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Innovate to unlock your growth | Issue #199

Why you need product marketing people to turbocharge your business growth

Does your company tend to copy competitors? Maybe you piggyback on the tech that others have developed? That’s not unusual. We see this in many of the client businesses that we coach.

That’s all well and good, but if you want to grow fast, you need to differentiate. Last week’s blog explored the need for focus and depth on attributes. It’s so important to get under the skin of your core customers. And I mean, really get under their skin to understand their problem and how you can solve it uniquely. This is about building expertise to generate a higher margin than your competitors. If you have one, your competitive advantage will be reflected in these higher net margins over time.

Once you’ve done this, you need product marketers to create bespoke services or products that have your core customer at their heart. This is how you unlock powerful growth.

How to Launch into the US as a European Tech Business with Daniel Glazer

If you’re thinking about targeting the US market with your startup or to scale up business, do you have a US expansion plan? Don’t miss Daniel Glazer, an American technology lawyer and strategic business adviser, and founding partner of Wilson Sonsini’s London office on this episode. 

If you’re confused as to why you would need legal support so early in the process, Daniel explains the difference between hiring a lawyer in the UK and hiring a lawyer in the US, in particular why having lawyers attached to companies is a much more strategic decision in the early life of a US business. 

But mostly what Daniel talks about in this latest episode of The Melting Pot is US expansion – M&A, moving your HQ to the US, raising money in the US, or wanting to do an IPO on one of the stock exchanges in North America. 

Honestly, nobody knows more about how to launch into the US as a European technology business than Daniel. So if the US is where you’re heading, download and listen to this episode.

Lead With Your Brand

Last week I joined Jayzen Patria for a conversation on his podcast. We talked about how I started my career and how I became a business coach helping entrepreneurs and purpose-led, fast-growing businesses succeed.

How the best labs manage talent

Top-quartile academic labs are five times more productive than bottom-quartile ones. Similar differences exist among industrial labs. Yet many research institutions don’t understand how well they are doing, because the people who work there wildly overestimate their own performance: in our survey, 12 percent of them suppose that their own lab is in the top 1 per cent, and 70 percent think it is at least in the top 25 percent.

Why Every Leader Needs to Worry About Toxic Culture

Toxic culture, as we reported in a recent article, was the single best predictor of attrition during the first six months of the Great Resignation — 10 times more powerful than how employees viewed their compensation in predicting employee turnover.

Building a mission-driven business

Although operating a mission-driven business may feel like a commitment to an idealistic “sentiment,” mission-driven companies have been proven to drive more business. According to a Gallup study, “a strong mission promotes brand differentiation, consumer passion, and brand engagement.”

How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work

Why is the gap so great between our hopes, our intentions, even our decisions and what we are actually able to bring about? Even when we are able to make important changes in our own lives or the groups we lead at work why are the changes are so frequently short-lived and we are soon back to business as usual? What can we do to transform this troubling reality? In this intensely practical book, Harvard psychologists Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey take us on a carefully guided journey designed to help us answer these very questions. And not just generally or in the abstract. They help each of us arrive at our own particular answers that can solve the puzzling gap between what we intend and what we are able to accomplish. How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work provides you with the tools to create a powerful new build-it-yourself mental technology.

Buyable by Steve Preda

A buyable business is a company that others want to buy. The point is not selling it, but turning it into a valuable asset. In reality, 85% of the 1,700,000 US businesses employing 10-250 people never become buyable (i.e., viable). They end up being out of business in less than 10 years. This book gives you an A-to-Z roadmap to avoid that fate, and create a business that is valuable and in many cases fun to run, and worth keeping. Specifically, Buyable walks you through the steps of creating a business that is self-managing, fast-growing and highly profitable.


Introduce invoices for standing time

Have you heard about the concept of standing time? This is charging clients when your team can’t deliver anything because they’re waiting for something from them.  

Often, people do fixed-time contracts – or even time and materials contracts – and there’s a point during the delivery when you’re waiting for the client to get back to you. When you write a contract, make sure you’re specific about what’s needed from the client or the penalties.  

Invoicing for standing time has been very useful for a number of our clients. In the last two weeks, a client has hired a team to deliver a project, but their client hasn’t sent a purchase order. So, they’re going to send them an invoice for standing time. This will either get paid, force them to get the purchase order or force them to cancel the contract. Either way, they’ll know something that they don’t know now.

Upcoming events

Business Strategy Online Course – Harvard Business School

Business Strategy is an online course that enables anyone to think and act strategically. You’ll learn an effective, easy-to-grasp framework that some of the world’s best companies use to create value and achieve outstanding financial performance.

Taught by Professor Feliz Oberholzer-Gee, the Business Strategy features six weeks of content and weekly exercises, enabling the opportunity to put learning into practice. Participants will learn how to evaluate trade-offs and align, prioritize, and formulate strategic initiatives for the greatest business impact. 

Quote of the week

“Business has only two basic functions – Marketing and Innovation.”

Peter Drucker

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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    Sign up today and get your copy of F**K PLAN B: How to scale your technology business faster and achieve Plan A, the book that will change your business and your life.

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