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FBP 141: What kind of leader are you?

In this episode of the Fluid Business Podcast, Ray Moore and Andy Sleet discuss two different types of leaders. Ray and Andy discuss the different perspectives you gain from leading in different ways.

Find out more this topic: www.thelevelsblog.com/the-lead-dog/

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

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FBP 133: Staying Relevant in a Changing Business Environment – Back to Basics

Ray Moore is back on the Fluid Business Podcast’s Back to Basics series! This week Ray explains why business owners can’t wait for change to happen. To stay successful, business owners need to proactively adapt to the environment and be fully aware of industry trends.

Read Ray's article on why businesses need to adapt.

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

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Don’t lose sight of your end goal

One of the most challenging things for business owners is to grow their mindset along side their business – transitioning from the ‘Worker’ mindset to the ‘Owner’ mindset.

Ray Moore categorises the different mindsets as the ‘hats’ the business owner wears. There are five hats that, these are:

Worker – Gets on with daily work tasks and activities – doing the do!

Supervisor – Delegates activities to others. Sets and aligns the priorities to achieve the plan. Also gets on with their ‘real work’ – doing the do.

Manager – Agrees milestones (budgets, plans, targets etc.) with the Director and delegates tasks to others in order to achieve the plan. In addition, they get on with their ‘real work’ – doing the do!

Director – Sets the direction of the business that will achieve the objectives set by the owner. They set and agree the Managers goals to ensure they are aligned and regularly monitor the progress against agreed milestones. In addition, they have their own priorities, which they see as their ‘real work.’

Owner – Sets the objectives of the business (the End in Mind). They inspire and enrol the Directors and ensure the direction set is aligned to the vision, then regularly monitor progress against the plan. In addition, they set their own priorities and spend a proportion of time getting on with what they see as their ‘real work.’

Which hat do you wear the most in your business?

In large corporations, job roles are often more defined and there is a clearer hierarchy. People are more likely to spend the most time wearing the hat that corresponds with their job title.

However, things are different in SMEs. The lines are blurred around roles and titles and the business owner is likely to wear many of the hats, from Worker to Director – and they probably change hats many times a day!

The key to successfully transitioning through the Levels and growing your business, lies in the proportion of time you spend wearing each hat. Getting too comfortable wearing the wrong hat is a real danger to your business and business growth, and can result in your business becoming short sighted.

In the definition of each hat, you’ll see that they all have ‘real work’ to get on with. Don’t lose sight of the end goal for your business, whether its security or freedom. The only way to reach it is by changing the way you think. And, if you don’t, you’ll be stuck in the daily grind forever.

Based on Ray Moore's second book: Can YOU Step Up To The Growth Challenge?

Ray Moore and Andy Sleet cover this topic in more detail on the Fluid Business Podcast, listen below:

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The Growth Triangle – Business Growth, Cashflow and Profit

Most will understand the importance of cashflow in business. But often without realising, businesses can build a cash gap. This is the time between when a business pays cash out and makes purchases, to the date the cash is received in from customers and debtors.

It’s important for small businesses to recognise the potential impact this could have on business. For this we need to understand the true important of cash flow. Business owners and leaders don’t want to arrive in a situation where they need to cover the difference, through factoring or bank financing.

To understand the power of cash flow and its impact on business growth, Ray Moore explains ‘The Growth Triangle.’

At its most basic, the model presents the idea that business growth produces more profits for the business, which gives a healthy cash flow which can be reinvested in growth.

But is this really the case?

The second part of the model shows other areas that influence the Growth Triangle. In a more realistic light, profits in the business can become caught up in the balance sheet before creating cash flow. This could be because we’ve given extended credit or we haven’t chased up our debtors for payment.

So what started as profit doesn’t come out of the balance sheet as cash, which restricts how much we can put back into growth.

We may then use the cash flow we’ve got to purchase new machinery or vehicles, so there is even less cash to push into business growth. However, the amount we do invest into business growth then starts to produce more costs in the form of overheads, therefore it doesn’t produce the same amount of profit as before.

