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BusinessMatters Quarterly Magazine of West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce

DESIGN FIRM COMES OF AGE BUSINESS AWARDS ENTRIES WANTED FRAUD‌ A GROWTH INDUSTRY

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06 08 15

ISSUE12 WINTER2012

West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce

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Comisiynydd y Gymraeg: cefnogaeth i fusnesau Mae llawer o fusnesau yn dewis defnyddio’r Gymraeg yn wirfoddol. Man cychwyn da i unrhyw fusnes wrth fynd ati i ddatblygu gwasanaethau Cymraeg yw i edrych ar yr ystod o wasanaethau y maent yn eu darparu, a gofyn iddynt eu hunain a yw’r Gymraeg yn cael ei thrin yn llai ffafriol na’r Saesneg ym mhob un o’r gwasanaethau hynny.

Gall y Comisiynydd gynnig y canlynol i fusnesau: ●

Cyngor rhad ac am ddim ar sut i ddefnyddio’r Gymraeg mewn busnes yn unol ag anghenion busnesau unigol

Cyngor ar sut i fabwysiadu Polisi Iaith Gymraeg

Dogfennau cyngor:

Ar ôl adnabod unrhyw fylchau yn y ddarpariaeth Gymraeg, gallant fynd ati i gynllunio’n ofalus ar gyfer cyflwyno a chynnwys mwy o ddwyieithrwydd.

● Technoleg, Gwefannau a Meddalwedd: Ystyried y Gymraeg

Mae busnesau’n defnyddio’r Gymraeg mewn amryw o ffyrdd:

Drafftio Dwyieithog, Cyfieithu a Chyfieithu ar y Pryd

Recriwtio: Ystyried y Gymraeg

trwy arddangos arwyddion dwyieithog

Terminoleg ar gyfer sectorau penodol

trwy gyhoeddi llenyddiaeth a gwefan ddwyieithog

Cyngor ar gomisiynu gwaith cyfieithu

trwy fynd ati’n rhagweithiol i recriwtio gweithlu dwyieithog

Bathodynnau ‘Cymraeg’ i helpu cwsmeriaid i adnabod staff sy’n siarad Cymraeg

trwy roi bathodynnau ‘Cymraeg’ i helpu cwsmeriaid i adnabod staff sy’n siarad Cymraeg

Gall buddsoddiad cymharol fach nawr gyfrannu at lwyddiant y busnes a buddiannau dwyieithrwydd yn y dyfodol.

Am ragor o wybodaeth am rôl y Comisiynydd 0845 6033 221 post@comisiynyddygymraeg.org comisiynyddygymraeg.org

Cafodd Comisiynydd y Gymraeg ei sefydlu gan Mesur y Gymraeg (Cymru) 2011, deddfwriaeth a roddodd statws swyddogol i’r Gymraeg yng Nghymru. Prif nod y Comisiynydd yw hybu a hwyluso defnyddio’r Gymraeg.

Welsh Language Commissioner: business support services Many businesses choose to use Welsh voluntarily.

The Welsh Language Commissioner offers

A good starting point for any business wanting to develop Welsh language services is to look at the range of services they provide, and ask themselves whether the Welsh language is treated less favourably than the English in each of those services.

Free consultation on how to introduce and use Welsh in business, tailored to the individual needs of the business

Advice on adopting a Welsh Language Policy

After identifying any gaps in the Welsh language provision, they can plan carefully for introducing and including bilingualism in their business.

Bilingual guidance for the following: Technology, Websites and Software: Welsh Language Considerations

Businesses use the Welsh language in a variety of ways:

Bilingual Drafting, Translation and Interpretation

Recruitment: Welsh Language Considerations

By displaying bilingual signs

By publishing a bilingual website and literature

Sector-specific terminology

By proactively recruiting a bilingual workforce

Advice on commissioning translation

By providing ‘Cymraeg’ [Welsh] badges to help customers identify Welsh speaking staff

Free ‘Cymraeg’ badges to help customers identify Welsh speaking members of staff

Operating bilingually is within the reach of any business. A relatively small investment now can contribute towards the success of the business and the benefits of bilingualism in the future. The Welsh Language Commissioner was established by the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011, legislation which gave the Welsh language official status in Wales. The Commissioner’s main aim is to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language.

