All posts tagged Business

First impressions: The importance of a website

Client: “Hi, would you be able us out with a Digital Strategy for our business?”
Me: “Yeah that sounds great. Send me some links so i can check out your online presence.”
Client: “We don’t have a website but we use a Facebook Fan Page and YouTube channel to market.”

So you run a business or plan on starting a business in 2010 and do not have a website; i suggest you take 10 steps back and re-evaluate where exactly you consider your market to spend the majority of their time.

If your audience is over 60 years old and you are starting a Poker Club for the elderly, then maybe yes you should create a direct marketing campaign at a selective group of old people’s homes and push the online campaign to the side.

However, if you believe that there is a large proportion of your audience using the Web; how can you expect people to buy into your brand if you don’t even buy into your brand yourself?

The Lowdown

The first consultation i will advise on when clients enquire about Digital Strategy involves their website. A Digital Strategy is the plan of action in driving more users and traffic to a source where you can sell or promote a product.

If i ever click on a link and it takes me to a Facebook Fan Page; like the majority of users, i will glance for a few seconds, then proceed to check my own Facebook Profile and begin chatting with my network about Eastenders or Hollyoaks… NOT ABOUT YOUR BRAND!

Striving To Achieve: The Layer Cake

“You’re born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you’re up in the rarefied atmosphere and you’ve forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake son.”

I have thought about the quote above for years and have repeated it many times when speaking in discussions about power, respect and success.

This got me thinking about what it is that we actually strive for…

Here is my analogy of Striving To Achieve in reference to The Layer Cake.

Why Am I Doing This?

“The art of good business is being a good middleman.”
On my About Page it says“I have come to realize that my desire to achieve is linked hand in hand with wanting to help others achieve.” That may sound pathetic and cheesy, but my last blog post had over 30 Twitter retweets, meaning it helped some of you enough or was a good enough of a read for you to share with your friends.

Anthony Robbins states in this video that there are six human needs to help us to find self-fulfilment on our journey:

  • We need Certainty
  • We need Uncertainty
  • We need Significance
  • We need to feel Connection & Love
  • We need to Grow
  • We need to Contribute Beyond Ourselves

Am I Getting Anywhere?

“I mean, it’s like selling anything: washing machines, handmade shoes, blow jobs. As long as you don’t take the piss, people will always come back for more.”

The feedback i have begun to receive from writing, has given me the motivation to continue to share the knowledge i have collated in the industry with the hope that it will help you on your journey. This is in fact my chance to ‘Contribute Beyond Myself’… and it is this that gives me the reason to continue trying to help others.

Bear in mind, i am no way an expert or a specialist (although thanks to those who have said i am lately).
I created this with an understanding that i wanted to lay the basic foundations so that:

  • I understand myself the journey i am taking.
  • I can share my knowledge with those that may find it useful… Sharing is caring and all that.
  • I am creating a personal archive to look back on.
  • I am striving for personal success.

Am I Heading In The Right Direction?

“Everyone wants to walk through a door marked “private.” Therefore, have a good reason to be affluent.”

Take a moment to think for a second about your plan. Have you laid your foundations or are you just going all guns blazing with no armour? Seriously… think about it.

Am I Willing To Do Anything To Reach My Goal?

” If you have to kill a person, never ever tell a living soul.”

The ladder to achievement is always based on taking a hefty amount of shit.
Remember Andy Dufresne swam through a tunnel of shit to come out clean on the other side. Confused who he is? Shame on you… Click here!

Am I Becoming Someone I Don’t Wanna Be?

“You know why people like you can’t leave this business? Because you make too much money for people like me.”

Some of you don’t mind taking shit all day (Pause), not like it’s a bad thing, as contentment is your own level of self-fulfilment. Others will take no shit and will spend their lives either hustling, bumming around or pretending to themselves that they are a success.
Well, whose gonna tell you differently eh?

Playing Your Part In The System

“It is vital that we work to a few golden rules. Always work in a small team. Keep a very low profile. Only deal with people who come recommended.”

So where do we find common ground for those that are on their way up trying to reach the next level?

