The Profit Tipping Point

Blue Zebra Strategy – What’s In A Name & Image?

“I like your new blog, I think of it as blue zebra strategy” someone emailed me yesterday. I can see that other people will also think of my blog as the blue zebra strategy blog and a quick search of the Internet shows that I’m not found for “blue zebra strategy”. That’s a problem which […]

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Aggressive Or Offensive Strategy In Business & Marketing

Effective strategy is a mixture of defensive strategy and aggressive strategy / offensive strategy to help a business to protect what it’s got and then to make gains in a competitive market. Use The SPACE Matrix To Check If An Aggressive Strategy is Appropriate The Strategic Position and Action Evaluation Matrix (SPACE Matrix) is a […]

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Competitive Rivalry : The Most Powerful Of The Five Forces?

I’m ending my look at Michael Porter’s Five Forces Analysis with a look at competitive rivalry, perhaps the most powerful and destructive of the five forces as competitors carelessly compete away any profits and even create price wars that cause long term damage to industry profitability. Competitive Rivalry Or Rivalry Amongst Existing Firms Michael Porter […]

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Small Business Strategic Planning

Small business strategic planning is a cut down version of the strategic planning techniques used by big businesses to help improve competitiveness. It’s that last word that is the key. Strategic planning is about helping you to improve the way you win profitable business from customers instead it going to your competitors. It’s Even More […]

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Business Competition : The Five C’s Model For Levels Of Competition

When you are thinking about business strategy it is important to focus on the business competition and the different levels of competitions. The 5 C”s Model of Competition is a very useful framework for assessing the level of competitive intensity in your market and thinking about the opportunities and threats that competition presents. It is […]

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Bargaining Power Of Suppliers : Uses & Abuses

The bargaining power of suppliers and vendors is one of the Five Forces that Michael Porter identified that determine industry structure and attractiveness. In many ways the bargaining power of suppliers is the same as the bargaining power of customers but seen from the other party’s perspective. Powerful suppliers in the industry value chain can […]

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Contemporary Strategy Analysis by Robert Grant

I was lucky because Contemporary Strategy Analysis by Robert Grant was the core text book for my MBA strategy module at the Manchester Business School. I was in Waterstones yesterday and it still looks the best of the strategy text books to me. Its big rival was Exploring Corporate Strategy but I think this is […]

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Threat of Substitutes In Porter’s Five Forces Model

The threat of substitutes is an important element in the Five Forces Analysis model introduced by Michael Porter in his book Competitive Strategy. The issue of the threat of substitutes is always a factor which limits the profit potential of a market. In times of economic difficulties, the threat accelerates sharply but it also represents […]

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Grom Ice Cream – Is It The Best?

I have just come back from a week’s holiday in one of my favourite places, Viareggio on the Tuscany coat in Italy and I discovered Grom ice cream. And what a discovery it represents because I had some of the best ice cream ever. Rich, creamy and full of flavour.

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Bargaining Power Of Buyers Or Customers

The bargaining power of buyers or customers is one of the five forces that determine industry profitability in Michael Porter‘s Five Forces Analysis model explained in his book Competitive Strategy. The basic idea is that by using their  bargaining power as a powerful buyer, some customers can capture a high proportion of the value you […]

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Competitive Strategy In The SPACE Matrix

The SPACE Matrix or more formally, the Strategic Position and Action Evaluation Matrix recommends one of four basic strategic approaches for a business and today I’m going to focus on the Competitive Strategy dimension. This is when the business is in a good position in its marketplace but its financial strength is insufficient to compensate […]

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Strategy In Practice by Cliff Bowman

Strategy In Practice by Cliff Bowman is a book for managers who contribute to the strategy debates going on within their businesses. This makes it very different from many of the strategy texts which are either written for the MBA market or for strategy experts. Who Is Cliff Bowman? Cliff Bowman is Professor of Strategic […]

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Why Is Strategy Important ?

Have you ever asked yourself “Why Is Strategy Important ?” What Is Strategy And Why Is Strategy Important? I recently wrote about “What Is Strategy?” The business strategy of a company provides the big picture that shows how all the individual activities are coordinated to achieve a desired end result. It is through the strategy […]

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Barriers To Entry & The Threat Of New Entrants

Today we will look at how you can use barriers to entry to reduce the threat of new entrants into your market. The threat of new entrants is one of the forces in Michael Porter’s Five Forces model of industry analysis. This threat applies to any business of any size, big or small. It can […]

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Impact Of Tax On Business

As part of helping you to apply PEST Analysis for scenario planning I want to examine the impact of tax on business. First a disclaimer. Although I’m a chartered accountant I know next to nothing about tax and this article in written from a UK perspective although I expect its lessons for strategy purposes will […]

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Five Forces Analysis – Michael Porter

In my guide to strategic planning models I described Michael Porter’s Five Forces Analysis as probably the most famous of the strategy models but until now, I haven’t written about it in detail on my blog. Background To The Five Forces Analysis Model The Five Forces Analysis model was first introduced in the Harvard Business […]

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What is Strategy ?

