Book Review: Rocket Fuel
‘Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business’ focuses who should be at the top, leading your business.
In it, the authors describe the explosive combination that is the key to getting everything you want from your business.
We recently exhibited at our first trade exhibition – the Entrepreneurs Organisation Global University – London at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane.
It was an inspirational event with speakers including Michelle Mone, the founder of Ultimo, Jim Lawless, former jockey and free diver, the journalist Matthew Syed, and the whole event was hosted by Gyles Brandreth. He was hilarious.
Growing businesses which want to scale have a lot of competing priorities. There is a lot going on with endless lists of to dos.
Imagine spinning plates on the end of a stick, with the MD and the leadership team running from plate to plate, trying to keep them all spinning, while other people in the organisation don’t know how to contribute.
Sometimes it feels like everything is a priority and there are not enough days and hours in the week to complete them all.
Just when you feel like you have accomplished a major to do, something in IT crashes and you have lost a day’s work.
I was lucky enough to have the unique opportunity to see the business guru Jim Collins speak at an industry event in Miami.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System uses a lot of his principles, so I would like to share some of his wisdom.
On people …
Are you flying your business blind or do you use data to manage it? Do you have a handful of numbers that tell you at a glance how your business is doing?
Some people use monthly financial documents, profit and loss statements (P & L) to manage their business, which is a trailing indicator and after the fact. With a scorecard you can manage the future.
1. What is a scorecard?
A scorecard measures activity based weekly numbers for each team member. These might include: weekly revenue, closed business, customer satisfaction, capacity, sales meetings or cash in the bank.
For any business to grow and thrive, whatever your sector, product or service, it is vital to know how to negotiate. I love negotiating and being a smart negotiator has been a big part of making me successful in business.
For me, creativity and fairness are fundamental to success, so aim for a deal that is a win-win. If your negotiation result is “I win-you lose” you may not keep your customer or supplier for very long.
Whatever deal is under discussion, using these six techniques will help show you how to negotiate smarter:
As partnership mentor for the Key Person of Influence programme, I facilitate full day workshops on the value of partnerships and how to identify, build and manage them.
Here is the story of one of my partnership workshops.
I love this EOS video explaining the benefits of implementing the system in your business.
In includes an interview with the founder of the Entrepreneurial Operating System, Gino Wickman and who talks about his entrepreneurial journey and with the founder of Sachse Construction who has implemented the system into his business.
It is featured on the Microsoft’s Entrepreneurial Youtube Channel.
Watch the EOS video here, and let me know what you think!
If you’ve been inspired by this EOS video, and would like to introduce these practical tools into your business please get in touch to discuss your needs.
What should you focus on if you want to grow your business?
What are the most important factors that influence whether or not you are a success?
Four important factors are networking, risk-taking, entrepreneurial spirit and growth.
Recently, I was delighted to be asked to talk to the franchisees of Anytime Fitness at their annual conference about how to grow your business.
It is really exciting to see how fast the company is expanding and it was great to meet so many of the company’s franchisees.
One of my beliefs is in the importance of having a mentor and a coach if you are female entrepreneur.
So I was delighted when the founders of Live Lighter asked me to talk about my experiences for a video on their website.
Live Lighter is a a revolutionary new approach to helping individuals and businesses realise their potential.
The video was filmed by the production team at The Big Sky.
I have hundreds of business books on my shelf. This one stands out.
My friend Todd gave me a copy three years ago and it stayed with me because it was so simple and easy.
This book is ideal for entrepreneurs and someone who runs a privately held business and has hit the ceiling.
The author Gino Wickman quotes five common frustrations:
There is a lot going on in a business. If you’re a leader, manager or entrepreneur, managing your business means you’re wrestling with 136 issues at the same time.
The degree to which you can solve your problems is directly related to your success.
EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, addresses the issues you face in your business. The degree to which you can simplify and strengthen The Six Key Components™ of your business allows those 136 things to fall into place as they are symptoms of the root cause.
This is one of my favourite quotes. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
― Henry Ford
In order to grow your business sometimes you have to look beyond your country borders.
If you are considering expanding into another country, ask yourself these three questions:
- Is my business in a mature market?
- Has it reached market saturation?
- If the answer is yes to both, then where is the most advantageous and attractive market to diversify?
Here are some tips to help you determine a strategy to expand your business internationally.
These quick tips are for any would-be entrepreneurs who dream of starting a business – or planning their next moves …
1. If you don’t take risks, you’ll regret it, so feel the fear & do it anyway
2. Not everyone has the perspective you do, so don’t be afraid to dream big
3. Sometimes when you dream, people conspire to help you
4. If you can visualise and project how you see your dream, then you can put things in place to make it a reality
There’s a lot of talk nowadays about how the importance of entrepreneurship to rebuild the economy, and there are a lot of people out there with great ideas for setting up their own businesses.
But for everyone who succeeds in building a thriving business, there are far more who feel it’s like climbing a mountain and never reaching the top. To have half a chance of success with your start up, there are three key things that you need to consider:
1. Make sure your business is not based on just a good idea, but based on solving a problem or offering a service that people will value. You can have the best idea in the world, but if no-one is prepared to pay for it, your start up won’t be a success.
2. Make sure you, your business partners and the team are aligned on the mission, vision and values of your business, so you all know and agree on the purpose, aims and direction you want to take the business and most importantly on the timelines and time-horizons. There is no point deciding that you want to expand overseas within the next year if your partners priority is to consolidate your business here for the next five years.
3. Have persistence and tenacity and do not give up. It might feel like you’re climbing Everest, and it will take you twice or three times as long as you thought to reach your business goals, and you may have to deviate or alter your plan and your goals. But you’ll never get to the top if you stop trying.
- You get what you wish for, so know and define exactly what you want and make sure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely
- Once you’ve defined your goal, learn how to tell a story about why you want it. Use a triangle of three things – your past experience, what future behaviours you are going to take and how it makes you feel)
- Create a list of stakeholders and people who could help you achieve it, even if you don’t know them
Retail Profile pioneered the concept now seen across Europe of leasing modern kiosks to small retailers in the common areas of shopping centres, railway stations, airports and other venues.
I founded it in 2001, starting off with a shared computer and just one member of staff. I had seen the concept working in the USA and realised there was a gap in the market when I came to the UK.
The business grew quickly and in 2003 won the Small Business of the Year Award in the London Business Awards.
It is a niche business which is perfect for pop-up shops and experiential marketing, allowing small businesses to test or promote a new product or service in a low-risk environment.
They can gain a valuable first step on the retail ladder – while at the same time the venues gain a valuable new revenue stream.
Our retail clients range from Marks and Spencer to Oxfam, from Samsung to the Germany Post.
After some financial issues in 2004, we went into receivership. I found investors very quickly, so was able to buy the company back and restart as Retail Profile Europe Ltd.
The new business has been hugely successful, working with thousands of small businesses, the most successful of which have gone onto to expand and secure both larger and longer term rentals.
One of my key ambitions was to export the concept abroad and we expanded to two European countries, Russia and Germany. In each case I customised the business model to suit the culture and business environment of the country.
In 2008 I set up a licensed partnership, Retail Profile Russia, and in 2010 a wholly owned subsidiary, Retail Profile Europe GmbH.
We successfully merged the business with the largest competitor, the Space and People Group, a PLC listed company, in 2010.
The company now has offices in London, Glasgow, Hamburg, Moscow and Delhi and over 110 employees. I successfully exited in 2014 to focus full time on training and leadership and set up this business, Bold Clarity.