Page 1

In this edition... January / February 2016 EditorsÂż NoteĂƒ

Ă•ĂƒÂˆness Books

0: Managing Director Richard Pond introduces this new edition and the place to find out a little more about Business Connected.

:We take a look at six top business books, they say TVDDFTTGVM people read a book a week. Maybe one of these could be your next.

Lead Feature

Business Coach update

 Loop Voice & 08 & 09 Data’s Managing Director Shahram Bagherzadeh gives us an insight in to simplyfing communications.

 Business Connected Premier Partner Dave Pye of Oscar Delano takes on the question of when to sell your business in an amusing way.

0: About Us

0: Premier Partners

HR Update

H&S Update

10: This monthhs HR update looks at the very topical subject of managing sickness in the workplace over the coming winter months.

30: As an employer, you have a legal duty to protect the health and safety of your employees this Tmall business health & safety checklist can help.

LinkedIn Seminars

Networking Guide

: You wont find many businesses that will disagree that LinkedIn used right can be a fantastic business tool. Book yourself on to a seminar to get you up to speed.

If  : one of your business resolutions for 2016 is to get out more and network, then check out the Business Connected netwoSLing guide for some helpful tips and tricks.

24 & 25: Networking events

4: News around the County


Editors Note Get In Touch Tel: 01702 513113 Email: Or Visit:

Follow us on Facebook BusinessConnected

Follow us on Twitter @Connected_Essex

All rights reserved. No part of this

Welcome to the latest edition of Business Connected. I hope you had great festive break. The beginning of a new year sees many resolutions made and i hope you have made your business resolutions too. Our lead feature this month comes from Business Connected Premier Partner’s Loop Voice & data who discuss simplifying communications. We also look at 6 top tips for managing sickness absence, a review of a number of top business books, Business Connected’s guide to networking, review a small business health & safety checklist, Pure Resourcing discuss “How can Richard Pond being a ‘Best Employer’ help you to achieve business MANAGING DIRECTOR growth?” And we get an update from Superfast Essex on delivering faster business connectivity. In the centre pages you can find a list of a number Essex networking events which you maybe want to factor in to your plans for 2016. Business Connected has also chosen our charity of the year full details on page 42 where you can find more local news from some of the county’s businesses. Over the last few months Business Connected has had a big drive to get more busiebssss and individuals online via the power of social media. With this in mind we have developed a first class LinkedIn seminar which we have been delivering across Essex, we now have a number of dates of our latest seminars and full details can be found on page 32 & 33 Happy new year from everyone at Business Connected and thanks for taking the time to read our latest edition.

About us

publication may be reproduced in whole or in part in any way without prior written permission of Business Connected Ltd.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, no liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions.

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Business Connected as a brand brings together businesses across a variety of mediums from face to face networking, social media, printed media in the form of this our countywide magazine and much more. Business Connected is proud to be operating the county’s premier b2b magazine, networking events and online portal that focus on the business community of Essex. We bring local businesses together via the many platforms that we operate. Our magazine is distributed across the whole county in print and online. Our website, which receives over half a million hits a month is dedicated to up to date business news, a business directory and the number one place to find out what’s going on in Essex. You may have heard about the Business Connected Premier Partner scheme which helps businesses be seen not just in print but also online and through our fantastic social media offering. Full details on our events can be found on page 24 including details of our latest venue Business Connected @ The Olympic Park and full details of our Premier Partners can be found on pages 6 & 7 for more info on all things Business Connected please log on to or give us a call on 01702 513113.


Premier Partner Scheme The Business Connected Premier Partner scheme is designed to support companies who need to introduce a co-hesive and co-ordinated marketing strategy or a company who wishes to enhance an existing offering. We provide companies with an effective, structured solution at an affordable price. How often do you promise yourself that you’ll invest more in social media, run regular email and print campaigns but simply don’t have the time or expertise to do it? Our Premier Partner scheme could be the answer. To view our video testimonial have a look at our Premier Partner page on our website


your business category is still available then give us a call today and we can pop in for a chat and run you through the many features of becoming a Business Connected Premier Partner. 01702 513113.

 EXCLUSIVITY – We only work with one company of any type within the county.

 NETWORKING EVENTS - Many people know Business

Connected from our countywide events and we want you to be part of them. Fancy being a speaker or displaying


your banner at all our events? Being a Premier Partner of

page in every edition of our magazine. We print and

Business Connected gives you tickets and access to all of

distribute 6000 copies, email 50,000 copies as well as

our events from Ipswich to Southend and everywhere in

uploading to the Business Connected website and social







media sites.

 SOCIAL MEDIA - Yes, you may have a Twitter/Linkedin/


- Our Business Connected website gets

thousands of visitors a day, being a countywide news based

Facebook account but how about a helping hand, we can


set up and run your account, interact as a ”raving fan” or

We are offering our Premier Partners prime advertising

simply come over and give you regular training to all your

space throughout the site.


 EMAIL CAMPAIGNS - Need to get the message out to


 ACCOUNT MANAGER - Probably the most important

feature of the Partnership scheme. Our account managers

the masses? We have a number of options which we can

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tailor to suit the needs of your business. From monthly

from the many networking events we attend and run to the

newsletters, your logos and links on our email campaigns

list of leads. Our staff are introducing and passing referrals

or simply a help with data.

on a daily basis.

Current Essex Partners Radio

Apprentice Providers

Leadership and Management Training

Research & Development Tax Advice


Printers & Copiers

Outsourced FD & Cloud Accounting


Business Services


CRM and Automation


Trade Exchange


Public & Business Speaking



HRAuto & Auto Enrolment Enrolment

Business Coaching


For more information on the Business Connected Premier Partner Scheme please visit


Simplifying Communications Shahram Bagherzadeh, Managing Director of Colchester based Loop Voice & Data talks to us about his customer centric approach to untangling telecommunications technology, in a world turned upside down by the cloud. Shahram has worked relentlessly to earn Loop Voice & Data the well-deserved reputation as a business that simplifies communications. He has always put his customers first and it is this customer centric mind-set that has enabled him to deliver understandable, transparent communication solutions that truly benefit his clients. With a background in hospitality Shahram, knows how to go above and beyond to deliver exceptional service. That’s why Loop Voice & Data offers full project management, from choice to installation and training and after sales service. “It’s our job to take away headaches, and help make telecommunications choices simple.” By listening to his customersh needs and expectations, Shahram has built Loop Voice & Data’s reputation, not only for their range of solutions that help businesses stay connected, but also their ability to deliver customer service in a way that is simple to understand. “We are a very different kind of service provider, we are honest. If we are invited in to quote for an installation but we don’t think we can help you we’ll say so. Telecommunications is complex and business critical. We’ve got to get it right. So we know who we can and cannot help. Overpromising will only lead to poor customer experience.” Not all services suit every business, and not all clients are located where they have access to superfast broadband and VoIP – Loop Voice & Data has the breadth of knowledge to give expert advice. Shahram relishes the growth of technology. He comments, “Everything changes so fast in this business we love the challenge of keeping ahead of the game, so we can give our clients the best possible service.” Whether your company has 200 connections or 2000, is based on a single site or spread across the country, Loop Voice & Data covers everything from pre-sales advice and installation to training and after sales. They have specialist engineers in all major manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and highly trained engineers can provide 24/7 support. The company prides itself on excellent customer care. “We are local, right on your doorstep. When you need us, you’ll always talk to the same person and you’ll get straight through to us immediately.”


