Archive | Risk

The articles below illustrate the importance of risk management. Businesses often end up taking much bigger risks than they intended and you should learn something from that and not do what they do. The future is always uncertain; take small steps forward so you can at least survive if things go wrong.



If you are lucky your business will be in the right pace at the right time, but will it last? I don’t really understand why anyone eats Nutella, the jars of hazelnut and creme spread that are sold somewhere in the world every couple of seconds. I’m told it is delicious on bread but the […]

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lever 3

Employees: Who’d Have ‘Em?

Applying leverage, in its many forms, is essential if you want to build a bigger and more valuable business. In order to support my local business association, in Wadhurst, East Sussex, I recently agreed to run a business clinic for anyone who might want some help. One of the first enquires we had was about […]

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Profit Before Ubiquity

Don’t copy the high profile speculators when building your business. The problem with speculation is that you never know what the endgame will be. Will you make money if you invest in an early stage business idea? Or not? Some are clearly appealing and it is easy to buy into a “high concept” business idea […]

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Take Small Steps

Don’t let your enthusiasm get the better of you in achieving your business dreams. The last time I wrote an article about Mulberry, the UK fashion brand famous for its costly handbags, I used the headline “Mulberry Trebles Profits”. That was in December 2012 when the share price was at £25 and the company didn’t […]

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paul flowers

The Parable of the Exceptional Salesman

If something extraordinary happens, be careful. I once knew an exceptional salesman. This charming man had been headhunted from a competing firm and from Day 1 he always exceeded his targets. He therefore earned incredibly high commission payments and he was the blue-eyed boy of the company during his first year. Sadly though it then […]

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last man standing

How Long Will The Last Man Stand?

The failure of a direct competitor is always a signal for you to act. I have had a very varied career and worked in several large and rather chaotic businesses that eventually frustrated me so much that I moved onto other things. Frankly, I’m not sure I was cut out for the corporate life. Some […]

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Olive Breadsticks

Business advice is often harder to put into practice than it sounds. I have just spent a couple of weeks working in the United States and even though I was struggling with jet lag I managed to stay awake long enough last night to catch up with one of my favourite TV shows, The Great […]

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Why Won’t People Invest In Your Small Business?

If people won’t lend you money there is a reason. The most common question I am asked by prospective clients is how they can get some cash to fund the growth of their business. My answer is pretty simple really: get a good business. Whilst that may seem a little glib and chicken-and-egg-ish the simple […]

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Bleeding Edge Corn

Don’t worry, technology often promises much more than it can deliver. I frequently come across business owners who are worried that new technology will destroy their livelihoods.  In many cases it is a justifiable fear, but from a purely historical perspective, it seems to me that quite often technology doesn’t quite live up to the […]

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