Insights Blog

Useful tools, tips and strategies to help your business learn, develop and expand.

How You Can Get More Breakthroughs

There are no shortcuts when growing your business. Almost every business owner I know is willing to run the extra laps in order to achieve that next level of growth. When the big dreams of business leaders aren’t being achieved, despite all this hard work, there’s got to be something missing.

Why aren’t business owners able to have enough of the breakthroughs in their business that they desire and deserve? In my business coaching experience, there is one main reason, and if you learn it, you can get more of those for your business too.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text: There are two reasons why most business owners are not able to have sufficient breakthroughs in their business. Number One – Lack of deal flow or lack of predictable enquiries in their business. Number Two – Business owners get burned out. Today, I just want to talk about number one reason, which is lack of deal flow.

Your Business Strategy Must Include More Than Word of Mouth

If in your business you get most of the enquiries through word of mouth, it’s great because it tells me that you’re technically very strong. However, the fact is it’s not sufficient because word of mouth is not controllable. You can’t up it, you can’t decrease it, depending on what’s requirement of the business. It should be one of your strategies but it cannot afford to be the only main strategy in your business.

Marketing Activation Strategies

What we really need to create in your business is a whole set of Marketing Activation Strategies that can get you predictable enquiries, predictable leads – a deal flow in your business. Rather than a trickle of enquiries which puts you in a state of panic.

How Good Is Your Marketing Plan?

Now, the question that you have to really ask yourself is today, if you were to look at your marketing plan, what is the rigour that you have in your marketing plan? Actually, the first question is, do you have a written documented marketing plan? It could be a word document, it could be a spreadsheet. Do you have one in place? Where you have listed down your five to eight strategies to get more qualified enquiries through the door and you have actually put budgets and actual activities against them. That’s the first question. If you have a marketing plan, then again, what is the level of rigour that you have in that plan?

How Does Business Coaching Help With Marketing Strategy?

If in your business most of the marketing that is happening is adhoc, reactionary, knee-jerk, and then if you’re asking or wondering, “Why I don’t have predictable deal flow?” Then I think it’s pretty straightforward. You need to put your thoughts in place. Create that marketing plan. Put rigour in place. Then we’ll move to the next step of saying how do we give you that lift?

How do we help you get leverage out of your marketing resources or the kinds of systemization that can be done so that marketing is happening day and day out in your business? All of that without massive effort and resulting in a predictable source of leads in your business, which will help you have those breakthroughs which you desire and which you deserve.

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1 Simple Technique to Improve Team Productivity

Do you rely on monetary incentives, profit-share arrangements and gift-rewards to motivate your employees? Are they truly as motivated as they could be to keep working with your business, long term?   Watch this video to find out the one, simple and inexpensive technique that will have a massive impact on your team’s productivity. Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text: What I would like to talk about today is that one simple ingredient to the recipe for employee productivity. Encouraging employees to be more productive could be a challenge even for some very experienced managers. I am sure you have got some tools in your tool box which are working absolutely fine, but I just want to share this one simple technique which can actually help the whole team to get aligned with the common objectives of the business.

Traditional Business Strategies for Motivation

In the business world, some of the common ways to improve the productivity and motivation of people are:

  • Monetary awards
  • Profit-sharing mechanisms
  • Free gifts (such as iPhones, weekend breaks etc.

Now yes these tools work and they can be small or big ways of recognising the performance of people but they have some downsides and I just want to talk about it very quickly so that you are aware.

The Downsides of the Traditional Motivational Business Strategies

One of the downsides of having monetary incentives in the business is that it is a future reference point, and this future reference point never goes down, it keeps on increasing. Therefore it could be an expensive way to make sure that you have the base level of motivation working in your employees, right?  That is one and I am sure that you are familiar with this issue. The second is that sometimes, and actually I’ve seen this quite a few times, if not done properly it could actually erode the intrinsic motivation of your team.

So How Does Business Coaching Teach You To Improve Productivity?

