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Where would we be now if we were living in a Euro world?

Workplace Pensions Are you in or out?

Sickening Effect on Absenteeism

Why calling in sick costs businesses £32 billion ever year

Business Start-up Show 2013 Why James Caan thinks that “the best business ideas are just recycled ones done better”

Exclusive Interview with National Lottery CEO Dianne Thompson

It could be you


The RM Business Team Editor in Chief Tony Wittridge Editor Amber Sudbury Art Editor Jade Warrington Brand Sales Manager Rob Wittridge Networking Barry Hicks Administration Brooke Warrington Other Contributors: Katie Flynn, Jessica Groom,Warren Knight, Yvonne Bendall, Cllr Michael White, Cllr Ron Ower, Jill Poet, Kevin Hayler, John Parrett, Ivana Sidey, John Booth, Simon Fordham, Daniel Chase, Jacqueline Hall, Westfield Health and Essex Chambers of Commerce.

From the


Spending a lot of my time sitting in front of a computer screen, often I find my mind wandering, day dreaming of all of the things that I would like to achieve this year and the next, writing list after list of what I need to do to get me closer to my goals (you just can’t beat putting pen to paper), and taking a moment to ponder what I would like to transcribe. There’s something quite special about using your hand to convey what your mind wants to say, and sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly which words to write, or maybe even how to say it. As well as looking forward, looking back is just as important and taking time to simply reflect on the past week, month or year, really helps to get the mind thinking. With the sun out and spirits high, now is the perfect time to reflect over the past 6-12 months. Sometimes it’s easy to forget all of the positive changes that have taken place over any given period, and without reflection, there is no conscience way of knowing that you are learning, and without learning, there is no change. After all, change is progress and progress is good, when we resist change, we are choosing to stay where we are, shutting ourselves off from anything that could threaten our comfort zone. Imagine that you are water floating in a large puddle. There is a stream flowing freely nearby so you make your way over and join the stream. You begin rushing over rocks, past fish, and then go on to join a much larger river, passing breathtaking forests and cascading down the side of great mountains along your journey; aren’t you glad you made your way over to that stream? Now imagine that you are water, and instead of joining that stream you choose to stay in the puddle that you are so familiar with. You stay there because you don’t wish to change and because you like the puddle; you feel safe there and you know exactly where you are and what you’re doing. As time goes on, the puddle becomes smaller and smaller, and all of the other water droplets leave the puddle to join the nearby stream. The puddle also becomes dirtier, and eventually stagnant, until most of the puddle has vanished. Resistance to change can hinder your journey to bigger and better experiences both in life and in business, and reflection can highlight its necessity and give you the push that you need to make changes, no matter how scary it might first seem. Have you made it to the river? Or are you still waiting in the puddle?


Amber Sudbury Editor

Tony Wittridge Editor in Chief

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Business Focus


Money Matters


What’s on


Work Force - Development


Business for the soul




Work Force






Sales & Marketing


In the borough



Tweets of the month Levi Roots @levirootsmusic 6 June Thanks to everyone who came to see me @thebusinessshow today, it was rammed packed, sorry that I had to rush off afterwards. One love LR Start-Up Loans @StartUpLoansUK 7 June “Being an entrepreneur is about passion and hunger, not timing or gender.” @jamescaan #BusinessShow2013 Steve Amiri @SteveAmiri iOS 7 is my favorite version of Android yet.

10 June

Dan Silver @DanSilverMirror 17 June Now the E3 dust has settled, is it safe to admit to liking BOTH new consoles, or will I still get hounded out by pitchfork-wielding crazies? Sky News Newsdesk @SkyNewsBreak 17 June Co-op Bank agrees a deal with regulator to fill £1.5bn capital hole in its finances


lifestyle this month’s news



Facebook Welcomes The Hashtag Twitter allows users to add hashtags to their tweets in order to keep upto-date with popular topics, once clicked. Now, Facebook have decided to adapt to the trend. On Twitter, after adding a hashtag to a word, it transforms it into a link that users can click. This then leads them to a list of tweets that other people have written about the same topic. Although Twitter was the site that popularised the hashtag, it is now favoured by others such as Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram, which is now owned by Facebook. Facebook said that the hashtag offers a “larger view of what’s happening,” and although the new use of the hashtag seems like an innocent bid to keep up to date with the majority of other social networking sites, experts believe that it may be to aid the sale of ads. The official Facebook news page explained how the hashtags will work, “when you click on a hashtag in Facebook, you’ll see a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic.” This is almost identical to Twitter, where the most popular topics are listed in the ‘trending’ section. Users of Facebook hashtags can see posts by people they aren’t friends with and Pages that they haven’t ‘liked,’ although users

have the option to choose who sees their hashtagged posts. Facebook added, “hashtags are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations.” Social media analyst at Gartner, Andrew Frank, said “I think they saw the success Twitter had with the concept and saw no reason why they shouldn’t co-opt some of that thinking themselves, hashtags are also popular with advertisers. They are a way to extend the value and reach of advertising.” As it stands, Facebook doesn’t allow advertisers to target specific people by posting a certain hashtag or to sponsor a hashtag as Twitter does. Some have said that this could be in the line-up to change as the ‘real-time marketing’ budgets continue to grow. Facebook, as usual, have left users and social media specialists exited for what’s coming next after stating on their news page “we’ll continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months, including trending hashtags and deeper insights, that help people discover more of the world’s conversations.” 7

you may be

interested in... Zig Ziglar “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” Described as “One of America’s Icons,” and “the salesman’s salesman”, World War II veteran Zig Ziglar is one of the best motivational speakers that we have seen and will ever see again. Helping people to achieve long-term balanced success based on his philosophy of character, attitude and skills, he has impacted more than a quarter billion people and continues to make a difference in the lives of those who act on his philosophy. Having repeatedly appeared with six former U.S. presidents and best-selling author of more than 30 sales and motivational books, Zig still features regularly in numerous publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Fortune Magazine, the Dallas Morning News, Success Magazine, and Esquire Magazine, and his motivational books and programs are widely distributed through multiple channels including the Ziglar website,, and the world’s largest producer of audio programs, Nightingale-Conant.




Are Work-Based Pensions a Good Idea?

Booth Financial Planning: In general terms, any form of work based pension which helps provide additional income in retirement, must be seen as a positive step. It has long been accepted that the vast majority of employed individuals in the UK are not saving anywhere near enough to provide reasonable retirement benefits in the future and the ‘Savings Gap’ is becoming greater. The Government recently revealed plans for a new flat rate of £144 per week basic State Pension from 2016, and at the same time, reiterated the intention to push the normal retirement age out to 67 by 2026 and then 68 further down the line. Recent figures issued by the Office of National Statistics show just how advances in medical science have contributed to increasing longevity for both males and females, which adds to the pressure placed on retirement savings. It is imperative, therefore, that the new national pension arrangement is a success, because without it, there are severe problems awaiting employees in retirement. At least now, with the flat rate pension for everyone, it will mean that every pound saved through the Scheme will increase income in retirement. At present some advantage is often lost by means testing for Pension Credit. Although the minimum contribution levels of 3% Employer and 4% Employee are a shock to the system at first, it is hoped that provided enough employees remain in the Scheme until retirement and do not “Opt Out”, as is their right under the new arrangement, then the increased income produced will go some way towards bringing down the Savings Gap. HMRC, for their part, will add a further 1% by way of income tax relief. One cautionary note; it was hoped initially that the national scheme would be compulsory for all employees, but it would appear that this was a “bridge too far” for the Government. The result is that employers are now faced with the probability that a number of their staff, having been auto-enrolled into the Scheme, will now request to opt out and have any monies deducted from salary returned to them. This is an obvious burden that the Directors of small companies can do without. Government have said that opt-out levels will be monitored and the Scheme reassessed going forward. We will have to wait and see.

John Booth W: T: 01708 478 139

Pension saving is at an all-time low since records began in 1953, and this Government is determined to ensure our ageing population has sufficient money in their personal retirement pot to see them through their ever increasing years of retirement, that’s if any of us can actually afford to retire. For the employee, the work based pension scheme is probably to be considered a good thing. The current retired population that live on state pension alone, are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, as they realise that their savings are being eroded by paltry savings rates and an inflation rate that is determined to creep up, despite still being in one of the longest periods of poor economic trading that this country has ever seen. It is therefore obvious that future generations cannot live on the state pension alone, so some action needed to be taken, and the work based pension scheme seems a fair way to accomplish that. With contributions of only 1% of gross income and tax relief available for those contributions, then all employees should be encouraged to opt in. For business owners however, if they don’t prepare, there is a real danger of this being a ‘red tape’ nightmare forced on them by the Government, so it’s important they seek early advice from their accountant or similar professional. However help is at hand; to assist the small business there are staged enrolments until 2017, depending on their size and some other factors, allowing them to take more time to understand and budget for the extra 1% they will have to find from their gross salary bill but with savings made against national insurance contributions, this can be offset. This is not going to be an easy ride for many small businesses, the written advice provided by HMRC is, and in my opinion, not particularly helpful and in some areas confusing. May I suggest, to every small business owner, don’t put your head in the sand, plan carefully, obtain appropriate and meaningful advice and take early action, this will definitely help you overcome any doubts you may have regarding the implementation of the scheme in your business. Simon is a small business advisor, mentor and executive coach at The Fordham Henderson Partnership. He can be contacted direct at or 020 3086 7630. For more information about work based pensions please read further at: file/185887/auto-key-facts-enrolment-booklet.pdf

Simon Fordham E: 9


business focus

The incredible story of the UK’s youngest chocolatier could be about to get even sweeter. Surrey school boy, Danesh Amin, aged just 15, has already been given the industry title of Chocolatier, by Belgian chocolate-maker, Callebaut. The story began six years ago when, at the tender age of ten, Danesh started selling chocolate to customers outside of his father’s Spar shop in the quintessentially English village of Brockham, near Dorking. Within a year, the enterprising school boy was selling to local shops, and by the age of 12 his customer base had extended throughout the length and breadth of Surrey.

“I would love to get a foothold in the American market... I’m keen to go on to study business at university,” he said. “I want to learn as much about the business side of my trade as I can so that I can be as successful a chocolatier as I can be.” Fast forward to 2013, and Danesh has just launched a new brand of chocolate bars aptly entitled ‘Brocks Chocs,’ after the village from which his business originated. It has been a lot of hard work and an incredibly steep learning curve for the enterprising Ashcombe school student, who has just completed his GCSEs and is looking forward to taking his A levels in two years’ time. But the astute teenager is not afraid of hard work and looks forward, with relish, to the next phase of his business plan. Identifying a gap in the luxury chocolate market, Danesh decided to launch his new 14-flavour range, taking full advantage of this gap in the market, developing products such as a unique cola explosion bar. And, following a recent launch of his new product at a London showcase, Danesh secured contracts with retailers across the UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. “My intention was to aim at the European market; countries such as Germany, France and Belgium, where the chocolate comes from, but then I want to take it worldwide.

factory behind the Spar store to enable him and his team, comprising other young people from the area to start fulfilling their new European contracts. Schoolwork and other ambitions have not been forgotten though. “I’m keen to go on to study business at university,” he said. “I want to learn as much about the business side of my trade as I can so that I can be as successful a chocolatier as I can be,” he enthused. Having gained the title of the UK’s youngest chocolatier, Danesh has met master chocolatiers and now hopes to be named as an ambassador for Callebaut, in addition to having been awarded a contract with them. If all of that wasn’t enough, Danesh has also received national recognition and won many awards for his work, including the ‘Outstanding Achievements Award’ in February 2013. Additionally, in April 2013, Danesh successfully completed two courses; one in the science of chocolate centres and one in the chocolate production itself. This has been a great chance for Danesh to develop his knowledge and now produce his own high class range of chocolate bars, pralines and truffles, aimed at an extensive age range. But there’s more to this young man than meets the eye. Danesh also runs an events booking business, called Ladz DJ, booking diverse events such as quad biking parties. The business, now in its second year of trading, started out as a small single DJ firm alone, and asked if he has any room in his busy schedule for hobbies, the entrepreneurial young man, unsurprisingly does. He spends his weekends, when not working at his other business interests, go karting and has competed at the Brighton Racing Academy. He is also team champion of the Crawley racing team. As for the future, the sky seems to be the limit for this young, ambitious man who still has his feet firmly planted on the floor. There’s no doubt that this young man will make headlines for many years to come and, with his dogged determination to succeed and grounded attitude to success, it seems that the future is definitely his for the taking.

“I would love to get a foothold in the American market,” he explained. Currently, Danesh is working with architects on a plan for an improved 11

dianne thompson:

quick on the draw...


business focus

Camelot CEO Dianne Thompson discusses with RM about the corporate and social challenges involved in running the UK National Lottery. Dianne Thompson was once faced with a galling ultimatum that, if it happened today, would provoke a national enquiry. At the end of a job interview (for a company that shall remain nameless), she was offered a piece of supposedly salient advice. “I remember being told quite clearly that, to be treated equally to the men, I had to perform at least ten per cent better,” she explains, with a compassionate poignancy. “I’ve been in business for 40 years now and things were very different then. And as much as I hate to admit it, I immediately offered the false bravado of, ‘Well I shall be at least 15 per cent better’, Of course, I came out of the interview thinking ‘how on earth am I going to do that?’ “But that’s what it was like back then. You were always expected to work harder and work longer. Thankfully, I’ve seen all that change.” With National Lottery sales hitting an all-time high of £7billion according to official year end reports, the CEO of Camelot, its government appointed operator, has clearly bettered that false bravado she once claimed.

