The Lead Taker: Glam up your business

Glam up your business

"Upglamming" may not be much on your mind in the run up to Christmas, but that's because I have just invented the word..

Despite the luscious breadth of the English language, I have taken the liberty of coming up with a new adjective to encapsulate the "heightening of glamorisation"; in this case, the upglamming of your business!

Now I know the word "glamour" is usually associated with beauty or charm and, for that matter, a certain school of photography, but it actually shares the same root as "grammar".

It morphed to its present meaning in the Middle Ages via "grimoire" because "them what knew their grammar" and studied Latin and Greek were also versant in the magic arts and astrology.

In addition to having mastered the correct use of who and whom, these ancient scholars were believed to have powers to bewitch the eyes of others, and appear as they would wish.

So, back to your business; upglamming, and appearing as you would wish.

The first thing to establish is that now is the time to start; January is too late as business slows down, the Christmas lights dim and we head for deep mid-winter.

Next, ready yourself for the task, as this will need as much dedication and stamina as you can muster - and I am not talking about a cursory glance at the state of your business and a little dusting off.

This is an opportunity to examine all aspects of your business and to make significant changes, and I don't say that lightly, as everything I recommend I have either done or am thrashing about in efforts to complete ... stopping only briefly to write this.

A great example of this “upglamming” is the town of Stamford in Lincolnshire, which has only a couple of vacant High St shops and where I witnessed people queuing to purchase afternoon tea at £17.50 per person. What recession? I had to ask myself. 

A good place to start is with the original vision of who you are, which have become a bit lost. Heighten your perception and remember why you started the business in the first place and what you wanted to achieve.

Without discounting the need for work that oils the wheels, keep moving towards what excites you and keeps you turning up in the mornings.

Ask yourself "Is the glamour in my business still here?" and then tackle your brand. No need to throw it out, but refresh it and do so across all areas. Ask yourself: "How does my business look?" and then: "How would I like it to look?"

Make it relevant to 2012 and beyond and if your website is more than two years old take action, as you can be sure the competition is already ahead.

It’s time to refresh the wardrobe and appearances too; invest in new suits and the like because the opportunities are out there, but the confidence is not.

A bit of research from AXA out this week indicates that the UK's SMEs are sitting on more money than their European counterparts, having reacted to perceived risk by stockpiling cash.

Likewise, 70 per cent of the FTSE 350 companies surveyed recently by the CBI said their level of confidence in the economic outlook had fallen since the end of the summer.

Interestingly, only 30 per cent believed their company’s prospects had deteriorated, but the blow to confidence well and truly overshadowed prospects as many were busy reviewing investment and growth plans.

So I hope the connection with the business environment and “upglamming” on your side of things is clear. To spell it out, glamour and confidence go hand in hand. The opportunities are out there but only if we supply some of the confidence businesses need to invest in growth. 

If you don't believe me, when the CBI asked firms how George Osborne can stimulate the UK economy, "encouraging business confidence so that firms reinvest the surplus cash they are sitting on" was listed as a top priority.

Upglamming is equally essential in our own industry, which you may have noticed is not getting any younger.

Why would the young want to join us if we lack glamour? We need to bewitch the eyes of others and make the best use of our skills, commitment and enthusiasm.

On that note, how are your business cards? Crisp print and embossed? If not, get to it.

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