A Hero Of Mine

So I thought I'd start with a quick update following on from my previous blogs. First Brexit. Basically I stand by everything I said before. Do not get sucked into all the media hype and carry on as if nothing has happened. The pounds fall in value is a bit painful if, like me, you are about to go on holiday but for most things again, despite the media hype, I don't think things will change that much.Even with the value of the pound, if I were a betting man (which I am most certainly not) I suspect the value will rise slowly in the next few years but with plenty of ups and downs! That said that is just a personal guess and I could be completely wrong!

With regard to cashflow I am pleased to say we have had a number of successful meetings and discussions with clients. We have been (reliably I hope) informed by several that things have improved substantially for them following on from our conversations.

Thanks for all those who have contacted us wanting more information regarding wills and legacy planning. We have a number of clients going through the process right now. I have one additional thing to add on this subject. Did you know that if you have minor children and both parents die that they will not automatically go to their grandparents or other loved ones to be looked after? They will be placed in care regardless of other relatives! If that is not a thought to get you to sort out a will immediately, then I am not sure anything will.

As for the diet and health kick … yes that continues. I can report that so far I have lost 20lbs. Some of course ask do I feel better, to which I can certainly reply thatI feel hungry! Joking aside, it is good to have lost some weight but I still have more to go. That said, I am shortly off on holiday and have no intention of not eating at the many superb restaurants that are on offer.

So as I am due on holiday I started looking at what books to take. Yes I do take my kindle but I have so many business books in old fashioned paper form that I thought it might be good to take one or two that I never got around to reading or I haven't read for a while. Whilst looking, I came across a few that relate to business heroes of mine. Here though I just wanted to concentrate on one of them and that is Sir John Harvey Jones. Now if you are of a certain age and are interested in business then Sir John Harvey Jones will be a well-known name. But for those who don't know or have forgotten about him here is a brief history:

Born in Hackney in 1924 he joined the Royal Navy at 16 and went on to join the submarine service in 1942 receiving his first command at only 24. After World War II he learnt Russian in just 6 months and joined Naval Intelligence as an interpreter. He was awarded an MBE in 1955 for his work in Naval Intelligence. Wanting to spend more time with his wife and daughter he resigned his commission in 1956 and joined Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). By 1973 he was promoted to the board of directors and made chairman in 1982. When he was made chairman, the company was loss making and in serious trouble. But 2 ½ years later he had cut the UK workforce by one third, doubled the price of ICI shares and turned a loss into a one billion pound profit! One of his key management ideas was the introduction of a reporting system. His idea – quite unusual at the time – was to insist that the important numbers or ideas for the business be presented on one A4 page of paper. He didn't want to constantly get lost in all the detail. Of course Sir John was a clever guy so he understood that sometimes you needed to dig into the numbers behind the headlines but he believed if you couldn't summarise everything onto one A4 page then the message was getting lost.

He really became a household name when the BBC Troubleshooter series was launched in 1990. This was a reality television series – before the format became quite so common. Sir John would visit and advise small and struggling UK businesses. All this might be over a period of a number of months but would be edited down to a one hour programme. What really made the programme work however, was Sir John Harvey-Jones' ability to engage with those he came across. He was focused on markets and customers first, then systematic and efficient production based around people and their responsibilities. He had the ability to ask simple questions to confirm if the business owners understood the real problem as he saw it. If interested in business in the early 1990's the programmes were an absolute must watch.

Now we wouldn't claim to be of Sir John Harvey-Jones calibre but here at Insight we have been providing advice for well over a decade. In the last few years we have been working closely with some of our largest clients to help improve and grow their businesses. During this period we have helped to co-develop software to help with this process. This software has been designed so that we can use it to help you to prioritise the most important areas to focus on in your business to see the biggest improvements. It does that by doing as Sir John Harvey-Jones did by asking you some simple questions which lead to greater insight. All of our consulting services come under our 'Insight into the Future' packages.

As we have been using these sessions with some of our larger clients we know how beneficial they can be. So to encourage you to try out this service we are going to be offering a discount of over 50% on any sessions booked and paid before the end of November 2016 and redeemed before the end of March 2017. If following the session you were not entirely delighted then you can decide what you think it was worth (including nothing!) and we will refund you the difference. We have offered this guarantee since the outset and no one has ever felt that they didn't get outstanding value and asked for a refund.

There are dozens of modules to choose from so sometimes as a business owner it is difficult to know where to start. So if you are in this situation we would suggest our ‘Find the Gap' module. This is a simple discovery tool to look at where you are now, explore what's possible, review ideas and opportunities and then chart your priorities and agree the next steps. Held at our office this should last no longer than an hour. The usual price would be £245 but here we are offering this at only £95. Again this price stands if booked and paid for before the end of November 2016 and redeemed before the end of March 2017.

As there are so many great options, if you would like more details then please email Sarah Benns on sarah@insight-sa.com to book an initial telephone call where I can chat through what might be useful for you.

Our Insight into the Future programmes can't solve all of your problems but it might help. Here is a light hearted look at where we can help.

I am a firm believer in just getting on with things. But sometimes we can add a different pespective that can avoid painful mistakes!

We can make sure you are using your resources correctly!

When setting your goals we can help you to avoid targetting ones that might get you burned!

We can help ensure your business decision making doesn't lead you into biting off more than you can chew or picking unwinnable fights!

Our business perspective will help you not to lose your head when times are tough.

And whilst the world has a way of being upredictable no matter how well prepared you are, we can help you plan for all types of possibilties.

Finally whether you are swimming with the tide or against sometimes we all need a helping hand. Let us at Insight be yours.

Until next time take care, work hard and consider the future for your business.