What coaching can do for your small business

What coaching can do for your small business 

Is it time you considered using a business coach? These entrepreneurs explain how it helped their small businesses. 

No matter how successful your small business may be, no owner has all the answers. But knowing when you need outside help – and who from – may be challenging for most. We spoke to four small business owners who enlisted the help of business coaches to give them a leg up.  

The first step – take a step back 

Small business owners often don’t spend enough time thinking about where their business is going, as opposed to the urgency of the day job, says Andy Mee, a ‘business doctor’ covering the Oxfordshire area. Entrepreneurs need to focus more time towards working on their business, rather than in it, he says.  

Landscape architect, Anthony Stiff has been working for Mee for 18 months. During the recession, for maybe five years, we survived but it wasn’t the happiest time. We thought we’ve got to do something positive and grow the business, and this was a way we could do that,\” he said.  

One lesson Stiff took away from working with Mee is to make time for what she calls the ‘golden hour’. So on a Monday morning or Friday afternoon you should spend an hour looking at your business and reviewing the week that’s just gone by and planning the week ahead she said, just being conscious of the goal that you might set yourself. It’s very easy to lose sight of that.

Build your confidence 

Whether you have a team around you or not, running your own business can be lonely. Sometimes you may not have anyone that you can turn to for reassurance that you’re on the right path when your chips are down. 

Nila Holden, who runs a luxury biscuit wholesaler, used a business coach for reassurance that she was doing the right things for her business. Holden received coaching by Jo Densley, founder of Relish Marketing. For several months Densley helped look at potential markets to launch into and what would be required to do so. I have my aspirations for the business; I think about the sorts of places where we should be selling and the partners we should be working with. But I never had the confidence to do those things, Holden said. She thought her ambitions were just pipe dreams, but having a mentor by her side telling her that her goals were actually realistic, gave her the confidence to take steps forward.  

According to Mee, small business coach training  helps owners realise the potential of where their business can go is a big part of consultancy. We try and make business owners see what the opportunities are for their business. You become pre-conditioned by what’s happened in the past, not what can happen in the future, he says. 

Change your outlook 

Like many small business owners, journalist Natasha Courtenay-Smith found herself running a small business unintentionally. Back in 2008 she launched an online press agency, ‘Talk to the Press’, where she sold exclusive news stories and real life features to national magazines and newspapers, maybe because my background wasn’t business, I didn’t massively grasp that I was running a business, she said.  

She said the greatest benefit of working with mentor was helping her to change the way she thought about her company, it completely shifted how I looked at Talk to the Press, she says. It gave me the vocabulary and everything I needed to understand that it was an asset and it had value.

Understanding the value of her business quickly led Courtenay-Smith to think about the potentially for selling it, which she did. I don’t think actually in the process of working with my mentor we started packaging it up for sale, I did that myself. But it did give me all the vocabulary and the understanding I needed so that when I came to sale I knew how to make it look really compelling.

 

  

Best Practices for a Website Redesign

There are a few best practices that apply to any type of site project. It doesn’t matter if you’re only making a few tweaks to a website or redoing the entire thing. The data management system doesn’t apply to those best practices, nor will the business that your organization is in.

 

By taking into account these best practice benchmarking ideas, your website redesign job program will go smoother and with fewer glitches.

Research your present website

 

It’s completely possible that the whole site redesign that you want to do is a much bigger job than what you really want to attain. By conducting website user testing on your own site, you have the ability to ascertain whether or not a complete redesign is warranted, or if instead you only have to add extra conversion chances to the design and tweak the header. Even if the results demonstrate that a redesign is essential, you might use the information for a reference to examine the new custom web design against it.

 

The analysis typically runs on customers’ sites is the 5-second evaluation. In this viewer sees your site for 5 minutes, and then answers a few questions about the plan, such as:

 

  • What is the company name?

 

  • Where could you find pricing details?

 

  • What’s the service or product the website provides?

 

  • Would you think this site is trustworthy?

 

By running this short evaluation for 100 or so results, you get answers to the big picture questions for your site, such as does your site have strong branding and logo design, does this convey your distinctive value proposition, is it easy to navigate, etc.

 

UsabilityHub is perfect for consumer testing. You may use whatever audience they develop with, or you might pay extra to target specific demographics, such as your ideal customer.

Have a web site content plan

 

Among the biggest challenges in completing a website, redesign will be overhauling your posts and getting it ready to go to your designer. Not having a plan for who your digital copywriter is for reviewing the content and when can indicate the work deadline has to be pushed. Writing content for a site, or other stuff always takes longer than expected. It’s not an easy thing to put into words exactly what your company actually provides, or what you’re trying to educate your reader.

