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Suffolk Edition Issue 10 October / November 2015

Face to Face or Head in the Cloud? Juliet Price Managing Director of Park City discusses

PLUS...

Networking Events Directory of Business Events in your area Business Features Articles from Suffolk’s finest businesses Suffolk Round-up Business news from around the County Premier Partners The Business Connected Partnership Scheme


In this edition...

October/November 2015

Premier Partner Scheme

Suffolk Round Up

06-07: Find out more details on

18-19: We take a look at a

the Business Connected Premier Partner Scheme and take a look at our current partners.

number of latest news stories from around the County.

HR Update

Telecoms Update

08-09: Face to Face or Head in

22: Premier Partner Shahram

the Cloud? Juliet Price, Managing Director of Park City discusses.

08-09: HR Update

Bagherzadeh discusses five

important considerations when moving to VoIP. 18-19: Suffolk Round Up

Cyber Security

Top Tips

14: Paul Rolison discusses “Why

26-27: Top Tips to help make

now is the time to start talking

sure you get paid. Written by TM

about it.”

Law in association with Redwood Clarke.

Suffolk Networking Events

Social Media

16-17: Take a look at all the

28: Is your company’s Social

recommended networking events

Media in the right Hands? Answer

across Suffolk.

10 questions to see if you’re on

22: Telecoms Update

the right track.

26-27: Top Tips

www.businessconnected.co.uk

3


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Editor’s Note I hope you enjoyed your summer and welcome to the latest business connected

Get In Touch

Suffolk magazine. This edition sees a number of great features. Our cover and lead feature poses the question of face

Tel: 01702 513113

to face or head in the cloud and fantastic HR article brought to you by Park City’s

Email: info@businessconnected.co.uk Or Visit: www.businessconnected.co.uk

Managing Director Juliet Price. We take Richard Pond MANAGING DIRECTOR

a look at the latest Cyber Security Issues, top tips for getting paid, 5 important

considerations when moving to VoIP and the popular Suffolk job board. Our center pages highlight a number of fantastic networking events that take place across Suffolk. For more information on all things Business

Follow us on Facebook

Connected please see below.

www.facebook.com/ BusinessConnected

Follow us on Twitter @Connected_Essex

About us Business Connected as a brand brings together businesses across a variety

All rights reserved. No part of this

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

publication may be reproduced in whole

form of this our countywide magazine and much more. Business Connected

or in part in any way without prior written

is proud to be operating the county’s premier b2b magazine, networking

permission of Business Connected Ltd.

events and online portal that focus on the business community of Essex.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure

We bring local businesses together via the many platforms that we operate.

accuracy, no liability can be accepted for

Our magazine is distributed across the whole county in print and online. Our

any errors or omissions.

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 Suffolk. You may have heard about the Business

Printed in the UK by Printwize

Connected Premier Partner scheme which helps businesses be seen not

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just in print but also online and through our fantastic social media offering. Full details on our events can be found on page 16 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 www.businessconnected.co.uk or give us a call on 01702 513113.

www.businessconnected.co.uk

5


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

To find out how to become a Premier Partner and to see if

www.businessconnected.co.uk/premier-partners/

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.

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

4 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

4 BUSINESS

CONNECTED

MAGAZINE

full

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

between.

-

A

media sites.

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

4 WEBSITE

- 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

website we are the number one place to find business news.

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.

staff.

4 EMAIL CAMPAIGNS - Need to get the message out to

6

4 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

are working around the clock to find our partner’s leads,

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.

www.businessconnected.co.uk


How VORTEX paid for Sponsorship with Spare Capacity VORTEX EXHAUST TECHNOLOGY are experts in improving efficiency of vehicle engines and wanted to expand their brand awareness by creating a marketing budget they currently didn’t have.

1. Vortex opened a

account. 2. BBX sold Vortex’s Spare Capacity (Exhaust Systems) within the BBX Community.

3. Vortex received BBX pounds. 4. BBX sourced a sponsorship opportunity (Legends Cars) for Vortex. 5. Vortex paid for the sponsorship with their BBX pounds leaving their cash flow intact.

Result = Vortex have paid for Sponsorship with Exhaust Systems.

