Real Entrepreneurs Magazine Issue 3

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MAGAZINE

FLOURISHING AND THRIVING

ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE EAST MIDLANDS

ISSUE 3
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MAGAZINE REAL ENTREPRENEURS

Welcome to the latest edition of Real Entrepreneurs’ Magazine where we delve deep into the dynamic world of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship has always been at the heart of progress, propelling societies forward and revolutionising the way we live and work. The entrepreneurial landscape is constantly being reshaped by advancements in technology and shifts in consumer behaviour. As we explore the future of entrepreneurship, we’ll investigate how emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and green energy are altering industries and creating unprecedented opportunities for innovative minds.

Here you’ll find profiles of outstanding entrepreneurs who have navigated through challenges and adversities to emerge triumphant. We take pride in presenting their remarkable journeys, as they share invaluable insights, experiences, and lessons learned that will undoubtedly resonate with aspiring business leaders.

For the second year running, Real Entrepreneurs’ Magazine reveals the Top 500 East Midlands companies, making this issue a special edition. We’re honoured to print this list and its analysis from Dr David Rae, Professor of Enterprise at Leicester’s De Montfort University.

I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our loyal readers, contributors, and partners for your continued support. Your unwavering commitment fuels our mission to be the ultimate source of knowledge and inspiration for the entrepreneurial community.

CONTENTS

COVER STORY: FLOURISHING AND THRIVING ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE EAST MIDLANDS

OPINION: ANGELA TOOLEY UNIVERSITY OF DERBY AND LEANNE BONNER-COOKE MBE

THE PEOPLE READER

OPINION: TOM BATES THE PRINTERS NICKI ROBSON BREEDON CONSULTING

A LIFE FULL OF COLOUR

TOP 10 TIPS FOR ENTREPRENEURS

THE UNIVERSITY OF DERBY AS A BUSINESS PARTNER

ATTRACTING TALENT FOR BUSINESS GROWTH

OPINION: PHIL HOULDER GLENFIELD ELECTRICAL DAVID PEARSON EAST MIDLANDS CHAMBER

MENTAL RESILIENCE

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MAGAZINE is the trade mark of Cross Productions and used under license by Jennifer Cross. All rights reserved. No reproduction, copying or otherwise without permission.

Disclaimer – Real Entrepreneurs Magazine and Cross Productions Ltd are fully protected by copyright; no part of this magazine may be reproduced or reprinted without the complete and expressed permission of the publisher. The greatest care has been taken to ensure accuracy, however there can be no liability accepted by the publisher for errors and omissions. We can under no circumstance be held responsible for any materials, matter or photographical copy submitted for publication or not within the website or magazine. We cannot be held responsible or liable for any breaches of copyright from adverts, materials or photography or any other such material supplied by a third party. The views and opinions expressed within our publications are not necessarily those of the publisher or indeed Real Entrepreneurs Magazine or any featured parties.

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32 55 57 58 28 30 OPINION: LAURA KEARSLEY NELSONS DARREN JONES INSTINCT HR PROTECTING YOUR SHARES EAST MIDLANDS TOP 500 COMPANIES 2023 34 FOREWORDS 35 INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE 36 HOW THE LIST IS COMPILED 37 THE TOP 30 38 BUSINESS SECTOR ANALYSIS 40 MOVERS AND SHAKERS 42 CASE STUDIES 43 BUSINESS RESILIENCE AND FUTURE PROSPECTS 44 THE TOP 500 LIST MAKING YOUR PENSION MORE VALUABLE ORGANISATION: AN ENTREPRENEUR’S FREEDOM NETWORKING AROUND THE EAST MIDLANDS

FLOURISHING AND THRIVING: ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE EAST MIDLANDS

he East Midlands Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards ceremony was a symbol of the thriving businesses and innovation coming from the region.

Ten entrepreneurs won awards for their achievements in enterprise at the ceremony –which was held at Nottingham Business School on May 4 this year – each of them representing an industry they’ve stimulated change within, or a gap in the market they’ve carved their own puzzle piece to fill.

Among 2023’s winners are university professors, Members of the Order of the British Empire, charity pioneers, manufacturing innovators, disruptors to the professional coaching sector, and more.

Over 180 high-flying business owners from across the East Midlands came together at the Nottingham ceremony, giving the winners the perfect forum for their brands to be seen and heard outside of their home cities.

Hosted this year by BBC Radio Leicester presenter Jo Hayward, The Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards celebrates those who have started their own businesses, invented new products, successfully collaborated with others, or grown their businesses significantly.

dramatic rise in business start-ups during the coronavirus pandemic.

On the subject of businesses’ community impact, Stuart Darkins, President of UK Chamber of the Year 2023 East Midlands Chamber told business owners at their annual dinner in June: “We all live in places. Our customers live in places. Our staff live in places. And our loved ones live in places. Those places form communities. Set aside some serious, proper time during this year, to consider how the work of your organisation can most effectively support the various communities of which you’re a part. Think broadly. Without thriving communities, things become unstable, particularly for those with little or no economic power. Business does not thrive on instability.”

Real Entrepreneurs’ Club founders, Cross Productions, continually aim to instil economic confidence in its membership by drawing them together at dinners and round table discussions as a reminder of the innovative companies around us from which to draw inspiration. CEO of Cross Productions believes entrepreneurs add value to local economies and therefore, add value to local communities.

Born off the back of the already popular East Midlands premier networking forum Real Entrepreneurs’ Club, the awarding body was created to promote, support and encourage entrepreneurship across the board after a

Jenny Cross, CEO of Cross Productions, which runs the club and its awards, said: “There’s no doubt that The Real Entrepreneurs’ Award winners will have an impact on their local communities and the next generation of workers and business owners.

THE NOTTINGHAM CEREMONY OF THE REAL ENTREPRENEURS’ AWARDS 2023 BESTOWED NOT ONLY PHYSICAL ACCOLADES TO ITS WINNERS BUT ALSO IMPARTED WISDOM, CONFIDENCE AND NEW IDEAS
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FEATURE
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Without thriving communities, things become unstable, particularly for those with little or no economic power. Business does not thrive on instability

“Our winners this year are exceptionally impressive, and it just goes to show just how flourishing and thriving entrepreneurship and the business community is across the East Midlands.”

“By creating confident foundations for entrepreneurs to thrive from and encourages collaboration with other businesses, East Midlands entrepreneurs will be well-versed in ways to support their local communities. Therefore, improving the chances of economic success for years to come.”

Jenny added: “This event wouldn’t have been possible without our passionate headline sponsor Fraser Stretton Property Group and without the help of entrepreneurs in the East Midlands who have helped promote it and came together last night to support others, which will in turn help local economies to grow.”

Headline sponsor Fraser Stretton Property Group was founded by husband-and-wife duo

Narinder Nijjar and Jaz Kaur. Considered allies to fellow entrepreneurs, the couple had promoted the awards across the Midlands, which has bolstered nominations from new sectors and industries.

They also sponsored and presented the most esteemed award of the night, the Entrepreneurs’ Entrepreneur award, which was won by prosthetics designer and manufacturer Kate Allan.

Narinder told us: “It was phenomenal to present Kate with her award. All the award winners have an incredibly bright future ahead of them and we’re looking forward to seeing them progress. When you’re in the room with them on the night, you understand how incredibly important events like these are. They build networks, instil confidence, inspire new ideas, and encourage collaboration.”

The judging panel consisted of successful East Midlands-based entrepreneurs Glynis Wright MBE of GW Growth Consultancy; Pattersons

Commercial Law Managing Director Rik Pancholi; Premier Logistics Client Relationship Manager Macauley Christopher; University of Derby Enterprise Development Manager Angela Tooley; and Lewis Stringer Senior Manager at UK Network - East and South-East Midlands (Midlands Engine Investment Fund).

The next Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards will take place on April 25, 2024. Nominations are currently open and close on November 1. Nominate at realentrepreneurs.co.uk.

08 | FEATURE
When you’re in the room with them on the night, you understand how incredibly important events like these are. They build networks, instil confidence, inspire new ideas

THE REAL ENTREPRENEURS’ AWARDS PITCHING PLATFORM

Ahighlight of the awards was the novel Pitching Platform, sponsored by Pattersons Commercial Law. Three start-ups pitched to the room for a chance to win £10k worth of legal and marketing advice and investment from Pattersons Commercial Law and Cross Productions.

Kate Allan, the Entrepreneurs’ Entrepreneur award winner won the audience vote. As well as legal and marketing services, she also won a non-executive business board consisting of Rik Pancholi of Pattersons Commercial Law; Jenny Cross of Cross Productions; Paul Bevan of Breeze Corporate Finance; and Ian Cooper of Brewin Dolphin. In addition, she’s gained access to a senior venture capital investor Mercia Group and Foresight Group.

ExpHand Prosthetics is a 3D print company

manufacturing prosthetic limbs that can be adjusted as a child grows into adulthood for a fraction of NHS prices and produced in weeks rather than months.

Kate Allan, founder of ExpHand Prosthetics, said: “I’m really excited to be working with the non-executive board over the next year it’ll be a great value add to the company to have the additional expertise coming in and being able to bounce ideas around with them. It was nervewracking to pitch to the room, but pitching is something I enjoy because I like sharing what we’re doing and telling people about the impact the product has. The next big steps for us are to bring the product to market in the UK and then internationalising. Over the next 12 months, we’ll be looking at manufacturing in-country and testing how that will work.”

MARC ROWLEY, KATE ALLAN AND SIMON SANSOME
I believe all three businesses will go far and I’m keen to work with ExpHand Prosthetics and help to grow the business

The audience also heard from Marc Rowley, founder of employee training for growth company H.I.T Leadership and Simon Sansome, founder of the Snowball Community app – a ‘Trip Advisor’ type forum for rating the accessibility of places all over the world.

Rik Pancholi of Pattersons Commercial Law, which sponsored the pitching platform, said: “It was an honour to present the Pitching Platform and hear about these amazing businesses.

“We set up the Pitching Platform to help boost economic growth in our region and draw more individuals into our incredibly supportive community of entrepreneurs. Additionally, the Pitching Platform is exceptionally unique as it highlights businesses that are in the very early stages of their journey to a room full of people who have the expertise to help them. These early stage businesses are often the ones that need support the most but may face challenges with securing the best advice or access to funding.

“I believe all three businesses will go far and I’m keen to work with Kate Allan at ExpHand Prosthetics and help to grow the business as they continue on their incredible journey.

Jenny Cross, CEO of Cross Productions, said: “I can see ExpHand Prosthetics being a huge deal in the near future. The fact that Kate shared that a child’s prosthetic arm costs a minimum of £10,000 and can be grown out of in just 12 months is eyeopening. She’s spotted a problem that real people are facing – around 30 million in fact – analysed the situation and came up with a lasting solution. Her presentation gave me goosebumps.

“The two other pitchers were incredibly well presented and I have no doubt their valuable businesses will achieve great success.”

Membership

Strictly invitation only, Real Entrepreneurs’ Club membership is secured by becoming an Associate Partner. Annual membership entitles you to attend three dinners with four guest places per event. You will also receive details of each individual who attend each dinner. You will have the opportunity to stand in the ‘spotlight’ allowing you to source new commercial and professional contacts and services. Membership is non-transferable and held by the individual, not the company. No more than two guests per company are permitted at each dinner. Your guests may attend one event each year. This is to ensure we have a constant mix of new faces and ideas. If you wish to join the Real Entrepreneurs Club, please submit your interest.

To be considered as an associate partner you’re required to:

■ Have a sound reputation and be well recommended by your peers (written confirmation from a current member stating the benefit you will bring to the club for the good of all members will be required)

■ Share your experiences to educate, inspire, and drive others

■ Be open to championing other members where appropriate.

WINNERS of the Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards 2023

START-UP ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by University of Leicester

Natalie Bamford – Colleague Box

ENTREPRENEURIAL COLLABORATOR

Sponsored by Breeze Corporate Finance Ltd

Amanda Daly – The Insight Centre

ENTREPRENEUR FOR GOOD

Sponsored by TML Solicitors

Stacey Wragg – Embark CSR

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

Sponsored by Take Me

Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan – The Zinthiya Trust

INTERNATIONAL ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Utilities Made Simple

Gurdev Mattu – Fashion UK

FOOD & DRINK ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by BTT

Greta McDonald – Sweet Lounge

INNOVATION IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Sponsored by Midlands Engine Investment Fund

Lee Paxman-Clarke – HEAL.med

ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUCATOR

Sponsored by Premier Logistics

Nav Ahmed – Arden University

SCALE-UP ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Brewin Dolphin

Leanne Bonner-Cooke MBE

THE ENTREPRENEUR’S ENTREPRENEUR

Sponsored by Fraser Stretton Property Group

Kate Allan – ExpHand Prosethtics

To nominate for Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards 2024 go to realentreprenuers.co.uk/awards

Nominations close November 11

FEATURE 10 |
We set up the Pitching Platform to highlight businesses that are in the very early stage of their journey. These are often the businesses that need support the most
REA L ENTREPRENEURS 2023

OPINION

HOW DOES INVESTMENT IN PEOPLE IMPACT BUSINESS GROWTH? AND WHAT WOULD YOU PRIORITISE IN RELATION TO PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?

Economic challenges and skills shortages make it a challenging time for employers, however rather than cut budgets, there is a need for businesses to invest in its people more than ever in order to remain competitive and retain key staff.

A LinkedIn Workforce report highlighted that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in helping them learn.

Advances in technology, driven by the digital and green economies have created skills gaps in areas including electrical engineering, welding and data analysis. However technical skills alone will not enable emerging sectors and those adopting new technologies to realise productivity and growth improvements.

One factor is the lack of investment in developing jobneutral skills, including creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, data analysis and project management. These enable individuals to develop the mindset, confidence, and knowledge to embrace change and drive improvements to working practices.

Another is the limited understanding or measurement of the link between individual learning and organisational development. Upskilling is only part of the solution; staff need the opportunity to practice them in supportive and growth focussed environment led by a leadership team who inspire and empower.

Evidence from case studies produced by the University of Derby from high-growth businesses whose staff have undertaken courses including Help to Grow: Management, SAIL and Reskill & Recover supports this thinking.

If these factors are addressed, the benefits for employers are endless including:

■ Improved productivity and performance

■ Enhanced customer experience

■ Increased employer satisfaction and wellbeing

■ Ability to innovate supporting resilience and new market opportunities

BONNER-COOKE

Your people are your business. We talk about B2C and B2B, but in reality, isn’t it all P2P (People 2 People)?

When you invest in your people, you are investing in your business. People typically come to work because of the leaders they work for, not just because of the brand. There is a clear link between a happy and engaged workforce and increased performance and productivity, which directly affects a business in a positive way. So, you literally need to keep people happy for your business to succeed. They only way you can achieve this is to understand them and their drivers.

Investing in people of course refers to fair salaries and benefits but investing in your employees is far more rounded than that and includes appropriate training, mentoring and guidance, including mental health support. Currently, statistics show that only 30% of our workforce is performant in the UK which is shocking. But, by creating an environment that encourages greater engagement, and by providing a supportive workplace where people feel listened to, I believe a business can buck this trend to positively impact business growth.

For me, I’d say never stop learning and never think you know it all because it’s highly likely you don’t! Use your support network to learn through mentorship. I have met some amazing business people over the years and it’s those relationships and knowledge sharing that have helped me to grow personally, and that has allowed me to lead and grow my business. Generally, when you ask people for help and advice, they will give it to you willingly – we are inherently kind and people like to give advice, so never be afraid to ask!

WE ASKED BUSINESS INFLUENCERS FROM THE EAST MIDLANDS...
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THE PEOPLE READER SHEDS LIGHT ON THE GREAT RESIGNATION

FINDING HERSELF THE VICTIM OF A NATURAL DISASTER, MICHELLE MILLSPORTER RECONNECTED WITH THE THINGS THAT PUT A ‘FIRE IN HER BELLY’. THE TEDX SPEAKER AND HUMAN BEHAVIOUR SPECIALIST’S EPIPHANY LED HER TO DEVELOP A THEORY AROUND THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC’S GREAT RESIGNATION AND HOW TO AVOID A REPEAT

ichelle Mills-Porter was a multiaward-winning entrepreneur. But she no longer considers herself an entrepreneur today. Her perspective changed after a natural disaster changed the course of her life forever.

During a holiday in Sri Lanka, Michelle was a victim of the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 leaving her a refugee far from home. In the face of adversity, it wasn’t her clients, sales figures, or whether her 14 staff were hitting targets that came to mind. What flashed before her was her family, friends, and way of life.

“Sometimes it takes a life-changing experience to recalibrate our core values, and correct our trajectory in life,” said Michelle. “Or at least remind us what is most important to us.”

Before the natural disaster, Michelle ran a marketing company and was the youngest in the UK to gain the Investors in People workplace accreditation. Already a specialist in non-visual and non-verbal communication, her learnings from the tsunami have helped her shed light on The Great Resignation that saw many workers quit their jobs after realising they weren’t happy in them during the coronavirus pandemic, the key to engagement at work and the idea that businesses ask their employees the wrong questions about their values.

– was recently invited to speak at the East Midlands Real Entrepreneurs’ Club dinner on June 8 where she shared her lessons from the tsunami and inspired the room of entrepreneurs.

It’s now almost 20 years since Michelle learned the lessons that would form her new purpose in life. She shared them at the Real Entrepreneurs’ Club dinner:

1. Everyone has a gift of equal value to bring to the party. As a refugee, Michelle found herself in a beautiful micro-community that had no politics, no hierarchy and no competition.

2. When we bring those gifts together and collaborate, we can create something greater

3. We are all driven by an unseen force… and this is our true motivation.

After closing her marketing business in 2005, she concentrated on her recovery, whilst rehoming her 14 staff, and even helping some to break into their dream careers. During her trauma, while injured and ill, she immersed herself in the study of behaviour (whilst also launching the Hikkaduwa Village Fund with her friends and raising £100k in just six months). She worked on learning all she could about human behaviour, communication, and our motivations.

With multiple links in the Leicestershire business community, Michelle – a TEDx speaker

When the pandemic hit in 2020, she felt a sense that there was a connection to what she had previously been through in the natural disaster and what others would be going through then – some for the first time.

FEATURE 12 |
M

“When the world stops for you, you have time to breathe; to get off the hamster wheel and remember what’s important to you.” This is the base of Michelle’s theory around what was behind The Great Resignation. “Many people wanted an improved work-life balance, and to be fulfilled by things most important to them.”

Along with some of her chosen Practitioners, Michelle launched a campaign called MMPower 100. They selected 100 people who had lost their job, their way, or their mojo, and delivered their core values and behaviour profiles free of charge. They wanted to empower those who needed it most, helping them navigate the recalibration in their personal values and to reconnect with the things that “put a fire in their belly”.

Michelle and her practitioners now work with organisations large and small, using a suite of illuminating analysis tools that capture our values and behaviours, allowing people to better understand themselves and each other, whilst also increasing performance, engagement, and

success for the company. The three main tools are:

Essence

The Core Driving Forces analysis reveals our personal core values, what puts fire in our bellies and what we need to find fulfilment in life. It also identifies the things that will cause us stress with a counteracting motivation to apply.

Clarity

The behaviour profile identifies our most prominent qualities, how others perceive us and therefore, how we can build rapport with others. This profile is balanced perfectly so that every person gets their chance to shine.

The People Reader Covert Tool

An analysis that covertly allows you to answer questions about someone whom you want to build rapport with, or may be having issues with. It produces a report on the things you can do to build rapport and diffuse situations.

When the world stops for you, you have time to breathe; to get off the hamster wheel and remember what’s important to you
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How can these lessons shed light on The Great Resignation?

Michelle believes that when the recalibration of our personal values met with an environment that wouldn’t permit the required level of change for fulfilment, that led to people leaving their positions in droves. “The companies I work with that are people-passionate and have elbow room for their development have fared much better than those with a tighter structure.”

What is the key to engagement at work?

Michelle says that she has evidence to prove that when a business leader allows each person’s personal values to be fulfilled, that person is happier, more engaged, and more committed.

Why are we asking the wrong questions about values?

“When we ‘hire on values’, we often impose our company values onto our teams. These are the things we aspire to, not our personal values. They are what we want to be, our mission, and our vision. Not what we are.”

Michelle’s work suggests that people’s personal values are moulded in their formative years, and therefore shaped by their culture, background, upbringing, caregivers, and experiences.

“There is no right or wrong in terms of our values, just differences of perspective. If we are to say we are ‘inclusive’ and then to deny one’s personal values from being realised, we are not being inclusive at all.”

She says the result of her work regularly sees a significant upturn in productivity, engagement and performance, so the boxes are ticked across the board for her clients. The unexpected benefit is the reports that people ‘have never been happier’ and ‘it’s just a nicer place to work.’ This should not go unrecognised as a positive outcome.

No longer considering herself an entrepreneur, Michelle now works as an external Head of People, Executive Coach, and workshop leader. She runs workshops including The Astonishing Benefits of Working with the Neurodiverse; Sky High performance; and People Reading.

“It’s difficult to pin down what I am now. A conduit in service to others, a people reader; I guess it fits perfectly with my own neurodiversity diagnosis.”

Michelle is offering business leaders in Niche’s network a free Essence Core Driving Forces analysis for one member of staff of the leadership team in any company. Contact Michelle on mmp@mmp.uk.com to express your interest.

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FEATURE
When we ‘hire on values’, we often impose our company values onto our teams. These are the things we aspire to, not our personal values

HOW

DOES

INVESTMENT IN PEOPLE IMPACT BUSINESS GROWTH?

AND WHAT WOULD YOU PRIORITISE IN RELATION TO PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?

TOM BATES

Investing in people, through training, development and empowerment programs, has a massively positive impact on business growth. By increasing employee satisfaction and motivation, it can lead to higher productivity and better performance all round creating a powerful culture. This not only increases profit margins, it can enhance customer satisfaction through a better service delivery whilst reducing staff turnover and therefore lower recruitment costs.

In terms of personal development, I feel it is important to prioritise the following areas:

■ Technical/Professional Skills - to remain relevant in one’s field and increase job performance.

■ Communication Skills - to enhance relationships and collaboration with colleagues.

■ Leadership Skills - to take on more responsibility and drive business growth.

■ Emotional Intelligence - to improve decision-making and relationships with others.

■ Adaptability/Agility - to effectively navigate changes and uncertainty in the business environment.

Investing in employee development and well-being can lead to a more engaged, productive, and loyal workforce, which will contribute to the long-term success of a business.

The best thing that any business leader wanting to grow their business could do, is to invest in their team. Most, if not all businesses have competitors who do roughly the same thing, and what differentiates you from those competitors is your people, what they do and how they behave. So developing employees to be the very best they can be will only serve to improve the performance of your business and put you on the path of sustained success. If you think about the companies that you’re loyal to, it’s those who have great staff who know their stuff, treat you well and build ongoing relationships with you. It’s not rocket science, just the way the world works!

It has another great benefit too, and that’s the positive impact it has on employee engagement and retention rates. Staff who feel valued and who are given the opportunity to grow with the company are much less likely to look elsewhere for work. So you retain skills and experience which allows you to focus on growing the business rather than needing to constantly replace people.

Where to start? With the management team. This is the group who can have the most impact, both positive and negative, but who are often promoted into a management role by virtue of their success in their technical role, without any management training being provided. They can be the glue that keeps everything together, so get that part right and the rest will soon follow.

| 15 WE ASKED BUSINESS INFLUENCERS FROM THE EAST MIDLANDS...
OPINION

RUNNING TOWARDS A LIFE FULL OF COLOUR

AS FAMILY AND DIVORCE LAWYER DOCTOR GLYNIS WRIGHT MBE EMBARKS ON THE NEXT STEP IN HER CAREER, I – ALONG WITH THE EAST MIDLANDS BUSINESS COMMUNITY – AM KEEN TO FIND OUT WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE. I CAUGHT UP WITH GLYNIS FOR THE EXCLUSIVE ON WHAT’S NEXT FOR LEICESTER’S REVERED LAWYER

When I tell Glynis Wright I have heard rumours of exciting changes in her career, I also mention that she doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. She agrees: “I know it’s common for business owners who have sold their businesses to consider early retirement, but I have no intention of that Emily. I am onto my next exciting chapter. Life is about personal growth, and I am still riding that roller coaster!”

I am not surprised. I know this already because I have been interviewing Glynis over the last decade of her career. But even those who only know Glynis a little will sense immediately that she is always on a fast forward trajectory to someplace special. Her working life is inextricably linked to her strong intellectual and creative drivers, and she is certainly not the type to allow anyone to fence her in with stereotypes of any kind.

Glynis has never been one for doing things to a conventional timeline. Having entered the world of law at the age of 40 she then set up the wildly successful multi-award-winning family law firm Glynis Wright & Co at the age of 48 with no previous business knowledge.

Ten years later, she’d successfully brokered the sale of Glynis Wright & Co to Nelsons LLP –a prestigious £20m East Midlands law firm. In doing so, one of the strongest and most successful family law divisions in the region was created.

During this time, she was also elected as President of the Leicestershire Law Society and served from July 2019 to September 2020 holding some of the most glittering, successful events the Law Society has seen and raising significant sums for charity.

She sold her shares to Nelsons on December 2, 2020 and on the same day, she received an email from the Cabinet Office informing her that she had been awarded an MBE for Female Entrepreneurship in the

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Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

As a journalist who has followed her career over the years, it honestly feels like I have watched her not only fly but soar within the local legal and business communities and beyond. To those who have met her, whether at a business event or in the courtroom, Glynis is anything but beige – surely the colour of retirement if there was one?

When I make this comment to her, she exclaims: “I love that Emily, I have always hated beige. Who wants to blend into the wallpaper?”

Glynis’ approach to business is a combination of gut instinct with cool strategy. Both have played their equal part in the commercial decisions that Glynis has made and crucially, there has never been a hint of the dull.

I asked Glynis about her main motivators. “It’s never purely about profit, that’s not the main show. It’s about having the ability to self-determine, to draw on your own personal vision of what might be possible and then to make it happen. It’s intoxicating!”

I wonder if that intoxication is what has led Glynis to make yet another strategic move, this time from her position as an equity partner at Nelsons LLP to setting up a company specialising in business development consultancy, GW Growth Consultancy Ltd.

“When I sold my shares to Nelsons at the height of Glynis Wright & Co’s success, people were really surprised and were asking why I’d sold. But the best time to sell is when you are successful. Too many make the mistake of planning their exit strategies way too late in their company evolution,” she advises.

“Now people are saying the same thing again. They’re surprised that I’m leaving Nelsons to run a business development consultancy. But, in addition to lawyering, my passion over the last 10 years of my life has been bound up in growing, developing and selling a very profitable company and then overseeing its successful integration into its final parent company.

“I am so proud of how my former team have performed since their integration at Nelsons.

Over the two years since the acquisition, the team brought in fees of £2.3m under my leadership, which was more than 25% of the total turnover of the Leicester Nelsons office. That is a phenomenal achievement in business, and the skills I have honed over the last decade are entirely transferable to other sectors.”

I admit to Glynis that I too was surprised. Glynis is family law to me, and I suspect to many others too.

“I understand that and it’s such a wonderful compliment,” says Glynis. “But many also know me

as a successful businesswoman whose product and service was law, which is a different way of looking at things. So, tapping into my proven experience and skills in businessdevelopment f or the benefit of the professional and legal sector will be a perfectly natural transition.”

In my mind, I liken Glynis to a prism who radiates all of the colours of the spectrum whichever way you turn it. She has always run towards life, not away from it. I ask her how she ever switches off. She laughs: “My former team would say that doesn’t really apply to me. I like to feel stimulated, excited and driven and that doesn’t feel like running on a treadmill. If I start feeling like that, I get off the treadmill and change direction!”

I perceive that Glynis’ working life must have a dynamic, ever-changing slant, one that keeps her motivated. “I demand stimulation from my working life. If I don’t have that, or if I feel I am unable to create or self-determine, I know it’s time to think again.

“It’s not boredom, it’s a desire to experience more and to find new ways of doing things. As my favourite poet John Donne said, “It is an astonishment to be alive, and it behoves you to be astonished.”

And there is more exciting news that Glynis shared, “In July I was admitted as a Freeman of the Company of Entrepreneurs in London at their election banquet at the Merchant Taylors Hall in London. Their motto is ‘Dare, Create, Succeed’ which I absolutely align to as a person along with their charitable intentions which includes helping those from more difficult backgrounds to consider entrepreneurship.”

Glynis then went on to tell me her other exciting news which is that she is being awarded the huge honour of an Honorary Doctorate in Law by the University of Leicester at a graduation ceremony on July 20 after which she will be known as Doctor Glynis Wright MBE.

“I am more proud than I can say. The University of Leicester has such a special place for me in my heart being the first university I attended. I remember such happy times studying there. It was the reason why I chose to remain living in Leicester and made it my home. To return to the university again to become an Honorand is wonderful!”

Glynis is nothing short of a tour de force and her enthusiasm and passion for life and all things business is infectious.

I leave our coffee catch-up feeling that so much is possible. Call it inspirational, or call it real connection, I simply call it the Glynis effect – and it’s anything but beige.

Words by Emily Miller

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Tapping into my proven experience and skills in business development for the benefit of the professional and legal sector will be a perfectly natural transition

TOP TEN TIPS

FOR EVERY ENTREPRENEUR

IT CAN BE LONELY AT THE TOP. NO MATTER WHAT SIZED BUSINESS YOU RUN, YOU’RE OFTEN EXPECTED TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS, BUT WHERE DO YOU GO FOR INSPIRATION, SUPPORT AND MOTIVATION? GIGABIT NETWORKS TEAMED UP WITH DR ALEX MORGAN AND AMANDA DALY OF THE INSIGHT CENTRE TO PROVIDE TIPS TO HELP EVERY ENTREPRENEUR

1THE URGENCY MATRIX

When dealing with high stakes decisions as a US Army General, President Eisenhower designed a tool to help him prioritise tasks called the Urgency Importance Matrix (illustrated below). The idea being that anything in the top left box should be dealt with immediately. Anything in the top right box should be delegated to someone else to do. Anything in the bottom right box can be diarised to deal with another day. Anything in the bottom right box can be ignored. Every task on your to-do list will fit into one of these boxes – keep disciplined and keep focused.

URGENT AND IMPORTANT

IMPORTANT BUT NOT URGENT

2 EMPATHY

people want and need and be observant of team dynamics. This will enhance your empathy for others – the foundation of relationship building.

3 GRATITUDE

Gratitude has been shown to improve mental health, benefitting both the sender and receiver. This might be a quick text, a note left on a desk, or even a card. A thank you goes a long way. Consider also keeping a gratitude diary of the things you’ve been grateful for each day.

4 BELIEF IN YOURSELF

URGENT BUT NOT IMPORTANT

NOT URGENT AND NOT IMPORTANT

Entrepreneurs are intuitive by nature, ready to spot opportunities and get things done. But as your business grows, you become more reliant on the goodwill of others, so you’ll need to redeploy your intuition as people skills. Identify what

Many entrepreneurs suffer from imposter syndrome – potentially creating feelings of guilt, this is the idea that your own success is undeserved or fraudulent. But this is rarely the case. Get feedback from your team. Fix things that need fixing but pay close attention to any positive feedback you receive. Put positive comments from clients or staff where you can see them, such as on a notice board. Make a visible reminder that you’re doing really well!

5 COMMUNICATE YOUR VISION

Craft a clear, compelling, positive and exciting vision for your business, and share your ideas with your team. Not only does this connect your energy towards completing your goals and believe it will happen, but it also brings together all the people who are invested in helping. Don’t keep your vision a secret!

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Many entrepreneurs suffer from imposter syndrome –potentially creating feelings of guilt

6 PLAN YOUR WAY TO GROWTH

Strategy and goal setting is provably important. Statistics show that entrepreneurs who set goals tend to have greater success and wealth share. These goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Realistic, Achievable and Timely), keeping your focus on necessary and important work rather than drifting. You can aid this by breaking these goals down into fiveyear, three-year, 90-day, and weekly targets. Time wasting is not an option: Brian Tracey’s book Eat the Frog says “do the big and most important jobs first, then the rest will be easy.”

7 BUILD TRUST AND DELEGATE MORE

If all your business bottle necks with you, then you may be holding on to more tasks than you should. Perfectionism or even trust issues prevent us from redistributing work. As a leader, delegation is part of the job. If you don’t assign tasks or outsource work, you run the risk of maintaining the ‘hamster wheel’ – an unending cycle of work and stress. Play to your strengths and find team members to bridge the gaps, leaving you free to maximise your own genius. If you can’t trust your team to do this, do you have the right personnel?

8 CREATE A TEAM THAT IS CAPABLE OF GROWING TO THE POINT OF SUCCEEDING YOU

A good leader knows to employ staff that are more skilled and talented than themselves. Don’t let success hinge on the drive, talent and availability of one person. What would happen if they were unable to work or left the business? Succession planning is a key element of success, but many owners don’t prepare an exit strategy. Studies show younger generations are more likely to leave a company if they’re not happy with the working environment. Succession and a pathway for advancement is a motivator for loyal and skilled staff to stay.

9 CREATE FINANCIAL HEALTH AND WEALTH

What do you need to earn to give yourself financial freedom? At what point are you taking more from the company than you need to, which could go towards paying your employees more or improving other aspects of the business? Knowing the number that would make you comfortable helps to create a goal for you to aim for. Planning for financial freedom early allows you to do what you want without worrying about the bank account. A good Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) will help define what monthly figure is needed. It’s often compound interest that will do the heavy lifting in the creation of wealth.

10 INVEST IN THE RIGHT INFRASTRUCTURE FOR SUCCESS

Despite more than half of employers wanting staff back in the office five days a week, this is far removed from what staff are willing to do and accept in 2023, with a quarter of the workforce favouring two to three days a week at home. Hybrid working is here to stay, and as an employer, your success demands you invest in your infrastructure to enable productivity to be maintained – or bettered – whether this be through high-speed internet, providing hardware, or establishing systems and processes that enable flexible working.

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Perfectionism or even trust issues prevent us from redistributing work. As a leader, delegation is part of the job
AMANDA DALY AND DR ALEX MORGAN

UNIVERSITY OF DERBY: YOUR PARTNER IN BUSINESS

The University of Derby (UoD) is not just an educational institution – as an applied university, its staff all have real-world, industry experience, and as such are excellent problem-solvers, knowledgecreators, collaborators and innovators.

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

UoD’s 16 research centres are well staffed, with over 500 researchers, each with access to specialist equipment.

Research, innovation and development allow business to explore new possibilities, test new ideas, and develop new products and processes that give you a competitive edge. But not every business can afford to do this in house, and that’s where the university comes in.

There is also funding on offer that makes R&D more affordable. Their Knowledge Transfer Partnership is one such example.

“The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships have been invaluable in ensuring Bloc stays at the forefront of the market,” says Keith Cox, Director of Immersive at technology firm, Bloc Digital. “The projects have significantly improved our productivity and our ability to meet our customers’ needs and the demands of the market in general.”

TALENT AND RECRUITMENT

Every business can benefit from an injection of new ideas and fresh perspective – but if they can come with relevant industry experience from student and graduate talent, you’re also able to build for the future.

The university’s focus on applied learning means that students will have completed practical projects, case studies, and work placements, and have already used their knowledge to solve real business issues and problems.

done. Secondly, we’ve got ideas and insights into that particular generation, and thirdly, it’s been a source of talent with one or two folks we’ve actually liked so much we’ve taken them on board permanently.”

Whether you need short-term support, parttime or casual employees, or are looking to fill graduate level vacancies, the university could be your first port of call.

FUNDING

Through its involvement with several funding programmes, the university is also in the position of being able to offer support packages to businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. These are predominantly designed to support SMEs in the region who want to innovate, grow, de-carbonise or upskill. The current list of programmes that funding is provided for includes:

■ Enscite – online workshops for the automotive, aerospace and rail sectors, plus their supply chains; aimed to drive productivity, efficiency and growth.

■ Help to Grow: Management – a 12-week programme supporting senior leaders to boost their business’ performance, resilience, and longterm growth. It’s 90% funded by the government.

■ SAIL (Smart And Inclusive Leadership) – aimed at supervisors, managers and aspiring leaders, teaching them to identify their unique leadership skills, and build resilience in themselves and others.

■ Invest to Grow – Grants and loans of £15k-250k for businesses of any size within the East Midlands to use for innovation, growth, and job creation.

“Working with University of Derby interns has helped us in a number of ways,” says Richard Beevers, Director of customer experience consultancy, Customer Plus. “First of all, we’ve got projects done that I don’t think we would have

■ Productivity through Innovation – Business consultancy aiming to provide innovative solutions to business issues, with free access to research and experts, and funding for internships, graduate placements or permanent graduate roles.

■ Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) – Fixedterm R&D partnerships between your business,

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WHETHER YOU’RE A NEW STARTUP OR A VETERAN ENTREPRENEUR, ONE OF THE BIG CHALLENGES IS FINDING RELIABLE SUPPORT FOR YOUR BUSINESS. WHEN IT COMES TO THE EAST MIDLANDS, UNIVERSITY OF DERBY HAS A RANGE OF SERVICES THAT MAY BENEFIT YOU

the university, and a recent graduate, part-funded by a government grant.

■ Sustainability grants – consultancy, technical support and funding for businesses wanting to reduce carbon emissions and increase sustainability.

■ Green Entrepreneurs Programme – A £2m grant fund – in partnership with Derbyshire County Council – for businesses outside of Derby city who are interested in developing and investing in green energy and carbon reduction schemes.

■ Free accounting advice – a student-led accounting clinic, providing free accounting and finance support, tailored to the specific requirements of the business. It’s overseen by the university’s accounting and finance experts. Find more information at derby.ac.uk/forbusiness.

These programmes can make a real difference in the success of local businesses. “It is clear that the funding from Invest to Grow provided us with the capability to significantly increase the scale of our activity,” said Dr Chris Horne, Chief Technology Officer at eco-smart technology company, myenergi. “Prior to the Invest to Grow project our annual turnover was around £600k; last year it was £3.5m.”

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

A comprehensive portfolio of training and development programmes will help your business to close skills gaps, raise standards and improve employee retention, productivity and quality. Through the university, you can be assured of high-quality learning that’s relevant to your industry, cost-effective, and compatible with your schedule.

“The time I took out each week was invaluable,” said Gurd Sohal of Aspen House Residential Care Home, who took one of the university’s leadership programmes. “It allowed me to step back and focus on the direction of the business moving forwards, including my vision for the future. I’ve found the whole experience

to be really rewarding and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the programme to other business leaders.”

The portfolio includes workshops and development programmes, short courses and CPD (continuing professional development), practical higher and degree apprenticeships, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, professionally approved accountancy courses, and bespoke work-based learning solutions.

FACILITIES AND NETWORKS

The university has a range of spaces, experts and equipment available for your business to make use of, whether that be affordable incubation units for startups, or a game-changing piece of machinery.

There’s a huge range of specialist technology available to be shared with the local community, including the Rail Research and Innovation Centre, iLabs (which has equipment for manufacturing, prototyping, virtual reality and data visualisation), the sports science Human Performance Unit, and a Scanning Electron Microscope, which can be used by a range of sciences.

There’s also several thriving, entrepreneurial environments where businesses can collaborate with others. These range from business lounges to studio spaces, to The Innovation Centre in Chesterfield or Enterprise Centre in Derby.

Working with University of Derby interns has helped us in a number of ways...
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First of all, we’ve got projects done that I don’t think we would have done

HOW DOES INVESTING IN PEOPLE REALLY IMPACT BUSINESS GROWTH?

EMPLOYMENT AGENCY ER RECRUITMENT SHARES HOW BUSINESSES ARE RE-EVALUATING THEIR PRACTICES FOR ATTRACTING AND RETAINING TALENT, AND WHY THEY’RE FOCUSING ON PEOPLE INVESTMENT FIRST

Business leaders are having to look at their people strategies in order to attract and – more importantly – retain top talent to aid the continued growth of their firms. Despite this, the numbers from workplace accreditation company, Investors In People, are stark.

■ 85% of employees aren’t engaged at work

■ 73% would think about leaving if the right opportunity came along

■ 1 in 3 staff members are bored

If you are an employer with a business that needs to run productively (and therefore profitably), then these stats matter. Raising productivity enables people to get what they want faster, or get more in the same amount of time. It can be achieved in business through investment in technology, increased automation, and other mechanisms. But it can also be achieved by building and maintaining a workforce that is engaged and committed to growing the organisation that pays everyone’s wages.

Productivity has been a fundamental challenge for the UK economy for some years now. ONS data shows the UK lags behind the US, France and Germany. It’s clear why the UK Government is interested in how productive our businesses are: it has a huge impact in determining the nation’s standard of living.

The CIPD has identified investing in people management as one method of boosting business

productivity through those workers. A key question though is: how can organisations that have recruited new talent, keep them focussed on the delivery of the task in hand – growing the business to the benefit of all?

HIRE LEADERS WHO VALUE STRONG CULTURE

Successful leaders are there to set the strategic direction of a business. To deliver against its targets and achieve organisational outcomes. But they are also there as a cultural barometer of their organisation, setting standards and creating environments in which the business’s people can thrive.

The best leaders understand that organisational success lies with the people within. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, for example, said: “Building a very strong company and a very strong foundation of talent and culture in a company is essential to making great products.”

To achieve cultural strength, employees need to trust and believe their leaders can see the big picture and want to move them towards that goal.

RECOGNISE PEOPLE AS AN ESSENTIAL ASSET

Many businesses will possess good leaders and a strong and distinctive organisation culture. Team members – as human beings – still need to feel supported as individuals and recognised for their own contribution.

Many studies have shown that recipients of any reward perceived as genuine reciprocate with

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the intention to work harder for their organisation. Recruits and apprentices bring new ideas, skills and creativity to the workplace, while your veteran team members hold invaluable knowledge and experience that cannot be replaced.

Ways to harness this is of course through salary, bonus, and benefits. But so are organisational processes which establish processes that ensure fairness. To enable everyone to know what they need to do in order to progress. And to celebrate their contribution when they do. For example, studies have shown that investing in upskilling employees leads to higher engagement levels from staff, resulting in improved morale and output performance. Your employees will be evermore confident and motivated in doing their jobs, driving forward towards better outcomes.

What’s more, training has been linked to improving retention rate among staff, creating a cycle of improved engagement levels and positive working environment. Some employers feel that uptraining employees poses a risk that they may move on to other companies. Despite this, they will add value to the organisation before they do so – and if the culture is right, it will be less enticing to leave.

RECOGNITION AND REWARDS ARE IMPORTANT

The relationship between a well-structured salary and bonus system, and productivity in both individuals and teams is clear. People will still look at the salary before the holiday entitlement. Yet lifestyle benefits such as flexible work hours, additional days of holiday, or remote work opportunities can all go a long way towards demonstrating recognition and encouraging retention.

Additionally, investing in tangible rewards for people, such as paid parking or complimentary tickets to a sporting event, can help make a job harder to leave. Taking the time to reward employees’ efforts helps foster job satisfaction, boosts motivation, and increases productivity. But salary and bonus are not the only forms of recognition – and not always the most effective either. Research shows that financial gain is more effective for work that is measured quantitatively. Yet much of what is required of modern workforces is qualitative: in creative work, for example.

In some sectors, employees are motivated by work they consider to be aligned with their own identity. If you can find these people – and they align with your organisational culture – then work becomes about values, rather than transactional. It may be a genuine ‘thank you’ is all that is asked for.

COMMUNICATION IS ESSENTIAL FOR A HEALTHY WORKPLACE CULTURE

Developing effective communication channels is key to building workplace culture, sharing messages, and stimulating growth. Comms empower your people to not just understand what they are doing and why (thereby increasing productivity) but also enable workers to identify new opportunities on your behalf.

Effective communications avert conflict and optimise outcomes. People in modern workplaces expect to be able to speak their minds and express their concerns. This must work across physical locations and other barriers.

Reducing friction everywhere maximises output. The same is undoubtedly true of internal comms. What’s more, it doesn’t need to be expensive. It costs next to nothing to formulate a policy. Meanwhile, there are multiple digital tools which can be used at little or no cost to send out: newsletters highlighting successes, staff surveys building two-way dialogue and team-building events to boost camaraderie.

Finally, what may be a small part of a leader’s daily diary will be a large focal point in the week of the team member. Giving people allocated time for 1-1 conversations and regular appraisals to listen to what they have to say and to feed back to them will reinforce your appreciation of them. Invest in time to listen and reflect on those who are doing the job – they are your core asset, and they will help your business grow.

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It’s clear why the UK Government is interested in how productive our businesses are: it has a huge impact in determining the nation’s standard of living
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HOW DOES INVESTMENT IN PEOPLE IMPACT BUSINESS GROWTH?

AND

WHAT WOULD YOU PRIORITISE IN RELATION TO PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?

DAVID PEARSON

We all know that our people are what makes a business tick and grow. As important as this is, I believe that you also need to enjoy what you do at work and the only way that you can do this is by interacting with other people. AI might be very clever these days, but you still can’t have a bit of banter, or even share a smile with your computer. People are so important in everything we do.

Investment in people doesn’t have to be purely financial – other benefits packages, days off for community work, or giving staff their birthday off all add to the overall investment in a member of staff. But those simple things that we all know about, and probably don’t practice as much as we should, like saying thank you or well done are vital.

It is important for every individual to have some sound personal values and to put them into practice. For me, the most important value in business is to have integrity. No matter how funny or interesting you might be, if you don’t operate with integrity in your daily life then you will get found out very quickly.

Enjoy what you do at work – remember those old words “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” (Confucius).

PHIL HOULDER

Phil

Investment in people is key, as a business owner you can try to do everything yourself but

1 You’ll never be able to do it all, you’ll go mad or have a heart attack

2 You’ll never be as good as the people passionate about their role

Glenfield Electrical had grown steadily year on year but it’s only when I truly trusted and empowered our team and especially the management team that our growth really took off.

Lots of formal training for your team is good whether it’s awaydays or courses but the most powerful thing for personal development in our experience is being clear with your expectations.

If you want an employee to develop a certain skill, whether it’s a critical hard skill or a softer one, you have to be crystal clear on your expectations and exactly what you want from them, Set out where they are now, where you want them to be, give them examples, give them the training and the trust they need to get there.

We realised we wanted our Contracts Managers to comprehensively develop their sales skills. It wasn’t something on their radar and that was entirely our fault - we hadn’t been clear that this was an area we wanted to improve on, it wasn’t going to happen by magic.

We gave them formal training, internal training through a workshop and started setting clearer targets which has helped push us on even further.

