Office Hours

From time to time, I set aside one or two mornings for a series of 50-minute strategy consultations. Currently, I have two mornings scheduled on 3 and 4 December.

The main themes I deal with are as below. If there’s something else you particularly think I could assist you with, get in touch and we can discuss whether it’s likely to be helpful. You can see and book times here.

In case you’re wondering, this is not a selling conversation. It is me going all out to give you a breakthrough, or at least an insight, by the end of the session. At the end, I may suggest that there is value in us working together on a paid basis, or I may not. It happens about 50% of the time. You can then decide whether you want to continue the discussion.

The Plateau

The plateau is that place which most businesses reach at some point, where a period of rapid growth is followed by a slowdown. It is a disorienting time, when the ways that used to work don’t work so well any more, and may in fact have become the problem. How do you start growing again? The overall prescription you might find surprising; it’s more valuable (but also more difficult) to learn to stop doing things than to learn new things. It’s important to simplify, not become more complex, as you get larger.

Getting Paid What You Are Worth

Pricing is a very common frustration for both product and service businesses.  Even when you know you are delivering enormous value it can be hard to agree on a price which fairly reflects that, and even harder to defend price levels over time.

Pricing is very often, I find, the single most powerful lever to improve business profitabilty. The principles have been distilled from many different areas; Viennese psychoanalysts, microwave ovens, Somali pirates and a stupid offer for subscriptions to the Economist which boosted revenues by 46% despite nobody taking it.

My best result ever with a product business was the pricing model which produced 5x the revenue from the same number of customers and users. In the service sector, it was for the creative agency who were originally offering a strategic analysis product for £1-2,00 but realised that it was worth more than that. The last two times they pitched it, it was for £28,000 and £32,000.

Escaping from a Life on the Edge

Over the years I have noticed a strange phenomenon; the enormous number of businesses whose performance is “Just about good enough.” Life in the “just about good enough” zone is a frustrating process of two steps forward, two steps back, which can leave you, after ten years of superhuman effort, exactly where you started. I found it very strange that so many businesses cluster in this zone. If it were random, there would be more variation – more people doing very well and more people going out of business. So what is going on, and how do you escape the trap?

You can see and book times here.