MARCH 2019 | ISSUE 11 | FREE | WWW.UNLTDBUSINESS.COM
As Welcome to Yorkshire approaches its 10th anniversary Sir Gary Verity tells us the profile of the region has never been higher
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EVENTS CALENDAR | SHEFFIELDâ€™S BEST BREWERIES | MINI RETIREMENT | MAKINGunLTDBUSINESS.COM TAX DIGITAL
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ALSO INSIDE... 6: News Award shortlists, law firm launch, West Bar project brings city investment and international growth for Sheffield firm. 14: If You Ask Me... We asked sector experts their views on tax turning digital in April. @UNLTDBUSINESS
22: Calendar Get your diary ready and book into some of the great events happening in March. 29 & 37: Five minutes with... We take time out to chat with Sport:80’s Gary Hargraves and The Sales Mindset Coach Steve Knapp. 51: Your Pitch Ermes Giummarresi tells us about his Italian artisan bakery Era’s Chocolate. 53: Launchpad Ruby Sheldon from Slime Party UK tells unLTD how, with a helping hand from Launchpad, she became an ‘accidental entrepreneur’. 66: Mini retirement Faye Smith, MD of Sheffield-based Keep Your Fork PR and Marketing shares the life-changing joy of a mini retirement. 74: Sheffield Brewers Ahead of Sheffield Beer Week we take a look at the best breweries in the Steel City. 78: Weekend Escapes We pack our suitcase and head off to the Austrian city Salzburg. 82: Number Crunch All the facts and figures from MIPIM
EVERYTHING ELSE... 11: Appointments 13: Diary 19: In a nutshell 21: Evolving technology 27: Securing Your Assets 47: Networking 49: Charities
UNLTD BUSINESS UNLTDBUSINESS
THE UNLTD TEAM
WELCOME TO UNLTD! There’s a chance that you may be reading this magazine in the south of France as part of the Sheffield City Region delegation to MIPIM world’s leading real estate event. If you do happen to be in Cannes then welcome to our magazine, welcome to Sheffield and its city region and welcome to God’s own county, Yorkshire. As segues go that isn’t the smoothest but it does allow us to introduce our cover star this month, Sir Gary Verity chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the tourist body which has done so much to cement the county’s international reputation. From bringing the world’s biggest annual sporting event – the Tour de France – to Sheffield and extolling the virtues of the city being the only one in the UK to have a national park, Sir Gary is a big fan of the south of his patch. The organisation he leads celebrates its tenth birthday this year and he says there’s still plenty to do to keep Yorkshire at ‘the top of its game’. Back to Cannes and there is a lot of work to do for the delegation trying to attract investment into the Sheffield City Region. We’ve a full preview of the event. One of the features we’ve had most fun with this issue is about boomerang employees – members of staff who have left a company only to return at a later date. It’s a surprisingly common phenomenon – as our editor and our features writer can testify to! A break of a different kind changed the life of business owner Faye Smith who tells us about how her ‘mini retirement’ helped her through a traumatic time. Faye’s article is well worth a read. After Hours this month takes us on a tour of Sheffield’s breweries while Weekend Escapes sees us pay a visit to the beautiful Austrian city of Salzburg.
EDITORIAL Richard Fidler email@example.com Jill Theobald firstname.lastname@example.org General email@example.com 0114 252 7760 ADVERTISING Phil Turner firstname.lastname@example.org 07979 498034 Alexandra Scrivener email@example.com 07944 325 861 Nick Hallam firstname.lastname@example.org 07843 483 536 General email@example.com FINANCE Sarah Koriba and Faye Bailey firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN Simon Waller and Simon Garlick CONTRIBUTORS Marc Barker Isobel Buffin Emma Blackburn Desmond Conway Mike Durham Peter Kay Sam Leeder Sarah-Louise Kelsey Faye Smith Jamie Veitch Ash Young unLTD is published monthly by Blind Mice Media LTD Unit 1B Rialto, 2 Kelham Island Square, Kelham Riverside Sheffield S3 8SD and HR Media LTD Unit 1a Speedwell Works, Sidney Street, Sheffield S1 4RG The views contained herein are not necessarily those of Blind Mice Media LTD and HR Media LTD and while every effort is made to ensure information throughout unLTD is correct, changes prior to distribution may take place which can affect the accuracy of copy, therefore Blind Mice Media LTD and HR Media LTD cannot take responsibility for contributors’ views or specific listings.
SHU ‘BREAKS NEW GROUND’ WITH LAW FIRM LAUNCH Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) has broken new ground, in both the educational and legal worlds, by launching SHU Law – a fully regulated law firm designed to give law students real life work experience during their studies. While it is common for universities to establish ways of exposing students to the practicalities of advising on real-life legal cases, SHU is the first university to offer a law degree that incorporates legal work experience into
every year of the course. By launching its own not-forprofit teaching law firm, the University is not only educating students about the practicalities of working as a lawyer on ‘live’ cases, but also delivering legal services to the community of Sheffield and the surrounding area. SHU Law is the innovation of Professor Elizabeth Smart, head of law at SHU, who has set up the firm with the assistance of experienced solicitors Sally Mallinson-Ayres and Rebecca Draper.
All the students working at SHU Law will be fully supervised and trained by Sally and Rebecca who are employed and work full-time at the law firm. Professor Smart said: “By placing our students at the centre of a live client clinical environment we are creating a unique learning opportunity that’s reflective of real-life practice. SHU is committed to providing applied learning opportunities for its students in order to help them succeed at whatever they choose to do.”
unLTD launches Business Club Exclusive news, competitions and offers set to become available for unLTD Business Club members. unLTD magazine has been on a real journey since launching in November 2017. The magazine launched as a bimonthly publication originally but after a year of success, we went monthly at the end of last year as well as launching our quarterly Business Social, a networking event hosted at Virgin Lounge. Next month sees us take the next step. In March, we’ll be launching our unLTD Business Club, a members-only service providing subscribers with a fortnightly e-newsletter featuring the latest news stories and take-aways from businesses in Sheffield City Region, as well as regular competitions and offers from a range of unLTD magazine’s clients. These offers will be updated and expanded regularly, so once you’ve subscribed, be sure to keep checking your inbox to see what’s new. Among the offers that will be available on
launch date are free meeting space, breakfast and coffee at Virgin Lounge for up to four people, discounted leaflet delivery and printing from We Do Deliver, and a £5 credit for the user of the Milestone / Cutlery Works app. To apply to join the club
and receive the fortnightly email with revolving member benefits, please email Alexandra@unltdbusiness.com or call her on 07944 325 861. Our first newsletter, featuring our first wave of news and offers will be going out in March.
Japanese food company rolls into Sheffield
Asian food and product importers Sushi Sushi have expanded into a larger warehouse at a North Sheffield business park. The 10-year-old company, which supplies Japanese and Asian food, drinks, packaging, tableware, kitchenware, and merchandise, has moved to the newly-developed £2.5m Winston Business Park at J35a of the M1. The company, which employs 10 staff, has served more than 90,000 customers and anticipates further expansion. Stuart Turner from Sushi Sushi said: “Winston was the perfect solution for us. It was an ideal location for staff and distribution. We deal with many high-end restaurants and the image of Winston was an important tick in that box.” John Jarman, at Knight Frank in Sheffield, said: “Winston Business Park sits in an established commercial location in north Sheffield forming part of Junction 35a Business Park which already boasts occupiers including South Yorkshire Police, Britglass and Linbrook Services. “It also adjoins the established Thorncliffe Business Park, which is one of the region’s largest out of town business parks and also home to a mixture of office and industrial occupiers including Balfour Beatty and B Braun Medical.”
CITY CHARITY FOUNDER SHORTLISTED FOR NATIONAL AWARD Laura Riley, the founder and CEO of Sheffield charity Mums In Need, has been shortlisted for Stylist’s ‘Inspiration of the Year’ award, as part of the magazine’s inaugural ‘Remarkable Women’ awards ceremony. After moving to Sheffield in 2013, Laura Riley created Mums In Need as an online support network for mothers who had suffered emotional abuse by an ex-partner, as she had gone through this herself. Today Mums In Need is a registered charity currently supporting more than 30 women with services including one-to-one sessions, coffee mornings, legal and financial advice, and a variety of workshops. Reflecting on the charity’s success and her nomination, Laura said: “I’m really proud of how far the charity has come and it’s brilliant to see the positive impact that it has on the women’s lives. “It’s a real honour to be nominated for this award – our charity is all about empowering women so it will
LAURA RILEY, FOUNDER AND CEO OF SHEFFIELD CHARITY, MUMS IN NEED
Mums In Need supports more than
women with services
be wonderful to experience an awards ceremony that is all about celebrating women’s achievements.” The Inspiration of the Year award is the only category which is voted for by the public at the Remarkable Women Awards which will take place on March 5 in London.
Students live the high life in Sheffield A £33 million deluxe student residence aimed at giving students hotel-style living accommodation is proving extremely popular. LIVStudent building, on Ecclesall Road, has already attracted enquiries for over a quarter of its intake ahead of its September launch. The 14-storey facility, with 586 en-suite rooms, will feature a sky garden, cinema and gym as well as a ninth–floor club lounge with a balcony overlooking the city. Developers say it heralds a new era in university accommodation, where students live like hotel guests and enjoy a wide range of services and activities. Should
they wish, they can even get their laundry and cleaning done. Peter Haspel, managing director of LIVStudent’s parent company said: “Students have to spend a lot of money to get their education. “We believe they focus better when they have home comforts and an aspirational
environment around them.” Hi-tech features include a key entry system, highdefinition Smart TVs and soundbars in every cluster kitchen-lounge. Every room will have super-fast Wi-Fi. The project has already created five full-time and four part-time local jobs.
‘Huge response’ at £2.4m auction A church in Doncaster that sold for nearly three times guide price, and flats in Sheffield that went for the highest bid of the day drove a busy first auction of the year for the region. Mark Jenkinson and Son’s £2.4million auction was one of the first sales of the year nationally and the first in the region, with a ‘huge response’ for the redundant chapel building in Warmsworth, Doncaster, which attracted more than 100 enquiries. The 1930s brick building and land had a guide price of £75,000 but sold for £204,000, while the top price of the day of £565,000 was for the three-story semidetached building made up of five flats on Ranmoor Road in Sheffield, which had been listed at £475,000. The ex-church in Doncaster attracted more than
100 ENQUIRIES Other Sheffield residential properties going under the hammer included a flat on Townhead Street with a guide price of £55,000 which sold for £75,000, and a traditional bay windowed semi-detached house in Greystones listed at £200,000 which went for £280,000. Adrian Little, Head of the Auction Department at Mark Jenkinson and Son, said: “We have started the first auction of the year for our region strongly thanks to a very busy room, the huge response to the chapel building, and overall £2.4 million raised – as well as offers of interest in all of the handful of unsold lots.”
AGENDA HOT The Skills Bank is returning to the Sheffield City Region to enable more businesses to tap into funding to upskill their workforce and grow their company. Sheffield Housing Company (SHC) is celebrating the completion of the 600th home, the creation of 500 new jobs – 62 per cent of which have been filled by people from the city region – and the awarding of 60 apprenticeships.
PRICECHECK JOINT MDs MARK LYTHE AND DEBBIE HARRISON
The SCR Jessica Fund has now had its first round of investments fully repaid and is reinvesting over £25.5 million back into the Sheffield City Region economy.
SHEFFIELD FIRM HITS IT FOR SIX ON INTERNATIONAL GROWTH
Yorkshire and The Humber has become one of the UK’s most entrepreneurial regions outside of London and the South East, according to new figures published by The Start Up Loans Company.
International brand wholesaler and distributor Pricecheck has been named in this year’s Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200. It is the sixth time in nine years the fast-growing Sheffield company has been recognised. The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 ranks Britain’s mid-market private
Businesses in Sheffield have been urged to back a £70 billion transport master plan for the north, to prevent the city missing out on muchneeded investment.
COOL The HMV store in Sheffield’s Meadowhall is among 27 “unprofitable” stores to close with immediate effect.
companies with the fastestgrowing international sales, measured over their latest two years of available accounts. Pricecheck, which ranked at 130, is an international distributor of fast-moving consumer goods and is trusted by the world’s biggest brands. It now operates in more than 80 countries. Joint MD Mark Lythe said:
“Pricecheck has bold growth plans which will see further expansion across existing and new territories. “In 2011, when we first appeared, our exports had grown from £2.2m to £5.3m. Now they stand at £32.3m. “It’s a fantastic accolade and always encouraging to see our growth recognised externally.”
Record-breaking boost for Sheffield Chamber New patrons, membership upgrades and best performance – Sheffield Chamber of Commerce has reported a record-breaking start to 2019. In January the Chamber of Commerce saw four new members join their Patronage level of membership, increasing overall Patron members to 13 – the highest level on record since the Chambers Patronage offer began. January 2019 was also recorded as the Chamber’s best performing month in terms of new members,
with 25 businesses joining membership at various levels. This exceeds all monthly performances since the launch of the Chambers service-based structure back in October 2016.
businesses have joined the Chamber’s Premium Partner membership over the past two years
Brenda Jordan, chief operating officer, said: “It took a lot of hard work and dedication from the Chamber Board and staff to make the changes within our membership proposition, but it has proven to be the right decision for our members. “I am now in my 14th year at the Chamber and I believe this to be our best performing month during this time. We have a dedicated and committed team who work hard to support our members and we look forward to an exciting year ahead.”
WEST BAR PROJECT MOVES CITY REGENERATION IN RIGHT DIRECTION A joint venture between Urbo and Peveril Securities, the development arm of the Bowmer and Kirkland Group, has been hailed as a ‘massively significant investment’. The first phase of the Urbo (West Bar) Ltd development, behind the West Bar Square located on the Inner Ring Road between the Kelham Island district and Sheffield’s Cathedral Quarter, will comprise 200,000 square feet of Grade A office space, 350 build to rent homes, a multi-storey car park and landscaped public spaces. This is thought to be the largest ever private sector investment in a single phase of development in Sheffield City Centre. Peter Swallow, MD of Urbo Regeneration said: “This is a massively significant investment
The first phase will deliver modern office space for up to
for Sheffield, and is a vote of confidence in the future of the city as a whole. “The partnership will deliver large-scale regeneration in this important part of the city, linking the rapidly expanding Kelham Island district to the city centre.”
Doncaster firm gears up for overseas growth Sol-X, one of the UK’s leading trade-only automotive treatments and chemicals producer, has increased its expansion into European markets having taken on a new client in Cyprus after exhibiting at the world’s leading trade fair for the automotive service industry. The Doncaster business, launched in 2008, fills a gap in the market for high quality, trade-only automotive and engineering lubricants and aerosols. Planning to expand their export client base, MD Richard Mason teamed up with Business Doncaster, a partner of Sheffield City Region Growth Hub Enhancement Project, for advice and guidance.
