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How to link strategy to day-to-day decisions

Posted by Alan Baker in Finance, Strategy. No Comments

1st July

Too many small companies develop a strategic vision and direction, but fail to do what it takes to make it come alive in the business. Strategy creates value only when you directly link it to the day-to-day operational decisions you make.

To do that, you need to view your business through the prism of the seven strategic value drivers that create value for any business:

Sales growth rate
Profit
Competitive advantage period
Increases in working capital
Fixed capital
Cost of capital
Tax rate

Let’s look at each of our seven drivers in terms of what we can observe and influence.

Sales growth
Sales growth is derived from three main areas: macroeconomic growth, market growth and changes in market share.

With a current macroeconomic growth forecast for the UK of 0.5% in the second quarter this year (0.3% in Q1), we have the overall picture for the UK in 2013 in a range … Read More »



Is your business technology stunting growth?

Posted by Helen Reinson in Technology & operations. No Comments

28th June

When planning for growth and success, the business technology you build into your overall strategy can play a strong part in how well, and how quickly, you reach your goals.

Fail to align your business technology with your overall strategy, and striving to reach those goals will be like rowing a lifeboat against the tide in stormy weather. Your crew will be at risk of being miserable, de-motivated and uncommitted, working ineffectively and leaving you and the management team to shoulder most of the burden.

I see this again and again, where businesses have been totally focused on winning sales, delivering operations and generating profit – with little time devoted to considering a technical strategy. Before they know it, they are running a multi-million business on Excel, a wing and a prayer. Any technology has been purchased in isolation to meet the … Read More »



Ditch the defensive approach to people management

Posted by Rachel Head in HR. No Comments

14th June

Small businesses are faced with increasingly complex and arduous employment law. Sometimes, it can appear designed to catch out the results-driven MD. You’d be forgiven for becoming ever more fearful of making the wrong move when it comes to managing your people.

The flames of fear are often fanned by the scaremongering approach of employment lawyers and HR advisors. They remind me of Harry Enfield’s character, Mr You-Don’t-Wanna-Do-It-Like-That. The way they suggest dealing with people issues is all about avoiding potential damages at a tribunal. Their advice can make the small business leader feel penned in and forced to take a defensive position – an uncomfortable and frustrating place for any proactive and positive entrepreneur.

Confident and energised when it comes to taking risks with new markets, products and technology, today’s entrepreneur is often found cowering in the face of a people … Read More »






News & views

Updates from 4 Corners and latest thinking on the key financial, marketing, technology and people issues facing SMEs today

How to link strategy to day-to-day decisions

Too many small companies develop a strategic vision and direction, but fail to do what it takes to make it come alive in the...

Is your business technology stunting growth?

When planning for growth and success, the business technology you build into your overall strategy can play a strong part in how well, and...

Ditch the defensive approach to people management

Small businesses are faced with increasingly complex and arduous employment law. Sometimes, it can appear designed to catch out the results-driven MD. You’d be...