unLTD. Connecting business across Sheffield City Region #68

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ON THE COVER... 34: ONE STEP AHEAD For this month’s cover feature, unLTD interviews Staff One founder Julian McFarlane about growing his recruitment agency and how using bespoke software has helped them to flourish in the process.




COLUMN EDITOR Olivia Warburton



14: LIGHTBULB MOMENT Steel Cactus founder Simon Gillott discusses “the spirit of adventure” involved in taking the plunge and setting up your own business. 22: UNLTD BUSINESS AWARDS 23 The all-important shortlists have been announced and tickets are now on sale for our glitzy event celebrating the region’s best SMEs. See who made the cut and book your seat at one of the biggest events on the business community’s social calendar! 26: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ECONOMY Kate Hill of Simoda Technology Solutions explores how we can help make South Yorkshire’s business economy more sustainable by reusing resources, reducing waste and investing in renewables. 42: FASHION… FAST Sheffield-based entrepreneur Darren Forde tells us story behind Samdai, an innovative delivery platform that promises to bring a range of local fashion products to your door within a mere two hours. 44: INVEST AND INNOVATE We shine a light on the work of UKSE, a business investment company and workspace provider dedicated to nurturing innovation within former steel communities. across Yorkshire and the Humber.


DESIGN Marc Barker ADVERTISING Phil Turner


phil@unltdbusiness.com 07979 498 034

Nick Hallam

As regular readers of this publication will no doubt be aware, showcasing the incredible SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs we have across South Yorkshire is very much our raison d’etre here at unLTD. In which case, you can imagine just how excited we are to be bringing the first ever unLTD Business Awards to Sheffield’s Peddler Warehouse on November 30 this year. The event will be hosted by The Chase’s Paul Sinha, who will be onstage to congratulate the winners in 19 categories designed to celebrate businesses and individuals who’ve helped to drive the region’s economy forward over the last 12 months. Entries are open now and close on October 13, so don’t leave it too late! All you have to do is complete a very straightforward application form at awards.unltdbusiness.com and upload a short video explaining why you or your nominated business should win. The judging process will then take place before nominations are revealed on October 27. You can discover additional details regarding the specific award categories and learn how to secure a ticket for the grand event by turning to page 22. Furthermore, to set the stage for our first-ever awards ceremony, you can peruse another issue brimming with innovative business stories and the latest big news across the region. Here’s to another successful month for businesses in South Yorkshire, and we look forward to catching up with you in October.

nick@exposedmagazine.co.uk 07843 483536

FINANCE Lis Ellis accounts@ exposedmagazine.co.uk CONTRIBUTORS Charlotte Cassells Ryan Connolly Jo Davison Rachael Flintoft Ross Jarman Becca Morris Tim Renshaw Laura Stead Wendy Ward Jill White

unLTD is published monthly by Blind Mice Media Ltd Unit 1B Rialto, 2 Kelham Island Sq., Kelham Riverside, Sheffield S3 8SD The views contained herein are not necessarily those of Blind Mice Media Ltd and while every effort is made to ensure information throughout unLTD is correct, changes prior to distribution may take place which can affect the accuracy of copy, therefore Blind Mice Media Ltd cannot take responsibility for contributors’ views or specific listings.



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Your identity is a secret

Your real name and address should be your bestkept secret. With internet harassment and doxxing, most streamers will strive their hardest not to accidentally leak their identities. There is a range of harassment streamers can face, from being signed up to newsletters to being stalked. This can be more intense for streamers in America, who can face swatting if their address ends up online. This is when people will call the police and generate an emergency law enforcement response against the victim under false pretences.


achieving more success than you are, while wanting to be happy for them at the same time.

You work on your own time While it’s so important to jump on trends and engage as soon as you can, one of the greatest things about being a streamer is choosing your own hours, and how often you want to work. The exception to this sponsorships, which will sometimes require certain hours and days, but they can be are fantastic as well; as a gamer, getting paid to promote and play video games I wanted to buy myself and play anyway is one of the best feelings ever.


It’s an International Community

Your community is everything as a streamer. Without dedicated viewers, you don’t get paid! But the great thing about streaming is you get to have all kinds of people watching and engaging with you in your chat every day. For some people, when I go live to play videogames in the evening, they’re across the other side of the world, having a coffee while watching me because their day has just begun. It can be a really accepting place for people to be, and people within my community have made friends with each other.

Social media is a blessing and a curse I rely on social media every day as my job. Sometimes something that is small and insignificant to me, that I put very little effort into, will get tons of engagement and make a huge difference to my career. And social media is excellent for meeting other people within the streaming world as well. However, on the other side, while other streamers can be friends, they can also be direct competition to you. It can be so draining scrolling social media and seeing all your peers

Your mental health comes first It’s easy to forget about what’s really important when you’re constantly online and trying to come up with original content. The nature of online gaming communities will often attract lonely people, who might lean on you and your community as a comfort in their lives. Sometimes this is rewarding but can also be draining, as without boundaries you can end up taking on some of the struggles of other people. It’s really important to know when to switch off as well. While it’s important to jump on trends, it can be hard to know when to disengage and turn off your phone, stop scrolling social media, and stay present in the moment.



Louise has been streaming for five years. She went fulltime after finishing university in 2020 and currently works as a streamer for UK esports organisation Endpoint, who are also based in Sheffield. You can find her streaming on Twitch, or on socials @poopernoodle.




WINNERS CROWNED IN BUSINESS AWARDS The Sheffield Business Awards, organised by Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, saw hundreds of people gather to honour the businesses, individuals, collaborators and not-forprofit organisations at a lavish ceremony at The Octagon. Guests enjoyed a threecourse dinner as winners from across 16 revamped categories were announced by host Chelsey Ward from BBC Radio Sheffield. For the first time in the award ceremony’s history, nominations were not limited to just businesses, but also open to individuals, collaborators,

and Third Sector organisations, providing the opportunity for a wider mix of the business community to showcase

their achievements. Louisa Harrison-Walker, Chief Executive of the chamber said: “To all those organisations that were

shortlisted, and to all those who were named winners on stage, you represent the very best of Sheffield and are all part of what makes our city the best place in the UK to start, grow or run a successful business.” Karen Mosley, President added: “We had an incredible night celebrating everything we love about our great city. “We’d also like to thank all our judges who took time out of their busy schedules to read applications and to our sponsors who helped make this event happen.” For a full list of the winners, head to unltdbusiness.com.

IoT start-up receives jaw-dropping funding Sheffield-based IoT start-up FourJaw has raised £1.8 million from the NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance to maximise its manufacturing productivity, further enhance its awardwinning machine monitoring platform and expand its customer base. Founded in 2020 as a spinout from the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, FourJaw’s platform acts as a fitness tracker for machines, monitoring ‘vital signs’ such as machine utilisation and energy usage and processes the data enabling manufacturers to remove inefficiencies. 8


The latest funding brings the total raised to date to almost £4m and will enable FourJaw to accelerate product development and

invest in its technology and customer success teams, creating seven new jobs. Chris Iveson, co-founder and CEO of FourJaw, said:

“Improving productivity, sustainability and profitability are the three key challenges facing manufacturers today."

NIBS THE SEO WORKS FOR KDM Award-winning digital agency The SEO Works has been selected to help take KDM Events’ organic digital standings to the next level.

SHEFFIELD BEER CITY A University of Sheffield professor has commissioned a new report to explore whether Sheffield is still the best city in the world for beer. The 2016 Sheffield Beer City Report found that the city is the real ale capital of the world, revealing the Sheffield City Region had nearly five times as many breweries per person than London.

Summer of success at Sheffield Tech Parks Five tech startups based at Sheffield Technology Parks are doubling down on research, innovation and business expansion after securing a total of over £1.2 million in investment throughout summer 2023. The startups, which range from an app that enables safe, shared and sustainable travel, to a healthtech company creating pioneering programmes to reverse chronic diseases, have received financial backing from a range of sources including venture capitalists, private Angel Investors and grant funding. Part of the Cooper Project, Sheffield Technology Park’s business incubator, the startups are given workspace, business guidance and coaching to help them develop their ideas, establish business strategies and seek investment to support their growth. The secured funds will be invested in a range of activities, including job creation, investments in equipment and premises and partnering with other organisations to conduct crucial research to underpin tech products and services. Tom Wolfenden, CEO of Sheffield Technology Parks, said: “The investments we’ve seen over the summer months are testament to that hard work and to the commitment these individuals have for their work, not to mention exceptional levels of skill and expertise. “As we start to see these companies grow and scale, there will be more jobs created in the city, more opportunities for collaboration and reasons for people to come here and invest in our economy. It’s great news all round for Sheffield and South Yorkshire.” Sheffield Technology Parks is an inclusive home for ambitious tech entrepreneurs, supporting businesses through the startup and scaleup stages, and beyond offering office, workshop and lab spaces for the city's most innovative businesses. For more information, visit: shefftechparks.com.

ZONEGREEN SECURES LANDMARK CONTRACT Rail safety specialist Zonegreen is marking a major milestone in its development, after signing a maintenance contract with a 50th UK depot. The Sheffield-based firm has struck a deal with Northern Trains to maintain its Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS) at Hull’s Botanic Gardens facility.

NEW CONSTRUCTION COMPANY BUILDS ITS HOME IN PENNIE FIVE Aztec Construction, a new design and building specialist, is set to open its new Northern headquarters at Pennine Five in Sheffield City Centre next month.

HOUSING SHORTFALL According to new research from housing experts at Sheffield Hallam University, the eight largest housebuilding firms in the UK have paid shareholders £16 billion in dividends over the last 18 years without significantly increasing the supply of new homes.




Simoda sets new sites Sheffield-based IT and innovative technology company Simoda is set to create 50 new jobs over the next two years following its move to a new site at Kelham Island. Simoda Technology Solutions, which provides cloud services and IT solutions, has made the move to a 6,500 sq. ft site on Burton Road later this year, which is nearly triple the size of the company’s previous office space at Eagle Works. The move to The Maltings at 81 Burton Road, which comprises two floors and an annex building, futureproofs the business for the next five years. As part of the company’s growth ambitions, it hopes to establish a training academy on the second floor of the new building to provide training for 18–22 year-olds who want to break into the technology industry. Daniel Bumby, Managing Director of Simoda, said: “It was really important for us to remain in Kelham Island. It offers everything we need to enable us to continue to grow and attract future employees, from car parking to bars and restaurants for after-work

socialising and team building. “In just over four years we have gone from strength to strength. The new office location gives us a fantastic platform to expand our business, create even more jobs and continue to provide a fantastic service to our

Fenti Celebrates Cyber Essentials Certification


customers.” The company, which currently employs 35 people, was established in 2019 and has grown year-on-year after being established by founders Daniel Bumby and Jason Garner.

Leading digital marketing agency Fenti have successfully achieved Cyber Essentials Certification, locking down on cyber security. This latest milestone for the Sheffield-based agency is an example of Fenti’s dedication to excellence and the safeguarding of client data in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape. Fenti partnered with trusted Cuber Essentials Partner the IASME consortium who specialise in helping businesses improve the quality of their cyber security. Mark Shipley, marketing director at Fenti, said: “We’re always looking for ways to improve the quality of our services, so it’s amazing to finally receive our Cyber Essentials certification, solidifying our reputation as a secure and reliable marketing agency that always has our client’s best interests at the forefront of all that we do. “This new step forward is a huge achievement for Fenti and the team, and we look forward to what is to come next!”


SOUTH YORKSHIRE PUPILS STARGAZING WITH PROF BRIAN COX 490 students from schools across South Yorkshire are set to take part in the fourth annual North Star Science School, which is designed to inspire the next generation about the wide range of careers in STEAM. Organised by The Workwise Foundation, a not-forprofit employer-led charity, the event will take place at the Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park in Rotherham on 8th

November in partnership with Well North Enterprises. John Barber, CEO of The Work-wise Foundation, said: “The North Star Science School gives young people the chance to get hands-on and work with local businesses through a range of STEAM-related interactive workshops and to learn from some influential speakers from the industry. The event is part of

the Science Summer School national initiative, co-founded in 2012 by Professor Brian Cox and Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, with the aim of making the UK the best place in the world to do science and engineering. Professor Brian Cox, Britain’s leading physicist and science communicator and Co-Founder of Science Summer School, said: “An interest in science at a

young age can develop into an exciting and rewarding career. With all the challenges our climate faces, we need scientists and engineers more than ever to make a brighter future for everyone. “I am looking forward to speaking to South Yorkshire pupils at the North Star Science event and to bring them up to date with some exciting developments.”

Chambers join forces for International Trade Conference Led by Sheffield’s International Trade Centre, as part of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with all Chambers, the first-ever South Yorkshire International Trade Conference will take place at the OEC Sheffield on 15th November. Open to businesses of all sizes and sectors, from startups to established regional businesses, the conference aims to foster International Trade connections, promote trade opportunities and serve as a platform for networking and exploring the ins and outs of international trade. “South Yorkshire is a significant hub for development prominently

leading in world-class manufacturing, innovation, international trade, and global connections." Attendees will have the opportunity to gain invaluable insights from industry experts, speakers from the Chamber Customs team, leaders in the region, and successful businesses who have harnessed the services to access global markets available through the South Yorkshire Chambers. Headline speakers include South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard, British Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Trade Facilitation, Liam Smyth, and Sarah Milum from the Trade Remedies Authority.



HOMELESSNESS Earlier this month, Home Secretary Suella Braverman proposed controversial new laws that would place tighter restrictions on the use of tents by homeless people. Describing the use of tents by the homeless as a “lifestyle choice”, Braverman’s plan would see those in England and Wales face penalties if they are believed to reject help.

