Serving 5,000 deciSion-makerS in and around Peterborough
ESSENTIAL READING FOR LOCAL EXECUTIVE LEADERS
Inside this issue Latest news and views, including: Royal visitor for county show Prince of Wales to attend opening day
Are you digitally deft . . . or deaf? Check out how ‘tech-savvy’ you are
Cricketing legend heads for Stamford Book tickets to watch Flintoff play An enterprise founded on water vapour Meet the team behind tobacco alternatives
HEADlines Up close and personal with the city’s new mayor, former local businessman George Simons
ESSENTIAL READING FOR LOCAL EXECUTIVE LEADERS
Welcome At a recent insightful business coaching session led by our columnist, David Grundy (whose article is on page 23), speaker Martin Rickman, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said even the smallest of enterprises should have an effective website – or risk poor public perception. It is proven that a slow-loading, boring or complicated site can put people off the company it represents and onto their more switched-on rivals. A website’s home page is indeed a company’s shop window, enticing customers in, but the rest of the site must function equally as well as the traditional shop floor. I read that today’s ultra-discerning electronic customer is not a 30-something technological wizard, surrounded since knee socks by expensive gadgetry, but increasingly a ‘baby boomer’ who has grappled with the evolving digital age, realised its benefits – particularly for product/service information and online deals – and decided to mature alongside it. It seems the over-50s are now the Internet’s fastest-growing user group: a recent Nielsen survey revealed that 77 per cent of boomers shop online – a fact that marketers (many of them just out of college) are only very slowly catching onto. But put that figure around another way and we might deduce that almost a quarter of the over-50s remain detached from the Internet era – reluctant to embrace it and still digitally deaf to its charms, as Drew Nicholson explores on page 7. I am delighted to see I am computer-deft – although I admit to being a bit daft when it comes to my old mobile phone; the high cost of rather small screens still puts me off, to say nothing of the increasing intrusion of trite messages. The upshot of all this tech-savvy-ness is more and more workers are able to ‘work anywhere’ (page 14) via remote, virtual offices and beyond the nine-to-five ‘clocking-off’ deadlines. That’s progress . . . right?
The Business Scene Team Publisher Heidi Semple Editor Sally Hooton 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
Legal Eagle – Nick Ash tells how to hang on to your hard-earned cash Plus, hang on to your hard hat, a new scheme launches to explode some health and safety myths
Webwise – Digital marketing expert, Stan Nyokas, tells how to thwart the IT data thieves
Workforce – Our H&S guru Colin Nottage applies some footy expertise to safety in the workplace
All the best, Sally Hooton.
Cover story – Are you a dab hand in this digital age . . . or a bit daft? Drew Nicholson has discovered there are four distinct types of technology users
News – Rural businesses are being hampered by slow broadband speeds, FSB’s John Walker says
Drive – Motoring correspondent Tim Barnes-Clay test drives some German efficiency along the notoriously unpleasant A14
Prince Charles is guest of honour at the East of England Show
Confirmed to play at Stamford this month: Freddie Flintoff
Skillset – Take the risk and be innovative, says Patrick Sim. PLUS business coach David Grundy helps put champions on the right track for success Off Duty – Our tour guide Jane Price takes you aboard the holiday express and has some great trip ideas to choo-choo-choose from! What’s On – Dates for your diary. Plus, grab a chance to visit the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials – free!
Serving 5,000 executives in and around Peterborough
Meet the team building a healthy business out of tobacco alternatives
‘Smile!’ says former city businessman, our new mayor, George Simons
NEWS Soup kitchen volunteers call for business support
Sponsor city ’Oscar’ awards, firms urged
edicated volunteers who run the Peterborough Soup Kitchen (PSK), which serves food and drink to homeless people in the city, are asking organisations to make donations or give gifts to help support them. POSH has helped raise awareness of the charity by giving a signed 1st Team POSH shirt and two tickets for the first home game of the new football season in August. PSK will stage a free raffle of the items among its disadvantaged users later this month. But now the soup kitchen volunteers are hoping other organisations and business will follow POSH’s charitable example. More than 10,000 meals are dished up every year from the
usinesses are being offered the opportunity to support the very best of young film makers in Peterborough at two award ceremonies this month. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Peterborough Young People’s Film Awards for secondary schools, which will be held on Tuesday July 10 at 7pm at KingsGate Community Church, Staplee Way, Parnwell, Peterborough. The Peterborough Children’s Film Awards, for primary schools, will be held two nights later, on Thursday July 12 at 6.30pm at the same venue. The awards were originally part of Peterborough City Council’s ‘Read.Write.Inspire’ campaign, aimed at involving local businesses and organisations in supporting literacy in schools through innovative and creative ways. Over the last seven years, it has evolved into the annual Peterborough Film Awards and is now one of the city council’s most prominent events. Schools and youth groups from across Peterborough were invited to enter a documentary or drama film, based on categories set by groups of teachers linked to the curriculum. The films are judged by a range of organisations, including the BBC, ITV and the British Film Institute. Previous awards have seen video speeches by VIPs such as Sir Michael Parkinson, Greg Dyke, Michael Palin, Daniel Radcliffe and Aardman Studios. Actor Warwick Davis is master of ceremonies for this year’s Young People’s Awards evening. Nominated films are screened and celebrated in an Oscar-style ceremony attended by more than 1,000 people, plus special guests. Last year, more than 100 films were entered from children aged between four and 19 from 40 schools across the city. Jonathan Lewis, Peterborough City Council’s assistant director for education and resources, said: “A number of sponsorship opportunities are available for both nights and we urge people to come forward. These events rely on support and sponsorship from local businesses, willing to invest in the success of our young people.” Find out more about sponsorship from Helen Gregg, tel: 01733 863618 or email: Helen.email@example.com
soup kitchen van, in the Bright Street car park; all prepared and served by a group of 150 local PSK volunteers. Ian Davies, PSK chairman, said: “We will offer the POSH gifts to our clients, who so very rarely have the resources for Kevin Dawson (PSK trustee) receives the leisure and enjoyment. signed shirt from POSH’s Barry Fry. Through this simple target of £5,000 this year. example, we can highlight the Alex Harris, commercial importance of gifts and manager for POSH said: “We donations to a small charity.” were happy to contribute a gift The Soup Kitchen has been for a local homeless person to operating for some 28 years, see the first POSH home game funded almost entirely from local this summer.” Help make a donations. The charity hopes difference – make a donation more local organisations will here: www.peterborough become a ‘friend of the soup soupkitchen.org.uk kitchen’, which has a fundraising
Rural economy hindered by broadband ountryside businesses are reliance on the Internet will rise. suffering because of the slow In a report, ‘The missing links speed of their broadband, says – revitalising our rural economy’, the Federation of Small Businesses the FSB is calling on the (FSB), calling for increased access Government to roll out 20Mbps to superfast broadband by 2015 to (Megabits per second) superfast revitalise the rural economy. broadband to 98 per cent of rural Figures show that six in ten communities and businesses. rural businesses and households The FSB says all businesses, have long had problems either urban or rural, should be able to accessing broadband or with slow tap into all markets. Broadband is speeds. The FSB’s ‘Voice of Small crucial for this, especially for rural Business’ Panel Survey of businesses which are more than 3,000 often miles from their members shows that 63 per cent of small firms are dissatisfied with the speed of their broadband connection compared to 48 per cent of businesses John Walker, in urban areas. FSB national Another 34 per cent chairman: of small rural firms are www.fsb.org.uk dissatisfied with the
reliability and a quarter with the value for money. The Government has announced it will create ten super-connected cities by 2015 that will have ultrafast broadband speeds. While the FSB welcomes this, it believes it doesn’t go far enough and will widen the digital divide between rural and urban businesses – especially since the same number of rural (85%) and urban (84%) businesses think their
customers and suppliers. It will also help them boost exports – crucial for economic growth. Effective broadband is also vital for businesses to access Government services, such as applications for funding, business rates and tax returns, which are all going online. Thus, the FSB believes the Government should be acting with a greater sense of urgency.
Self-employment and home-based working is more prominent in rural areas. The FSB believes that by rolling out efficient broadband, it will encourage more small businesses to grow, improve their competitiveness and encourage them to take on staff – crucial at a time of high unemployment. John Walker, FSB national chairman, said: “These figures show that many rural firms are still unable to access basic broadband to run their business effectively. It shouldn’t matter where a business is located. “With the technology we have today all firms should be able to trade overseas, throughout the UK and from town to village. “With both rural and urban businesses clearly looking to the Internet to expand, it is imperative the Government takes action to close the digital divide between urban and rural businesses. “We are calling on the Government to roll out superfast broadband to rural areas by 2015.” l A campaign to bring better connectivity across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire is currently being run online. Support the initiative for faster broadband by signing up to the lobby: www. connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk
Formula can help implement ideas irms in Cambridgeshire are generating record numbers of business ideas (for new products or services), but a low hit rate is stunting true innovation. This new finding comes from a Henley Business School research project, commissioned by Orange. According to the innovation study, more than three-quarters of firms in Cambridgeshire (86 per cent) are generating more business ideas now, compared with five years ago, but almost half of these ideas (46 per cent) are not practical and can not be implemented. To help firms generate more useful ideas, Professor Dominic Swords from Henley Business School, has developed the world’s first equation outlining how firms create consistently great business ideas. The formula – the result of interviews with innovation leaders like 3M, Diageo and Bupa and an analysis of 2,000 British businesses – identifies experience, engagement, energy and diversity as the elements needed to generate useful ideas in a group environment (such as, brainstorm). The formula was developed after it was found that businesses are struggling to create implementable ideas. Trying to implement these impractical ideas is leading firms up blind alleys, wasting time and impacting innovation. But business ideas are vital as they lead to innovation
The ideas generation equation: IG = 3ED IG = rate of Ideas Generation 3E = Experience + Engagement + Energy D = Diversity
Calculating the equation:
Prof Dominic Swords.
