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What You Need To Know When Starting a Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_checklist_sml.jpgI know there are some of you who read this column who are not (yet) business owners, and who may be thinking about taking that leap of faith to launch your idea. If that’s you, have you considered the following?

  • Do you have enough capital? Most businesses take between six and twelve months to start turning a profit large enough to provide you with a reasonable income. Even if you start generating sales and income immediately, there are many start up costs that eat into your profit. So make sure you have enough cash to sustain you during that time, and/or a budget (for your personal finances and your business) that is realistic and sustainable.
  • Do you have a marketing plan? Your first few customers or clients are crucial to starting a loyal fan base, so think of ways to engage those people. Be prepared to spend money on marketing (yes, there are many free marketing ideas, but you will usually need to spend some money to get your product or service in front of the right people)
  • Do you look the part? It continues to amaze me how many businesses don’t take the time to ensure they look professional and trustworthy. Branding your business doesn’t necessarily involve spending a lot of money, but spending the time to think about what image you are projecting is vital. You need a great first impression, so if you are meeting potential customer face to face, consider how you (and anyone representing you) dresses, speaks and interacts. If first contact is online, ensure that you have a website that functions well, looks great and is optimised for search engines to find you.
  • Are you prepared for the long haul? Running a business is not a ‘walk in the park’. It requires endurance and a commitment to your long term goals. Be prepared to give 110 percent and you just might make it!

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Clients You Should Avoid

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Like most people who start up a service based business, the clients in my first year or two varied widely. Primarily because I was happy for any work I could get! But over time, I realised that in order to build my business, and build a positive reputation, I needed to be more selective.

The first type of client I very quickly learnt to avoid was the type who seemed to have cash flow problems or who were reluctant to sign a contract. These clients quite often become non-payers. Although there are legal avenues to pursue when someone doesn’t pay you, it is a long drawn out process and quite stressful. Having clear policies or conditions for payment is an essential – and sticking to those policies yourself is vital!

Another type of client which can be harder to identify, is the type who takes advantage of your good nature. Some clients will try to change agreements, ask for ‘freebies’ or generally disrespect your time. These clients are best dealt with by politely and clearly re-stating the agreed terms. And if they continue to abuse those terms, you have the choice to ‘fire’ them (again, in a polite manner!).

A third client type to avoid is the unreliable one. In many service based businesses, there is a great deal of partnership and working together. For example, I can’t create a website without my client supplying the content and I can’t continue to progress the project without timely feedback. Ideally, a contract with clients should include timed deliverables. Where this is not feasible, communicating with the client that an additional fee will be payable if they don’t supply or respond within a reasonable time period can often get the ball rolling again!

While flexibility and generosity with your clients is paramount, you need to ensure you balance that with realistic expectations so that your business isn’t negatively impacted.

 

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Be prepared for sharks

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Have you been watching ‘Shark Tank’ (the television show where budding entrepreneurs present their business to a panel of potential investors)? The first episode I found myself cringing and feeling terribly sorry for the business owners who were criticised or rejected. As a fellow business person, I know just how much of your heart and soul is contained in your business. So a rejection would have felt terrible.

But during the second episode, I noticed that my attitude had shifted. There were a few candidates who were clearly underprepared or failed to present an accurate (or realistic) financial overview of their business. The investors were clearly annoyed at some of those people, and rightly so. And I became much less sympathetic toward the candidates.

The people who have made it to this stage of the television have been provided with an amazing opportunity. Unfortunately, some just didn’t seem to understand enough about their business (or business principles in general) to present a strong case for why someone should invest with them.

We all need to make sure we have a better grasp on our business than the unsuccessful entrepreneurs! Most of us are not looking for investors or business partners, and may not even have to acquire a loan from a bank. This might lull us into thinking that we don’t need to answer questions (even if it’s just us asking them!) about our financial figures, our projected sales or our potential worth.

You can really only respond well to change and be innovative if you understand your current situation. Be very clear about where you are heading, where the potential growth areas are and how you are going to sustain and progress your business into the future. Revisit these areas regularly, share the overall vision with your team, and ensure that you always have a good grasp on where you are headed next.

 

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Rise to the challenge

b2ap3_thumbnail_woman_handstand.jpgWomen who start their own business often enter pursuits that are male dominated – and being a business owner in general has traditionally been the realm of men.

