Serving 5,000 deciSion-makerS in and around Peterborough
ESSENTIAL READING FOR LOCAL EXECUTIVE LEADERS
Inside this issue Latest news and views, including: New look for team as major venue rebrands Arena aims high on UK events map Seven deadly sins of communication Avoid them or alienate customers A culture of innovation Building one will benefit business Far off? Far out! Itâ€™s never too early to plan a long-haul trip to somewhere special
ESSENTIAL READING FOR LOCAL EXECUTIVE LEADERS
Welcome he effects of the latest Budget take a while to be fully assessed, but there are many company chiefs currently wondering whether any Government has truly helped businesses (page 4). The last four years have been an uphill slog and the notion of making money seems to have lost ground to making ends meet. Noted and oft-quoted scientist Steven Wright says, if you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain – and that principle is echoed by skills coach David Grundy, who advises today’s entrepreneurs to set themselves realistic goals. Meanwhile, business strategist Patrick Sim tells how to achieve those goals by adopting a culture of innovation (page 21). The latest technological innovation, of smartphones/tablet devices, is given credit for driving up retail sales made via the Internet, despite this age of austerity – or perhaps because of it, as shoppers search the web for bargains. In February, reports the Office of National Statistics, retail sales showed an increase of 3.2 per cent, year-on-year – and 10.7 per cent of all retail sales took place online. Does this steady climb foretell the death of the high street, or merely show the customer is out shopping again – via clicks or bricks or, most likely, both? Perhaps Spring is working her magic, drugging us with optimism – but, tentatively, confidence is rising. Growth is anticipated by the majority of supporters of the new Get Britain Trading 2012 campaign, by the Forum of Private Business: 95 per cent are already exploring ways of developing their businesses. The mood is similar among members of the Federation of Small Businesses – see page 6. With nearly £30 billion of sales coming via e-commerce over the past year, the UK has become a global leader in online shopping. And to think, Napoleon meant to be scornful when he called Britain: “A nation of shopkeepers.”
The Business Scene Team Publisher Heidi Semple Editor Sally Hooton Sub editor Carol Randall Design Jim Counsell Advertising Charlotte Charlesworth Address: Old School House, Great North Road, Wittering, Peterborough, PE8 6BX
Telephone: +44 (0)1780 783613 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.thescenemagazine.co.uk
News – Banks should share branches, to stave off closures, says Phil Orford
Legal Eagle – There are seven deadly sins of communication, says Patrick Jelly, and one is actually illegal. PLUS columnist Nick Ash summarises the latest Budget
Drive – Motor man Tim Barnes-Clay reports on his week behind the wheel of the elegant and sporty Maserati GranCabrio
Clicks & Mortar – Will the mobile phone replace the PC? Stace Hipperson has strong views
Webwise – Get to know more about SEO, says our digital expert, Stan Nyokas
Workforce – Colin Nottage, our health and safety guru, answers your H&S questions
Skillset – Build a culture of innovation: Patrick Sim tells how. PLUS set realistic goals, says our skills coach David Grundy
Off Duty – Our tour guide Tamara Taylor says it’s never too early to plan ahead: now is the ideal time to book a long-haul Christmas treat!
What’s On – Dates for your diary, PLUS the lakeside business which has splashed out on new shores
Headlines – Charitable giving should be a business ‘must’, says Elizabeth Inman
Serving 5,000 executives in and around Peterborough
Alison Toomey says charity at work can boost staff morale
Bill Marshall is busy taking care of the city’s print business
Prof Sai Gu brings ‘green’ learning to Peterborough
Hollie Ward and Felicity Adams model Arena’s rebranded new look
NEWS Budget: ‘not enough of a boost’ he Chancellor could have done more to help boost business confidence and power growth in the UK, the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce has said. John Bridge, chief executive of the chamber, said: “There has never been a more important moment for the Government to focus on the long-term, sustainable growth of British business. The commitment to reducing corporation tax will be warmly received by some businesses. However, many small and
Left: John Bridge.
medium-sized companies will not benefit and feel the Chancellor did not do enough in his Budget to support confidence and growth. “Companies will be hit with a 5.6 per cent rise in business rates from April, lower allowances for new plant and machinery investment, no further incentive to create employment, particularly for young people and fuel duty increases in August. While welcoming the one per cent cut in Corporation Tax and reduced borrowing costs for some businesses, the problems companies have, particularly when it comes to
accessing finance, will remain a real barrier to growth. “Businesses need to see radical and meaningful delivery of the promises of reforming infrastructure, planning and employment law to provide some reassurances. It is pleasing to see the Chancellor did reiterate promises to carry out the reforms, along the overhaul of transport and broadband networks plus helping firms enter new overseas markets. I hope the Chancellor’s actions speak louder than words over the coming weeks to show the Government’s real commitment to business growth.”
Agency with a royal brief t’s not every day a company gets the opportunity to design for Her Majesty the Queen. But for Masters Allen, a creative design and marketing agency based in Swithland, Leicestershire, that’s exactly the challenge they were set recently by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU). The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duchess of Cambridge visited DMU last month as part of the UK Diamond Jubilee tour – so Masters Allen was briefed to create a range of materials to commemorate the occasion. Sean Masters, creative director of Masters Allen, said: “It certainly wasn’t a brief we expected to receive when DMU got in touch. However, we were really honoured and saw this as
a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase what we could do, while ensuring we did DMU justice.” He added: “We embraced our British heritage with the covers and produced a set of three brochures in the iconic Union Flag trio of colours – red, white and blue, which were finished with a silver foil to add a regal feel. “The brochure included an introduction to the Royal party, a programme of events and a profile on DMU; its history, faculties, students and partnerships. “DMU was keen for this not to be just another brochure, but more of a keepsake of the day that was fit for the Queen. “The majority of copies were printed in red and blue, but we also produced a
limited edition white version for the Royal family and other VIPs.” With a gala dinner being held the evening before for local dignities, Masters Allen also created a suite of menus, table numbers, lyric cards and supporting materials, using the same evocative design. Elise Bethancourt, head of marketing operations at De Montfort University, said: “We were honoured to host the start of the UK Diamond Jubilee tour and had to get every last detail right. “We had every confidence that Masters Allen would deliver and the materials produced not only captured the spirit of the Jubilee, but our commemorative brochures gave people something special to keep as a permanent reminder of the day the Queen visited DMU.”
Pictured: The brochure created by Masters Allen to commemorate the day the royal party visited De Montfort University in Leicester at the start of the UK Diamond Jubilee tour.
City ranks highly in bid to site bank eterborough was placed fourth out of 32 bids in the race for the siting of the Green Investment Bank (GIB). The Secretary of State said the new bank’s headquarters will be located in Edinburgh, with the main transaction team based in a London office. Second to the Edinburgh-London joint solution was Manchester, followed closely by Peterborough. Being shortlisted in the top six cities demonstrates that the Government recognises Peterborough would have offered a successful base for the GIB. A spokesman for Opportunity Peterborough – the economic development company based at Stuart House, St John’s Street, Peterborough, and which was driving the city’s bid – said the team was pleased the city’s strengths had been recognised by Government officials.
Jubilee honour hopes dashed eterborough has not been chosen in its bid for the prestigious civic honour of becoming a Lord Mayoralty. As part of the celebrations surrounding the 60th year since her accession to the throne, the Queen had announced she would grant the position of Lord Mayor to one town or city – and Peterborough was on the short list. Councillor Marco Cereste (right), leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “We are disappointed not to have been chosen to appoint a Lord Mayor as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Peterborough was one of 12 locations bidding for the honour (among them, Cambridge) and unfortunately there could only be one winner. Congratulations to Armagh in Northern Ireland which has been bestowed the civic honour. “I am, however, delighted that the letter from the Cabinet Office announcing its decision included praise from judges for our ‘forward-looking, historic city that is undergoing much redevelopment’.”
