June 2011

4 Ways To Test Your Idea For a New Business

by Paul Simister on June 30, 2011

Do you think you have a great idea for a new business? Exciting isn’t it to have thought of something that feels new and different and it’s even more exciting if you think this could be the idea that you act upon. That last sentence makes an important point which may have passed you by. […]

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I’m often approached by start-up entrepreneurs and asked to write their business plan. I won’t do it. I think it’s a rotten idea. So does Dragons Den entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne.

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The One Page Business Plan by Jim Horan

by Paul Simister on June 23, 2011

The One Page Business Plan by Jim Horan is very different from other business planning books I’ve read. First I should say that I have read the UK edition which involved Paul Barrow in the translation. I don’t know how different this version is to the one available in the United States. I should also […]

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As an entrepreneur, you probably suffer from what Michael Gerber calls “busy, busy, busy”. There’s always much more you which you could do…, should do. But what really matters? What is the main thing that is stopping your business from making more money?

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The Best Laid Business Plans by Paul Barrow

by Paul Simister on June 22, 2011

I enjoyed reading The Best Laid Business Plans: How To Write Them, How To Pitch Them by Paul Barrow. It is one of the Virgin Business Guides but don’t be fooled, Sir Richard Branson had very little to do with it. Business planning is essential for any business start-up and it’s important for any business […]

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Critical Chain by Eliyahu Goldratt

by Paul Simister on June 20, 2011

I was reading Critical Chain when the author, Dr Eliyahu Goldratt died. The Theory of Constraints guru focuses his attention on project management in Critical Chain after looking at constraints in the production process in The Goal and in the marketing strategy in It’s Not Luck. Review of Critical Chain by Eliyahu Goldratt Again it […]

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3 Marketing Secrets Stolen From My Local Coffee Shop

by Paul Simister on June 18, 2011

My first guest blogging article goes to my friend and mastermind partner Ian Brodie, of IanBrodie.com. Ian is an expert in helping consultants, coaches and other professionals to get more clients with his practical marketing and sales advice. When you read it, you’ll immediately see why I wanted to publish it on my Differentiate Your […]

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“Paul I don’t agree with your idea that you have to be different to succeed” said a business owner I was speaking to last week. His idea was that if he could make his business as much like the market leader as possible, he’d get some of the sales. And his logic was fascinating because […]

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Sage Planning For Business Review

by Paul Simister on June 17, 2011

After taking a look at Business Plan Writer as one option for business planning software, I thought I would review Sage Planning For Business which is again developed primarily for the UK market. Sage Planning For Business Review Sage is a big company and provides the most popular small business accounting programs in the UK […]

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It’s Not Luck by Eliyahu Goldratt

by Paul Simister on June 15, 2011

I read “It’s Not Luck” when it was first published in 1994, I read it several times since and unfortunately I still think it’s  a disappointing book. I loved “The Goal” by Eli Goldratt. It is an insightful business book which revealed simple and powerful ideas through a fast paced and engaging story. It brought […]

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Business Plan Writer Review

by Paul Simister on June 15, 2011

Business Plan Writer is the first business planning software I’ve reviewed with the start-up business owner in mind. It is available from http://businessplanwriter.co.uk/ and has been written for the UK market but before you jump in and buy, you should read my review. What I Like About Business Plan Writer

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Business Planning Software For Business Start-Ups

by Paul Simister on June 15, 2011

Specialist business planning software is a great way to help you to out together a business plan to take to a bank or other financial backer. I’ve written before about the different types of business plans. It’s The Thinking In Business Planning That’s So Important I believe in the thinking that goes into preparing a […]

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The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox

by Paul Simister on June 14, 2011

“The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement” by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox is an absolute classic book for anyone who is concerned with improving the performance of a manufacturing business or with business improvement in general. First published in 1984 this book introduced the world to the Theory of Constraints and how much of […]

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Competitive Advantage By Michael Porter

by Paul Simister on June 9, 2011

The follow up to the classic book Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter is the equally influential Competitive Advantage: Creating And Sustaining Superior Performance. I first read it in 1990 when I realised strategy was the subject that combined (and reconciled) my interest in finance and marketing. I’d be so impressed with Competitive Strategy and wanted […]

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Why Did You Buy That?

by Paul Simister on June 8, 2011

If you want to learn about how to influence and persuade your target market to buy from you or to buy more often from you, then you need to understand their wants, needs and motivations. And if you want to understand other people, there’s no better place to start learning than by understanding yourself. In […]

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Is it a good idea to have a one day strategy workshop or strategic planning workshop? Why You Might Want A Strategy Workshop Let’s imagine that your business performance has dipped or you fear that it might because of recent changes in environment conditions, customer needs or competitors. And you get approached by a firm […]

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Aston Martin Cygnet – Is It A Branding Mistake?

by Paul Simister on June 4, 2011

The Aston Martin Cygnet is a small, luxurious car based on the Toyota IQ which will cost £30,000 to £40,000 new. Aston have taken the IQ and given it a new grill, door handles, leather interior and the prestigious Aston Martin badge (and probably a few other little extras). I have mixed feelings about this.

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Knickers Valued At £15,000

by Paul Simister on June 4, 2011

I’m interested when the ordinary becomes extraordinary so this story caught my eye. It is reported that a lap dancer from Stringfellows club in London has a pair of knickers that have been valued at £15,000. What makes this pair of panties so special and different from all the others?

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The Start Your Own Business Bible

by Paul Simister on June 3, 2011

I’ve just received a review copy of  The Start Your Own Business Bible: 501 New Ventures You Can Launch Today by Richard Walsh. I love talking to entrepreneurs about business but one of the most difficult questions to answer is… “I want to start my own business. Where can I make the most money?” It’s […]

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Why Banks Don’t Finance Business Startups

by Paul Simister on June 2, 2011

One of the most powerful things you can do when negotiating is to see things from the other person’s perspective. To find out why banks don’t finance business startups I want you to put yourself in the bank manager’s shoes when he meets an eager entrepreneur looking for cash to finance the great (ad)venture.

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