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February 2010




Your Business eZine Calendar Goes Live! This new state of the art calendar is accessible on the move and is compatable for viewing on most, if not all mobile devices and all computers. The esy functionality enables you to select your region, month, or day. Once you have found your event, there are numerous ways to contact to organisors to book your place or get more information. Once you’ve found the event you’re going to attend. Share it. Tell your friends and colleagues where you’re going to be and invite them along too. Use the Share bar on each of the pages to select a service you would like to extend the event to your friends and followers. Soon you will be able to submit your event directly onto the calendar for others to see and share but for now we’ll have to ask you to email us at: and quote “Event” in the subject field. You can find the events calendar at:

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Have your Say Madalainartz Ask The Expert

• Business Coach • life coach • Solicitor • Tax Accountant • Humour Consultant • International Trade Our panel of experts are offering their expertise to the members. Also get an insight to what they see effecting us this month and what advice they have. We also introduce our new expert.

Pride In Liverpool Technology For business Apple Tablet Google Pull From China

John Haynes meets Steve Rotheram Bradbury Fields It’s About Video Networking

We see what everyone got upto in January


(now Moved to Website)

Juice Networking Offers To Readers Contact Us


t’s a new year and most of us have undertaken a diet, joined a local gym, and been shopping frantically at the January sales. “That’s it, I’m going to lose two stone and slip into a size ten dress for the March Lifestyle Awards!”. This is what I found myself mumbling into my mirror last week. With a new wardrobe full of crisp shirts and sharp suits for those special meetings, I’m guessing its pretty much unanimous that image, to the majority of us, is very important. After working for a period of time within a top end retail shop, I’m more than aware just how much people are prepared to spend to get that smart, professional look. And their spot on. So why would your business image be any different? So many of us who have an established company forget just how important it is for us to keep our branding image symbolic and fresh. As a business owner, you want to ensure that everyone who meets you forms a strong, positive first impression, because after all a brand is a company's face to the world, and let me tell you, first impressions are lasting and deep. There are so many different formats on which your brand or logo can appear, in fact it’s really only limited by your imagination. Websites, business cards, advertising on anything from tube stations to cinemas and eZine’s! Every time you present yourself to the wider world, it’s essential you look and feel your best. You wouldn’t dream of attending a meeting with a potential client in your old jeans, a hole ridden jumper and a hangover. That’s just bad form. Branding really is about presenting your best, your all, your everything. The “Apple” brand is a great example of how a company has managed to keep their iconic logo

while subtlety upgrading on rainbow stripes to the monochromatic. This give ern feel, thus allowing the ers about changes in the its reputation. According t it seems, alongside own trademarks, computer s know-how, are now at th value investors place on c

I have regularly searched product on the internet, a second, would hit the “ba a website that looked dat me this is essentially an would receive from that co lack) of the product being not always the case, but with green teeth? How m ing to find a nice bottle of w with the inviting, glossy la no real idea of what sits b

I’ll repeat it again, Its a Just as you would make s shaved and done your ha your brand image be sha tomers. Every brand has Andrew Collinge and Ch has Pepsi, and where wo Lex Luther. Healthy comp be bigger and better than

To be noticed, you need to attention with eye catchin tent and most importantly research on what your e Feedback is essential, an for advice, because if you erly. There are many diff


g it’s image of an apple e same image in striking es a reassuring yet modem to inform their custome company, while keeping to Sinclair (1999) “Brands nership of copyright and software and specialist he heart of the intangible companies.”

about looking your best! sure you have showered, air before work, so should arp to impress your cusand needs an arch rival. harles Worthington, Coke ould Superman be without petition motivates you to n the rest.

o capture your customers ng designs, succinct cony an apt image. Do your existing customers think. nd be sure to ask experts ur going to do it, do it propferent ways in which you

Many of you at this point are breaking out in a sweat, thinking about just how much this is going to cost. What you need to ask yourself is just how much it’s going to cost your company if you don’t do it? Whether you’re a new business or re-branding your existing one, there are ways and means to doing this at a reasonable price. Many companies have different bespoke packages available to suit your needs and your budget. As well as finding the right company, look into funding. There is still plenty of opportunities for you ’re business out there. I will leave you with a quote from David F.D’Alessandra “Ultimately, a strong brand message has a lot in common with a bucking bronco. It’s not going to stand still for a second – it has to change constantly as the times and the competition do– but once you’ve managed to get on top of it, you do not want to let go.” – David F. D’Alessandro, Brand Warfare 2009 was a difficult year for many, but I feel with the right attitude and the correct image, 2010 is going to be a hit! Keep smiling guys, The times they are a-changing x

Emma Dolan

d for a particular service or and in just a fraction of a ack” button when viewing ted and a tinkle tacky. To example of the service I ompany, or the quality (or g sold. Now I know that’s would you trust a dentist many of you have been trywine, to then pick the one abel, with (let’s be honest) beneath the cork?

can improve your image, each and every one individual to your business.

submit Your Comments to Emma by emailing her at


Keep your eyes (and bananas) peeled, because the Mankey Monkeys are on the loose! Over 100 unique, crazy, funny Monkeys are taking up residence in venues across the city for the next few months. Their mission? To put a smile on your face, and show everyone what Liverpool can do when businesses work together! So what can we expect to see on the “Monkey Map”? SuperMonkeyBanana? Check. Blinging Chimphuahua? Check. Shankly Monkey? Check. Monkey made of bricks? Check. ChipMonkey? Check. Washed-up-stuntman Monkey? Check. Half-fish, half-Billy Butler Monkey with a comb over? Of course. There'll even be a Monkey we can only see on TV! He'll be the latest star of a proper national TV show, we'll tell you about that in the next issue. Mankey Monkey is a HUGE, city-wide, charity art project headed by the creative magicians at Hallangen Art, along with web marketing genii It's About Websites and friendly media moguls Your Business eZine. They receive no public funding whatsoever, and everyone involved is giving their time and services for free. Financially, they are supported solely by businesses and organisations of Liverpool and Merseyside, who are fostering the Mankey Monkeys while they're on show.

As well as being fun and entertaining, and keeping up Liverpool's amazing positivity since 2008's Capital of Culture year, the project is a testament to the strength of the city's business community. In a testing time for everyone, from major corporations to one-man-bands, so many are seeing the benefit of working together, supporting the city as a whole, with one of the wackiest ideas the city has ever seen. Eirin Hallangen-Lake at Hallangen Art hints at the future, “Since 2008, people have seen what art can do for the city. Not only does it entertain, brighten things up, and even support charities - but brings a direct financial boost. Businesses are starting to see public art as an exciting, original way of raising their own profile, and that of their city. Liverpool's image is now a cultured, vibrant, cosmopolitan place and we aim to keep it that way. I'd say 'watch this space', but then I'd have to slap myself.” The Monkeys will be on display for the next few months, then they will go into a GRAND CHARITY AUCTION to raise money for Alder Hey Imagine Appeal. Monkey Maps will be available soon in Tourist Information Centres and locations throughout Liverpool. Stay up to date with all Mankey Monkey news and events at

Design | Print | Websites | Marketing

... are delighted to be an official sponsor of Your Business E-Zine Contact us to see how working with Ocean can make all the difference to you and your business. Funding Available, please ask for details. Unit 9b | Mayflower Ind. Estate | Liverpool Road | Formby | Merseyside | L37 6BU Tel. 01704 835800 | Fax. 01704 872285 | Email. | Web.



his section of the eZine is for our member’s to do exactly what the title suggests, Have Your Say. If your a member you can submit your comments/opinions to and wherever possible, we will publish it. Your Piece can be about anything you wish (provided it’s not slanderous), it could be a funny story or a serious point you may like to make. It can even be a comment about this eZine, good or bad, it’s entirely up to you. So get you thinking cap on, and don’t forget that every piece we publish, the author gets a credit as well as a link to your website. (the only thing we dont except in this section is a sales pitch for your business) Be prepared for a reply. Anything we do publish, we may also post a reply to.


Choosing an Online Marketing Agency How well do small business owners know their online marketing agency? More importantly, how well do they know you? It's no longer good enough that they know all about online marketing and send you some graphs or pie charts at the end of each month. Your online marketing agency needs to know all about you and all about your target audience.

If you've been getting meaningless stats on a monthly basis, the reluctance to trust and invest in internet marketing is understandable. However, your investment is more important this year than ever. As your competition gets stronger and stronger you need to be prepared to invest more than ever because the opportunities are there to be had. So how do you make sure you're making the right choice this year when choosing or reviewing your online marketing agency? Start by getting a feel for how in tune they are with your business - do they really understand what you do and what you want?

comes more like your online marketing director than a supplier. Don't just ask how much money did you make me last month, ask how much more money are you going to make me next month? We call it our monthly ‘Jerry Maguire' meeting. ‘Show me the money'. Don't just talk about the performance last month ask, what can you tell me about my competition? What can you tell me about my target audience that I don't know? How can you make my online estate (website or websites) convert more opportunities and work harder for me in the future? Your online marketing activity could transform your business this year if you choose the right partner to help you carry out the right conversion strategy to improve your performance each month and generate more and more business online. Remember, if you think marketing is expensive, you're doing it wrong. We say this at least once a day every day - ‘It's not the tools you use but how you use them.' By Brian Adams Ph:Creative

Invest in an agency that can turn strangers into customers. Invest in an agency that quickly be-

It's Time To Say Goodbye To IE The Germans have slated it, the French have slated it, and now Microsoft themselves have slated it - So I think it really is time that you ditched Internet Explorer and got something better!

that users not only upgrade their browser to the latest version, but should also seriously consider upgrading their entire operating system to something newer than Windows XP.

