Golden Rules For Company Investing

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I love launching, building and selling companies. I enjoy the challenges, relish the triumphs and learn from the setbacks.

Today I own a raft of businesses ranging from PR agency Beattie Communications to the Only marketing boutiques. You will find a list of our brands here.

Over the years I’ve also made a shilling or two by investing in businesses where I have no day-to-day involvement.

When deciding whether to put my hand in my pocket, there are ten golden rules that guide my investment decisions:

 

1. Understand The Business

I will only invest if I understand how the company makes money.  For instance, I like media businesses, transport companies and food or drinks retailers because I understand how they generate revenues. I avoid financial businesses if I don’t understand how they create wealth.

 

2. Admire The Management

It’s essential that I admire the management. They must be smart, ambitious, hard-working and dedicated. They must come with a proven track record.

 

3. Invest At A Good Price

You make money in a business when you buy in at a low price and sell at a high price. Paying over the odds, always results in a much poorer return when you sell.

 

4. Invest In A Company That Can Last For Decades

You don’t want to invest in a company that relies on technology that may soon be superseded or operates in a fast-changing environment.

 

5. Track Record Of Success

I always expect the company to have a proven record of success. If it’s a start-up, the founders need to have had an impressive career

 

6. Consistently Makes Good Profits

Past profit consistency is a prerequisite. I’m not keen on investing in turnarounds, no matter how talented the management team.

 

7. Good Growth Prospects And Low Expansion Costs

I always look for growth businesses where expansion requires a low re-investment of capital. For instance, I would much rather invest in a bus company than a cruise line because the cost of buying an extra bus is tiny compared to the cost of purchasing an additional ship.

 

8. A Premium Brand

I like companies with a strong brand reputation that can command a premium for their products or services.

 

9. Little Debt

We all know how ruthless the banks can be when it comes to repayments so I always avoid companies with a mountain of debt.

 

10. High Barriers To Entry

I like businesses where for cost or skill reasons it’s difficult for rivals to start up and gain a toehold.

Have You Joined The Mobile Marketing Revolution

The mobile marketing revolution keeps gathering momentum and that's driving online sales higher and higher.

With 79% of us using our smart phones for shopping, it's frightening to realise that less than a quarter of major brands have invested in a mobile optimised website.

Smart phones are the present and the future and I find it hard to believe that so many retail marketing gurus are still living in the past.

Mobile consumers yearn for a good user experience but so often we feel disappointed and let down when it comes to shopping on the go.

Mobile shoppers not only want to use our smart phones for buying products while sitting watching TV or reading the newspaper. We also want to use our phones while visiting bricks and mortar stores to compare prices, look for special promotions or read product reviews. If a product is a dud we want to know about it before we get to the checkout.

Retailers should remember that 74% of us are likely to make a purchase based on what we discover from a smart phone search.

When we are out and about, we want to use our smart phones to identify local stockists or, if we are in a hurry, the nearest stockist.

If our experience from one retailer is not up to scratch, we will quickly move on to another.

Today, we really do let our fingers do the walking and big brands need to waken up to the new reality.

If you need help getting your mobile marketing strategy up to speed the team at Only Retail or Only Web would be delighted to help.  Alternatively, drop me an email gordon.beattie@onlybeattie.com

Linkedin – The No1 Platform For Charity Fundraising

With everyone tightening the purse strings - it's a tough market for charity fundraisers.

Life, however, has just got easier for charities that have woken up to the massive fundraising potential of Linkedin.

Used properly, Linkedin can open up a whole new revenue stream for the hard-pressed charitable sector.

Not only can it be used to encourage corporate giving, it's a powerful vehicle for targeting high net worth individuals.

Beattie Communications has helped to develop Linkedin marketing strategies for a number of charities and it might be useful if I take you through the process.

We start by reviewing how the charity currently attracts donations and we develop a strategy that will complement and accelerate gifting programmes.

We then move on to creating impactful profiles on Linkedin for the charity and their key fundraisers.

With the profiles in place, we turn our attention to linking up with key individuals in target companies and begin an on-going conversation with each of them.

In effect, what we do is:

  • Get our charity clients noticed by every company on their hit list
  • Generate a never ending stream of giving leads
  • Encourage companies and high net worth individuals to take the initiative and linkup with the charities we are promoting

It sounds easy but, be warned, it takes time and requires lots of effort but if you know the fundraising secrets of Linkedin, it's like owning the keys to your own gold mine.

We offer charitable clients three options:

  • We can do it for them
  • We can teach them to do it themselves
  • We can offer a combination of both

Please take a look at our specialist Linkedin Marketing website Only Linkedin Marketing for more detailed information.

For a free Linkedin marketing consultation, please call me on 0800 612 9890 or email me at gordon.beattie@onlybeattie.com

Linkedin For Lawyers & Accountants

More than 90% of corporate lawyers and accountants are ignoring the most powerful new business tool in their marketing arsenal - Linkedin.

The world's biggest corporate law and accountancy firms earn their fees from businesses, so why waste money promoting their brands on Facebook.

Facebook is a great platform if you make chocolate, sell fashion or market cosmetics. It's not the place to be if you advise on M&As or company taxes.

Even Twitter is of questionable value in my eyes but it is a more effective new business tool than Facebook.

If they want to use the social media to win new clients, lawyers and accountants will get far better returns from Linkedin than from Twitter. 

Like business lawyers and accountants, our parent company Beattie Communications operates in the b2b sector and for every sales lead we get from Twitter, we get at least 10 from Linkedin.

Ambitious corporate law and accountancy firms should have a Linkedin marketing strategy for winning new clients instead of wasting time and throwing away money on other social media platforms.

Linkedin is so powerful that it has the potential to be the No1 source of new clients for accountancy and business law firms.

Linkedin is for corporate professionals, 93% of whom are college graduates. It's Premier League for lawyers and accountants as it makes it easy to build strong relationships with senior executives in every company they have on their client wish list. 

Accountants and lawyers should also be using Linkedin to keep up to speed on what their rivals are up to.  Linkedin enables them to identify new clients their competitors are chasing and by reaching out to the same brands, they may well snatch their business from under their rivals' noses.

Almost all of our corporate law and accountancy clients have instructed our professional services marketing team to develop and implement Linkedin marketing strategies on their behalf.     

If you need help with your Linkedin marketing, contact me direct on gordon.beattie@onlybeattie.com.

Turning Marketing Defeat Into Victory

Every marketer knows what it's like to punch the air after winning a new business pitch.

We also know, only too well, the feeling of disappointment that comes when we fail to reel in the business.

Over the last three working days, Beattie Communications, 11ten and Only Marketing received the result of seven new business pitches.

We scored a creditable six wins out of seven.

I know I should be delighted with that outcome. I know it's an outstanding result but I am not good at losing, especially when I know the Beattie PR team would have done a better job than the public relations agency that won the seventh pitch.

So, going forward, how do I turn failure into success?

I get back in touch with the potential client in six months' time and ask one question: "Are you happy with the results and service you are getting from our rival?"

If the answer is yes, I can walk away knowing we gave it our all.

If the answer is no, I might be able to turn defeat into victory!