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Business Development

The high street fights back!

Despite the demise of yet more large retail businesses over the last month, there are some who are getting with the programme and working out how to keep customers coming to them through clever technology or providing an inviting experience through their shops. There is definitely still a place for the high street. I’m not a big fan of shopping, but sometimes you do want to go and browse and look at the products you want to buy. Shoes, clothing, books and computers are the ones I would happily go and rummage around for. Shoes, only because I can’t be […]

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Lean Consumption – the new way to happy customers

As I’ve written in several blogs on customer service, getting and keeping happy customers isn’t rocket science. Unfortunately, it seems to be a challenge for many organisations. Given it takes a lot less effort and money to keep your existing customers than to find new ones, it makes much more sense to set up your business to ensure they have the best experience with you so they stay with you (and hopefully buy more from you and tell lots of other people how amazing you are!). To that end, I give you – lean consumption. Not a summer diet… Lean consumption […]

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Outsource to grow your business

I did a talk this week about how to increase the profits in your business without increasing your sales. One of the areas I talked about was outsourcing the areas of your business that distract you from actually growing it. A survey carried out by the FSB in 2016 concluded that UK small business owners spend an average of four days per month on internal business administration, while 55% believe the amount of admin they face is stunting the growth of their companies. 76% of small business spend more time than they feel is necessary on compliance – tax, pensions, insurance, […]

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Never give up! Is this always true?

As business owners, we are often urged to never give up. I recently watched the film Eddie The Eagle. He was a class act in never giving up. He had a dream of going to the Olympics and he didn’t stop until he got there. It made me think about whether giving up is ever an option, or whether there are times when you should throw in the towel? We all know the stories about those people who achieved success with despite multiple setbacks: J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter manuscript was rejected by 12 publishing houses. Gone With the Wind […]

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What’s your bigger game? And is it ok to have a smaller one?

Do you have a plan for business growth? And do you look at it and feel guilty if it doesn’t include world domination? That you don’t have a burning desire to want to save or create a better world with your business? I used to. There is a school of thought that we’re supposed to have a bigger game, a vision, a passion, creating something to help millions. There are people who do this – Tom Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Priestley, Mario Forleo – who says ‘The world needs that special give that only you have’. And so many others […]

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Don’t be a business dinosaur – keep an eye on the future

This week we meet some more dinosaurs of the business world with both  Toys “R” Us and Maplin going into receivership. You’d think businesses would learn from the mistakes of past spectacular failures like Blockbusters or Kodak who didn’t or wouldn’t see the future. If you don’t move with the rapidly changing times, you’re likely to get trampled in the rush of progress. Which is exactly what has happened with these businesses. I am not surprised, certainly not about Toys “R” Us – I’ve been thinking for some time how out of touch Toys “R” Us was. Those soulless shops […]

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The Apprentice – Episode 9 – Cooking up a storm

This week in The Apprentice, Lord Sugar took some good cooking advice and gave the teams a good stir. He separated the two remaining gents, Harrison and James, and put Harrison in charge of Vitality as his business proposal is food based. Sarah took on the PM role for Graphene as she runs a confectionery business. The task The task – to create a recipe kit, brand it and then pitch it to a room of food experts. The team with the most votes from by the experts would be the winner. The teams split into recipe creation vs branding […]

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The Apprentice – Episode 8 – Canine Capers and a shock in the boardroom

Staggering new statistics this week in The Apprentice –  A quarter of the population has a dog (over 11 million). That’s a lot of poop that needs scooping!  And owners spend £11bn, yes, eleven billion pounds, on their dogs. I couldn’t believe that figure so I looked it up on line – it’s actually over £12bn!! I’m in the wrong business! All of which leads (see what I did there?) neatly to this week’s task. Running a doggy day care service. The two services available were running a dog spa or doggy training classes. They also each had a mobile […]

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The Apprentice – Episode 7 – Car Crash TV

This week The Apprentice task was an old favourite – the marketing of a new product. In this case two cars to launch. The teams had to create a brand, a TV advert and a digital advert for the London Underground which they then had to pitch to an advertising agency. The best campaign won. Poor Charles – always the bridesmaid, never the PM, yet again put himself up for leading Vitality and yet again was completely ignored in favour of Michaela. I think he’s put himself up for the role in every episode so far and every time it’s […]

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The Apprentice – Episode 6 – Lost in translation

Another classic The Apprentice episode – the tour guide task where the candidates have to organise a tour, sell tickets and take the poor unsuspecting tourists on a whistle stop tour around an area. This week, the candidates got to go to Bruges on board the enormous cruise ship – the Brittania, which can take 3000 guests!  My idea of hell on earth. My antipathy to cruises aside, the teams had to choose a theme and run with it. Bruges is an easy one to cover given it has beautiful buildings and is the home of chocolate, beer and waffles. […]

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