Chocolate Fondant shows slow sells.

“I want it done yesterday”. Various Management people.

But did they want it done so quickly?

When a small business starts out they think that they are Amazon Prime.For some products and services that is possibly the truth but for most of us we have to learn how to manage expectations.

The brain only registers two speeds which are: faster than expected and slower than expected.

Customers sometimes like things taking a little bit longer because it conveys both quality and attention to detail such as a Chocolate Fondant.

What does a Chocolate Fondant have to do with it?

Apart from giving various Amateur  (Professional) chefs on Masterchef.The Chocolate Fondant is a dessert that has a hard exterior and a moist centre.It requires skill,concentration and must be cooked to order. It is usually served at a higher price point place.The diner is also charged a premium.

On a menu, it will say:

“This will take 20 minutes to prepare”.

The Best thing about this little warning is that the customer is no longer clockwatching. They have the expectation of this wait and might order another glass of wine.

When the Fondant is finally ready, the customer gets a bit of theatre with their meal.This will be shared on social media where they can show off to their friends.

High street venues have given into our love of speed.They have central kitchens where all the food is prepared. Customers are now wise to this practice and are avoiding these places because service and food are both underwhelming.

Although the new customer of 2018 loves speed of Amazon deliveries, they also appreciate a slow and measures approach to things.

It is time to find your Chocolate Fondant!



The Left Side Problem

Does anybody remember the left side problem of the England Football Team in the early 2000s?

Now the right of midfield was covered by David Beckham whose service and delivery to the strikers was incredibly good.

However the left was a problem for England.Or so they thought.

The media,the football management and the fans were convinced  that the England Football Team needed a left sided midfielder (preferably with a left foot).

They tried many people within that position.These included:

•Paul Scholes who was one of the best central midfielders of his generation.

•Emile Heskey who was a good striker with raw power.

•Alan Thompson because he had a left foot.

•Jason Wilcox from Leeds.

It turned out that there was not a left sided problem.There was a formation problem.

The idea that the football management did not consider was that they should create a system around the personnel not the other way round.

The Powers at be at the F.A were bedded to their system of 4:4:2 that they had not considered any other system that could have accommodated these talented players.

According to Elon Musk,you have to not use systems before but you have to create a completely new system.The England Football team could have learned from this mantra.

When it comes to business,we can be shackled by a system that had a moderate amount of success in the past but is no longer fit for purpose.




The customer is not always right!

IMG_20180308_211013_466.jpgThere is that phrase that age old adage that the “customer is always right”.I believe that this is not only wrong but could be dangerous for most businesses.

Yesterday,I went for a pot of tea at a place called Birdhouse Tea Studio in Sheffield.I was told explicitly that when the timer is finished to take the brew basket out of the tea pot.

I took a photo on posted it to Instagram and took a sip of my tea.It started off pleasant and then I poured a bit more tea from the pot and it was starting to taste bitter.

Initially I thought it was my palate.

However a member of staff said:

“By looking at the colour of your tea,it seems like you forgot to take the brew basket out”.

Oops I thought! Definitely a schoolboy error.

The staff member kindly made me a fresh pot of tea because my tea experience was sub-par. They didn’t make me feel stupid.

The new knowledge I had meant that I enjoyed my second cup of tea.

Imagine if they had listened to that age old adage of “The Customer is right”?I would have been left with a bad experience.However,they used it as a great educational experience.The best sales people are great educators.

Three things I got from this experience:

*A person could look like they know what they are doing but they might not.
*Education of a new concept doesn’t have to be humiliating.
*Guide the customer.

For me:

*Listen to all instructions

Now off to make myself a pot of tea.

“Get on Stage”.

On the 2nd February 2018 I did something incredible.

This was to speak at my local networking meeting called 4Networking about “How one month in Zambia changed my vision!”.

At School I used to have a speech impediment which made me shy of reading aloud let alone Public Speaking. Therefore I tended to avoid anything to do with Public Speaking until a  year ago.

A year ago I started my journey in the world of self-employment.Self-Employment in the 21st Century requires you to put yourself out to the world.This means doing: video,business presentations and pitching.

Through my Personal Development Group called The Now What Club run by 4 Networking Founder Brad Burton I to the first steps in public speaking by doing personal videos on Social Media.

Speaking to a Phone and uploading it on to social media gave me the opportunity to gain confidence and hone my pitch.

As I started to upload short videos I stopped restraining my personality and that built up my confidence

After a couple of months of doing videos, I decided to put myself forward to do a 4sight presentation at my local networking group in Retford. I also decided that there is no better marketing opportunity that to get up on stage.

Was I ready? Of course not.

However in order to grow,sometimes you have to commit to a goal before you are ready.

I committed to doing this presentation on the 2nd February and I practiced in front of my African mother (who is one of my greatest supporters but also very honest).

The day finally came and  guess what?

It went well!

I really enjoyed it

Was it perfect? No,it wasn’t but if I waited for it to be perfect I would not have done it.

I believe that when you want to do something,you have to make a commitment to yourself in order to make a change in your life.

Four Tips I have learned from this:

1.Decide what you want to do.

2.Put a date to it.

3.Make a Commitment.

4.Do it