Tag Archives: advice

Be Different with Your Business

black-swan

Marketing is often misunderstood, with many thinking it’s the leaflets, advertising and promotion that you do for your business. But it isn’t. Marketing is everything you do, from the product you decide to sell – whether it’s a premier product or cheap as chips product – to the way you invoice, and the very culture of your business. Because it’s all of that which affects how you act, and so how you’re perceived by your potential customers.

And I saw a brilliant example of a company that absolutely nailed this when I went down to visit Innocent’s Head Office in London this week – what a great place! If you’ve never looked at how they market themselves, do take the time. I chatted with Richard Reed, one of the co-founders, who’s a warm, fun guy, and the sense that *everything* the company does is done well permeates the walls.

Innocent actually started by going to a music festival where they took two bins, one with yes on it the other with no, and asked the question to everyone who bought their drinks, should we quit our jobs and set up in business making these full time? Read More »

Have You Created a Battle Plan for Your Business?

Creating a plan for battle is essential. No army would ever engage in a battle without knowing as much as they possibly could about their supply lines, the terrain, and the opposing forces they faced.

Once they’d gathered, or even guessed at the information that they didn’t have, they could draw up a plan for battle and how they were going to win.

The plan would take into account their own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and only then would they be ready. Of course plans rarely survive intact after the first contact with the enemy.

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

A plan is also essential for your business as it’ll give you direction and a strategy to work to. Read More »

The Importance of Responding to Changing Markets

Let’s be honest. Sometimes as business owners we can get a bit comfortable with the current status quo and not responding to changing marketsreally pay attention to changing trends, new technology, updated legislation and a whole host of other things that are potential opportunities or challenges.

Take Webber Carburettors as an example. In my late teens I owned a Mark 1 Escort (I loved that car!) and the company was extremely well-known, and were *the* leading performance carburettor manufacturers.

So, of course, practically every young male including me wanted one of its kits on their car. However, following a hugely successful period for the business, the market began evolving. Technology and stricter emission requirements meant carburettors were unable to compete, and were replaced by fuel injectors.

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Principle Number Six To Getting Better Results

Once we make a choice we encountered personal and interpersonal pressure to behave consistently with what we have previously said or done, so it’s all about being consistent with yourself.

In America in quite a well off suburb a group of researchers went down the street knocking on doors asking if they could put up a large placard in the front gardens requesting people to drive carefully, out of hundred people 17 agreed.

In an adjacent street researchers again went down the street but this time they were asking for people to sign a petition to get people to drive more carefully in the street, to which the majority of people agreed to do. Once they’d signed the petition the researcher then gave them a small card version of the placard and asked them if they replace it in their windows to show their support, to which the people readily agreed.

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Principle Number Two To Getting Better Results

LikingGetting people to like you is another way of building relationships, the activators for liking are similarity, praise and cooperation.

There’s a story about a large US company who were acquiring a lot of the businesses through purchase, this required the CEO of the company to negotiate with the owners of the companies he was buying. The chairman of the CEO thought that the negotiation processes were taking a bit long and suspected that the CEO was the issue.

Robert Cialdini was called in by the chairman to see if he could do anything to speed up the process, Cialdini watched some videos of the CEO in the negotiation process.It became apparent that he was a bit aloof and not very engaging with the person he was buying the business from.

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Principle Number Four To Getting Better Results

ConsensusAnother principal for overcoming uncertainty is consensus.

People look for what other people feel think and do, and the amplifiers for this are many others doing it or similar others doing it. This is why it’s so important to get testimonials from your clients and put those testimonials in front of people like them, think about trip advisor, reviews remove uncertainty.

Shopping channels in America are big business, and one fitness device broke all sales records selling nearly a quarter of a million units, a big part of the success was switching how they encourage people to call in.

Instead of saying the usual are operators are waiting for your calls, they switched it to if the lines are busy please call back, insinuating that lots of other people were calling in.

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Principle Number Three To Getting Better Results

AuthorityIf someone is uncertain about what you’re offering is or that you can do the job, one of the principles you can use is authority, people look the cues that somebody’s an authority and as such are more likely to listen to you or follow direction.

In Holland there was a situation where people having strokes with then going to physiotherapists for treatment but what they found was the patients weren’t getting better can they weren’t following the advice of the physiotherapists so weren’t getting better.

Cialdini was called in to see if he could help improve the situation, when he went into the physiotherapists rooms he noticed that the walls were blank, he asked if the physiotherapists had any certificates or qualifications, to which they replied yes.

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Using The Power of Persuasion To Get More Results

Power of PersuasionAs you probably know I attend a lot of training’s and events, I was recently lucky enough to go on a two-day course run by David Thompson www.davidthomson.com on the 6 Principles of Persuasion, the course was brilliant.

David is a friend of mine and recently sold his business for 4 million, he is a top guy and decided that he wants to find out more about the principles of persuasion so he actually travelled out to America to train with the Dr. Robert Cialdini.

David is now one of only 20 people in the world qualified to deliver this training and the only person in the UK that you could potentially get some training from (there is one of the person but there are civil servant) if you get the opportunity to go on David’s training I would highly recommend it.

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Businesses Can Learn A Lot From The Military

Businesses can actually learn quite a lot from the military, in the military lack of preparation or planning can very quickly costs lives. Operating in combat zones is an incredibly hostile environment or in the case of nuclear powered submarines you are continually operate in one of the most hostile environments in the world.

In some ways I’d actually say to more hostile environment than what the international space station has to face, as they are in a low-pressure no corrosive environment, whereas subs are a high-pressure highly corrosive environment (although getting into space strapped to a rocket is probably more hazardous)

As a submariner you exist in an environment where you’re carrying high explosives in the form of torpedoes and missiles, you have high-pressure hydraulics moving equipment that if you got in the way it wouldn’t even notice you are there, there’s for 415 V electrical everywhere, machine spaces, pumps and on top of that a nuclear reactor.

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Do You Know How Your Productivity Is Being Destroying?

Nigel Botterill is a true entrepreneur in every sense of the word, and has built eight separate £million businesses. HeTime Management uses this technique and he’s so protective of his first 90 minutes in the morning that he has a “Do Not Disturb Unless There’s A Fire” sign on his door.

His team know that interrupting Nigel during this time is potentially a disciplinary issue, because those 90 minutes of being able to work on his business each day are so precious, and he knows they’re absolutely critical to his future success. He’s such an advocate of the 90 minute principle that he’s just written a book called Build Your Business in 90 Minutes a Day, and talks about how you step closer to your ultimate goals in that daily time.

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