Bringing communicators together n organisation for communicators such as PR and marketing professionals has been relaunched. After several successful years, The Peterborough Communicators’ Network is changing its name to The Communicators’ Network (TCN) so it can expand to serve the whole county. Its aim is to build and develop strong working relationships between those working in marketing, PR and journalism. The network holds an annual series of awards and hosts
events such as debates, inviting key industry speakers to the area. A new e-newsletter will give contributors the chance to share expertise via case studies and commentary on industry issues. TCN is run by city-based PR and marketing specialists, Athene Communications. A relaunch event took place last month, but the second event of the year is on Wednesday June 6 (5-6.30pm) when TCN, Athene and Peterborough Environment City Trust will host a debate on
how businesses should respond to the green agenda in times of austerity. The debate, at the city’s Key Theatre, is supported by Vivacity Culture & Leisure and will be part of Peterborough’s Green Festival 2012. To book, email: email@example.com Steve Titman from Athene Communications and TCN, said: “Cambridgeshire has an exciting future and we hope TCN will play a part in bringing communication professionals together.”
Company treads path to Yaxley agents Carter Jonas and Barker automotive customers, who build Storey Matthews, were convinced the components into the vehicle Talon Court would appeal to new systems of various motor brands firms, started by entrepreneurs, assembled across Europe. who would quickly outgrow their When Talon Court launched first set of premises. This is the as a speculative development in case with AE Rubber (UK), spring 2010, A E Rubber (UK) which has seen turnover reach was a fledgling firm, founded in £1million in February of that year by two years. directors who have Karl Snitch between them more explained: “As than 80 years’ our business has experience of the taken off, so automotive component we’ve outgrown supply chain. our first building. Eagle Business Park developer R & H Talon Court at the Eagle At Talon Court, Business Park in Yaxley. we will have our Estates, and joint own stand-alone premises in a brand new, purpose-built business park. “It means we can warehouse and deliver more from one site, avid Woods, head of The office of Notary and also it’s a base from which the Corporate and Public is a long-standing we can plan for the future growth Commercial Department and respected branch of of the company. at Greenwoods Solicitors the legal profession. The “We currently employ four in Peterborough, has work carried out by permanent members of staff, been a solicitor for some Notaries relates to supplemented with temporary 30 years. Now he has transactions and other positions to meet the needs of added a new qualification matters taking place customers in the UK and on and office to his portfolio abroad – for example, mainland Europe. of services by becoming you may need the David Woods. “Growth plans will see us a Notary Public. services of a Notary if expand in to new markets, taking There are only around 900 you wish to: products we develop and engineer l Buy or sell a property overseas Notaries in England and Wales. In l Establish a branch of your order to be admitted as a Notary, in the UK and produce with our business overseas David completed the Cambridge partners in Malaysia, back out to l Emigrate, and you need to University Post-Graduate Diploma the Far East, with new markets demonstrate that you are properly in Notarial Studies – and is thought opening up to us in China.” qualified to work in your to be one of only two people in the For details about availability chosen profession Peterborough area to gain this at Eagle Business Park, contact l Respond to an invitation to Diploma. He will be providing his Graham Bunnett at Carter Jonas tender for business overseas services as a Notary from (tel: 01733 588678), or Richard l Get married overseas. Greenwoods’ Peterborough office Jones at Barker Storey Matthews Email David here: in City Road, while continuing his on 01733 897722. firstname.lastname@example.org role at Greenwoods. earching for larger premises, a company which supplies rubber mouldings to the automotive industry is the latest to tread the path to one of Peterborough’s newest business parks. A E Rubber (UK) – which has been based in Orton Southgate – moved to Eagle Business Park in Yaxley last month. From the company’s new office and warehouse base in the park’s Talon Court, co-director Karl Snitch will direct UK and overseas operations, including the supply of rubber and plastic mouldings to first-tier
New Notary Public for area D
Women get on board at FTSE firms he number of women on the top boards of FTSE 100 companies in the UK has risen from 12.5 per cent last March to 15.6 per cent now, says a new report. From the 190 appointments made in the FTSE 100 boards, 47 new appointments were female. The report, authored by Prof Susan Vinnicombe and Dr Ruth Sealy of the Cranfield School of Management, brings an update on how companies are performing against the targets set by Lord Davies of Abersoch, the former trade minister, who last year began an inquiry into male dominance of UK boardrooms. He recommended that the proportion of women on FTSE 100 companies’ top boards be increased to a minimum of 25 Lord Davies. per cent by 2015. Lord Davies said: “We are finally seeing a culture change at the very heart of British business in relation to how women are seen within the workforce. However, I must also emphasise that efforts need to be ramped up and the speed of change accelerated to avoid Government interference.”
Strong growth for recruiter ocal recruitment firm, The One Group, reports it finished 2011 with its best ever year since 2004 – and is on target to repeat that success in 2012, with January being the strongest trading month in company history. A boost in turnover last year by £500,000 and a 30 per cent rise in gross Tristan Drane. profit compared to 2010, coupled with a 28 per cent increase in headcount, points to strong growth across its Peterborough and Cambridge offices, providing levels of business first matching and then surpassing those last seen in 2008. Managing director, Tristan Drane, said the last few years had been economically challenging, but added: “We have bucked the trend and taken a proactive approach by retaining our people, forging stronger relationships with clients, broadening our range of services and recruiting new talent.”
Confidence rises in first quarter mall business confidence has improved despite rising overheads and problems accessing finance, according to the lobbying group, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The FSB’s Voice of Small Business Index of 3,000 members shows business confidence has bounced back from an index score of -24.5 in Q4 2011 to +2.2 in Q1 2012. Overall, the study shows confidence rising for the first time in a year, with more than half of those surveyed aiming to grow in the 12 months ahead, and a third of companies looking to increase capital investment plans. However, the findings also show these plans to expand could be under threat from rising overheads, weak customer demand and concern over the cost and availability of finance. Demand factors and weak domestic conditions are the major concerns cited in the survey.
‘Banks should share branches’ ranch sharing is a solution to spiralling bank closures, say industry bodies which are urging the Government to take action. Analysis shows that more than 7,500 branches have closed since 1990. The Forum of Private Business and Campaign for Community Banking Services (CCBS) believe the Government should pressure the UK’s big banks to share local branches as a solution. Both organisations are warning that the impact of branch closures on communities and businesses is in danger of being overlooked. The CCBS data shows that 44 per cent of local branches have closed across the UK. The Forum’s chief executive, Phil Orford, said: “There is a serious risk that the impact of the alarming decline in local bank branches is being missed. “It is a race to the bottom and small businesses are reporting poor levels of service, often
including difficulties even contacting their bank representatives, who can appear completely ignorant and uncaring about them. “The Government should act without delay to address the situation and pressure banks to genuinely think locally and consider branch sharing as an option. It works elsewhere so why not in the UK? “Competition between banks is clearly important, but it is difficult to see how reducing local services can possibly make a business more competitive.” According to the CCBS’s latest ‘Last Bank in Town’ analysis, 414 rural communities in the UK have just one bank left, with 190 of these completely unprotected by banks’ questionable ‘non closure’ pledges. In addition, 466 urban communities now have a single branch to serve them. While many are within one mile of an
alternative bank, there is still widespread inconvenience caused to members of the public and local businesses, says Phil Orford. the CCBS, including retailers struggling as a result of declining footfall. CCBS director, Derek French, said: “Branches in vulnerable urban and rural communities are disappearing as the banks interpret Government silence on the issue as a licence to escalate closures. A proven and cost-effective sharing model is available and action to implement is needed now before it is too late.” The Forum is lobbying for bank infrastructures to be improved as part of its Get Britain Trading Campaign (www.getbritaintrading.co.uk). It is also calling for more local autonomy for branch managers to make lending decisions.
