ISSUE 18 May/June 2017
KEEPING YOU CONNECTED
Top business apps Leading mobile apps for helping with all aspects of your business
Employment law myths
Lawyer Chloe Themistocleous dispels the top 10 employment myths
Maximise your companyâ€™s USP Find out how you can develop your own USP and why it is important to your success
Meet the manufacturer We speak to Mark Duffield, general manager of Karma Mobility
TES T E SH
TES T E SH
HD Version Now Available 170KG (26 1/2 STONE) MAX USER WEIGHT SEAR WIDTHS 20”, 22” AND 24”
S T Y L E I N N O VAT I O N C H O I C E The Flexx is a highly configurable wheelchair that looks great and is built to the durable standard you would expect from a Karma wheelchair. Adjustments can be made the wheelchair set up to provide the optimum comfort and performance for the user, these include:
* The Flexx is now crash tested.
For further details please call 0845 630 3436
A S H T ES D TE
a Backrest angle a Seat to ground height 15” to 20” a Backrest height a Seat depth a Rear wheel position a Castor angle
A S H T ES
Karma Mobility Ltd Unit 6 Target Park, Redditch, Worcestershire B98 8YN T: 0845 630 3436 E: email@example.com www.karmamobility.co.uk
to tradepoint magazine Our team
his issue of TradePoint Magazine sees us into the latter half of 2017. I hope it has been a successful six months for all of you.
Editor: Lisa Mitchell Staff Writer: Colette Carr Staff Writer: Niki Tennant Designer: Stephen Flanagan Sales: Robin Wilson Marketing Assistant: Sophie Scott Contributor: Chloe Themistocleous Contributor: Mike Glynn
Contact us Caledonia House, Evanton Drive Thornliebank Industrial Estate Glasgow G46 8JT T. 0141 465 2960 | F. 0141 258 7783 E. firstname.lastname@example.org www.tradepointmagazine.co.uk
Disclaimer TradePoint Magazine is published by 2A Publishing Limited. The views expressed in TradePoint Magazine are not necessarily the views of the editor or the publisher. Reproduction in part or in whole is strictly prohibited without the explicit written consent of the publisher. Copyright 2017 ©2A Publishing Limited. All Rights Reserved. ISSN 2056-4368.
The first six months has definitely been filled to the brim with exciting events, new innovations and fruitful partnerships. I hope that all of our subscribers had a good time at the new-look Naidex 2017 and that you are all still reaping the benefits of Naidex’s most popular show in years.
We take a look back and remember the highlights of all aspects of the show. To read more, turn to page 32. In this issue we also explore the ways you can maximise your company’s unique selling points (USPs). Our Grow Your Business feature looks at why it is important to really hone and boost something your company is known for doing well and how this will attract return customers and also help your exposure through word of mouth. Find out more on page 14. There is also a large focus on the world of technology. On page 39, TradePoint Magazine has selected some of the best apps that a business can utilise, from CEOs to part-time employees. Many businesses all over the world are using mobile apps to help with things such as analytics, accounts, networking and even timekeeping, many of which are free and easy to download on an array of devices. As always, we have a selection of all the best products from all around the industry for you to peruse as well as company profiles, columns and other interesting features. We wish all the best of luck going into the summer months and I look forward to hearing from you all about your successes for the rest of the year, just email email@example.com. See you all in July!
TradePoint Magazine, Acting Editor
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Introducing the latest innovation of portable technology to our range.
Market leader in design, finesse, comfort and quality
Unique Bariatric Design
42 STONE 9 LBS.
Launched in the USA August 2012, the Quantum 1450 is one of the most popular choices of bariatric power chairs. Offering ground breaking options along with standard features such as: • • • • •
Optional HD Power Tilt at 42 Stone 9lbs 26.5” Turning Radius Contoured and Synergy Seat Available Front Wheel Drive Heavy Duty Frame Design
32 Wedgwood Road, Bicester, Oxon, OX26 4UL | Tel: 01869 324600 | Fax: 01869 323070 Web: pride.mobility.co.uk | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org iGo and Apex Lite advert.indd4 1 Adverts_TP-MayJun17.indd
24/04/2017 15:11 11:38 02/05/2017
07 INDUSTRY NEWS All the latest from the independent living sector
13 BUSINESS BLOGS TradePoint’s top five business blogs from around the web
14 GROW YOUR BUSINESS Looking at the importance of your USP and how you can nail it
19 TOP 10 EMPLOYMENT LAW MYTHS Lawyer Chloe Themistocleous dispels the top 10 employment law myths
23 60 SECOND INTERVIEW We take a minute to talk to Sharon Saunders, Sales Manager of Jetmarine Ltd
30 MEET THE MANUFACTURER We find out more about Karma Mobility
32 NAIDEX 2017 We look back on this year’s event
The latest products to enter the marketplace
39 TOP BUSINESS APPS The top 10 business apps to help boost your productivity and success
43 STAFF RETENTION: FINDERS KEEPERS? Looking at the best ways to retain your workforce
46 HAVE YOU MADE REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS? MG Retail Consulting’s Mike Glynn talks access and adjustments
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industry news Industry collaboration slashing wheelchair waiting times
t’s been well documented over recent times that a large number of disabled people have been left frustrated as they wait up to and beyond the intended maximum 18-week referral-to-delivery period for NHS wheelchairs. Official NHS England figures covering the period between October and December 2016 show that nearly 37% of adults with high or specialist wheelchair needs (defined as ‘fully dependent on their wheelchair for all mobility needs’), are waiting more than nine weeks for delivery following their prescription decision. However, an innovative collaboration between Bartrams Healthcare and Sunrise Medical is now set to dramatically reduce these lead-times for users to just three weeks. The joint venture unites the specialist assessment and manufacturing expertise of both organisations, amalgamating their extensive knowledge together in order to get their manual and powered wheelchairs out to the clients faster than ever. With a combined 60+ years’ industry experience supplying mobility equipment throughout the healthcare sector, this new initiative is designed to provide a more responsive service, without compromising on quality and clinical standards. “We are very excited to announce this new scheme working in conjunction with Sunrise Medical, which is primed to make a big impact for wheelchair users and be a positive step forward within the provision of wheelchair services,” Comments Luke Partridge, Operations Manager at Bartrams Healthcare. Based in Brierley Hill, West Midlands, Sunrise Medical is a world leader in the development, design, manufacture and distribution of manual and powered
Bartrams Healthcare and Sunrise Medical representatives inspecting the new wheelchair servicing processes at Bartrams’ head office in Ely, Cambridgeshire.
wheelchairs, mobility scooters and mobility aids and has been committed to providing the highest level of quality service since its establishment in 1983. In addition to this collaboration, Bartrams Healthcare has also recently been inspected and accredited to the new 2015 revisions of the ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management Systems) and ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management Systems) standards. These continued certifications add to the previously awarded ISO 27001:2013 (Client and Company Data Security) standard, which
was gained in 2015. As John Cherrie, Director at Bartrams Healthcare summarises, “The opportunity to share production techniques and further develop our wheelchair servicing processes alongside Sunrise Medical has been invaluable. We are confident that this venture will provide a major benefit to wheelchair users.” For further details, please contact the wheelchair services team at Bartrams Healthcare on 01353 653 757.
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Ottobock Acquires Bionx
ttobock continues to strengthen its position as the global market leader in prosthetics with the acquisition of the company, BionX.
Ankle, Hugh Herr, is also a Professor at MIT where he directs the Center for Extreme Bionics. Herr is considered one of the world leaders in the field of high-tech research. The headquarters and production facility of BionX are located in the Boston area as well. Ottobock is moving closer to the Boston research community with the acquisition.
The US company BionX Medical Technologies Inc. produces the world’s only active prosthetic foot and ankle solution available in the market – the emPOWER Ankle. It replaces the function of the muscles and tendons with an actively driven ankle joint, and supports the user by supplying additional energy while walking. Ottobock continues to expand its portfolio of mechatronic prosthetic feet with the acquisition.
Said Dr Hugh Herr: “I am certain that this transaction constitutes an important step towards shaping the future of bionic prostheses by combining Ottobock’s proven track record of setting standards of care for amputees with BionX’s groundbreaking product and innovation capabilities.”
