Q: “My employees constantly nip out for cigarette breaks. When added up, it’s quite an alarming amount of time away from their desks. Should I clamp down on them?”
Cobbler columnist John Timpson has a wealth of business experience. He shares his views on cost-cutting with us.
Q: A customer (who has spent a lot of money with us over the years) is giving one of my shop assistants a hard time. He makes rather personal comments about her weight. I know “the customer is always right” but should I step in?
Q: I’m about to sign a big new contract. The work is great and we could do with it right now but I’m not so sure about the person I’m dealing with. What should I do?
Hovering on the brink of retirement, John Timpson, chief executive of the eponymous chain of shoe repairers and key cutters, tries to answer the ultimate question: “Where to next?”
John Timpson, boss of high-street cobbler and key-cutting chain Timpson, shares ten tips to being a successful CEO.
Q: My star divisional managing director has been caught having a fling with my financial director’s wife just weeks before completing the biggest deal of his life, which could make our company a fortune. My FD says his colleague should be fired (he says it is either him or me). What should I do?
Q: Innovation and collaboration are cited as two of the key features of the post-recession economy. How do you encourage innovation in your business? Do you have a director of innovation?
Q: Is there a role for "all-staff" emails from the chairman? I am considering a weekly internal communication to my 480 staff, but want it to make the right impression and not appear like a tablet of stone from on high?
Q: How can a business make a powerful impact on customers this year, encouraging them through the doors?
Q: Do you set yourself new goals, objectives or resolutions each year?
Q: Good selection of senior people is critical but I have had some failures in recent times using head-hunters. I no longer have confidence in assessment tests, candidates’ CVs, nor references from previous employers. I have more confidence in assessing people over a meal or during a round of golf (which I think is a good test of character). Am I the problem?