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Your Hustle. Our Passion. Meet the network of entrepreneurs that can help you turn the dream of running your own business into a reality Britain was once known as a nation of shopkeepers but has become a nation of entrepreneurs. Last year, 589,008 new businesses were launched in the UK. We understand the challenges that everyone faces when trying to get a new venture off the ground. You may currently be in a full-time job, while also managing your side hustle, and you’ll have concerns about taking away the safety net. So it’s important to know there are thousands of entrepreneurs just like you who have embarked on the same journey and are making a success of running their own business. Just because you plan to become your own boss doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.

From Employee to Entrepreneur The IoD has been advising business owners for over 100 years. Here are a few essential tips to consider on the journey from employee to entrepreneur. 1

Taking professional advice right from the start, from accountants or solicitors, will help keep your decision making on track from the outset.

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Before you begin, ask yourself: what are your sales plans going forward? How will your sales resources be used and are there any changes you’ll need to adapt to in the marketplace?

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IoD 99 is the UK’s fastest growing network of entrepreneurs. We are dynamic, innovative and, collectively, we represent a Great British success story. 4

99ers have created over 7,000 new jobs Over 50% of 99ers have increased turnover by 30% in the last 12 months

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99ers have raised over £150m in investment in the last year 1 in 4 have more than doubled their turnover in the last 12 months

If you’re entering into a partnership make sure you create an agreement covering aspects like strategy, remuneration, responsibilities and ‘what if’ scenarios – the key to success is preparation. Being a start-up is no easy feat and to increase your chances of success it’s crucial that you surround yourself with people you can learn from.

“If not now, then when? If not now, then how? If you’re waiting for the right time, be prepared to wait forever. The only time we ever have is now so don’t wait for anyone’s permission and go ahead and follow your dream.” Leo Lourdes CEO and Co-Founder, Yogasphere

The Home of the Modern Leader We are the UK’s largest business community. We are modern leaders who are passionate about helping each other to learn and grow. We know that the mistakes that start-ups make tend to be universal – not spending enough time researching your market, the pricing strategy wasn’t right, there wasn’t enough cash flow, you recruiting the wrong people, the business couldn’t scale up, it grew too quickly… Our mission is simple – to help you succeed and sidestep the inevitable start-up pitfalls you’re going to come up against as you grow and develop. We’re fierce, passionate, and good fun.

The Best Leaders Never Stop Learning We provide the training, support and tools necessary to create better directors, better business practice and a better economy. Last year, we launched the IoD Academy and we strongly believe that the best leaders never stop learning. There are many ways to get the knowledge and skills to take your business forward through networking, mentoring and peer-to-peer learning. You can even learn on the go with bitesized digital content, videos or podcasts. When it comes to honing your leadership skills, our Chartered Director qualification is internationally recognised as the gold standard and will help you to develop the confidence and skills for success every step of the way.

If you’re taking the leap, let us help you succeed. Download our free start-up guide and more here: iod.com/hustle


BE YOUR OWN BOSS

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BeYour Own Boss

‘‘Nurse! We’ve Got Another One!” I was at a sports goods distributor’s UK headquarters about 20 years ago, in the managing director’s office. I was working on selling the mercurial incumbent, Andrew Young, a commercial partnership with the business for which I worked, when the phone on his desk rang, and he scrambled to pick it up, rather than listen to me drone on. At the other end was a gentleman who was considering voluntary redundancy from British Telecom, and who was interested in starting a retail shop. Would the company supply him? With a twinkle in his eye, the managing director stood up and bellowed to his long-suffering PA in the office next door: “NURSE! NURSE! Come quickly, we’ve got another one!” I can’t remember how long it took me to stop crying with laughter. The chap at the end of the phone, totally bemused, asked for an account application form, gave his address and hung up.

“The only person you have to answer to is yourself ” and the kind of person who is prepared to put in the hours in return for flexibility further down the line, being your own boss brings with it a renewed perspective on life and your finances. It’ll be a hard slog and at times it will be lonely. Keep in mind that entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t. I was fortunate enough to find a mentor

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Why would anyone relinquish the stability of a decent job to start up on one’s own? Being your own boss, that’s why. This is among the most common reasons people leave the safety net of a job and go it alone. The only person you really have to answer to is yourself. But that also means you live or die by how you operate, and it’s worth remembering that now your customers and competitors will become your boss. Being in charge of your own destiny is exciting, yet is not without its challenges. The chances are that, initially, you will be less welloff than when you were working for someone else, you’re going to have to work a whole lot harder and demarcation goes out of the window. But if you’re a doer, not a dreamer,

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when I started out. I began with a step in the wrong direction: a product with insufficient appeal that would never really make any money. But my enthusiasm was palpable, and it rubbed off on people around me. My mentor saw that I would likely succeed through focus and energy if not experience – yet experience was something he could provide. He had been a senior newspaper executive who left to start his own company. With the help of that mentor (thank you, Simon Baseley), I quickly learned how to run a small company. Over 16 years that company grew to become a multi-million pound business before I sold it. Much of working for yourself is common sense. In the pages that follow, we deliver some common sense advice to anyone considering starting up on their own in general terms. We discuss structures, staff, networking, finances, legals, technology – and, of course, take inspiration from Dragon’s Den’s James Caan and his entrepreneurial path, among others. My words of advice to anyone starting out on their own are few. Remember that 90% of successful start-ups are run by sales people or accountants; if you’re not one, find one. Never overestimate what you can achieve in a year, yet never underestimate what you can achieve in ten. Find a mentor with experience in the industry you’re in. Watch the cash. And enjoy every moment of being in charge of your own destiny; enjoy the experience of being your own boss.

BeYour Own Boss PUBLISHED BY

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ADMINISTRATION

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James Taylor, Richard Damar, James Russell, Jesse Green, Chris Gilbert, Oscar Bishop, Patrick Magill, Joseph McLaven, Anthony Wynne, Richard Douglas

Be Your Own Boss is published and wholly owned by Hurst Media Company Ltd. Every care is taken in compiling the contents of the publications but the publishers assume no responsibility in the effect arising therefrom. Readers are advised to seek professional advice before acting on any information which is contained in the publication. Hurst Media Company do not accept any liability for views expressed, pictures used or claims made by advertisers. All prices correct at time of going to press.

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Contents 5 COVER STAR

27 CASHFLOW

40 SUCCESS STORY

11 ADMIN & FACILITIES

30 ACCOUNTING

45 IT & TECH

James Cann talks start-ups

Sole trader or partnership?

Keeping an eye on the cash

Lease or buy?

18 NETWORKING

37 LEGAL

23 HR & HIRING

39 SUCCESS STORY

Where to be seen

Getting the right team

When (not) to use a lawyer

Michelle’s Peanut app for mums

51 GET THE STAFF ONSIDE

Jon & John’s Craft Gin Club

Keeping your people happy

54 WHEN IT GOES WRONG How to lose £1m in 7 weeks

£3,000 for your business - free!

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SECURITY Be alert to cyber crime

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COVER STAR INTERVIEW

James Caan

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From The Dragon’s Mouth Failure is part of the journey to success, says business tycoon and former Dragon’s Den star, James Caan By Amelia Glean

hen you’re starting a small business that’s trying to get off the ground, nothing ever really goes to plan. This is what James Caan CBE learned when he started out. Born in Pakistan in 1960, Nazim Khan came to Britain when he was two, later changing his name after a cinema visit to see a James Caan film. What boy wouldn’t want the same name as the coolest Hollywood actor of the time? Caan’s father, who couldn’t read or write English, had built a successful company trading in leather jackets in the East End’s Brick Lane. The young James began an enterprising pocket money business, selling his father’s jackets to school friends and adding his own margin. “At 12, I earned £1 a week pocket money. My father made me a leather jacket and I wore it in the playground, where I would later end up selling them for £3,” James recalls. “The drive to become an entrepreneur really came from my father. I saw what he was doing, how hard he was working, and I realised that being your own boss gives you so much more flexibility and independence, and I wanted that.” Although James ended up close to his father, as a teenager he railed against his authority, leaving home at 16 with no money, no qualifications and no job. He didn’t want to

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From humble beginnings, James Caan has gone on to become one of the country’s most decorated businessmen

join his father’s business. He wanted to build his own. “Dad’s business was the easy option – car keys, salary, start Monday – but I wanted to know what it was like to make it on my own,” James recalls. Like any teenager looking for their first break, he admits he was naïve and inexperienced. Applying for a series of jobs just to get himself on the ladder, he ended up taking a role in recruitment. “I stumbled into recruitment, despite

applying for a job as a trainee journalist. It wasn’t what I set out to do originally, but I had a knack for it. So, I decided to start my own recruitment business after a few years of working for someone else,” he says. It was then at the age of 25 that James founded the Alexander Mann group, in a broom cupboard office, with just a phone to keep him company. “I knew I needed an address to get my business running.

Eventually, I secured a room, albeit without a window. I used this as a base and would meet prospective clients or colleagues in a coffee shop or a hotel nearby.” “I made a lot of mistakes in the early days and mismanaging cash flow was a particular issue,” James recalls. “One Friday afternoon I realised that we hadn’t been managing our receivables correctly. We didn’t even have enough money in the bank to pay Continued on 7

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LOCAL BUSINESS. GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY

HOW BUSINESSES ARE OUTSOURCING TECH TO SCALE Like a seat on Southern Railway in rush hour, talented technical people are expensive and in high demand. For a business reliant on technology to grow, this strikes a pose as uncomfortable as that spot by the exit button. Be it Blockchain, AI or a drive for digital readiness, a business today needs technology to compete. Yet according to Computer Weekly, “40% of UK technology workers are contractors, and an estimated one in three are immigrants.” A messy Brexit, coupled with Hammond’s commitment to confusing IR35 (now officially entering the private sector in 2020), casts a foreboding shadow across the tech talent landscape. The British have their brollies ready: only 11% of employers do not expect a tech skills shortage next year according to Harvey Nash’s 2018 CIO Survey. The smartest businesses are fi nding solace in an alternative approach to getting tech jobs done. Take PXP Solutions, a payment service provider. By partnering with an outsourced technology partner on the other side of the world, they are leveraging gains in technology and time. NashTech specialises in software development and outsourcing from its centres in Vietnam. Headquartered in the UK, with offices in America, Ireland, the Nordics, Japan, Singapore and Australia, it employs some of the world’s brightest tech minds.

Tech minds that go to work while Salvatore Cicero tends to more pressing matters. As CTO of PXP Solutions, improving the company’s development methods takes precedence. Processing millions of transactions for customers every year, it operates in a complicated market that demands the latest technologies and the tightest legislation. Certification struck a particular problem. How to develop technology quickly enough to compete while ensuring it is accredited across the board? The business couldn’t move fast enough. The certification backlog was growing. Cicero tapped into NashTech’s deep talent pool to outsource the process. Inside NashTech, he found a knowledgeable, gifted, talented team committed to achieving high-level results.

PXP has adapted only by introducing a protocol for daily communication. From 9 until 12 each day, key members of the UK team are dedicated to supporting NashTech’s Vietnam teams. It’s worked so well it’s now a normal part of the working day. In the current climate, traditional routes to sourcing tech talent leave businesses standing on a bleak, perilous platform. Jump aboard the high-speed outsourced team train and you could be travelling fi rst class while leaving the competition in your wake.

NASHTECH IN A NUTSHELL: +2000 skilled workers London HQ Operations across 3 continents

“PXP has a key focus and motivation towards continuous improvement. And NashTech is committed to following our Agile team processes. Together, we’ve created a powerful collaborative team effort ensuring we have a very solid development, QA and certification process.”

And if there’s a release coming up and they need to get a fi x in? “NashTech can react in super-quick time frames.”

Experts in .NET, Java, and all Microsoft technologies Part of Harvey Nash Group

Get in touch to find out how we can help your company scale, info@nashtechglobal.com www.nashtechglobal.com


COVER STAR INTERVIEW

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rent – and the company very nearly collapsed. That’s when I learnt that it can be game, set and match very quickly.” Alongside running what would turn out to be an enormous success in Alexander Mann, in 1993 James co-founded the executive headhunting business Humana International with business partner Doug Bugie. This second enterprise achieved great success, eventually growing to have 147 offices in 30 countries. It was sold for a substantial sum in 1999 – and in 2002, Alexander Mann, which James likens to “raising a child,” was sold for £95 million. “Alexander Mann was one of the most respected companies in the world and it was my baby. But when I was made an offer that I couldn’t refuse, it was time to part ways,” he says. Eager to kick on again, the future dragon decided to study at Harvard Business School, graduating from the Advanced Management

Program in 2003. “At 42, I looked back on my life and wondered if I could have done things any differently. The one thing I regretted was not going to university, so I went to Harvard Business School and picked up my education.” “There were 123 people on my course and they were all CEOs of global businesses, except me. I was the only one who was an entrepreneur,” he recalls. When asked whether having business qualifications in the early days would have made any difference, James replies: “It doesn’t make it easy, but it does give you a better understanding of the business world. I think people take you more seriously, too. “Without them, it was a little bit like diving off a cliff. There is no doubt in my mind that if I had gone to business school earlier, I would have made fewer mistakes in the process,” he admits. After Harvard, James returned to London in 2004 to set up private equity outfit

DRAGON DIGITS 1. JAMES CAAN CBE

James spent four seasons on the panel, investing in 14 businesses overall and parting with £1,300,000 2. DUNCAN BANNATYNE

Duncan was a dragon for 12 series. He made 36 investments and £200,000 was his highest ever investment offer 3. DEBORAH MEADEN

After launching her first

business straight out of college, Deborah’s total investment figure in the den came to an impressive £3,746,000 4. PETER JONES CBE

One of Britain’s best-known entrepreneurs, Peter invested a total of £4,085,667 during his time on the show 5. THEO PAPHITIS

Theo made 45 investments during his time on the show, with his largest invested offer the highest ever recorded on Dragon’s Den at £250,000

Hamilton Bradshaw. Today an industry leader, the Mayfair-based firm turns over in excess of £500m. But, arguably, it was when James appeared on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den in 2007 that he really made a name for himself. The smooth, urbane dragon, who lacked Duncan Bannatyne’s belligerence or Deborah Meaden’s grouchiness, exhibited a refreshing cool shrewdness. But it wasn’t all plain sailing. “I thought being a Dragon would be easy, having worked in business and recruitment for many years. But in the den, you can’t take the time to make an informed decision about whether you like someone or not. In the first week, I sat there without putting my hand up once. I got home and spoke to my daughter. To my surprise she told me to buck my ideas up! Her friends were all watching the show and she was Continued on 8

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opportunity to do when approached by David Cameron in 2012. Sitting as chairman for three years on the government’s Start Up Loans Initiative, James was emotional when tweeting “This has been the best three years of my life” to his 152,000 followers after finally stepping down. “I’m extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and small businesses, as I believe this is the way to create jobs and drive the UK economy.” “Being approached by the then Prime Minister was an honour. He thought the country needed more entrepreneurs, so I was given £500million to invest in this, and a target to set up 300 businesses,” James says. “I was keen to use my experience and knowledge to mentor others, to give them the same opportunities

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I had. By the time I’d stepped down, I had created 24,000 new businesses, which means the initiative was one of the most successful launched by the government in history,” he says proudly. Typically, entrepreneurs are driven by money and success, but James Caan appears to be more concerned with throwing himself back into the seat of a startup entrepreneur. “The entrepreneurs I met through my investments and through Start Up Loans inspired me to continue doing what I do – it was an extremely exciting and humbling experience,” he says.“I thrive off being in a position to back other entrepreneurs, and receiving a CBE in 2015 for my contribution was the icing on the cake.” Among his other achievements, James has carved out a niche for himself in social media, too. With technology changing the business landscape considerably since the days of Alexander Mann, the business tycoon found himself having to adapt to this new mode of communication in order to move with the times. With over 3 million followers on the networking platform LinkedIn, boasting more than the former US president Barack Obama, James was named LinkedIn’s second most influential voice in 2017. His regular posts on the platform attract a major audience, with articles such as ‘How to use nerves to your advantage’ as well as ‘How to smash a group interview’. “LinkedIn has changed the landscape of professional networking and it also allows me to easily communicate with relevant audiences. Unlike newspaper columns, I instantly get a response on whether people like what I’m writing or not,” James says. “That’s powerful and far more engaging. It opens up the dialogue for career development and allows people to build relationships quicker. I would say that my activity on LinkedIn helps me generate ten new opportunities a week,” James adds. From driving global enterprise to launching charitable initiatives in Pakistan, is there anything that Caan can’t do? There can be no question that his legacy has and continues to change lives. As a figurehead for enterprise in the UK and beyond, the Dragon’s Den star still credits much of his entrepreneurial spirit to two pieces of fatherly wisdom. “‘Observe the masses and do the opposite’ and ‘Always look for opportunities where both parties benefit’,” he says. Armed with these two pieces of advice, natural charm and help from the Yellow Pages, James Caan has proven that it is possible to go from no money and no qualifications to rise to become one of the UK’s most successful business tycoons. ↘

Images: Amit and Naroop/PA images

to admit I’ve had many failures throughout my career and accepting that is as important as being successful,” he adds. It is also passion, which James defines as “having the character to do something once the emotion has gone,” that really motivates him. This is a conviction that clearly runs through his charity work, funding the NSPCC, and a school in his birth city of Lahore, Pakistan, and with the launch of the James Caan Foundation in 2006. So what advice can today’s figurehead of enterprise offer hopeful entrepreneurs? “Always have confidence in yourself and in your abilities. Starting your own business is, without question, one of the most exciting things you can do. The thrill of building something from scratch and being in charge of your own destiny is an unparalleled experience. At the same time, it is also incredibly hard work, particularly in the early stages.” This has been key in James’ eagerness to give back to the community. Something he was given the

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“Don’t get carried away with things that aren’t central to the business,” James says ST

embarrassed that I wasn’t putting my hand in my pocket,” he admits candidly. “So, I went in the next day and raised my hand for the first person that came through the door.” Luckily, this turned out rather well. Fit Fur Life, a treadmill for dogs was that very pitch. James decided to invest £100,000 for a 50 per cent stake in the company and since then models of the treadmills have been sold to the Ministry of Defense for training military dogs, and in Harrods’s pet department, with the company’s turnover nearly tripling in its first two years. After that first deal, James’ confidence grew and he went on to take equity in a total of 14 businesses during his time on the show, investing £1.3 million overall. Having proven himself as both a successful businessman and a media personality, what is it that really drives the man? If you ask Caan directly, it’s the fear of failure. “To succeed, you have to be ready to lose. It drives you, pushes you to have attention to detail,” he says. “I’m happy

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Recruitment Entrepreneur is the world’s most exciting investor in early to mid-size recruitment start-ups Meet our latest investments: Andrew Kerr, launching a technical engineering consultancy - Urban Connect, and Jake Tapsell launching financial executive search firm - Stanford Search. Investing time, money, and experience; we partner with and empower budding entrepreneurs to build world-class recruitment businesses.

