Visit, www.itsbusiness.co.uk ÂŁ3.95 Issue 1
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!"#$%& Charlotte Page *-$.&/#.0( Harriet Wheeler Larissa Hirst
1.2$,&.( Emma Curran
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Suzie Toogood Kelly Woolford Rose Bud Shamim Williamson
3#4()2-")5"/#6. Rosie Kennedy Kyra O’Reilly
+9%8( Samantha Merritt
7.(#8-) Charlotte Page Harriet Wheeler Larissa Hirst Emma Curran Suzie Toogood Kelly Woolford Rose Bud Samantha Merritt Shamim Williamson Rosie Kennedy Kyra O’Reilly
!"#$%&'() !"##"$ !"#$% &'$()*$$% +,$% -,')./*0% "/($% 1*,23% 4/*% 5,6,7()*% .89*2$% *9*21"/()6% ,% 18')6% &'$()*$$% 5()0% )**0$:% ("% $/8+$% *;,5<-*$% 8=% $'..*$$% $"82(*$>% (0*,$% ,)0% ()"*2*$"()6% =*,"'2*$%"8%.,<"(9,"*%"/*%5()03% !"#$%&''()%*+",%(-.+"+/0%+/12345"+2/%123%'+6(74+/)()%(/"3(83(/(93$%5/)%:9$+/($$%4209'$;% !"#$%?'$()*$$%<289(0*$%,%$"(5'-,"()6%2*,0>%.89*2()6%,$<*."$%"/,"%+(--%/*-<%18'%6,()%,% )((8(3%9/)(3$"5/)+/0%5/)%6/2*'()0(%123%",(%*23')%21%:9$+/($$<% The cover story feature this week is on Sir Alan Sugar, he is someone all entrepreneurs and small business owners look up to and aspire to be, seeking to emulate his success. He is an inspiration duly to the fact that he has risen from working on a market stall to now being the 59th richest man in the United Kingdom. Have a read to gain a greater understanding for this field of work and pick up some inspiring tips and ideas to help benefit you in your own business. Other exciting things to watch out for in this issue are the top five gadgets, giving information on new technology and the latest gadgets to find which ones are best suited to you. Repetitive Strain Injury affects many of us working in any industry, so read our feature which explains exactly what it is and how you can cure it. Everything in It’s Business will give you an insight into a number of different aspects and are tailored to the needs of all small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Charlotte Page, Editor in Chief, I’ts Business
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*QQV! %'0(1.*2132+'4" E@=NT);;;)3%4)1#/.)+,(#-.(()+,B( :T=:E;;;)UD2$)62-)B%,)C,B)P&%L)(%L.)(L299) +,(#-.((.(
-,.(/*..$%0'",10$%0* !"#$%#&#''()*$"+'$"(,$-.'(*#''#'$"+%/0$1(*&#$(,2'$-#3(**(*3$(*$ 45567$,"#$#&)*)89$"+'$',%.33:#/$,)$3#,$-+&;$)*$(,'$<##,$+3+(*0$ =)>#?#%7$,"#%#$+%#$')8#$>+9'$9).$&+*$"#:@$@%),#&,$9).%$'8+::$ -.'(*#''$<%)8$3)(*3$-.',0 Cut down your spending The first thing you will need to do is sit down and make a list of all your income and expenses. The key is to cut down or completely eliminate any unnecessary spending, so make a list in order of priorities, making sure that important loans and mortgages are top priority to be paid. Be creative and think of ways to save money or increase sales. You could have motion sensors installed that are linked to the lights, which would save your money on your electricity bill. Ask for customer feedback; after all, they are the only thing that matter. Keep hold of your best employees The recession is a particularly dangerous time for your staff, as other companies will be looking to poach your employees. Give your best employees bonus programmes tied to performance, because if they make you more money you can afford to give them more money. That way if a rival company offers them a job for more money, they are more likely to stay at your company. Be aggressive with your advertising A recession is the most important time to be marketing yourself; many companies slash their spending on advertising in the hope of saving money but this is a mistake that will lead them straight to bankruptcy. Go back and see what has been successful for you in the past, sticking to what you know will make you feel more comfortable and may even bring some old customers back. Make sure you are advertising yourself effectively online; look at improving your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and install a hit-counter on your website which will tell you not only how many hits you are getting but also where they are coming from. This will help you make sure you are aiming your marketing at the right demographic and make sure your advertising is standing out from the crowd. It is important to stay on the current trends and listen to your customers’ demands, and remember that in times of recession they won’t be making large purchases so sell small.
Learn from other companies’ mistakes Look at the small businesses around you and what they are doing. If they close down make sure you know why and ensure you don’t go down the same road. For example, in 2008, loans were given at a higher rate and the appropriate credit checks were not made. This meant that people with a low credit rating secured loans they couldn’t afford to pay back and many filed for bankruptcy, losing lots of money for even experienced firms like Lehman Bros. It’s all about the cash! Cash flow is extremely important – liquidity is the factor that will determine whether a business will survive. Ensure you have plenty of cash to pay urgent bills etc and never get behind on payments! If you follow these tips, market your brand successfully, take care of your clients and learn from other companies’ mistakes and your business will survive the recession.
