Enterprise news and opinion from Cobweb

Our editorial team regularly publishes topical news and opinion articles covering business know-how, entrepreneurship best practice, local enterprise support and national business support policy. Our independent observations and interpretation of facts stimulate some lively discussions among enterprise practitioners, business professionals and owner managers.

How not to patronise and intimidate your customers

March 15th, 2012 | No comments Source: EnterQuest

Every small business owner will claim that they understand the importance of finding new customers, the need to make the buying process as easy as possible and the benefits of providing a personal experience that will bring people back to buy from you again. So why is it that so many owner-managers fail to get this right – or don’t do it at all?…

Profits or cash flow – what’s the priority?

March 8th, 2012 | 1 comment Source: EnterQuest

Many people new to running a business (and some who are not so new) get into financial difficulties before they realise that they have a problem – despite the fact that their business has clearly been trading at a profit. Running your business at a profit is one thing, but having enough cash to pay the bills is an entirely different matter altogether…

A guide to baffling business acronyms

March 1st, 2012 | 3 comments Source: EnterQuest

Business acronyms are part and parcel of daily business life, whether they are used by Government initiatives which purport to support you, are terms used by your accountant that grip you with fear, or are the terms which your suppliers use to provide you with useful everyday products and services…

How to surprise your customers

February 23rd, 2012 | 3 comments Source: EnterQuest

In order to create a customer experience that is noticeably, or even slightly, different to anything currently on offer elsewhere, you will often have to find some surprising ways to go beyond what they are expecting…

Business risks, fibs and failure

February 16th, 2012 | 2 comments Source: EnterQuest

Starting and running a business is all about facing up to a multitude of risks and realities. And one of the biggest realities is that if your business fails it is pointless blaming your bank, your employees, your competitors or anyone else, because at the end of the day the blame will lie solely with you…

Small business gaps, edges and little steps

February 9th, 2012 | 1 comment Source: EnterQuest

Conventional thinking (and often advice) given to prospective new start ups is to find or create a business idea (or product) first and then work out who you are going to sell it to. The problem with this approach is that more often than not it will result in novice business owners wasting their time, effort and money in creating a product, service or business idea that nobody wants…

What business owners can learn from 2011

December 22nd, 2011 | No comments Source:

At this time of year it’s certainly a useful exercise for business owners to look back over the previous 12 months before looking ahead to their business prospects (or lack of them), and the opportunities or challenges they will be facing over the coming year…

The Business Plan Valley of Death

December 15th, 2011 | 2 comments Source: EnterQuest

Depending on whom you are talking to or dealing with, there will be many different factors to consider when preparing your business plan. However, whatever the reason, situation or purpose for your plan here are seven real-world principles you should stick to in order to avoid entering the business plan ‘valley of death’…

Three small business success factors

December 8th, 2011 | 1 comment Source: EnterQuest

There are three particular aspects of running a business which, when approached properly, are frequently acknowledged as being important factors that contribute to success. Those three factors are prioritisation, accountability and planning…

Rocket science and the small business owner

December 1st, 2011 | No comments Source: EnterQuest

It doesn’t matter how good your product is – or how good you are at what you do – if you can’t persuade people to buy from you. Failing to grasp this principle can be deadly in the small business world, and is a big reason why so many small firms fail so quickly after they start up…