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NEWSLETTERS 

The Client Who Thought He Was A Corpse (Story) 

You know over the last few years I’ve interviewed some of the country’s Top Business Leader, last month I interviewed Steve Smith founder of Poundland, and the one thing that always strikes me is the belief these people had in what they were doing, that’s not to say they never had a wobble at any point, but they had a vision, a plan and knew their numbers. 
 
Belief places such a big part in what we achieve and do, I came across this story and thought I’d share it as it made me smile. 
 
Someone called a coach on behalf of a family member. 
They asked if a certain time was available. When the coach answered "yes" 
The family member said, “okay, see you then” and hung up the phone. 
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Things That Go Bump In The Night, Keep The Cash Tills Ringing 
This weekend’s party got me thinking, believer in the supernatural or not, there's no time like Halloween to tell a good ghost story. So pull up a seat around the campfire. Grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate, and prepare to be spooked silly. 
 
The 13 most haunted locations in the world, as compiled by Netflights.com, include Pendle Hill in Lancashire, the House of Seven Gables in Salem, and the Excalibur Casino Hotel in Las Vegas 
 
There have been reports of screaming children, ghostly goings on and even people being possessed. It's seriously creepy stuff. Check out the details of the hauntings here. 
 
http://metro.co.uk/2015/10/28/here-are-the-13-most-haunted-places-on-the-planet-5465429/ 
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BT Blows it Big Time 
Here’s something that might be of interest to you. 
 
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/customer-blasts-bt-after-hes-6238973 
 
Can you believe it? One of the giants getting it so horrifically wrong – maybe there’s hope for us after all. Thing is, it’s what we’ve come to expect though isn’t it, as consumers we absolutely dread having to call one of the big boys – for this very reason. 
 
That must mean there’s significant leverage for us to play with as small businesses. 
Making sure our customers are always treated to the finest service when they call; the quickest response times and the friendliest approach – it’s just got to be the way forward for us? 
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Walkers Comes Out With Some Cracking Marketing 
When was the last time you ran a brilliant marketing campaign? 
I mean a really brilliant one? One that smashed your ROI goals and totally boosted your brand? Because today I came across this example of marketing genius in action that I just had to share with you. 
 
Walkers is bringing back five retro flavours – barbeque, cheese & chive, beef & onion, lamb & mint, and toasted cheese – but only ONE will be back on shelves for good. Crisp lovers have until November to vote for their favourite as part of their Bring it Back Campaign. 
 
Oh, and by voting you’re entered into a prize draw to win £100,000. 
Genius, right?  
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How to Grow Your Business Using Divorce  
Getting a divorce is no picnic, but having to separate all of the devices, furniture and vehicles you and your spouse shared can add a dimension of stress to the ordeal. 
 
Well, the good news is, if you’ve got a dark sense of humor and a saw; you can just cut it all in half... 
 
That, at least, is what German YouTuber “Der Juli” (Martin.G) decided to do as a final act of revenge against his cheating ex. 
 
WARNING - the following content may prove very upsetting... 
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Higher Price Means Higher Quality? 
It’s been outed this week that the majority of people can’t tell the difference between expensive and cheap bottles of wine. 
 
Great news for consumers, not so great news for wine businesses…right? Wrong. 
 
In the latest episode of “Observatory” on the hit Youtube channel ‘Vox’, 100 people tasted three bottles of wine priced at $8, $14 and $43. After a series of questions, tasters rated the least expensive and the most expensive exactly the same in taste. 
 
It begs the question, what’s the point in buying expensive when, taste-wise, you’re likely to get a similar experience buying cheap? 
 
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One Small Step for Children... One Gaint Leap for Clarks Shoes 
If you've been past your local Clarks store this half term you've probably seen some unusual sights... Engaged, happy children. *Blink* err what? 
 
Imagine that, mums, a tranquil visit to your local shoe store, getting children to focus on getting their feet measured for shoes is one of life's more trying activities, but thanks to Chris Towns, Innovations Manager for Clarks, this is becoming a thing of the past. 
 
