Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Business in a box | Franchises


Business in a box | Franchises

One very basic question applies to all Business Franchises of whatever flavour, size or type. It all comes from this.........
"Is the money you are spending to get a ready made business as much or even more than it would cost you to set it up anyway?”
You might be surprised how often the question is ignored and how often the calculation is a close run thing. There may be other reasons for using a franchise but – buyer beware! The considerations for buying a Franchise are not that different to setting up a new business. In some cases the....... To read the full Bob Shepherd Associates LinkedIn Article, just click here. Simple really.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Business Sales | The Power of Now


Business Sales | The Power of Now

The idea of immediacy has long been recognised in the "Sales" world. You know the sort of thing; if you are buying or signing up now there is a strong incentive offered like a discount on the price, or a free add-on.

I have been reminded of this a couple of times lately when for logistical reasons I have set an appointment for a potential customer some days ahead, or the following week. That meeting gets cancelled and we enter a sort of limbo where I have thought what I might offer and what I can contribute but the magic of the initial conversation is fading and both potential customer and I are starting to forget the point that was so obvious in the beginning.


By the time that meeting does happen, if it ever does, the initial gain has been lost and we have to start all over again and sometimes........... To read the full LinkedIn post, just click here. Simple really.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Business Marketing | A Different Audience


Business Marketing | A Different Audience

"First rule of business marketing: Always speak to your audience!"

When you present a talk always gear it up to the level you want for the audience you are going to have. It will be appreciated more. That seems obvious doesn’t it?

So too with writing. These articles usually have some business point to make and illustrate and my natural style is not always appropriate. It needs varying to make the point hit home. So too with networking, or the broadcasting of your business in any way at all. Varying the pitch and the style applies to speech just as much as it does to writing and presenting. What is confusingly called your ‘elevator pitch’ might be different in different places. It needs preparation and some careful thought, particularly as you have only a few seconds to get your point across....... To read the full Article by Bob Shepherd Associates, just click here. Simple really.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Business Branding | What's In A Handshake

Bob Shepherd Associates LinkedIn Image | Business Branding | Whats in a handshake

Business Branding | What's In A Handshake


Actually a lot. Get it right  and you are giving the right messages and no one thinks any more. Get your business branding wrong and you are giving impressions about yourself that will set you off on the wrong path. It’s one of the First Impression things you do better to get right. In a small way it is part of your branding.

Some years ago I had the pleasure of running some mock interviews for a local Comprehensive school sixth form. The CVs presented were wonderful. The interviews nearly all went wrong the moment the candidates appeared in the doorway. It seems incredible that some youngsters do not know how to walk into a room. As well as that they did not know how to greet someone or how to sit in a chair and look attentive and interested. Any one of those small attributes would make a difference between getting a job or contract or place of some kind.

Presenting yourself is a small part of being in Business. A wider part is presenting your business...... Click here to read the full LinkedIn Article by Bob Shepherd.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Business Systems | That Pile of Business Cards & Other Admin

Bob Shepherd Associates article image | That pile of business cards

Business Systems | That Pile of Business Cards & Other Admin

I was doing quite well until a couple of months ago. I had a filing system for cards and a cross reference book for business types – printers, accountants, marketing, banks etc. That reading pile was under control and I had a (small) urgent pile and a less urgent pile.

Then it sank. I had (inadvertently) several systems with the most effective being chronological order. How long ago did I see that person/document I now need to find? It must be so far back in the run then….  Click here to read the full LinkedIn Article by Bob Shepherd. Simple really

Business Planning | Executive summary or just an introduction


Bob Shepherd Associates article image | Executive summary or just an introduction

Business Planning | Executive summary or just an introduction

What on earth is an ‘Executive Summary’? For some reason the term grates with me. What happened to the word ‘Introduction’?

The trouble is that it has achieved a position of strength in the average business mind such that no business plan or feasibility study or similar document is complete without one. I am not saying it is not needed.  I adopt the Ladybird school of learning where if you are tackling a large project or subject it is invaluable to gain an introductory view and thereby a scope of the topic. That way you can see how much is involved and you can gain an appreciation of the whole thing.  To read the full LinkedIn article, just click here. Simple really.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Business Marketing | Increase your social media weight

Article image for Bob Shepherd Associates | Business marketing, increase your social media weight

Business Marketing | Increase your social media weight

One of the few areas where increasing your weight is necessary is where you have a business with a presence on-line but you have yet to grasp it and create some waves and positive consequences for your business.

Leaving aside all else for a moment there is something you can do with Twitter that is not so obvious. Assuming you have Twitter profile and you are posting a variety of messages with the occasional flag waving for your business – that’s another article in itself, then you are probably trying to find ways of increasing your followers with useful contacts.  To read the full LinkedIn article, just click here. Simple really.

Article image for Bob Shepherd Associates | Business Planning, Building Businesses

Business Planning | Building Businesses

Five years ago, after months of consideration I hit on a way to describe what I do in a short introduction at business meetings. Bob Shepherd Associates is good at building businesses. The phrase is positive and constructive and does actually cover the case.
"I’m known as Bob, the Business Builder" as a result.

When I view a business I am looking for all the components to fit together and all fire at the same rate. If they don't, then there is something to work upon. For a new start up business it is more a question of making sure the business has all the components available, but the principle is the same.  To read the full LinkedIn article, just click here. Simple really.

Networking | People in business

LinkedIn article image for Bob Shepherd Associates | People in Business

Business Networking | People in Business

Business is about people to a large degree. People are always in the mix somewhere. They might be customers, staff, suppliers, contacts etc. Those who have the soft skills for dealing with people successfully can find it easier to get on and to be successful. The small business owner needs to network.

The sole trader or consultant trying to cover everything certainly needs to network. That may not be formal meetings though. Stopping to pass the time of day with people, in person, on the phone, by email, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook is always important. It is becoming the case that everyone is assumed to be in with it all and taking part in the conversations.

Some people are more gifted in these things than others.  To read the full LinkedIn article, just click here. Simple really.

Business Start-ups | Part-Time Entrepreneurs

Supporting image for Bob Shepherd Associates LinkedIn Article | Part time entrepreneurs

Business Start-ups | Part-Time Entrepreneurs

If you dive head first into a new business idea too soon, you could potentially be risking it all too early, with the result that you lose everything very quickly. Successful entrepreneurs don't do this, because they pay more attention to the risk and spend more time preparing properly before devoting their entire time, energy and resources into their enterprise.

These spare-time enterprises actually increase their chances of success for the following reasons: