Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Working with a client recently I was reminded of Aesop and his fable about the Tortoise and Eagle.

The tortoise wants to fly and gets the Eagle to take her aloft... needless to say it all goes wrong.

The point is that many of us, entrepreneurs included, have a bit of the tortoise in us - we ignore our own basic limitations and try and work through them. And I've done plenty of that!

Fully accepting your limitations can be a huge relief. It was for my client who has realised that he is not the guy to run his company. He needs to step aside and bring in someone that has the right skill set.

So don't let your ego push you into flying without wings.
Thanks to Stephanie Smith for a lovely illustration

Monday, January 23, 2012


Alex Polizzi is about to jump ship from Channel 5 to the BBC to present a series on failing family businesses.

Should be good - I've enjoyed the Hotel Inspector and reckon she'll turn a few families around too.

Having worked with a few families myself I can attest to the completely different dynamic that they bring to a business - not easy, so good luck!

And just like her hotel adventures, I bet she'll encounter a degree of recidivism - but more on that another time...

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Most of the entrepreneurs and business leaders I've met have an irresistible urge to lower their prices when the going gets tough.

Now that might work for commodities: paper clips, sugar and cement for example, but not many of us operate in these markets.

When the product or service has a quality element to it, or any intangible such as brand value, discounting the price may be exactly the wrong thing to do. There are even markets in which some products simply will not sell below a certain price threshold.

So before you adjust your prices downwards, ask yourself if you shouldn't be putting them up instead.