Managing an SME is exciting. Any business owner knows that the process involves ups and downs, but whatever stage you've reached, with good judgement and a little luck, you'll hopefully reach a point where you’ve got an established a foothold in the market.
As a leader, are you regularly challenging, engaging, exciting and inspiring the people around you? Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and refresh your thinking so you can grow into the future.
Marcus Child has had a powerful impact on the people and the performance of many well-known businesses over the past 18 years. He inspires confidence, wholeheartedness and courage, and has built up an impressive reputation for helping thousands of employees of hundreds of organisations embrace change positively and successfully. One of Vistage's most popular and highly rated speakers, Marcus will push you to dream big and achieve more.
What is a brand?
It’s a simple enough question, but now and then we meet someone who has to ask it; someone who isn’t sure if their business has a brand, or whether it should have one at all.
Just as every person has a personality, the fact is every business has a brand – whether it accepts the fact or not. The practical question for owners and managers is “what is my brand, and how do I manage it?”
Ashmei is changing the game of sportswear. The small Aylesbury-based company, with an interesting Chinese name, designs sportswear, assembled from the most innovative suppliers across 4 continents, to create products that its many fans will pay twice as much for.
Raspberry Pi, the Cambridge manufacturer of computers for £30, is the best friend of young digital entrepreneurs, and has become a global network by setting up Raspberry Pi Clubs in 150 cities worldwide. Nearby start-up, Azuri Tech, has transformed the lives of millions of Africans by giving them £1/week pay-as-you-go solar panels that provide enough energy to light their homes, cook food and charge their mobile phones.
Three examples of small UK companies who are 'changing the game' in their respective markets, with influence and growth across the world.
Gamechangers think and act differently. They fuse digital and physical, global and local, ideas and networks. They win by being smart, fast and connected – rather than through scale and efficiency. They capture their higher purpose in more inspiring brands that resonate with their target audiences at the right time and place, enabled by data and technology, but more through empathetic design and rich human experiences.
Last month’s Summer Budget saw Chancellor George Osborne unveil the Conservatives’ plans for our finances - and many of the changes announced are sure to affect business owners across Britain. With proposals ranging from a dividends shake-up to all-new enterprise zones for the country’s SMEs, the outcomes of this summertime address seem initially promising.
Today we’re putting SMEs in focus and establishing what level of impact these economic updates will have for the UK’s self-employed population, for better or worse.
August is a month when things can go unexpectedly wrong as so many of us have our minds on other things. We typically enjoy a 7 year cycle. We have five good growth years ahead. I think you should pay no attention to those who say the next recession will begin next year, caused by rising interest rates.
At last real incomes are rising strongly, there is work for those that want it, and even Finance Directors are becoming optimists (a state they are not naturally predisposed to enjoy). The banking system in the UK and the USA is fixed. Quantitative easing in the Eurozone is helping their banks mend more quickly, and increasing confidence.
37% of those who voted, voted for a smaller share of Government in GDP, they voted for income generation over income redistribution, they voted for continuity and stability. They gave the Conservatives 12 seat majority.
The outlook is now strongly positive. The pause in investment spending which happened due to electoral uncertainty will end with a strong final half for this year. Wages are rising by 2.5%, earnings by 4%. Core inflation is 1.1%. GDP this year will grow by 5% nominal and 2.5% real.
The recent 2015 budget announced from the Chancellor ahead of the upcoming election has provided SMEs and business owners with some positive news. What did you hope to see, and how do you think that these will affect your business?
In the last quarter of 2014 UK retail had its best sales for 12 years, even with the supermarket price war and the price cuts on so called Black Friday. Investment spending picked up strongly as did business cash flow. We also received new data from the ONS showing that earnings (this includes any overtime and bonuses) for people who have been in continuous employment for more than a year were growing at 4%. This is a return to normal.
In this quarter, Vistage Economist Roger Martin-Fagg takes a look at two engines of world growth, the Eurozone and the USA, as together they are half the world’s economy and finished off with China and the UK.
According to Roger's latest report the outlook for the Eurozone depends on a recovery in bank lending. He expects there to be a slight improvement in 2015, but that it will be insufficient to ignite growth.