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For more information about the role of the Commissioner 0845 6033 221 post@welshlanguagecommissioner.org welshlanguagecommissioner.org

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BusinessMatters

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CONTENTS

ISSUE12 WINTER2012

04 08 29

BOOST PLANNED FOR UK TRADE 09 INTERNATIONAL 04 TRADE DISCOVERING THE BARRIERS TO AND UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

10

INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN 22 BIG WILLIAMS OF THE ATLANTIC GATEWAY PROJECT

EXPORTING

IN AND AROUND THE 06 DESIGN FIRM COMES OF AGE 29 EVENTS 10 GETTING STARTED REGION 07 24 HOURS WITH ....... 15 AS I SEE IT LET’S GET SOCIAL 32 PRESTIGIOUS BUSINESS AWARDS TO? WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR 08 YOUR CHANCE TO ENTER 19 HOW WEBSITE GOES DOWN 34 JUST MORE THING Chamber of Commerce Riverside Innovation Centre 1 Castle Drive Chester CH1 1SL Telephone: 01244 669988 Fax: 01244 669989 info@wcnwchamber.org.uk www.wcnwchamber.org.uk Registered Company No. 173634

Production & Design Distinctive Publishing 6th Floor, Aidan House, Sunderland Road, Gateshead NE8 3HU Telephone 0845 884 2385 production@distinctivepublishing.co.uk www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk

Advertising helen Smith Telephone 0845 884 2337 helen.smith@distinctivepublishing.co.uk Contributing Editor John Dean & Francis Griss deangriss@btinternet.com

Disclaimer

Distinctive Publishing or West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that may occur, individual products or services advertised or late entries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or scanned without prior written permission of the publishers and West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce.

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23/11/12 16:07:28


INTERNATIONAL TRADE

United Arab Emirates Business Factfile Population: 5.4m Area: 83,000 km² Capital City: Abu Dhabi Official Language: Arabic GP Per Capita (PPP): $67,000

Trade Boost Planned for UK and United Arab Emirates Plans to increase trade between Britain and the UAE to £12bn by 2015 are on track, businesses told Ministers from both countries recently. The UK/UAE Business Council met for the third time in Dubai, bringing together business leaders from both countries to further drive commercial ties between them. UK companies are exploring opportunities to participate in the UAE’s £1.4 trillion of construction and infrastructure development programme and the development of its healthcare sector which will be worth £7.4 billion by 2015. The UAE is also a major investor in the UK, with over £5 billion invested in our critical energy, infrastructure and regeneration sectors throughout the regions. Inaugurated one year ago in Abu Dhabi, the Business Council is co-chaired by His Excellency Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Mr Samir Brikho, CEO of AMEC. The industry and entrepreneur led Business Council supports the UK and the UAE governments’ commitment to strengthening trade ties through the Joint Economic Council under the chairmanship of Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment and His Excellency Sultan al Mansouri, UAE Minister of the Economy. The Business Council discussed plans for a leadership development programme and cooperation between UK and UAE companies in third countries. The first example of this was the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between al Thani and Shell, witnessed by Lord Green and HE Sultan al Mansouri at the event. UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Green said: “The friendship between

Britain and the UAE is very important and our commercial relationship continues to strengthen. The UAE has ambitious development plans, which British business and expertise can make a huge contribution towards and are already helping to realise. “The UK is committed to making it quicker and easier for British businesses and Gulf States to do business together. Both countries are targeting a 60% increase in trade from 2009 levels, to reach £12 billion by 2015. I was delighted to hear about the progress that the Business Council has made in deepening the ties between the UK and the UAE.” Samir Brikho, Co-Chair of the UAE-UK Business Council and Chief Executive of AMEC said: “With each Business Council meeting we are creating deeper relationships and developing broader opportunities for trade and investment between the UAE and UK. The Prime Minister’s endorsement of the Business Council’s objectives demonstrates the United Kingdom’s commitment at the highest level to the long lasting relationship between our two countries.”

