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Inspira, breathing life into business

March 2011 - Issue 7

Inspira Newsletter


Welcome to our first newsletter of 2011, we hope that your business has got off to a good start this year. Amongst other things in this issue we have provided some tips on selecting a new accountant, and with Spring just round the corner we introduce our 'Time to Grow' series which focuses on planning your people, finances and systems.

The right balance

A new report has found that women cite work life balance as the biggest block to succeeding in senior roles.  According to a report by gender campaign Opportunity Now, balancing work and family responsibilities is the biggest barrier to women getting senior jobs. From the 857 company directors polled, 82 per cent of female managers and 54 per cent of male managers see this as the major issue, with childcare concerns being the second biggest barrier.
Here at Inspira, we believe that women in senior roles still face a number of challenges, but the environment is now more receptive, and for those women who are committed leaders, a mentor may be a useful resource to have to support any senior business person. Read more about the report and how Radio 4 programme Womens Hour is following 3 women leaders with mentors.

Stay protected

The recent Data Protection Day (28th January) passed largely unnoticed, but it’s vital for every business to ensure they have put in place appropriate measures to keep data safe.
This annual event held across Europe, aims to raise awareness about the importance of keeping personal data safe. With the rapid increase in technology being used throughout business, and the majority of all records and data on staff and clients being kept digitally, it is more important than ever that all businesses have measures in place to protect vital data. 

For Inspira's top tips click here  and find out more about using passwords, managing and monitoring emails as well as common sense tasks such as regularly backing up data and having antivirus software. 

Selecting a new Accountant

What do you need to look for when selecting a new accountant?
Looking for an accountant can be a complex process for any business. As we approach the end of the tax year, a last minute review of your accounts and a desire for different tax advice may have you considering working with a new accountant. Accountants can add a lot of value, at the least they’ll have a solid knowledge of taxation and financial regulations in the business world, but they can also be a valuable asset in helping your business to grow and develop and offering advice and guidance throughout the year.

We have compiled a set of key questions for you to consider if you are looking to work with a new accountant – and it’s not just as simple as getting their hourly rates and website address!! Click here 

Time to Grow

Strategies and systems to help you grow your business
We beleive that it’s vital that you are constantly looking forward for new and innovative ways to develop your business. Through our 'Time to Grow' series we will take you through three operational strands of your business – Finances, People and Systems – to look at how you can create a long term strategy for growth.

What we believe is that clear processes and planning around Your Finance, People and Systems is essential if you want to prosper, and grow your business. It’s not only important to know what you’re doing day to day, you should also be able to articulate your plan for growth and have a set of goals to ensure you know what you are aiming for. 

Where do I want to go?
One of the first key things to consider is direction. Creating a clear set of goals that excites and motivates you is crucial for all businesses. And keep adding to them. This is also the time to think big and be inventive, don’t be hampered by the ‘how’, at this stage, simply allow yourself to really envision the kind of future you want for your business.
You can have a series of goals, which can be very specific – ‘I want to have increased profits of 30%’ – or more general – ‘I want the business to be known in the local community as the expert in what we do’ – or even less tangible – ‘To have a business that is a leading example of integrity and productivity’.

How am I going to get there?
This is a perfect time to involve the rest of your team, sharing the goals and dreams you have created and starting to shape them. This means looking at your aims and seeing how they translate in reality. Have open discussions with your team about their ideas and suggestions for achieving these, and start setting in place strategies and milestones for achieving them. Don’t be afraid if your goals change or develop as part of these discussions, especially as you may find some of your colleagues and employees are thinking even bigger than you!

Can I do it?
This is the most proactive process, looking at what might be the barriers to success and start putting into place strategies for solving this. Do you have the right people? Do you have the right systems and expertise? Do you need to have made a couple of substantial changes to your processes before this growth can begin? Ask yourself the difficult questions and don’t be afraid of answering them – this will set you up for success much better than if you skip this vital part.

In the next three newsletters we’ll be looking in depth at how you can plan and strategise for growth in the three areas of your business – Finance, People and Systems – providing you with clear actions and tools for growth. In April, we’ll be looking specifically at Your Finances and suggesting how streamlined, efficient accounts and accounting can have an invaluable impact company–wide.

“Leaders don’t major in the minors. They pursue big, bold ideas.”
Paul B. Thornton, American Author


From 6th April 2011:

  • The standard rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increases from £124.88 to £128 per week.
  • The standard rate of statutory sick pay increases from £79.15 to £81.60 per week.
  • Employers and Employees national insurance contributions increase by 1%.
  • Additional paternity leave and pay comes into force in April.

Further information can be found