“Innovations are our key growth driver. Combining the know-how of Ottobock and BionX is a crucial step towards reaching goals such as the intuitive prosthetic leg more quickly,” says Professor Hans Georg Näder, President of Ottobock HealthCare GmbH. This is the second forward-looking addition to the portfolio this year following the recent acquisition of the BeBionic hand. “With the products we have acquired, both in upper limb and lower limb prosthetics, we will offer even more comprehensive fitting solutions in the future and therefore even better quality for life in the interest of our users. We are also promoting constructive networking with innovative minds at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),
and are already working on the joint further development of existing ideas with the BionX team,” Professor Hans Georg Näder says. BionX company founder and inventor of the first generation of the emPOWER
WITH THE PRODUCTS WE HAVE ACQUIRED, BOTH IN UPPER LIMB AND LOWER LIMB PROSTHETICS, WE WILL OFFER EVEN MORE COMPREHENSIVE FITTING SOLUTIONS IN THE FUTURE... Professor Hans Georg Näder, President of Ottobock HealthCare GmbH
The principle of intuitive control has already been successfully realised in upper limb prosthetics with myoelectric prostheses and the complex TMR fitting. With its active drive system, the emPOWER Ankle technology is a crucial element in the development of an equivalent for the lower limbs. Various sensors and microprocessors integrated into the prosthesis currently determine the energy, resistance and flexion in the ankle joint required for each step, reflexively adapting to the respective situation. Nerves are intended to deliver the vital impulses in the future in order to control the active component. Subsequently this development could also be used in other segments such as orthotics. Ottobock has already been the exclusive distributor of the emPOWER Ankle in the markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom since last year. Now the Duderstadt-based company is also taking over global marketing with the acquisition of BionX. Ottobock develops medical technology products and fitting concepts for people with limited mobility in the fields of Prosthetics, Orthotics, Human Mobility (wheelchairs, rehabilitation devices) and MedicalCare. For more information please visit www.ottobock.co.uk.
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industry news KINGKRAFT APPOINTS NEW sensory SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER Kingkraft has appointed Jan Wdowczyk as Sensory Sales and Marketing Manager. Jan will be responsible for developing and driving a new sensory range of products. Jan has a strong degree of sensory knowledge and experience and will be supporting Kingkraft at exhibitions and seminars across the UK. The news emerges ahead of the launch of Kingkraft’s new sub-brand website and announcements about their new partnerships. Kingkraft will also be promoting an exciting list of exhibition dates for the launch of their new brand, including an exclusive event at their HQ in Sheffield featuring product demonstrations and CPDaccredited seminars. Commenting on his appointment, Jan said: “I’m excited to be joining the specialist team at Kingkraft. I’m lucky to be working alongside some very talented industry professionals, sensory integration therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who are very passionate about their work. Kingkraft have been market-leaders in innovative bathroom equipment, adaptations and wet rooms for the past 30 years.” Jan added: “We are currently in the process of building and developing three exciting and brand-new sensory showrooms that will showcase some of our calming and stimulating sensory packages. There’s no substitute for being able to visit and experience the benefits of our sensory rooms for yourself.” Kingkraft’s Managing Director, Thomas Harrison, enthused: “We are thrilled to have Jan on-board the Kingkraft team and are excited to have him bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the company. This is a very exciting time for Kingkraft as we launch our new brand which will positively complement our existing focus on assistedliving bathroom adaptations and wet rooms. We are passionate about helping to change the lives of those with specific physical and learning disabilities, and are proud to be expanding our product-range even further.” For more information about Kingkraft, visit the website: www.kingkraft.co.uk
MARKET RESPONDS RAPIDLY TO PORTABLE RANGE ADDITIONS FROM PRIDE Pride® Mobility Products have launched the latest additions to their portable range of mobility scooters, the iGo and the Apex Lite.
re-sales have clearly demonstrated that Pride’s unique portable solutions, will encompass the very latest advances in technology and unique manufacturing that you have come to expect from Pride. Commenting on the positive success of the iGo and Apex Lite, Paul Clayton, Senior Sales Manager at Pride, said:
iGo, the Apex Lite, or to find out more about what is coming soon to Pride, please contact your Pride Area Sales Manager to book your appointment. More information about Pride Mobility products can be found at www.pride-mobility.co.uk.
“Since pre-launch, the sales and enquires we have achieved from the iGo and Apex Lite have proven to us that the market responds rapidly to new products we bring out. This is certainly the case for the Apex Lite and iGo.” Continuing to note the incredible feedback from end users and dealers during Naidex 2017, Paul said: “Whilst on the stand at Naidex the amount of interest we had from end users and dealers was a real indication of just how well the Apex Lite and iGo will sit within the market. So many people could not get over how light and versatile both products were.” Finally, Tim Murphy Senior Director of International Sales commented on additional products coming from Pride. He said: “The iGo and Apex Lite are just the start to what we are going to be bringing out. We have some new patented mobility products, which will rock the industry. I’m really excited about what we have coming through and we will certainly be visiting our dealers around the UK and demonstrating why Pride is the global market leader in innovative design and mobility.” If you would like further information on the
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The simple smartphone The new amplicomms M9500 is the first smartphone that turns into a remotely controlled device so care givers can support operation of the phone or help in an emergency. Specially designed to help older or disabled users connect to the wired world, the new amplicomms M9500 offers all the benefits of a smartphone with some exceptional features.
HELP BUTTON FOR REMOTE ACCESS
a loved one by remotely operating their phone, as if it were in their hands. Pushing the help button on the M9500 will give a choice of authorised contacts to receive an automated link via email, text or Whatsapp, enabling a screen share for complete control of the phone. Apps can be loaded, settings changed, emails constructed, etc.
CARE GIVER FUNCTION
Using the Care Giver function, selected relatives can initiate a remote ‘Call In’ and have a two-way hands-free conversation, remotely activate ‘Find My Phone’, check the battery or signal status or do a complete restart.
• HELP button for relatives to remotely access and operate the phone
For the first time, family members can support
• Loud call volume (up to 40dB)
The SOS button can be programmed to call up to five contacts with a pre-recorded voice message, followed by a text containing a Google Map link of the phone’s location. In an emergency this could be a lifesaver.
• Extra loud ringer (up to 90dB)
PRESS AND HOLD OPERATION
• SOS button on the rear calls or texts with Google Map location • Dual operating systems: Android 5.1 and amplicomms OS
• World’s highest standard of hearing aid compatibility (T4/M4) for super-clear sound • Vibration Alert for incoming calls • Five-inch touch screen • Eight megapixel rear flash camera and two megapixel front camera • Memory can be expanded: 32GB • 4G quad band for world-wide use • Dual SIM card slots • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth • Glass and Film Touch Panel supports multitouch • Battery life: approximately eight hours talk time, four hours video time, eight days standby • Dimensions: 144x73x10.6mm
The menu is displayed as large slices, with a ‘Press and Hold’ long click function to avoid accidental touching (speed adjustable) when navigating the menu, making it easier for people with dexterity issues or those not used to a touch screen.
SIMPLE TO USE The five-inch touch screen has big app icons and an XL horizontal keypad with the option of voice assistance, or message dictation facility. Messages of any type, text, emails, notifications and images etc, all arrive in the phone’s Message Centre making it less confusing. Additional features include hearing aid compatibility, amplified sound, vocalised Caller ID, double-sided camera, Dual SIM card slot, and built-in music player, FM radio, torch calendar, etc. The new amplicomms M9500 helps avoid isolation and depression. £179.99 SIM-free from: www.hearingdirect.com Tel: 0800 032 1301
TGA Mobility’s largest ever multiple scooter launch delivers show highlight at Naidex
GA, the UK’s leading mobility scooter supplier to the trade, has successfully launched the largest number of new products ever – five new scooters were unveiled on stand A59 at Naidex. Following an intriguing ‘launch countdown’ teaser campaign, TGA unveiled its five new quality scooters to dealers attending Naidex. Existing and potential TGA dealers were invited onto stand A59 to see the Minimo Plus 4, Maximo Plus, Ibex, Zest and Zest Plus – new innovations from TGA that offer high street customers more choice than ever before. To bring five new models to market simultaneously has been a challenge for TGA however it understands the importance of supporting retailers with exciting and different designs that meet evolving user needs. Compact and car boot scooters continue to be in high demand as people are looking for independence further afield whilst seeking solutions that can be stored in limited space. This resulted in TGA receiving strong orders from the trade for its compact models with particular interest in the new folding Minimo Plus 4. The latest version of the best-selling Minimo includes a new front wheel configuration for users who prefer a more traditional four-wheel scooter. With a wider front axle, the Minimo Plus 4 incorporates wheels that are further apart so stability is increased and hence more challenging terrain can be tackled with ease. This ergonomic model includes the ultra-fast folding mechanism that has provided highly popular across the UK and with carbon fibre components, it still weigh less than 10kg when lifting and levering into a car boot. The Trade Area Sales Managers were busy throughout the three days of Naidex demonstrating all five new products alongside the existing TGA range. The Maximo Plus is a new mid-sized folding scooter that is roadworthy with a higher top speed of 6mph, rear view mirror, LED lights and a horn. This spacious scooter provides both transportability
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industry news A breath of fresh Wheelair Glasgow-based start-up, Staels Design, are launching their cooling wheelchair cushion, the WheelAir®, this summer – but to get there, they first need to raise £30,000 through crowdfunding.