Source: FCO Economics Unit (2012)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is made up of seven Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain) that came together in 1971, with Dubai as the country’s business centre. UAE is considered a high growth market and the UK’s 16th largest for goods globally. It is also the UK’s largest export market in the Middle East. Personal relationships are considered vital to doing business in the country, with exporters encouraged to meet face to face with importers. As a Muslim country, laws and customs are very different to the UK and if visiting you should be aware your of your actions at all times, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. For more information visit www.ukinuae.fc.gov.uk

Opportunities include:

n Creative industries: retail, fashion, digital media, video games, publishing n Education and skills n Finance and professional: banking, legal, insurance, capital markets n Energy: oil, gas, renewables, power, nuclear energy n Environment: Waste, green buildings, water treatment, medical waste n Defence and security n Infrastructure For information on exporting to the UAE contact the Chamber or visit www.ukti.gov.uk

His Excellency Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development said: “The Council is a natural development involving two countries that for decades have enjoyed close cultural and economic ties. Good business opportunities and wider practical solutions to all kinds of challenges should result from this new Think Tank, and I am personally optimistic regarding its future.”

Business Matters

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CHAMBER NEWS

BitesizeNews UKTI and Barclays Team Up UK Trade and Investment and Chamber patrons Barclays have joined forces to help small businesses grow by offering export advice. The partnership aims to to help businesses trade abroad, from securing their first international customer to setting up an overseas operation. For more information visit www.ukti.gov.uk

Progress in Exports Must be Strengthened

Sarah (right), with friend Sally Perry and Olympic Swimmer Mark Foster.

Hats Off to Sarah for Graduation Success The Chamber’s Finance Manager has proven you can bank on her after graduating from West Cheshire College with a highly respected accounting qualification. Sarah Jones from Chester completed her Level 4 Diploma in Accounting from the Association of Accounting Technicians in January, before being recognised for her success at a special ceremony in Ellesmere Port in September. She was presented with her diploma by Olympic swimmer Mark Foster. Sarah has worked for the Chamber for five years and is responsible for managing all the organisation’s day to day financial obligations, as well as organising and preparing events.

Sarah said: “I’d been studying for the qualification for three years and I was thrilled to have completed the course successfully. When you put your heart and soul into something for so long like studying, having your work recognised and rewarded is extremely satisfying. “My graduation day was a wonderful experience and being presented with my scroll whilst wearing my cap and mortarboard will go down as one of the proudest moments of my life.” Colin Brew, Executive Director of the Chamber said: “We’re all very proud of Sarah for achieving her accounting qualification and hard work. Her success is a fantastic illustration of the Chamber’s commitment to support and develop its staff to maximise their ability and potential.”

I’d been studying for the qualification for three years and I was thrilled to have completed the course successfully. When you put your heart and soul into something for so long like studying, having your work recognised and rewarded is extremely satisfying.

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UK trade deficit in goods and services was £2.7bn in September, compared with a deficit of £4.3bn in August. David Kern, Chief Economist at BCC said: “Underlying export volumes rose by 4.1% in the third quarter, while imports fell slightly over the same period. Longer term comparisons show that exports rose more than imports on an annual basis, reversing the disappointing trends seen at the beginning of the year.”

OMIS Discount Scheme As part of a wide programme of support being made available to UK companies by UKTI, substantial discounts will be offered on the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), which provides targeted market research to help businesses find those crucial first contacts overseas and to help them develop relationships in new, fastgrowing markets. For more information, visit www.ukti.org.uk

Government Must Deliver on its Promises John Longworth, Director General of the BCC said: “Ministers must listen to calls from businesses to help them get the finance they need, and provide support to help them find new international markets for their products and services. Action needs to be taken immediately if we are to see the export-led recovery the government has been calling for, and investment in the UK’s crumbling infrastructure would allow businesses to transport their goods and people around the world.”

