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Coping with Uncertainty – Strategy & Scenario Planning

Coping with Uncertainty – Strategy & Scenario Planning

Life is uncertain and yet we manage, usually with optimism. However, when it comes to business, our attitude is different. We want security for our business without political and economic turbulence but this has never been the case – either markets, politics or the competition has nasty surprises in store.…

Competitive Advantage – how to gain it !

Competitive Advantage – how to gain it !

The key factor in maintaining long-term viability for any business is having a competitive advantage. Probably the best book written on the subject is ‘Competitive Advantage – Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance’ by Michael Porter in 1985. Essentially it boils down to 2 factors – in summary you win by…

Early warning signs of business failure

Early warning signs of business failure

Entrepreneurs and managers need to have their finger on the pulse of the business and the sure sign of impending disaster is running out of cash! Running out of cash is always a symptom of bigger problems within the business, which have to be put right. There are early warning…

Growing your business – 3 Key Tips

Growing your business – 3 Key Tips

There comes a point when entrepreneurs/founders want to expand and grow their business, be it adding a new service/product, opening a new location or adding staff to grow existing services. I would recommend 3 key tips for businesses to consider before embarking on a growth phase. 1. Planning for growth…

Profit or cash – what is more important and why?

Profit or cash – what is more important and why?

This is a question every entrepreneur should know the answer to. The answer is that cash is more important in the short-term but both are as important in the long-term. In the short-term, you can make losses and as long as shareholders have put in sufficient cash into the business,…

KPIs’ for Business – don’t lose sight of the wood for the trees!

KPIs’ for Business – don’t lose sight of the wood for the trees!

I have written before on tips to set up KPIs’ and what the critical KPIs’ maybe. However, something a colleague mentioned recently had a familiar resonance to it. He said he had worked in an organisation which circulated 141 key performance indicators’ and no one bothered to look at them! It’s important…

Keeping an eye on the figures – 3 Key Tips

Keeping an eye on the figures – 3 Key Tips

Managing a business isn’t easy and if you don’t know anything about finance, it’s a sure-fire way of running into trouble. The first thing any entrepreneur or manager has to learn is how to understand some basic finances. Once you learn the basics, it is critical to add to your…

ROI and when to use it – return on investment

ROI and when to use it – return on investment

What is it? Return on investment or ROI is the most commonly used financial term in many conversations about spending large sums of money. Simply put, it measures the profits or benefits arising out of money invested to achieve those benefits. It should not be confused with ROCE – return…

3 Key Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

3 Key Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

I have been fortunate to meet several entrepreneurs in my career. However meeting three successful ones recently and discussing how they developed their respective businesses, made me conclude that they have similar traits that make them successful. Here are my conclusions on the 3 key traits it takes to be a…

Funding pain remains for startups and SMEs’

Funding pain remains for startups and SMEs’

Raising funding for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) or even large projects is still a difficult and painful process out there. I had a long discussion with an experienced consultant recently who works with tech startups and his prognosis for the smaller end of fund-raising circa £250,000 was…