Author: Robert

20 Top Free WordPress Plugins

20-Top-Plugins-e1550337497333 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins

20 Top Free WordPress Plugins.

A Comprehensive Appraisal Of Some Of The Best Free Plugins That Could Really Boost Your WordPress Website Or Blog.

By Robert Viney

Amazingly only 50% of businesses have a website but of the ones that do, 40% are WordPress Sites.
A WordPress website is very versatile and relatively easy to build and maintain with a large selection of free themes that you can use to customise it with. WordPress is also free and if you choose the right host, very cost effective, too.
WordPress websites also invariably perform well in Google rankings, so really small business owners have no excuses not to have their own website.


Starting Is Relatively Simple

For those who do not have a WordPress website, the process of setting up is quite simple. Just follow this process:
i)   Select a good reliable host for your website to publish it onto the internet
ii)  Choose your domain name or transfer your existing domain to your host
iii)  Download WordPress onto the host's platform
iv)  Choose a free WordPress Theme from for your website and download this into your new WordPress website
v)  Go into the plugin section of the site and start adding your plugins to drive your website
vi)  Start adding your content to your website
My WordPress websites and those of my clients are hosted by -  their hosting is very reliable and cost effective starting at approximately £40 per annum including the cost of the domain.
To help you, there are a good selection of YouTube videos offering WordPress tutorials, here is one of the best from Tyler Moore.

Comprehensive List Of The 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins.

Here, I offer a comprehensive list of 20 Top FREE WordPress plugins that I have been using for the past three years or so on my own WordPress websites and my clients' WordPress websites. Each plugin is fundamentally essential for the good functionality of your site, and I recommend each.
To help you, I have included screenshots of some of the plugin pages and some good tutorial videos.


1. AMP, the official WordPress AMP plugin

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. This plugin has several functions but primarily aids the mobile loading functions of your site, making your site quicker and making the user experience enhanced, primarily.


2. Page Builder By Site Origin

The second of my 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins is one of the best and most popular page building plugins that greatly simplifies building posts and pages and allows you to arrange everything in an orderly fashion. It also allows you to rearrange your content simply by moving the individual boxes between the rows. This plugin works well with WordPress widget bundles or you can add Site Origin’s own excellent Widget Bundle Plugin, listed 3, below.
This screenshot shows the rows and widgets for a post page.
.Site-Origin-2 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins


This video is a good tutorial for showing you how Site Origin Page Builder works.


3. Site Origin Widgets Bundle

WordPress already comes with its own widgets bundle that can be added to the Site Origin Page Builder format but you can also add Site Origin’s own Widgets.  This is recommended, as Site Origin’s widgets are generally superior and a good way to add written content, images and link buttons, to name just a few of the functions.  In this screenshot, some of the Site Origin's widgets are shown with the blue icon.  I personally use the editor and image widget a lot in my posts.

Site-Origin-widget-bundle-2 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins.


4. Classic Editor For WordPress

WordPress recently changed the editing format which is not very user friendly (in my view & the view of many others, too!). This great plugin restores the editing back to the ‘better’ original version and has a rightful place in my list of 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins.


5. WP Smush by WPMU DEV

Images are a great asset to your site, enhancing the user experience but they can take up a lot of storage space, meaning images, especially large image files can slow your website loading. This plugin automatically reduces image sizes, compressing them and optimising them, as they upload into your media library. It is compatible with JPEG, GIF and PNG formats. You can also diminish file sizes further in the media library. I try to get all my image file sizes below 50KB and ideally to about 30KB.


6. Wordfence by Wordfence

The next in my list of 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins is an absolute must. It provides a firewall and malware security for your site plus a scanning tool to highlight problems. I receive, on average, twelve rogue login attempts from robots in China per day plus other random attacks and Wordfence stops these. Wordfence features hacking firewall protection, malware scan and blocking. It also allows live traffic monitoring where you can see what security threats your site is facing and where they are coming from and it allows you to take action to prevent these.
This screenshot shows the scanning page for Wordfence.

wordfence-2 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins


7. WP-Optimize by David Anderson, Ruhani Rabin & Team Updraft

Another must-have plugin for cleaning up and optimising your database. General use of your site can add data to your database and a large database can seriously slow your loading speed. This plugin can remove all spammy comments, trackbacks, pingbacks and post revisions as well as clearing other unwanted stuff. You should clean your database every day, if the site is a busy one.
This screenshot is the result of selecting 'Optimisation' in the 'Database' setting - here by clicking on the 'Run Optimisation' button, unwanted data is removed.

wp-otimise-11 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins


A second choice in the 'Database' setting is 'Table' and in this screenshot, the database is broken down with a total of the size of data base shown at the bottom. In this case the size is 9.6MB.  You should always try to minimise the size of your database, as this will determine your website's loading time.
.wp-otimise-10 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins


8. W3 Total Cache by Frederick Townes

W3 Total Cache is another important plugin and the top rated WordPress Cache plugin. WordPress caching is one of the best ways to improve website performance. In simple terms, caching stores the website data temporarily in the cache so that it loads faster the next time the user opens the same page. It features page cache, data caching, object caching, browser caching and much more. It also can minify and HTTP compress many of your files, saving significantly on bandwith. From time to time you will need to clear the cache out and you can purge it with this plugin.
This screenshot shows part of the 'General Settings' page where you can set the caching parameters.

W3-Total-Cache 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins

It is imperative you get the settings right for this plugin to work right.  Here is good YouTube video tutorial to help you and to take you through the set-up stages.

9. Yoast SEO by Team Yoast

Another must-have plugin from my list of the 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins is essential for getting the SEO of your pages and posts right. This will allow you to get your Keyword density, page titles, meta descriptions and readability right, as well as other stuff. The free version does not include the XML sitemaps function and for that you will need number 10. You should also use the free Google Keyword Tool in conjunction with this, to ensure you use the right keywords, etc.. This plugin is very simple to use, once you get into it, but can be invaluable for getting your posts and pages right.
In this screen shot, the bottom of a post or page is shown, illustrating the meta description for the page, readability and keyword, etc..

yoast-2 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins

SEO is fairly complicated but getting it right is important, so I recommend you view this YouTube tutorial on how this Yoast plugin can help you.

10. Google XML Sitemaps by Arne Brachhold

This plugin improves the SEO by creating sitemaps of your website and submitting these to the major search engines. The plugin is supposed to do this automatically, but I found you need to also submit your site to Google, Bing and Yahoo manually too, at least for the first time.


11. UpdraftPlus by

Another must-have plugin that allows you to back-up and restore your files. WordPress can be fickle and can be susceptible to random attacks, so keeping a back will allow you to restore your site, if you get stuck. It is a good practice to back-up before and after each change to your website or when you optimise your site in 7, above. The feature allows you to store your back up on your website or remotely on Dropbox or Google Drive, etc..

12. All In One Security by Tips & Tricks

This plugin adds additional security features especially that of blocking Spam. I use this plugin on all my clients’ websites very successfully but you must go into the settings to activate the anti-spam function. A good alternative is the free version of Askimet, but beware it is only free for personal use, not for business or commercial use.

13. GDPR by Trew Knowledge

Number twelve in my list of the 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins is one that ensures you are GDPR compliant. This creates a cookies consent banner and the ability to display a cookies and a privacy policy. Easy to use and very effective.

14. Really Simple SSL by Rogier Lankhorst

You should be moving your site to HTTPS/SSL to make it more secure for yourself and your visitors. This will also help you avoid the horrible ‘NOT SECURE’ warning from Google for Chrome browsers who visit non-HTTPS sites. The most cost effective way to do this is to use a hosting company that provides free SSL certificates, such as  Then, activating this plugin does the rest. As the name suggests, it is ‘Really Simple’.


15. A3 Lazy Load by a3rev Software

If your site features many images, these may take a while to load which risks losing the impatient visitor, increasing your bounce rate. This plugin solves this problem. It replaces your post and page images, post thumbnails, gravatar images and content iframes with a placeholder and loads the content as it gets close to entering the browser screen. In other words, the images only display when the user scrolls to that part of the page, thus speeding up crucial loading time. This plugin also saves precious bandwith, boosts optimization and SEO and works with text widgets and embedded videos from YouTube and Vimeo. Particularly good for mobile users of your site.


16. Google Analytics by MonsterInsights

Understanding the visitors to your site is paramount, if you are to grow it. This excellent plugin will provide much information including who your visitors are, where they come from, how long they stay, which pages they visit, to list just a few of the many functions. To make it work you will need to link it to your Google account and your ‘Google My Business’ account - if you have not created the latter account yet, it is a good move to do this.


17. Jetpack by Autommattic & WordPress

Another good plugin from my list of the 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins provides a number of widgets and tools that takes care of your site security, website performance, traffic growth, image optimization, website appearance and a lot more. It is also a good alternative to the Google Analytics Plugin (16) for a simplified analytics tool.
In this screen shot, some of the widgets from Jetpack are shown when selecting 'Add Widget' button in the Site Origin Page Builder function.

Jetpack-2 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins


There is much to this plugin and this excellent video explains much more.

18. Social Media Follow Buttons Bar by Space-X-Chimp

There are many social follow plugins available, but I have found this is a neat one that works well and is easy to add. It  also has a ‘floating’ share option, too.  It is important to persuade your visitors to follow you on Social Media, to increase your exposure and this plugin makes that easy. A good addition to my list of 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins.


