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Essex Edition Issue 19 | Summer 2016

The No.1 Business Magazine in Essex This month featuring: The county’s top networking events Local news Featured articles Business podcasts & much more!

Leading B2B Magazine

Business Networking

Featured Local News

Is your business making the most of superfast broadband? Meet the experts at our SuperConnected Business Conference. Register for free now at:

Chelmsford City Racecourse Tuesday 7 June 9am – 5pm • Network Operators • 200 Business Delegates • 25 Exhibitors

• Inspirational Speakers • Great Networking • Essex Hospitality 2

In this edition...

Summer 2016

The National Living Wage

Outsource Tax Leadership

08: What will be the impact

20: Why employ a Gardner to

has on UK’s businesses? How

would you? The same principle

it affects more than 100,000

applies in business.

the new compulsory legislation

paint your house? You wouldn’t, 5: Editor’s Notes

workers in our region alone.

Cloud Accounting Software

A Sign of the Times

10-11: If you want your business

26: LB Insolvency look at the

to work smarter and faster, cloud

recent Administration of BHS

accounting software is a wise

and Austin Reed, the question


of the viability of the High Street remains.

Does it have to be lonely at the top?

Business Podcasts

12: NextGear Co-Founder Dave

28-29: This edition we have a

Pye discusses “How can you as

look at five of the top podcasts

a Business Leader receive the

available today.

06: Premier Partner Scheme

support you deserve”?

Trees for Life: Sowing the Seeds

Don’t be a Statistic

14: Essex Wildlife trust, have

32: When it comes to Health &

been working with partners to deliver the U.K National Tree Seed Project.

18-19: Essex Networking Events

Safety in the workplace, we’re

talking big business: the overall cost to UK employers of workplace injuries and illness is over £14 billion per year.

24-25: Essex Round-Up


Essex’s Premier Provider of Outstanding Corporate Wine Experiences Passionate about all things wine, we offer a flexible, fun range of professional corporate wine tasting events from networking events, client entertainment, team-building and more. Call us today and come and be entertained! Corporate Experiences • • • • • •

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Editor’s Note A very warm welcome from the Business Connected team to our sizzling Essex summer

Get In Touch

edition. As this edition goes to print the EU referendum is one of the hottest talking points within the business community.

Tel: 01702 513113

In this edition we are featuring fascinating business articles including insights into the

Email: Or Visit:

much talked about BHS and Austin Reed Richard Pond MANAGING DIRECTOR

Administration, regional health and safety statistics reflecting the reality of neglecting

risk assessment and company policy. Familiar with the financial benefits of a business coach, we explore the often, underestimated role of a unbias councellor provided in the coach.

Follow us on Facebook BusinessConnected

We also welcome a review of the impact the National Living Wage has made to both employers, employees and productivity in the workplace. Business Connected embraces many different platforms to communicate with our community. Making time for self development can be difficult but

Follow us on Twitter

is essential, with this in mind we have compliled a review on our favourite


business podcasts.

All rights reserved. No part of this

About us

publication may be reproduced in whole

Business Connected as a brand brings together businesses across a variety of

or in part in any way without prior written

mediums from face to face networking, social media, printed media in the form

permission of Business Connected Ltd.

of this our countywide magazine, and much more. Business Connected is proud

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

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

Printed in the UK by Printwize

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 18 including details of our latest venue Business Connected @ The Olympic Park and full details of our Premier Partners can be found on pages 6. For more info on all things Business Connected please log on to or give us a call on 01702 513113.


Premier Partner Scheme Are you happy with your current level of business? How often do you promise yourself that you’ll invest more in social media and/or run regular email and print campaigns, but simply don’t have the time or expertise to do it? Our fantastic marketing offer could be the answer!

Designed to support companies which need to introduce cohesive and co-ordinated marketing strategies or wish to enhance existing marketing strategies, we provide an effective, structured marketing solution at an affordable price.

Exclusivity — We only work with one company of any type within the county.

Business Connected Magazine - A full page in every edition of our magazine.

Networking Events - Many people know Business Connected from our county-wide events and we want you to be part of them. Fancy being a speaker or displaying your branding at all our events?

Social Media - Yes, you may have a Twitter/LinkedIn/ Facebook account but how about a helping hand? We can set up and run your account, interact as a ‘raving fan’ or simply come and give regular training to all your staff.

Website - Our Business Connected website gets thousands of visits a day. Being a Premier Partner gives you branding on our site.

Account Manager - Probably the most important feature of the Partnership scheme, our account managers are working around the clock to find leads for our partners, from the many networking events that we attend and run. Our staff are introducing and passing referrals on a monthly basis.

Email Campaigns - Need to get the message out to the masses? We have a number of options which we can tailor to suit the needs of your business.