24 | WE ASKED BUSINESS INFLUENCERS FROM THE EAST MIDLANDS...
OPINION

MENTAL RESILIENCE: THE ROAD TO COMPANY HAPPINESS

FOR A QUARTER OF A CENTURY, MARC ROWLEY HAS CHAMPIONED THE IMPORTANCE OF COACHING MENTAL RESILIENCE IN THE WORKPLACE. NOW, THROUGH HIS CONSULTANCY, H.I.T. LEADERSHIP, COMPANIES ARE PUTTING HIS ADVICE INTO PRACTICE AND SEEING THE BENEFITS TAKE HOLD

I’ve been leading people the correct way for 25 years, using psychology and an understanding of human nature,” says Marc Rowley, a long-time advocate for the benefits of mental resilience coaching, who’s been encouraging business owners to understand its value. “That’s probably why I’ve been made redundant five or six times, as large corporate organisations don’t like to hear that!

One of the biggest responsibilities for any business owner is keeping their workforce engaged. Everyone has life stuff that can get in the way of their duties, but equipping employees with the tools to overcome such challenges can not only benefit them, but the business as well.

“People are starting to realise why it’s important, and many companies are engaging more with HR, seeing that if they work with empathy and humility, they can get the best out of people.”

Marc founded H.I.T. (Honesty, Integrity, and Transparency) Leadership to bring his knowledge and training to as many business leaders as possible. Aside from his years of corporate

experience, he’s also a qualified councillor, an exprofessional boxer, and the creator of a practical self-defence course. He wears many hats, but it all points towards the same conclusion: mental resiliency is vital.

“It’s about reprogramming your brain to ignore the ‘chimp’ voice. The voice that tells you you’re awful, a failure or that no-one likes you –that’s your ‘chimp’, and it’s usually wrong. Once you can ignore that, if you encounter a setback, you can avoid going into crisis mode, and look for opportunities.”

Marc recently had an illness that left him in a wheelchair for a period of time. Rather than listen to the chimp that was telling him to give up, he looked for the opportunities that could arise from his situation.

“I’m big on strength training to look after my heart and body, but I couldn’t go to the gym, so I took the opportunity to look after my mind instead. I did research I’d not previously had time for, and took a few courses.”

Just because you can’t do something, doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. Life’s obstacles

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People are starting to realise why it’s important, and many companies are engaging more with HR

can often get in the way of your happiness, and that mindset can become all consuming. It’s important for employers to understand how to avoid this.

“It’s a known fact that a happier workforce is more productive. A happier workforce is more creative. A happier workforce is more engaged and will want to be part of the company’s journey.

“A lot of jobs have pressures like financial targets, deadlines, or angry customers. Mental resiliency can teach us to understand that these are not the most important elements of life. If you

carry these burdens home with you, the stress can cause friction in your relationship, your children learn from those behaviours, and the cycle repeats into society.

“Reducing stress is so important. After 10 minutes of living in stress, it reduces your cognitive capability – your ability to think – by 50 per cent. It leaves you with brain fog or memory problems. Stress produces cortisol in the brain, which can affect your white blood cells and reduce your immune system. This is actually carcinogenic so has the possibility of causing cancer; it won’t happen to everybody, but the possibility is there.”

These are all symptoms that businesses should want to eradicate from their workforce. Regular overtime, taking work home, deadline anxiety, work overload, and client rudeness all cause more stress than they’re worth. Yet employees often wear it as a badge of honour.

“How often have you heard, ‘oh, I’m so stressed at work; I’ve had so much to do, I did three hours at home last night.’ Is that good? If you’re doing unpaid overtime, the company won’t know you’ve done that and the work has been done, so they think everything’s fine, and nothing changes.”

Marc’s Three Top Tips for Business Owners

RECOGNITION – Understand that your employees will get stressed and have a plan in place to combat this. A phone number they can call is a good first step, but it’s a sticking plaster and doesn’t address the systemic problem. Mental resiliency training can help to address this.

MENTAL HEALTH CHAMPIONS – A real difference can be made by having someone within your organisation who can recognise when people are struggling and who has the training to help them.

MEDITATION – This can take many forms. It could be anything from repeating a mantra that resonates with you over and over, to conscious breathing (breathing in for four seconds, holding it for five seconds, and breathing out for six seconds). It’s about taking time to focus on yourself and not letting the pressures of the world overwhelm you.

Entrepreneurs often place a huge amount of stress upon themselves. When you set up a business, it’s your baby, your vision. You know what it should look like and how you want it to run, but that creates a tendency to try and do everything yourself; the weight of which produces stress. If you can trust other people to help you, it will reduce this pressure.

“Understanding that you’re not good at everything, and other people can help you, is its own form of mental resilience. Trying to control everything and do it all yourself comes from a place of ego. But just because you think your way is better, doesn’t mean it is. And just because you’ve spent a lot of time on something doesn’t mean you’ve done it right.

“It’s known as ‘Sunk Cost Fallacy’. You’ll keep going with something that’s failing because you’ve invested so much time/money into it that it feels foolish to give up – even though the smart choice would be to stop and change course. It takes a mental strength to recognise that.

“It’s the same in leadership: ‘I’ve been leading my business for 20 years.’ Yeah, but has that been any good? Having experience doesn’t mean it was good experience. And now there’s LinkedIn and Glassdoor, so if your company isn’t a good place to work, potential employees will know that and you’ll struggle to recruit.”

A mentally resilient, happy, supported workforce creates the environment that will help a business to thrive. There’s more on mental resiliency training at hitleadership.co.uk, where you can also learn more about Marc.

It’s a known fact that a happier workforce is more productive.
A happier workforce is more creative. A happier workforce is more engaged
FEATURE 26 |

Want to grow your business?

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We will enable you to keep your business running and free your time up to allow you to focus on your business.

We can help you with the key financials of your operation, advising on how a growth plan could be funded and how it could affect the long-term financial position of your company.

We are more than just a number cruncher.

At AIMS we are here to help your business succeed with professional advice as you need it.

Accounting & Bookkeeping Tax Advice & Planning Business Support Compliance & Regulation Contact Imran Sattar today: 0116 215 4700 | 07516 029344 | imran.sattar@aims.co.uk | aims.co.uk

HOW DOES INVESTMENT IN PEOPLE IMPACT BUSINESS GROWTH? AND WHAT WOULD YOU PRIORITISE IN RELATION TO PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?

Investment in people should be viewed as essential to business growth. Prioritising individual progression and showing how much your employees are valued is a great tool for establishing a positive workplace culture, which in turn brings a wealth of benefits including employee retention and more effective recruitment.

Personal development is invaluable to achieve the ideal balance between improved technical expertise alongside softer skills, such as management, business development or networking. These attributes also boost business culture, helping people to feel confident in all areas of their work and giving them the drive and enthusiasm to progress. Businesses investing in employee development should also, if possible, allow people to pursue specific interests or passions they may have, again strengthening loyalty and encouraging a broader skill set.

While it may seem as though investment should be solely focused on business deals or assets, success cannot happen without the solid foundation of well-supported teams.

An upskilled, more confident workforce, collaborating in a positive and supportive culture will ultimately lead to business growth in all areas.

Having a robust and balanced employee value proposition is a critical element of any businesses people strategy. It ensures the best people are retained and attracted, which in turn reduces turnover and training costs, and promotes colleague and client satisfaction.

Investing in people will promote a culture of learning and innovation, improve productivity, and promote a positive company culture. All great elements for a positive employer brand. Investing in management and leadership development will help to get the best from the company’s decision-makers, which is key for driving growth and leading the business through challenging times.

In turn, leaders who are at their best will help their team to thrive and be at their best. A decent performance plan should include at least one personal development objective to help that person not only grow and develop to deliver their current performance objectives, but to enable them to develop for their future career choices.

My own current development focus is to refresh my learning of a highly effective results-based thinking framework so I can help my clients achieve better results for their business, whilst being the right kind of HR partner and coach to lead their people strategy.

28 | WE ASKED BUSINESS INFLUENCERS FROM THE EAST MIDLANDS...
OPINION
WHEN ONLY THE BEST WILL DO sanjayfoods.com | 0800 234 6685 | sanjayfoods MULTIWINNINGAWARDCATERINGEVENTAND MANAGEMENT

THE DIFFICULT YET ESSENTIAL CONVERSATION

THERE ARE CONVERSATIONS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO HAVE BUT ARE ESSENTIAL FOR ANY ENTREPRENEUR. ONE OF THEM IS THE CONVERSATION AROUND WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR SHARES IN YOUR COMPANY IN THE EVENT OF DEATH OR CRITICAL ILLNESS. HERE, I CATCH UP WITH PAUL MONK AND DARREN BRADBURY, ADVISERS AT FURNLEY HOUSE, A LEICESTER BASED FINANCIAL PLANNING SERVICES COMPANY TO DISCOVER WHY YOU SHOULD BE HAVING THE CONVERSATION FOR THE SAKE OF YOU, YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR FAMILY

WHAT IS SHAREHOLDER PROTECTION?

It’s an insurance designed to ensure the smooth transfer of ownership and management in a company if one of the shareholders or business partners experiences an unexpected event –normally a death or critical illness – that affects their ability to continue their involvement in the business. Shareholder insurance is typically structured using a cross option agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions of the share transfer and the funding mechanism.

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Words by Emily Miller PAUL MONK

WHEN WOULD THE PROTECTION PAY OUT?

The insurance policy is designed to pay out a lump sum to the deceased or critically ill shareholder’s next of kin in exchange for the shares of the business. The remaining shareholders or business partners then maintain control of the company, preventing disruption and financial difficulties. But, if premium payments aren’t maintained, the benefits of the plan will be at risk. If premium payments cease altogether, so will the benefits of the plan. The cover may be less than you need if you don’t review it regularly.

CAN YOU GIVE OUR READERS A SCENARIO?

Say me and you were in business together and had 50/50 shares of the company… if anything happens to me, my shares immediately go into my estate to go to my next of kin, which is my wife. She would now own 50% of the business. My wife has her own career separate from my business and has had no direct experience in the running of the company but all of a sudden, she owns half of it and the other shareholder doesn’t have a say in it. She could also choose to sell those shares to somebody you don’t want her to. Ultimately, it can create some serious disputes between the remaining shareholders.

TELL ME ABOUT THE ‘CROSS-OPTION AGREEMENT’?

It’s part of the binding protection that says if anything happens to me in the mentioned scenario, then the shares will still go to my wife, but the shareholder agreement will pay out to buy those shares back. It means my family doesn’t miss out in any way and the shares go back to the business. The result is no disruption to the business and its employees. From my wife’s viewpoint in the scenario of being potentially left with either 50% of a business that she knows nothing about or £500k to look after her and our children, which is she going to choose? It is actually as simple as that!

SO, WITHOUT IT THE BUSINESS AND SHAREHOLDERS ARE VULNERABLE?

In a word: yes! If you don’t have shareholder protection, the continuity of the business can be compromised, affecting profits and the wellbeing of the team. No one tells you about this and many other types of business insurances you should have! What amazes me is the number of business owners who say they didn’t know they could or should protect themselves. The reality is that shareholder protection is an essential risk management strategy. It offers financial security, stability, and peace of mind for shareholders and the whole company.

FEATURE | 31

COMPANIES IN THE EAST MIDLANDS

500 TOP 2023

CELEBRATING THE BUSINESS SUCCESS OF THE EAST MIDLANDS AS A REGION, THE EAST MIDLANDS TOP 500 COMPANIES 2023 LIST SHOWCASES A STRONG, DIVERSE RANGE OF RESILIENT FIRMS. PROFESSOR DAVID RAE OF DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY HAS COMPILED AND ANALYSED THE DATA PROVIDING AN INSIGHT INTO THE MOST INFLUENTIAL COMPANIES AND THE LARGEST INDUSTRIES OPERATING FROM THE EAST MIDLANDS

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In association with Sponsored by

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FOREWORDS

EAST MIDLANDS CHAMBER

hen we began the East Midlands Top 500 Companies back in early 2020, it created a mechanism to gauge the health of the region’s economy in a relatively stable trading environment.

innovation and creativity, which has never shone brighter than throughout this deeply troubling period to minimise the negative effects.

Since then, our businesses have faced a series of challenges at a scale never previously experienced, from forced closures due to Covid-19 lockdowns through to a stop-start economy and a cost-of-doing-business crisis that drags on today.

This fourth edition of the EM Top 500 reflects the impact of the pandemic and provides a clear picture of its lingering effects on our economy.

But it also demonstrates something we’ve always known – the East Midlands business community has tremendous resilience,

DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY

am pleased to introduce the fourth report on The East Midlands Top 500 Companies (EM Top 500) on behalf of De Montfort University. The EM Top 500 was launched in 2020 and celebrates the success of the East Midlands as a vibrant business region with continuing diversity and innovation.

While the furlough scheme helped many, the fact that the EM Top 500 workforce declined by 7.5% with a 9.3% drop in overall turnover also indicates our firms’ determination to support their people and carry on as normally as possible.

Despite the sustained challenges, we are now in a period of recovery in which businesses seek new domestic and international growth opportunities. Together, we are putting the East Midlands on the map as a Centre of Trading Excellence – a place for making things, moving them and innovating in how we do this – and in the coming years the EM Top 500’s findings will undoubtedly illustrate the fruits of their labour.

De Montfort University is proud to work with the region’s businesses, providing advice and support as well as educating future generations of business and community leaders.

The Top 500 team brings together leading researchers from the Business Schools at De Montfort, Derby and Nottingham Trent Universities. We greatly appreciate all their contributions, together with the business leadership from East Midlands Chamber, the excellent event and online coverage through ‘Business Live’ from Reach plc, and this report which is featured in ‘Real Entrepreneurs’ magazine.

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PURPOSE OF EM TOP 500

he East Midlands Top 500 Companies index (EM Top 500) aims to highlight the largest businesses based in the region, and to track the changes in the composition and performance of this group of companies. The index shows the range and strength of the leading businesses in the East Midlands, across the ‘Three Counties’ of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire areas covered by the East Midlands Chamber. These businesses are at the heart of the East Midlands’ economy and are high on the list of those most likely to drive growth and create jobs in the future. Their prosperity affects not only the workforces, supply chains and the communities around them, but ultimately everyone in the region.

The first EM Top 500 was launched in May 2020, with both the 2020 and 2021 reports published whilst the effects of the COVID19 pandemic and lockdown impacted on our lives and businesses, whilst the 2022 report was also overshadowed by uncertainty from political events and the war in Ukraine.

The fourth East Midlands Top 500 Companies 2023 again appears in a changing economic context, in which the UK economy has avoided recession and the region’s businesses continue to show resilience in responding to diverse challenges as well as emerging opportunities.

The Top 500 companies are announced on Friday, June 30, when the live breakfast event reveals the results and what they indicate for our region, both now and in the future.

The East Midlands Top 500 2023 is a partnership led by Professor David Rae and Adam Brown, at Leicester Castle Business School, De Montfort University, with valued contributions from our research analyst Manisha Iben; and from Alex Charles

(University of Derby), Dr Will Rossiter (Nottingham Trent University); East Midlands Chamber; Reach Media; and our media sponsors. This year, we said farewell to Linda Hickson and we thank her for past contributions to both the Leicestershire Top 200 and East Midlands Top 500.

For the second year, you are reading this in Real Entrepreneurs Magazine! We are delighted to work with Real Entrepreneurs Magazine and Cross Productions as a complementary media partner to Business Live. This brings the full Top 500 report to a wider readership in a high-quality printed magazine for a longer period.

Let’s do business - better!

These businesses are at the heart of the East Midlands’ economy and are high on the list of those most likely to drive growth and create jobs in the future
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HOW IS THE TOP 500 COMPILED

AND WHO IS INCLUDED?

he EM Top 500 index lists private and public limited companies with their registered offices located in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. It does not include large employers who have their registered offices elsewhere; nor does it include public organisations, mutually owned, co-operatives and Educational and Health Trusts which derive most of their income from Government.

