The 2020 Lockdown and two perfect things to launch – One was a boat!

I don’t know about you, but every year I seem to think the previous 12 months has gone faster than ever, but this last one has seemingly moved at blistering pace by comparison to any other. Yet that’s not how it seemed it would be in February and March 2020. I remember heading down to London in February for a regular monthly trip and I noticed how many people seemed to be wearing face coverings and surgical gloves on the Tube network and in the streets. With concern for the future, it got me thinking…was Covid about to make all our lives utterly miserable?   In March, lockdown became as real for us in the UK, as it was for millions … Read More >

EU Transition Project – General Business Advisor

New year and another new addition to my role. There’s not a person alive in the UK that can’t have failed to notice that the UK has fully completed its withdrawal from the EU on 1st January 2021 after years of planning, filibustering, public and professional concern (and even a few recriminations to boot). Finished is the arguments about should we leave and a new beginning about what this great country of ours will now do with its future relationship with the EU and the EFTA countries (of Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland & Switzerland). Like any new relationship, it’s going to create a lot of doubt and anxiety, particularly amongst business owners, many of whom have never known any different, having … Read More >

Sorry, no blog this month – we’re working on our new website!

Thanks for checking in again, but we’re sorry to say that there’s no blog this month as we’re carefully busy preparing our new website with lots of new information about the extended services that we’re now beginning to deliver for our current and future clients.  We’ll have so much to share when the new site goes ‘live’ in the next few months. There will be news about our latest commercial business relationships that are sure to help you develop your business from seed to sale, advice on strategy and planning, corporate governance, non-executive and consultancy advice, mergers and acquisitions, marketing technology suggestions (and let’s be honest, there’s still plenty of businesses struggling to get to grips with this), news oh how you can … Read More >

Pond Skater or Deep Diver – which type are you in your businesses growth?

Every business employs people who want to come to work but as a result of the hidden concerns many face, most employees only get to enjoy that experience when the boss is away.  Unfortunately, most SME’s don’t have the time, understanding or expertise to see what’s going on below the surface of a business as other challenges take precedence. So, if you’re the boss what can you do to change it? There’s usually a host of things that contribute to this malaise and whilst many of the staff will be only too well aware of the majority of problems within the firm e.g. a lack of engagement, openness, motivation, job satisfaction, responsibility, belonging, trust, ethics, and poor internal communication that negatively contributes to … Read More >

Import tariffs are changing from January 2021 – prepare for the UK Global Tariff

Despite the recent summer months of experiencing a more relaxed pattern of acceptable risk to our lives, here we are in October and the airtime being given to Covid is increasing daily as talk of a ‘second wave’ looms large this winter. So from a commercial perspective, it’s never been more important for us to follow government guidelines and do all we can to divert another lockdown. On another commercial matter, we’re now also becoming increasingly exposed to the effects of Brexit. Yes, that’s right. Remember that other political hurdle that lay heavy on our hearts and minds for so long? Well despite formally leaving the EU on the 31st January 2020 and Brexit largely playing second fiddle in the … Read More >

Covid – There’s a lot more needles in that haystack – you just need to know where!

Discounting - The road to ruin

In January 2019 I published a blog here and on LinkedIn titled ‘Retail Discounting – The Road to Ruin) It discussed the ease at which retailers feel pressurised to reduce prices across all platforms when competitors start discounting. Why wouldn’t you when, the guy down the street must surely be winning a larger piece of that pie? The blog also referred to the fact that all businesses, not just retailers are creatures of the environment, each is influenced by the economic, technological, social, legal, environmental and political pressures of the day and that brings us onto the pressures being experienced now during this terrible Covid pandemic. Never have any of us ever experienced anything like we’re experiencing right now. Even … Read More >

A note to all aspiring young marketers

  If you’re an aspiring young marketer, I really hope there’s something you can learn from this blog that helps you propel your career. I’m a big advocate of having goals, things that make me strive towards something, to give me direction and a purpose in life. Not everyone thinks like this and that’s fine, but if you’re looking for direction in marketing, I’d say the Chartered Institute of Marketing is a valuable partner and ally and well worth the price of membership. Prior to 2003, I was employed as Sales & Marketing Director in a modestly sized private business that employed around 30 people. I was paid well and enjoyed the variation in my work but felt that the … Read More >

Too little (Business & Marketing) planning, will lose your business tomorrow

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc around the world, I thought it would be useful to share this blog post from 2017 that more important today than ever… I’m fairly sure I work hard to develop and safeguard my business, my children tell me this regularly – my wife has given up telling me. But this blog isn’t about how I work because I really don’t see it as ‘work’ as I get paid to do something I really enjoy, helping other business owners to see their businesses in a different way (cliché I know, but true). What I wanted to do in this blog was to show how others can benefit the same way. You see it’s not just … Read More >

Steering a course through COVID-19

As we navigate through the global COVID-19 pandemic we all share a thought for all those workers that continue to help us and keep society functioning. This turned my attention to all those in the healthcare profession, council workers, food retailers, couriers, postal workers and those in the Merchant Navy who bring essential goods to our shores from around the world. It reminded me of the late 1970’s when I served in the Merchant Navy initially joining Tate & Lyle’s small fleet of six vessels where I  joined the largest and newest of two sister ships, a 30,000-tonne bulk carrier called MV Sugar Carrier (yes, that’s me in the photo). During my early career at sea I took my ‘Steering Certificate’, a process … Read More >

The Key to Growth is Understanding your P&L Summary – Part 4 Finance

If you’ve read my three previous blogs on how to perform well as a Non-Executive Director, then you’ll have already started to build a good picture of the type of person that’s required for such a role. Exemplary skills in Governance, Strategy and Leadership are all essential attributes none of which can escape the need for a clear understanding of the financial position of the client company. Having worked with small to medium sized businesses for my entire career, I invariably see the senior management teams focus on the day-to-day needs of the business and its customers. All too often the Profit & Loss (P&L) is something they might have initially looked at once a year when they sit with … Read More >