Shahram insists his team talk to multiple people in an organisation to understand what they need from their communications systems. “Not only is every business different, but what each department needs also varies greatly. When we come to your business we’ll talk to everyone. Often the receptionist, sales and accountants teams have differing needs. When you have chosen the systems we’ll provide expert trainers who will bring everyone up to speed without disrupting your business. All of our trainers have at least 10 years’ experience.”

If you are still settling for an outdated phone system because a new one isn’t in the budget, Loop Voice & Data can help you evaluate your current communications costs and determine the ROI for a new solution. You may be surprised to find that you may actually be overpaying for very basic phone system features. Modern features such as mobility, collaboration, desktop call control can often be delivered for the same amount, or even less than, what you’re paying today.

Get in touch with with Loop Voice & Data and discuss how they may help you solve your business communication challenges and perhaps even save you money. Their advice is free and they are only a phone call away. Tel: 01206 848 090 Email: Web:

Winter HR Round Up 6 Top Tips for Managing Sickness Absence The winter months often mean more staff sickness absence. Apart from the inevitable winter bugs coughs and colds, wet and windy mornings can tempt some staff to take a ‘duvet day’ when they are not actually ill. So, as a business owner Fiona Cowie or manager, how can you tell the difference between a legitimate day off sick and ‘pulling a fast one one’ and what can you do to combat this common problem? Recent research indicates that the average number of days off sick per employee per year is 6.5 so absence can have a big impact on the productivity of your business and is worth investing some time in. Here are 6 top tips for managing sickness absence in your business: • Make sure you’ve got a Sickness Absence Policy. It doesn’t have to be long but should cover the company’s approach to managing staff sickness absence. This ensures that staff know what to expect. • Train your managers and supervisors in managing absence in their teams. Research shows that sickness absence is lower in companies where managers have been given training. Smaller companies often don’t spend the short time it takes to do this. • Have ‘return to work’ meetings with staff after every sickness absence. For absences of only a few days, this could just be a quick chat.


However, employees who know that you are going to speak with them when they come back to the office after a day off sick are more likely to think twice about taking that ‘duvet day’ knowing they will have to meet and discuss their absence with you! These meetings also help to identify any underlying problems with staff and can prevent longer absences from work. • Put in place a simple process to monitor levels of sickness absence. Even with only a few employees it is easy to lose touch of just how much sickness absence is affecting your business. The cost of lost productivity through sickness absence can be significant. • If you find that an employee has an unacceptable level of sickness absence that cannot be explained, it may need to be dealt with through the company’s disciplinary procedure. Your sickness absence policy will also help to manage your employees’ expectations. As well as dealing with the specific absence issue, it shows other employees that you look unfavourably on this type of unreasonable behaviour. • You need to be aware of Disability Discrimination as some employees may become disabled as a result of sickness. There are certain obligations on employers in these circumstances which are covered in the disability discrimination provisions of the Equality Act. In summary, effective sickness absence practices help to keep a healthy and motivated workforce which goes a long way to reducing sickness absence and helps to discourage those tempting ‘duvet days’. Transparent sickness absence practices also demonstrate to your staff that you will support them through any more serious health problems, helping them to return to work as quickly as possible.

AE Wizard is an online auto enrolment solution to help you to complete all of your workplace pensions activities quickly, easily and at an affordable price! One toolkit - three easy stages Stage 1 - Get Set Planning tools for getting everything ready for workplace pensions Preparing a project plan Get your employee data in order Choose a pension plan Check your payroll capability Work our your costs Decide on postponement Plan staff communications Test your systems and processes Get your HR matters in order

We give you everything you need to know about workplace pensions and automatic enrolment in one easy online toolkit. Work your way through the 3 stages of AE Wizard to learn about what you need to do and how to do it to make sure that you meet all of your new legal obligations.

Stage 2 - Get Going Step by step instructions through all of your staging date activities Stage 3 - Keep Going Get workplace pensions integrated into your business as usual activities All your staging date actions Auto enrolling into your pension plan Managing opted-out employees Declaration of Compliance with the Pensions Regulator Managing ongoing auto enrolment Keeping records Managing re-enrolment every 3 years




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Get a team of experts for your business As a business owner you have to wear many hats. Tax, HR and legal issues can all test your knowledge and take valuable time out of your company. Join the Federation of Small Businesses and from as little as £2.50 a week, you will have unlimited access to specialist advice, exclusive products and services, and a network of support to help solve your challenges so you can achieve your business ambitions. Want to know more? Contact us today on the phone or online.




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• Local networking events

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Call 0808 1688 512† or visit

*Membership starts from £130 per annum with a £30 registration fee in the first year. This rate is applicable to businesses with no employees. Rates increase depending on your number of employees. Please see the website for full details of subscription rate bands. †Calls are normally free of charge from UK landlines but charges may apply from mobile phones. Lines open 9am-5pm weekdays, closed Bank Holidays. Registered Office: National Federation of Self Employed and Small Businesses Limited, Sir Frank Whittle Way, Blackpool Business Park, Blackpool, FY4 2FE. Registered in England No. 1263540