The 2023 index uses historical data from Companies House accounts filed for the period between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. It ranks companies by their annual turnover and also includes the number of employees and the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) recorded. This is accessed via the FAME database published by Bureau van Dijk. The approach builds on and integrates the ‘Top 200’ indices for each County.

This time period includes the first full year of the COVID-19 Pandemic and lockdown periods, which means that all companies will show some effects resulting from this period.

Because the index is based on company accounts, it inevitably lags current company performance by around two years, since companies have up to nine months after their year-end to file their accounts. The datasets for the county-level indices were compiled, checked, standardised and then combined into the East Midlands dataset. There are rigorous checks to eliminate duplicates, to remove companies which have become insolvent or in liquidation, and to ensure that groups of companies and subsidiaries are shown accurately. The gap between the company year-ends and publication of the index means the information is historic rather than current, but it is not ‘out of date’. The availability of the three previous years means that comparisons over a four-year timespan from 2020-23 are now possible. The index is increasingly recognised as a valuable baseline for economic recovery and the resurgence of businesses and the wider economy, and we hope to accelerate release of the Top 500 data for the next period, July 2021-June 2022.

WHO IS IN THE TOP 500?

HEADLINE CHANGES FROM 2022

These 500 companies based in the East Midlands region had a combined turnover of:
2023 compared with 2022 £82,095,998,000 £ 90,473,515,000 = 9.3% Decrease
2023 compared with 2022 434,348 469,512 = 7.5% Decrease 36 |
They employed a total of 434,348 people This reflects national and some international employment by these companies, beyond the East Midlands.

The decrease in the aggregated turnover of the Top 500 continues the declining trend which first became apparent in 2022 with the release of the 2019-2020 data, showing a 4.3% decrease, but it is much greater at 9.3%. This should not be a surprise because it shows the impact on sales performance of most companies arising from the Covid pandemic, restrictions and lockdowns during the year in question. The decrease in employment, of 7.5% is smaller and suggests that employers were retaining staff, supported by government support such as furloughs.

For comparison, the UK economy GDP fell steeply by 25 points during the period April-June 2020 and then recovered, with a second, smaller dip in Sept 2020-Jan 2021, before continuing to recover more gradually. The national figures are mirrored in the East Midlands Chamber Quarterly Economic Survey of regional firms’ business confidence for Q2 2020-Q2 2021. There is no doubt that the period of Covid greatly impacted firm performance, both in loss of sales and additional costs, but that this was followed by steep growth.

Also, given that this was an exceptional period, the recovery started to occur at different times in different sectors, depending on the resumption of ‘normal business’ face-face sales and service. We anticipate this will be apparent in the next EM Top 500, covering the 2021-22 period, whether the trend in declining sales performance slowed, or (more likely) that revenues increased.

New entrants compared with 2022: 97 firms. These are primarily due to companies with increased turnover which brought them above the threshold, together with changes in corporate structure and registered office moves into the region. This is an increase from 78 new firms in 2022, and represents a 19.4% turnover of companies which indicates an increased level of ‘churn’ within the index, by introducing new firms. Thirty-nine of these are in the 401-500 tier of the index. These include companies to watch in the future for continued growth. This also meant that 97 firms left the index. These departures reflect companies whose turnover declined or grew less than the index, or who became insolvent, dormant or went into administration; acquisitions or sales; and registered office moves out of the region. Even here, there was a happy outcome for clothing retailer Joules, which was bought out of administration by NEXT Plc and continues to trade.

THE TOP 30 BUSINESSES 2023

ooking first at the Top 10 businesses in the 2023 table, it reflects a continuing concentration in their business sectors. Dunelm Group is the sole new entrant, having increased turnover by a remarkable £278m, and as a retailer, joins Boots, Frasers Group, NEXT and Wilkinsons in making up half of the Top 10. The automotive sector is next, with Sytner Group and Pendragon as major dealership groups and Toyota as a manufacturer. Finally, Barratt and Bloor as major housebuilding companies complete the Top 10, and these were the only other firms whose turnover, based on house sales, increased during the year.

The companies in the 11-30 grouping reflect a wider range of business activities. The strength of the housebuilding and construction materials sectors remain evident with 5 companies. The manufacturing sector, led by Bombardier and then Rolls-Royce group of companies and Vaillant Group as significant businesses are more evident, also including the food manufacturing sector, Samworth Brothers and Refresco. Major business service and finance organisation retain high positions, as do a range of retailers including Games Workshop which rose 20 places, Watches of Switzerland and Crown Crest Group, which owns the Poundstretcher and Bargain Buys brands.

THE NUMBER 1 BUSINESS: BOOTS UK LTD AND ITS RELATED COMPANIES

For the fourth year, Boots UK Ltd is the number one company in the East Midlands, based on its turnover falling to £7,803m from £8,711m. This year again grouped together are all the companies carrying the brand name Boots in the index, owned by the parent company, Walgreens Boots Alliance, in the United States. This is in line with our policy of grouping together firms which have common ultimate ownership. It is clear that Boots as a chemist and pharmaceuticals-led retailer experienced strong demand during the Pandemic year, but its retail sales did not fully capitalise on this.

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BUSINESS SECTOR ANALYSIS

AND TRENDS

e analysed the 500 firms across 41 business sectors based on Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) coding. This was distilled to a framework of seven aggregated groups of sectors as shown in figure 1.

Figure 2 compares the picture from the 2023 index with 2022. Within the sectoral analysis, there has been an increase in the complexity of company ownership structures, and the number of holding companies. This has affected the classification and the results in some sectors, and led to changes in the analysis from previous years. In the analysis the number of ‘other’ sector companies has increased, in line with the increase in holding companies.

TOP 500 SECTORAL BREAKDOWN

Manufacturing 135 128 115 70 20.21 14.98 Retail Trade 33 35 124 124 20.00 19.67 Motor Vehicle Trade 32 32 28 24 14.00 11.11 Construction 50 55 31 33 11.40 13.57 Business Support Services 78 42 27 38 6.40 4.67 Wholesale Trade 45 70 41 23 5.32 5.75 Others 127 138 104 122 13.16 12.34 Total 500 500 470 434 90.49 82.10 Sector No.of No.of No.of No.of Revenue Revenue Companies Companies Employees Employees 2022(billion) 2023(billion) 2022 2023 2022 (‘000) 2023 (‘000) FIGURE 2 FIGURE 1 38 |
Others 28% Manufacturing 26% Retail Trade 7% Construction 11% Motor Vehicle Trade 6% Business Support Sevices 8% Wholesale Traders 14%

BUSINESS SECTORAL ANALYSIS

There is a reduction in the number of manufacturing companies; seven have moved, consolidated, or dropped out of the index. Revenue has fallen proportionately by 25%, and employment also decreased. Within this sector, food drink & tobacco manufacturing (12 firms) and motor vehicle manufacturing (three firms) are the largest in revenue of over £2.2bn each.

The retail sector increased by two companies, whilst turnover and jobs were static, although it remains the biggest category in revenue. Wholesale traders also increased significantly in number, although this may be due in part to classification changes, but employment fell and turnover was little changed. The construction sector companies increased by five, with revenues and jobs also increasing. Business

support services companies have reduced in number; in part this is due to classification changes, as employment has increased but revenues reduced. The motor vehicle trade sector is static in the number of companies, with reductions in turnover and employment.

The diversity in the mix of sectors continues to be a strength of the regional economy. During the Covid Pandemic and lockdown periods in 2020-21, previously healthy sectors, including aviation, travel, hospitality and retail, encountered impacts on their financial performance, which are apparent in these sectoral figures. This picture reinforces the picture of decline in most sectors during the Covid period, but some saw recovery in this period and wider cyclical increases are expected to be visible in the next reported period.

BUSINESS SECTOR ANALYSIS

160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 25.00 20.00 15.00 10.00 5.00 0 Sectoral Number of Companies 2022
Manufacturing Retail Trade Construction Motor Vehicle Trade Business Support Services Wholesale Trade Others Sectoral Number of Companies 2023 Sectoral Number of Employees 2022 (‘000) Number of Companies and Employees in Sectors Sector Revenue Sectoral Number of Employees 2023 (‘000) Sectoral Revenue 2022 (in billion) Sectoral Revenue 2023 (in billion) | 39 20.21 20.00 14.00 13.57 6.40 5.75 13.16 12.34 5.32 4.67 11.40 11.11 19.67 14.98

MOVERS AND SHAKERS BUSINESSES TO

WATCH

his section highlights companies which have entered or climbed up the index. Within this group are businesses which grew during the year. Some demonstrate qualities of exceptional strategic ambition, leadership and innovation. A move into or out of the index may result from registered office moves into or out of the region and be purely administrative.

Within this group is a growing number of international businesses, locating UK operating companies in the region. There are also companies in sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, retail, services and other sectors which move into or up the index. This reflects the diversity of business activities in the region. It includes familyfounded businesses in the region which have been growing for several decades and have now entered the Top 500.

TOP 10 NEW ENTRANT DUNELM GROUP PLC

“The Home of Homes” is the UK’s market leader in homewares. Dunelm’s turnover for the period under review was £1.3bn, making it the 10th biggest Company by turnover in the East Midlands, and fifth biggest Company in Leicestershire. In terms of headcount of over 10,000 staff nationally, it is the seventh largest by employment in the East Midlands and second largest of those headquartered in Leicestershire.

Dunelm has seen turnover grow consistently year on year for the last 20 years, from £239 million (year end 2004) with only one year of checked growth in the year ended June 27,2020. Dunelm is firmly on a growth trajectory, with turnover growing by 26% in 2021 over 2020 and growing a further 18% in year ended 2022 compared with 2021. It becomes the fifth retail business to join the prestigious Top Ten companies

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in the East Midlands. NICK WILKINSON, CEO OF DUNELM

TOP NEW ENTRANTS

All four of the highest new entrants to the Top 500 are companies which have moved their registered office addresses from other locations to the East Midlands. The top two are holding companies.

HIGHEST NEW ENTRANTS

36 C&C TOPCO LTD

C&C Topco owns a growing portfolio of domiciliary care service businesses. Previously registered in London, it has been refinanced and the shareholding is owned by an equity fund based in Jersey.

SECOND HIGHEST NEW ENTRANT

60 HEALTHNET HOMECARE (UK) LTD

Healthnet Homecare (UK) Ltd joins as a result of the relocation of their registered office to Derbyshire. The business provides nursing and pharmacy services to home and community care patients in partnership with the NHS, specialising in patient-centred homecare. Turnover grew by £61m (47%) from 2020 to 2021.

HIGHEST CLIMBERS

WARD GROUP HOLDINGS LTD

224 place rise from 290 to 66 Ward Group Holdings has risen from 290 in 2022 to 66 in 2023, a rise of 224 places. Ward Group Holdings Limited is the holding company of a fourth-generation family business in the recycling of metal and waste. The primary trading business is Donald Ward Limited. This company achieved 22% growth in turnover in 2020-21 and a further 76% during the following year. The main driver of the increases in turnover have been metal and ferrous materials sales, mainly driven by increased volume rather than the price. Businesses involved in recycling are likely to grow further with the priority given towards sustainability. This Company will be a business to look out for in future East Midland 500 rankings.

W B POWER SERVICES LTD

202 place rise from 480 to 278

W B Power Services Ltd has risen from 480 in 2022 to 278 in 2023, a rise of 202 places. This is an independently owned industrial plant engineering and hire company, based in Heanor Gate, Derbyshire. Turnover in the year ended April 2021 increased by 73% to £44.5m, by attracting large contracts and increasing its power generator hire fleet.

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CASE STUDIES

This section features three businesses in the category of ‘movers and shakers’ which have shown significant growth and future promise.

TOP 30 BUSINESS REFRESCO

Refresco has risen 26 places from 48 to 22. Refresco (Beverages UK and Drinks UK) are based in Derbyshire for manufacture and sale of soft drinks. These include popular brands such as Aquajuice, Del Monte, Just Juice, Mr Freeze, Ocean Spray, Old Jamaica, Sunny D and Sunpride. Refresco has been a mainstay of the EM Top 500, with combined turnovers consistently above £560m with a peak of £647m for the year ended December 31, 2018. Refresco is part of an international group headquartered in the Netherlands, resulting from the buyout from a Dutch dairy group. It has made strategic purchases in the UK and globally to become the world’s largest independent bottler for retailers and A-brands with leadership positions across Europe and North America.

NEW ENTRANT CARLIN GROUP LTD

Carlin Group Limited is a new entrant at 265. Carlin Group’s entry to the EM Top 500 results from the growth of its award- winning trading subsidiary Superior Wellness Limited. Founder Robert Carlin started Superior Wellness Ltd in 2011, based in Chesterfield. It grew to lead the market as Europe’s largest hot tub, swim spas and related products distributer, with a focus on improving health and well-being. Turnover in 2020-21 rose from £15.1m to £48.4m, a huge rise of 220%. It sold over 18,000 spas for the year under review. Its central location in the UK aids distribution, with investment in showrooms and warehousing. The lockdown period encouraged homeowners to install hot tubs and swim spas, driving a sustained increase in sales.

NEW ENTRANT

GEARY’S BAKERIES HOLDINGS LTD

Geary’s Bakeries Holdings Limited is a new entrant at no 343. Based in Barrow on Soar as a family bakery established in 1985 as C. Geary and Sons Limited, its success results from the growth of its trading subsidiary, Geary’s Bakeries Limited. This has a long track record of growth, with turnover growing from £11.6m in 2014, to £30.6m in 2020, with average annualised growth of 18%, a great achievement.

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BUSINESS RESILIENCE AND FUTURE PROSPECTS

riting in June 2023, it is hard to predict the future from looking at the past performance of EM Top 500 companies. However, having followed the fortunes of this group of businesses over the past four years, several observations can be made.

Firstly, all businesses experienced the impact of the prolonged COVID lockdowns and eventual recovery during the year. Some businesses were able to benefit but most experienced disruption, additional costs and loss of sales. They have also experienced, and adapted to, the lengthy Brexit separation and changes in trading, imports and exports from the European Union, and the associated effects on workforce, regulation, market access which continue to become more stringent and costly.

Having endured and risen stronger from adapting to these challenges, for over a year businesses have been confronting massive price rises in all energy costs as well as most raw materials, from foodstuffs to timber, cement, steel and plastics. These started to rise steeply during 2021 as the war in Ukraine and its effects accelerated these increases dramatically. As a result, inflation has risen, accompanied by continuing interest rate rises aimed by the Bank of England to reduce inflation, but which increase costs to businesses.

Recent economic data, such as the East Midlands Chamber Quarterly Economic Survey (Q1 2023) showed an increase in business confidence from Q4 2022, following over 12 months of decline. Optimism for growth in sales turnover and investment has increased, with price increases by firms slowing. There is continuing uncertainty on many fronts, both economic, but also political, and environmental, as we see in the effects of climate change. For these reasons, there has to be caution over the short-medium term economic outlook for the East Midlands region. But as the expectation of a recession in 2022 was avoided, this is less likely in the near future.

The East Midlands hosts a large and successful group of businesses which are generally very well-managed. In many cases they are world-leading, and continue to ride out and recover from the many challenges they encounter. They are also very diverse in the range of industry sectors and both UK and international markets

which they service. International trade continues to be a growth area, enabled by the supplychain and logistics infrastructure the region has attracted. The combined effectiveness of leadership and management, and diversity of the business base, are enduring strengths.

