Prime Blog

May 2017

Solihull Chamber survey surprises

Last week Kevin Johns, Prime’s Managing Director and President of the Solihull Chamber, hosted the Solihull Chamber Breakfast. The event brought together chamber members from across Solihull and surrounding areas to network with existing contacts, meet new ones and share ideas and experiences.

During the event, Kevin asked attendees to partake in a short interactive survey to gather their thoughts on various topics affecting the local business community.

Some of the responses revealed interesting results.

The first positive results showed that 54% of attendees expect to employ more staff in the next year and 83% of participants expect their turnover to grow in the next 12 months. These responses highlight the positive prospects for both employment opportunities and economic growth in the region.

The next question, ‘what is the biggest issue affecting your business?’ provided some surprising responses. 33% believe cashflow is the biggest issue affecting their business, another 33% think a lack of skilled labour, 12% believe it is cyber security and 18% feel their work/life balance is an issue.

33% believe cashflow is the biggest issue affecting their business and this is very understandable. Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. Failure in your cash flow inevitably leads to failure in your business, without cash flow, a business will struggle to survive no matter how profitable it is. It has been said that turnover is vanity, profit is sanity but cash is king. Talk to the experts at Prime and take advantage of our in-depth knowledge. We can provide you with cash flow advice and forecasts for use either internally in managing your business or for presentation to third parties such as bank managers. 

12% believe cyber security is the biggest threat to their business, something which is understandable with the recent ransomware attack which affected over 200,000 people in 150 countries. How can you protect / prevent yourself falling foul of a cyber attack? The City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau have released the following tips:

  • Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
  • Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated
  • Create regular backups of your important files to a device that isn’t left connected to your network as any malware infection could spread to that too.

Finally, if the biggest issue affecting your business is your work/life balance, the Prime Directors have provided some tips they use to achieve and maintain a healthy work life balance.

  • Work smarter, not harder – ensure your processes are lean.

Processes and systems should be reviewed regularly to ensure they are as efficient as possible; investing in new systems can result in less work and a positive return on investment.

  • Leave work at work - stop checking your inbox after 6pm.

Checking your inbox outside of working hours can tempt you to respond to emails which could wait until the next working day, avoid this temptation where possible.

  • Delegate. If you have too much work on your desk, you may find it beneficial to pass on some of your responsibilities to other members of the team.
  • Set achievable timescales. Ensure your timescales are realistic and always allow for some contingency time in case it is needed.
  • Outsourcing. Focus your time and effort on what you do best, your business. Outsourcing certain areas of your business will save you valuable time.

Of course, some times it is necessary to work outside of your usual hours; as long as this is done in moderation, you should be able to achieve a healthy work/life balance.

We would like to thank all of the attendees for completing the survey and we hope to see you at future events.

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