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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 they don’t have something useful to say, they do. But small business owners, need practical, how to tips. This article provides a really good checklist of the areas you should be reviewing to keep on top of and ahead of the game.

Good news if you’re looking for funding

Great news for businesses looking to raise funds. Given that such a high percentage of businesses have their loan requests turned down by the banks (over 100,000 a year) – this new initiative is great.

If your request for finance is refused by the banks, they now have to refer it to this new platform where other providers can look at your request and a more appropriate funder may be found

Management vs Leadership

There are a lot of articles around at the moment on the importance of being a leader, rather than just a manager.  This article looks at the differences between them.

I get a bit grumpy with the – you’re either a manager or a leader.  Why can’t a manager also be a good leader? And it’s like being a manager is a bad thing. I know some superb managers whose staff would walk over broken glass for them.

I think there are aspects of being a manager that are as important as being a leader.  Like the conductor of an orchestra a manager/leader has to use their interpretive creativity, yet at the same time keep the whole orchestra under control and doing the same thing.
So why not the same in business?

I’d be interested in your thoughts.

The dreaded financials

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I really struggled with the finance/accounting section of my MBA – I bought so many books in an attempt to find one that spoke to me in plain English.  I did really well in my exams, not because I suddenly became a genius, but because I was good at rote learning, so learned all the equations, then boned up on the kind of answers you could expect – were they good/bad and were they relevant to that industry and so on. Got into the exams regurgitated the equations, filled in the numbers and boom! 90%

Which is a joke really. But on a serious note, having some financial acumen is so important in your business. So many clients of mine haven’t got a clue about their numbers when I start working with them. This is a great article which explains in nice and simple (i.e. even I can understand it) some terms which you may find useful for your business.

Auto-enrolment is coming – are you ready?

There is a rump of staging dates coming up over the next two years with more and more small businesses having to offer pensions to their employees.

If you don’t know what your staging date is – go here. You’ll just need your PAYE reference number

If you want more details about what it’s all about and what the eligibility criteria are – this is a useful article from the Pensions Advisory Service

And if you would like further information on a couple of good auto-enrolment schemes – 
Where you can also find out your staging date.

If you’ve got any good recommendations, do let me know, I’d love to hear them.

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About the Author:

About Karen Espley, blogging for The Chameleon GuideKaren Espley of The Chameleon Guide works with ambitious small business owners on her Profit Accelerator Programme. She brings pragmatic and real world advice in a group setting to help her clients make a significant difference to their business through increasing profits and running a highly effective business.

Offering workshops and group profit programmes for companies wanting to reach their full potential.