Sunday, September 07, 2008

Chapter 3. It’s Not WHAT You Know..!

In this chapter I touch on the INCREDIBLE POWER and critical importance of cultivating Your Business Relationships... and why this single PROFIT-DRIVER can lead to your biggest pay-off for all your hard work.


After 30 years in business, I have come to recognise ONE critical reality above all others - the BULK of your business income flows from a small number of KEY business relationships.

On analysis I found that these are generally your BEST clients, your TOP suppliers, leading industry associates and close personal friends. They are all Top Performers who take an interest in helping you and your business.

So here's the point: if the bulk of business income flows from a small number of KEY business relationships... what strategy do YOU have to INCREASE and develop your number of KEY business relationships?

Do you have a formal business NETWORKING strategy?

Do you meet regularly with other business LEADERS in YOUR inner circle?

Do you help them with new business leads... and do they help you?

These questions led me to developing a formal business-networking forum to show business entrepreneurs just how exciting and advantageous it is to build your relationships in your own business inner circle.

The INNER Circle Business - is designed as the perfect base for building business relationships and sewing seeds of trust amongst your peers in your area - you just never know when you will need them! Also see

Just ONE meeting a month is designed to deliver a multitude of immense benefits to every Business Owner, Director, and Decision-Maker.

I share with you our copy of the 14 good reasons for you to join your inner circle of business decision-makers and BUILD RELATIONSHIPS in your area:

See: 14 GOOD Reasons To Build Your INNER Circle Network

Trevor Nel - 011 - 705-2790 -

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What's More Important To The CONSUMER... The Process or The End-Product?

Am busy contemplating my navel... ;-)

Thinking about designing a new seminar training program and blog.

Question going through my head is... what's more important to the consumer... the Process or the End-Product..?

I get this picture of trying to convince an experienced connoisseur whisky-drinker (of which I am not) to try a new brand of 'the finest distilled malt whisky'.

What's going to impress him/her most?

An explanation of the PROCESS?

Or... a taste of the END-PRODUCT?

Hmmm... think I'll have to test this with my audiences.

Trevor Nel - 011 - 705-2790 -

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Vision, Aim... FIRE..!

Was in a business meeting yesterday where the discussion was... 'How do you get people to make things happen quickly?'.

Somehow an old marketing research mantra, derived from the world of target shooting, ran through my mind - 'Ready, Aim, Fire... and not Fire, Aim, Ready' - meaning that a little market research and some specific targeting will get you a lot further than just random shotgun techniques. Now, there is an entire discussion to be had around that little statement... and many ways to cut and dice it from different perspectives.

That stimulated me to think in answer to the opening question posed: 'Vision, Aim... FIRE..!'

And here's how I interpret it ('you' can mean YOU, your business, and/or your people):

Vision: Give your people the broad reason/picture WHY you do the things you do

Aim: Give them a specific WHAT it is you want to achieve (with a time-line)

FIRE..! Then, let them get on with achieving just that. Fire them up. Give them licence to implement. See who makes things happen... and who doesn't. Keep a helicopter view over their strategy to test for project viability and to reduce impact of unintended failure. Do not be afraid of failure - but ensure that others don't sink your entire boat with ill-prepared strategy/planning. Strategy can be developed almost instantly - in a day, and sometimes less. Keep those that take up the challenge. Get rid of those who don't. They need to find somewhere else to grow... ;-)

It's as simple as 1.. 2.. 3.. Vision, Aim... FIRE..!

You have all the motivation you need to just get on with it... make something happen... just do it!

Trevor Nel - 011 - 705-2790 -

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Geoffrey Moore's: Crossing The CHASM

Trevor writes:

Am busy analysing a couple of projects (taking a strategic helicopter view) where Geoffrey Moore's Crossing The Chasm model came to mind.

Thought I'd include a couple of links related to this work that I find interesting:

1. INTRAP Open starts with Crossing the Chasm

This link has a neat introduction to Technology Adoption Life Cycle (TALC) which is a key part of the Crossing the Chasm concept developed by Geoffrey Moore and The Chasm Institute, including this very good graphic of the key phases of Early Market, CHASM, Bowling Alley, Tornado, Main Street, Total Assimilation and the summation below:

The TALC also illustrates the challenge of succeeding throughout the life of a product category by highlighting six distinct market phases with the following characteristics.

1. Each market phase has different adoption motivations that must be addressed.
2. Each market phase requires a different solution type with different partner strategies.
3. Each market phase requires different distribution and pricing models.
4. Each market phase presents unique competitive and positioning challenges.
5. Each market phase requires a distinct market expansion strategy.

2. A simple perspective of Crossing The Chasm

3. Biometric Technology Maturity And Strategies For Crossing the Chasm - has a neat 3 chart overlay - Figure 2. - showing how Product Life Cycle, Value Perception & The Chasm can be overlayed.

4. Crossing the Chasm - from the Law of Simplicity makes this staement that I like:

Today I was wondering whether the simplest solution to help consumers make the jump across the chasm is to just focus on ensuring that your product embodies simplicity.

5. Crossing the Chasm Book Review - I like this picture (see the original) and comment:

Moore proposes a four-stage approach to crossing the chasm. He calls it the D-Day strategy, a reference to the Allied invasion of Normandy in World War II. The idea is to:
- target the point of attack,
- assemble the invasion force,
- define the battle, and
- launch the invasion.