Let’s then talk about what it is that can help people be more productive and enthused and motivated about what they are doing. Behavioural science research has found out that people generally lose interest or their motivation, if they cannot see the relevance, the significance and meaning of their role in the company. Mark my words; if they cannot really see the significance and meaning behind their role in the company they just get de-motivated, they are not really aligned in the same direction.

What Productivity Business Strategies Are You Employing?

So the question that you should ask yourself here is what are the things that you are doing and how frequently do you remind people of the impact, of the value that they are adding to the market place, to the customers, or the clients.  That is question number one. 

But How Do You Actually Implement These Strategies?

So what are some simply ways of doing it? It is not a very complicated implementation scenario. Actually it is very straightforward. What you have to check with yourself is are you collecting those testimonials, the stories, the case studies? Maybe ask your clients and customers to talk about the benefit that they have seen by working with your team and with yourselves. And then are you constantly sharing these success stories in the forums where there is a positive impact, like your team meetings? Actually making your teams members read out those stories so that there can be a better integration in their psyche to say, “Yes, I understand you and what is happening here.”

Costs Versus Impact Here?

Is this technique expensive? No it is not. Does it take a little bit of time? Yes, it does take a little bit of time. But does it make a massive impact on the productivity of people because they can see more meaning and significance of what they are doing and how they are adding value? Yes there is a massive impact. So the question is, what do you need to do to make sure people understand the value that they are bringing on board?

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7 Costly Hiring Mistakes Most Small Business Owners Make

This guest piece was submitted by our partners, Angel Human Resources. If you’re a manager or SME owner you probably often cover areas you’re less than experienced in. Take hiring, for example, successful business growth heavily relies on employing the right people. But what if you’re not recruitment-savvy or know little about the ins and outs of a given role? Here we share 7 common recruitment mistakes and how to avoid them. business consulting services 

Mistake 1: Vague or Inaccurate Job Specifications Problem:

Recruiting with a vague job specification in the belief you’ll be getting your money’s worth by employing someone with a little bit of experience in everything.

Reality:  Your job specification is vital to effective recruitment and selection, allowing you to: define the kind of person you want and write an accurate job advert; assess and compare candidates fairly; and make evidence-based selections.

Solution: Clarity is key.Start by listing weak spots in your business – this will give you an idea of the gaps that need filling. Then list the daily duties and the required skills and experience for each role you’ve identified. Last but not least, consider what you offer candidates in return.  

Mistake 2: Off Target Marketing Problem:

Keen to attract the best mix of candidates, you advertise your vacancy everywhere.

Reality: Quantity doesn’t mean quality. Advertising without direction, on familiar jobs boards and newspaper columns, encourages passive jobseekers to apply on a whim; making more work and less chance of finding your ideal candidate. And remember, recruitment is a two way street. Your marketing (inc. job description)needs to convince quality candidates they should want to work for you.

Solution:  Advertise where your target talent will be. In her book, Turn Your Passion To Profit, coach Corrina Gordon Barnes advises on creating a ‘missing person profile’.Complete the details; before developing with visuals and must-haves; then, tailor your message specifically to that person; reaching out whether they’re on Social Media, Industry forums and Job Boards or Local Events.  

Mistake 3: Omitting Background Checks Problem:

Your candidate ticks all your person specification boxes. They’ve shown their expertise at interview. So, why verify their qualifications and eligibility?

Reality: Statistics show that up to 1 in 3 adults lie on their CV. They might sound like an excel pro on paper and even in interview, but if you just take their word for it you might be in for a time-consuming and expensive shock. Equally, safety, disclosure and barring checks (formerly CRB), and references can be concealing need-to-know information. Think you can spot a fake? Don’t risk it.

Solution: Verify candidate competencies within the interview process (ideally a combination of psychometrical, numeric and technical hands-on exercises), this is both an unbiased way to compare candidates and a decision-making aid, reducing the risk of relying on a CV and interview alone.  Run background and safety checks as well as references early – not as an afterthought.    