Avoid increasing price of stamps ostal regulator Ofcom is proposing that Royal Mail will be allowed to set its own prices for first class post, although the price of second class will remain regulated. This may result in a significant increase in the price of a first class stamp from this month. Recently, Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee MPs announced an inquiry into the changes. Adrian Bailey, committee chairman, said: “We will be questioning whether a potential 53 per cent increase in the second class stamp and an uncapped increase in the first class stamp will have anything other than a disastrous impact on traffic. The people who will be hit will be the elderly, the vulnerable and those on low incomes, but also small businesses.” Royal Mail processes 59 million pieces of post a day, 88 per cent of which are sent by UK businesses. The cost of sending mail has increased – last April, the price of a first class stamp rose 5p and second class 4p. For small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) still using stamps on their mail, there is an alternative – franked or metered mail, reports mailroom
solutions provider, Neopost. Franking machine users currently receive a discount on every item of mail sent, saving at least 7p on every first class letter, 8p on every second class. A spokesman for Neopost said: “By keeping the price of franked mail low, smaller businesses are able to afford to send out more post and help generate much needed business. Royal Mail recognised this seven years ago and introduced the first franked mail discount of 1p on first class postage. “From that humble beginning, small businesses now benefit from franked mail discounts on first class, second class, special delivery and international postage. Currently, for a business sending 15 items of mail a day, a franking machine is an affordable option, as the postal savings will offset the rental and running costs of the franking machine. With Royal Mail’s ongoing commitment to small businesses, this number may very well go lower.” Find out more about switching from stamps to franked mail, visit: www.neopost.co.uk and key into its search facility: Reasons to Choose a Franking Machine.
Charity begins at work ike businesses, charitable organisations operate in a very competitive market. Every year, thousands of charities launch new campaigns and find innovative solutions to secure donors’ support. Times are difficult. Businesses need to come up with new products and new ways to engage with their clients. The challenges that both the charity and the business sector face are very similar. There are areas of synergy where working together can bring mutual benefits. Despite the day-to-day challenges many companies are currently facing, support from the local business community to charitable organisations is stronger now than ever. True, the traditional methods of donating to charity have changed. It is very rare
Corporate fundraising is a two-way relationship, which benefits both business and charity, says Alison Toomey. that a business will just open its cheque book and make a one-off donation. Mutually beneficial However, there are ways of creating long-term relationships with businesses that are proving to be more beneficial for both parties. By encouraging businesses to form longer-term partnerships, their staff as well as their customers get to know more about the good cause they are raising money for.
For instance, our Sue Ryder hospice at Thorpe Hall in Peterborough, is a local charity providing end of life and long-term care services for the local community covering Peterborough, Lincolnshire, Rutland, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and as far as Norfolk. The money raised is used to fund the care provided to those suffering from life-limiting conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease
The staff just wanted to give something back to the people who cared for their loved ones.
Martha Keenan, Royal Sun Alliance.
Alison Toomey. and Huntingdon’s disease. We have been working successfully with businesses for the last 20 years. However, with economic pressures and the constant increase in registered charitable causes in this area, it is even more vital to recognise the importance of creating mutually beneficial relationships with local businesses. No two companies are alike – it is important to work with your partner organisation to establish clear outcomes that will meet the company’s specific business needs: such as to maintain and increase their reputation within the local community; increase staff morale and retention; or boost their corporate social responsibility credentials. Charity of the year partnerships often offer the perfect model to establish a long-term and valuable relationship between a charity and a local business. For a charity, being able to Continued on page 8 >
Continued from page 7
work closely with a business for a year – preferably longer – provides the opportunity to engage staff and customers in the work the charity does. Engaging staff in charitable activities has proved to help boost morale, create a sense of community and re-generate energies. Positive outcomes A great example of this is a new partnership the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice has recently made with Barclays Bank in the city’s Church Street. Barclays Bank encourages every branch to work with a local charity to raise money in their local community. From the very beginning, you need to work with your corporate partner to set up a clear business plan that can ensure mutually positive outcomes. With Barclays, this helped to create a calendar of activities ranging from volunteering opportunities for staff to fundraising activities, such as taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge. This helped to plan activities throughout the year in order to meet some agreed objectives, such as staff development and increasing their profile within the community. Jenny Daw, manager of Barclays Bank in Church Street, said: “Supporting a local charity has helped everyone focus on something other than just business targets. The charity was chosen by the staff here and I’ve been really pleased with the way everyone has got behind the fundraising. It has been a real
Getting behind local charity fundraising has been a real boost for morale and for teamwork here.
boost for morale and for teamwork here, and the interaction all the staff have with the team from the hospice has been a real bonus.” Many businesses are using volunteering opportunities in place of traditional team building days. Local business Royal Sun Alliance (RSA), for example, dedicates one week a year to volunteering staff out in the community. Over the last three years, they have spent their week volunteering at the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. One of the projects they were able to deliver through this scheme was to create a garden area for Hospice Day Centre members. This included clearing an area of the garden, building raised flower beds so members would be able to garden at wheelchair height, and create suitable ground cover to enable wheelchairs to be pushed over the gravel. This was a Above: The Barclays team gets set to support the Sue Ryder charity by taking up the Three Peaks Challenge. fantastic project
Jane Daw, Barclays Bank, Church Street. and, without the support of staff at RSA, it would not have been possible. At the same time, staff at RSA gained a great sense of achievement knowing they had made an everlasting difference, enabling wheelchair users to access and work in the garden. Martha Keenan from RSA said: “Many of the staff who volunteer to support Thorpe Hall have been touched by a family member or friend who has needed this charity’s help either present or past. They just want to give something back to the people who cared for their loved ones. They also enjoy the challenge of completing something rewarding within that week and, of course, can see the finished results by working together as one team.“ Networking opportunities Gifts in Kind are another great way for a business to get involved and they can help save cost and raise money for their chosen charity. This is an area where Sycamore MINI supports the hospice in a huge way. Each year the company donates the use of a new Sue
Ryder-branded Mini to the fundraising team. The car is used by the team when they are going to fundraising events, to collect donations and to meet supporters. Not only does it save the charity money through staff not using their own cars, but it is a fantastic way to get the charity’s name seen around the local community. Working with a charity can also offer a company networking opportunities with other businesses the charity works with. Recent research has shown that, if facing a life-changing illness, 46 per cent of people surveyed in Peterborough would turn to a charity for support. However, just four per cent of people in Peterborough actually took part in a fundraising event for a health-related charity last year. So there couldn’t be a better time to get involved.
Alison Toomey is corporate fundraiser at health and social care charity, Sue Ryder. Call her for more information about working with Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice on 01733 330060.
BUSINESS BREAK Taking care of print hen Bill Marshall qualified with an HND in printing in 1989, he didn’t realise he would be running his own thriving city centre print business one day: Printmarshall. Part of the Printmarshall logo is the strapline, ‘taking care of business’, because Bill has now been taking care of print business for more than 25 years! He has enjoyed an extensive career, working for a variety of large print companies, but about nine years ago decided what he really wanted was to run his own business. He was working for a printer in the Midlands when an opportunity came up to take over the Peterborough Prontaprint franchise. Together with his wife Tracy, Bill grabbed the chance. The franchise provided a fresh challenge – Bill loves dealing with customers, something he’s always excelled at, and the franchise business would enable him to use that client expertise to its full potential. Working closely with Tracy, he grew turnover at the franchise year-on-year and won the New Franchisee of the Year accolade at Prontaprint’s annual European awards in 2004. Bill said: “When we took over the business, there were a number of changes we wanted to make, moving the business away from the ‘copyshop’ days where you would see a bank of photocopiers, to a high-tech
one-stop-shop. In 2004, we completely refurbished the premises and invested in new equipment and technology.” When Bill reached his 25-year milestone in the world of print, the next natural step was to move away from the Prontaprint brand to independent status. Thus, he established Printmarshall in December 2011. Bill said: “I’m really excited by the change of brand. With our new independent status, we have been able to push forward with our own identity and invest in new finishing equipment for our customers. We are now fully equipped to provide a variety of print, design and copy solutions for businesses, but our speciality is our ability to print and finish documents – fast! We are very flexible and can often complete print projects with complicated finishing requirements at very short notice.” Bill and his team are dedicated to providing a great print and design service for their customers. He said: “I get a real buzz from working with my customers, to ensure they’re happy with all aspects of their design and print projects.”
There are three staff working alongside Bill in the business: Steven Timbers is assistant manager, seeing to the day-to-day running of the business and often the first point of contact for customers; Tony Kellas is the firm’s graphic designer, overseeing production and ensuring customers’
artworks are suitable for printing; and Ron Owen is in charge of all print finishing, such as glueing, stapling, wirobinding, punching and booklet creation. Bill added: “I’ve got a great team working for me who collectively have more than 50 years’ experience in the printing industry. Tony and Ron are experts in their field and often help customers with technical questions they may have. He summed up: “2011 was a very busy year for me – rebranding the business and
Pictured: Bill Marshall outside his print business in Broadway, Peterborough, and above, fronting his team (back, from left), print finisher Ron Owen, assistant manager Steven Timbers and graphic designer Tony Kellas.
sorting out my own printing for the new business. I even found time to move house, too! “I’m really looking forward to pushing forward my plans for the business into the future.”