“I remember being told quite clearly that, to be treated equally to the men, I had to perform at least ten per cent better...” Since taking the top job back in 2000, Thompson has reversed the perhaps negative perception of the consortium created for the National Lottery project. An amalgam of partners - Cadbury Schweppes, Racal, De La Rue, GTECH and ICL - Camelot became mired in controversy when its executives were accused of excessive salary greed in the lead-up to the lottery’s launch back in 1993. Thompson has changed all that. She came to prominence in 2001 by persuading the courts to overturn a decision to hand the Lottery license to Sir Richard Branson. And her subsequent success led Camelot to be acquired by Canadian investor The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for £389million two years ago, opening up overseas opportunities. The backbone of the company’s success however, is within the public’s growing assurance within the Lottery. Almost three quarters of the qualifying population play regularly, helping to dispel the early myth that the Lottery would be discriminatory against the poor. Annual ticket sales are up 6.9%, a new record, helped in no small part by ticket-buying sprees in the lead-up to rollover draws. It seems it’s not just the winners who need luck, it’s the lottery operators as well.

the reason the UK is so successful is because we have millions and millions of people playing, but each spending a small amount each week. In fact, the average spend is around only £3.50 per draw. So, for me, this is a really great place to be in – it means our marketing message works - and long may that continue. “Our strategy, which we defined in 2001/2, was to increase the portfolio of games on offer, with better access for our players. So we’re now selling through 37,000 retail outlets, which is the highest number we’ve ever had, plus internet channels. “But the whole point behind the Lottery is to raise money for good causes,” she continues. “That’s its raison d’être, and that’s what John Major created all those years ago when the National Lottery bill went through in 1993.” Indeed, the figures are staggering, with over £30billion having been raised for good causes since the Lottery’s formation, and that equates to over 400,000 lottery-funded projects in total. The daughter of a West Yorkshire butcher, whose introduction to the world including working in a biscuit factory and bottling ox blood, Thompson positively fizzes with pride when speaking about what she consider, ‘Camelot’s greatest achievement’ – it’s contribution to last year’s Olympic Games. “28 percent of money we raise goes to good causes, and another 12 per cent goes back to the treasury. So 40 per cent of everything we sell goes back to the government to make the country a better place. “But one of our biggest achievements for the National Lottery was the money we contributed to the Olympics. We raised £2.2billion for the Games; that’s what we’re here to do.” In fact, Thompson could have been more closely involved, but dropped out of the running for the job in charge of Locog - the Games’ organising body, in 2005. She has few regrets. “I like what I do, and it’s been great to be able to make sure that we could raise some of the money that they needed to deliver those Games. But Camelot remains a constantly evolving challenge and one I definitely want to stay in charge of.” And of course, the greatest task Camelot faces each day is maintaining a level of social responsibility. “We have millions playing the game across wildly differing social backgrounds. For some, that £3.50 average is a lot of money, while for others it’s less than the price of a glass of wine. The Lottery’s challenge remains to maintain the level where playing it is accessible. If we can do that, we’re definitely on to a winner.”

“What makes me most proud is the fact we’re the seventh biggest lottery in the world,” Dianne offers. “But we only rank at 49th per capita spend, so 13

business focus - start-up diary

Our First Steps So we had decided to make the jump. My business partner and I had been discussing the concept every single day for a period of about 6 months. Naturally we were a lot more vocal on the particular days when our day jobs were really starting to wear us down. The real turning point for us was when the Director of the company came in to discuss our roles and stated “I take it our clients are so pleased when they get a call from us.” The answer to that question in my head was a resounding no – but the best I could muster was a wry smile and a nod. I’m not sure when recruitment consultants decided that the best route to obtain clients was to hound people with numerous pointless calls until they submitted a role, but it definitely doesn’t result in them being happy to hear from us. When we heard his views, we knew we were crew on a ship that was sailing without a Captain. We sat down that evening and began turning our pipe dream into an idea, turning that idea into a plan, and finally, turning that plan into a Business. We started with the small details - firstly by developing the name of the firm where we immediately hit an unfortunate speed bump. My surname is ‘Chase’ and my Business Partners is ‘Cox’; connect the two as you will, but the combination held too many comedy factors. In the end we opted to use ‘Warrington Chase,’ and avoid any possible innuendos. Next we needed to get our infrastructure right and as cheaply as possible. In order to do this we needed a business plan. We spent weeks writing our Mission statement, forecast, start up costs, growth plan, market research etc. We literally put everything down on paper, and just when we thought we were done, we would go back and change something that we had missed, which meant that we had to write it all again. The document ended up 73 pages long, contained every bit of information we could gather, and we knew it inside out. With our business plan in hand, our next port of call was an angel investor – I cannot stress how valuable this can be to a new business, nor can I stress how important it is to pick the right one. After presenting our business plan to four different investors, we were quite fortunate to receive four investment offers, each one varying in content. The front-runner was clear from the beginning, he understood our vision, and as a chartered accountant and businessman, he was able to save us costs on those fees too. His knowledge and wisdom in those early days was invaluable to us and ended up being worth much more than the funding we received from him. If you are considering taking investment to


start up your business, I would strongly recommend the value of knowledge over volume of cash. Our investor helped link us to contacts for office space and arrange for an IT service provider to install phones and computers. We had registered the company, purchased the web domain and paid for our databases. We had even designed a logo and recognisable brand pattern. We felt like our foolproof plan had paid dividends and we were ready to start work How wrong we were! When you are a child, you take certain things for granted, which you only recognise as you get older. Things such as cooked meals ready for you, or your school uniform washed and ironed for Monday morning. This naivety is very similar to what we experienced next. We hadn’t taken into account how much is already in place for you at an employer, and we very quickly learnt exactly how hard this journey was going to be. As a recruitment agency, we had to learn and understand employment law, data protection, authorisation to share data, and disclaimers on everything all the way down to the emails we send. That’s not to mention we had to register for VAT, learn when we needed to make returns, calculate temporary staff PAYE, work out margins or send and keep track of invoices. The list of tasks is endless, and all of these things that had previously been done for us, took valuable time out of our days. Currently about 40% of my day is still spent on administration, and continues to be one of our biggest struggles. We kept pushing forward and eventually won our first client, and shortly afterwards made a placement. This felt exhilarating, it wasn’t a paycheque from a company anymore – this was money our company had given us; the company we had grown from nothing and it felt amazing. That first invoice is still outstanding today – time for us to learn credit control! These words are just a snapshot of some of the hurdles we have overcome and there is no learning curve steeper than when you start your own business. Just be ready for that curve when it hits you hard and be ready to stumble, then be ready to dust yourself off get back up and keep learning. Contact me for 2013-2014 salary guides covering public practice and industry accountancy figures for inner London vs the Home counties. Twitter: @WarringtonChase Email: Website: Work Phone Number: 01708 629721 Mobile Phone Number: 07824 559654


easyJets’s Newquay to Business Travellers


Planning a business trip can take a lot of time an effort, but with the launch of easyJet’s new route from London Southend to Newquay, it really couldn’t be quicker or simpler, and RM were privileged to board the aircraft on their historic inaugural flight. At precisely 7:15 on the morning of Thursday 20th June 2013, flight 747 departed from the London Southend airport, marking the first flight easyJet’s new route to Newquay, Cornwall. The entire aircraft full of journalists and smartly dressed businessmen, everyone eagerly awaited their long weekend away to the English Rivera, famed for its beautiful beaches, restaurants and attractions. And yes, you did read that right; suits were comfortably sat on an easyJet flight and were more than happy to do so. As the rows upon rows of people conversed as they sat seated, it was clear from the murmurings that something had changed, and it appeared to be easyJet. If you cast your mind back, it is hard to appreciate how much has changed since 1995 when the airline first opened. True, they are still a customer focused brand and continue to deliver low cost flights to a huge variety of destinations, but there was something else. Hugh Aitken, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, actively encourages people’s change in perception. 16

“I think that because we are a low cost airline, traditionally people have viewed us and Ryanair as the same, so it has been our challenge to rebrand and put our hands in our pockets to achieve this, while still only charging people around £24.99 to fly with us. But I think the real key difference is that we truly do have the customer at our heart at every step of the way. For convenience we fly to airports that are near to where people live and land at airports not airfields. “Plus we fly to the primary airports and cities. So for example we fly to Glasgow not Prestwick. I also think there is also a huge difference in our business routes and the frequency that we provide. If you look at Ryanair’s network, they are a much more leisure orientated airline, whereas we pride ourselves on our business routes and the frequency in which they run. And we are continuing to invest in our business routes. What we are saying is that actually we are cheap but we want to do more to get businesses working with us – and that’s the difference.” Mike continued to dismiss the comparisons to Ryanair, because at the rate their routes are expanding, easyJet needs to be careful that they are not compared to British Airways. “BA allows passengers to fly, for example, from Aberdeen Gatwick and then have to transfer – adding risks like the loosing luggage for the customer and adding costs to the business. We want our model to remain very very simple.” >

What we are saying is that actually we are cheap but we want to do more to get businesses working with us – and that’s the difference.

business start-up - growth But they still have innovation at the core of every decision they make – Their new service makes the South West much more accessible, and with fares starting from as little as £21.49 one way, they are bringing an easy and affordable option to passengers who wish to travel to the South West coast. This news has pleased travellers and businesses alike. Alastair Welch, Managing Director of London Southend Airport said, “We are delighted to offer another fantastic easyJet route from London Southend Airport – our very first mainland UK destination. We are sure Newquay is going to prove popular with Essex travellers for both short breaks and longer staycations - not just for its surfing, but also for the simple and easy access it provides to the much admired Cornish coast. Destinations such as St Ives and the Eden project are now just 60 minutes flight time away, instead of a 6-hour car or 9-hour train journey.” Local businesses also look set to benefit, as easyJet said that they do procure a lot from central Southend to keep their costs down. But then there are other opportunities with the local colleges, where they recruit a lot of their staff, plus they sponsored Southend Air show last year, to name just a few opportunities already explored. easyJet have also continued to keep the promise that they made almost 20 years ago to keep revolutionising the concept of travel and the way that their passengers fly. Now it seems that every passenger’s, and particularly every business passenger’s, prayers are about to be answered as the research into how easyJet can incorporate WiFi onto flights is something on easyJet’s list, taking into account the extra expense, added weight, and extra fuel needed, whilst still keeping fayres low for customers. All of these factors will be carefully weighed up against demand, leading to their final decision and where they will go from here. Mike Aitken did agree, “if we don’t do something soon, people will start flying with somebody else. But the one thing we will never compromise on is safety, so it is going to take some research.” Having said that, there is definite evidence of how innovative easyJet continue to be. They have recently launched a new cabin bag policy which guarantees your bag ‘will travel with you either in the overhead locker or, if necessary, under the seat in front of you. Otherwise, the bag may be placed in the aircraft hold.’ Although the new size allowance is smaller than

the IATA standard, it is only slight, and will, in turn, allow easyJet to manage much more actively and minimise flight delays. They also told us with great enthusiasm how incredibly proud they were to be testing and working with ash protection technology, which will enable their planes to detect volcanic ash clouds, allowing pilots to fly around the cloud and not through it, avoiding the infamous problems seen in 2010 and 2011.

easyJet are certainly showing no signs of slowing down, currently holding the title of Scotland’s favourite airline. Recently partnering with the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce has enabled them to introduce a new ‘Scotland Flex’ product, a new flexible ticketing arrangement giving passengers the freedom to fly back from any London airport to any Scottish airport. Added benefits such as switching to an earlier flight home for free, really reiterates just how much easyJet cares about their customers and continues to look for new ways of providing exceptional customer service. The new route has certainly been eagerly awaited and has seemed to be a huge success, but how can easyJet future proof their routes and encourage even more business travellers to choose them over the long established business airlines? Naturally, easyJet need to make a return today so that they can continue to fly routes that are in demand in the future, requiring insight into how relationships between customers and their travel habits will continue to change over

Added benefits... ...really reiterates just how much easyJet cares about their customers and continues to look for new ways of providing exceptional customer service

the coming years. Committed to listening to the needs of consumers, easyJet promise to respond to the demand for new routes whilst providing great value fares, without ever compromising on travel experience, which for them, will always remain at the heart of their business model. 17

Uncover your potential to be©

Tackling negative behaviour I’m Jacqueline Hall, an Executive and Behavioural Change Coach. I was previously a college lecturer, But that’s another story. Today I want to share with you what I do. It may challenge you and You may see room for trying something different. Behavioural change coaching enhances a person’s performance and growth at all levels, stimulating new generative thinking and effectual action. It benefits anyone who intends to achieve with integrity and insight. Let’s look at a particular case. Written by Jacqueline Hall

Using an open, deliberate approach that generates new and dynamic thinking, I help my clients to manage change in their concerns, direction and performance.


Your colleague does something out of character and you decide to speak with them about it. You plan when and what you will say to highlight their need, and how they should change. You tell them and their negative response surprises, disappoints, and even upsets you. They fail to see things as clearly as you. After all, what you said made perfect sense. Didn’t it? Well, here’s the thing. Your words were from your viewpoint and targeted your, not their need. That’s why they couldn’t understand the solution given to them. Challenging isn’t it?

So what might a Behavioural Change Coach do in this situation - without telling you or your colleague how to be or what to do? They would: • Encourage a thinking atmosphere • Be available to serve the inherent, hidden need • Challenge whilst encouraging creativity • Bring insight to uncertainty • Promote the identification of performance enhancing solutions • You, your colleague would: • Acquire usable behavioural change techniques • See enhancement in decision-making and self-management • Recognise and seize tomorrow’s opportunities and possibilities • Discover creative ways of making vision work • Become motivated to achieve the desired transformation Using an open, deliberate approach that generates new and dynamic thinking, I help my clients to manage change in their concerns, direction and performance. Behavioural change opportunities are presented to us every day, if we would only see them.