Mistake 4: Looking for the Perfect Candidate Rather than the Perfect “Fit” Problem:

You’re so wrapped up in your job specification you forget to factor in personality or vice versa.

Reality: Your company culture and brand values should influence your hiring decisions.According to Great Place to Work 1 in 5 staff disengaged, but if they were fully engaged, productivity could double. By choosing a new employee who’s truly interested in and passionate about your company’s goals and services, you’ll be hiring your company’s next best advocate.Sometimes that might mean hiring someone who has less experience, but more energy.

Solution: Hire for skill and culture by employing candidates that match the basic qualifications remembering to screen for a cultural fit.  

Mistake 5: Rushing the Hiring Process Problem:

You’re expanding and you need a post filled, yesterday! So you aim to hire as fast as possible, holding just one round of interviews.

Reality: Picking the best candidate from a bad bunch might seem like your only option if you’re keen to fill a post, but really it shouldn’t ever be an option. An effective interview process gives you and the candidate ample opportunity to assess each other, don’t skimp on it – you should have at least 3 stages of interviews: Group, Task / Assessment Based and final – one on one interview.

Solution: If your recruitment campaign has proved fruitless don’t panic.Dedicate an hour a week on regular group interviews and keep going until you find that right fit.  

Mistake 6: No On-Boarding Strategy Problem:

You’ve got your ideal candidate, they’ve started, so you reckon the recruitment process is over.

Reality: Apparently 80% of company leaders offer a sub-standard induction, leading to 1 in 5 new employees leaving a business within first 6 months.And with the average cost for new member replacement reaching £30,611 this is an expense you can’t afford. Recruiting doesn’t end with the offer being made and accepted, it’s vital to plan your new starter’s initial journey.

Solution: Develop a detailed on-boarding and induction strategy. Plan a comprehensive induction programme and consider what kit – including technology and company information – your new team member will need. You might even want to consider providing a mentor. Also define your employee’s KPIs from the outset giving them a sense of direction and purpose from the get go.  

Mistake 7: Delaying Your Recruitment Plans Problem:

You’ve put off your recruitment plans while you juggle the various roles you really need to fill – and time’s really flown!

Reality: People commonly delay implementing their recruitment plans to up to 2 years. You might have muddled by, but if you consider the amount of time and money you’ve spent managing tasks you’re not accomplished in at the detriment of your real role, has it been worth it?

Solution: Sometimes it’d be more advantageous to employ a temp to oversee those administrative duties. Extra staff doesn’t always equal extra cost in the long run.Equally more business means more staff is not always the right move either. Think smart. Take a look at your operating budget. Consider other cost implications like payroll tax. Then estimate how much income they’d generate over the first year. Remember your ROI might not be apparent financially for a period. It might be that your hire could provide you with more time to expand your business, serve more clients, or provide a better quality of service.Many businesses realise too late that a well-planned workforce can actually increase their profitability and growth potential.  

Conclusion: Avoid these costly mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to recruiting your ideal team in an effective and efficient way. Or if you’ve decided it’s time to delegate these vital task to the experts, then call Angel on 020 7407 2986 – we’re here to support your business.

Alternatively email us  or visit .

Champions Only Count When It Hurts

business strategy consultancy London “I don’t count my sit ups. I start counting when it hurts and I feel pain. Because those are what really count and make you feel like a champion.” – Muhammad Ali

This was Muhammad Ali’s reply to the question, “How many sit-ups do you do?” Have a think about this – how does this relate to you and your business?

If you’re ready to systemise the little things so that you can spend more time on the bigger goals of your business, then you will want to join our webinar.

At this online training workshop you’ll learn tools and strategies that really count and will help you create solid, sustainable growth in your business. Click here to find out more.

3 Common Inbound Marketing Mistakes

Have you been wondering how to get your online marketing channels to perform better? Want your social media advertising and other forms of inbound marketing to bring you more leads and cost you less? This video explains why your “subscribe to our newsletter” button isn’t the best way to attract that consistent flow of prospects. Learn how to create your own “lead magnet” Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

What I want to talk about today is how to design a lead magnet.