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LEGAL EAGLES ‘Only room for New cookie to discover what the brightest’ A survey businesses think of the EU ew Government plans to control immigration levels mean skilled migrants will have to earn at least £35,000 a year in order to reside permanently in the UK. Immigration Minister Damian Green said the minimum salary threshold would also prevent temporary routes into the country being abused: “Settling in the UK is a privilege. We are sweeping Damian aside the idea that Green. everyone who comes here can settle and instead reserving this important right only for the brightest and best. Our reforms will ensure we are more selective about those who come here and those who stay.” Scientists and researchers in PhD level roles, as well as those employed in jobs where there is a shortage of skills will be exempt from the threshold, as will investors, entrepreneurs and ‘exceptionally talented migrants’.
cookie law ahead of the May 26 deadline for compliance, has proved the majority believe it is ‘bad for the web’. Of more than 700 digital marketers polled by Econsultancy – publisher of digital marketing and e-commerce best practice and insight – 82 per cent fear the Internet will suffer as a result of the regulation. The EU e-Privacy Directive makes it compulsory for web users to consent for a website to use or store cookies. Just 18 per cent of survey respondents think the directive is a positive development for the web. One said: “While I’m all for protecting privacy, the bit of this directive that applies to cookies has been ill thought out and even more badly applied, by someone
law slated by industry cent believe users who doesn’t understand will understand the technology. Rather what cookies are. than try and analyse Econsultancy which cookies are CEO, Ashley actually intrusive, Friedlein, said: “We they’ve just ‘banned’ the created this poll to lot! The lack of advice gauge industry or guidance from the sentiment and EU or Government has made things worse.” Ashley Friedlein. understanding of the EU cookie law. Another wrote: “A surprisingly high “There’s total confusion on percentage of respondents how to apply it and what know about the directive, have should be applied.” read it, read the Information While more than half the Commissioner’s Office survey respondents said they guidance (www.ico.gov.uk) had read about the new directive and a similar amount and have done a cookie audit. Despite this, almost everyone have carried out an audit in thinks it lacks focus and web preparation for the rule users don’t care about cookies coming into force, 67 per cent remain unaware of the May 26 and won’t understand the changes. The feeling is there UK deadline. is not enough clarity on which Respondents voiced a lack cookies are ‘strictly necessary’ of consumer awareness of and much less clarity on how what cookies are and what to implement consent/opt-in.” they mean. Only seven per
Was it a Budget for business? ast month’s Budget was heralded by some as good for business, but slated for taxing pensioners. Below is a summary:
Business Corporation tax cut to 24 per cent from April. By 2014 it will fall to 22 per cent. Consultation on simplifying the tax system for small firms with a turnover of up to £77,000. ‘Above-the-line’ tax credit – a credit against a company’s corporation tax – from next year for firms conducting research and development. Relaxation of Sunday trading laws on eight Sundays during Olympics and Paralympics, starting July 22. Enterprise finance guarantee, in which the Government guarantees bank loans to small business, to be expanded. Government considering enterprise loans for young people to start their own business. Extra £270m for the
Growing Places fund, which aims to boost local economic growth and job creation. The economy Independent Office for Budget Responsibility revised the UK growth forecast for 2012 to 0.8 per cent, from 0.7 per cent. Its forecast for 2013 is two per cent, for 2014 is 2.7 per cent and three per cent in each of the two years following. UK inflation is forecast to fall from 2.8 per cent this year to 1.9 per cent next year. Income tax Personal income tax allowance raised to £9,205 from April 2013, a move the Government says will make 24 million people £220 a year better off. But 300,000 more people will fall into the 40 per cent tax band from 2013/14 as the threshold reduces from £42,475 to £41,450. From next April, the 50p top tax rate falls to 45p.
Financial expertise from Nick Ash Nick Ash is director, will and probate services, Tancreds. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01778 341490. Details here: www.tancreds.co.uk
Pensioners Pensioners will no longer receive a larger personal income tax allowance than those of working age. At present, the over 65s can earn £10,500 before tax, while those over 75 can earn 10,660, but those age-related allowances will be removed for new pensioners from April 2013. Allowances for those already of pension age will be frozen until the personal allowance for the rest of the population catches up. Child benefit Will be reduced incrementally when someone in a household has an income of more than £50,000. It will fall by one per
cent for every £100 earned over £50,000. It will mean those affected will have to fill out self-assessment tax forms. Anyone earning more than £60,000 will lose the benefit completely. Fuel, cigarettes, alcohol No change to existing plans on fuel duty – a 3.02p per litre increase will go ahead on August 1. Vehicle excise duty is to rise with inflation, but frozen for road hauliers. A packet of cigarettes rose 37p. As planned, alcohol duty will rise two per cent above inflation rate, putting more than 5p on the price of a pint.
APRIL 2012 LEGAL EAGLES
The seven deadly sins of communication Survey reveals ways to avoid infuriating consumers . . . and breaking the law ot only is it illegal to send a marketing email or text without providing an opt-out for the recipient, it is also the most likely way to infuriate and so lose a potential customer. It’s number one of a list of pet hates unearthed by Pitney Bowes, which has discovered that British businesses risk alienating almost 90 per cent of customers through poor communications. The customer communications expert says people are becoming increasingly jaded as a result of excessive contact from businesses, especially via email. The Pitney Bowes Report, Why Some Customers Are Just Not That Into You, asked more than 5,000 consumers about their preferences in communications with brands, and identified the seven most annoying communication techniques used by companies. Patrick Jelly, managing director of Pitney Bowes UK, said: “Effective customer communication management (CCM) is a delicate balance of
being invited to attend branded do is be prepared to use lifestyle events (76 per cent). different techniques for different British businesses need to customers – the ‘one size fits tread carefully when checking all’ policy doesn’t work message, medium and timing. customer satisfaction levels, too; in communications. Consumers appreciate being those companies that call their “As our research revealed, kept updated on their favourite customers risk annoying 48 per small changes can have big companies; the trick is to cent of them, whereas a survey impacts, both in terms of maintain that loyalty rather form would be acceptable to customer satisfaction and than lose it.” gaining useful information for Failing to provide an opt-out 74 per cent. Patrick Jelly continued: the company. on emails and texts infuriates 89 “Adjusting communication “Email is an increasingly per cent of survey respondents, techniques to match popular medium for British closely followed by customer preferences can businesses to communicate sending customers have a hugely positive with customers, and it’s vital advertising emails impact on success. that they get the balance right. every week (which irks “Our seven deadly “As a rule-of-thumb, 88 per cent of those sins highlight common a multi-layered approach polled). Monthly emails pitfalls that many of email, post and were considered to be companies encounter telecommunications is the intrusive by 53 per cent best option.” of respondents, while Patrick Jelly. and the important thing to just 23 per cent said they’d be annoyed to receive the same message by post. The next most irritating 1. Failing to provide an opt-out of emails and texts. techniques were: being 2. Sending customers advertising emails every week. requested to support a brand’s 3. Requesting that customers support your brand’s charity charity or ethical concerns (86 or ethical concerns. per cent); being addressed as 4. Addressing customers as though they have never been though you have never been a a customer before. customer before (86 per cent); 5. Sending offers from third parties. being sent offers from third 6. Encouraging customers to interact with other consumers parties (82 per cent); being via an online community. encouraged to interact with 7. Inviting customers to attend branded lifestyle events. other consumers via an online community (77 per cent); and
How to risk alienating customers:
DRIVE Motoring columnist TIM BARNES-CLAY reports that he was privileged to drive the Maserati GranCabrio for a whole week. ome say cars are nothing special; they’re only for getting you from A to B. It’s true in a way, although a bit like saying any old home will do as long there’s a roof over your head. The Maserati GranCabrio is definitely something different – and special. Getting behind its wheel for a
week is like moving from your bungalow in Birmingham to a villa in Valencia for seven days. Looks-wise, the Italian sports car’s headlights blend perfectly into the contours of the nose section, while at the centre of its oval grille is Maserati’s legendary Trident symbol in chrome. The rear
On display: the interior beauty of the Maserati GranCabrio, with room for four.