Chris has created an app for the iPad that measures your feet to keep your child entertained throughout  
 
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Scholarship to Skyrocket Young Business 
There are so many budding entrepreneurs out there, literally brimming with ideas, but all too often there’s not the right advice and guidance available to them to get that great concept off the ground. I meet so many young business owners who have a fantastic product or service, but they’re struggling to grow the business further because they don’t have knowledge of actually running a company. 
 
This is why I will be launching a business coaching scholarship... 
 
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Struggling to Scale? 
According to the Entrepreneurs Index, the number of start-ups in the UK rose in the second half of 2014 (obviously not put off by the fear of failure). Although the number of businesses is rising, the rate of growth within a business is falling, with 70% of ‘start-up’ companies turning over below £250k. According to a study conducted by entrepreneur, Dan Priestly, turning over less than this amount typically means you’re struggling. 
 
Whatever anyone says, businesses of all types and across all industries have the capability to achieve significant growth. 
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Don't Fear Failure 
Failure is one of the biggest fears faced by business owners, but it could actually be a blessing in disguise. Many of the world’s leading business people haven’t got to where they are today without a few bumps in the road and knocks on the way. 
Jim Collins, American Business Consultant and Author, used a brilliant example to demonstrate failure. During the war, soldiers would use anti-tank guns to take out the opposition, and prior to taking the main shot would practice using the citing gun to ensure they were on target. These small scale tests enabled them to practice and effectively hit the target without wasting vital ammunition, and each time they failed would enable them to adjust the gun so the next time they’d succeed. You may be thinking how this relates to a business, but the same principles may apply… 
 
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Ditch Those Difficult Clients 
Every small business has one, the problem client. They may never return your calls or on the flip side expect you to be at their beck and call all hours of the day. Either way one thing’s for certain they’re way more work to deal with than the rest of your clients. On top of that, they’re often the ones that demand most of your time, but actually pay you the least. It may sound odd, but actively getting rid of clients – ones that sap your energy and are annoying and difficult to deal with – is hugely beneficial. Such clients can actually have a negative impact on your entire business and stop you going out and securing great new clients, and ultimately generating more profit. 
 
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You Don't Need Permision to Put Up Your Prices 
Many business owners fear putting up their prices. They’re scared that their potential customers will refuse to come on-board and choose to go to the competition that has slightly cheaper prices, and any increase will see them lose their existing customers. Funny thing is, when I’ve been speaking at events and I ask the question “who here has lost business based on price?” a lot of business owners will raise their hands, however when I ask “who here has won business because they were the cheapest?” very few raise their hands. You see it’s not actually about the price. 
 
Surprisingly, increasing fees can actually have a positive impact on a business. Prices you charge should be a reflection of the product or service you provide, but in tough times it can be tempting to surrender to the fear, and lower prices or retain them. One of the worst things any business can do is to let fear dictate their prices, as the customers who are purely driven by cost will go elsewhere the moment they can find the product or service slightly cheaper, statistics actually reveal just 15% of customers move based on price and implemented properly it’s even less than this. 
 
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Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail 
There’s no better time than the new year to write down your hopes and dreams for the future, and although many of us know what we want to achieve, physically writing these targets down is the key to success. An effective business plan is what helps you to achieve your objectives, and ensures your hands are not tied behind your back. 
 
A plan provides us with a focus, and when highlighting the importance of focus I always think back to Guy Martin, the British Motorcycle Racer. Guy was taking part in the TT a couple of years back and on his third lap his bike started to wash-out at 150mph on the track’s toughest corner. In a split second his bike was engulfed in flames and everyone believed him to be dead. However... 
 
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The Roles of an Entrepreneur 
With a record number of new businesses launching last year, British entrepreneurial spirit is well and truly thriving. But with any success story comes a casualty and of the 50,000 new companies that started-up in 2014, statistics indicate a staggering 80% will fail in the first year. So why are so many going wrong and failing to celebrate even their first anniversary? 
 
Unfortunately, simply being good at something is no guarantee of success, and whilst individuals may have the most brilliant and unique ideas (or simply be fantastic practitioners), many don’t have what it takes to run a business... 
 