What's all this about then?

"We recommend users of IE6 on Windows XP upgrade to a new version of Internet Explorer and/ or enable DEP. Users of other platforms are at

In a recent blog post, Microsoft are recomending reduced risk. We also recommend users of Windows XP upgrade to newer versions of Windows." Although I am a long time Mac user, I always run a system or virtual machine with a windows installation for testing. After downloading the Windows 7 beta, and taking it for a test drive - it is by far the best version of Windows available today so I would also recommend upgrading if you can. This recommendation direct from Microsoft could be the last push on not only getting end users to upgrade their browsers more often, but also for large IT departments to reconsider how often they update browsers within their organisations. At one time, "The Browser" would have had the same importance level as something like "MS Paint" - not much. However, with the rapidly increasing availability of very high quality web based applications and resources like Google Apps, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha, it is what I would consider to be a key desktop application

(Not just because I am a web developer). Organisations will also have to give much more consideration to what their "Acceptable Internet Use Policy" might include. Should access to the likes of Facebook and Twitter be limited? Our thoughts are No - it has become an invaluable resource for us to connect with new clients (as well as sharing funny pictures of cats with our friends), and our business has benefited from it. So what does this mean for the web industry?

For a long time now, web developers have been trying to drop support for IE6 (and to a lesser extent, IE7 and IE8) and it's lack of compatibility for web standards. We dropped support sometime last year, but our clients could request specific Internet Explorer support at extra cost - not many of them did though. This enables us to not only to keep costs down, but also increases the accessibility of your site as it requires less "hacks" to get it looking correct. Moving forwards, if users get into the habit of upgrading their browsers every few months, this will reduce the time it takes for new standards like HTML5 to be developed and implemented and further increase the capability and accessibility of future web applications. Personally, I am looking forward to developing our new Its About Video product using the new HTML5 <video> element, which will let you view the video content using your computers own media player (Windows Media, VLC or Quicktime) and not a Flash based player

- a lot of which can suffer with performance on higher resolution videos. (Shortly after the original posting of this article on our blog, both YouTube and Vimeo have both added trail support for the new HTML5 video element!) By Paul Court It's About Websites Ltd

Audrie Hepburn


nyone will tell you Liverpool is a city full of “best kept secrets”. Here’s the latest – and it’s not too much of a stretch to say it doesn’t look like staying that way for long.

Artist Madelaina Murthwaite has come a long way in a short time. Now the director of The Gallery – Liverpool’s Best Kept Secret, as she calls it, she can be found most of the week on the top floor of Clayton Square shopping centre in the city centre. It’s the latest instalment in a fascinating and blossoming career that came about purely by accident, as illness revealed to Madelaina a hidden talent she never knew she had. It’s hard to believe that she has only been creating art for two and a half years. Wirral-based Madelaina had a successful career in teaching before becoming affected by a muscular condition known as fibromyalgia in 2007. Leaving her fatigued, in pain, and at its worst unable to use her arms, she was forced to leave the profession as she learned to live with what fate had dealt her. Hoping to help with her initial recovery, her father bought her a box of pastels, thinking the soft materials would be easier for her use than pens or pencils to get her hands and arms moving again. Not only did it help her to manage her condition, it revealed the start of a remarkable fast-track art career. It was exhausting and painful progress. But in time she was drawing and painting, copying pictures of still life and celebrities. It was her portrait work that quickly grabbed attention. Her first solo exhibition was held at Liverpool Academy of Arts in July 2008, followed by a second in Blackburn House in autumn last year. Although she turns her hand to a variety of subject matters, her celebrity portraits have made her a self styled “artist to the stars”... People including Paul Weller, Elvis Presley guitarist James Burton, and Ricky Tomlinson have personally signed the paintings she has done of them, and rocker PJ Proby is one of her next subjects – at his request, no less.

Story By Vicky Anderson

In September last year, her name was put forward when Clayton Square put out the call for a local artist to display in one of their empty units. Madelaina seized the opportunity, and created The Gallery. It began as just a showcase for her art. But a look at the licence showed her she also had the right to sell and not just exhibit, and The Gallery began to take shape, officially opening last Halloween. Now she shows and sells guest artists alongside her own work. “When you start up a new business it’s going to be 24/7 and you’ve got to grab any opportunity. I’ve got so many ideas for this place,” she said. “I love helping people – although my vision was The Gallery was simply just my work. I started opening just on Saturdays to test the water, and it’s just grown and grown. My ethos now is to support local artists in the community.” Now open Thursday to Sunday (when she works there in residence), she is currently displaying her first open exhibition, Mad About Liverpool, which attracted 23 local artists to take part including established names such as Nathan Pendlebury, Eddie Bishop (brother of comedian John), and a 14-year-old up-and-coming talent whose colourful city skylines are already being snapped up by collectors. It finishes on January 30. “What I do is totally different to any other gallery,” Madelaina says. “I want it to be accessible. Galleries can be very intimidating and I’m bringing art into the heart of the community. And it’s a great community in Liverpool - every day someone comes in here and makes me laugh my socks off. Everyone always has stories about the work in here and I feel it’s the best job in the world. People look in the window and I just say, ‘get yourself in here!’ I don’t want people to feel scared to come in.” Madelaina’s tenacious and disarming spirit is the driving force behind her success (after all, laughing your socks off can usually get you funny looks in an art gallery). She is not afraid to get out there, network and try her luck, and her entrepreneurial nature has really begun to get her noticed. But overwork means the fibromyalgia can again take its toll, and she has to try not to tire herself out. Living with the condition adds an extra dimension to her art. Her work – her recognisable Beatles portrait, 4 Beats, which she wears on a t-shirt every day in The Gallery - features on the front of first ever edi-

Laura Critchley `Captivated`

Maddy with Fostered Mankey Monkey

tion of Fibromyalgia UK magazine this month. She is justifiably proud, as campaigning for awareness of the charity is something very close to her heart. It’s also bought about a new addition to venue – Fibro, her own personalised Mankey Monkey. Set out in the same pose and colours as the charity’s logo, the monkey has pride of place as a symbol connecting the two passions in her life. “I’m not embarrassed about my fibromyalgia. I’m a very private person, but not about that,” Madelaina said. “Fibro’s a great talking point and I encourage people to have their picture taken with the monkey and make a donation and it’s a way of linking the two things. I would really like to become an ambassador for fibromyalgia because I love talking to people and public speaking.” The next project is Mad About Music, a one-off night of music and song at the Dockers Club in Anfield on February 5, with the duel aim of raising awareness of The Gallery and fibromyalgia.

Maddy & Ricky Tomlinson

It will be followed up by another open exhibition, also titled Mad About Music, in March. Gallery browsers are entitled to a 20% discount at the adjacent coffee shop, in the hope a bit of second thought might encourage that all-important sale. Not that there’s any problem in that regard – one gentleman came in during the course of this interview who had snapped up two paintings there, spending a not insignificant amount of money in the process. A steady stream of visitors comes and goes, and Madelaina stops for a friendly chat with them all. She says her organisational skills and teaching experience help her to capitalise on her talents in a way many artists can be ill-equipped to do successfully. Which leads to another outlet for the gallery – managing artists and offering a consultancy service to help market artistic talent. She hopes the venue will soon be used for afternoon concerts and talks and is available for private events. For the gallery, a lot depends on what might happen with the centre’s plans for the unit in future (The Gallery is currently looking for help with funding or sponsorship). But in the meantime, there’s plenty to keep Madelaina inspired.

Maddy & Laura Critchley `Call Me Laura`

“I’m learning things all the time. I can’t believe I’m doing it and this place is open. You just don’t know what’s coming next, but I hope to be here for 2011. No,” she says proudly. “I’m determined I’m going to be here.”

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Business Coach Life Coach Commercial Solicitor Tax Accountant Humour Expert International trade

Ask The Expert

Busine Richard Dickinson

Richard started out in his working life in the Navy, were he served for a number of years, travelling around the world learning some fantastic skills and meeting people from many different cultures. After leaving the navy, Richard entered the world of banking and finance, ending up in a role as East Midlands Region Development Manager for a high street bank. Richard then decided he was ready for another challenge, so he left the bank and set up his own national insurance brokerage, which he ran for 5 years, until selling the business in 2005. Given Richards extensive experience over the years in dealing with businesses and more importantly business people, Richard felt he would make a very good business coach. He then trained and was accredited by the Adler School of International Coaching and took on a franchise from Ology Coaching, which gives him the support of a multi national company, whilst at the same time still being able to give a local personal service to his clients. We are very pleased to have Richard on board and are sure you will benefit from his wisdom and experience.

