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INTERVIEW if at first you fail, try and try again



CONTENTS 04 Mark Linton Interview

The Business Growth Show Cheif Talks About Life And Business

15 What Is Your Policy For The Olympic Games?

Fiint Bishop Solicitors Raise Some Employment Issues To Consider During The 2012 Olympics

16 The Business Growth Show At 5

The Party

18 PM Backs Start-Up Businesses With £80 Million Loan 08 Growing Your Business

Lara Morgan Of

10 Why Ingnoring Mobile Is No Longer A Option

Grant Leboff Of Sticky Marketing

£82.5 Million Start-Up Laon Scheme Launched

20 Video Is The New Language

Alastair Rzeznicki Of Sunflower films on using video to inhance your business

12 Louise Bruce

Marketing Director Of Big Red Box On Pr And Why It’s The Most Cost Effective Form Of Marketing

24 Tips For Linking In



Stuart Maun Of Maun Consulting On Getting The Best From Linked In


26 How Can a Good Accountant Add Value To Your Business?


COST AFFECTIVE MARKETING +./0'59<.4='!7<>='*?''!$(')&@'!*A

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Trinity Accountants On Why You Need A Good Accountant

28 Are Your Business Images Letting You Down


Bardsley Photography On How To Improve Your Business Images


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30 Do Companies Need A Formal Social Media Policy? Flint Bishop Solicitors On The Risks And Rewards Of Social Media

32 Finding A Mentor Vs Real Mentoring

Johnathon Pfahl Of Rockstar Mentoring Group On What to Look For In A Good Mentor

The Business Growth Show 1 Victoria Square Birmingham B1 1BD Editor: Mark Linton Advertising: The Business Growth Show t: 0121 632 2300 Graphic Design: Mark Shanahan e: Publishing: DPP Publishing Limited e: t: 01527 878 646 No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any way without written permission of the publisher. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher and although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, the publishers take no responsibility for errors and omissions. No responsibility can be accepted by the publisher for any claims made by the advertisers in this publication.



Mark Linton Director Of The Business Growth Show


Highly motivated and forthright, Mark Linton’s business decree is reflected in his opinion on converting stubborn prospects: “…persistence and tenacity - ‘if at first you fail, try and try again’.”


ark’s ongoing success with The Business Growth Show stems from an idea established just a few short years ago: “We were lucky enough to celebrate our 5th Birthday this year which I felt was a real milestone for us as a company. The company has changed so much in the last 5 years and I feel as though we are really making tracks in being the company I first envisioned. The ideology and concept dates back to 2005 when I started my first regular networking event – Friday Business Club. “At the time I was working as a Sales Person for Opal Telecom and started attending various other networking events. Although I found these networking events useful, I didn’t find them great. I had some events


experience in the past and decided to try putting together my own Speed Networking event one evening. I managed to get over 50 people in one day to pay £10 to attend. Through the years this idea evolved and developed into The Business Growth Show we have today.” Certainly this is a far cry from Mark’s humble beginnings working in a bakery every Saturday when just 11, followed by McDonalds at 16. However, Mark openly admits,“I’d like to say my first working experiences helped mould my future, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.” Perhaps Mark’s business acumen has evolved with a little help of his experiences in the army, certainly an identity he is happy to demonstrate during his speed networking events, where he can often be


found donning his army beret: “The Army Beret was the idea of my old marketing manager. He felt that by adding a persona to the role would be a better idea than just barking orders at visitors without making it clear that I was ex-army. It also adds a fun element to the show which our visitors have come to recognise.” Mark clearly enjoys himself at work, so what does it take for him to stop thinking ‘BUSINESS’? “Good question, my mind is never too far from my business – I’ve been known to ring my team from the top of a mountain in Switzerland! Although I can never fully switch off, I get pleasure from spending time with my family. With twins due this

Christmas I think I need to learn to put the business to one side and have my family as my priority.” Good advice to anyone in business with a family – you can never get back those first few years of the children growing up - but what kinds of business challenges will Mark face while juggling his soon-to-be busy family life? “My main ambition is to grow the shows. I want the shows to be a feature in every town and city in the UK. I think it’s important that all businesses have the opportunity to grow and I strongly believe in the power of networking. Once we’re established nationwide, time to take on the rest of the world – we’ve already had interest to take the show to Australia and Asia!” A bold ambition, but certainly achievable when you know your own strengths, and weaknesses: “I would say the majority of business owners are sales people foremost. With a huge passion for what you do, it’s hard not to be. However, being a small business owner and predominantly working with SME’s, I feel I do have a great understanding of what people want and need in business. “I think my main strength is my passion for my business. I think, as most business owners would agree, having a great passion is the driving force behind getting your business off the ground. I’m a believer in knowing your weaknesses, and mine is definitely admin – it’s a good job I’ve got a strong team to help me out!” And a relatively

my mind is never too far from my business THE BUSINESS GROWTH MAGAZINE


young team too, though Mark says,

mediums you can i.e. social media,

and I found I can really relate to

“Age is irrelevant. Although having

networking events, door knocking,

him. He is a great business person

a young team does bring a fresh

telephone, flyer dropping etcetera.

to take inspiration from and aspire

angle to the events as they do all

You could be an expert at what

to be like.”

have some great ideas.” Was this

you do, but if nobody knows who

intentional?“Youth doesn’t play a

you are, you won’t get the busi-

Mark describes his own inspira-

decision in my recruitment plan,

ness. I would also say that creating

tion and zest for his business

but I suppose it does help on a

business partnerships is invalu-

as coming from his enthusiasm

number of factors when running

able. Instead of distancing yourself


an events company.”