Loyalty Reward System www.grouptrader.com

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Lending www.fleximize.com

H&S www.parkcity.co.uk

Office Furniture www.century-office.co.uk

Printers www.printwize.co.uk

Turn your spare capacity into something you want. Call BBX on 0333 400 2014

Recruitment www.polkadotfrog.co.uk

Trade Exchange www.bbxuk.com

www.businessconnected.co.uk

7


in the Cloud? In the present age of gimmicky smart phones, superfast broadband and the

Juliet Price, Park City

Face to “Face or Head

the company on a regular basis will get to grips with the business and meet the staff, allowing them to offer an ongoing, tailored

ability to live out one’s existence in the

service which evolves as the organisation requires. As smart as

cloud, more and more businesses are

technology is these days, an internet portal just can’t quite provide

taking advantage of moving their service

the same personal experience. Sitting down and downloading

offering to an online platform; diminishing,

generic documents may at first seem like a simple option, but the

or even eliminating, the need for face-to-

“one size fits all” documents, policies and letters are, in fact, unlikely

face contact. For many sectors, particularly

to fit your business without any alteration, a director or manager still

those involved in the buying or selling of

has to invest their time interpreting and amending them to suit their

physical goods, it’s an excellent opportunity to cut overheads and provide a fast and efficient service. But when it comes to buying and selling a less tangible product - such as Human Resources Advice taking the virtual route may not be best for your business.

own needs. You may say it’s a false economy. Of course, just because your HR provider takes the personal approach, it doesn’t mean they shun modern technology. You’ll still have access to all the necessary policies and letters, but they’ll be

Many small and medium sized businesses find that outsourcing their

those that have been custom created for your company and kept up

HR to an external provider proves to be a time and cost efficient way

to date without you even having to think about it, just ask for what

of dealing with their staff issues, rather than employing a full-time

you need and it’s emailed to you.

member of staff. And whilst using an on-line portal-type provider

And don’t forget employees

may offer a cheap alternative (which became increasingly popular during the recession), more and more companies are these days

HR provision is just as important for employees as it is for employers.

looking for an HR provider who will offer a more human approach to

Not only do they want to see a face in their organisation that

their personnel management.

represents them and demonstrates the importance of staff welfare,

Benefits for businesses

but having someone available to talk to in person to air any grievances and help resolve day-to-day issues is important on an

Understanding the needs of the organisation, including those of

individual level. Having an HR Manager speak to employees in

stakeholders and managers, is essential for delivering effective

person allows them to better perceive emotions and attitudes, which

and relevant HR guidance. One of the key advantages of face-

helps them get a truer understanding of the overall atmosphere

to-face meetings is that it allows you to create mutual trust much

within the workplace.

more quickly than through purely electronic communication.

It’s not just tea & sympathy

By establishing that trust, it allows for a better understanding of expectations. It is also much easier to have a two way question and

Whilst Human Resources these days is less about tea and sympathy

answer session about the business and its processes in person than

and more about contributing to bottom line results, sitting down

it is to have a never-ending chain of emails or a faceless call centre.

over a nice hot cuppa can go a long way to putting the world to

Restructuring a department, dealing with employee relations and hiring new recruits all require an in depth knowledge of how a company operates. A dedicated HR manager taking the time to visit

8

www.businessconnected.co.uk

rights. Despite the continuing evolution of technology, there is no replacement for face-to-face contact when dealing with personnel management.


Navigating your business through the HR landscape

Talk to the experts Call us on 01206 752100 or visit us online at www.parkcity.co.uk Real people, real experts, real time Park City Consulting Limited Tel: 01206 752100 Fax: 01206 752400 Email: consulting@parkcity.co.uk 894 The Crescent, Colchester Business Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 9YQ


R & D Consulting T: 01245 905 145 | info@randdconsulting.co.uk www.randdconsulting.co.uk

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We are a specialist firm who employ industry experts and only offer advice regarding R & D Tax Relief, so there is no need to change your current accountant to use our services. In fact a lot of our clients come from a referral network we have in place with accountancy firms who do not offer R & D tax advice themselves.


