Which type of educator are you? - see inside
Issue 1 - Spring 2014 EYB Springs into Action www.eybmag.com
Business Sustainability Series Part 1 - 6 ways to
How to keep your early years staff
turn your business into a sustainable success
The Art of Perfecting Your Team Book Bites - Events - Essentials - EYB on the streets
The Leadership & Business Magazine for Early Years
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editor’s letter H
i there! I’m Vanessa, the founder and Editor of Early Years Business, and this is a huge moment for me. Getting the first full issue of this magazine together is the culmination of a dream that started years ago.
Dr Margaret Simms Dr. Margaret C. Simms is an educator and early years consultant at ProCEEd Consultancy based in Nottinghamshire. Her work focuses on equipping Early Years practitioners, professionals and parents for their increasingly challenging roles. She has extensive experience in Early Years, Further and Higher Education. Margaret set up ‘ProCEEd’ to meet providers’ needs for affordable Early Years consultancy offering training, research, evaluation and events. E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.proceedc.com Twitter: @ProCEEdc
Jacqui Burke Jacqui Burke is a people management, human resources and training specialist with a passion for helping people and organisations to flourish. Experience of supporting a wide range of organisations from business start-ups and SMEs through to large corporate and public sector organisations. Specialist in supporting the Early Years and Childcare sector E: Jacqui@flourishingpeople.co.uk www.flourishingpeople.co.uk/ Twitter: @jacquiburkefp
Thelma Stephens Thelma Stephens born in South Africa and relocated with her family in 2003. Qualified as a Montessori Directress in 2005 and began a journey as an Early Years Practitioner shortly thereafter. Worked in a number of Children Centres and Day Nurseries whilst completing my BA(Honor’s) in Early Childhood Studies. She is currently the manager at Norbiton Day Nursery.
Nadia M. Ollivierre Nadia M. Ollivierre is the Director of the Ollivierre Early Learning Centre. She has credentials in Early Childhood Education, Psychology, Adult Education and Training & Development and HighScope. Nadia is a lifelong learner with a passion for teaching future educators, parents and families about the value of providing many learning opportunities for children.
The first ever post it notes that I scrambled down my original idea for EYB are still up on my wall, and I love seeing how far it’s come. This issue is all about effective leadership and how you can run your childcare business the right way. It’s full of hints and tips on how to start and grow a childcare business that will get off the ground and keep flying. We’ve got guest articles on building a team from some of the leading thinkers in childcare. There’s the six business books you need to read to look at your business in a whole new light and then we have EYB on the streets, covering all the latest news in the early years’ sector. But, I still don’t know what EYB will look like in the future, because I don’t know what you want from it. I know I want it to be the single location anyone leading a childcare business (or dreaming of it) needs to go to find out anything and everything they need to know. I know I want it to be a community of business owners supporting each other and helping one another to learn from experiences. I know I want it to be an honest portrayal of what life is like in one of the most exciting, meaningful and challenging industries to start a business in. But what do you want? Is there a certain subject you want to hear more about? Are there certain people you want to learn from? Can we do a series of blogs on something that you are finding challenging? Let us know on Twitter @EYBusiness or in the comments at EYBmag.com. EYB will grow with its community, and I don’t want to tell you what it is. I want us to make it what you need it to be. Thank you and enjoy issue one. It’s a dream come true for me and I hope it’s special for you too.
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Copyright 2014. All rights reserved No part of Early Years Business magazine may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written consent of the editor.
Whatâ€™s inside? 18
REGULARS 06 EYB on the streets 24 EYB Events 35
EYB Book Bites
How to keep your early years staff
The intelligent early years team
Playing with Jigsaw
The Art of Perfecting Your Team
26 Business Sustainability Series Part 1 - 6 ways to turn your business into a sustainable success 30 Keys to creating an authentic business plan 32 Where are the best employees hiding?
Vanessa Cariba Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Jon Cooper Early Years Specialist Reporter email@example.com
Jon Matthews Art Director firstname.lastname@example.org Devron Cariba Editorial Advisor email@example.com Jess Milton Designer firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTORS Dr. Margaret Simms • Jacqui Burke • Thelma Stephens • Nadia M. Ollivierre ADVERTISING & SALES email@example.com EYB Disclaimer The content of Early Years Business Magazine is for general information only and does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation upon which a specific decision should be made. Early Years Business Magazine has done its best to ensure the accuracy and currency of the materials contained on its website but excludes any warranty express or implied as to quality, accuracy, timeliness, completeness or fitness for a particular purpose of the material contained this website. Early Years Business Magazine will not be liable for any claims, penalties, loss, damages or expenses arising from the use or the inability to use the magazine or from any unauthorised access or alteration to the magazine [by a third party] Images courtesy of Home Retail Group; Microsoft Corporation; SXC; Little Bears Nursery Group; Hutchinson 3G
EYB On The Streets What’s changing in the EYFS? The Early Years Foundation Stage is going through some big changes. From 2014, the framework for children up to the age of five will be altered by the Department of Education. Here are the changes you need to be aware of... Childminders Anyone registered with a childminder agency will be required to provide more information than before as that agency is now responsible for checking the suitability of a childminder. Learning and Development A paragraph stating that wraparound and holiday providers should be guided by learning and development requirements has been removed. If you run one of these settings, that leaves you with more freedom to alter the direction of activities. Assessment The assessment requirements in the EYFS will be significant less in some areas. •
The statement, “practitioners must discuss with parents and/or carers how the summary of development can be used to support learning at home”has been removed.
because they have harmed a child or put a child at risk of harm.’ This puts more emphasis on the responsibility of childcare providers than there was in the past. There has also been an expansion to clarify different aspects of disqualification. Staff qualifications, training, support and skills These requirements are going through the following changes... •
The need for local authority and first aid training for childminders has gone.
If employees with an Early Years Educator qualification want to be included in ratios, they must have English and Maths GCSEs at grade C or above.
There is less focus on providing staff appraisals and supporting employees to take qualifications levels.
Staff: child ratios Three important changes were made to the wording of staff to child ratio guidelines... •
Instead of sharing information with a teacher if a child moves to schoolbased provision at age three, you can now share with any member of staff.
There is a smaller focus on a progress check in time to feed into the Healthy Child Health and Development Review.
Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 now says providers have, ‘a duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service where a member of staff is dismissed
Apprentices over the age of 16 can now be counted in ratios. When graduates work with children on a 1:13 ratio, there will be a need for a ‘suitable’ level six qualification, rather than a ‘full and relevant’ one. The teacher, or equivalent, will be expected to work with children for the vast majority of the time when there is a 1:13 ratio.
Before/after school care and holiday provision An additional paragraph loosens regulations on ratios, qualifications and learning and development for these providers. Team leaders have more say over what qualifications are needed in different situations.
Managing behaviour In a similar way, team leaders are more in control over the definition of a behavioural management policy. Safety and suitability of premises, environment and equipment •
A requirement for a health and safety policy has been removed.
A non smoking policy won’t be necessary. It is now assumed as standard.
The Equality Act 2010 now handles the need to ensure suitability for disabled children.
You will not need to provide a space for ‘children who wish to relax, play quietly or sleep, equipped with appropriate furniture’.
A risk assessment policy is no longer required. The paragraph now states ‘take all reasonable steps to ensure staff and children in their care are not exposed to risks’
The requirement for written parental permission to take children on outings has been removed.
Special educational needs •
This has been changed from ‘equal opportunities’ and the following requirements have been removed...
A policy for equality of opportunity.
The need to spell out how inappropriate attitudes and practices will be challenged.
An explanation of how children are encouraged to value and respect others.
EYB On The Streets Crowdfunding will see its biggest change since arriving on the small business scene in 2006. As a route for businesses to fund growth and new products, crowdfunding’s rise to prominence has been incredible. It lets businesses sell rewards, sell equity or take on loans with a group of people, rather than just one person or organisation. Until now, crowdfunding has been relatively unregulated, but all that is about to change with the
introduction of an “appropriateness test”. The change means crowdfunding platforms that let businesses take on loans or sell equity, like Seedrs, Funding Circle and CrowdCube, will have to check how well-advised their prospective clients are. If anyone wants to invest more than 10% of their available funds, they will need to be informed about the decision they are making in a way that has not been happening until now. New regulations in the crowdfunding industry are always met with hostility from the entrepreneurs who use it most. Crowdfunding is a modern way to fund businesses, and the people involved don’t want to see its freedom stripped away. Luckily for some, the rules will not apply to reward based crowdfunding platforms like
Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Crowdfunder. These websites allow supporters to donate money or pay for products with specific bonuses, rather than investing for equity stakes. Crowdfunding has earned its place among the major ways to invest thanks to its continuous growth in recent years. Businesses love the chance to spread their message online while investors have found a faster and simpler way to make their money work. To date, more than £1bn has been raised through crowdfunding! But, it has mostly been used by tech companies and businesses with tangible products. Can it be used by the early year’s sector? Would you sell part of your business to a crowd of people for funding? Let us on Twitter know @EYBusiness.
EYB On The Streets
Two new EYE qualifications to improve outcomes for young children Two new qualifications have been thrown into the wide sea of choices available to anyone working in childcare. You can now attain a certificate or diploma in BTEC Level 3 National in Children’s Play, Learning and Development through full time study or in a work-based environment.
“The qualifications will require two placements working with children from five to seven and pre-school children.”
Jill Duffy, managing director UK schools at Pearson said, ‘Having spent a long time working closely with early years professionals, our new qualifications aim to tick every box possible for those entering, or already working in, the early years profession, offering both EYE status and clear routes into higher education or employment.” Helen Perkins, head of school early years at Solihull College and a member of the review panel on early years qualifications, admitted she was disappointed that the Department for Education decided not to work
On the budget Whenever the Chancellor steps up to deliver his budget speech, there’s always a chance of something coming up that will affect the delivery of your childcare service. He always has the power to hugely affect your business and, this year, he actually did! Here’s our review 08 EYB
How to get the qualifications? From September, you will be able to attain these qualifications in a way that works alongside how you prefer to study. There is even a BTEC Level 3 National subsidiary certificate-size qualification that can be earned in your first year if you still need to finish your GCSE in English or Maths before going on to the second year for the certificate or diploma. The qualifications will require two placements working with children from five to seven and pre-school children. This will ensure you are equipped with the right skills to bring children to the stage where they are ready for school.
towards a fully Level 3 qualified workforce. She said ‘With these robust qualifications there was a real opportunity to improve outcomes for young children.’
The certificate will involve 720 guided learning hours, while the diploma will require 1,080. UCAS points for the BTEC qualifications are due to be confirmed in spring 2014. We’ll keep you updated when the number is known.
of what you need to know from George Osborne’s budget, including the big statement that could change your business, Almost two million families across Britain will receive up to £2,000 towards childcare costs, per child! Obviously, this is massive for childcare businesses. This opens the doors to more families using childcare services.
George Osborne has promised to provide 20% of childcare costs up to £10,000 per child, per year, from autumn 2015. It will be a perfect time to refresh your marketing efforts in the local community. We’ll make sure you have a chance to prepare by updating you when the time is near. The Employment Allowance will
EYB On The Streets
Two year olds will be “let down” if not at school says Ofsted chief Childcare businesses across the country could be at risk as Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, calls for more primary schools to open nursery provision and bring in children as young as two. The head of Ofsted believes sending children to school-based nurseries from the age of two will give them a better start in education. Sir Michael Wilshaw has appealed for more primary schools to provide children with tuition and care from a young age. In a new report, he comments on concerns that the current early year’s system is “letting down” children. He claims young people are starting school without the most basic literacy and numeracy skills. At the moment, many guardians choose to care for children at home, or take advantage of the huge range of childcare options that exist in Britain, but Sir Michael Wilshaw suggests that should change. He says children, especially those from poor give you £2,000 cash-back on every employee you hire. If you need to build your team to help with continued high quality of delivery, this is a huge boost to your chances of funding it. If you’re building up a team for your business, make sure you check out our great guest blog from Dr. Margaret C. Simms at EYBmag.com.
families, “do better in schoolbased provision”. Unsurprisingly, there has been a huge kickback from those in the childcare industry, with early years settings claiming that putting children into a school environment so young could carry mental health risks. These early years settings believe children should be given the chance to develop naturally in a fun and caring environment before being sent into highly structured learning. We completely agree and believe Sir Michael could be risking healthy development in his aim to prepare children for the rigours of education. But the Ofsted chief has warned many pupils are not ready for school at the age of five, and he seems to be putting the blame on the existing childcare system.But what do you think? Would your business be affected if children went into a school system at age two? Is the head of Ofsted right to be calling for this change? Let us know on Twitter. Corporation tax has been cut to 20%, from 21%. It’s a small cut that’ll affect huge businesses a lot more than small ones. But, if you pay corporation tax, it’s still something to keep in mind from April 2015. Of course, George Osborne said tons more in the budget (after all, it was an hour long speech that spoke about beer and bingo
a lot) but these are the bits that really matter to your business. How much do you think these changes will affect you? Let us know on Twitter @EYBusiness.
