Business thinking between the covers

Small Steps

by Paul McNeive

Ballpoint Press €14.99

This is the inspiring story of how Bray-born Paul McNeive overcame the loss of his legs to build a €50 million property business. McNeive was involved in a near-fatal car crash in 1982 and says that along the journey of his recovery, he unconsciously found himself applying many of the insights and lessons he had learnt into other areas of business.

A recurring theme in the book is how positive consistent small steps in the right direction can transform your business.

McNeive says a lot of business owners have moved into a panic mode of cutting costs, reducing fees but doing nothing to improve their level of customer service, which is ultimately more important.

One of the lessons McNeive learnt from his physical recovery is what he calls the “kneebend principle”: establishing your goal, working out the steps you need to do differently to get there and never stop doing them. Taking control of events is key, as is breaking things down into small component parts and writing a plan.

The book mixes an interesting narrative of McNeive’s experiences in building a property business with take-away lessons. He includes a very good chapter on pitches and the tendering process with a step-by-step plan outlined.

Principled Selling

by David Tovey

This book is written against a backdrop of a large rise in complaints about unwanted marketing texts. Tovey, who is an experienced business development consultant, argues that this form of selling is outmoded and ineffective.

If you want more sales, stop the heavy sales approach. Instead, he suggests businesses need to utilise social media and find out what really motivates todays consumers. Tovey says that you can win business without it feeling uncomfortable for the buyer or seller, that you can sell without feeling unsavoury about selling and definitely without selling your soul.

The author stresses the importance of continuous learning and applying new tools and techniques. There is a danger in thinking that what worked in the past will continue to work, so new ideas, such as how to master digital marketing, should be priorities.

Too often senior managers dismiss social media out of hand, he notes.

The issues the book addresses are: how to motivate customers and clients to meet you and buy from you; how to maintain customer loyalty, differentiating your business by how you sell, how to become a trusted supplier and adviser, how to use social media effectively and how to create opportunities for more business with your key clients.


by Vicky Pryce

Biteback Publishing €14.99

Economist Pryce was born in Greece so has a keen interest in how the “sick man” of the euro survives the current crisis. She notes that she was the only economist in London who had anything positive to say about the Greeks.

The ordinary Greek citizen has seen a massive decline in living standards, bankruptcies and suicides are rising alarmingly and Greece now has one of the highest unemployment and poverty rates in Europe, she points out.

The euro was a political project and other members of the EU were complicit in Greece’s entry even though it only met some of the criteria for membership.

Pryce suggests that when the Greek nation expressed a desire

to join the EU and then the Euro, they secretly hoped that that

the Brussels bureaucrats would take over to a large extent and so free them from the control of politicians, who they regarded as corrupt.

However, Pryce acknowledges the need for the Greek government, establishment and citizenry to move beyond denial and implement serious structural reforms albeit that she tempers this with a call for debt write-off and pain sharing.

The prize on all sides is worth the effort while the alternative is chaos, she concludes.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Screen Name Selection


Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.