Cyber Security

Paul Rolison, Yellowspring Ltd

Why now is the time to start talking about it

The latest PWC Information Security

lost sales and reputational damage.

ever more present. The acceptance of

Breaches Survey commissioned by HM

The

suffer

unexpected emails and the opening of

Government shows that security breaches

disproportionately more and with some

their attachments is a key contributor to

continue to grow in number and impact

businesses unable to sustain the damage

a breach where malware is installed and

across large and small business alike.

caused and never recover.

access to systems provided to cyber

90%

smaller

business

often

The nature of breaches are changing with

of large organisations

attacks from external sources continuing

% of small businesses

to attack although smaller businesses

to grow. Larger businesses are more prone

74

may simply not know that they have

had a security breach.

been attacked as the available budget

Up from 81% a year ago.

and resource to monitor attacks is not

Up from 60% a year ago.

available. The ‘Denial of Service’ type of attack is continuing to reduce from a high

The report sampled large and small business across the UK and in both size categories the rise in breaches is significant. Some security commentators say that almost all large business have suffered a breach but just don’t know that they have – potentially a more worrying statistic. Of those surveyed 59% expect the number of security incidents to grow over the coming 12 months and will continue to increase their spend to seek better protection

through

technology

and

people skills. The impact on businesses will inevitably be measured in terms of additional costs,

14

www.businessconnected.co.uk

point in 2013. Whilst external attacks continue to play a large part in the breaches recorded, the Human Factor remains a big issue for large businesses in particular. The need to ensure that a security culture is developed and maintained within a business is

criminals.

75%

31%

of large organisations of small businesses

suffered staff related security breaches in the last year. Up from 58% a year ago. Up from 22% a year ago.

There are clear business benefits to be gained from developing and maintaining a Cyber Security strategy and include:less disruption caused by breaches; confidence that the business can protect valuable data, both that of the business and of its clients; ability to secure contracts

69%

of large organisations

38

% of small businesses

were attacked by an unauthorised outsider in the last year. Up from 55% a year ago. Slightly up from 33% a year ago.

requiring security standard accreditation; and many others. For more information about Cyber Security contact Maria West on 01268 494160 or email maria.west@yellowspring.co.uk


Premier Partner to

Printers of this Magazine

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Suffolk 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 www.businessconnected.co.uk/businessnetworking/ or give us a call today on 01702 513113.

Our Current Venues Business Connected

Business Connected

Business Connected

Business Connected

Business Connected

@Essex Cricket Club

@Southend Airport

@Ipswich Town FC

@Colchester United

@The Olympic Park

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www.businessconnected.co.uk


The Best of the Rest OCTOBER October 6th & 20th 8am - 10am 4N Ipswich. Location: The Oyster Reach, Ipswich IP2 8ND . Cost: £12 October 13th & 27th 8am - 10am 4N Bury St Edmunds. Location: Bury St Edmunds Golf Club
, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3PH Cost: £12

October 13th 6:45am - 9am Expert Circles Ipswich. Location: The Cameo Hotel.Copdock IP8 3JD. Cost: £17 October 13th & 27th 7:15am - 9am Ipswich Business over Breakfast. Location: Bear’s Boutique Bowling Bar and Grill, Ipswich, IP4 1JN. Cost: £12

October 14th 1pm - 2pm Felixstowe Business Lunch. Location: The Brook Hotel, Felixstowe, IP11 7PF. Cost: £10 October 14th 6:45am - 9am Expert Circles Sudbury. Location: Newton Green Golf Club, Sudbury, CO10 0QN. Cost: £17 October 14th & 28th 8am - 10am EBN Ipswich. Location: Belstead Brook Hotel, Ipswich, IP2 9HB. Cost: Membership £195 Breakfast £10 October 19th 12pm - 2pm Ipswich Entrepreneurs’ Lunch. Location: The Cameo Hotel, Ipswich, IP8 3JD. Cost: £20 October 21st 9:30am - 11:30am CoastalNet. Location: Ufford Park, Melton IP12 1QW. Cost: £5

NOVEMBER November 3rd & 17th 8am - 10am 4N Ipswich. Location: The Oyster Reach, Ipswich IP2 8ND. Cost: £12 November 10th & 24th 8am - 10am 4N Bury St Edmunds. Location: Bury St Edmunds Golf Club
, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3PH. Cost: £12

