British serial entrepreneur, pioneer in social media analysis with a background in web journalism, mobile commerce, text analytics, network analysis. Co-founder of BBC Online, Amazon Anywhere, Market Sentinel, Leadfindr.
I have bootstrapped four start-ups from front room to exit/seven figure turnover. I can help you shape up your proposition to make the tough go/no go decisions on how to make your business grow.
How can you find the customers to grow your business? I can take you through the data you already have (in Google Analytics and social media) and show you how to interpret what you are seeing. The outputs can be: better keywords for search, highly-effective ads on Facebook, tweaks to your web and social presence which boost visibility, more focussed content strategies, and more targeted direct mail.
You are taking a new proposition to market (or rebranding an existing one) but you need to find your potential market. I can help you use data mining and network analysis to identify and connect with the groups who are looking for your services. And I can help you refine your proposition so that they find it and use it to solve the problems they have.
When a crisis strikes it is easy to make things worse by failing to manage communications correctly. Using the wrong platform at the wrong time can exacerbate a corporate crisis and undermine the brand. Based on 30+ years in working in TV and online media with household name brands like Cadbury, GSK, Abbott Laboratories, the BBC and government departments I will talk you through case studies that help you identify the dos and don'ts. I will give you a roadmap to communicate simply and effectively with the most critical stakeholder and ignore the noise. Cool-headed response to crisis can save reputations and jobs.
Businesses are at constant risk of falling victim to hackers. The risks are practical, legal and reputational. Data can be stolen, or customer information can be compromised. Addressing these risks is often no more complicated than following a check-list, and having mechanisms in place regularly to review and assess new risks as they occur. I can help you get these systems in place without breaking the bank to do it, and guide you on how to manage your data to minimise the future risks of it being compromised. I can help you to think through the technical, legal and reputational trade-offs in the approaches you take.
I have had a lot of experience of being mentored and mentoring. I think you should separate the search for a mentor from the search for an investor. A mentor should be a disinterested guide to life and business. An investor is going to look at you and your business as a way of buying a retirement condo! They want different things. A mentor wants to feel valued, to feel that they are helping to build something of value, to feel appreciated. You find such a person by looking for people whose expertise you think is useful (in Meetups, or conferences, or via LinkedIn) and politely approaching them to ask their advice. You will need to talk to a lot of people this way. Once you find someone with whom you "click" then you can see if the relationship develops from there. Investors are a whole different ball game. They want to see evidence of competence, capital, talent, cashflow forecasts. They don't want to hear that you are struggling, that you have dilemmas, that you need advice. Don't mix the two! Feel free to ask me more :-)