JANUARY 2021 | ISSUE 34 | FREE | UNLTDBUSINESS.COM
With the dawn of a new year, unLTD pledges to continue celebrating and showcasing the strength, resilience and positivity of our Sheffield City Region business community
WE CELEBRATE THE OFFICE HEROES WINNERS â—? FIRST UNLTD PODCAST GUESTS ANNOUNCED
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28 COMPANY PROFILE: HRM PR | CREATIVE
46 THE UNLTD PODCAST
50 FISHTANK ON REINVENTING BHPâ€™S DIGITAL PRESENCE
54 CELEBRATING THE OFFICE HEROES WINNERS 4
56 ASH YOUNG ON E-COMMERCE unLTDBUSINESS.COM
INSIDE... 6-9: News A round-up of news in the region, including Vivid’s new Performance Marketing team, and Redbrik Estate Agents and Urbana Town Planning form an exclusive partnership. 10-11: Appointments All the latest appointments from around the Sheffield City Region. 19: Skills Focus The Source Skills Academy says act fast to access apprenticeship incentive. 31: Transport SYPTE ask if it’s time to re-think the journey to work. 32: Question Your Thinking Whyy? Change on transforming business through collaboration 33: Launchpad Volkstech Limited tell us how Launchpad is helping them steer and grow their business 35: SCR Working Win Free service helps employees to stay and thrive in work.
36: Sheffield BID The Sheffield BID team on going to ballot for its second term in March. 38: Sheffield Chamber The changing face of business leadership in the city.
EVERYTHING ELSE: 13: The Diary 15: Financial Health 17: Entrepreneur Support 21: Legal Matters 25: Securing Your Assets 27: Technology 62: Charities
DAWN OF A NEW YEAR Our cover strapline says it all – ‘With the dawn of a new year, unLTD pledges to continue celebrating and showcasing the strength, resilience, and positivity of our Sheffield City Region business community’. From day one, that has always been unLTD’s mission. Following on from an incredibly tricky and trying 2020, we said in our welcome in the December magazine that ‘the spirit of the business community has not been dimmed’. And as we head into a new – uncertain – year, we renew that pledge to our readers. We will continue to shine a light on the strength and success of businesses across our region. That power of positivity is reflected throughout our January magazine – check out regular columnist Raj Shah of Blue Wealth’s article on page 15 as he shares how financial planning can be about giving money purpose – and ultimately be a force for good. Meanwhile on page 33, the founders behind Volkstech Limited in Rotherham – who started their business after being made redundant from a dealership – tell us how help from Launchpad is helping them steer and grow their new business. After we found out all about their awardwinning re-branding skills for City Taxis in our November issue, Fishtank are back detailing their journey reinventing the digital presence of Yorkshire and Derbyshire accountancy firm, BHP. And publishers of unLTD, HRM PR | Creative, has been on a journey of its own during the past 18 months after a change of ownership and guiding its clients through the communication issues a pandemic brings. Read more from page 28. And speaking of our good selves, the new year will see us take the next step on OUR journey – after the magazine, the website and our social channels, we officially launch the unLTD podcast! Our producer James Marriott says ‘we are going pretty big from the word go’ – you can read lots more from page 46. Here’s to a prosperous and productive new year for all our readers and the business community as a whole in 2021. And whatever the year brings, unLTD will stay on our mission and continue with our pledge of positivity!
@UNLTDBUSINESS UNLTD BUSINESS UNLTDBUSINESS EDITORIAL Richard Fidler email@example.com Jill Theobald firstname.lastname@example.org General email@example.com 0114 252 7781 ADVERTISING Dan Laver firstname.lastname@example.org 07867 313995 Phil Turner email@example.com 07979 498034 General firstname.lastname@example.org FINANCE Michael Johnson email@example.com DESIGN Simon Waller, Simon Garlick and James Martin CONTRIBUTORS Joe Bamford Chris Coates Jo Davison Allie Dransfield Mike Durham Dax Keeling
Sam Leeder James Marriott Raj Shah Ian Snow Helen Williams Ash Young
unLTD is published monthly by Blind Mice Media Ltd Unit 1B Rialto, 2 Kelham Island Square, Kelham Riverside Sheffield S3 8SD and HRM PR| Creative Unit 1A Speedwell Works, Sidney Street, Sheffield S1 4RG The views contained herein are not necessarily those of Blind Mice Media Ltd and HRM 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 HRM cannot take responsibility for contributors’ views or specific listings.
School workplace tours go virtual in Chesterfield Virtual tours of businesses operating in Chesterfield’s engineering and manufacturing sector will ensure young people in North Derbyshire continue to learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers during the pandemic. Tours of three Chesterfield businesses – MSE Hiller, United Cast Bar (UCB) and Woodhead Construction – have been produced as part of the 2020 Made in Chesterfield campaign to ensure that young people do not miss out on a STEM workplace experience during the pandemic. The films feature a tour of the UCB foundry, MSE Hiller’s workshop and laboratory and Chesterfield Borough Council’s new Enterprise Centre which is currently being built by Woodhead Construction. Sponsored by Chesterfield College, the annual campaign is coordinated by Destination Chesterfield in partnership with Derbyshire Education Business Partnership, supported by Chesterfield Borough Council and North Derbyshire Careers Hub. Julie Richards, principal and chief executive of the Chesterfield College Group said: “It is crucial for employers and educational providers to work together to find new and innovative ways of showcasing the possibilities in these sectors, despite the current restrictions.”
HENRY BOOT PLEDGES UK-WIDE SUPPORT FOR FOOD BANKS Henry Boot PLC has pledged its support to some of the most vulnerable members of society by donating thousands of pounds to food banks across the UK. The leading land promotion and property development business pledged £200 each to 13 organisations located in the Group’s national operating areas, including Sheffield’s S2 Food Bank network, Batley Food Bank and Leeds Food Bank in West Yorkshire, Feed Manchester in the North West and Glasgow City Mission in Scotland. The Group made the commitment as part of its Christmas campaign to ‘share its support’ around the UK in the regions it operates in to support the ‘vital’ work of food banks to rally around vulnerable people nationwide. Darren Littlewood, Henry Boot Group Finance Director, said: “This is our gesture of thanks for the incredible work
DARREN LITTLEWOOD, GROUP FINANCE DIRECTOR
done by organisations such as food banks across the UK during the toughest of years – it felt like the right thing to do and will support so many vulnerable members of society. “During this time, the need to support the wider community and those less fortunate has been heightened,
and we’ve already had great feedback about the difference these donations will make to so many people. “We’ve been delighted to give back to a variety of different causes throughout the year as a Group of Companies and look forward to pledging more support in 2021.”
Sheffield Innovation Programme supports businesses to transform during COVID-19 A programme led by the city’s two universities and the SCR Growth Hub which supports regional companies to innovate has helped SMEs to transform their business model to meet changing customer needs during COVID-19. Part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, the Sheffield Innovation
Programme was set up in 2016 to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the region in accessing free academic expertise, facilities and resources at both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University to stimulate innovation and deliver new products and services. Since 2016, the programme has seen 200 academics work
with more than 300 companies across the region and this has continued during the pandemic through webinars and remote projects including helping many small businesses to quickly adapt and diversify to meet changing customer needs. During the lockdown, academics working on the programme ran 22 webinars and expertise to more than 40 regional SMEs.
VIVID LAUNCHES BRAND NEW PERFORMANCE MARKETING TEAM Vivid – the established Sheffield-based integrated brand and marketing agency – is building its team with a new Performance Marketing function. The move puts the agency, says founder and managing director Gerry Arcari, “in a position to offer clients a truly integrated, results-driven service that is designed to perform.” John Jackson heads up the Performance Marketing team, fresh from his role as head of client strategy at Jaywing and formerly strategy director at performance marketing agency Epiphany. Zahina Choudhury joins as paid search performance marketing manager from Search Laboratory. The team's previous experience includes working with clients such as BP Castrol, Savilles, HSBC, Irwin Mitchell, Yorkshire Water, GymKing, Oasis Fashion,
Barnsley College’s new online 10-week course in Level 2 AAT Accounting Software is open for applications for a February 2021 start.
Work begins on Warmsworth reservoir site
(L-R) GERRY ARCARI, JOHN JACKSON, ZAHINA CHOUDHURY
Vivid has over
20YEARS of creative experience
Marriot Hotels and WWF. “We’ve realised our own strength and potential in blending our creative
authority and strategic experience with a performance led approach to clients' requirements and ambitions,” says Gerry. “This is the future. We’re now in a unique position to blend the creative authority we’ve built over 20 years of strategic and creative delivery, with a very strong performance marketing offering.”
Two city businesses join forces to bolster local land development Redbrik Estate Agents and Urbana Town Planning have formed an exclusive partnership to provide landowners with additional support in order to accelerate the development process. Under the mantra ‘Together, we can give you more’, the duo will combine efforts by sharing ideas and expertise. Redbrik’s Land & New Homes division will supply Urbana with expected values and current market activity, as well as referring developers for planning consultancy services. Equally, Urbana will recommend their clients speak to the Redbrik Land & New Homes team for advice on sales and marketing. Redbrik Land & New Homes
Online course takes software into account
The Peak District National Park Foundation has been awarded £7,000 from Yorkshire Water Community Benefit Fund to help people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities enjoy the outdoors.
Wentworth Reimagined with digital plan University of Sheffield researchers will work with partners in the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium to map how COVID-19 spreads and evolves, thanks to a £12.2 million funding boost.
SHU to provide £100,000 cyber support Computing students at Sheffield Hallam have been commissioned by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to support small, medium, and sole trading businesses with cyber security.
JEN BEAL, LAND & NEW HOMES MANAGER REDBRIK & ADAM MURRAY, MD URBANA
Manager, Jen Beal, said: “This is truly a one-of-a-kind partnership here in the city, and we’re extremely proud to be a part of it.” Urbana founder and managing director Adam
Murray added: “We’ve already received initial enquiries from local developers who are particularly interested in the wide-range of support we can provide as a result of this partnership.”
fourfivecbd appoints The SEO Works Digital agency The SEO Works has been chosen to manage the organic search strategy for leading CBD brand fourfivecbd.
AGENDA NEWS Leading in Times of Crisis The director of a global consultancy and professional development company with strong links to the Sheffield City Region has written a thought leadership article for the London School of Business & Finance (LSB&F) on ‘Leadership in Times of Crisis’. Nigel Tomlinson from Doncaster, who was CEO of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce for 13 years, has an extensive portfolio of non-executive director/ advisor roles whilst also serving as visiting lecturer for a number of universities and colleges operating out of London and Dubai and for the London School of Business & Finance.
CHEERS TO THE BEERS WITH KELHAM BUSINESSES’ COLLABORATION
BRUCE & BUTLER BEERS IN COLLABORATION WITH NEEPSEND BREW CO
In the article, Mr Tomlinson writes: “’Welcome to the VUCA Century’, a time of almost perpetual crisis caused by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.” He also adds: “In the modern world speed matters and therefore organisations need to have the ability to easily and quickly respond to constant change…This cannot be achieved through traditional management thinking, only by effective leadership. “The days of just asking what, why, where, when, how, which and who are long gone – we now have to ask: ‘what if?’ and “why not?’”
Sheffield data protection and information security specialists Bruce & Butler have been getting to know their Kelham Island neighbours Neepsend Brew Co with a collaboration on a range of branded craft beers, representing the services Bruce & Butler offer. Three beers were launched
and branded on behalf of Bruce & Butler by Matt Bruce, CEO and founder. The DPIA is a 7.4% Double IPA, Red Team Hoperations is a Session Pale Ale at 4.2% and their NZ Pale Ale, dubbed Cybeer Security, comes in at 4.4%. Matt said “The Kelham Island area of Sheffield is
known for great pubs and great beer. Since basing our own offices here, we have had the opportunity to sample many of the surrounding venues and have seen the Kelham Island business community grow and thrive. “Being in Kelham Island has also given us the opportunity to get to know the team at Neepsend Brew Co directly, so I’m really excited to be able to share an idea that has been long in planning with our friends and clients! Please drink responsibly though, especially the Double IPA!” Bruce & Butler are a specialist provider of professional compliance services enabling the data revolution. They support and help organisations to gain a competitive advantage in their sector through building trust, demonstrating accountability, and securing information assets.
Online auctions hailed ‘tremendous success’ Mark Jenkinson and Son has hailed the switch to online auctions as a result of COVID-19 a ‘tremendous success’ after the last event of 2020 topped £5m sales and attracted a record number of registered bidders. The auctioneer’s eighth and final sale of 2020 saw 36 of the 41 lots offered sell for £5.7m – the third sale in a row to achieve a total in excess of £5million. Adrian Little, head of the auction department at Mark Jenkinson and Son, said: “There is no doubt the online auction approach has been
36 of the 41 lots offered sold for...
£5. 7 MILLION
a tremendous success and enabled our clients, large and small, to continue selling and buying during the two lockdown periods this year. “There are distinct advantages for busy buyers who can register and bid from wherever they are, either by placing their best bid at the start of the day or tracking activity and bidding in the final closing minutes. “In our final auction this year, intense competition was seen throughout following a record number of registered bidders taking part.”
