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Tamworth & Lichfield

16th Quarterly Issue

Business E-Brief Sponsored by Q & A Management Services Ltd

16th quarterly issue delivered electronically to local businesses and public sector organisations


In This Issue Page Business news

Welcome to the Business E-Brief I am Deb Baker, local business person and new Chair of the Business and Economic Partnership (BEP). As incoming Chair I’d like to thank my predecessor Peter Farmer for his hard work in setting the direction for the BEP.

2, 3, 8

Grant funding £1,000 up for grabs from Think Local


There have been two major pieces of work we have been focusing on recently; the second Pop Up Show held at Drayton Manor and the consultation on the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBS LEP) Strategy for Growth. Our second no frills Pop Up Show was a success and we intend to deliver another larger scale event next year. One of the most important things we have been involved in is writing a response to the consultation on the GBS LEP economic strategy. This level of interaction with local small businesses is rare across the LEP and is just the start of raising our and your profile across the LEP region. These activities and advances all require good partnership working and improved communications.


Ask the experts sponsored by Q & A Management Services Limited 5 Xmas retail initiatives


Business Networks Forum update


In the New Year there will be quite a few enhancements to the BEP. The first of these will be a new website, which will go hand in hand with the Business E-Brief. We’ll be able to publish your news stories more regularly on the site, in more detail and use Twitter to promote them. If you would like any further information or have any suggestions please email me:

Announcing Business Networking Awards


On a personal note I want to thank retiring Lichfield District CEO, Nina Dawes, for all her sound advice and support of the BEP. I wish you all a happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2013!

Local businesses make their views count on Economic Strategy Deb Baker (Chair of the Business and Economic Partnership)

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership recently held a consultation on their White Paper Strategy for Growth. The White Paper explained the LEP’s aspirations and vision, and the consultation allowed all the partners and stakeholders involved to input, challenge and discuss with them the things that matter most for regional growth. To create a globally competitive city region the LEP’s proposed strategy splits the economy into three ‘pillars’ – Business, People & Place. Under these pillars are a total of five major priorities. These are: •

A new ecosystem for business support, enabling businesses to start and grow with locally relevant support and finance Clear leadership in key sectors where the LEP has existing

strengths and opportunities •

An overhaul of the skills profile across the GBS LEP, creating a UK-leading talent pool

Substantially improved connectivity within the LEP, the UK and to international markets

Better use of our physical assets and environment, supporting the development of vital housing and employment land

On November 13th the Business Networks Forum (BNF) held a meeting of local businesses, many of whom represented local Business Networking Groups, to discuss a response to the strategy. Opinions, issues and potential solutions were discussed resulting in an official BNF response. The main issues raised by local businesses were as follows: This article continues on page 8

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Business news in brief ”You’re in control, you keep your promises and if things go wrong you put them right.” Would you be proud if your customers gave you that as a testimonial? You should be as it makes a clear statement that you are a trusted supplier/subcontractor. The way to promote a testimonial such as this is to be different from your competitors and - excluding price - show that you care about your work and meet your customers’ requirements. Most purchasing decisions are not made on price alone, although you must be competitive, but based on a combination of Quality, Service AND Price. If you don't sell on price alone how do you prove to your customer that your product/service is of good quality and you provide good service? The most effective way is to attain the International Business standard of ISO 9001 or its derivatives as many of your customers are using it as a filter to select their suppliers. Benefits of ISO 9001:

Greater success with tenders

Increased profitability

Reduced costs and re-work

Competitive advantage

Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty

Proven to help win and retain business

Suits all types of businesses, large or small – manufacturing or services

Moving forward by getting the basics right! Malcolm Gibbs has held senior positions, technical and production, in different types of industries and therefore has a broad experience of operational systems and of course some of the problems. ISO 9001, ISO 14001, etc are management control systems that demonstrate to your customer that you are a worthy supplier however; it

TSRN celebrates 10 years Frazer Sneddon at The Sales Recruitment Network (TSRN) has a very good reason to be cracking open the champagne. November 2012 saw him celebrate his Lichfield recruitment company’s 10 year anniversary. Specialising in sales and marketing recruitment, TSRN also recruit in many other areas, including the hotel and hospitality sector. Clients come from local, national and international companies, and once they have used Frazer’s services they tend to keep using them! So how does a recruitment Frazer Sneddon, company weather some of the most The Sales difficult economic times in living Recruitment Network memory? “Recruitment is on the front-line,” says Frazer, “but we simply focus on our clients’ needs in a changing world, adapting and tailoring our services. We offer everything from a no-frills advertising service right through to the full recruitment model.” Disclaimer: The Business and Economic Partnership has taken all reasonable precautions to ensure that information contained in this document is accurate but stresses that the content is not intended to be legally comprehensive. It is recommended that no action be taken on matters covered in this document without taking full advice.) If you do not wish to receive the Business Brief please contact Matt Fletcher on 01827 709 382 or email


