Talking the Talk

On Thursday I spoke at NRG on issues people have with their business finances.

I can imagine many of you would rather have your eyes poked out with hot tongs than come to such a talk. However, there is no getting away from the fact that we are all in business to make money.

Only a very few people have the privilege of  doing a job for money which they love so much that they would do it full time – even if they were not paid for it!

This means that whether your business is making money, or not, is a key to how successful it is – irrespective of your wider goals.

And yet many business people I meet are ignorant of how well they are doing financially. They look at their financial statements once a year (often several months after the year the statements relate to is finished) and admit that they don’t really understand what their accountant has produced for them.

Worse – they stick their head in the sand by ‘filing’ bank statements away in a drawer to ‘deal with’ later, and are reluctant to ask their customers for the money owed to them, because they are embarrassed to do so. This means they are likely to have problems with cash flow and incur high bank charges – aren’t we all fed up with paying bankers!?

If you are serious about business you have to be serious about money and that means taking responsibility for your business finances. This does not mean you have to be an accountant but it does mean you need to have financial information available to you on a timely enough basis that you can use it to make informed decisions.


To Link or Not to Link … that is the question!

 iStock network picture









I would like to start by saying that I never thought I would find myself writing a blog about social networking.

I am not a fan of Facebook or Bebo and tweeting, as far as I am concerned, is best left to the birds.

However, I am a fan of LinkedIn. I think it is a great platform for businesses to tell the world about what they do – it helps you link with business people you know and asking for, and giving, testimonials is easy.

It has taken quite a lot of time and effort to create my LinkedIn profile and I also spend time writing and responding to discussions within the groups I have joined.

I did all this not because I thought I would get new business from strangers, but because I wanted to keep in touch with people I already knew. We are all busy and it is often difficult to find time to meet our business contacts on a regular basis.

However, we do want them to think of us when they hear of opportunities that are right up our street.

My view of the possibilities LinkedIn can open for me has been changed this week though. I received an email through LinkedIn from someone I had never met before. They had found what I do of interest to them and requested a meeting.

The meeting was a real success! We found out that we both had skills which could help the other; we had several mutual acquaintances; and the upshot was that he has now become a client of mine.

I guess my message is that there is a big world out there. If we don’t open ourselves to the possibilities out there we could be missing a big trick.