Posts belonging to Category 'British business'

Dynamis Media Julian Rowe

Adam Bannister, managing editor of the Dynamis Media, took time out of his busy schedule to attend the Business-Start-Up Show in November 2011 with the aim of interviewing some of the businesses which provided services for start ups attending the show, and capturing some of the magic and talent exhibiting there.

At the Business-Start-Up Show, held at Earls Court, Sam Lewis as Head of Rich media for Dynamis, interviewed Julian Rowe, a leading business consultant with Business Consultant Now. During the interview Sam Lewis quizzed him on how he helps small businesses:

Dynamis media is an interesting business full of bright young graduate talent with pedigree. Business Support Finder describes the company as ‘one to watch’ and predicts they will be a ‘takeover target’ within the next three to five years. A brief timeline of Dynamis’s history:

2000 £1.7m angel funding all expansion of and launch a sister site, an online directory of more than 1,400 franchise opportunities.

2006 launch, a resource for entrepreneurs, and, the marketplace for finding business partners, investors and business opportunities.

2007- company size and output tripled: new geographical territories – French language version of –

2011, Dynamis partnership with the Financial Times., &, online marketplace for buying and selling commercial property.

Dynamis, still a privately-held company, but for how long? If this was a stock option, and Business Support Finder was advising on investment banking, Dynamis is a ‘buy’.

Business turnaround experts – what can they teach us

Turnaround experts are business professionals at their best. They haven’t the luxury of time on their side. They sink or swim on their results now.

James Hurley in his Telegraph online article Revive your business with the 6 Cs quotes Charles Wilson’s turnaround successes at cash and carry wholesaler Booker Group, as well as Marks & Spencer and Arcadia. Hurley brings our attention to Wilson’s recovery blueprint – namely Wilson’s 6 Cs.

The 6 C’s plan is built around addressing

cash, costs, customer, concept, culture and [watching out for] crises

Wilson focuses on making a difference on cash flow rightaway.  He does this by a strong focus on costs reduction. Wilson says he affects change within about three weeks. With sales revenue and debtors (customers) he aims to get a handle on things within about three months.

The C for Concept takes more time, and the C for culture seems to takes forever.

Preparation for C for Crises has to be put in place from day one, Mr Wilson confesses.

Can this work for the small business, as well as big? Robert Craven, the Business MasterMind Group guru,  is perhaps one of the best ‘front lining experts to ask? But what do you think? I say why not?

From my experience, business is all about the cash. Robert Craven famously begins (or near the beginning) one of his excellent workshops Let’s Talk More Profit (great concept) reminding us of the following truth in business, with the statement:

It is illegal to trade without profit, but it is impossible to trade without cash!

There’s the problem in a nutshell. What do I do, as a business consultant that works with small and medium sized businesses who want to grow?  I quote my first boss, Neil Scott, Owners Abroad plc (later to become First Choice plc) –  a real Alan Sugar type, who used to say (all the time):


Sounds great doesn’t it? Not always that easy in my experience. Often there is work to do on the Value Proposition (the reason why people would buy from us). In the meantime, Charles Wilson is right - stop heamoragging cash. So firstly a strong focus on costs (whilst you’re beavering away on the deliverables – improving value creation for clients and non-customers.  Most importantly of all, and it’s back to Robert Craven again. Craven reminds business owners:

Financial performance is a consequence of selling (marketing) and doing (operations). It is like juggling 3 balls in the air

  • SELL
  • MAKE

However, despite Craven recommending to all us entrepreneurs to learn how to sell more of ‘it’, whatever that might be, he strongly suggests firstly that we need to

sort out the ‘financials’ first

(the business model) get that right, so that when we can sell more (stuff) we can also make more money (yahoo! ), is it not after all the reason why most of us are in business in the first place.

Julian Rowe, Business Correspondent, Business Service Finder.

UK accounting software market consider good bet

Access, a leading UK accounting software company confirmed this week they have accepted a £50m  investment to help fund an expansion strategy.

Access makes a good case study.  Access software products,  it claims, has around 6% of the accounting software market and is used by leading UK companies.  Access says it would like to strengthen its current position and increase its existing market share.  Is the investment a loan or equity funding or a bit of the two? The management team is led by CEO Chris Bayne, and Lyceum – the financiers. They claim also that their business expansion in the accounting software market will be supported by fast organic growth.In the current climate, that is quite a statement. However on the face of it, Access will continue its relatively successful strategy of recent years of acquiring small independent accounting support companies who deliver what they describe as ‘complementary solutions’. Access sees its value proposition as a continuing development of the software-as-a service approach that has served them so well.

The real question is how successful will they be in the mid market sector selling to medium sized UK enterprises. The management team believes it will be. Chris Bayne, Access’s CEO, has said that the investment deal would

Mark a significant step-change in the speed and scale of expansion

Bayne also reaffirmed Access’ determination to narrow its focus on the charity sector which has brought considerable success in recent months, saying that it would continue to be an important part of their plans.

Access see their role as providing an important part of the financial stability of small and medium sized businesses, and claim that their accounting software is used in many companies in close association with accountants, strengthening the bonding between client and UK accountants. Julian Rowe, Relationship Manager at Accountant Now, a leading online accountancy firm locator service, commented,

Anything that supports and strengthens the link between a business and its accountants is to be welcomed. It is the umbilical cord for the SME. It is really only at corporate level can a boardroom afford to have a top rate Financial Director (FD) or Chartered Accountant as MD on the board. This is why Accountant Now offers top FD expertise on a one day a month basis for SMEs, as well as helping companies reduce their annual accounting fees or at the very least significantly improving the value derived from such services.

