If you check the ‘basics’ are right, you cannot fail to improve

June 29, 2010

Sometimes there is a business message to learn from reality TV. The Holy Grail is the late Sir John Harvey Jones’s brilliant ‘Trouble Shooter’ series, but all these programmes have a common thread – going back to check that the basics are right.

It sounds blindingly obvious, doesn’t it? If the foundations aren’t right the building could fall over.

But things don’t start that way.

What happens is that strategies and processes get ‘Improved’ as time goes by.

And that’s where the trouble often starts. The ‘Improvement’ often makes things less efficient, either financially or through increasing time – subtle changes that all add up. Because very few businesses actually measure the minutiae of what they do and prefer to look outwards, rather than inwards, the effects of these ‘Stealth’ changes creep in unnoticed, but the impact is there.

And if that’s happened to your business or organisation, it’s going to cost.

Hand on heart, have you held this kind of review within the last six months to a year, to make sure that you are running at 100% efficiency?

If you haven’t or you are in the retail consumer business now’s the time to take a long hard look at what you do. With VAT due to go up by 2.5% in the New Year, savings achieved now, will prepare the way for the consumer bun fight that’s inevitably about to happen when budgets come under pressure.

I introduced ‘Check-it’ two years ago. If you like the idea of taking an inward look at your organisation or business, to check that the basics are right – then do take a look, download a FREE copy of our e-book here.

If, on the other hand, you’d prefer an unbiased third party, without the rose tinted spectacles, to tell it like it is in a positive and constructive manner, then three days consultancy would be a good investment for you to make.

Join me on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Build your digital network so it’s there, ready and waiting, to help your next career or business move

June 10, 2010

With Social Media, planning for the future is essential, but where do you start?

It’s all about connecting with like minded people.  Here are 5 tips to help you build an effective social network.

  1. Create a strategy: This will form the foundations upon which you build.  Think about what you want to communicate and with whom.  Having worked this though, you can then choose the appropriate social media sites to help you achieve your goals.
  2. Don’t ignore your current contacts: Don’t forget to import your current email, instant messaging, and social network contacts.  Then you can leverage existing goodwill, rather than start from scratch.  This is particularly useful for building LinkedIn testimonials.
  3. Create a flowchart of how it will all work: There are so many plug-ins you can use to link your social media.  For example linking your Blog to Twitter or Facebook.  This means that any new entry is automatically broadcast across all the social media you use.  This will help you build your connections.
  4. Create your on-line personality: Look and listen before you start communicating; learn the etiquette.  Having done this, then join in.  Build your community by driving conversations, commenting on other people’s materials.  Start the development process to becoming a leader and expert in your chosen field.
  5. Plan where to go next: Social media is never static.  It’s growing at a phenomenal rate.  So keep ahead of the game, think about what will help you grow in stature and breadth.  Leverage what you are doing by using other technologies, whether those are podcasts, video blogs, or images.  You will expand your reach by providing better value for the other participants in your network, which means that they will be happy to help you connect with new people.

Keep at it – ten minutes a day is far better than an hour a week.

Join me on Twitter and LinkedIn.