 

Doing a web page content first website redesign means utilizing the material almost finished before the design even begins. The plan should match the content and display it as much as possible, not the other way around. Furthermore, your designer can read your posts and also have new suggestions for the design, especially when it comes to getting a good hierarchy on the page.

Successful communication

 

It has been seen on several tasks before in which the designer has been brought to the work much later than they should have. There are places where they may have shared expertise and the job may have taken a different route, which might have benefited the client.

 

Bringing on your designer earlier than you think means that they can observe the tradition of this job and discover a better sense of how the project will unfold. Should they see the content is taking longer to be produced, or that there are questions on how much of the site there is to redo, they might have their own opinion. Building a website that’s profitable due to their customer is a principal aim.

 

Powerful communication also involves sharing expectations which all parties may have concerning the redesign procedure. You might believe that the designer needs something, but it ends up they need other things first. Getting on precisely the exact same page as your designer generally means nobody will be left feeling frustrated and the job will run simple.

Deadline obstructions

 

Every job has its own quirks, and a few other projects lasting over a month or two will experience unforeseen troubles. Sicknesses, vacations, technical challenges, and business changes can all affect how in which the project deadline functions in real life. Ideally, all deadlines are met and everyone’s happy, but the reality is that we’re all human and things come up, this even occurs with top business advisors believe it or not.

 

The question is how to greet these issues and find a way around them.

Possessing the job

 

Your website redesign job must be a priority for you, not just something you’re working on on the side. Your new website is a priority for your own designer, and if you treat it exactly the exact same way, and require ownership of the procedure, then you’ll have higher communication and fewer issues.

 

The very best salesperson for your company is the website. It is often the first impression someone has about your organization.

 

Taking ownership means being available to your designer, following up on questions which they ask, and asking questions to get everyone on precisely the exact same page. This means pulling in additional resources if necessary to discover the work done (like a content writer or photographer), and you’ll feel accomplished when the new site is up and you’re proudly sharing it with your co-workers.

Wrap up

 

The online design method is an iterative thing, and often every job differs from my end. Maintain these best practices on your mind and carry out a strategy out with your designer to be sure that you’re all on the exact same page. Remember that fresh attributes might need to wait until after launch, and websites will constantly change and it doesn’t have to be ideal.

Point 3 Revolutionising Basketball Apparel

It Started with a concept to choose his wife’s kitchen towels and hang them on his waistband just like a quarterback.

Michael Luscher, today the Founder and Chief Executive Officer in POINT 3 Basketball had a difficulty that assails several basketballers – he’d play basketball for hours at a hot gym, his palms getting sweatier and sweatier. The frustration of needing to cease play to wipe off his palms eventually became enough of a hassle. Plus, it spawned the notion of producing his existing business, which places smart technologies such as terry fabric detailing in shorts and dominate loop sleeves which place silicone grips onto a participant’s hands. The idea to re-evaluate the basketball apparel sector came to Luscher at August 2009. From there, things moved quickly. POINT 3 filed its initial patent application in September 2009, went via a family and friends round of financing quickly thereafter, and officially launched as a completely operable firm with a craft web site in 2010. Luscher spent this year seeing factories and textile mills, attempting to discover a means to construct basketball shirts and equipment the “right way.”

Dubbed as the man you just don’t want to guard on the basketball court since he sweats heaps, Luscher went on a mission to make equipment that solved his very wet and uncomfortable problem.

POINT 3 today generates what it calls “The World’s Greatest Basketball Shorts,” including DRYV panels for ballers to wash their hands on, bonded pits (not stitched) so that they never cling or stick while running and leaping, heat transfer panels for easy venting and cool maintenance when playing inside and heavy, articulated pockets to keep valuables from falling out (and out of the way when running). Not merely are the shorts ideal for basketball, but they’re comfy for additional athletic applications too. What might be of all import into this consumer is that they’re also quite aesthetically pleasing.

The basketball shorts are just one of many advanced products now Offered by POINT 3 Basketball. The organization’s line of product includes comfortable basketball hoodies; comprising thumb loops at the sleeves which set silicone grips at the hands of the participant – ensuring that a pass is never missing, a “SNYPER” top with built in DRYV panels onto your shoulders and a “Base Tank” with compression technologies.

Luscher understood that there was a gap in the space for a brand focused primarily on the demands of basketball players. He noticed that when people consider basketball equipment, they think of product designed for the ankle and below. In his words, “There hadn’t been a basketball innovation in the basketball space above ankle since the tank top.”

