Pathetic planning produces piss poor performance

This was an adage of my first manager 20 years ago and although I would not voice it quite as he did, I do believe great planning is the key to business success.

Over the years there have been times when businesses I have been involved with have not produced the results we hoped for/expected. Almost invariably a key factor was that proper planning was not done, or that plans, once drawn up, were not reviewed and revised as the business developed. Conversely, businesses with clear goals, expressed in a plan which is regularly revisited find it much easier to achieve the results they want. 

I heard today from two businesses I work with who have just found out that they have reached the finals of the Somerset Business of the Year Awards. In both cases the business owners had clear goals from the outset. They knew what they wanted to achieve and have worked tirelessly to achieve it. Yes, they have encountered hurdles along the way – sometimes seemingly insurmountable ones – but their clear planning has helped them focus on what is really important to them. This in turn has helped them build great businesses.


So, if you want to succeed in business my best advice is to plan for success, rather than leaving your business in the rather fickle hands of fate.




Posted via email from Jop

Finance for Non-finance Managers – Bristol

Are you a Small Business Owner or Manager with great products/services and good clients?

 Do you sometimes have one of the following issues:

  • Your making sales, but your business has no money, or you don’t know if you have any money
  • You would have money if your customer’s weren’t hanging onto it!
  • You have no idea how to make the most of the financial information  you pay your accountant to provide annually

If you face any of the above challenges then come along to the Finance for Non-finance Managers workshop.

You will come away from the day with tools and an action plan which will help you:

  •  Understand the financial position of your company
  • Use your financial information to make better business decisions
  • Plan for financial success!
  • A free e-book on finance for non-finance managers


all day course

Wednesday 2nd December 2009

Engineer’s House, Bristol

 Invest in your business and reserve a place by

emailing or calling 01749 685 252

Greeting the working week with a sun salutation

It’s Monday morning and my yoga class has been cancelled. I’m gutted.

For many of you the idea of spending the first few hours of your working week in downward dog with your bum up in the air might seem a luxury, but for me it plays an integral part setting me up for the week.

When I’m stressed I find it hard to focus. For me, my head feels as if it’s filled with a scribble, just like a Jackson Pollock painting. Yoga helps me see the blank canvas. It helps my attitude, my productivity and gives me the ability to focus what is really important. An hour of yoga saves me many hours of running around like a headless chicken. It’s not a luxury – It’s a return on investment.

Clarity of thinking is really important when you’re running a business. It doesn’t matter what you do to get this. Yoga may be too hippy-dippy for you. Fiona, the other half of Bright Dimension goes running. In fact her best ideas materialise whilst she is out on a run.

How do you gain clarity?


Posted via email from Jop

Collecting the Cash

Piggy Bank

In these turbulent times it is more important than ever to be on top of cash collection. However, many small business owners find it a real challenge to chase customers who are late paying.

A phrase we hear often is, They’re a really good customer, so I don’t want to annoy them by chasing for payment”. Let’s just analyse that sentence for a minute. Why are these customers good for your business? Because they allow you to do lots of work for free? Surely, a good customer is one who appreciates your efforts and is happy to pay because they value you. If you have done the work you agreed with your customer, to the level they expected, why should they not pay the agreed price in the agreed time period?

So don’t be shy about collecting YOUR money.

Other problems we see regularly are:

              Not setting payment terms up front

If you have not agreed when the customer should pay BEFORE the work is done, you will struggle to collect the money in a reasonable time frame. Make sure your terms of engagement/purchase confirmation clearly state when you expect to be paid.

              Setting unnecessarily long payment terms

Don’t assume that you have to offer customers 30 or 60 day payment terms. Start from a position of offering zero payment terms and only offer extended terms if there is a commercial advantage in doing so. Bear in mind that even if you offer 30 day terms you will most probably be paid later than that. As you don’t know the financial position of all your customers the only safe money is the money in your bank account.

              Not sending invoices out promptly

If you do not send out your invoices as soon as the work is complete, you automatically build a lag before you receive payment. Invoicing is a chore, but regular invoicing is vital to achieving financial stability.


The most common reason small businesses fail is because they run out of cash.

The most common reason they run out of cash is because they do not collect the money they are owed quickly enough, or allow debts to go bad.

Make sure you business succeeds by being cash collection savvy.

Posted via email from Jop