Archive for October, 2012

Bank Funding Hits Six Year Low

A report by the Ernst & Young Item Club has suggested that despite the Government’s efforts to encourage lending, bank lending to businesses will hit its lowest level this year since 2006.

An Ernst and Young study says that corporate lending will fall by 4.6% to £429bn at the end of 2012, which will be the fourth consecutive decline to its lowest level since 2006.

The report also predicts that although some growth is forecast to resume from 2013 corporate loans will not recover to 2008 levels until 2016.

Recently, HMG have announced a business bank to be unveiled in an attempt to boost lending.  Banks and businesses, however, differ on the current position. Banks state that demand for loans is low; businesses retort that banks are unwilling to lend.

Sc: Workplace Law MGBA; UKBA; Ernst and Young


Supply Chain Finance boost for small firms

HMG’s Supply Chain Finance scheme claims to have scored a major triumph for SMEs.  According to Matthew  Fell, CBI director, 40 of our largest companies have agreed to provide SCF to their SME suppliers.  On receipt of invoice they are going to authorise their bankers to offer an advance payment at relatively low interest.

Fell reckons that this is an innovative way to ease the funding squeeze on smaller businesses.  But I guess my question is quite simply:  if they are happy to do this, why don’t they simply pay our invoices on time?

Why not let me know what you think.  Drop an email to or use the comment box below.


Details on SCF Scheme

Protecting Your Pitch: How to sell the value of your expertise

For those of us in the consultancy / coaching profession the issues around making a successful pitch for business is always uppermost in our minds.

Protecting Your Pitch: How to sell the value of your expertise.

Thats why I have attached this link to Stephanie Shirley’s blog.  She runs her own PR consultancy and although she is  from the USA and we need to make allowances for the differences in our business processes, she does make some very good points which you may find useful in considering your own sales activity.

Have a look and see what you think.  Can you use any of her ideas?  Let me know in the comments box or drop me an email.

£1bn for Regional Growth Fund, Clegg

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced how a flagship government scheme is to spend £1 billion in a bid to boost economic growth in England.

The Government says the investment will help manufacturing firms, small businesses and local partnerships across England to expand their operations, create new jobs and stimulate growth.

Planned to safeguard or develop 240k jobs and working in parallel with the new Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Regional Growth Fund will operate across England from 2011 to 2015, providing support for private sector and public/private projects that offer significant potential for sustainable economic growth and job creation.

The allocation of £1 billion to the latest round of Regional Growth Fund spending was announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the 2011 Autumn Statement.

Sc: HMG BIS; j4b

If you would like more information on this topic please complete the comment box below or email me

The Work-Life Imbalance

Its not often that I re-blog articles from other business authors. But on this occasion I have made an exception as this blog is relevant to our discussion on time management. Those of my readers who were kind enough to respond to my recent blog on the subject may be interested in reading this blog The Work-Life Imbalance.

It comes from Stephanie Shirley.  She like us runs a small business managing public relations for her clients.  But she has some really interesting things to say about time management and work-life balance.


Effective Time Management and Objective Setting 3

Following our article yesterday, on the topic of effective time management, today we go on to examine goal and objective setting.  If you would like a copy of the complete article please complete the comment box below or email

“Goals” is a term that includes many specific obligations that need to be accomplished by a certain time-frame; such as household chores on the personal side, and important professional proposals on the professional side.  Depending on the amount of time you have to finish them, these obligations are either short-term, medium-term, or long-term.

Short-term goals would be your daily goals such as household chores and projects that need to be finished immediately. Using effective management in short term goals means that a list is created and each goal on that list is completed on a daily basis.

Medium-term goals are usually goals that need to be accomplished in one week to one month. Depending on the amount of time needed to complete these goals, they can be broken down in smaller segments, which you would complete on a daily basis. For example, if you have a project that needs 6 to 7 hours to complete over a one week period, you could break it down into one hour per day increments.

Long-term goals generally take months or years to complete. They would include such things as getting a college degree over a four year period or building your own house over a 6 month period.

Long-term goals can and should be broken down into daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly segments. Let’s take the example of a four year college degree. You will need to research your financial options, register for classes, take and pass required subjects, complete your homework, etc.

Thus long-term goals are made easier and less daunting when broken down into smaller segments and completing them one step at a time until the final goal is reached – in this case, your college degree.

Effective time management skills include setting deadlines. Its important to set shorter deadlines for each phase of your long term goals by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable parts. This is the planning process and it requires that you make a commitment to yourself to meet your long term goals.

If you would like a copy of the complete article complete the comment box below at email


Link to previous article

Effective – Time Management and Objective Setting 2

From the beginning mankind has tried to make better use of time as evidenced by the recording and tracking of time. Beginning with the sundial to the modern calendar, the need to manage time has been a matter of great concern, in the personal as well as the professional arenas of life, for thousands of years.

Time management today integrates diverse methods of recording time, helping to identify obstacles to the efficient use of time.  Constructive use in making long and short term goals is the best and easiest way to manage time.

There are numerous methods that can be used to help organise and prioritise the goals to be achieved. The major element in the overall effective use of time is incorporating essentials of the goal setting process. By setting goals and implementing them, in your professional and personal life, you can effectively manage your time and, as a result, become more productive.

In the next blog we will look at the effective use of short, medium and long term objective setting and offer some ideas to help you.

If you would like a copy of the complete article complete the comment box below at email


Link to previous article

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