Use The 4 Aces Trick To Keep Yourself Selling (Happily!)

Let me talk to you about aces…

Last week, I spent an hour in the company of 6 small business owners. I asked them a really specific question: ‘If I gave you one wish, a wish that could only be used in your business over the next week, what would you want to wish for?’.

The answers were almost all to do with client acquisition, from ‘I wish that the huge pile of business cards on my desk would turn into a huge pile of appointments’, to ‘I really want to get hold of the person responsible for buying the printing at my local university’ and everything in between.

The local university one was particularly interesting. I asked this business owner what she had done about getting hold of this ‘right person’ and she told me that she’d LinkedIn with various employees at the university and that her brother-in-law, knows one of the women who works in the admissions department and is certain that if he asked, she’d know the name of the right person… (more…)

No Customers? No Business!

What do you spend your working day doing? I mean, what do you actually do from when you ‘clock in’ at the start of your working day, until you close the office door (or at least push your work to one end of the kitchen table)?

I was reading an article by the marvellous Brian Tracy the other day and it was really, really interesting. It was about new business owners, ones with a business of less than 2 years old, and what they do during the typical working day. When questioned about sales and marketing, all business owners said that it was the most important thing that they do, that it’s the lifeblood of their business. When asked to quantify how much of their time they spend on sales and marketing, the vast majority said ‘most of my time’. This was then taken a step further and a good, old-fashioned time and motion study was done, on a very large scale, to see exactly how much time was actually spent on sales and marketing by small business owners. The results were astonishing.
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How 70p Reduced Me To Being THAT Woman In A Queue (The One You’re Glad You’re Not!)

I was in Subway with my friend and my daughter recently. Subway is, as Honor says, her ‘go to’ fast food place. She loves the fact that you can pick and choose what goes into your sandwich and have all the bits and pieces you want, and none of the ones you don’t. Honor was hungry, my pal and I were not, so Honor chose her sandwich and I ordered a couple of coffees too.

Now this is where it all got a bit surreal. The ‘Meal Deal’ was clearly advertised on one board as £3. On a separate board, there was a very clear picture of what the Meal Deal included, namely a drink, a packet of crisps and the aforementioned wonderful sandwich. (On a separate note, who eats a foot-long sandwich?). The coffees were £1.20 each. Bear with me here, there is a point to my being so specific. (more…)

3 Things A Kofti Salad Can Teach You About Business

I was sitting in the sun, in a cafe in a suburb called Narcity on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in Istanbul. The view from the hilltop where this cafe was situated was wonderful, I could see the sea and Princes Islands, a series of islands floating in the Sea of Marmara. It was Friday evening and I was killing time, waiting for my pal Martin to finish teaching English. When I arrived in this cafe, some 90 minutes earlier, I was also starving, having eaten little today except some ice cream profiteroles I found in a different cafe that afternoon. I was after wifi to be honest, but having found an ice cream cafe (can you believe it?! A whole cafe dedicated to ice cream? I love the Turks!) it seemed churlish nor to order something a bit more substantial than tea. (more…)

Where You Focus Is Where The Magic Happens

Every now and again I come across someone who, when we end up in the inevitable ‘what do you do?’ conversation, tells me with pride that ‘I have 4 businesses!’ They’ll then go on to list them all and tell me how well each is doing. If I dig a little, they may admit that one or two of the businesses do better than the others. If I dig a lot, they’ll tell me that, actually one or two of the businesses have yet to make any money and the others aren’t doing that well, but that it’s all a matter of time. Next, it will transpire that they can’t commit to something or other, because they just can’t justify the £20 at the moment.  Finally, they’ll say that actually, things aren’t going as well as they hoped and that they’re on the lookout for a 5th business, ‘to bring in some cash’. (more…)