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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.

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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

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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 expectations and giving them the tools they need to do their jobs well.

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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 new and important

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What are Preference Shares?

preferred shares John Barnes

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

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Lessons from Geese

Geese Lesson John Barnes

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

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Accountancy Terms and Formula

accounting formula


Confused with accountancy terms and formula?

Here are a few examples to help:-


1          % change in sales                               =                       sales Yr2 – sales Yr1               %
sales Yr1

1          gross profit %                                     =                      gross profit                                %
2          operating profit %                              =                         operating profit                       %
3          net profit %                                         =                     net profit after interest & tax    %
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

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Business Break-Even point?

Break Even

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

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Employing Staff for First Time

we are hiring

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

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pitching for business

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

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Definition of a Director

Companies act 2013

There is a general statement in the Companies Act which states that the expression “director” includes “any person occupying the position of director, by whatever name called”, which includes a person who is treated by the board as such, despite not having been validly appointed (often referred to as a “de facto” director).

The law also recognises the concept of “shadow directors” and many of the statutory provisions which apply to directors also apply to “shadow directors”.

Shadow Director

A shadow director is defined as “a person in accordance with whose directions or instructions the directors of the company

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Duty to promote the success of the company

Promoting your company

The Companies Act provides that a director must act in the way he considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole.

In so doing, the director must have regard (among other matters) to:

the likely consequences of any decision in the long term;
the interests of the company’s employees;
the need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others;
the impact of the company’s operations on the community and the, environment;
the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for

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Move in the Right Circles.

John Barnes Portfolio Exec

Having a portfolio career can at times be a lonely existence.

Everyone needs support and people around them who understand the pressures and frustrations in their business world.

I was looking for that support when I created my consultancy and found that PortfolioExec filled that role with the added value of providing portfolio commissions opportunities.

If you have a Portfolio career and want to move in the right circles contact me or PortfolioExec direct and see how this organisation can help you.

“PortfolioExec® is a Business Consortium of approved Associates and Corporate Partners providing a framework for opportunity for

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Coaching or Mentoring?

John Barnes Support


Have you have wondered what is the difference between coaching and mentoring?

While definitions do vary, the key difference is that mentoring is designed to be non – directive.

Mentoring takes a broad view of the individual and, while there is a focus, mentoring takes a much wider approach to a person’s goals and ambitions. The mentor may offer coaching and training from time to time, but may also encourage the use of specialist support in these areas.

Coaching is more directive and normally has a specific and tightly focused goal which is more skills and

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New Statutory Payments 2014/15

John Barnes Non Exec

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced the proposed new rates for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) for tax year 2014/15.

The proposed revised rates are as follows:

The standard weekly rate of SMP and the weekly rates of SPP and SAP will increase from £136.78 to £138.18 – it is assumed this will be for payment weeks commencing on or after Sunday, 6 April 2014.
The prescribed weekly rate of Maternity Allowance will also increase from £136.78 to £138.18.
The weekly rate of SSP will

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Growth Vouchers-No Brainer?

Barnescdir growth vouchers

The Government has this month (January 2014) launched a £30m ‘Growth Vouchers’ programme to help small British businesses grow. The Enterprise Nation Marketplace is the only place to find Growth Voucher advisers – and it’s open for business now.

The great news is that John Barnes of BarnesCDir Ltd is a registered advisor for Leadership and Management Training.

The programme will offer advice and guidance to businesses taking part and see subsidies of up to £2,000 offered to many to spend with advisers on the new Enterprise Nation Marketplace. It’s expected to help 20,000 of the smallest British businesses

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Questions for Family Business

John Barnes Business Mentor


1. What are the most common problems with family businesses?

2. How can we minimise the risk of disputes over the running of the business?

3. What can I do if family members who work for the business don ‘t get on well together?

4. What can be done if a family shareholder is using their shares as a weapon in a family feud?

5. Can we stop a family shareholder giving shares to the ‘ black sheep ‘ of the family?

6. What sort of issues should we cover in a shareholders’ agreement for a family business?

7. Are there any restrictions on employing family members?

8. Can we favour family members over non-family employees?

9. Should we encourage our children to work for the business?

10. Are there any restrictions on appointing family members to the board of directors?

11. Should

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Measuring Performance


Driving & leading your business 

You would not consider driving a car without a simple dashboard of gauges to alert you to potential engine or other problems with your vehicle. So why drive your business without a similar dashboard?

Use some Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to monitor your business success.

KPIs are quantifiable measurements of business performance commonly used to evaluate activities that reflect the critical factors of business success.  You will find that ultimately there will only be a few KPI’s that will drive the core critical elements of your business.

If you don’t regularly monitor your business

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Hire People Better Than You

Staff Picture


Sooner or later, all businesses hit that wall.  For business owners it is a tough but salutary experience to realise that the main obstacle to growing their business is, in fact, themselves.

It takes real bravery, passion and great ideas to start a business, then to pull it up by its bootstraps.  However, once the model is proven, the enterprise takes on a different aspect and turning that great idea into a thriving and growing business can become a huge task.


The focus in such businesses is normally on doing the same thing

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Avoid Email Addiction

Email Addiction

Do you have an addiction to being connected to your e mails, and to the illusion of being busy dealing with them at the expense of other more important stuff?

Don’t let it take over your working day

Your inbox is packed full of potentially “exciting information” to distract you.  But checking too often can become a daily disease.  Turn off the sounds and graphics so that you only visit your inbox when you’re ready to, not every time something new comes in.

Your inbox is not your to-do list

Your inbox is nothing more than a holding pen

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