Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Take the faster route to growth - GrowthAccelerator

Looking to rapidly grow your business? Then your journey starts here. Welcome to...

GrowthAccelerator is a new, premium service helping England's brightest growing businesses achieve their ambitions for rapid, sustainable growth. It’s a partnership between private enterprise and government. And it’s affordable.

I am really excited by this service and the value for money it provides for ambitious businesses.  I have also been selected as a registered and approved Growth Coach, and am delighted to have got my first client onto the programme.

The service offers a personalised support programme for high growth businesses. Achieving 20% growth year on year is the hallmark of high growth businesses and GrowthAccelerator is designed to support a wide variety of businesses reach that figure. It doesn’t matter what stage of growth you’re at, or what sector you are in. As long as you can complete the following check-list, GrowthAccelerator may be able to help you.
  • Are you determined to grow?
  • Is your company registered in England?
  • Do you employ fewer than 250 people?
  • Is your turnover under £40m?

The service is driven by a single goal: fast growth. It's why the support is personalised to individual businesses and it's why there is a nationwide network of over 800 experts and a huge array of expertise to draw upon.

Put simply, if it's growth you are after then GrowthAccelerator might just be worth looking into.

To find out more then please do not hesitate to contact me at, or call me on 07787422617.  Information is also available on the GrowthAccelerator website.  I'd really like to hear what you think.

Friday, 6 July 2012

World's most accurate pie chart

Infographics are all the rage these days - creative ways of presenting data as information. I love this tongue-in-cheek example I spotted this week.

World's Most Accurate Pie Chart

See Creative analytics spotted in California for another bizarre use of data analysis.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Creative analytics spotted in California

I like to think that I combine creative thinking with insightful analysis but this is taking it to a whole new level.  Whilst bike touring in California last year I came across this little town which obviously doesn't take itself too seriously...

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

7 questions to assess your business model performance

Your business model is the complete system of how your business satisfies your customers' needs and makes profit. In an earlier post I described what a business model is, and how new techniques can be used to design more successful and higher performing business models.

But how do you know if your business model is working well, or needs improving?
How do you know it is time to innovate your business model?

Moving beyond the product-market oriented business

These days having an excellent product or service that meets a well-defined customer need might not be enough. Even the best products and services increasingly struggle to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage. That's where your broader business model steps in. Innovating your business model is increasingly how you can compete and succeed beyond an excellent product-market fit.

7 questions to measure how well your business model is performing

By asking the following simple questions about your business you can start to understand whether your business model is fit for purpose.
1. Is your business model scalable?
2. Does your business model produce recurring revenues?
3. Does the cost of switching prevent your customers from moving to competitors?
4. Do you earn before you spend?
5. Do you get others to do the work?
6. Does your business model provide built-in protection from competition?
7. Is your business model based on a game changing cost structure?
How does your business model perform?

Each question gives an indication of whether your business model is giving you a competitive edge.

If you answered a strong yes to the majority then your business model is giving you an advantage.  If you answered no to the majority of questions, or only a tentative weak yes, then it could be time to try to rethink and redesign your business model.

The benefits to your business 

Looking at your business model takes you beyond looking at individual ideas and initiatives for your business. It takes you beyond product-market fit considerations which is all that most companies compete on. It's about looking at your whole interconnected business and how it fits together. It can be a blueprint for your business success.  

Ultimately business model innovation is about improving your competitive advantage, driving growth, achieving better margins, and perhaps even working less hard.

I'm excited to be working a number of clients in this area, many of whom are selling time - their own time and their staff's time. Many consultancies, agencies, professional services firms, and advisers are still using the same traditional model of day-rate fees and project-based billing. This is my business too and it's changing.

Ask the 7 questions of your business and see how it performs.  I'd love to know how you get on.


The '7 questions' have been adapted from work by Alexander Osterwalder 2011 - an inspiration to me on business model innovation.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Is it time to look at your business model?

If you have a successful business, but you feel it could be so much more...
If you are getting busier and busier, but don't see the rewards...
If you want to grow, but don't know the best approach to take...
...then it might be time to take a look at your business model.

What is a business model?

But what is a business model? You might have heard it before and been none the wiser. You might also have been asked what your business model is and not been able to answer. You're not alone.

Your business model is a complete description of how your business satisfies your customers' needs and makes profit. It's a holistic approach that maps all the important aspects of your business in one go, even on one page. It's a tool for looking at your business, exploring alternatives and planning change. It's a tool for designing your business.

On one side (the demand side) it covers customers, your offerings, your relationships with customers, the channels through which you deal with customers and the way that you generate revenue. On the other side (the supply side) it encompasses, the key activities supporting your business, key resources your business uses, key partnerships, and the cost structure of your business.

This is a framework for looking at business models that I use. I help clients identify the important parts of each of the 9 elements of business model and map them onto the canvas like this. It's accessible to almost all audiences, easy to use, easy to share and dare I say it, FUN!

An interesting example

The Metro newspaper is a really good example of how a new business model can radically change a market. Key aspects of the business model are: offering the paper for free; focusing distribution on high volume commuter traffic market; distributing it through low cost self-service stands, and; producing it with low cost editorial that is just about interesting enough to entertain its younger market on a quick commute. Its business model is all about attracting advertising revenue through high volumes, and minimising costs of production and distribution. And it's a business model that has spawned many an imitation.

Now we're not all going to radically reinvent and transform our markets, but I suggest we should all map our own business model, poke it with a stick, have play with it, and see if alternatives could make our business more successful and our lives that little bit better.

Map your business model

My own sector, the world of consultancies, advisers and agencies is undergoing change too in terms of competing business models. The traditional model of day-rate fees and project-based billing feels outmoded. This is my business and it's changing. I'm excited to be working with clients on their consulting business models and I'm redesigning my own business model too.

The benefits to your business

Taking a look at your business model will...
  1. Improve your understanding of your business and what is important 
  2. Focus how you communicate your business and how it works to clients, partners and investors 
  3. Provide a tool for exploring the future and comparing / contrasting with others 
  4. Allow you to build prototype business models with impunity 
  5. Identify changes you want to test within your business 
Looking at your business model takes you beyond looking at individual ideas for your business. It's about looking at your whole interconnected business and how it fits together. It can be a blueprint for your business success. It could be time to look at your business model.

If you've recently changed your business model, or you think you might need to, or you would just like to find out more then I'd love to hear from you...


The business model canvas and the example given in this article are courtesy of the fantastic ‘Business Model Generation’ book by Alexander Osterwalder.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Here's a first blog post to welcome you to my new website.  It's still work in progress (aren't all websites), but for now it's good enough.  Have a look around, and get in touch if you would like to know more.

Cheers, James