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Business downturn

69. Leadership in recession for small business – John Adair’s Action-Centred Leadership

Leadership has become a major management topic in recent years, and there is a tendency to think naturally about large teams and big corporations. Having yesterday attended a workshop of the Leadership Academy at the Open University the subject of leadership and leading out of recession is top of the mind. Small businesses usually lead the […]

62. Frederick Herzberg and motivation for small business

I thought it might be time to consider some gurus on the people side of business. Herzberg’s 1959 book, The Motivation to Work, has had a great influence – and if you do not employ anyone, please do not stop reading now as this is just as relevant to your own motivation. He introduced the matched […]

61. Corporate Strategy and Igor Ansoff for small business (part 2)

 Ansoff working on how corporates grew considered a number of important concepts taken up later by other writers, including the core capabilities of the organisation, its product and market scope (or marketing focus) and competitive advantage. The strategy for growth could exploit these factors and consider the options for development which Ansoff defined in his […]

60. Corporate Strategy and Igor Ansoff for small business (part 1)

Igor Ansoff (1918-2002) pretty much invented the concept of corporate strategy – all of course based on large corporate organisations (he worked with Rand Corp and Lockheed). But small businesses also have to make strategic decisions so what he had to say can be relevant. Ansoff drew a qualitative line between strategic decisions which were fundamental […]

59. Management by Walking Around for small business

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard are not just famous for their computer company – they named the concept of Management by Walking Around, which had a period of popularity and prominence some decades ago – and perhaps its a bit of a shame that it has been somewhat forgotten these days. In large corporates its easy for […]

58. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (part 8)

Having looked at the five forces Michael Porter identifies in Competitive Advantage, Porter goes on to develop a theory of  what he calls the Value Chain in business. This looks at the elements in any business (some of which will not be very applicable to certain types of business) including processes:  inbound logistics, operations, marketing and […]

57. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 7)

Michael Porter’s third generic strategy in Competitive Advantage is focus. In some ways, differentiation (see the last post) and focus go hand in hand. They are both ways of setting yourself apart from the competition and appealing most strongly to a segment, but differentiation is focused on the product or service and looks to modify […]

56. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 6)

Michael Porter’s second generic strategy in Competitive Advantage is Product Differentiation. Product Differentiation is about your product being perceived as different from other competitive offerings. It may be that the difference is real – your product or service is faster, healthier, safer, more reliable, bigger, smaller etc. (If so, it is only relevant if these […]

55. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 5)

In Competitive Advantage, Michael Porter identified the five forces affecting market attractiveness and profitability which have been outlined in more detail in previous posts. These were Power of Customers, Power of Suppliers, Industry existing competition, the Threat of New Entrants and the Threat of Substitutes. From this analysis, Poter reasoned that there were only three […]

54. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 4)

Michael Porter’s book, Competitive Advantage, identified 5 forces that determine the likely profitability of a business, and we have discussed four of these in previous blogs, namely the Rivalry of Customers, of Suppliers and the level of internal market competition, representing forces internal to the market and then the threat of new entrants as the first outside force. The […]

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