Page 1

BUSINESS

Issue 13 April / May 2015

CONNECTED ESSEX

THE LEADING COUNTYWIDE B2B MAGAZINE

COLCHESTER’S LUXURY CONFERENCE AND EVENTS VENUE

Leading B2B Magazine

Business Networking

Featured Local News


BUSINESS

CONNECTED ESSEX

BUSINESS CONNECTED IS LOOKING TO WORK WITH YOU

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 marketing strategy. We provide companies with an effective, structured marketing solution at an affordable price.

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR CURRENT LEVEL OF BUSINESS? 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 fantastic marketing offer could be the answer! Our package includes: Exclusivity We only work with one company of any type within the county. Business Connected Magazine A full page advert in every bi monthly magazine which reaches over 6,000 businesses. We will even design the advert for you.

Networking Events Regular Networking events in your area. Invites to all our events which gives you the opportunity to distribute your promotional materials and a platform for you to be a speaker if required. Account Manager Provide you with a dedicated Account Manager. Working with them will help you devise a personalised marketing strategy which is right for you and your business. Bottom Line – What will it cost you? Representing great value at £500 per month. Including all the services mentioned.

If you want to lock out the competition you’ll need to act quickly. We look forward to hearing from you. Call us on 01702 513113

Social Media Running social media campaigns for you. This includes Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. If you already have a presence we can enhance your existing programme through retweeting, mentioning, liking and so much more. Email Campaigns Creating email campaigns including supplying data, set up, running the programme and monitoring the outcome on a monthly basis.

Business Connected Ltd - www.businessconnected.co.uk - 01702 513113


BUSINESS

Issue 13 April / May 2015

CONNECTED ESSEX

THE LEADING COUNTYWIDE B2B MAGAZINE

COLCHESTER’S LUXURY CONFERENCE AND EVENTS VENUE

Leading B2B Magazine

Business Networking

Featured Local News

Get In Touch Tel: 01702 513113

Email: info@businessconnected.co.uk

Or Visit: www.businessconnected.co.uk

Welcome... Welcome to the April / May edition of Business Connected Essex. This time out we delve deeper into the world of auto enrolment and cyber security. You’ll also find information on holiday pay, cyber attacks in your business, some business coaching tips from Nick Ruddle of ActionCOACH plus many more interesting and educational articles from some great Essex businesses. A full list of features are below. Please turn to the centre pages for our list of recommended networking events from around Essex. Our latest local news is located on page 42. For up-to-date business news from around this great business county please have a look at www.businessconnected.co.uk. Business Connected runs some great training courses, so if you need a hand with Twitter, LinkedIn, Mailchimp or Hootsuite then take a look at our website for details. Finally, I would like to thank all of our Premier Partners and readers for your continued support and look forward to seeing you at one of our events soon.

Richard Pond Managing Director

Contents 06 Lead Feature 07 Wivenhoe House, Colchester’s Luxury Events Venue 08

HR Update Holiday Pay and Overtime

Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ BusinessConnected

14

Follow us on Twitter @Connected_Essex

20

H&S Update Drug Driving

Charity News CHAPS - The Men’s Health Charity

24 Essex Networking Events 25 Recommended by Business Connected 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 www. printwize.co.uk

26 Auto Enrolment 27 Leading Essex Business Woman Tells Her Story 30 34 42 44

Technology Update Cyber Attack - Do You Know Why It Will NOT Happen To You?

Business Advice The Cost of Filling Up

Essex Round Up News From Around The County

Business Coach If You Could Sack Your Customers, Would You?

www.businessconnected.co.uk

03


BUSINESS

CONNECTED ESSEX

About Us Business Connected is proud to be operating the county’s

v e r y time consuming and we know your time is valuable.

premier b2b magazine, networking events and online portal

Business Connected can set up your accounts as

that focus on the business community of Essex. We bring

well as run them for you, promote your company

local businesses together via the many platforms that we operate. Our magazine is distributed across the whole county in print and online. The business connected website which

from our own account or simply come over and give you regular training to all your staff. With our help in just 90 days we aim to increase your twitter

receives over half a million hits

followers by at least 1000,

a month is dedicated to

Facebook likes by 200 and

up to date business news,

LinkedIn followers by 200.

a business directory and Business Connected specialise

the number one place to

in providing first class social

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

media training to businesses across

the

South

East.

We

are

introducing a new training course which will take place every Friday afternoon.

print but also online and through our fantastic social media offering, please see full details opposite.

Do you feel you’re not using Social Media to it’s full effect and would like some fantastic training? Then our courses will be perfect for

Do you use social media and are you aware

you. We offer training for LinkedIn, Twitter,

how it can help your company’s marketing

Mailchimp and Hootsuite. Each course is two

and brand awareness? Business

hours long and fully interactive,

Connected help companies on

we suggest you bring a laptop

many different platforms such

so we can set up or work on

Twitter/ LinkedIn/ Facebook.

your accounts throughout the training course. For a breakdown

Over 75% of UK businesses now

on

have a Twitter account, there are

course please email us today on

also over 500 million registered

info@businessconnected.co.uk or

accounts worldwide. Over 100,000

give us a call on 01702 513113.

what’s

covered

on

each

businesses have a Facebook page and now LinkedIn have reached over 15 million connections. Are you one of them? If not Business Connected are here to

To advertise in any of our forthcoming publications or

give you a helping hand. Yes, you may have Twitter/ LinkedIn/

for any information on anything Business Connected

Facebook but how about taking it to the next level. Business

related please call us today on 01702 513113 or email

Connected understand running your own social media can be

info@businessconnected.co.uk.

04

www.businessconnected.co.uk


THE LEADING COUNTYWIDE B2B MAGAZINE

Our Networking Events Business Connected operates four premium b2b networking

is a real focus on networking. We have some great videos

events. We have an event every week across four different

of our events and have a dedicated YouTube channel so

venues

and

typically

attract

between

just search for Business

80

Connected and have a

delegates

look for yourself. All of

per meeting. The first

our venues offer free

Friday of the month

parking and excellent

we are at Essex Cricket

networking

Club, second Friday at

We also have dedicated

Southend Airport, third

LinkedIn

Friday

Town

each venue, which is

FC and Fourth Friday

just for delegates who

sees us at Colchester

have

United.

group. This allows you

and

1 00

Ipswich

There

membership

is

no

required

facilities.

groups

attended

for

each

to

network

before

just come along when

the

event

you can.

delegate list, on the

with

the

day at the meeting and At all events we follow the

same

formula,

we

proven send

delegate lists out in advance, have plenty of

afterwards on LinkedIn.

To book tickets for any Business Connected event please visit: www.businessconnected.co.uk/our-events or call 01702 513113.

For more information or to book on to one of our events please have a

time to network, listen to one or two short but informative

look at www.businessconnected.co.uk/business-networking/

talks and have a great breakfast. We always make sure there

or give us a call today on 01702 513113.

Business Connected

Business Connected

Business Connected

Business Connected

@Essex Cricket Club

@Southend Airport

@Ipswich Town FC

@Colchester United

1st Friday

2nd Friday

3rd Friday

4th Friday

of the month

of the month

of the month

of the month

www.businessconnected.co.uk

05


COLCHESTER’S LUXURY CONFERENCE AND EVENTS VENUE Opened nearly three years ago by HRH the Duke of Kent after a £10 million restoration and refurbishment scheme, Wivenhoe House has brought a new dimension to conference and events in North Essex. The historic Grade II listed main building, built in 1758, is now supplemented by a contemporary garden wing offering a large conference suite with flexible walls to allow for larger or smaller events and a private garden courtyard for delegates’ use. Elegant rooms in the main house can be used for private dinners, drinks receptions or board meetings, all managed by our dedicated professional events team supported by our talented undergraduates from the Edge Hotel School working towards their BA in Hotel Management. Wivenhoe House has free Wi-Fi.


