Q1 2020 Creating Opportunities Not Just Another Marketing Company Seek Socials Closing the Gap Between Male & Female Rates of Entrepreneurship It still shocks me that just 20% of UK businesses have female founders. And, that female-run businesses receive little over 2% of venture capital funding. Last week’s news that WeWork raised $1.5b in 2019, more than all female-founded companies did in the same period is a truly depressing statistic. In a generation that debates the need for gender equality on a daily basis – these are astonishing stats and shouldn’t be leading an article written in 2020.
Q1 2020 | 3 Contents A note from the Editor... Welcome to the Q1 issue of SME News. All things considered, I wasn’t expecting to be writing this from my makeshift home office on the back of a government mandated lockdown. My vision of 2020 was (and I imagine the same can be said for everyone) very different from the reality we collectively find ourselves in. For, as much as we’ve been told to stay apart – and please do – in some ways we’ve never been closer together. Supporting each other. The same holds true for businesses up and down the country, as we look to mitigate the damages and support industries that find themselves overwhelmed. Despite the overwhelming feeling of doom and gloom, there are beaming examples of extraordinary generosity from SMEs in all locations who are doing their part to get through this unprecedented time. No matter what happens, this will pass, and we will recover. Many extraordinary businesses will come out the other side and thrive once more. But, the focus of this issue isn’t the pandemic. In light of International Woman’s Day, which already seems like a lifetime ago, SME News wanted to spotlight the work of womenowned companies who are driving industries and shifting paradigms. So, let us focus on something positive. Let’s look at the female pioneers and disruptors who are shaking the world of UK business and beyond. In the meantime, we hope you stay safe. Stay indoors, wherever possible, and take a moment to breath in this rather chaotic and uncertain time. We’ll be here next quarter to give you the latest in UK SME news. Laura Brookes | Editor +44 (0) 20 3970 0082 firstname.lastname@example.org 4. News 6. A Dog’s Dinner 7. Daniel House & Co Ltd t/a DH: There For You Every Step Of The Way 8. An Ethical Alternative 10. Not Just Another Marketing Company 11. Not Your Typical Agency 12. WebWorksWell Works Wonders 13. Excelling in Energy Reduction 14. Private Tuition 15. Create: Creating Opportunities 16. Offering A One-Of-A-Kind Service 18. Preventing Presenteeism International Women’s Day 20. Bringing business bounce to entrepreneurs 22. We Need To Brick Up Sexism Say Women In Construction 24. More Than Half of Women Avoid Asking For a Pay Rise 26. Closing the Gap Between Male & Female Rates of Entrepreneurship 29. Winners Listings
4 | Q1 2020 New tariff available for Opus Energy’s business customers helps improve sustainability and deliver more ambitious climate commitments for companies. Specialist B2B energy supplier Opus Energy has launched Opus Advance, a 100% renewable electricity tariff for small and medium sized (SME) businesses, which it will provide as standard for all new and renewing customers. Its growing commitment to sustainability comes after parent company Drax Group announced its world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, in line with the UK government’s carbon targets and commitment to clean growth. Opus Advance guarantees that all the electricity supplied is sourced from UK and European renewable generators. This includes Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, which uses sustainable biomass and is the largest renewable power generator in the UK, and more than 2,300 independent UK-based renewable generators, such as farms, schools and community projects where solar panels and wind turbines are used to produce electricity. Renewable power generators based in Europe also contribute towards the power supplied through the tariff. For larger businesses, Opus Advance Plus will allow companies to support local generators and source their electricity exclusively from Opus Energy’s UK-based renewable electricity portfolio - consisting of solar, wind and hydro. Paul Sheffield, Managing Director of Drax’s customer businesses, including Opus Energy said: “The climate crisis is the greatest challenge the world faces and we want to make it easier for businesses to reduce emissions to help achieve the UK’s net zero carbon targets. Our new Opus Advance tariff will give businesses more control over their carbon emissions, improving their sustainability. “Drax is committed to enabling a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. By working with our customers as an energy partner, we are changing the way they source and use their energy, reducing costs and carbon emissions, whilst helping them to grow better businesses.” To help businesses to take other steps to improve sustainability, information, advice and support is available from Opus Energy’s online advice hub and newsletter, Brighter Business. Those on the Opus Advance tariff will also be provided with free marketing materials to help them promote their sustainability credentials and attract new customers. Committed to Sustainability
Green Light For Office Development Located at 179 Canongate, Edinburgh, the proposals will introduce a characterful office development and offer much-needed workspace within the heart of the capital’s Old Town. Edinburgh’s growing popularity as a tourist destination has created a shortfall of office space in the city in recent years. Reinforcing this, research from Savills Estate Agents has shown that in the capital a shortage of quality office stock contributed to city centre take-up falling to 380,000 sq ft in 2019, lower than the preceding two years. The approved plans will provide easy to access office space and support the growth of office space in the capital. The building also boasts strong sustainability credentials, including dedicated on-site cycling provision and facilities for greener commuting. Additionally, the site has the potential for a publicly accessible café to animate the existing courtyard to Old Tolbooth Wynd, enhancing occupants and visitors experience of the building. There will be four floors designed for small and medium businesses with the provision for coworking. Each floor will have 5,000 sq. ft with accessible break out spaces on the top two floors. Coworking spaces provide a more flexible, accessible and affordable option for SME businesses and freelancers with an open environment which cultivates a positive and collaborative working environment. Incorporating the wider UNESCO World Heritage Site and the A-listed structures of the Canongate Kirk and Canongate Tolbooth, the proposals will retain boundary walls, existing workshop structures and remaining historical artefacts on site. Architects 3DReid worked on the scheme, and the planning consultants were Turley. Stuart Black, Development Director at Summix Capital, said: “We’re thrilled our application has been approved. These proposals will redevelop a vital location in the heart of the capital and help to tackle Edinburgh’s shortage of available office space provision. “As a coworking space, our development will offer an innovative and competitive solution while ensuring its green credentials are in line with the City of Edinburgh Council standards. “The plans represent the conclusion of a collaborative discussion about how best to make this site work. Summix Capital consulted widely with stakeholders and the community to ensure this site represented the kind of forwarded momentum the city-centre needs. “We welcome today’s vote, and Summix Capital is thrilled to offer a new lease of life to the Canongate.” A planning application for the development of high-quality office accommodation by property developer Summix Capital has been granted by Edinburgh City Council’s Development Management Sub-Committee.