please contact our booking team on: 01248 388088 conferences@bangor.ac.uk for further information

inspirational

refreshing

outstanding Business Matters

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23/11/12 16:07:32


MEMBERS NEWS

Brace of Awards Show Firm Have IT Factor A Cheshire IT firm have enjoyed a double success after winning two top customer service awards. As well as recently celebrating a decade in the industry, Congletonbased Prism Total IT Solutions have won the ‘EA Technology Customer Focus Award’ in the Cheshire Business Awards and the British Chambers of Commerce’s ‘Excellence in Customer Service Award’, having previously also won the award in 2009. During the last year Prism have focused their service around innovations in the industry, with a specific focus on aftercare and client satisfaction. The firm has also been praised for their extended opening hours, high net promoter score and their nationwide client base. Both awards were presented based on a number of factors including client satisfaction, level of service provided and company growth. Prism encourages their client base to view them as a proactive virtual IT department to differentiate their service from the reactive IT companies. The firm does this by providing a personal and managed approach to the way in which they interact with their clients. By focusing on managing and advising existing clients in their own business ventures, Prism designs solutions tailor made for each individual business or user. On top of this every call is answered and made personally by Prism employees to remove the use of call centres or automated messages.

Prism have also been recognised recently for their work in the community; they work closely with local charitable organisation Friends for Leisure, providing free support and IT equipment to all of the members of staff in their main office. Local financial management firm Franklyn Financial Management is also a close partner of Prism who served as main sponsor for their ‘Summer Swing’ charity golf day and Summer Ball. The event saw its biggest turn out yet, helping raise a massive £72,000 which went directly to charity. Prism has also has also developed a close relationship with other organisations such as the Congleton Learning Partnership, East Cheshire Riding School, Age UK. Peter Neal, Service Delivery Manager at Prism said: “We are honoured and pleased to receive not one but two awards from two highly respected organisations. Prism as a whole has a culture centred on providing excellence in customer service, so it is rewarding to see this recognised. “The awards are a tribute to the high quality of staff we have at Prism, where skills, knowledge, customer focus and positive attitudes are acknowledged as the cornerstones of our service delivery.”

Partnership Design Comes of Age Chester based creative agency, Partnership Design Limited (PDL) has celebrated its 21st birthday. PDL provides branding, print, exhibition, packaging and web design services to a diverse group of customers from local SMEs to global blue chip organisations. The company’s success story spans a range of sectors including food, leisure and healthcare. During the last 21 years PDL has worked with some of the UK’s most recognised brands including Shell, Nutricia, Princes, Premier Brands and Glen Dimplex. PDL was set up by Liverpool born Malcolm Proudlove in 1991. Malcolm has a long background in design, having worked for Douglas & Co, Intergraphik and Robinson Lees Design Associates. PDL now employs a multi-disciplinary team of 12, consisting of design, technical and marketing specialists.

Malcolm said: “We are delighted to be celebrating 21 years in business, a real achievement in today’s challenging times. We have been lucky to work on some great projects over the years. I attribute PDL’s success to our ability to provide innovative solutions to our clients’ needs, at a realistic cost. And, of course, the loyalty and commitment of our team here at PDL.” To celebrate its coming of age, PDL has launched a new identity and website, www.partnershipdesign. co.uk and is also offering companies a number of initiatives, including a free marketing health check and 21% discount for new projects started within 21 days. Anyone interested should contact the team at PDL on 01244 342600.

We are delighted to be celebrating 21 years in business, a real achievement in today’s challenging times. We have been lucky to work on some great projects over the years. I attribute PDL’s success to our ability to provide innovative solutions to our clients’ needs, at a realistic cost. And, of course, the loyalty and commitment of our team here at PDL

Business Matters

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24HOURSWITH 24 HOURS

David’s day begins at a fast pace, particularly thanks to his three sons aged seven, five and three, he said: “things are always busy at home early on, fortunately my wife is on hand to make sure everyone gets out on time and with the correct bags! Despite her organisation though, I’m convinced I’ll arrive at a breakfast networking event with a reading folder and lunch box one of these days...

