Business Consulting AMA With Hayley Koseoglu

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have Hayley Koseoglu. Hayley, welcome.

Thank you, thank you for having me.

My pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Yes, so my name is Hayley Koseoglu, as you’ve already said, I am a business consultant, so I work with small business owners to help them to improve their business and eliminate the daily frustrations and firefighting that they experience on a daily basis. And my background is in a commercial cleaning and hygiene. So I’ve come from a service based business background and that’s why what I worked with generally with my clients is typically service based businesses. Okay, I saw one of the quotes which was a limited, eliminating daily frustrations of the people that sort of approach you, what tend to be the daily frustrations of the typical business owner. Typically, in service based businesses, it’s usually one of three things.

So it can either be money, you know, cash flow and the constant chasing of money from people or not making enough money depending on where their businesses at in their business journey. The next one is usually people so trying to get their people to work how they want them to work or if they’re having sort of a lot of patterned behaviour with certain people in the business and they’re not really sure how to eliminate that going forward. And then the other one is time. So sometimes they want to do more in their business, but they don’t really know how to do it or they’re not really sure if they’ve got enough time. So they tend to be the three top things that I come across. But again all caused for different reasons, depends on the where they’re at in their journey really. And would you like to give a recommendation for each of those will be a generalist recommendation for each category? Yeah. So I think it really depends on where each client is. And so what I try to do with everybody is get them to do a full analysis of their business so that we can assess any patterns in behaviour whether or not it’s their behaviour or staff behaviour to get things to be more efficient, more effective to either a give them the time back so that they can focus in other areas of the business or if they need to do some transitions with their people to give them the time to actually focus on that and the changes that they need to make.

And again, obviously with their money and that’s usually down to systems and processes internally within the business and they’re not perhaps being as efficient and as effective as possible. So most of what I do comes down to how the business is operating internally to make it more efficient and more effective and the outcome of that is that generally they have better cash flow. They have less problems with their team and they have more time to enjoy either working in their business or taking some time out after all the years that they’ve been working within it. So usually it comes down to systems and processes. Okay, so it’s more of an effect than it is a cause. Is it also a because I was going to ask you about a gap analysis, is that what you’re referring to? Okay, so a gap analysis is looking at those three things. So a gap analysis is essentially something that I designed and it’s a tool kit that I used to essentially a questionnaire that business owners can fill in to assess their business in all different areas. So what have they got?

What haven’t they got in terms of systems and processes? What did they think that could do with improvement? What’s their idea of the culture within the business and it goes into all the different areas within their business and then that highlights some of the gaps and some of the areas that perhaps need a little bit of improvement in order to move their business to the next level. So it’s something that I designed based on my own business experiences and it’s worked really well. Okay. And you say that your business consultant, if it’s not self-explanatory, what is a business consultant and what’s a typical day look like for you? What do you do this? So my definition of a business consultant and people have different ideas of what our business consultant does. So in terms of me myself, I am a business owner, I have been there, I’ve done it, I’ve got the T-shirt and I can help people based on my own business experiences, but also that of what I’ve worked with certain clients to help them to essentially them pinpoint the true problems that are going on within their business and actually how that they need to make changes in order to move the business to the next level.

So for me, it’s more about somebody once described it as having somebody rummaging through your knicker drawer. It’s really uncomfortable to start with, but it’s really important in order to make sure that you’ve got the right foundations for going throughout the day. And actually it was a really interesting analogy and actually one that are sort of like latched onto because it’s a I’ve never heard anybody describe it that way before, but it is quite true really, it’s about just going and having a really good in-depth look at the business and how you can move it forward to the next level. Well, like the analogy, I’m just not so sure I could use it myself now first when they said, I was like, okay, I’ve never heard it described like that before, but actually it is, you know, it is a little bit uncomfortable working with the business consultant in the first instances and lots of people are afraid to reach out to have those conversations because they’re worried about what are they going to ask me questions? I haven’t got the answer to or are they going to find something and they’re going to judge me based on that and you know, everybody within businesses is that their own stage within their business journey and there’s no perfect way to run a business, you know, there’s not a business in this country in the world that runs perfectly smoothly all the time.

