Q1 2022

Q1 2022 Best Hospitality Booking Systems & Marketing Agency - Yorkshire Following 18 months of lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more of us have seen the benefits of digital technology than ever before. The Only Way Togo is living proof that taking things online can have faster, more efficient and more effective results than traditional methods. Bobble Digital LTD: The Marketing Agency Taking Over The Globe Integrated Resources: Building the Teams of the Future for Today’s Businesses MCN (Scotland) Ltd

A note from the Editor... Welcome to the 2022 Q1 edition of SME News Magazine, where we provide you with all of the latest news, announcements, and features about some of the best up-and-coming enterprises around the United Kingdom. Spring is here, the weather has been improving, the daffodils are abundant, and we are all looking forward to the summer as we plant both physical and metaphorical seeds – in order to grow something extraordinary this year. The results will be plentiful when they come into fruition however, some businesses have already been reaping the rewards – here we have a deeper look into some of their stories as they expertly grow in the right direction. From event organisers to florists, rewards programs to creative platforms, interior design to beauty training, and much more this issue of SME News has an eclectic mix of businesses from reputable industries that have all been making a huge difference to our world. Taking the lead as our featured business, The Only Way Togo has been awarded with the prestigious title of Best Hospitality Booking Systems & Marketing Agency – Yorkshire. Managing Director, Mark Hayhurst, guides us through what he believes to be some of the most important aspects of his business and we learn more about the industry as the company sets down solid groundwork for a more sustainable use of technology. We would now like to take you through an assortment of success stories that will leave you feeling inspired, refreshed, and motivated as these SMEs up their game to another level. We look forward to welcoming you back for Q2 of SME News. Sofi Bajor | Editor +44 (0) 203 970 0018 [email protected]

Q1 2022 | 3 Contents 4. News 6. The Only Way Togo Limited: Best Hospitality Booking Systems & Marketing Agency - Yorkshire: 10. Prosper: Building Community with Loyalty and Rewards 12. Bobble Digital LTD: The Marketing Agency Taking Over The Globe 14. The Administration Hub Ltd: Successfully Assisting the Future 15. Mativision Limited: A Portal to the Future 16. Fabrik Magik Interiors Ltd: Best Interior Design Business – Highlands 17. Duke Royalty Limited: Most Empowering Business Funding Solutions Provider 2021 18. Aventus AI Ltd: Leading Pioneers of AI-Driven Engineering Solutions 2021 20. Wilson Grey: Best Executive Search Agency for Start-Ups 2021 21. Xplus London Limited: Accountancy For Guaranteed Success 22. GEL Studios: Bold, Bespoke, Brilliant 23. BrandLink Golf: Best Nationwide Golf Event Organisers 2021 24. Learning Pro: Best Accounting & Bookkeeping Training Provider – Greater London 25. Spring Solutions: Most Client-Focused Supply Chain Management Specialists 2021 26. Century Business Finance: Finance When You Need It 27. Signature Projects Ltd: Best Residential Building Contractor 2021 – South East 28. Rebox HR Ltd: Most Outstanding Virtual HR Consultancy 2022 - UK 29. Spitroast Ormskirk: Best for Gourmet Roast Chicken Cuisine - Lancashire 30. World Wide Internet Insurance Services: Experts in Online Insurance 31. Streetly Balti: Best Upscale Indian Restaurant - Greater Birmingham 32. BW Legal: Make A Swift Recovery 33. Williams Lester Accounting Group Ltd: Best Wealth Management Firm – Wales 34. Buckingham Futures: A Prosperous Future 35. Jark Norfolk Ltd: From the Ground Up 36. MCN: Kitchen & Bathroom Installations Company of the Year - Central Belt 37. Ava Innes: Best Luxury Bedding 2021 38. Ecocel Scotland: Best Natural Insulation Solution 2021: Ecocel 39. Dream Motoring: Best Preowned Car Dealership – South West London 40. Optimum Pay Group: Best Payroll Services Provider 2021 42. disguise: Reimagine Storytelling with disguise 43. Jaluch HR: Changing An Industry and The World 44. AppTec360: Supporting the Emerging Remote Workforce 45. Chambers Business Centre: Best Office Space Provider - Oldham 46. Gold Star Promotions and Events Limited: Best Live Events Business 2021 47. Iprosurv: Best Drone Data Capture & Analytics Experts - Yorkshire 48. Hampshire Training and Assessments: Best Trade Training Enterprise 2021 49. IMS Energy Ltd: Fabricating The Future! 50. Cape Group: Best Steel Fabricators 2021 - West Yorkshire 51. VIRTUS Data Centres: Reimagining Office Space 52. Payroll Supermarket: Contractor Comparison Without Compare! 53. Collective Hairdressing & Beauty: Revolutionary Hair & Beauty 54. AbraxysGlobal Ltd: Events Specialists Secure Success! 55. Flowers by Lamb: Flourish With Flowers by Lamb 56. Paracosma: Front Runners in Immersive, Integrated AR and VR Technology 57. Solutions 4 Health: Most Trusted for Mobile Corporate COVID Testing Solutions, 2022 - United Kingdom 58. Digital Detox: The Future of Technology Should Care for People and Planet 60. Integrated Resources: Building the Teams of the Future for Today’s Businesses 62. Accentia Franchise Consultants: Franchising Experts 63. Mojo Marketing: Rediscover Your Marketing Mojo 64. Digital Dynamics: Website Building and Hosting Made Easy 65. City Relay: Where Housing Becomes Homes 66. GF Genovate: Energy Award Winners 67. Candy Pampering Aesthetics Ltd: Best Specialist Beauty Training Courses 2020 68. Principal Resourcing Education Specialists: The UK’s Most Outstanding Educational Expert Network 70. Alba Power Ltd: Keeping the World Turning 71. The Importance of Green Sustainability for SMEs: A Digital Perspective 72. Winners’ Listings

