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Organise your own IFB Event The Open Opportunities Wirral Chamber Members

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Staff Edition


theedge

issue fifteen

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Welcome to the first print issue of theedge for 2014...

News

4

Wirral Chamber

8

The Open

12

UKTI

14

Staff Special

16

IFB 2014

22

Morecrofts

23

Elysium Law

24

Jan McDermott

25

Outlook: David Kirwan

26

Get the Most from your Advertising

26

Using Hashtags

28

Kirwans

29

Networking and Events Diary

30

A Let’s Go! Publication Issue Fifteen Editor Barry Bragg Publisher Melissa Bragg Design & Production Alex Ramsay Sales Executive Claire Langrell

Most of you will be aware that the Edge is now a monthly publication with a dedicated bi monthly ‘digital only’ edition being produced to complement our increasingly popular print edition. With fewer constraints in terms of production, distribution and pagination the digital platform is a flexible, effective and accessible medium that allows us greater creative freedom and an interactive element not available in print. We are excited about the potential benefits of adding digital to our portfolio and look forward to fully exploring its potential over the coming months. In addition to reaching a wider audience, into Liverpool City Region and Chester we are also hoping to expand our pool of expert contributors and involve a greater cross section of the business community. With 12,000 business subscribers to our digital editions we are also developing another unique B2B marketing platform with the ability to add a new dimension to existing print campaigns or a cost effective stand alone digital campaign that can be integrated with social media, email marketing, e-commerce or any other online medium. Squeezing an extra six magazines into an already busy schedule will keep us all fully occupied that’s for sure but it’s a challenge we embrace. If you would like further details of how to get involved with the Edge magazine, whether that is as a contributor, subscriber or advertiser please email your enquiry to info@theedgewirral.co.uk for a speedy reply.

Barry Bragg EDITOR

Published by Let’s Go! Publishing Limited. With kind thanks to our contributors. To advertise in future issues email claire@theedgewirral.co.uk or telephone (0151) 203 2115. To contribute email editor@theedgewirral.co.uk. © Copyright Let’s Go! Publishing Limited 2014 No part of this publication may be reproduced, either in part or as a whole, including artwork, without prior written consent. All details are correct at time of publication. The editor of The Edge has consulted sources believed to be reliable in their efforts to provide information that is accurate and true at the time of publication. The views expressed in this publication are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of Let’s Go! Publishing Ltd.

www.theedgewirral.co.uk | 3


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SPONSORED BY

WIRRAL CHAMBER MERGER he merger of Wirral Business Partnership and Wirral Chamber of Commerce sees the formation of a strong representative organisation offering a powerful lobbying voice for issues affecting businesses in Wirral. It also enables the Chamber to offer greater business support, including its export documentation services and crime reduction programme, together with a calendar of business events throughout 2014, including supporting the

forthcoming International Festival for Business and The Open Golf Championship. By combining services and resources the new look Wirral Chamber of Commerce is in a much stronger position to drive forward strategies for business growth, economic development and the prosperity of the Borough. To find out more about Wirral Chamber of Commerce, its services and information about becoming a Chamber member please contact 0151 659 6940 or info@wirralchamber.co.uk

The Open will benefit Wirral to tune of £75m n independent study commissioned by The R&A, forecasts that The Open Championship to be staged at Royal Liverpool later this year (13-20 July 2014) will deliver a total economic benefit of £75m to the regional economy of Wirral and Liverpool. That figure includes an economic impact of £30 million derived mostly from spending in the local economy by an anticipated 200,000 spectators and an estimated destination marketing benefit of £45 million gained through global television exposure of the week-long event. Graham Burgess, Chief Executive of Wirral Council said: "Wirral's tourism industry gained a massive boost from hosting The Open Championship in 2006 and the sector now contributes over £310 million to our economy, employs over 4,000 full time jobs and attracts 7 million visitors each year. As we prepare to welcome the world's best golfers once again in July along with thousands of visitors and the many millions more watching on TV, we are working hard to ensure we use the boost The Open gives the region's profile 4 | www.theedgewirral.co.uk

CHAMPIONSHIP

to drive our economy, grow employment and ensure our businesses reap the benefits of hosting one of the largest sporting events in the world." To get an idea of the scale of the global exposure Wirral can expect throughout the event, it is estimated that 4,500 hours of Open Championship television coverage was broadcast in 2013 across 104 television channels, with a worldwide reach of 501 million households. Firthermore, this year’s event will be the fifth staging of The Open in the North West in fourteen years:

Royal Liverpool at Hoylake (2006 &2014), Royal Lytham and St Annes (2001 & 2012) Royal Birkdale (2008).


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NEWS

Cabfind.com Celebrates RGF Funding ith the assistance of Invest Wirral, Birkenhead based firm Cabfind.com was successful in its recent application for funding from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) enabling it to create 30 new jobs. The Birkenhead based company pioneered the first generation of dynamic taxi booking systems and are current UK market leaders, They specialise in nationwide ground transportation services, and manage the private hire transport needs of corporate clients and the public sector with a virtual fleet of over 120,000 vehicles and 600,000 customer journeys annually. Cabfind.com has enjoyed a hugely successful couple of years, winning the Innovation Award at the Wirral Business Partnerships Awards 2013 and being shortlisted for Best Ground Transportation Company in the national Business Travel Awards 2014. Chris Jordan, Cabfind.com managing director, said: “Technology is revolutionising the way customers interact with our business, and it is vital we invest in our IT systems to stay ahead of the competition and satisfy their expectations. With the help of Invest Wirral, we will be able to create more jobs and deliver a seamless and efficient booking experience.”

Invest Wirral – Wirral Council’s business support team – is able to offer targeted grants, encouraging inward investment and enabling local companies to diversify. Invest Wirral worked with Cabfind.com to identify its business needs and supported them throughout the RGF application process. Councillor Pat Hackett, Cabinet Member for the Economy, said: “I am delighted that Wirral Council is able to help companies grow and create new jobs in Wirral. Cabfind.com is a pioneer within a long standing business sector, using technology and bright minds to provide a new way of doing things and deliver the very best service to their customers.” 6 | www.theedgewirral.co.uk

Jaguar Land Rover posts record car sales figures aguar Land Rover posted record sales in 2013 with 425,000 cars sold worldwide - a rise of 20%. The US, Germany and India are now the Indian-owned manufacturer's fastest growing markets. The Land Rover brand sold 350,000 vehicles worldwide last year, accounting for over 80% of Jaguar Land Rover's total sales and reflects a resurgence in the wider vehicle market as the economy recovers both in the UK and key markets overseas. Jaguar Land Rover is hiring nearly 2,000 extra people to meet demand, bringing its total staff in the UK to more than 26,000. Last week, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said car sales in

2014 RANGE ROVER SPORT

in Britain were at their highest since 2007 thanks to a recovering economy, cheap financing packages and repayments of mis-sold payment protection insurance.

Unemployment down, Employment up, Interest Rates on recent reports highlighting a growing north/south divide in income, wealth and Hold (for now) property prices. According to the report the he UK unemployment rate has dropped to 7.1%, with the number of people out of work falling by 167,000 to 2.32 million in the three months to November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The ONS also said the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 24,000 to 1.25 million in December. Mirroring those figures was further good news with the biggest ever quarterly increase in employment meaning a total of 280,000 jobs created in the same period. The number of people in work has now reached a record high of just over 30 million, giving an employment rate of 72.1 per cent and up by 450,000 from a year earlier. Esther McVey, the employment minister, said: “Creating jobs and getting people into employment are central to our economic plan to build a stronger, more competitive economy, so it is very encouraging news that we've seen a record-breaking rise in employment over the last three months - the largest ever. With the highest quarterly fall in unemployment since 1997, it's clear that the Government's long-term economic plan to get people off benefits and into work so they can secure their future is proving successful.” By contrast, a statement issued by the TUC claimed the recovery in jobs is skewed towards London and the south-east, echoing

UK's economic recovery has failed to reach the north-east, the north-west, Wales and the south-west, leaving them in the same situation or worse at providing jobs than they were 20 years ago. Even areas of the country that have seen a strong pick-up in jobs during the last year, such as the West Midlands, have suffered over the longer term and are worse off than they were in the early 1990s at providing employment for the local population. The decline in the north and west contrasts with the picture in London and the south-east, which have managed to increase the likelihood of employment despite an influx of foreign labour over recent years. Some good news locally though was a reassurance from the Bank of England that there would be no rush to raise interest rates even though unemployment had almost reached the 7% figure previously identified as the economic threshold that might trigger a rise. Minutes from the BOE January policy meeting stated that with inflation at the bank’s 2% target, members saw no immediate need to raise rates. It suggested it would not raise rates until it observed a pick up in real wages growth and a more established recovery broadened out into exports and investment and further said that when interest rates do eventually rise, fragile prospects for growth and low inflation means moves will be gradual.


