How to Use S/S2015 Design Trends in Product … Get Inspired!

How to Use S/S2015 Design Trends in Product … Get Inspired!

Today I Love… Bohemian Brights

The summer may be nearly over for us here in Europe but we are still inspired by this vibrant colour palette moving us towards Spring/Summer 2015. This fusion of digital and handcrafted elements creates a tribal, cultural aesthetic, with basket weaved, woven, tufted, fringed and beaded features. Continue reading “How to Use S/S2015 Design Trends in Product … Get Inspired!”

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How to Do Your Own Search Engine Optimisation

How to Do Your Own Search Engine Optimisation

How many conversations have you had about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? And how many emails from how many companies have you received effectively saying something like this: Continue reading “How to Do Your Own Search Engine Optimisation”

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How Window Displays become Story Tellers: London

How Window Displays become Story Tellers: London

Lisa Le PeurianHi! I’m Lisa and I’m Guest Blogging for Scarlet Opus. I moved to London in January, where I’ve been inspired by the culture, fashion, design, and fast pace of life, but most of all by the shopping! A trip down Oxford Street is now a daily (very expensive) route to work for me… so come along and have a look at the shopping temptations I face… Continue reading “How Window Displays become Story Tellers: London”

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Top 5 Garden Design Trend Tips

Top 5 Garden Design Trend Tips

It’s August, the weather is glorious (mostly) and right now life is all about being outdoors as much as possible.  And that means that magazine pages are crammed full of this season’s ‘must have’ outdoor products and warn of your total humiliation if you don’t have a huge water feature in your garden by the end of the week!  Thankfully, I’m here with 5 top tips to cut through the codswallop and ensure you make sensible and sensational al fresco decisions this summer. Continue reading “Top 5 Garden Design Trend Tips”

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How to see the Future Employing Millennials

They’re Humans, Yes – “But not as we know them”!

Are we about to witness a ‘generation gap’ that’s just too big to bridge?

There’s a generation in the workplace that’s been there for quite a while. Let’s call it the Over 40’s club, or maybe the ‘Over 45’s Club’, whichever is right, the group are around that age. Now this large group of people has an awful lot of experience of business, they have gained a huge depth of knowledge about business and developed high skill levels.

They’ve all been trained, conditioned or educated (I’m not sure which and maybe it’s a mix of all 3) to do things in a certain way. This has come from the fact that the vast majority of this group of people have been through the corporate mill. The older they are (45+, 50+, 60+) then the higher their degree of formality in business (maybe life) and the stronger their belief in ‘the right way’. They’ve all picked up the ‘right way to do things’, the right language to use. Now, time to reveal, that I am in this club (Even if you chose to call it the ‘0ver 45 Club!) and I too went through corporate life experience.

zarabotat-na-bloge-livejournal-3047However, in my view, business methodologies & processes haven’t really changed since the 1970’s. Technology has made everything faster, go to a few more decimal places, and facilitate deeper analysis. I guess, doing more efficiently and to a higher degree of complexity all the things that were done in the 70’s and 80’s, but not significantly different; not much genuinely new. Whenever I read yet another business book on ‘How to…..’ it’s nearly always possible to say “good luck to the author I hope they make some money from this, but you know, putting aside the fancy words, we used to do that at (in my case Mars) back in the ‘whatevers‘ but we called it xyz!”

Recently I came across a discussion, on a social network for business, that in one guise or another, I’ve seen a number of times in different discussion groups. But, always started by someone who is a member of the above club! It’s usually about spelling, grammar, planning etc.

Do you believe that ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ or do you think spontaneity creates more opportunity?

Now my first response was gentle enough I merely wanted to point out that the UK has become a nation of micro-business owners. Primarily driven by the fact that many people have lost their work and many young people haven’t ever been able to find any. So starting up your own and finding your own way has to a large degree been forced upon thousands. I contributed this to the discussion……

I believe that there are times when ‘getting on with things’ is best and times when a detailed activity plan assessing risks and result projections is necessary. 

For many micro-business owners, it’s best to just get going, get a little experience, and get a customer or two before you plan too much. After all, if you don’t have a customer, surely you don’t yet have a business? Unfortunately, our tired, traditional and out-dated Banks still think they know best (if it ever did) and forces ‘start-ups’ to produce a detail business plan (that most will never refer to again) in order to gain financial support. One issue with this, is that if nothing else, they drive out of the people they think they’re helping, a lot of respect for the benefits of producing a plan. 

Essential-attributes-of-a-successful-small-business-owner-256x300Of course, I understand and agree that if we’d been talking about Small to Medium Enterprises and/or larger companies, planning is essential; it ensures good communication, along with a common understanding & purpose in the company.

The first response to my comment was this…..

I see the government start-up loan scheme for young people attracting budding entrepreneurs in to business who have not thought beyond ‘I set out my stall and I will make lots of money’. Even for start-ups there are some benefits to business plan if only to get them to think about cash flow, resource planning, costing, etc. They don’t listen or bother.

Can you see how, whilst being correct as a statement looking through the eyes of the group we’ve been discussing; it may not be correct if looking through the eyes of ‘young people’?

There is a change coming. Not an evolvement, not ‘a development of’ and not a shift.

There is a significant change coming.

It’s taking longer than we trend forecasters thought it might, because the ‘over 45 club’, the banks, the corporate world is resisting it well and more strongly than we expected them to. This club is insisting on trying to re-educate, re-shape ‘the change’ into the way it should be, has always been and even the ‘right way’.