4 | Q1 2022 As the successful vaccination and booster rollout continues in the UK and with restrictions subsiding, you would be forgiven for thinking that the UK has returned to some semblance of normality. Whilst this may be the case in many sectors, a great deal of the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are living off an ever-increasing debt burden, with company borrowing to survive the pandemic reaching just over £80 billion as of 25 October 2021. At the height of the pandemic, many businesses were forced to pause trading and the government justifiably intervened with a triage of loans schemes to provide funding through the British Business Bank.The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) were introduced sequentially to support businesses with limited capital buffers facing crippling liquidity pressures due to pandemic-induced uncertainty. These emergency loan schemes have leveraged SMEs to the sum of £47.36bn, £26.39bn and £1.06bn respectively, with almost two million government backed loans having been approved.Whilst these emergency loan schemes have provided a fundamental lifeline to many businesses, playing an instrumental role in keeping many resilient SMEs alive during the pandemic, now must be the time to scale them back. Why now? Small businesses entered 2022 battling strong headwinds.The rising costs of goods and utilities, coupled with a tightening of the labour market, subsequent wage inflation and continued supply chain issues resulted in an unprecedented demand for working capital. Subsequently, companies sought to remedy these issues using emergency loan schemes. As a result, the UK SME debt burden has reached an all-time high and the number of weak zombie-like businesses surviving only to reduce their debt piles has exploded. Combine this with the Bank of England’s recent decision to increase interest rates from 0.5% to 0.75% and the situation is only looking to worsen unless this debt bubble is popped. Lenders must stop indiscriminate lending and begin to differentiate between ‘good loans’ and ‘bad loans;’ those companies that are nimble and resilient, and those that are likely to fall of a loan default cliff. This is the only way to break the cycle and to stop compounding the debt issues the UK faces. Resilient companies would be well-advised to take stock of their current capital structure and if appropriate, access fixed term, fixed rate loans to prevent additional exposure to an increasingly volatile lending market. Those companies that are agile enough to remove themselves from government support schemes will enter the post-pandemic era with an even more resilient and healthy workforce and will become an intrinsic part of our economy’s regeneration. Our economy simply cannot go on with a ballooning pile of debt-ridden businesses which will impact on all our pockets. Are we really helping SMEs with more recovery loans? By Douglas Grant, CEO at Manx Financial Group PLC

9 OUT OF 10 UK SMES DON’T KNOW THEIR BUSINESS CARBON EMISSIONS • New research from NatWest reveals 87% of UK SMEs are unaware of their businesses carbon emissions • Almost half (45%) say it’s important to lower carbon emissions in the next five years • NatWest Carbon Tracker app being piloted with eligible SMEs in the manufacturing and transport sectors • Pilot follows bank’s £100bn Climate and Sustainable Funding and Finance ambition and Springboard to Sustainable Recovery report NatWest research has today revealed that 87% of UK SMEs are unaware of their business’s total carbon emissions, despite good intentions - with almost half (45%) of UK SMEs recognising it is important to lower their emissions in the near future. These stark statistics follow NatWest’s publication of the ‘Springboard to Sustainability’ report, which detailed that, with the right support the UK’s six million SMEs can contribute to up to 50% of the UK’s Net Zero decarbonisation goals by 2030 worth an estimated £160 billion in revenue. To help address this crucial gap between intent and knowledge, the bank has launched the NatWest Carbon Tracker app which provides SMEs with an estimate of their carbon footprint. The app, developed in partnership with carbon tracking expert Cogo, will be piloted with eligible SMEs in the manufacturing and transport sectors to allow those SMEs to trial the app, with no fee being payable for use, before NatWest looks to roll the Carbon Tracker out to eligible SMEs more widely. This will help to address the need outlined by almost half (46%) of SMEs who stated they would find an emissions tracker tool helpful. On downloading the app and linking it to their business accounts, SMEs will be able to review their transactions and estimated carbon footprint, see their estimated emissions over time, and compare them month-onmonth. The app also suggests ways that SMEs may be able to reduce carbon emissions and learn more about the support available to help them go and grow greener. These suggestions include switching to electric vehicles and moving to renewable energy and other changes that could reduce emissions and could save SMEs money on their energy bills. The SME pilot follows the successful rollout of the carbon footprint tracking feature to retail customers last year in partnership with carbon tracking expert Cogo to help them understand the environmental impact of their spending and to give tips on how they can cut their carbon footprint. More than 150,000 retail customers have used the carbon tracker since launch in November 2021. The NatWest Carbon tracker is the latest product innovation introduced by the bank, empowering SMEs to play their part in meeting the critical climate challenge facing the UK. In February, NatWest launched Green Loans and Green Asset Finance propositions for qualifying SMEs, with no arrangement fee, which will allow businesses to invest in sustainable energy, transport, buildings and agriculture. This follows the partnership launched in 2021 with green energy provider Octopus Energy to help businesses transition to greener transport by offering NatWest customers electric vehicle (EV) chargers at discounted rates and access to Octopus Energy’s public charging network. Andrew Harrison, Head of Business Banking, NatWest Group said: “As the UK’s biggest bank for business, we know many SMEs are unsure about where to start on their sustainability journey, and many don’t have the time or resources needed to understand their environmental impact. “However, with the right support, our research shows that by 2030, it will make financial sense for up to 70% of UK businesses to reduce emissions. “Opportunities exist across all sectors of the economy, but the Transport and Industrial sectors provide the most urgent and immediate positive business cases. “At NatWest, we want to lead the way in helping businesses across the UK to tackle climate change and to grow greener. A free and quick view of their carbon footprint can help businesses move in the right direction to cut emissions, gain a competitive edge, grow and future proof their business as the UK works towards making a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030.” “This shows the power of collective action and the magic that can happen when big players in the financial industry partner with sustainability experts. Greater industry collaboration will help us to deliver the scale and pace of change that is needed for our planet.”