How to keep your early years staff... How to keep your Early Years staff is a response to burning questions like: What is retention? Why is retention important? How do we know if practitioners are unhappy? Dr. Margaret C. Simms discusses how you can improve retention in your Early Years setting?
ith its feet stuck firmly in researchful foundations this article provides practical advice on how to keep your Early Years staff. Providers of full daycare are known to be prone to staff retention issues (DCSF 2007). Therefore, it makes good Early Years business sense, to develop an understanding of retention issues and be proactive in dealing with them. How to keep your Early Years staff is a response to burning questions like: What is retention? Why is retention important? How do we know if practitioners are unhappy? How can we improve retention in our Early Years setting? 010 EYB
What retention is and is not Interestingly, ‘retention’ means ‘custody’. It speaks of ‘control’ and ‘possession’. Although not quite the position the Early Years sector wishes to take on retention, it is perhaps not uncommon for members of the workforce to feel shackled, controlled – a possession to be used by the setting. No, the retention of which we speak ‘maintains’ and ‘preserves’. It creates an air of satisfaction, well-being and team spirit; such an ethos in not idealism but the result of professional perfectionism born out of consideration for others. In many ways ‘retention’ is a poor choice of vocabulary, except that it has a pleasant ring when coupled
together with recruitment [and retention. However, retention in context is about being able to keep your early years staff!
The importance of retention A cloud of thought comes to mind regarding the importance of retention. Replacing staff is costly in terms of time, money and emotional energy. Businesses that retain staff make savings in these areas. If making savings was the only reason for improving retention it would still be worth the effort. Perhaps a far more compelling reason to reduce staff turnover is for the sake of the children. Needless to say, retaining quality staff ensures continuity of care and is good for the children, but this
article is more about the grown-ups. It is important at this juncture to acknowledge two distinctly different people groups in Early Years settings – the ‘businessminded’ and the ‘child-minded’. When the ‘business-minded’ were invited to open nurseries to help fill the ‘childcare gap’, some of the ‘child-minded’ perceived them to be ‘only in it for the money’; a difficult concept to grasp in early years and childcare! These perceptions are still rife today. Early Years practitioners who work long hours for relatively little financial reward are apt to think that Early Years business
make a distinct difference to the richness of young children’s experiences’ (Ofsted, 2013a). So, with early years providers now being ‘subject to a tougher early years inspection framework’ Early Years businesses must determine to keep such staff (Ofsted, 2013b).
How do I know whether staff are unhappy if they don’t tell me? Researchful experience concludes that staff will not always tell you they are unhappy to the point of leaving, but they will tell friends and peers – and
“Early Years practioners who feel valued are more likely to remain in the setting” owners are taking all the profits, at the expense of the staff. It is up to nursery owners to foster mutual understandings with staff of where the money comes from and goes to. That is not to suggest you open the books to everyone, it is your business, but an opportunity to build professional relationships is not to be missed. Early Years practitioners who feel valued are more likely to remain in the setting (Simms 2010). Retention is also important to Ofsted in that Ofsted are aware ‘staff expertise and qualifications
your staff are likely to be happy involves reflecting on how you show appreciation – or lack of it. Another is to stay abreast of political fear and follyIncreased child: staff ratios, for example, will you or won’t you? Practice assurance and reassurance. There are many tell-tale signs that staff are unhappy. Next time you hold a staff meeting let someone else do the talking while you catch the vibes and observe fleeting glances. Gauge stress levels. Listen carefully. What is the body language saying? Are their many voices or one voice? Make notes. Invite input into your reflections from a trusted colleague.
they tell me. Momentarily putting yourself in their shoes, you feel a resistance to tell the boss you are so miserable you don’t care whether you have another job to go to, you are leaving anyway! More practitioners than one have been told, “If you don’t like it you know where the door is!” One fundamental issue for Early Years practitioners is whether they ‘feel sufficiently valued to remain’ in the setting or ‘feel their vocational passion is being exploited’ (Simms, 2010). So, one way to find out whether EYB 011
How can we improve retention in our Early Years setting?
“Research tells us that many Early Years practioners really are in the profession because they love children”
Research tells us that many Early Years practitioners really are in the profession because they love children. Whilst poor pay and insufficient training cause some practitioners to leave, others remain for as long as they possibly can because of
their attachment to the children. Each business must assess the needs of its own workforce, treating each practitioner as an indvidual, paying careful attention to their training and development needs and being sensitive to
personal circumstances. Increased pay may not be an option but increased interest in their well-being will be appreciated. EYB
Dr. Margaret C. Simms is an educator and early years consultant at ProCEEd Consultancy based in Nottinghamshire. To find out more about Dr. Margaret C. Simms work click here. DCSF (2007) 2006 Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey – Full daycare providers Ofsted. (2013 a) Press Release: Good early years get children off to a flying start, says Ofsted. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/news/good-early-years-get-children-flying-start-says-ofsted Ofsted, 2013 b. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/news/high-quality-early-education-focus-ofofsteds-revised-inspection-framework-0Simms, M. (2006) Recruitment and Retention of Early Years and Childcare Practitioners in Private Day Nurseries http://www.tactyc.org.uk/pdfs/Reflection-simms.pdf Simms, M. (2010) PhD Thesis Retention of Early Years Practitioners in Day Nurseries (unpublished). Nottingham Trent University.
