Business Success

Business Success

Jessica Lackey explains how to use the fear of missing out as part of a strategy for your business.

The call to take on everything at once, to maximize our time, to avoid the opportunity cost of time, is deeply ingrained in our society.

Our bucket lists are long. Our intentions are big. And we see on the internet or social media constantly what everyone else is doing. Why can’t that be us?

And we are not just tempted to take on more. We feel shame and guilt about not “doing it all”, making the most of our time.

We feel the fear of missing out (FOMO).

That we can have (all) of the experiences we see across a community for ourselves personally.

The fear that we need to work harder to capitalize on the ideas faster, bring in revenue faster, or just put more irons in the fire faster to generate results.

The fear that someone else will have the idea first or enroll that client first.

The fear that the idea we have will go away and never come back.

But you’ve seen how that works. Corporate strategies are a smattering of initiatives that look pretty on a page that are dusted off once a year. In our businesses, you take on too much, or try to launch too many things, and your attention is not deep on any of them. Your strategy is a laundry list of hopes that never happen and keep you on the hamster-wheel of “plan for perfection, feel bad when it doesn’t happen, and then buy more into toxic productivity to stay on the wheel”. Succumbing to FOMO is a good starting point for burnout.


Key points include:

  • The space to create depth
  • Allowing the unknown to appear
  • Non-urgent distractions

Read the full article, Sustainable Strategy Should Invite Some FOMO, on LinkedIn.

Xavier Lederer explains a key step to take to help grow your business.

You are not competing directly against your competitors, you are competing to be unique in the marketplace.

What does your most valuable prospect look like? “Probably a lot like your existing valuable customers. The easiest and most profitable growth will be achieved by adding additional customers very much like your current most valuable customers,” explains Robert Bloom in his book “The Inside Advantage.” Clients you resonate with will bring clients in the same vein. The key question is: Who is your ideal customer – how do you identify and describe them – and how will you solve their problem?

Shifting ideal customers

This wisdom is more relevant now than ever: because of Covid customers have changed. Some have disappeared, others have shifted from in-store to online, and others have increased their purchases. As a result the assumptions you had about your ideal customers may no longer be relevant. And yet: you really need to know your ideal customer if you want to grow your business.

All customers are not created equal. Your ideal customer is an existing customer (not a hypothetical one), buys from you for optimal profit and refers you to other prospects – new customers who are likely to be remarkably similar to your current, ideal customers. Once you have identified your ideal customer you can find out whether there are enough of them to reach your goals – and define whether you need to expand into an additional segment.

Your ideal customer is a breathing, living human being

The thing is: It is not enough to define your customers as a market statistic – you can’t get to know a statistic. You have a much better chance of selling to someone you really know and understand. If you can’t answer the following questions, chances are that you don’t really know your ideal customer:

How many customers generate 80% of my gross margin, and who are they?

What is the name of the decision-makers of my top 10 clients, and how much do I know the socio-demographic (e.g. age, gender, background) and psychographic (e.g. lifestyle, risk attitude) profile of each of them?

How much do I know the needs and fears of each of these decision-makers? What are their desires? What are their pressures?

How much do I understand the problem of my top 10 customers – not just their surface problem, but also their root problem? Why do they have this problem? Why are they coming to me (and not to my competitors) to solve their problem?


Key points include:

  • Shifting ideal customers
  • Brand promise
  • Key demographics


Read the full article, WANT TO GROW YOUR COMPANY? START WITH WHO, on

Ian Mombru shares six takeaways on selling your business to a Chinese buyer. 

Earlier this week, ChemChina’s US$44bn acquisition of Syngenta, the largest ever by a Chinese buyer, took a major step towards completion, securing clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS).  The transaction helped propel the first half of 2016 to an all time record of US$121bn of cross-border deals by Chinese companies, more than the full year total for all prior years.

This trend shows no signs of abating. In pursuit of diversification from a slowing domestic economy and a weakening currency, and supported by favourable domestic financing and regulatory environments, Chinese investors are scouring the globe for potential targets, across an ever wider range of industries.

For M&A practitioners, courting prospective Chinese buyers is an increasingly critical pillar of a successful sales process, yet for many, the experience is an unfamiliar one.

I’ve highlighted six key takeaways from advising on both the buy and the sell side of Chinese cross-border transactions. While these observations are mainly drawn from private M&A deals, the lessons also apply to public offers – subject of course to compliance with any applicable takeover regulations in the target’s jurisdiction.


Key points include:

  • Casting a wide net
  • Familiarise yourself with PRC Outbound regulations
  • Subtly managing competitive tension


Read the full article, Selling Your Business to a Chinese Buyer, on LinkedIn.

The odds of success with mergers and acquisitions are surprisingly low, but in this post, David Gross explains how to give M&A Transactions a larger chance of success.

Trillions of dollars pour into mergers and acquisitions (M&A) annually as companies seek to increase market share, reduce costs, differentiate, diversify, refocus, and capture other sources of value.

Unfortunately, M&A success is the exception, not the rule. A whopping 70 to 90 percent of transactions fail. This means, only 10 to 30 percent of transactions succeed. To put these terrible odds in perspective, let us turn to the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas. The odds of winning in blackjack are 44 to 48 percent, much greater than the odds upon which companies stake their futures.

Though these statistics may seem grim, there are companies beating the M&A odds, and they’re beating the odds over and over again. But how do these companies, or “M&A Winners,” repeatedly beat the odds? After 20 years of dealmaking, we have discovered 5 hallmarks underpinning their success.  


They say practice makes perfect and consistency is key. The same is true for M&A Winners. These companies have specialized talent, or “dealmakers”, who focus exclusively on M&A strategy and execution. Dealmakers typically reside on the corporate strategy or corporate development team, or on the equivalent business unit team in decentralized organizations. They are adept at marshaling talent, information, and other resources across the company; keeping their eye on critical value drivers and interdependencies; and managing the deal process. Effective and efficient dealmakers pay for themselves many times over. 

An alternative and frequently-taken path is to challenge a leader with operational responsibilities to manage M&A activity day-to-day. Unfortunately, this approach stretches buy-and sell-side leaders too thin and may result in underperformance on the deal and missed operating targets in the existing business. For the sell-side, missed targets may prompt the acquirer to demand a lower valuation and changes to other key terms.


Key points include:

  • The benefit of a “dealmaker”
  • “Tuck-in” or “bolt-on” acquisitions
  • Over-investment in due diligence

Read the full article, Reverse the Odds: Give Your M&A Transaction a 70 to 90 Percent Chance of Success, on


David A. Fields identifies two issues consulting firms must overcome to win projects and asks four pertinent questions that can help you take the action needed to move forward.

Your consulting firm has probably encountered more resistance from prospective clients than usual over the past eight weeks. Fortunately, you can understand and overcome the elevated stumbling blocks.

The basics of winning consulting projects haven’t changed. Keep them moist and use lots of butter. No, wait. That’s for sheets of phyllo dough. To win consulting projects, your consulting firm still needs to outperform every alternative on The Six Pillars of Consulting Success.

However, the change and uncertainty that have swept the globe have also spawned two shifts in how prospects evaluate your consulting firm’s offerings.


Points covered in this article include:

  • Heightened Risk Sensitivity
  • Extended Time Horizon


Read the full article, Two Issues Your Consulting Firm Must Confront to Win Projects in Uncertain Times, on David’s website.