Held at the iconic Haynes International Motor Museum, over 50 key business people from across the region attended the sell out event. Featuring an array of inspirational speakers – from Partners at Albert Goodman and Dyne Drewett offering expert advice on topics such as managing staff effectively, seeking investment and alternative sources of finance, maximising tax relief and reviewing business expenditure – to Richard Miller of Halstock Cabinet Makers and John Colton of Kingcome Aquatics sharing their secrets of business success and longevity.
Richard Bugler, Partner at Albert Goodman, said, “Events like this are so important for bringing local businesses together and sharing vital knowledge. The recession has undoubtedly hit most of us hard and I think I can safely say that this recession is not over yet. The good news is that, thankfully, many local businesses are faring extremely well. Certain important industries in Somerset, such as agriculture, engineering and food manufacturers, are flourishing in this economy, which is very encouraging.
“Until 2007, businesses were concerned only about growth and increasing turnover, now the advice is that the new growth is standing still – to keep your current position and improve efficiencies. Getting your ship in order now, with a strong balance sheet and a reduced reliance on the banks, means you will be in the best place to take advantage of an up-turn, even if it is in few years time.”
One of the guest speakers was Richard Miller, Managing Director of Halstock Cabinet Makers, based near Yeovil. Richard has a fascinating business story, having been an officer in the Army, worked in the oil industry and been a stock broker – all before buying the then failing Halstock, which has been turned around in only a few years with a staff of over 50 and a profitable turnover of £5million.
Richard said, “Alliance, behaviour, leadership, paranoia, luck and humility – all are key to a successful business in my opinion. We have found that behaviour drives performance and how well your staff interact with each other is critical. We even employed a behaviourist to identify the individual strengths and weaknesses of the team. Once we started giving the team feedback about the sorts of personalities they have, they interacted and cooperated well with us, becoming increasingly engaged.
Albert Goodman has offices across the region including Taunton, Chard, Yeovil, Bridgwater, Weston-super-