Every conference and event is tailor made by our team to suit your individual needs. Our flexibility extends to hospitality with a comprehensive, and of course delicious, range of menus whether you are networking within a small group or sharing business ideas with your workforce. It’s a venue that never fails to impress your colleagues, your business partners and your boss! Our hotel bedrooms are designed to help the business traveller relax in style and comfort with free wifi throughout Wivenhoe House. The hotel is set in substantial parkland grounds on the University of Essex

campus where you can enjoy a quiet stroll down to the lake or use the university gym. The award-winning brasserie is also the ideal location for a working lunch with free parking and a varied menu, locally sourced and prepared by our top kitchen team. If you haven’t visited Wivenhoe House please contact our Sales Manager Mel Neisler Dickinson on 01206 863666 or email her directly at mdickinson@wivenhoehouse.co.uk who will be delighted to arrange a tour or discuss your requirements further.


HR Update

Holiday Pay and Overtime

R

ecent media coverage of holiday pay claims that relate to overtime and commission payments has caused concern for many employers. Whilst the concern has been two fold, the initial emphasis has been on the possibility of workers seeking compensation for back dated payments with thought then turning to what are the implications for businesses going forward? Membership of the European Union has reshaped and continues to influence British employment law, which is ever changing, either as a result of new legislation (UK and EEC) or by the interpretation of that legislation by the courts. The UK is required to put legislation into practice that implements the requirements of the European Laws, known as Directives. In this particular instance the European Working Time Directive imposes rights for workers relating to working time and entitlements to rest breaks from their work with workers entitled to receive a minimum of four weeks’ paid holiday each year. In the UK we have translated this into the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) and given workers the right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave. Following recent decisions by the courts there is suggestion that the WTR is not implementing the Directive correctly with particular emphasis on how holiday pay should be calculated. Historically calculations for holiday pay were interpreted by the UK Government as being a worker’s basic rate of pay meaning any additional payments for regular overtime were not included. The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) gave judgment in 3 recent cases (Bear Scotland v Fulton, Hertel v Wood and Amec Group v Law) ruling that overtime payments should be included in the calculation of holiday pay and this has opened the doors for workers to potentially make a claim to recover underpayment of overtime in holiday payments. To clarify, this ruling specifically affects workers who have normal working hours under the terms of their contract and work non-guaranteed overtime. If the worker’s terms set out fixed working hours for each week then the worker is said to have normal working hours. Non–guaranteed overtime is defined as overtime the employer is not required to provide, but when offered the worker is required to work it. As a result of the EAT’s ruling normal non-guaranteed overtime should be included in holiday pay calculations.

08 10

www.businessconnected.co.uk

In order to limit claims the EAT’s decision has stated: • Only 4 weeks of annual leave entitlement, which complies with the European Directive, will be considered rather than the full 5.6 weeks of leave provided to workers by the WTR. Businesses who are adjusting pay in order to avoid the risk of backdated claims can limit adjustments to 4 weeks’ leave if they wish or to avoid additional administrative issues, the preference may be to make adjustments in relation to the total 5.6 weeks’ leave. • Anybody making a claim must have had an underpayment take place within three months of bringing the employment tribunal claim. Where a claim involves a series of underpayments, which have been interrupted by a period of 3 months or more between those underpayments then a claim cannot be made. This will apply where a worker has worked for a period of 3 months without taking any paid holiday leave. Given that the ruling does not apply to the 1.6 additional weeks’ leave under our domestic WTR, it is likely that many workers will have interruptions of 3 months or more therefore reducing lengthier claims. • In addition the period that the claim can cover will be limited to a maximum of 2 years. It is expected that this will apply to claims that are presented to the employment Tribunal on or after 1 July 2015. This is not necessarily the final word on the issue of overtime payments and the time limit for backdated claims as the EAT has given permission for their judgment to be appealed with the Court of Appeal. In addition the issue of voluntary overtime (i.e. overtime that the employer is not required to offer and which the worker is not required to do) is still outstanding. Previously, an employment tribunal decided (in the case of Neal v Freightliner) that voluntary overtime payments should be included in holiday pay calculations to ensure a worker’s holiday pay reflects the worker’s normal pay but with no precedent or decision made this is still open to interpretation. Going forward, businesses will therefore need to make commercial decisions about whether to make changes now in order to avoid the risk of claims for underpaid holiday pay or whether to wait for a final ruling.

Charlie Flatman, SVC Group


Human Resources SVC Human Resource provide a professional, cost-effective way to manage Human Resources. From offices in Colchester, we serve the whole of East Anglia and the UK beyond.

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REGIONAL

NOT REMOTE Arthur J. Gallagher, one of the largest insurance brokers in the world, is pleased to announce that it has launched in Essex and the surrounding areas. From its Rayleigh office, Arthur J. Gallagher provides local market knowledge from highly trained insurance professionals. As well as a broad range of products, we also have access to a wide number of insurers and the commercial benefits of a large organisation. Arthur J. Gallagher is offering to conduct a free confidential technical audit of your Insurance and risk management programme if your company pays more than ÂŁ10,000 in premiums each year. The audit will establish, among others things, if your programme is a good fit for your business; if it will respond, as you expect it to, should you need to make a claim, and whether it is structured in the most efficient way to give you the best value for money.

Contact Andrew Sinclair today to secure your audit on:

01376 574277 or email us at

enquiries_rayleigh@ajg.com

Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Spectrum Building, 7th Floor, 55, Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909. FP445-2014


01277 230347 | nicole@antonybatty.com | www.antonybatty.com

Help when you need it most Founded in 1997, Antony Batty & Co LLP is an established and well respected Insolvency Practice with offices in London and Brentwood. Specialising in Business Recovery and Turnaround, Corporate Insolvency and Financial Restructuring, the Brentwood office is headed up by Nicole Southwell who has over 22 years experience in helping businesses across Essex and the UK.

Nicole Southwell Head of ABC Brentwood

We pride ourselves on giving Companies and Directors professional, honest advice, and our initial ‘no obligation’ meeting is confidential and free of charge. Our aim is to guide our clients through the available options, treat them with courtesy and respect, and make the process as straightforward as possible. We have extensive experience in most areas of business, with Construction, Travel, Transport and Retail being particular specialties. Our Firm has over 150 years combined experience. Testimonial – Sharon Tisdall, Company Director As a Director of an insolvent company, Nicole’s advice was really appreciated. She helped to ease the pressure and worry out of a very stressful situation by taking a hands on approach, explaining my options carefully and guiding me through this difficult period. I would thoroughly recommend Antony Batty & Co to anyone in a similar situation. Contact our team in Brentwood to get some impartial and confidential advice on 01277 230347 or email Nicole Southwell nicole@antonybatty.com

Gary Waskett Business Development Manager ABC Brentwood


www.cbhc.uk.com

Working in the cloud

Passion energy commitment Our aim is to support you to achieve you want your business to work smarter and faster, cloud accounting yourIfgoals

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

Passion energy commi Why the cloud and accounting aim is match to support y software are Our the perfect

Small business accounting software that’s not available via

You can use cloud-based software from any device with an

the cloud can be tedious. Traditionally, it can suck up far too

internet connection. Online accounting means small business

much of your business’ time and effort. This doesn’t add value,

owners stay connected to their data and their accountants.

and takes the fun out of being in business. Cloud software

The software can integrate with a whole ecosystem of add-ons.

can save your company time and money.

It’s scalable, cost-effective and easy to use.

your goals

In the cloud, there’s no need to install and run applications

So what is this thing called the cloud?

over a desktop computer. Instead, you pay for the software by monthly subscription.

Cloud security is world class

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

As a small business owner, you might be

anytime, anywhere, from any device. Your

concerned about a cloud service provider

hard drive is no longer the central hub.

Problems with traditional accounting software

storing your data. But the cloud is one of the most secure ways to store information. For example, using cloud software, if your Gary White

• The data in the system isn’t up to date and 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). • It’s expensive, difficult and time consuming to upgrade the software. • Customer support is expensive and slow.

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.


01245 495 588

info@cbhc.uk.com

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.