Take care of your clients Your competitors will be frantically lowering their prices in an attempt to attract new custom, but don’t fall into this trap. If you spend money on effective advertising, and reward loyal clients with schemes such as loyalty cards or vouchers, you won’t need to lower your prices meaning you won’t lose out on money. A recession will give you plenty of spare time in which you should reassess yours and your staff ’s skill levels. Re-training staff will ensure your customers get an experience they will value. Finally, keep stock levels up, as customers are attracted to high stock levels. They may be tricked into thinking you have something new and interesting to see, so use display techniques that create ‘the full effect’.
!"#$%&## !"#$$%&$ !"#$%&'%()*#'%+)%'+,-+&$.%/)0-%10'&$#''2%$)%*,++#-%")3%1&.%)-%'*,442%/)0% 3,$+%+)%5$)3%#6#-/+"&$.%+"#-#%&'%+)%5$)37%8-)*%*,-5#+&$.%'+-,+#./%+)% /)0-%+,-.#+%,09&#$(#%+"#-#%,-#%,%4)+%):%,96&(#%/)0%(,$%.#+%:-)*%+"#%3#17 When is comes to starting your business, no matter how big or small, you want to know everything there is to know. From marketing strategy to your target audience there is a lot of advice you can get from the web. Starting your own small business can be a scary and daunting task. Luckily there are people on hand who are able to help you on your way to making it a success. Here at It’s Business we have scoured the net to try and find the most useful blogs for you. In the 21st Century world, blogging has become second nature to a lot of people. So it is no surprise that businessmen and women are now offering their own experiences and advice to those just starting out. If you are just starting out and creating your own small business from scratch then you have already done the hard part. Most bloggers we found say the hardest part is being able to get an idea and go with it, but once you have this idea your small business can grow. It’s Business scanned the web and found a small selection of what we deemed the best blogs out there. Most of these not only give you great advice but they also tell you what to expect and what is going to go wrong. Jim Connolly has worked in marketing for 25 years and has had his own successful marketing business since
1995. He specialises in helping small businesses to make more sales and boost their profits, through common sense marketing. Jim is best known for his work with small businesses, in the past he has also worked with people from some of the best-known companies in the World. Companies included in his long list
A>%+-/%+)%"#4B%#'+,14&'"#9% '*,44%10'&$#''#'%3")%",6#% 9#(&9#9%+)%1-&$.%&$%')*#% B-):#''&)$,4%*,-5#+&$.%1/% ')*#)$#%%%+"#/%+-0'+7C of clientele include: The BBC, Disney, Mitsubishi and many more. People who come to Jim for help range from entrepreneurs to start-up businesses. “I try to help established small businesses who have decided it’s time to bring in some professional marketing help they can trust.” Jim Connolly’s website is perfect for those of you whose main aim is the client. He focuses heavily on working with the client and creating a relationship. As yours will be a small business he offers advice that is crucial for you to know and understand. Interested? http://jimsmarketingblog.com/
Another blog, which is essential for a small business, is ‘SmallBizPod.’ Simon Lawrence is the founder and CEO of Information Arts. This is one of the UK’s leading business-to-business marketing consultancies that was set up in 2000. With over 17 years experience within the business world Simon is heavily regarded as one of the leading experts in business-to-business marketing to other businesses. This is someone who is great for giving out some of the best advice, for free! Perfect for small businesses, ‘SmallBizPod offers you podcasts, blogs, news and community sites for your small business and entrepreneurs. First thought up in 2005, Alex Bellinger founded this website after the realization that there were no business blogs out there. Alex has also set up his own small business so he knows first hand the trials and tribulations that come with this overwhelming task. ‘SmallBizPod’ is also a start up business so he is in exactly the same boat as all you starting your own. Alex has also tried to take things to a whole new level by creating audio resources to, so getting the right advice is even easier. Some of the blogs of interest, ‘Top data mistakes small businesses make and how to avoid them’ where Simon Lawrence explains why
data is the most valuable asset a business can ever have. Want to read more? http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk/blog/ Our last pick of blogs took us to ‘growthbusiness.co.uk.’ This is a great but it is for when you have your small business up and running and are now able to take it to another level.
‘GrowthBusiness’ is an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs and leaders of those fast-growth enterprises. With lots of practical information, inspirations and insights for those on course for a successful business. This blog page is perfect for those with a fast-growing business and how you can deal with it moving too fast. It is also great for you to maximise your own business potential and overcome anything that gets in you and your businesses way. Editor Nick Britton is one of their best bloggers. Blogging about business in politics which will become extremely useful to those creating a their own small business on a budget. This is a blog to watch as it is the only one that keeps you updated on politicians spending cuts etc that could potentially cut into your own business. With a lot of bloggers like Simon Daniel writing about ‘sustainable energy’ and Paul Luen on ‘crafting a killer strategy’ you will all the advice you will ever need. Find out more http://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/ All these blogs are out there to help you and your small business run smoothly, of course there are a lot more out there. However, here at ‘It’s Business’ we have definitely found the best suited to you. Remember to read bloggers as often they have been through what you are now embarking on. “GrowthBusiness” is great for when you feel out of depth that your business is rapidly growing to fast for you to keep up. Jim Connolly and Alex Bellinger are there to help you from the start. By Samantha Merritt
!""#$%&'(")$*'+,'-./-0$1"$'.$#1"$ '-#"&&'2"-+"$3"1'-4$#1"$-"5$6-4$ 78+/9'-2$./+'6&$-"#5/),0$!"# $%&&"'(#)(*+"&(,:$;6#+1$/7#$ <6+"3//,0$=/7$16("$+/98"#'#'/-: We Connect Students is a fairly new company and was launched on the 4th March 2011. The owner and mastermind behind the network is 20-year-old Oliver Dickinson. In June, the young entrepreneur has plans of expanding to America and Canada. When we first hear about Oliver’s business, we are instantly intrigued. His social networking website, We Connect Students, acts as a “professional networking system, connecting students with mentors, employers and fellow students.” This new social network is to help students connect with others at their own university and ultimately across the world. This allows prospective university students all around the country to get in touch with others before they even arrive on campus. Giving them the chance to discuss accommodation, courses and to make strong friendships. It will also give students the chance to network with employers and create links out in the industry that they aspire to work in. University students will be able to upload their CV to the website for a small fee and We Connect Students will network
with employers who are looking for job vacancies to be filled. Students will even be able to search for placements and work experience. This allows many people to make a start in the workplace, to get themselves noticed early on. It does sound familiar with the story of Facebook, as founder, Mark Zuckerberg
initially just wanted to develop a way students at Harvard could connect and interact with each other. Could this mean Oliver will follow in Facebook’s success and be destined for bigger things? Oliver, 20, started his business with a desire to “revolutionise the social networking market” and establish a
website specifically targeted at students. “Being a student I am fully aware of the markets needs and potentials, this is a gap in the market that I realised almost two years ago.” There seems to be many options out there for prospective businesses and the entrepreneur feels that it is essential to do something that you are passionate about. “I spent months planning and devising a strategy to ensure success,” he explained, “being a successful entrepreneur is all about leading the way and taking calculated risks.” Oliver, a second year international business student at University of Plymouth just about juggles university life and having a new and upcoming business. He expresses how vital balance is and explains that it isn’t always simple, “I’m lucky if I’m away from my desk and in bed before 4am.” The student has taken charge of the company without the help of a business partner. “One of the main reasons I became an entrepreneur was to carve my own path and to maintain control of my company.” So why did the student decide to go to
www.sxc.hu and picturres from Oliver Dickinson
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seriously as a teenage business-person so one has to be very careful about their image and the way they come across.” With two potentially successful businesses under his belt, I think Oliver has nothing to worry about. So what makes a business successful? “You have to be able to know when you have done
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university and not work full time with We Connect Students? “Getting a degree can really help you establish you,” he said, “not just through the things we learn but from the people we meet, connect and network with.” Oliver’s course has been very supportive, especially his lecturers who have been very keen to help and have been of great assistance in starting We Connect Students. Oliver voices that “no course can teach nor help you prepare as well as the ‘real world’ does.” This is not the first business for the entrepreneur. Before attending university he ran a successful leaflet distribution company, Fluid Advertising in Norwich, where he originates from. At the age of 17, Oliver managed all aspects of the business. He was in charge of advertising and pitching for new contracts, hiring and managing distribution teams, arranging the design and printing of leaflets as well as looking after the website in order to attract new clients. This first company has enabled him to fund the development of his latest venture. Building a company from scratch comes with highs and lows and Oliver has certainly felt the strain. The entrepreneur explains one of the most difficult obstacles was his age. “It can be difficult to be taken
something wrong, admitting defeat is the best prevention of ultimate failure,” he explained, “having a sound idea from the beginning is vital.” A statement that the student has always believed in is: “Don’t always listen to your market research, because not everybody
is going to be as forward thinking as you are,” he added, “That’s what being an entrepreneur is all about.” Overall, Oliver has been very successful with both companies. We Connect Students is growing rapidly and with plans expanding to North America and Canada, it shows that the student has a keen eye and great knowledge for business. He describes being an entrepreneur as a “lonely mission”, however he feels lucky to have the support of his girlfriend, Melissa Bradley. “It is imperative to have somebody that you can bounce ideas back and forth,” he said, “to cast fresh eyes over an idea or development and to offer support when the pressure mounts.” Oliver’s future plans include to have “fully revolutionised the student university experience” and “want to be able to give something back to the community by the way of mentoring aspiring entrepreneur’s.” He expressed that with rising course fees that “it is more important than ever before for students to make the absolute most of their time studying.” For more information, visit WeConnectStudents.com and email Oliver at Oliver@weconnectstudents. com.
Sarah Mcvitte is becoming one of the country’s top female entrepreneurs. Quitting her high flying city job to set up a question and answer SMS service based in the UK, known as Texperts. This mobile search service proves that you do not have to be a business veteran to be an internet entrepreneur.
was working at a high paid job at Pfizer’s after getting her business degree from Warwick University. However, career driven Letizla set up a money making business with her mother Anna Venturi. Venturi’s Kitchen is the UK’s only dedicated corporate cookery centre, custom built to provide fun cookery experiences for groups of business professionals.
founded Toptable in 2000 for restaurant owners to advertise their venues and book customers directly. This online restaurant booker covers the UK as well as major cities in Europe and New York City. Toptable sat over 1.5 million customers in 2006 when it completed its first full year.
is just 24 and originally studied a journalism degree; she found her true calling as another entrepreneur who spans the media and technology industries. She founded Newspepper.com, which provides internet video and social media news reporting for clients, and Techfluff.TV, which provides tech news in a lightweight, jargon free format.
Picture Credits:italiansecrets.co.uk, www.timesonline.co.uk, www.computerweekly.com, www.xcel.uk.net, thelondondailynews.com, www.thisisplymouth.co.uk.
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started off as a fashion editor at women’s wear daily, later moving to Tatler. Founding Net-a-porter. com in 2000, which is an online boutique based in London that sells serious brands to cash-rich, time-poor fashionistas. Natalie found a perfect niche in the cut throat world of fashion with Neta-porter providing slick service and a website that mixes editorial with clothes for sales..
Wilfred Emmanuel Jones
describes himself as ‘a poor boy, done good’ launching a range of Gluten free food including 100% British meat. The brand The Black Farmer was born in 2004. Wilfred not only created this range of food products but he is also a prospective conservative party candidate for the Chippenham constituency.
is the 24-year-old Founder & CEO of Enternships.com. Enternships provides ambitious and dynamic students and graduates with an opportunity to learn about business and enterprise through work placements in entrepreneurial and innovative environments, from start-ups to global venture funds around the world. Enternships was pioneered in association with Oxford Entrepreneurs, a student-run society at Oxford University that encourages and supports student entrepreneurship and is one of the largest in Europe.
is a digital media entrepreneur notable for his early adoption of social media as a marketing vehicle, such as his owned and operated site FilmOn. FilmOn is a video on demand website which is an extension to his 111pix distribution venture that makes video content available through several delivering methods.
is a 22-year-old serial web entrepreneur and Co-Founder/ CEO of Playfire.com, which is the fast growing social network for gamers. Playfire is a social gaming networking website targeted towards gamers. It was founded in 2007 and currently has more than 245,000 users and more than 40,000 game titles on every conceivable gaming platform.
is a self-made retailer who has an unmatched eye for a bargain. Nicknamed ‘Plymouth’s very own deluxe Del Boy’ and with nearly 40 stores to his name now, Dawson has branched out, adding a waste-management business to his portfolio, which also includes online sales, a shop fitting company, insurance, a low-cost energy service and property interests in the south of France. He opened his first The Range store in 1988 and has not looked back since. The Range is a British home retail chain for a range of home, garden and leisure things. There are 49 stores across the United Kingdom.
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!"#$%&'(()* +,($The latest Blackberry smart phone, the 9800 Torch, comes complete with a 5mp camera; the best a blackberry has to offer, with touch screen and QUERTY keypad combined. It’s features include blackberry messenger, still allowing you to stay in touch with friends for free. You can download many applications for free and have the opportunity to purchase many more, including Facebook chat pro and Blackberry travel. Get your hotmail emails forwarded straight through to your phone, along with Facebook notifications. Use the already installed applications including word, sheet and slideshow to go, to keep you busy while you’re commuting. Available from £399 from the Carphone Warehouse with contract tariffs starting
from £25 per month.
Why it is different than all of the rest? It’s super fast scanning ability trumps any previous competitors and allows you to get to where you need faster than ever. As with most updated gadgets, it’s sleeker than most others and easier to handle. It’s 4.3 inches wide and therefore still easy to read from and fast to set up. It’s additional features also include hands-free calling and improved graphics, giving you greater visibility. Available from around £220 from Halfords.
Photos from: apple.com,carphonewarehouse.com,halfords.com
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A faultless device brought to us by Apple; none other than the MacBook.We recommend the Apple MacBook pro 250GB. Explore the wide range of design applications on offer from Photoshop to Quark, giving you access to many programmes you can’t always appreciate on a regular laptop. With a battery life of 10 hours, you can spend less time charging and more time appreciating wireless. With extraordinary graphics and a 13.3 inch display, you can watch and download with a difference. Available from £999 from apple.com
Everyone’s heard of the iPad but has Apple introduced the next best thing alongside it; wireless printing? It seems apple has thought of everything with the new Airprint. This new wireless technology is compatible with many new HP printers, allowing you to print your documents faster and easier. It’s quick and easy to do because the hassle of using a load of cables and installation discs is no longer there. Unbelievably, it really is completely wireless; all enabled through Wi-Fi, Simply install the software update enabeling Airprint to your iPad and start printing.
Apple iPad 2
It’s understood by all that the iPad is a magnificent piece of compact technology, but now we are introduced to the iPad 2, and why is it different? As with most updated devices, we expect a lighter, less clumpy piece of equipment- check. We expect more features- check, plus we expect improvements that may have faulted the last one- check. The iPad 2 is a sleeker and daintier design with the apple website naming it ‘33% thinner and 15% lighter’. Available in 16,32 and 64 GB, it’s claiming to be 9 times faster than the first and now with two cameras instead of one, Apple really has stepped up its’ game. Available from 25th March 2011 and prices starting from £399 from apple.com
!"#$%&'()%&*+ !"#$%&'()&(*%+,()-.(/"0"1.%+2(3-4%&"44(/#."".(5"#+-."46(+,%4(%44-"6(*"( 5)7-4()&(80#&(9-'#.:(;)*($%$(+,%4(<#&(#7,%"="(,%4(4+#+-4(#4(>?+,(.%7,"4+( <#&(%&(+,"(@&%+"$(A%&'$)<B(;)*($%$(,"(4"7-."(,%4(C0#7"(#4(+,"(4+#.(#4( D,"(8CC."&+%7"B 12(E)4%"(F%+)& he was not the child born with a silver spoon as you may have imagined. In fact, the very opposite, he grew up on a council estate in Hackney, East London. His first pay cheque was generated himself by selling car aerials and electrical goods out of a van he went on to purchase with his hard earned savings of £100. Sugar founded his first company in 1968; electronics company Amstrad, the name being an acronym of his initials – Alan Michael Sugar Trading. The company produced innovative electrical goods such as the famous 8-bit computer machine, the Amstrad CPC 464. However also produced products such as injection moulding plastics for hi-fi turntable covers. Amstrad secured Sugar’s place in the business world as it was listed on the London Stock Exchange and during the 1980s doubled its profit and market value every year. At its peak, Amstrad achieved a stock market value of £1.2 billion. Although suffering some hardships in the 1990s, facing some serious competition in the form of Nintendo and Seagate, Amstrad remained a success and was bought out by BSkyB for £125m in 2007. “I can tell you where every screw, nut and bolt is in my company. I know everything [in my business]. Never, ever, underestimate me.” Sugar is involved in a number of other company’s and often works closely
It started with humble beginnings,
NNN(P$432%$' with his two sons, Daniel and Simon Sugar. Amsair Executive Aviation was founded in 1993 and is run by Sugar’s son Daniel. The title is also an acronym of his initials and the basic principle of the business is to offer business and executive jet charters. Sugar founded this company, as he is a qualified pilot with 30 years experience as well as a business entrepreneur. He owns a Cirrus SR20 four seat aircraft based at Staplefield Airport, which is used in his Amsair business. Another business venture owned by Sugar and controlled by his son Daniel is Amsprop which bought the IBM South Bank building from private investors for £115 million. Sugar is also owner and Chairman of Viglen Ltd, an IT services provider catering primarily to the education and public sector as well as Chairman of Amscreen, a company run by Simon Sugar, his eldest son. Amscreen specialises in selling advertising space based around screens that they provide to schools and bars. With so many business ventures going on, it is a surprise that Alan has time for anything else. Yet somehow he still found time to become the Chairman of Tottenham Hotspur FC in 1991. His role within the football club was somewhat controversial and he was often discriminated for thinking too much about the money the club owned and could potentially make, in effect treating Tottenham as purely a business venture. Previous ‘Footballer of the Year’ Jurgen Klinsmann complained; “He only ever talks about money. He never talks about the game. I would say there is a big question mark over whether Sugar’s heart is in the club and in football. The big question is what he likes more, the business or the football?” In 2001, Sugar decided to sell his majority stake of 27% of the club for £22 million. In 2007, he sold his remaining shares for £25 million ending his 16 year association with the club. He
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described his time at Tottenham as “a waste of my life”. “Football is about the only business in the world where it’s embarrassing to make money. Sorry. What can I say, but I touch things and people say they turn to gold. Sorry. It’s a natural instinct. Sorry. I had to apologise that the club actually started to make a profit. Sorry. We should have been doing our bollocks like everyone else. Sorry” Whether his ventures received a positive or negative reaction, it is undeniable that they all made a serious amount of money. This is what led to Sugar becoming the star of BBC reality show The Apprentice. For those of you that have been hiding under a rock for the past five years, The Apprentice is a reality television series in which a group of aspiring young businessmen and women compete for the chance to win a
£100,000-a-year job as an apprentice Alan Sugar. Alan Sugar has now been knighted and is widely recognised and referred to as Lord Sugar. He holds two honourary Doctorates of Science degrees awarded by City and Brunel University and is worth a massive £730 million. Do you have what it takes to be the next Alan Sugar?
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Picture Credits. Picture Credits. Picture Credits. Picture Credits
!"#$%& !"#"$%$%&"' ($)*%+' %+,-).' %(' *' /0110+' #)023"1' 40)' 1*+.' 50)6")(' %+' $7"' 89:' ;*/%+<' *' /*)"")' 4-33'04'#*%+'*+='#)"((-)"'%$'%('%1#0)$*+$'$0'#-$' .0-)' 7"*3$7' 2"40)"' .0-)' ="*=3%+"(:' >*$/7' $7"' #)023"1'4*($'*+='$70("'?0+=*.'10)+%+<('1*.' +0$'2"'*('#*%+4-3'*('.0-'$7".'/0-3='2"@ With office hours increasing and the pressures in the work place on a dramatic rise, is it any wonder why those files piling up on your office desk are becoming a real pain in the neck? Reparative strain injury (RSI), also known as work-related upper limb disorder (WRULD), is an unfortunate and painful condition, which is caused by repetitive movement and the overuse of nerves, muscles and tendons. This condition, that leaves many workers in regular pain and discomfort, is mainly caused by bad posture in the work place. With office chairs often designed to support those sitting in them, yet with only few regularly adjusting chairs and computer screens to provide the perfect position, means that workers are putting their posture at a regular high risk. Many of us will suffer with RSI at one stage in our career; whether working in an office, driving long distances or for those of us who carry out hard manual work. A whopping one in 50 workers are reported to live and work with this condition and with the number of cases rising every year, it is now time that we learn how to prevent this problem. Two types of RSI are diagnosed on a regular basis; the first type is when the doctor can diagnose a condition from symptoms such as swelling and inflammation of the muscles and tendons.
This condition is usually diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome. The second condition is classed as type two and this is when the doctor cannot diagnose anything from the conditions, this tends to be the case when individuals do not have any obvious conditions, just the feeling of pain. Rachel Hall, from West Sussex, works as an admin assistant for a charity in London, she suffers with regular back pain and strain to her neck. “A large chunk of my day is sorting through files and organising everyone’s paper work; which means I am constantly working on a computer and sorting through large filing cabinets.” “Rachel’s pain began after only three months of working in her new job, “I started getting sharp pain running all up my back when I leant over to retrieve some information for someone, this pain gradually got worse until I felt as though I was constantly in pain. “My neck would hurt every time I looked down at my keyboard and then back at the screen and I began to feel extremely miserable going into work every day.” Rachel isn’t alone. Most suffers feel that RSI almost disables you from completing daily duties at work. With 11 medical conditions relating to RIS this means that many workers can have problems from a joint near their knee to their wrist or
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fingers. Dr Constable specialises in the treatment of RSI in West Sussex and tells us how many workers often leave their condition until it is too late to prevent, ““Many repetitive strain injuries, or work-related upper limb disorders, often develop over a long period of time rather than suddenly. “Most employers will carry out a risk- assessment when you first join their company. They will analyse your working area and make sure that everything is adjusted so that your posture will not be compromised when in the work place. “Employers have a legal duty to prevent any work related injuries from becoming worse, but it is also important that you look at your lifestyle outside the work place. Hobbies and general stress levels may contribute to your RSI and it is important that you make a note to yourself when your pain becomes worse so you can cut out what it is that is
aggravating the condition.“ When you work a long day and come home feeling not only exhausted but in pain from head to toe, it may make you reconsider whether you’re in the right job or not. But this condition should not be able to control your working life. Writer’s cramp is commonly seen in the work place. It is part of a family of disorders known as Dystonia and it can cause muscle spasms in the hand and arms and often occurs from the overuse of both the hand and arms. Matt Burros, 28, works in East London as a graphic designer: “Every day I am working with graphic pads and computer systems, but more importantly the basic pad and pen. I began to notice a few years ago my little finger would twitch after a long week of working and unfortunately this gradually got worse until my whole hand was in regular pain. “It is an important part of my job to use a pen, from the creative parts of my job to boring paper work. I began to try and
use my left hand every now and then and wear a wrist support on my right hand but with standards only increasing in the work place this became unrealistic and in the end I had to learn to try and work through the pain.” When you are diagnosed with RSI or WRULD, it is often likely that your GP will look at trying to work out what is causing your problem and what you can do to prevent the problem from getting worse. It is important that you tell your employer that you have RSI and then arrangements can be made in the work place to improve your symptoms. Taking a course of antiinflammatory painkillers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can often relief any painful conditions for a short period of time. If it is your back that is causing you a lot of problems then by using a heated or cool pack on the back can often sooth the pain and relax any tense muscles, and prevent muscle spasms. If your condition becomes worse and spreads to other parts of the body physiotherapy may be an important step to take. Diana Martin has worked as a physiotherapist for more than 10 years and works with RSI suffers on a daily basis. “It is important to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture even if you have a relatively mild case of RSI.” Diana told us. “By strengthening the muscles you will relax any tension around the body from the feet all the way to pain in the neck. RSI is a condition that will get worse over time so it is important that you learn to prevent the condition before it develops into something a lot more damaging.” Repetitive strain injury is a condition that can take control of your work life and make even the simplest of activities painful and backbreaking. By being aware of your posture and taking the right measures to protect yourself from developing this condition, may save you a lot of pain and money in your future career. Photographs: SXC.hu
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Simply B’s interior
The ladies run Simply B, a homely, feminine shop offering beautiful giftware and accessories. Primarily stocking unusual jewellery and clothes, the shop is in the heart of the New Forest, set in the grounds of the Sammy Miller Motor Museum. “We have never really argued, ever,” says Elaine, aged fifty-six. “At first I think it was strange for Beryl because she began the business alone and then had to get used to my input in buying in stock, opinions on layouts and so on.” Beryl admits that at first it was hard getting used to having her best
friend has her colleague, but loves every minute of it now: “When someone buys half your business, you do worry you will lose control. But I have known Elaine for years, and we have such different personalities and tastes we balance each other out.” Age sixty-four, Beryl was a branch manager of the Oakhaven hospice charity shop in New Milton. After retiring from her post Beryl would keep herself occupied with crafts and artwork, mainly cushion making and knitting scarves. “I began by selling a few bits and pieces to friends for presents, and after
encouragement I went and started setting up stalls in vintage markets and craft fairs,” Beryl explains. After demand for the products went sky high Beryl thought about starting up a permanent shop, and with her experience in retail it wasn’t long before her business plan was in motion and she found an available leasehold in 2005. Simply B is bursting with personal touches by both women: “I wanted a shop that could be a haven for women who come with their families to the motor museum”, Beryl says.
Picture Credits: Larissa Hirst
...$%,&-01+-2( The Sammy Miller Motor Musuem isn’t exactly feminine, but Simply B is situated right alongside a pretty tearooms, and fits in with the cottagey appeal the New Forest offers. Elaine and Beryl go way back, they met at a local Weightwatchers club in the 1990s and became firm friends. After socializing for many years Elaine decided Beryl needed a break on her new venture at Simply B: “Beryl was working seven days a week in the shop, and in the evenings she would be doing paperwork and stock taking. “I started to help out every so often as a sales assistant. It can get surprisingly busy in the summer months, and it gave me a bit of a hobby and Beryl some time to herself.” Elaine invested into the shop in late 2009 and is now co owner with Beryl. The ladies admit that owning a business is
Simply B’s regular clientele consist of mainly older women who are ladies of leisure, and have the resources to invest in the higher end pieces. Elaine says: “ We started off with simple gifts and aimed towards the tourists coming in to the museum. However, once we got established we realized many customers kept coming back, and we tapped into what they indulged in.” The shop carries Italian handbag maker’s Smith and Canova’s creations, all real leather, as well the cheaper Claudia Canova option which is non leather. The Gabby jewellery the shop sells is highly sought in the region after it was stocked in the exclusive Chewton Glen hotel, which is just down the road. “That’s the best thing about working with a friend,” Elaine suggests, “Through word of mouth we find out about things like what other shops are
parties are the main way the women earn from Simply B: “Being friends means we know pretty much everyone in the area and helps us sell because people pop in for a chat and end up buying pieces. The parties are where girls get together and bounce off each other’s styles, so the selling potentional is huge. Beryl and Elaine have both spotted another big client at their shop: “My daughter is getting married, and we noticed that many of our friends daughter’s were getting to the stage of proms and weddings. So we began to make part of the shop younger and more aimed at occasion wear.” Elaine continues on: “The biggest selling items at the moment are evening bags. We now buy them as sets so the girls have the option of having matching accessories like jewellery to look more classy.” The only downside the ladies
The shops selection of Smith and Canova handbags, pictured right.
tough, but they wouldn’t have it any other way: “It can be a strain to some people’s relationships, but we assign different tasks to one another so we never tread on each other’s toes” Elaine explains. Their favourite thing they do together is buying in stock, Beryl says: “We have very different tastes. I am more conservative and colourful while Elaine likes more innovative pieces. I love buying stock for the summer season because the accessories are just so bright and beautiful, and getting to play around with fashion with your best friend makes it more like fun and less like work.”
stocking, and being able to gossip about it makes it more interesting.” The boutique has also begun to offer Simply B parties, which is where Elaine goes round to clients houses and sells the products with certain discounts: “It is great fun meeting new people and entertaining whilst selling. I thrive on socializing, and getting free wine and nibbles while the girls try on clothes make it a great way to earn money”, Elaine says. The parties have been hugely successful, and are based on the model that make up companies such as Avon and Virgin Vie use. Beryl says that the
have with working together is they do find it hard thinking outside the box, as Elaine explains: “Working with someone you are so close to means that we both have to remember that we are not buying for each other. You get distracted easily working with a friend and sometimes forget the serious side of the business, particularly stocking.” Beryl continues: “We have to reign each other in, but it really does work and the shop is now a hub for our group to chat, meet and hopefully buy!”
!"#$$ !"#$%&##&# Clockwise from the top left: Helen Steel Lavendar Bird, £17.00, Spotty Dog Shop Party Charm Bracelet, £13.00, CeeCee Bags Pink Paisley Shoulder Bag, £24.50, The Soapy Cauldron Banoffee Soap Bun, £2.49, Gilly’s Handmade Cards ‘You Rock My World’, £3.25 and Munch Cushions “Springtime’, £30.00.
Images: All websites maentioned in the text, sxc.hu
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Recently there has been a boom in the craft industry, with more people than ever jumping on the bandwagon to sell their homemade goods such as jewellery, cushions, clothes, toys, you name it. You can buy so many of their crafts online now that shopping for one off, hand made items has never been so easy. The market is bursting at the seams with new products, as long as you know where to find them. The Internet offers so many craftsmen and women to sell their wares, so we thought we would fish out some gift ideas for her, or for you.
The Spotty Dog Shop www.thespottydogshop.co.uk This has the cutest jewellery and is perfect for when you want to find a loved one a beautiful gift. The ‘party’ charm bracelet to the left is adorable, and so colourful that it can be worn with anything. The prices are relatively cheap compared with big brands such as Topshop and Accessorize.
Munch Cushions. www.munchstuff.co.uk
www.gillyshandmadecards.co.uk A selection of adorable and wonderful looking cards, they wouldn’t look out of place in your local Paperchase. The shop includes everything from wedding invitations to get well soon cards.
bath bombs, moisturisers, pumices, body scrubs, bath salts, baby products, the list goes on. We particularly like the gifts section, where you can find some great deals, as well as the pretty soap cakes. The prices are cheap and they include various oils and scents to make your bath time as relaxing as possible
Collections include; Rocks, Pebbles and Beans. These particular cards have amusing phrases and collages that make scenes to go with them. Such phrases include; “I’m Nuts About You’ and ‘Just Bean Married’. All the designs are hand made and inexpensive, with most being under £4.00.
Helen Steel Designs.
We particularly like the lavender birds as they not only smell nice, but they look good too. Any of these products would be a perfect present for your mother, grandmother, or even your sister.
www.ceeceebags.co.uk A collection of handbags made from vintage and retro fabrics. Prints range from the downright garish to simple pastel florals, but all are well made and look lovely. All the bags are one of a kind due to being made form the vintage fabrics, and are also hand made. Some have bows while others have buttons; each one is never the same. These are unique and stylish, and even though they are made from the old, they are very modern and perfect for the style conscious among us.
Authentic Harris Tweed cushions come in adorable designs. This cushion maker wants to make tweed a fashionable fabric again by using the material in bright hues like oranges, pinks, reds and yellows.
Prices vary, but are between £20 - £50.
There are a number of designs, including striped, checked and characters like ‘Oscar Owl the Outlaw’. For the children All the designs are hand made to order and range from £25 to £30.
The Soapy Cauldron.
These handmade wonders certainly put Lush into shame. They have a huge range of beautiful smelling bath items, including
www.helensteeldesign.com Helen Steel is a textile designer who makes cushions, tea towels, brooches, cushion covers, purses and lavender sachets in cute designs.
There are many online shops and societies that showcase hand made goods from small businesses. Supporting them will boost our economy and ensure that more people get interested in crafting their own goods. Small businesses are becoming more common now, but they need to stay afloat. They provide us with an alternative to the money-sucking high street chains like Primark and Debenhams and allow people to work from home, doing what they love. To find more hand made goods, go to: Shophandmade.co.uk Handmadeinbritain.co.uk Notontheghighstreet.com By Kyra O’Reilly
!"#$"%&'()* !"#$%& By Suzie Toogood
12+,3+,4#/56*'#2677+,4#/806((#'2-#76,9:#;-/9#6*0#<*('# 2/=-#4*+9-#6,#('/0'+,4#/#5*(+,-((#*7#/506/9 If you’re thinking about moving abroad, or are already in the emigration process, there may have been a time when you decided to consider starting up a business in your new location. Many Brits use the opportunity of a ‘new life’ overseas to have a go at creating their own new business, and why not? Sun, sea, sand and your own choice of work is always going to look appealing. But there are many considerations when starting up a new business abroad, and they will differ greatly to doing so in the UK. There are a variety of essential pieces of knowledge that all entrepreneurs should know about working abroad, and researching further on the subject will make it just that bit easier.
Business Plans, Bank Loans and Emigration
One of the first considerations when thinking about starting up your business abroad, is how easy the emigration process will be. You want to be able to get yourself over the pond without any problems. If you are looking at basing yourself further than the European Union, you must contact the embassy and speak with them regarding your plans. Allow yourself up to 24 months for this process, as it’s not always easy to get to where you want to go. When you know that you are guaranteed entry to your chosen location, it’s time to get a business plan together. Your business plan is the key to obtaining funds for your business start up, and many banks in the UK are willing to consider a business loan for starting up abroad. Your business plan should include plenty of relevant information regarding the
local area you’re hoping to invest in. You should include facts and figures on the local economy, similar businesses, rival companies and anything else that will help the bank to make a more informed decision on a loan. When banks are considering investing money in someone who is developing a business abroad, they will see the issue of security as a critical area of whether or not to give you money. You will have to ensure the bank that you can offer security against the loan. They will also want to know if you have the option of local finance in the country you’re starting up in and how you intend to manage the business from either the UK or by moving to the new area. This may all seem very daunting, but once you get an idea of the local economy and do your research, it shouldn’t be too hard. It’s all about organisation.
Business like a local
When starting up a business abroad, there’s no doubt that local knowledge is
the key to success. The most obvious being that you need to learn the native language of the country you will now be living in. Even such simple tasks such as talking to customers, filling in forms and providing information can be impossible without understanding the local language. Obviously, the more time you spend in a country, the easier it will be to learn a language by picking it up. However, it will definitely help to take some time out and really invest some time in learning the basics at least, it will go a long way in helping you get set up, and also settled in your new location. If you’re in charge of the marketing for the company, or dealing with funds and legalities, there is simply no way in avoiding the language barrier. Everything you do, from designing your website, to placing simple adverts in shop windows will demand knowledge in the local language. Even if you move to a country where the native language
...$0-1&*2-( Even if you more to a country where the native language is is English, having a good grasp on the local lingo will play an important role in helping your business to succeed. Knowledge on local competitors, events, festivals in your chosen location will also be extremely important. Start educating yourself in why locals prefer particular products to others; this will be valuable to your business. If you begin to live like a local, it will really benefit your business in the long run.
Essentials for starting up abroad
Whether your company is to be small or a large set up, you must seek specialist advice from local advisors when looking to set up abroad. All of the major UK banks will be able to provide you with an overseas contact, and corporate lawyers will often have overseas agents who can help you with information. Research as much as you can on local laws, so you have as much knowledge on everything from employment laws right through to bankruptcy laws. Some countries have very long drawn out processes to get what may appear the smallest change to a building plan or
proposal, so make sure you’re familiar with the local laws. The ultimate goal for any business is to make money, so ensure that you have knowledge on the local currency. Set up a business bank account in the country you plan to set up in, it’s usually a good idea to set this up a month or two before you head out there, as it can take this long for it to become active. Some countries can also restrict the amount of money you take out of your new account, and if you’re planning on having your business abroad whilst living in the UK, it can be difficult to move that money into your UK account. Again, seek specialist advice on this to be sure your business is secure in regards to money.
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Putting plans to action
Once the ball is rolling, hopefully you will be nicely settled in, learning the lingo and getting in on the local trade. By following these steps, which at times are unfortunately, not always simple, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get set up abroad.