Q2 2021

E M S n e w s Q2 2021 Developing a PR strategy in a post-pandemic landscape Also in this issue: HR: Enhanced Integrated Resources Ltd A Truly International, Affiliated Network Affirm Trade & Invest Best UHNW Family Office Legal Advisor 2021: Olivia Cooper In this issue:

Contents A note from the Editor... Welcome to the 2021 Q2 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. Despite a slight delay, it seems that the end of Covid-19 restrictions is finally on the horizon and with it, a return to business as usual. However, the question is, what will the new ‘business as usual’ look like? From the debate of work-from-home versus the office environment to the growing conversation around the importance of physical and mental health, it is clear that the months of Covid-19 have accelerated an evolution in the workplace. In this quarter’s issue of SME News, we find out how many UK businesses are adapting accordingly. For Jargon PR, this issue’s featured company, the last twelve months have brought about a great deal of change, much of it motivated by the firm’s dedication to a focus on corporate social responsibility. We find out more about the introduction of its sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and staff wellbeing initiatives, following its recognition as Best Corporate and Technology PR Agency. As we enter the second half of 2021, we look forward to bringing you even more success stories of companies from across the UK as they find their feet once again after an unprecedented 18 months. As ever, we wish you all the best for the months ahead and look forward to welcoming you back in the Q3 issue of SME News. Alex Abraham | Editor 4. News 6. Developing a PR strategy in a post-pandemic landscape 8. Managing Overheads in SMEs 10. Recruitment Done Differently 11. Professional, Dependable, Reliable 12. Mental Health in the Workplace 14. The Future Face of Your Business 18. Making Work Easy 19. Ploughing the Way Forward 20. HR: Enhanced 22. 12 Years Of Savings With OBM Best Cost Reduction & Business Process Re-Engineering Consultancy 2020 23. IK-IP Ltd: Best IP Litigator & Appeals Specialist 2021: Ilya Kazi & Best Patent Law Specialists 2021 24. The Chronos Model 25. Kathy Webb: Best Small Family Law Practice – North East 26. Dedicated Drupal Developers 27. Wooden it be Nice! 28. Room 2 Grow! 29. Radio GaGa! 30. Rewarding Loyalty 31. The Company Improving Accessibility in Healthcare 32. A Truly International, Affiliated Network 34. MAG Solicitors Limited: Best Wills & Probate Law Firm - West Midlands 35. Gift-wrapped Perfection 36. ‘Quality Over Quantity’ 37. Relaunching the Events Industry 38. Quastels LLP: Most Client-Focused Commercial Dispute Resolution Firm 2021 39. Going From Strength to Strength

Q2 2021 | 3 40. Reliable, Friendly, Current 41. 3 Pillars of Financial Protection 42. Car Wash City: Best Commercial Vehicle Cleaning & Preparation Specialists - Midlands 44. Only The Best For Baby 45. Travel in Safety and Security 46. Building Back Better 47. Digital Business Management Made Easy 48. BMM Energy Solutions Ltd: Best EV Charging Equipment Installations Company 2021 49. Bringing Brands to Life 50. Boosting Online Sales 51. Teaching an Old Industry New Tricks 52. The New Way 53. Red Bar Law: Most Client-Focused Boutique Law Firm – London 54. Axiom DWFM: Best UHNW Family Office Legal Advisor 2021: Olivia Cooper 56. Lawyerup: Most Innovative Legal Tech Start-up 2021 57. Cleaning Company Help Tackle Coronavirus 58. Avery Law: Best Fundraising Lawyer – David Turney & Best Modern Law Firm – London 60. Astraea Legal : Ones to Watch in Commercial Litigation 2021 61. Wills and Ways 62. Admin Experts Secure Success 63. The Partnership: Property Solicitors of the Year - South East 64. Express Prototype Ltd: Best CNC Machining Firm 2020 – Berkshire 65. Field Farm Equestrian Ltd: Equestrian Centre of the Year – Lincolnshire 67. Winners’ Listings

