Vistage UK Blog

26% of SMEs Use Social Media Just Because Their Competitors Do!

Posted by Geoff Lawrence

22-Oct-2014 17:33:53


Practically every company uses social media, but some business leaders are using it for no good reason at all.

According to Social Media Examiner, 97% of companies are using social media to market our products and / or services, with 92% stating that it is important to their business.  But, there are still businesses out there with no clear purpose for their social media output, and for me this is a problem. With 26% of MDs of SMEs claiming that they use social media just because their competitors do, I dread to think what their efforts are like.

If you don’t have a valid reason for it then why do you bother at all?

There are tremendous opportunities with social media but one thing that Vistage helps MDs understand is that if you’re going to do something properly then you should set clear objectives for it and measure against them. Simply put, investments being made in social media (be they staff time, agency fees or system costs) are no different to any other business investments in this respect.

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Topics: Marketing

Unlimited Staff Holidays: Will Branson's Crazy Initiative work for SMEs?

Posted by Ken Allison

16-Oct-2014 15:52:00


There seems to be no shortage of pictures on the internet of Sir Richard Branson ‘Picking Up Women', so it’s no surprise that when covering his latest initiative to grant his salaried staff unlimited holidays (which coincided with the launch of his latest book), the Telegraph led with a typical picture of the man himself ‘doing what he does best’ on Bondi Beach.

This announcement puts the responsibility for managing their holidays quite squarely on the employees. This is a bold step in encouraging a culture of responsibility but it is not necessarily the free for all that some might imagine. It comes with some demanding caveats: in his blog Sir Richard says:-

"they are only going to do it (take holidays) when they feel a hundred per cent comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business – or, for that matter, their careers!"

So, no pressure there then!

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Topics: Business, HR

Nothing is as Enjoyable as Telling Someone Else How to Run Their Business!

Posted by Ivan Goldberg

15-Oct-2014 17:27:45


Some 23 years ago a simple request from my wife literally changed my life.

She telephoned me at my office, where I ran my business consultancy and asked me to pick up the Manchester Evening News on the way home, which I duly did.

At that time we read the MEN on a regular basis, approximately once every six months, so Hilary looked through the paper to catch up on some local news.

She said "This looks interesting" and showed me a classified advertisement for ‘Chair for Groups of Chief Executives, part time’.

It did interest me so I applied and after two or three interviews a telephone call from the then CEO Ken Satrese told me that I had been successful. Of course, I was excited in my new role, but at the time, I did not know that answering that ad would genuinely change my life and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to become a Vistage (then called TEC) Chair.

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Topics: Leading, not managing, Being a new CEO, Vistage

Why Doesn't Your Corporate Website Get Any Attention?

Posted by Grant Goodwin

14-Oct-2014 14:14:00


We spend exorbitant amounts of time online – which is why it’s more crucial than ever before that businesses cater to this online audience. The problem is, most business leaders have no idea why their corporate websites garner such little attention online. They keep repeating the same mistakes, while failing to implement the obvious solution.

Most Corporate Websites Look Like This: Sales and Slogans

For a platform that’s limited only by the capabilities of the latest technologies and our imaginations, the vast majority of company websites are startlingly similar. Corporate marketers feel inclined to put sweeping promises, sales pitches and facts on their web pages such as:

  • “Leading customer service since 2001.”
  • “15 minutes south of downtown.”
  • “Meet our dedicated team of experienced professionals”
  • “Come in and experience our personalized service.”
  • “Your all-in-one solution with a smile!”
  • “Small Business Award Winner, 2006.” 

The trouble is, none of the above information is valuable. It makes a cheap, inflated promise to the prospect and tries to lure them into the store or into a purchase. And since everyone else follows the same format online, it is neither compelling nor memorable.

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Topics: Business, Sales

Work Life Balance Issues? Why It's Already Later Than You Think!

Posted by Steve McNulty

09-Oct-2014 16:23:00


Irrespective of your age now, how many people, especially business leaders, come to the end of their life and state, “I had far more time than I needed”? 

You can be 25 or 65, it’s irrelevant, as I bet when you carry out my test on the 'ME Time' chart below and match it to the things you want to do in life, you will say "it really is later than you think."

A great friend of mine recently passed and it reminded me that, even in this fast paced entrepreneurial business world, we should all take time to smell the roses.

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Topics: Work/life balance issues