6 | Q1 2020 NOV19324 A Dog’s Dinner Finding the right food for our furry friends is more complex than most give credit for. With so many options available, it’s easy to lose track. Something that’s clear, however, is that Nutriment stands head and shoulders above the rest. This is why it has been recognised as Most Outstanding Dog and Cat Food Retailer, 2020 by SME News. Join us as we take a closer look at this award-winning firm. Founded in 2013 by pet lovers, for pet lovers, Nutriment quickly made a name for itself as a premier provider of fine food for cats and dogs. Zeroing in on the raw food market, the passionate team have drawn on long-term relationships with leading dog breeders and trainers to fine-tune the creation of nutritious, well-balanced food that not only contains everything that an animal could wish for but is thoroughly delectable to boot. Nutriment’s market is one that has grown rapidly and continues to expand. Currently, the company ships to 600 retail outlets, as well as directly to customers. The success is made apparent by an impressive retention of customers. Those who feed their pets its products for one week become committed not only to raw feeding, but to the brand as a whole. The impressive growth of the business has seen the company recently moving into a £1million purpose-built factory, as well as investing in further warehousing and frozen storage. These decisions have been in response to the overwhelming demand for new products and a continued push into export as the goal for 2020. While the raw food industry is frequently under pressure from government legislation to ensure strict management of bacterial content, Nutriment has always been one step ahead of this, to the point of having access to its own laboratory to monitor the quality and freshness of a product. Recently, there has been a surge in companies registering for licenses in the raw food sector, which the Nutriment team put down to their own success in the field. While some would consider this a challenge, they see more companies creating balanced products with good ingredients as something that can only benefit the market, opening it up from its current position as for the discerning customer. Success in this field is not just a result of business acumen, though this certainly helps, but an intimate knowledge of the market, driven by love. Currently, the firm is considered a leader and innovator in its sector and is set to capitalise on that momentum in order to secure its position. Contact Details Company: Nutriment Email: Management@nutriment.co Web Address: www.nutriment.co.uk
7 | Q1 2020 Nov19318 There For You Every Step Of The Way For small and medium businesses, having the backing of a trusted and expert accounting firm can help free up talent to focus on unique selling points. Helping businesses in rural Dorset and beyond with accounting support, discover why DH Accounting achieved award-winning success as Dorset’s Best Accounting & Tax Advisory Practice, as well as the Distinction Award for Client Service Excellence. When it comes to sorting out finances, it can be tricky. Finding all the paperwork and organising it can often be a time-consuming task; one that draws small businesses away from their main focus. Financial reporting can be a stressful affair, but it need not be any longer. A fairly young accountancy practice in rural Dorset, DH Accounting was founded in 2014 and has since become one of the finest in the entire county. Acting mainly for local small businesses, as well as some larger and international clients, the team help clients with most areas of accounting, including bookkeeping, VAT, self-assessment, accounts, and payroll. Everything that the team at DH Accounting do is aimed at helping businesses succeed through a variety of outstanding services that have seen the firm awarded the Distinction Award for Client Service Excellence. Just one of the ways the firm have earned this award is by offering free support whenever clients require it. Rather than charge for a bit of advice, clients can phone, email, or visit the team without the worry that a bill is going to appear before them. Realising that current clients come first, the firm has also turned away many potential clients to ensure that the level of service does not drop. Despite having to turn away numerous potential clients, DH Accounting has still maintained year-on-year growth by providing a high level of excellent service through a strong, close-knit team of staff. Rather than radically change the firm through large-scale changes, managing director Daniel House encourages a careful application of the Japanese concept Kaizen, or continuous improvement, to ensure efficiency and quality improve at a steady rate for a longer period. In delivering that undeniably excellent service to clients, the team make sure that they are always approachable throughout the year. Questions can often arise at the least helpful time, but getting timely answers is equally important. That is why DH Accounting takes great pride in serving clients throughout the year, and at a time that suits them best. For start-ups in particular, it can be hugely beneficial to have a firm like DH Accounting on hand to help find the right footing and grow the business in the right ways. There is no denying that macroeconomic factors such as elections and Brexit have continued to contribute strongly to a degree of uncertainty permeating the economic environment at present. Despite these uncontrollable factors, the control of how to handle taxes and finances can still remain in the hands of clients. Partnering with DH Accounting is the perfect way to make sure that businesses of all shapes and sizes continue to operate with all their available financial resources. As technology continues to develop, so too does finance and the way that the two go hand-in-hand. Accounting must change with technology to continue offering services that are aligned with new legislation and regulations. The industry continues to become more technological as the push for real-time reporting with Making Tax Digital. Small businesses’ reliance on the latest technology has become even greater, much like the role of DH Accounting. Vital to the continued success of its clients, the firm is involved in making sure clients have the right systems in place at an early stage to help facilitate growth whilst future-proofing a business. However, the discernment of both Daniel and DH Accounting comes fully into view when realising that technology should not be used for technology’s sake. Taking a balanced, clientcentric, and forward-thinking approach to the adoption of cloud technology, for example, the firm was restrained in recommending a specific package to all clients. Rather, Daniel chose to be patient in waiting to hear from some early adopters of multiple different cloud solutions. That way, DH Accounting was able to pick the system that clients found to be the most useful and user-friendly. This manner of sage leadership and industry insight has seen DH Accounting justly deserve the awards it has achieved. In only its fifth year of service, the firm continues to help good, small, well-run businesses of all kinds with all manner of accounting needs. Whether it be VAT registration, keeping accurate records, or developing good practices, clients of DH Accounting can rest easy in expert hands. Contact Details Company: Daniel House & Co Ltd t/a DH Accounting Contact: Daniel House Website: www.dhaccounting.co.uk
8 | Q1 2020 Nov19028 An Ethical Alternative Ethically driven, eco-friendly and politically conscious, THTC stands out from the crowd for its consistent, bold statements through clothing. Recently, we caught up with THTC to find out about their enduring appeal. Pioneers in ethical streetwear, THTC was originally designed to bring hemp textiles to the high street and offer consumers an alternative to the wasteful exploitative brands that overwhelm our lives. Twenty years after selling their first t-shirt, the company is still going strong, having been labelled the UK’s most ethical independent streetwear label. The clothing is created in small, family-run factories in Eastern China, with a fair wage guaranteed. This is because hemp is now being grown and developed into textiles in The USA, Canada, Nepal and Romania. However, Chinese hemp fabrics are by far the finest quality, especially for garments such as t-shirts. Now supplying customers with everything from hoodies to socks, all made from hemp, organic cotton or recycled plastic fibres, THTC has slowly changed the face of ethical clothing, transforming the market into something relevant for today’s generation. With designs inspired by hip-hop culture, as well as environmental activism such as plastic pollution, over-fishing and human rights, the team at THTC has never steered towards what they see as safe, rather what they see as right. Partnering with charities including the World Land Trust, Refugee Community Kitchen and the Born Free Foundation, THTC has been able to donate up to 35% of t-shirt designs to these charities amongst others, and 15% of the sales of the King David tee goes to World Land Trust to protect endangers rainforest. In turn, these THTC’s partnering charities promote and raise awareness to their supporters. Word of mouth from celebrity supporters have played a huge part in the success of the business, acting as unpaid support and endorsement for THTC’s products. Ironically, the use of hemp and fair labour is not the only USP that sells the t-shirts, but also part of the reason THTC has not become a mainstream brand. The cost of producing these high-quality hemp clothes is up to 10 times higher than many of the cheaper t-shirts from the high street. As awareness and demand rises, as it has over the last twenty years, the industrial production of hemp should increase to match demand, decreasing costs overall. THTC has been a mainstay of the sustainable scene for two decades now and is still as relevant as ever. As it continues to appeal to those wanting a product built on the back of ethical business practice, we’re sure that THTC will thrive over the next twenty years. Contact Details Contact: Gavin Lawson Company: THTC Web Address: www.shop.thtc.co.uk Telephone: 020 8630 9001 Dynamite MC Sarah Lampty Wilf Scolding Photography Credit: Radski Studio
10 | Q1 2020 Not Just Another Marketing Company Based in Bury, Seek Social Ltd is a full-service digital marketing agency, devoted to tailoring their services to fit the business structure and goals of their clients. Recently, the firm found success in SME News’ Business Elite 2019 where they were recognised as the most outstanding digital marketing firm of the year for 2019 in the North West. On the back of this remarkable win, we caught up with Seek Social’s Director Paula Braiden, who provided us with a behind the scenes glimpse of the innovative agency. Founded in 2017, Seek Social provides a data-driven approach, analysing and utilising data to swiftly act on any opportunities for their clients. Today, the firm specialises in various skills within digital marketing, and have a full in-house team of specialists who are able to offer and provide a number of services, which includes Search Engine Optimisation, Digital Technology Audit & Maintenance, Social Media Management and Brand Content Marketing to name but a few. Over the years, Paula and the team have worked with a vast range of clients, that span from one-man businesses that serve local clients, all the way to Fortune 100 companies. Regardless of size or location, the firm treat all clients equally as they believe that all businesses should have access to quality digital marketing services, as Paula explains: “Here at Seek Social, we only approach companies when they have asked for help. Additionally, we utilise Active Engagement on social media platforms, SEO, referrals and networking as channels for new clients.” Enabling the firm to provide this level of service is the dynamic, committed and experienced team which forms the backbone of Seek Social. When discussing the internal culture, Paula is keen to highlight the significant role the team plays in the overall success of the firm. “Throughout the years, we have built our team based on specialist skill sets. Each team member plays a vital role in making sure that we keep our promise to our clients and they truly care about the success of our business. “In addition to this, we also provide work experience and apprenticeship opportunities to young people in our local community, to show them that they can be more, as well as do more within the digital and technology industries.” Since their inception only a few years ago, Paula and the team at Seek Social have built their brand around transparency and working collaboratively with their clients. The team ensure that they do not tell their clients what exactly it is they need to do, instead asking them what exactly it is they want to