Roger Harrop [rogerharrop]
What business are you in and what is your position? Are you an owner or an executive?
I am a business expert and award winning professional speaker on business growth.
I am the owner
Can you provide a link to a site where we can get to know more about you or your business.
What is your story? How did you come to run a business?
I spent over 25 years leading international business at the highest level, ultimately a plc, putting me in a unique position to deal with contemporary business challenges.
I am now an, Oxford, UK based, award winning international motivational business growth speaker who inspires and entertains my audiences with my acclaimed Staying in the Helicopter® programmess. Over 10000 CEOs, business leaders and others have achieved transformational change through my thought provoking and entertaining talks laced with real-life stories, anecdotes and humour.
I am also an author, accredited SME business advisor, mentor, consultant and independent director focused on business development and success.
I have extensive experience across a broad spectrum of businesses - from small start-ups to large multinational corporations; from high tech manufactured products through basic commodities, to people based services businesses and not-for-profit organizations
I spent seven years as Group Chief Executive of a FTSE quoted, high tech industrial instrumentation group with 12 operations over four continents. The company was listed in the UK Government’s ‘Competitiveness’ White Paper and gained a reference in the US Forbes magazine as one of the top 100 overseas companies and has been used as a benchmark case study by two business schools on culture change and business re-engineering.
I have run businesses for major multi-national corporations and has been a tutor with one of the leading leadership and teambuilding programs for over 25 years.
I am a Past-President of The Professional Speakers Association, a former Vice-President of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and a Liveryman with The Worshipful Company of Marketers.
What are the most recent changes being carried out in your business, and why?
Every four years I refresh the branding - and I have just completed the latest one.
It is necessary to stay in in front of potential Clients and be seen to be contemporary.
A business is based on creating relations of trust with clients, suppliers, employees... How do you create and maintain yours?
I ALWAYS do what I say I will do
I work hard to help my Clients to be successful- as a business or in the individual's personal careers
I am honest with Clients rather than diplomatic
I am relaxed and smile a lot!
How do you attract and retain the best talent?
Having employed thousands in the past I now work hard to employ no-one directly in my business - so it does not apply to me.
But in answer to the question you need to 'sell' you company to potential employees and make sure your values are clear and 'walk the talk'
What is “selling” for you? What is your technique? What is the greatest lesson you have learned about selling?
The biggest lesson is that you must NEVER stop prospecting - ie. selling to people who have never bought from you.
I use a combination of:
What techniques do you use to obtain customer loyalty?
Always go the extra mile - seek the 'wow' every time
How do you generate ideas for your business? Are you used to brainstorming with someone?
Sometimes I use a Mastermind group but generally I do it myself by 'getting in the helicopter' and looking at my business from afar
Do you see in your business a margin to optimize processes and reduce costs? How would you do that?
Yes - and it's very much about getting back to basics plus ultilising the latest technology - which is often free these days - like QR codes or Apps
How does one develop the instinct to detect business opportunities?
By always listening to what people are saying and truly understanding your business sector and what is going on
Clients do not always know what they want. How do you correctly interpret their comments and requests?
You are correct - they often do not really know. I will speak to them - ideally face to face - to tease out from them their ideal outcomes and then work back from there
Do you have a well defined future plan, or is it in your head rather than on paper?
I written, short, business plan - updated regularly is essential
What types of promotion or advertising have you tried? Which have worked best?
I use Google AdWords very effectively
I regularly do showcases - ie. speak for free
I Tweet - and get business from it
I get business through Linkedin
Are the words "New" and "Free" magic in your sector?
What role does technology play in your business? Do you believe that you are where you need to be technologically speaking?
An increasing part - small businesses increasingly have the ability to run rings around large businesses by adopting the latest (often free) technology. I try to do the same
How do you make use of the Internet? Have you already tried all the possibilities that the Net can offer you?
You can never have tried them all
I use the net a great deal - and more all the time
What opinion do you have of the tax system your business operates under?
What is the competition like? Have you have learned things from them?
Fierce and yes I have learnt many things from them. I try to know them better than myself!
What are your criteria for buying insurance? What has been your experience with this?
The cheapest, with a fit to exactly what I want
What do you expect of your bank? Does it respond to your needs?
I am with two banks, The online bank gives much better service than the High Street bank but neither really understand customers
At times it is necessary to take on debt to get ahead. How do you distinguish between good and bad debt?
Before taking on major debt you must do the sums, honestly, looking maybe three years forward and the realistic numbers before committing
How indispensable are you? Would your business survive if took you a year’s sabbatical?
Totally - as my business is just me
Which decisions turn out better: the immediate, visceral ones, or the ones reached after mulling the matter over for a few days?
If you wrote a book about everything you have learned doing business, what would the title be?
Staying in the Helicopter - the key to profitable growth
What is your advice for surviving the economic crisis?
Focus on the four basics of business. It is not about the sector you are in - that's just an excuse - the businesses I see thriving - and there are many are focussing back on the basics.