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WCOC NEWS

Sovex

The Lawns

Conveyor manufacturer, Sovex, is gearing up for a record-breaking year of growth in 2014 with contracts worth £7m already on the order book.

Award-winning fine dining venue The Lawns has strengthened its team with the appointment of Cosimo Odierni as restaurant manager. Cosimo joins The Lawns – Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa’s 3 AA Rosette restaurant – after two years as a restaurant manager at the popular San Carlo in Liverpool city centre. With more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality sector, Cosimo has worked in a range of leading hotels, restaurants and cruise lines across Europe.

The company specialises in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of conveyor systems is on track for another double digit increase in turnover over the next 12 months. This will take revenues to around £25m. Longstanding customer UK Mail has kick-started that growth with a multi-million pound order placed at the start of the year. During 2014, Sovex will undergo an IT infrastructure upgrade, making several internal promotions and hiring additional staff to meet the demands of the expanding business. Newly appointed business development manager, Rachel Price, will be targeting the retail sector where Sovex already has customers, including TK Maxx. Managing Director Michele Dematteis said, “2014 has all the ingredients to be Sovex’s best year in business, we have several very large orders on the horizon, of which, UK Mail is one. We are heading into the new year with our sights set on expanding into the retail sector, lots of orders and a determination to succeed.” Sovex has worked with UK Mail since 2006 and currently holds the servicing contract for its parcel handling equipment on all its sites. The order, worth £2.36m, is for telescopic vehicle loaders, eight of which are the Sovex Bendy Boom which is unique, providing access not only to standard trailers but access to vans below dock height. The order calls for equipment which is a variation to the standard equipment in order to meet UK Mail operational needs. The new equipment will allow UK Mail to integrate seamlessly their new Crisplant cross belt sorter which handles in the region of 24,000 parcels per hour. Sovex’s products are widely used within the parcel industry and have been developed to save companies time and money by enabling vehicles of all sizes - from Transit vans to double decker trailers, standard trailers and containers - to be loaded and unloaded safely and quickly. Once the product is unloaded Sovex offers full conveyor systems to assist with sorting and transporting the items. www.sovexsystems.com

If you would like to become a member of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce, then contact info@wirralchamber.co.uk or 0151 650 6940

His aim is to help bring a Michelin Star to The Lawns, which is regarded as one of the top fine dining restaurants in the region. www.thorntonhallhotel.com/lawns.html

Portal Business Centres Portal Business Centres has made a significant investment into Thursby House in Bromborough. The company has installed solar panels, which will generate electricity to power the centre, helping to run the lights, parts of the heating system, water heating for washing and drinking and power for the IT infrastructure throughout the building. Portal Director, Sallie Maskrey, said “Since buying Thursby House in late 2011, we have made improvements on the building, and to make sure that we are continually investing in the future. Moving towards more sustainable energy is something that is part of our business ethos, and fitting the panels seemed like the logical next step,” - www.portalbusinesscentres.co.uk

Bennett Williams A debt recovery solicitor from Wirral has won an award for voluntary work undertaken with law students at the University of Liverpool. Gaynor Williams, Managing Partner at Bennett Williams Solicitors, has been awarded Best Contribution by a Supervising Practitioner in recognition of her pro-bono work at the Liverpool Law Clinic. Gaynor was surprised but delighted to have received her award and commented: "It is an absolute pleasure to contribute to the work of Liverpool Law Clinic. The law students who participate in the project provide an excellent service to members of the public who otherwise might not have access to legal advice. At the same time, they gain skills to equip them for long and successful careers in the law.” www.bennettwilliamssolicitors.com

8 | www.theedgewirral.co.uk


CRIME REDUCTION

Wirral Chamber appoints Crime Reduction Co-ordinator irral Chamber is striving to reduce crime against businesses, anti-social behaviour and to make Wirral a safer and more attractive place for its businesses, residents and visitors alike. To achieve these aims Wirral Chamber has appointed a new Crime Reduction Co-ordinator who will develop initiatives to effectively reduce criminal and anti-social behaviour, and work closely with businesses to establish their needs around crime and safety issues. Arfon Williams joined the Wirral Chamber team in January and brings to the post over 27 years’ experience working in Merseyside Police, where he spent most of his service in the CID at divisional, major incident team, and operational levels in Liverpool and Wirral. Amongst his activities, Arfon will be recruiting businesses to join Wirral Chamber schemes such as radio watch and crime bulletins, whilst working with the police and other agencies to act as an information hub and co-ordinate approaches that aim to reduce crime. Commenting on the importance of his role, Arfon is determined to make a positive impact, he said, “I am aware that there are no quick and easy solutions to the issues which face us all each and every day, but I believe that one of the most effective ways to reduce crime and ultimately the financial impacts of crime, is for businesses to work together if finding and initiating solutions.” He added, “Over the coming weeks I will be introducing myself and starting to work on planning crime reduction strategies and activities with local companies, retailers and other stakeholders, such as the police and local authorities.”

If you would like to discuss any issues regarding crime reduction or prevention then please get in touch with Arfon at Wirral Chamber of Commerce on 0151 650 6940 or aw@wirralchamber.co.uk

Arfon Williams, Wirral Chamber of Commerce Crime Reduction Co-ordinator

...I will be introducing myself and working with local companies, retailers and other stakeholders, such as the police and local authorities, and supporting individual businesses.

www.theedgewirral.co.uk | 9


WCOC MEMBERS SHOWCASE

Inteb Sustainability – COLIN JONES Colin Jones and his team at Inteb advise the UK's building occupiers and investment portfolios on improving efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and staying compliant. Tell us about your company? Inteb is a small company of engineers, chartered surveyors and utility specialists providing integrated energy and sustainability services and solutions to a wide range of clients in both public and private sectors. Our services include Energy and Carbon Management, Energy Purchasing, Engineering & Construction Services, Project Management, Building Compliance Services, Energy Training Solutions, Green Deal Provider and related solutions and Green Energy procurement. We ensure that clients, who may be responsible for single buildings or own/manage property portfolios, comply with all relevant regulatory requirements. We have a defined roadmap to help mitigate future increased environmental and operational costs and risks. The resulting range of tailored and practical solutions help property owners, facilities managers and high energy users respond effectively to the ongoing challenge of climate change and spiralling energy costs. Where do you want the business to be in two years? Well on our way to becoming an industry leader in the world of sustainability in the UK. We want to develop a significant international presence rolling out what is planned to be a scaleable and replicable model, whilst focusing on our strong North West roots.

