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Simple ways that you can improve morale at your business

We all know how important our employees have been to our businesses since March 2020. Of course, we would never get anywhere without them, but we have had to rely on our staff in so many new and unexpected ways during the course of the pandemic. It has been an incredibly turbulent period of time with tremendous uncertainty, and we have needed to count on them for their resilience, flexibility, and trust as we have navigated a course through this storm.

It has also been a period in which we have had to support them in ways we may not have previously expected. As we head into the autumn, we still need to make sure that we are there for them, and we could all use a little morale boost as we head into the shorter, darker days with the prospect of tax hikes to come. Here are a few tips to help you boost morale.

Give Them Opportunities To Grow

One of the most difficult things to deal with during the pandemic was this sense of being stuck. Lockdown didn’t help, of course, as all the usual things we’d do to get away were closed off from us, but it was also hard to demonstrate growth in our businesses when we were working so hard to simply stay afloat. As we head into the autumn and we look for ways to bounce back, it’s important to remind your staff that they have a future in your business. Give them the opportunity to learn about emerging technology and promote from within where you can. Give them more responsibility and you will be rewarded.

Make Them A Part Of Your Plan To Give Back

Given that we are all looking for ways that we can give back to organisations and charities that need us right now, you might be thinking about how you can start making charitable donations through your business.

One of the simplest ways that you can do this is by making your employees part of the journey and setting up donations through payroll. This way, they can pick the charity of their choice and know that, by making charitable donations through an employer, they are contributing in the most tax-efficient way for the charity. Find out more about the benefits of payroll donations and how you can get it set up at your business by talking to PayCaptain.

Keep Showing Them You Have Got Their Back

Throughout the pandemic, we all had to learn to be flexible when it came to supporting our employees. Working from home made that easier in a lot of ways, as people could set up their own flexible hours to make sure they could look after other commitments such as home-schooling or caring for elderly relatives. It also made some things harder, such as looking after the mental health of our employees.

We’ve all read so much about the impact of the pandemic on mental health, and as we head into autumn and winter, we need to make sure that our team knows that we still have their back. Continue to offer support where you can and remember that they will reward you for it.

  • September 17, 2021

How To Start A Business In An Unstable Economy

How To Start A Business In An Unstable Economy

If you’re hoping to one day start a business, then you may be waiting until economic conditions are more promising. Unfortunately, you’re likely in for a very long wait.

Life is short, and there’s no time to waste. After all, the UK is currently in the midst of a very “fragile” economic recovery, and things could get better or worse at any given moment. Years of poor leadership and pandemics have destabilised everything, and the only route left is to take matters into your own hands somewhat.

You can still start a business now and have plenty of reasons to be hopeful. Keep reading for some guidance on these matters.

Identify Public Needs

An unstable economy is an unfortunate circumstance for many people. However, it can also be an opportunity for business leaders.

During times of crisis, it’s perhaps easier to read what customers need and best respond to. For instance, online shopping became more popular, giving people a way to peruse and purchase without risking their safety. Some customers may now prefer this experience overall, too.

The appetite for buying things is always present, with some people experiencing a newfound appreciation for shopping after years of lockdown. However, you should try to gain precise results through your market research. Where are other firms falling short in answering their customer’s needs? Has the pandemic changed what types of products and services people are drawn to?

Favour the Digital Economy

As the traditional economy declines, the digital economy arises. In this space, you can start making money more quickly and reliably than ever before.

The digital economy isn’t subject to the boom and bust of the traditional economy. Actually, the former can often be given a boost by the failings of the latter. Your venture also won’t be a prisoner of global events, thriving throughout any circumstances that occur. Obviously, the peace of mind you can be afforded here is unrivalled.

One great way to persevere in trying times is to start an online coaching business. Thankfully, there are many mentors in the industry such as those at Sell What You Know who can help you learn how to sell your expertise online. Your professional experiences in the past can be turned into moneymaking opportunities of the present, giving you certainty and confidence in everything you’re doing. It’s quick and easy to get started, and there’s plenty of room to grow your business too. 

Utilise Let Go Talent

Unfortunately, many people have been released from their employment contracts in recent times. The majority of them will have been good, loyal workers, and they’re now ripe for the picking.

A startup requires dedicated workers who’re willing to go the extra mile. They’ll need to develop the business through its infancy and perhaps even be ready to be a permanent fixture on the payroll. Therefore, only the best workers will do.