November 10th 6:45am - 9am Expert Circles Ipswich. Location: The Cameo Hotel, Copdock IP8 3JD. Cost: £17 November 10th & 24th & 29th September 7:15am - 9am Ipswich Business over Breakfast. Location: Bear’s Boutique Bowling Bar and Grill, Ipswich, IP4 1JN. Cost: £12

November 11th 1pm - 2pm Felixstowe Business Lunch Location: The Brook Hotel, Felixstowe, IP11 7PF. Cost: £10 November 11th 6:45am - 9am Expert Circles Sudbury. Location: Newton Green Golf Club, Sudbury, CO10 0QN. Cost: £17 November 11th & 25th 8am - 10am EBN Ipswich. Location: Belstead Brook Hotel, Ipswich, IP2 9HB Cost: Membership £195 Breakfast £10

November 16th 12pm - 2pm Ipswich Entrepreneurs’ Lunch. Location: The Cameo Hotel, Ipswich, IP8 3JD. Cost: £20

November 18th 9:30am 11:30am CoastalNet. Location: Ufford Park, Melton

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

IP12 1QW. Cost: £5

www.businessconnected.co.uk

17


Suffolk Round up Marriott Motor Group unveils plan for new Ipswich Audi showroom at Futura Park The Marriott Motor Group is planning a new £8million showroom and service centre for its Audi dealership in Ipswich. Marriott has exchanged contracts with AquiGen, the company behind the Futura Park retail and business park development, for a four-acre site. The deal is subject to the approval of planning consent but construction work is poised to begin almost immediately and the new site could open as early as autumn next year. Paul Barnard, managing director of Marriott Motor Group, whose current Ipswich Audi operation is based in Bath Street, said: “This is an exciting project for us and represents our largest ever property investment in what will be the flagship site across our group of 12 dealerships. “We immediately bought into the vision of quality and sense of destination at Futura Park, and we are confident that our plans will be welcomed by the local council,” he added. Paul Isaacs, managing director of AquiGen, said of the new deal: “It is great to welcome yet another prestigious brand to Futura Park, adding to the current household names including Waitrose and John Lewis at home.The new Audi dealership will be a fantastic addition to the park, and the investment means another boost to the local economy, providing more jobs and attracting visitors.” The Marriott deal comes shortly after Marshall’s announcement of a £7m project to create a new Jaguar Land Rover dealership at the Nacton Road entrance to Futura Park, which occupies the site of the former Crane foundry. He added: “Together with the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce we are looking forward to supporting firms and business organisations to help make this campaign successful and a fundamental part of economic growth in our county in 2016 and beyond.”

Suffolk entrepreneur Kelly-Anne Byres shortlisted for two national awards A fledgling entrepreneur whose business has taken on more than 100 staff in 18 months has been shortlisted for two prestigious awards. Kelly-Anne Byres, director of Poppy Nursing and Care Services, is a finalist in the Young Entrepreneur category of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in association with NatWest and is in the running to be named Entrepreneur of the Year in the Women of the Future Awards, run by Aviva. Kelly and business partner Claire Woodman launched their nursing agency just 18 months ago after spotting a gap in the market for the provision of high quality and affordable NHS staff. They have since moved to bigger office premises in Ipswich, opened a second branch of the business in Nottingham and secured exclusive contracts with leading hospital trusts. Kelly, 27, from Rendlesham, who also runs accountancy firm KBL Accounts which she set up when she was just 24, said: “We put patient care firmly at the core of the business which is why we have become a trusted and well-respected agency so quickly. It has been a roller coaster ride but we have worked hard to stand out from the crowd. Being nominated for awards and recognised for our achievements is the icing on the cake.” Earlier this year Kelly was named as “One to Watch” in a prestigious list of 35 Women Under 35 compiled by Management Today magazine. She was also a finalist in the East Anglian Daily Times Business Awards in the Young Businessperson of the Year category. For more from around the county and to find the sources to all of these and many more Suffolk news stories please visit www.businessconnected.co.uk Business news stories are updated every day.