This is why business owners often say they made more profit when they were a smaller size and why many business owners settle on their business being a smaller size.

Preparing for business growth

As important step in preparing for business growth is to ‘Set out the Stall' and look at each of the filters in the Growth Triangle so that growth doesn’t drag in more cash, without making a profit. Ensure that your return on investment calculations are correct and identify the assets that create growth and profitability, whether is people of machinery.

By doing this, you can efficiently build up a cash reserve and be prepared for the extra amount of cash and investment you’ll need for the business growth. You’ll also have the awareness of which investments are the most important to your business model in order to produce the best return of your investment.

For more on business finance and accounts, join Ray Moore's on-demand webinar – Accounts: DEBUNKED. 

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How well do your clients know your business?

One of the key drivers of business is ‘Delivery.’ This refers to the consistency and quality of your products and/or services and is usually a focus for business owners. However, for most business owners the priority is driving sales and finding new clients. This can lead to your current, most valuable clients being forgotten.

You’ll be aware that there are some customers that are more valuable to your business (your ‘ideal’ clients). But are these clients aware of all the products and services your business offers? Maybe you’ve told them, or mentioned it in the past. But do they have a full understanding and awareness of everything your business offers?

It’s a well-know fact that getting new clients to purchase from your business is much harder than selling to your existing clients. So what are you doing to identify new opportunities with your existing clients? Getting a true understanding of your customers will help you to sell more. The more you know about their needs and the products or services they use, the easier it is to see opportunities for your business.


Take some time to get to know your clients, consider using a spreadsheet to register:

  • What your clients currently purchase from you
  • What they use, but purchase elsewhere

Use this information to spot the opportunities and build offers to create awareness.

You might notice a spike in sales as your customers become aware of the wider range of products and services your business offers. And, even if some decide not to purchase with you now, your business will become a suitable alternative if something changes with their current supplier.

This process of getting to know your clients is important for more than the reason of cross/up selling. Having a deeper and clearer understanding of your clients, their needs and current suppliers, you’ll get a better understanding of your target market. Use the information you’ve learnt to build customer profiles and segments that can then be used in your marketing efforts.

The key benefits of getting a true understanding of your clients, and for your clients to have a true understanding of your business are to:

  • Build better relationships with key decision makers
  • Improve awareness of current clients needs
  • Meet client needs more effectively
  • Profile/segment your target audience
  • Increase effectiveness of marketing

For more on this topic, tune in to Episode 122 of the Fluid Business Podcast:

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!

It’s that time of year again and we’re starting to feel festive!

For the first 12 days of December, we’ll be giving away a whole range of business-growth tools to help you and your business become the best in 2018. The grand total of all the prizes we’re giving away is £4,000!

Each day we’ll tell you how to enter and you’ll be in the draw to win a whole range of prizes, absolutely free! To receive daily updates, simply follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, or alternatively you can register for email updates below.

On the first day of Christmas (December 1), we’ll be giving away 25 free copies of Ray Moore’s first book: Can Your Business Step Up To The Growth Challenge? (RRP £11.99). Registration opens at 9 am and will be open to all small business owners based in the UK.

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Growing a Business: The Four Drivers

Business owners often believe that by investing more time and hard work, their business will continue to grow. But unfortunately (or fortunately!) that’s not the reality of business growth.

Sheer hard work and investing all the hours of the day into the business will help you to grow your business in the early days. But, as the saying goes; what got you here won’t get you there!

The reality of business growth is periods of growth, followed by a plateau, which is a cycle that repeats over time – this is the Levels Framework for growth.

Start-up businesses can often grow through a couple of plateaus quickly, but can end up falling into the trap of becoming stuck on a plateau for a long period of time and the business owner tends to accept that the business has grown as much as it can.