Some of us have felt (or still do feel) like we have to adopt male traits in order to make an impact and find success. This is often because many of our role models or predecessors in our chosen field are male. But while you might feel pressure to do this, in the long run it is not going to work if you try to be someone you’re not. Your customers will know you are not being authentic and you are unlikely to see success in your business because you are not able to use your strengths and abilities.

For example, if you are naturally friendly and like to put people at ease, but the ‘traditional’ way of interacting with customers is purely to ‘talk business’, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Of course there is always a balance – spending half a consultation making light conversation is not the best use of yours or their time!

Stereotypically, women tend to include emotional factors when making decisions. This can be really valuable – I have written recently about listening to your gut instinct, and that is definitely important! But if you find that many or all of your decisions are based on how you feel, you may find yourself making poor decisions. For example, we can all feel anxious, scared or apprehensive about a change in direction. But if we listened solely to those emotions, we would never achieve anything!

Finally, despite what we (or others) might be thinking, it is OK to fail. So many women that I know in business place enormous pressure to get everything ‘right’ and ‘perfect’. But I think most of us know, it is from our mistakes and failures that we learn the most. So be brave, surround yourself with other brave women, curb your perfectionism and rise to the challenge!

 

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Storytelling: the ultimate case study

b2ap3_thumbnail_books_green.jpgA few months ago I wrote an article (Finding a Human Connection) about the amazing rise on social media of the blog (and Facebook page) called ‘Humans of New York (HONY)’. That article was about the marketing lessons we can learn from this enterprise.

Since that article, HONY has continued to increase its social media followers and has impacted them (and his photography subjects) in powerful ways. Over the past couple of weeks, the owner of HONY was able to raise over $1,000,000 (and counting!) for a school in one of the toughest districts of New York. This campaign was not intentional: it began with one photograph and interview with a student from the school, and it snowballed from there.

The reason it snowballed is largely because Brandon, the creator of HONY, is a great storyteller. Most often the caption he posts under the photo is simple and unembellished. But he has a way of being provocative in that the whole story is not always told. He leaves questions unanswered. This in turn makes the reader ask questions, either about the subject or of themselves. The result is that we feel connected to these ‘ordinary’ people because they are going about their ‘ordinary’ lives. But the photo and story create a sense that there is no ‘ordinary’.

So what does that mean for us in our businesses? How can we use this example to help people connect to what we have to offer?

The answer to this is not the same for everyone! And of course some of us are better storytellers than others. But time and again, marketing gurus will tell us that we need to find a way to tell our business story in order for potential customers to connect with us. But I think HONY has given us some clues: keep it simple and honest, and show the ‘humanness’ of your business.

 

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Australian (business) let us rejoice

b2ap3_thumbnail_Aus-Flag_sml.jpgAs Australians, we are known for having a bit of a whine about, well, almost everything! And the reality is, it is not hard to create a list of things that make operating a business in Australia a hard task.

According to recent research, the average Australian small business spends about five hours a week on red tape and compliance. This includes GST and BAS compliance, employment laws and superannuation regulations.

We have the highest minimum wage in the developed world and penalty rates are high. Adding up four weeks of annual leave, two weeks’ worth of public holidays, sick leave and other entitlements, means that small business owners are paying employees for nearly two non-working months each year.

Our transport costs are high, trading hours are regulated in some industries, rent is astronomical in urban areas and I could go on!

If you look only at the disadvantages of operating a business in Australia, your outlook would be very grim. But we can choose to focus on the negatives (which can only lead to failure) or we can give more attention to the positives.

Particularly as we mark Australia Day, a great way to do this is to look back on all the inventions that have come from Australia (most of which have turned into thriving and valuable enterprises). These include: the black box flight recorder, spray-on skin for burns victims, cochlear implant, the electric drill (back in 1889!), permaculture, wi-fi technology, the inflatable escape slide for aircrafts, and many more examples. I guarantee you that each of these inventors and entrepreneurs would have spent a great deal more time on their passions and projects, than focusing on the negatives.

We have a culture of innovation and exploration. Tap into that history and acknowledge that we truly live in the lucky country. Happy Australia Day!

