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Business Development

Developing a business means identifying growth opportunities and getting your sales strategy right. Here we bring together some of the best business writing on a range of topics, including hiring talent, managing client relationships and winning new business.

Replace corporate training with career coaching

Do your corporate training programmes actually improve the performance of your company? Daniel Dowling, writing for Fast Company, argues that in-house career coaching is a much more effective approach.

To make employees want to learn and perform better, help them prioritise self-improvement as an essential part of their lifestyle – both within and outside work. 

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Start working ‘on’ your business, rather than ‘in’ it

Could you give up being the main driver and discover a more productive role in the company you created?

There comes a time when this fundamental shift will be the best way to keep your business growing, says Jim Krampen, Seven Corners Inc co-founder and executive officer, writing for Entrepreneur.

Break the talent curse

John Kirby

Being singled out as a “future leader” and placed on the fast-track to the top of an organisation’s food chain does not always work out well for talented individuals.

The first step on the journey to overcoming the talent curse is to spot when it has taken hold.

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How to prosper in the Now Economy

Sonja Langford

In the “Now Economy,” in which speed is king, companies must learn to think, move and respond faster without sacrificing service standards.

The success of Amazon Prime, Spotify and Uber, not to mention social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, suggests that modern consumers expect both communication and service to be as fast as possible.

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How to achieve corporate longevity

The secret to staying the distance lies in your company’s ability to simultaneously exploit existing markets while exploring new ones.

When digital photography threatened celluloid film, Fujifilm managed this tricky balancing act while Kodak went bust.

Don’t leave your firm vulnerable to market disruption. Discover the the key to your firm’s long-term prosperity.

Six ways to pivot your business for profit

Most startups need an early course correction. 

Facebook started out as a dating site. YouTube began with the same intention. Yet both evolved into something more ambitious – once they changed course.

Early “pivots” are not only normal, but they are also key to growth. Here are six of the best ways to pivot for profit.

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Don’t just lead your industry – dominate it

Competitive advantage is shifting, say Thomas N. Hubbard, Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi, writing for Strategy+Business. The new industry leaders are leaner and more focused than their predecessors. They are the “supercompetitors”.

The lessons leaders everywhere can learn from Chinese companies

Chinese companies can teach the West responsiveness, flexibility, improvisation and speed, say Thomas Hout and David Michael, writing for the Harvard Business Review.

How to plan for the long term and the short term at the same time

Is it possible to invest in tomorrow without damaging performance today? Ken Favaro, writing for Strategy+Business, looks at short-term/long-term tension and how to get over it.

How to thrive in a slow-growth industry

Weak markets are not a valid excuse for a company’s slow growth, write Kasturi Rangan and Evan Hirsh for Strategy+Business. With the right market proposition, you can achieve success, no matter what state your industry is in.

How can you be a more effective manager in times of disruption?

On Forbes.com, Chunka Mui highlights some lessons on managing in times of disruption.

The author observes: "One important insight is that, as bosses' responsibilities and compensation grow, they become ever more dependent on people and factors beyond their control.

Eight tips for your CEO job interview

How should you prepare if you’re going to be interviewed for an executive role? Early careerists get plenty of interview advice, but those at the top are left to their own devices, writes Jane Rankin for Management Today.

The author lists eight ways you can prepare for that all-important leadership role interview.

Is it time to reinvent your brand?

According to Lynn Russo Whylly, writing for ChiefExecutive.net, ignoring or missing a major consumer trend or behavioural shift can seriously damage a brand’s chances of survival.

Some big-name brands have endured by learning how to reinvent themselves, such as IBM, Apple and McDonald’s.

Want to start your own business? Don’t quit your day job just yet

You have a good career that pays well, but you want to strike out on your own. Should you quit your day job to pursue your dream? Well, not just yet, advise Lolly Daskal, Leo Widrich and Elizabeth Gore, writing for Fast Company.

Six startup mistakes that will damage your profits

All entrepreneurs make at least one expensive mistake when setting up a new business, says Lorie A. Parch writing for Entrepreneur.com. It’s “the Murphy’s Law of startups”, she explains.

But some mistakes are so costly they can sink a cash-strapped new company. The author talks to entrepreneurs and experts about the most common startup errors.

How to defeat your rivals in a price war

Competing on the basis of low prices is commonplace. But price wars are more than just trying to get an edge, observes Patrick Reinmoeller, writing for MIT Sloan Management Review.

Winning new customers: your four-step strategy

Understanding how consumers make purchasing decisions will help your company win more customers and beat the competition, says Niraj Dawar, writing for Strategy+Business. The author provides a four-step marketing strategy, and it starts with getting to know your consideration set.

Eight pre-launch questions that tech-entrepreneurs need to ask

Are you a tech-entrepreneur preparing for a launch? You might be eager to get your product off the ground, but Brandon Watts, writing for Entrepreneur.com, believes it’s important to slow down, take a deep breath and make sure you’re really ready to launch.

Tips on structuring your startup the right way

Writing for Strategy+Business, Eric J. McNulty discusses the importance of structuring your new company the right way. Drawing inspiration from Derek Lidow’s book Startup Leadership, McNulty offers the following tips:

The top ten mistakes to avoid when setting up an online business

Whatever kind of enterprise you’re launching, an online aspect of your business is essential nowadays. Even if you aren’t actually selling online, a web presence is a must for promoting your company.

As John Rampton points out, writing for Forbes.com, there’s more to going online than just building a website and a social media account.

The foundations of freelance success

There are popular images of entrepreneurs – such as a startup founder, someone running a franchise or a veteran business owner.

However, one type of entrepreneur not often considered is a freelancer, observes Jon Salm, writing for Entrepreneur.com.

The author shares some tips for entrepreneurs looking to build a freelance career:

How to grow without spending more

There is an expectation of everyone in business to do more with less these days, observes Gregory Kennedy, writing for Entrepreneur.com.

With that in mind, Kennedy offers five tips for growing your business without adding more overhead:

Five ways consultants get it wrong for your business

Every business leader needs help at some time in their career. A view from an outsider can throw a new light on a tricky problem, and the right consultant can mean the difference between success and failure.

How to get results from your leadership development initiatives

Despite the time and money organisations devote to improving the capabilities of managers and nurturing new leaders, a survey by a UK business school reveals that only 7% of senior managers believe their companies develop global leaders effectively.

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