This Time Next Year

Ahhhh, the New Year. Feel’s fresh doesn’t it? Full of resolutions, promises and excitement.

The number of people that start off on Jan 1st with dreams of making £10 million by March or shedding 4 stone by February never fails to amaze me. Get real.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt along the way, it’s to set measurable but realistic goals. Goals which, when you achieve them spur you on to achieve the next one – like getting an extra 100 readers on your Blog by June, and then converting just 5% of those readers into paying clients by the end of September.

January 1st is just a date. Like February 21st or April 9th. Don’t feel pressured into thinking you have to decide on your goals and aspirations at the start each calendar year like everyone else. Your plan is your plan for a reason – it can start anytime. If you want to change something in your life, it doesn’t matter when you start planning for it – what matters is when you achieve it.

The Holidays are Coming!

Seeing as I’m a big fan of Christmas, it’s time for a festive post! I love everything about this time of year; seeing friends and family, giving and receiving presents, Christmas trees and indulgent overeating!

Now, take a moment to think about the main character adorning retailers, houses and children’s minds at this time of year – Father Christmas. Thinking of him conjures up thoughts of the glowing red outfit, the huge snowy white beard, jet black boots and the bulging sack of presents.
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Same Ingredients. Better Results.

With the abundance of cooking programs now gracing our TV screens, have you ever noticed how using the same ingredients, one chef can create an awe-inspiring dish, yet another creates something ordinary?

In today’s world, we are blessed with many of the same ingredients; the telephone, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Google … Yet, isn’t it amazing how some do so well, yet some fail miserably?
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Attitude is Everything

I’ve just got off the phone to someone I’ve been doing business with for six years – his attitude compelled me into writing this post. Unfortunately, not in a good way.

For the sake of identity privacy, I shall call this person Bob. Bob is a salesman for a car leasing company. He’s been a supplier to both me personally and to my businesses over the years. His service has always been excellent, I’ve even recommended him.

As I’ve been toying with the idea of changing my car, I called Bob and he recommended a number of models. I visited a showroom on Monday and took a shiny new number out for a test drive. I was impressed; on the surface the car had everything I needed and more. During Tuesday, I negotiated figures with Bob and in the afternoon decided to take it. I arranged to meet Bob at the dealership this morning to sort the paperwork.
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Too Much Information

Ever wondered if you are saying too much to your customers? Giving information that just isn’t needed?

On a recent trip to Portugal, my flight was slightly delayed. As the airport bus took us across the airfield to our plane, many passengers observed that the jet was a white-label charter, not the carrier we had booked with. Obviously due to some difficulty, the airline had drafted in a replacement aircraft.

After everyone had taken their seats, the pilot announced that “there will be a slight delay getting airborne, as we have an issue starting the engines – we are awaiting a generator which will be used to get us going”. Worried faces erupted all over the place. Some people giggled, most looked terrified. In a field such as aviation, so many customers fly because they have to, not because they want to. Passenger comfort is of paramount importance. To the nervous flyer how comforting is this message? Did it need to be communicated in this way?
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Subscribe and Thrive

Whilst attempting to look graceful on a cross-trainer at my local gym this morning, I started to think about their business model. The gym at 07:30 was nearly empty, yet they still thrive as a business. How? Subscription. They have a solid recurring revenue base through Direct Debit with numerous members every month. Whether the client comes 7 times a week, or just 1, the gym still wins.

How many businesses are like this? Is there a way in your industry to look at a subscription based model, or like many do you start from zero every month and hope the sales come in to cover costs?
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