REPRESENTATIVES Sol-X currently employs 6 and is on track to recruit a further 2 sales representatives in the next few months
Award-winning Sheffield commercial interior design and fit-out specialist Ovo Spaces is taking its expertise to Europe and beyond with internationally acclaimed boutique gym TRIB3. As well as working on the design and fit-out at the TRIB3 sites in Sheffield and Leeds, Ovo Spaces has also provided the expertise in the Spanish cities of Madrid and Barcelona, as well as Finland. Now Ovo will be on board as the TRIB3 brand goes to Israel, China and other countries over the coming months. “It’s a fine example of how two Sheffield companies have worked together to create something really special,” said Ovo Spaces director Steve Ashmore.
At the Automechanika Frankfurt 2018 exhibition, Sol-X showcased its products to the industry’s most influential stakeholders and, as a result, secured additional international clients. Richard said: “The support we’ve received from Business Doncaster has been invaluable. As a business, we have particularly benefited from the Masterclasses and tailored advice.” Sharon Finch from Business Doncaster added: “It was a pleasure to work with Sol-X as they embarked on their ambitious plan to expand their European market and I look forward to continuing to support the team as they, inevitably, strive for further growth and success as the leading producer of its kind.”
AGENDA Iconic site to be transformed into ‘really special scheme’
NICKY HELLEWELL, EMMA MOORHOUSE, JONATHAN RICHARDSON OF RUSSELL RICHARDSON AND SONS AND SHANE YOUNG OF BARNSLEY & ROTHERHAM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
BARNSLEY & ROTHERHAM CHAMBER WELCOMES NEW PATRON Family-run recycling company Russell Richardson & Sons Ltd, which has been helping businesses throughout South Yorkshire and beyond for more than 40 years, is the latest business to become a patron of the Chamber. Russell Richardson is responsible for helping businesses dispose of confidential waste including document shredding, electronic media destruction and IT recycling, as well as document archiving. The business recently located to a new 50,000 sqft state-of-the-art facility at Tinsley which provides secure document storage as well as disposing of more than 250 tonnes of waste paper each week. Last year, the company celebrated its 40th anniversary receiving a Salute to Business award in recognition of its contribution towards helping businesses to improve data security and reduce their carbon footprint by recycling unwanted items, while in
Our membership has undoubtedly helped us to grow as a company and has raised our profile in the region
Russell Richardson was founded in
2017 the firm was presented with the Environmental Commitment Award, at the Barnsley and Rotherham Business Awards. Marketing manager Emma Moorhouse said: “Since joining Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber in 2015 our membership has undoubtedly helped us to grow as a company and has raised our profile in the region. Our level of involvement with the Chamber has naturally evolved to becoming a patron and we’re excited to continue and strengthen this relationship, working with the team to build on this further.” Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber membership manager Shane Young said: “We’ve been working with Russell Richardson over the past four years and the relationship has gone from strength-to-strength. “This is an exclusive membership that offers a range of profiling and I am looking forward to working with the team on this journey.”
A planning application has been made to transform a former restaurant in one of Sheffield’s landmark sites. The site, last occupied by the Loch Fyne seafood chain, is well-known in south-west Sheffield as the famous Hanrahan’s bar and restaurant Sheffield-based developer Primesite UK is spending £4million to convert the site, a Grade II listed building dating from the 1800s, into 27 new apartments. Director Scott Hinchliffe said: “It’s a shame that such a distinctive building has been unoccupied for so long, so I’m obviously delighted we’ve been able to acquire the buildings and get this oncein-a-lifetime opportunity to repurpose these iconic buildings into a scheme that is really special.” Hanrahan’s is one of three sites being developed by Primesite adding up to a total of
£12M ‘’The location and configuration as well as the impact of structural issues means the building is no longer suitable for a restaurant. “Our architects have come up with an exciting scheme of one, two, and three-bed apartments that re-uses the majority of the building’s remaining internal structures, with the dramatic entrance and new build block to complement the heritage of the historic façade and service these high spec / high tech apartments in this amazing location.’’ Primesite UK has been working closely with awardwinning architects Cartwright Pickard and CODA Planning on the project.
SHU’s Rob takes helm at AWRC Sheffield Hallam University’s world-leading Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) has appointed Professor Rob Copeland as a new director. Prof Copeland, a chartered sport and exercise psychologist and professor of physical activity and health at SHU, will take the helm at what is set to become the most advanced research and development centre for health and physical activity in the world. As director for the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) in Sheffield, Professor Copeland has led a systems approach to increasing physical activity under the banner Move More, which aims to transform Sheffield into the most active city in the UK by 2020. The AWRC, situated at the heart of the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, is a key part of the
Juliette is first female President Dale Carnegie have appointed Juliette Dennett as President of the International Dale Carnegie Franchise Association (IDCFA). Juliette, MD of Dale Carnegie Northern England, is the first female leader to take on the prestigious role, and also the first outside North America.
ROB COPELAND, NEW DIRECTOR OF THE ADVANCED WELLBEING RESEARCH CENTRE
city’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District/Global Innovation corridor, with widespread support from both the public and private sector. Prof Alison Metcalfe, pro vice-chancellor of SHU’s Faculty of Health and
Wellbeing, said: “With Prof Copeland’s drive and ambition, the AWRC will become a model of urban development that will positively influence economic growth, health improvements and community wellbeing.”
New duo on board at Doncaster Chamber Two senior directors have joined Doncaster Chamber of Commerce with ‘big ideas’ to drive the organisation forward. Stefan Rodgers, in his role as commercial director, brings 11 years of experience at board level in sales, marketing and commercial roles, while Andy Hibbitt joins as education and skills director with a decade within the education and training sectors under his belt. CEO Dan Fell, said: “The two new directors already have big ideas for developing the Chamber’s business support activities and Doncaster Skills Academy and to continue to be known as a Chamber that gets things done on behalf of members and the borough.”
LEFT TO RIGHT: GLU RECRUIT’S NEW TEAM MEMBERS, SELENA MIDDLETON AND CLAIRE FOSTER
TWO FRESH FACES AT GLU RECRUIT Glu Recruit has almost doubled the size of its team in a bid to bolster its growth plans, welcoming two new members of staff to the now five-strong team. Claire Foster joins the team permanently as recruitment coordinator, following a successful period in a temporary position, while Selena Middleton is recruitment administrator. The new appointments support an increasing client base during a period of growth for the Sheffield-based agency,
which recently expanded its expertise overseas, assisting international companies with their search for candidates. MD Rob Shaw said: “In the three years since our establishment we have worked hard to carve out a reputation as a trusted recruiter, not just in the region, but on a national and international scale. “Both new roles will support Glu’s quickly expanding client base as we continue on our growth trajectory moving forward.”
Kelly joins Wake Smith Wake Smith Solicitors in Sheffield has appointed Kelly Pashley-Handford as its new HR manager.
First aid status for Omnia
Omnia Property Group is now a fully certified Mental Health First Aid provider. The company’s MD Joanne Race and regional manager Jackie Plumb have both qualified as Mental Health First Aiders, with certification from Mental Health First Aid England.
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THE DIARY BY RICHARD FIDLER
Our editor – and boomerang employee – says MIPIM must maintain momentum
Sun, sea, sand and serious business
THEREANDBACKAGAIN, AN EMPLOYEE’S TALE The term ‘boomerang employees’ may provide visions of tanned gap year students returning from a year in Australia to resume their careers but it’s actually something that is as common in Barnsley as it is in Brisbane. This month we have spoken to several people who have left a company only to return some years later providing their new (old) firm with the benefit of their added experience and expertise. These are the genuine ‘boomerangers’ and it is a phenomenon that is becoming more and more common as people accept that a job, certainly a job role, is not for life and they will have to move from firm to firm to learn new skills and to gain promotions.
Being a boomerang employee myself – I started at unLTD publishers HR Media in 1998 before leaving in 2005 and returning in 2015 – I have some insight into how both I and the company changed over ten years apart. What we found when speaking to people was often how returning to a company felt like coming home. There was often a hankering for the family environment they left behind to expand their horizons in a different job. But it also wouldn’t be right to suggest that they have only come back for a familiar, comfortable environment. The vast majority of business owners are savvy enough to know that personal relationships with potential
employees are not enough in itself. For a person to return to a company they have to offer something that the company needs now. Often the returning employee has advantages over others going for the role because they already understand the ethos of the company, what makes the boss tick, and may have experience with existing or potential clients. Employers we spoke to were keen to stress that the returnee was genuinely adding something to their team – although there was a nod to the training and experience they’d picked up at no expense to themselves! Some say never go back, but our feature would suggest otherwise.
Got views of your own? Let me know: email@example.com LinkedIn: Richard Fidler
Unfortunately, for me at least, I won’t be on the plane to the south of France with the MIPIM delegation from the Sheffield City Region this month. While a few days in the sunshine of Cannes may sound like the ideal break as winter turns to spring, the reality is that there is some serious work to be done by those attending. Event organisers say MIPIM provides ‘unrivalled access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide’. The SCR team will also be hosting events across the four days. As our report on pages 40-45 explains, the region is sending out the biggest of big hitters led by Sir Nigel Knowles, special advisor on international trade and investment to Mayor Dan Jarvis. Our area has done well in recent years attracting some stellar names – Rotherham, for example, has benefited from the likes of McLaren investing in the town to become the north’s fastest growing economy for the fifth quarter in a row. The challenge now is to maintain this momentum and that includes the delegation returning from MIPIM with tangible results. And while the unLTD team won’t be there to keep track, we’re proud to say that a couple of boxes of the magazine will be making the trip to help spread the city region’s news!
IF YOU ASK ME...
MAKING TAX DIGITAL
Making Tax Digital comes into effect April 1st affecting all VAT-registered business with a taxable turnover above the registration threshold (currently Â£85,000). We spoke to several finance and tech experts to find out how businesses can prepare 14
AGENDA JOANNE GILPIN, CLOUD CONVERSION MANAGER FOR BHP CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS
Most people by now will have heard of Making Tax Digital (MTD), which comes into effect for most UK VAT registered businesses on 1 April this year. If you’re a business owner, or handle the finances for an organisation, it’s important to understand whether this applies to you and take action as soon as you can. MTD requires UK VATregistered business with a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000) to keep records digitally and submit VAT returns to HMRC using MTD-compatible software. Some entities are deferred to a start date of 1 October – for what HMRC deems to be more complex cases. The HMRC website has a full list but it includes trusts, ‘not for profit’ organisations that are not set up as a company, VAT groups and annual accounting
scheme users. Some people will be more prepared than others, but it is worth noting that the new legislation applies to VAT periods beginning on 1st April 2019 and after. As an example, if you file quarterly VAT returns that fall in line with the calendar year, your first submission required under MTD will be for the quarter ended 30 June 2019. Thinking back to when GDPR compliance came into force, the topic that focused people’s attention was the penalties that could potentially be handed out to firms. Businesses should be aware that MTD also comes with a penalty system for noncompliance. However HMRC are operating a ‘soft landing’ period for the first year, which should give firms time to get to grips with what is required. Expect HMRC to issue warnings where a business
can show they have made a reasonable attempt to comply with MTD for VAT. If penalties are issued for non-compliance with MTD, they can start at £5 per day. Failure to comply with MTD can’t be used as an excuse for not paying VAT. If VAT isn’t paid on time, the existing VAT default surcharge system will apply. Penalties of up to 15 per cent can be imposed if there have been earlier defaults in that penalty period. A question I get asked regularly is - ‘what is the most practical way to submit my VAT return now?’ Usually the best option is to do your book-keeping using a cloud-based software such as QuickBooks or Xero – both of which are MTD-ready. The advantages to this type of accounting software are much more than just being compliant with the new VAT rules.
A workaround for businesses who don’t use accounting software yet, or who have software which does not comply with MTD, may be to use Bridging software. This means that VAT returns would be filed from a spreadsheet through software designed to ‘bridge the gap’ between the spreadsheet and HMRC. This is also a preferred method for some VAT groups, or where calculations are being prepared outside a software, for example if Partial Exemption applies. If you’re in any way unsure, the best thing to do is seek advice from an accounting professional. MTD is HMRC’s attempt to modernise our tax systems and collect underdeclared tax. It is causing a headache for some, but once a digital accounting system is up and running, there should be lots of time saving and information sharing benefits to come for every business.
AGENDA HMRC are driving ‘Making Tax Digital’ as the way they want to communicate – starting with VAT. The information we need to provide is the same and the deadlines won’t change, but the way that we submit the information will, and so too will the amount of information we’re required to keep. As the software isn’t provided, it will be up to businesses to buy new software or upgrade their existing software, adding a ‘plug-in’ so that it is compatible with HMRC’s systems for uploading documents. Some businesses will rely on agents for their tax compliance, who will be better informed. But, there are many small businesses who do not employ accountants that they can talk to about this. Tech-savvy businesses already using accounting software will find it easier than others who are not used to accountancy software – such as sole traders in rural areas, who are more likely to use manual means of VAT reporting. Broadband speed varies across the region, and businesses that can’t rely on a decent internet connection may find the idea of using it to do something as important as their tax pretty daunting. There are also a minority of businesses who will not be regular computer users and of course their needs could be overlooked. HMRC will consider exemptions for certain groups – including the digitally excluded – so if poor connectivity is a real issue for you, it’s worth speaking with them. These are all additional burdens on businesses at
CLAIRE READING, DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, SOUTH YORKSHIRE, EAST YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES
a turbulent time. Making Tax Digital is due to come into force on the UK’s first day outside the EU – with continuing uncertainty about VAT on transactions between the UK and EU. It will be an extra concern and potentially a drain on time and money, at an already difficult time. The advice is to plan ahead. Some members have reported receiving costly quotes – both from software companies and accountants – to comply with MTD, but our own investigations suggest there will be cheaper options out there. There are more than 20
Tech-savvy businesses already using accounting software will find it easier than others
software suppliers currently offering MTD-compatible products, so be sure to explore all of your options. The main thing is to start to think about what is available. The HMRC website offers lots of advice. Shop around. Speak to people, speak to your accountant (if you’ve got one) and remember that there is a lot of information available. Our members are regularly accessing the Legal Hub and Helpline for advice, and there is also the Making Tax Digital Hub available for anyone looking for more information on the FSB website.
AGENDA So they’ve been talking about it for a couple of years now and Making Tax Digital (MTD) is finally here! With effect from 1st April 2019 all VAT registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the threshold, currently £85,000 must keep records in digital form and file their VAT returns using HMRC approved software. The first thing you need to do is the turnover test. Turnover = the value of everything that you sell that is not VAT exempt. This applies on a 12-month rolling programme, therefore businesses need to keep a careful eye on whether turnover levels exceed threshold. Once you’ve exceeded £85,000 you must register for VAT and file under MTD rules. You can opt out if your business is run by members of religions who discourage the use of technology, if you are facing insolvency or if your business is run by people who cannot reasonably be expected to comply due to their age, physical or mental condition or have a lack of access to technology. HMRC will be carrying out checks on businesses who opt out to ensure their reasons are valid. I’m therefore going to assume that most of us will fall within MTD rules and regulations. If you are already working with a bookkeeping or accountancy software package, you will need to check if yours is approved by HMRC – visit their website for more details. If it is compatible you will then need to enable the MTD function within the software. Your accountant would probably
JULIE ROBINSON MD, FOOTPRINTS ACCOUNTANTS
help you with this. If your software is not approved by HMRC or indeed you are currently not working on a bookkeeping package, then you will need to source a suitable solution. We recommend QuickBooks Online, which is the world’s number one cloud accounting solution, although there are others you may choose from. You will then need to decide if you will be filing MTD yourself or whether you will be using an agent like an accountant or bookkeeper. If you are going to file yourselves and you are about
If you are going to file yourselves and you are about to embark on using new software, then I believe that training is key
to embark on using new software, then I believe that training is key. Our sister company Footprints Training and Growth runs workshops on a regular basis. Planning and preparation are key. I’d recommend that you talk to your accountant as soon as possible, if they’ve not already spoken to you. Lastly, if you are breathing a sigh of relief because this doesn’t apply to your business, think again! MTD applies to all of us from April 2020, so it is not too early to start planning and utilising the correct software.
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IN A NUTSHELL BY JILL THEOBALD
Our features writer Jill Theobald says tax? Let’s get digital!
GOING DIGITAL IS LESS
TAXING ‘Tax Doesn’t Have to Be Taxing’ as those HMRC adverts on the telly used to tell us in the noughties. But very soon tax will have to be digital in 2019. From April 1 as a result of Making Tax Digital (MTD), most UK businesses above the £85,000 VAT turnover threshold will need to keep records digitally and submit VAT returns to HMRC using MTD-compatible software. On the one hand, it’s 2019. Are we not a little surprised that tax hasn’t already gone online along with so many other sectors and services? But on the other, it’s important to note that this is another change for businesses, following in the wake of numerous other regulations of late (not least of which last year’s GDPR). As Claire Reading from the Federation of Small Businesses
South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and The Humber says: “These are all additional burdens on businesses at a turbulent time. Making Tax Digital is due to come into force on the UK’s first day outside the EU - with continuing uncertainty about VAT on transactions between the UK and EU. “It will be an extra concern and potentially a drain on time and money, at an already difficult time.” And as Claire adds: “Techsavvy businesses already using accounting software will find it easier than others who are not used to accountancy software – such as sole traders in rural areas, who are more likely to use manual means of VAT reporting.” Fortunately, all of our If You Ask Me contributors this month have lots of advice and tips. Claire’s include planning
ahead, shopping around and exploring all your options – and ultimately: “Speak to people, speak to your accountant (if you’ve got one) and remember that there is a lot of information available.” What tends to be most scary about change is just that – the fear factor. Over to Joanne Gilpin, of BHP Chartered Accountants: “If you think back to when GDPR compliance was all the rage, the thing that focused people’s attention was the penalties that could be potentially handed out to firms. “MTD is no different in that there are fines. However, for now, there are no plans to punish companies indiscriminately if they are able to show that they are trying to comply.” She also reminds readers that: “The first year is a ‘soft landing’ period which should
give firms time to come to terms with what is required.” Julie Robinson of Footprints Accountants is also reassuring: “Planning and preparation are key. “I’d recommend that you talk to your accountant as soon as possible, if they’ve not already spoken to you.” She also points out that the first thing you need to do is the ‘turnover test’ to see whether your tax turnover will exceed the MTD and VAT threshold. Julie also identifies a number of business categories who can opt out of MTD. But she’s reassuring – to a point! “Lastly, if you are breathing a sigh of relief because this doesn’t apply to your business, think again!” warns Julie. “MTD applies to all of us from April 2020, so it is not too early to start planning and utilising the correct software.”
e y e
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EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY BY ASH YOUNG
Our digital expert Ash Young looks at measuring the performance of your website
MEASURING PERFORMANCE In our most recent unLTD column, we looked at the importance of tracking your company’s digital activity. We also explained how you can use the insight you discover to drive business growth. One of the areas we touched on was Google Analytics, which holds the key to vast amounts of website data you can use to your benefit. How Should I Measure Performance Using Google Analytics? When you’re looking to make comparisons in Google Analytics, it’s vital to first consider whether other factors could have influenced improvements or drops in performance. Examples could be: • A particularly bad spell of weather, which has lead to
an increase or decrease in sales • Seasonal trends such as Christmas As a result of factors such as these, year-on-year (YOY) comparisons will always be more useful than monthly ones for effectively measuring growth. Which Metrics Are Most Important? There are countless ways you can use Google Analytics data. The metrics most important to measure through your YOY comparisons will really depend on your business. Examples include: Overview: Quickly assess factors such as how users engage with your site. If people land on your
homepage but then leave the site straight away, there’s a good chance they’re being put off by what they’re seeing. Or, if they’re falling off at the checkout, you might need to simplify the process. Behaviour: Access key insight such as which pages your website users are first landing on, the journey they’re taking through your site and key ‘events’ (such as form submissions). Audience: Make useful data comparisons such as which devices people are using to view your website. Does most of your traffic come from desktop, for example? If it does, there could be a reason why your mobile site isn’t performing as effectively. Traffic Source: A great
example of this in practice is digging into the referral traffic to your site from an external publication that’s promised you traffic in exchange for membership. You can quickly see whether this is happening or if they’re failing to deliver. Conversions: Once you’ve installed the correct tracking, you can measure which channels are driving revenue for you and assess which products are performing most effectively. These are just some of the many examples of things you can do with Google Analytics data. For help with installing Google Analytics or using the data it provides to take better decisions for your business, get in touch with Evoluted. Ash Young, Evoluted www.evoluted.net
22ND MARCH SHEFFIELD FUTURES SPRING BENEFIT
Venue: Hallam Hall, Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1EB Time: 6.30pm arrival Cost: £50 pp or £500 for a table of ten people About: Sheffield Futures will be holding its annual charity benefit with Lord Mayor Magid Magid. Funds raised during the evening will enable completion of the Health Zone at the Star House in Sheffield city centre, a dedicated emotional and
2ND & 3RD BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH
Venue: Cutlery Works, 73-101 Neepsend Lane, Sheffield S3 8AT Time: 11am-1pm Cost: £25pp About: A full 90 minutes to enjoy bottomless brunch. Bottomless Aperol Spritz, House Fizz or Bloody Mary. Plus any brunch or lunch main course, ordered by guests via the app. Bookings upstairs in Pop Bar. Contact: tickets available at: bit.ly/2NcWgJT
6TH BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN YOUR BUSINESS
Venue: 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield S1 2BQ
Time: TBA Cost: Free About: Do you have problems managing all the admin in your business? Do you have any processes in place to assist? Do you want your quotes to look professional and get paid on time? This workshop can help you develop a process to help and save money. Contact: 0114 224 5000 or businesssheffield @sheffield.gov.uk
7TH EMPLOYER BREAKFAST – THE
JOURNEY FROM APPRENTICE TO MANAGING DIRECTOR Venue: The Open Kitchen, Barnsley College, Church Street, Barnsley S70 2AX Time: 8am-10am
EDITORP’SICK EVENT physical health care space for the increasing number of young people in need. The evening fundraiser will include a fizz and canape reception, a four-course meal and a magician. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for organisations to purchase with all funds going towards the new Health Zone. Contact: bit.ly/2X3Dj0w or firstname.lastname@example.org. uk or call Elliot Walker on 0114 201 6609 Cost: Free About: Barnsley College will open its doors to employers to show them how apprentices can benefit their business. Attendees will hear from Michelle Bailey, managing director at Active Response Security Services, who will explain why apprentices are vital to business success and Suzan McGladdery, director of business development at Barnsley College, will provide an apprenticeship update. Contact: Visit bit.ly/2Rs1Zf5, email marketing@ barnsley.ac.uk, or call 01226 216 833
7TH EXIT STRATEGIES Venue: Mercure Sheffield Parkway, Britannia Way,
Catcliffe, Sheffield S60 5BD Time: 12pm-2pm Cost: Free About: Whether you want to sell up, hand over the reins to your management team, or simply retire, you need a strong strategy and a thorough plan before jumping ship. Contact: bit.ly/2ThWqSl
12TH HOW A CRM SYSTEM CAN FIT INTO YOUR BUSINESS
Venue: Mercure Sheffield Parkway, Britannia Way, Catcliffe, Sheffield S60 5BD Time: 7.30am-10am Cost: Free About: This masterclass will talk about ‘How a CRM system can fit into your business’. Contact: bit.ly/2SdgqZ4
14TH SOCIAL MEDIA
Venue: 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield S1 2BQ Time: TBA Cost: Free About: Tips to grow your presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Attendees must have a basic knowledge of at least one platform. Contact: 0114 224 5000 or businesssheffield @sheffield.gov.uk
20TH EMPLOYING STAFF – HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS
Venue: 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield S1 2BQ Time: TBA Cost: Free About: The workshop will address the duty of confidentiality, loyalty and the use of specific clauses in the terms and conditions of staff aimed at protecting your business, workforce and client base, now and in the future. Contact: 0114 224 5000 or businesssheffield @sheffield.gov.uk
20TH NETWALKING SHEFFIELD
Venue: Start outside Endcliffe Park Café, Endcliffe Park, Rustlings Road, Sheffield S11 7AB Time: 9.20am for 9.30am start ‘til 11.00ish Cost: Free About: #Freshair 5k Netwalk swapping sustainable business, third sector ideas and collaborations walking in the beautiful Porter Valley, followed by coffee. Boots advised, buggies and wellbehaved dogs welcome. Contact: Karen Perkins @fabcoach on Instagram/ Twitter or 07971 881251 or Rob Cole @sskdesign or 07967 365677 or email@example.com
21ST WHITE ROSE AWARDS WORKSHOP
Venue: Cannon Hall Farm, Bark House Lane, Cawthorne, Barnsley S75 4AT Time: 11am-1.15pm Cost: Free About: The awards recognise
6TH PRE-MIPIM SHEFFIELD PROPERTY AND CONSTRUCTION LUNCH
Venue: The University of Sheffield, The Edge, 34 Endcliffe Crescent, Sheffield S10 3ED Time: 11.30am-3pm Cost: £45-£75 About: This event will act as a pre-MIPIM (the large Real Estate, Construction, Property and Investment Event held in France every March) and will offer insight into the announcements that
individual businesses of all sizes for their contribution to the visitor economy in Yorkshire. Contact: 0113 3223564 or firstname.lastname@example.org
22ND BUSINESS ANALYTICS FORUM Venue: The Chimney House, 4 Kelham Island, Sheffield S3 8RY Time: 11am Cost: Free About: The forum is designed for analytics professionals to share knowledge and experience while also providing a chance to keep up with analytics technologies advancements. It’s a great chance to network with some knowledgeable people. Contact: bit.ly/2Wvfhvd or email simon.harrison @deeperthanblue.co.uk
25TH MASTER THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING
Venue: Crucible Theatre, 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 1DA Time: 1pm-3pm
Cost: Free About: Spend two enlightening and transformational hours understanding how to master the art of public speaking. Learn from the experts at Public Speaking Academy, widely regarded as leaders in their field, who have worked with some of the largest businesses and organisations in the country, as well as politicians and even royalty. Contact: bit.ly/2ANOMrv
26TH EXPLORING THE FINANCE
OPTIONS – START UP/EARLY STAGE BUSINESS Venue: 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield S1 2BQ Time: TBA Cost: Free About: For start-up/early stage businesses. Gain an insight into the different finance solutions available in the current market place as well as assessing the advantages/disadvantages of each finance route. Contact: 0114 224 5000 or businesssheffield @sheffield.gov.uk
EDITORP’SICK EVENT Sheffield City Region will be showcasing at the main event the following week. The event is perfect for those already attending the main event, for those who have never been and for those who just don’t have the time to attend this year but would still like to support the region, engage in some great networking and hear about the exciting announcements and opportunities. Contact: email@example.com
28TH CHAMBER CHARITY QUIZ
Venue: Holiday Inn Barnsley, Barnsley Road, Dodworth, Barnsley S75 3JT Time: 7pm-10pm Cost: Team of 5 £50 + VAT About: Join Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber for their Charity Quiz Night in aid of the Memory of Molly Hurst: The Young People Health and Wellbeing Fund. Contact: bit.ly/2RrSFrB
28TH PECHAKUCHA SHEFFIELD VOL#29 – ‘INGENIOUS’
7TH CBI BUSINESS DINNER
Venue: Millennium Art Gallery, 48 Arundel Gate, Sheffield S1 2PP Time: 6.30pm-10.30pm Cost: £138 About: Join the best of business at the Sheffield City Region Annual Dinner – one of the most prestigious networking evenings in the regional business calendar, incorporating a networking drinks reception, three course dinner and keynote speeches. You will be joined by 150 senior business executives at CEO/MD level, as well as local political representatives and other key stakeholders from across the region. Special guest speakers will be: John Allan CBE CBI President, Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP Chief Secretary to the Treasury (subject to Parliamentary business), Richard Flint, Chairman, Sky Betting & Gaming and Regional Chair of CBI Yorkshire & the Humber region. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
27TH UNIVERSITY TEACHING IN A
28TH CONSTRUCTION NETWORKER:
Venue: Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN Time: 6pm Cost: Free About: Neil Rackham is an experimental psychologist with an international reputation who has applied his research to many areas of business development including management training, sales and teamwork. Contact: eventsteam @sheffield.ac.uk
Venue: Carlton Park Hotel, 102-104 Moorgate Road, Rotherham S60 2BG Time: 12.45pm-2pm Cost: Members £10 + VAT / Non-members £15 + VAT About: Julie Dalton, managing director of Gullivers Theme Parks will provide an update on where Gulliver’s Valley Rotherham development is up to, the next stages of development and how local companies can get involved. Contact: bit.ly/2CTy0aP
POST-KNOWLEDGE AGE BY PROFESSOR NEIL RACKHAM
GULLIVERS THEME PARK
Venue: Millennium Galleries, 48 Arundel Gate, Sheffield S1 2PP Time: 7pm-11pm Cost: £6 / £9 About: A PechaKucha Night is a fun evening of 20x20 challenge talks, short films and great live entertainment, all exploring the show’s theme – this time is part of the ‘A Life in Drawing’ season celebrating the life and 500th anniversary
8TH INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
of Leonardo da Vinci. Contact: bit.ly/2GRl3lm
29TH PROPERTY SOLUTIONS AND
MANAGEMENT NETWORKING EVENT Venue: Open Kitchen, Barnsley College, Old Mill Lane, Barnsley S70 2AX Time: 9.30am-12pm Cost: Free About: An event for landlords to meet professionals in the industry and for help to get started as a landlord. Contact: psmnetworkingevent @gmail.com
31ST MOTHERS DAY Venue: Cutlery Works, 73-101 Neepsend Lane, Sheffield S3 8AT Time: 11am-1pm Cost: £75pp About: Jewellery making with CAST, receive a mini bottle of prosecco and £10 credit to spend on brunch or lunch at a vendor of your choice. Contact: bit.ly/2TIP6j1
Venue: Holiday Inn Barnsley, Barnsley Road, Dodworth, Barnsley S75 3JT Time: 3pm-8pm Cost: Members £34.95 + VAT / Non-members £39.95 + VAT About: Join Women in Business for their annual International Women’s Day gathering, incorporating the ATHENA International Awards. Celebrating the massive contribution that women make to our lives, in business, in the community and in family. A day to reflect, share and be inspired by people’s personal journeys, the achievements, challenges and the funny both professionally and personally. Speakers include: Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis MBE MP, Rose Dyson, founder and owner of Pura Cosmectics, Paul Hinchcliffe and Nichola Hawden of Harris & Co, Andrew Denniff and Lisa Pogson of Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commmerce, Dr Claire Thompson, Angela Hunt, founder of To the Moon and Back and Mick Hood, HR Director of Liberty Specialty Steels. Contact: bit.ly/2CMhyu5
AGENDA w: actusinsurance.co.uk e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supporting businesses across the Sheffield City Region with high quality insurance and risk management solutions including: Increased buying power
Qualified broking team of 30 staff
Property & Liability Motor Fleet Cyber / Crime
Dedicated claims support
Secure client money arrangements
Directorâ€™s Liability Credit Insurance Private Client
Health & Safety
SECURING YOUR ASSETS
BY SAM LEEDER
Our unLTD columnist steers you through a motor insurance issue
CAN A DASHCAM REDUCE MY MOTOR INSURANCE PREMIUMS? Motor insurance claims are often the most contentious and emotive, largely due to the fact that establishing who is liable is so difficult. The parties involved in an accident are pitted against one another in a ‘he said, she said’ scenario with little proof as to the actual events. So, in these circumstances can a dashcam be of benefit for drivers and insurers and are there any downsides? Driver Benefits There is significant evidence that fitting a dashcam affects the behaviour of the driver simply through the awareness of it being there. Research by the RAC found that 25 per cent of drivers felt that fitting a dashcam improved their driving. In addition, 69 per
cent of drivers involved in a contentious accident felt that a dashcam would have been useful. Certain types of cameras also face the driver and as such have a profound impact on the drivers behaviour particularly in relation to the use of mobiles phones etc while at the wheel. Insurer Benefits Insurance companies are generally looking to settle claims as quickly and accurately as possible – however, this can prove to be extremely difficult when there is a dispute over liability. This means the wrong party can end up with a claim on their record or that claims are settled 50/50 with all parties feeling disgruntled.
