Blog

Welcome to the Hixsons blog!

We hope you find these thoughts, tips and free advice in our blogs useful and thought provoking.

We are fortunate to have access to some of the best business thinking in the world, and share it with you. We do not write on matters ahead of their time, but of their time.  As most business practices are behind the times, we are ahead of them, and so we hope worthy of consideration.

It’s like the story of you, your companion Ben and the bear. Do you have to run faster than the bear to avoid being eaten? No, just faster than Ben. We hope that our thoughts help make you run just that bit faster than your competitors.

 

Once upon a time you had some clue what your business environment was. Most of the ways in which you explored your environment and tried to deal with the pressures of competitors, customers, pricing et cetera were relatively static. That gives us quite a lot of certainty in our planning, and any new things we bring to the firm in terms of new products or innovations can be accommodated reasonably easily. Faster, faster! But now we live in a much faster moving environment. It seems as though...
A guest blog from Rob Ward of Cosmapec One pressing matter for most start-ups or young firms is the transition from micro, to small, and small to medium.  One typical scenario that consumes every start-up business, the difficulty of balancing out the multiple demands of growing sales, whilst servicing existing ones is covered in many articles and blogs, and basically means ‘get more hired help’.  We won’t be covering that ground here, but once you have more hired help, where to go...
As business people, we focus on what our business is doing – daily. We look at the numbers, we look at the amount of sales, and activity. And we do it to achieve what we regard as success, whatever that means to us. Most business people like to feel that they are in control of their business, and hence their lives. You take the risks, you put in the hours, the effort, the pain, and sometimes you get some gain. Why we do what we do We all do this to fulfil our personal objectives – a measure we...
The past has passed. You look at it only to learn how to do better next time. In a fast changing world, that’s of limited benefit as you are unlikely to use any learnings very often. The present you are stuck with. But you can change your future. All that detail! Accountants, sadly, are excellent at telling you what you have done, often in excruciating detail. We can analyse the accounts down to the amount you spent on pens if needs be. But here, we know our clients don’t value those details...
Maybe you should. And it needn’t cost the earth. Geof Gibbons at Stampwood has done a good blog showing some cheap or even no cost solutions if you want to automate your marketing. His blogs are a mine of information on this topic, and he gave us a guest blog laying out the what and why a year ago.  Here’s something where a machine will do all your work for you and you will get sales. You will need to do some work first of course. You have to tell the machine what workflows actually make...
Overtrading occurs in a period of very rapid growth. That’s very common in the early days of a new business. What happens is that the costs necessary to support the business running at the level you think it’s going to be are too great to support it at the level that is actually is right now. You’ve planned for the larger turnover and you’ve had to invest to achieve that. If you’re investing using future receipts – perhaps customers are paying you in advance before you do the work – then if...
We’ve heard of STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths, and how important it is in building a technologically adept society. There’s more emphasis on STEM subjects at school, and science is becoming a sexier subject to study at university. But is it turning us into unimaginative robots? Perhaps a better driver is when there is STEAM – that is STEM with art. It’s that collaboration of the logical and rational with the creative and inspirational that produces the biggest gains. Some...
We often talk about getting your personal and business objectives aligned, as we’ve shown it enables business people to enjoy what they do. Life becomes less stressful and more successful, because they feel in control.  This blog from our client Rupert Holloway at Conker Spirit (excellent gin, by the way), epitomises what we mean. Entirely unprompted by us, this first appeared on the Conker Spirit website "What I really want to talk about is the journey of going from working for a living,...
It’s easy enough to make a list of what qualities an entrepreneur should have. A good leader, motivator, communicator, they should persevere… These are all the sorts of things you expect a good manager or leader to have, but that doesn’t differentiate an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur also should be able to learn from others, have self-confidence, have self-motivation and determination, show initiative, be able to analyse situations, be decisive, take considered risks, have a focus on results,...
I meet someone for the first time: “What do you do?” they ask. “I’m an accountant” I answer. They immediately start looking over my shoulder to find someone more interesting to talk to… They’ve used a label - all accountants are boring. Don’t know how they came to that conclusion… We all use them, and not always appropriately. The main issue is that we only use one. It’s our way of quickly processing information, so that we can move on to the next bit of our busy lives. But what do we lose, and...
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