Blog

business resource planning and you

business resource planning and you

When I work with early-stage businesses, I am massively aware of the limited resources available. And I don’t mean money, I mean the founder. There’s usually only one of them and they are usually up to their eyeballs in it. And for the majority it’s shit or bust time...

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Business and Wellbeing

Business and Wellbeing

I don’t send emails.I don’t do meetings after 1pm. They are the base level rules I live by at Clear Ideas I mean of course I send emails.And of course I do meetings after 1pm. But I have to really make sure they are purposeful interactions and don’t compromise my...

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consider your business niche

consider your business niche

Anyone reading this into BTS?Anyone reading this know they are one of the biggest teen bands in the world right now?Nope me neither.They have generated a staggering, 27 billion streams on Spotify, so how can you not of heard of them?!?!Because the product is not...

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#StartUp Grind event

#StartUp Grind event

You've probably heard the following words rattled around in the media and your general reading: Web 3, NFT, crypto, DOA, blockchain, decentralised data architecture, etc. But what the bloody hell do they mean? What is this crazy talk? And what are the implications of...

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What matters to you in business?

What matters to you in business?

This is just the best! What an amazing start to the day. A gift from one of my clients, completely out of the blue and unexpected! I set Clear Ideas up as a reaction to my 16 years in high turnover business. I was done with smashing the millions in the company bank...

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Decisions decisions decisions

Decisions decisions decisions

Anyone get absolutely worn-out making decisions all day? That’s not surprising. We make around 35,000 of the bloody things from the minute we rise to the minute we rest. And that’s just the basic life stuff, not the business stuff. And of course, a business can’t make...

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Space travel and business investment

Space travel and business investment

Anyone know that the laptop you are probably gawping at now was realised by adapting technology to fit onboard the Apollo spacecraft? Nope me neither. Wireless headphones, artificial limbs, memory foam, the camera phone – all there because of the quest to investigate...

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Business and mental health

Business and mental health

This is Kim. He’s taking a 30 minute nap, cos he’s completely knackered. And instead of cracking on and pretending he’s not, he’s called it and is catching some zzzzs.Right by where I am working. Kim is an entrepreneur, but you would never catch him calling himself...

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Business dynamics

Business dynamics

Are you running your SME as a duo? Good for you! It can be really fun, exciting and rewarding as you learn, achieve and enjoy the wins together – especially when you get along. You might even be friends with a shared passion and vision. But what if it doesn’t feel...

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Clear Ideas Values Workshop

Clear Ideas Values Workshop

I spent a FANTASTIC afternoon working with The Business Creative team on developing and understanding their values! Values guide the way we do business; they sum up what a business stands for and drive how and why you do things – seriously important, especially if you...

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A Letter About Sales

A Letter About Sales

Eventually you come up against the sales word. Ouch.Here's an email I sent to an incredible creative duo that I consult with, can you relate?Hi xxxxxSo onto the subject of sales……….We have to start putting a sales activity into our weekly schedule..And as...

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The Clear Ideas Process Pt 1

The Clear Ideas Process Pt 1

When I start work with a new client, there’s always the same energy involved. They’re keen as mustard and immediately want a to-do list and an action plan. They’re desperate to forge ahead. Anyone hoping for the old ‘Quick Wins’ angle on this process, however, need...

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No Lie: Your New Business Will Look Really Erratic

No Lie: Your New Business Will Look Really Erratic

I often compare a new business journey to that classic scene in a film where they use a lie detector test machine. You know, where the needle is going up and down like the clappers and beads of sweat appear on the brow of the person being interrogated. Your new biz...

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Real World Business Experience Wins Everytime

Real World Business Experience Wins Everytime

So, Vic Hogg my favourite business conspirator invited me to the Start Up Grind, Founding in Your Fifties, Fireside Chat with Sue Nelson (cor that was a mouthful). Located at the ever-reliable Platf9rm Hove site and hosted by the ever-reliable, Kristina and Sophie we...

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How Close Are You To Your Customer?

How Close Are You To Your Customer?

Success is a funny thing. If you’re not careful it takes you further away from the person that got you there in the first place - the customer.  The business grows, you build infrastructure, develop teams and processes. Ultimately, you end up putting a lot of...

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Is Your SME As Good As It Can Be?

Is Your SME As Good As It Can Be?

Time to get your guiding principles for your business in order. Read the books, they’ll all say the same thing: a business needs a direction and a destination. Short term, long term… whatever. Just make sure you’ve got a clear track in sight and in mind. Many people...

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Go For The Business Gap. 

Go For The Business Gap. 

When You’re On Top of Your Game, Change Your Game. New Zealand’s All Blacks are the world’s most successful sporting team. The stats are incredible. Google it; let your eyes widen in awe. How do these gods of rugby do it? They work together towards a common purpose:...