19. Sassy Social Share by Team Heator

Sharing your content is another great way to increase your awareness.  Again, many social share plugins exist but I find this works well. You can link to more than 100 platforms, making it really useful. The plugin also creates its own widget which can easily be added in Site Origin’s Page Builder.


20. Contact Form 7 by Takayuki Miyoshi

This is a great plugin where it is possible to create a customised contact form to suit your website and needs without additional extra coding etc..  Nice and simple!
This YouTube video tutorial shows you more.


My List Of The 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins Provides The Basic Essentials

There are loads of other good plugins available, but in my view, this list of the 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins represents the best WordPress Plugins for providing the basic essentials for improving your site SEO, optimizing loading speeds, providing hardened security, for marketing your site and for making you site work efficiently and effectively.
Plugins can interfere with each other but this selection all work together well without conflict for most themes.
These are the basics and if you want to customise your website further, such as adding an ecommerce or membership function, for instance, you will obviously need additional plugins.
When adding new plugins to your site, always ensure the plugin is compatible with the theme you use. Each plugin will state whether it has been tested on your theme. For every new plugin, you should read the notes and reviews etc., included, and you should go through the settings to ensure each plugin is set up right and will work right for your site.

20-Top-Plugins 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins


Regularly Update Your Plugins

You should also only use plugins that are regularly updated and have been updated within the past three months or so. These updates are improvements that can also contain the latest security coding to guard against the latest virus and malware threats. It is good practice to update all plugins as soon as the updates are issued.
All plugins might contain weaknesses that could allow access to your site by rogue external threats and it is important to think that the more plugins you have, the greater the risk. Plugins can be big files and can slow down your website's loading, so you should be mindful to only use the minimum number required to ensure good functionality of your site - ideally no more than thirty in total but nearer to twenty if possible.
Please note: The screenshots shown in this article may differ or change as the respective plugins are updated.


This List Is Designed For Small Businesses

This list is designed specifically to help startups, new businesses and small businesses to get started or to improve their sites.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact me below or by email
Also, if you have any great plugin suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Related Reading  -  How Targeted Is Your Marketing?

Related Reading  -  7 Strong Reasons Why You Should Build A Strong Brand

Robert-Viney-e1524724492788 20 Top Free WordPress Plugins

8 Step Goal Setting Process For Success

8-Step-Goal-Setting-Process-For-Success4-e1548933729486 8 Step Goal Setting Process For Success

8 Step Goal Setting Process For Success.

The most successful in business have many secrets to their success but many will say that one of the most effective tools has been GOAL SETTING.

Written by Robert Viney


Personally, I have always used GOAL SETTING and I am absolutely certain that I would not have started and run 7 highly successful businesses without the benefits that this process has brought me.

Generally, very few people use GOAL SETTING and this is one big reason why fewer than 1% of entrepreneurs achieve real business success.

I strongly recommend the process, if you are intent on building your success.


Goal Setting Can Create Many Benefits

Achieving GOAL SETTING, yourself, will bring the following benefits are:

  •  It will create something to aim for in your life or in your business and it will bring a vision of where you are going and where your journey will take you.

  • It will create clarity, allowing you to see more clearly what you are trying to achieve for yourself and your business and how you will complete your journey.

  • It will give you greater focus on every part of your life and every part of your business. 

  • It will create drive, determination and momentum and will allow you to move forward constantly, making good progress.

Many Get Lost In Their Businesses

It is very easy to get lost and overwhelmed in business.

In my experience, many entrepreneurs get lost because they don’t have the vision of where they are aiming for and they lack the clarity of how to get there.  Many also lack focus and are easily distracted, leading to procrastination and a lack of drive, determination and progress.


Goal Setting Can Get You Back On Track

Goal setting can get you back on track and can keep you there, powering you forward.

If you don’t set goals, I strongly urge you consider using this process  -  I think you could be surprised by the transformation, you could achieve.


Set Personal & Business Goals

If you have read any of my previous blogs, you would know that your personal attitude and mindset is just as important as your business strategy, if you are to achieve business success.


Related Reading ~ 8 Ways For Overcoming The Fear Of Failure

Related Reading ~ 7 Ways To Achieve A Positive Attitude


For this reason, you should set personal goals for your own personal development as well as business goals for your business.

You are the power house of your business and for you to get through the rough times, you need a strong mental attitude, so setting personal goals, such as being more positive and less negative can do that.

Business goals such as setting targets for sales, profits and product launches, etc. can really project your business forward.

 Goal-Setting-Adds-e1549281598743 8 Step Goal Setting Process For Success


Steps For Goal Setting

I have always used the following GOAL SETTING PROCESS and I suggest you adopt this, too.

Firstly, list FIVE PERSONAL GOALS and 5 FIVE BUSINESS GOALS that you would like to achieve in the next year.  Write them down in the present tense as if you have already achieved them.  This helps your subconscious mind accept the goals and will allow you to action them.

Secondly, prioritise the ONE PERSONAL GOAL that would bring the greatest benefit to you, personally, if achieved, and prioritise the ONE BUSINESS GOAL that would bring the greatest benefit to your business, again if achieved.

Thirdly, follow the following 8 STEPS to achieve your goals.


Step 1

Write your goal down clearly in detail.

Step 2

Set a specific date deadline.  If it is a big goal, set sub date deadlines and write them down in chronological order.

Step 3

Break your goal down into small steps that you need to perform and, if necessary, break each step down into sub steps.  You should include as much detail as possible to create clarity.  As you think of new steps, add these.

Step 4

Create an action plan for each step and sub step.

Step 5

Think of possible obstacles and challenges that you will need to overcome on the way and list these.

Step 6

Place all steps, sub steps and obstacles in chronological sequence and order.

Step 7

Take action each day on each goal. Don’t stop and keep the momentum going until you have achieved your goal.

Step 8

Read and review each goal each day and make sure that you really understand the steps involved. If your strategy changes requiring changes to the steps and sub steps, make these changes.

Follow-this-process-e1549282872608 8 Step Goal Setting Process For Success


If you follow this process, I am certain you will be surprised how much things will change for you. 

You must be patient, though, and don’t expect change overnight. Let the process take its course and execute each step and sub step in the correct way.


Read & Review Each Goal Each Day

It is vitally important that you read and review each goal each day and that you take action every day, too.  By doing this, you will maintain momentum and dispel any doubts you may harbour about your ability to progress your goals.

As you think of new goals add them to the original list, you made originally, and as you achieve each goal, select a new high priority goal to replace it and apply the same 8 Step process to it. 

 8-Step-Goal-Setting-Process-For-Success-6-e1548932880753 8 Step Goal Setting Process For Success


Make Goal Setting A Habit

Make goal setting and goal achieving a HABIT.  You will find that you will become far more productive and your confidence in your own ability and in your business success will grow.

But importantly, you will see yourself and your business make good progress.


Best of luck!

Please let me know how you get on.  

If you wish to discuss this further with me, please email me:

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8 Qualities Of The Success Mindsets Of The Most Successful In Business

Successful-People-Are-e1547633673565 8 Qualities Of The Success Mindsets Of The Most Successful In Business

8 Qualities Of The Success Mindsets Of The Most Successful In Business.

Ever wondered why some people are more successful in business than others?

Written by Robert Viney
Have you even wondered why some people are mega successful – the likes of Richard Branson, Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden?
The strategies that they use in their businesses are, without doubt, a big reason for their success but fundamentally, they each possess a SUCCESS MINDSET that gives them the power to succeed.
The Harvard Business School has continually reported over many years that their most successful students were the ones with the strongest and most positive attitude and mindset and not the most able.
  1. Each Is An Eternal Optimist

The most successful in business are all eternal optimists and they have great belief and confidence in their ability to succeed and to create good outcomes for everything they do.
Almost certainly, each would not have started with strong optimism; their confidence would have grown as they would have achieved more good outcomes on their business journey.
  1. Each Is Resilient

Things don’t always turn out right, though, and many would have experienced set-backs and failure on their success journey.  But each would have learned from the experience and each would have bounced back, stronger.
Importantly each would accept that failure is part of the success process.
  1. Each Is Open Minded

Everyone is very open minded, particularly to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Each accepts that if they and their businesses are to progress, they must keep developing and adapting.
They know that if they are resistant to change, they will get left behind.
  1. Each Is Mega Positive

Each one knows that if they are to be creative and to be able to develop, they need to be surrounded by positivity and to live and work in a positive ‘bubble’.
Many would have experienced negativity, at low times of their lives, and each would know its detrimental effects.  Most would have learned how to dispel negativity from their minds and their lives and how to permanently work to create positivity.
  1. Each is Highly Determined & Persistent

Because their desire for success and their unwavering expectation and optimism for their success is so massive, this creates a huge determination and drive in the relentless pursuit of their ambitions.
Their strong resilience and their ability to bounce back makes them highly persistent, with a ‘never give up’ attitude.
  1. Each Is Highly Disciplined

Their determination and persistence creates strong discipline.
Being disciplined means things are done when they should be done.  Even the most passionate in business will have parts that they dislike about their businesses but the most successful know that everything must be actioned in the right way and at the right time, if they are to keep progressing.
They know that procrastination and delay will slow their journey, so nothing is ‘put off’ or delayed.
  1. Each Is Resourceful

Each one learns to be resourceful and each one learns to make the best of what is available to them to progress. Everyone would have struggled, particularly in the early days of their business journey, but each would have worked hard to develop their skills and abilities and each would have created good progress in spite of limited money, skills, abilities and other resources.
  1. Each Is Happy

Doing what they love to does primarily create their happiness and contentment. The fruits of their labours would allow them a lifestyle to pursue interests outside their business life.
But each knows that ‘money’, itself, has not created their happiness  -  they would consciously have worked to create their happiness before the ‘money’ arrived. The money merely would have enhanced their previously happy state.
Being happy would have also strengthened their positivity and optimism and further strengthened their SUCCESS MINDSET.