And if there is, then I’d like to find it, but you know, it’s all about the problems that you’re faced with and how you deal with them, you know, I’ve got multiple businesses and each one of them are facing their own challenges at the moment, but we have systems and processes in place to make sure that when things come or we can deal with them efficiently and effectively. And sometimes if we can’t deal with it, we get the experts in that can and that’s what working with the business consultant is all about. It’s just about having that somebody there to ask if you’ve got a problem and how do we fix it? Okay. There was one line, one sentence that I was really interested in and that was you exited your business in 2016, you still own it 100% now. Typically who I, the people I speak to, they either are owner operator or they exited, and they don’t actually have anything to do with it anymore. Would you mind going into the a few bits, are a few tips of processes about how you have exited your business, but you’re still 100% owner of it.

Yeah, so I essentially have a team of people that work in the business on the day-to-day basis and they run it on my behalf. So I have a lady in there, that is the operations director now, she is a B class shareholder, her but only got 11 share within the businesses of the class, but I hold 100% of the ordinary shares, so whilst there is a progression plan, therefore, you know, people to do more shareholding in the future. The plan at the moment is for me to continue owning the percent. But the lady that’s looking after things on a day-to-day basis has worked with me for seven years, you know, she started from the bottom and worked away up. So we’ve got a really good solid relationship and I’ve trained her and everything that she knows about the business. And she’s sort of, another version of me, although slightly smaller, I’ve not heard that term before. B class shareholder, you tell me what that what that is. So essentially, it’s essentially a shareholder of the business, so she’s not a director as such, she just owns a share of the business, enables her to still have the benefits of being a director, in terms of the financial benefits of getting paid through dividends and you know, and everything else, but what it means is that she doesn’t have any voting rights, so for example, in terms of, if anything should happen to the business, it will still be 100% my responsibility to make sure that things are carried out in the way in which they should, from a safety point of view, from a legal standpoint, but it gives her the benefits of being a shareholder without the legal obligations of the responsibilities, if that makes sense.

There is a lot more to it than that, but you would be somebody that is not legally minded, that’s the basic version of it. Okay, and how long did that take you to go from, because you are, you are owner operator presumably, and then how long did that take to going from being in your business to not having much to do with it anymore? it took around 18 months. and in hindsight probably would have taken a lot less time if I have not been quite so much of a control freak because I am. so I came away from the business and things didn’t quite go how I wanted them to go, there was a few gaps in a few areas that I after coming away realised that I’m still attached to certain things and mainly by choice and by them by design, but I was still holding on to some of the customer relationships on a daily basis and I hadn’t sort of done the transition of, okay, and the sort of person is going to be looking at the day to day now.

So that was a, that was bought more down to my own lack of wanting to let go. But then eventually I sort of came away from the day to day in and around 2017 before I went off to have my children. I think you highlighted a really good point because I think most people, if they’ve got, like you say, any type of customer relationship, they struggle with letting go. I think you can go is that is the right term for it. So if someone was in that particular scenario, what would you tell them? I think have the conversations and don’t be afraid. You know, most people are aware that, you know, you don’t keep the same relationships as the business grows and as the business moves forward. in my case, all I really needed to do was hand them over a lot earlier than I did. I was so used to when people called me and said, oh, we’ve got a problem here, I was so used to just go in and doing it myself, I sometimes would forget, actually, no, I’m not supposed to be doing this anymore and I have a whole team that are more than capable of dealing with it?

I was just in a habit of oh yeah, I’ll just do it myself because it won’t take me five minutes. So yeah, tell me a two second job, I’ll just sort it out. But actually I had to get out of the habit of just saying, oh yeah, take me five minutes, I’ll do it now and instead bringing them up and saying such and such as just called, would you mind just popping in and dealing with this and this, that and the other had to train myself retrain myself to not just be the go to and I’ll just go and fix it straight away kind of thing. It’s hard to do. It’s hard to let go of that when you’re so used to it. You know, if a customer calls you and you’re so used to just being so responsive, it’s really difficult to step away and to then delegate it to somebody else. It takes it takes practice and knowing that they’ll do it properly. And obviously now I don’t have any question, but in the initial terms, it’s like they’re going to do it how I would do it or they’re going to do it exactly to the book and you know, they don’t always do it perfectly every time, but then probably neither did I I just have my own perspective of it, if that makes sense. Yeah.