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CBHC’s Business Technology Seminar a Resounding Success Iskren Kulev of iZettle, an innovative card payment Recently, CBHC Chartered Accountants, New and point of sale software solution for small London road, hosted a 'Leveraging Technology to businesses, gave an excellent Drive Business Success,' event at Timber Lodge presentation on how these payment services and Cafe, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford. apps are helping businesses to gain a competitive Over 40 business owners attended the event that edge. He demonstrated how both card and cash aimed to provide expert insights and practical payments can be taken using a smartphone or guidance on the latest business technology that is tablet; how products can be added into the app enabling businesses to gain a competitive and organised in folders to speed up payments advantage and to become more responsive to the and easily track sales; and ever increasing demands how the software of a competitive About CBHC: provides the flexibility to marketplace. CBHC is one of the largesUJOEFQFOEFOUmSNTPG give customers receiptT The seminar featured accountants in the Essex and East London region via email or print. presentations from two with branches in Chelmsford and Canary Wharf. Gary White, Business recognised leaders in We pride ourselves on going above and beyond Development Director at business technology, both the traditional accountancy remit, to support our CBHC, also took to the with proven track records clients more fully with their business venture. While floor to present some of facilitating business compliance and taxation are at the heart of what really useful software success; we do, our comprehensive portfolio of integrated packages that are driving Andrew Collings from business Xero, leaders in online mOBODJBMTFSWJces help clients transform their success, including accounting software, business, ultimately improving their bottom line. Evernote; a versatile presented some of the Our commitment to personal service means we document storage platforms unique features work with clients to create a bespoke strategy, solution that not only that are enabling business support them with our broad commercial expertise, enables you to keep the owners to gain better and help them to achieve their business goals. physical and digital financial control, details of a project with including; the dashboard you at any time, but also facilitates collaboration where bank balances, invoices, bills and expense by enabling you to share information in real-time; claims can be viewed at the same time; online Market IQ; a brilliant piece of software for invoicing software that enables scheduled bill collecting business intelligence, whose reports can payments and professional recurring invoices; and be obtained by companies for free, via CBHC; and automatically tracked payments, returns and Chaser; an automated credit control system which credits that reduce manual labour and increase links in with Xero and sends email productivity.

CBHC Chartered Accountants, Carlton House, New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 0PP

reminders regarding unpaid invoices automatically so you can have confidence in your cashflow and spend less time chasing invoices. Gary White said, “At CBHC, we pride ourselves on going beyond the traditional accountancy remit to provide business owners with access to the latest innovative strategies that drive success. We believe that it is critical for today’s businesses to adapt quickly to new advances in business technology and to determine how they can utilise these innovative solutions to simplify business processes, streamline business operations, provide a better customer experience and importantly generate increased sales and growth.� The seminar provided the perfect platform for knowledge sharing and learning best practice from technology experts who are providing business owners with the tools to drive their business forward. We received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from attendees who were able to gain a good understanding of how these technologies can be implemented in their business to overcome their own real-world challenges.

Please contact Gary White at if you would like more details on any of these valuable and cost-effective solutions for business.

T: 01245 495588 E:




November saw the inaugural Green Essex Awards scheme launched across the county. Over 100 people attended the first event, destined to be a key feature of the Essex awards landscape in future years. The Green Essex Awards 2015 is designed to recognise and reward companies, organisations, community projects, education establishments and charities within the county of Essex for their efforts to reduce their carbon footprints and improve

The 2015 Green Essex awards winners receiving their winner plaques.

environmental performance. It is also designed to act as a link between business and the community who have a shared responsibility for the environment. This initiative is about creating a greener Essex through greener lives, greener business and a greener future for all.

Simon Isaac, Strategy Partner at Zero Above who founded the awards scheme said, “We’re really pleased to see so many organisations working to improve their environmental performance and we’re looking forward to launching the 2016 Green Essex Awards early next year.”

Greenest Business

Greenest Business

Greenest Business




Greenest Community Project

We were particularly impressed with the practices diverse and dedicated approach to its sustainability.

We are particularly impressed with Maypole Press’s innovations, some of which are hugely difficult to achieve.

Larger organisations have an obligation to deliver many of the environmental requirements, but we felt the University Hospitals went that bit further with their work.

A difficult category to choose a winner, however Trust Links shone through as a very worthy winner as its demonstrable growth has impacted on the environment and people considerably.

Waste Management

Greenest Product/ Innovation

Greenest Transport

Greenest School

Designs Online’s approach to being green is built around green transport with the use of an electric vehicle, not just for transport but also for its marketing!

St. Mary’s have been at the forefront of green ethics in education for many years and they are a hugely worthy winner. From recycling, to audience engagement and their tireless work with Eco schools.

E-waste from redundant computer and electronic equipment is one of the world’s biggest polluters. Great work is being done by the winner, which has grown significantly over the last decade.

A difficult category to choose a winner, but a clear front runner emerged in Aponic, with its ingenious system designed to use less water, land and harmful pesticides to grow healthy food.

Sponsored by:

Greenest Building

Greenest Water

The diocese has long held a belief that the improvement of the environment is a core part of its being. It constantly strives to improve its carbon footprint and the Vicarage eco build is testament to this with its environmental footprint.

Lubron pioneered the first reverse osmosis equipment a decade ago and they have been harnessing intelligent water technology ever since.

“The scheme is unique for the county, focused on creating a greener Essex through greener lives, greener business and a greener future.”


greener lives, greener business, greener future.

How can being a ‘Best Employer’ help you to achieve business growth? Every business, regardless of size or sector, needs talented, productive and engaged employees in order to thrive and grow. Yet national statistics show that a startling one in three employees do not feel engaged by their employer. Employers in Essex have a unique opportunity to discover the level of engagement with their employees. Lynn Walters, Director at professional recruitment consultancy Pure Resourcing Solutions, explains how Essex employers can become a ‘best employer’ with an engaged workforce. Ă˝Attracting and retaining talent is one of the top priorities for business leaders. The ability to attract good people, and to keep them engaged and committed, is one of the key elements to achieving business growth,Ă˝ says Lynn. This is backed up by research which shows businesses with an engaged workforce have 40% less staff turnover than those with lower levels of engagement, and that highly engaged employees generate 43% more revenue than the average worker. This is why employee engagement continues to be highlighted by David Cameron as such an important consideration for delivering sustainable growth across the UK. Employee engagement levels are dependent on a wide range of elements. It’s not necessarily about having the best employee benefits or providing the highest salary. It encompasses everything from the overall work environment and great leadership, through to inspiring vision and progression opportunities. This is why many employers struggle to know where to begin when it comes to understanding how engaged their employees are and what, if anything, they need to do to improve things. Through our Best Employers Eastern Region initiative, run in conjunction with eras Ltd, we are offering local organisations, of all sizes and sectors, a completely free employee survey which provides feedback on their company’s culture and values, and the impact this has on the engagement of the people who work there and the way in which they perform. It also puts the company in the running to be acknowledged as one of the region’s best employers. The survey, which would normally cost in the region of ÂŁ2,000, provides in-depth, valuable data which employers wouldn’t normally have access to.

