Monthly Archives: March 2009

Manager or Leader… or both?

Leadership is defined as the ability to motivate a group of people toward a common goal. Many of the images or people associated with great leadership have their roots in conflict. It is the stuff of generals who outwit their opponents, politicians who convince and channel groups into action, and people who take control of a crisis. We are directed to special individuals like Gandhi or Joan of Arc or Napoleon. The stories around such people seem to show that there are moments of crisis or decision where the actions of one person are pivotal. They have a vision of what can, and should be, done and can communicate this to others.

Sounds like a manager right? No! You will find many books, articles and information on why being a manager does not necessarily set you up to be a great leader. The 2 are a completely different set of skills, however, they can be used together effectively. Here is how..

Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience. As a manager who would like to become a better leader to inspire your employees into higher levels of teamwork, there are certain things you must be, know, and, do. These do not come naturally, but are acquired through continual work and study. Good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills; they are NOT resting on their laurels.

Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills. Although your position as a manager, supervisor, etc. gives you the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives in the organization, this power does not make you a leader, it simply makes you the boss. Leadership differs in that it makes the followers want to achieve high goals, rather than simply telling people what to do.

Bass’ theory of leadership states that there are three basic ways to explain how people become leaders. The first two explain the leadership development for a small number of people. These theories are:

  • Some personality traits may lead people naturally into leadership roles. This is the Trait Theory.
  • A crisis or important event may cause a person to rise to the occasion, which brings out extraordinary leadership qualities in an ordinary person. This is the Great Events Theory.
  • People can choose to become leaders. People can learn leadership skills. This is the Transformational Leadership Theory. It is the most widely accepted theory today.

What are the skills of a great leader?

According to a study by the Hay Group, a global management consultancy, there are 75 key components of employee satisfaction (Lamb, McKee, 2004). They found that:

  • Trust and confidence in top leadership was the single most reliable predictor of employee satisfaction in an organization.
  • Effective communication by leadership in three critical areas was the key to winning organizational trust and confidence:
    1. Helping employees understand the company’s overall business strategy.
    2. Helping employees understand how they contribute to achieving key business objectives.
    3. Sharing information with employees on both how the company is doing and how an employee’s own division is doing – relative to strategic business objectives.

So in a nutshell — you must be trustworthy and you have to be able to communicate a vision of where the organization needs to go.

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Interesting sites for business owners

Hello readers,

Welcome to Friday again (whoohoo!). Today I’m going to list some interesting sites I’ve stumbled on that might also interest you as a business owner. I have also been going to some networking events and shows and will be adding a page of preferred providers that I have met. These are people I’ve met who’s business would be useful to you. If you do contact them, please do say that you found them through The Small Business Angel!  Enjoy! See you Monday. Have a great weekend!

http://www.businesszone.co.uk/
http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/forums/

http://www.sme-blog.com/
http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk/
http://www.businessweek.com/

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Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur

I’m back online it seems.. internet is restored at home! Wednesdays are video days, and here is the next one… enjoy!

BizLaunch expert Andrew Patricio shares the secrets of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

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The Growing Your Own Business Show

Hello readers,

My post today will be for those of you who couldn’t get to the show and also for you if you are building a business. I sat in on some great informational seminars and hope that I can do them justice when I share the notes with you! If you read through what I’ve written and it doesn’t make sense, email me cemanthe@thesmallbusinessangel.com or feel free to phone me +44 (0)7886 593 076 and I can explain further. I also met with a few business owners/companies that I would like to introduce you to and perhaps you can make use of their services, see below the notes section for these…

Notes

What it takes to be a successful Entrepreneur – Oliver Tress, founder Oliver Bonas

Plan – be extraordinary, be clear, be scaleable
SWOT – of your business idea, of your market, of yourself
Implementation – an action plan with: desired outcomes, resources and deadlines
Be organised, be dispensible and be flexible

As the owner of your company set the tone for your employees and the company culture, see the bigger picture and communicate!

Maintaining and growing cash flow, sales and profiltability – Geoff Matthews, MD Matthews Business Associates

Expenses – raw materials, finished goods, transport, facilites, debtors, wages, interest, rent and rates, assets

Financing a business – 
New business: equity, loans, asset finance, overdraft, factoring 
Established: sales, invoices, cash

Profit does not equal cash!!! a business needs both to sustain

Challenges:
– running out of cash: chase what you’re owed, dont pay til you need to, speak to the HRMC
– running out of customers: look after your current clients, know what makes you different, who is your target market, think about your pricing strategy, pricing policy, payment terms and loyalty.

How is or will your business be doing financially… in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3-5 years from now? Plan, forecast and review!

Geoff was kind enough to send his powerpoint presentation to me, and if you’d like a copy, let me know.

