Is it really a business or just a good idea? How do you know?….

AM Total Business Solutions Ltd -

By Angela Morris

Is it really a business or just a good idea? How do you know…

It’s not such a complicated question! One of the easy ways to find out if you are running a business or a hobby is not to ask everyone what they think but rather ask yourself a few simple questions. Such as:


 Are you doing your product/service for commercial reasons?
 Is your product/service for the purpose and prospect of making a profit?
 Do you find yourself repeatedly or regularly undertaking or making the products and/or activities?
 Is your service/product planned, organised, distributed and carried on in a business-like manner?
 Do you find there is a natural (organic) demand for your activity

If you answer yes to more than two of these questions, it would be reasonable to assume that you are operating a business. The next very question is:

Question mark
Are you being paid for what you do or are you giving your time effort and energy just because you love what you do? Even if you charge, you need to calculate how much time is spent on a project or product so you don’t end up working for £1.00 and hour or less!


As a working example: a dear friend of mine who is incredibly gifted charges for her creative work however by the time she has spent hours (which is why a day rate is good) on the phone to the client as they continually “tweak” (I can’t that word!) the product, means that in real terms she is making nothing! In fact she is really in the red!


Think about it: if someone asks you to design a logo for them and they continually want to discuss, change etc. If you have spent a total of 25 hours talking to them you will be out of pocket unless you factor this possibility in.

Enough of my rantings for now! In the meantime try and make up your mind as to whether you are serious about making some money! Why?  Because….


“Life’s too short!”

Need further help or advice? call me or visit my website:


Is it really a business or just a good idea? How do you know?…. was originally published on Angela R Morris – Total Business Solutions


My meeting with a Business Woman of the Year!

AM Total Business Solutions Ltd -

By Angela Morris

My meeting with a……

Businesswoman of the year!

Hi All! I must say, I am thoroughly enjoying myself as an entrepreneur. The fascinating people I meet on almost a daily basis constantly has me learning new things, getting great tips and making new business connections! My latest new “business” friend is Jackie Groundsell Founder and CEO of 1230 The Women’s Company, who last year won the coveted award of Beckenham Businesswoman Star Award of the year!

Award-winning Jackie, knows only too well the challenges and pressures faced by today’s business women; meeting various personal challenges in her own life has given her great empathy with the wonderfully inspiring business women she meets and supports. “I would say my can-do attitude and ability to talk are two of my greatest personal assets. I’m always up for a challenge!” Jackie continues to run her IT training company as well as public speaking and mentoring and is constantly inspired by the business women she meets through her networks.

As always, in my meeting with Jackie, I asked her to share some tips for those of us in the world of running our own business.

Here they are:

  1. Make use of the flexibility being your own boss gives you.
  2. Get some “me” time in there, no matter how small!
  3. Network! For support, advice, expertise – business growth
  4. Listen to gut reaction and enjoy!

How is that for good, practical advice? Behind these words lie a host of stories and experiences. I don’t want to miss out any further and now, I too am a member of her prestigious networking club: 1230 The Women’s Company. Why wouldn’t I want to? Because…

“Life’s too short!”

 Jackie and IJackie Groundsell


To find out more 1230 The Women’s Company visit her website:

My meeting with a Business Woman of the Year! was originally published on Angela R Morris – Total Business Solutions

A tale of two sisters – keys to maintaining a thriving family business!

AM Total Business Solutions Ltd -

By Angela Morris

A tale of two sisters- How to maintain a thriving family business!

Anyone who really knows me, knows that I love getting my hair and nails done, that’s just a part of who I am!

In following my nail technician(Camille) around I came across a lovely hair and beauty salon named Halos, owned by two sisters Joy and Yaema which was founded and has remained established since 1998.
In my mind, based on my experience, they achieved what they aimed for in terms of the ambience, warm and friendly atmosphere which is sadly missing from many beauty salons today even though they face huge competition in the local area!


