During this health emergency all our thoughts are with the families who are affected or have suffered because of COVID-19. Also to our amazing health workers who are working tirelessly to support those families and protect the health of us all. This article is intended to focus on supporting small business owners but we should not lose sight of those helping care, support and fight to keep the country safe and moving forward.
What a week - at the time of writing this article its been nearly seven days since UK "lockdown" and when most of the business world stopped. Small businesses up and down the country were either forced to close or business owners made the correct moral decision to close helping to protect the health of their employees and customers as well as helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Every small business owner in the country who has been affected should be proud of their actions and also give themselves a pat on the back for what they have had to go through over the past week.
Many have had to furlough employees and spend many hours and long days on the phone to customers, suppliers and banks.
It’s not been easy and it is unlikely to be any easier over the coming weeks and months. But that does not mean that as a small business owner we just sit back and accept our fate, whether that would be as extreme as business closure or just sitting back, waiting and hoping for normal times to return.
It’s important for our health, our families and our business that we have sacrificed so much for over the years to build up that we do not just let the current situation and events overwhelm us.
There are steps we can take to get us through this, to give us the strength to plan our next moves and to action our way out of this not only as business survivors but also in a much stronger position.
Like nearly every business owner over the past week I've lost sleep, spent many hours on the telephone to a host of different people and organisations and had to make some pretty big and important decisions in recent days that not only affect my own but other peoples life’s. I’ve been running my own business for nearly 24 years now and nothing over that period has prepared me for events of the past week but over those years I've learnt many tactics, routines and plans that have helped me navigate through those many years of small business life.
There's probably going to be no other time in my business life where I need to rely on that arsenal of tools as much than the present time - I'm compiling this list of things primarily for my own benefit as it's so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of news, social media posts, guidance and rules, that I needed to write them down in this article to keep on reminding myself that I have tools to help my wellbeing, to help me focus and to help me plan for the coming weeks, months and years ahead.
Below is a list of 10 tools that I rely on, some every day, some every week and some whenever I require them. The list is not exhaustive but hopefully you will find some of them helpful to not only as small business owners but also as human beings trying to navigate through this turbulent time.
Please comment and share with me your own tactics and tools.
Fallin-based electrical contractor Stirling Electrical Services Ltd. celebrated the official launch of our new Electric Vehicle (EV) Charge Point Installation service on Monday 17th February.
Formed in 1996, the company have a large client base throughout Scotland carrying out electrical and security system work in homes and businesses.
The new EV charge point service is fully approved by both UK and Scottish Government grant assistance schemes OLEV and Energy Savings Trust, enabling Stirling Electrical Services Ltd. clients to apply for financial assistance for the installation of a new EV charge point at their home.
After many months of preparation company director Scott McLean said “The EV industry is an exciting opportunity for us, we have invested heavily in training and qualifications for our EV team and our office-based and electrical teams have worked tirelessly to prepare for the launch of this new service.
It is approaching 5 years since Stirling Electrical Services Ltd. launched our security systems division, ‘Stirling Alarms’ and everyone is excited to bring our new EV service to the local area."
The company have launched a new website www.stirlingEV.co.uk to provide current or soon-to-be owners of electric vehicles with information and guidance on the process of having a new EV charge point installed for their vehicle.
Across our electrical and security system services we currently have opportunities available for qualified electricians and security system engineers to join our team.
Vacancy information is available at www.stirlingelectrical.co.uk/recruitment
Cancel It Please!! - that was the cry from over a thousand runners when we woke up to the relentless rain & wind on Saturday morning.
But how glad are we all now that they didn’t - what fun was had running through lots of mud & puddles getting battered from the rain & wind and then someone threw in some hills - well lots of hills.
Well done to all the runners, organisers & volunteers for their magnificent efforts in such horrible conditions.
Sounds weird & silly but that’s the best fun I’ve had running in many years.
It’s been a double Apprentice celebration week for us at Stirling Electrical Services.
