Tag: business consultancy

Social media in a B2B setting doesn’t work

Social media - is there any point?Let me clarify. B2B is business to business where one firm is looking to sell to another firm. B2C is business to consumer where the firm is seeking to engage with a consumer directly.

Social media is any on line promotional platform whereby firms seek to engage with other firms via platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn etc.

The goal in social media is to engage more with the personality than with products or services. It’s all about personal branding, ego and demonstrating who you are and not what you do or the benefit that you offer.

Social media in a B2B setting does not work

Why? Because businesses buy products or services. They are not interested in personality, personal branding or ego. They just want to buy a solution to a problem, to scratch their itch. They seek solutions by looking for the closest thing they can to a solution and then fine tune it when they have a few options. But they certainly wont be buying based on an on line personality.

Only the very smallest firms might buy through social media connections, and one could argue that is more a B2C transaction as they are in essence buying for themselves and not as an officer of the company.

4psSo my view is that if you want to sell to established businesses, focus more promoting what you do in terms that your audience understands. Make it clear what you are selling, the benefit the users get from using you and the process that you will use to make it happen.

Any thoughts?

 

Let the Chimp out

How often do you find yourself in a situation where the other person in the conversation seems to be ranting, or on an emotional tsunami? Or have you been in a meeting where one or more of the delegates seem to be off message but still transmitting?

Well, there is an explanation and if you know what it is then you can deal with it

Chimp Paradox

It’s called the Chimp and is described in the book the Chimp Paradox by Dr. Steve Peters. He helped guide the British Cycling team to glory at the London Olympics.

In the book he describes the human brain as having 2 key parts. One is you, the real you. Logical, rational. The other is the emotional you. The one that feels rather than thinks, that sees in black and white and has catastrophic thoughts.

Does that sound familiar? If not for you it might explain the behaviour of some of the people you interact with. It is their Chimp that is transmitting, not the real them.

The secret is to let the Chimp have their say no matter how irrational, emotional or off message. Once the rant is over, it calms down and goes to sleep allowing the real person to appear. Sound too simplistic. Maybe, but it works.

Try it next time. Just let them get it off their chest. No interruptions, not engagement, don’t take it personally and remember that it is not the real person talking. Then when they have calmed down, then do the talking. It really works

7 benefits of business coaching

Here on the Business CoPilot blog, we can sometimes get caught up telling you so much about pertinent business issues that we forget to tell you about what we do and why it works so well. Well, no more!

We know that there are proven benefits to having a business coach (and if you don’t believe us, let these people tell you).

Here’s a list of some of the most cited benefits of our service:

1) You’re the Technician

Some people can find themselves in business without feeling that they are a natural business person. Many of our clients are what Michael Gerber would call ‘the Technician’.

In Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited, the Technician is someone who has skill and expertise in an area, such as an architect or lawyer, and are great at what they do, but might not know how best to build a business around that skill. We use our business experience and knowledge to help you craft a strong business around your talents.

2) We provide an impartial view

It can be difficult to take an objective view of your business when you are a vital part of it. We naturally approach your business with an outsider’s view meaning we can give you impartial advice and opinions. We won’t be critical, only constructive, offering advice on how to grow.

3) “On” rather than “in” the business

This impartiality means that we can help you to work on rather than in your business. We work with you to find the focus and direction necessary to grow, to see your business objectively in all of its component parts, and to assess your vision for the business as a whole.

4) Your confidential sounding board

We provide you with a confidential sounding board and ask you to throw as many ideas at it as you can. We understand that the things which affect you personally also affect the business and your performance, and sometimes talking to someone who can see both the personal and business side can open up sticky points that you weren’t even aware of.

5) Trust

Part of our role as confidential sounding boards means that a trusting relationship is essential, and we are proud of the strong relationships we build with our clients. Opening your books to an outsider can be daunting, but we will always approach them positively and with your interests at the centre of our work.

6) Flexibility

We understand that when you are busy developing your business, time can be an all-too-scarce commodity. We can flex the frequency of meetings and provide the level of support you need, whether it is more or less. Advice is always available at the end of a telephone or via email, if time is not on your side.

