To the blog for small and medium sized business (SME) owners.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Leadership - What is it?

Leadership in part is passion for achieving the goals and mission of the organization. Good leadership will display a strength of character, concise actions based on experience, courage and integrity of the individual.

Improve your leadership skills. How do you become a good business leader?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Business Funding for Small Business

A small business (SME) owner may provide the first funds for the business from his/her own resources, or support may be given by a financial institution perhaps in the form of a loan.

However, an expansion of the business may result in a requirement for more finance to support the business growth with the sums involved being larger and may be beyond the means of the business owner. A bank or other finance provider may require collateral alien to the business owner’s wishes.

What actions are available to the SME business owner in such circumstances?

Learn more on business funding for SME businesses.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

When is it a Good Time to appoint a Virtual Part Time Financial Director?

When is it a good time to appoint a Virtual Financial Director?

The easy answer maybe 'When you start your business.' However, a reality check needs to be taken. Funds may not be available to pay for the service or indeed there may be insufficient workload to justify such an appointment.

Although it may be a condition of a third party investor that a FD be appointed by the business, even in these circumstances the Finance Director may only be part time.

So it is most common for businesses to grow (or contract) until a point is reached when the missing skill set that a part time finance director should possess is required to safeguard the future.

What are these situations that may trigger the appointment of a part time finance director?

There may be many but typically any list would include:
- The owner losing control of the business – not knowing how the business is performing – no management accounts – no cash management
- Rapid business growth without a senior financial professional to assist in setting a robust strategy and plan for the future
- Businesses that absorb all available cash with increases in working capital potentially restricting growth and capital expenditure.
- Established businesses with poor profitability and/or with an unacceptable cash generative history.
- Businesses facing external pressures to make financial improvements to satisfy personal or corporate commitments from banks or investors.
- Business owners that plan to exit and seek help to maximize the business value.

Business owners should, whenever possible, be proactive in the appointment of a part time FD; see the appointment as part of the strategeic development of the business and for it not to be a reactionary move dictated by problems within the organisation.

Whatever the circumstances in your business if you need more information on the appointment of a part-time finance director contact DAW Consulting for an informal discussion.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Characteristics of the Business Mentor

When engaging with a business mentor the mentor should possess important characteristics. These include:

- acting ethically at all times
- an ability to analyse and evaluate business problems
- ability to listen to and understand the client's concerns
- knowledge on how to identify the causes contributing to the effects under discussion
- ability to motivate
- skill of communicating effectively
- and more...

Learn more visit Business Mentor

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Business Plans - Who Owns Them?

When setting out the business future or applying for funding it is usual to find support in the form of a business plan.

However, business plans are often not only found to contain omissions and mistakes that are easily avoidable, but also the business owner may not fully understand or appreciate the expectation placed on him/her to deliver the forecast results published in the business plan. If the document is for internal use then the fall-out of not achieving the forecast results may not be as grave as if the plan underpinned an application for funds.

The business adviser may prepare the plan, but the ownership of the business plan is not always understood to belong to the business owner.

Consequently, care should be taken when instructing the business adviser to ensure the business strategy set out in the plan can realistically be implemented and the forecast results achieved.

The business plan should be looked upon has a set of promises that the business owner can deliver and not a 'wish list' of opportunities that cannot be implemented.

It is, therefore, important for the business owner to understand all aspects of business and the adopt a 'will do' midset.

Learn more on Business Planning and Business Mentoring.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Leadership in Small Business

All business leaders should have focus and be capable of driving the business towards the achievement of its business goals.

The SME business owner’s leadership style should demonstrate that what is being undertaken is sensible and will inspire stakeholders to commit to the cause. There will be a display of fairness to all and honesty in leadership style and the approach should be beyond reproach.

Learn more on leadership and business mentoring.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Improve Your Business With a Mentor

A business mentor is someone who has done what you want to do, or has achieved what you want to do. Business mentoring involves building a relationship with someone who has succeeded in your chosen field, but there are other factors to ensure success is gained from working with your business mentor.

Read more