Did you have that ambition for lack of a better going in or was it by necessity that you were able to The plan was always to not be there on a day to day basis longer term. So my plan when I first when I initially went into the business, it was never supposed to become what it what it was, you know I set the business up as a part time job, you know, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was 18 years old. I didn’t have a clue what life was about really at that point, but as the business grew and as it developed I realised that actually know this could be consulting and it and it obviously did, but my long term plan was always no matter what I chose to do in life, I didn’t want to be working full time at the point of which I had Children, But I still wanted to benefit from a full time salary. So I kind of wanted to have my cake and eat it because as I was growing up my parents always worked full time and you know I was an only child, I wasn’t, my parents weren’t able to pick me up from school and dropped me off and whilst they always did 100%, you know they were always there when they could be there.

I always wanted to be the mom that could pick up their kids from school and you know be able to just work around my other commitments. So that was always the long term plan. And it just happened before the children arrive and you’ve shown that that’s possible. Yeah. Yes definitely. Yeah. So what business you said you’ve got three businesses what businesses are you in? So I obviously still own the commercial cleaning business. And they specialise in engineering, manufacturing and production. So they have a real niche sector in the area in which they clean. And then a shareholder of my husband’s business which is a specialist digital recruitment consultancy practice. And they specialise in IT roles but they’re sort of high level it senior technical offices and specific software developers and network infrastructure and things like that. And then when I’m not helping to keep them on track I got my own consultancy practice helping obviously as I said earlier small businesses to eliminate their daily frustrations within their businesses.

You’re very busy then I am busy that and two small Children have you. Well I wanted to ask you ask the question is sort of tied together. So I wanted to ask you initially about did you get like a massive boom of requests when covid hit because you’re company we got a lot of people ringing for hand sanitizer and you know the products and there was a concern initially over supply and demand because obviously cleaning products and the sanitizer became hugely popular, but we didn’t really have any problems with, you know, getting hold of products and such. But yes, we’ve sort of seen a shift really in the industry in terms of initially there was lots of people that closed their doors. There was some that obviously increased the level of cleaning as they remained as key operational workers. So they obviously kept the cleaning onboard and increased it. We’ve seen a change in some businesses where they’ve decided to have a full time cleaner in house and so we have decided obviously to to not outsource the cleaning.

So yeah, it’s been a real shift in this last 12 months of how the business was operating and the type of clients that they were working, with and such, so yeah. okay, and are you juggling home schooling at the moment? Well my Children are really young, so they are four and two, so home schooling is, it doesn’t really apply in some, in some elements, we do get stuff sent, but it’s usually sort of really sure activities because they got the attention span of a lost blessing. So, so yes, I’m, home schooling is a bit of a challenge, but yeah, we’re muddling on through, you’re doing pretty good in lockdown. We’re managing, I want to go so far as to say we’re doing good. I am definitely ready for them to get back to a normal routine in a proper structure again. Yeah, I think everyone feels that way. Yeah, definitely. One of the, should we say slogans, I suppose if that’s the correct term is purpose, position and process, you mind talking about that.

Yes, so purpose is all about understanding your purpose as a business owner and also your purpose for the business. So lots of people will go into the business because they have a passion for something, you know, the whole reason that I went into cleaning was because I was passionate about cleaning and I was really good at it. I didn’t have any idea how to run a business. That’s a whole different ballgame entirely. But what happens is people tend to then get into it becoming more of a business and they become more bogged down with the day to day and along the way they lose their focus, they lose their purpose and they forget why they got into their business in the first place. So um, when we look at purpose, it’s all about reigniting the vision of why the business exists in the first place and also tying that business vision into the personal vision as well. So, you know, what’s in it for them, what is it that makes them get up and get out of bed every morning and what is it that they want in terms of from, from the business because I always say that your business is a vehicle to get you to where you want to be.

So people sometimes will become so personal, personally invested in their business that they forget that actually business is there to help them to get to where they want to be and what the purpose is. So that’s a real snapshot. We do go into quite a little bit of detail in that. So you know, understanding their nation and what their area of focus is and why and what makes them different etcetera. So that’s all about the purpose. Then when we look at position, that’s all about where the business is right now. So that is looking at things like the business gap analysis tall understanding where the gaps are, understanding what the actual problem is because often when people come to me, they think they know what the problem is in their business, but when we start digging down, they realise that actually what they think and what is reality are two different things. so that is the whole purpose of you know, going through an understanding the true position of where they are right now and then re aligning that with their purposes, Okay, this is where you are right now, what’s your purpose, what you’re heading for?