After all, to really measure what a good employer looks like, you need to ask the people who work for the company and this survey does just that. It’s easy for employees to complete online, taking less than 15 minutes, and is completely confidential, allowing them to give honest answers so the results are an authentic reflection of the working environment. Each organisation receives a tailored report summarising the culture, values and leadership style across their organisation, and an action plan for guidance on further development. While each tailored report is completely confidential to each organisation, the survey also produces overall benchmark data. This enables employers to compare themselves against businesses across the East of England. This is particularly helpful when knowing what to focus on to retain staff, especially as the job market is so buoyant. This data is also used to identify the best employers, large and small, in each county, and region wide. These awards are a fantastic accolade which is not only a great reflection on how companies treat their staff, but a positive boost to customers, stakeholders and potential recruits. Chelmsford based Benefit Cosmetics won the prestigious accolade for being the Best Employer Eastern Region winners in both 2012 and 2014. Andrea Lansbury, Benefit’s HR Director believes the key to excellent engagement is putting staff at the core of your organisation. She shared: ýIt really is all about your people; it’s not a clichÊ, they make the difference. Whilst reward and recognition is important, the need to provide a stimulating environment and to give challenge and development is also essential.ý Essexbased Triconnex, the utility business based in Braintree, uses the survey as a way to ensure it continues to nurture the drive and passion of its team, and was crowned the best small business employer in 2014 We hope even more organisations in Essex will get involved in the 2016 survey and awards. For those interested in finding out more we are holding a launch event on 28 January at Paddocks House in Newmarket. This will enable organisations to learn more about Best Employers and how they can become involved, and to discover more about employee engagement and best practice overall. Why wouldn’t you get involved?

For more information or to register to attend the Best Employers Eastern Region launch event contact Lucy Plumb on


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Essex's No1 Entrepreneurs' Extravaganza As in any workplace situation, a proportionate approach to risk should be taken when thinking about Health & Baiju Solanki first ran the Wanna Be Entrepreneur Extravaganza in April 2014 (Essexs Safety. The HSE highlights some common No1 Entrepreneur’s Extravaganza) and the next one is scheduled for Friday 29th myths about employing young people and January 2016. those on work experience: Below we ask Baiju what motivated him to run this day and what attendees can expect from the extravaganza…

Myth: Under 18s cannot be employed

on construction sites for work or work 1. What was your motivation in launching Wanna Be An Entrepreneur? experience. Since 2007, when I left my corporate job to start my coaching and training business, I have learnt so much about mindset, starting & growing a business and networkingTruth: As long as the work is properly Risk with other business owners. I didn’t get this type of learning from my formal educa-assessed and the relevant controls are in tion, which was quite frustrating, then in December 2013 I was looking at my son’s place, there is no reason why a younger Business Studies syllabus & I was disappointed that it was all about the administraperson should not be employed on a tion and finance of a business, nothing about mindset, innovating an idea and increasing sales, all the things I was learning when I was attending seminars and building site. workshops after I left my corporate job. This then made me think, what If I could put on a event, that you normally find in Myth: Schools must carry out workplace London, with the kind of education business owners, entrepreneurs and executiveschecks before sending pupils on work get exposed to in working life, hence Wanna Be An Entrepreneur was born! experience placements and visit the 2. Is this event just for people who want to be Entrepreneurs and Business workplace in advance of every placement. Owners? Truth: There are no legal requirements for NO. This is for anyone who has asked themselves… those arranging the work experience to “Is this it? is this is what my life is about? I want to do more with my life and not sure where to start” What I have found over the last few years, is that if you think in an carry out workplace assessments or visit the entrepreneurial way, opportunities open up for people. Even if you NEVER want to be an Entrepreneur or run your own business, if premises in advance, although they should you THINK like an entrepreneur you become more employable, you create more choices for yourself and you feel better in yourself. So whether you are looking for a job, want to change your job, a start-up or a business owner, this extravaganza with start your 2016 with a BANG! on the pupil has the necessary Health & Safety risk management procedures in place. 3. So what is “Thinking like an Entrepreneur”? In most situations, a simple telephone When you start to think in an entrepreneurial way your thinking is very much cup half full, not half empty. You believe that call you have a high sense of value and you have something to offer. You work on projects that excite it doesn’t feel like work. You also shouldyou be and enough. fail a lot and your reaction to this is not...Oh no, I’ll never do that again, or I will give up now, you think, what did I learn?, what can I Myth: Employers need to carry out a do differently next time and who can I talk to give me another perspective. Thinking in an entrepreneurial way is also about surrounding yourself with like-minded people you can call upon, rainon or shine. separate riskthat assessment when taking Thinking this way, you know your limitations and you seek others with specfic skill sets to create a win win situation. You are work experience students. also not afraid to try new things that may not work the first time, you test and measure. Now imagine if you approached life in this way, you would become someone that many want to employ, even Truth:employers As long aswould an existing risk assessment though you are not excited by the idea of running your own business. considers the relevant factors for young employees, there is no need to carry out 4. So what can I expect on the day, Friday 29th January? This is an extravaganza, so this won’t be a boring business seminar. We have 8 world-class speakers, a for surprise guest, singers & assessment work experience a dancers, as well as a LIVE pitch event with the chance of winning a £5,000 Business Package.(ANYONE CAN ENTER) The students. speakers, which you can find on the website . They will be talking about how to start a business from zero, how to find a job using social media, how a 1% change in attitude have a 100% change inreason results, how to As ancan employer, if for whatever you raise finance using crowdfunding and much much more. decide that work experience students are not for you, it’s probably best not cite Health 5. So can I enter the LIVE pitch event with the chance of winning the £5,000 Business Package? Yes anyone can, if you have an idea and want to pitch LIVE in front of a panel of entrepreneurs with the chance of winning & Safety as the prohibiting factor unless the you £5,000 Business Package, that includes your own logo, your own website, business mentoring for 6 months, financial coaching, have a very genuine reason to as it is likely to marketing and social media coaching, just complete the form on the website be the case in only a very few circumstances. As well as a passion for entrepreneurship and helping people live the life they desire Baiju Solanki is a Psychologist, Speaker and Trainer on Social Media & Sales Psychology. Working with Executives, Business Owners & Entrepreneurs on their social media and sales strategy to develop more trust, increase authority and generate more leads & sales. Author of 'I’m An Entrepreneur - Get Me Out of Here', & founder of Be Entrepreneur Co.


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Essex Networking Events Our Events

Business Connected operates premium b2b networking events across the south east. We have a different event every week across

The format at every event is as follows:

a variety of quality venues. At each meeting we typically attract

7:30am open networking

between 70 and 100 delegates. Our current venues are below.