That change is being driven by the under 25’s, in fact it is the under 25’s. Things will change even more rapidly and more radical when the current under 18’s come through. You see they think differently, I mean, radically differently. Their values are very different to anything we’ve experienced before; for the first time we have a generation coming through that is REALLY something new. They won’t be forced to do things ‘the right way’, they will do things their way because it fits their ethics, values and desires.

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This group of young people value ‘owning things’ very little; they share and support each other significantly more than we ever did, or do. They consider the virtual world as real as the offline world. They ‘do’ things, review things, change and then ‘do’. Their style of communication frustrates the hell out of the ‘over 45’s club’ I’ve watched this happen in discussion groups time and time again. They speak, write & spell differently and don’t worry about things they don’t consider important.

I won’t go on; but ‘Business Planning’ as we know it is on its way out because …….. so is that ‘older persons club’! Business financing, ideas sharing/protection, work methods are all being completely re-invented. We just haven’t seen enough of it yet to realise it. But it’s happening and the over 30’s need to be aware of it and adapt to it – otherwise the market of the near future (the under 25’s now) won’t be trading with us, they’ll simply trade with each other………………….

Let me know your thoughts on this subject, your experiences and how your business is handling the prospect leave a comment. If you have any specific questions you can email me directly and now.

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How to Strengthen a Small Business with Kindness

BRING KINDNESS INTO YOUR BUSINESS AND INTO YOUR LIFE

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Image found on soulaction.org

I’ve been thinking about how we behave toward each other a lot over the past few months. And I realised that we are ‘different’ when in the ‘formal confines’ of our business & workplace to how we are outside that arena – or dare I say ‘in general life’. Why? There is no reason to be. Work isn’t some alien planet, there’s no law against being ‘you’ in work, it won’t make you a bad person. The stark reality is that in our ‘Business Body’ we are less kind to others than we have a natural tendency to be. We show less emotion in this place.

Ricky Gervais recently had aired his new TV show Derek, a show that drew mixed reaction; but in an interview Ricky explained that Derek was what you had when everything is stripped away from a person except Kindness. I was taken by the character from the first word and it was then I realised I had to begin my campaign/crusade/mission to encourage everyone who worked to be considerate and to BE KIND AT WORK. Kind to colleagues, customers, suppliers who are after all, just people. Derek said “Kindness is Magic” and you know what; he’s right. It has a magical effect on the people receiving a kindness and a magical effect on the person performing the kindness. Go On, give it a go.

There is no distinction between ‘in business’ and ‘in life’, if you are kind to others then eventually someone is kind to you.

Being kind however, means that you have no expectation of a return. Being kind to customers, colleagues, associates, and other business contacts is no different to being kind to your mother. If it is, you have misunderstood what being kind is.

Image found on dandelionmuse.wordpress.com

We are talking about a ‘feeling’. I am kind to others (I hope) not because I want something in return, but because it makes me feel good afterwards and it is enough just for me to know that. I don’t need, or want to tell the world about it.

The level of cynicism in some business is disheartening and indicates that genuine kindness and sharing is n’t really happening in lots of people’s lives.

The young people of today (millennials as they are known) share as a natural act. They don’t have the same need to ‘own’ things as previous generations. It is they who have begun the ‘sharing for free’ rave, only they did n’t feel a need to label it (perhaps they knew that we old gits in business would eventually do that for them).

I urge everyone to be kind to every person they meet for a day.

Image found on demoinwords.blogspot.com

If at the end of it you don’t feel good, indeed better than you ever did, then clearly there will never be a need to read anything I write ever again so you benefit anyway!

But I fully expect lots of you lovely readers to email me (phil@scarletopus.com) with great stories of how you felt, what happened, and that you have indeed been more successful in business as a direct result of actively seeking opportunities for you to be kind to suppliers, colleagues, employees, collaboratives, customers, and anyone coming into contact with you and your work.

To reassure the cynics, I am not a person of any religion, cult, or ‘do-gooding’ group. My work at Scarlet Opus gives me an awareness of many global issues, innovations, creativity, and learning to a level and degree that I’ve never enjoyed before. In this business I ‘found’ sharing content in my work. I liked what I read, so I tried sharing what I knew. I liked it even more, and the accompanying feeling, and so endeavoured to keep it going.

And you know what? I’ve given a lot of time to networking over the past 2 years – a lot. I’ve helped lots of people find and gain new business by giving advice that aided them, or making an introduction. BUT, I have NEVER in those 2 years of networking efficiently and according to all of the teachings, ever gained one order or new client as a result of it. But I would n’t change a thing.

So share for free and without expectation, it is the way forward in life.

Share (350x350)Image found on freedigitalphotos.net

Be kind in business especially and see what that does to your own popularity, career progression, and standing in the company community. You won’t intend for anything to happen because you’ll simply be enjoying sharing and getting ‘that feeling’ (you’ll know what it is when you get it) after you’ve been kind to someone and the impact on that person is visible to you. That statement above said ‘life’, which includes business and is not separate from it.

If you’d like some help exploring how Kindness can be introduced into your workplace (no matter how large or small it is) please call or text me (+44 7896 088 996), email me (phil@scarletopus.com), tweet me whichever you like… Speak to you soon, don’t leave it too long I’m looking forward to it!

Phil 

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