Business Strategy Marketing Finance

Developing sustainable and profitable business growth

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Business Review

Business Review

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Business Review

Where are we?

It's a great question and the implication is that the person asking is just not sure! In this situation, it's amazing how many people don't ask for assistance and just plough on!

Business is complicated and while everyone expects business owners and directors to know all the answers to everything, the reality is seldom like that.

A business review with Corve Consultancy Limited helps you to take stock of all the key components that influence your business and assess if they are working effectively and efficiently together.

Together, we'll understand why your business is or isn't profitable and set about implementing changes to deliver sustainable profitability.

Together, we'll review your target markets and the customers within them, to make sure they are your best area of focus.

Together, we'll drill down into why customers should buy from you instead of your competitors (your points of difference).

Together, we'll decide if the way you promote your business, online and offline is the best way to engage interested buyers and the best way to retain and grow existing customers.

Creating Business Strategy

Creating Business Strategy

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Creating Business Strategy

Where do we want to be?

OK, so now that we know where we are, we can start to decide where we want the business to be.

Let's choose some motivating targets designed to give you, the owner and principal risk taker, a proper return on your investment of money, blood, sweat and tears!

Business strategy planning sounds complicated - it isn't. Our tried and trusted method shows business owners a simple, logical and effective way to envisage the future.

A business strategy document that reads like a text book is no good to anyone. It'll be forgotten in some desk drawer before very long!

And a business strategy created exclusively by an outsider to the company runs the risk of failing, when no-one buys into it.

But a business strategy put together by the leadership team, facilitated by qualified external experts, is something that everyone can buy into.

And a business strategy that everyone understands and buys into is one that will work!

Implementing Business Strategy

Implementing Business Strategy

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Implementing Business Strategy

How are we going to get there?

Anyone can write a plan. Pick five people off the street, lock them in a room with a problem and they will create a plan to solve the problem.

That's the easy bit. The difficult bit is writing a plan that can be implemented, because it is practical and possible.

Then the next difficult bit is implementing it!

This is where so much traditional business support falls down. Firstly the business strategy is fundamentally flawed; secondly it was always going to need external support to implement it - but the external support had long gone by then.

So let's consider implementation and external support and kill a couple of myths.

The objective of every good consultant is to make themselves redundant. A good consultant leaves their client skilled up and able to move forward without the consultant becoming a permanent fixture!

To paraphrase the wonderful Dog's Trust strapline; 'A consultant is for Christmas, not for life!'

Why? Because most businesses we support, don't need a full time Director of Strategy; Strategic Marketing; Marketing Communications or Business Finance.

What they want is high level, expert intervention to help in these areas from time to time - not a big overhead soaking up the profits.

Marketing Communications

Marketing Communications

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Marketing Communications

"Is there anybody out there?"

The words of Roger Waters from Pink Floyd's The Wall.

Words that should be the mantra of anyone involved in Marketing Communications.

I dread to think of the amount of money wasted by businesses who are broadcasting to no-one - often under "advice" from unqualified marketing agencies!

It has never been easier to reach our core target audiences. But competing noise has never been louder.

So we need to be sure we choose exactly the right media to carry our messages (online and offline) and we need to make sure we get heard!

So how do we make ourselves heard?

Firstly by talking only to the people that we know will be interested.

Secondly by approaching them using the medium or media that is most appropriate to carry messages to them.

Then the message needs to be about them - not about us! It needs to relevant to their circumstances - the circumstances that we identified which put them into our Category A target market.

The message needs to be compelling, something that makes the reader - our potential customer - stop and think about what we are saying.

Finally it needs to be intelligent; well thought out and put together. It needs to place us ahead of competitor messages and compel our target audience to action.

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

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Digital Marketing

So let's consider the minefield that is digital marketing, and try to make it simpler!

Digital marketing is not new marketing. Digital marketing is the description used to group together all those different new electronic media, which carry our messages to our key audiences.

The concept is nothing new. Years ago it was carrier pigeon, a man carrying an 'A' board on his shoulders or some bloke in the street with a megaphone!