Writing on X (formerly Twitter) the Home Secretary said: “The British people are compassionate. We will always support those who are genuinely homeless. But we cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets as a lifestyle choice.” Adding that she wants to stop British cities “go the way of places in the US like San Francisco and Los Angeles, where weak policies have led to an explosion of crime, drug taking, and squalor.” At this point, an attack by the Home Secretary aimed at the most vulnerable members of society is hardly a surprise, but Braverman’s comments have still been widely condemned, not least by Sheffield-based homelessness charity, The Archer Project. In response, The Archer Project’s founder, Tim Renshaw, said: “Suella Braverman’s proposal to blame people in tents for their own homelessness is a further example of her desire to sidestep the failings of government policy and focus the blame on others. “The outdated Vagrancy Act is being repealed, decriminalising people who sleep on our streets. At the same time, 2017 targets to reduce homelessness and later promises to end homelessness now look lame as homelessness increases alarmingly. “Rather than addressing a chronic shortage in housing and a failing private rental market, the shortterm rhetoric from the Home Secretary is to blame those whose lives are blighted by homelessness. “Instead of following the evidence, which links 12 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

trauma and street homelessness, the answer is to suggest real choices are being made. “So many of us can see that homelessness is akin to an illness needing physical and mental health responses, not further condemnation. And where is the usual plea to (un)common sense? Or is it just more obvious that no-one given real options of good housing would choose the street? “How can it be in this day and age that we try to score cheap political points by blaming those who have the least influence, the lowest incomes and worst life experiences?” In 2022, Tim documented his two-week ‘sleepout’ to highlight the challenges that come with spending every day and night on the street, and this blog formed the basis of recently released book, 14 Nights. Crucially, it also shares the experiences of real rough sleepers; their reflections on what homelessness truly means, the circumstances that led to their struggles, and what we can do to put more people on the path towards stability and fulfilment. “Instead of judging the behaviours of people on the street, or even their presence, we should start to judge the causes, the reasons these people’s lives have become so impoverished,” explains Tim. “If our children don’t experience extended traumas, they will have opportunities instead of nightmares. And if we can intervene when trauma does happen, we might stop, or at least reduce, the decline that leads to the streets.” 14 Nights is available to purchase from archerproject. org.uk and mezepublishing.co.uk, as well as Waterstones and Amazon for £15.

With Jill White of Andy Hanselman Consulting

Last month, in support of The Archer Project, unLTD’s Managing Director Phil Turner spent a night sleeping rough to get a small glimpse of the plight of homeless people across the region... It’s the vulnerability that gets you. Even though I have a home and family, spending just one night on the street gave me a sense of how under threat you instinctively feel. The roar of every car engine, the cackle of celebratory voices on their way home… noises that would mean almost nothing to everyone else, suddenly felt intimidating. Your instincts kick in, and all you're worried about is tucking yourself away and not being seen, not being spoken to, not being bothered. And there’s the embarrassment too. I spent the night dreading the idea of someone coming over and asking what I was doing, offering me money or something to eat or drink. You really do just want to hide in your bubble, away from the ‘real’ world. Just keep your head down. I only dipped my toe in the water for one night (a bloody wet and windy one though!) and to suggest it’s a lifestyle choice, is frankly, not only ludicrous, but also a demonstration of incredible stupidity.

So, my last column finished with "time for a rest!" If only! It’s continued to be another busy month. Firstly, it was wonderful to attend the Master Cutler Challenge Celebration event at The Cutlers Hall where the Grand Total of £170,000 raised was revealed! What an outstanding achievement in the current climate, and a big hats off to all involved. We were especially delighted to receive The Special Recognition Award for our fundraising activities - what a lovely surprise! A huge thanks to Andy, Danielle and all our friends and clients who supported us. We then hotfooted to Rotherham for a sneak-peek of the very fabulous new home for Grimm and Co. Watch this space! Speaking of spaces, Ovo Spaces also held their slightly delayed summer social, and whilst the sun didn’t shine, the Hawaiian theme got us in the mood. The ‘Ovo Boat’ had an outing and we all celebrated in style. On then to OEC Sheffield for the ‘Bit of a Do and Friendship Lunch’ Weston Park Cancer Charity fundraiser with Oliver Harris. Kathy Markwick and Janet Thornton do so much with these lunches across the region and it was great to see them raise almost £5000 for the charity. Well done them. Being a bit under the weather, I missed out on The Master Cutler End of Year Party and the Chamber Business Awards, both of which I hear were super events. Congrats to all involved and it was so good to see Sheffield celebrating its winners in style. Then we had a quick trip to Peterborough with the very fabulous Alex Gardner from Smile Business Support, for her to receive some well-earned recognition for her work with The Children’s Hospital Charity. Way to go, Alex! Ending the month, it was a trip to Gullivers for the inaugural Paces Quiz. We didn’t win but had great fun! And finally, another ‘sneak peek’, this time to the newly transformed Camellia House at Wentworth Woodhouse. It was just what I needed: calm, serenity and absolute beauty... it fed my soul. See you again next month!

Follow Jill at uk.linkedin.com/jilltywhite or find Andy Hanselman Consulting at andyhanselman.com. unLTDBUSINESS.COM 13



For this month’s journey into the entrepreneurial stories behind South Yorkshire businesses, unLTD caught up with Simon Gillott, founder of industrial recruiters Steel Cactus, to discuss what inspired him to take the plunge and set up his own company.

You’ve worked in recruitment for the best part of 20 years. What made you take the decision to set up your own industrial recruitment firm? I think the desire to do it just got louder and louder. As for a lot of people during COVID, I had a chance to reflect and think about things. I got to a point where I just thought, 'If not now, when?' When the opportunity came along, I took it. People were saying it wasn't a good time, but when is a good time? I just felt really strongly about it and took the plunge, as I didn’t want to get to a point where I was past it, then look back and regret the fact that I didn’t take a chance. How did you find the process of setting up on your own? There was a real a spirit of adventure. It was really exciting, as well as being scary and nerve-racking - all of those things. There were tons of things that I didn’t necessarily know how to do. Fortunately, I had support from a company that specialises in doing just that. They’ve provided backing both financially and in terms of expertise, and back office support. They made it really easy. Without them, it would have been a much more difficult and different journey. I’m lucky that my family were really supportive. My wife was even helping out in the beginning, and that was nice to have somebody familiar that I could trust, helping me become established. She stayed with me until May this year, when we made the decision together that I needed to go it alone 14 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

so that we could share time off and let her go back to what she was doing before. I brought somebody in to help me, so it was a good start. We just kind of continued from there. You’ve been trading for nearly a year now. What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced? Firstly, the market – it’s been a tough year for business, generally. I think it’s been more difficult than it would have been in previous years to actually find business. But having said that, we have done, through a lot of hard work in a difficult environment. That’s where the name Steel Cactus comes from; the steel part obviously represents our Sheffield industries, but the cactus is something that thrives in difficult environments and that’s what we’re doing. I’m really grateful to people for giving us a chance and will always remember that. The candidate market is tough as well. There’s not as many people looking for work as you might imagine. But again, it all kind of boils down to getting stuck in and just being relentless in looking for candidates, but then also treating people well. That has always been my goal from the beginning. What’s the plan for the future? More of the same, and to get more established as a recognised service provider in this industry. We also want to reward the loyalty that people have given us by continuing to deliver, and then continue to get new business and new clients on board. www.steel-cactus.co.uk



Lightbulb Moment

NAME: MARTIN MCKERVEY EMPLOYER: AESSEAL PLC ROLE: DIRECTOR What motivated you to get involved in the SIBI Ambassador group? If there is one thing that would transform the economy of Sheffield and South Yorkshire, generating growth, accelerating productivity, and creating opportunities for our young people, then it would be a transformational change in the investment we all make in our young people, creating opportunities for them and helping and supporting them to be an important part of the future of our city and region. What have you enjoyed most about being involved in the campaign? It is a privilege to work with like-minded people and to experience the enthusiasm and commitment so many have for this important work. When businesses work together like this, we can achieve great outcomes. What are the benefits to your business/ employer? As a global manufacturing company, headquartered in Rotherham, working across 120 countries, having a skilled workforce is fundamental to our success. We have a responsibility to our business, our customers and to the communities of South Yorkshire to help and support our young people to be the very version of themselves, creating opportunity for them and an ability to secure good employment.

Sheffield City Council’s See it Be it in Sheffield campaign aims to inspire the next generation by linking up schools and colleges with local employers to provide meaningful encounters and experiences of the workplace. You can find more information at sheffield.startprofile.com/page/ seeitbeit-employers or by following @SeeItBeIt_ Sheff on Twitter.


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THINKING OF SELLING YOUR BUSINESS? HERE ARE 5 KEY THINGS TO CONSIDER. There are many factors to consider when selling a business - it's a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. For some, it can be very emotional and stressful, particularly if it’s a business that you have poured your life and soul into. Commercial law expert at Banner Jones Solicitors, Rachael Flintoft, details five important things to consider when selling.

What are your objectives? One of the first things any adviser will ask is why you want to sell, as this can impact the deal structure proposed. A trade sale to another business, typically in the same sector, is the most common exit route, although alternatives can include a management buyout, passing the business to family, or floating your business. Some of the more common objectives include retiring/ill health, securing the future of the business and the employees or minimising your personal tax liabilities.

When is the best time to sell? The biggest mistake business owners often make is selling too early, rather than taking the time to groom the business ready for sale. You need to show prospective buyers that your business is under control with accurate management information. You should also consider improving planning, performance and profitability across the board, making sure you have suitable contracts for employees and suppliers, resolving any outstanding disputes and tightening finances.

Finding a buyer Once you feel ready, your

adviser will draft a ‘sales memorandum’ which effectively highlights the key features of the business, including basic performance indicators such as turnover and profit. There are specialist commercial sales agencies that can help to market your business to prospective buyers.

Weigh up your offers

guaranteed deferred cash payments, share swaps or payments that can often be linked to future business performance in the form of ‘earn-outs’. It’s best to discuss any offers with your advisers to ensure you pick the right option for you. Some other factors that may affect your decision might be if the buyers have any plans for the business, such as:

There are different ways to fund the purchase and takeover of a business and this may affect how you draw up a shortlist. Offers may include cash payments,

• Will they sell parts off? • Will it become part of a wider group? • Will there be any redundancies?

• Will you be able to retain some management control if you want to?

Be transparent when finalising a deal Before committing, the purchaser will want to carry out detailed due diligence checks into every aspect of your business. You should be as transparent with them as possible and you’ll often be required to give warranties that the information you have provided is true and be asked for indemnities to protect the purchaser from any risks.


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BACK TO SCHOOL: SHAPING YOUNG MINDS WITH THE SHEFFIELD COLLEGE EMPLOYER SKILLS ACADEMY IT experts Highlander delve into their work with Sheffield College as part of their Employer Skills Academy, helping young people prepare for the working world.

Social responsibility has always been a cornerstone of our business, and we’re big believers in ‘giving back’, especially when it means supporting our local community. Last year, we were approached by Sheffield College to join over 20 local businesses as part of their Employer Skills Academy. We sponsored a higher education computing course for students between 18 and 21 years old and, with our first academic year concluding, we were delighted to be asked to return to the programme with an additional T-Level (previously BTEC) cohort, helping students aged 16 to 18 as well. How do we support? Once a month, members of our team join students to provide real-life expertise through a mix of theoretical explanations and practical demonstrations. We also endeavour to present students with a broad set of insights and are fortunate to be able to call upon members of both our team and the wider FluidOne family to provide in-depth industry knowledge. In 2024, our involvement will go beyond the classroom as we’ll be offering one student the opportunity to join our

team for work experience, getting them on-site and actively involved in day-today activities. What are the benefits for students? Most of us will remember from our own experiences, it isn’t always easy to know where you want your career to go. This is especially true when your studies may not represent the working world. Through their Employer Skills Academies, Sheffield College hopes to better inform and prepare students for what to expect in their chosen careers, while showcasing the different opportunities

available to them. In our case, we hope students leave our courses with a clear understanding of what life in IT looks like and are enthused by the prospect of forging their own path in an exciting industry. Why does it matter to us? As previously mentioned, giving back to our local community is something that is always important to us, and we see this as a brilliant platform to share our knowledge with the next generation of IT professionals. It’s also a good opportunity for us to grow our relationship with not

only Sheffield College but the other local businesses who are academy sponsors. But perhaps most importantly, it’s enjoyable and rewarding. Our monthly classes offer a welcome change of scene for those involved, and we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from students. Huge thanks to Sheffield College for inviting us to be part of this fantastic initiative, and to the students and staff for their enthusiasm. We look forward to supporting and championing the Employer Skills Academy for the foreseeable future. unLTDBUSINESS.COM 19


WE ARE MAKING LEARNING FUN, SAYS THE SOURCE Our Study Programme is helping young people achieve their full potential Award-winning skills academy The Source is putting the fun into learning for teens journeying towards their futures. The training provider, which has transformed over 10,000 lives since 2003, launched its latest scheme to help develop young people’s potential in September. Its 38-week entirely free study programme is designed to help 16-19-yearolds gain qualifications and experience as they learn

about the world of work and develop their ambitions and confidence. The Department for Education’s Study Programme runs throughout the country and is designed to offer students ‘breadth and depth’, without limiting their options for future study or work, in addition to real experience and knowledge of the workplace. A registered charity, The Source has 22 young learners onboard, who want to go on to pursue

careers in a variety of sectors, including property development, law, midwifery, early years care and education, horticulture, accountancy and customer services. As the academy is now based at Magna, one of the UK’s top science adventure centres, a learning experience at Magna’s Big Melt furnace and its Fire, Water, Earth and Air Pavilions was a must. Team-building and problem-solving skills were encouraged during a visit

