Q2 2023

White Event Production Ltd: The Main Event SME News Q2 2023 Elevating Beauty in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire Kalon Beauty has been recognised as the Best HomeBased Salon in Buckinghamshire for 2023, highlighting the hard work of owner, Ramneeta Kang, who has been in the beauty industry for over 12 years and has a great passion for beauty. Here’s a little more about her salon and her expertise, as we look behind the scenes at what makes her establishment a success. EMSn e w s Bobble Digital Limited: Strategic Digital Growth

Welcome to the 2023 Q2 edition of SME News Magazine, where we provide you with all of the latest news, announcements, and features about some of the best upand-coming enterprises around the United Kingdom. As we find ourselves halfway through 2023, we are excited about the prosperous year it is already shaping up to be for the world of business! In this issue, we are delighted to be featuring an array of extraordinary businesses who are showing their industries how it’s done – from a PR consultancy, event production company, and global travel platform, to a building services engineering consultancy, robotic process automation technology developer, and speciality lighting solutions provider! And featured on our front cover, we have Kalon Beauty, our Best Home-Based Salon 2023 – Buckinghamshire. Owner, Ramneeta Kang believes that beauty is more than skin deep; it’s about tapping into your inner beauty, as well as taking priding in your outer beauty. We get to know Ramneeta and her award-winning salon’s outstanding service offering, which has a deep focus on enhancing beauty, confidence, and wellbeing. We hope you find this issue to be informative and insightful, and wish you a wonderful few months ahead. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon for our Q3 issue. Editors Letter Phone: 0203 970 0037 Website: www.sme-news.co.uk Rebecca Scotland Editor

Contents 4. News 6. Kalon Beauty: Elevating Beauty in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire 7. MyOutreach: Bridging the Gap Between Sales and Marketing 8. Mercer Marsh Benefits: Low-cost solutions to help your employees and business during the cost-of-living crisis 10. White Event Production Ltd: The Main Event 12. Gasm Drinks Ltd: Getting Busy with the Fizzy! 13. Currencies 4 You: More Bang for your Buck! 14. Bobble Digital Limited: Strategic Digital Growth 16. VIRTUS HoldCo Ltd: Innovation at Work 17. Holiday Swap: The New Age of Travel 18. Prosper²: A Rewarding Business 20. Nursing Zone Ltd: Leading Healthcare Specialist Placements 21. ITPR: Revolutionising B2B Tech PR in the UK 22. ITHQ: Values, Culture, Accountability 23. The Cyber Scheme: The Team Behind the Cyber Scheme 24. Centelli: Automatic for the People 26. Maria Fogg Family Law Ltd: When You Need a Helping Hand 27. ABL Health Ltd: Revolutionising Community-Driven Holistic Health and Wellbeing 28. Dragon Argent: Where Expert M&A Advisers Bring Natural Success 29. Company: Love Finance: Business Loans in Seconds – Not Weeks 30. MARL International Ltd: Lighting Your Future 31. Venters Solicitors: Making UK Legal History 32. DARe-me Consulting Engineers Ltd: Daring to be Different 34. Lifeworks Learning Disability Charity: Putting People First 35. Capital Valley Plastics: South Wales' Leading Plastics Manufacturer 36. TTC Group Limited: Best Driver Risk Management Company 2023 - UK 2023 Business Elite Awards 37. Owen James Events: Best Financial Industry Strategic Engagement Specialist MD 2023: James Goad 38. Excel TM Group: Award-Winning Construction Telemarketing and Lead Generation Provider 40. Groomingtails: Helping Furry Friends Look Fantastic 41. Reprise: Most Inclusive Digital Agency 2023 - Yorkshire and the Humber 42. Wheeler Wood Legal Limited: Law Firm for Ambitious Entrepreneurs 43. Robot Mascot: Helping You Achieve Greatness 44. Luggage-Point: Best Airport Luggage Service Provider 2023 46. Winners' Listings