The intelligent early years team Nadia M. Ollivierre
ow do you learn? Have you ever thought of the way your team acquire information? Do you know their learning strengths? According to Howard Gardner we all possess learning strength and are capable of displaying intelligence in multiple areas. Understanding these strengths can be of great benefit to childcare professionals . Childcare proffesionals can use their predominate areas of intelligence to identify their teaching style, since we tend to teach the way we like to learn. Teams can use Gardnerâ€™s areas of multiple intelligence to enhance their early years program by identifying their team members strengths. Educators can determine their predominate areas of multiple intelligence by completing a questionnaire. Questionnaires require users to score a few short statements based on how well it describes them. The scores are then tallied up, to reveal the strongest areas of multiple intelligence in the following nine areas: linguistic, logic-mathematical, musical, visual, kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic and existential. 014 EYB
The Linguistic Educator
The Musical Educator
The linguistic educator has a way with words! They always seem to know how to express themselves verbally and can put well thoughtout sentences together when needed. They have enhanced narrative skills and a good memory. This educator is the go to person when it comes to communication, they can help articulate messages and add those much-needed details. This educator may be found playing with words and rhythms while working with the children or reading lots of stories.
The Musical Educator has enhanced auditory ability. It is not hard to believe that this sensitivity makes them heighten to sounds, pitch, and tone. They use music, rhythms, and instruments as an instructional tool to learn or teach new concepts. This educator would be good at interpreting how information is presented. They could help determine the flow of information to create the appropriate sentiment. This educator may also be heard creating lyrics or using a steady beat to introduce learning material.
The Logical Educator The logical educator is a critical thinker. They are good at problem solving and reasoning. They are capable of hold many concepts in their head in order to determine common elements, patterns or relationships. This educator can help analysis situations to determine next steps, and offer recommendations providing measurable evidence. This educator may also be found helping children understand abstract ideas or enhancing their ability to identify numbers and quantity.
The Visual Educator The visual educator has a vivid imagination. They are not intimidated by a blank canvas and are able to interpret and understand how visual images convey messages. They can see the final product before it is complete. This educator can help you reorganize the learning environment; create displays, charts or event correspondence that will capture the attention of others. This educator may use lots of real pictures and child initiated creations
“In teaching you will learn, and in learning you will teach.”- Phil Collins throughout their classroom to make the environment aesthetically pleasing.
The Kinesthetic Educator The kinesthetic educator that is always on the move! They have great coordination and physical agility and are able to control how their body moves with dexterity. They can help demonstrate or complete tasks that require your whole body. This educator can support by participating in physical demonstration, handson learning and helping you find ways to keep others moving during program planning and events. This educator would be found actively participating in children physical activities weather it be on the playground or in the field.
The Interpersonal Educator The interpersonal educator is in touch with others. They understand how other feel and can relate empathetically. They have a good sense of judgment and tend to analysis behaviour and the way people around them communicate their emotions. This educator can provide mediation and coaching support in addition to leadership skills. They can also help motivate the team with their ability to connect and interact with others. This educator may be found showing an in-depth interest in the children’s socialemotional development, in order to help them understand how they impact those around them.
The Intrapersonal Educator The intrapersonal educator has a keen sense of self. They are very aware for what works well for them and can identify their contribution to situations and personal beliefs. This educator has made a personal connection to the program philosophy. And knows what would compliment
their personal and professional development. They are selfmotivated and highly independent individuals that can help determine ways for others to reflect on situations and discover personal growth and understanding. This educator may be found teaching children about self-awareness and offering techniques or strategies that promote self-regulation.
The Naturalistic Educators The naturalistic educator is a connected to the natural environment. They are interested in the relationship between nature and the species that live in it. They enjoy being outdoors and caring for animals. They are able to categorize and sorting information easily. This educator can help other be mindful of environmental needs and how to support related initiatives. They are passionate and can help find the interconnection between all living things. This educator may be found teaching children about living and nonliving things, or showing an added interest in modeling how to care for class plant and pets.
The Existential Educators The existential educator has a sixth sense. They are able to use personal experience and their intuition to guide their decisions and understanding of the world. They show wisdom by using a broad view of situation. This educator can help others slow down and think through a process by listening to their internal signals. This educator may support children’s understanding of meditation and focusing their energy to formulate ideas. On the journey through lifelong learning and professional development, teaching and learning are interchanging roles. If we are better able to understand our learning strength, it will easier
fine tune our ability to teach and manage eclectically. EYB References:
Chapman, A and Chislett, V. (2005) Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Model. Retrieved from https:// businessballs.com Gardner, Howard (2000), Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century, Basic Books, ISBN 978-0-465-02611-1 Armstrong, T. (n.d) Assessment: Find your strengths! Retrieved from http:// www.literacynet.org/mi/assessment/ findyourstrengths.html
Which type of educator are you? Would you like to know more about the questionnaire? Share your thoughts @eybusiness EYB 015
Playing with jigsaw
Discover ‘the real you’ as Jacqui Burke of Flourishing People gets personal with the effectiveness of your team by pulling the pieces together.
any of my childcare clients ask me to help them to improve the way their team of practitioners work together. To assist them with this I design tailor-made team development days based on their specific needs and challenges. More often than not the 016 EYB
overall aim is to develop participants’ understanding and appreciation of each other so that they can work towards becoming a more effective team. However, specific themes might include things like: l improving communication, l developing partnerships
with parents, l reducing conflict within the team, l helping staff to cope with change and work-related stress, l understanding what motivates team members, or l building leadership and management capability.
I usually incorporate a tool called the Jigsaw@work into these programmes and would like to tell you a bit about it. The Jigsaw@work is a practical tool that helps people to understand their own and other people’s personality types. Unlike typical psychometric profiling tools, it’s simple and fun
EYB Feature to use, with the tactile nature of the Jigsaw@ work appealing to the visual and kinaesthetic learning styles of many Early Years practitioners. The following overview describes what might happen during a typical one day team development workshop. The first step is for participants to complete their own personalised Jigsaw@work by selecting a range of pieces that most closely describe themselves. The interpretation of the Jigsaw@work styles then shows how each of us has a central way of making sense of reality; a personality strategy that informs everything we do. Participants recognise themselves in these descriptions with a degree of clarity that amazes, even shocks. This part of the workshop always results in lots of laughter as participants acknowledge their personality style and recognise that it’s OK for them to be that way. We stress the gifts that each style brings to the setting and acknowledge what our working world would be like without those people as a part of our team. Having discovered ‘the real you’ and understood the characteristics of your own style, the second piece of the Jigsaw is introduced as participants develop the skills to identify the personality drivers and abilities of
their colleagues, customers, friends and family. Again, lots of laughter here as people begin to feel comfortable talking about how they relate to one another in the workplace. Team members begin to express their appreciation of the natural abilities which are characteristic of the style of certain colleagues. Typical comments include things like: “We all know how well organised Joanne is, don’t we” or “Tracy is just brilliant at coming up with new ideas for activities with the children”. The third piece of the Jigsaw falls into place as participants learn and practise the skill of adaptation; moving away from their natural dominant style towards the style of the individual they are communicating with. When working with managers and room leaders within settings we explore how they might need to adapt their approach to leadership in order to motivate team members and get the very best from their teams. The fourth and final piece of the Jigsaw takes place after the workshop has been concluded; where the team continues to use the language of the Jigsaw@work to help them to get the job done on a day to day basis through improved relationships with colleagues, parents or external bodies.
