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FBP 091: Scale your business with Andy Sleet – Certified Gazelles Coach

Having recently achieved the Gazelles Coaching Certification, Andy Sleet talks through the framework including the Four Decisions – People, Strategy, Execution and Cash. These components are the recipe for scaling up high-growth businesses and achieving balanced business growth.

Andy is now certified alongside Peter Boolkah, making Fluid Business Coaching the only Gazelles Certified Business Coaching Practice in the UK.

To find out more about each of the four decisions, listen to:

FBP 054: Scaling Up – People with Peter Boolkah

FBP 055: Scaling Up – Strategy with Peter Boolkah

FBP 056: Scaling Up – Execution with Peter Boolkah

FBP 057: Scaling Up – Cash with Peter Boolkah

Read more here.

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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Andy Sleet achieves Gazelles International Certification

 

We’re proud to announce that Fluid Business Coach, Andy Sleet, successfully achieved Gazelles International Certification in April this year. Andy is now one of only six Gazelles International coaches in the UK, joining fellow Fluid Business Coach Peter Boolkah. Andy’s certification means that Fluid Business Coaching is the only Gazelles Certified Business Coaching practice in the UK.

Gazelles International is a worldwide coaching association that uses the using the Four DecisionsTM as the framework for growth. The Four Decisions are based around People, Strategy, Execution and Cash. These Four Decisions are the foundation for scaling up high-growth businesses and achieving balanced growth.

To find out more about each of the Four Decisions, click here.

Certified Coaches are able to assist their clients to implement the Four Decisions framework and One-Page Strategic Plan to align and focus them to achieve their goals. Andy’s expertise enable him to coach SME business owners and leaders to accelerate growth and get real results.

Within the Levels Framework, the Gazelles ‘toolbox' is usually used to grow businesses from a Level 3 to a Level 5 business. On Episode 091 of the Fluid Business Podcast, Andy explains how it can be used to grow Level 1/2 businesses that are ready and willing to approach high growth.

Ray Moore interviews Andy Sleet about his Gazelles Certification, listen below.

Andy has over 25 years of experience working within a corporate environment and has extensive experience of managing large teams. Before becoming a Business Coach, Andy owned a successful construction business, which means he understands the challenges that business owners face. If you’d like to find out how Andy can help your business, book a free one-hour taster session.

 

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Adapt or die, the choice is yours

Written by Ray Moore.

In today’s rapidly changing environment, businesses need to proactively adapt and ‘keep up’ with the pace of change. Any business that resists changing to market and industry developments faces loosing their competitive edge and ending up in an ‘evolutionary cul-de-sac.’ Here are the top two ever-changing areas that SMEs should focus on:

Technological advancements

Without change, we would still be using cash as our main method of payment. In the podcast (Episode 090), Andy and I chat about a high-street retailer that resisted the change from cash to using credit cards, which had a detrimental effect on the business. Technology advancements are often the catalyst for change and although it can be seen as a disruptor at first, in the long run it is likely to make for smoother and more convenient processes.

Customer expectations

Using the example of payment methods again; we know that card payment is the norm in almost all shops and restaurants. Customers expect to be able make card payments and don’t carry much cash around with them. Any business not accepting card payments is going to inconvenience customers and fail to meet their expectations.

The expectations your customers have are constantly changing. Today, many customers expect to be able to make contactless payment and in the near future your customers may expect something else. Being in touch with trends, your competition and industry developments is essential to meeting your customers’ needs.

As I mentioned in the Podcast, small businesses are not just competing locally, regionally or even nationally anymore, we are all competing in a much more globalised world, therefore we need to embrace the changes and not fall behind the curve.

Read more about this topic on my blog.

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FBP 090: Your business has two options: Adapt or die

Ray Moore and Andy Sleet discuss the pace of change and why businesses should be aware of industry trends. Business owners have two options: to proactively adapt and change with market and environmental changes, or to resist change and fall behind the curve.

Read more on The Levels Blog, or 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.

Charlotte Richardson-Beck No Comments

Preparing your business for sale

Selling your business is a big decision that requires a lot of preparation. To sell for the best possible price, preparing your business for sale is vital.

If you look at your business, what are you actually selling? Business owners often believe there is a lot of value in their business. But, when you look a little closer, the business owner turns out to be the most valuable asset; working in the business for 60 hours a week and being three or four times as productive as the employees within the business.

Here are the three most common questions asked when preparing a business for sale:

Is my business ready to sell?

Consider what you are actually selling and how involved you are in the running of the business. If you’re a one-man-army or a very small business providing a service, for example plumbing, are you just selling your client base and equipment? Do your clients have a relationship with you, the business owner, or with the company? These are all factors that will be considered through due diligence and can seriously affect the sale price for your business.

The process of preparing a business for sale can take as little as a year, or as long as six years! It’s dependant on the business’s current position and how quickly you can effectively implement change. On average it takes around three years to ready a business for sale.

 

Will my business survive without me?

Larger companies might still run without the business owner, but if they’re still doing a lot of work in the business they might be one of the most valuable assets. Once the business owner leaves, their role may have to be replaced with three employees just to get the same result … and that means three more salaries!

Also think about how replaceable your skills are. If the business owner is the ‘brains’ behind the whole operation then it’s unlikely to be able to survive without them.

Professional service businesses, such as accountants and solicitors, are usually the most difficult to prepare for sale. The business owner may feel their value in the business is as the ‘fee earner’ opposed to actually running the business. If the business owner has the relationship with all the clients, how likely are the clients to stay with the business once the owner has sold?

 

Are there any alternatives to an outright sale?

An ‘earn out’ could be offered. This is where a percentage of the business’s value is paid now on the agreement that the business owner stays and works for a certain amount of time. The owner receives a payment each year based on performance, but they’ve lost control of business, which could impact the profits. Working on an ‘earn out’ basis might mean that the business owner doesn’t get the pay out they are expecting.

Regardless of whether you plan to sell your business, it’s important to build a business that’s prepared for sale and operates without the need for the business owner. This provides more options when it does come to sell. Business owners can sell and walk away whenever they want, or they can chose to stay in the business because they want to, not because they have to.

 

Andy Sleet is an expert in readying businesses for sale. If you’d like to speak to Andy about preparing your business for sale, schedule a free one-hour consultation. This is not a sales call and is designed to help you identify the areas of your business that are out of balance.

 

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Build your own economy

For many business owners it is often a hard slog to continually be generating new business. Whilst many deliver great customer service and care to their existing clients, their influence is limited for the business. This means the chance of increasing fees and selling additional products can be a step too far.

If you looked at your client base, do you know how their businesses are performing? If your clients are struggling, the risk of exposure to bad debts increases.

So, What Does It Actually Mean to Build Our Own Economy?

Imagine that all of your clients had great control in their business; we are not just talking from a financial point of view but delivery of their products, strong systems and process in place, an exceptional team driving the business forward with a strong leader. Not only is that business going to be stronger but it provides upsell and additional product opportunities for you.

How Do We Create Our Own Economies?

There are a few main points to consider.

  • Educate your community – by this we mean educating your suppliers, your existing clients, everyone you have regular contact with. So they share the same understanding about how to develop their business as you do! Have you read a book recently that changed the way you run your business? Why keep it a secret if the benefits to your business could be so great.
  • Sharing Core Values – Doing business with people who feel the same way towards their business as you do. Why would you want to carry someone who does not have the same thinking as you and could potentially be dangerous to your budding community?
  • Success through association – When we start to build our own economies we need to associate with people who are operating, as we want to. As time goes on and your community develops things change and people will look to you to understand.
  • Always create a win-win.

As we build stronger businesses within our own communities we create a safe environment for our clients and community members to do business with one another. By giving them the peace of mind that the others in our community are as strong as they are, we build our own thriving economy.

Listen to Andy Sleet and Hugo Heij discuss building your own economy in more detail on the Fluid Business Podcast:

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Three reasons why we should never stop learning

We begin our formal education at the age of four or five years old and continue until we finish senior school or college/university. Then, once we achieve our qualifications, we tend to believe that the “learning” part of our life is over and we begin our working life – of course we learn at work but it’s reactive learning that takes place, not proactive learning. Proactive learning is about exploration, development and expanding the breadth and depth of your knowledge.

There is a one particular excuse we hear time and time again: “I don’t have time.” But take a closer look at your time; your commute to work could be 10 or 20 minutes of ‘dead time.’ This time could be used to learn by listening to podcasts or audiobooks, or using apps like Blinkist which provides 10-15 minute book summaries.

Get into the habit of investing in learning and improving yourself during dead time. Here are the top three benefits of continued learning:

Opens up new opportunities

Taking the time to proactively learn will give you a better understanding of the events around you. By progressively deepening your understanding and knowledge of subjects that matter to you, you will be able to see the bigger picture. Those moments of clarity where something finally becomes clear or makes sense will become more frequent.

The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to make connections between pieces of knowledge. Look at each new learning and apply it to your own experiences, you will then begin to see and take advantage of new opportunities that you didn’t see before.

Fast track to success

Listening, learning and developing is what successful people do. But why do they do it? Well, if you believe that you know everything you need to know about a subject matter or running a business or managing your team, then you will be missing out on new ideas and different ways of thinking.

Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur and author, once said: “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” By this he means that learning and developing will increase your personal value and give you the right mindset for success.

Improves creativity

It’s a well-known fact that learning and staying mentally active keeps your brain healthy and functioning at a high level. Scientists believe that creativity is essentially the ability to apply skills or learning from one situation and apply them to another. If you’re always learning you will be able to transfer your knowledge and understanding to new challenges and ‘come up with’ creative solutions.

Let us know what's on your ‘to read' list.

 

For more on this topic, listen to Episode 085 of the Fluid Business Podcast.

Read more on The Levels Blog: How do you change the way you think?

Charlotte Richardson-Beck No Comments

FBP 084: Set and achieve your business goals

Setting goals in your business is a great contributor to success. Goals provide direction and will help to align the business owner with the team. This week on the Fluid Business Podcast, Andy Sleet and Hugo Heij explain how to achieve your ideal life by setting and achieving business goals.

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.

Charlotte Richardson-Beck No Comments

FBP 082: Has Your Extraordinary Become Ordinary?

When was the last time you celebrated business success? Recognising success is good for business; it gives your team a boost and shows your business leadership skills. On this episode of the Fluid Business Podcast Ray Moore and Hugo Heij discuss the benefits of acknowledging success.

For more on this topic, check out the blog.

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.

Charlotte Richardson-Beck No Comments

FBP 080: Banish negativity in three simple steps

In life we often meet negative people. But negativity amongst employees in the workplace can spread and often leads to a demotivated team. On this episode of the Fluid Business Podcast, Ray Moore and Hugo Heij discuss the three steps to banishing negativity from the workplace.

Read more on this week's blog.

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.