Thursday, 17 April 2014

Blogged Out

I saw that for first time ever (in 7 years of life) I had not blogged for a couple of months. And I was about to launch into a thinly veiled OME PR piece commentary on the trends in rec marketing industry when.......

its all a bit 2000s isn't it. Even though I was always amazed at the traffic figures for the blog - the users were definitely on the decline (yes - it could be the quality of the content too)

Twitter is quicker and easier and just better.

So long blog - it was nice knowing you

Friday, 31 January 2014

There is something in the air - launching a business

It may be a coincidence but in last month have had 3 separate conversations with people who are setting up/probably setting up/contemplating setting up a new business in our sector. Think it is a definite sign of increased optimism economically but bizarrely enough all three have asked me for my advice on launching something new/going alone.

First point is (before you think it) why on earth ask me/what do I know. And I agree but I guess there have been relatively few successful businesses launch in this sector over last 7 years - so they had a pretty short shortlist to seek counsel.

So here goes in very short form - my top tips

1. An amazing new business idea is a hugely over-rated thing. Most of us are not inventors or visionaries like James Dyson or Mark Zuckerberg, we are not going to invent a hover car or a teleport machine. There is nothing wrong with doing what other people do - just do it a lot better and with a new angle (maybe) And if you are waiting for the big idea. Its probably never going to come.

2. People who are setting up a business but also interviewing for jobs - don't tend to set up a business. If you are going to do it - you have to do it with 100% conviction and experience the paralysing fear exhilaration of going it alone.

3. Abuse your network - talk to everyone and anyone you have ever encountered socially or through business (or family!). This has many benefits - 1. you practise your pitch/business case 2. the people you may be relying on to help you may not/will not or cannot help you 3. but random people will surprise and get you an in to a client.

4. (Most) people will wish you well and will try to help. You have a window of good will and warmth before this new thing is just not new anymore. So....

5. Don't be proud. Accept all offers of help. We were offered virtually free office space by an old client and that was really, really helpful. Let people buy you lunch, pick up the tab. which links into....

6. Keep your costs to a minimum. get the tube not cabs, coffee for meetings not lunch. Don't spend a fortune on your logo and website. Interestingly - on this point I know people who have done the exact opposite to this and been incredibly successful. So I guess the better advice is decide what type of person, business you are. Do you need to walk the walk and act like the big company - if so - make sure you have some investment

7. Don't needlessly give away chunks of your business - for a small amount of seed capital. Surely you can access some funds (savings, house, bank) rather than risk affecting your future earnings for relatively small investment. As above - many would disagree and if you have invented the hover car - I will happily invest.

8. Don't wait to launch before your office, website, brochure is ready. It will never all be exactly ready

and that links to final point - if you are going to do it, do it today and execute the idea violently and repeat and repeat and repeat........until successful.


Good Luck!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

No Crystal Balls Available

But these are the blindingly obvious things which will 100% definitely happen and affect us all this year........probably

1. Recruitment economy - this is moving and has moved. There is more going on - recruiter competition will increase and we will all have to work harder to achieve the results we want. I am not ignoring the big issues the UK faces or the fact that this upturn does not help everyone.

2. Just doing the same thing will not be enough. You will have to do what you do now significantly better just to stand still. So competitive advantage will come from exploiting new channels, reaping the rewards from the work that has been (hopefully) done over last 2 years to establish channels (social/mobile/community-local-sector) all supported by great tech.

3. Bigger investment in retention programmes

4. Lots of launches/spin offs in all supplier sectors - with exception of classic job board model (that is a mature, expensive and not so rewarding area to go into as a new entrant)

5. And finally - its all about content. Your adverts, your site, your ATS, your LI/FB/Twitter, your emails, your everything. This is where truly the battle for visibility, engagement, influence and action is going to be won this year and also 2015, 2016, 2017....

We have invested significantly last year in having the right product sets, service offering for these new challenges so feel incredibly excited by 2014 but never want to lose the core OME thing of offering simple straight talking best advice and saving our clients' money. These elements can definitely work in tandem!

Buckle up - its going to be a bumpy (and fun ride)