What do business owners, managers and teams want and need to succeed?

You may ask, how would I understand and know how to help you with this?

I have been in business twice over: running a two-site nursery/pre-school business employing a team of 35 people and currently run a business as an independent advisor, trainer and coach.

I have been a manager of both large and small teams of varying sizes. I have also been a team member within a range of sectors: a government department, the voluntary sector, a private practice working for the NHS and within local government.

My current role has led me to seriously ‘tune in’ to what business owners, managers and teams really want and need.

When I first set up my independent advisory service, I was asked by business owners and managers to support them in establishing something new – something that they felt was missing from their sector, something that was needed.

It was something that I knew I could offer.

I now have the pleasure of working with these business owners, managers and teams as well as with people holding different roles.

It’s good to know that providing skills, techniques and expert advice has benefited both individuals and businesses.

From experience, I find that whilst business managers, leaders and teams may recognise that things are not as they want them to be, they are often unsure of the next steps to take.

And this is where I can support changes to the way you work, think and behave for a better outcome and this can be very empowering for all involved.

I have helped in finding solutions to a range of problems often associated with the need to develop leadership and management skills: effective communication; taking responsibility versus delegation, handling conflict and challenging situations, being more assertive; time management, building confidence; stress management, setting SMART goals, decision making, and designing and implementing personal development plans.

So what evidence can I provide you with?

I am both qualified (L7 in Strategic Leadership and Management) and have first-hand experience in dealing with many issues associated with being a leader and manager and being a team member.

This provides me with both empathy and understanding. I am also a trusted and reliable professional. I may have met with you and worked with you in the past.

You can see a full range of testimonials from both ex-work colleagues and those that I have worked with at different levels at the bottom of the page here and within my case studies.

If you are reading this, you may be waiting for the answer to that question: ‘What do business owners, managers and teams really want and need to succeed?’

The problem is so often that people don’t really know what THEY want or need!

There is always a solution.

Here are a few prompts to consider:

Business owners and managers

You want ‘success’, but what does this mean to you?

You may be considered the leader of your organisation and you will probably be managing people.

Are you comfortable in this role? Do you lead? Do you achieve what you set out to do?

You may have years of experience in your sector, but have you ever managed people before? Perhaps not.

It’s not a pre-requisite for establishing a new business.

If you are a manager do your staff think that you manage them well? Are you effective in what you do?

If you run a small business, can you afford to employ HR specialists, Health and Safety Specialists, Trainers or Strategists?

You may employ trainees or apprentices and have little internal support for them, especially if you are a very small team.

Business owners – who are you accountable to? Who oversees your work? Who motivates you? Where is that ‘sounding board’ when things go wrong?

You should have a plan for your business – both short and long term – is it a working document, that changes with time and is it reviewed regularly to address changing legislation and the economic climate?

Are you moving with the times?

What are the solutions?

You could consider joining a business network – there are many operating. Sometimes they are sector specific: sometimes for small businesses; sometimes for new businesses; often overseen by Chambers of Commerce or the Banks or smaller support organisations.

These will provide opportunities to meet with others, perhaps experiencing the same problems as yourself.

There may be experts in related fields or business and work opportunities that arise.

I currently run a business owners and managers network for Early Years and Childcare Professionals.

This is what I was asked to do two years ago.

I held an exploratory meeting to ascertain what this group of people wanted and needed, and I have been able to provide this.

I had no agenda of my own, simply to be working using my skills and expertise and providing what people wanted and needed.

The network is moving into the third year or operation.

See the case study here if you would like to know more.

You can come along as a guest with no obligation to join. Do let me know if you are interested.

I can consider setting up something similar for you and other like-minded organisations if this is what you want and need.

Network membership will provide you with dedicated and focused time to come together with like-minded people, planned and coordinated by myself in advance, with little time or effort required by yourselves outside of providing valuable input at the meeting.

The agenda is driven by members therefore time is well spent on joint problem solving and topics of interest as requested.

I do the research if required and provide professional input both at the meetings and through regular emails.

There is access to other professionals who serve as associates: no one person may have all the answers, but I work with people and organisations that do have the necessary skills and expertise.

Some free training and advice is also provided through these associates: opportunities to share training which members may secure themselves, and you can access me as a professional ‘sounding board’ via email and phone calls between meetings.

There are also digital networks and groups, which offer support and easy communication if face to face meetings are not critical to you – research these and consider joining if they specifically meet your needs. Many will be sector specific.

If you work in Early Years and Childcare in Hampshire you may wish to consider joining the Local Authority administered Facebook Group called ‘Hampshire Providers Training (Services for Young Children)’: they share knowledge, good practice and expertise for practitioners and are developing on-line training.

In addition, they support the ongoing development of geographic support groups of providers wishing to work together at local level using Facebook as a means of communication. I worked with Children’s Links: a national charity contracted by Hampshire County Council’s, Services for Young Children to establish these groups and coached and mentored the leads.

Seriously consider investing time in your self – small business coaching will help you answer some of the questions posed above and help you to set goals for yourself as an individual and for your business.

I have worked with both business owners, managers and teams using coaching skills.

I am a qualified coach.

Seriously consider investing time in your teams – staff need to be listened to and respected. How do you provide the evidence that you have listened and taken on board their views?

Think seriously about how you show respect: the way in which you speak and interact with team members and think about how you behave. Can anything more be done here to support and motivate?

Hold regular staff meetings to engage in two-way communication – pose questions and listen attentively to the answers. Have brain-storming exercises to help solve problems and seek solutions.

Develop strong alternative means of communicating with staff and seek other ways of gathering views.

Remember some staff may be less vocal, less confident but all will have a view. How can you include these?

Delegate responsibilities for projects in which they can showcase special skills – don’t let them be wasted or under-used. Develop the potential of team members.

Provide real opportunities to further develop skills to then provide opportunities for delegation or promotion.

Look for appropriate times to thank team members for extra effort and time that they may give you.

Praise staff as appropriate but be aware of tokenism.

If you need any help in securing additional support for your team members I can tailor this support to what they may need or want.

The most popular requests are often those that overlap and provide both personal and professional development.

Think about how investing in your staff as people not just as employees can encourage and motivate – isn’t this what every leader and manager wants? A motivated, committed, enthusiastic workforce to achieve the business’s aims and objectives.

A team that work well together and go the extra mile because they are appreciated and have the full support and trust of their employer and manager.

Your team are the key to your success! Relationships matter and need to be one of the biggest areas to focus on within business, with your staff as well as with your clients.

If you are a leader or manager, take steps and action now, to get to where you want to be.

Early Years Advocacy: ‘Supporting, advising and empowering’.

I can offer a free, no obligation discussion. Do make contact.