Next I’d like to share an example of a setting where I have used the Jigsaw@work has support the development of their team. Pear Tree Preschool and Out Of School Club in Cambridge was established by Danielle Catling, who had worked with me in a previous role. When she opened her new preschool, she called on me once again to help her to develop her new team. Danielle says “I had a team of very skilful practitioners; however, we didn’t know how to work as a TEAM just yet. My team was myself and three others at that time. Jacqui put together a training package to help us to begin to understand how each other work and think. The backbone of this training was the Jigsaw@work, supplemented with other strategies which Jacqui knew would be helpful from her knowledge of the industry in which we work. This was extremely successful and helped us to settle into effective ways of working. Since then we’ve grown gradually (now we are a team of 11) and have repeated the Jigsaw@ work training as it was so
wonderfully supportive to help us all work together and understand each other.” An important element of how the team at Pear Tree made use of their knowledge of the Jigsaw@work was clearly in evidence when I next visited the setting. In their staff room they had created a Jigsaw wall display, where next to each staff member’s photo they had added the key characteristics for that person’s style. There was a blank sheet of paper as a part of the display where team members were invited to make suggestions about how they could work together more effectively as a team. Last time I visited there was a suggestion for a team evening out to help a new team member to get to know everyone informally. This valuable and very visible reminder ensured that the team at Pear Tree continued to put the Jigsaw@work at the heart of their communication and their management decisions about how work was allocated on a day to day basis. EYB
If improving the effectiveness of your team by putting the jigsaw together is a priority for your setting please contact Jacqui Burke at Jacqui@flourishingpeople.co.uk or 07770 477688 or Twitter @jacquiburkefp www.flourishingpeople.co.uk www.peartreeonline.co.uk EYB 017
The art of perfecting your team
Heather Thelma shares a model approach to leadership and perfecting your team. Listening to feedback on various levels My previous experiences have shown that fostering a positive and individual relationship with each member of your team provides the firm foundation to base all your professional interactions. The ability to laugh at yourself with others and still maintain professional boundaries, while providing realistic expectations, is a tricky equation, but definitely worth the time and effort. After all, truthful and supportive interactions are what we aim to teach our children to foster with their peers. Truly knowing your staff provides you with the insight to respond to their verbal and non-verbal 018 EYB
communication by creating a can-do atmosphere that is reciprocated. You need to focus on active listening and immediate actions. By identifying the key messages your staff are giving you, you can tune in to their wants and needs. Then you can put into action one step which will support them. Whether you arrange a task, set a target or solve a problem on a dynamic level, you will be building trust and collaboration within the team while taking the context of their setting into consideration. Including the whole team in this planning process develops the individuals’ interpersonal qualities, diagnostic skills and judgmental capacity. This resembles the situational leadership approach
(Hearsey and Blanchard, 2001) where personnel are developed. It involves taking note of the individual staff members’ stage of personal and professional development, as well as the situation, and adjusting your style of leadership accordingly. The little things really do mean a lot. As professionals working on the front line in a service industry, we are required to be flexible and responsive.
“You need to focus on active listening and immediate actions.”
EYB Feature bases regularly maintains our focus, reminds us of where we are heading and gives us an opportunity to evaluate our progress, leading change as Senge (1996, in Peters, 2003) would suggest.
Identifying talent role modeling Peer observation of your staff can be informative, but I prefer spontaneous observations. This can provide a more realistic reflection of where you and your team are headed. Feeding back in a professional discussion where both parties are comfortable to share thoughts and reflect can serve as a benchmark for you as a leader to set targets for your staff. It will also help identify where you need to support the changes necessary. Belbin (2001) goes on further to suggest that, when leadership supports individuals to develop their own personal strengths and gives staff opportunities to improve in areas of weaknesses, individuals could balance well with colleagues, creating an effective team.
Feedback also highlights both strengths and opportunities for development in a healthy, non-judgmental way. It opens the lines of communication where both parties can grow personally and professionally, similar to a collaborative approach to leadership and management (Goleman, 2002). Managing change can be tricky when your vision is obscured by miscommunication. On a personal level, working within numbers as well as being the manager is challenging, but equally rewarding, as your finger is continually on the pulse. I often observe and feedback during the day. This is effective as my team has grown to trust my motives
and is beginning to invest in the vision. Gaining consensus through participation has lead to improved outcomes for the setting
“Peer observation of your team can be informative, but I prefer spontaneous observation.” (Fullan, 2004). Discussions and interactions with team members to set clear goals allowed the team to support one another in reaching targets, and, more importantly, the opportunity to celebrate success is a huge motivator (Goleman, 2002).
To give productivity a bigger boost, we have found it useful to create a sense of “team spirit”. We have developed communication, problem solving skills and teamwork by setting time aside to plan and discuss the goals we wish to achieve in the next four weeks (Goleman, 2002). Leading effectively when driven by passion is challenging. From my past interactions, my passion for the highest of quality provision dulled my senses to where my colleagues were in their personal or pedagogical development. Belbin’s (2001) theory of team identifies that common goals and objectives (core values) regulate practice by creating shared values and norms. That further suggests the need for team members to interact and communicate with each other while actively working in their roles, complimenting and supporting one another to create a shared vision as part of a team.