2020 PROVIDES SPRINGBOARD FOR YEAR OF DELIVERY AT SHEFFIELD OLYMPIC LEGACY PARK Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park will become a major focus for economic, health and social regeneration this year. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, major steps have been made over the last 12 months to create a strong springboard for delivery in 2021. Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park Lead and former Government Minister Richard Caborn said: “2020 has seen us be amongst the pioneers of an economic and health revolution so needed right now, translating ideas and innovation into industrialisation and commercialisation. “We are well ahead of the game and are at the heart of Sheffield’s post-pandemic road to recovery. We are already attracting national and international Governmental interest and firmly believe our model should be used to shape our post-COVID future. “We are bringing economic regeneration to Sheffield’s
East End, despite the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is effectively and innovatively delivering a vision of tangible legacy from the London 2012 Olympics.” Sheffield has the world’s only Olympic Legacy Park outside a host city. It was set up
after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to deliver whole population improvements in health and wellbeing. Bringing together expertise from academia, elite sport, the NHS, and public and private sector organisations, Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is creating
a cluster of life sciences assets including research centres, business incubators, educational facilities and laboratories for collaborative research and innovation in health and wellbeing. Mr Caborn added: “In what was a very difficult year, we have brought jobs and investment to the region, whilst driving new research into the health of populations across the world, as well as our own communities.” The Park, at Attercliffe, Sheffield, will cover over one million sq. ft. of real estate when complete. It is proving a catalyst for investment and regeneration and an integral part of Sheffield City Region’s Strategic Economic Plan, as well as a home for scores of athletes and their support teams training for Olympic and Paralympic glory at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. The management team behind the park anticipates announcing exciting new developments later this year.
Engineer company smashes the rest Sheffield-based design engineers Webster Technologies were winners in the category of Innovation Tools & Attachments at the 2020 World Demolition Awards. The prestigious awards are voted for by an international judging panel drawn from across demolition who lead the field in recognising innovation and best practice in the industry. Ian Webster, chairman at Webster Technologies, said: “We are honoured to have won the award for our new ROCKHIT hydraulic breaker. “It is the first time we have entered the awards so to be successful against worldwide
competition is amazing. The ROCKHIT is being trialled on the HS2 project and we are hopeful the award will give us a platform internationally as well as in the UK.” Steve Ducker, editor at Demolition & Recycling International, said: “I congratulate Webster Technologies on their success at the 2020 World Demolition Awards. “The standard of entries gets better every year and winning a category is a considerable achievement. “This year’s winners include businesses from Europe, North and South America, Africa and Australia.”
WHYY? CHANGE APPOINTS QUALITY HSE LEAD Digital agency turns the tables on job loss misery Award-winning digital marketing agency, Hydra Creative, has defied an ongoing industry-wide downsize, with five new starters. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, Hydra Creative has been able to continue with its expansion plans to meet the growing demands of clients. Keith Tarry joins as business development manager and comes to Hydra having run his own event ticketing company. Rob Walton and Richard Graham join the SEO and marketing team, bringing more than 40 years of digital marketing experience between them, as well as valuable digital skills and qualifications. Marketing apprentice Jasmine Savery joined in October and the company has also since expanded its development team with Adam Tesh, who joins Hydra’s web development team. Apprentice Rosie Knight also begins a Digital and Technology Degree apprenticeship through Sheffield Hallam University. Hydra Creative MD Ryan Daniels said: “Our newest recruits will play a key role in supporting our rapidly growing client base. Each team member brings unique skill sets that will benefit all of our departments.”
Whyy? Change, a training provider located in Sheffield, has appointed Lynda Holbrey PCQI to lead its new Quality HSE division. Head of Quality HSE Lynda is a qualified lead Auditor for Quality, Health Safety & Environmental as well as a practicing member of the Chartered Quality Institute. CEO Ray Byrne said: “Our intention is to deliver the highest standard for ISO 9001, 14001, 45001 training. “Talent and behaviours are a powerful mix. Lynda is well recognised in the region, and I feel very blessed that she shares our vision.”
LYNDA HOLBREY, HEAD OF QUALITY, WHYY? CHANGE
Jenx marketing team strengthened with in-house promotion Sheffield-based postural care specialist, Jenx, has strengthened its marketing team by promoting Rachel Davis, to marketing manager. Rachel initially joined the company’s UK distribution division, Jiraffe, as business development manager earlier this year, having previously worked as both an occupational therapist for three years and in the marketing team of a leading healthcare firm. In her new role, she will be responsible for managing the marketing strategy and
RACHEL DAVIS, MARKETING MANAGER AT JENX
operational direction of both Jenx and Jiraffe in order to
further develop both brands. Rachel said: “We’ve seen some fantastic growth as a business. Over the past few months, Jiraffe has been so busy supporting children and families across the UK during lockdown, giving us a great platform from which to grow the Jenx brand regionally, nationally and globally.” Jiraffe divisional director Holly Jenkins said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with Rachel’s progression within the marketing team, her commitment and innovative thinking have really shone through.”
Emily heads up student residence LIV Student Sheffield, the £33 million development on Sheffield’s Ecclesall Road, has a new general manager at the helm. Emily Clarke, 27, from Handsworth, joined LIV Student in October and is steering her team and residents
through pandemic restrictions. She said: “Many students are living away from home for the first time and need support, never more so than during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have adapted and expanded all of our services and introduced a raft of
COVID-19 health and safety measures to keep students and staff safe and supported.” Emily worked as a private butler for a year in a U.S. boutique hotel as part of her international tourism management degree at Sheffield Hallam.
AGENDA SPONSORED BY
Sheffield law firm announces new partner Bell & Buxton Solicitors has appointed Demelza Wrigley, head of the family team, as a partner at the firm. Demelza is an award-winning family lawyer who deals with all aspects of separation and divorce and its implications, including finances, children issues, and proceedings, injunctions and domestic abuse and disputes between unmarried couples. She is collaboratively trained and an accredited member of Resolution, a national body which recognises specialist knowledge and skills in areas of family law.
DEMELZA WRIGLEY, PARTNER AT BELL & BUXTON
Demelza studied at Sheffield Hallam University and The College of Law (York) and
qualified as a solicitor in 2003, becoming an associate at Bell & Buxton in 2015. Partner Charles Neal said: “Since joining the firm in 2013, Demelza has headed the growing Family Department and worked tirelessly for our family clients. We are thrilled she has accepted the position of partner and look forward to sharing her wisdom and expertise on the partnership board.” Demelza said: “I am delighted to have been offered this opportunity and very much looking forward to the next chapter.”
TEAM BOOST FOR PR AND CREATIVE AGENCY One of the north’s leading PR agencies, HRM PR | Creative, has kickstarted the new year by strengthening its team throughout several departments. A series of appointments through the autumn and winter has seen Chris Coates, Michael Durham and Matt Holmes join the firm as account executives, Jacob Welby as social media executive and James Martin as junior designer. HRM – which is based in Sidney Street in Sheffield and includes Keebles law firm, BHP chartered accountants, Frenchgate Shopping Centre in Doncaster, Jiraffe manufacturer of specialist products for disabled
FROM LEFT-RIGHT: MATT HOLMES, JACOB WELBY, MICHAEL DURHAM, JAMES MARTIN, & CHRIS COATES
children, healthcare firm B Braun Medical and several estate agents across the UK among its clients – has plans for further expansion in 2021. Chief executive Richard Fidler said: “We work with some fantastic businesses
and have a very strong team full of experience. Our aim for this year is to grow and continue to be trusted advisors for all things creative in the professional services, property, retail and healthcare sectors.”
Brewster Partners welcomes Maria back from the States Maria Bramall has joined Brewster Partners as office managing partner, after working for 16 years extensively as a training HR professional throughout North America, Europe and the UK. She will be responsible for
delivering strategic regional growth goals for South Yorkshire, in an internally and externally focused role, ensuring customer needs are understood and expectations exceeded. Maria said: “Having worked
as a training partner at Brewster Partners, I am excited to be part of the talented team. South Yorkshire is a dynamic business region and I look forward to building strong strategic partnerships with its leaders.”
High five for South Yorkshire contact centre CC33 Five new staff have joined the management team at South Yorkshire contact centre CC33. Melanie Froggatt (pictured above) is joining as CC33’s head of compliance and will look after risk identification and risk management, assurance reviews and audit activities, and monitor and feedback on campaign compliance and quality. Danusia Lubas-Brebner will take up the role of recruitment and onboarding manager, and be responsible for recruiting new starters, scheduling new hires training, creating company policies and processing employment documents. Aliesha Devy joins CC33 as a communications coordinator and will primarily be responsible for maintaining the firm’s social media presence, design work and supporting the recruitment department. Both Karen Hughes and Emily Passmore have been appointed as operations managers, where they will be responsible for managing campaigns to deliver KPIs, improving revenue, ensuring client satisfaction, and running incentives. Director Paul Fletcher said: “The talent that we’ve brought into the business over recent months, with their vast knowledge, expertise, and fresh ideas, will take us to the next level, and will no doubt add a huge amount of value to clients and employees right across the business.”
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THE DIARY BY RICHARD FIDLER
Our editor celebrates the retirement of the man who 'shaped the Sheffield media scene'
A NEW ERA BEGINS The man who shaped the Sheffield media scene, and also this writer’s career, has announced his retirement. Martin Ross is a familiar name and face to many business people across the city region but he will be enjoying a well-earned rest from the hurly burly of commerce to enjoy spending more quality time with his wife Val, children and grand-children. In an age of constant communication via social media and messaging apps, not to mention how we discover news and information on the internet it is hard to imagine what the world was like when Martin stepped away from journalism to form one of the city’s leading public relations agencies in 1997. Out of a shoe box sized office in The Workstation above the Showroom Cinema, Hurndall Ross Media began setting the agenda for how businesses communicated with the media and their customers. Alongside business partner and fellow former journalist Alison Hurndall, Martin very quickly built a firm which was well connected and respected across the region. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and there have been no shortage of imitators over the years, although none have done it quite like Martin and HRM. Hurndall Ross Media became HR Media Ltd in the late 1990s and with that name
CO-FOUNDER OF HR MEDIA, MARTIN ROSS HAS ANNOUNCED HIS RETIREMENT
it flourished working with seemingly every business or organisation in Sheffield. The likes of Westfield Health were clients for two decades. And others such as B Braun Medical and Sheffield City Trust are approaching a similar milestone. I first walked through its doors in the summer of 1998 on a 10-week work placement from university and while it would be incorrect to say I never left – there have been long spells away running my own firm and being a journalist at The Star – it would be true that the early years I spent with Martin and Alison shaped my career. With Alison’s retirement in 2010 Martin continued as managing director until 2019 when I took over as chief executive alongside my
colleague Allie Dransfield to run the business. Martin has remained as an invaluable consultant to HRM PR | Creative throughout 2020. Martin has been incredibly successful with HRM. But aside from the business lessons the biggest takeaway I have from working with him is his sheer sense of decency. Trust is very important in the PR industry and I can say with hand on heart that I’d trust Martin with any problem or issue I may have (there have been several of mine to test this theory, believe me!). I’ll end with a genuine thank you to Martin, not only from me but on behalf of everyone he has had a positive impact on. Enjoy the next chapter which should be slightly less stressful, you deserve it!
Here's hoping for a brighter year in 2021 Happy new year to everyone. Let’s hope for another steady 12 months… Who knows what 2021 will bring. If you’re used to making predictions for the year ahead then surely 2020’s events will give you pause for thought. My only hope is that we regain some sense of normality and realism. In my view a health crisis was politicised. Once that happened there was no way back as decisions were made to protect politicians and public servants’ careers rather than for the good of the whole population.
Undoubtedly something else will eventually fill the void for the mainstream media to obsesses over and we’ll see our leaders dance to their tune. One thing we have learned is that businesses and the people who work within them are incredibly resilient. But that must never be taken for granted. I’ve said before that we often operate despite the diktats sent down by the politicians rather than because of them. Never more true has that been than now.
Got views of your own? Let me know: email@example.com LinkedIn: Richard Fidler
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BY RAJ SHAH, DIRECTOR AND PRINCIPAL OF BLUE WEALTH CAPITAL Our columnist on how financial planning is about giving money purpose
A FORCE FOR GOOD My first article for unLTD back in November 2019 was about the importance of identifying and maintaining a sense of purpose as you get older and move to the next phase of life (notice I didn’t use the word retirement!). A year on, and after some further reflection, I firmly believe that high-quality financial planning is about giving money purpose, and, for most people it being a force for good. Good being things like using some of your wealth to support causes that are important to you and often aligned with your sense of purpose. In my opinion, this goes beyond investing in ‘green/ ethical’ funds as you are actively involved in selecting and understanding where and how your wealth is used.
