LinkedIn image

How to Grow Connections Quickly on LinkedIn and use Sales Navigator Search

Here is a guide on how to grow connections quickly on LinkedIn and use Sales Navigator search whether you have the free or premium versions. I post every day, and write articles every week so, I checkout videos and articles on the latest changes, which I have shared them in this article. I use Twitter as my default news and chat social media site, for business. Socially Facebook is my default, and for consumer and retail customers, plus for forensic personal profiling, it is terrific. LinkedIn is the business platform. Recruiters love it, sales-people live on it too, and it is invaluable for groups, online business-thought sharing and communication.

Search 2017

The recent updates in 2017 changing Advanced Search, means search is more limited but on the free version but still powerful, and well explained on this video. What you can now do in the Free version:

In top left Search insert:

People, Groups or Job title
This brings up a list (thousands) plus on the right
Filter people by:

  • Connections 1st 2nd or 3rd degree (explained here)
  • Keywords, name, owner, company, School
  • Locations, country, town
  • Current or Past Companies or add them in
  • Industries and sectors
  • Non-profit – Board Service, Skilled Volunteering
  • Schools – actually it lists Universities and you can add them in

And then save searches, or create a search alert

Sales Navigator 2017

I have been trying out Sales Navigator. The features list is here: https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/sales-navigator

And includes a very short video run-through. I won’t sell it for them, but my view is that if I were in full-time key account selling I would get it, on the basis is yields extra targeted information beyond normal search i.e. by company, it filters by company size. It asks:

Which company size do you typically target?
It asks 1-10?
11-50?
And so on up to 10,000+

Sales Navigator will use your company size selections to further narrow down company recommendations. It asked me to start typing function. I chose at random Finance. I then presented 30 companies, where it said: “You have connections that can introduce you to someone at xyz”.  And against some it said there were “5 potential leads in your target functions”, and there is the ability to save these accounts.

However as a marketer, I found this inferior to Advanced Search, under the old LinkedIn version, where there was more flexibility for me to self-select and choose greater numbers. It seemed somewhat claustrophobic and predetermined for me. This is more of a salesperson’s tool. And if I am looking to build a top of the funnel engagement rather than one-to-one meets, I can still do a fair amount on Search. It depends on what you want.

How to Engage and Grow Connections Quickly on LinkedIn

To create the most possible good contacts in you market, you need a great profile. This is a great video on How to Make a Great LinkedIn Profile – 6 LinkedIn Profile Tips. And a video on your profile is also a good idea, see here.  You can now set up your company page, as described here. Once that is in place you can post articles on your areas of expertise, which is nicely explained on this recent video. Now you are ready to look at some of the LinkedIn directories for some companies, members and groups that you may want to join or follow. You will need to send invitations to connect; there is advice on this here. And a very “lively” video which you can make your own judgements on (!) but is worth a watch for some tips or as he calls them “hacks” on connecting and more on LinkedIn – see here.

I hope you found this practical guide to using LinkedIn including Sales Navigator and search helpful. I use all of the videos myself and LinkedIn is a great site whether you have the free or Premium versions. I post every day, and write articles every week so checkout the videos and articles for updates and any changes to LinkedIn which we will share with you.

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

GDPR and ePrivacy Directive Essentials

 Data

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) what to do now. And what the ePrivacy Directive means to you.

We work closely with Mark Gracey GDPR expert local to Bournemouth and Dorset from FLAVOURFY DIGITAL

GDPR affects everyone. All individuals, all businesses in every sector. This includes B2B. Some in B2B mistakenly believe they are exempt. This is the B2B position:

Because of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), B2B marketing does not require GDPR compliant consent, but does require the facility for the data subject to opt-out. However, the personal data itself of the individuals within those businesses is subject to all the other GDPR principles in terms of processing (such as it being lawful, transparent, secure, etc.). The only exception to these rules are sole traders who should not be considered (for data protection purposes) as businesses but private individuals.

Practical GDPR – see our easy guide below

Definition

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU).

The GDPR General Data Protection Regulation becomes law on May 25th 2018. GPDR deals with the personal data of any living individual. An individual in a business is classified as personal data. Generic business data is not personal data. A sole trader is personal data.

GDPR affects everyone. All individuals, all businesses in every sector and every organisation, so if you have not acted already you need to now. Here is what GDPR is about and what to do.

GDPR Fines

€20 million or 4% of global annual turnover for the preceding financial year, whichever is the greater for the most egregious of contraventions.

What do you need to do?

  1. Appoint someone for data compliance
  2. Carry out an audit of data, systems and policies
  3. Document your approach to data protection and processing
  4. Put in place GDPR policies in your organisation
  5. Provide internal guidance and contact points for your business
  6. Train your staff
  7. Maintain compliance
  8. Keep up to date

Based on guidance from Mark Gracey from FLAVOURFY DIGITAL.

Many good practices carry forward from the Data Protection Act 1998 (DP).

As a Chartered Marketer Peter Eales supports the CIM’s Data Right Campaign and we are organising events with compliance and legal expert on GDPR Mark Gracey from FLAVOURFY DIGIGAL. We do not give specific legal advice but as a Fellow of the CIM and IDM can provide detailed information here on GDPR.  We work in the across sectors, finance, charity, B2C and B2B.

Prepare, Know GDPR.
SO, First: What’s New? – The Changes

You need to get team, and especially senior management buy-in.

