Monthly Business Review: March 2016

Readers of my blog know that I like to take you behind the scenes of my business so that you get an opportunity to know me better and see how I go about tackling the challenges of growing a business.

Monthly Business Review

In my monthly reviews I typically cover the following topics:

  • How I’m getting on hitting my monthly and longer term goals;
  • The challenges I’ve experienced and the lessons I’ve learnt;
  • Great resources I’ve come across that you may enjoy too;
  • Unexpected wins and/ or other insights that may be of value to you;
  • My plans for the coming month.

A Business Turnaround Project

Last month I told you about an unexpected opportunity I had to take on a consultancy project – a business turnaround. The owner had made many of the same business mistakes as other aspiring entrepreneurs:

  • Products weren’t priced correctly to generate sufficient gross profit to cover business overheads and turn a profit before tax;
  • Insufficient sales due in the main to a lack of marketing budget;
  • Uncontrolled expenditure;
  • Failure to adequately manage cash flow.

This is a universal story that I see repeated time and time again.

Financial stewardship of a business is all too often confused with accounting. Yes, they do overlap. But effective financial management is so much more than accounting, and is a key responsibility of the owner.

Over the coming months, I will be writing more on these topics, and sharing some of my favourite tools for managing pricing, cash flow and financial stewardship.

Another Unexpected Opportunity!

I was super excited to take on another piece of consultancy work in March, this time helping an aspiring business owner to put together a business plan for venture capital funding. We’ve just finished working out the pricing for his product suite; and over the next few days we’ll be pulling together the financial forecasts that VCs and banks want to see.

If you’d like to talk to me about a business consultancy project, please email me at denyse@denysewhillier and we can arrange a time for a Skype coffee chat to talk through what you’re looking for help with.

An Ambassador For PortfolioExec

I was thrilled to be asked to become an Ambassador for PortfolioExec, a talent pool of senior and experienced business professionals from widely different backgrounds and disciplines offering owner-managed businesses part time support across areas that include business consultancy to finance, international business development, marketing and HR.

When a business is seeking to scale up, access to high calibre business support is so important. Being part of PortfolioExec means that I’m able to support my community with access to a group of highly experienced business people.

The Winners Enclosure™

I’ve been loving working with members of the new mastermind group I’m co-leading with Emma D’Arcy and Christina Jones! I’ve been encouraging members to put in place robust financial plans, and to review their expenditure. As a result, members have already saved thousands of pounds a month! They’ve:

  • Renegotiated terms with their suppliers to get better rates;
  • Spring cleaned their subscriptions to stop those that don’t meet their business needs;
  • Stopped spending money on sales and marketing activities that haven’t delivered an ROI.

This has created more financial margin so that they’ve been able to start shifting resources to activities that will have a direct business benefit.

Challenges

Last month I told you how my website was brought down by a malware attack whilst my hosting company were doing a server upgrade. The consequence was that my website was restored to a version that was at least 6 months old, probably more. This meant that content I had posted and links I’d painstakingly created were lost. So I’ve spent hours restoring it, and the task is still not complete. My has this taught me some important lessons! Thankfully I had saved the content I’d written as Word documents so I’ve not had to re-write this.

As a CEO I learned to look for the opportunities in any situation. As the saying goes, ‘there’s no point crying over spilt milk.’

As luck would have it, Michael Hyatt has just released a new upgrade of his Get Noticed! Theme which I use on my website. So I’m going to take the opportunity to update my website with the various new, cool features. And I’m going o attempt to change the brand colours. Wish me luck as I’m not the most tech savvy person out there!

Great Resources

Last month I told you how I’ve started using Social Quant to increase the size and quality of my Twitter account rapidly with relevant followers. 72 days in and my Twitter following stands at 8,797 followers, a 272% increase in my starting position of 2,364 followers! By the end of 2016, I’m confident I’ll have around 50,000 highly targeted followers. Building my Twitter following is important because this drives traffic to my website, and means more people start following my blog.

To find out more about Social Quant, check out their article, ‘The No Nonsense Guide To Getting More Twitter Followers’.

This month I am loving Evernote!

I’ve been aware of Evernote for a while now, and even gave it a trial a few years ago. I decided to give it another go because I’ve been struggling to find a system that works where I can keep track of all my goals, store articles I want to read later, record ‘bright ideas’ I’d like to explore further and be able to find notes I’ve written easily. Evernote functions as my digital brain. Everything is now stored in one location, and tagged so that I can find it again easily. I haven’t yet explored its project management functions. That’s on the list to do.

I’m Also Loving…

Instagram! Last month I started posting regularly on Instagram. I’m using it in a very personal way, to share snippets of my life in London – both business and personal. I would love it if you’d follow me.

In April

In April I’m going content crazy! I’m on a mission to get my website and branding exactly as I want it so this will be the focus of my attention.

I’m also working on a new project I’ve been piloting in London – Business & Bellinis. I’ll tell you more about this next month.

Join the Conversation

Question: How was your March? Did you make the progress you intended on your goals? As always, I love to hear from you, so please let me know in the comments box below.

Explore Additional Resources

If you enjoyed this post, then you may also like:

We Can’t Believe This Is Legal: Retargeting 101 is a Blab I’m co-hosting with my 2 #BBFs, Christina Jones and Emma D’Arcy, on Monday evening. We’ll be discussing re-targeting, and why this represents such a cost-effective and efficient way to get in front of your target audience. You can subscribe via this link.

About Denyse

Prior to becoming a business consultant and coach, I have 25 years’ experience in business, including 8 years as a former CEO. This experience is backed up by training at Cranfield School of Management, the UK’s leading business school. With experience in business planning, financial management, risk management, building strategic partnerships, product development, marketing (including PR) plus leading and developing staff teams of up to 150 people, there’s very little I haven’t had to deal with or experienced.

You can find out more about working with me HERE. Or alternatively email me on denyse@denysewhillier.com to arrange an informal chat over coffee. There’s no hard sell. Just solid advice and a straightforward, honest assessment of whether 1:1 business coaching or business consultancy would be a good fit for your business, the results you can expect and how to get started.

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