1. Experience – ensure those in the room have the right amount of accumulated experience in the subject matter. 2. Engagement – make sure participants understand the brief and are focused on the task. 3. Energy – raise energy levels by hosting the session off-site or incentivising employees. 4. Diversity – involve people who have experience in different markets and technologies (the level of diversity in the room is crucial as it acts as a multiplier, increasing the quality of ideas created). – and innovation leads to competitive advantage. To help firms implement the formula in their day-to-day operations, Prof Swords has turned it into a step-by-step plan to run the optimal ideas generation session. This simple plan gives techniques on picking the best participants, identifying the optimum ideas and then implementing them. The plan also highlights innovation examples from world leading firms, such as inviting external guests to give first-hand insights; asking participants to pretend to be the target audience when giving feedback; using separate rooms to test ideas; and eliminating negative comments by giving yellow cards to participants who say: “No, but . .”. To download the free guide,
visit: www.orange.co.uk/innovation Prof Swords said: “The encouraging news from this research is that Cambridgeshire businesses are generating more ideas now than five years ago. “However, many of these ideas simply can’t be implemented because they weren’t conceived in the right way. That’s a missed opportunity as it’s wasting valuable time and stifling innovation. “But it doesn’t have to be this way. As some of the leading innovators have told us – from both large and small firms – putting a simple 60-minute process in place to generate ideas can have a positive impact on growth.” Martin Stiven, vice-president of Business, Orange, added: “We work with thousands of businesses, supporting them in their quest for
Network wins discount deal he Rutland and Stamford Business Network (RSBN) has signed a deal with Office Depot, enabling members to purchase stationery, office products and equipment at a discount. RSBN partner, Deborah King, said: “By joining together, the 33 businesses in the network have the same kind of buying power as a large corporation and Office Depot was quick to appreciate that.” RSBN has its own page on the Office Depot website where network members can make their orders, quickly and efficiently, with fast despatch to their premises. Deborah Hazell of Office
Depot, explained: “We have created an umbrella framework so, although each member gets the same discount as negotiated, each respective business is treated as a separate customer by our company.” RSBN partner, Ben Callaghan, added: “It’s good to see a global player like Office Depot working with small businesses, enabling them to be more competitive in these challenging times.” RSBN runs fortnightly breakfast meetings at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel in Rutland and organises a rich calendar of networking events, such as dinners, seminars, golfing and
Above: The RSBN’s Deborah King (left) and Ben Callaghan with Deborah Hazell from Office Depot. sailing. More information about these events and how to join is available on the website: www.rsbn.biz or call 01572 770352 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
game-changing ideas. We’ve seen first-hand how Cambridgeshire businesses are focusing on driving growth by creating great ideas. Clearly, these ideas don’t happen by accident, yet they can be encouraged to happen. If you manage the ideas generation process well and learn as a team, the effect can be transformational. “Innovation is central to Orange’s core values. Our own ideas generation method features a range of techniques, such as using social media networks like Yammer to share ideas with each other. “As this research shows, the key is developing a culture of innovation so everyone in the business is constantly creating useful ideas to move the business forward.”
Royal guest for county show H
is Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales will be the honoured guest at this month’s East of England Show. He has accepted an invitation from the show’s host, the East of England Agricultural Society, to attend the event on the opening day, Friday July 6. The Prince is keen to see as much of the show as possible and has agreed to a busy itinerary including visits to rural and environmental stands. He will also present a number of awards, including Long Service prizes, the Farm Business awards and Apprentice of the Year. The British Festival of the Working Horse has its debut at the show this year and includes the British Horse Loggers, of which the Prince is patron. Show committee chairman, Andrew Riddington, said: “We are absolutely delighted the show’s standing as a major event has been further enhanced with news of Prince Charles’ attendance.” The Prince of Wales last attended the show in 2001. More details about the show are on page 26.
Flintoff confirmed for England Masters Stamford ormer England Test cricketer Andrew (Freddie) Flintoff has confirmed his availability to play in the PCA England Masters versus The Dean Headley Invitation XI on July 27 in Stamford. Tickets and tables are limited, so cricket fans are urged to visit the website and book them now, or miss seeing Freddie, David (Bumble) Lloyd, Dominic (Corky) Cork, Paul Nixon, John Emburey, Phil DeFreitas, Devon Malcolm, Gladstone Small, Shaun Udal,
Chris Schofield, Neil Fairbrother, Mark Ealham, Mal Loye and Dean Headley himself. The match will be a Twenty/20 game between PCA England Masters XI and Dean Headley Invitation XI, comprising some England legends and players from local clubs. A junior Kwik Cricket match will be played in the morning, supervised by England players, between 12 local clubs. An auction will take place during a four-course lunch – with
holidays, signed bats, shirts and more on offer – plus a prize raffle. There will also be a question and answer session with Freddie, Bumble and Corky before the game starts – and this will have a running commentary from the effervescent Charlie Dagnall. Profits from the event will go towards much-needed bursaries for the Stamford region, since the Lincolnshire Scholarship is no longer available. For tickets, log on to: www. englandmastersstamford.co.uk
Circled, David Bumble Lloyd and, above, Freddie Flintoff: set for the Stamford event (left) this month.
Digitally deft . . . or deaf? s there a digital dilemma in your office? When it comes to computers, are you a dab hand or a bit daft? In a nationwide poll, major digital marketing agency, dnx, discovered there are four distinct personal profiles into which the majority of us now fall when dealing with – and engaging with – the modern, omnipresent digital age. The categories are: Digitally Dominant; Digitally Deft; Digitally Deaf; and Digitally Disabled. Take a look at the descriptions and decide which one profiles you:
When it comes to technology, are you keeping up, or getting lost? Digitally Dominant This person has fully adopted the digital age, but in the process, forfeited the pleasures of spoken conversation and human interaction. While only representative of about 16 per cent of the population, they are a growing band of people who ‘over-indulge’ in digital. Members of this group run their lives digitally and electronically, eschewing as often as possible any verbal interaction with others: 19 per cent admit they can easily go two days a week without uttering a word to anyone. While there is no typical day for this group, they can travel, eat, communicate and entertain themselves without conversing directly with a live person. They will always try to ensure they purchase any travel document, such as a train or airline ticket, via machines at a station or online; they
Being unable to fully engage with the digital age is a hinderance in a modern society – Drew Nicholson.
will choose to exit a station via the barriers and never via the guard’s exit; they purchase lunch either via a vending machine or by using contactless payment cards; and they are more likely than any other group to have iris scans on their passports to allow them through passport control without meeting anyone. These people usually carry at least two mobile devices with them at all times, most often a phone and tablet, and their use of the Internet is exceptionally proficient; for instance, the devices are five times more likely than any other group’s to be compatible with each other. Weekly food shopping is habitually undertaken via the Internet. This group is four times less likely to go to an actual shop than any other group and, if they do, there is an extremely strong likelihood that it is a large supermarket with self-checkouts. Holidays are booked and airline check-ins sorted online. All insurances, applications, and banking are kept online. Any personal correspondence is also initiated online or via text and kept in these modes for as long as possible. Perhaps more importantly, this group speaks face-to-face only about half as much as any other group. This group is most like Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean character or Sheldon Cooper in the Big Bang Theory in their wish not to actually and actively engage with people. Drew Nicholson of digital agency, dnx, said: “While the digital revolution has given us all immense choice in the way we deal with situations from
financial transactions to purchasing goods, from booking entertainment to messaging each other, it should not be used to replace the art of conversation and human contact. But there is a significant minority using the far-reaching benefits of digital as a substitute for real personal engagement.” Most of the conversations the Digitally Dominant have with friends and colleagues are on Facebook and other social media sites. Digitally Deft Switched on to the digital age, this group uses all the digital options at their disposal to try and make a better life for themselves. They make digital work for them, yet are not slaves to it. They use it for all manner of things and as a primary source of communication. But for every 100 texts they send, they will make around ten phone calls, enjoying the sound of a voice and the emotions it carries. They are more likely to adopt Internet phone services like Skype than any other group and 27 per cent of them believe this has helped them stay in contact with international friends more easily than previously available. Nearly half this group admit that they had been becoming too dependent on digital messaging. Their realisation that a voice conversation is one of life’s great pleasure means that they have been flocking back to live conversation. This group will shop Continued on page 8 >
Continued from page 7
online, on the high street and in shopping centres in equal proportion. They believe the convenience and time saved by shopping online has given them greater leisure time for other activities and personal pursuits, which often include retail therapy. While travelling, the Digitally Deft choose a method for finding out information, booking services and purchasing goods which are most appropriate for them at the time, saves them time and money. They are, therefore, not wedded to digital options, but are fully conversant with them and the gamut of alternatives. The greatest users of social networking sites, this group is also three times more likely to watch TV through a Player at a time that suits them, rather than when aired. Around 30 per cent also have a Twitter account. At home reading either a paperback or an e-book, this group is comfortable with the
digital age and embraces it easily and readily. Film star Daniel Craig’s interpretation of James Bond would be a good example of this group.