I’ll give you my example. I work full time; i understand that for me to touch the sky, i have to be able to afford to fly. Money doesn’t grow on trees remember…

I answer to a series of people who can rain a storm of shit on me if they want, and regardless of how many people i know in the industry, how many followers i have on Twitter or how many projects i work on; i do need to be employed.

I know that success is a slow climb and by playing my part in the chain of command i am able to slowly piece together my journey to the top of the ladder.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

“But as some roman general once said: If you seek peace, plan for war.”

If you have an idea of what it is you want to become, make sure you have a plan of how you are going to reach it.

Make today become the first day of the rest of your life…

Be Proud of Yourself

“I’ve checked you out, son. You’re a smart lad. But you keep very, very bad company.”

There is no shame in working to raise collateral, it is down to you how you manage your finances and your time so that you can progress.
It is the weak that get locked in to an establishment so long that their dreams become non-existant and they become part of the office furniture.

Have a Plan… and Stick To It

Everyone knows those graduates that spend years at University pushing for that top end degree, then when they graduate they can’t find work. They finally manage to get a job in an industry irrelevant to their field and BAM… five years passes and what’s happened?

They have become a Customer Services Supervisor!

WAHEY………. SCORE! Enjoy paying that student loan back!

If you stick to a basic plan and are passionate about your dream, you will never get complacent with a dead end job as you will always know what you are capable of.

Note down where you see yourself in 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and 24 months.
Then break that down even further…

  • How are you going to get to your 3 month goal?
  • Who do you need to contact?
  • What do you need to set things up?
  • Do you need to raise any finances?

Well I’m honored. But for me this is all over. I’m getting out. What was true then is true now. Have a plan. Stick to it. So I’m sure you must have lots to discuss… but I have no business being here. I’ve got someone to meet. Adios, amigos.

Communication And The Importance of Meetings

What Do We Mean By ‘Communication’?

Upon a simple Google search of the term ‘Communication’ i found a barrage of articles about this topic. Communication is a fundamental part of any business. We spend our whole lives wrapped around modern technology making it easier to communicate, yet we seem to still find it difficult to keep track of our conversations, progress, tasks and deadlines.

Why Is This?

Most conversations sort of drift along; in business, this is wasteful; as a manager, i seek effective communication rather than general chit chat. To ensure an efficient and effective conversation, there are three considerations:

  • you must make your message understood
  • you must receive/understand the intended message sent to you
  • you should exert some control over the flow of the communication

I find that i spend most of my days in and out of meetings, with clients or with team members, i am hopping from meeting to meeting without any clarity or substance.

In any organization, “meetings” are a vital part of the organization of work and the flow of information. They act as a mechanism for gathering together resources from many sources and pooling then towards a common objective. They are disliked and mocked because they are usually futile, boring, time-wasting, dull, and inconvenient with nothing for most people to do except doodle while some opinionated has-been extols the virtues of his/her last great (misunderstood) idea.

Break The Mould

Your challenge is to break this mould and to make your meetings effective. As with every other managed activity, meetings should be planned beforehand, monitored during for effectiveness, and reviewed afterward for improving their management.

“A meeting is the ultimate form of managed conversation; as a manager, you can organize the information and structure of the meeting to support the effective communication of the participants.”

I love the quote above. “A meeting is the ultimate form of managed conversation.”
Such a powerful statement. So why do i chose to place myself in meeting after meeting, than just sit at home handling emails and organizing my schedule and tasks via my personal computer?

Other than getting me out the house and forcing me to jump into my Superman phonebooth to become the business warrior i am; nothing achieves a higher and more definitive rate of productivity than a face to face meeting with your team.

  • It allows you and your team to express opinions, problems and queries and clear them up without having to wait for your mail to refresh.
  • You can explain in depth your theories, practices, strategies and plans.
  • Most importantly it allows you to take time and understand each other, creating valuable group cohesion and work bonded relationships.

Take Action

While you may spend a lot of time organising meetings and attending meetings, it is ultimately down to you what you achieve from these meetings.