Review: Fab 500 Event

Lancashire Business View played host to business leaders from across the county for the Fab 500 event at the Salmesbury Hotel with the aim of giving guidance on driving profitability into their businesses.

The Fab 500 ranks Lancashire-based businesses by turnover. Click here to see the online version of the feature which appeared in the January/February edition of the magazine.

fab 500The seminar, held in association with Accrington and Rossendale College and Haworths Chartered Accountants, gave smaller businesses the chance to learn from their bigger neighbours.

Mark Schofield of Haworths, the business responsible for collating the Fab 500, introduced the morning session and said: “I’ve never been as optimistic about business in Lancashire than right now.

“These panelists here today have tremendous skills and we should listen to them to learn how to improve our own.”

The guest speakers were put through their paces covering topics including recruitment, young people in business and growth strategies.

Chris Eccles, managing director of Bowker Blackburn, said: “We have had to change our USP and adapt to a modern market in order to move forward. Businesses need to adapt and change to survive. If you’re a family business it’s important to install some corporate thinking.”

Alistair Eagles, managing director of Seatruck Ferries, said: “The key is believing what your business is about. When you go from nothing to a much bigger business you do have to become more professional but it is important to retain that fun factor and share your goals with the team.”

John Stanworth, area director for Barclays, said: “Businesses that are doing well have changed and adapted through the recession. You need to plan well ahead as cash is still king.

“In terms of recruiting the right people to take you forward ask lots of personal questions to gauge their real life experience and verbally chase references.”

Michael Finnigan, CEO of i2i, said: “Businesses we see doing well are ones were managers push power and responsibility down through their workforce to retain their talent. “I believe young people out there are driven and their personalities shine through. This needs to be encouraged in everybody and demanded more often.”