In addition to posting job listings the traditional way, try to ask around your personal network about who’s been let go recently and needs a job. It might be that you’ll get access to a desperate good worker who’s fallen on hard times. If you can give them an opportunity to rebuild their lives, they may repay you with loyalty and hard work.

  • August 24, 2021

Update; Can I really take my business online?

We first heard from Sarah from Sarah Everett Photography in late April. Sarah bravely admitted that lock down and Covid 19 were damaging her business mindset as she balanced business, 3 young children and her husband’s business too. Not surprising right?

We knew it was going to be tough for many of our members and so we ended March looking at ways to grow your business even if we couldn’t physically network with you.

In all our networking events we added a 1 hour free coaching from our Founder Mandie Holgate (international coach, author and speaker) and we have heard some great results that business women are getting and here Sarah shares a fabulous update on how her business is growing excitingly in these new, challenging times.

“Thank you again for inviting me to be a part of the BWN blog. It’s been a great boost to be featured in the media. Things are starting to pick up and hopefully that continues. Here’s what happened for me since that networking event in April…

A photograph of my daughter playing hopscotch was chosen from over 3000 entries by Historic England as part of their collection Picturing Lockdown. Just 100 public images were chosen.

I have to admit I was beaming from ear to ear when I got that email!

I had to keep this amazing news to myself for 3 entire weeks, until the day the collection went public. And what a day that was! I had no idea that my image was to appear on both BBC Look East and ITV Anglia, including my name being mentioned. I even had a congratulations tweet from Will Quince.

I created this image whilst on the way home from capturing some of my neighbours as part of my Doorstep Diary. Having this beautiful photo of my daughter entered into their archives was made extra special to me since she has accompanied me on each photo walk with her little notepad of addresses.

Next came something I’ve never done before, I decided to contact the Gazette to see if they’d like to run a story about me. To my delight they came back to me with a yes, they would like to cover this on a two page spread! A lovely bit of positive news amongst all the difficulties we are all facing. Turned out it was on the centre page, it still feels a bit surreal.

But it’s taught me never to shy away from contacting the media, they are simply normal people with a job to do. I gave them a lovely story complete with images – now to be framed on my office wall as a reminder.”

We are so pleased to hear of Sarah’s successful project, achievement and free PR. Over on the Insiders (Our confidential mastermind group – learn more here) we have been looking at how to help you be a thought leader and get in the press. And Sarah is not the first Insider to get her first free PR this month! We are very proud to support you and will do all we can to protect the success of women in business.

  • June 16, 2020

The BWN Love your business – here’s why

Here we hear from a member on why they love the BWN after all these years of being with us. 

Why do you love the BWN so much?

There are many reasons that I love the BWN so much, I had never been to a networking event of any kind andNadine Gamble networking at the Tendring BWN in Essex helping women in business the BWN was my first foray into this world.  Initially for me it was the timing and the financial aspects that appealed, that was before I got to know more about the ethos of BWN.  So many other networking groups run very early in the morning (not suitable when you’re a single mum that needs to get children to school)  and often come packaged with some rather steep membership fees and rules.   The fact that the BWN doesn’t charge a membership and doesn’t incur a penalty if you can’t make a meeting is the flexibility that I need to have.

How does it help your business?

The BWN has helped me in so many areas of my business.   The biggest,  aside from the natural progression of gaining new customers, is it has helped my confidence levels rise in general which has helped me enormously with my work.   Just this week I hosted my businesses regional monthly meeting with around 40 people, I would never have said yes to doing this had I not had the positive experiences with the BWN.

For what reasons do you love being involved?

I wanted to try get involved to develop and push my own personal skills further.  Public speaking has always been something that has filled me with dread, even the 60 second pitches would scare me.  Rather than running away from something that made me uncomfortable I knew that the only way I could get better  was to face it head on and actively look to improve myself by taking on new challenges.  I love being with the BWN business men and women because it’s a great morning, filled with relevant information that is key to them not only in business but on a personal level too.  Being able to connect women who could really help each other out is a great feeling.

Would you recommend it to business women (and men!) and why?

It’s helped me to grow as a person and develop my skills.  Being totally honest, there were moments when I wondered why on earth I had taken this on, and thought there were some things that a technophobe like me would never get the hang of! However there was, and continues to be as much support as I need in order to make a success of it.  I would recommend to any business women who is thinking getting involved with BWN networking events and our mastermind group to stop thinking, and start doing!  Obviously it is great for raising your own profile, but the biggest reward for me is helping other business men and women and helping my own business too.

What is your best/happiest moment of hosting a BWN event?

