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38Episodes
Category: Business

There are SO many things that you could be doing to grow your business, but only 24 hours in a day. So how do you decide which ideas will make the most difference to your bottom line? And how do you get results – fast? Tune in to Idea Time for tools, tips and interviews to find out how

July 7, 2020

Business Growth Club with Mahmood and Jo

Join me and my special guest Mahmood Reza, The Numbers Rockstar, in this special edition podcast to launch our Business Growth Club for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to scale up successfully and sustainably.

“Ideas are cheap. It is building them into profitable companies that is hard. Ideas are like insects. Many are born but few live to maturity.” William Hertling

Imagine that business idea you have. Your business idea could be floating in and out, or it may rest heavy in your thoughts.

Either way, you want that idea to turn into something meaningful. Who wouldn’t want their business to make a mark, a difference and an impact?

Meaningful needs to be more. Whatever your business, you need to make money if you are going to survive and thrive.

How you make that money, what you do with that money is part of the deal.

If making money is not one of your business goals , then all you have is a time consuming and expensive hobby.

Let’s get real. Ideas are the easy part of your business journey 

If you expect success to fall into your lap, you have inspiration but no application, and want it all for free, then this program is not for you.

If you'd like to find out more, listen in - and get on the waiting list here - we have only 12 places available, and some of those have gone already! If we've convinced you already, then sign up now for £99+ VAT. 

Really hope you can join us :) 

 

More about Mahmood:

Mahmood is the Owner Manager of Knowledge Grab and Pro Active Resolutions.  The businesses help business owners make money & save time by using their numbers, through accounting and tax support, training and mentoring 

Mahmood’s business career of over 25 years has been about supporting business and entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow, as well as social enterprises and charities.  He has been described by some clients as “Not your normal boring Accountant!”

Before Mahmood started his own business from his back room, he started his paid for career in teaching.  He has taught at all educational levels, from primary to post graduate, vocational to academic. 

Mahmood then made a transition into Industry, working for a brewing and drinks company as a divisional accountant reporting to board level.  

He then made his next pivot and started his own business in Feb 1995.

Mahmood  is highly qualified in accounting, tax & business, and has picked up qualifications, passed exams beyond accounting: FCCA, ATT, FRSA, DMS, PGCE, BSc (Hons). 

 

He also publishes regular content, guides, and resources to support business. His weekly podcast ‘I Hate Numbers’ is one way of helping your business get friendlier with your best business friend. The friend that doesn’t lie to you, your Numbers.

 

July 5, 2020

How to Facilitate a Virtual Sprint

In this podcast, I share some more tips on how to facilitate a virtual innovation or design sprint.

I cover:

  • What is an innovation or design sprint
  • A typical format
  • Different sprint methods - Google sprint, Design Thinking, Creative Problem Solving
  • Toolkit and delegate resource examples
  • How I use tools such as Mentimeter and Milanote to get delegate engagement

To download the slides that accompany this podcast for free, go to:https://bigbangpartnership.co.uk/resources/virtual-facilitation-tips/

 

July 2, 2020

Challenge Statements for Innovation & Growth

Ackoff statement

 

This episode focuses on how to create great challenge statements for innovation and growth.

Whether you are an innovator, entrepreneur or facilitator, starting off with a challenge statement helps you to focus.

 

In this podcast I cover:

 - What is a challenge statement, and how they can help with innovation and business growth.

 - Why questions are great for problem-solving and innovation.

 - The characteristics of a great challenge, and different types of innovation problem - i.e..tame, wicked, messy problems.

 - The 4 Ingredients of a great challenge statement.

 - A 4 step process for creating a great challenge statement.

 - The importance of getting info, insights and data together before moving straight to idea generation, including a great template to use.

 - How to use the 'problem family tree' method for deconstructing challenges and generating ideas.

If you'd like to download the slide deck that supports this episode for free, please go to https://bigbangpartnership.co.uk/resources/

 

www.bigbangpartnership.co.uk

June 18, 2020

How to Pivot Your Business

Download the slide pack from this podcast from my free content studio at https://bigbangpartnership.co.uk/reso...

 

From March 2020, with the outbreak of Covid-19 and the changes it has brought, how to pivot seems to have been one of the most prominent business themes in the media, after of course the financial and operational impact of the pandemic.

As a result of Covid-19, we have seen gin manufacturers pivot to making hand sanitiser, engineering firms to producing ventilators and medical equipment, and clothing companies to supporting with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). That said, pivoting is something that businesses have been doing since people started to trade goods and services with each other, and the core principles of successful pivoting remain constant.

In this podcast, I share the content of an innovation masterclass that I have been running with businesses to help them decide if and how they should pivot.

It's important to balance the decisions you need to take right now to survive and thrive with the impact that these decisions will have longer term on your business.

You may be thinking about pivoting - which means making a change - large or small - to your business - if your current products and services aren't performing well for you.

I provide a pragmatic checklist and process for you to use if you are thinking about pivoting in your business.