David Maguire

Trust Manager, Stanlaw Abbey Development Trust

‘Having an opportunity to build an organisation that makes a real difference to people living in Ellesmere Port…’ that’s the aim of David Maguire, Trust Manager of Stanlaw Abbey Development Trust. The Trust is a registered charity with a goal of improving the economic prosperity of Ellesmere Port, principally through the running of Stanlaw Abbey Business Centre and reinvesting any surplus income generated by it into support for local people. The centre has 41 serviced offices and industrial units, conferencing and meeting space, business address and postal service, whilst simultaneously developing as a charity. David, 35, from Deeside has been leading the organisation for 10 months, after eight years working in senior management for social organisations like ELECT and the Caia Park Partnership. David describes his role as ‘a rather strange mix of private and voluntary sector’, as he balances the commercial responsibilities of growing and maintaining the customer base of the business centre, whilst identifying and building new opportunities for the Trust to develop the local economy and support people.

“My journey from Deeside to Stanlaw Abbey usually takes about 15 minutes and luckily there’s always an alternative route if I come across traffic. I’m always based at Stanlaw Abbey, aside from the odd day working from home, but more recently I’ve been out and about networking to build relationships with businesses. When I arrive I have a quick catch up with our Business Manager Marianne Clare, before heading off to tackle my emails which these days has been made easier thanks to my smart phone; meaning I can check them earlier and have some thinking time before I respond. “Typically I’ll dedicate time to sales and financial tasks like updating our CRM system and our website, or developing marketing materials or campaigns, as well as checking our online banking. I take responsibility for lead generation as the income from our meeting rooms and business accommodation is extremely important; providing as it does the core funding for our four staff and the centre’s day to day running.”

Lunchtime sees David get out of the office for some fresh air and exercise thanks to a power walk, giving him the opportunity to reflect and solve problems that may have arisen. On Thursdays he enjoys a spot of lunchtime networking which regularly creates a number of sales leads. Afternoons tend to be varied,

as he aims to schedule meetings across specific afternoons to save other time for strategic tasks like business planning or projects with other organisations. It’s not always straightforward though, as according to David the odd ‘curve ball’ can sometimes arise, he said: “just to keep me on my toes, recently our electronic front door decided to stop locking one Friday afternoon. With no locksmith available, I found myself at 5pm opening my trusty toolbox and successfully fixing the problem myself, much to the amusement of the staff and tenants! “For organisations like us though you learn to expect the unexpected and that occasionally you have to break from the norm, roll up your sleeves and fix a problem yourself.” Work officially finishes at around 5pm, but running a centre with many moving parts means occasionally he has to work later into the evening, David said: “I obviously aim to spend as much time as possible with my family, but sometimes I need to put in an extra couple of hours to complete

work if a tight deadline is approaching. I’ll always wait for the boys to go to bed before restarting, so I’m often typing away late into the night whilst my wife irons to Downton Abbey!” Looking ahead, Stanlaw Abbey will begin piloting its new charitable activities in early 2013, which David describes as ‘a huge milestone for the organisation that will change our culture forever’. The main aims of this are to help more people start businesses in Ellesmere Port, support existing local businesses plus create jobs, whilst connecting residents to work opportunities in the area. David describes the variety of working with different companies allied with the chance to help people as one of the best parts of his job, he said: “the opportunity to be innovative and create solutions that make a real difference to people’s lives through new models of support unconstrained by particular funding regimes is inspiring.

“The biggest challenge for the leader of any business is how to effectively manage your time between tasks. I am always looking to improve the efficiency of myself and my team for the benefit of customers and clients, but the job satisfaction derived from establishing new ways to support others is very satisfying. “If Lord Sugar could give any tips on how to build a complicated toy that’s missing batteries for three expectant children though, I’d love to hear them!”

Business Matters

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23/11/12 16:07:44


CHAMBER NEWS

BCC Reaction to Heseltine Competitiveness Review

The Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce has described Lord Heseltine’s independent review of UK competitiveness as ‘compelling’.