Successful-People-Are 8 Qualities Of The Success Mindsets Of The Most Successful In Business


These 8 Qualities Are Fundamental To A Success Mindset

These EIGHT qualities, amongst others, are fundamental to the SUCCESS MINDSET for every successful entrepreneur.  If you possess these same qualities, then you have the right mindset to succeed in your business.
If you don’t possess these same qualities or you only possess some of these, it is possible to acquire new ones and to strength what you already have.
Think about each quality and think how you can acquire and strengthen each.
If, for instance, you want to strengthen your positivity, you should maybe assess what situations are making you feel negative or less positive and try to remove these from your life.

One Last Thought

I want to close this article with one last thought.
Many of the most successful in business would NOT have started their business journey with a STRONG SUCCESS MINDSET; they would have consciously created it by first assessing the parts of their mindset that were holding them back and then would have worked hard to strengthen each.
Very often the best way to gain these qualities or to strengthen these qualities is to take action. When things start to happen with positive outcomes, the confidence and self-belief grows.

You can do the same as the most successful!

If you would like to discuss this more with me, please email me at or contact me below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Robert-Viney 8 Qualities Of The Success Mindsets Of The Most Successful In Business

6 Customer Rules Guaranteed To Grow Your Business

6-CUSTOMER-RULES-e1544276237178 6 Customer Rules Guaranteed To Grow Your Business

6 Customer Rules Guaranteed To Grow Your Business.

Tried And Tested Business Ways That Have Been Shown To Work, Time And Time Again.

written by Robert Viney


It would be stating the obvious to say that customers are the 'life-blood' of any business.

But, they really are.

Without sufficient customers, you will have insufficient sales and profits to sustain the business and eventually your business will close.

Every business owner should keeping thinking how they can get more customers to their business.

Here, 6 TOP CUSTOMER RULES guaranteed to grow your business are discussed:


1.   Always Welcome Your Customers

Customers should always feel welcome to your business.  This particularly applies if your potential customer actually physically enters your business, such as a retail business  ~  here, generally, retail businesses are very poor at 'welcoming' people.

It just needs a simple "Hello" and a smile to make a customer feel comfortable and to make the customer feel wanted by the business.

Whatever your business you should think how you can make your customers welcome.


2.   Always Say “Thank You”

The same as a nice "welcome", a business should always say “thank you” whether that person has bought something or not.  If it is a retail business, a nice “thank you” is the last thing that that person remembers when they leave.  If their customer experience had been good, this will reinforce their memory of the experience.

If you operate a non retail business a nice message at the check out after a purchase or when someone leaves your website can leave a lasting memory.

Whatever business you run, give your “thank you” some thought and think how you can possibly improve it.

The second of our 6 customer rules guaranteed to grow your business is to say "Thank You"


1.-Always-Welcome-Your-Customer-2 6 Customer Rules Guaranteed To Grow Your Business.

3.   Always Be Transparent

Customers hate surprises such as hidden costs etc.  In nearly 40 years in business, I have learned that the more transparent and open you are with your customers, the more they will trust you and the more they will buy from you.

Always be transparent on prices for your products but be honest about extra charges such as delivery etc.  Don’t let customers find out at the check-out, for instance. This is a good way to lose them.

You should never over promise, just to get a sale – for instance, don’t promise a delivery time of 5 days when the true delivery time is 9 days.

The answer for success is always UNDER PROMISE & OVER DELIVER.


4.    Never Disregard Complaints

Every business will get customer complaints from time to time but how you deal with them could put you above your competition.

Some business owners will ‘bury their head in the sand’ and either ignore the complaint or out off dealing with it.  Neither way works.

The quicker and better you deal with the complaint to the customer’s satisfaction, the more you are likely to keep that customer.

Surveys consistently show that 70% of customers who complain will return to buy again, if their customer is dealt with to their satisfaction. I know, from own experience, that is very true.

So deal with your complaints quickly and efficiently as part of our 6 Customer Rules Guaranteed To Grow Your Business.

1.-Always-Welcome-Your-Customer-4 6 Customer Rules Guaranteed To Grow Your Business

5.  Always Focus On The Customer

I said at the top of this piece that the customer is the ‘life blood’ of your business. In fact without enough customers you will not have a profit for your business.

This makes your customer the single most important part of your business.

With such importance, your primary focus should be your customer and not your company or business. Your company should be run around the needs and musts of your customer, including:

  • Which products you sell

  • The prices you charge

  • What customer service you offer

  • The customer experience, you offer

Always make your customer you primary focus.


6.    Always Deliver The Best Customer Experience

If your customers enjoy the experience they derive from the products and service that they buy from you, they are more likely to buy again from you and they are more likely to tell their friends.

Many businesses go wrong by not thinking enough about the Customer Experience and how they can improve this.

Your customer experience should always be prioritised.

6-CUSTOMER-RULES-e1544276237178 6 Customer Rules Guaranteed To Grow Your Business


Here is a short description of 6 CUSTOMER RULES that I know really do work.

As with everything in business, it is all down to how you think about your business.  Give these 6 CUSTOMER RULES some though and think how you can enhance each for your business.

I am sure over time, your sales and customer numbers will grow.


If you wish to talk more with me about this, please do contact me at: or contact me below.  It would be great to hear from you.


Contact-Robert 6 Customer Rules Guaranteed To Grow Your Business

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Visualise Your Business Success

Visualise-YourBusiness-Success-e1550662475297 Visualise Your Business Success

Share Our Blog To The World

Visualise Your Success.

See How Visualising Your Goals Could Boost Your Business Success Prospects.

Recently a client of mine won a prestigious business award from ex Dragen’s Den, Theo Paphitis.
Charlotte Kleban of Hand Drawn World ( is a very gifted and award-winning graduate textile designer who specialises in hand print design but two years ago, when I first started to coach her, she harboured some doubts in her ability to build and grow her business.

In order to strengthen her self-belief in her ability to eventually make a success of her business, I introduced her to VISUALISATION.


Watch This Short Video

On receiving the award from Theo Paphitis, she sent me a message:

“I visualised myself winning so many times and it’s finally happened”
The ‘Small Business Sunday’ Award (#SBS) is the most recent of a long string of business awards that she has won and arguably this is the most prestigious of them all.
Every award has built her confidence and self-belief and has created much needed and positive exposure on social media and other outlets.

Exhibiting Her Products Was Important.

Charlotte Kleban creates and sells a large portfolio of products from Teapots and tea-sets to socks and greeting cards and exhibiting her products to potential customers and talking to these people was a major part of marketing her business.
I remember her texting me just before exhibiting as a trader at The Manchester Youth Market, saying she was a bit nervous.
I texted her back and said:
“visualise yourself talking to your potential customers and visualise them loving your products and buying them”
… she succeeded in winning a Highly Commended Trader Award at the event.

constallation-e1542715665918 Visualise Your Business Success

Now her business is going from strength to strength with a strong demand for her products and she is in a ‘good place’.  As I write this article, she messaged me to say that she had just enjoyed her best week of sales, ever.
I am sure Visualisation has worked its part in her success.

When I First Started, I Doubted Myself

When I first started in business, I doubted my ability to grow a business successfully and I used visualisation to boost my self-belief and self-confidence.
I wanted to own and run my own public house, but I am a naturally shy person and knew I had to be able to talk to people.
And, that was difficult for me.
I repeatedly visualised myself talking to my customers, serving them with beer and them loving my public house.
It was tough at times, but I achieved it and the White Hart was a great success, with the business growing to include a total of five public houses and a brewery, building to an annual turnover of £5 million.
Much of this was down to my use of visualisation to boost my self-belief.

Many In Business Suffer From Self-Doubts

Many business owners can suffer from self-doubt and the lack of belief in their ability to grow their businesses into a success.
If you have the same self-doubt, you are not an exception.
Importantly, though, you can do the same as Charlotte and myself did  -  and it could be easier than you think.

Visualise Your Goals

Create yourself a goal or a visual image and keep thinking about it and keep visualising it in your mind.
It could be:
  • Selling to customers
  • Talking to happy customers
  • Receiving a business award
  • Seeing orders flooding into your ecommerce site
  • Receiving good customer testimonials
  • Seeing a bank statement with a large cash balance
  • Buying a nice car, you have bought from the profits of your business.
The process works by visualising any positive situation, positive thought or positive image that you can picture in your mind; it must relate to a good, positive goal being achieved or a good successful stage within your business being attained.
It could be something you have achieved in the past or something that you wish to achieve in the future.
By thinking about something you have achieved in the past, it can give you the confidence to know that you can achieve good things, especially at times when your self-belief is minimal.  By thinking about something in the future, it gives you a goal or target to reach for in the future, in the same way that Charlotte visualised winning the award from Theo Paphitis.
Importantly, visualisation can be used to create development in yourself and in your business, thus driving yourself and your business forward.

