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Essential tips on managing your cash flow, improving employee engagement, differentiating your business and writing a press release.
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YBC Newsletter Issue 4 2015

 

The holiday season - love it or loathe it?

Summer holidays...a welcome break or a business nightmare?

AT YBC, we all love the holiday season...but If  your business has a bad case of summer flu, we have some tips to help improve your immunity system. 

Whether you're reading this on the beach (shame on you!) or stuck in the office covering for staff on holiday, chances are that the summer season will have had some kind of impact on your business.

Are you spending the quiet period rushed off your feet?
Are you struggling to find staff to meet demand?
Will you be expecting a sharp down turn again in September?
Or are you scratching for sales because all your customers are on holiday?
Do you find your annual sales graph is full of peaks and troughs? 

Find out how planning can get you through the holiday period...and make the most of those seasonal ups and downs...

And finally...
if you need some help with holiday planning, or interim cover for essential staff, contact us for more information on how the Yorkshire Business Collective can help: info@yorksbizcollective.com
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Three tips to avoid the seasonal sales slump

If this year's summer break isn't proving to be as relaxing as you'd hoped, start planning now for a better 2016. 
  • Analyse:
Analyse your annual sales figures to identify seasonal trends. What caused  those peaks and troughs?
 
  • Research:
Research your market. Examine buying patterns. Look for opportunities. Is there a seasonal use for your product or service that you're not currently exploiting?
 
  • Plan:
Use the quiet holiday period to start planning for 2016. Create a marketing calendar  utilising special offers; discounts; competitions; vouchers; PR; advertising; events;social media. Use your planning to encouraging purchase during quiet periods as well as maximising sales during peak times.


If you'd like some help with your plans for 2016, send us an email: info@yorksbizcollective.com
 

Jackie Wilson, Dip.M MCIM Chartered Marketer
Blue J Marketing

Jackie is a Chartered Marketer, Doncaster 100 Mentor and Yorkshire Business Collective Advisor with extensive management experience across a wide range of industry sectors and a passion for delivering effective marketing solutions.

www.bluejmarketing.co.uk
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Don't forget to send your bank manager a post card...and a few other tips to keep the bank happy whilst you're away! 

So you are off for a well-earned rest and relaxation on a sunny beach (sounds nice), however your business still requires attention while you are away. Here are some things to consider before you order that holiday cocktail…
 
Plan ahead - make a note of all bills that are due while you are away, make future dated payments through the bank or make use of standing orders to ensure you do not miss any important bill payments (and thereby incurring penalty payments).
 

If you have amounts owing from your customers while you are away, make sure you send out statements and agree payment dates in advance of your holiday period.  Remember that your customers may also be on holiday and there may be delays in paying invoices. You don’t want to be facing a cash shortfall for the sake of a few phone calls.
 
Make full use of mobile banking apps or on-line banking.  Being in another country doesn’t mean you cannot still access your bank.   Set up text banking alerts and make sure you can log into banking apps to keep track of your cash balances. (Check on data charges before you leave)
 

Having a cloud accounting system means you can log in anywhere anytime, perhaps this is something to consider to keep track of your transactions. To find out more about cloud accounting click here
http://www.cmw-bas.co.uk/blog/keeping-records-on-apps-and-the-cloud-2
 
Do you really trust your staff?  While you are away, it is essential to have the employees in place that you can trust to keep your business running as you would wish, therefore you need to be able to completely trust your staff to keep records, access your bank account and talk to your customers in the same way that you would. 
 

The six tips on how to delegate effectively from our HR expert will assist your further in this.
 
If you require interim assistance with Finance & Admin then please get in touch, our experts at YBC can assist you during the holiday season: info@yorksbizcollective.com
 

Catherine Wainwright, ACMA CGMA 
CMW Business & Accounting Solutions Ltd

Catherine is a Chartered Management Accountant with extensive experience in Industry offering accountancy and general business advisory services.
www.cmw-bas.co.uk
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During the holiday season, it's even more important to keep track of your sales invoices and debts.

If you can, we recommend that you make time to review your systems, here is a useful checklist to ensure that you have all the basics covered:
  • Are you invoicing your customers in a timely manner? - are you invoicing as you go or at certain times of the month? (eg month end)
  • Are you sure you are capturing all goods and services to be recharged? Or do you frequently have to make amendments to invoices? If you are, then take some time to understand why this is potentially a problem.
  • Are you making clear your terms and conditions on all invoices and highlighting the payment terms on your invoices? Your customer won’t pay you on time if they don’t know what your terms are.
  • Are you making it as easy as possible for your customers to pay you - are you bank details or paypal or other methods clearly quoted on your invoices?  Modern day electronic methods of payment should always be preferred to waiting for cheques to be posted, paid in and cleared through the bank.
  • Do you regularly collect and chase your accounts that are overdue?  In order to do this efficiently you need to make sure that all accounting records are kept up to date and that cash receipts are recorded accurately.
If you are still struggling with the basics or don’t feel you have the time to make a review - we are here to help you check over the basics and advise of improvements. 