What is your background? I am a Chartered Building Surveyor with almost 25 years' experience in commercial real estate. I am originally from Anglesey but have lived in West Kirby for 13 years with my wife, who is a primary school teacher and four grown up children. Before setting up Inteb I was employed at the Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) in Manchester where I was responsible for property and facilities management and project managing some large development schemes for its £2.5bn commercial property investment portfolio. I assisted the executive board of the CIS to become a market leader in environmental property management and to provide opportunities to make a distinctive contribution to the environment, stakeholders and the wider community. If you could suggest something to government which would help your business growth what would it be? We are fortunate to work with some great people some of whom we can also call our clients. It is often the case that we chat about business opportunities and in particular, barriers to growth. It seems that issues affecting cash flow - like getting paid in a reasonable time - is still a significant problem. Continued late payments can threaten profits, growth and even the survival prospects of small firms and yet we can’t use formal procedures to tackle the problem because of the fear of harming our business relationships. The Government needs to have a serious discussion with the business community, in particular large corporations, so that they can embrace paying suppliers on time and in full, so that prompt, proper payment washes down the supply chain. What do you do to relax away from the office? Not a lot at the moment...I am very mindful of keeping healthy and so I get to the gym when I can but it’s hard to keep it going... especially in winter! What hobbies do you have? As my children have pretty much left the nest, I am on the lookout for something to do....I don’t really have time but I am conscious I need to have an outside distraction... suggestions welcome! What one piece of advice would you give Colin Jones starting out today? Whatever you do in life make sure you plan ahead...never look for the “quick win”, be yourself and always be prepared to listen and finally, make sure you treat people the way you would like to be treated. Colin would be delighted talk with businesses about efficiencies and is offering members of the Wirral Chamber a free energy efficiency review – find out more by contacting Colin on 0151 601 9463 or colin.jones@inteb.co.uk

10 | www.theedgewirral.co.uk


Reducing waste through ReciproCity Wirral irral based business, Recipro, is changing the way the construction sector views waste and resources. Traditionally a large waste producer, the sector has over recent years made huge progress in waste reduction, and recycling has become the norm for the majority of waste being created. But this isn’t necessarily the best answer. It is estimated that 13% of building materials ordered in the UK each year end up in the waste stream, for many reasons including damages, over-ordering, standard pack sizes, change of specification. In fact £1.5 billion worth of brand new materials are thrown away each year. But Recipro say, “Why throw away a brick on one site, if another site is buying the same brick?” By reusing we can save money, use less resources and energy and be less wasteful. The reuse agenda is growing in importance across many sectors. Businesses, the public and Governments alike have realised that the throw away culture in which we live is not sustainable. Recipro was founded in 2008 as an online resource for small builders to pass on unwanted building materials to the industry. It soon grew from that and today it has almost 8,000 registered users across the UK exchanging everything from taps, door handles and paint brushes to bricks, timber and insulation. These users are from every walk of life – including community and charity groups who feature prominently on the list of members, as they can access much needed supplies for a fraction of their cost (often for free!). Recipro launched a new offline service for major contractors, which physically collects surplus material from sites, moves them into a ‘ReciproCity’ Reuse Centre and then redistributes into the local community. The first ReciproCity was launched in Wirral in December 2012, and since then ReciproCity Wirral

has benefited a huge number of community organisations, low income households and local educational facilities by supplying building and maintenance materials for a fraction of the retail price. The success of ReciproCity Wirral has enabled the company to launch two further centres - in Cardiff and East London. One organisation that has benefitted from Recipro is North Liverpool Regeneration Company, a community organisation that aims to address the full im¬pact of multi-deprivation in the North Liverpool area to improve employment prospects and quality of life for residents. By sourcing materials through ReciproCity they were able to: • Prevent 4.8 tonnes of materials from entering waste streams • Reduce carbon emission by approximately 3 tonnes • Save approximately £1,000 on materials alone Recipro aims to make a real difference and help to move surplus construction materials into projects requiring them. Anyone can join, register and add details of any surplus, or browse the available listings. Recipro would be happy to discuss your ideas and needs – contact 0151 639 0651 or wirral@recipro-city.co.uk

WEBSITE: WWW.RECIPRO-UK.COM www.theedgewirral.co.uk | 11


HOSPITALITY

Hospitality at the Open in

Safe Hands

Sodexo prepared for One of the busiest events. Catering specialists, Sodexo, are preparing for the lagest outside event in Wirral's history with the return of The Open to Hoylake in July. The last Championship in Muirfield saw 142,000 spectators enjoying the spectacle and this year’s event at Royal Liverpool in Wirral is expected to welcome over 200,000 to watch the world’s best golfers compete for the famous Claret Jug. Sodexo has the challenge of ensuring that spectators, players, caddies, corporate guests, officials and the world’s media are catered for both on and off the course and will be visiting local food producers to arrange supplies while also employing 700 local workers throughout. Sodexo are committed to using local produce and supplies wherever possible, and work hard to source local ingredients, select seasonably available produce and review how food can be transported to sites more efficiently to reduce food miles. This policy, ensure the highest standards are met while also providing maximum benefit to the local economy and minimum environmental impact. Ben Dutson, Sodexo’s head chef for events said: “In 2013, we worked with Food and Drink East Lothian and East Lothian council, where we sourced local produce and hired local staff, many from catering colleges in the area who have gained their first experience of major event catering as a result. We look forward to replicating this successful formula for 2014.” Sodexo have been providing catering and hospitality for The Open Championship for the past 25 years, and have been the sole provider for the past six. They are also the exclusive sales agent for the only official on-course hospitality – www.TheOpen.com/hospitality 12 | www.theedgewirral.co.uk

For 2014, The Open Hospitality has introduced a new and exciting facility, perfect for individuals or businesses looking to entertain guests in an informal environment. The Champions Club is the ideal restaurant to use as a base throughout the day where guests can enjoy all inclusive food and drinks while relaxing in a private garden with a putting green and large outdoor screen showing all the action. Brett Tonkyn, Director of The Open Hospitality comments “The Open is a truly world class event, and one we are incredibly proud to be part of. We are excited about the prospect of the return of The Open to Hoylake and interest in corporate hospitality from the local market has been phenomenal. By introducing The Champions Club, we now have an exciting range of restaurants and private facilities to suit any size of business whilst also appealing to golf fans or those looking to enjoy the occasion in style.”

FACTFILE The Hoylake event will be serviced by 13 food outlets, eight coffee shops, eight ice cream stalls and a 70 metre long bar which will expect to sell 150,000 pints of beer to an anticipated crowd of over 200,000. Three restaurants and 14 private suites will also operate throughout the tournament to provide over 8,000 covers and there will be catering for Patrons such as Rolex, Nikon and Mercedes-Benz, each within their own bespoke facilities with a fine dining service. The R&A Complex itself will include the Player Lounge, the Club Marquee for R&A members and guests and Championship Officials, and the Trophy Room for VIP guests plus a Media Centre for hundreds of journalists.


THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP ROYAL LIVERPOOL 16-20 JULY 2014 A DAY IN THE CHAMPION’S CLUB INCLUDING ENTRANCE TO THE COURSE AND PARKING COSTS JUST £299 EX VAT PER PERSON For more information about all our hospitality packages please contact our team; T: +44 (0)844 371 0883 or email: hospitality@TheOpen.com

TheOpen.com/hospitality


EXPORTs

EXPORT TO EXPAND IN 2014 2014 is off to a good start as business optimism is on the rise. Profitability is on the rise; employment is growing at its fastest pace since 2007 and optimism is rising at its fastest rate since1989. We enter 2014 with strong signals of a recovery with trade and investment playing its part but it’s not enough. Our trade deficit was the biggest ever and the North West needs to play its part to address this. 2014 will be a year of consolidating recovery and to do this we need more exporters. We need more firms to look at opportunities in high growth emerging markets and see more businesses investing in technology, staff and growth. The UK has only 1% of world population. It is my intention to make 2014 the year when we take on the other 99%! Businesses that export are 34% more productive, 75% more innovative, do three times more R&D and are 12.5% more resilient than businesses that don’t. I believe an assessment of exporting potential should feature in all businesses’ plans for 2014; even if only as a future growth opportunity. In 2013, 50% of exports went to the EU, but this represents 7% of world population and only 19% of its GDP, so we have to look further afield to take advantage of where growth is happening.

Countries like Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey are future growth markets which I call the MIST nations. If you put the BRIC countries and the MIST countries together, they represent 50% of world population and 33% of world GDP and they are all seeing high levels of growth.” Exporting is not just for manufacturers. Services make up 80% of the UK economy but only 33% of exports so there is massive room for improvement. Since 2009, exports of manufactured goods have grown by 30% but services by only 8%. Many firms in the services sector simply don’t consider international trade but they need to get involved. In 2013 I set a challenge to find 1,000 new North West exporters – I hope that we can exceed this and really boost growth in the region in 2014. To contact the North West International Trade Team please call 0845 603 7053 or email info@uktinorthwest.co.uk

Clive Drinkwater, Regional Director, UKTI North West

Everybody knows the acronym BRIC, Brazil, Russia, India and China. These are powerful economies and growing at considerable speed.