OUR YOUNG LEARNERS ARE BLOSSOMING ALREADY In just a month, The Source has seen its 22 young Study Programme learners transform from shy and under-confident strangers into supportive friends with a cando attitude and big hopes for the future. “When we first met the group, everyone was very quiet. They found it hard to speak to anyone they didn’t know,” explained Natalie. “Many of them did not quite achieve what they had hoped for at school. Some found the learning environment of large classrooms was not for them - and it felt like they were looking for a place where they could fit in. “But just four weeks into the programme, we were witnessing the development of their individual characters. Friendships had developed and they had become very supportive of each other. “From shy and nervous, they now have a can-do approach and a positive outlook on their future prospects. It’s been wonderful for our tutors to play a part in this.” Learners are recording their thoughts


in Study Programme diaries. One student wrote about her progress: ”I feel good on this programme and need to improve my communication skills further. It has contributed to developing my confidence.” Another described how the course was helping her to focus on the future, saying, “I feel like I am starting to develop a plan of career opportunities within the law sector, which will help me reach my final goal.” The Source is applying its 20 years of experience in developing people through apprenticeships, traineeships and work-based qualifications to its Study Programmes and is confident it has the formula right. Natalie said: “Today’s society can be a difficult place for young people. Often they just need to be in a safe space, where they feel respected and valued, so they can grow and develop.” “We are providing that safe space and are excited to watch our young learners progress over the coming months, and see what they go on to become.”

to Sheffield escape rooms, Crack the Code. A visit from Rotherham United’s Community Sports Trust saw the group learn about the wide range of job opportunities in sport and take part in team-building activities. In addition, all learners have started their formal studies in Functional English, Maths, digital skills and a Level 2 qualification in employability skills. And each person had stepped up to the daunting task of speaking to the group. Natalie Doherty, Deputy CEO of The Source, said: “The Study Programme is all about supporting individuality and growing potential. It’s a real opportunity for a young person to not only boost their English, Maths and employability skills, but also to develop as an individual and focus on their future goals and aspirations. “Having got to know each learner and understand their needs, our tutors have been able to create the foundations which will give each individual the opportunity to explore and develop within an inclusive, non-threatening environment, one where everyone’s contribution is respected and appreciated.” Exciting challenges lie ahead. In coming months, learners will get the chance to become entrepreneurs and launch and grow profitmaking enterprises. They will meet mentors from local businesses who will encourage them and teach them the key skills they need to run a business, from HR, sales and marketing to negotiation, conflict resolution, motivating and managing employees. The Source, which was crowned Training Provider of 2023 in the Sheffield City Region Apprenticeship Awards, is keen to hear

from Sheffield City Region business owners or bosses who would like to step up to coach this process. Natalie added: “The project will spark entrepreneurial spirit and give young people a head start. They will join workforces with an experience-borne understanding of how businesses operate. “Business profits will be donated to charities of their choice, which encourages social responsibility.” During their nine months with The Source, learners will gain valuable experience and relationships with local employers via work experience placements in the sectors they are interested in. The Study Programme is open to 16-19-year-olds and also 19-24s with special educational needs. Enrolment for September 2024 courses begins in June. Apply by emailing Business.Development@ thesourceacademy.co.uk

SKILLS FOCUS 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. unLTDBUSINESS.COM 21

unLTD Business Awards shortlists Announced Has your business made the cut? We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the first-ever unLTD Business Awards can now be revealed. The event, which takes place on Thursday 30th November at Peddler Warehouse in Sheffield, will celebrate the very best of the South Yorkshire business community, focusing on the SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs that make up the fabric of the region. With 19 award categories, a wide range of businesses have been able to showcase their strengths and skills. Following a rigorous judging process involving a number of expert guest judges and


sponsors, the best entries for each award have now been selected. Phil Turner, managing director at unLTD, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to announce the shortlist for the unLTD Business Awards and shine a spotlight on the region’s best SMEs. Small and mediumsized businesses make up the backbone of South Yorkshire’s economy and it is so important that we recognise and support them as much as possible. “There have been some fantastic entries and we can’t wait to celebrate with everyone at the end of this month – a huge congratulations to everyone who has made the



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Whyy? Change


This month, Whyy? Change’s Head of CIM Programmes, Laura Stead, a CIM Fellow, Freelancer and Chartered Marketer shares the secrets to thriving in the marketing industry and her five top tips that will set you on the path to success. Let’s dive into the realm of marketing and discover how the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and marketing apprenticeships can propel you towards a successful marketing career. Where can a marketing qualification take you? A marketing qualification can open various career paths and opportunities. The qualifications are versatile and will help you to develop skills that will stand you in good stead in many different roles. Marketing professions are vast, some marketers choose to remain generalist marketers and others decide to niche in specialist areas. There’s no right or wrong way. If you have a marketing qualification, you can typically start to progress into roles such as: • Marketing Assistant • Digital Marketing Executive • Multichannel Marketer • Digital Content Executive • Social Media Marketing Executive The next step is moving into marketing management, which involves developing marketing strategies, implementing marketing plans and managing resources effectively. Those in management might have 24 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

a Level 6 CIM qualification or have completed a Level 6 Marketing Manager apprenticeship and hold the title of: • Head of Marketing • Marketing Manager • Head of Communications • Brand Manager • Account Manager • Campaign Manager How to start a career in marketing? Some people choose to study full or part-time for a degree in marketing, business, or communications. Others choose to gain their marketing qualifications while they’re working, which is a great way to avoid student debt. Professional marketing qualifications through the Chartered Institute of Marketing and/or marketing apprenticeships are the best routes for this. The ideal route is to find an apprenticeship provider that includes professional CIM awards within the programme – that way you are getting the best of both. Where to start? Everyone has a different starting point. In fact, some of the best marketers I know started out in totally different industries. So here are my… Five tips for getting into The Marketing Industry

1. Educate yourself An accredited marketing qualification can provide a solid foundation of knowledge. The routes to getting a marketing qualification are vast and often a little confusing, more on that later. 2. Gain experience There’s a ‘chicken-and-egg’ conundrum here…how to get experience when you aren’t qualified? In marketing, it’s actually pretty easy. Volunteer your existing skills to a local community group, grassroots sports team or charity, they’ll benefit from your help while you gain practical experience. Helping others with their marketing can often be done remotely too – for example, offer to optimise a web page, craft some social media posts, create a video, or write a blog for them. 3. Grow your network Networking can lead to great things – job opportunities, mentorships, and recommendations. Attend industry events and connect with marketing professionals on LinkedIn. Marketers are usually very friendly and happy to connect. 4. Stay fresh Shape your newsfeeds so that you can stay informed

about the latest marketing trends, events, and news. There are lots of industry blogs, virtual meet-ups, newsletters, LinkedIn accounts and of course Sheffield DM. 5. Get feedback and be open-minded Encourage people to give you feedback. It’s not always comfortable but it’s a brilliant way to learn and grow. Be proactive in expanding your skill set – I used to look at job specifications that were out of my league and highlight the specific areas where I needed to develop my knowledge and skills. Remember everyone’s career path is different, and everyone moves at their own pace. There is no right or wrong way. It’s important to find your way based on how you feel and your own personal circumstances. What is the CIM? The Chartered Institute of Marketing is the world’s largest community of marketers that supports, represents, and develops marketers, teams, leaders and the marketing profession as a whole. Their accredited qualifications are highly sought after by employers, with over 30,000 members worldwide.

What is a marketing apprenticeship? It’s a way to gain your marketing qualifications while you’re in employment. An apprenticeship enables you to develop your knowledge, skills, and practical experience. If you successfully complete Level 3, 4 or 6 marketing apprenticeship, you will receive recognised and accredited qualifications. What will I learn on a marketing apprenticeship? That depends on which marketing apprenticeship you have chosen and what level. Marketing apprenticeships include all the core marketing skills, knowledge and behaviours that you would expect such as; market research, market segmentation, the marketing mix, marketing tools, digital marketing techniques, metrics and analysis, campaign planning, budgeting, and more. Whyy? Change’s apprentice ships include CIM awards, hands-on training, mentorship, and the chance to build a strong professional network.

Start your marketing journey with Whyy? Change, a local training partner for local businesses. Visit www.whyychange. com, email info@ whyychange.com or call them on 0114 400 0077 for a chat. unLTDBUSINESS.COM 25


Creating a sustainable circular economy across South Yorkshire – by Kate Hill, Simoda


Sustainability is a topic that is not going away. As businesses put more pressure on supply chains to be transparent about strategies and net zero targets so that scope 3 emissions can be reported on. One of the many topics that is getting more attention is the idea of a 'circular economy'. So, what is a circular economy? A circular economy is an economic system of supply chains that is restorative and regenerative by design and aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible. This can include purchases and sold goods such as laptops, paper, clothing, and even natural resources such as water and oil. This system works by reducing waste and pollution and by encouraging the reuse of resources, minimising the use of new materials. Designing for circularity. This means considering the entire life cycle of a product or service, from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal and designing it to be as sustainable as possible. This could involve using recycled materials, designing products that can be easily repaired or reused, or developing business models that are based on sharing or leasing rather than selling. Reduce the amount of waste produced. This can be done by designing products and services that are durable, reusable and recyclable. Businesses can also work to reduce their waste by adopting circular

practices, such as using recycled materials in their production processes. Increase the reuse and recycling of waste. This requires developing better infrastructure and systems for collecting, sorting and processing waste. Businesses can also play a role by offering take-back programmes and designing products that are easy to disassemble and recycle. Invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency. This will help to reduce the region’s reliance on fossil fuels and create new jobs in the clean energy sector. Support the innovation and development of circular businesses and initiatives. This can be done through government funding, tax breaks and other incentives. Businesses can also partner with universities and research institutions to develop new circular technologies and solutions. →


WHO ARE THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY TRAILBLAZERS IN SOUTH YORKSHIRE? SIMODA Simoda, formed in 2019, are a local I.T. and technology business based in Kelham Island, Sheffield. They work with customers to help them innovate, modernise and transform through the use of technology and I.T. infrastructure. They partner with companies like Hewlett Packard Enterprises providing refurbished, sustainable hardware and also wider sustainable I.T. strategy solutions and services for businesses. Since a large part of achieving more sustainable operations is based around scope 3 emissions and measuring the impact of supply chains, Simoda are leading the way with supporting businesses locally and national with operational efficiency gains, reducing energy consumption and full asset lifecycle management through their work with partners.


SUSTAINABILITY Working with other businesses and stakeholders. One of the simplest things for businesses to do is collaborate with other businesses and stakeholders in the region to develop and implement circular economy initiatives. This could involve collaborating on research and development, sharing resources, or developing new supply chains that are more sustainable, i.e. refurbished equipment. The wider benefits of working towards a circular economy are not well understood. However, ultimately, taking action can lead to many positive social and economic impacts, as well as environmental ones. The businesses involved are also likely to see positives if sustainability is taken seriously by boards and senior leadership teams. A more effective circular economy can: • Create more jobs • Improve quality of life for workers and residents • Reduce operational business costs • Generate economic growth • Promote social inclusion • Reduce poverty • Reduce waste and pollution To achieve the goal of having a circular economy, more than anything, it requires a shift in the mindset and governance

of businesses, as well as the motivation to work together to tackle some of the most damaging environmental impacts locally. Increasing transparency is key to taking the necessary steps forward. Research and Development of New Technologies Investing in research and the development of new, innovative technologies enabled by advancements in the technology market mean that all businesses have options to drive efficiencies across their business whilst ensuring sustainability goals are met. Through research into areas such as renewable technology for renewable energy, recycling or re-use of materials and smart manufacturing of products and solutions. To achieve a circular economy in this way, this involves working in collaboration with industry, governments and customers to create a system that works in harmony with the environment. Other solutions to creating a circular economy There are many other examples of positive action being taken by South Yorkshire businesses to create a circular economy. Businesses from all sectors have a responsibility to explore solutions to support the circular economy impact including: • Investing in retrofitting homes →

CASE STUDY: OYSTER As a business, Oyster recognises the impact of the print industry on our natural environment, however they don’t believe that print should be deemed negative, as long as there are measures in place to ensure that it is sustainable. Through Oyster’s Eco Tariff, clients have helped reforest the local area and as a result positively impact wildlife and ecosystems. Oyster’s approach to tree planting is holistic, planting trees to create wildlife habitat, combat climate change and make a greener world.


To create wildlife habitats, they are working in association with Tree Appeal, planting multi-species tree plantations because ecosystems require the biodiversity of trees. In association with Tree Appeal, they plant up to thirty different species of native broadleaved trees comprising berry and fruitproducing hedgerow trees and larger species such as beech and oak that produce nuts. These trees are planted in wildlife reserves like the one above Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.

