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Business Ideas

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 […]

53. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 3)

Having looked at Michael Porter’s first three forces from  his book, Competitive Advantage, the internal ones of Buying Power of Customers, Buying Powere of Suppliers and the existing Competitive Rivalry in the industry, we can now move on to the first external market force, the Threat of New Entrants. Some markets are inherently very difficult to enter, […]

51. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 1)

Porter is the strategic planning and strategic marketing guru of the late eighties and nineties. He is very much one of the acedemic business gurus but his ideas – and even his vocabulary – have become part of the fabric of how we talk about business and marketing. His terms competitive advantage and the value chain […]

50. Theodore Levitt interpreted for small business

Levitt was an academic, born in 1925, who wrote on many areas of marketing and business strategy, including possibly introducing the concept of globalisation. But his main claim to fame is probably an article he wrote for the Harvard Business Review in 1959, entitled Marketing Myopia. This identified that most businesses were defining their market by […]

49. Tom Peters Thriving on Chaos for Small Business (part 11)

Tom Peters’ book, Thriving on Chaos (1987), which overthrew or updated his thoughts in In Search of Excellence, comes up with 12 keys to success in the new world he saw as emerging in the late eighties, and these are particularly relevant to small business and are still relevant now. Some of the ideas recently […]

48. Tom Peters (part 10) changes his mind

Driving from the rear view mirror doesn’t work too well and of Tom Peters’ 43 excellent companies identified in In Search of Excellence a large proportion had a lot of problems in the next few years. Now I am not saying you should therefore ignore the last 9 installments. The ideas he explored give a […]

47. Tom Peters searching for small business excellence in tough times No 9

Peters and Waterman’s eighth and last precept for successful businesses in In Search of Excellence was to develop what they called ‘simultaneous loose-tight properties’. What they meant by this was, be very rigorous in ensuring that everyone understands and follows the key principles and objectives but give flexibility to enable exercise of creativity and initiative. It is […]

46. Tom Peters searching for small business excellence in tough times No 8

Tom Peters and Robert Waterman’s 7th precept for successful businesses was keep simple and lean staff. If you do not have staff, easy to do! And surely this is not difficult for any small business employing small numbers? But even small businesss sometimes continue with outdated processes, employing staff undertaking processes that are no longer […]

45. Tom Peters searching for small business excellence in tough times No 7

Peters and Waterman’s 6th Precept from In Search of Excellence is “Stick to the Knitting’ – a homely way of saying ‘stick to what you know and are good at’. Many large companies looking for opportunities to expand have been guilty of getting involved in businesses they thought would fit with their business but did […]

44. Tom Peters searching for small business excellence in tough times No 6

Precept Number 5 from In Search of Excellence is: ‘Hands-on, Value-Driven: A bit enigmatic, but what Peters means by this is that management does not retire from the frontline and only get involved in strategy, but gets ‘stuck in’, and that the business that they get stuck into is driven by a management philosophy which […]

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