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Why You Must Always Prime Your Business For Sale

Why You Must Always Prime Your Business For Sale

Depending on where you are sitting right now, this might sound like crazy talk, but by keeping this in mind it’ll make you a whole lot more professional. As any accountant worth their salt will tell you, priming your business for sale – even when it’s very early days...

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Let My People Go Surfing – Yvon Chouinard

Let My People Go Surfing – Yvon Chouinard

I feel a bit embarrassed it has taken me so long to read this book. And not just getting round to it; it wasn’t even on my radar. That, compounded by the fact that I have ploughed through many a business tome over the years, made me ask what the hell I had been...

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Your Business Language is Numbers

Your Business Language is Numbers

Become fluent and your company will fly Despite what many business owners might fear, numbers don’t need to be complicated. So why do so many start-ups founders shy away from this area? It can sometimes start here, with... Fractions, equations, variables,...

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Shut Up And Launch!

Shut Up And Launch!

If you’re an SME still sitting in the station, maybe it’s time to hit the ‘f*ck-it’ button. I remember so clearly the day I came up with my idea for my consultancy business: Clear Ideas. As soon as I had, I talked about it non-stop to anyone who would listen....

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What Kept This Business Owner Up At Night?

What Kept This Business Owner Up At Night?

What used to keep me awake at night? GP% depreciation. No, wait! Come back… It was the bane of my life and of my sleep. It was the only metric I really cared about. And it was going down – perfectly in line with an increase in revenue. I was losing control of the tail...

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Importance Of A Business Plan: Part Two

Importance Of A Business Plan: Part Two

Externalise Your Intention, Achieve Your Goal I’ve explained previously how crucial it is to have a written plan for your business. I’d like to share with you a checklist I give all my start-up clients. As I said: writing a business plan saves untold wasted hours,...

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Pros And Cons Of Owning A Lifestyle Company In A Pandemic

Pros And Cons Of Owning A Lifestyle Company In A Pandemic

The trouble with running a business through a pandemic is that no-one hands you a blueprint for success. There simply isn’t one. Pre-Covid, as you know, I was part of an insanely successful lifestyle biz, organising stag and hen parties. As with any enterprise, there...

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Thank You: The Simplest Two Words For Engagement

Thank You: The Simplest Two Words For Engagement

“Thank you!” Followed by a couple of hundred words that were completely relevant to them and the year that had passed. We had 40 employees at this point so it took some time and a fair bit of preparation (365 days of listening actually). I wanted the team to know that...

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The Forward-Thinking Mindset For Business Strategy

The Forward-Thinking Mindset For Business Strategy

“How’s Clear Ideas going Nick?” “It’s going well, I am just working out what the first person I take on will be doing” “Bloody hell that’s great, you're taking someone on already?!?” “Actually no, but if I don’t start working it out, it will never happen, and I'll be...

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Communication In Business: The Pub Bore

Communication In Business: The Pub Bore

Don’t be the pub bore in your own business meetings! Here’s how to cut to the chaser We’ve all been in those meetings that have, at the top of the agenda, the speaker’s apparent determination to slowly but surely bore us all to death. It can be soul-crushing,...

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Find Your Business Tribe and Thrive

Find Your Business Tribe and Thrive

Why Self-Care and Community are as Important as Profit and Professionalism When was the last time you had a quiet beer and a proper chat with some business pals or peers that own similar-sized enterprises to yours? If it was within the last four months, I salute you....

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Communicate Your Business Standards To Your Team

Communicate Your Business Standards To Your Team

Make Small Adjustments And It’ll Make All The Difference I went to a new lunch place the other week. For the record, I’m a creature of habit. If anyone took a contract out on me, they’d get to knock off early! I tend to be in the same place, same time, every day. Last...

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Seven Ways New Recruits Bring Wisdom

Seven Ways New Recruits Bring Wisdom

Sometimes You Find Guidance In The Greenest Recruit 1. Ask for help Kid Wisdom: My boy asked me for help with his shoes the other day and it struck me how open and honest he is. There was no guile or shame. Nick: Building a network at my coworking space has been an...

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How Covid Made The Lifestyle Sector Grow Up

How Covid Made The Lifestyle Sector Grow Up

You And Your Business Is A Marriage… Will The Pandemic Spell D.I.V.O.R.C.E.? Lifestyle choices are, ideally, uplifting. From jogging to journaling to Jägerbombs, they’re positive commitments you make to yourself and connections you make with your family and friends....

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Business Strategy By A Business Consultant

Business Strategy By A Business Consultant

Make Time for the Long Game In my role as a business consultant, I find myself sitting in front of brilliant people who want to progress their business to the next stage but who’ve hit a roadblock. It’s tough and sometimes disheartening but they’ve recognised it and...