In my brief interview with Joy (whose background is legal conveyancing), I wanted to establish how she and her sister managed to survive recessions, competition and saturation of the market (when they started out back in the 1980’s hair technology such as weaves and nail technology was practically non-existent in the UK).

Interestingly enough their approach to closure of business is that it may be at times be necessary but not necessarily a negative, rather an opportunity to be creative in going forward!


I asked them for just 5 helpful tips they would like to send out to SMEs and these were as follows:



1) Be able to do what your employees can do so that if they leave you are not stuck!
2) Have a personal life as well as a business one. It’s very easy to let business take over your life!
3) Love what you do and even when the odds appear to be against you, you will find a way to keep it going!
4) Create a happy working environment not just for you, also your employees!
5) Make sure you are making some money!



Joy and I

Joy and I

Hoping you will find this helpful as you go through your business journey. Why? Because………..

“Life’s too short!”

Location of Halos salon where a warm welcome awaits you!
252 London Road Croydon CR0 2TH
Tel: 020 8688 3007

A tale of two sisters – keys to maintaining a thriving family business! was originally published on Angela R Morris – Total Business Solutions

Life’s too short not to grow up in your business!


AM Total Business Solutions Ltd -

By Angela Morris

A business does not grow on its own. You have to grow it!


As we go into the Easter Bank Holiday weekend I thought it would be helpful to leave you with some tips for growing your business. Did you know a business doesn’t just “grow”? It takes time and effort on your part to make it happen. So here are some ideas to think about:

How good is your Name?

Does your business have a catchy name? This helps people to remember who you are and what you sell, this can also make you easier to find on search engines.

 Remind existing and new customers of your brand at every opportunity.  

To help raise your brand awareness why don’t you put your company name on every receipt and marketing item you are trading? If you in the retail business, why not get some T-shirts printed with your company name on and wear them or distribute some pens and mugs with your logo?
Consider targeting other markets.

How well is your current market serving you? If it’s doing well, why not expand into other areas? Could you provide your products or services to others cohorts or communities to generate more income? E.g. if you make cakes why not run a range of themed cake for babies?

Tender for a government contract. 

Although a fair amount of perseverance is required when working to secure most government contracts, if you are prepared and take the time to fully comply with RFP terms and conditions, this could pay off huge dividends!

You may say to me, “Angela, this is long!” yes it is work, however it could be worth it. Why not at least give it a try because…


Life’s Too Short!

distractionsHAPPY EASTER TO ALL MY READERS! distractions

Life’s too short not to grow up in your business! was originally published on Angela R Morris – Total Business Solutions

Life’s too short not to take advice from a top CEO!


AM Total Business Solutions Ltd -
By Angela Morris

Sharing some nuggets from my meeting with a top CEO!

I was taught a long time ago that whenever you come into the presence of a high profile individual, such as a CEO, if you are going to speak to them, at least have something sensible or constructive to say!

Today I was privileged to have some quality time with Mr Stephen Howard CEO of Business in the Community (BITC).


A lawyer by profession, Stephen joined Business in the Community in September 2005. He has brought a wealth of senior management expertise acquired in the corporate sector to Business in the Community. Stephen has held a number of different executive and non-executive roles including, Chief Executive of Cookson group plc, and Chief Executive of Novar PLC.

I heard him speak at The National Black Women’s network and had the audacity to ask for a brief meeting at his  office (well, if you don’t ask you don’t get! ) which he kindly agreed to:

I just 3 main questions… ready? (His answers are summarised in bold, though not verbatim)

  • Q1. At the NBWN conference you made a statement about “Business models evaporating overnight” what did you mean?
  • If, as a business you do not keep up with modern technology mediums you could find yourself out of date with current trends, therefore no longer relevant in the business world (by the way that includes Social Media!)
  • Q2. What is your vision for UK business in the future?
  • People (SMEs) will become more confident to do business as we climb out of the recession, however Government funding/expenditure is likely to shrink.
  •  Q3. On reflection of your business life. What, if anything, would you do differently?
  • I would focus more on what I wanted to be more, than what I wanted to get!