If you want investment to start or scale a recruitment business, register at www.re-apply.com

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On Your Own Or With A Friend? So you’ve got your idea – and you’re going to make a business out of it. Do you want to go it alone or do you want to go into business with someone else? By Wes Stanton

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“As the boss, you have the final say in how things are done”

trader is its simplicity accounting-wise. You keep records of your sales and your expenses and the difference between the two is your taxable profit. You can offset a multitude of expenses against your profit – premises, motoring, travel, workwear, staff costs, goods for resale, advertising, legal and financial costs are all allowable. Just total the allowable expenses for the tax year and put it on your Self Assessment tax return. Do ensure you keep records of your business expenses as evidence of what you’ve spent, as HMRC will often check. A partnership is where you and

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The big advantage of self-employment is that you work when you choose to work – but if lying in bed until the early afternoon watching Australian soap operas is what you think working for yourself might be, then it isn’t for you. Choosing when to work means that you pay a price for that flexibility – get a job wrong, and you need to fi x matters in your own time. Being self-employed doesn’t mean you can’t get someone else to do the work on your behalf though – as the boss, you have the final say in how everything is done. Another attractive aspect of being a sole

your partner (or partners) agree to share in the income and expenses of a business. This can have real advantages over the self-employed route, in that a pooling of expertise can bring in more income than the partners might be able to if they were working on their own. A partnership can operate under the individual names of the partners, or it can have its own name. It has to register for Self Assessment with HMRC, and one of the partners is nominated to send in the annual tax return. The downside of being self-employed or in a partnership is unlimited personal liability. If a sole trader is sued successfully, it’s not just the business that’s at risk. Any assets belonging to the sole trader could be sold to repay business debts. For a partnership, the liability for the business debts is joint and several – when one partner cannot afford to settle their share of their partnership’s debts the other partner is equally liable, which means advice from an accountant is key. Professional indemnity insurance can afford protection for the selfemployed or partnerships – the Federation of Small Businesses can help protect you. ↘

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any new businesses start as either a sole trader or a partnership. The first of these is someone acting entirely on their own account, while a partnership is two people (or more) acting in concert in a business. Becoming a sole trader is perfect for the one-man/one-woman band who sells their services. So, if you are a social media expert, a copywriter, dog-walker, hairdresser or gardener, then becoming a sole trader is an ideal choice, because you are responsible for getting the work in and doing it.

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COVER STAR INTERVIEW James Caan

How to pick your first perfect office space? Entrepreneurs build a business according to their vision and while not many might be immediately aware of it, finding the right office space can be a game-changing decision. Now more than ever, potential business partners and employees see the office space as an important pull factor. This is why it is vital that your office space meets your logistical needs, while also reflecting the culture of your company. With this in mind, we have put together a guide, based on the responses of 500 entrepreneurs, of the most important aspects to consider when choosing your company’s first ‘proper’ home: 1. Cost

5. The communities of businesses around you

If you are a young business it is likely that you will have a small budget to play with. The key decision on cost is often what you compromise on, for some it is about paying that little bit extra to be in the right location, but then taking a smaller space in order to meet budget, for others it might be the opposite. In our experience, finding the right office to fit a budget is all about weighing up these elements and prioritising those which will most help the business thrive.

A big draw of serviced and co-working offices as your first office as a start-up is the community of businesses you surround yourself with. Often, you’ll find yourselves sharing ideas, insights, contacts, creative inspiration and even services with each other. Make sure you ask about the other businesses in the building to see if they can complement what you do.

2. Location

Every company will have different requirements for the various stages of their business growth. Whether it’s as minimal as a desk and a chair in a shared office, or a full blown 200+ person office block, getting the best deal possible is critical for any business, as no one wants to spend any more than they have to.

Location and transport are the second most important priorities for entrepreneurs looking for their first office space. There can be many reasons for picking a certain location, whether it is in the middle of a buzzing city with lots of great local amenities to attract the best talent or in a convenient space to help everyone get into work easily.

3. IT Infrastructure One of the first things we’re asked by entrepreneurs looking for serviced offices is what the technology infrastructure is like. The IT spec of a building can vary greatly, not just from different serviced or co-working operators, but also the actual location of the building (broadband black spots, for instance). It is vital therefore to get as much detail as possible on the IT spec, for example be sure to ask questions such as whether the provider can offer you your own dedicated internet line.

4. Flexibility to grow

Why Workthere?

Workthere advises clients at every stage of their journey from one-person start-ups through to large multinational corporates – and all at no cost to the occupier. Clients include start-ups such as UCreate.it, Butternut Box and Wonderbill, as well as major businesses such as Formula One, Avios and Technicolour. The flexible office market has witnessed considerable growth over the past few years and we expect that to continue across the continent and also overseas. As a result Workthere now has teams in place in the UK, Germany, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Singapore with further growth expected in the near future.

One of the main strengths of the serviced and co-working sector is the flexibility it gives businesses to evolve, adapt and change without the worry of being tied into long-term leases or costly fit-outs. The flexibility to be able to upsize your office space quickly is crucial for convenience – saving time and money.

Workthere thoroughly understood our needs and nothing was too much trouble for them. We found the office we wanted from their first shortlist, and then visited it and got the deal done on the same day. David Nolan, Co-Founder of Butternut Box

We are always on hand to help, find your perfect office at: workthere.com/betheboss

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become a House Member at The Clubhouse for £4,650 per year for access to boardrooms and invitations to regular events. And if you don’t want to commit for long, you can rent a desk by the day. Using sites like Deskcamping or Rentadesk, you can find a space with the right number of desks for the right price, which can be as cheap as £20 per desk per day.

Where Should You Start A Business From?

SERVICED OFFICES

By Katie Russell

ccording to the London Office Rental Guide, a leased office in the City of London costs £93 per square foot per year. With that in mind, office space for a company of five people, with 100 square feet per employee costs a whopping £46,500 a year. For an established, profitable business, this may be bearable – but for a start-up, it’s a big chunk of cash. What options are available if you can’t afford a central London office?

A

WORK FROM HOME

The obvious answer is to set up an office at home. Indeed, this method worked for Pierre Omidyar, who launched eBay from his living room. By setting up shop at home, there is no awful commute and no added fees. You do, however, miss out on the prestige of having a

“Pierre Omidyar launched eBay from his living room”

13

business address. Cabin fever is also a big risk – make sure you get out of the house for a few hours and use your smartphone, lightweight laptop and free Wi-Fi in a local coffee shop. VIRTUAL OFFICE

It sounds like something out of Black Mirror, but a virtual office allows you to rent a prestigious business address, without paying for the actual space. Clients send your mail to the up-market location, then your provider forwards it to your home. Potential investors think you have a swanky office in Mayfair, even though you might be working from home

in Neasden. Basic packages cost less than £50 per month, but high-end providers like Regus charge more (£131 per month) because they include other perks, such as a business phone number, lounge access and office space. CO-WORKING

Swanky hotel lobby vibes, super-fast Wi-Fi and free tea are just some of the perks of co-working. The main advantage is you can easily network with other professionals, since you work alongside each other. Prices vary, depending on providers. For instance, you can hot-desk at WeWork from £200 per month, or

For a higher price, you can rent a kitted-out office with a flexible lease. The short-term lease means you can afford to stay in a prime real-estate location, fitted with hi-tech equipment. But fully-serviced offices are cost-effective only as a short-term solution, as The London Office Space Calculator (findalondonoffice.co.uk) approximates that it would cost £7,800 per year for a desk in a serviced building in Central London. The main advantage of a serviced office is that, unlike a conventional lease that can come with onerous obligations in terms of rent, repairs and redecoration, your business can remain flexible. And when you’re still finding your feet, flexibility is everything. ↘

We recommend Simple Clean. First impressions count, so your building should be sparkling from the outset. Whether it needs freshening up or a full, deep clean, choose Simple Clean for your cleaning solutions. simpleclean.uk

Prime locations. Superior design. Curated communities. Discover your new workspace at LABS, located in Holborn and Camden. VISIT WWW.LABS.COM TO FIND OUT MORE! /

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Cure efficiency headaches by streamlining how you work RUNNING A SMALL BUSINESS is a constant struggle to cope with GDPR, endless emails, bits of paper, telephone calls and documents. Logical Office LITE is a new XEROcompatible CRM for small businesses who want to get organised and intend to grow. It works without XERO too, with its on-board sales and purchase ledgers. The SQL database holds customers, suppliers and prospects so you don’t have to look in more than one place in order to deal with any of them. Taking a prospect from sales to customer support is one seamless trip. LITE copies all emails to the relevant accounts totally automatically. This reduces overloaded inboxes so they only contain emails you

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should reply to. When dealing with anybody it’s important to deliver instant service, which means seeing all the email history, and all other documents, together. Our templates send emails and text messages, which are all recorded instantly. There’s a host of time-saving features, which typically save 10-20 minutes per day/user. That’s 2-3 weeks every year! Once the paperless office, email management and sales functions are working, you can add options like mail shots, workflows, sales and purchase ledgers and time recording. Cure filing frustration and wasted time with daily use of Logical Office. You’ll feel much better!

Get in touch LITE is light on your pocket at just £20+VAT per month per user (£4.61+VAT weekly) 020 7482 7077 info@logical-office.com logical-office.com Section Title

Let us find the perfect workplace for you WHY IS FINDING AN OFFICE lease in London such a nightmare? Did you know that finding an office is so unexpectedly difficult? Unlike the residential sector, you can’t simply search a site like Rightmove to easily find all offices on the market. Instead, you are faced with more than 500 property agencies who individually list their available offices. Furthermore, if you are looking for a conventional leased office you will find that google is dominated by serviced office brokers – an unsuitable solution for most well established businesses. Once you have managed to find an office, you then enter in to the confusing process of negotiating the best lease deal, and many businesses incur huge additional costs over the course of their lease as a result of not getting the best deal. Consequently, 80% of all businesses acquiring office space in London now choose to be represented. SEARCH FOR A BRAND NEW OFFICE TODAY! The Workplace Co. gives you access to all available offices across London and are expert in negotiating the best lease terms on your behalf.

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CORNERSTONE OFFICE SEARCH was created due to feedback from previous clients and business contacts, who found the office search process tiresome and frustrating. They wanted a customer-friendly service from a company they could trust who had their best interests at heart. Prior to forming Cornerstone Office Search, the team had worked for various office space providers and landlords, so we decided to pool our extensive knowledge and experience of the market to benefit our clients. We measure our success by not only identifying the right solution for our clients, but by helping them acquire them on terms most beneficial to their business. We continue to support and promote growth by aligning them with trusted affiliates and partners long after the office move. Due to our relationships and influence with landlords across the UK, we are able to highlight the best deals available and help with negotiating the most competitive terms on the client’s behalf. Great customer service is the core ethos that drives our values, which is why we never tie our clients to exclusive contracts; people use us because that want to, not because they have to.

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Want £500 worth of Amazon vouchers? If you know anyone looking to move office, The Workplace Co. will give you £500 amazon vouchers for a referral that successfully acquires a new office space with us. Offer T’s and C’s are avaliable on our website: theworkplacecompany.co.uk

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Do You Know What Happens At Your Business When You’re Away?

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How to make the most out of your support network DAY IN AND DAY OUT, we hear about businesses raising huge amounts of financial capital. Whilst this is one measure of success, I want to consider the value of the network community capital. Bestselling author Porter Gale wrote, “Your social capital, or your ability to build a network of authentic personal and professional relationships, not your financial capital, is the most important asset in your portfolio.” At Central Working we see the power of community every day. We pride ourselves on the connections forged on behalf of the businesses using our workspaces. We even offer a money-back guarantee - if we don’t introduce you to a meaningful contact in your first month, your founders/CEO’s first month fee is refunded. Here are some tips on on cultivating your own support network:

SWEAT YOUR EXISTING NETWORK

Seek out businesses like yours and learn together

Tools like LinkedIn make it easier than ever to pick up with old contacts. The hardest part is having the courage to strike up the conversation. But remember business thrives on collaboration, and your network could be just as keen for your input as you are for theirs. Think what it’s like when someone reaches out to you, the same on the reverse is always true. Seek out complementary businesses and learn together. This will open up opportunities and provides the chance for you to share your own expertise. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

You dedicate the vast majority of your time to your business, so spend it in a nurturing environment, surrounded by inspiring people. Flexible working means that we have the luxury of choosing today’s office - pick wisely. Opt for a nurturing environment, surrounded

by inspiring people who can help you grow. I’ve lost count of the number of partnership projects between members that have started with a coffee. For many businesses, it’s more than just a job. So, at Central Working, we’re more than an office. MAKE TIME FOR FACE TIME NOT FACETIME

Too many of us hide behind technology to avoid real-world interaction, so make time to catch up with people face-to-face. Sign up to industry events. Trade magazines are a great place to look, but check what’s on closer to home; Central Working hosts events in

our auditoriums, which are free to attend for members. All connections made should feed into your own supportive network - there’s no telling where they’ll end up in the future.

Find out more centralworking.com 020 3095 6449 hi@centralworking.com

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Do you have a first aider on your team? REACT FIRST LTD has provided expert first aid training for 10 years. As an established London-based company, we’ve trained thousands of people to save lives. Our up-to-date, accredited training follows current UK Resuscitation Council guidelines and meets HSE Workplace first aid regulations. Certificates valid for 3 years. We advise on choosing the most appropriate first aid course for you. We can design bespoke training for workplaces with specialised requirements. Our flexible and cost-effective solutions are tailored to your company’s needs: • In-house training – Our skilled trainers come to your premises • Open course programme – Choose which Central London course date suits you best • Short courses – One day emergency first aid at work and half day basic life support courses, including defibrillator training • 7 days a week – Both weekdays and weekends Who would know what to do if you, one of your team or a customer in your workplace fell seriously ill?

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

WHERE MOVERS MEET SHAKERS

Networking Nightlife TOP TIPS FOR NETWORKING

The Places To Be Seen When it comes to getting your business started, it’s often said it’s about who you know rather than what you know. But really, it’s about who you know not so well. Our acquaintances tend to deliver more useful information to us than close friends. We move in different circles from them, so we can benefit from their contacts. With a view to broadening your network, we have produced a guide to the best spots in London for networking By Katie Russell

3

1

2 A/ BE BRAVE Introduce yourself to strangers, even if you initially feel uncomfortable. Be sure to listen when they speak and ask them questions

FINANCE

SWAY BAR, HOLBORN WHAT’S THE VIBE?

An upscale bar, with champagne flutes in abundance. It has a lively atmosphere and a happy hour on weekdays from 5pm-7pm, making it an after-work favourite. WHO GOES THERE

The key players in the world of finance and business. Lots of entrepreneurs attend, plus it holds frequent networking events. COULD BE GOOD FOR

Pitching to potential investors. It goes without saying, selling your vision to individuals outside of your close circle is going to be the way you end up securing investment.