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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How creative is your business?

b2ap3_thumbnail_pencil_scribble_lowres.jpgMost businesses these days need to be innovative, often in the way they market their products, but also to promote growth, to attract the right staff and many other reasons. So being a ‘creative workplace’ is not limited to those of us in creative industries!

It is common knowledge that we generally all need an inviting workspace in order to work productively. But have you spent time recently assessing your workspaces? Open spaces, access to greenery (via windows, easy access to the outside or indoor plants), clean and convenient kitchen, large desks, up to date equipment, whiteboards and pin boards (for those moments of inspiration!), and comfortable seating are just some of the ways you can improve your workspace.

Have you noticed that the best and most creative ideas often come in the middle of the night, or over a relaxed lunch or at other times outside the standard nine to five work day? If it is possible in your industry type, consider allowing your staff (and yourself) to work flexible hours. For example, if you know someone is more productive in the very early morning, let them work from 7am and leave mid afternoon. You will gain tremendous benefit in the form of ideas and will also boost staff morale because employees are working in a way that makes them most happy.

A sure fire way to boost creativity in your business is to increase the fun! Inject some spontaneous activities into the work week: surprise your employees with unexpected gifts or rewards, buy everyone iceblocks when the temperatures skyrocket, announce that the next work day is ‘loud shirt’ day. The possibilities are endless and the benefits will include a happier workplace, and quite possibly staff who brag about their great working environment, hence attracting a higher standard of employee. Everyone wins!

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Time is Ticking Away

“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” (Dr. Seuss)b2ap3_thumbnail_drseuss.jpg

Maybe it is just me (although I suspect not!) but this quote definitely sums up my head space at this time of year. Most of us know the basic ‘rules’ of time management, which include tools such as making lists, prioritising tasks and breaking larger tasks into more manageable chunks. But have you stopped to consider that it may not be possible to ever be truly ‘on top’ of all your work? It can take us a while to learn that each day has a finite amount of time and that we cannot work until we drop!

For a perfectionist like me, this has been a steep learning curve over the past nine years of running a business. I have had to learn not only to prioritise tasks in order to get through my work, but also prioritise to the extent that some things may remain on the ‘to do if I get time’ list.

But once I learnt that hard lesson, it actually became easier to make better choices about what I was going to work on. It means that things rarely fall through the cracks now because I have a better (more realistic) system for my workload.

The trick though is to identify the right things to work on and then to work on them! It can be easy to react to the random things that pop into our inbox or across our desks and be distracted by them. So it takes deliberate (ongoing) choices of what to pay attention to and a commitment to getting those things done.


 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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An ode to home based businesses

To kick off the new year, I am focusing on home based businesses: because I know there are many of you out there!

b2ap3_thumbnail_woman_work_home_sml.pngMost of us are aware of the pros and cons of working from home. And if you have been operating for any length of time, you will know how much hard work it is too. So here are some tips that will help you to maximise the positives:

• Take regular breaks. This can be tricky at home because it can be easy to be distracted by the home environment. So make sure your breaks involve physical exercise or even just getting outside to eat lunch. And if you do want to undertake ‘home’ tasks, make sure you put a time limit on them so they don’t eat into your work time.

• Create designated work times. These times should also be communicated to your family and friends so that you can maintain uninterrupted work wherever possible. Many home based business owners find that their friends and family don’t take their work ‘seriously’ and think that all manner of activities and tasks unrelated to work can be included in your work day. Of course flexibility is a great advantage to working for yourself from home, but if your day is full of unplanned interruptions, your productivity will decline.

• Interact with others. A large proportion of successful home based business owners lean toward the introverted end of the personality spectrum. This means that they work well on their own and don’t always need to interact with other people. But this isn’t necessarily a good thing! At some point, we all need to talk to and relate with others who are in similar environments. So if you aren’t already doing this, make networking a new year’s goal!

 


 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Inspirational Women

When I research topics for this column, it is primarily quotes and/or business advice from men that I come across. This advice and the motivation that can be found in those quotes is inspiring and can definitely be useful for women in business. But I think it is also important for women to hear from other women. There are unique struggles for female business owners and sometimes we need to hear from those who’ve forged the way before us!

