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Real business stories

Find out how a wide variety of UK businesses are tackling the issues, problems and challenges central to business improvement.

We've spoken to leaders who have taken the steps to improve their businesses and, in each case, provided three key takeaways to shape your own efforts.

We encourage you to use them as the inspiration to kickstart your own improvement efforts, taking their experience and shaping the right change for your business

  • Avoid common pitfalls by learning from the experience of others who have been there before
  • Find out how your peers worked through similar problems – each story has three key takeaways
  • Read stories from businesses in the same sector or size as you

Left Handed Giant shows why hiring for attitude over aptitude really does work

Filling the business with people directly qualified for the job is relatively simple. Hiring those who live and breath the company's values and reason for being is more difficult, but …

Extract Coffee Roasters forged strong customer relationships by sharing expertise

We took a tour of Extract's roastery with co-founder Dave Faulkner to find out how the business has stayed on top for more than a decade.

One company’s experience of making virtual meeting technology really work

Struggling with virtual meetings and the challenges they present? Hear how one company has managed these issues and pivoted to make the most of working online.

One company changed its short- and long-term planning to survive and discovered new opportunities

The coronavirus pandemic threw the short- and long-term plans of most companies up in the air. Here’s how one turned the crisis into an opportunity to transform its planning.

How to foster staff loyalty in a constantly shifting job market

With the working life dramatically upended by the coronavirus pandemic and the war for talent hotting up, more employees than ever are looking to make a move. Here’s how SME …

What happens when your business plan runs off course?

A business plan is crucial to long-term success. Yet unexpected events can throw things off track. Here's what to do when things start going wrong.

Creating a community helped us tackle hospitality’s notorious turnover problem

Few challenges in business are more disruptive than high staff turnover. We spoke to one business leader who has taken action to retain staff.

Make employee mental health and wellbeing a key component of your strategy

The positive impact of strong mental health and wellbeing initiatives is well documented, yet many leaders wait too long to implement a clear strategy in their organisation.

How to effectively use the Kickstart Scheme to boost your company’s skills and people power

The government’s Kickstart Scheme can provide useful extra skills and staffing, but only if you know how to approach it correctly.

Reengineering cash flow helped engineering firm bridge income periods

Evaluating the way it handled invoices meant a North West of England-based engineering business could bridge income periods, even out seasonality and achieve next day payment.

How a bakery’s pandemic response drove its longer-term evolution

While most businesses had to adapt when coronavirus hit, for one particular bakery it opened the door to a new way of operating and changed its future strategy.

Do you know the difference between asynchronous and synchronous workplace communication?

The speed of doing business and remote working have meant that companies are increasingly relying on non-real-time communication. But does this mean businesses might be missing out on the benefits …

How six businesses are deciding what future office spaces should look like

With mandated home working forcing many companies into a unique situation, find out how business leaders are using factors such as employee sentiment and data to shape decisions around the …

Ariel Motor Company’s artisanal approach creates legendary cars

Ariel Motor Company’s cars have appeared on Top Gear and outperformed Ferraris and Lamborghinis. We joined founder Simon Saunders to go behind the scenes.

David and Goliath: Ariel Motor Company has succeeded by staying small

Creating world-beating products as a small business isn’t easy. For Ariel Motor Company, an artisanal approach and uncompromising ethos has helped the team take on the industry’s heavyweights.

Westcombe Dairy – where traditional cheesemaking meets modern technology

Family business Westcombe Dairy is more than 100 years-old but its success today lies in its willingness to push past “the way things have always been done”.

Westcombe Dairy’s cheese combines tradition with technology

Westcombe Dairy makes over a hundred tonnes of cheddar each year. Watch director Tom Calver talk about automating processes, driving change and what a typical day looks like.

Creative Nature’s authentic vision takes company from debt to success

Creative Nature is committed to producing superfoods that are free from the top 14 allergens. That drive has helped turn the company from struggling with debt to a multi-million-pound turnover.