from your competitors, try working

“Takes me so far, and my dogmatic


approach to business does the rest.”

ma that comes across in the way

Again, good advice, which Mark

If Mark found himself stuck in an

Mark holds himself at his shows,

clearly follows himself in develop-

elevator with the likes of Sir Alan

although his experience in busi-

ing the maintaining the kind of

Sugar or Richard Branson he ad-

ness also shows through,

success that The Business Growth

mits he would have to ask:

There is a certain youthful charis-

“Now, I am 41. It would have been

Show is generating, not just for

“Do you still worry about the same

great to have this business knowl-

him, but for the many businesses

things as when you were setting

edge 20 years ago, or even 5 years

that are represented at his shows.

up your business? Although I find it

ago. Although saying that, every-

Success that Mark can measure

hard to believe, they may still worry

body learns from their mistakes

from the feedback he receives:

about theirbusiness cash flow and

and I wouldn’t be standing here

“Getting great feedback from both

how best to spend their marketing

today if I hadn’t learnt from mine.”

exhibitors and delegates makes it

– I would find it so refreshing to find

So, given the chance, would Mark

really worthwhile. When you hear

that they do!”

have done things different given

that a company has made thou-

the chance? “If I had a second

sands of pounds in sales off the

And finally, just for fun, we asked

chance I would have started a

back of The Business Growth Show,

Mark which musical instrument

business earlier in life. Going into

it really reflects back to what the

would reflect his personality and

the Army aged 18 taught me a lot

company stands for and why it was

The Business Growth Show?

of great life lessons – and of course

created. I will never tire of speak-

“Personally, I would relate most to a

gave me the Sergeant Major per-

ing to exhibitors and delegates at

trumpet. I’m loud and get straight

sona I’m known for today. If I could

the show and hearing their angle

to the point – and I know my team

go back, I would tell myself at 18

on the show and just how it has

would agree! The Business Growth

to work harder at school and go to

helped them.”

Show I would say is more like a drum, steadily beating away with

University. I was a ‘mature student’ and therefore didn’t start my own

On the subject of who he would

great strength.”

business until I was 36.”

probably most like to receive feed-

Mark’s Business Growth Shows

back from, Mark explains his ideal

are held up and down the coun-

business hero:

try and are a great platform for

Mark goes on to describe the

“It may be a cliché, but I would have

growth through discovering new

to say Lord Alan Sugar. His autobi-

businesses and creating lasting

“Keep it simple, network and market

ography is the only one I have man-

partnerships. We wish him every

your business through all the free

aged to read through to the end

good luck for the future.

advice he would give to someone just starting out in business:



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which has been piloted across the country since 2005 and has built a successful brand throughout the uk. Join an industry that is fast growing, relevant and that will always be relevant.... Companies

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Established Shows With over 15 piloted shows up for franchise, a nationwide reputation and an experienced event management team; you can easily slot right in to an already established show.

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Growing your Business Lara Morgan -


‘m asked all the time how to grow business. I always reply – sell more! Sounds over simplified, and it is obvious, but it IS the only thing that will grow your business over a sustained period. I’ve lost count of the number of excuses I’ve heard as to why people are struggling. In most cases they’re not out selling more to more people more of the time.

Assuming that you have something to offer that someone wants to buy and that you can sell it for more than it costs you to deliver it and that you can get paid. Then, if what you sell produces a profit and you know that you’ll be paid, you can grow your business by selling more. Growth isn’t about how much you sell – it’s about how much profit you make selling it. Grandma and eggs you shout! Everyday I come


across business people who really do not understand that not all sales are good sales. Supporting this is making sure that you have the cash flow available to fund the sales growth. You have to make sure you can manage the operating cash needed. Many companies take on work only to find they can’t fund it. They have to borrow money and then find the cost of the borrowing has eaten all their profits. Better to know this upfront and then not take the work. Turnover is vanity – profit is sanity – cash is reality. It’s known as the banker’s mantra and it’s dead right. To grow you must know the difference between revenue, profit and available cash. Profits are security and cash is your lifeblood. Guard both with every muscle you have, especially the one


between your ears. Also guard your equity. Too many give too much away too early and too cheaply. Don’t throw away your wealth. Equity release MUST provide a far greater return for you than keeping it. Since selling my business I’ve been working to provide real, workable and action-based support for ambitious people to help them grow their businesses. My website offers free downloadable templates and formats of proven processes so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can also sign up for a daily KUTA. A short sharp SMS message providing a focused thought for taking action that will drive your business forward.

Sell more! Lara

Many companies take on work only to find they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fund it. THE BUSINESS GROWTH MAGAZINE


Why Ignoring Mobile Is No Longer An Option

Too many businesses are ignoring mobile. While up until now many companies have ‘got away with it’, this situation is becoming increasingly untenable.


ver a third of the UK adult population now use smart phones, with a similar percentage in the US, and the market is growing existentially.

