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a blog by Chris Barrow

Tough talking

A 5.00am start and a drive from Bristol to Exeter, where I meet with Barbara Trotter (my UK business manager) and her assistant Stephanie Martin for a management meeting. Top of the agenda is a review of our practice finances from now until the end of the year – and it’s a worse case scenario that doesn’t look good. Our business expenses have been creeping higher and our client numbers are static (I said worse case because we have marketing planned) – so profits are down and cash flow very tight. Tactic 1 – a review of all of our expenses, after which we believe that through repositioning assets, liabilities, income and expenses we can create savings of about 4,000 pounds per month from August – that’s a big saving! Tactic 2 – a review of our marketing plan, with particular emphasis on Strategic Alliance partnerships – to make sure that overall client numbers do begin to grow again as the year progresses. Tactic 3 – a review of a our borrowing status to make sure that we have lines of credit should we need them. That done, we were able to review our 3-year vision and discuss some important evolution in my own thinking – from manager to leader (you have been reading that here) and from practitioner to entrepreneur. Meeting concluded at 2.00pm and then a long drive to Swansea in South Wales for tonight’s presentation. My hotel room is pretty basic and reminds me that life as an international speaker and coach is not often glamorous and sometimes downright grey and miserable. There isn’t even a bar in this hotel so I’ll have nowhere to wind down at 10.00pm tonight – poor me. Another long day but, as usual, the management meetings fire me up – I am blessed with a great team.

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