4 | Q2 2021 Cybereason, the leader in future-ready attack protection, today released research findings from a global ransomware study of nearly 1,300 security professionals that reveals more than half of organisations have been the victim of a ransomware attack. In the UK specifically, 305 companies were contacted and 84% of businesses that chose to pay a ransom demand suffered a second ransomware attack, often at the hands of the same threat actor group (53%). The research also divulged that of the organisations in the UK who opted to pay a ransom demand to regain access to their encrypted systems, 43% reported that some or all of the data was corrupted during the recovery process. These findings underscore why it does not pay to pay ransomware attackers, and that organisations should focus on early detection and prevention strategies to end ransomware attacks at the earliest stages before critical systems and data are put in jeopardy. Key findings (UK-specific) in the research include: • Loss of Business: 47 percent of organisations reported significant loss of business following a ransomware attack. Of these individuals, 61% admitted to losing revenue. • Ransom Demands Increasing: 51 percent of businesses that paid a ransom demand shelled out between £250,000 - £1 million, while 4 percent paid ransoms exceeding £1 million. • Brand and Reputation Damage: 63 percent of organisations who admitted to losing business indicated that their brand and reputation were damaged as a result of a successful attack • C-Level Talent Loss: 45 percent of organisations who admitted to losing business reported losing C-Level talent as a direct result of ransomware attacks • Employee Layoffs: 31 percent of those who admitted to losing business reported being forced to layoff employees due to financial pressures following a ransomware attack • Business Closures: A startling 34 percent of organisations who admitted to losing business reported that a ransomware attack forced the business to close down operations entirely Other key findings included in the full report reveal the extent to which losses to the business may be covered by cyber insurance, how prepared organisations are to address ransomware threats to the business with regard to adequate security policies and staffing, and more granular information on the impact of ransomware attacks by region, company size and industry vertical. In addition, the report provides actionable data on the types of security solutions organisations had in place prior to an attack, as well as which solutions were most often implemented by organisations after they experienced a ransomware attack. “Ransomware attacks are a major concern for organisations across the globe, often causing massive business disruptions including the loss of income and valuable human resources as a direct result. In the case of the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, disruptions were felt up and down the East Coast of the United States and negatively impacted other businesses who are dependent on Colonial’s operations,” said Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Cybereason, Lior Div. “Paying a ransom demand does not guarantee a successful recovery, does not prevent the attackers from hitting the victim organisation again, and in the end only exacerbates the problem by encouraging more attacks. Getting in front of the threat by adopting a prevention-first strategy for early detection will allow organisations to stop disruptive ransomware before they can hurt the business.” New Cybereason Ransomware Study Reveals True Cost to Business

5 | Q2 2021 £25,000 Business Boost grant launched to help start or grow a small business Simply Business, one of the UK’s largest providers of small business insurance, today announces the launch of its £25,000 Business Boost grant for 2021 – designed to help new entrepreneurs launch a small business or help existing UK SMEs bounce back from the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Small businesses have a big, positive impact on society. Not only do they account for 99 per cent of all UK businesses and generate £2tn annually to the economy, they provide vital jobs and services within communities right across the UK. The common barriers to starting a small business are finance, fear and knowledge. So to help overcome this people can apply to win £25,000 cash from Simply Business to help kick-start their business idea - a significant sum given the average UK start up spends £22,756 in their first year. Small business owners can submit their entries from today with the competition closing on 17 September. The winner will be selected by an expert panel before being announced in October. The 2021 grant is the second iteration from Simply Business, who provide insurance to over 800,000 small businesses and landlords. Last year it gave away £10,000 to one small business owner to help their recovery from Covid-19. Larissa Cooper – owner of Rowan Bay in Norfolk, who creates and designs sustainable artisan baby wraps and slings – beat almost 15,000 small businesses from across the UK to win. Larissa Cooper, Business Boost 2020 winner, said: “The Business Boost grant from Simply Business has helped me so much. Winning the £10,000 has enabled me to re-stock and order a new line of woven baby wraps for Rowan Bay. “And, excitingly, I will soon be collecting my first batch of fleeces from a local conservation organisation ahead of it being processed into wool for my complimentary business Naked Wool. Without the grant, none of this would have been possible, due to the impact Covid had. If you’re thinking about applying – go for it!” A recent study from Simply Business laid bare the impact of Covid-19 on UK SMEs. The key findings showed: • SMEs have lost £15,673 each so far in lost work and earnings due to the pandemic • In total, SME owners expect to lose £22,461 each on average, suggesting there are still losses to come, even despite the re openings from government • Over 840,000 SMEs are not sure their business will ever return to pre-pandemic trading levels • Over 2.2 million SMEs (37%) still haven’t been able to access government schemes and grants, often seen as a lifeline to help small businesses through the pandemic. Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, comments: “Small businesses are built on big dreams, and countless self-employed people have seen these dreams put to the test during this most challenging of periods. We want to make a genuinely transformational impact to a small business owner’s life – with a cash injection that can put someone’s big dream back on track. “And from our research we know £25,000 will do just that. The average cost of Covid-19 to existing small businesses stands at £22,461 – up from the £11,779 SME owners estimated in May last year. Meanwhile, the average cost for startups in year one alone stands at £22,756. “We fully appreciate the devastating impact of coronavirus and the subsequent lockdowns on the self-employed – few have been hit harder. The fact we had almost 15,000 applications last year shows just how important it is to support UK SMEs as they look to recover financially. “Since then, small businesses have had to endure a third national lockdown and various restrictions on trading, and we know the financial impact now will be even greater than this time last year. This is why we’ve taken the decision to increase the prize to £25,000 – to help match the financial impact suffered by so many small business owners. “As the country attempts to recover economically, we hope that our Business Boost will provide one small business owner with a significant financial helping hand. Small business success will be crucial to both the economy and the livelihoods of so many up and down the country as the UK looks to bounce back.”