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FROM YOUR PEOPLE

espite living in our technological world the work of a business is achieved by people. They interact with customers, make our products, deliver services, plan and coordinate, improve processes and systems, ensure quality standards, and return a profit. All businesses readily state they value their employees but how many actually utilize their skills & intelligence fully to benefit the business. Many managers see staff as costs or tools and view their own role as controlling rather than empowering them, meaning they are often under utilized. How much work do your employees do and how much more could they do if they were fully motivated? Research indicate as few as 23% of employees claim to work to their full potential while 44% claim to do the minimum possible to get through the working day. A massive 75% say they could be significantly more effective in their jobs. Can you imagine what would happen if every employee worked at their full potential? Our challenge is to create a culture in which everyone cares and contributes to the business. Rather than just “showing up” or doing the minimum, we need to find ways to allow staff to use their intelligence and creativity to make decisions, solve problems and contribute to the success of the business. Every business leader should be asking how to motivate their people to do their best because they “want to” rather than “have to.” Below are some ideas that we can implement to help our employees feel and act like true partners in the business. Doing so will increase employee engagement and loyalty and help you get the best from your most important resource.

3. Empower employees by encouraging them to solve problems when and where they occur. Problems should be resolved at the lowest level possible and managers must provide the information, training and resources so this can happen. Solving problems when they arise engages staff and lets them know they make a difference. 4. Provide training and development.

The best companies invest in training their employees, knowing that the investment will manifest itself in a more capable and loyal workforce. This training is not only technical, but includes business and social skills as well.

5. Share responsibility widely.

Many traditional managerial functions could be done effectively by staff. Jobs like setting goals, planning and scheduling, communicating with other departments, trouble-shooting problems, measuring performance, and so on can all be delegated without loss of control. The more variety and trust people have in their jobs, the happier they will be.

Listening builds trust and ensures you can get to the root of problems.

1. Share information.

Employees won’t fully engage if they’re in the dark or lack vital information. Keep them up to date about the strategy and direction of the company, your competitors, customer feedback, their personal or department performance, news from other departments and so on. The more they know, the more valued and respected they feel and the better they’ll perform.

2. Address performance problems directly.

Nothing demoralizes a staff more than a co-worker who doesn’t care or do his/her share of the work. Such people drag down everyone around them. It is critical that managers learn to confront these problems directly and hold people accountable. Too often we ignore and let these problems fester and become toxic to the entire department. Develop a “firm but fair” system to address this. 16 | www.theedgewirral.co.uk

6. Listen.

Employees have opinions and feelings which need to be expressed and heard in a safe environment. If they can’t express their negative opinions and feelings they can manifest in subtle, destructive ways. Listening takes time, but also builds trust and ensures you can get to the root of problems. Most assets and resources depreciate in value over time but employees have the potential to add greater value to the company the longer they’re employed. One of the most important roles of leaders is to create a climate where employees thrive. Implementing some of the ideas above can help you achieve that aim.


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SquareOne Solutions include: Microsoft Office Training Courses AutoCAD Training Courses Sage Training Courses Learning Lunches Closed Training at your Offices Seminars Walkabouts Clinics Building Blocks One to One Sessions Consultancy

SquareOne are a registered provider of training under the Skills For Growth Funding – so if you are a company based in Merseyside or Wirral you may qualify for up to 60% towards the price of training.

Contact:

TRAINING FOR EVERY INDUSTRY

For more information about our training solutions and how we can help to develop your company please contact:

info@squareonetraining.com - 0151 650 6907 www.theedgewirral.co.uk | 17


Staff

MARK BLAND, PARTNER AND HEAD OF EMPLOYMENT, PERCY HUGHES & ROBERTS With a change in government the balance between employers and employees rights swings like a pendulum. Significant changes were made to Industrial Tribunals Laws in 1974 when Heath was ousted by Wilson. This swung the other way when Thatcher came into power in 1979 and then Blair revoked many changes made during the 18 years of conservative government. The present coalition government made further changes still and have now enacted a number of significant reforms which have curtailed a number of employment rights for employees and more particularly dramatically reducing the number of claims being brought before the Employment Tribunal. Many may think this is a good thing until it is their own rights which are affected. The main changes have been:1. Time Limits - Anyone whose employment commenced after the 1 April 2012 must now work for a total of 2 years before they can bring a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal. Fees - In July 2013 the government introduced fees into the Employment Tribunal system with costs up to £1,300 for an employee to bring a claim for unfair dismissal to trial. This has seen a dramatic reduction in the number of claims being taken to Tribunal.

2. Costs Orders - Up until very recently the Employment Tribunal has been a costs free zone but the Government has started to encourage Tribunals to make costs orders in Tribunal cases. Inevitably this favours employers who will use threats of costs orders against employees who bring a claim even when that claim is a perfectly justified one. 3. Restriction on Compensation - New rules mean individuals cannot recover more than 12 months pay as a compensatory award if claiming unfair dismissal regardless of their actual losses. The government seems to have made this decision simply to appease the various pressure groups who seek to demonise the effects of employment law on business. 4. Protected Conversations - For many years employers have not been able to have a confidential off the record conversation with staff concerning a proposal that the employee leaves under the terms of an Agreement as these were admissible in unfair dismissal cases and could prove detrimental to the employer. These conversations are now treated as ‘off the record’ and ‘private and confidential’ and are no longer admissible so employers can often make private arrangements with employees to reach an agreed settlement and avoid tribunals. For more detailed information on the topics covered in this article from Mark please see our digital edition at TheEdgeWirral/content/eeditions where we have more extensive coverage.

EMPLOYMENT LAW

www.theedgewirral.co.uk | 19


FIRST AID TRAINING

COVERED FOR FIRST AID? Tim Hassall, Managing director Be Proficient first aid training Tim has 17 years of first aid experience in fast paced environments, from retail to theme parks to the rugby pitch all of which have given him a wealth of real life situations to deal with, ranging from CPR, simple and complicated fractures, dislocations and spinal injuries. Tim has up to date knowledge and routinely refreshes his training and skills. These skills have been used to deal with real life emergencies and have made a difference; first aid is unquestionably linked to accident reduction. Be Proficient offers a fully flexible, fully adaptable training offer that will meet the needs of your business. I can come to your premises, including evenings and weekends or you can send your staff members to me. Everything will be tailored to the needs of your business and to ensure you are compliant. As an independent expert I can offer massive savings.

FIRST AID TRAINING

WHY FIRST AID? "It makes a difference and has made a difference, Its a vital life skill, people are lost who could have been saved with the most basic of knowledge, NHS emergency services are under pressure and the public should know more’

We offer quality training that inspires people to make a difference

We are able to offer courses for any size of business and individuals looking to up skill. We offer flexible training solutions that support busy lifestyles. Be it a course, a venue, a specific date and time required our fully qualified instructors are able to arrange it. As we are a ProTrainings approved centre our students have a vast array of supporting material to aid learnings and ongoing knowledge. Classroom, Online Training and a blend of both are available. First aid recording is unquestionably linked to accident reduction - correct recording and follow up has seen a 30% reduction in the past 12 months at a local Wirral business.

CALL TODAY ON:

07799233107

Find us aT:

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timhassall@bpfirstaid.com 20 | www.theedgewirral.co.uk

www.bpfirstaid.com


APPRENTICES

new year, a new start and an extra pair of hands might be all that’s needed to help your business grow in 2014. According to the National Apprenticeship Service, 96% of employers that take on an apprentice report benefits to their business and 72% of businesses report improved productivity as a result of employing an apprentice. One national skills and training provider that has welcomed the government’s commitment to cutting the red tape involved with taking on apprentices, along with cash incentives for the firms that do, is Avanta Enterprise Ltd. Avanta works as a Prime Provider on behalf of the Government to deliver the Work Programme and has helped people to improve their lives for over 30 years by working with local communities and partners to deliver employment and training services as well as helping businesses flourish. Avanta can support your business and provide professional training programmes such as Customer Service and Management and Team Leading courses to name but a few. The courses and qualifications Avanta offers provides the breadth and depth of skills and knowledge needed to equip any workforce with the skills they need to grow and build a successful business. Avanta also welcomes and supports the government’s new wage incentive scheme for employers called the Youth Contract – Wage Incentive Scheme. As an employer you could receive £2,275 for providing a permanent job to an 18-24 year old, and £1,500 for taking on a young person as an apprentice*. Laura Harris, Northwest Skills Employer Relationship Manager At Avanta said: “Apprenticeships are an important way of improving the UK's skills base, and giving people opportunities through work based learning programmes, but they also bring tangible benefits for employers. We work with employers across the UK to enable them to recruit and train the staff they have to sustain and develop their organisations and grow the economy.”