Data – Key Roles and Responsibilities

Data subject means an individual who is the subject of personal data.
Data controller means … a person who (either alone or jointly or in common with other persons) determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed.
Data processor – carries out specific tasks on behalf of the data controller. You are required to maintain records of personal data and processing activities. You will have significantly more legal liability if you are responsible for a breach. NB the hundreds of staff “processing data” for instance in a bank, are not the data processors. Whilst outsource partners and icloud suppliers are data processors.

The Scope

The scope of GDPR is wider than previous legislation, in particular the Data Protection Directive 1995 and The 1998 Data Protection Act. Giving more rights to living individuals over their data and data processors regarding that data.

Children

The Data Protection Directive 1995 and The 1998 Data Protection Act did not refer to the words  “children” and “age” at all. Not once. For GDPR, consent is now 16 years of age. GDPR does not define what a child is. Here is a helpful article on the topic by the LSE.

Consent

About your consent:

  • It must be clear
  • Demonstrate affirmative action
  • Granular consent ie consent for specific services
  • A tick box for every specific action
  • Be clear how to withdraw consent
  • Written consent must be archived
  • Aural consent is ok, but needs recording: specify exact time and details

Rights

The GDPR creates some new rights for individuals and strengthens some of the rights that currently exist under the DPA.

The GDPR provides the following rights for individuals: The right to be informed

  1. The right of access
  2. The right to rectification
  3. The right to erasure
  4. The right to restrict processing
  5. The right to data portability
  6. The right to object
  7. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

Breaches

Organisation Responsibility

The GDPR will introduce a duty on all organisations to report certain types of data breach to the relevant supervisory authority, and in some cases to the individuals affected.

Processor Responsibility

Processors should report breaches to Data Controllers. A personal data breach means a breach of security leading to the destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data. This means that a breach is more than just losing personal data.

Accountability

ICO explain this as:

The new accountability principle in Article 5(2) requires you to demonstrate that you comply with the principles and states explicitly that this is your responsibility.

How can I demonstrate that I comply?

You must:

Implement appropriate technical and organisational measures that ensure and demonstrate that you comply. This may include internal data protection policies such as staff training, internal audits of processing activities, and reviews of internal HR policies.

Maintain relevant documentation on processing activities.
Where appropriate, appoint a data protection officer.
Implement measures that meet the principles of data protection by design and data protection by default.
Measures could include:
Data minimisation;
Pseudonymisation;
Transparency;
Allowing individuals to monitor processing; and
Creating and improving security features on an ongoing basis.
Use data protection impact assessments where appropriate.

By Design – What is ‘privacy by design’?

Privacy by design is an approach to projects that promotes privacy and data protection compliance from the start. Unfortunately, these issues are often bolted on as an after-thought or ignored altogether.

Implementing the Process and Templates

For more detail on how to implement the whole GDPR process, there is an excellent guide for charities which is useful for all sectors on GDPR by Tim Turner here.

Getting into the GDPR Detail

Storing an Individual’s Data

In order to keep someone’s data or ask for it, you need to gain “consent” or have “legitimate interest”.

Legitimate Interest

Should you hold an individual person’s data, and what is a reasonable time to hold it?  Do you have a “legitimate interest?” You need to evidence why. What are the benefits for the individual? Note, that GDPR is all about the individual taking control. It’s up to the customer to decide this. If as a charity or business believes a given period of months or time makes sense, then this needs communicating and agreeing with the customer. GDPR refers to this as: “The processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller or by the third party or parties to whom the data are disclosed, except where the processing is unwarranted by reason of prejudice to the rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of the data subject”. Whatever it is you want to do – wealth screening, marketing, whatever else – must be necessary. The onus is on you as a business to make a case – not prove, necessarily, but make a compelling case that your data processing is necessary.

Consent

Above we list key points on consent. Here is the definition.

Under GDPR the definition of consent has been changed to:

any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of his or her wishes by which the data subject, either by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to personal data to them being processed” (Articles 4 & 32).

Duration of GDPR Consent

How long does consent last? The ICO’s consent guidance says “There is no set time limit for consent. How long it lasts will depend on the context. There will be a right to be forgotten, and have all data expunged. And a right to reach through to your suppliers who have the individual’s or individuals’ data. Consent, opt-in needs to be provable e.g. their IP address and recorded.

GDPR Consent for Specific Services

Preference centres will be a big thing i.e. exactly what list options people want to specifically opt-in to. Consent can also be offered via Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy Statements. For a useful video and templates on this visit CommuniGator

Establish Your Purposes

Write your purposes down, for example:

  1. We want to maintain a list of people who have interested in our services and events, so that we can contact them to ask them to do so again.
  2. We want to maintain a list of people who have explicitly told us that they don’t want to contact us again.
  3. We want to use (1) to research the customer and prospects financial background using public sources to work out what kind of approach to make to them.
  4. We want to use (1) to research the customer and prospects financial background, and we want to pay a company to do the research for us.
  5. We want to buy data from a third party to make sure that (2) is up to date.
  6. We want to buy data from a third party to create a list of people who have never subscribed previously with us, so that we can contact them and ask them to opt-in for the first time.
  7. We want to keep their information up to date.

Visit the Information Commissioner’s website here for a summary of what to do now, ready for The GDPR UK which will apply in the UK from 25 May 2018.