You Must Keep Visualising Repeatedly

It is important that you continually visualise your positive image or positive thought (past, present and future) literally many times a day.  By doing this, your sub conscious mind will gradually accept it and it will make it easier to use the image or thought for your benefit.

Our Subconscious Minds Are There To Protect Us

Our subconscious minds are very powerful and are there to protect us.
Going back thousands of years to when we were in the jungle, our subconscious minds worked to protect us from dangers such as wild beasts and our tribal enemies, etc..  When confronted with a ‘dangerous’ situation, our subconscious minds would automatically kick in to move us away from the danger, without us consciously thinking about taking action.
These days, it can work differently to protect us;  it can, for instance, work automatically and spontaneously to keep us inside our comfort zones and away from difficult situations, without us thinking consciously.
If confronted by a situation that makes us feel uncomfortable, our subconscious mind will stop us getting into that situation.

We Can Override Our Subconscious Minds

It is possible, however to override our subconscious minds;  by repeatedly thinking about and visualising a situation, thought or image that takes us outside our comfort zones, we can program our subconscious minds to accept that we want to experience an uncomfortable situation.
Eventually it will allow us to do this.
For me, it worked by allowing me to enter a bar full of customers and to talk to them.  For Charlotte, it allowed her to talk to people at her exhibitions and it allowed her to have the courage to put herself and her business forward for business awards.

Visualisation Helps Focus

Repeated visualisation also allows us to maintain focus on our goals and our business journey.
When the goals involve personal self-development and growing our businesses, the continual visualisation ensures we are continually focused on moving forward; then continual progress forward is achieved.
Focus is really important, if business success is to be attained.

Visualisation Can Cancel Out Negativity

Very often, doubts can manifest themselves when negative comments are recieved or a negative situation arises.
Mentally, it can only take one negative comment to cancel out the positive feelings created by a large number of good comments or one negative situation can cancel out the effect of many positive situations achieved previously.
By using visualisation, you can cancel out a negative comment or a negative situation.
When a negative comment is received or a negative situation arises, for instance, you must first deal with it, then you must visualise the many good comments and good situations that have occurred in your business, previously.
This then should divert the focus from the negativity to the positivity.

Here Is An Example

At The White Hart, complaints were very rare.
I remember one situation on a Saturday evening when we received one complaint about a meal after serving 300 meals  -  the staff were feeling a little dejected because they were focusing on the ONE complaint.
We had been showered with compliments that night from the other happy customers and I said to my staff:
“Please focus on the 299 happy customers NOT the one unhappy customer”
That comment changed their mood, completely, as they visualised the happy customers, that they had served, and forgot about the one unhappy one.
It is very easy to focus on the negative – we can all do it.

white-hart-2-e1527324160102 Visualise Your Business Success


Try Visualisation Today, Yourself

If you do lack self-belief or self-confidence, you can use visualisation, yourself, to bolster your self-belief by setting and achieving goals.
Use this method:
  • Make a short list of your main goals
  • Choose the one or two most important goals
  • Break each of the chosen goals down into the steps, need to achieve each goal
  • Write down each goal and the steps required
  • Visualise each goal and its steps in your mind
  • List the challenges on the way and visualise you combatting these
  • Visualise the benefits that you will derive from achieving each goal
  • Write notes to remind yourself of these goals (and steps) and leave them in strategic places in your home and office – even the loo!
Breaking your goals down into steps will allow you to see how your goal can be achieved and this process should give you some confidence to think that the goal can be achieved, eventually.  There will be difficulties and challenges along the way and you should visualise yourself combatting these.
Each goal should be big enough to create ‘benefits’ for yourself or your business and you should visualise the benefit that will come from achieving each goal.

Use ‘Post-Its’

‘Post its’ are a good way to remind yourself of your goals and the steps  -  try leaving them anywhere that will prompt you, several times a day.
Gradually your subconscious mind will accept your thoughts and goals and it will allow you to act out the steps to achieve your goals.

Visualise The Benefits

Visualising the benefits can be very powerful.
If, for instance, your business is making a trading loss, this situation could creat worry and stress for you  –  can be a ‘horrible’ feeling.
You could set a goal to gain a certain number of new customers to stop the losses and to create a profit.  Here the real benefit would be greater sales from the extra customers and hopefully the creation of a profit.
You could imagine the ‘nice’ feeling of making a profit replacing the ‘horrible’ feeling of worrying about having a trading loss.
I hope you can see how visualisation can work.

Go Back To Your List Of Goals

When you have achieved your first goal or goals, then go back to your original list of goals and choose more and repeat the process.

Visulaise-Your-Success Visualise Your Business Success


Give Visualisation A Go

I hope you can give Visualisation a go to move yourself and your business forward  -  whatever your situation, I am certain it could make a difference.
This is a very short explanation, but if you wish to talk more about visualisation, please contact me below or email me:

Contact-Robert Visualise Your Business Success


Robert-Viney Visualise Your Business Success

Achieve Double-Digit Growth In Your Pension

Achieve-Double-Digit-Growth-In-Your-Pension-e1537442590214 Achieve Double-Digit Growth In Your Pension

Achieve Double-Digit Growth In Your Pension.

Want Better Growth On Your Pensions & Investments?

Here Is A Good Way To Do That.


You have worked hard to create a good profit in your business.  You are investing in a pension for when you retire.
You get your annual pension statement and the growth disappoints.
Have you been there?
I know many have.
Here is a way to get better growth – at least double-digit growth


Many Have Lost Money

Recently, there has been some press concerning pension scams, where a number of people have been defrauded out of large sums of money and, in some cases, their entire pensions.
This is incredibly sad when a person has worked hard and paid into a pension for some time, then to have it taken away from them by some rogue organisation or scam.
Talking to many business owners over the years, it is evident that many are too busy to think about their long-term pension arrangements and, when they do, they invest into pension schemes that have poor returns.
I thought it might be useful if I shared some good advice on how I have invested into a SIPP for the past 4 years and where I have achieved a minimum of 15% annual return each year.

Investment Funds

It involves investing in the global stock market but not by buying individual stocks and shares, such as BP or Shell, but by investing in Investment Funds, that are made up of many good shares, through a reliable and trusted platform called Hargreaves Lansdown.
You possibly have heard of Hargreaves Lansdown, as their representatives often appear in the business press or on the BBC, Bloomburg or CNBC with advice on pensions, investing and other business matters.
They operate a platform where you can buy and sell individual shares and investment funds. I have used this platform for the past 4 years and, as I have said, have achieved good returns on my investments.
Through this platform, I have three investment accounts:
1.    SIPP pension
2.    Tax free ISA
3.    Other investments
Prior to 2014, I had my pensions invested in several orthodox institutional pension funds but I noticed the return was slowing, despite promises of good returns.

It Was Very Simple To Do

I was very simple to start.
I opened a Hargreaves Lansdown account and arranged for my pensions to be paid into one SIPP account.
I also had ISA savings which were doing very poorly too and I transferred these into another account, but this time an ISA account, free of tax.
In addition, I also had shares in a number of FTSE 100 and 250 companies and transferred these into a third ‘other investment’ account that was outside the SIPP and ISA wrappings.
Everything was done online through the Hargreaves Lansdown website.

My Average Return Has Equalled 15%

Since then I have achieved an average of 15% growth, year on year.
But also for four years now, I have had all my investments in one place and whenever I log into my online Hargreaves Lansdown account, I can see instantly how much each account is worth and what my total portfolio is worth too.
Then, with just a few clicks, I can see how each investment within each portfolio is doing, too.

Before I Transferred Everything, I did My Homework

Crucially, though, before I transferred everything, I did my homework for about 6 months before I took the plunge.
The Hargreaves Lansdown website allows you to research investment funds before investing, which means you can follow the performance of selected funds before you invest into them.
You just register and set up a ‘watchlist’ by adding Investment Funds to the list and monitor how the funds do.
Simply go to the Hargreaves Lansdown website,


Hargreaves-Lansdowne-For-Pensions-e1537443311566 Achieve Double-Digit Growth In Your Pension


I Have Invested In More Than 40 Funds

During the past four years, I have researched very heavily the best funds to invest in and have invested in more than 40.
Investment values can go up and down, and it is possible to lose money, if you are careless.
The key is to spread the risk and this makes the whole process reasonably low risk.

An Investment Fund Is A Conglomeration Of Many Shares

An Investment Fund is a conglomeration of many different company stocks and shares, nominated by an expert fund manager. These funds could constitute as many as 25 or more shares in companies, sometimes from different parts of the world.
The idea is simple - if several shares decline in value, the whole value of the fund may not be affected as the risk is spread.
You can then spread the risk further by investing in a number of different funds. Then, if one fund value does drop, the others may not.
The one exception to this could be if there is a universal drop in all global markets, such as in 2008/9 banking crash and after the Brexit referendum.
Since I have been investing, I have reduced the number of investment funds down to less than 20 currently and I now have a very good idea of the ones to invest in for the best returns:

My Top 5 Investment Funds

Here are my Top 5 Investment Funds, currently:
  1. Lindsell Train Global Equity Class D Fund ~  last year’s growth 27%
  2. Fundsmith Equity Class 1 Accumulated Fund  ~  last year’s growth 18%
  3. AXA Framlington Global Technology Accumulated Fund Class Z  ~  last year’s growth 33%
  4. AXA Framlington American Growth Accumulated Class Z  ~ last year’s growth 33%
  5. Baillie Gifford American Fund Class B Accumulated  ~  last year’s growth 45%
The growth for all these funds for the past twelve months is very good, but each fund has also provided good growth for the previous two to three years, too.
Each fund is very well established and each is managed by very experienced fund managers, who really know their stuff.