In the 2022 report, the lack of regional political and civic leadership and its limiting effects for the profile of the East Midlands received comment. Since then, the proposal for an East Midlands unified authority has progressed, with the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire areas included, and this looks likely to become reality, though the Leicestershire area chose not to participate. Also, the East Midlands gained the first inland Freeport, which is now operational and building its profile. It aims to drive economic regeneration across the region, based on an economic partnership seeking to deliver decarbonisation and Net Zero through low carbon energy investments, new jobs and skills. This is probably the most significant policy initiative the region has yet seen, building on the economic foundations of the East Midlands EMAGIC Airport, Gateway and industry hub and other sites, and creating the potential to deliver global impact. Words by Professor David Rae

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THE TOP 500 COMPANIES

2023 2022 COMPANY TURNOVER GDP £’000 NO. OF EMPLOYEES 1 1 BOOTS UK LTD 7,803,285.00 42,564 2 2 SYTNER GROUP LTD 4,870,257.00 9,466 3 6 BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS PLC 4,811,700.00 6,422 4 5 FRASERS GROUP PLC 3,625,300.00 26,496 5 4 NEXT PLC 3,534,400.00 25,491 6 3 PENDRAGON PLC 2,924,600.00 7,351 7 7 TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING (UK) LTD 2,114,196.69 2,725 8 9 BLOOR INVESTMENTS LTD 1,943,908.00 3,431 9 10 AMALGAMATED HOLDINGS WILKINSON LTD 1,361,310.00 16,669 10 17 DUNELM GROUP PLC 1,336,200.00 10,572 11 12 AGGREGATE INDUSTRIES UK LTD 1,148,336.00 3,318 12 16 BOWMER AND KIRKLAND LTD 1,110,433.36 1,577 13 20 BOMBARDIER TRANSPORTATION UK LTD 1,053,223.00 3,930 14 13 SAMWORTH BROTHERS (HOLDINGS) LTD 1,052,249.00 9,659 15 15 STAFFLINE GROUP PLC 927,600.00 2,357 16 18 ROLLS-ROYCE LTD 925,732.61 4,337 17 22 WATCHES OF SWITZERLAND GROUP PLC 905,077.00 1,984 18 14 CATERPILLAR (U.K.) LTD 756,405.00 2,184 19 19 MOTORPOINT GROUP PLC 721,400.00 769 20 21 MILLER HOMES GROUP LTD 664,800.00 1,007 44 |

EAST MIDLANDS TOP 500

2023 2022 COMPANY TURNOVER GDP £’000 NO. OF EMPLOYEES
21 25 BREEDON TRADING LTD & BREEDON CEMENT LTD 586,297.00 1,741 22 48 REFRESCO DRINKS UK LTD 584,724.00 1,631 23 27 CAPITAL ONE (EUROPE) PLC 561,779.00 1,354 24 24 EXPERIAN LTD 551,000.00 2,923 25 30 AVANT HOMES GROUP LTD 505,336.00 734 26 26 VAILLANT GROUP UK LTD 455,489.00 862 27 28 PORTERBROOK HOLDINGS I LTD 453,680.00 144 28 33 XMA LTD 399,172.00 435 29 49 GAMES WORKSHOP GROUP PLC 353,200.00 2,283 30 32 CROWN CREST GROUP LTD 326,069.63 4,978 31 34 IBSTOCK PLC 316,172.00 2,249 32 37 PATTONAIR LTD & ADAMS AVIATION SUPPLY COMPANY LTD 312,489.00 622 33 29 GRAHAM BELL (HOLDINGS) LTD 308,920.00 699 34 50 DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY LTD 307,913.00 80 35 35 CEVA LOGISTICS LTD 305,619.00 3,702 36 C&C TOPCO LTD 299,587.00 13,890 37 40 GI RECRUITMENT LTD 275,238.00 13,024 38 39 VISION EXPRESS (UK) LTD 262,764.00 3,980 39 46 EUROCELL PLC 257,900.00 1,945 40 43 T. C. HARRISON GROUP LTD 256,824.00 553 41 44 ENVA TOPCO LTD 247,249.00 1,573 42 52 FLOGAS BRITAIN LTD 244,897.00 1,091 43 58 NOTTINGHAM REHAB LTD 244,403.00 1,261 44 53 METHODIST HOMES 242,998.00 6,061 45 36 PLASTIC OMNIUM AUTOMOTIVE LTD 238,489.00 1,144 46 47 PENTAGON INVESTMENTS LTD 227,902.00 367 47 SP 225 LTD 227,427.71 209 48 88 LEICESTER CITY FOOTBALL CLUB LTD 226,204.00 435 49 51 DRIVE HOLDINGS 2015 LTD 226,171.00 832 50 55 CCS MEDIA LTD 223,723.00 463 51 41 SANDICLIFFE MOTOR HOLDINGS LTD 217,227.00 538 52 45 AMTRUST EUROPE LTD 208,855.00 20 53 70 FISHER SCIENTIFIC U.K., LTD 207,288.00 628 54 56 MULTI PACKAGING SOLUTIONS UK LTD 206,495.00 1,686 55 69 DSM NUTRITIONAL PRODUCTS (UK) LTD 204,516.00 416 56 38 EUROPCAR GROUP UK LTD 203,288.00 1,549 57 XYLEM WATER HOLDINGS LTD 201,226.00 814 58 73 VWR INTERNATIONAL LTD 199,979.00 453 59 76 SMARTWAY PW. HOLDINGS LTD 198,063.32 86 60 HEALTHNET HOMECARE (UK) LTD 195,574.00 159 61 59 TOPPS TILES PLC 192,813.00 1,905 62 75 LUBRIZOL LTD 184,308.00 514 63 68 MEASURED IDENTITY HUB LTD known as Mi Hub 181,062.00 728 64 57 WHITE CAPSTAN LTD 176,630.57 2,403 65 62 "TAYLOR HOBSON LTD 175,793.00 940 66 290 WARD GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 173,906.73 339 67 140 PERFECT CIRCLE JV LTD 173,314.65 8 68 60 CROMWELL TOOLS LTD 172,558.00 1,163 | 45

EAST MIDLANDS TOP 500

2023 2022 COMPANY TURNOVER GDP £’000 NO. OF EMPLOYEES
69 WESCO AIRCRAFT EMEA, LTD. 172,165.70 375 70 87 HW MARTIN HOLDINGS LTD 171,372.63 969 71 78 AGROVISTA UK LTD 167,148.00 404 72 66 DAVIDSONS DEVELOPMENTS LTD 166,384.00 295 73 64 GLOBAL PAYMENTS U.K. LTD 165,570.00 338 74 63 PAUL SMITH GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 162,028.00 1,079 75 91 AVANTI GAS LTD & AVANTIGAS ON LTD 158,231.00 275 76 67 STREVENS VEHICLES HOLDINGS LTD 156,710.00 612 77 104 INSANELY GREAT COMPANY LTD 155,779.00 292 78 85 VIKING OFFICE UK LTD 155,339.00 596 79 79 SUN CHEMICAL LTD 154,955.00 690 80 65 EMERSON PROCESS MANAGEMENT LTD 154,816.00 560 81 80 IB GROUP LTD 152,366.00 596 82 SURESCREEN HOLDINGS LTD 150,892.20 66 83 89 A1 COMMS LTD 150,636.89 192 84 72 BELFIELD GROUP LTD 149,580.00 1,974 85 93 MORTGAGE ADVICE BUREAU (HOLDINGS) PLC 148,298.00 391 86 139 V12 SPORTS & CLASSICS LTD 147,550.09 195 87 114 ESENDEE HOLDINGS LTD 147,290.00 92 88 H. J. ENTHOVEN LTD 146,637.00 411 89 84 CEVA FREIGHT (UK) LTD 145,757.00 371 90 95 HYPERAMA PLC 144,668.00 280 91 118 BROADTHORPE LTD 140,037.00 432 92 90 BOARD24 LTD 138,501.17 365 93 100 FRESENIUS MEDICAL CARE (HOLDINGS) LTD 138,492.00 883 94 96 GLENAIR UK LTD 135,814.14 989 95 134 BLINDS 2 GO LTD 133,462.81 165 96 117 BELLROCK WORKPLACE MANAGEMENT LTD 132,021.00 1,056 97 86 KAL TIRE (UK) LTD 131,121.00 1,714 98 81 HUNTER DOUGLAS UK RETAIL LTD 131,002.00 1,503 99 115 FRANK WRIGHT LTD 129,608.00 215 100 123 BASTIAN PLC 127,787.70 127 101 83 PARKWAY DERBY LTD 126,060.27 322 102 120 THE REFLEX GROUP LTD 123,292.00 814 103 SHOE ZONE PLC 122,568.00 3,428 104 BUZZ VENUS GROUP LTD 122,213.00 3,162 105 31 CENTER PARCS (HOLDINGS 1) LTD 122,200.00 8,188 106 97 NATIONWIDE PLATFORMS LTD 120,487.00 975 107 116 RECTICEL LTD 117,011.00 444 108 61 GARDNER AEROSPACE HOLDINGS LTD 116,796.00 1,849 109 107 SMITH BROTHERS (LEICESTER) LTD 114,664.70 461 110 105 HYDRO ALUMINIUM UK LTD 114,575.00 843 111 TRIVIUM PACKAGING UK LTD 114,510.00 350 112 108 AGA RANGEMASTER LTD 114,286.00 783 113 132 TOTALLY PLC 113,709.00 1,828 114 98 VESUVIUS UK LTD 113,179.00 175 115 131 JELSON HOLDINGS LTD 111,607.64 656 116 113 CLEGG HOLDINGS LTD 110,576.31 117 46 |
2023 2022 COMPANY TURNOVER GDP £’000 NO. OF EMPLOYEES
117 143 ALLOGA UK LTD 109,644.00118 180 BIONICAL LTD & BIONICAL SOLUTIONS GROUP LTD 109,159.00 506 119 112 DELIFRANCE (UK) LTD 107,437.00 352 120 265 HILTON GARAGE LTD 106,862.76 103 121 302 BIRMINGHAM HIGHWAYS LTD 104,322.00122 103 DRUCK LTD 103,308.00 620 123 138 FREETHS LLP 102,473.00 520 124 101 BCM LTD 101,700.00 800 125 122 YU GROUP PLC 101,527.00 111 126 110 FORBO FLOORING UK LTD 101,125.00 478 127 MORSES CLUB LTD 100,234.00 600 128 172 LKAB MINERALS LTD 99,751.67 262 129 FEELUNIQUE INTERNATIONAL LTD 98,803.00 94 130 124 CARPENTER HOLDINGS LTD 98,411.00 357 131 74 ASHFIELD HEALTH LTD /ASHFIELD MEETINGS & EVENTS LTD 98,023.00 837 132 JUPITER MARKETING LTD 97,718.38 1,336 133 GTT - EMEA LTD. 94,812.21 161 134 102 J TOMLINSON (HOLDINGS) LTD 94,779.00 490 135 54 SPORTS AND LEISURE MANAGEMENT LTD 94,559.36 4,138 136 SC JOHNSON PROFESSIONAL LTD/DEB IP LTD 93,811.00 230 137 129 GAFOOR HOLDING LTD 91,935.60 195 138 92 GLW FEEDS LTD 91,469.24 134 139 191 TMS LTD 91,252.46 155 140 99 WALTER E. STURGESS & SONS LTD 91,227.00 220 141 128 MEXICHEM SPECIALTY COMPOUNDS LTD 90,336.00 248 142 194 LANDS' END EUROPE LTD 89,641.00 364 143 DHU HEALTH CARE CIC. 89,362.55 1,728 144 ROMO (HOLDINGS) LTD 88,409.00 420 145 KINDEVA DRUG DELIVERY LTD 87,653.00 529 146 153 G.F.TOMLINSON GROUP LTD 87,273.21 237 147 127 WIRTGEN LTD 86,436.80 102 148 174 MACHINE MART LTD 86,285.37 408 149 282 EV CARGO SOLUTIONS LTD 85,411.25 89 150 167 COMMIFY TOPCO LTD 85,009.31 257 151 158 BROWNE JACOBSON LLP 84,932.09 906 152 155 VAN ELLE HOLDINGS PLC 84,368.00 514 153 150 QD COMMERCIAL GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 84,038.55 1,320 154 151 PLASTRIBUTION LTD 83,392.90 78 155 147 PEKTRON GROUP LTD & PEKTRON PLC 83,146.56 304 156 130 CLOWES DEVELOPMENTS (UK) LTD 82,921.47 47 157 214 HARLOW BROS HOLDINGS LTD 82,552.18 514 158 179 COLLINS EARTHWORKS LTD 81,791.21 264 159 182 ADVENT TOPCO LTD 81,537.53 674 160 159 LINIAR LTD 81,426.33 491 161 144 RTC GROUP PLC 81,356.00 188 162 234 QUAD UK TOPCO LTD 81,170.00 847 163 163 C.J. UPTON HOLDINGS LTD. 80,629.00 112 164 169 DMWSL 532 LTD 80,238.00 2,619 | 47
EAST MIDLANDS TOP 500