Malcolm Gibbs, CEng, MIET, MCMI, MSAE, FIIB –Q&A Management Services Limited

does not have to be difficult. In fact it must be SIMPLE and not take too long to achieve. We are so confident that we can help any type of company we encourage you to take up the offer of asking us to meet with you and discuss whether or not ISO 9001 is suitable for your company. We will tell you the truth and hopefully help you on the way to achieving a testimonial like the one above.

Hot wheels and glamorous geeks Rugeley-based marketing agency MMS is embracing its creative side for comics and becoming candid over cars, following a spate of new The MMS PR campaign ‘Geek local business wins Revolution’ took over the streets of scooping the PR Birmingham accounts for Mother’s Basement – a Stafford-based online one-stop shop for movie and comic book merchandise and memorabilia, and specialist car retailer Vision Vauxhall, in Walton on the Hill. The PR team behind Mother’s Basement won the business after pitching the idea of a high-profile media and public relations event, which mirrored the client’s strapline – “We sell stuff to geek out over.” The ‘Geek Revolution’ campaign came to life in Birmingham city centre and involved a well-known radio DJ, a bevy of glamorous geeks and a social media video, which revealed shoppers’ geeky secrets. Managing Director Glen Mitton says: “We are thrilled to be working with such a diverse mix of clients, and these recent new business wins further complement our portfolio of local and national clients.”

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Business news in brief Pickerings Solicitors win national award Tamworth-based Pickerings Solicitors LLP has scooped the title Local Law Firm of the Year at 360 Legal Group’s prestigious national legal conference and awards dinner. The Judges were looking for clear evidence of legal expertise and service delivery designed to meet the needs of the local community together with a willingness to engage with the local community and Pickerings Solicitors LLP clearly demonstrated their commitment. There was fierce competition for this award from firms across the UK, but Sue Hatton, Business Manager – what made Pickerings stand out from the rest Pickerings Solicitors LLP was the variety of different ways in which they receiving award from Viv work within their locality, from sponsorship of Williams of 360 Group. sports projects through to support for the local hospice. Having recently been awarded Lexcel and CQS accreditation, the firm are proud to offer a high quality expert service in a local setting to businesses and individuals in Tamworth and throughout the Midlands. Sue Hatton, Business Manager at Pickerings Solicitors LLP, said: “'Our team is delighted to receive this award, which acknowledges our long-term commitment to providing quality legal advice in an accessible local setting.”

21 years of success for Cathedral Chem-Dry Local business owner Neil Weyham has been running Chem-Dry franchise, Cathedral Chem-Dry in Lichfield, since 1991 and has been awarded the title of ‘Best Midlands Franchisee’, as his company celebrates 21 years in business. Neil says: “It’s fantastic that out of the 300 Chem-Dry franchises running nationally, of which about 40 are Midlands based, our business has received this high accolade. We’re over the moon!” Cathedral Chem-Dry isn’t new to winning awards, having being crowned ‘Chem-Dry Marketer of the Year’ two years running, plus winning the company’s ‘Perpetual Excellence Award’ in 2010.

Free training for west midlands employers BDS Learning has won a £0.4m contract from Calderdale College to deliver a range of NVQ and Literacy/Numeracy qualifications across the West Midlands. This is part of a national contract, co-financed by the Skills Funding Agency and European Union Social Fund, aimed at employees aged 19+, without 5 A*-C GCSEs. First groups on the programme include a taxi firm from Birmingham (14 x Customer Service) and an engineering company from Tamworth (2 x Team Leading).

A step in the right direction for Olympic water polo athlete

New jobs created and a camper van saved by GMP

Rosie Morris, Team GB Olympic Water Polo Athlete, recently visited Tamworth based Footsteps Treatment Clinic for surgery on her ingrown toe nail. Footsteps specialises in Podiatry (Chiropody), Sports Injury and Physiotherapy. Podiatrist Sue Pike who carried out the procedure said "My profession brings me into contact with a variety of people but it's not too often I get to treat an Olympian! It was a real pleasure and honour to treat such an inspirational athlete plus it was fascinating to get some backstage information about the Olympics and the life of a professional athlete."