Leveraging social networking sites to generate business – Mike Segall, MD The Business Resources Group

We were brought up to not talk to strangers.. but that’s what networking is and why we could be afraid of it!
47% of your business is gained through networking, 43% through cold calling

People do business with those they know, like, trust and respect

How to network effectively?
1. who is buying your product or service
2. where do they network
3. investigate before time who will be there and set a meeting in advance
4. phone the organiser and get recommended contacts or meetings

When going to a networking event:
– set your intention
– follow through your intention
– follow up

know what your networking strategy is

see social networking sites as a marketing database

your profile: professional photo, what you do, case study, visibility and credibility, blog to demonstrate your knowledge/expertise
benefits of social networks: credibility and visibility, your knowledge and expertise, market, promote and sell, a marketing database, market reserach polls, low cost route to your market

Funding your business growth – Emmett Kilduff, CEO Cmypitch.com

When approaching potential investors, you should:
– know your usp
– be in a high growth market
– be planning
– have traction
– have an exit strategy
– have a strong team
– be passionate

Marketing on a shoestring – Carl Pihl, Founder Drinkyz
Adapt, be flexible, innovate, have persistence/perseverence

Strategy
– marketing is: the story you tell yourself, your clients and what they tell to others.. how people translate that story is how it works for them
– social proof: an idea people talk about and want to be a part of, viral marketing, social compliance
– to much choice is bad: keep it simple! one main product that pulls the market
– target your clients needs: what do they want? listen to what they want and provide the solution
– create an experience for your clients

That’s all I could get! If you have any questions or want to chat about what I’ve written, contact me!

Recommended providers

Commercial Cleaning and Property Maintenance
Terry MacDonald, Director: www.londonandessex.com
info@londonandessex.com

I met with Terry while sitting waiting for one of the seminars and would highly recommend him and his company

Other businesses I found at the show that might interest you:

http://www.matthewsba.co.uk/ – accountants and business help

http://www.5mins.co.uk – online business directory

http://www.cre8broadband.tv – video and dvd production

http://www.mskglobal.com – support services

http://www.cmypitch.com – online services for businesses

See you on Wednesday!

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Filed under Business Shows, Management, Marketing, Social Networking for Business, Strategy

Just stopping in quickly

Hello!
Justa quick sneaky post from the internet cafe before I head off the Growing Your Own Business Show… got loads to share with you on Monday! I know there will be some of you who were’nt able to make it this weekend, so I’ve taken notes at some of the seminars which I will share with you and also found some great businesses you might benefit from looking at, which I will also share with you.

Have a great weekend! Chat Monday
Cemanthe

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Collaboration between business owners and Networking

Hello again readers,

I’m a bit out of my schedule this week as we’ve lost our internet and it’s tricky getting out to an internet cafe, so please bear with me until I get it sorted and then it will be back to the normal Mondays Wednesday and Fridays. I’m going to pair up a video with today’s topic as I’m not sure when next I’ll get back to the internet.

Today’s topic is about collaboartion between business owners. I went to an event last night and was having this chat with some other business owners. It has definitely become imperative to work together, especially if you are a small or start-up company. People are not spending as much right now on marketing (whether they should be is another story), so business is being promoted word of mouth. What do you do when you go to a networking event? Speak to many people? Give out as many of your cards as possible? Get as many cards as possible? All 3?

It’s a funny thing networking for business. I’m always amazed that when I invite business owners to send me more information about what they do so that I can promote it to my contacts, so few of them take me up on the offer. It’s also the people not following up with you after an event.. this is crazy for a business owner! Yes, the person you met at the event might not be your next client, but what about the people they know?

How effectively do you network your business? Here are some tips:
– get other people’s cards, make a note on the card of what you spoke about, something specific to that person, the date and where you met.
– follow up with an email straight away just saying how good it was to chat with them at the event, and include a comment specific to them. People want to know that they are not just another business card. Dont sell anything in this email! It’s just a reminder of who you are.
– Look at their website so that you know who they and what their company is about
– Call them in the week after the event and ask for a meeting to chat about how you can help each other after you’ve looked at their site. Be sure that you or someone you know can actually be of help or interest to them
– Go to the meeting with the purpose of collaboration at the forefront of your mind and the main reason for meeting. Too many business owners try to grab as much business as possible. Today’s world, whether you like it or not, is about relationship marketing. People are bombarded with media trying to sell them things and offer discounts and membership and sales, we are becoming immune and anti the whole ‘sales approach’. We’ve heard it all before.
I spoke to a business owner last night and he said that it took his company up to 2 years of relationship building to secure their biggest client. Of course it doesn’t have to take this long, but just to get started will bring in results.

So now that you’ve got business owners to collaboarte with, how do you do this effectively so that both parties are win win? Well, you can start by having an idea what you would like to get and give from the relationship, have an objective in mind.. is it more sales? to promote a product? to joint venture?
It’s also important to have a measure of the collaboration process so that both parties receive equal value in the deals being made. I know of someone who is a business owner and constantly gets services for free from people with the promise of promoting their services to her contacts. This is fine, however, if you offer your service to this person and get no responses from her promotion of you.. how effective has it been for you to give something away for free? So, how can you measure the reward for both of you?

What else can you do together? Do you perhaps have a similar line of service or product and maybe you can joint venture to co-promote each other or host an event together sharing client base invitations to the event?

These are just a few ideas to get you started, and if nothing else.. just get started! Go back through all the business cards you have and start talking to people. Start thinking about how you can help another business and how they can help you. Make that call! And if you hear from me because I’ve got your card, I look forward to chatting!

If you have any success stories of collaboration with another business owner, or comments of your own, please do leave them in the comments section, along with your site.

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This weekend

Hi everyone… I’m just popping in to let you know that there wont be a post from me tomorrow as I’m working at a show in London this weekend called One Life Live (http://www.onelifelive.co.uk)

.. if you’re there, come and say ‘hi’! I’ll be on Stand S54.

Hope you can make it 🙂 Back again with you on Monday!

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