Pros ’n’ cons
Sound √ Speed √ l Looks √ √ l Comfort umption X l Fuel cons
end of the GranCabrio emphasises its high-tech character, with triangular taillights that use 96 LEDs to ensure maximum night-time visibility, and a wide rear valence is framed at the sides by two pairs of large chrome exhaust tailpipes. The car is then finished off by impressive 20-inch
Trident-design alloy wheels, which fit tightly into the wheel-arches, creating a powerful stance. Inside, the GranCabrio boasts a combination of elegance and sportiness. All the materials are in leather and wood and the driver’s controls are located to give a feeling of total command. The major dynamic functions are controlled by switches on the driver’s side, while the most commonly used multimedia controls can be operated via buttons on the steering wheel. One of the best things about the GranCabrio is that it is a four-seater, which allows you and three others (admittedly, the two passengers in the back have to be very small) to enjoy the experience of driving with the top down. The roof can be opened in just 28 seconds, to put on show all of the car’s interior beauty. Of course, the Maserati sounds as good as you might expect. Better, in fact. That’s because, controlled by
APRIL 2012 MOTORING
The Italian stallion
The Maserati GranCabrio: a car to behold, with a smile-inducing growl. pneumatic valves, the GranCabrio’s exhaust system has two distinct characters – discreet and inspiring. In ‘Normal’ mode the valves are closed to ensure a low rumble. However, pressing the ‘Sport’ button not only changes the car’s performance and handling, but also opens the exhaust valves – enabling the engine to deliver maximum power with a smile-inducing growl. At the heart of all this throbs the most powerful of the Italian car-maker’s engines – the glorious 4.7 litre V8, delivering 434 bhp. It means the car can sprint from 0-62 mph in just 5.3 seconds and will go on to
a top speed of 175 mph. The Maserati GranCabrio is indeed a car to behold. Yes, it will get you from A to B like any other car – but, believe me, you won’t want to stop at B once you get in the driver’s seat, drop the roof, gun the engine and hear the crackling roar of the V8.
5 mph Max speed: 17 cs se 3 : 5. l 0-62 mph 18.3 : pg m d ne l Combi petrol V8 cc 4691 m l Engine: 434 at 7000 rp ): hp (b er w m rp l Max po 50 47 at ue (Ib/ft): 360 l Max torq 8 g/km l CO2: 35 road 8,250 on the £9 e: l Pric
Leather and wood: the wheel and dashboard detail of the Maserati GranCabrio are pure elegance and style.
CLICKS&MORTAR Search activity continues to rise nternet users in the UK made 2.2 billion visits to search engines in February, up by 174 million visits compared with last February. The increase in search activity represents an 8.7 per cent year-on-year increase. Google increased its dominance in the UK market in February as rival search engines Bing and Yahoo! both lost market share. In total, Google Sites accounted for 91.57 per cent of all searches conducted in the UK in February, up by nearly one per cent from January 2012. Year-on-year, Google also saw positive growth with a 0.89 per cent increase in market share of searches, compared to February last year.
Branding your ‘dot’: domain name ave you branded your dot? Time is ticking furiously for personalised web spaces. January marked the opening of the ‘dotBrand’ application window – the first chance ever for businesses to own and manage their own branded Top Level Domain (TLD). This is perhaps the most revolutionary change ever allowed on the web by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). By 2013, we could see websites such as pepsi.com becoming, simply: .pepsi As in all things with a deadline, it looks like many companies have waited until the last minute to apply. But what many don’t realise is that the deadline is here!
Companies applying for an Internet dotBrand Top Level Domain (wherein almost any characters can be used after the ‘dot’ instead of .com or .net) are reminded the opportunity is closing this month (April 12). UK and USA figures from registry services provider Afilias show that 44 per cent of large companies have registered for the change. But many others are unaware that naming regulator ICANN is ending the round of applications imminently and the opportunity is unlikely to recur for many years. Here, Roland LaPlante explains why the domain name change is so important for businesses. Companies have to complete their applications on April 12. That means businesses need to move quickly and make a decision on their dotBrand, especially since the opportunity to get a branded top level domain may not come around for several years, if judging by
the slow, deliberate speed with which ICANN has previously approved new TLDs. The potential benefits of a dotBrand can be separated into two main categories: customer engagement and security. Having a dotBrand makes a website or email address
APRIL 2012 CLICKS&MORTAR
opportunity closing instantly more memorable. For example, consumers would only have to remember .pepsi to find the legitimate PepsiCo website. A dotBrand also offers new promotional opportunities and opens up further possibilities for customer engagement. With brands increasingly focused on multichannel and integrated marketing strategies, they now can personalise the online experience for their customers. This might be achieved, for example, by creating unique customer pages such as joebloggs.tesco making the Internet as personal a medium as the mobile phone. Also, the security benefits offered by dotBrands are particularly relevant for retailers with e-commerce sites, especially luxury goods brands. Any brand with an e-commerce function is susceptible to counterfeiting over the Internet, with imitation sites regularly appearing on the net – sites over which brands have no control or regulation. However, with a dotBrand, no-one else could own, say, .rolex except for Rolex and consumers visiting the .rolex websites will know they are buying a legitimate product.
Rolex would be the only business able to offer franchisees the genuine extension, finally cementing consumer confidence when buying online. Costs for a dotBrand are significant, with the application cost alone coming in at US$185,000, so Roland LaPlante, a dotBrand CMO, Afilias. may not be for everyone. Moreover, ICANN will only approve applications from businesses that have the technical expertise to manage their TLD without jeopardising the security and stability of the Internet. The ICANN application process gives an indication of this; it involves 50 questions, 22 of which are very technical in nature. For the best chance of success, businesses should work with an experienced registry operator to help turn applications around if there is time in the remaining window of opportunity. l More details here: www.afilias.info/dotbrand/application
‘Mobile as PC by 2020’ Cambridge-based company is predicting that, by 2020, the mobile phone will replace the PC. Stace Hipperson, chief technical officer and co-founder of IT and data software company, Real Status, believes mobiles will be so connected they will become primary personal computing devices – enabling everything from making purchase payments to accessing health services to file sharing, without use of a USB memory stick. He says mobile hardware may become thinner and lighter, but the software will store so much data gathered from a cloud interface, that each individual’s identity will be completely bound up in their phones. The basic software
functionality to do this already exists, but Stace believes there are two issues still needing to be resolved: battery Stace Hipperson. life and security. Battery life on mobile phones will need to be extended considerably to make it viable to store so much data and security will increasingly rely on biometric authentification, such as iris, voice, facial or palm-print recognition to access data, in place of passwords. He said: “Mobiles will not become exact replicas of personal computers, but they will develop into very useful mobile computing devices that offer some of the functions of today’s PCs.”
Raise your web search status oogle local search has a good role to play in the marketing of your business, but what is it and how does it work? Every second, there are new developments taking place that affect the field of business and each of these advancements are opening up new areas of business prospects. Alongside this, the competition level is also rising and, to keep abreast of this high level of competition, most businesses are deploying the latest methods of marketing. Internet search engines play a massive role in all aspects of business marketing and, because marketing is what differentiates successful businesses from failing ones, you can’t be successful with your online marketing efforts if you do not embrace and work with search engines. Search engines such as Google and Bing have valuable analytical information about what your customers want, where they are looking for products/services and the keywords they are using to find this information. Today, ‘Google local‘ is one of the most used tools for local searches in the world.
Here are few statistics to support this argument: l 72 per cent of UK households use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally for products and services l 75 per cent of Internet users in the UK perform local searches when looking for local services l One in three people use ‘local’ in their search criteria l There has been a 365 per cent increase in just two years (from 2008 to 2010) in the amount spent on advertising for local search l Only five per cent of UK businesses have claimed their Google local listing l Only nine per cent of business have optimised their Google local page in Peterborough.
