Archive for May, 2012

Networking – It’s about being selective with your time

Networking has become a vital way of building business relationships and thanks to advances in communication technology, it has never been easier. Face-to-face networking is still the best means of developing genuine and lucrative business contacts, however social networking sites such as LinkedIn ensures that we’re now able to forge instant links with our newly-acquired contacts and do our research as well as secure exposure to an even wider business network.

Networking is not only moving on technologically, it’s also becoming more sophisticated. It’s about being selective with your time and engaging with similar people who can add value to your business.

Both the Entrepreneurs Club and The Business Exposure Group have positioned themselves by putting on events and meetings for people wanting to engage with others in trusted business communities. It goes back to having a few close contacts of quality standing, instead of spreading yourself too thinly and achieving zero relationships.

No matter how experienced you are and however long you’ve been in business, you can always develop and hone your business skills. Discussing strategies and talking through current pressures can save you time and money and give you greater confidence in the way you tackle issues.

We all need to differentiate ourselves – otherwise we just become one of the crowd. That will be the difference between making money and making peanuts.

If we try to follow what was practised 20 or 30 years ago, we will not only lose but will be considered idiots.  Who would have thought that business owners would welcome the opportunity to discuss ideas and techniques with each other, to assist in how they run their businesses?

In our parent’s generation it would never have happened. Everyone kept their ideas close to their chests.  But today everything is so fast. It’s impossible to be an expert in all areas of business, but with a group of complimentary business owners that risk of isolation is taken away.

The Business Exposure Group has over 120 business owners in this region, collaborating with each other on business strategies and opportunities. It’s not about the features and benefits, it’s about the problems we solve.

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Recruitment: Some great tips and Best Practice ideas

recruitment tips

Look to recruit the best people in order to become a better business

Securing the right staff helps businesses to thrive and the need for positive, forward-thinking team members is especially critical if you’re looking to drive forward growth in today’s difficult economic conditions.

Hiring the right person first time usually ensures people stay in their jobs longer which results in significant savings for the firm and also reduces disruption to the day-to-day operation. It also has a positive effect on the morale of existing employees.
Sourcing top talent will also provide a benchmark for your current staff to live up to and encourage healthy work-related competition.

The recruitment process is often regarded as one of the ‘headaches’ of management. We’ve all been there – hired someone we thought was perfect, someone who made all the right noises at the interview and then before they have even made it through the first month you realise you’ve made a huge mistake. “Fitting in” is the toughest thing to get right when it comes to hiring and getting it wrong can be costly.

Managers should spend 30% of their time recruiting and then staff turnover will be low. So how much time do you invest in finding people who fit?

There is a link between good people and good business and therefore attracting the best talent is a strategic move. Businesses need to develop a relationship with the people in their market to provide an accessible pipeline of talent into the business when required.

Recruitment agencies provide access to talent that you don’t have, but often the company’s culture can be misunderstood. You can also lose the opportunity to build a relationship with candidates in the marketplace by removing yourself from this stage of the process. Becoming partners with recruitment agencies helps them to better understand your needs and requirements.

Attracting desirable, talented staff requires creativity. Job boards are effectively dead. The best people are already fully employed but maybe concerned about their future. They look for career moves in a certain way, such as networking with close associates and recruiters and Googling for jobs as well as scouring websites.
They won’t look at your website and apply for a particular job so it’s important your message is highly visible on the best recruitment websites and those applicable to your industry.

Employers should target the early birds, not the leftovers as they are merely accepting ‘another job’. Candidates should be provided with an opportunity to just ‘look’ rather be forced to buy. Top candidates will not want too much information initially. Most job descriptions are written to prevent unqualified people from applying rather than written to attract the best people.

Ask your employees to recommend rather than just asking them who is looking for a job. Contact the potential candidate and find an excuse to stay in contact with them, so that they will approach you first when they become unsettled.

Recruiters should stop using job descriptions that define and attract average people. Ask yourself why a person with all the experience in the world would want the job – show the job as a growth opportunity.

Should you cull less effective staff or work with them to improve performance?

Culling would boost financial performance and productivity. Only 4% of companies cull but this can be effective if it is part of your performance management. Businesses need to ensure strong team members are not carrying weaker ones.

Companies often spend so much time on underperformers that they forget to stretch the top performers. Research shows 10% of people in a business are doing the wrong job.

When it comes to recruitment, identify what role your business needs and what type of person and experience will benefit your company. Keep to an agreed timeframe and allow time for recruitment.

Top considerations for employers when trying to secure talent:

• Provide a complete job description
• Involve your current employees
• Make the candidate feel comfortable
• Sell the role and the company
• Provide constructive feedback
• Make a clear offer and get verbal agreement
• Continue the recruitment process after the offer has been made
• Prepare for the candidates start date – get the first day right, or you’ll be playing catch-up.
• Become a great employer

The information for this article came from a discussion at a Business Exposure Group event

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Which of these business topics affects you?

I have listed below some of the issues and topics that have been discussed at various events of The Business Exposure Group.

They all attracted considerable comment and the discussions around the table resulted in a wide range of advice being offered from the participating guests.

The result being a wide range of advice from different viewpoints and great value taken from the discussion by many of the participants.

– Securing business with competing customers, without prejudicing the relationships
– Ensuring bigger customers are handled appropriately
– The need to revitalise staff meetings
– Techniques for getting access to decision makers
– Maximising the opportunities of Trade Exhibitions
– Overcoming the issues of good delegation
– The use of referrals and testimonials to secure new business
– The relevance of a mobile app to engage with your customers
– Marketing away from your immediate locality

If you would like to be invited to one of the Business Exposure Group discussion at venues across Yorkshire and in Manchester, please contact us.

Our details are on the contact page on this site and also on the website which is to be found at

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