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Business Success Attracts Haters: Ignore Them

Business Success Attracts Haters: Ignore Them

How Hophead’s Good Luck Attracted a Bad Attitude “Do you have Hophead, please, mate?”The small Brighton pub was packed; I was shouting.The barman yelled back, surprised: “Hophead?! No, mate. We haven’t stocked Hophead in ages!”“Oh, shame!” I replied. “They were local,...

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Ditch Your Toxic Leadership Style: Get Vulnerable

Ditch Your Toxic Leadership Style: Get Vulnerable

“How would I describe working for you, Nick? It’s like standing next to the back legs of a horse all day: exciting but mildly terrifying.” A few years back, one of my employees, Rich, said this to me at the office. We were in a meeting at the time and I thought it was...

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Business Growth Mindset: Risks and Rewards

Business Growth Mindset: Risks and Rewards

Will Your Confidence Expand as Fast as Your Company? I’m always proud that the lifestyle party business that I ran for a decade made the UK Fast Track 100 for two consecutive years. The growth was stratospheric, but with big growth comes big responsibility. I...

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How We Won Lastminute.com

How We Won Lastminute.com

(No thanks to me) Let me tell you about one of my most humiliating business meetings.  It was the early Noughties and from where my leisure business was sitting, the biggest affiliate we could align with was Lastminute.com. Lastminute.com was one of the earlier...

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Seven Tips When Onboarding Recruits

Seven Tips When Onboarding Recruits

*Number three is ‘Be Patient’ In Start-Up World, new recruits can create a bad impression or veer off course fast. They’ll be keen to get going and show off: to make a difference ASAP. Your job? Encourage them to chill out. Because no-one can make a first impression...

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Added Value and the Gratitude Tree

Added Value and the Gratitude Tree

When a business owner brings everything to the daily table, they’re like a world-class chef Remember I told you my dentist is the best businessman I know? I found a contender. Richardson Road in Hove is a secret shopping oasis in residential Hove. It’s a tiny street,...

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Why Do You Need A Business Consultant?

Why Do You Need A Business Consultant?

Before we answer ‘What IS a business consultant?’, let’s be clear on why you might need one.  After all, if you’re reading this, you’re probably already happily on your business path and doing quite well, thanks very much, Nick. Fair point. Why the heck would you need...

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The Magic Formula For Business Success

The Magic Formula For Business Success

What’s The Secret That Will Carry You to Victory? Ahhh… business. We love it. A living, abstract machine with endless, moving, interlinked parts which, when primed correctly, will magically sing and whirr like a thing of beauty – and, with a bit of luck, occasionally...

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My Dentist Is The Best Businessman I Know

My Dentist Is The Best Businessman I Know

My dentist is called Rishi. He’s the best businessman I know. My dentist, Rishi, being rad. At face value, he's a legit-looking guy at a typical dental practice. When you meet him, though, you realise he's something a bit special. He’s on point. He’s someone I want to...

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Your Start-Up Needs You To ‘Wing It’

Your Start-Up Needs You To ‘Wing It’

Working on the fly It's a vital part of business; don’t pretend it isn’t! Everyone wings it. Individually we call it a million different things, including ‘being flexible’ or ‘improvisation’ or ‘putting a finger in the air’. Let’s call it ‘winging it’ for now. Sounds...

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17 Tips To Build A Strong Business

17 Tips To Build A Strong Business

How To Build Your Brand Brick By Brick I’d never really thought about my Dad being a businessman until I started Clear Ideas and began writing about my work philosophy. My old man was a successful builder. It’s only now I can see how much his commitment to his career...

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You Overtalk In Meetings And It’s A Problem

You Overtalk In Meetings And It’s A Problem

Don’t Hold Your Audience Hostage With Your Waffle Gun: LISTEN! Waffle (British): To speak or write at length in a vague or trivial manner Waffle (US): To fail to make up one’s mind So many people in business waffle on – in both the British and the American sense (as...

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The Importance Of A Business Plan: Part One

The Importance Of A Business Plan: Part One

The thrill of starting a business is often followed by a tough reality check. Pre-launch, you have a great business idea. You scurry around, busy AF, bringing it to life. It’s all-consuming and never-ending and you burn bright with a million ideas. Anything is...

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Why Listening Is The Number One Skill In Business

Why Listening Is The Number One Skill In Business

Yesterday was World Teacher Day, which got me thinking. Teachers after all, famously impart knowledge; for the most part, they speak and we listen. Type ‘famous orators’ into Google and you’ll find a million mentions, from Pericles to Nelson Mandela to Greta Thunberg....

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