The Digitally Deft make digital work for them, yet are not slaves to it. They realise that a voice conversation is one of life’s great pleasures – Drew Nicholson.
purchase from a manned kiosk and so Digitally Deaf are three times more In a rather counterlikely to view the revolutionary manner, latest film release at this group seems to a village hall or relish rebutting the Drew Nicholson. independent cinema. digital advance, Retail expert Mary whether it is Portas would like this group consciously enforced or not. as they are huge fans of and Either way, the Digitally Deaf visitors to the high street. They are clinging to a bygone era are six times more likely than which is unlikely to return but the Digitally Dominant group which still holds much merit to book their holidays via a for them. high street travel operator. Letters, cards and good They watch television in old-fashioned phone calls on real time, rarely recording a handset attached to the anything, and their mobile actual mechanics of the phone is seldom in need of phone are favoured by this topping up; they carry it only group over email, Internet for emergencies or for friends cards and mobile calls. to call them. Members of this However, the research group are totally aware and found that this group is not even appreciative of the necessarily old-fashioned or digital revolution, they just even old. Fifteen per cent of choose to engage with it on them were under 30 years old their terms and only when and, of this, 90 per cent were absolutely necessary. To fully conversant with email, them, ‘conversation is the the Internet and all manner of window to the mind’. digital appliances; they just Nicholson said: “Engaging prefer not to use them the and competent this group may whole time. be, but their refusal to fully Rather than shop online engage with the digital age this group is more likely to be means that they lose out on found shopping at their local many of the time-saving and retailers or farm shops, fiscal benefits of the Internet; indeed anywhere that has the speed of digital messaging a cash till operated by a and the convenience of person. Similarly, if downloading content to view they are off to the at their leisure.” cinema, they Film director Michael prefer to Winner’s fictional character in a TV insurance ad well represents this group. Digitally Disabled A startling 17 per cent of those interviewed were found to be in this group; made up of those who are being left behind the digital curve but don’t want to be. Reminiscent of those who grew up without the ability to read yet hid it well, this
group is following a similar trajectory. While this group is of a diverse age range, there are still a disproportionate number in the under-25 age range compared with the other groups. Members of this group are often hindered by lack of confidence and conviction of their abilities. More than five times more likely to have made a mistake when using the Internet than other groups, such as booking 20 seats for a concert instead of two, members of this group begin to doubt their abilities and thus shun future use of all things digital. Within this group, 42 per cent have not sought assistance to master digital because they believe they will be perceived as less capable. And, although the majority found their phones easy to use, they tended to struggle with Internet shopping, booking of tickets online, navigating sites and downloading content, such as music and films. Frustrated by many of their experiences, this group is becoming left behind. Nicholson said: “This is a worrying trend. Being unable to fully engage with the digital age is a hinderance in a modern society. “Digital is replacing many former hard copy-based tasks, such as tax submissions and job applications. In addition, often the cheaper deals are only available to those using a digital service; thus those who access them via any other method find themselves excluded from the deals and financially disadvantaged.” Actor Carl Pilkington’s character in An Idiot Abroad and Ricky Gervais’ David Brent in The Office reflect this group’s dilemma.
LEGAL EAGLES Internet name game: domains revealed Taxman targets T landlords uy-to-let landlords in the region are currently on HMRC’s tax evasion hit list. The warning comes after the tax office’s success in similar crackdowns which have helped collect an additional £50 million of unpaid taxes. Peterborough accountants Rawlinsons are now alerting those operating buy-to-let properties in the area to ensure they are fully compliant. Also coming under scrutiny in a raft of inspections are taxi firms and restaurants. Rawlinsons’ partner, Ken Craig, said: “HMRC can turn up unannounced at business premises and demand to inspect books and equipment. This can be traumatic, but being prepared for any investigations can help.”
he international unveiling of applied-for domain names under the new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) program took place in London last month. Marking one of the most significant changes in the history of the Internet, for the first time brands have been given the opportunity by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to feature their names on the right side of the dot in web addresses, such as .Google. Names which were applied for included .pepsi, .polo and .calvinklein and some companies applied for new domains based on generic terms (such as .hotel or .beer) or geographic locations (.africa or .london). ICANN reports that it received 1,930 submissions for approval – and even if only 75 per cent are granted, the number of top-level domains is
likely to expand four-fold. Rod Beckstrom, CEO and president of ICANN, said: “We’re standing at the cusp of a Rod Beckstrom. Jonathan Robinson. new era for online innovation, including new jobs, new and .cars to help command businesses and new ways to their digital presence in a share information.” certain industry. Jonathan Robinson, “We now enter another non-executive director of waiting game to see which Afilias, the domain name domains come to fruition first registry operations company and how organisations plan to behind .info, .mobi, and 14 use these moving forward; but other Top Level Domains we are likely to see the first (TLDs), said the event marked batch of extensions go live in a “significant change in the around 12 months. history of the Internet”. “There are still operational He added: “Now the much challenges ahead, but the anticipated ‘dot brand’ names most important thing is that have been announced, it is businesses feel well-supported interesting to see that having submitted their businesses are not just looking applications.” to apply for their own To see the list of domain .extension, but also generic names applied for, visit the suffixes including .health, .style website: newgtlds.icann.org
You earned it – now keep it e work hard to make our money; we scrimp and save to make a better life for ourselves and our families and then what happens? Just as we get to a point where life seems good, a whole new set of threats and challenges appear. As we get older, we naturally think about enjoying retirement and leaving something to the family to make their lives a little better after we have gone. To do this, we all know we need to make a will and invest wisely, but we need to look at the threats to our wealth.
Threat One: World economic turmoil. If you have the answer to this, you should call 10 Downing Street and share it
immediately. Otherwise, you should view the market uncertainty with some trepidation. Interest rates are at an historic low and the need for high quality investment advice is at an all-time high. To navigate your savings and investments through these uncertain times you need good advice from properly qualified independent financial advisors. Threat Two: The taxman. If you have gained even modest levels of wealth, through property, investments or even inheriting from your relatives, you will need to be aware that the taxman might want his share. Proper planning can avoid unnecessary tax bills and, in many cases, we can significantly
reduce any liability to inheritance taxes with some simple and cost-effective steps. Threat Three: Long-term care. One in three of us will need some form of long-term care as we get older. Good planning now can reduce the burden that is likely to fall on your shoulders and, in many cases, could protect your home and assets into the future. Threat four: The cost of dying. Latest Government estimates put the cost of dying at more than
Financial planning with Nick Ash £7,000; this includes funeral charges and the legal costs associated with probate. These costs are escalating at far more than both inflation and savings rates. You could fix them now and save your family money and heartache in the long run. If you need any advice to protect your wealth, call me (details below) for a free, no obligation consultation.
Nick Ash is director, will and probate services, Tancreds. Email: email@example.com or call: 01778 341490. Details here: www.tancreds.co.uk
JULY 2012 LEGAL EAGLES
Flexible working – the way of the future his September will see Britain recommence its fight to stop Europe preventing our employees from working more than 48 hours per week. The Working Time Regulations 1998 sets out exceptions to the limiting 48-hour working week. Many employers rely on one of the main exceptions within those
Emma Clark discusses proposed changes to the UK’s current 48-hour working week. regulations and argue that their senior executives work ‘autonomously’ and can therefore work as many hours as they want. But what will happen if this loophole closes? What if Europe refuses to
allow us to ask our middle management and junior staff to sign a document in which they ‘opt out’ of the 48-hour working week? Should employers start to focus less on potential
Play conkers in goggles? It’s a myth . . . H ave you heard the one about the health and safety officials declaring that children playing conkers should wear protective goggles? Or the one about trapeze artists being told to wear hard hats? These are myths, according to the Government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which has just set up a Myth Busters Challenge Panel to refute common health and safety misunderstandings and provide clear advice on what is required by law. Minister for Employment, Chris Grayling, said: “All too often, jobsworths are the real reason for daft health and safety decisions. Common sense is the key to successful health and safety. “The Myth Busters Challenge
Panel will advise people where they think local authorities, insurance companies or schools have got it wrong.” Judith Hackitt, chairman of the HSE and the new panel, said that such decisions undermined confidence in the real task of health and Left: Judith safety, Hackitt. which is to manage serious risks to life and limb in Britain’s workplaces. She added: “Over the years we’ve seen health and safety invoked – wrongly – in defence of some pretty absurd decisions.” To access the HSE advice, visit the website: http://www.hse .gov.uk/contact/myth-busting.htm Meanwhile, here’s the HSE’s
top ten health and safety myths: 1. Children mustn’t play conkers unless they wear goggles. 2. Office workers banned from putting up Christmas decorations. 3. Trapeze artists told to wear hard hats. 4. Pin the tail on the donkey games a health and safety risk. 5. Candy floss on a stick banned in case people trip and impale themselves on it. 6. Hanging baskets banned in case people bump their heads on them. 7. Schoolchildren ordered to wear clip-on ties in case they are choked by traditional ones. 8. Park benches must be replaced because they are three inches too low. 9. Flip-flops are banned from the workplace. 10. Graduates told not to throw their mortar boards in the air.
