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FINANCE | INVESTMENT | LEGAL | TECHNOLOGY | MARKETING | CONSTRUCTION | LOGISTICS | WELLNESS

Launch issue Launch issue April April 2016 2016

SME’s and the Digital Revolution HMRC splits big outsourcing contract The great print v digital debate

How to combat work stress

Are you following the investment crowd?

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THE TEAM

Faz Hyda

James Hayes

Will Mathieson

Julie Bissett

Fiona Mocatta

Carl Weldon

Gareth Burton

Sunil Sampat

Magnus Allan

Founder / Publisher

Journalist

Contributor

Commissioning Editor

Contributor

Contributor

Journalist

Hospitality Writer

Contributor

Giovanni Anchois

Steve Johnstone

Technology Writer

Financial Correspondent

Stephen Isherwood Contributor

Simon Kay Contributor

Daniel Howard Contributor

Josh Cassely Contributor

The North London Business Magazine is published by

Hyda & Reed Publications

North London Business Park, New Southgate, London N11 1GN Editorial 0203 617 1864 | Advertising 0203 617 1864 | 07932 085 181 editorial@hydareedpublications.co.uk | advertising@hydareedpublications.co.uk subscriptions@hydareedpublications.co.uk

www.hydareedpublications.co.uk

Shaneez Hyda

Research & Advertising

Ryan M.

Head Designer


PUBLISHER’S

WELCOME

NOTE I’m delighted to welcome you to North London Business Magazine (NLBM), our new quarterly print & digital publication aimed at SMEs based north of the River and serving the capital as a whole. This multi-sector periodical focuses on the diverse range of companies that call N, NE and NW London their home, but we will also be examining broader business issues that affect the corporate sphere as a whole, from a local perspective. With London’s status as the world’s pre-eminent place to do business, a large part of NLBM’s focus will be on the larger organisations which are national and international in their scope. Yet we will also shine a spotlight on the smaller companies who have driven economic growth in the capital, and in many ways, are the real business heroes of the city. Since the City stole Wall Street’s title as the West’s financial capital, London has also established itself as Europe’s leading technological hub, and these topics will grow in prominence in future issues. But our message from the very start is clear: in today’s media sphere, content is king, and we can promise you the very best writing, with great design and a complementary, targeted distribution model that cleverly marries the worlds of print and digital. So all that leaves me to do is thank my dedicated team for all their hard work and wish you, the reader, an enjoyable and informative read. Look out for the next issue in July!

Faz Hyda

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• Unrivalled opportunities for technology, retail, manufacturing and green industries within easy reach of the M25, A406, A10, London Stansted Airport and central London • Join over 10,000 businesses including Coca Cola, Kelvin Hughes, Warburtons, Ardmore Construction, Ikea, John Lewis, Tesco and Biffa employing nearly 100,000 people • Enfield offers support to businesses considering locating in Enfield with advice on available sites and premises, support with recruitment and introductions to local stakeholders and support with sourcing local suppliers.

For more information on opportunities in Enfield please email invest@enfield.gov.uk or visit www.investinenfield.co.uk/eg 4

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CONTENTS

MARKETING FINANCE & LEGAL

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w What are the opportunities open to investors in the current climate? w Is a corporate ownership structure preferable for today’s landlords? w How to align your automotive fleet purchasing with your corporate interests. w The importance of having your business ISO-accredited.

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w A step-by-step guide to mastering social media. w In defence of print media. w Exhibiting at trade shows can reap enormous benefits without breaking the bank.

CONSTRUCTION & REGENERATION

w The shipping sector’s greatest obstacle to growth could be a glut of regulations.

RECRUITMENT

34

w Stephen Isherwood explains why graduate recruits should not be overlooked

WELLNESS & STRESS RELIEF

18

w Leadership is for Innovators w The day-to-day dynamic between colleagues is an important part of building your business.

52

51

w What’s new North of the River

BUSINESS CULTURE

LOGISTICS

54

w Stress is bad for business. Here’s how to combat it. w Get fit and get that golden tan ahead of the summer season

BUSINESS SPACE & NETWORKING

43

w Flexible office space may represent a very attractive proposition for SMBs. w Just how effective are business networking groups at growing your profits?

TECHNOLOGY

HOSPITALITY & BUSINESS TRAVEL 60

21

w Many SMBs are failing to reap the benefits of the digital revolution. w What are the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your IT resources?

w Carl Weldon plots a course for the hospitality sector in 2016.

SECURITY

37

w How to protect your business from crime?

ENTERTAINMENT

62

w Montana International Music

All rights reserved. The contents of this publication are the property of Hyda & Reed Publications. Material may be reproduced with prior written agreement. While every care has been taken to ensure the content is accurate the publisher cannot take responsibility for any errors that may occur.

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Building 3, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Rd S, London N11 1GN


y

INVESTMENT

ARE YOU FOLLOWING THE INVESTMENT CROWD? In these times of 1% returns on cash balances in deposit accounts, a Chancellor implementing anti-Buy to Let policy, and a casino like stock market, the search for an income or capital return on cash balances is a challenge for pensioners, high net worth individuals, and sophisticated fund managers. A rummage around the alternatives today may drive an individual cash rich investor to peer-to-peer lending and equity crowdfunding.

by

Steve Johnstone /roscoemanagement

Peer-to Peer Lending can earn an investor a generous 7%-10% per annum return on a fraction of an unsecured loan, and on face value this kind of return appears hugely attractive. However, an investor needs to weigh up whether the 7-10% per annum return fully reflect the investment risk being taken, and does the fractional loan investment platform do adequate due diligence on the borrower party?.   As the peer to peer lending market is a relative infant, there is not

yet a strong enough message out there as to whether the UK banking sector is missing out on great lending opportunities, or whether the UK banks are correct and that Peer to Peer borrowers are a business risk they would prefer not to take. To date, the peer to peer infant is a nice bedtime story, however, a 10% failure rate in your portfolio may create the problem teenager in the future. The other alternative a cash holder may consider is an equity punt in the world of crowdfunding.   Crowdfunding has very quickly become a mainstream equity provider to startups and growth companies, and is made up of thousands of investors seeking to speculate mainly small amounts of monies on the next Facebook or that Craft Beer business model.   How many beer drinkers out there have invested in that craft beer investment for the free beer each month, and the hope that they are “in on the ground floor when a successful business was founded.  Like peer to peer lending, crowdfunding as part of your investment strategy, should be about investing small sums in a wider portfolio of deals. Crowdfund investment provides a platform for the casual investor to take a risk on businesses that would historically have been the domain of the venture capital funds, or “family and friends” to

get that business idea off the ground. So what kind of due diligence can you do on a crowdfund investment deal.  The extent of one’s review is limited to reading the biographies of the board, the business plan and forecasts, understanding the possible exit strategies, and perhaps a 10 minute chat with the CEO at a hosted event.  You, the investor, are making a weighed up decision based on the facts that you are presented with.  If you had the statistic in your head that at least 50% of startups fail in Year 1, this constant thought may help you refrain from pressing the send-cash button.  The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website states that investment-based crowdfunding is a high-risk investment activity, and there is only a very light touch regulation in this sector at present. Given the type of investments raising monies in the crowd, there is a high likelihood of investment failures on a regular basis. If crowd start-ups were to go through a review process from an independent body grading opportunities from 1 to 5 stars, or if the platform were required to provide a due diligence report on all investment opportunities, would the crowdfund investor think twice before hitting the send-cash button. Maybe the advent of EIS Fund Managers undertaking due diligence on behalf of inves-

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INVESTMENT

...are you following the Investment Crowd?

tors is the way forward to derisk investment risk, but this means payment of asset management fees and profi participation for the asset managers. Maybe the crowd investor knows that they might lose all their investment and perhaps the real upside in the crowd is the knowledge that generous government incentives in the form of SEIS and EIS will soft-land any downside pain.   Taking a brief look at the current tax incentives.  Crowdfunding investment deals are typically wrapped as a Seed Enterprise Incentive Scheme (SEIS) or an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), both tax incentives for UK tax paying private investors. The SEIS tax structure is probably the most attractive government incentive created for a UK private investor, initially until 2017, but now a permanent fixtu e.  The SEIS permits an investor to inject up to £100,000 per annum into a qualifying SEIS investment, and for the investor to get a 50% tax refund in the tax year of the investment or the prior tax year.  So £50,000 of a £100,000 investment is contributed by HMRC. If the investor made the investment from a capital gain (yes I am talking to those property investors who have paid 28% CGT on the sale of property) you would get a further 14% capital gains tax deferral relief meaning a £100,000 cash investment in an SEIS structure is actually costing the investor £36,000 with £64,000 being contributing by the taxman. In the event the business fails after 3 years with no cash return, the investor attracts share loss relief of up to 45% of £50,000 giving tax relief of £22,500, and an overall net cash loss for their investment of £13,500. The Government tax buffer on these SEIS/EIS investments means that should an investment only return the £100,000 initial face value investment then this would generate a 177% absolute investment return over a 3 year period.  Wow, thank you HMRC, however, a losing investment is a bad deal irrespective of tax benefit . The SEIS and EIS investments are restricted to certain investment criteria, and more details of the rules of the game can be found at https://www.gov.uk/topic/business-tax/investment-schemes.   The UK crowdfunding industry has been built around these tax incentives. However, the opportunity to use this tax advantage is not limited to the crowdfunding investor.  If you like to have more influenc and control over where your money is going there is nothing to stop business founders and a 30% shareholder creating a tax efficien investment with a shareholder agreement and where the 30% shareholder is an unpaid director.  This is the structure that a Business Angel might adopt where they seek to influenc the direction of their investment, and should you be sitting on a large CGT liability a discussion with your accountant might fin a suitable EIS/SEIS investment for your tax efficien cash, or perhaps you should join a network of business angels with more sophisticated due diligence exposure on startup and growth companies.   The key to all sensible investment is to remove as much risk before you take that investing decision.  In the ideal world, to invest is to undertake your own due diligence or to engage an ad-

viser to undertake proper due diligence. With no formal due diligence, the key gut instinct points for an investor to consider are: • Is this business really worth the valuation and would a third party pay the valuation used for 100% of the business? • How will the cash invested be spent and how long before it is burnt • Does the entrepreneur or founder have any skin (cash) in the game? • Are the founders rewarded by low salaries and share options instead of larger salaries? To summarise, the SEIS and EIS investment schemes have made investment in UK startups very tax attractive to UK tax payers, however, to invest and to lose money irrespective of tax benefit is never a grand idea. If we want to gamble £500 that favourite in the 2.30 at Kempton Park may be a safer option, and at least you know the outcome of your investment in less than 10 minutes. The liquidity of an investment, good due diligence, and understanding the realistic exit strategy are prerequisites for any investment strategy, and one would question whether the crowdfund sector currently ticks these boxes. Steve Johnstone is Director of Roscoe Management Limited, a business advisory and management fi m. www.roscoemanagement.co.uk

Do The Numbers Stack Up? • Due Diligence • Investment Reviews • Business Plans • Sell Side Advisory

Tel: 0203 290 1967 info@roscoemanagement.co.uk

www.ro sco ema nagement .co.uk

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INVESTMENT Income Taxes: Rental income receipts are taxable, but these can be offset by costs incurred in earning the rental income, typically: u Landlords Insurance u Water Rates u Council Tax u Factoring charges u Property repairs (the 10% wear and tear allowance to be replaced with tax relief for replacing furnishings in rental properties) u Letting Agent’s commission and fees u Accountancy Fees u Electricity and gas u Mortgage interest & fees (but not capital repayments) u (note that this relief is to be phased out as mentioned in this article) u Telephone (calls in connection with managing property) u Mileage (mileage travelled in connection with managing property)

Property BTL Investment – all change?

There has been in recent years a growth in the Buy-toLet sector as more and more investors were looking at the option of earning income in the low interest rates scenario and hoping to achieve capital growth when the house prices were on the rise again.

by

Sunil Sampat

/sunil-sampat

In this ever evolving property letting market scenario the government announced in the 2015 summer budget that the tax relief on finance costs of landlords

will be restricted to the basic rate of tax. This restriction will be introduced gradually from 6 April 2017 and this will not only apply to mortgage interest and mortgage arrangement fees but will also include any interest paid on loans used to buy furniture or fixtu es. BTL landlords will be able to obtain relief as follows: For 2017 to 2018 the deduction from property income will be restricted to 75% of finance costs, with the remaining 25% being available as a basic rate tax reduction In 2018 to 2019, 50% finance costs deduction and 50% given as basic rate tax reduction In 2019 to 2020, 25% finance costs deduction and 75% given as basic rate tax

Capital Taxes: u Capital gain will be triggered in the hands of a seller or a donor on sale of a property or on sale of shares in a property owning company u Capital gains are calculated as follows: • Difference between purchase price and the value at the point of selling / gifting the property; • Legal fees & professional fees related to the purchase or selling the property can be deducted; • Any capital enhancement to the property can be can be deducted as well • Individuals can avail of the annual exemption whilst indexation allowance is available to companies; • Other areas to be considered will be inheritance tax and the legal aspects of owning the properties either as an individual or under a Limited Company.