6 | Q2 2021 Jan21285 Developing a PR strategy in a post-pandemic landscape With a successful vaccination programme in full swing, restrictions easing, and holidays abroad becoming a possibility, it’s fair to say that we can start envisioning what a post-pandemic landscape will look like. The world certainly feels very different when we think back to before lockdown, and we’ve seen the PR industry adapt and take on a host of new challenges. As a result, businesses must consider the effects over the past year and ensure they bring their communications strategy into this new age. Resuming a PR strategy Many businesses will now be finding themselves in a common place - continuing PR activity following a momentary pause, or perhaps others may have scaled back their activity due to the uncertainty faced by lockdown. The first place to start is with the key press in your industry. Distributing a piece of news provides the perfect opportunity to resume the conversations with your journalist contacts and drive media opportunities. As a result, you can create a doorway into new media opportunities, upcoming features, and a pipeline of media coverage. Once you’ve initiated a dialogue, think about how to develop the relationships with these journalists. Consider the pipeline of news announcements you may have coming up, and how you can leverage these as opportunities to establish ongoing conversations with the press. Or perhaps you may not have regular news to announce. In this instance, checking in with journalists to see what they’re working on, or are planning in the near future, can help drive valuable media opportunities for your business. The developing consumption of media There has been a significant shift in the way people consume their media over the last year. It’s no secret that the use of digital has been increasing for many years now, however the pandemic has significantly fuelled the amount of time we are spending online. It is predicted that by 2025, 4.4 billion of us will be using social media, and this is just one example of digital media that is expected to exponentially increase over the next few years. Digital publications, podcasts, and social media are just a few of the platforms which are now the popular medium for how we receive our news. According to a recent report we spend, on average, an extra day online every month compared to last year. Communications professionals need to consider this shift and identify how to best reach their target audience. Not only should online outlets be an integral part of a PR strategy, but all forms of digital must be seamlessly integrated, providing consistent messaging throughout. Creating a competitive advantage With each aspect of a PR campaign, comes additional value that is added to a business. For example, media coverage creates the opportunity to communicate key company messages for a business, not to mention positions them ahead of certain competitors that don’t prioritise PR. In addition to media coverage, businesses can also ensure a competitive edge by establishing credibility for their brand. This can be executed effectively by showcasing the best work carried out by a business, and communicated through case studies, awards, or even a series of website blogs. It’s important to stand out in today’s landscape, and the value of additional PR activity is not one to be ignored. Adapting to survive The current climate is rife with media opportunities for a variety of businesses, and identifying a coherent communications strategy now, will create significant value for a business. However, companies must consider the various changes that have occurred within the industry and ensure to adapt their PR strategy to effectively reach their target audience. Those that take the time to understand how the pandemic has affected the communications landscape, will successfully create a competitive edge for themselves. If you’re interested in hearing more about how we can create a post-pandemic communications strategy for your business, get in touch via simon.corbett@jargonpr.com, or 01189 739 370. Distributing a piece of news provides the perfect opportunity to resume the conversations with your journalist contacts and drive media opportunities.