CASE STUDY: FUTURE GREENS Future Greens, a pioneering startup based in Sheffield, recently secured a six-figure investment to back a new innovative and sustainable approach to vertical farming entirely powered by food waste. Substantial investments have been made by two venture capital firms, including Carbon13, a sustainability focused fund led by researchers from University of Cambridge, that only backs ventures with the highest potential to address the climate emergency. Additionally, the company has received backing from a private Angel investor in Sheffield and a grant in partnership with the University of Sheffield from Innovate UK. Throughout the first half of 2022, Future Greens was a successful vertical farming pilot growing year-round produce and supplying local grocers in Sheffield. However, the energy crisis exposed the vulnerability of the vertical farming model, which relies heavily on energy. Unable to afford the overheads, company founders David Dixon, Gabriel Barteškait, Alexander La Fleur and Alastair Roper were forced to close their facility and rethink their approach. The team joined Sheffield Technology Park’s Cooper Project, designed to help tech entrepreneurs by providing free workspace and tailored start-up support. This move enabled them to start exploring renewable energy sources, with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon negative. Future Greens’ pioneering approach involves extracting energy from food waste, diverting it from landfills and incineration. This process not only reduces waste but also fosters a sustainable and circular farming ecosystem. The recent investments will fund Future Greens’ co-founders to work full-time on the development of their ground-breaking idea. Their immediate priorities include creating a prototype and preparing to build a vertical farm in Sheffield with food waste integration.

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SUSTAINABILITY • → and businesses to make them more energy efficient. This will reduce energy costs and carbon emissions and create jobs in the construction sector. • Support the development of a circular food system. This could include initiatives to reduce food waste, promote local and sustainable agriculture, and develop new markets for food byproducts. • Investing in renewable energy projects, such as solar and wind farms. This will help to reduce the region’s reliance on fossil fuels and create new jobs in the clean energy sector. • Support the development of circular businesses and initiatives. This could include providing funding, tax breaks, and other incentives to businesses that are

working to reduce waste and develop circular products and services. In a nutshell Opening the conversation between businesses, experts in sustainability, organisations like the universities and technology providers is one of the best ways businesses across South Yorkshire can start to build momentum in achieving this goal. Educating and raising awareness so that people understand the importance of the circular economy and how they can play a role s key to driving change. Sharing best practices from businesses, government, and other organisations, seeing that we can learn from each other and work together to develop and implement effective circular economy solutions must be prioritised.

EVOLUTED’S FRONT END DEVELOPER AND CSR OFFICER MATT COTTON Can you start by telling us a little about Evoluted and what your goals are in terms of sustainability? Evoluted is a 36-strong digital agency based in Sheffield who provide web design, development and digital marketing services. We’ve always been conscious about “giving back” - we’ve contributed to Ecologi for a number of years, have done big fundraising projects and pro-bono work, and we run community events like Sheffield DM and Sheffield PHP. But, that said, we haven’t really had a clear sustainability strategy with targets up until this year. We operate part-time 'Cultural Officer' roles which can be held by anyone at the company and are rotated every 6-12 months to encourage fresh perspectives; as the current CSR Officer, I’ve worked with our MDs to set sustainability goals and put initiatives in place. Our 2023 goals are based around reducing utilities usage, increasing the proportion of waste we recycle and the proportion of suppliers who are local, offsetting emissions and raising company-wide awareness of sustainability issues throughout our team. Introducing a formal CSR post

has provided the headspace to review our environmental performance at a company level and plan for the future. We’re also pursuing B-Corp status, which will be a huge step forwards. How are you achieving those goals? We’re currently well under target (i.e., performing above target!) for our electricity and water usage goals we’re probably using around 70-80% of what we used last year. We aimed for at least 20% of supplier spend to be through local suppliers this year and we’re significantly exceeding that. We’ve introduced new recycling sorting bins and created a directory of local companies providing eco-friendly products. We ran a Virtual Office Stewardship series earlier this year with daily tips on reducing emissions while working from home and we’ve increased team awareness about office energy usage. Lastly, we’ve introduced active tracking of business travel transport usage, so we can accurately line these up against the emissions we’re offsetting through our Ecologi contribution.

SHEFFIELD ACTION ON PLASTIC’S CHAIR, GREG HEWITT Can you start by telling us who Sheffield Action on Plastic are and little bit about the group? Sheffield Action on Plastic is a voluntary community group working with the Sheffield community to reduce single-use plastics. How are you achieving this? The group can achieve this in multiple ways, but to start, it has set up a reusable cup hire scheme (to reduce single-use plastic cups at events), as well as running Plastic Free Markets (where the public can shop sustainably without single-use plastics). The group are looking to apply for funding for a reusable coffee cup trial scheme at coffee shops across central Sheffield, as well as pursuing refill water points /fountains, to reduce the need for purchasing plastic water bottles. Do you feel like businesses in the region are doing enough to tackle sustainability issues? There are a good number of businesses taking sustainability seriously, as demonstrated from the South Yorkshire Sustainability Awards. However, a challenge businesses face is both finance and staff capacity to achieve sustainability measures. What more could be businesses be doing? Businesses should be conducting at least an annual review/audit on their practices to assess what sustainability measures they can take. Business Sheffield and business advisers should be able to support these businesses in achieving these measures, but without financial support from government, it may just be unviable for them to achieve successful measures. How can people get involved? Sheffield Action on Plastic is a volunteer run group and are looking for volunteers to help achieve its mission. Volunteering roles include flyering, standing on stalls at events, graphic design, social media support, and networking. To express an interest in getting involved. Email info@sheffieldactiononplastic. co.uk


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GREENWASHING VS GREENHUSHING: HOW CAN BUSINESSES GET IT RIGHT? Charlotte Cassells – commercial and IP solicitor at Shakespeare Martineau, a certified B Corporation – discusses what businesses can do to promote their green credentials without falling foul of scrutiny by consumers or regulators.

Greenwashing has become a popular buzzword to describe how businesses mislead consumers through advertising by making environmental claims about products or services that do not stand up to scrutiny. Companies face great pressure to invest time and resources into Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) policies, and be transparent on how their carbon neutral and sustainability goals are achieved. However, as the climate of fear for being caught out grows, many businesses are reacting by choosing not to promote their “green” activities or results altogether to avoid public backlash, in a developing trend known as greenhushing. Greenhushing is bad for all – if businesses keep quiet or under-promise on their environmental pledges, this sets a trend in the marketplace for others to follow suit, taking the green agenda out of the public sphere. This withdrawal will have a negative impact, as publicising green measures often acts as a means of sharing ideas and allows brands to easily implement each other’s strategies, raising the collective standards of what is expected. With it appearing as if businesses are caught between a rock and a hard place, how can accusations of greenwashing or greenhushing be avoided? The most important step is to be as accurate and transparent as possible, and hold evidence that

objectively substantiates any claims to ensure they stand up to scrutiny should the business be accused of greenwashing. While there are currently no UK laws that specifically address greenwashing and no legal definition on what basis you can describe a product as “eco-friendly” or “green”, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is undertaking increasing numbers of investigations into complaints that businesses are misleading consumers on claims of environmental and green products, and discovering that many businesses simply

do not have the evidence to substantiate these claims. Businesses should also ensure all marketing strategies are reviewed by an expert before going live to ensure they are compliant with UK advertising regulations. Advertising, marketing and branding are often where companies fall down in terms of misleading consumers on their claims regarding environmental products. Additionally, businesses should endeavour to keep up to date with relevant regulatory bodies. Greenwashing remains a relatively new concept, and

guidance and resources are continually being released by these bodies to help retailers maintain transparency and accuracy around their products. Brands should always be careful about claims made around products and services to ensure they are accurate, truthful and not misleading. However, fear of greenwashing should not lead to greenhushing. Neither the regulators nor in all likelihood the majority of the public would want to see businesses being discouraged from taking positive measures to combat climate change.



BEYOND unLTD’s Phil Turner speaks to Julian McFarlane, the founder of Sheffield-based company Staff One, a thriving recruitment agency which uses its own bespoke software to ensure that they can go above and beyond for clients across a range of sectors. Could we begin by discussing your business journey and how you came to set up Staff One? I have been working in recruitment now for 17 years. For the first 10 years, I worked for a recruitment company and learned all about the business, gaining an insideout understanding of how the sector works while also studying for a qualification in recruitment. After 10 years of working for my previous company, I left to set up Staff One in 2016. For the last seven years, we’ve been building up the business into a multi-sector recruitment agency, serving the construction, commercial, industrial and healthcare sectors. Why did you choose those sectors to specialise in? It grew organically. When I left my last company, I went off on my own to do some consultancy work as a one-man band, supporting local commercial organisations with their recruitment campaigns, ad hoc recruitment advice and supporting them in growing their staffing in areas where they had large requirements. I got to the point where I could bring extra staff in and some people who I’d worked with previously approached me to see if they get involved, so it went from a one-man band to a group of recruiters. We are now a team of 12, 34 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

and we expect to double that in the next year. Business is clearly going well? Business is going really, really well. We don’t really turn down any work that we get offered because we believe that we’ve got an opportunity to deliver our recruitment service better than other companies out there. So, when construction companies approached us, we created a construction arm to the business; the same goes for healthcare and industrial. Due to this, what started as a small-scale, commercial-focused recruitment business has now grown into areas outside of that, and we’ve succeeded in those sectors. Do you think that willingness to move into different sectors and ‘grow as you go’ is one of your core strengths as a business? Or has this all been quite strategic and down to an original business plan or vision? It’s very much about having structures and processes in place. And when you get that right, you can apply that same structure to different industries. At the end of the day, people are still looking for the same type of service: understanding the company’s needs, discovering the people that are right for them and putting those two elements

together. You can apply that formula across industries as long as you maintain the same level of approach; it’s about extracting all the information that you need from a client and applying the right sort of screening process to find quality candidates. I’ve tried to give my staff here certain tools, so that even if they come on board with just the bare bones of solid recruitment and HR skills, by sharing the knowledge I’ve built up over the last 17 years and the systems we’ve got in place, we can teach and upskill our recruiters to get to the level we’re looking for. Why did you go into recruitment in the first place? As many people do, I fell into recruitment. I started off in retail and really enjoyed the idea of creating engaging environments and driving sales through managing people. Those are two things I’ve always been passionate about, and when somebody first spoke to me about going to work in recruitment, they were two things mentioned as being missing. I was excited to learn about a new industry and get involved in a new role. After a decade in recruitment, I have applied those basic beliefs to Staff One: creating an environment that attracts people and managing effectively to get the best out of people.

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As someone who knows the industry and has run their business for seven years now, how close to your initial vision in terms of culture would you say you’ve reached with Staff One? Have you had to compromise at all along the way? I think it's all about compromise. Prior to moving into our new location, we were based in an office above the iconic Leadmill Club for our first five years. Whilst it was quirky and cool and an absolute landmark location, we outgrew it and the environment didn't always bring out the best in our team, no matter how much we loved it. In relocating, we tried to bring some of the "cool" element with us like a vibrant and informal environment and a well stocked drinks fridge. Culture is an ongoing focus for us and I'm always mindful about how we should adapt to make our environment the best it can be. A unique part of the business is your in-house software development "sigma" to help

run and manage your operations. Could you tell us a bit about how it works?" In the early days, when I was launching Staff One as a one-man band, I was being consulted by big companies asking for a lot out of their recruitment. I was a sole recruitment consultant working alone, and it really hit me that in order to compete with other recruiters I needed a tool that would allow me to deliver over and above – something that helped me to save time, provided a resource of candidates I could access and would help me in being compliant throughout the recruitment process. So, I wrote the framework for a piece of software, which I named Sigma, and it essentially became my backbone as a recruiter. Over the next four years, Sigma was developed further and added to by every person that joined the company. We kept putting money in to improve the software, right through to 2020 when were able to hire a full-time software developer,

who has pushed through some really significant updates to the system, making it more streamlined and integrating it into various online platforms, apps and tools that our clients and candidates can now use. How significant has Sigma been for the company’s growth? For us, we believe that the use of this sort of software and technology in a developing market is going to make the difference in any recruitment business, or any service business, full stop. This independent piece software now provides a unique selling point that allows us to go over and above for our clients. It also saves us money as we use on piece of software for all of our business processes and data for clients, candidates, sales and payroll is all stored on there. You moved into a spacious new office space at Saville House earlier this year. How are you finding that? Great! We moved in here back in February, so we’ve been in for six →


COVER →months and it’s all going very well. On that note, you mentioned that you were looking to double in size in the next year. Is that happening quite organically? Yeah, we’re not having to take as much of an aggressive lead to try and recruit people. We don’t have to promise people or sell the vision because things are in place now; people can see the kind of environment they’re going to be working in and what we can offer our staff. So a lot of people are reaching out to us over LinkedIn and contacting us organically to say they’re interested in becoming a recruiter with us. What do you feel like the state of the recruitment industry is at the moment? I’ve been in recruitment since 2007 and I think things come in waves. As you can imagine, there was a massive downfall after the credit crunch, where we saw a lot of recruiters made redundant, or were a part of companies that went out of business. A lot of these people then set up on their own, so between, say, 2008 to 2012 you saw more small recruitment businesses setting up and establishing themselves. After that rise, it did begin to die off a little bit again, maybe due to it not working for everyone or people leaving for larger recruitment companies who were actively looking to bring recruiters in. Since lockdown, we’re seeing a bit more of a resurgence in the people working independently in the sector again, and there’s never been more competition in getting clients to come to a recruiter rather than going online. But there were still similar challenges 17 years ago, when you were trying to persuade to clients to come to you rather than put a job ad in the local paper. You’re always going to have some form of competition in that respect. You’re quite active in your charity work as a business. Which organisations have you been working with recently? Yes, while we’re focused on growing as a business, we want to give back as much as we can do. We’ve partnered with some really fantastic charities, such as The Children’s Hospital Charity, who we're closely involved with. We’re also sponsoring a lot of grassroots football so we can do our bit in helping children be 38 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

happy and healthy. This year, we’ve also recently started sponsoring The Lighthouse Charity, an organisation which focuses on supporting the mental health of people who work in construction, an area identified as having a poor record on mental health. What’s coming up for Staff One? A few developments across the brand to put us into certain areas. We’re producing more branded products that we’ll be putting out into the market for our clients, so our name is going to be much more visible. We’re working with a fitness brand at the moment, and we’ll be addressing a lot of health and wellbeing in the workplace topics with them over the next six months. We like to be able to provide our clients with free tools and advice to

ensure they can give their employees the best working experience. We see ourselves as much more than a company that puts bums on seats; we want to offer the full spectrum of support – whether that’s advice, handling payroll, assisting with HR or offering the full-circle recruitment process. By offering that bit more we can set ourselves apart. Web: www.staffone.co.uk Phone: 03300 535 600 Email: hello@staffone.co.uk

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Join us for Sheffield DM's fifth birthday event! We're marking five years of our digital marketing meetup with a special event at The Showroom Workstation - and we'd love you to join us. From a backroom at Sheffield train station to attracting over 240 marketers to The Octagon Centre for August's event, we've come a long way, thanks to the support of the marketing community in South Yorkshire. We've got two brilliant talks lined up for November's event on organic marketing and Digital PR from Ray Saddiq (SEO & Website Manager, Monzo Bank) and Alex Cassidy (Head of Digital PR, Distinctly).