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INVESTMENT reduction From 2020 to 2021 all financing costs incurred by a landlord will be given as a basic rate tax reduction Interestingly the restriction has been confined to individuals, so companies that own properties are unaffected. No relief is available for capital repayments of a mortgage or loan. This change by the Chancellor has prompted individual landlords to investigate the route of a limited company as when tax relief is restricted, the effective borrowing cost will rise. The new rules will push the higher rate tax payers into paying more tax whilst and at the same time move standard rate tax payers into a higher rate tax bracket.

The table below shows the main tax differences between the two: Individual ownership u Income tax is payable on rental income u Income tax rates are higher depending on overall income received by an individual u Any profits after tax can be withdrawn by the owners with no additional tax charge

u Corporation tax is payable on rental profits u Corporation tax rates are at 20% (with expected decreases) for profits up to ÂŁ300K u Where profits are withdrawn by the owners, there is a personal tax charge on the withdrawal

u When a disposal takes place either by way of sale or gift Capital Gains Tax is payable by the owners u CGT rates can be higher or lower than corporation tax rates u However as individuals one can make use of a certain amount of tax free gain on annual basis (this is called the annual exemption) u Individual properties can be sold in order to raise funds u Administration wise simple to operate as income and expenditure accounts sufficient to prepare a personal tax return u Professional fees typically lower

u On sale of property corporation tax is payable by the company. If shares are gifted in a Ltd Co, CGT is payable by the owners u CT rates can be higher or lower than CGT rates u Companies do not have a certain amount of tax free again, instead they benefit from indexation allowance u When property is sold in a company, the proceeds belong to the company and any extraction can give rise to a personal income tax charge u Accounts must be filed with Companies House u Professional fees are typically higher

Before embarking on a Limited Company ownership structure it is very useful to consider the intention and future direction of the business. Whether the goal is to acquire a number of properties and resell them or there is intention to reinvest and keep the properties for a longer duration of time. The distinction between these will be crucial when individual landlords are thinking of setting up a corporate ownership in order to transfer their portfolio of investment properties into a limited company. Irrespective of which ownership structure is chosen the points on the previous page should be taken into account. Sunil Sampat is a qualified Co porate Tax/VAT adviser. Sunil is director of Simkap Limited. sunil@simkap.co.uk

Limited Co ownership

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Tel: 07961 813174 | 07971 4488537 Email: info@simkap.co.uk


IN THE NEWS

SQR Group on Bloomberg

Gett becomes biggest black cab app in the UK with 11,500 taxis in London alone Gett, the global on demand taxi app, launched a bid to acquire Radio Taxis in a deal that brought the total amount of Gett black cabs in London to 11,500 or half of all the licensed taxis in the city. The combination of Radio Taxis and Gett will give passengers access to Gett’s unique fixed fares which offer a discount on the meter price, confirmed before the journey begins. The cash deal will see Gett acquire all three brands within Radio Taxis’ parent company, Mountview House Group who also operate Xeta, another black cab brand, as well as One Transport, the global transport solutions platform which provides corporate clients with access to vehicles in almost every country around the world. Remo Gerber, Managing Director of Gett in Western Europe said: “This deal will help even more more

Geoffrey Riesel

Mountview House Group

customers get access to our fantastic fixed fares which are always better than the meter - with discounts of up to 30% on the fare they would otherwise pay.” Geoffrey Riesel, Chairman & CEO of Mountview House Group said: “Our board unanimously supports the deal to become part of Gett. The future of the business as well as that of our drivers and clients is well served by becoming part of this exciting high tech brand, not least because of Gett’s world class mobile app.”

Muzahid Choudhury

Owner - Dipali Restaurant

Pioneer of Indian Dining The Dipali Indian Restaurant has been serving some of North London’s finest Indian cuisine from its 80-seat restaurant in Palmers Green since 1972. Set within its lavish surroundings, which include a waterfall, exotic plants and marble flooring, Dipali has an extensive range of starters, fish and tandoori dishes and the chef’s house specialities. As one of the capital’s longest running Indian restaurants, Dipali has been featured in the Time Out Good Food Guide, recommended in the World Wide Travel and Tour Guide and awarded the Gannets Restaurant of the Year. www.dipali.co.uk

SQR Group provides close protection, antiterrorism and national infrastructure security services to the civilian, military and national security sectors. The company is a market-leader in the provision of travel, events and corporate security protocol, and business intelligence and corporate espionage. With 18 years’ Special Forces and counterterrorism service amassed, former elite military personnel and co-founder, Avi Navama has provided state security protection for the British Prime Minister and several HNWIs. www.sqrgroup.com

More Honours for BKL Following a string of nominations for a series of leading professional awards, BKL topped a wonderful 2015 by winning ‘Large Practice of the Year’ at the Practice Excellence Awards. The accountancy firm has now firmly established itself as one of the leading purveyors of innovation and service within the discipline. www.bkltax.co.uk

Email your stories to: editorial@hydareedpublications.co.uk

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ACCOUNTANCY

Car buying needn’t be taxing for SMBs Buying through your business can be a tax-efficient route to company vehicle purchasing – but it’s important to align your automotive needs with preferred payment plans, explains Gareth Burton of accountants Burton Beavan.

by

Gareth Burton

 / BurtonGaz  /gjburton

“So, Gareth, what’s the best way to buy a car through my business?” ...Now if I were put on the spot, and asked what is the most common question that clients have asked me as an accountant over the years, then this question would sit atop of the list by some considerable margin! The issue with this question in today’s business world is that the whole area has become so complex that it is almost an impossible question to answer without starting to sound like a ‘typical accoun-

tant’ who won’t give you a straight answer. Here’s a for instance. For what it’s worth, Burton Bevan experts tried to answer the question in detail – Q&A style – on our company website a while ago, and this contains an indication some of the detail that could go into an explanation of this topic: please do go have a look, it’s at http://bbaccs.co/1RPYkW4 All that said, there are a few simple general principles when looking at vehicles that can be adhered to, and so let’s try and examine some simple but effective tactics with which to consider the issue of the best approach to acquiring a car through your company. Just to note, the focus of this article assumes we are considering a small to medium business/ limited company owner who would have private use of the vehicle.

Green gains... The fi st overriding principle is that green is good! For several years Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs have encouraged car buyers to buy environmentally-friendly vehicles through the company

car tax regime. That said, the requirements have in some ways got more and more stringent over recent years. In the current tax climate, the most efficient solution to company car buying would be to purchase a vehicle with a CO2 g/km rating of below 75gm/km. In this specific instance, if a car is purchased outright, or via an hire-purchase or loan arrangement, then the full cost of the vehicle can be written-off against profits in the year of purchase – even though the car itself might not be fully paid-off for several years. There is a tax payback for the business owner in that should the user of the vehicle have any element of private use whatsoever, then there will be a benefit in kind tax charge. This situation is one in which tax for the deemed benefit of the private use of the vehicle will be taken from the individual, usually via PAYE (pay as you earn).

Driving concerns In summary though, the tax relief on the purchase on environmentally-friendly vehicles will outweigh the tax charge on the benefit in kind – and this can result in an effective solution. Petrol heads beware, though! As one of my own staff once commented, “the list of ‘suitable [i.e., environmentally-friendly] vehicles’ is just a list of slow cars”. I happen to disagree with this statement as there do appear to be some rather attractive electric/hybrid based vehicles that meet the criteria, for example, the Porsche Panamera, the BMW i8, or even a Tesla! Should your individual motoring requirements mean that you need something with a little more ‘oomph’, then it is most likely that a simple workaround is simply to purchase or hire the vehicle personally; pay for all insurance, repairs, and maintenance yourself, and then simply have your company reimburse you for any business miles you incur. These miles can be reimbursed at 45 pence per mile for the fi st 10,000 miles in any one tax year, and then 25 pence per mile there-

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after. The 10,000 mile allowance is available each and every year. One thing that a business owner might consider is that should they wish to look at a van instead of a company car, then this would be an option; specifical y, some of those large fl t-back type vehicles (think Mitsubishi Warrior or Ford Ranger) that qualify as vans, but are more akin to a decent car! The benefit of a van is that the company would get full tax relief on a purchase of said vehicle with a fi ed benefit in kind charge to the company director.

No shortcuts to payment plans The next most common question I am often faced with in the context of buying cars through businesses concerns purchasing options: whether to lease, buy, hire-purchase (HP), or personal contract purchase (PCP)? And unfortunately the simple answer to this question is to really analyse the deal on offer.

You must consider the age and potential resale value of the car, the on-going maintenance, monthly repayments and and the interest cost of the finance. In my experiences though the answer is usually pretty simple. The best long-term value for a vehicle purchase is to get a solid and reliable vehicle that is several years old, and then buy outright if possible – or via cheap loan finance if outright buy’s not possible. That said, if you’re anything like me, and just want something that looks good, and is unlikely to have issues, and will cost you less on a monthly basis, then a simple lease option will probably work for you... In my own experience, I’ll usually take the fi st option for my wife’s car – as she wants ‘something to show for it’ when her finance finishes – whereas I will typically lease, because I want a lower monthly payment and because I’m easily bored, and like to change cars every two-

to-three years! Should the business be VAT registered, then one final conside ation would be with regards to VAT. Quite simply, should a business purchase or HP a vehicle then the VAT (value-added tax) would be charged on the up-front purchase costs, and is simply not reclaimable by the business. In contrast, in a lease agreement the VAT is charged on the monthly repayments, and in this scenario, the business can reclaim half of the VAT being charged each month (assuming there is private use of the vehicle). So to sum up: • If you want to save tax, go green! • If you want to plan long term, buy second-hand! • If you want to show off then leasing is for you! Gareth Burton FCCA is Managing Director of accountancy practice Burton Beavan - www. burtonbeavan.co.uk.

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LEGAL

Astrea Law Practice is a friendly client-focused law firm. Our mission is 'professionalism, quality service and affordability'.

Our areas of specialism are:

About IMSM By Mark Yousefi, the No th London representative of global accreditation consultancy. www.imsm.com

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become certified for, including; BS OHSAS 18001 (occupational health & safety for companies particularly concerned with the health and safety of its employees). The ultimate global benchmark for quality management and without a doubt the mostly widely recognised ISO… is ISO9001 (used to evaluate the quality management systems of a business).

"IMSM is a leading international consultancy delivering ISO specialist services and standards to organisations of all sizes, from all sectors, all over the world. As an organisation we work towards a common goal: to consistently deliver to our client’s world class ISO consultation, reinforced by adherence to our turn key approach based on tried and tested key principles. Founded in 1994 IMSM has grown to become an international market leader in supporting organisations, with over 10,000 clients and offices in 20 countries, we are able to draw on a wealth of experience to help organisations. Tel: 0330 1330016 Mob: 07778285604� Email: info@astrealp.com Website: www.astrealp.com

Why Accreditation Matters Whatever the future, we can be certain of one thing, and that is of constant change. ISO standards mirror the pace of change, regularly revising standards to reflect the industry for today and tomorrow. ISOs (International Standards) are woven into our lives as a trusted symbol of quality. Unknowingly, you come into contact with ISO Standards on a daily basis. Hundreds of signs and symbols are crossing language barriers to communicate important messages to you, from recycling logos on your drinks bottle to the stop signs in the road. There are many reasons why businesses should be making the public aware of their ISO certific tion. Firstly, the fact that you have obtained ISO certific tion clearly demonstrates that you care about quality, something that is vitally important within the supply chain. You may also be surprised by the new opportunities that arise as word of your certific tion spreads. There are an array of ISO standards that your business can

At the heart of our service commitment is a fi ed fee structure approach enabling companies of all sizes to calculate the investment of ISO consultancy service leading to certific tion to their business. This knowledge and pledge enables companies to compete in the international arena with the certainty that there will be no hidden charges or unexpected invoices and coupled with our fl xible finance packages consultancy support becomes attainable to the widest possible spectrum of organisations wanting to take up the opportunity to achieve an internationally recognised certific tion. Our ISO implementation program is designed to fit around and complement the operating requirements and schedules of an organisation with the ISO framework based on an organisation’s existing systems, simply to identify and improve on systems currently operating. The Assessor team have been successfully trained to the highest standard by an IRCA or equivalent approved training body and have earned a reputation of integrity for contributing value and best practice. IMSM Assessors have a wealth of experience covering all industries, ensuring that we can at all times provide clients with the right fit Assessor for the industry sector, together with our service commitment guarantee to that ensures a highly qualified Assessor when assigned operates a fl xible approach to produce a set of procedures tailored to the business objectives."