“What is strategy?” seems such an easy question to answer because you hear the words “strategy” and “strategic” banded around like confetti. But the “What is strategy” question hides a problem. What Is Strategy? People often decide that they need to work on their business strategy before really understanding what strategy is. And doing something […]

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The Profit Zone by Adrian Slywotzky & David Morrison

The Profit Zone : How Strategic Business Design Will Lead You to Tomorrow’s Profits by Adrian J. Slywotzky and David J. Morrison is a fascinating look at the power of business models to determine the success of a business. The Profit Zone Review The authors, Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison argue that the traditional sources […]

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What Can Ted Nugent Teach You About Personal Branding?

I adore classic rock music from the late sixties and the seventies and Ted Nugent is one of the stars that burst onto the scenes in the mid seventies when I started liking my music loud and heavy. Differentiation By Who Although I’m currently working with a young soul singer in the UK who has […]

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The Irresistible Promise

The Irresistible Promise is step 2 of my six step profit formula. The Irresistible Promise Is An Update On The USP Once you’ve found your starving crowd, you need to make it an offer that is compelling. Mark Joyner calls it an Irresistible Offer. Theory of Constraints call it a Mafia Offer (an offer you […]

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The Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzky

“The Art of Profitability” by Adrian Slywotzky is a fascinating book which reveals twenty three different business models which an entrepreneur can use to build a profitable business. What Is A Business Model? A business model is the way your business creates value for customers and captures its fair share as profit. The best business […]

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The Innovator’s Portfolio Matrix

When I was reading Business Innovation For Dummies by Alexander Hiam, I came across the Innovator’s Portfolio Matrix. I think it’s a powerful way to think about differentiation in your product mix. What Is The Innovator’s Portfolio Matrix? It is a 2 x 2 matrix (much loved by strategy consultants of course) with uniqueness on […]

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Hypercompetition by Richard D’Aveni

Hypercompetition : Managing the Dynamics Of Strategic Maneuvering by Richard D’Aveni is a book I’ve wanted to read for many years and finally, earlier this year I did. Although it dates back to 1994 I’m very impressed about its ideas on strategy dynamics. Hypercompetition Review The view of business strategy presented in Hypercompetition by Richard […]

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Industry Value Chain Analysis – Michael Porter’s Value System

Using the concept of the industry value chain analysis is an important part of gaining an appreciation for the wider competitive factors that can impact on your business. Background To The Industry Value Chain Or Value System The idea of the value chain was introduced in the classic strategy book Competitive Advantage by Michael Porter […]

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Amazon Strategy & The Six Step Profit Formula

I love Amazon and it’s very useful to look at the Amazon strategy in relation to my Six Step Profit Formula. Summary Of The Six Step Profit Formula The six steps in the profit formula are: Find a starving crowd. . Create an irresistible promise. . Get your irresistible promise in front of the eyes […]

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Value Disciplines & Differentiation

The value disciplines are an interesting extension to Michael Porter’s generic strategies for competitive advantage. The Origin Of The Value Disciplines The value disciplines have been developed and promoted by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema in a famous Harvard Business Review article “Customer Intimacy and Other Value Disciplines” and in their book “The Discipline Of […]

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The Six Step Profit Formula

  The Six Step Profit Formula is my high level reminder of what you are trying to achieve with your strategic planning and analysis and provides the connection between strategy and tactics. It can also be used as: A guide when you are starting your business to make sure that you’ve covered the basics. . […]

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Maserati Kubang : Is This A Branding Mistake?

I love Italy, I’m fascinated by cars so it’s no surprise that I feel a huge attraction towards Maserati but the new Maserati Kubang looks like a branding mistake to me. Fiat have done a great job in reviving the Maserati brand after the dark days in the eighties. I fear the Kubang is a […]

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Balanced Scorecard As A Performance Measurement System

The Balanced Scorecard is the most famous of the performance measurement systems that can be used to implement and monitor a new strategy or group. What Is The Balanced Scorecard The Balanced Scorecard is a short summary report of the key performance measures of a business, both financial and non-financial. It tells the story of […]

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Core Competence & Its Role In Differentiation

In this article I will look at the idea of core competence as developed by CK Prahalad and Gary Hamel in their classic Harvard Business Review article The Core Competence of the Corporation and their book, Competing For The Future. Core Competence & Resource Based Strategy Very important work was done in the early nineties […]

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