Thursday 30th November

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THE FUTURE OF FASHION? For this month’s Disruptors feature, Sheffield-based entrepreneur Darren Forde tells unLTD the story behind Samdai, an innovative shopping app that promises to deliver local fashion to your door within a mere two hours.

Starting Out My background is not in business; it’s teaching and rugby. I was a professional rugby player and played for a host of clubs, including Sheffield Eagles. One day, we’d trained in Sheffield and were traveling down to Hemel Hempstead for a game the next morning when my friend’s boots broke. We realised that there was no way to get a replacement pair of boots in good time; the shops were shut, and even if he ordered some for the next day, they wouldn’t come before the match. We started talking about how good it would be if you could order clothing and footwear online as a service and have it delivered almost instantly. It sowed the seed of an idea in my head. Fast forward a couple of years to 2019. My now-wife would have university friends around before a night out, and sometimes they’d struggle to find something to wear or would want a lastminute addition to an outfit. Again, it made me think about how useful it’d be to have a service where you can buy an item of clothing and have it at your door

DID YOU KNOW? Samdai won High Street Startup of the Year for Yorkshire, North East and the Humber at the Startup Awards 2023. They also came in first place for Founders Live London 2023 and second for the Europe-wide leg of Founders Live! 40 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

within an hour or two. I originally wanted to set up my own business in offering a meal prep service, and this was before it became the massive industry it is now. After seeing how it boomed, I regretted not driving forward with that idea at the time. It gave me the motivation to go with the next idea that I thought had potential – that was Samdai.

Tricky Beginnings We were originally meant to launch Samdai as a delivery service in April 2020, but the country went into lockdown in March 2020. The first few businesses we signed up had to close, and it was a case of ‘what do we do now?’ We had to delay things and pivoted into Samdai VIP, which saw us working with a wide range of local businesses to offer discounts through an online membership service. That side of the business proved popular and has remained after launching the delivery service; we see it as providing people with the places and experiences to wear their fashion out to.

How it Works Even before the pandemic, we saw that the local high street was declining rapidly. More and more people were used to ordering clothes online, so I asked myself how could we offer a service that brings products from local clothing stores to people’s homes almost instantly. →


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→ For our delivery service, we partner with local stores and retailers in a certain location. The app will determine a radius, and anyone within it can order items which will be delivered by our courier service. When an order’s placed, the store will receive a notification, pack it up, and a courier will bring it directly to the customer within two hours. Items can then be returned using the same service, and we’re currently working on introducing a ‘try before you buy’ option.

Fashion that’s fast (but not fast fashion) We work and operate with sustainability in mind. When you look at last-mile logistics in e-commerce, it’s responsible for 300,000 tonnes of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere each year in the UK. We want to do better, so by the end of 2024, we’ve pledged to have all our couriers using e-vehicles or bicycles. We also make sure we pay our couriers fairly, meet with them personally, and ensure we trust them to deliver the service. They’re the lifeblood of what we’re offering, so we ensure to treat them with the deserved respect.

The Growth Plan We want to get to 75 retailers in Sheffield by the end of next year. Then, over the next five years, we want to be in a place where we can branch out to other cities; so we are looking at Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and Bristol. After that, hopefully, we’ll be able to go beyond the UK and launch in other countries. The Samdai app is available to download on Google Play and the Apple Store. Website: www.samdai.co.uk Twitter: @samdai_official

INTERESTED IN SAMDAI? When you download the app, there’s an option to sign up as either a customer, a retailer or a courier. Choose your option and get involved!




For nearly five decades, business investment company and workspace provider UKSE has been on a mission to foster innovation in former steel communities across Yorkshire and the Humber. 44 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

With six locations across the UK, the Sheffield-based head office can be found at the thriving Innovation Centre and works to support a range of projects through offering investments, loans and office space.

unLTD's Joe Food sat down with area manager Steve Lyon and regional executive Pete Newton to delve deeper into the organisation's core values, its unique approach and the importance of nurturing growth in our region.

UKSE's roots go back to 1975 when the organisation was established to assist steel areas in transitioning to new types of work and skill sets. The main goal was to encourage more diverse businesses to set up shop in these regions. Over the years, the company has evolved, rebranding from UK Steel Enterprise to UKSE and expanding its focus to encompass a wide spectrum of business-to-business enterprise. “Historically, we’ve worked with a lot of manufacturing companies,” says Steve, “but we now work with a wide range of clients, covering everything from tech to green projects. We see ourselves as a bit different to other investment companies out there as it’s what we call ‘patient capital’. We don’t put in penalty clauses or rigid timelines, and we leave when businesses want us to leave.” Steve tells us that at the heart of UKSE's operation are core values that guide their decisions and investments. Social impact takes centre stage; every potential deal is assessed based on how it benefits local people and the community. Environmental impact is gaining increasing importance too, prompting UKSE to focus on decarbonisation and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) practices in recent years. This commitment to making a positive impact is evident in UKSE's willingness to support businesses that display green credentials. Such businesses may benefit from more favourable investment terms, reflecting the organisation's dedication to sustainability. Pete expands on this point: “When it comes to investment, we’re always looking for the UKSE boxes to tick: job creation, positive social impact and positive environmental impact.” The duo explain how the organisation, situated at Portobello in the heart of Sheffield’s city centre, regularly plays a pivotal role in supporting businesses looking to scale and prosper. “Growth is one of the most common reasons people come to us,” elaborates Steve. “When a business has got the product or service running, can see the sales, but need to move things to the next level – we can help with that.” Additionally, UKSE provides more transactional support by enabling management buyouts (MBOs) and management buy-ins (MBIs), supporting management teams' ownership of businesses and ensuring seamless succession planning. “We like to see our funding enabling succession,” says Pete. “We aim to champion the management team and helping them to realise ownership of a business.” When asked how they differ culturally from other investment companies, both point towards a distinctive ethos defined by trust, support and a people-centric approach. The organisation prides itself on not being too target-driven, allowing its team to focus on making the right deals for the right reasons. “When it comes to investment, it’s not just about the commercial angle: it’s about people and jobs. That’s quite rare for this industry,” adds Pete. “The goal is not to be restrictive but to be community-driven, helping businesses and individuals in former steel communities find opportunities they might not access elsewhere.”→



→When it comes to the application process, Steve sheds light on the straightforward steps involved. “We have an eligibility checker on the website, which will ask for a postcode, as we only work with businesses based across Yorkshire and the Humber region. It will also check whether the business concerned is in retail or hospitality, which is an sector we’re unable to help with. And the final question will ask whether the project is creating jobs. That’s the initial criteria to get to the next stage where we sit down and take a closer look.” As well as this, they will request some accounts to establish a preliminary understanding of the business's financial standing. However, it doesn't stop at paperwork; employing more of a refreshingly “old


school” approach, the team actively engage with applicants by meeting them in person, fostering relationships and waiting for the opportune moment when both sides are ready to proceed. The commitment to nurturing innovation and creating opportunities is evident in its approach to both investments made and the workspaces offered. They rent out a range of dynamic offices for businesses to base themselves, providing a vibrant city centre location open 24/7. Shared common areas, high-speed broadband and flexible terms contribute to making the Innovation Centre an ideal place for companies to grow. You can head to their website for further details on current availability. They’re an approachable bunch

too, and Steve is particularly keen to stress that anyone getting in touch will receive – at the very least – a friendly, helpful service. “We’re happy talking to anyone. Even if early doors we can see it’s not quite right for us in terms of investing, we’ll always try and point people in the right direction. Everything we do is about getting the region moving up and how we can best serve the community.” As UKSE continues to make a positive impact across Yorkshire and the Humber, it’s exciting to see how a legacy of steel is evolving into a legacy of opportunity.

To find out more about their work, funding opporunities and workspace availability, visit www.ukse.co.uk.

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Benchmark Recruit ’s Becca Morris explains why in what can be the busiest time of the year for many businesses, i t ’ s i m p o r t a n t t o s t i l l m a k e t i m e f o r y o u r s e l f… When embarking on a career, many of us thrive on being successful, climbing the ladder, breaking through the glass ceiling and, ultimately, being well paid for our efforts. Whilst it is great to have a rewarding job and to be stimulated by the 9-5, it’s very easy for the ‘work to live’ ethic to turn into a ‘live to work’ necessity, and before you know it, work is filling your 24/7. BURNOUT It is only natural to want to be well thought of in the workplace. However, it’s easy to get into the habit of burning the midnight oil, working through lunch breaks and constantly being ‘on call’, which can be a habit that is difficult to break. Whilst employers are grateful for a team who go the extra mile, it’s also worth keeping in mind contracted hours and paid holidays are there for a reason: to ensure that employees get enough ‘downtime’ to enable them to emotionally and physically manage the stresses and strains of their job requirements. Far from regarding employees who never leave their desks as being ideal recruits, employers can tear their hair out over them. This is because, although they are the first to offer to run that weekend pitch and take on extra work, they are also first to crumple under


the accumulated pressure and ultimately end up taking time off for stress and exhaustion. FINDING THE BALANCE It’s a dilemma that many of us face, as we naturally want to do the best job possible. So, how do you know when work is taking over, and more importantly, how do you know when to take your foot off the pedal? Five warning signs that your work/life balance needs adjusting: • You are experiencing difficulties at home due to spending too much time working • Your friends have given up inviting you out, as you are always too busy to attend, or cancel at the last minute • You only communicate via text because you have no time for phone conversations • You find yourself being intolerant and short-tempered with those around you • You are becoming out of shape, due to not finding time to exercise and eating on the hop TEN STEPS TO ZEN It’s not called work/life balance for nothing and there is no denying that it can be difficult to achieve the correct combination. However, the following top tips will hopefully help you find a window in your busy schedule reserved exclusively for you...

1. LEARN TO SAY NO Prioritise what is important and say no to the additional tasks that eat away at your time with no major benefit. You will soon realise that the world won’t stop if you streamline your workload, and you will ultimately benefit from being able to focus properly on important tasks. 2. PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE One of the biggest negative factors in the family is the partner or parent who is glued to their iPhone/tablet/laptop, whether taking work calls or constantly checking emails. Get into the habit of switching off your phone when you get home, or at least schedule a slot to check before putting your phone away again. 3. GIVE 100% WHEREVER YOU ARE How often have you looked forward to leaving work and sitting down to dinner with your partner, then spent the whole meal dissecting your day at work? If possible, try to separate the work areas of your life and give your full attention to work whilst you are there, and then family life when you are at home. This is equally important if you work from home, as the edges can very easily get blurred. You will want to talk about your day with your family, just make sure you give yourself a time limit.


Benchmark old friends, or friends who work in different professions to help get away from ‘talking shop’ all night.