8:15am breakfast

There is no membership required just come along when you can. At all events we follow the same proven formula, we send

9:00am Speakers, and prize draws 9:15am Open networking

delegate lists out in advance, have plenty of time to network, listen to one or two short but informative talks and have a great breakfast. We always make sure there is a real focus on networking. We have some great videos of our events and have a FGFKECVGF;QW6WDGEJCPPGN5QLWUVUGCTEJHQT$WUKPGUU%QPPGEVGF and have a look for yourself. All of our venues offer free parking and excellent networking facilities. We also have dedicated LinkedIn groups for each venue, which is just for delegates who have attended each group. This allows you to network before the event with the delegate list, on the day at the meeting and afterwards on LinkedIn. For more information or to book on to one of our events please have a look at or give us a call today on 01702 513113.

Our Current Venues Business Connected

Business Connected

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@Essex Cricket Club

@Southend Airport

@Ipswich Town FC

@Colchester United

@The Olympic Park


The Best of the Rest January -DQXDU\WKSP¬¬SP Friends of Braintree Town. Location: Braintree Town FC, CM7 3RD. Cost: Free January 8th 1pm - 3pm Billericay Professionals Lunch.Location: Bar Zero, Billericay, CM12 9DZ.Cost: Free January 12th 8am - 10am Bishops Stortford Chamber of Commerce. Location: Great Hadham Golf Club, SG10 6JE.Cost: £15 January 13th 7:30am - 9:30am Colchester FSB Networking Group Location: Weston Business Centre, CO2 8JX Cost: £6.50 January 13th & 27th 7am - 8:30am EBN Basildon. Location: The Burstead Golf Club, Little Burstead, CM12 9SS Cost: Membership £225 Breakfast £10 January 15th 1pm - 3pm Chelmsford Professionals Lunch.Location: The Chop Bloc, Chelmsford, CM2 6QR. Cost: Free January 22nd 7am - 9am Friends of the City. Location: Chelmsford City FC, CM1 2EH. Cost: Free January 27th 7:30am - 9:30am Chelmsford FSB Networking Group Location: Anglian Ruskin Chelmsford Campus, CM1 1SQ Cost: £7.50 January 29th 12:30pm - 3pm Harlow Professionals Lunch. Location: Park Inn, Harlow, CM18 7BA.Cost: Free Every Thursday 7.00am - 8.45am CBBC. Location: The Secret Gardens, Chelmsford, CM1 3BL. Cost: Membership £75 Breakfast £10

February )HEUXDU\QGDP¬¬DP Friends of Braintree Town. Location: Braintree Town FC, CM7 3RD. Cost: Free February 2nd 8am - 10am Bishops Stortford Chamber of Commerce. Location: The Waterlane Bar and Restaurant, CM23 2JZ Cost: £15 February 10th & 24th 7am - 8:30am EBN Basildon. Location: The Burstead Golf Club, Little Burstead, CM12 9SS. Cost: Membership £195 Breakfast £10 February 10th 7:30am - 9:30am Colchester FSB Networking Group. Location: Weston Business Centre, CO2 8JX Cost: £6.50 February 12th 1pm - 3pm Billericay Professionals Lunch. Location: Bar Zero, Billericay, CM12 9DZ.Cost: Free February 19th 1pm - 3pm Chelmsford Professionals Lunch. Location: The Chop Bloc, Chelmsford, CM2 6QR. Cost: Free February 22nd 5:30pm - 10:30pm Friends of City on Tour at Chelmsford City FC. Location: Chelmsford City FC, CM1 2EH. Cost: £8.40 February 24th 7:30am - 9:30am Chelmsford FSB Networking Group Location: Anglian Ruskin Chelmsford Campus, CM1 1SQ Cost: £7.50 February 24th 12pm - 3pm Friends of the City Expo. Location: Chelmsford City FC, CM1 2EH. Cost: Free February 26th 12:30pm - 3pm Harlow Professionals Lunch.Location: Park Inn, Harlow, CM18 7BA. Cost: Free Every Thursday 7.00 - 8.45am CBBC. Location: The Secret Gardens, Chelmsford, CM1 3BL. Cost: Membership £75 Breakfast £10

For more information on any of these events please call Richard on 01702 513 113 or email us at


Business Book Review Title: Rich Dad, Poor Dad Author: Robert Kiyosaki First Published: 2000 A worldwide best seller Rich Dad Poor Dad, tells the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two dadshis real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dadand the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you. Rich Dad Poor Dad is written in the style of a set of parables, ostensibly based on Kiyosaki's life. In the book, Kiyosaki stresses the ownership of high-value assets that produce cash flow, rather than being an employee.






Small Business Health & Safety Checklist As an employer, you have a legal duty to protect the health and safety of your employees and any other person who may be affected by your business activities. The approach you take should be proportionate to the size and nature of your business, but even small companies have minimum requirements which, if not complied with, can lead to serious consequences for business’, business Juliet Price, Park City owners, managers and even employees, such as unlimited fines for individuals and business’, personal imprisonment and disqualification from directorships.

The main provisions you need to make are: •Provide a written health & safety policy (for businesses with 5 or more people); •Assess any risks to employees, customers and any other people who may be affected by day to day operations; •Plan, monitor and review protective measures; •Communicate and consult with employees about the risks involved in their work and make them aware of health & safety policies and procedures. This check list is not-exhaustive, but should give you an overall understanding of your responsibilities and the steps you need to undertake to meet those responsibilities.

Appoint someone to manage your health & safety It is essential to have a competent person responsible for your business’ health and safety. The individual needs to have the relevant knowledge, training and understanding of what is required. Any responsible person within your organisation can be appointed to this role, however, as a small business, you may find that no one has the skills that the position demands and consider outsourcing to a specialist health & safety consultant. You may also find this useful if your business operates in a higher risk environment.

Write a health & safety policy A written health and safety policy is only required if you have five or more employees. However, regardless of the size of the company, it is a way of communicating both your commitment and legal obligations to your staff. It should clearly define who is responsible, what is required and how health & safety is managed within the business.

Assess the risks It is impractical to expect all risks to be completely removed from the workplace, but you need to ensure there are adequate controls to identify and reduce risks to employees and members of the public. Once you have undertaken your risk assessment, consider what preventative measures are in place and what further action needs to be taken.


