Tuesday, 20 September 2016

There was a time when the sensible way for a respectable small business to finance the ups and downs of their developing cash flow requirements was to trip down the bank with their figures and see a friendly Bank Manager who knew them, understood their business and had the discretion to assist them sensibly and proportionately with an overdraft.

There were rules about this. With a long climb up the specialist ladder behind him (mostly a him) he knew how to assess the risk and how to apply the brake when required through monitoring, understanding and sensible appreciation of what the customer was trying to do.

And then the system changed.  To read the full LinkedIn article, click here.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Brand Building and all that



I have been into a number of businesses lately who haven’t grasped something I think is clear. Your presentation to the big world out there will have much more effect if it is a coherent one. Think about some of the big brand names that have infiltrated our souls, whether we like it or not or whether we actually use them or not. It is quite disturbing in some ways. Becoming a household name has a bit of a relationship with brain washing or brain conditioning of some sort.  To read the full LinkedIn post, just click here

Thursday, 25 August 2016

They say..... A Cobbler never mends his own shoes

As a general thing I am quite struck by business folk who propound some expertise in something when they are guilty of it themselves!!  The communications experts who can't communicate. The life coaches who are fragile themselves. The business experts who can't market themselves. The PAs who are always late. And so on.

You could say 'Cobbler and shoes' or you could point out that their own experience is an education they can use for the benefit of others. It's a consultant's privilege - 'do what I say not what I do'.  I am probably guilty of some of it myself.  We can't be good at everything. The best card I have to play is the external view. I turn up and there it is, wrapped up in some experience, some training and some developed practices and a different perspective....

Luckily my clients value it.....

To view articles and observations by Bob Shepherd Associates, just click here.

Friday, 19 August 2016

The Power Of Business Communication

Supporting Image for post-The Power Of Business Communication. You know what you mean, but does your potential customer

Communication takes many forms and is not just about speaking at events or writing. In business many things are important but communication is right up there at the top of the list.

What many do not realise is that you are communicating your business worth, credibility, trustworthiness, efficiency..... To read the full LinkedIn article by Bob Shepherd Associates, just click here.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

No Word For 'Entrepreneur'

LinkedIn Post: No Word For 'Entrepreneur'.  Bob looks at creating and retaining a spirit of ownership with a business

George Bush is famously supposed to have remarked that the trouble with the French is that they have no word for ‘Entrepreneur’. Quite funny but there is another aspect here. Any business needs to have a spirit of enterprise amongst its employees. It has been called Intrapreneurialism.

The best companies invite a spirit of ownership in the doings of their employees which instils a sense of value and helps with staff retention. According to some UK small businesses research.... To read the full LinkedIn post by Bob Shepherd Associates, just click here.

Business Expansion Has To Be Balanced

Bob Shepherd Associates supporting image for the LinkedIn Article: Business Expansion Has To Be Balanced

One of the greatest enemies of business expansion is simply the business balance. It is no good, for example having the orders come flooding in if the company cannot handle the work-flow. Equally the business resources are finite and you cannot have resources waiting for an expected work-flow which doesn't materialise.

Retail is an easy one to judge as we all use shops. Have you ever noticed a shop closing down and thought you knew why? Was it location? Or was the location right but just not for that sort of shop? If the business owner compromises on location because of cost perhaps the results can be disastrous.  To read this article in full on LinkedIn, just click here 

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Setting Up A New Business

Supporting LinkedIn Image | Business Ethics and Presentation

Setting up a new Business


Anyone can set up a business - Observation and experience has taught me that not everyone has the make up to do so successfully. Most professional Managers have come across those psychometric tests beloved of the HR people. Some people say they can manipulate them but I always wonder why you would want to do so. The corporate career world is full of people who are round pegs in the square hole of their employment and who are basically unsuited and unhappy with their lot. The‘Peter Principle’ pops up all over the place as people are promoted one step too far. Heaven help us when that step puts them in a senior position that carries such a bow wave of credibility that they are unassailable and too senior to be criticised. There are enough of them out there!  To read the full LinkedIn article, click here.

Friday, 20 May 2016

I‘ve got a Business Plan, have you.

Full Article: On LinkedIn

I‘ve got a Business Plan, have you?



Give yourself full marks....If it lives in a drawer somewhere, take off 10 points. Take off 20 points for every three months since you looked at it. Take off 10 points if it is less than 3 pages long. Take off 20 points if you used a “business plan template”. Take off 10 points if it is a several generation old photocopied questionnaire type template. Take away 20 points if it did not have a monthly cashflow forecast that you update. Take off 50 points if you did not see the point when you did it. To read the full LinkedIn article, click here:

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Business Ethics and Presentation

Supporting Image for LinkedIn Post | Business Ethics and Presentation

Business Ethics and Presentation


What is it about the human condition that promotes corruption? By corruption I do not just mean out and out dishonest extra payments to circumvent a procedure, such as seems hopelessly endemic in some parts of the world. I mean any attempt to pull a fast one, to gain an edge by underhand means, to mislead with some sort of commercial gain. Simply to not bother is almost as bad. To read the full LinkedIn article by Bob Shepherd, click here

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Leaders and Managers

Supporting LinkedIn Image | Leaders and Managers

Leaders and Managers


The old ideas of leadership are changing in business. In truth they have been changing for years and 'evolving' may be a better word to use. The old autocratic ideas of a pyramid hierarchy with someone at the top are rarely found these days.

Quite apart from the gender roles disappearing and the values that went with them watering down, the structure of business has changed. Some of that is good and some not, as with all change. What was there before was a mixture of good and bad as well and it is a mistake to ever think everything is or was fine.

Some have started to realise that leadership is present at all levels and is an integral part of the mixture of all things. 'If you want to know how to build a pyramid ask the man with the trowel', is a phrase I heard many years ago and it touches on the same thing. Leadership is managing people upwards, downwards and sideways. It's managing your people, your boss, and your colleagues: Click this link to read the full post on LinkedIn