Posted: Thu 5th Oct 2017
Every week you can watch an online business masterclass delivered by one of our Adviser members.
This week, Mark Neild hosts: How to create a successful new product or service
Masterclasses are available at a cost of only £10 each. To register for this week's event at 12.30pm on 5 October, go here.
Members can watch every weekly masterclass for free! To register, log in to your Enterprise Nation account and go to the events page where the discount will be automatically applied.
If you're not yet a member, free masterclasses are one of many benefits. Join from only £3 a month!
Company founded: 2013
What is your favourite business book and why?
There are so many to choose from, but I would say Business Model Generation by Alex Osterwalder.
I love that the content is crowd sourced, so it applies to a big audience than just containing the authors pet theories.
I also find in my work with SMEs that their biggest constraint to growth is their business model, yet so few people really understand business models and why they are far more important even than their product.
Who is your business hero and why?
Probably Eric Lofholm, my sales coach. He really helped me to appreciate that "selling is service" and that the spammy and intrusive practices that so often pass for selling these days are just poorly disguised bullying.
Success comes from helping customers to do what they want to do better.
He also helped me see that writing my first book was not such a big deal.
It was writing the book that forced me to really refine the method and process that I now use with clients.
Describe your business in a tweet
agileering takes the risk & fear out of creating new products by coaching tech. and creative businesses on a proven journey to easier sales.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Going from a senior role in a highly respected innovation consulting practice to starting my own business.
When you lose the brand, it is like you suddenly don't know anything anymore and you don't have the support that you took for granted. It took me a lot longer than I expected to really find my niche.
What has been your greatest success?
Winning Thames Valley Mentor of the year in 2015 was a great honour, but my biggest success was validating my methods with a 70 year old widow in Malawi.
With just nine hours of phone coaching through a translator over six months, she quadrupled her sales, launched two new products, took on her first employee and opened her first bank account.
It was the first time in her life she had surplus cash and wanted to build a home for her retirement.
What piece of advice do you wish you had known when starting out?
I had heard this piece of advice, but never quite realised its importance. You really have to focus on your niche. The more people you try to appeal to, the fewer you will attract as customers.
Why do you consider long-term strategic advice important to business success?
With an MBA, chartered manager degree and 10 years in professional services, I thought I knew a thing or two about business.
It was not until I got some small business coaching and did some highly relevant courses that I started to get some success.
It is not what you know that is important. It is how you apply it to the very specific context of your business that counts.
If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
I would love to be able to read people's minds; a bit like Mel Gibson in What Women Want.
There are so many opportunities to overcome people's frustrations, help them achieve their aspirations and fulfil deep rooted desires.
But nobody has time to talk these days and are reticent to share what they really want without building a deep relationship. This makes it much harder to develop really impactful products.
To register for Mark's online masterclass, How to create a successful new product or service__, go here or log in to your account and go to the events page to join in for free.
If you're an Adviser member and you'd like to host a masterclass, apply here.