With offices in Liverpool, Birkenhead, Chester and Warrington, Avanta has a presence right across the Wirral. For more information contact Laura Harris on 07971 958 686 based in Avanta’s Liverpool branch and visit

www.avanta.uk.com/apprenticeships

*terms and eligibility apply.

www.theedgewirral.co.uk | 21


INVITATION TO LOCAL BUSINESS COMMUNITIES

SPECTACULAR NEW FACILITIES

Plan your complementary Event and be part of the Festival The International Festival for Business has confirmed fifty official events, 75,000 confirmed delegates and a £10m spending boost to the Liverpool city region economy. In addition the IFB will see a global 250,000-strong business audience descend on the city in June and July next year and organiser Liverpool Vision expects to confirm scores more events in the coming months.

This will be an event on an unprecedented scale. For anyone involved in enterprise, the International Festival for Business is the place to be. Make sure you’re there to make the most of it.” David Cameron Highlights of the programme include a Global Leaders’ Summit, when the civic, political and business leaders from the world’s 50 leading cities will gather to discuss the challenges facing cities, regions and countries. UKTI will also showcase the best of British business over two days when it stages the British Business Embassy; a hugely successful part of Britain’s Olympic business legacy that attracted some 4,000 global business figures. Local businesses are invited to capitalise on a unique opportunity to get involved with IFB by organising their own events around the Festival – The IFB terms these ‘Complementary Events’ and once approved they can be set up using the IFB branding and will be promoted through official IFB marketing channels. When planning your event the first thing to consider is your industry theme. The IFB events calendar is programmed around 7 weekly themes and event planners should think how to design their event around a chosen theme so that it integrates seamlessly into the Festival programme.

Themes include: MARITIME, LOGISTICS & ENERGY WEEK HIGHER & FURTHER EDUCATION WEEK CITIES, ENTERPRISE & URBAN BUSINESS WEEK MANUFACTURING, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY WEEK KNOWLEDGE, PROFESSIONAL & FINANCIAL SERVICES WEEK LOW CARBON & RENEWABLES WEEK KNOWLEDGE, CREATIVE & DIGITAL WEEK

9 June 2014 16 June 2014 16 June 2014 23 June 2014 30 June 2014 14 July 2014 14 July 2014

Help and advice is at hand from IFB Theme Leaders and Project Managers to guide you throughout the event planning, design and application process. The City is awash with an excellent selection of venues and event management companies who can successfully plan and host your event and help you place your company in front of a global audience on a global stage. This may be the opportunity of a lifetime. Contact info@ifb2014.com for more details or to register your interest visit www.ifb2014.com 22 | www.theedgewirral.co.uk

Spectacular new conference facilities, quality of service and many years’ experience within the team; these establish Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) as a leading conference provider in the Merseyside region.

■ Numerous city centre locations ■ Flexible, multi-purpose conference space ■ Capacity for events from 10 to 360 ■ 4 new tiered lecture theatres max 360 seats ■ Dedicated conference coordinator ■ High quality audio visual equipment with support ■ Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout ■ Delegate packages from £25 + VAT ■ Reinvestment of surplus back into education ■ Renewable energy technologies across all new buildings ■ MIA ‘Accredited in Meetings’ standard

Conference and Event Services t: 0151 231 5716 e: conferences@ljmu.ac.uk w: www.ljmu.ac.uk/conferences


RT

E ASK THE EXP

to consider my owner; do I need ss ne si bu a am I ill? business in my w

A ROBINSON REBECroC fts Solicitors Solicitor, Morec

tatistics suggest that two thirds of the UK adult population have no Will, despite the fact that more than three quarters of adults plan on leaving their assets to their loved ones. A large proportion of this statistic may be those owning a business. Without a Will, your assets will pass in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy – complex rules that dictate which family members can inherit. Your assets will not necessarily pass to the people you wish them to. For business owners – not having a Will may result in difficulties regarding the continuing of the business on your death - shares may be sold, the business could be broken up or fall apart if direction is not given in relation to the day to day running of it. This could be particularly problematic if those who inherit under the Rules of Intestacy are children under the age of 18 and are therefore too young to make the necessary decisions. Questions frequently asked by business owners are: What will happen to my business if I die tomorrow? Who will run it? What will happen to outstanding contracts?

theedge DIGITAL

IN YOUR INBOX AS WELL AS THROUGH YOUR LETTERBOX

Careful Will planning can address such concerns. Who to appoint as your Executor should always be a carefully considered decision. As a business owner, you may like to consider appointing a specific Executor to deal with the business – perhaps someone who has already been involved in it, or an advisor who you have used during the course of the life of the business. It is also necessary to ensure that your Executor has additional powers to be able to carry on the business for a limited time post death – it may be necessary for things to be done immediately after death for which the Executor requires express authority. Whatever the size of your business, and whatever its assets, the protection of it after death is essential – particularly for sole traders where there is no one left to continue the running of it. Morecrofts solicitors can answer all of your questions concerning the continuing of your business in the event of your death.

Rebecca Robinson

Did YOU RECEIVE THIS EDGE DIGITALLY? EMAIL: subs@theedgewirral.co.uk

Rebecca specialises in Wills and Probate. Part of Rebecca’s role within the Private Client department is to advise clients in relation to Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, registration of Enduring powers of attorney, Court of Protection work and Estate Administration.

T: 0151 6662210 E: rmr@morecrofts.co.uk W: www.morecrofts.co.uk

www.theedgewirral.co.uk | 29


LEGAL

he traditional two tier system of Solicitor / Counsel was in my view unbeatable and envied the world over. Most ‘lawyers’ who experienced it would, I believe, agree. However costs and the days of austerity means legal fees, like any other are subject to scrutiny and clients want value for money. Inevitably this has forced a change in the legal landscape.

A Firm to Trust with Direct Access to a Barrister

One feature of that change is that the public now have direct access to a Barrister. At one stage the only way to ‘Instruct Counsel’ was through a Solicitor. The thought of seeking Counsel‘s opinion direct was unheard of; but oh how things have changed.

If you require peace of mind or need advice and guidance then please call for a FREE Initial Consultation. We specialise in the following areas:-

It is now possible to save a considerable amount of money by going directly to a Barrister. To work effectively however, means that you have got to do certain work yourself. Barristers cannot write letters or accept court documents whilst working out of Chambers, but can however receive them, as I do, from my independent law practice. However this process is under review and the Bar Council has developed a system whereby this will, to an extent at least, change. From a member of the publics’ point of view experience tells me that the system is not what it should be and leaves a lot to be desired.

HR and Employment Law Advice Employment Tribunal Representation Trust and Asset Protection Drafting of Wills Power of Attorneys Tax Advice and Business Re-structures

From a Company’s view point however direct access to a barrister is excellent. The Company benefits from having staff to write letters on their behalf, diary matters, respond effectively and keep Counsel updated. Barristers traditionally have much smaller overheads, which means of course that the fees can be reduced to accommodate the work done. Legal advice is of high quality and years of court experience is extremely useful in advising how cases may go depending of course on the evidence available.

Personal Injury Claims Landlord and Tenant Advice

The number of In-house Solicitors/Counsel employed seems to me to be out of proportion to the costs. From a personal perspective why would companies want in house people when all they have to do is pick up the phone and have access to a number of Barristers with different skills? I believe a progressive company wanting legal advice should seriously look at Direct Access Barristers. The Barrister travels to you, is flexible, self-employed, highly motivated and wants to give a quality service. Years of legal practice dissuades them from the 9-5 syndrome and they will usually respond when required; day or evening, weekdays and weekends. Times are changing and Barristers have adapted. Perhaps you should adapt as well. The change may do you good!

