Focus – It’s all about biology

I want to start by addressing the elephant in the room.

I do not believe in ‘The lore of attraction’ or ‘The secret’ or any other system where you ask a higher power to grant you success.

What does this have to do with Focus? Well…….

These ‘systems’ all tap into our biology and use our own bodies amazing systems to harness success through focus and dedication.

You may have heard before that your chances of doing something multiplies by many factors if you:

  • ‘Think’ you will do it.
  • ‘Say’ you will do it.
  • ‘Write’ you will do it.
  • ‘Share’ with others that you will do it.

This happens because your Reticular Activating System (RAS) kicks in and releases more endorphins to your brains network of neurons that creates alertness, drive and creativity.

All of which are needed to set goals,  spot opportunities, come up with ideas to achieve them and chase them.     

Now how to improve and even maximise your focus?

Start by taking the step and understanding how this works in your body below is an interesting article on the RAS without going into medical terminology.

Knowing if you respond better to visual, audio or physical prompts will go a long way to staying focused on and achieving your goals.

Revisiting these with someone you trust is essential in keeping focused and this is something that is on the agenda of every single client 121 I have. In some cases, it is a footnote or reminder and in others, it is a key element of us making progress or a key step forward.

The Secret Of Great Time Management

We see this as a 2-sided headache for customers. Firstly, it’s based on motivation which is priority management and the second is structure and forming habits.

Have you ever given the excuse that you simply don’t have enough time? We bet you have! You aren’t saying that you don’t have enough time, what you are really saying is “that is not my priority at the moment”. The problem with this is that humans are programmed to prioritise short-term convenience and success over long-term happiness and success.

A lot of clients that come to Kan Do Ventures will tell us that they were meaning to do something but something else came up or a similar excuse. Our challenge to them is always the same – is it more important than achieving your goals. To put it bluntly to people, if it is a priority then make it YOUR priority. You need this challenge to keep you motivated towards your goals.

Moving Forward

Now you have overcome the desire for short-term convenience, you need to give yourself the opportunity to work on those priorities. This comes with structure and forming habits. The key is to be regular and consistent and to have regular and consistent time dedicated to your priorities. This time should reflect the importance of those priorities. Now it shouldn’t come before essential tasks such as paying your bills etc. This is why when you set priorities you need to include EVERYTHING – From finances to family and relationships to health & wellbeing. You will identify your priorities and you can dedicate the necessary time to them.

There are loads of time habit templates online but the key to all of them is to structure them so they cover all of your priorities. Personal and professional.

Billy Darroch, Kan Do Ventures Small Business Expert says:

Of all of the business headaches that I am covering for Kan Do Ventures,  time management is the single biggest change that any of us can make. I am yet to meet someone who can do it without help. You need accountability and someone that cares enough to challenge and support you. Having a support function in place is absolutely key to successful time management.

Billy Darroch, Kan Do Ventures

To summarise, you need to:

  • Identify your priorities
  • Fix your motivations
  • Be in the best position to structure your time and make good habits to meet your goals.

You can take a look at some time management template here

Or book a free chat with Billy if you want more support to form good habits and prioritise

Get the processes and support to improve your business with Kan Do Ventures

Pricing – Getting it right, first time.

When it comes to pricing we want you to first to go back to blog post one in this series regarding value. That blog post started with the line – ‘price is what you pay and value is what you get’. Before you even consider doing a pricing list, structure, or model, you must first determine the value which is how you meet the needs of your client.

Before we continue, this is not a magical formula. We will not ever say “do this and you will make money” It is so much more complex than that. What we will say is when a lot of business owners start out they immediately look at competitors in the market and assume they need to go it cheaper to win business. It is a quick way to put pressure on yourself and usually results in having to restructure pricing further down the line, or worse, simply not making enough profit for the business to survive.

The Basic Formula

Now that is out of the way! The basic formula for pricing is this.

