James Wilkinson, chief executive officer of Zuto, formally Car Loan 4U, co-founded the online car loans business in 2006. Five years later, it was a resounding success, with turnover of £1.7m a year, but Wilkinson felt he needed to be more strategic to accelerate the business’s progress. It was at this moment that he decided to join Vistage, the peer group mentoring and coaching organisation that brings business leaders together to share and resolve common problems and challenges.
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.
Executives who have a bold strategic business plan perform better than their more timid counterparts, according to McKinsey.
When tackling strategy, it helps to aim for a continuous cycle of improvement, with execution of goals at the core.
But before you get to work on a strategic business plan, you need to know how you personally approach strategy.
Take our quick quiz, and answer honestly, to find out what type of strategic planner you are.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” according to a quote attributed to management guru Peter Drucker. Your organisation’s strategy is easy to define and can be changed with the stroke of a pen, but your culture? That’s made up of thousands, sometimes millions, of decisions, attitudes, messages and relationships. But if culture is so important and so hard to define, how do you set about changing it?
In 2006, the BBC decided to move a host of major departments, including Children’s TV, Breakfast News, Dragons’ Den and Match of the Day, to a brand new base in Salford. The move cost hundreds of millions of pounds and saw nearly a thousand staff relocate from London. BBC North promised staff a better working culture. I was part of the team that had to deliver it, and here are my observations.
Over the coming months, we’ll be inviting you to download a series of eGuides that will cover the big subjects that SME owners and directors need a good grasp of. That includes harder-edged topics like finance and planning, along with the softer, but equally important areas, such as business culture and wellbeing.
At the same time, we’ll be running weekly posts on our blogs with insightful discussions on hot business topics interspersed with videos, interactive quizzes and infographics.
Don’t miss out on the power of staff engagement.
Ask a business leader what managing people means to them and they’ll undoubtedly use words like payroll, employment legislation and record keeping. Some will tell you stories of how they couldn’t do what the business needed because of the threat (perceived or otherwise) of being taken to Employment Tribunal.
Many will tell you that their employees are the business’s greatest asset but very few will be able to tell you about the activities they take to ensure their people are engaged and motivated. This is shocking when research shows that 86% of employees are either not engaged or worse, actively disengaged.
Discover strategies that will empower your people and have a positive impact on your bottom line.
Your people are the most essential part of your business. It’s time to motivate your people and take actions to produce measurable results - all of which will feed into customer satisfaction. Transforming the talent within your organisation will help you to transform your profitability - and we’ve highlighted exactly what you should be prioritising.
Why be 10% better, when you could be 10 times better?
Gamechangers are disruptive and innovative start-ups and corporates, in every sector and region, reshaping our world, according to Peter Fisk, author of Gamechangers.
Gamechangers think and act differently. They win by being smart, fast and connected – rather than through scale and efficiency. They look beyond the sale to enable customers to achieve more. They care about their impact on people and the world. Ultimately they want to create a better world.
From strategy to regular health checks, we offer the complete guide to wellbeing in your business.
It is becoming clear that there are three key roles when running a business:
- Do whatever you do and make a profit
- Market whatever it is you do so that you gain and retain clients
- Look after your workforce so they perform as well as possible
When a company focuses on the wellbeing of its staff it will see a reduction in sickness absence and increased staff retention. As Cecilia Fritz from Sony UK Tec stated: “To be a high performance organisation with a high performing team we must focus on staff wellbeing.” Happier staff work more effectively because they are more engaged, they contribute more and they are less likely to leave the company.
In this 20 minute video from our Vistage Open Day leadership and strategy expert Jim Alampi shares his original take on Patrick Lencioni's "5 Dysfunctions of a Team". He combines the most powerful moments from Lencioni's work with his own tools to bring new insights into how CEOs can enable and cultivate high performing teams within their companies.