The Web has taught us that instant gratification is possible. We are becoming increasingly impatient as we are used to receiving instant delivery of books, albums or games and can find any information required at the flick of a screen. This situation is magnified by our ability to be able to access all of


this on a device which many of us have with us twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. This instant information and communication tool has changed the way we live our lives. While meeting others in a public place used to be planned in meticulous detail, people now make the loosest of arrangements and then text or call when they arrive. Journeys which would be planned, with precision, are now organised ‘in the moment’, with the latest travel informa


tion to hand, at the touch of a button. Culturally we are becoming more used to doing things ‘in the moment’. An idea may enter your mind, a conversation may trigger a thought or you may take the opportunity of suddenly finding yourself with a few minutes to spare. It is at these times that you will decide to search on the Web on your mobile device. The companies that are not found in mobile search, or whose website is impossible to navigate on a smart phone,

This instant information and communication tool has changed the way we live our lives.

their mobile device than on their desktop.

will just miss out on these opportunities. However, as our mobile device increasingly becomes the first point of call for an ever growing number of people, companies can no longer afford to be missing this traffic without severely damaging their business. They will find that prospects and customers simply go to the competition. Earlier this year, at the Mobile World

Ultimately, the pot of gold ‘at the end of the rainbow’ for marketing, is to be ‘relevant’. Useful information delivered at exactly the right moment will have an unrivaled impact on a purchasing decision. The point with mobile is that your prospects and customers are able to access your marketing at exactly the right moment and often in the right location. If your business is not making sure that you provide these people with the best experience possible, there is no doubt that you will find it increasingly difficult to survive in a world which has finally ‘gone mobile’ Congress, Eric Schmidt, Google CEO announced that Google were now focusing on smartphones over desktops; their ‘mobile first’ ethic. Meanwhile, Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram as a way of extending their mobile presence. This is no surprise when Americans are spending more time on Facebook on

Grant Leboff is Author of Sales Therapy (Wiley) and Sticky Marketing (Kogan Page). He is CEO of Sticky Marketing Club



Louise Bruce

Managing Director Big Red Box

PR and why it’s the most cost effective form of marketing for a franchise operation


ost people know what marketing and advertising are but it’s surprising how many people don’t really know what PR is or why it’s the most cost effective form of marketing for a franchise business. What is PR? PR is the art of building, enhancing and maintaining the reputation of your franchise, be you franchisor or franchisee, in the eyes of your customers. Yes, a mixture of traditional marketing and advertising will make sure people know about the products you sell or the services you provide but PR will make sure they ultimately choose you over the competition because they’ve ‘heard’ or ‘read’ about you in a positive story recently. If you decide to retain a PR agency, make sure they are experienced in working specifically with franchise operations. Do they already have franchise clients? Do they understand the difference in PR for the franchisor and franchisee? Do they have a good knowledge of the industry? Don’t spend months waiting for coverage from an agency that is trying to learn the industry from scratch; use people who know


what they are doing, have the right contacts and can advise you on content and strategy. Advertising is Dead 75% of people don’t believe that companies tell the truth in advertisements – Marketing VOX With the advent of social media, all the rules have changed and current statistics tell us that people don’t believe what they’re told in advertising so it’s time to rethink the strategy. Spending large amounts of money purely on adverts probably isn’t a very wise investment of your budget anymore. Fundamental to this shift is in understanding that nowadays people want to know every little detail about you and your product, after all they can follow Richard Branson and ask him questions on Twitter, why can’t they get that close to you too? They want to know who you are and what you stand for and they want to see the ‘virtual whites of your eyes’ before they do business with you. A well written piece of PR entitled ‘Joe Blogs and son wins Golden Sun award for Outstanding Environmental Business Practices’ in a target publication is going to reap far larger rewards for you than an advert of twice the size


that people are unlikely to read or believe. Bill Gates is famously quoted as saying ‘If I was down to my last dollar I’d spend it on PR’. But what did he know? The great thing about PR is that one well written press release with photo, can find itself in a huge variety of locations, in print, on newspaper and magazine websites, on your website and on your social media channels. It can be shared and re-tweeted, pinned and blogged many times over so retaining an agency to write and distribute regular press releases for you suddenly becomes a very cost effective way of letting people know how great your business is. One press release can go a mighty long way compared to one advert and cost a whole lot less. So what tools does a franchise PR specialist use? Probably the most useful weapon in the franchise PR arsenal is the press release. Despite the rise of social media and blogs this is still our best opportunity to tell let people know about your ‘big news’. New franchisee? Award? A large new contract? Anniversary of

the business? New staff? An office move? Suitable for franchisor and franchisee alike this is the best way of

sharing information with new and existing clients, suppliers and other businesses. Case studies are very useful for franchisors to showcase a variety of existing franchisees and why they enjoy running their businesses. It can be used to display the wide variety of franchisees you have i.e. old, young, married, single, ex forces, post redundancy, family groups etc to make your business at-

tractive to a wider audience. Again, it’s all about getting to know the people. The franchisee equivalent of a case study is a testimonial and these should be displayed on websites and social media pages for all to see. Social media ‘To tweet or not to tweet’.. that is the question Social media is wonderful, fantastic, free and a great way to market your business but can also be time consuming and not suitable for everyone. When you retain an agency to do your social media they will draw up a detailed strategy, identifying your goals and set desirable outcomes. They will recommend, set up and control channels, message, tone, competitions, write copy, suggest hash tag usage and will tweet continually for you. They will build relationships with your followers

Bill Gates is famously quoted as saying ‘If I was down to my last dollar I’d spend it on PR’. But what did he know? Louise Bruce is Managing Director of specialist franchise PR agency Big Red Box PR Follow her on Twitter @BigredboxPR and via Facebook to learn more about PR and Social Media



and generally live and breathe your brand. They will be your eyes and ears in the social media world. Please do not confuse this full service offering with ‘£20 a week for 2 tweets a day’ currently being offered to businesses from Land’s End to John ‘o’ Groats. This is merely ‘ticking the social media box’ and won’t reap you any real rewards; it’s rather like comparing a ham sandwich with an 8 week cooking course, both food related but totally incomparable. If you are going to do it, do it properly. Can I do it myself? If your clients/target audience are generally social media users who you think you can interact with then yes, go ahead, sign up to the top three sites,Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Unless you are already an expert get some help to make sure you get them set up correctly, you don’t want to present anything but a perfect brand image to the consumer on your social media launch day. First impressions are very important. Then get ready to devote many hours to reading the abundance of information available on the web about content marketing and strategies for using social media for your business. If your franchise or product is aimed at an age group or sector that simply won’t ever be engaging with social media then leave it alone. You could spend hours updating your channels for no reason at all; better to spend the time on regular PR than let the ever thirsty ‘time vampire’ of social media get you in its grips. PR is rather like a tricky DIY job. Sure you can have a go yourself. It may take you longer than a professional, the results may not be as good and actually the whole thing may crash down on your head one Sunday evening but yes, of course, have a go yourself. Just remember that there’s a reason we have builders, or in this case PR professionals, they know what they’re doing, they have the right tools, they can probably do it quicker and better than you and the results will still be there to see for many years to come.