Early last month I delivered a keynote talk on this very topic. There were more than 200 delegates from all over the world, including senior representatives from The University of Oxford, MIT (Boston, USA), UNICEF, The Science Museum, Mind and many more well-known institutions. I spoke about how highquality financial planning can ensure one’s money has purpose and can be a force for good, and how I help people identify their sense of purpose by deep questioning to understand who they are and how they got to where they are now – a bit like peeling back the layers of an onion. In many cases this involves going back to an individual’s early memories and how these may have
moulded their views and behaviours on money. I also spoke about how small tweaks to their planning can have a significant impact on their ability to give to causes close to their heart. For example, reviewing and subsequently reducing the charges you pay on investments could free up money to give. Planning and restructuring one’s affairs can make it possible for one to give in one’s lifetime rather than leaving a legacy in your will. David Brailsford (of Team Sky cycling fame) spoke about the compounded effect of small ‘marginal’ gains. Many clients come to me with the objective of saving tax, and when I really get to know the person, I find that the reason for this goes deeper than wanting
to avoid money going to the government by way of tax – people want to have the choice about where their money is spent, they simply want to do good. In most cases people want to have some control rather than this go into the general coffers of HMRC. If you would like to learn more about how high-quality financial planning and the ‘deeper process’ is helping many of my clients with giving their money purpose, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Raj Shah is founder of Blue Wealth capital and has been shortlisted for Financial Planner of the Year and Investment Adviser of the Year bluewealthcapital.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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ENTREPRENEURSUPPORT BY HELEN WILLIAMS
Our columnist on how change can feed directly into your goals
CREATING CHANGE How is this year going to be different to the last? What needs to change? COVID-19 and lockdowns aside – although easier said than done to cast aside for a moment as none of this is going anywhere very quickly – we have, and continue to, embrace some form of new normal. I am also pretty sure there will be some horrendous hangovers for many people throughout the course of 2021 – and I’m not referring to the ‘Christmas Spirit’ kind! When it comes to change and creating a different outcome, the number one factor is mindset. Hands down. First and foremost, we have to want and welcome change, as well as believe in it, so that
we aren’t in a fixed mindset that keeps us stagnant and playing small. Your mindset determines your perspective, approach, narrative and level of application so it’s pretty crucial we work on this first. So, as we are now over the reflective period and have enjoyed some time to breathe over the Christmas period, where are we intending on steering the ship to this new year? I am not talking specific goals here – I am looking at change and instigating said change which feeds directly into your goals. Even if you have set your goals for the year, these next considerations will help you. More often than not, goals are set without appreciating
What needs to change?
What are your choices?
What is in your control?
and control is incredibly empowering and will help you formulate the plan of action needed to make your goals happen. There is absolutely no point in spending time setting goals and having good intentions for your business this year if you have no idea or ownership of what has to change in order to get you there. The alternative, of course, is the definition of insanity stated by the great Albert Einstein. If this year is going to be different for you, how will you make it so, using the 3 Cs as above?
‘To make a change, we have a choice and from this choice we take control.’ To embrace these three key areas of change, choice
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the work that is needed to go into them. And, to encounter something that you haven’t done before, even if that is scaling and growth from the same business model and blueprint, there will still be some element of change needed in the equation. The ultimate questions to ask yourself:
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SPONSORED BY THE SOURCE SKILLS ACADEMY The Source Skills Academy in Sheffield is passionate about bringing out the best in people. It has been helping businesses to increase the talents of their teams since 2003 and is proud to sponsor Skills Focus, a monthly spotlight on training and apprenticeship news and funding to help you develop your staff.
ACT FAST TO ACCESS £2,000 APPRENTICESHIP INCENTIVE, URGES THE SOURCE Businesses have just two months to access up to £2,000 to help with the cost of taking on a new apprentice. The government apprenticeship incentive was launched in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Summer Statement to help education-leavers in the pandemic. It was due to end in January but has now been extended until March 31. The incentive pays £2,000 per apprentice aged 16-24, or £1,500 for the 25s and over. The sum doesn’t have to be paid back and is extra to a £1,000 apprenticeship grant employers receive. The Source Skills Academy, a training specialist with notfor-profit charitable status, is pulling out the stops to get apprenticeships over the line before the deadline. “Since the spring lockdown we have placed more than 100 apprentices with local businesses who needed to expand. Many said the £2,000
INXPRESS SHEFFIELD APPRENTICES TOM CUTTS (LEFT) AND ALEX WATSON WITH KERRY COOK FROM THE SOURCE, WHO HELPED THEM FIND THEIR NEW CAREERS
incentive meant they could go ahead and offer a young person a new start,” said Kerry Cook, business development officer. “Our team helps employers access the grants and sources quality candidates for them.
"We have a talent pool of candidates trained and apprenticeship-ready.” Paid in two instalments – 50 per cent 90 days into the apprenticeship and 50 per cent after 365 days – the grant can be spent on anything to
support the costs of taking on an apprentice – from uniforms to salary and travel. Contact Kerry Cook at The Source on 07584 391445 or kerry.cook@ thesourceacademy.co.uk
SOURCE APPRENTICES ALEX AND TOM ARE ON TRACK WITH CAREERS IN LOGISTICS Two teenagers who didn’t know what path to take on leaving college in lockdown now have logistics careers. The Source found them apprenticeships with InXpress Sheffield. A franchise of a worldwide operation, the Kelham Island company launched in 2018 to give local businesses cheaper shipping and logistics support.
It is growing fast and opening an additional business, Cloud9 Fulfilment, to store clients’ stock and handle their e-commerce orders and deliveries direct. Alex Watson, 19, has joined as a Level 3 Business Administrator Apprentice and Tom Cutts, 18, of Brampton Bierlow, Rotherham, as Digital Marketing Apprentice.
“We decided to offer apprenticeships to give young people the chance of careers. The pandemic has caused havoc with their futures,” said Neil Armstrong of InXpress. “The grants meant we could afford to take on two instead of one. The Source found us excellent recruits.” Alex, of Heeley, said: “I was
struggling, not knowing what to do after my education abruptly ended in the pandemic. I feel incredibly lucky to join such a promising business.” Tom Cutts had been offered university places but wanted to learn on the job. He is thriving at InXpress and helping it to build two new websites.
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BY DAX KEELING, BELL & BUXTON INCORPORATING IRONMONGER CURTIS The solicitor on the ‘surprisingly user-friendly way’ of conducting a trial
REMOTE VIDEO TRIALS A USER-FRIENDLY GUIDE There has been a huge change this year in respect of civil and commercial litigation trials and how they are conducted. For obvious reasons traditional trials (which typically take place in a court room with a witness box, with judges and barristers often in formal dress and paper trial bundles lying around everywhere you look) are currently few and far between. Trials now frequently take place remotely by video hearing, with all interested parties attending the hearing via their own PCs and laptops. Having now participated in a number of remote video trials I can happily report that, even for a technophobe like me, it is a surprisingly userfriendly way of conducting a trial. The experience can’t fully replicate some of the benefits of being in an actual
court room, but it is certainly preferable to there being no trial at all for months on end. Some unLTD readers may have to attend court remotely at some point, whether purely as a witness or as a party to a dispute. Here is my guide to anyone attending a remote video hearing, based on my experiences so far: two screens 1 Have available to you if you
can. You will need to have one screen showing you the faces of the judge and the barristers and so on and another screen showing you the trial bundle of case documents that everybody else is working from, and which you will refer to frequently. sure you have a 2 Make decent connection where
you are for the purposes of the
hearing. Buffering and screen freeze can be a problem and can cause havoc when witnesses are giving evidence. for your 3 Prepare attendance by checking
that your audio and video functions work, and that you can be seen properly via your webcam. to ensure you 4 Try are in a place where
you’re unlikely to have any interruptions. In a recent case, one of the witnesses was coming to the end of giving evidence when his excitable dog scampered into the room, presumably wanting his late morning walk. The judge was amused, but not all judges would be so forgiving. prepared to be 5 Be available at short notice
to attend court. Witness lists can change quickly depending on other people’s availability during a trial. forget that even 6 Don’t if you are not wearing
a suit in a witness box, you are still giving evidence in formal court proceedings. The impression that you give and the manner in which you conduct yourself is important (special mention here to an opposing witness who, upon being called to give evidence at short notice towards the end of the working day, had a can of premium lager next to him when he first appeared on the screen!) For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, visit bellbuxton.co.uk or call 0114 2495969.
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EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY BY ASH YOUNG
Our tech expert on how SEO can help businesses ‘soar’ in 2021
IS IT TIME TO HIRE AN SEO AGENCY? Hiring an SEO agency isn’t for everyone. However, there are plenty of benefits for those that it suits. Over 2020, we saw the clients who invested in search engine optimisation (SEO) soar above their competitors – especially those who continued SEO through the worst of the pandemic. Hiring an SEO agency is often less expensive than hiring in-house. Agencies usually have developers, copywriters, data experts and conversion rate specialists at your disposal, too. However, hiring them all individually would be costly. This is just one benefit – if any of the following reflect your situation, hiring an agency is definitely worth considering:
You’ve got budget, but no time The majority of businesses who outsource their SEO, do so because their in-house team doesn't have the time (or expertise) to deliver successful campaigns. According to Ahrefs, pages ranked at position one are, on average, almost three years old. Long-term SEO gains come from consistent optimisations, and there are very few ‘quick fixes’. Long-term optimisations take time and dedication to drive success over months and years. Hiring experts to do the work for you, allows your team to focus on propelling other areas of your business. You’ve seen traffic decrease and you don’t know why SEO data tools are expensive, but when you hire an SEO
agency, you'll also have access to their premium software. They can use this data to provide in-depth analysis, helping to identify currently unknown reasons for traffic changes. This is all done at a level that is impossible to do for free. Not only this, but they will also have worked with a huge range of clients. They can therefore use the learnings from each of those experiences and apply them to your campaign. You’re getting traffic to the site, but it’s not converting You may have a high volume of traffic coming from search, but is it relevant? Agencies are experts in understanding user intent and optimising sites for searches that are likely to convert. SEO isn’t just about search results – optimisations
often improve your website performance overall. While agencies work to make your site structure easily crawlable for search engines, this in turn helps users to better navigate your website (making them more likely to purchase). Is it the right time for you to use an SEO agency? SEO is a key element in your overall marketing strategy and should be left in capable hands. When optimisations are implemented effectively, you’ll reap the rewards in the long term. Acknowledging when you may need agency help – and doing so at the right time – requires assessment. Reflecting on the above scenarios is a great start. Contact the Evoluted team for all your SEO needs.
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SECURING YOUR ASSETS BY SAM LEEDER
Sam on why businesses should review insurance arrangements ready for 2021
STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE! The new year is always a time of reflection and renewal and, given the events of 2020, I wonder if this has ever been more important to businesses? The terrible impact of COVID-19 and the upheaval and uncertainty created by Brexit all make for an incredibly difficult period in which to make predictions. As a result of this, we are all having to be far more agile as businesses and rethink our outlooks for the next couple of years. These events are obviously impacting on all businesses to varying degrees and this is also true of the insurance industry, which has suffered financially due to COVID-19
and also face increased costs due to Brexit preparations. So, among all the other challenges we face in 2021, we are also expecting insurance rates to increase! Therefore, in these difficult times it is more important than ever to fully review your insurance arrangements. Here are our three tips for staying ahead of the curve in 2021:
The earlier the better You can’t deal with your insurance renewal too early, particularly if you need to make changes or have complicated requirements. We would recommend
reviewing your insurance at least 3 months before your renewal date, however you can review your cover at any time throughout the year. Often dealing with a review away from the complications of your renewal negotiations can take away some of the stress and the time pressure.
Take some advice Many SMEs either don’t deal with a broker or deal with someone they have no real relationship with. We would recommend speaking to a local broker, who you can build a relationship with. It’s incredibly important that you trust the advice you are being given, which is difficult when you don’t know the person.
Manage your risk While this is advice for the medium to long-term, it is incredibly important. No matter what industry you are in or whether insurance rates are going up or down, there is always one thing that rings true – ‘Those who claim less, pay less’. So, if you are able to mitigate the risks you present to insurers, you will always get a really good deal.
If you would like to discuss any of this in more detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Sam Leeder ACII Actus Insurance samleeder@ actusinsurance.co.uk 0114 2903624 07718 189476
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TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS
GET STRATEGIC Ian Snow, MD at CT, explains how a strategic IT plan goes beyond having the right software or kit – and can actually transform your business Technology is one of the most crucial elements of business success. Sarah Rowland, partner at BRM Solicitors, knows the value of transforming working through the smart use of technology. ‘By carrying out a strategic review with CT we have created a clear plan to build an IT system that is future-proofed and designed to meet our demands over the next five years. Together, we have proactively identified any potential risks and will be working together moving forwards to ensure we have continued reassurance of system availability and data security.’ However, many businesses, regardless of their size or market sector, fail to get the full benefit out of the technology they have invested in. It’s not just about having the right software or kit – a sound IT strategy is necessary for major functions of your business. It has a bearing on your ability to do everything – creating new products and services, marketing, improving customer experiences, growing revenue, and keeping your workforce productive. Here are the important steps to consider when developing a strategic IT plan: Review your current IT strategy A strategic review of IT infrastructure will help you gain a deeper understanding of how your teams use technology, what is and isn’t working and any future requirements. You may even be able to develop an IT strategy based on some of the resources you already have.
