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Carillion Collapse Shows the Danger for One-Client SMEs

The collapse of Carillion, the UK’s second largest construction company, has exposed the enormous risk SMEs take by placing too much reliance on one major customer.

The construction company, which employed 43,000 people worldwide and had 450 key public-sector infrastructure projects on its books, went into compulsory liquidation on January 15th with £1.5b debts. That followed the failure of last-minute rescue talks between the company, lenders, and the government. It is believed to have used 30,000 sub-contractors to carry out work on those projects.

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How To Avoid New Year’s Goals That Destroy Productivity

A funny thing happens on January 4th. It’s the day traditionally when people decide the mammoth New Year goals they set with such high hopes well and truly suck.

They look in the mirror and see that despite FOUR DAYS of exercising and dieting they are still not marathon or beach-ready.

By January 5th, the new running shoes will have been pushed to the back of the wardrobe and the bathroom scales will have been shoved out of sight.

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What Fancensus.com can teach you about scaling up

Global curator of Big Data: Fancensus.com provides business intelligence to the Entertainment Sector. Specialising and delivering accurate real time analytical data to the gaming and movie industries; by gathering aggregating communication information, monitoring digital retailers and overall calculating industry performance benchmarks, Fancensus.com provides powerful insights into the data analytics which drive success in today’s entertainment market. Some of their prestigious clients include Disney, Ubisoft, Sony, Bethesda amongst others. However, it wasn’t always this way…

Like many entrepreneurs it started with a single idea.

Jonathan G Meath
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Our FD Saved Christmas, Reveals Santa Claus

Santa Claus, now in his 1,747th year, reveals for the first time how his part-time Finance Director helped Christmas Inc. claw back from near-disaster.

Last year we were hit by so many problems. Money problems. Health and safety issues. Capital funding problems. Bad PR. The lot.

Fake News

“Someone posted a story on Facebook last August that said I hated mince pies and was allergic to milk.

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GDPR Action Plan: 6 months to go!

Like most of us you have probably been bombarded by emails and offers about GDPR. But the material you receive is rarely any real use.

So our colleagues at Freeman Clarke have produced a GDPR Board Action Plan which is a simple step by step guide of how to approach the issue. One of the benefits of working with The FD Centre is that we are part of the Liberti Group. As a whole the group provides part time Directors in IT,

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The Hazards of Scaling Up Your Business (and How to Avoid Them)

Imagine this: the co-founder of a multi-million-dollar HR management software company with almost 500 employees likes to micromanage to the point he and not the HR department has sole approval over employee benefits.

Likewise, when any of those hundreds of employees requests time off for holidays, it’s he and not the HR department that says ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

The company doesn’t have a dedicated IT employee to fix computers or printers because that same co-founder believes its gifted engineers should be able to resolve any IT problems that occur—no matter if doing so pulls them away from developing products or resolving customer problems.

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Confessions of Part-Time, Portfolio FDs

Leaving lucrative and secure C-suite positions mid-career to build a part-time portfolio might seem crazy but many of those who’ve done it say it is one of the sanest decisions they’ve made.

Take Michael Citroen, who at 58 years old is a 14-year veteran of the part-time portfolio job world. The former Group Finance Director (FD) relishes the challenge and excitement of working with half a dozen SMEs in his role as a part-time FD.

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How to Overcome the Problem of Late Payments

When your company is facing yet another cash flow crisis caused by late paying customers, it can be hard to believe there might be a solution.

But there are steps you can take to overcome the problems delinquent payments cause and to avoid them happening again.

Late payments are something that hundreds of thousands of SMEs experience. Of the 1.7 million SMEs in the UK 640,000 say they have to wait beyond the agreed terms for payments,

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A True Toy Story: LEGO’s Incredible Turnaround Tale

The story of how LEGO, the family-owned toy company went from teetering on the brink of disaster and haemorrhaging cash to delivering the highest revenues in its entire history and being voted the 2017 Most Powerful Brand in the World makes for a truly inspirational tale…

 

Fourteen years ago, LEGO’s Head of Strategic Development Jørgen Vig Knudstorp delivered the kind of assessment that most managers would gladly superglue their own ears shut to avoid hearing.

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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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