March 2020 Newsletter – New Growth

March Newsletter

The March Newsletter has three key topics

New Growth

Having decided where your business needs to be in 2020, the next step requires a strong plan.

Learning from your past development pace you know what pace the business will move at, however, new growth in business works differently.

Three reasons why:

  • Energy
  • Excitement, and
  • Action

We often think of ourselves as pragmatic when we have matured, but we still love the anticipation off something new. 

Last week I had a conversation with a business that had hit a wall when their major client announced the contract would be ending at least 6 months earlier than projected. 

The senior management team focused on the issue with the client but that announcement will not change. So the business has 4 weeks to do something. 

A director rang and asked did I know of many clients who would step in before the end of April? The due diligence on a new contract will take 8 weeks so this was unlikely to happen.

Change Direction 

This was an interesting dilemma, but after an initial conversation, new growth and diversification as possible. 

The immediate impact taking this idea to the senior management with a few potential opportunities and suddenly everyone was engaged. The whole team worked through the weekend and by Tuesday the new service was ready for a test run. 

From this one area of new growth, the directors have now put together a new plan. April will run its course. The contract will close but the staff is already looking beyond.

Business Development Nurturing Growth 

The key to new growth is developing your strengths not the same client base but the strength of your team, employees and grasping opportunities.

List all the skills, match them to opportunities and then review how to nurture this potential growth. 

Not everything will work, however, everything will empower your greatest asset. 

Business Life is all about making the next opportunity, failing to look for it is missing all the potential new growth.

Simply Business

March Newsletter

Finance – Insolvency

There is a popular definition of Insolvency:

Insolvency is the state of being unable to pay the money owed, by a person or company, on time; those in a state of insolvency are said to be insolvent. There are two forms: cash-flow insolvency and balance-sheet insolvency. (Wiki)

However, many business owners trade on the next payday principle. If money is coming in that will cover the next due invoice we are still solvent. 

Nice idea but it can create a problem. One failure to pay your invoice has a ripple effect often delaying your ability to pay bills, a second invoice payment delayed can create the tsunami!

Experience

One of my clients delayed their payment of my invoice no big deal but it was a breach of terms. So I sent the reminder, they promised it would be in the bank by the end of the week. It wasn’t. 

40 days had passed so learning from a brilliant young businesswoman, I started insolvency proceedings, shocking my client. 

They rang me to explain one of their clients hadn’t paid them a substantial sum and the dispute had caught my invoice in the delay. 

We resolved the issue, and when it was finished I asked the company how they traded. The hand to mouth approach and they traded on the edge of insolvency. 

A couple of years later they crashed and burned as a business because of their debt modeling and hand to mouth existence.

Lessons

  • Keep at least one month ahead of your incoming bills.
  • Talk to your suppliers and be honest with them
  • Never enter an agreement if you can’t guarantee the bill will be paid.  
Giving Locally March Newsletter

March Newsletter

Charity Begins Locally

Last week I was stopped in the local high street and asked to contribute to a National Charity.

I asked the young person (who didn’t work for the charity) how much goes to the people who need it? “Oh, most of it, about 35%”

Two issues here, the understanding of the maths and then lack of accuracy.

Having been a fundraiser for many years this corporate approach sticks in my throat.

Donation realities

Play the game a give without asking I am often told. However, checking some home truths is always useful. For example how £3 donations a month are required to pay the CEO and the NED’s of the charity? In one case it turned out to be over 10,000 doners.

Another fact that it is worth clarifying, playing a lottery means that the bulk of the funds raised go to the good causes. Not true, the range is 10% to 30% the rest is tax and the profit-making business behind the lottery.

So if less than 30 pence goes to the good cause how could we support those in need better?

Tax effective giving

Gift Aid is the obvious choice, for every £1 donated the charity or sports club can claim from the HMRC.

Small Cash Donation Schemes, same principle, give and the government gives if you pay tax.

There are other measures as well.

Give locally and to groups run by volunteers and 100% of your donation goes to the cause of your choice.

Contact us for more insights and to receive our opportunity mailing

Business Growth Tools

Focus on Growth

Three keys to Business Growth

Business Growth Tools and Market Development require continuous change, however, we all take comfort in familiarity. How can we balance comfort and growth in our business?

Every networking event attended, every marketing email sent, every penny invested in a website indicates that we want our business to be known, either we are buying or more often selling.

Therefore, we understand the basic principles, however, the real challenge is to achieve the right action which creates the opportunity.

Understanding Growth

Growth for growth’s sake is often a distraction, with bodies chasing everything and winning new business. The foundation of the business does expand, too wide and it strangles productive growth.

These 3 pointers are for those who want to understand when to choose No!

Progression Training

Old wood isn’t deadwood! There never comes a time when you need to stop investing in your team, no matter how experienced.

Consequently, design an annual training and events program that develops the skills and that challenge the individual.

Plan the progress you need them to make and spice it up with a little of what they want to learn.

To achieve the best result, know your staff and then know your marketplace. The cycle of change and progression is then embedded in the development of your business.

Creative Solutions

Don’t reinvent the wheel, or design a new feature. Gadgets and gizmos attract for a while the art of longevity in business focuses on understanding the developing needs of your marketplace.

Creative solutions need to save time, reduce stress and encourage activity. The critical element in developing a creative solution is listening beyond what is said. Ask questions that enable your market development.

Business Planning

Dynamic business planning acknowledges that your guiding document remains alive. The main purpose of a business plan can be to placate the bank or investors.

However, all that work and planning offers the core reasons for your business working. Treat it like actual cash flow when compared with projected income.

Be prepared to set goals for 8 years, 5 years and 3 years. Plot the journey and then decide the pace of travel. Your share of market growth remains dependent on the business infrastructure.

Borrowing too much too soon cripples small businesses. The solution is often in the people you know.

Mark P Trotter

We know our Business Growth Tools are effective because our challenges change with every new client, with every tender opportunity, with every crisis we are invited to resolve. Our experience shows us that planning, investment, and simplicity are at the heart of sustainable business growth.

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