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Claire Donnelly

Recent Posts

Simple team KPI setting

How much do I tell my team about our Company business plan?  This was a question recently asked by our soon to be graduated members of the Scaling Up Club and it’s a good question, too much and you may be over sharing, too little and you are left being the only one implementing the tasks ahead!

If you’re a small business owner, it does feel lonely at the top, you probably are a 2 level Company, you and everyone else!  Everyone reports into you, so who do you bounce ideas off? 

Who can you have the “what next steps to take” conversations with?  In larger Companies, there is usually a senior level of accountable management to include in the Company business planning, in 2 level Companies this layer is missing.

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Company vision boarding

Many years ago, I worked for a large supermarket in the UK.  It was going through its first (of many) transformations, to scope out this transformation it involved pretty much the whole Company in how it should evolve and what the Company should start looking like in order to grow and keep up with the competition. 

All around the UK the Company organised team events of a couple of hours per event for vision planning.  It was not a complicated process, was huge fun for those involved, highly effective and (accidently?) resulted in a great amount of team building.

We were all ushered into a room not knowing what to expect, perhaps another boring training session where we were talked at and not asked our opinion, however we were presented with an arts and craft session! 

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got to have a plan stan!

As business consultants, we spend a lot of time with Company owners helping them write and then stay on track with their Company Business Plan. 

However, the purpose of this blog is not to harp on again about how important it is for business to have one (although, its extremely important), the purpose of this blog is to talk about how important it is to have a life plan.

Most of us in the UAE are expats, we came to the region with the beginnings of a plan, usually to find more rewarding work or to escape from some bad decisions we had made back home -  whatever got us on the plane with a one way ticket in hand, we landed and, in most cases, just got on with things. 

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Why you need to know your numbers

It’s been an interesting year in the life of politics.  Anyone following the US or UK political scene may agree with me, it sometimes feels like your watching a comedy programme, never has the political section of the evening news held my attention so closely – I ask myself daily “I wonder what have they been up to today?!”

My interest was held very closely with the recent 2 interviews with Diane Abbot.  You don’t need to know which UK party she is representing (Labour), or her job title (Shadow Home Secretary), just that during a key election time where she is being interviewed nonstop to convince the public of the credibility of her party, she wasn’t able to have an accurate discussion on key numbers.

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Slow down, relax and let business flow

Anyone running their own business, regardless of Company size or how long you have been in business, will know the immense pressure they feel to keep business flowing in, finding new leads and seeking out others that can help recommend their services. 

Running your own business often comes with hidden expenses that add to the pressure – the pressure increases tenfold when you have the responsibility of employees.  Add to this that its tough business world out there now, it’s no wonder you can let things get slightly out of kilter. 

Panic can creep in and you forget everything you have learnt about finding and getting new business.  Networking in the region is a huge business development opportunity that you must leverage from.  It takes time, it hardly ever brings immediate closed business, but works when you give the right amount of time and effort.

 Here are my 3 tips to remember when networking either in a group or one to one:

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Needed a Rockstar, hired a diva!

When working with SMEs run by a passionate entrepreneur, I often hear the business owner refer to the A Players they want on their team to needing to be Rock Stars! They want, and quite rightly so, A Players that are the best around, superstars of the future that will work hard to help grow the business. The Rock Stars need to be able to turn their hands to many things, be flexible to work across roles and give their all in to help the Company “break the industry!”.

Wow, inspirational stuff! And they are right, in order to grow quickly, the team you hire need to be a passionate bunch of people, driven the same way the entrepreneurial owner is, willing to go the extra mile …. I think you get the message.
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Too Busy To Let Them Go

We have all been there, someone on your team that isn’t really cutting it, but you keep putting off the job of dealing with it and ultimately asking them to leave.  There are many reasons why you do this: 

  • They are a nice person
  • They have family relying on them
  • They have been with the Company since day one
  • It’s not their fault that the role has changed and now it’s out grown them

 
All of these are fabulous excuses and allow you to sleep at night putting off the inevitable.  However, what is the real cost of delaying the conversation?  Here are 3 points to take into consideration:

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The dangers of paying under salary market rate

Anyone searching for a new job will have noticed that the salary they are seeking or the salary their role and experience would have warranted some months and years ago seems to have decreased, in some professions and industries, significantly. Why??

The cost of living hasn’t decreased, in fact its steadily going up and yet salaries are decreasing and for no apparent reason other than that Companies can find ridiculously qualified individuals willing to take whatever salary they can, which is now driving market rate salaries down.

So, are Companies taking advantage of people’s misfortunes?
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7 ideas for motivating your team during difficult financial times

1) Be clear what you stand for
A mismatch of values between the organisation and the workforce will cause stress and a sense of dissatisfaction within individuals.  How well do your staff understand the values of the Company?  I don’t just mean the values shown on the Company website, what are the actual values that you and your employees live by?  How are these communicated and are you living them every day?

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Employing Across Generations

At MHC Consulting, we work with Companies of all sizes and industries.  In our experience, regardless of Company size, when we first speak to clients to ascertain their business pain points, the main issue we hear is "people" – finding, attracting, hiring, retaining and dealing with poor performers.  The frustrations currently seem to be pointing at "just how do you manage millenials in the workplace?", a question we are frequently being asked and a challange that Generation X is struggling with.

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