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Blameless “Poor Me” SMEs or Innovative Entrepreneurs?

Posted by in Robert Craven Marketing Expert

With the election behind us the debate heats up about how independent businesses have fared under a recession-hit Labour Government. Contradictory opinions abound: The recession hit the backbone of British economy AND we needed a shake-out to get rid of the underperforming businesses Independent businesses were being ignored and allowed to close AND they all deserve to go bust Business Link (=The Government) was doing nothing to help businesses AND Business Link saved my business Independent businesses deserve grants and help because they are a good thing AND they need to fend for themselves. The problem with these conflicting ideas is seen most clearly when people talk about “entrepreneurs”....

How to Find Niches and Opportunities

Posted by in Robert Craven Marketing Expert

How to find niches and opportunities to fight the recession blues. A useful tool for any business is a checklist to find niches and opportunities in a recession: You can look at new customers and markets You can look at developing or changing your product or service You can do some combination of the two above Checklist to find niches and opportunities Neglected markets where, say, customer needs have outpaced provision e.g. hand-built cars like Morgan, importing organic wines Unfilled need: e.g. work away from office creates a demand for laptop computers and better mobile phone technology Disadvantages in existing products e.g. caffeine in coffee leads to decaffeinated coffee,...

Why Small Businesses Both Hate and Love What I Am Saying

Posted by in Robert Craven Marketing Expert

It seems that my ‘Beating The Credit Crunch’ book and ‘ology’ is like marmite. People love it or hate it. The messages are pretty straightforward. You shouldn’t even think about increasing sales until you have done the following: Put up your prices if you can Compete on everything but price Screw your suppliers’ feet to the ground on price ‘Fix’ the under-performing staff, suppliers, customers and products, or sack them Pay money 10 days slower; collect money 10 days faster. There is a bunch of people who seem to miss the whole point. They describe me as callous, insensitive, cruel, mercenary, short-sighted, and selfish. I will list the top...

What’s The Problem with Marketing?

Posted by in Robert Craven Marketing Expert

For many of us the problem with marketing is that it just doesn’t seem to be working as well as it could. Typically our clients say things like: ‘We don’t have a clear view of the future…’ ‘Our pricing is easily matched/bettered by our competitors who seem to surpass and outflank us…’ ‘Too much time and money is spent on sales promotion and we don’t know how effective it is…’ ‘Our so-called ‘innovative’ projects often don’t look much different from those of our competitors…’ ‘A lot is being given away…’ What Is To Be Done? Throw away the textbooks. Dig deep to understand why people should bother to buy...

Opening Our Homes to European Students is Helping Our Wallets

Posted by in Around Plymouth

A Plymouth business is helping local families to mix cultural benefits with financial ones. By opening their homes to European students and giving them a place to live while they’re here, more and more Plymouth families are discovering all sorts of benefits. Almond Vocational Link is a professional company formed as a result of their experience with students from all over the world for the past twenty years. During the last three years they have been involved with programmes that give undergraduates work experience in their chosen vocation. They organise this work experience in professional companies in Plymouth, Exeter and throughout the South West. A #Plymouth business is helping...

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