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Workshop aims to help businesses get moving in the new year

Joyce Hayward of Fusion 4 Business and Lennox Cumberbatch of Abacus (Photograph supplied)

Lots of businesses have a strategic plan, but the sad reality is that very few actually execute them.

“Sometimes carrying out the strategic plan becomes a little overwhelming for small business owners,” said Lennox Cumberbatch, an accountant at Abacus Ltd on Reid Street in Hamilton. “They know exactly where they want to go, but the amount of things that they have to do to get there becomes intimidating and then there is procrastination.”

In February he is teaming up with Joyce Hayward of business consultancy firm Fusion 4 Business to organise Transformational Advisory, a 12-week workshop that helps businesses to actually carry their ideas forward.

Mr Cumberbatch has been involved in external audit and internal accounting for more than 20 years.

“In my current role at Abacus I do a lot more than accounting,” Mr Cumberbatch said. “Because of the businesses that I work with, we have actually had the opportunity to be operational advisers as well. This is really putting what I have been doing over the last four or five years into a programme format.”

Ms Hayward said that Abacus and Fusion 4 Business have both offered consulting and advisory services over the years but not in a formal way.

“We thought we can bring our collective expertise together and help people through a programme,” she said.

The workshop is aimed at small to medium-size entrepreneurs, in operation for three to five years, who are feeling stuck or want to increase their growth or profitability.

Mr Cumberbatch said many similar programmes target much larger companies, and smaller entrepreneurs can feel left out.

“We are targeting businesses that want to do something different in 2022,” Mr Cumberbatch said. “It will really provide them with strategic support in making decisions, looking at their processes and how we can improve those processes and resources to increase productivity and efficiency.”

Ms Hayward, also an accountant by training, said that as accountants they believe that everything ties into finances.

“Whether the company makes a decision to hire someone or changes their paper, it impacts their numbers,” she said. “We are looking at the business holistically. We are looking at this as consultants versus accountants.”

There will be six modules covering client needs analysis, setting objectives and priorities, developing a strategic plan and developing an action plan.

Ms Hayward said it helps to bounce ideas off of someone experienced in business.

“This can help guide them in that way,” she said. “We can say that doesn’t sound like a good fit for your business. Or we can say, in our experience this worked for businesses similar to yours.”

She said now is the time of year when many business owners are thinking about the coming year.

“People are very reflective at this time of year,” Ms Hayward said.

The first cohort kicks off on February 3. Classes will be held every Thursday from 8am to 10am over the course of 12 weeks. The cohort will be repeated at least twice more throughout the year.

“There will be an opportunity for people to do certain modules if they feel they are doing great with some things, but need help with others,” Ms Hayward said. “But we recommend all twelve.”

The cost is $9,000 for the full programme, with a discount of $1,000 if you pay upon registration.

“It is an investment,” Ms Hayward said. “Participants will use this information over and over. The assessments they will come away with can be used every year. They can also come back for a refresher course.”


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Published December 29, 2021 at 7:38 am (Updated December 30, 2021 at 8:00 am)

Workshop aims to help businesses get moving in the new year

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