achieve. This approach has led the firm to achieve countless goals, as well as receive a number of accolades along the way. Going forward, Seek Social already have plans in the pipeline to expand the team within the first quarter of 2020. Bringing the interview to a close, Paula signs off by revealing what the future has in store for the team at Seek Social, touching on their plans to continue growing the business, whilst remaining true to their brand. “Looking ahead to what the future holds, we will be scaling our business as we are looking towards the future. As a business we have one, five and ten year plans in place, which will result in our team growing exponentially, whilst ensuring that we keep to our brand and our commitments to our local community.” Ultimately, the future looks bright for Seek Social, especially as the team are prepared for any changes which may occur within the industry. Committed to either hiring qualified staff or putting their team through digital marketing qualifications, Paula has ensured that if and when the industry does change to become more regulated, Seek Social will be at the forefront. Contact Details Contact: Paula Braiden Company: Seek Social Ltd Address: 19 Broad Street, Bury, United Kingdom, BL9 0DA Telephone: 0161 761 1800 Web Address: www.seeksocial.co.uk Nov19275
11 | Q1 2020 Not Your Typical Agency Finding an agency that is willing to push your ability to market and innovate as a business is immensely challenging. Finding one that can, even more so. Fortunately, the Nutcracker Agency is here, pushing its clients to think bigger, think bolder and think more about their customers. Here at SME News, we decided it was time to find out more about this award-winning company. Hidden away down suburban Sutton streets, Nutcracker promises a service that is a cut above the rest. The leafy avenue on which their office resides belies the innovative heart that lies within. Called in to act as an extension to project teams, Nutcracker offers their intimate knowledge of the market and their hard-earned ability to fit seamlessly into established teams. Often acting as an out-sourced marketing arm, this allows those businesses too small for their own in-house team to essentially gain one for a project. The primary market of Nutcracker is those businesses and clients which have the ambition and capability to grow. Working over multiple sectors and companies of different sizes, all share the same desire to generate more leads, build a bigger profile and improve the visibility of the company through clever marketing. Nutcracker specialises in the creation of connected strategies that use content, social media, events and sales to deliver a campaign that gets results. Able to handle all aspects of sales and marketing, the team often become an invaluable part of the company, promising to tell their clients’ brand story as though it were their own. Using experts from each field that Nutcracker is involved in allows the team to provide perfect service from beginning to end. While too expensive for most companies to bring in-house, the Nutcracker business model allows talented people to make a big impact on its clients. Never settling for acceptable, the priority is always something exceptional. Utilising a unique approach to lead generation that positions a company intelligently in order to find the best ROI, Nutcracker has the ability to go through every step of the process to ensure every aspect is fit for purpose. To succeed in a competitive market, businesses need efficient strategies, strong follow ups and a team to convert prospects into leads. Nutcracker allows businesses to focus on a specific audience and lead them down the path to becoming customers. As the buying journey continually changes, so does the way that Nutcracker operates. Subtly combining the traditional sales pitch with a strong digital presence, always tailored to match the needs of the customer, the team at Nutcracker promise to put their not-inconsiderable forces behind a client. Looking forward, Nutcracker’s team will continue to think commercially, and deliver commercial results. Achieved through clever marketing and strategic execution, Nutcracker is perfectly positioned to deliver its incredible results to a broader market. Expanding their bespoke PR systems, the aim to continue to work alongside like-minded companies that get excited and passionate about new directions and innovative thinking. This dynamic approach will be sorely needed as the company adapts to a saturated digital landscape. Nutcracker will continue to emphasis the differences that set its clients apart from the rest, with content that cuts through the noise and makes a difference to the commercial success of the business. This has entailed moving away from traditional off-the-shelf marketing and replacing it with an approach that is more innovative, fluid and joined-up that gets clients their desired results. Nov19056 Nutcracker know they do things differently. It’s part of their continued appeal to clients. Not just providing a one-size-fits-all solution, Nutcracker enthuses in the challenge of invigorating what could be dry with something that excites. Not all companies could move with such agility from project to project, but Nutcracker make themselves essential every time. Everyone wants a team like Nutcracker, but for now, they’ll just have to share. Contact Details Contact: Jenny Knighting Company: Nutcracker Agency Web Address: www.nutcrackeragency.com Telephone: 0203 941 0305
12 | Q1 2020 Oct19375 WebWorksWell Works Wonders Making your mark in the crowded digital landscape can be an enormous challenge, especially if you are not familiar with the needs of the market. Offering a personal alternative to larger companies, the multi award-winning WebWorksWell provides its clients the sort of exceptional service you can only find at a boutique level. We caught up with CEO and Founder Mark Layzell to find out more. WebWorksWell has one aim and that is making the internet work for small businesses. Providing high-quality solutions for companies throughout the UK, WebWorksWell ensures that at every stage of the process, their clients receive the best possible returns for its marketing budget. We asked Mark how he and his team have managed to grow WebWorksWell so quickly. ‘We are the only company in the UK to offer a full suite of business success services,’ he explains. ‘This gives our clients a tremendous advantage when they establish a long-term relationship with us.’ With the ability to offer a complete range of services, including business and marketing consultancy, content creation and CRM Implementation to name but a few, this small boutique firm punches well above its weight to satisfy any potential requirements of its clients. With the aim of becoming the number one digital agency in the UK, Mark has ambitious plans to establish an office in every university city in the country. It’s a natural extension of the expertise he and his team have built up over the years. Mark informs us that ‘we have the skills to deliver extensive campaigns over a number of months or provide short, focussed interventions to take a business to the next level. Most of our clients are small or medium sized companies who want to attract more customers, save marketing costs or are on a high growth trajectory.’ Mark’s team of highly professional staff work for WebWorksWell on full-time and part-time basis, with the network he has created allowing him to pull in the resources he requires at any given time as and when he needs them. With members ranging from copywriters to social media experts to cloud computing, Mark manages to lead a team that functions seamlessly in the desire to provide effective solutions to clients. Ultimately, WebWorksWell gives its clients all the experience needed to implement an effective digital solution. In every regard, it’s perfectly equipped to ensure that businesses can move their marketing and company into the digital age. Mark’s ambitious plans to place offices nationwide reflect the significant accomplishments WebWorksWell has had so far. Under his stalwart leadership, there’s no reason that it should not be a tremendous success. Contact Details Contact: Mark Layzell Company: Web Works Well Web Address: www.WebWorksWell.com Telephone: 01223 693818
13 | Q1 2020 Oct19461 Excelling in Energy Reduction Global warming is an issue that is on everyone’s lips, and helping protect the environment takes a myriad of forms. A primary action is improving energy efficiency, and one firm is doing everything it can to help businesses and local governments work towards being more energy-savvy and carbon-neutral. Discover how Energy Oasis has become 2019’s leading specialist in energy reduction as we profile the firm. Reducing energy is the most viable initial solution to the world’s energy crisis. Why waste energy and money and load the atmosphere with CO2 when it is simply unnecessary? Energy Oasis works with clients to find their bespoke energy efficiency solutions. By monitoring energy use, the team identifies ways to reduce energy consumption, before supplying and installing energy-efficient solutions in line with Parliamentary guidelines for meeting energy deadlines. Every client that Energy Oasis works with uses energy in different ways, and requires a bespoke solution to suit their needs. Partnering with specialists and advanced product suppliers within wind and solar power generation, the team collaborates with clients to develop long-term plans that allow for staged development and implementation based on data from ongoing analysis of energy use. Whilst the firm doesn’t promise its clients the cheapest initial quote, it does offer the one which saves the most energy, carbon usage, maintenance and therefore money over time. Offering a wide variety of options to its clients, Energy Oasis has secured partnerships with a myriad of energy specialists in the United Kingdom, particularly across the north of England. These latest partnerships have seen the firm gain the ability to offer immediate integrated solutions to clients, incorporating wind, solar, and biomass energy generation to reduce carbon-footprint. However, achieving zero-carbon does not come quickly. As such, Energy Oasis encourages its clients to think more seriously about long-term sustainability, and drastically reduce energy usage and carbon footprint. A crucial element to Energy Oasis’ strategy is that the firm is not partnered with any single energy provider. Instead of promoting one solution, the team keeps up-to-date on the market to ensure that clients get the best advice. That’s without mentioning that by being linked to an energy provider, the firm would counteract with their own business model. Where Energy Oasis reduces energy consumption, energy companies are in the business of selling energy. Companies and organisations are committed to energy reduction more and more now, with the focus on global warming at the forefront of the world’s agenda. Energy Oasis is spearheading the charge against unnecessary energy usage and helping save the planet in the process. Contact Details Company: Energy Oasis Ltd. Contact: Mike Kaye Website: www.energyoasis.org.uk
14 | Q1 2020 Established from her own experience working within the state education system, Stephanie Williams, founder of S6 Tutoring, built an extraordinary career offering students and parents alike award-winning tutoring and mentoring opportunities. Having written her own material for publishing, the information Stephanie provides allows all of the company’s clients the real experience in the ever evolving market. Taking time out of her busy schedule, Stephanie tells us more about what the company can offer to its students and parents in the wake of being awarded Most Outstanding Tutoring Company, 2020 – Essex. S6 Tutoring is a private limited company in the education sector, dedicated to tutoring and mentoring young people and is a popular choice for parents who want their children to maximise their academic potential. The firm’s vision is to play a pivotal role in improving academic standards and it provides an initial, honest, home assessment that will accurately evaluate a child’s need, as founder, Stephanie Williams, explains further. “Each tutor is CRB checked and has qualifications and experience relevant to the role,” she begins. “An assessment of a child’s ability and potential is carried out in the initial stages, leaving parents secure in their expectations. I encourage my team of tutors to be pro-active in their approach and be responsible for the provision of educational services, continually pushing the boundaries with effective and exciting teaching aids.” The company has much improved since its inception, particularly with the launch of the S6 Hub, a comprehensive online testing, progress management and administrative platform which is designed to add structure and support to a child’s learning. “The Hub offers