How The Investment Fund Price Is Determined

Put simply, the total value of the fund is the total number of shares held multiplied by the value of each share. If the number of shares and/or their share price increase, so the total value of the fund increases and the fund price increases. Conversely, if the number of shares and prices decrease, so the total fund value decreases and the fund price decreases.
Many of the shares that make up the funds will pay dividends as cash or shares which go into building the total value of the funds.  Some these of dividends can be paid out as cash – these funds are known as ‘income funds’
When the dividends are not paid out, and all or most the dividends are reinvested into the fund, this will also add to its total value – these funds are known as ‘accumulated funds’.  


I Am Presently Favouring Non Uk & Non EU Funds

At the time of writing (September 2018), I am favouring specific non-UK and non-European funds because of Brexit and the doubts in these national economies. Some of my recommended funds do still feature UK and some European stocks, but these are in the minority.
I do think, however, if we have a hard Brexit or a ‘no deal’, all investment funds globally will decline in value.
I am tending to favour global funds that invest in several countries, especially the US but also technology funds that include the likes of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and others.
Here, too, there could be threats  –  from President Trump’s trade wars and trade tariffs and the authority’s clampdown on the Technology companies.
You have to be mindful of what is happening.

I Have A ‘Plan B’

When I think values of one or more investment fund might drop, I will sell and will move the money into one relatively safe investment fund:
6.  Royal London Sterling Extra Yield Bond  ~  last year’s growth 6%
This is a 6th top tip and my ‘Plan B’.
The fund constitutes primarily UK bonds and its value and its price has a low spread but pays a healthy 5.5% dividend - so if the value of the fund does not rise, you still get paid a dividend which you can either reinvest into your portfolio or take as cash.
The price of this fund tends to move less than the prices of the other investment funds.


Achieve-Double-Digit-Growth-In-Your-Pension-e1537442590214 Achieve Double-Digit Growth In Your Pension


One Other Tip:

I obviously keep an eye on the financial press to see how my funds will perform and each day, Hargreaves Lansdown will email you to alert you to trends in the markets. They also offer other expert advice, too, which is very useful.
I also tune into CNBC, when I can, at about 8.50pm to view a programme called ‘Closing Bell’ – this is transmitted as the US stock markets close and usually for the first 30 minutes or so, it includes views from many experts such as Investment Fund managers and share traders on the state of the US and other markets. 
Here, you can get an analysis for the reasons into the market moves for the day and you get an idea of how the markets will move in the future, which is also really useful.
Many of my investing decisions have been based on this programme.

One Final Tip:

All markets will move up and down – this is a normal cycle.
The rise and falls can be plus or minus 2% - 3% in the prices of investment funds.
This is good for investing.
I always buy into Investment Funds when the markets dip, or when the price is low, then as the market naturally rises, my investment can grow quite quickly.  
By doing this, I can gain 2% to 3% in as many weeks or months.
The time to sell is when the market prices peak or when you get the highest or best price.
If you are really clever, you can sell at the peak of a natural cycle (when prices are highest)  and buy the same investment back (when prices are lowest). The skill is predicting the cycles and when peaks and troughs will occur.
You won’t always get it right  -  I have not.
But if you get it right most of the time, you will win.

Charges For Investing

Hargreaves Lansdown and the Investment Funds do charge to use the platform and to invest, but these are modest, usually about 1% or so per annum and if you are clever, you can easily cover this cost.

Look At The Hargreaves Lansdown Website

Take a look today at the website, register and have a good look around.
Then create a ‘wishlist’ and load the funds that I have recommended from this blog and monitor the price etc. over a 6 month period.
Maybe load other funds that may interest you, too.
Then, when you have a feel for things and the prices are right, maybe start investing.  The minimum investment is £100.
So you could start slow.
Best of luck!

More Information And Advice

This blog is a very simple explanation of what can be achieved and is only a simple summary.
If you would like to talk to me about this or you would like to know more, I would be very pleased to help you get started.
Please contact me below or email me at

Contact-Robert Achieve Double-Digit Growth In Your Pension

Robert-Viney-e1524724492788 Achieve Double-Digit Growth In Your Pension

5 Business Growth Hacks (Part1) To Boost Your Business Sales & Profits

5-Business-Growth-Hacks-e1536139800267 5 Business Growth Hacks (Part1) To Boost Your Business Sales & Profits

5 Business Growth Hacks To Boost Your Business Sales & Profits.

Small & easy-to-implement business ideas that are guaranteed to make a big difference to your business.

by Robert Viney

Part 1.

This is the first part of a series of blogs with short bite size pieces of business advice, which if implemented could make a real difference to your business sales and profits.
I have realised, from more than 30 years of starting and running businesses, it is very often the small and simple things that can make the biggest difference to the growth of a business.
Also from coaching many businesses over the past 15 years, I have learned that many small businesses owners use the excuse of ‘not having time’ to NOT implement new ideas.
But when shown how to make small changes that take little time to plan and implement, they realise that they do have time, after all, and it is very possible to introduce new ideas that can make a big difference.


Here I Suggest 5 Business Growth Hack Ideas To Boost Your Business

Here I suggest FIVE ways to make changes to your business – one for every day of a 5 day working week.
Start with number 1 on Monday and work through to number 5 on Friday.
Each should only take one hour of your time, each day and, in some cases, a lot less time.


1.    Monday  -  Collect Customer Reviews
2.    Tuesday  -  Place Your Customer Reviews On Your Social Media and Your Website
3.    Wednesday  -  Make Continual Progress In Your Business
4.    Thursday  -  Ask Your Employees To Suggest Three Ways To Save Money In Your Business
5.    Friday  -  Divide Your Customers Into Customer Groups



1.    Collect Customer Reviews

87% of people will go online and check your customer reviews before they purchase from you.
But if you have no customer reviews or you only have a few or what you have are out of date, your potential customer will not be impressed and you could lose them.
But it is very simple to get a review from a customer who has made a purchase - simply ask them.
In my experience, most people are happy to provide you with a review, but many business owners are too frightened to ask for fear of what they will hear.
But good or bad, you need to know.
If the review is good, you will know that what you are doing is satisfying your customer and if the review is bad or poor, this is valuable information for you to improve things.
So, you must do it today.
Contact your most recent customers and ask them for a review  -  'phone or email them now!



2.    Place Your Customer Reviews On Your Social Media & Your Website

New potential customers will buy when they have trust in your business and your products.
One way to create trust is from good reviews from existing customers – so it makes sense to place them where your target customers will be looking and where they will see them.
That means your social media and your website.


See How This Can Be Done

Recently, I did this for one of my clients.
His name is Chris Fleet, a top accredited UK hypnotherapist, helping people with anxiety and depression to improve their lives.  He also trains new hypnotherapists at his Devon School Of Hypnotherapy to Diploma Level.
Recently I placed this review from a successful hypnotherapy student, who graduated from his school, onto his Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
It was only part of the review, as the student Jo Webber provided a lengthy review - but it was enough to create much awareness.

Chris-Was-An-Amazing-Teacher-e1536140627160 5 Business Growth Hacks (Part1) To Boost Your Business Sales & Profits

Here is another student review from another one of Chris Fleet's successful students, Ali De Matos  -   I placed this onto the home page of his website, along with a picture of Chris and Ali De Matos, proudly showing off her Diploma In Hypnotherapy.
Crucially, the review and picture were placed near the top of the webpage, so that more visitors would see it.
Again this technique has worked well and has helped to sell his Hypnotherapy Course places.


Testimonial-Ali-DeMatos-e1536142298146 5 Business Growth Hacks (Part1) To Boost Your Business Sales & Profits

Gain-A-Diploma-In-Hypnotherapy 5 Business Growth Hacks (Part1) To Boost Your Business Sales & Profits

You can see more by visiting
This technique of placing customer reviews onto social media and onto website pages can be very powerful and is something you should do, too.


3.    Make Continual Progress In Your Business

It is wise to have a good Business Plan for your business to set your strategy, but too often, small businesses create a Business Plan, then either forget about it or ignore it.
Often there is a good reason for this  -  the business strategy that they have set themselves or that someone else has set for them is too ambitious and they are overwhelmed by it.
In business, you need to continually move forward, but a slow steady pace is far better than trying to grow your business at a gallop – growing a business is a marathon NOT a sprint.
The best strategy that I advise for my clients is simply to just beat the previous month’s sales total. If you do this most of the time, you are ultimately moving your business forward and in the right direction.


