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:

Business Marketing | Corporate Speak, cousins ‘Management Speak’ & ‘Sales Speak’ are alive and well

Image for Bob Shepherd Associates LinkedIn Article Marketing | Corporate speak, Management Speak & Sales Speak

Corporate Speak and cousins ‘Management Speak’ and ‘Sales Speak’ are alive and well

I am always interested in language usage and there is a case for jargon and short hand speech within an industry and its peers. When that spills out to a wider audience it can be frustrating or amusing depending on your view point. I am not saying language should be always plain although that can be admirable on occasions. There are many cases for using the rich heritage of the English language to create effect, or give slant or emphasis to make a point. An articulate facility with English is useful and valuable as well as enjoyable. However those who trot out the business clichés raise questions about their own understanding of their subject and their own security within their business world. Are they trying to be impressive? Are they sheltering behind familiar club or tribal terms to show they belong? I count myself fortunate to have come across two people in business who unconsciously originated these clichés.


It must begin somewhere and I was amused to see people in their audience making a discreet note with the obvious intention of using those phrases later.  To read the full Bob Shepherd assocaites article, just click here.  Simple really

Business Finance | Paperless Or Just Less Paper?

Supporting image for a Bob Shepherd Associates LinkedIn Article: Paperless or Just Less Paper?

Business Finance | Paperless Or Just Less Paper?

In the 1980s we were promised a paperless office. I am not the best at technology but I have some of the tools and make an effort. Nevertheless, I have just spent 2 days sorting through some of that stuff that has accumulated. In the old days there was a pile on the end of the desk. ‘That’s interesting, I’ll read that later’ sort of pile. I have a pile like that and I have the equivalent in e-newsletters and emails as well.

When it comes to reading masses of text on screen I hunch up and eventually go to sleep. I need to make notes to keep myself awake and interested. So I still have masses of paper…

My Bank wants me..... To Read the full LinkedIn Article by Bob Shepherd Associates, just click here.  Simple really

Monday, 6 March 2017

Business Leadership | Leaders, The 7% conundrum - Private Education, Top Universities and all that

Supporting image for Bob Shepherd Associates Article - Leaders, The 7% conundrum

Business Leadership | Leaders, The 7% conundrum - Private Education, Top Universities and all that

I am all for achieving equality in education provision and ensuring equal opportunities for those with talent and acumen and entrepreneurial initiative.

I have seen a lot of coverage critical of the system where the majority of our leaders, our politicians and our senior commercial folk seem to come from the 7% who attend the best universities and private education.

I think this is skewed the wrong way round. The question should not be ‘how is it that best universities and the private education schools seem to generate the leaders and initiative takers ?’ but rather, "how is it that an education system with the other 93% of our young people does not?". To read the full LinkedIn article by Bob Shepherd Associates, click here.  Simple really.