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Serving 5,000 deciSion-makerS in and around Peterborough

ESSENTIAL READING FOR LOCAL EXECUTIVE LEADERS

SCENE FREE!

Inside this issue Latest news and views, including: East Midlands boom for younger entrepreneurs Their success is boosted by older partners Rooted in history Fen farming family grows into organics Holiday like a king Take a trip to the Turquoise Coast

HEADlines Up close and personal with the man behind Peterborough’s Willow Festival

Enter the dragon! Look east to breathe fire into a brave new year and put China in your hand


JANUARY 2012

ESSENTIAL READING FOR LOCAL EXECUTIVE LEADERS

Welcome

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News – Old heads and young shoulders team up for entrepreneurial success in the region, reports Simon Streat

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Finance – Columnist Nick Ash has a sensible solution for staff sickness costs

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Drive – Tim Barnes-Clay says the ’wow’ factors of the Mazda6 estate car are size and value

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Webwise – The importance of good website design is explained by digital expert, Stan Nyokas

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Clicks & Mortar – Our H&S guru Colin Nottage has a new year health and safety check-list

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Workforce – Give networking a sporting chance, says Bryan Moore PLUS: HR expert David Neal advises on how to reduce workplace stress

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Skillset – Will your customers embrace the mobile wallet? Antony Jones and Simon Atkinson examine the evidence

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‘Commit to success’ in 2012 says skills coach David Grundy

All the best, Sally Hooton.

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Off Duty – Jane Price talks Turkey and the Turquoise Coast – ideal for living like a king, despite the financial climate.

The Business Scene Team

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What’s On – Dates for your diary PLUS: online marketing – is it right for your business? Karen McNulty has advice

Publisher Heidi Semple Editor Sally Hooton Sub editor Carol Randall Design Jim Counsell Advertising Charlotte Charlesworth Address: Old School House, Great North Road, Wittering, Peterborough, PE8 6BX

Telephone: +44 (0)1780 783613 Email: info@scenepublishing.co.uk www.thescenemagazine.co.uk

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SCENE

Cover story – Enter the dragon and look east to China to boost your business, says Jeff Kim, leading a way through the obstacles

Aside from being spent-out, most people find January tiresome; a bit of a let-down after the excitement of the previous month. Yet, there is much to look forward to – the nights begin to draw out, the promise of spring is a few short (but cold) weeks away and 2012 is, according to Chinese legend, predicted to be a lucky year. The Year of the Dragon symbolises innovation, dynamism and power – dragon children are deemed to be feisty, gifted souls; think Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Salvador Dali. We also label business leaders ‘dragons’, the movers and shakers of the commercial world. It’s a world which has been under much financial strain since 2008, although many believe forthcoming events will be a boost for UK businesses this year. For example, in Peterborough in May, The Willow Festival will be drawing the crowds to the area (see page 6); then the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations will provide us with an extra bank holiday in early June and the London Olympics 2012 will certainly attract visitors to the capital and beyond in July and August (see page 5). So, with any luck, we are just a few months away from a busy business time locally and around the UK. But the ambitious dragons among you can make your own luck, says Jeff Kim on page 7; he suggests we look to the Far East to boost business. The Chinese consumer is fast becoming a devotee of western produce, welcoming foreign brands over domestic ones. Perhaps their Year of the Dragon really will be a boon for business, both home and away.

CONTENTS

Serving 5,000 executives in and around Peterborough

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An old Fenland family firm tells how it grew into organic produce

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Stephen Collins explains the business of family succession

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Consumers are now multi-channel masters, says Andy Wood

Meet Mark Ringer – the man behind the city’s Willow Festival 2012


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NEWS

JANUARY 2012

NEWS Old hands steer region’s young entrepreneurs towards success he East Midlands has seen the highest increase in numbers of young directors setting up their own businesses – with start-up survival rates boosted when they work in partnership with older directors. Across the UK, the number of youthful entrepreneurs going it alone increased by nearly a quarter (22 per cent) in the past three years, according to research by global information services company, Experian. However, almost half of these businesses (45 per cent) are wound up within two-and-a-half years and a further 22 per cent fail between two-and-a-half and three years. But the survival rate for Left: Simon Streat. Above: The table shows the increase start-ups increases if there is an in all start-ups 2008-2010 versus the number of firms older director on board: when a started up by young directors, by region. The East young director, aged between 16 Midlands saw the highest increase in young directors and 25, teams up with someone setting up their own businesses – perhaps influenced aged 26 or older, 39 per cent of by the success of programmes aimed at specifically businesses survive beyond three helping young people set up their own companies. years (compared to just a third value in partnering with an older Before starting a business: when started by a sole young l Know your sector: there are director. The reality is that director). Survival rates soar to many successful firms even in start-ups comprising both young 48 per cent when a young vulnerable sectors, but and older talent have a greater director joins forces with more understanding challenges and chance of survival than those than one older director, risks of the target sector is vital. businesses that start up with just demonstrating the clear l Know your area: make sure of young directors aged between advantages for young demand for the service/product if 16 and 25.” entrepreneurs to tap into the targeting a specific region. The analysis also shows experience, industry knowledge l Investigate business courses young directors are 57 per cent and expertise that exists among and formal qualifications: skills more likely to start up a business more experienced directors. play a key role as insolvencies in sectors defined as ‘vulnerable’ Simon Streat, managing are higher among directors with by Experian than those sectors director of Experian’s UK SME no qualifications. defined as resilient. business, said: “Such a strong Vulnerable sectors include l Seek independent advice: try entrepreneurial appetite among retail and hotel/catering and business support networks and young people is exciting and construction – sectors where schemes such as the Prince’s encouraging to see, yet just one short-term operating conditions Trust New Business programme. third of business start-ups with a l Experience matters: young remain challenging and failure young sole director survives for entrepreneurs should consider is often higher than in resilient more than three years. With partnering with an older director. sectors. Overall start-up growth young directors often lacking the l Check suppliers or customers: has been higher within experience, capital and contacts young directors in particular knowledge intensive and high needed to survive those first few may not consider the financial tech industries, a positive sign tricky years, our research shows position of suppliers until one for future growth. they shouldn’t underestimate the has become insolvent. l Investigate all finance options: banks loans are not the only form of funding. Streat added: “It is crucial to fter 25 years in the print be able to push forward with tap into business support business, Bill Marshall has developing our own identity and networks for advice and consider rebranded his Prontaprint franchise invest in new machinery and undertaking formal qualifications on Broadway, Peterborough, to finishing equipment.” to boost marketing, sales and become Printmarshall. The new business provides a finance nous. There may be a new name, but full design and print service and the “Without these core skills, it’s the same team at the same team has a range of print and start-ups will struggle to fulfil place. He said: “I’m really excited finishing expertise. by the change of brand. With our Visit www.printmarshall.co.uk or even the most innovative new independent status we will call 01733 551110 for more details. business ideas.”

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New era for print shop

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A record result for electoral register ext year’s elections are likely to see Diane record numbers turn up to Baker. vote, as more households than before have signed the Peterborough City Council’s (PCC) annual register of electors. Of the 78,410 households in the PCC area, responses were received from 75,478 properties – 96.26 per cent. Diane Baker, head of Governance for PCC, said: “I am delighted that more households than ever before have safeguarded their right to vote. People who are not on the register are not able to vote in local and national elections. They may also find that they are refused credit on purchases as credit agencies use the electoral register to determine applications.” Electors can opt out of the edited register – which can be purchased by commercial concerns for marketing and other purposes. Of the 134,674 electors on the register, 69,360 opted out of the edited register – 51.5 per cent. The rest will appear on the edited register.

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Chancellor tells of loan scheme hancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has said the Government will guarantee £20billion of loans to small companies to jumpstart the British economy – and that figure could rise to £40bn. The National Loan Guarantee Scheme means banks will have part of their lending guaranteed and should thereby be able to offer lending to small businesses at a lower rate, thus stimulating small firms’ borrowing and easing their cash flow. As an example, a small firm with a £5m business loan at a typical interest rate of five per cent might instead have a four per cent repayment rate, saving the company £50,000 a year in interest repayments. The loan underwriting deal is the first of three proposals from the Chancellor – in another, the Government would take a stake in an investment fund to medium sized businesses and, in the third, businesses would sell bonds, or company IOUs, to the market.

