Jo James ( amberlife.com)
is a business coach who helps
women entrepreneurs succeed
by boosting their sales and
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MAKE YOUR MONDAYS MATTER
EACH NEW YEAR brings a time to re;ect on
and review the direction of your business. I sug-
gest asking yourself, “Is my business supporting
the lifestyle I desire?”
Business owners often get so caught up in the
minutiae of running their businesses that they
lose sight of what they really want in life. Is your
to-do list taking over your day? Every day? What
about your needs? Why are you doing what you
do? Take this time of year to consider the bigger
picture of what you want to achieve long-term.
For the past few years, for example, my hus-
band and I talked about moving to Portugal. We
holiday there regularly and love the pace of life,
the people, the food, the sun and the beautiful
natural landscape. “Maybe we’ll move here one
day,” we kept saying. “When we’re older.”
Eventually, my husband and I were spurred
to take action by one of my most powerful busi-
ness coaching questions: why wait?
We worked out our ;nancial position and
determined what business changes were needed
to make our dream come true. (Among them: in
addition to running my London-based business
coaching ;rm, AmberLife, remotely, I will run
business retreats in Portugal in ;;;;.) Once our
new direction was set, we just had to take the
We didn’t have all the answers at the beginning, and that’s OK. You learn so much by doing
things, but structuring your business to ;t the
lifestyle you want is key. Thoughtfully working
through the following questions can help you
get started on the path to setting up your business to serve you, rather than you serving it:
•What does living the lifestyle you desire
really look like? Create that picture in your
mind and see yourself being there already, running your business.
•Do you need to make changes to the structure of your business to help you realise your
personal goals? How can you prioritise your
time more e;ectively?
• Will you need to set up new apps and systems to improve your lead generation, social
media exposure, sales process and/or accounts?
As with anything you want to change, realising your dreams begins with taking action. C
What about you?
ATTRACTING PRESS coverage can seem
an impossible task for small and medium-sized enterprises and sole traders who do
not have the budget for a public relations
(PR) agency. Janet Murray ( janetmurray.
co.uk), PR coach and author of Your Press
Release Is Breaking My Heart, trains business owners to create a buzz around their
brand without an agency. She says the
biggest mistake small businesses make is
bombarding journalists with company or
product info, rather than a story.
“Journalists aren’t generally interested in writing about your business, but
they may be interested in writing about
the way you do business,” Murray says.
“Maybe you work in an unusual location,
have an innovative approach to recruitment or encourage all your sta; to meditate every lunchtime. The key is to ;nd
things that make you di;erent.”
She o;ers the following tips to help
UK GOVERNMENT initiatives such as the
Cycle to Work scheme (where equipment
is loaned as a tax-free benefit) have,
according to 2014 figures, encouraged
some 183,423 employees to bike to their
place of business and to and from meetings. Yet many people still put off cycling,
running or even walking to work because
their place of work doesn’t have a locker
room where they can shower and change
clothes once they arrive.
In fact, says Will Hawkins, chief commercial officer of Flow, the company
behind Flowfinder (flowfinder.london), an
app that locates gym and hotel showers for
one-off use without ongoing membership,
the lack of showering facilities is the number-one reason, after safety concerns, that
more people do not cycle or run to work.
“Our research whilst developing the app
found that a lot of people—and women in
particular—are not keen on changing in the
workplace,” Hawkins tells The Connection.
“And alongside people not wanting to be
on the office floor or in front of the boss
with wet hair, there’s also the issue that a
lot of office block showers are just not fit
for that purpose.”
Although Flowfinder is currently
London-centric, Hawkins says there are
small changes employers anywhere can
undertake to make cycling or running to
work easier for their employees.
“Research shows that healthier employees who exercise regularly are better performing at work, so there is a vested interest
for companies to get it right,” he says.
Hawkins has several tips for employers:
•Even the most basic provisions can
encourage cycling or running to work;
somewhere clean and private to wash and
change, and somewhere to park and lock
bikes, is all that’s needed.
•If you do have showers, think about
staggering working hours so not everyone
is arriving and wanting to use the facilities
at the same time.
• Consider designating a day every month
or periodically when employees are offered
an incentive to run, walk or cycle to work.
•Offer cycle training so employees feel
confident enough to commute on their
bikes.—Kelly Rose Bradford