4

B/ BE ENGAGING Stand out by being to-the-point, polite and having a sense of humour. Offer some free help or advice – that really gets attention C/ PREPARE Have your business cards in your pocket. Jot down details of conversations with contacts on the back of their cards D/ GO SOBER A drink or two is fine, but getting sloshed will be counterproductive. It’s about making the best possible first impression

POTENTIAL PARTNERS

OPIUM, CHINATOWN WHAT’S THE VIBE

Intimate and exclusive, given its tucked-away location. Exotic cocktails in animal-shaped glasses make it feel like an Eastern oasis. WHO GOES THERE

A mixture of entrepreneurs and young business owners. COULD BE GOOD FOR

Collaborating with other start-up owners at the bar’s regular Speed Networking events. This can be a great way to get others interested and excited about your business. Just like speed dating, explain, succinctly, why someone would want to get involved.

5

E/ MINGLE Spend 5 or 10 minutes with someone and then move on to another person. You can always arrange to meet them later

We recommend Workthere. Office space can boost productivity, attract talent and encourage innovation. It can be the difference between success and failure, which is why Workthere take searching for a new space seriously. workthere.com

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WESTMINSTER ARMS, WESTMINSTER WHAT’S THE VIBE

A traditional and bustling pub, a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament. WHO GOES THERE

The who’s who of the City, including journalists and politicians.

CREATIVES

PLATFORM, SHOREDITCH WHAT’S THE VIBE

It’s in Shoreditch, so it’s obviously edgy. During the day, you can use its spacious coworking area. In the evening, it’s transformed into a lively club, with a talented DJ. WHO GOES THERE

Artists, creatives and artsy entrepreneurs.

COULD BE GOOD FOR

COULD BE GOOD FOR

Meeting people of influence and getting them on side or interested in your business. This is one of the single most important things that you can do to grow your business. Mingling with the big players in the capital could help you to do just that.

Meeting investors, designers or getting creatives on board. Particularly creative individuals who can come up with original and inventive ideas for company resources as you grow, such as websites, events and new projects.

F/ FIND BALANCE It may be nice to make a new friend, but keep a professional barrier. Networking is about finding a fine balance

SOLICITORS

VEENO, ST PAUL’S WHAT’S THE VIBE

Intimate wine bar in the heart of St Paul’s, with regular wine tastings and a cosy and laidback atmosphere. WHO GOES THERE

G/ PERSIST Follow-up your meeting with a short email or message, referring to the conversation you had at the event or venue

Solicitors and people in finance. Also be prepared for couples – lots of couples. COULD BE GOOD FOR

Finding someone to give you legal advice for your company. Or getting your small team to bond over a wine tasting session. As you will find out on p53, team-based events can do wonders for team morale and the overall productivity of your business. ↘

Image: Jake Davis

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INFLUENCERS


BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

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Grow your business

WENTA is a not-for-profit organisation that nurtures start-ups and growing small businesses, providing ‘one-stop-shop’ business support nationally online at Wenta.co.uk, and locally offline at our business centres in Enfield, Potters Bar, Watford and Stevenage. In our centres you can book meeting rooms, rent workspace or even a virtual office. We also provide a range of workshops, most of which are free and will help you develop the skills you’ll need on your business journey. Our new online Business Bookshelf is a fantastic free information and advice resource

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ENTREPRENEURS are by nature enthusiastic, driven and determined. Your enthusiasm is infectious, but it can be quite lonely at the top. That’s where talking to a business coach is invaluable. They will provide a strategic thinking-space to help you solve your pressing business challenges, plus any people management and staffing issues. The business is thriving and, as the boss, you can no longer have your eye on every detail. Your team may not be totally harmonious. How much more efficient and effective could your business be if the team were all pulling in one direction? What can the fledgling entrepreneur do to set the right culture, to delegate effectively and empower their people to market and sell, manage the processes and deliver business success? Coaching people is the solution, and from our experience with start-ups and small businesses, we recommend these three actions: 1. Be really clear about everyone’s roles and

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responsibilities and the results you expect. 2. Don’t have all the answers to how the team are going to deliver. Coach them to success by asking questions to explore how they are going to tackle the job and what success looks like. If they decide how they will perform a task, they will do a much better job. 3. Schedule regular and frequent coaching conversations which focus on future actions. We recommend using the GROW model to plan your coaching. For further details: huntwoodassociates.com/coaching-tips

10% Discount offer Supercharge your business with coaching. 10% off all coaching programmes and coaching skills workshops for the first 10 people to contact info@huntwoodassociates.com, with the code ‘Coaching is great’

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Wherever you are in your business journey, our expert coaches can help. Through a series of hourlong in-person or phone sessions, they assist you to:  Clarify your aims, challenges and priorities  Work out new ways of tackling old problems  Identify your strengths, and those of others  Harness strengths to achieve results more easily  Determine the next step in your career  Achieve your goals

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So if you are looking for some extra support to help you focus and achieve your goals, call us: 020 7416 6648 info@formium.co.uk formium.co.uk/BYOBcoaching FREE GIFT: To learn more about the importance of strengths: formium.co.uk/gifts/byob

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Making business simpler, and keeping you sane, too! I’M OFTEN ASKED why I chose to go in to coaching, and the truth is I’ve been a coach for years, even when I was working as a senior consultant in the corporate world. I always took the view that giving my team a clear sense of direction and then helping them to play to their strengths would be the quickest route to business success. I was also using coaching skills at home. Those of you who are parents will be familiar with having to deal with familial challenges, but my “unique” daughter put our family through what (over the years) felt like a decathlon. After raising a dyslexic, chronically ill, non-academic, creative and stubbornly independent child, sorting out a few hiccups for small business owners is a piece of cake! HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF HOW I’VE HELPED MY CLIENTS

Bryony started her business a few years ago, initially selling her products via Etsy. She now has an award-winning online business. I’ve helped her to: • Overcome fear before taking a big step in her business • Get clarity from the confusion of thoughts in her brain • Identify where her priorities lie, and what to focus on • Understand her options, and allow her to make a wise choice

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Tim had taken time out to care for a sick relative, and came to me for help to kickstart his business. We worked together to reshape his offering and bring it up to date – and now he is winning new clients and developing bigger projects with existing ones. Julie, like many of my clients, is hugely creative but struggles to focus. I’ve helped her to identify her goals for the business – and we’ve worked together to identify her priorities. I now hold her accountable for taking the actions needed to drive her success. BRYONY SAYS THIS ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE OF COACHING:

“Amanda’s coaching gave me the chance to sort through the multiple ideas I have in my brain and develop a logical order to them. I discovered that I usually already had a sense of what I wanted to do but it was hidden amongst the chaos, and needed to be pulled out and demystified. After working with Amanda I was able to find the way to bring these ideas to action.” businessmadesimpler.co.uk 07557 416714

Read online Download your copy of my “Small Business Owner’s Guide To Staying Sane NOW: businessmadesimpler.co.uk/ebook-offer

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HR & HIRING ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

Petaurum solutions making HR simple A CAUTIONARY TALE for the small business owner, (based on real-life.) So, you wanted to start a business. You took it from concept to reality, after producing operational and financial plans to satisfy ‘the powers that be’ (bank, tax and clients). Your aims were simple: to please the customer and to grow your profits annually. Success arrived. Before you knew it, you had a thriving enterprise. You became an employer. You had staff who supported your vision. However, things moved fast. You downloaded an employment contract from the internet and filled-in the blanks. You discussed team expectations and all seemed well. The growth continued apace but you discovered rapidly that increasing amounts of your time were being absorbed by a continual run of ‘people issues’. There is always one. That team member, who’s actions start to affect the team. Despite assurances and numerous ‘you need to do better’ meetings, the hoped-for improvements did not materialise. It was time to act… except the employee beat you to the gun and resigned. You worried about it. You had paid for training on the promise of a payback. Worse yet, they had copied some of the firm’s IP. Surely the internet-grabbed employment contract might hold some

How to turn your good idea into a great business WANT TO BE your own boss, start a side hustle or simply improve your entrepreneurial skills? According to research, one in five employees expects to be running a business while holding down a day job in the next two years. Enterprise Nation founder, Emma Jones, shares seven key things to do when starting up. 1. COME UP WITH AN IDEA

Every good business starts with one! Come up with your idea by asking yourself: have you spotted a gap in the market? Could your passion, hobby or skill be turned into a way of making a living, or have you seen someone do something that you think you could do better?

Starting a business is made much easier if you surround yourself with a group of people who are experts in the topics you’re not.

To discover how Petaurum Solutions can support your business economically, Mary from our team is waiting for your call on 07495 412970 or email mary@petaurumsolutions.co.uk

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With an idea in hand, make a plan. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. Include in it the basic points that spell I’M OFF: I is for your Idea, M is for the Market you’re going to serve, O is for the Operations or ‘kit’ you’ll need to get started, F is for Finance, which is figuring out your costs and sales and calculating if you need to raise cash to get started, and the final F is for Friends, which is your vital support network. 3. MAKE A SALE

6. FIND SUPPORT

Start by selling to friends and family and getting their feedback on your product or service. Build a website to make the most of the large market of customers buying online and think about doing deals with partners with whom your customers already shop.  

Starting a business is made much easier if you surround yourself with a group of people who are experts in the topics you’re not. Find them at events – there are many other business owners who are happy to collaborate.

4. GET SOCIAL

7. GO FOR GROWTH

5. BE SEEN

Approach the press with things that are worth covering. That could be opinions, research, events you’re hosting, ones you’re speaking at, company expansion or winning awards. distributed with

Get in touch

2. HAVE A PLAN

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Amazon Marketplace are a great friend to small businesses as they enable you to connect with a large audience of customers at home and overseas, all from your kitchen table.

BE YOUR OWN BOSS

water? It didn’t. There was no protection. You had good reason to be concerned. Petaurum Solutions is your ‘First Assist’ expert in providing all manner of personnel management support to small companies. By working with you to produce mutually beneficial but, above all, clear and relevant employment contracts, Petaurum Solutions cannot warrant that the above example would never happen, but can assist you to put in place policies and processes that align with expectations, and provide an audit trail of meetings and agreements. Perhaps more vital, you would have the confidence to know the next course of action. The bottom-line is to help you to achieve the right outcome for your business and result in less personal (or financial) strain.

Continue to follow these steps of business planning, profile building, making sales and getting advice and, before you know it, that start-up or side hustle will be a fully-fledged business – and you will be your own boss!   If you would like to receive more support on how you can turn your business dream into a reality, visit enterprisenation.com and become part of the UK’s most active and supportive small business community.

Enterprise Nation is hosting StartUp 2019 on 19 January at King’s College London, which will give you access to over 100 inspirational entrepreneurs and small business experts across 10 different stages and interactive zones. It’s time to get started!

Get involved Tickets for StartUp 2019 cost just £10 and include a free month trial of Enterprise Nation membership. enterprisenation.com/startup2019 hello@enterprisenation.com 020 3871 2922


HR & HIRING

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Your business may start with you, but sooner or later you will need to build a team. Here are the steps to follow when hiring By Wes Stanton

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any sole traders are happy to remain just that – a one-man or one-woman band with a straightforward existence and lots of flexibility. But there are only so many hours in the day and only so much one person can do, so a business inevitably needs to take on staff if it is to continue to grow. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to take on full-time staff from day one. At an early stage of business growth, getting self-employed contractors in to fill the gaps can often make sense. A busy entrepreneur in the stages of self-funded growth probably doesn’t need a chartered accountant on the payroll, but a part-time bookkeeper, paid by the day or by the hour, is a useful first hire. As your business expands, though, it’s likely that you’ll need staff on the payroll to help get the work done and plan what the business is going to do

We recommend

Images: istock.com

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as part of the service. jobs and haven’t necessarily So, you’ve advertised singled out your business your job, and you’ve had as a potential place to work. umpteen CVs and covering A candidate’s phone manner S letters sent to you. Going can also be telling during a ST P I A R T U P T through them is in itself timeshort conversation: would you let consuming, and it can be difficult this person talk to your customers? to come up with a short-list. A good technique is to discard INTERVIEW DAY those candidates that are clearly Now that you have your shortlist, and have set not a good fit for your business a day aside for interviews, how do you conduct (numerous errors on the CV, and/ the process? Firstly, setting the candidate at or the wrong type of experience) ease will be of benefit. Some of the best people and draw up a short-list of those I have employed over the years have appeared that match your criteria. flustered and anxious at interview. A good interviewer will acknowledge that candidates may find the interview process stressful, DON’T ASK… and will therefore try to help the candidate Before you speak to the to relax. candidates, be aware that there are a number of questions you cannot ask a prospective Typical interview questions for an employer candidate at any point of the selection process. to ask are those that will get the candidate These include whether they are married, single talking, such as “Tell me a bit about yourself ” or in a civil partnership; the state and “What do you consider your greatest of their health; or their date strengths and weaknesses?” or “Where do of birth, unless a person you see yourself in five years’ time?” The couldn’t do the job best interview questions, though, are those legally because of their to which there is no obvious answer: “How age - for instance, if they selfish are you?” is among my favourites. were selling alcohol. Time and again, candidates narrow their eyes and ask, “What do you mean, exactly?” because they don’t know the right response CALL THEM to give. “Tell me something that’s true that Quite often, an initial almost nobody agrees with you on,” also puts phone call with prospective a candidate under pressure – it puts them at candidates before you invite risk of saying something that the interviewer them in for an interview can might not agree with at all. Throw in a be revealing. Many people few of your own interview hand-grenade today blanket-apply for questions to keep a candidate guessing – it will demonstrate if they can think on their feet. •

How To Get The Right Team On Board

next. Taking on employees often coincides with taking on premises. There is a peculiar mixture of feelings, including excitement and apprehension, when you step into your new office, perhaps surrounded by cardboard boxes of stock, and murmur to yourself: “I need some people.”

The Federation of Small Businesses can advise on best HR practices. fsb.org.uk

“Always try to set a candidate at ease”

It is essential to offer the job out to people based on their skills and abilities only. As part of your selection process, you must offer equal opportunities and avoid sexual, racial, disabiliy and age discrimination. You need to be careful only to use phrases like “recent graduate” and “highly experienced” when these are pertinent to the job being offered. Most of the online job recruitment sites check advertisement copy to ensure it abides by the law before publication

BE PRACTICAL

A crucial part of the interview which is often missed is the practical test. I have interviewed candidates with first-class honours degrees who looked perfect on paper and who interviewed well but, when it came down to a practical test of editing and rewriting a piece of copy in 10 minutes, failed abysmally. Conversely, there are people who hide their light under the interview bushel only for it to shine in practical application. If you have a specific skill you need, get the candidate to perform a task – there’s nowhere to hide. PAPERWORK

Once you’ve selected your candidate and offered them a job, you’ll need to get the paperwork right. The Federation of Small Businesses offers an HR component to membership, and there are other specialist firms that will do all your HR for a fixed monthly fee. These services take the hassle out of the administration, and let you get on with managing your new member of staff. ↘

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HR & HIRING ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

Collab Group London Colleges can support your talent acquisition COLLAB GROUP LONDON colleges is a partnership of elite colleges in the capital. We are passionate about shaping new talent to support growth in the London economy. Our colleges cover 22 of the 32 London boroughs and represent a talent pool of over 150,000 students. If you are an apprenticeship levy payer, we have the insight and expertise to maximise the use of your levy pot. But, our colleges also work with SMEs to find, fund and train the apprentices that will deliver real benefits to your business. We know how to support you to build a talent pipeline that will serve your skills needs not just now, but into the future. After all, businesses in London are faced with a host of challenges, from Brexit and an aging workforce to skills gaps in key industries. Collab Group London Colleges can work with you to overcome these challenges and build a workforce that will lead your business to success.

We are experts in curriculum delivery and design and will work with you to ensure that we understand exactly what you need

NEW TALENT Get new talent into your business with Collab Group London Colleges info@collabgroup.co.uk collabgroup.co.uk/london

Collab Group colleges are changing lives. Pat Akwenuke joined the Kings Kids Day Nursery in Mill Hill as a nursery assistant back in 2011. She wanted to become a manager in the sector but needed to boost her skills to compete for management roles. With help from The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL), a Collab college, she studied for an apprenticeship with CONEL, while working at the nursery. Opting for an apprenticeship certainly paidoff, as Pat now runs the nursery. Our colleges are specialists in a range of key sectors including financial and professional

services, leadership and management, construction, digital and technology and more. We can support you to plan strategically and shape your future workforce. So, whether you are looking to get new staff or upskill your existing workforce, our colleges work in partnership to deliver training solutions that deliver real impact. Our colleges embed quality at their core and deliver a professional training service that that can be fully customised to meet your needs. We are experts in curriculum delivery and design and will work with you to ensure that we understand exactly what you need.

