Thinking Matters

Value For Money in Charities

There is a blurred line between the board and the operational team in many charities, and some are more blurred than others. The issue for me in ‘value’ for money’ is twofold: does the expenditure enhance or comply with the public benefit remit which is the raison d’etre for the charity. What impact does the… Read more »

Communication

Oldest problem in the world, cause of world wars and much unhappiness We have all been there, ‘must have mis understood, didn’t hear clearly, thought you meant something else, cant you understand plain English, why don’t you talk to me ‘ It is not for this article to say what works best, most of communication… Read more »

Forecasting

Usually this is the domain of the Finance team on the basis that they know how to run a spreadsheet and put in ‘what if’ scenarios.   However the SME needs to be financially intelligent and literate to be able to understand the consequences of these forecasts and the likelyhood of getting the future wrong. By… Read more »

Corporate Social Responsibility

This is a phrase that has entered the collective thinking on how businesses behave, but what does it mean for the SME? Whilst there is a degree of altruism in everybody, how does an SME display the sort of behaviour associated with Good CSR Milton Friedman once said ‘only people can have responsibilities’, so there… Read more »

Leadership

Talent Management Having a vision, knowing what resources you need, hiring the right people, giving them training, define the objectives and leave then to it. Create an environment where they are challenged and have the resources to meet the challenge, occasionally implement change to shake their mind sets up a bit and then let them… Read more »

Regulation – who needs it?

Events in 2008 /09 have shown the worst excesses of Corporate greed and the ‘Chickens coming home to roost’ scenario which many business observers ( and non -business observers) have been forecasting for some time. In some respects the current banking crisis can be traced back many years, starting from the very reason why banks… Read more »

What Makes a Good CEO

We start off with the premise that the CEO is involved in an SME, not for him the qualifications of an MBA, or many years experience in Commerce, working his way up through the various grades in the organisation. This particular breed of CEO has come up the hard way, learnt his experience first hand… Read more »

The SME Survival Handbook

This is written by me based on my 30 years experience in the SME sector, I have used the metaphor of a jungle to set the introductory feel for these series of essays, not because the SME landscape is necessarily threatening , but it is certainly challenging and requires good survival and orienteering skills to… Read more »

The Accountant and Start-ups

Introduction The purpose of this article is to highlight those areas where an accountant through his own skill and knowledge base can add value to a new creation , whilst at the same time become part of the entrepreneurial team and display skills which are necessary to kick start a business. Is it only a… Read more »

Acquiring new businesses

Mergers and acquisitions At some part in the life cycle the SME is going to forego it’s traditional organic, more of the same , approach and branch out into acquired growth.  This mindset is no different in the SME environment as it boils down to best fit, and in some ways mirror the values in… Read more »