For these reasons the presentation of dashcam footage can significantly speed up and improve the accuracy of claims settlement. This can be used to not only remove the unintentional errors but also to reduce the incidences of fraud. Insurance companies are therefore big advocates of dashcams to reduce motor claims and significantly speed up their claims processes. Negatives There aren’t really too many negatives about the use of dashcams. You do have to be careful of the placement of it on your windscreen and the use of an LCD screen as these can be distractions, which the police could decide to pull you on.
In respect of claims it can be difficult for a single forwardfacing camera to capture all of the relevant information in an accident and, as such, be of limited benefit, but it will certainly be better than nothing. So, on the whole, dashcams are a good thing and will ultimately save you money through promoting more sensible driving and helping you to avoid claims for accidents which were not your fault. If you would like to discuss the specifics of dashcams for your business or other risk management solutions feel free to get in touch. Sam Leeder ACII Director Actus Insurance
FIVE MINUTES WITH...
GARY HARGRAVES OF SPORT:80
Gary Hargraves tells unLTD how his ‘bold’ business grew out of the ‘operational chaos’ of the traditional sports industry and shares his love of Sheffield’s sense of community among businesses (and his neighbours) like design agency 93ft and Gaard Coffee I was inspired to start my business by... My background working in the sports industry. The reality was that just beneath the glossy veneer of sport was operational chaos. The organisations that governed and organised sport used traditional methods of working, including paperheavy processes which led to widespread inefficiencies. This side of the industry was also being under-serviced by technology – there weren’t really any solutions in the market that solved the problems I experienced day-in day-out. I saw an opportunity to fill this significant technology gap.
with us, but my Chairman at Brentford Football Club and close friend Ron Noades gave me some of the best advice. Something that will always stay with me is, “Trust everyone for the first £50 and after that its everyone for themselves”. What he meant by this was not to let other people persuade you down a path you’re not comfortable with, and that you should always trust your instincts. The worst advice I ever got was… That one of the best ways to raise capital as a growing business is to take a company public early on in its life. If you’re good at what you do, there are always other opportunities for funding which may better suit your business and its growth.
My favourite thing about running my business is… It’s definitely the people I work with. We are very fortunate to have a team like ours and I know it sounds clichéd, but we are more of a family than colleagues. They are big part of why I enjoy coming to work every day. The three words that best describe my business are… Innovative, knowledgeable and bold. Innovation is at the heart of everything we do, and it drives us forward. Through our work we also soak up a lot of knowledge and pass this on to our clients as added-value. We are also bold when it comes to decision-making – it is a characteristic that has fuelled the success of the business to date. Sheffield City Region is a great place to start a business because… I think one of Sheffield’s greatest assets is the sense of community among businesses, and the willingness to help
GARY HARGRAVES OF SPORT:80
one another. We are based in Kelham Island where we are surrounded by plenty of innovative and up-and-coming businesses. Wherever possible we look to work with the businesses on our doorstep, whether that’s buying a coffee over the road at Gaard, knocking on Timm Cleasby’s door to get professional headshots for the team (the image used in this piece is his handy work), or working with 93ft to deliver website projects for our clients.
I was recently told Sheffield has been recognised as the third best place in the world to start a digital business, and it’s no surprise. The city is always really well connected – we’re in touching distance of Manchester and Leeds, and London is only a couple of hours away on the train. The ease of which you can get to other major cities from Sheffield makes it a prime location to capitalise on opportunities all over the country, and beyond.
Sheffield City Region is a great place to grow a business because…
The best advice I ever got was… Unfortunately, he is no longer
The organisations that have supported me and my business include… The early-adopters of our technology who all took a leap of faith. We owe a lot to the likes of British Fencing, Archery GB and BISFed who all saw the potential of Sport:80 and placed their trust in us. The main challenges facing my industry/sector are… We service an industry that is going through a transitional period, particularly when it comes to the use of technology. Solutions like ours inevitably lead to change for the organisations that adopt it, and dealing with the fear of change, or behavioural change, is undoubtedly the biggest hurdle for these organisations. In 5 years’ time I expect my business to… Be recognised as the global leader in our field.
A REYT GOOD
WELCOME Welcome to Yorkshire celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. unLTD’s Peter Kay grabs a quick brew with chief executive Sir Gary Verity to look back over the past decade It’s coming up to five years since the Cote de Midhopestones, Cote de Bradfield, Cote d’Oughtibridge and Cote de Jenkin Road were added to the map of the Sheffield area. Vivid memories remain of the spectacle of the Tour de France Grand Depart speeding from York to Sheffield, with big and enthusiastic crowds cheering the world’s top cyclists. An impact survey estimated that 1.5m home and overseas spectators watched this second stage of the race and 380,000 people lined the final 22 miles of the route that ended at the Sheffield Arena. Sheffield alone is thought to have reaped at least £11m in spin-offs, mainly through accommodation, food and drink, souvenirs and clothing, shopping, cycling shops, transport and supplies to event organisers. Across the whole of Yorkshire, the figure is put at £102m. And what a showcase. TV coverage reached 180 countries, highlighting the glorious countryside that much of the route passed through in July 2014. The passage of time confirms a memorable and rewarding experience for all concerned, not least for Welcome to Yorkshire.
For the destination management agency – a rebooting of the Yorkshire Tourist Board in 2009 – it was a notable success in its ambition of making the county the most popular destination in the UK for business and leisure and securing the significant economic benefits. Latest figures value tourism at £8bn to the Yorkshire economy – up 14 per cent from 2011 – on the back of award-winning campaigns and national and international recognition. So, as it approaches its tenth anniversary in April, Welcome to Yorkshire has plenty to celebrate. As does, individually, chief executive Gary Verity, the man who persuaded the French to bring their national sporting treasure to the north of England and who continues to sell the Yorkshire story to tourists around the world. A year after the race, he was knighted for services to tourism and the Grand Depart. Then, in 2017, France’s National Order of Merit recognised not only his commitment to hosting
the race, but the legacy he has created through the annual Tour de Yorkshire, encouraging thousands of people to get into cycling. The event takes place this year from May 2 to 5 (with stages in Barnsley and Doncaster) while the latest coup is to host the UCI Road World Championships from September 21 to 29 (with Doncaster on the circuit). It will be the first time that Britain has hosted the championships since 1982. World class cycling continues to bring benefits to all corners of Yorkshire and has given Sir Gary and the tourist agency a platform from which to further promote a new and dynamic view of the UK’s largest county in stark contrast to outdated stereotypes of flat caps and whippets. “We are all about supporting business – helping businesses to fulfil their potential,” says Sir Gary. “There has been a lot going on over the ten years. It’s been incredibly packed and the profile of Yorkshire has never been higher.
There has been a lot going on over the ten years. It’s been incredibly packed and the profile of Yorkshire has never been higher.
“If you had said ten years ago we are going to do all this stuff you would not have believed it. “Look at the growth in the value of the economy, to £8bn, and the amount of jobs we have created across the whole of Yorkshire.” Based in Leeds, Welcome to Yorkshire has 6,000 members ranging from small B&Bs and hotels to local authorities, large tourist attractions and companies keen to be part of the Yorkshire brand. With a budget of £3m, funds come from membership fees (varying according to the size of business), local authority contributions, partnerships with a variety of organisations and some government grants. In Sheffield, for example, members of its Y 30 Members Club include Irwin Mitchell, Sheffield United, Sky Betting & Gaming and Dransfield Properties, owners of the £50m Fox Valley retail and commercial development in Stocksbridge, which hosted the climax of the Tour de Yorkshire in April 2017. It’s an opportunity to lock into marketing, social media
for business development and research, access suppliers in the tourism and hospitality businesses and to connect with venues ranging from purposebuilt convention centres to country houses. “We can drive footfall to businesses,” says Sir Gary. “Over 12m people visit our website every year.” That website lists the reasons for UK and overseas residents to visit Yorkshire, and many are obvious – the grandeur of York and Harrogate, 2017 Capital of Culture Hull, the internationally renowned Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the charming East Coast resorts and, not least, the natural glories of the Dales and the North York Moors. So where does that leave South Yorkshire? Sir Gary points to a list of locations in the Sheffield area that are promoted by Welcome to Yorkshire. “Sheffield Theatres, the Arena, Meadowhall, Fox Valley, Kelham Island …” In the 2018 White Rose Awards – the largest awards
ceremony in the UK tourism and hospitality industry – Brocco on the Park at Hunters Bar in Sheffield won Small Hotel of the Year. The Large Attraction of the Year was Cannon Hall Farm in Barnsley and the Small Attraction of the Year Grimm & Co, which encourages children to develop their writing confidence and skills, in Rotherham. The Millennium Gallery was the most visited free attraction in 2017, according to Visit England, in the same league as the National Railway Museum in York and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster was second in the list of paid for destinations, only behind Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo And let’s not forget that one-third of Sheffield is in the Peak District National Park – and the park is regarded as very much part of the overall picture, with its own section on the Welcome to Yorkshire website. “Sheffield is the only city in the UK to have a national park
within its boundaries,” says Sir Gary. “We always promote three national parks not two – the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors and the Peak District.” So there is no marginalising of South Yorkshire. After all, Sir Gary adds, “Yorkshire county cricket started in Sheffield and you can’t get anything more Yorkshire than cricket!” Another success story to shout about is the awardwinning Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster. “The Yorkshire Wildlife Park wasn’t here ten years ago. It’s celebrating it tenth anniversary on April 4, the day after us!” Welcome to Yorkshire will review the first ten years and reveal its latest strategy for the county, including the Sheffield City Region, at its conference at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, the venue where it was launched, on April 3. It’s very much a case of flying the flag for the whole of Yorkshire. “We are just as relevant if you are on one of the boundaries or if you are in the middle.”
Unsurprisingly, the Grand Depart springs immediately to mind as one of the highlights of the first ten years. Sir Gary was pondering what sort of game-changing event could put Yorkshire on the map. He has said he has his best ideas while shaving – and they didn’t come much better than this. After the Olympics and the World Cup, the biggest world event is the Tour de France – and Yorkshire had the cycling heritage as well as the hills and stunning scenery to see it fend off rival bids from Florence, Barcelona and Edinburgh. Sir Gary recalls the day it came to the south of the county. “Having the Tour de France with the finish in Sheffield which was just remarkable. If somebody had said we are hosting the world’s largest annual sports event in Sheffield you would have laughed at them.” Whatever the conference announcements on April 3, cycling will remain high on the agenda. “The Tour de Yorkshire is well-established. That’s big.
The World Championships will be another big one. Again the world is coming to Yorkshire.” Live BBC coverage will take the Championships – and Yorkshire – into homes in 190 countries. It’s not just elite cycling, though. Welcome to Yorkshire is a partner with Cycle Yorkshire in Yorkshire Bank’s Bike Libraries scheme which sees unwanted bikes being donated and loaned to children and families. “There is the vision of being the first place in the world where every child has access to a bike, and we’re well on the way.” If Yorkshire is now firmly established on the international cycling calendar, the RHS Chelsea Show offers another annual high profile opportunity to spread the word. Last year an authentic recreation of a slice of the Yorkshire Dales – think Wensleydale cheese, buttercup meadows and dry stone walls – won the agency’s garden a gold medal, best construction award and the BBC People’s Choice. The 2019 show will include
a garden designed to capture the beauty of Yorkshire’s canals and drama of its rich industrial heritage. And so the selling of the county goes on, with renewed purpose. Sir Gary believes that Welcome to Yorkshire will be more relevant than ever postBrexit. “People need to know that Yorkshire is at the top of its game and we are on a roll. It’s all about momentum.” He relishes the challenge, and his achievements to date have not gone unnoticed, to the extent that media speculation put him on the radar as a candidate for chief executive of the Premier League. The Leeds-born businessman, 54, joined Welcome to Yorkshire in 2008 following a career as a corporate turnaround specialist in the City of London. His first job was as a management trainee with Barclays, and the bank is now a corporate partner of the agency, helping to support the region’s SMEs. He returned to Yorkshire, where he has a sheep farm
It’s not a job, it’s a mission. It’s a privilege to do this role, leading the organisation and representing the greatest county in the world.
in the Dales, when his wife, Helen, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. His success in leading Welcome to Yorkshire is based on an all-embracing approach – binding to maximum effect the identity and advantages of a county that has a bigger population than each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and tapping into the vein of the Northern Powerhouse. “It’s not a job, it’s a mission,” says Sir Gary. “It’s a privilege to do this role, leading the organisation and representing the greatest county in the world. “The work that the whole team has done is something they can be proud of.” With lambing underway, there is always the sheep farm to help act as a counterbalance to the rigours of promoting the county around the globe. “The sheep keep me sane! They are not interested in who you have been meeting or what you have been doing. They stand on your foot! They are a great leveller!”
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FIVE MINUTES WITH...
