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Board Sylvia Philips - circle

Seize the day

6th September, 2016 No Comments

Carpe Diem Phrase in Sand on the Beach

No one can doubt that since the vote on the 23rd June to leave the European Union there has been a great deal of political and economic uncertainty. Equally there can be no doubt that the performance of Team GB at the Rio Olympics has lifted our spirits and demonstrated the skills and resilience of our athletes sporting success at the very highest level, encouraging us all to participate in some way or other.

Of course the outstanding sporting achievements also required substantial lottery funding in which to support and back the winners. Funds have been targeted at those most likely to deliver results, and this policy is one that also applies in business, and no more so than in supporting new start-ups and entrepreneurs.

You only have to look at Team GB’s success in Rio to see how this targeted approach produces outstanding performance and reap rich dividends, and this is the approach that Cavendish Enterprise has adopted in delivering the Start & Grow programme. Now in its second year Start & Grow is designed to accelerate business growth ambitions which lead to increased turnover, profitability, job creation and expansion.

The programme wants to attract the best entrepreneurs with new ideas, an ability to work hard, and who are passionate about winning with a steely determination to succeed in their business venture. Just as new Olympic and World records were set in Rio, so the barriers to enterprise are falling all the time, and people are finding new ways to develop their ideas.

In his new book ‘Screw Work-Break Free-How to Launch Your Own Money Making Idea in 30 days‘, the author John Williams, says that there are only three questions people need to ask themselves when seeking a new business venture: –

1. What are you really good at?

2. What are the things you have always wanted to do but never managed?

3. What are the things that most bug you in life that you could do something about?

Our watchword should be ‘carpe diem’ : ‘seize the day’. Britain remains one of the best countries in the world in which to start and grow a business. Cavendish Enterprise partners prove that every day. Since the Start & Grow programme commenced, we have supported 530 new entrepreneurs to start up in business, realising new investments of over £8.5 million, and creating 1,235 new jobs. And this is just the start.

We must retain and build on this positive attitude for enterprise and business in general. At a recent reception in Downing Street, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, called entrepreneurs and small businesses the ‘backbone of Britain’.

Whilst it is far too early to draw any substantive conclusions about the economic impacts of the Brexit vote, there can be no excuses for not continuing to encourage people to realise their full potential for starting a new business. What is needed is a new generation of entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds, who can innovate and create wealth. Cavendish Enterprise is dedicated to this challenge.

Whilst the route to self-employment and creating a successful business is never easy, there is a wide range of support available. Take for example VENTUREFEST, and the regional event for the North West which is to be held in Manchester on the 21st September 2016. Organised by the Business Growth Hub, this promises to be a great day for innovation, networking and connecting entrepreneurs, innovators and investors.

Businesses will have the opportunity to meet up with no less than 10 different funders on the day. Other topics to be covered include: –

– what investors are looking for in pitches from entrepreneurs;
– supercharging innovation and inspiring new entrepreneurs;
– acquiring knowledge from Universities and Science Parks to support innovation and growth

The Manchester event is just one of many being held around the country, so there really is nothing to hold you back, apart from fear itself.

Let me, therefore, finish this blog with a quote which I hope will spur you onwards and upwards, just like the medal winning athletes in Rio: –

“Be brave enough to believe in the future, and try something different.
Be energetic enough to see an opportunity.
Be optimistic enough to deny the possibility of failure”

Written by Sylvia Philips, CEO of BBV Ltd, delivering business support in the North West.


Board Carole White - circle

Reflect and recharge

2nd September, 2016 No Comments


Beach chair on perfect tropical sand beach, Samui Island, Thailand

“What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Oliver W. Holmes Jr.  (Civil War veteran, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice from 1902 to 1931)

It’s that time of year again when most of us return from, or head off on our summer holidays; a much needed escape from the office and chance to reset the work/life balance.

Have you considered, however, the benefits a holiday could bring to your work place? We are living in turbulent times with a lot of uncertainty, so this is a golden opportunity to step back and reflect.

As employers or employees, we all enjoy (and need) time away from the office, whether it is a day indulging in day time television or two weeks on a secluded beach somewhere hot. In fact, many of us return feeling refreshed and recharged, but how long does it take to get absorbed back in to the daily routine on your return? 10 minutes, 2 hrs, 3 days… a week?

Well, why not take some of your holiday enthusiasm and introduce it into your business. Of course the emails, mail and meetings will all need to be dealt with when you return, but there is no better opportunity than the ‘post-holiday calm’ to take a step back, take stock and plan for the future.

How long have you been fire-fighting the daily tasks and problems without focussing on the bigger picture? Are you wasting time and money by doing things the hard way? Are your employees motivated? Are you maximising the benefits of customer relationship management? The relaxed approach you take to tasks after a holiday is the ideal way to deal with any outstanding issues that you may have been putting off.

It is also important to share your goals with your staff that may well have their own ideas after their own re-energising break.

However, it is also important to leave the office behind when taking a break. Many of us are guilty of going on holiday physically but not mentally. Does ringing work from the beach or checking emails on the hotel computer sound familiar? It is very difficult to switch off completely, but when you succeed you will return to the office completely refreshed!

It is also important to have a long break when possible. Many experts believe that the benefits of a longer holiday, say one, two or even three weeks is far more beneficial than two or three days here or there. After all, it may take you two days to relax and wind down!

With a little bit of forward planning, our summer holidays can not only re-charge our batteries – but can re-charge our future business too.

Written by Carole White, Chief Executive of TEDCO Business Support, delivering business support in the North East of England.


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