students the opportunity to track progress, access motivational tools and test their own knowledge through SMART tests,” says Stephanie. “Students will receive personalised feedback from their tutor who will use the results to identify areas that need further reinforcement and tailor tuition plans accordingly. The Hub also enables parents to access relevant information, monitor progress and deal with any relevant administration online at their convenience.” The company has received excellent recommendations and feedback from clients, which is testament to its overall success. “We have continued to attract new clients, due to the commitment of the team and the continued success rate in students passing and obtaining a place at their first choice of grammar school,” Stephanie comments. “I feel that S6 Tutoring will build on its success by continuing to offer an educational experience focused on the unique needs of each of our clients.” “Our objective is to continue working with a personal and professional approach to provide our pupils with the opportunity to progressively learn and strengthen their skill set, to meet the demands of secondary education and maximise their potential.” Contact Details Contact: Stephanie Williams Company: S6 Tutoring Academy LTD Web Address: www.s6tutoringacademy.com Private Tuition Feb20083 11+ Style Test Papers: MATHS THE S6 Tutoring Academy S6 Tutoring Academy is a leading tutoring company specialising in preparation for 11+ exams for state grammar schools, and private common entrance exams. The company has positioned itself at the forefront of revision with their new publication of S6 English and Maths guides. These test papers have been developed to improve preparation for students aged 9-11, to help them obtain the essential skills they need to succeed, particularly in light of the recent introduction of the new-style 11+ exams. The Maths guide, 11+ Style Test Papers: Maths, covers a range of topics to develop their methods and reasoning skills using mathematical language, diagrams and charts to build confidence and competence within the subject. In conjunction with these papers, S6 Tutoring Academy has also created an online hub that supports study and further practice so that children can be fully prepared with the knowledge, understanding and exam skills required to be successful in the 11+ tests and similar entrance exams. The use of mock exams lets children prepare in a manner that normal revision does not allow. Each book includes five exams that will provide children with much-needed confidence ahead of their real exams. Matador EDUCATIONAL £14.99 S6 Tutoring Academy is a leading tutoring company specialising in preparation for 11+ exams for state grammar schools, and private common entrance exams. The company has positioned itself at the forefront of revision with their new publication of S6 English and Maths guides. These test papers have been developed to improve preparation for students aged 9-11, to help them obtain the essential skills they need to succeed, particularly in light of the recent introduction of the new-style 11+ exams. 11+ Style Test Papers: English encompasses the integral aspects of Key Stage 2 level English, including comprehension, reading and writing. In conjunction with these papers, S6 Tutoring Academy has also created an online hub that supports study and further practice so that children can be fully prepared with the knowledge, understanding and exam skills required to be successful in the 11+ tests and similar entrance exams. The use of mock exams lets children prepare in a manner that normal revision does not allow. Each book includes five exams that will provide children with much-needed confidence ahead of their real exams. 11+ Style Test Papers: English THE S6 Tutoring Academy Matador EDUCATIONAL £14.99
15 | Q1 2020 Create is a not-for-profit organisation with Local Enterprise status, building a thriving business community in south east Edinburgh. Chief Executive, Sharron Stanton, tells us about the firm. Award-winning property company, Create, is based in the south side of Edinburgh and currently has 62 properties, of which it owns 50%. The firm has been operating as a social enterprise in the Craigmillar area of the city for more than 20 years. Sharron embellishes on what the company has to offer. “Here at Create, our mission is to be recognised as a premier, affordable property brand in the commercial market for pre-starts and SMEs in Edinburgh and differentiate Create as an affordable provider of commercial property who also provides help to early start and growing business in the shape of our wider business services support programme and working with our tenants as an important enabler of local employment opportunities.” “We have a proven track record as a successful commercial property management company with an extensive portfolio of business units to suit young start-ups as well as established enterprises. However, our work doesn’t stop there. We also offer practical and proactive support for small businesses and individuals, enabling them to achieve their ambitions and sometimes radically change lives through the setting up of a viable business. The origins of Create lie in the Craigmillar Opportunities Trust, which was set up almost 30 years ago in 1990. Back then, Craigmillar was a deeply deprived area (albeit one with a traditionally strong sense of community) requiring major investment and a radical regeneration programme. The principal aim of the Trust was to stimulate economic growth through the provision of affordable property and workspace and training local people in the skills needed for employment. Neighbourhood trades and businesses were encouraged to establish themselves in the area, boosting the local economy and sowing the seeds of the thriving commercial hub we see today. Sharron continues. “There was another driving force within the organisation, which has strengthened over the decades – the strong support network that forms the backbone of our activity, enabling people to set up and develop their own businesses. “In 2000, the Craigmillar Opportunities Trust changed its name to Create and three years later achieved Local Enterprise status. Creating Opportunities Dec19093 “By 2009 Create’s remit had expanded to deliver services across Edinburgh and further afield, diversifying its range of services to include the introduction of a variety of business consultancy and project management services, as well as economic, social inclusion and environmental projects.” Recently crowned Best Independent Social Enterprise 2019, Sharon describes how it felt to win such as accolade and what the future holds for Create. “This award is a fantastic achievement and is a great testament to all the hard work of our staff and directors as our culture is one of development of staff and team working. “With regards to the future, we are looking to secure more premises to enable small business growth within the economy.” Contact Details Contact: Sharron Stanton Company: Create Address: 40 Peffer Place, Edinburgh EH16 4BB Telephone: 01316618888 Website: www.createbusinessproperties.com
