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A gift from the Government! Ease your cashflow and Build your Pension, all at the same time – is this too good to be true? November 20, 2008

Posted by businessgrowthmastery in Entrepreneurial, Financial Management, General, Vision & Strategy.
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A couple of years ago, the Government changed the rules surrounding Pensions, allowing those with a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) to invest in their own business.

A number of specialist providers have assisted many organisations to do so and the impact can be amazing on both your business finances and your personal pension assets.

However, since 1 October 2008, this opportunity has got even better!

Why – well although you have been able to contract out of the State Earning Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) since April 1989 – these funds being known as Protected Rights – it is only since the beginning of October that you have been able to have the same investment freedom if these Protected Rights are invested into a SIPP.

So how can this benefit you and your business?

Click here to find how…

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About to be launched… November 12, 2008

Posted by businessgrowthmastery in General.
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A good friend of mine is about to launch a new website, dedicated to supporting freelance contractors.

The address is http://www.just4contractors.com and provides freelancers with help and advice as well as access to a range of jopb opportunities.

Check it out an let me know what you think.

The Obama factor – how will it affect your business? November 6, 2008

Posted by businessgrowthmastery in Economic Environment, General, Leadership.
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Yesterday, the world woke up a different place.

Barack Obama was elected President elect in the US with a clear mandate to implement his pledge to deliver change – change in the US and change in the way the US manages its affairs on a global scale.

So, how will this affect your business?

There is a new found sense of optimism coming out of the US. Will this last? It’s probably too early to tell but if Obama is able to ride this wave, and instill some confidence back into the US economy, then it is widely believed that the downturn won’t be as hard as first thought.

One of his early issues that neds to be resolved is the impact of the credit crunch – this hasn’t really been felt properly in the US at the moment – I was there last week and the amount of credit that is still being pushed is amazing. If Obama can prevent a real tightening of the credit availability – as presently being felt across Europe, he will successfully be able to keep the economy moving.

And this can only be good for business in the US and globally.

As we have found, when the US ecomomy catches a cold, the world starts to suffer. If Obama can apply the right medicine, the suffering felt across the world will be controlled.

So what do I recommend that you do to ensure that your business can ride out this period of economic downturn?

1. Remember that there is opportunity in every crisis – the business that adapt to the circumstances and look for the opportunities that are ther thrive and come out of the downturn much stronger

2. Keep a tight ship running – control your costs, manage your cashflow and chase down your debtors

3. Market, Market and Market yourself more than ever – make sure the world know your story. Whilst everybody else is keeping their heads down, make sure that you are constantly promoting yourself.

4. Enjoy the experience – remember, if you are constantly thinking negative thoughts about your circumstances, these are self fulfilling – Enjoy the experience and you’ll come out of this uncertainty much stronger both personally and in your business.

So, in summary, the Obama effect can and will have a positive impact on your business – if you believe that it will!

Ride the crest of the Obama wave and drive your business in the coming weeks and months.

Tony

Independent Contractors – how can you take advantage of their flexibility? October 21, 2008

Posted by businessgrowthmastery in Entrepreneurial, IT/ Technology, Leadership, Operations.
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Do you have a list of projects that you want to commence but never seem able to get around to starting?

For many small and medium sized businesses this is a real issue – there just never seems to be enought hours in the day to get everything done.

However, there may be an answer to these challenges and again it is something that we can learn from larger corporations. Many entrepreneurs manage to deliver quickly and efficiently by using a corps of independent contractors, who provide flexible, skilled help just when the business needs it and more importantly only when the business needs it!

Many entrepreneurs use professional contractors for two reasons – flexibility and variety. You can select a contractor with specific skills to undertake a specific projects and then once completed, end the contract and move onto the next one.You have no issues with hiring, firing and morale.

Read More…

Coaching – can it help you and your business? October 21, 2008

Posted by businessgrowthmastery in Entrepreneurial, Mastermind Group.
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It’s official, coaching is now a billion dollar industry experiencing explosive growth and it’s here to stay!

So says the Executive Coaching firms!

But my question is whether it can help you and your business. Just because the vast majority of CEOS and senior Executives of the worlds largest firms take advantage of regular coaching, how can this be translated to the needs of owners and leaders within small to medium sized firms?

In a nutshell, I believe that your needs are equally well served through the use of a Coach. Leadership, Financial Management, Team Development, Performance Management, Effective Sales and Marketing and Exit Strategies are common themes raised by growing businesses.

are common themes raised by growing businesses.

Almost every challenge a business owner faces can be addressed in one of these six areas. The good news is that Coaches have the answers.

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Changes to Directors responsibilities… September 1, 2008

Posted by businessgrowthmastery in Financial Management.
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Joanna Hughes from the FT (http://www.ft.com) wrote…

Company directors could have to disclose any “significant doubts” over whether their business truly is a going concern under plans being drawn up by the UK’s corporate reporting watchdog.

The Financial Reporting Council is proposing an overhaul of the existing guidance for directors as the effects of the credit crunch spread to the wider economy. More companies are expected to fall into financial difficulties this year.

