Archive for June, 2013

Yorkshire Business Coaching: Know your Numbers!

At Yorkshire Business Coaching we emphasise the need to have a positive mindset. But that does not mean being wishy-washy on  questions of cash.

I think it is really important to deliver a clear message to our regular readers. We thrive on showing people how to adopt a positive mindset. We emphasise again and again that we coach people to gain insight, self awareness and have specific strategies we teach to this end. If you have enjoyed reading  Yorkshire Business then we have something important to tell you. We are business people. We do what we love to do to make money and as business people we have to tell you that you must know your numbers.

That positive mind-set will soon evaporate if the numbers  do not stack up!

Positivity is not a diversion from your business goal. Remember, like us you are in business because you want to what you like to do and like us, you also like to do things like eat, sleep, have a roof over your head, and watch the odd film without requiring a fairy godmother to rustle up those things for free. Pay attention to the following things.

Each business activity has a cost in cash and time: measure them.

If you are not fully aware of the costs of running your business and you do not  assess the time it takes to carry out different business activities and include this time as a business cost  then you cannot fully appreciate the profitability, or  lack thereof, of your business. A simple way to think about this, if you had to outsource or employ someone to do what you do in your business, how much would that cost you?

When incurring a cost, ask why and what is the desirable outcome?

Do not undertake any business activity that does have a clear cost and potential reward attached. We accept that some marketing activities may have beenfits that are not easily measured. A website will raise brand awareness without necessarily bringing in direct sales at first. Networking events may lead you to make many contacts and it may be a few months before word of mouth marketing begins to deliver to your pocket. But when embarking on a business activity then make sure that you have a target income result in mind, otherwise you will drift along without having a clear  notion of what an unproductive activity is costing you.

Make sure that you collect

Knowing your numbers also means making sure those numbers stack up by ensuring that your payment collection systems are robust. Numbers are notional if you are not collecting your dues. is part of


Yorkshire Business Coaching: Don’t sweat the small (people) stuff

 At Yorkshire Business Coaching we work with clients to clear out the negative self-talk  about other people

In a previous post we wrote about how Yorkshire Business Coaches work with small business owners on people management and gave three strategies to help you enjoy positive and fruitful relationships in business (and elsewhere too). We know that the Yorkshire Business Coach three card trick is a winning hand for a leader of people. However we recognise that all the best strategies meet a stumbling block when, for whatever reason you simply cannot get a person, or the issues they bring, out of your head. For this we have a fourth rule. Don’t sweat the small (people) stuff!

To do this we break the rule down into four separate segments.

1.The negative energy you spend on worrying about some one is just that: negative.

For every litre of air, or portion of brain cell, spent on whingeing about someone is; negative energy that is revolving around your head, negative words out there in the ether that will come back to you. You will never get back those wasted brain cells or oxygen but down beat self talk just creates a negative energy around you that will not attract the right people or the right business. Don’t believe us? Think of the negative people you have steered clear of in your career or lifetime? How much time did they spend moaning?

2. Don’t be a crab in bucket.

Ever watched crabs trying to climb out of a bucket? They never quite manage to do it, partly because they spend most of their time pulling down any other crab that looks like they are likely to climb higher than them! Once you get into a moaning circle you will be surprised how hard the other members of your circle will work to stop you climbing out of it! You see moaning circles are there to keep everyone negative and feeling good about being negative. The mind set with a moaning circle is that by hanging out together we cannot all be failures, oh yes! We can reinforce how everything that goes badly that comes our way is not our fault! It’s easy and comforting to sit safe in that bucket but woe betide you if you start to try to exit!

3. That person may well be more fearful than you!

That person who is costing you so much negative energy may well be sweating the small stuff over you or over some other person. Making the effort to understand the issues that govern their behaviour is the first step on the road to ensuring that they do not take up too much of your thinking time. Remember that the fact that they are occupying your thoughts is your choice not theirs!

4. Don’t feel bad about the issue, but be positive about your capacity to find the solution.

You may have noticed that there are a lot of don’ts in this article. So here is a positive thought for you to finish up. Crabs in buckets and moaning circle inhabitants all have the capacity to deal with those issues. You more than most since you are reading this and therefore have shown you wish to learn!

