Author: Andrew Griffiths
Publisher: Diamond Publishing
Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi
Andrew Griffiths, the author of this book entitled “Secrets to Building a Winning Business” is a professional marketing consultant, as well as a director of an Australian company called The Marketing Professionals. Griffiths is an accomplished trainer and a reputable public speaker. He specialises in trouble-shooting for companies that are in dire need of professional advice.
According to this author, whatever your business interest or level is, this book is packed with tips on how to run your business and build it up. Griffiths suggests a range of actions that you can take to turn your bright idea into a winning and money-making business. He adds that the actions he suggests are easy to implement, fast, practical and they will not break the bank.
This author says taking on board even a handful of the actions suggested in this book will lead you down the path to building a winning business. According to Griffiths, why do some businesses struggle or even go under, while others go through the roof? He says the answer is “It’s not what you’re selling, it’s how you’re running the show”.
According to this marketing consultant, if you have started your own business, you are well and truly an entrepreneur and this manual has been written specifically for you. He asserts you may be a budding entrepreneur planning to start a business or you may be a seasoned veteran entrepreneur just making sure you have not missed anything. Being an entrepreneur is scary, exciting, wonderfully rewarding and incredibly challenging, all in the same breadth, submits Griffiths. He however says if it is in your blood, it is hard to get it out. Griffiths adds that as an entrepreneur, you will be more aware than the average person in the street that the better skills and advice you get, the greater your chances of entrepreneurial success.
Structure-wise, this book is segmented into 11 basic sections of 101 tips, in addition to a bonus section containing 20 tips. Section one is generically christened “Start with an impressive corporate image” and contains ten tips. Here, Griffiths asks if your business name tells the right story and if you have a logo. He stresses that if you do, it should be the right one. He asks what your tag line is and says you need consistency and the power of branding.
Griffiths asks if you have a good corporate colour and the person that controls your corporate image. He says there comes a time when you need to review your corporate image. Griffiths adds that corporate imaging in advertising is key. According to this author, you need to ensure that your team understand your corporate philosophy. He says size does not matter.
Section two of this book has a summary subject matter of building strong relationships, and contains five tips, that is, tips 11 to 15. According to this consultant here, “To succeed in business you are going to need to build strong relationships with a lot of different people. These relationships will help your business grow, they may help you through difficult times and they will also bring a lot of enjoyment to your business life. Like any relationship, they need to be built over time and with mutual trust.”
Griffiths says a very distinct observation he has made of successful businesses is that the owners are generally very good at building relationships with everyone they deal with. According to this author, “Good suppliers are an important part of the overall running of a successful business. Having a strong relationship with them is important and a good start will help the relationship grow in a positive manner. When setting up accounts with suppliers it is very likely they will want to do a check on your business to make sure you are able to pay their bills.”
Griffiths advises you to take the time to get to know the people you want to build relationships with. He adds that loose lips sink ships and sometimes businesses. This author says you should never let a long-term relationship be destroyed over a petty issue.
Sections three to seven of this text are based on the generic concepts of making sure the foundation of your business is strong; having absolute commitment to your customers; making your workplace unbelievable; marketing on a tight budget; and success of your job as being central to your success. These sections cover tips 16 to 60.
Section eight is summarily entitled “Question everything –constantly”, and contains ten tips, that is, tips 61 to 70. According to Griffiths here, “Having an open and inquisitive mind is probably the most powerful asset any budding entrepreneur can have. Business is not static these days, it is changing constantly, it is exciting, it is challenging and we all need to be striving to keep up and hopefully lead the way in this environment.”
This consultant says without this, there is no point asking questions. Griffiths advises you to question your business partners and ask them to be honest. He says you should walk around your business and really look at everything and go to successful businesses and find out why they are successful. He says you should not be afraid to be a manager though sometimes it is tough.
In sections nine to 11, Griffiths examines concepts such as becoming the ultimate corporate citizen; making yourself as impressive as your business; and setting the pace for your competitors to follow. These sections cover tips 71 to 101. According to him, “As business owners and entrepreneurs we make our living from the community where we live and work. I believe very strongly that it is important to give as much back to your community as you can.”
Griffiths reflects that to become the ultimate corporate citizen, you need to be involved in the community where you do business; look for opportunities outside of the normal; encourage your staff to be good corporate citizens, etc.
Apart from these 11 basic sections, there is a bonus section containing additional 20 business-building tips. Here, Griffiths says you should be one hundred per cent clear about what it costs to run your business. He adds that without cash you are doomed. He stresses that you should not stop marketing when business is good; embrace delegation; stay focused; and never be afraid to put a proposal to someone.
Conceptually, this book is commendably rich. It is indeed a product of deep research.
Stylistically, this book is a success. The language is simple and the presentation very unique. By segmenting the multiplicity of tips offered in this into 11 basic sections and addition one bonus section, with each beginning with a précis message, Griffiths has been able to arrest the boredom that might have attended this kind of book with many segments. He adds action and brainstorming pages at the end of each section to arouse readers’ active participation and practical application of the tips offered. He also uses rhetorical questions to arouse interest.
If your desire is to build your business to a successful level, you cannot afford to ignore this book. It is a must-read.
GOKE ILESANMI (FIIM, FIMC, CMC), CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Professional Public Speaker, Career Mgt Coach and Certified Mgt Consultant. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant.
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