THE SALES MINDSET COACH Steve Knapp, The Sales Mindset Coach tells us why he ditched retirement – and corporate talk – to launch his sales training and coaching business I was inspired to start my business by… A failed attempt at retirement! I chose redundancy after an amazing 23 years with Shell International. I spent the first months kicking back and relaxing but I soon got bored. I initially set up the Steve Knapp Sales Consultancy to help medium to large companies develop sales processes. But what really got me excited was the idea of making my vast experience relevant to smaller businesses. The idea is now to also run The Sales Mindset Coach sales training business. My favourite thing about running my business is… Not having to speak in corporate talk! I honestly believe people didn’t have a clue what I was talking when I first came out of ‘retirement’. Needless to say I don’t use words like holistic and synergy anymore. The three words that best describe my business are… Accessible, relevant and actionable. Sheffield City Region is a great place to start a business because… I have the privilege of living in the Peak District with just a 30 minute drive to get me to Sheffield city centre. And if I need to be in London I can be there in just over two hours. Perfect! Sheffield City Region is a great place to grow a business because… I can feel how much energy and diversity in business there is. It is a region on the up and it’s a privilege to be a part of it! The best advice I ever got was… See your work as a game. Set out
STEVE KNAPP, THE SALES MINDSET COACH
to enjoy it, practise to get better at it and above all help others first because it will pay you back. The worst advice I ever got was… This is more of a word of caution. My worst advice came via a bad choice of advisor. There are so many business coaches out there. Ensure you ask for references and referrals before you spend your money and take the advice. The organisations that have supported me and my business include…
In this first year its been more the smaller business owners and the networking events of Sheffield City Region that have supported me. A big shout to The Firm and latterly The Power Hour. Moving forward I’m working much closer with Sheffield Chamber of Commerce. The main challenges facing my industry/sector are… I see them more as realities and opportunities. More shopping and buying is now done online and our consumer experiences now influence our professional
expectations. AI has started to touch us everyday and inform our decisions. Data is being used to guide our choices and what we see. Being cognisant of these things means you not only survive but thrive. In 5 years’ time I expect my business to… Be pretty much the reference point for the region’s smaller business owner when it comes to sales. Perhaps a franchise or who knows – maybe I’ll have sold the business and I can start that retirement for the second time!
A Q&A WITH KEYSTONE Property investment can be difficult to navigate, says Desmond Conway, Keystone Property Group CEO. Here he tells unLTD how the company try and make it as simple as possible for investors and prospective clients How is Keystone’s approach different? One of the biggest tasks that investors face is finding good developers and projects to put their money behind. The same goes for developers finding investors. Essentially, Keystone make this process easier and quicker for both investors and developers by bringing the two parties together to create opportunities, mainly in the private rental sector, robust enough to meet the demands of the market. Both investors and developers benefit from this new kind of relationship, through development acquisitions and developer level returns, respectively. Why the private rental sector? More people than ever before are choosing to rent, with 20 per cent of all UK households living in the private rental sector, a figure that’s forecast to rise to 25 per cent over the next couple of years. People, therefore, need quality and secure private rental accommodation in which they can enjoy a relaxed lifestyle and be part of a community. The purpose-built rental complexes, in which we specialise, provide that. For investors, the private rental sector is source of passive income, growth, and high yields. What are some of your projects? At the moment, our headline product is the recently launched flexible loan note which lets investors take control of their investment by giving them a choice of term length, growth or income options, and bonuses. Hadrian’s Tower in Newcastle is a project that
DESMOND CONWAY, KEYSTONE PROPERTY GROUP CEO
has received attention across the media, as the iconic structure is set to become the city’s tallest building. It’s an incredible opportunity for buyto-let investors, that promises up to seven per cent annual net rental yield. Our other private rental sector projects have included Middlewood Plaza in Salford, Westminster Works in Birmingham, and Silbury Boulevard in Milton Keynes. What are your proudest achievements? Over the last few years, Keystone has grown significantly due to the dedication of the team we have in place across all areas of the business nationally and internationally. The team’s commitment to our mission to innovate the way people invest has delivered investors yearly
accumulative total returns of 45 per cent in 2017 and 63 per cent in 2018. We’re incredibly proud of the hard work that’s gone into delivering the high returns our investors want, and opening doors to exclusive opportunities. What’s in Keystone’s future? What we think makes Keystone special is our promise to place our clients at the heart of our business and create an innovative investment experience with immense benefits. Last year was our biggest to date, with the completion of three projects and investors seeing average returns of 21 per cent. In 2019, we aim to continue changing the way people invest and finding the best opportunities and securing
high returns for investors. However, we’re also going to be pushing ourselves to deliver even more, seeking exclusive new prospects. Already this year, our partners have made new acquisitions and our investors have gained access to unique and exciting high-quality projects. We also have plans in place to begin our own development in Sheffield, which we hope to be finalised in the near future. Keystone is also becoming a larger part of the Sheffield community, having recently joined Sheffield Chamber of Commerce. We’ll also be running in the 2019 London Marathon to raise funds for a fantastic local charity, Age UK Sheffield. We’re incredibly optimistic and enthusiastic about 2019, and beyond.
MIPIM March is MIPIM month – the world’s leading property market in Cannes. unLTD’s Jill Theobald caught up with the Sheffield City Region Executive Team before they swap South Yorkshire for the south of France to showcase the region on a global stage
MIPIM 2019 runs from Tuesday 12 March to Friday 15 March, and the world’s leading property market, held at Palais des Festivals, is set to welcome more than 26,000 participants from over 100 countries. And jetting off to join them from Doncaster Sheffield Airport will be the Sheffield City Region delegation. Established in 1990, MIPIM offers delegates the chance to meet the most influential players from all sectors of the international real estate industry, worldwide. The 2019 Sheffield City Region delegation will be made up of private and public-sector businesses from across our region including Harworth, Scarborough Group, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Atkins, Finnegan’s, Strata, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Sheffield, Sheffield City Council, Doncaster Metropolitan
Borough Council, Irwin Mitchell, BE Design, David Lake, Bond Bryan, Litton Properties, Verdion, IBI Group, ASK4, HLM Architects, and Arup. MIPIM is billed as giving ‘unrivalled access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide’ and the SCR team will be hosting events across the four days, from their exhibition stand in the Palais and centrally-located apartment and HQ on Rue de Serbes. The SCR delegation will have plenty to showcase, too, not least SCR Mayor Dan Jarvis’ vision for a Global Innovation Corridor (GIC) which is set to be a major focus. Sir Nigel Knowles, special advisor on international trade and investment to Mayor Jarvis, explains: “As we build our vision for a Global Innovation Corridor, connecting people, places and ideas, MIPIM provides an excellent opportunity to
engage with international partners from the outset – and invite them to share in that vision. “MIPIM provides an annual opportunity to pull the best of the private and public sectors in our region together and unite to show the world what makes us such an attractive place to live, work and invest in.” Focused around the SCR’s research and design assets and cutting-edge partnerships with two world-leading universities, the GIC will be a global magnet for people, industry and innovators. It aims to grow the region’s advanced manufacturing, wellbeing and digital clusters, underpinned by reliable, green and highly-connected transport infrastructure, as laid out in Mayor Dan Jarvis’ transport vision. The GIC will link assets such as the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, the University
of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, the National College for High Speed Rail, Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre and Doncaster Sheffield Airport. Added Sir Nigel: “At MIPIM we have a packed programme of events lined up, headed by talented and inspirational speakers from the top of their respective industries. “We will also be talking about SCR Investible Opportunities Portfolio that build upon our strong heritage of innovationled manufacturing and engineering. With ambitious masterplans, concrete proposals and development finance in place across the whole city region, our message at MIPIM will be very much that now is the time to join us on our journey of transformation.”
SCR MIPIM KEY EVENTS – WHAT’S ON AND WHO WILL BE THERE? Housing the Powerhouse, SCR Breakfast Event @ SCR HQ In an area of outstanding natural beauty with vibrant towns and cities and excellent transport connectivity, SCR offers a high quality of life and is attracting global manufacturers. Chaired by Scott Cardwell, Assistant Director for Development at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council. Speakers: • Ben Derbyshire, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) • David Cross, Chairman of Coda Studios • Keith Sands, Client Director, Atkins • Duncan Armstrong Payne, Associate Director Mayor Projects, Harworth • Danielle Gillespie, General Manager, Homes England North Discover SCRs Global Innovation Corridor @ SCR HQ A panel discussion showcasing the Mayor’s vision for the City Region and consider how you can be part of delivering the GIC. Chaired by Sir Nigel Knowles, International Advisor, Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership. • Alan Vallance, Chief Executive of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) • Victoria Merton, Director of Corporate Affairs, Peel Group • Iain Thomson, Head of Communications & Investor Relations, Harworth Group • Walter Boettcher, Chief Economist, Colliers International • Roger Holman, Senior Regional Manager, Department for International Trade • Professor Roger Eccleston, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Global Engagement, Sheffield Hallam University
Innovation led Growth Lunch Event @ SCR HQ University led research and collaboration has driven economic growth and development in the SCR. Join us to discuss future investment and collaboration opportunities between academic, public and private partnerships. Chaired by Sir Nigel Knowles, International Advisor, Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership. • To be co-hosted with Nick Shepherd, Operations Director, Kiers Northern • Amy Casterton, Chief of Staff, Homes England • Keith Lilley, Director of Estates & Facilities Management and IT, University of Sheffield • Professor Roger Eccleston, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Global Engagement, Sheffield Hallam University Unlocking Growth in the Northern Powerhouse Reception @ SCR HQ Join the debate about the importance of transport infrastructure to unlock economic growth, jobs and investment in the North at a session focusing on driving economic growth across the Northern Powerhouse. Chaired by Victoria Merton, Director of Corporate Affairs, Peel Group • Peter Henry, Regional Director, Yorkshire and Central, Harworth • Chris Williamson, Weston Williamson, RIBA Vice President International • Paul Kitson, General Manager, Homes England • Anna Heaton, Addleshaw Goddard • Rachel Fisher, Deputy Director for Regeneration and Infrastructure, Infrastructure Investment | Cities and Local Growth Unit
Over to just some of the SCR businesses who are involved this year to tell unLTD why MIPIM is the place to be: Owen Michaelson, CEO at Harworth Group plc, said: “Land and property-related businesses in the region should not underestimate just how important MIPIM is in establishing and refining potential deals and cultivating new relationships. Being part of a wider delegation helps this process and we recommend others join us in sponsoring the region to promote its assets and expertise.”
Sheffield Hallam University’s director of estates Daniel Ladbury said: “MIPIM provides us with an invaluable opportunity to showcase this work to a global audience and champion the Sheffield City Region as a strong proposition in which to live, work, learn and invest.” Matt Hutton, associate director at Bond Bryan, said: “Property is a ‘people business’ and MIPIM offers the spontaneity of engaging in discussions, informal meetings and chance encounters in a relaxed atmosphere – with the added bonus of taking place in an incredible setting.
Overall there is a universal openness to new people and opportunities which is really refreshing and is reflective of the confidence within Sheffield at the moment – It’s a truly exciting time for the region.” Stephen Oakden, director of BE design, said: “MIPIM provides delegates with the chance to network with clients and partners, building new connections with a global outlook – as well as promote inward investment. We are looking forward to having the opportunity to showcase the expertise we have to offer and how this can
further benefit Sheffield and the exciting work taking place here.” Atkins (a member of the SNCLavalin Group) client director Gary Ireland said: “In July last year, Atkins opened a new office in Sheffield and we’re now even better placed to deliver to clients across the region. Our new office is a global hub for engineering excellence at Sheffield’s digital campus and demonstrates our commitment to, and confidence in, the city and city region.”
Need more info? Check out SCR’s online Investible Opportunities Portfolio: www.portfolio.sheffieldcityregion.org.uk And more about SCR Invest here: www.scrinvest.com
OPENING THE DOOR TO SUCCESS Vision Windows are the leading supplier of uPVC, aluminium and composite doors, windows and conservatories across Yorkshire. They tells us more about their business and their ‘vision’ for the future
How was your company formed? We’ve been manufacturing aluminium and uPVC windows and doors for over 20 years, we’re based in Sheffield.
£100 each year with their energy bills by choosing our energy-efficient windows and doors, we’re proud to offer grade A and B rated windows, which are the first and second highest ratings available.
Tell us all about your company. Bifold Network is one of the UK’s leading trade suppliers of Smarts aluminium bifolding, patio, entrance doors and windows. We provide comprehensive technical support and an incredibly fast turnaround. This means that our customers are guaranteed to have products they want for when they need them. Our customers can save over
What sets you apart from your competitors? We offer a fast and reliable delivery which is available throughout the whole of the UK. It’s delivered by our own experienced delivery team; our lead times are just two to three weeks. We’ve managed to build up a loyal customer base by supplying products that help our customers win sales, by keeping our customers ahead of the competition they’ll increase
their sales. They stay as loyal customers because we help each other keep ahead of the competition. We’re one of the lead suppliers of Kommerling and Smarts window and doors and we manufacture and supply composite doors and Aztec conservatory roofs across Yorkshire. We operate out of modern production facilities which boast the best manufacturing machinery available. What are your company’s latest products/services/ successes? One of our popular products is the Ultion Lock which comes as standard with all of our doors. When you look at how
quickly an experienced thief can break a standard lock, you can see why we ensure a safe and secure lock on all of our doors. The lock has been approved by the police and has double anti-snap protection with 11 pins, which is twice as many as standard locks. What are your company’s goals for the future? We’re aiming to be the nation’s number one trade supplier of aluminium windows and doors. Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 01142 313 133 www.vision-windows.com
TAKE SOME TIME FOR TECH Leanne Robinson principal account manager at DB Systel UK Limited tells us why you should attend tech meetups…even if you’re not technical!
Over the past few years technical meetups have appeared everywhere and Sheffield is no exception. In Sheffield we have meetups covering a diverse range of technical topics and they’re definitely not all about coding. We have meetups covering Cloud Computing, Machine Learning and Digital Leadership to name just a few. They’re usually free or low cost to attend and are organised for the mutual benefit and learning of those who want to attend. Those who attend meetups are there on their own time and come from a range of different backgrounds, all having different experiences. What’s more, is that everyone is there because they want to participate in the community, learn and share their knowledge. A typical meetup usually consists of two or three presentations on topics that are of interest to the group. Speakers range from those who are speaking for the first time to those who are very experienced but they’re all passionate about the topic they’re presenting. There is always time set aside for informal networking with other attendees as well. You don’t have to come from a technical background
LEANNE ROBINSON OF DB SYSTEL UK LIMITED
or be in a technical role to benefit from attending a meetup. Neither do you have to be an expert in any field. Meetups bring together people of all experience levels and those who are subject matter experts are usually happy to help those who are less experienced develop. Networking is a great opportunity to learn about what others are doing, how
they’re using the technology in the real world and how they’re innovating in their organisation. You may leave having heard different perspectives and take away new ideas and inspirations. If you don’t, you’ll come away knowing a bit more about a technology and have an expanded network of contacts. Be prepared to speak about your business challenges and the problems that you’ve been unable to solve. Also think about what you can contribute to the community and how you can help others to get a leg up. It can be difficult to attend an event for the first time, especially if you’re attending alone and don’t yet have connections to the other attendees. If you’re not comfortable attending alone lookout for buddying schemes where an experienced meetup attendee will take you under their wing and introduce you to the community. Of course, while there are meetups established for many technologies there might not yet be one for the technology that you want to learn about, so why not start it yourself. All you need a space to meet and a few people who want to talk about the same subject.