Premier Partner Power Hour - Dedicated to Business Connected Premier Partners monthly with expert advice and referral platform. WHAT’S INCLUDED Exclusivity Full page magazine advert Full artwork and design Two tickets to all networking events and guest tickets Branding at all events Early delegate list to plan your networking Introductions to networkers from Business Connected staff Events for Premier Partners only Members-only log-in to the Business Connected website Web banner on Business Connected website LinkedIn training course for all your staff, on or offsite Promotion of your brand across all of our Social Media Platforms Inclusion on our monthly email newsletter Account Manager to run your campaign and pass you leads

Premier Partners

Premier Partners + Social

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2 hour LinkedIn Seminar How to Increase Sales using LinkedIn! Would you like to win more business using LinkedIn or think you are not making the most of this powerful business tool? If the answer is yes to either of these then you need to come along to our LinkedIn seminar! LinkedIn holds the largest professional network of businesses in the world! For just £39.00 and designed for total beginners through to everyday and advanced users on this seminar, Business Connected’s Managing Director, Richard Pond will show you:

• Homepage, Timeline & Toolbars

• Relationship tab

• Profiles & Branding

• Inbox & Notifications

• Sharing an update & Publishing a post

• Company

• Downloading connections

• Groups

• Interacting with new connections

• Privacy settings

• Endorsements & Recommendations

Visit: to book a place onto any of these fantastic seminars or give the Business Connected team a call on 01702 513113. “I would highly recommend Richard’s LinkedIn course. I learned exactly what I needed to and have a comprehensive manual now to refer to. The course has encouraged me to get LinkedIn and use it to its full potential.” – Lucy Cracknell, Consultant at Reward Health. “The LinkedIn training is well worth attending and Richard’s clear guidance in using LinkedIn to its full potential was a real eye opener and something I will gladly recommend.” – Anthony Payne, Business Development Manager at Monthind Clean.


The National Living Wage Back in the July 2015 Budget, one of the main talking points affecting UK businesses was the introduction of the new “National Living Wage”. Running alongside the existing “Minimum Wage”, the government states it is part of their plan to move to a “higher wage, lower tax and lower welfare society”. Now that it is actually in force, affecting more than 100,000 workers in our region alone, what will be the impact the new compulsory legislation has on UK’s businesses?

half of those affected across all industries. There is likely to be little or no impact in service industries such as Insurance, Finance and Science & Technology where it is rare for those over the age of 25 to have been earning just the Minimum Wage.

A recap Over the last few years we have become very familiar with the National Minimum Wage introduced in 1999, most recently set at £6.50 per hour for those workers over 21, £5.13 for those aged 18 to 20 and £3.79 for under 18’s (separate levels are set for Apprentices). The new National Living Wage is, in effect, a premium on top of the existing National Minimum Wage for workers aged 25 and over. The new pay level will initially be set at £7.20 per hour, rising to around £9 per hour by 2020. In its simplest terms, it creates a 5th tier of National Minimum Wage. This new National Living Wage is of course not to be confused with the “Living Wage” which many businesses have subscribed to voluntarily over the last decade through the Living Wage Foundation and currently pay a minimum of £9.15 per hour in London and £7.85 per hour outside of London. Whilst that is voluntary, the new legislation is compulsory for all employers in the UK. What is the reaction to it? Last November, a survey by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) revealed that 93% of bosses agreed that the new wage was a good idea, with 88% believing it will lead to higher productivity. It also showed that 83% of the 1000 respondents believe it will make staff more loyal, 86% think it will boost staff morale and 82% said they thought customers were likely to return if they recognised the business paid the right rates of pay. It will be interesting to see the responses to the same questions this November, once the Living Wage has actually been in effect for six months or so. Effect on employees It is estimated that around 2.5 million workers will have received a direct boost to their pay, assuming their employers have been compliant of course. For those that were previously being paid the National Minimum Wage, this means they are receiving a pay rise of almost 11% - that’s about four times the national average! And then there’s the knock on effect to consider: how does the increase in minimum wage affect the pay differential between general roles and supervisory or management roles? It is likely that millions of employees further up the ladder will enjoy salary increases as an indirect benefit. Effect on businesses It is likely that smaller businesses with a high proportion of employees on minimum wage are the ones that will feel the financial and operational impact the most. These typically include employers in the Wholesale & Retail, Health & Social Work and Leisure & Hospitality sectors which in fact account for more than


(Source: The Resolution Foundation) One of the biggest issues that employers need to face up to is looking in detail at their staff composition and ensuring that they are compliant with the new legislation as there is no doubt that the authorities will come down hard on anyone found to be non-compliant. As well as taking into account age and contracted hours worked, employers need to ensure that other elements don’t take a worker under their statutory pay level, such as overtime and salary sacrifice. Many employers have concerns about the effect on their businesses – increasing the annual wage bill by tens of thousands of pounds for some. Others say they may have to decrease the size of their workforce to compensate for the increase in salaries. There is speculation that in some industries, such as hospitality, leisure and catering, there will be a drive to recruit younger workers as the Living Wage does not currently apply to those under 25, leaving more mature employees on the sidelines (age discriminatory issues aside). Not everyone is quite so cynical: some have in fact introduced the £7.20 per hour minimum across their workforce for those aged 18 or over. Undoubtedly we will see many businesses increase their prices or service charges to mitigate against higher operating costs. The introduction of the National Living Wage is obviously good news for those employees who will see their pay increased and it is hoped there will be a positive impact on employee performance and reduced absenteeism as workers feel better financially rewarded for their efforts. It will undoubtedly continue to be a headache for employers for some time and it will be interesting to see the impact on employment levels and costs of services over the coming months and years.

