Posts tagged ‘Circumstances’

Let´s Fly!Welcome to 2012!  I hope you have all had a well earned rest and have recharged your batteries in anticipation of a successful year ahead.

Everyone knows that “to fail to plan, is to plan to fail” and you should have by now reflected on your performance of last year and be making formal written plans for what you need to achieve this year to take a significant step towards, if not achieve your personal and business goals.

Whilst reviewing some social media posts at the tail end of last year, I came across the following message from John Hall of Enstrata and felt compelled to share it with you.

Do you share these Twelve Business Resolutions?

Here is a list generated at a ‘coffee’ conversation on business resolutions for 2012.

Could these be useful to forming your own resolutions?

The list below is not a complete list, and, as you may note, a couple will not be widely shared.

I have recorded them here in a general form. All you need to do is choose any appropriate ones and make them specific to your circumstances. Then add any others of your own.

The resolutions were of the form  ‘By the end of 2012 I will have…’

1)     Improved financial management and control.

2)     Gained more customers and…

3)     Improved how we gain new customers (social media etc).

4)     Talked to more customers about what they think of my / our business.

5)     Improved Business resilience to shocks (e.g. illness, core knowledge disappearing).

6)     Attacked wasted time as well as wasted money.

7)     Understood Corporate Social Responsibility and be able to explain what my business is doing about it.

8)     Personally shared more problems with trusted peers who can help.

9)     Improved utilisation of technology.

10)   Invested more time in acknowledging employee’s contribution.

11)   Learned some management methods to make life easier

12)   Gained a better work life balance.

Action required

At the coffee morning, we all recognised that this is a bit of a wish list. The feeling was that unless you identified problem areas, and acknowledged you needed to do something, you would not actively set about changing the status quo.

Then someone said that the same things appear on their wish list year after year……

The conversation moved on to why many business resolutions and personal resolutions fail.

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The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

Trustees Liability

In the past trustees have been worried that they may be personally liable for mistakes they make which put charitable assets at risk.

The Charities Act 2006 (which is still being implemented in phases) introduces two small but important changes.

Indemnity Insurance

If trustees act prudently, lawfully and in accordance with their governing document, then any liability trustees incur may be met by the charity’s resources.

Charities can take out insuracne to cover such circumstances.

Any breach of trust will result in the trustee being personally responsible fpr making good any loss to the charity.  Since trustees are acting  as a collective governing body, they will usually be jointly and severally responsible.

Personal Liability Insurance

Risk is when an outcome’s probability is known. Uncertainty is when an outcome’s probability is unknown.Trustees are now able to procure trustee indemnity insurance using the charity’s funds, to protect them from personal liability to third parties.  This is still deemed to be a trustee benefit but it is no longer a requirement to gain permission from the Charity Commission provided that the governing document does not prohibit it.

Fair use of charitable resources?

Trustees need to consider the nature or the charity’s activities, the degree of risk to which the trustees are exposed, the number of trustees to be covered and the cost to the charity of paying the premiums when deciding whether insurance is a good use of resources.

Of course, there is nothing stopping trustees from arranging and paying for their own policies.


The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

It is a discussion I have had with many of my clients when appraising their progress and looking at how the business is going to grow in the upcoming months.

Once outsourcing has been considered, utilised or perhaps discounted, finding someone to support you and help develop growth has to be the next step, but it is a daunting one. 

 So I have commissioned this post from my good friend, and professional contact Katherine Connolly  of Keeping HR Simple  to help alleviate concerns.

You know you’re too busy….

You know you have a great sales pipeline and you also know that another pair of hands would free up your time.  You want to work on your business as well as in it.  So what’s stopping you from making the leap from business owner to employer?

It doesn’t have to be complicated

Taking on your first employee doesn’t have to be complicated, especially if you prepare for it in advance.  Regardless of the fact that you have a small business, as soon as someone agrees to work for you and you agree to pay them for the work they do, you take on certain responsibilities for them.  That may sound a bit scary but it doesn’t have to be. 

Your obligations

You need to be aware of your obligations, most of which are common sense, and have a plan to meet them. 

 They are as follows:

(i) To pay wages

Sounds pretty obvious, doesn’t it, but what would happen if you had a particularly tough month or if a couple of customers don’t pay their bills on time?  You need to have a contingency plan and informing your employee that you can’t pay their wages that month is not enough!  Do you have enough money in the bank to cover at least 3 months salary for them?  It’s really important to communicate with your employee at all times, especially since they will be relying on their salary to make ends meet.

(ii) Not to make unauthorised deductions

You can’t deduct money from an employee’s wages unfairly or without getting their approval in advance (another reason why it’s essential to have an employment contract!)

