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Blog: #Confessions of an SME – making time for your business.

In a series of blogs, we will be looking at some of the issues and challenges we have faced as an SME over our 14 years in business in a bid to share with you the lessons we have learnt. In our first edition we look at the importance of making time to give your business some TLC…

So, here goes our first confession – ‘We haven’t always made time for our business’

I’m sure you can all relate to the time pressures SMEs face, we are all busy getting on with the day to day pressures, and delivering work to our clients, that sometimes it’s easy to put off making time to plan for the future direction of your business, meaning you can lose vision of your strategy. The problem with this way of working may mean you miss opportunities and ideas.

In the past, we certainly did not spend quality time on team activities, meaning that we were working in isolation and were less innovative than we are now in developing our company. So, we decided to change this, prior to Covid-19 we hosted dedicated annual ‘team away days’. Alongside our regular management meetings, the whole BIC team gets together twice a year for training and to plan the next exciting chapter of our business. And, of course, to have some fun!

Although not quite the same experience as our usual team days, during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have moved our meetings to a virtual set up, initiated a wellbeing day, and implemented coffee roulette in a bid to keep the momentum from our ‘team days’.

Related: Mental Health and Wellbeing – why it needs to be on the top of the business agenda

This has been invaluable in moving forward as a team. Here are just some of the lessons we have learnt since implementing regular team days at BIC:

Make use of the talent around you…

We have a great deal of talent and experience in the company and the Board believes it is important we give everyone the opportunity to be involved in developing our strategy and business plan. By doing this our plan will be better and our people will be more committed to deliver it.

New environments = new ideas

It is important for our team to learn from each other and build relationships around trust and respect. It would be difficult to do this unless people had the opportunity to meet and get to know each other. Getting away from the desk and interacting with colleagues in a completely new environment can lead to generation of new and unique ideas. To replicate this during the pandemic, we introduced a ‘coffee roulette’ where members of the team are randomly assigned a ‘virtual coffee date’ with another member of the team. To get to know each other and to share ideas. Without the usual distractions, people can think differently.

Develop a shared vision and culture

People are noticeably more motivated and committed after the team day. Many good ideas have been implemented following past team days. For example, we used to talk about cross referring between programmes, now we actually do it. There are numerous examples of clients we have taken ‘on a journey of support’, which has led to our clients achieving more.

Happy people are more productive.

Because we have been successful we can invest a day developing the team’s wellbeing. When a company focuses on the team’s wellbeing it shows that they care. A team day is a break from the daily grind and a great way to feel more refreshed and energised. It is a shared experience that people will remember.

Over to you…

Are you an SME with a confession? Get in touch and share your learnings with us! Use #SMEConfessions to get in touch. Or if you haven’t yet found the answer to your confessions, get in touch as we may be able to help!

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