Navigating your business through the HR landscape

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


If you want your business to work smarter and faster, cloud accounting software is a wise investment. Working in the cloud will give you a better overview of your finances, and improve collaboration with your team.

Accounting software shouldn’t be a chore to use

neither is the software. • It only works on one computer and data bounces from place to place. For example, on a USB drive. This is not secure or reliable. • Only one person has user access. Key people can’t access financial and customer details. • It’s costly and complicated to keep backups (if done at all).

Small business accounting software that’s not available via the cloud can be tedious. • It’s expensive, difficult and time consuming to Traditionally, it can suck up far too much of your upgrade the software. business’ time and effort. This doesn’t add About CBHC: • Customer support is value, and takes the fun CBHC is one of the largest independent firms of expensive and slow. out of being in business. accountants in the Essex and East London region Cloud software can save with branches in Chelmsford and Canary Wharf. your company time and We pride ourselves on going above and beyond Why the cloud and money. the traditional accountancy remit, to support our accounting software So what is this thing called the cloud?

clients more fully with their business venture. While compliance and taxation are at the heart of what we do, our comprehensive portfolio of integrated financial services help clients transform their business, ultimately improving their bottom line. Our commitment to personal service means we work with clients to create a bespoke strategy, support them with our broad commercial expertise, and help them to achieve their business goals.

Think about when you use internet banking. Every time you access this data, you’re using the cloud. The cloud is a platform to make data and software accessible online anytime, anywhere, from any device. Your hard drive is no longer the central hub.

Problems with traditional accounting software • The data in the system isn’t up to date and

are the perfect match

You can use cloudbased software from any device with an internet connection. Online accounting means small business owners stay connected to their data and their accountants. The software can integrate with a whole ecosystem of add-ons. It’s scalable, cost effective and easy to use.

In the cloud, there’s no need to install and run applications over a desktop computer. Instead, you pay for the software by monthly subscription.

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

Cloud security is world class As a small business owner, you might be concerned about a cloud service provider storing your data. But the cloud is one of the most secure ways to store information. For example, using cloud software, if your laptop is stolen, no one can access your data unless they have a login to the online account. With cloud software, this is where the data lives – as opposed to on your hard drive. In the event of a natural disaster or fire, being in the cloud means business productivity doesn’t need to be affected because there’s no downtime. All of your information is safely and securely stored off site. As long as you have access to any computer or mobile device connected to the internet, you’re back up and running. In addition to this, if you invite users to view your data, you can control the level of access. This is much more secure than the old-fashioned way of emailing your files or sending out a USB stick with your data on it. Cloud-based software companies ensure that the security and privacy of data about you and your organisation is always airtight. If you use online banking, then you’re already primed to use cloud accounting.

3. Automatic updates mean you can spend more time doing what you love. 4. Everything is run online, so there’s nothing to install and everything is backed up automatically. Updates are free and instantly available. 5. Upfront business costs are reduced – version upgrades, maintenance, system administration costs and server failures are no longer issues. Instead, they are managed by the cloud service provider.

Work smarter with accessible data in the cloud The beauty of this software is the flexibility it gives you to run your business from work, home, or on the go. You can be confident that you have an upto-date picture of how your business is doing, no matter where you are. Software updates can be developed and delivered faster and more easily in the cloud. This means you don’t need to worry about installing the latest version and you’ll get access to new features instantly. With cloud accounting software, you have the option to run your business remotely, from anywhere in the world. And when data is fluid and accessible, the possibilities are endless.

Five ways cloud software benefits your business 1. You have a clear overview of your current financial position, in real-time. 2. Multi-user access makes it easy to collaborate online with your team and advisors.

Beautiful accounting software

T: 01245 495588 E:

Does It Have To Be Lonely “ At The Top?

Dave Pye

There is a wonderful scene in ‘The Godfather’ where Robert Duval, who plays Tom Hagen, the consiglieri to Godfather Marlon Brando, smiles at his colleagues as if to say, “don’t worry, I have his back”. In other words, ‘I am looking after him. I will make sure he is supported’.

How can you as a Business Leader receive the support you deserve?

They have excellent communication skills. A good consiglieri will be able to understand what you are saying and thinking and how to apply that in today’s ever changing and demanding environment. They will be able to consider a number of ways to move forward; they will be able to review a number of different issues from a number of different perspectives, capture them and distil them into a simple, easy to understand next steps guide. They will also challenge you as a client. A top class consiglieri will hold you to account and help you best navigate your journey.