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Innovation is for leaders Real leaders innovate. They despise the status quo. They get bored quickly (in a good, constructive way). They are stubborn, single-minded and relentlessly looking for better ways to do things. So as a leader do not be afraid to introduce radical innovations in how things get done. Don’t just setoff to modify a process. BS it. Break it. Simplify it.

by

Giovanni Anchois

 /giannianchois  / giannianchois

If you are setting up a team to drive it forward, make sure every party is clearly accountable, and give them a chance to make a real difference. Lead them to build their own playbook, then step out of the process as early as you can. Foster your team’s diversity by harnessing the peculiarities of each member to boost the team’s creativity. Diversity drives innovation It’s a known fact that diversity often trumps ability. There are situations in which a group of ordinary people possessing a strong cognitive diversity can defeat a team of like-minded experts,

for example when dealing with complex tasks, or those requiring creativity and especially innovation. Cognitive diversity provides alternative perspectives, offers innovative ways of classifying things and fosters original interpretations. This can translate into original solutions to problems and more accurate predictive models. Mind the innovation killers  But how do you know when the time is right to innovate? Ideally, when looking for hard core innovation, you should be ready to break perfectly working models, before your competitor’s do. Rely on “doers” (i.e. entrepreneurs, intra-preneurs, entre-ployees) rather than “innovation consultants”, who are often theorists and lack practical, execution oriented skills. They are often the innovation killers. Embrace the fact that radical innovators are practitioners always slightly on the edge, often looked at with suspicion from other managers, living on the border between acceptable disruption and consciously built chaos. Innovative leadership  If you lead with sincerity, honesty, and integrity — the key attributes that define great leaders — you are ideally positioned to drive hard-core innovation.  Your authenticity as a leader, as de-

fined by what others see in you and not as a self-proclaimed trait, will enable your disruptive effort and make it more impactful on the rest of the company. Leverage your status to make innovation a part of your company’s culture. Aim at building an ecosystem of like minded individuals, bring in an outside-in perspective and creative talents if needs be. This will give you a stronger foothold when things get tough.  Finally, try to build your innovation into something that feels unavoidable. If you manage to do it, people will welcome and embrace your new product, service, process or business model not only quicker but more fully as well. 

18 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk

£ 3.99


BUSINESS CULTURE

Effective Working Relationships With many of us focusing on the day-to-day issues of growing a business, we can often lose sight of problems closer to home, those that are under our very noses.

by

Julie Bissett

 /julesbiscuit  /julesbiscuit

The workplace is a peculiar world where we spend more time with our work colleagues than we do with family and loved ones. Also, it is mostly made up of a variety of personality types, all of us forced to work together for the benefit of the greater good, whatever the venture might be. Businesses thrive on cohesion and, in a perfect world, work colleagues will bond well and support common fina cial interests. With good communication,

perfect manners and a shared and positive outlook at the very heart of a business ethos. All these ingredients should make for the perfect blend that will oil the cogs of production so that a business can deliver services and goods – successfully and profit bly. However, sometimes when a spanner is thrown into the works, this happy process may grind to a halt. Rows, petty jealousies, battling egos and long-term disputes can put paid to any successful business outcomes, however much time has been invested in nurturing them. Take you eye off team relationships and you risk everything!

Acceptance At the crux of the matter is the need to accept that, within a workplace, disputes will invariably arise. What is important is that you manage disputes as they arise. The key to any successful relationship lies in good communication skills; and this is especially important in the workplace. As a leader, ensuring an opendoor policy for your staff and having a team-building initiative factored into your business plan are essential components for running a successful and profit ble venture. Often, it is the learning from other companies who have gone before you that offers failsafe solutions. Therefore,

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BUSINESS CULTURE

try reading up on any tips regarding good staff relations, speak to experts and then apply their advice. Look towards creating a harmonious working environment and seek advice on how best to ensure a quick resolution should the worst-case scenario occur. We can all learn from the experience of others.

1. Process and Awareness Your business should have procedures for dealing with individual and team issues and they should be up to date and understood by all. What may seem a minor complaint between squabbling staff can bubble over if not addressed swiftly and as a result, it will impact on your business. Therefore, take note of any team member’s expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified in your view or not, so that it can be dealt with. Awareness is the starting point for resolution. Discover the root cause any numbers of issues may spark a falling out petty jealousies, change, power struggle, miscommunication or insecurities. Consider what is getting in the way of an effective working relationship

and address it.

2. Acknowledgement Demonstrate you are taking the complaint seriously and that you wish to help resolve it. Acknowledging the complaint, explaining what you are going to do to help resolve it and provide them with a time frame.

3. Response Speed is often of the essence when resolving staff issues the longer it takes the more difficult it becomes. Avoid becoming defensive. It may feel like an assault on your leadership or an attack on you personally but do respond fairly. If the complaint is justified, offer a fair solution. You may need to challenge generalisations, assumptions and any sweeping statements. Remain neutral.

4. Self -awareness Do you brush off your staff when they complain? Indeed, have you (inadvertently) contributed to the problem? Complaints can arise when people who express a view are ignored. So, it’s vital

to give a helpful response. It can really make all the difference to team morale. Remember, there is often no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and we all see the world through different eyes.

5. Keep your promises It’s crucial that, when you do resolve the complaint, you avoid resting on your laurels. Keep your promises and, if your efforts to fix it fail, consider bringing in a trained workplace mediator.

6. Learn from it Just because you are the boss, doesn’t mean you are infallible. It is human to err. Having dealt with the problem, use it as an opportunity to review what went wrong. Undertake a lessons learned review as you would in any area of your business strategy. In our next edition we will look at alternative ways of dealing with conflicts in the workplace for cases where normal management intervention is not enough and how to develop a culture of inclusion.

20 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


TECHNOLOGY Truth is, there is help available at every corner, and in fact many consulting fi ms are thriving in the effort to help small and medium companies digitalise their operations.

A WORD OF CAUTION Before engaging with these gurus of the digital world, however, business owners need to make a few very important considerations, not really related to technology but rather business-centric decisions. What are my goals for this initiative?

Unless you are clear about your objectives, no degree of technology and digitalisation will help your businesses be more successful.

Small businesses and the digital revolution Digitalising your business, or at least adopting key technologies to make it more successful, is easier said than done. Many small companies seem to be afraid of using new tools and of entering the digital competitive arena.

by

Giovanni Anchois

 /giannianchois  / giannianchois

FEAR OF CHANGE?

Easier said than done. It’s not that they fear change (well some do, actually). It’s not even the cost - most of the modern digital tools are either free or freemium (i.e. basic full functional features are free, additional ones are not). It’s more likely a broader, agonising sense of dread that can grasp even the most experienced business owner and bring his venture to a standstill: too difficult, too technical, sca y. Sure, nowadays every small business has got an email address, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and even a website, but very few have implemented a holistic approach to use those tools to boost and grow their customer base and ultimately their business.

Am I looking to acquire new clients or to improve the service I provide to my current ones? What do I stand for in this new, much enlarged competitive scenario brought about by the use of digital technologies? Is it growth and expansion that I put a premium on, or is it controlling cost and improving margins? Do I need to cast a bigger net - i.e. make more people aware of my services/products - to a generic market or is it a niche one I’m after? Do I need more customers or better (e.g. higher paying) ones? What percentage of repetitive business am I expecting to achieve? The point I’m trying to make is that unless you have clarity on your objectives, no degree of technology adoption and digitalisation will make you more successful. The most important step is to assess the degree of change readiness for some - or in extreme cases all - of your business processes. Adopting digital practices without revising your current processes is a guaranteed formula for disaster. You simply cannot superimpose an HD picture on an old film strip and xpect it to excite modern viewers.

BE PRACTICAL AND FOCUSED Say you are running a restaurant. Do you know which dishes you should keep on your menu and which ones you should retire? Do you know why? Are you positive that your clients are happy with the booking process, or the parking facilities? Are they talking about you to their friends? That’s obviously an oversimplified and rather crude example, but I hope it serves its purpose in explaining what sort of potential is in discussion when you go digital. If you are running a business that is customer-centric - and let’s face it, who isn’t? - you simply cannot overstate the importance of adopting digital technologies and practices.

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TECHNOLOGY Being customer-centric is less about what consumers think and more about how they feel. With the right technology, you can pre-empt a number of potential issues with your clients and make sure you cater for their specific need . Sticking with the restaurant example, how do you maximise the dinner window - say 7 to 11 pm? What do you do if a party of 8 wants to dine at your restaurant at 9pm and you have no space for them? How about arranging a special door-to-door delivery for them? Or offer a special meal experience if they come half and hour later? Or provide discounted cinema tickets for the latest blockbuster and welcome them to a customised menu late post-film dinner? It’s fairly impersonal when a customer emails you. It’s slightly more personal when they phone, how about making it very personal with a video valeting service? If your delivering goods, how about delivering them to a mum sitting in her car outside of the football pitch where her 9 year old son is playing the weekly club match? Technology can enable you to do all of that, quickly and with great economy. By using the right digital tools to collect real time or historical information about client preferences and tastes, and then deploying rapid on-demand services that use multimedia and location mapping, you can quickly digitalise your business and start engaging with your clients in a new, more efficient and fulfilling way. Finally, you should realise that it’s very often other consumers that have the greatest impact on the customer experience, either way. - positive or negative. Social media is the key tool you should adopt not only to reach your clients, but especially to listen to them, engage them in meaningful exchanges and aim at delighting them every single time. In the end, that’s exactly what every business should do.

IT Outsourcing for SMBs A combination of factors like the current pace of technology innovation, the economic downturn and data security and privacy worries is fuelling the renewed push of small and medium business toward outsourcing areas, or the whole, of their IT landscape. by

Giovanni Anchois /giannianchois

Usually due to a limited availability of resources - staff, money, skill-set - SMBs have often aspired at finding the right mix of areas to outsource, by applying criteria like affordability, ease of use, support quality and access to state-of-the-art features and performance. Especially for desktop applications and support, the drive to have “dumber” terminals running a centralised application hosted in a public or private cloud, for example, can provide both cost-effectiveness and easier deployment, maintenance and update of the most used application, at the same time requiring a minimal customisation and integration effort.

Businesses that have already invested in desktop technology might still want to consider outsourcing their desktop support service, in the form of a multiyear or annuity contract or relationship involving the day-to-day management responsibility for operating desktop/client platforms. Such services are usually highly confi urable and can include any combination of product support, professional services and help desk management services. The definition of a desktop system itself is fairly fl xible, and can include laptops, notebooks and other portable computing devices. Additional fl xibility is provided by the option to have onsite services, and to transfer actual ownership of IT assets to the service providers itself. The best practice is to rely on service providers that have experienced tech support facilities and can guarantee business-critical levels of support services, whilst maintaining a high degree of fl xibility to scale the service up or down according to the business requirements. Large international IT companies, which can provide scale, track record and a broader subject matter expertise, do operate side by side with smaller, more

22 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


TECHNOLOGY specialised providers, catering more closely to SMBs specific IT need . Undeniably, the pace of technology innovation represents, for most SMBs, an element of confusion. Whole new IT provisioning models are on one side providing a higher degree of fl xibility and performance, whilst on the other they are making the choice much wider hence complex to made. Some of the areas easier and more efficient to outsource, in terms of cost, performance and required skills are:

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) Outsourcing equipment such as hardware, servers and network systems to an infrastructure provider. It can save businesses millions of dollars in costs and labor, and it can enable pay-per-use or subscription based models.

IT service providers do usually provide a reasonable degree of security services, although depending on the nature of the business it might be advisable to engage with specialised fi ms that possess the expertise to anticipate and mitigate potential security threats or breaches.

Business Applications Particularly important is the use of business applications that can streamline a small business operations. From HR software to accounting programs, these applications can be accessed through the

internet and are usually fairly comprehensive, empowering the fi m to perform just about any business task. The case in favour of IT outsourcing for SMBs is clearly overwhelming. The emergence of providers that cater to a small business’ model and already have experience in dealing with these kinds of projects is extremely appealing both in terms of ease of access, choice and affordability. Ultimately, it’s not really a question of whether to outsource or not anymore. More likely, it simply is a matter of when to do it.

Private and Public Cloud Cloud computing allows businesses to access information anywhere, anytime, using any compatible device. By outsourcing cloud technology, small businesses can focus on using the cloud, as opposed to maintaining it.

E-commerce End-to-end e-commerce providers can take care of designing your web site, managing it, running the front and the back end, and provide a high degree of automation through simple to use management and reporting tools.

