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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Guide for Service-Based Businesses
Customer Video Review     Length:: 1:09 Mins
I want share my thoughts on Robert Craven's book `Grow Your Service Firm'.
As a service provider myself unlike manufacturers and retailers, I have a bigger challenge in getting people to buy my services ... they can't touch, see or smell what I do.
And that's why service providers like us need to be more creative in how we market...
Published on 30 Mar 2012 by R. Warlow

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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Firm is a partnership
A Firm is a partnership in which the partners share equally, the risks and the rewards. This book is about Companies
Published on 11 April 2012 by PC249


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grow Your Service Firm, 28 Jan 2012
By 
Sean M. Kelly (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Grow Your Service Firm (Paperback)
I recommend books to read to my clients and this one is a must read. Well written, practical advice which supports all good entrepreneurial behaviours. Excellent for start-ups, small business and service firms, amongst others. Provides some innovative ideas on 'being different' and how to do things differently from your competitors. All simple, but relevant. Emphasises the need to keep things simple but to always focus on the needs of your market and how to 'attract' attention.Sean Kelly - Kelly Resources.Grow Your Service Firm
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical guide to more business, 9 Jan 2012
By 
Simon West - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Grow Your Service Firm (Paperback)
Grow Your Service Firm pulls together practical advice that any business owner can use straight out of the book.

We've used the book to prepare and execute our 2012 sales & marketing plan and we're already getting good results. Our blog ([...]) is charting progress, if you are interested...

What the book does for us is it allows us to focus on what is working for other businesses. It stops us making the mistakes that other businesses have already made, learning from them and using what they have found to work. That is completely invaluable to any business owner!

However, buying this book and putting it on the shelf won't help you! You'll need to follow Robert's plans, do the exercises and take action before you get results.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative, digestible, memorable, 9 Jan 2012
This review is from: Grow Your Service Firm (Paperback)
I've read hundreds of business books during my career but this one leaves the rest standing. It was as absorbing as any book can be which is unexpected for the genre; most business books being either technical and turgid or rejigged versions of existing books with poached concepts. Robert gives the sort of advice that can be acted upon - it is direct,practical and motivational. I've lent my copy to a friend but I'm regretting that now and can't wait to get it back. I'll be ordering more from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get a huge return on the investment in this book, 6 Jan 2012
This review is from: Grow Your Service Firm (Paperback)
I know the cost is not in the payment for the book, but in the time reading and applying the lessons, but if that cannot be recouped many times over maybe it is time to rethink your business - or you are doing so well you should be writing the books.

A valuable guide to critical self assessment and performance improvement actions, together with vignettes of Robert's thinking, results in an easily digestible and eminently practical approach to doing exactly what the title says - provided that you put the effort in. I know there's always a catch, but then you can apply Pareto's law and put in 20% of the effort for 80% of the return - provided you know the right 20%.

This is the book I looked for but couldn't find when I set my company up 12 years ago.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does exactly what it says on the tin!, 5 Jan 2012
This review is from: Grow Your Service Firm (Paperback)
Seeing as I'm working hard to grow and develop a business that provides a valuable service to it's clients, as soon as I saw the title of Robert's latest book I was keen to read it.

Having been impressed with Robert's no-nonsense approach to business growth at various seminars and workshops in the past, I am pleased to say that he offers more of the same in this book. I managed to read through it over the Christmas period and it's already given me some simple, practical ideas that I've started to implement. I've since passed the book to my co-director and we will compare notes and ideas once he's read it.