Remember - is is always better to have the money in your bank account rather than your customers!

Mal Peacock, Dip Credit, CeMap

Mal is a Credit Risk Advisor and general business advisor with over 20 years experience in credit control, credit risk management and collections.
www.mpcrc.co.uk
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Going on Holiday?

Have you made plans to delegate the right tasks to the right person?   


To have a stress free holiday you need to prepare and delegate to the right person, choose the wrong or an unprepared person and delegation is a massive risk. So prepare early; it's not a quick fix.

Here are six tips to help you get it right:
  • Match the requirements of the job to the abilities of the person. Be sure that the person you delegate the task to is capable of doing the job.
  • Delegating effectively starts with encouraging and teaching willing people to learn more about what needs to be done when you are not around and trusting them, even when they get it wrong. This principal cascades down to other levels in the same way.
  • Explain clear outcomes. Make them measurable. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Explain what is to be done, how you think it should be done, and the reasons for doing this job in the first place.
  • Invite questions and be open to suggestions. There is a direct relationship between how much people are invited to talk about the job and how much they understand it and learn to do it properly.
  • If someone is capable delegate the entire job. One hundred percent responsibility for a task is a major performance motivator and the more often you assign responsibilities to the right people, the more competent they become
  • Delegate smaller tasks to newer staff to build their confidence and competence.

Cath Winfield 
Make That Change

Cath is an Organisational Development specialist and consultant with a proven track record of helping businesses improve performance.
www.makethatchange.org.uk
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How to manage staff absence

Budgetary constraints and lean working practices mean that many organisations now run with fewer people. The impact of these staff reductions is felt particularly during holiday periods.

Managing Planned Absence
Organisations can mitigate the effects of planned absence by utilising: 
  • other team members doing the same or similar jobs
  • understudies who are being trained to ultimately do the job function in question
  • delegation to a competent colleague
  • using short term contract personnel, where training will be required
     
The aim of these actions is to plan for the absences because they are known and to an agreed schedule and the organisation continues to do business seamlessly.
 
Managing  unplanned absence
This can be a greater challenge. In today’s business environment there are more ‘experts’, i.e. people in key positions in organisations who work on their own as individuals. The very nature of this allows them to work in an unstructured way and manage information by storing it in personal files, not able to be accessed by others, and making decisions and judgements not shared with others. Their defence is that they are contactable by phone 24/7.

I recently spent time in a company with such an employee. One day he became ill at work and was taken to hospital. The result was that the company could not contact him for several weeks on strict medical grounds. The inability to access information that he kept in his head and in personal files had severe repercussions on a major contract being undertaken by the organisation.

The object lesson of this is to ensure that:
  • Methods of work are freely available so processes can be undertaken by others without disruption.
  • Storage of material is in public folders, password protected as necessary where access is managed.
  • ‘Experts’ record decisions made and judgements given and these records are shared with others as necessary.
  • Continued management of information should not be on the basis of people being contacted on their sick bed or during their vacations.  
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Ensuring key Health, Safety and Environment roles are covered

Within any Health, Safety and Environment Management System there are key responsibilities that potentially must be undertaken at any time. These are responsibilities with respect to accident and emergency situations where evacuation may be required.

Key roles which should be covered at all times:
  • explosion, fire and flood marshals
  • first aiders
  • evacuation and flood coordinators
  • security and maintenance personnel
When planning for both holiday and unplanned absence with respect to responsibilities described above, ensure that deputies are competent, familiar with emergency procedures and have rehearsed as appropriate.

All contract personnel, no matter what the length of their contract, must be given an induction to the organisation including Health, Safety and Environmental requirements

It is a mandatory requirement that a fully functioning and competently resourced accident and emergency evacuation process is in place when the organization is operating, day and night, including holiday periods.

John Wilson
John is a experienced Quality, Environment and Health & Safety Director in Automotive, Aerospace, & Energy Industry sectors with extensive knowledge of Quality, H&S and Environment Management systems.

 
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Coming next month...

Planning for 2016

If you would like some help with your plans for 2016, you can get in touch with our experts by emailing us at: info@yorksbizcollective.com
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Credit:                                         Mal Peacock

Finance:                                       Catherine Wainwright

Marketing:                                    Jackie Wilson

Quality, Environmental, H&S:           John Wilson

Leadership & Staff Development:     Cath Winfield   


You can find out more about our experts, their qualifications, experience and the services they offer by visiting our website:


http://www.yorksbizcollective.com

or email us: info@yorksbizcollective.com 
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