Some Practical Steps to Implement GPDR in your Business

With one charity we work with we are doing the following:

  • First ask, should you hold an individual person’s data, and what is a reasonable time to hold it?  Do you have a “legitimate interest?” You need to evidence why. What are the benefits for the individual? Note, that GDPR is all about the individual taking control. It’s up to the customer to decide this. If as a charity or business a given period of months or time makes sense, then this needs communicating and agreeing with the customer.
  • Consent. How are you going to contact the individuals? Write or email to the person. Consent must be clear and distinguishable from other matters and provided in an intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it.​ Adults must be over 16 years of age. Special categories of data – race, health, genetic require explicit consent.
  • Be clear about how their data is stored and used: be transparent, so the customer feels in control. They have a right to be forgotten.
  • Don’t pressure people. Intelligent use of social media can complement the email or letter. But not persistent emails and letters.
  • You need consent, a positive “yes” I want to remain on your database for a reasonable period of time.
  • Mandatory appointment of a Data Protection Officer. Other roles, Data Controller plus Data Processors have responsibilities handling data, though less onerous in companies under 250 people.
  • As with the Data Protection Act and policies, GDPR again requires you to be clear where data comes from and is then stored.  A data life-cycle understanding is important: be clear what data you really need, when and for how long. And a clear awareness among staff of policy and processes to ensure compliance.

And….

An updated data protection toolkit for SMEs from the ICO website, including a new element focussed on getting ready for GDPR. The checklist can help organisations’ assess their progress in preparing for GDPR.

It includes:

Data Protection Assurance

Step 1: Data protection policy, responsibility and training

1.1 Policy – Your business has established an appropriate data protection policy.
1.2 Management responsibility Your business has nominated a data protection lead.
1.3 Training and awareness – Your business provides data protection awareness training for all staff.

Step 2: Registration, privacy notices and subject access

2.1 Registration
2.2 Privacy notices – Your business has made privacy notices readily available to individuals.
2.3 Responding to subject access requests – Your business has established a process to recognise and respond to individuals’ requests to access their personal data.

Step 3: Data quality, accuracy and retention

3.1 Data quality and accuracy – Your business has established processes to ensure personal data is of sufficient quality to make decisions about individuals.
3.2 Retention and disposal – Your business has established a process to routinely dispose of personal data that is no longer required in line with agreed timescales.

Step 4: Security

4.1 Security policy – Your business has established an information security policy supported by appropriate security measures.
4.2 Outsourcing
Your business ensures an adequate level of protection for any personal data processed by others on your behalf or transferred outside the European Economic Area.

Step 5: Privacy impact assessments

Your business has established a process to ensure new projects or initiatives are privacy-proofed at the planning stage.

Background to the GDPR and what the ePrivacy Directive means for your Business

ICO Commissioner

Here is an excellent introduction from the ICO –  Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, who recently,  talked about how GDPR is an issue for the boardroom – view it here. So in order to achieve what she and the ICO suggest, how can you cope with GDPR and ePrivacy digital data regulation? Give customers and prospects great value, be lawful and gain consent for specific purposes. You can be commercial and apply common-sense, for a win-win.

The GDPR and e-privacy directive are linked

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ePrivacy regulations need to be considered together because they are linked. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU).

The ePrivacy Directive

The ePrivacy Directive and the General Data Protection Regulation provide the legal framework to ensure digital privacy for EU citizens. The European Commission has reviewed the Directive to align it with the new data protection rules.

When you access the web, you often entrust vital personal information, such as your name, address, and credit card number, to your Internet Service Provider and to the website you are using. What happens to this data? Could it fall into the wrong hands? What rights do you have with regards to your personal information?

Common EU rules have been established to ensure that personal data enjoy a high standard of protection everywhere in the EU. Currently, the two main pillars of the data protection legal framework in the EU are the ePrivacy Directive (Directive on Privacy and Electronic communications), and the General Data Protection Regulation, adopted in May 2016.

The ePrivacy Directive builds on the EU telecoms and data protection frameworks to ensure that all communications over public networks maintain respect for fundamental rights, in particular a high level of data protection and of privacy, regardless of the technology used.

On 10 January 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications to replace the 2009 Directive.

GDPR Six Principles

You can read them on the Information Commissioner website here.

They are found in Article 5 of the GDPR and say that personal data shall be:

(I summarise key points here, see link for full transcript)

(a) lawfully and transparent manner in relation to individuals

(b) collect for specified, explicit and legitimate

(c) adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary…to the purposes

(d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date

(e) kept … data …no longer than is necessary

(f) appropriate security of the personal data… protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction, or damage

Article 5(2) requires that

“the controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate, compliance with the principles.”

NB “data controller” means a person who (either alone or jointly or in common with other persons) determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be processed

Lawful

Data collection must be deemed as lawful. To do so it needs to pass one of six tests, you need to ideally prioritise in the following order:

  1. Consent for specific purposes
  2. Contractual necessity
  3. Controller’s legitimate interests
  4. Controller bound by legal obligation
  5. Protect vital interests
  6. Public interest, official duty

Some Issues From ePrivacy and Social Media

One of the reasons GDPR and ePrivacy are interlinked is that online platforms such as social media sites hold email and other personal data. For example, if you think of wi-fi access. You are often asked to tick a box. This box has terms and conditions which in future may be unlawful because ePrivacy says consent must be unbundled. Suppliers of services cannot offer one services bundled with another. In the end it is all about clear consent, as this ICO GDPR Consultation consent guidance articulates.