Staels Design was founded just over a year ago by Corien Staels, a recent University of Glasgow MSc graduate who first became aware of the cooling problems experienced by wheelchair users whilst writing her undergraduate dissertation. and the comfort of a larger scooter with active suspension and pneumatic tyres. Alongside the Maximo Plus the new streamlined 8mph Ibex was unveiled which provides a new highly versatile larger scooter. Designed for urban and rural lifestyles the Ibex includes advanced suspension developed from the motorcycle industry, adjustable orthopaedic seat and a technologically advanced tiller with USB charging socket. Completing the new line up TGA introduced the Zest and Zest Plus car boot scooters at Naidex. The Zest is a compact, well-engineered scooter that dismantles into five manageable components for strain-free lifting. Rare in the car boot class, the Zest and its larger brother, the Zest Plus, have active front and rear suspension – providing a smoother driving experience which was demonstrated on the busy TGA test drive track at Naidex. The test track gave dealers a unique opportunity to test drive all new models around a range of obstacles so a true appreciation of why TGA products are renowned for exceptional performance could be gleaned. Daniel Stone, TGA Managing Director, concluded: “The whole TGA team has worked hard to achieve our largest ever product launch and every member deserves the credit and positive response they received from dealers at Naidex. Dealers were very impressed with the quality of our new range and how these products perfectly solve specific demands that are growing on the high street. When introducing a new scooter there are always many factors to consider ranging from operational processes through to quality control, parts, technical know-how and supporting literature – we have just completed this for five new products. I would like to thank the TGA team for their commitment in making this happen so that our valued dealers can now provide solutions to a wider demographic – all with assured reliability, performance and saleability built-in.” www.tgamobility.co.uk
She discovered that many had to cool themselves in dramatic and unforgiving ways – having to strap ice packs to their bodies or spray themselves with water hoses post-exercise. Corien has therefore created the WheelAir® which is a battery-powered, ergonomically designed cushion that cools the back of the user by gently blowing air onto their backs. The Staels Design team showed final product images for the very first time to brands, retailers, athletes and wheelchair users at the recent Naidex Trade Show,
Birmingham and it was met with huge enthusiasm. One wheelchair user said: “I’m a real fan!”, making a comment on the product’s unique fan-cooling structure. Michael Kerr, double Paralympian wheelchair rugby player and former captain, said: “I can’t wait until the WheelAir® is launched. I experience a lot of problems with overheating during games and am glad there is finally going to be an effective solution to this problem without having to resort to being sprayed with water.” The company are now preparing to launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise £30,000. This campaign will pay for the tooling required to start manufacture of the WheelAir®. Corien and Michael featured on the Kaye Adams Show on BBC Scotland in April where they discussed the current lack of solutions for overheating in a wheelchair and how the WheelAir® can alleviate this. More information on the Wheelair® can be found at: www.staelsdesign.com.
From Holby City to West Cork high street Aid and Enable are delighted to announce the opening of West Cork’s largest dedicated mobility and daily living aid store. Situated in Main Street, Bantry, Co.Cork, the store stocks the latest aids from Irish and UK based suppliers. Owner and Director Sarah Boys has been working in the medical profession since qualifying as a nurse in the UK over 30 years ago. She has spent nearly 20 years selling for a range of medical companies, both in the UK and Ireland, and was most recently advising on medical and continence products to hospitals, nursing homes and retail outlets in Munster and South Leinster. Whilst working in the UK Sarah was approached for props by the BBC’s Holby City. A good working relationship developed
and, when the show expanded production, she was offered position as a medical advisor. To add authenticity to the show the medical advisors, who had both worked in hospital theatres were offered acting parts and the roles of ‘Scrubber Pat’ and ‘Scrubber Joan’ were born. “It was much easier to advise the actors playing surgeons if we were in the scene with them, and it led to my hands starring in the opening credits for years!” Whilst the work was predominantly on Holby City there were also occasional stints on Eastenders and Casualty. “It’s funny to remember rubbing shoulders with BBC stars at Elstree Studios when you’re fitting continence pads in rural West Cork!”
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Business H blogs
ere at TradePoint, we love a list, especially when collating our top tips, favourites or recommendations within the business world to bring to you. This issue, we go digital and bring to you some of our favourite places on the worldwide web to keep up-to-date with industry news, learn new and exciting ways to promote and grow business, personal blogs and general advice from one business person to another. Here are five of the best.
2. SMALL BUSINESS BRIEF Small business owners can stay in the loop with this handy website which gathers and publishes news and important information regarding the ownership of small businesses. With a daily newsletter, it reports trends in business and was a Forbes Favourite for 2010 Small Business Blogs. smallbusinessbrief.com
1. AMY PORTERFIELD
3. LINKEDIN TODAY
San Diego-based Amy Portfield is well known in American business circles for her knowledge and advisory service. This self-made business woman runs her business, website and podcast Online Marketing Made Easy. Amy crosses platforms to get her advice and point across while maintaining a valuable and enjoyable social media presence. amyporterfield.com
If you are a user of LinkedIn, LinkedIn Today is a great way to keep on top of the professional social network and see the latest happenings. Sourcing the stories best suited to you using information from yourself, what your connections have shared and your industry, LinkedIn Today curates these so you can access it all at one click of a button. linkedin.com/today
4. SMART HUSTLE Smart Hustle Magazine’s website blends industry news stories and advice pieces together seamlessly to create a flow of content streaming through its site to keep you informed. It features interviews and stories around building small businesses and has a podcast available on iTunes. smarthustle.com
5. ENTREPRENEUR Rounded and conclusive website Entrepreneur is a one stop shop for all your business blog needs. With web headings including ‘Solutions’ and ‘Inspirations’, Entrepreneur is full of advice and information, as well as providing news stories and video content to make your visit more interactive. Also keeping you up-to-date with important events and books, this site offers content produced from a number of people from psychologists to TV hosts! entrepreneur.com
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grow your business
GROW YOUR BUSINESS
Maximising your company’s USP W
hile the independent living sector is certainly a somewhat niche marketplace, it does not mean it’s a quiet one. With so many companies looking to meet the various needs of this community, it can be difficult to separate yourself from the masses and stand out from the crowd. This is where a USP comes into play. A ‘unique selling proposition’ or ‘unique selling point’, is the element of your business that shows a consumer what makes you different from or better
than the competition – in other words, it’s what makes you stand out and demand a customer’s attention and business. In the independent living sector, it can sometimes feel difficult to be 100% one-of-a-kind, but a USP (or point of difference) may be the distinction you need to not be another run of the mill manufacturer or service in a crowded market. Here are some ways you can develop your own USP and why it is important to your success.
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grow your business
BY TRYING TO BE THE BEST AT SOMETHING THAT NOBODY ELSE IS, YOU BECOME YOUR OWN COMPETITION. Avoid the superstar effect The superstar effect is commonly known in marketing circles. The superstar effect is essentially a manic race amongst many to all be the best at the same thing. While you obviously want your business to be a success, you can get caught up in the competition, focus on what your competitors are doing and lose focus. By changing the rules of your own game, you can redefine yourself as the competition. By trying to be the best at something that nobody else is, you become your own competition. This is where your USP can really come into play. By being different, you can stand apart from the competitors and consumers can quickly come to know you as ‘the place to go for…’ rather than ‘the best’. This separation from a crowded marketplace opens up new possibilities and can introduce you to new demographics. An effective USP can eliminate direct competition from rival companies.