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CHARITIES Our round-up of some of the great work charities are doing in the city business region – and the companies that are doing their bit to support them
COMPANIES RISE TO MASTER CUTLER’S CHALLENGE The region’s top companies are rising to the challenge of supporting two of South Yorkshire’s most popular charities with the Master Cutler’s Challenge. The annual event sees businesses sign up to use their entrepreneurial skills and teamwork to make as much money as possible for charity. This year’s Challenge, headed by Master Cutler Nick Cragg, is raising money for St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield and Rotherham Hospice. And many of the 85 companies participating were present at the launch night at the historic Cutlers’ Hall, where they received the £50 starter investment that they will now have to turn into as much cash as possible. “The focus of the Challenge will be on the hospices’ community programmes,
JOANNE RACE (LEFT) AND AMY RYAN (RIGHT) BOTH OF OMNIA PROPERTY GROUP
taking their outstanding work out into the wider community and enabling them to support so many more patients and
their families,” said Master Cutler Nick explained. “We need the Master Cutler’s Challenge 2019 to have as
high a profile and visibility as possible but we can only do that with the business community’s support.”
Volunteers have brush with team building Volunteers from accountancy and consulting firm Grant Thornton Sheffield took a day out to lend a hand to young people’s charitable organisation In2Change South Yorkshire Ltd.
Working out of In2Change’s new centre in Rutland Hall, the team, armed with rollers and plenty of paint, did their bit to help with the renovations. The volunteering day
was set up by local charity South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF) which works with local businesses to help them give back to the communities they work within.
Kim Hanson, wealth advisory assistant manager at Grant Thornton, said: “It was an excellent team building day, and very satisfying to help such a worthwhile organisation.”
Big quiz a huge success for ‘invaluable’ charity Benchmark’s Big Fat Quiz saw more than 90 business friends pit their wits and raise £2216.56 for Cavendish Cancer Care. Benchmark operations manager Rebecca Morris visited the team to deliver a giant cheque to the charity’s senior development manager Emma Draper who said: “We are so grateful for the support Benchmark have provided with their fundraising over the past year and are thrilled with their commitment to helping families in our community who are affected by cancer. “These funds will go towards
providing vital services at Cavendish Cancer Care, so that we can continue to improve the quality of life for people living with cancer.” Benchmark’s Rebecca Morris said: “Our annual charity quiz is one of the highlights of the Benchmark calendar and we were delighted to be able to choose Cavendish Cancer Care as our charity of the year in 2018. “The charity provides invaluable emotional support to people affected by cancer and we were keen to support and promote the fantastic service they offer.”
REBECCA MORRIS, LEFT AND EMMA DRAPER OF BENCHMARK RECRUITMENT
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
with an optional sponsored charity sleep out, under the stars
8TH JUNE 2019 DON VALLEY BOWL SHEFFIELD. DOORS 12-30PM - CLOSE 11PM FEATURING
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TICKETS £20 ADULTS | £10 JUNIORS (8-15 YEAR OLD) UNDER 8'S FREE | SLEEPOUT TENTS £25
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TICKETS: WWW.MOSBOROUGHMUSICFESTIVAL.CO.UK SLEEPOUT PITCHES: WWW.ARCHERPROJECT.ORG.UK (PLEASE NOTE YOU NEED ALSO NEED A TICKET WITH A PITCH)
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YOUR PITCH Your Pitch is an opportunity for start-ups to tell everyone about their business. This issue we meet Ermes Giummarresi, founder of Era’s Chocolate, an Italian artisan bakery inspired by his childhood in Sicily
ERA’S CHOCOLATE ERMES GIUMMARRESI OWNER OF ERA’S CHOCOLATE
Tell us about your business – sell yourself! I am an Italian trained pastry and sous chef with a passion for all things beautiful. I developed Era’s Chocolate in 2018. It is an Italian artisan Bakery based in Sheffield selling the finest of cakes and pastries. I like to evoke all the human senses for those who buy my cakes, the look of the cake is as important as the taste. I use the finest of ingredients – all cakes and pastries can be customised according to the taste and food tolerances with all of the cakes being gluten free. I cater for events such as parties and weddings and I am able to work creatively with customers' requirements.
I also sell my cakes at local artisan markets in Sheffield, Derbyshire and Manchester. What gave you the idea for your business? With plenty of competition among the supermarkets and chain cafes selling cakes, I wanted to create something unique. I had been creating desserts in restaurants I worked in and had gained expertise and I knew I was ready to develop something of my own. Era’s Chocolate was inspired by my childhood in Sicily and time spent with my grandmother who was my inspiration for the business. Who are your customers and how are you targeting them?
I like to evoke all the human senses for those who buy my cakes, the look of the cake is as important as the taste.
My customers vary from those that may purchase from an artisan market as a one-off to returning customers who regularly place orders for themselves. I have also got a number of loyal customers who require large orders for events they are hosting and who want to have a dessert that is unique from anything that can be purchased in the shops. How can people get in touch with you? I can be contacted through: Website: www.eraschocolate.com Email: Eraschocolate@gmail.com Instagram: @eraschocolate Facebook: Era’s Chocolate
SLIME PARTY UK Ruby Sheldon from Slime Party UK tells unLTD how, with a helping hand from Launchpad, she went from a mum who hated slime to making slime – and became an ‘accidental entrepreneur’
Tell us all about your company: It started last April – my children were making slime and basically wrecking my house! So, I thought instead of banning it, like a lot of parents do, if I learn to make slime with them, that would be better. My daughter asked if she could have one of her friends round to do it for her birthday and that’s where we got the idea. So, the mum who hated slime was now making slime! I thought well if we’re going to make it then we can make it pretty, so we started adding scents in so it would smell nice. I started a little Etsy shop as I was on maternity leave at the time and then I exhibited at a little local event which went really well. Within a month we were booked up into 2019! We now sell all over the world and have a big workshop where we produce it all. We work with global toy brands hosting slime parties, have held slime events in amazing locations including The Berkeley in Knightsbridge and we work with a lot of families all over the UK – it’s just gone a bit mad! I’ve always said that I’m a bit of an accidental entrepreneur. It was just something to do for the children during the holidays, I didn’t realise what a niche market it was. People were looking for slime parties and searching online so when I got the domain Slime Party UK it just went from there. How has launchpad helped you? Because I didn’t realise what a big business it was going to be when I started, I soon had to look for new premises, and
fantastic, plus organisations like Launchpad which I wouldn’t have known about. What are your hopes and aims for the business? We’re constantly expanding our events now, we’ve been asked to go to Dubai in the next year! We’re all over the country here, too, so carrying on with that. We’re hoping in the next few months to do a massive campaign and to hopefully have our products in shops.
RUBY SHELDON OF SLIME PARTY UK
after speaking to the team that deal with property enquires at Barnsley MBC I was put in touch with Ben Hawley at Launchpad who said: ‘We’re available if you need any help’. They signposted me to people who deal with HR and accountants because I had to set up a payroll for staff and things like that, so for all the business side of things I didn’t
know about, they’ve been really helpful. What do you think of the Sheffield City Region as a place to start a business? Well, I can only really talk about Barnsley which is where I am – it’s been brilliant. There are workshops available to rent through the council, they’re
Launchpad Business Advisor Ben Hawley said: “Ruby has done an amazing job in growing Slime Party UK, and while she calls herself an accidental entrepreneur, you only get this level of success and growth with being willing to take calculated risks and grab opportunities with both hands when they present themselves. Ruby is a great example of how something that starts as a hobby or pastime, can grow in to a really successful business. “Starting and growing a business is not easy and that’s why the Launchpad programme was created. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and our partners means there is no cost to the entrepreneur, so we can get straight to work on turning those dreams into reality. “Stop dreaming and do it.” Contact us for information now on 03330 00 00 39 or email: growthhub@ sheffieldcityregion.org.uk
BOOMERANG EMPLOYEES When a member of staff left a company, it used to be that door was shut behind them for good. Now, with the rise of ‘boomerang employees’, it turns out that door is actually more of a revolving one – as unLTD’s Jill Theobald can herself testify to…
COMPANY CULTURE MIKE LASKEY, CONTENT MANAGER AT DIVA CREATIVE Before I moved to Nottingham, all my copywriting and comms experience was on the agency side. I’d never focused solely on a single organisation’s marketing before. I found a client-side role and while it wasn’t what I expected – the commute was almost as long as it would’ve been staying at Diva – it did give me some new perspectives. I saw the comms challenges that large organisations like some of our clients deal with first hand, which now helps me anticipate their initial concerns and priorities better. Working in a different city and sector definitely made me a more well-rounded copywriter.
AMANDA PEARCE, DIRECTOR AT DIVA CREATIVE
On the face of it, international brands like Microsoft, Dell, JPMorgan, and Deloitte might not appear to have much in common with homegrown Sheffield City Region companies like Tufcot, Redbrik, and Diva Creative. But taking a second look, it turns out that they are all benefiting from the trend of ‘boomerang employees’ – where companies themselves are taking a second look at former members of staff, cultivating a relationship with those ‘alumni’ and, in some cases, welcoming them back. Traditionally, business leaders tended to think if someone had left, that was that – they’d gone for a reason, either personal or to do with the company at that time. But times change. As do companies. As do people. I am currently on my second stint at HR Media, the company that publishes unLTD with Meze Publishing, and unLTD’s editor Richard is also a boomerang HRM staffer, so we definitely know the benefits from an employee perspective! A Forbes magazine article,
meanwhile, highlighted key benefits from the business owner’s point of view including company culture (‘you already know exactly how former employees fit in at the organisation, and how they worked with numerous individuals’), and cost-saving because former employees ‘take less time to reach their full productivity capacity’ – plus the recruitment costs can be significantly reduced compared with unknown applicants. Returnees also, say Forbes, ‘bring back fresh perspective. If an employee was wooed to a company because they saw an opportunity to advance their career, then they’ve gained valuable experience during the time they were gone’. So it’s no surprise, then, that as company culture evolves, it brings with it a revolving recruitment door. We chatted to five companies about their ‘boomerang staff’ as well as the employees themselves to find out why the boss’s door really should always be open…
It was great to welcome Mike back to Diva, and obviously there are plenty of benefits as an employer when someone returns to the business. For starters, we knew that he’d fit straight back in with the team and our culture. It’s naturally a quicker process than hiring someone entirely new, as you don’t have to allow time for them to get up to speed with how you work. Essentially, both parties know what they’re getting! I think Mike’s time away also gave him plenty of extra experience in new areas of marketing – a big positive for us.
COMPANY CULTURE ZOE ROBERTS, TAX PARTNER AT BHP Leaving BHP in 2004 was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I’d joined in 1998 as a trainee after graduating from the University of Sheffield and, like so many students, I wanted to stay in the city. Working for a national company in my new role taught me many things – some good, some bad – but when I returned to BHP in 2008 I had gained valuable experience in several different areas. I’d heard BHP were looking to expand their tax team so it was great opportunity to ‘come home’ – the decision to be part of the BHP family again was a very easy one.
JOHN WARNER – MANAGING PARTNER, BHP Zoe started at BHP as a trainee and quickly became a valued colleague with obvious potential for a long and successful career with us, evidenced by the national prize awarded to Zoe when she qualified as a Chartered Tax Advisor. So I was disappointed when she left the firm but keen to wish her well for her new challenge.
We appreciate that sometimes you can only experience certain aspects of our profession by working elsewhere and we were certainly aware that Zoe was rapidly expanding her knowledge in key areas. However, I was delighted when we were able to welcome her back to BHP. Zoe is a hugely respected figure in our industry, and she is very important to the culture we have here.
GEORGE GORDON, NEW HOMES SALES MANAGER, AT REDBRIK ESTATE AGENTS I first worked for Redbrik when the company was just starting and even then, I knew I was part of something exciting. Even when I left to go travelling in 2016, I kept in touch with the amazing team and it’s been fantastic to watch the company grow over such a short space of time. Everything I know about estate agency, I learnt from working at Redbrik so I knew that when I returned home there was only one company I wanted to work with. When I saw they were hiring for a new homes sales manager position, I jumped at the chance to apply.
MARK ROSS, MANAGING DIRECTOR AT REDBRIK ESTATE AGENTS We were sad to say goodbye to George when he left in 2016 – he was one of the first employees we hired at Redbrik and he played a big role in helping us develop the business when we first launched. It was an absolute pleasure to welcome him back to Redbrik as part of our New Homes team. As soon as he interviewed for the position, I knew we would hire him again – he embodies the Redbrik ethos and really understands what we want to achieve as a business. He’s jumped straight into his new role, taking this new challenge in his stride – it’s as if he never left.
The SCX Group was founded in Sheffield in 1972, consisting of three complementary businesses that specialise in lifting, mechanical handling, control and automation solutions. SCX is probably best known for doing the iconic retractable roofs at Wimbledon, and the retractable pitch for Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium.
In the same year as being given the Made In Sheffield mark, and the RoSPA Gold Award for safety, SCX is delighted to be named ‘Large Business of the Year’ at the 2017 Sheffield Business Awards.
Our work creates local jobs and generates new business for our suppliers. And the SCX Academy works closely with Sheffield’s AMRC to grow today’s apprentices into tomorrow’s engineers.
Find out more at scx.co.uk
COMPANY CULTURE JOEL HUMPHRIES, CNC MACHINIST AND INSPECTOR AT TUFCOT I started at Tufcot as an apprentice six years ago before becoming a CNC machinist. After four years, I was especially interested in working with steel more, so when the opportunity arose to become a CNC milling machinist elsewhere, I took it. But I didn’t enjoy my new role – the environment was pretty poor, there weren’t any company benefits, and the workforce wasn’t welcoming.
RICKY WATSON, CNC PROGRAMMER AT TUFCOT After working as a CNC programmer for 12 years I wanted to gain some new experience, and jumped at an opportunity to get involved with another company. Sadly, I was promised a lot of stuff that didn’t happen and in my new role I would work solely on one machine for months at a time. I did gain some new skills, though, and learned a lot from working with different machines and new materials. Coming back to Tufcot, I felt quite excited as it was like being reunited with a little family. The management is a lot more open, too.
When I went back to Tufcot as a machinist and inspector after just a month, I found I had a new outlook. I had a much more positive attitude to my work, I respected how the company treated us and felt more valued. I’d tell anyone now in the same position that if it feels right, then go back. It’s about being happy with where you are working.
GREG MAJCHRZAK, MD AT TUFCOT If I were to interview for their roles again, I’d come to the same decision because Joe and Ricky have a great set of skills. They chose to leave because they were trying to better themselves and we’d never stand in the way of an employee doing that – we want people to always be improving. It’s also been beneficial for us, because they worked with different materials and got to learn different ways of machining which they can teach to other employees.
