Why I Left The Cult of Apple in Japan

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say Cult? I was offered a job with Apple many years ago and turned it down. They struck me as a bit odd. Think different campaigns were somehow a tiny bit sinister. I couldn’t put my finger on it didn’t buy into it. Later I […]

How to Fix Huge MS Word Docs

Last week we showed you how Bullet Lists can crash MS Word documents, especially if you cut and paste from several different documents. We outlined some techniques to reduce the file size, mostly by creating pre-formatted bullet lists and re-creating bullet lists the correct way. How to fix Corrupt & Damaged MS Word files But […]

How To Face Your Harshest Critics

Can you relate to this? A major project has fallen behind schedule. It is way over-budget, morale has collapsed, and your leadership is being questioned. It’s got real nasty. It’s your fault. They’re pointing the finger at you. What should you do?

If the criticism is from outside the organization, then define the ground rules for your Communications Plan. Identify who is responsible for what type of communication, how it will be delivered and what messages you want to convey. The benefit of a cohesive Communications Plan is the message coming from all staff will be consistent and ensure that your core values are communicated effectively.

How Tai Chi Will Make You a Better Manager

I spend 10 hours a day writing documents, guides, reports and other goodies. One of the hazards of working these long hours is migraine, back pain and (literally) a pain in the neck. You can get away with this in your 20s, but as you get older you need to take greater care of your […]

12 Steps To Becoming a Business Consultant

The BBC quotes research from Barclays Bank which shows that semi-retired workers are responsible for 50% more start-ups than 10 years ago. In the UK, 67% of small business owners are over 45, while a mere 8.7% are under 34. Such data suggests that running a business actually plays to the strengths of older people. […]

How to Stop MS Word Files From Crashing

If your Microsoft Word files suddenly become huge and start crashing, here’s how to fix it. Sometimes MS Word files explode from 1 to 10 MB in a few minutes? Why? Why Bullet Lists Creates Large MS Word files? The first offender is Bullet Lists. If there is one thing that’s guaranteed to crash Microsoft […]

The 4-Part Business Proposal Framework

Why do you write business proposals? Same reason we do! We write proposals to win more business, pay our bills and send the kids to college. Same as you, I guess! Right? This is one of the most popular templates, especially for business consultancy proposals [ Learn more about these Proposal Templates ] I’ve been in the […]

S.P.E.E.D. Writing – 37 Ways to Increase Your Business Writing Productivity

technical-writer-ivan-walsh-chinaWorking in China means more business and less technical writing, especially proposal development, web marketing case studies and white papers. As some friends I hang out with on LinkedIn are also moving into biz writing, I thought I’d add a few tips here. While there is some overlap with technical writing, it does require a different mindset, for example, to understand the emotional drivers that persuade customers to accept or reject business proposals.

Business Process Design Tutorial – Part 1

At the end of the workshop, our client confessed, ‘I didn’t know our business worked like that’.

We’d moved onsite and over three months mapped out the processes in his Finance, Sales and Operations Depts. For me, one of the most rewarding aspects of Business Analysis is discovering how a business works and then mapping it out in Visio.

A-Z of Customer Complaints

The more you sell, the more complaints. Nothing personal. Oscar Wilde said, ‘the only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.’ It’s the same on the web. If you plan to run a business, you better get ready to deal with the complaints.

We’ve sold more than $600,000 of goods in three years. On good days, we do $4,000. Most days it’s about $2,000. That’s each day, every week, every month. We’ve learnt a few things. The #1 lesson I learnt is… take real good care of your customers and they’ll come back, and come back again, and come back again. Believe me, this is much better than chasing down new customers.

Where is the Social Media ROI?

When it comes to social media, many business’ are interested in ROI. Having a team of people (or even one depending on the size of the company) can take away hours/hour of the day they could be spending on other tasks. This means it needs to be worth that time for business owners to jump onboard.

HBR: The Business Case for Women Leaders

Two articles in this week’s Harvard Business Review caught my attention: What the U.S. Can Learn From Europe About Gender Equality in the Workplace, and Can She Lead? The articles raise the sensitive issue of whether women make good bosses, want to be bosses and (slightly controversially), will men support women bosses or do their […]

5 Funding Tactics For Startups

Paying for a small business startup requires plenty of planning and researching. Here’s a list of five ways to fund your SMB (Small and Medium-sized Business), as well as what each option may entail for you as an owner.

Business Negotiation: Learning To Say ‘No’

Roger Fisher best-selling business book on successful negotiations, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In focused on how to gain mutual agreement between parties without confrontations. Its premise was that both parties want to get to “Yes.” You’ve read hundreds of article along the same lines. But not everyone is into win-win. Today, we’re going to look at getting to No.

How to Give Your Boss ‘Upward’ Feedback

I never give advice. Let me rephrase that. I never give unsolicited advice. If you don’t ask for my opinion, I don’t give it. It’s not because I don’t want to help you. I do. It’s because people value what they pay for. And the ‘ask’ in asking for an opinion is a type of payment… and Trust is the currency. This brings us to the tricky subject to giving feedback to your boss. When do I give my opinion? How do I phrase things to avoid offense? What happens if I get it wrong? Here are a few ideas.