This week’s focus: Today I am speaking at the Start Up Business Show at Earls Court, London. At a time when the economic news continues to be little better than morbid, over 30,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event.

My advice for the attendees is the same as it is for established businesses: your success is determined by three factors – customer resonance with your offer; competitive distinctiveness, and a robust business model.

Critically, you need all three to thrive. Customer resonance and competitive distinctiveness without a sound business model means that you simply ‘flatter to deceive’; customer resonance and a good business model with little competitive distinctiveness leaves you ‘lost in the crowd’; and if you have competitive distinctiveness and a strong business model but no customer resonance then you’re left sitting at a ‘table for one’.

Off the record: On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever) by Alan Jay Lerner

On a clear day, rise and look around you

And you’ll see who you are

On a clear day, how it will astound you

That the glow of your being outshines every star

© Stuart Cross 2011. All rights reserved.