Your people and your cash - Helix seminar success


21-11-2007

Cambridgeshire business leaders enjoyed a seminar exploring the financial and people challenges we face during business growth and expansion. Hosted by Clydesdale Bank,the discussions were led by Steve Horrey from the bank,and Steve Read from the Helix Consultancy.

Your people and your cash – managing your assets for business growth

 

 

Cambridgeshire business leaders recently took part in a seminar exploring the financial and people challenges we face during business growth and expansion.     

 

Clydesdale Bank in Cambridge hosted the event  and Steve Horrey from the bank, guided us through the art of writing a compelling business plan including; the importance of knowing your audience whether it be the bank, private investors or your board, the value of client testimonials or letters of intent to back up your figures and seeking feedback and challenge as a reality check.

 

Steve went on to explore different options for funding business expansion.  Considering businesses in different sectors and at different stages of growth, we debated the suitability of options including venture capital and private equity investment, partnerships and mergers, invoice finance, grants and asset finance.

 

No matter the size of their business, the audience was soon sharing ideas as Steve offered  invaluable tips on improving cash flow including linking sales commission to invoice payment, incentivising staff to take responsibility for cash flow and nurturing talented ‘invoice chasers’.

 

Steve Read of the Helix Consultancy picked up the discussion by asking whether we always invest as much time in planning and developing our people as we do our business strategy?  His recommendation was to clearly align HR strategy to business plans.  Communicate both fully, making them relevant to departments and teams and publish results and successes. 

 

For a typical service industry a staggering 60-80% of the expense bill is salary.  With this in mind, Steve argued, ‘people maintenance’ is not optional.  A business must have a good performance management system, with a commitment to people development .  The average rate of staff turnover is 18% and the cost per job leaver is £7750 (CIPD) so line managers not only need good recruitment and selection skills, but also the skills to empower, develop and motivate staff.  The ‘employer brand’ can play a big part in attracting and keeping staff and pride in the company has contributed to the turnaround of fortunes at M&S. 

 

Steve closed by emphasising the importance of developing commercial acumen amongst staff ; through open communication of financial targets and achievements, directors briefings, collective ownership of budgets, and training when you need to.  It is vital for business growth by ensuring that staff understand the business strategy and targets and how they, as individuals, contribute to their achievement. 

 

“I was really impressed by both the presentations, and the content was excellent” said Chris Walthew of Prospect Research, “the whole event left me feeling positive and fired up about things we want to do in our business”.

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The Helix Consultancy can be contacted on 01223 691621 or info@helix-consultancy.com and www.helix-consultancy.com.  Steve Horrey of Clydesdale Bank can be contacted on  07768 808260 or  stephen.horrey@eu.nabgroup.com and  www.CBonline.co.uk.

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We help businesses to grow and succeed by developing the potential of their people. We do this through management and leadership development, performance coaching, team development, and training. We work with organisations of all sizes across many sectors.

The Helix Consultancy Ltd