If you have recruitment issues and you are thinking about how to access the best new talent in your industry, look no further than the innovative and dynamic partnership that is Collab Group London Colleges. To find out more about our innovative partnership please check out our website at: collabgroup.co.uk/london

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The Tavistock means business A SUCCESSFUL organisation surfs the waves of our turbulent environment and this requires leadership that is innovative and adaptable. Do you want to learn core competencies to enable your team to work more productively, and make real and lasting change in the life of your organisation? We offer business leaders and managers a unique set of tools – those soft skills that can’t be taught. We are experts in supporting individuals, groups and organisations to develop their capacity to understand what is really going on; perceive their context as a system, and inspire co-workers to transform and put into practice new insights towards sustainable change and ongoing learning: • SocialPlaNet: An online game for entrepreneurs to practice, test out and play with leadership • What is leadership? The annual Leicester conference: Task Authority Organisation: where you can figure it out through experiential learning • Encountering stuckness in your

organisation? We offer executive coaching and consultancy for organisational design, change and development; culture change and alignment issues. • Modular programmes for individuals e.g. the Certificate in Dynamics @ Board-Level: a practical programme for those sitting on boards that addresses the underlying group dynamics to improve and develop functioning • Wellbeing at work – practical ideas to increase and sustain energy and creativity • Is what you are doing working? We help organisations evaluate their business; conduct evidence/policy reviews, and action research/exploratory research on contemporary issues Our corporate UK and international clients are in all sectors including banking, technological/medical, R&D, lithography and IT, construction, energy, media, plus the NHS, policing, universities/FE. We work with local government to improve partnership working and with the EU/ government departments to provide thinking spaces and develop practice. The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations is a not-for-profit established in 1947. We work with many businesses from SMEs, family businesses, sole proprietor and co-ops to corporates.

Get in touch We welcome enquiries, email Rachel: r.kelly@tavinstitute.org Join our mailing list: tavinstitute.org

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Performance management that enhances your culture TURNING AN IDEA into a successful business is never a straightforward journey. You have to accept that many of your predictions will be wrong and your progress will be slower than anticipated. So, don’t rely on predictions, and dig in for the long haul. Appraisd now has almost 300 customers and is growing rapidly. We’ve doubled head count in the last year and are hunting new offices for our expanded team, but it’s taken several years to get here. I first attempted to build an innovative online performance management tool 12 years ago. It sunk without a trace- the market wasn’t ready for it. But, sticking around has paid off. Following the principle of MVP (minimal viable product) got me started. Creating the smallest, simplest, cheapest version of my vision got me my first sale. The

Roly Walter, Founder of Appraisd, the online performance management system

tool didn’t do much, but it did enough to get noticed. Potential customers would say “This is great, but...” They told me what they wanted, so every new iteration was, and still is, based directly on feedback. It’s tempting to be fixated on the future, but most people want the present; a solution to their current problem. Don’t ignore them, they will become your most loyal customers.

Get in touch 020 7202 7979 info@appraisd.com appraisd.com


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How to scale-up your start-up team EARLY-STAGE START-UPS often face their biggest challenge when it comes to growing their team. In order for them to scale-up efficiently and cost-effectively, it is necessary for small businesses to create a clear, pragmatic and actionable hiring strategy. Yet, it can be difficult for start-ups to know what the “right” hire should look like; let alone source, interview, vet and eventually recruit them. “9 years ago, I set up Give A Grad A Go from a laptop in my kitchen. My objectives were twofold; I wanted to help small businesses hire the kind of people that would facilitate growth, add value to their business in the long-term, and I wanted to better the career prospects of talented graduates. Recognising that start-ups and graduates go hand in hand, Give A Grad A Go seemed the ideal solution to the problems associated with start-up hiring.” Fast-forward to 2018, and Give A Grad A Go has now supported the growth of over 500 companies, and placed nearly 3,000 candidates in permanent graduate jobs.

Recognising that startups and graduates go hand in hand, Give A Grad A Go seemed the ideal solution to the problems associated with start-up hiring

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Rather than being a sector-specific agency, Give A Grad A Go works with businesses across the board; from Banking & Finance and Marketing & Advertising, to emerging sectors such as FinTech, PropTech and EdTech. Some of these businesses they have now worked with for 5 years or more, helping them to grow their team from founder, to 200+ employees. Created to fulfi l a need for a specialist graduate recruitment agency that helps talented graduates find their ideal jobs, and acts as a business accelerator for start-ups and SME’s, Give A Grad A Go stands out from other agencies in the notoriously competitive recruitment sector. A multiaward winning company, their headline statistics tower above industry averages; from their average time to fi ll a role (19 working days – the industry average is 31), to the fact that 81% of their current business comes from repeat business. Having already introduced hundreds of businesses to exceptional junior talent, Give A Grad A Go can offer start-ups and SME’s the advice, insight and vast network they need to facilitate rapid, cost-effective and efficient growth.

GET IN TOUCH! To find out how Give A Grad A Go can help you scale-up, email Cary Curtis on cary@giveagradago.com, and quote ‘BYOB’ for your introductory offer. 020 7100 8800 giveagradago.com

Become a mentor today, inspire the leaders of tomorrow A STRUCTURED MENTORING programme is an excellent tool for enhancing leadership skills and gaining standout experience on your CV. Better yet, it works both ways. At Pearson Business School, we believe passionately in the power of a good mentor to shape the career paths of our students. Having run successful cohorts during 2018, we’ve gained valuable insights into how this journey has a profoundly positive effect on those who choose to give up their time and share their experience with a mentee. Pearson Business School mentors are trained to nurture the leaders of tomorrow by providing support and advice. Their role is to empower mentees by helping them to grow in confidence and knowledge. Mentoring can bring a vast range of benefits to both you as a business professional and your organisation. It provides you with the opportunity to enhance your CV and develop your leadership and management skills, all whilst sharing your breadth of knowledge and valuable industry experience with our best and brightest talent. The increased

Pearson Business School mentors are trained to nurture the leaders of tomorrow... empowering mentees and helping them to grow in confidence

exposure to this new talent can, in turn, bring new ideas and perspectives to your work and business. We typically run our programme over a six-month period, with our mentors being committed to meeting with their mentee for only one hour per month. Your journey as a mentor is shaped entirely by you and the needs of your mentee, however, you should be willing to share your business knowledge and career experiences to help and inspire them in their work and studies. You may also find yourself supporting students with their CVs and LinkedIn profi les, or aiding them in finding additional opportunities to grow and learn. No one mentoring journey is the same and that is what makes this opportunity so unique. WHAT’S REQUIRED TO BE A GOOD MENTOR? Key competencies needed by mentors include the ability to listen effectively and encourage your mentee. You should always hold a neutral opinion, respect your mentee’s thoughts and keep their trust and confidentiality. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you should be able to support your mentee in overcoming false limits and barriers to

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progression. We’ve run many successful mentoring programmes and can provide both mentor and mentee testimonials that attribute to the success and benefits of the

programme. If you think you have what it takes to be a Pearson Business School Mentor then we would love for you to join us.

Don’t miss out! Recruiting now for a 2019 start date. To sign up, or for more information, please email industry@pearson.com or call us on 020 3441 1303 YOUROWN OWN BOSS BOSS BEBEYOUR

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Future-proof your business with the SAS Business Box

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The online resource to help UK start-ups and small business owners get the important things right! THE SAS BUSINESS BOX (sasbusinessbox.co.uk), has specifically been created to help UK start ups and small business owners. It covers three key areas: Money, Team and Legal and has over 200 jargon free articles, videos, downloadable templates and checklists and easy to use tools. An essential resource to give you the knowledge and confidence to successfully start and run your business. There is no joining fee and no commitment to be member for any longer than you need it. One of its members, Melissa Oldridge (main pictures), has been a self-employed bridal and special events, hair and makeup artist for 12 years. As a sole trader, she finds it relatively easy to ensure she is making enough money to cover all her costs, pay her taxes and be left with enough money to live on. Earlier this year, she and her husband found out that they were going to be having a baby. This got Melissa thinking about the future and how she was going to continue to earn an income and make it fit in with her imminent role as a mum.

With the help of Alida from SAS Business Box (above), Melissa was able to see her business flourish

Mindy Coe Photography

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There is no joining fee and no commitment to be a member for any longer than you need it

Building on her fantastic reputation and contacts made over the years, she decided to start up her limited company in April 2018 (Melissa Oldridge Limited). The company acts as an agency for bridal hair and make-up and has over 20 stylists who act as consultants for the business. Brides choose the stylist they want to work with from the company website (melissaoldridgebridal.com) and the company sorts out the logistics with the stylist. There is a pre-wedding trial to practice and perfect the look for the big day and of course, the big day itself. Income is generated as an agency fee. The bride pays the company. The company deducts the agency fee and the stylist is paid the rest. When trying to work out her costings for this new venture, Melissa struggled with using several daunting and complicated spreadsheets to try and work out her numbers. It was much easier when it was just her! The most powerful tool on The Box is its Revenue Target Calculator (RTC). Using the tool proved to be instrumental in helping Melissa decide how much of an agency fee to deduct from the monies paid to the company. Melissa found the simple, 5 step process to be easy to follow and make sense of. The tool starts with her entering how much she needs to take out of the business each month, then works out how much she needs to sell based on her costs. As previously described, there are two income streams for her business. The income from the pre-wedding trial and from the actual day itself. The RTC allows you to put in as many income streams as your business has. There is an option to put in the sales and cost price or a mark-up percentage, depending on what suits your business.

“I am so pleased my friend told me about the SAS Business Box. It has saved me loads of time and money, as I now have access to all the information I need in one place. I love the flowchart structure and it’s all so easy to understand.

Being able to use the Revenue Target Calculator to work out my sales targets has been fantastic. No need for complicated spreadsheets and I can use it as many times as I like. It is so easy to use and a massive eye-opener! Needless to say, my company takes a fee on both income streams and is growing from strength to strength!”

The RTC allowed Melissa to create and save as many versions of the calculation until she felt confident that the revenue target was achievable. She created two versions. One showing an agency fee for both the prewedding trial and the wedding day and one where the company only takes a fee on the wedding day alone. The difference in revenue target was

Melia Oldridge

incredible! If the company took an agency fee on both income streams, the target was £5,000 less per month than if it took a fee for just the wedding day. Although the pre-wedding trial is 25% of the total cost to the bride, charging a fee on it reduces the revenue target by nearly 40%! sasbusinessbox.co.uk 01483 599045

Discount code £10 off your first month’s membership of The Box. Use code ‘ BYOB1018 ’. Valid until 20th November


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Keep An Eye On The Cash 60% of start-up companies close their doors before they get five years into their life, due to running out of cash. The concept of cash flow is crucial to survival By Wes Stanton

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urprisingly, a lack of profit is nowhere near the top cause of business failure in the United Kingdom. The number one reason is running out of cash - which is why the concept of cash flow is so essential to a company’s survival. Simply put, cash flow is the difference in the amount of cash available at the start and end of a period. For example, if you start the month with £10,000 in the bank, have to pay £5,000 for stock, £1,000 in rent, and £4,000 for staff (£10,000 total outgoings) and you invoice £20,000 on 30-day terms at the end of the month, you have negative cashflow of £10,000 – and you’ll have nothing left in your business’s bank account. If the £20,000 you’ve invoiced doesn’t come in bang-on 30 days and you have a second month of £5,000 for stock, £1,000 for rent and £4,000 for staff, you’ll have a negative cashflow of £10,000 again. You will need to find money to fund the business, typically by injecting money or using a bank overdraft, even if you invoice another £20,000 of sales. For many small businesses, this represents

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a serious problem, and businesses fail as a result of having insufficient funds to keep going. In particular, if there’s any problem with the work done, then the business might have to pay out even more money if it finds itself in a dispute for, say, £40,000-worth of work, which would lead to another month of negative cashflow. And if you don’t pay your staff on time, chances are that they won’t turn up the next day. It does not matter to them that you are waiting to get paid by a big customer who is a month late in settling their bill. I know of one firm of Scottish solicitors that had no problem getting millions of pounds’ worth of work in – but then went out of business largely because they waited until the end of their projects before raising invoices and then the customers didn’t

“If you don’t pay your staff on time, they might not turn up the next day”

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Motorcade Insurance. As one of the largest taxi insurance providers in London, Motorcade offers public and private hire taxi drivers with affordable yet extensive cover. Whether you’re looking for annual or short-term insurance, or if you own a fleet yourself, we have the taxi cover to suit you. motorcade.co.uk

Business banking, to go Mobile-only banking is really about freedom. The freedom to manage your money on the go between meetings. The freedom, in Jeremy’s case, to spend more time revolutionising coffee – and less time banking. Starling for Business is the smart and free business bank account that takes minutes to set up and helps sole traders and small businesses grow their vision. Download the app to apply today.

Photos feature Starling for Business customers Long & Short Coffee • @longandshortcoffee Starling Bank Limited is registered in England and Wales (No. 09092149), 2 Finsbury Avenue, London EC2M 2PP. We are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 730166.

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Global ambition moves London FinTech PFS towards an IPO NOEL MORAN’S Prepaid Financial Services has mastered the art of separating FinTech fact from fiction. By and large, the industry is filled with start ups surviving on cash injections from venture capitalists who have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of return on their investments. On the other hand, PFS has been consistently different, returning ten consecutive years of profitability by placing innovation at the heart of financial services and rewriting the history books of what is possible to achieve in the sector. This is one of the reasons why 2018 has been a stand out year. PFS is the current European Business Awards Digital Technology champion in a total of 34 countries, after being chosen from a staggering 112,000 entries, making this one of the world’s biggest business competitions. The 143-strong judging panel, including former presidents and prime ministers were “in awe” of PFS’ successes. The milestones keep mounting as news of two more significant award wins in the UK and Europe for CEO, Noel Moran, will be revealed before Christmas to add to the success story of one of Europe’s most celebrated FinTechs. This year, the company,

2019 is gearing up to be an exciting year as PFS looks to launch an IPO on the London Stock Exchange

one of Europe’s largest electronic money issuers, has issued its five millionth card. It has come a long way from processing just over £5 million in 2010. This year, PFS is aiming to process in the region of €2.5 billion. 2019 is gearing up to be an exciting year as PFS looks to launch an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. “Delivering an IPO will be our boldest move to date. I am confident this will set us apart from competition across Europe,” said Noel Moran. While the company has revolutionised e-money, there is more to PFS than cards. Its FinTech Innovation Fund featured numerous times in the mainstream media, and national television has been a roaring success as an incubator for nextgeneration payment innovations. The company also loves to give back to those less fortunate in society. PFS has delivered on its pledge to provide 200,000 school meals to children in Mali, Africa with Mastercard and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The campaign, involving cardholders, was a prime example of how a FinTech can be a force for good in the world. The company and its 165 employees in four offices spread across three countries look forward to empowering new generations of tech-savvy electronic money users for years to come.

Find out more Explore the future of prepaid financial solutions by visiting prepaidfinancialservices.com Discover more about PFS’ next-generation payment solutions by contacting sales@prepaidfinancialservices.com

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pay promptly. So, even a profitable, successful company can find itself in trouble if it doesn’t turn the work it does into cash before it needs to pay its staff and bills on time.

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STAY POSITIVE

If your business is in retail, selling to consumers either face-to-face or over the internet, then cashflow tends to be less of an issue, provided there are sufficient sales volumes. Debit and credit cards are pretty much instantaneous cash, if you use services like Stripe or Worldpay, and of course PayPal is a popular method, too. But if yours is a business selling to other businesses, how do you manage your money and ensure you stay in the black?

that job to someone else, so you can focus on running the business. BE PROACTIVE

GET PAID UPFRONT

Images: istock.com

When undertaking a project for a client, or agreeing to supply, don’t be shy when it comes to asking for money with the order. For small projects, it is reasonable to ask for either 50% or full payment with the order. This not only takes the pressure off the business cash-wise, but also provides some incentive for you to deliver as soon as possible and keep the customer happy. GET A BOOKKEEPER

If your business is growing and you have a number of clients you deal with yourself, it is often difficult to sell to a client and yet ask them for money, particularly if they are late paying. Make it easier for yourself by giving

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“Products like Xero can help with efficient cash collection”

Outsource your payroll and grow your business PICTURE THIS. After all your hard work, your start-up is finally seeing growth. You’re able to pay yourself a wage and hire staff ! Now, do you really want to lose focus trying to become an expert on the ever changing world of payroll, tax legislation and compliance? This is where you can be smarter than the average start-up and take actions that guarantee you time to concentrate on your product or service, while the experts take care of your payroll. As you will soon experience, each year payroll compliance becomes more and more demanding. Four years ago it was Real Time Information, soon followed by Auto-Enrolment Pensions, now GDPR compliance. These complex and mandatory initiatives can require expensive IT infrastructures and constant training to stay up-to-date with compliance regulations, in order to avoid penalties or costly fines.