So here are some of my favourite quotes for and from women in business:

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” (Mary Anne Radmacher)

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” (Anne Sweeney - President of Walt Disney)

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” (Marissa Mayer - CEO of Yahoo)

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” (Arianna Huffington - Editor In Chief of Huffington Post)

And this one from Melinda Gates goes beyond the realms of ‘business’, but for me personally, is a great reminder of us all being part of a much bigger picture:

“If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.”

 

 


 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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How to Push Through Hard Work

This quote has been hanging up in my office for the past few years: “Anyone can do something when they WANT to do it. Really successful people do things when they DON’T want to do it” (Dr Phil).

We all have those tasks that we don’t really want to do, and consequently often get put to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list. Sometimes we avoid tasks because we are afraid we won’t be able to do it right. In this case, your focus needs to shift from ‘what can go wrong?’ to ‘what are the consequences of doing nothing at all?’. This shift in thinking can make a difference in how you approach those unsavoury tasks.

Other times we avoid tasks because we’re just not ‘in the mood’. As a graphic designer I can definitely identify with this one! Sometimes I do need to be in the right head space for a particular project. But this can also be an excuse to avoid a task and we can be a bit self- indulgent by expecting that we always need to feel like doing something. But if we always wait for that feeling, we are unlikely to get through all that needs to be done.

And other times, there are just plain boring tasks. Cleaning out your inbox, filing or any number of other examples we all have! The way to tackle these jobs is to set goals and schedules for them. For example: at 3pm I will stop what I am doing and answer emails until 3:30pm. Sticking to these goals will reduce your list of tasks in a shorter time frame, than if you let them build up.

Staying motivated and pushing through hard work takes commitment. But your business will be all the better for it.


 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Going with your Gut Instinct

Although not exclusively a ‘female trait’, many women use gut instinct or intuition (or other ‘unmeasurable’ methods) in their personal decision making. But do you use it in your business decision making? And should you?

b2ap3_thumbnail_eye.pngMy answer is: yes you should. Early on in my business, I learnt the hard way that I needed to listen to those niggly feelings. Too many times I listened to what seemed like the logical factors in a situation (all very valid factors), but failed to take notice of the unsettled feeling I had which I couldn’t necessarily explain.

Most of the truly innovative and great inventions were born from someone trusting their gut instinct, because if they had listened to logic or the knowledge available at the time, it would not have looked possible.

Henry Ford is a really great example of this. Not only was he a great innovator in the car industry, he realised he needed to do something to change the extraordinary 370 percent employee turnover rate in his factories. So despite people thinking he was crazy, he shortened the work day from nine to eight hours and paid his employees a higher wage. By following his gut instinct, he reduced his employee turnover to 16 percent within one year, and began the successful empire we know of today.

Deepak Chopra says that “There are receptors to these molecules in your immune system, in your gut and in your heart. So when you say, 'I have a gut feeling' … you're not speaking metaphorically. You're speaking literally.”

So don’t be afraid to take heed when you’re your get that ‘gut feeling’. Learn to be attuned to it and use it to question whether your ‘logical decision’ is really the right one to make.


 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Have you researched?

A few days ago I received a telemarketing phone call on my business phone. A company rang to say "we are a digital marketing company and we are calling to see if we can create a website for you". I laughed loudly and informed him "I'm a website designer". He laughed too and hung up!

While it was funny at the time, it did make me wonder whether many of us are doing enough market research. In the example I gave above, the telemarketing company had done some bare minimum research because they were contacting businesses (rather than cold calling through random phone numbers). But obviously the research stopped there!

There are entire books (and many of them) written on this topic, but here are some important things to consider when you are researching your target market and working out the best ways to promote your product or service to them:

  • how does your product or service fulfill a need or solve a problem for a potential customer?
  • how do you differ from other companies in your industry (what makes you stand out)?
  • what do you need to know about your potential customers in order to appeal to them?
  • create a customer profile (an in-depth description of who your typical customer is)
  • where are your customers likely to engage? Social media? Email? Local papers? Personal contact?

Most SMEs have a limited marketing budget. So it stands to reason that those dollars should be spent wisely. And the best way to do this is to make sure that any marketing efforts are targeted directly to your niche market. Focusing on a specific section of the population (ideally those who might be interested in your product or service) will allow you to communicate and engage with those people more deeply and specifically.

 

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Balance: is it mythical or achievable?

