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Ten Tips for Networking

Ten Tips for Networking Give – Be generous with your advice and time – do not go to an event just to take and move on When you leave the event you want to leave people with a positive image of you. Keep your contacts data base up to date with notes on when and where you met Be patient, networking tales time, treat it as an investment that may not pay dividends for months. Attend events that are relevant to you and your career – do not become a networking addict. Your time is precious, use it wisely. Remember …Read More

Refocus Your Team on the New Strategy

Most strategic change initiatives fail or at least hit some major bumps along the road. Ifyour team is struggling to adapt to a new strategy, try these three steps to get them back on track: Push decision making down. If people are told to act differently, they feel like “doers” with little control or power. Let people make choices about how they will contribute to the new strategy. Ask for input. If your people are stuck, ask them to suggest ways to remove the barriers that are holding them back. Share successes. No one wants to change if she / …Read More

Give Up Control & Grow

Leaders who micromanage do a disservice to their company, their employees, and themselves; worse yet, they are often preventing their companies from growing. If you are struggling to grow your company or unit, one of the smartest things you can do is give up control. Here’s how: Push down decision making. If you’re making all the decisions, you’re only holding your company back. Push decision making down to the lowest possible level. Accept that mistakes will happen. Sharing responsibility with others means things don’t always go according to plan. Prepare your employees to avoid mistakes by being clear about your …Read More

Look up and back – Do Not Get Distracted

In business, it’s important to set goals, achieve a sales target, grow the company-and lay out the strategies you believe will get you there. A clear strategy that dictates the process for achieving goals can be comforting, but be careful not to let it distract you. Don’t keep your head so focused on the process that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Look up and back on a regular basis and remind yourself what you have and what you are trying to achieve. Markets change, customers change, and even your company changes; looking up ensures that you don’t miss …Read More

What are Preference Shares?

John Barnes Non Exec Director explains WHAT ARE PREFERENCE SHARES?  Preference shares are so called because they have ‘preference’ over ordinary shares for payment of dividends and return of capital. However, they are junior to all forms of company debt, including debentures, loan notes and bank debt if the company is wound up. Key features Preference shares can be thought of as a hybrid between an ordinary share and a corporate bond. Their key features are:- Preference shareholders receive a fixed dividend, usually twice a year, similar to the interest (‘coupon’) paid on a bond; Dividends on preference shares are paid …Read More

Lessons from Geese

Lessons from Geese from a Non Exec Director I found this article in local church magazine many years ago and kept it safe to share with others Read these facts and think how businesses leaders can learn some brilliant lessons from geese. I just love fact 4. Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings; it creates u plift for the birds that follow. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds 72% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. Lesson People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going …Read More

Accountancy Terms and Formula

ACCOUNTANCY TERMS AND FORMULA. Confused with accountancy terms and formula? Here are a few examples to help:- Growth  1          % change in sales                               =                       sales Yr2 – sales Yr1               % sales Yr1 Profitability 1          gross profit %                                     =                      gross profit                                % sales 2          operating profit %                              =                         operating profit                       % sales 3          net profit %                                         =                     net profit after interest & tax    % sales Do you as a company director leave time to set out your budgets and company objectives? Need help with this? Are you working too much in the business …Read More

Business Break-Even point?

Do you know your Business Break-Even point?  Break-even is the point of zero loss or profit. “At break-even point, the revenues of the business are equal its total costs and its contribution margin equals its total fixed costs.” Every business director should know what the break-even point of the business is. It is a fundamental piece of information that is essential for the business leader. If you are unaware of your break-even point or do not understand the significance of the break-even point, It may be time to make that initial no cost, no obligation appointment with John Barnes.

Employing Staff for First Time

There are 6 things you need to do when employing staff for the first time. Decide how much you need to pay someone – you must pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW). Check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks as well. Get employment insurance – you need employers’ liability insurance as soon as you become an employer. It must cover you for at least £5 million and come from an ‘authorized insurer’. Send details of the job (including terms and conditions) in writing …Read More


Are you about to pitch for business funds? Remember you only have one chance to make that first impression. Your presentation is very important; it’s the ice breaker, it’s the elevator pitch, it’s the reason you are there.   Make sure you have at least three minutes of material without interruptions.  When pitching you will normally have up to 4-5 minutes to deliver it but most Business Angels / Venture Capitalists will interrupt you and you need to know it well enough to come back to your script. We recommend that you prepare: 1 minute on the Product/service 1 minute …Read More