GET IN TOUCH! Add: Tel:

RICHARD GRAY BARRISTER, elysium-law

24 | www.theedgewirral.co.uk

116 Duke Street, Liverpool, L1 5JW 0151 285 2501

Email:

Debbie@elysium-law.com

www.elysium-law.com


Starting a new business

Is starting a new business the

right move for me?

he New Year is a catalyst for business start ups but statistics indicate that one third of these won’t survive two years. It is therefore important to explore what actions to take to increase the chances of survival.

whether the business will support your lifestyle. Tax Credits are available to you to “top up” your income but it may be wise to plan for reduced income in the early stages of trading and adjust your personal expenditure accordingly.

“Failing to plan is planning to fail ”

4. What about VAT and PAYE? The VAT registration threshold is currently £79,000. Usually you will be required to submit VAT returns (and pay any VAT due) on a quarterly basis. A PAYE scheme is required if you are paying employees (including directors). Employers need to report payments made to staff, to HMRC in real time (RTI) which has added another administrative burden on business owners.

Planning is crucial and will improve your chances of success so consider the following: 1. Should I trade as a limited company or unincorporated business such as a sole trader or partnership? Business ownership, perception and costs will differ depending on the structure. Typically, unincorporated entities are used for smaller businesses. Tax implications also change with limited companies offering more flexibility and a useful tax shelter. 2. What about costs? Can I fund the business? Will I have to raise finance? Start-up costs will differ depending on your sector but will include a mix of one off, lump sums and regular ongoing payments. It is essential to have sufficient funding in place to carry the business through the first few months of trading. Often start-up funding comes from the business owner in the form of a loan. Once funds are available from within the business the loan can be repaid, tax free. 3. How much do I need to earn? Will this business generate it for me? Some businesses “hit the ground running” but most take longer to generate the required income. Forecasts will help you better understand

Putting your business first

Making you more money

Running a business will place demands on your time, energy and ability so researching your business to create a strong, cohesive and focussed business plan will give you the best chance of success. Organisations like Invest Wirral and the Wirral Chamber of Commerce offer invaluable support for you while most banks and many accountants have services tailored to new enterprise.

JAN McDERMOTT

Managing Director, Jan McDermott & Co. Chartered Accountants

Complete peace of mind

Accountancy without the hassle

Compliance Service

Tax Service

Growth Service

Bespoke Service

Our compliance service is applicable to all businesses who want to ensure they comply with legislation from Companies House and HMRC.

Our tax service is aimed at companies who need tax advice beyond the standard preparation and submission of accounts.

Our growth service is for businesses requiring advice and guidance on how best to grow their business.

Our bespoke service covers ad hoc elements of accounting such as projections for investment, exit planning, bookkeeping, sage training and sales.

Our experience has taught us a lot over the years, primarily your needs rely heavily on us delivering a ‘no hassle’ service. What does this mean to you? We’re always here if you need us, you can always expect a friendly reception. Why not come and have a chat about your accounting needs. We’re sure we can help.

................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Jan McDermott & Co. Chartered Accountants, 51 Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 5BN

Tel: O845 9OOO 691

Email: info@janmcdermott.co.uk

Web: www.janmcdermott.co.uk

www.theedgewirral.co.uk | 25


Outlook

Get the most from your

advertising spend

SMEs WILL get this country moving again “The Office for National Statistics recently claimed the economy is growing faster than previously estimated, but most business owners would agree that 2013 has been tough and particularly so for the legal sector. Law firms everywhere have faced unprecedented challenges with a raft of government reforms and the ‘abolition’ of legal aid presenting huge challenges. To survive, firms have had to adapt to ensure their service remains viable. At Kirwans, we implemented a number of changes, ranging from increased use of social media to refocusing some of our legal offerings; to better position ourselves to serve the needs of our clients. So far our approach has been successful and, mindful of the changing market; we look forward to further growth in 2014. For many businesses 2013 involved battening down the hatches but 2014 should be about growth and investment. We sense a growing optimism amongst businesses and hope to witness renewed enthusiasm as economic confidence grows. We should see more mergers, buyouts and new firms appearing as investments rise in the months ahead. Confidence is growing in the region’s commercial property market, and PwC predicts North West growth up from 1pc in 2013 to around 2.1pc in 2014 – lower than national predictions but still healthy. Despite growth, however, don’t expect a return to pre-recession ways of working. Difficult economic conditions have resulted in a tougher, more resilient workforce, who realise there are no jobs for life and want greater flexibility in how they fulfill their work commitments. The recession has also created a new breed of start-ups, who are willing to work hard and dream big. To survive, SMEs need more government support. We often hear the negative impact high business rates have on clients and although the Chancellor announced measures to help struggling businesses in the Autumn Statement, these are temporary stop-gaps, not the radical overhaul we need for long-term planning. SMEs need support and assistance but there is confusion about where to turn for advice and the government needs to improve the infrastructure and signpost agencies that can offer practical support. Increasingly, businesses are seeking assistance with issues like debt recovery which is a growing concern. In past times unpaid bills may have been written off but difficult economic conditions are forcing SMEs to pursue bad payers, even if that means outsourcing recovery to firms like Kirwans. SMEs WILL get this country moving again and hopefully 2014 will be the year they get the opportunity.

DAVID KIRWAN MANAGING PARTNER AT KIRWANS 26 | www.theedgewirral.co.uk

here was a time when print advertising was near enough the only form of marketing that small businesses could employ. On a local level, newspapers had a captive market but with the advent of desktop publishing and remote printing a whole host of other print media sprang up to challenge the established order. In the face of the competition local press has fallen away and continues to retreat year on year and advertisers are faced with an ever growing array of options for reaching customers through print. We’ve compiled a pocket guide to choosing the right print platform for your needs.

1. Use targeted niche publications – You know your audience, so advertise in publications that will appeal to them. Why gamble your budget on generalist publications when there are magazines tailored to your target market’s specific interests. 2. Check distributions - how does the magazine reach its target audience? If it’s just left lying around in random pick up points it’s impossible to know who’s reading it. Look for publications that are delivered directly to a targeted audience of interested readers. Accurate distribution costs money. If your publisher is happy to leave this to chance he’s not prioritizing his advertiser’s response potential. 3. Know your numbers – effective distribution figures are relative to the size of your potential audience. Targeted magazines generate a better response with a smaller distribution because every reader is relevant to your product. A generalist publication with a random distribution must have a significantly larger print run to generate the same response, as only a small proportion of readers will be a potential client. 4. Compare prices accurately – Magazine A may have lower prices than Magazine B but Magazine B may print more copies so you should always calculate the price per thousand copies to get a true picture of who offers the best value. A £400 advert in a magazine with 50,000 copies works out at just £8 per thousand copies while a £200 advert in a magazine with just 10,000 copies costs £20 per thousand. 5. Know your publisher – There are still sharks out there so check who you are giving your business to. Are they local? Do they have an office with a published address and a landline or are they working remotely from a mobile and a website? Do they invest in full time, fully trained employees or use freelance ‘commission only’ home workers and high pressure sales tactics.


Don’t let cash flow hold you back in 2014... • Specialise exclusively in business-to-business debt recovery & commercial contract disputes • Client base from sole traders through to international PLCs • Legal services to landlords & managing agents • High Quality / Cost Effective Services

Call for a no obligation consultation We act in claims from less than £1000 right up to several million pounds

web: www.kjplaw.co.uk email: info@kjplaw.co.uk add: 1st Floor, Birkenhead House, 17-21 Price Street, Birkenhead, CH41 6JN tel: 0151 650 6830

Turn back the clock NEW TO WIRRAL - Face Treats are now offering line softening treatments and facial fillers.

Facetreats BEAUTY IS WITHIN THE SKIN

Face Treats is run by two practising registered nurses who bring their medical knowledge to the world of beauty to ensure you receive the best products with a professional application and clinical excellence. With our extensive nursing knowledge and clinical training, we are dedicated to delivering high quality care to all clients who would benefit from non-surgical treatments to reduce and soften the appearance of facial lines. Every person is unique, so we offer a FREE consultation and assessment to design your personal treatment and care plan.

