Archive: Nov 2012

  1. Developing Key Performance Measures For Your Business

    Leave a Comment

    What are you measuringIf you’re the MD or CEO of your company, or you are the head of a department, and you would be given only six bits of information on its performance each week, what would they be?

    With competitive and economic pressures increasing all the time it is vital to have the right systems in place to measure business performance. Reporting of performance against a short list of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will mean that much better informed decisions can be made.

    KPI selection and adoption should be a careful process, with periodic tweaks based on market and operational realities. In order to develop appropriate KPIs for your business, you could consult with staff, key suppliers and customers in order to identify the most important indicators of business success.

    It’s worth addressing the following to develop relevant and measurable KPIs:

    • What are the critical success factors of your business (see the first paragraph above)?
    • Why are performance measures being introduced?
    • How will performance measures be used?

    It’s important to emphasise to your team that these performance measures will be used in order to keep the business focused on achieving its goals such as winning profitable customers, improving quality of service, generating more cash, and improving margins.

    Importantly, your KPIs should be easy to measure and allow for action to be taken immediately. Once you have created your draft list of KPIs, you should consider the following questions:

    • Have you covered all critical success factors?
    • Is each performance measure providing useful information that can be used to analyse and improve key processes in the business?
    • What happens when a KPI target or goal is not achieved?
    • Do you need to see the KPIs daily, weekly, monthly?
    • Should the KPIs for each department/function roll into one short list for the MD or CEO?
    • Should the KPI list be limited to six or fewer items? Avoid ‘information overload’

    [twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”]


  2. 15 minute wonders event

    Leave a Comment
    15 Minute Wonder


    Please register your interest in attending by sending an email to

    A business seminar with a difference.

    Based on the Pecha Kucha and TED concepts of keeping presentations concise, fast paced and generating curiosity, Southwestfd have brought together some of the region’s most professional public speakers for an evening of 15 minute wonders.  Each speaker will present for 15 minutes on a key business topic, giving you a valuable insight into how to improve your business.

    Access to Finance: Jerry Davison – Managing Director, Southwestfd & The Mill Consultancy

    Emotional Intelligence for Leadership: Shaun Durham – Executive Coach & MD of Crisp Professional Development

    What is The Cloud?: Mark Hunt – Sales Director, The Stem Group

    The Why, How & What of Social Media: Julian Summerhayes – Public Speaker, Social Media Consultant & One to One Coach

    Integrated Communications: Richard Marsh -The Marketing Department & The Mill Consultancy

    There will be a speaker panel Q&A session and the chance to network with representatives from all of the presenting organisations.

    Aimed at: MDs and directors of organisations of up to £10m turnover.

    [twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”]



    Jerry Davison – Managing Director, Southwestfd & The Mill Consultancy

    Jerry has extensive experience of strategic business improvement and fast growth management and has raised finance across the board, from business angels and banks to VCs and a flotation on Nasdaq. He has broad commercial, operational and IT experience in both MD and FD roles and has worked in the USA and Africa as well as the UK.

    Jerry often presents seminars and talks to SMEs on various topics including Access to Finance, and sits on business competition panels such as Born Global.

    Shaun Durham, Executive Coach & MD of Crisp Professional Development

    His clients are in managerial and leadership positions in small and large companies across the UK.  He also works with people in transition.

    Shaun is a passionate advocate of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and believes it is the key approach to raising self-awareness, unlocking potential and improving performance in individuals and organisations. His short presentation will provide an introduction to EQ, provide an overview of the core competencies and demonstrate how these behaviours can be learned and developed to enhance emotionally intelligent leadership.

    Mark Hunt, Sales Director – Stem Group

    With an impressive team of IT experts, Stem Group keeps costs down whilst maximising IT. Stem Group supports many of the top 100 companies in and around the South West including Burts Chips and Plymouth Community Homes. Services include virtualisation, email filtering, rack space, VoIP, remote working & IT procurement:

    The newly appointed Sales Director, Mark Hunt, is an IT business leader with 25 years experience of helping businesses across sectors – from entrepreneurs, through to SMEs and global corporations, Mark has worked in the public and private sector, at senior levels in both IBM and HP and has extensive knowledge of the sector’s channel and distribution network. He has a technical, project management and sales background, and places priority on understanding the complex and interwoven business, organisational and human needs of the customers he meets.

    Julian Summerhayes – Public Speaker, Consultant & One to One Coach – Brand You

    We live in age of celebrity culture where nearly everyone seems to have grabbed more than a few minutes of fame (and a half!).  But Brand You is not about standing out for the sake of it, being overtly narcissistic or wearing colourful clothing (“look at me, look at me”).  No, it is about having the presence, drive and attitude to reach your full potential.

    Yes, you might see it as self-evident that you are a brand but in these hyper-competitive times it is important to know how to leverage your creative and intellectual capital for maximum financial gain.

    Julian works mainly in the professional services sector where he helps individuals leverage their brand using social media technology. This means undertaking a Brand You audit to understand your existing on-line and off-line footprint.  Thereafter he will work with you on a strategy to enable you to identify your values, experience, weaknesses and develop an action based plan to enable you to build a better and more capable Brand You identity.

    Richard Marsh, The Marketing Department & The Mill Consultancy

    Richard started his career in advertising and communication as a trainee account executive rising to client services director at RH Advertising. After 10 years he led a management buyout from the company’s American owner and led the business as it grew to be the largest independent agency in the South West. Ten years on he sold his interests in an amicable exit to the existing management team.

    The experiences of both running a multi million pound business as well as directing and advising on advertising and communication strategies for client company’s gives Richard a real understanding of the importance of results based marketing.

    Future 15 Minute Wonder Events:

    If you are unable to attend this event, please register your interest for one of our future events in Truro, Plymouth, Taunton, Bristol and Cheltenham by emailing  We will then email you with details as soon as the events are confirmed.