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 >

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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 >

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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 >

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Assessing your use of marketing – Part Two (Oct)

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

In the first part of this two-part blog we looked at why marketing had such a poor perception in many businesses. So in the second part it’s time for us to take a look at what can be done to change that perception.  I recall reading an article written in the US in November 2014, that discussed how marketing had appeared to less accountable than some of its counterparts for decades and that as a result, CEO’s were looking elsewhere within their businesses when it came to promotion of senior exec’s. I believe this is because many corporate level marketers fail to ‘join up the dots’ and bring the need for marketing to have a close association and involvement in … Read More >

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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 >

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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 >

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If you promote goods or services then you need to know about this

CAP Code in hardcopy

If you don’t know what CAP stands or what it is and you promote goods or services then you and your company could be open to a certain degree of rebuke, embarrassment and unnecessary costs. CAP is the Committee of Advertising Practice, and they set out the Code (known as the CAP Code) to assign correct procedures and guidelines for developing advertising campaigns of a non-broadcast nature. This covers all forms of print and electronic advertising (newspapers, magazines, brochures, leaflets, circulars, mailings, e-mails, SMS, catalogues and other printed and electronic materials). It works in conjunction with other legislation such as the Trade Descriptions Act (1968) and the Sale of Goods Act (1979) etc. to determine a process which is both … Read More >

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Digital Work Experience for a Young Student

We’ve got a really great opportunity for a young person to show any future employer just what they’re capable of and where they might hope to progress with their career in digital marketing. So if you know anyone who would love to secure this chance, please feel free to show them this blog and get them to get in contact with me.  We’re working with a client in the traditional skills sector, a cabinetmaker to be precise who produces stunning pieces of free-standing furniture and interior joinery. They don’t sell their designs through a catalogue or retail chain, instead everything they make is made to order (referred to as bespoke) so it’s rarely the case that they ever make two items the … Read More >

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Maps help remove gaps!

I’m a stickler for systems, always have been, always will be; although I think my time in the navy played its part too in reinforcing those values so much so that today it’s in my DNA.  When I was at sea for a living everything had to be organised precisely, from the crew’s monthly watch patterns, to firefighting drills, because you simply can’t pick-up the phone and call the fire brigade. Without a system that allowed everyone to fulfil his role precisely, mistakes which result in injury or the loss of life could easily occur. These days I still go to sea but in much smaller vessels as a leisure pursuit. However the same remains true, without systems and protocols … Read More >

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Nigel Davis, voted one of Britain’s Top50 Small Business Advisors

So after twelve months of working with recipients of the Government’s Growth Vouchers, I’m awarded recognition as a Top 50 Adviser thanks to some fabulous client endorsements and approval from the panel!  It certainly came as a bit of a surprise, so much so I had to read the email confirming it twice, ‘Congratulations, you’ve been voted One of Britain’s Top 50 Small Business Advisors’. Wow, what an accolade to receive especially from a pool that contains over 10,000 fellow advisors on the Growth Voucher scheme, but to be nominated by those I help is especially rewarding.  The awards, run by business network Enterprise Nation, asked businesses to nominate an adviser that had helped them to build and grow a … Read More >

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