Five ways cloud software benefits your business

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 up-to-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

1. You have a clear

you don’t need to

overview of your

worry about installing

current financial

the latest version

position, in

and you’ll get access

real time. 2. Multi-user access makes it easy to collaborate online with your team and advisors.

to new features instantly. With cloud accounting software, you have the option to run your business remotely, from anywhere in the world. When data is fluid and accessible, the possibilities are endless.

3. Worry-free maintenance means 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.

CBHC are Xero Gold partners and now have nearly 60 companies who successfully run their accounts using this cutting edge SME technology. These companies are in many cases outperforming companies who continue to use old style accounting technology. For a free demonstration as to how Xero could help your company, speak to Gary White, from CBHC, one of our Premier Partners. Gary.white@cbhc.uk.com | 07595 650690


H&S Update

Drug Driving

C

hanges in Drug Driving Laws could affect employees who drive as part of their job. Employers need to review their Health & Safety policies and procedures to ensure they don’t get caught out. As most organisations will already know it is (and has been for some time) illegal to drive if your driving is impaired by drugs, or if you have certain drugs above a specified level in your blood. Currently, if the police stop a driver and believe they are under the influence of drugs they will test the individual at the roadside using a drug screening device or a “Field Impairment” test to assess the drivers ability to drive.

accordance with instructions – either from a healthcare professional or printed in the accompanying leaflet – provided, of course, they are not impaired. If you’re driving and you’re on prescription medicine, it may be helpful for you to keep some evidence of this with you in case you’re stopped by the police.

Consequences for drivers The penalties for drug driving are the same as for drink driving. If you as a driver are subsequently convicted of an offence, you will receive:

• A minimum 12-month driving ban If drugs are detected in a driver’s system or the driver is deemed under the influence of and are impaired by drugs, the driver will • A criminal record be arrested and taken to a police station for blood and/or urine • A fine of up to £5000 or up to 6 months in prison or both tests. If the tests show an individual has taken drugs, or show a specified drug above the stated blood limits, they are liable to The consequences of a drug drive conviction are not just the being charged with a drug immediate impact of the ILLEGAL BLOOD THRESHOLD PRESCRIPTION BLOOD THRESHOLD driving offence. prosecution, they can be DRUG LIMIT IN µg/L DRUG LIMIT IN µg/L much more far reaching and 50µg/L Amphetamine 250µg/L The advice from the Benzoylecgonine can include: 10µg/L Clonazepam 50µg/L Department for Transport Cocaine •J  ob loss and its various agencies Delta-9•L  oss of independence 2µg/L Diazepam 550µg/L has always been that an tetrahydrocannibinol • Increase in car (Cannabis) individual does not have insurance costs 20µg/L Flunitrazepam 300µg/L to be on illegal drugs to Ketamine • T  rouble getting in to be impaired to drive. Many Lysergic acid 1µg/L Lorazepam 100µg/L countries like the USA prescription or over-the- diethylamide (LSD) •D  riving licence will be counter medicines can also Methylamphetamine 10µg/L Methadone 500µg/L updated to show the impair your ability to drive, MDMA 10µg/L Morphine 80µg/L conviction for drug hence the warnings not 6-monoacetylmorphine driving, which will remain 5µg/L Oxazepam 300µg/L to drive or operate heavy (Heroin) in place for 11 years. machinery contained within the accompanying leaflets from the manufacturers.

What should employers do?

So why are we telling you something you already know? Well, as of 2nd March 2015 the drug driving law changed to make it easier for the police to catch and prosecute individuals suspected of driving under the influence of drugs.

If your employees are required to drive for work or if they use their own vehicle on behalf of the business, you could be held liable for any injuries or damage they cause while driving under the influence of both prescription and illegal drugs.

It is now an offence to drive with certain drugs above a specified level in your blood - just as it is with drink driving. Sixteen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law.

Other common products such as over-the-counter drugs could also test positive if an individual is not careful. Therefore, it is critical that you communicate this information to all employees, who will be operating any company vehicle or driving on behalf of the business.

The new offence will work alongside the existing offence of driving whilst impaired through drink or drugs.

What should drivers do?

Road risk and drug policies should also be reviewed and updated taking into account the new offence.

Drivers should continue to take their medicine(s) as advised by their doctor or healthcare professional, or according to the patient information leaflet that comes with the medicine. The new law will give the police powers to test and arrest drivers who are suspected of driving having taken certain controlled drugs in excess of specified levels. Unlike the previous ‘impairment’ offence, the new law provides a medical defence if drivers are taking their medicine in

14

www.businessconnected.co.uk

Tel: 01206 752100 Email: juliet.price@parkcity.co.uk Juliet Price, Park City


A flexible Health & Safety service tailored to your business. Talk to the experts Call today on 01206 752100 or visit us online at www.parkcity.co.uk

Real people, real experts, real time


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

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 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.


The Business Connected

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.

Howvideo VORTEX paid for Sponsorship To view our testimonial with Partner Spare Capacity have a look at our Premier VORTEX EXHAUST TECHNOLOGY are experts in improving efficiency of vehicle engines and wanted to

their brand awareness by creating a marketing page on our websiteexpand budget they currently didn’t have.

www.businessconnected.co.uk/ 1. Vortex opened a

account.

premier-partners/

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.

To find out how to become a Premier Partner and to see if your business category is still Result = Vortex have paid for Sponsorship with Exhaust Systems.

available then give us a call today and we can pop in for a chat and (picture runbelow) you through the many features of becoming a Business Connected Premier Partner. 01702 513113.

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

Loyalty Reward System

Human Resources

Radio

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Pro-active Accounting with on-going support and advice with strategic business analysis to help you achieve your goals, whoever you are . . .

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The LowTax Group is a dynamic firm of Tax Accountants and Business Advisers who specialise in helping you keep what you earn. We focus on reducing your exposure to tax and provide a full range of services for businesses, 01277 230347 | nicole@antonybatty.com | www.antonybatty.com contractors and freelancers, sole traders and individuals.

All Things | Scene Developing great marketing strategies and delivering with... Websites

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Printers & Copiers Zone 1 About Geerings

M

Y

MY

Sound Financial Planning Group The Retirement Planning Specialists

E-Commerce

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Mobile

As mobile grows and grows, we can build your sites or apps to really wow your customers

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Photography We can supply unique photography that will really make your business stand out Branding We can develop a clear brand identity and materials to support your business

Zone 3 Document Management

Financial Planning

Email Marketing

T: 01702 292 161

All of this is founded on the principle of excellent service levels at a reasonablebycost. Nicole Southwell who has over 22 yearsNicole experience in helping Southwell Nicole Southwell

Specialising in Business Recovery and and Turnaround, Corporate Insolvency BillericayHeadHead Specialising in Business Recovery Turnaround, Corporate Insolvency of ABC of Brentwood ABC Brentwood businesses across Essex and the UK.

Nicole Southwell

• Shoreditch

Essex CM12 9LD • Croydon We can build great email and and Financial Restructuring, the Brentwood office is headed up up Financial Restructuring, the Brentwood office is headed campaigns that will inform • Mayfair Southwell whowho has over 22 years experience in helping and encourage your by Nicole by Nicole Southwell has over 22 years experience in helping Companies Directors professional, +44 (0)and 1277 314000 the We pride ourselves on giving Tel: customers to buy more businesses across Essex and and the UK. businesses across Essex the UK.