6 | Q1 2022 Oct21772 Best Hospitality Booking Systems & Marketing Agency - Yorkshire Following 18 months of lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more of us have seen the benefits of digital technology than ever before. The Only Way Togo is living proof that taking things online can have faster, more efficient and more effective results than traditional methods. We speak to Managing Director Mark Hayhurst about the companies innovative offerings and how it is helping to transform the hospitality industry. The main core of hospitality specialist The Only Way Togo’s business is Togo – the online booking system and marketing suite designed to make life easier. It’s offerings are wide and varied, with the aim of simplifying the hospitality sectors management solutions and creating one system to rule them all. The Togo engine is provided to restaurants, pubs and hotels, although the innovative system can also sell vouchers, take pre-payments and pre-orders, and help with marketing via email, text and WhatsApp. Then there’s the recent addition - a new booking engine called Spacebook which takes bookings for commercial space and deals, with appointment making features for artists, stylists and therapists. Finally, a web and app development arm and we can build anything from a small website for an SME through to a complex app for a large global corporate. Mark Hayhurst is the Managing Director of The Only Way Togo, and he tells us more about what the firm can offer its customers. “We build beautiful high conversion websites that work perfectly on all devices,” he begins. “Our websites are fully responsive, so they look and function perfectly on all devices. Google prioritises sites that work well on mobile devices, so you’ll be found easier on searches.” But that is not all, one of Togo’s unique selling points is the fact that it can tightly integrate all kinds of systems into a customer’s website in order to give their customers a seamless experience. These websites also pair perfectly with the Togo and Spacebook booking systems too. “We take a solid brief so that nothing is left to guesswork,” Mark elaborates. “Your vision and our knowledge of the web make for creations that feel and look right the first time around. If you need a website as soon as possible, our team are ready to work with you to make that happen. No compromises to quality are made; we can work around the clock to get you the results you need.” Then there’s the marketing side of the business, so once a customer has had the website of their dreams built to perfectly reflect their business’s goals and objectives, plus to appeal to its target audience, Togo can set about promoting the brand and the site to gain maximum exposure for the best results available. “We offer a more bespoke service than our competitors,” says Mark, speaking of the key differentiating factors which distinguish Togo from its competitors. “Instead of trying to shoehorn them into our products we try to mould our solutions to fit the needs of their business.” Togo’s marketing features are very easy, very affordable and very effective,” states Mark. “They encourage people to think outside the box and do things slightly differently.” E-shots are an obvious offering that is easily implementable and highly effective. When customers book with a company via the Togo system, it will offer for them to join that company’s mailing list. With just a few clicks, the company is then able to send email correspondence to customers who have booked previously. “Togo has a powerful email designer built-in, meaning you can design an eye-catching email within minutes. You can even quickly send customers your new menu or promotion,” says Mark. Vouchers, sent with the simple touch of a button, are another benefit. Not only are they a great way to bring in additional revenue around holidays and special occasions, but they are perfect for bringing in new customers, too. Vouchers can be sent automatically by Togo’s system and can be redeemed with the simple scan of a QR code. Promotional codes and online discounts can give previous customers an incentive to return and therefore maximise business. Promo codes can be shared via a mailshot, social media or even printed on the top of a business’s receipts to give a good reason for customers to come back soon. Finally, events ran at a venue can be bookable in the Togo system - keeping track of them alongside regular bookings to organise everything in one easily accessible space. “Togo can even handle the payments and deposits, meaning events can be paid for upfront. Events could be anything from a comedy night to a special menu,” Mark tells us.

