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P – People + Processes UK exporters impeded by labour shortages British Chambers of Commerce 25 May 2018 BCC, in partnership with DHL, latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook shows exporters are being hampered by widespread labour shortages, particularly in manufacturing, where two-thirds of firms struggled to recruit in the first quarter of 2018. Read more:Read More
P – People + Processes EU migrants say UK employers have been ‘very poor’ on Brexit support People Management 29 March 2018 More than a third of EU citizens working in the UK say their employer has been ‘very poor’ in answering their questions and providing support around Brexit, according to an exclusive People ManagementRead More
Can you recognise which businesses are better than their competitors? The ones that are most profitable? Perhaps those that are growing fastest? Or generating the highest returns to shareholders? What about the ones with the most satisfied customers? Or employees? As soon as you start to think about it, there are many ways of measuringRead More
We have heard a great deal about the Brexit process since the referendum, but most businesses are still unclear about how it will affect them and how they should (or indeed whether they can) plan for the future. We now know what the government’s objectives are (a “clean Brexit”), what the position of the EU27Read More
Four weeks on from the EU referendum vote and the details of how Brexit will proceed are still unclear. Whilst the new government has said that “Brexit means Brexit” and given some indications that it won’t be hurried, solid information to help businesses plan for the future has not yet emerged. We are unlikely toRead More
The result of the EU referendum vote has taken many by surprise and the financial markets, at the time of writing, have been marked down sharply. Those who are running small businesses might find the prospects confusing and worrying, with little hard information available to help plan for a post-Brexit future. We have to assumeRead More
Perhaps you’re about to make an important change in your business: entering a new market or launching a new product line; considering an acquisition or merger; or planning for succession or an exit. Or maybe you know there’s a problem but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Perhaps you just want to takeRead More
Most of us recognise that preventative care is cheaper than curative care (or treatment), and more effective than palliative care (which just reduces the impact of symptoms). And not just in medicine, but in many activities. That’s why we have routine services for our cars, planned maintenance for our infrastructure and quality assurance in manufacturing.Read More
In a meeting to review business case projections, the discussion ranged over various assumptions in the financial model and someone asked “But what is the correct assumption?” For those with a background in analysis, this question was an amusing distraction, but it raises an important point – what assumptions should you use in your businessRead More
The turn of the year is a good time to reflect on past achievements and to plan for the future. For most business people, that means thinking about how to improve the commercial and financial health of their business. As we’ve discussed previously, a healthy business needs more than just good financial results. The healthiestRead More
Financial models are useful business tools. In our view, they are the only reliable way to quantify a business plan. The model may be of a specific business case, perhaps to evaluate a proposed investment, or of the whole business. Financial models come in all shapes and sizes, including short-term cash forecasts, annual budgets andRead More
Donald Rumsfeld’s famous quote about “knowns” and “unknowns” (reproduced in full below) was illuminating in that he missed out “unknown knowns”! The Johari window is a useful psychology tool for understanding relationships between a subject (self) and others (peers) that categorises awareness of information (in the psychologists’ case, character traits) into 4 quadrants: • OpenRead More
A question posed the other day was “A business health check: is that like a personal health check-up?” And the answer is broadly “Yes” but with some important differences. Many will have experienced a personal health check-up with their GP or a private healthcare provider and will be familiar with the process. There’s usually aRead More
Benchmarking is a well -known and oft-used technique in large corporations, but relatively few smaller companies take advantage of this valuable business tool. Many SMEs think it is too difficult, too expensive or not worth the effort. This is a missed opportunity as SMEs often benefit more from benchmarking than their larger counterparts. Benchmarking isRead More
At Company Pulse, we are focused on improving business health. But what do we mean by “business health”? And how can you tell whether a business is healthy – what are the key signs to look out for? We have taken to heart McKinsey’s work on business health, and they have offered the following description:Read More
After a quick straw poll we’ve chosen some recently read books we’d happily re-read. So, if you’re in need of some inspiration for holiday reading, please try any from this somewhat eclectic list of 20 books that should all be relevant and interesting for business people. John F. Kennedy on Leadership: The Lessons and LegacyRead More
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, came top of the preferred vehicles with the biggest benefits of social networking stated being the abilities to generate leads, keep up with their industry, monitor the online conversations about their business, increase profitability, sustain reputation and empower customers and employees to be brand ambassadors. Key stakeholders, and policymakers in businessesRead More
If you haven’t already read Daniel Kahneman’s excellent book ‘Thinking, fast and slow’ you might want to put it to the top of your ‘to read’ list. It fundamentally challenges much of the received wisdom about decision-making. Anyone who needs to make significant business decisions should understand the implications of Kahneman’s work (which earned himRead More
Probably the question we are most frequently asked at Company Pulse is “So what exactly is a business health check?” followed by “and how does it differ from an audit or financial review / due diligence / a strategic review?” Put simply, a business health check is an all-round review of an organisation’s business health.Read More
Ask a manager or owner how business is going and the chances are that you’ll get an answer about sales, profits or growth. But there’s a lot more to being a healthy business than financial results. Healthy businesses should naturally post healthy results. But the characteristics of healthy businesses mean that they will post consistentlyRead More