4. PRE-BOOK YOUR ANNUAL LEAVE There never feels like a good time to take time off work. As a result, many of us accumulate our annual leave and find we have a big chunk to take at the end of the year, or worse, run out of time to take it and subsequently lose it. With this in mind, schedule your time off at the beginning of the year and spread it over the months ahead - if you can book breaks away in advance, even better. Even though it can be hard to walk away from your responsibilities, your work will ultimately benefit from you having time to refresh and relax. And we promise that once you are on that sun lounger, that big presentation suddenly won’t seem quite so monumental! 5. PRIORITISE DATE NIGHTS It may seem cliché, but couples who play together really do stay together, and we are all guilty of neglecting our nearest and dearest when the pressure is on at work. The truth is when employees are happy at home they perform better at work, so taking time to invest in your relationship will ultimately help you succeed in the office. 6. MAKE TIME TO EXERCISE When you are juggling a busy home and work life, the first thing that gets pushed to one side is usually exercise. Ironically, it is the best thing you can schedule into a hectic schedule, as the endorphins released through exercise will undoubtedly give you a well-needed energy boost, not to mention improve your productivity at work. If the idea of trying to squeeze a session at the gym into your already heaving schedule brings you out in a cold sweat, try factoring in a couple of tenminute walks into your day. Simply getting off the bus a stop early, parking further away from the office, or walking to a sandwich shop at the far end of the street will help raise your heart rate, and

even better, you can still make work calls the whole time! 7. EAT WELL You are what you eat, it’s as simple as that. It can be really difficult when working in an office to take time to eat healthily, as client lunches, late-night takeaways and the inevitable lunchtime trip to a calorific sandwich shop are the norm for many of us. It’s no surprise that heavy lunches result in us feeling drained of energy and sluggish, so try to factor in some healthy packed lunches a few times a week, and if at all possible, try to eat them away from your desk. 8. SCHEDULE SOME LAUGHTER It is all too easy to decline or cancel social events with friends because of work commitments, but taking time to unwind and have a giggle can be a great tonic, which will undoubtedly benefit your overall mood and performance. 9. DONT TALK SHOP! Whilst it is great if you have good relationships with your colleagues, try not to fall into the trap of spending too much of your social time with them in the pub after work. Keep in touch with

9. GET MINDFUL The days of mediation being associated with hippies and new-age travelers are long gone and many professionals are now tapping into ‘headspace’ type mediation programmes to help clarify their thoughts and take ten minutes for themselves. The best thing about taking time out to meditate is that you don’t have to take time out. There are numerous mindfulness apps available to download on your phone, with many designed for listening to whilst you are walking or even driving for ultimate convenience. 10. ACCEPT WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH Many of us embark on our career paths when we are young and commitment-free, when the allconsuming work life, combined with social engagements and possible travel is exciting. As life progresses, however, and home and family life begin to take on a greater importance, it can sometimes be hard to adjust your work life to accommodate your additional needs. Although this is a very common scenario, many people find that this change of emphasis takes them by surprise, and suddenly extra curriculum work requirements no longer feel like perks and can end up being an additional chore on the to-do list. Sometimes you have to be blunt and assess whether your job is still meeting your needs. If you feel like work is taking over your entire life, maybe it is time to step back and reassess. You are never too old or too experienced to seek career guidance, and you may find that your skills could be better used in a completely different, more rewarding role. After all, it’s no use having a pension plan and hefty salary if you don’t get the chance to enjoy them!




unLTD’s Phil Turner sat down for a bite to eat with Cawa Coffee’s Business Development Manager Deon Jacob, to chart the Sheffield-based cafe brands rise from a single Broomhill shop to a chain of cafes and kiosks across the region, as well as their plans for rebrands, new brands and franchise models… Hi Deon, can you give us the lowdown on the rise of Cawa Coffee? The two co-founders opened their first spot in Broomhill in April 2017, which is actually when I first met them. I was driving home one night and popped into the bakery and they had the most amazing cruffins. Soon enough, they had queues around the block, especially in the morning when the sourdough came out. The sourdough is really special and uses a starter that dates back to the 1990s, in Ukraine. They then decided to move into bigger premises because obviously it was just far too small. They found these premises and moved here six months later but kept the old place around the corner for the bakery side of things. But, again, it got to a point where it was just not big enough. They then decided to open on Division Street, and moved into a more bespoke, 25,000 sq ft bakery near Meadowhall. They then started selling their products on Amazon, under a brand called Westbourne, and became the number one selling sourdough on Amazon. It’s a very, very good product and the reviews are excellent. Moving on from there, we opened in Chesterfield and Chesterfield Train Station in 2021, as well as Nottingham Train Station in 2022 and most recently in Meadowhall, in August this year. How did you become involved and what’s your role in the business? 52 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

After that first visit, I became friends with the co-owners and stayed in touch. My background is merchant services, so I was going out to see hotels, coffee shops and restaurants, and I would take their samples, more as a favour, because I try to help people, that’s how I work. Then a couple of month’s ago, they asked me to join forces with them because they’d got to a point where they needed somebody that could look after the business development side of things. They’re focus is on getting the products right and are directly involved with the baking. They love that side of it. When the business was first set up, they used to go out during the day and find new business and then come back at night and bake. They were working 18 - 20 hours a day. A lot of time and love goes into the process. For instance, we use only French flour and butter for our pastries, and I think that does make a difference We now employ 84 people and we’ve got a really good, steady team. Most of them have been with us two or three years, so they really know their stuff, but we have big plans and lot’s more capacity. My role is developing plans for a franchise model and getting involved with the local communities, especially to make Broomhill a really vibrant destination. Can you tell us more about the franchise model? This came about just a few weeks ago. We opened Meadowhall, and

it’s a lovely spot, but we don’t have enough space to bring in all the products. The two cofounders sat down and thought, how can we change the business? They decided to go down the route of only selling croissants with different fillings and coffees. So that’s now become La Croissanterie, and that brand will be rolled out to train stations and service stations around the country. We’re already looking at Derby, Leicester, St Pancreas, Leeds and Sheffield. By only selling croissants and coffee, we’re not going to please everybody, but if you look at brands like Subway, for instance, all they do is sandwiches and that works for them. Another thing

CAWA, NOT HALF Me and Deon had lunch at CAWA in Broomhill, a hotspot for great coffee, bakes and pastries. They are famed for their flavour combinations, some of which are pretty unlike any you’ll see elsewhere so we both went for their hugely popular fish finger croissant, washed down with an Oat Milk Latte. It’s open 8am-6pm Monday to Saturday and 9am-5pm Sunday. which attracts a lot of people to us is our coffee. We import the coffee and we roast it ourselves. It’s really good quality coffee. Division Street will be rebranded as La Croissanterie in the next few weeks, as we develop and create the franchise brand. It sounds like you’re being kept busy – what’s next? Nextdoor to the Broomhill coffee shop, in the old bank, we’re going to open La Reserve. That will open in the next few weeks, in the afternoon and into the early evening, serving afternoon teas, lunches, and Mediterranean food. We’ll have a pizza oven, but the menu will incorporate food from across the Mediterranean,

from Lebanon and North Africa to France and Spain, and there’ll be wine and cocktails. We also used to hold jazz nights and people really liked that, but the space just wasn’t big enough, so we’ll hold those in La Reserve. It will be our first proper restaurant and wine bar, open early evening for people on their way home. We want to try and turn this area into a food hub again, and a bit of a destination. In terms of going forward, we see Cawa as a coffee shop brand that could work in city centres across the country. La Croissanterie will become a franchise brand and we hope to have about 35 in the next 18 months.

Find them at: 253 Fulwood Road Broomhill, Sheffield, S10 3BD Telephone +44 (0)114 266 5732


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Digital marketing agency Evoluted began life in Sheffield as a web development agency over 17-years ago, transitioning into a full-service digital agency as the world of marketing evolved.

Following some changes at the top, a recent rebrand and refurb, and the success of their hugely popular Sheffield DM events, unLTD’s Ash Birch caught up with the team to have a nosey about their snazzy West Bar offices… For any company to have survived, let alone thrived for the best part of 20-years, means they must be doing something right, and Sheffield-based agency Evoluted, who turned 17 back in June, can point to huge successes and steady growth in that time. The key to their growth, which has seen the team grow from a handful of staff in the early days, to just under 40 today, has been their ethos of being a ‘people-first’ company, both with regards to staff and clients. This is borne out by the fact that five of their staff have been with the agency for over ten years, levels of retention they tell us are unheard of in the industry, and they also proudly boast clients who have stuck with them from the very beginning. In order to keep evolving though, in the last year the company has undergone a restructure, with founder Ash Young stepping back to become Commercial Director, allowing Sam Biggins, who originally joined in 2012 and returned after a brief interlude in the world of tech start-ups, and Giorgio Cassella, who joined in 2017, to take over the reigns as Managing Directors in September 2022, setting the new vision for the company. Giorgio explained: “The opportunity came up when Ash wanted to semi retire. He’s still involved as our Commercial Director, focused purely on business development and sales, 56 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

which is what he’s great at and what he’s done all the way through his career with Evoluted, helping to build it to where it is now. “We’ve taken everything else on, so setting the direction for the company; where do we want to be in five years? What does the company look like by the time we hit 20 years in business and beyond? Sam added: “It’s been a good challenge, but chaotic at times. Ash has always been peoplecentric in the way he’s run the business. I remember when I first joined, everyone talked about the company as ‘we’, it had that community. Taking that on in the last year has probably been quite a lot of pressure – it’s big boots to fill. “It has meant that there’s been an awful lot of change, and change can sometimes be scary, so it’s been important to bring on the team to make sure everyone sees our vision. It’s been a really good year. Challenging, but really strong.” Part of that vision and change has been a rebrand of the company, right down to the logo, and a sleek and functional refurb of their office space on Lambert Street. “It had been almost ten years since we had last done a rebranding exercise, so it naturally felt time to refresh that again,” says Giorgio, “We’ve got a lot of new blood in the business and new services that we offer, so we needed to rebrand to reflect that. “It was also about looking at our internal presence and how we spoke about each other, how we talk to each other, how the company was structured, all the way through to our digital branding, the website, social media,

colour palettes, the tone of voice, and then through to that physical identity, which fed into refurb of the office.” Sam added: “The main trigger for the refurb was that, after Covid, we found that the way we used the space had completely changed. We went from having everyone in the office four or five-days-a-week, to every now and again, more hybrid working. “We needed more interactive spaces for when everyone comes into the office and it needs to be a collaborative space, rather than just a desk. “That’s what this office is meant to be. It’s a creative and collaborative hub for everyone to come into and enjoy.” Giorgio added: “Just today, we’ve had someone based in Huddersfield and someone based in Kidderminster come together to use the new studio we’ve built to record some TikToks and to create some recruitment videos to help with our new hiring plans. “It’s blending that digital and physical, and knowing that you still want that central place for the team to get together on a more regular basis than just going to the pub once a month.” Meeting up with their team isn’t the only gathering that’s important to Evoluted either. Over the past five years, they’ve steadily built up Sheffield DM, a bi-monthly event aiming to improve and build the Digital Marketing community in Sheffield. The event was initially dreamed up by Giorgio, when he became frustrated at the lack of marketing specific networking events in Sheffield after moving to Sheffield from Derby. Giorgio explained: “We got

EVOLUTED about 30 to 35 people down to that first event, packed into this pokey little back room at the Sheffield Tap. There were diesel fumes flowing through the windows as well as smells from the brewery so there’s this weird mix of odours going on. It probably wasn’t good for anybody’s health! But that first event was a great success. Everybody loved it! “It’s a community meet-up and that was always the most important thing.” While still heavily involved in Sheffield DM, over the last year Giorgio has handed over the reins, in terms of the organisation and growth of the event to Evoluted Digital Marketing Manager Dan Rawley and Senior SEO Executive Nicky Furness, who have overseen real growth of the event and focused on creating a safe and diverse space for people from across the marketing spectrum to meet-up. The first of these bigger, paid events, was held at Kommune for 100-people. Dan told us more: “Kommune was the biggest event we’d done by a mile. It was very much an experiment, but it went down really well, so we did it again in the summer, at The Octagon Centre, and it grew to just under 250 people.” Nicky added: “We want to cater for anybody in Digital Marketing and that’s why we had two stages at the last event; We had the main stage which was very much broader digital marketing, and then the second stage was a little bit more niche, so pay per click or paid social media, which we found worked really well. “It’s about bringing the Digital Marketing community in Sheffield together, but also bringing that wider community to the North. A lot of the events are down South, and we feel like there’s so much that the North can bring, and we also want to promote Sheffield as a city.” “My favourite part is the community that it brings. I’ve connected with so many different people in the industry because of Sheffield DM. Everybody’s so lovely.” Diversity has been one of the event’s key focuses since its inception, both in attendees and speakers. 58 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

Dan said: “A lot of the marketing conferences we’ve been to, the line-up is basically all white men, and it’s always the same white men every time, and there’s no reason for that. “Marketing is at least a 50/50 gender split, so we’ve deliberately gone out of our way to have a diverse line-up, including people from underrepresented backgrounds. It’s really important to us and 61 per cent of all speakers have been either female or nonbinary. We’ve also given first time speakers an opportunity.” Nicky added: “We’re also doing more work on audience diversity, because if we’re charging £100 a ticket for our big events that will exclude certain people. For the last event, we gave anybody who’s a student or works in any area of charity an 80 per cent discounted ticket. “The event is not about making profit; we just try to cover costs while making it realistic for people to be able to attend, because we think it’s a worthwhile thing to do. Dan added: “We want to keep

scaling it and investing in it. The 5th birthday event is at the end of November and we’ll be inviting everyone that’s talked before and alumni, making it a celebration.” “The work for next summer’s event has already started and I think that is a reflection of how much more time we’re putting into it.” Off the back of conversations with other agencies at the Sheffield event, they are now looking to work together to bring the event to other cities in the North. The team’s ambition for Sheffield DM’s future mirrors the overall vision of steady growth for the company, while they continuing to evolve with the market by looking at customers’ entire processes. Giorgio said: “Part of our written culture now is being a better agency and not having that reputation of snake oil salesmen and ad men doing whatever it takes to get the sale across the line. You know, I’m not Don Draper. I like the whiskey but it’s a much more relaxed and less cutthroat environment.”

HIRING AN ACCOUNTANCY OR FINANCE APPRENTICE? GET APPLYING FOR INCENTIVE FUNDING! Applications for the increased incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice are now open. The team at First Intuition tell unLTD readers more. Following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement in April, employers will receive £3,000 for eligible apprentices of any age who start employment from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021. You can apply for incentive payments for these apprentices from 1 June 2021 to 30 November 2021. The incentive payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice:

• Aged 16 to 18 or • Under 25 with an education, health, and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority. Apprentices will have an additional two months after the deadline of 30 September 2021 (until 30 November 2021) to start their training programme – this is to allow for probationary periods and sign-up processes to occur. Furthermore, employers will also receive a National Insurance exemption if the apprentice is aged under 25 and a 95 per cent subsidy of the training costs (if not paying via the apprenticeship levy). Levy

paying employers can utilise their levy pots. Applications for the increased incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice are now open. Level 2, 3, 4 and 7 Apprenticeship schemes for the AAT, ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW,

CTA and ATT Qualifications are covered for the incentive payment. If you are looking to recruit an apprentice into your Finance Team, then we can help. Contact Sheffield@fi.co.uk for more info.