Q1 2022 | 7 Best Hospitality Booking Systems & Marketing Agency - Yorkshire Being based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, has enabled Togo to gain a really strong foothold in the north and therefore it is able to give a much more personal level of service than if it had offices in London, for example. The company benefits from having clients throughout the UK due to some great referrals, as well as a large contract with a pub company, however its proactive sales approach is still focused heavily on the north, with clients ranging in size from small cafes to one of the world’s largest beer brewers. It’s no surprise that the hospitality industry was perhaps the hardest hit sector last year when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, with people being forced to stay at home and companies having to close their doors. The last 12 months have certainly been a struggle for a lot of businesses within the food and beverage world as they attempt to recover lost revenues and get their operations running smoothly once again. “Thankfully we were stable enough to ensure that we were able to be here for our clients right the way through the pandemic,” says Mark. “Since the lockdowns have ended, we have seen significant growth and that doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. Our turnover has more than doubled year on year for the last four years.” One of the positive side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is that people have become more tech-savvy and more businesses have turned

8 | Q1 2022 to focus on their online presence. Many people are now having to work from home and communicate more via things like Zoom. Mark elaborates on how this move to a more digital age has benefitted Togo enormously. “We have seen a surge in online bookings vs phone bookings. They have gone from around 50% online up to around 80%. People now prefer to book online than use any other means. They are also happy to pay a deposit or leave card security when they book. Which means less no-shows and cancellations. “We have also seen pubs now even taking bookings for tables, not just restaurants, and now that people have had the ability to book their table and know they have it for a couple of hours they seem to want to be able to do that and continue to do that. It was a facility that was previously used mainly only in VIP areas of clubs but now it’s becoming more mainstream,” Mark adds. It’s not all about having a great product – Mark is quick to praise the dedication and commitment of the hardworking team behind the scenes at Togo. “Most of our top team are not from within the industry but they are great people that care about the work they do, and they genuinely have a desire to be the best,” he explains. “We believe that for a lot of roles you can train anyone as long as they have a great work ethic, honesty and integrity and we recruit on this basis. Obviously, all of our designers and developers came to us with a great amount of technical knowledge and creative flair in addition to the personal qualities we needed.” Recently, Togo was rewarded for its diligence to the industry by being bestowed with the coveted title of Best Hospitality Booking Systems & Marketing Agency – Yorkshire in the SME News Northern Enterprise Awards 2021. Now, Togo is “launching our consumer app very soon which will be an additional marketing tool for our clients, and we are looking to continue to expand our Spacebook product into more markets,” says Mark excitedly. “We have also recently finished a huge 18-month project for a key global client, so when we have got our breath back, we will be looking for another big corporate project to start that runs alongside our websites and booking engines.” Contact Details Contact: Mark Hayhurst Company: The Only Way Togo Limited Web Address: www.togo.uk.net

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10 | Q1 2022 Feb22117 Building Community with Loyalty and Rewards Prosper² Business Club and Rewards Program is very excited and honoured to be awarded the Best SME Membership Rewards and Incentive Schemes Company 2022 – United Kingdom title by SME News. The company finds it incredibly rewarding to have its exceptional rewards program recognised and celebrated by the wider business community. Join us as we learn more about it. The Prosper² Rewards Program has always kept innovation at the heart of its development, and it continues to work towards delivering a service that allows its customers to enjoy an experience as unique as they are. Prosper² Rewards is an open-loop, rewards program that allows businesses to reward their most valuable customers with reward points that can be redeemed to a multi-currency Prosper² Rewards Mastercard, which gives them the freedom to spend the points wherever they want, on whatever they want. The majority of loyalty programs are closedloop, so when a company rewards their loyal customers with rewards points, those points can only be used with the same company. Prosper² Rewards was created without the same restrictions. Prosper²’s pre-paid Mastercard rewards card gives customers the freedom and flexibility to redeem and spend their rewards points with any company, retailer, or venue that accepts Mastercard for payment. Prosper² understand that no two customers are the same, so offering this customisability to its members and their businesses grants them a far more personal experience. Prosper² believes that customer retention and loyalty should be a key objective for businesses looking to optimise their customer service, marketing, and sales strategies. Prosper² Rewards gives businesses the opportunity to deliver great customer value and engagement. It provides a full range of white labelling options and services, where clients with a larger customer-base can brand their own loyalty and rewards program without the costs, time, and challenges associated with establishing a flexible, open-loop rewards program. Prosper²’s white labelling service gives members a costeffective and modern solution to improve their customer relationships, adaptable to different industries and markets. Several multinational clients have incorporated Prosper² Rewards into their marketing and customer retention strategy with brilliant results, both in ROI and customer engagement. Prosper² Rewards can be accessed through the Prosper² Business Club, an exclusive business members club for SMEs, their directors, and owners. With a membership to the business club, business owners can enjoy a range of benefits and services to help their companies grow and thrive, all included under a monthly subscription fee. Prosper² aims to be an inclusive and diverse business club, so it has a range of membership levels to suit a business’ needs, starting at only £100 a month. Prosper² is a community-driven business that supports UK SMEs and facilitates networking and collaboration opportunities between likeminded, hardworking business owners, creating incredible potential for further innovation and B2B marketing channels.

