Planning

Anticipate or End Up Like my School Uniform Shop

anticipateSince my kids started school ten years ago, I’ve had to endure the tortuous process of buying the school uniform from the local shop.

They were the only place you could buy the uniform from. And their prices reflected this. What a great business if you owned it!

No need to worry about customer service – and they didn’t. No need to worry if you run short of stock, after… Continue reading →

Time to Bring on your Impact Player

Impact PlayerI was comparing my client’s business to a football team the other week.

I’d just been through a DISC personality profiling team day which shows your mix of red (directness), yellow (ideas), green (teamwork) & blue (analysis). I’m a strong equal mix of red & blue, the former useful for running a business, the latter from years of working in finance.

To illustrate it, the DISC profile on our trainer… Continue reading →

Have you done my Powerpoint slides?

powerpoint slidesIt’s coming up to that time again – the quarterly presentation to the investors. For my client this involves updating the projects, reworking a financial forecast and preparing powerpoint slides.

He has to present it in his own style to put his point across. Maybe it’s for additional investment, or approval of a new project. Or giving bad news about a downgrade of the forecast.

Yet the content is cobbled… Continue reading →

5 Ways a Graduate can Help your Finance Director

help your finance directorA graduate can help your Finance Director by addressing some of the problems which they don’t have either the time or ability to deal with.

These are issues that will help you run the company better and in some cases you are having to handle yourself.

Perhaps the Finance Director has been with the company since it began and their skills don’t extend beyond preparing the accounts. Maybe they don’t… Continue reading →

Lose Your Graduate in 6 Easy Ways

lose your graduateTaking on a graduate makes you feel good. Maybe it was you in that position once. They can breath new life into your business.

But then they leave. After all that effort to find one, you lose your graduate within a year.

Here are 6 easy ways to keep on losing graduates, not attract quality and fail to get the best out of them.

1. No plan or contract

Recruit… Continue reading →

Adopt the “That’ll Do” Principle

That'll do

The “that’ll do” principle is all about meeting 80 to 90% of the needs at a fraction of the cost of delivering the full 100%. It applies to the mentored graduate projects I run.

Why spend time forecasting?

Forecasts are overrated. To do an accurate one takes a lot of time. You surely have enough knowledge of the business to adopt the “that’ll do” principle and knock it up in… Continue reading →

Forget the Grades – find a Graduate fitting your Culture

graduate fitting your cultureForget the grades. It’s a formulaic approach recruiters take with large companies. Surely for your small company you should find a graduate fitting your culture?

Smaller owner managed businesses have a unique culture. This is heavily influenced by you, the owner. It is an extension of the way you like to work, your skills & experience and your interests.

Your staff have moulded they way they operate to fit within… Continue reading →

Make Decisions Small and Regular

make decisions smallSmall businesses are quick on their feet and can make decisions small and regular. It’s a big advantage you hold over larger organisations who have long drawn out decision making processes.

What may take them weeks to act on, can be done immediately by a smaller company.

Taking big decisions adds risk, slows down activity and reduces flexibility. Save it until you’re larger.

This may sound like I’m a bit… Continue reading →

Book Review – ReWork by Jason Fried

ReWorkReWork by Jason Fried is all about modern business practices. How to work smarter with less. How to get more from your people.

I knew I’d like the book and I wasn’t disappointed.

His company, 37 Signals has created Basecamp the project management tool my graduates use on client projects. I also use HighriseHQ as my Contact Management solution.

It is very easy to read, divided into small sections each… Continue reading →

Tracking Britain’s Most Brutal Race

trackingThe Spine, Britain’s most brutal race took place recently. a continuous run within 7 days along the 268 mile Pennine Way. The competitors had to cope with wind, snow, plenty of rain and mist as well as lethal icy paving. The worst part was sleep deprivation. Only 30 completed out of 75 starters.

A lot of the time they were travelling through the night. One competitor covered 258 miles… Continue reading →