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The most powerful word in business

By | Blog, Business support | No Comments

I’ve been running businesses here in the UK and the USA for over 35 years and over this period, as you would imagine, one learns many things from the day to day activities and the interaction with one’s employees and clients.

We are all keen to provide rapid responses and solutions to our clients’ problems and issues but I have learned that to act in haste can cost you dearly. We all have those clients who call at the last minute and have a special requirement, saying this is a one-off occurrence etc. etc. Our first response is to take down all the relevant information, engage the efforts of our colleagues to help with the task in hand and often leave the financial element to the end only to find out the client does not have the appropriate budget or wants a special deal this one time as they will make it up to us on the next project.

I have lost count of the hundreds of times this has happened to me.

So many years ago, while suffering another of these Friday night “Oh my God I need it here yesterday” episodes, I took a step back and thought through what was actually happening.

I asked myself a series of questions…

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The Middle East is growing up

By | Blog, Business support | 2 Comments

There was a time, a few years ago, when the get-rich-quick tales from Dubai were true.  You could go out there, have a Ferrari within a year, and get a penthouse and a boat the year after.

Those times are gone.

They are gone because all that was built on credit.  They are gone because Dubai, as part of the UAE, has grown-up.

They are even introducing VAT in 2018, but personal and corporate income will remain tax-free for the time being.

Because it’s matured, the opportunities are still there but they are more of a long-game than a quick win.

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There’s no such thing as big data…

By | Blog, Data analysis | No Comments

…if you work in the hospitality and events industry.

Big data became something of a buzzword in 2016 but the term is overused and generic when in fact it has quite a specific meaning.  According to Wikipedia, big data is ‘a term for data sets that are so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate to deal with them.’

You don’t have big data.  What you have is lots of data, which presents its’ own challenges and opportunities but it is not ‘big data’.  You’ll have data on your finances, on your customers and their behaviour, on your social media, pipeline, forecasts, the performance of your team.  Everything is measured and measurable, if you use the right metrics, and it all creates data.

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Grown-Up Solutions to launch in the Middle East

By | Blog, Business support, Data analysis, Project management | No Comments

Grown-Up Solutions will be opening an office in Dubai in November to better serve our existing client base and to support new business opportunities in the UK and Middle East.

Launched in the UK in 2014, we have worked with a range of clients including a Premiership football club where we introduced processes that increased hospitality sales volume by 14% and spend per head by 26%.

The Grown-Ups have also acted as intermediaries for merger and acquisition discussions, carrying out due-diligence work and representing one party as local agent.

The company is currently working with a celebrity chef, ensuring the behind-the-scenes management structure is in place to support his future career.

As Director Mike Smith explains, ‘With my background in the Middle East it’s a natural extension to establish a presence in Dubai.  The event and hospitality sector is already used to working internationally but with Brexit coming up there is an increasing opportunity for businesses in this sector to explore new opportunities and trade links.  Opening the new office will enable us to offer enhanced services to our existing clients as well as giving us the opportunity to support new clients in the region.’

Zero-hour contracts are not a bad thing

By | Blog, Business support | One Comment

There has been a lot of coverage in the press recently around zero-hour contracts, most of it negative.  We hear how they are used by business to exploit their workforce, how they lead to uncertainty over pay and distort employment figures.  There are even calls for them to be banned.

I’m going to stick my neck out here and make a clear statement.  Zero-hour contracts, in themselves, are not a bad thing.  It is their misuse that causes the problems.

Let’s look at the pros and cons.

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