Partnership Manual

This manual is currently transitioning to a new structure. Pages PM100000 onwards are the new restructured content. Pages PM00100 to PM60700 will shortly be archived once the restructure is complete.
Source: HMRC

Lord Alan Sugar does not see how UK can leave EU on no-deal

Originally written by Timothy Adler on Small Business

Lord Alan Sugar, Britain’s most famous businessman, does not see how the UK can exit the European Union without a deal.

“I can’t see how you can leave without no deal,” Lord Sugar told the Climbcon business conference in London on Friday, June 28.

Lord Sugar described Brexit as a complex business negotiation, yet Prime Minister Theresa May disbanded the Government’s consultative committee of business people. His co-host on The Apprentice, Karren Brady, a Conservative peer herself, had told him she never had any approach from the Prime Minister either.

Fellow interviewee Piers Morgan, presenter of Good Morning Britain, said he doesn’t see how Brexit is deliverable, given that three quarters of MPs voted for remain. Parliament has been shameful in thwarting the result of the referendum, said Morgan, who predicted that the Government would lose a no-confidence vote to be followed by a general election.

“There’s no chance of Boris or Jeremy Hunt getting us a Brexit that works,” said Morgan.

Surprisingly, Lord Sugar still wants Boris Johnson to become Prime Minister, despite repeating that he lied during the referendum and should have gone to prison.

Sugar said: “He’s a serial liar, straight out of the Donald Trump book of lying, but Boris has a better chance of winning an election against that evil Jeremy Corbyn. I want to use him to make sure that Corbyn doesn’t get into power.”

Morgan said: “I’ve known Boris for 25 years and he’s full of crap a lot of the time.”

Lord Sugar compared Brexit to a war and said that Parliament has ignored the wishes of the people, who asked them to deliver Brexit.

Morgan blamed the lack of leadership from senior politicians as partly to blame.

“We have a weak upper tier of leadership in this country, which is a great shame,” said Morgan.

Actual business advice was thin on the ground during the conversation between Lord Sugar and Piers Morgan, which at times felt more like a rock concert than a conference.

Business advice

One piece of small business advice Lord Sugar did share was not spending too much money on buying leads, which, he said can ratchet up; instead, concentrate on building up your reputation.

As to the secret behind most successful businesses, Morgan said it doesn’t matter what you do, you just have to be passionate about it. Donald Trump, he said, likes nothing more than to talk about buildings, while Rupert Murdoch has an “unreal” love for newspapers. The key is to make people believe in you, Morgan said, and the way to do that was to make yourself noticed through hard work.

“It’s the passion that gives you the hunger,” said the TV presenter.

Something else that Morgan has noticed with successful business people was that they all keep on top of their email inboxes and respond quickly – albeit briefly. Waiting ages for a response to an email is symptomatic of businesses that lacks internal discipline, he said.

What Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch and Lord Sugar have in common

Asked what Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch and Lord Sugar had in common, Morgan said all three share a “fearlessness, a self-belief which is almost crushing but all three are very loyal”.

Morgan praised Rupert Murdoch, who he said was misrepresented in the media, as having “a brilliant visionary mind, always looking ahead 10 to 15 years in the future … he believes in the fearlessness of youth”.

One Murdoch tip that Morgan shared with the conference was that Murdoch would have a bullet-pointed list of awkward questions prepared whenever he phoned Morgan up for a weekly chat. It meant that as a newspaper editor – Morgan edited The News of the World – you had to be on top of your game.

Even if you made a mistake, Murdoch would never “throw you to the wolves, which is good leadership, I think”.

Asked what his own brand-new business idea would be if he was to appear on a TV show such as Dragon’s Den, Lord Sugar said he would pitch a business that he already had some experience in. “You don’t just jump out of bed and think, ‘I’m going to do this.’”

That said, Lord Sugar – who made his fortune selling Amstrad word processors back in the 1980s – would probably plump for something in digital media if starting out today; a new Facebook or Instagram, even if it meant having to go to America to launch the company, where investors are more receptive to start-ups.

Asked how he dealt with unpopularity on social media – Morgan has 6.6m followers on Twitter (“As any woman will tell you, it really is all about size,” he joked), Morgan said that Twitter was a powerful marketing tool for any business.

