Monthly Archives: September 2012

How to market effectively

I have been amazed at the over-reliance on the “marketing & sales” role for finding new customers. In smaller businesses this tends to be the CEO/MD and in larger organisations, it is the Sales/Marketing Department. As the availability of information floods everyone, there is an emerging push-back from the market who are starting to rely more heavily on word-of-mouth, referrals and relationship building. It was always thus of course, however, key decision-makers are becoming more wary of the overwhelming abundance of information and cold marketing activities. This means that marketing is harder and takes longer. Every business now needs everyone on in their organisation and their alliance network to be talking about and acting as unofficial marketeers. So who is in your business, your “value-chain” and your networks who could market your business? Continue reading

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3 Daily Questions to Motivate Your Team

Moving from being a Manager to being a leader requires a shift in perspective. Leaders see themselves as empowering others rather than directing or controlling people and tasks. To empower requires the leader to demonstrate their credibility, their interest in developing their people and their trust. Why? People will not follow if these elements are not in place and if they do follow, productivity improves with dramatic performance results. Showing support and highlighting success and learning on a daily basis creates stronger relationships that motivate everyone in the team. Continue reading

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3 Free Project Management Tools

As businesses grow, there is a move from a “manage it all in your head” status to a need for a more robust project management approach, particularly when the size of your team also starts to grow and you need to understand and manage budgets and time. Why? If you don’t measure, the risk of spending more time and resources on activities will undermine your profitability and limit growth. I have been asked for my recommendations on some good free project management tools. Here are 3 free tools that I have come across plus 2 other well-known and low-cost options. Continue reading

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How to Manage Meetings

I have been delivering another Masterclass on the Art of Chairing this week and one of the challenges that is always raised is how to manage a difficult meeting. Whether that be the personalities at the meeting, or keeping to time, staying focused on the core subject or reaching a decision. So, here are some tips for good meeting management. Why? Meetings that are well-managed are more productive, reach better decisions and contribute to team building – all of which improves performance. Continue reading

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Questioning sayings is good for business

We are familiar with business jargon such as “we are going to address that” meaning “do”; the “learning curve” and “shotgun approach”, yet there are also some old-fashioned metaphorical sayings that we might need to question. This post builds on a previous one on home truths that apply to your business, however whereas those were useful, these should be followed with care. Continue reading

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