Taming The Tribunals

In 2010-2011 there were 218,100 claims to employment tribunals, an increase of 44% on the previous year. According to Government figures, the cost to the taxpayer increased from 77.8 million to 84 million in the same period.

On 23rd November the Government announced proposals to make significant changes to employment law and practice. This week the Government launched its consultation on its proposals this week. These are the main areas for reform.

Other proposals are plans to allow employment judges to sit alone in unfair dismissal cases; costs awards of up to 20,000 against vexatious claimants; and fines from 100 up to 5,000 for employers who breach employee’s rights where the breach has aggravating factors.

Although the proposal caused a storm in the press when it was leaked, the Government has said it is still looking at the option of allowing businesses with ten or fewer employees to make “compensated no fault dismissals”, as long as they pay compensation equivalent to a redundancy payment. No proposals have been published on this.

The consultation document sets out the following options:

In both options, the tribunal would be given the power to order the unsuccessful party to reimburse fees paid by the successful party. Fees are likely to be introduced in 2013. The consultation will close in April 2012. Whether these measures will meet with employer approval and achieve the intended objective is moot. Needless to say, debate is already raging amongst the employment lawyers (and where you get five lawyers in a room there will always be at least five different opinions on the same point). Time will tell; it always does.

Visitors of this website are free to copy and distribute this Article provided you agree with the terms and conditions of this website whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.

Russell HR Consulting offers HR support services to businesses nationwide, including Buckinghamshire (covering Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Banbury, Northampton, Towcester and surrounding areas), Nottinghamshire (covering Chesterfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, Sheffield, Worksop and surrounding areas) and Hampshire (covering Aldershot, Basingstoke, Reading, Farnborough, Fareham, Portsmouth, Southampton and surrounding areas). Visitors of this website are free to copy and distribute this Article provided you agree with the terms and conditions of this website whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.

Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

Entrepreneurs are agents of change. And in this age of fantastic change, around the world the number of entrepreneurs are steadily increasing. There are business entrepreneurs. And social entrepreneurs. Not-for-Profit entrepreneurs. Millionaire-making entrepreneurs. Broke entrepreneurs. Armchair entrepreneurs. Hi-tech, lo-tech, no-tech entrepreneurs. The list goes on. Born or made? But, “Are entrepreneurs born, made, or a bit of both?” If you investigate the life-long applied research of behavioural scientists like Dr David McClelland of Harvard University. Or if you look at my own work in both the developing and post-industrial worlds over the last 43 years. You get the clear answer to your question. “Both!” Entrepreneurs are both born AND made. You are both born and made as an entrepreneur. Some things help There are some birth and upbringing factors that help. If, for example, you: – are male – are first born whether male or female – have the habit of being not a gambler risk-taker, but a calculated risk-taker – your personal need to achieve is higher than your need for power or relationships – you are under 54. Or over 54. [It’s absolutely never too late to start] – you have a ‘restless gene’. In the USA, for instance, in one study, 63% of start-ups were by men, with 18-to-34-year-olds accounting for 44% of new firm creations. This compares with 47% of start-ups initiated by men and women aged 35-54, and 9% for those 55 and older. Regardless But regardless, of these factors, you, I, anyone, can learn the e-TASKs involved in being a [potential] entrepreneur. That is as we develop the: – E-xperience – T-alents – A-ttitudes – S-kills – K-now how of entrepreneurs. And as we put ourselves into entrepreneurial – S-ituations. Practice, practice, practice And, as we practice. No entrepreneur emerges Day One as a Ye Compleat Master Entrepreneur. We all start as the Master’s Apprentice. We all learn our craft. Learn by our self if we must, but hopefully with the aid of a Master Mentor or two, a buddy or two, and a team. The one really key deciding factor seems to mental. It’s our desire, will, commitment that ultimately decides if we take the entrepreneurial leap of faith. Or we stay rooted in our armchair: “None of makes an impression on the world, sitting down.” Love learning Entrepreneuring is an art, a portfolio of skills, and practice, practice, practice. We learn not just by sitting in our armchair, thinking – which is also important. But ultimately by doing. This is why many university-trained professionals sometimes have a harder time in being successful entrepreneurs. First we must un-eTASKs them as part of eTASKs-ing them as entrepreneurs. And we must get them out of their head and into their body-soul-spirit. Winston Churchill said, “I love learning. I hate being taught.” Similarly many highly skilled and successful entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, political leaders do badly at school. And opt out of college or University. The long list includes Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Kerry Packer, Soichiro Honda… Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin…Socrates, Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey, Abraham Lincoln. But we/they are life-long learners. And, typically, we have a huge capacity for self-learning and learning – especially by doing, trialling, experimenting, having a go. The good news. Malcolm Gladwell in his fascinating book, ‘The Outliers’, evidences, Mastery of any skill set takes just 10,000 hours of focused practice! Start now You, and I, get to be Start-Up Entrepreneurs right now. Then to be Up-Start entrepreneurs and eventually Master Entrepreneurs, by taking seven initial actions. 1. Work out our life purpose. We work out very clearly, perhaps with help, what our life purpose is, why we’re here on this planet, what difference we want to make. So we make this life purpose the foundation Purpose of our Business. See Life Purpose. And Business Purpose.