WITH A SMALLER UNIQUENESS IS AUDIENCE, YOUR AN IMPORTANT APPEAL & INFLUENCE MARKETING STRATEGY, BUT ONLY WILL BE FELT MORE INTENSELY AND YOUR WHEN DONE WELL. REACH WILL SPREAD AT GREATER SPEED. Be unique for the right reasons
While it is your ‘unique’ selling point, make sure you don’t push the boundaries so far you become counterproductive and shoot yourself in the foot. While you are trying to maybe find and fill holes in the marketplace, a business plan along the lines of selling raincoats in the Sahara is certainly unique – but good luck making any profits from that. While that is an extreme example, it is worth remembering to ensure your business plan and USP is feasible, marketable and profitable. Uniqueness is an important marketing strategy, but only when done well. It isn’t necessarily about discovering a whole new market and creating a demand, rather than finding an existing demand for something that isn’t available. Uniqueness shouldn’t be difficult to understand either. If you try to create and define something so unique it becomes confusing you lose its effect. Clarity is key.
Narrow your target audience Uniqueness in your business needn’t just apply to your business plan or proposition, it can also be found in your target market. By narrowing your target demographic to a group who have never been specifically catered to, you can build your USP around them. Think about those looking to the independent living sector. Promotion will become far easier if you know where to find and how to appeal to your target. With a smaller audience, your appeal and influence will be felt more intensely and your reach will spread at greater speed. It may seem like you are immediately disqualifying potential customers and business, but if you try to appeal to and please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.
More USP top tips on the next page...
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grow your business
THINK ABOUT GOOD BRANDING YOU HAVE SEEN BEFORE. WHILE A LOT OF USP ADVICE REVOLVES AROUND A CLEAR, UNDERSTANDABLE AND INSTANTLY RECOGNISABLE POINT OF FOCUS AND DIFFERENCE, CAN YOU THINK OF ANY GREAT MARKETING CAMPAIGNS THAT HAVE HAD SUBTLE LEVELS OF UNIQUENESS? Branding, design and messaging Your USP can only make an impact with effective marketing of it – using branding, design and messaging. The correct name, tagline and design can bring your USP to life and pull in intended audiences if you communicate it clearly and often. It isn’t a onetime decision though and by constantly making small changes and adaptions you are keeping it fresh and constantly reinforcing your ideas. You should also emphasise your strong points in your USP – highlight any awards or nominations you may have received. Have you had any previous success that could influence someone to buy into your product or service? Have you been involved in any events or promotions that may peak your audience’s attention? This could all be added into your USP. Think about good branding you have seen before. While a lot of USP advice revolves around a clear, understandable and instantly recognisable point of focus and difference, can you think of any great marketing campaigns that have had subtle levels of uniqueness? Can you translate your USP into a simple and clever ad campaign? People do not want to be marketed to. How can you get your point across in a way that highlights your uniqueness and effectively draws in business
whilst keeping your audience onside? Another way to look at this is remembering that your audience may choose your USP for you. While you may market and pride yourselves on your exceptional personal customer service, your customer may instead come to you for your great and innovative product or service. It usually isn’t just pricing that makes a sale, but other factors. Take heed of what your consumers are saying and see how it measures up to your USP if at all. Be an amateur psychologist and understand what motivates your customers’ behaviour and buying decisions. Psychologically orientated promotion can also lead you to the answer to your USP queries. Companies use their targets’ desires rather than needs to sell; think about perfume and aftershave adverts appealing to people through images of glamour, luxury and class. Think carefully about what your consumers are really after from you. Is it guarantees, quality, customer service, innovative product, convenience or reliability? Like identifying a clearer and narrower target audience, narrowing their wants and needs down can also make branding and promotion of your USP far easier. Do you have any top tips for creating and growing your USP? Get in touch on Twitter @TradePoint_Mag.
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02/05/2017 13:58 15:12 11/04/2017
EMPLOYMENT LAW MYTHS By Chloe Themistocleous
www.tradepointmagazine.co.uk I 19
Management mistakes in the workplace can lead to costly litigation, loss of management time and negative publicity. Often, mistakes are made when management assume they know the answer to a problem or rely upon longstanding practices taken by the company that do not stand up to scrutiny. Here lawyer Chloe Themistocleous dispels the top 10 employment myths and reviews the potential consequences.
If there is no written contract between an employer and an employee, there is no contract at all
There does not need to be a written agreement for an employee to have a contract with their employer. A contractual relationship can be based on what two parties have said to one another and what they do. In the absence of a written contract, when a dispute arises an Employment Tribunal will consider what the parties say was agreed, what they actually did and any supporting evidence. Problems usually arise when the parties cannot agree on a point they had not previously discussed for example, holiday entitlement or remembering discussions differently. This may result in an Employment Tribunal, finding in favour of the employee as they will not usually find in favour of the employer who has failed to provide clear terms when they were able and obliged by law to do so. Further, failure to provide a contract of employment, can result in the Tribunal ordering the employer to pay the employee up to four weeks wages in compensation.
If employees have less than two years’ service you can dismiss them without fear of any claims
Employees who have been dismissed with less than two years’ service cannot bring claims of ordinary unfair dismissal. However, they can bring other claims such as automatic unfair dismissal (say if the reason for their dismissal was due to their whistleblowing or them taking family related leave) and discrimination. Employers should therefore take care when dismissing employees to ensure the reason for dismissal is not discriminatory or due to an automatically unfair reason. If it is, employers could face Tribunal claims for significant amounts of damages.
Employees with children have the right to work parttime or on a flexible basis
No employee has a right to work parttime or on a flexible basis, irrespective of whether they have a child. However, any employee with 26 weeks’ service can make a flexible working request for any reason at all. That said, the employer does not have to accept it and can reject the request for certain prescribed reasons such as, the burden of additional costs, the detrimental impact on the quality or performance of the business, or the inability to recruit additional staff or reorganise work. Failure to deal with requests properly, may lead to an Employment Tribunal making the employer reconsider the request and/or ordering it to pay up to eight weeks’ wages in compensation.
Employees who are pregnant or on maternity leave cannot be dismissed
No employee is immune from dismissal. Employers must not, however, dismiss employees because of their pregnancy, a pregnancy-related illness or maternity leave; such dismissals are likely to be automatically unfair and/or discriminatory and may lead to high compensation awards for loss of earnings and injury to feelings at the Tribunal. Where there are genuine concerns about a pregnant employee’s conduct or performance, they should be disciplined in the same way as any other employee but with consideration as to whether their pregnancy has affected their conduct or performance and if so, to what extent.
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An employee cannot bring a claim for unfair dismissal at the end of a fixed-term contract
The first £30,000 of any settlement payment can always be paid free of tax
By Chloe Themistocleous
At the end of a fixed-term contract, the employer must have a potentially fair reason to dismiss an employee and must follow a fair procedure in doing so. Failure to comply with this may result in an employee who has worked for the employer for two years or more claiming unfair dismissal at the Employment Tribunal.
If an employee has not signed their contract they are not bound by the terms
Even when the employee has not signed their contract, if they have not objected to the terms and continued to work and accept pay, it is likely to be held that they agree with the terms. An exception to this, are restrictive covenants (e.g. clauses preventing poaching of employees and clients on termination). Restrictive covenants are difficult to enforce if the contract is not signed and so can render them to being nothing more than a deterrent.
Payments for contractual entitlements such as unpaid wages, holiday pay and some notice pay will be taxable. By contrast, payments for compensation for loss of employment and injury to feelings, up to the value of £30,000 may not be subject to tax. Failure to pay the correct tax under settlement agreements, can lead to HMRC ordering the company to pay additional tax. If the settlement agreement does not include an indemnity clause requiring the employee to repay the additional tax to the employer, the employer will be left out of pocket.
Employers do not need to follow a procedure when dismissing an employee for gross misconduct Irrespective of the reason for dismissal, employers must always follow a fair procedure when proposing to dismiss an employee, even when potential gross misconduct is involved. As part of the investigation, things may come to light which means the employer cannot conclude the employee was guilty of gross misconduct or that mitigating factors mean dismissal is not a suitable penalty. Where a fair procedure is not followed, the dismissal will be unfair and the employer can be ordered to pay compensation to the employee, although that compensation may be reduced to represent the employee’s contribution to his dismissal.
When an employee changes jobs their continuity of service starts again
How long an employee has worked for an employer (continuous service) is important because an employee gains, with time, certain rights (e.g. the right to claim unfair dismissal). If there are no breaks in an employee’s employment continuous service carries on from one role to the next within the same organisation. When employees are transferred from one company to another under the TUPE regulations, employees also maintain continuous service from the date they were employed by the original company and not the date of the transfer.