My first ever event was in November 2018, and I was terrified!  But I was also excited! 10 years networking for women in business It went brilliantly, and for the first time I allowed myself to believe that I could actually do this!  But my happiest moment from being involved with the BWN has got to be when I was poorly in December 2018.  Mandie sent me a video clip of all the BWN ladies singing, just for me as I couldn’t be there due to my incarceration in the local hospital.  For me it sums up the true ethos of the BWN.  Yes, we are all about business, and effectively helping each other, but we are also about looking out for each other, and that for me is where it all begins.

  • August 1, 2019

Google My Business – your how to guide courtesy of Kate Everett – Colchester networking event

We are keen to ensure our speakers at our events never sell at you and deliver high quality business and professional development ideas and solutions for women in business. We are already lining 2020 speakers and if you know of one you’d love to see at The BWN please do get in touch.

Here Kate Everett from TWI talks about Google My Business for women in business. It was fascinating and really useful stuff. Let us know how you get on and already over on the Insiders we are looking at ways to maximise on this. Not in yet? You can learn more about our confidential mastermind group here. It’s 24/7 and it’s epic – not our words, the Insiders!

  • July 23, 2019

How to find your target audience, tribe, niche and communicate powerfully

target audience how to find yours

If you are looking to find your target audience you can get bogged down in too much detail, too many questions and too many possible directions to go in;

  • Should you be tweeting?
  • Should you be blogging?
  • Should you be hosting events?
  • Should you be getting in the press, if so which press!
  • Should you be networking more (or less!)

This guide (that you can down load and use again and again) will help you focus your mind. So that whether it’s a new niche, a new product or service or you are just looking to increase profit, secure your section of the market or keep on everyone’s agenda you can focus on what you need to say, to whom, where, and why.

By understanding your favourite clients you can get to really appreciate why people work with you and how to replicate it.

Download your copy here target audience work sheet insiders 

And don’t forget to post your completed forms on the INsiders Facebook page and or sections you are struggling with so we can help you get maximum benefit.

If you need more (and who doesn’t?) post to the Insiders for advice and guidance on how to maximise on this quick idea. Or you can get Mandie’s course on Finding your target audiences and getting them to buy here. Don’t forget as an INsider you get 70% off of these courses.

  • January 29, 2019

How to get the most out of networking with The BWN

If you are looking to grow your business, your confidence and your profit, we are so much more than just somewhere to network once a month. Here is how to get the most our networking with The BWN.

1.Help yourself to our social media. We actively encourage our members (and a member is someone who walks through the door once a month) to talk about what they are doing, creating, building, winning or even struggling with on our social media;

  • On Facebook you can post to our page and we will like and share your content.
  • On Twitter if you mention @BWNcouk we will like and retweet your content for you.
  • On our LinkedIn page you are welcome to post discussions, ask questions and talk about your business.

To access all of our social media just visit the home page and click on the right social media logo.

2. A Golden Ticket means you get to network at one venue for better than the early bird rate and you get all these discounts and benefits too;

  • Write for our blog for FREE (Usual fee £75).
  • Guaranteed 60 seconds Promo Slot.
  • Give your 60 seconds to another business woman (We only have a maximum of 25 Promo slots at each event) and you can bring your banner to the event for FREE – Great evergreen marketing for you.
  • Feature on our website for FREE.
  • Discounts on sponsoring the website.
  • Discounts on sponsoring an event.
  • Discounts on exhibiting at an event.
  • Can’t make an event? Still get your opportunities and events mentioned in the Business Ops slot of that event and other relevant local events. (Please note this requires a minimum of 48 hours notice.)

3.How to make a Golden Ticket really sparkle. If you want even more out of your Golden Ticket you can purchase multiple events tickets and gain even more savings!

  • 1 venue – £125 (Full price £165)
  • 2 venue – £230 (Full price £330)
  • 3 venue – £315 (Full price £495)

4. The Insiders is a confidential learning zone, research centre and advice mastermind group that has helped business owners;

  • Increase profit
  • Take on new premises
  • Employ their first staff
  • Overcome fears – fear of the phone, fear of asking for what you want, fear of saying No to a customer when they ask for too much, fear of going live, fear of creating video, fear of blogging and getting your opinions out there to help you sell more.
  • Learn new skills that have directly led to new business, new opportunities and new sales.
  • Get 1st refusal on PR and other opportunities
  • Access webinars from our affiliate experts
  • Access discounts from our Insiders affiliates.
    Best of all it is just £5 a month – Business women say it is the best money they spend on their business, every month!