8 | Q2 2021 Managing Overheads in SMEs As a small business owner – or entrepreneur, if you prefer – you will have realised that running a company has a lot of costs to consider; both obvious expenditure as well as hidden outgoings which you may not be fully prepared for. Managing the cashflow of your new business can often be a juggling act as you attempt to navigate your way through income, accounts payable, invoices and, not least, company overheads. Company costs are generally divided between direct costs and overheads of the business. The direct costs are required to create and offer products and services, whilst the overheads are the costs of administration for running the business. While SME overheads often remain consistent, this does not mean that business owners can ignore them; managing your overheads is imperative to keeping you in the black. John Edwards, CEO of The Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA), agrees that overheads are an area which is often overlooked. “Proper management of outgoing costs as an SME owner is vital because overheads directly impact the bottom line,” he explains. “Although they are often time consuming and can get overlooked, those expenses exist no matter what, and your accounting system requires you to keep track of them.” IFA Member, David Fisher, is a finance director and business mentor with decades of experience in the industry. He offers his five top tips to SME owners on how to successfully remain on top of their overheads. Stay in Control “As a rule of thumb, one fifth of your time should be spent on admin, which includes your ABC: accounts, bookkeeping and cash - collection and costs,” David begins. “Invest time in reviewing your overhead contracts and checking bills to ensure that they are in line with contracts.” He reminds us that it is also important to review monthly management accounts and trends, as well as costs relating to all areas of your business, including ongoing contracts, utilities, professional fees, and licences. Structure Staff Costs More often than not, the biggest area of spend is staff costs, but they are also your most valuable asset. David elaborates: “Remuneration levels should be sufficient to attract, train and retain staff. This does not mean extortionately high levels of pay, but remuneration must be monitored, along with benefits which can improve and increase with longevity.” The list of benefits is extensive, but far from exhaustive, and all need to be scrutinised and considered in the context of the business and workforce. For instance, business owners must weigh up a business cost against working conditions, considering the demands, environment and terms of a job that influence the satisfaction of employees. “You could consider linking pay to service levels and/or results, and ensure bonuses are linked to the bottom-line profit, not top-line revenue.” Outsource Expertise Outsourcing the management of certain overheads to third parties, in return for a cut in the savings, can assist with maintaining scrutiny of overheads. David also recommends taking stock of utility bills and checking that you are on the best, most suitable tariff to meet your company’s needs. You should utilise comparison websites to find the best rates or, to save time, make use of the companies that do this for you, such as www.lookaftermybills.com. Strike the Right Balance Finding the right balance to manage overheads is key and David tells us that businesses need to ensure that they do not ‘penny pinch’ so much that it is detrimental to business growth, but at the same time, that they do not overspend either, and eat into their profits. “Do set specific time aside dedicated to the administration of the business,” he adds. “Don’t spend too much time on the administration, overanalysing or wasting time on unworthy diversionary activities.” Cash is King Cash is the life blood of any business and good cash flow management is pivotal as it can prevent a business from failing. Therefore, financial management is imperative. There must be a steady rate of cash in and out of your business in order to be able to obtain growth as well as to operate on a day-to-day basis. “Forecasts are vital to keep a business running efficiently and to help to predict customers’ paying habits and spending patterns,” David comments. “They will also enable you to compare projected spend to actual expenditure in order to anticipate the cash required, as well as project sales revenue on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, therefore helping establish the spending pattern.” Cash flow forecasts are also essential for things such as securing bank loans or investment income and for helping to plan expected supplier costs, payroll, capital, loan, tax payments, and so on. “If funding is required, your accountant should be able to help provide the right support to be able to review current cash flow procedures, to identify where to optimise cash flow management, and to make recommendations to ease the cash flow burden. They will also be able to create a cash flow forecast as part of the financial plan, support funding proposals, and present to third parties.” To find a registered, qualified and regulated SME accountant, visit www.ifa.org.uk/find-anaccountant for further information.

Q2 2021 | 9 Managing Overheads in SMEs

10 | Q2 2021 Apr21019 Recruitment Done Differently Based in Cardiff, RWR Recruitment is a boutique recruitment consultancy that has earned the title of Best Recruiting Firm. Operating within the UK, RWR offers both permanent and temporary recruiting solutions for businesses looking to hire staff in commercial or industrial sectors. RWR’s recruitment formula is like no other, enabling clients to save time, money and hire quality talent efficiently when working in partnership. The RWR brand oozes quality, a service offered by all staff members that is professional, personable, flexible, reliable and honest. Contactable and cooperative at all times, the firm is there for its clients when they need it most, and they are passionate about helping businesses grow and retain employees the right way. Whether businesses are looking to fill one vacancy or need to recruit an entire team, RWR’s wealth of experience, specialist approach and multitude of services on offer in industrial and commercial industries enables them to assist with the recruitment process efficiently from start to finish, including rigorous screening and creating the right short-list for the vacancy. RWR sees its clients as partners, so if it comes across a great opportunity for the client’s business, it will be sure to share it with them, and if the agency thinks that what their client is asking them to do isn’t the best way forward, it will always let them know. Benefits of a partnership with RWR will include as much support as is needed in the decision-making process, market advice, fast response to emerging issues and candidate support. Talent sourcing and engagement from RWR involves a dedicated sourcing consultant who has a good understanding of the client’s specification and business ethos, along with the use of advertising, branding, social media, talent communities, referrals and the firm’s own internal recruitment database that has been built through its network throughout a range of sectors to gain the best candidate reach across the UK. With communication via telephone and email available 24/7, clients can gain fast results. The firm’s managing director, Robyn Walters personally oversees all enquiries so that they are forwarded to the right team and they can make hires happen. RWR’s exclusive talent pool is created by expert advisors who headhunt for posts and network regularly to ensure the firm’s database holds quality up-to-date information. Additionally, RWR’s approach is more holistic than most agencies, with a unique algorithm that considers its clients’ culture, business models and plans. These are then matched to fit the best candidates possible. There is no doubt that the pandemic has impacted businesses in multiple ways, including recruitment. RWR has been working hard to keep recruitment processes moving, shifting in-person interviews to video calls, which as had a very positive outcome as many hires have been conducted this way and saved on time spent interviewing and scheduling. In terms of how RWR helps candidates, when they apply through the agency for a job role, the individual’s details are passed to the consultant who will actively search on their behalf for jobs that match their skillset, saving time spent job searching. RWR can also offer advice to candidates and suggest other opportunities that they may not have come across, as the firm is dealing with job searches every day and is first to know about the jobs that arise on the market. There is also a candidate app being launched which will give even faster and simpler access for people who are searching for a new role, as well as provide support for those who are unsuccessful following interview so that they can improve their technique. RWR’s services don’t stop at interview; the firm knows that candidates are its most valuable asset and works to support successful and unsuccessful candidates to make the most of the opportunities they have. Company: RWR Recruitment Contact: Robyn Walters Website: www.rwrrecruitment.co.uk