Rugeley-based GMP Design, a leading UK pub, club and restaurant designer specialising in the leisure industry is bucking the economic trend with orders worth nearly £4 million. They are expanding with new jobs to cope with a flood of lucrative contracts including an in-house planning consultant and a third paid intern under their internship development programme and they are now looking for a full time administrator to cope with the increased workload, along with fitters

GMP Design’s restored camper van in situ in York nightclub.

Left to right Adrian Jolly - Chem-Dry Network Services Director, Paul Brown - Sponsor from Driez UK, Neil Weyham - Cathedral Chem-Dry and Pam Thompson Chem-Dry Franchising Director

to help with projects. GMP also recently worked with Lichfield Accident and Repair Centre when they were asked to revamp the biggest nightclub in York with a cutting-edge design resulting in the rescue and refurb of a 38 year-old VW camper van. The garage restored the van to its former glory before cutting it in two to get it inside the club and once inside it was re-assembled and fitted out with nightclub-style seating to fit in with the new theme.

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Business news in brief Grant funding for business growth On offer is a grant of between £10,000 and maximum £15,000 for 45% of a project, based on the eligibility criteria below. The Business Development Programme is a brand new scheme for local businesses in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local enterprise area. Funded by the European Union the fund runs from September 2012 until May 2015.

Businesses must:

Examples of some of the revenue costs eligible are:

Be an existing small to medium enterprise trading for six months or more

Up to three days of accredited business advisor support

Employ less than 250 people

Removal costs

Have a current business plan

Expansion of existing premises

Have an expansion plan in place

Have a viable project that qualifies for the minimum grant of £10,000

Rent and rates associated with moving to new premises

Installation (heating and lighting)

Create new jobs / safeguard existing jobs as a direct result of the project implementation

Installation of cabling as part of the relocation / expansion

Be based in, or relocating to the GBS LEP area


Be in one of the eligible business sectors

Marketing and branding

The grant is equivalent to 45% of eligible costs subject to satisfying criteria and approval by an awarding panel. There will also be an administration fee of 1.5% of the project costs, which will be deducted from the first grant payment. To establish if your business qualifies for consideration and eligible costs or for further information and an application form please contact Matthew Fletcher on or 01827 709 382.

£1000 prize up for grabs to mark ‘Think Local’ milestone Companies in Staffordshire will be given the chance to win £1000 of PR and marketing support as part of a new campaign run by Think Local 4 Business (TL4B). The initiative, which aims to promote local trading across the County, will give a business boost to the 1000th member that signs up to the groundbreaking concept. All firms need to do to be in with a chance of winning is create a profile on, the online platform used to encourage inter-trading, promote local enterprise and showcase contract opportunities. With 970 firms already signed up, it is expected that the milestone will be reached in the lead up to the Think Local 4 Business Show due be held on 29th November in Burtonon-Trent. And in an additional ‘Christmas present’ from Think Local, any company who registers by December 24th will also be entered into a prize draw to win a month’s free advertising on the website.

Left to right Peter Farmer, Director of TL4B and James Roberts, Board Member.

“Since we transferred from local authority control to private sector ownership at the start of October, we’ve had over 100 new companies join the ‘local’ movement – the fastest growth since it launched three years ago.” Explained Peter Farmer, Director of TL4B and Managing Director of The Grapevine. “£50,000 of new business has been generated in the last month and we expect this figure to grow significantly with the Think Local 4 Business Show on the horizon.” Explained James Roberts, Board Member.


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Ask the experts – about quality standards Sponsored by: Q & A Management Services Limited We asked Malcolm Gibbs of Q & A Management Services, a quality professional who has been trading for 19 years offering Quality Services to a wide range of companies in both manufacturing and service industries, to tell us what every business needs to know about quality standards.


Why should I bother with ISO 9001, I know companies who have the "badge" and it just means that they make bad products – but consistently? I agree that obtaining ISO 9001 is about systemising your business and aiming for consistency in the manner in which you satisfy your customer requirements. However, it is a jaundiced view that expects having the "badge" alone will improve your product or service. I liken it to looking after your car. If you do nothing to your vehicle, except maybe put in fuel, it will appear to work fine for a while. However, if you do not service or clean it, you will start to notice that it becomes less reliable than it used to be (and in this story so will your customers). Eventually, maybe through an accident or a puncture, you will have to spend additional time and money to get it back on the road when all that was necessary was to have a plan of regular service and maintenance.