And then, you know, when you combine those two, you can start to build a process and a strategy of how you’re going to make that vision a reality so that when you’re looking at process, you’re looking at what sort of processes and systems we need in place if we haven’t got them already, how those systems and processes need to communicate with one another because often people will have systems and processes and procedures in their business but they don’t talk to each other. So the class two separate departments and we look at things like accountability, we look at things like responsibility, we look at things about communication and delegation in some cases and so process is all about how we get that vision to become a reality. So that was a really long winded answer but there’s a lot of detail in each of the three elements that are focused on. So I had a couple of questions follow up from that. The first one about your vehicle, business is a vehicle to get from one point to another.

You have a purpose for your current business, consulting business. What’s the vehicle getting you to in that example? So the purpose of the consultancy business is because I don’t want other business illness to struggle and be frustrated in their business like I was. So I suppose it’s a personal element of the fact that I’ve been there. I’ve done it. I’ve got the T shirt, I know how tough it is to start a business and how to build a business and grow a business and being a business consultant gives me the flexibility. It’s sort of, you know, in terms of for me to still be able to enjoy spending time with the kids. So I can be very flexible with how I manage my clients. I can work from anywhere, which is important in the world in which we’re living in right now. So I I look after obviously all my clients via zoom at the moment, but I have the flexibility to do courses and training and things like that when we get back to being able to see people, I can be really flexible with my work.

So this kind of that is the business purpose is to help as many people as possible. But the personal purposes that this role, this business consultancy can be flexible around me and my children. Okay. And you mentioned the process just so we can sort of make it clear for anyone listening. You can give me an example of, let’s say where you’ve helped someone and they didn’t have a process and you put something in place for them and what the changes. Well, yeah, okay, so an example I suppose would be so lots of people do have processes already in their business. They’ll have procedures for things like health and safety. They’ll have they will have certain fundamental systems and processes in their business. But those systems and processes but won’t be talking to each other and they probably won’t be using them in the way in which they should within their business to make sure that their businesses is an efficient and effective business. So essentially one of the projects that I worked on actually within the recruitment business that I partially owned now was when I got involved in that business, they had lots of things going on but nothing was communicating to each other.

So as a as a progress, what we did was we reassess the business and we understood what the actual problems were and in doing so we managed to redesign some additional systems that got all of these procedures to talk to one another. So for example with that lots of people will have like a HR system where if people are off, you know they have a procedure for HR of you have so many absences and then you go down a monitoring room, you have so many you know things being missed but what’s missing there is if one person is off, who picks up that workload, you know who picks up that desk when that person is off sick for two weeks for whatever reason there was no process there, they’ve got the hate child procedures of what to do with that person but they didn’t have a process of how that desk was managed when that person went off sick. Now obviously you know we don’t ever want people to be off sick but it does happen. You know things happen within business that you can’t always foresee and it’s about making sure that the candidates and the clients and that everybody that’s on that desk is still looked after regardless of who’s there in the business and who isn’t.

So it was, it’s more about making sure that the customer and the clients still get the best possible service regardless of if you’re a man down in the office. So that was sort of, one of the systems that I put into place was to make sure that there was a transition to make sure that people will still looked after if that makes sense. And that then led on to, well, how do we manage our clients? How do we manage our candidates? What’s the process of getting the candidate from point A to point B. And then the systems evolve and you build more and you find more gaps and you build more system and it’s all a process of improvement. You know, it’s not there to make anything more complicated, it’s just there to make people understand that actually, if this box isn’t ticked, there’s a knock on effect to that and this is what the knock on effect is. So we completely transformed the way in which that business worked. And, and, you know, was it was just phenomenal in terms of seeing the transition of the culture of the team of getting them to work less like salespeople are more like team members and getting them to have a different approach to how they were, how they were operated.

