BUSINESS REVIEW: JULY 2016
Welcome to my July Business Review where I take you for a sneak peak behind the scenes of my business, and share what I've been working on. Here in the UK, July was a tumultuous month as we tried to come to terms with the Brexit vote and work out its implications. The referendum triggered a series events, including the resignation of three party leaders, including the Prime Minister. The political fallout was immense, and damaging to our world standing.
Reflections On Brexit
I’m strongly pro- European. I have a degree in French and Spanish, lived in France for a year and have traveled extensively in Europe. Whilst I recognise the problems with the EU, not least the frustratingly slow and bureaucratic way in which it works, I believe strongly that we're better in than out. The EU has led the way for a raft of positive legislation - including on Human Rights and employment law - which sets the standards for a civilised society. And I'm of the view that national security and organised crime are far more effectively dealt with at a Pan European level.
Mounting concerns about immigration were a key factor in the Brexit vote, with some Leavers wanting to see an end the free movement of EU nationals. During the course of the campaign, the question of UK reliance on EU labour to plug the skills gap was given little airtime. The UK construction sector for example is one of our country's leading economic drivers, responsible for 6.5% of our output in 2014 and for generating £103 billion. However a shortage of skilled professionals has become a challenge for an industry that relies on its workforce more than most. This shortage is in large part due to the low number of apprentices entering the industry.
This is a real problem for some of my clients who run small businesses in the construction industry. They simply cannot find suitably qualified, reliable employees and this slows down their business growth. Even if the government were to embark on a major apprenticeship programme, this wouldn't help my clients in the short term. So we’re looking at whether recruiting and training ex-military personnel could be a solution. And if so, what sort of training programme would be needed to up-skill apprentices quickly.
Because surprisingly little has been written about the impact of Brexit on small business, I’ve decided to build up a body of work on this topic. I’ve put together a checklist of questions to help UK owners of small and medium sized businesses to think through how to future proof their business post Brexit. And capitalise on potential opportunities.
[callout]Here is an information sheet, complete with a checklist of the key questions to ask, to help you assess the impact Brexit may have on your business. You can download a copy HERE.[/callout]
Practice What You Preach!
In response to the Brexit vote, I’ve reviewed my own business plan to assess whether there are any aspects of my business that could be affected by the Brexit vote as well as to identify potential opportunities. In addition to my Brexit checklist, I’m in the process of:
- Writing a White Paper setting out the key areas for small and medium sized business to consider;
- Developing a new podcast show with a series focused specifically on Brexit where I’ll be discussing relevant topics with experts in their field.
- Looking at how I can formulate a new service offering to help small businesses put in place the infrastructure, capacity and infrastructure they need to grow. This will be a bespoke service.
I've also looked at my current service offering and decided to add 60 minute ‘instant business advice’ sessions into the mix. My personal preference is to build out long term relationships through 1:1 business coaching. I love seeing how my clients grow in confidence and skill, pushing their boundaries to take on greater challenges. But I recognise that some business owners just want a piece of focused business advice, whilst others aren’t in a position to afford ongoing business coaching.
it might be the summer holidays here in the UK, but my clients are focused on implementing their business plans! This month:
Plumber Lee Schlesinger has launched a second business, Ark Nutrition, to coincide with a bodybuilding competition he’s prepping for later in the year. You can follow Lee's progress on Instagram and Facebook. And he’s pushing his boundaries by starting to create videos, including Facebook Live, to build brand awareness.
Web developer and inbound marketer, Paul Sullivan has hit his goals four months ahead of schedule! Back in the spring, we sat down and put together a new business plan, complete with financial projections. Our aim was to get the foundations in place to hit the ground running in 2017 and set a first set of goals to be achieved by the end of the year. As Paul has smashed these targets, I'm excited to see what he can achieve by the end of the year.
This Month I’ve Been Reading…
…‘Discover Your True North’ by Bill George.
If you’re interested in developing your leadership skills, I highly recommend you check out Bill’s work. Bill was the CEO of Medtronic, a medical device company; and he’s now a Professor at Harvard Business School and trustee of the Mayo Clinic, the #1 ranked hospital in the US. Bill is the ‘real deal.’
Bill writes on ‘authentic leadership.’ Ordinarily I find the word ‘authentic’ off putting because it’s been so overused in the coaching world as to be meaningless. But his thoughtful, down to earth approach coupled with his art for telling stories makes ‘Discover Your True North’ a must read for aspiring business leaders.
Personal Highlight Of July
My highlight in July had to be speaking alongside a crack team of marketing experts on Emma D’Arcy’s Marketing Success Summit. Organising the Summit was a colossal task, and Emma did a fantastic job of putting together a stellar line-up that included Brian Fanzo, Sue Zimmerman, Nathan Latka, Ian Anderson Gray and Dr Philip O’Regan.
I’m looking forward to a quieter month focused on building out my own business plans, writing a White Paper on Brexit, creating content for my new membership site and starting work on my book, Built To Succeed™. I’m spending at least one week on the Sussex south coast, working from my favourite café (The Perch On Lancing Beach) with its inspiring sea views across the English Channel.
Fingers crossed for a heat wave!
Join The Conversation
Questions: How was your July? Did you get the results you'd planned on? I love receiving your feedback so please let me know in the comments box below.