When an employee is dismissed you only have to pay the minimum notice pay required by law
When an employee is dismissed and is not being required to work their notice, you must pay at least the minimum amount of notice required by law, (the statutory minimum is one week’s pay, before an employee has two years’ service and one week for every continuous year thereafter, capped at 12 weeks). However, if the employee’s contract stipulates a longer notice period that must be paid instead. Failure to pay the proper notice, may result in claims of wrongful dismissal for unpaid notice pay.
At the end of the day, an employer can act in any way they like. However, should they be caught breaking the law the consequences can be both severe and expensive. It’s worth noting that employers that treat their staff properly rarely give staff a reason to check their rights.
www.tradepointmagazine.co.uk I 21
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SECOND INTERVIEW We take a minute to get to know one of the leading figures within the independent living sector. This issue, we spoke to Sharon Saunders, sales manager at Jetmarine Ltd.
HOW LONG HAS JETMARINE LTD BEEN ESTABLISHED? We began 32 years ago in the marine sports boat industry manufacturing in GRP (fibreglass).
WHAT DOES YOUR JOB ROLE INVOLVE?
NAME: Sharon Saunders JOB TITLE: Sales Manager COMPANY: Jetmarine Ltd
As a leading manufacturer of access ramp solutions, I spend my time providing advice and offering ideas, suggestions and quotes to the mobility trade, NHS and councils. We also export our ramps all over the world and I spend time working with our distributors across the globe.
HOW HAS THE COMPANY GROWN?
From a small staff of five in one building, we now have 30 staff and four units. As the sports boat market struggled in the late 1980s we diversified with the help of the local council developing a range of access ramps which were strong, lightweight and perfect for use all year round.
ARE THERE ANY EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PIPELINE?
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR ROLE? Talking to dealers and having a great rapport with our customers alongside developing new ideas that become part of a range. As a family run company Jetmarine is a great place to work and your ideas and suggestions are always listened to.
We are continually creating new products and have just launched the new express range of folding platform and ramps which solves the problem when a location needs a conforming DDA compliant ramp system but it needs to be moved when not in use.
OUTSIDE OF WORK, WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL INTERESTS? I play the cello and enjoy catching up with friends with a glass of wine (not at the same time of course!)
WE ARE CONTINUALLY CREATING NEW PRODUCTS AND HAVE JUST LAUNCHED THE NEW EXPRESS RANGE OF FOLDING PLATFORM AND RAMPS www.tradepointmagazine.co.uk I 23
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Whatâ€™s NEW Every issue, TradePoint Magazine brings you the latest products to enter the independent living sector. Take a look through the following pages to find out whatâ€™s new in the marketplace.
New scooters from Invacare The stylish new Orion and Comet scooters are unique designs to Invacare that now offer additional comfort, safety and reliability. Careful consideration has been given to the seating design, driving position and overall functionality to provide products that truly offer safe and reliable scooters, combined with fresh, modern styling and aesthetic appeal for a great driving experience. Just some of the key features include a new ergonomic steering system for easier, more responsive control, an intuitive LCD display with clear icons and layout, an advanced suspension system for smooth and comfortable driving, a speed reduction function for safer driving around corners or bends, and new comfort seating. With a host of accessories and easy clip-on shrouds, these scooters are available in a wide range of new Classic and Premium colours. The new models include; Orion Metro, Orion Pro, Orion Pro Sports, Comet Pro, Comet Pro Sport, Comet Ultra. Invacare www.invacarescooter.com
www.tradepointmagazine.co.uk I 25
What’s NEW Backfriend Price: £109.99 Providing firm and shaped lumbar support, the contoured Backfriend is in two pieces and can be easily adjusted to ensure the curved backrest is always at the correct angle. Easily stored and transported with a built-in handgrip, it is ideal for those who are permanently sitting and can be used at home, in the office or even the car. Single padded (50mm/2”) is supplied in oatmeal and double padded in black. Ability Superstore 0800 255 0498 abilitysuperstore.com
Dynamo Travel Mobility Scooter Prices from £435 The Dynamo travel mobility scooter is an ideal and convenient solution to short distance trips. It is easily dismantlable and is made of five lightweight pieces to easily be stored in the back of a car and is ideal for holidays or day trips. The controls are suitable for those with arthritis and its small turning circle makes navigating busy areas easy. It also features a swivel seat, an antiroll-back mechanism, adjustable armrests and a spacious basket. CareCo 0800 111 4774 careco.co.uk
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What’s NEW Knee Walker Prices from £187.50 This sturdy dual frame with comfortable leg pad was designed for people recovering from foot surgery, breaks, sprains, amputations or foot ulcers. Manoeuvrable with dual handbrakes, this offers freedom of movement to a user and is easily folded and transported. It is easily adjusted and can be used both in and outdoors. Living Aids Direct 0800 999 6659 livingaidsdirect.com
Leg Raiser Prices from £43 This leg raiser supports those with knee or back pain, symptoms of oedema, varicose veins or fatigue. The contoured shape is designed to reduce these ailments and supports the back of the knee and heel while letting the calf relax into the cushion. Made of washable polyester, fleece and velour, it is soft to touch and luxuriously comfortable. The Unlimited Company 0808 278 0439 theunlimitedcompany.co.uk
More products on page 29...
Do you have an innovative product you think we should feature?
At TradePoint Magazine we’re always on the look out to get our readers the best products in the industry. If you think that your product fits the bill then please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org www.tradepointmagazine.co.uk I 27
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What’s NEW Waymayka Dignity Cover for Hoists Prices from £49.99 This cover allows a patient or client to maintain their modesty while being raised, keeping them covered whilst in a sling. It attaches to any hoist and is easily removable. It is water-resistant, nonfriction and easy to clean. It is recommended that it is used for only one person to keep in line with health and hygiene regulations.
Living Aids Direct | 0800 999 6659 livingaidsdirect.com
Price: £65.99 This portable and lightweight threshold ramp is ideal for most wheelchairs and scooters and fits in most doorways, thanks to its narrowness. Placed just over the doorway, the ramp can be used in a multitude of places and saves time and money from installations. Made from aluminium and with a check plate finish, it provides surface grip for ease of mind and doesn’t corrode. The ramp is available in three lengths and has a maximum user weight of 42st (272 kg). Living Aids Direct | 0800 999 6659 livingaidsdirect.com
UpEasy Seat Assist Prices from £139.95 Activating automatically as a user stands, this seat assist raises to lift up to 80% of body weight up to 16.5 stone. The hydro-pneumatic gas spring means no electricity is necessary and LeveLift technology ensures you aren’t sprung from the seat, but gently lifted upwards and not forwards. It is made with V-Foam (visco elastic memory foam) offering high levels of comfort and pressure relief. Lightweight weighing just 9 lbs, it is suited to most seats and has a built-in handy carry handle. Complete Care Shop | 0845 5194 734 completecareshop.co.uk
www.tradepointmagazine.co.uk I 29
Meet the Manufacturer
arma Medical was established by Kenny Chen in 1987 following a chance encounter during the rainy season in Taipei with a woman struggling to fit her father’s wheelchair into the boot of her car. Kenny stopped to offer his help as the wheelchair was very heavy and difficult even for a strong man to lift. Even more frustratingly for Kenny was that after all the effort of trying to squeeze in the wheelchair, it proved too large to close the boot. Kenny couldn’t forget the despair of this woman, and drawing on his background in industrial engineering and management, Kenny founded Karma Medical committing himself and his company to improving the lives and the futures of people with reduced mobility.
Over the last 30 years, Kenny has assembled a top-notch R&D team from several countries, which have created numerous innovative designs and earned over a hundred patents. More importantly, Karma’s user-centred wheelchairs, aimed at providing the best solutions for various needs, have won the hearts of customers around the EU, including in the UK, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, etc. Karma’s quality system is rooted in the notion of Total Quality Management (TQM). Grounded on TQM, they build IQC, IPQC, FQC, and QA systems in the manufacturing process. For assessment and testing, Karma built the most comprehensive CE testing system in the Asian wheelchair industry, including static stability, impact, two-drum, drop, resistance to upward forces, resistance to downward forces, salt spray testing, etc. Accruing from 20 years of manufacturing experience Karma developed two unique internal standards for ‘S-curve road tests’ and ‘Rigorous road tests’ to augment the durability testing. Karma has received ISO 9001 Certification for many years. Well known for its rigorous standards, the German TUV send consultants to audit Karma’s quality systems annually. Utilizing decades of manufacturing experiences and paying close attention to production, Karma produces each and every component by following the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the ISO 9001. Karma has always focused on providing high customer satisfaction through this quality assurance programme. ‘Listening to the voice of customers’ is ingrained in its DNA.