Um And then another example in a food service company that I worked with in Sheffield, they had got a problem with consistent output of food. And what we did was we looked at the systems and processes in their business because they have things like the food service, food hygiene service that they have to meet certain criteria for food safety hygiene. There was the risk assessments that needed to be in place. There was the PPE. And then there was the fundamental of how do we actually create this product? And they were a burrito company, basically. What we did was we designed a system, a training program that got all of those four things talking to one another. So when you create a retail for example, you would make sure you’re wearing the right PPE, you’d have a method statement, you’d have a certain checklist of equipment that you needed to in order to make that the retail and then you would have a, this is how much goes here and this, you know, in terms of actual measurements of the foods and then it made sure that across the whole different branches, they were all receiving the same quality product.

So it’s a bit like the McDonald’s method really. But for burritos, but it incorporated all the food hygiene and all of the safety side of things as well. So again, every single client is different and what works for one might not work for another, but it’s about making sure that what’s working internally works specifically for the customer. Have you seen the founder of the film? It’s about the creation of McDonald’s. Have to watch that one. Yeah. The main character is not very ethical, but in terms of, as you say, that kind of scenario is in that film. So, well that’s how I got started with the cleaning. In terms of, you know, the main problems that we were having with the cleaning was that there wasn’t consistent service across the board because everybody had their own different idea of how you do cleaning. So we had to pull together a system that worked that included the health and safety that included everybody’s level of ability because obviously, you know, we were dealing with people who were in some cases really highly qualified, but not overly practical people.

In other cases they were juggling other things. You know, they were caring for disabled relatives or they may even have been had a disability themselves. So, you know, it’s making sure that that process is understandable by every single person at every level of ability and capability. And that’s why we designed the system internally within the cleaning business that we did to make sure that it made sense to everybody and it was easy to understand and to take on board. Yeah. Your answer highlighted what the gap analysis is as well, or at least my interpretation of it because you said you’re looking for gaps. So basically you’re going through and looking for the gaps where there are, there is no process and where there might essentially the problems created from no process, right? Yeah. And a lot of it as well, it can be down to communication, it can be down to department’s not wanting to talk to each other and things like that. So again, it just depends on every business and that’s why we have to do the gap analysis because we have to understand what they’re already and what needs to work better.

One of your quotes business is never easy. You just get better at it in order to grow. You must first have solid foundations on which to build what is a solid foundation. So actually systems and processes, it’s about having, you know, a really strong internal structure within the business, not only with the people but with the communication that everybody’s on the same page, that there’s a really good culture within the team, you know, and everybody is working to a common goals and also that everybody feels valued. I think it’s really important. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got one employee or 100 employees that everybody feels important to the company because if they don’t then it’s the quickest way to, you know, damage morale within the business and you know, you only need one disgruntled employee to cause a chain reaction. So it’s making sure that every single person within your team understands that they’re valuable and what value that they bring and also that you’re giving as much to them as they are given to you good answer.

So and no businesses never reason. It’s always a challenge in one way or another you just get better at dealing with them and become more resilient over time. Yeah Tim Rohn reminds me of that quote in order to do better, you need to be better. Yeah. If in order to determine if someone were to require a business consultant, what are the types of problems or scenarios in which they might be seeing in their business? Like have seen sometimes there might not always be something overly obvious to the owner director because sometimes they’re so involved and they’re so personally invested in their business. They can’t always see the wood for the trees. I think a lot of times when people come to me they’ve reached a point where they’re struggling to grow in their business or they’re coming up against the same feeling of frustration and you know a bit like being on a hamster wheel, they’re working really hard but I just feel like they’re going around in circles and nothing that they’re trying is really working.

So yeah there’s quite a few common themes. Generally they just hit that wall and they just feel like nothing that they’re doing is working anymore and they don’t know where to go from there, so usually when people come to me it’s kind of their last resort really. and a lot of times I’ve had it where people have come to me and they’re like that I need I need to get out of this business, I need to shut it down. But actually when we’ve drawn them away from that and actually reviewed the business, they’ve actually been able to reignite their passion and go again because they’ve got a different perspective of how to look at their business and in this last sort of 12 months I’ve had four people come to me and say right, I’m shutting down, I just want to know how to get out, and then when we sat down and looked at it, they’ve been like, no, this is great, I don’t know why I’ve not seen this before, and then they’ve got a whole different direction with their business, still delivering the same service or offering the same product, but with a different attitude and a different perception on how they can, how they can be better in the business. Very interesting. I didn’t, I didn’t think you were going to say that I thought would be like, I’m trying to achieve a particular goal and I’m hiring a business consultant in order to get there, but you’re saying it like stress people, I think that that small business coach in which, you know, there’s lots of amazing business coaches out there and they’ll help you to be held more accountable and, you know, working towards those goals.

