Support required now for more businesses to win government contracts

Proposals designed to help more small businesses win government contracts should be prioritised in the forthcoming Budget, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) is arguing. As part of its submission to the 2009 Budget the FPB is pressing the Government to fast-track measures outlined in the Glover Review, at present scheduled to be implemented in 2010, in order to stimulate the flagging economy by increasing competition for tenders and providing better value for money.

How to really persuade in presentations: Alastair Campbell

An element of persuasion is key to most presentations, ensuring that an audience are on the speaker’s side. But how’s this done?
Speaker Mentor Alastair Campbell had one of UK’s top persuasive remits as Tony Blair’s Chief Strategist.
“The speaker’s got to work out what the main objective is of their speech,” Alastair told us. “That’s all about the central argument”.
Alastair believes that most people will listen to a well structured argument: “If you make a case, founded on factual analysis, values, your own experiences, history, colour… you can usually persuade somebody closer to your case, even if ultimately they’re not going to necessarily agree with you”.

Talking with conviction: Deborah Meadon’s guide

Deborah Meaden says that the ability to spot somebody who can deliver with conviction is crucial, both in her day job as an entrepreneur and her TV role in Dragons’ Den.
“Find the thing that you are passionate about,” Deborah told us: “Automatically you’ll deliver it with conviction. You believe, they’ll believe it”.
Even the best speakers shortchange their audience if they’re not delivering with conviction.
Deborah’s seen great speakers disappointingly speaking by numbers: “They were speaking very well… but I didn’t come away thinking- ‘I’m going to do something now'”.
Perhaps that’s the hallmark of a truly believable speech?

Train to Gain: It pays to develop the skills of your workforce

One of the most effective funding initiatives by the Government is to help you increase the skill levels of your employees. You are encouraged to review your company’s strategy and ensure that all staff development and training will effectively support your business objectives. Then you need to specify the actions required to develop the strategy through an organisation and development plan agreed with your staff.

Is your business Britain’s best?

Business Matters is pleased to announce that we have partnered with one of the UK’s most exciting small business competitions of 2009. The Pitch will see entrepreneurs and small business owners from all over the nation competing to win a massive £50,000 of business related goods and services.

Pitching their idea to a panel of top industry experts, entrants will be asked to demonstrate the innovation, market knowledge, customer engagement and financial viability of their business. The contest kicks off in June with heats in Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and London, followed by a grand final later in the year. The Pitch promises to offer a real taste of how resourceful UK entrepreneurs are reacting to current economic conditions, bucking the downturn with innovation and creativity.

Embracing the Olympic dream

Whilst watching the recent episode of The Apprentice we were struck by the use of The Olympics and London 2012 branding so we spoke to John Mackenzie, partner of leading IP solicitors Pinsent Masons for his advice of how to embrace the Olympic spirit without falling foul of the law.

The do’s and dont’s of workplace humour

We spend a lot of time at work. For many people they spend more time with their colleagues than they do with their family and friends. In these circumstances, it is only natural that as the working relationship evolves, the environment develops in such a way that people can find opportunities to let off steam by laughing and joking with each other.

Many employers actively encourage employees to find ways to make their work fun because, lets face it, a happy employee is more productive and none of us want to spend the day with a lot of miserable people.

SpinVox CEO & co-founder Christina Domecq named as ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’

The Award was presented at a gala reception in London by CNBC, in partnership with the Financial Times, to honour those CEOs who are making a difference through leadership and innovation in their industry sectors.

Initial nominations where made by CEOs from European companies in the FT Global 500, whilst the final winners were decided by a panel that consisted of EBLA 2008 winners from companies such as Arcelor Mittal, Autonomy, Fiat and GE, plus representatives from CNBC, the Financial Times and IMD business school.