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In this edition... January / February 2016 Editor's Note

Business Books

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

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

LinkedIn Seminars

08 & 09: You wont find many businesses that will disagree that LinkedIn used right can be a fantastic business tool. Book yourself on to a seminar to get you up to speed.

H&S Update

10: This month's Health & Safety update looks at the importance of Training & Development in the workplace.

05: About Us

Suffolk Job Board

24: Business Connected Premier Partners polkadot frog highlight some of the counties top vacant positions. 07: Premier Partners

Top Tweets

30: We look at some of the top tweets posted last month from Suffolk businesses

16 & 17: Networking events

Simplifying Communications

18: Loop Voice & Data Managing Director Shahram Bagherzadeh gives us an insight in to simplifying Communications.

Networking Feature

20: If one of your business resolutions for 2016 is to get out more and network, then check out the Business Connected networking guide for some helpful tips and tricks. 28 & 29: News around the County


Ipswich Town Football Club Portman Road Suffolk’s Number One Venue

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Editors Note Welcome to the latest edition of Business Connected. I hope you had great festive break.

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

Our lead feature this month showcases our fantastic new LinkedIn seminars that are coming to Suffolk. You will be hard pressed to find any successful business professional that doesn’t utilise this fantastic platform and we are urging as many of our readers to come along and learn all the tricks of the trade to help you win more business from LinkedIn. We also look at the importance of training and development in the workplace, review some great Richard Pond business books, hear from Loop Voice & Data about MANAGING DIRECTOR simplifying communications as well as many of our regular features including the Suffolk job board and business news from around the county. In the centre pages you can find a list of Suffolk networking events which you may want to factor in to your plans for 2016. Happy new year from everyone at Business Connected and thanks for taking the time to read our latest edition.

Follow us on Facebook BusinessConnected

Follow us on Twitter @Connected_Essex

About us All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part in any way without prior written permission of Business Connected Ltd.

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

Printed in the UK by Printwize

Business Connected as a brand brings together businesses across a variety of mediums from face to face networking, social media, printed media in the form of this our countywide magazine and much more. Business Connected is proud to be operating the county’s premier b2b magazine, networking events and online portal that focus on the business community of Suffolk. We bring local businesses together via the many platforms that we operate. Our magazine is distributed across the whole county in print and online. Our website, which receives over half a million hits a month is dedicated to up to date business news, a business directory and the number one place to find out what’s going on in Suffolk. 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 16 including details of our latest venue Business Connected @ The Olympic Park and full details of our Premier Partners can be found on page 7 for more info on all things Business Connected please log on to or give us a call on 01702 513113.


Premier Partner to

Printers of this Magazine


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


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

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

 NETWORKING EVENTS - Many people know Business

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


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

page in every edition of our magazine. We print and

Business Connected gives you tickets and access to all of

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

our events from Ipswich to Southend and everywhere in

uploading to the Business Connected website and social







media sites.

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


- Our Business Connected website gets

thousands of visitors a day, being a countywide news based

Facebook account but how about a helping hand, we can


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

We are offering our Premier Partners prime advertising

simply come over and give you regular training to all your

space throughout the site.


 EMAIL CAMPAIGNS - Need to get the message out to

 ACCOUNT MANAGER - Probably the most important

feature of the Partnership scheme. Our account managers

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

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tailor to suit the needs of your business. From monthly

from the many networking events we attend and run to the

newsletters, your logos and links on our email campaigns

list of leads. Our staff are introducing and passing referrals

or simply a help with data.

on a daily basis.


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


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

Price: ÂŁ39.00

Where: Colchester Ipswich Leigh on Sea Stratford

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


The Importance of Training & Development In order for our employees to deliver a quality service to clients, it is essential that they have the right skills and experience to undertake their duties. Whilst you will no doubt have verified that they possess the requisite competencies during the recruitment process, ongoing training and development is essential to enable your business to continue to develop and ensure that staff are up to Juliet Price, Park City date with the latest technical, legislative and market developments. There is an almost endless list of courses that might be relevant for your organisation ranging from customer service and sales techniques to time management and employment law as well as a whole host of crucial health & safety issues.