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JANUARY 2012

NEWS

Olympics: plan route round London with hotspot details ransport for London (TfL) is l “Plan ahead and prepare to profit during the Games”, looking ahead to the summer, Mayor of London Boris Johnson (pictured right) tells businesses. aiming to keep the capital open l The website: www.tfl.gov.uk/2012 will provide detailed, day-by-day for business throughout the road, Tube and DLR station ‘hotspot’ information and travel advice Olympic Games, by offering at various times and locations. ‘hotspot’ information and transport advice. l £6.5bn has been spent on upgrading transport networks. TfL says around 70 per cent of road details which show that, in the capital, it is only sensible traffic in Greater rather than requiring a that businesses plan ahead, London will be blanket reduction in particularly those in and around unaffected and travel by 30 per cent travel ‘hotspots’. I welcome the two-thirds of Tube and The London 2012 publication of this information and DLR (Docklands Light mascots: Wenlock across London as a whole, the transport the co-operation of everyone Railway) stations will and Mandeville. challenge is focused at involved in organising the London see no impact, in certain times, in certain locations, 2012 Games. This should give us terms of additional time generally in central London and all confidence that we are putting taken to board a train. around Games venues. in the necessary steps that will However, on the busiest days, Transport Secretary Justine keep the country, and especially there will an additional three Greening, said: “Around £6.5bn our capital, moving while million journeys in London as has been invested in upgrading delivering the best Games ever.” people watch the Games and and increasing capacity on our Mayor of London Boris attend cultural events, so road transport networks, delivering an Johnson, added: “My message is and public transport networks will early legacy of transport clear – prepare to profit during be much busier than usual in improvements which will benefit the Games. By planning ahead certain locations. millions for generations to come. using the information published, Thus, businesses and those “However, on the busiest we will not only keep London who work in the capital are days of the Games, with an moving and open for business, advised to plan their transport additional three million journeys but London will benefit financially carefully. TfL has published

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Beware the bogus charity bags public awareness campaign has launched alerting people to fraudulent collections – a problem costing charities up to £50million annually. The Bogus Bags campaign seeks to help people distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent charity collections, encouraging them to give with confidence to genuine charities.

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The campaign is led by the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB), supported by the Institute of Fundraising, Charity Retail Association and Textile Recycling Association. Charity collections are an important way of reducing waste and preserving the environment, as well as being vital funding for good causes. Collectors

he campaign advises residents to make the following checks before donating goods through a household collection:

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– Legitimate charity collection bags will clearly state what organisation(s) funds are being raised for and feature a registered charity number. Check these details with the Charity Commission: www.charitycommission.gov.uk l Look for the tick – As with any fundraising appeal, you can look for the FRSB tick logo indicating that the charity is signed up to fundraising regulation and to industry standards. See the website: www.givewithconfidence.org.uk l Call – A legitimate collection should include a working landline telephone number for you to call. Call this or your local council to query the collection. l Report – After making these checks, if you think a collection is not legitimate, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit: www.actionfraud.org.uk l Check

deliver branded bags asking people to fill them with clothes and goods for a set collection date. Whether collected goods are passed on for resale at charity shops, sold overseas, or recycled – they can generate a solid income stream for charities. But fraudulent collections have increased considerably. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau says bogus collectors have links to money laundering, human trafficking and violent offences, with such gangs transporting goods to Eastern Europe for profit. Alistair McLean, CEO of the FRSB, said: “Charities really need support, so it’s simply a case of ensuring goods go exactly where you want them to go. By making a few simple checks, you can give with confidence to charities. And, if you have suspicions that a collection is not legitimate, make sure you report it.”

from the Games and for many years to come through increased investment and visitors.” The ‘hotspot’ travel advice is based on latest data and will show the impact for each day of the Games and on the days immediately preceding. Alongside the road ‘hotspot’ maps, TfL has developed an online road journey planning tool, (www.tfl.gov.uk/2012) which shows additional journey times for those road trips that really must be undertaken, such as delivery of perishables, at the busiest times and in busiest locations,. On the Tube and DLR, detailed station descriptions have been produced, showing the impact at 30 of the affected stations, day-by-day and at half-hour intervals. They show the impact at stations if nothing was done to manage the demand from Games spectators and regular customers, taking into account seasonal demand patterns. They also show how the impact is alleviated when an anticipated reduction of 20 per cent in the total number of journeys is achieved as a result of changed travel patterns at these times and locations. The results demonstrate that much of the impact can be alleviated, aside from a few hours late afternoon and early evening. The 109-mile Olympic Route Network (ORN) will come into operation a couple of days before the Games begin (the opening ceremony is at Olympic Park on July 27, 7.30pm) and will be removed once the Olympics are over – closing ceremony: August 12, 7.30pm. It will not be in operation again until a couple of days ahead of the Paralympic Games, August 29-September 9 and will be removed soon after the Paralympics have finished. More details are available here: www.london2012.com

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NEWS

JANUARY 2012

Help raise funds for new memorial ocal businesses are being urged to make donations towards a new war memorial, to be built in Peterborough’s Bridge Street, close to the Town Hall. Fundraising for the city’s new memorial – the design of which is being based on the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire – is continuing in earnest and so far £24,116 has been raised. There will be steps leading up to the obelisk, which will carry the words: ‘Lest We Forget’. Members of the Peterborough War Memorial steering group are urging local people to help the fundraising appeal – cheques made payable to the ‘Peterborough War Memorial Fund – RBL’ can be sent to George Ware, 206 Eastern Avenue, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough, PE1 4PX.

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Snowdens has festival time covered hink ahead to warmer days, time off and music alongside the river . . . these delights are being planned now by festival organisers and a city firm which has been open for business since 1820. The region’s well-known supplier of temporary event infrastructure, GL Events Snowdens, has announced it will be one of The Willow Festival’s main sponsors for 2012. The Willow Festival (TWF) is returning after a nine-year hiatus and will be held over the last weekend of May. The three-day event will showcase 120 live bands and aims to attract in excess of 50,000 visitors to the Peterborough Embankment, . TWF became the largest free live music festival in Europe back in 2003 and organisers intend to regain that accolade for the city this year. GL Events Snowdens

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sponsored TWF from its humble beginnings and has been a strong supporter throughout. The company supplies marquees and supporting temporary event infrastructure to a variety of events throughout the country, including the Burghley Horse Trials, the Newmarket racecourse, Hay Literature Festival, and the East of England Show, and works closely with local events and respective organisers. Keith Bishop, director at Snowdens, said: “As a Peterborough-based company, we always endeavour to do what we can to support local events. We did not hesitate when the opportunity came up to work closely with Mark Ringer and his team again. “The festival is free for everybody to attend, it’s run entirely by volunteers, provides a boost for the local economy and prestige for the city. We applaud this and are delighted to show

our continued support.” The Willow Festival organiser, Mark Ringer, said: “Snowdens has yet again showed its generous support and Keith it’s much appreciated, Bishop. especially when taking into account the current financial climate. The festival cannot exist without this type of sponsorship and it is a credit to Peterborough companies that they understand the value of the festival to the area and get behind it. “Snowdens is a leader in its field and to be able to rely on its expertise and professionalism is a great help to us as event organisers.“ Sponsorship opportunities are available for The Willow Festival 2012 event. For full details, call Mark Ringer, tel: 01733 751864. l Find out more about TWF’s Mark Ringer on page 26, in our HEADlines feature.


JANUARY 2012

COVER STORY

Enter the dragon! Look east to China to expand your business, says Jeff Kim, showing a way round the obstacles.