Key Practical Issues for Businesses

Most businesses are not large. Bigger organisations have legal, compliance and marketing experts. Smaller ones don’t have the resources or time to devote to cope with GDPR and ePrivacy digital data regulation. So what are the key issues to consider? I would suggest:

  • B2B marketing remains opt-out IMPORTANT – however a sole trader and some partnerships require opt-in, many of whom are on lists or are marketed to by “B2B” companies. See the ICO guide, page 34 point 127 here. 
  • B2C marketing remains opt-in
  • There is stricter consent and higher fines
  • Make sure you know where data comes from, and is stored: keep good files and systems.
  • Allocate clear responsibility to data processing
  • Consent from people is well described by CIM Course Director @iCompli Duncan Smith as the “Four Pillars of Consent” here:-
    • control – they can manage it i.e. the subscriber
    • transparent – clearly informed ie for the subscriber
    • notification – express my wishes how and when as a subscriber
    • verifiable – proof of consent for that subscriber

How can you cope with GDPR and ePrivacy digital data regulation? Give customers and prospects great value, be lawful and gain consent for specific purposes. You can be commercial and apply common-sense, for a win-win. There are good chartered marketers to help and compliance experts, call and we can help if you are worried.

Sources and Helpful Sites

Information Commissioner’s Office – you can subscribe to their newsletter site
EU Privacy Directive – here
GDPR – Wikipedia as ever is very good on this here
Mark Gracey GDPR expert local to Bournemouth and Dorset from FLAVOURFY DIGITAL
CIM Course Director Duncan Smith icompli.co.uk
Our trusted compliance expert is Leon Thompson 

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

Miles Davis

So What? Is there a Problem?

Oliviero Toscani Sky Arts Master of Photographer Judge and photographic supreme, demanded of a contestant: “So what?” He wanted to know if the contestant produced a picture, so what? I suggest with any product, idea, service, or solution we ask ourselves,”so what? Is there a problem? Does it offer the customer a great solution? If not, don’t bother”. Miles Davis a musical hero of mine and millions of others produced a magical piece called “So What” see here. In a recent interview Herbie Hancock, who played with him, said, Miles insisted that his band members produce something new, and memorable each time they played. Both Miles and Oliviero when seen on TV interviews, display almost cruel demands of work colleagues. I’m sure they and we all, prefer a friendly team, but, I think it is a great idea to stop and think before we produce any piece of work and think, “so what, what’s the purpose”.

Marketing Brief

It is not dissimilar to good project planning. And the need in marketing and campaign planning usually starts with a good brief. Impatient clients and bosses, creative colleagues may find this frustrating but it saves a lot of heartache further down the line. The problem being what is one person’s head, may very different, from what is in another person’s head. At o i solutions we use this Marketing Brief.

Connecting with People

As any project manager with tell you, most projects fail because of people, often a particular person! So engaging with people is critical as I suggest here in another article.

Have an Opinion and showing Leadership

Similarly with marketing content give an opinion when appropriate. In business, problem-solving and addressing risks and opportunities means asking “so what” and giving a view, making decisions and suggesting options.

The “So What Test”

Why wait for someone else to suggest it is “this” or “that way”?  Just remember, ask “So what? Is there a problem? Does it offer the customer a great solution, if not, don’t bother.” So, be brave enough to not bother if what seemed a great idea at 2 a.m. in the middle of the night, in the cold light of day, doesn’t pass the “So What Test”. I would suggest you need to have answers to the following:

  • Is there actually a problem?
  • Do you have a cogent solution?
  • As Professor Malcolm McDonald stresses:
    • Create a Financially Qualified Value Proposition
    • Do this by assessing all your capabilities ie your skills, resources and assets
    • Then look at your customer or prospect’s weaknesses or gaps you can satisfy with your capabilities ie overlap one versus the other
  • Do you have a market? Have you sized this? Remember I am referring to ideas, campaigns, products and solutions very generically here, not just funding a business per se
  • Do you have people to do the work on this project however small or large it is?
  • Do you have the funds?
  • Have you written down a plan, in total, a short summary, financials if required?
  • Do you have a short elevator pitch and USPs?

I am always looking for new guides and videos in this area, here is our oi solutions funding page which we updated constantly. I point people to the UKBAA website here, and our DBA resources page here. Plus Dorset Growth Hub here. Good luck!

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

children playing

What made you who you are?

Nature of nurture, was it in your genes, to be who you are, or has your life and your decisions made you who you are? A study by Lindquist Sol and Praag found, as they cited “that parental entrepreneurship increases the probability of children’s entrepreneurship by about 60%.” Richard Branson, however may have been the product in part of nurture and part nature as he was in effect taught lessons in entrepreneurship. He explains in this article the most important lesson he learned from his mother — and it included being pushed out of the car at  the age of 6. A great brand, a successful person, both have a confident story. What made you who you are, and why is this important? I was watching Sky Arts Master of Photography when contestants to be best 2017 photographer were challenged to take biographical photographs. Most of them found it very difficult. The judges told contestants they needed to come to terms with “what made you who you are?” Is this challenge just artistic waffle or is it something worth pondering? I would suggest it’s important. It’s a question of personal awareness, confidence to communicate this or if you like personal branding, and here is why.

