Author Archives: Brendan

  There I was recently listening to the lunchtime news while enjoying a cheese, salami & coleslaw sandwich.  Probably hundreds of calories and utterly delicious.   Anyway, the news report was yet another report on obesity.  To be honest the topic typically bores me but this report did catch my attention.   They were criticising fat-shaming.  Now I’d have no issue with that – it’s normally ugly behaviour to deliberately try and shame another human being   But they went further. They said that obese people are not responsible for being obese.   Why?  They offered a few … Continue reading

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  Do you treat all customers the same?   You shouldn’t.  And here’s why.   You’ve possibly heard of the 80:20 rule – sometimes known as the Pareto principle.  The principle tells us that a minority of causes – roughly 20% – are responsible for a majority of the effects – roughly 80%.  Now the “20” number isn’t precise.  Neither is the “80”.  Indeed they don’t even need to add up to 100.  The importance of the principle for you is that it applies in your business – a minority of causes are responsible for a majority … Continue reading

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  Recently I did a survey on a primary school’s music programme.   Well it was actually 3 distinct questionnaires – one for the pupils, a second for the teachers and a third for the parents.   Now if you’re like most readers of my blog then you’re an entrepreneur – working to drive your business forward.  And you may be wondering how might a school survey be relevant to you.   Let me explain.   After all the answers had been collected and inputted into a spreadsheet, I was analysing the results.  And the answers from … Continue reading

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  2 kids are playing.   They’ve a long piece of wood and a pin.   They take turns putting an end of the piece of wood to their ear while the other kid scratches the other end of the piece of wood with a pin.  The sound of the pin scratching one end is amplified at the other end – to the kids’ delight.   This scene is witnessed by a young doctor as he walks briskly on a cool morning through the courtyard of the Louvre Palace in Paris.   A couple of months later … Continue reading

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  So which came first – the chicken or the egg?   It’s a brilliant question – destined to cause creased foreheads and even headaches if someone tries to figure it out.  I’ve an answer for you.  But first I want to tell you about another chicken and egg scenario.   China recently announced that it’s reversing its 35 year-old one child policy.  The official line is that the policy was a success – by limiting the population and growing the economy’s output the per-capita income grew.   But maybe it’s not so simple.  Picture the one … Continue reading

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  Is it true?   Do many hands make light work?  Or do too many cooks spoil the broth?   Maybe your answer will depend on your individual inclination.  It’s perhaps similar to how some people subscribe to “fortune favours the brave” in contrast to others who think it best to “look before you leap”.   But enough of the contradictory idioms.  And back to whether many hands make light work.   If you are making a decision on your own then no agreements are needed.  It’s just you – deciding unilaterally.  If two people are involved … Continue reading

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  Have you heard of Mount Juliet?   It’s a golf course here in Kilkenny.  And I’ve been there a number of times – never to play golf – but to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.   Back in August  I was on my way there to meet my accountant for a cuppa.  I thought I was taking my normal route but for some unfathomable reason I took the wrong road.   Mortifying for me to admit – I pride myself on my nose – but there you have it.  I messed up.  No excuses.  We all mess … Continue reading

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  Last year I made a mistake.   I left it until mid-June to plant my sweet-pea – my favourite flower.   That was too late. All I could do was to give them lots of water, stem-support and slug pellets – and then hope for the best. Thankfully I still got a reasonable crop.   But I was lucky. Hope is a crap strategy. It’s actually no strategy at all.   So the idea was to improve in 2015. How was I to do so? Well of course Mother Nature can confound us. So there was … Continue reading

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  Get rid of a customer and boost your profit?   “How the hell can that work” you’re wondering?   “And this is coming from Brendan who’s always harping on about focussing on customers.”   No – I haven’t gone crazy.   And no – neither am I contradicting myself.   Let me illustrate with numbers.   Imagine you have annual revenue of €1,000,000. And imagine it’s producing a profit of €40,000.  It’s a low margin – but it’s on the right side of zero!   But wait – let’s dig a little deeper into this scenario. … Continue reading

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  One Friday morning at the end of January I was talking to a friend who’s a business owner – and who was feeling overwhelmed.   He was overwhelmed to such an extent that he wasn’t really looking forward to the approaching weekend.   All the work that needed to be done just felt like a huge weight – a weight that would be on his mind all weekend and awaiting him on Monday morning.   He wasn’t just having Sunday night blues – his blues were already in place on Friday!   Not good!   Do you … Continue reading

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