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Start up business

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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The Apprentice 2017 – Episode One – What’s your beef?

Welcome to the class of 2017. Time to buckle up for this year’s panoply of muppetry and mishaps as the new batch of wannabe entrepreneurs attempt to win the prize of £250k and Lord Sugar as a business partner. It seems hard to believe that we’re on to series 13. Surralan has become Lord Sugar, we’ve seen Margaret Mountford and Nick Hewer move on, replaced over time by Karren Brady and Claude Litner. Oh how I miss Margaret and her incredibly expressive eyebrows and cutting one-liners. Claude Litner said in an interview before the show aired that he deliberately does […]

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A simple way to work out how much you need to sell to hit your revenue targets

I was with a client recently and they shared how much money they wanted to be able to take out of the business in the long term. So what we needed to do was some maths to work out how to get there. And here is what we did. I’m going to make up the figures to preserve anonymity. They ultimately wanted to be able to take £5000 a month from the business. Stage 1 – identify current revenue and profit margins 1. Identify current annual revenue (sales or turnover) 2. Identify the net profit (the amount left over after […]

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Webinars, Fairies and Unicorns – the Myths

If you’re a business owner, particularly one in the first few years of your business, like me, you’re probably looking for solutions to a number of different problems to help your business grow. And solutions that don’t cost a great deal of money because we don’t have infinite resources. The curse of free content The internet is a blessing and a curse in this regard. There is so much ‘free’ stuff out there, that you probably could glean the answers, but you’d have to search a lot and connect a lot of dots before you get anywhere. Or you buy […]

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The benefits of a mastermind group

What is a mastermind group? It’s a group of five to eight ambitious business owners who meet once every month in order to grow their business, and achieve and exceed their goals. If you want to grow incrementally, be competitive; if you want to grow exponentially, be collaborative. — Anonymous The meetings have a structured format, aimed at making sure you identify and record your goals, overcome blocks and measure success and achievement. The sessions are facilitated by an experienced business consultant and coach but are powered by brainstorming and support from other group members. I run mastermind groups and […]

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5 reasons why having a plan is essential for your business

‘Only 3% of adults have written goals, and everyone else works for them.’ Brian Tracy Many businesses seem reluctant to plan for their business. Why is that? A client I was with a couple of weeks ago admitted he was scared to have a sales forecast for next year. When I asked him about it, he said it was scary committing to figures that he was then worried about not hitting. Which was odd, given that we’d been working off a sales forecast that I’d created for him for the last six months. And that he’d almost hit target (he […]

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Want to grow your business? Plan a bank raid!

Want to grow your business, but are not very clear about how to do it?. Do you remember why you went into business in the first place? You had a passion for what you do and you wanted freedom to be master of your own destiny to earn a good living to be able to work the hours you wanted to less stress than you had before How many of the above have you ticked as reasons why you set up your business? Now, looking at the last four how many of them are actually true? Are any of them […]

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How to minimise the risk of late invoice payment or why won’t those pesky clients pay their invoices?

As a small business, there is always a risk our invoices won’t be paid on time. We all curse the big corporates who insist on 90 day terms or who screw our prices to the floor or stop payment because a ‘t’ wasn’t crossed. But the smaller companies can be just as bad for different reasons. Excuses I have heard for not paying: ‘I didn’t think it was important – it wasn’t that much’ ‘My son was in hospital/other variations on illness’ ‘I can’t afford to pay you until my customers pay me’ ‘I’m changing banks at the moment’ ‘The […]

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