Depending on As theinnature of your business, youamay see any workplace situation, yourself as low-risk, but undertaking a risk assessment proportionate approach to risk should relevant to your activities will help bring to light any areas behave takenpreviously when thinking aboutHigher-risk Health & that you may not considered. working environments (such as working at heights, asbestos Safety. The HSE highlights some common removal or working with chemicals) may require additional myths about employing young people and guidance from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). those on work experience: Myth: Under 18s cannot be employed Provide training and information to employees onneed construction forundertake work or work Your employees to know sites how to their roles safely and know what risks they may encounter which can be experience. covered with the right information and training. You don’t Truth: Astolong the work is properlyspecialist Risk necessarily need to go the as expense of providing training where assessed it isn’t needed, but on the other hand, and the relevant controls are making in sure your employees are adequately equipped to handle place, there is no reason why a younger their roles is important. A specialist training advisor will be person notjudgement be employed on a it able to help you makeshould the right call when comes to skillsbuilding training site. and help you keep up-to-date records of what has been covered and what still needs to be addressed. Myth: Schools must carry out workplace checks before sending pupils on work experience placements and visit the The health and safety law poster workplace placement. As an employer, you needintoadvance display of theevery “Health & Safety – What You Need to Know Poster” or issue the leaflet or pocket There areare noavailable legal requirements forthe card version toTruth: all staff, these for free from those arranging the work experience to a the Health and Safety Executive website. While displaying poster may seem almost trivial, it isassessments however a legal carry out workplace or visit the requirement. premises in advance, although they should The poster and leaflets outline the basic health & safety laws satisfy themselves that the employer taking and include information about what employers and workers need to do. on the pupil has the necessary Health & Safety risk management procedures in place. In most situations, a simple telephone call Reporting to the authorities Under the Reporting Diseases and Dangerous shouldof beInjuries, enough. Occurrence Regulations (RIDDOR), you must report certain Myth: need to carry out a to the injuries, incidents andEmployers cases of work-related disease HSE. separate risk assessment when taking on Keeping records will help you to identify patterns of work experience students. accidents and injuries, and will help when completing your risk assessment. While being Truth: Asaccidents long as aninvolving existing people risk assessment absent from work for seven or more days must be reported considers the relevant factors for young under RIDDOR, you are still required to maintain records of employees, all 3 day or more absencesthere is no need to carry out assessmentforworkexperience a students. Keep your business up to date Once you’ve got health & safety management in you order, As your an employer, if for whatever reason it’s important to make sure you periodically review your decide that work experience students are policies and procedures taking into account any new forneed you, to it’sundertake probably further best not cite Health legislation. Younot may risk assessments or provide more specialist training taking into account & Safety as the prohibiting factor unless you any changes to your business activities or the work your have a very genuine reason to as it is likely to employees are undertaking. be the case in only a very few circumstances.

Bringing Health & Safety expertise to your business

Talk to the experts Call us on 01206 752100 or visit us online at Real people, real experts, real time

Park City Consulting Limited Tel: 01206 752100 Fax: 01206 752400 Email: 894 The Crescent, Colchester Business Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 9YQ

Unlocking the power of LinkedIn Business Connected is holding a series of powerful LinkedIn seminars across the South East. With over 300 million registered users, LinkedIn holds the largest professional network of businesses in the world! Are you making the most from this powerful business tool? If not, join us on one of our fantastic LinkedIn seminars!


2 hour Seminar... Designed for total beginners through to everyday and advanced users. On this seminar, Business Connected’s managing director, Richard Pond will show you How to set up a winning profile Navigating around the tool bar & home page Sharing an update & connections Publishing posts Downloading connections The relationship tab How to set up a company pages LinkedIn groups How to give & receive recommendations Endorsements You will also receive a free copy of our LinkedIn manual, which shows all of the above and everything you will learn on the day. When: 7arious dates

Price: ÂŁ39.00

Where: Colchester Ipswich Leigh on Sea Stratford

For more information please visit: or give us a call on 01702 513113


scaramouch. “WillScaramouch, you do the Fandango?

What? What sort of title is that for an article in Essex’s leading business magazine from a guy who says he is a leadership creator? For those of you who read my column in the last issue you will recall me singing the praises of Greg Rutherford who, by appointing a new coach, changed his way of jumping and thinking and won Gold at the World Championships. This month I am looking at a Dave Pye famous anniversary. It was 40 years ago this month that Queen’s most famous song, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was released. Love it or hate it the song remains one of the most talked about of all time. Remember the black and white video? (One of the first videos for a song). Remember the length? Yes, it went on and on for ages. Remember the crazy lyrics? Who knew what Freddie and his crew were singing about? However, it went to Number One twice and sold over 3 million copies. Hello Adele? How about those numbers? For me when I hear it now I just want to turn the dial or make a swift exit! Well fellow Essex business leaders, that’s the theme for this month’s column. Selling your business. Making a swift exit. Or making an exit over time. Here at Oscar Delano with my Associates, we have developed a model to help you plan a successful exit strategy. In the spirit of all that is good about Essex Business Connected, I will share it with you in a succinct form below. The model is our own one and it is called, appropriately, ‘Rhapsody’. What is a moment of Rhapsody? It is that ecstatic feeling, that moment when your enthusiasm overflows and you recognise you have done something wonderful. As business owners we experience that feeling a number of times during the cycle of running our businesses. Sometimes when we start it. Often, when we sell it. I can’t begin to cover all the excitement of planning to sell your business in a one page article but the key outline of the model below will help you to think about what you need to know. Having just completed the sale of one of the companies for which I am an NED the model is as current now as it was when we first put it into practice.

R – Realism. It is so important that, as a business owner, you have a realistic price in mind for what your business is worth. H – You need to ensure that your House is in order as plenty of people are going to want to know that everything is in place. A – It goes without saying that you have to appoint Advisors and you may want to have someone help you to navigate who to appoint. P – You will need to have an exit Plan and be prepared. As you go through any process you will need to keep the plan by your side as you will still need to run your business successfully.

S - Have a Successor.

This may not be the first thing you think about in the process however, a buyer will want to know what the business is like with you not there.

O – Look at the Options. A sale may not be the right one! Look at the bigger picture and what is available to you for your business. D – Be on top of the Details. This is so important. You need to know all about what is going on and at any stage, be prepared to give the answers to the questions you will get asked. Y – “Yes, it’s about the Value, stupid”.