You can only make deductions from wages in certain circumstances:

  • if there is legal authority to do so, e.g. by Act of Parliament – income tax, National Insurance Contributions etc;
  • by contract of employment which might provide for deductions to be made in certain specific circumstances, e.g. fines for disciplinary offences;
  • or by individual agreement where an employee might agree for the deduction for union subscriptions or to reimburse their employer for overpayment of wages. 

Remember that you will be paying employer’s national insurance on top of the employee’s salary so you will have to include it in your calculations. 

(iv) To take reasonable care of your employee

This is a wide-ranging duty and covers both physical care and psychiatric care (i.e. not to expose employees to psychiatric harm).  As your business grows, this will encompass policies like a zero tolerance approach to discrimination and bullying but that doesn’t mean you should ignore such things until you reach a certain threshold.  The same goes for health and safety – just because you need 5 employees before the law says you need a written health and safety policy doesn’t mean you should ignore your obligations to provide a safe working environment. 

As an example, have you considered where your new employee will work? You may be quite happy working in your spare room or in a garage conversion on the side of your house but you need to put yourself in their position.  If there isn’t room for them to work comfortably and safely, you need to consider other options.

(v) Not to breach mutual trust and confidence

This obligation refers to your working relationship with your employee.  There are three fundamentals that should govern your behaviour as an employer:

  1. Be fair
  2. Be consistent
  3. Be nice

If you practice these without fail, you will find that you’re in the best position to preempt difficult situations and deal with the majority of problems that may arise. 

Don’t be scared to take on your first employee.  Just be prepared! 

Guest author:   Katherine and her partner Jason are successful growing their professional HR consultancy business, by sticking to their core values and Keeping HR Simple

If you have any questions regarding this post, please leave a comment below or contact Katherine and Jason on 0800 458 6582.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

are you sure?

Lots of small business owners seem shocked that anyone would suggest they outsource any of their work.  “I don’t outsource”, “I don’t need to outsource” are just some of the responses (the polite ones anyway!).

But were you to look at your every day circumstances I am sure you would be surprised to know that you do outsource already.

So what is outsourcing?

I perceive outsourcing to be: a system where you pass on to someone else work, projects or tasks that you are unskilled for, doing tasks that don’t move your company forward or bring in more money.

Are you outsourcing?

Have you ever ordered your grocery shopping online? Given someone else your ironing to do? Gone to the dentist for a filling? Paid a hairdresser? Used a cleaner?  These are all examples of outsourcing.

I practice what I preach; I do my weekly shop online. It saves me an awful lot of time and it saves me money, no more temptations from those ends of aisle offers. I also use an ironing lady, she does a better job than I would, in less time than I would, and I make more money using my time elsewhere than the cost of the ironing. It just makes sense to me. It also saves me the stress of performing a task I abhor.

Value yourself and your time

What value is there in you doing the task yourself?  Because you feel you have to, because you feel you can’t afford not to, or because you don’t like to let go.  Look at things a different way.  If you concentrate on your core business how much can you earn in an hour?  If you do certain tasks yourself is that common sense?  Should you do your own admin or accounts?  If bookkeeping takes you an hour then it has cost you your hourly rate.  However, should you outsource, it could cost you a lot less, it could take a lot less time than it would have taken you, and in that time you could have won a new contract or client.

Buying expertise

There are many experts out there who can make a huge difference to your business, you can outsource your bookkeeping, admin, website design and management, SEO, social media marketing, telemarketing, IT management and even personal tasks such as managing your diary or email, answering your calls, doing your shopping, or even walking your dog.  Remember, it’s all about outsourcing tasks that someone else can do in less time, to a higher level or just tasks you don’t enjoy or have the time for.  It could also enable you to move your business forward.  Working as one man you can only ever achieve a certain amount of work.  By working with an outsourced team or individual you can accomplish so much more.


Maximise your potential, by leveraging time and opportunity.

Open yourself up to the possibilities of outsourcing, and move your business on to the next level.



Guest author:   Helen Stothard is a valuable Twitterbuddy of mine who is successfully growing her outsourcing business while raising a family.

For more information about the services offered by Helen and her team please visit HLS Business Solutions

Multi-millionaire and CEO of ActionCoach  Bradley J Sugarssays  

“STOP IT … stop doing things like cleaning the house, washing the car, mowing the lawn … pay someone to do it and put that time into planning your business … remember, poor people spend time to save money, rich people spend money to save time …”

A relevant blog post from the one and only, Jim Connolly :  4 Secrets of the world’s most successful businesses!

This post from the reverent Ann Hawkins made me smile (keep shouting Ann!)