The review was released in late October to wide ranging support from businesses across the country. John Longworth said: “Lord Heseltine’s analysis of the state of the UK economy is compelling. Businesses will welcome his call for steady, long-term thinking to improve the UK’s economic performance. Yet Heseltine’s prescription for action focuses too much on institutions, rather than on the fundamental barriers to business growth. “Ministers should think carefully before committing to a restructuring of government, and focus first on the key constraints facing the real economy: the availability of growth finance, practical help for our exporters, our creaking physical infrastructure, and an education and training system that responds to business needs. Government can best support enterprise by collaborating with business to get the basics right.”

On Lord Heseltine’s recommendation that Chambers of Commerce play an expanded role in business support and local growth:

“We welcome the fact that Lord Heseltine has recognised that Chambers of Commerce are local, resilient, independent, internationallyfocused and proactive in their communities. We are pleased that he believes Chambers can continue to play a central part in making local growth happen. “Lord Heseltine makes a range of recommendations that, in his view, would help bolster Chambers’ ability to serve local business. We will be studying these recommendations carefully and discussing their implications with Chamber members, the government, and other business organisations in the weeks and months ahead.”

On business access to finance: “As long-standing campaigners for a British Business Bank, it is helpful that Lord Heseltine’s report acknowledges the fact that there is a

structural problem around longterm, patient loan finance in Britain and that the Business Bank offers a possible solution. This is a much more fundamental issue for UK competitiveness and growth than the structure of government.”

On exports:

“Lord Heseltine argues that Britain’s competitors have a more systematic, joined-up approach to exporting and international trade, involving both government and business organisations. “This is a critical issue for our global competitiveness, and we are working actively with Lord Green on ways to better use Chambers of Commerce at home and across the world to provide British exporters with the best possible support to break into new markets.”

On skills and training:

“Lord Heseltine is right to highlight the fact that the education and training system doesn’t currently deliver to employers’ needs. Chambers of Commerce stand ready

to link employers to local schools and other training providers to ensure that British businesses can compete globally.”

On decentralisation away from Westminster and Whitehall: “Local businesspeople across England tell me they would like more influence over local growth and economic development. Many companies in the real economy will agree with Lord Heseltine’s view that England is over-centralised, and that power, money and real decisionmaking need to be rebalanced away from Westminster and Whitehall.”

Time Running Out to Enter Prestigious Business Awards The winners from five categories will be announced at a glittering ceremony at University of Chester next March.

to your success and where you can go from here. A representative of all shortlisted finalists is invited to attend the award ceremony and dinner free of charge and you will have priority on table bookings so the team can celebrate their recognition on the night.

Why enter the High Sheriff's Awards for Enterprise?

3. Impress partners, clients and investors

Warrington Business Leader n Cheshire Business Leaders Award for the Cheshire and Warrington Young Entrepreneur.

Businesses across Cheshire have until January 3rd to submit their entries to the prestigious High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise 2012. The awards are your opportunity to shine and demonstrate the outstanding nature of your business in Cheshire. If your company has a turnover of at least £500,000 and employs between five and 250 people you are eligible to take part.

The award categories include:

n High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise 2012 n Bank of America Award for Corporate Social Responsibility n Mornflake Oats Award for Innovation n Cheshire Business Leaders Award for the Outstanding Cheshire and

1. Raise your profile

The winner and finalists gain from regional exposure through a coordinated PR campaign, raising profile among some of the most influential people in business and government, many of whom will attend the award ceremony on 21st March 2013.

2. Acknowledge your team's efforts

In the busy environment of day to day business, achievements can be easily forgotten. The process of completing the entry form allows you to pause and consider what (and who) contributed

The cachet and recognition of winning one of the High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise categories demonstrates a commitment to enterprise, innovation and corporate social responsibility. The awards will host Cheshire’s leading entrepreneurs and business leaders to celebrate outstanding business achievement across private sector organisations of all shapes and sizes. The guest speaker for the ceremony is Ross Warburton MBE, Executive Director of Warburtons.