Ideal Present Gift vouchers available

Call Kate and Carol for more information T 0776 640 0302 • 07867 512046 E facetreats@hotmail.co.uk www.theedgewirral.co.uk | 27


SOCIAL MEDIA

HASHTAGS FOR BEGINNERS

you’re a social media novice, hashtags (short links preceded by the hashtag sign (#)) may seem confusing but they are integral to the way we communicate and it’s useful to understand them. On Twitter, the hashtag turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows you to organise content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. So, if you wanted to post about the Breaking Bad finale, you would include #BreakingBad in your tweet to join the conversation. Click on a hashtag to see all the posts that mention the subject in real time. Assuming you already have a Twitter account dedicated to your business, you can use hashtags as part of your social media strategy. In your business' case, you may choose to attach a hashtag, such as #smallbiz, or even your brand's name itself, as #nike might do. This improves the chance that other Twitter users will find your tweet in targeted Twitter searches. Now that you're familiar with the basic hashtag concept, let's apply principles specific to small businesses. Follow these five tips to improve your brand's hashtag strategy.

1. Seek Business-Specific Conversations If you use Twitter for nothing else, use it to learn from others. Choose hashtags like #SMB or #smallbiz for advice, resources and current small business news. General hashtags like these generate a lot of tweets each day but you can tune now and then for a quick update. A couple of scrolls down the feed might inspire your next blog post or sales campaign. Other more specific business related hashtags include #marketing #sales. #startups #entrepreneur #networking

2. Keep it Simple and Consistent When creating hashtags for your own tweets, it's important to keep a couple rules in mind. First, don’t overdo it. 1- 3 tags per tweet is the most you should use. A tweet full of hashtags is nothing more than a desperate marketing tool which will quickly turn your audience off. Also keep your tags simple and direct. In a tweet about an article explaining your use of finance apps, don't create a long, complex hashtag. Use hashtags like #apps and #SmallBiz, rather than #SmallBusinessFinanceAppsandTools. Complicated tags like these are neither search-friendly nor common, so your tweet will get lost. 28 | www.theedgewirral.co.uk

3. Create Your Own Hashtag Brands create their own hashtags and put them to many uses. You can generate buzz around a marketing campaign. Domino's Pizza encouraged followers to tweet with #letsdolunch — once the number of tweets reached 85,000, Domino's dropped prices by more than half during the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. that day. Or using twitter to launch a contest is another great marketing tactic. Ask people to tweet with a specific hashtag when they submit their entry (be it a joke, pictures etc). That way, you can share the entries with your audience and you'll be able to easily locate submissions for judging when the entry period is complete.

4. Organize Social Dashboards by Hashtag One of the most convenient ways to stay on top of relevant hashtags is to designate easily accessible columns within your social dashboard. Whether you use HootSuite or TweetDeck, you can establish columns by social network, search term, Twitter list or hashtag.

5. Take Advantage of Follow Friday The Follow Friday movement is perhaps the best known use of the hashtag #FF. A #FF tweet is used to give a follow recommendation to other twitter accounts. You can either create a list of great people to follow and squeeze as many Twitter handles as you can into one tweet, with the hashtag #FF #FOLLOWFRIDAY or you can theme your tweets by recommending the best restaurants, best comedians, best magazines etc. Another, more personal approach is to dedicate each tweet to a single person and give your reasons for following. This #FF #HASHTAGS has much more impact and will get a greater response.


T R E P X E E H T ASK

KIRWANS

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY PURCHASE

e-pack, to invest in a pr s arisen for me ha ty ready ni al rtu an po se op The her I should choo et wh to vise? as u re t-up. Can yo ad but I’m unsu than a new star er th ra s es sin bu failed

LISA EVANS rwans

erty Solicitor, Ki

Commercial Prop

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT

LEASE GRANT / ASSIGNMENT

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SALE

BUSINESS SALE AND ACQUISITION

Commercial Property is a journey. Make Kirwans your destination. t: 0800 525 035 e: info@kirwans.co.uk w: www.kirwans.co.uk facebook.com/kirwansuk

twitter.com/@kirwanslaw

Kirwans is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (www.sra.org.uk) Prenton SRA Number 71723

‘pre-pack’, short for pre-packaged insolvency, is a form of bankruptcy procedure where a restructure plan is agreed with a purchaser before it enters insolvency proceedings, rather than after the appointment of the administrator. Pre-packs have gained in popularity since the introduction of the Enterprise Act 2002, but it was in 2008 when the financial crisis started that they became so widely used. In fact, Insolvency Service figures show that 25 per cent of all administrations in 2011 were pre-packs (a total of 723), and big-name companies which have been sold as pre-packs include JJB Sports, MFI, and Allied Carpets. Although pre-pack arrangements are not without criticism, they can prove a lifeline to many involved in a failing business. Trading costs are avoided, which is imperative in situations where company funds have been depleted. In addition, this type of sale often saves jobs which otherwise would have been lost. Indeed, when Hydrodec Group bought the OSS GROUP in Knowsley last August as a pre-pack, 185 jobs were saved. This arrangement also allows for business to be seen as continuing as usual from the point of view of the customers and those outside the company, allowing the value of the business to be retained. Unsecured creditors can also be contracted by the newly formed company, whereas if the company simply goes bust it can directly affect the fortunes of a whole host of suppliers.

Making a workspace you can work in We are specialists in creating the right workspace for you

On the other hand, as an investor you wouldn’t want to take on additional liabilities or obligations. A good solicitor will be able to ascertain your needs and ensure that the paperwork is in order.

• Extensions • Loft Conversions • Basement Conversions • Conservatory Offices • Garage Offices

LISA EVANS

Bathrooms and Kitchen also undertaken References available

cost effective

If you are considering a ‘prepack’, either as an investor or as a resolution for your company, it is important to seek proper legal advice to make sure that you are fully aware of all of the issues. A good solicitor will also ensure that the correct paperwork is drafted, avoiding post-deal horrors regarding liabilities that you may have thought had been dealt with as part of the investment. A case in point involved a client who recently sought my help after discovering that they were still liable for rents and other tenant obligations under the lease long after their business had been sold.

- quick - professional Call for a no obligation quote: 0151 486 4718 or 07730 281 578 start2finishltd@gmail.com

Lisa is an experienced Commercial Property Solicitor who deals with all aspects of commercial property work for a large number of clients including private individuals and client companies. Lisa oversees large commercial property transactions across the UK including Liverpool, Manchester and London.

T: 0151 609 2769 E: levans@kirwans.co.uk W: www.kirwans.co.uk

www.theedgewirral.co.uk | 29


Events& Networking January Thurs 30th 8:15am - 10:30am “The Faultless Leader” Workshop FREE workshop for business Directors and Managers focussing on empowerment, time management performance coaching. Liverpool Football Club, Anfield www.mentorcorporatecoaching.co.uk Thurs 30th 4:00pm-4:30pm Webinar with ReferStar’s CEO 30 minute webinar highlighting how to use technology and best practices to make your Employee Referral program work for you. www.info.referstar.com/select-webinar

Febuary Tues 4th 1:00pm - 4:00pm FREE Business Workshop Workshop with information on marketing on a budget and the benefits of social media. Only for businesses located on Merseyside with less than 250 employees. Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Liverpool, L3 9HG Search ‘Free Business Workshop’ on: http://www.liverpoolchamber.org.uk/ Tues 4th 9:00am - 1:00pm FREE - Nuts & Bolts of Starting a Business An engaging and informative workshop which discusses the key issue with starting a new business including business regulations, marketing and finance. Business First Business Centre, 23 Goodlass Road, Liverpool, L24 9HJ Search ‘Nuts & Bolts of Starting a Business’ on: www.eventbrite.co.uk Weds 5th 8:00am Priory Business Forum FREE networking and topical seminars over coffee and a bacon batch. Marine Engineering College, Birkenhead. www.the-priory.co.uk Weds 5th 10:00am - 12:00pm Ladies FREE Netwroking Liverpool A FREE networking opportunity for women to make new contacts and for an extra fee can have a stand to promote their business. Olive Restaurant, Liverpool, L2 4TA. Contact: tracey@thisladyloves.com 30 | www.theedgewirral.co.uk