5. Do you find yourself making notes of who you need to connect with on social media and who to email or call and a list of  ideas thanks to the speaker then find you don’t get around to taking action and doing the things you learnt. You get back to the office and the business cards, notes and ideas get added to your long list of to do’s but don’t get actioned.

Annoying isn’t it?

The BWN Success Manual is a great way of putting your ideas, notes, your calendar, who you met, what you said you would do, and even create a strategy to ensure you do it, in one place. It includes;

  • A place to write who you met, what you said you would do and how you could help them, so you can build a relationship from day 1.
  • 2 x 1 year calendars.The BWN Success Manual for networking
  • Space to structure what you learnt from the masterclass and how to ensure you take action.
  • Top tips and ideas to help you network more successfully, follow up more effectively and make networking more cost effective.
  • Space to add additional thoughts and journal what you notice.
  • A way of looking at your networking strategy and results to see how to improve, where you are already improving and where you could do with some assistance.
  • Golden Nugget ideas.
  • Goal planning sections – short term, long term and the plan to achieve.
  • You can buy yours at any event for £10 or online for £16. We love seeing the BWN Success Manuals at events making life easier for you.

6. Sponsoring the BWN website is a great way to get seen by our audiences all year round. One of our sponsors has already signed up to the end of 2020 so you can see this could be very useful to you and your business.

7. Our blog is packed with ideas and solutions and some really emotional, fantastic and inspiring stories from our members. You can read it all here https://www.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/bwn-blog/

8. You can sponsor a BWN event. We only allow 1 sponsor per event so its a great way to stand out. You get 1 ticket, 1 exhibitors stand, your business literature on every place setting and your business promoted on all of the marketing for that event on and off line.

You can access all of these offers (and more!) via our website, and just head to the offers heading to find the offer right for you.

  • October 28, 2018

All change in Suffolk

All businesses go through change and our organisation is no different. In fact we actively look to hear from every woman in business that attends our Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk events to know what you want and if we are delivering it. (And our apologies if we are not in your region yet, we would love to be in your area, so get in touch to learn about getting paid to network.)

Therefore when Linda had to step down from our stunning Ickworth House, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk  events it was a quiet moment in the BWN offices. Mandie instantly decided that we had been supporting the success of women in business in this area for over 4 years and we didn’t want to see it stop. So Mandie hosted our September event and announced “Who would like to get paid to network?”

2 offers came forward on the day so we never got to spread the opportunity to the wider community (further proof you have to be in it to win it!) and we are delighted to welcome Nicky West, a corporate Suffolk based photographer to the team. Nicky said “I’ve decided to become a BWN co-ordinator! Let me sum up why. I believe networking is a wonderful way to empower and connect local business owners to be inspired by and inspire each other, in a friendly supportive environment, and I’m so excited to be a part of that process and grow my own business along the way too!”

We are very happy to welcome you Nicky and look forward to seeing your fabulous images and hearing your 2019 plans.

We have more exciting news coming soon and if you would like to learn more about joining the growing BWN team, we would love to hear from you. Just complete the contact us form or give us a call.

  • September 30, 2018

Looking For Creative Inspiration – How To Find It!

I know that for Insiders the issue of coming up with great content and what to write comes up a lot. Have you ever found yourself sat in front of the screen and thought “I’ve got 2 hours to come up with the content here, why can’t I think of anything?”

Or

“I only need to think of the name for this and I can crack on, why won’t my brain work!”

Or

“Aaaaa I haven’t got a single good idea in my head!”

If you have faced any of these scenarios you will know how frustrating it is. You’ve made some space in your mega busy diary to get creative and move your business forward but your brain won’t help and before you know it you’ve commented on someone’s Facebook video of a cute dog and not wrote a single word!

But you know that right? And so you end up getting more and more frustrated, staring at the minutes wasted away and worry some more. So how can you overcome writers’ block and come up with the great ideas?