Website Similarly to e-commerce, the company web site can be fully outsourced to an external company, that with a minimal degree of supervision and coordination can take care of publishing news, product updates, produce original content, run customer forums, manage special events and even deploy a full social network engagement experience on your behalf.

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TECHNOLOGY

HMRC announces agreement to exit its £10 billion IT contract Opportunities for smaller service providers HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) today announced that it has reached a final agreement with its major IT suppliers on the phased exit of the £10 billion Aspire IT contract, which ends in 2017. Under the agreement reached with Capgemini and Fujitsu, HMRC will complete the phased exit from a single, overarching IT contract, by breaking it into to a series of smaller, more fl xible contracts with existing and new suppliers, and expects that the contracts will be of interest to smaller and medium-sized companies, as well as the larger providers. Starting next month, HMRC will be going to market for a number of IT services. This approach of smaller, more fl xible contracts with multiple suppliers will enable HMRC to deliver a ground-breaking digital strategy by taking advantage of emerging technologies such as opensource software and cloud services. This will provide better value for money for taxpayers, while ensuring that HMRC’s

systems remain safe, secure and reliable as they continue to process more than £500 billion of annual tax revenues. HMRC is also bringing some existing IT services and staff in-house before the end of the contract in 2017, which will provide stability during the phased exit from Aspire. HMRC expects to save around 24% (£200 million) a year by 2020-21 on the provision of like-for-like IT services, against a £854 million total IT spend in 2014-15. HMRC will also be investing an additional £1.3 billion over fi e years in its transformation programme, to make it quicker and easier for the majority of individuals and businesses to manage their tax affairs online. This additional investment was provided for in the 2015 Spending Review. Lin Homer, HMRC’s Chief Executive, said: “HMRC’s ambition is to be one of the most digitally-advanced tax authorities in the world, and the agreement we have reached to exit the Aspire contract brings

that a huge step closer. “Our new approach enables HMRC to secure the adaptable, cutting-edge IT services we need to transform our services to customers and modernise the way we work, at much better value for money for the taxpayer.” HMRC has already launched exciting and innovative online services that are quicker, lower cost and have tax compliance and security built-in. New Personal and Business Tax Accounts – which work like online bank accounts, allowing customers to deal with all their tax affairs in one place – are already available to 45 million personal customers and fi e million businesses. HMRC has a network of Digital Delivery Centres – hi-tech innovation hubs – based across the UK. These developed an online tax credit renewals service used by more than 750,000 customers last year, with customer satisfaction rates reaching 90%. Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Offic

24 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


IN THE NEWS

Meteoric Rise of Neighbourhood Solutions

Jean Reeve & Steve Bumstead

Founders of Neighbourhood Solutions

Founded by Steve Bumstead and Jean Reeve in 2003, Neighbourhood Solutions has been providing estate services to London’s smaller local authorities and community groups since2003. Services include anti-social behaviour management, pest control, waste management and training in these and related disciplines to public sector staff. Based on its success delivering the Bounces Road Enfield Council project, Bumstead and Reeve intend to offer this well-trialled outsourcing model to other public bodies. www.neighbourhood-solutions.co.uk

Sam Patel

Metro Rod Adds New String to its Bow

Florin Pelecaci

Founder of Perform Better SC

Business Acumen at its best The Perform Better Sport Club (PBSC) was established three years ago to deliver affordable ways for communities to participate in sports. Based in North London, PBSC offers a wide range of activities including gymnastics, football, trampolining, tennis and dance. Memberships have so far exceeded 600 and continue to grow. PBSC is an accredited member of both British Gymnastics and London Gymnastics and the club’s coaches have been trained through the British Gymnastics coaching programme. Students of all abilities are catered for. www.performbettersc.co.uk

Gil Devlin

Gil Wins Again In January 2016, Gil won the ActionCOACH award for Best Client results for her work with businesses in and around North London to help them grow their profits, work less hours and get better results within the team. As a business coach, Gil works with her clients across five key areas: marketing, sales, team development, business development and customer service. www.actioncoach.com/gildevlin

Metro Rod is the UK’s largest supplier of drainage services, with over 50 service centres established nationwide, including London North headed by director, Sam Patel. With such a large support network in place, Patel and his team of experts, all of whom have been sourced locally, are able to offer 24/7 assistance to both businesses and consumers. Metro Rod North London, the capital’s longest running franchise since it was founded by Patel in 2002, has recently added a plumbing division to its services. This means the company can offer a turnkey solution to its customers. www.metrorod.co.uk

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MARKETING

Are you social media savvy? Steps to successful online business engagement

by

Julie Bissett

 /julesbiscuit  /julesbiscuit

The internet has changed the way we all think and altered the way we purchase goods and services. Marketing your business online in the 21st-century is not an option, it’s a necessity – and requires you to harness the power of the web smartly. It should lie at the heart of your marketing plans. But why? • It’s free (only cost is in terms of time) • It is instant • Easy to engage with clients and cus-

tomers • Raises your profile on the worldwide web • It’s far reaching (so not just engaging clients in your immediate area). experience of your In fact, fact,any anyonline online experience of business that potential customers or cliyour business that potential customers entsclients may have certainly shape or may will havealmost will almost certainly opinion as well as influence whether they pursue a financial relationship with with you. they pursue a financial relationship The The multitude of online platforms on you. multitude of online platforms which a business can appear may seem on which a business can appear may daunting - from–your to onseem daunting fromown yourwebsite own website lineonline directories such as Google, to social to directories such as Google, to networking sites such Facebook, Twitsocial networking sitesas such as Facebook, ter, Instagram, YouTube andand LinkedIn. Twitter, Instagram, YouTube LinkeThe The key key is to apdIn. is toensure ensureaa structured structured approach to creating a company profile that that is consistent across all of these platforms. platforms.

Just as essential is the process of updating and reviewing this information so it reflects any changes and developments within your business. Supporting this information, with blogs and testimonials on your own website, keeps the search engines happy and, with intuitive linking, your business profile will be pushed up the Google list, ensuring your customers find you and view your business as you would wish it to be.

First step Your fi st step is to look online to discover if your business is easy to find when using Google. What search results do you get when you search for your company name and immediate location? Where mentioned, is the information accurate? If

26 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


your website is not visible on the fi st page of search engine results, then your client or customers will go somewhere else. As a business owner, there is little point in wasting time trying to understand how search engine optimisation (SEO) works. Find a professional who can offer a selection of solutions. Where you can make a difference is by developing a strong voice and presence across all social media platforms that will support your business website. You need to use social media wisely or, if you relinquish this responsibility to a member of staff, you need to ensure there is no inappropriate use of social media. Better still, employ a social media expert who you can trust, who can offer testimonials and has a proven track record.

Legally speaking

Risk

attack and it’s completely misplaced. If

With every potential use of new tech-

there is anything said that is defamatory,

nology comes risk – and, in this exciting

then you are advised to seek advice in the

virtual world of free marketing opportuni-

fi st instance before steaming headlong

ties, it is as important to be aware of the

into a fie y exchange with a disgruntled customer in a public arena. However, defamation laws do extend to online and clients cannot write anything about anybody without remaining answerable. If it can be demonstrated that the comments are factually inaccurate, the author can be asked to delete it. The Defamation Act 1996 sets out the basis on which claims of

pitfalls as it is the opportunities to attract customers, retain loyalty and boost business potential. In essence, when embarking on online business marketing you must keep it current, relevant, up to date, and clean. Additionally, keep your website design fresh, and don’t make the mistake of al-

defamation can be brought, as well as pro-

lowing a website to die or dwindle. The

viding various defences available. Howev-

secret of successful online business mar-

er, defamation proceedings are expensive

keting lies at the end of your fin ertips so

and time-consuming and outcomes often

remain active, be intuitive and inventive

hard to predict, so it’s not an action to be

and post frequently. You neglect it at your

undertaken lightly.

peril.

SE RU O IS BB ISH

Everyone’s a critic and, hard though it may be to protect your reputation when criticism is justified, it’s even more of a challenge to respond in an even-hand-

ed, fair-minded way when you are under

...unless you get it right If you’ve ever wasted money on SEO or social media, it doesn’t mean it can’t work. But you need to be smart. Do it properly. If you run a small or medium-sized business in North London, we’re specialists in getting a positive return on your investment. Speak to us. And let us show you how.

020 3730 1785

mike@wegetdigital.co.uk www.wegetdigital.co.uk SEO • SOCIAL MEDIA • WEBSITES • ONLINE MEDIA • LINKEDIN • VIDEO • TRAINING

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28 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


MARKETING

The Power of Print There are many within the media who declared the ceasing of The Independent’s print run as the beginning of the end for print journalism. After all, the harbingers of death have been proclaiming the forthcoming print armageddon for some time now, and the disappearance of this major national newspaper finally presented them with tangible evidence to support their thesis.

by

Will Mathieson

 /Mathies2William  /william-mathieson

Couple that with the mass exodus of some of the newspaper industry’s most recognised name to Buzzfeed, and one would think the inexorable march from print to digital was almost complete. But don’t speak too soon. Because print is rising from the ashes. It is true that news journalism is rapidly migrating to online only. After all, news is required to be easily accessible and easily digestible, and both of these requirements are better fulfilled via a quick browse online. As a shipping reporter commented to me recently, “I simply don’t have the time to sit and read a newspaper anymore.” However, the same journalist qualified the above by adding, “but I still subscribe

to a number of magazines because I enjoy reading them and they represent my time.” And therein lies the point. Quality journalism will continue to find its home in print because people invest time and pleasure in reading and will continue to do so. I am the editor of a subscription-only B2B publication with a global print run of 17,000 spanning all the world’s continents. And get this, renewals among our readers have never been higher. This is because our readers are seeking industry insight and unrivalled opinion that helps inform their own business decisions and they are willing to pay for it. In tandem with their consumers’ willingness to purchase quality publications,

MarketingWarehouse Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for nnew ew cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking for new cusomers? what’s your ROI on your marketing spend? Take your print online Looking

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MARKETING

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30 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


the media continues to find no viable way of monetising digital journalism. Digital ad space sells for a fraction of its print equivalent, and despairingly for advertising salespeople, is easily analysed to gauge its effectiveness. This empowers marketing directors to pull their advertising spend from websites based on the cold, hard numbers, whereas print advertising continues to represent the great intangible, as valuable a marketing investment as it was half a century before (at least, that’s what the best account managers would have their clients believe). Among us journalists too, print publications remain the vanguard of prestige. Print allows the best journalists to investigate, research, craft - and subsequently inform, intrigue and entertain - in a way that the perfunctory style of online journalism can never hope to replicate. And

where the best writers go, the readers will follow. Millennials, that prized group of next-generation influence s who represent the media’s primary consumers, will continue to dictate its trajectory for the next 25 years. And, perhaps surprisingly for some, this could be good news for print publications. A recent study by JWT found that 50% of millennials wanted print media to remain ‘a significant factor in their lives’ because of its ability to take them deeper into the subject matter. So, before print publishers admit defeat, they should think again. No matter how they go about it, be it data-driven reportage or humorous cultural satire, those who continue to educate and engage the masses will also continue to prosper. Marketers take note.

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Is it possible to Exhibit without Breaking the Bank? Exhibiting at trade shows is a great way to meet existing and prospective clients, but there is little to be gained from doing it badly, you must project your company’s potential value to your audience and give them a reason to stop and talk to you. Sounds great in theory but doesn’t that cost tens of thousands of pounds?

Stand Selection and Build by

Simon Kay

 /Sikay_emc  /simonkay

Let’s look at the options…

Show Selection Find an acceptable balance between ensuring enough relevant visitors and finding a show not swamped by your competition. Ask for a list of exhibitors and a profile of previous visitors. It may be that a local show rather than a national show could actually generate more business and will cost less to attend.

