About TemiBFS

Welcome. I am Temi Koleowo, a Business Consultant who loves to turn ideas on their heads and create different and exciting concepts at www.businessfirststeps.co.uk. I am passionate about people's passion and love turning passion into profit and purpose. I am a mum who works but loves to play and have fun with three extremely exciting boys...well one of them is a man sometimes.

Free Two Hours Parking

I know this might sound strange but I always dread parking in those free two-hour parking bays.  Some of them will state free two hours parking limit, no return within three hours.  I question if I return later than two hours whether I will be booked for my tardiness? Does anyone actually set the timer for cars parked in two-hour limit free parking bays?  I really will love to know the answer but not at the expense of a parking fine.

The parking sign got me thinking (as I do) about business start-up and development.  A lot of us park in these bays with the notion of just staying for two hours and we end up staying there for much longer than we anticipated.  Ok, we probably will not get a physical parking ticket for hanging out in our ‘comfort zone’ bay longer than we want.  But life does pay back to those that do take action and those that don’t – in the long-term.  The question is what payment will you prefer?

  • You may be in a job or career with five years’ time limit
  • Your business idea may still be on the ‘two year limit’ back burner
  • You may have even started a business but there is no noticeable growth to show for your efforts.
  • The number of your customers are still the same after so many years.
  • Products or services are still the same range.
  • Someone else has done something similar to that business idea you have been nursing for a while.

My question is “have you exceeded your parking limit” in your current bay.  What happened to the goals you set at the beginning of the year about the things you wanted to do with your idea or your business?

Have you moved from the parking bay, drove around for a while and ‘returned after three hours?

Ok so the first business idea or new product didn’t work out after putting in so much effort, time and resources. I understand the disappointment but please do not return to the same old bay.  Why don’t you explore other parking (business) opportunities instead, for all you know you might get a better spot with little or no restrictions.

I know what it’s like to be charged up momentarily, ready to face the world but feel dejected when challenges crop up forcing you to go back to your old bay.  It is so easy to get caught up with life and what it brings, but to succeed we just have to fight to achieve our goals or we will never get to the right destination.   No successful business owner will tell you that running a business is an easy feat.  To excel and go beyond the thought stage of your idea, business, products or services, we must push beyond the barriers.  We need to set realistic goals and achieve them through consistent and persistent actions.

Find a Better Parking Space

If you have been working on a new product or service for your business, how can you accelerate the process?  Do you need to set realistic goals and deadlines, get help or a mentor, get more resources or gain more knowledge?  Do you need to set time aside, reduce your workload so you can work on your business rather than in your business?

Are you a start-up?  Consider what you need to do to actualise your business idea.  Make a list of the things you need to change and start taking action to make headway with your idea.  What are your roadblocks? Identify the actions that are keeping you in that parking bay and work toward eliminating them.

Be uncomfortable in your ‘comfort zone’ and choose to make conscious efforts to grow – it offers great dividends and rewards in the long run.

Till next time

Temi Koleowo

Business First Steps – personalised and practical business start-up services

Photos courtesy of bigstockphoto and johnridley sxc.hu

Commitment to Good Service

As part of my decision to Automate, Delegate and Outsource, I decided to outsource my laundry load to a laundry service.  My first trial went very well, even though I did not know much about how they operate.  I wasn’t sure if I should count the number of items I send it, check it afterwards etc.  Anyway the service has been going very well untill the last weekend when I discovered some clothes were missing.  I wasn’t sure of what could have happened as I expect them to take an inventory before and after washing them.  Anyway I stopped by on Monday to find out if the remaining clothes had been discovered and luckily they were.

What I learnt today as well was that there were four ladies who provide the laundry service on a shift basis.  The lady who attended to me today is always in high demand and I also learnt that people specifically wait for her shift before they bring their laundry in.  Now that got me thinking….even as a laundry lady, you can distinguish your service from others through dedication and perfection of your skills.

Lady A – her customer service was impeccable, I was quite impressed with how attentive she was when I came in for the first time.  She educated me about her services and what they offer.

Lady B – she is just superb, she is not only friendly but also shows you what she has done when you come to pick up your laundry load.  She pays attention to detail and this is evident in the way she handles the clothes.  She folds the clothes with such care, making them wardrobe ready. I was so impressed with her skills.