Click on this link for an initial consultation and learn more about your capacity to overcome the negativity of sweating the small (people) stuff.


When business is booming and the possibilities seem unlimited. You need a Yorkshire Business Coach.

 A Yorkshire Business Coach loves to work with any small business owner, but it’s the ones that think they don’t need us who we really want to meet!

Sure enough, we would not be doing what we are doing if we were not fully committed, driven by a sense  of vocation that makes us want to help other people in business. But we have to be honest here and say that if there is one drawback to being in a people centred business it is that we often find ourselves being called upon by people who would rather not work with us at all.

Don’t get me wrong, we are proud of the fact that people make a positive choice when they come to us. But I am well aware that for many people the first reason they give begins with the words, “I don’t know” or “I don’t seem to be able to” or “I want to know how too.”

Things are going so well that I need to have a business coach!

This is almost exactly what someone said to us the other day. It is really hard to describe what pleasure we get from having someone coming to us with that approach. We start work next week, and thought that it would be nice to give you a little preview of the kind of questions we will be tackling.

How many directions are you facing at the moment?

There is only one potential problem with unlimited possibilities, you can end up looking in an unlimited number of directions when there is only finite amount of time.Expansion is great but if your business expansion is too rapid it might be as fragile as a bubble and pop all too easily.

What were your original objectives when you started up in your business?

Personal goals? Business Goals? Lifestyle Goals? How much time you want to spend not working  – goals? How many time you want to spend 5 days in a row drinking cold ones and watching an entire test match from start to finish without interruption because that’s why you decided to work for your self  – goals?

If your goals do not include all of these (well for those of you who will not be watching the Ashes, something similar) then there is a good chance that your goals are being defined by other people, and the more people you are dealing with, the more likely it is that different agendas might be driving you.

Which balls can you drop?

An expanding business and an expanding contact list mans that you are a juggler performing with a growing number of balls. Which ones can you afford to drop and which can you not? Although we cannot share any details about our new clients’ juggling implements we can tell you that the two that you absolutely cannot let fall to the floor are the “health ball” and the “family ball.”

Where are your levels of competence?

We will be taking a look at all the different hats our client is wearing and grading competence in each area. Are you aware of your high level of competence in certain areas? We regularly deal with business owners where they are the only person who is not aware of how skilled they are! However, the opposite may also be true and the more your business expands the tougher it may be to deliver the required level of skill to all aspects.

If these three questions strike a cord with you, if they have got you asking yourself about your business, your direction and your juggling implements then click on this link, give us a call and book an initial juggling consultation.


Yorkshire Business Coaching – Ready to move on

An interesting thing happened yesterday. I went to visit a business friend of mine whom I had not seen for quite a while. What I like about Malcolm’s attitude to business is that it is refreshingly human.”I like to do business with people who I like to go out for a beer with” is well known in local business circles as one of Malcolm’s mantras, and fortunately he has a large number of people who fit into that category and he drinks in moderation.

I had not seen him in quite some time and dropped in because he had spent some time the night before in hospital with a nose bleed. By the time I dropped in he had had it cauterised and was looking fit as a flea. When I asked him what he thought was the cause he gave the answer I was expecting (having had similar issue myself six years earlier), “I’ve been really really busy.”

Is your business getting too big but not big enough to grow yet?

Malcolm went on to explain that he had been really snowed under with work because the business was attracting a large number of clients.”The trouble is we do not have the quantity of business on a consistent basis to take someone on but there is too much for me to manage on my own.” He then went on to say, “the thing is, what I really need is a bit of time just for me. I have give attention to my wife and my young daughter when I’m not running the business!”

A Yorkshire Business Coach can work with you to gain perspective.

I’ve used Malcolm as an example because in about three sentences he summed up the key issue that the successful small business owner ends up facing. Managing time and managing priorities. Malcolm’s nose bleed was a subconscious wake up call that forced him to appraise his situation. What a regular Yorkshire Business Coaching session can do is give you time away from working in your growing business and help you to assess what is happening and be ready for change before the nosebleeds and stuff.

