Small Business Myth #3: Knowledge is power

Written by admin on October 9, 2015 – 6:29 am -

Knowledge is power. So wrote Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. Far be it for me to argue with such an esteemed philosopher and statesman but if that was the case, why aren’t taxi drivers running the country?

An attitude prevails even today in UK small business that somehow to have the knowledge is to hold the balance of power. There is a reluctance to share information as to do so Read more »


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Network Marketing – Beware Selling The Idea Of Selling

Written by admin on September 26, 2015 – 10:27 pm -

Selling The Idea Of Selling

Network marketing prospecting is the real heart of your network marketing business – selling the idea of selling. In other words, whilst selling products to friends, relatives and other contacts starts the sales commissions rolling, there’s a better way.

The real money is to be made through proactive network marketing prospecting and bringing more and more people into your network. If you can get 5 people to join you and they each get 5 people who in turn each get 5 people and you get sales commissions from all of them, then you can make some serious money.

However, network marketing has picked up a bit of bad karma. The evangelistic methods passed down from network leaders through their distributors to unsuspecting public like you and me has left a little problem.

Read more »


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Small Business Myth #2: The customer is always right.

Written by admin on September 25, 2015 – 9:29 pm -

“The customer is always right.” Right?

Wrong!

Customers are just people like you and me, none of us are always right (with the possible exception of my wife) so clearly this isn’t the sense in which Harry Selfridge, founder of the prestigious Selfridges department store in London in the early 1900’s, intended to focus his staff on customer service. A noble sentiment but unwittingly misguided and demotivating for staff.

What about if he had said Read more »


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Small Business Myth #1: My small business ideas could make me rich

Written by admin on September 11, 2015 – 9:45 pm -

I’m sorry to be the first to break this to you but your small business ideas are worth diddlysquat.

I know that comes as a shock because you were relying on at least one of them to provide for your pension.

Everyone at some stage in life has at least one Read more »


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Ryanair – When Customer Service Goes Down The Toilet

Written by admin on March 6, 2015 – 1:31 pm -

So Ryanair are considering charging passengers to use their inflight toilets. Have they proved that customer service really doesn’t matter after all, or will Ryanair have stepped beyond the pail on this one?

Ryanair’s latest wheeze to charge for their inflight toilets is the latest in an unofficial socio-economic experiment being run by the company. To what level can they continue to strip customer service out of the system before people will stop buying their cheap tickets? Just how badly do customers want to get to destinations for next to nothing? And, to be fair, it’s a fascinating experiment to watch.

At the moment it seems OK that luggage is lost, flights are cancelled without warning or recompense, grumpy tetchy service is endured, surprise charges at check-ins are standard, customer service lines are unhelpful and stampedes for boarding gates are the norm. Read more »


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Business Credibility: Achieving Great Things In Stages

Written by admin on January 23, 2015 – 11:36 am -

Business Credibility: Achieving Great Things In Stages

“A thick tree grows from a tiny seed.  A tall building arises from a mound of earth. A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. Contriving, you are defeated; Grasping, you lose.” – Laozi Ancient Chinese philosopher

So for Man City, the bubble has burst. For the time being at least. Ka Ka has turned down a £500,000 per week salary and Robinho has gone AWOL.

It has been mooted that Ka Ka turned the offer down on moral grounds but I have a sneaky feeling that he has more business sense than the whole Man City board put together.

Ka Ka realises that if a business (in this case a football club) aspires to great things it needs to map out the journey in believable bite sized chunks. It needs credibility. And business credibility needs to be earned and not bought.

Ask a horticulturist and they will tell you not to plant a seed in a pot that is to big. Better to replant it repeatedly into pots that are progressively bigger.

If you’re launching a new small business into an already crowded market then aim to beat the competition in steps. Prioritise building business credibility. Find an energetic and competent intrapreneur to drive your business, but don’t throw money at Stuart Rose (CEO at M&S) and expect him to either say yes or actually be a good fit anyway. He may be right for a few stages down the line but not now. Read more »


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Book Review: Business Stripped Bare – Richard Branson

Written by admin on January 18, 2015 – 10:37 pm -

Business Stripped Bare – Richard Branson

How did Virgin Mobile become the fastest business in United States history to reach a $1 billion turnover? (Yes, Faster even than Microsoft or Google)

How did a man who set out to sell records in the 70’s become one of the world’s most influential social entrepreneurs with friends to count on such as Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and the Dalai Lama to name just a few?  Business Stripped Bare provides the answers.

Before you even make it to the opening credits you get a flavour of what being a truly global entrepreneur looks like. On the inside cover in rough handwriting (presumably Branson’s) are notes detailing some of the things he managed to achieve last year: Ordered 6 new 747 400’s; Opened a game reserve in Africa; Bought 5 miles of Majorcan coastline for new hotel; Secured site for largest cinema in the world in Tokyo;Opened first megastore in Beirut; Richard Branson is without question a truly global entrepreneur. Read more »


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Target Customers To Maximise Sales In 10 Steps

Written by admin on January 6, 2015 – 12:19 am -

How strange that we small businesses so often forget to target customers as a priority when hunting for that elusive increase in sales turnover.

Yet statistics consistently show that the cost of gaining business through prospecting is anywhere between 3 and 10 times as expensive as increasing sales through current customers.

Armed with that snippet of information it would be odd not to address the issue of how to target customers to maximise sales.

Target Customers To Maximise Sales In 10 Steps:

Make sure that you work through these steps in sequence. It’s important.

1- 80:20…Prioritise. Always remember that 20% of your customers will provide 80% of your profit. Work out who they are and focus on them. Now target customers who are in your bottom 20%. Ditch them.

2- Customer service.  I’m not just talking good customer service. I’m talking mind busting customer service. Good won’t differentiate you from the competition. 80% of customer service is giving the customer what they want when they want it. 20% is the personal relation building, touchy feely bit. Get the 80% right first without fail. Then worry about the 20%.  And don’t forget to give your customer some fun while you’re about it. Read more »


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Small Business Christmas Wish

Written by admin on December 24, 2014 – 1:45 am -

Christmas is a great time to pause for breath and that’s something that we small business people find difficult to do.

So in this enforced pause for breath let me use it as an opportunity to wish great things in 2009 to all people who’s business is business.

To those full of hope incubating an idea that has yet to blossom into a successful business: I wish that you ask yourself two questions: 1. Is your idea going to change the world and 2. Has it been done before? If your answers are yes and no then it is only you that lies between its success and failure.

To those in business for whom business has become a metaphor for pain, hardship, suffocation; for whom the promise of eternal financial and social freedom has become a distant footnote: I wish that your 2009 resolution be that you break out at all cost, whatever it takes. Visualise your exit with a renewed gusto and plan that you succeed without fail. Read more »


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Intrapreneur – Work Smarter Not Harder

Written by admin on December 19, 2014 – 12:37 am -

As an intrapreneur, it’s easy to get stuck between the dual roles of corporate visionary and day to day manager. You’re told to “work smarter not harder” and to “work on the business, not in the business”. But how?

The business needs you down there at the coal face right now. There’s not enough staff, you haven’t got time to train anyone else right now and, hell, you can do the job quicker anyway.

The problem with this mindset for the intrapreneur is that it’s not scaleable. You are not creating a framework for your business to grow.

Work smarter not harder. You are simply rushing from one crisis to another like an entertainer spinning plates hazardously on the end of bamboo poles.

With each stage of growth the crises are getting harder for you to manage. You are losing site of the horizon. The plates are about to come crashing down. You need help. Read more »


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