The two most common reasons for a customer not paying are either a dispute with the amount invoiced, or claiming to have never received the invoice. A good way to work with a bookkeeper is to have them call the client before they send out the invoice, tell them how much the bill is going to be for and confirm the figure is correct. If it’s not, you can change it before it gets onto your accounting system. Once the amount is agreed with the client, the bookkeeper can send the invoice to them and check they have received it. With traditional paper-based accounting systems this can mean a phone call, but a product like Xero can flag up whether the emailed invoice has been opened on the other end. If you use this method of working, then the two key reasons for late payment are eliminated at the start, and cashflow tends to be solid.

SAS Business Box. Future-proof your business with the online resource, helping UK start-ups and small business owners get the important things right. sasbusinessbox.co.uk

Of course, businesses pay late for a variety of reasons, but ensure your bookkeeper is onto clients the day they are overdue and politely but firmly presses them for payment. INVOICE FINANCING

Once your business starts to grow, banks will often lend money against your debtor book. So, if you raise £20,000 of invoices, the bank will make an advance against those invoices, typically between 70%-85%, which helps to improve cashflow. That can either be a factoring arrangement, which is where the bank chases the debt for you, or can be a disclosed or confidential invoice discounting deal. This is where you collect the debt but, with a disclosed invoice, customers know the debt has been assigned, whereas with a confidential invoice, customers are not aware of this. It is a relatively expensive way to raise finance for your company but, on the plus side, access to this type of finance can be transformational in terms of increasing a business’s speed of growth. ↘

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At Pay Check, transparency in how we work is crucial to our success. For us, it’s not just about running our clients’ payroll; it’s understanding and evolving their payroll and therefore adding value to their own internal processes. We have the tools, infrastructure, and expertise to allow our clients flexibility in their payroll management. We will help plan your tax year; communicating changes in legislation and HMRC deadlines in easy to understand language that clearly defines your responsibilities as an employer. For over 20 years we have been the trusted payroll company for thousands of businesses across multiple industries and in every phase of company growth, making us the perfect partner to take your business forward. Our friendly team are just waiting to find out how we can make growing your business easier and more profitable for you. paycheck.co.uk 020 7498 1133

FACTS OF THE PAYROLL MARKET • 95% of UK businesses outsource at least one of their business processes • HMRC says that over 2 million businesses do not keep sufficient records • HMRC has increased its income from compliance investigations by 39% Source: UK Trade Info & GOV.UK

Save on payroll costs Quote BOSS18 for £50 off your setup fee before May 2019. Visit us at The Great British Business Show, ExCel London, on 14th and 15th November BE YOUR OWN BOSS

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Buying the gadgets needed to run a company can tie up precious cash. That’s why leasing can be a better option

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Kitting Out Your Office

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Consult an acountant if you need tax advice when it comes to leasing company vehicles

£5,000 in hardware when it could be used to generate profit in a short space of time means there’s £5,000 less available to create a shortterm profit. “If it floats, flies or fornicates, it’s better to rent it.” These somewhat cynical words are attributed to the late Felix Dennis, among the most successful publishing entrepreneurs in recent history. Humour aside, the phrase makes sense – what’s the point in owing an asset of which the value reduces over time? This is where leasing comes in. With leasing, the business makes a fi xed monthly payment, typically over the useful life of the asset. Once the lease is over, your business doesn’t own

the equipment and it gets returned to the leasing company. Though some deals allow you to purchase the item for a peppercorn fee, there’s not usually much point – why would you want an obsolete piece of equipment for your business? Instead, you can take out a new lease on an up-to-date piece of equipment, and carry on paying a sum to the company over the useful life of the asset. Leasing is a particularly popular way to obtain vehicles, though it can also be used for computer equipment (often including specialist software), photocopiers, video cameras, and specialist machinery. There are few downsides to leasing – other than the risk of incurring costs if you need to end the arrangement early. It can pay to take advice on the tax treatments of leases, particularly regarding company vehicles. If you are the owner of the business and plan to use a car for both company and personal use on a lease, a good accountant can help make this tax advantageous for you. ↘

“Why own an asset if its value decreases over time?”

By Wes Stanton

wenty years ago, many businesses would start out from a spare bedroom. Fast forward to today, and many businesses start out with no premises at all – in particular, those where the business owner goes to the client to do the work. But with success often comes a desire to expand and take on people – and those people need equipment to add value to the business. They’ll certainly need computers, but maybe also cameras, video cameras, vehicles or complex machinery. So how can the smart business owner ensure that the company gets

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the kind of kit its staff needs without draining the bank account of precious cash? While there’s something to be said for paying for equipment out of cash as you go, money can often be put to better short-term use. For example, if you need to buy £5,000-worth of stock, which you can turn into £20,000 in a couple of months, why would you spend that £5,000 on computers that you need but will only last three years? Tying up that

We recommend Tax Assist Accountants. They are the largest network provding tax, accountancy advice and services to 70,000 clients, including sole traders, partnerships, limited companies and personal tax payers. taxassist.co.uk

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Start a fire and let it burn DO YOU HAVE the entrepreneurial spark inside you? The next Million Pound Idea? If yes, then it’s time you turn this spark into a raging business! To ignite your entrepreneurial spark into a raging fire, you need passion, planning and vision, just like fire needs heat, fuel and oxygen. Your passion is driven by your vision and your vision is sustained by smart planning. A plan is a road map of how your idea will grow into a successful business. Using tools like The Business Model Canvas, you can design a visual overview of your business plan. This will help you outline your idea, your competition, your financial plans, the business structure, and much more. Working on your business plan from the beginning will mean sustainable growth and development. For example, an efficient business structure can save you large amounts of money in the form of tax savings, legal covers and PR control. Speak to a start up accountant before setting up your business structure. As a business owner, you need to understand that your business plan needs to be adaptable and constantly updated based on your growth strategy. Utilizing analytical tools such as management accounts, performance snapshots and budgets can ensure you remain on track with your strategy. Running your business can be a bit overwhelming as there are many things to focus on, such as your business finances,

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Meet the start-up quietly planning a revolution - is this the end of late payment? WHEN JON STARTED this project he’d only spoken to one business owner about the problems he faced in getting paid. However, the story he was told left him with a single overwhelming feeling - credit checks are useless unless you happen to be a bank or lender. Any solvent company can pay their banks and lenders on time, maintaining a decent credit score, while simultaneously delaying or not paying for their goods and services. So you’re only getting half of the picture from their credit score. Now add semiinsolvent companies into the mix. They can do exactly the same thing while sliding into administration, possibly dragging countless business partners into the fray with them. Jon Caine, StreetCred’s CEO, explained: ‘We’re the first credit reference agency to work solely with invoices and each one is between the sender and receiver only. Yes, some generic info will have to be shared, but we will never publish anything specific. Also, we’ll warn you if multiple members report not being paid by a company you trade with and we enable freelancers to find out how promptly potential employers

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Helping the small walk tall “BIG” HAS BEEN in power for a while. Big banks. Big business. Big data. Big brother. But big hasn’t made the world better. Big has taken too much power, controlled too much wealth, made the world less equal. Big has made the average Joe feel like less of a man, and paid the average Joanne less than she’s worth. We believe in small. The local bike shop, the independent hairdresser, the plumber you’ve known for ten years. The family business that’s going places. The scruff y old pub on the corner that’s more interesting than a chain on the high street. They might not be perfect, but these businesses are good for the world. Hardworking business owners have been made to feel small for too long. We’re here to help the small walk tall. You might know the feeling if you’ve ever searched for a business loan. “Computer says no”, “I’m sorry, we can’t help you”, or worst of all, “your firm isn’t big enough yet”. It doesn’t have to be this way.

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No one manages your entities like we do WHY USE a company formation agent you ask? Why indeed? This seems to be the million-pound question. In this era of electronic commerce, where most government departments leave their comfortable offices and move their services online, setting up your new company doesn’t get any easier. In fact, it can be done in just a few clicks by creating an account with Companies House, submitting essential information, and voilà, within 24 hours your company is live and a certificate of registration is delivered to your email address. Setting up directly with Companies House is cheap but it`s a classic case of getting exactly what you`ve paid for. For just twelve quid you`ll get your company name registered and entered onto the official database and once registration is complete, you`ll receive an email containing an electronic copy of your certificate of incorporation and Memorandum of Association. What about other documents you may ask? Documents like a minutes` book, share certificates and registers? These are important, right? Yes, they are the statutory documents, which, according to law, every company must have and keep in proper order available for inspection. So where would one get all these documents if not from the Registrar? This is where services of companies like Coddan become invaluable. With years of experience, we have tailored our incorporation packages to the needs of

various clients, from professionals who register companies on behalf of their clients, to customers who want to convert their sole-trader activity into a company or a partnership, or those wishing to take their existing business to a new level. Using our company registration software, we can guarantee fast and efficient registration of various legal forms, registration of companies with complex share structures, or companies with a client`s own version of Mem&AA, within as little as three working hours, and the delivery of a full set of mandatory documents. At Coddan, we not only help people to set up their businesses, we help them to look after their companies. With a wide range of supplementary services, Coddan can help with the business name or a trademark registration, legalisation of documents for foreign use, or simply provide the registered office and director`s service address to handle official correspondence, as well as assist with annual compliance filings. So, next time when you consider setting up a new company, think twice before you DIY! coddan.co.uk 020 7935 5171

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Protecting you from copycats and counterfeits YOUR BR AND IDENTIFIES your product or service and differentiates it from your competitors. It’s the result of your time and money — and often your blood, sweat and tears. Your brand will inspire its audience, create an expectation, deliver its promise and (hopefully) allow you to charge a premium price. However, your success could expose you to piggy-backers and counterfeiters. Having the right type of intellectual property (IP) protection could help you to avoid this. There are many misconceptions about what IP can be protected and how to do it. Getting it wrong is expensive, leaves your business vulnerable and potentially means that you can’t get any protection. Taking professional IP advice as soon as possible is one of the most important commercial decisions you can make. IP protection generally has to be applied for through a registration process, but some arises automatically. Registered IP rights are a recognised form of property which defi ne the nature and extent of your rights. They are tangible assets which you can license, franchise, borrow against or sell.

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Copyright: Automatically protects original literary, musical and artistic works, including some kinds of software. Trade secrets/confidential information: Can’t be registered, but can be protected by nondisclosure agreements.

Ensuring you have the right IP protection strategy in place at an early stage will give you the most costeffective tools for protecting your business and ensuring you don’t infringe anyone else’s rights. An effectively managed IP portfolio will maximise the return on your investment. If you’re unsure where to start, or are looking at ways to enforce your existing IP rights, we can help.

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Not intended as legal advice. No warranties or representations are given in relation to this information and it excludes any liabilities that may arise.

LEGAL SMALL CLAIMS

When To Seek Legal Advice

Of course, there may be times when you need to use the law to force a customer to pay. But before you phone a solicitor, consider that you can do a lot yourself, or via your bookkeeper. To bring a claim for a small amount of money (less than £5,000) to the county court, you can use Money Claim Online (moneyclaim.gov.uk). This is a relatively simple way to get someone to pay where there is no real dispute, or you believe the dispute to be a smokescreen – a county court judgment against a business can be damaging to their credit rating. There is a charge, but it will be the respondent who ends up paying if you are successful.

When legal issues arise, it makes sense to use a lawyer but consider the circumstances before you go legal in a dispute By Wes Stanton

t’s not about the money, it’s about the principle.” Those words are music to the ears of a good friend of mine who is a practising barrister. “Every time I hear those words,” he chuckles, “I go out and buy myself a new motorbike.” But if it’s about practicality rather than principle, pause and think before you turn to a lawyer. “

I

LARGER CLAIMS

If the amount you are owed is greater than £5,000, it can be easier to get paid. A company that owes this amount of money without dispute risks being issued with a winding-up petition, where you can essentially force the company out of business if it doesn’t pay. Or, for a sole trader, you can force personal bankruptcy. Neither of these are straightforward, so if you are in the situation of being owed this kind of money, it’s best to get legal help.

“You may need the law to force a customer to pay”

TALK IT THROUGH

Picking up the phone and talking to a party who feels aggrieved enough to send a preaction letter is often enough to stave off legal action. But before you pick up the phone, consider: Is the dispute genuine? Has there been loss or damage? What are your terms and conditions in relation to this matter? Can you take the sting out of the situation?

PREVENTING THE DISPUTE

But the time you really need a solicitor is before any disputes arise. A lawyer can help you establish your business’s terms and conditions, property leases and human resources. Money spent on a solicitor creating your terms and conditions is an investment in your business’s future. HUMAN RESOURCES

The law around human resources is complex and ever-changing. Many law firms now offer a fi xed monthly fee service, based on the number of employees you have. In exchange for this fee, they produce all the staff contracts, handbooks and any contractual paperwork needed to maintain the staff records correctly. This can protect the business from a claim in the event of a staff dispute. Avoid calling in the legal professionals at the beginning if there’s a dispute that you think can be resolved by talking. But you could seek a professional’s skills to ensure your business is protected before any problems arise. ↘

We recommend Streathers. Offering a range of legal services, they provide advice and experience to clients for their business and personal affairs. Practise areas include commerical and residential property; corporate and commercial services; litigation; wills, trusts and other private client services, including employment and intellectual property. streathers.co.uk

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Fintech start-up?

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THISTLE’S INNOVATION HUB has been established with a clear mandate, to help businesses with innovative and exciting propositions understand and navigate a complex legal and regulatory framework, as well as support them through the initial stages of establishing a business. The Innovation Hub team focus on:

Becoming Your Own Boss AT LAURENCE SIMONS, we believe in lasting success. Our business has celebrated thirty years in the legal executive search industry; three decades have proven to us that, as sectors grow and change, the core tenets of hiring stay the same. Success is fleeting when it is relegated to the top. For a business to prosper, it requires a foundation as strong as its own values. Building this foundation is not always easy. As a new boss, placed suddenly in the position of hiring, you may wonder at the nuances of this fresh responsibility. We were all new hires once – we have all completed applications, interviews, reference forms. Few of us, however, have been on the opposite side of the table, with the onus of the hire on our shoulders. In this position, you have the chance to mould and determine the future of your business. Laurence Simons specialises in senior

level in-house recruitment. Our clients include FTSE 100 pharmaceutical companies, tech giants and leading finance houses. With our experience, we can help you to find managers, general counsel and newly minted heads of legal for your company. We are experienced, established and respected by our peers. Above all, we are aware of the need to look ahead and think about future colleagues. A business is intended to transcend a single generation, outlasting its founders by the virtue of their own decisions. Laurence Simons is not your decision maker. We are your insight into the legal market. Our proven track record of lasting success is evident in the essence of our brand. Together, we can create an institutional foundation that future generations will follow.

BUSINESS MODEL AND PROCESSES

All businesses receive an initial consultation where model structuring and development is discussed to ensure it meets regulatory and commercial goals. This is followed by an advice paper, mapping out applicable legislation with realistic ‘next steps’ options. BUSINESS AND LEGAL DOCUMENTATION

We work with businesses to build a robust regulatory business plan based on the structuring and risks associated with the model, as well as provide a number of policies which are essential for the continued operation of financial services businesses. In addition to this, the team work with lawyers who can assist with the drafting of T&Cs, opinions and other legal documentation. FUNDING AND OUTSOURCING

We have partnered with venture capital and private equity firms to try and support new businesses. We also have links with a range of

outsourcing providers who are aptly designed to integrate with new businesses. Once businesses have progressed through the Innovation Hub, Thistle Initiatives can help support the firm through one of three options: • A direct authorisation application to the FCA • Becoming an Appointed Representative of sister company, Resolution Compliance • Help develop and establish robust processes as an unregulated entity

the compliance specialists

Get in touch now Need help launching a financial services product or business? Contact the Thistle Innovation Hub team today! thistleinitiatives.co.uk 020 7436 0630 info@thistleinitiatives.co.uk

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Be your own homecare service boss with Heritage Healthcare HOMECARE IS ONE of the largest growing sectors in the UK, with around 10 million individuals aged over 65 looking for care and support to remain independent at home. Supported living is a movement here to stay, backed by many political parties, local authorities and voluntary charities, as well as family and friends. Growing older will inevitably increase fragility, so everyone will need care and support at some point in their life. Many people are choosing to remain living in the comfort of their own home, but as a busy work life means more families are unable to provide the daily support their loved ones need, having a trusted care provider

available is essential. With the advantages of modern medicine, long-term health conditions can be taken care of easily within the home, with the right support. Compared to moving into a care or a nursing home, homecare is more cost effective with the ability to choose when care is needed. The need for homecare services and the rising number of people aged 65 and over makes the home care industry a fantastic opportunity for businesses. There are several well-known homecare brands within the franchise sector, and Heritage Healthcare is one of them. Business owners have the chance to launch

their own homecare service with guidance from an established support team. Together, the Heritage Healthcare Directors have over 85 years of experience within the care industry, and openly share their expertise with the franchise network. Franchisees don’t need a medical background to launch the business but having a compassionate and caring outlook helps to understand and create bespoke packages. Being able to provide a care service to the local community is a rewarding career choice. Heritage Healthcare Franchising has business opportunities in many territories across the UK.