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Remind Clients You Care 
It’s all too easy to get swept up with making sure your business is in order ahead of the festive shut-down, and I’ve seen some businesses already taking their foot off the pedal and putting things off until the new year, when what they really should be doing is accelerating to guarantee that they’re ahead of the game in the new year. 
 
Also remember your most important asset – your customers. Research shows 68% of customers leave a supplier because of perceived indifference, so by simply reminding your clients how much you value them could see you make a lasting impression once the season is over. And few made as lasting an impression as WestJet, the American airline, whose ‘Christmas Miracle’ video saw Richard Bartrem, the Vice President, promise that the company would donate flights to Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities once it reached its goal of 200,000 views.  
 
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Get a Head-Start in 2015 
The New Year is synonymous with resolutions and promises of making changes, and business owners are no exception. For business owners it really is the perfect time to review operations, particularly as some industries shut up shop over the festive period. For many this means it will be their quietest time of year, giving them time to reflect on the past year and identify any opportunities for change. 
 
One of the most important resolutions any business owner can make is developing or reviewing their business plan. It may sound simple but some owners keep their ideas stored in their head, and don’t take the time to develop a living, breathing, tangible plan. Many of the business owners that come to my complimentary seminars are so consumed with the day-to-day running of their company that they are not making vital time for the important task of ensuring future prosperity and profitability. 
 
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What Businesses Can Learn From Sliced Bread? 
We’re all familiar with the saying: “The best thing since sliced bread” – a phrase commonly used to hype up a new product or invention. However, the launch of sliced bread wasn’t the overnight success you might think, and there are some really interesting business lessons that can be learnt from it. 
 
On July 7th 1928, Missouri's Chillicothe Baking Company made history by selling the world’s first loaf of sliced bread, despite many bakers scepticism, although it all started in 1912, Otto Frederick Rohwedder, a jeweller from Missouri, invented a prototype machine that could both slice and wrap a loaf of bread. Sadly his invention was destroyed in a fire, but fifteen years and a few tweaks later, he filed the patent. 
 
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What Really Successful Business Owners Do 
Well, last month was a really interesting month! I’m currently working on a project to discover the mindset of super successful business owners, and recently interviewed Peter Done from Peninsula Business Services (Bet Fred’s brother) – really great guy, and a brilliant business, with well over a thousand employees. 
 
I also met Jonathan Winchester from Shopper’s Anonymous, who built up his business right across Australia, and is now doing the same in the UK using a franchise model. (He’s actually looking for someone in Shropshire, so click here if this is something of interest!) 
 
Although I haven’t started to analyse the psychology behind the people I’ve interviewed so far, I can tell you the basic business strategies that they swear by. 
 
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Will it Make the Boat go Faster, That's the Question 
Not so long ago, I read an excellent book written by Ben Hunt-Davis which focuses on Ben and his rowing 8 team’s experience and success at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. The book takes the strategies they applied and demonstrates how business owners can utilise them to achieve business success.  
 
The rowing 8 race is notoriously the toughest water race in the world, and whilst other countries were building teams utilising their most experienced rowers, the UK went out on and a limb and placed their most experienced crews in the other races, leaving the less experienced rowers to take on the best in the world – so you could say they were definitely the clear underdogs. 
 
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Are Your Beliefs Barriers to Your Success? 
Believe it or not, the biggest obstacle to achieving success for business owners isn’t the lack of time or money, it’s what they believe – specifically their own self-limiting beliefs. You may have heard the statistic that 95% of businesses fail within the first five years and for most businesses, this is as a result of the business owner pulling the plug. 
 
All too often I come across business owners who are fed up of working long hours for little pay, with many losing sight of why they became their own boss in the first place. Some business owners before I worked with them, were even consider going back to work for someone else so they could earn more money and work less hours.  
 
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Learning From Business Blunders 
In the 1960s an IBM Executive made a decision which ended up costing the corporation $10million – that’s over $75million in today’s money. The result of this? Tom Watson, the CEO of IBM at the time, called the quaking Executive to his office and, when he asked ‘do you know why you’re here’? the man replied ‘I assume I’m here so you can fire me.’ Watson looked surprised and said: ‘Fire you? Of course not, I’ve just spent $10million educating you!’ 
 
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