A Yorkshire Business Coach will ask you the questions that you probably have buzzing in the back of your mind but have not taken the time to answer.
A Yorkshire Business Coach will make you give the answers to those questions
A Yorkshire Business Coach will work with you to keep those questions fresh in your mind.
A Yorkshire Business Coach will be available to you between sessions, for quick words of advice and will want to hear updates on your progress.

Is your business beginning to reach the heights that are starting to cause you nosebleeds? If that is the case then consider these three key questions that lie at the heart of Yorkshire Business Coaching.

What are your personal goals, the ones which saw you set up in business in the first place?

How many of those “non business goals” are being met? We mean personal, hobbies, or life-style?

And if none of those non business goals were part of the original plan then why are you in business at all?

If you want to explore the three key questions then click on this link to book your free business consultation. And if those questions are nowhere in your business vocabulary but you want help to look at your business then book your consultation anyway.


Yorkshire Business Coach: Mind Your Language

A Yorkshire Business coach talks to Goole Small Business about the power of language.

At a meeting of small businesses in Goole, Yorkshire Business coach Jo Lomax talked to the group about how language defines our attitudes and outcomes. Part of the talk, which really grabbed everyone’s attention, was when she hit upon a simple self-evident truth. It is a truth so obvious and so simple that most of us gathered felt like kicking ourselves afterwards for never having realised it.

It is impossible to have persistent bad feelings about things that you have not actually said to yourself.

 There is a quite a serious challenge to us here. What Jo is saying is that ultimately we are responsible for our moods. We are responsible for feelings of sadness and depression. We are responsible for those days where we feel that nothing will go right, and it doesn’t and that we will get nowhere, and we don’t!

Hang on! I lost my job today. That’s outside of my control and I’m right to be angry!

Fair point. Anyone who has been in that situation will remember the day they were told that they were going to have to leave their job. Anger, rage, fear, sadness, those are quite natural reactions to what is a difficult change to manage but how you choose to feel about it will effect the way in which you can deal with it.

Shock, anger and rage can morph into depression if you choose to tell yourself that things are impossible or that they will never get better.

 This is what Jo meant when she said that persistent bad feelings are a result of what you say. Bad feelings, for a while were the consequence, in this situation, of saying and believing  “I’ll never get another job.”

What helps to turn the corner is putting into practice the technique of catching negative language in your head and changing it. Every time you go through a moment of doubt and fear you can mentally scrub out the phrases in your head and replace them with positive language. Thus, the phrase “I will never get another job” becomes “I can succeed.”

Language works on other people. It also works on you.

We have watched with horrified fascination the spell binding impact of Hitler’s speeches at Nuremberg and the uplifting rhetoric of Martin Luther King. But recognising that the power of our own language, to ourselves and within ourselves can shape our destiny far more surely than the oratorical skills of a politician or a manager!

 Recap on Minding Your Language

  • Beware of the negative thoughts in your mind


  • Be aware that your brain is expressing these in language
  • Catch that bad language
  • Replace it with a positive statement and say it


To meet Jo and to learn some of the specific techniques you can employ to boost your language and its impact on your business success then click on this link for an initial consultation.


Yorkshire Business Coach is part of ThinkPositive

Breaking Barriers to Success with a Yorkshire Business Coach.

 A Yorkshire Business Coach knows the biggest obstacles to our  success are personal and built by ourselves

That is the undeniable truth about business, we follow our passions and we want to do what we love. We have skills and abilities and the drive to make them into something tangible something real and yet…

In spite of our talent and passion there is something holding us back

We have days when we sit in the office and we wonder what we are doing. We seem unable to do the most simple of tasks or we are unable to complete things that in theory are easy. We sit by a massive to do list and endlessly shuffle it around, adding more to dos and subtracting others. It is as if juggling with separate elements of our time will suddenly make the void on the sheet in front of us fill with inspiration and achievement. And then comes the horrible fear that “Everybody else can do this and  I can’t: I will fail.”

First the good news: there is no mental block that you have that is unique to you!

That’s right, you are not the only person who finds it hard to pick up the phone and make those calls, or puts off the tasks of asking for what is due to you. The mental blocks that inhibit your business are shared by many. In fact go on, be honest, you’ve probably comforted yourself by chatting this over with other small business owners and have found that they agree with you!