Now, you may think that the Godfather film is not a great example for modern day business leaders like those • They will be able to offer expertise in running a business. who read this magazine and are involved in the Business A strong coach consiglieri will have run his or her own Connected family. Is it too violent? Is it too difficult a subject business. They will know what it is like to have cash matter? Or does that award winning film from back in 1972 issues; to have the bank breathing down your neck; to show us that all those who lead need someone to confide in, have experience the tension between investment and bounce ideas and thoughts off and question their motives? current financial needs. They should be able to offer I am convinced that no-one reading this magazine is like practical expertise based on their own experience not Don Corleone (at least I hope not). However, many of us guidance they have read in a book or a magazine. share the fact that we lead companies where the buck stops • They are in the business of coaching because they love with us. It is our business. If the buck stops with you, who what they do. Their experience has shown them that supports you to help the buck to stop? Are you feeling that what they do adds value and support to those they serve. it is tough at the top? • They act in a professional manner. A consiglieri coach If you are I have good news. That is the right feeling! Fed  up  Itwith  being  stuck  working   is, at all times, confidential. They have YOUR back. They in  your   is and it should be. It is your ambition, your desire, yourbusiness  and  not  finding   do not share any of their other clients’ issues. Their feelings, your heart and soul which is invested insufficient   the ideas,time  to  work  on  it?   devotion is to make sure you are okay and your business   the people, the plans and the relationships to make your Is  your  business  not  growing   as   That you are supported and feel like you is evolving. business work. Most days are fantastic. Some are tougher quickly   as  you’d  like  it  are to?  the most important person in the world. They have and then some, well, some can be very tough indeed.   good emotional intelligence and, in my opinion, are nice Are  yyou ou  clear  on  your  business   We believe all leaders deserve support. We believe end-­‐game  and  do  you  people have  a  to have around. Their code of conduct should be deserve your own Consiglieri. A consiglieri is a counsellor, exemplary. viable  road  map  to  get   there?   an advisor, an assistant or mentor who ‘has your back’.   talk to us at NextGear about coaching, If you would like to   Someone who provides the intelligent support and guidance Talk  to  us  at  NextGear   Partners   learn   ow  onumber ur  unique  over products   nd  services   please callto  us onhthe theapage. Wecan   would that, whatever size of company you are responsible help  for, you  you evolve  your  business  faster  and  more  efficiently.     be delighted to talk to  you or connect you with one of   need and can benefit from. A  fresh  our and  partners. flexible  approach   to  business   coaching   We will never make you an offer you can’t   So, what in our opinion, makes a good Consiglieri? refuse. We will help you cut through the noise of running your business and see the Workshops     big picture as you continue the • They have great listening skills. Good support coaches wonderful of being a first class Essex business leader. our  up  ajourney nd  coming   summer   events:   will recognise that listening is more important than Check  out  

Is it  time  to  shift  your  business     into  its  next  gear?  

talking. Your support should recognise that it is•allJune about 30th,  Chelmsford  -­‐  Building  a  business  plan  for  impact.     July  28th,  Chelmsford  –  How  to  shift  your  business  into  its  next  gear.     you and not them. They will listen to your every•word Dave Co-Founder NextGear For  and more  information   or  Pye, to  book,   visit   and emotion. Their job is to listen to their clients   help them to realise their potential in all aspects of the business of running the business.  

Tel: 01245  790799  


Is it  time  to  shift  your  business     into  its  next  gear?  

Fed  up  with  being  stuck  working   in  your  business  and  not  finding   sufficient  time  to  work  on  it?     Is  your  business  not  growing  as   quickly  as  you’d  like  it  to?     Are  you  clear  on  your  business   end-­‐game  and  do  you  have  a   viable  road  map  to  get  there?  

Talk to  us  at  NextGear  Partners  to  learn  how  our  unique  products  and  services  can   help  you  evolve  your  business  faster  and  more  efficiently.      

A fresh  and  flexible  approach  to  business  coaching  


Check out  our  up  and  coming  summer  events:    

• June 30th,  Chelmsford  -­‐  Building  a  business  plan  for  impact.     • July  28th,  Chelmsford  –  How  to  shift  your  business  into  its  next  gear.     For  more  information  or  to  book,  visit  

Tel: 01245  790799  

Trees for life: sowing the seeds

Autumn collection: Hawthorn berries [Alan Price] and Blackthorn [Amy Lewis] sloes have arrived at the Millennium Seed Bank from EWT Shadwell Wood and Little Waltham Meadows respectively.

Essex Wildlife Trust, through the Living Landscapes initiative, has been working in partnership with Royal Botanic Gardens Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank and other partners to deliver the UK National Tree Seed Project. Funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, it aims to protect the UK’s trees.

Braintree, have now been through the curation process and form part of the same collection as seeds from Bulgaria, Israel, Italy and Spain. Similarly, our Small-leaved Lime seed collection from Brookes is now in storage with donations from Lebanon and Lithuania.

The project launched in May 2013 with a list of priority native trees and shrubs targeted for collection. This priority list gave ranking to individual species according to their conservation ratings, prevalence in the landscape and vulnerability to pests and diseases. Species on the list include Ash, Common Juniper, Scots Pine, Common Alder, Common Beech and Yew.

Clare Trivedi, UK National Tree Seed Project Co-ordinator, said: “Almost all of the nation’s favourite trees species – from oak to ash to beech – are affected by pests and diseases. We are thrilled that Essex Wildlife Trust is working with the UK National Tree Seed Project. Contributions from partners are absolutely vital to help us ensure all areas across the UK are covered.”

Tree seeds collected are banked in underground vaults at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, at Wakehurst Place, West Sussex – forming the UK’s first national collection of tree seeds. These play a vital role in conservation work to protect UK trees and woodlands, including against pests and diseases, such as Ash Dieback. The collections, and associated data, will be available to researchers working on solutions to tackle the threats facing woodlands.