Contact me on 07801 031502, or to explore further. Also check out my website at

work force development

Do you have a Family Business? Is it working for you, do you need help? We speak to Simon Fordham, Co-Founder and Lead Business Consultant at The Fordham Henderson Partnership. Director and serial entrepreneur, Simon has helped many businesses become stronger, more successful and profitable. He is degree qualified, a business mentor and executive coach. Simon speaks from experience when he says working in a family business is not an easy thing to do. “Having grown up working in the office of my Father and Uncle’s busy construction company in the school holidays, I got to see many aspects of the company and how it worked.” He says. “Started by my Father and Uncle in the 1960’s, my two brothers’ and I eventually went to work for the firm and ‘worked our way up’ to senior positions. By the late 1970’s early 1980’s, the business had a £12m turnover and employed over 200 people, but the then recession hit us hard; we soon realised that we weren’t strong enough or sufficiently businesswise as a family, to manage the downside on our own, we had to get outside help. We all learnt a lot from that.” The growing pains Simon and his brothers felt during that difficult time have stayed with them to this day. “The family relationship suffered as a result of the business. Characters evolve during your time working together, as with any business, but with family, trying to work with a character you no longer recognise, can be a very frustrating thing and a strain on the traditional family relationship.” As an experienced businessman who has managed, led and owned multi million pound organisations, Simon now helps family businesses achieve ‘better business sense’ by working with the Family to create a more professional structure and approach, enabling the smooth running of the business. “I have found that ‘normal business problems’ can be exaggerated in the family situation, as family members vie for position, disagreeing with one another and with no one person in overall control, they lose that strategic direction that every business needs to succeed. Many decisions become knee jerk and not well thought through or discussed, as one member of the family decides what should be done. This just isn’t good business behaviour and would not work in any successful company, so why in a family business?” We asked Simon how should family businesses proceed then?

“Some good advice would be to have clear role responsibilities and objectives for each family member in the business, have one person in overall control and plan strategically. Also, come together to discuss the business as a business, not as a family, and obtain some outside help; someone not connected with the family to guide and advise can help any business, but more so where objectivity is required, such as in a family business.” If you would like to discuss your business problems with Simon direct he can be contacted at For the top 20 ‘hurts’ associated with working in a family business see the full article at


What is a Workplace Pension?

In October 2012, the concept of workplace pensions was introduced. A certain percentage of your wages is put away each pay day, and unlike a basic state pension, your employer also pays in as well as the government. The idea of having this money is so that you can live comfortably after you have retired and in most cases, a part of your workplace pension can be taken as a tax-free lump sum. If the money saved is a small amount, you could possibly take it all as a lump sum, with 25% tax free however, you would be expected to pay Income Tax on the rest. This money cannot usually be touched until you are at least 55, unless you are severely ill. A new law requires every employer to automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension scheme, however some rules do apply. The worker needs to be aged between 22 and state pension age, they need to earn more than £9,440 per year and they have to be working in the UK. If you’re already in a workplace pension but your employer doesn’t contribute to it, they will have to once they ‘automatically enrol’ you. There are 2 main types of workplace pension that your employer can choose to offer you. The first is a Defined Contribution pension scheme, which is also known as a ‘money purchase’ scheme. Your employer can choose the pension provider that invests the money, although the amount you will receive depends on how much has been paid in, how long you’ve been paying in, and how well the investment has done. The value can change and maybe decrease in the short term, however in the long term, pensions usually grow more than savings accounts. You can always ask your pension provider for advice, such as gradually moving your money into lower-risk investments as you approach retirement. Usually the pension provider takes a percentage of your money as a management fee. 20

The second option is a Defined Benefit pension scheme. This is also known as a ‘final salary’ or ‘salary-related’ pension. The idea of this option is to give you a certain amount of money each year, once you have retired. The amount you receive depends on your salary and how long you’ve worked for your employer. This option does not depend on investments, it depends on your employer’s ability to work well with the trustees and ensure that there is enough money available to pay out when each employee is due to receive their pension. Workplace pensions will become compulsory by law if you fit the criteria, although if you don’t have to be enrolled by law, your employer can’t refuse to let you join their pension scheme. They will not have to contribute if you earn these amounts or less, £473 per month, £109 per week or £436 per 4 weeks. When enrolled into your employer’s scheme, they must: • Pay the minimum contributions, at least, to the pension scheme on time • Let you leave the scheme if you ask to • Refund the money you’ve paid if you opt out within 1 month • Let your rejoin the scheme at least once every year • Enrol you back once every 3 years, if you’re still eligible for automatic enrolment Your employer cannot: • Force you, or encourage you in any way to leave the scheme • Discriminate against you or unfairly dismiss you for staying in a scheme • Imply that someone is more likely to get a job if they choose to opt out of the pension scheme • Close a workplace pension scheme without enrolling members into a different one For more information on the pension scheme please visit:

work force


a f o e c n importa

e c r o f k r o w althy


In April, the NHS underwent some of the biggest changes in its 65-year-history. Paul Shires Executive Director of health insurance provider Westfield Health, looks at how the changes could affect employers and the importance of maintaining a healthy workforce. “So large that you can see it from outer space” that was the opinion of NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson on the health service reforms that came into effect on 1 April 2013 - and he wasn’t too far from the truth. While the impact of the reforms may not be immediately noticeable to the man-on-thestreet, the scale of change within the NHS has certainly been sizeable. Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) have now been scrapped, and about 60 per cent of the NHS budget has been handed over to new GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to choose which services they fund in their area. The NHS has to save a staggering £20bn by 2015 to meet government targets, so, as CCGs assess the health of patients in their area and what services to fund, they’ll also be looking at ways to reduce spend. And, as a result of this, some service provision will inevitably reduce or cease to exist entirely - meaning accessing free healthcare is unlikely to remain as commonplace as we’re accustomed to.

For employers, it’s easy to assume that unless your business specialises in healthcare, the changes won’t affect how you run your company. But take a closer look and in fact, the impact could be bigger than you think.

For employers, this could spell increased sickness absence, as staff require more time off while waiting for treatment. And, with absenteeism costing the UK’s private sector £3.1bn every year, maintaining a healthy workforce is vital not only to productivity, but the bottom line too, so introducing a health and wellbeing strategy is essential. For employers, it’s easy to assume that unless your business specialises in healthcare, the changes won’t affect how you run your company. But take a closer look and in fact, the impact could be bigger than you think. Westfield Health’s range of corporate health cash plans can help employers to manage sickness absence while providing a valuable employee benefit for staff by offering reimbursement up to set limits for healthcare costs such as dental, optical and physiotherapy. The plans also offer services including access to counselling sessions and the second medical opinion service, Best Doctors®. In 2012, Westfield unveiled Hospital Treatment Insurance, a groundbreaking corporate health insurance product which enables employees to access private surgery and medical treatments for non-life-threatening conditions, such as hernia removal, cataracts surgery and knee replacements. For more information about how Westfield Health can help manage the health and wellbeing of your workforce, visit 21

Sickening Effect of Absenteeism One method being used by supermarket giant Tesco, is a return-to-work interview. They have enforced a ‘Welcome Back’ meeting for all staff upon seven days of their return to work. If absence has reached the 3% unplanned absence trigger over a rolling 26 week period, then staff are invited to an attendance review investigation meeting to discuss their absence.

At one point or another, most employees are guilty of calling in sick, despite being well enough to work. The actual price tag of staff absence is difficult to calculate, but based on an average salary of £25,000, employers are left with an annual bill of at least £32 billion. Steps have been implemented to stop employees ‘pulling a sickie’, as they will typically only be paid Statutory Sick Pay by the State after three days of absence. This has become an invaluable tool for employers; the lack of pay has made many think twice about avoiding work. But with employees taking around six days off a year, more still needs to be done.

Employers lose

£32 BN


a year

If an employee’s attendance does reach the trigger, their management policy, ‘Supporting Your Attendance,’ is held to address the root cause of an absence and identify any practical steps that either the company or the individual can take. The attendance review investigation meeting is not a disciplinary meeting. Rather, it considers the individual’s absence history and discusses the reasons for the latest absence and other absences over the 26 week period. The meeting considers whether there are any mitigating circumstances or other reasons that may lie behind an individual’s absence. A ‘mitigating circumstance’ is automatically taken out of an individual’s absence percentage and no further action will be taken. But if the outcome is a disciplinary meeting, then the individual will need to have a further meeting after the attendance review investigation meeting.As with all absence policies, it supports and does not victimise employees who are suffering from ill-health. After all, employers should not forget that they are dealing with people – the vast majority of whom will be genuinely ill.

The Chartered Institute for Personal Development (CIPD) suggests that a problem still exists, and under half of employers monitor the cost of absence due to sickness. If unscheduled days off were managed, it could help both the individual and the employer, while improving productivity and boosting the UK economy. The growing costs of absenteeism for businesses have prompted many employers to do more.

The CBI’s Absence and Workplace Health Survey 2011 reveals minor illnesses remain the most common reason why people stay home; but long-term absence accounts for nearly a third (32%) of lost working time. This can relate to stress, anxiety and depression, while musculoskeletal disorders are the second most common reason for long-term sickness, especially among manual workers, followed by chronic back pain. Around 72% of respondents reported non-work-related ill-health had an adverse effect on staff performance and productivity, so all absences should be properly investigated.

Is your vitel cog absent? Economic output

£900 MLN


in 2011


work force

The CIPD has said that alongside return-to-work interviews, firms need trigger mechanisms to review attendance and should have stronger options to discipline workers for unacceptable absence. For this to happen, line managers need the skills and responsibility to manage this area effectively. This is especially true when considering the sensitive issue of mental health, unfair dismissal, and the danger of breaching the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and 2010’s Equality Act, as employers must rightly treat disabled job seekers and disabled employees fairly to avoid discrimination, victimisation and harassment claims. Long term sickness looks to also be resolved, as it was addressed in this year’s budget. Absences of over four weeks have a huge impact on productivity, accounting for 20% of the sick days in the UK and costing businesses millions of pounds each year. The government believes too many people are on long term sick leave, claiming the relevant benefits and costing both the employer and the taxpayer.

However, arguably the most effective way to manage sickness absence is to tackle the underlying causes. Many employers are now recognising the importance of good morale and motivation in creating a positive attendance culture. So, in response to the 2011 report ‘Health at Work - an independent review of sickness absence’ by Dame Carol Black, from next year they will launch a new service to help get employees back to work. Under the current system of ‘fit notes’, a number of notes have declared employees to be unfit for work, where they may in fact have been able to perform some work; something that Dame Black referred to as the ‘sicknote culture’. This will be an immeasurable help to SMEs as they rarely have access to occupational health service. The sickness absence advisory service will be an independent assessment service for small businesses to help them access expert advice and manage sickness and absence in their

workplace. It is expected that the scheme could save employers on the whole, up to £160 million a year in statutory sick pay, and increase economic output by up to £900 million a year. Could it be that dissatisfied workers are controlling work based efficiency? After all, motivated employees have been proven to work harder and achieve better results in less time – therefore reducing labour costs. It requires less supervision and provides them with a tremendous amount of pride in their work, thus reflecting onto the company’s customers. The CBI survey highlights the importance of proactive management strategies, which is currently more important than ever. The high street shop Boots, have reduced absence in from 4% to 2.5% in two years by helping line managers create an environment in which staff are enthusiastic about working and those with a 100% attendance record also receive £50-worth of Boots Advantage card points. Common sense dictates that motivated employees have a greater level of concentration and are less likely to cause conflicts. They are also likely to show a greater loyalty to the company and have a lower level of absenteeism. Plus, as the average direct cost of absence was £596 per employee, the company will have a greater loyalty to them. Time and attendance solutions are a cost effective way for organisations and employers to not only monitor their staff productivity, but also allow HR teams to work far more efficiently in focusing on the really important tasks, rather than worrying about monitoring absence in the work place. In turn, employees that may be prone to ‘sickies’ will find it less appealing to be absent from work and will notice the benefits of focusing on doing good in the workplace. Absence management is here to stay, and the trade union response is to work for fair absence policies that supports, and does not victimise, workers who are off work with short or long-term illness. Trade unions can play an essential role in promoting healthier workplaces and tackling some of the workplace issues that are resulting in sickness absence. So whether caused by laziness, frustration, or actual sickness, the absence must be both acknowledged and addressed. After all, the success of a business depends on the health and well-being of its employees.


sales & marketing

What is Your Customer Acquisition Journey? To acquire a customer, you need to first get your business in front of them. How? By being a leader in your business sector. I have spend over 6 years positioning myself as an industry expert, holding keynote seminars at well known events and tradeshows internationally. I have put in a lot of hard work to make sure my target market will listen to what I have to say and enjoy my story. Regardless of my end objective, I always use the same strategy. The first thing I do is research my online market and visit events specific to my target market. I will then do my social research which includes using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, to find the right events for my business sector.

Written by Warren Knight @wvrknight

The Customer Acquisition Journey is so important for small businesses, yet most don’t have a strategy in place. As a founder and CEO of a small business, I made it an important step to spend some of my time researching the best strategies to acquire online customers, and retain them.

Once my research has been concluded, I then call the events marketing managers to see if they are interested in what I have to offer. This is only a touch base 5 minute call. If they show interest, I will then schedule a 30 minute call where I can get a better understanding about their event and what they want from me. This phone call will then turn into a face-to-face meeting if this is needed to secure a speaking slot at this event.