11 | Q2 2021 Mar21499 Professional, Dependable, Reliable Since its inception in the early 2000s, Mativision’s next-level experience in livestreaming and ability to execute demanding projects has seen it designing and building technology for top companies and filming on-location for all kinds of different music performances, shows and events, crowning it London’s Best in VR Media Production. Mativision was ahead of the times when it started working with immersive media, VR and 360-video 20 years ago, while the rest of the world didn’t discover VR until 2015. The firm develops all its technology inhouse from scratch and every stage of production is executed using equipment that belongs to the firm or is of close co-operating companies with whom they have been working since the beginning. Mativision has been proudly involved in a list of different notable projects including MTV’s European Music Awards for four consecutive years, American Idol’s season 10 finale to 3.4 million viewers and Vodafone’s VOXI Network launch featuring Dua Lipa and Liam Payne, which registered one million views in just 30 minutes of streaming. With projects including developing its own 360-degree video players with features that were unique for many years, such as multi-camera selection in real-time by the viewer, the company has also created mobile and web-based apps, usually featuring 360-degree video, customised to the needs and uses of customers. These include the first ever web-based 360-degree video concert for Muse in 2010, downloaded by more than 350,000 people, and the first ever iPhone app featuring 360-degree interactive video in 2010 for Slash’s Apocalyptic Love album. It also produces mixed reality and augmented reality applications for Novartis and VR applications for Ogilvy, Samsung and many others. The innovative work doesn’t stop there; since 2016, Mativision has developed its own proprietary content streaming platform, branded VLIPP®, which it has been using as the core delivery of a series of services since then. Likewise, the implementation and launch of the VLIPPmed® Medical VR Content Platform was developed for use in medical training, with 100,000+ installations worldwide (available for free to iPhone and Android phones). Additionally, Mativision designs and implements web-based content distribution platforms such as www.rambert.org.uk/homestudio and also has extensive participation and contribution in front-line research and development projects, both in the UK and Europe, funded by the UK Government and the EU, in association with leading organisations and universities. This activity enables Mativision to remain at the forefront of technology. Mativision’s clients are usually global companies from a wide range of sectors. They come to Mativision because they wish to reach global audiences and the firm’s immersive content livestreaming capabilities are probably the only ones worldwide. So, among Mativision’s client list is global leaders such as FOX, for whom it initially produced So You Think You Can Dance in L.A. and the following year livestreamed American Idol’s finale. When Facebook wanted to livestream in 360-degree video for 18 hours straight from three different locations in Norway for the country’s constitution day celebrations, Mativision was the only firm worldwide who could do this and its VLIPP® streaming platform delivered the streams with no problem. When Google wanted to film a 24-hour tour from a van driving the Route One that takes you all the way around Iceland as a feature for the band Sigur Rós, Mativision was the only company worldwide who could record 360-degree video for an uninterrupted 24-hour time. Of course, others can do similar things today, but Mativision was almost ten years ahead of the rest. It was delivering 360-degree videos to iPhones when they could not even play YouTube videos, long before Android even came to be! In the words of a high-ranking person in the Digital Catapult, “Mativision is always there when you need them, and they always deliver.” In the past three years, through its involvement in 5G trials in the UK and Europe, the firm has 5G-enabled its proprietary immersive content distribution platform. Natural evolution for Mativision has been the 5G FESTIVAL, a front-line 5G-based project which brings together top-level partners like Digital Catapult, Warner Music Group, O2, Brighton Dome, Metropolis Studios, Audiotonix, Sonosphere and LiveFrom. 5G FESTIVAL, which recently received the Most Innovative Use of 5G trophy at the 5G Realised Awards, has the opportunity to develop and deliver a game-changing platform which will offer artists capabilities to create and produce music without the limitation of their location and deliver to audiences new, uniquely engaging ways to experience and interact with live performances. Company: Mativision Ltd Contact: Anthony Karydis Website: www.mativision.com “Mativision is always there when you need them, and they always deliver.”