Self Awareness

How good are you? At everything you do, relationship building, achieving your life ambitions, and what do people think of you? What do people think of you? Many of us would be scared to ask, or may think these questions rather odd. But, I would suggest, it is worth knowing and the good thing is we are capable of understanding. Unlike animals we can self-reflect, (and that enables us to improve).  There is a nice blog on the topic, written by Gary van Warmerdam where he writes, it’s key to have “a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions.” Humans are sentient beings, with the ability to think. The English Philosopher John Locke (1632–1704), said mankind is “a thinking, intelligent being, that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing, in different times and places.” Whilst valuable to understand the philosophy of self-awareness, including for example Buddhism (here’s a good article from Pschyhology Today), which offers some very helpful advice, I’ll the focus here on personal and business branding.

A Personal Plan

So, what made you who you are, for successful people may be a mixture of genes and luck but also taking chances and an element of planning. Branding is an enticing topic, it always attracts good numbers to marketing events. Because it tells stories about how to bring alive products with advertising, music, social media, funny stories, images, sex and so on….But for business and for personal brand planning you need a great brief, a sound plan. A marketing plan which follows a similar format to a business plan is formatted on our Mind Map template for you here. Whether you are thinking about your dreams or plans for yourself or your business – and they might be synonymous, the mind map takes you through some key items including:

  • Your vision and purpose
  • Elevator pitch
  • What is unique – your USPs
  • Your marketing
  • Budgeting and scheduling

And in terms of a personal guide, here is an excellent tool to navigate through different times and challenges in your life, The Five Maps of Adult Territory.

Self-Audit

Just as with a business a regular self-audit is essential. See what the internet thinks of you, such as simply to google your name, as this Forbes Article on Personal Branding recommends. Here are some other ideas for your self-audit:

  • Your goals and objectives, any changes? Based on situation, opportunities, performance and ambitions
  • Your relationships with friends, family, prospects and customers – has each one improved or deteriorated?
  • Communication and appearance – what messages do people get from what comes from you?
  • Your diary, habits and lifestyle – sometimes you pick up patterns good and bad outside of goals and objectives
  • Processes – how you organise your life, from fitness, to apps on mobiles, or well-being and happiness

The Truth

So, what made you and me? Thanks mum and dad…partly. Success, failures, and some planning on the hoof. I’m not suggesting most of us would embark upon life or even chapters of our life as a grand plan. But successful people do constantly set goals and learn from failure as much as successes. I am fascinated and consoled by frank and helpful articles on failure. Nick Hixson is excellent here in this video on failure, explaining how much we learn.  And handling failure in sport is also critical: this is a good article. A great brand, a successful person, both have a confident story. If we can develop our self-awareness and control our lives, it makes for more success and happiness in my view. And enables us to understand what made you who you are, and why is this important.

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

Cunning Plan

Have a Cunning Plan that’s your best Strategy

My tennis coach gave me a great tip. “Target where you will hit the ball.” So even before the opponent hits it, I have an option. I may change it, but it gives me a start on my opponent. Similarly, the best businessman I ever worked with, he was MD, used to ask me before a customer appointment: “Peter, what’s our plan, our strategy?” I used to think he was slightly neurotic, initially. The more I worked with him, and saw the millions he made (!), the more I realised, this was not just good practice: it was essential. What he was doing was what I now do as a matter of practice in business and every aspect of my life. I recommend it to you. It is this. For every challenge, review the opportunities and risks. Have a cunning plan, an option available, that’s your best strategy; take control, make decisions. The absence of a plan (a cunning plan!) leaves you reactive and open to other peoples’ decisions. Nick Hixson who I work with writes some terrific pieces and does videos on decisions. All effective, positive business people understand, the need to be constantly making decisions. Moving forward, not reacting to stuff, whenever possible, but controlling things.

The Impatient Busy Person’s Strategy Kit

This is not an academic treatise. Here is my personal strategy planner, for sport, work, or home:

  1. Use a notebook or Online Notebook such as Evernote, OneNote or even iCloud Contacts. I use OneNote
  2. Look at your objective for your forthcoming challenge, meeting, or situation. What is it? Be clear. In short be SMART.
  3. Review the situation, any previous experience of the people, organisation, opportunities and risks.
  4. Decide on five key strategies. Any more I find I will forget. Keep it simple. Write these down.
  5. Afterwards, I always record what happened. Success or failure. I am perhaps a little weird, seeing life as a  win/lose in many aspects.

Isn’t this what everyone does?

You may think, isn’t this what happens in any meeting? An agenda with action points? Possibly, but I would suggest the differences are:

  • a strategy is a very specific, forensic, time-bound activity linking past, present and future, you, others and the environment
  • meetings are often passive, lack energy and focus
  • frankly the success of this will be in the implementation, it’s up to you
  • there is also a difference between a plan, which maps out activities, and the dynamism of a strategy moving from now to implementation

So, for every challenge, review the opportunities and risks. Have a cunning plan, an option available, that’s your best strategy; take control, make decisions. Good luck!

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

Peter's balls

What do Business Angels do and why are they called Angels?

