International friendlies: Why culture is all when trading abroad

7/3/2018 posted in Getting Ahead

With another dramatic World Cup still fresh in our minds, what better time to explore the nuanced world of international business?

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Is PPC right for my business?

10/28/2016 posted in Business, Speakers, Getting Ahead, HR, Marketing, Strategy

When Google launched in the late nineties, it was a simple search engine designed to make the internet easier to navigate. In 2016, Google is unapologetically an ad platform, with the Adwords pay-per-click (PPC) service generating a whopping 97% of its $73 billion sales in 2015.

For many businesses, PPC is an addiction; their sole means of generating web referrals, because they’ve turned off all other marketing activities.

It’s a risky game to play. While PPC is certainly making Google a lot of money, it doesn’t work well for all businesses. Cost-per-click may be as low as £0.04 in some areas, but the highest ranking keywords – those which attract the highest number of searches and clicks – can command fees in excess of £35. So, while PPC definitely can work for some, it can be an ineffective, expensive drain on resources for others.

Which leads to the question, when should a business adopt PPC, and when should they leave it well alone?

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5 Signs That Your Business Is Ready to Scale Up

9/13/2016 posted in Economy, Getting Ahead, Vistage, Strategy

Managing an SME is exciting. Any business owner knows that the process involves ups and downs, but whatever stage you've reached, with good judgement and a little luck, you'll hopefully reach a point where you’ve got an established a foothold in the market.

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Be a Gamechanger

8/1/2016 posted in Business, Speakers, Leading, Not Managing, Getting Ahead, Vistage, Strategy

Why be 10% better, when you could be 10 times better?

Gamechangers are disruptive and innovative start-ups and corporates, in every sector and region, reshaping our world, according to Peter Fisk, author of Gamechangers.

Gamechangers think and act differently. They win by being smart, fast and connected – rather than through scale and efficiency. They look beyond the sale to enable customers to achieve more. They care about their impact on people and the world. Ultimately they want to create a better world.

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Wellbeing Across the Organisation

7/27/2016 posted in Getting Ahead, Work/Life Balance Issues, HR, Employee Motivation, Vistage, Strategy

From strategy to regular health checks, we offer the complete guide to wellbeing in your business.

It is becoming clear that there are three key roles when running a business: 

  • Do whatever you do and make a profit
  • Market whatever it is you do so that you gain and retain clients
  • Look after your workforce so they perform as well as possible

When a company focuses on the wellbeing of its staff it will see a reduction in sickness absence and increased staff retention. As Cecilia Fritz from Sony UK Tec stated: “To be a high performance organisation with a high performing team we must focus on staff wellbeing.” Happier staff work more effectively because they are more engaged, they contribute more and they are less likely to leave the company.

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Transforming Stress – From Cost to Competitive Advantage

7/8/2016 posted in Business, Speakers, Leading, Not Managing, Getting Ahead, Work/Life Balance Issues, HR, Recruitment, Employee Motivation, Strategy

 

Almost 8 out of 10 people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. The cost of this for employers is around US$300bn every year in stress related health care and absences.

Stress-related presenteeism (defined as the lost productivity that occurs when employees come to work but, as a consequence of illness or other conditions, are not fully functioning) and absentism are costing employers more than AU$10billion a year.

As industry leaders, it makes sense for boards to tackle this costly issue. And the first step in doing so is to challenge how organisations, and society, have normalised and accepted stress. We actually expect we should feel stressed during certain circumstances e.g. tough market conditions, organisational change, busy times of year etc. For some professions it is almost worn as a merit badge of their commitment to success.

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Is Your Leadership Style Stopping Your Business From Growing? Part 2.

2/12/2016 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Getting Ahead, Sales, Recruitment, Strategy, Change Management

Last week, in the first part of this series, we started to look at the barriers a lot of business leaders encounter when faced with the challenge of real growth.

The first barrier we identified was that of being able to look objectively at your company and ask “what do we have to do differently to reach the next barrier?”, and assuming you manage to answer than question, things will undoubtedly need to change. A CEO might have had nine people reporting to them directly when they started up and functioned perfectly well, but it’s impossible to cope with 45, 50, even 75 direct reports.

If you want to grow your company, you’re going to need to recruit leadership talent.

It’s pointless hiring new leaders if you don’t change your own leadership style. What’s appropriate for a start-up company doesn’t work nearly as well for an established business looking to grow. You can micromanage a small team, but if you continue to do that once you have a leadership team in place, at best, you’ll demotivate some of your leaders. At worst, you’ll micromanage your new leaders right out of the company.

You hired your leaders to do a job. Let them get on with it.

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Is Your Leadership Style Stopping Your Business From Growing? Part 1.

2/5/2016 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Getting Ahead, Sales, Recruitment, Strategy, Change Management

Believe it or not, not all businesses want to grow. Some people just want a lifestyle business, have it stay about the same, not grow and just keep ticking over.

If that’s your vision for your business, then this blog post is not for you. While it’s a perfectly valid strategy to want your business to stay exactly the same, the reality is that the world of business is constantly changing, which has an impact on your company, whether you like it or not.

When a child plays a video game for the first time, they quickly discover is that the character that stands still gets killed first. It’s the same in business. Usually, you’re going to either grow or shrink your business, but if you’re standing still, you’re really going backwards. Your competitors will be overtaking you if you’re staying in the same place. While staying the same is certainly a type of strategy, you may well decide that it’s not a good one or the right one for your business.

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Why First Impressions Really Do Count for Your New Recruits

11/26/2015 posted in Business, Speakers, Leading, Not Managing, Getting Ahead, Recruitment, Employee Motivation

I’m sure we all have a story about that great candidate we hired who didn’t quite turn out as well as we’d hoped, or that great employee we hired who left after a few short months, however I wonder what the employee would say about their own experience?

"It was nothing like they described it would be in the interview" perhaps? Or how about - "the induction consisted of; here’s your desk and here’s your phone – get on with it"!

I used to give every candidate I placed my ‘First 100 Days in a New Job’ document to try and help them get off to the best possible start and reaffirm to their new employers that they’d made the right decision in hiring them, however I woke up one morning and realised that hiring managers and Directors are just as likely to mess things up as their new employees are!

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What Most Marketers Miss, Part 2

10/23/2015 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Marketing

Last time we looked at some case studies on how global brands use Predatory Marketing. This time it’s your turn. In this final article of the Predatory Marketing series we give you the 5-step process for evaluating your market and creating a Predatory Marketing campaign.

Let’s start with a quick recap. Predatory Marketing says to strike at the weaknesses that arise out of your competitors' greatest strengths; you're no longer competing on parity messages or differentiators that don't have a lot of value in them. It also makes responding a great challenge for your competitors.

We use Predatory Marketing to cut through the marketing noise and take back market share.

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