First, calculate your break-even cost. This is the base number that you have to achieve. When calculating this cost you need to consider:

  • Cost of the product
  • Cost of delivery/distribution
  • Premises or storage costs
  • Systems, CRM or equipment
  • Insurance, website and membership costs
  • Utilities
  • Marketing & advertising
  • Payroll

There will be others depending on your business.

Once you have calculated your break-even cost, the next step is to add on a margin of profit or increase that reflects the value you offer. Remember this includes things like the quality of your service or product, your knowledge, the lead time, the accessibility, the range, the choice. There are so many things that can influence the value that need to be considered in the price.

You Are Not For Everyone

One obstacle that you have to overcome, and this is more of a mental obstacle, is that all clients and customers are different. Some will see your price and appreciate the value. Some won’t. The key is knowing that this is ok. It is ok that some people might look at your offering and not appreciate the value. You need to concentrate your energy on the people that do appreciate the value and are prepared to pay the price.

If you have other questions around specific costings, margins or profit calculations then book a call with our small business expert Billy Darroch. You can book for free here

Value – Why It Should Come First

Price is what you pay and value is what you receive.

Defining the value that you are providing should come before defining the price and that’s because it can be influenced by lots and lots of things, including, but not limited to:

  • Quality
  • Speed
  • Experience
  • Range
  • Choice
  • Control
  • Availability
  • Uniqueness
  • Level of service
  • Accessibility
  • After-sales services
  • Efficiency

The principle of the ‘value first’ model is concentrating on how and with what you meet your customers needs. Once you define this and become competent at explaining it you will attract the customers that appreciate the value of what you are offering. A good example of this is the women’s driving instructor we worked with recently. She specialises in dealing with vulnerable people and she will be valued by pupils who lack confidence or who have had negative social situations than by confident young drivers. Her value is defined by what she offers in terms of experience and approach rather than the price she charges.

Another good example of this is the designer we worked with who was able to justify an increase in his price because he stopped talking about price per drawing and concentrated on the fact that his turn-around of the drawings reduced from 5 days to 48 hours – because he outsourced them. He massively increased the speed and quality of his service and that increased the value to his clients who needed a much quicker turnaround.

If you start with pricing or prioritise it above the value you are providing, you can forever be justifying your numbers to people who you may not want to work with anyway. Those people are always chasing numbers.

If you define the value that you provide and combine it with conscious pricing. it is the best way to place your product or service on the market. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome as a business owner when it comes to value, is allowing those who don’t see your value to move on and find someone else.

So before you do anything else, sit down and have a good think about the value in what you do.

Here is a link to further reading about value

Our next blog to fix a business headache is PRICING! You can follow us or search #KDVGoals to see the full series of 12.

Virtual Working – The Good, The Bad And How To Avoid The Ugly

Lockdown has meant that many businesses have had to revert to virtual working and, in most cases, it was at very short notice and most businesses were not prepared for this. In London alone, 57% of people did some form of home working during the lockdown period. This has meant a decline for businesses relying on people coming into the capital for work such as shops, hospitality and transport and the Government is encouraging workers to get back into the office to support these industries. Actually, scrap that sentence. This was written prior to the announcement this week that the government is again encouraging people to work from home! However, with the threat of a second peak on the horizon and those that worked from home enjoying the lack of commute, will we ever go back to the 9-5 in an office or is the future flexible? 

The Good 

Research by the TUC in 2019 suggests that the average commute in the UK is almost an hour each way. When you multiply that twice per day, five times a week, the average Briton wastes 10 days each year going back and forth to work. This is before train delays, traffic jams and breakdowns are factored in. Then there are the jobs that require travel to various locations during the day. It all adds up to a lot of time doing not a lot. Virtual working has put a stop to all that commuting. It has meant more time with family and friends, time to exercise or cook, time to do what makes you happy. For Kan Do Ventures it’s meant all this and also the ability to reach more clients every day. Instead of travelling for face to face meetings we are able to Zoom call and see more people. Great for us and great for the environment.  

