Brian Bush, Lime Learning

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How do I engage and motivate employees and keep them? 

Understand what their motivators are and ensure they are then aligned to them within their role. If they are happy and have a purpose, they are more likely to stay and stay motivated. 

How can I put my prices up and keep my customers? 

Often businesses undervalue their price point and end up with clients who don’t pay them enough and resent them. It’s never their fault you were charging too low, so increase your price point and if you lose some, replace them with higher paying customers. 

I’ve got this great idea, what do I do with it?

 Tell people so you can pressure test it as it may be awful and better to know now than when you have remortgaged your house. Ask people that don’t have to be nice to you. Carry out lots of market research and understand the market you will serve. 

How do I protect my reputation and enhance it?

 Be honest, always treat your staff and customers as your most important assets and correct your mistakes quickly. 

What can I do about competitors who have an unfair advantage? 

Balance it by finding the way to remove that advantage on their part. Unfair is a way to blame something else for your inability to beat it. Life is not unfair; it is your environment and you are accountable so get over it and get on. 

How do I network to my advantage?

 Work out who you want to meet and where they go then go there. Listen more than you talk and remember relationships sell products, so get liked before you get selling. 

How can I manage the work / life balance more effectively? 

Decide what work/life balance you want to ultimately achieve and set your aspiration to get there. It absolutely will not be an overnight journey as starting and developing a business is hard work and possibly for a long time. Nobody builds success by not working, so be prepared to slog it until you can relax a bit more. 

How can I shut off from the business? 

Stop thinking about it. Sounds too simple but, you need to find that way that works for you to achieve this. It will be different for us all. Could be yoga, meditation, rock climbing, riding motorbikes at speed, flower arranging. Schedule and organise as best you can and be realistic. 

How can I move my business to the next step, stop working in the business and free up more time to work on the business? 

Plan and then stick with it. Work your prices up strategically to improve margins. Few businesses start with the same clients they end with. Hire people better than you and keep them happy. Build your reputation around the business and not you, so you grow stronger and quicker. It’s not your child so don’t treat it as such and let others bring their skills to your little empire and let go more. 

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