Get in touch To find out how you can join our franchise network and launch your homecare service, visit heritagehealthcarefranchising.co.uk, contact the support team on 01325 370707 or email michelle@heritagehealthcare.co.uk.

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2017

IF YOU’RE DREAMING of buying a business and becoming your own boss, have you considered investing in a franchise opportunity? More and more people are investing in franchises and benefiting from the support network that a franchise can offer. On FranchiseSales.com there are over 160 different franchises in the UK and many more across the globe. And if you’re still undecided about which franchise to choose, we have helpful articles written by industry experts to help you make that crucial decision. Our 5 top tips when buying a franchise: 1. Get the right information – This includes all accounts and a full list of the equipment and all the stock that will be provided. 2. Research the market – Investigate your product and buying trends. Also, make sure to research your potential location. 3. Take advice – Get professional advice from banks, lawyers, accountants and business advisors. It’s also useful to talk to existing franchise owners. 4. Consider your strengths and weaknesses – Make sure your skills are right for your new role and check if your franchisor provides any training. 5. Get it in writing – After important phone conversations with your franchisor, send a summary email immediately.

Find out more To find your new franchise opportunity, visit FranchiseSales.co.uk and kick-start your journey to the new you.


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SUCCESS STORY

Michelle Kennedy By Katie Russell

he was on the board that launched Bumble, and deputy CEO of dating site Badoo. Now, Michelle Kennedy has co-founded Peanut, an app that matches likeminded mums to help them to make friends. She launched the app in February last year with Deliveroo co-founder Greg Orlowski, and it already has 350,000 users across the UK and the US.

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STARTING PEANUT

When I was a board member at Bumble, there was always a feeling that we were doing something new. Did I know it was going to be huge? Yes, I suppose you don’t start anything

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with the hope that it stays small. Were it not for me being involved in Bumble and the dating site Badoo, there would be no Peanut. I wouldn’t have had the tech, or product experience, or the mind-set that tech can be used for good. I got the idea to launch Peanut after I had my little boy. My girlfriends just weren’t at that stage in life and I thought: I can’t be the only woman who feels the step into motherhood shouldn’t feel lonely. So I left my job, taking my product and business knowledge with me, to launch Peanut. I’m not an engineer and I don’t have coding skills, but if you’re building a company you don’t have to be able to do everything. It’s about building the right team. Deliveroo co-founder Greg Orlowski was involved from the start. We met through a mutual friend and I approached him for thoughts on talent and hiring, but he wanted to come on board. We have a team of 10 now and I don’t think we ever stop. It’s not because we’re always working, but we’re all thinking about it. Not everyone will be with you on the whole journey and some people don’t understand that it’s all-consuming and it’s everything you are. People will get fed up and say “you never come out” or “you’re always

“Not everyone will be with you on the whole journey”

reading your emails”. Within limits, that’s kind of what you’ve signed up for. I attracted investment for Peanut through my network. You speak to people you’ve met along the way and people who are investing in products like yours. If you don’t have contacts in the industry, you have to go and make some. Go to events and speak to everyone in the room, even if it’s uncomfortable, because you have to make something grow. What you’re doing is getting someone else excited about the potential to be involved in something that’s going to be huge. They can come on board early and believe in it, or see you doing well and realise you’re the one that got away. ↘

MICHELLE’S TIPS A/ Save enough money to support yourself. B/ Know how you will measure success, and failure – at what point would you know the idea hadn’t worked? C/ Research the demand for your idea. Look at the

market and speak to people. D/ Check your competition, as your idea needs to be different. E/ Ask yourself: Why can’t it be you? Nobody wants to be that person who had an idea and didn’t do anything with it.

The future is franchising and the sector continues to grow Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association (bfa), explains the growing benefits of franchising An evolving sector The evolution of franchising continues. The average franchisee is the youngest since records began, more women are becoming their own boss, multi-until franchising is on the up and over 50% of business have a turnover in excess of £250,000. Over 97% of franchisees make a profit, and failure rates are far lower than non-franchised SMEs. Things are looking fabulous.

Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association

The other benefits of franchising Many people make complete career changes when they get into franchising, and as a franchisee you don’t need to necessarily have a business background to be successful. Franchisees truly come from all walks of life. What is important is that you are passionate about the franchise you opt for and that it means something to you. Another benefit is that you enter a company and adopt a business model that has been tried and tested, and has been proven to work. Also, it doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. Some franchised units can be available for around £5,000.

Educating the next generation The vision of the bfa is to empower, promote and connect people in business by becoming the leading educator in franchising. To support this vision the association has established a Franchise Training Academy to be the fundamental source of key skills and techniques, driving the adoption of best practice in the UK franchising sector. Franchisees and franchisors can also take free online bfa certificates to help them on their journey, as well as get advice from our Franchise Gym. What is the bfa? The bfa defines and enforces the ethical standards for business format franchising in the UK. Established in 1977, the association is a self-regulatory body proudly run by its members to champion the growth of the UK franchising sector. Be your own boss and take a look at what franchise may be best for you here: www.thebfa.org/members Contact information www.thebfa.org 01235 820470

Also check if they are bfa accredited – this guarantees the franchisor works to an ethical based code. @thebfa.org

@bfa_uk

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Section Title 38 START 40 UP SUCESSES

SUCCESS STORY

Jon & John

Craft Gin Club By Katie Russell

n a dimly lit bar in Mayfair, two men were catching up over drinks. Jon Hulme and John Burke graduated from business school in Madrid with promises that they would start their own company together. But five years later, they had settled down in sensible jobs in venture building and consultancy. They discussed businesses that were doing well, including the booming subscription box market. After reminiscing about Madrid, their student nights out and drinking Spanish gin, both were surprised that the spirit was now more mainstream. As Burke leant against the bar, Hulme looked behind him and saw a shelf of craft gins, with a light shining on them. “It was a lightbulb moment,” Hulme explains. That evening, the friends decided to combine two growing markets and start a gin subscription service. Immediately, they began researching the market – and in two weeks they created a website and a Facebook page. Two weeks may seem too soon to start

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a business from inception, but Burke argues you could spend six months perfecting your business plan, branding and website, with no guarantee that it would work. “You need to get on the pitch and just start playing,” he says. Facebook was used to grow a following, and the pair were soon selling gin boxes to customers, complete with a rare gin bottle, plus a mixer and some nibbles. The next year, the pair took their idea to Dragons’ Den to find investment. Sarah Willingham, already a Crafts Club member, invested £75,000 in the company, in exchange for 12.5% equity. It was a fruitful investment. Crafts Club now has 42,000 members, 300,000 subscribers to their newsletter and 500,000 Facebook fans. They are the biggest gin subscription club in the world and they’ve worked hard to get there. “We were working non-stop for the first two years,” Burke says. They held down their day jobs for six months and worked on Crafts Club in their spare time, working a sevenday week. Now, the pair

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“You need to get on the pitch and just start playing”

delegate work to their team of 27 people. Recruiting talent was made easier by working in London, Hulme says. “We have many nationalities working in our team, which wouldn’t be possible if we weren’t in London.” Even with a strong team, it hasn’t been easy. Within a year of starting their business, Burke and Hulme launched Bubble Club, a champagne subscription service. This lasted just nine months before they had to close it down. “We spread ourselves too thin too early,” Hulme says. Instead, you need to concentrate on making one business thrive. “There are many opportunities out there, but be sure to focus on the one in front of you.” ↘

We recommend On The Spot Tax. Established in 2008, the company has risen to become a leading light in accountancy on site on time franchising, offering both accountancy, business and tax advice to growing businesses in London and the South East. onthespottax.co.uk

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How to get your start up moving faster GETTING YOUR START UP moving forward can be hard. There’s an abundance of accelerators, incubators and co-working spaces to support you to the next stage of investment, but how do you choose which to go with? Their programmes can all seem quite similar. That’s why we’re offering new solutions for start ups, where the greatest ambitious ideas can be made real to transform society and help to change lives. Brand as a business tool Your brand is the expression of your business strategy. But many start ups miss out on investment opportunities by not having an easy to understand, compelling story. Founders often think of brand as just a logo, but at its core, the brand is who you are and what you stand for. It’s a tool that will help you cut through all the noise and get the necessary funding. Fast. At Future Kings Ventures, founded in 2016 as a start up ourselves, we know that most early stage businesses don’t have the resources or funds for a full brand strategy and we understand the challenges around prioritising spend. But start ups don’t need all the bells and whistles from the very beginning, just brand foundations to align the business. And so our Minimum Viable Brand programme was born. Our unique model means you defer

payment to us until funding is achieved, allowing you to draw upon our wealth of brand experience, risk free. We bring your idea to life by defining your brand story, creating your brand identity, and building your website and killer investor deck. So, when investors sift through hundreds of decks, pitches and presentations, your ambitious idea stands out because it feels real. It isn’t all about tech startups We’re not the only ones trying to change things for start ups. We’ve recently partnered with another distinct incubator, the British Design Fund, who support enterprise and innovation in the UK for early stage, well-designed product businesses. Addressing the lack of funding mechanisms for non-tech businesses in this country, they provide capital and mentorship schemes to extraordinary product businesses. We both exist to accelerate the growth of ambitious start ups and build stand-out businesses that thrive in today’s shifting market. It’s an exciting time for the start up community and you don’t have to settle for broad, sweeping accelerator programmes anymore. Just the help you need, where you most need it. Get in touch to find out more about how Future Kings Ventures and the British Design Fund can help bring your ambitious idea to life.

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Andy Snuggs, Managing Partner andy.snuggs@futurekings.co.uk futurekingsventures.co.uk

John Mathers, Director of Design john@britishdesignfund.co.uk britishdesignfund.co.uk


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Want to escape your 9-5? Start a side business IN 2018 it’s easier and cheaper to start a business than ever before. With free or inexpensive tools, there’s no need to hire expensive developers or designers to build your business. It’s often beliefs about what we think we need that hold us back. “People get stuck for years waiting for one amazing idea to come along”, says Skye Robertson, Head of The Escape School. The Escape School offers one of the only idea-stage Startup Accelerator programmes in London, and has helped over 700 people launch their businesses since 2014. “If you’re looking for ideas for a side business, the best thing you can do is start with a problem”, says Skye. “By far one of the most common mistakes startups make is to get fixated on a product idea rather than honing in on solving problems people actually have”. Even for those who already have an idea, focusing on the problem can help avoid tunnel vision and consider other, maybe better, solutions. “There’s a quick way to try this”, says Skye. “Take a group of people (teens, wannabe entrepreneurs, etc) and spend 5 minutes writing down problems they face in their daily lives. Then pick one and come up with 10-20 solutions. Not all

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The Escape School have helped over 700 people launch their businesses since 2014

your ideas will be good, but it’s a great way to think creatively about the problem you’re trying to solve for the end user. Empathy is key.” Equally as important is ensuring that you care about the problem, and that it matches your priorities. “At Escape we talk about ‘good idea criteria’. Starting a business is hard, so you need to identify your non-negotiables. These are different for everyone but usually consist of 3-4 things that finish the sentence ‘Any idea I pursue must…’ It might be about making a certain amount of money, having more flexibility or working with inspiring people, but they should be signposts to help you decide if it’s

the right business for you to start.” Settling on the right idea is just the beginning. Testing your assumptions and solid customer development are crucial. “You need to fail early to succeed often”, says Skye. “That will only happen if you have exposed your assumptions and spoken to potential customers before you invest time and money building something that no one wants.” To find out more about Escape the City’s Startup Accelerator, and access resources on testing assumptions, customer development, and free business tools, visit escapethecity.org/ start-a-side-business

Kickstart your business Applications for Escape the City’s Startup Accelerator opened on Monday 29th October 2018.

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START UP SUCESSES ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

The accountants who are on site, on time and most importantly, on your side YOU’RE A CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT with a highly marketable qualification, so how could a franchise like On The Spot Tax Accountants help you? A franchise enables you to be your own boss, with all the benefits of being part of an established brand and all the support you need.

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A franchise enables you to be your own boss with all the benefits of being part of an established brand and all the support you need

What support should I expect? Not only is technical support provided but there are many other aspects of running a business your franchisor will be able to advise on, like winning new clients. You’ll be kept up-to-date with tax and accounting changes and meet other franchisees to share case studies and new ideas. You’ll also receive regular practical tips and updates from the franchisor. Other support includes help with networking and marketing, making new contacts, and building your own business network. Other ready-made contacts like book keepers, IFAs and solicitors are available to recommend to your clients, presenting you as a fully-fledged accountancy practice, who are able to advise and support clients in all areas of their business.

Can I work when I want to? It’s your own business - you’re in charge of your hours and how you look after your clients. A franchise works very well for those who need to fit in with family life, or anyone fed up with the daily commute wanting a more flexible, balanced life while still using their hard-earned qualifications and experience. Do I have to rent an office? You’re probably home-based, saving travel time better spent on visiting your clients. But if you want or need an office, that’s fine too, just remember to build the costs into your strategy. What if I struggle to gain new clients? Your franchisor is very experienced at attracting new clients. There are many potential clients needing experienced, accessible and approachable accountants. If you’re interested in clients and their businesses, they’ll want to work with you. Since my exams, I haven’t worked with tax. How will I know I’m advising correctly? Relevant training is provided by the franchisor to get you in a position, together with your own research and previous exam

success, to advise clients. The franchisor is also there as a helpline to check, discuss and bounce ideas around. Are there restrictions on where my clients are based? There are plenty of potential clients in London, the South East and further afield so there’s no restriction on postcodes, meaning there is freedom to work wherever you want.

READY FOR CHANGE? Contact On The Spot’s MD Paula Tomlinson for a no-obligation chat 01444 882677 and 07717 854333 onthespottax.co.uk

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Our shop front franchise gives you the best of all worlds CLICKS & MORTAR

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Enjoy support on marketing, growth & compliance

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We keep you ahead of accountancy’s tech revolution

Franchisees own 35% of the franchisor

Call Nikki in our recruitment team on 0800 0188 297 franchiseenquiries@taxassist.co.uk www.taxassistfranchise.co.uk BE YOUR OWN BOSS

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“Sometimes I was not getting home till after the kids had gone to bed, I was never able to take them to school or attend parents’ evenings. I now have a better lifestyle, with less travel, higher income and immense job satisfaction!”

Roger Bowen

TaxAssist Accountants Business Owner Llanelli


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ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

SUCCESS STORY “Getting the balance right” Owner-driver, Stewart Blunden, tells how Courier Exchange has changed his life… I CONSIDER MYSELF very lucky in that I’ve always known what I wanted to do. I love driving, love vans and love logistics. I’ve been in the courier game for almost twenty years now, have delivered to every London postcode, and have absolutely no regrets. I think perhaps the most rewarding aspect of my job, is that on a personal level, customers value the work that I do, and rely on me for their deliveries. But it’s good to feel part of something bigger too. I may be one man in a van, but when I jump into my vehicle each morning, I’m proud to be one of the hundreds of thousands of drivers who keep the UK’s freight transport supply chain on an even keel.

“ Are you a transport professional? Make every mile matter. COURIER EXCHANGE IS the largest and busiest service of its type in the United Kingdom. Together with its sister service, Haulage Exchange, it currently generates over 15 million miles each month of extra work for its users, most of whom run their own businesses. Established in 2000, today there are over 5,600 members who rely on the Exchange every day to help ‘make every mile matter’. Together, in the last year, they’ve cut their empty running dramatically (cutting CO2

emissions in the process to the tune of 18,000 tonnes) and earned over £160 million doing it. It’s a subscription service for transport professionals only and takes no cuts or commissions. Users benefit from easy-to-use tracking and analytics, secure messaging, electronic invoicing and PODs, to name a few. But most of all they benefit from working with thousands of accredited, like-minded professionals backed by an advanced feedback system with over a million pieces of verified member-to-member feedback.

FIND OUT MORE To find out more, visit us at CourierExchange. co.uk or call 020 8993 7100 to talk to us. Quote ‘BYOB’ for a special offer and details of our free Exchange Academy for new Courier Exchange members.

The app gives me the flexibility to choose my hours and, most importantly, its smart loading matching technology ensures that I win enough loads each month to always earn a decent wage.

