Business & Professional Life - Ask the experts
PUBLISHED: 22:53 09 December 2012 | UPDATED: 22:29 20 February 2013
Our specialist panel of industry professionals answer your questions
Q. The recession has demotivated me what can I do to get my business fired up again?
Its certainly been tough for a lot of businesses but now is a great time to take action, says business coach Mandy Hildred. Motivation requires a motive and a plan to focus the direction you want to take the business in.
Now would be a good time to assess the structure and consider how team members roles and responsibilities have changed given that you may have reduced the size of your workforce.
It may be a while before you can get back up to full strength. You may need to adjust roles and responsibilities to get the best out of people.
You need outgoing personalities to front your sales force, for example, while task-focused individuals are better at dealing with admin.
Next start to set some goals, including both turnover and a profit target. Successful businesses focus on quality service delivery so its also a good time to ensure your customers come to you for great service rather than the cheapest price.
Finally, set some key performance indicators to track your performance and ensure you are able to make adjustments to your plan along the way, enabling you to arrive at the year end with a successful result.
Mandy Hildred is a master business coach at ActionCOACH. For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. How can town and city planners best aid Yorkshires economic recovery?
Demand from manufacturers for quality industrial land and buildings in Yorkshire is getting stronger and stronger, says commercial property expert Mike Dove. I believe unlocking deliverable land is the key to the recovery of Yorkshires economy.
We are besieged by manufacturers looking for new premises in Yorkshire. This isnt just idle talk. These manufacturers have instructed their engineers and architects to draw up detailed designs and their lawyers are already preparing draft documentation. They are raring to go.
At the same time, the more forward-looking local councils in Yorkshire, emboldened by the Governments relaxing of the planning laws, are proactively identifying sites for inward investment. All this adds up to a very bright future for the Yorkshire economy, provided the right land becomes available.
Most councils are doing their best to encourage investment. Kirklees, with its pioneering Huddersfield: The Place To Make It campaign, has shown a tremendous lead and is playing a major part in facilitating the relocation of David Brown Engineering from its historic, but increasingly unsuitable premises in the centre of Huddersfield to a purpose-built, state-of-the-art factory and office site in nearby Mirfield.
This is a classic blueprint for what most manufacturers now require: quality premises close to their workforce with modern, flexible manufacturing and office space.
#If we can see more of this sort of partnership, it could be tremendously good news for Yorkshire. To borrow that memorable phrase from Kevin Costner in the film Field Of Dreams, Build it and they will come. And, when they do come, Yorkshires economy will take off, freeing itself from the shackles of the recession.
Mike Dove is a founding partner of Dove Haigh Phillips, the leading Leeds- based property consultancy. www.dhp.org.uk.