Tuesday, 23 December 2008

New Year's Resolution - A Bunch of Fives

Not a NEW Year's Resolution as it is OLD... but it still seems as relevant as ever! Should I call it "Old New Year's Resolutions"?

A Bunch of Fives - Robert Craven's New Year's Resolutions for 2006(?) - print it off and pop it on your wall. (First published in Daily Telegraph Business Club, December 2005. Also in Dealer Support and USP Magazines Jan 2006 - and on the USP Magazine website).
How time flies!!

Saturday, 20 December 2008



Have a wonderful holiday-time this year.

Each year we give a donation to a chosen charity rather than spend money on Christmas Cards and stamps. This year the donation will go to the Jack Cecoup School in Lusaka, Zambia.

This school works with 500 poverty-line children from AIDS affected homes; most have lost a parent from AIDS, many have lost two! All the proceeds, every penny, goes direct to the school; there are no intermediaries.

In August, proceeds from my book sales paid for concrete classroom floors to replace soil/dirt ones. This next donation will pay for the their first toilets - a pit latrine. At the moment the school has no water, no toilets, no electricity.

My blog at
where-does-money-from-my-books-go talks a little about the school
and photos can be seen at

On another note - have a look at
www.bleedtheworld.com a video/spoof put together my the company my daughter works for. It is a little like marmite: some people love it; some people find it offensive.

Here's to a great 2009!


So What Really Matters to People?

Travelling on the train, bus and tube on Saturday and everyone was talking about the 'Strictly Come Dancing' finals.

"Who will/should/could win?"

Everyone has an opinion!!!

Meanwhile I thought that the real issue that impacts on all of us is what's going on with the economy and what can be done?

No-one seems to have an opinion.

I understand that 'Strictly' has a beginning, a middle and an end and its not that complicated to have an opinion on it (if you care about it). What I find scary is that no-one seems to know or ask the question

will/should/could the government do?"

Ignorance is bliss!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Recession Blues #3/#4/#5

See Recession Blues blog entries at smeweb:

Recession blues - “Since this recession I’m losing my baby, Because the times are getting so hard”BB King, Recession Blues

Recession blues 2 - Recession blues 2 - batten down the hatches

Recession blues #3: now is the time - Take note of the 2nd extreme approach to surviving the recession

Recession blues #4: What’s to be done? - You can find numerous profit improvement checklists to ‘survive’ the recession. But, I have to ask, “So What?”

Recession blues #5: Action - And if the poo is about to hit the fan…

see above

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Going Up; Going Down

Paul Clegg's blog is getting a little schizophrenic methinks... a sign of the times.

One minute he quotes and refers to me in his blog entry Directors Centre: Great Ways to Grow: The Three Plus One Tool and then in a sudden turn of mood he quotes Directors Centre: Why Businesses Fail, Plan of Action, Start-up success.

To be honest, the two blogs are not mutually exclusive but it does look odd when you see them side by side.

Paul Clegg's blog
Directors Centre: Great Ways to Grow: The Three Plus One Tool
Directors Centre: Why Businesses Fail, Plan of Action, Start-up success.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Have You Ever Asked Yourself Why Most Businesses Fail?

Julian T Rowe in his article SME Managerial Incompetence and the Pitfalls to Avoid says (quoting me!),
"Have you ever asked yourself why most businesses fail? In the UK on average two thirds of all businesses fail within 3 years. This is a horrifying statistic. Most business failures tend to blame everyone else but themselves for their misfortune..."

He goes on to point out that "SMEs need an 'early warning system'"

Julian T Rowe
SME Managerial Incompetence and the Pitfalls to Avoid

Monday, 8 December 2008

My Top Ten Business Books by Richard Lockyer

‘My Top 10 Business Books’ by Richard Lockyer states:

They say that if you want to be the best then find out who the best are and then copy them, well in my opinion you will have to go a long way to beat these guys!”
“It took me ages deciding on the following ten because there are so many great books available. I finally decided on these because all of them contain tips and advice that you can take away and implement in your business immediately. So here we go in no particular order……………..”

and goes on to list:

1. Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson.
2. Winning by Clive Woodward
3. The Pursuit Of WOW! by Tom Peters
4. Control Your Destiny Or Someone Else Will by Jack Welch.
5. Find Your Light Bulb by Mike Harris
6. Screw It, Lets Do It by Richard Branson
7. Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson
8. The E Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
9. Kick Start Your Business by Robert Craven
10. Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Saturday, 6 December 2008

The Relevance of the MBA for Start-Ups and Anyone Else in a Recession!

BusinessZone recently published my article, MBA: The devil's work for those starting a business, an article that comments on the (ir-)relevance of the MBA for start-ups.

On reviewing the article you can see its relevance to any business in the current economic climate.

Some of the keys points and questions it asks are:

  1. Running a business is about action, it is not about theory.

  2. The market is brutally honest.

  3. Why should people bother to buy your product?

  4. Do not compete on price.

  5. The four main skills are: Vision, Passion, Determination, Communication/Delegation skills.

  6. Work ON your business not IN your business.

  7. Don't shy away from passion!

RELEVANT LINKSMBA: The devil's work for those starting a business - article from BusinessZone website

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

"Bish! Bash! Bosh!" Horror (with working links this time!)

I recently wrote an article Bish Bash Bosh! Take Action - it was published in Growing Business magazine. And now I am told that the phrase has been hijacked by the crew on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here (Does anyone remember who David Van Day and Timmy Mallett are? Why do people hate Timmy?). And they have done it in a song!

So, my article starts:
Jerry runs a lovely professional service firm. To be specific, it is a web design agency. In the past his problem, which he openly admitted, was that he never got that much done. He was Mr Nice Guy who was a bit of a busy fool – too forgiving, too patient and altogether too nice. His staff, clients and suppliers walked all over him and he didn’t even realise it. He was too busy trying to be on the right side of everyone. In my opinion, he had lost the plot...
Read Bish Bash Bosh! Take Action