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Inspira, breathing life into business

December 2014

Inspira Newsletter


Welcome to our last issue of Inspiration for 2014.  Where has this year disappeared to?  For us at Inspira, it’s been an exciting year, culminating in us moving to new offices in Northwood.  Some of you have already popped in for a coffee and a chat.  We’d love to see more of you, so do drop in if you are passing through!  Our new contact details are here. We’ve also brought in some new team members and are looking forward to assisting you all achieve your goals and ambitions in 2015!

As it is still fresh in our minds at Inspira, we thought we would focus on transition and change in business, which can be simultaneously daunting and exciting.  We’ll also share our ‘top tips’ for coping throughout the holiday period. 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, enjoyable holiday period and a Happy New Year.

Transition and change in business

Moving offices and hiring new staff are part of a long list of challenges that continually face any business, including delegating as your organisation grows, developing structure and processes to facilitate growth and securing your team’s buy-in to the ‘new phase’.  Change is difficult and transition takes time. 
Here are our Top Tips to manage change in your organisation.
1. The need: a successful transition must have a clear business need and the company must understand it.
2. Define roles: an effective transition requires managers and staff who are responsible for various tasks; initiating the ideas, highlighting the need, coordinating the change, securing the staff’s participation and seeing the changes through. 
3. Plan: the transition plan should be a real reference document, so everyone knows what to expect.  It should be logical and explain the goals, as well as highlighting the new structure.  If the change affects people’s roles, then an organisational chart, or organogram can help staff understand how they and their colleagues fit into the change. 
4. Ask for feedback: ask as many employees as possible, in a structured way, for their comments and input.  Be prepared to amend the plan based on this feedback.
5. Measure up: make sure you put some key milestones in place to track the transition’s progress along the way, including a final ‘goal’.

Top Tips for surviving the holiday period

It often feels as if employees are counting down to Christmas as soon as the summer is over, but for business owners and managers, the holiday period can be terrifying.  We have to manage with less staff, less support, less revenue, later payments, more downtime and we still have to roast our turkeys and do our Christmas shopping!  What a headache!  With our Inspira Top Tips to survive the holiday period, we hope you can also enjoy some festive cheer, safe in the knowledge that your business will survive!
1. Staff scheduling: as far in advance as possible, make sure you know which staff will be on holiday and who can be relied upon to man the phones.
2. Clean up: never close your doors to another year with a messy desk or meeting room!  Start the New Year afresh, clean up your office, throw out any unnecessary paperwork and descale the kettle!
3. Appreciate your team: a gift is a great way to motivate your people, whether it is a retail voucher, a team night out or an extra day’s annual leave.
4. Spread the Christmas cheer: develop some special seasonal offers for your clients.
5. IT and equipment support: we have all no doubt experienced technical failures when the office is closed and everyone is away!  Ensure your equipment maintenance is up to date, put an IT contingency plan in place and wherever possible, make sure you have one staff member on call, if not at the office.
6. Restock: if you run a stock-reliant business, order your supplies well in advance and ensure you know your suppliers’ holiday closure dates.
7. Lock up: a sudden anxiety dream about your unsecured premises will ruin your Christmas dinner, so make sure you remove any cash from the office and secure your offices before you leave!
8. Christmas party: a finance tip!  A Christmas party for staff counts towards the ¬£150 per head annual aggregate entertainment spend, which is tax exempt.   Click here for more info.
9. Christmas party: a management tip!  Do attend, don’t get drunk, be professional and don’t be the last to leave!
10. Relax!  Once all the above is taken care of, it is crucial that you (and your staff) book in some relaxation time to regroup and reenergise, so you can start 2015 focused and motivated!

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince (1532)

Key Dates and Updates

Shared parental leave: the new legislation has come into effect and parents of babies born after 1st April 2015 can now share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay between them in any combination they wish.  For full details click here.

Small Business Saturday is 6th December: an initiative to support family business, local shops, online business, wholesale or small manufacturers.