7) Vision, plan, focus

Above all, we aim to provide clarity and confidence, through inspecting your vision, helping you create and enact a plan and helping you focus on the business and your goals. We provide support via regular coaching meetings and email and phone contact throughout the process.

Together we think, we plan, we make it happen.

If you’d like to find out what it’s like to have a business coach, we provide a free initial 1-to-1 consultation. Call us now on 0117 317 8147 or email alexh@businesscopilot.co.uk to book a session with us.

Tomorrow’s successful people will seriously raise their game and seek help to do so

Executive coaching and mentoring are here to stay. Why? Because life in business today is too complex, too fast paced, too diverse to make sense of and practice on one’s own. It gets worse. We have lost time. Time is now only for doing. Time as we have said previously is a perishable commodity and employers need to extract all the value they can in the doing. So we end up just doing.

It is a sad loss. We have lost the time we used to reflect, to ponder, to wander, to meditate. When we had time, we used it to allow our subconscious to feed our conscious minds. We absorb data and information but then don’t have time to join the dots up to ask what does it mean. Is there a pattern here, is there more to this than meets the eye, can I use all of Kipling’s 6 honest serving men to cleave the Gordian knot that our lives resemble.

Executive coaching and mentoring a daffodilWhat would Wordsworth have missed had he not wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills. And in so doing deprived us of one of the great opening lines in poetry.

This week our call to action is a simple one. Take one problem, take one hour and just use as many thinking tools as you can muster and see what you come up with.

That in a nutshell is why coaching works. It is a way to recover time, to use it more wisely and embed a template to enrich our lives.

Have a go. One hour, one problem then ready, steady, think.

Be Credible and Build a Lasting Reputation

To succeed in a fast-moving, dynamic market—especially in the online era—means building trust and building it fast. There are two sides to an organisation as far as those looking to engage with companies that are credible, that have earned excellent reputations.

First of all, customers want to engage with reputable organisations. They exchange their hard-earned cash in return for goods and services they trust won’t let them down. And in most cases, they’re prepared to pay a premium for their loyalty.

Secondly, employees want to work for reputable companies. A survey by reed.co.uk, one of the UK’s leading websites for graduate jobs, found that a company’s reputation counts most for prospective employees:

“Virgin, BBC, Google, Apple, NHS and John Lewis all made prominent appearances on the survey’s list of most desired organisations to work for. Not surprisingly, they all offer products that most would either want or they would be happy to shop there.”

Commenting on the survey results, a spokesperson for reed.co.uk said: “Whether it’s the smartphone in our pocket or our favourite department store, the brands we admire the most are also the ones we’d most like to work for.”

The same applies to smaller organisations. They too must attract and retain high-paying customers. They too must attract and retain high-quality employees.

How can they (we!) achieve this lofty goal of high trust through reputation and credibility on a shoe string? It all starts at the very top of the organisation. What the owners or senior management team determine is important will filter down to the employees and out to customers. Wittingly or unwittingly, they set the agenda and instil the basics of their organisation’s culture.

So the answer to the question on how to build a reputation on a budget is to start at the top of the organisation—to take stock of its values, attitudes, traits, and ambitions and ensure they’re compatible with delivering long-term customer and employee retention.

Click here to read the reed.co.uk press release.

Business Coaching in Bristol and Bath

Successful People Know Where They Are Headed

“It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.” – Helen Keller

This posting is all about having a vision to be successful. Where might we start? Let’s start here: We’re put on this earth to succeed. However you define the term, there’s no doubt we have an inbuilt, hard-wired desire to succeed. To make a difference, to make things better, to leave knowing our unique contribution altered the status quo—and for the better.

How we make those changes, the extent of them, and their impact will vary enormously; that goes without saying. But each of us is striving to improve the world around us. Some will make a huge impact, such as Jesus, Mohammed, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and John F. Kennedy. Others will likewise make a significant impact but in a very narrow field, such as Martin Luther King, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Galileo, Jenner, and Leonardo da Vinci.