Do Not Make Any New Year’s Resolutions!


nother year has just started, a new, unblemished year with endless opportunities just over the horizon. Many of you will be thinking about how to make this year better than the last and will probably even have made a new year’s resolution or two… but will it work? No doubt you will be trying to change old habits, create new ones, work harder, find the secret of success, spend more time with family, earn more money, quit smoking, lose weight, and so many more aims that will probably be forgotten about before this first month is over! For any business owner or manager, the New Year is a great time to review your progress and plan for the future, but for any real change to occur there has to be a long term commitment. It is all well and good to write down an action list and get excited over it for a few days or a few weeks, but that’s the easy part. It takes maybe 20 minutes of commitment to come up with a list of goals and targets for the coming year… it takes a lot longer to achieve

them, particularly if your business needs to make some major changes or improvements. Although twenty minutes is probably longer than many people spend reviewing their goals and targets, and thinking about the future, it is not enough if you really want to become all that you can be – and all that your business can be. Unless you are a highly motivated and ambitious person that naturally jumps from success to success, you will have to continually review your position throughout the year. Even a big exciting challenge usually isn’t enough to change the behaviours that we have taught ourselves over many years. Just as we developed our current way of thinking over a long period of time, we have to develop our new way of thinking (to achieve the goals) over a long period of time too. So – our advice is that if you are truly committed to achieving your New Year’s resolution – your business goals for 2010 - you will forget about calling it a new year’s resolution! It needs to be a constant

ess Coach living commitment to action and change that you are absolutely determined to achieve.

the going gets tough – and you know from experience it will!

At this point, you are probably asking… “So, how do I do this?” Well, here are a few tips to help:

Be unusual this year and don’t make a new year’s resolution – make a commitment to a living action plan and seek the support to make sure that it remains a part of your business life for longer than January.

Take time to learn from 2009 – the lessons both positive and negative – and build this into your planning for 2010. Look ahead not just to the end of 2010, but beyond to get a clear view of what you want to achieve in the longer term.. and then work back to plan this year’s actions and objectives. Write down clearly what you want to achieve – and what will need to change for this to happen. Include some of the behaviours that will need to change – both yours and those you work with. Share these goals with the people that will make them happen with you. Review them at least weekly and ideally daily – have them displayed in a place that you will see them regularly each day. To be truly effective, your constant living action plan must be reviewed, tested, and measured at least monthly or preferably weekly. Without continual adjustment and maintenance we all just slip into the habits that we know and are comfortable with. At this point, you may be interested to learn how we at Ology could help keep you on track – help you achieve extraordinary results in your business and most importantly, keep you on track throughout 2010 and beyond. Creating something new in your life will take effort and positive action on your part. Most people will fall off the horse along the way as it seems to be human nature to fall off the horse! We have to continually get back on the horse and continue on our way towards achieving what we set out to achieve. We will be the catalyst to keep you on track when

email your question to: or visit the website at

Ask The Expert

Life C Lisa Madariaga

Lisa is a life coach of some distinction. She is what you might call one of life’s achievers. Allow me to explain. Lisa is a qualified Barrister and a Chartered Accountant. She has worked around the world for both NYSE and FTSE 100 companies. Then one day, in November 2005, she collapsed in her London office. Not only was she unable to work, but could barely get out of bed for 5 months. As her health slowly improved, she was able to re evaluate her life. Lisa found that with her unique experiences of life, she was able to help others. She re trained and is now also qualified with the Institute of Leadership and Management, (ILM), as a life coach and executive business coach. Lisa is the founder and trainer of the Finance Coaching Academy of RSA, (formerly Royal and Sun Alliance). Soon to publish a self help book for people living with or recovering from ME, we are truly privileged to have Lisa contribute for us. So, don’t be shy, use this fantastic opportunity and ask Lisa some questions and don’t miss her articles, they may just change your life.

Make A Promise To Yourself That You Will Keep


appy New Year! Yes, it has been that long! I wish you all a year full of joy and good health, with prosperity and success all thrown in for good measure too. There really is enough joy and money to go around for everyone to have plenty – so here’s to us all getting our fair share! It’s January and wow hasn’t the weather been atrocious. I’m writing this now kneeling in front of my computer (long story!) with two jumpers and a fleece on as my boiler packed in two days ago. The snow and ice is still on the ground and my poor car hasn’t moved for days. However, I am more than confident that by the time you read this, all the frozen white stuff will be gone and we won’t be in mortal danger any more every time we set a foot down on a pavement! So, back to the matter in hand, the new- year, along with it comes the ubiquitous New year’s resolution. So how have you done so far? Did you make a

resolution? Maybe two or three? Well done if you have and many congratulations if you’re sticking with it still – that’s fantastic. Personally I don’t make new years resolutions. As part of regular goal setting and attainment, the need to look at a new year and make changes does not arise as I’m in a constant state of goal setting and working towards a better, happier and healthier me. This has a number of positives to it, mainly the fact that I am always celebrating some sort of achievement I’ve had, another step further to completing a bigger goal I have set for myself. Also, I don’t feel under pressure on December 31st to have a final big “blast” before the sacrifice and doing without that hits on January 1st for so many of my friends and family. Stopping smoking, an alcohol free week, month or longer, a diet to lose 2 stone, 6 points, whatever – it all seems so harsh to me.

Coach As I did say earlier, if you have stuck hard and fast to your new year resolutions – well done and celebrate your success! If you have not, or did not make any in the first place, then maybe the goal setting I explain here may be of interest to you. Where do you see yourself by 30th November 2010? How do you see yourself? Can you picture what you look like? What are you saying? Who are you with? How do you feel? What is happening in your life? What can you hear going on around you? Take a few seconds, close your eyes if it helps and really get a clear impression of where you are in November. Are you ok with what you see? Does it make you feel happy and excited? Do you enjoy the sights and sounds of your future? If the answer is yes, fabulous – what is it that makes you feel so good? Is it a definite? Do you have to take some action or continue just as you are to get there? Could it be improved in any way and if so, how? If you are not completely satisfied with what you see, what is it that you would like to improve? What are you not happy about? Pinpoint it and write it down if that helps. Identify all the things that you are not completely happy about, your weight, your house, partner, finances, family, situation, whatever it may be. So after identifying the areas for change or improvement, turn the “I don’t wants” into “I do wants”. Instead of “I don’t want to be this fat” turn it into “I want to be a size 12” or “I want to be able to play football for the full 90 minutes”. Turn “I don’t want to be stuck in the same old job” into “I want a job I love doing surrounded by people I like being with” or even “I want to be working from home and not having to travel into an office every day”. Only you know what will make your November self a happy one. This process may take some time, we often know

what we do not want, not what we do want and we may have false beliefs that we cannot have exactly what we do want – oh but we can! After having completed this round of goal setting, the questions continue. The ultimate goal must be broken down into self-contained and achievable milestones. Identifying where you are right now is the key. If you want to lose weight and be a size 12 by November, what size are you now and therefore how much weight do you need to lose? If we want to be able to play a full game of football by November, where are you now? Do you play football at all? Can you play for 45 minutes? Only by being completely honest with yourself will you be able to achieve your November happy self. So why cheat yourself out of your happiness? Once you have identified your current real state in the area or areas you want to change – then you can identify the size of the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in November. This gap can be broken down – but there is a first step that needs to be taken, this may be making a call or looking up on the internet where your nearest slimming club is. It may be phoning a friend to go running with you or getting the football out from the cupboard under the stairs and going for a kick around. Whatever that first step is, take it now. It will set the ball rolling (no pun intended!) and you’re on your way to your November happy self. Next month we will look more closely at setting milestones to breakdown the gap between now and November and how to celebrate those milestones as we achieve them! Good luck and be happy! email your question to: or visit the website at

Ask The Expert


Gorvins is a regional full service Law Firm with an established commercial practice compromising of specialist teams working across the disciplines of corporate, commercial property, commercial litigation, and employment. Based from offices in South Manchester we act for a diverse portfolio of clients including blue chip organisations, SMEs, entrepreneurs and public sector and regulatory bodies. We are client focused at all times and work with you to provide cost effective advice helping you to achieve your commercial objectives whilst adding tangible value to each transaction. We seek to continually improve our reputation for excellence and see investment in our people and processes as the foundation to creating an effective and inspiring environment which contributes to the delivery of results for our clients. We believe you will appreciate our joined up approach to working which delivers a seamless and consistent service coupled with an excellent track record of offering proactive and innovative solutions. Our sector expertise with years of experience in your market place means we understand the restrictions and opportunities you have to work to. We will provide cost effective delivery with a focus on identifying the best possible outcome at the outset giving you realistic estimates whilst reviewing and communicating updates to keep you in the picture. We recognize the need to work in partnership with our clients and provide hands on approach with enthusiastic and highly motivated people and a single point of contact to manage a dedicated team providing the right expertise at the right cost.



or most, buying or selling a business represents a once in a lifetime transaction. Whether you are acquiring a company by way of a management buy out, undertaking that critical strategic acquisition, or retiring after building up a company from scratch, it is critically important to do it right. After all, unless you are a strongly acquisitive company, you are unlikely to do it again for a long time. So Where Do You Begin? Proper legal advice is essential for two key reasons:1. to ensure certainty about exactly what it is you are buying and selling – you do not want to get caught out with unexpected liabilities. 2. to protect your investment – whether it be what you are hoping to buy, or the proceeds of sale. Timing As with many things in life, it is all about timing. Buying a business can be opportunistic – a larger company may be looking to divest itself of a non-core business, which could be the ideal opportunity for a management buy out, or a competitor may be struggling and ripe for a takeover. Alternatively the process can be more planned and strategic – an owner looking to retire, or a growing business keen on integration.

