Audeo Fortis | Business Advisors and Management Team Support with a Difference
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Articles + Insight

News, useful information and best practice

Posts in News & Views
Strategy As A Solution - what you can learn from the Roman military

I help my clients do one thing: save time and make more money.

Sounds simple enough? But the reality is that businesses, however small, are a complex ecosystem of competing priorities. The real skill in running a business comes from understanding how to balance all those nuances to maximum effect.

I call that Strategy As A Solution

The word strategy actually takes its roots from Roman military; the plans of war and battles designed to achieve a long-term aim of world domination.

Perhaps your business isn’t trying to take over the world, but it probably is trying to compete with others to find a space it can occupy. So the roots still hold true that it’s about the smaller battles you succeed in to achieve your overall long term aim.

The problem I often encounter in SMEs is that this planning (the how we will achieve domination?) is the starting point for them. But to me, there are two steps before the strategy is formed that if not well defined will undoubtedly result in wasted time and reduced profit.

How can I be so sure? Because the conflict between competing priorities paralyses decision making, which causes wasted time, that in turn costs more money or loses opportunity for sales.

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Why are we so afraid of the 'C' word?

Last week I read with interest an article from the Evening Standard on a social media outburst by Holly Willoughby after the BAFTA's. She was rightly pointing out the hypocrisy of paparazzi taking photographs of female celebrities to get 'upskirt' style shots - having photographed them only a few hours earlier with white roses to promote calling #timesup on sexual harassment and gender inequality in the entertainment industry.

She said "...times apparently up on #timesup", but the problem for me is that I don't think #timesup or any of the other similar campaigns have really yet begun.

In this particular arena there have been numerous (and unsettling) rising trends of late. Gender pay gap reporting highlights that women are doing lower paid work, the now defunct President's Club fundraiser is revealed to be a cesspit of sexual harassment that's more befitting of the Victorian era than the 21st century, equal pay disputes are now reaching class action proportions...and I haven't even touched on the historic and current sexual harassment claims emerging across multiple industries - something akin to Operation Yewtree whereby this behaviour is now known to be endemic, and has been for years.

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We've moved...! Hello Manchester #WeLoveMCR

We all know how stressful a house move can be, but have you ever moved house AND office at the same time?

We have...

We're now proudly based at the Regus offices in Spinningfields, Manchester. Taking in the beautiful 10th floor views across the northern skyline (and the plethora of eating and drinking establishments nearby)!

Although we're definitely cosy in our new gaff, we're still operating across the UK and internationally as before - 'Wherever, Whenever'.

So please do pop in for a coffee, or send us a note to our new address:

Audeo Fortis

10th Floor

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3HF

We'd love to see you!

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Audeo Fortis kicks off charity fundraiser

As part of our commitment to give back we've launched our charity challenge for 17/18 and we invite you to join us..!

The chosen challenge is a Tough Mudder Half around Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire on Saturday 8 September 2018.

Tough Mudder isn't a race, it's a team effort. Everyone will help others to get through the whole course and over the obstacles. We're doing the Half sized race so there's no ice or electricity!

We encourage everyone to raise funds for charity if they join the team, but it's not mandatory :)

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Toys ‘R’ Us and how NOT to manage your management consultant

Today established retail giant Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy protection in the US.

So you can understand why every time I speak to a business owner that says, “we don’t need help” it breaks my heart just a little bit more (and it’s not because they’re not hiring me!)

I sincerely believe that businesses large and small are missing out on opportunity, and at worst potentially damaging their organisations by failing to identify risk. Personally, I think there are two issues (a) we don’t like to admit weakness/ask for help and (b) because of our relationship with management consultants and other professional advisers.

And I get it, management consultants are *the worst* - they’re just pushy, aren’t they?

Particularly if you're a smaller business management consultants can make you feel like the business equivalent of a hit-and-run victim. They come out of nowhere, hit you fast, tell you how to run your business, deposit an unintelligible report, and dump one heck of an invoice. You’re left injured, feeling dazed and confused.

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Monzo: Lessons for a start up

If you haven’t heard of Monzo, they’re a high profile fintech start up – a challenger bank – rising to consumer fame by offering a fee-free pre-paid card service.

Like most start ups in this category, they’ve experienced massive growth in a short time. At the beginning of July this year it hit 240,000 customers, they are projecting between 500,000 and 800,000 accounts by the end of the year, and their business model is as old as time:

  1. Begin as a loss leader: buy the market to build a massive customer base as an innovative new thing, pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap

  2. Bring new products online: grow the portfolio of products with profitable revenue streams

  3. Sell, sell, sell: trade on your unique and different brand to convert customers to these new products.

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Diversity and other buzz-words - a small business guide

*content warning - this article contains gross generalisations throughout!*

This weekend our fair capital city will host the Pride in London parade - and it got me thinking about 'diversity' and why it's so important for smaller enterprises in particular not to overlook this important aspect of doing business.

A common theme from pride parades all over the country is that often smaller businesses don't participate. They simply don't have the critical mass of a large corporate - they often don't have employee groups (such as LGBT, gender equality, ethnic minority, disability), and they can sometimes be, dare I say it, not very diverse.

But that doesn't mean as a small enterprise you shouldn't feel the need to embrace the concept. Indeed you only have to look as far as McKinsey's research to see that 'diverse' companies significantly outperform their non-diverse counterparts. So if diversity isn't on your agenda, then perhaps surviving the next generation isn't either...

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