Reward and motivations Monetary rewards have little value as the majority of workers in the Early Years Profession are working with children due to their passion. However, a wage increase here and there doesn’t go amiss. Whether someone feels their contributions have been recognised or not is where many a good staff member will be won or lost. If you combine rewards with sharing their vision of their future professional development, a once de-motivated member of staff could flourish back into productivity. Focusing on my team’s strengths helps me delegate tasks when targets need to be met quickly and efficiently. Touching EYB 019
“Monetary rewards have little value as the majority of
workers in the Early Years Profession are working with children due to their passion. ” I realise now that change, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem to leadership and management, needs to be introduced sensitively. We need to take into consideration the practitioners individual roles and preferences (Belbin, 2001;DCSF, 2008). I have found that, to make sure no team member is left behind, you must take the attributes and behaviours of individuals into consideration. The best results come when the actions and influences of people at all levels are recognised as integral to the overall direction and function of the setting. To maintain focus on our direction as a team, as well as foster ownership, it’s been crucial to share leadership responsibilities in line with the distributed leadership approach (David Hopkins). Using the Transformational leadership style (Bass and Avolio, 1994), we can create a vision based on respectful interactions where trust and personal integrity are key factors as well as delegating responsibility. Ultimately, we can create intellectual stimulation by continually challenging followers. EYB
Reference List Bass,B.M. and Avolio,B.J. (1994) Improving Organisational Effectiveness through Transformational Leadership: Sage Publications Inc. CA: USA Belbin (2001) “Team Roles in a Nutshell” e-interplace, Belbin Associates, UK accessed on (28.04.11) [online] <www.belbin. com> Belbin Team-Role Summary Sheet (2001) “Team-Role Descriptions” e-interplace, Belbin Associates, UK accessed on (28.04.11) [online]<www.belbin.com> Covey, Stephen R. (2003) The 7 habits of highly effective people. Carlsbad, Calif US.: Hay House. 020 EYB
Day,C. , Sammons,P., Hopkins,D., Harris,A., Leithwood,K., Gu,Q. And Brown,E. (2010) National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services “10 strong claims about successful school leadership” Nottingham DCSF (2008) Leading and Managing Children’s Services in England: A National Professional Development Framework [PDF] Nottingham: UK Goleman (2003) New Leaders: Transforming the art of Leadership into the science of results. Little Brown Publishing Hopkins, D.(2007) Every School a Great School: Realising the potential of system leadership. OUP
Hearsey,P. ;Blanchard,K. And Johnson, E.D. (2001) Management of organisational behaviour: Leading Human Resources (8th ed.) Prentice Hall Inc.NJ: USA Kotterman, J. (2006) Leadership Versus Management: What's the Difference? Journal for Quality and Participation. 29 2 pp.13-17. Cincinnati. Ohio, USA. Association for Quality & Participation. Senge (2003) in Peters (2003) Re-imagine: Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age. Dorling Kindersley Ltd. London: UK Siraj-Blatchford, Iram (2007) Effective leadership in the early years sector : the ELEYS study London : University of London, Institute of Education
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GET YOUR COPY OF EYB MAGAZINE ANYWHERE So here is why you should advertise with EYB magazine: 1. ONLINE: The EYB platform is accessible everywhere online via smartphone,
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SPRING/SUMMER 9th May/13th June/4th July 2014 09.30-16.30pm London WC2, Charing Cross
CHILDCARE BUSINESS ADVISORS PROGRAMME
Flourishing People are pleased to announce the launch of the Childcare Business Advisers Programme •a Level 5 qualification in Business Support •suitable for professionals providing business support advice and consultancy in the Early Years and Childcare sector •accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) PRICE: Standard £995 + VAT/Premier £1145 + VAT MORE INFORMATION: http://www.flourishingpeople.co.uk/images/ cbap_brochure_v4.0_london.pdf
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THE BUSINESS SHOW - ExCeL London
The Business Show is where businesses find the next gear. This free to attend event offers business owners opportunities, advice and information that will impact ongoing business growth within a challenging economy. The event welcomes business owners from a crosssection of industries, and remains more committed than ever in providing visitors with everything needed to improve, evolve and expand their business. PRICE: Free MORE INFORMATION: http://www.excel-london. co.uk/whats-on/the-business-show/
21st May 2014 2.00pm-6.00pm British Library Business & IP Centre
ONLINE MARKETING MASTERCLASS GROW
•How to find the keywords that potential customers use in Google to find what you’re selling •How to use email marketing to build relationships with potential customers and keep your brand in the front of your customers minds • How to use blogging to build your brand and generate business opportunities • How to create content that people share, builds credibility, demonstrates expertise and knowledge and makes people want to buy from you • How to use the marketing funnel to create a simple online marketing strategy • How to use Google pay per click (PPC) to generate new enquiries for your business at low cost • How to succeed with Facebook advertising by targeting your ideal customers wherever they are
PRICE: £45 (usually £97 use discount code “onlinemarketing” when booking for £52 saving) MORE INFORMATION: http://www.bl.uk/bipc/ workevents/onlinemarket.html
22nd May 2014 2.00pm-6.00pm The British Library Business & IP Centre
HOW TO ATTRACT THE RIGHT INVESTORS FOR YOUR BUSINESS - THE FUNDING GAME In this half-day workshop we’ll explore how to secure investment through either: •crowdfunding; •angel investors; •venture capital. •Which investment avenue is right for your business •The most effective way of finding investors for each avenue •Learn how to secure the best deal and valuation for your business PRICE: £40 (by entering discount code “library” saving £10 off a standard £50 ticket) MORE INFORMATION: http://www.bl.uk/bipc/ workevents/rightinvestment.html
9th July 2014 London, W1
TWO-YEAR-OLDS: POLICY & PRACTICE ONE DAY CONFERENCE - NURSERY WORLD In this half-day workshop This essential one-day conference will bring you the very latest policy and good practice to help you deliver places that meet the emotional and learning needs of twoyear-olds. • Hear the government’s latest thinking on delivering funded places for two-year-olds as expansion of the programme looms • Learn how to best access support • Hear innovative ways of delivering funded places that are high quality and viable • Learn about creating enabling environments that meet two-year-olds’ emotional and learning needs • Debate the challenges of the Progress Check at Two and the move towards an Integrated Review • Hear how to ensure the Progress Check at Two can be a positive experience for practitioners, parents and children • Ease two-year-olds’ transition to nursery
• Understand two-yearolds’ behaviour and learn strategies for supporting their social interaction • Support the language dvelopment and communication skills of two-year-olds • Organise appropriate play experiences for two-year-olds
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ways to turn your business into a sustainable success
Business Sustainability Series Part 1- Not all businesses were made to stretch as far as they can grow. Sometimes, a business is about creating an incredible service in one area and making sure that service is astounding. As childcare businesses, chances are you're going to be one of those. For you, business sustainability is far more important than business growth. But how do you make a business sustainable? We’re bringing you an in-depth series of ways to make sure your business is sustainable and safe in the long term. To start it all off, here’s six things you can do today to run a more sustainable business. Becoming sustainable takes a combination of great planning and even better execution. If you want your childcare business to succeed in the long term, you have to think of the long term in the way you operate. From knowing what you need to survive, to working out what will get your customers raving about you to their friends, here are my top six tips for running a sustainable business.