To misquote President Clinton, it is about the value for you and all your hard work. How can you get the best for what you have created? So, that is it in summary. “Bismillah! No, we will not let you go. Let him go” Well, you can if you want to. It can be a wonderful thing to enter into a process to exit your business. If you would like to have a confidential chat with me or one of my colleagues please call us on the numbers below. What you don’t want is thunderbolt and lightning. That can be very, very frightening! Have a great month Dave Pye Oscar Delano & Associates Business Enterprise & Innovation Centre, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1SQ Tel:

01245 407465

Mob: 07855 444636 Email: Web:


Many business see networking as an integral part of their sales approach and here at Business Connected we agree. But which events do you choose? There are free events, monthly events, evening events and more. There is no secret formula but below are a few tips to make sure you get the best from your time networking: 1. Have a strategy. Whatever you do in business it’s always best to have a strategy and this certainly applies to business networking, hopefully if you follow the points below it will help you identify the best strategy for you. 2. Be organised. You wouldn’t turn up to a business meeting without researching the company and the same applies to networking, try to obtain a delegate list in advance, see who is there and if possible engage on social media in advance letting people know you will be joining the group. Bring plenty of business cards and check if the group supplies name badges if not bring one with you. Most networking groups supply lanyards or badges which can hold your business card. If you attend a number of regular groups it is worth investing in a name badge that has your name and company in large letters. The bigger your name the more chance your fellow networkers will remember your name. 3. Dress for the occasion and smile. Most networking events don’t have a dress code but it is always worth checking first. We suggest being comfortable if you wear a suit everyday wear a suit, if you don’t wear a tie to the office don’t feel you have to wear one to network. Some studies have shown that people with an open collar can come across as more open but we think that is a personal choice. The most important thing is to bring your smile. Your fellow networkers want to engage with happy people, generally networking events have a positive vibe and that comes from the people that are there. 4. Get there early and work that room. Turning up late to a networking event especially if you are new to the group makes it harder to join conversation. What impression does it make if you can’t get to a meeting in tine to potential win new clients? If you are early people will naturally gravitate to you and you will become the focus point.


“ Are you Networking Like a Pro?

5. Build a relationship. Relationship building in business is key, I am sure you have seen people at networking events running around handing out business cards like it is their last day on Earth. This does not work, we behave that patience is king when it comes to meeting people at events. This doesn’t have to be the same event, many businesses network at a variety of networking groups. Would you buy or swap your suppliers if you didn’t know anything about them or had just met them? No I didn’t think so, so why would they? Listen to them, find out about their business and see what areas you can add value to their business. 6. Share your passion. Win people over with your enthusiasm for you product or service. Leave a lasting impression by telling a story about why you were inspired to create your company. Talking about what you enjoy is often contagious, too. When you get other people to share their passion, it creates a memorable two-way conversation. 7. Follow up, follow up, follow up. It is so important to follow up and to follow up and to follow up quickly. Most businesses and business individuals have a LinkedIn account or at least an email address. Collect your cards, write notes on the back and when you get back to the office send them an email or social media message like: “great to meet you today I found it interesting what you were saying on such and such” not “here is my price list please place an order” if you don’t follow up and have not forged a business relationship yet the chances are when you see them again they are going to be less inclined to discuss that all important business matter you want to put in front of them. 8. Try out a variety of events. As mentioned there are many different networking groups find the one that works for you and stick to it, networking takes time but can be very rewarding if done properly. Remember networking these days comes in form of online and offline LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google + etc are key to you becoming a successful business networker. If you would like to know more about networking in Essex please give us a call on 01702 513113.

6SSQ5, 88A High Street, Billericay, Essex, CM12 9BT 01277 658868 |

Effective Bookkeeping Solutions We offer practical and affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll solutions to SME’s in Essex. With over 20 years experience we are able to provide a comprehensive range of services, all tailored to suit your company. Work can be under taken at the client’s

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BBX is a complimentary currency that works in addition to core revenue, enabling businesses to sell what they haven't been able to in a less competitive marketplace About 60 per cent of businesses experience ‘Spare Capacity’ on a regular basis in the form of vacant hotel rooms, empty restaurant tables, unsold advertising space, unfilled appointment times, slow moving or surplus stock… costing UK business owners billions of pounds a year. Carole at Contempo PR said: “By unlocking Spare Capacity in our business we have saved thousands of pounds. Spare Capacity for our company Contempo PR came in the form of under-utilised staff and therefore the ability to take on an extra PR client every other month." BBX is an international company who work with businesses that find themselves with Spare Capacity that they would like to turn into additional revenue without discounting or eroding their core business. By adopting the BBX

payment facility the business can sell their Spare Capacity to other businesses within the BBX community in exchange for BBX pounds. Accounting for this in a business is simple as one BBX pound is accounted for in the same way as one pound sterling and can be used in any of the 12 countries that the BBX community is established. Carole at Contempo PR has found utilising the BBX facility very simple: “Once I established I could handle another customer I contact my local account manager at BBX who promotes me within the community and sends me an additional client. By using BBX to sell our Spare Capacity we have seen an increase in sales, saved on costs, and improved our bottom line profitability. We spend our BBX pounds on such things as printing, design, roller banners,

business cards, accounting services, business advice, restaurant meals and hotel stays to name but a few! But also as business owners, we can use our BBX pounds on personal purchases too, which adds value to the income from our business. With such a large and varied database of clients using this service, it is a fantastic way to save on your cash flow and at the same time afford the extras within your business. There is such a wide variety of businesses now using BBX within the UK.”

To find out how your business can be involved in creating efficiency go to or call 0333 400 2014.

Essex Round up Business Connected anounce their charity of the year 2016 Business Connected have chosen their charity of the year for 2016 and we are proud UPannounce we have selected Havens Hospices. Havens operate two hospices in Essex, Fair Havens and Little Havens. Business Connected Managing %irector said “8e took the decision to work with Havens Hospices as our charity of the year for a number of reasons, theZ provide amazing care for both children & adults with life-limiting illnesses in Essex and we want to help in everywayXF can from fund raising to promoting the good work they do across all our platforms both on BOEoffline.� Richard weOU on to say “we also will be supporting a number of other great charities throughPVU the year�. Business Connected will be donating a percentage of every networking ticket sold in 2016 to Havens, organising a charity golf day and running the 2016 London Marathon in an attempt to raise as much as possible to this fantastic charity. For more information please visit for more information about Havens Hospices please take a look at

Siblings bring atoms to life with winning app An Essex brother and sister have won a national competition with an app they designed to bring the periodic table to life. Rebecca and Ben Jilks from Boswells School, Chelmsford, have won the Learning category in the Apps for Good Award. The pair, aged 15 and 13, developed the app after Boswells School took part in the Education and Industry STEM programme delivered by Essex County Council. Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Schools and Lifelong Learning, said: “Congratulations to Ben and Rebecca. These two are shining examples of how the Council is promoting STEM subjects to young people in Essex, creating our innovators of the future.� Apps for Good is a national app building competition aimed at inspiring future generations of problem solvers and digital designers. The final at the Barbican, in London, saw Ben and Rebecca pitch their app to the Apps for Good “dragons� who asked some difficult questions and were impressed with the team’s answers. They then demonstrated their concept to 200 invited guests at marketplace-style sessions. Attendees said they were amazed not only by the concept but also the fact that the team had developed a prototype to give life to the app. Their prize is that Rebecca and Ben are now officially entrepreneurs and own their own company.


