Typical Year:

January         “The Economy- what to expect, how to prepare”
February       “Business Plans - present & gain CEO feedback”
March           “LinkedIn, leverage it for competitive advantage”
April             “Social Media - climb onboard or get left behind”
May              “360° Feedback  - how to get it, use it, harness it”
June              “Social Media - Strategy into Action”
July               “Know your numbers - the numbers that count”
August          “We’re taking a break, so back in September”
September    “Selling; do it well, do it better, do it professionally”
October       “Business Planning Workshop”
November    “Lining up the money”
December    “Economic Update - how the horizon looks for 2013”

“Acquisition Financial Modeling”

In this session we recapped previous sessions covering “valuing your business and others”, “formulating your acquisition strategy” and “acquisition; theory into practice”.

CEO’s then worked together on considering a “theoretical” acquisition target, plus various elements in the deal, how to value them, how to integrate one businesses into another and where to extract maximum gain.

Then using a financial modeling programmed, tested different valuation methods and looked at the out years post acquisition, how to fund the deal and what the post acquisition priorities should be.

“Acquisition; Theory into Practice”

This session covered the transition of theory into practice as we took specific businesses and demonstrated some of the actions that need to be taken into consideration BEFORE you even start down the acquisition road.

By focusing on their own businesses, the audience of CEO’s were able to see what they needed to do to their own businesses before they were “fit to acquire”, ranging from staff reviews and management team strengthening, to process documentation - most importantly; process documenting the business model and revenue model.

From this the audience have now gone away to complete an analysis of a direct competitor as if they were actually targeting this business as an acquisition. At Decembers meeting we will see how each CEO has faired. We will then instill corrective learning so the formula can be put into practice in the real not classroom world.

“Formulating your Acquisition Strategy”

This session covered the core requirements in the formulation of your Acquisition Strategy.

The session went into the detail of what to consider in the formulation of your acquisition strategy, the thought processes required, what to investigate pre acquisition and what to plan for post acquisition. 

Topics covered were wide ranging from how to organise staffing to preparing the existing business for taking on an additional enterprise, what to expect from the new one and how to manage overlapping skill sets.

The session included a thorough knowledge of the pre and post acquisition “hit lists” ~ what should be put in place in order to ensure your acquisition didn’t become one of the 75%+ that failed to meet pre acquisition objectives.

“Valuing your business and others”

This session covered how to deploy three different methods of business or enterprise valuation.

The session went on to calculate the value of a variety of business in the room, by way of example, and how to approach other business valuations both known and unknown.

The session extended to funding considerations that should be taken into account pre acquisition and what to expect in raising an acquisition funding “War Chest”.

“Economic Forecast”

Our July session saw an economist of  note speak on the current economic horizon.

There was a round-up analysis of the current economic landscape, what to expect from the Euro and its members, who would default, why and what the leaders of the EU could do in seeking to prevent it.

The session covered each business in the room, taking questions from the audience about their own circumstances, then walking through the likely horizon over the coming six to twelve months, what was going to impact, why and what that meant to each businesses.

“The Sales Pitch of Your Life”

This session was entitled “The Sales Pitch of Your Life”…..and covered how each CEO in should be able to pitch their own business in 5 minutes or less, regardless of circumstance and without preparation.

The session extended to cover role playing the key lessons learnt, how to improve presentation style and what were the primary things to focus on in presenting a sales pitch to each type of audience.

“Building a World-Class Dream Team and Retaining Top Talent”

In this session we learnt what to do to “Build a World-Class Dream Team and Retain Top Talent”.

We covered how to recruit and retain the very best and most appropriate talent – not simply good people, but how your recruitment strategy should cover different management styles, character types and mindset groups in addition to the obvious skill set requirements, in order to build that winning team.

“Drug and Alcohol Dependence in the Workplace”

A short speaker session covering drug and alcohol dependence in the workplace, how to recognise the signs, how to manage the circumstance and what is good and bad practice.

Additionally, the session extended to include a more general coverage of the different substances, which were mildly dangerous to extremely dangerous ~ and surprising for many, those which are actually more or less harmless!

“Emerging Technologies”

Here we covered the emerging technologies on the horizon, what impact they will have and how to harness them for commercial, competitive and operational advantage.

The session went on to explain why computing is at a cross roads, what the options are to extend current capabilities and what options are emerging for future technology game plays.

“Stress Management”

In this session we covered stress in the workplace, how to recognise it, how to manage it, how to avoid it!

The session extended to cover the regulatory framework, what employer liabilities are and how these can be managed positively and pro actively for the benefit of both employees and employers.

“Harnessing the power of communications”

In this session the Specialist Speakers were an agency specialising in integrated business communications consultancy covering: Communications, Public Affairs, Public Relations, Marketing & Digital Communication.

The session covered from initial strategy through execution to ongoing message management, in traditional media, in new media, social media and government. 

Specific learning in the area of Government communication explored how businesses can harness the wheels of government to promote and assist in the expansion of SME’s, how to access Government and what is required to properly engage.

“Business Planning in the current world”

In this session we explored what type of business planning was appropriate in the current and fast changing economic landscape, what Business Plans should cover and over what timescale was planning most appropriate, given the current economic turmoil.

The session was both theoretical and practical, with attendees breaking off into smaller “skunkwork” groups to further the needs of their own Business Planning requirements.

Take-aways from the meeting were a solid framework for Business Planning, appropriate horizons and content requirements ~ including a pro-forma Business Planning Framework.

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