12 | Q2 2021 Mental Health in the Workplace Mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety and depression, are common in the workplace, with the recent Covid-19 pandemic only serving to highlight just how many of us experience problems with mental health. While many business owners realise the importance of strong mental health at work, it can be difficult to tackle the subject as many simply do not know where to begin. With so much information, guidance and resource available in this field, it can be difficult to locate and pinpoint the correct information required, in addition to identifying the best approach to a once-taboo subject. This is further compounded by the apprehension of many managers to begin conversations around mental health for fear of saying something wrong and adding insult to injury. According to the Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index, only 52% of those experiencing poor mental health for any reason have disclosed this to anyone at work (either a manager or a colleague). The top three reasons for not disclosing were: • not feeling comfortable discussing the issue (mentioned by 57%) • not wanting sympathy or to be treated as more vulnerable than colleagues (mentioned by 44%) • being worried that their employer would think they couldn’t do the job properly (mentioned by 41%) The stigma around poor mental health means that many people do not feel comfortable talking about it with their managers or HR representatives and are worried about how they will be treated. Indeed, in a survey of UK adults, 56% said they would not hire someone with depression, even if they were the best candidate for the job. A further report, published in November 2020 by the European Research Council, revealed an increasing reluctance to disclose poor mental health following the outbreak of Covid-19, owing to fears around its implications for job security if organisations were to begin making redundancies. Mental health charity, Mind, was founded in 1946 as the National Association for Mental Health, and this year, celebrates its 75th anniversary. Here, Mind’s Mental Health at Work team offers up some advice for business owners looking to tackle the sensitive subject of mental health in the workplace and how best to offer support to employees. Adopt a person-centred approach Everyone is an individual. They have their own unique circumstances, their own experiences, concerns and worries. The Coronavirus really highlighted that while we’ve all been in the same storm, we’ve been in very different boats, depending on whether we’ve had or not had the virus; whether we’ve had to shield; whether we’ve had parenting or caring responsibilities; whether we’ve lost a loved one during this time; or whether we’ve been working from home or on the frontline. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to mental health and wellbeing because we have different needs. Tools such as Wellness Action Plans are really useful for understanding what these unique needs are and how you can best support your staff accordingly. Listen to your staff and routinely monitor wellbeing Understand which work factors have the greatest pressure, what the pinch points in processes for the year are, and what systems could be improved or are current contributors to workplace stress. You might undertake this through one-to-one conversations, team audits or staff surveys, but once undertaken, you are in a strong position to begin addressing some of the fundamental work-related causes of stress within your business. Ask Twice The average person in the UK says they are fine 14 times a day. The simple act of asking twice reinforces that you care about an employee’s answer and have the time and space to invest in their response. In your approach to adopting person-centred principles and consulting staff, don’t be afraid to ask an employee twice if there’s anything you can do to support them or to enquire about how they are doing – it might be the space they need to be open and honest about their mental health. Raise Awareness The first steps for any organisation looking to address stigma are to explore ways in which your business can raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and thereby normalise the conversation around the subject. You might raise awareness through: • Sharing reliable mental health information from charities like Mind and Samaritans – whether that is a post on Microsoft Teams, sharing a link through a team WhatsApp group, or a poster on a noticeboard. • Exploring training available. There is a wide range of training options available and some excellent free courses such as the Zero Suicide Alliance’s suicide awareness e-learning course • Sharing resources and toolkits from the Mental Health at Work website. The Mental Health at Work website, curated by Mind, brings together a wide range of support resources and articles from across a number of different organisations. Among them, you’ll find toolkits that explore intersectionality and how mental health and wellbeing might be specifically impacted within different communities. You might normalise the conversation by: • Having your senior leaders openly discuss their own mental health and wellbeing. We all have mental health, just as we have physical health, and they might consider discussing how they’ve been feeling over the last 12 months and what steps they’ve been putting in place to support their wellbeing – this signals to everyone in the business the importance of self-care.