Outline your business goals Technology is evolving quickly, so be smart about the investment into IT that you make. This is why your IT strategy should be closely aligned with your business objectives. Consider looking at your sales targets and plans for growth – you want your IT strategy to grow with you and not hinder success. Are your systems scalable? Can you easily add or remove people, teams, or service lines? Think carefully now about making the right investment in a system that can grow as your business does.
resistance, particularly if you’re removing software that your people are used to using – communicating plans clearly will ensure your employees are happy with what’s going to change, and once you’ve implemented the new systems, training sessions will help them adapt to new technologies. Keep your strategy up to date You’ll need to continually update and develop your IT strategy as aspects of your business change. Outsourcing your
company’s IT infrastructure and IT strategy can not only improve efficiency and reduce cost (versus keeping the expertise in-house), but it also has the potential to revolutionise your business operations and improve the customer experience. Whether you are integrating a new cloud system or upgrading the company to a new software platform, contact us today to chat about how we can help you with your IT transformation. You can contact us by calling: 01246 266 130 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Develop an IT roadmap An IT roadmap is essentially a plan setting out your requirements for any new technology investments, helping you to keep control over the costs and mitigate the risk of IT failure and disruption. This includes a review and audit of the technology your business currently has in place, and recommendations to ensure the company technology is fit for purpose, fully optimised and configured to industry best practice. Educate and communicate You can’t adapt if your teams aren’t fully behind the change, so educating the business on the need for IT transformation is critical. You might find some
STEERING A COMMUNICATIONS
COURSE Publishers of unLTD, HRM PR | Creative, has been on a journey of its own during the past 18 months after a change of ownership and, of course, guiding its clients through the communication issues a pandemic brings
COMPANY PROFILE However, with an expanded team that makes them a full service agency for the first time in the firm’s long history, and several new client wins during 2020, they are all set for the new year. “Like everyone, business pretty much ground to a halt during the first lockdown but it also gave us a chance to reflect on what had been a very busy period from when myself and head of client management Allie Dransfield took over,” said chief executive Richard Fidler. “We really focused on the sectors that we’re vastly experienced in and began to target the ways we could help businesses communicate better as their offices started to reopen.” The tactic was a success as HRM picked up three estate agents in Brighton and Hove, Cleckheaton and south Manchester as well as a clothing firm in south Wales, who had pivoted their business to become specialist PPE suppliers. Richard said: “Our reputation has always been very strong in the Sheffield City Region, and we’re proud of that, but working with firms across the country gives us a great platform to expand in 2021. “We want to be trusted advisors for all things creative in the professional services, property, retail and healthcare sectors. It is so important to communicate honestly and with integrity. “I think the past year has shown the value of communication. It is often not the plan or strategy that is at fault but the way the message is understood. Get that wrong and people lose trust and patience.” HRM added five new faces to the firm throughout 2020 to reflect its growing client base. But, says head of client management Allie Dransfield, it isn’t just the number of people but the strength of the team that has increased.
“During recruitment we have very much gone with experience to add to our line-up. We have always encouraged graduates to start their careers with us – I speak as someone who did just that! – but we have taken the opportunity to bring in some really talented colleagues across our departments,” she said. “The challenges we have had throughout 2020 are some that no one would have wished for but we’ve got through it and we have all learned so much not only about ourselves but the people we work with and for.” This year will also see founder of HRM Martin Ross step away from the business as he retires from his consultancy role he has held since July 2019. Richard said: “Martin has been synonymous with HRM for more than 20 years and has played an important role as a consultant for a number of our clients. “We didn’t want to make a song and dance about the takeover 18 months ago as the most important thing is the service we give to clients. Martin was very keen that he wanted a smooth transition and that is what has happened.
“Both myself and Allie have learned so much from Martin and that has stood us in good stead. But we also have our own ideas and we very much want to make our own mark on how we do things. “We’re now owned by the parent company of estate agents Redbrik, who themselves are leading the way in their sector particularly in the way they market themselves – which we play a key role in. “Being part of a larger group also gives us additional confidence that we have a strong support structure on the non-PR and creative side.” All things being equal, 2021 should be another strong year for HRM, says Allie: “We have very positive relationships
with all our key clients, and we have just signed an exciting contract with the NHS in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. “As a company we reflect and tell the story of our clients. A strong economy locally is vital to our success and that is why we engage – through our joint ownership of unLTD, for instance – with business leaders throughout our region. “Who knows what this year will bring but what we do know is that we have a great client base and an unbelievably strong team who Rich and I are proud to work alongside. Let’s hope for a great year for everyone!” For more information visit hrmedia.org.uk
Our reputation has always been very strong in the Sheffield City Region, and we’re proud of that, but working with firms across the country gives us a great platform to expand in 2021.
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A TIME TO RETHINK
THE JOURNEY TO WORK? As some employers start to think about a phased return to the workplace, now could be the time to rethink our daily commute. Chris Coates spoke to Travel South Yorkshire’s marketing manager Richard Pilgrim to find out how the Active and Sustainable Travel team are preparing for the return to office working. For many workplaces, 2020 became a year dominated by remote and flexible working. The daily commute came to a sudden pause with the kitchen, bedroom and lounge becoming the new place of work. This change brought a shift in attitudes towards flexible working. Many embraced this newly offered flexibility and could regain some of that previously lost commuter time. Across our region, we were typically spending up to 50 minutes per day commuting – an amount that has steadily increased over the last few years. Many businesses embraced working from home, adapting to the new norms, revisiting ways to improve working arrangements and providing their staff with a more balanced working life. At the same time, businesses invested in getting their workplaces COVID-safe as they prepared for growing numbers of staff to return. With the outlook looking brighter for 2021, more employers will be looking at how they can safely reintroduce more of their teams back to the workplace. For many the return to work will bring a mixture of excitement and trepidation. The concerns of staff will be well-catered for on-site, but
there will inevitably be anxiety for some around resuming the daily commute, even if it is on a less regular basis. Everyone wants to travel safely, whether it is on foot, by bike or using the tram, train, bus or car. Sometimes travelling by car may be the only option but with increased traffic and the almost inevitability of growing congestion, now is the perfect time to re-think how we choose to move in 2021. Travel South Yorkshire’s Active and Sustainable Travel team works with employers to help their employees make more informed travel choices. Flexible working arrangements may mean people are commuting less, but this also provides an opportunity to try alternative ways to move around which could be healthier and more active! ⚫ Could you park further away from your workplace and adopt a ‘park and stride’ approach to your journey? ⚫ Could you combine the car with a short public transport trip by using a Park and Ride facility? ⚫ Is there a public transport option that you could try meaning you could ditch the car altogether? ⚫ Could you drive on fewer days and switch some of those trips to walking or cycling? By reducing the amount of time spent in cars, we can reduce traffic in town and city centres whilst also building
some activity into what could have been a sedentary day. Flexibility and patience will be key as we begin to travel more over the coming months. We can all play our part, whether it’s switching to a different mode of travel or even retiming our journeys. We will all have to think about our commute that little bit more. The Active and Sustainable Travel team is keen to work
with businesses of all sizes to see how they can help more people re-think their journey to work. To find out how Travel South Yorkshire’s Active and Sustainable Travel team can help your workplace, contact email@example.com or visit travelsouthyorkshire.com/ workplace
QUESTION YOUR THINKING
COLLABORATION TRANSFORMS CHANGE The team at Sheffield-based training provider, Whyy? Change, reveals how they transformed their business by collaborating with Bureau Veritas to deliver quality HSE training Whyy? collaborate with a world leader How did Whyy? Change, a growing company in Chapeltown, collaborate with a world leader in certification, testing, inspecting, and training, you might ask? Well, it all starts with making the right connections, having a clear vision and instilling trust in the right people. Without that,
Whyy? Change would not be in the position it’s in right now. Networking events connect you with the right people – without a vision our approach would have failed. Back in 2019, when Zoom meetings were unheard of, we held a physical event at our training centre to engage Quality professionals in the Sheffield City Region to see if there was a demand for ISO 9001 training. The answer was, unsurprisingly, yes! Our vision is to be the
best providers of business knowledge and services in the eyes of our customers, employees, partners, and competitors. To meet that vision our aim was to be a partner of Bureau Veritas and deliver industry leading training at our very own training centre. To get there we had to trust the right people to pursue our vision. That’s where Jo Elliott comes into play. People and Partners Jo Elliott is a business development manager for Bureau Veritas – with our vision and trust in her hands, we were able to formulate a plan to become a partner. By February 2020, we were ready to sign the agreement to become partners for Bureau Veritas before COVID struck. Eight months later our partnership enabled us to deliver a number of quality management courses using our face-to-face (COVIDsecure) Whyy? HQ or more frequently our hybrid delivery method. This opened many doors for us and allowed us to bring in a dedicated Head of Quality HSE tutor to deliver the Quality ISO 9001, Environmental
LYNDA HOLBREY, HEAD OF QUALITY, WHYY? CHANGE
Head of Quality HSE Lynda adds: " The region talks about there being too few opportunities to fulfil their potential, ‘whyy’ not join us on the Skills Bank funded course on problem solving?" Give us a call 0114 400 0077
ISO 14001 and Health & Safety ISO 45001 training courses. Learn more about Lynda Holbrey on page 10. With our partnership with Bureau Veritas confirmed, Jo went on to say: “Our relationship with Whyy? Change shows how far the partnership can go, with the right approach.” Quality Collaborations This collaboration has transformed our business and widened the range of courses we can now deliver – who knows how far this partnership can go? We are the only Bureau Veritas training centre across the whole of Yorkshire, which opens doors for businesses in the Sheffield City Region to gain world class training. As a region, we need to look at how we can collaborate with world leaders outside of South Yorkshire to grow these rare but valuable solutions built in Yorkshire. What partnerships can you reach out to transform your business?
VOLKSTECH LIMITED Marc Peasgood and Ashley Knowles set up Volkstech Limited, VW and Skoda specialist in Rotherham after being made redundant last year from a dealership. Marc tells unLTD how help from Launchpad is helping them steer and grow their business MOT ramp and employ a tester as we currently sublet to a local MOT station. Longer term we would hopefully look to grow from our 2/3 ramp size garage to around 5 and employ another technician and apprentice. Launchpad advisor Julia Millea said:
Tell us about your company? Ashley Knowles and I have opened an VW, Audi Skoda and SEAT specialist on the Aven industrial estate in Maltby, Rotherham. We both originally worked at VW Rotherham, Ash was master technician there for over 15 years and I held roles as workshop controller for six years and then promoted to service manager for the last two) before the sudden closure in May. Our USP is both Ashley’s vast product knowledge and our dealer standard diagnostic equipment – we are the only independent in South Yorkshire with this, to our knowledge – which allows us
to perform work others can’t at a fraction of dealer repair costs. We carry out servicing diagnostic, air conditioning, DSG specialist, cambelts and more and also offer a free collection and delivery service with every vehicle vacuumed and sanitised before returned. When did you first decide to start up on your own and what inspired you? This decision was brought on by our sudden redundancy notice at VW Rotherham in early May and after a month or so of discussions we decided to make the move. We decided to stay as local to the old site at Wickersley as possible due
to the customer base in the S66 area. How has Launchpad helped you? We found Launchpad while searching the web for grants and support and help for new businesses. They have helped us with some great coaching lessons via Zoom around areas such as marketing, social media and free legal advice. What are your hopes and aims for the business? We have now been going for three months and going from strength to strength as word of mouth circulates the S66 area. Our next aim is to install an
“Marc has worked in the motor industry for many years and offers excellent customer service to all his clients. We wish him every success in the future and know that this will be a great business to have here in South Yorkshire, convenient for customers and for them to know that they will be well looked after with Marc and the team.” “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.”
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SHEFFIELD CITY REGION
FREE SERVICE ENHANCES WORKPLACE SUPPORT FOR FLEXSEAL EMPLOYEES Working Win, which works with businesses to support employees to stay in work, is open for referrals. Barnsley-based Flexseal used the programme to provide a new level of support for their employees Flexseal, a specialist manufacturer and distributor to the civils and drainage, plumbing and water management sectors, has embraced the support from Working Win, using the programme to add to the ways they already look after their teams and ensure they stay well in work. Working Win is a completely free service for employees with physical or mental health conditions and works with people to build on their strengths and to feel settled in their role. It has been extended to support our region’s recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak, by helping employees to feel settled and flourish in their role and also supports people who are off sick to return to work. We spoke to Sarah Andrews, HR manager, and Flexseal employee Gary, to find out how Working Win supported both Gary and the business. Sarah said: “Our employees have benefited from receiving impartial one-to-one support which has included working with their health care team as well as providing debt and benefits advice. Working in partnership with the coaches has helped us provide the right support to our people when they needed it.” Gary, an assembly line worker at Flexseal, and his work coach, Mike, worked together to look at his challenges, including his finances. Gary had fallen behind with his rent and was facing possible eviction. Mike helped Gary set up a payment plan which he stuck to which meant he could stay in his home. Initially Gary found it difficult to talk about his mental health,
Working Win understood where I was coming from and put it across to my employer, so they understood more about what I was going through – I wouldn’t have been able to do that. but with support from Mike, Gary could express himself more effectively with his employer. Mike also helped to develop a working pattern for Gary and supported his phased return to work. Gary said: “When I was in my darkest moment, Working Win understood where I was coming from and put it across to my employer, so they understood more about what I was going through – I wouldn’t have been able to do that.” “It is like a family organisation with close-knit work colleagues and they go out of their way to
GARY, AN ASSEMBLY LINE WORKER AT FLEXSEAL, BENEFITED FROM WORKING WIN’S SERVICES
help you. They are a really good company to work for – Flexseal really do stand out and I’d like to think I’ll retire there.” Mike also referred Gary to Barnsley IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and to support Gary’s wellbeing. Working Win secured Gary free membership at Barnsley Metrodome. This included a personal fitness plan which resulted in Gary losing weight. Gary added: “I’m proud of being where I am today. I don’t think about suicide anymore.
