Mary Queen of Shops hits the nail on the head: local businesses need to specialise to survive

For years now we’ve been hearing plenty about how our high streets are suffering at the hands of the supermarket giants and how their ‘evil plan’ to take over Britain’s streets is forcing local businesses to shut shop.

I am currently working with Mary Portas’ shop designer, Callum Lumsden, on a refit of one of our studios so I have been watching her brilliant latest series, Mary Queen of Shops.

She talks about how businesses need to improve in order to compete with supermarkets and I couldn’t agree more.

Make the most of your business this summer

With summer having finally arrived – the flowers are in bloom, the BBQs are stoked up and the flip flops are out. However, while most of us look forward to balmier days, many business owners find the summer months a challenge. Not only does business tend to slow down, but employees and owners alike can find it difficult to focus and be productive when warm weather and the beach is beckoning.

Business advice surgery with Marc Lawn

As markets develop and products mature customer needs can change. This is a fundamental area for businesses to get right, but how do I start and what are the things to watch out for? A simple beginners guide to help you on your way Marc is an experienced leader with a track record of delivering world class customer and consumer solutions on an international scale, having won three global accolades, he works with an ethical and sustainable stance. He pioneered the ‘making life easier’ management philosophy, one based on clarity, and has coined a ‘renaissance management’ theory, where senior leaders understand clearly the total context in which they operate. As a consultant to some key blue chip businesses Marc is adding value across the globe, he is a fellow of the RSA, a recent DBA graduate and a member of the IOD. His employment and assignment history covers middle and senior leadership roles in global organisations across multiple industries.

Networking Workshop with Andy Lopata

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have a steady stream of ideal clients whilst others are always searching for the next? Have you ever wanted to get the opportunity to meet with your ideal prospect but never yet quite managed it? Most people recognise the importance of referrals as part of an effective customer acquisition programme. This workshop focuses on where to find referrals, particularly the ones right under your nose, and how to build an effective strategy to keep a flow of referrals into your business. Who this is For: This is for anyone who wants to work smarter and not harder. It is also designed to help those who feel they haven’t yet gained enough contacts or require a refresher in the ways to tap into their existing contact network.

Enterprise under the mango trees

Where did you last have a great business conversation? Louise Third has just returned from a working visit to Uganda where she found herself teahcing enterprise skills to students in a remote rural region of the north east. The experience confirmed for her that we really are one big enterprising global community, so tell us about your business conversations in far-flung places.