Stephen Howard CEO and I 530


  • There was more to the dialogue than this, however for the purpose of this blog I would like you to contemplate on what 3 questions would you ask someone who could impact how you do business?  You never know who you’re going to end up meeting on your business or life journey
  • Oh and for the record, I think I am on the right track! Which is encouraging. Why? Because…


Life’s too short!


Further Reading:

Stephen Howard  My Predictions For 2014

Life’s too short not to take advice from a top CEO! was originally published on Angela R Morris – Total Business Solutions

My meeting with a PR Queen! So what does she do….?

AM Total Business Solutions Ltd -

By Angela Morris

What are the benefits of working with a PR team to promote your business?

Before I go into that part. What is “PR”? I won’t lie I wasn’t really sure! Lol! :)

PR (Public relations) is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organisation and the public”

In my meeting with Evadney Campbell MBE, it was a real eye-opener to understand how PR works. As the CEO of Shiloh PR Agency, Evadney has extensive experience of working in the PR and music industries in addition to TV, online and radio roles for the BBC and commercial broadcast outlets, the Shiloh PR team specialises in public relations, media training and event publicity.

I now understand, from my time spent with her, how  invaluable could be to  either start-up or growing business. It’s not as expensive as you think, but more importantly there are some things you need to know before engaging with a PR firm.

1)      You must establish what connections they have in the media world – there is no point calling yourself a PR company if you are not very well connected!

2)      You must give them time to “spin” your story – do not expect them to effectively promote you or your event with a month’s notice. To do a good job they need about 3 months.

3)      Tell them your story and life experience’s – using this information they can make you relevant to current affairs and trends and relate them to both you and your business

4)       This is not a free service! – Have a budget for it and they will let you know what they can do for your money.

5)      PR is NOT the same as Marketing – the role of marketing is place an advert, the role of PR is promote who you and/or your business in the public arena.

Here is the lovely Evadney  (PR Queen) and a link to her site… evadney-1 (1)

Check out her website and get media savvy! Why? Because…

“Life’s too short!”

 Further reading:

hows stuffs

My meeting with a PR Queen! So what does she do….? was originally published on Angela R Morris – Total Business Solutions

Get Networking but go with a plan in mind!

AM Total Business Solutions Ltd -

By Angela Morris

Get networking!


Go to the networking meeting with a plan in mind!


When sharing knowledge or information, I love to keep things on a practical level! I enjoy taking the “fear” factor out of what initially seems scary. Now… about this matter of networking it is not as grand as it sounds but it is very, very effective when you are building your business!


One of the UK’s queen of networking is Sonia Brown MBE. Having spoken to her on several occasions what is incredible about her is that she is able to remember not only who people are but what they do! In my personal opinion, the reason Sonia excels in this area is because she is not afraid to put herself out there to connect with people.

Ask yourself this question: How will you get business if you just rely on the people you know? (especially if they are not into what you do!). One of the comments I made when I was at City Hall a couple of weeks ago was that being “broke was a great way to become resourceful!” this is very true but actually networking is a very resourceful and economical tool to use. You can build a contact database very quickly and more importantly there is that chance of picking “the low hanging fruit” from it.

So here some practical tips you can do before you go to a meeting:

1)      *Try and found out who else is attending the meeting

2)      *Do some research on the ones you specifically want to speak to

3)     * Be prepared to tell them what you do in your business

4)      *Make sure you have business cards to exchange (or at least   phone numbers)

Last but not least put on your smiling face! distractions

So now it’s time to get out there and do your thing because….


Life’s too short!


Finally, I would like to inform you about some of Sonia’s events. Please see link(s) below:

EvolveBusinessGrowthProgramme 19/05/2014e



Get Networking but go with a plan in mind! was originally published on Angela R Morris – Total Business Solutions

Life’s too short not to stay motivated in your business!