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Servest lands staff catering contract at Madame Tussauds London West Suffolk-based Servest Catering has won a three-year contract at the world-famous Madame Tussauds tourist attraction in London. The deal, worth £200,000 a year, will see Servest provide breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks and hospitality services for staff at Madame Tussauds London, which is famed for its waxwork images of celebrities. Servest, which is based at Fornham All Saints, near Bury St Edmunds, said: “Many of those working at Madame Tussauds were young, aspiring actors and therefore expected a catering service matching the high street in terms of quality and price.” The company had taken over the contract at relatively short notice, having been approached by Madame Tussauds London in June, the company added. Peter Gallagher, facilities manager at Madame Tussauds London, said: “We asked Servest to mobilise a full service for us within two weeks, which I thought would be a major challenge for any provider.” True to their word, the team had a sandwich and snack service running within 36 hours and a full hot breakfast and lunch service within one week.

County’s employers set ‘Suffolk 500’ apprenticeship challenge A campaign has been launched to encourage more businesses in Suffolk to take advantage of Government support for the creation on apprenticeships. The “Suffolk 500” initiative aims to secure commitments from employers around the county to recruit 500 new apprentices within the next 100 working days. It involves the Apprenticeships Suffolk Business Service (ASBS), working in partnership with Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce which hosted a recent launch ceremony at its offices in Ipswich. Teresa Logan, ASBS director, said: “ASBS works with employers in Suffolk to create apprenticeship roles in local businesses and to make taking on an apprentice simple and easy. ASBS provides free advice to help businesses meet their recruitment and business development needs through apprenticeships, and to source the best training and support.” She added: “Together with the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce we are looking forward to supporting firms and business organisations to help make this campaign successful and a fundamental part of economic growth in our county in 2016 and beyond.”

Bury St Edmunds-based Glasswells invests in removals fleet Bury St Edmunds-based Glasswells has upgraded its fleet of removals vehicles by taking delivery of a new DAF “Euro 6” lorry, representing an investment of more than £80,000. The new low emission truck features a larger and more comfortable sleeping area for the crew, making it ideal for European and long distance moves. It is the third new vehicle of this design that the family-owned business has acquired in the past 18 months. The 15 tonne HGVs have been developed for maximum transport efficiency offering low operational costs, optimum vehicle performance and an even higher level of driver safety. Environmentally, the trucks satisfy the EU Directive on low emissions and, therefore, can be used to enter low-emission zones throughout Europe such as London and Paris. To top it off, Glasswells appointed Hatcher, a cab conversion specialist in Framlingham, to provide the crew with two separate sleeping areas, delivering a much better level of comfort and privacy for those overnight jobs. Bob Allen, removal and transport manager, said: “This particular type of lorry is very good news for our customers. We can safely pack possessions directly into containers which are then simply loaded on and off the vehicle, greatly reducing the risk of any breakages or losses.”

www.businessconnected.co.uk

19


We’re on the move! Due to continued growth over the last 6 years, our Ipswich team have moved offices to provide even better facilities to candidates, clients and staff. Moving just a few doors away from their very well-known offices on the corner of Queen Street, polkadotfrog now have a two floor office space at number 22 Queen Street. The new premises give a whole extra floor for candidate and client meetings, and 3 private rooms which can be offered to clients for interviews if required. The Ipswich office have Specialist Consultants in the following areas and work with a multitude of companies of all industries and sizes, from helping a small start-up

Roz Ralph

Imogen Armstrong

Amanda Roper

Temporary Staffing

Sales & Marketing, Customer Service

Legal, HR, PA/ Secretarial and Administration

Guy Fleming

Kelly West

Shipping and Transport

Finance

recruit their first employee to the strategic recruitment of Sales and Marketing Directors for multinational companies and anything in-between. On the temp side, we help with planned cover for holidays, to urgent calls from clients on a Monday morning when a key team member has not arrived for work – we fill that gap quickly and reliably to ensure our clients’ business carries on as usual. We are relied upon by our clients to provide professional, honest and informative recruitment solutions, and we take this task very seriously indeed. For any information on our services, please contact us on 01473 213136.