loopholes in the law and more on a business Emma Clark strategy to is a senior work smarter? associate at The law Fox Solicitors. currently restricts the right to request flexible working to working parents or those with ageing relatives. Sometimes, such a request can stall or, at worst, end careers, resulting in an unnecessary loss of talent. Flexible working can instill immense loyalty in workers and improve staff morale. Remote working provides the employer with access to new markets and invariably delivers a better and extended service for clients. A high percentage of office space is not utilised. Transport strikes and the Olympics will take their toll on commuters and on the environment. Employers should think imaginatively and consider extending the right to work both flexibly and remotely to all of its employees.
DRIVE Fast facts
d: 142 mph l Max spee 8.7 secs : l 0-62 mph mpg: 56.5 d ne bi om lC cc 4 cylinder 43 21 l Engine: turbo diesel 16 valve twin 8 at 3000 rpm (b wer hp): 16 rpm l Max po 5 at 1400-2800 29 ): ue (Ib/ft kg 00 l Max torq 19 d) ke ra ing weight (b l Max tow km g/ 3 13 l CO2: ad 0,995 on the ro l Price: £3
This month’s motoring correspondent TIM BARNES-CLAY test drives top-quality, efficient German engineering, putting the
Armchair on commute 130 miles to my office quite regularly. It’s not a pleasant journey driving eastbound along one of the UK’s most congested A roads.
Yes, that’s right; I’m talking about the A14. It’s a dual carriageway where heavy goods vehicles heading to the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich take about ten
Pictured: A glide of a ride – enjoying a relaxed commute in the Mercedes-Benz E220.
minutes to overtake each other – and, when that’s not happening, I’m normally stuck in gridlocked traffic on the A14/A1 intersection. Not that I’m complaining. Well, certainly not when driving the Mercedes-Benz E220! You see, the German motor is not really a car, it’s better than that – it feels more like a great big mobile armchair. It’s so comfortable and it has all the accoutrements that you need for a relaxed business-style commute on British roads. Cushion of air On the move, the E220 soaks up potholes and glides along almost as if it was on a cushion of air. The rich sound system helps melt away any tension – it’s so resonant that you really do feel like you are in your own living room. Back on planet earth, the sat-nav is easy to operate and the hands-free Bluetooth system is convenient. And, when the traffic does grind to a halt, the cushioned headrests just take the stress out of things when you need to lay your head back and accept you’re not
JULY 2012 MOTORING Tim Barnes-Clay
Mercedes-Benz E220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Saloon Executive SE through its paces, along a notoriously unpleasant A road.
the A14 going anywhere for a while. The Mercedes-Benz E220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY is a large motor, so it sometimes feels a little heavy and unwieldy on twisty country lanes, but it feels safe – and it should do. Because, for more than 50 years, the saloons in the E-Class range have been acknowledged as trendsetters in the safety field. The current car continues this tradition with the very latest assistance and protection system. The technologies involved make the E-Class an ‘intelligent partner’ which can see, feel, react reflexively in
Pros ’n’ cons
ble √ l Comforta √ ance cruising st l Long di l Safe √ ent √ l Equipm try lanes X ome on coun rs be um lC
critical situations and, if necessary, act independently to prevent accidents or mitigate their consequences. With this concept, the E220 not only protects you, but also contributes decisively to the greater safety of other road users. Long-distance comfort and state-of-the-art safety aside, the Mercedes’ combined fuel economy of 56.5 mpg means you can enjoy prestige motoring without incurring high fuel costs. And, with the E-Class emitting just 133 g/km CO2, you can rest assured your choice of car is also environmentally-friendly.
Above: Inside, the ‘armchair’ controls are an intelligent partner for the driver of the Mercedes-Benz E220. Below: A little heavy on twisty country lanes – but very safe.
CLICKS&MORTAR Embracing the ‘work anywhere’ culture ritish employees are truly working in a 24/7 mobile environment where access to work anywhere is important. Research from Telligent UK (www.telligent.com) reports that 62 per cent of staff regularly work remotely or in different locations to colleagues, connecting ‘virtual offices’ via wireless Internet and Internet-enabled mobile devices.
Google increases search engine share K Internet users made 2.3 billion visits to search engines in May 2012, up by 82 million visits compared with April 2012, according to the latest analysis from Experian. The rise in visits represents a 3.7 per cent monthly increase in search activity and a 3.6 per cent year-on-year increase. Google increased its market share of searches for the third consecutive month. In total, Google sites accounted for 91.17 per cent of all searches conducted in the UK in May 2012, up by 0.15 per cent from the previous month. James Murray. Year-on-year, Google also saw positive growth with a 0.65 per cent increase compared to May last year. Microsoft sites, led by bing, had an overall market share of 3.84 per cent, Yahoo! 2.71 per cent and Ask sites 1.84 per cent in May. James Murray, digital insight manager for Experian Marketing Services, said: “Google continues to dominate the UK search market. However, we keep stressing it’s not all about Google. There are niche audiences and opportunities that exist by working with some of the other top search engines, and understanding who your audience is and how they convert can make a crucial difference to your digital strategy and your ROI.”
provides Peterborough perfect Software unique retail insight for London commute B ew research by a national property consultancy has identified Peterborough as a location offering one of the best packages for those who have to undertake the London commute to work. In the Carter Jonas Commuter Index, Peterborough scores highly against other commuter destinations, such as Oxford and Cambridge. Factors considered by those who work in the capital, but don’t want to live there, include: house prices, schools, mortgage costs, train services and travel costs – plus lifestyle elements such as access to top-end restaurants from within the area. According to the index author, Catherine Penman – head of research Carter Jonas’ at Carter Jonas offices in – value for money Priestgate, Peterborough. property prices
help shore up the Peterborough area’s position in the rankings, as well as its 53-minute journey time to London King’s Cross. She said: “Peterborough ticks all the boxes as a convenient commuter location. House prices are more affordable than other, conventional commuter hubs in cities such as Cambridge or Oxford. A comparison of average house prices reveals a four-bedroom townhouse in Oxfordshire is £675,000, whereas in Peterborough it is £350,000. And a two-bedroom cottage in a village around Peterborough, at £240,000, compares more than favourably with an Oxfordshire equivalent of £395,000.” While the cost of an annual season ticket from Peterborough to King’s Cross, at £5,620, is higher than the £4,348 from Oxford to Paddington, this doesn’t detract from the overall ranking of Peterborough in the Carter Jonas Commuter Index.
rands such as Costa, Aviva and regeneration specialists Spenhill are benefiting from retail insight and analysis, thanks to property consultants Savills signing up to use Callcredit Information Group’s RetailVision modelling software. Savills is using RetailVision to advise clients on site selection. The company is also the first to use RetailVision’s unique ‘scenario’ function, which allows users to speculatively change the features of an existing retail landscape and predict the impact. RetailVision covers four retail categories – grocery, fashion, homewares/DIY and electricals. The software can assess the catchment area of a given retail centre and determine whether the products and brands there are a strong fit with the local population. Chris Duley, director of Callcredit’s retail planning team, said: “Times on the high street are tough, so it is vital that retailers have a wide range of data at their disposal to make accurate business decisions.”
Only a third of emails ’vital’ nly one in three emails in business inboxes holds real, immediate value, just a quarter are essential for work purposes and a mere 14 per cent of work emails are critically important. So says new research from cloud-based email management firm Mimecast, which has found that nearly two-thirds of the emails in your inbox are not essential for work. Of those non-essentials, 11 per cent are personal and seven per cent are spam. With more than 60 per cent of emails non-essential, the potential for email-based viruses and security breaches are top concerns for an organisation, according to the research. Increased use of remote and mobile email services only increases the concern. Nathaniel Borenstein, chief scientist at Mimecast (www.mimecast.com), said: “What
is clear is that the average employee faces a significant challenge in simply processing the information that comes into their inbox and identifying which messages are genuinely business critical. “We often end up working for email, rather than having email work for us. “Email will remain a Nathaniel fundamental Borenstein. business tool for many years to come – it is the global standard; but not always the gold standard. It is therefore vital that email can continue to develop and adapt as technology and working practices change.” Another finding of the research was that businesses have finally warmed up to social media. Overall, 55 per cent of
businesses use LinkedIn, making it the most commonly used social media platform in the workplace. Facebook was the second-most popular service, used by 47 per cent of workers. One in three respondents thought that increased use of social media in the workplace resulted in a decreased use of email. However, according to the survey, social media also increased the potential for information leaks and security breaches. The research was based on the responses of 500 information technology decision-makers, 200 from the US, 200 from the UK and 100 from South Africa. The research was conducted by Loudhouse Research for Mimecast as a part of its The Shape of Email report.