SME News Q2 2023 / News NEWS Research shows more than a third of small firms have frozen growth plans due to soaring energy costs Small businesses urgently need seed investment to survive Brunel University London’s Co-Innovate team responded to the Federation of Small Businesses recent energy survey about:blank [[1]], which determined that the impact of the energy price crisis is seriously affecting the future growth plans of Britain’s small businesses. Whilst the FSB has warned of a potential ‘cliff edge’, Brunel University London’s enterprise support programme ‘Co-Innovate’ recently launched the Business Investment Accelerator programme (in collaboration with NatWest) which is designed to get ambitious smaller firms ready for investment. Being ‘investment ready’ is important for small firms seeking investment funding, which will allow them to survive before they can proceed to thrive. The UK Government’s current phase of EBRSabout:blank [[2]] is scheduled to come to an end on 1 April 2023, and the survey states that twenty-four per cent of small businesses anticipate that they would need to close, downsize or radically restructure if that were to happen. Naima Omasta-Milsom, Co-Innovate Innovation Director says: “It’s a tough environment for small business owners, especially when it comes to finding the funds to grow. That’s why Co-Innovate has joined forces with leaders in the field who can build the knowledge and capacity of London’s owner managers to have the right approach to investment.” The Business Investment Accelerator programme is open now for registrationabout:blank [[3]]. The first of four workshops begins on 17th January 2023. Marta Jordan, Founder of Raise Designabout:blank [[4]] was one of the first to sign up for the Business Investment Accelerator programme and commented “As a bootstrapped startup founder, this programme is a perfect opportunity to grow my business with strategic support, to help me get ready for investment and to develop my skills to pitch for funding.” Places for eligible small companies are fully subsidised. Funding for this programme is provided through the GLA and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In addition, Brunel Business School will work with owners on a business review to determine the kind of support and assistance needed. Stewart Smith, Local Enterprise Manager with NatWest adds: “We are delighted to be working with the Co-Innovate team at Brunel on the Business Investment Accelerator. Given the pressures on both start-ups and ambitious smaller firms to find the right funding, these workshops will really help. It’s also about starting the search for the right investor for the business, someone who understands you and your business.” High profile investor, entrepreneur and millionaire mentor Sukhi Wahiwala, of Business BoardRoom, has collaborated with the programme to offer participants the chance to win a Business BoardRoom 12 month scholarship of one to one mentoring worth £12,000. Mr Wahiwala said: “You may have a fabulous product or service that people appear to want, but without the right mindset you won’t succeed. Nor will investors take notice if you lack the determination to overcome obstacles and seize new opportunities. Something I have learned in my business career.”

NEWS New collaborative action research - Quebec Net Positive launches "SMEs in Transition" to reveal and co-create innovative approaches to navigate the transition to a low-carbon economy Quebec Net Positive, an independent not for profit think tank, unveiled "SMEs in Transition", a new collaborative action research initiative for Quebec's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector and the business ecosystem that supports them. This initiative, conducted in collaboration with regional collaborators, practitioners, experts and academic researchers, will continue through January 2025 and aims to evaluate the relevance and impact of various engagement approaches to: • Strengthen the willingness and capacity of manufacturing SMEs to implement climate action; • Activate a business ecosystem conducive to accelerating the transition to a lowcarbon and "net positive" economy. As the transition to a low-carbon economy accelerates, manufacturing companies feel challenged but are slow to act. 87% of Quebec manufacturing companies believe it is urgent to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 81% agree that companies have a central role to play in reducing GHGs. Yet, 49% say they are not implementing any climate action in their operations, according to the results of the Business Transition Barometer - Manufacturing Sector, released by Québec Net Positif on April 27, 2023. "Achieving carbon neutrality for Quebec and Canada by 2050 and the Quebec government's greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets of 37.5% by 2030, below 1990 level, will result in a profound transformation of the economic fabric of all regions of Quebec," said Anne-Josée Laquerre, Executive Director & CoFounder of Quebec Net Positive. "It is vital for the Quebec economy as a whole that its 250,000 or so small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which employ more than 2 million workers, are aware of the risks and opportunities of this transition and engage in it successfully." According to the Business Transition Barometer – Manufacturing Sector, manufacturing businesses actually perceive more benefits and opportunities related to climate action and the transition to a low-carbon economy than Quebec businesses overall (30% vs. 21%). They identify the main business opportunities as being the creation and offering of products, solutions and services that meet new needs and market expectations (60% vs. 42%), followed by strengthening the company's brand image and reputation (40% vs. 34%) and being positioned as a supplier of choice, preserving and consolidating business relationships with customers and major clients (40% vs. 26%). 3 PILLARS FOR COLLABORATIVE ACTION RESEARCH Funded by the Government of Canada, with the support of the Laurentian Bank, the "SMEs in Transition" initiative will allow participating SMEs and their ecosystems to establish new contacts, beyond their usual networks, to reveal and co-create innovative approaches to navigate the transition to a lowcarbon economy. The initiative is structured in three pillars: • Regional and sectoral mobilization: Identify the appropriate means and key moments to promote the measurement of GHG emissions, establish reduction targets and trigger climate action, with our mobilization partners: ADDERE Service-conseil (Eastern Townships), Conseil régional de l'environnement de la Montérégie and Excellence industrielle Saint-Laurent (Montréal). • Communities of practice: Identify mechanisms to optimize the added value for leaders and participants in joining collective learning spaces on climate action and the transition, with our expert collaborators: Brav. and Projet Collectif. • Transition pathways, foresight, monitoring and business intelligence: To bring together leaders of manufacturing SMEs – and the ecosystem of those who accompany them – to create a place for exchange and reflection with the aim of increasing collective awareness of the needs and possibilities for change in their sector, develop a transformative vision that will help identify business opportunities and favourably orient short-term decisions towards a likely transition pathway, and be on the lookout for best practices in Quebec and beyond, with our expert collaborators: Ciblexpert, Chemins de transition and PHAR. The project is also supported by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), and the Center for sustainable development (Maison du développement durable). "In addition to our mapping of the low-carbon economy and the data from our Businesses Transition Barometers, the business intelligence and new knowledge that will emerge from "SMEs in Transition" will guide us collectively on the best ways to strengthen and activate a business ecosystem that is increasingly conducive to the transition of all SMEs," said Anne-Josée Laquerre, Executive Director & Co-Founder of Quebec Net Positive.

