Year: 2017

The Superdry Story: what can – and did – go wrong

For most people, Superdry is synonymous with the Great British entrepreneurial success story. What began at a Cheltenham market store in the early eighties, has become a FTSE 250 apparel superbrand, generating annual turnover of over £590m. For the company’s former CFO, however, the tale is bitter sweet. Chas Howes oversaw the company’s most aggressive… Read more »

How to get what you want: top tips from a former Scotland Yard hostage negotiator

Richard Mullender has spent years operating in hostage situations  ranging from domestic violence to international terrorism. For him, negotiation is a science that can be applied as readily in the business world as with the Taliban. Here were some of his top tips for our FDs. Never negotiate unless you have to Never negotiate with… Read more »

Look outside Europe for exports – but where is the government support?

The finance directors of businesses in the North West must “hedge their bets” as Brexit strengthens its grip, Richard Halstead, membership engagement director for the North at manufacturing association the EEF, told delegates listening to our Health of a Nation panel which explored what Brexit really means for businesses in the North West. “Look to… Read more »

Inclusion really comes into its own in small businesses

As an SME owner, you may think inclusion is an issue for large corporates. This misperception assumes it is a cost, when in fact, done properly, can become one of the best free resources available. McKinsey published research showing that companies in the top quartile for gender or ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial… Read more »

Mind control: Understanding what contributes to absenteeism and presenteeism

Mental health problems make up the bulk of reasons behind absenteeism and presenteeism, so if you want to decrease both then first boost staff morale and wellbeing. A Bupa report has highlighted that Brits regularly experience stress, anxiety or depression, mental health problems which are amongst the most common reasons for absenteeism and presenteeism. Both significantly impact businesses,… Read more »

Workplace culture vital to building a successful finance team

The majority of employers recognise that ensuring potential staff are a good cultural fit is important, given the serious impact poor cultural fit can have on productivity at work and ultimately whether or not staff will stay with the company. As demand for finance professionals continues to increase across the UK (the latest Robert Walters… Read more »

Are you getting bang for your buck?

The UK workforce produces less per hour than our main economic competitors. Germany, France and the US produce much more than workers in the UK. A range of solutions are being considered by Government in the new Industrial Strategy, including training and investment in infrastructure. But these can only yield lasting improvements if workplaces are… Read more »

Too many bad team meetings slowing down collaboration and decision making?

One key reason that team meetings are hard to cut is that companies jump straight to trying to improve their meeting facilitation skills without understanding the corporate cultural challenges that make them meet so often. Many SMEs start out with high touch management and a highly collaborative culture. And many people are involved in decisions… Read more »

Three quarters of FDs rate HR challenges as their biggest headache

Around 70 per cent of SME finance directors have ultimate responsibility for HR in their company, according to our survey of more than 250 FDs. More than three quarters of those FDs rated challenges around recruitment, retention and employment law as their number one headache. Effective recruitment strategies were deemed to be the most pressing… Read more »

How to interact with Millennials without alienating your audience

It’s incredibly important that you don’t miss out on how to interact with Millennials (also referred to as Gen Y) – this age group is responsible for an estimated $200bn spending power alone. There are a few reasons why you want to interact with Millennials, who are defined as being born between the years 1982 and 2002… Read more »