JULY 2012 CLICKS&MORTAR
Spreading the message Sort your IT security to of sustainability thwart the data thieves L M incolnshire-based renewable energy products distributor Eco Building Products is helping to spread the sustainability message throughout the region. The Market Deeping-based company (www.eco-buildingproducts.co.uk) is to help fund the monthly Investors in the Environment newsletter (www.iie.uk.com), which gives businesses a practical framework for reducing waste and energy use. It also supports the businesses’ green credentials through its networking and promotional activity. The scheme is active throughout the Eastern region. It has also been launched in Yorkshire with the collaboration of the Yorkshire Energy Partnership. More than 700 businesses have pledged their support for the scheme with almost 20 per cent of them already having achieved or working towards accreditation. Ian Greenfield, of Eco Building Products, said: “We are proud to continue our sponsorship of the Investors in the Environment newsletter. As a
local company focused on sustainable building and renewable Kim Coley. energy products we are delighted to be able to work with The Peterborough Environment City Trust (www.pect.org.uk) to help Peterborough towards becoming the UK’s environment capital. “It also gives us the opportunity to spread the renewables message to as wide an audience as possible.” It is the second year Eco Building Products has sponsored the newsletter. Investors in the Environment project officer, Kim Coley, added: “We are delighted Eco Building Products has agreed to continue sponsorship. Working closely with a network of organisations, Investors in the Environment is providing a series of events, courses and seminars to help create a better workplace by educating businesses on what resources are available to them. The newsletter is one of the most effective ways of spreading the message about these initiatives.”
Can Facebook connect you with target audience? ix out of ten UK adults use Facebook, potentially an excitingly large audience for businesses – but only if they are a good match with target prospects, research suggests. The study by research company fast.MAP, shows if you want to reach students, Facebook is ideal, since almost all of them use it. As do eight out of ten shop workers; threequarters of office and clerical staff; and some seven out of ten education and medical service personnel, middle managers, salespeople and home-makers. But only 46 per cent of the retired and 55 per cent of those who run their own business use it. Paul Seabrook, director at fast.Map, said: “Facebook would also be a good bet if you’re
aiming to reach the ‘stretched middle’ income group – seven out of ten of those earning £25,000 to £39,999 use it; along Paul with 61 per cent of Seabrook. those who earn less, but only 57 per cent of those who earn more. Two-thirds of adult females compared with just over half of males are users; as are 85 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds, a higher proportion than in any other age group. In fact, eight out ten of those aged between 16 and 44 (falling steadily thereafter to 46 per cent of the over-65s) make this an ideal medium for messages targeted at the young to middle-aged woman, but not so good for reaching the potentially lucrative over-50s.”
any companies today use IT infrastructure to deliver some of its services or design products or to assist its customers – thus making them somewhat dependent on a form of IT infrastructure. That infrastructure, like any man-made system, is often targeted by criminals wanting to make a quick profit via small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In 2011, 60 per cent of security attacks were targeting SMEs because, 80 per cent of the time, they do not invest enough resources in modern technology and IT security is not at the top of their agenda. The strange thing is, more than 75 per cent of new products are created by SMEs. With the proliferation of mobile devices that can access data, any time and any where, it’s becoming a nightmare for traditional IT security experts to secure enterprise data and systems. Moreover, these
IT expertise by Stan Nyokas mobile devices are not uniform in their generic make-up. There are Apple devices, android-based devices and Blackberry systems, each with its unique challenge when we look into their security aspects. In 2010, there were only six items of malware that could really harm mobile devices; in 2011, there were 62. We can only guess how the amount will rise in 2012. To complicate matters, now and in the not too distant future, companies plan to migrate all their data onto the Cloud, which can be private (where the company is in charge of all aspects, including security and maintenance) or public (where the company does not have full control, although the security of the networks remains the responsibility of the enterprise,
not the Cloud provider). Cloud security is different from normal IT security infrastructure – and to put the last nail in the coffin for traditional IT security, recent attacks are more complex, with the use of Advanced Remote Access Trojan (ARAT), advanced malware like Stuxnet, or special botnet which target only the sensitive information in data bank storage systems. There is malware which can ‘sniff’ network traffic, taking screenshots, recording audio conversations, intercepting keystrokes and moving data undetected by anti-virus solutions. So, follow these steps: 1) Implement an anti-malware, anti-spam, firewall solution for mobiles. 2) Utilise a Cisco-like Identity Service Engine (any identity management solutions should help). 3) Know what local data these mobile devices have accessed and ensure they use a one-time password every time they access this data. 4) Focus on data not on mobile devices – they are just the gateway to the data; every three months carry out an audit of the mobile device access. 5) Deploy a mobile device management solution that takes into account how your business uses your internal data. 6) Set up your systems so that people access data in role model type – Active Directory from Windows does this well. 7) Review your mobile security strategy every month and review the amount of data a mobile device is accessing: have a base line and if it changes significantly, there may be an intruder in your system. Criminals have moved from the destruction of systems to the stealing of data, realising that data is a more important commodity. This is the war that IT security experts must now win.
Stanislas Nyokas is founder of iTotalMarketing, Peterscourt, City Road, Peterborough. Call 01733 294551. www.itotalmarketing.co.uk
Uncovering Peterborough ncover Peterborough is a new website for businesses and consumers, providing local information. It was designed to put local consumers, searching online, in touch with quality companies and service providers within the Peterborough area, giving comprehensive knowledge of businesses, services, events, offers, news and jobs available in the city and surrounds. The site was launched in April by local businessman, Paul David Smith. Paul has more than ten years’ business experience in the Peterborough region: after establishing himself as head of marketing for one of the largest gift retailers in the UK and gaining extensive experience in ensuring businesses can be found online, he then launched a successful search marketing company. This helped a range of retailers and service providers ensure they were achieving the success in the search engines their businesses deserved. In today’s market, most consumers or businesses will do an Internet search to locate
a product or service before they ring the company or walk through the door. If your web presence is weak or doesn’t exist, you are missing out on a wealth of opportunities and potential sales. A few statistics: 97 per cent of consumers search for local business online (source: Google Places for Business) l 97 per cent of consumers now use online media to shop locally (source: BIA/Kelsey and ConStat) l While consumers search online, the majority (64 per cent) expect the business location to be within a distance of 15 miles (source: TMP Directional Marketing/15miles & comScore, Local Search Usage Study Q3 2010). Joining the team at Undercover Peterborough is Paula Frew, as head of marketing. She has 15 years’ experience in local marketing initiatives, driving sales and increasing Paula Frew. l
exposure for local businesses to local consumers. Paula said: “There are numerous businesses in the Peterborough area that local consumers do not know exist. We want to bridge the gap and tell everyone in Peterborough that these businesses and service providers are here in our area. “We are now raising awareness of who we are and what we are doing and we are getting ready to make quite a stir within local communities. “We’ve teamed up with great partners and will be holding regular prize draws with some fantastic prizes. We can’t wait to let everybody know about Uncover Peterborough and the many opportunities it offers to both businesses and consumers.” Paula added: “Our aim is to help businesses build a stronger local online presence. We provide each business with a unique profile, optimised for SEO, and we have different packages available with varying features and services.” For more information visit: www.uncoverpeterborough.com
Olympics tourists start rush to use UK vouchers he London 2012 Olympic Games are encouraging cash-savvy visitors to our shores this month: the Games are believed to be behind a 130 per cent rise in early June in the amount of foreigners searching for bargains and discounts to use in the UK this month. As the number of people visiting a UK money-saving site from overseas rocketed, the majority of overseas searches related to offers coinciding with the start of the Olympics. VoucherCodesPro.co.uk discovered the top five most requested and used cash-saving deals from overseas site visitors have been in the following sectors:
1. Restaurant vouchers 2. Hotel/accommodation deals 3. Train ticket offers 4. Flight deals 5. Attraction offers Along with 5.5 million day visitors, the Olympics are expected to attract an additional 450,000 overseas visitors to the UK and, according to demand for UK discounts, they are from: 1. South Africa 2. Germany 3. USA 4. Spain 5. Canada George Charles, marketing director, VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, said: “The increase in overseas visitors looking for vouchers
Pictured left: George Charles.
and deals that coincide with the start of the Olympics has been staggering. And, with restaurant vouchers topping the most searched for lists, it is clear people are coming over to party; and that the economy is going to benefit in a big way! “We were massively surprised to see Spain featuring in the top five countries where most overseas searches came from, given their recent money plight, but it goes to show that they are keen to support their nation’s athletes.”