Lady C – not very attentive and haphazard with her work.  Forgot to pack some of the clothes for pick-up.  Quite careless with her folding and packing.

Lady D – never met her.

So the question I will like to ask you is which one of the ladies are you?  I never thought there was anything extraordinary about a laundry service until last week.  It reminded me that you can distinguish yourself by the service you provide or the products you sell, if you commit to mastering your skills and going the extra mile.

You never know who is watching – so always keep your game on and treat each and every customer like your first.

Enjoy your day.

Temi Koleowo

Business First Steps

Pushing Beyond The ‘If Onlys’

I have had a lot of ‘if only’ moments in my life.   Sometimes those moments stretch into days, then weeks, months and even years.  If only I went to a certain school or a certain college, lived in a certain neighbourhood, had a certain friend or mentor or whoever I needed to influence me to take certain steps in the ‘right direction’.

Then came a time when I had enough of my ‘if only’ moments.  I decided that I had to rid myself of the excuses of not stepping out to do what I wanted to do for so long.  Ok I can’t change the past but I can stop wallowing in self-pity and determine my future.   Even if I had done all those things on my ‘if only’ list, I still have to work hard to make a success of my own life. Who says anything good will come easy, even if we got certain things right from the start.

So in 2009 I decided to bury my ‘if onlys’ and start Business First Steps – doing what I love.  Since I started my business, the ‘if onlys’ are fading into insignificance because God is causing all things to work together for my good, even those things that I thought were accidental.  Yes, I was scared of the unknown when I started but I did it afraid anyway.  A few years down the line and I am still surging forward – sometimes afraid.  In those few years, I have fought some really tough mind battles – the battle to stay or to quit, to fight or to give in to defeat.  Undeniably it takes a lot of courage and other traits to start a business.  It takes even more courage and the ability to win the battles of the mind to keep on doing that business.  If you can stand up to fight and win those battles, then you are surely on the right track to Success Avenue.

So if you want to take a step in the right direction today and start your own business, do what I did in 2009.  Take a moment to consider some of the successful people out there doing what they love every day of their lives. Find out how they started, did they all have an easy start…I don’t think so.   Then think of the small steps you can take to start creating your own pathway to a future with very few ‘if onlys’ in it.

If only you can step out of your comfort zone and act on your plan TODAY, you probably will be writing your own successful start-up story pretty soon.

I really wish you good success.

Temi Koleowo.

Business First Steps… Personalised and Practical Business Start up Services and Support

Social Media Opportunities

Are you a stay-at-home mum or dad looking for something to do?

Are you in between jobs and looking for a new career path or new business?

Why don’t you join in and ride on the Social Media Wave?  There are so many opportunities out there that you can maximise and also make a living too.

Some of those opportunities include:

  • Graphic designer – creating Facebook banners and twitter backgrounds
  • Social Media profile setup
  • Social Media updates
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Editors
  • Copywriters
  • Social media management and more

Your first business step is to find out about your chosen area, there is limitless information online – eBooks, videos, how-to articles etc. Assess your skill set, find out what you can or can’t do.  If you commit to developing yourself in an area within the next few months, you could be getting paid for your own gigs very soon.

Go on, give it a go!!!

Till next time

Temi

www.Businessfirststeps.co.uk

Automate, Delegate and Outsource

Are you working too hard?

I came to a conclusion a few months ago; for my business to be extra productive I have to detach myself emotionally from some tasks I hold so dear. These are task that could be handled by someone else  and do it even better. Without that move, I will not be able to focus on business development, which is a necessary requirement for business growth.

So I decided to print this sign and paste it on my wall to remind me and ensure I spend time working on my business and not just in my business.

My New Acronym ADO – stands for Automate, Delegate and Outsource

I bet some of you are probably so emotionally connected to your business and your clients, you feel no one can do the job like you. You do almost everything yourself and refuse to let anyone ‘taint’ your perfect work.  Let’s be frank, very soon you are going to burn out and leave your business with no one in the driving seat.

To prevent a standstill, I will like to examine these three words that can save your business and keep stress at bay.