Louise Bruce



What Is Your Policy For The Olympic Games? As with any national public event, the games are likely to raise some employment issues that you should consider sooner rather than later.


ith less than months to go, now is the time for you to consider the impact that the Games are likely to have on your business and how you can best use this unique opportunity to your advantage. But, in my experience, many companies have yet to establish a leave policy for the big event. Whilst a lot of the Olympic action will take place outside normal office hours, some key events will not. With this in mind, it is likely that you will receive increased requests for leave or flexible working around the time of the Games. Unsurprisingly, there is no statutory entitlement to take time off to watch the Olympics, so you should check your annual leave policy and remind your staff of the procedure for taking time off and the amount of notice required. Employers may want to remind their employees that they need to request holiday with advance notice and that although requests will be considered, there is no guarantee that each request will be approved. I would advise all businesses to

take into account the needs of their business when considering such requests. If you feel your business cannot accept holiday requests, you generally have the right to refuse the request, as long as you do so on reasonable grounds. For example, it may be reasonable to refuse holiday during a peak business period when the services of the employee in question are required. Multiple holiday requests should be treated fairly and consistently and you need to decide what approach to take when dealing with holiday requests over the Games period and communicate this to your staff, i.e. will holiday requests be granted on a first come first served basis? Instead of allowing time off, you may want to consider a temporary flexible working practice, allowing your staff to work different hours or make up missed hours on other days. However, if you do approve a greater number of requests for time off or flexible working, remind your staff it is a one-off. If you do not have a holiday policy, you must refer to the Working Time Regulations 1998, which states that an employee must give their em-

ployer advance notice equivalent to twice the number of days they wish to take off. It is important that you are mindful that some of your employees may be following athletes from nations other than Great Britain and ensure the same opportunities for time off to watch the action are applied consistently regardless of which nation they are following. Statistics show an increased rate of absence around major sporting events, so you should remind your staff of the company’s policy on unauthorised absence and procedures for reporting sickness absence. If these procedures are not in place, you should think about putting them in place as early as possible. The Olympics needn’t be a negative experience for companies – planning ahead and allowing your staff to get the most out of the Games can help boost their cohesion and morale, as well as reduce unauthorised absence. Whatever your approach as an employer, ensure that your staff know the rules of engagement well in advance of the London 2012 Olympics on 27 July 2012.



AT 2012 marked a milestone for The Business Growth Show we turned 5 years old!


nlike most 5 year olds, we didn’t spend the evening playing pass the parcel and gorging on jelly and ice-cream. Instead we opted for a stylish party in the heart of Birmingham City Centre with lashings of cocktails, canapés and entertainment.

Hosted by Phil Oldershaw, the party started with a bang. Guests were welcomed with a blue cocktail (in keeping with The BGS brand) and a copy of the brand new The Business Growth Magazine – the business magazine will be distributed to business owners across the UK.


Guests had the pleasure of congratulating the team at The Business Growth Show by joining them in a chorus of Happy Birthday and, of course, enjoyed a slice of the giant birthday cake! (What better way to celebrate a birthday?) We were treated to tunes from every era by two fantastic singers - and it wasn’t long until conversation turned to dancing! With thanks to all our expert suppliers, the party was a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed by all. At The Business Growth Show we couldn’t be more excited about the next 5 years of running great networking events across the UK – and we look forward to celebrating our 10th birthday with an even bigger party!


Get involved with The Business Growth Magazine… Want to grow your business? Are you an expert in your industry and feel you can help other businesses? Want to market your business UK wide? Being part of The Business

Growth Magazine could be for you. If you want to get in front of the right audience then advertising may be for you. Whether you choose full, half or a quarter page

advert you can boost your company profile and be seen as a serious seller to buyers and competitors. Adverts start from just £300 + VAT.

Do you have the expertise and knowledge to help our readers grow their business? Submit your editorial and show the UK that you are an expert in your industry. * What is The Business Growth Magazine? • • • •

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Request a Media Pack now! Email or call 0121 632 2300.




Backs Start-Up Businesses With £80 Million Loan 18



Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I want this to be the year where people can think yes, I can do it, that we can get as many viable businesses as possible off the ground, that people can have a go, and that we see a whole new wave of entrepreneurs who start small but think big. Start-up loans are a fantastic opand economic growth. portunity for young people, not only to get the financial support Any young people aged 18–24 they need, but also to give them accessing the Start-up Loans the confidence to believe they can can expect to receive expert and do it, that they can turn that of an personal support to help develop a business plan and access training. idea into the next global brand. Where the business plan is robust I would like to thank Lord Young for and approved, they will be able his thorough report into the SME to access financial support in the sector. His enthusiasm, drive and form of a loan typically in the order tenacity to make sure we are doof £2,500 with a repayment period ing everything we can to support of up to five years. n £82.5 million Startup Loan scheme has been launched that will give our next generation of entrepreneurs the finance and support to potentially start over 30 thousand new businesses, in a move to boost enterprise

we see a whole new wave of entrepreneurs who start small but think big.