Essex Businessman wins two awards at the East of England Business Championships Local Essex based entrepreneur & businessman, David Bell, scooped two awards last week at the East of England Business Championships. The awards which included a Business Champion accolade for each of the seven counties covered by the awards – Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire – plus a number of region-wide awards, including Business Person of the Year. David Bell is the Founder & Managing Director of Halstead-based business consultancy and management company Simboc, which works with a wide variety of businesses to help them develop and grow their ideas. He began his entrepreneurial career in 1996 at the age of 17 when he co-founded his first business APC Solutions Group, which is now a multi-million pound wireless communications solutions provider. David was awarded the prestigious ‘Business 1FSTPOPGUIF:FBSўBXBSE MBTUXFFLXIFO they attended the East of England Business Awards at the well-known Centre Parcs holiday park in Woburn Abbey. Simboc, which David set up after moving on from APC in 2013, was also the winner of the Essex Business Champion title.

The future is bright for Essex businesses A study has found that Essex businesses achieved a 5.3 per cent growth in turnover during the last financial year, above the rate seen in the UK economy. A rise in employment and significant increase in wages has signalled investment for future growth,a new report has claimed. The Essex Limited study, conducted by financial and business advisers Grant Thornton and Essex law firm Birkett Long, provides an in-depth financial analysis of the 100 largest companies which are both owned and managed within Essex. For the first time this year, the report also includes a ‘Growth 50’ index, looking at the 50 highest growth companies outside the top 100 list in terms of turnover. The report findings, unveiled to more than 120 Essex business leaders at a breakfast event hosted by Grant Thornton and Birkett Long, showed combined turnover for Essex Limited’s 100 constituent members grew by 5.3 per cent to £7.7bn. Operating profits also increased by 1.4 per cent to £322m and profit before tax rose by a substantial 22.4 per cent to £296m.

all of these and many more Essex news stories please visit Business news stories are updated every day.


delivering faster business connectivity Is your business suffering because of a poor internet connection? If it is, then you may want to read on to find out if the Superfast Essex programme could help you. It is transforming superfast broadband to help boost the economy of Essex, enabling businesses to work more effectively in new ways and reach out to new customers. What is Superfast Essex? Superfast Essex is part of the national Superfast Britain programme, which was established when the Government recognised that economic growth and social wellbeing in Britain were being held back by the lack of universally available broadband. Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Infrastructure and Waste & Recycling, said: “The Superfast Essex programme is doing an important job in making better internet connectivity available across the county for business growth and improved quality of life, but nobody is automatically connected and we want to make sure everyone makes the most of it when it arrives. â€?We're working hard to inform residents and businesses about the benefits and what they need to do to get a fibre broadband service once fibre arrives" In Essex, more than ÂŁ51m is being invested into the programme, which is coordinated by Essex County Council. The programme is funded by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), and Essex Council Council with contributions from some local authorities (Tendring, Epping Forest and Braintree District Councils) and a significant proportion of the investment from private sector delivery partners, BT and Gigaclear. The programme is building new superfast broadband infrastructure across the county so that 95 per cent of Essex will have access to fibre broadband by 2019. In addition they will ensure that a minimum of 2Mbps download speed is available across Essex by summer 2016. The Essex deployment rollout began in 2014 and, so far has enabled over 56,000 homes and businesses to access superfast broadband speeds (24Mbps and above) and is progressing well towards its target to enable over 120,000 homes and business to access superfast broadband by 2019. Superfast Essex has a specific business focus to the project, and on average 10% of all premises being enabled by the programme are businesses. Currently they have reached over 84% superfast coverage across Essex and as approximately 5% of premises in the county are business premises, they estimate that around 35,000 of these are currently able to access superfast broadband.


What about those homes and businesses not covered by current rollout plans? For areas with really poor speeds, that are not due to receive an upgrade to fibre in the near future, Superfast Essex are launching a Satellite Broadband Subsidy Scheme. This will serve as an interim solution until further plans are established to help the remaining 5% of the county. Full details are available on thier website at Superfast Essex are also currently working with Gigaclear Plc to deliver a Rural Challenge Project, designed to test alternative ways of bringing superfast connectivity to rural areas. The project will see the deployment of ‘fibre-to-the-premises’ technology to 4,500 homes and businesses in the pilot area in the north of Epping Forest District. If this project is successful they will look at the options to expand this further. Superfast Essex will also be re-investing an additional ÂŁ1.9 million to extend the superfast rollout further. This is possible because already 20% of the 56,000 homes and businesses given access to superfast broadband under the programme have chosen to take-up a fibre service. Reaching this level of take-up (some 2 years earlier than expected) has triggered the contractual success dividend from BT, and as the take-up figures continue to grow Superfast Essex hope to have more to re-invest in future. How can superfast broadband help my business? Fibre connectivity is having a massive impact for small and medium sized businesses in particular – helping them enjoy benefits that until now have been reserved for larger corporate enterprises. Superfast fibre can help you grow your business globally, be resource efficient and cost effective and have a more reliable connection with your clients. To help you make the most of superfast connectivity, look out for Superfast Essex‘s FREE workshops coming up in the new year For more information on the business benefits of superfast broadband and what connectivity options are available (even if fibre isn’t) go to Is your business one of 120,000 premises in Essex that is already or soon to be able to access superfast broadband speeds under this programme? Find out at


Premier Partner to

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Top tweets from last month Birkett Long LLP @birkettlong Dec 10 Our very own Jennie Skinglsey passed her Professional Diploma in Marketing with @CIMinfo_East Well done Jennie!

Colchester United FC ɥ@ColU_Official Dec 4 Tickets for the Lionel Richie concert at WHCS are on general sale at 10am: … #Colchester

Essex News @HeartEssexNews Dec 8 Seven people a day arrested during first week of #Essex Police's Xmas anti-drink and drug drive campaign #HeartNews

Iain Wicks ɥ@FSBEssex Dec 11 Witness the Birth of a Business almost here & nearly sold 200 tickets!Help us break 200 barrier! #wtbob #Chelmsford

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