In any scenario, the chances are that communication with your professional advisors will often highlight potential opportunities – by building a close relationship with your accountants and lawyers, you can react quickly and efficiently. Fail to Prepare… or Prepare to Fail When selling, it is vital to make sure your “house is in order”. Make sure the business is not over-reliant on either the seller, or any one customer or supplier. Sort out those niggling employment issues, collect your debts, settle your litigation and make sure there are no skeletons in the cupboard; especially with HMRC!! Buyers hate surprises and unknowns (both known and unknown, as Donald Rumsfeldwould say) and those funding the deal hate them even more! As a buyer, thorough accounting and legal due diligence flushes out the issues in any company. If due diligence highlights any serious problems which would need to be resolved after the deal completes, the buyer may ask for indemnities or a price adjustment to compensate them for taking on these issues. From a practical perspective, the parties should enter into a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement at the outset to


ensure trade secrets remain private. Remember, sensitive information cannot be “unlearned”. Shares or Assets If a business is run by a sole trader or a partnership, there are no shares to buy. The assets, including contracts and goodwill of the business, will be sold by the seller – an “asset sale”. If a business is owned by a company, there is a choice of buying the assets of the company, or the whole company itself by acquiring the shares from its shareholders – a “share sale”. Whilst the legal process for both is similar, there are some very important differences between the two: Assets In an asset sale both the buyer and seller can “pick and choose” the assets to be bought and sold. In a share sale, all the assets of the company are sold unless the seller extracts some from the company pre-completion. Liabilities In an asset sale, the majority of the liabilities of the business will stay with the seller. In a share sale, however, all the liabilities of the business will stay with the company – and, therefore, the company’s problems - “warts and all” - become the responsibility of the buyer. Tax By selling shares, the selling shareholder will receive the purchase price direct and pay CCT on his gain. If there is an asset sale, the money is received by selling company – it them has to account for corporation tax on any gain and then the owners have the problem of distributing the money by dividends or liquidation. This means the seller could be taxed twice and therefore asset sales are normally very tax inefficient for individual shareholders. How Much is My Business Worth? There is a very simple answer - what someone will pay for it! There is no “correct valuation” it is art not a science. Professional advice from specialist accountants is very important here to make sure you that as a seller you do not undersell yourself, or a buyer that you pay too much. There are many bases for valuation – multiples of earnings, net asset valuation, discounted cash flow, return on investment. Every business is unique, and so will be the method used. One size does not fit all. Structure and Funding Again, this depends on the individual requirements of a buyer and seller, the value agreed for the business and where the money is coming from. Sellers ideally prefer a “clean break”, with all the purchase price being paid up front. However, in the current economic

climate, it is increasingly the case for there to be some deferred payments or some of the price dependent on the future performance of the business – an “earn out”. An earn out is a common way of achieving the seller’s price expectations, but giving the buyer some practical assurance that it has not overpaid. Funds will come from a combination of the buyer’s cash, venture capital, banks and asset backed lenders (e.g. invoice discounters) and often using cash in the company itself. Institutional funders will need to make sure the group postacquisition can repay the money with interest, so they will pay close attention to the financial position of all parties. Reliable accounting information and proper forecasting is vital to ensure access to funds – lenders will just not look at your proposal without a proper, well structured business plan. The Legal Process WARNING! This is time consuming. Be prepared for it! The main elements are: Heads of Terms: A deal agreed in principle will normally be documented in heads – this is a non-contractual framework document showing the main terms eg price, timing of payments, what is included/excluded etc. Due Diligence This will be carried out by accountants and lawyers, to ensure the buyer knows, as far as is possible, what it is buying – Expect lengthy questions on property, employees, tax, assets, litigation, customers, suppliers, contracts, pensions ……. and so on! Legal Paperwork The main document is a sale and purchase agreement, dealing with the principal terms and containing lengthy warranties, indemnities and restrictive covenants to protect the buyer. The sellers will negotiate this agreement, insert provisions to limit their liability under the warranties and also prepare a disclosure letter, which allows the sellers to “set the record straight” and let the buyer know if there are issues in the business. The buyer cannot sue the sellers for something it knows about. There will also be service and consultancy agreements for key personnel and often property documents – transfers of land or leases to be signed. Completion When it all comes together…………... The road for buying and selling a business is long andwinding with many pitfalls along the way for the unprepared. Expert advice is imperative, and appointing good professional advisers is critical. It is not cheap, but it is worth it. Buying and selling a business is often a life changing transaction – it is important to do it right. For more information or for a confidential discussion on any potential sale or acquisition please contact: Andrew Curwen Partner Corporate Department Direct Dial: 0161 930 5299

Ask The Expert

Tax Ac Pat Cobham

Pat Cobham used to be a tax inspector. She has more than 30 years experience in accountancy. Mostly from the side of the inland revenue. Pat set up Cobhams tax consultants and accounts in 2004 and has not looked back since. With a no nonsense and plain English approach to accountancy, Cobhams is going from strength to strength. You not only get knowledgeable one-to-one advice, but you also get it at a fraction of the cost you would pay a large company. They even go that bit further and offer a one-to-one service out of hours should you require it. With background in the corporate world, they are better placed than most to help you with your corporation tax and whether you’re a sole trader, small business or established company, they will make sure everything is done quickly and efficiently to meet all HMRC deadlines.

What They Don’t Tell You On Their Website Getting Advice from HMRC

A word of warning if you phone HMRC asking for advice. The HMRC website encourages people to ring them by actually saying “if you can’t find the answer to your question on the HMRC website the quickest and easiest way is to ring the Helpline”. However a case went to the High Court recently on this very subject. The case of Corktek involved a business man Mr Malde who was given advice over the phone on the VAT treatment of exports. HMRC later took a different view from the advice they had previously given and issued a VAT bill. Corktek appealed saying that HMRC should be bound by their original advice even if this turned out to be wrong. At the High Court HMRC won. Mr Malde hadn’t made any notes regarding the telephone discussions whereas the HMRC officer involved had. As the two views differed the Judge felt he could only really rely on the notes that were made at the time of the call. The Judge also said “the advice line was only held out as a source of general advice rather than as a source of binding rulings on the proper tax treatment of specific transactions” and as the original conversa-

tion lasted only 6 or 7 minutes Mr Malde “could not reasonably have thought that HMRC had given a fully considered and binding ruling”. My advice would be that if you use HMRC help lines then give them as much information as you can and keep a note of the date, time and details of the conversation. Do not rely on oral advice alone. Follow-up the telephone call with a letter clearly setting out your understanding of the advice you have been given and ask for written confirmation.

PAYE Inspections

If you have employees then sooner or later HMRC will undertake a PAYE inspection. The hot topic for the tax man over the last few years has been the status of the workers. Status has always been a hot topic in the construction industry where a lot people were paid as self-employed labourers when in fact they should have been treated as employees. Status queries are no longer the preserve of the construction industry and HMRC have widened their queries into this. A number of tax cases concerning status have been brought by HMRC and they have recently won the case of Philip Wright v

ccountant HMRC. The case involved a contactor who used short term labour under very loose arrangements. He gave them no written contracts and paid them no holidays or sick pay. The Judge decided that not paying holiday or sick pay doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t affect the employment status of the workers. The contractor provided no written contract for his employees preferring to explain the terms and conditions of the job orally. He also gave instructions via trusted and more experienced workers on how the job ought to be done. This clearly showed that the contractor directly or indirectly controlled the workers and this was a vital factor in determining employment status. If you have any self-employed workers it is vital that you do not exercise any control over them. Pay them like you would any other suppliers and make sure they provide invoices etc. In a case heard in 2008 the Judge thought it was important that the worker involved would appear to an outsider to be part and parcel of the business like other members of staff. If you have any long standing self employed workers you will be well advised to review their status or ask your accountant to look at this to see whether by default they have become employees. If the Revenue do challenge the status of any workers and these are conceded to be employees rather than self-employed then the costs can be extremely high. The pay given to the worker will be treated as net pay and the employer will have to find the tax employees and employers National Insurance contributions plus interest and penalties. If there is a change in status of a worker the Revenue will also reopen earlier years.

VAT and the Dangers of the Flat Rate Scheme (FRS)

VAT is normally calculated by deducting input VAT on purchases and supplies from output VAT collected and the balance paid over. However, some

businesses can make use of the flat rate scheme. Providing the business turnover is less than ÂŁ150,000 per annum then the business is eligible for inclusion in the FRS. Once in it you cannot reclaim VAT on purchases under ÂŁ2,000. However, you pay over less VAT than you charge your customers. How much less depends on the type of business you are in. HMRC is very keen to push the FRS and on the face of it, it does sound good as it is far easier and less hassle to apply a set percentage to turnover rather than do a full VAT return on the normal basis. However, do take care before you rush into joining the FRS. Under the FRS you have to apply the reduced flat rate percentage to all business income even if it is usually exempt and zero rated. As an example, consider a business that in addition to the normal business owns a property which is rented out. If the rent is exempt rent then this takes no part in a VAT return under normal circumstances. However, if the business joins the FRS scheme the rent is classed as business income so the flat rate percentage is applied to the rents in addition to the normal business turnover. A more common situation could be the sale of a company car. Again VAT is not normally applied to car sales as there is no VAT on the purchase. However, again under the FRS the sale of a company car is classed as business income. Because of the necessity to include exempt and zero rated income this could mean that joining the FRS scheme could actually make a business worse off. So the lesson here is look before you leap.

email your question to: or visit the website at

Ask The Expert


Stephanie Davies

Director and Founder of Laughology, Stephanie Davies has over 10 years experience working in the public and private sector which has gained her an unsurpassed reputation for designing and delivering laughter and humour interventions for businesses, practitioners, clients, young people and adults. Stephanie is recognised as one of the UK’s leading voices in laughter and humour. She was recently invited by the University of Chester to develop and deliver the UK’s first MA course in Humour in the Workplace and will soon complete an MA on The Psychological Benefits of Laughter, Humour and Personal Growth.