Knowing that I’ve got people around me as well I can speak to at any time is absolutely fantastic.” Working Win is open to employees living or working in Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley, Rotherham and Bassetlaw. Businesses can find out more by calling 0114 2900 218 or emailing workingwin@ syha.co.uk. Employers and employees can make a referral to Working Win online at workingwinreferrals.co.uk or by speaking to a GP or health professional. Places are limited and referrals will close on 31 January 2021. For more information visit sheffieldcityregion.org.uk/ working-win
New year, new beginnings. It’s especially true for Sheffield BID, which will finally go to ballot for its second term in March. The new chair, Amanda Phillips, tells unLTD’s Mike Durham why it’s all to play for It’s fair to say that Sheffield BID faced some significant changes in 2020. The initiative was almost turned upside-down when the first term was suddenly extended for eight months due to COVID-19, putting the ballot plans and the regular income on hold. There was also a change in structure, Suzy Brain England made the decision to step down from her position as chair. Thankfully, Amanda Philips, who lives and breathes retail as centre manager for The Moor, made the brave choice to volunteer for the role. Amanda said: “I don’t like shopping, but I love retail. I think that the board thought
that I had a lot of experience I could bring to the table to convince retailers into getting BID through, because that’s the critical thing. “A lot of people who pay the levy don’t realise what BID has done for the city over the past five years – if they looked at the full story, they’d say we can’t do without it. “If you come into work in the morning and you’ve got graffiti all over your wall, you just call the number, that’s someone employed by BID coming to clean it, not the council.” So, what does Amanda have in mind for her first year as chair? “The main thing for me is getting this vote through so
we can continue to deliver and enhance what we’ve been delivering to this city. “COVID-19 has made that challenge really difficult, because some sectors haven’t opened the doors since March 22, and we’re expecting them to pay extra money. “It’s tough out there for everybody, profit margins are on everyone’s minds. All your staff are working from home, but you’re still paying rent.” Should everything hopefully go to plan, extensive consultations suggest that BID needs more of an evolution, rather than a reinvention. The initiative will target four key themes next year. Perhaps the most obvious is Vibrant,
which is all about enhancing visitor’s experience with diverse events, festivals and culture like Bricktropolis and Cliffhanger. Of course, in the current situation no one can say exactly when these events will return, but Amanda is confident they will – even if they may look slightly different when they do. “We’ve got to work on the premise that life will at some stage return to normal, because if we don’t I might as well pack my bags up as a shopping centre manager now.” Connected is exactly what it says on the tin, and is all about bringing people and businesses in the city centre closer together through various initiatives. BID must work with
I would like to think come the end of 2021 we are at our new normal. I don’t think it’ll ever go back to the way it was before... ...but I like to think we can see Sheffield is coming out of it stronger, together. the council, stakeholders and investors to make sure the vision for Sheffield is one. Those connections can even go further. Amanda says that Sheffield’s BID has been approached by BIDs in other cities with an interest in running their own version of some of our events – which could lead to an income that could be reinvested into the centre. Sustainability is all about putting the pieces in place to ensure the hard-work put into Sheffield BID will be visible long into the future. “It’s important that if we do things that they don’t just disappear. If BID doesn’t make it to a second term then we’d
AMANDA PHILIPS, CHAIR, SHEFFIELD BID
like to think everything we put in place in the first – like supporting the council in going for Future High Street Funds, and encouraging the renovation of Castlegate – will have left a lasting impact and legacy.” The last of the themes is Maintained, which prioritises making sure the City Centre is a welcoming place for staff, visitors and the local community with early morning clean ups and graffiti tackling teams. Amanda says it’s the key element for over 80 per cent of levy payers: “If Sheffield is safer and cleaner, it not only brings customers of all ages and different sectors, it brings
in new retail, restaurants, bars and office blocks. “When someone comes to look into where to open their business, like HSBC at the top of The Moor, it has to tick a lot of boxes. Businesses want their staff to feel safe, they want their city to feel clean and I think all the things Sheffield BID does, builds into that.” Amanda acknowledges it’ll be a tough to keep all this going, especially when levy payers - business which occupy city centre premises with a rateable value of £40,000 or more – will be paying at a reduced rate of 0.5% in the first year to balance out the hardships of 2020. “We’re confident we can
survive, and still deliver what we want to deliver. “I would like to think come the end of 2021 we are at our new normal. I don’t think it’ll ever go back to the way it was before. Whether that’s masks in public or shops and sanitising is just habit, but I like to think we can see Sheffield is coming out of it stronger, together. “It’s going to be a tough few months, but we’re going to get through that, get the BID vote through, and then make Sheffield look better than ever before.” Visit the Sheffield BID website to find out more: sheffieldbid.com
BUSINESS LEADERSHIP IS CHANGING IN SHEFFIELD Sheffield Chamber is there to help our members to grow and be more successful. We take seriously our responsibility to be a strong and thoughtful voice of the business community. One challenge we face is ensuring that voice is representative of the wider business community. Eyebrows are too often raised when a Chamber of Commerce becomes a mouthpiece for one person.
For those paying attention, Sheffield Chamber is undergoing a bit of a transformation. It is enjoying more than a lick of paint. The Board and Council that oversee the management of the organisation are thinking deeply about how we represent the views of our members and the wider business community. Sheffield Chamber Council is where the action is. Every year, representatives of the
Chamber membership are elected onto the Chamber Council for a rolling three-year term. Members of the Council bring their expertise and insight to shape what we have to say on important issues impacting businesses in the city. Decades ago, your place on the Council was guaranteed if you felt comfortable in a grey suit and tie. That is perhaps a bit unfair, but you get the point. Times move on. Over the years a
quiet transformation has been under way. Slowly but surely the Chamber has drawn together a more diverse range of business leaders. Sheffield Chamber is now far more representative of the wider business community. We welcomed 5 new members in October. You can check out their profiles at www.scci.org.uk. The change does not stop there. Behind the scenes Sheffield Chamber is completely redesigning how
we make policy so that more of our members can shape what we have to say on key issues impacting businesses in the city. Early in 2021 we will be launching new Chamber Hubs. Strategic Hubs are for those businesses that want to set the agenda and shape the strategy of the city. Business Hubs are places where businesses can gather online, and in person, to collaborate, share insights, spot opportunities and make
new connections. We are thinking differently which is why these Business Hubs are called Visionaries, Explorers, Innovators and Accelerators. More will be revealed in the new year. There are over 30,000 businesses in the city. We want to ensure every business sees a reason to join our community of members. Being a member of Sheffield Chamber ensures your voice is heard and that
The Chamber has looked to draw together a more diverse range of business leaders.
we are representing your view. Chamber Council is rapidly becoming the place where business leaders gather to shape the voice of Sheffieldâ€™s business community. Join us. You would be more than welcome.
IS YOUR WEBSITE SET FOR GOOGLE’S SPRING SEARCH OFFENSIVE? With Google’s new page indexing scheduled for roll out in early 2021, can your business afford to let the grass grow under your search marketing efforts? The digital marketing experts at Hydra Creative are on hand to provide the support you need to avoid relegation
It is anticipated two of Google’s biggest shake-ups in years will impact business owners during the first half of 2021. And there is little doubt there will be casualties when currently most organisations state they are not aware of the impending changes. Some may believe they have made the necessary changes to keep up to speed with the world’s biggest search engine. The hard truth will come home to roost in Google’s search engine results pages when indexing updates decide the ranking position of your website. Google makes hundreds of algorithms updates every year in a continual effort to improve the user’s search experience. The search giant is in a constant war of attrition against spammers, hackers,
poor web practitioners and black hat SEO tricksters, all of which are making constant efforts to outsmart the rankings rules. Mobile first – desktop dropped So, what do we know for sure? Well, the first major change comes in March when Google sinks its teeth into website owners who ignored its longsince announced Mobile First strategy. The major news here is that desktop-only optimised websites simply won’t rank. Most website owners have ensured their sites are responsive and mobile friendly, but are they aware that mobile indexing must be a priority? All content must be mobile friendly if you want your customers to see it. If they don’t make the grade, they will negatively
affect your company’s Google ranking.
on website rankings, others less so. Some are easy to understand and others more Focus on user experience technical. The second major indexing Keeping your website in change is rumoured to be tip-top condition need not rolled out at some point in the cost the earth, and is money spring and will focus on user well invested once clear experience. objectives are determined to This update will penalise fulfil your online strategy. slow loading web pages, slow The updates may appear user interactivity and poor to be a while away from now user engagement, such as – however, with most SEO unstable or badly designed experts claiming changes forms at checkout. can take from four to six These updates are good months to take effect, now news for the millions of is the best time to get this consumers using the internet actioned. every day to shop, learn, communicate, and play. It is To discuss your unique also good news for business requirements, and start owners who put their to get a plan together to customers at the heart of their protect your rankings, or operations. even improve them, get in touch with Hydra Creative, Keeping onside with SEO who can help to successfully Some algorithm updates guide you through this have a significant impact transitional time.
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PIVOT YOUR PROPERTY INVESTMENT DREAMS INTO 2021 Rochelle Gilburn, MD of Gilburn Investment Group, says many businesses pivoted during 2020 to become more successful than ever. Here Rochelle shares how she can help make property dreams a reality for investors in 2021 This time last year, everyone was buzzing for 2020 – everyone knew this was going to be their year! When COVID-19 hit, this brought many goals to an abrupt halt. It’s been interesting to see how so many people and
businesses have pivoted during these times to become more successful than ever. I’d just started my business at the beginning of 2020 – what a welcome to the business world! I’d already forked out a load of money to get everything set up, began
marketing, committed to fees for the year and now I was stuck at home on my own with two lovely but slightly … ok very … crazy kids! I could have given up. That would have been the easy option. But I have big goals – I survived worse things when my husband passed away and I wasn’t about to let COVID-19 put an end to my dreams. I aggressively built my LinkedIn network, started networking with solicitors, estate agents, accountants, and other property professionals. I posted content that people seemed to relate to. Investors started to reach out, as did people with investment opportunities. Small actions every day started to pay off. Once the property market opened back up, the kids went back to school and there was some sort of normality to my life, that’s when business really started to fly. I now find properties for investors around the country. They know their money is doing nothing for them sat in an ISA and are looking for ways they can invest wisely. The most common thing I hear from my clients is they would love to invest their money in property, but don’t have the time or knowledge to look for the opportunities.
That is where I come in. We can all sit on Rightmove, or watch homes under the hammer and think this property game is easy… well, it can be. And If you have the time and money to go out and do it yourself, do it! I love property, but most of my clients aren’t interested in the property itself, but the return it can give them. They have jobs or businesses they love, and it keeps them busy. They don’t have the time to be visiting properties, working out refurb costs and finding the best solicitors. That’s where I come in. I do all that hard work for my clients, ensuring they are achieving their property goals. For some, that might be financial freedom, others are looking for a longterm investment ready for retirement. Whatever your short- or long-term goals, I’ll come up with a plan to find you the right properties at the right price. I’ll put you in touch with my mortgage broker and fantastic team of solicitors. My team of builders will renovate the property to the perfect standard to sell on or rent out. If you’ve been thinking about investing in property but don’t have the time, think no longer. Let’s get a call set up and put that money to work. Email me rochelle@ gilburninvestmentgroup. com or connect with me on LinkedIn.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR WAYS TO
MAKE 2021 A SUCCESS? While there is still a level of uncertainty, Hayley Koseoglu consultant at IEKOS, says now could be the right time to take a step back and plan ahead to make a positive impact in 2021 It’s fair to say our 2020 plans didn’t go as expected and business owners have gone through the biggest challenge the economy has seen in decades, so surviving is a massive achievement. Be very proud that you are still going in 2021! To move forward, embrace the new opportunities that lay ahead and get your plans in place. Get your plans in place Although you may feel a structured 12-month plan may not be possible, breaking it down and thinking how the year may pan out could be really beneficial. Previously, you may have had a very detailed approach, but start this year’s process with an overview plan looking at key areas:
Getting started To understand how you can learn from the past year, start a review process. Get feedback from your team, customers, suppliers, and peers, and use this to flesh out the three key areas.
⚫ How has communication been affected with lockdowns and restrictions?
Questions to consider: ⚫ Have previous growth plans been successful – if not, why?
⚫ If you adopted new working practices, what level of improvement would this bring to the business?
⚫ Have you seen growth in business areas during the pandemic?
⚫ Change ⚫ Growth Be prepared to take risks If you wait for the perfect opportunity or the right time you will never make a move – so instead start with a decisive and positive mindset. I watched the Channel 4 documentary about Poundland’s expansion and the MD’s statement really hit home when he said it was a ‘calculated risk’ to continue with plans during the pandemic. Risks are part of any business strategy but you have to be sure of your limits – they should be evaluated against research and a robust ‘what if’ plan. So, let’s get things moving…
Improve Many of us have learned new things and some practices can now be implemented in a longterm strategy to improve the way we operate. Questions to consider: ⚫ Has your team been more or less productive working from home?
⚫ Would an investment in new software enable more efficiency? ⚫ Do you need to change your working hours and days? ⚫ Could you change your offering in the long-term? Grow Plans to grow must be carefully considered as commitment in both time and resources will be needed. If you can identify areas to improve and change, then growth should be the natural next step.
