Following on from the success of the previous seminar in May which covered the eight key drivers of business value, last session built on
these learnings to provide strategies to overcome the most common roadblocks to thriving in today’s dynamic business landscape. The three
presentations from the expert guest speakers covered how to recruit the perfect talent, the intricate task of scaling up marketing efforts
to attract your ideal customers, and establishing a robust finance function that helps you get the most from your numbers.
Our first expert panellist was Brenda Garrard-Forster, an experienced HR leader and the General Manager of HRAnywhere. Brenda’s background
in senior and executive roles within global enterprises is invaluable, and with the talent war ever-present across the majority of
industries, she was able to give attendees an edge by shedding light on what candidates are looking for in a job hunt. The trends appearing
across Australian employment show a desire for flexible working arrangements to enhance work-life balance. Brenda also encouraged attendees
look inward within their own business to assess their process on attracting and retaining talent. This came alongside thought-provoking
questions for the audience - such as are you offering competitive salaries, and if not, are there other non-monetary benefits you could
offer to bolster the positions you’re hiring for? And critically, are you providing a high-quality experience for candidates that
establishes you as a great company to join?
Next up we heard from AB Smith, Managing Director of Roadmap, a communications agency specialising in strategy, branding and bid services.
AB discussed how marketing is the essential factor to scale your business and increase your margins. With over 15 years as a communications
strategist, AB was perfectly placed to explain how narratives and strategic stories can be used to create integrated marketing campaigns
that really resonate. He pulled back the curtain on the strategies that Roadmap uses for their own clients, to explain how they can be
adopted into your own business. The key takeaways included the need to focus on authentic engagement with your audience by aligning your
values to create long-lasting connections that pay-off. It was a timely reminder of the importance of your customer value proposition and
the feedback loop from execution back to the design of your business and marketing strategy.
And finally, Ashfords’ own Marc Di Genova rounded out the morning of insights by offering his knowledge on finance and deep diving into how
to make your numbers work for you. As a Business Advisor of over 20 years, Marc has assisted many clients in improving their financial
wellbeing and leveraging the numbers to make better business decisions. He covered the importance of setting financial goals, the difference
between bottom-up and top-down approaches to budgeting, the need to diversify revenue streams and risk management, to name a few. Marc
shared the story of leading the client through the large business valuation improvement that would come from just a 1% increase in gross
margin, ultimately leading to an exit at the price the owners were hoping for.
To finish the session, the floor was opened up for the audience to ask questions of the expert panel. The audience was particularly
interested to know how artificial intelligence could be applied to assist with these business functions. After some valuable conversations,
attendees headed off into the day with many valuable tips and insights from the morning.
It was fantastic to be able to provide this platform for business leaders to come together from different industries all across the
South-East, and great to see them dedicating a morning to learning and developing new skills to propel their businesses forward.
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