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News and views from the helm of Marshalls Consulting

Are You Stuck in Your Comfort Zone?

I've been working on my second book, "Know Your Numbers: How Is Your Business Performing?" and decided to ask a previous boss and mentor of mine, Lord Lisvane, if he would write a foreword for me. On Tuesday I received an email from him with the foreword attached. I was so excited and also nervous about reading it but here is an extract from what he said:

"My post-retirement small business is writing, lecturing (and playing the organ!). By comparison with running a complex organisation it’s lonely and rather uncertain; something which will be familiar to everyone who runs a small business. Sally’s first book Delegate to Elevate is a mine of experience and applied skills – and common sense. It’s very easy to be overwhelmed by the things you have to do (or think you have to do) and to lose focus. In Delegate to Elevate Sally shares her technique of breaking things up into manageable chunks, prioritising, and getting a clear focus on what needs to be done.

Now she has applied the same approach in Know Your Numbers. It might, as in The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, be subtitled Don’t Panic! because, as a practical demonstration of the KISS principle, it keeps things simple. For people who are more interested in doing what they are doing rather than the finances of what they are doing, it is indispensable.

Just to take two examples: the sections on social media and website analytics show you how to extract hard information rather than just a comforting feeling that people like your product; and the section on how to use a balanced scorecard is the best I have seen, as even Kaplan and Norton, who invented the technique, might agree.

Know Your Numbers needs to be within easy reach of anyone running a small business. Like Delegate to Elevate, it should rapidly become dog-eared with constant consultation. I wish it – and you – every success."

I think he likes it!

On Wednesday evening I was the guest speaker at a networking event organised by Santander locally. This was the culmination of building a relationship with the local business manager and him organising an event for his customers to network with each other. I decided to tell the story of how I first met Douglas and how networking both face to face and online can result in some amazing opportunities. Several people commented on my talk and one person in particular said that he'd been grumpy all day and almost didn't attend but he was so glad he had because I was inspiring. Nice to know that someone appreciates me!

On Thursday I was the speaker at an event run by Basepoint in Folkestone. This time I was talking about my first book, Delegate to Elevate: 7 Steps to Success for Sole Traders. Although I was a little nervous, I soon got into my stride and told them about my background before explaining how I came to write my first book and how it can help small business owners. The response was amazing! I sold several copies of the book, booked two coffee meetings and was asked if I'd be interested in a joint venture.

On Saturday I attended a workshop run by Aly Harrold on Speaking with Confidence. In some ways, I could have done with this a week earlier! We learned lots of techniques for keeping calm, breathing and speaking with clarity.

As you can see, all small steps but the result has been amazing.

If you'd like to find out more about how to keep up the momentum in your business, please get in touch by emailing me.

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