Automate

Automation means – ‘The technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum’. Dictionary.com

Now I must say that nothing beats human intervention, if you’ve watched the movie called The Matrix, you know that systems can go mad.  But there are some tasks that you need to automate so you can focus on other parts of your business that can’t do without human intervention and are important for growth.

A good example is email marketing – the likes of Aweber, Mailchimp, Vistaprint and a host of others allow you to plan and distribute your emails, newsletters etc in advance.  There are also platforms that you can use to automate your social media updates. If you dedicate a day in your week to schedule some of your business tasks for a month’s distribution, then that is a good job done.

Delegate

‘To give or commit (duties, powers, etc) to another as agent or representative; depute’. Dictionary.com

Sometimes we juggle too many balls and unfortunately the most important ones end up on the floor.  You should learn to delegate some of your business tasks to those who can deliver quality output for your business. God bless Virtual Assistants, they are good for business.  If you can’t afford to employ someone on a regular basis, a virtual assistant is just what you need for those hectic days or seasons, so you can keep your balls in the air.  You may even have someone who is willing to train/volunteer under you, why not delegate some of your tasks to them.  Not only will you build your business, you will also help someone else develop some useful skills.

Outsource

‘(of a company or organization) to purchase (goods) or subcontract (services) from an outside supplier or source’. Dictionary.com

Ok, I agree there are some dodgy people out there, who promise and never deliver on a job.  But thanks to the extensive scope of the internet, you can outsource your work to someone anywhere in the UK, as far as Australia or Brazil and get good quality work in return. You can outsource your social media updates, content for your business articles or newsletters, website updates, accounting tasks etc.  The time you save outsourcing outweighs the money you think you will save if you don’t.

So there you have it, when next you feel overwhelmed just think ADO.

If you are thinking of starting a business, this is a great mindset to imbibe so you can free yourself to do the really important things for your business.

A Simple Exercise to Help you and your Business

Get a sheet of paper (or do it on a word document) and draw three lines.  At the top of each column, write Automate, Delegate and Outsource.  Now list under each title the business tasks that can be allocated to each heading i.e. what can you automate, delegate and outsource.  Test the waters in small chucks, maybe start with automation this month or for the next three months. Before you know it, you will be flying and conquering new territories for your business.

I wish you good success

Temi Koleowo

Business First Steps will help you kickstart your business start-up dreams. We provide the tools and services for your business start-up and development.

Photo courtesy of BigStockPhoto.

Business Reality Check

Musing about my business tasks today and the following realities of starting and running a business came to mind.  Just what I need to remind myself of my role as a business owner.

The Time Factor

Everyday we are bombarded with the miracle cure for whatever business ailment we may have. Whether it is procrastination, low self-esteem, lack of skills or imagination.  There is something out there prescribed to help you get results in an instant. Starting and growing a business takes a lot of time and effort.  Stop buying into those lies about the next best thing for your business that could make you an instant £100,000 profit with absolutely no effort on your part.  I spent a fair amount of money on some miracle start-up remedies some years back, they got me nowhere. Now I know better – one has to dig deep foundations for a business, so that when it grows it will not topple over.  Shallow foundations and quick solutions do not provide lasting results.

However, there are some great products out there that compliment your efforts – those are the ones worth buying.  They not only help your business but also make the job of running your business a lot easier to manage.

It’s Your Job

You can hire a consultant, an accountant or even cajole your mum to help.  If you want your business to succeed, then you need to do a lot of things yourself.  Even if you eventually employ people, you cannot ignore or shy away from your role as the business owner.    Yes you can copy systems off the internet or go to numerous seminars and get all fired up, you still have to put what you learn to work.  Take ownership of your business idea and push it till it becomes your reality.

The Dark Side

As the main decision maker in your business (if you are not a partnership) you should be ready for the dark and lonely days.  The days when the weight of the business decisions will be on your shoulders alone. When people will look to you for answers and to make decisions that will benefit the business. Create the right atmosphere you will need for those dark days; surround yourself with people who can uplift and motivate you to keep moving forward.

Eat the Humble Pie

There is no doubt in my mind that when you start your business you will be humbled.  Not everyone will think you have a good idea and not everyone will think you are smart. Be ready for criticism, irate customers, competitors who will steal your ideas, oh! be ready for all sorts.  The important point to remember is not to lose the values you hold dear when you face your business struggles.