Entrants must:

• Have an annual turnover of at least £500,000

• Employ between five and 250 members of staff • Demonstrate outstanding performance and explain their strategy to ensure that the company will continue to expand and flourish in the future You may include any relevant company brochures to support your entry. To enter, please visit: www.chester. ac.uk/highsheriff-enterprise If you meet these criteria, do consider nominating your business for the awards by completing the application form along with a supporting statement on no more than two sides of A4 paper. Entrants should include accounts and any other information to support their entry, for example business brochures. For more information or to discuss your entry further, please contact Catherine Menzies on 01244 511844 or alternatively email  c.menzies@chester.ac.uk

Business Matters

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23/11/12 16:07:47


CHAMBER NEWS

Discovering the Barriers to Exporting The results of a survey developed by the University of Chester and West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce have revealed a clear interest among businesses in the region to begin exporting, with a significant number already adapting a product or service range to target overseas customers specifically. The survey, Exporting Goods and Services from West Cheshire and North Wales, was developed and carried out by the University with the Chamber.The results show that the most popular export location for exporters in West Cheshire and North Wales is Europe and this reflects the nationwide picture reported by the British Chambers of Commerce. The report revealed 37% of potential exporters are currently adapting a product or service range focusing on overseas customers in particular.

The primary barrier for nonexporting businesses in the area is a belief that their product or service is not suitable. Other primary barriers identified for current exporters and potential exporters were found to be linked to ‘overseas’ issues with the most significant barrier the lack of overseas contacts, such as

customers, agents and distributors. The results also showed that the financial position of companies and domestic market conditions are highly influential factors in making export decisions. Concerns about payment risk may reflect a lack of trust stemming from a lack of personal and professional contacts overseas. Members of the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce were invited to complete an online survey about barriers to exporting goods or services. The survey and its results were developed and analysed by the University’s Centre for Labour Market Development and commissioned by the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce. The Centre is a specialist research facility that focuses on economic and development issues working closely with clients in the public, private and third sectors to provide a bespoke service and to tailor research to their specific needs. The results of the survey were supported by several in depth written submissions by pre-identified businesses. The businesses selfselected to participate and submitted responses between July and August 2012. A total of 140 across the region fed back, with 66% of respondents in micro-companies (less than nine people), 20% in small companies (10 to 49 people), 8% in medium companies (50 to 249 people) and 6% in large companies (more than 25) people. 57% of respondents stated they were based within Cheshire

West and Chester with 43% based in North Wales. Simon Adderley Assistant Director, Centre for Labour Market Development, University of Chester, said: “The results of this report show that businesses in the region are keen to explore exporting, which can only be good news for the economy of West Cheshire and North Wales. The results will also help to pin-point the best way to help these businesses going forward to achieve their full potential.” David Roberts, Export Manager for West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce said: “It’s great to see such a positive response to this survey, showing such clear will, interest and desire by regional businesses to trade internationally. “No matter the size, shape or purpose of your product, exporting can clearly be of benefit to your business. If you haven’t thought about trading internationally but would like to find out more, visit www.wcnwchamber.org.uk today and allow us to help you achieve your goals.” To read the full report visit www.chester.ac.uk/clmd

Let Us Showcase Your Artistic Talent!

Are you an amateur photographer looking for a way to showcase your talent? As part of the new look Business Matters, we want to give budding snappers the chance to have their work resplendent on the magazine’s front cover.

Watt Works Encourages Local Businesses to Mind Their Language Over the last few years we’ve seen the recession cause organisations and the individuals working within them many problems. Or should we describe them as ‘challenges’? Watt Works Consulting, a Cheshire based company whose expertise includes the field of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) would support the use of the latter term, and is encouraging the use of this reframing of language in organisations such as Co-op Financial Services, Shell and Waters in order to generate improved solutions. Damian Hamill, Training Director at Watt Works Consulting says: “We encourage clients to understand that the words you use to frame situations can have an enormous effect upon how people respond to them. Whether it’s enhancing internal communication between departments, or with your customers, NLP can provide instant improvements.” Watt Works is making the secrets of NLP available to local businesses with the NLP for Business course, specifically designed for the application of NLP within a business environment. Brian New of Co-operative Financial Services says: "The NLP for Business course was effective for me as it was not a “one size fits all” course – more a self-evaluating course that fit the candidate’s needs.” If you are in business, whether as a sole-trader or multi-national, and would like further information on how NLP techniques can enhance the results you’re getting, visit www.watt-works.com for further information or call 01565 759 893 to speak to someone about the challenges you are experiencing.