There are many benefits, which can be gained by offering training to employees, which include: • • • • • • •

Addressing any skills gaps Improvement in overall performance and productivity Better quality of customer experience Time and cost saving Improving morale Reducing staff absence Improving staff retention

Addressing skills gaps Even your best employees will find some aspects of their role more demanding than others. By targeting specific skills gaps, through consultation with the individual, you can help to strengthen and expand their skill set. Improvement in overall performance and productivity If a member of staff can increase their skill set and boost their knowledge base, they are more likely to be able to carry out their duties with confidence in their own abilities which should in turn enable them to work more effectively and efficiently. Better quality of customer experience With relevant training, employees can better understand the needs of the client and provide consistency in the service they provide. Being able to competently deal with any issues that arise will help provide a first class customer experience. Time and cost saving Although there are costs associated with training and time out of a busy worker’s day, the longer term benefit is greater worker efficiency and no wastage of resources. From a health & safety perspective, if employees are sufficiently trained, there are less likely to be accidents in the workplace leading to staff absence or costly penalties. Improving morale Training and development can help make staff feel they have greater job satisfaction and hence greater morale. The extra skills they gain should make them feel like a real asset to their organisation and the opportunities for promotion that may present themselves can be a great motivator.


The effects can be seen not only on an individual level, but can create a greater sense of team morale across the whole organisation. Types of training There are various methods by which to deliver training which are either on or off the job. On the job training involves employees learning in their real working environment, taking part in actual working scenarios and dealing with the types of challenges that they would face during a normal working day. Typically this would be done by shadowing, coaching and mentoring or job rotation. Off the job training is done away from the workplace and usually focuses on more general skills and knowledge, as well as job specific training. This would tend to be done via workshops, seminars or conferences. To make it more cost effective, you would ideally want to have groups of employees undertaking the training at the same time. E-Learning With a rise in the technology available for training, more and more employers are looking at online methods of training. Webinars and podcasts are widely available covering a huge experience placements and visit the range of topics across any industry sector. E-learning is becoming increasingly popular as a way of allowing employees to fit training needs around their work schedule. This is particularly useful if you have individual employees requiring specific training, or if a large number of staff need to complete courses over varying timescales. The training materials are standardised and tracking results (or indeed seeing who has completed the training) is easier. Reaping the rewards It is key to remember that it’s not just your rank and file staff that need to be trained. An effective management training program is just as important. The types of matters this might include are: inducting employees, dealing with discipline issues, conducting appraisals, employee relations and motivational ideas. Despite the importance of training, it is not unusual to hear both employers and employees complain about the time that needs to be set aside to complete their courses. This is however only a minor drawback and benefits to be gained by both the company as a whole and the individual make it a worthwhile investment. Training is an investment for both the company and the individual, but in making sure that your staff are engaged in the training process, not only will they bring extra value to your business, but they will also feel valued themselves. And that is surely a win-win all round.

At Park City we can offer you a free “Training Needs Analysis” to see what specialist skills courses your business and employees could benefit from. Contact us today quoting reference BCTC15 for more details.

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

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

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

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

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

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Are you missing out on Research & Development Tax Credits?

R & D Consulting was formed with the simple aim of helping all eligible companies in the UK claim R & D tax relief.

We are a specialist ďŹ rm 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 ďŹ rms who do not offer R & D tax advice themselves.


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

The format at every event is as follows:

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

7:30am open networking

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

8:15am breakfast

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

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

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

Our Current Venues Business Connected

Business Connected

Business Connected

Business Connected

Business Connected

@Essex Cricket Club

@Southend Airport

@Ipswich Town FC

@Colchester United

@The Olympic Park


The Best of the Rest January -DQXDU\WK WKDPÂŹÂŹDP 4N Bury St Edmunds. Location: Bury St Edmunds Golf Club, IP28 6LG Cost: ÂŁ13 -DQXDU\WK WKDPDP 24-7 Business Networking Location: The Cameo Hotel, Ipswich, IP8 3JD. Cost: ÂŁ12 -DQXDU\WK QGDPDP Ipswich East Business over Breakfast. Location: The Raven, IP3 9QJ. Cost: ÂŁ12 -DQXDU\WK WKDPDP Woodbridge Business Breakfast Club.Location: Woodbridge Town Football Club, IP12 4LS Cost: ÂŁ10 -DQXDU\WK WKDPDP 4N Ipswich. Location: The Oyster Reach, Ipswich, IP2 8ND Cost: ÂŁ13 -DQXDU\WK WKDPDP Ipswich West Business over Breakfast. Location: Bramford Golf Centre, IP8 4JS. Cost: ÂŁ12 -DQXDU\WK3PSP Office Drinks Bury St Edmunds. Location: Oakes Barn, IP33 3PH Cost: ÂŁ9 -DQXDU\WKDPSP Ipswich Entrepreneurs' Lunch. Location: The Cameo Copdock, Ipswich , IP8 3JD Cost: ÂŁ20 -DQXDU\WKDPDP Ipswich Expert Circles. Location: The Cameo Copdock, Ipswich, IP8 3JD. Cost: ÂŁ17 -DQXDU\WKDPDP Sudbury Expert Circles. Location: Newton Green Golf Club, Sudbury, CO10 0QN Cost: ÂŁ17