Commitment

You can’t make a success of any venture if you do not commit to it.  You get out of your business what you put into it.  If you want it to grow then you have to commit to developing your idea on a daily basis. There is no short cut to business growth, be innovative and prepared for opportunities.  Set goals for yourself and commit to achieving them within a given time frame. The more you do this, the better you become and the more tasks you mark off your to-do-list. When you look back in a few years time, you will be amazed how far you have come.

Till next time, I wish you good success

Temi Koleowo.

Get the eBook: Bring your Business Idea to life and start the business of your dreams.

Photo courtesy of Bigstockphoto.

The Power of your Talent

I am sure most of us have watched British Got Talent. Isn’t it great when you see an unassuming person come on stage, watch people smirk and then everyone stands in awe as they perform their act? In the same way, others come on stage and go on about how good they are, but once they start their act, you wonder what on earth they had to drink before the show. They probably spent the better part of their lives believing they were the next best thing until the BGT judges brought them down to earth.

My Damascene Conversion

Many moons ago, I used to look at many people with envy wishing I had their talents. The better part of my life a few years back was a wish list. I wish I could run; wish I could sing, wish I was a little bit taller and wish I was good at this or that. After I was made redundant from my last job a few years ago, I finally got my ‘Damascene conversion’. I was forced to stop and take notice of MY TALENTS!!! I was pleasantly surprised to discover I had a collection of skills I had disregarded over the years. These were skills that were needed in the market place, skills that could make a difference, skills that could start a business. Well, all that is now water under the bridge as my talents have now become Business First Steps.Tada!!!

Your Personal SWOT Analysis

I come across many people in my job who fail to recognise or act on their peculiar and God-given talents. Some of the categories of people I find are listed below:

  • Some are aware of their talents but don’t do anything about it
  • Some just think what they do is nothing special
  • Some know what they are good at and want to do something with it.
  • Some know how to maximise and magnify whatever they have.

Well I know the things I struggle with (gardening and entertaining guests for starters) and when I see someone else do these tasks with it ease; I can’t help but stand in awe.

A good way to take stock of your talent is to do a personal SWOT analysis on yourself. You may have heard of SWOT analysis used mainly for business plans. The good news is you can also use it to self-diagnose your own strengths and weaknesses, so as to find and fan those innate abilities within you.

Strengths – These are the positive things you can control within yourself such as education, organisation skills, attention to detail, business experience, communication skills, fortitude, ability to see project through, ability to transfer skills to others, ability to teach, listening skills, self-confidence, ability to cook, gardening, parenting skills, good inter-personal skills etc.

Weaknesses – those internal negative things you can control, which can be personal or business traits such as nonchalance, disorganisation, low self esteem, inability to focus, lack of experience in specific field, impatience, inability to finish project etc.

Opportunities – situation within your control that you can take advantage of and maximise. These are opportunities you can identify internally and externally to enable you to develop the skills you need to start a business, fill a career gap in the market, find a novel way of doing things, remodel a system, add to an existing role, product or service etc.

Threats – External conditions that are beyond your control but which you can lessen the impact; these can include shortcomings or limitation in your chosen field.  Other threats could be the negative perception of your skills, industry, business, career, product or service, government legislations affecting your ideas etc.

Step Two

Ask a few family and friends to give their honest opinions of what they consider to be your strengths and weaknesses.  Be prepared for some hard truths as some might have more to say about your weaknesses than you bargained for.  Before I started out in business, I did this exercise too and my family had the opportunity to express themselves (ouch…truth hurts!). I also sought the opinion of a business consultant who was able to help me streamline my ideas and focus on the right ones.

These two exercises should help you identify some of your peculiar talents and what you do next will determine how far you can go with them.  Opportunities present themselves around us every day. Being prepared helps you spot those that fit in with your repertoire. Stop letting these opportunities pass you by whether to start your own business, develop an idea, a social enterprise or advance your career.

If you need help with your SWOT analysis or to identify your passion and turn it into purpose with profit/value, I can help.  Business First Steps provides the tools and services to help you bring your ideas to life.

I wish you good success

Temi Koleowo

Get the eBook Bring Your Business Idea to Life www.businessideabooster.com/