THE HBI ON THE ROAD A review of the Roadshow AGAINST THE GRAINE A Health Piece for Migraine Awareness Week 4 -10 September
SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE FROM HERTS-BASED BUSINESS, POPDANCE
SALES AND MARKETING SPECIAL! CENTENARY YEAR!
Celebrating 100 years of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM)
A-Z OF SALES AND MARKETING
Tips from some of the top experts in Sales and Marketing
PROFILE OF A LOCAL MARKETER
Sean Feast from Gravity London
ULRIKA JONSSON ULRIKA JONSSON LAUNCHES HER BRAND NEW BOOK: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING MYRTLE
issue September 2011
A DATE FOR YOUR DIARY! TUESDAY 8 TH NOVEMBER 2011 WITH KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Don’t miss this amazing business event - join us at
MASTERCLASS SEMINARS NETWORKING EXHIBITION BUSINESS WORKSHOPS & MORE Ruby Wax, best known for her T.V. documentaries and interviews performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company for 5 years, and was script editor for various shows including Absolutely Fabulous. Previously she studied psychology at the University of Berkeley, California and Regent’s College, London and is currently studying for an MSt in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy at Oxford University. Ruby also facilitates leadership groups to improve their communication skills as well as coaching and advising individual executives for corporate clients, including BAe, Orange, KPMG, Skype, eBay, London Business School, Women in Retail, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, GMT Communication Partners, O2.
Our Spring Expo attracted over 50 exhibitors, 4 international speakers 14 sponsors and supporters, and over 700 delegates. Don’t miss your opportunity to get involved. Visit www.hertsexpo.co.uk to register your interest as a delegate or sponsor, book exhibition space, and take the opportunity to view a video of the March 2011 Expo. Masterclass seminar & workshop programmes to be announced shortly.
CONTENTS NEWS A roundup of the latest business news and stories from our region
INTERVIEW : ULRIKA JONSSON A chat with Ulrika about her new book, ‘The Importance of Being Myrtle’
MONEY The Herts FSB talk about why late payments are still an issue for many small businesses
LEGAL We catch up with Tees Solicitors in St Albans
EDUCATION & TRAINING Adult Literacy Day and it’s importance within the workplace
TECHNOLOGY Mobile retail service txt2buy tell us about their start up success
EXECUTIVE PROFILE Mark Ganellin from Marketing Zone
SALES COLUMN Featuring The HBI’s regular sales expert Steve Clarke
NETWORKING Regualar contributor Andy Lopata shares his thoughts on networking
DRIVE We take a spin in the Peugeot 3008
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COPYRIGHT Copyright: 2010 Business Independent Ltd All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior consent of the publishers. The views expressed in any of the Business Independent series of regional magazines are not necessarily the views of the publishers Business Independent Ltd. Whilst Business Independent Ltd has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, neither they norany contributing author can accept any legal responsibility for any consequences that may arise from errors or omissions contained in this publication or from acting on any opinions or advice given. In particular, this publication is general and not a substitute for professional advice and you should consult your own professional advisors where appropriate.
September marks quite a few important calendar dates in the first week. Firstly, it is Migraine Awareness Week from September 4 - 10, and then Adult Literacy Awareness Day is on the 8. See our features on page 14 and page 27. Not only is this an important month for milestones, but an important year too! 2011 marks 100 years since the foundation of the ISMM and the CIM. So we decided to dedicate our issue to some of the best sales and marketing advice there is to help your business. Read our special features on the A-Z of Sales and Marketing and 100 Years of the CIM on pages 20 and 24 of the magazine. Also as part of the special, we interviewed some top local knowledge including Sean Feast from Gravity London which you can read all about on page 26! If that wasn’t enough, this month we caught up with Ulrika Jonsson, who tells us all about her exciting new book, The Importance of Being Myrtle. We also take a look at what all our best home grown Hertfordshire businesses are up to as well as bringing you all the latest technology, legal and networking news. Just to round off we took the all new Peugeot 3008 for a spin. Such a difficult job, someone has to do it! Enjoy your latest issue! Jenna
HERTFORDSHIRE BUSINESS SURVEY REVEALS SURPRISING LEVELS OF CONFIDENCE
Rayner Essex accountants and business advisers along with Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry have recently published the findings of an extensive survey of some 126 businesses across Hertfordshire. The survey was completed during the last few weeks of May and covered issues that included the wider economic and national policy environment, local business confidence and local level infrastructure and local government. The findings reveal a slightly cautious but supportive viewpoint of central government policy. 53 per cent of respondents believed the coalition governments’ policy is ‘about right’ and 25 per cent seeing it as being too harsh. The Government is seen as having the lead role to play in influencing a recovery in the UK economy. The second most important factor was an ‘increased willingness of the banks to lend’ whilst the entrepreneurial skills of business was seen as the next most important factor. The survey showed that despite the troubles faced by the economy, respondents saw opportunities for business across all sectors. Perhaps the most surprising findings related to turnover and profitability, where 65 per cent anticipated a growth in sales turnover and 58 per cent anticipating increased profitability. The banks appear to have some way to go in restoring sentiment from business. The survey shows that banks were seen as passive by 33 per cent of respondents, disinterested by 28 per cent and supportive by only 27 per cent. Hertfordshire appears to be an attractive location to run a business with a resounding 87 per cent seeing it as a good place to start a business with good national transport links. Local councils however, were seen as unsupportive of the needs of business by 52 per cent of people with only 22 per cent believing councils were supportive of business. Hertfordshire Chamber Chief Executive Tim Hutchings believes the results are in line with what he is seeing across the county. “I am not surprised by these results. We have a strong business community in Hertfordshire that is pretty resilient and has acted swiftly to respond to changing economic conditions. However, national government and local government must provide on-going support for business to ensure we have a climate that values and rewards the entrepreneurial spirit of business.”
HERTFORDSHIRE BASED MEDIATORS ALBAN RESOLUTION CENTRE WELCOMES LISA STANTON ONTO THEIR PANEL
Alban Resolution Centre, the Hertfordshire based mediation group formed by local barristers set, St. Albans Chambers, has been joined by Lisa Stanton. Formerly a practising barrister, Lisa Stanton is keen to promote mediation as an alternative method of resolving disputes, potentially saving substantial costs and time for Hertfordshire businesses. Alban Resolution Centre provides accredited independent mediators who are trained to mediate across all areas of disputes. Mediation is a process where an independent third party, a Mediator, facilitates the resolution of a dispute between parties for a mutually agreeable outcome. This method of resolving disputes can assist all parties involved in saving costs, time and the stress of legal proceedings. “Mediation has proven to be very successful. It provides a safe and confidential setting, where the parties are in control of the outcome, not the Judge. I am committed to assisting the parties in reaching a satisfactory and durable solution to their dispute, whilst at the same time saving them the potentially high costs of litigation.” comments, Lisa Stanton.
KIER AWARDED FOR TACKLING WORKLESSNESS Success of company’s community engagement programme acknowledged with a big tick! Kier’s maintenance business in Harlow has been awarded a Big Tick in the Work Inclusion category of the Business in the Community Awards 2011 in recognition of its major investment in tackling worklessness within communities across the region. The company’s First Start and New Start programmes, which have been running for five years, help excluded groups or individuals including adult learners, young offenders, single parents, children leaving care and ‘NEETs’ (Not in Employment, Education and Training) move back into the working environment. The First Start project gets youngsters aged 16 -18 into new employment, whilst New Start helps those of 18 and beyond move out of long-term unemployment. The scheme has delivered a 90 per cent retention rate with over 1,110 hours of internal management time dedicated to the national programme in 2010. Last year alone almost 100 people took part in training with 100 per cent achieving NVQ level qualifications and a number moving into full time employment or apprentice placements as a result. Underpinning these results is the fact that a large proportion of the company’s own workface comes for the local community – reaching seventy per cent in the case of Kier Harlow. Over a quarter of the company’s workforce (27 per cent) is also female, compared to an industry average of nine per cent.
DELOITTE STRENGTHENS ST ALBANS TAX TEAM Deloitte has further strengthened its tax team in its St Albans office with the promotion of Ian Barnes to Partner, and the transfer of two tax specialists, Vishal Shah and Parmesh Rajani. The Deloitte tax team is now 40 strong with corporate international business tax and UK and global employer tax specialists. Ian is an international corporate tax specialist who spent 10 years in the Birmingham office before moving to head up the St Albans corporate tax team in September 2010. His particular expertise lies in providing strategic tax advice to both UK listed groups and overseas headquartered groups investing into the UK. Ian has also been a key member of the team leading the Deloitte offering around innovative ways of funding defined benefit pension schemes. He is also part of the Deloitte team raising money for charity in Septembers HSV St Albans sprint Triathlon. Vishal is a senior manager and specialises in Indirect Tax. Vishal manages a broad portfolio of clients on a variety of UK and international Indirect Tax matters and has extensive experience of technical issues and planning, particularly for consumer business and retail clients. He has a lot of experience of indirect tax issues on private equity and corporate transactions. Parmesh Rajani is senior manager who has been with the specialist transfer pricing team for 11 years, having worked with a wide range of clients throughout the UK across all sizes and industries. Parmesh has assisted clients on transfer pricing and international tax matters including advice on pricing policies and broader tax issues when expanding into new territories or structural changes, as well as assisting in tax authority enquiries, double tax claims and advanced pricing agreements.
IN INCREASINGLY DESPERATE AND UNCERTAIN FINANCIAL TIMES, A FORMER BT HR MANAGER SAYS THERE IS ANOTHER WAY TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS Sandra Swan, a former manager in sales and human resources for British Telecom, gave up her career to run her own Law of Attraction (LOA) workshops in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. Sandra, 44, explained that LOA is the understanding that ‘like attracts like’ i.e. that positive and negative thinking bring about positive and negative physical results respectively. She added: “We have to learn to let go of the struggle to get the things we want, and focus more of our time on what we appreciate and what makes us happy. There is no such thing as coincidence, it’s the law of attraction lining up the best energy match to you. If you think of the coincidences in your life, you could probably never have even conceived them in your wildest imagination, let alone get all the components to come together at the right place and time. Sandra said the ongoing tough times - now including the unfolding Euro crisis – could be a sign that not only does our current way of doing things need to change to avoid future crises, but that our actual way of thinking and attitude to the world needs to also. “LOA is a growing phenomenon and people are becoming more open minded to it, maybe because of the current economic climate and people’s growing troubles in the world at the moment. I believe LOA is one of the tools we can use to help break the destructive patterns of the past and provide answers and hope in really hard times,” she said.
Sandra was one of the UK’s original founding members of the Life Coaching Academy in 2001 while she was still working for BT, and from research into LOA and her training, decided that coaching based on law of attraction principals was what she wanted to do for her career.
MY INCUBATOR AIMS TO KEEP WATFORD WORKING An innovative facility to help new start up businesses take the first steps on the road to success has been officially opened by Dorothy Thornhill, Elected Mayor of Watford. Watford business leaders, councillors and partners were invited to visit My Incubator at the business centre on Colne Way, Watford and help celebrate its official opening. My Incubator is the result of the combined efforts of local enterprise agency Wenta, Watford Borough Council and the East of England Development Agency (EEDA). It will offer pre-start, new or early stage businesses and social enterprises workspace and facilities as well as on site support from an expert business advisor to ‘mentor’ them through the early stages of start up. Four start up businesses have already moved into the Watford facility specialising in cake making, retail, consultancy services and HR and two more are expected to follow soon. Mayor Dorothy Thornhill, who counter-signed the first licence agreement with new My Incubator tenant Sierra Kariyawasam, said: “This is just what we need in Watford. My Incubator will give local businesses vital support as they are starting up and will help keep Watford working.” Mick Dobson, resident business advisor at Watford My Incubator, said: “We hope to give start up businesses and social enterprises in the Watford area a supportive environment to develop their business idea and the tools to succeed in the long term.” Watford My Incubator will provide fully equipped ‘hot-desking’ facilities with virtual office support for 9 months for up to 16 start-ups at any one time.