Thurs 6th 9:00am - 5:00pm BCC Accredited – Documentary Letter of Credit A course for anyone who processes letters of credit. Explains the process in great detail by showing examples and the opportunity of practical experience. £250. Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Liverpool, L3 9HG. Search ‘BCC Accredited – Documentary Letter of Credit’ on: www.liverpoolchamber.org.uk Thurs 6th Priory Business Forum FREE networking and topical seminars over coffee and a bacon batch. Marine Engineering College Birkenhead. www.the-priory.co.uk Thurs 6th 10am - 12noon Taster Session from The Coach Mentor Centre at Vale House, Vale Park, Magazine Lane, New Brighton CH45 1LZ. Performance Improvement Coach - Mentoring Masters Programme TASTER : Situational CoachMentoring Model. 2 hours introduction to the Situational Coach-Mentoring Model exploring the 3-Dimensions of the Manager’s Role: the Line Manager, the Teamworker and the Personal Performer. For an informal discussion please contact Elaine Owen or Cath Mills on: 0151 6533338 or email info@coachmentorcentre.com Friday 7th Wirral Chamber Official Launch www.WirralChamber.co.uk Mon 10th 5pm Business Equipment Auction Clwyd Auction Centre, Deeside www.clwydauctions.co.uk Wed 12th 7:30pm-9:30pm FREE Business Networking No fuss. No fee business networking event open to all those who run a business on Wirral or the surrounding area. Relaxed and informal meeting. No cost. The Chimneys, Hooten Green, Hooten, Wirral. www.wirralbusinessassociation.co.uk

Thurs 13th 9:00am-5:00pm BCC Accredited – Export Documentation & Methods of payment. A course designed for people new to exporting plus experience people who may need an update. £250. Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Liverpool, L3 9HG. Search ‘BCC Accredited – Export Documentation & Methods of payment’ on: www.liverpoolchamber.org.uk Thurs 20th 9:20am-Fri 21th 4:30pm I’m Liverpool I’m Business A intensive programme where you will be advised of everything you need to know to start a growth business, meet contacts and networks, and a chance to hear inspiring speakers. £10. Meeting room, Top floor, Liverpool Central Library, L3 8EW Contact: Liz Lacey – llacey@liverpoolvision.co.uk Fri 21st 9:00am-1:00pm FREE - Nuts & Bolts of Starting a Business An engaging and informative workshop which discusses the key issue with starting a new business including business regulations, marketing and finance. Anfield Business Centre, Liverpool, L6 5DR Search ‘Nuts & Bolts of Starting a Business’ on: www.eventbrite.co.uk Thurs 25th 9:00am – Fri 26th 5:00pm SROI Training. A step-by-step introduction to the SROI process moving into more depth issues. £585+VAT. Winslow House, Rumford Place, L3 9DG. Contact: Emily Crawford on 0151 703 9229 Tues 25th 9:30am - Weds 26th 4:00pm Planning for Success – FREE Business Planning Course. A 2 day workshop ran by The Women’s Organisation. Covering all the basics of business planning including financial forecast, how to market you organisation and social media. The Women’s Organisation, Liverpool, L1 5HA. Contact: 0151 706 811 or info@thewo.org.uk


networking Weds 26th 9:00am - 1:00pm FREE - The Liverpool Business Initiative A free event for anyone thinking of starting or expanding a business. Includes advice on accounting, marketing, finance, business support and networking opportunities. Alabama House, Liverpool, L3 9BY. Search ‘The Liverpool Business Initiative’ on: www.eventbrite.co.uk

Fri 7th 8:00am - 3:00pm Merseyside Spring Term Conference A workshop that gives schools the opportunity to find out about new devlopments in using ICT to support learning, teaching and school management. £25 and lunch provided. Liverpool Football Club, L4 0TH Search ‘Merseyside Spring Term Conference’ on: www.eventbrite.co.uk

Weds 26th 9:30am - 4:30pm Social Media for dummies: For you business: Invest in your digital self A workshop for the digitally-confused small business giving an insight into social media and how it can hugely benefit your business through the use of a Social Media Action Plan. Centec Business Centre, Liverpool, L9 6AW. Search ‘Social Media for dummies: For you business: Invest in your digital self’ on: www.eventbrite.co.uk

Mon 10th 5pm Business Equipment Auction Clwyd Auction Centre, Deeside www.clwydauctions.co.uk

March Weds 5th 9:30am - Thurs 6th 4:00pm Planning for Success – FREE Business Planning Course A 2 day workshop ran by The Women’s Organisation. Covering all the basics of business planning including financial forecast, how to market you organisation and social media. The Women’s Organisation, Liverpool, L1 5HA. Contact: 0151 706 811 or info@thewo.org.uk Thurs 6th 9:30am – 5:00pm 1 Day Social Media Strategy – covering all social options while creating a strategy plus content throughout the day. £199 PP. Wirral – Hamilton Square www.koogar.co.uk Thursday 6th Recruit to Success www.WirralChamber.co.uk Thurs 6th 9:20am - Fri 7th 4:30pm I’m Liverpool I’m Business A intensive programme where you will be advised of everything you need to know to start a growth business, meet contacts and networks, and a chance to hear inspiring speakers. £10. Meeting room, Top floor, Liverpool Central Library, L3 8EW Contact: Liz Lacey – llacey@liverpoolvision.co.uk

Tues 11th 1:00pm - 4:00pm FREE Business Workshop Workshop on Financial Accounts, Management Accounts, Cash-flow, Cash Management and managing budgets. Only for businesses located on Merseyside with less than 250 employees. Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Liverpool, L3 9HG Search ‘Free Business Workshop’ on: www.liverpoolchamber.org.uk Tues 11th 11:00am - Weds 12th 4:00pm Planning for Success – FREE Business Planning Course. A 2 day workshop ran by The Women’s Organisation. Covering all the basics of business planning including financial forecast, how to market you organisation and social media. The Women’s Organisation, Liverpool, L1 5HA. Contact: 0151 706 811 or info@thewo.org.uk Wed 12th 7:30pm - 9:30pm FREE Business Networking No fuss. No fee business networking event open to all those who run a business on Wirral or the surrounding area. Relaxed and informal meeting. No cost. The Chimneys, Hooton Green, Hooton, Wirral www.wirralbusinessassociation.co.uk Fri 14th 12:30pm - 4:30pm Women in Business Awards 2014 A chance to celebrate female entrepreneurs, decision makers and business owners from across Merseyside. The event will recognise the achievements of women who have created successful ventures. £85. Hilton Hotel, Liverpool, L1 8LW. Search ‘Women in Business Awards 2014’ on: www.eventbrite.co.uk Tues 18th 1:00pm - 4:00pm FREE Business Workshop Workshop with information on how to

improve your sales and marketing of your product or service. Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Liverpool, L3 9HG Search ‘Free Business Workshop’ on: www.liverpoolchamber.org.uk Tues 18th 10:30am - 3:30pm Liverpool Business Fair A chance for companies to network, make new contacts and benefit from a wealth of free business information and advice. No cost. Liverpool football club Search ‘Liverpool Business Fair 2014’ on: www.eventbrite.co.uk Tuesday 18th Business Improvement District – Public Consultation Meeting www.WirralChamber.co.uk Weds 19th 9:00am - 4:30pm System Thinking workshop Provides a new way of thinking and understanding with an introduction to Thinking Systems concepts and systemic behaviours to improve problem solving and inspire organisational learning. International Business Centre, Delta Crescent, WA5 7WQ Contact: Jackie – events@noee.co.uk Friday 21st MP’s Question Time www.WirralChamber.co.uk

April Weds 2nd 6:00pm Wirral Tourism Awards A chance to celebrate a fantastic range of quality businesses and staff in the tourism industry in Wirral. £30 a ticket. Floral Pavilion Theatre, Marine Promenade, New Brighton, Wirral, CH45 2JS www.visitwirral.com/whats-on/wirraltourism-awards-2014 Fri 4th April Grand National Corporate Day www.WirralChamber.co.uk Thurs 10th April ITC Update with Peel www.WirralChamber.co.uk Thurs 29th April Bank of England Update www.WirralChamber.co.uk

Include your listing in our next issue - email details to events@theedgewirral.co.uk www.theedgewirral.co.uk | 31


The Edge - Issue15 - Staff  

The February issue of The Edge includes business news, articles, tips and advice. This month we featured Staff, as well as looking forward t...

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