Now the bad news: The sole responsibility for removing that block lies with you and you only

You may share characteristics with other people but those characteristics were created by you and for you. Look at it like this: have you ever been or are you a smoker? If so, then you will know that smokers in the work place huddle outside in a group … with safety in numbers. They trip off to the smoke zone in pairs feeling happier that they are killing themselves in tandem with others. However the cough and cold they suffer from is theirs and theirs  alone, as are the reasons for getting hooked on smoking; stress, boredom, replacing something in their life. Only they can quit and only they can benefit from doing so. The same goes for you and your mental blocks.

This where a Yorkshire Business Coach comes in

A Yorkshire Business Coach will work with you to examine the mental blocks that you have and help you to address them. They will have knowledge of the issues that you are dealing with but will work with you as an individual to apply the right techniques to free your mind from those self -imposed barriers to success. The only thing that stands between you and crashing through those barriers is hesitation. You can have a free consultation within hours. Talk to a coach about those barriers and start working on your own path to a solution just by clicking this link and booking. So don’t hesitate, make that call.

Any Yorkshire Business Coach will tell you: People matter!

Every Yorkshire Business Coach is used to discussing “difficult people”

I don’t think I am giving away any great state secrets by sharing with you the fact that one of the most common problem that our coaching clients bring to us to discuss is other people. People problems, difficult people, personality clashes, incompatibility, culture clashes, “This person does not share my values or my vision,” so many people are so difficult to work with! It is also no great secret to inform you that the client’s perspective is that none of these problems have anything to do with them, they are without exception easy people to work and deal with!

Guess what? Someone out there finds you difficult too!

Well, to be honest if our coaching clients really did believe that they were perfect and all personnel issues were someone else’s fault then we would be unlikely to see them too often. Coaching, by its very nature requires that someone acknowledges that they need support. But we often find people unable to resolve inter-personal issues and the stress it causes detracts from their business.

Yorkshire Business Coaching’s three principals of people management.

We work with clients to find individual solutions they bring to us. whilst each problem is unique and each issue is personal I would like to share with you the Yorkshire Business Coach’s 3 golden rules to people management.

1. Celebrate diversity.

Come on be honest, you have to admit that if everyone was like you then the world would be a pretty uniform place. You are the ideas man, the people person right? Well where would you be without the rather dull number cruncher who keeps you on track and is busy counting paper clips whilst you are doing what you do so well. Language is important here. Teach yourself to say things like,  “I really recognise and appreciate the skills that Sarah brings to the business.”

2. Show appreciation.

The most simple acknowledgement of a colleague’s positive attribute will be repaid to you many times. Seek and find opportunities to offer praise, acknowledgement and recognition of the smallest thing, by celebrating diversity and reminding yourself in your self talk to do so. Share that positivity with others and you will be embarking on a course of action that will prevent many interpersonal issues ever raising their head above the parapet.

3. Educate yourself about different personality types.

Yorkshire Business coaches are well read and have conducted considerable research into different personality types, they have also researched gender and how the different sexes communicate and interpret information in different ways. What we will show you is how to understand the behaviour traits that make you tick. How your strengths can also, when carried to extremes, become sources of weakness and how by understanding yourself you can better appreciate and understand the strengths and motivations of others.
If you would like to discover more about yourself and through that self knowledge find the way to get the best out of others (as well as have them appreciate you) then click on the link and book a consultation.

Yorkshire Business Coaching: How to plan effectively

Yorkshire Business Coaching frequently work with people to help them plan effectively

As business coaches we work with people on a range of issues. The ones that most frequently occur are issues dealing with time management and planning. Yorkshire Business Coaching coaches work very hard to get under the bonnet of a small business owner and work with them to deal with the behaviours and attitudes that might stop them from achieving their full potential. Planning is a “problem” that can be dealt with by asking yourself a series of questions.

When I sit down to plan do I define it as a job?

When I put planning in my diary, I can guarantee that the less precise the task and time frame the more time will be spent with a blank piece of paper. So rule number 1 when it comes to planning is:

Decide what activity you are going to plan and the time it will take to complete that activity successfully.

How much time am I spending on the planning activity?

