Fail to prepare, prepare to fail…

I have just got back to my desk after yet another wonderful Women in Business Lunch.  Ladies – it’s always a pleasure! I would like to say a big thank you to the brilliant Alice for all the hard work that she continues to put in to making this such a pleasant and successful networking group. Every month we hear more and more stories about how people from within the group have worked together and achieved mutual goals – so thank you Alice and well done ladies!

Today, as always was bustling with chatter and laughter. It’s a beautiful sunny day out there and you ladies decided to spend a couple of hours with us at Restaurant Tristan – of course it is a rather lovely place to be but we are still grateful that you made the effort to join us rather than swanning off for a G&T in the sun somewhere!

We had some really informative presentations from Tracey Hodgkiss and Karen MacDonald from St James’s Place, and Nighat Shai from PDT which were most useful.

Karen and Tracey gave a really great presentation which highlighted the importance of being organised when it comes to your life in paperwork.  Not only was it a witty and humorous presentation at times, but it was also moving too – a nice balance in a presentation so well done!

Without being sexist, Karen spoke about why women may benefit more when working with a female advisor.  We all know what testosterone can do and how bloody useless it can be too (at times!), but I was interested, although not surprised, to hear that fewer women seek financial advice than men do.  Although, oddly, most women are the ones that know exactly what’s what when it comes to running things!

We then heard from the other side of the tag team and Tracey told a moving personal story which I won’t go into on this blog, but it highlighted the importance of preparation should something go wrong. The only inevitability in life is death – sad but true I’m afraid.  And although it’s never a nice thing to deal with, it is possible to relieve some of the additional (and unnecessary) burdens and stresses that often accompany such events. Financial advice isn’t just about the boring things; it can also be about making things easier for your loved ones.

Karen and Tracey seem to offer sound and sensible advice whilst working in a way that us busy ladies will respond well to. I’d recommend giving them a call – even just for a cuppa!

We then heard from Nighat who is a specialist employment lawyer who makes sense of the mind boggling legal jargon and quite often scary concept of staff and employing staff – EEEK!  She gave a well-structured and informative presentation on the importance of getting our employment contracts right.  Nighat asked how many of us had reviewed our contracts of employment for our staff in the last 12 months – I for one shrunk down in my chair with a guilty look knowing that I should have done so, but haven’t yet got round to it!

Nighat is right – employment law changes all the time and it is important to protect ourselves as employers as much as we can – and complacency can big a big reason why we slip up!

Nighat provided useful information about what must be included within a contract by law, but in line with today’s common theme, prevention is better than cure. So get prepared ladies and ensure that you cover yourselves suitably and ask Nighat to provide you with some advice and support.

Until next time ladies – have fun, be successful and bring your bras to the next lunch… you know why ;-)