KIM PAYNE, GREENSIDE COURT HOME MANAGER, EXEMPLAR HEALTH CARE I first came to Exemplar as a newly qualified nurse in 2006, where I was given the opportunity to progress within the service to unit manager. I left after six years to gain external experience and have a family, but as part of my new role(s), I was still visiting Exemplar, where I ultimately
knew I would return to one day. After gaining five years’ experience as a regional manager, a position became available at Greenside Court, which is where I am today. I absolutely made the right decision to return to the place where my career started and look forward to my future here.
BERNADETTE HINCHCLIFFE, REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, EXEMPLAR HEALTH CARE When Kim came for interview she explained she had worked at Greenside previously and she had left to progress her career. In doing so, Kim further developed her knowledge and management skills. Her clinical experience and knowledge were impressive, as was her desire and passion. She has demonstrated time and time again her appointment was the right decision for Exemplar Health Care and Greenside. We are looking forward to seeing Kim’s career flourish.
FROM TURNING POINTS TO TURN-AROUNDS From fisherman to telecoms technology – Jason Denmark tells unLTD how he revitalised a 21-year-old Sheffield firm (and the lessons learned from notorious retailer Philip Green) Jason Denmark has worked in highly pressured retail roles. He put “everything” on the line for a business he saw had potential and wanted to turnaround. But a six-week stint on a fishing boat 37 years ago remains etched in his memory. Jason is chief executive of The Templand Group of companies including ITI Network Services, ITI Electrical Services and Newline Communications. The telecommunicationsfocused businesses are on course for a record year. Jason has increased group turnover to £6 million, from
£1.6m when he and business partner Steve Clarke bought what was a struggling firm with a talented workforce out of CVA (creditors’ voluntary arrangement). Jason, aged 52, joined ITI, formerly IT Installations, in 2015. After years in retail he wanted new challenges closer to home. An introduction to its founder led to Denmark turning the business around. But his varied career all began on a fishing boat, the Mhari-L. “As punishment for my dismal O-level performance my parents sent me to Scotland aged 16. My cousins
fished for scallops and I worked on their boat for six weeks. It was the hardest job I've known. I knew life at sea was not for me even before I was bitten by a dogfish. “The sad story is six months later the boat went down and was never found. My family believed it was hit by an American submarine, although it was never proven. My cousins Stuart and Keith and all seven crew were lost at sea. “If I had taken to working on the seas we probably wouldn’t be here discussing this.” When Jason returned to Yorkshire, he pursued a
musical career, playing bass guitar in band Count Dante for five years alongside working as a registered mental nurse until “I just lost faith with the system”. So aged 21 he needed to make a decision. “My father said, ‘you're a failed musician, you're at a crossroads in your life, what do you want to do?’ “I didn’t have any idea, until my father saw an advert in the Daily Mirror for a company called What Everyone Wants.” The firm told Jason they would mould him into a retail manager for the family business, “with massive expansion ambitions.
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They went from 80 to nearly 200 stores within 18 months. And I oversaw the store opening teams. It was a great experience.” Then everything changed – “a person entered my life who I will never forget, Philip Green. He bought What Everyone Wants.” What was Green like? “He was a hungry entrepreneur. You had to admire his numeracy, tenacity and negotiation prowess. He was a hard taskmaster and had a significant presence at every board meeting.” What about recent allegations concerning Green’s behavior? “I never saw or heard of any questionable behavior at the time. He was basically an aggressive, unrelenting retail entrepreneur.” Jason learned one key lesson from Green. “He always had three or four senior people around him who were aligned to his thoughts and requirements. His front bench! And those people are still with him today.” He worked for Green for 15 years. “Latterly I was parachuted into companies he had bought to turn them around. It stood me in good stead for years to come.” A call from a retail financial director led to Jason joining Greenwood’s, a menswear firm which had been bought out of administration by Chinese business Bosideng. After a year there he was tasked to open a store in London for Bosideng, involving
I was working extensively abroad and decided I needed to do something nearer my family buying and developing land and building a brand. The timescale was tight: Bosideng’s chair wanted the new store to open in time for the London Olympics. Denmark managed the planning, design and build of the new seven story building, and the creation of the new fashion brand. The store opened on time – “but it nearly broke me,” he says. “I had worked flat out to turnaround Greenwood's and also built the brand Bosideng in the UK. I recall flying home from Venice in 2014 with my wife. I said ‘I don't want to be in retail anymore.’ I was working extensively abroad and decided I needed to do something nearer my family.” Another turning point. But what to do after 28 years in retail? “Effectively I had nothing planned to go to. But the owner of IT Installations, as it was then, asked me to look at a turnaround opportunity.”
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Jason examined the business and bought its liabilities, bringing it out of CVA. “I wasn’t a telecoms entrepreneur. All I knew was how to turn a business around. But my business partner and I could see there was an exceptional team.” Jason and business partner Steve Clarke concluded a management buyout in June 2016. Was he concerned about the risk? “Absolutely. But it had a brilliant workforce and blue chip client base. So, in Yorkshire terms, I took a punt. I believed in this business, but everything my family had saved for needed to be put up as personal guarantees. That was a tough call.” The business had faltered under previous ownership. Banks had lost confidence, clients were leaving. But
with renewed support through Jason’s and Clarke’s involvement: “Clients returned, thanks to people in the business. We started to build a new client base. We rebranded the business. And by early 2017 we were winning bigger contracts and decided to look at acquisitions.” That led to a merger with a Sheffield-based business to create ITI Electrical Services. An acquisition of infrastructure fibre installer, Newline Communications, followed in 2018. So, he must be happy he took that punt? “Yes. But when everything you've built is absorbed into one business entity, you make sure every penny is spent wisely. We were fortunate that the banks, suppliers and customers were very supportive.”
The hard times had put a lot of pressure on key staff. “The first thing we did when we acquired the business was to reward the three main people who had worked tirelessly through those dark days with shares. They are still with us today.” Back to that formative lesson from Philip Green about a ‘front bench’. “That's been invaluable. We have people within this business who ultimately are my front bench, they have protected and served the business extremely well.” What about the future? “There's buoyancy in telecoms but across the industry we have started to notice a capability gap. We are investing a significant sum into developing the skills of our teams to take us into diverse areas within telecoms. We want to increase the
number of PAYE staff to 50 across the Group.” The business works with many nationally-known names including BT, Fujitsu, Telefonica, 02 and Talk Talk and aspires to collaborate more in the region. “Particularly becoming a Patron of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce has opened up "massive opportunities.” What next? “In a few years’ time I hope the existing management team will undertake their own buyout to take the Templand Group to the next level. But I’d still like some involvement, I'm not one of these people who looks forward to being put out to pasture! “Working hard is all I have done since I was 16 and it’s something which will be hard to give up. I live for the pursuit of achieving personal and professional milestones.”
THE ULTIMATE OUT OF OFFICE?
Faye Smith, MD of Sheffield-based Keep Your Fork PR and Marketing tells unLTD that a two-week holiday is ‘too weak’ – and shares the life-changing joy of a mini retirement Have you got one of those Sasco-type annual planners with everyone’s leave on it in garish vinyl strips staring at you from your office wall as you read this? And there are your holidays marked – a week off at Easter. It’s about as late as it can be this year, so you know it’s going to seem a bl**dy long wait from
dark, miserable debt-laden January through to the end of April. Then there’s two weeks in the sun in the kids’ summer school holidays. Roll on the year you won’t be forced to pay triple the price and endure the packed roads and pool-sides to take that well-earned break – sorry, ‘family time’. Then another four months
before a week of ‘enforced togetherness’ at Christmas. And you wouldn’t mind, but by the time you get to these wellearned ‘rests’, you are usually so exhausted by doing all the work in advance (especially if you are self-employed or freelancing), or dreading what you’ll be coming back to, you end up spending the first part of
the break being ill and the latter unable to unwind and enjoy. Sound familiar? Meantime in your daily life, you are spinning all the plates, juggling teen angst, menopause or ‘meno-Porsche’ health issues, TAT (‘Tired All The Time’) syndrome, parents’ increased needs and more. No wonder Gen X are knackered,
on the verge of burn-out and wondering if this is what life’s going to be like until we stagger through post-Brexit Britain to uncertain pensions and late sixties retirement – if we are lucky. Is there an alternative we whisper over a well-earned Friday G&T? What if those poxy few days spent anxiously checking emails, struggling to switch off before gearing up for re-entry could be re-imagined into something much more significant? Well, there is an alternative according to multi-million bestselling author of ‘The Four Hour Work Week’, Tim Ferris. Ferris calls it a ‘mini-retirement’… and reader, I took one! “The mini retirement is not an escape from your life but a reexamination of it. The creation of a blank slate,” claims Ferris. “It’s an anti-vacation where you relocate to one place for one to six months before returning home. It’s not a one-time event, it’s a recurring lifestyle. “Rather than seeking to see the world through photo opportunities between foreignbut-familiar hotels, we aim to experience it at a speed that lets
it change us. This takes time. The effect is not cumulative, and no number of ‘too weak’ sightseeing trips can replace one good walkabout.” And how long should the ideal ‘mini retirement’ be? “It takes two to three months just to unplug from obsolete routines and become aware of just how much we distract ourselves with constant motion, to disincorporate old habits and rediscover yourself without the reminder of a looming flight,” says Ferris. Not possible, you cry. Well, here’s my challenge and experience. Difficult yes? Impossible no! Worth it – incalculably. Those eight weeks were undoubtedly the absolute best of my life and have changed me and my business for ever. In 2011, my children’s father died suddenly at 48, and two years later on the same day, unbelievably my 12- year old daughter Gabi had a rare seizure and died. Unsurprisingly, these deeply traumatic experiences caused me to completely reevaluate my life. As a self-employed single parent in a hugely challenging recession, I had been on the
The mini retirement is not an escape from your life but a re-examination of it. The creation of a blank slate.
treadmill of endless work and supporting two bereaved children for fourteen long years when Gabi died. I recognised that those first six weeks off work (which were effectively ‘crowd-funded’ through the generous support of my friends, family, church and business community, for which I will be forever grateful), would only be the start of a grief journey. I decided I would live my daughter’s dream and keep my promise to take Gabi to visit her friend Martha whose family had emigrated to Australia eight years before, in her memory. I was also keeping a promise to myself, my one ‘bucket list’ must, to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef – a vow I had made as a nine-year-old watching ‘Life on Earth’. In January 2016, exhausted, unfit and facing my 50th birthday, I walked onto a plane for the first time ever on my own…and took off for Australia via three days in Singapore for two months solo travelling, putting my business in the hands of my most trusted associates. My son had just left home for university, so we agreed I would fund the trip by selling our family
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We all know it… but it’s true, nothing changes if nothing changes
FAYE’S STEPS TO TAKING A ‘MINI RETIREMENT’ home and moving into rented accommodation, until downsizing on my return. I had never been travelling. Never had a Gap Year. Never had an adventure. Now, whether I was camping in remote eco resorts, reflecting with nuns on an Abbey silent retreat, or Air BnB-ing my way round Tasmania, my eight weeks travelling became a time for taking stock, re-orientating, re-envisioning my life and a chance to grieve again for my daughter away from the usual cycles of work and life busy-ness. This was eight weeks to attend to my mind, body and spirit. From the Southernmost tip of Tasmania with nothing between my boat and the Antarctic, to the tropical coral atolls of the Great Barrier Reef, I had the best eight weeks of my life. Hiking to waterfalls through rainforest at the top of an extinct volcano, being entranced by The Barber of Seville in the world-renowned opera house, exploring aboriginal art in
Melbourne’s galleries, floating among short eared terrapins on the world’s largest sand island are just some of the memories I will treasure forever. Snorkelling trailing green turtles, manta rays, sharks and tropical fish in kaleidoscopic colours on the barrier reef was the highlight of my trip and every bit the bucket list moment I had dreamed of. Returning to chilly Britain at Easter 2016, I had learned to delegate and trust my team to an unprecedented level. Every client had stayed with us, new clients lined up to join us and Keep Your Fork grew 50 per cent the following year as I worked on the business, rather than just in it. Now I am planning my next mini retirement to New Zealand. And telling everyone I meet what my friend Claire told me I learnt to be so very true: ‘you can do anything if you have a big enough why’. We all know it… but it’s true, nothing changes if nothing changes. Go on – dare greatly and plan that life-changing break.
1. Save up or sell stuff! Work out a rough cost for the trip and to cover your own time in your business. 2. Cut your outgoings while away. Could you rent out your car and home for those months? 3. Train up your team. Get procedures in place and ensure they know exactly what to do in key situations. 4. Tell your clients what’s happening and who will look after them. Every client was carefully matched with an expert project manager. 5. Brief suppliers from accountants to bank and IT, who they can refer to and what their authority limits are. 6. Cover yourself legally, for example insurance and NDA-type contracts. 7. Keep connected. I photo-blogged my way round Australia through Facebook so everyone could follow my journey through social media and our newsletter. 8. Plan your trip but be flexible. I was blessed to have a ‘skeleton’ of my eight weeks organised by my friend in Australia around which I arranged accommodation and trips. 9. Leave time to settle back into the routine and catch up with your team.