The Accountancy Employers Guide Trainees and new staff need as much support as possible to ease them into work over the next year. The Accountancy Employers Guide provides links to relevant resources on trainee recruitment, onboarding, pre-start resources, employability skills, apprenticeship incentives, employer events, and hot topics. The Accountancy Employers Guide is now available to access for free at www.firstintuition.co.uk/fihub/ accountancy-employers-guide/


QUALITY COUNTS In this insightful interview with Richard Dolman, Lead Consultant at Glade Consulting Services, we gain an understanding of the company’s commitment to helping others achieve and maintain that all-important ISO certification.

Could you provide an overview of Glade Consulting Services Ltd and its primary mission? At Glade Consultancy Services we help companies to achieve ISO certification and, if they are already certified, help them maintain it. Our raison d’etre is to help companies improve and we use ISO certification to achieve that. ISO standards are built on a ‘Plan-DoCheck-Act’ framework which drives organisations to systematically review and improve themselves. What inspired the establishment of the company and its focus on supporting UK-based manufacturing and supply chains, particularly in automotive, aerospace and construction sectors? I set Glade Consulting Services up in 2017 as the country was on the journey towards Brexit. With all the uncertainty on the horizon, I saw an opportunity to help businesses improve. I am passionate about manufacturing, having worked for over 25 years in the steel industry. From working in so many key supply chains around the world, seeing how things are made, and hearing constantly about the productivity gap in the UK versus the rest of 60 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

Europe, I realised I had the opportunity to help, in a small way, to close that gap. Making things is what Britain – and especially the Sheffield City Region – is good at and my drive is to help companies reduce waste (actual waste and the waste of lost capacity through having to correct mistakes). This has been borne out in the way that the business has grown and the feedback that we have received. The trouble with ISO 9001 (or whatever standard you are implementing) is that it can be an exercise that merely ticks a box. We try to embed it in such a way that it makes a difference and brings value to the client. Even when companies bring in their own team, they often still turn to us to provide ongoing guidance and support to their team. They see us as a service that adds value to them and takes away their worries. Can you share some specific examples of how your team’s expertise has benefited SME businesses? Potential clients get in touch for a number of reasons, but they roughly fit into a number of categories, which include: o They need to get ISO 9001 or whatever standard is needed to win business and they don’t know where to start with it.

o They are already certified, but the person who managed it has left and they haven’t the foggiest where or how the information is kept. This especially comes into focus when an audit from a certification is due – panic sets in, so they reach out to us. We have worked with a number of companies; they often initially need help quickly, so they don’t lose business due to not being certified. We don’t try to change the world for them as there are reasons why they are doing so well and have been selected as a potential supplier or subcontractor. They just need guidance on what they need to do to meet the standard and we undertake a number of system-specific activities, such as internal audit and management review. This makes the process efficient for them whilst also ensuring that the clients buy into the principles of ISO. When we have helped them gain certification, they have often said that our nonjargon approach has given them reassurance through the process and has also benefitted their business way beyond their expectations. That gives me a huge sense of satisfaction and that’s what it’s really about. There are also those instances where the certification audit

is due and that person who was the ‘ISO person’ has left the business. In these circumstances, we work with the client to quickly identify the gaps in the system – and we have a good success rate at finding any documentation that is already in place even if it is not being actively used. The approach that we take in working with key stakeholders in the business gives the leadership of the organisation peace of mind that we will do what is needed to help them through the audit. I wouldn’t want to underestimate the stress that owners and business leaders face when heading towards an audit – it really can be stressful, especially when heading into the unknown after a period of taking their eye off the ‘ISO’ ball. However, having a trusted partner to help you through the process can really make the difference. How does Glade Consulting Services differentiate itself in the market when it comes to helping organisations achieve ISO9001 certification? That’s a really good question. I would like to say that having worked in a range of sectors at senior management level prior to starting Glade, I have been exposed to a wide breadth of experiences. These experiences lead us to working hard to understand the processes involved in running the client’s business. When we can do this effectively and be able to translate the way the business talks into ISO speak, especially when we are being audited with the client, and this makes the process so much easier for all involved. We work with a range of clients from steel stockholders to companies in the renewables sector to manufacturers of timber products. All sectors use different terminology and one of the key things is to link how the business arranges its processes and how they fit into ISO. Also key to

this is working with people across the business and communicating effectively at all levels. Understanding the business’ language is important in this as not only does it help us interpret ISO requirements for the specific organisation, but it also enables us to talk to the staff across the organisation in their language. Embedding ISO in a business is key and that it does not lie with one or two individuals, but everyone has their part to play – this is our approach to try and work with all stakeholders in the business. Looking ahead, what are the company’s future plans and initiatives to continue supporting UK businesses in quality management and certification processes? The future is looking like it could be exciting. We are growing the business rapidly at the moment and with the current gap in good quality auditors, we are looking to recruit people who are new to consulting but have good experience of working in an operational environment. We are always exploring new sectors but our focus in the next year is to work with more companies in helping them establish processes which will enhance their security – this is the standard ISO 27001. Again, it is built on a ‘PlanDo-Check-Act’ approach and requires certain checks and balances to help you manage your risks within the business. Many people think this is for electronic information, and whilst this largely applies to electronic data storage and access, it also includes physical security and the steps organisations take to protect physical access to buildings and files. Our big plan remains the same: to help more companies take a systematic approach to managing their systems, which should translate into greater profitability for those companies. Find out more at www. gladecs.co.uk



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Get funding and support to take your business to the next level! Got big ideas for your business? Business Sheffield can help make them happen! Funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and supported by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, they’re offering expert support and grants to help eligible businesses find creative solutions to challenges and achieve their goals quicker. Low Carbon Business Project You could get expert support and funding to: • Reduce energy use in your business and potentially save on bills • Create a better working environment for staff and visitors • Make your business more sustainable and do your bit to protect the environment Cupola Contemporary Art, Hillsborough, upgraded their boiler through the project and installed lowered ceilings, insulation and motion sensor lighting. “The Low Carbon Advisor was personable, honest and responsive to my questions. They did what they said they were going to do when they said they were going to do it. Without support and match funding, I wouldn’t have been able to implement the same programme of improvements.” – Karen Sherwood, Founder & Owner Productivity and Digitisation Grant Want to take your business to the next level? Upgrade systems, streamline processes, increase margins and more with the Business Productivity and Digitisation Grant! You could get expert support to: • develop ways to drive your business forward • apply for funding to make them happen • measure their effect Triple Point Brewery applied for support to reconfigure their brewing

hall, enabling them to increase brewing capacity. “The need for new drains, piping and hygienic flooring was a real barrier to us growing Triple Point and was very difficult for us to fund. The productivity grant made this possible and we are really excited about the new opportunities this has opened up.” – Mike Brook, Managing Director Businesses across South Yorkshire can access these projects too. If you’re not based in Sheffield, contact your local authority’s business support team for information. Find out more Interested? Visit the Council website to check the eligibility criteria and get more details of the support on offer. www.sheffield.gov.uk/productivitygrant www.sheffield.gov.uk/low-carbon Call us on 0114 224 5000 or email businesssheffield@sheffield.gov.uk

ABOUT THE UK SHARED PROSPERITY FUND Both projects are funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK, investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit https://www. gov.uk/government/ publications/uk-sharedprosperity-fundprospectus



DAN ARCHER unLTD’s Ash Birch spoke to the Dan Archer, the UK Chief Exec of Sheffield headquartered care home franchisor, Visiting Angels, to talk about their care-centric approach to being the fastest growing care provider in the UK… Hi Dan, can you start by telling us a little bit about your journey into the care sector? I’ve been in franchising for 25 years. I always say the days before the internet, because I kind of accidentally joined a franchise company. I saw a job advert in a newspaper, which is how we used to do it back then. I couldn’t check them out online and I thought they were a sign company, but it turned out to be a franchise sign company. 25-years later and I’ve had a career in franchising! I’ve been Deputy Director General of the British Franchise Association, I’ve been a main board director of the BFA, which is our regulatory body for six years in total, I’ve spoken internationally about franchising and I’ve helped development agencies like Yorkshire Forward and the old RDA units to put franchise models together. I’ve done a tonne of stuff around it. I hadn’t been involved 66 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

in care, and the thing with care is, you don’t know about it unless you work in Adult Social Care, or you’ve had to care for a family member. Everybody else is blissfully unaware about what goes on in Adult Social Care, and that’s exactly how it was for me. My nan was our first instance of needing care. For the last couple of years of her life, her arthritis was in her spine, which was causing dizzy spells and light-headedness. A social worker said we needed to get someone in to provide care in the mornings and in the evenings. In the first eight weeks of care and support we had 15 different carers through the house. She had a sense of humour about it, and used to say, she only knew she was getting care when the blue tabards showed up! Because of the high turnover of staff, the visit times were changing, and we ended up having breakfast calls at midday, meaning my nan was getting out of bed unsafely.

I complained about it, but it didn’t do any good, and in February 2011, she had a bad fall and we lost her, so I’d seen the worst of it. Six months after that, I was speaking at a conference in Telford and the Chief Exec of a business called Home Instead Senior Care saw me speak and a couple of weeks after that, out of the blue, I got a phone call from a recruitment consultant, to say that Home Instead was looking for a head of marketing and was I interested? In the space of about a year, I went from knowing nothing about the sector, to seeing the worst of it, to working for, who are currently, the UK’s largest provider. I’m currently running the UK division of the world’s second largest. Visiting Angels is in five countries, with 837 franchisees around the world. I’m responsible for the UK and Europe. How did you end up getting involved with

Visiting Angels and bringing them to the UK? In 2016 I was UK MD of a business called Pro Medica 24, which is a live-in care provider. We had 52 recruiting offices in five European countries, finding carers from Poland Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and the old East Germany and bringing them to the UK. I was running that in June 2016 when we voted for Brexit – not the best day at work! In the weeks that followed, when there was no change in passport, work permit or visa requirements, we saw a 40 per cent reduction in the number of European care workers wanting to come to the UK, because they didn’t feel welcome. I got to February 2017 and I resigned and went on gardening leave. I’d been talking to the Americans about bringing Visiting Angels to the UK for about six months prior to that, but I actually started the market research at that point. I looked at nearly

50 care providers and something struck me as odd; if they had a mission statement at all, their mission was focused on clients in care delivery. Nobody had a people focused mission statement and I thought, hang on that’s the biggest problem we’ve all got. How do you find and keep good carers? In a moment of clarity, in summer 2017, I had a big idea and I called that being 'carer-centric', so we run our care business making carers the most important people in the organisation. More important than the client receiving care and that sticks in people’s throats, but that’s what we do. How do you follow through on that mission statement? We don’t pay people minimum wage or less, we pay them a proper wage. We don’t have zero-hour contracts, we pay travel time, we guarantee pay increases each year, we give people their birthday off, we service their car every year, and we give them life insurance. There’s a tonne of stuff like that, that we do to make the job of being a carer more attractive. We’re investing in our people in order to be in a position where we give quality care, and have more stability in the workforce, which means clients can choose their carer and get that same carer coming every week. We were able to grow a team because we weren’t just replacing levers. My staff turnover in Sheffield is nine per cent, compared to 70 per cent elsewhere in domiciliary care. People are living longer with more complex medical conditions and those complex medical conditions mean the job of being a carer is far more complex now than it was five years ago. If you’ve got 70 per cent of staff leaving,

you can’t do that work because your staff never stay long enough to learn the skills they need. We’ve proven this model works so we went into franchising in 2019 and I went into lockdown number one of the pandemic with three active locations: Sheffield, West London and South Hearts. We’ve currently got 58 and we’re the fastest growth care provider in the country.

We’ve added 20 this year and we’re doing it because the model is working. What’s the plan for the future? We will probably do 15 or 20 UK based offices next year, because that will be the growth rate for the next two or three years in the UK, but we’re moving into the German market next year as well. So we’re exporting the model into

other Western European countries where we know they’ve got an ageing population. So Germany next year, probably Holland the year after, then Sweden and Denmark, with a view to then be growing at a rate of five to ten offices per year in each of those overseas territories, so that we can move towards the ultimate growth target, which is a European base of 500 offices.



SMH GROUP WANTS YOU! Are you on the lookout for an exciting career opportunity with a company that values its employees and champions professional growth? Look no further, as SMH Group are now recruiting for a range of dynamic roles across our offices in Yorkshire and Derbyshire!

With a strong commitment to investing in their staff and a track record of excellence, SMH Group is the ideal destination for those seeking a fulfilling career in accountancy and financial services.

The SMH Group difference What sets SMH Group apart is our unwavering dedication to employee development and satisfaction. We believe that investing in our staff is the key to success. By nurturing a dynamic, creative, and collaborative work environment, we empower our employees to achieve their best and contribute to the company’s ongoing growth.

Investing in staff SMH Group’s commitment to employee development is evident in various ways: • Comprehensive training: We provide comprehensive training programmes to ensure that our employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your career, we have career maps tailored to your needs. • Mentoring & coaching: We offer mentoring and 68 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

coaching programs that provide guidance and support to employees at every stage of their career. These programmes are designed to help individuals reach their full potential. • Career progression: We believe in promoting from within, allowing employees to grow and advance in their careers within the company. Many of our accountants have progressed from apprenticeships to senior roles via numerous

opportunities for career advancement within the group.

