The Birmingham Post has teamed up with the Institute of Directors to help companies build stronger ties with their banks during the downturn.
Relationships with lenders have never been more important as the credit squeeze has made cash harder to come by and a master class entitled ‘How to get the best out of your bank’ at the Post’s Fort Dunlop offices on June 22 aims to help bosses weather the storm.
The event will see a leading expert from the IoD offer help for businesspeople seeking to maximise their access to credit and negotiate better rates and terms.
Among the items on the agenda are managing relationships with bank managers, how best to present your case, understanding the nature of cash flow, the causes of failures and alternatives to insolvency, receivership and administration. The seminar is part of a wider training and qualifications programme managed by the IoD that aims to help businesspeople to understand their roles and responsibilities in a challenging economic climate.
It will be overseen by Jean Pousson, the IoD’s programme director of director development in the West Midlands, who is a former director of studies at the TSB Group Management College with 35 years of business experience.
Alun Thorne, head of business at Birmingham Post, will introduce the master class and will also be available for questions and discussion.
He said: “One of the recurring themes we have been hearing in the past six months from the business community - particularly from SMEs - has been the challenge of securing finance.
“We all know about the credit crunch and the affect it has had on the availability of money from the banks but there is no doubt that we are beginning to see a growth in lending again and it is important that companies have the know-how to be able to successfully access what finance is now available.
“Banks may well be back open for business but in the current financial climate they are clearly being much more discerning in their lending policy so really understanding the financial needs of your company before setting foot in the bank manager’s office is absolutely crucial.
“In Jean Pousson the IoD has a man with more than three decades’ of experience in this sector and I have no doubt that those who attend this session will be considerably better armed for the challenges facing every business in the coming months and years.”
The master class is the first of a series of master classes being planned by the Post and the IoD, which also offer a chance for directors to network with other bosses.
Mr Pousson, who also spent 15 years working for banking giant Barclays, said: “Many small businesses, particularly those run by young entrepreneurs, haven’t experienced an economic climate quite like this before. After all, our last official recession was back in the early 1990s, so many businesspeople in the West Midlands have no practical experience of this kind of situation.
“As part of our director development programme we help directors understand the most important factors affecting businesses during difficult times and just as importantly the responsibilities they have to their company and employees.”
He added: “Dynamic and professional boards of directors have a collective responsibility to ensure that each individual is effective, able to perform their duty and to lead the organisation.
“The IoD’s development programme equips directors, with the all round skills, knowledge and understanding essential for successfully directing an organisation from a strategic perspective.”
* The master class takes place from 8am to 10am on June 22, and costs £20 + VAT. To book your place telephone 0207 766 8800.
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