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“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”    –   Zig Ziglar

Why your business should be more Monsters Inc

What do fracking and Monsters Inc. have in common? And how did my brain make that connection?  We’ll never know the answer to the second question, so let’s press on with answering the first.  Firstly they are both related to the power industry (I only thought this one through as I was writing my first draft and felt ultra smug that I’d found two connections).  Fracking has been in the press a lot recently, and a bit like the EU referendum, the jury is out as to whether it’s a good or bad thing.  I feel it’s a bad thing […]

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Why the cheaper option is not the best option for anyone

When you’re strapped for cash it can be tempting to pay for a solution that seems to offer what you want for a ridiculously low price. When you’re strapped for cash it can be tempting to drop your prices to get business. Unfortunately either can do more damage than good. The first statement is brilliantly highlighted in a blog post I read this week from Dave Farmer of Lime Consultancy where he describes how he got tripped up by the Dunning-Kruger effect.  ‘What the blooming flip is The Dunning-Kruger effect?’ I hear you cry.  I didn’t know either. But it’s where incompetent […]

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5 key factors to get right to have a successful business

Service Performance Insight* produced the white paper – ‘Introducing the 2016 Best-of-the-Best Professional Services Organizations’ in April 2016 In it they say there are five key factors that determine the success of the best organisations: – Leadership – Client relationships – Human Capital Alignment (posh word for HR) – Service execution – Finance and operations So, what was it about the top rated companies that made them the best? The best companies showed the following attributes for each factor: 1. Leadership – They have a clear and compelling vision which was communicated. They demonstrate transparency and clear communication with all […]

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Lead magnet or lead repeller – How not to attract customers

When is a lead magnet not a lead magnet? When it repels! Have you got a lead magnet? If not, why not?  It seems the world and his wife has one these days. A lead magnet is an item of value that you give away for free in exchange for some information about the person wanting that item – usually their email address. They get something of value, you get a new contact for your mailing lists and hopefully someone who is more receptive to your offerings (on the assumption they were interested in your item of value). The value item […]

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How to minimise the risk of late invoice payment or why won’t those pesky clients pay their invoices?

As a small business, there is always a risk our invoices won’t be paid on time. We all curse the big corporates who insist on 90 day terms or who screw our prices to the floor or stop payment because a ‘t’ wasn’t crossed. But the smaller companies can be just as bad for different reasons. Excuses I have heard for not paying: ‘I didn’t think it was important – it wasn’t that much’ ‘My son was in hospital/other variations on illness’ ‘I can’t afford to pay you until my customers pay me’ ‘I’m changing banks at the moment’ ‘The […]

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Five useful articles from this week’s business news

We are bombarded daily with a bewildering array of articles and it’s difficult to know where to start. You could spend your entire day disappearing down rabbit holes of information. To save you the effort, I’ve selected five articles on a range of subjects from a variety of sources that I found useful Business Strategy Funding Management vs Leadership Six business financial terms explained Auto-enrolment Business strategy A refreshing read from Jack Welch who, like me, believes that having a strategy is about having a usable, inspiring and actionable strategy, rather than the wonderful theoretical models that abound. (That’s not to say […]

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The perils of not having a shareholder agreement – a true story

Do you have a shareholder agreement? Hands up if there is more than one director in your business and that you all of you have shares. And hands up again, if you have a shareholder agreement. If you put your hand up to both, well done. You don’t need to read this blog and can treat yourself to a nice cuppa and put your feet up for the few minutes you’ve saved yourself the time. If you put your hand up to the first, but not the second, you need to put the kettle on, make a cuppa and brace […]

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How to improve your cash flow – 8 top tips

How to improve your cash flow – 8 top tips

We all know that cash is king and making sure that more if it is coming in than is going out is vital. Having a cash flow forecast is important, particularly if you have a seasonal sales cycle when you may have to ramp up production, incurring costs before you are able to sell the goods. The forecast will allow you to track where you are with your money each month and show any months where the costs may outstrip the incoming revenue allowing you to plan for the shortfall, rather than it being nasty surprise. Sound daunting? Managing your […]

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How to improve your cash flow – 8 top tips

We all know that cash is king and improving your cash flow to make sure that more if it is coming in than is going out is vital. Having a cash flow forecast is important, particularly if you have a seasonal sales cycle when you may have to ramp up production, incurring costs before you are able to sell the goods. The forecast will allow you to track where you are with your money each month and show any months where the costs may outstrip the incoming revenue allowing you to plan for the shortfall, rather than it being nasty surprise. […]

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Into the gap – five steps to improve your strategic planning and implementation

five steps to improve your strategic planning and implementation

McKinsey’s published a great article – Managing the strategy journey. Its focus is on the large corporate market. But there are some valuable lessons and gems that can be used by smaller companies. In terms of successful strategies, they found, rather alarmingly that of the 2000 companies they surveyed only 35% had strategies that passed more than three of what they consider to be the ten tests for the likely success of your strategy. The full article can be read here I have taken the liberty of using the key topics in their article and translated them for small businesses. […]

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