comes from being emotionally invested in one thing, so try to balance your life- family, friends, work, hobbies etc. Think about what makes you really happy and challenge yourself to build on the areas that need work.
  3. Take care of yourself- As well as being physically exhausting, stress can temporarily weaken your immune system. Try to eat a healthy balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables and resist ‘bad’ food cravings – thats NO Chocolate!
  4. Change your thinking-  A good way to cope with stress is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. This is part of cognitive behavioural therapy. For example instead of thinking ‘I’m worthless’ think ‘I’m a good person’. 
  5. Let go of things- Instead of tolerating the things that cause you stress, confront them. If your messy office is driving you crazy, tidy it up!. Challenging yourself often feels risky, but it may also give you an opportunity to grow.

 

So RELAX ……..THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS ………. AND LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’,

 so you don’t take on more than you can handle.

 

If you are more concerned about the health of your business than your own state of mind then consider my Business Health Check – a 2 hour impartial  and professional review of your business.

 

For professional & independant business advice contact  Janette Whitney at Award Winning Business Consultants, Janette Whitney & Associates on 01403 733671 or email jw@whitneyassocs.co.uk.  

 

 

Increase in the national minimum wage- 2011

National minimum wage

Minimum Wage

 

From 1st october 2011, new National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will come into force. The NMW applies to nearly all workers in England, Scotland & Wales and sets hourly rates below which you must not allow pay to fall.

For pay reference periods beginning on or after 1st October 2011, you will have to pay all eligible workers the following:

  • £6.08 an hour to Adult workers aged 21 and above
  • £4.98 an hour to workers aged 18-20
  • £3.68 an hour to workers aged 16-17
  • £2.60 an hour to Apprentices

The daily accomodation offset.

You will be able to offset from the NMW an amount of £4.73 per day for each day that you provide a worker with living accomodation.

What happens if workers are underpaid?

Employers who do not pay the correct minimum wage will be issued with an fine of up to max £5000. You will have to pay this even if the underpayment was a mistake !

The most serious cases could be subject to an unlimited fine.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are responsible for enforcing the law on the national minimum wage and they will follow up complaints from workers and other sources.

For professional & impartial Business advice contact Janette Whitney at Award Winning Business Consultants, Janette Whitney & Associates on 01403 733671 or email jw@whitneyassocs.co.uk

 

JWA top

Thought for the day

 

To all fellow networkers:

He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

NETWORKERS BEWARE!- What your handshake says about you

 

Networkers Beware!

 More than just physical contact, a handshake conveys a wealth of psychological information.

We walk away from a handshake saying things like, “You know, I just felt really comfortable with her” or “I don’t know why, but I simply don’t trust that guy”.

 

Most people don’t spend time probing the depths of this unconscious communication; they just have a ‘feeling’ or a sense that their intuition is telling them something. However, there are things we can use in our sales effort by looking a little more closely at the experience.

Top 5 Handshakes and what they reveal about you or your client:

 

 1. Sweaty Palms – When a person is nervous their sympathetic nervous system often becomes overactive, sometimes resulting in sweaty palms. Do what you can to put this individual at ease.

2. Dead Fish– Indifferent handshakes that feel like the person has no bones in their hand often indicate a passive or reserved personality. This handshake ranks as the number two least favoured. Individuals with this type of clasp are generally not people-focused. Knowing this, you can tailor your conversation to de-emphasize the people aspect and focus more on the mechanical or thing focused benefits.

3. Brush off – This handshake type is a quick grasp and then a release that feels like your hand being shoved aside. This handshake is a statement of ‘it’s my turf and my agenda that matters, yours doesn’t’. Listen first to what the person wants before talking about your ideas for them.

4 Controller– You feel your hand being pulled toward the person or strongly guided in a different direction, perhaps towards a chair. People who do this are controllers. This means they want to dominate any inanimate or animate object in the room ( and that would include you). If your goals are different to theirs there may be challenges ahead. Do more listening than talking and see if you can find common ground so these individuals can control the situation toward your desired objective.

5. Politician– Your hand is firmly grasped as in a normal handshake. However, their other hand may cover yours or be placed on your forearm or shoulder. Unless the two of you are good friends, this is a form of false sincerity. The person is attempting to communicate that the two of you have a deeper relationship than you actually have. After receiving this kind of handshake, I recommend you check your pockets or purse to see if anything is missing. Similarly, be cautious about relying on this person’s word for anything and be attentive in your dealings with them. 

As in any sales situation, the more you know about your prospects and clients, the better you can communicate with them. So create a strong first impression by being aware of your own handshake and understand the hidden messages in your clients.

For professional, Impartial advice & Solutions contact me at Janette Whitney & Associates on 01403 733671 .Award Winning Business Consultants & Business Growth Specialists.

 

 

Thought For The Day

To all politicians:

Light Travels Faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

 

How To Convert More Leads Into Sales

Are your sales increasing?

 

One of the biggest sales and marketing problems businesses can face is getting people whom seem interested in buying something to actually take the plunge and hand over their money.

 

 

Because let’s be honest, it’s actually pretty easy to attract attention to your business and meet prospective customers these days. The internet has made it simple to give your business a marketing presence (your website) and drive people to it (online advertising and search engine optimisation).

