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20 Apr

March’s Food4Thought – strategy & business planning

We need a strategy! Our March Food4Thought dinners focused on strategy and business planning – a timely topic with it being the end of the financial year. More than 30 business owners and decision-makers joined one of the dinners in Leeds or Sheffield, enjoying great food and wine while taking part in challenging discussions facilitated by business growth expert Gary King. The theme was thought-provoking for participants – those who had a business plan and those who didn’t. The fact there were people who fit into both categories reinforced the statistic that 77% of SME businesses don’t have a business plan. Why have a strategy? Discussions ranged over whether a business plan was necessary for day-to-day operations, how quickly they become out of date, who takes part in putting the plan together and how the right business plan can be used daily to help drive business growth. It’s been proven repeatedly that the chances of achieving a goal increase when you write it down and increase even further when you...

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17 Mar

February’s Food4Thought – innovation and new product development

Last month’s Food4Thought dinners were themed around new product development and innovation. The groups agreed that new product or service development was essential for adding value to clients, attracting prospects and staying one step ahead of the competition.   The challenges were broken down into four key areas: Generating innovation ideas Qualifying whether the concept is worth pursuing How to find time and resource to develop an idea Marketing a new product or service Our ambitious business owners had lively discussions sharing good (and bad!) practise and their experience on how to innovate in business. What we discussed When it came to coming up with ideas for new products or innovations suggestions ranged from listening carefully to what customers are telling you, through conducting formal research to forming strategic partnerships to create new value-added offerings. A big theme was having the right people in place to support innovation and new product development. Whether that’s a team of people already in the business or a virtual team who can run things...

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