While there’s lots of promise with this youthful three-and-a-half-Year-old firm, it’s already faced its own share of challenges. Initially, Point 3’s thought was to market its merchandise wholesale to retailers. In May 2011, Modell’s Sporting Goods became among Point 3’s earliest customers. But, Point 3 immediately recognized that its margins were reduced and its capability to develop through its current business model was slender. Therefore, it did a pivot and purchased all of its things back from every merchant under contract with them. It sells its revolutionary products directly to the user through four stations – its web agency designed e-commerce site, direct to basketball players in tournaments around the nation, an “Alpha Program” – 25 agents based around the USA that are fulltime coaches and coaches and sell Point 3 equipment to children they train and coach, and the organization’s own catalogue. Luscher has decided that his firm has the best opportunity to increase if he concentrates on grassroots outreach and places particular focus on the growth of his Alpha Program.

Point 3 also discovered itself filing lawsuits early in its own existence. But, it was a litigation that it hailed as a plaintiff. On April 21, 2011 Point 3 Basketball registered a complaint at Nike in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, where it alleged that Nike infringed on the youthful firm’s trademark. Point 3 claimed that Nike’s “Jordan Fly Wade” lineup of basketball footwear and related apparel comprised a stylized “3” design emblem, which was almost identical to Point 3’s federally documented emblem. The situation resolved when the case was voluntarily dismissed by the parties on October 6, 2011. The lawsuit unintentionally served to increase the profile of Luscher’s brand.

The next challenge for Point 3 could be the increasing of funds, Although Luscher seems to have a grip on this too. While he couldn’t discuss specifics concerning the sum which his firm plans to increase, Luscher did disclose in a FORBES interview that his company is at the center of raising capital for a Series A round, that was established approximately April 1 and needs to be closed within 30 days. Point 3 isn’t yet earning a net profit, but it did record that a triple digit percentage earnings growth has been achieved within the last two years.

Luscher believes he has a fantastic product, with his biggest challenge being “getting the word out, scaling up and getting people to know who we are”. Luscher is by no means a newcomer and has had plenty of experience around the sports industry; he has spent 6 years at the MLB Commissioner’s Office and then worked for the NFL for 4 years.

Point 3 has invested a great deal of time building its brand on social websites (over 60,000 likers on its own FB page) and wishes to mimic the amazing project Under Armour has achieved in telling a wonderful story about what its own new brand signifies on a wide scale.

Point 3’s plan would be to redefine its own brand in the brain of this consumer as a company that’s evolving basketball equipment. It’ll focus mostly on the user in the upcoming few years of its presence. Meanwhile, the Point 3 includes 3-to-4 designs for new goods in the hopper which Luscher claims are equally as advanced as “The World’s Best Basketball Shorts” fabricated by his firm.

“If we can’t make a product that’s better, it’s not going to have our logo on it,” Luscher said as he finished an interview with FORBES.  “We will continue to push the bar in thinking what a basketball players needs around their body to help them perform at their best.”

State-Of-The-Art Warehouse To Open In Dubai

Centre Point Logistics (CPL), a prominent company in warehousing, logistics and storage facilities, is set to cement its position in the regional and global markets even more with the new state-of-the-art warehouse that is set to be unveiled in Dubai’s Logistics District. The new warehouse is said to exhibit some of the worlds best features including impeccable interior design style and some of the best warehouse lighting in Dubai, which is adding to the prominence of this world class city.

The ultramodern warehouse facility is scheduled to open towards the end of 2016 in October, if everything goes according to plan. The 22,550 square-meter warehouse mirrors the philosophy to broaden its reach in the ever growing region of United Arab Emirates, who is dubbed as one of the most important logistical countries in the world, with it being the gateway to the world’s thriving markets of South-East Asia and Africa.

The new warehouse will be used for the storage, distribution, and other services that add value to both the business and customers. The Centre Point Logistics warehouse will be built with the highest quality temperature control system and state of the art network security to cater for all aspects of logistical cargo, offering many integrated logistics services including an asset tracking system, warehousing, transportation, equipment, skilled and technical labour and all other kinds of logistic operations management.

The forecasted turnover of CPL after completion of the new warehouse is forecasted to rise by an estimated 50 million (AED). This figure is supported by the already invested AED 100 million of logistics infrastructure already established in the United Arab Emirates region. For investors, this is a very promising and encouraging opportunity.

The new warehouse that will be finished towards the end of 2016 will enable CPL to increase its market share, increase operational efficiency with project management systems, and see profit margins rise dramatically. This heavy investment from CPL couldn’t occur at a better time, with global demand for solid logistics infrastructure in the UAE region to support the growing global logistics sector. CPL sees its major advancement with the Dubai South logistic District, which will provide the ideal platform to assist regional growth for CPL in the future.