Apprentices have always been at the forefront of our business development and while we do not employ apprentices every year we will always have at least one ongoing apprentice.
This week I received the fantastic news that our 4th year apprentice Craig had passed his electrical trade exam and then at the other end of the spectrum we welcomed our new apprentice Shaun to our team.
After four hard working years and a two day trade exam I was pleased with Craig’s success and equally delighted to offer him an electrician position as we look forward to many more successful years together.
It's September and it's a full month of charity fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK.
Starting on the 1st of the month with my commitment of 11,000 steps each day for March the Month and ending by running the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon in Glasgow.
We are in the latter stages of employing a new apprentice at Stirling Electrical & Alarms and I am excited to open up another opportunity to join our team as an Electrical/Security Engineer.
If you have the correct work attitude, good customer skills and required technical ability we would love you to join our friendly team.
We have a permanent position available with an immediate start for 17th/18th Edition Qualified Electrician, preferably with Security System experience.
So if you are a qualified electrician and live in the Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk areas you can find out more including details of how to apply on our website.
An article in our electrical trade magazine highlighted a new report that's estimates that up to 15,000 extra skilled electricians will be required in the UK over the next 5 years.
New technologies around smart homes, electric vehicles and Wi-Fi were amongst the main new services stated for increasing demand for skilled installers but it was the section on apprenticeships that caught my eye.
It was pleasing to read that an electrical apprenticeship is still a highly rated initial career move and that it was still evident for employers to receive a return on investment to employ apprentices.
So in one week I will take part in the Stirling marathon, or as its been branded this year the Great Stirling Run. The event is now in its 3rd year and it's a scenic marathon starting and finishing in the City of Stirling while taking in the surrounding rolling countryside to the north of the city, passing through small towns such as Doune, Dunblane and Bridge of Allan where the locals come out in force to support the runners.
Now let me be honest from the beginning, I am no running expert, while I was actively fit playing football at a reasonably competitive youth level up until my late teens, for the next 16-17 years I let myself go, fed up with sport, giving no thought to exercising or what I was eating, I was just being consumed with work and business and as my business developed and grew and I became more office based instead of doing physical work my weight ballooned.
22 years ago today (8th October) my business life began with an electrical job at Smiths Restaurant in Stirling.
It's been a long journey since then with so many ups and downs and so many wins and losses where every day there is another lesson to be learned.
Thank you to all who have supported me and Stirling Electrical Services Ltd. (SES) over the past 22 years, especially my very supportive wife.
Watching Europe regain Golf's Ryder Cup you cannot fail to witness the emotional scenes displayed by the winning Europeans.
Of course winning an event such as the Ryder Cup will always spark emotions from the winning team but I believe the success and especially the margin of victory for Europe over their opponents USA comes down to a major factor, which is that Europe play as a team.
Yes, in golf, football, rugby and any team sport to succeed at the highest level there is no doubt you require individuals with the highest skill and ability but individuals with the highest skill and ability is not necessarily always a good thing if they don't have the fire and commitment to fight for and help other members of their team.
You can relate to this throughout any team sport at any level from kids through to world class teams and you can also relate to this in business.
As an employer with a growing team of electricians ideally I require a team who can carry out as many of the different skillsets and services required from an electrician but I would be foolish to believe every single electrician on my team can carry out all the different skills and services required.
Training and guidance is provided to each individual for them to gain new skills over a course of time but I must initially work with my team around the capabilities of the individuals.
And while training and guidance takes place I will be working and reminding each individual that they are part of a team, that when one person wins and completes a job that the end customer is happy about then it is a win and accomplishment for us all - for our team.
We win together and we also pull together when required. Team members digging deep and helping each member of their team to succeed the same way as they would do so for themselves is the ultimate goal for leaders in team participation.
So in your own world of team's whether that be in sport, business or work what more can you do to help out another team member say solve that problem, move the project forward, complete that task, give them a helping hand or provide support and motivation at your next game or match.
One for All and All for One.
Oh, and what a brilliant team effort and victory - well done Europe.
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