The first blog from our new guest blogger, Sandra Murphy from Business Doctors!
It’s not often that I look across the ocean and wish we were more like America but I do envy them one thing – Thanksgiving. Because for me, saying thank you is a hugely underrated and vastly underused but highly effective business tool.
For many of us, March is the end of one year and the beginning of the next – financial year, tax year, sound familiar? And for many of us this is a natural time to pause, reflect on the year that has gone by, and prepare for making 2017 the best year yet. But what does ‘best yet’ mean for you?
So how about a simple exercise? Make a mental list of ten occasions in the last six months when you punched the air with a sense of achievement. Then list twenty or more times when you have said thank you to someone for their contribution – for their support, their kindness or for just being there.
Is there a pattern or some common recurring feature which you could build upon? Are there people you work with or suppliers who have helped you in some way? And if so do they know how much you appreciate their contribution? The power of just taking time to say thank you is all too often overlooked.
March also sees the 3rd bi-annual Chestnut Tree House Business Awards, http://bit.ly/CTHBA. For those of you who don’t know Chestnut Tree House (CTH) it’s an amazing place providing community and in-house support to children and their families affected by life shortening and life threatening conditions.
Launched back in 2013, their Business Awards are a way of recognising the support they receive across Sussex enabling them to continue to provide the service they do. And saying thank you is also an effective way of ensuring you continue to receive that support.
Having recalled those ten occasions in the last six months when you punched the air, I’m sure you’ll still connect with what it is that makes you genuinely feel good about your business and the difference it makes to people. Why you first wanted to run your own business.
If it doesn’t you need to take a step back. Because genuine passion for your business is as infectious as laughter and saying thank you reinforces connections and values the people who have contributed. Ask yourself why are some companies more successful than others? Why are some individuals so inspiring?
If you are looking for possible explanations Simon Sinek’s short video (approximately eighteen, well spent, minutes) is an appropriate starting point to better understand the power of ‘why’:
One of the great things about supporting business owners is that we work with them to understand their ‘why’, to really connect them with their customers and employees. Equally, this is something you can do on your own.
We all know how it feels to be under pressure to do and achieve more as societal and political changes deal unexpected cards to your business requiring you adapt to life’s twist and turns. But as part of your planning for 2017/18, allow a little bit of space to say thank you every time you have cause to celebrate a positive achievement for your business.
Trust me, you’ll see the results.
Sandra loves living on the Sussex Coast and working as a Business Doctor. She spends her days helping small and medium sized businesses of all kinds to grow and thrive, find funding and better engage their employees.
With 25 years’ experience of setting up or running SMEs – very often family businesses – she has specific expertise in sales, marketing, finance, operations and HR. “In a small business you rarely have the luxury of in-house specialist expertise, you can end up feeling that you have to do it all yourself.
And that can make for a lonely place without someone to talk to about your ambitions and how these can be delivered through the business. It can be a real challenge to find time to stand back, take stock of where you are now, what you want to achieve within the next 1-3 years and how you’re going to get there. What you can manage yourself and what you need help with.
I’ve developed a very thorough and logical mindset” said Sandra. “And I also know how to listen so I can help. I’m not the kind of person who hands over a report and makes their exit. I want to be actively involved in helping local businesses get to the next level. I want to use my experience to enable other SMEs to think bigger, act bigger and grow bigger.”
In recent years, Sandra has also been supporting one of the largest Secondary schools in the UK providing Strategic advice and direction to its senior leadership team. “The basic principles are the same for everyone – core concepts don’t change whatever the market or size,” she observed. “It’s about having the experience, knowing how to apply it, what tweaks are need and where change will make a difference.”
And always a fan of the finer things in life, you may know Sandra from her involvement with both the Sussex Food & Drink Awards and the Brighton & Hove Foodies, where her excellent event management skills were put to use for a number of years.
Business Doctors Sussex Coast offer a free 60 minute business health check for SME’s interested in achieving their next level of growth. Sandra can be contacted on 07809 909839 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra Murphy, Business Doctors Sussex Coast, @BizDocSxCoast, 07809 909839