Category Archives: Business Alphabet

Business alphabet: Q is for…Quality!

Q post pic


From my monthly Building Better Businesses newsletter (subscribe here):

What does the term ‘quality’ actually mean to you?

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it?

Some of you might say you associate quality with high levels of workmanship, or customer service, or how well that new gadget work, perhaps?

However, when you’re a customer, what really does it mean?

Well, to me, it means giving customers exactly what they want. Not endless choices. Not what I think they want. Just exactly what they want.

Ask yourself, and your colleagues if they associate quality with getting exactly what they want as a customer. What answer do you usually get? Yes!

So, even though the components of quality can comprise a a vast number of elements, the ‘quality’ itself is associated with giving the customer exactly what they want.
Take Rolls-Royce cars, for example – the finest craftsmanship, engineering integrity, attention to detail, delivered on time, every time. Yes, these cars are rather pricey, but their customers expect nothing but the very best, so that’s what a ‘Royce’ sets out to deliver without question.
So, ask your customers what they want, exactly, and give it to them. Before you know it, they will be using the word ‘quality’ when they describe you and what you do – the best marketing you could wish for!


Business alphabet: P is for…Priorities!

P letter

I come across many people in the business world with long lists of things they need to do. yet they often complain they never get enough of the important things done. Well, if this sounds like you then this simple solution may work for you, that takes just a few minutes each day:

The aim is simply to prioritise your list so that the most important tasks are put in their order of needing to be done.

Step 1: Decide one simple ‘yes or no’ criteria that you will use to decide which task is more important than another

Step 2: You now need to compare each task with all of the other tasks in pairs and simply decide which of that pair is most important. here how…
Number you list of tasks

Take tasks 1 and 2 and decide which is most important (according to the criteria you selected in Step 1), and put a tick again which one ‘wins’

Then take tasks 1 and 3 and do the same, then 1 and 4, 1 and 5, and so on until you get to the bottom of your list

You have now compared task 1 with all of the others

So start with tasks 2 and 3, 2 and 4, and so on (no need to compare tasks 2 and 1 as that was already carried out above)

Then 3 and 4, 3 and 5 and so on

Carry this through the whole list

The list can simply be prioritised by looking at how many ticks a task has – the more ticks, the higher the priority!

Business alphabet: O is for…Opportunity!

Sleeping monkey


What do you understand, in a business context, by ‘opportunity’?

More chances to sell, or make more profit? How about a chance to build better relationships with your customers, or suppliers? What about do all those jobs your accountant has been asking you to do?

An opportunity can present itself in many, many ways. The key is to ‘see’ the opportunity when it’s there.

So here’s a simple tip: which is as effective in looking for opportunities to improve your customner service as it is in keeping yourself motivated – whenever you think you have completed one task (any task), simple ask yourself, “What else can I do?”.


Because it’s an ‘open’ question, the voice in your head will want to avoid giving a one word answer.

Catch up with a new Business Alphabet entry every month in my Building Better Businesses newsletter. Subscribe here.

Business alphabet: N is for…saying ‘No’ (occasionally)!

No! pic 260615 1

When was the last time, in business, that you said, “No!”, and meant it?

It doesn’t happen very often, does it? Not least because we have all been led to believe that saying ‘no’ at any time in business is a bad thing.

Wrong! Wrong! WRONG!

Saying no can have a number of beneficial effects for both you and your ‘customer’ (the person you are saying it to). Here are just a few:

  • it has the effect of ‘re-setting’ your thought processes, typically allowing you to reconsider the situation from a different perspective
  • the ‘customer’ will usually not be expecting it, and they, too, will think more comprehensively about the situation, and
  • sometimes, it is simply the right answer, so say it!

New thinking = new results!

Business alphabet: M is for…Management!

M LI post pic 240615 1

So when was the last time you heard, “I’m in management” and didn’t secretly just want to roll your eyes?

The word ‘management’ can tend to have that effect, can’t it?

Yet, in any business, particularly a growing business, it is essential that the management earns and sustains the respect of those all around, simply by doing what management should do – manage!

