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Five things you can consider right now to encourage better profitability, growth and success in work (and life)….

March 29, 2016
March 29, 2016


  1. If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail! – make sure you plan, review and tweak that plan periodically. Not sure how to plan or don’t have the time? Ask a business consultant to help you, they are experts.
  2. Make that sale reoccurring, if you can – Is your product a one-off purchase, or is there scope for upgrades or renewals.
  3. Diversify, if appropriate – a good consultant will always ask you about new products and new markets, even if it is just for the future. It may seem scary or impossible at first, but once you think outside of the box, you can sometimes easily and simply increase business performance by targeting a new market or developing a new product that it is related to your existing portfolio.
  4. How is your customer experience? – fine tuning your customer experience can yield massive growth. Put yourself in their shoes, and also ask them for their experience. Finding little gaps in your sales process can sometimes plug large gaps in your profitability performance.
  5. Down-time equals up-time – make sure you look after YOU! Healthy and regular food, water, exercise and rest will definitely mean higher productivity AND a healthier balance sheet at the end of the day. Don’t let anything get in your way.

Watch out for more top tips, coming soon……. have any of your own? Don’t hesitate to share them with us.



**Image courtesy of adamr at

So what’s in the 2016 Budget for Businesses up North?

March 28, 2016
March 28, 2016

2016 Budget….

The Northern Powerhouse is the government’s vision for the North of England, built on the solid economic theory that while the individual cities and towns of the North are strong, if they are enabled to pool their strengths, they could be stronger. Better transport, more support for science and innovation; investment in culture; devolving powers and budgets should give people in northern cities and towns a stronger voice!


  • £13 million goes to Hull UK City of Culture 2017. This includes £5 million towards the refurbishment of Hull New Theatre and £8 million to ensure there is a lasting cultural legacy in Hull


  • £500,000 to Welcome To Yorkshire for an international marketing campaign for the Tour de Yorkshire 2016 and also support for plans to bid to host the Rugby League World Cup in the Northern Powerhouse


  • The government has agreed a new mayoral devolution deal with Greater Lincolnshire. This will give Greater Lincolnshire significant new powers over transport, planning, and skills. Greater Lincolnshire will also receive control of a £450 million investment fund over 30 years to boost economic growth.


  • £60 million to develop High Speed 3 between Leeds and Manchester by 2017 bringing journey times to around 30 minutes and to improve transport connections between cities of the North.


  • Bids are invited from northern cities and towns to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018



  • The next round of the Coastal Communities Fund, for projects starting in 2017-18, will open for applications this summer. The CCF funds projects across the UK which support sustainable economic growth and jobs in coastal communities.


  • The government is nationally supporting SME access to finance, setting out a £1 billion package to support SMEs through the British Business Bank. It will support the first loans under its Help to Grow programme from spring 2016, supporting at least £200 million of lending.



  • Nationally The Local Growth Fund will give Local Enterprise Partnerships control over £12 billion of central government funding, ensuring that this money is spent in line with local priorities. Up to £1.8 billion will be allocated through a further round of Growth Deals with Local Enterprise Partnerships later this year., announcing further detail on the process for the next round of Growth Deals soon. A further £2 billion of the Local Growth Fund is being allocated through the Home Building Fund, to provide finance to developers to unlock large housing sites and bring forward the necessary infrastructure that large house building projects require.


  • Exporters will receive more help to access trade finance. Steps that aim to cut UK Export Finance (UKEF) transaction times in half are being trialled.


  • Duty rates on beer, spirits and most ciders will be frozen this year to help pubs.