The first thing I do is research my online market and visit events specific to my target market If an event confirms me as a speaker, I will then follow up with either a call or email to find out specific dates and times for my talks. If you are looking to make important business contacts, not just for speaking arrangements as in my case, but in general; use LinkedIn. To avoid the frustrating gatekeeper at companies who either say “send an email to contact@ or 24

info@” or “give me your contact details and I will get the right person to call you back” go straight to LinkedIn and connect with the right contact. I have done this on countless occasions over the past few years and have had successful meetings with the RIGHT people within a business. My customer acquisition journey does not stop there. After securing a speaking slot I then need to understand the event’s industry I will be speaking at, design a suitable presentation, rehearse my presentation and make sure I have a call to action at the end of my seminar e.g. offering something complimentary in exchange for a business card. These contacts will be put into my database via HighriseHQ, sent an email, thanking them for spending time with me via MailChimp where a potential client may reply, looking for information on my services. I will then have a 5 minute touchbase phonecall with this potential client and follow the beginning of my customer acquisition journey to the point of a possible contract signing. I will have a clear understanding of the person and their company along with their needs after going through the above customer acquisition journey. Don’t forget to be as helpful as possible when speaking to potential clients during this journey so you get a great understanding of how YOU can help THEM. Good luck and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

CLOSING THE SALE Closing the Sale

Being able to make an effective sale is important to all salespeople, but getting it completely right is never easy. Saying all the right things, acting the right way, and knowing the right stuff comes naturally to some, while others are left struggling. Some find it hard to find the balance between being enthusiastic and sounding sarcastic, or being friendly or overly friendly, to a point where it’s off-putting. Take a look at these top do’s and don’ts that you need to adhere by in order to make the perfect sale. Do’s Do build great relationships with potential or existing customers. When you first meet a customer, you only have that one chance to make a good impression, so you need to nail it. Caring about customers and people in general, is a fantastic asset for a salesperson. If you treat people well, they should treat you the same, so don’t begrudge buying the occasional coffee (and maybe a muffin – if you’re feeling generous), it could help you out in the long run. It can only be positive if you have good relationships with customers, and the only real danger is becoming too comfortable. If you treat a customer like a friend, you may reveal certain traits that won’t impress them as a client. Don’ts Don’t ask silly questions. Silly, irrelevant questions sometimes pop up in everyone’s head, but there are the people that realise how ridiculous they will sound and then there are the people that well… don’t. It’s great to ask questions, curiosity shows that you’re interested, although silly questions can just make you look unprofessional. This is why you should research what or who you’re talking about, if you ask a question about the company you’re trying to sell to that is clearly visible on their website, it will clearly show that you haven’t taken a moment to look.

Do be enthusiastic about what you’re selling. If you’re not certain that the product is a great buy, the customer will pick up on this and could lose interest in it. On the other hand, when the salesperson is too enthusiastic it can sometimes annoy the customer. If you listen to what the customer wants and are able to present them with a product that you believe will suit them, you need to be prepared to tell them why you think this is the best choice. This is where the enthusiasm comes in, you need to tell them the facts and no matter how boring you find it, you need to seem interested.

Do deliver. If you promised free shipping/fitting/gift wrapping, then the customer should get it. You should aim to build a good reputation in order to attract new customers, as well as keep pre-existing ones. Delivering exactly on what you promised will persuade customers to keep you and your company in mind. This will also improve your relationship, as over time, the customer will trust you and your company.

Don’t have poor etiquette. Whether you’re talking on the phone or faceto-face, your manners and politeness should always be spot on. A salesperson chewing gum, mumbling, having music in the back ground, and talking to other people whilst on the phone, are some of the biggest put-offs, let alone being just plain rude! Use common sense and treat customers with respect – it will get you a long way!

Don’t lie. No matter how red-cheeked you feel, if you don’t know the answer to a question, there is no point lying about it. Simply tell the customer you can find out the information for them and that you will let them know as soon as possible. If you make up something that you ‘sort-of’ think is right, when the customer goes to do their research they will most probably discover that you were lying, which would destroy any trust or relationship built between you and the customer.

Biggest tip Listen, ask questions, and act like a human being. Nobody likes being sold to, so stop, take a step back, and simply have a conversation with another person; people will buy from you if they like you, so make sure that you’re likeable.


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Using Facebook for Business Using facebook for business has pretty much become the norm, and businesses far across the world are waking up to the fact that your business absolutely must be using social media in some form or another, even if the only reason is to not get left behind. Advice pours in from far and wide, and this article is of course no different. Proclamations outlining the correct ways to use social media are banded around at the same speed and ferocity as our office drinks coffee – speedily and furiously. So who do you listen to and what is the right way to market your business via Facebook? Glad you asked, as otherwise the below article wouldn’t be very relevant at all. Who should use Facebook? You should use Facebook to market your business if your customers are using Facebook. It’s that simple. Why should you use Facebook? Because it’s totally awesome and because if you don’t your arm will fall off. What do I put on Facebook? • Company news • Links to your blog • Links to free stuff • Special offers Most people, unless they have a personal connection with your business, will like your page so that they can get something in return. So what are you going to give them? It can range from anything to a joke, a link to a free eBook, really awesome information, or a picture of a kitten. And who doesn’t like kittens. How frequently should I post? Tricky, tricky, tricky. Post too frequently and your fans will unlike you, don’t post enough and you may not even appear in your fans timeline. As a rule of thumb, once a day is really quite enough, and only if these are spread out so that each day the posts appear at different times. This way, you can keep the frequency high, but catch different people. Please don’t post meaningless drivel though; only post when you genuinely have something to say or share and truly believe that your fans will enjoy what you’ve got to say. 26

DON’T Be boring Yep, it’s raining again. We can all see that because at some point during the day we have either been outside or looked out of the window. And even if we haven’t, we’re really not that bothered, and it’s depressing. Only ever talk about yourself I’m sure that your business is fantastic, and your latest special offer is blinding, and you’ve had such an amazing week, and you’re super excited about your next meeting, and you can’t believe you have such an amazing company and your blah blah blah blah blah…have you zoned out yet? Yep, so have your fans. If you could read their minds they’d be saying this, ‘shut up you self-absorbed care bears.’ And I don’t blame them. Ignore negative comments Think that you’re sweeping it under the rug? Ignore it and it’ll go away? Maybe, but do you want to risk it? Negative comments on Facebook are like the really good metaphor that I should be using here but can’t think of one. They spread when left to their own devices, and give the impression that you probably have something to hide. Get too personal Had a long day? It’s good to put your feet up with a nice cuppa right? No one is going to deny that after a long day, it’s your absolute right to put your feet up with a steaming hot cup of tea, hey, throw some chocolate digestives in there and you’ve got a civilised one person party going down; whoop whoop. But leave it off the Facebook page. You might offend the coffee drinkers.

sales & marketing It’s not all about sales you know Facebook is also a really great customer service tool, so don’t ignore complaints or negative feedback. Be grateful that you have the opportunity to make something right that may have usually been left unresolved- or even worse, spread by word of mouth like wild fire across the entire universe; or something a little less dramatic. You have the chance to solve a problem, and in public too, so use it to improve your company and do right by your consumers.

Jargon buster Cover photo – This is the photo that spans the top of your business page. Facebook now allows you to include a call-to-action here, so make the most of it and include an email or phone number. Special offer? Tell your fans to buy now!

Reach – The number of people who saw this post, or the number of times it was displayed.

Boost post – When your page has over 400 likes, you can boot your posts so that it is seen to a wider selection of Facebook users, users that are not already fans of your page.

Talking About This – The number of people who have created a story from your post. This includes: posting on your page wall, likes, comments, shares, answering a question, responding to an event, mentioning your page, tags your page in a photo, checks in at your place or recommends your place.

Insights – This is where you can analyse the data that Facebook collects from the people that visit your page. It also tells you how much reach your page and posts have had, their virility, how many people have seen posts etc. There’s a lot to look at here and you can really start to build a picture of what’s working and what isn’t, giving you measurable data to help improve your social media campaign.

Engaged Users – The number of people that clicked somewhere on your posts.

Virility – The number of people that your post has reached that are also included in the ‘Talking About This’ metric. (it is worked out by dividing the Talking About This by the Reach).

Size Guide Don’t get your image sizes wrong! Poor images don’t look very nice on your timeline, especially when they’re cropped in the wrong places and blurry. Cover photo – 851px x 315px Timeline image size - 125px x 125px Profile image size – 180px x 180px No excuses now. Make sure your images are the correct size before you upload them onto your Facebook page. 27

The Business start-up show 2013 Starting a business is never easy, we all know that. But over the last 13 years, free business resources have become more and more accessible for enterprises, courtesy of The Business Show in London’s Excel arena. On the 6th and 7th June, the exhibition brought together 25,000 business owners, entrepreneurs, start-ups, plus the RM Business magazine team, providing invaluable access to everything needed to start, grow or improve a business. The setting was perfect; after all, London is the natural meeting place for the world’s business networks. It is a leading city in the world’s economy and a center of international trade and finance, so the two day event could not have gone better. London’s ExCel was packed to the rafters with information, inspiration, tools, resources, seminars, workshops, and so much more – making the event one of the most successful to date. This is an achievement in itself considering The Prysm Group launched its first exhibition, Business Startup, at the NEC back in April 2000. Now, 13 years on and the company have never been more ambitious, targeting a minimum of two launch events every six months, making them the fastest growing B2B trade show organisers in the UK. So what is it about the show that makes it so successful? Well, for a start, the exhibition is built on the ethos of delivering outstanding educational content that attracts a highly targeted audience and offers an engaging visitor experience. The free to attend event 28

offers business owners opportunities, advice, and information that will impact on-going business growth within a challenging economy from a cross section of industries. This level of commitment helps start-ups, and provides visitors everything they need to improve, evolve and expand their business.

“Sometimes, the best business ideas aren’t innovative or different, they’re just recycled ideas done better.” james caan

Through countless seminars, workshops, networking areas, pitching platforms and more, business owners were able to find everything from new strategic partnerships to social media master classes. The stands even ranged from luggage distributors for your business flights, to companies like People Per Hour, where people are able to hire an expert and ‘buy more time.’ CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou explained, “We are a platform, we don’t intervene the action process, so we are essentially creating a trusted system for the buyer and the seller to connect over services. Stand out features included keynote speakers, which are a regular edition to The Business Show, and this year was the biggest and best that the UK has ever seen, covering just about every imaginable aspect of the business world,

from generating leads to effective marketing. There was also the strongest ever line up of speakers covering the broad spectrum of commerce, from the humblest beginnings to huge international corporations. James Caan gave incredible advice, drawing on his 30 year career to competently answer attendee’s questions for an hour. He touched on his latest project, Start-up Loans, and encouraged the new talent in a similar way to last year’s exhibition where he advised, “Sometimes, the best business ideas aren’t innovative or different, they’re just recycled ideas done better.” This message was reiterated by Russell Hall, inventor of Hailo, the app to hail and pay for a cab, proving sometimes the most simplest of ideas are the most effective and can even change the way we travel. Supermodel Caprice delivered a very thoughtful and inspiring speech, kick starting the Inspiring Women feature over the two days and proving it is a man’s world, but that it would be nothing without a woman in it, and they are certainly a force to be reckoned with. Lara Morgan, keynotes speaker and author of the book, More Balls Than Most, said to us, “I told the audience that I had sold my company, Pacific Direct, for £20 million and then gave them the opportunity to stand up and talk about their business and nobody had the guts to do it. That is a horrific status of play. You should be proud of what you’ve done and you need pride in sales and real competency so it’s unimpressive how poor we are at selling.”

sales & marketing

Another thoughtful element of the exhibition was the amount of social media and the weight it was given by most speakers and stands. It has the capability to drive sales and help business growth. However it still remains a hugely underestimated form of marketing for SMEs and start-ups alike and that thirst for better knowledge of these game-changing platforms has never been more evident than at The Business Show. Visitors spilled out of LinkedIn and Facebook seminars, filled workshops on Google and queued to see the specialist exhibitors alongside the workshops to tune into their own business.

each other, a totally opposite style to the speed networking but everyone is different.”

“While the Business Show is forever changing and adapting to meet the needs of business owners and entrepreneurs”

Separate networking areas also made June’s event the most connected Business Show yet. Business owners were around every corner, furiously dispensing business cards, swapping details and forging new strategic partnerships. Ranging from one of the most popular editions of previous shows, Business Connections which enabled show goers to make contact with one another, or the more direct and fast paced Speed Networking stand, courtesy of Ikea.

The differences in people really shone through on the two pitching platforms, Angel’s Den and Midas Touch, where visitors were able to source the finance needed for starting up and, growth and find out where they could improve. Plus, with peer to peer mentoring in the Boardroom and Face Time with likeminded people, the information and opportunities at the show were more evident than ever. Start-Up Loans promoted their Government-backed funding for 18-30yr old entrepreneurs.

Michelle Turner-Davidson, owner of The Healthy Wealthy People Group, and at the event with 4Networking said, “I took time out of my busy schedule because this event brings me face to face with my target audience. Plus they get to see what we are all about. We have created a relaxed space, which reflects us as a company, but we are structured too. Today we are running various networking meetings, where people get their three 10 minute one to ones. Plus we have some more open networking where people really get to know

Finally HP hosted GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS TM Challenge Fair to celebrate HP’s Officejet Pro X Series earning a Guinness World Records title for unsurpassed speed. HP announced that four records were broken at The Business Show, which is unsurprising as the stand attracted thousands of people who wanted to learn more about HP products designed to meet the demanding and unique needs of small and medium sized businesses and attempt a genuine GUINNESS WORLD RECORD too.