For any business, the first task is to gain people’s attention and get them to By IT expert notice your Stan Nyokas. company. The best way to start is to work on their local searches, to try to get to the top of Google listings – to be on the first, not the second page. In this fast-paced world, people increasingly refer to the web when looking for something specific in their local area, which is why companies must try to find a place high up the Google local search – the place where your company can gain a lot of local business. It is primarily the combination of Google maps and Google business data, which creates a database for every business in the developed world and their location. A place high up the Google local search list of results means people will find you quickly whenever they search for a product/service in your area. Appearing high in Google local search results is slightly different from search engine optimisation: l Selecting the best keywords is important, as is mentioning the categories your business relates to: keywords you use on your website will connect you to those searching for something specific l Provide the complete address of your business to help pinpoint your location more easily. Provide all business details when setting up in Google places – specifics really help to spot you in Google local search l Important – get a citation from some of the best data providers in the field. We use providers such as Yelp, Merchant Circle, Freeindex, DMOZ, to put together a description of a business; Google trusts these sites and therefore this will help to boost your business rankings.
Stanislas Nyokas is founder of iTotalMarketing, Peterscourt, City Road, Peterborough. Call 01733 294551. www.itotalmarketing.co.uk
WORKFORCE Warning over digital profile lmost one-in-five executives in the technology industry say a candidate’s social media profile has caused them not to hire that person. This is revealed in the 2012 annual technology market survey conducted by Eurocom Worldwide (eurocompr.com) and UK PR agency, Six Degrees (sixdegreespr.com). The annual study has previously found that almost 40 per cent of companies check potential employees’ profiles on social media sites. Mads Christensen, Eurocom Worldwide network director, said the figures were a warning for job-seekers: “The 21st century human is learning that every action leaves an indelible digital trail.”
College chief tells of students’ job Deborah King reports from the latest meeting of the prospects Rutland and Stamford Business Network ollege principle Carl Smith had a few home truths to tell as the main speaker at the latest meeting of the Rutland and Stamford Business Network (RSBN). Head of the Rutland County College, he presented a fascinating business feature. And if you are wondering what the college has to do with a business network, read on. Collaboration is the way forward for small businesses and, as a founding member of the RSBN, Carl is forging links with the business community for the benefit of the young people at his college. Already, members have joined in careers Carl Smith. events at Rutland CC
and Casterton Community College. Carl pointed out that, surprisingly, the UK’s top five growing employment sectors are: 1 Sales assistant 2 Care assistant 3 Office assistant 4 Teaching assistant 5 Cleaner. We were also shocked to learn that the total number of jobs advertised per year for which a degree is required has not increased since 1980! Fascinating statistics – but this was not the sole purpose of Carl’s talk. He wanted to highlight that new apprenticeships are available. In Rutland, the council is offering 50 apprenticeships over the course of 2012, the idea being that people aged 18 to 25 are
trained while at work in a skill that will lead to permanent jobs. Director of RSBN, Ben Callaghan, Deborah King. commented: “We E: email@example.com may be only small businesses working in a small county, but by forging links and discussing such topics we can hope to improve the situation, one student at a time, and one business at a time.” RSBN founding member Dawn Lees, local business manager at HSBC, added: “Carl’s feature was excellent – highly relevant to all the people around the table.” For more information about RSBN, visit: www.rsbn.biz
English language no longer enough usinesses should invest in more bilingual staff, as 79 per cent of companies now regard language learning as a main focus in their workplace development. So says research from international online training company Speexx, which interviewed more than 100 senior learning and development managers, human resource managers and business education staff across Europe. President of Speexx, Armin Hopp, said: “A company that operates with a vision for cultural openness and mutual understanding will create opportunities for more business and export. Languages provide the key to communicating with clients and operating within multiple jurisdictions. One language is no longer enough to satisfy every communication need. Companies which want to Armin gain competitive Hopp. advantage will need to upskill staff and, in doing so, will be far better placed to reach out to new target markets and to build lasting, strategic relationships.”
Almost three-quarters of participants cite English and Chinese as the most important languages to learn, followed by German, French, then Spanish. The study also found the way staff are trained is expected to change by 2014. The data showed that 71 per cent of respondents stated that ‘blended learning’ – a mix of e-learning, mobile learning and virtual learning – will be the primary method of delivering training (an overall increase of 21 per cent from what is delivered now). Classroom training will fall to only 17 per cent (from 44 per cent). The data also found that one in five organisations expects ‘social and informal learning’ to play a greater role in staff development. Armin added: “The trend for blended learning will continue to grow over the next two to three years and organisations will increase their reliance on technology delivering flexible and cost effective training to their workforce. Expectations of what trainers and HR managers can deliver will also be much higher from employees who are likely to be dispersed in more than one location.”
Changes in the rules Colin Nottage has practical Health and Safety advice and information very six months, in April and October, changes in health and safety legislation come into force. Often, the changes are minor and only affect small sectors of industry (such as offshore work or the nuclear industry). But this time, there are two significant changes that will affect all places of work. The details of these changes can be found on the HSE’s website, but here is my brief outline:
Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) Hopefully, you won’t have to worry about this, but RIDDOR’s ‘over three day’ injury reporting requirement will change. From April 6, the trigger point will increase from over three days to over seven days’ incapacitation (not counting the day on which the accident happened). Incapacitation means the worker is absent or unable to work as they would reasonably be expected to as part of their normal job. You will still keep a record of all ‘over three day’ injuries – if you keep an accident book, then this record
will be enough. Also, the deadline by which the ‘over seven day’ injury must be reported will increase from ten to 15 days from the day of the accident. Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012 These regulations are also known as Fee For Intervention or FFI. They will put a duty on HSE to recover its costs for carrying out its regulatory functions from those found to be in breach of health and safety law. This will shift some of the cost of health and safety regulation from the taxpayer to businesses and organisations that break the law. The trigger for FFI will be a formal intervention that leads to a letter, email or instant visit report. The basis of cost recovery is expected to be an hourly rate of £124 multiplied by the time spent on the intervention. If you would like a revised RIDDOR reporting procedure or you wish to discuss how these changes could affect you, call or email me – my details are below.
With a background in engineering and manufacturing, Colin Nottage runs Stamford and Bristol-based consultancy Safety Horizon: firstname.lastname@example.org or Freephone 0845 689 0075. www.safetyhorizon.com
SKILLSET ‘Green’ learning comes to city
SMEs choose non-graduates
study of 20,000 small business owners has found that a majority think school leavers and non-graduates are better value for money than their graduate counterparts. The survey, conducted by money-saving website DealJungle.com found that 77 per cent of SMEs had elected to hire non-graduates, saying that they required less on-the-job training than their more educated equivalents, and were more willing to ‘get their hands dirty’ on tasks that graduates can sometimes perceive as beneath them. DealJungle.com founder, Tom Michaels, said: “The picture we are getting is that graduates often turn up for work with lofty ideas about a glamorous career.”
leading academic has been appointed by Cranfield University to launch a centre of excellence in Peterborough, aiming to put the city on the map as a national centre for renewable energy. Professor Sai Gu will lead a £5 million bid to establish the Centre for Renewable Energy and Biofuels in the city. The professor will also co-ordinate a series of sustainability courses. He said: “I believe Peterborough, with its large number of green sector companies, is the perfect place for Cranfield University to set up this centre.” Prof Gu will lead the bid for funding from the Research Councils UK. If successful, the money will be used to carry out a wide range of research projects to reduce energy use in
building, transport and manufacturing. Funding will also be used to employ researchers, retain world-class academics and support research projects. Prof Gu will work with the council and Peterborough Renewable Energies Limited (PREL) to set up a series of professional training courses. For people already involved in the green sector, the courses will offer the chance to gain a recognised qualification in renewable energy and business management from Cranfield University, a post-graduate institution which has its main campus in Bedfordshire. Courses, starting soon, will be held at the Eco Innovation Centre, Peterscourt, City Road. Prof Gu added: “It could be possible to offer a Masters
degree in bio-fuel technology locally. It would involve candidates attending eight teaching modules and undertaking Prof Sai Gu. a three-month research project. To be able to offer this in Peterborough would be great.” Prof Gu brings with him a wealth of experience in the green sector, having researched biofuel technology previously at Southampton University and at Aston University in Birmingham. After coming to study in the UK from China in 1996, he gained a PhD from the University of Nottingham and then became a post doctorate researcher at the University of Cambridge.