Size – A bigger stand is great if your budget permits, larger areas for displaying and entertaining are handy however, if you are working to a tight budget then a small stand can suffice and your personality can do the talking. Location - Choose an area with interesting neighbours and a feature nearby like a café or dare I say it the toilets (as long as they are properly ventilated)! Once you have chosen your stand you need to decide whether to take the shell scheme (carpets, walls and fascia board provided) or free build (usually just the space possibly carpet if you require). The shell scheme is the straight forward option and works well if you are

turning up with minimal samples and banners or a pop up stand, however, in my opinion if you are able to afford the time to do it yourself or the cost to engage a professional, I would advise going down the free build route. You lose the generic facia board and save money (£40-£80/ square metre) on the booking cost. Depending on the show you may also get more concessions on parking and can setup a day earlier. For example at the Great British Business Show (ExCel, London) we drove right up to our stand on the free build day and had no time restriction however on the second setup day shell scheme exhibitors could only drop off outside for 30 minutes. A great proportion of your budget will go into building your stand, so think carefully about what you wish to display, if fl t graphics are sufficient then a pop up stand with magnetic graphics panels is probably a good plan. You can buy the stand once for relatively little and replace the graphics for subsequent shows. For a smaller shell scheme stand display panels stuck to the felt walls can convey your message. For our last show I worked with a local builder to create a pen shop based on an

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MARKETING old fashioned sweet shop. We construct- people then you can go to town and buy ed a raised platform and fi ed ikea shelv- expensive gifts or for a larger audience, ing units in place topped with a header you can have less expensive gifts to give board and canopy. We finished it off with out. Best sellers for us are USB keys, mint oak flooring and a made a kidney shaped cards, chocolate bars, sweets and Neapoldesk. We built a great looking stand for itans, branded water, pens, rulers, teddy less than £900 including labour and van bears and at the moment mobile phone hire for a week. accessories such as screen cleaners and Other things to consider are booking stylus pens. My belief is you are getting power sockets (even if just to keep your the best value for your investment by givlaptop and phone on charge. ing something that will end up in use in Furniture, which may be cheaper to their office or home so your message rebuy than rent. mains in view. Storage if needed may be available in Data Capture – If there is a badge organisers office s ving you stand space. zapping system, consider taking it, you Games & Competitions are great for will be provided with a spread-sheet of driving traffic to your stand as long as all the contacts you made after the show people know about them. Take an extra with all their details correctly typed (by member of staff and hand out fl ers with them on registration) which you can imdetails of your competition and stand port straight into your CRM. For a more number outside the show. frugal approach print out contact sheets Giveaways - think about your clientele on clipboards. and what may be useful or of interest to Seminars – A great way to add to your them then work out how many people reputation for knowledge of your product NLB-Advert-April-16-205-132-Outlined.pdf 7/4/16 16:23:04 you wish to engage and set your budget area is to lead or sponsor a seminar. This for giveaways, if you are looking at few will need to be educational rather than a

sales pitch but you can use it to explain more about your industry and drive visitors to your stand. Analysis – Don’t be pushed into rebooking during the show, it’s easy to be swept along on the tide of positivity gushing from the organisers during the show, but unless you are taking confi med orders on your stand you won’t know how successful the show was until a month or two later, it is at this point that you can step back and add up your costs against the lifetime value of the new business and evaluate. So long as the show generates enough business to cover its costs and make a contribution it won’t break the bank! For a 20 point checklist or contact sheet template please send an email to simonkay@emcadgifts.co.uk . Simon Kay, is Managing Director of EMC Advertising Gifts, www.emcadgifts.co.uk trusted supplier of promotional and business gifts, exhibition and conference materials and corporate clothing.

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RECRUITMENT, TRAINING & APPRENTICESHIPS

Graduate gains SMBs sometimes overlook the fact that that, when it comes to finding and hiring the right staff, graduates can greatly extend their recruitment options. Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, is your guide to finding and hiring the best graduate first-jobbers.

by

Stephen Isherwood

/stephen-isherwood

With record numbers of young people going to university, and graduate hiring at an all-time high, employers of all sizes are finding the student recruitment market increasingly competitive. Graduate vacancies rose by over 13 per cent in 2015, yet nearly half of all Association of Graduate Recruiters employers could not fill all of their vacancies. Unfilled vacancies across all sectors have shot up, from just under 24 per cent in 2013 to 45 per cent in 2014. Many smaller employers also tap-in to this labour market. A significant number of graduates choose not to work for large organisations, and there is a considerable talent pool available. With over 700,000 students leaving school every year, and another 300,000 students graduating from a degree programme, there should be the right mix of talent for your organisation – the challenge is finding the right ind vidual. Recruiting graduates can be as simple as placing an online advert, or a complex, multi-programme three-year hiring strategy. Here’s an overview of some basic do’s and don’ts for SMBs looking to recruit university leavers.

Adopting the right approach Whatever approach you take, there are four essential stages to get right: 1. Understand what you’re looking for. 2. Develop an attraction strategy. 3. Assess and offer the right person(s). ...And the often neglected step: 4. Make sure they join you – and are inducted properly into your organisation Begin by determining what and who you are looking for. You may need to hire a student with a generic set of attributes or specialist knowledge. Whichever combination of skills is right for your business, understanding what you are looking for will help ensure you do not waste valuable time and resources. Here are some key points to consider: • Targeting: the first step is to define the skills that are

required in the business at this junior level. You should consider both technical/job specific skills, as well as personal characteristics as team and cultural fit is critical. • Match studies to requirements of job role: if you require a certain level of expertise in a subject matter, research which degree subjects would match your requirements. • Define the job role and expectations: be as accurate as possible to manage expectations. When it comes to finding prospective candidates, fi st identify which universities offer the degree course you are looking to target and assess the relative reputations of the courses. Consider geographic location of university – you may wish to focus on universities near to your office. Some students intend to remain local to their university after graduating. Next, consider the timeline and plan – many students start

34 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


applying for jobs at the start of their final year at university in the Autumn term, if not before.

Rules of attraction Once employers have decided what you want, they need to target the right people effectively. They could approach local universities directly, place an advert on a job-board, brief an agency, or use one of the many graduate advertising agencies to build a structured campaign. • To approach the target university careers service, ask to speak to the Employer Liaison Officer. They will be able to advise on the services they offer. • Approach the faculty for which the degree sits and speak to the Faculty Head or, again, Employer Liaison Officer. • Contact the student union – you may be able to

• • • •

• • • •

advertise through their student magazine or radio. There are many online job boards. Local advertising – local newspaper to build brand profile (expand) Consider recruitment agencies Use your own staff – does anyone already employed by your company know of someone suitable? Recruiting candidates using employee referral is widely acknowledged as being the most cost-effective and efficient recruitment method to recruit. Speak their language – consider who you are trying to attract (for example, Generation Y, Generation Z) and what they will find compelling/ resonate with them as a good career opportunity. Review what you say about your people on your enterprise website.

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Assessing candidates If you want to make sure the person you hire is the right fit for your business you need put some structure into the selection process, even if it is just an interview. Costly hiring mistakes can be avoided by matching how you assess an individual with what you are looking for. — Timing: understand the student calendar and ensure you plan assessments outside of exam periods. The Faculty Heads and Careers advisory service will be able to assist. — Consider method of application: curriculum vitae (CV) or application form? CVs are easier for candidates, and may yield more applications; however, it will be harder for you to collect all the information you need in a consistent format. There are various methods of assessment ranging from interviews: one-to-one, panel, telephone, video to psychometric or personality tests, or assessments (including group, written, job-based scenarios, presentations), for example. Assessments should be based on what skills you are looking for from your new recruit(s). Be honest throughout the process and manage expectations; don’t promise something that you cannot deliver. Always provide feedback to those who have been through the process. A positive candidate experience is really important to maintain your reputation on campus. And don’t forget the law. Be careful to treat all candidates fairly. It is illegal to discriminate on grounds of race, gender, age, disabilities, and sexual orientations.

How do you make sure they join? Once you have made an job offer you want to make sure all your efforts aren’t wasted by the then candidate then going elsewhere. Research also shows that an effective induction can help ensure a new-hire performs well and has successful career with you. Four key points to bear in mind for this stage of the recruitment process are: — Remember throughout the recruitment process that it is a two-way process. — Keep in touch with them while they are deciding whether to accept the offer. — Provide feedback, and recognise development points. — Show how you will support them in their development through training, coaching, on the job — learning. Stephen Isherwood is CEO of the Association of Graduate Recruiters – more information at www.agr.org.uk.

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SECURITY

SMART OFFICE STYLE SOLUTIONS Businesses of all sizes are targeted in crimes ranging from theft and arson to attacks on staff, but while larger commercial concerns might be better able to recover from such setbacks, the repercussive impacts of crime on small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) – especially when it recurs – can be catastrophic enough to cause trading to cease.

by

James Hayes /james-hayes

England’s crime rates may be declining generally, but SMBs are still being targeted by criminals intent on breaking into or vandalising their premises, or stealing their goods and assets. According to a recent survey cocommissioned by ADT, more than 50 per cent of UK SMBs have been victims of crime at some point, with some subject to repeated criminal incidents – causing them to lose up to 151 days of trading over the lifespan of the business. The survey’s findings also suggests that the financial impact of crime costs SMBs up to £25m per year – that’s a cost of £2,625 for each incident. More than 25 per cent of businesses respondents were burgled, while 24 per cent suffered theft

from an outsider. As well as the financial costs, there are the traumatic effects on staff morale and business owners’ emotional well-being. Added to this is the fact that small businesses legitimately operating fullor part-time from residential premises can be affected by levels of unlawful behaviour in their local neighbourhoods. As Steve Bumstead, Operations Manager at warden services provider Neighbourhood Solutions points out, this would affect not only business owners working in home offices (containing valuable computer equipment, by the way), but also those using home spaces to meet visiting business clients. The ADT survey also revealed that 75 per cent of businesses polled admitted that they did not have the necessary security precautions in place until after they had been hit. There may be several reasons why SMBs de-prioritise the need

for adequate office security safeguards. Cost, of course, is a primary factor. Traditional premises security systems are often beyond the financial means of SMBs who, in a multiple occupancy buildings, may anyway have to rely on property owners to provision physical main entrance security, such as intercoms and coded keypad locks. Secondary locks to individual office suites may also be landlord-controlled, and prohibitions regarding the installation of CCTV cameras and other alarms to office interiors, can be another inhibitor. Even where SMBs are able take some control of their own security, alarm and surveillance systems often can only be installed by suppliers or their resellers, and may only be available on fi ed-term contracts – not ideal for small fi ms which may only occupy a fl xible office for a few months before outgrowing it. Now new help for security-conscious SMBs is at hand, thanks to technological advances inspired by applications developed for so-called ‘smart buildings’. Smart buildings (or ‘intelligent buildings’) have multiple, complementary layers of premises security built-in to their design

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NEIGHBOURHOOD SOLUTIONS LTD

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Tel: 07973 194 021 | 07905 755 696 E-mail: nhoodsolutions@aol.com This neighbourhood warden service is the third integral element of the Safer Estates Partnership on the Bounces Road Estate. It follows the implementation of secure by design measures, the complete upgrading of street lighting in the area and proposal 38 CCTV | North London Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk to extend coverage onBusiness the Bounces Road estate.

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SECURITY blueprints: features like networked sensors and 360-degree CCTV surveillance is an integral part of the infrastructure, installed alongside the electrical systems, ventilation, and plumbing, as the buildings are fi st fitted-out

Business owners using home spaces to meet visiting clients can be at risk. Now some of the high-tech ideas going into leading-edge smart buildings – such as London’s The Shard and 20 Fenchurch Street (aka The Walkie-Talkie Building) – have been starting to find their way into products designed for deployment in more modest workplaces. These products are primarily categorised as ‘DIY home security’ solutions, rather than products for offices and other working environments; but the principles they operate on, and the protections they

aim to provide, are just as applicable to commercial workspaces. In appearance these devices are designed to fit as unobtrusively into the office as they do domestic settings. They keep watch over their immediate surroundings with a range of monitoring methods, such as audio-video features, and heat and motion sensors, that can be set-up to detect any signs that misdeeds are being perpetrated or that something else may be awry. This could include motion-detection activated video or environmental change detectors. They then use the local wireless connectivity – WiFi most typically – to relay audio-visual feeds, alerts, and other notific tions to business owners over the Web (or other nominated stakeholders) via their mobile device or remote PC. The solutions that have come onto the market in the last couple of years, such as Canary All-in-One Security, Piper NV, iSmartAlarm Home Security System,

and Scout Alarm, offer a range of featuresets, some common to all, others unique to certain products – therefore it is important that SMB owners investigating the suitability of these products should also fi st determine what they are looking for a DIY security solution to do for them – and that includes ensuring that product specific tions will interoperate with their existing technology, such as smartphones, if they are to be the device that data is to be delivered to. Smart DIY security systems are designed for Apple iOS and Google Chrome operating systems, for instance, so if an SMB’s staffs’ existing handsets use an incompatible operating system, they probably won’t be able to work together. DIY smart security systems typically consist of a central base unit (sometimes known as a hub) that contains the camera, and other sensors, and is placed inside the office some place that maximises its field of coverage. They are designed

TECHNOLOGY BASED SECURITY FOR THE PROTECTION OF PROPERTY AND PEOPLE One of the new technology based security businesses, Innertec provides integrated digital security platforms that protect your building’s structure, its contents and the people who use it. www.innertec.London

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SECURITY

...Smart office style solution

to blend in with other items found in an office, and might be placed on a bookshelf or desk, and of course can be moved according to the desired field of vision for the digital camera. The video surveillance is most commonly based on an inbuilt 1080p HD camera providing a wide-angle view; iSmartAlarm’s camera offers pan-andtilt functions, and along with Piper NV, has ‘night vision’, which should enable the transmission of images after lights out. Video images can be viewed ‘live’ remotely, and captured on clips that could prove useful if an intruder is caught on camera. The Piper also offers a twoway audio feature. The built-in sensors are calibrated to detect movement or noise; Canary’s even checks the air quality/humidity and temperature. The sensors are chiefly part of the main unit, although component solutions like iSmartAlarm offers separate sensors that can be placed at strategic places (such as doors and windows) and are in contact with the main unit. DIY security products have claimed ranges of around 20-30 feet, which should be adequate for most small offices i the units are carefully placed. A compelling feature of these DIY security products is the capability to notify business owners that something

may be wrong in their office while there’s nobody physical present to check. If the unit does detect something amiss it will let the business owner know via a text message, Push Notific tion service, or even an alert phone call. Sirens can also be activated to scare-off intruders or attract the attention of premises security personnel. As a fail-safe feature, another feature to check for are battery backup – which will ensure that some level of functionality is maintained during a power outage, and also communications backup – which will send alerts via the mobile communications network should the WiFi signal go down for whatever reason. Some DIY security solutions providers offer service plans – a monthly fee for 24/7 professional monitoring of installed devices. This may seem counter to the DIY ethos, but for medium-sized businesses occupying larger premises, and therefore installing more security kit, then such service plans may add value to the proposition. Again, always check with vendors for the latest plans and prices – note that at time of going to press only three solutions mentioned are available to buy from UK retailers.