www.polkadotfrog.co.uk


Cambridge 01954 213 400

Ipswich 01473 213 136

Norwich 01603 337 000

www.polkadotfrog.co.uk

Where it all began After working together in the recruitment sector and seeing firsthand the good, bad and ugly side of the industry, polkadotfrog was established in 2003 by founders Lucy Tufts and Jane Harris from a single office in Cambridge. Lucy and Jane wanted to put their knowledge and experience into building a recruitment agency based on transparency, trust and delivering results and chose the name polkadotfrog to stand out from the crowd. In 2010 a second office was launched in Ipswich, headed-up by polkadotfrog Director Emma Cotton, and in January 2011 a third office in Norwich was opened.

In an average year we make over 350 permanent placements

85% of our business comes from client/candidate recommendations and referrals

On average, 87% of candidates, once placed by us, remain in their positions for longer than five years

Working with You Our team of talented frogs have the skills, experience and passion to deliver a professional, personal and quality service to clients and candidates alike. We pride ourselves on the relationships we build and on being a trusted member of our clients’ team. We treat each candidate as an individual and get to know them on both a professional and personal level to ensure that they are motivated individuals with the skill sets, attitudes and personality needed to succeed on their chosen career path. We offer fresh, forward-thinking and flexible solutions for both temporary, permanent and contract positions, tailored to our clients’ specific needs. Each member of our team is specialised in their own sector of expertise. This ensures a smooth and seamless process and a positive and successful, cost-effective match.

Your career and future is extremely important so why settle for second best?

Our vision is to be seen as a reputable and reliable recruitment service across East Anglia.

A friend recommended I approached polkadotfrog to help me with my job search. I was very impressed with my initial contact, and found the informal chat very useful, as the questions asked helped me to understand better what I was looking for in a job. I felt encouraged and valued, and am now excited about taking up my new post. Louise, Candidate

The recruitment process can be a stressful and time consuming task.


5 important considerations “when moving to VoIP

VoIP is a mature technology and businesses of all sizes are taking Shahram Bagherzadeh

advantage of its benefits. In fact, hosted telephony has been around longer than

you think. BT Centrex was an early example in the 1980s. We understand there’s a lot to consider. If you are audting your business telephony and thinking about making the move to hosted VoIP or VoIP connectivity, look before your leap. Here are 5 key considerations: 1. Check your Data connectivity Without good data connectivity, VoIP performance is hampered. Make sure to test your internet connection to determine you can have quality ADSL for voice traffic, or if your existing ADSL can handle voice traffic as upload speed is critical. Upload speed is

too late, and you are liable for any excess

measured in megabytes per second (Mbps). This is the actual

call charges. Make sure the VoIP service provider

bandwidth that is available on your computer.

you use has security measures in place to prevent

2. Understand service and network configurations

Toll Fraud.

Technology can be complicated or as simple as you want it to be

Also, if you have voicemail, make sure you use a

When it comes to VoIP, it’s easy to let the provider do what they

minimum of 5 digits for your password and change

think is best. To make sure they are making the best decisions for

the password on regular bases to avoid any hacking.

your service, here’s some points to investigate: Make sure the VoIP

5. Support

provider prioritises voice over data on a network not router level. You’ll also want to make sure that you have a SLA (service level agreement) for your Voice ADSL/EFM/FTTC/Ethernet, as normal ADSL doesn’t have any SLA. Be aware that any ADSL connection that carries on a single analogue line will require up to 2 weeks to settle to find the actual speed before you can run voice over it.

No two hosted VoIP providers are the same. Make sure the provider you choose can offer the service you require. Check out the responsiveness of their support. The last thing you want is to be held in a queue if your telephony is experiencing quality issues or worse, service outages.

3. Check the hosted telephone system infrastructure

The benefits of VoIP are vast. The technology is scalable, making it

Choosing your hosted VoIP provider is just as important as making

advancing technology as your investment in hardware is kept to a

the choice to move to VoIP in the first place. Ask questions to make

minimum. This of course reduces your capital costs. VoIP is also easy

sure the provider you choose has infrastructure that is up to task.

to implement, compared to traditional telephony. It’s also easier to

Ask where the hosted system resides, in which data center. Make

maintain. A hosted solution means that your provider deals with

sure the 2nd or the 3rd dataswitch is not in the same data center or

it. There’s no need for you to worry about if your window server

in a different country. All of these factors impact the resilience and

application will need to be refreshed for your hosted telephony. Plus,

performance of the system.

