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How A Coffee Merchant Grew 30% In 5 Years by Hiring One Part-Time Advisor

Coffee is one of the most sought after commodities in the world but even that fact doesn’t make coffee traders immune to economic turbulence.

Such was the case for family-run green bean coffee merchant D.R. Wakefield. During one particularly volatile period, the UK-based business was subject to some tough grilling by its bank but just didn’t have the wherewithal to supply the answers.

“We simply didn’t have enough background information, data and statistics collated in a manner required by the bank,” recalls CEO Simon Wakefield.

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Why Entrepreneurs’ Dream of Hypergrowth Fast Becomes A Nightmare

Rapid growth is the stuff most entrepreneurs dream about as they take their fledgling company through the early years but when it happens, it can quickly become the stuff of nightmares.

The bubbles in the celebratory champagne—“Here’s to our success!”—barely have time to go flat before the problems arise across the high-impact growth or Scale Up business.

Suddenly owners are beset by problems involving the people they’ve hired or not hired,

Hardhat for safety
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Embrace the ‘F’ Word

If You Want To Succeed, You Need To Embrace The ‘F’ Word

What do Sir James Dyson, the Mercedes F1 team, Pixar, Google and the airline industry have in common?

They’re hugely successful, yes. But the thing that links them is they never shy away from the ‘F’ word—Failure. Instead, they face and learn from their mistakes, errors and mishaps. So says Matthew Syed, award-winning Times journalist and best-selling author of ‘Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance’ (John Murray).

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From Zero to Hero

Business control is vital – at both ends of the business spectrum

After the first flush of start-up, many business owners find themselves faced with common problems caused by business control. Those problems tend to polarise into coping with potential failure or run-away success – the ‘zero or hero’ scenario.

The heroes are fast-growing, successful businesses, usually with considerable drive and enthusiasm from business owners. Heroes are clearly going in the right direction,

Operational Skills for Business
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Don’t Bankrupt Your Company Like So Many Olympic Host Cities Do

The Olympic Games allows top athletes the chance to compete against the best in the world and gives TV audiences the opportunity to watch non-stop sports for three weeks, but it’s usually an economic disaster for the city that hosts the event.

The fact that host cities are left with a few over-sized stadiums (so-called ‘legacy projects’) and mountainous debts once the 17-day sporting extravaganza is over shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Only the insanely optimistic continue to ignore decades of research that show hosting the Olympic Games rarely improves a city’s economy.

3d Open briefcase
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Crowdfunding is No Joke

People might have laughed when twin brothers Alan and Gerry Keery first said they needed to raise around $100,000 to open a café that would only offer breakfast cereals, but thanks to the widespread publicity they garnered from their appeal on the crowdfunding site, Indiegogo, they were able to raise the funds they needed.

Although the funds didn’t come from the Indiegogo platform, the news of the Keery’s plan did attract the interest of outside investors who found it hugely palatable.[i] That meant the brothers were then able to open the first Cereal Killer Café.

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Warning: Without Exit Planning, You Could Be Left With Nothing

Do you dream of selling your business for a very tidy profit so you can retire and spend your days on luxury cruises or working on your golf handicap?

Well, without an exit plan, your dream may be just that; a dream that never comes to fruition.

Sell at the wrong time or without thinking about the impact of taxation, for example, and you really could be left with nothing to show for your years of hard work.

How to Develop a Good Relationship with Your Bank (and Why You Should)
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How to Develop a Good Relationship with Your Bank (and Why You Should)

While it may not always appear to be the case, banks are generally very keen to lend money to businesses. However, due to stringent guidelines and red tape, it can seem quite difficult to actually get credit approval. Maintaining a good relationship with your bank can be the key to this. Here are some simple tips to help your business (particularly your finance department) improve this relationship.

Change Your Mind-set

Dealing with the banks is a state of mind.

Why Every Business Needs a Good CFO
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Keys for Cash Flow Management

All too many business owners think that the battle is won once the marketing rolls out and the product is sold. They see that their investment of time and resources has paid off and therefore, assume that their goal has been achieved.

However, the fruit of these hard-won victories will quickly run out if the accounts receivable, as well as the accounts payable, is not carefully maintained with a structured cash-flow management plan.

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Why Every Business Needs a Good CFO

Ask any bank manager who their worst customers are and they will quickly tell you: the people who have no idea what is going on in their business. Some customers ask for finance or expect to maintain an overdraft, yet they cannot even produce up-to-date accounts!

As a business grows, it will need to delegate key tasks to experienced and qualified team members. The areas the business owner will seek help in first will be determined by the focus and needs of the business;

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