Zoo forges links with organic vegbox firm P
eterborough-based vegbox company Riverford has established a new partnership with Hamerton Zoo Park near Sawtry, to donate organic veg to feed the zoo’s animals. Riverford is committed to reducing its impact on the environment – and the amount of waste it produces. A new partnership with the zoo ensures that ‘grade out’ fruit and veg (bruised or damaged produce such as apples, carrots and broccoli), don’t end up in the bin. Instead they are fed to the zoo’s inhabitants, including camels, wallabies, howler monkeys, lemurs, gibbons and porcupines.
Hamerton Zoo’s Stacey Axman and Riverford’s Jon Day serve lunch to the ring-tailed lemurs. According to Tracy Baxter, who helps to run Hamerton (www. hamertonzoopark.com), while the sloths, gibbons and lemurs love sweetcorn, sweet potatoes, spinach and sugar-snap peas, the camels prefer broccoli and carrots. But it seems Brussels sprouts are an acquired taste. Tracy said: “The animals are not keen on sprouts and only seem to throw them around their dinner bowls.” “We’re really grateful to Riverford. Protecting the environment is a key part of our work, so we appreciate how important it is to farm in a responsible, sustainable way. I think organic food tastes better and the animals seem to agree!” Riverford delivers across the UK, through a network of farms, such as the local one, just outside Peterborough at Sacrewell (www. riverford.co.uk/sacrewell).
An enterprise founded on water vapour Directors Ben Potter (left) and Oliver Warburton.
Alternative tobacco product powers a healthy business I
n times of economic downturn, a thriving business has emerged in a somewhat unlikely area. Electronic cigarettes are often marketed as a means to help people quit smoking, though Peterborough-based Electronic Cigarettes Ltd prefers to offer the products as an alternative to tobacco. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, are battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine in vapour form, without any of the toxic chemicals that are found in traditional tobacco. In fact, most electronic cigarettes will just contain a few ingredients in the fluid that dilutes the nicotine. The lack of burning tobacco means the products are legal to use indoors – the ‘smoke’ produced is actually just water vapour. Because of this, rather than being known as ‘smokers’, e-cigs users prefer to call themselves ‘vapers’! Electronic Cigarettes Ltd launched just 18 months ago, with one person investing £500 in stock. Fast forward to now, and the team is 13-strong with a 10,000 sq ft warehouse in Fengate, having recently
upgraded from 2,500 sq ft offices in Orton Southgate. With three enthusiastic directors at the helm – Ben Potter, Aaron Taylor and Oliver Warburton – the company is set to go from strength to strength. Of the office move, Ben said: “It has opened up a lot of opportunities for us, as we are no longer restricted by space.” Electronic Cigarettes Ltd comprises four main brands: ECigWizard; UK Eliquid; Red Kiwi; and Neatcigs – each with a slightly different targeted demographic. A fifth brand is launching later this summer. Currently, Electronic Cigarettes Ltd ships around 500 orders a day, with a huge proportion of these heading out to mainland Europe. The company’s presence as an e-commerce business is largely credited with this reach. Oliver said: “Due to demand, we have recently taken on two employees based overseas to manage our German and Finnish markets. This means we can now offer a multi-lingual customer experience.” Although the majority of
sales are web-based, the move to Fengate brings new opportunities, with a planned shop front in the coming weeks. Ben added: “I would hope that we continue growing at the pace we have for the past 18 months, providing more jobs in the area and offering opportunities for local retailers to branch out with our products.”
For budding entrepreneurs The company has recently Above: A launched a wholesale selection of programme, where budding products. entrepreneurs can sell its Right: Team products, enjoying a member generous and competitive Sam Warburton, profit margin – further busy in the underlining the positive warehouse. impact of the growing company’s effect on local business. To enquire about the 100 per cent UK-produced.” wholesale programme, email: Since most e-liquids are firstname.lastname@example.org currently sourced outside The company also prides the UK, this is an exciting itself on identifying prospect for electronic opportunities in the UK market cigarettes in general. as a whole. Ben added: “We For more information are in the process of about electronic cigarette manufacturing our own brand products, visit the website: of e-liquid (the product www.ecigwizard.com containing nicotine), that will be
Get your enterprise featured on our Business Break page. Email your details to: email@example.com
WORKFORCE Heads might roll: chiefs fear the chop significant 83 per cent of business leaders believe they will be replaced within five years, according to a poll by SkillSoft, a global e-learning company. With high levels of authority and large pay cheques, it’s traditional to think of the chief executive officer’s (CEO) post as a job for life. But it seems the position is becoming increasingly tenuous as more and more boards get set to ‘shoot the generals’ and bring in fresh talent, hoping their innovative and strategic minds will drive the business forward. The research shows the top spot is even more precarious in the largest of companies. A third of CEOs with more than 1,499 employees, anticipated leaving the business within just two years. Kevin Young, managing director of SkillSoft EMEA, said: “CEOs need to up their game if they want to keep their roles in such a competitive market. Businesses are becoming more ruthless, especially after the recession, so business leaders need to ensure they are cutting edge and can outshine competing candidates.” SkillSoft’s survey came after management consulting firm, Booz&co, launched its latest annual CEO Succession report, The New CEO’s First Year. Its key finding is that CEO turnover globally has returned to prerecession rates – at 14.2 per cent,
it is up 2.6 per cent on 2010’s figure. In the UK this is slightly higher, at 14.7 per cent. The study also found: l By sector, the top three for CEO turnover in the UK are: healthcare, telecommunications services and utilities l Average age of UK CEOs leaving office is older – 58.4 years, compared to 56 in all of Europe l Tenure of UK CEO is similar to Europe – 7.2 years on average, compared to 6.9 years on average in all of Europe. However, the results also showed that ‘insiders’ continue to bring higher returns: between 2009 and 2011, outgoing insider CEOs – those who had risen up through the ranks at the same company – delivered a 4.4 per cent annual shareholder return above local market indices, on average, compared to just a 0.5 per cent return from ‘outsider’ CEOs. Ashley Harshak, partner at Booz, said: “Boards are more likely to keep their chief executives during times of economic uncertainty in order to maintain stability, but they are more willing to make a change when economic stability returns and company outlooks improve. “The appointment of outsider CEOs is on the rise because industries in turmoil often look for fresh insight and expertise from outside their current sector and market. “However, the countervailing trends – better-performing insiders and increasing numbers of outsiders – should be a key consideration for any board thinking about making a change at the top.”
Building starts on school ork has begun on a new primary school and community facility at Hampton, Peterborough, on land adjacent to the college building in Clayburn Road. Kier Construction was appointed in April to build the new facilities, which will increase the
amount of primary school places available in the expanding community and provide changing and club rooms for the playing fields, as well as new sports and library facilities. The school will officially open in September, with construction due to finish in 2013.
Call to make salaries snapshot biggest ever Don’t say we lack ethics, T sales teams declare competitive in the he 15th annual salary recruitment market.” survey, spearheaded by Tim Kellett, city-based independent director at agency Anne Corder Peterborough-based Recruitment (ACR), has PAYdata, is been launched across overseeing the the region. compilation of the Questionnaires are survey. He said: being distributed to a “Nationally, we have number of high-profile seen slightly higher companies for them to fill in pay reviews in our salary structure information. market databank ACR is again working in Pictured above: Nel Woolcott and Tim Kellett. than last year. conjunction with specialist However, we often reward consultancy, and recruitment purposes. see fluctuations at a regional and PAYdata (www.paydata.co.uk), ACR recruitment partner, even local level. which will analyse the details. Nel Woolcott, said: “We have “It is going to be interesting to The 2012 Peterborough Local made some tweaks to this year’s see if there are any variations in Market Survey will be published survey to reflect the changing Peterborough, either generally or in the autumn, providing a jobs market both in Peterborough for specific jobs or skills.” snapshot of remuneration and nationally. Companies can still apply to packages for use by recruiters “Participants receive a take part in this year’s and companies. Participants will detailed results package Peterborough Local Market receive an in-depth analysis of enabling them to benchmark Survey. For details, contact Nel their pay structures in comparison their salary packages against Woolcott at ACR, tel: 01733 319888 with others, allowing them to others to ensure they remain or email: firstname.lastname@example.org benchmark for pay reviews
hey are often given negative press and accused of mal-practice or mis-selling. But salespeople in the UK refute this, claiming they are indeed truly ethical and accountable. So says a YouGov survey for sales performance management provider Xactly. A principled 55 per cent of respondents said they would leave a job if they had issues with the product or service they were selling. And almost a third would leave if they felt colleagues were behaving unethically. Christopher Cabrera, CEO of Xactly, said: “Selling underpins business competitiveness. So why would those who have chosen sales as a career be any less ethical than other professions?”
