It’s back! My monthly peep behind the scenes of my business: where I share business insights from a more personal perspective, and explain how I go about growing my own business. Business Consultant, Denyse Whillier Here on the West Sussex coast, we’ve had some glorious Autumn days, and if I’m not walking on the beach, you’ll often find me at my favourite café, Ginger and Dobbs. I don’t know about you. But I’ve been struggling to accept the fact it’s no longer Summer, especially now the clocks have gone back and the days are shorter.

But living by the sea has its compensations and, I’ve been able to fully appreciate how beautiful the beach is at this time of the year. The sun is much lower in the sky casting a lovely light over the beach, and the sun sets over the sea so you can enjoy a full seaside sunset.

A Focus On Sales

Over the last few weeks, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been talking a lot about sales. I thought this would be of value to you because many businesses make the highest proportion of their sales in the last quarter of the year. There are so many sales and marketing promotional opportunities in the Autumn season that’s it’s a great time to get creative. From Halloween and Bonfire Night, Black Friday to Civilised Saturday right through to Christmas. I wanted to inspire you with as many different ideas as I can to help you to make more sales and finish 2017 strong.

[callout]I’ve just created a new brochure about my business coaching and mentoring services if you’d like to find out how I can help with your business growth strategy. You can download a copy HERE. If you’d like to talk to me directly, simply e-mail me.[/callout]

If you haven’t caught up with these articles, here’s a selection:

Halloween has been and gone, but you still may find ideas to inspire you in the run up to Christmas in 15 Halloween Marketing Ideas To Boost Your Sales. Watch out for my forthcoming article on how to run a successful holiday promotion!

Finding Inspiration In Autumn

The new season collections and catalogues of my favourite brands, the abundance of seasonal produce and the vibrant, changing colours of Autumn foliage have inspired me with an abundance of ideas – both for my own marketing as well as that of my clients.

This week for example, one of my clients in the catering industry sent out a mailing with ideas for Hygge inspired drinks that his customers could serve in their restaurants and bars. You can imagine how much fun the research was! Let’s just say I wish I’d known about Hot Buttered Rum Toddies when I came down with a cold last month! As my client and his team contact their customers this month (as part of a wider Christmas marketing campaign) they’ll be using the content of this mailing to spark conversations. And a more in depth feature on Hygge inspired drinks is going on his website so that one piece of ‘hero content’ will serve two purposes.

Another client, again in the catering industry, is reviewing her Autumn menus. To introduce new drinks and dishes to her menu to see which are most popular with her customers. But also to make sure that she’s selling high profit drinks and meals. This work inspired my article, Do You Have Diamonds in Your Product Mix?

Celebrating Successes

This focus on sales is paying off – for both me and my clients.

On Wednesday, I was thrilled to receive a text from one of my clients saying he’d smashed his October sales target of £50,000. When I dug into his Profit & Loss report, what delighted me even more was seeing net profits were sharply up. This increase in profits is a direct result of the work we did in September on pricing.

And last week I shared how two start-up clients had just landed their first ‘big client.’ And not only their first ‘big, game-changing client,’ but other ‘big clients’ too! In a matter of weeks, they’ve gone from ‘questioning whether it will ever happen’ to wondering how they’re going to deliver the sharp increase in work and if they should take on staff to work on contracts valued between £25,000 and £100,000.

On a personal level, I’m celebrating taking on two new clients for business consulting in the past six weeks. Plus recording an interview for Nina Cooke’s podcast show, the Entrepreneur’s Inner Game and giving an interview for a book, out later this year, about people who’ve changed course in mid-life. As soon as they’re available, I’ll let you know. In case you missed it, I wrote about why I left my CEO role to start my own business after my August sabbatical.

The Importance of Rest & Recovery

I’m a huge fan of sabbaticals. I took one after I left my CEO role. And again this August because I wanted some time and space to rejuvenate – and truth be told to spend as much time as possible on the beach! You have to take all the chances you can here in the Uk.

It’s long been an ambition of mine to take a month long annual sabbatical. There’s lots of research validating how sabbaticals improve creativity, clarity and overall job satisfaction. Sabbaticals aren’t possible for many business owners. Which is why it’s so important we’re intentional about carving out time for our own rest and recovery.

Earlier in the month, for an article about Mental Health Day, I wrote about the personal crisis which forced Chief Executive of the Lloyds Banking Group, António Horta-Osório, to enter the Priory clinic following a period of prolonged insomnia that caused extreme exhaustion. And a few days ago, inspired by the book ‘Rest,’ I wrote an article about what the General and former President Ike Eisenhower can teach us about rest and recovery.


‘Rest’ is probably not a book I’d have read had I not signed up for Michael Hyatt’s Leaderbox™. But I’ve gotten so much from reading it.

We all know the saying “leaders are readers.” I’m a bookworm, and never without a book on the go. I definitely don’t read as widely as I know I should. But I do read at least one book a week. Thrillers for light relief; and of course books on business and leadership.

So when I heard about Michael Hyatt’s LeaderBox™, I was intrigued.  It’s been designed for any person seeking professional growth and improved leadership skills. Michael’s team selects two books each month and prepares reading notes to maximise our learning. There’s an online reading and discussion group bringing leaders of all walks of life together.

Initially I thought Leaderbox™ was a little price-y, especially when you factor in international shipping costs. But I loved the idea of somebody else curating my reading on leadership so that I don’t have to scythe my way through the Amazon forest. And the community Michael has created is infectious in its enthusiasm.

There’s an option to subscribe to Leaderbox™ on a monthly basis. So if you’d like to expand your reading around leadership and be part of a community of leaders, I recommend you give Leaderbox™ a go.

A Word (Or Two) On The Sexual Harassment Scandal

I can’t finish this article without mentioning the on-going sexual harassment scandal that started with multiple allegations about Harvey Weinstein and has made its way to our Parliament, claiming the scalp of one Minister to date.

I’ve spent much of my career championing equality and diversity in the workplace, so as you’d expect, I take a dim view of this kind of behaviour. My hope is that by shining a light on sexual harassment in public life and the workplace, a serious process to tackle misogyny will begin.

This scandal may have wider ramifications, at least here in the UK. The New York Times has just run an interesting story about how the unfolding scandal at Westminster could lead to a sea change in the Conservative approach to Brexit. It seems that the newer intake have had enough, and are willing to flex their muscles over what they believe to be a disaster in the making. I for one certainly hope so!

If you’d like to get the same kind of results as my clients, a reminder that I’ve created a new brochure about my business coaching and mentoring services. You can download your copy HERE. Or if you’d prefer to talk to me directly, simply e-mail me.

Wishing you every business success in November.

Question: What are you celebrating from October? I love reading your feedback so please do take a moment to share in the comments box below.

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