By listening in, you'll gain insights on how to:

- Make your business more relevant

- Implement business changes to generate more cash and profit

- Benefit from new opportunities quickly

Instagram: @ideatimestudio

Facebook: @ideatime1

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonorth/?...

April 30, 2020

Selling in These Challenging Times with Keith Rozelle, The Sales Marvel

Join me for my conversation with Sales Marvel, Keith Rozelle, on Selling in these Challenging Times.

Keith mentors Business Owners, Sales Professionals and Entrepreneurial Students to win more customers. He creates highly effective sales strategies for his clients and is a globally experienced sales leader – both as a Director setting strategy and also as an individual contributor selling complex solutions. Keith has worked at C-level level for many years across a broad range of sectors including Financial Services, Agri-food, Hospitality, IT/Telecoms and Higher Education.

Much of Keith’s professional experience has been in Technology, Outsourcing Services and Education.

He also has substantial international business experience, having lived and worked in the US, Europe and the Far East.

Keith is a visiting lecturer at Aston University and believes that selling is an art, science and craft that should be valued more as a profession.

We all need to be able to sell, but not everyone is comfortable selling – often because of fear of rejection.

People today want to choose to buy – they don’t want to be sold to. The power is with the customer. Product and service differentiation is really important because it means that the choice will be made on factors beyond simply price.

 In this episode, we discuss:

  • How to sell in challenging times, and why it’s important to take different approaches as people experience different stages of the change curve.
  • Sales being about P2P - people-to-people – not B2B or B2C.
  • The need to find a new way to trade that will help us move forward in this situation and the potential future process of ‘cocooning’ even once the lockdown has passed.
  • There is a broad diversity of how people have been affected by the current Covid-19 outbreak.
  • That a good deal of TV advertising has adapted its messaging to sell in an appropriate way right now.
  • Whether it’s a good idea or not to drop prices or discount.
  • The importance of protecting existing revenue and getting the business onto as sustainable a footing as possible for the next few months.
  • How to start selling successfully with more confidence.
  • How to see objections as requests for more information instead of a rejection.
  • The importance of not forcing the sales cycle onto the buyer – instead adapt the sales cycle to what works for the business.

 

Key to surviving and thriving is making sure that products and services are differentiated in ways that are relevant to target customers.

For small businesses, the business owner or leader may be the key differentiator.

Keith shares a sales process in the Covid-19 context and references the Zyman Pyramid to explain moving from a ‘me too’ provider competing on price to becoming a preferred provider by truly understanding and responding to customers’ needs and building customer trust. Be crystal clear about your value proposition, says Keith, and he points out that all this is true in other, less anxious times too.

Co-creation with customers is much less likely to lead to rejection as the customer has been integral to the process of developing the solution.

Ultimately, sales is about communicating how you can solve your customer’s problem – and it’s essential to keep going and help your customers solve their challenges, as well as protecting your business.

To contact Keith, email him at keith@salesmarvel.co.uk , or you can find him here on LinkedIn.

To attend one of Keith’s free webinars find out more here.

April 24, 2020

Virtual Facilitation - 10 Top Challenges & What To Do About Them

It’s wonderful that we can connect through a variety of brilliant, intuitive and affordable online meeting tools, especially during times such as these. These tools, such as Zoom, Teams and others, make it so easy that I’ve witnessed a lack in creativity and engagement in some online sessions I’ve attended as a delegate.

To get the best results and deliver a great experience for our delegates, as facilitators we need to innovate how we design and manage our online workshops. That means all the way through, not just going for a quirky icebreaker before settling back into the ordinariness of a boring and uninspiring core.

You'll especially enjoy this solo episode if:

• You already facilitate online meetings, manage a remote or socially distanced team, and want your online work to be more creative, collaborative and effective
• You want to make your online training and development sessions more engaging and inclusive
• You want to lead online meetings that are just as, if not even more engaging and effective than in-person sessions

I’ve written this blog with the aim of helping you, as a virtual facilitator, to:

  • Overcome any perceived challenges of virtual facilitation; and
  • Suggest some ways in which you can be more creative and add more value in your sessions.

I’d also love to hear from you on any other challenges or tips that you have, so please do leave me some comments below.

Listen in to hear the top 10 challenges of virtual facilitation and practical things you can do to easily overcome them.

If you'd like to read more about this, check out my blog on the topic here: https://bigbangpartnership.co.uk/virtual-facilitation-10-top-challenges-what-to-do-about-them/

 

If you’re interested in facilitation and developing your professional practice as a facilitator, I’d love you to come and join me in my free, private Facebook Group, Idea Time for Workshop Facilitators.

As well as a fantastic community of likeminded people, you will get access to free facilitation trainings, tools, techniques and time savers.

If you’d like to book us to deliver some professional virtual facilitation for you and your team, or would like a one-to-one virtual facilitation training and coaching session, you can find out more about what we do here, or contact me direct and I’ll get straight back to you.

Hope to hear from you in so that we can chat about all things virtual facilitation! x

April 18, 2020

Business Bullet-Proofing. Get Clarity, Make Better Business Decisions.