Available Roles SMH Group is currently recruiting for a variety of accountancy and finance roles across our offices in South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Derbyshire. We welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds and experiences so whether you’re a recent graduate, a mid-career professional, or a highly experienced director, there

are opportunities for you! To explore the available roles and apply, visit the SMH Group Careers page or enquire via our advert. Don’t miss your chance to be part of an innovative and dynamic team— contact us today to discuss any of our available roles on info@smh.group, 0114 266 4432 or smh.group/ careers

Check out our latest vacancies Audit Assistant Manager – Sheffield Payroll Officer – Rotherham Semi Senior Accountant – Buxton Semi Senior Accountant – Rotherham Senior Accountant – Leeds Senior Accountant – Sheffield

Scan here or visit www.smh.group/careers to apply today.

www.smh.group 0114 266 4432 info@smh.group

SMH GROUP DRIVING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT THROUGH LOCAL SPONSORSHIPS The SMH Group is proud to be working with three prominent sporting organisations in Sheffield and Chesterfield, representing their commitment to active community involvement. Their approach reaffirms how sponsorship isn’t just financial, but also about adding value through expertise and experience, a reason why the SMH Group have taken on the main sponsorship at Sheffield Collegiate Cricket Club. James Hartley, Managing Partner at SMH Group, said: “As a company that values community engagement and support, SMH Group is proud to support a successful local team that has a long history of excellence in cricket, which has helped to produce no other than Joe Root in recent years. “We understand the value of building strong

relationships with our local community and believe that supporting Sheffield Collegiate Cricket Club is an important way for us to connect with the community and contribute to its development, but also to continue to build our trust and credibility.” As well as this, SMH Group have taken on

the stadium sponsorship of Chesterfield FC, now known as The SMH Group Stadium, and also sponsors Chesterfield Golf Club, where they actively participate in events and club initiatives. Josh Dickens, Business Development & Marketing Manager at SMH Group said: “We have held our

annual charity golf day at Chesterfield Golf Club for the past three years, helping us raise money for our nominated charity, the South Yorkshire branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, so it is an ideal setting for us to raise our game with our corporate social responsibilities as well.”

DONCASTER ROVERS TOP THE TABLE IN PROSTATE UNITED CHALLENGE Doncaster Rovers have taken the top spot in the 2023 Prostate United challenge, raising more than double the amount of the club coming in second place. After 31 days and more than 150 km apiece, over 30 Rovers staff and supporters raised more than £16,000 for Prostate Cancer UK, with many of them completing the final run together, finishing inside the Eco-Power Stadium. Started in 2018, the Prostate United challenge involves running a minimum of 5km ever day in October, or alternatively, walking at least 3km or cycling 15km, to raise much-needed funds and spread awareness about prostate cancer. Rovers boss Grant McCann, a passionate supporter of the cause, said: “It feels great to complete it. It’s been mentally tough, doing this every single day, but it’s an unbelievable achievement from everyone. “The amount of support we’ve received, the donations, the togetherness we’ve created to get this challenge completed, whether the staff are running, biking or 70 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

walking, everyone has got through every single day. “I’m really pleased and honoured to see everyone complete it.” Anyone who still wishes to donate to the Rovers team can do so by visiting justgiving.com/team/ doncasterrovers.


BENCHMARK CONTINUE TO TACKLE LONELINESS WITH SHEFFIELD CHURCHES COUNCIL FOR COMMUNITY CARE Over the last three years, Rebecca Morris, Managing Director at Benchmark Recruit, has been a passionate advocate and fundraiser for the Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC). She has raised almost £1000 by running the Sheffield 10K, supporting both the Good Neighbour and Hospital to Home teams. SCCCC’s Good Neighbour Scheme, a befriending service where volunteers visit older people to reduce loneliness, was launched in 1966 and since then, has supported thousands of vulnerable people. Rebecca said: “We all lead busy lives, but dedicating an hour or two to somebody else makes an enormous difference. I think it’s immeasurable how much a hug, cup of tea and, a chat can help a lonely person.” Rebecca’s colleague, Natalie Salvato-Hague, also volunteers for the Good Neighbour Scheme and has taken on fundraising by signing up to a fire walk and the pen pal scheme. Natalie said: “When I first heard about SCCCC, it broke my heart that there is such a huge list of older people waiting for a companion. Having two grandparents in their 90’s, I hate to think of them being isolated.”

AUTUMN ADMI anything of value that What an exciting and can add value before the lovely time of year! end of the year if sold/ Halloween and Bon Fire converted into money. Night, an extra hour in bed • Day 11-20: Put out a due to the clocks going questionnaire to your back and the crisp winter service users, partnership mornings – my favourite organisations and time to start the day. volunteers – ask for their This is a great time of feedback on your services year to be helping your this year, how you could beneficiaries too – the improve and ask them to build up to Christmas, the write a paragraph about winding down towards the their experiences – you end of the calendar year, may gather some nice but we only have the next testimonials and case two months to meet those studies. output/fundraising targets • Day 21-30: Review your too. funding spreadsheets, Let’s put a 30 day plan which funders are due into operation to finish to give you a decision the year off with a bang, before the end of the impress those Trustees and ensure that staff, volunteers year? Which do you need to get done before the and service users get to end of the year? Which know how hard we have all new applications need worked in 2023. submitting in January • Day 1-5: Review the 2024? Fundraising Strategy and Work until the end of see what is left to do, how the year, but enjoy the much do you still need to do? Make some action celebrations with your points, delegate the work staff, trustees, volunteers and service users – you’ve and set deadlines. worked hard this year and • Day 6-10: Take stock of done a grand job, well done! the physical assets for If you need more help your organisation – record with this or any aspect of what you may have in Business Planning/Funding terms of merchandise, service packs, Christmas Strategy, call me - Wendy Ward. Party tickets to sell -

Give Wendy at Let's Save Consultancy Services a call on 0772 9481010 or email wendy@letssave.biz unLTDBUSINESS.COM 71

INCREASING THE LOAD Sheffield based recruitment consultants Lodestone Recruitment have hit a major milestone, welcoming their very first employee Joel Morrison. Founder and Managing Director Nicholas Brennan has been running the engineering industry focused recruitment agency as a one-man band since buying out his business partner last year, but was thrilled to add Joel to the team as a recruitment consultant in October 2023. Nicholas said: “We have grown a lot over the last three months, increasing in

capacity with lots of work and lots of jobs. “Having just me was not sustainable anymore. I need to maximise all opportunities and deliver to our clients.” Joel not only has experience in the recruitment industry, having previously worked for Hays Recruitment in London, but he also has a background in Engineering and Construction, which will prove incredibly valuable to his new work. As well as bringing a wealth of industry knowledge with him, Joel also has a degree in creative

advertising and is a qualified Level 3 Vehicle Technician which is sure to come in handy to a small business such as Lodestone. Nicholas added: “Joel is very confident, but not arrogant, and he is honest. He has already made a great start to life at Lodestone, getting out to meet new clients and a number of events in his short time, as well as his first placement!” “Hays train their staff very well, so he will fit right in.” Nicholas is hoping Joel’s arrival will help enable even more growth for the company in the near future.

Whyy? Change appoint new Marketing Tutor Rotherham based apprenticeship training provider, Whyy? Change, have strengthened their tutoring team with the appointment of Jeanette Baker, to the role of Marketing Tutor. Jeanette will be responsible for delivering the Level 6 Marketing Manager Apprenticeship and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Level 6 Marketing modules. Jeanette joins Whyy? Change part-time and with over 30 years of experience in the education sector as a Principal Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University’s Business School, specialising in teaching market analysis, marketing strategy, and digital marketing. Speaking on her appointment, Jeanette said: “I am really excited to join the team at Whyy? Change. Whyy?’s applied approach 72 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

to learning means people complete their studies with a strongly developed set of skills and knowledge that can be applied to any industry sector, reflecting my teaching philosophy of applied learning. “Whyy? see that at the heart of industry’s ability to compete and grow, is the need to equip people with the skills and knowledge to manage challenging and ever-changing marketplaces. I’m looking forward to sharing this adventure with a strong team of great people.”

SHEFFIELD-BASED RESEARCH CONSULTANCY WELCOMES TWO NEW GRADUATES Sheffield-based international research consultancy, KADA Research, has expanded its team with the appointment of two Research Consultants, Emily Rimmer and Louis A Mitchell. Both having recently graduated from the University of Sheffield, their appointments follow a busy period of growth for KADA, which has significantly expanded its client base and its project delivery capacity over the last 12 months. Director at KADA Research, Karl Dalgleish, said: “At KADA we are very committed to continuing to support new talent entering the research industry, and very privileged to be in such proximity to two excellent universities which help nurture great candidates. “In their short time with us, Emily and Louis have shown a real commitment to the work that we do, and we are delighted to have them onboard.”

Gripple’s new grads Gripple, the employee-owned manufacturer of wire joiners, tensioners and suspension solutions has appointed two new graduates as well as an undergraduate placement student to the business, demonstrating its commitment to investing in its future talent. Joining the Gripple Graduate Scheme is Jacob Bradder, a mechanical engineering graduate of Sheffield Hallam University and Claudia Creswell, an economic and modern languages graduate from the University of Sheffield.

In addition, Samuel Valentine, a product design engineering student from Loughborough University has joined Gripple on an undergraduate placement, spending a year working in product design within the Ideas & Innovation team in Sheffield. Emma Hibbert, Recruitment Manager at Gripple, said: “What makes our grad scheme different is that our graduates can, and indeed are expected to make an impact from day one and they are involved in real-life projects that add value to the business.

MULTITASK PERSONNEL WELCOMES NEW BUSINESS ADMIN APPRENTICE Leading Rotherham-based recruitment consultancy Multitask Personnel has announced the addition of Lennon Wilson to the team as a Business Administration Apprentice, reaffirming the company’s commitment to providing opportunities for young talent and fostering professional growth within the community. Lennon said: “I am thrilled to be joining Multitask Personnel as a Business Admin Apprentice. This is an incredible opportunity, and I am eager to learn and contribute to the company’s success. I am grateful to Multitask Personnel for this opportunity and look forward to being a part of the team.” Claire Lee, Managing Director of Multitask Personnel said: “We are thrilled to welcome Lennon to our team.

At Multitask Personnel, we believe in investing in the future and are dedicated to providing opportunities for young individuals to kickstart their careers.

NEW HEAD OF DESIGN MANAGEMENT FOR SKY-HOUSE CO Sheffield’s award-winning Sky-House Co has appointed a new Head of Design Management. Ross Williams is a former junior technologist at Sheffield’s CODA Studios, the designers of the original Sky-House concept, and has more recently been with internationally acclaimed Architects Corstophine and Wright. He will initially work alongside directors David Cross and Rebecca Prince, designing, refining and ultrafine tuning the Sky-House raft of projects and also overseeing the company’s House Type Library. Sky-House Co founder and director David Cross said: “This is a big role and one we are sure will help a great deal to move the company forward. “With new developments for Sky-House Co at Waverley and also in Sheffield city centre, both in Devonshire Green and now in Copper Street at Kelham Island, we are moving into a major new chapter of the Sky-House story and one in which Ross will be a key player.”


Bridging the Gap: The Importance of Training Leaders in Business Doncaster Chamber is highlighting the crucial need for businesses to establish comprehensive training and professional development programmes for their leaders, in response to a nationwide study.

The recently published Better Management Report by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) delves into the multifaceted impact that leaders, both positive and negative, can have on their teams. Drawing from insights provided by over 4,500 individuals with varying levels of experience across different sectors, the report examines how everything, from employee morale to departmental efficiency and a company’s overall financial performance, can be adversely affected by inadequate management. The investigation reveals a concerning statistic, indicating that 82% of new managers in the UK have received no formal training, often being promoted due to their past job performance, popularity within their organisation, or sheer availability. These individuals are categorised as ‘accidental managers’, highlighting their lack of the essential skills required for effective team leadership, with potential far-reaching negative consequences for the broader business. Furthermore, data from relevant YouGov surveys, which informed the Better Management Report’s findings, underlines the pivotal role of a leader in determining their team’s performance. For example, employees who rate their manager as “ineffective” are significantly more likely to leave their employer within the next 12 months compared to those with a more positive 74 unLTDBUSINESS.COM

managerial experience (50% vs. 21%). They also report substantially lower motivation (34% vs. 77%) and job satisfaction (27% vs. 74%). These findings align with research conducted in South Yorkshire earlier this year as part of the region’s Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), led by Doncaster Chamber of Commerce. The LSIP involved extensive desk-based research and consultations with over

2,000 employers, aiming to identify their skill needs and propose solutions. Echoing the conclusions of the Better Management Report, the South Yorkshire LSIP emphasises the significance of ensuring managers receive adequate training. It recommends introducing short courses and other programs to support middle leaders in enhancing their team management skills. Expanding upon this, Dan Fell (pictured), Chief Exec of Doncaster Chamber, said: “It’s important that we acknowledge this problem and do not turn a blind eye to it. A poor manager can make the difference between a team performing well and it needlessly floundering. Not to mention, they are also a major influence in terms of staff retention, with the old adage that ‘people leave

managers not companies’ often proving to be true. “On the other hand, a good leader can take a business to new heights and those employers that choose to invest in management development programmes will reap the benefits. Indeed, ensuring that your leaders are trained and supported can boost everything from productivity, to staff morale and engagement. Alongside vouching for middle leader courses, the South Yorkshire LSIP lays out over 40 additional recommendations for improving the region’s skills system.


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Helping brilliant businesses to grow and matching candidates to their perfect role. Providing a bespoke, efficient, and dedicated recruitment service.

Benchmark are expert match-makers; a specialist commercial recruitment consultancy that supports businesses from multiple sectors and industries including the third and charity sectors. Benchmark specialise in permanent, temporary, and contract positions.

Contact: rebecca@benchmarkrecruit.co.uk / 07714771600

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