VoIP also ensures disaster recovery and should be at the core of any

4. Check the Security around the service

well-planned disaster recovery strategy.

There are many VoIP providers who are now are offering VoIP

The reality is that VoIP can represent a big opportunity for

without investing in the security of the service. Today, Toll Fraud is more prevalent and costing the UK more than Credit Card Fraud. Any good VoIP platform should be able to offer you Toll Fraud, which means they can pick up on high call volumes and shut the

easy to expand as your business grows. It’s also easier to keep up to

businesses, but it doesn’t necessarily suit all. If you need any more help making the decision to move to VoIP or choosing the right VoIP solution for you, contact us now for a no obligation discussion about VoIP. We are only a call away and we are happy to help.

system down (your system). This can be done with a cap on call spend. As soon as spend hits that cap, no one will be able to make any calls. Most companies only alert you about the Fraud, which is

Tel: 01206 848 090

Email: info@loopvoiceanddata.co.uk

Web: www.loopvoiceanddata.co.uk

22

www.businessconnected.co.uk


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Do you have a LinkedIn account but need a helping hand to make it work for you? Our bespoke training course will help, this includes: • How to download your contacts to Excel including their email addresses • What to post and when • What groups to join and how to set up a company page • Privacy settings to see who is following you or to hide your profile Plus much more...

We can offer 1-2-1 training or group training to suit your requirements at your offices or our training suite Call today for more details 01702 513113


Top Tips to help make sure 1.

Know who you are dealing with. Sounds really obvious but is not only crucial but very often got wrong.

2. You can deal with someone as an individual, as a sole trader, as a partnership or as a limited company. Identify which

they are as soon as you start dealing with them – not later on during the trading relationship! As some do to their cost…

3. Get their full legal name whatever capacity they are dealing in AND check what they tell you, so do a credit search

or a search at Companies House.

4. Once you know who they are you need to start making provision for if they don’t pay you. Start collating information

on them to keep for later on.

5. Ensure that on all orders, invoices and paperwork you have their correct title.

6. If you are dealing with a limited company get a guarantee from the directors.

7. Ensure that the personal guarantee is in a deed as there is no need for there to be consideration. So signed and witnessed with the witness putting their name, address and occupation.

8. As soon as the invoice is overdue do something about it. In my experience the longer a debt is left, the harder it is to recover. So have a good system of credit control in place.

Reasons for dealing with bad debts promptly:

9. Firstly the person or company may be hard to find! Then they will often say that they think it’s

outrageous coming after them after all this time, and try to suggest that you are in the wrong for leaving it and pursuing them after all this time! Then you have the problem that any financial information that you hold is likely to be out of date!!

10. Also if they are starting to get into financial difficulties get in first to have a

chance of getting your money back- many times sued, got judgment and then charging order when acting for a finance company clients –result = they were a secure creditor so good chance of getting their money if person/company went down.

11. When you start trading with someone keep any financial information that you

get, i.e keep details of any bank accounts that you pay money into or receive money from. Find out who they are dealing with, what premises they have and so on. The more you find out the better chance you have of recovering money you may be owed later.

12. Make sure that all the orders you receive are in writing so that it is clear

what the order is and who placed it. Likewise make sure your invoice mirrors the order. It is quite common for them not to!

13. If there are changes to the order or in the case of building works, extras and

similar make sure that any changes are documented. It is very common for someone to deny there were any agreed extras and extra costs. If it is in writing very difficult to argue!

26

www.businessconnected.co.uk


you get paid

14. During your dealings with the customer keep your credit checks up to date because their credit ratings do change and

that is the time to decide if you want to keep giving them credit…

15. If they don’t pay an invoice without good reason- don’t carry on blindly dealing with them, find out why it hasn’t been

paid and decide if you are happy to carry on dealing with them….