16 | Q1 2020 United Worldwide Logistics is an independent and experienced multi-modal logistics provider. Following their recent success in SME’s Business Elite 2020, we caught up with Michael Mitchell, Managing Director who provided us with an insight into the inner workings of the firm. United Worldwide Logistics is a family run logistics company, specialising in freight forwarding and UK haulage. Michael tells us more about the firm’s mission and its unique selling point that helps to distinguish it from competitors. “Our founding mission always has been, and always will be, servicing our clients. I spent my early career working within the industry, and it was here I saw a niche in the market - there was an element of customer service that the customers were just not getting. I then formed a business, with my sister and brother-in-law and we pride ourselves on service - and ultimately client retention as a result. Aside to this, family was always at the forefront of the business planning, and over the years the younger generations of the family have since joined the company to see UWL grow over recent times. “We operate around the clock, 24/7, to ensure our clients receive the best possible service from us. We are fortunate to be part of a global network, which enables us to integrate with over 350 partners throughout the world. This means we can truly offer one-of-a-kind services, supported by extensive knowledge, from all over the globe. We operate our own fleet of vehicles, ranging from sprinter vans, through to articulated vehicles. Also, we operate more specialist vehicles which are including sliderflex hiabs, moffetts and flatbeds. “Customer service has always been key. We pride ourselves on working around the clock to ensure our customers have solutions to all their logistical queries! We have spent years building our supply chain network. The majority of our competitors are limited to a particular area and certain services they can offer, we do not have that. Our global partnerships mean we can offer services throughout the world, and all types of services. We are able to collect throughout the UK and Europe using express vehicles within a two hour window.” The company’s success is not simply down to customer service however, and Richard goes on to explain just how important a dedicated workforce is to United Worldwide Logistics. “Our company culture can best be described as positive. A happy team are a good team. We always remain Offering A One-Of-A-Kind Service Jan20233 professional in our roles, however in our industry there are often things that can go wrong, fromvehicle breakdowns to delays at airports - there is a multitude of issues that can occur, and beyond our control. So we always review the situation, and learn from it. We are all human, we make mistakes, but ensuring that we put corrective action in place encourages our team to face issues head on and work through it together. “Honesty is another important part of our culture, we prefer to be pro-active and open, as opposed to reactive. By being upfront and truthful with our customers, in a timely manner, we have found that many of our customers prefer this approach and have continued to work with us as a result of this. I would also say we operate in a team culture, we have recently added an on-site café, along with table tennis and a football table, we ensure all our staff have a warm cooked meal each day, and some time away from their screen to allow them to recharge for the afternoon. “Over 50 percent of our work force are family members, however, our entire workforce are treated as family! Staff are vital to our success and the day-to-day running of the business, from admin, to accounts, from our planners through to our warehouse team - all play individually important parts and we could not run without them. We are very lucky that our staff are all dedicated to United and nothing it too much, they are just as keen to see a good service being passed on and a success story.” There are certain challenges that United Worldwide Logistics has faced within the industry, however Richard concludes that the firm is well and truly future-proof and on its way up! “Brexit has been the main challenge we have faced in recent years. We have experienced driver shortages throughout the UK and delays at ports, coupled with strikes, and the fear of reduced trading. During this time we have worked hard to develop relationships with our European suppliers, building up our partner relationships to ensure that during the interim period, we still have vehicles in the UK and travel between UK and EU. We currently export and import on behalf of our customers to countries our side of the EU, and arrange customs clearance for these goods. We have therefore sent out international team on training courses to ensure they are up to date with customs documentation and regulations. “United Worldwide Logistics is looking to branch out over the next year and open another depot centrally. This is one of our many expansion ideas that you will hopefully see unfold over the next 24 months.” Contact: Michael Ruckley Company: United Worldwide Logistics Web Address: www.unitedwl.com Michael Mitchell Managing Director Adam Ruckley Director Rhys Davies Operations Manager Richard Jones UK Haulage Mick Connolly UK Sameday Chloe Mitchell Administration Mark Hillier Director Paul Murphy International Drew Brian International Christine Hillier Director Amie Smith Financial Controller Christian Powys Credit Controller Maureen Roberts Credit Controller Michael Ruckley Director Mike Miller Transport Manager FORS / ISO Neil Jones ALLMI Department Paige Parfitt Administration Rhianydd Mitchell Director Linda Drew Commercial Manager Leon Brown Warehousing Kalum Windhust Warehousing Terry Bolton Warehousing Version No: 032 Review Date: 01/01/21 UWL Organizational Chart 32 x Drivers 6 x Warehouse Staff