This Is Very Simple To Do
This is simple to do  –  just record and total your business sales for each month and try to beat the previous month’s total.
For most businesses, you can either keep a cumulative sales total as the month progresses or set aside an hour or so at the end of each month, to total your sales.
If you don’t beat the previous month, then sit down and see how you can improve things for the coming month.
By adopting this strategy, it can remove a lot of unnecessary stress and can stop you becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of the task of achieving a large growth.
If your monthly turnover is £10,000.00, say, and you beat each month by 1% for ten months of the year, your annual sales will grow by approximately 10%  -  provided, of course, the other two months don't see a big drop in your sales!



4.    Ask Your Employees To Suggest Three Ways To Save Money

Employees love to feel that they are more than just ‘workers’ in a business.
I know from experience that many like to feel more involved in the business than just working in it and one of the best ways to achieve this is by sometimes involving them in the decision making.
I know many employees have some good ideas about how a business should be run but, too often, they feel their views are not welcome or are not needed.
They then keep these ideas to themselves.
For my businesses, some of my best business idea have come from employee suggestions and these ideas have proved to be very successful when implemented.
As a business owner, you cannot have all the answers on how your business should be run best and you should really welcome ideas from the people who are often the closest to the working clogs of your business  -  namely, your employees.


Ask Them To Suggest Three Ways
Today ask your employees to suggest THREE WAYS to save money and to reduce costs in your business  -  maybe, even offer a prize for the best suggestion.
I think you could be surprised by what is suggested.



5.    Divide Your Customers Into Customer Groups

Then, finally for Friday, a good suggestion to grow your sales by understanding your customers better.
You customers will only buy from you if they feel your products really help them and if your products provide the right benefits.  If they think your products are not right, they will not buy and you could lose potential sales.
One good way to optimise your sales is to ensure your products are exactly what your customers want but there is a good chance not all of your products will appeal to every customer.
If, for instance, you run a café and you have a nice selection of meals, it is very easy to think that everyone will have the same dietary tastes.
But, in reality, this is not the case.
For instance, older people may like to eat different meals to younger people, meat eaters will want different choices to vegetarians and vegans and some people may like a large meal while others will like a light meal.
This is just a general description of how tastes could vary.


Customers Can Be Divided Into Groups
A good way to approach this is to think that customers can be divided into distinct customer groups, where each group could contain customers of a similar disposition with similar tastes, such as:


·      Older people
·      Younger people
·      Meat eaters
·      Vegetarians
·      Vegans
.      Children


In order to optimise your café sales, you would be well advised to offer different meals for the different individual customer groups.


For other businesses, you might have other customer groups based on:


·      Gender
·      Earning ability
·      Marital status
·      Retired
·      Homeowners
·      Students
This list is not exhaustive but should give you an idea of how to potentially divide your customers into groups.


Simple Exercise To Evaluate Your Customer Groups
It is a very simple exercise to take an A4 piece of paper and to list the likely customer groups that your products appeal to, and then to list which of your products will appeal to each group.
You should then assess each customer group, separately, and see whether the needs and wants of the customers in each group are fully catered for by your products.
When they are not, maybe create new products or improve existing products.


Maybe ask yourself these questions:
1.    Do I have a good choice of product(s) for each of my customer groups?
2.    Are my products right for each customer group?
3.    Do my products bring the right benefits to each of my customer groups?
4.    Does each of my customer groups get a good customer experience from my products?
From this very simple exercise, you could be surprised to discover that you are losing potential sales simply because you are neglecting one or more customer groups.
To help you with the process, you could even ask your customers what their views are  –  as suggested in 1) above here in this article.
The more you know and understand about the needs and wants of your customers, the greater the number of customers, you will attract and the more of your products, they will buy.


5-Business-Growth-Hacks 5 Business Growth Hacks (Part1) To Boost Your Business Sales & Profits


All 5 Growth Hacks Are Very Easy To Implement

The basis to the success of my business coaching is to make business owners think differently about their businesses.
Very often owners are too close to their businesses and their thinking becomes very narrow and very restrictive.
But when shown ‘how to think’ and ‘what to think’ differently, I have seen many business owners experience ‘lightbulb moments’ where they suddenly see things differently within their businesses.
The results can be staggering  -  creating big positive changes to their businesses through small actions that have taken ONLY the minimum amount of time and effort to implement.


I Want To Challenge You To Use These Ideas

Starting next MONDAY, please implement each one of these ideas on the days indicated and see if you can use these ideas to grow your business.
If you are already using some or all of these ideas, then well done.


Let Me Know How You Get On

I would love to know how you get on  -  so please contact me.
Email me at or contact me below.

Best Of Luck!

Please look out for Part 2, too, in the coming weeks, with more easy-to-implement ideas to grow your business.

Boost Your Customer Numbers Through Engagement

Customer-Engagement-2-e1533711443948 Boost Your Customer Numbers Through Engagement

Want To Boost Your Customer Numbers?

Engage with every customer & treat them like a 'guest' visiting your home.

 Written by Robert Viney


I am certain that if you greeted a visitor into your home, you would be courteous, polite and friendly.
Am I correct?
When an existing or potential customer visits your business, do you extend the same courtesy?
I would hope you would.
But if you do, I think, quite possibly, you could be in the minority.


Many Businesses Do Not Treat Their Customers As Guests

In my experience, many businesses do not do this.
And, sadly, these businesses are missing out on new customers, more sales and more profits, as a result, and they cannot see it.


A Sure Way To Grow Your Customer Numbers Is To Engage

A sure way to grow your business customers, sales and profits is to put yourself out and to engage with everyone who comes into contact with your business.
Then, over time, many of these people could be converted into paying customers.


Convert Guests Into Customers

I know, for certain, that this works.
For more than 30 years, I have practiced making people feel like ‘guests’ and I have been able to convert many of these into paying customers.
In all my businesses, it has never failed to work.


I Often See Businesses Not Engaging

Constantly, I see businesses not engaging sufficiently.
Let’s look at the retail trade …
I am continually disappointed by the reception that I get when I visit high street shops.
It does not matter where I am, I often get the same reception … or the lack of reception.
More often than not, there is no engagement from the staff or owners of these shops.
Not even an acknowledgement!


I Expect This In Larger Shops

Sadly, I expect it in larger shops owned by large chains, but I often see the same action from smaller independent shops when the owner is present.
So many make no effort to engage, not even a “Hello” or even ‘eye contact’
I take that as being very rude and this action can make it uncomfortable for the customer to be in the shop.
I certainly don’t feel like a ‘guest’


For me, my thought is often this:
“If the owner cannot be bothered to engage, then I cannot be bothered to browse their shop and spend my money”
So, I leave the shop and I know many of my friends and associates feel and do the same!
Have you had this experience too?
These businesses are losing potential customers and sales and they cannot see it.


I Have Worked In Retail Most Of My Working Life

I have worked in retail most of my working life  –  I have run public houses and high street shops  - and engaging with customers has been easy for me.
When a customer is in front of me, making eye contact, saying “hello and welcome” is a spontaneous reaction.
I have always felt not to talk is VERY RUDE.


I Have Always Made The Effort To Talk

I have always made the effort to talk to them.
It does not have to be a long conversation, just a few words to make the customer feel welcome.
I have treated them as if they were a guest in my own home.


Most Customers Want To Be Welcomed

Most customers just want to be acknowledged with a nice “Hello” to break the ice.
Surely, in that situation, there is really no excuse on the part of the business owner or employee not to engage when the customer is just a few feet in front of them.
No engagement is very rude!
No engagement is ruining businesses and losing business owners customers, sales and profits.
No wonder the High Street is dying!


It Does Not Have To Be A Long Chat

The skill of the retailer is knowing whether the customer wants to just a quick “Hello” and a short chat or whether the customer wants a longer chat.
Not all customers are the same, but all customers deserve the courtesy and politeness of at least being acknowledged.

Copy-of-Customer-Engagement-490x350 Boost Your Customer Numbers Through Engagement

I See Poor Engagement Everywhere

It is not just retail businesses where I see little engagement, it is everywhere.
There is the telephone …
I have had more poor experiences than good ones, here.
Many times, I have experienced an unhelpful person on the other end of a telephone line, who keeps engagement to the minimum, making me feel they don’t really want my business.
Have you had this experience too?
I am sure you have.
The good telephone operative should be able to make a potential customer feel like a ‘guest’ by making them feel welcome to ‘visit’ their business, even though it is on a telephone line.


I See It Online Too

Online offerings from businesses can be similar.
The customer’s journey starts much earlier than it used to before the internet came along.
85% of customers will view a company’s website and their social media output and read their customer reviews, etc before buying from the customer.


But Many Are Not User Friendly

But, too often, the online offerings, such as their website or social media sites are not user friendly or are sparse on detail and don’t draw visitors into their businesses.
Half of businesses still don’t have websites (incredibly) and many of those that do have a website, do not seem to prioritise them by regularly updating them and making them easy to use.
Social Media is a great platform to engage with people before and after they buy, and many businesses are not taking advantage this great facility -  much of which is free to use.


Many Are Out Of Date

I often see websites and social media output that are not regularly updated.
One bad practice for social media is what I call ‘post & go’ – here a piece of content is posted about their business and then the business owner disappears, often ignoring corresponding comments and questions or not responding quickly to them.
That is no way to engage and this poor level of engagement puts people off the brand.


People Should Be Made To Feel Like ‘Guests’ On Line, too

When someone visits the online offering for a business, they should be made to feel welcome and again be made to feel like a ‘guest’ – but sadly many don’t.
If a visitor feels like a ‘guest’, they are more likely to stay on a website or a social media platform and have a good look at what is offered and be tempted to make contact or buy.