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• Bishops • Harlow

Please contact us for more Fax:obligation’ +44®(0) 1277 314001 honest advice, and our initial ‘no meeting is confidential information on 01277 699984 info@lowtax.co.uk

and ofScharge. aim ACCOU N Tfree ANT & T A XOur AD V I is S Eto R Sguide our clients through the available We pride ourselves on giving Companies and and Directors professional, We pride ourselves on giving Companies Directors professional, www.lowtax.co.uk options, treat them with courtesy and respect, make Garyand Waskett Gary Waskettthe process honest advice, and and our initial ‘no obligation’ meeting is confidential honest advice, our initial ‘no obligation’ meeting is confidential www.lowtax.co.uk Business Development Manager Business Development Manager Design as straightforward as possible. We have extensive experience in ABC Brentwood ABC Brentwood We can develop high quality designs and and free free of charge. Our aim is to guide our clients through the available of charge. Our aim is to guide our clients through the available that will really work for your business most areas of business, with Construction, Travel, Transport and options, treattreat themthem withwith courtesy and and respect, and and make the process options, courtesy respect, make the process Retail being particular specialties. Our Firm has over 150 years as straightforward as possible. We have extensive experience in in as straightforward as possible. We have extensive experience combined experience. mostmost areasareas of business, withwith Construction, Travel, Transport and and of business, Construction, Travel, Transport

Courier & Outsourced FD Passion energy commitment aimAccounting is to support you to achieve Zone 4 &Our Cloud Freight Services your goals Managed Print Services Zone 5 Equipment Demonstrations

Insolvency Practitioners

Head • London City Head of ABC•Brentwood Basildon We can create, build and even Specialising in Business Recovery andOffice Turnaround, Corporate Insolvency Founded in 1997, Antony BattyBatty & Co&LLP is anisestablished and and well well Founded in 1997, Antony Co LLP an established manage your social media Weir Coage • Brentwo and Financial Restructuring, the Brentwood office is headed up • London Bridge presence to really grow your respected Insolvency Practice withwith offices in London and and Brentwood. respected Insolvency Practice offices in London Brentwood. 2 Laindon Road business • Docklands • Chelmsf

CY

CMY

As01277 an01277 owner managed business ourselves, we have experience 230347 | nicole@antonybatty.com www.antonybatty.com 230347 | nicole@antonybatty.com | www.antonybatty.com Help |when you need it most of starting out contracting and moving through the process of growing our client base to establish the successful company Founded in 1997, Antony Batty & Co LLP is an established and well Help you Helpwhen when youneed needit itmost mostThe LowTax Group we are today. respected Insolvency Practice with offices in London and Brentwood.

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Retail being particular specialties. Our Our FirmFirm has over 150 years Retail being particular specialties. has over 150 years Please visit our website for client testimonials, combined experience. combined experience. and examples of how we have successfully helped businesses in financial difficulty. Please visit visit our website for client testimonials, Please our website for client testimonials, and and examples of how we have successfully helped examples of how we have successfully helped Contact our team in Brentwood to get some businesses in financial difficulty. businesses in financial difficulty. impartial and confidential advice on 01277 230347 or email Nicole Southwell nicole@antonybatty.com Contact our team in Brentwood to get Contact our team in Brentwood to some get some impartial and and confidential advice on 01277 230347 impartial confidential advice on 01277 230347 or email Nicole Southwell nicole@antonybatty.com or email Nicole Southwell nicole@antonybatty.com

Gary Waskett Business Development Manager ABC Brentwood


%

Here is a list of exactly what our Premier Partner scheme offers:

EXCLUSIVITY – We only work with one

NETWORKING EVENTS - Many people know

company of any type within the county.

Business Connected from our countywide events and we want you to be part of them,

BUSINESS CONNECTED MAGAZINE - A full

fancy being a speaker or displaying your

page in every edition of our magazine, we

banner at all our events? Being a Premier

print and distribute 6000 copies, email

Partner of Business Connected gives you tickets

50,000 copies as well as uploading to the

and access to all of our events from Ipswich to

Business

Southend and everywhere in between.

Connected

website

and

social

media sites. WEBSITE - Our Business Connected website SOCIAL MEDIA - Yes you may have a Twitter/

gets thousands of visitors a day, being a

Linkedin/Facebook account but how about

countywide news based website we are the

a helping hand, we can set up and run your

number one place to find business news.

account, interact as a ”raving fan” or simply

We are offering our Premier Partners prime

come over and give you regular training to all

advertising space throughout the site.

your staff. ACCOUNT MANAGER - Probably the most EMAIL CAMPAIGNS - Need to get the message

important feature of the Partnership scheme.

out to the masses? we have a number of

Our account managers are working around

options which we can tailor to suit the needs

the clock to find our partners leads, from the

of your business. From monthly newsletters,

many networking events we attend and run to

Save locally

your logos and links on our email campaigns

the list of leads. Our staff are introducing and

or simply a help with data.

passing referrals on a daily basis.

At Shawbrook, we believe your bank should be a pleasure to deal with and that your savings should

AER *

RATE

ND

1.25%

always achieve a good return.

AER *

Our best-buy business accounts have friendly, experienced support from our team in Brentwood and a

100 DAY BUSINESS NOTICE ACCOUNT

Moneyfacts award to support our ethos. You don’t need to change your bank to save with us, just save with a new kind of bank - Shawbrook Bank.

Logo usage

Lending

5

Auditel styleWater guide

Straplines Colours

H&S

Printers

Fonts

W I T H S H AW B RO O K

NGS TEAM

k.co.uk

Straplines

N APPLICATION FORM ONLINE

RO O K . C O. U K

There are two approved straplines that can be

HORITY. REGISTERED OFFICE, LUTEA HOUSE, WARLEY HILL BUSINESS PARK, THE DRIVE, GREAT WARLEY, BRENTWOOD, ESSEX, CM13 3BE. REGISTERED IN

Augmented Reality

The logo may also be combined with the web address.

Banking

ANY NUMBER 388466. SHAWBROOK BANK LIMITED IS A MEMBER OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPENSATION SCHEME. * AER STANDS FOR ANNUAL

F YOU LEFT A SUM OF MONEY IN YOUR ACCOUNT ALL YEAR, THE AER WOULD BE THE INTEREST RATE YOU’D GET IF WE PAID YOU INTEREST DURING THE

Cost Management

Insurance

The preferred position of the logo is bottom right of

SE OF THE YEAR AND YOUR SUBSEQUENTLY HIGHER BALANCE THEN EARNED MORE INTEREST (THIS IS KNOWN AS COMPOUND INTEREST).

ay2014.indd 1

Lowering the cost of doing business

combined with the Auditel logo.

IMITED IS AUTHORISED BY THE PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY AND REGULATED BY THE FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY AND THE PRUDENTIAL

the page, but this may vary depending on the content 19/05/2014 11:10

and space available.

Taking cost and purchase management to a new level

Training, Coaching and White Collar Franchise

IT Support & Consultancy

Autowww.auditel.co.uk Enrolment

Research & Development Tax Advice


Charity News

CHAPS The Men’s Health Charity

C

HAPS’ agenda is to promote

The checks offered were abdominal

a

and,

aortic aneurysm screening, heart

by raising awareness of

and stroke risk assessment, diabetes

men’s health problems, reduce the

screening, prostate cancer and skin

60,000

each

cancer screening. This year we will

year of men aged 15-64 that blight

again be running Men’s Health Days

our essential workforce. We need

as listed in the box. The tests are

to move to a culture of prevention

free but only available through the

and early detection to improve our

generosity of local donors and a Big

poor national health statistics and

Lottery Fund grant.

healthy

premature

lifestyle

deaths

cancer survival rates that languish amongst the worst in Europe.

What steps can we as individuals,

It is encouraging to see at last that a

Men’s

Health

recognised

is

becoming

national

CHAPS Events in 2015

issue,

18th May MEN’S HEALTH DAY Southend United Stadium

especially through prostate cancer campaigns such as Men United and Movember.

Nevertheless there is

still no sign of a national screening programme for this, our commonest male cancer killing 11,000 UK men each year, despite European trials clearly showing that screening can reduce the death rate by up to 50%! So, what has CHAPS been doing and

29th June NATIONAL MEN’S HEALTH CONFERENCE The National Football Centre, St. George’s Park, Burton upon Trent 19th August MEN’S HEALTH DAY & DINNER Essex County Cricket Club, Chelmsford

what is planned for 2015? We

have

now

produced

14th October CHAPS CHARITY GOLF DAY Crowne Plaza, 5 Lakes Golf Club, Tiptree

a

comprehensive yet simple booklet covering all the ma jor male health problems. It can be requested from the charity or downloaded from our

22nd October MEN’S HEALTH DAY & DINNER Ipswich Town Football Club

website. We have also printed a Men’s Health Passport listing “red flag” symptoms, information on cancer

12th November MEN’S HEALTH DAY CVST, Clacton

employees or employers take to improve our health and well-being? For

individuals,

download

booklet and Men’s Health Passport which provide the simple facts you should know to protect your health, well-being and lifespan.

For

employees,

see

are offered by your employer and use them fully.

For employers,

understand

investing

that

workforce schemes or improving the ones you already have.

Finally, I hope you have found these articles informative and that you will support the Charity’s aims and events in the future.

During 2014 CHAPS ran or contributed to 12 small and 5

20

www.businessconnected.co.uk

a

money, so look at introducing healthy

obtainable through a simple Men’s Health Check.

further 476, totalling 1,389 men across Essex and Suffolk.

in

healthy workforce will save you

the important data men should know about themselves and

checks for 923 men and provided health booklets for a

what

occupational and health facilities

screening and a page to record all

ma jor healthcare events during which we performed health

our

Tel: 01206 321253 Email: chris.booth@chaps.uk.com Chris Booth, FRCS, CHAPS Clinical Director


Save locally At Shawbrook, we believe your bank should be a pleasure to deal with and that your savings should always achieve a good return. Our best-buy business accounts have friendly, experienced support from our team in Brentwood and a series of awards to support our ethos. You don’t need to change your bank to save with us, just save with a new kind of bank - Shawbrook Bank.

Awards 2014/15

WINNER

Best All Round Savings Provider

S TA R T S AV I N G W I T H S H AW B R O O K

IN-HOUSE SAVINGS TEAM T 0845 266 6611 savings@shawbrook.co.uk

APPLY ONLINE AT W W W. S H AW B R O O K . C O. U K

SHAWBROOK BANK LIMITED IS AUTHORISED BY THE PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY AND REGULATED BY THE FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY AND THE PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY. REGISTERED OFFICE, LUTEA HOUSE, WARLEY HILL BUSINESS PARK, THE DRIVE, GREAT WARLEY, BRENTWOOD, ESSEX, CM13 3BE. REGISTERED IN ENGLAND, COMPANY NUMBER 388466. SHAWBROOK BANK LIMITED IS A MEMBER OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPENSATION SCHEME.


Print. Managed. printwize.co.uk


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Essex Networking Events Apr

Apr

Apr

07 07

02, 16 & 30

Apr

Apr

07 & 20

07 & 21

4N Romford

Friends of

Bishop’s Stortford

Success in the City

Sark eMedia

Liberty Bell,

Braintree Town

Chamber of Commerce

The Bay Horse,

Business Event

Romford, RM1 3EN

Braintree Town FC,

Great Hadham

Chelmsford, CM2 0LG

The Haywain Beefeater,

8.00am to 10.00am

CM7 3RD

Golf Club, SG10 6JE

5.00pm to 7.00pm

Basildon, SS17 9NR

Cost: £12

7.00am to 9.00am

8.00am to 10.00am

Cost: Free

7.00am to 9.00am

Membership Required:

Cost: Free

Cost: £15.00

Membership Required:

Cost: £15.00

Yes

Membership Required:

Membership Required:

No

Membership Required:

Optional

Optional

No

Apr

Apr

Apr

Apr

Apr

08 & 22

10

13 & 27

17

20

EBN Basildon

Billericay

4N Rayleigh

Chelmsford

4N Chelmsford Central

The Burstead Golf Club,

Professionals Lunch

Hungry Horse,

Professionals Lunch

Atlantic Hotel,

CM12 9SS

Bar Zero, CM12 9DZ

Rayleigh

Chop Bloc, Springfield

Chelmsford, CM1 1PP 8.00am to 10.00am Cost: £12.00

7.00am to 8.30am

1.00pm to 3.00pm

8.00am to 10.00am

Road, CM2 6QR

Cost: £10.00

Cost: Free

Cost: £12

1.00pm to 3.00pm

Membership Required: Yes

Membership Required:

Membership Required:

Membership Required:

Cost: Free

Yes, £195 per year

No

Yes

Membership Required: No

Apr

For more information these events please call 01702 513113

Apr

Apr

24 24 29 30

on any of

Richard on

Apr

Business Connected

Harlow

Friends of the City

@Colchester United

Professionals Lunch

Chelmsford City FC,

Forrester Park

Colchester United,

Park Inn, Harlow,

CM1 2EH

Golf & Country Club,

CO4 5UP

CM18 7BA

12.00 to 2.00pm

CM9 8EA

7.30am to 9.30am

12.30pm to 3.00pm

Cost: Free

Cost: £25

Cost: £20.00

Cost: Free

Membership Required:

Membership Required:

Membership Required:

Membership Required:

Optional

No

No

No

Hoskins Golf Event

Flexible, productive ne You can network at any 4Networking breakfast. With over 5000 4Network Our meetings are relaxed, friendly and open to anyone, so pleas 24

www.businessconnected.co.uk


Sponsored by

May

May

01

04 & 18

May

May

May

05 05

05 & 18

4N Chelmsford Central

Bishop’s Stortford

Friends of

Success in the City

@Essex Cricket Club

Atlantic Hotel,

Chamber of Commerce

Braintree Town

The Bay Horse,

Chelmsford,

Chelmsford, CM1 1PP

Great Hadham

Braintree Town FC,

Chelmsford, CM2 0LG

CM2 0PG

8.00am to 10.00am

Golf Club, SG10 6JE

CM7 3RD

5.00pm to 7.00pm

7.30am to 9.30am

Cost: £12.00

8.00am to 10.00am

4.30pm to 6.30pm

Cost: Free

Cost: £20.00

Membership Required:

Cost: £15.00

Cost: Free

Membership Required:

Membership Required:

Yes

Membership Required:

Membership Required:

No

Optional

Optional

Business Connected

No

May

May

05 & 19

06 & 20

May

May

May

08 08

1 1 & 25

Sark eMedia

EBN Basildon

Business Connected

Billericay

Business Event

The Burstead Golf Club,

@Southend Airport

Professionals Lunch

Hungry Horse,

The Haywain Beefeater,

CM12 9SS

Holiday Inn,

Bar Zero, CM12 9DZ

Rayleigh

Basildon, SS17 9NR

7.00am to 8.30am

Southend, SS2 6XG

1.00pm to 3.00pm

8.00am to 10.00am

7.00am to 9.00am

Cost: £10.00

7.30am to 9.30am

Cost: Free

Cost: £12

Cost: £15.00

Membership Required:

Cost: £20.00

Membership Required:

Membership Required:

Membership Required:

Yes, £195 per year

Membership Required:

No

Yes

No

4N Rayleigh

No

May

May

15

21

May

May

May

22 28 29

Friends of the City

Business Connected

Hoskins Golf Event

Harlow

Professionals Lunch

Chelmsford City FC,

@Colchester United

Forrester Park

Professionals Lunch

Chop Bloc, Springfield

CM1 2EH

Colchester United,

Golf & Country Club,

Park Inn, Harlow,

Road, CM2 6QR

7.00am to 9.00am

CO4 5UP

CM9 8EA

CM18 7BA

1.00pm to 3.00pm

Cost: Free

7.30am to 9.30am

Cost: £25

12.30pm to 3.00pm

Cost: Free

Membership Required:

Cost: £20.00

Membership Required:

Cost: Free

Membership Required:

Optional

Membership Required:

No

Membership Required:

Chelmsford

No

No

No

etworking across Essex king meetings a year across the UK, you can network anywhere, anytime. se book into one today. For full details visit www.4networking.biz www.businessconnected.co.uk

25


Auto Enrolment

Leading Essex Business Woman Tells Her Story

n this edition Business Connected Premier Partner Fiona Cowie founder of the innovative online business, AE Wizard, has been interviewed by Mandie Holgate of The Business Woman’s Network to find out about her fantastic business.

I

AE Wizard was launched in 2014 to provide small businesses in the UK with a quick, easy and affordable way to deal with Workplace Pensions in their business. Here’s what Mandie found out! Mandie:  What is your background? Fiona: I have worked in the industry for over 20 years in a number of roles; at the London office of a national law firm in the early days, moving to Financial Services HR at PwC and then specializing as an International Reward Manager for Pitney Bowes in more recent times. It was in this role that I supported the Pitney Bowes’ UK pension plans building my pensions knowledge and experience. Mandie:  How did you find yourself invol ved in Workplace Pensions and Auto Enrolment for small businesses? Fiona:  In 2010 I left the corporate environment to set up Essential HR Solutions, an HR and Reward consultancy. This change in career direction coincided with the build up to the new workplace pensions legislation in October 2012 and it was a natural progression for me to spend time working on auto enrolment to become an expert in the field. I have been supporting businesses through their workplace pension initiatives since 2013. Mandie: W  hat prompted you to develop your new business, AE Wizard? Fiona: It was whilst discussing workplace pensions with a number of clients in 2013 that it became clear to me that a consultant-led approach was not going to work for many smaller businesses. With the sheer number of businesses involved, I realised that we had to come up with a different approach if we were to continue to support businesses through to 2018. These businesses often have limited infrastructure and are very unlikely to have the level of knowledge and expertise in-house to deal with the complexities of pension automatic enrolment so will need support from somewhere.

26

www.businessconnected.co.uk

Mandie:  What is AE Wizard? Fiona: AE Wizard is a one-stop, online toolkit to guide business owners/managers step by step through the auto enrolment process from start to finish to ensure that they can meet their workplace pensions obligations. It has video tutorials, step by step guides, checklists, template documents and much more. Mandie:  Why do you believe that AE Wizard will benefit small businesses? Fiona: Small businesses with 50 or less employees will be required to meet the new workplace pension requirements on dates between 2015 and 2017. The compliance regime is strict, with fines for companies who do not comply. I believe that more than 90% of the impact of the new legislation for SMEs relates to employee data, business and HR processes and administration. In practice, this means time and cost for a small business. Small businesses often like to self-help and will want to do the same for workplace pensions. At its peak, over 1 00,000 small businesses per month will be due to meet the new obligations during 2017. This will lead to a saturated consultant-led market meaning that those looking for external consultant support may have difficulty finding it.  AE Wizard is an affordable self-service solution that requires no intervention from external consultants and in most cases workplace pensions can be implemented in no more than a week or so. Mandie:  Given the recent difficulties in the economy, do you think it is possible for smaller businesses to comply with workplace pensions regulations without it costing large amounts of money? Fiona: There is no denying that workplace pensions will add cost to the business bottom line, however there are ways that a business can mitigate the additional cost. Firstly the government has enabled businesses to phase the introduction of pension contributions to help them to manage the extra cost. In addition, the use of ‘postponement’ means that the payment of pension contributions can be delayed by up to 3 months, saving the company the value of these pension contributions.


Salary Exchange is a mechanism for paying employee pension contributions which results in both the employee and the employer paying no National Insurance contributions on the value of the employee pension contributions. These savings can quickly add up to make a difference if planned properly. Mandie:  What would your three top tips for smaller businesses be who have their pensions auto enrolment staging date in the next few years? Fiona:  Firstly would be for a small business to look at the data they hold on their employees and the format of this data. Getting employee data in good shape will stand a business in good stead for beginning their auto enrolment journey as it is about assessing employees against age and earnings.  My second tip would be to review any existing service providers who are likely to become involved in the auto enrolment process – these are payroll, accountants and HR. Payroll will be critical to a successful auto enrolment implementation for a small business so an early review of the payroll capability is advisable.

My final tip would be to start planning as early as possible. There are many activities in the auto enrolment project which can be done well in advance of the staging date. Spread over a period of time, these activities are likely to be less onerous and therefore should place less demand on the businesses stretched internal resources.

Mandie:  How do you spend your free time?

Fiona: As a working wife, mum of 2 children and running my own business, life is pretty hectic making sure that everything at work and home is as organised as possible! Aside from that I try to keep myself fit going to the gym and cycling with the family.

Mobile: 0330 223 3088 Email: fiona@aewizard.co.uk Web: www.aewizard.co.uk Fiona Cowie, Workplace Pensions Specialist

ideas worth spreading Internationally renowned showcase of ideas coming to Chelmsford. On June 18th, Anglia Ruskin University will be home to the inaugural event of TEDx Chelmsford.

The full day event will feature presentations of

18 mins or less in TED style, sharing ideas that spread. Ideas that could change your thinking

change your business or possibly, change the world. There is opportunity to meet fellow

audience members, discuss ideas you hear,

mingle with speakers or network with partners. If you would like to attend, speak or partner with a world-leading brand then go to www.tedxchelmsford.com

Tedx is an independently organized event licensed from TED.com


BUSINESS

CONNECTED

SOCIAL MEDIA TRAINING COURSES FOR JUST £49 Business Connected specialise in providing first class social media training to businesses across the South East. We are introducing our training courses which will take place every Friday afternoon at our offices. Each week we bring a different course so feel free to come along to as many as you require.

TWITTER

HOOTSUITE

Twitter is a fantastic business tool and we will show you how to setup and brand your profile, how to engage with others and how to build up your followers. We will also run through all of the Twitter terminology including what hashtags are used for and the correct time to use them. Business Connected will give you some great tips to help you build a perfect Twitter page and strategy.

Hootsuite is a great time saving and strategy piece of software that can help you be more productive by enabling you to schedule and manage all of your social media from one platform. On the day we will set up and load your social media accounts onto Hootsuite. We will show you some quick and easy ways how you can schedule your Facebook and LinkedIn posts as well as tweets and much more. You can add your favourite LinkedIn groups and schedule posts so you are always on your clients’ minds. We will explore Hootsuite Pro and show you the advantages and disadvantages of upgrading.

MAILCHIMP

LINKEDIN

Mailchimp is a smart way of sending emails to the masses or targeted audience. In this part of the course we will be setting up your account and demonstrating how to design, send and monitor an email campaign. We will run through how to import connections, importing and exporting templates and discuss in detail the terminology and show you how you can measure and test your campaigns including click throughs, bounce rates and A / B testing.

LinkedIn has been a massive force in the business world for the last decade. If you haven’t embraced this business giant now is the time. In this section of the course we will run through all the basics and some hidden gems including: building your profile, adding connections, downloading your contacts to Excel including their email addresses. We will also explore what groups to join and the benefits of having a company page and how you can showcase your products and services.

Do you feel you’re not using Social Media to its full effect and would like some fantastic training?

Then our courses will be perfect for you. We offer training for LinkedIn, Twitter, Mailchimp and Hootsuite. Each course is two hours long and fully interactive. We suggest you bring a laptop so we can set up or work on your accounts throughout the training course.

The cost is just £49 per session, for a breakdown on what’s covered on each course please email us today on info@businessconnected.co.uk or call 01702 513113.


Premier Partner

Sound Financial Planning Group The Retirement Planning Specialists 01268 567567 | enquiries@soundfp.co.uk | www.soundfp.co.uk

The Retirement Conundrum

Financial Planning Corner

Will your money outlive you, or will you outlive your money?

Pension Liberation is now here – April 2015 Changes

Most people do not know the answer to this question – in fact many don’t even realise that’s the question!

SEEK ADVICE IF:

Planning for the longest holiday of your life involves careful consideration and long term planning – our advice is that those thinking about financial independence should answer the question by considering their own cash-flow model.

• You are approaching or are over age 55 • Pay higher/additional rate income tax • Wish to access cash tax-free • Have deferred final salary pension benefits • Don’t know how to claim your £85,500 pension allowances • You own your own business Please call us on 01268 567567 – we are here to help – no initial cost or obligation – risk free!

The only real way to secure your future. Please feel free to contact us for a no cost or obligation meeting. For more information visit the website at www.soundfp.co.uk or call us on 01268 567567.

If you would like to be updated on these and other important changes as they occur please e-mail us at enquiries@ soundfp.co.uk quoting ‘Important Updates’.

UPCOMING EVENTS Financial Planning Seminar 15th May 2015 If you would like to know about the above event or would like to attend, please contact us.


Technology Update

What type of breaches did respondents suffer?

Cyber Attack – Do You KnowWhy It Will NOT Happen To You? System failure or data corruption

12%

Infection by viruses or malicious software

42%

Theft or fraud involving computers

12%

Other incidents caused by staff What type

I

15% of breaches did respondents suffer?

Attacks by unauthorised n a few weeks’ time the new BIS Report on Information 19% outsiders (excluding hacking) Security Breaches Survey conducted by System failure or PWC will 12% data corruption be launched. It will be interesting to see0 how the 10 20 Infection by viruses or results have changed over a year whenmalicious Cyber Threats have software become more widely covered and the business community Theft or fraud 12% involving computers has suffered even greater volumes of attack.

We often hear that SME business owners and managers do not see their businesses or organisation as likely victims and as a result cyber security is not considered a high priority. This begs two questions: 1.  What are the threats for SME businesses?, and

Other incidents caused by staff

15%

What type of breaches did respondents suffer?

Attacks by unauthorised outsiders (excluding hacking)

19%

System failure or data corruption 0

10

12% 20

30

40

Infection by viruses or malicious software

50

60

70

80

90

100

80

90

100

42%

What type of staff-related incidents Theft or fraud 12% involving computers did the respondents suffer?

Other incidents caused by staff Unauthorised access to systems or data Attacks by unauthorised (eg: using (excluding someone else’s ID) outsiders hacking) Breach of data protection laws or regulations

2.  What are SMEs doing to make sure they will not be a victim? To answer question 1 we can refer to the Security Breaches Survey for 2014 and the first graph shows the types of breaches suffered by businesses with up to 250 employees. The most noticeable statistic is the percentage of infections by viruses and malicious software and this percentage was an increase over the results for 2013. It is likely that we will see another increase as these attacks are generally indiscriminate and are often not focussed on the size of the recipient.

30

How businesses protect themselves and importantly their staff from viruses, malicious code and inappropriate (even offensive) content remains mixed across SME businesses. 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 42% Limiting staff access to the Internet has become more accepted with the percentage of businesses applying restrictions in 2014 being higher than those in 2013.

15% 12%

0

Misuse of confidential information

19%

10% 10 20

30

40

50

60

70

5%

Why will you NOT be affected?

What type of staff-related incidents 19% did the respondents suffer?

Loss or leakage of confidential information

Unauthorised access 0 to systems or data (eg: using someone else’s ID)

10

Breach of data protection laws or regulations

20 12%

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

10%

Misuse of confidential information

The use of waterholes or ‘drive by’ websites that have been infected by malicious code that can spread as users access infected web pages continues to grow and technically enforced restrictions are a useful way of protecting against such threats. Noticeably 46% of businesses did not have any such restrictions in place.

The only answer to this question is ‘because we have taken steps to protect ourselves’.

If Cyber Security is not on your management agenda Loss or leakageWhat of type of19% staff-related incidents confidential information then it is likely that few steps did the respondents suffer? have been taken. This is an 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 area that can be readily Unauthorised access to systems or data 12% remedied and there are (eg: using someone else’s ID) How do respondents prevent staff misuse frameworks to work to so Breach of data protection of the web10% and social networking sites? laws or regulations that you can be confident Misuse of confidential 5% that you have minimised information Restrict staff access 43% the risks. The Government to internet at work Loss or leakage of 19% confidential launched the Cyber Essentials Blockinformation access to inappropriate websites 54% Standard last year requiring 5 (through blocking software) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 disciplines to be adopted and Block access to 29% social networking sites How do respondents prevent staff misuse maintained. The process to of the web and social networking sites? gain the standard is straight 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 One virus incident, noted in forward and Yellowspring the survey, affected a small office supplies company that Restrict staff access can provide guidance in this area and is able to support 43% to internet at work disabled their firewall, restricted access to key data and businesses in gaining the accreditation. Block access to inappropriate It websites randomly modified their files and folders. took them a 54% (through blocking software) Cyber Essentials is not only about giving the business day to restore business operation and another 10 days to Block access to 29% confidence that the data it holds is being protected to social networking sites fully recover from the incident. an accredited level but it also provides the same level of How do respondents prevent staff misuse confidence to customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. of the0 web and social networking sites? Another noticeable statistic from the second graph shown 10 20is 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 5%

the incidents caused by staff and graph below offers some further analysis. The loss of confidentialRestrict information can have staff access to internet at work a significant impact upon a business and the percentage Block access to of such incidents represents the largest type inappropriate websitesof incident (through blocking software) suffered by those businesses surveyed in the SME range. Block access to social networking sites

30

www.businessconnected.co.uk

* Written by Paul Rolison, Yellowspring Ltd IT Consultancy based in Laindon, Essex Tel: 01268 494 101 Email: paul.rolison@yellowspring.co.uk 54% www. yellowspring.co.uk

43%

29%

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

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Cyber Essentials scheme If you hold sensitive information about clients, customers or any Third Party, are you sure your security measures are sufficient to protect against the growing number of Cyber attacks?

Cyber Essentials is a Government initiative designed to help responsible businesses demonstrate that they take Cyber security seriously and have implemented controls to protect data held about their clients and connected parties.

Yellowspring has the skills and experience to help you develop your security using technology and importantly process controls, and if certification is required Yellowspring can guide you through the process.

Telephone Maria West on 01268 494 101 to arrange a meeting or email: cyber@yellowspring.co.uk

Yellowspring Ltd Astra House, Christy Way, Laindon, Basildon, Essex SS15 6TQ.

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Business Advice

The Cost of Filling Up

he last 10 years have seen a dramatic rise in prices at the pump, which has resulted in the price of diesel rising from 78.35 pence per litre in 2003 to 140.90 pence per litre in 2013, a rise of 55%.

In addition, a nationwide poll from Autogas showed that 31% of people would consider converting their vehicle to LPG. With prices around 60 pence per litre, the savings can be substantial.

Filling up the tank is expensive and even the recent reduction in prices has only seen the price of diesel fall to around 115 pence per litre, but who knows how long the price of oil will remain at these levels.

LPG has also become more widely available at over 1400 filling stations in the UK.

T

Auditel’s, Lee Freeman, looks at the fuel market and how to effectively manage the cost of filling up.

Key Dynamics •T he number of UK petrol stations has been steadily declining since the late 1960’s with now some 8,600 forecourts left in the UK from a high of 37,500 in 1970. •S upermarkets have an ever increasing foothold in the market, with 14% of all petrol stations being owned by supermarket chains. Their market share however is far larger than that as they account for 40% of all road fuel being sold by supermarket chains. •T  he rise in fuel prices is not all down to global oil prices however. The UK has some of the highest fuel prices in the world, but over 60p in every £1 spent on fuel goes in tax. Technology has advanced over the last few years, with the advent of hybrid vehicles, alternative fuel sources such as LPG and fully electric vehicles. There have also been substantial advances in fuel-efficient engines. 2015 witnessed the birth of the most fuel-efficient car in research, the Peugeot 308 1.6HDi, with a combined rating of 91.1 miles per gallon while emitting. The UK Government is committed to electric cars and the plug in programme started in 2011. Charging points now available across the UK. The plug in programme reduces the upfront cost of eligible cars by offering a grant towards the costs of plug in cars capped at a maximum of £5,000. This grant is available to both private and business users and is given at the point of purchase rather than a post purchase procedure. Alternative Fuel vehicles have also increased in popularity. In September 2014, 9,955 alternative fuel vehicles were registered in the UK according to statistics from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders - a 56% increase from the previous year.

34

www.businessconnected.co.uk

So what can you do to manage your fuel strategy?

Fuel cards Fuel cards often form a key component of a fuel strategy and offer several advantages. With truly national coverage, commercial benefits include significant reductions on the national average pump prices, the avoidance of supplier price creep and no minimum purchase requirements. Fuel cards also offer improved security in terms of payment fraud. They reduce the risks associated with credit and debit card crime, and also through the introduction of restriction criteria eliminate the risk of employee theft. Administration is also greatly improved as payment is simple, VAT is streamlined and reporting has increased transparency with itemised invoicing and detailed analysis.

Develop a fuel conscious culture A true fuel management strategy goes way beyond procurement and pricing. Creating a fuel conscious employee culture is critical to good fuel management. Staying ahead of the pack by embracing new skills and know-how can help to improve efficiencies. For example, using the latest app technology that monitors mileage and allows accurate mileage claims to be submitted can result in significant savings for an organisation. Smarter driver training is not a new concept, but one that should also be examined as part of an overall fuel strategy. According to the Energy Saving Trust by driving smarter the average UK driver could save between £250 and £300 each year. A number of simple techniques such as driving smoothly and the correct usage of gears can contribute significantly to reducing the cost of driving.

Tel: 01279 722167 Mobile: 07803 246737 Email: lee.freeman@auditel.co.uk Lee Freeman, Auditel


Do you have someone in-house with a deep understanding of fuel costs? If not, you may be paying a lot more than you should be.

WHO MANAGES YOUR FUEL COSTS?

Fuel is an essential business cost and the lifeblood for many business owners. However, few companies have the time or resources to devote to this complex area of expenditure. Without careful management it can quickly get out of hand. Auditel is the country’s leading provider of strategic cost management services. Not only can we save you time (and money), but using our hard won knowledge and expertise we can also ensure that your fuel costs are in step with the needs of your organisation.

“Auditel have saved us tens of thousands of pounds, but as a hectic MD it’s the time I’ve had released back to me that I notice the most. If you run a business I’d definitely suggest having a conversation with them!”

Contact Lee Freeman today to ensure that your fuel costs aren’t running out of control

T: 01279 722167 M: 07803 246737 lee.freeman@auditel.co.uk www.auditel.co.uk/leefreeman

Fully equipped to manage all your business costs


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Essex Round Up

News From Around The County Charity calls for businesses to test their knowledge A local charity is calling on business masterminds to join them for a quiz night in aid of Essex’s children’s hospice. The Big Essex Corporate Quiz will bring together business brains from across Chelmsford and west Essex to put their general knowledge to the test and battle it out with other companies to be crowned the best brains in business. The quiz night will take place on Thursday 14th May at the Marconi Athletic and Social Club in Chelmsford; starting at 6pm. Tables of eight are £12 per person, which includes a Fish and Chip dinner. All proceeds from the evening will go to Little Havens Hospice in Thundersley, which cares for seriously ill babies, children and teenagers from across Essex. For more information or to book a table contact Lydia Plews on 01702 220317 or email lplews@havenshospices.org.uk or visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/events.

The Green Essex Awards are in full swing You may recall from the last edition of Business Connected that we have teamed with sustainable design agency Zero Above to launch the first dedicated green business awards for the Essex region. The Green Essex Awards are designed to recognise and reward companies, organisations, community projects, education establishments and charities within the county of Essex for their efforts to reduce their carbon footprints and improve environmental performance. This initiative is about creating a greener Essex through greener lives, greener business and a greener future for all. A generous package of sponsorship opportunities is available. Entry across ten award categories and the Essex Green 100 is free to enter and is open now at www.greenessexawards.com and the inaugural awards ceremony will be held at the Colchester Business Connected event on Friday, October 23rd 2015.

Headway Essex 30th Anniversary Ball Headway Essex is a local charity that supports adults who have acquired a brain injury; this could be through sporting or work accidents, road traffic accidents, assault, illness, stroke or disease. This year will be their 30th Anniversary and they are celebrating this by bringing their annual Black Tie event to Stock Brook Manor in Billericay on 19th June, for a spectacular Summer Ball. This landmark event will raise vital funds to continue the work of Headway Essex. They are inviting local businesses to be involved in the largest event on the Headway Essex calendar and celebrate the milestone that is 30 years of Brain Injury Care and Support. Tickets are £85 each and include a three course meal with unlimited wine and beer and an evening’s entertainment. The event is expected to attract between 170-220 guests. If you would like more information please call Headway Essex on 01206 547616 or emailfundraising@headwayessex.org.uk For more information on Headway Essex visit the website at www.headwayessex.org.uk

BUSINESS

CONNECTED ESSEX

42

www.businessconnected.co.uk

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


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Business Coach

If You Could Sack Your Customers, Would You?

I

f you could sack your customers and make more profit, would you be interested in finding out how? Yes? Read on then because this could change the way you do business forever!

3. Is the customer well organised? Compared to other customers, electrical plans often arrive late and are only ever about 60 per cent accurate. Rating: 3/10.

Difficult customers can be more trouble than they’re worth and provide a real threat to the survival of your business.

4. A  re jobs profitable? The builder provided Alan with a lot of work but also expected very competitive pricing, so the jobs were only profitable if things were done on time and on budget. Rating: 4/10.

A conversation I often have with clients is what to do with difficult customers, especially ones that don’t pay on time. My advice is usually to get as much money owing as possible and then ‘sack’ the customer.

5. D  oes the client refer any other customers? Alan likes to get most of his work by ‘word of mouth’. Other customers regularly refer work to him but this builder never does. Rating: 0/10.

The idea of sacking a customer is both exciting and daunting at the same time. It is exciting because most businesses have customers that are difficult to deal with and the idea of sacking them is very appealing. It is daunting because the customer could be a ma jor source of revenue that you don’t want to lose and as they say – ‘better the devil you know than the devil you don’t’. An example of this dilemma was recently played out by a client of mine named Alan, who is an electrician. One of his ma jor customers was a builder who owed him £8,000 and was 90 days behind in paying his accounts. The builder kept saying the money was coming and kept asking Alan to work for him – “Don’t worry mate, I will look after you!” Alan had been talking to another electrician who also did work for the same builder who was owed £10,000. He was upset about not getting paid but wanted to keep working for the builder because he was the source of 95% of his work and if he didn’t keep working for him he might not get his £10,000. To help Alan decide on what to do I asked him to come up with a profile of what was a ‘perfect customer’. He listed his key criteria and then rated them from 1-10. After all, a customer is not a customer unless they pay right? 1. D  oes the customer pay on time? The builder often doesn’t pay on time so Alan has to use his overdraft and he is at risk of getting behind in paying his suppliers. This means he will not be able to buy products for other jobs and it will affect his credit rating. Rating: 2/10. 2. D  o you like the customer? The builder is a great bloke, they occasionally catch up for a beer and their kids go to the same school. Rating: 9/10.

44

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Alan went through his list of regular customers and scored each one. Although the builder was a good bloke he scored as the worst customer by far. It was tough but Alan made the decision not to do any more work for the builder unless he paid his account in full and committed to getting better organised. The builder wasn’t happy but paid Alan £4,000 of the £8,000 he was owed. This wasn’t ideal but it was a good start for Alan because at least it covered the cost of all the materials. It took some more chasing but a month later Alan received another £2,000. He was getting very tempted to go back and work for the builder until one day he ran into the other electrician. He told Alan that he was working seven days a week but the trouble was the builder now owed him £38,000 rather than just £10,000. Two weeks later Alan received a letter saying that the builder put his company into receivership and that he probably wouldn’t get the other £2,000 he was owed. In speaking to the receivers he learnt that the builder had gone broke in the past and had a poor credit rating. To come to one of Nick Ruddle’s next live events, go to www.actioncoach.com/nickruddle or call the number below.

Tel: 01279 210748 Mobile: 07974 667996 Email: nickruddle@actioncoach.com Web: www.actioncoach.com/nickruddle Nick Ruddle, Business Coach


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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. (picture below)

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Business Connected Essex Edition 13 April / May  

Business Connected Essex April / May 2015

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