  • Fuel duty will be frozen again in 2016-17, saving the typical motorist £75 a year. The main rate of fuel duty for petrol and diesel will remain frozen at 57.95 pence per litre in 2016-2017


  • Small businesses that occupy property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will pay no business rates from April 2017


  • Pay as you go tax payments will be available from 2018. All businesses, self-employed people and landlords who keep their records digitally and provide regular digital updates to HMRC can voluntarily adopt pay-as-you-go tax payments that suit them to better manage their cashflow


  • HMRC will be available 7 days a week by 2017, extended hours and Sunday opening on online services and the tax and tax credits phone lines, so that people and businesses have more opportunity to contact HMRC outside of working hours



Midlands Engine for Growth – The East Midlands had the strongest productivity growth between 2010 and 2014 of any region, the Budget contains measures to support industry and growth in the Midlands, with a focus on supporting the development of Midlands Connect’s long-term transport strategy and the region’s traditional strengths in manufacturing and engineering.


The government has agreed with LEPs in the Midlands and the British Business Bank to create a Midlands Engine Investment Fund of over £250 million to invest in smaller businesses in the Midlands, subject to final funding arrangements.


Offshore property developers

The government will introduce legislation in Finance Bill 2016 to ensure offshore structures cannot be used to avoid UK tax on profits that are generated from developing UK property.


HMRC will also create a task force to focus on offshore property developers. This task force will target offshore structures used to avoid tax on profits and rental income from property development in the UK. The task force aims to achieve a long term improvement in taxpayer compliance.

Non-Executive Directors – What do they do?

March 22, 2016
March 22, 2016

Non-Executive Directors : The Impact

Non-Executive Directors are growing in prevalence, with Tesco being the latest to increase theirs to six. As many of you know I perform a Non-executive role* (a bit like a Non-executive Director ) for a small handful of clients. Here is the lowdown on what they do and what the benefits are:

What do they do?

Non-Executives work as a medium/long term “critical friend” of the board or CEO. Their role can involve:

  • Assessing performance regularly
  • Offering impartial strategic input or support for individuals at a senior level
  • Attend the monthly board meetings (usually as a minimum)
  • Objectively critiquing the company’s performance

Non-exec qualities

  • Independence
  • Impartiality
  • Your best interests at heart
  • Specialist experience in various businesses
  • Personal skills

Why should you appoint one?

  • They can assist your profitability and growth goals
  • They can be a central facilitator for positive change
  • They can speed up decision making and ‘cut the wheat from the chaff’
  • There is no ‘axe to grind’ and no fear of presenting the truth
  • The right person is a quality investment
  • They encourage consistent and productive meetings which can enhance accountability
  • They can encourage a ‘working together’ culture with the business goal at the forefront

How does it work – the Andy Aldridge way….

On a personal level I tend to work on a project basis with clients initially, which sometimes then leads to a non-executive position, but only if it is the right decision for the business. This project basis gives us both time to assess whether a) we are compatible and b) whether you actually still need me around or whether you can be completely independent now. I specialise in integrity; it’s the cornerstone of my business, rather than recurring fees for no real reason.

Another client comment:

“We hold monthly senior team meetings which everyone attends – come hell or high water. These meetings are playing a big part in keeping us on track. We spend two full hours together, with each team reporting on progress and Andy acting as independent chair –he’s very good at teasing out what people really think and ensuring everyone has their say. Andy’s can-do attitude has been infectious.”
John Smith, Louth Tractors.

Want to know more? get in touch.

non-executive directors

*Andy plays a non-exec role but would not be a Non-Executive ‘Director’ of your company.

Lincolnshire Business Coaching: Andy Features in Grimsby Business Telegraph

February 9, 2016
February 9, 2016

Lincolnshire Business Coaching Features in the Telegraph

Read about the official launch of Lincolnshire business coaching organisation Consult3A. Andy has recently moved back to Lincolnshire and has launched his own brand of business growth coaching and consultancy from a new base in Louth.  This article discusses his successful track record with Lincolnshire businesses, and how he has facilitated their growth and expansion through his mix of practical business coaching and planning. Read the article below or click it to open larger in a new window.

business coaching lincolnshire

Article from Grimsby Business Telegraph

For more information on what Andy can do for your business, why not contact us or read Want to Grow Your Business?