Isn't it all about paperwork?


What are all these standards about, I can't keep up?


It is true that there are many standards, which may affect your business such as ISO 14001 (Environmental Management), BS OHSAS 18001 (Health & Safety Management System) etc. But the good news is that they are all based on ISO 9001. So getting this basic standard is a platform for all your future requirements.

No. There is paperwork involved, but, only where it adds value to the process. ISO 9001 is about establishing a Quality Management System, which if it is appropriate will include no additional paperwork than you already have. In fact it may reduce it.

You decide - many customers use ISO 9001 as a “filter” to decide whether or not to give you their business. It may not always seem fair but that is the way it is.

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Local independent retailers in bid to boost Christmas sales What would you do with £1000 to spend in Lichfield and £500 to spend in Tamworth? Lichfield city centre traders and the Lichfield Town TA Christmas Shopping Crawl has been launched to give local shoppers a chance to win over £1,000 in cash and vouchers. The campaign is supported by more than 20 local retailers, as well as the new Lichfield Town Team, Lichfield District Council, The Best of Lichfield, the Lichfield Gazette and Design Pit. Tamworth town centre retailers and Tamworth Council have launched their own Countdown To Christmas Trail and one lucky shopper will win £500 in cash. To be in with the chance to win, you first need to pick up a Shopping Crawl or Christmas Trail Passport that will either arrive through your letterbox shortly, or is available at all of the stores taking part in this fantastic festive offer.

Business Networks Forum Update The Business Networks Forum is run by local businesses with support from the local council’s Business Development Team. Giving businesses a voice on local and national business issues Ambassadors from local networking groups, individual businesses and organisations attend. We have been very busy co-ordinating the response of small local businesses to the GBS LEP Strategy For Growth White Paper, see main story on page 1 and continued on page 8. Our next meeting that takes place on 5th December will see a new style format as the BNF aims to become a more actionoriented group pursing issues on behalf of local businesses. The first issue we are tackling in the new format is the subject of parking and traffic flow in Tamworth and Lichfield. All local businesses are welcome to attend BNF meetings. Please contact Matt Fletcher. Contact details on page 8.


Business Bites Lichfield-based consultancy Data and Process Advantage (DPA) have branched out to the Middle East. They have completed a strategic process review for the Regulation and Supervision Bureau, Abu Dhabi, the independent regulatory body for the water, wastewater and electricity sector of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. DPA Director, Ann Schwarzenbach, said “It’s been very easy to work in Abu Dhabi. I would encourage any business in our area to look at the opportunities in the UAE.” Already a recognised Microsoft, Citrix and Cisco commercial training partner EZE Training recently gained the status of Microsoft IT Academy and Approved City & Guilds Centre. EZE Training is now embarking on a new and exciting scheme in collaboration with City & Guilds to deliver intermediate advanced and higher apprenticeships.

Business Networks Forum Co-Chairs Left to right: Karen Nicholls – Roar Marketing Limited, Tracy Pound – MaximITy Limited.

SBXL, with offices in Lichfield and Tamworth, is a leading retail research firm and has brought Ian Strachan Communications on board to raise its profile in the retail, specialist and business media. SBXL, which recently featured on Gloria Hunniford’s BBC programme “Rip-Off Food”, counts most UK supermarkets among its clients, as well as retail outlets and brands across Europe, North America and the Far East.

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Announcing the Business Networking Awards 2013 On Saturday 26th January 2013 Drayton Manor will host the Business Networking Awards at a glamorous black tie gala dinner with first-class entertainment.

Local businesses can get involved in a number of ways: •

Enter for an Award or nominate another local business. The deadline for completed entry/nomination forms is 12 noon on Friday 14th December 2012. Terms and conditions apply.

Local dignitaries’ have confirmed their attendance including the MP for Tamworth, Mayor of Tamworth, Deputy Mayor of Lichfield and Lichfield Council Chairman and some sponsors have already signed up including Drayton Manor, Northwood Lettings, Silverpoint Inventories, Greenshoot HR and the Business Networks Forum.

Become a Sponsor or Advertiser opportunities range from £50 to £1,000

Book a Seat at the Event for just £35

The awards are the brainchild of local businessman and current Chair of business networking group Business B4 Work, Dave Harper of Silverpoint Inventories Limited. The awards are supported by all the local business networking groups listed below and the Business Networks Forum.