2. Get a mentor. We recruit a well-experienced Entrepreneurial Mentor or two with the right Deep Smarts to work with us.

3. Become a peer mentor. We set-up peer mentoring relationships with fellow budding entrepreneurs partners where as Initiates we learn, practice, grow, develop and sustain together.

4. Set up a mentoring team. We forgo the joys and pains of being a Solo Entrepreneur, and we set up, and operate a small entrepreneurial team or unit or ‘advisory board’ – that combines a suitable mix of eTASKs.

5. Learn to find patterns. We develop quickly the fine art of constantly scoping, scanning, analysing and synthesizing our immediate and broader context-situation-environment for opportunities.

6. Learn some specific entrepreneurial skills. We become experts not just in social questioning, but also in opportunistic questioning. And we develop the skill of turning problems into opportunities.

7. Practice. We practice, practice, practice. We think, think, think. Test, test, test. Do, do, do. Reflect, reflect, reflect. Here’s to more entrepreneuring! ——- Neville Christie is a professional business mentor, company chairman and serial entrepreneur who has built 44 of his own businesses and is still going. He also mentors fellow entrepreneurs and chairs their companies. Neville can assist you get the life and business you want, and make your impossible dreams come true. Visit his website at .

Are You Asking Your Employees Questions?

Sales managers can use the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting process to help them be better managers. You should start by exploring what is working and what needs improvement. Then you should ask for feedback from your team.

But here’s the question: How do you know what’s working and what isn’t? You can look at numbers, you can look at reports or data. That will work for the bottom line. But remember this: leaders look at the horizon and managers look at the bottom line. You want to be a leader. You want to be a leader who looks at the bottom line, sure, but you want to be a leader who looks at his or her employees and feels what they feel.

So, we go back to the question we asked a moment ago: how do you know what’s working and what isn’t? How do you know what employees’ concerns are? How do you know what is holding your employees back?

These are questions that managers can’t answer and leaders can. Leaders know what is impacting their employees. Managers don’t. Leaders know how to help them employees succeed. Managers don’t. Leaders know what their employees are struggling with. Managers don’t. Leaders know how to help them employees succeed. Managers don’t.

Here’s what separates a leader from a manager: a leader asks his employees questions. He doesn’t just provide feedback he solicits feedback. He wants to improve and he wants his team to improve. He asks questions of his employees.

Some good questions to answer for your and ask your employees are:

Why is your work meaningful and worthwhile? (Note, worthwhile work starts with being important and continues to explore the reasons why the work is worth doing.)

– How can this work have more impact for you?

– What is great about your company and what you do? How can you share this vision with others?

– How is your team great?

– What is great about your specific job?

– What is working for you?

– What needs improvement?

– How do you make the world a better place?

– In what ways can you make this fun?

– How can you celebrate your successes?

All work can be turned into meaningful work with the right mindset. Even line workers in a factory can find satisfaction in doing a worthwhile job if they see the big picture and how their actions and attitudes make a difference.

Business For Sale? Drive Up The Value!

