A question we regularly hear is along the lines of “how can I improve my business” ? What this really means is how can I make more money (if possible by not working too much harder) and is something that we can all relate to.
I guess that we all know of what one former colleague used to refer to as the “busy fool”, someone who is perpetually working but never really makes the money they ought to because they just aren’t charging enough. They are so busy because their prices are so much lower than the competition. The difficulty is in persuading these people to increase prices as they fear losing customers – but if these customers are not making you money or otherwise contributing to your business why would you want to keep them? In these circumstances an increase in prices may well result in less customers but you will earn more from the remaining customers and at the same time get a bit of your life back.
In a great many cases business improvements are held back by the “this is the way we’ve always done it” attitude. If we all followed that approach we would still be living in caves and wearing animal skins. Evolution is essential.
In many respects the techniques necessary to improve your business mirror those which the experts tell us should be used to improve our whole lives. Whilst this perhaps shouldn’t be a great surprise I have to admit I’d never previously considered the parallels.
It was only after acquiring a book called “Improve Your Life” by local speaker, author and trainer Craig Collinson that the similarities fully dawned on me.
Now I know what you’re thinking, mainly because it is likely to be along the lines of my first thoughts. Being somewhat cynical by nature this type of book is not usually my sort of thing – they can come across as too preachy and holier than thou.
However, I gave it a go and found it to be a really interesting and informative read although a bit embarrassing when you start to recognise yourself in some chapters (pessimism and procrastination for example !). I wouldn’t say everything in the book was relevant but with us all being different I guess this is to be expected, what is useful for one of us will be totally irrelevant to another.
What was the biggest surprise (other than actually enjoying the book !!!) was the similarities between business improvement strategies and life improvement strategies – much of what Craig proposes to change your life for the better applies equally to business improvement. In some cases I recognised elements in the book that had formed part of business advice that I had given to clients in the past and in other cases I found things in the book that could be used to help clients improve their business performance.
All in all not a bad investment for just a tenner (sorry, £9.99) and I do recommend you try a copy. Available via www.totemtrainingltd.co.uk