Come along to In partnership with At the Pride Park Stadium, Pride Park, Derby DE24 8XL Wednesday 11th November 2020 at 9:30am – 3.00pm The pinnacle event for small and medium sized businesses who are looking to grow, engage with new vendors and suppliers, hear from inspirational speakers or to connect directly with their customers and prospects in a face-to-face environment Keynote speakers include Mark Wright, Director of Climb Online and winner of BBC’s The Apprentice, Justice Williams MBE, Founder of Behind Her Dreams, Darren Stanton, aka The Human Lie Detector - the UK’s number one body language and behavioural expert Sponsored by Register for your free ticket online: www.betterbusiness-expo.co.uk/free-tickets or call 0203 997 7432 (9am – 5pm Monday to Friday) #readysteadygrow Follow us: @2020BBExpo @2020BetterBusinessExpo The Better Business Expo FREE TO ATTEND
18 | Q1 2020 Why companies need to do more to tackle presenteeism amid coronavirus outbreak. In the last decade, presenteeism – the act of working more hours than required – has tripled in the UK with more than 4 in 5 people observing it compared to just a quarter in 2010. As coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to spread, both within the UK and globally, employers should be discouraging, and tackling, ‘presenteeism’ amid government warnings around social distancing and self-isolation. With business practices, and management, being put to the test, the experts at Instant Offices delves into the reality of presenteeism and what businesses can do to help keep employees safe during a pandemic. A continuing global issue Numerous countries have now gone into ‘lockdown’ discouraging travel in or out the country. In the UK, it has recently been advised that everyone should avoid “non-essential” travel, with key government measures including: • Avoiding gatherings and corded places • Working from home if possible, to enable “social distancing” • Distancing away from the vulnerable as much as possible to ensure as little chance of infection Previously, 1 in 5 people ignored their doctor’s advice to stay home when unwell, and studies indicate that doing so can not only reduce productivity by over 30%, but cost a company £4,000 in lost business, on average per employee. Nonetheless, UK employees displaying little-to-no cold/flu-like symptoms continue to go into work, despite warnings from the government about doing so. For those who are able to work from home, many businesses still aren’t enforcing employees to do so. Businesses are unprepared for a pandemic WHO officials warned that the world is dangerously unprepared for a pandemic, and this is reflected within businesses where less than 1 in 10 businesses had policies in place to cover ‘what to do in a pandemic’. To make matters worse, research shows a third of UK workers would lie about exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19. Precautionary measures such as thorough regular deep cleaning and increased use of tools that help Preventing Presenteeism manage remote working are just two ways businesses are attempting to deal with the sudden outbreak. A Global Issue Previously defined as “showing up to work when one is ill” the concept of ‘presenteeism’ has evolved to include a wide range of detrimental behaviours relating to how we work. This includes employees who arrive early and stay late to show commitment, those who work during annual leave and those who respond to emails at all hours, mistaking an unhealthy attitude towards work as a strong work ethic, often to the detriment of their personal wellbeing. Although those working from home are generally more productive than in an office, remote workers are, on average, working an extra 1.5 days a week, as they feel it is easier to finish a task as they don’t need to think about commuting. What Drives Presenteeism? Although figures from the ONS indicate, in the past 25 years, sickness absence has steadily decreased, the pressure to turn up at work at all costs has significantly increased presenteeism, which results in a toxic workplace culture in which no one wins. A report on presenteeism by Employment Studies found some of the leading causes include: Manager Behaviour - Due to a sense of responsibility, managers can also be presenteeism culprits, unknowingly putting pressure on employees to act the same way. Concern for Colleagues – Studies show employees are likely to go to work ill to avoid a colleague dealing with an additional workload or pressure, especially in situations where there is no replacement. Company Culture - Studies have found perfect attendance to be seen as a sign of commitment to a job, while taking time off sick is seen as a sign of underperformance, particularly in the private sector; a work ethic can be unknowingly perpetuated in an organisation by senior managers and long-time employees. Job Stress - When it comes to stress and presenteeism, the correlation between the two is high, and employees who feel unsure about their job security are more likely to show up when ill. Combating presenteeism during a pandemic As with anything new and unknown, there is a level of uncertainty that comes with a pandemic. Keep an eye on the news, and reiterate decisions that could affect their job/ability to work as quickly as possible to reassure people. Ensure employees know that they are able to work from home Although it may not be possible for all roles and industries, companies where staff are able to carry out tasks out the office, should let employees know this is something they can do as soon as possible. Encourage Senior Members to Lead by Example By managing their own absence and presence and encouraging a healthy work-life balance, line managers and senior members of staff can act as better role models for the organisation, inspiring their teams to do the same. Ensure employees are ‘online’ during working hours and encourage them to log off at the end of the day as normal. Enable Flexibility Employees who adjust their working hours and environment are less likely to fall into the cycle of presenteeism. By offering options such as flexible working options or hours, employees can feel more in control and still maintain their work. With business practices, and management, being put to the test, the experts at Instant Offices delves into the reality of presenteeism and what businesses can do to help keep employees safe during a pandemic.www.sme-news.co.uk