Q2 2021 | 13 Mental Health in the Workplace • Introducing temperature checks or wellbeing check-ins to meetings. A simple activity in which you begin a meeting by sharing your wellbeing on a score of 1 to 10. This can help your colleagues and manager to understand how you are doing and what support you might need, alongside a similar understanding of your own colleagues. • Introducing Wellness Action Plans or similar wellbeing conversations, as well as oneto-one or supervised meetings with staff. A Wellness Action Plan provides a simple framework to shape wellbeing conversations with your staff to discuss and understand the factors that impact their mental health and wellbeing; how this manifests itself, how it might impact their work and performance, what they as a staff member can do to proactively manage their mental health, and what support you as a manager can provide. It is an incredibly useful self-reflective tool for staff and for managers who are less confident in having conversations around mental health, as it provides the structure to hold such a meeting. However, good mental health is not just about employee satisfaction. In fact, poor mental health in the workplace can have a huge knockon effect for your business. The average cost of poor mental health to employers per employee in the private sector is £1,716 and while the number of days taken off work due to any type of illness is around 25% lower than a decade ago, various studies suggest that presenteeism is increasing year on year. According to Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index results, having an unmanageable workload can mean people are up to twice as likely to have poor mental health, often resulting in staff struggling to concentrate; finding it more difficult to juggle a number of tasks or competing priorities; putting off challenging tasks; having difficulty in making decisions; or taking longer to complete tasks. It couldn’t be more clear - no matter where you work and what you do, paying attention to mental health in the workplace has never been more important. Mental Health at Work, a website curated by Mind, the mental health charity, is your first stop to help you find what you need for better workplace wellbeing. The website is also a key enabler for organisations as they implement the Mental Health at Work Commitment and embed best practice into company culture. With plenty of tools and real-life stories, the website makes navigating the workplace mental health landscape easy. You’ll find original content that includes a range of tips, ideas, examples, and thought pieces on workplace mental health as it relates to different issues, people and industries. Everyone’s experience is different, and by shedding light on these struggles, the website seeks to normalise mental health, and support organisations of all sizes in making a positive change.

14 | Q2 2021 Sep20016 The Future Face of Your Business The strategy of identifying and developing future leaders to fill business-critical roles, known as succession planning, is key to moving a business forward. Not only does succession planning ear-mark new and upcoming talent within your staff base, it also ensures a company is fully prepared if a senior leader or manager should suddenly leave the business. Matthew Braithwaite TEP is a Partner at Wedlake Bell and Co-Chairs the STEP Business Families Special Interest Group. He tells us that succession planning should be viewed as a process, not an event, and that it is never too early to start. “For businessowners, the very least they should do is make a will, which prescribes what should happen to the business in the event of their death, in order to provide a default position in case plans cannot be implemented during their lifetime. If the time is right, then discussions around succession planning - even the most embryonic - should be had. For businessowners, this is perhaps the chance to understand whether the next generation (typically their children) are prepared to take over the running of the business, or whether Plan B (a sale) needs to be considered. If the latter, the businessowner then has time to plan and put their business in its optimum condition for sale. The risk otherwise is of a ‘fire sale’ upon the happening of an event (i.e. a death) and potentially without the involvement of the current businessowner or founder. For the incumbent generation, having discussions early means they are put on notice that there might be a role for them in the future ownership of the business – a role that they might not have otherwise assumed would be available, - with a chance to grow into their role and equip themselves with the skills needed in anticipation of taking the business forward.” Matthew emphasises the point that the businessowner should “never assume”, meaning that the next generation may not wish to succeed the business and especially not to assume that one particular individual is more capable than the others. “Successful succession planning is about having open and honest conversations between generations to banish misconceptions and adjust expectations. “Having discussions with family members early will help businessowners decide whether they need to recruit external talent, and/or what nurturing needs to take place. For some businesses, who the successor will be is easier to identify than others because they may already be involved in the business and require very little in the way of nurturing. For others, perhaps because of age or the pursuit of another career, they will require additional support to adapt to the business environment their forebears have created. Education is therefore a key component of the succession planning process. If it becomes apparent through discussions with family members that there is no one suitable or willing to take over the business, or that there might be with support of external talent, it then becomes necessary to consider recruiting externally into the business. As a matter of good practice and to attract external talent into the business, it is important to ring-fence the interests of the family from the business by devising separate governance structures for each. As well as the obvious benefits for the family and the business in terms of codifying views and establishing boundaries between the two, it demonstrates to external talent that they will be able to flourish in the business on their own merits, without risk of a family member being treated any differently.” Matthew is keen to promote the cash flow model, which is provided by all financial advisors, as a useful tool to enable current

Q2 2021 | 15 The Future Face of Your Business businessowners to understand how their wealth might perform in the future and the measures needed to ensure continued success. “Consolidated Wealth Reporting technology increasingly offered by wealth managers enables individuals to have visibility of their entire wealth in one place, which makes the management of that wealth easier to understand and ensures a joined-up approach when considering wealth structuring and succession planning.” Matthew concludes that there is no ‘one-sizefits-all approach’ to succession planning and that every business and every family is different, punctuated by differing family dynamics. “The key is that communication is king. How you communicate will often depend on the generation you are wishing to communicate with and their understanding of technology. The COVID pandemic has taught us all to embrace video calling and, in a lot of ways, many families are more connected than they’ve ever been, providing the ideal platform to initiate or advance discussions between family members.” “As well as the obvious benefits for the family and the business in terms of codifying views and establishing boundaries between the two, it demonstrates to external talent that they will be able to flourish in the business on their own merits, without risk of a family member being treated any differently.” Robert Grierson TEP, Barrister at Chetwynd House Tax Chambers and Member of STEP Birmingham, agrees that succession planning is vital if a business is to stand the test of time. He believes that there is no age which is too young for businessowners to begin proactively formulating plans for their succession. “The life expectancy of both men and women is approximately 82 years; but fatalities can occur at any age. Also, if a businessowner’s health is in decline, then they should start giving serious consideration to succession planning at that point in time.” While passing a business onto children is often the easiest solution to ensure a company continues to run, issues arise if there is no ‘heir’ to leave the assets to. Robert embellishes on what could be done if this is the case. “If a businessowner does not have children then they may wish to identify nephews or nieces or even other relatives who may be appropriate heirs to the business on the retirement or death of the current businessowner. As with children,