Q1 2022 | 11 Building Community with Loyalty and Rewards Prosper² wants its members to know and understand that its business club is shaped by them; it greatly encourages its members to take an active role in building a community they are excited to be part of, so it has many options for its existing members to refer friends and other business owners they believe would be valuable additions to the network. Prosper²’s staff are dedicated and hardworking, determined to help new, enquiring businesses find the right membership package for them and support existing members with the benefits and services that fit their needs and goals. Prosper² has operated on a flexible working model since it was established, so COVID-19 was a challenge it was ready for. Being unable to host the in-person events it wanted to and with travel to meet with its members being extremely limited, the company established a webinar series to offer members advice, knowledge, and development opportunities on a range of subjects, from SEO to motivating their workforce. It wanted its members to still feel connected to its strong business community, so webinars provided an excellent source of information and a point-of-contact with staff and other members. The team is very excited to get back to in-person events in 2022. Prosper² Business Club and Rewards Program is always looking towards the future, to develop its community, benefits, services, and rewards program for an ever-changing economy and new business horizons. Most recently, it launched its Prosper² Prepaid Card App for members and cardholders to have instant, on-the-go access to their Prosper² Rewards Account. Members can now view their rewards points balance, redeem points to their prepaid Mastercard, and monitor their transaction, giving business club members even greater flexibility and security with their Prosper² Rewards Card. Prosper² understand that business is more global than ever, so its new app also allows members to exchange their redeemed points into different currencies to use their card around the world. Prosper² Business Club’s core message is ‘Listen, Engage, Enable’. It is dedicated to listening to its club members and their valuable feedback so it can constantly improve its services. Prosper² is not only here to build a business community but to help entrepreneurs connect and build mutually beneficial relationships. It wants to support UK SMEs in every aspect of business, enabling them to seek new and exciting opportunities, build plans for future growth, and accomplish their goals. Prosper² values authenticity, creativity, and community, offering practical solutions and services that small-to-medium sized businesses need. Prosper² understand that entrepreneurs want effective, useful benefits and services to create the lifestyle they want, to expand their business, and continue to innovate. Company: Prosper² Email: [email protected] Website: www.prosper2.co.uk

12 | Q1 2022 Feb22068 The Marketing Agency Taking Over The Globe Working with clients across the globe, Bobble Digital LTD has come a long way from its humble beginning in Leeds. Whilst it is still focused upon serving companies across the U.K., the company has delved into U.S. markets, adopting clients such as The School of The New York Times, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and Lifecycle Transitions. Henceforth, due to its hard work and innovative nature, the company maintains the title of Best Digital Marketing Agency, 2022 – Leeds for the second year running. Nestled in the heart of Leeds stands one of the United Kingdom’s most competitive marketing agencies, Bobble Digital LTD. With numerous awards under its belt, the company has delivered marketing campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands, including Interface, Pan Intelligence and Sonno Beds. Moreover, Bobble Digital maintains partnerships with industry leaders – Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Google Analytics, for example – in order to provide an exceptional service to its clients with the best marketing solutions available. Specialising in marketing strategy, SEO, PPC, Paid Social, Video & Display, and Analytics services, Bobble Digital’s key aim is to deliver effective results that bolster their clients’ digital marketing campaigns. In turn, the company engages with its core values, utilising them to ensure that it cultivates quality. The company’s main priority is strategic digital growth as it likes to take its clients on a digital journey that supports the business growth objectives. Additionally, Bobble Digital firmly believes in being agile – simply, if it works for the clients, it works for the company. In essence, it is not an agency that says ‘yes’ to everything, instead, it will push back to guarantee that its strategy is delivered in full and to the best of its ability. Of course, this then forges an excellent relationship with the client as it displays the company’s devotion to the cause. Furthermore, the values assist with Bobble Digital’s quest to educate its clients on what it is doing and why it’s important, while showcasing the results it consistently delivers. Remaining largely unchanged since its founding, such values have simply rolled out across a greater scale to align with the company’s growth over the years. Bobble Digital has worked with a diverse clientele since its founding, resulting in an extensive and varied portfolio. Boasting names such as Partner Plus Media, Interface, Pan Intelligence, Pomanda, and Langley’s Solicitors, the company’s portfolio showcases an innate ability to adapt towards the client’s needs and requirements. In addition, primarily working with clients across three categories: digital tech, e-commerce, and B2B, Bobble Digital has transgressed borders, working with clients not just in the UK but across Europe and the Americas. This truly embodies the company’s impact, as its name and, subsequently, services have entered the realm of the international market. One of the company’s most recent projects, and a perfect example of its work, begins in April 2021. Collaborating with Aesthetics Doctor, the company’s website came to life in that very month, meeting with a lukewarm reception. Yet through Bobble Digital’s services, the website has grown exponentially, with the websites visibility and domain authority increasing to above that of its competitors. As of now, Aesthetics Doctor’s website is the first result that appears when the term ‘Aesthetics Doctor’ is searched through Google. Without its dedicated team, Bobble Digital would not be able to be award winning or be working across an international scale. Indeed, it credits its staff with being the engine of the agency, and, in turn, it ensures that it looks after them by not just offering good wages but ensuring they have a great work/life balance. The internal culture reflects this attitude, operating in a way that is like a family network. It is with this in mind that the team takes care of each other, striving to offer each other support and guidance, and ultimately, they work to create relationships that encourage and streamline teamwork. Henceforth, throughout the recruitment process, Bobble Digital searches for team members that will integrate seamlessly into the company’s culture. Skills can be gained and enhanced over time, which is why Bobble Digital focuses upon characteristics when recruiting new talent. It takes a particular interest in who the person is, the values they have, and if they match the values of our company. In addition, it looks at what drives them, motivates them, and also who are they outside of work. Trust, transparency, and enthusiasm are all traits that are valued within Bobble Digital and therefore it is imperative that any prospective employees embody such values. Complimented by the company’s unique selling point – the P.I.E.R (Plan, Implement, Evaluate, Repeat) model – the team have proven to be a great asset for the company as it navigates a fast moving and ever-evolving industry. Further, they have solidified the company’s success throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid has had a positive and negative impact on the industry, with businesses that relied solely on their word of mouth or physical selling quickly realising they needed an online presence and needed a digital marketing strategy in place. Consequently, Bobble Digital saw an influx of business. Bobble Digital, primarily off the back of this demand, has expanded its team to over ten members in the past 18 months, and has delivered a record revenue year with a 300% yearly revenue increase for 2021, and is already on course to beat this in 2022. Adding upon this, the company’s exposure via its own platforms has expanded, meaning that the brand