“SMB customers constantly look for ways to save money and do more with less,” said Stephen Nigro, senior vice president, HP. “The new HP Officejet Pro X Series is an ideal solution that delivers professional printing at a faster rate and cheaper cost than laser printers, while generating significantly less waste.” Mark McKinley, Guinness World Record adjudicator said, “The level of interest in the Guinness World Records Challenge Fair has been fantastic. HP’s record-holding printer seems to have inspired visitors to try to claim some records of their own. People have been coming back again and again to try their hand at the record challenges, and delegates have revealed some serious skill. I am very pleased to have awarded four new Guinness World Record titles.” While the Business Show is forever changing and adapting to meet the needs of business owners and entrepreneurs, it will always have the primary agenda of improving and expanding businesses. So after the phenomenal capacity, volume of people and level of knowledge shared, there is no doubt the next show will continue to break records too. Missed this exhibition? Don’t worry the next Business Start Up Show is at the London Olympia on 28th and 29th November 2013. Visit the website to register for your free tickets:


Euro Apocalypse It was ten years ago last month that Gordon Brown stated his case on the UK not joining the single currency. There was never any real doubt that we would, because the Treasury analysis gave him the necessary arguments to stand up to the pro-euro enthusiasts like Tony Blair and Peter Mandleson. Gordon Brown applied his usual disciplined economic based analysis and stated that the UK would not be adopting the euro, as it didn’t meet four out of five of his ‘economic tests’. And that was that. Proeuro ministers such as Patricia Hewitt and Charles Clarke and were unimpressed, but Gordon Brown and Ed Balls defused the situation and it ceased to be a problem. So in light of that decision, where are we now? Is the pound weak or strong? As opinions are so varied, it’s often hard to believe that the analysts are looking at the same set of figures. Certainly our economic situation isn’t in great shape, but one thing is certain, if Tony Blair had got his own way in 2003, and we had joined the Euro, we would be living in a very different Britain today and things could have been far worse. So let’s imagine, what would it have been like if Gordon Brown hadn’t been strong enough to say no to Tony Blair and the UK’s entry to the single currency had been agreed for 2005?

Living in a Euro world

Firstly, there would have been the transition from the pound to the euro. The correct level had to be found for the pound to join at, and because of our highly successful financial sector, we would have ended up joining the euro at a painfully high exchange rate. The UK government would have been fearful of joining the euro at an incorrect rate, which penalised British manufacturers, while other members knew that a low rate entry for sterling would add a competitive advantage to the UK’s strong financial services sector. And so, having given up the right to conduct its own monetary policy, the European Central Bank (ECB) would have set the interest rate, and the UK would had


to accept it. The UK was always one of the biggest members of the club, and therefore would carry importance in the Frankfurt discussions. But we were in the middle of a housing boom and UK families were borrowing more money than ever; the balance of trade would have deteriorated. But what goes up must come down, and in 2007 there was a remarkable crash. Because the banks had been lending heavily, they were exposed to the crisis and they stopped the lending, along with cheap credit, and the boom was no more. The UK’s economy would be in meltdown, businesses would be folding daily and unemployment would have risen to its worst level in 20 years. The government’s budget would have risen to unprecedented levels and tax receipts would have been smaller. The Government would no longer be able to finance its borrowing, and so would have had no other option than to ask the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union for help.

Put up & shut up?

It would have been probable that Britain would now have to leave the Euro and reintroduce a devalued pound, but EU officials would not have wanted the euro-zone to break up and so would have forced us to accept a humiliating deal with severe conditions attached to the loan. These would have included public sector employees accepting wage cuts, and local authorities told to find savings. Welfare and pensions would have needed to have deep cuts. The UK now would have had no choice in making the economy more competitive and would have had to hammer down domestic costs.

And so, love her or loathe her, when it comes to the euro, Margaret Thatcher was proven right. In 1990 in the House of Commons she gave a speech with her acid tongue summing up how she felt about European integration, “No. No. No.” Or according to the Business Insider, “it’s one thing to act generically anti-Euro, which a lot of people in England have been. It’s another thing to absolutely nail why the euro would be such a disaster.” Margaret Thatcher understood the essential part that the EU, when trying to merge all of these varied economies into a single monetary policy, which it was, in the main, inappropriate. If Gordon Brown had been defeated and Tony Blair had won in 2003, we would have had a bigger boom and bust. The euro would have been destroyed when we left, and we would probably be on the brink of leaving the EU altogether. As this goes to print, the UK economy has been building some market confidence, and we have seen GBP spike against the EUR, USD and AUD. There is also hope that Mark Carney, the incoming Bank of England governor, will ‘shake things up’, and our economy will get the kick-start it needs. But if we consider the recent improvement in our housing market and the hope that we can narrow our trade deficit, the green shoots of recovery are starting to grow.

money matters

Biggest Wastes of Money in the Office In every office, they’ll always be instances where money is wasted - but what about the things that we don’t even realise that we’re wasting money on? As we sit at our desks, the pounds are stacking up; businesses could be saving money on the little things that cost them without making huge changes. Lighting: A survey conducted by Ex-Or revealed that 85% companies admitted that they leave their lights on for up to 12 hours unnecessarily. Everyone is guilty of leaving a light on now and then, but if you continued to do it every day for hours at a time, over the year, the costs will really start to add up. The results showed that this included leaving lights on in storerooms and warehouses. 17% of those asked said their office lighting is “sometimes left on for up to 24 hours a day”, and 44% indicated that up to five unoccupied rooms at their workplace are left lit while unused, and nearly one in five admitted more than 20 rooms are lit unnecessarily. Paper: In 2008, there was a huge campaign in London that was created to enlighten people on the amount of paper wasted in offices. The parade included protestors carrying a two-anda-half metre high waste paper bin, made of 1,584 sheets of paper around the capital. Although many may think this is just a random number of sheets, this is actually the amount of paper an average office worker prints per month. There was even a ‘One Bin Day’ created, designed to make people think about how

much they are printing and throwing away. The convenience of having a bin at your desk makes it easy to throw away paper that can be re-used. Stationary: Office supplies are one of the biggest expenses that offices pay out for, however they are vital. Instead of finding the prettiest (i.e. most expensive) stationary every time you run out, there are a few things that you can do to decrease the bill. Buying in bulk can save you heaps of money; you can build relationships with the suppliers, as well as negotiate a reasonable price, but some people find this unnecessary. Instead of buying from the biggest brand on the market, buy generic supplies. Google Canteen: One of the many great benefits of working for Google is the free food. Although the employees are said to only receive two free meals per day, some have admitted that they indulge in the free catering up to three times each day. With a choice of healthy and not so healthy snacks and meals, the employees really do get looked after. With the thousands of employees working at Google, you can only imagine the cost of such a huge gesture. Working with rounded figures, it has been estimated that the yearly cost for this is about $72,288,000!

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How to Spot a Good Investment Ask any lady and she will agree that a good investment is like the perfect pair of shoes; hard to find but worth holding on to. It can’t be too high or impractical, so that you can balance both the risks and the returns. Investing is not an exact science, and there will always be some element of risk. Too often, you think that you really like what you have, until it comes to showing others, and suddenly you’re not so sure of your choices. Many people who have never invested before experience this same apprehensive feeling. And with the rising cost of living, it’s imperative that we invest properly, preferably with the lowest risk to generate the highest yielding returns possible. High rates of return on your investments are wonderful because you don’t have to invest as much capital to reach your investment goals. Yet, like everything, the more you want to gain, the more risks you have to take. As you get older, you are less inclined to take risks, you simply cannot afford to see a huge drop in the market right before you need to begin withdrawing from the investment. Too often, the confusion about investments and how to gain effectively can come from a misuse of the term. Both women and men have been coerced into going shopping and buying into the idea of an ‘investment piece,’ meaning it is probably quite pricey, but worth getting. No wonder we have all been confused, how can an item of clothing be an investment? Does it create future wealth? No, of course it doesn’t, especially if you follow the traditional definition of an investment piece and wears it to death to justify the price. No one in their right mind is going to pay the retail value, let alone more for a worn out item.


The simplest and most straightforward method for evaluating any investment will depend on your goals, but typically it is the percentage of people who buy into it and get their money back. The next rule of thumb is how many people made returns above their investment. Usually, if investments generate more money than they lose, they can be thought of good investments. Successful investors are called hedged risk-takers, implying that they will take risks occasionally if funds allow, but they never take more risks than they deem necessary to achieve their goals. Of course there are those who have historically been very financially successful through a risky financial venture. But below are a few safer options to produce financial gain. Safe Investments: Premium Bonds: The minimum amount that you can invest in premium bonds is £100, while the maximum amount is £30,000. Instead of earning interest, premium bond holders are entered into a prize draw every month and they have the chance of winning nearly 1.9m prizes ranging from £25 up to a monthly jackpot of £1m. All prizes are free from income tax and capital gains tax, so investors get to pocket all of their winnings. Another pull for savers, is that they are operated by NS&I, which is backed by HM Treasury, so any money invested is 100% secure. Plus if you don’t win anything, you can always cash in your holdings. Mutual funds: The whole idea of mutual funds is designed to entice the average investor. The combining of a great number of small investors’ monies to buy a broad range of stocks and other securities, is a simple way of spreading the risks. Mutual funds are good investments because small incremental investments can be made, allowing great flexibility through the shift of funds between a diverse range of investment assets.

...with the rising cost of living, it’s imperative that we invest properly, preferably with the lowest risk, to generate the highest yielding returns possible...

money matters

Insurance products: If you are a long term investor, this carries the dual benefit of insurance coverage plus higher yields and insurance products, such as annuities and life insurance. Government backed securities: Government backed investments are thought by many to be a secure investment. Although they may not performer the best, they are most definitely extremely secure. Unsafe investments: Commodities: This is the buying and selling of materials for future delivery. The commodities market, just like the stock market, is overrun with traders whose primary interest is in making short term profits by speculating whether the price of a security will go up or down. Here lies the problem – it is a lot of guess work for a short-term gain. The world’s natural resources are situated across several continents, and international disagreements over the regulation of natural resources are very usual. Occasionally a host country will boot out foreign companies that are in some way involved in the production and distribution of the country’s natural resources. Partnerships: Limit the liability of the partners to their financial investments, but due to recaptured deferred taxes, investors do not often see the initial investments made within the timeframe in which they first though, if ever.

Stocks: Informed, professional investors can and do make money frequently on common stock, average investors are not well-appointed to correctly speculate on the stocks that will do well and the ones that will not. Take an average investor, common stock, and 10 years, if untouched, the common stock would probably keep up with inflation and perhaps even gain 3 or 4 percent. But seldom do average investors do that and most will make very little. Ultimately investing is all about managing the risk that is involved in generating returns. No one can accurately forecast future trends, so view your investments how you would view your wardrobe – spend the majority of your money on timeless items that will never fall out of vogue, and if you have any cash left, set that aside for higher risk growth stocks. You should always be mindful of your goal, your risk tolerance, and above all, your age. But the most important thing to remember is that incredible investments show a huge amount of foresight, faith and focus. Well that, and a little bit of luck.

Ultimately investing is all about managing the risk that is involved in generating returns...

Collectibles: Coins, stamps, books, works of art, and other unique items can be good investments for knowledgeable buyers who take the time and effort to become experts at their trade. Still, for the non-professional collectibles investor, it is a tremendously limited and unhurried market— not worth the time nor the effort when it is likened to the limited financial rewards. 33

I think it was Napoleon who once claimed that we were a “nation of shopkeepers,” and I believe that we are. We have grown from market stalls and small specialist shops back in the 50’s and 60’s, to close to 300,000 retail shops across the UK in 2012, with Independent shops forming the backbone of UK retail business. However, times are now different and will continue to change rapidly so for independent businesses to survive and grow, they will need to adapt to these rapidly changing times.

Challenges According to a recent study of 1,000 shoppers by Groupon, 48% wanted a better range of Independent Businesses and retailers to choose from on the high street, whilst 40% wanted to see a regeneration of the whole area. Only 33% actually went to the high street once a week. Do we want to drive down to the high street, to be faced with a lack of car parking spaces, high car parking fees and a high street full of charity shops, estate agents and coffee shops? In a word, no! It’s much easier to go to the supermarket, which stocks most of the things we want, or to go to one of the out of town malls where the parking is cheap and easy, and all of the shops we want are under one roof. In summary, the challenges faced by Independent Retail are threefold, as consumers look for quality, convenience, and value for money. Independent Retail can provide quality and value for money. At Annecto, we are delighted to partner with (@findlocalfood) who promotes local produce to local communities. So as director, I decided to practice what we preach and go on to the BigBarn website and look for local farm shops to test out. I ended up at Calcott Hall Farm in Brentwood (@calcotthall) and was amazed by the quality of the produce, the whole shopping experience, and the price! The produce was cheaper than supermarkets for the most part, and the quality was miles ahead – I’m now a convert. I buy all my fresh produce from them, and enjoy fruit and vegetables that actually taste good. 34

This is just one example, but I’m certain that it’s not unique; we just have to look a little closer at what’s around us, and change our perception of Independent Businesses. They aren’t backward, in fact, quite the opposite; they are the future for local communities, local jobs, and we need to embrace them. Convenience This is a major challenge to overcome and one that requires a change in habit from us, and a concerted effort to revisit the high street which is now changing for the better in many towns and cities across the UK. The High Street gives us more than just shopping though, it is at the heart of the community and is a place for us to enjoy spending time whilst buying what we need or want. The High Street is critical to the local economy as, according to a study by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies for the Federation of Small Businesses, for every £1 spent on the High Street, 50p-70 re-circulates back into the local economy. For every £1 spend out of town or online, only 5p trickles back into the local economy! It’s more than just convenience, we should embrace the High Street to support the local community and the local economy, but that only works if the quality Independent shops are there, and they are if you look closely.

Technology Mobile technology has evolved considerably in the last five years, with Smartphones and portable tablets becoming common place. These devices have been fundamental in changing the way consumers communicate and shop by providing us with instant and easy access to the Internet wherever we are. There is a new phrase called ‘showrooming,’ where consumers will visit a store to view products before finding and purchasing them cheaper elsewhere, all through their smartphone and often whilst they are still in the store. Retailers have a choice of embracing new technology and working with it to communicate and sell to their consumers, or ignoring it and running the risk of being left behind. According to the UK Payments Association in 2011, 14% of all credit and debit card sales were online, which clearly shows the importance of having a web site and to be able to sell online.