Having a strong foundation is the cornerstone of any sustainable business. This comes down to having a watertight business plan, and the money to back it up. Starting right isn’t just for new businesses. Even if you’ve been running your childcare business for years, you can make a business plan for the future right now. You’ll thank yourself for it if you spot a big opportunity or notice an upcoming cost you’ve missed until now. A business plan doesn't have to be scary or drawn out. It just needs to include the big stuff like your idea, what you'll need to buy and where the money is coming from. For more tips, check out our guide to writing a business plan for a childcare business.
Know your numbers
The most important number you'll ever work out is the smallest one you need to survive. Calculate the smallest profit you need to maintainyour standard of living and write that fig ure down somewhere. This number will keep you grounded. It will help you know when you're in trouble and when you should be celebrating. Most of all, it'll give you an achievable target to hit every month.
Get a business coach!
The right business coach can change everything for your business. If you find the perfect one, it will make your life a dozen times easier. It needs to be someone who understands you’re not looking to grow a business in to the next Google, but that you want to run a successful business by caring for children. Finding the right coach for your business isn’t easy, but there are lots of people who can help you along the way. If you want to find a coach in your area, email vanessa@ eybmag.com.
Create parents as fans, not customers
If the parents of the children you care for are happy enough with what you do, they’ll keep coming back. But, if they love what you do, they’ll rave about you to their friends and bring in the new customers for you. That will more than make up for any customers you lose through children growing up or them moving away. The easiest way to make people love (not like) what you do is to throw on the added extras. Don’t be gimmicky, but provide things that parents and kids will both be wowed by. Teaching children something new in a fun way is always a solid choice, and so is helping them discover hidden talents in art, music or sport. 028 EYB
Get a strong grip of your cash flow
With the costs of renting venues, bringing in the right equipment and buying food, you need to make sure you’ve always got the right amount of cash available. The only way to avoid stress, or going into unnecessary and costly short term debt is to stay on top of your numbers. It’s not the most glamorous job, but making a spreadsheet of exactly what money is coming in and what is going out over time is vital. Always underestimate revenue and overestimate costs. Having this planned out for months in advance will help you spot a hard time long before it arrives and give you a chance to prepare.
Don’t put a pause on life
This might sound counter-intuitive to that “if you want to succeed in business, you need to make endless sacrifices” line that gets thrown around, but hanging onto your personal life is so important. If you lose touch with what makes you you, and what makes you happy, you’ll forget why you started a business in the first place. Then, when times get hard, you’ll abandon the business, because it will fill you with stress instead of joy. Creating a successful and sustainable business is about making it work in your life, not sacrificing your life for it. If you find your loved ones are not getting the time they deserve or your other passions have fallen by the way side, maybe it’s time to consider if this business is really making you happy. I’m not saying never make a sacrifice. Starting a business takes a level of focus, strength and time that few things in life do, but it should always be fun. It should always bring you joy. If you want to run a sustainable business, it has to improve your life, not destroy it.
Keys to Creating an Authentic Business Plan
When I first started working on my business plan I visited a variety of website and online tools. Most of them seem really helpful and offered a great deal of templates and mock documents to choose from. Great! I thought and they were free!
As I read through the templates and inserted my own information to replace the fake business details already present I realized… I had no idea what I was writing! I had heard a business plan was a useful tool to have and I knew most banks needed them in order to even consider you for a loan; but what I didn’t know was WHY??? It was at that moment I decided to start my journey to learning the keys to creating an authentic business plan. It was at that point I met EYB and found out about their online coaching services that gave me 7 steps for creating a childcare business plan. I share some of my high’s and lows during our online coaching. I chose a package where my coach, Vanessa gave me a list of areas to examine and asked me to report on each week. Based on my research, Vanessa helped me approach my business plan objectively and I left each coaching session with accountable actions.
Keys to Creating an Authentic Business History I would say find your true value and highlight your assets. Many of us have experiences we may not consider an asset first hand. Once you determine how it has shaped who you are as a professional, you will be able to find true value in many of your past ventures. Creating a timeline of your experiences before writing your business history may be helpful. That way you can decide what is significant and how it can be emphasized. As an Early Childhood Educator I have had little experience in the business world, or so I thought! Being in charge of day-to-day operations in management, working with parents, and teaching at a community college are all business type experiences I would not have considered assets. 030 EYB
EYB Feature Keys to Creating Effective Products and Services Understand your products and services and be able to pitch your unique selling points to anyone in earshot! When you know what you are selling, why consumers want your product, and what makes you different you will be able to determine how to reach your target market. â€œWhat makes your business different?â€? I must have looked at this question 100 times before coming up with an answer. What makes me different? I honestly never thought about it. When I considered what made my business different from the business down the road, it helped to think about my service and then ask myself what it would mean to my clients. If you are the only establishment in the area that offers a menu that only uses whole grain products, natural ingredients and meal substitutions for children with dietary restrictions this may be your unique selling point. With a little creativity your will be able to pitch this selling point to potential client and show them how your service best suits their needs.
