Archive for the ‘Business Growth’ Category

Finding Money Under The Seat

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Hidden Cash

If the owners of the eponymous London nightclub, Annabel’s, can rake in upto £1.2 million selling the old property’s tired fixtures and fittings, it is a great reminder in our own businesses to look under our own seats. What historic products, services or relationships do you possess and could you quickly re-purpose using different media for both your existing and prospective clients? Such that they receive tremendous value and a dramatic impact on their immediate goals with fair and equitable compensation for you. The hunt for the “hidden cash” demands two things: (1) Aptitude, you have the volition to regularly look for it and (2) Application, you possess the wisdom to apply it your buyers’ immediate and relevant business needs. Get searching!

Trapped

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

There are two forms of “entrapment”, physical and virtual. “Physical”, in the sense of the car being caught up in a traffic jam with nowhere to turn on a highway or motorway. “Virtual”, in the sense of being “stuck” in a lousy investment, business or job. Too often with the latter, I meet individuals where their mind has a vice-like grip on their ability to figure out how to adapt to the prevailing conditions (de-risk, effect change, change accountabilities) or escape entirely to a safer, more positive position. The good news is they can and very often will “escape” but their refusal to seek expert help dramatically prolongs the suffering. Move on!   

Profitable Growth Seeds

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Profitable Growth Seeds

Sometimes what seems obvious to us is a “breakthrough” idea or concept when applied to another person’s condition. Our challenge is having the courage to point it out and the skill to articulate the meaningful benefits for them. Can you spot something obvious today that is immediately useful and relevant for your best clients?    

The Real World

Monday, September 10th, 2018

Life Ain’t Fair

My eight year old daughter will come to me after a netball match and complain another girl was able to get away with fouling her repeatedly and the referee ignored it. My advice always is you need to adapt to the referee’s interpretation of what is and isn’t permissible on the day, and accept it. Why should that be any different for Serena Williams in her sport? That there are inconsistencies is a fact of life in the real world. The same applies in business, there are management, suppliers and regulators, who give different interpretations of what appears the same policy. Deal with it and move on. Stop playing the “victim”, it demeans you and your legacy.

   

Illogical Business

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

If you insist on focusing on the commodity end of your market (high volume, low margin) and at a minimum, spending three months “getting under the skin” of your ideal prospects (detailed needs analysis), I’d suggest you are trying to square a circle (profitable growth) that cannot be squared.

© James Berkeley 2018. All Rights Reserved.

 

Investing To Win

Friday, May 18th, 2018

In a momentous week for sports betting and gaming companies in the United States and UK,  there is a lesson for all of us. Quit whining about events largely out of our control that go against us (legislative changes) and maximise our investment in innovation and readiness for events that go for us.

© James Berkeley 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Kung Hey Fat Choi Mrs May!

Friday, February 16th, 2018

 

Perhaps no international leader would be more grateful for some traditional “Lucky Money” at this Chinese New Year than Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May. Her recent visit to China generated positive headlines (£9 billion of deals, 2500 UK jobs) but the litmus test is to what extent are UK and Chinese private sector companies, particularly those under £500 million of enterprise value able to make significant strides in each other’s market. These companies are the engine of employment growth.

Ralph Jennings, a senior reporter at Forbes interviewed me on the eve of Mrs May’s recent visit

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphjennings/2018/01/31/chinas-economic-expansion-hits-a-roadblock-at-the-far-end-of-europe

I remain highly skeptical about “symbolic success”, recalling a visit to the much heralded MG Rover plant in 2012, at the behest of a senior executive at the new Chinese owners, SAIC. A couple of months earlier, political leaders from the UK and China stood on the very same steps in Longbridge heralding this partnership as a  symbol of new era in bi-lateral trade. Walk inside, and talk to British and Chinese workers as I did, and there were telltale signs of mistrust, viper tongues, and unflattering comparisons with the Japanese car makers welcome in the North East of Britain. One Chinese manager, Annie Qi, on an earlier planned visit, called me 5 minutes before the scheduled meeting time to cancel the entire meeting because she had to drop her kids off at school! “Sorry, go back to London” was the curt one-line response. Car assembly ceased, design continues but the heritage of the MG Rover brand has not been exploited some 10 years later by SAIC. Sustaining these relationships is highly complex and ambiguous, it is a very long game for those with deep pockets and deep pools of patience.

© James Berkeley 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Delusional Co-Investors

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

 

 

“Who are you today?” I meet a great many $30mio-net worth plus co-investors in growth businesses, who arrive as free spirits but quickly find themselves as “prisoners” in their own mind. Convincing themselves that they are a smart investor in ultimately a profitable growth business, management team and market when recent performance and future indicators suggest the exact opposite. To a certain extent, you can understand entrepreneurs travelling through what I term a “delusional growth zone” (burning ambition and unmatched results) but you’d hope private investors and those advising them would avoid enduring extensive self-imprisonment.  In my experience, “letting go” is a lot harder and painful for wealthy investors than most people ever imagine or discuss. Here is the rub: you cannot improve your situation unless you are willing to be intellectually-honest with yourself first (rational assessment), to not “fear” the consequences of moving on (ego) and to embrace rebounding from failure (accomplishment). This really isn’t about them, it is about you.

© James Berkeley 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Poverty Advice

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

There is a word for entrepreneurs and small advisory businesses that insist on only rewarding their employees with hard dollars for successful business they can touch, “sharks”. There is a word for employees, who voluntarily accept those terms, “plankton”. You might enjoy, as I do, recreational gambling (horses) for intellectual interest and fun but why would you commit to that bargain when seeking to feed your family? Unless of course, you enjoy living with a constant fear of falling over the cliff edge, are desperate or are merely seeking to find lifestyle work (substantial means). As an entrepreneur, why would you think that is a fast track to building a powerful, sustainable and profitable business? Clueless.

© James Berkeley 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Wealth Managers Day Of Reckoning

Friday, July 28th, 2017

 

The need for financial advice is at unprecedented levels, what is being increasingly exposed is the “competency and passion deficit” in many private wealth advisory firms. With greater complexity and ambiguity in their private clients’ lives, there is an increasingly unmet need for both increased “speed” (real-time decision-making) and higher “quality” (better performance, lower cost) resources. You cannot achieve that without new thinking, abandoning irrelevant activities and new approaches to regulation and compliance. A great many market practitioners question the sustainability of the robo-adviser retail advice model (Betterment, Wealthify and others) on account of their client acquisition costs but what is undeniable is that without old thinking and systems, they have a huge advantage for those seeking low-cost advice. For small and mid-market firms, who pride themselves on traditional advisory propositions, I confidently predict the next 12 months in N. America and Europe will see record consolidation and exits. The real question for the owners of these businesses, is the shortest route to your “ideal future” a friendly merger or sale now or driving on further into even more hazardous conditions with close to zero visibility?

© James Berkeley 2017.