The Profit Tipping Point

In the last year we’ve seen various price promises from the leading supermarkets in the UK – Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys and price competition intensifies as national austerity restricts spending. The idea is simple. The supermarket agrees to reimburse the buyer for any difference in the price of his or her shopping that would have […]

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A key success factor (KSF) for a trade, profession or industry is something that a business must do to be successful. It is a necessary condition for success. The Difference Between Key Success Factors, Key Factors Of Difference & Critical Success Factors There are a number of similar sounding phrases that mean different things. To […]

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Critical Success Factors & Key Performance Indicators

by Paul Simister on April 2, 2013

Critical Success Factors (CSF) are unique to implementing your particular strategy. Key success factors will be common across many of the businesses within an industry and (hopefully) each business has identified a small number of key factors of difference to differentiate itself away from the  competition. The combination of key success factors and key factors […]

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Can Blockbuster Be Turned Around?

by Paul Simister on March 25, 2013

Blockbuster, the DVD rental chain went into administration in January 2013 as demand shrank under pressures from online video streaming services like NetFlix and Amazon’s LoveFilm and the increased entertainment options provided by the many channels available on satellite TV. It was announced just before the quarterly rents were due for payment in late March […]

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Why Are Some Companies More Profitable Than Others?

by Paul Simister on March 21, 2013

There are two fundamental questions that business owners and managers ask all over the world: Why are some companies and businesses more profitable than others? It’s a great starting point for the second, and even more important question. How can we this business or company more profitable? Profit Or Sales We know some people focus […]

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How To Create A Vision For A Small Business

by Paul Simister on March 20, 2013

Should every business have a clear vision, no matter what the size? In my opinion, yes. There’s a danger of thinking that mission statements and vision statements belong to the work of senior managers in big businesses and only big businesses. While it’s true that big businesses have a much harder job of communicating a […]

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How To Survive A Price War

by Paul Simister on March 19, 2013

This article looks at prices wars and in particular, how to survive a price war if you find yourself being dragged into one by competitive rivalry by undifferentiated competitors or a particularly aggressive strategy by one competitor who may be differentiated but whose actions damage the entire market. My Experience Of Price Wars I have […]

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Sex Cereal – A Breakfast Cereal To Boost Libido

by Paul Simister on March 19, 2013

I look looking for products that are new, different and innovative so when I read about Sex Cereal, I knew it had to feature in my differentiation examples. Sex Cereal is promoted as the world’s most Passionate Cereal and the first gender-based wholefood and it’s promotional slogan is “big life living, fuel your fire”. It […]

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I want to take this opportunity to explain why I recommend Profitable Growth Strategies as the business growth training for small business owners. The Business Problem I Saw Ever since I was a trainee accountant in the early 1980s, I’ve been concerned at the struggle many small business owners have to earn an income that […]

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Are The Five Forces Wrong?

by Paul Simister on March 18, 2013

One of the very best known strategy models is the Five Forces Of Industry Profitability that has been developed and promoted by Professor Michael Porter. Background To The Five Forces Analysis Model The Five Forces Analysis model was first introduced in the Harvard Business Review in 1979 in an article by Michael Porter called “How […]

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Marketing or Strategy or Marketing Strategy?

Do marketing and business strategy fit together neatly like two complicated jigsaw puzzle pieces in the picture of “successful business management”? Or do marketing and strategy overlap in a topic called “marketing strategy”? It’s an interesting question and one that I picked up from the Harvard Business Review on an article called The Best Companies […]

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How To Find Your Niche Market

In this article, I will look at the issues involved with finding and selecting a niche market that will help your business to attract, convert and keep customers. What Is A Niche Market? A niche market is a small segment of a bigger, more general market that you can specifically target in your marketing and […]

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The Aston Martin One-77 – The Ultimate Aston Martin

The Aston Martin One-77 is what I call a car. It’s been described as the ultimate Aston Martin and I can understand why. I was critical of the branding decision for the Aston Martin Cygnet but the one-77 really is worthy of the marque and then some.