NAME: Mark Duffield JOB TITLE: General Manager COMPANY: Karma Mobility
HOW LONG HAS KARMA MOBILITY BEEN ESTABLISHED? Since 1999.
TELL US A BIT OF BACKGROUND ABOUT THE COMPANY... My father, Fred Duffield, approached Karma to sell their products in the UK when Newton Products decided that they no longer wanted to distribute Karma products in the UK.
AS KARMA MEDICAL IS CELEBRATING 30 YEARS THIS YEAR, HOW HAS THE COMPANY AND ITS PRODUCT RANGE EVOLVED DURING THAT TIME? Karma were one of the first companies to recognise the growing demand for lightweight wheelchairs which were mostly made from steel at that time. They are a design led company and the products they make today are almost unrecognisable from the wheelchairs they started manufacturing 30 years ago.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE
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KARMA WERE ONE OF THE FIRST COMPANIES TO RECOGNISE THE GROWING DEMAND FOR LIGHTWEIGHT WHEELCHAIRS WHICH WERE MOSTLY MADE FROM STEEL AT THAT TIME. YOUR PRODUCT RANGE TO TRADE CUSTOMERS? We have a growing range of wheelchairs to suit a wide variety of users. Karma do not make wheelchairs for anyone and the unique designs stand out in the market. They also have some of the lightest wheelchairs available which have several patented features including the comfortable ergonomic seating. We also have an extensive range of powered wheelchairs.
series of wheelchairs gives us a configurable wheelchair with a multitude of options and accessories which is something new for us. They also have a growing range of powerchairs with numerous configurations and options which will enable us to grow the business in the coming years.
HAVE YOU RECOGNISED ANY SPECIFIC TURNING POINTS IN THE BUSINESS OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS? The introduction of the Ergo Series of wheelchairs help us stand out from the crowd and the new ultralightweight models, weighing from 8.3kg, have been a great success.
WHAT MAKES KARMA STAND OUT AS A COMPANY? Unique designs, consistent manufacturing quality and great customer service.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR KARMA MOBILITY? Karma are always looking to evolve, the new Flexx
www.tradepointmagazine.co.uk I 31
section - xxx
New Naidex smashes all expectations On the 28th - 30th March 2017, Naidex returned to the NEC Birmingham for its most successful, well-received and forward-thinking edition to date - firmly re-establishing itself as the leading event for the disability and independent living sectors.
ince taking over the show in late 2016, the award winning PRYSM Media Group have poured all of their energy into reaffirming Naidex as an event the whole community can be proud of, and the results were astounding. Naidex proudly welcomed an impressive 11,523 people through its doors, for what was an unforgettable three days. From day one, the hall was electric with thousands of visitors, overflowing seminar halls and a buzz from each and every exhibitor. In the current economic climate of constant digital communication, Naidex represents the importance of 1-2-1 interaction. Although the digital landscape is constantly expanding and diversifying with more methods of advertising, platforms to communicate and sales channels than ever before, individuals are now making an effort to â€˜detoxâ€™, actively stepping away from the computer screen. In the resulting economy, Naidex presents a rare opportunity to meet in person, to share ideas, assess the competition, review the consumer and ultimately facilitate business. This is particularly relevant in the disability and independent living sectors where there is undoubtedly an emotional investment associated with products that will be used and trusted for years to come; to aid and support the daily lives of individuals and ultimately improve quality of life. Therefore it is imperative to align a business that is performing in this sector so that both wholesale buyers and end users are able to connect and buy into both the product, and moreover, the company itself.
This was evident amongst traders throughout Naidex, as exhibitors conducted interactive demonstrations across the exhibition throughout all three days. This enabled both end users and trade to experience, test and challenge the performance and prowess of hundreds of mobility products, daily living aids and next generation assistive technology, resulting in instilled trust and confidence in the brands they are investing in. Panel sessions, inspirational stories and educational insights shaped the seminar schedule which was enjoyed by visitors and exhibitors alike. These presented an opportunity for traders within the disability, independent living and healthcare professional sectors to garner the tools and vision to cultivate, expand and diversify their business. Day one saw Charles Lowe, Managing Director of the Digital Health and Care Alliance explore the ways in which technology can drastically improve process in roles throughout the healthcare sector. Digital consultants such as Kaz Laljee, Founder of SocMed social media agency and Kimberly Leary, Founder and Director of Squibble web design agency delivered valuable and highly relevant seminars which focused on cultivating a digital following and essential tips for killer web design and successful e-commerce. Day two saw Rice Mediaâ€™s Laura Hogan discuss the importance of social media and SEO. Amy Bean from Saebo delivered an unmissable seminar about innovative and evidence based patient products for neurological rehabilitation and John F Kennedy, Fellow of the Institute of
Direct and Digital Marketing, analysed brand protection, management and experience with particular attention to protecting the value of a business. The energy of day one and two rolled over into the third and final day as Peter Davies from Ropox discussed the utilisation of bathroom space, which proved to be an extremely popular
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SHOWS LIKE THIS ARE HELPING TO PUSH THE BOUNDARIES.â€? Matthew Warnes, CEO, Grandcare
organisations. Unparalleled seminar schedule aside, attention is drawn to the palpable momentum present on the Naidex trade floor. A common observation from exhibitors noted that the hall was so loaded with visitors, stands were constantly brimming with business and enquiries to the point that it was almost impossible to take a break throughout the day. Cultivating the trade focus was the Naidex Connections Service, which booked and hosted 1-2-1 business meetings. Potential clients either pre-booked through the Naidex website, or alternatively met at the event and utilised the dedicated space. By attracting the key decision makers of each sector, Naidex was able to ensure that manufacturers and distributors met in the perfect environment to forge lasting and profitable business relationships. 2017 saw the launch of the Naidex Awards. Running throughout all three days, the awards delivered the most relevant decision makers and top industry experts to the finalists stands to consider the leaders who are breaking new ground in each field. seminar with relevance to end users, healthcare professionals and traders alike. Furthermore, Kath Sutherland from START Ability Services addressed solutions to removing barriers to employment, again attracting a diverse audience of people with disabilities and long term health conditions as well as employment support advisors, business advisors and statutory
Grandcare were crowned the very deserving winners of the Naidex Healthcare Professional Award. The judges noted the incredible impact that their products would have on both carer and end user and commended them on their contribution to the sector. The Naidex Innovation Award celebrated the most innovative concept that is set to change
the market within the disability sector. A unanimous decision saw Orcam crowned the winner with their futuristic wearable assistive tech for people who are partially sighted. The Changing Lives Award commended the product, service, or initiative which has had a positive and demonstrable impact on its user. Living Safely were named as the winner for their innovative, low-cost and specialised monitoring device, Vivago. Naidex 2018 will unveil a number of groundbreaking new features that will increase attendance and further diversity and increase delegate groups. Features such as the Home, Design & Build Summit will bring together industry leaders and key decision makers in accessible architecture, leading adaptations and the most innovative hard furnishing solutions and stylish interior design for accessible living. With revolutionary seminars and pioneering suppliers, the summit will demonstrate and explore the very latest technologies, ideas and adaptations created to promote and enhance ease, comfort, style and independence. Naidex was a positively moving event which surpassed all expectations on so many levels. It stands apart in the sector as the most comprehensive and diverse event of its kind. Smashing all expectations on so many levels, the outcome this year was positively moving. Naidex is unquestionably the most imperative disability, independent living and healthcare event in the sector, and the coming year is sure to be a hugely exciting time as PRYSM continue to build and develop this phenomenal exhibition.
www.tradepointmagazine.co.uk I 33
21 YEARS OF HAND-BUILT QUALITY • UK manufacturer, established in 1996 • Curve and Horizon Straight stairlifts • Innovative adjustable ERGO chair • Award-winning reconditioned scheme • Space seat for narrow staircases • Fastest lead times in the industry for • a hand-built, custom-fit, curved rail • Outstanding customer service and aftercare
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Daily Living Aids Having a good selection of smaller products can boost sales in your store, especially when they are strategically placed. Here you’ll find a few products that could tempt your customers into spending a bit more with you.