England should have applied teamwork! Practical advice for the workplace from health and safety expert, Colin Nottage. ost of you are probably bored to death with the wall-to-wall football that has been on TV, especially as England is now out of the Euro 2012 competition, losing to Italy in the familiar penalty shootout disappointment. We are often let down mid-way through the championship . . . why am I even mentioning this . . ? What has football got to do with health and safety? You could ask if it’s to do with prima donnas talking a load of rubbish and getting paid exorbitant fees for a mediocre performance . . . Well, there are some H&S advisors out there in that category but, generally speaking, that is not the case! I am saying the team
that wins the European Championship will probably have the following characteristics: l A good work ethic l Great team spirit l People with excellent skills and experience l Great communication l Good management and good planning l A clear strategy, but with the ability to respond to a crisis quickly and efficiently l And a sprinkling of luck! So, if you want to be a health and safety champion, apply the same logic. Get communication working with a health and safety committee; involve your workforce in your risk assessment process.
Encourage your workforce to work as a team, get them to look out for each other and empower them to challenge their own behaviour and that of their colleagues and managers. Lead by example, wear the correct personal protective equipment, and follow the site rules. Establish a health and safety business plan, set achievable targets for training, inspections, audits and meetings. Set up an emergency action plan, train people and carry out drills. To be fair, if you get all that
working, you won’t have to rely on luck. You haven’t got millions to chuck at this and you don’t need to have. Get your workforce involved – encourage them to take ownership of health and safety for themselves and their colleagues. Most importantly, establish an environment that has great morale where people are continually looking out for each other. Then, who knows, you may win a cup!
With a background in engineering and manufacturing, Colin Nottage runs Stamford and Bristol-based consultancy Safety Horizon. Email him: email@example.com or call Freephone 0845 689 0075. www.safetyhorizon.com
SKILLSET Scheme launches for SME success Government scheme has been launched, designed to help small and medium-sized businesses grow (SMEs). GrowthAccelerator, a new partnership between the Government and the private sector, will see proven business experts working with companies to identify and overcome barriers to growth. This will include tackling problems such as securing finance, commercialising innovation and developing management capability. Business Secretary Vince Cable described the new scheme (www.growthaccelerator.com) as ‘a fantastic opportunity’ for SMEs to achieve business success, at home and abroad.
Schools should do more to ease unemployment olutions to youth joblessness were discussed by the Forum of Private Business last month, which advised a House of Commons Select Committee that schools must do more when it comes to teaching basic work skills as part of the National Curriculum. The forum’s senior policy adviser, Alex Jackman, also told the cross-party committee, which is examining issues surrounding youth unemployment, that the Government should widen the eligibility criteria for certain youth training schemes and make them less restrictive to small businesses. He told the committee that training providers have to be encouraged to work more closely with small and even micro
businesses, rather than seek easier wins at large corporations, as is often the case now. He said: “Employers are the number one consumer of the products of education and they are rejecting school leavers because their standards are too low. We are not referring to standards of academic education in this instance, but the more basic work skills all new starters should at that point in their lives already have drilled in to them – things like being punctual, being able to deal with difficult customers or answering the phone politely. “We believe schools should be doing more of this type of preparation work, possibly taught as part of a life skills class. This
Alex Jackman. would not be difficult for schools to accomplish, but for a small business, teaching new starters this is labour intensive and, therefore, costly. “We are calling for the education system to engage employers more to achieve these aims, so they can learn exactly the types of skills pupils are lacking, and also to better prepare youngsters for the world of work.” He also told the committee that small businesses would welcome a widening and simplification of the employer incentives available to them: “The problem for small firms is there is no single tool to help find what they are actually eligible to apply for, such as apprenticeship grants.”
The value of innovation nnovation often means facing and addressing shortcomings, fumbling with the untried, all without guarantee of success. Is it surprising that anyone attempts it at all? In fact, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), in its UK Innovation Survey 2009, reported that innovation still has a livelihood in the UK. After surveying small, medium and large firms, it reported that 58.2 per cent were ‘innovation active’ in the period 2006-08. Innovation might be risky, but many businesses realise it is not too risky as to leave it entirely to the competition. Bearing in mind that a successful result can never be guaranteed, can a case be made for innovation in the first place? As a starting point, a reasonable question an organisation might ask is, ‘What is the value of innovation?’ Well, for a start, businesses that innovate typically grow more rapidly and can average up to four times the sales growth of those that don’t. The value to the regional and national economy can also be transformative: research by Nesta, the charitable trust promoting business innovation, found that 1.3
Families set to benefit from early education trial
It can be deemed a risky business, but being innovative is worth it, says Patrick Sim. million jobs were created between 2006-08 by just six per cent of all companies with nine or more employees. And, in recent years, this segment has created close to half of all new positions. This job creation was fed by the high growth of these firms, and this growth was driven by innovation. What’s more, innovation-driven high growth firms are still a feature in the recessional economy. Many of us might be a bit coy about the label ‘innovator’. Ask anyone in middle management what they do and they will likely reply with their job title. But then, ask why they are good or effective in their role and chances are that it will because they ‘introduced a new way of doing things’, ‘cut costs by X per cent by finding an alternative’, ‘boosted service response through restructuring …’. In other words, it is not just doing their jobs that makes them shine, but their ability to innovate. The benefit of innovation extends to the workforce; innovation is a transferable skill set – one that an individual will
ore families with children aged two living in Paston, Walton and North Bretton will be able to benefit from free early education sessions from September 2012. Peterborough City Council is one of ten local authorities chosen to take part in a trial by the Department for Education to increase free early education sessions for two-year-olds. The trial allow families meeting the eligibility criteria to access up to 15 hours free early education sessions each week. The city council currently offers up to ten hours a week. The trial will conclude next March, prior to the scheme rolling out nationwide in September 2013. The city council will receive up to £253,000 to fund the trial. Councillor John Holdich, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and University, said: “This is a much-needed development to support families and I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this project.” For criteria details, visit: www.peterborough.gov.uk
add to and draw on throughout his/her career. However, the need for innovation and skills is at odds with a comparison of developed economies that identified the UK as having among the lowest level of ICT skills in the working population and as one of the most reluctant to invest in the innovation capability of its workforce. Part of the issue may lie with the lack of a wide consensus as to what an innovation skillset should consist of. Clearly, it touches on many abilities, principally communication, problem-solving and collaboration, but management and leadership are also part of the equation. Investment in innovation skills has mutual advantage for both firm and employees; it boosts company survivability and the individual becomes more engaged and probably is less willing to leave. Patrick Sim (pictured above) is founder/MD of city-based business innovation and strategic foresight consultancy, Leapfrog Innovation. www.leapfrog-innovation.com
Are you on track for success? Skills expertise ❝
Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. Muhammad Ali, boxer.
id you ever see the Monty Python comedy sketch about the 100-yard dash for people with no sense of direction? It was the Silly Olympics: the stadium packed and the atmosphere electric as this main event approached. The elite runners with absolutely no sense of direction were assembled and itching to go; then the starting gun rang out and they were off! Very quickly they were off-track – sprinting forwards, backwards,
We could all use a little coaching. When you’re playing the game, it’s hard to think of everything. Jim Rohn, author.
sideways and some going round and round in circles. They were all extremely fast and in haste to get to the finishing line – wherever that was! Unfortunately, no track, no direction and, in the end, no purpose in all their efforts of running so well. Doesn’t this reflect the world we now live in? Our ‘fast’ society; in a rush to succeed and get everything . . . now! Delivery overnight! Priority tracking! It’s exciting, but I wonder where are you headed? How will you get there? What route must you take? You could start by . . . stopping. Just take a few minutes to orientate yourself, to raise your eyes above
with David Grundy
David Grundy (left) is managing director of Tuit Achievements. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: O1733 210464 or 07894 705293. Twitter: tuitdoit Facebook david@tuitachievements Web: www.tuitachievements.com
the parapet and check if you are really happy with where you are headed and what it will give you. Then you can ensure you move in the right direction – anything else may be a waste of energy. Three Actions: 1. What is your vision for your life? Describe a life well lived. 2. What is your vision for your
relationships? Describe the sort of person/friend you want to be. 3. What is your vision for your work? Describe the contribution you want to make. Give yourself some time, to check in with your vision and make sure you’re on track – you are your own Olympic success! I know you can do it! To your success!
Travel correspondent JANE PRICE points you in the direction of some great destinations.
All aboard the holiday Maharaja Express, India N Classic Route: Delhi to Mumbai Lowdown: One of several opulent rail options to be found on the sub-continent, the Maharajas’ Express operates a variety of pan-Indian itineraries, all of which begin or end in Delhi and take in the Taj Mahal in Agra. The on-board design is intended to reflect the all-whims-catered-for
lavishness of Maharajan living, so places an emphasis on attentive service, gourmet dining and modern comforts. Unsurprisingly, it’s not a budget option. Of the five routes travelled by the train; two incorporate all three of the famous Golden Triangle stop-offs – Jaipur, Agra and Delhi. X Factor: Rail buff or not, there can be few better ways of seeing India’s most famous attractions.
othing quite evokes the traditional romance of travel like a classic rail journey. There's something about pulling away from the platform and rolling through deep landscapes and savouring the prospect of faraway borders that airport halls and security queues can never match. Figures suggest there are increasing numbers of travellers who make a rail journey the focal point of
their holiday, rather than just an eco-friendly way of getting from A to B. The experience is as much about the scenery, the hospitality on board and, in many cases, the refined approach to travel that rail allows. Here’s a few examples of great trips to choo-choochoose from! For more details, call me, Jane Price, on the numbers below right. Scenic Scotland.