Some Businesses Try To Sell Too Hard

Other businesses make the mistake of posting content that tries to sell sell rather than educate on their Social Media accounts.
These businesses do not realise that customers want to learn about the products and the business selling them before they consider purchasing.


People do NOT want to be sold to

All target customers want to learn about a business, its products and the benefits that can be experienced.
And, they all want this before they buy.


People Want To Learn About The People Behind A Business

Furthermore, people want to learn about the people who own and run the business.
If social media marketing is done right, it is very possible to gain an insight into the personalities of the owners and the culture of the business.
All of which can influence a purchase.


Engagement Does Work

Not all businesses are poor at engagement.
Many do it very well, some incredibly well, but sadly, from my observations, such businesses are in the minority.
But, I know with great certainty that the businesses that engage and talk well to their customers, always achieve higher sales and profits.


Why Does Engagement Work?

The reason engagement works is very simple.


People Buy People!

A person is more likely to buy from a business if they know and like the people who own and run it.
It is basic psychology.
When a customer likes the people behind a business, they will buy more of their products, be loyal to their brand and they are more likely to tell others about that business.
Conversely, though, when people feel no affinity for a business, its brand and its products, they do not buy.


I Ran A Delicatessen Business For 12 Years

For 12 years I ran two very successful delicatessens/sandwich shops in Torbay. Myself and my employees engaged with all visitors and customers to the shops.
I say ‘visitors to the shops’ as I was not bothered if people entering the shops bought. Everyone received a nice greeting and each was made to feel welcome and, importantly, there was no pressure to buy.
Each visitor was made to feel like a ‘guest’
PICKNICS-OF-DEVON-TORQUAY-SHOP Boost Your Customer Numbers Through Engagement
My philosophy was simple:
Get to know people through engagement and then build up a relationship with them rather than try to sell to them.
On average, 8 out of 10 people always returned to buy eventually.
And, when they did buy, we were always keen to thank them and to engage further, encouraging them to return and, I am very pleased to say, most did.
In this way, we were able to build up a huge army of loyal customers who returned to buy more and more.


Businesses That Engage Are Busier

Any business whether, retail, non-retail or online that adopts this same procedure of engagement are always busier with larger numbers of customers and sales.
It always works, if done right.


For Your Business, Set A Deliberate Strategy To Make People Feel Like ‘Guests’

If you don’t have a strategy of engagement now, set yourself one now to create greater engagement and make your customers and potential customers feel like ‘guests’.
One of the biggest tips that I can give you is to think about how you interact and engage with your customers:
  • Before a purchase
  • During a purchase
  • After a purchase
Look at all the contact points between your business and your customer  -  even make a list of each contact point and critically analyse how you and your employees engage and interact.
Whether a contact point is direct or indirect engagement with your target customer, review this contact point.
Does it make your target customer feel welcome and comfortable within your business?
Does it make them feel like a ‘guest’?
Look at your website and social media channels and ask yourself if you sell too hard.
Do you educate or sell?
Ask yourself if you provide enough information about your products or services to enable the potential customer to make an informed decision about buying.
Will your potential customer understand everything that they need to know before they buy and is this information easily accessible and presented well?


80% Education To 20% Selling

I think, from experience, an average ratio of 80% education and 20% selling is a good ratio that can be very effective.
Try to adopt this ratio in your engagement.

Customer-Engagement-2 Boost Your Customer Numbers Through Engagement


Think How You Can Develop Long Term Relationships

This approach has successfully created thousands of long-term relationships with my customers and these relationships have been a large contributor to me being able to build up an army of loyal customers with each returning to buy more from my businesses, time and time again.
You can do the same.


Want More Advice?

If you would like to discuss this article more with me, further, and how you can develop more engagement within your business and how to make your customers feel like ‘visitors’ and ‘guests’, please contact me below or by email:
Robert-Viney-e1524724492788 Boost Your Customer Numbers Through Engagement

Your Employees Could Be A Gold Mine

Your-Employees-Could-Be-A-Gold-Mine Your Employees Could Be A Gold Mine

Your Employees Could Be A Gold Mine.

Extract The Gold Dust Buried Within To Grow Your Business.

Are You Getting The Most From Your Employees?


I expect you have never thought of your employees as a Gold Mine?
But your employees could be a gold mine.
Buried within your Gold Mine could be tons of valuable Gold Dust which, if extracted right, could be used to grow your business, your sales and your profits.
But, as any good miner will tell you – you must open up the mine in order for it to give up its riches.


I Want To Share Two Methods To Grow Your Business.

In all my businesses, I have always thought of my employees as Gold Mines and I have often used TWO METHODS to open this mine to yield the Gold Dust contained within.
If you employ people within your business, you must think to use the same TWO METHODS to extract your own Gold Dust.
Two methods that, if used right, should boost your business, your sales and profits.


But first I want to ask you a question.

You might be the boss of your business and quite possibly the founder, but do you understand your business better than your employees?
I expect you might well answer “yes”


But is that really the right answer?

I would suggest the answer should really be “No”
As the person running the business, it is quite likely that your culture and your philosophy is stamped onto it.
It might even be an extension of you and your personality.
But, in my experience, business owners can become ‘blinkered’ and short sighted about their businesses, seeing their businesses only through their own eyes.
In many ways this can be of benefit to the business but not always.


Others Could See Your Business Differently

Others within your business could well see your business differently to how you see it.
Your employees, for instance, will be able to observe you within your business and how you run your business, and they will quite possibly see things differently to how you see yourself and your business.


Have You Asked Your Employees What They Think

But have you ever asked your employees what they think of your business?
Quite possibly your answer will be “No”
In my experience, very few business owners have done this – especially owners of small businesses.
Many don’t think that the opinions of their employees are valid and appropriate, and some owners are even frightened to ask, as they are fearful of what will be said.

Customers-Have-The-Most-Important-Opinions Your Employees Could Be A Gold Mine

The Most Important Opinions Are Those Of Your Customers

The most important opinions are, however, those of your customer; these determine whether a customer buys from you or not.
But how well do you know and understand the views of your customers?
Again, quite possibly, the answer could be “No”, again, if you answer honestly.
In my experience, most business owners could improve their understanding greatly.


Most Owners Would Learn Much By Asking Their Employees

Most employers would learn much by asking the opinions of their employees.
Your employees are nearer to the ‘coal face’ than you are.
Many would have direct contact with your customers and would almost certainly have better contact with your customers than you do.
They will consequently understand the needs, wishes, desires and views of your customers well.


You Need To Know The Views Of Your Employees & Customers

When you ask your employees for their comments, you will not just get your employees’ views but, almost certainly, you will get the views of many of your customers, too.
By asking your employees, you will could get views from two important and valid sources.

Their-Views-Will-Be-Gold-Dust-1 Your Employees Could Be A Gold Mine


These views will be Gold Dust to you.

These views and opinions would definitely be something you should know about, if you are to keep growing your business success.
These will be the equivalent of Gold Dust, giving you the knowledge to improve your business and the opportunity to increase your sales and profits.
With Gold Dust in mind, let me share two methods with you that I have often used to obtain this Gold Dust contained within my Gold Mine.
  • Method 1 involves primarily the personal views of your employees
  • Method 2 should involve a combination of both employee and customer views


Method 1

Method 1 involves periodically asking each employee individually a number of questions to gauge how they are thinking about their position and their job within your business and what they are thinking about your business as a whole.
Here are some questions that I have asked in the past and which have always created some good interaction:
  1. Which part of your job do you like best?
  2. Which part of your job do you like least?
  3. How could your job be improved?
  4. How could you become more effective and more productive in your job?
  5. What ambitions do you have within the business?
  6. How long do you plan to be employed within the business?
  7. Do you feel you have been trained right for your role within the business?
  8. What training would you like to improve your skills?
  9. Do you feel your skills are being best used within the business?
  10. What qualifications would you like to acquire within the business?
  11. Do you feel the team within the business runs as a team?
  12. How do you feel the team could work better?
  13. Do you feel the leadership provides the right leadership?
  14. Do you feel inspired and motivated by the leadership?
  15. Do you feel encouraged and motivated to keep improving yourself within the business?
  16. Do you feel you can easily talk to the business leaders?
  17. Do you feel you can suggest ideas that would benefit the business?
  18. Do you feel you are listened to by the business leaders?
  19. Do you feel that your ideas are used within the business to grow it?
  20. Do you feel appreciated by the business leaders?
  21. Suggest three ways to improve the business
You could ask all or some of these questions and, quite possibly, you could think of your own, as appropriate to your business organisation.
It is good practice to issue a version of this questionnaire to your employees once a year.
With the answers in, you can either review the findings individually or collectively in a group or both.
I have done both and I have always learned much from the process and, indeed, have my employees, too.


The Process Can Be Stimulating & Invigorating

I have always found the whole process very stimulating and invigorating, for myself, and I know for certain for everyone else involved within the business, too.
Every time that I performed this exercise, the business and the team always benefited greatly.