Elizabeth Gilbert (author of the book Eat, Pray Love) recently posted an article on her blog, saying “I feel and fear that the lovely word "balance" has accidentally become yet another weapon in the arsenal that we use against ourselves - yet another piece of evidence that WE ARE NOT DOING IT RIGHT”.

And she is right: most of the time when we are talking about ‘balance’ it is bemoaning the fact that we feel like we are not achieving it. We are behind in our work or not spending enough time with kids, partners or friends, or not getting enough sleep…and the list goes on. And to top it off, we often look at other people who seem to have it all together and compare ourselves negatively to them.

But what would ‘balance’ actually look like? When I stopped to think about that, I imagined that it might be quite boring! Because it would mean there would likely be no surprises, no unexpected events, and a fairly rigid existence. And from a business perspective, I imagine it would mean that opportunities would be unlikely to come my way because I would be safe and secure in my bubble of balance and not notice them.

More importantly, we have to stop comparing ourselves to others. We all have different tolerances, stress triggers, time pressures, family circumstances and so on. It is like comparing the proverbial apple to an orange.

Ultimately, the ‘balance’ you should be aiming for is to keep perspective about what you will be most proud of when business is no longer a factor. Will it be about how much time you spent making a profit or how much time you spent doing other stuff that matters to you?

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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How do you define success?

Success is an interesting idea to ponder. Each of us are likely to have different priorities and definitions of what success is. Even though the aim of any business is to generate income (otherwise it is essentially a non-profit organisation), how much profit, and what we do with that profit, is where the definitions start to vary greatly.

 

One dictionary definition I found starts with a general statement: “The accomplishment of an aim or purpose”, and one of the sub-definitions is “The attainment of fame, wealth or social status”. Personally, I think this is a very narrow view of success, because it focuses on the external results – which become quite subjective.

 

I much prefer this definition of success: “the fact of achieving something good that you have been trying to do”. I think this allows for a much broader spectrum of experiences that I know many female business owners would measure themselves against. For example, part of the ‘success’ of my business (in my opinion!) is that I have been able to earn an income while also being involved in the day to day of my children’s lives. I have created a flexible working environment that helps me to achieve that ‘balance’ between work and family.

 

I am certain, though, as female business owners that many of you will have come across other standards of success by which your business is measured by others. ‘Success’ for you may mean working part time even though working more hours might result in more profit. ‘Success’ might be achieved when you are in a position to donate and give away large amounts of money. Whatever your definition, don’t let other people’s narrow definitions discourage you to continue to strive for your own idea of success.

 

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Have you got the ‘look’?

b2ap3_thumbnail_flowerdress_sml.jpgRecently I phoned a day spa to make an enquiry about an appointment. What struck me about the staff member I was speaking to, was that she personified my expectations of a day spa. She spoke clearly and her manner was professional. She quickly established herself as knowledgeable about the services available by providing recommendations and being able to answer all my queries. The tone of voice she used was calming, and she established confidence that everything was being taken care of.

Anyone who has been to a day spa will know that a primary element is the overall ‘experience’ and atmosphere. A relaxed, pampering environment is essential for achieving that experience. Although my appointment is a couple of months away, the staff member I spoke began that process by exhibiting the same qualities and elements that will be evident when I am there in person.

Does this occur in your business? Is the first contact customers have with your business (over the phone, on your website or in person) a reflection of what they can expect? Are you projecting the image or ‘look’ that encompasses your business?

This first contact is vital. If your marketing efforts have resulted in someone contacting you, it is imperative that you build on that. That first contact should give new or potential customers the right idea about your business. This includes the words the customer hears, the impressions they get and the visuals they see. If these don’t match what your company offers, you are unlikely to secure or retain customers. Think about the image you want people to have of your business and ensure that everything you say and do promotes it.


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Who are your champions?

b2ap3_thumbnail_cheerleaders_sml.jpgBeing a business owner can be a lonely job. This applies both to sole traders and those who run their business from home, as well as owners of larger businesses. Having ultimate responsibility for the failure or success of your business can often place you in a position of isolation when it comes to sharing the emotional load.

 

It is important therefore to have people involved in your life and business who champion you. For some of us, our family members are great champions: I am fortunate to have a partner who not only supports the fact that I run a business, he is a great advocate who has even secured clients for me on more than one occasion!