seize the opportunities and support that there is to start up on their own. Many young people already have the drive and ambition to create a business, yet don’t know how to put this into action. My report will connect them to the support they need and the new Start-up Loan will mean that thousands of young people can now get access to advice and funding. Start-up Loans will transform the enterprise potential of a new generation, just as the Enterprise Allowance Scheme transformed a generation in the 1980s.” Start-up loans will be administered by a range of organisations that have experience in working with young people, including the Prince’s Trust and Manchesterbased Economic Solutions Group. These delivery partners will be responsible for providing start-up support, for assessing the business plan, for making the loan and for managing repayment. James Caan, one of the UK’s best known entrepreneurs, has agreed to chair a new body to oversee the allocation of funds and to work with delivery partners to ensure the young people gain the maximum benefit from the support and finance on offer.

business and promote enterprise It comes on the day that Lord is a credit to us all. There can be Young’s report on enterprise is no better inspiration of the ‘can do’ published which shows that if we spirit that is needed in business had the same rates of entreprethan Lord Young; and his report is neurship as the US than we would a must read for anyone thinking of have 900,000 more businesses in starting up.” the UK. Lord Young sets out the strength, diversity and growth of Lord Young said: small businesses in recent years, a James Caan, Entrepreneur clear contrast to the Bolton Report “Thirty years ago small businesses and Chairman for a new were in decline, now we have of 1971 which predicted small body responsible for Start-up record numbers, with many tens of Loans, said: businesses were in long-term decline. thousands starting each year, they “The Start-up Loans initiative proThat with the internet and the are the engine room of our econovides guidance, access to expertise, support available from the govern- my and critical to future economic and finance. These are the three ment and private sector, it is now growth. vital ingredients for starting your easier than it has ever been to start But we cannot be complacent, now own business. Armed with all of a business, quicker to grow and more than ever we have got to get these, young people are already possible to sell globally from your behind our small businesses and on the way to shaping their own front room. encourage even more people to future.” THE BUSINESS GROWTH MAGAZINE


Video is the New Language! Alastair Rzeznicki is the owner of Sunflower Films. He used to work at ITN in London, editing and directing videos for TV, producing everything from two hour documentaries to two minute promotional films, corporate videos and entertainment shows.


sing the same ITN and BBC crews, Sunflower creates video, photography and graphics content for businesses both large and small.

Are enough businesses using video to market themselves? Recently I gave a talk to a group of people to encourage them to use video within their own businesses. Only two people in the whole room of 50 said they had used video to promote themselves or their businesses before


Why so few? You may think that video is costly and that videos are too expensive. Well, to be honest they can be as expensive as you want them to be, but most importantly they can also be viewed by tens of thousands of people and used again and again unlike other marketing mediums. The cost therefore, per viewer, can be very small. Videos can also however be free! For example we make videos as our primary service and use them to promote our products, but we also find great free video content on


the web and we talk about it and post comments on social networking sites as to why it is a good or bad video. I am a fan of short three minute car ads and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll often comment on these. These commentaries generate awareness of Sunflower Films and our services, (which in our case just happens to be video). The commentary, along with us telling our own story alongside the video content we publish, ultimately brings us new business. At Sunflower Films we know that Every Business Needs a Story and commenting on videos that are related to your area of business is a good quick and simple way of

telling your own story, promoting what you do, and aligning yourself with quality, (as long as you choose the right videos). So what’s a good video? Well that’s down to you to decide on a case by case basis but stay away from anything that’s offensive if I were you. Could you find some online content on Youtube or the BBC iplayer that’s related to your field, post it somewhere on your social networking sites and make some positive comments and relate it back to your business right now? Why should your business use video? Can it really bring success to your brand? Here’s a quick story for you. My best friend Rob Bravery is a musician. I have the visual talent and he has the musical talent, (Both of us really know who has the most talent...!) He, like any good musician when they first

try to get noticed, has been struggling away playing the clubs and bars and hoping for that big break. He moved to London last year, formed a band and did a cover in his front room of Lana Del Ray’s popular song ‘Video Games.’ He projected Lana’s version of her chart topping song and video on to the back wall of his front room and he and his band stood there and sang their acoustic version. He got a friend to film and professionally edit it, he put it on Facebook, sent it out to some of his friends, who shared it and sent it out to some of their friends and a couple of days later he got a phone call from Lana Del Ray herself. ‘Hey Rob,’ she said in her cooler than cool voice. ‘I’ve seen your video and I like what you’ve done with my song. I’m making a new set of music videos for three songs and I want you to come and play in the videos with me.’ Wow!!! Imagine if he’d not bothered engaging with video! So how many views do you

think his ‘front room video’ has on Facebook nine months down the line? More than 70,000 at the time of writing this article. 28/05/12 And their version together in just one of the new videos after six months? More than 9 MILLION VIEWS!!! In fact the number is 9,399,323 as of 28/05/12 Now that’s incredible, he took the decision to use the new language and power of online video and it paid off. Brand Bravery went up a couple of notches as you can imagine and now he has sold the music rights to his first album and he is working on his second album in a London studio. Rob was smart enough to make the decision and see the power of video as an important marketing tool so that, in his case, he literally got his voice heard in a crowded market place. He made the decision to get involved with video, even though it was out of his comfort zone, and now his business and brand is stronger than ever. Like with any language, there are different levels at which you can use it... If Video is the New Language and Every Business Needs a Story, then like learning any new language you need to think to what level you want to use it to tell your story. Do you want to use it at a: Beginner Level? Intermediate Level? or Higher Level? So what would constitute use within each level? Well using video on a Basic Level I would say would be to make the decision to start



using video in any form. The ‘YES! I will have a go!’ level. This would include pulling out your mobile phone or iPad, capturing video content with the camera and then posting it onto your website or social networking sites. It might be an event you attend or a testimonial from a happy client. (There are simple, but important rules within this but making the decision and having a go is the first step).

sioned Sunflower Films to make another six films working with a Higher Level campaign strategy as they are seeing first hand just how effective and beneficial to their business well produced and strategically designed content can help bring in more business and help their business function. This Higher Level functionality should be the aspiration of anyone who makes the decision to engage in video.