Keys to Creating Effective Market Analysis Know who your target clients are and what they are looking for. Before completing my business plan I did not realize all the hard work and research that went into making it authentic. If you want a real idea of who your target market is you will need to go out and find them! This part of my business plan involved creating surveys and actually asking people their thoughts. It is a good idea to determine the amount of response you want to receive and work towards that goal over a set amount of time. And yes, I became one of those people asking for a moment of your time. Although this may put you out of your comfort zone it is a good way to get opinions from people who live in the area you are planning to start your business. Another way to solicit responses without all the footwork can be the use of Quick Response or QR codes. These barcodes can be printed out on paper, posted and scanned using a smartphone or imaging device and will direct users to your survey. Consider where you post your codes in order to receive accurate responses that do not skew your final results.
Keys to Creating an Effective Operation Strategy Map out your day-to-day operations as if it were a users manual. I say this because when I first wrote my strategy it was challenging to think of every possible decision I would need to make. This left me with gaps and many unanswered questions. A more effective technique for me was to write my strategy as if it would be used in my absence. This made my ideas that much more detailed and well thought out. Another technique I found useful was to determine when I wanted to begin offering my services to the public and work backwards from there. When you think of how you would like to run you business and create realistic timelines you will be able to look to your plan as a guide as you lead up to opening day.
Where are the best employees hiding?
Why are the people you hire so vital to the success of your childcare business? Our quality team are a key aspect to the delivery of our childcare service, ensuring a safe and caring environment in which our children can learn and play. The people we hire are taken on to support our team and, as such, we have stringent interview and selection criteria to maximise the success of the new team member in both 032 EYB
The right people can make a huge difference to your business. Having the right team in place is the difference between your business being a constant struggle or being a dream-come-true. But where are the right people hiding? And how can you get them to join your business?Lee Oâ€™Neill of Little Bears Nursery passes on his advice in this great interview.
meeting our standards; and, integrating into the team to further drive our quality provision.
What is the most important thing to have in mind when hiring someone? There are a number of preselection criteria which must be met including experience, qualification, aptitude, presentation, team-working, and the individualâ€™s health. Once these
factors have been assured, I believe the most important requirement is the candidateâ€™s passion for caring and educating children.
Have you made any mistakes when hiring someone in the past? Yes. Like most things in life, when mistakes happen one has to identify and correct the mistake quickly. All staff are engaged on a Probationary Period which is
EYB Feature When a new employee is a great fit, what more can they bring to your business than just extra man power?
specifically set-out as a mechanism to enable the monitoring of new members to ensure their practice is consistent with the interview process, thereby allowing for any necessary correction.
Why do you think some childcare businesses find it so hard to find reliable staff? Irrespective of the industry sector, recruitment is difficult. There are many statistics on the likelihood of recruiting the right person via an interview – and they are typically less than 20%. These odds increase inline with the recruitment diligence performed by the employer. At Little Bear’s, we believe that a three or four stage (depending on roles) recruitment process enables us to ensure that, firstly, we do not fail to offer the right candidate; and secondly, do not offer the wrong candidate. This recruitment strategy is safeguarded by our Probationary Period where behaviour, attitude, and capability can be monitored (and corrected) within the workplace.
appear to furnish them with a good understanding of child development or the EYFS; consequently, they are not always furnished with the skills to fully understand and carry out the role effectively.
How do you help a new recruit fit into the existing mould of your business? Typically, when people start with a new employer, they fundamentally desire to norm with the Team; understand the jobs requirements; and, ultimately, to perform the role to the best of their abilities. It is the management’s responsibility, from Room Leader to Nursery Manager, to ensure there is no ambiguity surrounding any of these aspects and to ensure the integration of the new employee into the team – this is the second stage of recruitment.
A team or organisation that fails to grow and develop is an entity that is waiting to fail. Every team member will have experience and/or opinion which need to be assessed and, if appropriate, implemented. We do not support the all too frequent syndrome of “not invented here” – all suggestions need to be probed; assessed; questioned; and, rippeddown or implemented. That’s one aspect of our business learning and development.
What’s your one top recruitment tip to anyone looking to hire their first employee? You’re first employee is joining an individual and not a team. They will become the building block upon which your team is built – treat this crucial hire accordingly.
That said, there is a shortage of quality candidates and competition for good candidates is high; so, you need to make your offer to stand out from the crowd. Schools are recruiting more Level 3 qualified candidates, offering higher state funded salaries, school hours and school holidays, which is a more attractive proposition than that of a full-day, full-year, daycare setting. Many school leavers are pushed into the childcare route without a clear understanding of the demands of the role. NVQ training courses do not EYB 033
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Six business books to upgrade how you look at your childcare business.
Getting a new perspective can change everything. Business books haven’t become such a huge part of entrepreneurship for no reason. It’s because they have the power to make you step back, look at your childcare business and realise what you could do differently.
What to read when you’re growing your business
What to read when you’re growing your business
The four hour work week
Stop talking, start Inbound doing marketing
If the slog of a full working week is driving you to start a business, you have to read this book. The idea is to create the most profitable business possible, which takes up the least of your time. What could sound better than that?
If you’ve been thinking and talking about starting a business for a while, but haven’t taken the leap yet, this is the perfect book for you. Full of inspiration and thoughts that will challenge the reasons you haven’t started up yet, Stop Talking, Start Doing won’t let you avoid starting that childcare business you’ve been dreaming of.
If getting more parents using your business is your main goal, there’s no better book than this one. Concise and packed full of great marketing tips, this book will tell you how to stop wasting energy pushing your message out and start getting customers in quickly. Covering SEO, blogging and social media, Inbound Marketing will change the way you run your business forever.
Good to great This one does what it says on the cover. It’s got hundreds of tips on how to take your good business and make it great. From leadership styles to the honesty you need to survive in business, Good to Great will set your mind on the path to building a much better business.
What to read when you’re trying to keep going
Blue Ocean Strategy If you’ve got competition in your area, then you need to read Blue Ocean Strategy. It will change the way you look at your business, and other people’s. Based on a study of 150 strategic decisions in business, it gathers together evidence to show you what works and what doesn’t when you want to get your business ahead of the crowd. It will help you figure out how to differentiate your business and make it so that there is no competitor to you, because there is no business like yours.
The Dip When your business comes across hard times, you can either fight for it or walk away. But how do you know which is the right choice? Should you always stick it out? The Dip has the answers! This book will let you know if you’re in a dip before a sudden recover, or if you’ve hit a downhill slide and it’s time to jump off. It’s not always easy reading, but you need to know what it has to say.