Being original pays dividends.

Walk down the streets of any British city centre and sooner or later you’ll find someone playing cover tunes by the likes of Elton John or Ed Sheeran. These buskers eke out a modest living while the stars they impersonate run thriving empires. Last year, Elton John raked in £65m for the last four months of his North American tour, …

What helps you grow, can stop you growing.

Most company founders are good at the early stages of entrepreneurship. They’ve got an idea to kick-start their operation. They’ve got energy, ambition, confidence. They’ve got the support of friends and family. They can manage whatever comes along. But in the phases that follow, they may discover they haven’t the wherewithal to truly increase value. Just because you have a …

Are you still clinging to the past?

As we enter a new decade, it’s interesting to look back at a company that’s stood the test of time. Despite the growth of well-financed chicken-focused start-ups, a plethora of new burger chains, mounting pressure to reduce our dependence on meat, and a growing addiction to fancy coffee, McDonald’s has managed to thrive. This year McDonald’s is celebrating its 80th …

The downside of just milking your business.

Business owners, like homeowners, occasionally like to see what their prized asset is worth. You’ve put the long hours in, built a business, attracted customers, surely they’ll be someone out there prepared to pay a decent price for all your hard work. Unfortunately, the picture isn’t quite as rosy as it seems. According to the latest analysis of some 20,000 …

2020. No better time to check your vision.

Business owners are called “Captains of Industry” for a reason. A captain knows the destination, plots the journey, checks the weather, ensures the right crew and resources are on-board, and how to steer a safe course. That is the core of vision. Not just knowing where you want to go, but how you plan to get there. As Theodore Hesburgh …

A Christmas present for your brain.

Depending on how busy you are, you may or may not have noticed that Christmas is coming. It’s that time of year when multi-coloured jumpers become the must-have fashion item, Dr Jekyll turns into Mr Hyde at the office party, and retailers layer their ads with mountains of cheese to tempt us to part with our hard-earned cash. It’s also …

How do you build a business that will sustainably grow?

Sustainability is never out of the news at the moment. Are you a fossil fool? The solution is less pollution. There is no Planet B. As the world population grows, so does the pressure on our resources. We need an environment and food chain that can continue to function and deliver for the 7.7 billion who live on planet earth, …

How to keep your talent.

In 1999 I helped set up the advertising agency, Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy. I know, not the snappiest name ever, but at least it did what it said on the tin. When a client came in to see MCBD, they got M, C, B and D. When we opened the agency doors we were inundated with calls from prospective clients. …

When is the right time to sell?

A fundamental question for all owners – when is the right time to sell your business? The answer to this age-old question is this – the time to sell is when someone else is willing to invest more in your company than you are. When you start a business, nobody is willing to invest in its success more than you. …