An Intermediate Level would be thinking about the professional covering of an event. It may be a professional promotional/corporate film that you then use on your website and/or on social networking sites to promote who you are and what you can offer. (Think about how many times you use your print material and the cost of that production and then consider how many times you could re-use your video).

The accessibility and cost factor to accessing the Intermediate Level and Higher Level functioning is not as big as you may think. It’s

Operating at the Higher Level would be to aim for higher end professional video content that is used across multiple platforms including your website, social networking sites, email marketing, at conferences and exhibitions, on laptops by your sales force, in newsletters and during podcasts along with ‘Sub-Content’ that is used by partnering companies for crossover marketing and far reaching audience groups and joint campaigns. One of our current clients, the Thermae Bath Spa, are getting about 1,000 views a week on a short video we delivered to them 15 weeks ago. 15,000 views in 15 weeks. Not bad. By experiencing day to day the success this first video has brought to them they have now recommis-


making the decision to start to use video which is the biggest hurdle to get over. Once you have done that you are essentially only a step or two away from becoming a highly sophisticated user of video content if you take the right advice and help as you progress. An investment in video will have dramatic and costeffective results the more you use it. Lots of people when considering using video get hung up on the question, ‘Where is the value for this going to come from?’ Well, like with many marketing tools, we never really know what is going


to work and what isn’t. However with videos being trackable and every hit counted and in a world where people buy from people and personality, ethos, quality and the character of our business and teams are of the upmost importance when doing business, video is always going to be one of the best ways to get your key messages and personality across to a large and varied audience across multiple platforms. Quickly and efficiently people can see and hear you and get a feel as to whether you are right for them, and you can easily measure the impact of your video. If you use video content wisely and engage with the new language of video you can find yourself very quickly with reason and statistics to continue to use video more and more within your business. By working towards Higher Level functionality very quickly, you can see an increase in sales as a result of your investment and decision to engage with the New Language that is Video! Sunflower Films provides all types of creative content for a variety of clients both large and small and also provides photography and graphics work. For people looking to learn more about how to make their own videos, Sunflower Films run workshops in training and teaching for people of all ages and abilities. For businesses looking to talk further about videos for their own business they should contact Alastair Rzeznicki or Alex Duarte-Davies on T: 07407713015 E: asunflowerfilms@gmail.comwww.


The Business Growth Show is a unique business to business road show that offers visitors the opportunity to start and build on relationships with hundreds of local and national businesses. With over 40 shows a year in 16 regions UK wide, and growing, The Business Growth Show can be defined in a nutshell with the following: • Between 150-250 businesses registered to come along to network, showcase your business and expand your database; • Our footfall is always high calibre business decision-makers ranging from business owners, executives, partners and entrepreneurs; • The environment is intimate and focuses on conversation, perfect for nourishing your business; • With up to 40 Exhibitors eager to share their latest products, there is plenty of room for inspiration; • The event features the original The Business Growth Show Speed Networking, an efficient and fun way to meet businesses!

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Tips For Linking In

Stuart Maun - Maun Consulting Ltd


people inviting you to join, then n my opinion it’s imperative to don’t you think it’s about time to keep in touch with those around take some action? you. A simple way that this can be LinkedIn is a business related social done is via LinkedIn. If you’ve already taken the initiative networking site –where professional business (B2B) relationships and set up a personal profile, then are forged. LinkedIn has attracted you’re probably someone who immediately understands the benefits. over 120 million users ( since 2003) If you haven’t done anything about – and why wouldn’t they join – it’s quick, easy and FREE to register! it, but keep receiving emails from



Sure, it currently doesn’t have the numbers that Facebook (800m) or Twitter (200m) have, but the members/ connections utilise the facility to keep in close contact with others whom they have some level of relationship/common ground with. It is a great way to keep in touch and is a place where business is done!


It is a great way to keep in touch and is a place where business is done!

Some basic tips to help you on your way: • Business Profile Picture – Upload Immediately • Profile Information – Add Business address, contact details and business website(s) • Cross Promote – Add details of Facebook/Twitter profiles • LinkedIn Click Throughs – On your website; email footers; and marketing materials to maximise exposure. • Connect - with everyone you meet at exhibitions, appointments or through your business • Share - Tell people what you do. How you can help them. What the benefits are of using your service/product • Find People - you want to make contact with. Ask your connections to introduce you. • Regularly Review Your Profile – Keep it updated with latest achievements & job roles. • Recommendations – Ask for from any work you complete for a client. These can be worth their weight in gold. So should you scrap all other social networking sites and solely concentrate on LinkedIn? – No!

LinkedIn is simply another channel to get your message out there to people who may need to know.

Allocate time in order to make LinkedIn successful for you, and your business.