The Bad 

Even with video chat, messaging services and all the technology the we have at our fingertips we can still feel disconnected from people. Nothing beats a face to face meeting sometimes and working together with colleagues in an office encourages organic collaboration that you just don’t get sat at your kitchen table. Working from the same space that you live, eat and sleep can also mean that workers find it difficult to set boundaries. It’s hard enough leaving an office and leaving the work behind but what if you never leave your “office”. Where do you draw the line between work and home life. It all becomes blurred and this can lead to you working far more hours than intended and never being able to switch off that work persona.   

Avoiding The Ugly 

At Kan Do Ventures our work ethos is based around wellbeing and positivity. That’s why we are always talking about a Kan Do attitude. You can’t be at your best in your work life if you aren’t looking after yourself and that means physically, mentally and emotionally. To stop working from home turning ugly we have a few tips that we have been implementing ourselves.  

Structure your day – The structure does not need to be the same one as you had in a real office but the routine will help you stay on track. Segment your day and schedule in a proper break. Your break should involve leaving the house. Go for a walk, a drive, or if the weather allows, spend some time in the garden. KDV team members favour heading out to Pott Shrigley to visit Kickback Coffee for a socially distanced brew and catch up.  

Kickback Coffee in Pott Shrigley is a great place for a little break

Set your space – Set up a dedicated work space. It will make you feel more productive and it will be easier to walk away from at the end of the day.  The Boss (Chun-Kit) always has coffee to hand, all his equipment and in the morning a delicious breakfast!

Stay connected – Even if you are not working on a project together be sure to schedule in time to chat to your team. Regular contact will help you work better together when you need it and stop feelings of isolation and loneliness.  

Get out – If you can (and if COVID allows) try and work from somewhere else. A local coffee shop, park or even a colleagues house are all options which will allow a change of scenery.  

Know when to stop – At the end of the working day have a clear finish time. If your workspace is also in your leisure space be sure to pack everything away, this creates clear separation and helps you to get out of work mode and relax.  

Most of all, make time to talk to your friends, colleagues and family.  You may not need it, but they might do and in these crazy times we need to help each other. 

Ready for anything – Chun-Kit’s working area.
The Power of Yes

The Power Of Yes

Yes is a short word, only 3 letters and we say it countless times a day but I recently discovered how powerful it can be when said positively and with meaning.

I am guest writing today for Kan Do Ventures and I have recently started working for them. It’s been a great experience so far, such a positive atmosphere and attitude in everything they do. It’s something I am trying to take into all areas of my life since lockdown started, although, that got increasingly difficult being stuck in the house and on furlough from my previous role. Things got worse as time went on. I was under threat of redundancy several weeks ago and after sitting at home like the rest of the nation I was feeling out of control and a bit lost.  The redundancy threat was a huge blow, so when my previous employer offered voluntary redundancy I realised there was one way to get back control……. I could say YES! 

Deciding My Own Fate

This little word meant that suddenly, the ball was in my court. I had decided my own fate and I felt so much better for it. It gave me a whole new outlook on my situation and new motivation. Someone suggested trying to set myself up as a freelance Social Media Manager and Virtual Assistant. Staying with the theme, I said YES! It’s an ongoing process but so far so good. My website is almost ready to launch and I feel my confidence building by the day. I am joining groups online for like-minded people and others in the industry. I am joining courses and workshops and reaching out to people for advice.

Kan Do Attitude

I have know Chun-Kit and Alice Kan for a few years now as we attend the same amazing fitness classes at Carla Gilder Fitness. I got a message from Alice suggesting that I should contact Kan Do Ventures as they might need support. I was nervous about putting myself out there but by saying YES it’s opened up a whole new range of possibilities. Not just work but networking, firing my brain back up after furlough and getting the chance to talk to some lovely and supportive people.

I don’t know what’s next for me exactly but I do know what I am going to be saying to opportunities that come my way………… a big, positive, hopeful YES!

Saying yes to opportunities can lead to unexpected and amazing things. Don’t let fear hold you back.

Dion J Sully is a freelance Social Media Manager and Virtual Assistant –