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

Charity Sector

The Charity Sector is failing to meet the needs of local communities often because there is a lack of funds or because the skills have been lost. This needs to be addressed Nationally.

Having a social conscience in business is often used to demonstrate that an individual is “giving back” to society. Many are rewarded and applauded for doing so. Truthfully the accolade is the driving force for many from all sectors of business and the public sector.

However, to truly “give back” we have to invest something of ourselves without seeking a reward. Using our talents in ways that enable and empower Charities and Not for Profits.

“The 3rd Sector”

“The 3rd or Voluntary Sector and not for profit organisations” are certainly awful labels for organizations that reach into the challenging areas of modern life and support individuals.

These institutions have never been somehow second rate or less than brilliantly resourceful. Often pioneering and innovative, their reliance on “living social capital” to support those needing investment is exemplary.

Most are served the scraps from the table. Lottery, large appeals like Children in Need and Comic Relief or Cancer Research appear to make the sector appear well funded.

The History of Modern Charity

Fundraising Cloud modern propaganda tools

In 1998 the team of consultants working in Plymouth for an organization called Plymouth Community Partnership was asked to explain the history of Charity.

That research took us through a range of formulae and structure, trusts and charters, covenants and arrangements. All required benevolence and philanthropy from those engaged in the service. However, with the development of the National Lottery, the Modern Charity (Community Project) with its professional staff materialized.

Oh, what damage this has caused. The so-called professional gives personality to the words of Alexander Pope: “A little learning is a dangerous thing; … There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,”

As a society, we are blessed with the Internet and Google, a digital presence, social media and just giving pages. How these tools are abused and how misinformation creates a false picture of the sector really saddens those with social values.

Charity Sector’s Abuse of Trust

“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, MONEY, MONEY”

A Lyrical endictment

As CEO of Charity and senior management with management years of paid and unpaid work in the sector, it saddens me to report that the larger charities have abused the public.

How can a charity that accepts donations from pensioners and those limited incomes use funds to pay “professional” staff £100,000 and more? Why do trustees get away with poor governance practice and a lack of accountability? The Charity Commission is an excellent public sector tool but over the years its relationship with external institutes has emasculated the role it plays.

This is an abuse of trust. Don’t take my word for it check the charity register and if you support a charity find out how much the CEO is paid. As one of my colleagues once said: “as we have to ask for – donations and grants, it can’t end up in our pockets”.

Staff are needed and they need to be paid. The living wage mandatory. Staff must be rewarded for their hard work. So how do charities meet the challenge and “fund the frontline staff properly!”

Why Can We Say this?

Our team are experienced advisors, fundraisers and trainers, therefore, we have clear values and provide the support needed.

We provide services that many charity trustees find challenging to cover, for example:

  • governance updates,
  • advice and support,
  • accounting and reporting,
  • fundraising management.

These services are designed to fit the structure of the charity and the purse.

Presenting monthly accounts reports takes very little time once we have all the information, for a treasurer this whole process can take hours. Consequently, we enable the trustees to use their resources effectively.

Are we professional charity workers? Yes, and No, we earn the bulk of our income working with commercial operations. However, organizations that need our help, contact our professional services.

Please contact us for more information.

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