The drivers

There are four drivers that are active in every business, these are:

  • Time
  • Team
  • Money
  • Delivery

During periods of growth, one or more of these drivers will go out of balance. For example, you might be so busy with orders and running the business that you don’t have enough time to fully train your team. That results in the delivery of your service slipping and customers become unhappy. So you end up loosing customers and money and the drivers naturally rebalance on the plateau.

When the business reaches a plateau, each of the four drivers are balanced. When a business grows and the drivers go out of balance, it’s common for the business owner to feel out of control and often the business forced down to the level (or plateau) below.

Growing a business

Sometimes a business will grow and become larger in size, but they make less money than when they were smaller. It’s a common symptom of businesses that have failed to set the business up for growth. The business’ infrastructure and team isn’t ready to undertake a period of intense growth. ‘Setting out the stall' is covered in much further detail here.

Achieving a balanced business is so important for success and work for everyone involved. The business owner will have more time, the right people will be doing the right things, there will be more cash and customers will be better serviced.


If you think you’re up for the challenge, join our 10-day business growth programme! Ray Moore goes through how to balance each of the drivers in further detail. It’s available for FREE at www.fluidbusinessacademy.com.

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How to get those moments of clarity

You may have recently seen our Accounts: Debunked webinar, but what does ‘debunked’ actually mean? 

Let’s start with a definition.

Debunked means to cut through the ‘rubbish’ and get to the core of the subject. It's about removing the confusing jargon and acronyms to help you build a true understanding of the foundations of the subject.

As a business owner, you may find that you are hugely successful at what you do. But, you don’t really understand why; what do you do differently to everyone else?

This often occurs when we don’t truly understand a particular experience. When trying to explain what we do to other people, we can’t see why they don’t understand. To us it’s just ‘common sense’ and it can be hard realise that the real problem lies in our own blind areas.

That’s why we’re running a series of webinars and interviews ‘debunking’ different areas of small business. We started with ‘Accounts.’ Ray Moore explained each key areas of accounts that business owners ‘need’ to know and understand to get clear and deeper understanding.

What's next?

Now, we’re excited to announce that we’re teaming up with Paula Fisher, Founder of Practical HR, to produce a two-part webinar interview series – Management: Debunked. Paula has more than 30 years of HR expertise and, alongside Ray Moore, will be covering:

  • Employment law
  • Hiring and firing
  • Home-grown managers
  • Developing the leaders of the future
Register now to receive the webinars.

Ray Moore is on the Fluid Business Podcast with Andy Sleet discussing the DEBUNKED series in more detail. Listen below, or head over to Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

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Management: DEBUNKED

Continuing in Ray's DEBUNKED series, he's now moving on to the topic of human resources (HR) and management. In this two-part series, Ray will be talking with Paula Fisher, founder of Practical HR, an SME HR Consultancy based in Essex.

In the first part of the series, the topic is ‘Managing Homegrown Managers.‘ Ray and Paula will be discussing the importance of developing the leaders of the future and how to avoid the most common pitfalls of homegrown managers.

The second part of the series will be based on ‘Hiring and Firing.' Paula will be giving an insight into the legal side of things, while Ray will focus on understanding the mechanics of your team.

About Paula Fisher

Paula founded Practical HR in 2002 and has 30 years of HR Management experience, including senior positions in large corporate organisations. She has a Masters Degree (LL.M) in Employment Law and Employee Relations and has lectured employment law at Anglia Ruskin University.

Paula has worked as an SME HR Consultant for more than 15 years and her corporate experience enables her to bring a commercial approach to HR for SMEs. Paula has helped many organisations to understand the importance of HR to help them achieve business objectives.


About Ray Moore

Ray is the founder of Fluid Business Coaching and has extensive experience with SMEs. As an experienced business owner himself, Ray has a unique understanding into how business owners work.

Ray has helped more than 100 SME owners to grow and balance their business. He has developed a proven framework for business growth, enabling all types of business owners to take back control of their business and achieve the lifestyle they desire.

Register today for Management: DEBUNKED.