EAST MIDLANDS TOP 500

2023 2022 COMPANY TURNOVER GDP £’000 NO. OF EMPLOYEES
165 QUANTUM TOPCO LTD 80,228.00 2,962 166 146 ZF SERVICES UK LTD 80,138.00 297 167 121 HAJCO 199 LTD 79,891.00 171 168 196 VIA EAST MIDLANDS LTD 79,846.86 671 169 171 MHR GLOBAL HOLDINGS LTD 79,566.47 696 170 175 SYNCREON TECHNOLOGY (UK) LTD 79,192.71 702 171 142 WJL GROUP LTD 77,846.00 1,048 172 162 SWIZZELS MATLOW LTD 77,538.00 620 173 218 B M FASHIONS (HOLDINGS) LTD 75,959.60 125 174 154 MORTGAGE AND SURVEYING SERVICES LTD 75,686.00 572 175 119 LOOMIS UK LTD 74,853.00 1,643 176 284 RALEIGH UK LTD 74,467.00 126 177 244 HAMMONDS FITTED FURNITURE GROUP LTD 72,563.02 800 178 219 BRUNEL HEALTHCARE MANUFACTURING LTD 72,420.00 444 179 125 STRATFORD RETAIL PARTNERS LLP 72,382.46 282 180 165 KONECRANES DEMAG UK LTD 72,016.00 511 181 FORGED SOLUTIONS GROUP LTD 70,974.00 481 182 170 FRED SHERWOOD GROUP LTD 69,846.36 477 183 181 BLUEPRINT GAMING LTD/BLUEPRINT OPERATIONS LTD 68,918.78 106 184 186 OTTER CONTROLS LTD 68,671.48 939 185 156 IMTECH ENGINEERING SERVICES LTD 114,586.00 536 186 NOTTINGHAM CITY HOMES LTD 68,287.00 1,001 187 152 RADIUS SYSTEMS LTD 68,002.00 289 188 148 BELCAN INTERNATIONAL LTD 67,921.89 452 189 COBA HOLDINGS LTD 67,906.00 791 190 PALL-EX INVESTMENTS LTD 67,610.00 410 191 187 H.W. COATES (HOLDINGS) LTD 67,152.92 417 192 316 MYONEX LTD 67,072.68 29 193 149 BI GROUP LTD 66,734.00 420 194 157 MY HOME MOVE LTD 66,298.00 850 195 WORLD OF SWEETS (HANCOCKS) LTD 66,125.00 278 196 209 STERIS SOLUTIONS LTD 66,090.22 232 197 164 HOSTING DEVELOPMENTS LTD 65,907.14 171 198 230 IDEAGEN LTD 65,644.00 612 199 166 EYRE & ELLISTON HOLDINGS LTD 65,451.00 430 200 224 MCCANN GROUP LTD 65,410.29 290 201 WORLDLINE IT SERVICES UK LTD 65,260.00 485 202 188 XTRATHERM UK LTD 64,927.97 158 203 213 GLOBAL BRANDS (GBL) HOLDINGS LTD 64,724.00 388 204 272 EFFECTIVE ENERGY GROUP LTD 64,612.32 229 205 161 COMEX 2000 (UK) LTD 63,965.68 667 206 137 DEICHMANN-SHOES UK LTD 63,963.00 479 207 248 GIANT U.K. LTD 63,686.73 27 208 223 MATTIOLI WOODS PLC 62,615.00 636 209 239 GAMSTON KENNELS & FARMS LTD 62,037.00 322 210 202 EOTH LTD 61,258.00 184 211 198 BRADBURY & SON (BUXTON) LTD 60,630.11 161 212 226 DERRY BUILDING SERVICES LTD 60,323.49 243 48 |
2023 2022 COMPANY TURNOVER GDP £’000 NO. OF EMPLOYEES
213 273 FP BIDCO LTD 59,759.00 819 214 201 GRIFFITH FOODS LTD 59,217.00 281 215 183 FREUDENBERG SEALING TECHNOLOGIES LTD 58,576.22 330 216 177 ADARE SEC LTD 58,573.00 400 217 253 DERBYSHIRE SUPPORT AND FACILITIES SERVICES LTD 58,542.00 793 218 252 PUKKA PIES LTD 58,127.17 386 219 240 DIGITAL SPACE TOPCO LTD 58,017.00 375 220 210 HORIBA MIRA LTD 57,792.00 627 221 173 BPW LTD 57,782.73 86 222 211 MORAN LOGISTICS LTD 57,405.27 393 223 185 ROGER BULLIVANT LTD 57,298.00 471 224 259 CLOSE BROTHERS VEHICLE HIRE LTD 56,969.84 100 225 207 EPC UNITED KINGDOM PLC 56,600.00 215 226 220 WARWICK INTERNATIONAL GROUP LTD 56,476.00 150 227 197 HORMANN (U.K.) LTD 56,263.13 141 228 EXPERIAN TECHNOLOGY LTD 56,110.66229 258 NODE 4 LTD 56,068.00 282 230 291 M.MARKOVITZ LTD 55,999.41 250 231 388 MARKS ELECTRICAL GROUP PLC 55,984.00 110 232 NOTTINGHAM CITYCARE PARTNERSHIP CIC 55,905.25 1,225 233 193 PROJECT C TOPCO LTD 55,700.00 656 234 SELDEN RESEARCH LTD 54,757.87 184 235 321 CARE FERTILITY HOLDINGS LTD 54,487.00 425 236 481 RUTLAND CYCLING 2013 LTD 54,312.81 226 237 WRIGHT'S PIES (SHELTON) LTD 54,304.51 620 238 195 STAR MAYAN LTD 53,843.00 1,092 239 215 MANIFESTO FOODS LTD 53,707.03 235 240 353 MYUNIDAYS LTD 53,572.00 201 241 205 OAKBROOK FINANCE LTD 53,487.00 142 242 306 CMS CEPCOR (HOLDINGS) LTD 53,468.15 121 243 STRATA PRODUCTS LTD 53,272.00 190 244 260 WILDGOOSE CONSTRUCTION LTD 52,515.89 96 245 THE BARCODE WAREHOUSE LTD 52,506.25 245 246 204 ROCA LTD 52,163.00 123 247 208 ENVA ENGLAND LTD 52,139.00 334 248 267 METTLER-TOLEDO LTD 52,109.00 250 249 176 GO INSPIRE GROUP LTD 51,840.00 404 250 327 TOTAL MOTION LTD 51,797.12 44 251 192 BEUMER GROUP UK LTD 51,696.98 136 252 311 XBITE LTD 51,674.67 196 253 238 C3 CONSTRUCTION HOLDINGS LTD 51,578.52 83 254 227 CAMBRIDGE & COUNTIES BANK LTD 50,927.00 165 255 222 TANVIC GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 50,514.85 295 256 261 DENBY HOLDINGS LTD 50,373.00 623 257 279 CHARLES STREET BUILDINGS (LEICESTER) LTD 50,042.14 76 258 278 ANAND INTERNATIONAL LTD 49,730.40 39 259 231 THE CDA GROUP LTD 49,346.03 221 260 251 HILL CARE HOLDINGS LTD 49,226.58 1,987 | 49
EAST MIDLANDS TOP 500

EAST MIDLANDS TOP 500

2023 2022 COMPANY TURNOVER GDP £’000 NO. OF EMPLOYEES
261 280 PROACT IT UK LTD 49,109.08 219 262 212 CAUNTON HOLDINGS LTD 49,089.97 244 263 235 ARENA BLINDS LTD 48,614.00 41 264 298 BOWRING TRANSPORT LTD 48,559.56 205 265 CARLIN GROUP LTD 48,412.25 53 266 FRAMEWORK HOUSING ASSOCIATION 47,528.00 1,118 267 256 BOAL U.K. LTD 47,497.00 143 268 254 WHITEMEADOW INVESTMENTS LTD 47,488.21 593 269 286 FIRST RESPONSE FINANCE LTD 47,443.54 287 270 262 NJDR GROUP LTD 47,071.00 300 271 136 HOLDSWORTH HOLDINGS LTD 46,337.18 401 272 338 SOFTWARE AG (UK) LTD 46,153.00 186 273 242 BTE HOLDINGS LTD 45,361.05 53 274 DERBY HOMES LTD 45,175.00 564 275 HOSPITAL SERVICES GROUP LTD 44,964.99 78 276 237 BARKER ROSS GROUP LTD 44,886.00 1,917 277 206 QUOTIENT SCIENCES LTD 44,763.00 532 278 480 W B POWER SERVICES LTD 44,505.61 137 279 135 HBB RELOCATION SERVICES LTD 44,402.67 18 280 WILLIAMSON-DICKIE EUROPE LTD 44,354.00 260 281 288 M.M.D. MINING MACHINERY DEVELOPMENTS LTD 44,322.50 151 282 293 FANNIN (UK) LTD 43,697.00 43 283 328 OADBY PLASTICS HOLDINGS LTD 43,656.84 246 284 263 GL INDUSTRIAL SERVICES UK LTD 43,593.59 302 285 SOURCE BIOSCIENCE UK LTD 43,583.00 137 286 277 CALDIC (UK) LTD 43,476.04 52 287 221 ROBERT WOODHEAD HOLDINGS LTD 43,422.14 151 288 312 RESEARCH GARAGE GROUP LTD 43,272.49 105 289 360 SOS WHOLESALE LTD 43,242.70 122 290 355 THE NUTTALL GROUP LTD 43,190.00 204 291 246 WILLIAM LEE LTD 43,163.78 409 292 257 CYTEC INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS (DERBY) LTD 43,122.00 211 293 HOSPITAL PHARMACY SERVICES (NOTTINGHAM) LTD 43,039.00 75 294 322 SALES ASSISTANCE LTD 42,932.42 29 295 317 SELECTIVE MARKETPLACE LTD 42,823.55 133 296 184 MARK JARVIS LTD 42,640.06 211 297 309 PURICO SPECIALITY PAPER COMPANY LTD 42,479.00 152 298 245 WINFIBRE (U.K.) COMPANY LTD 42,330.87 23 299 LABONE HOLDINGS LTD 42,106.39 688 300 325 FISHER GERMAN LLP 42,030.76 514 301 274 SPS TECHNOLOGIES LTD 41,916.00 410 302 321 CARE FERTILITY GROUP LTD 41,528.00 429 303 SYGNATURE DISCOVERY LTD 41,509.62 354 304 HAWKER SIDDELEY SWITCHGEAR LTD 41,401.00 234 305 200 WELLGLADE HOLDINGS LTD 41,344.00 1,381 306 339 POTTER CLARKSON LLP 41,161.00 188 307 344 VICTIM SUPPORT 41,035.00 975 308 275 ELECTRONICS FOR IMAGING UNITED KINGDOM LTD 40,943.00 215 50 |
2023 2022 COMPANY TURNOVER GDP £’000 NO. OF EMPLOYEES
309 126 SPS AEROSTRUCTURES LTD 40,816.00 378 310 228 GUILFORD EUROPE LTD 40,662.00 319 311 MUSCLE FOODS LTD 40,617.69 193 312 329 LONGCLIFFE GROUP LTD 40,574.00 209 313 250 LOWDHAM LEISUREWORLD LTD 40,484.00 133 314 HONEYWELL SECURITY UK LTD 40,479.00 80 315 J.H. MOORE & SON (RICKMANSWORTH) LTD 40,329.54 106 316 308 TENNANT METALLURGICAL GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 40,167.90 12 317 335 REFLEX VEHICLE HIRE LTD 40,129.13 102 318 434 FLAIR FLOORING GROUP LTD 39,989.84 123 319 345 AMBER BEVERAGE UK LTD 39,699.66 66 320 STORA ENSO UK LTD 39,648.00 45 321 341 COMMIFY UK LTD 39,458.00 145 322 287 ARC PROPERTY SERVICES PARTNERSHIP LTD 39,438.93 86 323 189 T.P. HOPWELL (HOLDINGS) LIMITED 39,295.88 271 324 356 RUSHCLIFFE CARE HOLDINGS LTD 39,260.38 1,200 325 492 HIGHLIGHT HORTICULTURE LTD 39,117.00 29 326 340 LOMAS DISTRIBUTION LTD 38,992.74 284 327 357 THE WILKINS GROUP LTD 38,952.28 397 328 269 A.F. SWITCHGEAR (HOLDINGS) LTD 38,849.13 180 329 500 PHENNA GROUP TOPCO LTD 38,790.00 436 330 381 TRIGON GROUP LTD 38,689.97 203 331 391 CHARLES BENTLEY PROPERTIES LTD 38,630.64 151 332 295 VISION AUTOMOTIVE (UK) GROUP LTD 38,365.79 89 333 292 DOOR-STOP INTERNATIONAL LTD 38,189.00 181 334 MENDIP RAIL LTD 38,055.00 12 335 379 OPUS TRUST MARKETING LTD 37,909.00 201 336 332 URSCHEL INTERNATIONAL LTD 37,881.52 91 337 266 RIEKE PACKAGING SYSTEMS LTD 37,880.00 117 338 494 JIGSAW FOODS LTD 37,738.00 284 339 314 NK MOTORGROUP LTD 37,435.88 93 340 363 ROBINSON PLC 37,203.00 337 341 331 TECHNOLOG HOLDINGS LTD 36,880.00 328 342 271 TK ELEVATOR UK LTD 36,860.00 319 343 GEARY'S BAKERIES HOLDINGS LTD 36,577.16 258 344 371 EVOLUTION FUNDING GROUP LTD 36,532.25 268 345 243 BRIDGEBANK HOLDINGS LTD 36,491.03 54 346 336 INDUSTRIA PERSONNEL SERVICES LTD. 36,486.65 1,815 347 178 EAST MIDLANDS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LTD 36,279.00 529 348 249 HANDLEY HOUSE LTD 36,171.00 408 349 455 LRS BROADHURST HOLDINGS LTD 36,120.70 89 350 281 DESIGNER CONTRACTS LTD 35,347.87 353 351 313 PERFORMANCE HEALTH INTERNATIONAL LTD 35,175.00 145 352 342 ART SYSTEMS LTD 34,739.91 75 353 354 LINCOLN PROTEIN HOLDINGS LTD 34,568.47 95 354 378 ROBERT POCHIN HOLDINGS LTD 34,498.82 133 355 255 BEACHCROFT HOLDINGS LTD 34,409.91 1,827 356 330 URGO LTD 34,327.25 161 | 51
EAST MIDLANDS TOP 500
2023 2022 COMPANY TURNOVER GDP £’000 NO. OF EMPLOYEES
357 460 ZEECO EUROPE LTD 34,292.79 86 358 413 RON BROOKS (HOLDINGS) LTD 34,201.04 89 359 377 COOPER PARRY LLP 34,011.00 356 360 337 UNITED RENTAL GROUP LTD 33,645.00 62 361 CARDZONE LTD 33,550.69 693 362 300 EATON MEDC LTD 33,528.00 224 363 333 P R MARRIOTT DRILLING LTD 33,226.42 137 364 BEACONMEDAES LTD 32,960.00 86 365 304 C.D.INVESTMENTS (UK) LTD 32,579.53 138 366 MAZE RATTAN LTD 32,568.27 31 367 456 TRUST GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 32,550.00 27 368 359 CAPITAL REFRACTORIES LTD 32,486.29 251 369 397 BAW (HOLDINGS) LTD 32,330.74 55 370 368 MITCHELL DIESEL LTD 32,305.41 197 371 421 PEOPLE POTENTIAL POSSIBILITIES 32,045.81 763 372 MEDSTROM HOLDINGS LTD 32,037.13 233 373 305 JAMES CONVENIENCE RETAIL LTD 32,013.00 343 374 384 ASRA CONSTRUCTION SERVICES LTD 32,007.00375 361 THREE JAYS LTD 31,852.35 80 376 369 BRIDGSTOCK LTD 31,832.00 88 377 MOORHEN HOLDINGS LTD 31,810.89 56 378 472 WALTER MILES HOLDINGS LTD 31,624.99 24 379 365 CEMA GROUP LTD 31,617.63 374 380 352 INTEGRATED DEBT SERVICES LTD 31,590.00 22 381 APPTION LABS LTD 31,499.25 42 382 415 ORIGIN WINE LTD 31,124.40 10 383 SGS TOOL GROUP LTD 31,021.62 51 384 433 TBH RECRUITMENT LTD 30,945.01 68 385 334 HOMAG U.K. LTD. 30,906.00 73 386 446 AVERY DENNISON RETAIL INFORMATION SERVICES UK LTD 30,822.00 166 387 444 PWP BUILDING SERVICES (HOLDINGS) LTD 30,652.58 182 388 WESCOM SIGNAL AND RESCUE GROUP INTERNATIONAL LTD 30,549.92 137 389 425 ADDER TECHNOLOGY LTD 30,488.84 150 390 403 PARKERS MOTOR SERVICES (SYSTON) LTD 30,478.86 361 391 351 BELLE ENGINEERING (SHEEN) LTD 30,459.76 180 392 370 STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS HOLDINGS LTD 30,428.12 205 393 WORLDLINE RETAIL ENTERPRISE (UK) LTD 30,369.00 62 394 458 BM CATALYSTS LTD 30,101.12 210 395 JOHNSONS AGGREGATES AND RECYCLING LTD 30,032.08 164 396 414 PINNACLE INTERNATIONAL FREIGHT HOLDINGS LTD 29,915.70 86 397 350 BEECHDALE MOTOR GROUP LTD 29,903.93 39 398 410 ARMSTRONG LOGISTICS LTD 29,883.31 436 399 438 CRONER GROUP LTD 29,734.18 275 400 CONSTRUCTIONLINES HOLDINGS LTD 29,727.35 42 401 408 LHOIST UK LTD 29,506.00 82 402 320 THE RH GROUP LTD 29,455.00 113 403 499 HENTON & CHATTELL LTD 29,358.99 78 404 401 REABROOK HOLDINGS LTD 29,268.00 238 52 |
EAST MIDLANDS TOP 500
2023 2022 COMPANY TURNOVER GDP £’000 NO. OF EMPLOYEES
405 LOCKWOOD PUBLISHING LTD 29,253.00 204 406 BWB HOLDINGS LTD 29,251.56 257 407 451 KENNELPAK HOLDINGS LTD 29,238.32 260 408 374 BPX GROUP LTD 29,160.69 153 409 483 MINORFERN LTD 28,931.75 252 410 411 WOOLLEY GMC ENGINEERING HOLDINGS LTD 28,911.33 180 411 STONEWATER DEVELOPMENTS LTD 28,813.00 750 412 467 NOVA BIO-PHARMA HOLDINGS LTD 28,712.47 229 413 133 NATL. AMUSEMENTS (UK) LTD 28,662.37 1,207 414 349 UTOPIA HOLDINGS (CHESTERFIELD) LTD 28,659.79 94 415 TILBURY GREEN POWER LTD 28,630.00416 WHEELDON BROTHERS LTD 28,558.80 46 417 LITTLE FISH (UK) LTD 28,304.00 354 418 431 W M BUILDING SERVICES (LEICESTER) LTD 28,233.62 35 419 315 ATLANTIC PROJECTS COMPANY (UK) LTD 28,134.82 306 420 489 CLIFTON PACKAGING GROUP LTD 28,127.25 132 421 488 BRADGATE CONTAINERS (HOLDINGS) LTD 28,058.77 147 422 436 PLASTEK UK LTD 28,004.08 139 423 323 AUTOCLENZ HOLDINGS LTD 27,944.00 144 424 402 DIAM UK LTD. 27,927.07 241 425 THOMAS BOW LTD 27,920.94 68 426 380 MOGUNTIA FOOD LTD 27,919.69 74 427 385 MAGNAVALE LTD 27,790.26 264 428 301 BLAENAVON FORGINGS LTD 27,771.00 185 429 MIDLAND MARKETING (UK) LTD 27,672.74 9 430 T.D.P. TEXTILES LTD 27,576.75 107 431 348 PAYNES GARAGE(HOLDINGS) LTD 27,517.68 127 432 389 BCM EMPLOYMENT & MANAGEMENT SERVICES LTD 27,472.00 768 433 310 KCT HOLDINGS LTD 27,434.73 210 434 442 UK WASTE SOLUTIONS LTD 27,380.25 171 435 247 NOTTINGHAM CITY TRANSPORT LTD 27,353.00 1,090 436 427 HEXAGON LEASING LTD 27,237.32 43 437 440 MATSUURA MACHINERY LTD 27,032.67 80 438 367 GREENE TWEED & CO LTD 26,858.00 136 439 424 DGS GROUP PLC 26,857.45 159 440 270 QUEST GLOBAL ENGINEERING LTD 26,827.00 325 441 491 RESONATE HOLDINGS LTD 26,811.00 157 442 407 CAVALIER MARKETING HOLDINGS LTD 26,795.25 190 443 493 ITP ENGINES UK LTD 26,739.00 176 444 ITEC PACKAGING (MANSFIELD) LTD 26,633.00 2 445 APAC GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 26,603.19 163 446 SEVENTY SEVEN COMPANY LTD 26,502.18 59 447 372 UK EGG CENTRE LTD 26,435.97 9 448 435 MONDOTTICA LTD 26,311.00 127 449 233 YHA (ENGLAND AND WALES) 26,263.00 977 450 394 NORTHFIELD HOLDINGS LTD 26,119.25 66 451 232 WESTBROOK HOLDINGS LTD 25,987.70 24 452 419 JOHN A. STEPHENS HOLDINGS LTD 25,963.28 131 | 53
EAST MIDLANDS TOP 500

