May 2011

Let’s imagine I’m a statistician and I want to sell my statistical services to businesses. (I’m not.) Do you feel any urge to buy? I didn’t think so. You probably remember learning statistics at school and thought that it was a) confusing, b) boring and c) little practical use to man or beast. But you’d […]

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Airlines Suck But We Still Fly

by Paul Simister on May 27, 2011

I hate airlines. I hate that you are supposed to be at the airport two or three hours before the flight. I hate the long check-in queues. I hate the baggage rules, and I hate that other people seem to get away with flouting them and I don’t.

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3 Ways Growth Is Killing Your Business

by Paul Simister on May 27, 2011

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that business is simple and especially that more sales equals more profits. Sometimes it’s right but sometimes it’s wrong. Sometimes growing a business can destroy it. There are three big reasons:

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The Competitive Advantage Matrix (also known as the Advantage Matrix or even the Strategic Environments Matrix) is one of the more interesting generic strategy models and was created by the famous strategy consulting firm, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The Two Dimensions Of the Competitive Advantage Matrix This is a two by two matrix which […]

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Small Business Design – Is It Necessary?

by Paul Simister on May 26, 2011

I’d better make it clear what I mean by small business design. It has little to do with website design or graphic design. What I mean by small business design is carefully planning out:

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Stella Artois Cidre – Is It A Branding Mistake?

by Paul Simister on May 25, 2011

Stella Artois Cidre is available in the UK. The famous Belgian lager/beer brand have started selling cider or as they call it cidre in the UK in the Spring of 2011. As I’m partial to a drink of cider, I thought I’d give it a try and it’s not too bad. But there is a […]

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Sell The Sizzle And The Steak

by Paul Simister on May 25, 2011

It was Elmer Wheeler who famously said “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Elmer Wheeler is the author of the fascinating book “Tested Sentences That Sell” which shows how fragile the buyer’s mind is and how one way of something encourages a buying decision and a slight variation is rejected. Although I respect what Elmer […]

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3 Personality Traits For Starting A Business

by Paul Simister on May 24, 2011

I regularly read the Harvard Business School blog and many of the articles are for big businesses but one inspired me to give you my own thoughts. If you are thinking about starting a small business, see how you measure up to these three personality traits:

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Differentiate Or Die…or Differentiate And Prosper

by Paul Simister on May 24, 2011

“Differentiate or Die!” That’s a dramatic phrase isn’t it and it’s one I’ve seen a few times since I decided to specialise in helping small businesses to differentiate themselves effectively. Differentiate or Die is also the title of a popular book by branding and positioning expert Jack Trout. I’ve seen it in the bookshops but […]

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All Business is Show Business by Scott McKain

by Paul Simister on May 20, 2011

The full title of this book by Scott McKain is All Business Is Show Business: Strategies For Earning Standing Ovations From Your Customers. All Business Is Show Business Review I enjoyed reading it and it covers three important concepts that I’ve blogged about before: A high concept – a short, powerful summary of what your […]

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Economists have a concept called perfect competition but as a business owner it won’t sound perfect to you. What is Perfect Competition? Perfect competition is a world where markets are in equilibrium and none of the firms who are competing make a profit, they just cover their cost of capital. This is the enemy to […]

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Peeling The Strategy Onion

by Paul Simister on May 19, 2011

The idea of working on your strategy and the entire strategy planning and management process can be daunting. So daunting that it can put many business owners off. And that leaves them stuck trying to get improved profit performance from implementing tactics. I believe they are missing a big trick and it’s a trick that […]

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High Concept – One Day To Save America

by Paul Simister on May 12, 2011

I’ve been reading the book, All Business Is Show Business by Scott McKain and one of the ideas I like in it is the High Concept. The high concept is a phrase used in the movie industry to quickly summarise what a film is about. Man eating sharks = Jaws Bomb on a bus = […]

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Three Ways To Grow A Business

by Paul Simister on May 11, 2011

I want to tell you about Jay Abraham’s Three Ways To Grow A Business. This is very different from the famous Ansoff Business Growth Model which can be thought of as the four ways to grow a business. The Power Of Business Models One of the big advantages of uses a “business model” is that […]

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I used to play hide and seek when I was a boy. We’d agree that we’d have a count of 60 or 100 and that was the time limit for the other person to open their eyes and to start looking for me, whether I was ready or not. If I wasn’t ready, I was […]

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The Profit Tipping Point – Free Report

by Paul Simister on May 10, 2011

  For several years I’ve wanted to share a high level, strategic view of what makes a business successful and at last I have finished the Profit Tipping Point report and you can get yourself a copy for free. In the report I cover two big issues: How much profit your business should be making […]

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Strategic Plans, Business Plans & Budgets

by Paul Simister on May 6, 2011

It’s no surprise that I am a big believer in the advantages of planning and preparing strategic plans, business plans and budgets. It’s the process of planning and how it helps you to clarify you thoughts and see problems and weaknesses in advance which is often more important than the plan itself although it can […]

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Pippa’s Bum Attracts A Lot Of Attention

by Paul Simister on May 3, 2011

I really enjoyed the Royal Wedding last Friday. I started as a cynic but from the start of Friday morning I was caught up in the excitement. I expected the pageantry to be terrific and it was. I think we British do it better than anyone else in the world. I expected Kate (or as […]

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Crackerjack Positioning by Don Reynolds Jr.

by Paul Simister on May 3, 2011

I thought “Crackerjack Positioning: Niche Marketing Strategy For The Entrepreneur” by Don Reynolds, Jr. was a super book when I read it. It’s a very enjoyable, interesting and thought-provoking read for any small business owner who wants to build a unique position in a niche market. What Does Crackerjack Mean? First I think I need […]

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Is Your Differentiation Shallow Or Deep?

by Paul Simister on May 3, 2011

For me, differentiation is about creating customer preference by having a clear message about what you do and for whom and what you don’t. But this brings up an important issue. Your differentiation can be shallow or deep. What do I mean by that?

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