What about you? What will your contribution be? No matter how small that change, I would argue that the starting point for all is to have a clear vision or goal. One that inspires you to cut through the tangle of life, to clear a path that allows you to walk flint-faced toward making it happen.

As business coaches in Bristol and Bath, we know who are more likely to succeed. Not because we’re clever, wise, or insightful but because we can spot someone with a clear sense of purpose and vision.

The challenge for today is to start that visioning process. Ask yourself, “What is the most important thing I want to achieve in my life?” Think about it—what do you want written on your gravestone? For me, it’s “His chief delight was in doing good.” So what is your life’s purpose? When you arrive at your chosen destination, will you recognise it as the place of your dreams? Be bold, be strong, and then make it happen.

Business Coaching in Bristol and Bath

Many SMEs Know They Should Seek External Formal Advice but Don’t

Quality Business Coaching in Bristol, Bath and the South West

For many ambitious business leaders, growth is high on their list of priorities. And so it should be. After all, who starts a business with the vision of seeing it go under? Everyone knows that if they can build a long-term sustainable new business pipeline, it will increase the capital value of the business. It will also build in long-term security and most likely increase the engagement of the team and clients.

Growth, like good health and safety, is no accident. It is no fluke. Rather it is the outworking of a complex, interlocking process of resource allocation, systems development and product enhancement all underpinned by sound marketing and competent sales.

Getting all these various components to fly in formation towards achieving the business vision and goals is very satisfying, if all goes well. But when it doesn’t go well, it can lead to a dip in confidence, a sense of frustration and at worst the team engaging in various short-term tactics to redress the problem.

External formal advice will enhance growth and, if brought in early enough, can help resolve the survivalist tactics mentioned above. But many growth-oriented SME owners or Directors are held back from bringing in this support according to some research carried out by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and further developed by Skilfair.

What they concluded from the research is that the reasons why growth hungry SMEs do not employ formal business support are:

1. They have doubts about whether the support will achieve a satisfactory return on their investment or ROI. As business coaching consultants in Bristol and Bath, we can understand this doubt. On what basis can we confidently assert that, because of our input, support and advice, the client’s business will grow? The answer is simple in one regard – we cannot guarantee growth, and complex in that we can guarantee growth, if certain conditions set out in the engagement are met. By conducting a thorough diagnosis of the business, the mindset of the owners, the team, clients and the situational environment, it is possible to reduce the potential for failure and simultaneously increase the resiliency of the business.

2. Trust and confidence in the source of advice. Having what we term flat packed solutions shoehorned in to your own unique business issue is sadly typical of most consultants. They argue, “Why waste time doing a diagnostic, when it is easier to search through the tool kit and employ a ready made solution, one that we know works and we are confident in using”. We at the Business CoPilot know better. We know that trust is gained during that essential diagnostic phase and with that trust comes the freedom to dig deeper and delve into more areas. Hopefully to point out the elephant in the room and offer possible solutions as to how best to remove it.

3. Fear of making a wrong choice or not being able to work effectively with the external advisor. Employing people is risky, we all know that, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Employing a consultant on the other hand is easy. You can engage them on a very small and perhaps low risk, insignificant project to test their relational skills, aptitude and ability to work within the culture of the business. And as we are on fixed terms and conditions it allows the client to dispense with us at their request. No questions asked, no explanation needed. Just a simple email and that cuts short the engagement.

Our goal in writing this was to dispel the myth that hiring quality advice is risky. We think that this business maxim says it all “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait till you hire an amateur”.

Call us on 0117 230 3166 for more information, or click here to read more about how we can help

Business Coaching in Bristol, Bath and the South West

Zoom – How to Make Your Business Idea Happen

As a result of a series of rather strange circumstances, I met up with David Sloly, enjoyed a cup of coffee and we got chatting. It turns out that he has written a book. I went online to buy it on Friday, it was in my hand by 11.30 on Saturday – way to go Amazon!Anyhow, I was so impressed with it that I have dedicated this post to the book.

