"I wish I'd gone into the business of hand sanitiser," said the owner of the paint shop recently to me. I slow-nodded, acknowledging the fast money companies made selling products that met demand fueled by covid. But entrepreneurs, don't be wooed by risky, quick-profit expansion opportunities. Those who made money in the hand sanitiser exponential… Continue reading How to expand successfully
What do WhatsApp, Groupon, Slack, Instagram, Uber and Pinterest have in common? They were all born during the last recession and many entrepreneurs struggling in the current economic client retain a sliver of hope that their idea will be a winner born in the Great Lockdown. I find it very cheering thinking about the entrepreneurial… Continue reading The Great Lockdown Unicorn!
As a business, how circumspect should you be about posting online your brilliant discoveries, unique looks and ideas? Hatta Byng, the editor of House & Garden magazine, advises you keep your most stylish rooms or best finds to yourself to avoid them becoming: "less desirable and far too of the moment" - a veiled reference… Continue reading To post or not to post? How much of your brilliance should you share?
So you've spotted a market opportunity! There is clear customer need which is under-served and you have a product for this untapped opportunity, hooray! You develop your tech, launch your product and eagerly wait for the orders to come rolling in ... but, the problem is, they don't. After your initial burst of enthusiasm, its… Continue reading Great Idea! So why no sales? ….
When I'm discussing their marketing strategy with entrepreneurs, I often refer to 'customer needs' but recently I was given reason to reflect on whether I've been using the terminology too narrowly - are decisions to purchase or consume driven solely by having products and services which customers want, or prefer, see benefit from, or achieve… Continue reading Beyond ‘Customer Needs’
The founder of the Private Equity firm I used to work for hugely favoured backing CEOs who had, at some point in their career, worked in sales. Why? Because he recognised being able to persuade people of an idea being a winning one is critical to entrepreneurial success. Entrepreneurs who are comfortable with selling… Continue reading Persuasion Pointers
There's no doubt its a tough job being a CEO, but it goes stratospheric when you have to manage a game-changing situation that has the potential to destroy or seriously damage the size and shape of your organisation. Take the challenge of access to capital for instance, as it is one of the top concerns… Continue reading Stress & the CEO: What role for the NED?
Every so often I get snared by popular TV and, shamefully, this month I've been glued to watching Bear Grylls' Celebrity Island. This extraordinary exposé of cringe-worthy team dynamics, painful character flaws and conflict has been riveting with the most entertainment undoubtedly coming from Iwan Thomas, former Olympic athlete, whose 'self-appointed' leadership caused pretty… Continue reading Avoiding and managing a “Iwan Thomas” in your workplace
The allocation of equity in start-ups and scale-ups is fraught with issues and so I was interested to read Mike Moyer's book 'Slicing Pie' to find out his take on this thorny problem. Mike's philosophy that is "a person’s % share of the rewards should always equal that person’s % share of what’s put at risk… Continue reading Equity allocations. How do you keep it fair?
How good are you at pricing? How often do you think about how you are pricing your goods and services? Probably not often enough and certainly not as often as is best practice. If you haven't noticed, pricing has got a whole lot more sophisticated and moved on immeasurably from the relative simplicity of train… Continue reading The Greatness of Price