Q1 2022 | 13 is recognised for what it is. Which, as a result, brings the added benefit of the company no longer being bound by lead generation tactics, as instead it can rely on organic leads to come through these channels. 2021 was a prosperous year for Bobble Digital – it worked with prestigious organisations from the United States, including The School of The New York Times, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Lifecycle Transitions, Pan Intelligence, and Partner Plus Media. It also celebrated last year’s award with Mars and M&M World London, with whom it worked on a project to create a custom printed M&M display piece that displayed the company’s logo and the award title. However, the company plans to capitalise off this success throughout 2022, where it plans to bring numerous projects to life. Over the next year or so, the company is setting its eyes on expansion, with its main goal being to hit a seven-figure revenue over the next 12 to 18 months and double its team size in that same period. In the long-term, Bobble Digital is planning on going global as it hopes to build offices on an international scale, beginning with the United States where it is currently seeing large growth. Contact: Manpreet Singh Company: Bobble Digital LTD Web Address: www.bobbledigital.com The Marketing Agency Taking Over The Globe

14 | Q1 2022 Jan22285 Successfully Assisting the Future Constantly striving to provide a top-quality service and be the best in the London virtual assistant space is The Administration Hub Ltd. Offering a variety of services to support businesses of all sizes, the firm was recently recognised in the SME News’ Awards for its diligence. We speak to Amy Watmore, Founding Director of the company to find out more about how it has won Best Virtual Assistant and Business Support Services Company 2022 – London. The Administration Hub Ltd is an award-winning virtual support service offering a wide range of cost-effective services including PA duties, administration, finance, sales, marketing and social media, HR support, compliance and much more. In fact, any business support services can be provided by The Administration Hub, along with an honest, professional, trusting and transparent relationship with core values encompassing efficiency, effectiveness, collaboration, integrity and communication. “We work hard to build positive relationships with all clients that are closely monitored regularly to fully understand our clients’ needs and support their short and long-term goals on a flexible basis,” explains Amy Watmore who founded the company in 2017 and Katy Moroney joined in 2019 as a Partner Director. “We understand the need to not be tied into any long-term contracts and work within the here and now especially with so many uncertainties and changes in the world at present.” Setting itself aside from traditional virtual assistants, Amy and Katy offer a service to cover nearly all business and lifestyle needs, whether a client is a start-up, sole trader, SME, established business, or individual looking for more time. The firm’s USPs include a tailored service, a buddy system, a wide range of skills under one all-encompassing hub, a high level experience, plus the ability to seamlessly grow with a company. “Our clients find outsourced support can achieve the same results in a few hours a day compared to a full time employee,” Amy elaborates. “You can overcome capacity issues easily and reduce the amount of time previously spent on tasks in the office. It really is exciting to be part of each client journey and be seen as an extension of their company as we take the time to get to know, care, and understand each and every client on a personal level.” Due to being freelance, with no long-term tied-in contracts, the dynamic duo struggled when the Covid-19 pandemic hit as they were often the first expense to be cut from a company trying to save money. However, despite the setbacks, there were also opportunities which the pandemic presented. “Covid has brought a new calibre of clients and also seen an increase in our enquires. We do have more competitors now since many have launched independently as a VA or started a VA business, but we feel we offer a higher-level service which is unique in its levels of quality control, professional working relationships and the amount of support we can offer in different areas of a business as a whole.” Recently, The Administration Hub was rewarded for its hard work and commitment by being recognised in the SME News’ Awards and named Best Virtual Assistant and Business Support Services Company 2022 – London, and Amy tells us that she owes a lot of it to the support of the incredible team. “The internal culture is to support each other and be on hand to share knowledge when required,” she states. “We meet when possible and team build to really cement our company goals and internal relationships. We provide these for our team to know they are not alone and there is always support and help on hand.” Regarding the future, the committed pair aim to constantly reflect on and review their offerings in order to secure more clients in the UK and further afield, as well as extending their e-learning courses to help support remote workers. Amy concludes, “We understand the need for constant reflection and not to become complacent and to know that our service needs to stand out from the crowd. It’s been a tough couple of years for many businesses out there and we are here to help and support, working with you at your pace to help support your goals and vision and future successes.” Contact Details Contact: Amy Watmore Company: The Administration Hub Ltd Web Address: www.theadministrationhub.co.uk