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42 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


BUSINESS SPACE

Offices that grow with you... Flexible office space means that SMBs are not tied to pricey leasehold and other workspace constraints – and can look forward to versatile tenancy plans that foster productive workin environments and collaborations.

by

Josh Casserly

 /joshcasserly  /joshcasserly

The evolution of personal computers has revolutionised the way we live and work over the last 30 years, and more recently, the Internet and mobile communications have facilitated new economic models that have turned the old nine-to-five office routine on its head.Yet despite the technological upheavals – or possibly because of them – businesses still need working places to function, and the traditional office building continues to play an integral role in conducting commercial activity. Since the 2008 financial crisis the restrictive model of binding 20-year leases, constrictive cubicles, and fixed space allocation, has been rejected in favour of increasingly flexible terms and more efficient and communal workspace layouts To get the inside story on the flexible

office revolution, revolution,North London Busioffice ness Magazine spoke to search Ofness Space, one one of the foremost brokers in fice Space, of the foremost brokers thisthisvibrant in vibrantmarket, market, offering offering strategic, occupational advice advice and consultancy to occupational tenants and and landlords. landlords. Its Director Dantenants iel Howard Howard is is well-placed to share insight iel into how howthetheoffice office property industry into property industry has has transformed fixed-term transformed itselfitself fromfrom fixed-term to to flexible, cubicles to co-working, flexible, and and cubicles to co-working, and and provide informed perspectives on provide informed perspectives on how howbranch this branch of the commercial propthis of the commercial property erty market continue to develop. market may may continue to develop. The The flexible concept flexible officeoffice spacespace concept coverscovers a vaa variety of options and definitions can riety of options and definitions can vary, vary,essentially but essentially canbroken be broken but can be downdown into into two major categories:serviced serviced office two major categories: space and and shared shared office space (the latter space known also as ‘co-working’). known ‘co-working’). Serviced Seviced office space space offers offers tenants the significant fice flexibility of a short-term flexibility short-term licence licenceofof anyanwhere from years. ywhere fromthree threemonths monthstotofive five years. Companies move into a private serviced space that is pre-fitted with office furniture and the amenities they need to conduct business – often within 24 hours. Management of the office is outsourced to a third-party who is likely to supply re-

ception, security, maintenance staff and cleaners. This is bolstered by little or no upfront or exit expenditure for the tenant. “It’s a turn-key office solution that provides a simple easy-in, easy-out prod-uct, with no barriers to entry,” explains David Howard, Director at Search Office Space. “It allows them – companies – to focus on core business, while also having cost transparency and certainty during periods of growth or consolidation.” This type of serviced office space is the everyday fare for Search Office Space, which has been in operation for 23 years, acquiring tenancy for all sizes of business from Jefferies Bank to HelloFresh. Shared office space or ‘co-working’, meanwhile, are among the most currency-rich buzzwords of the new economy. A safe haven for start-ups, the popularity of this format has resulted in an influx of providers of co-working space, such as WeWork. This more affordable option sees multiple businesses sharing the same floor space, typically occupying between one and 10 desks each. Ticking over as an aside to the serviced private office model, co-working has started to branch away in the past five years with some providers offering a portfolio of solely shared spaces. “It is most successful with the young,

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BUSINESS SPACE

...Office that grow with you

millennial entrepreneur, and start-up sector,” Howard reports, “new businesses starting with a very young demographic.” This scenario generates energy and creativity as the mix of tenants are generally working on exciting projects, breaking new ground in their chosen areas, and often sharing knowledge and resources. Add-in variations such as hot-desking and bookable meeting rooms and event spaces, and the fl xible offic market represents a range of opportunities for businesses of all sizes.

Co-working versus serviced office There is hype around co-working with the boom in tech start-ups now evident in the UK, but the market split is surprisingly lopsided, according to Search Offic Space’s Daniel Howard. “On the outside it [co-working] is regarded as a big indus-

try, but it only makes up about 7-8 per cent of the serviced offic offering,” he says. “It used to exist in conjunction with normal fl xible offic solutions: serviced office had a small element of co-working, and that is still very much the case.” But times are changing, Howard adds: “There are, however, a lot more offerings for solely co-working products – entire buildings or floo s that offer open-plan working products as well as incubators, so companies almost incubate SMBs and start-ups.” Smart landlords place tenants in co-working space during their start-up stage, and are able to then accommodate them as their needs change, Howard explains: “They [co-working arrangements] are most successful for one- to ten-employee companies... Then it will get to a point where they want to take on their own more private space within the fl x-

ible [serviced office environment. The Offic Group has lots of facilities within its buildings to help nurture the transition: they have a traditional serviced offic offering made up of about 65 per cent core private offic space, 7 per cent co-working space, and the remainder made-up of communal collaborative space, breakouts, and meeting rooms.”

Silver lining to financial crisis The global financia crisis of 2008 was traumatic for the world as a whole, and the rise of the fl xible offic was a coping mechanism of sorts, Search Offic Space’s Howard suggests: no sector was safe from the economic downturn, so fl xible offic space was championed across the board from effervescent startups right through to big corporations. Of the lean toward more fl xible leases since 2008, Howard says that it was initially driven by a lot more focus being

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BUSINESS SPACE put on start-ups and growth in the SME and TMT sectors, in which there have been a lot more entrepreneurs: “If you’re one of these companies growing from fi e to 500 employees within a very short period of time, you cannot keep taking-on leasehold acquisition that gives you no lease fl xibility... You need to grow organically within that product.”

Daniel Howard

searchofficespace.com

Howard says that corporates now take advantage of fl xible office space options to keep expensive leases off their profit and loss statements, and to give fl xibility to certain areas of the business – areas that may have unpredictable lifespan of only three to fi e years: “A trend from large corporates was to reduce their carbon footprint and global portfolio foot-

print. Large numbers of them have gone through this, and their portfolios are now optimised, so any additional project space is taken within a fl xible environment because it allows them to be more footloose and nimble in the market without the liabilities and the long leaseholds or freeholds. If their main head office is in London or Manchester, they may have a hot desk facility or membership to co-working clubs in other regions. Infrastructure development also benefits from the fl xibility of serviced office space. “Companies that have project sites that may last anywhere from six months to three or four years need lease fl xibility,” Howard points out. “If the project is only going to last so-long, with headcount scaling up and down throughout, they cannot commit to a rigid, fi ed amount of space for a fi ed period of fi e- or tenyears; because if they do, and the project finishes before the lease expires, they’ll be left with what we call a ‘legacy portfolio’.”

Flexible futures Private, serviced offices are now being influenced by shared spaces, offering another new option that seeks to create

a more communal feel for tenants. “A trend now among serviced office providers, such as Office Space in Town, is to offer something like 65-70 per cent private space and 30-35 per cent communal breakout space and meeting rooms,” Howard explains. “There is a lot more emphasis on collaboration: their existing staff breaking-out from the office, taking conversations into non-formal break-out areas – and collaboration with the other companies who occupy different floo s of the building.” The future of office space is looking bright according to Howard. “The way that we occupy space and the way that we work, with technology advancing, will just emphasise the need for more fl xibility within the office market,” he predicts. “You will always have the big HQs and there will be strength in the conventional, long leasehold market. But a lot of people and bigger companies will start to occupy more fl xible office solutions, reducing their overall exposure and portfolio footprint even further.” Josh Casserly is Head of Digital Content with Search Office Space – www.searchofficespace.com.

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46 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


NETWORKING

Business

networking

clubs:

what’s in it for SMBs? With more of us setting-up small companies on our own, the opportunity to spend time with business-minded people from a wide pool of expertise and know-how has never been more important. Writer and content strategist Magnus Allan discusses the continuing relevance of business networking groups in the digital age.

by

Magnus Allan

 /zatag1234  /magnusallan

At fi st consideration, business networking groups should be largely irrelevant, obviated by social media (that gleaming chrome broom with fib e optic bristles) or Skype conferencing, or plain old online search engines. Why trek away from your office when you can email someone from your desk? Why talk to people in person when you converse over the Internet? Why force yourself to make small talk with somebody who isn’t instantly assuredly going to give you some more business? Yet the world of business networking groups is thriving. Global networking and referral marketing giant Business Network International proclaims more than 188 thousand members, and over 7,000 chapters around the world. Another wellknown group, 4Networking, reckons to have 50,000 members in the UK alone. Smaller groups in towns and cities up and down the UK bring together experts

and generalists of just about all specialisms, disciplines, and occupations. All well and good for the self-initiated or compulsively gregarious; what are the benefits for a time-pressed small-to-medium sized business owner? We all know that time is an exceptionally precious commodity, and allocating a chunk out of your packed schedule to make small talk over coffee with someone who may or may not turn out to be a useful contact, could seem like a bit of a big ask. In response, I’d contend that one of the key benefits of a business networking group is precisely that it does force you to take time out of your schedule, to temporarily break-out of a routine field of vision that can then be returned to with fresh focus.

Creating a network Starting a business can be a surprisingly isolating experience, but according to the Office for National Statistics there were more than two million businesses in the UK with fewer than 10 employees in 2015. When you are starting a business, virtually every conversation you have is focused on closing a deal or explaining to investors or partners why that deal hasn’t closed yet. It can be pretty humdrum, but necessary, part of the process. A business

networking group gives you an opportunity to sit down and get the perspective of someone who has been along similar path, but isn’t involved directly with what you are doing business-wise. It differs from the business mentor relationship which is very focused, quite personal, and can have an undercurrent of pressure from the potential for investment. Because it is a one-to-many relationship you can quickly move on from discussions that you feel may not be productive with little pressure; but it can help you build bonds that can prove valuable in the longer term.

Blood, sweat and tears Successful businesses are built on hard graft, productive relationships, and profit ble inspiration; and an effective networking group can help with all three aspects. Helming a smaller business, you may not have all the resources you would like at your disposal; as a business owner you may find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time enlarging your comfort zone, dealing with IT issues, trying to create an advert or trying to understand the nuances of VAT liabilities, etc. The chances are that there could be someone in a business networking group who could guide you, or provide some pre-emptive information. They may not

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WELLNESS & STRESS RELIEF

The inside track to a healthier business Life in the fast lane is exciting but you run the risk of burnout if you fail to switch off the engine and take regular pit stops. Here’s a at how read signs stress look at to how to the read the of signs of and take action ourwhen health is stress and takewhen action our heading a bumpy health is for heading for aride. bumpy ride.

by

Julie Bissett

 /julesbiscuit  /julesbiscuit

The words ‘pressure’ and ‘stress’ are often (mistakenly) used interchangeably regarding what makes a successful business owner or entrepreneur – but the two things are very different. Whilst pressure may have a beneficial effect and can galvanise you into action and help you achieve goals, this is not the case with stress. In other words, a little bit

of stress is never good for us, but some pressure can be. No one ever said on their deathbed “I wish I’d spent more time at the office” but “I wish I had taken better care of my health” is reportedly one of the biggest regrets for many of us when life hangs in the balance. So, it makes sense to invest as much quality time in your wellbeing as you do your business. It’s a simple philosophy and one we can lose sight of when faced with bad debt, a professional dispute, rapid staff turnover or a hiatus in profits – all of these factors contributing to the everyday problems that challenge anyone running their own venture.