Diabetic Wool Sock Price: £7.50 Carefully created by HJ Hall in its 135th anniversary year for people who have diabetes or poor circulation, these socks are perfect for those with sensitive feet. They are made with Merino wool which makes them comfortable and warm to wear, and have a cushioned terryloop foot for added protection in sensitive areas. They also offer the following features: non-restrictive top, fully cushioned foot and smooth toe seam. The non-restrictive top is a loose knit mesh to prevent restriction of blood flow and improve comfort for swollen ankles. They come with a six-month guarantee and are accredited by the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. HJ Hall www.hj.co.uk 01455 638818
Master Lock Pushkey £20.90 American super brand Master Lock has become the first security specialist in Europe to unveil a consumer-focused portable lock that requires no key-turn to unlock. The simple-to-use PushKey Padlock requires less than 2.5kg of pull-down force to open and is perfect for people with strength challenges. The Master Lock PushKey Padlock provides essential peace of mind for carers and relatives of elderly people or those who have arthritis. The large flat key head makes it easy to grip, a feature that is particularly beneficial for disabled and elderly people with joint pain or limited finger dexterity. Master Lock has also devised a groove system on the bottom of the padlock that acts as a key guide, aiding users with sight challenges to easily insert the key. Masterlock www.masterlock.eu Also available from Homebase and Toolbank.
www.tradepointmagazine.co.uk I 35
What’s NEW Daily Living Aids SAD Light Pad
(with Medical Approval) Prices from £39.99 With a rotational stand allowing for vertical or horizontal use at home or at work, the 10,000 lux brightness and long-lasting LED technology is clinically proven to replicate natural daylight and boost moods and wellbeing. Bought with an accompanying travel pouch. CareCo | Tel: 0800 111 4774 careco.co.uk
Long Handed Toe Nail Scissors
Ezee turn steering knob
Prices from £8.99 Suitable for those with trouble bending over or reaching, these long-handed toe nail scissors allow users to independently cut their toe nails with ease while avoiding discomfort. The moulded finger and thumb grip design provides leverage, the shank gives extra reach and the angled blade assists in cutting. CareCo Tel: 0800 111 4774 careco.co.uk
Price: £19.99 This mahogany and chrome steering wheel knob easily attaches to most steering wheels and is ideal for those with arthritis. If a driver begins to struggle to steer or control the wheel due to joint pain, a steering knob can help maintain the independence of driving. It has a ball inside for smooth and easy operation and sharp turning without readjusting hands. It facilitates easy parking and increases manoeuvrability. Ability Superstore Tel: 0800 255 0498 abilitysuperstore.com
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What’s NEW Daily Living Aids Vibrating Watch Price: £45 Ideal for those living with Parkinson’s or hearing impairments, this vibrating watch serves as a discreet reminder for medicine taking. It has 12 alarm settings both vibrating and audible and can be set to hourly or daily alerts. The alarm vibrates or sounds for around 20 seconds and can be manually stopped at any time. It also has a countdown timer function, with automatic repeat options, ideal for a reminder to take medication, for example every four hours. It is easy and clear to read, water resistant and available in black or blue. Parkinson’s UK 0808 800 0303 parkinsons.org.uk
Children’s Wheelchair Poncho Prices from £18.33 With a peaked hood and Velcro fastening, this children’s wheelchair poncho is as easy to put on and wear as it is effective. Designed to protect young wheelchair users from the rain and elements, this poncho is available in three sizes in this blue and yellow design. Ability Superstore 0800 255 0498 abilitysuperstore.com
Wheelchair Gloves Prices from £16.49
Leather and gel technology are used in these wheelchair gloves designed by wheelchair users.The durable gloves include a full-length thumb and leather palm with gel pad to ease discomforts associated with pushing your own wheelchair. The elasticated wrist allows a user to easily put them on and take them off aiding in growing independence and providing breathable comfort. Available in seven sizes and come in grey.
Ability Superstore | 0800 255 0498 abilitysuperstore.com
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Top Business A Apps ccording to recent statistics by Intuit QuickBooks, 71% of UK small business owners now rely on mobile apps to run their operations, eliminate admin and scale their business. Here at TradePoint Magazine we have collated some of the leading mobile apps for helping with all aspects of your business. ď ľ
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Top Business EVERNOTE
XPENDITURE If you’re fed up of tracking your receipts and expenses in a cumbersome spreadsheet, Xpenditure may be your knight in shining armour. By using your smartphone’s camera, this app provides a quick way to photograph receipts. It doesn’t stop there, though, because Xpenditure will automatically scan the receipt and pick out the pertinent information such as the amount, VAT, date and merchant. Time tracking and integration with accounting software such as Sage and Xero complete a compelling app for anyone needing to track expenses.
LOGMEIN LogMeIn is a remote login app that lets you access your desktop from any computer with an internet connection. You simply log into the app and your desktop appears exactly how you left it, so you can access all your documents as you would on your own PC. A lifesaver for anyone who has forgotten something for an important meeting, or urgently needs to email something.
Evernote is such a welcome addition to the world of mobile apps. On the face of it, Evernote is simply an advanced note taking app, but it is so much more than that. You can save media of all kinds (text, web pages, images, drawings, etc) to any number of notebooks within your Evernote account and sync those notes with multiple devices and the web-based client. It also has powerful team features that enable chat and collaboration when notes require input from several people.
BOX Box lets you store, organise and share your files online and across multiple devices. This is particularly useful when you’re out and about and need quick access to a document or PDF brochure, for example. Box provides a generous 10GB of storage free of charge, but also offers compelling upgrade options for businesses and individuals looking to consolidate their file storage.
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Apps TALK TO ME For those business travellers who need to put their message across but don’t speak the right language. This real-time foreignlanguage translator, Talk to Me, will do the job for you. Say something in English and the application translates and responds in one of 40 languages. You can either play back the translated message or choose to send the file via SMS or email. The app also converts text to speech.
SALESFORCE MOBILE The Salesforce app, much like the desktop software, provides access to important business data such as graphs, databases and sales figures, allowing sales staff to increase efficiency without feeling under prepared for those important customer meetings. Salesforce has cemented itself as one of the most popular apps for businesses and this is a reflection on just how useful it can be for sales teams who are regularly on the move.
HOOTSUITE ANALYTICS APP
SKYPE One of the major players of the app world, but there’s no doubt that Voice over IP (VoIP) can save businesses money, particularly on those bill-sapping overseas calls. It’s worth noting that it can only be used over a Wi-Fi network, not 3G. However, it’s still one of the best ways to cut telephone costs on the move. Even if you’re new to the concept of VoIP, you’ll find Skype clear, simple and easy to use and following the recent partnership with Facebook you can be sure that Skype is only going to get bigger.
One of the most important things for a small business with a strong online presence is keeping track of visitors to their website. Analytics App uses Google Analytics to help businesses see how many people are visiting, where they’re coming from, what they’re viewing, the length of their visit and even calculates a loyalty value for each visitor. In terms of output, it provides over 50 different ways to report the findings, which is a boon for small companies looking to get closer to their customers.
If you use social media for your business on a regular basis, HootSuite is a godsend, as it manages all your accounts in one place. It can handle multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts, LinkedIn, and even Foursquare. You or your team can use it to send messages on multiple platforms at once, or to check customer tweets and comments while you’re on the move. You can also set up alerts for when someone mentions your company in a tweet, to allow you to respond quickly.
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I need the right staff!!!!
Struggling to find the right employee? Then look no further...
Finders keepers? I
t’s no secret that when a top employee quits their job, their departure can have a detrimental effect on the business’s time efficiency, cost effectiveness and productivity. When a high-performing employee resigns, it can cost a business more than twice their salary to find and train a replacement. Not only that, but when someone leaves for pastures new, other employees take note and some will be tempted to follow suit, leaving managers with yet another recruitment headache and clients with a potentially disrupted service.
REVOLVING DOOR Employee retention is becoming a hot topic for adroit companies and organisations who are increasingly recognising the need to introduce tactics and strategies to reduce the risk of losing star performers. To ensure their business does not become a revolving door for talent, employers must consider why employees choose to leave in the first place. Not surprisingly, exit interviews have shown that the most common reason for employees deciding to quit is the lure of more pay elsewhere or a perception that the wider jobs market is ripe for greater rewards. But remuneration does not play as large a
role in facilitating staff turnover as is typically perceived. Feelings of frustration over lack of promotional opportunities, dissatisfaction with work responsibilities and work/life balance, or an excessive workload have also been cited as reasons for members of staff seeking opportunities elsewhere. So too are conflicts with supervisors, low staff morale, lack of training and development opportunities, low job satisfaction, inadequate use of an employee’s skills, lack of recognition and the absence of a career path. By taking measures to reduce employee turnover, an employer is also cutting down new hire training and recruitment costs.