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TAKING BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH LEARNING A taste of the Cooper Sessions at Sheffield Technology Parks – a series of bespoke talks for small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to take their business to the next level In the last issue I talked about the launch of the Cooper Sessions, our new year-long programme of fireside chats and working lunches with tech entrepreneurs and experts designed to give digital start-ups and business leaders practical advice and ideas. In this edition, I am pleased to report on the success of our first sessions… Lunch and Learn with leadership and management expert Elizabeth Shassere The focus for our first Lunch and Learn was taking stock and looking ahead to make 2019 a successful year, with Elizabeth Shassere, author of ‘Becoming a fearless leader: a simple guide to taking control and building happy, productive, highly performing teams.’ Elizabeth focused the session on helping entrepreneurs ‘overcome any feelings of self-doubt or complacency which may hinder their performance’. She emphasised how important it is to use a model as a basis for self-assessment and handed out her tried-andtested scoresheet for taking stock. Attendees had to score themselves honestly on a scale of one to ten for six different elements which make up the foundations of a business. This was a great opportunity to take a step back from the everyday pressures of running a business and reflect on the all-important basics, identifying specific areas for improvement. It was also a chance to gain a deeper understanding of personal and team performance and
SHEFFIELD TECHNOLOGY PARKS MANAGER TOM WOLFENDEN
set out a clear vision for 2019. As one attendee said: “It was helpful to put mind to paper and visually see where improvements need to be made.” Fireside Chat with Jamie Hinton, CEO of Razor In our first fireside chat, we focused on how you move from running a side project while in employment to creating a start-up. We learned that it takes time to build up examples of successful work before going solo, and it needs a vision for how to employ
staff from the outset. Razor started life in the evenings and weekends alongside Jamie Hinton’s full-time role as Head of Technical Development at Technophobia. Jamie managed to balance both his full-time role and his freelance work for four years before formally registering the company and leaving Technophobia. He was motivated by his grandfather’s advice: “If you turn your passion into a job, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Co-founder Steve Trotter brought complementary skillsets which helped the business to flourish. Jamie and Steve built up enough of a buffer so that they could forego their own pay for a certain amount of time in order to hire their first employee. They now have a team of approximately 20 employees and an everexpanding portfolio of work, helping companies to use technology better. Find out more about the Cooper Sessions and book onto our next sessions here: www.shefftechparks.com
Lee Wright, director of New Phase LED, tells unLTD how “an honest approach” has seen the company bag work with city hotspots including Pina and Ambulo
How was your company formed? The company was formed by me nearly 18 years ago. After working for other companies, both good and bad, I decided to go it alone implementing only the positive attributes I had learnt. It started with me, then one employee, then two … and currently up to more than 14 employees! Based at Lion Works in Kelham Island, we cover areas including Sheffield, Rotherham, Leeds, Manchester and Doncaster. What sets you apart from your competitors? A mix really! A wide variety of knowledge and experience, an honest approach to our work with the customers’ interest at heart. A dedication to the customer or project with continuing after service. All of our employees go above and beyond what’s
asked and take personal pride in all work carried out. Our aim is through implementing LED lighting we can reduce energy, running and maintenance costs (often up to 60 per cent) while providing functionality. Stunning visual effects can be achieved by providing the right amount and type of LED lighting. With over a decade’s experience, all of our qualified engineers have built up a vast knowledge of LED products and placement. This gives us a leading edge in designing installations, providing the right type of lighting and achieving maximum efficiency without compromising an effective lighting system. Who is your key audience/ market? It’s quite a varied one. We can be fitting wireless
alarms one day and working in substations on industrial estates the next and everything in-between. We’ve been doing a lot in the leisure industry refitting bars/restaurants including Honeycomb Bar, Pina, Ambulo at Millennium Gallery, and Public in the last few months to name just a few. What are your company’s latest products/services/ successes? Other than bars and restaurants – which we get great satisfaction from – we have a commitment to saving the environment and our customers’ money. We’ve installed voltage optimisers at Showcase cinema saving thousands of pounds a year to replacing LED light fittings in schools and hand dryers for YHA across the country.
What are your company’s goals for the future? To continue as we are. We’ve made the mistake in the past of taking on too much work too quickly and not providing our customer base the level of commitment we’ve built our reputation on. As a company, its more important to us to carry that on – providing the best service we can rather than just make a few more quid! New Phase LED Sheffield Design Studios, Lion Works, 40 Ball Street, Kelham Island, Sheffield S3 8DB Email: email@example.com Tel: 0114 281 3692 0114 281 3692 Web: www.newphaseled.com Facebook: @New Phase LED Twitter: @NewPhase9 Instagram: @newphaseled LinkedIn: New PhaseLED
PINT March is Sheffield Beer Week so what better reason* for us to go on a pub crawl of the Sheffield City Region’s breweries? *Like we need an excuse… 74
A SELECTION OF THORNBRIDGE BREWERY’S BEERS
Brew Foundation Address: 18 Jarrow Road, Sheffield S11 8YB Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 11.30am-11pm Social Media: Twitter: @BrewFoundation Facebook: @BrewFoundation About: This father and son business strives to create the most drinkable beers on the planet – located in the popular Sharrow Vale area of Sheffield and with each pint leaving you wanting more, this brewery is one not to be missed. Saint Mars of Desert Address: The Brewery, 90 Stevenson Road, Sheffield S9 3XG Opening Times: Fri: 12pm-8pm Social Media: Twitter: @beerofsmod Facebook: @stmarsbrewery About: Located in Attercliffe, this small family-owned brewery stands in the spot where old brewing tradition and modern savvy collide. If you’re looking for good quality, local beer then you have found your spot. Thornbridge Brewery Address: Buxton Road, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1GS
Opening Times: Mon-Tue: 9am-5pm Wed-Thur: 9am-6pm Fri: 9am-8pm Sat: 10am-8pm Social Media: Twitter: @thornbridge Facebook: @thornbridgebrewery Instagram: @thornbridge About: You just can’t beat a good ol’ fashioned brewery – Thornbridge took off all the way back in 2005 with just two young brewers using a simple second-hand 10-barrel kit in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall. With 350 industryrecognised awards under their belt today, keep an eye out for all their latest craft beer creations in 2019. Abbeydale Brewery Address: 8 Aizlewood Road, Sheffield S8 0YX Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm Sat-Sun: CLOSED Social Media: Twitter: @AbbeydaleBeers Facebook: @AbbeydaleBrewery Instagram: @abbeydalebeers About: A home-from-home brewery based in the heart of Sheffield, even its name was inspired by the steel city as it’s named after the district which
runs along Sheffield’s Sheaf Valley towards the old abbey. There’s nothing better than a busy brewery and that’s exactly what Abbeydale is – they produce a colossal 220 brewers’ barrels per week of around 15 beers at a time to keep their thirsty customers happy. Bradfield Brewery Address: Watt House Farm, High Bradfield, Sheffield S6 6LG Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 8am-4pm Sun: CLOSED Social Media: Twitter: @Bradfield Brew Facebook: @bradfieldbrewery Instagram: @bradfieldbrewery About: Bradfield Brewery have gone up in the world, from milking cows to making beer! Based in beautiful Bradfield at the Peak District its brewers didn’t want its cows to be left out so have named some of their beers after their breeds of cattle – one of which is their best seller Farmers Blonde. Bradfield Brewery is only set to get bigger and better. Kelham Island Address: 23 Alma Street, Sheffield S3 8SA
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm Sat-Sun: CLOSED Social Media: Twitter: @KelhamBrewery Facebook: @kelhambrewery Instagram: @kelham_island_brewery About: Back in September 1990 Kelham Brewery made history in becoming the first new independent brewery in Sheffield in almost 100 years. Fittingly, the brewery was built in the beer garden of the Fat Cat on Alma Street and with the real ale industry booming, Kelham Island has become a hot spot for drinking, meaning only continued success is on the cards for Sheffield’s oldest brewery. True North Address: 47 Eldon Street, Sheffield S1 4GY Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm Sat-Sun: CLOSED Social Media: Twitter: @TrueNorthBrewCo Facebook: @truenorthbrewco Instagram: @truenorthbrewco About: It might be hard to believe but what was once an old disused warehouse turned into one of Sheffield’s top venues which then resulted in
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a top-notch brewery. With True North ‘brewery’ doesn’t simply mean ‘beer’ – True North now have ten successful venues, including a brewery, a gin distillery AND a coffee roastery. Exit 33 Address: Unit 7, 106 Fitzwalter Road, Sheffield S2 2SP Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm Sat-Sun: CLOSED Social Media: Twitter: @exit33brewing Facebook: @Exit33Brewing About: Exit 33 is fairly new to the brewing trade starting back in 2008 and has slowly since developed, rebranded and expanded. As a small and independent brewery, the team pride themselves on the journey they’re undertaking, not simply the results. All their beers are served unfiltered and made with natural ingredients meaning every pint is uncompromised. Neepsend Brew Co Address: Unit 1-3, Lion Works, Mowbray Street, Sheffield S3 8EN Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm Sat-Sun: CLOSED
THE TAPPED BREW CO.
Social Media: Twitter: @NeepsendBrewCo Facebook: @neepsendbrewco Instagram: @neepsendbrewco About: Neepsend Brew Co are constantly changing their range of beer in cask and ecokeg, keeping their customers on their toes. Established in 2015 they are relatively new to the brewing industry and try and keep their beers simple yet effective – no glitz and glamour, just quality beer. Sheffield Brewery Company Address: Unit 111, JC Albyn Complex, Burton Road, Sheffield S3 8BT Opening Times: Visit www.sheffieldbrewery.com for open brewery tour dates. Social Media: Twitter: @sheffieldbrewer Facebook: @SheffieldBrewery Instagram: @sheffieldbrewery About: Its location is probably more well known for its world famous ‘Blanco Polish’ but nowadays it’s gaining fame from producing a range of award-winning real ales such as Seven Hills and the Sheffield Porter. Despite this, the brewery tries to recognise the building’s roots and produce a
core range of ‘Finely Polished Beers’ named after the polishes made in the building where the brewery now resides. Tapped Brew Co Address: The Tapped Brew Co, Sheffield Station, Sheaf Street, Sheffield S1 2BP Opening Times: Sun-Thurs: 11am-11pm Fri-Sat: 10am-12am Social Media: Twitter: @TappedBrewCo Facebook: @TappedBrewCo About: The Sheffield Tap is not the company’s first bar but what better place to open than the beer capital of Yorkshire. Tapped Brew company’s aim has always been to stand the test of time by keeping their finger on the pulse and creating the kind of bars its clientele want to drink in. To stand the test of time means not being like everyone else, so the brewery offers beers you can’t get in the same county, let alone in the pub down the road. Toolmakers Address: 6-8, Botsford Street, Sheffield S3 9PF Opening Times: Visit Facebook page for more details Social Media: Twitter: @ToolMBrewery
Facebook: @Toolmakers Brewery About: This brewery keeps things close to home and is situated just round the corner from the pub it supplies its beers to – The Forest. Their easy to recognise ales are slowly making themselves around Sheffield pubs, meaning the brewery beers are being recognised further afield than ever. Hopjacker Address: The Old Siblings, 91 Chesterfield Road, Dronfield S18 2XE Opening Times: Mon-Thurs: 4pm-11pm Fri: 3pm-12am Sat: 12pm-12:30am Sun: 12pm-10:30pm Social Media: Twitter: @HopJacker Facebook: @HopjackerBrewery About: Hopjacker isn’t any old brewery – it’s a new and progressing microbrewery based at the Dronfield Arms free house where they produce hop forward beers using only the best specialist malts and hops from around the world. Their career is off to a ‘hopping start’!
Home to Mozart and one of the biggest, best preserved medieval castles in Europe, Salzburg in Austria is one of the most ornate cities in Europe – there’s more to Salzburg than you might think says unLTD’s Emma Blackburn 78
Surrounded by mountains and renowned for its baroque architecture, the landlocked country Austria is home to Salzburg, a vibrant and culture-rich city. Frequent flights are around two hours in duration from Leeds Bradford Airport, making it the perfect city for a short stay to satisfy your wanderlust on a budget, or just to break up the grind of the working week. Earning its spot on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1997, Salzburg is a city of great historical value with plenty of festivals and things
SALZBURG to do all year-round. Make the most of Salzburg with the Salzburg City Card for admission to loads of tourist attractions in the city as well as plenty of discounts for other events in Salzburg like concerts and excursions. Becoming world-famous after film ‘The Sound of Music’ was released, visit during the coldest month of January to be a part of Mozart Week. It’s the perfect time and place to immerse yourself in classical music throughout the festival, which is how Salzburg earned its nickname ‘the city
of music’. If you’re looking to escape the grey clouds of the UK, Salzburg boasts a second musical event called Salzburg Festival which takes place in the summer, so you can soak up the culture as well as the sun. Mountains are dotted around the city which gives visitors the chance to see aspects of nature that you just don’t get in the UK. It’s a great opportunity for hiking and skiing depending on what time of year you visit. If you’re looking for something that’s more slow-paced, walking
Earning its spot on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1997, Salzburg is a city of great historical value...
tours around the city are extremely popular. It’s the perfect way to learn about the history and to enjoy the famous architecture that the city has to offer and to learn why it’s been dubbed the ‘Rome of the North’. Throughout the city you’ll find many chefs waiting for you to sample their tasty dishes that are traditional to Salzburg, so if you’re a big foodie, you’ll definitely want to visit Das Magazin. It is split into areas featuring a bar, vinotheque, a delicatessen and finally the restaurant.
Archer Project Abseil!
In partnership with
Sunday 12th May Owen Building Sheffield Hallam Uni £15 Per Person Reserve your place now archerprojectabseil2019. eventbrite.co.uk Participants are encouraged to raise at least £100 in sponsorship.
Join us! Rise to the challenge on a fantastic Summer’s day adventure in the heart of the city and help raise money for the homeless and vulnerable.
Charity Reg No — 1064818
PICTURESQUE MIRABELL GARDENS WITH VIEWS OF THE HISTORIC FESTUNG HOHENSALZBURG
The restaurant itself is located underground, the rustic and stylish feel of it makes it the perfect place to enjoy good food and fine wines. With the bar just in the entrance it’s the perfect meeting place to wait for the rest of your party while you sample the local drink. The restaurant serves delicious food and specialises in international cuisine, so there will be something for everyone. This is one gourmet experience you don’t want to miss out on. Salzburg boasts being home to one of the biggest medieval castles in Europe – Festung Hohensalzburg. It’s one of the best-preserved fortresses in the world, situated on a hillside over the city, and easily accessible using the funicular ride. The still-functioning funicular was built in 1892, making it the oldest in Austria (don’t worry – it’s been renovated since then) and can
One of the greatest examples of Salzburg’s infamous baroque architecture is the Mirabell Palace
get you up to the fortress in just 54 seconds. Or if you fancy a nice stretch of the legs, the castle is accessible by foot in about half an hour depending on where you’re walking from. Every Sunday at 11:45am the Trumpeters Tower perform a fanfare, and the music can often be heard from the tower all the way into the city below – so best to keep your earplugs in if you’ve been out drinking the night before... Or you could embrace the music by attending the Salzburg Fortress Concert, which includes a three-course meal taking place in the actual fortress with panoramic views of Salzburg below. All of this amazing scenery and great food is followed by a concert in the Golden Hall which will feature the music of Mozart and many other great composers. One of the greatest examples of Salzburg’s infamous baroque
architecture is the Mirabell Palace. Its name is derived from the Italian words ‘mirabile’ and ‘bella’ meaning ‘amazing, beautiful’. Looking at the palace, anyone could see that the name is very fitting. Home to the Mirabell Palace are the worldfamous Mirabell Gardens, considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. It’s not difficult to see why so many couples choose to get married in the palace each year, especially in May which is known as ‘the month of love’. The stunning marble hall in the palace and colourful gardens make it the perfect place to evoke Insta-envy on all your friends back home. Salzburg is the perfect place to go with your friends, family or partner. So, pack your bags and your camera and make sure this is your next destination for your weekend escape.
The event was first established in
Make sure you don’t miss 2019’s leading international property market. The annual MIPIM conference is the world’s premier real estate event, gathering players from all sectors of the property industry from across the globe for four jam-packed days of all the networking, learning and transactions you can possibly handle. This year’s event will be held on 12-15 March at the Palais de Festivals in Cannes, France.
MIPIM brings together professionals from
If you’re somehow still not convinced, we’ve put together some building blocks on all the facts and figures for you in this month’s Number Crunch:
, 3 350 360 30TH COMPANIES More than
This year marks the
keynote and speakers present at the event
4,500 Around 5,400 investors come along
The event holds an annual MIPIM awards ceremony, and has given out 165 trophies over the years
There are over
100 different conferences to attend
people come to participate in MIPIM every year
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