Chapter 11 – Telling your story – How to stand out from the crowd

Here are some of the insights from the Chapter 11.

Think of your story as a magnet that attracts attention. Will King of King of Shaves tells how he uncovered his first idea – razor burns after shaving. The rest is history. He is still telling that same story today.

Great story tellers know that great stories have essentially seven plots:

1.    The Quest to achieve distant goals
2.    Voyage and return
3.    Rebirth from a dark spell
4.    Tragedy downfall of the powerful
5.    Overcoming the monster
6.    Rags to riches
7.    Comedy using the above plots with lots of misunderstandings

Select one and then write your authentic story using one of the plotlines above but laced with emotional content, not logic or reason. Look for the human truth in your story and practise telling it. Story tellers have a way of fitting their content in to the plotline in a compelling way that keeps the attention of the reader long after the facts have evaporated.

Here are some ideas as to how you might be able to reveal your own unique plotline:

1.    Did you solve a problem
2.    Did you take a big risk
3.    Did you discover something new and sharing it with the world
4.    Is a famous person involved
5.    Did success come from an incredibly small amount of money
6.    Are cute animals involved
7.    Are you on a journey that people are curious about
8.    Are people getting exited about your offering
9.    Is your idea novel

Summary of the chapter – ZOOM thinking!

“Your story will differentiate you from the competition and make you memorable in the minds of your customers. So craft a convincing but authentic story, based on personal experience rather than on dry facts and stats.”

Their website is www.thezoomguys.com and you can buy the book here. 

We Are Not Born with Maps, We Have to Make Them

“We are not born with maps – we have to make them, and that requires effort”.

According to Scott Peck’s book “the Road Less Travelled” most people do not know where their lives are going. Their lives are directionless with few journey markers to determine progress. Peck argues, whilst they know that a map would enhance their lives, most do not make the effort to draw the map or to scope the direction they want their lives to take.

And if they do create a vision for their lives and draw a map, it is typically lacking in richness and variety. Consequently their boundaries are too small, narrow or even misleading. They have insufficient “detail” which renders their map almost valueless.
Finally, even when the map does have the requisite variety, size and accuracy it can soon become out-dated.  For it to have value it must be current which in turn means continually revising and updating it, as both we and the world in which we are seeking to grow and thrive is constantly changing. These changes impact on many aspects of our lives. The social, economic, legal, environmental and technical frameworks shift daily, sometimes even faster than that.
Creating a map or a vision requires effort. Keeping it current takes effort. Tearing it up and starting afresh takes courage and energy. No wonder people decide to drift.
Not having a vision or drawing a map or setting a direction, whatever you choose to call it, is as relevant for business growth as it is for personal growth. Many organisations leave their growth to chance and then wonder why they fail to achieve success.
If we cling on to out-dated visions, goals and objectives, or fail to revise them, then we carry the risk of huge disappointment and failure. It creates dis-ease and manifests itself in many ways. Lethargy, demotivation, inefficiency, ineffectiveness, no sense of belonging, boredom, indifference, poor service levels, these are the symptoms of the lack of a compelling vision.
Can this situation be reversed? Absolutely yes!
Where to start?
You start by simply daydreaming. It may be hazy and nebulous at first, but work at it – wafting away the mist to reach the core idea, the spirit of your vision. It may take days, even weeks. The nice thing about this constructive daydreaming is that it you can do it and still do the day job. However, beware of thinking, as you dream your dream: ‘Oh we couldn’t do that! It’s just wishful thinking.’ Don’t be held back by what you think is possible, or you will end up limiting your vision. The moment you catch yourself starting to think of how you will achieve your dream, stop, and go back to the what – the big picture. Right now, you do not need to burden yourself with reality.
Having got some idea of what it might look like, talk to other people to see if they understand it, to see if it is reasonable, practical, do-able.
If you want more information on how to craft a compelling vision, then link here
If you need help, then talk to us. We are experts in accelerating business growth. We know the foundation on which the success of the business is built is the vision. We have a rigorous process that ensures your vision moves from inception to maturity. Call us now on 0117 230 3166.