Is big beautiful?


It may seem strange advice to beware of winning big contracts. After all most small businesses dream of catching that biggee which will set them up for the future. However, many a great small business has failed because they won a big contract with a large corporation.

The biggest problem is cash flow.

Large companies will often demand slow payment terms, which means it can be several months between paying employees and suppliers your end and receiving payment for your services. It is important to remember that even if you have agreed 30 day payment terms the cash will usually come in quite a but later than that. This is particularly problematic in the current economic climate where banks are reluctant to lend money to tide you over the interim period.

If a large proportion of your business is geared to fulfilling one large contract you leave yourself exposed should the large company you are dealing with has financial problems themselves.

Also, if you have to neglect your traditional client base whilst you complete the large contract you may find you have no business left one the contract is finished.

Now, I am not suggesting you never bid for large contracts. What I am saying is go into the process with your eyes open. Put away your rose tinted spectacles and examine fully what winning the contract will truly mean for your business. Are you prepared to accept the risks as well as the rewards?

Finally, there are professionals out there – such as your accountant – who can help you, so use them.



How will you spend your bonus day?

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Once every four years we are given a ‘present’. An extra day in the year. If you can get all you need to do in the usual 365 days, surely the extra day is a bonus!

So, have you thought about how you are gong to spend your present? If you are a business owner you should be flexible enough to use it well. Afterall it would be a shame to just let the opportunity go by to spend this day doing something special or different.

February 29th is a Monday so you could treat it as an extra bank holiday and take a long weekend trip somewhere you have been meaning to go to, but not yet managed to visit.

Alternatively you could ‘save’ the day until the summer and use the day to recharge your batteries with a trip to the coast.

If you want 2016 to be the year you make really great strides with your business, you need to plan how you are going to do it. If you never seem to find time to do the planning perhaps this would be a good use of your bonus day.

I think the key is to do something you would not usually have time to do, or something you long to do more of.

For me, the bonus day will be a great opportunity to do more of what I love. I cannot think of anything better than getting out into the Britishcountryside with my family and/or friends and going for a good old stomp.

But to make the day special – afterall it is a present – I plan to walk somewhere I have never been to before.

Where exactly that will be I have not yet decided It will be somewhere lovely and with only the best company. Obviously if it could be rounded off with a stonkingly good cream tea so much the better!

Wouldn’t it be great if we all came away from 2016 feeling we had used our bonus day well?

Now as my husband Jeff has pointed out if you are employed you don’t get an extra day of holiday. But I think he is missing the point.

The concept of a bonus day is more about your state of mind and about making the best out of opportunities – you just have to be a little creative!