Method 2

The second method involves asking a separate set of questions that could provide you with a good insight into how your employees think your business can be improved.
Remember earlier, I said that your employees are at the ‘coal face’ of your business and are probably closer to your customers than you are.
Again, with your Gold Dust in mind, you could ask the following questions:
  1. How do you think the business could be run better?
  2. What do customers say about our products?
  3. Suggest three ways to improve our products or services?
  4. Could you suggest products or service that we could offer but presently don’t?
  5. Could you suggest products that have been requested by our customers?
  6. What do customers say about our customer service?
  7. Could you suggest three ways to improve our customer service?
  8. What do customers say about our customer experience?
  9. Could you suggest three ways to improve the customer experience?
  10. What do customers say about our pricing?
  11. What is your view on our pricing?
  12. Could you suggest three ways to improve customer contact?
  13. Could you suggest three ways that we could improve any aspect of our business?
This is a generic list of questions that you could ask your employees and, again, you could probably think of others, appropriate to your business organisation.
The best process is to ask questions that are specific to your business and your products.
For method 2, I have found the best approach is to ask just 1 or 2 questions only at a time to get the best response and the best ideas.
Asking just one or two questions is a good way, as it achieves the best engagement from the employees and it reinforces their focus.


Discuss Ideas As A Group

I also found that when discussed as a group, a good dialogue and good ideas evolved – better than when discussed individually.
One note of caution here, though, the more reserved employees often made the less contribution to the process but often presented some of the best ideas.


Both Methods Can Yield Good Ideas

I have always found both methods to be very informative and I have always found the suggestions and ideas from my employees very constructive, very useful and, when implemented right, have made a great contribution to the growth of the business.

Employees-Like-To-Feel-Valued Your Employees Could Be A Gold Mine

Employees Like To Feel Valued

Most employees like to feel valued and they like to feel part of the business and part of the decision making.
The process involving these two methods nearly always creates other additional business benefits, worth mentioning here, too:
  • Employees feel their voice is being heard
  • Employee loyalty can be enhanced
  • The business team can become closer with a stronger tie
  • The owner/employee bond can become strengthened
  • The company culture can be reinforced
Many employees also like to be able to excel in their roles and this process can give them the inspiration and opportunity to do this.


You Will Certainly Receive Some Good Ideas

Almost certainly, you will receive some good ideas and suggestions and you could be surprised by the quality of these.
You should always implement the best ideas suggested as this will make your employees feel the process is working.  If you do not use their ideas, you do risk de-motivating your employees.


Let Your Employees Take Ownership

When a certain employee suggests something good, give them ownership of the idea and the role and responsibility to introduce the idea into the business with your support and encouragement.
In my experience, employees are often very keen to take and perform this role and I have often been surprised by the level of motivation and confidence created, correspondingly.


You May Not Like Some Of The Truth

At first, you might well learn some uncomfortable truths about yourself and your business but it is important not to take these personally but to accept them in the spirit that they are offered.


Most Employees Want To See Their Business Flourish

In my experience, most employees wish to help to improve the business that they work for and to help grow it and to feel inspired and motivated within their roles within the business.
Open Your Gold Mine & Extract The Gold Dust
I guarantee if you use these two methods right, you will become the proud owner of a very fruitful Gold Mine, yielding much Gold Dust, with which, you should be able to grow your business.


Exploit Your Gold Mine

If you employ staff within your business, think about your Gold Mine and the Gold Dust buried deep within. Your employees could be a gold mine.
Mine the Gold Dust and use it to grow your business.

Your-Employees-Could-Be-A-Gold-Mine Your Employees Could Be A Gold Mine

Your Employees Could Be A Gold Mine

Please use these methods within your business and please tell me how you get on,
Best of luck
If you wish to discuss these methods with me further, please email me at or contact me below.

Use Word Of Mouth To Slash Your Marketing Spend

Use Word Of Mouth To Slash Your Marketing Spend

Use-Word-Of-Mouth-To-Slash-Your-Marketing-Spend Use Word Of Mouth To Slash Your Marketing Spend

Want To Slash Your Marketing Spend?

Use Word Of Mouth.

Word Of Mouth Can Be Very Powerful In Spreading The Word About Your Business & At Growing Your Business


In 30 years in business, I have created massive sales using one very powerful marketing method that has cost me nothing to implement.
Many business owners know about this same method but very few use it to great effect and I have yet to meet anyone who has used it as effectively as I have done with the same incredible results.
In this article, I want to share this method with you and I want you to use it to drive up your sales, too.

Word Of Mouth Is Very Powerful

I am sure you know that Word of Mouth can attract new customers, but do you know that if you make it your main marketing tool, it can be incredibly powerful in driving up customer numbers and sales in your business?
Your customer numbers and sales can literally be catapulted if you repeat my strategy.

Word Of Mouth Creates Trust

Word of mouth works well because it conveys trust.
When a recommendation about your business comes from one person to another, it conveys trust to the second person, and generally people buy when they have trust in a business, its service and its products.
I have been in business a long time and have started and run several businesses and I have always used WORD OF MOUTH as the biggest part of my marketing strategy.
Yes, not just part of my marketing strategy but the biggest part!

I have Included Word Of Mouth In My Marketing Strategy

Every Business Plan that I have ever created has included it.
As part of my marketing strategy, I have gone out of my way to make everything about my businesses, my products and my customer service really excellent, creating an excellent customer service and making my customers happy and excited.
Then, through this excitement, I have got my customers to tell others.
This strategy has worked really well in every one of my businesses and if you were to set the same strategy, you could achieve the same.
I have written about creating an excellent customer experience and making your customers happy, previously in two blogs. You can read them here:

Provide an excellent customer experience and you would never have to search for customers again

Boost your business success by making your customers happy


Word Of Mouth Saves Money, Time & Effort

In my in businesses, I have spent very little on marketing and advertising because of Word Of Mouth.  In fact, I estimate my expenditure has been just 0.005% of total sales generated.
Now that is cost effective!
But anyone can do the same  -  I am absolutely certain ANY business could create the similar return on investment too.

Your Customer Ambassadors Do The Marketing For You

When you excite a customer enough to make them repeatedly tell their friends and associates, they become what is often known as a ‘Customer Ambassador’  -  they become unofficial ‘Ambassadors’ for your business.
Many customers don’t know they are called that and many will not realise the function they are performing for you.
But every time one of your customers tells another person about you, they are doing your marketing for you.
And, importantly for your marketing budget, they do not get paid for this either, making this process very cost effective.


Many Owners Are Too Busy For Marketing Their Businesses

The one comment that I frequently get from small business owners is they do not have time to market their businesses.
But if every business owner set a deliberate marketing strategy of making their customers really happy and very excited through offering and delivering an excellent customer experience, they would not have to worry about marketing their businesses. 
Their army of unpaid ‘Customer Ambassadors’ would do it for them, while they get on with other stuff, saving them time and effort.
Surely that must be very attractive to every business owner.

Set A Definite Strategy As Part Of Your Marketing Plan And Your Business Plan

Please repeat what I have been doing for years and think about setting a definite strategy of creating unpaid ‘Customer Ambassadors’ by making your customers so excited that they will tell everyone else about your business.
Do the following to create your own WORD OF MOUTH strategy:
1.       Decide that you will create an army of ‘Customer Ambassadors’
2.       Decide that you will make your customers really happy & excited
3.       Decide that you will offer the very best customer experience possible
4.       Think how you can make the customer experience as excellent as possible
5.       Look at everything you do in your business and make it excellent
6.       Look at the customer journey through your business from when they first become aware of you, through to the buying process.
7.       Look at every customer contact point and make sure every point is an excellent experience for your customer.
8.       Send your customers away so happy and excited, that they want to tell the world.
The place to start is to first decide that you will create ‘Customer Ambassadors’ by making your customers really happy and excited enough to tell others by offering the very best customer experience.

Ask Yourself Three Questions

Then, try to think as the customer thinks and ask yourself three crucial questions:
“What would I want if I was my customer?”
“If I was my customer, what would give me a good customer experience?”
“How could I excite myself, through my business offerings, if I was my customer?”

Try asking these questions of your existing customer, friends and colleagues, too. 

You should then make a list of the possible answers and think how the answers apply to everything that the customer experiences within your business.

Make A List Of Every Customer Contact Point

Make a list of every customer contact point for your business and appraise each point with an honest score from1 to 10, where 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest or is excellent. 
To make your customers happy and excited you need 9/10 for each contact point. For customer contact points that score less than 9, look to see how you can improve these and achieve excellence in everyone.
Then apply the answers from the questions above to each contact point along with other improvements that you think will be appropriate until you can achieve scores of 9 to 10 for each. 

Monitor The Results

Finally, you must monitor the results to make sure your WORD OF MOUTH strategy is working.
You need to ask your customers for their opinions on what you are offering and delivering and how they perceive the improvements that you have made.
Hopefully you will get more positive comments about your business and you should gradually see new customers coming to you, as a result of the extra word of mouth generated. 

Use-Word-Of-Mouth-To-Slash-Your-Marketing-Spend Use Word Of Mouth To Slash Your Marketing Spend


Give It A Try Now

Give it a try now – I am certain, if you can do things right, you will see word of mouth start to work for you, increasing your customer numbers, growing your sales and decreasing your marketing costs.
If you wish to talk to me more about this article, please contact me below or email me at

Contact-Robert Use Word Of Mouth To Slash Your Marketing Spend

Robert-Viney Use Word Of Mouth To Slash Your Marketing Spend

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