16 | Q2 2021 Sep20472 the businessowner should make any potential heirs who are their nephews or nieces, or other relatives, aware that the businessowner wishes to pass the business on to them, in the hope that they will be happy with this arrangement and prepare themselves to take on and run the business in due course. “Whether it be the children, nephews or nieces, or other relatives who are to be the successor to the business, for this purpose it may be appropriate for them to start working in the business, if they are not already doing so, so as to familiarise themselves with the running of the business before taking it over.” There is also the issue of whether or not the next generation is capable of running the business successfully, with businessowners often having to make the difficult decision to recruit external talent in order to ensure suitable successors. “This is a sensitive topic as the child or children of the current businessowner may be very disappointed if their parents do not pass the business on to them. The estate of the parent (once deceased) may even be faced with a claim by the child or children under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (which is a subject for proper professional advice in each case) if a parent does not pass the business on to the child or children, particularly if the child has been employed in the business.” Robert explains that often accountants are very familiar with the workings and personnel of a business, as well as with the businessowner and their family. In this case, he recommends that it may be appropriate for the businessowner to have a confidential ‘heart-to-heart’ conversation with their accountant about the suitability of their children or others to take over a business if the businessowner is in any doubt. “If the current businessowner does conclude that their own offspring or adopted child or children are not well-suited to taking over and running the business, and there are also no other relatives who could step into their shoes, then the current businessowner may wish to think about whether any of the existing employees of the business might be suitable successors to the business, perhaps in return for some payment if feasible (and suitable contract terms might be negotiated). “Alternatively, the current businessowner may conclude that the only answer is to look for a third party outside buyer for the business. If this option is taken, then the current businessowner should start taking steps to find an external buyer comfortably in advance of the current businessowner’s retirement and ideally while he or she is still running the business to their own optimum capabilities, so that the current businessowner is in the best bargaining position for selling the business and the business itself is in the best possible shape.” Robert encourages businessowners to discuss succession planning issues with their accountants and, if applicable, their solicitors in order to seek the right solution for them. In many cases, it will be appropriate for the accountants and solicitors to instruct Tax Counsel (such as Robert himself, who also takes instructions direct from individual businessowners through the Bar’s online directaccessportal.co.uk) to craft the right bespoke solution for the businessowner. “While there are standard models or forms for life interest settlements and discretionary settlements, this is an area where no definitive advice can be given in an article of this nature, and a businessowner should seek expert professional advice and a bespoke solution which suits the businessowner and his or her family in each case. This is because the tax considerations (whether they be inheritance tax, capital gains tax, stamp duty land tax, income tax, corporation tax, and value added tax), taken together with the personal dynamics of the particular businessowner and his or her family, will never be the same in two cases. “Businesses can be very different, and just one example is the fact that, unlike a company which just buys and sells “widgets” (which is obviously “trading”), an investment business will not attract inheritance tax business property relief although, even in the case of businesses with investments, there are nuances to the availability of business property relief which should be the subject of expert professional advice.” Robert leaves us with his three pieces of advice for businessowners regarding the subject of succession planning. “My number one piece of advice is to make sure that whoever is to inherit the business is capable and serious about taking it on. Most businessowners do not like to think that the business which they have created and nurtured will be undermined and ruined by an incapable successor. “Secondly, hopefully such a capable and serious successor or successors can be found in the children, nephews or nieces, or other relatives of the current businessowners, but, if not, an employee or third-party external purchaser may be appropriate. “Thirdly, it is also very important not to leave succession too late so that the business declines because of the state of health of the businessowner. Therefore, if a businessowner finds that their health is deteriorating significantly, they may wish to consider early retirement and handing over (or selling) the business to a successor or purchaser with effect from that earlier date. In the meantime, the prospective successor (i.e. if the business is not to be sold to a third party outside purchaser) should ideally be prepared for the succession by having actual experience of working in the business. “Finally, I wish to conclude that succession to a business is a topic which needs to be planned well in advance not just at the human level of “who will succeed to it” but also from the financial and tax perspectives.” “My number one piece of advice is to make sure that whoever is to inherit the business is capable and serious about taking it on. Most businessowners do not like to think that the business which they have created and nurtured will be undermined and ruined by an incapable successor.