Jeremy Hand, leader of the Access investment deal for Lyceum Capital has been reported as inferring that Access was a gem of a company with a successful operating model, successful  management team and a strong position in the rapidly expanding market sector – the business accounting segment of the software market. Hand is quoted as saying:

This deal will give the business the funding and additional insight and expertise to broaden its services and penetrate further into key vertical industries.

Access has several UK offices offering support for its accounting software clients in the UK and globally. It claims its accounting products are innovative and ground breaking.

Accountancy services software, according to Business Support Finder – a leading management expertise locator service, can actually contribute to competitive advantage if utilised correctly: (a) Good financial management is a critical success factor (b) Quality of Management decisions, are only as good as the information they are based upon plus the quality of the advice and interpretation. Financial mismanagement is still listed as one of the number one reasons for business failure.

Talking of accounting, the end of year tax returns and annual accounts preparation is always a big concern for growing companies, and HMRC is striving to increase its control on the quality and timeliness of submission. It has never been more vital to ensure that all not only are one’s business accounts in order, ready to be inspected, but that the management information will can be extracted on a monthly basis as a result of good accounting systems in place, are used to maximum effect by the owners.

London Accountants Take Dim View On Recent Proposed Rise In UK Commercial Oil Tax

The reaction from professional across the UK, is interesting, and in North West London Accountants have remained very cool about any knock on effects on the recent oil tax rises. Some of the UK’s top accountancy institutions have regarded the recent announcement on North Sea Oil Tax highlighting it could the death knell of investment in the UK Oil industry.

Chancellor George Osborne announced a 12% increase in tax in March as part of the governments bid to ensure stability and increase growth, but experts have said that the 32% tax would make the UK an ‘unattractive prospect for investment’.

South West London accountants represented by The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) said that any increase in corporate oil tax was “likely to cause damage to the U.K.’s competitiveness.”

The hike which has come as a bit of a shock to oil and gas companies effectively raises the tax paid on older oil fields to a maximum 81%.

Dramatically Centrica, who owns British Gas, stopped production on a gas plant in Morecambe Bay last Sunday (1/5/11) for four weeks of planned maintenance have said they may not restart work as a result of the tax announcement.

Financiers from Norway, France and Germany unanimously decried the UK tax strategy, and all commented saying they will be completely reviewing their UK investment plans when the tax charge is enforced following consultations between The House of Commons’ Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne and Economic Secretary Justine Greening.

Pay What You Want Business Consultancy

The Pay What You Want business growth challenge is a radical approach by The Director’s centre, and just the kind of ground breaking initiative Robert Craven, known as the entrepreneur’s Guru, is justly capable of.  The model is not of course new, and is a traditional way many independent business consultants have underwritten new business, though it is much less used these days.

What is interesting is that Craven and his team at Director’s centre have broadcasted the pilot scheme using social media, and especially LinkedIn, now widely accepted as the No1 Business Social media network in the UK.

Despite seeming a reckless or pointless move initially, upon reflection, the project for RC is a no-brainer. Why?

  1. Craven has a proven method of delivering cost effective business transformation.
  2. ‘Pay what you want’ clients who technically ‘fail’ the test…i.e. cannot respond to the business support they are receiving, will at the very least

(a) know that Craven can deliver, and (b) realise they are incapable of responding ‘to assistance’. As a result they will either abandon hope of a brighter future (which is unlikely) or work diligently to get to the point where they can accept help only to return to RC later – i.e. future ROI.. [Julian Rowe, Business Correspondent, Business Service Finder.]

Craven’s successes will earn revenue. The failures will be future ROI. The pilot scheme will be invaluable marketing exposure. In terms of credibility, there can be few better examples of ‘putting one’s reputation to the test’.

It reminds me a little of Anthony Robbins twenty years ago, when he was launching himself as a ‘success coach’. He went on National TV in the States and took on other practitioners’ failures. He succeeded to get people to change using NLP style techniques in twenty minutes. Doing it live on TV made him an overnight success. Robbins went on to coach Gorbachev, Princess Diana, Andre Agassi, many top US Sports Athletes, the US Military and most importantly of all, top financiers prepared to pay him millions of dollars a year for the privilege.

BP strikes gold with £6m Tax Credit.

Oil giant British Petroleum is chasing a tax credit to the value of almost $10 billion (£6.3 billion)

Financial Report

The global energy firm BP, previously known as British Petroleum, which has its headquarters and accounting head office in London, has been in trouble recently after an oil spill in the gulf of Mexico.  BP is looking to improve its finances in the aftermath of the incident.

Financial data on the BP group shows that the for the second quarter of 2010, the company had a pre-tax charge of $32.2 billion linked to the spill and a tax credit of $9.79 billion.

US tax laws allow the company to offset a proportion of its losses against US tax.  This may not be popular with critics or the general public whom are already unhappy with BP Performance over the oil spill.

The tax credit was announced in BP Q2 results.   The Gulf incident occurred after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon.  11 people were killed in the accident.

Mega Site SEO session at PUBCON Las Vegas Day 2

mega site seo session

included speakers:

Anita Bidari, AOL Marketing

Dan Perry (SEO Turner broadcasting)

Derrick Wheeler (Microsoft, Senior SEO Architect)

Melanie Mitchell, Search Strategists, Melanie Mitchell of Digitas

Tim Mayer – moderator

Specifically designed for designers and managers of sites over 1m pages. The panel of search engine consultants seemed to focus their presentations mainly for sites managed for large organisations, which wasn’t so helpful because it seemed to concentrate on organisational difficulties.

Only Anita Bidari dealt with duplicate content issues. She was excellent at offering alternative strategies to address these massive duplication issues problems.