February )HEUXDU\QG WKDPDP Ipswich Expert Circles. Location: The Cameo Copdock, Ipswich, IP8 3JD. Cost: ÂŁ17 )HEUXDU\UG DPDP Sudbury Expert Circles. Location: Newton Green Golf Club, Sudbury, CO10 0QN Cost: ÂŁ17 )HEUXDU\WK UGDPÂŹÂŹDP4N Bury St Edmunds. Location: Bury St Edmunds Golf Club, IP28 6LG Cost: ÂŁ13 )HEUXDU\UG WKDPDP24-7 Business Networking Location: The Cameo Hotel, Ipswich, IP8 3JD. Cost: ÂŁ12 )HEUXDU\WK WKDPDP Ipswich East Business over Breakfast. Location: The Raven, IP3 9QJ. Cost: ÂŁ12 )HEUXDU\WK UGDPDP Woodbridge Business Breakfast Club.Location: Woodbridge Town Football Club, IP12 4LS Cost: ÂŁ10 )HEUXDU\WK UGDPDP 4N Ipswich. Location: The Oyster Reach, Ipswich, IP2 8ND Cost: ÂŁ13 )HEUXDU\WK WKDPDPIpswich West Business over Breakfast.Location: Bramford Golf Centre, IP8 4JS. Cost: ÂŁ12 )HEUXDU\WK3PSP Office Drinks Bury St Edmunds. Location: Oakes Barn, IP33 3PH Cost: ÂŁ9 )HEUXDU\WKDPSPIpswich Entrepreneurs' Lunch. Location: The Cameo Copdock, Ipswich , IP8 3JD Cost: ÂŁ20

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


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


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

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

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

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


“ Are you Networking Like a Pro?

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

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






Where it all began

Lucy and Jane wanted to put their knowledge and experience into building a recruitment agency based on transparency, trust and from the crowd.

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Ending the gender pay gap A report released earlier this year by the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) claimed that more than half a century after the United States passed the Equal Pay Act, and 45 years after similar legislation in the UK, women across the world earn 77% of the amount paid to men, a figure that has improved by only 3% in the past 20 years. It also predicted that the income of female workers across the world will lag behind men’s for another 70 years if the gender pay gap continues to reduce at the present painfully slow rate. As well as the gender pay gap, ILO claim that women face a ‘motherhood pay gap’ whereby women with children can expect to earn less when they return to work than childless women, with the difference increasing for every child they have. With these figures in mind, David Cameron set out his ambition to ‘end the gender pay gap within a generation’. New figures released this year show that FTSE 100 companies have met targets for 25% of board members to be women. There are also now more women-led businesses than ever, with a record number of women in work but the Prime Minister says there is more to do. The legal living wage introduced in July’s budget is hoped to close the pay gap, with primarily women being in lower paid jobs. The government has also announced that every company with more than 250 employees will have to publish the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees.

They are also providing a wide programme of support for working women including; 30 hours of free childcare, accessibility to flexible working and revised careers advice for school girls. Jane Harris, Director at polkadotfrog says “Being one of the Directors in an all women-led business I am proud of what polkadotfrog has achieved in the 11 years we have been in business. The new measures that have been introduced to close the gender pay gap can only be good news for productivity and driving business forward. Women are a valuable part of the workplace and enabling women to work flexible hours or use more affordable childcare will allow more women back in to work and help ease the ever widening skills gap. Ensuring women can reach their full potential in the workplace makes good business sense.” This is backed up by the Secretary of State for Education, and Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan who said “…supporting women to fulfil their potential could increase the size of our economy by 35%”. It remains to be seen whether these changes will inspire women to compete for the very best jobs and see their hard work pay off whilst at the same time growing the economy.

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Motivational speaker

For more information and to book: www.;he:peaker, /:peaker?

