Watch this space………….

As a Sussex Business Consultant I travel around to many networking events, some as a member, some as a guest  and some which are a splendid mix of business and social.

One such networking group is the Business Builder Club which takes place in Horsham once a month……..SHHH. don’t tell anyone though as they may want to attend!

As an experienced writer and business author, my expert articles are regularly featured in the regional Sussex and local media and on various online business websites. This is a fantastic compliment to my work and I love sharing my knowledge with every reader.

So as a member of the Business Builder Club  I was delighted to be invited as a regular online contributor to their website. Thanks guys. Have a look  here and  why not join me at the next event to share in the best Business Social in town.

Watch this space for more top tips too!.

Need focussed and insightful business advice, then contact me at Janette Whitney & Associates

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.  

 

 

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.

 

 

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.     

 

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”    

   

  

   

 

Boost your Business in 2010 ……….or Bust?

Boost your Business Results

With 2010 fast approaching and the recession still biting, ensuring your business is set for recovery has never been more important. 

 For some 2010 will still be make or break so to ensure your business is on the road to recovery here are some key questions  you should be asking yourself.

1. Look at your Business Plan. Consider your vision or long-term goal for your business. Is it still relevant for the challenges you are likely to face in 2010? Do you have a vision? Do you really need to do business the way you do, or is there a better, faster, leaner way for you to achieve the same objectives?

2. Are you selling what your customers need today, not what they needed yesterday? Have you kept up with the changes and advancements in your industry or sector? If not then what do you need to do to get back on track?

3.When did you last take a long hard look at your costs? Are you missing possible savings on utility bills because you have not shopped around? Make sure you get 3 quotes for any large purchase and be prepared to negotiate.

4. Are you spending enough on marketing? This can be an easy expense to reduce but research shows that companies which spend more in the long-term do better than their competitors.

5. If you employ people do you employ too many or too few? Have you become complacent in the way you recognise and reward them? Are you doing enough to ensure they don’t walk to your nearest competitor?

Take time out to work on your business, not in it- get help in the form of an independent strategic review from an experienced professional adviser. It will probably take you longer and cost you more in terms of lost revenue if you try and do it on your own.

To kick start your business in 2010 with guaranteed results invest in a ’Business Health Check’ with me. – A strategic business review that will show you exactly what you need to do to drive up your profits and sales and put your business firmly on the road to recovery.

 

 For Professional , impartial business advice Contact me at Award Winning Business Consultants, Janette Whitney & Associates 

            Tel: 01403 733671         E: jw@whitneyassocs.co.uk

           Making Your Business Work Harder For You

 

Business plan re-think for RBS

We all know we should have a business plan to guide our business along the route which we want to take and which will deliver the returns that we /the owners need over the medium term – at least 3 years.

Obviously Royal Bank of Scotland’s Chief Executive Stephen Hester forgot  to take account of market forces and undertake a robust S.W.O.T analysis before finalising his Business strategy as he is having to re think his Business plan for RBS only 8mths after it was formulated!

– But then this has been one of the problems which helped cause the Banking crisis – short term thinking and quick gains rather than looking at the longer term with prudent planning.

This article from the Guardian Newspaper  says it all.

What do you think as a small business, especially if you are trying to raise finance  for business development?  Comments please.

 

Contact me at Janette whitney & Associates, Business Consultants for professional  impartial  advice & solutions.

 

JWA top

 

 

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