⚫ What have others within your industry done successfully that you could adopt? I am offering free support calls in January for businesses needing help to move forward. Get in touch to find out more iekos.co.uk
Change Change can be difficult – sometimes getting buy-in from your team and customers can be a hurdle but surviving last year has meant change was necessary so now is the time to pursue it while everyone is more used to it. Questions to consider: ⚫ With improved online services now available, can you better serve customers with an omni channel approach?
CHILL IN VEGANUARY WITH
POPULAR SHEFFIELD ICE CREAM BRAND With demand for free from and vegan foods growing year on year, Sheffield-based ice-cream makers Yee Kwan tell Ashley Birch @ Pushsheffield about the launch of a new vegan ice cream brand, Frolyk “We launched new vegan ice cream brand Frolyk in December in readiness for Veganuary, which is growing in popularity. “Demand for free from and vegan foods is growing 18.3 per cent year on year and so we decided to focus on developing a range of vegan ice creams that everyone can enjoy.” Frolyk offers three flavours in their range – chocolate, salted caramel, and vanilla. The range aims to put an end to ‘bland and
boring’ dairy-free ice cream alternatives and has been developed on the back of a personal journey for the brand’s founder. “During the first lockdown I decided to eat more healthily and reduce my intake of animal products, which has helped me mentally and physically,” explains Yee Kwan. “One of my children suffers from a dairy intolerance and I didn’t want them to miss out on enjoying an ice cream with their siblings.
“I’m also more aware of living a sustainable lifestyle, and looking after our planet for our children’s future, so I decided to focus on developing a range of vegan flavours that everyone can enjoy. “We are happy to be working with a number of independent retailers and restaurants in Sheffield who will stock our yummy pots of deliciousness.” If you’ve already tried Yee Kwan ice cream, you’ll already know just how
amazing and unusual their flavour combinations can be. Owners Yee Kwan and Anthony say they are on a ‘lifelong mission to introduce authentic East Asian flavours into ice cream, sorbet and desserts.’ For over ten years they have been tantalising taste buds, and winning plenty of awards and admirers along the way. For more info, head over to their Instagram page @frolykicecream
MANAGING RISK IN CHALLENGING TIMES As we move into 2021, firms have an opportunity to reassess their insurance needs. Alister Smith, Director at IFM Insurance says managing risks will be the key to the survival of many SMEs. 2020 was undoubtedly a challenging year for businesses in Sheffield with many SMEs hit hard by the pandemic. The year ended with many firms also facing uncertainty over the outcome of the Brexit negotiations and the ramifications of COVID-19 and what it means for the very future of business. As we move into 2021, Sheffield firms have an opportunity to reassess their insurance needs and the ways it can help them to manage their needs in a crisis. It’s essential, for instance, for firms to ask themselves what plans they have in place and how insurance can help them to advance because, to my mind, managing risks will be the key to the survival of many SMEs. Unsurprisingly, many local firms are now increasingly looking at understanding the risk for their business and getting the right cover – rather than a bundle of unrelated products, which may not be effective in either managing risk or saving money. At IFM we have worked hard to become trusted advisers and business consultants, taking on and understanding the risks in a wide range of areas from employment issues to business continuity, and health and safety. This is crucial as many of our clients are now facing increasing social, economic,
and political challenges, which place risk on their business. Just take a look at the impact of Brexit on supply chains or how firms will transact through new and existing contracts. What’s more, the pandemic will change the way some businesses operate forever with new ways of working and focus on health and safety. Many Sheffield firms still rely on a local broker to help with their insurance needs. At IFM we have to sell on value and we have to tackle the difficult questions, which perhaps the direct insurers and the national brokers don’t want to handle. SMEs want continuity and personal contact. They are also looking for stability and long-term savings, which clearly can play to the local broker’s strengths. Our business model is based on providing great service and advice, which is underpinned by strong relationships with leading insurers like AVIVA, AXA and Allianz. We are also members of Brokerbility, an exclusive club of independent brokers that gives us unrivalled access and service levels from our insurer partners. We have significant clout in the market combined with local knowledge, which means our customer’s interests are always in safe hands. Because we are based in Sheffield, we are closer to our clients. We now carry out many of the tasks that were once seen to be the traditional territory of insurers –
high-quality advice, product development, marketing and claims. We’ve built up this expertise and professionalism through our chartered status – through people development – to give our clients the firstclass advice they need. Getting on top of insurance may not be the most appealing prospect, but it will deliver significant benefits,
both in terms of cost and level of coverage. For Sheffield firms, it’s about making certain that the cover pays out when needed. With so much potentially at stake for the future of your business, it’s undoubtedly worth the effort. IFM Insurance Brokers ifminsurance.co.uk 0114 268 4606
ALISTER SMITH, IFM INSURANCE DIRECTOR
PODCAST THEREâ€™S NO LIMIT! 46
UNLTD’S PODCAST PRODUCER JAMES MARRIOTT
Ahead of the launch of our unLTD podcast, which will be broadcast monthly and bring the very best interviews and news from across Sheffield City Region, unLTD’s podcast producer James Marriott shares a few more details – and also turns the spotlight on a selection of his go-to SCR ‘must listens’ It’s hard to remember now, but once upon time, there was no unLTD magazine. Our days were less fulfilled and there was an B5 sized hole in each of our lives. They were sad, sad times. Thankfully of course, the magazine came along, and the rest is history. unLTD provided something new and exciting for the ever-thriving Sheffield City Region (SCR) business world.
Now, we’re doing it again, only this time in audio form. The unLTD Podcast will feature exclusive interviews, conversations and features, as well as taking a look behind some of the stories in the magazine. We hope it’ll become one of your go-to podcasts, whatever you do within the SCR. Over the last few weeks and months, we’ve been busy coming up with ideas to make
sure it’s the very best podcast it can be. We can’t give too much away yet, but suffice to say we’re confident you won’t be disappointed. In the next few weeks, you’ll see our first episode launch. We don’t do things on the quiet, so we’re going pretty big from the word go. Keep an eye out for more details and for the episode being released later in January 2021.
In the meantime, if you want to get ahead of the game, you’ll already be able to find the show in your favourite podcast app. Just search for ‘unLTD’ and there we are – and if you hit the ‘subscribe’ or ‘follow’ button, you’ll get the first episode the moment it’s released. And don’t worry, as you’d expect from unLTD, it’s completely free.
LEND UNLTD YOUR EARS! Fancy a quick preview of what to expect from our forthcoming podcast? Course you do – here we reveal our first two guests as well as the format you can expect when you lend unLTD your ears and tune in! As unLTD’s podcast producer James Marriott said earlier in this feature, we are indeed going pretty big from the word go with not one but two first guests, both big-hitters. Greg Fell (above left) is Director of Public Health in Sheffield who has helped steer the city since the COVID-19 pandemic hit – his insight as we head into an uncertain new year will be invaluable and a must-listen.
PODCAST SPOTLIGHT Each month, we take a look at some of the amazing podcasts out there in the Sheffield City Region.
WOMANTHOLOGY Womanthology is the brainchild of Sheffieldbased Fiona Tatton. Now, the names of Womanthology and Fiona may already ring a bell with you because a few years back it was a hugely successful online magazine and community. Fiona had to put things on hold as
she overcame some major challenges of her own – but now she’s back! And not only is Womanthology a fortnightly online publication it’s now in podcast form, too. Each episode features two interviews and loads more content, centred on a key theme or issue. This brand is going to be huge in 2021 – if you’re not already a listener, it’s one to search out.
THE SOCIAL SANCTUARY Harvey Morton’s featured on unLTD's pages a few times
Alexis Krachai is MD of Counter Context and, along with Benchmark’s Louisa Harrison-Walker, is interim executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce. Alexis and Louisa are on a mission to completely reboot how the Chamber engages with its membership as they look to build the strongest Chamber in the UK. That message will be a familiar one to unLTD readers as Sheffield Chamber’s regular features have been updating us on their progress – read their latest feature on 38-39 in this issue where the new Council Board members reveal the progress of that transformation.
before – and just a few weeks ago he launched his very own podcast. The Social Sanctuary is described as ‘Inspirational conversations for a digital world’. Harvey’s work centres around social media – and his podcast is a unique exploration of that industry. The first season covered things like cyberbullying, youth unemployment and mental health. Harvey recently did a special festive episode with a look back at his highlights from the first season, so an ideal starting point for a new listener.
ROCHELLE’S REAL PROPERTY PODCAST You may recognise the name Rochelle Gilburn. Another familiar face to unLTD readers, she’s the founder of Gilburn Investment Group and Sell Your House South Yorkshire. Rochelle describes herself as a ‘property matchmaker’ and she has a truly unique and inspiring story. In November 2020 she launched her own podcast, having a look at the property industry through her own eyes. Her first episode was a fascinating journey through
PODCAST her own story, and I know she has big plans for some brilliant guests and plenty more on the show in 2021.
BRANDED PODCASTING There's an assumption that producing a podcast for your business means it has to be ABOUT your business. "We just don't have enough to fill episodes"... "No one would listen, what we do isn't very interesting"... just a couple of the things I've heard time and time again. What tends to get overlooked is the concept of branded content. That is – a podcast which has a connection to your business, but is actually telling a different story. Here's an example: General Electric isn't especially well known here, but in the US it's a huge brand in the power and healthcare spaces. Its podcast The Message has nothing to do with any of that – it’s actually a drama series about an alien transmission intercepted on earth. But the show centres on technology, perfectly in tune with GE being synonymous with invention and innovation. It’s years old but another great example is eBay’s Open For Business series which interviews entrepreneurs all about their experience of building a small business from scratch. It isn’t about eBay, but you can immediately see the connection to a platform built around small businesses. A lot of big brands are getting into this sort of content, and with the explosion in podcasting we've seen since the summer showing no signs of slowing down, I expect them to take off even more in 2021. This isn't something just for big brands. There's no reason your business couldn't have something similar. So if you don't feel a podcast about your business is right, maybe a branded podcast could work for you. Your team might love creating it between them.
The unLTD Podcast will feature exclusive interviews, conversations and features, as well as taking a look behind some of the stories in the magazine. We hope it’ll become one of your goto podcasts, whatever you do within the SCR.
The ideas are endless and if it seems a daunting prospect, that's understandable – but we can work together to formulate your concept and strategy, and ultimately make it a reality.
PODCASTING Q&A Every month on this page, we’ll answer some of your questions about podcasting – from something as simple as ‘how do I listen to a podcast?’ to more in-depth queries about growing an audience or monetising a show. So if you have a question you’d like answering about podcasting or audio in general, drop us a line! To contact me with any questions, or if you'd like to book in a discovery call to find out more about podcasting or how it could work for your business, drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org
GET FAMILIAR WITH THE FORMAT In the unLTD podcast you’ll also be able to hear the voices behind the magazine as James will be chatting to members of the unLTD team issues affecting the Sheffield City Region business community and the forthcoming issue.
EDITOR RICHARD FIDLER
Richard has been delivering his take on the latest news in The Diary since the very first issue of unLTD – his clear and decisive views on issues affecting the business community have made his columns a mustread. A regular host of unLTD’s social events (both online and ’IRL’ pre-COVID), Richard has also chaired unLTD’s roundtable events with Ameresco on key industry themes and topics.
HEAD OF SALES DAN LAVER
Is he the most connected (or Linked-In?) man in Sheffield?! Our Dan Laver is a very well-known face on the business and networking scenes – increasingly on Zoom, of late, of course! (Check out our feature with Exa on page 59 this issue!) In our podcast, our popular head of sales will be bringing James and listeners up to speed on all the exciting businesses and companies getting involved in our magazine and how unLTD will be spreading the word about their success and showcasing their brands and business development.
FEATURES WRITER JILL THEOBALD
Our features writer since issue one, Jill has plenty of unLTD cover stories and lead articles for the magazine under her belt, having interviewed a fair few of the city region’s leading business figures. Jill will be chatting to James to tell him all her latest interview subjects and share a few hints about the key stories listeners can expect to hear more from in the upcoming issue.