Anytime that you are considering the sale of a company, you always want to bring in a professional business broker to assist in the transaction. However, before making a sale, remember that the value or your organization rests solely in your hands. There are several techniques that you can implement before hanging up your “business for sale” sign that will drive up your company’s value, making it much more attractive for prospective buyers. While many of these will need to be done before contacting a broker, many will also recommend some of these tips to make things easier on them during the prospecting and sales practice. Solid Leadership Though you may be considering the sale of your company, the management team and senior leadership roles must be maintained at a high level. If the business for sale happens to be a large corporation, these positions must be even more stable than average. Many smaller businesses will be sold with the entrepreneur simply turning over the operation, but any mergers or larger sales must involve solid leadership all around. Keeping Things Streamlined If you feel that a sale may be imminent, remember that keeping a streamlined company goes a long way when other organizations consider acquiring it. Whether we are discussing a purchase or a merger, the importance of keeping a simple operation simple cannot be overstressed.

Any unnecessary debt or operational practices may diminish the value of the company in the eyes of a buyer, as they will have plenty to “fix” once they finalize the purchase. Organization One of the most important elements of a successful company is organization. While there are several things on an operational level that you will want to be sure are in place, the proper maintenance of all necessary paperwork is a must. From all tax records to sales information, the better the organization, the higher the sales value. And, when considering how a broker can quickly find a suitor for a valuable company, any business for sale should have everything together in an organized manner. Building Overall Value For a moment, put yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer. There is a business for sale, and though they have plenty of assets and some enticing value, the operation is a mess and there is no way that the growth can be sustained without a significant overhaul. If you were in their shoes, you would likely find another, highly successful, but more efficient, company to purchase.

It makes sense when you consider that value is built not only on the earning power of an organization but also the prospects for a seamless integration into the buying company. There are several ways to increase the overall value of a company. By taking great care of your paperwork, ensuring that the management team is stable, and keeping all relevant operations trimmed to maximize efficient, you give prospective buyers something to salivate over. And, once you have taken care of the inner workings in preparing for the sale, you can turn process over to a reputable business broker. Having a business for sale can be a stressful venture. Properly prepare for it, bring in all of the necessary professionals, and always efficient at the top of your list, and you’ll be sitting on a hot commodity once the word gets out that you have decided to sell. Once the process begins, your diligence and hard work will make for a quick closing, allowing you to turn your operations over to the purchaser and enjoy the profits that you have rightfully earned.

Canadian Commercial Business Bank Financing – What’s Right And Wrong With Banking

Canadian business owners and financial managers assess their commercial business banking and financing needs at different times in their company’s life.

As in many other facets of business it’s a little difficult to develop a solution and fix a problem if you don’t understand the fundamental problem.

The need to grow your business and be profitable usually drives a bank financing need. A growing business consumes, and needs more cash, if only for the fact that you’re building up receivables and inventories.

In Canada business operating lines of credit are offered by our chartered banks. These facilities finance your A/R and inventory via specific margin calculations.

Most Canadian firms that have this type of credit facility submit monthly financials and aged receivables, which in turn create a new borrowing base under which you can draw funds. Companies that are having challenges ( i.e. they are in special loans ) or who are in breach of covenants may in fact be required to submit almost daily cash flow and receivable reports .

Although the basic arithmetic around bank financing and commercial banking is simple in reality there are a lot of other factors that might end up affecting your bank facility.

What are some of these? In the continuum of time certain industries fall in and out of favor. No better example of this is offered up than the auto industry. Other factors that you as a business owner might not like that affect your bank financing are issues such as your profits ( or lack thereof!) , they quality of business and outside collateral, and your banks insistence on personal guarantees.

Bank financing works best under the following condition – your company is expanding, but at a reasonable rate. One of the greatest ironies of Canadian business financing is that a hyper growth business, even if its generating profits, is often viewed as financing challenged by a Chartered bank.

Business banking utilizes a very basic concept that is often misunderstood by the Canadian business owner. That’s simply the fact that with a commercial bank line of credit you’re drawing on assets of your growing business to pay older items. But wow, when your business ceases to grow, or profit your ability to draw cash flow out of your A/R and inventory business line of credit stops. But you still have operating and fixed term payment obligations and it now becomes difficult to pay suppliers.

Companies that have a solid handle on cash flow needs and their historical working capital inflows and outflows are in the best position to manage their firms and access bank financing.

Time and time again we meet with clients that tell a very similar story – business grew, expansion plans were put in place, fixed and operating costs grew, and .. you guessed it .. sales started flattening or going down. The result – a recipe for financial disaster!

The ability to manage your cash flow, or, alternatively, slow down your business is key. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor for commercial bank financing that makes sense from where your firm is now.