What do Business Angels do and why are they called Angels? It’s someone who puts his or her money into a venture in return usually for equity. The term angel originated in the Broadway Theatre, from the financial supporters of productions. I was one of the founder directors of Dorset Business Angels (DBA), supporting Steve Berry our founding Chairman in 2012/13. We are part of UK Business Angels Association UKBAA The UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) is the national trade association representing angel and early stage investment. I have raised money from business angels, pitching for funds. I have also invested in businesses as a business angel. Dorset Business Angels has won awards from UKBAA as Best New Angel Network 2013. We raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for new businesses. We run investors’ dinner pitch events quarterly and Angel Conferences in Bournemouth every two years.

What do Angels Do?

A business angel is typically a successful entrepreneur or professional who puts their own money into a startup or early revenue business in return for equity. They are normally used to handling the commercial challenges which the younger businesses are likely to experience. There are now two types of investor. These are defined by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, but operates independently of the UK government. High Net Worth (HNW) investors and Sophisticated investors. Both categories of investor are described on our DBA About Us page.

The Process – before our event

Entrepreneurs and people with ideas submit them to DBA. We select the most viable and then these pitch at our Investors’ Dinner pitch events. We are not a training, pitch preparation or business development organisation. We have some excellent partners we point young businesses to for help such as Dorset Growth Hub, Silicon South and the Economic Development Managers in the local Councils.

What Angels Look For

At one of our events or any angel event, typically angels tend to invest in areas where they have expertise. So, an angel with a background in maritime engineering for example would be more comfortable looking for investments in this sector. Similarly, an investor with expertise in Software as a Service SaaS would focus on this. It is not always the case. Here is a nice video. The Top 3 Qualities Angel Investors Look for in Entrepreneurs. Ryan Scott is Founder & CEO of Causecast. What do I look for in an entrepreneur? He is looking for three things.  1. A business that is a game-changer 2. Persistence 3. Focus on mission not mechanics. If you come to one of our events, you see a mixture of this reflected with the investors. Sure, they want a great idea, they want Intellectual Property ideally but, what is critical is a great management team, and fundamentally a driving leader.

Why Successful Angel Investing Is Fun

The investors await

After businesses have given their presentation pitch, at DBA, our Chairman Don McQueen chairs a discussion with investors to see what people think. This is critical. Why?

  • open discussion allows investors to better understand the opportunity
  • experts on the sector can provide insights into the opportunities and risks
  • people can give views such as:
    • quality of the leader
    • quality of the idea
    • competitors in the field
    • financial robustness of the proposition
    • is it a good deal!! ROI is critical….
    • does the pitch stand up? is it truthful? factual?

Just a few of the points the come out in this fascinating session. After which it is about, “is anyone interested in looking further into this business?”

After Events and Due Diligence

At DBA we circulate information on presentations online, via social media and through our new Newsletter. For investors keen on pursuing interest in businesses, the story has only just begun. Don McQueen, our Chairman will run through this at our October  27th Conference this year.

Don 400

This includes:

  • Non-Disclosure Agreements NDAs
  • Company Valuation
  • Investment levels – what is being invested for what equity
  • Any board roles for investors
  • Any changes to management team agreed
  • The business plan – any issues, financial, IP, marketing and so on

Serious Fun

So, when asked, What do Business Angels do and why are they called Angels? Colleagues in the professional services get nervous if I include in my reply anything about angel investing “being fun”, because they are so used to working in a regulated environment. Well, so am I, and so are we. However, you will note, that we preface our reference to “fun”, with the word, “successful” because, it all about carrying out appropriate, well thought through activities. If you don’t, you cannot be effective.  Because as a business angel is someone who puts his or her money into a venture in return usually for equity, they go about their work as DBA do in a systematic way. But that is still fun!

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

Dorset Growth Hub

Always have a Plan

Always have a plan, with your vision, objectives, purpose, market analysis, risks, opportunities, strategies, marketing, financials, schedule and measures. Baldrick always had a cunning plan. We laughed at him but, part of the love for the character was, that everyone is always dreaming. “I have a dream”, said Martin Luther King. And everyone does. Cavemen had to have a plan everyday, or perish. Even if it was just a simple one on where to hunt. So, why should you always have a plan? How would I know? Well, I realised this through repeated experiences of fundraising, product launches, brand creation, new campaigns and running projects for the last last few decades. I will give you an example from an excellent event last week. At Dorset Growth Hub’s excellent SME Competitiveness Event in June 2017, Nick Gregory Investment Growth Specialist (pictured above), chaired our Access To Finance discussion group. Our chief finding in our discussion was: “you should always have a plan”, because whatever form of finance you are looking for, whatever state the business is in, you need to be reviewing, be prepared, for your own good, and for that of employees in order to manage risk and to take opportunities.

Who Wants a see Your Plan?

Sources of Investment

Just about everybody, wants a plan. By a plan I mean an explanation of your situation and future intentions – more shortly on this. And by “everybody”, this does mean most people. Most importantly you gain personally by clarifying your own thoughts. Let’s make it a bit more interesting, and fun and list potential readers of your plan through the lifetime of a business. Of course nobody’s life if the same. No business is the same. Here are potential interested parties in your story:

  • YOU
  • You husband, wife, or partner
  • Children, parents and family
  • Your wider team, your salesmen, your staff
  • Your boss, supervisor, manager, director, the business owner
  • Your implementation project teams such as marketers, financers, IT, HR, logistics teams etc. for specific elements of you plans
  • Your suppliers
  • Your franchisees, or distributors, or retailers – i.e. your distribution chain
  • Funders as the business grows (see simplified image above) including
    • Family and Friends
    • Angels
    • Super Angels
    • Crowdfunding
    • Venture Capitalist
    • Government and European Grants
    • Asset and Lease Finance
    • Factor, Invoicing discounting Finance
    • As revenue grows debt and bank finance

What’s in Your Plan

So, if it’s a good idea to always have a plan, with your vision, objectives, purpose, market analysis, risks, opportunities, strategies, marketing, financials, schedule and measures. What are the essential elements people ask for?