The culture of innovation veryone wants their business or organisation to be more innovative. But how can people achieve this? The first crucial step is for senior management to accept the long-term commitment required to shift to an innovative culture. The most innovative organisations have a culture that permeates work structures and processes – and this state of affairs takes time to develop, encouraged by tacit signals from the top. In its report, ‘Excellence in Service Innovation’, the CBI pointed out that successful organisations generally followed up this long-term attitude by investing in ICT, training and organisational changes that support innovative working.
Agent of change In the marketplace, innovation was leveraged to differentiate and outpace the competition, as well as seeking to delight customers. At the leadership level, there is a need for
clarity and both explicit and implicit messages supporting the shift to an innovative organisation. Perhaps the most powerful agent of change is an empowered champion who takes on the task of exemplifying the habits and expectations of the innovation agenda. Champions act both upwards and across the workplace, having an important communication role with senior management when obstacles and setbacks occur. It is a demanding role and an organisation is lucky when it possesses such people prepared to commit to the change. Ideas into cash Though often associated with ideas and things, which are its products, innovation is fundamentally a human activity. Many confuse invention with innovation. While the former transforms ‘cash into ideas’, innovation is about turning ‘ideas into cash, or benefit’. The management of innovation should address the relationship between a person and their work.
Left: Patrick Sim, founder/MD of city-based business innovation and strategic foresight consultancy, Leapfrog Innovation. www.leapfrog-innovation.com
This involves skills Patrick Sim has advice on and on-going learning, how to build your business’s as well as values aligned to stakeholder capability to be innovative. collaboration and web-based teamwork. Also, the notion of a job with a set of activities ‘to do’ needs to be replaced by that of a role, with responsibilities to support aligned initiatives. Alongside developing the skills of current staff innovation, aptitudes can also be sought in the recruitment process by examining skills, attitudes and previous innovation experience. Innovation-aligned find a way to work together with induction and mentoring also a shared purpose. External have a role to play. High connection is particularly performance working important; innovation is driven environments provide a strong by the satisfaction of needs and argument for innovative working; none is more important than that these tend to be very engaging of your customers. and satisfying An empathetic understanding places to work, often with little of your customers is a real need for innovation-based competitive advantage, social rewards systems. media and ‘open innovation’ has Innovation works most the potential to provide more effectively when people, with new customer insights. complementary needs and skills,
Secrets behind setting goals The reason why most people face the future with apprehension instead of anticipation is because they don’t have it well designed. – Motivational author JIM ROHN. recently read an interesting story about ‘Nigel’ who thought he had a job for life in a soap opera. He enjoyed a great lifestyle. Out of the blue, to boost
Skills expertise with David Grundy
viewing figures, the producer decided his character would meet a dramatic end! Nigel felt he needed to maintain his public image and borrowed to maintain his lifestyle. Nigel remembered a book a colleague had loaned him about goal setting. Without reference to the book, he set himself a goal: “Six months from now, I will be totally debt-free.” Exactly six months later, he was forced into bankruptcy. Goal achieved, but not the result he had in mind! Your business plan is your
blueprint of how you want your business to look in the future. It is your plan, delivering what you want, and reflects you. Six Steps 1. Know what you want – make a list. Start with one-line statements and build up. 2. Be specific – take your one-line statements and ask lots of questions to create a statement. 3. Set realistic deadlines – a goal is not a goal without a realistic timescale. Group them into short, medium or long-term goals.
4. Establish milestones – like any journey, there is satisfaction in passing each milestone. This will help drive your motivation; key to your success. 5. Gather resources – friends and family, business partners, technical support, positive people (no negatives) and funding. 6. Review and act – summarise steps one to five into a positive statement. Repeat it out loud daily, monitor progress and act.
David Grundy is managing director of Tuit Achievements and offers a free 30-minute taster session. Email: email@example.com or telephone: O1733 210464 or 07894 705293. Twitter: tuitdoit Facebook david@tuitachievements Web: www.tuitachievements.com
Far off? It’s not too early to plan for a luxury long-haul festive break pring is upon us and the year is gathering speed. Don’t gasp with shock, but have you given any thought to your Christmas holidays? It may seem like a way off, but the 2012 festive shut-down will likely last a fortnight as Christmas and the New Year both fall mid-week, so this will be an ideal time for busy workers to completely switch off. You need to be thinking ahead about where to go and book accordingly. At Inspirational Travel, we specialise in the creation of luxury holidays for the discerning traveller.
Above: Beaches and sub-tropical gardens lead to well-appointed Terrace Pavilion rooms (below left) at The Oberoi.
deally suited to couples, each room at The Oberoi hotel features a four-poster bed and a spacious sunken marble bath. There are four room categories, two of which come with private pools. All 72 thatched Terrace Pavilion rooms have DVD players and state-ofthe-art communications technology. Wooden-slatted ceilings and wall-to-wall neutral tones contribute to a feeling of relaxed grandeur. The restaurant at The Oberoi is characterised by its soaring roof of palm-thatched timbers and panoramic bay views. Dine inside among the pillars or outside under the stars, on a fabulous menu featuring European, Oriental and Creole dishes that reflect the multicultural heritage of the island. Facilities include a beauty parlour, sauna, steam bath and individual spa suites with private plunge pools where couples can luxuriate together. Traditional Mauritian treatments with natural local oils and fresh fruit are on offer alongside conventional therapies. An example is the blissful coconut husk body brush, followed by a deep massage with freshly ground coconut – the perfect skin preparation for a lasting honeyed tan. Above and inset right: Guests l From £6,200 per person staying half board in a at St Lucia’s Jalousie Luxury Pavilion, travelling with Emirates in Plantation enjoy seclusion and sensational landscapes. economy class.
We can tailor a specific trip to your requirements, anywhere around the globe, and far-off shores are our speciality. We have first-hand knowledge of a range of destinations and know the best places to visit, so read on for some of our top recommendations, or give us a call to discuss your ideal trip, whatever the season or the budget! All the examples here involve travelling out of London Heathrow Airport on December 22, for seven nights. This is peak time for long-haul holidays, so places and prices are at a premium. Book them now!
St Lucia ensational landscapes surrounding the Jalousie Plantation are some of the finest in the world, lending weight to the opinion that St Lucia is the Caribbean’s most beautiful and romantic island. The privileged location of the Jalouise Plantation provides an incredible experience. On the secluded edge of a protected rainforest, the resort nestles within more than 100 acres and features luxury villas complete with butler service and private plunge pools. l From £5,200 per person, ‘all inclusive’ in a Sugar Mill Luxury room, travelling BA in World Traveller Plus class.
APRIL 2012 TRAVEL
Travel columnist TAMARA TAYLOR brings advance details of some sensationally special, seasonal sunshine trips.
Sunbathing in Cape Town. Below right, the iconic Table Mountain is the backdrop to the waterfront.
Maldives he breathtaking Zitahli Resort and Spa is located in the untouched, unspoilt atoll of One of the super Deluxe Beach Villas, Noonu in the overlooking turquoise waters of the northern part of Maldives’ Noonu atoll. the Maldives. Surrounded by reefs, turquoise waters and beautiful beaches, a seaplane from Male international airport will get you to Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru in just under an hour. This stunningly beautiful boutique-style resort is modern and contemporary, but with just a twist of Maldivian culture being evident. The tranquil and peaceful setting provides privacy and complete The boutique-style Zitahli Spa offers relaxation and is complete privacy simply perfect for and relaxation. those looking for a Maldivian resort with a difference. The island comprises just 50 chic rooms, all of which have been built and designed to the highest of standards. Choose one of the spacious Beach Villas, some of which have their own private pool, or one of the over-water Aqua Villas, again, some with their very own infinity-edge pool. All accommodation has large, spacious private decks along with magnificent ocean views. l From £4,300 per person staying full board in a Deluxe Beach Villa, travelling with Emirates in economy class.