15 | Q1 2021 Jan22283 A Portal to the Future Having delivered the most demanding 360 VR Live streaming projects for global brands since 2008, it’s safe to say that Mativision rules the ‘Metaverse’! We take a deeper look into the world of immersive technology and virtual reality as we speak to CEO Anthony Karydis in the wake of the firm being named in the SME News’ Awards as Best VR and Immersive Content Technology Specialist 2022 – London. Immersive content technology specialist, Mativision, was established in the early 2000s when VR technology was in its infancy. Now, almost 20 years later, having live-streamed major events to global audiences of millions, the company is a valued partner to the UK Government and EU on several R&D innovation projects using VLIPP, its proprietary content platform, to demonstrate emerging 5G network capabilities. Since its initial inception, Mativision has been involved in several different activities, with its main strength being in the design and implementation of custom-made immersive experiences for global customers, including Novartis, Unilever, Samsung, and Vodafone. “We have been developing immersive applications for what is now called ‘the Metaverse’, for more than a decade, long before it got the now trendy name,” explains Founder and CEO, Anthony Karydis – For those not in the know, the Metaverse is the term given to the 3D virtual and augmented reality world. Since 2016, we have developed our own proprietary Content Streaming Platform, branded VLIPP®, with our own proprietary immersive content players, with features which for many years were unique – such as a multi-camera selection in real time by the viewer.” Mativision live streams its 360-degree video content using an end-to-end process which it has developed and continues to improve upon, and the firm prides itself on the fact that its 360-video content is of the highest quality worldwide. Serving predominantly global companies Mativision’s clients cover a wide range of sectors. They approach the firm for a variety of different reasons, as Anthony elaborates. “They come to us because they wish to produce advanced immersive applications and also to reach global audiences. Mativision’s unique experience and capabilities to produce customised immersive applications are the guarantee that our customers will receive the best possible product.” Just a few of Mativision’s pre-eminent clients include the likes of MTV’s European Music Awards and Vodafone’s VOXI network launch with Liam Payne and Dua Lipa, which registered one million views in just 30 minutes of streaming time. “Usually, our clients will come to us through wordof-mouth. They would have seen or heard one of our projects, would have been impressed and if at any time they decide to do something of the sort, would naturally come to Mativision. Also, pretty often, clients will come to us because we are the only ones that can execute demanding projects.” Examples of such demanding projects include when Facebook wanted to produce and live stream an immersive experience (in 360-video) for 18-hours from three different locations in Norway for the country’s constitution day celebrations. Mativision was the only one worldwide who could do this and its VLIPP® streaming platform delivered the streams with no problem. Likewise, when Google wanted to produce a full-24-hour tour from a van driving the Route One around Iceland as an immersive experience for the band Sigur Ros, Mativision was the only company worldwide who could execute the project. “Of course, others can do similar things today, but Mativision has always been almost ten years ahead of the rest,” enthuses Anthony. “Same now with Metaverse. While others hope they will be able to produce Metaverse Applications, Mativision has been producing Metaverse Applications since 2012, before the virtual environment even had a name!” As well as its impressive offering, Mativision’s staff play a huge role in the company’s ongoing success and are amongst the most experienced in immersive media, VR, AR and MR in the world. “Mativision is almost like a family, we have been all working together for a very long time and you will find that we have created close bonds with each other. The culture of the company is more like a competition team than a corporate team. We help each other and everything is a result of teamwork. We all win or we all lose, so we all put everything we have on every single project and this is what propels us to success every time,” Anthony says. Mativision was recognised recently in the SME News’ Awards and named Best VR and Immersive Content Technology Specialist 2022 – London, a very befitting title when you consider that all applications and technology are designed and developed in-house. But as the competition heats up in the Metaverse, what does the future hold for the company? Anthony shares, “After a decade of developing and field-proving our immersive content and experiences in ground-breaking commercial projects for global clients, as well as developing front-line platform technology, as partners in Government and EU funded front-line R&D projects, Mativision has now realised that in order to actually have the recognition and growth we deserve, we need a partner that is much bigger than us, with a much higher potential to reach significantly larger markets, and accelerate growth far beyond the current ownership of Mativision can. In this respect, Mativision seeks a partnership that will make possible the next phase of the company’s development.” We look forward to hearing more as the company continues to achieve. Contact Details Contact: Anthony Karydis Company: Mativision Limited Web Address: www.mativision.com

16 | Q1 2022 Dec21543 Best Interior Design Business – Highlands With an extensive, highly sought after portfolio, Fabrik Magik has been weaving mystery and enchantment into every client purchase. Recently recognised in the SME News’ Awards, eminent soft furnishing supplier Fabrik Magik Interiors Ltd has gone from strength-to-strength over the last couple of years. We profile the firm to find out more. Based in Inverness, Scotland, and owned and operated by Director, Fiona Russell, Fabrik Magik Interiors Ltd (Fabrik Magik) offers high-end furnishings for both private and contract clients, taking great care to supply the best possible finishes and quality, as well as offering a personal service from an experienced team. Having been in the soft furnishings business for more than 30 years, Fiona prides herself on the reputation that the family-run firm has built up and ensures that she treats all her customers and staff members as part of the extended family. “All staff, both past and present, are part of the Fabrik Magik Family,” she enthuses. “This is totally justified as every single one of them have brought their own personal style and fun to the business. We also have many long-lasting friends who were initial clients of ours.” Fabrik Magik has seen repeat customers, as well as new customers through word-of-mouth referrals, bringing in work from all sources and all across the globe, including Canary Wharf London, Edinburgh, South Africa, as well as many other destinations. The company has also supplied fabrics to Europe after visiting holiday makers have taken a shine to interiors at the accommodation they have stayed at, and thus sought out Fiona and her team for their assistance. “Our exceptional service and our policy being the same for ‘Prince and Pauper,’ ensures that the standard we like to meet is the same for both, and we do not differentiate,” she elaborates. “We try to get to know our clients’ preferences and what suits the individual person or premises and gently guide them to new or alternative ideas that they may not have considered. Every individual sees pattern and colour differently from another so, between us, we can put forward multiple ideas that a client can consider.” As well as providing unique designs, beautiful fabrics and great customer service, Fiona is also extremely conscientious when it comes to sustainability and is particularly concerned about the problems created by single use plastics. She has made it her mission to filter out its use in much of her work, substituting it with more ecological products. “We have sources of fabrics which specifically have been manufactured from recycled plastic and sustainable sources and look forward to embracing the market as it evolves into a more ecological place,” Fiona adds. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc throughout the United Kingdom, Fiona and her team saw an unexpected benefit due to the boost to the tourist trade in the area – as more people took staycations instead of travelling abroad for their annual holidays. In the wake of being recognised in the SME News’ Awards and named Best Interior Design Business – Highlands, Fiona has one main aim as she moves the company forward and that is to keep going no matter what life may bring. Contact Details Contact: Fiona Russell Company: Fabrik Magik Interiors Ltd Web Address: www.fabrikmagik.co.uk