The key then to a successful business is not just one which attracts prospects, but one which has fail-safe systems to convert them into revenue.

 

Here are 5 tips to improve the prospect conversion rates for your business

 

1. Track and measure- First you need to know how your business currently performs. Set up simple systems to monitor the number of leads your business gets and where they have come from, then compare these figures to your sales figures.

2. Identify target audience and focus on it – You need to know who your most likely buyers are. Don’t just say ‘everyone’- even if anyone can buy what you sell, your business will perform better if you focus on a specific target audience.

3. Don’t over promise – Review your marketing materials to see if they promise things your business cannot really deliver. Low conversion rates can be an indication that prospects are being attracted by marketing materials, but when they chat to your sales team just don’t believe the business can live up to its promises.

4. Make sure sales staff know how to present – Another possibility is that your sales team aren’t presenting the business properly. Do they really understand the benefits of the business and how to communicate them to buyers? Are they making it easy for potential customers to say ‘yes’?

5. Ask for the business – Finally, ensure that you are actually asking the potential customer to buy from you. So many businesses forget to do this!  Ask questions about their needs, work out how you can fulfil these needs, and then ask if they want to buy.

.

Contact me at Award Winning Business Consultants  Janette Whitney & Associates on 01403 733671, for impartial business advice & solutions.     

 

‘Green’ Grants for Business

Green Thinking

 

There’s lots of government legislation in place to ensure that UK businesses meet the minimum standards required to minimize their impact on the environment.

 

 

 

How these regulations will affect you will depend on the size and type of your business, as well as the sector you operate in and the process you have in place.

For more detailed information on how these regulations might affect your business, visit the NetRegs website:  

What to do First

 If you’re not sure where to start with going green, then getting an environmental consultant to come in and spend some time with your business to understand where it can save energy is a worthwhile investment.

It can save you as much as 10% through no-cost measures and generally businesses can save over 20%.

Funding

The good news is that there are various grants and soft loans available to businesses to help you comply with these regulations

One such scheme recently announced is a £4 million loan fund to help South East based businesses improve their sustainability.

Backed with £3.8 million from the European Regional Development Fund, SEEDA’s new South East Sustainability Loan Fund is expected to support around 2,500 companies across the region.

They will be able to lend between £20,000 and £200,000 to reduce waste, develop sustainable technologies, and focus on sustainable procurement.

Participating firms will also undergo training and environmental audits “in order to establish methods that boost profits through energy reduction”.

 To help you to keep up to date with the many different grant schemes available to your business visit www.greengrantsmachine.co.uk.

Need help with funding for your business?

 

 Then please contact me at Janette Whitney & Associates on 01403 733671 for professional, impartial advice & Solutions.

 

     

Thought For The Day

 To the  HMRC:

A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well

The Importance of Business Planning

   

SO WHY IS BUSINESS PLANNING SO IMPORTANT?     

 

where is my business going?

.No-one sets off on a journey without knowing where they are going and having a pretty good idea of how to get there. 

 Business is the same.

 

 You need to plan in the first place, but you also need to check constantly that you are on course. 

There are 3 simple questions that many businesses don’t ask themselves – but should  

1.  Do you really know what your business is good at?  

2.  Do you have a good idea of where you want to be in 3 yrs time?  

3.  Do you know if you are doing well enough to get there?  

 One of the reasons why many business owners fail to plan properly is that they are too close to their business – you are all emotionally involved and your time is taken up with solving the day to day problems.  

As a result you may not have time to step back from the business and take a long look at it.- that’s where an impartial adviser can help you most.  

We’ve all said it – “I have more important things to do than plan”  

But people who say that end up working longer hours for the same profit,  

They chase sales in the belief that turnover is the key to success.  

You know if you are in this trap if your turnover rises and your profit are static or falling.  

  

   Remember Turnover is vanity profit is sanity 

     

Your aim should be to improve profitability by at least at the same level as turnover.  

 You will only be able to do this by planning ahead, analysing your performance and keeping your finger on the pulse of the business.  

 

 So to recap 5 key tips to remember 

   

  1.  If you don’t know where your business is going, any road will do – (so  set yourself some goals)
  2. Be proactive in your planning, not reactive – ( plan longer term not just day to day- business is a marathon not a sprint)
  3. Implementation is key – (a plan in isolation is worthless – put it into action and not in a drawer!)
  4. Monitor performance and effectiveness – in terms of financial/sales/people/ your happiness factor
  5. Adjust your plan as necessary –it’s not set in stone, if markets change then the plan has to change, Seek advisers help.

   

To summarise why Business Planning is vital  

   

A good business owner wants to control the business rather than be controlled by it.  

  If your focus is short-term then you are being controlled by your business.  

  By taking a longer view and having a direction, you have a better chance of controlling your own destiny.  

Regularly ask yourself  

  • Where am I now?
  • Where do I want to be?
  • How am I going to get there?
  • What might get in my way?

   

It is better to use the help of an IMPARTIAL ADVISER to help you answer these questions to give you an objective picture of your business- which means you have to be forward thinking enough to ask for help. Are you?  

Remember to fail to plan is to plan to fail

   

   

contact me at Award Winning Business Consultants Janette Whitney & Associates”    

   

  

   

 

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