Amuse, Inform and Inspire November 2011

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Painless Business Newsletter #111

Amuse, Inform and Inspire November 2011

Thank you for the overwhelming response to last month's newsletter – we are delighted so many of you found inspiration in the story of James' incomplete half-marathon. Thanks also to Laurens for the offer of some coaching on how to be better prepared!

With just a few weeks to go until the end of the year, our thoughts at Painless Towers have turned to plans for 2012, and we thought we would use this newsletter to give you some pointers for how you might go through the same process.

The Seven Ps of Planning

Having written our soon-to-be-published book, The Seven Pillars of a Painless Practice, aimed at people running therapy practices and based on the alliteration of seven pillars all beginning with P, we were reminded of the army's acronym of the Seven Ps of planning: Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Particularly Poor Performance. The army uses a word other than 'particularly' but we want to ensure this newsletter gets through any email filters!

How can you prevent particularly poor performance, and achieve particularly positive performance, in 2012?

Past Year: – What are you proud that you achieved in 2011? Pat yourself on the back for your successes and analyse what went well. Penetrate the detail of why and how you were successful and consider how you can build on or repeat that performance next year.

Ponder Areas to Improve: – What didn't go so well last year? Where did you fall below expectations, what did you fail to complete or not even start? What problems underpinned that lack of success, are those goals still relevant to you, and what can you learn to give yourself a better chance of success next year?

Purpose: – Know what your own purpose, and that of your business, is. How can you know whether you are achieving success unless you know why you are doing what you do? Why does your business exist, what is your personal purpose within it, what impact do you want to create in the world, professionally and personally? Make sure that your goals and aspirations for 2012 are aligned with your overall purpose.

Parameters: – What are the factors that are likely to affect your business in 2012? What are the market and other trends that will make it harder or easier to sell, lead to better or worse profits, supplier costs and customer expectations. How will your landscape change in the next twelve months?

Positive Outcomes: – What goals do you want to achieve in 2012? State clear, positive outcomes as fully as possible. Ensure that each outcome has some form of measurement, so that you can know when you get there, and some form of timeframe. Do you want to achieve that positive outcome early in the year, or is year-end OK? If your desire is to stop doing something, or have less of something, look for the positive equivalent of that negative goal. Our brain is happier, and more successful, when working towards positive goals. (For example, aim for 100% customer satisfaction, rather than zero complaints).

Periodic Targets: – Parcel up your annual positive outcomes into periodic targets for the year. If you want annual profit to be £100,000, break that down into more regular targets – should that be £8,333 a month, or ten months at £8,500 and two at £7,500 to allow for seasonal dips? If you want customer satisfaction to be 100%, and it is 88% now, can you increase by 1% each month?

Plan: – Knowing your periodic targets should give you a clearer idea of what actions you need to take to achieve them. This can then form your plan for the year – what will you do each month in order to fulfil your purpose and take you closer to those positive outcomes? Persistence in taking your actions will improve the probability of success.

We are a little proud of working two of our Seven Pillars of a Painless Practice into the 7 Ps to prevent particularly poor performance, and we have had great fun putting in as many words beginning with P as possible! Perhaps you have been pushed into proactivity by your perusal of the points above.

Painless Business News

In one of those spooky coincidences that numerology fans will love, we have hit issue 111 in the 11th month of 2011. Who knows what significance, if any, that has but we thought we would note it.

We mentioned that we had been reviewing our year and planning the next. Like many of our clients, the marketplace has been harder this year and we have had to do more to retain and grow our business. Whilst we achieved amazing growth in 2010, this year we will be growing, but not as much. In the current climate, we are proud of any growth at all however!

Our investment in structure and back office systems during 2011 will, we hope, place us in a strong position for growth in 2012. Our key market of healthcare continues to do well for us – and our book will provide a great opportunity to make more of that sector (once we finally finish it!).

We are also delighted to see our base of non-healthcare clients grow and diversify too – and thank you to all new clients, re-awakened clients, continuing clients and referrers for your own part in our success in 2011. We hope we can continue those relationships in 2012, because we have plenty more energy for helping people run painless businesses!

Book Review

A client recommended Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, and we are eternally grateful for the recommendation. The book has the look and feel of a book on architecture – very visual and very design led. Sometimes this is a cover for disappointing content, but not in this case. The Business Model Canvas the book presents is an amazingly impactful tool, and James has already used it one-to-one with clients. It would be even more powerful in team settings.

Very well explained and easy to read, and crammed with actual examples to highlight the points, this is a really useful book for anyone wanting to explore or rethink how they run their business, what they offer to customers and how they make money from their activity.

Painless Puns

The following quotes caught our eye this month:

Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. Friedrich Engels

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.

Albert Einstein

Thanks to Rob for his suggestion of an amusing game to play next time you are in a meeting – see how many song lyrics you can mention in the meeting, without being noticed. That should keep you awake, at least!

Thanks to Viv who sent in a small joke about strawberries – a punnet...

Finally, you won’t find us joining that increasing trend for a bikini waxing – what a rip off.

Final Words

Whether you choose to follow our seven Ps, or whether you choose to remember the army’s mnemonic, or whether you choose to ignore our message (how could you?!), we hope that your plans and aspirations for 2011 have been fulfilled, and that your 2012 objectives are also achieved. If we can help you in anyway to achieve that, we would be delighted to do so.

As always, we are enormously grateful to those of you who share this newsletter with others, and for the other referrals you generate for us. Our purpose is to see every business owner loving their work and achieving their vision. With the help of referrals from people like you, we get a step closer! Who do you know who would enjoy our 7 Ps?

And as John Lennon’s Mum once said over the dinner table, give peas a chance.

Warmest regards

James Butler, Celia Champion and the Painless Team

01491 659073 01189 795363

© Painless Ltd 2011

Painless Business is a trading name of Painless Ltd.

Registered in England No: 5362019 VAT No: 993 6996 33

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Painless Business helps people build the business they want. Through improving your strategic outlook and guiding you on sales, marketing and personal development we can provide renewed motivation and momentum in building your business.

Careful assessment of your needs ensures that the most appropriate intervention is supplied – whether one to one ongoing coaching, strategic reviews, training events or facilitated group exercises within a team.

To discuss how you can painlessly build the business you want, call us today for a no-obligation discussion of your situation.


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