Business Consultancy Blog

If you want to get ahead in business, "Sharpen the Saw"

Anyone who knows me, will know that I like a business model and particularly a visual. One such model is "The Maturity Continuum" which simply summarises Stephen R. Covey (1989) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People multi-million selling book. I have a copy of the model posted on a notice board above my desk. There are 7 Habits ref...
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If there’s ever a time to put up your prices, is it now?

With costs rising right across the board;  How much increase in expenses, can your business absorb, and still be viable? And at what point do you pass on some or all of these cost increases to your customers? The main reason why prices fluctuate is simply supply and demand. When demand is soaring, prices go up, and when thi...
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How to ensure your business beats the statistics.

January 5th 2022 was the first day of my 8th year of trading. That's 7 full years in business, paddling my own canoe and in that time I've learned a lot about myself, being a business owner and what works and doesn't as an SME business services provider. As follows are my initial reflections, thoughts an...
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4 key areas to obtain Sustainable Business Growth.

Less than 50% of new businesses and start-ups survive their first 5 years of trading, however those that do, tend to hit a glass ceiling when it comes to pursuing continual strategic growth. There are a number of reasons why this is the case and in the following article I'm going to focus on the 4 key elements that as a business owner or busin...
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Positioning your business to come out the other side stronger.

One of the earliest business models I personally learned about (in the late 80's) was the Marketing Mix 5 Ps. Originally known as the 4Ps developed by Edmond Jerome McCarthy, a professor in Marketing at the University of Notre Dam, and proposed in his book Basic Marketing in 1960. The 5Ps are five key busines...
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When Marketing your Business - ensure you get a bang for your buck!

When you start a business and then right through till you exit that business, say through a sale, the one thing you need to continue to do, to grow and sustain your organisation, is market the products and services that you offer, effectively. There is an old adage in business, and to quote Peter Shilton; "If you stand still the...
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The Power of Follow Up!

If there's 3 key pieces of business advice I could share with you, to achieve what you set out to do, it is; Follow Up! Follow Up! Follow Up! Running and leading a business can be full on, there is always mountains of things to do, whether dealing with incoming emails and phone calls, customer queries and enquiries, managing employee's, being ...
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"Ne'er cast yer clout till May be out!"

An old English proverb, in respect to not throwing off your winter coat till May is finished. I believe this phrase can be applied to represent businesses today too (May 2021).  I.e. not rushing out and grabbing every business opportunity we see and not saying "YES" to every customer whim and request. As we move forward, there will b...
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What's your demarcation point between the end of this week and the start of next week?

"Hear your breath", "Feel your breath", "Breathe", "Go inward", "Quiet the mind", "Observe your breath", "Find your centre", "Namaste". These are the words I hear each Sunday morning, and it is at this point, that I move from the current week and start looking forward, planning and be...
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What's the one piece of business advice you would share with your younger self?

Hindsight can be a powerful thing.  When you reflect back on when you started out in business, which may have been a number of years ago, and with what you know today, what is the one piece of advice you would share with your younger self, if you were just starting out in business today? As a n...
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The 3 most important documents in your business right now.

Many businesses are currently in a state of flux and business owners are having a real roller coaster of a ride. One minute we seem to be getting back to some sort of normal trading, next we have introduction of national tiers systems and partial lock-down. Then Lock-down 2.0 was introduced last week in England with what looked like no li...
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With being in lockdown 2.0, has this made you rethink your personal priorities?

Looking for a change and wish to take control of your work / life balance? Enjoy the outdoors and traveling around North Cumbria and the Lakes? Always wanted to run and own your own business?   Well do read on….. Sick of the daily commute, long hours at your desk or internal politics of working for a large organisation?  Would y...
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Is now the time to "cut your cloth" to suit your situation?

We are well into quarter 4 of 2020. It's also half term, which gives many business owners the opportunity to have a well-deserved family break.  However, with slow trading forecast for the next six months, the likelihood is many businesses will have a challenge to achieve a positive bottom-line contribution throug...
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The value in utilising and applying business models

Anyone who knows me, will know that I love referring to and using business models. In fact when in a Regional Sales Director role, in charge of a large team, whom became and still are an award winning team, at every meeting and presentation I shared a business model.  Mostly I utilised the...
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Don’t be market led! 7 steps to take control of the direction of your business.

Many businesses are effected by the swings and trends of their market, follow the crowd or pulled in the direction their dominant customers wants to go. Would you rather not take control of your business, align, point, kick forward and accelerate in the direction where you want to go? If you fo...
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Are Exit or Acquisition options that you may be considering?

I have worked with a number of clients over the years with the main focus on establishing a strategy to EXIT the business. Two current businesses that are for sale at the foot of this blog. However the best advice I can give you is, start early if you are planning to step away from the day to day. I...
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Been dealt a duff hand and not sure whether to stick or twist?

If you find your business is in a situation (outwith your control) which has disadvantaged and potentially has a negative impact on you, then there's never been a better time to be proactive. Step back, analyse, review and then develop a plan or clear strategy for the next 2-3 years. They say, "the one constant is chan...
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Implementing Change Successfully - Plan to Prepare or Prepare to Fail

 There are many external factors driving change in today's business markets. What if the inevitable happened? How flexible, agile and well prepared would you, your staff and your business be to adapt to a new way of working? Bad news sells and generates many news articles attracting readers, listeners, debate, response and opinions b...
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Adapting to a New Normal - Know your Numbers!

As non-essential businesses are back and businesses such as pubs, restaurants and hairdressers plan to open from Saturday the 4th July in England, it will be a great relief to many business owners and their employees to "get back to work" after the lengthy 15 weeks in lock-down. It is fantastic that many can return to the workplace a...
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Why not use your time to work “on” the business. 3 steps which could improve your business productivity.

You've always been busy and not spent time to reflect and review the financials?  Have margins been squeezed, customers always chasing you and it's taking longer than you planned to deliver goods or services?.  Have you spent your time looking inward at your staff and potentially asking what are they're up to all day? As Bu...
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