17 | Q1 2021 Dec21367 Most Empowering Business Funding Solutions Provider 2021 Duke Royalty is a long-term, flexible capital partner to SMEs in the UK, North America and continental Europe and specialises in providing SMEs with a lump sum of capital in return for a percentage of revenue on a term of 30+ years, akin to a ‘corporate mortgage’. We find out more from CEO, Neil Johnson, in the wake of the firm being named in the SME News Awards. Duke Royalty’s (Duke) mission is to support profitable, well-established SMEs to reach their full growth potential and it aims to bridge the significant funding gap being faced by SMEs with a royalty financing solution, a method of financing which is proven to withstand multiple economic cycles. Unlike other lending options, Duke’s royalty finance model empowers business owners to realise their long-term business goals without compromising owner control or adding debt re-financing risk to the business. The distribution payable to Duke is reset annually either up or down, subject to a ceiling and a floor, according to the revenue performance of its partners. This aligns the firm’s return with the performance of the royalty partner over the long term, which appeals to business owners when the short-term economic outlook is so uncertain. “From an investor’s point of view, our model provides them with a high yielding quarterly dividend,” elaborates Neil Johnson, CEO of Duke. “This is achieved due to the robust, predictable and long-term cash flows of Duke’s royalty finance model. This type of solution was first popularised in North America and has been proven to withstand economic cycles. We are the first company to bring the corporate royalty model to UK investors and are proud to say that we are the leading royalty finance provider in the UK and Europe, a region that is experiencing robust demand for a flexible, long term capital solution.” This ambition to bring an even better royalty model to the European stage was the brainchild of two Canadian businessmen with more than 15 years’ worth of experience, and Duke Royalty was officially established in 2015. Whilst the team is small, the corporate culture at Duke is very important. Neil tells us that everyone is encouraged to celebrate each other and be supportive of colleagues in order to keep getting better every day – as a firm, as a capital provider for entrepreneurs, and as human beings. “We believe treating people with respect goes a long way to creating a high-performance environment,” he states. “But we need to remember respect is a two-way street, it needs to be earned as well as given. We believe in being good corporate citizens in the communities we operate in as well as giving back to charities and good causes. We have re-started an iconic cancer fundraising event in London in the name of a Canadian hero, the Terry Fox Run UK, as an example of how we give back to our communities. We believe all these things contribute to people not only wanting to work for Duke Royalty, but to invest emotionally in the success of the company.” Whilst the firm’s core values of transparency, accountability, creativity, focus and teamwork have not changed since Duke’s inception, the extraordinary impact of the pandemic provided an opportunity to reinforce Duke’s supportive model and culture. Covid-19 created a strengthened market opportunity for Duke Royalty and demonstrated the resilience of its model during an extraordinary period. Indeed, its full year results to 31 March 2021 show that the firm exited the year in good health and has recorded record revenues ahead of those pre-pandemic and a strong cash dividend. Most recently, Duke produced its half year results for the six months ended 30 September 2021, which showed substantial cashflow growth and accelerating investment deployment. This strong trading performance provided the Board with confidence that Duke will exceed the market’s expectations for the 12 months ended 31 March 2022. With regards to this, Neil elaborates, “As with many businesses faced with unpreceded challenges last year, we made the decision to stop new investments as the pandemic hit. Within six months later, however, the opportunity that had been created was clear, and we once again began prospecting for new deals. We have secured five new royalty partners during 2021 and undertaken a range of follow-on investments, as demand for our capital grows.” Recently, Duke was recognised in the SME News Awards and bestowed with the prestigious accolade of Most Empowering Business Funding Solutions Provider 2021. Regarding the future, Duke’s plans are to continue building the firm so more and more business owners can take this form of capital and keep control of their business if they are not ready to sell. “This form of financing has been mainly the domain of North America for decades, and it’s exciting for us to be the leaders in Europe,” Neil finalises. “But there is much more to do and winning awards like the SME Finance award allows us to bring our solution to your readers and more businesses.” Contact: Neil Johnson Company: Duke Royalty Limited Web Address: www.dukeroyalty.com