With so many people in business experiencing slow down, cancellations and having to adapt to more remote working, plus others finding brand new business opportunities, I wanted to do something to help and support.

These are unprecedented  times for many of us, I’m sure. But knowing that we have got a flexible plan to get through, make the most of opportunities and emerge stronger on the other side is a massive help.

In this podcast I share how to:

  • Take a step back from your business, think about your immediate priorities and get an action plan together for dealing with the challenges and opportunities ahead
  • Work out how you can adapt more of what you do to be delivered online – and quickly
  • Use any additional time to prioritise and progress some of those things you’ve been meaning to do for ages

If you'd like to download my free resources or join my free online programme to help bullet-proof your business, here is the link to access them.

April 17, 2020

Easy, Proactive & Free Development for Facilitators

In this solo episode, I share some of the easy, proactive & free things I have been doing to both help me through this lockdown period as a facilitator, as well as to develop my facilitation skills and continue to strengthen my business.

Activities include:

 - Journaling my facilitation experiences, ideas, getting creative and emptying my head

 - Asking for structured, specific feedback on perceptions of my social media brand and image, so that I can build on the positives and spot and work on development opportunities

 - Going out of my way to experiment with new and creative virtual facilitation tools and techniques

 

For more information and free resources for facilitators, go to my free Content Studio on my website.

 

April 10, 2020

Story Techniques for Facilitators

In this episode I explain why and how using story-based techniques can increase the creativity and impact of your workshop facilitation.

I share 10 story-based creative facilitation techniques that you can use in your workshops, too - and if you'd like to download the free resource pack that goes with this episode, please go to my Content Studio here, scroll down to the section called 'Facilitation Toolkits' and grab the Story Techniques for Facilitators toolkit.

April 7, 2020

Video & podcast tips from a pro - with Gareth Harrison

Join me and Gareth Harrison, professional video and podcast editor, for his 10 top tips on how to create and level up your own videos and podcasts.

Gareth is a freelance video editor based in Leeds, West Yorkshire – with over 15 years experience in post-production, editing content for tv and online commercials, corporate videos, internal communications, live events, charities and social media.

Gareth also has a mobile edit suite, if required, offering the flexibility to work on location or from his own office (when we aren't in lockdown, of course).

Using the current lockdown to create more and better video and podcast media is a great, productive and creative use of time.

Listen in for Gareth's advice on how to  make better videos and podcasts cheaply and effectively, if you're just starting out or want to take your output to the next level.

If you'd like to contact Gareth direct, you can reach him via his website here. 

You can also connect with Gareth on Linkedin.

notes for the Top Ten Tips:

 
TIP 1. Sound
Make sure you’re getting good sound
Do a few practice runs to make sure the sound level is ok - not too quiet / not distorting from being too high
You don’t have to spend a lot to get a good microphone, but it’s worth investing
There is a lot you can do to improve what you see on screen, but you’re limited when correcting sound
 
TIP 2. Lighting
You can get away with a lot these days with cameras being able to shoot in low light
But set yourself up for success by having a well lit environment
And natural sunlight is always the best
Have the light facing you - illuminating your face
So ideally facing a window or if it’s a nice day go outside
But make sure it’s not too windy, because that can ruin the sound
 
TIP 3. Static camera
I recommend you place yourself in the middle of the shot
Not too close, not too far away
In what’s called a mid-shot
And keep the camera still - you’ll have a lot more control over things like focus and composition if you use this method
And have the camera at the same level as your eye-line - a tripod is good for this if you’re presenting stood up
 
TIP 4. Use second camera
Using a second camera helps when it comes to editing - this can simply be a camera on a phone
But it allows you to cut from one camera angle to the other and keeps the video interesting
The second camera also gives you the option to cut around any mistakes during filming, helping the video to flow
The second camera should be positioned about 45 degrees to the main camera
 
TIP 5. Get a tight Script
Writing it down beforehand will help you focus on the points you want to make
It will give you structure to your video or podcast - using storyboard is a good idea
Even if it seem like someone has done it on the fly - there will have been a lot of work done before the camera was even switched on
Try and learn the script or the points you want to make - so it comes across naturally rather than it being read
 
TIP 6. Don’t make it too long
Attention spans aren’t very long these days
So it’s far better to create 5 2min videos than 1 10min video
Less is definitely more
Plus then you’ve got 5 separate videos to post up and share through your social platforms, instead of having just one hit
 
TIP 7. Regular content
Produce content on a regular basis
Give your audience a reason to return
People like the reliability of regular updates
If your channel isn’t providing new content people quickly move on
 
TIP 8. Offers
You need to give something away
This doesn't have to be a free gift
It can be information / tips / insights
But you need the audience to feel that they’ve gained something from watching or listening to your content
 
TIP 9. Replicate
Look at the videos or podcasts you like and use them as a source of inspiration for yours
Don’t copy them but try and work out what it is that you like about them
Once you’ve figured this out you can then apply your own personality and brand to that style
 
TIP 10. Have a go!
It might be that you create a video and realise it works better as a podcast
There’s no substitute to experience
Without trying you’ll never know what works and what doesn’t