In addition, there are three points that each Independent Businesses should really consider: 1. Connecting with their customers via Facebook and Twitter to promote their business 2. Promoting their business through organisations such as @indieretailUK and @findlocalfood and ‘piggy backing’ their social media power to promote their business 3. Provide free WiFi in the store and price matching anyone who you think is showrooming Here at Annecto, we are proud to sponsor the ‘Support for Independent Retail Campaign’ which is being led by Clare Rayner, the Retail Champion. The support for independent retail campaign provides year–round support, advice, ideas and inspiration to help independent retailers, and those who serve consumers to get, and stay, open for business.

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How helping charity can help business – what are the benefits to businesses if they help? The charitable thing to do Businesses of all sizes are suddenly feeling rather charitable. Ranging from little corner shops, all the way up to the supermarket giants like Sainsbury’s, local charity schemes has seen both customers and colleagues nominate their favourite charity to receive the store’s support for 12 months. And the best thing is, it’s proving to be a huge success. Sainsbury’s scheme is now going four years strong and they are by no means alone.

Even aptitude specialists have to agree that people need to use all of their talent in order to feel healthy and happy. Failure to do so causes frustration and unhappiness. That’s one reason why entrepreneurs should choose businesses in which they will utilise their special gifts. But since it’s not likely that you will utilise all of your special aptitudes in your work, it’s important that you find other constructive outlets for those pentup abilities that are dying to be useful. As we all know, happy workers are productive workers.

Looking around, it certainly seems savvy for businesses to affiliate themselves with charities to market their own business. After all, it makes perfect sense as customers and clients will be fighting over one another to associate themselves with businesses that support a cause in a meaningful way. So not only can it become a primary means for developing a powerful network, it also helps others in the process – it’s a win win.

So it seems the only real decision now is which charity to chose. The variety can make it confusing, as each has its own demands on your time and a variety of different positions in which to contribute. So look for charities that you believe in and to which you have some affinity. Not only will it be more fun, but also you’ll be happier giving your time and means. From a business standpoint, look for charities that will give you meaningful exposure to a large number of highly influential movers and shakers with free publicity. Not only can you make lots of useful contacts and make your business better known – but also show off your individual and collective talent and skills.

But if you’re worried about charities being aware of your motives, don’t be. Most of them will completely understand your secondary purpose for participating and are experienced at helping you to receive a return on your charitable investments. After all, last year corporate social responsibility (CSR) partnerships generated £2bn for charities, making them a significant source of income to say the least. There’s also a personal dimension to charity work. Business owners are doers, and doers like to accomplish things. For them, achievement is not just a good feeling, but a necessity. Feeling useful and successful on any level is the psychological tonic that gives such people the sense of peace and satisfaction that helps them find a purpose and feel fulfilled.


If you choose to sponsor a charitable event, try to choose one in which your target market would participate. For instance, if you run a small local business, try and organise an event that will benefit the community so that residents can see the results, rather than look to help overseas. Ultimately, although you are able to help your business grow through charitable work, the primary motivation for everyone is to help others. Everyone has a personal affinity with a charitable organisation, so if you can both benefit, then why not? Making a difference to your business is one thing, but making a difference to society is something else.

business for the soul

Sustainability – it’s not what you think! When you hear the word ‘sustainability,’ do you get a nervous twitch? Do you immediately think sackcloth and sandals and someone preaching about climate change? I have to confess that environmentalists do seem to have hijacked the word, and I do find this rather frustrating. But please don’t misunderstand me. I wouldn’t for a minute suggest that environmental issues aren’t important; of course they are. But sustainability in its truest, more holistic sense is about so much more than ‘saving the planet.’

Without question, we all face huge environmental issues, and these are probably already impacting your business. Who hasn’t been affected by rising fuel prices and increased gas and electricity prices? Some businesses have already been affected, or know that they are likely to be in the near future, by lack of availability and soaring prices of other raw materials. Disposing of waste is becoming increasingly important and lets’ be honest, do we really want our children and their children living in a society full of ugly and potentially dangerous landfill sites? And the very basic of commodities; water. Most of us take access to clean water for granted but even in the UK, and with demand increasing, weather patterns continually changing, and infrastructure challenges (which will be overcome, but at a cost to the end user,) perhaps we should be thinking more carefully about both business and domestic usage? And there is a reputational element too. Increasingly your customer will choose to buy from a company that can demonstrate that it is making every effort to reduce its environmental impacts. If you sell to the private or public sector this might be a specific aspect of winning the bid. And just because the average consumer doesn’t ask about your environmental credentials, don’t be fooled, if you are pro-active and can authentically evidence good environmental credentials, you’ll definitely score brownie points and are more likely to win the sale!

You’re a business person, so probably uppermost in your mind is sustaining your business and making a profit on an ongoing basis so that you can draw a salary, pay the staff, pay the bills and probably even grow the business. You probably have a family, so naturally you want to sustain (or even improve) a good standard of living. And hopefully your vision of a good standard of family life embraces not just what that looks like in your lifetime, but how that might translate for future generations. Sustainability actually becomes quite a complex issue. True sustainability embraces what is known as the three pillars, or the 3 Es: Environment, Social Equity and Economic Demands. And let’s be absolutely clear about this - we need to achieve sustainability in order to ensure our earth can continue to support human life; note the emphasis is somewhat different to ‘saving the planet.’

There are other aspects of sustainability to be considered and we’ll look at those another time. But for now, please think of sustainability in a different light. Start working to reduce your environmental impact; not only is it the right thing to do, but you’ll be playing your part in sustaining your business and the quality of your family life.

Jill Poet managing director of the Organisation for Responsible Businesses (ORB)

So let’s go back to now and the role sustainability should play in your life, both the business and social side of it.


What Licences are needed in the workplace?

When you’re embroiled in the excitement of starting your own business, it is all too easy to skip a few important steps, simply to get going. But failing to ensure that you have the right licences from the very beginning is one of the most dangerous mistakes a new business owner could make. So below are some of the most common licences and permits that small business owners may need to start up safely.


legal Companies House Although not a licence and subject to the Companies Act 1985 and 1989, there are only two exceptions for registration; sole trader and partnership. In the first instance they are trading in their own personal capacity, so they have no limitation of liability and cannot use the term Ltd, LLC or PLC. Partnerships are two or more self-employed people working together, so business is also not a legal entity, and the partners are personally liable for any debts of the business. Business Operation Licence Most businesses are no longer required to register with their local authority, and owners are only required to obtain a licence if their business relates to the sale of alcohol, tobacco or gambling. However, other forms of licence are required for individuals operating in certain sectors, such as, child care, pet shops or taxi drivers. The local authority governing the relevant business area issues most of these licences – such as the DVLA. For pubs, clubs or restaurants, two types of licence are required under the Licensing Act 2003, primarily to cover the sale of alcohol. A premises licence covers the building where the business is located, ensuring health & safety, and fire regulations are complied with in full. Secondly, a personal licence is required. This is the only thing which empowers the individual(s) who own and run the business to do so legally. Register Trade Marks While it may not be tangible, one of the most important assets for any business is their

intellectual property. In fact around 80% of a business is made up of intangible assets, so they need to be protected. All of these aspects of brand identity are capable of being registered trademarks to provide statutory protection. This can include the name, logo, slogan or even the packaging – the Coca Cola brand alone was recently valued at an estimated $34.8 billion. Therefore, it is commercially sensible for a company to check the Companies House register and domain names registration for any possible similarities. These checks are not obligatory, but should be seen as essential ‘brand insurance’ and an investment for the future value of a business. TV Licence Your organisation can only legally enjoy watching TV with a licence – whatever your staff, customers and visitors watch it on. A licence costs £145.50 a year, and if your organisation has just one premises, you’ll need a single TV Licence to cover all devices used at the site, including computers. If you have multiple premises, you may need a Company Group TV Licence. Music Licence The simple act of playing music over the radio or supplying staff with a television, requires three licences. PRS and PPL licensing are two independent schemes that represent the different rights and interests regarding the use of recorded and live music in public performances. If recorded music is audible in a public space at your institution, you

Symons & Gay

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need both licences. So for workplaces such as offices, a PRS licence is required for any ‘mechanical performance’ of copyright music as a background noise. Providing a TV in a staff canteen requires an employer to buy an annual PRS music licence, not just a TV licence. If employees are listening to music through headphones, a music licence would not be required because it does not constitute as public performance. Licenced Software Around 30% of UK small businesses have admitted to installing software onto more PCs than their licence agreement allows. Companies are also guilty of cutting costs and infringing copyright laws by using an academic licence instead of a commercial one. This may actually be a false economy, as unlicensed software use often leads to a legal action against the companies for unlicensed software use, resulting in the companies paying hefty financial damages. Licence for migrant workers The Home Office have warned businesses to be prepared for new regulations which mean that they will now need to apply for licences for migrant workers. Under an Australian-style points-based system, immigrants from outside the EU will be judged on the skills they can offer to the British economy. Registration of such new workers must take place by October 1st 2013 to ensure that businesses are covered when the legislation comes into force in November this year.

01708 744211 |

Symons & Gay LLP was founded in 1911 and has been in business in South Street Romford ever since. Symons & Gay have an experienced team of Solicitors and support staff offering different areas of legal expertise, including Domestic & Commercial Conveyancing, Wills, Probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Deputyship, Litigation, Landlord & Tenant, Employment and Family Law. The firm provide Legal Aid where applicable. Symons & Gay feel their success is due to them being a friendly and approachable firm. We like to think that clients will receive professional advice but in a relaxed manner. The firm have Lexcel, the Law Society’s quality accreditation along with CQS, the Law Society’s conveyancing quality scheme. The firm offer a home or hospital visit for those unable to get to the office. We also provide a free 30 minute no obligation consultation.



the future Local firm Grove & Dean have joined together with Havering College to launch the Insurance Apprenticeship Programme offering young people a new route into the insurance industry. Hannah Thomson, HR Manager at Grove & Dean said “Our Apprenticeship Programme provides an excellent route for our business to offer young people a genuine long-term career opportunity and gives us a chance to nurture and support talent. We have found that our apprentices are keen and eager to learn and are able to embrace technical and business skills whilst at the same time being able to combine the academic training provided by Havering College”. Grove & Dean, an insurance intermediary based in Romford, is a major local employer with 140 employees. Hannah Thomson added “We believe that our investment in apprenticeships will pay off in that we will bridge the skills gaps and develop insurance professionals and leaders of the future”.

Havering College can help your business ensure its future by working with you to provide work based training or apprenticeship programmes in a comprehensive range of business sectors including: ● Apprenticeships ● Business administration & customer services ● HNC & HND in business ● IT skills ● Literacy & numeracy at work ● ESOL ● Leadership and management ● Bespoke programmes.

For more information on how we can help your business contact our Business Services Team

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Thurrock Meet the Minister


For many business people, the words “I’m a Government minister and I am here to help you,” generates a feeling of cynicism as they are not generally used to central government doing something to help businesses. However, that was not the case when Essex Chambers’ members met with a senior Government Minister recently. International trade and the promotion of exports is a major area of activity for the Chambers of Commerce, and the opportunity to host a visit by the Minister for Trade and Investment, Lord Green, and hear first-hand about the challenges and opportunities faced by Essex businesses in exporting, was something that could not be turned down.

and Essex Chambers were proud to have one of the largest contingents of members and exporters there. More importantly one of our members, Allan Hurdle, Managing Director of Flakt Woods, gave those present some insights into how they have successfully exported their fans around the world.

There was a complete cross section of companies present ranging from Colchester based fan manufacturers Flakt Woods, through to Margaret’s Frozen Luxuries, a small business based in Earls Colne in north Essex who produce a range of frozen yogurts available not just in the UK but also now in Portugal.

Debbie Joyce, Essex Chambers of Commerce International Trade Manager said, “Our extensive export training programme helps keep companies up to date with current rules and regulations and awareness events highlight global opportunities. Whether you are new to exporting or looking for guidance on aspects of doing business abroad we will do our best to help you.”

Paul Brown from Margaret’s Frozen Luxuries said about the event, “We really welcomed the invitation from Essex Chambers to meet with Lord Green. Not only were we able to tell him about our experiences in breaking into overseas markets, but we also learnt a great deal from hearing other exporters talk about how they do things. I would really recommend anyone thinking of exporting to get in touch with the Chambers.”

There are still opportunities out there for businesses wishing to export, and making contact with the international trade teams of your local chamber of commerce is the best way to make that experience easier. In Essex you can find us at and elsewhere in the UK, go the British Chambers of Commerce website at where you can find details of all accredited chambers of commerce.

Despite the state of the Global Economy, Essex Chambers are proud to report that business and confidence among Essex companies is booming. This has been noticed through the increase in export documentation with over 12,000 documents processed in 2012 compared to 10,500 in 2011, coupled with constant feedback from our exporters. Essex members are not complacent and realise that they need to give 120% in order to keep export orders, expand, and have a keen awareness of all their competitors in Overseas Markets. This positive attitude is what appears to have assisted in increased exports.

To help boost our presence in the Thames Gateway and south of the county, we have recently opened an office in Thurrock in addition to our existing premises at Southend Airport and head office in Colchester.

Being Associate Members of COBCOE (Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe) has helped us keep abreast of issues with our European British Chambers, as well as giving our members access to their services. Working with COBCOE and our colleagues in UKTI, as well as other export service organisations, we have been able to identify most of our exporters needs and provide them with the support needed. It is our intention to expand on our export services to create a package to cover all requirements.

