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What Do High Growth Businesses Do Differently?

Over the past 5 years the importance of the “High Growth Business” and how this relatively small group of businesses disproportionally impa...

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Do You Get Business From Social Networking - UK Poll Results

Do You Get Business From Social Networking
I have been operating in the social marketing world for over 2 years now and during that time there has been a dichotomy of opinion about the merits of social networking as a means of obtaining business. There are the well know stories from the likes of Dell, Zappo's  etc, but I wanted to see how Mr Small Business UK was fairing. So I put up a poll to find out.

I have been running this poll, aimed at UK based social networking activists to try to get an idea of how successful companies or individuals are at getting businesses using social media. My poll was posted on my blog and I was regularly referring to it via twitter and facebook. Over 3 months I got nearly 200 responses a small number I admit, but large enough to draw some conclusions. Broadly its 50/50. 50% are getting some business and 50% aren't. In order to to separate purely social users or those with no interest in business returns I separated the No's into No and No but I'd Like Too. It was this latter category that held the big surprise, 43% of people who'd like to get business from social networking are not. This left me wondering what was the reason for this, was it the fact that people hadn't been using it long enough to get results or was social networking a less productive marking strategy than has been touted.

To try to make sense of the results and to get a bigger sample I've put up a similar poll but made it more generic. That is relevant to social networking participants outside the UK. Hopeful I can have some more interesting results to report soon.

Exigent Consulting specialises in providing Business Turnaround, Sales, Marketing and Mentoring to the Small and Medium Business. We help Business Owners improve the profit performance of their business.

Monday 3 January 2011

4 Simple Steps to Creating a 1 Page Business Plan

Graph of the TNS Market Share of UK Supermarke...Image via Wikipedia

It’s that time of year again. No not Christmas, but a time when businesses should be measuring their performance in 2010 and putting in place plans for 2011. I hesitate at this point to bang on again about the need for planning but in my experience e
ven a simple plan makes a difference. Its not the plan itself, but the thought processes we have to go through to get there which is so valuable.  If you are a business owner then before putting together any kind of business plan you need to get your personal goals sorted before you start on the business goals. It’s stating the obvious but if you want to reduce your work down to 3 days a week, there is no point in setting challenging growth targets for the business.
That aside what are the 4 steps?
Step 1 work out your overall business goals for 2011, they could for example be headline revenue or profit numbers, market recognition, market share or finding a full time manager. Don’t set too many of these 2 or 3 is sufficient. Having done that, you now have a baseline on which to focus.
Step 2 is to identify the non-financial Key Performance Goals, ideally no more than 4 or 5, which need to be achieved to help achieve your overall goal(s). They might be: staff morale, attendance performance, expanding a range of products, identifying other profitable niches.
Step 3 is to identify cost reduction goals. These might include for example, reduction in debtor days, or dead stock, or seeking early payment discounts. These goals are there to balance the operations of the business and not to let the drive for revenue to get out of hand. They are also important in supporting profit centred objectives.
Lastly Step 4 which is to identify revenue objectives. This is the easiest to identify for most people, the difficulty of course is to identify the 4 or 5 which are the most relevant. It should be clear t
o everyone that having too many goals will only distract the business because it will lose focus on what is really important.
The New MI Business Tax PlanImage via WikipediaHaving completed those steps you have defined and clarified your goals and the key steps you need to achieve to get to your overall goals. This is not a plan to put in your bottom draw and forget, but something to use to review monthly performance with your staff. Its simplicity helps you focus on the key issues to keep conversations focused on what is important. You can also break the plan down into its constituent parts and use it for different parts of the business. So typically revenue objectives can be given to sales, cost goals to finance and administration and so on.  This simple plan has transformed the success of businesses who’ve used it so grab the opportunity and get a plan for 2011 now.

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Exigent Consulting specialises in providing Business Turnaround, Sales, Marketing and Mentoring to the Small and Medium Business. We help Business Owners improve the profit performance of their business.