Saturday, 30 August 2014

In a Rut. If only!

One of the great things about running a small business is the sheer number and variety of tasks you have to undertake.  No day is like any other.

Of course, I use the word 'great' somewhat ironically.

Just occasionally I would love life to settle into a routine with some day-to-day predictability and certainty.  Oh the joy of being bored for a few days.

However, I have to go now.  there is something I have to do ... and then something else ... and then...

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Don't Take The Credit

When we take a decision - or take some action - we rightly expect to be judged by what happens as a result.

However, in complex situations, something would have happened anyway.  Things rarely stay the same.  But we don't know which of the changes that have taken place resulted directly from our decision or action.

Does it matter?

Well, only if we take credit for all the good things that have happened and try to reproduce the effect later - or somewhere else. This time it might not work.

So, when judging your 'success' (or 'failure'), try to think about the direct things you caused - and those things that might have changed anyway.  It might change your opinion about you - and your decision-making.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Cooperate for Success

Most of the readers of this blog are small businesses or entrepreneurs.

However there is another class of businesses that I have been working with recently - cooperatives.  Often regarded as 'odd' sand 'non-mainstream', they do remind us that cooperation and collaboration are often useful approaches to business development, and can allow us to share expensive resources with our collaborators.

So, whilst not expecting you to change the structure of your business, I do urge you to think about how you might work more closely with peers ... and simply those with a shared interest, mission or customer base.  You might be able to gain some of the advantages of being a larger business whilst you grow to that size yourself.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Haver You Moved to the Cloud

Many entrepreneurs ands small businesses fail to back up their computer data.  They mean to of course ... but actually doing it takes expertise - normally a bigger stumbling block than the cost.

Cloud storage is now the obvious option .... but many are worried about security.

However, most cloud-based storage and backup services are quite secure - if used properly .... and they have been getting easier to use over recent years.

Take Dropbox - probably the most used cloud-based service.  Once set up, it just works.  reliably, securely, conveniently.

There are numerous alternatives out there - it partly depends on whether you want simple backup or synchronised storage - where your cloud-based storage seamlessly synchronises with your server or desktop.

Google Drive is another option - quite a bit cheaper than Dropbox for small businesses.

So don't take too long thinking about it - and lose your data to a 'glitch'' of some kind.  Sign up to a free trail NOW - and sleep at night.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Join the club

Clustering is a government policy whereby firms in a particular sector are located close to one another so they can intermingle, inter-trade  and learn from each other.

if you are not part of a cluster - because you are located where you are for historical reasons - you can often get many of the benefits by joining a 'virtual cluster'.

Often support agencies (government funded organisations or self-funding associations) have regular meetings and training sessions ... but increasingly there is support offered by online groups.

Many people view LinkedIn as a vehicle for recruitment - but the real strength of LinkedIn is in its groups.  These offer the chance to interact with like-minded individuals and companies .sharing information and asking questions.

obviously, these groups vary in their usefulness - and in their levels of activity... but since you can get email digests of comments posted and questions posed, there is little bto lose - its free and takes little time,

|Join a group - or several- now