The challenge is that the term ‘management’ has come to mean so many things to so many people.

Fundamentally, anyone in management can only manage properly if they are given the right guidance and decisions from the organisation’s leadership.

Managers are there to implement those decisions and engage those in the wider business, and almost all of the managers I meet are perfectly capable of doing that brilliantly.

However, managers also need to be aware of their responsibility not just to manage ‘downwards’ to those they have direct responsibility for, but also ‘upwards’ to the business leadership not least if they are not providing sufficient information for effective management to take place, and also ‘sideways’ with their fellow peers within the management structure.

By doing this, a good manager both gives and receives a much wider understanding of what is required of them and how to be more effective in the business.

Give it a try if you’re not doing it already – you might well be surprised by the difference it makes.

To find out how I can help you build a better business, call 01242-672440.

Business alphabet: L is for…Leadership

L LI post pic 240615 1


Interesting isn’t it?

How the simple word ‘leadership’ can seem to mean so many different things to so many people.

Yet, time and time again, the very best examples of genuine leadership are those that stick to the essence of what leadership actually is.

First of all, remember that leadership is not management!

Leadership is fundamentally about making decisions, as that is what every part of the organisation is dependent upon to operate. No decisions, no direction. No direction, and failure is probably just around the corner!

Great leadership is also about engaging and enlisting the support of those around you. The best leaders are often, incorrectly, seen as standing alone in what they do. But actually they simply could not do what they do without being able to lead those that surround them with their full support.

So, if you’re moving into a leadership role, keep it simple, make decisions, and remember to listen to others too.

Or, if you’re wanting to grow your business call me on 01242-672440.

Business Alphabet: K is for…

K post pic 300415 1


Have you noticed that, almost without trying, we continually increase our knowledge of many different subjects?

Developing a reputation as a knowledgeable resource in your business sector can be great, but it also comes with an unspoken expectation that your knowledge continues to increase.

This can sometimes be challenging, let alone time consuming.

So to allow your knowledge to grow and grow, try taking a moment to think about how you best collect knowledge.

For example, in small ‘chunks’, or perhaps in audio podcasts, or reading ‘heavy’ reports?

Then simply build this in to your regular schedule (regularity works well when it comes to learning), when you walk the dog, or go to the gym, driving, or…?

Business alphabet: J is for…Joined-up!

Whether you have a single person start-up or work for an international conglomerate, success is closely related to how ell connected, or how ‘joined-up’ every aspect of the business is.

From paying your suppliers, to your marketing, from designing your products/services, to the values of your brand, regularly review them all and ask yourself if they are easily seen as being connected? Do they make sense as a coherent unit?

If they do, great.

If they don’t, revise them until they do.

With poor business management being among the leading causes of business failure in the UK, having a properly ‘joined-up business makes it much, much easier to manage.

To find out how I can help you grow your business, call 01242-672440.

Business alphabet: I is for…Interesting!

Have you noticed how some messages, emails, posts or documents get far more attention than others? What makes them so interesting?

Actually the more interesting any document or message the more likely it is to have one particular quality about it – it makes the communication ‘human’.

The key is that a huge majority of ‘readers’, especially in a business context, want to feel assured they’re connecting with another human being, not a ‘robot’ or faceless entity.

So give your messages, posts, emails, etc, a ‘human’ element, let them know it really is YOU writing it, and they’ll be more interesting to more people.

To find out how I can help you deliver sustainable growth for your business, please call 01242-672440.

Business alphabet: H is for Happiness!

Yes, of course, we all have ‘bad’ days don’t we?

However, have you noticed how different it is to deal with happy people? Whether it’s your dentist, a customer, or your children, if they have a smile it makes a difference – a BIG difference! Have you noticed how you tend to smile back?

There is clear evidence that people prefer to associate with happy people.

So, here’s a tip: look for something that always makes you smile. It could be a video on YouTube, a piece of music, a photo, a joke, a reminder of a holiday, thoughts of a favourite place, among many other things.

Keep this to hand whenever you’re having one of ‘those’ days and see how it brightens your day!

For more in the Business Alphabet, please click here to visit my website page.