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Two tribes

– By Andrew Morris

We come across two tribes of people in the business world. The Do-ers who do what they say or agreed to do. And the Talk-ers, who do not.

We know where we are with the Do-ers. They like responsibility and are fulfilled by getting things done and pleasing us. Once we’ve delegated, it’s out of our head and into theirs. Organisations and relationships thrive with Do-ers.

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Turbocharge your sales team

– By Dan Bobinski

If your sales stop, so does your business. And regardless of your company’s structure, the people who perform your sales function need to be nurtured because their job can be a tough one, wrought with failure, rejection, and frustration. To keep salespeople engaged, they need to be encouraged and supported.
Here are some top tips.

1. Give your sales people encouragement and recognition. That doesn’t mean the sort of gung-ho ‘psyching up’ you’d give a sports team, but specific encouragement: “I really like the way you’re doing ‘X’ lately.” That sort of public encouragement is fuel for a sales person’s soul. Mark Twain said “I can live for two months on one good compliment.” Salespeople live on compliments, too. Continue reading →

Measuring up: winning with KPIs

– By Edward Cox

Identifying the correct key performance indicators (KPIs) has significant benefits for any business. But too often these values – which help demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving its key business objectives – are poorly understood and executed, difficult to measure, meaningless, confusing or even in conflict with ultimate business goals.

Working across a range of industries, we have witnessed KPIs that, while appearing sensible, have in fact cost the client hundreds of thousands of pounds annually. For example, a print maintenance services company we worked with had KPIs covering ‘first time fix’, ‘low recall rate within 10 days’ and the ‘number of site visits per day’. At first glance, these KPIs appeared to highlight engineers who were providing a good service. But in actual fact they were hiding a critical metric – how many visits it was taking each engineer to do a job. What’s more, this meant that an engineer could ‘work the system’ by doing temporary fixes, ultimately leading to poor client satisfaction.

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Become your own Chief Energy Officer

– By Celynn Erasmus

Business owners and executives today have to operate within a hyper-challenging space which is constantly changing and which demands an often unsustainably high work-rate. Coupled with fewer resources, these high demands often exceed our capacity, resulting in exhaustion, low energy levels, decreased mental agility, illness and burnout.

What we know is that energy is contagious – and disproportionately so if you’re a leader! If you’re modelling positive, healthy choices as a ‘C.E.O.’ within the workplace, you can be guaranteed productivity and profits will improve. Dr Schwartz from The Energy Project expresses it perfectly by suggesting that you need to become your own Chief Energy Officer so that you know how to mobilise energy on demand. Continue reading →

Case study: motivating millennials

Founded in 2008, I Heart Studios are a digital content creation studio based in Bermondsey, South London, delivering photography, video, post-product, art direction and a host of related services to the fashion & lifestyle industry. When Sjors Bos became Managing Director in late 2012, the business had a turnover of £500,000 and employed just six people. Today turnover has increased to £5 million and headcount has risen to 90. Over the next 12 months, I Heart plans to take on a further 30 staff and increase turnover to £7 million.

Sjors is a member of Glenn Watkin’s Academy Group 88 and perhaps more than most Academy members, has huge experience of recruiting, retaining and motivating a particularly young and dynamic Millennial workforce. We spoke to him about the challenges that comes with this territory

Fashion is obviously a young, dynamic and creative industry. So what is the demographic profile of your workforce? Continue reading →

Half full or half empty?

The optimist says the glass is half full.

The pessimist says the glass is half empty.

The project manager says the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

The realist says the glass contains half the required amount of liquid for it to overflow.

The entrepreneur says the glass is undervalued by half its potential.

And the cynic wonders who drank the other half…

 

Risks and Rewards

– By Andrew B Morris

When an opportunity presents itself or a tricky decision has to be made, you need to balance the risks against the possible rewards. When assessing risk, there are five key questions you need to ask yourself.

  1. UPSIDE/DOWNSIDE: compare these by preparing two simple lists and then share with someone entirely independent of the decision.
  2. CONTEXT CHECK: does this decision fit with your business strategy – with longer term benefits – or is it opportunistic – just a one-off gain?
  3. PAIN THRESHOLD: if it goes badly wrong, can you endure the cost, in terms of reputation, morale and cash?
  4. NICE TO HAVE OR MUST HAVE: on a scale of 1-10 how does this opportunity score?
  5. GUT INSTINCT: after reviewing all the facts, consulting the relevant people, how does it feel (confidence) in your heart and head? Is the opportunity being driven by ego or a solid commercial imperative?

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Is it Covered?

– By Stephen Ehrhart

Directors gather assets which are easy to identify and therefore easy to insure. If you own a house you insure it. If you own a yacht you insure it. This is obvious and straight forward. But what about insuring against hidden risks that you can’t see? There are people out there ready to sue you for anything and everything. The following is a guide to protecting yourself by way of transferring the risk to Insurers.

When you have the cover and you don’t even know:

Director’s son (13) cycling on the pavement hit a car – it was clear it was his son’s fault. Damage was only £2,000 but it could have been a lot more. Continue reading →

Where there’s a Will there’s a Way

– By Craig Williams

Business owners can cause big problems for their families and their companies if they do not make a will. Serious complications can arise unless a well-drafted will is included in succession plans for director shareholders. Failure to draw up a will can also leave families with an unwelcome and unnecessary tax bill.

While many are well aware of this, it isn’t unusual to come across younger entrepreneurs and business owners in their 30s and 40s who have not yet made a will and are not fully aware of the implications of this omission. In fact, about 50% of adults in the UK do not have a valid will at all, according to a survey by Will Aid, which represents nine charities. Continue reading →

Surviving a PR Crisis when it all Hits the Fan

– By Marc Cowlin

Warren Buffet famously observed: “‘It takes years to build a reputation and five minutes to lose it.” Given how precious that reputation is, you need to be prepared for the fact that it might come under threat, sometimes through no fault of your own. When that happens, the temptation can be to stick your head in the sand and hope it goes away. But being an ostrich is the last thing you should do. Instead, be prepared and follow a few simple processes to turn the crisis around. 

Step 1: Take a deep breath. When a PR crisis arises, the first thing you need to do is nothing.  Stop, close your eyes and take five deep breaths. You need to be calm because people are depending on you. We make better decisions when we are calm and in control than we do when we panic. Depending on how things go, you may need to repeat this step a few times. Continue reading →