FUNERAL STAFF MAKE THE GRADE
HERE COME THE “MUMPRENEURS”! Findings have revealed that 2011 could be the year of the “mumpreneur” because of a growing wish by women to have more flexibility in their working lives whilst being a working mum. A study carried out by BT revealed 15 per cent of women had started their own business since having children and that figure is growing. Hatfield businesswoman Arpana Valji set up on her own when she was on maternity leave. She saw an opportunity to be her own boss, set her own hours and spend more time with her family whilst generating a second income and now runs Ohana Moments and Flexible Marketing Services (FMS). Looking to the future, she now has an additional project… Backed by mumsclub , the award winning business network for mums, Arpana is organising a business club for mums like her and is looking for other local like-minded women to help her build their own network of Hertfordshire business mums. It’s a low-cost networking group which she hopes will kick start lots more mum-made businesses.
Staff from Hertfordshire’s leading independent funeral directors, Austin’s, recently took part in a training day run by the British Red Cross. The Emergency First Aid at Work course was attended by 13 members of staff including funeral arrangers, conductors, limousine drivers, crematorium technicians and groundsmen. It took place in the chapel at Harwood Park Crematorium and Memorial Gardens in Stevenage which is also owned and managed by the Austin family. Claire Austin, who is the tenth generation of her family to run the firm, explained: “I consider basic first aid to be an essential part of training for all our staff. The nature of our business means that we are frequently in contact with distressed, elderly and infirm families and members of the public. Therefore I feel we have a responsibility to ensure that we are equipped to assist should an emergency situation present itself.” All the staff passed the course which also provided a welcome opportunity to meet up with colleagues from different parts of the company.
Arpana says: “Our local mum’s business club is a great initiative and a fantastic way to unite more business mums in Hertfordshire, which will both highlight the work of our mum owned businesses in and around Hertfordshire as well as support and encourage the growth of more.” Arpana has already been busy recruiting, but needs more mums to join. She is looking for local mums who are either in business or just thinking about it, to meet up (with the children!) at the Hertfordshire Enterprise Academy facility within BioPark, Welwyn Garden City. The Hertfordshire Enterprise Academy is supported by Exemplas and Arpana would like mums to meet every month to share business tips and get to know other like-minded mums. Right now, there are mums, just like Arpana, all over the country running successful businesses from home; juggling the madness of family life with business. The latest BT survey suggests this number is set to increase with more working mothers planning to launch their own business in a bid for a better work/life balance. The survey results showed the UK was experiencing an increase in Mumpreneurs, partly fuelled by the emergence of online social networks which created more business opportunities for women. Jane Hopkins, founder of mumsclub, agrees, “Networking is the key to business success and being a mum at home, online is often the only way to meet other like-minded women. The likes of Facebook, Twitter and mumpreneur forums are uniting these mums, who are able to share experiences and are actively supporting one another to build their unique, quirky and successful businesses from home.”
GET READY FOR VAT CRACKDOWN A VAT crackdown could make the coming months uncomfortable for small Hertfordshire businesses, local accountants are warning. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced that it will be targeting individuals and companies which should have registered for VAT but have failed to do so. The penalties for those caught out can be hefty and Rickmansworth-based DSH Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers is recommending that companies put their affairs in order before the taxman comes calling. Partner Sandy Bell explained: “Any business – whether a sole trader, partnership or limited company – with a turnover of more than £73,000 on a rolling year basis is obliged to register for VAT.” “If they don’t register and they get found out, HMRC can impose penalties – and these get more onerous as time goes by.” “It is always better to approach HMRC voluntarily than to wait for them to come to you. If you come clean, you will have the chance to put your finances in order on the best possible terms and you may be able to persuade HMRC to be lenient because of mitigating circumstances.” According to HMRC, the crackdown is part of an ongoing campaign to close the ‘tax gap’ and to give people the chance to put their affairs in order and pay the tax they owe before they are found out and penalised. So far, HMRC has raised more than £500m from voluntary disclosures and a further £100m from follow-up activity. Previous campaigns have targeted offshore investments, medical professionals and people working in the plumbing industry. According to Sandy, there can be long-term advantages in being VAT registered. “Small business are often worried about registering for VAT because they think it involves a lot of additional paperwork and record keeping as well as meaning that they have to put their prices up,” he said.“However, the basics of VAT are fairly straightforward and there are benefits in being registered. These include improved business credibility and being able to reclaim VAT on goods and services bought. In addition, for some businesses, the Flat Rate VAT scheme can actually be financially beneficial and increase a company’s profits.”
HERTFORDSHIRE JEWELLERY COMPANY WINS NATIONAL JEWELLERY AWARD
NEWS IN BRIEF LOCAL STUDENTS USE SUMMER BREAK TO OBTAIN VITAL BUSINESS SKILLS KPMG’s London North office based in St Albans is taking part in the firm’s Vacation Programme this year with two local university students, joining the office to gain valuable work experience. Both students joined KPMG in July and will spend their summer working within the Audit practice, gaining experience on projects, working with real businesses. As part of the graduate scheme, the students will have a Partner interview at the end of their programme, where they could potentially get offered a job to start back with KPMG in October 2012 as graduates. KPMG is launching an innovative school leavers programme this autumn which offers students the chance to take part in a new six-year programme that will lead to a full chartered accountancy qualification as well as a BSc Accountancy degree. KPMG will pay course fees and offer a salary of up to £20,000 per year and is looking for local students to work from KPMG’s offices in St Albans whilst also studying part-time at university.
A LOOK AT WHAT SOME OF THE HBI FOLLOWERS ARE SAYING ON TWITTER...
Harriet Kelsall received her award at a ceremony held on 14 July at London’s Grosvenor House hotel triumphing over the remaining two jewellers in the shortlist. The company was awarded this accolade as a result of the re-design of its Cambridge studio in the heart of the city. Harriet Kelsall, Managing Director, said: “I was delighted to have even been shortlisted so to have won this award is a real honour.” By overhauling the design and layout of one of its studios, Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design has brought proper bespoke jewellery directly to the High Street. One of the judges described this initiative saying: “It’s fab for the industry, great for future talent and really revolutionary.” Harriet said: “We can design jewellery completely from scratch without using template designs or merely assembling jewellery using cast parts and we can do this in a high street retail outlet. The jewellery industry recognises this as an innovation in jewellery and this is why we have been awarded Business Initiative of the Year.” “It’s wonderful that our efforts in making bespoke jewellery accessible have been recognised by such a prestigious industry award and l feel really proud that we’ve been instrumental in bringing bespoke jewellery design to the High Street.” The judges were also “really impressed by Kelsall’s desire to inspire other jewellers to employ goldsmiths and designers in order to offer bespoke options.”
@mattfrog Matt Harwood Glad to report #OperationCupOfTea is successfully in action in the frog household. Yummy Café Direct teabags :) @DixiesCupcakery Dixie’s Cupcakery We have 2 lovely OAP’s in Dixie’s who just said “This is marvellous - a meal in a moment!” X @KiddieKitsBeads Stefania Lintonbon Crafty Tip2: To refresh ourselves -Sometimes it’s good to just stop, take a few deep breaths, refocus, and then get on with our task. :D @ThePilatesPod ThePilatesPod Right. Busy day tomorrow. Market Square with @Hitchinites and others, and handing out flyers around the town. @Dressingroombou DressingroomBoutique Had lots of visitors today....made a rainy day fly by & its Friday tomorrow, lets hope we all have that friday feeling!! xx
The store was re-opened in February 2011 by Andrew Lansley MP following an interior design makeover by retail consultant Callum Lumsden who worked with Mary Portas on her BBC2 series Mary, Queen of Shops and Channel 4 series Secret Shopper.
Hertfordshire-based Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design, whose flagship studio is in Halls Green near Weston, has won the UK Jewellery Award for Business Initiative of the Year 2011.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEIN ULRIKA JOHNSSON – THE SWEDISH BORN TV PERSONALITY WHO STARTED HER CAREER AS TV-AM’S WEATHER GIRL, HAS SWAPPED PRESENTING FOR A PEN AND PAPER. She started writing stories when she was nine; her father bought a typewriter home from work one day and her love of writing was born. Books and writing were her escapism during a difficult childhood and it was when she moved to England at the age of 12, that her passion for English; its language and literature, was ignited. The HBI caught up with Ulrika as she takes a break from her Team Captain position on BBC2’s cult show Shooting Stars, to chat about her exciting new venture. Hi Ulrika -you’ve just published your first novel, “The Importance of Being Myrtle”. Congratulations! Do tell us about the story. Thank you! It’s about a 58-year old woman, Myrtle, whose husband of 40-years dies suddenly and unexpectedly one morning. The novel deals with what happens to Myrtle as a consequence of this but also - and perhaps more importantly - what happened in her life before she married him. She has to deal with her daughters - who are a bit of a mystery to her - and really, she has to learn to live again.
How did writing the novel come about and what was the inspiration? I was interested in finding out what happens to a woman in her late 50’s - when she has to go back into the world and learn to relive - or indeed, start living. I think people in their 50s - perhaps women more so - are often forgotten about or become transparent. I wanted to show one character in her late 50s as grey and beige and another who is very colourful and opinionated.
How long did it take you to write and how did you get into the creative ‘zone’ to write? The idea for the book came to me about six years ago, but I didn’t put fingers to keyboard properly until 2009 - so, I guess it was nearly two years.
Are there any more books in the pipeline? I’d love to write more! If I could make my living writing books that people want to read, I’d be so thrilled. As a child, I always dreamed of being a writer - it seemed such a ‘romantic’ profession - all the walking around in a cold house, looking out on a fabulous view, wearing slippers and a cardigan and struggling with writer’s block. That’s my idea of heaven. But actually, on a serious note, I love the English language. It is not my mother tongue and I’m passionate about it. You have a fabulous language with so many wonderful, wonderful words. I love both reading and writing.
You’ve had a great television career, including working in both the UK and Sweden – what has been the biggest highlight of your career to date? I’ve had many highlights - I’ve done so many things over the 23 years in TV. I guess hosting the Eurovision Song Contest with Terry Wogan in 1998 was one. Being part of Shooting Stars has been a huge privilege. But writing my book has been a huge achievement.
I started 23 years ago. There are so many channels now and 100 times as many people trying to break in. Often - as with acting people want to go into TV because they want to be famous. For me, it was different. I ‘fell into’ it - discovered I was good at presenting and managed to make a career out of it. If you are still tempted, then there is only one thing you have to remember: the audience. Your audience is the most important thing - not you. It’s about providing something entertaining or informative not about purely showing off.
If you hadn’t followed a career in television, what career would you have liked to have had instead? Well, apart from working in a flower shop - I did want to become an actress. That is what I was going to university to study for but as I anticipated I would be ‘unemployed’ much of the time as actors often are, I spent my gap year doing a secretarial course and was raring to go out and work straight after - rather than study for a further four years and remain financially dependent on my parents.
Do you have any role models? Gosh, that’s a tricky question. I guess I like lots of aspects of lots of people, but I’ve always admired Goldie Hawn, Bob Monkhouse and Bette Davis. But I had a wonderful man who was a kind of mentor to me when I started out. His name was Bruce Gyngell and he was my first boss. I loved him and admired him. He was a maverick, caring and brilliant - all rolled into one.
You still have your roots in Sweden. How does life differ between there and the UK? I don’t have my home in Sweden any more - I sold it five years ago - but I love Sweden and go back as often as I can. The Swedes are natural, unaffected, egalitarian and non-confrontational. The Brits are feisty, friendly, opinionated and generous - but we all do have a fantastic ability to moan.
