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Posts Tagged ‘Marj Boyer’

One of the most important business tools

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

20140617_072754I’ve just been talking to someone about business tools and which are important and which are just ‘nice to have’. The one area he had not considered was the tool of ‘time’.

We all have 24 hours in the day but how that time is used can make a massive difference on the success and growth of a business. We are in the main holiday season now and it’s easy to slip into ‘coasting’ mode as many of our contacts and customers are on holiday. This is though, a great opportunity to look at what we want to achieve before the end of December. We have the time to think and the time to plan, before everybody comes back from holiday and we find ourselves back in the ‘cut and thrust’ of the day to day operations.

Use this time wisely. Think, plan and of course enjoy the time and hopefully weather, to prepare.

But don’t forget to give you, your family and friends time as well. Life is not all work!

What, no internet, what happens now!

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

20150703_171323I had my day all planned. I was working in the office. There were some emails to write and a number of ‘phone calls that needed to be made and a possible VOIP call, together with a couple of face to face conversations.

All very manageable I thought. Then I realised that there was no internet. It wasn’t slow or intermittent, it just wasn’t there at all. First step, check again, just in case, no still not working. Next step, ring the tech guys, they’ll investigate and respond. Now what!?

It’s surprising what happens when you look at a situation in a different way. The ‘phone calls were made, the face to face conversations took place and a proposal I needed to complete for the following week, was completed early. The emails? Extra ‘phone calls were made to explain for the important ones and the VOIP meeting. The rest waited until my internet was back on line.

Think differently. It works

Did he really say that?!

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Lord Digby JonesHis comments were straight to the point, that’s what I expected from a man known for his forthright views. Sir Digby Jones is not what you might call a diplomat (I’m sure he will admit that!). If you ask him a question, he will give you a direct answer and look at you when he talks to you. I like that in business. His comments and answers were easy to understand.

We, in the northern hemisphere, tend to much more direct than others in different parts of the world. We understand each other, however it can cause problems, and offence, if the company is exporting or dealing with other companies that take a different view to doing business.

It’s neither right or wrong, it’s just different. So many companies try to do business ‘their way’ when a little understanding and ability to adapt to a different cultural environment, could generate opportunities for them


What and where is work then

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

20140526_154406I was involved with a group at a workshop the other day when the subject of what people do and where they work became an important discussion point.

Although the majority of people at that workshop did still have traditional offices, a large minority didn’t. Even the people who did have offices to go to, did not spend that much time in them and certainly not ‘9 to 5’.

The concept of ‘work’ is now, more than ever, about value created and not hours worked. The majority of people don’t need to be sat at a desk to create value; they can, with technology, work remotely from their desk, using a mobile ‘phone and a tablet computer and access to the ‘cloud’.

‘Coffice is a word I’m hearing quite frequently at the moment, working on something from a coffee shop, although I know people who are quite happy working in health clubs and wine bars. A friend of mine has for years, worked from a particular hotel lounge in London for years.

Adding value to a customer’s business can be achieved from almost anywhere. It’s the How, not the Where that is important.

Listening! Sorry, what did you say?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

20140620_122949Lara Morgan is Founder of Pacific Direct which she set up in 1991.

She talked a lot of sense and most of that was ‘common’ too.

As she mentioned, listening is a good skill to learn. Listen to your customers; listen to potential customers and listen to those that didn’t become customers!

Listen to your team; your suppliers; even your competitors. So much can be learnt from just listening. Then, of course, interpret it and turn it into action.

Ask questions that will encourage people to answer, then listen. If you don’t understand or the answer is not what you expected, than ask for clarification. People will give it.

Don’t leave without understanding. Your business will be better for it.   Just a Thought.

Think Big, Not Small

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

20140620_115219Michelle Mone, Founder of Ultimo, grew up in the east end of Glasgow, left school with no qualifications but had a ‘can do’ attitude to life.

She had a paper round whilst still at school and ended up ’employing’ 17 other people to service the various paper rounds.

Her early career was modeling but at 19, she had a baby and thought that she should find a job although that prospect didn’t delight her.

Throughout her life, she has always had this positive attitude and believes that nobody should wait for the opportunities to appear; they should go out and find them.

Listening to her and the peaks and troughs that she has had in her life, just highlights how business life can be. Sometimes it’s good and other times, it’s tough but the one thing it never is, is boring.

The opportunity to grow the business is always there, just seize it.

Passion is all you need?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

20140620_102422Wayne Hemingway,founder of Red or Dead, and now a driver for social change, challenged the audience to identify what makes an entrepreneur successful.

He believes that Passion plays a very important role when starting and building a business. That passion will take you to places and people that you never thought you would have access to,allowing your fledgling business to grow; but of course, you then have to deliver your promises to those people.

I’ve heard Wayne speak on several occasions and he is very passionate about the things he believes in and straight talking in his approach.

‘If you care, you will force change, because of your passion’

Now there’s a thought!


Liverpool Accelerate 2014

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

20140617_072951As part of the International Festival for Business, Liverpool, in the North West of England, hosted the conference,’ Accelerate’ for the second year.

There were three themes for this conference, Passion; Power and Performance. The speakers ranged from John Maltby, who is CEO of RBS, England and Wales, to Lara Morgan, Founder of Pacific Direct.

Over the next few weeks, I shall be giving a little insight into their subject matter and making a comment or two about what they said.

I call it ‘Thought Bites’

Hope you have your own thoughts on this business content. In the meantime, here are mine.

Employment is not the traditional anymore

Monday, June 16th, 2014

20140526_152000I was at the latest Bank of England Inflation Briefing last month and the official report confirms that employment, as we used to know it, has changed.

It is no longer a full time permanent role, but much more fluid in its context.

Employment rose by 240,000 in the three  months to February 2014. That followed a rise of 280,000 in the three months to November 2013. and importantly, over half of the increase in the six months to February was accounted for by self-employment, which rose by almost 300,000. There are of course, many reasons for this trend, but a trend it is.

Employment itself can also mean part-time and temporary; part -time and ‘permanent’; full time and temporary or permanent and any combination of the above. I think what is important to see is the different ways paid work is evolving. Senior managers need to understand and combine the needs of the business with the opportunities both inside and outside the company to employ the right talent in a way that generates advantages to both.

Is the Bank of England Right?

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

20140214_105153Businesses feel that there is a valid reason to feel confident this year. Consumers are spending, demand is going up for both products and services in the UK , interest rates look set to stay low for a while yet and inflation is coming down.

I was at a Bank of England Inflation seminar last week and as we discussed the report, a few things struck me.

Exports are still not as good as they should be to give the economy a sense of balance; although unemployment is reducing, there is still a large chunk of under-employment in the economy, people are not working the hours/days they would like to and therefore not increasing the income going into the household: and workplace productivity is not as good as it could be.

I think the Bank is right to leave rates where they are for the present. Businesses are still quite fragile, especially the SME market and those businesses that have the ability to invest, need to do so now; this in turn will create opportunities for other companies in the supply chain of that investment. 

Businesses and organisations need to spend this year building the foundations of their growing companies, so that they are ready to accept the increases in interest rates that will come, probably the third quarter of next year.

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