Collections made and donated by Essex Wildlife Trust throughout 2015, which include Blackthorn from Little Waltham Meadows (north of Chelmsford), are currently going through the curation process, which includes cleaning, drying, x-raying and germination. We look forward to contributing collections this year to this project vital to securing the future of many of our beloved trees.

Essex Wildlife Trust joined the project in 2014 and so far has made 11 collections from eight nature reserves, among them Midland Hawthorn from Shadwell Wood, near Saffron Walden, and Wych Elm from Hanningfield Reservoir. Excitingly, collections donated to the Seed Bank in 2014, including Wild Service from Brookes Nature Reserve, near


By Emma Ormond, Essex Wildlife Trust Living Landscapes Co-ordinator




£130 a yea


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.




• Tax advice

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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

The format at every event is as follows:

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

7:30am open networking

attract between 70 and 100 delegates. Our current venues are

8:15am breakfast

below. There is no membership required just come along when

9:00am Speakers, and prize draws

you can.

9:15am Open networking

At all events we follow the same proven formula, we send 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 dedicated YouTube channel. So just search for Business Connected 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

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@Southend Airport

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@The Olympic Park


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For more information on any of these events please call Richard on 01702 513 113


Why employ a gardener to paint your house? You wouldn’t, would you? The same principle applies in business. If you need sharper focus and control of your sales and marketing, finance or employee functions you employ an expert. If you haven’t got the level of activity or budget to employ someone on a full or part-time basis you look at outsourcing as an alternative if you feel that a particular function of your business would benefit from regular, planned attention.

Businesses outsource or contract out their functions to external suppliers to meet a need they are unable to fill with their own internal specialists. Contrast this with businesses taking advice – this happens where guidance or recommendations are taken with regard to specific matters arising with the advice being focused on those matters and those alone. Outsourcing provides continuous control and oversight rather than advice which delivers against specific issues. Insourcing, outsourcing and advisory services should co-exist in well run businesses. I formed PLS last year to provide Outsourced Tax Leadership services to businesses that either want or need to benefit from regular, planned attention of their tax function. As I speak to more and more businesses and advisors it is clear that with the greater complexity of businesses and of the tax laws and systems within which they operate, many businesses would benefit from having continuous control and oversight of their tax function but do not all have a full-time need for it. Larger organisations and multinationals tend to employ Heads of Tax and support them with teams of tax specialists to bridge the gap between management, their tax advisors and the tax authorities. The rest tend to allocate the tax brief to a non-tax expert in the business or they assume that their advisors will go beyond their advisory relationship and proactively handle their tax affairs in a strategic way. The interim tax market has a role to play in handling time or project-based tax issues but this approach doesn’t address the deeper issue of having a dedicated expert taking ownership of the tax function of businesses. You might ask why the finance director or financial controller, whether as an employee or an outsourced provider, shouldn’t do this. In large businesses it is the finance director that has ultimate responsibility and accountability for the finances including the tax affairs. The key difference though is that finance directors have a team of experts around them to provide the day to day leadership in different areas of finance; they delegate key aspects of the


financial affairs of the business to the experts that have been trained in different areas of finance. In businesses of all sizes, finance and other staff within businesses are becoming increasingly time poor with other key business areas to focus on, so outsourcing tax as an important management role should be considered. In my former role as Head of Tax at a large, international group I had day to day responsibility for the group’s tax affairs and I had a team of tax experts in the business that helped me to do that. I ultimately reported to group’s finance director but I was left alone to ensure that we delivered against the group’s tax strategy, had an appropriate tax policy, controls and tax governance, worked closely with other business leaders to ensure that tax was proactively managed in the business and that we properly reported tax numbers and complied with tax legislation and practice. We adopted a risk-based approach to managing the tax affairs of the Group which meant that we took advice where the risk assessment indicated that we should. Even then we didn’t abdicate responsibility when we sought advice as we cultivated excellent relationships with a network of specialist tax advisors so that we could pull in the right advisor at the right time and we managed the tax advisory process from beginning to end. All this takes time to do well and good understanding of the business to get the right focus. I believe that outsourcing the tax functions of businesses will become more common place. Businesses of all sizes grow and extend their reach, employ and engage people and technology solutions and enter into transactions. Navigating these complexities and taking ownership of them is what we do. I would like to see companies of all sizes have access to a tax expert to lead their tax affairs. I am Justin Walton and I formed PLS in 2015. PLS is an outsourced provider of tax leadership services to companies. We bridge the gap between management, advisors and the tax authorities supporting our clients on their day to day tax affairs and their longer term tax positions. For businesses that already have their own in-house tax people, we can help them become more effective and more efficient. For those that do not we provide the comfort and assurance that someone close to the business has tax as the number one priority on their list of things to do. t: 02037419574 e: w: Twitter: @justinplstax