  1. Stop panicking and looking at the clock and worrying about how much time you’ve wasted. It makes you worry more. It clags up your busy brain with negative emotions which further shut down your brain to be able to think productively. If you have been at it for more than 10 minutes and achieved nothing, walk away from the location you are in for 10 minutes. Do some filing (you know you never get round to it!) phone that person you were going to just email, check your to do list for the day/week. Get your brain concentrating on something else, and let it do that for at least 10 minutes. Studies show that working on something else creates mental space. Basically your brain is shouting “I know you need the answers, give me 10 minutes and I will keep hunting okay!” Have you ever struggled to remember someone’s name only for it to come to you in the middle of the night or randomly when you are doing something else? Your brain doesn’t stop looking for the answers you want, but it does need the time to process the request.
  2. Grab a pen and paper (this is ideal for the way it makes your brain work) and list every possible idea you have already come up with. They can be the obvious ones that you have dismissed, the stupid ones, the unrealistic ones, the unaffordable ones. Write them all down. If you have 2 pages of A4 paper filled then you are letting your mind think freely. It’s highly likely the first few that you come up with you will dismiss but the longer you write the more likely you are to come up with content you know your readers will love!
  3. Don’t dismiss anything, write it all down. And not just ideas. Random words. Random thoughts that you have no idea how it could become an article or a series of posts. Just get it down. We so often dismiss thoughts without fully exploring the answers they are trying to provide.
  4. Not one for lists? Draw a picture, use a mind map, cut pictures out of a magazine and create a mood board. Allow your creative juices to flow in a way that works for you, but keep it visual. This in itself could make a great article. Remember not all content is the written word, it could be a short video of you sharing how you come up with your ideas and what you will be talking about in the coming months thanks to your mood board.
  5. Ask others. Friends and relatives are not the best people to ask for ideas from. They love and adore you and have their own agenda and viewpoint already. As I always say your Nan loves you so whatever you come up with she will say “That’s nice darling.” So ask yourself who would be good to ask? Get along to a network like The Business Womans Network. Share your thoughts on social media groups where you feel you will get useful feedback. Ask us, Insiders. Create a focus group – that’s basically a neutral place where you invite some people along to share their views. I tend to give a free half hour session to say thank you, make sure there are goodies in the middle of the room and lots of beverages! Takes up about 2 hours.
  6. Think of one client. The one that said “xxx” how were they feeling, what were the issues they told you about? How did they find you? What were they scared of? What were they looking forward to? Thinking of one client can create enough ideas for the list in Top tip 2 for months!
  7. Research online, don’t steal other people’s ideas and creativity, however, it’s a great way to see what other people do and to helps you understand your creative needs.
  8. What worked in the past? This won’t be the first time you have felt stuck. What helped in the past? How could you recreate that environment to get the results you want?
  9. CTA. Call to Action. Ask people what do they want you to write about. Make sure they know they can ask you confidentially and you will let them get access to it and that no one will ever know you wrote that just for them.
  10. Years ago everyone wanted short blogs. Now I’m asked to write longer and longer blogs. In fact the one that had 40,000 views in less than a month was 1800 words! I would still say that at the start if you have no audience keep them short, keep them top tip format, short and snappy and easy to read. As you gain a following them write longer articles and more in depth content.
  11. Structure –  A bit like the essay’s we hated as students! You want to explain what you are going to cover, why you are covering it, what you can expect if you don’t do it and if you do the results you could get. Then layout in easy short paragraphs the top tips and finish with a recap and a this is what you should see conclusion. A call to action like “let me know how you get on” or “what would you like me to cover next?” can get the conversation going. And remember your blogs are there forever, keep it relevant. I get people sending me messages to work with me from blog articles that are 5 years old.

It’s commendable to sit at your desk for hours looking to get your business seen and loved. But with some things in life it’s better to lean on others and find experts to help you get where you want to go. Just because you know what your dentist is doing you wouldn’t start sticking appliances in your mouth and doing it yourself, would you?

Sometimes it’s a good idea to outsource what is really challenging you. If you are finding this is consuming your precious time, it’s time to ask yourself how can I get the results I need faster? But remember even if you outsource it you are still going to have to tell that VA, PR company, copywriter or marketing company the following;

Who am I speaking to?

What do I want them to do?

What results do I want to get?

What do I want them to learn?

What matters to my target audience (s)?

How often do they want to hear from me?

Hope this helps. This is a confidential article for Insiders only. Please do not share this content. However please do share on the Insiders Facebook page how it helps, what you need next and your articles for us to read and review too.

 

  • June 9, 2018

The Insiders Week Planner

You have a busy week ahead how can you ensure you are not just busy but focused, accountable and actually working on the things that will grow your business?

If you want to help create some focus here is our one page INsiders planner for each week.

Don’t add too many tasks or actions to any one day.

Remember to factoring in follow up time after networking events.

Remember you are human and will need to eat, rest and not ignore your loved ones.

Use the Insiders Planner well and you could be ahead by Thursday!

Ensure you keep in mind your longterm goals, and if you don’t know what they are, ask for some help on the INsiders. We are here to help.

Download your INsiders Weekly Planner here

  • November 6, 2017
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