Lord Sugar poured scorn on business consultants, who, he harrumphed, swan into businesses “knowing nothing” and then leave you with a large bill.

Further reading

Karren Brady Q&A – 6 qualities of a successful entrepreneur

Lord Alan Sugar does not see how UK can leave EU on no-deal

Source: SmallBizUK

Social Media Metrics – It’s Time To Measure What Matters

Originally written by Lois Freail on Small Business

The role social media plays in society is increasingly prominent in terms of both our professional and personal lives.

Professionally, it’s become a great tool for sales and leveraging a brand’s position in their industry. Personally, it’s a platform for development, friendship and maintaining connections, but it also presents a hive of declining self-confidence and the portrayal of false expectations.

It’s the negative side of social media that the network leaders are looking to change.

Instagram have paved the way with this, announcing that they’ll be trialling hiding like counts in a new test where the only person who will be able to see the figures will be the profile owners.

The move is to encourage users to “focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get,” moving away from the use of vanity metrics that can negatively influence some users.

The test has sent a wave of concern and worry through the community of social influencers and digital marketers who often rely on these metrics to prove the worth and success of their profiles and campaigns.

It therefore leaves us to question; what does the future hold for social networking, and how will the industry react?

What are Vanity Metrics?

Social networking is full of analytics and measurable values, but what actually constitutes as a vanity metric?

In this scenario, they’re stats that you can measure, but can easily be manipulated and changed, having no actual relationship with your business’ success. Basically, they just look good to other people. This includes things like follower counts, likes and comments.

All of these are things that can easily be controlled by the profile owner, especially now that there are various paid-for services that guarantee likes and followers, as well as comments.

Obviously, follower counts hold clout, but if these followers are not actually engaging with your brand or converting through to sales, there’s little point to them – and this can actually have a negative impact on your brand, making you look spammy and false. It also removes the ability to accurately analyse the followers who actually care and engage with content.

The Future for Influencers and Marketers

Campaigns will have to move away from the ‘fakeable’ measurements and focus on other stats, but this could be a blessing in disguise for some. If vanity stats are the only thing being measured, social campaigns can easily plateau and appear not to progress.

But, if useful metrics are being analysed, only the important factors can be taken into account. As a result, actionable conclusions can be drawn and used to guide social strategies successfully.

Related: 6 hacks to improve your small business digital marketing

With this in mind, marketers and influencers shouldn’t be too concerned. Strong campaigns and strategies are already moving away from vanity metrics, with marketers paying more attention to user-based objectives rather than simply gaining likes and followers. Instead they’ll focus on driving traffic to the website, creating leads and on-site conversions generated by visitors who came to the site via campaigns in order to ensure they are building the foundations for an excellent customer journey. And if, as a result, posts are reaching more people and therefore generating more likes and followers, that’s simply an added bonus for the brand.

How to Utilise Useful Metrics

Analysing the reach of posts is a good starting point. This will demonstrate how many people have actually seen the published content and will accurately define whether it is getting in front of your audience. Ultimately, the better the quality (or relevance score) of an ad, the more inclined Instagram will be to deliver it to a wider audience.

Raw impressions should be taken with a pinch of salt. If a post receives an impression count of 500, this could mean that only 50 people viewed the published content but each user has seen it 10 times, rather than 500 individuals viewing it so pay attention to frequency levels as well. This is especially important as you also don’t want to be spamming your audience, so ensure the frequency levels of your ads stay as low as possible.

Instagram also provides other data, such as the percentage of people who saw your posts who weren’t following your account, when your profile was most ‘discoverable’ and the amount of people who found your post through your use of hashtags. By looking at metrics like these, you can learn far more about the success of your content than simply by looking at how many likes they received.

Yes, likes, comments and shares are all ‘vanity’ metrics and probably should be avoided individually in the interest of sharing more ‘meaningful content’, but if these stats are used together with post reach, it’s possible to work out the overall engagement rate. This will be a more accurate way to analyse if a post is interesting and relevant to the target audience.

The loss of vanity metrics may come as an initial blow to some. But, with time, the users who rely on them will adapt to a better way of analysing their social channels and therefore become stronger marketers and more authoritative influencers.

Also see: Top social media tips for small businesses

Social Media Metrics – It’s Time To Measure What Matters

Source: SmallBizUK