However, it’s a tough gig. Van drivers are some of the hardest-working people in Britain. For the last 18 years, for instance, I don’t think I’ve had a Saturday off, and some parcel delivery companies will even fine you for being ill. With a young family, I decided to make a change. I was fed up with the long hours and frustrated that I was often doing the lion’s share of the work for little reward. I wanted more control and flexibility in my working life. I found that when I started my own business, SB Same Day Couriers, a move which I owe largely to Courier Exchange (CX). Why? Because CX has immediately given me a much better work/life balance. The app gives me the flexibility to choose my hours and, most importantly, its smart loading matching technology ensures that I win enough loads each month to always earn a decent wage. Today’s Friday – the busiest day of the week on CX. Suddenly my phone rings. It’s a large logistics contractor from Peterborough. They’re inviting me to quote on a multi-drop load - picking up in Rochester, which is only a 20-minute drive from my house in Greenhithe, and delivering to various addresses in Croydon. I know most of the Croydon postcodes because I used to do regular collection and delivery drops for a large parcel carrier. I quote for the job and my bid is accepted. Before leaving, I click the ‘on my way to pick up’ button. Th is allows the contractor and its Croydon-based customers to check my real-time position on the Courier Exchange’s Live Availability Map, which means I don’t have to field any needless calls when I’m driving. A couple of hours later, I’ve finished my deliveries. I take a sip of tea from my flask, update my status yet again on the app and wait. I’ve programmed the CX app to let me know about any load that falls within a 30-mile radius of my home, and this always seems to generate quick results. It’s 11.30 am and as LBC discusses Brexit, another one of my regular clients calls. They ask me to quote on a multidrop delivery in London. Thanks to my 18 years couriering across London, I know every inch of the capital, and jobs like this are meat and drink to me. I put in a quote and get it. It takes me several hours to complete all of the delivery drops, but luckily for me I manage to finish before the rush hour really begins to kick in.

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Section Title

IT & TECH

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Let us give your business a boost with telephony OVER 80% of new business comes through incoming calls. This is a staggering figure which you’re not going to want to miss. But this doesn’t mean you need to be tied to a desk waiting for the calls to come in. It’s time to swing into action, so get your hands on the next-generation call management solution. Bringing your communications together to work seamlessly can empower your business to be more efficient and productive. Allow yourself to keep up to date with customers’ demands of how and when they want to contact you in order to provide great customer service. 44% of consumers take their business elsewhere due to a poor customer experience. Don’t be another statistic. With a call management solution, you’ll never miss another incoming call again, you’ll be able to enhance your professional image with virtual call handling and be able to analyse your call patterns to help improve your customer experience. Customer service is a vital area to get right for any business. If the experience doesn’t deliver on expectations, dissatisfaction and lost revenue can easily follow. Having the framework in place is one thing, now you need to get the calls coming in. Setting up a memorable business

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number increases your inbound enquiries, as 63% of people still complete a purchase offline, despite browsing the internet first. If your business number is memorable it will help you stand out from the competition, increase your enquiries, give national appeal or even help you break into new local markets. It’s particularly useful in a highly competitive market. The main reason is that people want things that make their lives easier. Having a memorable phone number is a real advantage over the competition as people prefer to call a number they already have in mind, than take some time to look for other options. You may think “I have a business mobile number”, however, 65% of potential customers are put off when the number advertised is a mobile, as they are deemed ‘untrustworthy’ or too small of a business to work with. It’s time to enjoy next-generation communications. Give your business a boost, increase sales and productivity with the right number and telephony solution. From Windsor Telecom, you can get your hands on a complete call management solution including: a memorable number, call handling features like inbound call statistics, call routing and disaster recovery, whilst enabling you to be flexible and mobile with Hosted Voice and a Mobile SIM plan. Get connected.

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Get connected Exceed your sales and productivity expectations for only £33.50pm. Call 0800 180 4838 and quote BYOB to get 3 months half price. windsor-telecom.co.uk

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CASE STUDY

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VoIPstudio helps Camelot Global optimise communications The Challenge Camelot Global needed an enterprise telephony system that was flexible to meet its needs. With operations in three countries – the UK, the US and Ireland – the lottery operator and service provider needed flexibility on the phone numbers it could choose, and needed to be able to bring users online, and offline, as necessary. These needs were not met by their previous carrier, according to Stas Kiselev, IT analyst at Camelot Global. ‘The control panel was outdated and not intuitive – was like Windows 98. We also needed flexibility on phone numbers, as we have operations in multiple countries,’ he says. The Solution In January 2018, Camelot Global decided to switch to VoIPstudio, a cloud-hosted communications platform. VoIPstudio enables flexible and secure connections, regardless of location. It also provides free internet calls, worldwide virtual numbers, an easy-to-use web interface portal, and is BE YOUR OWN BOSS

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‘VoIPstudio is everything we expected and hoped for and is flexble enough to meets all of our needs’

particularly ideal for remote offices. The redesigned dashboard in VoIPstudio brings a cleaner, bolder user interface, providing a more intuitive, responsive and customisable experience for users. New and updated features add to the improved release, with VoIPstudio now offering a range of enterprise productivity tools. One of the new features is the built-in IM/chat feature, which allows users to have conversations within the web browser, without needing to install a separate application. Likewise, users can make VoIP calls from within the dashboard, without the need for an IP deskphone or additional applications. The benefits The sleeker, more intuitive interface has already made it easier for Camelot Global to add new lines, and remove old lines, as required. The organisation is planning to increase the current number of users on the system from 15 to over 50 from April, a task made simple and efficient by VoIPstudio. ‘It does everything we need it to do,’ says

Kiselev. ‘For instance, we can connect multiple phones through a single line, and we can use desk and soft phones simultaneously.’ At the same time, it meets the requirement for flexibility on virtual numbers in the countries from which it operates. It means that the organisation can use both desk and soft phones, according to its needs. This not only boosts productivity, but also allows Camelot Global to reduce the number of deskphones they need to maintain. Camelot Global creates its own billing breakdown by different categories and parameters as required. As such, they estimate they are already saving ten times the cost of maintaining conference phones with the previous carrier, which were only used intermittently. Stas explains: ‘With our previous carrier, we paid for the line, even if we didn’t use it. But now, thanks to the pricing structure offered by VoIPstudio, we have already saved a lot of money, compared to the previous carrier.’ Camelot Global is currently testing the web conference capabilities of VoIPstudio, and is considering moving this over to the

new system, too, which would again cut costs. ‘We already have a better deal with VoIPstudio for our web conferencing services than we did with the previous carrier,’ explains Kiselev. He concludes: ‘So far, VoIPstudio is everything that we expected and hoped for, and is flexible enough to meet all of our needs.’

FREE TRIAL Camelot recently switched to VoIPstudio in order to get more flexibility in its communications requirements, and to save money. Visit VoIPstudio.com and try VoIPstudio free for 30 days to see how you could reduce costs and improve your business communications. 0800 524 4440 voipstudio.com

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IT & TECH

Get Connected To grow your business, you’ll need to reach clients with a speedy internet connection. Here are a few cost-effective options... By Wes Stanton

n today’s world of instant communication, there are very few businesses that operate without the internet. Unless you happen to be a sheep farmer working on a mountain in rural Wales, then you’ll likely need constant connectivity. For many small businesses, domestic broadband

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Images: istock.com

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is good enough, but it depends on what your business does. The bandwidth demands of a self-employed bookkeeper, using a product like Xero to run the accounts for a number of clients and maybe emailing Microsoft Word and Excel files to and fro, are likely to be light. But then consider a freelance video editor who, even though operating from home, might be dealing with gigabytes of data to and from clients as part of their daily grind. Not only do they need the bandwidth to get video to clients and upload to YouTube or Vimeo, they will be operating in a time-critical manner.

While domestic broadband (ADSL) can work for many, its disadvantages include speed, capacity and reliability – all fairly serious if working on a mission-critical project. The best solution is fibre optic broadband, which can be Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) or Fibre To The Premises (FTTP). FTTC is a combination of fibre to the nearest BT street cabinet, and then good oldfashioned copper wire to your premises, providing download speeds of up to 80Mbps. FTTP sees a fibre optic cable from the street cabinet to your premises – it’s a lot more costly, but offers download speeds of up to 330Mbps. GOVERNMENT GRANTS

MOBILE HOTSPOTS & DONGLES

So, apart from consumer broadband plugged in at home, what other options are available? Well, you can use a mobile phone as a hotspot where there’s 4G but, if you want to use your phone at the same time as browsing the internet, this can be problematic. Many people now use a device for mobile broadband on the move known as a dongle. This gadget plugs into your laptop’s USB port and gives you access to 4G. It’s a hugely convenient way to get connected and has few disadvantages, though you can’t use it to connect a phone or tablet direct. The service has a tendency to be a little slower than a plug-in, though, and is often limited to the strength of the prevailing

“Few businesses operate without the internet”

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4G signal. It’s a neat trick to ensure that your dongle is with a different provider to your mobile phone contract because, often, if there is no 4G for your phone, you will be able to get it through the dongle, and vice versa.

BYOB

In March 2018, the government announced a £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. These can be used by small businesses and the community around them to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit-capable connection. There is a £3,000 grant available for businesses (either individually or as part of a group project). This is only for business premises, though – if you work from home, there’s still a grant available, but it only amounts to £500. More details can be found by visiting gigabitvoucher. culture.gov.uk ↘

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IT & TECH ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

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We shred and recycle 100,000 tonnes of material annually

a site four times the size of our previous location means we can offer excellent customer service even further afield, covering Kent, London and the South of England with ease. Increased size enables us to deliver a quicker, more efficient service and the capacity to shred over 1,000 tonnes of paper a week! It means we can meet your business’ individual or specific needs, whatever the size or frequency of requirement, and it takes us one step closer to our vision of becoming the UK’s leading shredding business. But it’s not just about size. Restore Datashred are serious about security and we have invested £2m in state-of-the-art systems and shredding machinery to make sure you are fully compliant with data protection legislation, including GDPR, helping to protect your image and reputation. Our fleet of vehicles has been designed for ultimate flexibility in customer service, making short work of restricted access or bulk shredding jobs, for instance, or securely destroying regular collections on your premises. We dispose of mainly paper assets but we also shred other items that you would not want to fall into the wrong hands, such as hard drives, printers, ID cards, uniforms, and product samples. Restore Datashred’s professionalism is reflected in their industry knowledge, key accreditations and commitment to customer service excellence.

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IT & TECH

businesses that bear the brunt of this form of crime. A 2017 report from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport showed that 45% of all micro/ small businesses identified a cybersecurity breach in the preceding 12 months. The National Federation of Self-Employed & Small Businesses (FSB) reports that seven million cybercrimes against small business are committed each year. “It is a common misconception to think that smaller businesses are less prone to attacks due to their size,” says Asad

Security In A Digital World Small businesses are a target for cyber criminals. So, versing yourself in the basics is recommended By Wes Stanton

ybersecurity is an increasingly pressing issue for small business owners in this digital age. As more and more information about business partners and customers is digitally stored, the incentive for malicious forces to steal that data grows – and so too does the value of passwords, usernames and account details. While the mainstream news may only cover the largest of these cyber data thefts or disruptions, it is increasingly smaller

Images: istock.com

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Naveed, a security consultant at cybersecurity company, Nettitude. “An attacker may see small businesses as an easy target.” Only 73% of micro/small businesses, according to DCMS figures, had any form of cyber security governance or risk management measures in place – this compared to 96% of medium or large businesses. Without a response plan in place, or safeguards to prevent one in the first place, small businesses are in a dangerous position. Cybercriminals know that smaller companies – less likely to have prepared for an attack – are more inclined to pay to keep data secure, or to regain control of databases in what are commonly known as ‘ransomware’ attacks. Suspicious links and attachments contained in emails, often seeming to be sent by legitimate sources, are still a common method of attack. The results can be devastating to small businesses.

“This attack method is achievable remotely, and users are often targeted with malware that will compromise corporate workstations, allowing an attacker entry into a business’s internal infrastructure and access to core systems and data,” warns Naveed. FSB figures show that an average incident can cost a small business £3,000 and can take more than two days to recover from. But there are inexpensive ways to protect your business and the government’s National Cyber Security Centre has released guides to reduce the chance of cybercrime. Prevention is better than the cure and small businesses are encouraged to keep all devices, from workstations and laptops, to mobile phones and tablets, fully updated with the latest security. Staff should be encouraged to create strong passwords and not to share them, nor post confidential company data on social media. They should also be wary of emails asking for passwords or log-in details. ↘

“A cyber attack can cost a small business up to £3,000”

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Sensitive data can be stored and accessed in a printing device’s storage media. In order to provide the best possible protection of data held, OKI’s devices provide hard disk encryption in 128 or 256 bit. For additional protection, users can also set OKI’s devices to automatically erase the print job memory after sending sensitive data in Private Print mode. Optional data overwrite kit on some models reformats the hard disk for an additional level of protection. With OKI Sendys Output Manager, sensitive data can be held centrally without being contained by the storage media on the printing device.

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Our IT Business Is Built On Relationships, Not Ticket Queues Fast and Reliable IT Services, Giving Time Back To Your Business MANAGED SERVICES – IT Support | Cloud and Infrastructure | Telephony Connectivity | Applications | Security | Print Disaster Recovery | Integrations | Projects

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Simple, powerful employee scheduling software EVERY MONTH, hundreds of shiftbased businesses across the UK say goodbye to Excel and start managing their workforce with Planday, reducing their admin time by up to 75% and their payroll costs by 5%. It is estimated that over a quarter (26%) of all work in the UK is shift-based. At the same time, over 80% of all SMEs that employ shift workers still use outdated methods such as Excel or pen and paper to manage their staff. As a result, they can lose millions of pounds each year on employee management due to inefficiency and lack of transparency. With Brexit around the corner and potential staff shortages on the horizon, it is more important than ever to run a tight ship, focus on the bottom line and keep employees engaged. TANGIBLE TIME AND RESOURCE SAVINGS

As any start-up or SME manager knows, your time is precious and is best spent solving critical business issues, not buried in admin. This is especially the case for processes that can be simplified, replicated and automated. With Planday, you’ll be able to manage your staff schedule at the click of a button, saving you hours every single week. Emma Sparling, General Manager of Sophie’s Steakhouse, explains how the system helps her save money: “If I didn’t have Planday, I would need to hire more managers.” Additionally, with our easy reporting tools, you’ll be able to track your daily

revenue against costs, giving you the flexibility to respond to challenges as they arise. Jonathan Davis, General Manager of Riddle and Finns, explains: “We can see our ongoing labour costs at the click of a button. If we have a quieter day, managers can react to it right away because they can see how much revenue is coming in and exactly how many staff they have on the rota.” Staying agile will empower you to make critical decisions at the right time, with peace of mind. CLOUD-BASED ROTA TECHNOLOGY

Whatever your business area, if you employ shift workers, you need a shift schedule that works for both you and for your employees, and is accessible from anywhere. The more employees you have, the more complex this becomes as there will always be shift-swap requests, late arrivals, holidays and emergencies. In short, life happens and you need to make sure that whatever it throws your way, you’re covered and can operate your business at full capacity. Companies both large and small are coming under scrutiny more than ever for underpaying their workers or denying holiday pay, so you need to make sure you have a spotless track record of who worked when, for how much and when they arrived and left work. This way you’ll be able to provide fair pay and holiday allowance without worrying too much about potential administrative dangers that may arise. Plus, your staff will thank you for it.

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ENTERTAINMENT & HOSPITALITY

WINTER RELAXATION AT YOUR LOCAL LONDON SPA Buy a £50 gift card and get £70 using offer code BYOB20. Buy a £100 gift card and get £140 using offer code BYOB40. Your local London Spa Experiences are located in Bethnal Green, Kensington, Old Street, Waltham Forest and Wimbledon. Get this great spa offer online today. spaexperience.org.uk/gift-card BYOB20 and BYOB40 offer codes must be quoted in spa or online at checkout. The offers are only valid at participating Spa Experience locations in Bethnal Green, Old Street, Kensington, Waltham Forest and Wimbledon. The offers are valid from Friday 2nd November to Friday 30th November 2018. This offer is not in conjunction with any other spa offer. Spa Experience is a registered trading name of GLL (Trading) Limited, Company Registration Number 04234158 which is a subsidiary of GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), a charitable social enterprise and registered society under the Co-operative & Community Benefit & Societies Act 2014. Registered address: Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, London SE18 6SX.

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ENTERTAINMENT & HOSPITALITY

Getting Your Staff On Your Side If you’re just a signature on a letter or a name on an email, what motivation will your staff have to meet your goals? By Wes Stanton

Images: istock.com

WHAT DO WE GET OUT OF WORK?

A much-cited theory to do with employees’ behaviour at work was created by Douglas MacGregor in the 1950s, and further developed over the next decade or so. It’s to do with management style and effect and can be distilled down to two distinct theories, ‘Theory X’ and ‘Theory Y’. Theory X claims that people hate work. They have to be forced to do it; prefer to be told what to do; and are fundamentally selfish, without any real interest in the business for

“Setting clearly defined goals works well for all staff ”

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workplace is very much based on the view that staff members get something out of work beyond financial reward alone. We’re very much in a Theory Y world. DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS

PLEASE NOTE !! This is a low resolution proof. NOT indicative of final positioning within the publication. Your advert will be placed as per your booking.