Essex Round up Dragon’s Den event at Writtle College Last month Essex County Council’s (ECC) Essex Innovation Programme (EIP) and ECC’s Environment Team ran a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event in partnership with Writtle College to inspire entrepreneurship in their degree students. Students from a variety of degree disciplines including veterinary, animal & equine management and sports therapy were brought together at the business pitch event. The students heard from speakers about environmental sustainability in these industries. A competition held at the event was sponsored by companies who offered their knowledge, expertise and prizes including… • Writtle College • Essex Innovation Programme • Business Connected • Simboc • Wilkin & Sons • Institute of Directors Students were tasked with identifying an environmental issue in their sector and coming up with a potential innovative solution. This included devising a marketing strategy and financial requirements before presenting a three minute pitch to the ‘Dragons’. With support from the roving speakers five teams presented a variety of ideas; all of which showed market potential and impressed the judges. The winning team were ‘Team Forte’ whose members were Lucy Phillips, Laura Davey, Sara Cottrell and Emma Walker. After initially investigating an idea to turn sulphur in to another material, the team settled on an anti-indigestion medication for cows called ‘Coweze’ a garlic based medication to prevent cows burping methane! “We were very pleased with how our first Dragon’s Den competition went. All students threw themselves into the challenge. We now plan to run the competition annually as an essential part of their studies.” Pennie Wallace, Senior Lecturer in Equine and Business Management, Writtle College Visit for more information.

For more from around the county and to find the sources to all of these and many more Essex news stories please visit Business news stories are updated every day.


Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! East Essex Regional Final Delivered by Speakers Trust and funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation, Gareth Moriarty from St Benedict’s Catholic College scooped top prize in the East Essex Regional Final of Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge!, held at St Benedict’s Catholic College on Tuesday 17th May 2016. Gareth impressed the judges with his winning speech “First World Rant” fighting off stiff competition from 17 other young speakers from schools in the East Essex area. About the experience he said, “I’m really appreciative of everyone that has helped me and obviously really surprised that I have actually won”. After just one day of public speaking and effective communication training, 650 year 10 students aged 1415, from 17 schools in East Essex took part in the “Speak Out” competition. Gareth won a £100 Gift Certificate for coming first and a chance to go through to the Grand Final of the “Speak Out” Challenge! due to take place on Monday 4th July 2016 at the Piccadilly Theatre. Councillor Theresa Higgins presented the awards and said; “What a brilliant evening. The students were fantastic with interesting choices of topics and which were well delivered and executed. It’s just amazing to see so many young people with so much confidence stand up and present to a large audience in such a positive manner. Well done everyone.” The judging panel at the event included Jane Blomeley (Chief Executive Officer of the Colchester and Tendring Youth Enquiry Service); David Burch (Director of Policy, Essex Chamber of Commerce); Alison Andreas (Principal and Chief Executive, Colchester Institute); Lee Palfreyman (Station Manager, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service); David Bell (Essex Regional Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses); Gavin Vaclavik (DJ, Business Owner and Member of Toastmasters); Cllr Sue Lissimore (Deputy Cabinet Member for Education for Essex County Council); Chief Inspector Elliott Judge (Colchester District Commander, Essex Police) and Emily Carmen (JPSOC Runner Up 2014-15).

The A120 Campaign It is just over a year to the day since the Prime Minister pledged to match Essex County Council’s £5m into funding a full feasibility study into duelling the A120 between Braintree and the A12. For the A120 campaign and its supporters, David Cameron’s announcement in Clacton on the 24th April 2015 was indeed a momentous day, capping off many years of hard campaigning. Following confirmation of the funding in the Budget in July 2015, Essex County Council have been preparing the groundwork to consult local residents and businesses about a potential new route. For those that aren’t aware, the A120 is the key route linking Stansted in the west, through major towns such as Braintree and Colchester, all the way to Harwich in the east. However, it is also one of the most congested and dangerous roads in the country leading to a poor level of service for drivers with poor reliability and queuing traffic. In fact, in some sections it resembles a country lane rather than a key artery that forms part of a trans-European network. For the Haven Gateway Partnership, who have been leading the A120 campaign, our focus is now to rally strong local business support ahead of the consultation process. The messages we’re getting from Essex County Council, Highways England and the Department for Transport (who will ultimately decide whether or not to give the green light) is that a strong business case will have to be made if investment is to be given the go ahead. Whilst we need business groups such as FSB, IoD and Chambers of Commerce to support our campaign as representatives of businesses, we also need to secure support from as many individual businesses as possible, which is why we are reaching out to you as individual organisations. In this regard, it is a matter of quantity as well as quality.



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A Sign of the Times? With the recent publicity surrounding the Administration of BHS and Austin Reed, the question of the viability of the High Street remains. We are all aware of the problems; poor and / or expensive parking, cheaper products on-line, inconvenient opening hours are prohibitive to most people who work a ‘9 to 5’ job. With the supermarkets / retail parks opening as long as they can and selling a fair range of products at competitive prices, why would we want to bother with the High Street? If you look at an average High Street these days, you are bound to see at least one or more of the following; charity shops, betting shops and chain coffee shops. Either gone completely or in the minority are the independent / locally owned small businesses selling hardware, electrical products, the butcher or greengrocer. What is encouraging is that the Administrators of BHS advised that they have received ‘multiple offers’ to buy some or all of the BHS business. They have 164 shops and some 11,000 staff so if any or all of these jobs can be saved then that is good news. The shops are going to be in prime locations and should therefore be attractive to its competitors on the High Street. But why did it fail? We are only able to pick up points from the press, the pension fund deficit is a large factor as is the ‘outdated’ stores and product ranges. The business has debts in the region of £1.3 billion including the pension deficit, that size of liability would be virtually impossible to turnaround. What next for BHS? Well it depends on the route taken by the Administrators, they are tied by what parts of the business they have received offers on, and whether anyone is willing to make a sensible offer for the whole business. The Administrators may only be able to settle the liabilities of the secured creditors, but if it saves the majority or all of the jobs then it may be the best / only option.