Inset: Lavish Indian style.
Blue Train: South Africa Classic Route: Victoria to Capetown Lowdown: The Blue Train is a classic example of a world-class train experience that can be incorporated into a wider holiday itinerary. Its best known route is Pretoria to Cape Town with an early morning departure, meaning you can watch the day unfold over the spectacular semi-desert of the Karoo, before waking
South African adventure.
up in the vineyards, arriving among the beaches and rugged landscapes of Capetown at noon the next day. It’s an all-suite train, complete with lounges and a fine dining car. Its butlers are on call 24 hours a day and the overall levels of luxury have helped it bag numerous awards since its launch in 1998. X Factor: One of the world’s most iconic luxury trains, whose short journeys can be built into a broader South African adventure.
The West Highland Line Classic Route: Scotland, Glasgow to Mallaig Lowdown: There are jaw-dropping rail journeys to be found in every corner of the globe, but one of the very best, and most easily manageable, is the line that winds gently through the west of Scotland’s scintillating Highlands. The route runs from Glasgow through increasingly wild terrain, but it’s the 40-mile stretch from Fort William to
Mallaig that really gives it its reputation. Passenger trains ply the whole route year-round and, in summer, there are steam-hauled tourist services from Fort William. The track crosses Glenfinnan Viaduct, which appears in the Harry Potter films. X Factor: It’s an easily arranged trip that can be done in a day. For those wanting a longer rail trip, it makes for an ideal taster.
JULY 2012 TRAVEL
Above and below: Rocky Mountain high in Canada.
Rocky Mountaineer: Canada Classic Route: Vancouver to Banff Lowdown: The Canadian Rockies are quite simply one of the most handsome mountain ranges on the planet, offering the kind of blockbuster, snow-capped topography that can elevate a rail journey from enjoyable to unforgettable. As such, the Rocky Mountaineer – which has rolled through some of the Rockies’ most scenic spots for more than 20 years – is now a fixture on the luxury
travel wish list. Its best known route runs east from Vancouver, crossing the semi-arid Thompson Plateau before arriving in the mountains proper, where the journey reaches its literal and metaphorical peak. The route offers the chance to see elks, bald eagles and bears while crossing mountain passes and alongside thundering rivers. X Factor: The chance to indulge in grizzly bear spotting over a glass of champagne.
Left: The Ghan train is thought to be named after Afghan camel herders. Below: Explore the red heart of Australia.
Australia: The Ghan Classic Route: Adelaide to Darwin Lowdown: Carving a route through the centre of Australia from the green surrounds of the Flinders Range to the tropical beaches of the Top End. The Ghan covers some 1,850 miles over the course of 48 hours. The train is believed to be named after the Afghan camel herders who helped the colonial British to explore Australia’s interior in the 19th century, and is one of the country’s
two classic cross-country rail experiences (the other being the 2,700-mile Indian Pacific between Sydney and Perth). The Ghan also calls in at Alice Springs, where it’s possible to break the journey with a tour to Uluru and the red heart of the country. X Factor: Crossing the continent through some of the most quintessentially Australian scenery. ontact Jane Price at Hays Travel for latest details. Telephone: 08000 141 833 or 01733 808330. Email: email@example.com Visit the web page: www.hays-travel.co.uk/janeprice
Money-saving tips shared at seminar uggestions on saving businesses money and putting more in the pockets of employees were highlighted at a business briefing held by city accountancy and law firms. The use of remuneration packages to save tax and National Insurance was discussed by Rawlinsons’ accountancy partner Ken Craig at the breakfast seminar. Other topics in the spotlight at the event, hosted by Rawlinsons and Hegarty LLP Solicitors were recent changes in employment law and use of pilot trusts for tax planning and asset preservation. Tim Thompson,
employment law partner at Hegartys, said: “There have been dramatic changes in employment law recently, not only to the legislation but also the tribunal procedure which it is important for businesses Above, speakers at the to understand. Rawlinsons and Hegarty seminar “There was substantial (from left): Hegarty partner Tim interest from the audience over Thompson; Rawlinsons’ partners the tax advantages of pilot Ken Craig and Chris Collier; trusts which resulted in the and Hegarty associate solicitor topics being well received.” Joanna Grewer. Almost 80 business people are available to download attended the annual event at here: www.rawlinsons.co.uk/ the Haycock Hotel in Wansford. And if you missed it, notes from newsdesk.php or here: www.hegarty.co.uk/ the seminar ‘Business Briefing seminars.past.htm Seminar handout May 2012’
Bringing country pursuits to heart of the city rom sheepdog displays to birds of prey flying demonstrations – this month’s East of England Show will be celebrating the countryside. The Country Sports Arena will give the thousands of visitors to the region’s premier family event a chance to
experience some best-loved countryside traditions. The show, on July 6-8, includes sheepdog displays by three-times winner of the BBC’s One Man and His Dog series, Colin Gordon; CJ’s Birds of Prey – one of the UK’s leading display teams. The
Cambridgeshire Gundog Club will be showcasing their skills and a new feature will be a dry stone walling demonstration by students from Peterborough Regional College, which is now recognised as a leading trainer in this rural skill. Andrew Riddington, show committee chairman, said: “One of the most fascinating elements of the show is the chance to experience the many aspects of countryside living and traditions.” The show also features a business hub on show Friday. Andrew For details of Riddington. the event, visit: www.eastofenglandshow.co.uk
Send in show memories rganisers of the East of England Show are putting together an exhibition charting its history, and are asking the public to submit their photographs, memories and artefacts from shows gone by. Send them to Paul Tate at the East of England Showground, Oundle Road, Peterborough PE2 6XE.
The set of clues can be either Across or Down. One answer is shown to help you get started â€“ the word Mother-In-Law. Use a pencil and have an eraser handy!
HEADLINES Business Scene gets up close and a little bit personal with executives around the region. Here, we put the life and times of a former city businessman, new mayor George Simons, under the spotlight. He was elected Peterborough’s first citizen at the end of May and his wife Sylvia has taken up the role of mayoress. This mayoral year will raise funds for two charities – the Rudolph Fund (which aims to ‘make Christmas special for special children’) and supporters of Combat Stress. Full name: George Simons. Biography: Born in the New England area, I attended St Mark’s School, infants and juniors, following on to the Lincoln Road Boys’ Senior School. During that time I joined the air cadets and also the boy scouts – and appeared in a Scouts Gang Show held at the Elwes Hall. When I left school, I went into the plumbing and heating business and completed my apprenticeship. Some years later, I became self-employed and leased shops from the council – one in Market Way and one in Cattlemarket Road. I remember when it was a real cattle market – in my youth, I made many visits to see the live animals. I was a president of the Plumbing and Heating Association in Peterborough. I am married and have two sons and a daughter, grandchildren and one great grandson. I was elected as a councillor for Stanground from 1988 to 1996
and was also a governor of Oakdale Primary School. In 2010, I became a councillor for the Paston and Gunthorpe Ward – I have lived in Gunthorpe for 31 years. My daughter and grandson have followed me into politics in the city. Current business card details: Mayor of Peterborough. My theme for the mayoral year is to bring smiles to Peterborough. My first job: I was a paperboy, delivering to my local area of the city – New England. But my dream job would have been: A career in the RAF. I am a Peterborian and have lived in the city all my life, with the exception of two years’ National Service in the Royal Air Force. Are you a technophobe or a technophile? I am not keen on computers so am no technophile! But these days they are a necessity. What’s your favourite brand? Ford cars. I own a Ford Galaxy
and, having seven seats, it is very versatile and can be adapted for any occasion, especially transporting my very loyal dog, named Pickle. I like to spend my time off: Watching any type of sport: I played football for Peterborough Rovers and British Rail teams, was club captain for Peterborough Rovers and later managed Glinton Football Team. I am a POSH supporter and also now enjoy playing snooker each week with three close neighbours. I attended the outdoor Peterborough Lido many times and at the end of May was privileged to officiate as mayor at its opening. My finest hour was when: I married my wife, Sylvia. We are still enjoying our lives together after 57 years. People regard us as a double act. I hate it when: We run out
of tea – although that is very rarely! I am surprisingly good at: Telling jokes – I like to put a smile on people’s faces. In this, my mayoral year, I aim to get more people to smile and to have a more relaxed feel in the Town Hall, so staff enjoy their jobs. My dream dinner party guests would include: Would have to be with my best friends as I have plenty to choose from. And the food would be: Either Chicken Maryland or sausage and mash with mushy peas. Followed by apple pie. At my funeral, please play: ‘You were always on my mind’, by Willie Nelson. If I ruled the world: I would try to save water as, being in the plumbing industry, I have seen too much waste. In time, water will become more precious than gold.
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Published on Jun 25, 2012
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