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James Davey

James Davey

I am a a Business Coach and Business Adviser helping business owners develop the full potential of their business so that they can enjoy the rewards that success can bring. I am a registered and approved Growth Coach for Growth Accelerator providing expert, tailored advice to help ambitious businesses achieve rapid, sustainable growth.

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Suffolk Police is issuing a warning to Suffolk businesses following reports of a telephone scam.

A business owner in central Ipswich reported being contacted by a man purporting to be from Suffolk Constabulary, asking for money.

The caller asked the business for a payment of £299 to sign up to a discount initiative, which he said was set up in order to give discounted prices on goods and services to police officers and staff.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman says: "We would ask business owners and employees to be vigilant and aware of this approach, as Suffolk Constabulary does not contact businesses and ask for money to participate in discount schemes."

Businesses are asked to make employees aware and to report any incidents or attempted incidents directly to Action Fraud on their official website:

http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

Further crime prevention advice and details of your local Safer neighbourhood Team can be found of the Suffolk Police webpage www.suffolk.police.uk.  

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What’s the first thing people say when they decide to start their own business? Whether they are starting up as a as an electrician, carpenter, hairdresser, independent financial adviser and dare I say it marketing expert, one of the first things they think about is branding – and by branding they mean logo, business cards, website, headed paper etc, etc.

Hold your horses! – or to mix a metaphor, don’t put the cart before the horse! Branding is so much more than just your logo. Branding is about the DNA of your business. It’s about the business culture, not a pretty design.

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Having the right mindset is absolutely essential if you are to be successful in anything and business is no exception. If everything is a bit rusty and the cogs in your brain are dry, you are not going to achieve the success you desire.

At the core of every truly successful business person is the absolute belief that they will succeed. They know this because they have a strong, focused, driven, positive mindset with a vivid picture of the outcome they want.

So here's the secret to success - be crystal clear about what you want, have a laser-beam focus on it and be prepared to pay the costs of achieving it. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Of course in the real world its all a bit more difficult.

Knowing what you want isn't always easy to articulate. Do you know what you want? If you think you do know, is it what you really want or is it a false dream that will ultimately  disappoint you when you achieve it?

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Why do you want to be successful?
  2. What does success look like to you?
  3. Can your personal life cope with the demands of your ambitions?
  4. How will you know when you have achieved success?

Once you have answered these questions honestly and perhaps discussed them with the other people that are important to you in your life, you will be ready to take the next step.

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When was the last time you took some time to truly step back from the day to day running of your business and considered how the world around you has changed? The problem is that we are all so engrossed in what we are doing that we simply don’t have the time for such luxuries.

I don’t believe this sort of exercise is a luxury. I believe it’s an absolutely essential activity for any responsible business owner. The consequences of not doing so can be catastrophic as many very well known High Street names can attest.

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I've just come back from the New Anglia LEP's 'Next Generation Conference' at Wherstead Park. There was a good turnout (about 350 people) but once again, the question was asked, "Where were all the businesses?"

At the last NALEP conference I went to, I asked Andy Wood what he was doing to engage with smaller businesses and since then I have had a number of conversations with him. Frankly, I have a lot of sympathy for him. I know that this conference was well publicised. The content promised to be good and they more than delivered on their promises. There were some inspiring speakers and some very good exhibition stands offering loads of help for SME businesses, often with funding attached.

This time, I will not ask Andy what the LEP is doing to engage with SMEs. I'm asking SMEs, "What are you doing to engage with your Local Enterprise Partnership?" What do they have to do to attract you?

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We lost a large cedar tree in the storms last month. When I say lost, I don’t really mean it. I knew exactly where it was – it was lying across my lawn having demolished a large section of my garden wall!

A friend very kindly cut the tree up with his chainsaw leaving me the task of splitting the logs. We won’t be needing any firewood next winter!

Whenever I do jobs like that I find myself looking for business analogies. So, what did I come up with this time?

Planning – If you are going to do a job properly, it really helps to plan well in advance. You need to prepare your workspace, ensure you have the right tools to hand and the right resources available to help you complete the task efficiently.

Sharpen your axe – Making sure your axe is sharpened makes the whole job a lot easier. The same applies in business. Your job becomes a lot easier if you keep yourself and your team well trained.

Use the right tools – Half the battle is having the right tools to do the job. In the same way, you need to have the right tools to run your business. And those tools need to be up to date if you want to be competitive – you don’t want to be on an analogue dial-up connection when everyone else is on superfast broadband!

Confidence and practice – Everything becomes so much easier and more effective when you approach the task with confidence; and confidence come from practise. There is nothing more satisfying than splitting a log with a single well aimed blow of the axe!

b2ap3_thumbnail_Logs.jpgI’m off for a long soak in the bath to sooth my aching back!

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