On leaving Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts in 2002 she began performing stand-up comedy, firing her fascination with the power of laughter and humour. After attending Dr Kataria’s Laughter Leader course Stephanie was accepted as a participant in world-renowned, Dr Patch Adams’s Health Care Intensive Training in the USA. She worked with Patch exploring the relationship between health, humour, community and the arts. On top of her busy training schedule, Stephanie is often asked to contribute to popular television programmes, such as Trisha, The Bank of Mum and Dad, BBC’s Heaven & Earth and ITV’s Stand-up Jenny. She is also a regular on BBC Radio


Growing Young

s I approach my 31st birthday I wonder when will I feel like a grown up and what defines being a grown up. My Grandma’s birthday is a couple of days before mine and I have always seen her as a grown up and at 98 I wonder if she feels grown up now. When I speak to friends and colleagues I realise it’s not just me who ponders on age and how we’re meant to feel/act at “our age” and I realise that no matter if your 20, 30 or 40 there’s no text book on life. I see people desperately trying to defy age with plastic surgery and injections of Botox, that doesn’t necessarily make them look younger just permanently surprised that they are the age they’re at. I have to admit I am a victim of the anti-aging

creams which I paste liberally on my face morning and night in a hope to keep wrinkles at bay and that I frequent the gym and set new challenges for myself as I get older in an attempt to trick my body into thinking it’s still a teenager. Though this year I have noticed a few twinges that are new, I now have a “good knee” and I make a funny groaning noise when I bend down. Are these the signs of growing up or are they just physical traits of growing up that so many of us try and defy with antiaging potions, pills and surgery? How Ironic it is that when I was younger it was my experience as a teenager and certainly that of other teenagers I have met, that we are keen to grow up, then something happens and you decide you want to start going back: growing young!


s I am a firm believer in growing young and encouraging playfulness and imagination in everyone, these traits that come so easy to us as children we seem to forget as we grow up. When we are young we accept situations as they are: we enjoy being silly, we have time to play, laugh and enjoy life. As we grow older we are faced with tougher challenges, bigger decisions and generally are more serious. So the argument for being able to be imaginative, playful, enjoy life and dare I say childlike in order to cope with the seriousness of growing up is one I support. As a Laughologist and someone who is very interested in human behaviour and how we perceive life and situations I can’t think of a time more in life, where skills such as creativity, optimism, humour and imagination are needed as we grow older. In 1981 Anthropologist Ashley Motnagu published a book called growing young. Montagu discusses a theory Neoteny which I try and live by and use continually with others. Neoteny: simply put it means the human species in body, spirit and conduct is constructed to grow and develop in ways that emphasize rather than minimize childhood traits. It directs us to “engage with our positive childhood traits to enhance the pro aging life experience.” - You’re only young twice - Ronda Beaman So as I approach my 31st I organise yet another fancy dress party, which is of course is for my benefit because I enjoy dressing up, but also for others who need an excuse. This year the theme is Superhero’s and though I have been met by a couple of groans by those who would benefit from growing young a little more, the majority are excited at a chance to dress up and be playful for a night. Being able to Pretend like they are actually the superhero’s they wanted to be when they “grew

up”. What is so special about being a child is that anything is possible, it’s only as we grow up we put the constraints on ourselves learnt by society or believing what others say. So as I sign out for the last time as a 30 year old my advice is to enjoy life, make it fun, encourage laughter, it’s good for us physically and mentally I promise you will achieve more using it. As Charlie Chaplin once said “ a day without laughter is a day wasted”

email your question to: You can visit the website at

Ask The Expert

Internat Alan Taylor

Alan’s early career was in IT (when this included punch cards and paper tape). He quickly moved from programming into analysis which gave him the opportunity in the mid-1980’s to work for an insurance company in the Bahamas. This gave Alan the bug for travelling and he has managed to cover five continents to date on his travels, South America still eludes him. His career in IT eventually developed into project & business change management and Alan has been involved in a number of large projects of this type. This lead him and his business partner to set up their first business together, a business change consultancy (PSI), in 1993. PSI initially grew in the UK & South East Asia and, once acquired by a FTSE-quoted parent, it subsequently expanded to forty-five people across five continents. He has now been developing businesses both in the UK and Internationally for over sixteen years. During this time he has built a global network of contacts including senior level decision makers. As a seasoned professional Alan is able to help a business to focus on the definition and delivery of its development strategy, ensuring drive & momentum are maintained to achieve the company’s strategic goals. This is non more evident than in his passion for international business development where Alan is able to leverage his global network of contacts to generate significant business development opportunities. An adaptable character, with a pragmatic approach, Alan has an open (if determined) mind and the ability to make a significant contribution to a team delivering a product or service to a clearly defined market. Alan lives on Merseyside with his wife and two children and has recently returned to university part-time where he is studying for a Qualifying LLB Law. Of all of the places he has visited San Francisco (and nearby Sausalito) and Singapore remain his favourites.

You Are Not Alone


o, you’ve decided that your company should look into markets abroad, who can help?

There is a mind-boggling level of support being offered to UK companies that are planning to trade internationally, some of which is available for free or subsidised to some degree, from a variety of sources.

ing point. There is no recommendation, specific or implied, of the services being presented here. There is a summary at the end of the article showing further details and contact points for the organisations mentioned. The most logical starting point is the government department UKTI (UK Trade and Investment).

This article presents some of the support available to UK companies to help them establish a presence internationally, whether the first time a company has set-up abroad, or whether they are entering a new territory.

Positioned between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), UKTI has some 2,500 staff and advisers around the world to help UK businesses to exploit international opportunities. UKTI works to promote inward as well as outward investment, i.e. helping companies to take its products and services abroad but also offering assistance to companies coming into the UK.

Although this article cannot cover all elements of the support available it is aiming to provide a start-

UKTI’s staff is split between the UK and its links with UK presences around the globe such as em-

Part of the problem, however, is knowing what is available and where to find it.

tional Trade bassies, high commissions, consulates and trade offices. In England UKTI has an office in each of the areas covered by the nine Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). In the North West, for example, UKTI has an office in Trafford Park in Manchester. Each regional office has trade advisers who may specialise in a particular overseas market and/or sector. Outside the UK it has 150 offices in 100 markets. UKTI splits its services into three groups. Advice & Support gives access to International Trade Advisers who can help both companies that are new to international trading as well as companies who already have an international presence. Initiatives in this area include ‘Preparing To Trade’ and ‘Support To Succeed’. In some cases the support is free. Information & Opportunities provides three types of information to UK businesses: the details of potential leads gathered from UKTI’s global teams, a route to working with aid-funded organisations globally, and, market & sector research. Some of these services are provided at a charge, however, there may be grant support available to help smaller companies. For example, one avenue to research is the Export Market Research Scheme (EMRS) which provides information such as: market size, trends, customer usage and competitor activity. Although a chargeable service smaller companies may be eligible for a grant of up to 50%. ‘Making It Happen’ is geared towards market entry and marketing support. Market entry includes the opportunity to visit a potential market through participation in one of the many market visits arranged throughout the year by the regional UKTI offices. UKTI North West for example has arranged a market visit to Malaysia & Singapore at the end of January 2010. Many market visits are subsidised and qualifying companies on the Malaysia/Singapore visit are being offered up to £860 towards their travel costs (companies do have to register and pass certain criteria to qualify for this support).

Although a company may miss a market visit being arranged by its UKTI regional office, there may still be the opportunity to join a subsequent visit arranged by another region. Market entry support also extends to helping companies to attend international trade shows and grants can range between £1,000 and £1,800 depending on the nature of the show, where it is and the company applying for the support. UKTI is also building UKAN (the UK Advisory Network) a directory of public sector and private organisation that assist in overseas trade and investment. Help for companies to grow into global markets can also be available from local Chambers Of Commerce. Liverpool Chamber Of Commerce has an International Trade Centre, for example, while Manchester Chamber Of Commerce has launched its Go Global initiative. Liverpool’s International Trade Centre aims to be a ‘one stop shop’ for Merseyside businesses offering services such as: consultancy, training, market research and trade missions (both inward and overseas). One of the most practical areas of help is the support offered in completing the correct export documentation, including the specific documentation required in areas such as Arab markets and EC Certificates Of Origin. Liverpool Chamber works in conjunction with other organisations that offer international trade support such as UKTI. China is a particular focus of the Chamber for 2010 as a result of the city’s presence at the Shanghai 2010 World Expo and it has established a connection with the organisation Chinalink. It has also organised a visit to China on 1st October 2010 and is offering the package at a cost of £1,350 per person to chamber members and their employees/ families.