Could this failure have been avoided? Can the High Street be saved? Whether you are a large retailer such as BHS / Austin Reed or a small independent retailer/ High Street business, the warning signs do tend to be there sometimes months prior to any positive action being taken. One thing is for certain, the sooner the warning signs can be recognised, the more options are available to the business owner. The areas to pay specific attention to include ensuring your financial information is up to date and where possible prepare future projections to help you manage cash flow – particularly if the business is going to be affected by seasonal influences. All of which can be planned for. If you are experiencing creditor pressure, perhaps rent and rates arrears, it is imperative that you communicate with your creditors and work with them to put a repayment plan in place. Creditors tend to be understanding and simply want their goods paid for so keeping the lines of communication open is key. This applies to both Banks and HMRC. At LB Insolvency Solutions Limited we are able to assist your business with a confidential and free initial consultation. The purpose of which is to explore the options available to you. At any stage of the process our experience can add value, or provide the solutions for your business. All consultations are confidential, no obligation and free of charge. In the first instance, please contact Andrew Dix or Nicole Southwell on 01245 254791 or email

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Business Podcasts For the last few editions we have been bringing you a review of some of our favourite business books. A lot of business people simply don’t have time to read a book a week / month. With this in mind this edition we have turned our attention to the world of Podcasts. A Podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new instalments of which can be received by subscribers automatically. Here are some of our favourites:

The Tim Ferriss Show Tim Ferriss is a self-experimenter and bestselling author, best known for The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been translated into 40+ languages. Newsweek calls him “the world’s best human guinea pig,” and The New York Times calls him “a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk.” In this show, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use.

#AskGaryVee Show The #AskGaryVee show, answers questions about marketing, social media, and entrepreneurship. Gary Vaynerchuk builds businesses. Fresh out of college he took his family wine business and grew it from a $3M to a $60M business in just five years. Now he runs VaynerMedia, one of the world’s hottest digital agencies. Along the way he became a prolific angel investor and venture capitalist, investing in companies like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, and Birchbox before eventually co-founding VaynerRSE, a $25M investment fund. The #AskGaryVee Show is on YouTube and is great, but you can’t really watch it while you’re at the gym, driving to work or walking the dog. So now, the #AskGaryVee Show is now a podcast.


Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Since 2005 a group at Stanford University has been podcasting talks from some of the most successful people in business and technology. The speaker generally gives an overview of their experiences as an entrepreneur along with advice for anyone looking to start a business. On this podcast you’ll hear from such thought leaders as former AOL CEO Steve Case, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, sustainability architect & coauthor of Cradle to Cradle William McDonough, Former CEO of HP Carly Fiorina, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and people from Google, Yahoo, and dozens of other companies you’re probably familiar with.

The Fluid Business Podcast

Peter Day’s World of Business

Recorded weekly in Chelmsford, Essex, and hosted by marketing manager David Sargant, Fluid’s aim is to help empower you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Insights into the business world with Peter Day - featuring content from BBC Radio 4’s In Business programme, and also Global Business from the BBC World Service.


Don’t Be A Statistic – Health & Safety in our Region When it comes to Health & Safety in the workplace, we’re talking big business: the overall cost to UK employers of workplace injuries and illness is over £14 billion per year. That’s a lot of slips and trips! Whilst statistically, larger organisations are likely to have a greater number of incidences of injury or ill health at work, smaller organisations are less likely to have the correct health & safety controls and policies in place, and are therefore putting themselves at a disproportionately high risk of having to deal with the consequences of something going wrong. In the East of England alone there were nearly 2300 injuries to workers last year, according to data from the Health & Safety Executive. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics for our region in more detail. The cost of workplace illness in the East of England in 2013 was a staggering £676million, and the cost of workplace injury was a still an eye watering £416million. These figures just take into account new cases of illness or injury and don’t include those that have carried over from the previous year. Unsurprisingly, if you break down the number of workplace injuries by industry sector, we find that a large percentage of these occur in the construction industry, with 158 reported injuries last year. The service sector accounted for the second most number of injuries at 137, although this sector does cover a broad spectrum of occupation types. Manufacturing accounted for 104 injuries, 70 in Energy, Recycling & Waste, 57 in Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing and just 4 in Mining & Quarrying. When we think of accidents at work, we most likely think of falling off ladders, or a slip or trip on a factory floor. Indeed these are the two most common kind of incidents reported in our region, with falls from height and slips and trips accounting for 134 causes of injuries each last year. But there are a whole host of other reported accidents, usually caused by poor health & safety management, and often avoidable. These include contact with machinery, lifting and handling, struck by a vehicle or moving object and physical assault, all of which recorded incidences of between 70 and 110 last year. Less common, but nevertheless extremely serious, accidents include contact with electricity (14), exposure to explosion (7), exposure to harmful substances (14), drowning or asphyxiation (2) and exposure to fire (18).

