Like you, we have quite a few areas of interest, so we post everything under one or more of these main labels: Personal Development, Business Development (startup and marketing), Intelligence (emotional, spiritual, etc.), News, Fun, Newsletter (chat about things we've emailed). Enjoy, and keep in touch!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Presentation for BNI

As usual this morning I felt as if I was getting up too early, however as usual I was looking forward to our BNI breakfast meeting in Melksham. The group is a great source of mutual support, and a lot of business is passed between members as well. About every six months or so it's my turn to give a ten minute presentation about my work, as it was this morning. That went well, and I enjoyed giving it. Quite a bit of it seemed to be testimonials from my clients, which is impressive.

For more details of the business, which I included in the presentation, get in touch!

If you'd like to build your business through referral marketing, ask me about BNI.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Prince's Trust

I had an encouraging conversation with staff at the Bristol office of the Prince's Trust this morning. I'm impressed by the way they have developed their services to help young people (age 14-30) to get into work, education, or to start a business through new courses and ongoing mentoring. I'm looking at getting involved.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Start-up businesses abandoned?

Last night I attended a meeting at Bowood. Wiltshire Council had gathered together about one hundred local business leaders to gather opinions as to how the council might improve support for businesses in Wiltshire. Many of the people there had been invited because they are members of local Chambers of Commerce (I am Vice President for Corsham).

The trigger for the event was the government's announcement that it will scrap Regional Development Authorities, Business Link, and Train to Gain. Although their plans are far from clear, it looks as if support for business will have to be provided increasingly by local councils or groups of councils ("Local Enterprise Partnerships"). The meeting was well organised, with discussion in small groups about concerns and priorities, and speeches from Council officers Steve Stone (Chairman of Wiltshire Strategic Economic Partnership Ltd), Andrew Kerr (CEO), and Leader of the council Jane Scott OBE.

Recent news items have highlighted that seventy graduates are chasing each graduate job at the moment, and that 10% of last years' graduates are still unemployed. Those who fail in a search for employment will either end up with less-than-satisfying jobs for which they are over qualified, become long-term unemployed, or choose to set up their own business. Young people, whether graduates or not, can no longer rely on stable long-term employment with a large employer as they could a few decades ago, nor is a degree or college qualification a ticket to a job, so increasingly starting a business is an important option. This means that young people need to develop a range of skills for work-readiness to equip them for a career which may include starting a business.

Therefore government support for business start-ups needs to be extended not abandoned, and organised nationally where appropriate. It troubles me that support for business start-ups may be reduced just at a time when it is needed more. (Business Link training is motivating and informative and, as well as covering marketing and strategic and financial planning, briefs people on all the national legislation they need to obey. National legislation seems to me to need nationally organised training.)

Other topics discussed included the need to balance education at different levels, develop apprenticeships, publicise Wiltshire's business good news stories, encourage Wiltshire people who go to university elsewhere to return to Wiltshire to work, develop careers information in schools so that young people think career rather than college, improve transport, and more.

Such consultations have not happened before, so it is difficult to know what the outcome will be. You and I will watch with interest. If Business Link's services do not continue in some way, then those starting up businesses, or seeking to develop them, will have to rely more on the private sector for training and coaching, such as your own Finding True North.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Accountant seeks work!

A friend of mine has just sold a business that he set up 16 years ago, and is looking for accountancy work (which is his profession) full time / part time / interim. He has experience in manufacturing, services, and printing sectors. He's a great guy. If any of you know of anyone looking for a good accountant, I'll put you in touch.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Sir Bob Geldof, Entrepreneurship, and Live Aid

Yes, I enjoyed the Entrepreneur Summit last week, found it encouraging, and am now seeking to implement various marketing and strategy ideas.

I'd like to share some of the highlights, which I can do because Chris has posted some video clips. Enjoy!

Sir Bob Geldof on the run up Sex Pistols, politics, and attidute to failure
Sir Bob Geldof on the run up to Band Aid, the new world order, and entrepreneurship
Gerald Ratner on how he revived after calling some of his firm's products "crap."

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Swindon Connections

Yes, the Swindon Connections networking event went well. It was a cheerful evening with useful input from speakers and a real sense that the business people there were keen to support one another.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

New Clients

I'd like to welcome as coaching clients of Finding True North two businesses in South West England, as their directors seek to find new ways forward and become more profitable.

Top Height Training Ltd are based in Bristol and provide compulsory and related training for workers in the construction industry who are working at height.

Colin Harrison Design Ltd, based in Melksham, provide graphic design for business - whether web-based or on paper.

Colin Harrison writes: 'Having worked together now for a couple of months... I find I'm viewing things from a totally different perspective and... focus and direction are returning. I have no hesitation in recommending "Finding True North" to anybody seeking that extra bit of help and guidance for business and also personal improvement.'

Both organisations are benefitting from grants from Train To Gain's Leadership and Management Advisory Service.

Contact us for more information about coaching or government funding.

Swindon Coaching Team free taster sessions

Just a reminder of the Swindon Coaching Team's next event - this Thursday 8th July evening. More info in earlier article.