Greater Manchester Chamber Of Commerce has set up its Go Global initiative to bring together all of its international-related support services into a single portal. Its International Trade Team is aligned with the regional UKTI office. A similar set of services is offered including advice on: language and culture, transport and logistics, finding the right route to market and specific sector opportunities overseas. It is, therefore, always worth asking your local Chamber Of Commerce whether they can offer any support. You may have to become a member of the Chamber which will usually entail paying an annual membership fee. Business Link also offers help and guidance when considering trading internationally from advice to get you started (such as: Export Basics & Import Basics) to help in specific areas (e.g. around foreign payments, associated customs duty relief and what trade tariffs may apply). The Business Link website has a page dedicated to International Trade. If you are already working with Business Link then your existing contact should be able to advise you on what support may be available. Business Link also has regional offices aligned with the RDAs. The North West office is based in Preston, although its advisers operate on a local basis and are willing to meet with companies and/ or offer phone support. Even HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can be a source of advice and information with regards to overseas markets and trading abroad. UKTradeInfo is an online register maintained by HMRC which allows users to extract, sift and analyse trade and market data. Some standard tables of data are provided but users can also build their own tables. Access to UKTradeInfo is free but registration is required to be able to build your own tables and to save the results.

revenues and tax. There is a lot of information available and support on offer. Although it may seem many and varied by defining and working to an international trade strategy a company can work with these organisations to feed in this support at the most appropriate time and in the most appropriate form.

email your questions to: You can visit the website at


North West International Trade Centre International Trade Team Warren Bruce Court Warren Bruce Road Trafford Park M17 1LB Telephone: 0845 603 7053 Fax: 0161 236 6469 Email:



International Trade Centre for Greater Merseyside One Old Hall Street Liverpool L3 9HG

There is not enough space to include all sources of information and support for companies considering trading abroad. In addition to the organisations and initiatives mentioned above there are a number of independent consultancies that offer their services based on a particular area of specialism. The contact details for a selection are included below.

0151 227 1234

You may also wish to discuss your international trade plans with your bank and/or your accountant to gain their advice on how to deal with payments,





Independent Consultancy offering International Trade support and has worked with some of the leading UK and European wallcovering and home furnishings brands. 11 Church Close Brighton East Sussex BN1 8HS UK +44 (0) 7921 064981

GREATER MANCHESTER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE International Trade Team Warren Bruce Court 2nd Floor Warren Bruce Road Trafford Park Manchester M17 1LB 0845 603 7053

BUSINESS LINK NORTHWEST Brian Johnson Way Preston Lancashire PR2 5PE 0845 00 66 888


Independent Consultancy offering International Trade Support with offices in the UK, India and Spain +44 (0) 7788 917 934


Independent Consultancy offering International Trade Support specialising in South East Asia and the wider Asia Pacific region +44 (0) 774 683 4236


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Pride In Liverpool


here is a lot said about Liverpool, not all of it good. Liverpool has had quite a turbulent history which has been very much shaped by its geographical location. For hundreds of years it has been the gateway to anything that lies to the west of Britain by sea. This is pretty much Ireland and America. This is because of the size and depth of the River Mersey, allowing access to ever bigger ships trading all manor of goods with the America’s. But this location has also had another affect. Liverpool is not a place that you need to pass through to get to somewhere else in the country, in fact if you are travelling up or down the west of England you have to make a conscious effort to get to Liverpool, turning off the main route. What this means is that if you are in Liverpool, you are there intentionally. We are all influenced by our surroundings and being fairly isolated from your land based neighbours, but having an amazing array of international visitors has a substantial generational affect on local community and society. It is this mix which has shaped Liverpool people into what they are today, unique. People often talk about the Scouse sense of humour, this is something that has developed over hundreds of years of having to communicate with the vast array of cultures Scousers have found in their city, humour is a great leveller, seeing the funny side of something that may feel alien to you can often diffuse a potentially explosive situation. We also have developed the ability to take control of situations very quickly, again this often causes our counterparts to think better of escalation of a situation and the result is the same as with humour, diffusion of a difficult situation. All of these factors and more besides give us our uniqueness and also a few more things. Firstly we have an amazing and varied history and an incredible sense of pride both in our city as a whole and our own local area’s. There is much of the heritage of this great city that has been documented over time, but there is also an amazing amount that has not. These are stories that get passed from generation to generation. Unfortunately, these stories are often lost over time, often when our older generations pass away. It is this unique history that one person, Val Price, has taken it upon herself to try and preserve, for generations to come. Turn the page to see what Val is doing and how you can get involved, if you’ve got Pride in Liverpool…..

Val Price is a lady on a mission. After retiring from Marks and Spencer in 2005 Val wasn’t ready to sit back and twiddle her thumbs. She had been running a group called Val’s Adventures for a number of years, which was for mainly single people to get together and go away on holidays and trips. A few of the singles actually ended up couples, although it wasn’t a dating agency. Then in 2008 Val got the opportunity to get involved with the Capital of Culture programme, which she grasped. During this time Val met and worked with so many people who inspired her and also had such fantastic knowledge about Liverpool. After the year long event Val decided that something more could be done to continue the feeling of pride that people felt during the Capital of Culture year. Val set up Pride in Liverpool as a not for profit company. The idea is for local people to get involved and go and speak to others in their area, or to research and find out about some of the history of a building, or just the area itself, or maybe key members of the local community. This information will then be put up on the Pride in Liverpool web site for everyone to see, therefore providing a legacy of information about all of the areas around Liverpool for generations to come. It is through this sort of knowledge that communities are able to feel this sense of pride and when we feel proud of something, we defend and protect it. We have all heard the expression, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”, well Val Price and Pride in Liverpool are helping communities around the region realise just what they have before it is lost forever. It’s very easy to get involved. All you have to do is contact the Pride in Liverpool team and they will come out and see you, give you some background info which may help with the subject you are studying and help you get additional support by way of local road shows. Various members of the Pride in Liverpool team will be able to offer expert advice in all aspects of your project. The projects will run from March although you can get involved at any time and run to mid June. The reason for the projects to finish in June is so they are done for the Pride in Liverpool exhibition that is to be held in St Georges Hall from 5th July for 1 week. All of the projects will be exhibited there in the centre of the Great Hall and the exhibition will be open for the general public to come and see. So what are you waiting for? Have a look at the Pride in Liverpool web site on and get in touch. You could be responsible for leaving a fantastic legacy for generations to come, all you need is Pride in Liverpool.

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Imagine the Apple Tablet It’s official: On January 27th, 2010, Apple will unveil a brand new, mysterious product. One could say without exaggeration that the tech world has been holding its breath and curling its toes ever since the first rumors about the mysterious tablet device appeared, and now that the whole speculation drama is coming to an end, we decided to publish a roundup of what “analysts”, “experts” and fanboys came up with, be it ideas, mockups, names, breathtaking concepts or simply hypothetical features. So what is this Apple tablet exactly? Good question. Actually, the right question would be is it? Apple has never acknowledged the existence of a tablet or any involvement in the development of such a device, and all we know about it comes from anonymous sources or obscure Asian electronics components manufacturers. reports: “outbidding its Taiwanese counterpart Simplo Technology Co., Ltd., DynaPack International Technology Corp. has been exclusively contracted to supply up to 300,000 units of long lasting battery packs a month for Apple`s newest tablet PCs”. Reuters ads “Taiwan touchscreen specialist Wintek already makes small screens for Apple iPhones, and has received orders for the larger ones that are roughly the same size as those used in mini PCs, said the source close to the Taiwan firm”. And we could go on and quote articles reporting about Apple orders regarding cameras, LED flashes, casings, processors and other parts of the tablet’s anatomy. Sources include the New York Times, Reuters, The Herald Tribune, The Financial Times and The Wallstreet Journal, in addition to the traditional Apple rumor generators like iLounge,

Apple Insider, Gizmodo, CNET and Engadget. But the most convincing indication of the Apple tablet’s existence is perhaps a letter written by bloodthirsty Apple lawyers to Gabriel Snyder, Editor-inChief at Valleywag of Gawker media, asking him to put an end to their “scavenger hunt“. A few days earlier, the very same website announced rewards up to 100,000$ for actual proof of the Tablet’s existence, and Apple was obviously not O.K. with that. Anyway, we can state with quasi-certainty that the Apple tablet does exist, in one form or another. This leads us to the next question: what will it look like? Have a look at what the Apple fan community has come up with >>>

Seriously, if I were Steve Jobs, I would consider hiring a few of these brilliant designers. True, some concepts just don’t make sense (like the iPod controls on a touch screen) but the pictures clearly show that the world is expecting something incredibly sexy, slim, iPhone like. In fact, the tablet is expected to be nothing less that “an iPhone on steroids“, at least according the Gizmodo. At this point, the question of the operating system can be asked. This is one of Apple’s best guarded mysteries. According to Engadget, the Apple tablet will run on iPhone OS 4.0, and this would explain why no builds of the new OS have been made available to the developers yet: It simply contains too much tablet-related code. Apple has developed the tablet in great secrecy, but there is one thing it just can’t hide: patents.