AM Total Business Solutions Ltd -

By Angela Morris

Life’s too short not to stay motivated in your business!

 I know, from personal experience, it can be hard at times to stay motivated or as the young people would say “to keep it moving” naturally, mentally and emotionally when you are running your own business. This is perfectly normal!! Even when you successfully deal with your distractions (see last post if you missed it) there can be that sense of weariness to keep going. If you didn’t have these experiences I would question if you were an entrepreneur!


Motivation is a powerful force that

can impact us in many

positive or negative ways based on what we choose!

There is lots written about this so I will just give you a few pointers on maintaining your mojo!


 1.     Positive thoughts – I know it can be really hard for some of you, but this is the only way to find motivation in the first place. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, just stop!  Turn your focus and attention elsewhere. Try and get some quick wins which will help give you a sense of accomplishment! You will then feel very motivated.

2.     Become Confident- this is not just thinking positive about your world, your friend or family, it is you thinking positive about yourself!  If you start entertaining thoughts about being incapable or stupid, you will certainly feel like that and will reduce your enthusiasm at a rapid pace! Spend time with people who believe in you and can lift your spirits and leave you feeling motivated!

3.     Count your successes (or your blessings!). What are you strengths and when have you had good outcomes in the past? You may not what you want at the moment but what resources do you have that could be used? Take a moment and reflect on all the things you’ve achieved in the past. Why should now be any different? If have achieved before you can do it again and will feel extremely motivated!


Don’t give up because if you persevere, stay the course and stay motivated as often as you can, you will succeed. Why? Because….


“Life’s too short!”


Further Reading:

http://top tips to staying motivated

http://skills you need to stay motivated






Life’s too short not to stay motivated in your business! was originally published on Angela R Morris – Total Business Solutions

Life’s too short to get distracted from your business!

AM Total Business Solutions Ltd -

By Angela Morris


Life’s too short to get distracted from your business!

Being distracted can come in various forms however their ultimate goal is to put you off the true focus of your goal!

If you think of distraction not in terms of the action or activity but as an attractive looking seductive individual (yes, by all means let your mind run riot!) then this may help you capture the essence of what I am describing.

Some people are more easily distracted than others. Some people are so tunnel-visioned that it would take a nuclear explosion to get them off track! Like all things in life the key is balance so to help out those of us who are “always willing to help” here are a few disguises that “distractions” uses for its voice…

“You have to talk on the phone to your friends!” – That may well be true but save this for the evenings or the weekends. You are too busy to be talking, unless of course, it’s making you money!  Blogs distractions 1 - Distracted

“You need to get involved in the “drama” and have your say!” – It’s not called drama for nothing and unless you’re in the acting business, you have no business getting involved in things that do not directly involve you! Get on with your business! Blogs distractions 2

“You are working too hard, you need to take lots of little breaks!”  – Again if you haven’t set any targets for yourself to earn the break, ignore that suggestion!

Blogs distractions 3

“I (which person) really need you to spend time with me, now!” – Unless this person is under 18 years old, get them to book a scheduled time with you are the manager of your time!

Blogs distractions 4

“I know you’re busy but….” – yes, that’s right you are busy and it’s okay to remind yourself and others of this. You don’t need to reject them outright but again schedule a time to help them that fits in with your programme rather than theirs!

Blogs distractions 5

It takes time and experience to discern the difference between a real situation and a distraction but the clue is in how it leaves you feeling:


Drained? Discouraged? De-motivated? Disillusioned? Depressed? Distrusting? Disturbed?

Yes well there’s the D for Distraction for you, showing up anytime, anyplace and anywhere but believe me it’s not a martini (too young to remember?) and if you need a drink at the end of the day make it a good one!distractions

Why? Because…

“Life’s too short!”


Easily distracted? why its hard focus and what do about it!

13 ways to beat distractions and stay focused at work

Life’s too short to get distracted from your business! was originally published on Angela R Morris – Total Business Solutions