The book can be read from cover-to-cover or you can dip into the various chapters as and when they are appropriate to you. It's also full of really helpful examples that demonstrate how to put the theory into practice. Nice work Robert!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What you need to know. In a book., 22 Dec 2011
This review is from: Grow Your Service Firm (Paperback)
I've read a couple of Robert's books and been to one of his inspirational talks. There usually comes a point in the process where virtually everyone in the room rates themselves 5 out of 10 in response to Robert's question: "How do you rate your marketing skills?"
In fact, as Robert points out in his latest book, we are generally pretty ghastly at many aspects of marketing. Many of us running small businesses don't know how to face our customers with the right approach, waste time cold calling etc. This is the book that shows you how to do it properly and makes 100% sense. Based on his own experiences and conversations with 100s of business owners, Robert has an uncanny knack of detailing all the classic business mistakes - often with the force of a revelation (the dreaded "I did that!" feeling). But then he offers up the solutions.
The solutions he offers also have the force of revelation - the pleasing "of course I should do that!" feeling.
As a small business owner myself, I've met many other SMEs who should read this book cover to cover 5 times over until its key messages sink in.
I won't ruin the surprise, but Robert offers sensible, achievable and essential steps every firm should take if they want to grow.
You can sometimes read business books and left asking the question: "Yes, but what do I actually DO?" Not so with GYSF. He really holds your hand through the steps that need to be taken.
For example, he takes the famous elevator pitch, makes it clear what its purpose should be and then breaks down the ideal answer phrase by phrase to make you think about your own version.
So it's not a passive experience. You are expected to take action and get on with it. And of course, that's the way it should be.
We all want to meet a business angel. Read Robert Craven and you'll have found one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No nonsense sense, 11 Dec 2011
This review is from: Grow Your Service Firm (Paperback)
This book came at the right time for me as my own service firm enters its third year (the one in five that hasn't gone bust by then). This book is a manifesto for debunking jargon. It cuts to the chase and has the knack of asking the right questions and really challenging the reader to take action. It's a book that shouts out 'Don't just read me, do something!' I had already started down the path the book promotes and it has fleshed out some bits that have been missing for me. It affirms my business is on the right track but there is always more to do. The ending seems a bit abrupt, although this may be deliberate as I suspect there will be more to come from Mr Craven.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the passive..., 8 Dec 2011
This review is from: Grow Your Service Firm (Paperback)
I made a conscious decision today to read feeds; to read who has what to say, and retweet, like, respond, debate, disagree and I must say that sifting through the babble banter and quotes for worthy information is worth it. Although when I eventually then sifted through blogs and articles, a lot of what I read reminded me of my time in teaching; observing amongst brilliant teachers, a few who forget that playing to, or inspiring an audience who see you as the expert isn't about feeding information to passive listeners or observers. You can expect your audience to disengage quickly.

Entrepreneurs need experienced entrepreneurs. Yes indeed they do. We're happy to say that after a short stint as a centre, our new accountant and our bookkeeper are more than happy with us. We've had to hit the ground running and we've kept up a healthy sprint. No man/woman in business is an island they say. Of course, there will always be some individual/s, or group that you look to for the tough common sense solutions which elude you from time-to-time, and result in us making foolish basic errors. Who are those people or group that you look to?

I don't want to be a passive listener. I will disengage...

If I am going to take the time to read something, I want a book which engages me, asks some uncomfortable questions to spur me on and be honest about my failings, and a book which calls me to action and boy did we get it with #gysf (Grow Your Service Firm) By Robert Craven. He doesn't write for the passive listener looking for a few sweet words of inspiration enabling them to continue ambling along as they were. Each page seems to be a tough question/truth and a call to action. Each section can be revisited almost like a check list and, if used wisely as a resource, you'll find that you can integrate this wisely into your planning and assess your progress and areas for development as an expert and as a business. We were able to give ourselves a pat on the back occasionally for what we have achieved so far whilst reading it. However, energy, a degree of intelligence and skills will take you so far, and if we're honest, there are times when we need to look in the mirror and ensure we always walk the talk. Worth the buy.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it, take action, watch the results in terms of your profit grow, 28 Nov 2011
This review is from: Grow Your Service Firm (Paperback)
Length:: 1:30 Mins

If you're looking to be able to more clearly grow your business, attract the right clients and as a result continue to grow your profits, then I recommend Grow Your Service Firm. Easy to understand, useful, expert knowledge that you can put into immediate action that won't overwhelm you ...click here to find out more about my thoughts on Robert Cravens latest book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional buzz for the busy business, 21 Nov 2011
This review is from: Grow Your Service Firm (Paperback)
"Marketing is not a battle for the product but for the mind of the customer . . ." - it's a great start when an author in your industry has views which align so exactly with your own. Robert's call for service firms to become experts is backed up by short and snappy chapter after chapter each crackling with hot spots of quick-fire information. Educating not selling...identifying what makes you stuck...why clients defect (and why they never tell the truth about this). 'Growing your Service Firm' moves quickly from idea to idea at the sort of level you'd expect in a business consultation or conversation - headlines not detail - things to focus on not 'How Tos'. There are some areas in common with my book which demonstrates the common mistakes retailers make: Catching the Chameleon: The Everyday Mistakes Retailers Make, for example how to speak to customers so that you engage what interests them, not you. In my book I use specific examples of before and after showing how to rewrite an ad. Robert's approach is to give some before and after anecdotes of the effect his advice has had on a service firm rather than a step-by-step How To. I really like the FastStrat worksheets and the tables for calculating the effect of price on profitability. It's a handy tool to be able to use with clients to show how much turnover they would have to lose or gain to make price falls and rises neutral on profits. In my work as a B2B marketing consultant I will definitely be referring to these.
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Grow Your Service Firm
Grow Your Service Firm by Robert Craven (Paperback - 8 Nov 2011)
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