6. Neat graphics here - Growing Up: Moving from Technology-Centered to Human-Centered Products

7. Combining Technical Marketing Prognostication Curves - more neat overlays (contentious to the originating blog author)

8. Crossing the Chasm (2nd Edition) - excellent summary

9. PDF: How to fall into the Chasm - How to cross it


Trevor Nel - 011 - 705-2790 -

Friday, May 11, 2007

simplify, Simplify, SIMPLIFY ..1 ..2 ..3

Trevor writes:

From this post - MAD 7. It Only Takes 'HALF-A-DOZEN' Things! (extract below) - I am reminded that it is all to easy to fall into the trap of adding unnecessary complexity to ideas, projects, strategies, et al, that should be as simple as ...1 ..2 ..3

Too many people look to make the simple things in life too complex to understand.

Yes, most often it takes only a few things... 1, 2, or 3 things... just a 'half-a-dozen' things to ensure success in most projects.

I am resolving to simplify every idea, project, strategy I have into a 'simple as ..1 ..2 ..3' graphic presentation.

Trevor Nel - 011 - 705-2790 -

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Of Business STRATEGY & Business Plans

Wow, since having my articles - PRESS Articles - appearing in The STAR Workplace, I have been inundated with calls from first-time entrepreneurs to give advice on developing a business strategy and preparing a business plan.

I touch on the key features of both in the post below - Chapter 2. Knowing WHERE You’re Going - and here are some further links that can be of help:

1. If you're wanting a deeper insight into Strategy Formulation try this link: Build a Strategic Framework: Mission Statement, Vision, Values. I like their simple explanation of a 'strategic framework for significant success' which consists of:

  • a vision for your future,
  • a mission that defines what you are doing,
  • values that shape your actions,
  • strategies that zero in on your key success approaches, and
  • goals and action plans to guide your daily, weekly and monthly actions.

2. Free Business Plans and Marketing Templates

3. Defining SMART Objectives

I write in Ch. 11:

Drucker’s Management By Objectives (MBO) principles also introduced the concept of setting S.M.A.R.T. objectives that I came to apply in business as.

S – Specific: Describe precisely the specific intended result
M – Measurable: Quantify for achievement, accountability and feedback
A – Achievable: Set objectives that inspire performance to new target highs
R – Realistic: Make reasonable and believable new target objectives
T – Time: Set time period target for completion of objective

Often, the old principles that stand the test of time are the most simple and profound of all principles.

Quite honestly, Drucker’s MBO and SMART concepts are still the two most basic tools that I use intuitively to stimulate the TEAM COMMUNICATION process in any business project today, with one exception… it is no longer reserved for 'managers’ alone.

Today, where management structures are thinning out to the barest minimum levels possible, EVERYONE in your business team needs to be driven by some form of business and personal MBO, and everyone needs to have the ability to think SMART.

4. Excellent Business Plan Presentation Sample Layouts

Trevor Nel - 011 - 705-2790 -

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Chapter 1. How COMMITTED Are You?

In Chapter 1, I touch on the importance of YOUR Philosophy towards business by asking these questions:

What is the mental attitude influencing your behaviour in business?

What is your attitude towards serving people?

What is your attitude towards providing exceptional value?

What is your attitude towards delivering on your promises?

What is your attitude towards seeking, learning and applying new concepts?

What is your attitude towards networking with like-minded people?

What is your attitude towards making a difference in life?

Do you believe in 'Service With A Smile' and that the 'Customer is King', or are you a 'take-it-or-leave-it' begrudging service provider who believes that every customer is out to rip you off?

Do you believe that your customer has the right to search for and demand 'What's-In-It-For-Me' (WIIFM) VALUE, or do you cut costs and short-change your customers to boost your margins?

Do you share your profits with your staff?

Do you allow your staff to earn more than you?

Do you allow your staff to build profits for you?

Or do you unintentionally limit the growth of your company by limiting the growth of your people?

Seems crazy to be asking these questions, doesn't it?

But the reality is that many business entrepreneurs that I've seen in business actually don't seem to want to serve their markets. Yet in South Africa for some reason, some of these people still do pretty well. I expect that to be a sign of a market with more demand than supply.

Here are some examples of poor business philosophy that I came across at time of penning this book:

I am currently dealing with a company right now which I estimate is leaving about R400 000 a month on the table in just one small project, and whose management and staff are constantly undermining each other in trying to curry favour with 'The Boss' who is cost-centred and not customer-centred.

Consequently, they over-promise and under-deliver of a very poor service, putting a multi-million-Rand-income tender at very high risk of loss.

In my own community of 4000 households, I witness a local shopping centre management team constantly thumbing their nose at local community initiatives driven by a forceful community Residents Association.

The centre management's team are also the property developers and they have a 'take-it-or-leave-it' 'we-do-as-we-want' attitude to any attempt by the Resident's Association to get them to clean up their act.

Consequently the Resident's Association has officially termed this centre a 'blight' on the community.

Now if just 1500 (37.5%) of these 4000 households, all supportive of the Residents Association, withhold just R1000 p.m. of essential purchases from this centre, that's a conservative loss of R1.5 Million per month.

That's R18 Million a year down the tubes!

And the shopping centre developers attitude? - 'We don't really care'!

Yet, their tenants are crying for business.


Now, I do believe that I can postulate why these developers don't care.

One, there is a demand for retail space by first-time entrepreneurs who are willing to throw their houses and homes as surety to secure over-priced retail space.

Two, the mere fact that the retailer signs sureties to the landlord means that the landlord almost cannot lose... they just attach all fixtures and fitting... sue for the rest... and put a new tenant in to repeat the process.

Oh boy... understanding people's business philosophies can save one a fortune.

Trevor Nel - 011 - 705-2790 -