  • a one page summary of the plan – an example if found here on Dorset Business Angels website page
  • a short video here on what to include in a business plan
  • templates for business plans from the GOV.UK website
  • tips on how to pitch from Dorset Business Angels
  • a marketing plan mind-map from o i solutions

People

And perhaps most important, it’s about connecting and engaging with people, in order to complete the story. It’s about people in that nothing works if you aren’t motivated, or if you fail to win people over to your idea. You and I need to believe in our work, our projects to be able to enthuse colleagues. Then with your plan, with your vision, objectives, purpose, market analysis, risks, opportunities, strategies, marketing, financials, schedule and measures, the cunning plan can come together.

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

Winner

The best learning opportunity, losing, it can be a winner

I had to stop playing tennis for a while because I was just too competitive. I was off the Richter scale. They say Aussies and South Africans are competitive. I am worse, or better however you describe it: I am very competitive. But I don’t mean to boast. I just am. Can’t help it. Well, actually now, I can. I learned to.  I read a great article in the Sunday Times recently on John McEnroe on losing. His recurring nightmare, of losing against Ivan Lendl in 1984 after being two sets up. To deal with this obsession, you have to admit it and embrace it. A bit like an alcoholic admits they are an alcoholic. I saw this as a bad thing. I did too. I ended up unable to win as much as I should, due to rage, and emotion. Now I play tennis, I do business, with control. I was reminded of this reading a fantastic article the other day by Matthey Syed, “Nadal A Master of Tennis And Himself” here. I will write more about control another time, but here I want to focus on one key aspect of sporting and business motivation which is the best learning opportunity, losing. Approached intelligently, it is a winning opportunity.

What is Winning and Losing

It may seem obvious to state that winning is when you gain a result or victory in a competition. And losing is the opposite. But I think competitive minded, winning minded people are hard on themselves. They do not hide from failure. But there is an alternative. That is what helped me out of the slough of despond! And the misery I used to inflict upon myself and others. I am still desperate in defeat, and awful with a partner when we lose. But I now have some answers beyond, just ranting and raving or worse, looking for excuses.

What to do when you Lose

First, own it. It sounds to a Brit, a little American, but it is important. It is your fault. Or perhaps, to be a little less dramatic, you will claim credit when you win, so just be part of whatever result happens now. Stick with it. What does this mean? Well what struck me with one of my heroes in tennis Roger Federer, even in defeat was how he was always analysing! Once in a Davis Cup match defeat he gave a detailed description of his performance for the Friday, then went on to rectify this with a stunning win on the Saturday! In other words:

  • You can only begin to improve with a cool head
  • Look at what is or what happened
  • Dissect the issues
  • Replay and forward play situations again
  • Look for help if needs be:
    • videos
    • mentors
    • experts
    • online
    • write down
    • friends and family
  • Write a strategy for situations i.e. what to do in given situations
  • Practice effective decision making – see this video by Nick Hixson on decisions
  • Have a note-book such as OneNote or a notepad to plan what to do

Motivation

There is nothing like losing to motivate you to win! If I ever need extra motivation, I just picture a competitor, team, or people in a situation where we have lost and it inspires me. Often, losing occurs through failure to plan or concentrate. It isn’t just about effort though, it is also about learning from experience and other peoples’ failures. Here is the fascinating Museum of Failure. I am determined to win, don’t get me wrong! But I regard losing as my fault. Something I can do something about. It’s the motivation to then succeed in future. Forget the past. As my dad said, “there is no such place as “if only” or “if” “. Except, in terms of how to improve, I use this acronym:
F – Failure
A – Analyse
D – Decisions
E – Embrace
S – Strategy
It reminds me to assess what happened not as “bad luck” outside of my control. But to understand,

  • forensically, but simply what happened
  • did I follow my planned strategy? If not sort it for next time.
  • make some decisions on what to do to rectify and improve, if at all
  • feel comfortable with it, this can take time, we all get upset!
  • get a strategy in place for the decisions and all the ideas as appropriate

Just to be clear, this is for anything in life, work and home or sport. Winning and losing happens all the time.

Don’t be scared of Failure…or Success!

You will have heard this before, don’t fear failure. Strangely enough, I think this comes partly from the fact that when human beings are aroused, or put in dangerous situations, our adrenaline flows. This quite naturally makes us feel nervous, sometime shaky. When I am playing sport, I welcome it, in matchplay, and bounce up and down on my feet to spread it into my body. It helps us to be alert. But we do not want to be paralysed by nerves or to relaxed! Ideally, then we have a strategy and are focused. We can just as easily become scared of winning too frequently. This needs good concentration, systems, professionalism and intelligence. But frankly it is inevitable loss will come from time to time and one key aspect of sporting and business motivation which is the best learning opportunity, losing. Approached intelligently, it is a winning opportunity.