As Business Matters is a seasonal magazine, we want the cover to reflect that, so for the next edition we’ll be looking for your best springtime pictures of West Cheshire and North Wales. They can be of local scenes, nature, buildings… you name it, we’d love to see it. If you can weave something business themed in too, all the better. Our front cover for this edition was produced by the Chamber’s Finance Manager Sarah Jones…

Business Matters

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GETTINGSTARTED GETTING STARTED

William Mason

also have an interest in a company called Student Step (a professional networking site for students), for which I’m producing marketing strategies to gain interest and signups from students in colleges and universities nationally.”

President, Chester Enterprise Society

‘Gotta sell ‘em all!

The response from businesses has been better than CES ever expected, with Chester Zoo, DTM Legal, Wilkinson’s, Tesco, Lush and Mornflake all giving their backing, William said: “this was one of the most surprising things for me as I assumed the recession would completely ruin our chances of securing sponsorship from local businesses. In truth supporting young entrepreneurs was something they felt strongly about and saw CES as a way of doing this.

That was the aim of a young William Mason when challenged by his dad to make a profit at a car boot sale aged just nine. “Dad had a stall for the day,” said William. “He gave me a £1 and told me to go and buy something, so I bought a stack of Pokémon trading cards from another trader, returned to Dad then proceeded to sell four of the cards for £1 each… I made £17!” Now 20, William is President of Chester Enterprise Society (CES), as well as studying Business Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Chester. CES aims to provide opportunities for students from across the university to help them develop skills such as pitching and networking that will help them when searching for jobs or setting up businesses. Hailing originally from Huddersfield, he achieved distinctions in Business Studies and Finance at St Mary’s College, Blackburn, before coming up with the idea for CES, William said: “I wanted to put all the information, theories and models I’d learned to good use, but I and others agreed there weren’t any practical business activities for students at the university. “I talked to my lecturer Connie Hancock about the idea and she supported it tremendously; in fact without her it may not have happened. I made as many contacts through the university as I could, constantly talking about the vision I had; in fact I think most people bought into it because of the amount of enthusiasm I showed them.

“We held our first meeting last November and the rest is history.” William now works with a team who run most of the day to day activities, which range from training events to socials. “Being a young society, it’s vital we continually develop new connections, which is primarily what I spend my time doing,” said William.

“I have three meetings a week with Kirsty Badrock, Innovation and Enterprise Coordinator from the Riverside Innovation Centre (RIC). Together we’re working on a project called Challenge 2013 Destination Rio which is taking up lots of time, but it’s very important to keep marketing our projects to get as many people actively engaged as possible. I

We held our first meeting last November and the rest is history

“The first time I felt success was when we organised an event called ‘The Ah-Ha Moment’ at the RIC, which was attended by 55 people. Attendees included influential business people, senior managers from the University of Chester and more, all to see James Headspeath; an Iron Man challenge competitor who was allergic to exercise! “Conversely there have been difficult times too. Convincing people CES would work and was worth their input time and effort was hard work and I felt like giving up at times, but I pushed on. Cash flow was also an issue, in fact one time where I had to pay a bill using my own money and as a student it was a lot…” Looking ahead, William hopes CES will continue to grow with support from the university and the Riverside Innovation Centre, as well as their business partners in Chester itself. Personally though, he hopes he’ll be able to continue producing ideas for many years to come, he said: “I’d like to be the kind of entrepreneur who has an idea, creates a business, makes it successful, sells it and then develops another. I want to be able to look back and say ‘I made a change’, to what scale will be revealed in time.”

Business Matters

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Business Matters Sample  

A 10 page sample of West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce's quarterly Business Matters magazine.