Cape Town ape Royale Luxury Hotel is one of Cape Town’s newest and most luxurious five-star hotels in trendy up-and-coming Greenpoint, a mere five minutes’ walk from the famous Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, amid Cape Town’s working harbour. Almost 100 luxuriously appointed, butler-serviced suites offer spacious and modern accommodation, combining the sophistication of Europe with the vibrant spirit of Africa. The boutique hotel has a rooftop pool deck and skybar with wraparound views of the waterfront, Table Mountain and the city. The two-bedroom, fully ensuite Family Deluxe Suites are well suited to families and it’s worth noting that those aged under 16, sharing with
ll the options shown here are available through local tour operator, Inspirational Travel.
parents, stay for free – including breakfast! Facilities include 1800 o, a premier grill house, and Equinox, a full-function spa facility. Cape Royale is centrally located and a great base from which to experience Cape Town’s tourist attractions. Guests have access to a complimentary limo transfer service (5km radius) which includes trips to the acclaimed waterfront – a shopper’s paradise – and dinner in the city. l From £3,600 per person staying in a one-bedroom Deluxe Suite with breakfast, travelling with BA in World Traveller Plus. For further details, or to book, telephone: 01780 784380. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.inspirational-travel.com
DIARY DATES April 18 Peterborough, Thorpe Meadows, Ramada Hotel PE3 6GA Free, informal networking evening (6-8pm), a drop-in event hosted by the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce. Email Helen Bosett: email@example.com
From Exec to Arena: name change for venue
April 26 Huntingdon Racecourse, Thrapston Road, Huntingdon PE28 4NL Doing Business Together: business builder – an interactive event (3-5pm) to build relationships. Organised by The Business Club, more details are here: www.the-businessclub.org.uk/ event-information
ne of the finest all-purpose venues in the East of England has changed its name to Peterborough Arena in a major re-branding exercise. The venue, formerly known as the Peterborough EXEC, at the East of England Showground, attracts around 800,000 visitors through the Oundle Road gates every year for a wide range of events, concerts, exhibitions and conferences – including the recent high profile Holiday on Ice production. The new name went ‘live’ last month and was chosen to reflect the true nature of the venue and help place it firmly on the UK’s events map. The sales team from the Arena were flying the flag for the venue at the recent International Confex event
April 26 The William Cecil Hotel, St Martin’s, Stamford PE9 2LJ The Rutland and Stamford Business Network (RSBN) evening seminar series. Nicholas Rudd-Jones, Local Living, ‘How to get PR published: tips for gaining attention for your business’. Coming up on May 24: Jez Allman, What and How, ‘The Hedgehog Principle – growing your business without getting run over’. The RSBN also meets every other Friday at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, from April 20, for breakfast (£10 cash on entry): networking followed by a business feature speaker. Book by email to firstname.lastname@example.org May 10 (7.30-9.30am) Louth, Fairfield Enterprise Centre Bank of England Business Panel Event, providing the latest economic information from the bank’s experts themselves, organised by the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce. More details from Charlotte Robson on: 01522 523333. June 23-24 Peterborough, Cathedral Square Peterborough Heritage Festival 2012: a living history event. More: www.vivacitypeterborough.com/festivals June 30 Peterborough Town Bridge, River Nene Embankment Dragon Boat Festival in aid of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices. Companies are encouraged to enter a team: call 01780 470718 or visit: www.dragonboatfestivals .co.uk/peterborough/ June 30 – July 8 Peterborough, various locations Peterborough Arts Festival 2012. Featuring the Olympic Torch event July 3-4. More here: www.vivacitypeterborough.com/festivals
Above: Peterborough Arena account managers Hollie Ward (left) and Felicity Adams sport their new look uniforms.
at London’s ExCel, helping to raise awareness of the facility among hundreds of event organisers gathered there from around the UK. Peterborough Arena managing director, Keith Dalton, said: “The new name more accurately reflects the facility and will help to promote the city as we strive to bring in a range of new concerts, exhibitions, conferences and shows. We want to throw our weight Putting the city on the UK events map behind the Peterborough – the re-named Peterborough Arena. success story and be very Inset: MD Keith Dalton. much part of the city’s exciting www.peterborougharena.com plans for continued economic Chairman of Opportunity growth. Historically, we have Peterborough, John Bridge, been a hidden jewel in the city’s added: “There is potential to turn crown – but that will change.” this into one of the best venues of As custodians of the venue, its kind in the East of England. the East of England Agricultural This will bring more visitors and Society has welcomed the investment to the city. To make changes. Andrew Sharpley, this happen, Peterborough society chairman, said: “This Arena will need the support of new look provides us with a residents and businesses and I fresh platform on which to urge everyone to get behind the promote our established annual venture and make use of this events, including our flagship top-class facility.” East of England Show.”
Jet ski duo expands lakeside business new venture by a local business duo is taking adrenaline sports to fresh premises in Lincolnshire from this month. 158 Performance in Tallington, run by world and European jet ski champion James Bushell and business partner Matt Bullock, has clinched a major deal to further expand their operation by running a jet ski base at Tattershall Lakes. The pair will be recruiting several new staff to help them run the new venue, which features a shop, cafe and the 45-acre lake itself. 158, named after James’ racing number, deals in a range
of adrenaline-inducing machines such as jet skis, quad bikes, sports boats and Can-Am Spyders – all of which will be stocked in the new lakeside showroom and available to hire or buy. The new site will open from 9am to 7pm each day. Matt said: “It’s a brilliant venue, suitable for the whole family, and we can’t wait to get started. This deal has been more than a year in the making and a dream of ours for some time. “2011 was a fantastic year for 158 and securing this deal provides us with a real opportunity to further expand the business and bring adrenaline
Matt Bullock (left) and James Bushell, above.
sports to a whole new audience as well as giving our existing customers somewhere great to visit and put our range of machines through their paces. “We’re really looking forward to getting the facilities up and running and welcoming our first visitors. It’s an exciting time for everyone at 158.”
Charitable giving should be a business ‘must’, says Elizabeth Inman.
Business Scene gets up close and a little bit personal with executives around the region. Here, we focus on the life and times of local businesswoman Elizabeth Inman, director of The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Name: Elizabeth Inman. Current business card details: Director, Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Biography: Burghley has been my life. I was born and educated locally and was lucky enough to ride in my youth in Burghley Park. Little did I know that I would eventually oversee what is, in essence, a small town that rises from this parkland every September: the event welcomes 150,000 visitors over the four days, known throughout the world as the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Over the years working in the administration of the event, I became familiar with every department, so that by the time I took over as director, in 2005, I could handle the ‘business’ of Burghley Horse Trials – extremely important as proceeds benefit every level of UK Eventing. We muster the highest level of emergency services, tenting, stabling, arenas, traffic management, vets, competitors, sponsors, media, radio communications,
corporate hospitality, a wonderful army of volunteers and tradestands from ‘Bond Street’ to a mouth-watering food village. I have never competed in Eventing myself, but know what world class riders and their horses require to perform at their best in dressage, cross country and show jumping in order to win the competition – one of the top international televised horse trials in the world. My first job was: Here at Burghley! But my dream job would be: This job. It’s a privilege. Are you a technophobe or a technophile? A technophile. I blog, we increasingly use social networking and, last year, developed a Burghley i-Phone app. I like to spend my time off: With horses, but in a different sport – racing. It’s a passion. What’s your favourite brand? Land Rover, of course! My finest hour was: My first radio interview on the Radio 4 Today programme, about my appointment as director – it was a short-lived interview
because I had laryngitis! I hate it when: People are negative. Our sport is about positivity and ‘can-do’. I am surprisingly good at: Multi-tasking – you have to be in this job. Also, implementing new ideas; this year we are developing a Green Lifestyle Pavilion to add to our 500 retailers, with natural, organic and eco-friendly products at the high end of the market. My dream dinner party guests would be: Mainly a sporting mix. Racing connoisseurs Paul Nicholls and John Francome, Zara Phillips (a regular at our event), Tanni Grey Thompson and, for extra flavour
perhaps, Boris Johnson, Judy Dench and Graham Norton. And the food would be: A simple casserole – and lots of red wine. At my funeral: If I can be buried alongside the lake in nearby Exton Park, home of the Gainsboroughs, I would like Handel’s Water Music to be played. I learned to ride in this beautiful park and it is a very special place for me. If I ruled the world: Charitable giving would be a business ‘must’. Our sponsored horse ride around the cross country course on the Sunday of the event has raised £120,000 for charities – that’s a serious feel-good factor.
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