And ultimately, when you’re running a business, there are goals that you want to achieve. But sometimes, and sometimes you’ll lose sight of them when you’re so busy in your business. And so yes, I think it just depends on where people are at book and I’m definitely what you would call a problem solver. So I like it when people come to me and say, I’ve had enough, I don’t know what to do. Okay, let’s bring it right back. Let’s have a look at it, let’s get some clarity, let’s get some focus and then let’s see where we go from there. And it’s really nice to see that transition of people when they go from being absolutely so frustrated and disheartened in their business to actually going through that transition and getting that fire back in their ballet. It’s a really awesome, you know, thing to be involved in. It’s really great to see that transition. You find it rewarding. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Because I’ve been there and I’ve done it. You know, I’ve been at that point at which I think I don’t want to do this anymore. And actually, there’s always something that you can find in them generally speaking to actually just change their perspective on their business and where they’re at and then just set them off in the right direction.

Yeah. One of the things which I think I haven’t spoken about at all in relation to processes and being able to exit the business is actually just the bog standard bank account stuff. Is there anything on that topic of how someone goes about like being 100% owner of the finances of the business to essentially handing it over in the way that you’ve done with your business? Yeah. So there are certain things that you can do in terms of putting restrictions in place. So we have multiple bank officials, if you like within the company so that they each can only do certain things within the business in terms of making sure that that control element there. And in terms of my own involvement, I still keep an eye on things on a monthly basis. You know, I will still be involved on doing things like the monthly bank wreck just to make sure that the Is are dotted and the Ts crossed. And also it’s good for me to be that second pair of eyes because I’m more likely to spot a mistake than they are because they’re involved in it on a day to day basis.

So I still have that sort of overview. I’m still there hovering over just to check things. But yeah, in terms of the ladies, they all have different levels of access within the bank, there’s limits on what they can spend. There’s systems in place to alert me if there’s big amounts of money disappearing out of the business. But that’s never happened. So yeah. And it’s about trust, it’s about having the right people that you trust and you know, and that comes over time. You know, it doesn’t happen overnight. Okay. And that’s done with the bank, is it? Yeah. So I have I have it so that certain people can only do certain activities within the bank. And there was those user restrictions can all be set up within the portal on the banks and on which bank you’re using books. But yeah, we can set restrictions on everything. We can limit what they see. We can limit what they can do. We can limit what kind of transactions they can do. We can limit the value of those traction. Can limit the value of those transactions. Sorry, I’ve got my teeth in now and we can limit everything if we need to.

Obviously as time goes on you need to be a little bit more loose on the first string’s but that comes with trust and time. Okay. And do you help businesses do that If they, is that one of your services that you help them go through that process? I can do Yes. Generally speaking. It’s not something I do a lot of but it’s something that I can help them with. Okay. And I always ask in every podcast, what are your business goals? My business goals, I’ve reached most of my business goals in terms of in a business that is efficient and effective and running without me. So I suppose my business goals now are to obviously continue to grow the consultancy, I want to help as many people as I can because there are a lot of people out there in business that are struggling that are frustrated, that can’t see a way forward, you know, and sometimes I can provide a bit of clarity just by having one conversation, you know? So for me it’s all about helping as many business people as I can to be efficient, effective and profitable in the business because I got say that again because I get a buzz out of helping people.

That is my goal now is to help as many people as possible. Okay and have you covered everything that you’d like to? Have you got any closing thoughts? Not that I can think of. Happy with everything we’ve covered, then? Yes, definitely. Okay, Hayley, where’s the best place for people to find you?

So you can find me on Instagram on Facebook, on LinkedIn or directly through the website which is Okay, thank you very much for being a great guest. I think you’ve delivered a lot of value. Thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it. My pleasure and I will speak to you soon.

Alright great. Thank you very much.