Welcome to How to do Business.
You're probably either running a business or thinking about starting one. Maybe you're growing strongly intent on world domination or maybe your business has stalled. In any case we can help you with the key issues that businesses face.
Most businesses worry that they're not achieving enough business or that they need to raise more funds to progress. These however are often just symptoms.
3 issues that hold companies back
- They don't think strategically about what they are going to sell to whom
- They forget that business is about working together
- They don't spend the time to turn their vision into a clear, motivational story and then don't tell it often enough in the right places.
Point 1. Strategy is about clarity and targeting. You have to sell enough stuff to make the numbers you need to earn whatever you want to make. BUT it's no good thinking that if we were to take say 1% of all the pot plants sold in the UK that we would make shed loads of money. It doesn't work like that .
Markets consolidate around 1 big player - a Gorilla, a few chimps and lots of monkeys Typically the market leader will have twice the share of the second player, three times the share of the third player and so on. If you do the sums, you'll see that typically the market leader will own 1/3 of the market.
Your strategic task is to find a combination of customer and product so you can become the market leader of a niche large enough to fulfill your needs.
Point Two. Business is collaborative. You have to build and maintain relationships with all kinds of people. Suppliers, customers and your staff. You may have to build a whole network of other companies operating around the focus of your own firm to deliver the whole product that the customer wants to buy. You 'll learn what this whole product is interactively. The market NEVER wants what you want to offer. Instead it wants about half of it mixed up with a lot of other things you only discover by going out there and collaborating.
Point Three. Be completely clear about what it is that you are offering. Clarity and directness sell. Woolliness and a generic offer do not. All the research we've carried out for Business Schools, HP, Yell and BNI tell the same story. Be clear, be easy to get hold of, have a transparent purchasing process and give some sense of your own authenticity and values. After all the most powerful sales technique is to be yourself.
So do you want to run your business better - or not?
Great businesses move great products through robust processes manned by people who love to do what they do.
They’re good at building alliances and working collaboratively with suppliers. They co-create products with customers and suppliers. They’re run lean and are well funded and managed. Above all they know that the only way to stay ahead is to learn faster than the competition and build better networks to bring what’s been learned to market..
If that’s what you want you’re in the right place.
Business Support Materials
- Free Downloads
- Books like Social Media for Real Businesses to get your story clear and the right marketing mix.
- Online courses and webinars like 1Man Brand
- Face to Face advice – clinics and workshops
- Long term mentoring, coaching and support
- Help with funding and grants .
This material has been discovered via trial, error and success over a long period of time or via research projects into how successful businesses do it.
It gives you the crucial Managing Directors viewpoint – each area is the part of a whole.
So whether you’re improving your sales and marketing, developing a strategic business plan, getting to grips with managing staff or testing whether that new idea will fly (and working out how you’re going to fund it) you will find this material is useful.
You'll also want to know about using social media, building a work force, raising money and the inside track on sales, marketing and using technology and the internet effectively.
Finally we can help you can access UK government support for your business via the Growth Accelerator and Manufacturing Advisor Service Schemes and if you are based in the Gatwick Diamond or West Sussex areas you may be eligible for grants towards specific projects or funded advice.
In particular the West Sussex Be the Business programme entitles you to 2 one hour advice sessions for £25. More information about this offer.
Contact us for more details or sign up for our newsletter .
Business Basics - what experience teaches
Treat people who buy from you, sell to you and work for you as grown ups - it's amazing the difference this makes.
Identify something that people want to buy - then sell it to them - politely
Describe what you have to sell in words of one syllable focusing on why it's useful to whoever's going to buy it. If you are selling spinach then this step is not necessary.
Take the trouble to create easy to operate procedures that have some resilience in them.
Think permaculture and build sustainability into your business model. It's no longer a nice-to-have but a core part of a 21st century business strategy. We put in a rainwater harvesting reservoirtwo years ago and a wood biomass boiler this year. It will save us £8k a year.
When you mess up admit it and refund without question - this will save time, money and your blood pressure.
Take whatever profits you make and spend them on something that is valuable, useful or beautiful. Don't entrust it to a suit to invest on your behalf learn to read a balance sheet and do it yourself..