Too little (Business & Marketing) planning, will lose your business tomorrow

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc around the world, I thought it would be useful to share this blog post from 2017 that more important today than ever… I’m fairly sure I work hard to develop and safeguard my business, my children tell me this regularly – my wife has given up telling me. But this blog isn’t about how I work because I really don’t see it as ‘work’ as I get paid to do something I really enjoy, helping other business owners to see their businesses in a different way (cliché I know, but true). What I wanted to do in this blog was to show how others can benefit the same way. You see it’s not just … Read More >

Steering a course through COVID-19

As we navigate through the global COVID-19 pandemic we all share a thought for all those workers that continue to help us and keep society functioning. This turned my attention to all those in the healthcare profession, council workers, food retailers, couriers, postal workers and those in the Merchant Navy who bring essential goods to our shores from around the world. It reminded me of the late 1970’s when I served in the Merchant Navy initially joining Tate & Lyle’s small fleet of six vessels where I  joined the largest and newest of two sister ships, a 30,000-tonne bulk carrier called MV Sugar Carrier (yes, that’s me in the photo). During my early career at sea I took my ‘Steering Certificate’, a process … Read More >

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 >

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 >

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 >

Assessing your use of marketing – Part One (Sept)

Small Businesses - don't leave it too late to ask for help

In the first of this two-part blog I want to challenge some current thinking amongst those of you who own and direct small businesses and ask you a question. Based on your own experiences of marketing would you say that marketing is a wasteful process?  If you answered ‘yes’, well that doesn’t surprise me, in fact I’d expect it to be the response in at least 7 out of 10 cases because in November 2014 69% of top CEO’s polled also felt the same way (Source: Forbes Insight). But if marketing is being perceived like this some fundamental mistakes are being made. So why does it happen, and what can be done to change it? Well in this blog let’s … Read More >

The ‘Training’ Winner Takes It All

In March 2015, we exhibited at the Business & Trade Expo organised by Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, and like any good exhibition attendee we needed a particularly appealing and somewhat different prize draw from the usual Apple iPad’s and special introductory offers and thankfully we didn’t need to think too long or hard about our choice. As a strategic marketing consultancy we look at a wide range of issues that will affect the promotion of your business, in fact everything from your branding and the markets you serve to the way you engage them through your external communications and support them through internal teams.  This last one is often overlooked, but is often the most critical because it … Read More >