We recommend The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM). Send your employees on courses to help them develop, feel supported and therefore more motivated to work for you. The IDM has helped thousands of companies to develop world-class teams, from the smallest SMEs to the biggest multinational corporations. theidm.com

which they work. Conversely, MacGregor’s Theory Y states people like work, they drive themselves, they like to take initiative and they’ll commit to objectives if it’s of personal benefit. Theory X says that people like autocracy; Theory Y believes that staff respond best to democratic leadership. Of course, these are theoretical absolutes – and even MacGregor himself noted that either end of the spectrum is too extreme for the real world. While Theory X has its place in terms of management style, where assembly line workers produce homogenous products and there is little room for creativity, today’s

Incentivising staff financially is important, though. Sales people in particular tend to be driven by monetary success. I used to mention at some point during interviews that the qualities I looked for in a media sales team were selfishness, competitiveness, calculatedness and a love of material goods. Once a prospective candidate had got over the shock of this statement’s candour, we’d often laugh because, time and again, it proved to be true. Weekly competitions among the sales department to win a bottle of champagne, a box of chocolates, or half a day off also worked time and time again. But what motivates a sales person is seldom the same for a creative person. A creative staff member often does a job that is difficult to measure, and they often get much satisfaction from creating something new that works well for the business. What can work well for them is recognition of their achievements, and also a demonstration that the company will invest in their skill-set – sending creatives on courses to improve their value to the business cuts both ways. Certainly, what works well for all staff, no matter their role in your business, is to set clearly-defined Continued on 53

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Kruger Cowne refuse to sign Trump

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

ASKED RECENTLY by a journalist if leading celebrity representation agency and speaker bureau, Kruger Cowne, would sign President Donald Trump when he leaves office, CEO Mark Cowne said: “Trump would not be our choice to represent as a speaker. He is undoubtedly smart, but his mixed messaging and controversial past do not fit the profi le of our talent roster. We like to work with exemplary talent.” For 20 years Kruger Cowne has provided celebrity speakers and iconic talent for public appearances, brand endorsements, corporate speaking engagements, media training, HR support, corporate advice and even bar mitzvahs. From Sony, Vodafone and Lexus to Facebook, HSBC, and Unilever – in fact over 400 corporations have beaten a path to our door to help them fulfi l their needs. Kruger Cowne represent exceptional individuals who are pre-eminent in their fields. With pre-eminence comes knowledge and passion, and when these qualities are unleashed it leaves an audience enthralled, informed and, most importantly, entertained. Kruger Cowne’s website is a treasure trove of the great, the good and the edgy. Cher, who delivered an impassioned call to arms for humanity to care more for our animal kingdom to a group of high net worth individuals; or Sir Bob Geldof, who regularly changes the way people think and behave and who can make the most hardened business people in the room

With preeminence comes knowledge and passion, and when these qualities are unleashed it leaves an audience enthralled, informed, and, most importantly, entertained

both laugh and cry. There is also Boris Becker, who draws on his own demons to illuminate the subject of overcoming adversity; or Fatima Bhutto, part of one of the world’s greatest political dynasties, who uses her position as a force for change. The list goes on – Sir Richard Branson, Gina Miller, John Simpson, Lily Cole, Dylan Jones and many more. Kruger Cowne also represent some of the finest minds of the younger generation – Arthur Kay, the founder of Bio-Bean, an ingenious pan-European recycling business that uses coffee waste to heat in an environmentally-friendly way; or Josh Littlejohn MBE, who has singlehandedly taken on the task of eradicating homelessness in Scotland; or Sharmadean Reid MBE, who has made her WAH Nails business a thriving enterprise. They all have extraordinary things to say and audiences love to hear from them.

Get in touch Kruger Cowne’s highly trained staff are there to help you find the ideal partner for your event. Give them a call – Kruger Cowne love speaking. krugercowne.com | 020 3858 0542

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ENTERTAINMENT & HOSPITALITY

NEWBURY RACECOURSE PROUDLY PRESENTS

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Going for gold in the Lee Valley FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS of Olympic champions and get your team going for gold with a day out at the Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley White Water Centre. What could be more inspirational than some friendly competition in the very places where heroes were made during the London 2012 Olympic Games? It’s time for your team to pedal or paddle their way to glory with a package day at one of these unique Vibrant Partnerships venues. Tackle the track and strive for the fastest lap in the velodrome, then take it outside on the BMX track. This is all within the grounds where Team GB scooped a bumper medal haul six years ago. At Lee Valley White Water Centre, you can raft your way down the very course used in the Olympic canoe slalom events. Build your own package with a selection of activities both on and off land, including archery tag, hydrospeeding and more. Even if you’re not taking to the track or getting wet yourselves, you can place your event in the heart of the action by hiring meeting rooms at the venues. Perhaps you’ll even hold your exhibition or awards there. MANAGED BY

PLANNING AN EVENT? If you’re planning a big bash, contact us to hire one of the famous venues in its entirety. vibrantvenuehire.co.uk 03000 030610

Vibrant Partnerships is a trading name of Lee Valley Leisure Trust Limited, a charitable registered society (no: 32275R)

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ENTERTAINMENT & HOSPITALITY Y

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Staff rewards that are personal can make your employees feel really special ST

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MAKE IT PERSONAL

One of my favourite staff rewards was on a magazine when all the all-female staff got a bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates and a card on Valentine’s Day. It made the people who worked on the title feel really special and was a lovely gesture. And the lead designer, who was working on a new project for the business, was at a loss for words when the boss put a shoe box containing the pair of size 5 heels she was saving for on her desk, with a note that simply said: “Thank you.” That same boss (I confess it wasn’t me) also made a real fuss of the team at Christmas time and on their birthdays. It might not always have been a pair of shoes, but little notes and small gifts of appreciation went a long way to keeping the team content and productive. So, with a little thought, it’s clear that small tokens of appreciation can go a long way when the chips are down and a project deadline is looming menacingly. ↘

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TEAM ACTIVITIES

Images: istock.com

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objectives – and a simple “Well done!” when they achieve them is often all it takes. There are times when it makes sense to say thank you in a more tangible way – say, at the end of an important project or product launch. This can be as simple as taking all the staff to the pub, putting a few quid behind the bar and saying “Thank you!” In a non-workplace environment people tend to let their hair down, shaking off frustrations and preconceptions they may have formed about their co-workers.

B

OUR OWN

More advanced ideas include corporate team building events. These might include a day out of the office, with staff taking part in a range of fun yet challenging activities, such as gokart racing and clay pigeon shooting. Team-based problem solving, such as the Egg-Drop challenge (where the team has to find a way to prevent an egg from breaking when dropped from a height using only a few simple materials) is also a great way to get people to work together who might not usually do so in the workplace. It provides a new perspective among the people on your team regarding each other’s abilities, and tends to build respect. External events should not be dismissed either. Industry award events, often hosted by trade associations or even independent media, are often a great way to involve your staff in the wider context of your business – and often, by networking with others in the industry, they gain a sense of confidence about your business which pays for itself many times over.

We recommend

“Team events help staff build respect for each other”

Zing Events. For corporate team building with a twist. Choose from a range of both indoor and outdoor events for your employees to let their hair down and work together. With cocktail masterclasses, escape the box, it’s a knockout, treasure hunts and more, get out of the office and have some fun with Zing. zingevents.co.uk

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Is work-related stress impacting your health?

Plan a successful 2019 THE HEADLONG RUSH of daily busy-ness leaves little room to plan for the future. Snatched meetings and looming deadlines are not the recipe for developing ambition, making significant improvements, or building camaraderie. So, businesses and organisations need to get together periodically and put their thinking caps on. Our facilitators have helped businesses to plan growth, to create new products and services, implement improvement plans and everything else that requires collaboration. Clients have included global 500 corporations, down to small family businesses on the industrial estates of London. A facilitator can devise a format that will super-charge your thinking. Events are engaging ways of working, often novel and always creative. As facilitators, we can ask the challenging questions that develop

your ideas, resolve conflicts and improve team and interdepartmental working. We cross-pollinate ideas and methods between companies to accelerate your progress and we help you raise accountability and ownership for following through on your plans and making them reality. A creative, engaging team event may be just what your company needs to inject a burst of energy and direction as we embrace 2019.

Fostering teamwork Book your team away days, participative business planning, innovation workshops, customer boards, project meetings and conferences. facilitator.co.uk enquiries@facilitator.co.uk | 0800 011 2624

“DON’T LET THE challenges of life keep you down! Rise up stronger.” “Listen to your inner voice, and do not let anyone stop you from being the person you know, within, you need to be.” These are some of the motivational words keynote speaker, coach and author Ruth Pearson of the company, Listening To Your Voice, shares with others. Helping business owners and teachers who feel overwhelmed due to work-related stress is Ruth’s area of expertise. By sharing a strategy called 5STEPS2LEARN, Ruth helps her clients to take back control of their time. Speaking in educational settings, women’s events and business events, including the business show at ExCeL London, Ruth covers a number of topics.

These include emotional and mental health issues, being a female founder and what it’s like to live with hidden disabilities. Her book, ‘Say Yes To New Opportunities! Be Motivated to L.E.A.R.N.’ allows the reader to get the inspiration they need to accomplish goals in their life, and conquer fears.

Try it for free Get your FREE TRIAL of the course Five Steps To Bounce Back From Stress. Visit: listeningtoyourvoice.co.uk 07828 028559

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YO

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“You never know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out.”

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I bet the farm–and lost

B

Warren Buffett ST

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What To Do When It All Goes Wrong It took 16 years of excruciatingly hard work to make a million pounds and it disappeared in seven weeks By Wes Stanton

I

t was 22 July 2016. It was a beautiful Friday afternoon, with a pale blue, cloudless sky. My wife and I sat at an old teak table in the garden shaded by a scruff y parasol, sipping orange squash with ice from plastic cups. The place was nothing special, but it was home. I looked over at my wife, and through gritted teeth gave a half smile. She began to cry. Seven weeks earlier had seen the culmination of everything we’d wished for since I started up in 2000. We had made it. Sold up. Made a million. And yet here we were, fewer than 50 days later, completely and utterly miserable. My business had grown over 16 years from a kitchen-table publishing operation. It had expanded because the big fish in the advertising industry ignored the small fry nibbling around the edges. But we were nimble and knew our stuff. We grew. We employed good people. We were successful. My wife’s tears were those of disbelief and shock. That beautiful day in the garden was supposed to be the first day of our show. We had made a decision to launch a replacement of the CLA Game Fair – after it had failed – with one of our own, the UK Game Fair. We secured the support of some of the biggest exhibitors, started a trade magazine, launched a consumer newspaper, and we moved lightning fast. The launch took exactly one month. The competition, trying to resurrect the

Image: istock.com

WHAT TO DO... failed CLA Game Fair without the CLA badge, didn’t know what had hit it. Their show was planned for the week after ours, less than 20 miles away. And then a third show appeared. A monster fish swam in, launching a show seven weeks before ours. The exhibitors stopped booking stand space with us, holding out to see what would happen, and gave our nearest competitor much-needed time.

“We had made £1m. Yet 50 days later, we were broke”

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BIG MISTAKE

Then I made my most significant strategic mistake. I took a call to my mobile from the MD of the competitor, who suggested a merger. I took it as a sign of panic and it made me all the more determined to continue. The proceeds from the sale of our publishing business, plus more investment from the buyers, meant our show would be rock-solid. We spent the money on delivering the event. But then it all started to go wrong. Despite

WHEN IT ALL GOES RIGHT Avoid fast cars, expensive clothes, fine wines and fancy watches. Pay off the debt you used to found your business and remember how hard it was at the start. Treat money with the same respect as when you started out. WHEN IT ALL GOES WRONG Get advice from a specialist firm of business recovery experts. Money spent in trying to rescue your business is a legitimate expense. You will discover who your real friends are.

us selling nearly 100 tickets per day by mid-June, the investors felt that the pace of ticket sales just wasn’t fast enough and they became nervous. Naively, I tried to manage expectations by talking about worst-case scenarios rather than remaining bullish. A barrage of calls to a list of wealthy investors in search of a quick half a million quid to plug the gap yielded moral support but nothing more. There was no way out. We were screwed. When I called in the business turnaround specialists, I had to do whatever I could to return exhibitor and ticket sales money, which was getting on for half a million quid. I didn’t have it. The white flag went up and The Game Fair stepped in to benefit from nearly 4,000 tickets we’d sold. The exhibitors were repaid by the investors, frustratingly using money that, had we been solvent, would have come to us. Those tears in the garden came because we knew it was the end. It was too much for any sane person to bear. My wife tried to tough it out but it affected her deeply. When she said she didn’t feel the same any more, I didn’t blame her. We separated on good terms, despite the failure having cost some £1.3m.

MIGHT AS WELL DO IT IN STYLE

It was snowing the day I was made bankrupt. I had been struggling to earn much as a dispirited freelance editor and writer. But by a weird quirk of fate, I had taken delivery of a loan car two days before for a freelance writing project: a Rolls Royce Wraith Black Badge, with fewer than 300 miles on the clock. So I dressed as for dinner in a bowtie, and headed off to court. Might as well dress formally for the occasion. In the lobby, the barrister for the bank came over to mention the small matter of financial ruin if I didn’t pay up. I smiled politely, and calmly explained that I had nothing left. I did suggest I give her a lift to the train station once formalities were complete, pointing at the Roller parked outside in full view of the glass-fronted court building. She declined. I’d like to say that moment was worth every penny. It wasn’t. But by god, you should have seen her face. ↘

Do you need help?

The author is willing to help anyone worried about their business without charge. Please feel free to email him on wes.stanton@ westhillmedia.co.uk in strict confidence.


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Be a caring boss HOW DO YOU build a productive team? If you’re employing people already or planning to, it goes without saying that the success of your business relies on how well they perform. Productivity, of course, is affected by a whole range of factors, including pay incentives, training and new technologies. And a growing number of businesses are concentrating more and more on the strong link between performance and employee wellbeing, and mental health in particular. They’re investing in specialist advice and training, building it into their corporate strategies and making it one of the first items on the board agenda. These companies now include wellbeing metrics in their reporting. Essentially, they’re creating a ‘culture of care’ and the result is extra discretionary effort on the part of the worker. This all marks a big step forward in workplace safety and health, and not before time. IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) is the chartered body for safety and health professionals, and our members tell us that wellbeing and mental

40% of all workers face high stress in their jobs, negatively affecting their productivity, health and family stability.

health are becoming increasingly important to the organisations they work for. This is backed by a recent survey of UK employers by REBA (Reward and Employee Benefits Association) which found that mental health in the workplace was the top priority for nearly three in five CEOs, and the area of employee wellbeing with which the board was most concerned. Just one in six (16%) employers said they had a defined mental health strategy in place now, but over a third (37%) plan to introduce one in the next 12 months and a further quarter (26%) by 2020. This suggests that by the early 2020s more than three-quarters (78%) of UK companies will have a defined mental health strategy. Two more surveys published this year give the background to this trend. The first was a worldwide perspective on mental health and wellbeing by the Deloitte global trends analysis on human capital. It found that more than 40% of all workers face high stress in their jobs, negatively affecting their productivity, health and their family stability. Hourly workers complained of inflexible schedules, while office workers complained

of an endless stream of emails and messages that made it impossible to disconnect from their jobs. In some countries, individuals are working more hours and taking fewer vacations than ever, said the Deloitte study. Another report, this time on the UK, found work-related mental health issues affect three in five of us. The Mental Health at Work 2018 report, called ‘Seizing the Momentum’, written by Business in the Community and supported by IOSH, highlights the desperate need for greater support for workers. “Evidence continues to grow about the negative impacts of poor mental health at work,” said Duncan Spencer, IOSH Head of Advice and Practice. “Employers are talking about this and becoming more aware of its business impact. Consequently, many are realising the business benefits of higher productivity and talent retention that a robustly implemented wellbeing strategy can bring.” Later this month, IOSH will host a roundtable in London, which will draw together business leaders and experts in mental health to discuss how we can best help companies to combat mental health

issues in the work place. For businesses, and start-ups in particular, the wealth of information out there on mental health and wellbeing can be too much to take in. Seeking the advice of a safety and health practitioner and investing in training, such as IOSH’s Managing Occupational Health and Wellbeing, are good first steps. For IOSH, the message is that prevention is better than cure. Duncan said: “While the provision of mental health first aiders and other interventions can help, these are not preventative controls. “We should have systems in place to prevent emotional harm and support colleagues much earlier, so that they don’t get to the point where a response to crisis is needed. Our focus must be on prevention and not cure.”

Find out more For more information about IOSH, our members, our free resources and training courses, visit iosh.com

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The days of forking out thousands to buy a commercial vehicle are over. At Northgate we’ve created a range of flexible, fair and financially savvy hire plans. From branding to beacons, racking to roof bars, you can tailor our hire vans to your business. They require no deposit*, and come with servicing, road-tax, maintenance and breakdown recovery, all included in one simple monthly cost. What’s more, if your business needs change, you can return or swap your hire vans.

Makes sense right? We call it Vanonomics.

Find out how Northgate can help your business visit northgatevehiclehire.co.uk or call 03301 089 175

*Subject to credit check

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