 

Even those of us that do have family support, our family members most often do not really understand what it is like to be a business owner. Without wanting to sound ‘elitist’, running a business is one of those things that cannot be truly understood unless you have experienced it.

 

So it is important to find a peer (or two) who can become champions of you and your journey as a business owner. This might be someone in the same phase of business as you; someone who you can relate to the current issues you are facing. Or it might be someone who acts more like a mentor, who can listen to you when you need a sounding board and can offer advice where needed.

 

Although business ownership can be a solo effort as far as responsibilities and daily tasks, you should never seek to ‘go it alone’. Find people with whom you can share the emotional highs and lows: this not only gives you motivation to keep forging ahead, it also makes the journey much more enjoyable.

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Overwhelmed by choice

Is there such a thing as giving ourselves too much choice? Some recent research has found that when we are focusing on a goal, having more than one possible path to success can cause us to fail to reach any goals.

The research shows that at the beginning of a project, having a number of choices makes starting the process easier. But as you get closer to completing the project or task, having many choices can undermine motivation. It is the fact that we have to interrupt our momentum to make decisions that halts the process.

Having too many choices can also make us second guess the process and the decisions that have been made prior. This is not to say that you shouldn’t be flexible and open to shifting goals where necessary to respond to new information and so on. But creating an environment where we let ‘choices’ become the ruling factor, rather than the goal, it is highly likely that goals won’t be met.

This can be true for ourselves and our staff, as well as our customers. When customers are new to our business, giving them options is a great way to provide a positive customer service experience. But once they are a loyal customer, it can be beneficial to give your customers a single or limited path to follow. Giving them choice all the time can result in them getting frustrated: they trust you and want you to recommend the best course of action!

So find the balance for your business and your customers. Make sure you provide choice and consider many options at the start of a process. But as a goal draws nearer, limit the choices and focus on the final goal.

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Don’t Doubt Yourself

Women tend to be their own harshest critics. We often doubt ourselves or second guess our decisions, motives and abilities. Often that doubt can be as a result of comparing ourselves to our competitors or fellow business women. I see many articles about ways to become ‘the expert’ in your field, and while that might be feasible or desirable, it is not an essential component, or a measure of, success.

So while striving to be better, learning from others and being mentored by those with more expertise than us, are all great actions to take as a woman in business, you need to assess your motivation. If your motivation for doing those things is because you doubt your own abilities and are seeking instead to emulate others, you are unlikely to find success.

Self-confidence is a common trait of successful business women. This doesn’t mean they know all the answers or never make mistakes. And it doesn’t mean that they are necessarily ‘the best’ at what they do in order to have that self-confidence. They have just learnt that doubts have a way of eating away at confidence and stifling the abilities you do have.

Theodore N Vail had a good way of viewing doubt: “Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.”. Or another way of looking at it, there are enough things to worry about without also adding your doubts to the equation!

This quote by Vincent Van Gogh is also a really lovely way to approach your doubts. He said “If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”. Don’t give your unfounded doubts a voice.

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Motivation for Women in Business

I love motivational quotes. Yes, they can get annoying and asinine when you see meme after meme appearing on your Facebook feed, but there is definite value in pondering the thoughts of those who have been before us in business. So here are some of my favourites (and why I’ve chosen them):

“Done is better than perfect” (Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook): although I am not a fan of all the ways that Sandberg views business, I agree with this statement. Particularly in current society, technology forces change much more quickly than we have ever experienced. Therefore, we have to shift from waiting until something is perfect, to knowing when something is ‘good enough’.

In the same vein is this quote from Meg Whitman (CEO of HP): “The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of a mistake”. It is far better to launch a new idea, with the risk of making some mistakes, than to launch an idea too late (or not at all). What is innovative and relevant now has a high chance of not being relevant if you wait. Get moving on your ideas and use the mistakes (that you are highly likely to encounter), to improve your product or service. Learn from your mistakes!

And this quote to end on: “Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you to sleep at night” (Marian Wright Endelman, Activist). If your chief motivation for having your own business is to make lots of money, you may just do that. But you may also ‘lose’ a lot of other personal (and frankly more important) things in life. Work on what you are passionate about, and the rest will follow.

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Shel Design
PO Box 8142
Glenmore Park NSW 2745
0412 701 147
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mon-Thurs 9am-4pm
ABN: 88 695 161 542