By taking measures to reduce employee turnover, an employer is also cutting down new hire training and recruitment costs. www.tradepointmagazine.co.uk I 43
COSTLY BUSINESS Taking into account other expenses such as posting on jobs boards, candidate interviews, lost sales and a dip in productivity associated with low staff morale, studies have shown that replacing an employee is a costly business that can amount to as much as 200% of their annual salary. Managers often invest much of their time in employees who are struggling, leaving the talented ones neglected. Over time, this can lead to resentment as star employees start to feel overlooked and unsupported. When resources are limited, efforts to retain employees and plug a knowledge drain should be targeted at valuable, contributing employees rather than low performing workers who do not excel. By making an effort to assure high achievers that their hard work isn’t going unnoticed, bosses are less likely to see their best people jumping ship. This can mean employers can apply ‘positive turnover’ tactics whereby they aim to retain and lock in only those employees they consider to be high performers.
EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES So, what are those tactics? Effective strategies include paying employees more than the going market rate, ensuring employees know they are valued, providing more incentives, offering flexi-time and remote working opportunities and having in place a succession plan. Talented employees should be kept abreast of future career enhancement opportunities and should be given the option to take a stake in the organisation. To reduce the risk of talent trickle, companies should offer clear career development
Talented employees should be kept abreast of future career enhancement opportunities and should be given the option to take a stake in the organisation. opportunities to their employees to let them better understand their personal goals. To increase leaders’ effectiveness at work, coaching can be an effective tool for minimising disruption during times of organisational change by focusing on an individual’s strengths and prospects for improvement. Employers should bear in mind that a new recruit’s perception of their organisation is shaped during their first few days in the job and continues to be formed in the ensuing six months – a period during which the new hire will decide whether to stay or go. To instill employee loyalty, performance and engagement, understanding why a member of staff chooses to stay is
equally as important as grasping the reasons why they opt to leave. It has been shown that the relationships, introductions and bonds employees form in the workplace lead to them becoming more embroiled in their job. The risk of loosening or cutting these ties, therefore, makes them less likely to resign.
EXIT INTERVIEWS AND STAY SURVEYS Just as employers undertake exit surveys when staff depart, they should also conduct stay interviews with top performers as a litmus test to ascertain their level of regard for the company. Key to ensuring employee retention and engagement is to hire staff selectively. Attracting and recruiting top talent requires time, resources and capital, especially in a competitive marketplace where top talent is a hot commodity. Candidates should be interviewed and vetted carefully to ensure they have the right skills for the job and complement the company’s culture, management style and co-workers’ methodology and should be given realistic previews of the post of offer. Bosses will be more likely to weed out ‘job-hoppers’ if they look for evidence that a candidate is committed to growing with an organisation rather than gleaning experience and knowledge to export elsewhere. Employers should assess applicants’ life experiences such as volunteering, the length of time they spent with previous employers, and education and leadership experiences to help assess how likely they would be to stay. Considering the fact that dissatisfaction with potential career progression is among the top three reasons why employees get itchy feet, bosses can discourage people turnover by providing ample training and development and accommodating and supporting staff who wish to enhance their skills through education. Engaged employees who are satisfied in their jobs, enjoy their work, take pride in their performance and feel appreciated are five times less likely to quit than those who do not. It is the valued contribution of those loyal staff that gives companies crucial competitive advantages through higher productivity and lower employee turnover.
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Have you made reasonable adjustments? By Mike Glynn, director of MG Retail Consulting
he dictionary has three definitions for the word access: the act of approaching or entering, the condition of allowing entry especially to a building or room by wheelchairs and buggies etc. The right or privilege to approach, reach, enter or make use of something.
on the mezzanine floor but there was no wheelchair access so I had to have a selection brought to me on the ground floor”.
In the 21st century, you would think that the access for disabled people was better than it actually is but here are some real experiences.
And there are lots more that we are not aware of because the individual involved chose to laugh it off again or accepted it as normal.
Repeated stories like “the bus driver deliberately didn’t stop for me and looked me right in the eye letting me know he’d done it on purpose”. “There was a buggy in the wheelchair space but instead of asking for it to be moved, you’re left on the pavement, it made me feel like a second-class citizen, and that other people are more worthy of respect than me”. “Being told to go on to the next station stop because I needed to come back on the other side of the platform for access adding 30 minutes to my journey”. “I had to use my stick to go downstairs to the toilet whilst my friend carried my wheelchair”. “The books that I wanted to see were
“Being taken in through the kitchens because there was no wheelchair access at the venue that I had been invited to for dinner”.
For able-bodied people being able to get from a to b is expected whether it’s on a train to the city, going shopping or simply leaving the house, it’s easy to take for granted. It’s a fact, everything is designed first and foremost for those without a disability and there is a lot of work to be done for people with conditions, so they can lead their lives without an endless number of hurdles in the way. The Disability Discrimination Act was introduced in 1995 and has seen a number of amendments. Since 30th December 1996, it has been unlawful for service providers to treat disabled people less favourably for any reason related to their disability. Since October 1999, service providers have had to make reasonable adjustments for
disabled people such as providing extra help or make some changes to the way they provide their services. Since October 2004 service providers have had to make other reasonable adjustments in relation to the physical features of the premises to overcome physical barriers to access. That legislation was revised in 2005 and incorporated into the broader Equalities Act in 2010, where we were led to believe disabled people would be even more protected but this isn’t about protection this is about access. Visit Britain stated that more than one in six people in England and Wales have an activity limiting health problem or disability. British and international business from this market segment currently spends over £3billion in tourism and trips in England each year. Good evidence of ability but of all the visitors,
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Repeated stories like “the bus driver deliberately didn’t stop for me and looked me right in the eye letting me know he’d done it on purpose”.
was difficult for wheelchair users to access facilities on-site e.g. the main venue and the parking and, later in the same year, at the BHTA, the problem was with wheelchair access for guests. They had to come in through the kitchens of the hotel. In both instances one would have expected the organisers to have walked the whole premises and the whole show to ensure a good experience for visitors. Sadly this wasn’t the case. Let’s hope they get it right this year. The event organisers may have benefited from the knowledge of an access report, which would have given an indication as to the suitability of the venue.
It was assumed that the requirements of DDA would generate a good deal of business for companies supplying ramps and other access products and to some extent that has been the case. Vitalise CEO Chris Simmonds said: “If our survey is anything to go by, clearly many venues are still only paying lip service to accessibility,” Businesses that aren’t providing accessibility are clearly missing a trick, as the purple pound, which is the combined spending power of the UK’s disabled population per annum, is a huge growing market.
disabled people have the greatest need for facilities and services but only about 8% use a wheelchair with many more having another impairment. People with health conditions and impairments and spend £12billion a year on tourism in England. In contrast, hearing loss affects 10 million people everyday and it is growing. By 2031 a massive 14.5 million people in the UK will have some degree of hearing loss. People with access needs are constantly searching for new places to stay and visit. However each business should have an access statement, which can be a key marketing tool that engages with this market segment in a positive way. Discrimination directly or indirectly against disabled people costs businesses billions of pounds. In employment terms Purple Research states that just a 5% increase in the
number of disabled people in employment would boost GDP by £23bn by 2030.This imbalance and the lack of empathy with disabled needs bleeds into the way firms treat customers and clients, so businesses lose out on the ‘purple pound’ a market worth currently £212billion to the UK each year. Mostly it just means that businesses need to make a straightforward choice in the right people and the recognition and awareness of disabled persons. Until now we have discussed the problems with transport, hotels, restaurants and public houses but not the problem with shopping in mobility shops which seems rather ironic considering the products sold. Even within this industry we simply cannot get it right. Last year, the Mobility Roadshow was hosted at Silverstone Motor Racing Circuit where it
You too have a duty to enable access to all persons wherever possible. Are you fully aware of your duty under the Equality Act 2010 stating that “all service providers must carry out an audit by a suitably qualified person and act upon the recommendations”? The best way to find out what reasonable actions to take would be to arrange an access audit. Carried out correctly, it will ensure that you meet your obligations to provide suitable access. And, apart from it being ‘best practice’ to complete an audit on your own premises there are other very good reasons to do so too. Choosing not to could leave you open to a minimum fine of £1500 for injury to feelings. Against this, you might well feel that the low cost of an audit could be considered a worthwhile investment. Let’s make businesses more accessible. If you would like to know more about finding an assessor, then contact us on 01256 213020.
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