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Advice from Outside the Square

The Square Orange Blog

How To Start Your Own Business

If you are thinking of, or about to start a new business, you must be excited! I know I was when I left the international consulting firm I was working for in 1991 to start my own financial and management consulting company. I was excited and a little terrified! But at least, I had an advantage over most subject-matter experts who decide to leave employment and start their own business - I was a qualified and experienced Chartered Accountant who knew about starting and building businesses, about tax and registrations and the law and agreements. That is the most common experience of my clients over the years who have started their own businesses: (more…)...
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Outsource for Efficiency

Once upon a time, running a small business was relatively uncomplicated. Not easy, but uncomplicated. You were good at something. You saved or borrowed some capital. You set up procedures that focused on doing what you were good at, which was what drove the business, and then you hired people who could do the supporting functions like keeping the books. As you progressed, you hired some contract specialists like tax accountants, or you hired contractors to do things you didn't want to do like clean the office every night. (more…)...
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Your Social Media Strategy

It is almost impossible for anyone operating a small business these days to avoid two things if they want to continue growing awareness about their business:
  1. A good website; and
  2. A social media presence.
I'll leave what makes a good website for another article but this month I'll discuss your social media strategy. Why do you need social media for your business? What will a social media presence do for you? How do you create an effective, but pragmatic, social media strategy to grow your business? (more…)...
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Create A Feedback Culture In Your Business

One of the consulting assignments I most enjoy is working with all the people in a client's business. Often, when I am helping Directors prepare a strategic plan, or Managers work on their business plans, I only work with these Directors and Managers, or sometimes owners and other stakeholders. Rarely do I get to work with the company as a whole unless I am working on a change management assignment involving restructuring, systems, people and culture. But of course, even when I don't work with people below management level, I meet and interact with the other employees, and see a vast range of cultural phenomena. Even in driven and well-led companies, I sometimes see an underground layer of tension. Leaders need to recognise that some people feel intimidated by strong leadership and despite being invited to, do not voice their opinions. They have to be invited to do so and be given the opportunity to see that feedback from them is welcome and positive. (more…)...
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