Jeff Kim is COO of CDNetworks. www.cdnetworks.com

t is a truth universally acknowledged that an organisation in pursuit of good fortune should look east, as well as forward. Already the world’s second-largest economy, China is expected to overtake the United States by 2030, so following the dragon must become a strategic priority for European businesses. Internet access in China has exploded, with more than 450 million users, and growth expected to burgeon over the next decade. Every day, European companies announce plans to jump into the Chinese Internet market. They tend to focus initially on marketing-orientated websites with the aim of building brand awareness, on retail websites offering e-commerce solutions, or on gaming websites. Whichever way they enter the market, they inevitably run into barriers of either a regulatory or technical nature which can delay their progress. Pre-empting and managing these likely hurdles can prevent your company from facing a mountain of stress and unnecessary costs. There is an edge to be had by exploiting the ground that the forerunners in this area have broken. While their progress was slow by necessity, yours can be made all the faster by making use of the knowledge, information and practical expertise that now exists on this subject. Avoiding the impediments arising from unreliable and low-quality network infrastructure will be instrumental in achieving success and special consideration should be given to: l Acquiring the correct licensing l Selecting the best infrastructure strategy available l Choosing a suitable and reliable service provider.

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Keep abreast of the rules Different licences are required, depending on which of China’s numerous regions an organisation plans to operate in. The rules vary, and are in a constant state of flux, so paying close attention to them is crucial. A new Internet observation body was created during the past year – illustrating that this is clearly something companies need to keep on top of. Continued on page 8 >

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COVER STORY

JANUARY 2012

Continued from page 7

The Chinese Central Government now permits European companies to have much more accessibility to consumer markets than ever before. Nevertheless, there still tends to be a long wait to obtain a ‘Bei An’ licence – necessary to register an Internet domain in China; companies should expect to wait up to six months for this. Acquiring the licence is an easier process if a personal, face-to-face approach is used; it would be well worth considering using China-based

employs many IP addresses may come across more obstacles owing to provinces having their own reporting conditions and the wide dispersion of Chinese users. The effect of this can be curtailed by cutting down the number of IP addresses – but this can have strong implications for a website’s infrastructure. Ultimately, it is important to understand each province’s reporting requirements before you agree on the desired outcomes with management.

The Chinese Central Government demands that you supply a detailed report about the content you will send to Chinese users from each IP address.

employees with local knowledge if you have them. If your approach is to outsource your data centre to China or employ the services of a content delivery network (with local Chinese staff), it might be favourable to use their Bei An registration services, which have a great deal of experience in successfully steering other clients through the people and process maze. Selling via the web To sell products over the Internet to Chinese buyers, an Internet Content Provider licence (ICP) is required. Again, the personal touch will be of benefit here and an effort in person is the best way to make things happen. However, the main stumbling block will be the multi-province reporting you may need to provide. The Chinese Central Government demands that you supply a detailed report about the content you will send to Chinese users from each IP address and the legislative requirements vary by province, which you will need to be aware of. An organisation which

Operational challenges In the UK, a handful of telecommunications operators collaborate to provide smooth delivery of website content across networks and, on the whole, seamless delivery is the norm, not the exception. In China, the system works very differently. The dispersed nature of China’s Internet user community throws up several operational challenges, which can be a big hindrance to companies looking to come in from abroad. Peering between the different networks that combine to create China’s Internet doesn’t happen in the same easy manner to which organisations have become accustomed in the UK – and this can compromise web-application performance. The last thing an organisation launching into a new market needs is a poor end-product, undermining the hard work that has been done to cement its presence there.

To counter this, IT managers need to consider the specific area(s) they are targeting. If the plan is to work in a single province, then securing a web hosting presence in a local data centre is the best course of action. However, if considering a multi-province approach, organisations would be best served to learn from the mistakes of other companies and employ the services of a content delivery network (CDN). This will counteract the peering issues mentioned earlier, providing speedy and consistent content delivery via a distributed network of servers across China to any major province. Many European organisations attempt a ‘back door’ approach to their China entry strategy, enlisting Hong Kong data centre hosting to put them within easy reach of China’s markets. But market demand has pushed

Hong Kong hosting costs through the roof. Organisations still need to pay an extra 300 per cent to solve mainland peering issues, and, most importantly, remember the greatest problem is scaling the ‘Great Firewall of China’! As you set your Internet strategy for China, be aware that the pricing and service levels that exist in Europe have yet to proliferate China. There can be vast swings in pricing and service levels as well as the time and effort required to achieve basic business and technological goals. Do your homework and interview several different service providers before determining your tactical steps and timeline. This will help you to set realistic expectations and develop an operationally sound China entry strategy.


JANUARY 2012

BUSINESS BREAK

BUSINESS BREAK Organic growth of firm with family roots roduce World, a privately owned business founded by the Burgess family in 1898, is one of the largest expert growers and suppliers of high quality fresh vegetables in Europe. The Produce World Group’s sourcing is a combination of crops from its own farms, joint ventures and collaborative working with dedicated grower groups, supplying potatoes, alliums, brassicas, root vegetables and organic produce to leading retailers, food service and manufacturing customers. Over the past five years, the company has seen sales grow more than two-and-a-half times to some £218 million for the year 2010. Last year’s opening of Produce World’s new head office in Lynchwood, Peterborough, was part of the continuing development of the business. The organic sector, a hot topic in the fresh produce industry, plays an integral role in the company’s working ethos.

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Produce World’s director of agriculture, Andrew Burgess, sees a healthy future for the organic category. He said: “As the largest grower of organic vegetables in the UK, we are in an ideal position to gauge what is currently happening in the sector and what is likely to happen in the future. Without a doubt, organics have been under pressure since 2008 and we have seen sales volumes decrease in potatoes and brassicas. But we haven’t seen any significant erosion of the organic carrots market and we are now actually seeing year-on-year growth. “At the same time, organics has a significant advantage over conventional methods of growing as it has not experienced the same level of increased costs. Because we

Above: The Produce World board, including four members of the Burgess family in the front row – brothers William, Jason and Andrew and their father David Burgess. Left: “Why wouldn’t you go organic?” asks Andrew Burgess.

don’t use herbicides, pesticides or oil-based fertilisers, our costs haven’t had the same inflationary pressures. Also, growers and agronomists at Produce World have worked on improving both the quality of produce and the yields.”

Sustainable agriculture Produce World started growing organic vegetables in 1996. While the company has always been committed to sustainable agriculture, Andrew Burgess admits they were sceptical at first about organics: “We have always been big supporters of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and were among the first LEAF demonstration farms, but we just weren’t sure of the benefits of organics. But discussions with customers convinced us there was a real Above and left: The Burgess family traded their opportunity in this sector Fenland produce in Richmond and King’s Cross

at the turn of the century. And later (below) Russell Burgess Ltd’s fleet took Burgee Potatoes from Yaxley all around the UK.

and we haven’t looked back. The more I learned about organic growing, the more convinced I became of the benefits of organic methods and following natural cycles.” In 1999, Produce World founded RB Organic, based in Yaxley: a dedicated grower and supplier of organic vegetables. Andrew Burgess continued: “Many companies simply add organics alongside their conventional offering but we had the opportunity to create a company that was totally focused on this sector. At Produce World RBO (as it is now known), we have integrated organic growers into the business and benefited from engagement with growers, workers and the community in Yaxley. As well as growing and supplying organic vegetables, we have capacity for preparing them and we are encouraging food manufacturers to make use of organic vegetables in products.” Today, Produce World provides more than a third of all organic root vegetables to the UK retail market and has in excess of 500 acres dedicated to growing organic vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, swedes and parsnips. It’s truly a growing business, summed up Andrew Burgess: “As the gap in price between organic and conventional vegetables narrows, I think many more people will opt for organics. After all, if you have the choice and there is little price difference, why wouldn’t you go organic?”

Get your enterprise featured on our Business Break page. Email your details to: info@businessscene.co.uk

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LEGAL EAGLES

JANUARY 2012

LEGAL EAGLES Web bullies ‘Act now on agency worker rules’ face e-tags T yber bullies and criminals who commit offences online are being banned from the Internet, as part of the Government’s recently announced cyber security strategy. In cases of hacking, fraud and online bullying, the initiative calls for police and courts to make more use of existing ‘cyber sanctions’ to restrict access to social networks and instant messaging services. Sex offenders and those convicted of harassment or anti-social behaviour also face more Internet restrictions under the new regime. Cyber sanctions were used following the riots last summer. Officials are now looking into whether ‘cyber-tag’ technology could be used to enforce orders and monitor offenders – the cyber-tags would be triggered by an offender breaching the sentence conditions and would automatically inform the police or probation service that the Internet has been used.

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he Agency Workers Regulations have been part of employment law since last October, but some companies still haven’t adopted the necessary procedures, says independent Peterborough agency Anne Corder Recruitment (ACR). The agency has been working with clients for around two years to prepare for the introduction of the regulations but is still aware of some businesses which haven’t taken steps to ensure they comply with the regulations. The new rules bring equal treatment in terms of pay and benefits for temporary workers, engaged through an agency, in line with comparable permanent members of staff. In some areas, for example, the use of collective facilities such as access to

make sure they a canteen, gym understand the or childcare regulations and how – that entitlement they will affect both has already kicked them and the temps in. All temps and agencies they engaged from use. Unfortunately, October 1 must as generally have the same happens, there are rights of access always some people as permanent who bury their staff doing a heads in the sand comparable job. Karen Dykes. hoping it’ll go away. Other rights, “These regulations won’t, for instance holiday and any company which uses entitlement, kick in for temps temps – either now or is likely after they’ve been in the same to use them in the future post for 12 weeks. – needs to be aware.” While the onus is on Anne Corder Recruitment is agencies to ensure the offering a free impact regulations are adhered to, there is also a responsibility on assessment for businesses to help identify areas which may firms to supply information. need attention to ensure Karen Dykes, ACR compliancy with the recruitment partner, said: “We regulations. For more details, have worked closely with a email: info@annecorder.co.uk lot of companies in the or call: 01733 319888. Peterborough area to

Staff sickness doesn’t have to hurt e recently lost an employee to a bad back for seven months – she wasn’t swinging the lead but was genuinely unable to work. Her contract said we had to pay her a full wage for six months and half pay for the following six. Being the generous guys that we are, we paid up – more than £10,000 in costs for no return. It set us thinking . . . what would we do if it happened again? A recent survey found that more than half (52 per cent) of employers admitted they had not consulted their staff about healthcare and income protection benefits. This goes to explain why only 11 per cent of employers feel their staff are happy with the health benefits they are offered by their company. So, what happens if a key

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member of your staff is on sick leave for an extended period of time? In many cases, you will be contracted to continue to pay them and, if not, they may have to get by on statutory sick pay; currently £81.60 per week. So, either the company cash flow suffers, or the employee suffers; neither scenario is ideal. Safety net There is, however, an economical and sensible solution: Group Income Protection Insurance. This acts like a safety net for both employees and the business. The advantages of this type of planning are clear; employees feel more secure and have the peace of mind that, should anything happen that causes a long absence from work, they

There’s a sensible solution, says financial expert Nick Ash will continue to be paid. As an employer, you can offer a real benefit at a relatively modest cost. Being able to cover the staff member’s wage for an extended period of time means they are more likely to return when recovered and the goodwill you gain from a recovered employee is immeasurable. You could also save the costs of recruitment and training of a

replacement. Cost, of course, is important and varies according to individual circumstances. It is therefore important that you get a quote from a suitably qualified independent financial advisor. Call me for more information.

Nick Ash is director, will and probate services, Tancreds. Email: nick.ash@tancreds.co.uk or call: 01778 341490. Details here: www.tancreds.co.uk


JANUARY 2012 LEGAL EAGLES

The business of succession reaches beyond the royals Stephen Collins (right) says family businesses should find out more about primogeniture.

hether it’s a matter of an existing son and heir or an existing daughter and heiress, the issue of succession is one that family business owners and those with personal wealth to pass on to the next generation have to face – as much as the royal family. That’s the advice of the Peterborough partners of chartered accountants, Saffery Champness. At a recent meeting of Commonwealth leaders, it was agreed – in principle and in

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anticipation of the next generation of the royal family – that succession arrangements be changed so sons should no longer automatically take precedence as successors to the crown. Saffery Champness says the key is thinking and preparing for it well before being presented with an announcement or, worse still, the event itself. Research conducted by the firm last year showed that the practice of primogeniture, where

the first-born inherits (called agnatic primogeniture when it’s the eldest son who inherits) is still being implemented by many landowning families. But it has been replaced by a more rational approach based on the need to maintain the fabric of the estate and the abilities of their heirs. The increasingly complex nature of land ownership, estate management and agricultural diversification, as well as progressive attitudes to

Cookies: be aware of the changes n entrepreneur who is an authority on blogging, is advising companies to prepare for the new ‘cookie’ law. Cookies are small snippets of code that tell the owner of a website what search terms were used to find the page and can also tell if you are a returning visitor to the site or if you have been sent there by someone else. Cookies are often used with programs like Google Analytics. Sarah Arrow, founder of a blogging website for women in business – Birds On The Blog –

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believes many people are unaware of the law changes. It is designed to protect privacy and give visitors the opportunity to navigate away from a site if they want to avoid cookies or to block them. She said: “It’s vital that companies, or anyone who has a website, complies with this law if their site uses cookies to gather data or track how visitors use their sites. “A warning must be displayed stating that cookies are being used before the website loads.”

Any company or individual with such a website must comply or risk a hefty fine. The law came into effect in May last year in Europe but was delayed in the UK until the end of 2011. Sarah Arrow has developed a simple, legal plug-in for WordPress – a common platform for websites – which will provide the warning before a site loads. “This law could potentially cost businesses a lot of money adapting their websites.” For her EU Cookie Law WP Plug-In (from £10), visit: cookielawwpplugin.co.uk

inheritance, are leading to the modernising of the succession model that these most traditional of ‘firms’ are taking. It is a model that those with significant assets would do well to follow, says Saffery Champness. With amounts of inherited wealth rising faster than the growth of the economy and while current rates of taxation are still less of a barrier to wealth creation than a few decades ago, Stephen Collins, a partner based in the firm’s Peterborough office, believes there is no time like the present to think about the next generation when it comes to matters of inheritance. He said: “Setting aside a change in morality towards inheritance by those with wealth to pass on, matters such as inheritance tax, capital gains tax and considerations such as charitable trusts and the appointment of trustees are all a crucial part of inheritance planning for anyone in a position of owning significant assets – whether that is property, land or business interests – or who are in possession of personal or family wealth.” For further information, visit: www.saffery.com

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MOTORING

JANUARY 2012

DRIVE

Plenty of room at a M great price azda’s big estate car looks nice enough from the outside, but it hardly stands out from the crowd. It even seems a little dated inside; the traditional handbrake, the swathes of black plastic and fairly dull fabric seats don’t exactly ‘wow’ you.

Fast facts Max speed: 131 mph secs l 0-62 mph: 9.2 g: 52.3 l Combined mp cc 16v turbo diesel l Engine: 2184 p): 161 at 3500 rpm l Max power (bh /ft): 266 at 1800 rpm l Max torque (Ib ight (braked) 1600 kg l Max towing we 2 l CO : 143 g/km on the road l Price: £22,480

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But then you lift the tailgate to see a huge, square, load area . . . and then you notice there’s ample room for three adults in the back seat. And it’s only at that point that it dawns on you: the Mazda6 Estate is deliberately keeping a low profile because it has nothing to prove. It knows it can deliver what you want from a large estate car and it just gets on with it! Seriously, the Mazda6’s boot can fit just about anything into it, including the kitchen sink . . .

Pros ’n’ cons Comfortable √ Big load area √ l Economical √ √ l Pulling power X l Dated exterior

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The no-nonsense corporate appearance of the Mazda6 interior.

Oh, all right, I’m exaggerating! But it really did help me take my bathroom sink and a massive roll of carpet to the tip this week. And, en route, I found out that the car, in 2.2 TS2 turbo diesel 163 ps guise, is not only comfortable but it has lots of power in virtually any gear you decide to slip into. The 266lb/ft of pulling power makes the estate an ideal towing vehicle, too. It’ll haul up to 1600kg, which is not bad. I guess at this point it’s probably worth me writing a few basic words of caution on towing. Firstly, it’s essential you always check your vehicle is capable of legally towing a fully laden trailer. If you don’t take notice, not only are you putting yourself and other road users at greater risk of accident, but you risk a fine if stopped and found to be contravening the law. In the event of an accident, your insurance will be also invalidated. So, as a guide, the unladen weight of your trailer, plus the weight of your cargo, must not exceed the trailer’s maximum authorised mass. This, in turn, should not


JANUARY 2012 MOTORING

Tim Barnes-Clay

usiness Scene magazine’s motoring correspondent TIM BARNES-CLAY tries out the Mazda6 2.2D Estate and finds that, for both private and corporate buyers, its ‘wow’ factor is its exceptional value for money.

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The Mazda6 2.2D Estate: low profile until you lift its tailgate. exceed the car’s maximum towing weight. I hope I’ve made that clear! Back inside the Mazda6, the cabin materials, although muted, all look durable and give the impression the car will handle being used as a mobile office. The black interior surfaces have a nononsense corporate appearance and the dark fabric seats look as though they’ll handle years of use. The handy rear seat release levers in the load area make inserting any long items (such as my roll of carpet) an absolute doddle and the seats are just as easy to click back into place again once the boot is emptied. Getting a good driving position is easy in the load-lugging Mazda and visibility is excellent thanks to the deep windscreen and good height adjustment range of the driver’s seat. The knobs and dials on the dashboard are all laid out in a very business-like and functional way and, on the road, the car eats up the motorway miles effortlessly.

There is room for the kitchen sink in this large estate car.

Midway through 2010, the Mazda6 range was refreshed and its engines were all tuned to deliver better economy and lower emissions. With that added

knowledge mated to my few days behind the Mazda6’s wheel, I’d say the Japanese estate is exceptional value for money – both for private and corporate buyers alike.

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CLICKS&MORTAR

JANUARY 2012

CLICKS&MORTAR Consumers: multi-channel masters he vast majority of British consumers shop via a variety of channels – from the high street to cyber street. But Leicester-based customer marketing firm, GI Insight, confirms that physical shops remain a vital stop in the customer journey – even for many web purchases. It has found that the customer journey – from first marketing contact to final purchase – does not usually take place over one channel alone, but via a multi-channel approach to buying. And, while Brits tend to purchase from their favourite brands both online and in-store, their buying habits are also affected by the type of product they are intending to purchase. Research by GI Insight

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shows that when it comes to their favourite retailers, 63 per cent purchase from both the brand’s website and its high street stores. Many shoppers use physical stores as, in effect, showrooms for examining and trying out products before actually buying – even if they intend to make the ultimate purchase online. In particular, the findings reveal that 73 per cent examine and test bulky items such as bicycles, playpens, garden tools and furniture in-store first and 69 per of consumers like to try on fashion items in store. For products that require little sizing up or examination – such as CDs, DVDs, light bulbs or kitchen utensils – 68 per cent of consumers will buy online. Andy Wood, managing

director of GI Insight, said: “There is logic to consumer behaviour across multiple channels. Understanding this on Andy Wood. an individual level is crucial to managing customers and getting them to remain loyal, buy more with each transaction, and purchase more frequently. “Gaining insight into how customers buy different products through different channels, or use multiple channels in combination as they come to a purchasing decision, enables a brand to tailor the message and the offer for the channel which best reflects the product and the consumer’s preferences. Key to this is analysing customer data to see what trends and behaviour best categorise that client.”

Site optimises mobile leads new site, optimised for the mobile web, has gone live to allow precisely-targeted online surveys to generate qualified leads from smartphone users. Norwich-based Internet marketing specialist, Aspect Web Media, launched the site – TwoMinuteSurveys.co.uk – after figures showed that 22 per cent of mobile web users either never or infrequently use the desktop web, preferring to access the Internet via phone. Jonathan Erwin, MD of Aspect Web Media said: “The site can target any mobile device and can be tailored to any product, for any market and for any company’s individual needs.”

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JANUARY 2012 CLICKS&MORTAR

The importance of Ready? Steady? No! good website design Health and safety interact with many customers and have found that website design and hosting are the biggest areas where customers have an axe to grind. At first, I didn’t understand the concerns my prospective customers had about this topic, but once I started to analyse their websites’ performance and page set-up, I developed a better grasp of their grievances.

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IT expertise by Stan Nyokas Guidelines and standards for designing websites can be found here: www.w3.org/standards and are well documented. Please always strive to follow these guidelines with all your website designs. Sometimes, we found that customers are at fault because their requirements are not 100 per cent clear. They may want their developers to implement functionality in the website design which requires the addition of some flash code within the traditional HTML code – I am not a big supporter of using flash code, especially on the landing page. Connecting with customers At iTotalMarketing, we know that using ‘splash pages’ (an introduction page which appears

while the website loads) on the landing page can be very nice, but because we are also experts in the field of Search Engine Optimisation, we will not advise our customers to use that type of design, because it ranks very poorly in search engines such as Google or Bing. We consider them to be nice business cards that are hidden in the business owner’s cupboards! Moreover, the purpose of having a website is to connect with the customers who are looking for your products and services, although they do not know you yet. Google offers a guide There is a valuable resource that is not often used by website design companies, which can be found on Google by searching ‘Google Webmaster Guidelines’. If you just follow it, you will make a website that scores well with the search engine. This guide also tells where advertisements should be positioned on your website – for example, please don’t use excessive banner ads on the home page. Not only is this is a waste of website real estate, but your job is to give potential customers visiting your website the best experience they can get online, to make them come back again and again. We feel it is not a good ethic to use this method of creating revenue from your customers. In all our website design testing, we find excessive banners lower your conversion rate. Areas where you do need to spend plenty of time are keyword research and the navigability of your website design. Focus your attention on ensuring that, at any time, a user visiting your website knows where they are – at a click. Users can get carried away and lost within the maze of your website, especially when the site is large, if this issue is not treated seriously.

Stanislas Nyokas is founder of iTotalMarketing, Peterscourt, City Road, Peterborough. Call 01733 294551. www.itotalmarketing.co.uk

expert Colin Nottage has some practical advice A year full of hope and promise, one where I can sail ahead of my competitors. – Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards. Calgary, 1988. t’s Olympics year, so I have quoted a well-known British athlete (above). OK, so it doesn’t always work out . . . it didn’t work out for him . . . and anyway that was the winter Olympics . . . still, we are heading into a bright summer and hopefully a bright year! But to get there, we need to look at the here and now. The festivities have passed and are probably long forgotten. January and February are often regarded as the months when morale is down and people feel under pressure financially. Their minds can often be off their jobs and some don’t want to be there at all. This is a time when odd things can happen, people don’t concentrate, mistakes can occur. Not all these mistakes lead to accidents but they all can have affect your bottom line, whether it is loss of production, faulty goods supplied or poor customer interface.

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So what to do? I want to focus on the health and safety side of things, but following some of my tips should improve your overall business performance. Back to work inspections: You may have had a couple of weeks off, or even just a day or so, but get your team together and as a group have a 20 or 30 minute walk around the

workplace to see what is good and also where improvements can be made. Re-enforce the good practice, sort out the issues. Plan for 2012: What do you want to achieve? Whether it is improved employee competence, better standards of housekeeping, accreditation with schemes such as CHAS or Achilles or just a greater awareness, it works better if you have a plan. I believe doing little and often works best: set targets for Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 and stick to them. Review: When did you last look at your health and safety policy, fire risk assessment or workplace rules? Are they still relevant? And do your employees understand what is expected? Consider a couple of hours health and safety awareness training. Cover the basics, keep it simple and to the point, but give people a chance to raise issues. Finally, empower your work colleagues to make the right call. Introduce a fair blame process; if people come to you with issues or problems or examples of poor practice, support them to get things right. Encourage them to say ‘no’ if they feel at risk or are unhappy with the health and safety controls in place. However, if people are doing things badly or are putting themselves or their colleagues at risk, take appropriate action. For a monthly health and safety checklist or business plan template, just drop me a line or call. Details below.

With a background in engineering and manufacturing, Colin Nottage runs Stamford and Bristol-based consultancy Safety Horizon. Email him: colin.nottage@safetyhorizon.com or call Freephone 0845 689 0075. Find out more, here: www.safetyhorizon.com

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WORKFORCE

JANUARY 2012

WORKFORCE Hunt for skilled staff continues within SMEs lmost a third of small businesses have difficulty at start-up stage with finding suitably skilled staff, new figures show, despite the fact that unemployment is rising. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and All-Party Parliamentary Small Business Group launched an inquiry into hoentrepreneurship barriers can be removed when statistics revealed the problems small businesses face at start-up: the struggle for skilled workers, onerous regulations and difficulty securing finance. The FSB is calling on the Government to increase enterprise education and extend work trials for jobseekers.

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UK staff work 26 million unpaid hours each day ritish workers are putting in 26 million extra hours in the workplace each day, according to new research from the UK’s largest insurer, Aviva. Its latest Health of the Workplace report shows six in ten employees regularly work beyond their contracted hours, putting in around 1.5 hours ‘overtime’ a day. Nearly one in four claim they work an extra two to three hours daily. The majority (79 per cent) of these hours are unpaid, which means workers are providing around worth £225 million of ‘free’ hours each day. As a result, the health of the UK workforce is suffering:

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l 27 per cent always feel tired. l 23 per cent feel stressed. l 15 per cent eat junk food. l Nine per cent smoke/drink in

order to unwind. Fewer than one in five say they still have a good work/life balance, despite the extra hours, and only 18 per cent say they work longer for the love of the job. Most extra hours are put in because employees claim they have too much work (41 per cent) or because they want to make a good impression (20 per cent). Staff are adopting a number of strategies to squeeze in these extra hours: l 37 per cent continue to work late into the evenings.

l 28 per cent start early. l 16 per cent work weekends l One in ten work late at night

when unable to sleep. Dr Douglas Wright, head of clinical development for Aviva, said: “Most employers make great efforts to ensure workers get a good work/life balance. Our study showed this is a top priority for a third of employers this year – so they may be very surprised to see how some employees are struggling to manage their workloads. Six per cent of workers actually report they have been off sick as a result of overworking, so it’s in everyone’s interests to nip any such problems in the bud.”


JANUARY 2012

WORKFORCE

Service gives networking Dealing with workplace stress HR expertise S a sporting chance! ancy a round of golf or a game of rugby on your business meetings agenda? A service just launched by a Cambridgeshire-based company aims to put people in touch with potential business associates via sporting events. The personal introduction service offered by Golffish facilitates business relationships regardless of industry sector or geographic region. Golffish founder, Bryan Moore, explained: “This concept was born out of necessity, really: an existing client asked if I could arrange a golf course introduction for him with a specific businessman. With the contacts available to me, it was easy to do so and what better way to build a relationship than while enjoying 18 holes! “I personally research the individual and establish what

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sports interests exist. Invitations Bryan Moore. are then extended and introductions facilitated at a suitable sporting venue or event when quality face-to-face time is available. “It can be anything from golf to football, rugby and beyond. We pride ourselves on providing a professional and highly confidential service.” He said the service is being well received by local businesspeople, who are increasingly frustrated by attempts to contact target individuals by standard methods. Modern working environments and high workloads make it almost impossible to contact busy executives by traditional means, he explained. Contact Bryan Moore, email: bryan@golffish.co.uk or visit the website: www.golffish.co.uk

Golfers’ boost for Magpas ambridgeshire recruitment specialist The One Group has presented a cheque for £5,744 to local medical emergency charity, Magpas. The amount was raised through The One Group’s annual golf day, auction and raffle. Pictured at the presentation of the cheque are, from left: Dr Simon Lewis, Hilary Bremner,

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MD of The One Group Tristan Drane, Magpas CEO Daryl Brown and Magpas volunteer paramedic Dan Cody.

tress can have an impact not just personally but also on our working lives and those of our colleagues. In the present economic climate, it will be of little surprise to learn that, according to some authorities, stress levels have doubled in the last four years. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) defines stress as: ‘The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demands placed upon them.’ These excessive pressures and demands are known as ‘stressors’ and a person’s reaction to them is called ‘stress response’. Workplace stress is acknowledged as a serious problem in the UK. Mind, the mental health charity, released a report which estimated that British businesses were losing up to £8 billion every year to workplace stress. It is estimated that up to 41 per cent of workers experience stress. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) employers have a duty to control the risk of stress-related ill health. They must ensure management of workplace stress is effective. Failure could result in your business losing its competitive edge, through chronic absence and low morale, with the very real prospect of costly employment tribunals and claims for personal injury. The Government has recognised the problem of stress and, as part of its initiative to promote a better work-life balance, has carried out research into flexible working and parental leave.

from David Neal

It is suggested employers should encourage employees to take their full holiday entitlement, allow employees to work from home where appropriate, consider job shares and adopt flexible hours. While it may not be possible for practical reasons to adhere to all of the above, it is vital steps are taken to create an open and supportive working environment for your employees. Communicate and consult A good employer or line manager is one who effectively communicates and consults with employees and can then be in a position to recognise the difference between pressure and stress. Pressure, if managed properly, can be positive, challenging and motivating, but when an employee exhibits signs of stress it might be due to such basic factors as a lack of training, unrealistic sales target or an excessive workload. After making the necessary workload adjustments or putting in place appropriate training, stressors can be reduced or even eradicated. David Neal is director, Cirrus: human resources software and services specialists.

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SKILLSET

JANUARY 2012

SKILLSET ‘Targeted marketing is mostly spam’ hat is the verdict of many consumers, who claim the majority of targeted marketing is irrelevant to them. A survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Cambridge-based firm Featurespace, has discovered that, even if a marketer has succeeded in targeting their communications appropriately, consumer attitudes mean the number of potential conversions will still be limited. In the study of more than 2,000 consumers, 82 per cent said they consider at least half of all types of targeted marketing they receive to be spam. More than half said most

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Small is beautiful say Brits in business

targeted marketing is actually mistargeted; presented to them at the wrong time with irrelevant offers or promotions. Most marketers now rely on traditional sources of customer information to make their campaign decisions, building market segments rather than focusing on the individual. Even with a small segment, this aggregated approach inherently shows generic customer behaviour, blurring any potential insight into what individual customers need or desire. But only 42 per cent of people would actually be ‘more likely’ to

he UK is truly a nation of small businesses. According to recent government statistics, small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) account for 99.9 per cent of enterprises and employ 23.4million people. The overall number of SMEs has risen by 2.1 per cent since the start of 2010.

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buy a product after receiving targeted marketing that is of relevance to them. This shows that a huge proportion of marketers’ budget is being wasted on those unlikely to respond to promotions. However, it also represents an opportunity for marketers; look to identify this 42 per cent of consumers and ensure a more cost-effective marketing spend, said David Excell, CEO of Featurespace: “Businesses need to be able to act faster on what they learn; seizing opportunities before their competitors do. In a digital context, marketers need to change their perception of a campaign from a fixed time, push-button activity, to personal communications, tailored specifically to the needs of the individual and delivered via the correct channel at exactly the optimal moment.” Dissatisfied customers will

shop elsewhere, but there is an opportunity for companies to enhance customer loyalty and encourage repeat business: 63 per cent of respondents agree firms could increase customer loyalty significantly by understanding and communicating the most relevant offers in the right way and right time. “These results are a wake-up call for marketers,” said Excell. “If businesses are to minimise campaign David waste and have a real impact they need a smarter Excell. approach to marketing insight. “Using detailed, accurate and real-time intelligence of customer behaviour, especially online, enables them to differentiate from their competitors by truly understanding what motivates customers to spend more and can adapt marketing campaigns to individuals’ needs.”


JANUARY 2012

SKILLSET

Will our customers embrace the It depends on their age, reveals a survey into uptake of e-loyalty offers ‘mobile wallet’? t seems as if not a day goes by without the announcement of a new piece of technology to help us stay connected – whether we are price-checking in store or talking to our friends. For some, change is the next logical step, but others remain resistant to interactions with new technology channels. And when it comes to businesses giving out loyalty scheme offers via media such as mobile and social networks, research by Ipsos MORI and customer interactions specialist, The Logic Group, 40 per cent of the British public don’t want to receive offers this way. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a marked difference in how open to adoption different generations are. When asked if they would like to receive loyalty scheme offers via new technology channels, half of consumers aged 45-54, and 54 per cent of 55-64-year-olds said ‘no thanks.’ Around a third of people aged under 35 are more receptive to them. Antony Jones, CEO of The Logic Group, said: “When it comes to developing loyalty

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schemes that involve new technologies, it’s imperative to consider your target customers. “Those businesses offering products or services used by older consumers should perhaps be more careful about the introduction of new technology channels as part of day-to-day scheme interactions.“ The research also showed that just under half the survey respondents would like to use a credit/debit card as a loyalty card. Jones added: “They show interest in schemes where they only need to use one card or device, pointing towards future technologies to create links between accounts and scheme rewards, mobile apps, NFC and Antony Jones. contactless technology.” Which are the preferred media? While those surveyed recognised that new technology can fulfil the evolving needs of customers, not everyone is willing or able to embrace them. For older respondents, the key reservations were physical barriers (feeling they may be

penalised for having out-of-date devices), knowledge barriers and fear of the unknown, data security and being tracked. Respondents were asked about various new technologies: 1. Mobile technology (SMS offers, applying points/rewards when you purchase using your phone, a loyalty app and receiving offers to your phone from nearby shops): some had seen and used mobile apps before and said when implemented correctly they were the future of loyalty schemes – also linking this technology to their desire to reduce the number of cards in their wallets. Texts and alerts to phones while shopping, though could become annoying. 2. Social media (‘liking’ or following a brand to receive new offers – schemes would be able to see what you are looking at and send you relevant offers): some already used social media and were happy with it, while some voiced concerns about data security. They liked being able to sign up to a company and receive offers of relevance, but there are security issues. 3. The mobile wallet: there were

mixed reactions across all ages to this concept. There are worries about fraudulent use and theft and negativity towards the suggested £15 transaction limit – it was suggested this could be increased by adding a PIN to the transaction to make it more secure. But people felt the mobile wallet would be convenient as a phone is always with you and contactless technology would speed up the transaction. Simon Atkinson, assistant chief executive at Ipsos MORI, said: “There is undoubtedly consumer appetite for using new technologies when the benefits (simplicity, immediacy) are made clear; but uncertainty remains about the actual user experience. Simon New technology could make interacting with a Atkinson. scheme more convenient and make offers and information more easily accessible. For those worried about embracing technology changes, and the older generation in particular, the answer is likely to lie in offering existing services in tandem with new.”

2012: look where you’re going he new year turns our thoughts to the future. How good are you at keeping resolutions? Often life and ‘stuff’ takes over and you are back on the merry-go-round again, not getting where you want to be. Knowing it’s important and telling yourself, you will ‘get a round tuit’ just need to do this job first and then that one and so on . . . What can you do to ensure

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Skills expertise you stay with

David Grundy

you are committed to your success – in life, work or career? Here are my top five tips: 1. Stop! Get off the roundabout and check where you are now and where you are headed. 2. Visualise your success. Be like all good athletes and create a vision of your success. Create your own vision board: pictures, headlines from magazines, etc. Put it where you will see it every day.

3. Define your milestones. Be clear about what objective will take you nearer to your goal and write them down. What? Why? When? How? 4. Catch the TRAMS. This is about your life not just work. Your objectives should be Thrill, Resonate, be Accountable, Measurable and Specific. Working this way instead of smart will help you arrive at what is ‘specific’ more easily.

5. Focus and commit. Ask yourself, ‘Is this taking me towards my goal or away?’ Don’t be sapped by the suckers of your time. Sometimes (usually) all it takes is a small paradigm shift and you’re doing things you’ve been putting off for years. If you really want to ‘get a round tuit’ and build your business, career or work on your life balance, contact me. Here’s to your success. Happy New Year!

David Grundy is managing director of Tuit Achievements and offers a free 30-minute taster session. Email: david@tuitachievements.com or telephone: O1733 210464 or 07894 705293. Twitter: tuitdoit Facebook david@tuitachievements Web: www.tuitachievements.com

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TRAVEL

JANUARY 2012

OFF DUTY

Talking Turkey and Pictured below: The Library at Ephesus – just one of the magnificent buildings lovingly uncovered by archaeologists. There’s even a gents’ loo and a brothel (c 500bc!).

Above: The harbour at Ephesus, viewed from the vast amphitheatre. The sea would have been only a few metres from the amphitheatre in Biblical times. Below: This remarkable structure, called the Pamukkale (Cotton Castle) is entirely created by nature. Where mineral rich waters bubble out of the hillside, travertine pools are formed. Often open to the public, it is thought that bathing in this water is hugely beneficial to the skin.

ith the dire warnings of a double-dip recession ringing in our ears, and the eurozone becoming ever more unaffordable, now is the time to think about this year’s holiday a little differently. Many people choose all-inclusive packages in Europe and the Caribbean, as they take away the worry of how much you need to take with you to spend on food and drink. The downside is you can feel tied to your hotel for the whole of your

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Above: The areas of the Turquoise Coast covered by gulet cruises.

stay and could miss out on the cultural side of your holiday. I suggest that you should ‘think outside the box’. Away from the eurozone, bed and breakfast, half board, or even self catering are great in a country where you can still eat and drink like a king for very little. Turkey is one such place – huge and magical, it’s the only country to have one foot in Asia and the other in Europe. To get the best out of it, I recommend a holiday which will encompass a few days in Istanbul followed by a beach stay. You will find the people welcoming and kind and, if you take the time to explore, you Above: The incredible Sultan Ahmet Mosque in Istanbul, also known as the Blue Mosque, has the will discover a wealth largest unsupported dome in the world and fantastic of history and Islamic ceramic tiles on the inside – see the domed atmosphere. Of course,

interior view (circled above). Right: Mevlana, also known as Whirling Dervishes, perform their mesmerising ceremony in Konya, the religious centre of Turkey.


JANUARY 2012 TRAVEL

Travel correspondent JANE PRICE says you can eat and drink like a king in Turkey, despite the recession.

the Turquoise Coast Value for money on the edge of Europe

The lagoon at Olu Deniz – probably one of the best known images of Turkey. There are many small villages near this area, all with hotels and pansions – an ideal place to base your beach-side holiday.

traditional packages exist for Turkish holidays, but a better way to see some of the wonderful sights is to get your travel agent to arrange a ‘dynamically packaged’ two or three-centre holiday. This involves your agent booking flight arrangements, transfers and hotels from different sources and can be infinitely tweaked to get the bespoke holiday to suit you. As long as you choose your agent carefully, and make sure he/she is affiliated to and covered by ABTA and Atol licences, you can still enjoy the confidence of knowing that your holiday is financially covered, as any reputable agent will also make sure your

Right: The beautiful Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, is thought to be the most beautiful Christian Church in the world. It is now a museum honouring both the Muslim and Christian faiths.

Centre right: The most amazing part of Turkey is Capadoccia. People still live in many of the strange structures and caves, which have been carved out of the landscape by wind and rain.

arrangements are covered by supplier failure insurance, which will give you complete peace of mind. This is particularly effective if you can be flexible on your travel dates, as your agent will be able to source the best priced flights – often mid-week – and tie them in with accommodation and transfers. I suggest three nights in Istanbul, followed by ten or 11 nights in one of the many small, family-run two and three star hotels along Turkey’s coastline and, if you have longer, factor in a cruise on one of the wonderful hand-built gulets which cruise along the Turquoise Coast. This way you will truly

Below: Don’t miss the chance to haggle for everything from spices to diamonds in the huge covered Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

Above: One of the traditional wooden gulets, fully crewed and sleeping no more than 12 passengers – provides a fantastic way to see the coastline.

find the real Turkey . . . take the time to visit as many places as possible while you are there – the country is vast or details of the breaks featured here, contact: Jane Price at Hays Travel.

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and you won't see it all on your first visit. But I am willing to bet that, once you have been, you’ll go back again! Tel: 08000 141 833 or 01733 808330. Email: jane.price@hays-travel.co.uk

or visit the web page: www.hays-travel.co.uk/janeprice

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DIARY DATES

JANUARY 2012

DIARY DATES January 13 Corby Enterprise Centre, London Road, Priors Hall. Integrating e-commerce systems: one-day action planning workshop. Hosted by the eBusiness Club and Northamptonshire Chamber, this event is for businesses in the Corby region that are interested in taking their existing business online or stating an e-commerce venture. More details by telephoning 01604 490490 or visit the website: www.ebusinessclub.biz/events January 13 Peterborough, Orton Longueville, Orton Hall Hotel (7.45-10am). Speed networking breakfast, hosted by the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce. Broaden your network of contacts. £15 for members, £22.50 (plus VAT) for non-chamber members. Book through Maria Briggs, tel: 01223 237414 or email: m.briggs@cambscci.co.uk or visit the website for more details, here: www. cambridgeshirechamber.co.uk January 17 Lincoln, Outer Circle Road, Commerce House (8.30-4pm). Blogging for Business, one-day action planning workshop hosted by Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce. Free to attend – but call to check regional eligibility criteria, tel: 01522 523333 or email: charlotte.robson@lincs-chamber.co.uk February 9 Peterborough, Lynch Wood, Media Matters agency. Online Marketing Bootcamp. See article right and contact Karen McNulty to book your place: karen@mediamatters-pr.co.uk or tel: 01733 371363. February 23 Peterborough, Holiday Inn West. Fundraising gala dinner and auction, organised by the Peterborough Business Support Group for the NSPCC, with guest speaker Formula One presenter Jake Humphrey, see article (right). Email carol@tme.uk.com to book tickets (£60 each) or find out about a VIP upgrade – enabling you to meet Jake Humphrey before the event and enjoy champagne and canapés. February 22 and 29 Lincoln, Outer Circle Road, Commerce House (8.30-4pm). Web Development, two-day workshop by Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce. Free but call to check regional eligibility criteria, tel: 01522 523333 or email: charlotte.robson@lincs-chamber.co.uk

Online marketing: everyone’s doing it, but is it right for you? Book your place at Media Matters’ February ‘bootcamp’ to boost your business’s online marketing strategy, says Karen McNulty (right).

usinesses can no longer afford to ignore online marketing – that’s the advice from Peterborough marketing agency, Media Matters. The challenge in such a fast-moving world with so many options, is to pin down those platforms which are relevant now – as well as those that could become relevant in the future. Some online tools are fads. Deciding which will stay and which won’t is vital. Then there is the task of evaluating which of those with longevity will actually be useful for your business and which will serve no purpose. These rules are the same for any marketing activity – and treating online marketing in the same way will help establish which tools are right for your particular business, says the agency.

Optimisation): maximising the potential of your website to appear on the first page of search engines for relevant search terms l Social media: social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and blogging l Online PR: using news distribution services such as PR Web, Google News and PR Log l Your website. Before developing an online marketing strategy – and certainly before setting up a business Facebook page, commiting to pay-per-click advertising or tweeting your thoughts across the globe – ask yourself the following questions:

Online marketing includes: l Email marketing: e-newsletters, bulletins, event invitations l Online advertising: search advertising with pay-per-click (Google, Yahoo, Bing), banner advertising on websites, affiliate advertising and advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter l SEO (Search Engine

1. What are you trying to achieve? If your main objective is to generate sales, not all online marketing will deliver that quickly. Online advertising is highly measurable and excellent for e-commerce businesses, but social media are more about raising profile and awareness of your brand and then engaging with your target audience.

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Charity welcomes back Formula One anchorman ere’s a few things you may not have known about the BBC’s Formula One sports presenter, Jake Humphrey: l He was born in Peterborough l He’s colour blind l He’s coming to the city to speak at the NSPCC’s Peterborough Business Support Group event on February 23. The gala dinner, at the Holiday Inn West, will generate funds to support vulnerable youngsters in the city. The Peterborough Business

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Support Group has raised more than half a million pounds through its charitable efforts – its recent 15th Anniversary Gala Dinner, with Jake journalist Penny Humphrey. Smith as guest speaker, raised £14,000. Group chairman Chris Collier, said: “We are very appreciative that Jake is sparing the time to attend our event.” Tickets are £60 each, email: carol@tme.uk.com

2. Who are your customers? Choosing a social medium to promote your business is pointless if your customers are not using it. Overlaying research into the demographics for users of each medium onto your knowledge of the behaviour and profile of your target audience will help you establish the best channels. For example, Facebook business pages are usually more effective with consumer audiences than other businesses although there are examples of business-to-business pages working with some creative thought. Have a look at the RICS page: http://www.facebook.com /ricssurveyors and Dell’s social media page: www.facebook.com /dellsocialmedia 3. Do you have the resource? Online marketing can require major time commitment. Online activity will generally need to run in conjunction with offline activity, thus adding another layer of work. Plan ahead for a head start. Lynch Wood-based Media Matters runs online marketing ‘bootcamps’ for local businesses, the agency’s marketing director, Karen McNulty, explains: “We ensure we are fully versed in the newest methods of reaching target audiences so we can examine their effectiveness for businesses. The bootcamps enable us to share some of that knowledge with local businesses and our clients.” To find out more or to book your free place on the next Online Marketing Bootcamp – which takes place on February 9, 2012 – contact Karen McNulty, email: karen@mediamatterspr.co.uk or call her on: 01733 371363.


JANUARY 2012

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PROFILE

JANUARY 2012

HEADLINES

The Willow Festival is back at the city’s Embankment in May and local businesses are being encouraged to support the event. It was last staged in 2003 (below) and attracted an audience of more than 50,000, making it the largest free music festival in Europe.

Business Scene gets up close and a little bit personal with executives around the region. Here, we put the life and times of Mark Ringer, organiser of this year’s re-launched Willow Festival, under the spotlight. Full name: Mark Ringer. Current business card details: Consultant to the music industry. Biography: I was born in Peterborough and have been very happily un-married to my partner for 23 years – with two daughters aged 17 and 14 and a son (10). My family has owned businesses in Peterborough for several generations and still does. I’ve been in the music industry all my professional life and have taken on many roles, often simultaneously, including musician, TV and radio presenter, artist manager, promoter, music industry products specialist, sound and lighting engineer, tour manager, events manager, artist endorsement agent, record label owner, rehearsal studio proprietor and so on. I am also running a musical instrument

retail sales business, as well as recording a new album with Burning Codes. I am currently organising The Willow Festival, which I will be bringing back to Peterborough Embankment this year. We ran the festival between 1998 and 2003, attracting some 50,000 people in the final year; which made it Europe’s biggest free music festival. We are currently looking for local companies and businesses based in Peterborough to come on board and support The Willow Festival, which will take place during the final weekend of May. If you want to support the festival that the public demanded to be brought

back, email me for details: info@willowfestival.org.uk My first job was: Musical instrument demonstrator, salesman and teacher at Treasure Music in Bridge Street, Peterborough, 1978. But my dream job would be: Exactly what I’m doing now. Are you a technophobe or a technophile? Somewhere in the middle. I love stuff with buttons as long as there’s one button for one function. I like to spend my time off: Far too many hobbies for my own good or means. I like spending a lot of time with my family and we take part in many activities together including motorsport (we

have a family drag racing team). I play and watch live music, visit historical sites and travel as much as time and funds allow. I watch a lot of cinema as I’m a big fan of non-mainstream directors and art-house movies. What’s your favourite brand? The Willow Festival! My finest hour: I helped deliver my second child. I hate it when: Bureaucracy gets in the way of a good idea. I am surprisingly good at: Cliff diving – higher the better. My dream dinner party guests would be: John Pilger, Kate Bush, Dario Argento, Nelson Mandela, Joan Rivers, Jim Clarke, Lyall Watson, Uri Geller, William S Burroughs and Catherine Deneuve. And the food would be: 32oz Texas beef steak. At my funeral, please play: I’m not having a funeral, but at my sending off party, Kashmir by Led Zeppelin would be fine. If I ruled the world, I would: Re-ignite state exploration of space for human colonisation purposes.

Get into Business Scene’s CEO spotlight. Email your HEADLINES responses to: info@businessscene.co.uk

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Business Scene January 2012