Ups and downs Add to this, the ups and downs of home life and the desire for a work-life balance, and it becomes clear that, like many things, prevention is far better

than cure. Research reveals that 41% of UK employees admit to having suffered mental illness whilst at work, with 49% blaming work as the cause. Some 67% of employers have experienced employees absent from work, citing mental illness as the reason. Wellbeing expert David Price explains: ‘Mental illness can be difficult to spot and ranges from mood swings to common disorders such as depression and anxiety. Sadly, it affects both employee and employer because 40% of all sickness is mental health related. ‘Health, or more specifical y poor health is one of the biggest factors that affects business productivity and can have a serious impact on company resources due to increased levels of employee absenteeism.’ Elsewhere, a Work Family Balance Report reveals that UK workers spend almost three times longer in work-related

54 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


FINANCE

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www.hydareedpublications.co.uk | April 2016 | North London Business Magazine |

49


CONSTRUCTION & REGENERATION

New Business Opportunities in Meridian Water mega-project

Enfield Council is about to launch its biggest ever regeneration initiative with the exciting Meridian Water project. Transformational change at Meridian Water is also a priority for the Mayor of London who has recognised the strategic importance of growth in the area to support the regeneration of the Upper Lee Valley as a whole.

by

Shaneez Hyda

î •

/shaneez-hyda

Meridian Water is a transformational new development that is bringing innovation and business opportunity to North London. This means 8,000 quality new homes, 3,000 permanent jobs, new community facilities, a new station with upgraded transport links – and more besides. Enfield Council will be holding community events throughout the spring and summer 2016 which are open to all.

Meridian Water Station and Improved Rail Service There will be a new Meridian Water train station opening by 2018, replacing the current Angel Road station. The new station will benefit from an additional line

and a more frequent, regular service direct to London Liverpool Street on the Stratford, Tottenham, Angel Road (STAR) line. It is proposed that the station will be located on Meridian Way opposite IKEA and Tesco.

Business & Investment Opportunities Meridian Water is the place for enterprise and innovation. Growth of 3,000 new jobs will be focused around diversific tion and intensific tion, combined with the opportunity to develop new industries, based around specific local opportunities and sectors including hitech, low-carbon, digital & media and

50 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


Council’s nton, he highest t floors.

households. This project is an excellent example of the working partnership between Countryside Properties, Newlon Housing and Enfield Council. Local residents have also been consulted, their ideas have been helpful at all planning stages of the scheme.”

ock is part ed houses wlon Housing

Richard Cherry, Deputy Chairman of Countryside Properties said, “We are delighted with progress on the regeneration of the Highmead Estate. Working with Enfield Council and Newlon Housing Trust, we will deliver a new sustainable neighbourhood with excellent homes and amenities.”

Member for ery quickly. It homes for 118

have started ses while 36 upport and w to improve of gaining through writing and

Enfield Council’s flagship development at Meridian Water, Edmonton, was in the spotlight last month (June) when the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mayor of London visited one of its sites with Council Leader Cllr Doug Taylor to announce a new initiative to get homes built more quickly. EDMONTON GREEN

For more information about other regeneration projects, visit www.enfield.gov.uk/improvingenfield

A406 NORTH CIRCULAR ROAD

MERIDIAN wATER

Meridian Water will occupy 85 hectares of land in the far southeast of the

benefitsofMeridian Water willare bring to Enfield, Meridian is a front runner toThe be large stores LondonWater Borough of Enfield. Ikea and Tesco located London and South East.” one ten potential housing in of the centre of the area. zones. This will attract further public investment to The government plans to support accelerate the construction of 5,000 new housing zones by making loans available homes, helping to create 3,000 new jobs to local authorities for any necessary and an upgraded railway station. This will infrastructure and remedial work on be in addition to the £74million invested the sites. Last November the Mayor of by Network Rail and the Greater London London’s Housing Strategy set out plans Authority to improve the current rail for ten potential housing zones, that service and frequency to Meridian Water. number has doubled as the government and the Greater London Authority have Cllr Doug Taylor said, “Enfield Council is driving forward the £1.5billion regeneration both agreed to offer £200million for twenty zones. of Meridian Water to provide the homes and quality employment space that The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said, Londoners need. “Housing is the biggest challenge facing London’s economic development and these “Meridian Water is a great opportunity for the whole of London and Enfield Council is new £400million housing zones will turbo working tirelessly to increase employment, boost housing supply across the capital. investment and opportunity to improve the This major regeneration will transform quality of life of residents and we are looking communities and provide up to 50,000 to the Mayor of London and the Chancellor much needed homes. They will support 250,000 Londoners into low cost home of the Exchequer to back our ambitious ownership over the next decade.” plans and help us harness the enormous

REAPs FANTAsTIC REsULTs

21 people fter with tending the

INV£sTM£NT CALL

other skills, a further 10 have started working in the voluntary sector. There is lots of useful information about finding a job and accessing training available on www.enfield. gov.uk/jobs

07

engineering. Given the scope of opportunities for enterprise, the project looks to create a shift in the employment profil of the area, diversifying from traditional industries to raise income levels and produce new job opportunities. Inclusion of demonstration projects will create potential to showcase emerging technologies, building on the existing established sectors. Emerging young entrepreneurs will be encouraged to establish, benefittin from the area’s history of industry, innovation and invention.

Developer Partner Enfiel Council has received 3 bids from Development Partners who wish to work with the borough for the next 20 years to build new homes, facilities and create jobs for local people. The chosen partner will share the council’s vision, but also offer value for money, quality, and flai in equal measure. The final shortlist of three world class partners is Barrett & Segro,

Berkeley Homes and Pacifi Century Premium Development. A fina decision is expected in a few weeks’ time and will be announced in our next issue.

www.hydareedpublications.co.uk | April 2016 | North London Business Magazine |

51


LOGISTICS

Regulations represent trickiest course to plot for shipping Many market analysts have predicted 2016 to be the year the container shipping sector turns around. With charterers and operators being subject to downward pricing pressure for a prolonged period, an increasing number of experts have hinted that the market has bottomed-out, with prices starting to rebound as the year progresses.

by

Will Mathieson

 /Mathies2William  /william-mathieson

This is very welcome news for a sector that has been subject to pricing wars for years. However, there are still obstacles to growth, and choppy waters lie ahead in the coming months, in the form of international regulations. The latest round of amendments to IMO’s MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, which came into effect on 1 January, included a clause prohibiting the discharge of garbage into the sea unless it could be proven that the substances were not harmful to the marine environment. All discharges must be recorded in a Garbage Record Book. “Shipowners must ensure compliance, and must have access to the necessary products and knowledge to do so,”

explained Jan Fredrik Bjorge, Product Marketing Manager Cleaning Solutions at Wilhelmsen Ships Services. “The penalties for non-compliance are stringent and claiming a lack of knowledge is no excuse. We suggest shipowners and operators choose suppliers and products they know they can trust. New regulations needn’t be a concern if you select the right partners to work with.” While careful voyage planning and diligent record keeping should easily alleviate any issues relating to MARPOL Annex V, the sector is walking towards something of a precipice if it does not respond to the impending Manila Amendments of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certific tion and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 2010), the transitional period for which comes to an end on 1 January 2017. Almost all professional seafarers, including those on board container ships, transporting the world’s cargo from port to port, will require recertific tion and/ or refresher training. This must be signed off by 31 December. Ships found carrying uncertified mariners after 1 January will be subject to detention in port, a potentially catastrophic action for companies dealing in the transport of goods. Warning of the potential logjam effect the failure to address this issue could create, the International Chamber of Shipping’s Secretary General, Peter Hinchcliffe said: “Shipping companies should take ear-

ly action to ensure seafarers’ certific tes are renewed or revalidated as may be required before the end of the transition period, and to plan for their seafarers to attend any necessary courses. But as we approach 2017, employers will be reliant on the availability of courses from training providers and their timely approval by maritime administrations. “This should be a simple matter of logistics but shipowners, administrations, training providers and all other parties involved should undertake to work together to avoid either non-compliance with the new STCW regime or the disruption of the operation of the world fleet due to a lack of certified sea arers.” If high ranking CEOs, such as Seaspan’s Jerry Wang, are to be believed container shipping is final y turning a corner, and this may drive prices upwards in the medium-term. This should not be seen as alarming, as the rock-bottom carrier prices of the current status quo are simply unsustainable. However, a rise in prices will place greater demand on operators to deliver efficiency of service and this could be compromised by the impact of the aforementioned regulations. Industry body representatives therefore, are right to demand a studious response from the sector in order to circumvent any potential problems and keep the world’s trade moving. Let’s hope the sector can remain on an even keel moving forward.

52 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


www.hydareedpublications.co.uk | April 2016 | North London Business Magazine |

53


WELLNESS & STRESS RELIEF

The inside track to a healthier business lane is exciting but Life in in the thefast fast lane is exciting you yourun run the the riskrisk of burnout if you but of burnout if fail to off the and you failswitch to switch off engine the engine and take regular pit stops. Here’s atlook howat tohow readtothe signs stress a read the of signs of and take action ourwhen health is stress and takewhen action our heading a bumpy health is for heading for aride. bumpy ride.

by

Julie Bissett

 /julesbiscuit  /julesbiscuit

The words ‘pressure’ and ‘stress’ are often (mistakenly) used interchangeably regarding what makes a successful business owner or entrepreneur – but the two things are very different. Whilst pressure may have a beneficial effect and can galvanise you into action and help you achieve goals, this is not the case with stress. In other words, a little bit

of stress is never good for us, but some pressure can be. No one ever said on their deathbed “I wish I’d spent more time at the office” but “I wish I had taken better care of my health” is reportedly one of the biggest regrets for many of us when life hangs in the balance. So, it makes sense to invest as much quality time in your wellbeing as you do your business. It’s a simple philosophy and one we can lose sight of when faced with bad debt, a professional dispute, rapid staff turnover or a hiatus in profits – all of these factors contributing to the everyday problems that challenge anyone running their own venture.

Ups and downs Add to this, the ups and downs of home life and the desire for a work-life balance, and it becomes clear that, like many things, prevention is far better

than cure. Research reveals that 41% of UK employees admit to having suffered mental illness whilst at work, with 49% blaming work as the cause. Some 67% of employers have experienced employees absent from work, citing mental illness as the reason. Wellbeing expert David Price explains: ‘Mental illness can be difficult to spot and ranges from mood swings to common disorders such as depression and anxiety. Sadly, it affects both employee and employer because 40% of all sickness is mental health related. ‘Health, or more specifical y poor health is one of the biggest factors that affects business productivity and can have a serious impact on company resources due to increased levels of employee absenteeism.’ Elsewhere, a Work Family Balance Report reveals that UK workers spend almost three times longer in work-related

54 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


activities than with family, with those of us in London spending the least time with our families – perhaps reflecting the often longer commuting time in the capital. The reality of our modern metropolitan life is that a Londoner’s working day is a lengthy one. Over-stretched and time-poor, we typically spend 10 hours a day at work or commuting to work, with those of us under the age of 44 particularly prone to this lifestyle.

No one ever said on their deathbed “I wish I’d spent more time at the office” Smartphone technology – although essential when running a business – is also a big factor in our time management skills slipping from our hands. Now, everyone is just one click away from his or her email inbox 24/7. On average, adults spend over one hour of each day on email, with people based in London reporting the highest rates – 29% of users in the capital receive more than 50 emails per day and 69% leaving their email systems running all day. So, how best to turn the tide on stressful workplace triggers. Having policies and procedures can be effective in maintaining a healthy working environment for everyone – so why not set an example by leaving work on time, taking that lunch break and enjoying those essential moments with family and friends. Your staff will appreciate that you care

and it will cut down on absenteeism as well. Remember, many studies show that a happy team is a more productive one so embrace these changes and look ahead to a prosperous – and healthy year, for you, your staff and your bank balance!

Identify the cause – and make changes! • • • • • • • • • •

Be aware stress can affect decision making, so delay making any important options when anxious Dedicate a set time to answering emails to stop them interrupting your workflow and cause you to lose time for other demands Delegate, delegate, delegate – trust in your employees to help relieve the workload Under constant time pressures? Work can be intensive so ensure some downtime away from your place of work Take a stroll at lunchtime – some of our best ideas come to us in our more solitary moments Find time to relax every day When work is over, switch off that mobile! Do you really need to check your email inbox? Eat well – cut out comfort food and cut down on alcohol Sleep well and exercise Spend quality time with family and friends

www.hydareedpublications.co.uk | April 2016 | North London Business Magazine |

55


WELLNESS & STRESS RELIEF

Your health in their hands Work can sometimes mean a ‘dusk ‘til dawn’ commitment so, before it casts a shadow over your wellbeing, take time out to boost those bodily batteries.

by

Julie Bissett

 /julesbiscuit  /julesbiscuit

Fans of workplace wellness extol massage therapy. It can have a positive effect on job performance and mental alertness, resulting in improved accuracy, increased productivity, and a reduction in stress-induced illnesses. ‘The power of touch is important,’ says complementary therapist Ros Barresi, ‘and, whilst using massage to reduce stress is natural and safe, with much evidence to support its use for stress management, it inevitably benefits our skeletal and muscular systems, too. Massage can increase oxygen fl w, improve the circulation of blood and fluids through the body, improve muscle tone, enhance the elimination of bodily wastes,

as well as promote feelings of peacefulness, relaxation, and relief.’ By opening your doors to a massage therapist who offers desk-side treatment in providing therapeutic massage services for you and your team, you will join the increasing number of forward-thinking employers who are discovering the benefits of workplace wellness, with a team re-energised, focused, and less stressed for success. ‘Massage therapy aids in the treatment of stress-related conditions,’ adds Ros Barresi, ‘and, therefore, offers a complete approach to physical and mental wellness for you and your team.’