“Going concern” is the crucial judgment made separately by both directors and auditors that a business is financially viable for 12 months from the date the annual accounts are signed off.

The FRC is amending guidance drawn up in 1994. Under the existing paper, directors can reach one of three conclusions – that they are confident the business is a going concern; that they have some doubts but are content to use “going concern”; or that the business is not viable.

The regulator is proposing adding another that would require them to disclose if they had “identified material uncertainties that may cast significant doubt about the ability of the company to continue as a going concern”.

In the current jittery environment, disclosures made under that heading could prove a severe blow to a company.

“We don’t think this is a new departure but, given it is a long time since we last had a recession, some people might have put these considerations at the back of their minds,” said Ian Wright, director of corporate reporting.

Mr Wright said the changes were designed to reflect developments in accounting rules since the mid-1990s. This year companies have faced a new rule, IFRS 7, for the first time, which requires a great deal more detailed disclosure of a company’s liquidity risks.

“It’s timely to remind everyone of additional requirements that didn’t used to be there,” said Mr Wright.

The impact on small to medium sized businesses espcially is significant – it is a pretty clear at the moment to state whether you able to proceed as a going concern, because you can apply some analytics to it. However, as soon as you create an ’emotional’ decision, all hell breaks loose – who is to say that my assessment is the sames as yours and when there is difference, who is right??

SME Entrepreneurs – all effort, little impact? August 7, 2008

Posted by businessgrowthmastery in Entrepreneurial.
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Having read Luke Johnson FT review of “The Illusions of Entrepreneurship” by Scott A Shane, I was left wondering why we all bother…

The premise of the book is that

the entrepreneurs who matter economically are the select few who start innovative, super-successful firms. These tend to be the larger, well-capitalised projects planned by professional teams, not sole operators. All the other small new businesses created every year are pretty irrelevant in terms of job creation and value added. So, if you are not working on the new Microsoft or Google, then give up – you are not going to amount to much!

I find this mentality amazingly frustrating. It simply ignores the fact that micro-enterprises account for over 95% of all businesses and employ over 50% of the working population.

Yes, I’m sure that we would all like to create the next google, or at least generate the type of wealth that google has created for its founders, but being realistic, by applying a simple blueprint for business success,

we can create significant wealth, massive employment opportunities and add value to the economy.Yes, being an SME entrepreneur is hard but I believe that the impact that we have is massive and long may it continue.

500 interviews – distilled into 8 secrets of success… July 28, 2008

Posted by businessgrowthmastery in Entrepreneurial, Leadership, Uncategorized.
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I’m always on the lookout for good stuff to feed my mind and it helps when the material is presented in a light hearte way!

a week or so ago, a friend referred me to the following video and although it is just three minutes long, I’m sure that you will agree with me that it is worth every second of your time.

Apply these secrets to your business and you will be successful. These are the basics for all business growth.

8 Secrets of Success Video

 

Let me have your thoughts

How will the Credit Crunch affect your business? July 16, 2008

Posted by businessgrowthmastery in Economic Environment, Financial Management, General, Leadership, Mastermind Group, Operations.
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As always with this type of question, there is no straight answer, other than – it depends!

However, in economic downturns, there are as many winners as there are losers. The question you should be asking right now is – in which camp do I want to be?

 

 

There is a saying that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” and this has to be your mantra if you want to be one of the winners.
It is no good complaining about the state of the economy – there are enough people doing that. It is no good blaming the banks -they’re still open for business and for good business propositions, there is always money available.

However, the days of cheap money and a queue of people waiting to help you refinance are long gone and good riddance I say.

So what can you do to ensure that you are one of the winners and that you continue to deliver exceptional growth within your business?

For one, take these five simple steps;

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it depends!Undoubtedly, the impact of the credit squeeze, the increasing price of borrowing and the continued hikes in the cost of raw materials are having a big impact on business globally.

Santander takeover of Alliance & Leicester – the impact on your business… July 14, 2008

Posted by businessgrowthmastery in Economic Environment, General.
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Today in London, the Spanish banking group, Santander agreed to purchase Alliance & Leicester, the UK banking group in a deal worth approximately £1.3bn.
So what will be the impact on the business market in the UK.

All of the press analysts have concentrated upon the mortgage assets of A&L as being the main driver of the acquisition and debated at length as to whether the deal will be good for the UK consumer.

By acquiring A&L, Santander will have taken control of two of the bigger mortgage providers in the UK, having taken over Abbey a few years ago. Both Abbey and A&L were previously Building Societies and have significant retail customer bases.

However, I think the real purpose of the A&L acquisition is for Santander to gain a foothold into the business market. A&L have a much more developed commercial proposition than Abbey and although Abbey have been trying to develop their business proposition, it hasn’t really taken off in the way that I think Santander would have liked.

By acquiring A&L, they can merge the two UK businesses together and reap the rewards from cost savings generated as a result of de-duplication across branch networks and more significantly in the support functions. But I feel far more importantly, Santander now have a valid business proposition in the UK market, one I’m sure that they will wish to develop and exploit.

So what’s the impact on UK businesses?

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