Inspirational speaker Event speaker Business speaker Conference speaker Speaker coach David Bell is an award-winning businessman, speaker and entrepreneur who is helping businesses and their owners to make the impossible possible. If you want to be inspired, motivated and captivated then David will certainly take you on a journey that may include a twister to the world of Oz and even a trip down the rabbit hole to Wonderland, but watch out for the twist and turns as David explores the yellow brick road with you at his side! The question is how will your story finish? Will it be “The end” or “To be continued”?

“ Very informative, inspirational and useful.” Graham Manfleet “Excellent presentation, very inspirational.” Penny Rollo “ Thanks a million times, amazing.” Ernest Attah

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Suffolk Round up Birketts voted ‘Best for Business Law – East England’ Birketts, the top 100 law firm based in East Anglia, has been voted ‘Best for Business Law – East England’ at this year’s Wealth & Finance Magazine’s Finance Awards. This latest recognition comes hot on the heels of a number of prestigious awards. Birketts recently won two highly competitive national legal awards: ‘UK regional private client firm of the year’ at The 2015 Legal 500 UK Awards and ‘innovation in knowledge management’ award winner at The Lawyer Business Leadership Awards. CEO Jonathan Agar commented: “Birketts advises businesses, institutions and individuals in the UK and internationally. As a firm we are fully committed to providing clear legal advice and the highest standards of client service. I’m delighted that our commitment and dedication is being recognised.” To find out more about how Birketts can assist you, watch the award-winning animation – winner of the gold award for ‘Use of Video for Business’ at Cambridgeshire Digital Awards 2015.

£1.5m investment to create new jobs at Eye-based Permastore Suffolk tank and silo manufacturer Permastore is to create up to 60 new jobs through a £1.5million investment in a new production line. Permastore, which is based at Eye, is a world leader in the glass-fused-to-steel construction method and has now secured a multi-million pound funding package from Santander Corporate & Commercial for a growth programme which aims to achieve a 30% increase in orders by the end of next year. The funding package, the exact value of which has not been disclosed, will be used in part to install a new dedicated epoxy production line, building upon the company’s existing vitreous enamel production facility. Permastore already has a workforce of more than 230 and the expansion will initially see the creation of around 20 additional jobs, with the total expected to rise to 60 in the future.


Suffolk Chamber of Commerce received BBA mentoring accreditation Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has received further recognition for its delivery of business support in becoming an approved mentoring organisation with the British Bankers Association (BBA). The seal of approval from the BBA, a trade body representing around 200 member banks, confirms that the chamber meets the association’s standards and entitles it to be listed on the online portal for businesses seeking mentor support. Tim Rivett, mentoring manager at the BBA, said: “I am pleased to welcome Suffolk Chamber of Commerce on to mentorsme. “Quality is paramount to what we are trying to achieve, making it quick and easy for businesses to find a suitable mentor. I am confident that the chamber can make a significant contribution to quality mentoring.” Suffolk Chamber already holds academy status with the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs, which allows it to deliver nationally accredited qualifications in the field of business support. It also runs the New Anglia Growth Hub, offering advice and support on behalf of the New Anglia Local Enteprise Partnership. John Dugmore, $hief &xecutive of Suffolk Chamber, said: “It’s great that Suffolk Chamber has been recognised nationally as a mentoring organisation by the British Bankers Association.”

National honour for Alan Boswell Group at the Insurance Times Awards East Anglia-based broker Alan Boswell Group has been named Independent Insurance Broker of the Year at the annual Insurance Times Awards, held at the Battersea Evolution venue in London with actor and author David Walliams as host. The company, which has offices in Norwich, Bury St Edmunds, Attleborough and Peterborough, was recognised for its landlord insurance, its market-leading policy for Broads boat owners and its training and apprenticeship scheme. Chris Gibbs, managing director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be awarded the title of Independent Broker of the Year. The award is a testament to our staff who are dedicated and passionate about providing expert, friendly advice.” He added: “Building trust within our community, improving the knowledge of our staff, having the best products and providing exceptional customer service. These are the fundamentals of our business and we’re thrilled that the combination of all these factors has been recognised by our peers. Insurance Times editor Saxon East said: “This broker has that great quality of being completely customer obsessed. It is clearly committed to its community and staff and the business is defined by its independence.”

all of these and many more 4VGGPML news stories please visit Business news stories are updated every day.


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Business Connected Suffolk No. 11  
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