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The Six Steps Profit Formula Report

Get my free report… The Six Steps Profit Formula: The Simple Rules Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know I will probably ask people to sign up for this in future but at the moment you can get it without any kind of obligation by clicking on the download link below: The Six Steps Profit […]

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Differentiation & Business Start-Ups

Is differentiation and how you will attract and convert customers a vital issue that needs your attention while you are thinking about starting a business or is it something that you can afford to leave until your business is more established? The Role Of Differentiation In Business Start Up Planning This is one of those […]

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The Irvin Flying Jacket – The Original RAF Leather & Sheepskin Jacket

It’s not often I treat myself to a big splurge but before Christmas 2012 I bought an Irvin Flying Jacket. I’ve wanted a leather and sheepskin flying jacket for many years. In fact many more years than I care to count. But I didn’t know that I wanted an Irvin flying jacket until I started […]

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The Best Of The Differentiate Your Business Blog

If you’ve enjoyed reading the Differentiate Your Business blog, then I’m very pleased and I’d love to get your feedback through comments and debates. You may have missed some of the most popular articles: Key Success Factors & Critical Success Factors Using Value Chain Analysis To Create Competitive Advantage Advantages & Disadvantages Of Value Chain […]

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How To Differentiate A Jewellery Business

How to differentiate a jewellery business is another of my trade and industry focused guides to differentiation. This is just an introduction to the issue of differentiating a jewellery business and not definitive. It’s intended to give you ideas if you are a jeweller who is struggling to find a clear position in your market […]

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Is Economic Growth A Force Of The Past?

In the UK the Chancellor made his Autumn Statement yesterday updating Parliament and the electorate on the economic woes. Things don’t look good and it’s hard to see how the UK can keep its AAA credit rating that keeps government interest rates down. The basic message is that government spending is high while tax receipts […]

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Do You Have A Vision For Your Business?

A common problem with running a small business is that you lose sight of a powerful vision as managing the day-to-day issues becomes the priority. If you started your business rather than inheriting it, I bet you had a very good idea about what you wanted to achieve for yourself and your customers. Questions About […]

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What Can Be Done To Boost The UK Economy?

Chancellor George Osborne will give his autumn statement later this week  (December 2012) with GDP 3.1% below the 2008 pre-recession peak. The peak was 18 quarters or 4.5 years ago and with average annual growth rates of 2.5%, we are more than 13% behind where we could have been if the recession had been avoided. […]

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Tax Dodging Companies & Conscientious Consumers

With many Western governments running large and unaffordable annual public spending deficits (despite claims of austerity) attention has turned to giant companies who use aggressive tax saving schemes. This includes companies like Google,  Facebook,  Amazon and Starbucks which make high sales in the UK but pay little corporation tax.

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More Money More Fun Less Effort

What do you want from your business? That’s a fundamental question to ask when thinking about your business strategy. But how often do you stop to think about it? The answer probably has two Categories:

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The Last Typewriter Made In The UK

Incredibly the last typewriter made in the UK was in November 2012 by Brother and it’s gone into a museum. Typewriters are a great example of why you need to do a Pest  Analysis to look  for political, economic, social and technological opportunities and threats. Typewriters & The Destructive Force Of Technology It was technology […]

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Country Risks For Global Strategy

Are you thinking about expanding abroad and wondering how you can get data for an effective global strategy? A reader, Perry Mayer of the Pub & Bar Network pointed out an interesting resource to me – The Legatum Prosperity Index. This ranks the countries of the world across various indices like economy, governance, education and […]

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Inside Reality & Outside Perception

I want to delve into a concept called Inside Reality and Outside Perception. I was listening to a recording by Rich Harshaw of Monopolize Your Marketing and he used the expression (or it may have been Internal Reality and External Perception) and I thought that’s a neat way to express an idea I’ve been trying […]

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What Can Save The Greek Tourist Industry?

Imagine that five years ago you owned a hotel in Greece. Times were good. Occupancy rates were high. You were making a lot of money. You wanted to make more. So what strategic options did you have? Strategic Options For A Greek Hotel Business The obvious strategic options are:

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The Well Timed Strategy by Peter Navarro

The Well Timed Strategy :  Managing the Business Cycle For Competitive Advantage by Peter Navarro is an important book which many business leaders will wish they’d read before the 2007 credit crunch and the 2008/9 recession. For too long, talk about the wider business environment through PEST analysis and scenario planning was seen as an […]

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Financial Strength In The SPACE Matrix

The SPACE or Strategic Positioning matrix assesses a business along four dimensions to find an appropriate strategic thrust and in this article, we’ll look at the SPACE factors for financial strength. Financial Strength In The SPACE Matrix According to the creators of the Strategic Position and Action Evaluation Matrix, (Strategic Management – A Methodical Approach”, […]

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Differentiation And Cost Leadership Or Cost Leadership?

In his book Competitive Strategy, Michael Porter introduces the idea of generic competitive strategies and says that a business must choose between differentiation and cost leadership or risk being “stuck in the middle”, missing on the high profitability that an effective strategy for one or the other.

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