MAKING A DIGITAL SPLASH! Four websites. One digital agency. Fishtank’s Ola Tambor and Gemma Curry chatted with unLTD’s Mike Durham about their journey reinventing the digital presence of Yorkshire and Derbyshire accountancy firm, BHP
ADVERTORIAL “Any successful business needs an well-planned online presence.” In a world of remote working, it’s fair to say that this quote from Fishtank’s head of client services, Gemma Curry, sums up the importance of a business’s digital identity hook, line and sinker. BHP first approached Fishtank to completely reinvent their on-line presence to better reflect how the firm had evolved and changed over recent years. Gemma said: “Over the past eight years, BHP had trebled in size through a combination of organic growth and a number of niche acquisitions. “The messaging was different; the style was different. The platforms all had a BHP logo on them but there was no synergy between them, and they were quite old. BHP tasked Fishtank with ensuring that the culture, values and capabilities of the firm were consistently communicated across all of their on-line platforms.” This included reimagining BHP’s main website, as well as two sister-sites for their Corporate Finance and Prosper teams. A big task in itself, which was made all the more complex by having to work backwards – the Corporate Finance site had to take priority due to it having recently joined a global Corporate Finance Network. “We knew the main site wouldn’t be a cut and paste. The Corporate Finance site was tailored to their team and their service offering. We had to identify the key elements we would take to the main site to create that cohesive feel and bring it together as a BHP family.” When Fishtank came to meeting the team, they were nothing like how they’d imagined. “We were pleasantly surprised as you think of accountancy and imagine it’s all very shirt and tie,
very strait-laced, but the Corporate Finance team were completely different. They were enthusiastic about what they do, they weren’t hellbent on crunching numbers.” Showcasing this “humanity” within BHP, as well as the firm’s skills and talent, became a key theme throughout the portfolio as it was important to persuade clients why they were unique compared to other accountants. “We didn’t want it to look like any other accountancy website, we wanted to showcase the personality of the team because the team are what make the business.” Just as important, according to Fishtank’s head of digital Ola Tambor, was actually getting around all these
We didn’t want it to look like any other accountancy website, we wanted to showcase the personality of the team because the team are what make the business.
different websites without bounce rates bubbling over. “With the breadth of BHP’s services and categorisations, the way the navigation works and the structure – it’s a navigation within a navigation. “Part of the success of these sites, and the fact that the BHP following is growing, is that they’re easy to use and visitors can find the reassurance and expertise they need.” Perhaps what’s most impressive about so many sites is how well they emphasise the individual parts of the business, whilst also bringing them all together with a modern design. Gemma added: “From the outset they were quite clear about a cohesive look and feel, and adamant we weren’t rebranding or changing the logo. We were worried we might be tied into the brand guidelines, but BHP were very happy to adapt and see things grow. “They did give us some creative license to push what they had a little bit further. We were able look at the colour palettes and font types they had and tried to make a difference between each platform. “We pushed it as much as we could to make sure the websites could stand the test of time.” Fishtank went on to spend 18 months monitoring and reviewing the three websites, which Gemma says was made seamless thanks to BHP being so “invested” in the process: “Some clients who know they need a new website, and they know they need to have it, but they aren’t that concerned about it. They don’t have the time to get into the detail, whereas with BHP they were highly invested from the beginning. “Their media and profile manager, Lucy Ellis, was so switched on, so strategic. She was on it, and it was a blessing to work with her - she made it far more seamless than other projects we’ve worked on in the past.”
GEMMA CURRY WITH FISHTANK MD, DAMIEN FISHER
ADVERTORIAL But this wasn’t the end of Fishtank’s working relationship with BHP. Gemma said: “A site is never really complete. Things always evolve, especially as the business develops. We work with BHP closely to make sure the sites are working the way they are meant to. If there are pages that aren’t getting much traffic then we’re here to find out why.” “We forged such a good relationship with BHP that our relationship has progressed and developed and they trust in us. We were able to deliver what we set out to do, but as things change and the business progresses, we need to make sure the site is reflective of that.” Ola added: “Part of this is about bringing more attention to their content. BHP write a lot
of great expert content, but people weren’t always reading it as much as they potentially could be. “By changing elements we’re able to bring that to the front more, and get more people interested in what they’re posting.” Recently Fishtank helped to launch an all-new microsite to focus on the accountant’s Consulting services. They also act as an advisor on advertising campaigns, such as Consulting’s free-virtual coffee mornings. Ola said: “There’s always a lot going on at BHP. They are a firm that are invested in looking after their staff and clients. That shines across in all the events they hold; the networking meetings and training sessions.” The pair say that the project has become
BHP's main site has seen a
370% INCREASE in traffic to its contact page
something of a “showcase” for the digital agency, and is something they regularly use when pitching to new clients. Gemma said: “It shows the breadth of creativity, but also innovation from a technical point of view that lifted the site with the level of micro transitions and gestures that are quite subliminal – you don’t see things popping here there and all over the site.” “It takes it to that next level which is reflective of BHP and who they are.”
Fishtank also received nominations for the work at the Northern Marketing Awards and W3 Awards. Ola added: “It’s more than just a relationship, it’s recognition from our peers. It’s very important to us because it’s reassurance we’re doing something right.” “Working with BHP was like working with a family of businesses. They know a lot of people, and being able to win them over and work with them to show that we can be a great partner has opened up possibilities within their network for us to provide solutions. “BHP really are experts in their respective fields, but they also share that knowledge with others around them. I think there is a lot of value in networking in our region and supporting businesses around us.” Find out more about what Fishtank have to offer online: fishtankagency.com
LUCY ELLIS, MEDIA AND PROFILE MANAGER FOR BHP, SAID: “When we set out to update our digital platforms, we thought we had an incredibly difficult task on our hands – especially with multiple websites to wrap our heads around. We can’t thank Fishtank enough for stepping up to the challenge and putting us at ease. “Gemma, Ola and the rest of Fishtank’s talented team spent an exceptional amount of time getting to learn anything and everything about us. The websites they designed are cohesive, easy to use and showcase what make BHP unique.” FISHTANK'S HEAD OF DIGITAL, OLA TAMBOR
Take a look at BHP’s redesigned site yourself here: bhp.co.uk
OFFICE ADVERTORIAL HEROES
OFFICEHEROES BIGGEST AND BEST YET! Glu Recruit, the South Yorkshire-based specialist recruitment consultancy, has revealed its 2020 Office Heroes Awards online event was its ‘biggest and best yet’ The annual awards ceremony celebrating the unsung workplace heroes in the Sheffield City Region was held in a virtual setting in December, and won by Charlotte Swinhoe, fundraiser at Weston Park Cancer Charity. After a record 50 nominations, the judging panel of key figures from the local business community, and local broadcasting legend Harry Gration MBE, decided the final shortlist of ten, along with the overall winner, two highly commended and one special mention award. Rob Shaw, Glu Recruit MD and founder of Office Heroes said: “We are so happy that not only were we still able to run the awards, but we also managed to make this one the biggest and best yet! Despite the restrictions due to the pandemic, we decided running
the event in a virtual setting was better than cancelling and losing the momentum gained since the first awards in 2018. “After the year we all had in 2020, we felt it was even more important than ever to celebrate those unsung heroes in the workplace. The ethos of the awards has always been to shine the spotlight on individuals who go above and beyond, day after day, to support their teams and their businesses, and in 2020 in particular we were looking out for those stand-out performers, who don’t usually get recognised at traditional ceremonies. “Every single nomination we received lived up to the criteria, and it’s safe to say they are all Office Heroes within their organisations.” Harry Gration MBE said: “It was a great honour to be part of the judging team. We
ROB SHAW, MD AT GLU RECRUIT
were initially searching for the person that went the extra mile, but quickly realised due to the calibre of nominations that it would have to be the person who went the extra ten miles. We then had to adapt this even further to the person that went the extra 100 miles, because it was the most difficult judging we have all ever had to make!
“My heartfelt congratulations go to Charlotte who is a worthy winner, and one comment I absolutely loved from her nomination was that if she could be bottled, they could sell her and make a fortune – that was a lovely way of describing her, because she is the perfect person to have around the office.”
THE WINNER: CHARLOTTE SWINHOE WESTON PARK CANCER CHARITY
THE 2020 OFFICE HEROES RUNNERS- UP : Highly Commended: Chloe Staniforth, Pricecheck
Highly Commended: Keeley Woodcock, Future Life Wealth Management Special Mention: Lee Perks, Barnsley College
THE 2020 JUDGES : Harry Gration MBE, Paces Charity Patron Dame Julie Kenny, Wentworth Woodhouse
CHARLOTTE SWINHOE, OFFICE HEROES WINNER 2020
After pulling in a clean sweep from the judging panel, the top prize was awarded to Charlotte, who has had to adapt to new ways of operating and fundraising this year. Described by the judges as ‘leading change in a challenged sector, going above, beyond and outside her expected role, and taking her job to the next level’ Charlotte won the coveted Office Hero title, an engraved trophy and £500 of Meadowhall vouchers. Charlotte said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have won. I was shocked when it was announced, as I wasn’t expecting to win at all. Hearing what all of the incredible finalists have
achieved was amazing, and how everyone has overcome the challenges that 2020 has thrown at us, and been there for their teams – I’m so proud to have been a finalist amongst such a wonderful group of people. “When COVID-19 hit and the world changed, we had to adapt with it at Weston Park Cancer Charity, so we could keep raising muchneeded funds to continue to support cancer patients and their families, and fund vital research. “Some of the things I introduced included a weekly ‘Cuppa and Catch Up’ and quiz, and got the team joining in with a Weston Park Wiggle (a now famous dance move!). I
Dr Simon Biltcliffe, Webmart
HARRY GRATION MBE
Joada Allen, Visualised it Video Production
Jay Bhayani, Bhayani HR & Employment Law
Toby Pochron, Freeths
Brendan Hall, Hallmark Branding
organised free hot drinks with Cafeology to all staff at Weston Park Cancer Centre, an I’m a Celeb Sweepstake, a virtual breakfast, and we turned around the 2.6 Challenge in two weeks, raising more than £20,000 for people affected by cancer. “It means a lot to have won, as I didn’t expect to be nominated as I really do see these things as part of the job, and looking back it makes me really proud of what I’ve achieved. You can’t be an Office Hero without an incredible team by your side, and always being there for one another – so thank you to everyone, as we’ve got through this year together.” Rob Shaw added: “All that
is left to say is thank you to everyone who got involved in this year’s awards – to our co-sponsors unLTD Business, Cuckoo Films for pulling together the video for us, everyone who nominated their fantastic colleagues, the judges, finalists, and all the winners – who made the awards one to remember.” Missed the 2020 Office Heroes event? Or want to re-live it? Watch on Glu’s YouTube channel – scan the QR code below:
Many accelerated their digital plans as a result of the pandemic, but Evoluted’s MD Ash Young went into high gear by launching CarMats.co.uk. unLTD’s Mike Durham had a chat to find out Ash’s secret to getting on track to hit £1m turnover in a year
ADVERTORIAL XXXXXXXXXX Practice what you preach is Ash’s motto. As a man who spends his days running a digital agency advising how to make your mark online – it’s not a phrase to be thrown around. Ash has a long-running passion for all things e-commerce since studying software engineering at university, and with the extratime working from home has provided, he decided it was time to put his advice to the test selling car mats online. Thanks to an earlier venture, Ash had all the car mat know-how, and with data suggesting more people were shopping for them online than ever before to avoid visiting retail stores amid a pandemic, the business made sense. Ash said: “You need to understand your product inside and out, you don’t need to be passionate about it. I’m not mad about car mats – I’m mad about e-commerce and digital marketing.” Car mats profitability was key to Ash’s success – there are lots of opportunities to upsell by offering personalisation, few customer returns, and a handful of competitors. Ash knew entering a crowded market is tough after attempting to sell flowers online in 2016: “What an absolute disaster that was. I hadn’t realised how competitive flowers is as an online business. “There are so many players prepared to spend a huge amount of money to acquire a customer, and possibly not even make that money back in 12 months.” Once you’ve identified your product, you have to start thinking about finding a good supplier, choosing a suitable name, and identifying an appropriate platform. There’s no key to finding the perfect supplier – Ash found his searching on Google. The nuance comes in figuring out who you don’t want. “Are they reliable? Will they deliver the product on time? What happens when a machinist has been on a
ASH YOUNG, FOUNDER & OWNER OF CARMATS.CO.UK
night out and comes into work absolutely hanging?” Ash picked a supplier used by prominent high street names, which was a clear sign they had good due diligence and would resolve issues easily – plus he was even able to compare test samples against those in retail. All his items are made to order, which removes any worries about stock levels, but Ash does note some drawbacks such as lengthy lead times especially when customers are waiting on a replacement if something goes amiss. When it comes to deciding a name it all depends on what you sell: “I run an agency called Evoluted, and from that name you have no idea what we do, which is fine for an agency… but not for a retailer. I wanted the consumer to look at the site and go, ‘you sell car mats’.” Ash tracked down the owner of CarMats.co.uk from information on the internet, and bought the domain for £5.5k, and only realises how much of a steal it was now: “Exact match domain, great
branded search capabilities, and it screams trust.” Trust is an interesting topic when it comes to selling online. Ash usually advises to make sure customers can easily call you to instil buyer confidence, but CarMats.co.uk has flipped that theory on its head: “The thing that surprised me is how happy people are not to talk to you. Most people who ring the sales number actually apologise as they couldn’t put it in an email. I think a lot of companies get more phone calls than they actually need.” When it comes to finding the best online platform for your business, there doesn’t appear to be any right or wrong answers - Carmats.co.uk is powered by Shopify which Ash stands by for its ease-ofuse: “You have to choose what limitations you can live with. Every platform has some level of drawbacks. At the end of the day, an end-user doesn’t look at a website and say: ‘I’m not going to shop there because the URLs aren’t as nicely formed as they could be’.”