Visit or contact Dave Harper /07914 048 915 regarding advertising, sponsorship, booking seats and information on entering the awards. Contact Matt Fletcher at Tamworth Borough Council. details on page 8, for information on entering the awards.

B2B Tamworth sponsor Sharon Fox Cancer Centre Local networking group B2B Tamworth has announced that the Sharon Fox Cancer Centre will be their charity for 2012/2013. Sharon who was herself suffering from cancer when she founded the Centre has built an incredible organisation from nothing to show compassion and support to anyone suffering from or affected by cancer. B2B Tamworth will be supporting the Cancer Centre in various ways for example they will be holding a raffle at their black tie Christmas Party at Marston Farm Hotel on 14th December and Sharon Fox and her husband have been invited to attend.

Business networking is an effective and low-cost way to market your business and generate sales, and we have a thriving community of business networking groups in the Tamworth and Lichfield Area. If you have not tried business networking before, why not give it a try? Here’s a list of our local business networking groups. 4 Counties Networking Group - B2B Tamworth - Best Of Lichfield - BNI –

If you know of any other local business networking groups please send your details to Matt Fletcher at Tamworth Borough Council, see contact details on page 8

Business 1st – Business AM - Business B4 Work - Connect - Fish & Chip Fryday - Professionals At Cathedral House Business Breakfast Club - Women In Rural Enterprise Network - Tamworth Breakfast Group – The Women’s Business Clubs –

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Local businesses make their views count on Economic Strategy

(continued from page 1)

the ability of the LEP to deliver the strategy without any budgets or specific financial support was questioned though it was recognised that the role of the LEP would be to communicate with, direct and influence bodies to achieve the overall aims and objectives and the strategy

It was felt that the importance and value of the role that small and micro businesses play in the economy was not referred to or made clear enough

There is too much focus on the larger cities in the LEP area and the impact of larger businesses, too much focus on Birmingham in

particular, although it was understood that by focussing on these areas and larger businesses that could attract significant investment, which would have a positive “ripple” effect on the wider business community •

To many Ambassadors it initially feels like the LEP is going back to previous strategies and approaches that have been tried in the past – supporting large scale industry and historically strong sectors such as automotive and manufacturing

The result of this consultation was the local business population submitted its response to the LEP raising our

profile and opening the doors for future discussion and involvement. The role that local businesses have played in submitting their response has already been noted as extensive and appreciated, small business views are often hard to gather in such a comprehensive way. The next steps will be the publication of a final version of the LEP strategy in the New Year, then it will be the role of the BEP and the BNF to ensure that the LEP does what it has said it will to encourage and drive economic growth. If you would like a copy of the BNF response to the LEP strategy or a copy of the strategy itself please contact Matt Fletcher, details below.

College students work with Triumph and Araldite South Staffordshire College is forging strong links with local motorcycle manufacturer Triumph that will benefit both Motor Vehicle and Engineering based students and Media students are working on a brief to revisit the brand heritage of Araldite® adhesives, one of the DIY market’s best known product ranges. When Triumph Motorcycles contacted the College’s Motor Vehicle department to ask if they would be interested in some motorcycle engines for training purposes, they were delighted to take them off their hands. And Triumph’s generosity has not stopped there. The Hinckley-based company has donated motorcycles, components and fuel injection training rigs worth in the region of £40,000.

South Staffordshire College’s Level 2 IMI Motor Vehicle Students with Triumph motorcycles

The Media students are working towards a dragons-den style showdown where a number of teams will pitch a proposed 30-second TV

ad to an expert panel. The judges will include representatives from Araldite®’s international marketing team.

Contact us

or email

Tamworth marketing consultancy, Roar Marketing Limited works in partnership with the Business & Economic Partnership to produce the Tamworth and Lichfield Business E-Brief. Contact Karen Nicholls at Roar Marketing,,

For sponsorship and advertising opportunities please contact Karen Nicholls or Matt Fletcher and please send your news stories for the Business E-Brief (with picture or logo) to Matt Fletcher at Tamworth Borough Council.

Matt Fletcher’s department is the central link between the public sector and local businesses, so if you have any queries about any of the articles in this issue or just don't know who to speak to on business issues please contact Matt on 01827 709 382


The Business Brief is collated, written and designed in Tamworth and Lichfield.

Now delivered electronically to thousands of local businesses and public sector organisations

Matt Fletcher, Senior Economic Development Officer, Shared Service Tamworth Borough Council and Lichfield District Council

Business Brief - Winter 2012  

Tamworth and Lichfield Business Brief

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