What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is something which makes your suspects, the pool of people who you could be doing business with, to engage with you. Now I am not saying transact with you but to engage with you because you are offering something of value to them. This is your way to understand who are the people who are interested in your products and services so that you can sharpen your marketing approach towards them. That is what a lead magnet does. Now I will share with you a very simple model so that you understand where your current lead magnets are sitting or, if you don’t have a lead magnet, how to design it.

Focus on the Avatar

The first principle is that you need to keep your avatar or your target person in your mind because you are trying to design a lead magnet for this person who is your ideal target person. Now when you are looking at that, the matrix simply works like this. On the horizontal axis you have the risk. Not you but your target person; what is the risk for the person when they engage with you through the lead magnet that you are offering? High risk is on the left, low risk is on the right. On the vertical axis is the desire. What is the desire, as far as the target person is concerned, that they want to engage with your lead magnet. The top will be high desire, the bottom low desire. So this desire and risk is from the perspective of the target person and not you. That is an important thing that you need to keep at the back of your mind.

The “Crap” Quadrant

Now let’s start with the bottom right quadrant. So this is where the risk is low for the target person but at the same time desire is also very low. You will have to excuse my language here but lot of people put their lead magnets in this quadrant and what I like to say is that this is a “crap” lead magnet. This is not a lead magnet which will attract your target person because they don’t have the desire to engage with you with that kind of lead magnet.

The “Trap” Quadrant

Moving onto the bottom left quadrant, here you have high risk and low desire.  The risk is high and the desire is low so they are not interested in what you are offering and in fact, they perceive that there is a risk in terms of their time or their effort or their money is concerned. They perceive it as a “trap”. They see it as a trap for themselves set up by you. 

The “Gap” Quadrant

This is the top left quadrant is where the risk is high, but desire is high as well. They want to get it but they perceive it to be a risk because they might have to spend some time or some effort or whatever. They perceive that this factor is there in this case. So it’s a great lead magnet but we need to reduce the risk and therefore I’d like to call it the “gap”.  So there is a gap sitting in this quadrant that we need to reduce but still maintain the high desire.

The “Snap” Quadrant

Which is actually the final quadrant in the top right, where there is a high desire and there is a low risk. This is the one they would love to “snap” up the lead magnet that you are offering. What we want to do is we want to create offers that are in this segment. This is our star quadrant. We want to create lead magnets which can be made in a snap and which will be snapped by our target person.

Examples of Different Lead Magnets

Now a quick example of what sits in these quadrants just so that you get a good look at what is happening here. So let’s look at something where the risk is low and the desire is low, under the “Crap” quadrant. In this segment a lot of the time we see people offer, and I am sure you would be familiar with this, something called newsletters. People aren’t interested, desire is low, the risk is low, and they just aren’t interested. A “Trap”, where desire is low and the risk is high, is something like a free consultation, free survey, or a free strategy session. All those are perceived as a trap because people perceive risk in terms of their time and you know what? They have no real desire, there’s no desire. So free consultations, free surveys sit in this quadrant; it is perceived as a trap. As far as the “Gap” is concerned, this is an interesting one. As I said the desire is high but the risk is also high. This could be like you have a free video – which is 15 minutes, half an hour, one hour – very valuable, and free of charge and they actually want to know about it but they don’t want to spend hour, or 30 minutes or whatever because they don’t know if it is going to be that valuable for them. So there is a gap.

Now, the “Snap” offer is a very highly researched one in the marketing field. A good offer, which is low risk and high desire, as perceived by the target person, would literally be just a one page PDF. This would be based on free tips or free tools or five ways or five mistakes and so on. But the key is just make it one page that is relevant to what they are doing and what you are offering.

Get their Email and then Engage!

Remember, to download it, what they have to give you is a simple email address. That’s it – just one field, email address. What you then do is find a way to engage with your target market, with your suspects move them up as prospects, so they engage with you. This way you build your database so that you can really sharpen your whole marketing approach towards the people who have expressed interest in what you are doing.

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