Types of massage Massage techniques can range from soft and gentle to vigorous and brisk and may, at times, prove a little uncomfortable. Gentler forms of massage (such as aromatherapy) affect your nerve endings, releasing endorphins, and reducing sensations of pain. Stronger methods, such as deep tissue massage massage, aim to stimulate your blood circulation and lymphatic system, relax muscles and ease knotted tissues that can cause pain and stiffness. Massage therapists may treat your whole body, or concentrate on a specific part of the body such as your head, neck, or shoulders. Swedish massage This aims to relax the body and involves rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes or kneading in the direction of blood returning to the heart. Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on reaching the deeper layers of muscles and tissue, and is especially beneficial for tense areas. Designed to release muscle knots and restore elasticity, and is used for long-standing, deep muscular problems. Sports massage is used before or after sport or to help heal sports injuries Shiatsu The principle behind shiatsu is related to the energy fl w. Shiatsu practitioners believe that the therapy stimulates the circulation of your blood, helps to release toxins and tension from your muscles, and stimulates your hormonal system. This is believed to help the body heal itself. Neuromuscular massage helps to balance the nervous system and the muscle. Reflexology is applied to points on the hands and feet with the aim of improving the health of other parts of the body. Facial rejuvenation is a natural facelift massage that improves blood fl w, relax facial muscles, evens skin tone, and give a natural slight lift. Indian head massage aims to release the stress that has accumulated in the tissues, muscles and joints of the head, face, neck, and shoulders. Aromatherapy massage has many benefit , including a general feeling of wellbeing through massage and the use of essential oils. Can offer successful stress management, and can aid sleep disorders.


1910

OLD FOLD MANOR GOLF CLUB

there has never been a better time to join...

...this excLusive privAte MeMbers GoLf cLub. cALL now for the speciAL MeMbership offer AvAiLAbLe for this Month onLy. teLephone: 020 8440 9185

ol d f ol d M a nor G ol f c lub

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Old Fold Manor is one of the best courses in Hertfordshire. It was designed by one of the greatest golf course architects of all time – Harry Colt. His team designed Augusta National and Pebble Beach, too, so it’s not surprising that Old Fold is famous for its greens. functions & events

About our cLub Originally open heathland; it now has many treelined fairways that make the wind direction even less predictable. It also retains the undulations and unpredictability of bounce so typical of Harry Colt designs, which bring the charm and challenge of seaside links to his inland courses. The best feature of all, maybe, are our greens; among the quickest and trickiest in the county. So, it is not surprising that the course has been chosen so often for county and national championships. It was also the Regional Qualifying course for the Open Championship from 2006-2010, and it is now the South of England venue for the worldwide Faldo Series of junior golf competitions.

professionAL Not only can you get first-class coaching in all aspects of the game — our shop has everything you need to play well – and look great while you’re doing it. And, if by chance you’d like something that isn’t in stock we’ll order it for you.

Old Fold is marvellous for weddings because of the setting (which offers so many opportunities for glamorous photographs), the eye-catching and comfortable interior, spacious patio, super catering, fuss-free (and cost-free) parking, and easy accessibility. Importantly, too, our Meetings and Events team take great pride in making sure that your day goes without a hitch. They will work with you from your initial enquiry, right through to liaising with you on the day so that your perfect day really is perfect.

contAct us If you wish to discuss a membership or sample our restaurant menu then please contact:

Kevin Whitehouse General Manager email: kevin@oldfoldmanor.co.uk telephone: 020 8440 9185

Call: 020 8440 9185 | www.oldfoldmanor.co.uk old fold Manor Golf club Old Fold Lane, Hadley Green, Barnet, EN5 4QN

www.hydareedpublications.co.uk | April 2016 | North London Business Magazine |

57


WELLNESS & STRESS RELIEF

3 top tips for stunning skin this summer (and the secret to getting beach body ready)

With the worst of winter (hopefully) over, our thoughts turn to renewal and hope; sunshine and holidays.

by

Fiona Mocatta

 /fionamocatta  /bettercopy

March is a great time to start looking at making improvements in your skin, diet and exercise levels; so you have plenty of time to be in peak condition once the sun comes out. Fresh, clear blemish-free skin can be yours; even if you have problem skin, rosacea, acne or psoriasis, or feel you need anti-ageing treatment. Here are three top tips for stunning skin this summer:

1. Say YES to LED phototherapy and hello to brighter, healthier skin

Research has shown that Dermalux ® LED phototherapy treatment can increase collagen production, destroy bacteria, reduce inflamm tion, improve skin tone, texture and clarity and ease muscular and joint pain. If you have spot-prone skin or redness, ask your skin therapist about Dermalux treatment. To be on the safe side, make sure all your LED treatment is over a couple of weeks before you head off to the sunshine.

2. More appealing skin If you would like to lessen the appearance of hyper-pigmentation and age spots, consider skin peels. They are also used to slow down the effects of ageing.

3. Caring for your skin, whatever the weather Skin is for life, not just for summer! So,

you need trusted skincare products and sun cream to know that you are protecting your skin all year round. To help look after your skin, invest in range of clinically-proven skincare products. With skin cream, you want to look for products which have anti-oxidant properties. For sun cream, look out for zinc oxide and titanium oxide on the label, and make sure the sun cream offers both UVB and UVA protection. If you have sensitive skin or a skin condition, you might benefit from using sunscreen that has been designed for children. It’s also wise to avoid sunscreens which contain alcohol, fragrance or preservatives.

The secret to getting beach body ready Are you on a diet, looking to get in to shape or trying to maximise your sports performance? If so, check out InBody Composition, a convenient and accurate way to measure your body composition so you can

C Bu

*O

58 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


lose weight effectively, get in shape and maximise the way your body works. The InBody machine will painlessly and quickly tell you how much fat and muscle you have, if your body composition is in a healthy range and how many calories you burn at rest and while exercising. Once you know if you need to lose fat and where you may need to build muscle, you can help you tailor your diet and exercise plan to meet your specific oals. Finally, one more idea to help you look and feel great. Make a vow to drink more water in March and beyond. Water is so important for your skin, helps you stay hydrated and flushes out toxins. If plain water is a little boring for you, add some lemon or fresh lime for a refreshing drink. Why not get in the holiday spirit by serving it in a jug on a pretty tray, and pouring it in to a highball glass?

a We can help you with: Reducing acne Calming psoriasis Improving eczema Addressing the signs of ageing Aleviating wrinkles Pigmentation

We’re new to the business park – come and say hello! Room 129

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Save your skin! We specialise in treating and preventing the signs of ageing, healing problem skin conditions in teenagers and adults, and helping your skin look fresher and healthier.

Collagen Cosmedics Building 3, Room 129, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1GN *Offer available when bought before 30th April 2016 for use before 30 September 2016 for a course of 6 treatments

20%

off your first course of treatments*

Our certified therapists and in-house GP will use peels, Dermalux, collagen, micro-needling and clinically-proved products to help you whether you have acne, pigmentation, sensitive skin, fine lines and wrinkles or eczema. Book your consultation today.

Tel : 07590 048241 or 07967 245685 www.collagencosmedics.co.uk Email: naomi@collagencosmedics.co.uk

www.hydareedpublications.co.uk | April 2016 | North London Business Magazine |

59


HOSPITALITY

What will the rest of 2016 be like? The New Year is well under way – and what will it bring, for the UK Hospitality industry at least? Carl Weldon ex-Hospa CEO

by

 /CarlWel  /carlweldon

I thought I may as well lay out my views at least and see if anyone out there agrees. First of all, Wi-Fi will get better in hotels – if for no other reason than customers will demand it. Those without it will start to lose business. The technology will get better to deliver a better service and customers bringing their own devices with their own programmes will continue to increase. A friend of mine, who was recently staying in hospital, complained because

a football game on Sky brought the hospital Wi-Fi down because so many were watching it on their own devices. He said: “It’s all about the bandwidth and connectivity on property allowing guests with own devices to connect to services that are in ‘the cloud’ and make their experience seamless”. Hotel operators and management will more readily start to realise that Wi-Fi is a utility, just like water and gas. Secondly, the Internet of things is coming to hotels – or as we in the industry like to call it – The Internet of Hotel Things. Wearable technology will be part of this, but more so in 2017. This year the seamless experience with the App and wearable to open doors and have personal experience will increase – assuming the hotel Wi-Fi can handle it. This will start more with the big brands (the Marriott Internationals and Starwood Hotels &

Resorts) and new upmarket hotels. Thirdly, we will see more done with digital payments systems such as Flypay and Apple Pay as they become the norm – more so in retail F&B outlets but hotels will have to get on board quickly. Fourthly, the USALI (Uniform System) will start to take hold as those early adopters go from planning to implementing and reporting – and the benchmarking reports are changed. The accounting systems with greatest fl xibility – which tends to mean ‘in-the-cloud’ – will become more prevalent and take the lead. USALI straight out of the box so-tospeak will become a real advantage. The USALI will start to be updated on a more regular basis in future. Fifthly, Big Data – and/or Predictive Analytics will become more widely used as hospitality companies begin to understand what they can get out of this area.

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Had a Decent Curry Lately? Authenticity and consistency is probably one of the hardest tasks of any business when it comes to food, and we have a few tricks up our sleeve to assist you with achieving both. We offer bespoke high quality solutions for the hospitality sector, available chilled or frozen in pack sizes to suit events or individual meal solutions.

020 3372 5880 info@theoriginalcurrycompany.com www.theoriginalcurrycompany.com

60 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk


It is of course where the OTAs have such a big advantage, as they actually use it and respond to customer enquiries and searches – and final y give them what they want. Cloud-based systems with the data already there and accessible will make this more affordable and understandable. “Predictive analytics allows companies to profile customers, and can be used to tailor the online experience to individual customer behaviours”. And onto six: Marketing – or digital marketing – and technology will become more and more connected or integrated in hospitality – and revenue management will have to either lead or be part of this. A department called something like ‘commercial’ – which exists in some large companies in the US already – will start to emerge with marketing and revenue management combined within it. Sales may still be separate. More digital marketing systems linked to revenue management will become available. At seven: Learning will become more digital. More digitally native. More bite-size. More video and animation-based. Accounting training – while remaining more traditional as per its professional qualific tions will develop this way also.  Revenue management will have to become more ‘qualific tion’ based – so that the industry can assess what a revenue manager has achieved so far. There has to be some kind of way to assess the level of a prospective candidate for a revenue management role after all this is quite a technical job. Do let us know your views via editorial@hydareedpublications.co.uk.

61


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MIM has state of the art facilities for recording, video and production For all genres of music Film, advertisements and jingles Pavlos Doukanaris is a renowned music writer and teacher Guitar, bouzouki, and vocals Whatever you are planning we are here to help. MIM‌. Bringing music to you.

Specializing in Weddings, Christenings, Birthdays and all other music events From one to a twenty piece band Male and female singers DJ’s We produce and promote concerts from all over the world. Dinner and dance evenings

Covering a wide range of Music to suit your occasion from: Greek, Jazz, Latin, European and many other styles

Contact us:

Pavlos Doukanaris MMus (Lon) North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South New Southgate, N11 1GN Telephone: 07920 451 111 Email: the.duke@me.com Facebook: Montana International Music www.dukemim.com

62 | North London Business Magazine | April 2016 | www.hydareedpublications.co.uk

photo by Cha


‘Congratulations Faz and your talented team for the exciting launch of the new North London Business Magazine. I wish to extend my warmest wishes to you all for a lasting success.’ - Natasha Hemmings Miss England 2015

photo by Chalrlie Kaufman • www.freshacademy.com

www.hydareedpublications.co.uk | April 2016 | North London Business Magazine |

63


Profile for Hyda & Reed Publications

North London Business magazine april 2016  

Multi-sector quarterly B2B covering London & beyond focused on SME's

North London Business magazine april 2016  

Multi-sector quarterly B2B covering London & beyond focused on SME's

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