Peter talks about his business and gives some advice on growing your business.
17s: Peter Dickinson founder of Harrogate Business Advisors.
32s: Are you a business guru? I have been in the corporate world for 30 years and travelled the world with 1 employer. I went from technical work to sales with a target of £20 million annually. I have an affinity with the SME world. 6 Years ago I met an Indian guy who is now a successful business man and to him, Guru means God. He begins every correspondence with dear guru.
2min 38s: Tell us about your background. I left school at 16 and went into a building site, I always wanted to be a test pilot.
3min 42s: You help business owners complete their dream, why didn’t you complete yours? Life gets in the way of plans. Now i have different horizons, I bring business owners into the blue skies.
4mins 57s: Why didn’t you join a franchise? I’ve been in business for 14 years. The problem with a franchise is that people give up their day job, pay their franchise fee, get a book and believe they’re qualified in something. I’ve simply done the hard yards.
5mins 55s: Tell us some of the highs. My biggest achievement was going to Florida and Meeting Bob Burg, the coauthor of The Go-Giver. I am the only person in the UK who is a Go Giver Sales coach and international speaker. We deliver more in value than we do in payment. We are all about client focus, client first. You remind me of Zig Ziglar! Everyone should Google him!
9mins 30s: Tell us the lows. The recession in 2009, small business owners felt it a lot. I turned it into a positive though and was finding funding and doing the paperwork.
11mins 7s: Are grants hard to find for SMEs? There is the strategic business growth program and there is the manufacturing growth fund available.
12mins 47s: Do you have advice for independent business owners? Just to think how are they adding value to their customers.
13mins 38s: Tell me about your typical client. One client I’ve known for 5 years and have him on a retainer. Has me on Christmas lists etc. He went from a £400,000 turnover to £4 million and his next goal is £10 million.
15mins 54s: You are an avid reader – which books should people turn to? I am waiting to engage with a client who will ask something and I’ll be able to say “Ah, read this book”. I would recommend The Go Giver and The Four Agreements.
19mins 6s: My day rate is £800 + VAT but we add more in value than what people pay us. We also always try to use grant services.
21mins 20s: How do you react to negative reviews online? See them as an opportunity to correct it. One guy gave a bad review for a walk because it was raining so it was slippy underfoot – some things you can’t do much about.
23mins 40s: What is the best way to produce a testimonial? I do videos so they tell me how it was before and how it is now.
25mins 49s: What is your specialism? I went from technical to sales and now it’s marketing to sales so finding customers. What about working on customers you already have? I tell them to make a list of people you’ve invoiced over the last 24 months and the different products and services you’ve sold them to see what people are buying.
30mins 20s: You seem to be more about the concept, how do you use numbers? Best way to make a profit is to increase the productivity from the staff. Numbers play strongly in terms of targets, there’s lots of mentoring in that process to get those numbers. Often, the answer is in the client’s head and you just have to ask the questions and listen to the answers to see how you can help.
32mins 5s: Should SMEs go to networking events? If you go thinking I want to get some new business here today, it won’t work. Go with a Go Giver attitude and think how many people in this room can I help today?
34mins 1s: Is running a business for everyone? No. Come and talk, have a free session and I’ll point you in the right direction.
35mins 30s: Do you have a good work/life balance? I want my clients to have a good work/life balance. I need to get mine back in order, I work 6 days a week at the moment but I am employing others.
36mins 43s: Do you have interests outside of work? I have children and grandchildren, I read, I go walking in the country, I play guitar and listen to live music, and I have my own apiary. One of my favourite topics to talk about at networking is the sex life of the honey bee. You have 60 seconds at the networking event to say who you are. So when the virgin queen flies out she gives off pheromones to attract the males and they mate one at a time. When he ejaculates, his genitalia are ripped from his body. She mates with about 50 men and then goes back. It’s the only time she mates and for the next five years will take an egg and a sperm and grow the colony. So, if you wish to have a five year plan to grow your colony, come and see Peter Dickinson at Harrogate Business Advisors.
39mins 48s: Do you do any pro bono work? Rock up and sing which is a social enterprise which is as it says on the tin.
40mins 43s: What should your morning routine be? Set aside 10-15 mins when you wake up to clear your mind, call it meditation/mantra and feel grateful for the things in your life. It helps you to focus on hat you need to do that day. Have a three year vision and focus on how you can move forward with that.
42mins 47s: Why should businesses grow? It’s in our DNA to go further and explore but it’s not for everyone. Be careful that you can sustain it if it isn’t growing, you do need to stay in the growth mindset a bit.
44mins 19s: How should business owners deal with bouts of ill health? If the business can continue without you in the way you want it to, that’s great,if you can delegate work etc but if you are a sole trader, that’s harder.
47mins 5s: Do you have any tips on email overwhelm? Set aside some time, choose two times of the day that you will check emails. Put an out of office on telling people the two times of day you will check them and if it’s important, then call.
50mins 24s: What are the benefits of running a business in Harrogate? You have to think is there enough work in Harrogate for my business and what is the catchment area?
52mins 15s: Is social media a good platform to sell on? LinkedIn yes, others are distractions. People are unaware of the small chemical rush from people liking their posts etc. It works in some markets like estate agents. We need to be fishing where the clients are swimming.
54 mins 18s: How do people find out more about you? Go to our website hbadvisors.co.uk or call my mobile 07917679050.