A potential partnership between CPL and Dubai South will see CPL being able to extend its geographical reach to provide high quality services to the rest of the world. Such a partnership will create new jobs for locals in regions including Dubai and its surrounding regions by providing jobs as small as building new infrastructure such as new street lighting, to assisting in building the new state-of-the-art facility.

Las Vegas Getting Brighter?

Las Vegas Getting Brighter?If you have been to the world famous lit up streets in Las Vegas, you may have thought to yourself what the power bill would look like to power so many lights in the city, let alone a few singular streets lit up like it’s midday. It is quite a sight for tourists but is surely costing an arm and a leg. Recently Las Vegas has set its sights on harnessing the sunny weather in the district and utilising that energy to power the street lighting that is draining the power grid.

Las Vegas city is now partnering up with a light specialist company in New York City to address this problem, a company known as EnGoPLANET. EnGoPLANET specialises in off-grid solar and pedestrian-powered state-of-the-art LED street lighting in Boulder Plaza. These lights feature photovoltaic panels on the top which absorbs the light energy from the sun, using and storing the energy when it is needed. Another feature of these lights is there are pads built into the sidewalk where pedestrians help generate energy whilst passing by. Motion sensors ensure that the correct lights turn on brighter as the pedestrian passes by whilst saving power when there are no pedestrians nearby. For extra visual pleasure, the lights can create a vibrant mood by changing colours in the tourist areas to maintain the lively ambiance.

Whilst providing light is the primary function, there are many new fancy extras that give a plain light post some life. These lights can also detect water, measure the air quality around it, keep an eye on citizens and even monitor the local traffic (great for cities). Other features also include USB ports for charging for the tech savvy and also wifi hotspots. What more could you really want from a light pole? And what next, carpark lighting will make carparks safer and these new light posts can even start generating power for nearby warehouse lighting

We are seeing a major shift from the Las Vegas council which is astonishing to see, one of the most iconic cities in the world taking a very large step to reduce its C02 contribution. The even more astonishing fact is that the city of Las Vegas has recently committed to harnessing 100% of its energy from renewable sources in the near future. The future is looking ‘bright’ for Las Vegas, with many large tech companies choosing to set up base here for their operations. Big things are coming.

Never Released Before Pictures of Plymouth’s World-Class Attraction

I recently found this article on the web and found it to be a very interesting read. I can’t believe how much it costs to build such unbelievable structures and transform them into world-class masterpieces. I hope you enjoy the read.

 

Never Released Before Pictures of Plymouth’s World-Class AttractionEXCLUSIVE: Striking new pictures released of Plymouth’s £34million world-class attraction

 

Amazing images display how Plymouth’s £34million state of the art attraction will appear in four years time have been issued.

The impressive plans show how Plymouth’s Museum and Art Gallery will be transformed into a state-of-the-art history centre with world famous custom showcases, in time for the 2020 Mayflower celebrations.

Designed by architects Atkins, the centre will nestle behind the existing museum and art gallery frontage.

“We’ve got some of the best people out there working on this,” said Council leader Tudor Evans, “and the concepts look incredibly exciting.

“They’ve come up with a really striking building and some of the interior spaces will be jaw-dropping.”

The architectural plans feature a cantilevered ‘floating’ box with reflective cladding, which will form the heart of the impressive building.

Other existing buildings will be converted into interactive and fun exhibition spaces containing galleries that will include a giant mammoth, a flotilla of historic ships, massive original figureheads and interactive laminated maps that you can walk through.
Cllr Evans said: “This centre will be a complete game-changer for arts and culture in Plymouth. It will not only explore Plymouth’s amazing history in new and exciting ways but it will also bring world-class arts and culture right to our doorstep.”

The planning application is due to be considered in June this year, and the existing museum and art gallery will close in September.

Subject to permission, work will start early in 2017.

Earlier this year the project billed as the city’s equivalent of London’s Turbine Hall, was handed £4.2million from Arts Council England – propelling the project further forward.

The plans show how impressive exhibition and gallery spaces will be created to show off existing collections, as well as new flexible spaces that will host some of the best exhibitions from around the country.

The centre includes a space of 3,500 metres squared for galleries and exhibitions, this will include 11 temporary spaces (five for local and national touring exhibitions, six for specific projects), and 5 permanent galleries.

A major Mayflower exhibition will feature in one of the main galleries when the centre opens in time for Mayflower 400 in four years time.