EAST MIDLANDS TOP 500

2023 2022 COMPANY TURNOVER GDP £’000 NO. OF EMPLOYEES
453 INTERLEVIN REFRIGERATION LTD 25,918.01 29 454 324 PRECI-SPARK LTD 25,890.18 360 455 318 FRESHCUT FOODS LTD 25,679.66 265 456 CHAPLIN TOPCO LTD 25,673.80 135 457 405 FRANK KEY GROUP LTD 25,566.28 217 458 CALLINGTON'S CONSTRUCTION LTD 25,516.77 16 459 490 VERSUS ARTHRITIS 25,438.00 389 460 CROUCH CORPORATE LTD 25,394.12 105 461 495 HILLBRIDGE INVESTMENTS LTD 25,324.00 85 462 HEAVYWEIGHT AIR EXPRESS LTD 25,314.21 77 463 PICNIC TOPCO LTD 25,294.82 432 464 428 NRA GROUP LTD 25,210.59 79 465 WILLOUGHBY CORPORATE SERVICES LTD 25,140.00 448 466 SMS - SMART MADE SIMPLE LTD 25,081.00 139 467 443 SMS ELECTRONICS LTD 25,081.00 139 468 LOCKWOOD HOLDINGS LTD 24,992.43 428 469 VALE MANUFACTURING LTD 24,863.04 106 470 390 CHARTERHOUSE HOLDINGS PLC 24,804.00 97 471 S247 GROUP LTD 24,753.92 39 472 393 LUBRICANT HOLDINGS (MIDLANDS) LTD 24,700.44 114 473 SERIF GROUP LTD 24,574.78 83 474 COMPLETELY MOTORING LTD 24,517.93 57 475 478 TOM HARTLEY CARS LTD 24,493.74 9 476 COSTER AEROSOLS LTD 24,383.64 51 477 462 KSB LTD 24,322.68 107 478 CAMPER 2011 HOLDINGS LTD 24,319.14 56 479 KITE DISTRIBUTION LTD 24,305.30 17 480 COMMUNITY BRANDS UK LTD 24,261.82 227 481 SYNCHEMICALS LTD 24,198.00 133 482 ALBERT BROWNE LTD 24,195.71 86 483 452 CANEI INTERNATIONAL LTD 24,147.05 78 484 AETHER HOLDINGS LTD 24,120.06 257 485 366 P. HUGHES CONSTRUCTION LTD 23,875.02 190 486 FSI LTD 23,790.81 115 487 JX2 LTD 23,654.36 60 488 463 A N WALLIS & COMPANY LTD 23,604.51 88 489 C.S. ELLIS (HOLDINGS) LTD 23,526.14 232 490 441 MIDLAND LEAD HOLDINGS LTD 23,517.65 39 491 TRIANGLE OF CHESTERFIELD LTD 23,514.39 19 492 295 RAINWORTH MOTORS LTD 23,514.04 52 493 416 APERAM STAINLESS SERVICES & SOLUTIONS UK LTD 23,465.45 11 494 482 SYNTHETIC TECHNOLOGIES LTD 23,421.47 94 495 347 CANOPY HOLDCO LTD 23,397.00 679 496 484 HUBERGROUP UK LTD 23,384.57 72 497 BRADSHAW TAYLOR HOLDINGS LTD 23,341.07 121 498 IMAGINATION THIRTY FIVE LTD 23,326.16 127 499 382 BLADES RESTAURANTS LTD 23,305.17 1,273 500 500 PROFINE UK LTD. 23,287.44 39 54 |

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

AS AN EMPLOYEE, IT’S EASY NOT TO THINK ABOUT YOUR PENSION – IT RACKS UP IN THE BACKGROUND, TAKING CARE OF ITSELF. AS AN ENTREPRENEUR, YOU NEED TO ENGAGE. KRIS AMLIWALA OF DESIGNER WEALTH MANAGEMENT CAN ADVISE ON HOW TO MAKE YOUR PENSION MORE VALUABLE, BUILDING FOR YOUR FUTURE

ou’re running a business – you’ve got a thousand things to think about. If something’s not urgent in the here and now, it can get pushed back or forgotten. Your pension shouldn’t be one of those things. Kris Amliwala can make it work for you and keep it simple.

“I avoid jargon, 100-page spreadsheets, and all the boring stuff,” says Kris. “We like to make it as clear and client-friendly as possible.”

This easy-to-follow, simplified approach is why Kris is invited onto many podcasts, such as ‘Financial Planner Life’ and ‘The Kinder Institute of Life Planning’. He has been asked to speak at NextGen Planners Global Financial Planning Conference – the largest conference of its kind – three years straight, with his ideas streamed to six continents. He’s also flown to Nashville, USA, to speak to an exclusive conference with 5,000 financial advisors in attendance. Now, he’s turned his attention to raising awareness of some pension features we all should know.

“The sooner you start, the more you’ll have. Albert Einstein said ‘Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.’ If you’ve got your pension set up, even if you earn £0 in a year, the government will still give you a tax-free gain of 20% on your existing pension.”

It’s worth understanding the figures. If you put away £1000 per year, the government will give you an additional £250 – that helps you build for the future. It’s also an incentive to get set up as soon as you can.

“Even if you start a pension in your twenties, it’s not conditional on you staying with one company – pension money is money you’ve earned – it’s not a loyalty bonus. It’s yours, and you can take it with you.”

By taking the time to put a plan in place, you’re setting yourself up to succeed, and avoid undue stress down the road.

“An early retirement with a healthy passive income (as defined by for you), shouldn’t just rely upon your business doing well and achieving a successful exit. A few hours a year with a Financial Life Planner could shave years off your planned retirement date.”

If you run your own business as a limited company, there’s even more good news – your pension contribution is tax deductible.

“If a business owner pays their pension contribution through the business, they can get corporation tax relief. You could pay £100 into your pension, and claim it back from HMRC. With corporation tax proposed to rise to 25%, it’ll be an even bigger relief.”

If you’d like to discuss your pension options, visit dwm.uk.com.

FEATURE | 55
Albert Einstein
Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it
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ORGANISATION REIGNS SUPREME FOR JO PETERS

AS AN ENTREPRENEUR, HOW OFTEN DURING ANY GIVEN WEEK DO YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED WITH TASKS? FEEL GUILTY FOR NOT GIVING ENOUGH OF YOURSELF TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE AT THE RIGHT TIME? IT’S A MODERN-DAY ENTREPRENEURIAL CONUNDRUM. WE CHAT WITH JO PETERS AT JSP VIRTUAL TO SEE WHY ORGANISATION IS CRUCIAL FOR AN ENTREPRENEUR’S FREEDOM

Of an evening, guilt can creep up on an entrepreneur for whatever it is they’re not giving their attention to. Out for dinner with your partner but keeping one eye on your emails? In a meeting yet feeling bad for not being home for a family event?

With wellness at the heart of much of how we do business and indeed life in 2023, how does an entrepreneur achieve it? Jo Peters, founder of Leicester-based company JSP Virtual seems to have it sussed. “I believe through organisation first and foremost. How many of you have a day of meetings mapped out but fail to map out time for other tasks, as well as say, spending time watching a film with your family?”

I’d imagine it’s a high proportion. I know that I experienced a little of this in lockdown. Working from home meant that I found the balance occasionally tricky – making dinner for my children whilst feeling like I ought to be on my email, even though I wouldn’t have felt that pull to the ‘other’ list of things on a typical working day in the office,. For a business owner, this pull must be even greater. A reflection that is shared by Jo.

“Feeling like there’s no clear space for all the things can often make us become stressed and overwhelmed, and then unproductive. Mapping out your personal time as well as your professional hours allows a certain freedom for our clients. If they have scheduled in dinner with family 6pm7pm, it’s guilt-free, they don’t feel like they ‘should be doing something else’.”

So, with the solution to this conflicting guilt that so many entrepreneurs experience being as simple as organisation, I ask Jo why it can be so difficult to achieve.

“I, like so many of us, love that feeling of a mapped-out diary Emily, it’s one of the reasons I made it my career!” Jo says with enthusiasm after I share my feelings about having a day of organising at the start of a new month. “It’s difficult for many of our clients to find the time to

do the organisational part though – carving out the time to get things organised takes time, a resource that many don’t have.”

An entrepreneur’s time can be spent in all the right ways, each and every week, no matter the schedule or deadline. Jo suggests achieving this by using a default diary, colour coding your Google Calendar, or even outsourcing tasks to a company that thrives on organisations.

Jo has written more tips and advice in her blog at jspvirtual.co.uk/news.

“I can see the difference organisation makes to our clients. They are more productive, and efficient with their time but above all, they have a greater sense of balance in their life – and a greater sense of freedom as a result.”

FEATURE
Carving out the time to get things organised takes time, a resource that many don’t have
| 57

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW…

The East Midlands has a rich business community, with plenty of opportunities to meet up with fellow entrepreneurs. Our own Real Entrepreneurs’ Club is an exclusive, invitation-only networking group for C-suite operatives. Networking events provide many opportunities, including knowledge sharing, support and community; all invaluable assets, in addition to the opportunity to generate leads.

Love Business have provided an online directory of networking events, at lovebusinessnetworking.co.uk. We’ve picked out a few of our favourites.

KUKU CONNECT

Run by co-founders Stephen Goddard and Philip Brooks-Stephenson, their regular Connect Receptions provide access to their network and create opportunities to forge quality relationships that lead to business. Having recently celebrated their sixth anniversary, KuKu Connect have received various awards recognising the quality of their events, including Outstanding Entrepreneur and Best Innovation at the Best Business Awards 2021. Joining KuKu includes an introductory meeting with the organisers, so they can get to know you and your business, and the option to bring a free guest visitor each month. In addition to their in-person events, they also offer digital meetings, making networking accessible to you wherever you are.

CHAMBER CONNECT

The East Midlands’ Chamber of Commerce hosts regular events – generally two a month (one online, one in-person) – for businesses looking to generate new and fruitful relationships. Predominantly aimed at SMEs, they make introductions with the aim of nurturing them into long-lasting relationships. Chamber Connect is also a chance to increase the visibility and profile of your business, reaching a wider audience for your product or service. Face-to-face meetings rotate around the region, meaning you don’t need to travel too far to reach your closest one.

THE CIRCLE CLUB

Covering Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, The Circle Club offers a variety of different events. Speed Networking Sessions are fast paced, online networking events that give members the opportunity to meet new faces or strengthen existing connections. Members’ Meetings are a relaxed, friendly workshop with either a guest speaker or team building exercise. Members’ Socials are a more informal gathering, allowing members time to socialise together. Circle Forums are large-scale networking events, open to non-members, and featuring a highprofile keynote speaker.

BUSINESS NETWORK INTERNATIONAL (BNI)

BNI is the largest networking organisation in the world, and the East Midlands’ region includes Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and Lincolnshire. Aside from their variety of networking events, including their popular breakfast meetings and the option to meet either online or in-person, membership also grants access to an archive or learning resources that can aid your personal development and the growth of your business.

FEATURE
Words by Tom Young
NO ENTREPRENEUR IS AN ISLAND. MAKING CONNECTIONS WITH OTHER ORGANISATIONS AND BUSINESS OWNERS IS PART OF THE JOB. THESE ARE SOME OF THE EAST MIDLANDS’ BEST NETWORKING EVENTS
Here are some of the best networking opportunities in the East Midlands
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IT’S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW…

1min
pages 58-59

ORGANISATION REIGNS SUPREME FOR JO PETERS

2min
page 57

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

2min
pages 55-56

BUSINESS RESILIENCE AND FUTURE PROSPECTS

2min
page 43

CASE STUDIES

1min
page 42

MOVERS AND SHAKERS BUSINESSES TO

2min
pages 40-41

BUSINESS SECTOR ANALYSIS

1min
pages 38-39

THE TOP 30 BUSINESSES 2023

1min
page 37

HOW IS THE TOP 500 COMPILED

3min
pages 36-37

PURPOSE OF EM TOP 500

1min
page 35

FOREWORDS

1min
page 34

THE DIFFICULT YET ESSENTIAL CONVERSATION

2min
pages 30-32

Want to grow your business?

2min
pages 27-29

MENTAL RESILIENCE: THE ROAD TO COMPANY HAPPINESS

4min
pages 25-26

HOW DOES INVESTING IN PEOPLE REALLY IMPACT BUSINESS GROWTH?

6min
pages 22-24

UNIVERSITY OF DERBY: YOUR PARTNER IN BUSINESS

4min
pages 20-21

TOP TEN TIPS FOR EVERY ENTREPRENEUR

3min
pages 18-19

RUNNING TOWARDS A LIFE FULL OF COLOUR

5min
pages 16-17

INVESTMENT IN PEOPLE IMPACT BUSINESS GROWTH?

1min
page 15

THE PEOPLE READER SHEDS LIGHT ON THE GREAT RESIGNATION

4min
pages 12-14

OPINION

2min
page 11

THE REAL ENTREPRENEURS’ AWARDS PITCHING PLATFORM

2min
pages 9-10

FLOURISHING AND THRIVING: ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE EAST MIDLANDS

3min
pages 6-8

CONTENTS

1min
pages 4-5

MAGAZINE REAL ENTREPRENEURS

1min
page 4
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