Technology For Business

print about content for the tablet. Also, we heard there might be some kind of textbook content too. Plus, we’re not the only ones who’ve heard it’s got an ebook bent. Also, well, it depends on the OS. iPhone OS 3.1 had clear traces of new Apple iProducts, and some people say it’s a bigass iPod touch, or at least running iPhone OS, which sorta fits with iPhone app developers supposedly being asked to make higher res versions of their apps for demonstration. It apparently fits in with the iTunes remodeling Apple’s got going on”, again according to Gizmodo.

Here is what Gizmodo has to say about that: “This patent for a “display housing for a computing device” sure sounds like a tablet, which might fit into the tablet docking station in this patent, and you might use two hands, as shown in this patent, to interact with a multitouchable OS X, generously illustrated in this patent, unless you use a pen (ha ha ha). And it might be bumpy, in a cool way”. But don’t expect too much, Apple loves patenting stuff just for the heck (and money) of it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of these features appear on the tablet. By the way features: what should we expect? Let’s imagine the best case scenario. The tablet would be about 10,7 inches wide, and have an OLED screen. The OS would be a OSX 10.6 special multitouch edition. The tablet would have a camera with flash, as well as a front facing webcam, wifi, a 3G (4G?) chip, an ARM processor and a GPS. The only probem with such a configuration would be the price: 1500$ at least. Take away the camera and flash, the OLED screen and OSX 10.6, as well as the 3G connectivity, and you might just be able to purchase for about 800$ or 900$, which would be the logical range, given the fact that it is precisely between the lower end Macbook and the iPhone’s price. “Most of the excitement lately is that it’s going to redefine newspapers and magazines—we broke the news, using multiple sources, that Apple was talking with several media companies rooted in

But what about the name? We’ve seen everything: iSlate, iPad, iTablet, Apple Tablet, Macbook Touch, etc… The most probable name is the “iPad”, given the obvious connection with the iPod, and the fact that iPads, iPods and iPhones all start with the letters ‘iP’. Also, seems to be unoccupied, and there’s the connection to Apple’s previous Newton MessagePad, the ancestral hardware relative of today’s iPhone, upon which to further ruminate. The only problem would be that it may remind people of IBM’s “Thinkpads”. So what do I predict for January 27th? Let’s see. It’s going to be a 10,7 inch tablet, ARM processor, runing iPhone OS 4.0, it will have wifi, and maybe an OLED screen. I’d be surprised to see 3G, or any kind of camera and flash. It’s going to be called the iPad, it’s going to cost 800$ and it will start shipping in the next few weeks. Remember, that’s just speculation. There may not be a tablet. Nah, kidding, there will be a tablet, but Jobs only knows what it exactly is. We’ll write another article after the Apple event to compare what was expected and what Apple actually developed, and this will be way more interesting that the speculation itself. Stay tuned.

By Florian Wardell

Technology For Business

To Censor No More On late tuesday, Google announced that they will stop censoring search results on, and that the decision may lead to the shutting down of all Google offices in China if they can’t come to an agreement with the Chinese government. I applaud Google’s ballsiness. This is the result of a massive cyber attack, apparently originating from China (some sources say Taiwan), directed at Google’s Gmail systems. Google, in their official blog, stated that the primary objective of the attack was access accounts of human rights activists, but that the attack also targeted other large companies in finance, technology, and media. Apparently, the attack more or less failed: “Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.“ Google launched their search engine in 2006, believing that the benefits of entering the world’s largest market would outweigh the consequences of censorship and freedom of speech limitation. They did, however, make clear that they “will carefully monitor conditions in China, including new laws and other restrictions on our services”.

The last attack (one of many) led them to the conclusion that the situation wasn’t satisfactory, hence the decision of pressuring the Chinese government. Will they reach an agreement? Only the next few weeks will tell us, but so far Google’s move seems to benefit China’s interests: According to Reuters, shares of Google fell 1.9 percent in after-hours trading, while shares of Chinese Internet search company Baidu Inc, Google’s main competitor in China, rose 5 percent. It is estimated that 8 to 10 percent of Google’s revenue originate from China. Google isn’t one of the largest companies in the world by chance, their long lasting internal policies of ethics and user privacy protection are a vital ingredient of their success. People trust Google. By refusing to be a censorship engine, Google is protecting their worldwide image, and on the long term, their interests. China, on the other hand, should seize this opportunity to show that its approach towards information access, freedom of speech and censorship has matured, and let Google do its job, even behind the great wall. By Florian Wardell



n the previous months that I have interviewed people for this Your Business Ezine Liverpool publication, I have been privileged to speak to some of the great leaders from both the political and business world. Before each interview I have thought that I knew the individuals I was speaking to, yet each time I have been both amazed and inspired by their stories and their journey through life. I have known Councillor Steve Rotheram for a number of years and I have to say I am very much looking forward to hearing his story, what has driven him to achieve all of the things he has achieved and what he feels the future has in store for him.

Steve was born in 1961 after his family were moved from Anfield to the then Kirkby ‘New Town’ and was the 5th of 8 children. His father, a fork lift truck driver, was elected as a Town Councillor in Kirkby in the 1970’s and Steve helped in his election campaign aged just 12. Steve wasn’t particularly interested in school, he simply wanted to become a bricklayer and upon leaving school he did an apprenticeship which he completed in 1980. Aged just 22 Steve started his own construction company which he ran for 7 years, before moved into training, teaching construction skills. After this he felt as though he needed a change of direction, choosing first to go into further education and then on to Higher education at John Moores University, before starting a Masters Degree in Contemporary Urban Renaissance. After university he worked for the Learning Skills Council as a senior business manager and took voluntary redundancy in 2005 instead of relocating to Manchester, preferring to stay in the Liverpool area to concentrate on his political career. Being a Labour Councillor, Steve was elected to the position of Deputy Lord Mayor in 2007 and then Lord Mayor in 2008, the Capital of Culture year. Just 2 days into his appointment as Lord Mayor Steve was visited by Her Majesty The Queen during her official visit to the City. It was Steve’s job to chaperone her for the day as she attended a number of Civic engagements and met many of the people of Liverpool. He said she really appeared

to enjoy herself and much to his surprise Steve himself got on very well with her. During his period as Lord Mayor, Steve in his role as Ambassador for the City met many really interesting and influential people. Among these were the President of Ireland, The Reverend Jessie Jackson, Gordon Brown with the full British Cabinet and many more, although he did say he would have liked to have met Barack Obama but unfortunately never got the opportunity. Steve is very passionate about Liverpool and also the Labour Party. I wanted to know if he had to choose between making a decision that best suited the Labour Party or Liverpool, which would he choose. Steve said, “If you make the right decision for the people, then you get the support of the party anyway”, so he would choose the City every time. “Lots of people have pre conceived ideas about what Liverpool is like, not just the place, but the people as well. They are always amazed when they visit for the first time just how warm and friendly we are and how outstanding our architecture is. Liverpool has more grade 1 and 2 listed buildings than any other city in the UK outside of London”. Leading on from this, I asked Steve if he believed the perception of the city was changing. “Absolutely, we have suffered in the past from a reputation for bad politics and car crime, but nothing could be further from the truth. We actually have less car crime than some of the greener suburbs of the south and politics in the City has matured over recent years”. Steve say’s that we never fully exploited the success of our Capital of Culture year in 2008, although visitor numbers to the city were maintained in 2009, which was Liverpool’s year of the environment and now coming in to 2010, the year of Health and Wellbeing, he feels confident that these levels will again be maintained. This is due in no small measure to the phenomenal success of Liverpool 1. Steve believes the future is looking very bright for Liverpool. The World Expo in Shanghai is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the city to the rest of the world. There are amazing green technology investment opportunities and people are really beginning to invest in the city, even Bill Gates who gave £150 million to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine for bio medical research. Well Steve it has been a pleasure. You truly are a remarkable person. Your pride in this great city is inspiring and I’m sure I speak for everyone in wishing you the very best in your career, I look forward to following it with interest.


or independent living skills. Things that many of us take for granted, such as making a cup of tea, telling the time, etc. There are devices available to help with this and Bradbury Fields can not only supply them, but also train you to use them.