Whilst thankfully most accidents at work tend to be minor and cause no long term injury, last year there were 11 fatalities as a result of workplace injury, working out at 0.4 fatalities for every 100,000 workers. Although this is a slight increase on the previous year (9 fatalities) it is significantly less than the 5 year average of 15 per year, so we can hope that we are seeing a downward trend as we strive to make our working environments safer. Again, these figures are specific to the East of England. As well as injuries in the workplace, illnesses caused in the line of work are also an extremely serious issue with approximately 110,000 new or ongoing cases of self reported illness caused or made worse by work in our region alone last year. Asbestos related illness, respiratory issues, hand arm vibration, noise-induced hearing loss, work related skin disease and musculoskeletal disorders are some of the debilitating illness that workers may suffer. But, in addition to these, you may be surprised to learn that stress accounts for a large proportion of work-related illnesses. Last year there were 40,000 cases of self-reported stress, depression or anxiety caused or made worse by work in the East of England. It has been found that stress is more prevalent in public service industries, such as education, health and social care with the key triggers cited as workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support. The statistics may make uncomfortable reading and experts agree that more thought should be given to the provision of awareness and training, particularly to small and medium sized businesses to help reduce their incidences of workplace accident and illnesses. Keeping up to date with new regulations will not only help reduce the risk of prosecution for non-compliance, but also help ensure best practice. Whilst it’s essential to make an investment in your Health & Safety Management, it’s better to have the correct systems and policies in place now, rather than risk the safety and well being of your employees and the financial burden it may bring if you haven’t got it right. And of course, a safe and healthy workforce mean better productivity and better results for your business in the long run so don’t let your employees become a health & safety statistic.

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GS 300h prices start from £28,995. Model shown is GS 300h Executive Edition £33,495, including option metallic paint at £610. *For Business Users only. Initial rental and VAT applies. Available on new sales of GS 300h Executive Edition. Ordered and proposed for finance between 1 April 2016 and 30 June 2016, registered and financed by 30 September 2016 through Lexus Financial Services on Lexus Connect Contract Hire. Advertised rental based on a 2 year non-maintained contract, 8,000 miles per annum. Initial rental £1,798.76 + VAT. Excess mileage charges apply. Other finance offers available but cannot be used in conjunction with this offer. Participating Lexus Centres. Lexus Centres are independent of Lexus Financial Services. Terms and conditions apply. Indemnities may be required. Finance subject to status to over 18s only. Lexus Financial Services is a trading name of Toyota Financial Services (UK) PLC. Registered Office: Great Burgh, Burgh Heath, Epsom, KT18 5UZ. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The MPG figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results. They are provided for comparability purposes, and may not reflect actual driving experience. GS 300h Executive Edition fuel consumption and CO2 figures: urban 61.4 mpg (4.6 l/100km), extra-urban 65.7 mpg (4.3 l/100km), combined 64.2 mpg (4.4 l/100km), 104g/km CO2 (17% BIK)

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Models shown are 2015 Auris Hybrid Business Edition 5 door 1.8 VVT-i Auto £21,895. 2015 Avensis Touring Sports Business Edition 5 door 1.6 D-4D Manual £21,795. Price excludes metallic paint at £495 ex VAT. *Business users only. Initial rental and VAT applies. Available on new sales of models shown when ordered and proposed for finance between 1st April and 30th June 2016 registered and financed by 30th September 2016 through Toyota Financial Services on Toyota Contract Hire. Advertised rentals are based on 2 year non maintained contracts at 8,000 miles per annum over 2 years with an initial rental of £1,014+VAT for 2015 Auris Hybrid Business Edition 5 door 1.8 VVT-i Auto and £1,110+VAT for 2015 Avensis Touring Sports Business Edition 5 door 1.6 D-4D Manual. Metallic or pearlescent paint are not included. Excess mileage charges apply. Other finance offers are available but cannot be used in conjunction with this offer. At participating Toyota Centres. Toyota Centres are independent of Toyota Financial Services. Terms and conditions apply. Indemnities may be required. Finance subject to status to over 18s only. Toyota Financial Services (UK) PLC. Registered Office: Great Burgh, Burgh Heath, Epsom, KT18 5UZ. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 5 year/100,000 mile manufacturer warranty subject to terms and conditions.

2015 Auris Hybrid Business Edition 5 door 1.8 VVT-i Auto. Official Fuel Consumption Figures in mpg (l/100km): Urban 80.7 (3.5), Extra Urban 80.7 (3.5), Combined 78.5 (3.6). CO2 Emissions 82g/km. 2015 Avensis Touring Sports Business Edition 5 door 1.6 D-4D Manual. Official Fuel Consumption Figures in mpg (l/100km): Urban 55.4 (5.1), Extra Urban 74.3 (3.8), Combined 67.3 (4.2). CO2 Emissions 110g/km. All mpg and CO2 figures quoted are sourced from official EU regulated laboratory test results. These are provided to allow comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect your actual driving experience.

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Issue 19 Business Connected Essex Edition  

Issue 19 Business Connected Essex Edition

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