GDPR ‘Traffic Lighting’ – A Business Differentiator for the Consent Process

  We spend the vast majority of our time supporting SME businesses who rely on us to provide them with recommendations, observations and thoughts on how to continue building their businesses and their brands. One of the most significant subjects has been the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and in particular the matter of consent. In January 2017, we ‘kicked’ this subject around for a good couple of months whilst we assessed (as best as we could at that time) how much needed to be done to remain compliant. It soon became clear that these firms could choose to follow hundreds if not thousands of other firms and do nothing (believing they were already compliant), or to take the … Read More >

Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someone

Marketer vs Marketing Leader!

We’ve been in a situation in marketing for a long time now where most people’s understanding of marketing is at the most basic level, so basic in fact that thousands upon thousands of firms who recruit ‘marketers’ tend to do so to fulfil a simple communications exercise with external stakeholders. Consequently marketing is seen as being a task that truly anyone in an organisation can fulfil and consequently they prefer to leave it to others. However, professional marketing is for me one of the single most important tasks within any organisation and it’s only right to explore why I believe this to be the case. According to “The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader” by Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise, … Read More >

Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someone

Just Good Old Fashioned Customer Service

Balanced Scorecard

Businesses, particularly those in very competitive industries will often be encouraged to focus on the elements of marketing’s 7P’s model in order to stand out from the crowd. These 7 P’s are: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical Evidence; but each of these can be very complex areas that require a lot of examination and subsequent investment. Just twelve months on from the purchase of my wife’s German car we’ve returned it to the main agent for its first service. It was bought from a very large brand whose franchise is owned by a long-standing British firm which can easily ‘tick the boxes’ on five of our seven P’s. But the problems we have encountered with the remaining … Read More >

Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someone

Shared objectives require defining for success

I’ve been running my consultancy for many years now, 14 to be precise and during this time we’ve been lucky enough to work with many wonderful people. I used to think that this was just good luck on our part until recently when I started to question this element we refer to as ‘luck’. In fact I recall one business owner saying to me during a car journey that “the harder he worked, the luckier he seemed to get”. I hadn’t heard this before and so it struck me as being very insightful. But since that time I’ve thought about this even further. Take for example my comment about being ‘lucky enough’ to work with many wonderful people which really … Read More >

Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someone

It’s time to treat your data much more seriously

New UK data privacy rules - GDPR

In October I wrote a blog about the introduction of new data regulations that will come into force for UK and EU businesses on the 25th May 2018. If you’ve not read it and you don’t know what this is all about, I’d recommend that you do as it should help to reassure you what needs to be done to limit your risk as a business and as a company director/data controller. It will also help you appreciate the associated risks of buying in any consumer data, namely fines imposed of up to 20 million Euros.  I for one am personally delighted to see the new regulations coming into force, but I can also see that it will be quite … Read More >

Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someone

GDPR – Ignorance is no defence

If you’ve heard about this and are already preparing your business congratulations, if not then you really need to be aware of the changes coming our way that will most likely affect all businesses in the UK in 2018. So what is GDPR? It stands for ‘General Data Protection Regulation’ and it is designed to bring all European countries into line on matters of personal and commercial data protection enforcing such policies on all member states (surprisingly not all have robust policies). Of course it’s long overdue bearing in mind how much has changed with managing personal data since the Data Protection Act of 1998 was brought into being in the UK. Many consumers are in the dark about how … Read More >

Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someone

Leaders of Today and Tomorrow

I remember a few short years ago coming across several businesses who told me about the problems they encountered when offering internships, or student work experience as it was known then. They complained about everything the students did; how they didn’t dress appropriately, that they didn’t speak to customers properly, that their time keeping was poor, pretty much everything in fact. At the time I remember thinking that my sympathies were with the employer, after all, here are a handful of business owners who are trying desperately to promote their businesses during challenging times and now they have this to cope with? But several years later I’m fairly sure that the majority of these failures lay at their door. Over the … Read More >

Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someone

With our help our SME business clients have BIG ideas!

I spend a fair amount of my time helping SME companies develop growth strategies. These strategies require me to review their markets and competition, products and services, systems, skills and of course their staff roles and capabilities to position the business for their short and long-term goals. Yet in SME’s (particularly of a certain size), it can be all too easy to lose sight of one’s own staff when your customers and competitors, products and services can take up so much of a management team’s time, so we help by ‘joining-up-the-dots’. A large percentage of SME’s recruit staff, either by word-of-mouth, recruitment agency, advertisement, networking or promotion through the ranks and a few take this further and bring in apprentices, especially … Read More >

Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someone

How to Deliver Success from Within

Some very clever sage famously once said, ‘keep doing the same things you did yesterday and you’ll continue to get the same results tomorrow’. My word, how true that is. But the saddest part of this is that it’s something we are probably all acutely aware of, yet so often we carry on doing what we’ve always done. I’m no different (to some extent anyway) as I embarked on a long period of re-training around a decade ago and it paid great dividends, so I’m able to sit here and recognise just what can happen when you start to do things differently.  Yet in business, especially small businesses and that can include companies with a turnover in the region of … Read More >

Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someone

Brand Confusion?

What is a brand? A fairly straightforward question but with many struggling to define it accurately it seemed worthy of a a short definition from someone who spends a lot of time progressing businesses from companies to brands. A brand is ultimately the message (tangible, intangible or both) that you want to convey to your customers and your staff. You hope to do this through the actions you take, the products you sell and the manner in which you sell them.  So why do many struggle…? Let’s take the case of a shopper who comes into your store to purchase garments for a specific use such as an outdoor adventure trip in a warm climate. They want these to be hardwearing, … Read More >

Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someone