July 2011

Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt

by Paul Simister on July 30, 2011

Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference And Why It Matters by Richard Rumelt is a thought-provoking book which challenges many of the practices that are passed off as strategy today. Strategy Sounds Important – It Must Be Good I have a pet hate. If you want to make something sound important, then you call it […]

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Strategic Differentiation

by Paul Simister on July 28, 2011

Is there a difference between strategic differentiation and non-strategic differentiation? I think there is and it’s important to understand. It’s easy to fall into the trap that all differentiation is strategic because differentiation is one of the main ways to creating competitive advantage and that’s at the very core of business strategy.

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How To Differentiate Your Travel Agency

by Paul Simister on July 26, 2011

I believe that any business which faces competition will benefit by focusing on how it can differentiate itself away from competitors and that particularly applies to travel agents. Every business has three big risks: Demand risk – do customers want what you are selling? Competition risk – are there plenty of customers but are they […]

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There’s a big temptation to make business strategy and strategic planning too complicated to be successful. This is why the idea of focusing on your key success factors (KFS) and your key factors of difference (KFD) is so important. There are so many things that you could do to make your business more successful. There […]

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It’s very nice to build a business that is different and distinctive. It gives you a feeling of superiority because you’ve created something that you can be really proud of. But we can’t escape from the basic idea of differentiation…

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Creating Competitive Advantage by Jaynie Smith

by Paul Simister on July 21, 2011

Every now and again I read a book that plenty of other people rave about but I don’t get – Creating Competitive Advantage: Give Customers A Reason To Choose You Over Your Competitors by Jaynie L. Smith is such a book. I want you to be inspired to escape the commodity trap, to create and […]

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Beyond Price by Mary Kay Plantes & Robert Finfrock

by Paul Simister on July 21, 2011

Beyond Price is a book about how to escape harsh price competition by differentiating your business so it was bound to catch my attention. The full title is Beyond Price: Differentiate Your Company In Ways That Really Matter by Mary Kay Plantes and Robert D. Finfrock. The problem with reading a book that deals with […]

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Too Scared To Differentiate Your Business?

by Paul Simister on July 20, 2011

Let me be blunt. If you haven’t differentiated your business is it because you are too scared to be different? In a survey people said that there were more scared of public speaking than dying! That’s a bit extreme but some people don’t want to be the centre of attention, all eyes on them, watching […]

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How To Differentiate Your Accountancy Practice

by Paul Simister on July 20, 2011

I’ve been interested in the big question of “how to differentiate an accountancy practice” since 1981. That was when I was in the last year at University studying Economics and Accounting and I started looking for a job as a Chartered Accountant trainee. At that time the profession was dominated by the Big Eight and […]

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What Do You Want To Be Famous For?

by Paul Simister on July 20, 2011

Today I feature another excellent article from my good friend and mastermind partner Ian Brodie of IanBrodie.com who helps coaches and consultants get more clients. The article looks at your positioning or branding  in terms of what you want to be famous for? What big idea, concept or expertise do you want people to link […]

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As I look at classic offers which have defined a business, a great way to start is with the offer  / USP which built up Domino’s Pizza since it is so often quoted as a fine example. “Fresh hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less… or it’s free.” There are so […]

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Differentiate Your Business, Your Product, Your Offer

by Paul Simister on July 19, 2011

If differentiation is the art, science and practice of creating buying preference with customers and prospective customers, it begs the question… “What is it a customer is really buying?” The answer is one of the classic…

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There’s a little silent refrain that goes on in people’s minds whenever you bring up differentiation. I think that for many business owners, its almost an excuse. “It’s different in my industry; it’s hyper-competitive and it’s such a mature industry, it’s a waste of time pursuing differentiation”. I want to introduce you to a concept […]

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43 Mistakes Businesses Make by Duncan Bannatyne

by Paul Simister on July 15, 2011

Because I enjoyed Wake Up And Change Your Life so much, I thought I’d read another business book by Duncan Bannatyne  called the 43 Mistakes Businesses Make … And How To Avoid Them. It’s another interesting read for any prospective entrepreneur.

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Competitive Edge vs Competitive Advantage

by Paul Simister on July 15, 2011

I’ve been guilty of using the phrases “competitive edge” and “competitive advantage” as synonyms for each other and to a large extent I think that’s valid. Both can relate to a benefit one business has over a particular competitor or all the other competitors in the practical market. But I’ve been forced to have a […]

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Thinking For A Change by Lisa Scheinkopf

by Paul Simister on July 14, 2011

I’ve recently read Thinking For A Change: Putting The TOC Thinking Processes To Work by Lisa J Scheinkopf. I wish I’d read it years ago. It goes into detail on the Theory of Constraints (TOC) thinking techniques which were introduced in the It’s Not Luck business novel. My Introduction To The TOC Thinking Processes I […]

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I thought I’d use a recent experience as a customer to write about hotel marketing strategy and in particular how to differentiate a small hotel or bed and breakfast establishment. Hotel Marketing Strategy – General Thoughts Before I Get Specific The 7 P’s of marketing are useful for thinking about your hotel marketing strategy with […]

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FT Guide To Business Networking by Heather Townsend

by Paul Simister on July 13, 2011

Networking has changed in the last five years with the development of social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and the big strength of the FT Guide to Business Networking – How To Use The Power Of Online and Offline Networking For Business Success by Heather Townsend is the concept of joined-up networking. Who […]

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Wake Up And Change Your Life by Duncan Bannatyne

by Paul Simister on July 12, 2011

Thanks to Dragons’ Den, Duncan Bannatyne is one of the best known multi-millionaire entrepreneurs and in this book, Wake Up And Change Your Life, he provides the inspiration for you to move from thinking about starting your own business or talking about it to actually making the commitment to literally change your life. Wake Up […]

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If you think about going down the venture capital route for funds for your young business, I recommend you read this blog post from Fred Wilson of Union Square Investments. Why Early Stage Venture Investments Fail It’s always good to understand the situation from the other side since it makes their demands seem more reasonable. […]

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Venture Capital: When You Need It & When You Don’t

by Paul Simister on July 6, 2011

When I was researching how businesses change or pivot their business plans, I found this presentation about Venture Capital and when you need it and when you don’t by Union Square Ventures in New York. Venture Capital Presentation Since I have no control over whether it disappears from scribd, I want to pull out a […]

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June 24th was a quarter day and that means in the UK, rents became due for the next three months and it created a wave of insolvencies among big retailers like Jane Norman, Habitat, TJ Hughes and Moben. Allegedly other retailers are under severe financial pressure like Clinton Cards and HMV. Even the giant electrical […]

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