This new office is based at the Thurrock Learning Campus in High Street, Grays and is run by a new recruit to the Chambers team, Sharon Saunders. Sharon has considerable experience in business and will be working hard to raise the Chambers profile in one of the fastest growing areas of Essex. Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce said, “We are expanding into Thurrock because of its proximity to London and the exciting new development of DP World’s London Gateway port development, which is important not just for south Essex but also as a new major gateway to the rest of the world. As a sign of our commitment to the area we are working with Thurrock Council to once again deliver a major ‘Meet The Buyers Event’ being held at Orsett Hall on the 12th September, which aims to bring together major businesses in Thurrock, along with potential suppliers of goods and services to them.”

In October 2012, the British Chambers of Commerce organised their first International Trade Conference in London, 41

A new vision for Hornchurch Councillor Michael White, Leader of the Council for London Borough of Havering In Havering, chain stores, market traders and independent retailers rub shoulder to shoulder, offering residents and visitors a varied and unique shopping experience. However, as we go through tough economic times, it is crucial that we continue to support our local shops to weather this storm and continue to be important centres for our community. It was from this need to support the viability of our town centres that we decide to press ahead with the regeneration works in Hornchurch. With £3million in funding from Tfl, we have been able to deliver changes to Hornchurch in our bid to make the area a base from which our hardworking businesses can flourish. Over the last couple of months we have been able to develop: • A new, improved and safe pedestrian environment which has made it easier to cross the road and shop in the high street. • Specific loading bays - off-road – so that local shops can receive their deliveries with ease • Major alterations to the main area of the High Street including a 20mph speed zone, textured surfacing and wider pavements • New street lighting lining the approach to Hornchurch • New street furniture including durable bins, benches, trees and planters The works are - in part - one of the ways in which we can encourage loyal and new customers to visit the town centre and help boost our local economy. Throughout July we will be holding a range of activities to promote local traders and shops in Havering as part of Independent


Retailers Month. During Independents Retailers Month, two events will be based in Hornchurch to officially signify the end of the regeneration works and to shine a spotlight on some the fantastic local businesses in the area. On Saturday 13th July we will be holding our Hornchurch in Harmony event, which will be a family friendly afternoon with free musical entertainment from artists in the borough. We’ve also included activities throughout the day - such as a treasure hunt for children - to encourage families and visitors to move around the shops in Hornchurch and increase footfall. Our Farmers’ market on the following Sunday (14) and should entice Hornchurch foodies to the area, whilst raising the profile of some of our more permanent traders. During Independent Retailers Month we will also provide tangible support to our local businesses, including customer service training from WorldHost, the team that created the customer service programme for the London 2012 volunteers. Local traders will also be able to attend the course, the Guide to Successful Retailing Programme, which was inspired by Mary Portas and covers business planning, finance, sales and marketing, as well as buying and visual merchandising. The economic climate is proving tough for all. But we hope that with our continued work with local shops and traders in Hornchurch and beyond, we can create the right environment with a strong support network in which Havering businesses can thrive.

in the borough

women in business Hopefully by now, many of you will have seen or heard the advertising relating to the Havering Business Awards 2013, and I wonder just how many of you think “oh no, that’s not for me”. Why not? Do you think that your company is too small because it only consists of you and your laptop? Are you working from home and think that eliminates you? Are you concerned about completing an entry form? Is the company two men and a dog? If the answer is yes to any of the above, then let me tell you how wrong you are! I could spend my time giving you examples of micro businesses that have won or become finalists. I could even talk about Bombki, a one man band, working from home who not only won his category, ‘New Business of the Year’, but went on to win the prestigious ‘Business of the Year’ award also! But I don’t want to do that. What I want to do is tell you all the reasons why you SHOULD enter! Firstly, I WANT you to enter and, if you are

not sure about something on the form, call me, regardless of how trivial you think it might be. The process of completing the application will force you to focus on your business and how it is performing and you may even surprise yourself at just how well you are doing. Don’t be afraid of the judging process, our judges are from the very business community that you are part of. They want to see Havering businesses doing well, and will be judging you from a positive stance, so trust me on this one, they really are friendly souls. If you make it through as a finalist, you will receive publicity and recognition of achievement throughout Havering and beyond. Winners receive a certificate and trophy, plus the accolade of being judged the best of the best in their field, followed by press and media recognition. Short listed companies are entitled to two free tickets for the Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony (worth £80 each) where approximately 400 people are expected to

attend. There is a Champagne Reception, followed by a 5 course meal, including half a bottle of wine per person. With live entertainment, the brilliant Rory Bremner as our Host, and a disco through till 1.00am, you are guaranteed a fantastic evening. What do you have to lose? You lose nothing because at the very least, you will have spent time looking at how your business is performing. At best, you could be joining the cream of Havering businesses for a night to remember and walking away a Winner. Come on, do it now. I can’t wait to see your entry! Check out www.haveringbusinessawards. and remember you can call me anytime to talk things through. Yvonne Bendall Business Development Officer 01708 432871

Break a leg Councillor Ron Ower London’s Theatre land is a unique and colourful landscape, with a huge range of wonderful shows to see and experience less than an hour away. Whilst there is a huge choice of musicals, comedies and serious plays, often the tickets are so expensive that you almost have to take out a second mortgage to go and see them. Enjoying a night out with a decent meal for two can easily mean spending £200, and that’s a good chunk of change. Here in Havering there are some fabulous alternatives, and the Queens Theatre in Hornchurch offers some really wonderful productions. The Christmas pantomime is legendary in the theatre world, and this year they will be entertaining huge audiences with Dick Whittington. During the summer break, the family can enjoy Jump the Q Season Tickets, allowing you to purchase tickets for their autumn productions at hugely discounted prices; they’re a great idea and can also be bought as a gift. Look out for the various one off shows at the Queens as there is a wide choice of entertainers who now regularly come, and just love the theatre too. Further details and booking can be easily made by telephoning 01708 443 333. Whist we are proud to have the Queens, I am delighted to inform you that Romford’s Brookside Theatre has been set up and is based in the Romford War Memorial Hall in Eastern Road Romford, just a stone’s throw from

Romford Station. The brains behind the theatre is Jai Sepple, who set up the award winning Stage One Theatre Company twenty years ago, and his aim is to put on a wide variety of shows at this voluntary run venue. They have been honoured in having legendary performer Sir David Essex OBE as a Patron, having already staged a variety of productions, and they look forward to hosting Grease the musical this month. Please check their web site for further details, or telephone them on 01708 755 775. Havering is the place to be.



Written by Barry Hicks I am often invited to lots of open air networking events; they could be barbecues, a meal alfresco, or an invitation to a sporting event. The only difficulty that I have with these events is what to wear and what to eat and drink. If it is a formal event, you are aware of the standards required. The problem arises when you are not sure if it is a genuine networking event, or an event that people treat as a party more than networking. The other aspect is that these events tend to be more social than networking, which in some ways is good because it can cement relationships, but on the other hand, you may see people that you deal with in a different light, especially if they have too much to drink or act inappropriately. So it begs the question, where is the separation between business and pleasure. This is a very fine line which many people do cross. My advice would be to remain professional at all times and not take advantage of hospitality or dress down for the sake of it. Image is an important part of the business world, and casual dress is fine providing it’s smart and clean –people do talk – so if you are always smart, people will notice. If you have any networking news or if you are involved in organising a network group or event in the coming months, please email me the details for consideration to be included on these pages. 44

This month’s featured event was my visit to The Brentwood Networking Group, which starts at 8.00am at the Society of Old Brentwoods, Ashwells Rd, Brentwood. This is a regular networking group that meet every other Thursday morning to advance the businesses of the people that attend, enabling them to stay connected. Their aim is to encourage like minded business owners who want to do business locally for mutual benefit. On arrival at 7.45am, there were already a dozen people present, and by about 8.00am, this had grown to 30 or more. Colin Kirby of Design Partnership introduced me to a few of the attendees and group organisers, amongst which were Robin Bailey, Neil Hornsby and Chris Bushell. After about 15minutes we were invited to take our seats at round tables of about 6 people. Robin Bailey started the meeting. His introduction and running of the event was clear and concise and started with him saying, “This networking group is for grown up business in Brentwood.” We all then had a minute each to promote our company, and the attendees were invited to put their hand up if they have done business with you. Most of the 1 minute presenters had done business with somebody in the room. After 35 minutes, the diverse group of companies attending did some interesting presentations; some from businesses that I didn’t expect. There were very few clashes of businesses which is unusual at an open networking meeting.

After the presentations, there was a refreshment break where you could speak to any of the attendees. We were then called back to the tables and the 10 minute presentation was given by Keith Playell of There was a tyre on each table and Keith gave a very interesting talk on tyres and his company. I found the Q&A quite revealing, underlining how much Keith really knew his business. After this presentation, each attendee was given 15 seconds to talk about an advantage of their business or special offers etc. Once this part of the meeting was over, lots of individual networking took place. An enjoyable morning and I certainly will attend again. Last month we were proud media partners of Love Business Expo, which took place at Harefield Manor, Romford. The expo was a huge success and had around 25 business showcasing, 3 speakers throughout the day, and several hundred attendees. We spoke with event organiser Jade Stone to find out if everything had gone to plan. “We’ve had great feedback from visitors and exhibitors alike. All commented what a well organised event it was and many exhibitors have gained valuable leads as well as raised their profiles. Plenty more to come from Love Business this year, so watch this space!”

what’s on Tuesday 2nd July Essex Business Network

Southend, Park Inn Palace Hotel - 7am

SJE Barking & Dagenham Business Awards Ceremony

Essex Business Network

Brentwood Marygreen Manor - 8am Basildon, Campanile Hotel - 8am

Friday 5th July Essex Business Network

Business Person of the Year Supported and made possible by RBS - 7am

Chelmsford Golf Club - 7am Witham White Hart - 8am

Essex Business Club

Havering Chamber of Commerce

Mousham Mill, Chelmsford - 7:30pm

Queens Theatre, Hornchurch - 7:30am

Wednesday 3rd July

Biscotti Brentwood

Essex Business Network

Redbridge College - 7am

Eppnet Business Networking Meet The Bell Epping - 7:15am

Brentwood Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Mtg

Marygreen Manor - 7:45am

Thursday 4th July Nexus Network Group

Meet De Rougemont Manor - 6:30am

Essex Business Forum Brentwood Meet Warley Park Golf Club - 6:30am

BNI Barking & Dagenham College - Integrity Chapter 6:45am Stephen Webb contact 01708855125

The Business Cafe

Meet The Barn Brasserie Great Tey - 6:45am

Barking & Dagenham Chamber of Commerce

SJE Women In Business Breakfast Briefing Series 7:45am

Marygreen Manor, Brentwood - 10am html

Tuesday 9th July Essex Business Network

Southend, Park Inn Palace Hotel - 7am

Brentford Borough Networking

Marygreen Manor - 8am Contact Andrew Brabham-Neil 01277 220819

NELE Networking

Barking Enterprise Centre - 12am to 2pm

Wednesday 10th July Essex Business Network

Redbridge College - 7am

Eppnet Business Networking Meet The Bell Epping - 7:15am

Havering Council

7.30am - 9.30am CEME West Side – RM13 SEU Book a place by emailing: or call 01708 433 484

Thursday 11th July Nexus Network Group

Meet De Rougemont Manor - 6:30am

Essex Business Forum

Brentwood, Warley Park Golf Club - 6:30am

BNI Barking & Dagenham College -Integrity Chapter 6:45am Stephen Webb contact 01708855125

Essex Business Network

Brentwood Marygreen Manor - 8am Campanile Hotel - 8am

Brentwood Networking Group

Meet Old Brentwood Ashwells Road - 8am Contact, Colin Kirby 07717855435

Brentwood Chamber of Commerce Annual Summer Barbecue

Ingatestone Hall - 6pm

Friday 12th July Essex Business Network

Chelmsford Golf Club - 7am Witham, White Hart Hotel - 8am

Monday 15th July EBANG

Meet Dragon Enterprise Centre, Rayleigh 3:45pm

Tuesday 16th July Essex Business Network

Southend, Park Inn Palace Hotel - 7am

Wednesday 17th July Essex Business Network

Redbridge College - 7am

Eppnet Business Networking

Meet The Bell Epping - 7:15am Contact Tom Arnold 07971962617

Thursday 18th July Nexus Network Group

Meet De Rougemont Manor - 6:30am

Essex Business Forum

Brentwood, Warley Park Golf Club - 6:30am 45

what’s on BNI Barking & Dagenham College Integrity Chapter 6:45am Stephen Webb contact 01708855125

The Business Cafe

Meet The Barn Brasserie, Great Tey - 6:45am

Essex Business Network

Brentwood Marygreen Manor - 8am Basildon Campanile Hotel

friday 19th July

Wednesday 24th July Essex Business Network

Essex Business Network

Brentwood Marygreen Manor - 8am

Redbridge College - 7am

Friday 26th July

Eppnet Business Networking

Essex Business Network

Southend Peers Breakfast Meeting

Tuesday 30th July

Meet The Bell Epping - 7:15am Contact Tom Arnold 07971962617

Park View Suite, Chalkwell Park - 7:30am

Chelmsford Golf Club - 7am Witham, White Hart Hotel - 8am

Essex Business Network

Thursday 25th July

Southend, Park Inn Palace Hotel - 7am

Chelmsford Golf Club - 7am Witham, White Hart Hotel - 8am

Nexus Network Group

RM Business

Tuesday 23rd July

Essex Business Forum Brentwood

Wednesday 31st July

Essex Business Network

Braintree District Business Showcase The Braintree Arts Theatre

Essex Business Network

Southend, Park Inn Palace Hotel

Brentford Borough Networking

Marygreen Manor, Brentwood - 8am Contact Andrew Brabham - Neil 01277 220819

Meet De Rougemont Manor - 6:30am

Meet Warley Park Golf Club - 6:30am

BNI Barking & Dagenham College Integrity Chapter 6:45am Stephen Webb contact 01708855125

Essex Business Network

Vertigo Lounge, Hornchurch - 6pm

Essex Business Network

Redbridge College - 7am

Eppnet Business Networking

The Bell Epping - 7.15am Contact. Tom Arnold 07971962617

Basildon, Campanile Hotel - 8am

Brentwood Networking Group Old Brentwood Ashwells Road - 8am Contact, Colin Kirby 07717855435

*For up-to-date information please visit

networking event

30th july 2013 6pm-8pm RM Business are pleased to announce that we will be hosting our own networking event on the 30th July at the Vertigo Lounge in Hornchurch. Enjoy canapés and experience Vertigo Lounge’s uplifting environment, whilst talking to like minded individuals and networking with businesses that want to do more. 46

For more info e-mail: 17-19 Station Lane, Hornchurch, Essex, RM12 6JL


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Exercises You Can Do in the OfficE Sitting in the office all day doesn’t allow much time for physical activity, and long periods sitting at a desk is no good for anyone. There are several exercises that you can do to help get rid of an annoyingly numb bum and aching back, which will also help your mind set throughout the day.

Desk Yoga: At first glance, if you saw a colleague posing and humming at their desk, you might make a sneaky phone call to the local asylum, or least occupational health, but you might discover that they are actually exercising their newfound enlightenment. It is said to get you through your day effectively, taking a break from the computer and stretching every now and then is believed to keep you happy and productive all day long. There are several stretches that you can do at your desk with ease, which will help with your posture and productivity. Even if you do look a bit silly, your boss is sure to thank you when your working rate increases. Rating: Difficulty: 2/3 Sweaty: 1/3 Embarrassing: 2/3


Office Chair Abs: Replacing your office chair with a large exercise ball can give you a wholeday work out. Although colleagues may giggle at your adult-sized-space-hopper, they won’t be laughing when they’re clicking through your holiday pictures and admiring your super toned abs. Balancing on the ball will require you to sit up and tense. You should try it at home before venturing into the work place as it isn’t the easiest of tasks, and an oversized ball bouncing around the office probably won’t impress your boss. As long as you can still do your work, there are many great advantages of the exercise ball. Rating: Difficulty: 2/3 Sweaty: 1/3 Embarrassing: 2/3

The Hulk: If you’re suffering from a numb bum and back ache, the hulk is perfect. Start by marching on the spot, then lean forwards at the same time as marching, and raise your arms with bent elbows. Try to touch your shoulder blades together as you bring your arms up. This is may be best to do during a break as it could get a little sweaty, and as much as you get on with your colleagues, they don’t want to smell you all afternoon. The angry face and roaring are both optional, but the deodorant is kind of a must. Rating: Difficulty: 2/3 Sweaty: 3/3 Embarrassing: 3/3

FOX TAILORING THE PERFECT WEDDING SUIT FOR THE PERFECT WEDDING DAY The growing trend for couples to marry in a broader range of locations, and the introduction of the Civil Partnership Bill, means that a more diverse ‘look’ for the wedding ceremony is now available. Whether it is the Top Hat & Tails, a contemporary lounge suit, or a lightweight cotton/linen outfit in pastel shades for that romantic overseas wedding, Fox Tailoring can cater for most occasions and tastes. VISITING SERVICE Although having a showroom based in Hornchurch, Essex, an office in London and an office in Bournemouth, Dorset, Fox Tailoring’s Visiting Tailoring Service is very successful. The consultants cover a very extensive area from as far north as Herts/Beds, and going south as far as the coastline in Sussex and down to Devon. Based in Essex, London and Dorset, we have a central base that covers basically the whole of the south of England, says John Parrett, owner of Fox Tailoring, having started the business 10 years ago, after working for elite companies such as Burberry, Daks and Austin Reed. TRADITIONAL TAILCOATS Tradition is very important to people, and the ‘Tailcoat Wedding’ is still the most important look for many couples, depending on the style/ location of the service. Black, Navy and Grey are the most popular colours, accompanied by either the same fabric for trousers or co-ordinated striped trousers. Many couples decide to go down the ‘hire’ route for this look, which Fox Tailoring do offer in their Essex showroom. However, many grooms are now having their own Tailcoats made with the rest of the party hiring. This means that the groom can be, and should be, different and stand out from the rest of the party. It is after all his day too. Although the basic colours are still popular, there are varying shades of Black, Navy and Grey as well as different textures, like the Herringbone, Self Stripe, End on End, as well as plain. Every wedding has a colour theme, and this can be brought into the grooms outfit with matching lining colours & personalised detailing, like the buttonhole stitching or even the couples initials, or wedding date embroidered in the excuse for forgetting the anniversary. For the ‘extrovert’ wedding, any colour tailcoat can be made. We have even made a mauve Tailcoat for a Civil Partnership service, says John.

LOUNGE SUITS This is becoming an increasingly popular look for the groom. Wedding services can now be held in so many different venues that the look does not have to be that formal. It also enables the groom to wear the suit again afterwards, which is an important request these days. This is where Colour, Design, Style and Fit come into their own. Bright blue is the ‘In’ colour, says John, the brighter the better. Also, there are a lot of weddings overseas in warm, sunny, stunning locations. We are making outfits for a wedding in the Maldives, and the party are having just waistcoats and trousers made in a lightweight Italian fabric in cream with co-ordinating shirts. To complete the outfit we are having a breast pocket made on the waistcoat so that a pocket handkerchief could be worn, just to finish the outfit off, even though there is no jacket. We have even made ‘Tweed’ suits recently for a wedding on St. Andrews Golf Course in Scotland. Tweed is extremely sought after at the moment, the colours are superb and of course can be worn with jeans/chinos etc afterwards. TAILORED SHIRTS The shirt market is vast with so many shirt retailers in every city and town. You would not think there would be a demand for Made-to-Measure shirts, but there is. The prime request; shirt that fits. Fox Tailoring offer an extensive range of fabrics with styling detailing that matches a suit. There are approximately 15 different colour shapes, including the pin/tab collar and the extreme cutaway, all in such demand. Trimmings in different colours and designs are available for the collar/cuffs as well as different coloured buttonholes, all to match the colour theme of the wedding. Yes, these can be found in retail outlets, but the fit is so important to clients. With today’s emphasis on ‘keeping our bodies in shape’, the fit of the shirt has never been so important. We have clients who regularly order 4-6 shirts, not for weddings, but for daily use. Keeping clients happy keeps the business moving. Everyone is then happy. For further information, visit, call in the showroom for a coffee and a chat or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

Fox Tailoring, 187 Station Lane, Hornchurch, Essex, RM12 6LL 01708 563 995 | E-mail Twitter: @Foxtailoring | LinkedIn: John Parrett | Facebook: Fox Tailoring 49

car review

This month’s car news

ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS CELEBRATES OPENING OF NEW SHOWROOM IN ST. PETERSBURG Rolls-Royce Motor Cars St. Petersburg celebrated the opening of its new showroom in the famous city. The dealership will be directed by Tatiana Fitzgerald who is also the Managing Director of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Moscow.

AUDI TRIALS NEW MODELS THAT CAN PAY THEIR OWN WAY Audi wireless parking pilot project could make hunting for loose change and lost tickets a thing of the past.

For more information visit


DEALERS SAY 38% OF CUSTOMERS ASK ABOUT CO2 EMISSIONS THE TENTH VAUXHALL ART CAR BOOT FAIR Dealers are reporting a rise in the number of consumers asking them Celebrating 10 years of fun and frivolity, the UK’s hottest annual art for CO2 information as part of the used car buying process, according fair, the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair was another un-missable event. to the latest survey from vehicle information expert, .

HONDA DOMINATION AT 2013 ISLE OF MAN TT The 2013 Isle of Man TT was a resounding success for Honda, with all contested races - seven of the nine solo and sidecar races - won by Honda-powered machinery.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. BlackBerry Z10 Both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and BlackBerry Z10 have some amazing features, but which one would win in a ‘spec-off’? Take a look at the top two features for each:

Samsung GALAXY S4 Optical Reader: One of the pre-loaded features, and arguably one of the best, is the optical reader. Making great use of the S4’s 13 megapixel camera, it scans and transcribes large chunks of text from pictures in real time, as well as being able to translate it into other languages. One of the most impressive features of this app is its ability to recognise business cards and add the appropriate text to the corresponding fields automatically, and the wide sweep setting allows users to scan large pages of text. Air Gesture: A few years ago, only in dreams could you answer a phone call and turn the speakerphone on with a simple hand movement, but the creators of the S4 have made this all possible. Although some may mock the idea of waving at your phone, it can come in incredibly useful. The movement instructions can all be found in the manual, here are 5 of them:

• Quick Glance - this allows you to view the time, date, any notifications or messages when the screen is off. • Air Jump - you can scroll up or down without touching the screen. • Air Browse - you can browse web pages, images, songs, etc. • Air Move - this allows you to move icons around on the screen. • Air Call Accept- you can answer phone calls with a swipe. Smart Screen: Although the smart screen appeared on the S3, it is back with a few new eye-detecting tricks. The phone will stay on when it knows the user is still looking at it, the Smart Scroll feature is designed to let you scroll through text by slightly tilting the phone as you look at the screen. Smart Rotation allows users to keep the screen orientated with their eyes, even if you’re looking at the screen horizontally, rotation won’t activate if the phone can tell you’re looking at the screen.

Blackberry z10 Screen Sharing: the Z10 can share its screen with other BB10 phones via BlackBerry Messenger, an extremely useful feature, as if there were a problem with the device, you could show the IT department exactly what is happening and where the problem is. Users of the phone can share with others that they may not otherwise have been possible to see, proving useful in business meetings as well as every-day life. While on BlackBerry Messenger, you and the other person can participate in a video call, which has been likened to the iPhone’s FaceTime app. BlackBerry Hub: described as the new messaging centre in the Z10 and within the BB10 operating system. As the core of the Z10’s communications the BlackBerry Hub fits its name perfectly. All messages, including emails, text messages, social networking, etc are stored in the Hub. This means users can visit just one place to access all types of 52

messages, meaning it is both a powerful and convenient feature. Combined with the swiping feature, you can flick between your calendar as well as all emails and messages and respond to messages as well as create new ones, invite contacts to meetings and much more. Browser: There is nothing worse than having a great phone but a bad quality browser, and BlackBerry has clearly understood this. Unlike some of their older models, the browser on the Z10 is quick and efficient and supports both mobile-optimised and full-HTML websites. The layout of the browser is similar to that of Internet Explorer on the Windows Phone 8, which also has the black toolbar located at the bottom of the display. The 4-inch HD display is designed to make the experience of browsing websites more pleasing. The only downside is that there is no offline mode to save websites for a later date.


Belkin Slim Fit Armband The S4 features ‘S Health’ which has the ability to monitor a person’s fitness levels as they work out, therefore they will need a decent armband to keep it in. The Belkin option is designed to perfectly fit the phone and is made out of a breathable and washable material called neoprene; highly practical. The window allows the owner to view the display and the safety loop keeps the headphones stored away safely.

BoxWave Universal EverTouch Capacitive Stylus As the phone features a 5-inch display, there is even more space to become covered in fingerprints. This can be avoided by using a stylus. The BoxWave stylus offers a FiberMesh tip, ensuring that it lasts longer and the solid aluminium body comes in a variety of colours. It allows users the option to sketch or write by hand and with an elastic attachment, it can be plugged into the headphone port; attractive and practical.

CUBE Universal Car and Desk Smartphone Holder There are hundreds of different desk and car stands for the Z10, however this one has the winning edge due to its unique twisting design. The ability to rotate it in near enough every angle, means that it can accommodate most purposes. It is adhesive free and doesn’t leave any residue behind, yet still offers great grip at any angle.



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Kosho now in its 2nd year as raised the standard for bars in Essex providing the best music, atmosphere and drinks deals in town. The stylish West End theme makes it the trendiest bar in Essex which is why we hit capacity every night. If you would like to hire Kosho exclusively for your company we can cater for all events from corporate meetings to pop video shoots, available from Sunday to Wednesday. T: 07501 314589 W:


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Time 107.5 is the local commercial radio station for the London boroughs of Havering, Barking, Dagenham and Redbridge plus surrounding areas.

T: 07913 477 631 W: E:

T: 01708 475767 W: E:

If you know that you can’t run a company without IT, but it just seems to cause you headaches, you need help. Not just someone to sell you the latest gizmo, but someone to help you ensure your IT system does what YOU want it to do. Call us today to see how we can help.

Essex Chambers of Commerce is a fully independent body offering a comprehensive and continuously developing range of business services. For more information about Essex Chambers of Commerce and how we might assist you and your business aspirations please visit our website. Should you have any questions we will be pleased to assist you.

We have a passion for helping business’s go forward, by generating new business. This is quite simply really, lead generation. You supply the data, your target market, we make the calls and build a relationship with your prospects, sending emails and ultimately booking a meeting for you to present your company.

T: 0845 0940010 W: E:

T: 01206 765277 W: E:

T: 07796 441476 W: E:

Broadcasting 24 hours a day from studios in the centre of Romford Time 107.5 provides local news, up-to-the minute travel information and one of the widest choices of musical entertainment that you will find on the radio. T: 01708 731643 W: E:



Social media bootcamps thursday 25th july


using social media - 1pm - 3pm

We focus on how to use social media for your business and the different features that you should be using.

Does your business use social media? Do you wish that you knew more on how to use social media for your business? Come along to our bootcamps and we’ll show you how you can use social media to enhance your brand image, win new business, and develop an invaluable customer service tool. We only allow small groups in our bootcamps. Places are limited so book your place now. CONTACT US For your social media review* today

*£55 until 24 July 2013 quote ‘rmbu07’ normally £149

01708 475767 Twitter: @PositiveMediaPR

RM Business Magazine July 2013  
RM Business Magazine July 2013  

Spending a lot of my time sitting in front of a computer screen, often I find my mind wandering, day dreaming of all of the things that I wo...