Article written by Stuart Maun, MAUN Consulting Limited – offering support and advice to business owners allowing them to ‘Developing the Potential’ in their businesses with the use of effective and efficient sales and marketing systems and procedures. THE BUSINESS GROWTH MAGAZINE


How Can A Good Accountant Add Value To Your Business? There is no legal requirement for most businesses to have an accountant.


he exceptions are those that are required by law to have what is known as an audit. The requirement for an audit is for businesses with a turnover in excess of £6.5million or assets of £3.26million.


So why should I have an accountant, how do they add value? • Your business structure – by evaluating the pros and cons of whether you set up as either a Sole trader, a Partnership or a Limited Company. This will include considering tax savings and non-financial issues.


• VAT schemes – by considering which registration option is suitable for you, including special schemes that may mean voluntary registration saves you money! • Increasing Profitability – by suggesting improvements and ideas to help increase your profitability and ways to reduce costs.

Most businesses benefit from the advice, experience and wisdom of having an accountant to look after their financial affairs • Avoiding deadlines and penalties – by ensuring you never miss a deadline. • Minimising your tax – by making sure you are always receiving the most up to date advice. • Bookkeeping training – If you decide to maintain your financial records yourself, an accountant can train you to do this in the most efficient way, saving you time and money. Most businesses benefit from the advice, experience and wisdom of having an accountant to look after their financial affairs. Not least if

it is simply to ensure they operate legally and to help minimise any tax liabilities they may have. Certainly having an accountant with whom you have a good working relationship will help in the success of your business. When people refer to an “accountant”, they generally mean a Chartered Accountant, operating in practice and looking after peoples’ businesses. However, the term is not protected so anyone can set themselves up as an accountant without being qualified and this is where the difficulties lie. As the individual doesn’t need to be qualified they can undercut the qualified

accountant who has to be regulated by a professional body, undertake many hours of obligatory training, and carry expensive professional insurance which the non-qualified does not. The former may need to charge more but in the long run the tax savings you will enjoy should outweigh any difference in price. If you want to tell if someone is a qualified chartered accountant, just look for the ACCA or ICAEW logo on their website. Trinity Accountants Limited. Telephone 0800 954 2099 Email Visit

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Are Your Business Images Letting You Down?




nd to a very large degree it is as true to this day as it was when we first started drawing pictures on cave walls. Images can portray a story or message that would take many words to convey. Images can transcend many boundaries including language.

Look at any billboard, TV commercial or print advert. Image is stronger and more important today than it has ever been. Your company’s image speaks volumes about you, your product, and your service. So why do so many small and even large businesses ignore their real value when promoting their products or services to potential customers? Differentiate yourself from your competitors by telling your own story. All too often businesses will choose to use stock photography rather than employing the services of a professional photographer. In some instances that is just fine. However you wouldn’t see Virgin Atlantic for example using stock photography of some random cabin crew in their in-flight magazine would you? Its all about showing off your own products and services. M&S spend a lot of money on their food photography. How do they get their message across, that this is not ordinary food; but M&S food? They do it through tantalising imagery and delivering exactly what they promise their customers. It is far better to show off your own products and service delivery than to pretend to be delivering someone else’s. Hiring a professional photographer is not as expensive as you may initially think. Most commercial photographers have pricing structures that enable SME’s of all sizes to gain access to bespoke and unique images that can be used across all forms of business marketing materials.

Image is stronger and more important today than it has ever been

For more information or for a free consultation on how we can help improve your own online profile or you business image, contact us today on 0161 351 7177 or by email: THE BUSINESS GROWTH MAGAZINE


Do Companies Need A Formal Social Media Policy?


ocial media has started a revolution in the way in which organisations communicate with their stakeholders and has quickly evolved from an emerging form of communication into the mainstream.

Social media, including Twitter, blogging and networking on sites like LinkedIn etc can strengthen your ‘brand’ and bring massive benefits, but it can also create yet another employment law risk– and has the potential to seriously damage the reputation of your business too. With this in mind, the question that “Until many companies are now asking recently, themselves is ‘Do I need to social media policy?’ Do the risks of social businesses were only really concerned media outweigh the rewards? And about how social media impacted if there should be policies on the on their productivity – for instance use of social media, what should how much time employees were be covered? spending on social media sites Rob Tice, partner and head of emwith no immediate benefit to the ployment law at leading Midlands company’s bottom-line. law firm Flint Bishop, discusses the Now however, with social media current social media phenomenon channels being used more and and what companies should conmore in both business and persider from a legal perspective in sonal life, companies need to take developing a social media policy:



steps to make sure that their reputation is protected. With its extensive reach and user base, social media has undeniably created significant opportunities for business. However, the risks of use and misuse of social media sites by employees has created a host of new challenges for employ-

ers. With a few keystrokes, an employee now has the ability to release confidential business information, subject a colleague to harassment and create a public relations nightmare. The increased use of social media in a business and social context gives rise to a multitude of legal issues, including copyright, privacy concerns, defamation, employment and regulatory com-

about developing their own social media policy, which outlines your legal rights as an employer and your options for dealing with staff abusing social media tools. When you think about it, ‘social’ media or ‘new’ media is just another form of communications and companies should start thinking about social media in the same context as all other forms of communication. Most organisations already have existing communications policies that spell out their expec-

pliance. You only have to contemplate what might happen if someone says or does something that damages your reputation to realise that there are legitimate reasons for establishing guidelines for social media. Organisations across all sectors should now be thinking seriously

tations when employees use the phone or email. And since the conversation has now moved online, it is essential that organizations extend their existing communications policies to include to new communications platforms. Employees should be made aware that company policies on anti-harassment, ethics and com-

pany loyalty extend to all forms of communication (including social media) both inside and outside the workplace. You would expect to be disciplined for harassing your colleagues or superiors and should expect to suffer the same consequences if you do this on-line, regardless of whether you use a business or a personal platform to do so. Any policy should also include things like the process for starting a company-authorized Twitter or blog, policies on who should vet content before it is published, how any comments will be handled, who will approve any topics that will be covered etc. You should also consider a policy for speaking out of turn, beyond what is acceptable; underline how comments/opinions made on such sites can affect your business; state the possible repercussions and be consistent. You may also want to consider initiating a formal policy of ‘non-disclosure’, which excludes the use of their name in social media by al ‘unapproved’ employees. One thing is for sure - social media is here to stay and has a vital part to play in communications. Developing formal guidelines for its use and training staff to leverage the benefits will protect your business from social media abuse and ultimately create a positive social media presence, which will benefit everyone in the long run.” Supplied by: Flint Bishop Solicitors



