Career advice – how to grow your business – Stylist Magazine

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Every business is unique – here’s how to better understand the needs of your own enterprise, no matter how big or small…
If you’re the owner of a small business, chances are you’ve experienced a very challenging couple of years.
Running your own enterprise is a constant learning experience at the best of times, but after the unprecedented impact of the pandemic, many business owners are struggling to get the support they need.
Indeed, in a recent report commissioned by Vodafone, entitled SMEs Like Me, it emerged that 59% of SMEs have sought no support or funding from any third party, with only 11% having sought advice from large companies or business mentors.
Happily, help is at hand, with Vodafone offering a pair of two central resources to help SMEs along their journey.
The V-Hub offers free expert guidance, knowledge and a constantly evolving range of tools and training alongside free one to one advice with an advisor, while business.connected (an initiative created in partnership with Enterprise Nation) is helping 150,000 small and medium-sized businesses adopt technology, boost digital skills and stay safe online.
The first step in working out what kind of help you need is to define the personality of your business.
Having conducted research that found SMEs to be as vibrant, diverse and complex as British life itself, and recognising that large businesses need to do a better job of understanding SMEs (as opposed to treating them as a single homogenous group) Vodafone has created a handy guide to help work out what kind of SME you might be running. 
Read on to work out which business personality best represents your situation…
If you’re a Passion Seeker, the likelihood is that you started a business out of love for an idea, although other key motivations might include the chance to be your own boss, the flexibility that offers and the opportunity to give back to the community.
Your passion typically extends beyond your working life, and you find yourself continually seeking inspiration, new ideas, and the chance to develop new skills. Highly social individuals, Passion Seekers are always looking to build new connections and relationships either for work or simply for the sake of expanding their community.
Lead Players are career-focused individuals who are driven by the desire to be their own boss. If you’re a Lead Player, your job will be key to your sense of identity, which in turn means you’re likely to work longer hours and potentially suffer the effects of work-related stress.
On the positive side, you’re likely to view that additional effort as worth the trade-off when it results in the opportunity to make more money. That entrepreneurial mindset is a key characteristic of the Lead Player.
This personality applies to anyone who is self-employed, but doesn’t refer to (or think of) themselves as a small business.
Strikingly, Vodafone found that 71% of self-employed people don’t describe themselves as a small business – if this sounds like you, you could be missing out on access to the same support systems as other business owners who run larger companies. 
Those that sit in this category tend to be motivated by increased flexibility and the ability to be their own bosses.
If you’re a Necessity Entrepreneur, you probably started your business following a change in situation – redundancy perhaps, or a shift in your family scenario.
This doesn’t necessarily translate as a negative, however, given the added flexibility that comes from being a business rather than an employee.
Possibly as a result of that flexibility factor, Women are 11% more likely to fit in this category compared to the overall survey results.
If your primary concern in the world of work is financial security, and believe the best way to achieve that is via steady professional progression, you fit the Career Climber profile to a tee.
Career Climbers tend to work at small to medium sized businesses, on account of the salary, opportunities and benefits offered by working within the structure of a slightly larger organisation.
Whether they’re making strides in the world of sustainability or crusading for equal opportunities, Community Builders ​​thrive on having a sense of purpose in their roles.
Community Builders are either business owners or employees at SMEs, and derive a great deal of job satisfaction from the feeling that they are making a tangible difference to the world around them.
If you previously worked in a different industry to your current role, or found yourself making a significant career change during the upheaval of the past few years, you probably fit into the Reassessors category.
Largely motivated by the opportunity for greater flexibility and freedom, as well as a chance to give back to their community, Reassessors are those who have decided to shake up their career or lifestyle post-pandemic. 
If your company has been running for more than twenty years, you can consider yourself an Ever Present.
Frequently overlapping with the Necessity Entrepreneurs, Lead Players and Passion Seekers, Ever Presents likely joined or started their business for better salary or benefits, and have stayed put because of those same motivations. 
Want to take advantage of Vodafone’s expertise to help take your business to the next level? The V-Hub and business.connected resources are here to help. Plus, you can read more about the current state of SMEs in the UK by downloading the official report here.
If you’re a small or medium sized business looking for a greater degree of flexibility with your connectivity services and collaboration tools then Vodafone Pulse Connect may be the solution you’re looking for. Vodafone Pulse Connect bundles business-grade broadband, unlimited calls to UK mobile and landlines, collaboration (Microsoft 365 Suite), and cloud calling tools into one complete solution – with just one monthly bill. Users can also disconnect up to 20% of their mobile and collaboration services in a billing month – helping them quickly adapt to new challenges. To find out more about how Vodafone Pulse Connect could help your SME business visit:
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