They give in one hand and taketh away with the other

The Government have spent a fortune in telling all SME’s by television adverts and other media that small businesses can claim up to a maximum of £2000 refund on the employers element of the National Insurance paid to the Treasurery but they haven’t been so forthcoming about you can no longer claim SSP.


K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid)

I do not consider myself as being a wordsmith but I do have a good command of the English language. I recently undertook to assist a friend in doing an assessment for a course that he is doing and he was struggling with what was required to complete it. I am not surprised it was not precise and full of unrelated and unnecessary words. In my time I have read many commercial contracts as well as difficult terms and conditions but considering this is supposed to be an educational body and the majority of their students are already holding down a full time job and family commitments you would think they would make it easier to understand. I do know that he was not the only one to struggle with the comprehension of the aim in his group, which is a comfort to both him and me.


What is the Point of Websites when Manual Intervention is Needed?

I recently had to redirect a parcel and was told to visit the company’s website to arrange either a new time or a new delivery point, which I duly did. After 48 hours said parcel still hadn’t arrived. I checked the internet to ascertain where said parcel was and the system was not updated so resorted to the telephone and managed to speak to a human being (surprise) and was told they don’t check the redirection on the internet and just try and redeliver to the original address.


When Does an Employer Become a Counsellor and are They Qualified to do so?

It is good practice to do a return to work interview after a member of staff has been ill no matter for how long. I know of cases where members of staff have been off work for minor aliments and the return to work interview has taken two hours or more. Is this cost effective and/or necessary?


Why Does the Business World Populate their Speech with Jargon?

After talking to several successful owners of SMEs I was surprised at the amount of jargon that is in general use within the business world that I have assumed that everyone should know like SWOT, KPI, Project Planning, TUPE, EBIT, even SME.


Doing a Business Plan? Avoid Information Overload

Whilst doing some research for a client on business plans I am amazed to discover the variety of reasons and the quality of plans that companies are looking for. The main reason seems to be because the banks demand it and expect about 30-40 pages.


Tax Relief for R&D Expenditure: Goldmine or Minefield?

If you are a small to medium enterprise (SME), broadly speaking a company with under 500 employees, less than £100M turnover or less than £86M on the balance sheet, then very generous corporation tax offsets are available from HMRC for qualifying research and development investment. It would be a tragedy to leave this money on the table, but equally foolhardy to think that all R&D expenditure qualifies.


Business Funding - Advice for George Osborne

As the economy moves up a gear Chancellor George Osborne is keen to ensure that business picks up relevant funding for growth and development. He has also spoken at great length, many times, about the need to free business from red tape. He is not, perhaps, aware of how linked these two aims are.


ISO11000 Collaborative Working: A Huge Opportunity for SME’s

There is a false belief that ISO11000 is only for the big boys – it’s not. True, in fields like rail engineering and aerospace the prime manufacturers are leading the pack. But it is important for second tier manufacturers to get on board now to profit from these partnerships.


Spare Me the Speech Makers

Networking is part of my job, so I go to a lot of meetings. Speakers vary a lot, but the ones that really irritate and bore are not the ones that don’t know their subject – they can be quite amusing – the most irritating are the experts who want to impress you with everything that they know.


New Manufacturing Consultancy Focuses on Growth

The former managing director of Rowe Hankins, Amanda Jones has launched a new manufacturing consultancy, HFZ Consulting. Having grown the rail systems engineers from £4 to £6 million, despite the recession, Amanda and her team will use this experience to advise clients on business growth, quality systems, financial control and manufacturing systems.


HFZ are a team of management specialists able to bring a new perspective to issues that affect manufacturing businesses.

We are experienced practitioners bringing a winning attitude that will transform your projects.

Working to get the best out of people and build effective teams for: