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Recyke-a-bike Social Enterprise in Motion


Est. 1984

Working with you - for you

01738 632 561

hr business support and recruitment specialists

Working with you - for you

with compliments Fairways Recruitment (Scotland) Limited Balmoral Suite, Royal British House, Leonard Street, Perth PH2 8HA

t • 01738 632561 f • 01738 639086 e • w • Registered in Scotland No: SC195669 VAT Registration No: 502 9493 48

HR Business Support Services



nsuring organisations remain legally compliant with their HR and employment responsibilities, we provide practical cost effective help and support to SME's to improve organisational performance and productivity


ur skilled Consultants have the perfect cost effective recruitment solutions for your business as we supply organisations across all industries with high quality staffing solutions for Permanent, Temporary and Contract staff recruitment.

Working with you - for you, we

Working with you - for you, we

Deal with and resolve complex Discipline and Absence Management issues

Offer Competitive rates and added value services to suit your needs

Prepare Contracts of Employment, Employee Handbooks & Compromise Agreements

Provide qualified practitioners to conduct accredited Psychometric Profiling

Provide expert, reliable Employment Law Advice and cost effective Solutions

Prepare accurate Job Descriptions and Specifications for clients

Provide proactive HR Consultancy and Support

Provide Recruitment and Retention experts to help and support you

Provide Learning & Development Programs and much, much more ….

Help Candidates make the right choices and career moves ensuring that organisations get the right person for the right role and much, much more ….

One point of contact for all our HR, employment law, and general or otherwise business queries. Extremely knowledgeable, very approachable and very prompt to reply to any question raised be it by phone call or detailed email. My fellow directors and I would have no hesitation to recommend Fairways HR and will continue to have Fairways as part of our "team".

Stephen Allardyce, Allardyce Healthcare

Recruitment Roles

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elcome to the first edition of our InCommerce magazine for 2013.

The economy remains very difficult, with retail in particular extremely flat despite on-line sales hitting new records for 2012. For example well-known stores such as Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster have all been casualties of the recession in recent months. There is no doubt that most of us are in for another challenging year but let’s hope that the economy starts to show some signs of recovery. The Scottish Chamber of Commerce to whom we are affiliated, is your voice to the Scottish Government so please raise any subjects with us that you feel are topical, of local interest and of benefit to the business community. Interestingly the Scottish Chamber of Commerce has been working hard to develop new services that will assist our local businesses. Jumpstart, who are based in Edinburgh, have joined on a National basis and they specialise in the area of Research and Development tax credits. Also Scot-FX has done likewise and they will be providing valuable support in the area of Foreign Exchange Services. If either of these services are potentially of interest to you please contact me directly. On a local basis the Chamber is making good progress with 140 members currently on our records including 7 Premier Partners which is excellent after such a short period of time. I would ask that you all encourage other businesses to join our Chamber as the more members we have the stronger we will become. We have prepared a new calendar of events for the first quarter of 2013 so please check our website for regular updates. As always if you have any suggestions for events or training workshops just email us and we will happily consider.

All the best for now! David

Contents Arran Brewery PLC comes to Falkirk


What it takes to spot the fake C.V.


Double Award for IAMCATZ


Chamber News


Employers Face Winter Driving Conditions


Raising Finance


The Changing Face of Financial Advice


Premier Partner - Central FM


The Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland


Enterprising pupils at Braes High School


Young International Trader


Spotlight on... Ace Tyres


The Boardroom


Falkirk Foodbank


New Members


Chamber opens the door to Social Enterprise


Mediation - what we’ve all been waiting for?


TXT SPK? WOMBAT or Totes Amazeballs?


Virtual Service delivers real results


Premier Partner - Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa


Funding Help for Staff Training


Events 30

InCommerce is published by D-Tech Graphic Design & Print Ltd. Unit 14, Birch Road, Broadmeadow Industrial Estate G82 2RE. T: 01389 736000. F: 01389 736002. E: W: Edited by Michelle McKearnon, Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Falkirk Stadium, 4 Stadium Way, Falkirk, FK2 9EE T: 01324 66 55 00 F: 01324 61 76 37 E: W: InCommerce is fully protected by copyright and nothing may be printed wholly or in part without the written permission of the publishers. The proprietors of this magazine are publishers and not agents, or sub-agents of those who advertise therein. They cannot be held liable for any loss suffered as a result of information gained from this publication. The views expressed by authors of articles published in this magazine are solely those of the author and are not necessarily the views of or shared by the editor, nor the publisher or the directors, shareholders and/or employees of InCommerce Ltd or D-Tech Graphic Design & Print Ltd.






rran Brewery plc is the holding company for the newly merged Isle of Arran and Isle of Skye Breweries, and it has now added the Rosebank Brewery and Distillery in Falkirk. Isle of Skye Brewery was founded 18 years ago by Angus MacRuary, who runs it with his wife, Pamela, who is also Head Brewer for the group. Arran Brewery has been in existence since 2000 and was purchased in 2008 by marketing guru Gerald Michaluk. Since then it has been revitalised, and, along with Isle of Skye, is regarded as being amongst the top craft breweries in Scotland. The merged breweries have plans to increase production 10-fold within the next 2 years, with the installation of larger and more efficient brewplants on both islands and at the Rosebank Brewery in Falkirk. This increased capacity will allow the breweries to supply right across the UK and also abroad, where target markets have been identified around the world. The domestic market will be supplemented through the establishment of their own chain of public houses, the first of which is due to open


in Hope St in Glasgow for April 2013 with more to follow. Towards the end of last year (2012) the company announced that it had acquired the former Rosebank Distillery on the bank of the Forth-Clyde Canal in Falkirk. Working closely with Scottish Canals, this site will be developed to include a brandnew brewery and micro distillery that will, eventually, revive whisky distilling in the area. It will also house The Scottish National Brewing and Distilling Centre with a bar/ restaurant.

As well as brewing and distilling, the company has plans for the site to produce “blaand”, a traditional alcoholic beverage made from whey and believed to have been brought to Scotland by the Vikings. Other options being looked at include Cider and Gin. A cornerstone of the development will be the building of a new bottling facility, which will see beers being transported in bulk from Germany, Skye and Arran for bottling, as well as for bottling the new Rosebank Brewery brands and the other beverages produced. A tie-in with


Hofbrauhaus, the famous Bavarian brewery, will also see their beers being bottled at Rosebank. This development will bring around 70 jobs to the area and provide opportunities for local businesses during the initial renovation and final operational stages. The company is pleased to have become a member of the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, as it sees this an important way in which it can introduce itself to the local business community and to work with it to mutual benefit. Falkirk Council has also been welcoming and the company looks forward to working with them, and the Scottish Government, in taking this exciting project forward. Plans are in their early stages just now but are progressing fast and, subject to the usual planning permissions, it is hoped that there will be brewing on site within 6 months, with the other phases coming online over the next 2 years. Arran Brewery plc hopes that Falkirk will be able to look with pride upon what will, it believes, be seen as a benchmark and centre for quality in the brewing industry and which will add to the attractiveness of the area to visitors.

Thinking Creating Inspiring

01324 633 785 Great ideas, tailored, effective and affordable design for print, brand, marketing and online. Get in touch for your free initial design consultation. We’d love to talk to you, and we make great coffee.


What it takes to spot the fake C.V.


Alison Melville of Greig Melville HR shares her experience in reviewing CVs and reveals some potential hazards for businesses looking to recruit...




n our daily life, we all want to look good: it’s human nature. How many of us have been to parties and business events where we have listened to someone telling us all about their business and their life and how great everything is – and come away thinking that life and business are generally not as smooth and untroubled as that. Most people are, I believe, fairly honest and know the difference between truth and untruth. Yet even in these day-to-day situations, people are tempted to embellish reality and make themselves out to be just that little bit more interesting. How much greater then is the temptation when a nice job is in prospect! As a manager, your first encounter with a prospective employee will almost certainly be when you “peruse their C.V.” This is a golden opportunity to learn a great deal about them – by what they say and, sometimes more importantly, what they don’t say. The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) estimates that approximately 25% of all employers withdrew job offers last year after uncovering untruths in candidate CVs. So, what should you look out for? And what should you do? The name – is it real? It might not be! Some candidates have used dead relatives’ names to hide something about their own past…so it’s definitely a good idea to crossreference other ID documents. Mind the gaps. Sketchy detail can conceal a multitude of embellishments and omissions. Something listed as ‘1 month’ of experience could be as little as week or even a day! Being ‘fluent’ in a language might mean they can order a beer…

It’s all a bit vague… Be on the look out for vague and misleading information. Reasons for leaving should be carefully examined – ‘personal differences’ might be concealing under-performance or inappropriate behaviour. It breaks the pattern. If something stands out as not really fitting the profile, then that should ring alarm bells. Statements relating to unemployment, travelling or serving in the armed forces might be there to conceal a criminal conviction…It’s all about how explainable it is and whether it ‘gels’ together. Sudden volunteering or other activities should be looked at in this way too. If you have any suspicions, check them out with the Criminal Records Bureau database. Is the narrative right? Applicants know that employers use keyword searching and so they make sure they use keywords for all the skills required and in descriptions of projects they claim to have worked on – this is particularly the case with technical job applications. You can search online databases of CVs and use online searches to see other candidates’ descriptions of the same projects. You can of course also search online to access more project descriptions from other sources such as companies and other organisations; all of this will help you verify claims and statements. True to a degree? Is the degree real – and, for that matter, is the university?! Lack of educational results. Check grades and levels if they are not given or if they are all conspicuously similar. Check

university course levels and degree subjects. Have they simply done a foundation course for example? Too good to be true? Trust your instinct on this one and dig deeper. Some candidates go for broke and make big claims relating to achievements and results. Doing all of the above will give you a fighting chance of getting it right. Remember that some candidates live by the old adage, “sincerity - once you can fake that, you’ve got it made”. Your job as a hiring manager is to differentiate between false and true sincerity, and between false and real promise.

Alison Melville




Double Award for IAMCATZ

IAMCATZ Ltd was formed in September 2010 to launch Smartlocal Marketing; - a multi-media marketing and advertising company. Smartlocal Marketing is an innovative and market leading company offering local businesses affordable new and exciting ways to advertise in their local community. The company’s ethos is to offer any business, of any size, the choice to use various forms of marketing in their targeted area in the most cost effective way possible.

Audrey Catterall, the company’s Managing Director, established the foundations and structure of the company using the vast knowledge and experience gained through the various high-profile Global management roles held during her 22 years within a major American Computer Software company. Audrey has the ability to seize and develop opportunities, continuously review the emerging advertising trends in the market, evaluate the needs of customers and change and adapt the Smartlocal Marketing model to meet demand. IAMCATZ Ltd is totally self-funded and over the past 18 months the strategic vision has been to continuously reinvest back into the company, which Audrey sees as critical to the company’s long-term success in building strong foundations for future growth, along with providing ongoing local employment opportunities. The company is expanding rapidly throughout East Central Scotland and this is testament to Audrey‘s strong business

principles and experience, coupled with her determination to provide the highest quality products and customer service. This has resulted in the company receiving two prestigious awards recently – one being the Entrepreneur and Business Start-up Winner from the West Lothian Chamber of Commerce and a Highly Commended Women in Business Award.





t seems a very long time since our last edition – so much has been happening here at the Chamber that time seems to fly! Our membership continues to grow rapidly, so much so that we have had to print a new Directory of Members to keep pace with all the new additions. You should find a copy of the Directory with your magazine, but if not, just drop into our office at the Stadium to pick one up. The membership is not the only area of the Chamber that is growing – our events programme is developing every month with more and more events being requested and delivered. We are very fortunate that we have a range of venues available; from our Premier Partners the MacDonald Inchyra Hotel, to The Grange Manor Hotel, Forth Valley College, the Scott’s Bistro and Le Venue Rendezvous. If your business would

work placements and projects. After a few wary moments of eyeing each other up, the businesses and students crossed the great divide and got down to some serious

Stephen McGuire of iTFA chats to an interested I.T student

Jon Piccolo of Showcase Glass takes details from an Art and Design student

like to host a networking event then please let us know and we’ll be happy to chat. We ended our events in 2012 with a fabulous Christmas lunch for 50 at the Inchyra in Polmont, and commenced 2013 with a presentation given by Gloria Murray of Murray Associates at Forth Valley College’s excellent new campus in Alloa. We are certainly getting out and about, which is great for our members to have the opportunity to network across the Forth Valley. March will see us at the Enterprise Zone at Stirling University for two workshops on the Future of the Web given by the much in-demand Stephen Whitelaw: – feedback from his last session was so good that we have managed to get him back to go further into this fascinating topic. We try to be innovative with our events and our January lunch at Forth Valley College took on a new angle when we were joined by students from the college looking to work closely with local businesses on


Isabella Jarvie, our Project/Finance Executive shares her experience with business admin students

networking. Some great contacts were made, and we look forward to reporting back on these fledging partnerships. Thanks to all our members who took time to engage with the youngsters – our membership of the future perhaps! As we progress through 2013 we will be looking at developing some new products and services for Chamber


A captured audience for Gloria Murray’s presentation

members. Remember that we already offer free legal and HR advice, money-saving services such as Chamber Chip and Pin and export documentation, and an employee Healthcare plan delivered by Westfield Health Care. We will be introducing a member referral scheme which will reward members who encourage new businesses to join us - we will keep you informed through all the usual channels. Make sure you are subscribed to our monthly ezine, and follow us on Twitter (@forthvalleych) and Facebook to keep up to date with all the latest news. Bear in mind that both the ezine and this publication are there for you, the members, so send us your news and articles for inclusion. As a Chamber member you can also get discounted advertising in InCommerce, as well as low cost advertising in the ezine. These publications go out across the Forth Valley to a database of nearly 3,000 businesses so it is a very effective way of getting your name out there.


Employers Face Winter Driving Conditions


s winter weather continues across Scotland, driving can become a nightmare. People are often advised to avoid the roads, but many businesses have little choice but to battle against some of the winter road conditions and have to rely on their team to continue delivering a service. Leading North-East HR and health and safety firm Empire explains employers are required to risk assess the hazards affecting their employees and put suitable and sufficient measures in place for those employees who drive for work. The risk assessment should consider many areas, including making sure the driver is properly insured and the vehicle is suitably maintained, winter essentials such as screen wash, de-icer, additional warm clothing, water and the means to communicate emergencies is in place. Empire urges employers to anticipate all situations and go the extra mile for drivers that will be out in adverse conditions this winter. Gill Hutchinson, Health and Safety Manager for Empire, said: “Employers have an obligation to provide a safe workplace to their employees. Sometimes this workplace is a car, and employers have to be very aware of all possible conditions that can affect drivers. By planning, taking simple precautions and providing staff with information and instruction, companies can support their drivers in dangerous conditions.”

Empire offers the following tips to employers to make sure their employees are being as safe as possible: Check the Maps – plan the safest routes, know where your employees are going, and make sure that the roads will be passable on the date that they are travelling. Watch Medication – are your drivers on medication? If there is the threat of weather delaying them, employees should ensure that they take extra medication with them. Equip the Essentials – All drivers should have extra layers in their car in the winter, and Empire recommends occupational drivers especially stock up with warm clothes and a blanket. But they should also carry equipment such as water, and be sure they have tools such as a shovel and de-icer. Keep Communications Open – All drivers should carry a mobile phone – ideally one equipped with a hands-free device so that employers can keep in touch with them, and the phones should be charged at all times. In just one instance last year, an employee got stranded on the roads. His employer had set up a system where once contact and the situation was established, he turned his phone off to save battery power, but switched it back on at the top of every hour to check in with his line manager until he was able to reach home in the early hours. Scenarios such as this do occur during the winter months so ensure contingency plans are in place in case the worst happens.

For all other winter weather considerations, Empire has an adverse winter weather policy online that can be adapted by employers. A free, downloadable version is available on Empire’s website:

Gill Hutchinson




Raising Finance



very business from its commencement and through it development and growth will need finance. But what type of finance is best suited to the development of your business, and who should you approach for funding? We provide guidance below on types of finance available and outline the planning required before approaching any lending institution.

PLANNING FOR GROWTH Is finance required?

Business plan

Finance is very often necessary but consider what it will entail.

Assuming external funding is necessary, planning is essential in achieving success. A well drawn up business plan not only crystallises in your own mind the nature of the project and the timing of any required funding, but is vital to any lending institution. They are unlikely to provide any assistance without a properly drawn up business plan.

Additional funding requires a commitment in terms of capital and interest payments. Embarking on this course of action must therefore be planned carefully. The business must be capable of sustaining any additional commitment to growth or expansion, and consideration will need to be given to effects on manpower, materials and space.

Tapping existing resources Before seeking outside finance, a business must consider whether it could improve its working capital from within. Particular attention should be given to stock and debtors to ensure that both are kept to a minimum. Consider how long it takes to bill customers and collect debts and look at ways to reduce this time. If there are periods of time when surpluses of cash arise, review your affairs to try and ensure these are being used to generate income by investing on temporary short term deposit. We can advise you on all these matters.



The plan will include details of: • • • • • • • •

the objectives and aims of the business the purpose of the required funding the business ownership and history management and responsibilities products and market share sales plan and strategy the financial position of the business with detailed cash flow forecasts and past accounts.

HOW WE CAN HELP The means by which finance is obtained will vary enormously according to: • • • •


the amounts required the nature of the business the risk exposure to the lender the period for which finance is required.

Accordingly whilst some generalisations apply, individual circumstances require specific consideration. Time invested in formulating a funding strategy, whilst not guaranteeing success, will provide a structure to guide the growing business.



Finance is available in many forms, but it is important to make sure that it is right for your business. Onerous terms and inflexibility can often hinder a growing business.

Whatever form of finance is offered, the lender will always require some form of security. However the level of security sought may vary ‑ beware the lender asking for unreasonable guarantees.

Our experience and contacts can enable you to achieve the means to help your business grow.

The more obvious sources of finance include bank overdrafts and medium to long term loans and mortgages, but rates of interest can vary considerably. Therefore we advise you to consult with us before making your final decision.

Fixed and floating charges

We would welcome the opportunity to assist you in formulating a business plan and obtaining any necessary finance.


Personal guarantees

Specific methods of finance are available for acquiring assets or releasing cash from debtors. Carefully consider the options available which include:

For some businesses little security may be available because of insufficient assets. Consequently the security will be given in the form of personal guarantees.

• • • • •

Take extreme care before signing these guarantees as they can be difficult to amend at a later stage and many have suffered as a consequence.

leasing assets hire purchase outright purchase debt factoring invoice discounting

Most bank loans and overdrafts are secured by way of a fixed charge over land and buildings with floating charges over other assets of the company such as stock and debtors.

Each method of funding has advantages and disadvantages including implications for tax purposes.

In particular, personal guarantees are best if they are limited by time or amount. Unlimited guarantees are the most dangerous.



Other means of finance may be available for your business from government sources, through the issue of shares or even your own pension scheme.

It may be possible to use other assets as collateral such as life insurance policies or by taking a second mortgage over your home.

Government assistance can be in the form of grants, loan guarantees or an enterprise capital fund. Other grants may be available on a regional or local level.

Whatever the means of security pledged, it should be carefully considered and advice sought.

Raising finance by issuing shares may be another option to consider.

For information of users: This material is published for the information of clients. It provides only an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.

Martin Robertson




The Changing Face of Financial Advice


he way you receive and pay for financial advice is about to change. The Financial Services Authority (FSA), which regulates the UK financial industry, has created the Retail Distribution Review (RDR), which is a set of rules and regulations that were put in place on 31st December 2012. Here is an overview of the main changes:

1. Independent vs. Restricted Financial advisers (including those working in Banks & Building Societies) will be split into two distinct categories: Independent and Restricted. An adviser must disclose to you, which category they are in. Independent Financial Advisers (IFA’s) will be required to have attained new qualification levels before the end of 2012 to ensure they are knowledgeable about all investment products and investment providers in the market. Restricted Advisers will also have to increase their qualifications but do not have to be knowledgeable about all areas of the market. Instead, they have the freedom to pick and choose which investment products, providers and areas to specialise in, hence the name “restricted”. All advisers will have to have achieved a Diploma in Financial Planning if they want to continue to provide advice post 31st December 2012. A very small number of advisers have gone over and above this minimum entry level and attained advanced practical and knowledge based qualifications, such as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Financial Planner.

2. Changes to Commissions and Fees The new RDR rules stipulate that all advisers will no longer be able to receive commissions for setting up new plans


with pension & investment providers. Commission will therefore be replaced with Adviser Charging. From 2013, all independent and restricted advisers will have to ensure that they have an upfront, transparent agreement with you about the fee to be charged before giving the financial advice. This should ensure you receive completely unbiased investment advice.

If you already work with a Financial Adviser, ask them to set out the services to be provided post 31st December and what these services will cost. If you feel the services are not value for money, then take action. Speak to other firms until you find a service you consider worth paying a fee for.

The Ultimate Goal of the RDR The ultimate goal of RDR is to ensure there is more transparency and clarity in the pensions & investment advice industry. The higher minimum qualification standards for all advisers will ensure they offer you, the consumer, better quality services. The new rules about commissions and upfront agreements on charges are designed to ensure that you understand the true cost of advice and can trust that you are receiving unbiased information.


Scott Douglas, CFPCM Vision Lifestyle Financial Planning Ltd

Leading the way to success. Business Mentoring Scotland Enhance your leadership skills with objective, impartial support and encouragement from an experienced business person.

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This year we launched our mobile and tablet app, giving you the opportunity to listen to your favourite station live anywhere with wifi or 3G access. We believe in bringing the people of the Forth Valley together, especially when we are celebrating their great achievements. This may be the land of Andy Murray, but we also have a few other local heroes too: - people like John Lange who won our local hero award 2012 through his tremendous drive and desire to help others. We also believe in bringing you the best



entral FM is more than just music and news. In fact, we have been supplying the people of the Forth Valley with great entertainment, news and information as and when it happens, local or national, for over 22 years. We also bring you great competitions and updates through our internet service. You can listen to live broadcasts or catch up with local events or just simply find out weather details for your area.


Central FM - keeping you informed and entertained for over 22 years throughout the Forth Valley



entertainment possible. That’s why, last year, we were involved in bringing Elton John to Falkirk Stadium, and also launched the football phone in with our very own Alan Rough and Peter Martin. We will also launch the “Rock the Stadium” event in 2013 bringing fantastic live acts throughout the summer.

ceremonies. We believe in the quality of business and in the people of the Forth Valley and we love to broadcast this to our loyal listeners who made us the UK Radio Station of the year last year! If you want some advice on how to promote your company our staff will be delighted to help. We can assist with on air-

We are proud to be a Premier Partner with the Forth Valley Chamber, which can only help the local economy with a mixture of great ideas and local input. This year we will be heavily involved with many events through sponsorship and partnership; everything from local business exhibitions to live events, outside broadcasts to award

commercial production, online and on-air advertisements or just simply help with your local events. Watch out too, for our new Chamber business slot which will be running weekly on a radio near you. Remember 103.1 gives you the best of the Forth Valley.



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The Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland


t a time when youth unemployment is continually hitting the headlines, young people in Scotland who dream of running their own business can turn to The Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland. In May 2012, The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) merged with its sister organisation The Prince’s Trust which helps young people back into employment, education and training. PSYBT changed its name to Youth Business Scotland and became a key programme within the Trust’s offering. The united organisation now offers a fully comprehensive service to young people in Scotland. Youth Business Scotland offers support to young people aged 18-25 to start up and continue in business. Accessing the necessary funding to launch a new business can be difficult particularly for young people and this is where the Trust offers support. The Trust provides free, confidential advice on business start up, support in writing a business plan, loans of up to £5,000 and, in some cases, grants of up to £1,000, plus tailored book-keeping training. Youth Business Scotland recognises that it is not just funding that is essential to business for success and so provides free mentoring support which is delivered by volunteers from all sections of the business community through its highly respected Aftercare Programme. Alison Gee, Youth Business Scotland’s Regional Manager in Forth Valley says “We continue to work closely with Business Gateway and other enterprise organisations to ensure every young person who comes to us can access as much support and training


Lisa Wardlaw of The Belle of the Ball

as possible. Young people approach us with many different business ideas and their passion and drive is hugely inspiring”. Lisa Wardlaw (24), recently helped by the Trust to start up in business, opened her own dress shop - The Belle of the Ball - in Bank Street, Falkirk. Lisa, who realised there was a gap in the market for prom and special occasion dresses, researched her idea, prepared a business plan and applied to Youth Business Scotland. She impressed the regional investment panel and was awarded start-up funding. She opened the doors of her boutique in September 2012 and hasn’t looked back. Lisa says “I have only been trading a few months but customers are returning and giving great feedback. It’s amazing to see an idea that you’ve created working!”


Lisa takes great care over the choice of her dresses which she sources throughout the UK and USA and she is the only stockist in Scotland for one particular brand. Her styles range from short cocktail party wear to dazzling evening and prom dresses and her aim is to ‘bring glamour’ into the area. You can find Lisa’s shop on Facebook and Twitter. Lisa adds “Youth Business Scotland helped me immensely throughout the process of starting my own business. Being self-employed can be very daunting but with great support it fell into place. Even now I still receive constant support through the on-going visits from my business mentor. It’s great to know they are always there to speak to and to help me”.

For more information about Youth Business Scotland visit


Enterprising pupils at Braes High School


ou cannot live in the Falkirk area without having heard about the Helix project – the unique and innovative plan to create an amazing outdoor tourist attraction by linking the canals, footpaths and green spaces, topped off by the enormous Kelpie structures which will be visible for miles around.

“With the projection of 300,000 visitors in the early years of operation we are offering a place for everyone, a place to discover and a place to explore. One of the unique draws that the Helix can develop for visitors is the opportunity to purchase a local product or souvenir designed and manufactured in the area and not available on the high street” explains Ronnie Simpson, Helix Head of Business Development. “With that in mind, and being very aware of the enthusiasm, entrepreneurship, resourcefulness and original thinking of today’s youth, we offered Braes High School the opportunity to design and produce a product for future sale from Helix outlets. The school has certainly responded to the challenge.” Through Braes High School we invited interested pupils from the senior classes of the school to get together and consider designing, developing and producing a novel retail product, not seen on the high street that will be unique to the area and where possible have some relevance to the local heritage and aspirations of the area. Subject to the quality and appropriateness of the merchandise produced, we will offer to purchase the entire stock for use in our outlets. We may only select one product from the entire range presented - or we might not select any! We are keen to introduce the pupils to the hard facts of business life”. Carol Flanagan, Business Education Teacher said “The school is very excited to

be given this opportunity and it’s great for the senior pupils as they are getting a taste of the ‘real business world’. The pupils are enjoying the challenge and are definitely making the school proud.” Pupil Aaron Thomson added, “Instead of learning about business from the books and teachers this was a chance to go out and experience business first hand. We’ve found it difficult sourcing materials and finding good contacts but with help from the Helix staff and local business organisations such as the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, our products are starting to come together.” The project took a significant step forward last month when the pupils presented their product ideas to a specially selected ‘Dragon’s Den’ panel of judges. The panel comprised Joyce Milne, Retail Manager, The Falkirk Wheel; Monica McFeat, Retail Manager, Callendar House; Lynne Lauder, Enterprise in Education, Falkirk Council and Eddie MacLennan, Quality Improvement Officer, Education Services. Their verdict? Highly impressed, both by the quality of the pupils’ presentations and their ideas creation. And was a product selected? Well, a decision was taken but we’re keeping that under wraps for now...

All will be revealed in May 2013 so look out for more information then.



Young International Trader

Introducing our High School pupils to the world of international trade

“We need to do more to prepare our youngsters for work after school, and Young International Trader is a programme that provides an opportunity for high school students to get an insight into local businesses and to learn the fundamentals of international trade”.


f you were to ask a group of high school pupils what goes on behind the grey walls of the factories and offices they pass every day on their way to school, the odds are they will readily admit to having little or no idea. It is a sad fact that a local business may be extremely successful internationally, employ a lot of people locally, regularly ship their products to all corners of the globe, but our high school pupils have no knowledge of these excellent achievements.


Young International Trader (YIT) is a programme developed by the Institute of Export (IoE). It is marketed and delivered in Scotland by the Scottish Export Clubs Group (SECG). YIT is designed to help develop partnerships between the school and the business community; a partnership that integrates pupils, teachers, local companies and experts from the private sector. Mike Wilson of SECG says, “Given the opportunity, directors and senior managers of local businesses willingly give of their time to impart some of their knowledge and experiences to the pupils. After all, many of these pupils will be their future employees, whether that is straight from school or after attaining some academic qualification”. Young International Trader was first introduced to high schools in the Scottish Borders where five of the nine secondary schools have now participated in the programme. Schools in Dumfries & Galloway followed. In Forth Valley, Grangemouth High School are currently running YIT for the fourth consecutive year. Scottish Development International, Chambers of


Commerce and local Rotary Clubs have all supported the programme through providing mentors and speakers. Many prominent businesses in Forth Valley have supported the YIT programme, with Forth Ports sponsoring Grangemouth High School and in the past Alexander Dennis sponsored Falkirk High School. Each year the pupils have enjoyed a visit to their sponsor’s facility, which included a presentation on the company’s activities from senior management, followed by a tour of the business. So how does Young International Trader fit in with education? Importantly, teachers say it comfortably fits within the Curriculum for Excellence as well as the Four Capacities. i.e., helping create responsible citizens, effective contributors, confident individuals and successful learners. How does it work? In Forth Valley, after the school has assigned a teacher to the programme the Scottish Export Clubs Group and the local Chamber of Commerce will help to enlist a local mentor - usually a volunteer from the private sector. The mentor’s job is to find appropriate speakers and generally assist the teacher throughout the YIT programme. Many of the pupils who participate in the Young International Trader programme will go on to university or some other form of further education. Others will leave school and seek a position with a local business. No matter their immediate destination, Young International Trader (YIT) presents an opportunity for each of them to learn about the many interesting careers and job opportunities that are available to them.

Other schools within Forth Valley have expressed an interest in Young International Trader and would participate if a sponsor can be found. If you or your company would like to know more about Young International Trader, or get involved with your local high school, Mike Wilson will be pleased to hear from you. Tel: 01896 830 505 e-mail:

Spotlight on... ACE TYRES Why do you think ACE tyres has been successful? Because we give customers a service above the norm. Making sure their needs are met and training the staff to give the same level of customer service. Our staff are all City and Guilds trained. Fast turnaround is also important which is why we have invested in equipment which can help provide this. For example our 4-wheel drive computerised alignment system is hooked up to a monitor in reception so that customers can actually see the tolerances and what is required.

What are the plans for the future?


ew for this year in our magazine is our “Spotlight” section where we chat with a local business owner to hear their story. In this edition we put the questions to Robert Crawford of Ace Tyres in Falkirk. The company is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and has just relocated to new, larger premises as it continues to grow. When did the business start? How many people? I started the business in early 2003 on my own. Family and friends were very supportive.

What gave you the idea to start the business? I had worked for a national tyre company for 18 years and had become disillusioned with their approach to customers. The emphasis was on sales and targets and I felt the customers’ needs were secondary.

What did you find most difficult in the early days? Cashflow and getting customers. It was a case of walking the streets leaflet dropping, knocking on doors, working all hours when necessary.

How has the business grown or changed over the years? It has changed dramatically. I now have staff and much larger premises. We have invested in the latest technology and have an excellent customer base.

What has been the hardest lesson you have learned? Cashflow and giving credit. In the early days I was so pleased to get customers that I gave credit without the relevant checks. Then the headaches started when I had to impose credit limits and got hit with bad debts and debt recovery fees. This really eats into the profit margins. Now the vast majority of my business is non-credit customers who pay when the work is completed.

Making even more use of technology. We will be installing an interactive module on our website so customers can do the calculations and be presented with information on a range of suitable tyres. They can then select the tyres of their choice and book a fitting time. We may even have an ACE tyres App in the future!

What do you like/dislike most about owning your own business? Like: Seeing my staff develop. A regular customer told me they received excellent service recently on a day I was off the premises. Dislike: I never really switch off and don’t spend enough time with my family. With good staff in place this will change and I am looking forward to a good holiday this year.

What advice would you give to youngsters wanting to start their own business? Get good advice from Business Gateway or the Chamber of Commerce, and take time researching your business idea and looking at competitors. Once you start you will make mistakes. If you do something wrong for a customer, own up and go the extra mile to correct the mistake.

You can find Ace tyres at 8 Castle Court, Bankside Industrial Estate, Falkirk. FORTH VALLEY • SPRING 2013


FORTH VALLEY CHAMBER Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce and Events for Business Ltd present…

The Boardroom


he Boardroom is an innovative and highly successful programme developed by Janet Torley of Events for Business. Four years ago Janet identified that there was little support for businesses “in the middle” i.e. businesses which had moved beyond the start-up phase to become established SMEs, but were not yet big enough to access specialised support from Scottish Enterprise. 6 Boardrooms later and Janet has been proved right, with the programme attracting glowing testimonials….. ‘I have found membership of the Business Boardroom absolutely invaluable. It provides me with an inclusive, confidential and supportive circle where those present can share best practice and business ‘hints and tips’; compare notes and be each others’ ‘critical friends’ on an ongoing basis, facilitated by Janet, whose own intuitiveness, people skills and openness enhances the whole experience.  I highly recommend the concept!’

Alison Melville Greig Melville HR


So, who is it for, and how does it work? The Boardoom is aimed at dynamic business owners, who are looking to grow and develop, and who have the courage to face change and make decisions affecting their company. Each Boardroom class has up to 10 members who must be able to commit to attending one meeting a month for 10 months. The agenda is driven by the group dynamic, but previous topics have included: • Marketing • Planning • Personal effectiveness • Leadership • Finance There is no book – each Boardroom is different and non-prescriptive – but goals are set as the course progresses and a strong element of self-responsibility ensures that group members set and meet personal targets .

“Each Boardroom never fails to amaze me – watching business owners grow and often with startling results, is tremendously exciting and I know the Boardroom has meant success for many of its members” says Janet.


Forth Valley Chamber is delighted to be the first Chamber in Scotland to deliver The Boardroom and is offering a 10% discount on fees to Chamber members, although the course is open to both members and non-members alike.

For more information including fees and registration go to www. or phone Janet on 01383 852931 or 07753 749535

NEW MEMBERS Allied International UK

FALKIRK foodbank is partnering with FORTH VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE to eradicate the food poverty in our local Falkirk area.

Allied International UK Ltd, based in Earls Road in Grangemouth and part of the international Allied Group of Companies, are now firmly established in the UK as one of the leading suppliers and manufacturers of steel buttweld fittings, flanges and linepipe. Since its formation in 1978, the company has grown from a small independent company into one of the most respected suppliers involved in the distribution and manufacture of steel products to the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors. The head office in Grangemouth compliments the existing Group stock locations and manufacturing plants throughout the world and carries an impressive 4000 tonnes of stock in carbon, stainless and alloy grades. Allied are supplying not only the UK market but internationally as well, supplying many of the major oil and gas companies, petrochemical plants and steel fabricators worldwide. Email: Website:

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Milton Photography Graeme Milton 01786 235030

Acumen Accountants & Advisors Ltd Barrie Alexander 01259 753555

Falkirk District Credit Union Claire Reid 01324 473695

Falkirk Football Community Foundation David Craig 01324 624121

The Travel Architect

Hunger isn’t just a Third World problem. And now steps are being taken to tackle this grim reality in Falkirk. The Falkirk Foodbank exists to provide emergency food to individuals and families who, quite simply have nothing. We rely on the support of the general public, churches, groups and business in our community to donate food stuffs. With these we make up boxes or packs that are designed to feed people for about three days. With 13 million people in Britain living below the poverty line, just one change in circumstances can be the difference between getting to eat that day or not. There is so much more we could say about the project so if you would like to know more about the Foodbank and how you can support this work please contact the Project Manager Alf Collington alfred.collington@ who will be happy to speak to companies, organisations or any interested groups. In fact anyone who will listen. Alternatively, you can drop tinned or packaged products into the Chamber offices at the Falkirk Stadium and we will ensure that they get passed on to the Foodbank.

The RBS Group is a large international banking and financial services company. Headquartered in Edinburgh, the Group operates in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia, serving over 30 million customers. The Group provides a wide range of products and services to personal, commercial and large corporate and institutional customers through its two principal subsidiaries, The Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, as well as through a number of other well-known brands including Citizens, Charter One, Ulster Bank, Coutts, Direct Line, Churchill and Adam & Co. Email: Website:

Lithium Systems

Lithium Systems are a forward thinking, customer focused I.T service provider based in Central Scotland. Now in our 10th year of business we have grown from humble beginnings to become one of the largest I.T companies in the Forth Valley area. We pride ourselves in offering a no-nonsense approach to I.T and take time to understand our clients businesses to ensure our service is tailored to their needs. Our engineers are fully trained in the latest technologies and we pride ourselves in our ability to present state-of-the-art solutions in an easy to understand manner. Cutting edge doesn’t mean expensive and our approach ensures the best ROI for our clients; from a single PC to a fully virtualised server and office network. Strategic partnerships with Microsoft, Dell, HP, Acer and other major suppliers allow us to offer the ‘right tool for the job’. To find out more please visit our website or call us on 01259 727847 for an informal chat. Email: Website:

Falkirk and District Association of Mental Health

Fiona Bibby 07974 567003

Recyclate Supply Limited Gary Grant 01324 410211

LCM Environmental Consultants Ltd Briony Norris 01324 810283

The Company Growth Team Ltd Graham Oxburgh 01786 433809

Datel Solutions Douglas Crookston 01383 844244

Springfords LLP Findlay Paul 0131 440 5000

Gambero Rosso Italian Restaurant 1 Burnbank Road, Falkirk, FK2 7PE

Falkirk & District Association of Mental Health (FDAMH) is a local charity which supports more than 1500 local people each year who are recovering from poor mental health. We offer a range of services including counselling, befriending, drop-in centre and an immediate help service for those in crisis that need help straightaway. We also provide valuable support to carers who are looking after a sibling, parent or partner with poor mental health which can be a very stressful time. Email: Website:




Chamber opens the door to Social Enterprise


orth Valley Chamber is forging strong relationships with social enterprises across the Forth Valley, with third sector organisations recognising the value of Chamber membership. Michelle McKearnon, the Chamber’s Business Development Manager commented, “I have a background in social enterprise so am passionate about businesses from this sector getting the assistance they need from business support agencies. Often social enterprises are so tied up in the “social” element that the “business” side gets overlooked. We are very keen that all of our members can access the services we can offer so that they can save money and gain new contacts to help them grow and develop. We are working closely with organisations such as CVS Falkirk and Stirling Voluntary Enterprise to fully understand the needs of our third sector members, and to ensure they get the business support they require.” Kenny Murphy, CEO of the CVS said, “Voluntary organisations and social enterprises are businesses in their own right - employing local people, contributing to the local economy and purchasing from other local businesses. We want to work with partners like the Chamber to ensure that social enterprises in Forth Valley are not just excellent at delivering benefits to local people and communities but are also robust, sustainable businesses.”


Falkirk & District Association of Mental Health Falkirk & District Association of Mental Health (FDAMH) is a local charity which supports more than 1500 local people each year who are recovering from poor mental health. We offer a range of services including counselling, befriending, drop-in centre and an immediate help service for those in crisis that need help straightaway. We also provide valuable support to carers who are looking after a sibling, parent or partner with poor mental health which can be a very stressful time.

Question: Why are we joining the local Chamber of Commerce? Answer: for exactly the same reasons any traditional business would! We want to reach out and form relationships with local business in order to benefit our business, your business and the local community. As a charity we provide stimulating opportunities for local businesses and their staff to give something back to the community through supported volunteering, sponsored activities and local partnerships. When you think of Bill Gates do you also think of the


valuable work of his charity work? Many large savvy businesses are now linking themselves with charities. Not only is it a primary means for developing a powerful network but also it helps others in the process. People like to associate themselves with businesses that support causes, which help disadvantaged people in a meaningful way. Are you Falkirk’s Bill Gates or Microsoft??

But we are not on a one way street. Looking after the health of employees can make for healthy businesses. I am sure you agree it makes sense to ensure that your organisation puts the right policies and processes in place to manage and support your employees. A healthy workplace makes economic sense. It protects and increases the productivity of your employees by reducing staff absence as well as staff “present-eeism “ where staff turn up to work but perform below their best. If you support employees with mental illhealth to stay in work, this may aid their recovery and it may reduce the likelihood that you have to recruit new staff with all the costs that this incurs. Whether it is about putting your local marketing strategy into overdrive and getting ahead of your competitors, improving the employment support you offer staff or working with a local charity that is highly respected in Falkirk and the surrounding community providing valued service for local people, FDAMH would really like to hear from you if you are interested in these mutually beneficial services.


Fallin Community Enterprises Recyke-a-Bike Recyke-a-bike has been operating since June 2006, initially based in Fallin occupying one small business unit, employing 2 full-time and 1 part time staff selling 190 recycled bicycles. Growing rapidly, they then moved into bigger and better premises until in 2009 they opened premises in Riverside, Stirling to allow development of a range of activities, working with young people across the Forth Valley. Recently they opened the Recyke-a-bike Centre in Falkirk. The organisation has several aims: Protecting the environment – in 2012, through bikes collected from Stirling, Clackmannan & Falkirk Recycling Centres or by direct donations, a diversion of some 150 tonnes of waste from landfill. These collected bikes are either repaired to a roadworthy condition for sale locally at prices affordable for all sectors of the community, broken down for re-usable spares or, recycled as scrap if beyond economic repair. Enhancing employment opportunities –Recyke-a-bike employs 14 staff and 6 young people in 6 –12 month training positions. This enhances employability and delivers employment skills training to over 50 young people on “Get Ready for Work” programmes, Youth Charter

volunteers or work experience placements. Recently, funding secured from Social Enterprise and Third Sector Challenge Fund, has allowed delivery of formal recycling qualifications to young people in Falkirk in partnership with Falkirk Employment & Training Unit. Enhancing community health by promotion of cycling as a healthy, environmentally friendly activity with, in 2012, over • 2000 recycled roadworthy bicycles sold • 450 customers’ bikes repaired • 100 bike safety checks completed (Bike Doctor) • 50 new cyclists with improved cycle skills • 40 student and visitors given access to cycling This year has also seen a diversification of activities including: • Open cycle skills and bike maintenance training for individuals, groups and businesses at Recyke-a-bike Falkirk and Stirling • Outreach cycle skills and bike maintenance training for groups or employees at your location • Provision of “Unique Hire” bikes for students and visitors to Stirling and beyond? • “Try-B4U-Buy” scheme for those thinking about taking up cycling to work or considering buying a bike • Enhanced bike repair and servicing – we pick up, deliver and loan you a bike!

As a community focused social enterprise being involved with the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce recognises Recyke-a-Bike as a Small and Medium Enterprise with a focus on building community capital and financial profit that is put back into the organisation or invested in benefitting community capital. A further significant benefit is allowing access to business skills that are often missing from Third Sector Organisations. If you would like more information, contact us on 01786 447559, email admin@ and you can also follow us on facebook at “recyke-a-bike” Reycke-a-Bike is a member of Scotland’s “Revolve Network,” working towards “EFQM Committed to Excellence” award with our work recognised through being a Santander Social Enterpise Development Award winner for 2012.

Recyke-a-bike is a project of Fallin Community Enterprises that is a Scottish Charity (SC036713) and Scottish Company limited by guarantee (SC287632) operating as a Social Enterprise. FORTH VALLEY • SPRING 2013



Crèche Matters


rèche Matters! provide a range of childcare services to families and businesses in the Falkirk area. The business has grown since it was established in 1994 under the guidance of our long-standing Board of Directors, who have a wealth of experience and knowledge between them. The day to day running of operations is done by the Management Team: Fiona Grant and Sian McDonald. We have come a long way from the days of providing crèche sessions in the old Sheriff Court building in Falkirk and now have our own premises, centrally located close to the retail park. Our services have grown to meet the demand of our service users and now include: Full Day Care – from our centrally located base in Falkirk complete with outdoor play space. Outreach Crèche Services - we bring the quality service to you and provide childcare for events, training sessions, A.G.M.s, support groups, interviews and meetings to name a few. Respite Care Fee-paying Sessions – who couldn’t use a couple of hours a week to go to the gym, attend appointments or indulge in some child-free retail therapy? Wedding Crèches – the brain child of one of our staff, we now provide a bespoke wedding crèche service which can be anything from a few hours to the whole day. We can even theme the crèche for your little guests! Crèche Matters! are a Registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee, but in order to achieve our Social Objectives, we are also a Social Enterprise who trade to ensure we can continue to support the families in our care. Having previously been supported by Falkirk for Business, we were approached at the end of last year and offered the opportunity to join Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce and we jumped at the chance! There is nothing to lose and everything to gain through accessing the networking events, information sessions, the fantastic magazine and the warm welcome from the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce team. When we attend the events we make no apologies for being a small company or a charity, we are welcomed as a business thriving in the Falkirk community.

We have just celebrated 5 years in our own premises and we have some ambitious plans for the next five years. As members of Forth Valley Chambers of Commerce, there is nothing to stop us reaching for the moon. (Congratulations on your fifth birthday – Ed)



dtech designers

& publishers Publishers of


ISSUE 17 • WINTER 2012

INcommerce ISSUE 16 • WINTER 2012






PAGES 14 & 15


BINNWASTE MANAGEMENT IS TOP BUSINESS STAR • Tay Landscape Partnership – Protecting the best of Perthshire • Perth’s traffic solutions for congestion problems • Year of the Snake Ssssssss-elebrations



InCommerce Dunbartonshire


InCommerce Perthshire






InCommerce Mid, East & West Lothian

INcommerce YO UR






Recyke-a-bike Social Enterprise in Motion

to round off a record year - pages 10 & 11

• LANARKSHIRE BUSINESS SUCCESSES - pages 4, 13, 26, 28 & 31 • GRADUATE JOBS SCHEME LAUNCH - pages 40 & 41

InCommerce Lanarkshire

InCommerce Forth Valley

■ Graphic Design & Print ■ Yearbooks, Magazines & Brochures ■ Property Schedule Design & Print ■ Website Construction, Hosting & Maintenance ■ High Volume Data Publishing & Print

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Mediation – what we’ve all been waiting for? AUTHOR: Fred Best BA (Hons) Bus Law & HRM, MIC, FCIPD, ACIArb


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WILLIAM WAUGH & SONS (BUILDERS) LTD. Domestic, Commercial & Agricultural. Insurance Work Also Undertaken • New Builds • Drainage • Alterations • External Works • Extensions • Renovations • Plastering • Rough Casting • Roofing • Scaffolding For a free estimate contact:

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f you have ever thought there has to be a better way to settle disputes other than wasting precious time, spending monies you can’t afford, playing legal ping-pong, damaging working/ commercial relationships then Mediation could be the answer. Mediation is an increasingly popular and effective way to resolve disputes without the need to go to court. The process helps parties focus on their needs/interests, learn from the past (rather than seek blame) and helps make future relationships the best they can be. The mediator helps parties examine their own belief in the facts and focus on which desired outcomes are realistic. The desire to fight or become entrenched can be replaced by encouragement to settle, mutual benefit and constructive dialogue. Mediation is voluntary and is now enshrined into most modern employment/commercial contracts and business terms. It is being actively embraced and promoted by Government and used successfully in others areas of dispute including longterm absence. Mediation is very effective in making the future working/commercial relationship the best it can be. One major UK Mediation organisations (CEDR), which organises over 650 commercial mediations each year, has a consistent settlement rate of between 75-80%. In 2006 Mediation delivered an 82% settlement rate for a Manchester Small Claims pilot study. Various English judiciaries now use one hour telephone Mediation. Fred Best, Accredited Mediation and senior Employment Law/HR adviser at Real Improvements To Employers (RITE) said: “Mediation works when applied properly. It is voluntary, confidential, fast, and significantly less expensive than court. The dramatics, show-boating and interference associated with litigation are often avoided. Mediation represents a return to some tried and trusted values where people in dispute can resolve differences in an adult fashion. The unique ‘Without Prejudice’ protection Mediation affords means nothing discussed can ever be repeated (not even in a court of law). At last managers, business owner and parties in disputes may finally have something which may be fit for purpose. Someday I believe most disputes will be handled this way”

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TXT SPK? WOMBAT or Totes Amazeballs?


hat a challenging year it has been for employers in 2012, not least in relation to the ever accelerating expansion of mobile phone, communications technology and social media use. Different types of media have grown up everywhere but worse than that, in many cases the messages transmitted are unintelligible to the untrained eye. It’s a bit like the issues that faced the legends of Bletchley Park all those years ago but without the National security implications! Even so, the enigma that is 21st century text speak and street jargon must be a code worth cracking. So, as part of the latest package of Qdos training courses for business, we are offering a set of explanatory text messaging language sessions, following which employers will be able to translate the coded and abbreviated messages that they may see posted on blog sites of various types and then reply or write messages of their own. Here’s a little taster. What if this pinged up on your screen?

By&m, g2tu abt r x-1-10 yr @ wrk, but ?4u, wombat or ufb 4u? Bosmkl lolo Qds Our jargon busters can confirm that what we meant to say in the form of an end of year msg (sorry, message), as the streetwise amongst our readers will already know, was this.

Between you and me, we’ve got to tell you about our exciting year at work but here’s a question for you – was yours a waste of money, brains and time or unflipping believable? (Bending over smacking my knee laughing) Lots of love Qdos


We had a shamazing year with the Jubilympics without too many omnishambles fighting against Eurogeddon but we will enjoy our sofalising over the Christmas because, hey, yolo, guys.(that means “You only live once” in case you were wondering) You just have to keep up with the current trends so as well as enrolling for our amazeballs training courses, why not check if your social media policy is up to scratch. Social media policies should; • Be clear on what is acceptable behaviour in relation to personal use of email and internet

• Safeguard the network security for the employer • Clarify the monitoring provisions to be implemented by the employer • Set out the disciplinary sanctions that may be applied to breaches of the policy • Help managers to deal fairly, consistently and effectively with social media issues • Enable employers to comply with data protection, discrimination and health and safety law, including issues of bullying and harassment

• Remind employees of privacy settings in relation to accessing social networking sites at work

So, do av a gr8 ny and kkaco, won’t you?

• Clarify the rules for employees on tweets and blogs where reference to their employment is concerned

For more info please contact


Virtual Service delivers real results


entral Training Services in Bo’ness offer accredited training solutions across all industries;construction, warehouse, transport, agricultural, engineering, petro-chemical, fish farms, wind farms, power generation, water, nuclear and utilities. Their clients range from individuals to SMEs to PLCs to local authorities. Prior to joining Forth Valley Chamber, they had been considering installing Chip and Pin services as they were finding clients more frequently wished to pay by credit card. Allan Thomson, the MD, was impressed when he found out that as well as terminalbased Chip and Pin services, First Data also offer an innovative Virtual Terminal facility as part of the services available to Chamber members, “This seemed a very cost effective way of providing this service. We offer individuals a range of training through Individual Learning Accounts. Now when they book on we can take their details and input on an online form which is very easy to use. So we don’t need the added expense of renting the Chip and Pin equipment. We can also offer this to business and corporate clients many of whom now want to pay by credit card.” The consensus of the Forth Valley Chamber members who have used this facility is: Set Up: Iain Morrison our local representative made the application process very straightforward - the actual installation was completed in 15 minutes. Usage: Online Form is easy to understand and can be completed in less than a minute. Reports: Great reporting facilities – again easy to use.

Cost effective: low cost rental and NO minimal monthly charge for fees One of the golden principles in business is always make it easy for customers to pay you. Smaller businesses have in the past avoided taking on Merchant Services. There has been a perception that this can be difficult and expensive. With the Virtual Terminal service from First Data, businesses can now offer Chip and Pin services to clients with confidence knowing that it will not be a significant overhead to the business. Another member who changed to First Data and has reduced their costs by 50% wishes to warn against other providers’ cancellation charges. “Our previous provider increased the minimum fee twice in a 12 month period. When we cancelled in order to switch to First Data, they invoiced us

a £200 cancellation charge. We argued this and threatened to take it to the Ombudsman. The company apologized and said that as they had changed the terms we were not liable for any cancellation fees” Worth noting!

For further information on the First Data services please phone the Forth Valley Chamber on 01324 66 55 00 and we will arrange for someone to come out and complete a free, no-obligation review of your merchant data services. FORTH VALLEY • SPRING 2013




Michelle McKearnon, the Business Development Manager for the Chamber, co-ordinates the events programme and commented, “The Inchyra is an excellent venue for our member events, and we have been really impressed at the attention to detail in ensuring our events are of the highest standard. The Hotel will be hosting our next Directors’ Club dinner on February 26th, so we are anticipating another great evening’s dinner and discussion.” With the purpose built Inchyra Suite having a capacity for up to 750 delegates, the hotel is one of the largest conference spaces in central Scotland. Our meeting and conference space is as flexible as you need it


Anna Milne, Regional Sales Manager said “Our facilities are perfect for business events and we are delighted to become Premier Partners of the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce. We are looking forward to a long and positive relationship, and are working with the Chamber team to put together some great offerings for members.”


When it comes to getting down to business, we take every aspect of events extremely seriously, ensuring our team help take away any pressure in the organisation of the event. At Macdonald Hotels, our meeting promise goes a long way to reassuring meeting bookers that their event is in safe hands. We offer a tailored response within 90 minutes of each enquiry suggesting the right event space and details of the dedicated contact in the run up to the event. For style, elegance and flexibility, the hotel is the number one choice for events ranging from Association Annual Conferences to gala dinners to smaller daytime meetings. The hotel is also an excellent choice for training sessions and workshops in the Forth Valley.



acdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa is conveniently located just minutes from the M9, between Edinburgh, Stirling & Glasgow. Following a multi-million pound investment, the hotel is an ideal location for events, an anniversary dinner, Sunday Lunch, weddings or simply relaxing.



to be, following an investment we offer WiFi internet access as well as up to 100 Mbps of dedicated bandwidth and high-speed internet for events in the Inchyra Suite. • Minutes from Junction 5 of the M9 • 20 minutes from Edinburgh Airport • 500 free car parking spaces • Largest conference room for up to 750 • 98 Spacious bedrooms • Scottish Steak Club restaurant for the finest produce • Vital Health & Wellbeing Club, pool & spa on site • 8 acres of grounds available for team building • Wifi access & extra dedicated band width available

A visit to our magnificent, state-ofthe-art Vital Health and Wellbeing Club & Spa is a must. Escape and indulge your mind and body in the £2.3 million club & spa, complete with state-of-the-art fitness centre, rock sauna, ice fountain, 20 metre swimming pool and Rasul mud therapy room.