Bradbury fields basically see’s itself as having 3 roles to play. Firstly is the rehabilitation role. This is were most of the staff are employed. The Bradbury Fields staff will go out to people’s homes when they lose their sight, either completely or partially and evaluate their needs. This can often take the form of re training so the client can continue to do every day things they have always done. This can be about mobility, helping people to move around either in their own homes or outside safely and also advising on what travel services are available. They can even advise family members or carers on the best way to guide someone. Other areas of rehabilitation may be things like communication

The next main area that they cover is to help people to continue to enjoy their leisure time. This is were many of the volunteers get involved. They run a walking group, a tandem cycling group, in fact the cycling group do sponsored rides. In the past they have done St Petersburg to Moscow, Lands End to John O’ Groats and soon a big one, Liverpool to Southport. They also run a music group, with a rock and a folk band and an art group. This year they would like to increase their fitness activities and as such are looking for more volunteers to work on a buddy system. This is quite simply if you were going to the gym for example, you could take someone with you and just direct them to the various pieces of equipment and possibly check on timers for how long they have done each activity. The third area covered by the team at Bradbury Fields is what Jim Moran, the charity’s Chief Executive calls the business side. They are able to offer information and training to companies on various matters relating to compliance with the disability discrimination act. This can take various

radbury Fields was established in 1857 in order to provide services to local blind people in their own homes. It was started with volunteers, but now employs 32 staff and has over 120 volunteers. They are based in Knotty Ash and now cover all of Liverpool, Knowsley and some of Sefton. They aim to provide a complete one stop shop of the best services to blind and visually impaired people within their geographical area. Basically, if they can’t provide the service themselves, then they know someone who can and all of the services that Bradbury Fields offer are paid for by the local authority.

forms, some of which is transferring information on to CD’s. In fact Bradbury Fields distributed 44,000 CD’s last year. They actually have facilities within their building to copy 40 CD’s every 3 minutes, which also helps with their quarterly news letter that goes out to 4000 people around the region in CD format every 3 months. In the future they intend to put together NVQ level 2 training courses for front line staff such as shop assistants, taxi drivers, etc, which are usually 100% funded for SME’s. They are also looking to see how they can better utilise their space. Bradbury Fields is situated in superb premises just 10 minutes from the city centre and can hire out space to businesses as required. They have board room style space that can accommodate up to 25 people with on site reception and catering facilities. Any money made from their commercial activity goes back into their voluntary services. All based in the same building there are many related providers. There is a counselling service, St Dunstan’s (which is for people in the forces who have lost their sight), The National Artificial Eye Service, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and a newspaper called All Together Now which is an award winning charity magazine for anyone who won’t let anything get in their way.

Bradbury Fields is all about promoting independence. It can only do this with the dedication and support from their caring and loyal staff working along side the dedicated and generous efforts of all of their small army of volunteers, but they are always on the lookout for more people to help in a vast array of ways. If you think there is anything you can do to help, be it fund raising, volunteering, or even would like to book some space for a meeting or conference, why not speak to the team at Bradbury Fields, your sure to get a warm welcome and a sense of pride knowing you’ve helped to make a difference. Contact; Bradbury Fields – Services for the Blind and Partially Sighted People The Bradbury Centre Youens Way Liverpool L14 2EP Telephone 0151 221 0888 Email Charity Number 222798




ere at Your Business Ezine we love a good success story, and why not. There’s enough doom and gloom around, so when you get some good news it’s always gratefully received. We Launched our Liverpool edition of Your Business Ezine in September 2009 when we featured a web design company called IAW (Its About Websites). After the feature I am pleased to say that IAW had a fantastic response and due to their innovative approach, determination and an amazingly creative marketing strategy, they have gone from strength to strength. Now, just 5 months later, they are launching a new product onto the market. It’s not just about websites anymore, Its About Video too.

Why on earth would a web design company want to diversify in to video production? Simple, it’s the future of the web. More and more websites are going to contain video. The phenomenal success of You Tube and the fact that an amazing array of corporates are spending vast sums of money producing video for this sort of media tells us that as ever in this industry, times are changing. More and more consumers are getting their information, as well as products and services through the internet. The companies that are delivering that information in the fastest and most effective fashion are going to steal a lead on their competitors and the fastest and most effective fashion is now video. Have a look at some of these stats, they make pretty impressive reading. After watching an online video: • 52 percent of viewers take action after watching • 30 percent of viewers visit a shop • Clicks for more information increase by 30-40 percent • Phone calls to your business increase 16-20 percent • According to Jack Wallington senior programmes manager, IAB

“29.6 million people in the UK accessed online video in January 2009 (comScore). That’s 8 out of 10 internet users, 10% more than the year before and that number continues to grow. 1 in every 35 internet visits in February was to a specialist video website too (Hitwise). The online video revolution is upon us.” Told you! Videos mean that you can actually show potential customers your product or service in action, not just tell them about it. No longer will you have to convince them of the benefits, they will able to see for themselves. Backed up by positive video testimonials from existing clients, videos are incredibly powerful sales tools. Still not convinced? Here are a few facts about corporate video’s; • Videos guarantee consistency, so provided you get a decent one, they always remain on-message and are delivered with the same degree of enthusiasm and professionalism every single time. • Videos can be easily and inexpensively propagated online, enabling any business to reach

large audiences at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. • If consumers like what they see, video can also be easily and very quickly shared via online social networks like Twitter or Facebook. • For a relatively small cost, video content can be easily updated at a later date to reflect changes in a company’s products, services or brand. Print brochures cannot. • By eliminating inefficiencies and reducing errors, videos can greatly improve productivity and therefore the profit margins of any business. So why choose IAV as a brand? Well IAW have teamed up with Liverpool based video production expert John Scotland in order to offer their clients a complete in house solution. As more and more websites are including video, it makes perfect sense for the IAW team to have overall control over the entire process, so your not having to go to one place for your video and trying to make that work with your web design company and visa versa. Although they are also happy for IAV to be used by the trade, ie other web design companies, etc. As they are offering a complete online marketing package, if video is required for a customers site, they can set the brief and deliver a single box solution to the client, building the site to maximum effect.The bottom line is that a well produced video can be a highly cost effective tool in any organisation’s armory, delivering enormous commercial benefits at a very low price. Here’s a few more points to bear in mind; • IAV create compelling video content you need affordably and professionally and deliver it to the people you want to reach. • Whether you’re looking to make 10 videos or 1,000; reach 1,000 viewers or 10 million “We specialise in creating multi-platform video campaigns to help you communicate with potential clients in a dynamic way.” Says creative Director John Scotland. • Adding Video content to your website not only makes your website more personable and entertaining, it also increases your search engine optimization. • Viewers are more likely to click to buy your products or call you to do business when you have online videos.

It’s a powerful communication tool.

• “2010 is the year of online video”. Say’s John. With the added power of the IAW’s web design and social media platform creation tools, IAV offers some unique and affordable means to get your message out to the masses, they also offer a service creating a customized, branded facebook page with your videos embedded, allowing the viewer to interact, you can build a massive fanbase around your service and products. A recent project has been creating an online video campaign for Mankey Monkey, who are raising money for Alder Hey Children’s hospital. They have created a micro site with a variety of short viral videos to promote the cause. Video Case studies are also a powerful way to bring your website alive, imagine watching case studies about projects you worked on and online documentaries that take you behind the scenes of your organisation or corporate events. IAV are also offering a range of multi camera shoot packages, ideal for charity fashion shows and awards events. Gone are the days of business videos being bulky tapes to post out to your clients. More and more companies are turning to the internet rather than advertising on TV, as you can reach your ideal customers making your advertising efforts focused and relevant. IAV will also help you locate who and where your viewers are. The focal aim of IAV is to provide compelling video marketing solutions at prices that fit within your existing marketing budgets, whether or not you want them imbedded into your site, or for any other online or email marketing campaign. For further information call 0151 324 0102.




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Business for Breakfast is a business club whose key aim is to help its members significantly grow their businesses through relationship marketing and the passing of qualified referrals. We run fortnightly meetings at locations in Liverpool and Wirral. Business for Breakfast only allows one person per industry sector to join a forum. This effectively prevents any of your competitors from participating - so all the referral business for your particular industry is yours. Why not take a look at the opportunities and benefits that your Business for Breakfast membership offers?

Business For Breakfast

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WARNING, the Sir Thomas Hotel is getting all fruity! Juice Networking has expanded from its founding group at Home Café, Woodside Ferry Terminal, Birkenhead and on 29th January they launched a brand new Juice group at The Sir Thomas Hotel, Sir Thomas Street, Liverpool. This group will be headed up by Robbie Doran of Rest and Relax, who promises to bring a touch of ZEST to the Liverpool breakfast networking scene. Visitors to the event are welcome and there is just a £10 charge to attend. Visitors also get 2 bites of the CHERRY, that is they are able to attend twice before they are asked to join and joining is just £375 per year. The meetings will be held at the Sir Thomas every second Friday from 0700 to 0845hrs. Juice have started a Liverpool group due to popular demand, they had always planned to move in to Liverpool, but not this soon. In fact they have brought forward their Liverpool launch by 11 months from the original planned date. Who can blame people for demanding it, in their first Juice group, more than £75,000 of business has been passed in its first 6 months. Mel believes the success of the groups are down to the relaxed but organised approach, informally formal as she puts it. Its all about building trust and the group becomes

more than a group of separate business people out to get more business, they quickly become friends and more, they are a support network. Like with any group of this sort, you get out what you put in. The meetings are broken down into easily digestible sections, for example, Intro Juice, Lime Light, Passion, Slice of knowledge, Pear Up and Produce Section. Attending one of these events will surely exceed your 5 a day requirement and set you up for the weeks ahead. There is no dress code at Juice events and as this is a new group, many categories are still available, so if you’ve been struggling to find an event that you’re not already locked out of, you need to get yourself down there and lock out your competition, before they lock you out. So if your looking for a FRESH TWIST on a traditional theme speak to one of the team at Juice and get yourself down to the Sir Thomas Hotel, we have the dates listed on our networking calendar on our web site.

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Your Business eZine | Liverpool | February 2010  

This month brings you the best kept secret in Liverpool - Madelainartz (aka Maddy). Maddy is popular with local celebrities through her art...