What plans do you have for the coming months? I’m in the middle of the publicity campaign for “The Importance of Being Myrtle” right now. But as well as that I’m juggling four kids and still unpacking boxes in the house we’ve spent the past 18 months building.
And finally, what is your motto? “Carpe diem”, although I often forget to do so myself! But it’s important. Life is short. My father died aged 53 - so it’s important to live much and live well.
What is your advice for people wanting to break into the television industry? To be honest, I would say don’t bother! TV is not what it was when
THE HBI says: A beautifully written debut novel about hidden lives and second chances, “The Importance of Being Myrtle” is sad, romantic and heart-warming, but above all, it is a story about one family and a life reborn. “The Importance of Being Myrtle” is available now at £6.99 in paperback.
I’d love to write more! If I could make my living writing books that people want to read, I’d be so thrilled.
INTERVIEW : ULRIKA JONSSON
LATE PAYMENTS ARE STILL HURTING SMALL FIRMS A recent survey of over 1,700 small businesses has shown that “late payment” (which in a proportion of cases includes non-payment) of invoices is still a significant problem for small businesses. Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of businesses have been paid late in the last 12 months, according to a new paper by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), with the private sector being the worst offender. David Burch, the Development Manager of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire FSB explains. Why are late payments such a concern for business? For most businesses cash flow is the all important factor in ensuring not just survival, but potentially growing, taking on that first member of staff, or expanding the number of employees or investing in new machinery. Late payments can seriously impact on the chances of achieving those things. If payments are only a few days late then that can be accommodated but increasingly, we are seeing payments slipping to 30 days after invoicing, or 60 or even 90. Such delays can seriously affect the viability of a business.
Is this a new trend or has there always been a problem? Late payment has always been a problem but it has been getting worse in recent years and the economic downturn has just escalated the problem.
Bob Fahy, Solicitor Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP Why is the private sector the worst offender? www.mablaw.com Cashflow is all important for business survival. If you are not getting
money coming from customers then you have to consider asking your bank for an overdraft or increasing an existing one. That is likely to cost a business money, often money that they can’t afford to have tied up that way, and so they will be looking to make what money they do have last that little bit longer. Delaying payment of invoices is one way of doing that whether you are a small, medium or large business. Large businesses also know that smaller ones cannot afford to take them to court to obtain payment or are reluctant to do so in case they lose a contract.
With VAT prices and interest rates continually rising – do you see the problem of late repayments getting worse before it gets better?
Although some of the larger companies and public bodies are improving their payment times, this is something that FSB members often complain about, with around 70 per cent of them saying that they have been the victims of late payment . The current economic climate will not help alleviate this problem and will probably make it worse.
What does this mean for investors?
Investors will need to continue to look carefully at a company’s balance sheets and cashflow to see if there is any evidence of the business being affected by late payments and how much invoiced money is outstanding.
What are your predictions with the government invoicing? How will this work?
The Government’s plan to make contractors pay any sub-contractors well within a thirty day limit is welcomed, although we would like to see that reduced to ten days as many public bodies agreed to do under the last Government. The ability to anonymously report bad payers and the Government’s pledge to “name and shame” bad payers is welcomed and will hopefully encourage more prompt payment. The survey is based on 1,772 responses from the May 2011 FSB ‘Voice of Small Business’ Survey Panel of FSB members which took place between 11 and 24 May 2011. For full results, go to www.fsb.org.uk/fsb-survey-panel
ARE YOU READY FOR AUTO ENROLMENT PENSIONS?
Auto enrolment pensions will be the biggest change to UK pension provision in a generation. The new legislation will mean that all employers will be required by law to contribute to workers’ pensions. In the first instance, employers will have to make a minimum contribution of 1 per cent, rising to 3 per cent by 2017 so the cost implications are clear. Department for Work and Pensions figures suggest that while in 1901 there were ten people working for every pensioner in the UK, the number is expected to fall to just two workers for every pensioner by 2050. The new era of auto enrolment pensions is meant to address the perceived lack of saving taking place across the UK - but what are the implications for business? The shift to the new way of working begins on October 1 2012, initially for larger companies, but most medium sized companies will be impacted in early 2013. All businesses will be required to be fully compliant within four years. So while you might think that your business might not need to take immediate action, it will be much safer to conduct a serious review of what you need to do now. The vast majority of workers will be eligible for auto enrolment, save for those earning under £7,474 per year, who do not meet the age criteria and for those staff who actively opt-out. Businesses with a significant numbers of employees not currently in their pension scheme will face a substantial increase in direct pension costs, but also a significant knock on effect on the running cost of pension schemes. Employers will need to: • Monitor the eligibility of all workers both at outset and on an ongoing basis • Enrol eligible employees automatically into a qualifying pension scheme • For those employees that opt out, employers will need to re-enrol them on a 3-year cycle. Systems covering HR, Payroll and pensions will need to be fully integrated if the administration burden for employers is to be kept to a minimum. These factors combined will add severe additional costs to the administration and management of pension schemes. These new requirements are leading employers to fundamentally
review how they run their pension schemes and to seek out new and different ways of delivering pensions that generate cost savings to offset the direct pension cost increase. Most employers will use defined contribution (DC) schemes to meet their new obligations, but not all DC schemes are the same. For example, many employers operate trust-based schemes which run on an ‘unbundled’ basis, which is to say that the administration and investment functions have been managed by separate third party providers. This model has increasingly given way to ‘bundled’ arrangements, where administration and investments have been managed by a single third party provider which helps to reduce costs and improve efficiency. KPMG ‘s own experience is that in many cases employers can reduce operational costs by 60 per cent or more by exploring these alternatives. It may be that companies will have a variety of different pension schemes available to staff with new schemes existing alongside existing pension provision. Smaller companies are most likely to use the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) as an easy and affordable way to deliver benefits to staff while larger companies may prefer their own schemes, or use multiple schemes for different groups of their workforce. Employers will need to check that their existing pension arrangements satisfy the qualifying criteria covering active members, and if they don’t, changes will need to be made to the scheme rules or other processes. What is absolutely clear is that technology and systems interfacing together will be critical. October 2012 may feel like a long time, but when you consider that most employers may need to redesign schemes to maximise savings, review any existing schemes and importantly review and upgrade systems and allow time for testing before the “go live” date for auto enrolment, planning now is critical. Whatever option businesses take it is important that auto enrolment succeeds so that all involved have confidence that the legislation achieves its primary objective of delivering strong pension provision for the millions of people who currently do not save for their retirement years.
MONEY : ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
As the Workplace Retirement Income Commission (WRIC) recently estimated that fourteen million people in Britain aren’t saving enough for their retirement, Chris Craig from KPMG’s London North Pensions team, based in St Albans, warns businesses that auto-enrolment is just around the corner.
TEES MOVE THEIR IT INTO THE CLOUD Clients looking for lawyers who move with the times will find themselves in the forefront of events at Tees Solicitors, who are one of the first legal firms to make the switch to cloud computing, the latest development in information technology. Chief Executive Paul Stothard explains the important changes in the legal landscape. Cloud computing is rapidly being adopted by the legal profession, predominantly by small law firms. What are the economic arguments for the change?
To move to cloud computing has proved to be pretty much cost neutral for us. But you then have to look at the benefits in terms of business continuity (the facility we are using has numerous power and computing back-up facilities which would be very expensive to reproduce within our business), technical expertise and scalability. As a firm, we are embarking on an ambitious programme of expansion and we need our new locations to be on our systems from the word go. We need to be able to do this without the additional worry about network connections and server capacity.
Is the legal landscape projecting any other changes? What about IT management?
The legal landscape is changing in many ways. The Legal Services Act comes into force in October and this will undoubtedly bring significant changes to the competitive dynamics in the legal market. With new entrants and increasingly “savvy” clients, law firms have to embrace efficient and new models for delivery of legal services. Whilst IT management is undoubtedly one area to look at, the key battleground will be on client service and how long established law firms adapt their practices to compete with the new entrants with different models of service delivery.
What are the benefits you are already seeing?
We have already seen improved performance in some of our smaller offices, where economics restricted the capacity of the old network. At the same time, when our provider had an issue with part of our infrastructure, they were able to switch us over in a heartbeat to another area. In the past we would have had to take down our systems and wait until the problem had been fixed. Remote working is fantastic, because effectively, the home environment is the same as the office environment: there is nothing different to be done. Access to files is the same as being in the office. For more information please visit www.teeslaw.co.uk
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SHAREHOLDERS AGREEMENTS BY GILLIAN HARDING When a new company is formed it’s a busy time and practicalities can often take priority over legal matters, but it is always worth considering whether you would benefit from a Shareholders Agreement. We focus on one of the primary reasons here. If a shareholder dies, their shares pass to their beneficiaries who will be entitled to keep them unless you change the Articles of Association your company comes with, or enter into a Shareholders Agreement. If shares pass to beneficiaries, it creates the potential for disruption in the company, in some cases more than others. For example, a divorced shareholder may decide to leave shares to their children but, if they are under 18, then their ex-spouse may hold the shares on trust for the children and therefore become involved in the company. A Shareholders Agreement can include an automatic requirement for the shares to be sold following the death of a shareholder. Although Articles of Association can also include provisions requiring shares to be sold on the death of a shareholder, they aren’t private (because they are filed at Companies House) and they don’t create a contractual relationship between the shareholders, so a Shareholders Agreement is often preferred. Another risk is that the surviving shareholder(s) may not have sufficient funds available to buy shares from the deceased’s estate. Sometimes a Shareholders Agreement will state that the shares can be paid for in instalments but a more popular way of dealing with this risk is insurance. The policy benefits the surviving shareholders so there are funds available to purchase the shares from the estate. The insurer requires shareholders to have a ‘Cross Option Agreement’. This gives each shareholder a contractual right to require the personal representatives of the deceased shareholder to sell the shares to them. In return, the personal representatives have the right to require the surviving shareholders to purchase the shares of the deceased shareholder.
Taylor Walton 16x4:aa Master like 18/1/11 14:22 1 If you would to discuss the Page benefits of preparing a Shareholders Agreement, please contact Gillian Harding
firstname.lastname@example.org or, David Howard email@example.com at the Hitchin office 01462 628888.
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LITERACY IS THE BEST REMEDY Literacy opens up a window of opportunities to every one of us, and is essential to our development. Every year on 8 September, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) hosts an International Literacy Day, to raise people’s awareness of and concern for literacy issues in the world. According to UNESCO, about 774 million adults lack the minimum literacy skills. One in five adults is still not literate, and two-thirds of them are women. About 75 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out. However, literacy is also a cause for celebration on the day because there are nearly four billion literate people in the world. UNESCO and its partners promote the day to underline the significance of literacy for healthy societies, with a strong emphasis on epidemics and communicable diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. In countries all over the world, including the United States and the United Kingdom, the day raises people’s awareness of and concern for literacy problems within their own communities. Activities such as letters to the editor in newspapers, as well as news reports about the concerns for low literacy levels, have occurred as a result of this increased awareness. Other activities include literacy day projects, particularly with regard to technology and literature, which are promoted by various organisations including reading associations.
WHY IS LITERACY IMPORTANT?
Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy. Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy.
St ALBANS SCHOOL HMC Day School 820 pupils Headmaster: Andrew Grant MA
14th OCTOBER - 11th NOVEMBER 2011 To request a
pack call: 01727 or visit
ENTRY FOR BOYS at 11 and 13 ENTRY FOR BOYS and GIRLS at 16+
the first School in Hertfordshire
www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk Help support Herts-based Charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK. 250,000 people in the UK live with these devastating bowel diseases. Will you help us to raise awareness and funds by holding an event?
TRY OUR RED HOT QUIZ!