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

Rick Wakeman

Develop your skills in an age of multiple careers keep learning

Rick Wakeman was fantastic on Desert Island Discs, the other day. One of the many memorable things he said was how the ability to sight read music after leaving The Royal College of Music, was essential for a session musician. This enabled him to perform with stars such as David Bowie, Brotherhood of Man, T, Rex, Elton John, and Al Stewart. All before a hugely successful career with The Strawbs, Yes and then his solo work. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and Carol King songsmith who created Tapestry, both laboured as session musicians. I have always admired craftsmen and women. To develop your skills, however talented you are, it takes time, blood, sweat and tears. In an age of AI and multiple careers work on your craft, keep learning. What are some of the lessons of life-long learning?

My most painful lesson

Not long after becoming a salesman and seeing the marketing director on stage, I wanted to be him, do his job. When I achieved that, it was great, but the painful lesson was afterwards. Running our own consultancy: when out of corporate life, business owners would ask me as a marketing expert to do “stuff”. I felt I was found wanting. I had climbed the corporate ladder and forgotten or in fact never learnt the detail to a level I was happy with. So, I had to learn quickly. Fortunately, with Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) resources, and hard work, I did so. Things like digital skills. When you run your own business, you must make things work. As a marketer, you get a depth and breadth of learning you miss in larger organisations. However, with the larger organisations I still work with, this maintains that strategic insight. So now I have the best of both worlds: a depth and breadth.

Some things don’t change

Despite all the talk about automation, multiple careers, increased competition, and challenges caused by online making businesses making commerce faster and easier to set-up, many things do not change. With experience, patterns emerge repeatedly. The key issue with project failure for example being that it is usually down to people. Poor communications: bad briefs, teamwork, or vested interest.

It’s You First

You. I have come to admire Andy Murray. I love tennis. Roger Federer is my favourite, but I do admire Andy Murray. One thing I notice with him is his note-keeping, his private notes to himself. I am a great note writer and list writer. If I had to write one word above all others, most days, it would be, “you”. It covers a multitude of sins (so to speak)! First, remember to ask the other person i.e. “you” about them. Don’t talk about “myself”. When you walk along and overhear a conversation how often are people talking about themselves! Ask questions and you learn and benefit. It’s great for business and you feel great having done it. The other aspect of you, is that in business, your business or team cannot function well if you are not effective. Don’t blame the business, look at yourself. A little like the recent election disaster for Theresa May. It was you Theresa…not them.

Keep fit in mind

As I said, it takes time to develop your skills, however talented you are, it takes time, blood, sweat and tears. In an age of AI and multiple careers work on your craft, keep learning. I recommend using tools such as notebooks, I use OneNote, Evernote, actual notebooks, talk and listen to trusted friends and keep changing. It hurts but like keeping fit, it’s good for you and business!

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

Peter Eales Chartered Marketer CIM

Why be a CIM Chartered Marketer what are the benefits?

In an online age when you can grab content such as videos and answers from Google immediately from the internet, is there still value in professional bodies? Specifically, in marketing, and for marketers, why be a CIM Chartered Marketer what are the benefits? It is that CIM membership enables members to better seize market opportunities and manage risks. I joined when I left corporate life to set up our own business, to ensure I stayed up-to-date with the very latest in marketing. And to network with other marketers. Subsequently I became active in the branches, was a Branch and Regional Chair, and now am a Chartered Marketer and Fellow. The answer then to the question I posed is: why be a CIM Chartered Marketer what are the benefits? It is that CIM membership enables members to better seize market opportunities and manage risks. We can grow business and protect our own and clients’ organisations as we remain professional, effective, up-to-date and compliant.

The Benefits of CIM

I think they include the following which is not an exhaustive list!

Chartered Marketer status – recognises those marketers achieving the highest level in our profession – more
Events and Networking opportunitiesview
CIM Sector Interest Groups SIGs
CIM Regions to service you locally
CIM International networks
CIM mentoring – Boost your professional development. Empower and guide fellow marketers.
CIM exchange content hub – latest ideas, thinking and insights created and curated by CIM, the world’s largest community of marketers
CIM webinars – practical marketing knowledge for your day-to-day marketing
CIM marketing expert – a guide to effective marketing
CIM resources – including bookshop and Chartered Marketers directory
Professional recognition – professional recognition as a CIM member through designatory letters on your business cards and email sign-off membership types
CPD – to remain professional, effective, up-to-date and compliant.
Discounts – As a member of CIM, you can get up to 20% off from our marketing bookshop; up to 10% on training courses; and discounted rates on the Committee of Advertising Practice’s online training programmes, as well as meetings, conferences and events at Moor Hall Conference Centre.
Legal Helpline – Expert legal advice on business, employment and personal issues provided by the UK’s leading legal advice specialists
Professional Liability Insurance  – Exclusive rates are available to help protect your company in the event of claims relating to alleged negligence, errors or omissions
Market Research Resources – extensive resources from the library and online databases – view

This is just a flavour….

You get out what you put in to any organisation. Why be a CIM Chartered Marketer what are the benefits? It is that CIM membership enables members to better seize market opportunities and manage risks. The CIM has top experts, academic, professional, corporate, SME, disruptors, not-for-profit, UK and international. It has critics and it has plaudits. But my view is, that if you have an issue, or criticism, do something about it and get involved. Chris Daly CEO of the CIM has always been very willing to listen and respond to opinions. I am a Fellow at the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing too. This is also a very useful organisation with excellent resources. More on various marketing societies and institutes here.

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited