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MEANS BUSINESS Succession Planning

could your business survive without you?

Social Media Guilt... the new malady

“It’s elf and safety mate” do you really need it?

Networking helps businesses succeed says FSB award winner

FREE Advert Offer see back cover


MEANS BUSINESS WELCOME Welcome to this special business edition of The Vine Magazine. I hope you will come and visit us at our stand at the LB Connect Business fair 2013 but if we don’t see you I am sure you will find this special edition packed full of useful articles and contacts. For those of you who are not familiar with The Vine Magazine, it is a full colour, A5, bimonthly magazine delivered to local villages and selected areas of towns in this area. You can see our full distribution map on page 15. The Vine Magazine offers affordable advertising to get local businesses more local customers and it works.

Leighton Buzzard’s business community has led to this year’s event being the biggest yet. Thank you, Osborne Morris & Morgan, Clark Howes and Reisswolf. Andrena Editor:Andrena CardenWhite Advertising & Editorial, The Vine Magazine 0797 155 4604

@thevinelb thevinemagazine

In this edition we have features from the LB Connect Business Fair 2013 sponsors, solicitors, Osborne Morris & Morgan about the benefits of networking and accountants, Clark Howes on Succession Planning for your business plus much more. As a member of LB Connect I attended the Leighton Buzzard Business Fair 2012, it proved to be a great event and demonstrated what a thriving business community we have. I am proud to have been involved in the planning and organisation of this year’s fair and I am sure that attendees and exhibitors alike will find it as beneficial. In my capactiy as a member of LB Connect networking group I would like to thank our sponsors whose enthusiams and support for

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the content of advertising and articles is published in this magazine are accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept and hereby disclaim any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors. Neither do they reflect the opinion of this publication. The Vine does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission.

Dor-2-Dor (Aylesbury) has been trading since November 2010, and is part of the Dor-2Dor (UK) network that has been established over 25 years and has over 30 offices nationwide. Ralph and Elaine who manage the local office, based in Leighton Buzzard, have a wealth of experience in both public and private sector organisations, and have combined their customer service and secretarial skills to deliver an effective and efficient business service to many local businesses. Dor-2-Dor (Aylesbury) provides a highly reliable leaflet distribution system to businesses and has many regular clients for who we carry our regular campaigns to help them market their business. Successful marketing campaigns, full and targeted, which have generated sales for regular clients including Quarters Estate Agents, Dragon Inn Restaurant, M and M Properties, Perfect Timing, WEA Berkhamsted, and most recently Turkish Delight and Restore-a-Drive, which continue to help build our profile in the business community. Dor-2-Dor (Aylesbury) does not only undertake distribution in Leighton Buzzard, but Dunstable, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes too and aim to tailor a clients’ distribution to meet their budget, micro-door drops are welcome (minimum of 500 properties upwards can be tagged onto a campaign). Small home run businesses market too, and not being VAT registered is also welcomed by micro/smaller businesses. We use only reliable, adult deliverers who are trained and supported in our monitored delivery system, and who provide a visible presence wherever they deliver. Dor-2-Dor (Aylesbury) does not only deliver leaflets, but also offer print and delivery packages for A5 and A6 leaflets. By liaising with the client to establish their requirements, and processing the order through to distribution, leaves the client to concentrate on their business and not the marketing. With our business covering an area reaching over 185,000 properties, we feel there is so much potential to help prospective clients market their business throughout our distribution areas too, and not just locally. Pubs/Restaurants – if you are looking to fill those tables for Christmas – please contact us. December will be too late !  0843 289 1953 / 07955 200240 

Could your business survive without you? As accountants and business advisers we get to know our clients very well. We often find that our clients are too focused on ‘today’ to give serious thought to the future, and in particular to a future in which they will not play a part. Have you considered what would happen to your family and to your business if you became seriously ill, or were killed or incapacitated in an accident?

personal ‘disaster’ plan is that the key people need to know in advance what will be expected of them, and be comfortable with it. Once you have a clear idea of how you see matters developing, talk it through with the family members, colleagues and advisers who will have a role. Some people may feel unable to take a formal role – others may show hidden strengths. Lasting power of attorney

It is possible to take out life assurance, and insurance against loss of earnings but as a business owner, you have responsibilities to staff, and customers too. Insurance can cover the immediate financial loss, but only some form of succession plan can create a structure to pass the management and control of your business into one or more safe pairs of hands.

One thing many people still overlook in planning for a crisis is that while they will have appointed executors who can step in immediately to manage their affairs if they are killed, in cases where they are only ill or injured no-one is empowered to act for them. A lasting power of attorney formalises the situation, so that in the event that you are unable to manage your affairs, someone you trust can take over until you recover, or are well enough to resume control.

Taking over the reins


If you are the sole owner of a business, you may wish to think about bringing family members into the management team. If family members are not suitable, consider ways to ensure that key staff members can be retained and empowered to run the business, securing their own futures as well as those of your family. If the business cannot survive without you, are there steps m you can take to maximise any value insthe .co e wor an business, which can provide capital haoco-owner, k r income in the future? If you are cla the same basic points arise, though you @ o inf of the co-owners’ will have the advantage | m interest inco . continuing a successful business sabsence. e in your w

We also regularly deal with clients who are yet to make out a will and have nothing in place should the unthinkable happen. Local law firm Osborne Morris & Morgan have a wealth of expertise in this area and can 534 what can often be an guide you through 7 8 emotional 25 8 process.


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None of us knows what is around the corner so making sure you have a plan can make all the difference as well as provide peace of mind that your business and family are protected for every eventuality. Anna Weston Clark Howes Group 4 753




Making a will

An essential element in a business or

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52 | 01

Evolve your business with Clark Howes Group... more than your ‘typical’ accountants. | | 01525 887534

"The Vine is a great local magazine. It is really cost effective and we regularly have new members telling us they saw our advert in the magazine. There is also a strong editorial content which means that readers will read the magazine cover to cover meaning that your advert will be seen wherever it is located. We will continue to advertise on a regular basis as it is so cost effective with the new members generated from each edition." Simon Miles, Club Owner, Energie Fitness for Women Fenny Stratford Since I have been advertising in the vine business has improved as more people are coming to see our conservatories at the Leighton Buzzard Garden Centre. Peter Pascan Cladwinds Ltd "I have advertised in The Vine for the last several issues and the response has been amazing. It's one of the few free publications that we actually look through at home so we assumed others do the same – and this is clearly the case. More importantly, the advertising rates make it possible for us to run ads over a long period, rather than just a one-off." Cheers Andrena…Mark, Beans on Toast I run a canine behaviour and training business locally and I can honestly say that The Vine has been a major contributor to the business I have received over the past year, the publication is professional and the contacts are proficient and friendly – all in all a very good magazine, excellent for advertising and keeping small businesses running. Vicky Lawes ACFBA MGoDT Canine Behaviour Practitioner and Trainer, LawesPaws

Testimonials for The Vine Magazine

Andrena. Advertising in The Vine has been one of the most cost effective ways of promoting our business , and would recommend any new or established business to use the The Vine to reach a larger and more discerning audience. Congratulations on your First Year and wish you well for the future. Regards John Rollo MD. Unicorn Windows Ltd. “I always know when The Vine is going out because the calls start coming in”. Lee Hutt - Plumber

"I would like to say that I received an excellent service from Andrena at The Vine, we are a new business and on receiving a copy of The Vine made enquiries as to the process of advertising. Andrena talked me through all the options and we made our decision on choice of advertisement, we did not have any artwork available for her to use, Andrena said that would not be a problem and she would design it for us and send us a proof. We received a fantastic advert back and immediately placed our order, we have received numerous enquiries from this advertisement. The whole process was extremely professional, high standard and hassle free. I would have no hesitation in recommending The Vine and most definitely deal with Andrena she was absolutely marvellous. One extremely happy customer :-)" Angela Lynch, J&M Plasterers

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“It's elf & safety mate”

The Health and Safety Executive has shown that good health and safety can improve your profits by:

Increased Productivty

Improvement in health and safety can lead to better productivity due to increased staff morale and reduction in lost time.


The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has recently launched a “myth busting” campaign and on its website have listed a number of cases where health and safety have been used as preposterous excuses for some mad decisions, you can even follow #bustedmyth on Twitter. Take the case of the woman at a racecourse who had her parasol confiscated on the grounds it could be used as a weapon, despite the fact that many race-goers carry umbrellas on rainy days. Or the department store which refused to provide a knife to cut a baguette in half because all the knives had been removed from the restaurant for health and safety reasons. The HSE has found on many occasions that health and safety is being touted around as an easy excuse for poor customer service.

Poor health and safety can damage your reputation leading to loss of business.


Poor health and safety increases claims against you and therefore increases your premiums.

Uninsured Costs

There are a large number of costs that cannot be claimed from your insurance and therefore come straight off your bottom line. These include: sick pay, investigation time, loss of productivity, possible court costs, legal fees and fines. We are all affected by the Health & Safety regulations and the duties as well as penalities that are imposed, not only on the business but on the management and directors personally. The most effective health and safety is when it becomes an integrated part of the business with a culture of ownership and selfmanagement. Apart from good health and safety advice/guidance it is important that your staff play their part in the process. To do this they need the knowledge and tools to tackle the issues they are responsible for.

Who can help?

When looking for health and safety training always look at the qualifications and experience of the So who needs “elf and safety”? people who are delivering the training - they are Well no one is the simple answer but as business owners we need to do our best to prevent accidents the people who will be talking to your staff, not from happening and ensure we are not endangering the salesman with the glossy brochure. When our employees’ or the public's health, not to mention looking for a consultant make sure they are on the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register. our own. The register is supported by HSE, IOSH, RoSPA, British Safety Council and other major safety and health Why bother? organisations Well putting aside the moral point for a moment it

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Tim Woolford of local Law firm Osborne Morris & Morgan shares what he believes makes a successful business. As lead sponsor of this year’s LB Connect Business Fair, local law firm Osborne Morris & Morgan is proud to be supporters of local businesses. The Vine asked the firm’s Managing Partner, Tim Woolford, to shares his views on what he believes makes a successful business. So Tim, why did your firm decide to become lead sponsors of the Business Fair? We attended the fair as exhibitors last year and were really impressed with the number and diversity of so many local businesses that were there. Leighton Buzzard is a relatively small commercial environment, but it was clear on that evening that we have a thriving business community to be proud of. This year we wanted to pledge our support to the event and there was no better way to show this than to become lead sponsor.

...we have a thriving business community to be proud of. What do you think about networking? Meeting other local businesses is key to the success of any organisation. We much prefer to use local suppliers and have met a lot of our contacts whilst networking. We have been able to build up relationships with them even before we come to using their services. At Osborne Morris & Morgan we make a concerted effort to make sure that staff at all levels of the firm attend local events; this gives people the opportunity to get to know us well. Tell us about your own networking event, “The Leighton Buzzard Business Briefing”. This group was borne from two of our

solicitors meeting and realising a shared vision with local accountants, Clark Howes. Although we attend other groups, sometimes it is important to take the initiative and just try out an idea. The group is approaching its 1 year anniversary and has really grown into a well-known event. We try our best to make the events informal and interesting and to create an environment where local business men and women can talk openly about any issues affecting their ability to trade successfully. It also helps that we have a fantastic venue to host these meetings at Mentmore Golf and Country Club. You have recently won an array of awards at the FSB Bedfordshire Awards; what FSB Bedfordshire Awards advice would you give to other local businesses? Yes, winning the Best Overall Business of the year in Bedfordshire really has been the icing on the cake! I would say that it is very ...listen to what your important to colleagues or teams be open to have to say - and to let ideas and to listen to what them flourish your colleauges or teams have to say - and to let them flourish. I am priveleged to work with so many talented and exceptional people at Osborne Morris & Morgan. I try hard to help them clutivate and maintain high standards and to have personal pride in the legal services that we provide. We also try to have some fun at the same time! A happy team makes for a happy business and that is when you achieve great customer service and great results for your clients. Osborne Morris & Morgan www.ommlaw.comuk

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and Fit Employees Make You Money Healthy The most important asset in your company is people. As business owners and managers, it is important that your staff bring the best of themselves to work every day. It is proven that a fit and healthy employee is more productive and able to work faster as they are able to work more effectively due to higher levels of concentration and can think more clearly than someone unfit or ill

Six Reasons Why Fit and Healthy Employees Make You Money 1.

REDUCED ABSENTEEISM – Healthy and fit people are

less likely to get sick resulting in less absenteeism. If people are exercising, eating well and in good physical shape, they are more likely to resist the office bugs when they strike. A healthy immune system can ward off the germs be�er than a sluggish system. 2. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY – Healthy and fit employees are more productive as they have more energy. A benefit of regular exercise enables employees to be more focussed and allows them to concentrate for longer periods of time resulting in greater levels of productivity. 3. INCREASED CONFIDENCE – Healthy and fit employees have more confidence and therefore inspire confidence in others. Healthy and fit employees feel empowered as they achieve fitness challenges. Others then respond to their physical successes. 4. LESS STRESS AND BETTER MENTAL ATTITUDES – It is proven that regular exercise releases the physical and emotional tensions that we experience in life. A healthy and fit employee is more likely to have lower overall stress levels than an employee that doesn’t engage in regular exercise. With less stress comes more mental balance, which results in a positive a�itude in the workplace. 5. GREATER TEAM BUILDING – Team sports often require people to work together. Employees that learn team building skills on the sporting field can transfer these skills to the workplace. 6. GREATER GOAL SETTING – A healthy and fit person often needs to be disciplined with their time management which requires a great amount of goal se�ing. Learning to stay true to your goals and see them through to completion is a skill that is naturally brought into the workplace. CELEBRATE HEALTH AND FITNESS LTD. provides personal and corporate training programmes for everyone. Contact Roy Haynes for more information roy.haynes@ 07817 616935

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You don’t have the budget for ongoing marketing services and other marketing activities. You are too busy working “in” your business to make a plan for your business. Call me now on 0797 155 4604 for a no obligation chat about what I can do to help you get the customers you want.

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Are you sufffering from Social Media Guilt? Build relationships by connecting with the people,

suppliers and customers you already know. Share and comment on things that they are posting and use your social media for real communication. Don’t think of it as a place to make sales, this is the place to build awareness and rapport with your customers and demonstrate your knowledge of your industry by sharing worthwhile and useful information.

Not sure which way to turn? Worried you are not keeping up? Not on the right site saying the right thing? You are not alone. There is a lot of social media guilt being peddled at the moment; you have only just set up your business, you proudly printed your business cards with your new website and everyone starts to ask about your Facebook page, whether you are on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and You Tube. You need to be out there, but where exactly? As a small business you may be wondering which way to turn next and what to do for the best so remaining focused on one easy plan can keep it stress free. Never forget you are a business and ultimately what you want is to sell your services or products; everything you do should be with this in mind. Do this by keeping it simple. Know who you customers are and which social media sites are they likely to use. Concentrate on just doing these sites and do it properly. For instance if you have a product that appeals to women and homeowners, Facebook works really well. If you have a product that photographs well and is slightly more expensive Pinterest has a more affluent and higher ratio of women users. Once you know where you are going to be posting, begin to use social media to raise awareness about your business, build relationships, trust and drive traffic to your website.

Whilst you can use social media for your sales message, keep it subtle and proceed with caution as your audience will not like it if they feel they are being sold to. Use posts to direct people to your blog, website or facebook page where they can find out more about what you do. Try mixing the posts up including special offers and deals occasionally. So how do I make sales if not directly through social media? Social media needs to form a layer of an entire marketing strategy, which should include your website, networking, PR, direct mailing, leaflets and advertising, depending on what your budget will allow. No one thing alone is likely to get your business to where you want it to be. Advertising, your website, leaflets and direct mailing are the places to put a direct sales message supported by the other layers of your strategy . Don't be shy, solve your customers problem, Dont be shy tell them the benefits of using you and create a compelling call to action There are many tools out there to help you schedule and plan your social media such as Hootsuite, Tweet Deck and Buffer. If you really don’t know what you are doing or simply don’t think you have the time for social media there are professionals that can do this for you, usually at a very affordable price. To talk to someone about creating a marketing strategy plan for your small business call Andrena Carden-White on 0797 155 4604



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