Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Many of our clients at the Directors' Centre do not have their own FD - they can't afford one, at least not full-time. Companies like the FD Centre may well be the answer as they provide part-time FDs for businesses.
Take a look at their website to get a feel for what they do and how they do it.
Recession Tips from Colin Mills
The FD Centre
Monday, 30 March 2009
"WHY DID RC LOOK AT FACEBOOK...? There are a few answers but in brief:
1) At least half of my audiences (6-7,000pa) are under 40y old (and I am not) and are v small businesses...
2)We run marketing/delegate acquisition programmes for some of our sponsors and clients and wanted to see if this was another/alternative channel to use... (vs google adwords, Ecademy...)
3) We want to explore/experiment ourselves (my office not just me!) before we disregard it out of hand.
We had several measures of success (delegates to Barclays events... potential speaking bookings... consultancy discussions) but our main objective was to prove FB's value (or not) for ourselves."
It has been great to find a whole bunch of old school friends It has been great to get to understand how FB works. The volume of activity is very high but not very focused or relevant. Great to have another outlet for the blog.
We have not sent out a single additional invoice as a result of our FB activity. Without a half-decent search facility, people will never find you unless they have been specifically pointed towards you. Question: What does your FB activity (and that of your 'friends') say about you? LinkedIn has been far more useful even if the interface isn't desperately user-friendly.
Question: Is it crucial to the success of our business?
Thursday, 26 March 2009
"YOU AND YOUR PRODUCT ARE SO RUN-OF-THE-MILL, MEDIOCRE, AVERAGE, DULL AND BORING. YOU ARE A FOLLOWER, A LAGGARD, A COPIER WITHOUT AN ORIGINAL IDEA, THOUGHT, PROCESS, PRODUCT, SERVICE OR WAY OF DOING STUFF IN YOUR MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD, 'JUST LIKE THE REST OF THEM' COMPANY.
BORING! BORING! BORING!
WHY SHOULD I BOTHER TO BUY FROM YOU WHEN I CAN BUY FROM ONE OF YOUR COMPETITORS (WHO WILL BE CHEAPER OR FASTER OR FRIENDLIER OR SMILIER OR HIGHER TECH OR WHATEVER)?
BORING! BORING! BORING!
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE TALK ABOUT YOU OR YOUR PRODUCT OR YOUR SERVICE? I CAN'T THINK OF A SINGLE REASON. CAN YOU?"
What are you going to do about it?
Bright Marketing - why should people bother to buy from you? - blog entry about the book
Barclays Let's Talk... events - for businesses employing less than 10 employees.
Friday, 20 March 2009
Quotes like "I’m still clinging to my BlackBerry,” Obama said Wednesday in an interview with CNBC and The New York Times. "They’re going to pry it out of my hands." are literally priceless.
- is it remarkable, simple and obvious?
OUCH - this was written in March 2009 - "I have been a BB user for a number of years... The BlackBerry has it all! So do Martin guitars, Global knives, Aga stoves..." How the times have changed....
Monday, 16 March 2009
"Most businesses depend on three basic groups of customers:
- “value buyers”, who will pay extra for service and support;
- “price buyers”, who just want the bare-bones product at a low price; and
- “pigs”, those who want all the services and the lowest price.
Read the article Price Optimise for Your Best Customers by Karen Steen
Price Optimise for Your Best Customers by Karen Steen
Saturday, 14 March 2009
In that case you have a number of other choices.
Tactic 2) reduce your costs disproportionately.
If you reduce costs of delivery more than you reduce the price to the client then you increase profit margin % for yourself.
This is a rather selfish approach and so you should combine improvements in efficiency with this method rather than just rip-off your client.
Tactic 3) charge out separately for variable and fixed costs
By charging out separate, visible rates for fixed and for variable costs then you can match any price changes to the actual cost of delivery
example: one price for carpet fitting (fixed price) plus one price for type of carpet (variable unit price).
This is good way to show the client where you are cutting costs and how and where they can make savings.
BUT... negotiating on price and stripping down the price in these ways is a slippery slope.
Remember to make your negotiation conditional... In other words "We can do this if you will do that...".
Remember what people buy...
... usually they don't buy what you think you sell: many accountants think they sell accurate year-end accounts but clients buy a low tax bill or peace of mind that the Inland Revenue can't get us. How do you value/itemise that benefit in the customer's mind???
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Tactic #1) Negotiate on 'value added'
eg talking to the client you might say...
"Last year you received £x of profit as result of working with us and the fee was £y.
"This year is the year of added value and we have found ways to generate £x + 20% of profit for you and the new fee will only be £y + 10%... so you are getting even more profit for your investment."
This is not as daft as it sounds but you have to ask for the price rise (and justify it) to get it.
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
There will be plenty of opportunities to network and a goody bag to go home with! See you on the 12th March at 6.30pm at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, Lancaster Gate, W2 2TY. You can register and find out more online. »"
12th March event
Sunday, 8 March 2009
1) people who have a problem that you/your product/service can sort... and..
2) who you have a way of identifying and communicating with... and...
3) who have the ability/pockets/willingness to pay you to sort out their problem.
You need all three! Two is not enough..
- most small businesses have a perfect solution but don't know what problem they are sorting. The old elevator pitch comes to mind... why should people bother to buy your product? What problem are you solving?
Thursday, 5 March 2009
Try to sell stuff that is in limited supply... eg tickets to see Led Zeppelin. (Name your price!)
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
"Evidence of the rip-off prices supermarkets charge for organic produce is being covered up by the pro-organic lobby. The Soil Association has withdrawn publication of a study which found that the big chains charged more than twice as much as organic farm shops for some items.
"The survey, produced for the Soil Association's magazine, found that compared to farm shops, Tesco charged 63 per cent more on average for organic products, Sainsbury's 59 per cent more and Waitrose 38 per cent more. The average price of a basket of seven vegetables was £13.38, against £8.75 for farm shops - a mark-up of 53 per cent. For some items the gap was even greater. Organic beef mince was £3.85 a kilo in farm shops but £8.98 in supermarkets - 133 per cent more."Read the whole article at Why Organic Prices are Being Covered Up in the Daily Mail...