Just as a blank piece of paper without a plan on it will remain a blank piece of paper for a long time, a planning session without a time frame will drag on for ever. So when you are setting yourself a planning task it too needs to be planned with a time frame. So rule number 2 when looking at planning is to:

Set a defined amount of time to get the plan written down, and make sure it written in that time.

How far into the future am I attempting to plan?

For years I used to sit down on a Sunday and try to plan all of week’s activities. I’d neatly divide up the tasks into different categories and try to assign an equal amount of time to each one. The result was that by the end of the week I had become increasingly demotivated as my well laid plans fell apart. By Thursday I spent more time trying to pick up the threads of my work than actually getting things done. By the next Sunday I was sitting down with my blank piece of paper in front of me, grimly determined to get the plan right this time, only to set up yet more disappointment and annoyance.

So what was the problem? Well by trying to cover all the bases in a week I had missed out one important task: Prioritising. Without first deciding what has to be done first and what need not be done, then a planning session is simply shuffling deckchairs whilst the ship may very well be sinking.

Which leads us to the third rule of planning:

Plan to do first what is critical to get done, non-critical activities can wait, or be excluded altogether.

So as a simple guide line to planning and a starting point for you to take forward your planning activities:

  1. Define each task and time frame
  2. Set a time limit for planning sessions
  3. Prioritise

There are of course many more things that you can incorporate into your planning activity such as flexibility or thinking time but if you feel that you could use some additional support on your planning and time management strategies then give us a call.

Click on this link for contact details, and your free consultation.

Yorkshire Business Coach: Personnel Issues and Conflict Management

 Yorkshire Business Coaching: Personnel  Issues and Conflict Management

Personnel issues resulting in conflict

There is nothing more debilitating for the small business owner than conflict between staff. The emotional debris  is spread far beyond the parties involved, any other staff not directly involved in the conflict may feel they have to walk on eggshells. Worse still, a poor atmosphere in the business work place can all too easily be transmitted to potential customers affecting new sales, or existing customers affecting client/business relationships and ongoing sales.

How a Small Business Coach can help

A Yorkshire Business coach can help you address these issues in two ways. Firstly an experienced business coach will have seen and dealt with similar scenarios in his/her own business or helped others to resolve them.

Your business coach will enable you to describe the surface issues and then encourage you to dig below the surface. Almost always the root cause of a conflict will run deeper for either one party or both than the expressed nature of the conflict.  Here are two rules for effective conflict resolution.

Always focus on negative behaviours not negative people

As an employer you will be required to make a judgement and take some kind of action, remedial or disciplinary. It is absolutely essential you talk about unacceptable behaviour in the most neutral terms possible. Here is a simple example:

1: “You have upset John with your negative attitude”

2: “John is upset by what was said to him and the manner in which it was said”

We admit that it is a difficult thing to sum up conflict resolution in a couple of sentences. However these sentences sum up the best attitude you can be seen to be adopting.

The first statement will be taken as a personal attack. It suggests a lack of neutrality on your part and will put the alleged aggressor on the defensive.

The second statement is neutral about the person but describes the behaviours precisely and without qualification. There is no adjective describing the behaviour in a way that implies a pre-judgement of the person involved.

Always remember to look under the table

Dealing with behaviours usually only addresses the surface, what is there on the table for everyone to see. Below the table there often lurks other issues; be they personal, professional or maybe even something that comes back to your management of previous decisions.

One example is when a well-regarded employee was heard to yell at a colleague that  “they did not know what they were doing and did not do enough to earn their salary.” The initial conflict was resolved and the victim of the abuse achieved an apology. However this successful outcome was brought about because in the course of the interview the “aggressor” made it clear that she felt she had been overlooked for a pay rise, whilst her colleague had not.

Business Coaching can support you by prompting the right questions

The objective view of a Yorkshire Business Coach will enable you to develop clarity and purpose as well as insight in dealing with conflict issues. By clicking on this link you can book a free consultation  with one of our coaches and start working towards practical personnel and conflict resolution strategies.

Yorkshire Business Coaching is brought to you by ThinkPositive Coaching Ltd and provides business coaching and advice to small businesses
and companies in Hull, Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate, Otley, Huddersfield, Shipley, Wetherby, York and all of the surrounding Yorkshire areas.