• 89% A and B at A level • 82% A* and A at GCSE • Coach services at 4pm and 6pm • Finest games facilities in the county • Extensive extra-curricular activities • Bursaries and Scholarships (up to 100%) awarded at each entry level Open Mornings 17 September, 8 October, 12 November and 3rd December 16+ Evening 1 November Contact the Admissions Officer for details
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SUPPORT YOUNG PEOPLE The NHC Support Young People campaign is designed to help young people gain the work skills needed for successful employment. Help support young people and we’ll help promote your business. The ‘NHC Support Young People’ campaign is designed to help young people gain employability skills. We need employers to be involved and share their wisdom with those just starting out in life. Any business or organisation can take part and offer Apprenticeships, work experience, work placement, business mentoring, paid part-time work, projects or research opportunities, set up a student-run enterprise, organise site visits, or give a student talk about working in a sector. Our students are keen to learn and work – they just need the opportunities to show what they can do. Join the employers who have already pledged their support.
Local jewellery designer and ex-NHC student, Alyssa Smith, has signed the Employer Pledge. Alyssa will be the new Entrepreneur in Residence for the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy launching at NHC’s Hitchin centre in September. She says: “I’m really excited to be the Entrepreneur in Residence. Having been a student at North Hertfordshire College, I feel I can give something back. I am really looking forward to working with and motivating the students who come to study with us.’’ For more ideas about how you can be involved and to sign up, go to the campaign website. All employers taking part will automatically be nominated for the Supporting Young People Award at the Hertfordshire Business Awards. Their story, web address and logo will also feature on the site.
RELMFIELD BUILDERS AND ALYWYCK HOUSING
Carpentry Apprentice Ryan McGibbon was short of essential work experience credits for his qualification. With help from his employer MITIE and NHC, Ryan gained work experience with Aldwyck Housing at Jubilee House, Hitchin, with sub-contractors Relmfield Builders Limited. Miranda Frith of Relmfield says: “Both organisations have a history of helping young people into work: it is a two-way partnership that’s part of how we operate.” Harj Singh, Chief Executive of Aldwyck Housing Group said, “Aldwyck is proud to have signed up to the NHC pledge to help young people like Ryan.”
STEPHEN MCPARTLAND MP Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, is recruiting a local student each year to work part-time in his office as an assistant Caseworker. This year NHC business student Kara Duffy worked at the constituency office, balancing this valuable work experience with completing her studies. Stephen McPartland commented: “I am delighted to be working with NHC to offer young people the opportunity to gain vital work experience alongside their studies. I am proud of the contribution Kara has made and she is a first class example of the talent and calibre of NHC students.”
Hertfordshire County Council, in partnership with North Hertfordshire College, has been offering an Apprenticeship scheme within the Adult Care Services department since 2005. The scheme was established to ensure the council recruits and develops high quality, motivated young people who will become qualified care workers. The scheme offers placements each year to 10 young people aged 17-19 who are scheduled to complete their training within 12 months. The new cohort starts in October 2011. The Adult Care Services team ensures the apprentices receive practical on the job training by rotating their placements between our Day & Supported Living Units across Hertfordshire. The apprentices attend NHC on a day release basis for the technical knowledge. Paul Rainbow, Senior Learning Development Officer says: “The scheme has given us an opportunity to develop a group of workers from an early stage of their working lives. It ensures they receive high quality training and, the qualifications to prepare them for a career in care work, providing an auditable work history. We have found that the retention rate for apprentices is very high: we still have eight of the 2005 cohort still working for us six years on. All of them have gone onto higher positions in the organisation. This trend has followed in subsequent years too.”
For more ideas about how you can be involved and to sign up, go to the campaign website. All employers taking part will automatically be nominated for the Supporting Young People Award at the Hertfordshire Business Awards. Their story, web address and logo will also feature on the site. Help young people achieve the success they deserve and sign the NHC Employer Pledge. T: 01462 650246 E: email@example.com www.supportyoungpeople.nhc.ac.uk
EDUCATION & TRAINING
HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
THE HBI NEW KID ON THE BLOCK CRIS BESWICK What is your business?
A great question to kick this off! I’m a thought leader and advisor on innovation in business. I work with boards, directors and management teams on topics like culture change, alignment, employee engagement and leadership development, but all focused towards embedding innovation. Put simply, I help companies transform from average to exceptional by showing them that it’s not what they do it’s how they do it that defines and differentiates them.
When did you start?
FEATURE : NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
I started doing this around three years ago. I founded my first company in 1998 and built a group of companies until structuring an exit plan via a management buy-out in 2008. Since then I’ve become a published author, expert and speaker on innovation and what it takes to create amazing organisations.
What is your background?
Well, I didn’t really excel in school or college, which seams fairly typical for most entrepreneurs. However, I managed to get into university and came away with a degree in product and industrial design. Luckily I got a job straight out of university but only lasted about 18 months before I quit and started my first design company. Everything grew from there really and it’s put me in the position I’m in now which is great.
How is business going?
I’m fortunate that I have what people will call a portfolio career. The majority of my time is divided between consultancy and speaking on innovation and how to create amazing organisations. However, I also hold a non-executive director position with a group of companies, I am a guest expert and speaker for Henley Business School, I am the Director of The Creative Growth Programme at Cranfield University and I also sit on an NHS thinktank for Leadership & Innovation. I’m also in the process of setting up a trust to invest capital and expertise in organisations that want to create sustainable businesses in order to fund charitable work. So, as you can see my diary is pretty full on!
What makes your business different?
In terms of my speaking and consultancy/advisory work what makes me different is this; I’ve founded and built very successful and award-winning businesses so I know what its like to be an MD and entrepreneur. I’m fiercely passionate about what I do and am known for my love of debunking popular theory and outdated management/text-book approaches. I’ve developed unique but down-to-earth perspectives on how to drive innovation and excellence in organisations. My stuff has personality because ultimately it’s all about people! Contrary to popular belief, transforming businesses isn’t difficult but a lot of consultants out there overcomplicate it. The reality; it’s not rocket science, its just hard work!
What are your plans for the rest of 2011?
Wow, there’s a good question. The diary is pretty full on at the moment and I have some really nice consultancy projects coming up for some really forward thinking clients. I’m also going to make time to do more speaking as that’s something that I really enjoy. I will also be setting up a charitable trust which will take a bit of time but I’m looking for a team to help with that at the moment.
I’ve developed unique but down-to-earth perspectives on how to drive innovation and excellence in organisations. My stuff has personality... ...because ultimately it’s all about people!
THE HERTFORDSHIRE BUSINESS
The organisers of the Hertfordshire Business Expo put on yet another fantastic event in June and July, this time in the form of The Hertfordshire Business Roadshow. The all day event ran over five dates, in five different venues throughout Hertfordshire and businesses were given the opportunity to learn how to get the best return on their networking from internationally renowned networking guru, Andy Lopata, hailed as ‘Mr Network’ by The Sun newspaper.
With the emphasis on business owners to increase sales and marketing efforts, particularly in the current economic climate, and with the ever increasing number of networking groups, it’s hard for business owners to know which tactic to use and where to use it. Time is also a huge factor as many owner-managed businesses just don’t have the resources to “waste” their time doing the wrong thing.
With thanks to our sponsors: Greenfleets and Care Vending
FEATURE : THE HERTFORDSHIRE BUSINESS ROADSHOW
An event such as the Roadshow brought together small groups of people and businesses, giving them the opportunity to learn and put this into practice. This was done through the speed networking sessions and also the mastermind groups, where goals and future plans were discussed as well as business owners getting help with the issues they are facing, all within a confidential arena.
THE MOBILE REVOLUTION Mobile is changing the way we sell and buy and it is becoming increasingly central to consumers’ lives. They expect to access information, services and communicate 24/7. With this in mind, what else do more than 50 million people have with them all the time that could be useful for this? The answer is the mobile phone. Next time you are out shopping, think about how you use your mobile phone. Most consumers use their mobile for a host of different things – compare shopping with friends, take pictures of product and also share new purchases on social networking pages. The modern consumer is technology savvy and fully embraces new and relevant innovations and products that enter the market. The problem is that the consumer tech market is saturated with ideas, gadgets, apps and endless product upgrades, meaning that it can be difficult for retailers and consumers to see the wood from the trees when it comes to knowing which are useful, practical and will actually enhance their shopping experience. Today’s multi-channel market (online, mobile, in-store, voice etc) presents massive opportunities and providing integrated crosschannel strategies that add real value to customers. Solutions that are easy to use create a coherent experience and connect on a one-to-one basis more than ever before. And the mobile needs to be central to this strategy, closing the 360 degree marketing circle, engaging with the customer and capturing their need there and then. Every channel has a specific role and the brands that are leading the way in multi-channel customer engagement are the ones that have figured out how to best maximise these touchpoints in different ways.
Mobile commerce (m-commerce) is fast becoming a hot topic of interest for retailers due to the recent explosion of mobile apps into the market and the extending capability of handsets . M-commerce is the equivalent to e-commerce but conducted through mobile devices including smart phones, non-smart phones, tablets and notebooks. It covers everything where products/services can be bought via a mobile. M-commerce is already transforming the mobile into a personal trusted device from which customers can reliably and securely conduct transactions such as banking, payment and ticketing – irrespective of time and place. This will transform everyday life, giving users total freedom. With the unique advantages of mobility, availability and personalisation, mobile commerce will add a powerful new dimension to customer service and be a source of substantial new revenue and place the mobile firmly at the centre of consumers’ lives. So it is no wonder that mobile commerce is fast becoming the channel of choice as it adds another dimension to shopping on a whim. Online shopping requires less commitment than venturing to the high street, but mobile takes that a step further and enables customers to act on an impulse to buy as soon as they feel it, wherever and whenever, and without the need for a computer or even mobile internet access. It can all be done through a simple text message.
txt2buy is a brand new channel available to retailers, giving them the ability to target any customer who possess even the most basic of mobile phones and gives them the ability to instantly respond to an advert or marketing message and purchase the item then and there. Using technology already in consumers’ pockets, there is no upfront investment required and all retailers need to do is add a simple text code to their advertisement or marketing campaign. Customers can respond via text message and after a basic registration, will be able to order their product in just a minute or two for delivery direct to their home.
2011 AND BEYOND
By the end of 2011, it is expected that over half of all mobile phones in use by customers in the US will be smartphones*. The UK will quickly follow. As smartphones continue their huge consumer adoption rate and consumers use the mobile web with increasing frequency, mobile commerce will continue its impressive growth. Consumers expect the mobile web experience to be as good as the traditional web, but with additional features that maximise the capabilities of their phones such as location-aware services. Android will likely jump to 50 per cent market share in in 2012**. Apple will continue to grow and lead the market with innovation. SMS will continue to be the driving force in non-voice communication and will also facilitate m-commerce, as mentioned above with services such as txt2buy. The tablet will blur the lines between commerce and mobile. Digitally-savvy consumers are already using tablets to make purchases, and this trend will accelerate as consumer adoption of tablets continues to rise. The tablet user is typically from a high-tech, affluent demographic, and for brand-conscious companies looking to target these consumers, tablets provide an engaging channel to repackage their web content to create a unique brand experience for the consumer. Tablets will be used by consumers as a tool to more deeply engage with the brand and inform purchasing decisions, and will ultimately be used by more brands and consumers to enhance the overall shopping experience. In summary, it is difficult to know whether any single m-commerce solution will become a “killer” in the marketplace, however, the key advantage of m-commerce may be its ability to support a wide variety of attractive and innovative solutions from SMS to Apps. This will be the key characteristic of m-commerce - highly-personalised, context-aware, location-sensitive, time-critical solutions, all conducted in a very secure environment. *Source:http://gigaom.com/2010/03/26/1-in-2-americans-will-have-a-smartphone-bychristmas-2011 **Source: http://www.webpronews.com/android-market-share-half-by-2012-2011-04
P20 : 100 YEARS OF THE CIM A brief overview of the history of CIM and what it’s purpose is for it’s members P22 : SELLING BY EMAIL Article by Sales expert Andy Preston P23 : PROFILE OF A LOCAL MARKETER Article from Sean Feast from St Albans. Founder of Marketing Consultancy, Gravity London. P24 : A-Z OF SALES AND MARKETING Overview of sales and marketing with tips/advice/ annecdotes from local businesses P26 : CHRIS MERRINGTON Holding Your Fees
SALES & MARKETING SPECIAL
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF MARKETING (CIM) AND THE INSTITUTE OF SALES & MARKETING MANAGEMENT (ISMM). THE CIM
On May 16 1911, 12 individuals formed the institute in a meeting at the Inns of Court Hotel in London. Originally known as the Sales Managers Association, the initial goal was to improve sales techniques and set the role of sales on a more professional footing. During the course of the last 100 years, there has been a rapid rise in the impact of marketing. As a discipline it has grown in scope and significance and is at the heart of today’s successful organisations. The CIM is the largest marketing body in the world for professional marketers with over 42,000 members worldwide. Their centenary celebration looks forward to the future of the industry through CIM’s continuing support: maintaining professional standards and keeping marketers at the forefront of technological advances to come. The Institute’s solid branch and regional network, first established in 1926, reaches marketers throughout the UK and overseas. Since the founding of the Sri Lanka branch in 1995, the CIM network has expanded to champion marketing best practice in 11 overseas regions from Asia to Africa. This is supported by its established professional qualifications, which began in 1928 with the first annual certificate examinations, and today comprises of entry-level marketing certificates and degree-level qualifications, CPD and training programmes. Roderick E. Wilkes, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, said: “This centenary year celebrates our rich past and patronage; from the appointment of our first Royal patron, King George VI, in 1937 to our current patron HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, our Royal Charter shows our stability and pre-eminence in, and dedication to, public service. “We celebrate the positive power that marketing has driven over the past 100 years and marks the Institute’s commitment to supporting the evolving needs of marketers over the next century and beyond. Marketing and marketers alike continue to be an invaluable asset to the business portfolio. “The long-term contribution to the bottom line ensures that marketing, and marketers, remain an essential business investment for the future.”
CIM ACHIEVEMENTS • Gone Global – the CIM are based in 11 countries other than the UK. These are; Australia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kenya,
Malawi, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland and Sri Lanka. • Join Up – the CIM have a number of different grades of membership, these grades are as follows; Fellow (FCIM), Member (MCIM), Associate (ACIM), Affiliate, Affiliate Professional, Chartered Member and Senior Management Entry. • UK based – the CIM have 12 branches in the United Kingdom. • Partners – the CIM is in partnership with six different Institutes and Charities. • Working Within Marketing – the CIM own a magazine called The Marketer which advertises a range of jobs within the industry.
SETTING THE STANDARD FOR THE MARKETING INDUSTRY High standards of quality and integrity are vital to the success of the marketing profession. So maintaining, developing and setting standards within the industry is a key part of The Institute’s work. All CIM members are expected to adhere to our Code of Professional Practice, which requires marketers to be honest, legally compliant and up-to-date. Drawn up after extensive research with employers and leading academics, our Professional Marketing Standards clearly show the skills expected of marketing professionals at every stage of their career. These standards are designed to help both marketers and their employers assess competencies and training needs.
DELIVERING UNRIVALLED TRAINING
From digital marketing to brand management, the CIM offers more than 120 marketing, sales and business courses to help you develop the latest skills and thinking – whether you’re a beginner or already in the boardroom. All of their qualifications and training courses can be tailored and delivered to a team of people within your organisation. According to the CIM, 95% of UK employers see CIM qualifications as the marketing qualification to attain.
TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP
in, or have an active interest in marketing.
Whether you’re starting out or already in senior management, the CIM’s range of membership grades mean that there is a level to suit everyone. Membership grades are awarded on a combination of experience and qualifications. The letters after your name demonstrate where you are in your career. And, as you progress, you can apply for a membership upgrade to ensure your level always reflects your current position.
Essential for those wishing to study for a qualification. Affiliate (Professional) For professionals who are actively engaged in, considering a career
For those with qualifications in marketing that meet required criteria.
For those with both marketing qualifications and practical experience that meet required criteria.
For members who hold senior marketing positions that meet required criteria. Awarded to professional members with outstanding practical experience and expertise, and who are committed to continuing professional development.
The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management (ISMM) is the UK’s only professional body for salespeople. Founded in 1911 to promote standards of excellence in sales and sales management and to enhance the status and profile of sales as a profession, the ISMM has been the authoritative voice of selling and the custodian of sales standards, ethics and best practice for over 35 years. The ISMM is also responsible for establishing benchmarks of professionalism in sales. It is the only membership body recognised by the UK Government regulatory body Ofqual as an awarding organisation to offer qualifications in Sales, Marketing and Sales Management. ISMM members are drawn from every sector of industry and commerce.
Allows you to develop your potential and improve your performance. The seminars are packed full of thought-provoking ideas and practical insights for maximising sales and winning new business.
Is unlike any sales conference you’ve ever experienced. It’s an exciting blend of the latest sales techniques and ideas that will inspire you to new heights of success. All delegates will benefit from six keynote speakers PLUS a choice of workshops – all leading experts who will help you stand out from the competition and make you even more of a valuable asset to your organisation.
THE BRITISH EXCELLENCE IN SALES & MARKETING AWARDS (BESMA)
Represents the UK’s highest level of recognition for outstanding sales achievement. BESMA is the ‘Oscars’ for sales managers, sales people and marketing teams. Nominations for awards are open to individuals and companies of all sizes and industry sectors.
Are designed to allow business leaders to meet with experts to identify and discuss the key issues of the day. Sharing ideas, best practices and experiences gives Delegates new insights and practical solutions. These events are for anyone, at any level, in any industry and are a fantastic opportunity
to network with like-minded professionals.
SUPPORTING YOUNG SALES TALENT
If you are interested in developing young talent in your business, you can now register learners for the QCF level 2 Knowledge Based Qualification in the Sales and Telesales Apprenticeship framework, through the ISMM. Their qualification is called the Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Selling and attracts public funding. It’s recognised by Ofqual and provides an introduction to the core knowledge to start a first job in sales. You can see the specification at www.ismm.co.uk/ed_qcfspecs.php
TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP
ISMM membership can be gained via practical experience in sales, marketing or management or alternatively by holding one of the ISMM professional qualifications.
Associate member: less than 3 years in sales and marketing Full member : employed over 3 years or more in any business where duties include selling or marketing
Fellow: Employed 10 years in sales or marketing including 3 years business experience at management level.
Exclusive to Fellows of over 10 years continuous
For more details visit www.ismm.co.uk
SALES & MARKETING SPECIAL
BUSINESS SUCCESS SEMINARS
SELLING BY EMAIL 5 MISTAKES MOST SALESPEOPLE MAKE ...
In this article, leading Sales Expert Andy Preston explains why most people struggle with ‘Selling by Email’.They don’t understand it, they don’t know when to use it (and when not to) and they don’t know how to use it for the best results. After reading this article you’ll be able to utilise email to add value to your sales efforts – instead of hampering them – and get your sales figures back to where they belong! When working with sales teams all over the world, Sales Managers and Directors often tell me that they believe all salespeople are inherently lazy. I’m not sure I agree with that hugely sweeping statement, but I do think salespeople often look for the quickest way to do something! I think this is partly down to the fact that a lot of salespeople only start earning real money when their commission kicks in, so any task that isn’t directly related to bringing in new customers, orders or money, they tend to try and find the quickest way to do it. Hence why the managers think they’re lazy. As salespeople though, this ‘quickest route’ habit can often cause problems, particularly as technology has advanced and email is a popular communication method for many. However, this often results in salespeople resorting to email communication – at the expense of their own sales figures. Have a look at the examples of common email sales mistakes below, and see if any ring true for you…
EMAIL SALES MISTAKE NUMBER 1 USING IT TO FOLLOW UP
Let’s look at this from a ‘new business’ perspective. You’ve spoken with (or met with) a client previously, you’ve started to develop rapport, but they’ve probably got an existing supplier, or existing way of doing things. So you didn’t pick up their business from your initial call or appointment. Your boss has probably been putting pressure on you about your sales figures or your sales pipeline, so you decide you need to ‘follow up’ with a few people, this particular prospect included. So what do you do next? Pick up the phone and call them, establish their current situation and needs and potentially see how you may be able to add value to what they’re trying to achieve over the next few months? Close for another appointment, attempt to dislodge the existing supplier (or existing process) and pick up their business? Or send an email? If you’re in the email category, stop it! Right now!
EMAIL SALES MISTAKE NUMBER 2 JUST ‘ADDING’ PEOPLE TO A MAILING LIST
Another great idea from the marketing department- sending an email newsletter or similar to keep people ‘informed’ of your products and services. The funny thing is, how many newsletters do you get that you don’t read, or you don’t read in full? I bet it’s quite a few. If you don’t know the sender well, you probably don’t read it at all. Sometimes even when you know the sender, well you still don’t read it! Don’t sit back and think that just because someone is on your generic email list that that’s helping you ‘sell’ to that person. In most cases it isn’t. The responsibility to move that person through your sales pipeline is still yours!
EMAIL SALES MISTAKE NUMBER 3 SENDING FLYERS BY EMAIL
Please tell me you don’t do this? Even worse if the email is titled ‘offer of the month’ or similar. If the person hasn’t used you before, you’re relying on ‘luck’ for the person to buy from you. And the more competitive your marketplace and the higher the price of what you sell, the less likely people are to buy. Plus as mentioned in my last point above, it’s hardly personal communication to that prospect, is it? Is this really the professional sales job you were employed to do? If this is the best you can do in terms of ‘sales persuasion’, you’re in trouble.
EMAIL SALES MISTAKE NUMBER 4 RESPONDING TO NEW SALES ENQUIRIES VIA EMAIL
Let’s think about this one. You or your company has expended time, money and effort in producing the incoming sales lead. Whether it’s come from a previous phone call by you or a colleague, networking, advertising or over the internet, you’ve man aged to get a precious incoming sales lead.
The next question is, what are you going to do about it? Pick up the phone and find an excuse to start a dialogue to understand their needs in more detail, position a next step in the sales process and look for some commitment from that person. Or just send a quick email giving some information and leaving them to wander on their own, with no idea how motivated they are to purchase, their timescales, or what other options they’re considering? Looks like you’ve missed your chance again, doesn’t it? In most cases if they come back to you, it’s because when they enquired with your competition, they did a worse job than you did (hard to believe I know, but it could be true). Is this really the best way of dealing with that precious incoming sales lead do you think?
EMAIL SALES MISTAKE NUMBER 5 SENDING PROPOSALS OR QUOTES BY EMAIL
Now it’s time for my personal favourite. Sending proposals or quotes by email. You’ve had the meeting with a potential client (or at least an indepth telephone conversation), you agree to send details of what was discussed, then, you put it in an email. Really? Now you’re in trouble. Why on earth didn’t you position your offering when you were face to face with the client? When you could read their body language and reactions to your offering (and your price) best, when you could judge whether you had got the proposal right or not and when you had the best chance of getting them to say yes? Even if you needed time to put the details together, why on earth didn’t you organise a second meeting to discuss it in more detail? Crazy! You’re giving other salespeople a better chance to win that business over you – why on earth would you want to do that? SO WHY DO PEOPLE SEND QUOTES OR PROPOSALS VIA EMAIL? Normally people send quotes or proposals by email for a few reasons. The first reason is fear of rejection. It hurts less to send it by email as at worst, they just send an email back saying ‘no thanks’ – much easier to deal with than them saying it to your face, isn’t it? Or, if they don’t reply to you or send an email back saying they’re thinking about it, they haven’t really rejected you at all, have they? Can you see how that kind of thinking is holding you back from making more sales? The second reason is laziness. You probably would say it’s because you’re busy, but it’s laziness. This is one of the most important parts of the sales process, and you’ve decided to email it because it’s easier! From an objective perspective, how stupid is that? The third reason is because you normally do it that way! Does that mean it’s the best way? Or even any good at all? Let’s think about this – it could be the most important part of the sales process and you’re just sending it off into the ‘ether’ and hoping they’ll give you a positive response. Again – the more competitive the marketplace, the higher the price of your product/service, and the longer the time elapsed from your initial conversation/meeting, the less likely you are to get the business. Follow the tips above and watch your sales soar! I look forward to hearing how you get on.
MARK GANELLIN Here at The HBI we are always on the hunt for people in the area who would like to contribute to our Local Executive Profile. This month we caught up with Mark Ganellin, Managing Director at Marketing Zone What made you set up the company?
Before I set up Marketing Zone, I worked in senior marketing roles in corporates for nearly fifteen years. I felt I’d earned my stripes and was set for a new challenge. As I’d spent years supporting sales teams with marketing campaigns, it’s instilled in me the need to deliver results. It’s this drive which steers my focus of delivering measurable results for my clients. Marketing has always been my passion and to me it means providing my clients with practical solutions to boost their sales. And it’s this marketing with bite which sets Marketing Zone apart from all the rest. Setting up my marketing agency seemed the next logical step, and I chose Hertfordshire which is a great base for business. I haven’t looked back.
What do you like about agency life?
It’s the creativity I love and the fact that no two days are the same. I can be planning a major PR campaign for a client one day, or developing a website the next. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction and motivation. The range of products and markets that Marketing Zone champions means I’m constantly thinking about new marketing techniques and my clients benefit from my broad range of experience. Social media is a huge focus, and with 91 per cent of people never more than 1 metre away from a mobile phone, customers have so much choice in the way they access digital content now. It’s no wonder so much of our work is in digital.
Do you get involved in community work?
I work very closely with the local community and actively get involved in many local projects, especially those supporting the development of young people. I was recently invited to provide expertise at the LionHeart Challenge, an Enterprise Programme for school students to take part in practical business challenges. Marketing Zone provides work experience for the local schools and digital expertise to local groups. As a parent, I have three young lads who keep me permanently on my toes as they’re in to every type of sport, and it’s led me into all sorts of interesting community projects,
What kinds of businesses do you help and how?
We pride ourselves on how quickly we understand the essence of our client’s businesses and provide real www.marketingzone.co.uk marketing solutions for them. We work with many different clients, each one with different needs and priorities and T: 01763 274440 we provide an objective, expert view. One that springs to mind is Polaroid sunglasses. We relaunched them in the UK in 2007 and our integrated PR, trade and social media campaign has secured the top 3 brand position in major airports. They’re now being stocked by John Lewis and Specsavers. Another client is DMG Delta, a facilities management company. We’ve transformed the level of online enquiries by developing a new website and managing a Pay Per Click and Search Engine Optimisation strategy. We’ve helped double their new business in a year. I also work on The Chartered Institute of Marketing’s London region account and we’re adding value for their members every day through blogging and social media.
What’s the future of marketing?
Social media and digital marketing. As technology gets more sophisticated, the digital age advances in leaps and bounds, and businesses simply cannot afford to get left behind. Websites, micro sites, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, these are all second nature to the majority, and this is where the future lies. We know that if Facebook were a country, it’d be the 3rd largest in the world. Businesses need to take note. We ensure they stay ahead of the competition.
SALES & MARKETING SPECIAL : EXECUTIVE PROFILE
What makes Marketing Zone different?
Three key things make Marketing Zone different – its strategic insight, its creativity and its focus on results. We have the high level expertise to think creatively to provide strategic options and solutions for our clients which deliver excellent results. Marketing Zone is an integrated marketing agency so can deliver on the full breadth of marketing services, from website development and digital marketing, to design, communications and PR. Because of this we’re not limited to one marketing channel; we provide a combination of solutions from the full marketing services spectrum, to deliver a result that’s best for the business and best for the brand. By outsourcing their marketing to our team of qualified experts, our clients get the right marketing strategy and great ideas which are brilliantly executed. When the office lights are turned off, we don’t switch off. Our clients permanently occupy our head space and we’re constantly thinking about the next great campaign we can offer them.
A-Z OF SALES
A B C D E F G
Starting with the seven deadly sins of Sales Management by John Treace, www.treaceconsulting.com.
ANY MARKETING CONFLICTS?
Marketing may say the sales force is not well trained, too small, ineffective, or a myriad of other complaints. Sometimes these are valid complaints, and good management will identify and address them.
BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE
Holding people accountable for their performance is a cornerstone of powerful organizations. When we don’t consistently hold people accountable for their performance shortfalls, it sends a message that management is weak. This will erode morale as well as confidence in management.
CHANGES TO THE SALES PROCESS
When the sales process is changed or modified, expect the sales force to need time to adjust.
DO AN AWARD PROGRAMME
Award programs need to be seen as achievable and fair. Reps need to see that the playing field is level and that everyone has a shot at winning recognition.
EFFECTIVE PEOPLE MANAGEMENT
People are the most important ingredient in any organization. To gain the willing co-operation of others, employees must see that management genuinely care about them.
FINDING THE BALANCE WITH METRICS
Metrics should act as the radar that lets us know well in advance of impending problems. Good metrics should allow sales management to confidently predict the quarter’s sales.
Failing to know the business at a deep level is one of the surest paths to failure.
Young Entrepreneur Deren Stevens has just launched his second business, Marketing Empire www. marketingempire.co.uk
KEEP TO YOUR GOALS
H I J
HOLDING BACK ON ADVERTISING
The businesses that have survived and flourished through the recession were the ones that didnt hold back on their advertising.
Businesses can always improve their marketing and advertising strategies. We are dedicated to helping them do just that.
JUST DO IT
The biggest mistake that a business can make is to wind down their marketing efforts in times of difficulty.
My goal is to turn over above £1 million in the first year of trading and I am very confident that we can do this. Keeping to goals is the best motivation tool for me personally as well.
I have learnt a number of valuable lessons in business, particularly in advertising and marketing. I want to use those lessons to help other businesses flourish.
MINIMAL MARKETING BUDGET
I started my business on a minimal marketing budget and it is possible for other small businesses to do the same. Simon Morrison, CEO of Growler Design Ltd in St Albans, spoke As usual any type of marketing is easier when money about the three biggest problems is plentiful. Luckily, there are lots of online marketing of marketing online tools and services available that are completely free. Learning something new takes time and effort. However it is time well spent for investing in the future of your business.
NO TIME OR MONEY
Utlising the opportunities and the benefits available is essential. Investigate avenues such as social media and evaluate your market carefully.
PLAN YOUR PRESENCE
Business owners should always be looking at ways to improve their visibility. If you are not too web savvy then find someone to help you. Richard Wood, MD of internet marketing company Gillissa, www.gillissa.co.uk writes his top tips:
Richard White, The Accidental Salesman www.theaccidentalsalesman.com:
U V W X
Q R S T
QUANTITY AND QUALITY
Are you making use of all potential channels to market? Product listing sites are well worth exploring to expand your estores reach and increase visibility.
Did you use email as effectively as you’d have liked these past months? Past customers are usually an excellent source of future business, so a good email strategy is well worth putting together.
Are you using new social media to untap new opportunities? YouTube, blogs, Facebook and Twitter are proven to generate sales if they are tackled in the right way
Have you worked out the most beneficial time to invest in marketing your website? Is your business seasonal? If so, ensure you time your spend accordingly.
UNDERGO REPEAT PURCHASES INTO YOUR SALES STRATEGY
When your business is just starting out, you will need some new customers. The best way to achieve this is to build repeat purchases into your sales strategy.
VERY EASY SALES!
Once you establish yourself as a specialist, people will assume that you have a greater depth of understanding. This will lead to people seeking you out first as their chosen experts, leading to very easy sales!
Your webiste is the best marketing tool you can have, so fill it with testimonials!
CROSS ‘X’ SELLING
When you start to develop relationships with your clients you can begin to offer cross selling and upselling opportunities, by offering discounts for example.
AND FINALLY, SOME POINTS FROM US!
Y : YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO
Z : ZEALOUS!
SALES & MARKETING SPECIAL
L M N O P
PROFILE OF A LOCAL MARKETER SEAN FEAST, DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE MARKETING AGENCY, GRAVITY LONDON
As part of our marketing special, The HBI tracked down Sean Feast from Hertfordshire, Director of B2B agency Gravity London. As well as working alongside some well known brands such as Bosch, Chubb and Adecco, Gravity have also worked for some of Hertfordshire’s very own home grown companies. We caught up with him to talk marketing advice and his plans for Gravity. Tell us about your career to date and how you came about setting up Gravity.
I was actually a trade journalist for the first five years of my career after leaving Haileybury School and then moved into PR because I didn’t want to get stale always writing about the same things. I was introduced to a small advertising agency called AGA in 1990 and joined them to set up a PR division. More than 20 years on and The AGA Group, as it now is, is one of the largest independent PR, advertising and digital agencies in the UK. The good thing about longevity is reputation; the flip side to that is perception. Many perceive us as being UK-only, even though a good deal of our business is International. That’s how the concept of launching a different company, and a different brand – Gravity – came about. We’ve partnered with other agencies as part of a Gravity Global business, owned equally by the founding partners, and where we operate as Gravity London. Now we have the best of all worlds. We can still operate locally, but can bring the full weight of a global business and global expertise to bear when we need to.
What advice would you give others wanting to set up their own company?
Do it early and don’t be afraid to fail. I was 23 and was lucky, but then you have to back your own judgment. Show me a successful businessman and I’ll show you someone who was in the right place at the right time, and recognised it. It is as much about luck as skill, indeed probably more so.
Can you explain to us in a little more detail about your FAB theory and Building Business Superbrands?
It’s something the creative boys like: Fame Admiration Belief. Ask any business whether they want to be famous/well-known, and they will say ‘yes’. More than this, however, they want to be admired – they want other people to think they’re great, and to do that, you have to give your ‘public’ a reason to believe. It’s a theory we have that unites the client and the agency in building a successful brand. Successful companies are those where all three of those ambitions/objectives have been met.
If you had to describe yourself as a ‘superbrand’, which one would it be and why?
What a great question. Probably Bosch. I like to think I’m reliable, trustworthy and can continue to come up with new ideas. My family would say that I am occasionally too honest. I didn’t think that was possible!?
What would you say motivates you?
If I didn’t say that earning a decent living for me and my family doesn’t motivate me, I’d be fibbing. Beyond that it has to be about getting a good result. I get as much of a kick today over seeing an idea we’ve had come off as I did 25 years ago seeing my by-line in a newspaper or magazine.
What are your top tips to succeeding in marketing?
Marketing is almost entirely logical and common sense, so don’t get too bogged down in theory and textbooks – experience is what counts – and go with what you know instinctively to be right. I once sat in a meeting with a large media agency who were trying to convince a client to go with their idea, and supported their idea with plenty of data, when anyone with half a brain knew what they were saying was nonsense. I find that sort of thing incredibly frustrating. Of course you need qualifications, but don’t get lost in the world of business-speak; it’s difficult for me to take a young marketer seriously when they tell me to ‘reach out’ or ‘push an envelope’.
Have you seen any recent marketing campaigns that you have been extremely impressed by?
Any campaign that makes me laugh impresses me. My favourite at the moment has to be the one for the new Stella Artois Cidre – not Cider. They’ve done well to move their brand on from only be known for having strong lager with unfortunate (and violent) consequences into now building a ‘range’. You recently took part in a marketing workshop at St Albans School to explain more about the industry and how marketing is used in the world of business. Do you think it is important to get children thinking about their careers from a young age? The biggest moan that anyone in our industry has is that marketing is not given enough importance in business. There are very few Board-level directors of marketing, and even fewer directors of communications. The problem is that everyone thinks because they have an opinion, then they are an expert, and that often devalues the marketing role. Let’s face it, it is always the first budget to be chopped when times get tough, so what does that tell you? If we can move marketing and communications further up the ‘value chain’, as it were, we can begin to change that perception, and that means getting the message across early. Marketing has to improve its marketing! As for whether I think children should be thinking about their careers from an early age, I’m not sure. I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.
You have been nominated and won various awards, what do you feel makes you so successful?
When you ask a question like that it’s difficult not to resort to the old line about having a great team. But that has to be the main reason. If you surround yourself with talented people, then the rest should follow. That and a bit of luck as usual!
SALES COLUMN STEVE CLARKE TO GET THE RIGHT CLIENTS... BECOME A MARKETING MAGNET Do you find yourself all too often spending time with time wasters and tire kickers rather than with prospects that want to buy your products or services at the right price?
Let’s just quickly clear things up for you with my simple definition; Marketing is what you do to get the phone to ring. A sale is what you do when the phone rings. Guess what? If the phone isn’t ringing – no sales! OK, so a lot of you may conduct business online and don’t necessarily want the phone to ring, but don’t be pedantic, I think you get my point. Marketing for me, is all about reaching the right potential customers and through your message and various methods, then converting them to eager prospects. Sales then deliver paying customers and work diligently to keep them as lifetime clients. Unfortunately, many business owners see marketing as a necessary evil, an unpleasant task they have to carry out at some point or another. I hope that you’ll see that this is so totally wrong – and very dangerous too. To a great extent, regardless of what you are selling, marketing is your business. Effective marketing is a whole lot easier than you might think. If you don’t know anything about it yet, don’t panic because you’re not alone. Very few business owners really do, even many of those who’ve been in business a very long time. Generally speaking people get into business because they have a passion for their products or services. The hairdresser didn’t start the business because they were passionate about sales and marketing - their passion is hair and beauty. But without effective marketing how will they drive business through their doors? The same is true for a solicitor, and accountant or any other business. If you don’t get your head around marketing, you’ll always be beaten by your competitor that does, no matter how good your offering is.
Here’s the first question I’d ask you; Do people actually “want” your product or service? I remember always being told in my early days in sales: Find the customers “need” and fill it. Have you heard that too? I’d challenge that now. I’d argue you’ll have far greater success if you: Find the customers “want” and fill that. Think about it for a moment. Who gets pleasure from buying what you need, and who’d rather buy something they really want? Have you got a product that people want, or really need? All
too often, people will start up in business to sell the services or a product that really only they would want themselves. The business graveyard is full of people who had “great ideas” that no one else bought into. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever watched Dragons Den... what were some of those people thinking?
Research your product and marketplace! If money is tight, you don’t need to spend a fortune on research, doing a little yourself is better than not doing any at all. Identify the sorts of people likely to want to buy your product or service and ask them what they think of your idea.
What problem do you solve? What pain can you remove? What pleasure will someone derive from doing business with you? Find an emotional tie to what’s on offer. People buy based on emotions. Here’s a biggie - stop feature bashing and focus on benefits! People purchase based on the benefits to them. What will they get from your product or service? How will they feel, what will they save and so on? You have probably heard this before, but people don’t buy features, they buy benefits. Sell the sizzle not the sausage. All too often business owners waste time, effort, and money pushing feature after feature of their product or service and…you guessed it, the potential customers don’t care. Take a look at your collateral materials and your website. If you’re a “feature basher”, your work consists of flyers, letterhead, ads, and a website, all of which have your logo and company name, a list of things you do, or the “features” of your products, and your phone number. Are you surprised that no one cares enough to respond?
They don’t want you or your products; they want to know what you and your products or service can do for them! This is often very difficult for many people to get to grips with. Here’s a very simple method of uncovering the benefit over the feature of your product or service. Try using; “which means that…” So you list a feature and then ask... which means that - the next thing out of your mouth will be a benefit statement and that’s what you want to weave into your marketing messages - not feature after feature. Enquiries will flow and sales will result. There’s far more explanation on this subject in my book. To receive my top 10 marketing strategies you can implement immediately absolutely free, that will help you generate enquires and boost your sales just visit my website where you’ll see the sign up box www.eurekasales.co.uk. “Just one of your free tips increased my enquiries by over 20%” Dan Thompson – 5 Star Boot Camps
SALES & MARKETING SPECIAL
Good marketing is like a magnet. Magnets attract and repel. Your marketing messages should effectively attract the right people for all the right reasons and you can afford to repel the time wasters that are really not in your target market. Stop trying to drag every living, breathing person into your lair in the hope of a sale! I’ll be honest... as someone with a lifelong background in direct sales, “marketing” for me used to represent all the fluffy nonsense, all the feel good stuff, the intangible brand awareness that large agencies would charge large companies for, but they’d never want to be held to account for any specific results. Yet in the main, I’ve changed my view. Maybe this comes from a better understanding of just how essential and effective good marketing is and can be... when you know what you’re looking to achieve.
HOLDING YOUR FEES IN TOUGH TIMES After 20 years in a successful agency career at director level in client management and business development, Chris Merrington started Spring 80:20 in 2001. Spring 80:20 Limited specialises in working with directors of agencies, sales teams and professional services to be more successful, more productive and more profitable. Your fees and rates are probably under more pressure than ever. It is highly likely you are not charging high enough fees compared to the value that your client derives. Many businesses under-charge in relation to the end result the client enjoys. You can easily drop your prices however, that is a one way street. It is easy to come down in price and much harder to go up. There are specific strategies that will help you hold, and even increase your fees in tough times.
TAKE TIME TO PREPARE FOR PRICE DISCUSSIONS
Do not just turn up and hope for the best. Hope is not a strategy. It is rarely “all about price”. Your client’s decision to purchase will be based on a variety of reasons. Understand those reasons and their importance to their decision. Your fee should be based on the difference you make. Aim slightly higher than you feel comfortable with. Understand how you will justify your fee level. Anticipate their likely price challenges and plan how you will respond. Ensuring your level of confidence is high should be a key part of your preparation. Confidence in your price is vital. Never apologise for your price or fee. The first person you need to sell your price to is YOU. Say your price slowly, clearly and confidently. Put yourself in their shoes and see the deal from their perspective. What is most important to them?
WHAT IS YOUR PRICING STRATEGY?
Do you have one? Or do you just charge the ‘market rate’? Or cost plus a mark-up? Do you charge an hourly or daily rate? Or do you charge value based fees? The price you charge your client in 2011 will largely dictate the price you will be charging in 2012, 2013 and even 2014. You are not just providing a price today! Today’s price has long term implications for your pricing for that client.
FEATURE : HOLDING YOUR FEES IN TOUGH TIMES
CLIENTS SAY THEY WANT PRICE REDUCTION
In reality they want ‘risk reduction’. They want the right quality, they want value for money. It is a basic human need to ensure we don’t get a bad deal. Don’t immediately believe clients when they tell you that you are expensive. Often it is a knee-jerk reaction by them designed to elicit a price reduction in response. It is part of your client’s job to challenge your price. It is part of your job to know how to respond to that challenge.
DO YOU ACCEPT YOUR CLIENT’S BRIEF AT FACE VALUE?
Or do you ask high value incisive questions to turn an average brief into a great brief – this can give you a strong competitive edge. “Garbage in, garbage out” if you accept and work on a poor quality brief it is likely your output and response will not be as good as they should be, decreasing your likelihood of winning the business and ability to justify premium fee levels.
REALLY UNDERSTAND THE VALUE THAT YOU PROVIDE FOR YOUR CLIENTS
Do your clients value what you do? Do you? I see many people too focused on ‘implementation’ and ‘delivery’ and not enough thinking about the end result they provide to their client. Once you know your true value to your clients you can charge more realistic levels, assuming you provide a high value. Your expertise is probably a vital part of your value. How does your expertise help your clients? Can you become a recognised expert in your field? This can support your pricing rationale and strategy.
DO YOU SAY ‘YES’ TOO READILY?
Your preparedness to say ‘no’ will substantially increase your ability to hold and increase your fees. The challenge is to ‘disagree without being disagreeable’. How comfortable are you pushing back?
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF INCREASING YOUR FEES?
As your costs increase your profitability will decline. The client will think you are weak and your self-belief will decline. In a year’s time it will be a bigger problem unless you take action now. Morale in your business is likely to decline as teams who work on unprofitable clients are often de-motivated. The dangers of increasing your fees may be that you put your fees under the spotlight with the client and may prompt the client to price compare and benchmark you. You could lose a client. So only increase your fees if you are delivering immense value, are highly differentiated, provide outstanding results and offer true expertise. Generally the best place to start if you want to increase your fees is with new clients. Test out a higher rate and gauge their reaction. Increase your fee when you have recently won some new business and you are feeling more bullish. Increase fees when your confidence is on the rise.
WITH EXISTING CLIENTS YOU MUST INCREASE FEES ON A REGULAR BASIS
Increase fees with existing clients, one at a time on an annual basis. Start with your least profitable client and increase their fees. Ask your client questions casually to help assess how you are perceived and valued by them. Choose your timing carefully. There never is a right time to increase fees. There are just some times which are better than others. So how will you hold your fees in tough times? Or maybe even increase them? Or will you drop your fees, work even longer hours than you do now and wonder why you are exhausted and your profitability is declining?
ST ALBANS BUSINESS WOMAN GIVES ADVICE
IN TIME FOR SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE WEEK
These days, a number of mums have to work full-time on top of looking after young children to keep the money coming in. But with the ever-more difficult task of finding a job that will fit around their children, more women are deciding to set up on their own. I set up Popdance because I wanted just that – to work around the time I had with my children and I went full-time in 2010. I was also meeting lots of women that were having the same problem, so when I set up my company I wanted to get the message out there to other mums that it was possible to juggle your home life with your professional life. Popdance is a dance business that is now run entirely by women that have pooled together their varied professional skills. It also offers training and we recruit dancing instructors from all over the UK from Portsmouth on the South coast of England right up to Scotland. We approach dance teachers who want to be able to run their own classes, which gives them the flexibility around other work commitments and family, and the ability to start making money straight away. It works in two ways. It’s a great way for dance teachers and fitness instructors to get back into running classes with the support of a brand. They have everything they need in terms of support and they can run the classes when they want, and they decide how often. The company is also for women who have a business background and who want to run classes, or employ a dance teacher, or become involved with marketing and advertising. Building the brand has been a massive learning curve but she knows it’s all about getting the balance right. My advice for Small Business Advice Week would be to set yourself goals. We have two future goals; we’d like to expand Popdance classes in each major city, and create a children’s and a families’ class. We’d love to take the brand abroad too. Also, my advice to anyone looking to start up would be to believe in your product. Don’t be afraid to change your business model as you go. As long as you believe in it, you can achieve anything. Sue and her team are continuing to run training sessions throughout the autumn in Peterborough, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Salisbury, Norwich, Cheltenham, Birmingham and Coventry. For more information on Popdance and the teacher training sessions, as well as the nearest classes, go to: www.popdance.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 08444 829706
Sue Wybrow : creator of Popdance
FEATURE : SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE WEEK
As part of Small Business Advice Week, running from 5 -11 September, experts from all over the UK are gathering their expertise to help businesses make the most of the economic recovery, as well as warning them of potential challenges ahead. The HBI caught up with Hertfordshire’s very own Sue Wybrow from St Albans who created ‘Popdance’ after struggling to manage her hectic marketing job with the added commitment of motherhood.
AGAINST THE GRAIN 4 - 10 September marks the arrival of Migraine awareness week; an event at the heart of many people because as many as 1 in 7 people suffer from them. However, many sufferers do not actually consult their GP about it, but from 4 to the 10 of September the UKs leading migraine sufferers charity; Migraine Action, is trying to change this by setting up a week dedicated to raising awareness about migraines. Migraine Action aims to encourage those affected to seek advice and gain information about the often misunderstood condition through this National awareness week.
WHAT IS A MIGRAINE?
A migraine is a severe headache usually felt as a throbbing pain at the front or on one side of the head and can last from 4 to 72 hours. Some people also have other symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to light.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms include:• Intense throbbing headache, often on one side of the head only • Visual disturbances (blind spots, distorted vision, flashing lights or zigzag patterns) • Nausea and/or vomiting or diarrhea • Increased sensitivity to light • Increased sensitivity to sounds • Increased sensitivity to smells • Stiffness of the neck and shoulders • Tingling or stiffness in the limbs • An inability to concentrate • Difficulty in speaking
WHAT CAUSES MIGRAINES?
FACT SHEET Migraine awareness week runs from 4 - 10 September. 1 in 7 people suffer from migraines. On average; 190,000 people have an attack every day, and sufferers on average suffer from 13 attacks a year. Migraines affect women twice as much as men. Migraines can last from 4 to 72 hours. No set cause but triggers include emotional stress, physical stress, diet, hormones and environmental factors. There are 4 types of treatments available- acute, complementary, preventive and self help. Migraine Action is a registered charity set up to provide support and information for sufferers and to raise funds for research into the condition.
The true cause of a migraine is yet to be found, but what is known is that it starts deep in the brain with misfiring of neurotransmitters which set in place a chain reaction. There are a variety of triggers that may set it off and these are different among each individual but include emotional stress such as anger, shock, depression and excitement, physical stress such as travelling, changes in sleep and work patterns, a person’s diet, hormones and environmental factors such as bright lighting, loud noises, smoking and changes in the climate.
HOW COMMON ARE MIGRAINES?
Migraines are currently the most common neurological condition and affects people of all ages, races and cultures. They affect women twice as much as men and cost the UK around £17 billion per year. On average; 190,000 people have an attack every day, and sufferers have on average 13 attacks a year.
ANY TREATMENTS AVAILABLE?
There are 4 types of migraine treatment available, these are:• Acute • Complementary • Preventive • Self help. Acute is prescribed over the counter drugs, such a pain killers and triptans. Triptans are pills that have been specially developed to control the serotonin imbalance that causes migraines and the symptoms. Complementary treatments include acupuncture, physical therapy and herbal remedies. These are used when people feel their medications either aren’t working properly or are concerned about the side effects. Preventative treatments are for people who get more than 4 migraines a month with doctors prescribing medications that reduce the severity and regularity of the migraines. The last method of treatment is self help. This involves knowing the trigger causes of the migraines and avoiding situations where sufferers come across these. Drinking lots of water, maintaining a regular sleeping pattern and avoiding sugary snacks can also help reduce the pain.
WHO ARE THE MIGRAINE ACTION CHARITY?
Migraine Action are a registered charity who provide support and information to migraine sufferers and their families. They encourage, support and raise funds for research and investigation into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of migraines. They also help sufferers to indentify the trigger factors of their migraines and help them to recognise early warning signs. During Migraine Awareness Week, Migraine Action have helped others to organise a number of fundraising activities all around the county. To see more details on this and what’s on in your local area, visit: www.migraine.org.uk
USING A MARKETING AGENCY THE BENEFITS Mark Ganellin from Hertfordshire based integrated marketing agency, Marketing Zone, recently gave for his top tips for businesses looking to outsource their marketing. “Outsourcing your marketing to an integrated marketing agency can have many benefits,” said Mark. “It gives you access to experts across the full scope of marketing services, frees up your time, and can reduce overheads. Your integrated marketing agency can provide additional marketing support and act as the marketing department for your business. Or it can be used as an extension of your marketing team for additional expertise.”
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FEATURE : USING A MARKETING AGENCY
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BRAIN FRIENDLY FOOD
Chances are you just about caught breakfast on the hoof this morning...or maybe you had time for a full fat cappuccino and a pastry from your favourite coffee shop – that is of course after the hassle of finding somewhere to park the car? As for lunch, that will almost certainly consist of a sandwich, and if the latest eating trends are to be believed, you are likely to be relying on a good deal of snacking throughout the day to keep your energy levels up. Many of us do not get to eat a proper meal until we finally sit down in a more relaxed environment at some stage at the end of the day, and with modern technologies such as Blackberries and iPhones, it’s all too easy to never switch off from work and business commitments! When we do get to relax and unwind from the stresses of our work, home and family life, the food we all seek can often be used as a “comfort” factor. Indeed many of us have a reliance on that “large glass of wine” to help the process along as we crave to ease our tensions and fall all too often towards sleepless nights, with thoughts and anxiety turning over the never ending list of things to do in our non-stop lives. If this sounds like you, then don’t worry you are definitely not alone. Current consumer trends would indicate that many of us don’t get to eat breakfast at all, rather we rely on snacks and convenience foods that have poor calorific value and are unable to support our energy needs, often leaving us unable to perform work tasks at our best and adding to other stress triggers in our lives. To help combat food stress, consider doing the following, balanced with weekly treats: • Keep some mixed nuts and dried fruits in your work bag, office draw or car when travelling so as you can have one or two handfuls when hungry rather than fill up on confectionary or sugary snacks • Keep fresh, seasonal fruits on your desk and encourage work colleagues to do the same, perhaps this is something that your work place would help sponsor? • Plan and prepare your lunch at home in advance, using quality produce with variation, avoiding fatty or high salt content ingredients. (do ensure that this is kept refrigerated prior to eating) • Avoid drinking alcohol through the week and give yourself periods away from consumption of fast foods & takeaways. Article written by Ian White of eatlunch.co.uk...tastier lunches for healthier business meetings
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Pulling My-SELF Together This workshop is for you, personally. It will improve your understanding and capability to manage your own stress, pressure and motivation. It will share some simple yet powerful skills, to enable you to literally “Pull Your-SELF Together” with more confidence. What you will take away: 1 Insight & understanding on how your brain & heart link.
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2 A deeper understanding of what causes you stress, so that you can learn to motivate yourself with more confidence. 3 Skills to Pull Your-SELF Together including: Heart-connection and mindfulness techniques. How to ‘Choose My Attitude ’in times of pressure. 4 A resolve and sustainability plan to be as well as to do.
What it will cost? Where? When? £195 per person, discount for group bookings & charities September 14th, 9.30am - 5pm, Ware, Hertfordshire “I would just like to say how much I enjoyed Richard’s course last week. I am amazed already by how often I am using the methods. Seems to make everything much more manageable and I feel composed at all times!” “Working under pressure and building resilience are issues high on my agenda. Working with Guy and learning simple tactics to help me perform effectively and deal with stress has helped enormously - I was impressed with the effectiveness of these methods”
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BROOM ARMY DEMONSTRATES SOCIAL NETWORKING’S POSITIVE SIDE ANDY LOPATA
These days networking isn’t just about going to networking groups. With the increase of technology we are now able to network pretty much anytime and anywhere with the development of social media and this is a powerful source not to be underestimated as demonstrated here. Following the events of the riots in London and around the UK last month, the account @RiotCleanUp was set up on Twitter. When I saw it at 10am the next morning they were approaching 10,000 followers. There are now nearly 90,000 people following the account and clean-ups have been organised at trouble spots across the UK. I am not aware of similar community action to bring things back to normal in times of trouble since, possibly, The Blitz. And yet the Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament this week that intelligence services and the police were investigating whether it would be “right and possible” to turn off social networks during times of unrest. This suggested course of action comes from the belief that Twitter, Facebook and Blackberry Messenger were the main means of communicating where looting was going to take place and encouraging people to congregate. There seems to be a knee-jerk reaction against social media from the press and, subsequently, the authorities whenever there are problems in our society. It’s as if civil disorder never occurred before mass digital communication. But if that’s the case, how did the riots happen in 1981 and 1985? What about the Poll Tax demonstrations or battles during the Miners’ Strike? All of the above occurred before the days of mobile phones, let along social media, so isn’t it a bit unfair for Twitter, Facebook, Blackberry Messenger et al to be blamed for society’s ills? In his blog, Dan Thompson, one of the ‘Broom Army’, said, “On Monday night, the message in the media (which always needs a clear, simple idea) was that Twitter was a Bad Thing. That it had somehow caused the riots and looting. By Tuesday teatime, Twitter was a Good Thing, bringing back the Blitz spirit. It was neither, of course. It was just a channel.” The truth is that the problems that lead to the unrest were not caused by Twitter, text messaging, instant messaging or any other form of modern communication. Yes, the mob may have grown because of social media, but so many other people managed to avoid trouble and then clean up the mess thanks to new technology. Attacking one tool of the rioters rather than the root of the problem seems totally misguided. Why not ban bricks and paving stones that were used to smash shop windows? Why not ban clubs and baseball bats for fear they may be used in violent clashes? Why not ban matches and lighters to prevent people lighting fires? Social networks are a centrepoint of our society now. Like anything we live with day in and day out, they can be used for good and they can be used for evil. We need to accept that they are here and embrace their power to help, rather than be frightened of the negatives. Former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott tweeted this morning. “Social media is a powerful tool for good”, he said. “We need an inquiry into riot causes, not a knee-jerk ban to please the Daily Mail.” One of my favourite tweets, though, came earlier in the week. “Without Twitter the riots would still have happened.
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NETWORKING & EVENTS
Without Twitter the clean-up may not have done”.
THE PEUGEOT 3008 HYBRID
THE FRENCH COMPANY’S PROTOTYPE HYBRID COMBINES A DIESEL ENGINE WITH REAR-MOUNTED ELECTRIC DRIVE. CAN IT CATCH ON? As f
Peugeot are about to launch the world’s first diesel electric hybrid vehicle. It was revealed at the Paris motor show back in October 2010 and has already won Diesel Car Magazine’s ‘Best Eco Car of 2011’. The model is ready to launch in November but there are a small number of limited edition Peugeot 3008 hybrids available. The zero emission vehicle uses the combination of a diesel and electric powered 2.0 litre engine, which reduces the fuel consumption by 35 per cent. The two sources complement each other in different driving conditions. For example, the acceleration uses a boost effect for high speeds. Diesel is the choice for the engine as it consumes less fuel than petrol which is the ideal choice for this type of hybridisation.
It also hosts four different operating modes: ZEV - (zero emission vehicle) the all-electric mode which requires high-voltage battery power, 4WD - (four- wheel drive mode) which uses the back wheels to be driven by the electric motor, and the HDi engine which is best for slippery surfaces and severe weather conditions. The third element is the Sport mode which is used in higher engine speeds and quicker gear change, thus providing more dynamic performance. Finally, the Auto mode with its automatic control. It also has a six speed manual gear box, all which have a silent movement and the choice of electric-only mode. It has a maximum power of 200bhp and able to hold 3.8 litres/100km, with 99g/km of CO2.
The 3008 Hybrid also offers peace of mind when it comes to safety. It has a five-star safety rating in Euro NCAP safety standards and holds six air bags to protect everyone travelling within the car, great for the family or just running around the city. A high voltage, latest generation stop -and- start control is also installed in the car, which places the engine in standby and restarts it as and when conditions apply. Whilst in electric mode, there is also a silent operation creating a smooth drive which will go for up to 12 miles. The hybrid boasts a panoramic cielo glass roof making the air more spacious and light. The hybrid has five doors and seven inch alloy wheels. The 3008 Hybrid is a crossover with an exceptional technological content offering unique versatility and safety, unrivalled driving pleasure and CO2 emissions of a very low level. Peugeot’s choice of a diesel Hybrid, demonstrates that it is possible to combine uncompromising environmental demands with driving sensations not previously available in a hybrid vehicle.
SHOULD I BUY ONE? The Peugeot 3008 Hybrid is definitely amongst the next generation of cars which other manufacturers will follow but haven’t as yet marked as expensive. Although prices start high at £26,995, it is definitely an investment into the new technology and the future of driving.
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