Wednesday, 16 February 2011

How To Keep Customers For Life. How?

Any initiative to put the ‘customers first’ must be underpinned by the following assumptions:
  1. Reward them – make it feel good to do business with you; let them know what great service they are getting
  2. Forget about selling – people love to buy; they hate to be sold at!
  3. People only buy good feelings and solutions to problems
  4. Keep asking: ‘What’s the unmet need?’, ‘How are we doing?’, ‘How can we do better?’
Who said 'Customer Is King'?

Monday, 14 February 2011

Great Leaders Know When To Retreat

Found in The Financial Times: 15 November 2010

Great Leaders Know When To Retreat

Robert Craven, managing director of The Directors’ Centre, a consultancy

“There is a myth, partly perpetuated by the dreadful Apprentice and Dragons’ Den television shows, that going from the founder at the kitchen table to a great chief executive is how it should be.

“It is not about abdication. It is about delegation. What we are finding is that people are walking away from the big fat cheque they thought they wanted because they realised that mowing the lawn isn’t as much fun as starting businesses.

“If they do take the big fat cheque, they are back in six months because they realise what they like doing is creating businesses and that taking VC money killed their business.

“The problem is that history is written by the winners. All the stories about being a successful entrepreneur are written by the likes of [Sir Richard] Branson and [Dame Anita] Roddick. It doesn’t mean that doing what Branson has done will be good for you. Very few people are cut out for that kind of leadership.”

Clients Should Sack Their Accountants

I find the quality of the comments on Steve Pipe'e blog posting

Is Robert Craven Right When He Says Clients Should Sack Their Accountant?

absolutely fascinating.

I am not sure what to make of it apart from all publicity is good publicity (joke).



Blog Posting - Accountants - Love Them Or Hate Them

Friday, 4 February 2011

Waiting To Be Found!

The current business model being 'sold' (usually by the so-called social media experts) seems to be the following three-line mantra:

1)  Create the offering, ideally claiming to be some kind of expert
2)  Do the marketing stuff for a bit including the compulsory something on a Blog, Twitter, FaceBook or LinkedIn or ideally all four. Ideally, give something away for free; a squeeze page might be of use. Maybe use google ads...
3)  Wait to be found.

I am not sure that this is really enough - it is the "wait to be found" bit that worries me most. It makes all sorts of assumptions that:
  1. you are targeting the right people
  2. your message is on form
  3. there is a community waiting for you
  4. you can find the community
  5. you are able to engage their attention
  6. you don't come across as just more shouting/interruption marketing
  7. they are listening today
  8. they have the need today
  9. your offer is presented correctly
  10. there is a need for your product/service
If only it was so simple as three line mantra.

Actually now I think about it, I am not convinced that line two of the mantra,"Do the marketing stuff...", can be quite so formulaic as is claimed.

now I think about it properly, the same can be said for line one, "Create the offering".

Might as well just wait to be found...

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Exit Strategies

Just been asked for my article on exit strategy. Had a quick look and there seems to be quite a choice...
  1. Exit Strategies
  2. Time for a Sharp Exit - exit options
  3. Let's Talk Exit (Growing Business Magazine)
  4. Entrepreneurs Refuse the Big Big Payouts

  5. How Much Is My Business Worth?

  6. Let's Talk... Exit, Sell or Retire

also see Business For Sale and Succession Planning in FreshBusinessThinking and Business: Exit Strategies at Ecademy  for a slightly different spin on the original articles.

Also see Escape Options - Planning a Profitable Exit in Business Zone