16. If they haven’t paid without good reason get proceedings issued and get a judgment. The sooner you have a judgment

the sooner you can take steps to enforce it – more of which in part 2.

17. You should also make sure that you get all that you are entitled to under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act

1998. Compensation of £40 for £999 or less, £70 for £999-£9,999 and £100 for anything over £10,000. This is per invoice so it can amount to quite a lot.

18. Interest is allowed under the same legislation at 8.5% from the date when the invoice became due to date of demand.

19. In conclusion: Remember is it vital to know who you are dealing with, to carry out and keep up to date credit checks, to

get as much financial information about your customers as you can, document all orders and changes and if they don’t pay act swiftly - all of these things will give you the best possible chance of recovering your money! Written by TM Law www.tm-law.co.uk in association with Redwood Clarke www.redwoodclarke.com

www.businessconnected.co.uk

27


Is your company’s social media in the right hands? Social media done right is a major asset to your business. Social media done wrong can be a major waste of time. Having used social media in business for over a decade, we see it as an integral part of our sales and marketing plan but only if done in the right way.

Answer these 10 questions to see if you’re on the right track:

1 2 3

Why? – It’s a really simple question but probably the most important. If you are only using social media because you

“think you should” then you need to rethink. Really look in to

7

asked all the time. Establish a policy early and make sure all

positioning in your market then your potential followers and

staff follow and sign up to these policies, it will save a lot of

connections won’t. This a very common mistake in business

we encounter is that sometimes social media is forced on an individual or individuals within an organisation who are

headaches in the future.

8

5

marketing campaign without a plan so why would you ignore one for a social media campaign?

9

don’t, this could be a big disadvantage from the start. Most

or want to outsource parts of your social media. In your

your budget from the start you won’t have any nasty shocks

Facebook than on LinkedIn. An insolvency practitioner who

6

marketing, this includes social media. You may need training

YouTube you may need a professional to help. If you know

who mainly sells b2c is going to have a far better return on

Have we got the right skill set? – If you haven’t or your staff

What is our budget? – A budget is critical in all forms of

Twitter ads. If it’s video content you are promoting through

4 then this should have been answered. A hairdresser

much more success on LinkedIn rather than Facebook.

point. Influencers are very important especially when starting

plan you may have decided to use Facebook, LinkedIn or

What platform? – If you have a good strategy as per question

is looking for referrals from accountants is going to have

influencers within your industry you have a good starting

influencer but one step at a time.

won’t engage well with your connections and followers. Do we have a strategy? – You wouldn’t set a sales and

Who are the influencers? – If you know who are the major

out on a social media journey. Eventually you want to be the

the wrong person or persons for the job. Unengaged people

4

Who owns the rights to individual’s LinkedIn profiles. Are the company? These are just two of the questions we get

What do we do? – If you are not 100% clear of your

Whose responsibility is it? – Another common problem

of your company it’s essential to have a social media policy. the comments and posts the opinions of the individuals or

the reasons why you should before you invest any more time.

and one that gets magnified on social media.

Do we have a social media policy? – Whatever the size

on the way.

10

How are we going to execute our plan? – There are many tools you can use to help execute your plan. This should

have been covered when creating a strategy but don’t worry

business owners have to wear a few hats when running a

it’s not too late. Hootsuite, Tweet Deck, Klout and many more

small business. Get yourself on a course before you start.

can help you.

So you have answered the questions above, now you’re ready to get cracking. Don’t forget in your plan to make sure you have a way of measuring ROI, some people say you can’t measure return on investment on social media. These people simply just don’t know how to measure it. 85% of British businesses wouldn’t be using social media for business if there wasn’t a return but it’s your job to measure. Make sure you engage, it’s called social media so be social! Don’t just post sales messages - remember you are looking to build yourself up as an influencer. If you’re struggling with answering any of the above questions then please do get in contact as we can help. You may just need a few hours training or have decided that you simply don’t have time to give your campaigns the time and respect that’s needed. Business Connected offers a full social media management programme starting at just £25 per week. We also have a great team that can come to you for some bespoke training. Give us a call today on 01702 513113 or have a look at our social media page on our website www.businessconnected.co.uk.


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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.”

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