“I can’t imagine that there’ll be anyone in Plymouth who won’t be able to get excited about exploring it,” added Cllr Evans.

“There’ll be something for everyone whether they are bringing their kids for a fun day out, exploring their family history or visiting a top class art event.

“We’ll have events and exhibitions right on our doorsteps that you’d currently have to travel hundreds of miles to see.

“It is also great for Plymouth and will create hundreds of jobs and boost the city’s economy by increasing the number of day visitors to Plymouth and overnight stays.”

Galleries will also celebrate and explore subjects such as Plymothians who have been influential on the world stage such as Drake and Scott of the Antarctic; the city’s relationship with the Royal Navy; life in Plymouth below the waterline, including marine life and shipwrecks made from timber products; Plymouth’s prehistoric landscape and the West Country’s artistic legacy, including Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Cottonian collection and the Newlyn School of Artists.

There will be also multi-media spaces using the latest technology to enable people to explore the thousands of images and films that form part of the South West Image Bank and the South West Film and Television Archive.

The proposals will turn Tavistock Place into a public square – something it used to be before the current museum and library were built in the early part of the 20th century.

A pedestrianised piazza will provide a space for events and street entertainment and high-quality food outlets with plenty of street lighting making this an event not to be missed.

The council says this will enable the museum to include a refurbished St Luke’s to be converted to a large art gallery with modular exhibition spaces that will open up Plymouth and the South West peninsula to major touring exhibitions.

Councillor Peter Smith, deputy leader, said the history centre is the “biggest and most exciting culture and heritage project” the South West has seen in the past decade.

“Plymouth has played an incredible role in the history of the region,” he said, “and the world and this is something we need to shout about.

“But it’s not just about attracting visitors to spend money in the city. This will be an incredible resource for our residents, our schools, local historians. We are working with our partners to create somewhere people can learn, research and feel a sense of pride in Plymouth, as well as just have fun.”

 

Sydney Introduces A New Winery With An Urban Twist

If it wasn’t for having to travel a long distance, most of us would probably visit cellar doors and wineries more regularly, for both the interior style and the wine. The wine maker behind the wine label A.Retief, Alex Retief, is saving you the trouble of having to travel by bringing the winery to you. Retief wants people from Sydney to appreciate the wines from NSW more.Sydney Introduces A New Winery With An Urban Twist

Urban Winery Sydney is a new business venture and it is now Australia’s first large winery in a city. In the Bordeaux region in France, a cultural immersion and winemaking stint was the inspiration for this idea. Retief states that “everyone had that knowledge and passion for wine, whether they were in the industry or not,” and he then came to realise that the people in NSW didn’t share the same mentality and that drove Retief to want to make a change.

One of the main missions that the Urban Winery Sydney faces is to boost NSW’s reputation for quality wines that stand up to their competitors in Victoria and South Australia. It is known that people who live in Victoria usually drink wines from the local wineries in the Yarra Valley, and the people who live in South Australia drink South Australian wines. But the frustrating thing for Retief is that the people of NSW’s drink wines from Victoria and South Australia and not their local wines from NSW.

They are working towards changing that mentality of the population in NSW and of the 14 growing wine regions in NSW, the ones that people really only think of are the Riverina and Hunter Valley regions. However, Retief is proving that the smaller regions producing wine throughout the state are very capable of making great wines, including his hometown of Gundagai.

At the Urban Winery Sydney, Retief will be basing his wine tasting around the fact that grape variety can differ from region to region and how and why that is so. “I’ll be showing other people’s wines as well, almost like a NSW wine centre. You can buy a flight of five wines, one of which will be mine, shown against four others from different regions to see how the growing conditions affect the wine,” he states.

The winery will call the newly revived Precinct 75 ‘home’. The Precinct 75 is well known as a creative hub for very unique businesses, such as Sample Coffee and Willie the Boatman. The interior design of the industrial space allows for heaps of natural light that shines on the resting barrels leaving a nice warm feeling throughout the building. Retief says how the building reminds him of the wineries in Bordeaux with the big concrete walls.

There are daily winery tours that are available and they usually take one-to-two hours. You also have the opportunity to sign up to a wine-blending masterclass. Each group will try five different barrel samples before they get the opportunity to blend their own wine. They will then go on to participate in a blind tasting of everyone’s blend. The winner of the blind tasting competitions will receive a dozen bottles of their own wine as the prize. Retief talks about how it will bring a very fun and a bit of a competitive twist to the process of wine learning.

With this new business venture starting up, hopefully it wont be long until the local wines of NSW can start competing with the South Australian and Yarra Valley wineries