In the chic, intimate interior of Scotland’s first Scottish Steak Club restaurant, passionate skilled chefs fulfill Macdonald Hotel’s promise to serve discerning diners only the freshest, highest quality produce prepared from raw ingredients and accompanied by the finest selection of award winning wines. All of our grills are cooked in The Josper Charcoal Broiler, a culinary tradition which began over 40 years ago. The grill’s natural coals add flavour to the food, greatly enhancing the food being cooked. We invite you to give our new Sunday Lunch menu a try, enjoy Sunday lunch with the family or friends with none of the stress of cooking! It’s our dedication to serving only the highest quality food that makes us different.


Funding Help for Staff Training


eeping on top of staff training can be expensive for small businesses but Skills Development Scotland’s Flexible Training Opportunities gives Scottish businesses with up to 100 employees the opportunity to apply for up to £5,000 towards employee training costs. Enhancing employees’ skills will bring real benefits to your business including improved productivity and a stronger more confident workforce. SDS have detailed a list of the types and levels of training that are eligible for support, which include:

• Qualifications including individual units • Masterclasses • Learning based on National Occupational Standards • Industry recognised qualifications • Supervisory and management training • Workshops • Taster sessions Funding is available for up to 10 employees per business and the money is not a loan so there’s no need to pay it back. SDS will refund up to 50% of each episode of employee training, up to a maximum of £500 for each training episode. For example, if an episode of training costs £1200 excluding VAT, we will refund

£500. If it costs £300 excluding VAT, we will refund £150. To apply for funding visit the SDS website www.skillsdevelopmentscotland. and download the Flexible Training Opportunities Application Form. Included in this document are help notes for completing the form and a rules and guidance section. Once you’ve completed the application form please save your changes and send it to the following email address:

If you need assistance please call the free helpline on 0800 783 6000.




March 2013 4th March – Directors’ Club Dinner Venue: MacDonald Inchyra Hotel Speaker: Robert McKechnie from Pulse RMK Ltd (Please note this event is invitation only.)

4th March – Seminar (09.00 – 12.30)

Venue: Stirling Innovation Park Speaker: Stephen Whitelaw, Toowist Ltd Cost: Cost for whole course (ie both sessions) is £95 plus VAT for members and £120 plus VAT for non-members.

The Future of the Web (Part 1) The ‘Future of the Web’ workshop is a live interactive and in-depth look into the future of the web/internet and will explain how you can exploit the new and emerging technologies to your organisations advantage. As well as many live demonstrations the seminar will outline real-life case studies and reveal up to date tricks and techniques that will save you time and money and enable you to measure your online marketing efforts. Topics covered include: 1. Future Web Trends 2. Mobile Strategy 3. Understanding Visitors 4. Search Engine Optimization 5. Advertising Online 6. The power of Video 7. Visitor Analysis 8. Privacy 9. Online Reputation Management 10. Social Media i.e. (Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter)

11th March – Seminar (09.00 – 12.30) Venue: Stirling Innovation Park Speaker: Stephen Whitelaw

The Future of the Web (Part 2) The ‘Future of the Web’ workshop is a live interactive and in-depth look into the future of the web/internet and will explain how you can exploit the new and emerging technologies to your organisations advantage. As well as many live demonstrations the seminar will outline real-life case studies and reveal up to date tricks and techniques that will save you time and money and enable you to measure your online marketing efforts. Topics covered include: 1. Future Web Trends 2. Mobile Strategy

20th March – Networking Lunch (12.00 – 14.00) Venue: Central FM, Stirling Cost: £15 plus VAT for members, £20 plus VAT for non-members

Behind the scenes tour of the studio and launch of new advertising packages. Come and meet the Central FM team, and find out how your business can benefit from radio advertising.

26th March – Evening event covering HR issues (18.00 - 20.00) Venue: TBC Speaker: Alison Melville of Greig Melville Associates Cost: £15 plus VAT for members, £20 plus VAT for non-members

The Rights and Wrongs of Social Media for Employers An interactive and entertaining workshop on the problems faced by employers when staff use social media at work. Watch as “staff” post to Twitter and Facebook and then discuss with HR experts whether these posts are permissible, acceptable or even legal! The presentation will be followed by a Q and A session with a panel of expert advisors who can help you develop a social media strategy for your business in this ever-changing field.

April 2013 17th April – Networking Lunch (12.00 - 14.00) Venue: TBC Speaker: Janet Torley, Events for Business. Cost: £15 plus VAT for members, £20 plus VAT for non-members

Speed Networking Networking with a difference. No long lines with only a few seconds to shout your information at a passing face – this is a round table format which ensures you get enough time to interact positively and make great connections. Pick up some top networking tips from Janet and then stay for a buffet lunch.

25th April - Social evening dinner and wine tasting (19.00 for 19.30) Venue: Gambero Rosso, Falkirk Cost: £20 plus VAT for members, £30 plus VAT for non-members

4. Search Engine Optimization

A relaxing evening of socialising and networking over a delicious dinner and wine-tasting, with a special discount offer to Chamber members being announced on the night.

5. Advertising Online

Escape from the shop or office and enjoy a fun few hours with us.

3. Understanding Visitors

6. The power of Video 7. Visitor Analysis 8. Privacy 9. Online Reputation Management 10. Social Media i.e. (Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter) Duration of course: Two half days.



For all networking events members may bring one guest from another company free of charge. Please let us know this when booking, for registration purposes. For all bookings please phone 01324 66 55 00 or email quoting your membership number if requested.

Get Growing!

With £3,000 towards a new Graduate position within your company.*


help start a career.

Your business.


In the future.

Is your business located in Scotland with fewer than 100 employees? If you recruit a graduate under the age of 25 into a new position and offer a salary of £14,000 or more, we will pay £3,000 towards the cost. Positions must be new and permanent graduate level posts – full time or part time. The funding for the Scottish Government’s Graduate Recruitment Incentive is open to degree graduates under the age of 25.

Recruitment Support Advertising to graduates

Managing the interview process

Developing a job spec

Candidate management

Contract templates

Graduate induction packs

The GRADUATE RECRUITMENT INCENTIVE has been designed to encourage growth within Scotland’s Small / Micro businesses


For more information visit

or email

Funded by

12001 graduate A5 flyer.indd 1

10/01/2013 17:01

the GRANGE MANOR Glensburgh, Grangemouth, FK3 8XJ Tel: 01324 474836 Fax: 01324 665861 Email:

Traditional Afternoon Tea

Conference Facilities

£10.95 per person Served 1pm - 5pm Champagne Afternoon Tea Why not indulge yourself with a glass of our House Champagne.

£16.95 per person served 1pm - 5pm

We offer 3 recently refurbished conference rooms, accommodating from an interview 1:1 scenario to a formal board meeting or to company presentations for up to 160 delegates.

We are experienced in delivering a range of events and can support your event with administration assistance, A.V technicians and of course the organisational support of our dedicated events co-ordinater.

OUR OUR BUSINESS BUSINESS IS IS YOUR YOUR BUSINESS BUSINESS Forth Forth Valley Valley College College has has a a venue venue for for every every occasion occasion with with our modern facilities offering our modern facilities offering the the very very best best in in conferencing. conferencing. We We have have campuses campuses in in Alloa, Alloa, Falkirk Falkirk & Stirling with Glasgow and & Stirling - with Glasgow and Edinburgh Edinburgh only only 40 40 minutes minutes away. away.

Our Our facilities facilities provide provide the the latest latest technology, wifi, free parking technology, wifi, free parking and and catering catering from from our our award award winning winning chefs, ensuring that all your chefs, ensuring that all your needs needs are met. are met. For For more more information information please please call call 01786 406097 or email 01786 406097 or email

InCommerce Forth Valley Issue 2  

Chamber of Commerce, Forth Valley, Business, Magazine

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