The secret of his fast-track to success has been going slow and steady. “When I first launched the website, I only had the Ford Focus range, so I kept it really small initially rather than going out there spending months populating a website only to realise you have something fundamentally wrong. “I wasn’t worried about hitting all the marketing channels at once. A lot of clients come to Evoluted wanting SEO, paid ads, social media and email marketing all at once, whereas when I launched, I knew I should just do one channel, smash it and move on. “A £10k monthly marketing budget split across four channels doesn’t do a great deal, whereas if you put it into one you can potentially get a fantastic return.” Ash now has more than 1800 different mats for sale with everything from a Vauxhall Astra to a Porsche 911. You’re probably wondering how he managed to scale so fast with another business and a family to look after – the truth is he didn’t. It takes around 15 minutes to add an item to CarMats. co.uk, meaning it would have taken two months to populate the whole site. Outsourcing set Ash back around £3600 – more than worth it when you consider how rapidly he has developed. “It’s a bit of an ego thing. I was trying to do the one-man challenge when it would have been a lot less stressful and less painful if I’d got the help in when I first needed it.” Inspired to give it a go yourself yet? Ash said: “There was a real risk at the start of this of me looking like an idiot - just get it out there and see what happens. It doesn’t need to be perfect, if something goes wrong just correct it, you will only affect a very small number of users. Don’t be afraid to fail.” Be sure to visit carmats.co.uk to kit out your vehicle, and head to evoluted.net if you’re looking for digital advice.
MAKING GRADUATE RECRUITMENT EASY The RISE initiative helps SMEs in the Sheffield City Region to recruit graduates, with more than 500 successful appointments in the past seven years. unLTD’s Chris Coates spoke to SME engagement manager Oliver Tarrant about the work they do RISE is an innovative business support initiative that connects small and medium sized businesses across the Sheffield City Region with talented, hard-working graduates. RISE is proud of the fact it doesn’t just introduce SMEs to graduates – it supports them to ensure they recruit the right person to help their business grow. Although the jobs market has been hit hard by the pandemic, RISE has been able
RIKKI STOUT, XBITE
Xbite Online retailer Xbite operates from Barlborough in Derbyshire and has evolved from a niche re-seller of used games and gaming equipment to a global e-commerce business. Xbite trained up more than 20 apprentices in 2019 and since June 2020 they have recruited five graduates through the RISE initiative. Rikki Stout, head of HR at Xbite, said: “RISE has matched us with excellent people straight from university, meaning we can nurture and develop them early on.
to continue by moving its support online. Applicants are matched to the SME’s needs and put forward for interview. Once a suitable appointment has been selected, the RISE team will continue to offer support to the graduate and employer through monitoring progress and holding three- and six-month review meetings. Oliver Tarrant, SME engagement manager at RISE, said: “We aren’t a graduate
RISE has matched us with excellent people straight from university, meaning we can nurture and develop them... “Graduates will need time to learn your specific systems, tech and culture, but that is the same with any new appointment. There are some major benefits to businesses that connect with people in this way and help to develop their skills at the very start of their career.”
recruitment agency – our support goes much further than that. We find as much information as we can about the business so we can identify graduates who would be suited to working for them. We want to help SMEs see the benefits of recruiting graduates in the future, so we offer a wrap-around service to help employers on how to recruit, train and retain graduates beyond our initial support. Our track record
S3 ID Rotherham-based S3 ID design, manufacture and supply niche safety, security and productivity systems used in hazardous areas such as offshore and onshore oil and gas vessels. The majority of S3 ID’s 25-strong team work in technical roles which are hard to fill. In February 2020 University of Sheffield graduate Adam Wilson was matched with S3 ID through RISE. Adam is now working directly with the product engineers on the workshop floor and represented S3 ID to approve the operation of a new personnel tracking system for an offshore vessel in Norway. Elaine Errington, HR and finance director at S3 ID, said: “The UK engineering sector is suffering from a nationwide skills shortage – for these highly technical roles you can't just pull in an engineer off the street.
shows that the process works and that graduates have so much to offer SMEs in the Sheffield City Region.” RISE is delivered in partnership by Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield City Council, and is part-funded by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
ELAINE ERRINGTON, S3 ID
“RISE is helping us to identify those all-important transferable skills and we will invest the time to train the very best graduates in our specialist technology. Our business plan is to bring people in early and give them the experience they need to build engineers of the future.”
KEEPING CYBER SAFE AT HOME In June unLTD had a chat over Zoom with Mark Booth from Exa Networks about the transition from office to remote working. Six months later, Matt Holmes grabbed another online chat with Mark and his colleague Edd Grinham to discuss cyber security, and how it has been impacted with the shift to working from home It is probably safe to say that remote working can lead to a number of cyber security issues which can impact your business as well as your customers. While 87 per cent of small business owners believe they are safe from being hacked, they may be unaware that online threats have increased by 37 per cent since the pandemic began. If your business isn’t adequately set up for remote working, issues with vulnerability can quickly rear their head. Here Mark and Edd give their top tips to improve cyber security in your small business. Cyber Security Plan Make sure you have a cyber security plan implemented that enables employees to recognise and deal with any potential threats. If they receive an email that looks unusual, knowing what to look for is paramount to preventing an attack. This can include looking at the sender’s email address and checking it is legitimately from them. Password Security When it comes to passwords for business accounts,
employees should use a strong, unique password coupled with some form of two-factor authentication. Having this will mean a twostage sign-in process and gives a whole extra layer of security. Creating Backups Keeping your data backedup can often be overlooked, but it really shouldn’t. We recommend the 1-2-3 method: One copy of the data kept offsite, two of the data backups on different storage types and having at least three copies of the data including the original. Any data that is stored on the cloud should be encrypted and protected from unauthorised access with passwords.
These firewalls are specifically configured to prevent unauthorised access to an individual system or a network of computers. With 60 per cent of small businesses closing within six months of suffering a
significant cyber-attack, the importance of this cannot be overstated. Find out further information on our FortiGate products on our website: exa.net.uk/ services/fortinet-security
Secure Wi-Fi If your employee uses a personal laptop for work, how safe is that device? How secure is their domestic Wi-Fi network? A weak network can lead to breaches. Even the most careful employees can be compromised if their security isn’t at the required level to prevent unwanted access. You can protect yourself against system vulnerabilities by using a strong firewall such as our FortiGate products.
MENTORING THE NEXT GENERATION
OF BUSINESS INNOVATORS LAYTON YATES, PITZ PRINTS
Despite the challenges of 2020, Barnsley College saw a record number of businesses launched by current and former students who are already seeing success after receiving support from the iTrust initiative. The iTrust initiative, a joint venture between the College, The Barnsley Chronicle and The Business Village, supports students interested in starting up a business. Students who choose to receive support from iTrust have access to an array of information and guidance including mentoring from the College’s Enterprise team, The Prince’s Trust, industry specialists and local businesses. The scheme can also provide students with a start-up grant of up to £250 to launch their new venture. Jess Widdowson, enterprise team leader at Barnsley College, said: “iTrust has been busier than ever. Our aspiring entrepreneurs are realising business opportunities in very challenging times and the support that they are receiving from iTrust and local businesses is proving to
be invaluable to the success of their new ventures.” The College saw a record number of businesses launched in 2020 by current and former students who are already seeing success after investment from the iTrust Initiative:
Pitz Prints Layton Yates, a BA (Hons) Popular Music student at Barnsley College Higher Education, has turned his passion for drawing, creating art and becoming a musician into a business venture. Layton’s business, Pitz Prints, was born when he realised he could promote his music by printing designs onto clothing and sending his customers a free CD of his own music, with all orders over £25. Layton, said: “My interest in the printing industry started about two years ago and I quickly decided I wanted to create my own business. I was inspired by the idea of bringing something new and different to Barnsley and I have been seriously working on my business venture for about
At first I was a little scared about pursuing my career goals and I didn’t know how to start a business but, because of the iTrust initiative, I now know exactly what I have to do and I’m so much more confident.
six months. I have recently injected more funding into my equipment and stock and I’m slowly building up a client base and focusing on promotion.” Layton received a grant from iTrust which allowed him to purchase an automated cutting machine ensuring the cutting and printing process reduced the lead time for his customers. Nails by Ella Barnsley College student, Ella White, was inspired to start her own business, Nails by Ella, after considering her employment options and deciding she would love nothing more than for people to recognise her own work, which she felt was only possible by working on her very own clients.
ELLA WHITE, NAILS BY ELLA
Ella said: “At first I was a little scared about pursuing my career goals and I didn’t know how to start a business but, because of the iTrust initiative, I now know exactly what I have to do and I’m so much more confident. They have helped me so much, with little things like creating a name and a Facebook business account to accessing in-depth information on how to get insurance.” While working from home, Ella has devoted her time to completing online courses and brushing up her nail art skills to provide her clients with a variety of treatments. Ella received a grant from iTrust enabling her to purchase her insurance and she also has access to a further grant which she will use to purchase more stock and complete further training. If you would like find out more about iTrust or employer engagement initiatives offered by Barnsley College please contact the Enterprise Department by emailing email@example.com
YOUR DONATIONS HELP FUND VITAL RESEARCH AT SHEFFIELD CHILDREN’S
Paul Dimitri, director of research and innovation at Sheffield Children’s, shares an open letter with unLTD readers on the ‘incredible generosity’ of donations which are helping support vital research and technology As we start the new year, I would like to tell you about the importance of research for the children and young people we look after as well as those from across the whole country. From developing new medicines to pioneering new health technologies, this research is fundamental in ensuring that we provide the best treatment possible for patients in our care. Through our research studies, children and young people can access the latest in treatments and technology, meaning that we can provide the most up-to-date care for our patients. Every year between 1,500 to 2,500 children and families are involved in around 350 research studies in Sheffield Children’s. Some of these projects include trialling new medicines for children with long term conditions, developing innovative technologies and supporting services across multiple
different areas including emergency care, specialist paediatrics, community health, and child and adolescent mental health. Sheffield Children’s is home to national and international leaders in research and innovation. Their work in several different specialty areas is ground-breaking. Combined with the help and support of everyone who participates in research, Sheffield Children’s has established itself an international leader in the field, having been so successful in developing cutting edge therapies for children and young people. We are incredibly grateful for all your support, as when you donate to The Children’s Hospital Charity, your incredible generosity helps to support research and technology development for our children and young people. The Children’s Hospital Charity provides up to £250,000 every year to support
the best research at Sheffield Children’s, making sure that all our research benefits our patients and families. This research covers many different specialties, has benefited thousands of patients, and has helped launch and support the careers of many of our best researchers in the Trust. On behalf of everyone you have helped, thank you. Looking to the future, Sheffield Children’s will
continue to strive to lead the way internationally in children’s health research and technology development. This can only be achieved through the support and participation of our patients and families, the continuing hard work and dedication of our staff and the generosity of those donating to The Children’s Hospital Charity. By continuing to develop the best medicines, treatment and services for children and young people through research, innovation and technology development, I am certain that Sheffield Children’s will be able to offer all those that come to our hospital the best and most advanced healthcare in the world. To support The Children’s Hospital Charity, and help fund innovative research projects to keep Sheffield Children’s at the forefront of paediatric care, please visit www.tchc.org.uk
BARCLAYS GIVES ST LUKE’S TELEPHONE HELPLINE £100,000 BOOST The Barclays 100x100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme has given £100,000 to St Luke’s Hospice to aid patients and families in Sheffield by extending a vital telephone helpline throughout the pandemic. For St Luke’s, that means being able to extend the hours of operation for the patient helpline that has become a vital means of practical support for both patients and families throughout Sheffield during the many stages of lockdown. “We are quite simply overwhelmed by the generous level of support that Barclays
has shown,” said St Luke’s head of fundraising Joasia Lesniak. “At any time, a donation of £100,000 would be beyond all expectations but as we continue to work on through the pandemic and strive to maintain vital levels of service for all the people of Sheffield, the impact of this donation simply cannot be underestimated. Matthew Chenery, Barclays Relationship Director, said: “By reaching those most in need of support, local charities such as St Luke’s Hospice have played a vital role in this crisis to date, and no doubt they will do going forward.”
NATASHA GLOSSOP OF THE ST LUKE’S COMMUNITY TEAM
The Curve selected as Tickets for Good’s DevOps Delivery Partner Tickets for Good, a Sheffield company that focuses on combining social life with social good, has appointed The Curve to help scale its digital capacity in preparation for the return of venue-based events. The move will allow the
firm to prepare for an influx of customers as the events industry bounces back following the pandemic, and forms part of the company’s new digital growth strategy. Tickets for Good works to make events more charitable
and inclusive by providing free event tickets to charities and social groups through The Ticket Bank to improve the mental health and wellbeing of individuals who could not otherwise access these events. CEO and founder Steve
Rimmer said: “We have appointed The Curve to help us with this journey and with their expertise we hope to achieve our mission to support the ever-increasing number of organisations and communities in need across society.”
Charity’s figures highlight frontline role during pandemic A Sheffield charity says it has sent its 900th piece of ‘happy post’, as it catalogues the thousands of interactions it has made to keep older people safe during the pandemic. The pen pal letters are on top of almost 950 pieces of equipment fitted, 140 bits of furniture moved and 182 key safes installed – themselves part of 1626 referrals Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC) has completed since January. The charity says it’s also recruited and trained 55 new volunteers to cope with a surging demand for its support,
including helping more than 180 people return home after a spell in hospital. Mark Storey, CEO at SCCCC, said: “2020 was a year like no other, but these figures tell the story of how our brilliant volunteers and small team of staff have stepped up in a big way to deliver a vital service to more than 200 isolated, older people in our communities.” Key services the charity provides include help for older people being discharged from hospital, and its renowned ‘Good Neighbour Scheme’ which seeks to tackle loneliness in people over 65 years old.
SCCCC TEAM MEMBERS HAVE BEEN ACTIVE THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC
L I M I T E D
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