Archive for the 'Business Skills' Category

How Resilient Is Your Business?

 

Is your organisation Resilient? Can you and your staff routinely adapt and keep providing “Business as Usual” for your customers even in times of crisis, or when a major unexpected disruption arises.

You can find out how to become more resilient now, just by answering a few questions about your business using this FREE Business Resilience Reporting toolkit.

All of your answers are kept completely confidential.   Your personal, comprehensive report is generated and emailed only to yourself.   You can use this report to help you prioritise and address any critical performance aspects in your own timescales.    It will also help you to identify ideas that may add further value and enhance your business and service offerings.

For any practical and expert help in the areas where you feel you need extra help and experience you can contact June Beddows, your MGBA expert in Resilience and all things Digital

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So You Going Networking eh?

So you’ve made your choice about which networking groups you want to be part of and you’re attending on a regular basis – so now what? Well, how about some key pointers about what you should be doing to get the most out of the event?
Go Prepared – It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people turn up without business cards! If you have marketing material or sales brochures take them along – sometimes there will be a specific
place at the meeting where you can display such things.
Dress Appropriately – It is said “you only have a single chance to make a first impression” – turning up in jeans and a sweatshirt, may not do you any favours; likewise “suited and booted” may not be right for your business. Dress according to the impression you want to leave people with – you are representing your business.
Attitude – If you are looking to build relationships with other networkers
at an event, having a smile on your face and a positive attitude is going
to go a long way towards this; as opposed to an impression of Jack Dee or Victor Meldrew!
Name Badge – Wear your name badge on your right lapel. Hmm – now why would that be? Although it is easier for right handed people to put a name badge on the left side, they correctly are worn on the right side so the person shaking hands or greeting has easy eye contact with both the person and the badge as a way to help remember the name or to see where he/she is from, etc.
Elevator Pitch – Be ready to answer “What do you do?” – this will certainly be a question that individuals at the meeting will ask you and some meetings will give you the option to introduce yourself to the group. You’ll only have a couple of minutes at best, so make sure you are clear about your message.
Practise it beforehand and write it down, particularly if you are introducing yourself to the whole group.
Do Not Sell – No one likes the over-bearing, foot in the door, in your face type sales pitch – so don’t do it! You will come across as desperate to want business and you will turn people off. Your job is to start to develop relationships with other networkers. If you meet a potential prospect that
you think is interested in what you have, ‘sell’ the next step which might
be a 1 to 1 outside of the networking meeting.
Message – Understand who your ideal client is & tell people. This way
they will be able to refer the right type of people to you. For example :
“I work with MD/Owners of businesses with 5-50 staff who are based in Northamptonshire who are either looking to grow their business or need some help”.
“Two Ears, One Mouth” – Listen twice as much as you speak. You don’t have to speak ‘at’ people telling them all about the wonderful stuff you
do. You will generate as good, if not better, relationship with people if you
provide them a listening ear.

‘Manage The Room’ – Understand who is at the meeting (maybe find out
in advance so that you can ‘target’ the people you want to meet) and who would be the best people to connect with as potential prospects or  referrers of business to you. If you get stuck with someone who is either boring or not particularly relevant to you, don’t be rude, but politely excuse
yourself.
Be Professional – Again, maybe an obvious one, but be conscious of how
you are coming across to the rest of the room. Don’t dominate conversations, be loud  or appear arrogant. You know what I
mean – you’ve probably met them (or at least heard them) at events you’ve
attended.
Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up! – After the event, if you connected with
someone of interest or committed to send them something, arrange a 1 to
1 or drop them an email. Have Fun – There is nothing to say you can’t have fun at a networking event. Humour and the subsequent laughter (hopefully!) is a good way of connecting with people and
developing relationships.

Sc: UKBA, MGBA

What They Don’t Tell You About Starting a Business

Congratulations on becoming self employed! This is an exciting time however there are a few key points to remember to make the process go as smoothly as possible:-

Tax & National Insurance

If you were previously an employee you didn’t have to worry about this as the payroll department deducted them automatically and you received the balance.

As a self employed person you will now have to pay two types of national insurance, as well as paying two years worth of tax in the first year of trading.

National insurance

You will now pay class 2 contributions, which are set at a fixed amount per week.

In addition, you have to pay class 4 contributions payable, based on the profit at the year end. Currently 9 percent.

Tax

As a self employed person you pay your tax by the 31st January following the end of the tax year. This for all practical purposes the 31 of March.

However, to make up for this benefit the revenue also ask for payments on account for the following years estimated tax – on 31st January and 31st July each year.

Therefore after your first year, your tax bill may actually be 150% of the amount you were expecting, with a further 50% due in July.

These forward payments are then netted off against the following years tax.

It is important to provide for these liabilities to ensure that interest charges and late payment penalties do not arise, which can significantly increase your liability. 

Tax deadlines

It is also important to ensure that deadlines for registration and submitting returns are followed in order to avoid needless penalty charges arising. 

You are the whole operation

A good question to ask a room full of self employed people is ‘who here works in sales?’ – the actual answer is that everyone does!

As a self employed person you are now also your sales department, admin assistant and chief bottle-washer.

It is important to realise that you may have to spend a significant amount of your time on tasks that you had not planned on and for which you don’t have the skills or knowledge.

Get ahead with expert help, this can be cheaper in the long run and you can avoid mistakes by learning from other’s experience and training.

Many self employed people think that one way to save money is to do everything themselves, such as their web site, sales/marketing, tax returns, etc.

However, if you work out the number of hours this actually takes at the rate you could earn from a client or customer, combined with the results then you could actually find that in many cases that you could save significant money, time and hassle by getting some help at an early stage.

If you want to know more about the above issues so that you can get the answers you need before you start your business please contact Edward at edward.tudor@hcba.co.uk or call him on 01483-453755

Sc: UKBA

 

Growth Accelerator Hits 10,000

The GrowthAccelerator programme of developmental support for SME’s announced, this week, that it now supports 10,000 businesses throughout England.  Businesses supported are of all industrial sectors.  Obviously the GrowthAccelerator team of managers and coaches are delighted with this number but more important is the stat that states that 96% of participating companies are experiencing positive benefits from taking part.

Sc: http://www.growthaccelerator.com/blog/growthaccelerator-reaches-10000-businesses-2/

How GrowthMapper Helps Build Business

GROWTHmapper has been developed to help high growth businesses achieve their ambitions. It consolidates over 20 years’ experience of nurturing successful high growth businesses.Delivered by GrowthAccelerator’s team of trained and accredited Growth Managers GROWTHmapper puts you, the client, into the driving seat for the future. It combines the insights of your management team with our practical knowledge of what makes businesses succeed.

GROWTHmapper is a family of complementary coaching tools covering all the key aspects of establishing and growing a successful business. It gives a clear assessment of the biggest opportunities, and challenges, you face in achieving your high growth potential. GROWTHmapper is being used to assist high growth businesses engaging with the GrowthAccelerator in England.


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