Finding A Mentor vs Real Mentoring At the age of 20, MD of Rockstar Mentoring Group, Jonathan Pfahl had his first mentor that helped in bring in over £100m in sales in 6 months. Here he explains how to find a REAL mentor to achieve REAL goals.


hats the difference between a coach and a mentor? People ask that question all the time and it is a fair one, however there is a huge difference!

with the mentor giving the mentee specific tasks and objectives to achieve each month between sessions and makes them accountable to achieve it.” He also feels that the mentee should invest financially in having a mentor as it shows a real commitment by the mentee to move their business forward, but at the same time, the goal needs to be a return on that investment.

A coach is someone who will work with you to get the best out of you. A mentor however comes from the latin word “mentore’” (need to check the spelling on that!) Which means “to emulate” a REAL mentor is someone who has already achieved themselves what you wish “Whether the goal is to increase to achieve and a REAL mentoring re- sales by 30% or cut costs by 20% or lationship is based on them telling increase net profit margin by 15% you how they did it and showing - as recent examples jonathan and you how to do the same. his team of mentors have achieved, the tangible goal achieved should “All mentoring relationships should be more than what the investment start with setting a specific goal was made.” within the mentees business that both parties agree they can achieve For more information on REAL within a set time frame,” says JonaMentoring visit the Rockstar webthan. “The mentee leverages off site or the experience of the mentor who, come and hear Jonathan speak at based on meeting the individual the Business Growth Show. Check and understanding their business, website for details. agrees that a specific goal can be achieved. They then work together



What to look for in a mentor 5 top tips

pert at. rather than having 2 people great at sales and terrible at finance and operations is not ideal. If you’re great at sales, then you want a mentor who can help show you the right finance and operations models.


Make sure they’re REAL! Have they become a multi-millionaire from building, growing and selling on their company?? Thats who you should be taking advice from.... Because they have the genuine ability to give you advice based on mistakes made AND successes gained. Its important to have BOTH.


Make sure they CAN open doors. One of the KEY drivers to achieving a financial goal from your mentor is based on the CONTACTS they can introduce you too. They wont do it straight away, but there needs to be a commitment by the mentor that once they know YOU will be a positive reflection of them, then they should be happy to open doors for you.


Do their strengths match your weaknesses. Ideal if your mentor within your sector is an expert at what you are NOT an ex-


Make you Accountable. Jonathan’s first ever mentor used to finish every mentoring session by saying... “These are the people and tasks I want you to do this month in order to move closer to the overall goal.... and if you haven’t done them, then DON’T SHOW UP!” That continual accountability literally forces the mentee to get things moving... Informal mentoring ‘chats’ do the opposite.


Make sure you BOTH Like each other. If you genuinely get on as friends, you will have a mentor for LIFE! There has to be the initial admiration and respect that in time will turn into a life long friendship. That should be the long term aim too.

Jonathan Pfahl Rockstar Mentor THE BUSINESS GROWTH MAGAZINE


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Lookers Plc realise that every business and individual has different needs. Whether you’re managing a fleet or choosing your next company car there are many issues to consider – from running costs and financing to taxation and legal implications. For these reasons Caroline Cartwright has joined Lookers as a dedicated Vauxhall Business User Specialist. Caroline’s objective is to make a real difference to local business through adopting a consultative approach, giving advice on all aspects of the purchase process and funding right through to the financial implications of ownership and after sales considerations. Below are just few ways Lookers Plc can add value to you or your business: •

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The Value of Intellectual Property

There are four main types of IP – which we manage at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO – part of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills). 1. Patents protect new inventions and covers how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. It gives the owner the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without permission.

3. Registered Designs are a legal right which protects the overall visual appearance of a product in the country or countries you register it. The visual features that form the design include such things as the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture, materials and the ornamentation of the product which give it a unique appearance.

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Did you know, investment in UK businesses protected by Intellectual Property Rights is now worth around £65 Billion per year1? Also, investment by businesses to protect their IP using patents, trademarks, designs and copyright has more than doubled since 19901. This highlights the importance of understanding how a business can and will benefit from IP.

4. Copyright protects many types of work, from music and lyrics to photographs and knitting patterns. Many people think of IP only in relation to inventions and patents, and as a consequence, are unaware of the potential commercial benefits and IP asset protection that can come from registering Trade Marks, Designs and managing their Copyright.


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01453 829230 As a savvy business owner, you’ve probably got an eye for a good deal. So here’s one for you. A completely FREE communications review for your business. Once you see how much you can save tell your business contacts about your great phone deal - and for every new contract that is signed up with us based on your recommendation, we’ll give you a £30 Amazon gift voucher. There are no strings attached, and feel free to put forward as many as you like, there’s no limit to the number of vouchers you can earn. So start recommending now, and you could buy that boxset you’ve been after - and a huge telly to watch it on.











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Business Growth Show Magazine  

Business Growth Show Magazine

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