Today we have websites, email, SMS, blogs, online advertising, SEO, Social Media by the dozen, and more. And if you listen to some "marketers" we need to have it all!

So let me tell you a story about a driving school, which I hope puts it all into context. Imagine a driving school and its core customer. Aged 17 - 23; tech savvy; lives online, on their phone.

To reach them we used viral SMS; lots of Social Media content; boosted posts; targeted Facebook advertising; Instagram etc.

Guess the 2nd largest target customer group? Ladies in their 60's or early 70's who had been recently widowed.

Their husband had done most of the driving and even though they held licenses, they needed a refresher to help them get back on the road. Digital marketing? I don't think so! To this audience, viral implies a visit to the doctor!

For them we promoted offline, in the library; church magazine; the Surgery; Community newspaper or magazine; word of mouth at local societies.

Digital is just a means of carrying a message to an audience. So before you are led into some bamboozling activities, why not talk to us about where the investment ought to be made, and your ROI.

Business Finance

Business Finance

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Business Finance

Strong business finance is a critical success factor for all companies.

In years gone by in my corporate finance career, I heard many bankers talk to companies about overtrading.

What they were alluding to was the fact that new business activity was outgrowing available finances in a way that could be detrimental. So companies were advised to scale back and live within their means.

Of course the flip side of the overtrading coin is underfunding. But underfunding sounds like the banker’s fault not the businesses fault, so this was a less frequently used phrase!

Underfunding is more widespread today than ever before, as the Banks concentrate on retail services rather than intelligent and supportive business lending.

The successful implementation of any business strategy is dependent on the right business finances being available – short term debt for working capital and medium term structured debt or equity, for capital projects.

Since the bankers drove the global economy into recession several years ago, they have been increasingly risk averse towards lending to business, in particular SMEs.

In their place have appeared some excellent peer to peer lenders and crowd funders, ready to take a realistic view about financing businesses, rather than one based on computer modelling and scoring.

There are also significant numbers of grants available, if you know where to look.

Let us know what you need – we can help!

Up Close

Jeremy Bassett

I’m Jeremy Bassett and Corve Consultancy Limited is my business, which I started in March 2002. I have lots of good people who work with me to deliver the results our Clients want. If you like, they are my orchestra. But I’m the Conductor – the one that you see and the one that is in charge, and leading things. I’m answerable to you.

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Up Close

I’m Jeremy Bassett and Corve Consultancy Limited is my business, which I started in March 2002. I have lots of good people who work with me to deliver the results our Clients want. If you like, they are my orchestra. But I’m the Conductor – the one that you see and the one that is in charge, and leading things. I’m answerable to you.

Work Stuff

Chartered Marketer
Post Grad Diploma in Marketing (DipM)
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (FCIM)
Fellow of the Strategic Management Forum (FSMF)
Engaged by over 200 businesses since 2002
Previously, 28 years in International Corporate Finance
Senior Manager and Director of a number of UK, European and Global financial institutions
Strategic Marketer
Business Strategist
Marketing Tactician
Gold Mentor Manchester Business School
CIM Mentor
Guest Lecturer University of Chester
Guest Lecturer Manchester Metropolitan University

Not Work Stuff

Married
Two daughters
Two dogs
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Worcester County Cricket Club
Planet Rock
Golden Lion Rossett
Radio 4
Sopranos
The Guardian
International Charity Trustee
South American Red Wine
Football Memorabilia
Paella
North Wales

Work

Strategic Planning

Those of you who know me well will be familiar with my favourite quotation about strategic planning. It come from Sun Tzu – the great… Read more >

Market Entry Strategy – the best challenge?

‘I want your help developing a market entry strategy’. Call me sad (thank you!!) but those words are music to my ears. Why? Well, I love helping to… Read more >

Deciding our business strategy in easy steps

Deciding our business strategy sounds complex. It sounds like something that it would be good to put off until another day! But it isn’t, so… Read more >

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