6 | SME News Q2 2023 Elevating Beauty in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire Kalon Beauty has been recognised as the Best HomeBased Salon in Buckinghamshire for 2023, highlighting the hard work of owner, Ramneeta Kang, who has been in the beauty industry for over 12 years and has a great passion for beauty. Here’s a little more about her salon and her expertise, as we look behind the scenes at what makes her establishment a success. In the picturesque town of Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, there lies a hidden gem for beauty enthusiasts seeking a results-driven and transformative experience. Kalon Beauty, a renowned home-based beauty salon, has garnered a reputation for being one of the best in the industry. With a commitment to providing services that enhance physical appearance, uplift the spirit, and boost confidence, Kalon Beauty has established itself as a beacon of excellence. We delve into the core values, uniqueness, plans, success tips, and sustainability practices that make Ramneeta and her salon, Kalon Beauty, a standout destination for individuals. Kalon Beauty's mission is centred around meeting the needs of those yearning for a confidence boost, uplifting experiences, and beauty maintenance. It is also firmly rooted in the belief that true beauty goes beyond skin deep. The salon has unwaveringly held onto these values since its inception a decade ago and remains loyal to upholding them for years to come. Recognising that every individual is unique, Ramneeta aims to provide tailored treatment programmes as distinct as each client. “I believe beauty is more than skin deep; it’s much more than the surface level. I believe it’s about tapping into your inner beauty, as well as taking pride in your outer beauty.” What sets Kalon Beauty apart from its competitors is a combination of factors contributing to an extraordinary experience. Firstly, the salon room is spacious and thoughtfully designed, ensuring a serene and comfortable atmosphere for clients to unwind and indulge in the treatments. Natural light floods the room, creating a warm and inviting ambience that complements the salon's devotion to enhancing beauty from the inside out. Moreover, the expertise and personalised approach of Ramneeta and her beauty therapists are key elements of Kalon Beauty's USP. With an accurate understanding of individual needs and desires, the therapist tailors treatment programmes to address specific concerns and aspirations. This attention to detail and customisation ensures that clients receive excellent care, leaving them feeling rejuvenated and positive. Looking ahead, Ramneeta envisions a future of expansion while maintaining the utmost quality. Although specific innovations are yet to be announced, the salon aspires to bring its exceptional services to a broader clientele, serving as a haven for beauty enthusiasts. Reflecting on her journey, the owner of Kalon Beauty offers valuable advice for small and medium-sized enterprises aspiring to succeed. She emphasises the importance of authenticity and sincerity, urging entrepreneurs to stay true to themselves and their passion. By focusing on their strengths and delivering their best, SMEs can create a unique identity in the market and build a loyal customer base. Drawing from her own career experiences, Ramneeta shares two valuable insights that have shaped her professional journey. Firstly, she advocates for practising gratitude daily, regardless of the circumstances. This positive mindset fosters resilience and a sense of appreciation, enhancing the overall customer experience. Secondly, she encourages embracing calculated risks and trusting the process, acknowledging that growth and success often arise from stepping outside one's comfort zone. Kalon Beauty places great importance on sustainability, recognising the significance of responsible practices in today's world. The salon diligently sources the best products, ensuring they align with ethical and eco-friendly standards. By incorporating these sustainable elements into their treatments, Ramneeta prioritises the well-being of her clients and contributes to the preservation of the environment. With its steady dedication to enhancing beauty, confidence, and wellbeing, Kalon Beauty has firmly established itself as a premier beauty salon in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. The salon's core values, personalised approach, serene ambience, and dedication to sustainability have earned it a stellar reputation. As Kalon Beauty sets its sights on an exciting future of growth, it continues to inspire other SMEs with its authenticity, gratitude, and willingness to take calculated risks. For those seeking the expertise of a trusted beauty therapist, Kalon Beauty is a testament to the transformative power of a brilliant beauty experience. Contact: Ramneeta Kang Company: Kalon Beauty Web Address: kalonbeauty.co.uk Apr23066

The trusted lead generation agency for global tech companies, MyOutreach unites sales and marketing teams to help firms achieve better ROI on their campaigns with quality and engaged sales leads. Following its success in the being named Best Webinar Solutions Provider 2023 – UK, we spoke to CEO, Ryan Young to learn more about its offering. Bridging the Gap Between Sales and Marketing MyOutreach generates demand for some of the largest tech companies in the world, with some of its most popular lead gen solutions including content syndication, webinars and virtual events, and appointments. “After generating leads for some of the largest tech companies in the world, we learned a thing or two about what makes a successful demand gen campaign,” explains Ryan Young, the firm’s Chief Executive Officer. “It requires more than just marketing budget and sales resource to make it a success. It requires a strong collaboration between sales, marketing, and us.” As specialists in B2B lead generation, MyOutreach exists to help tech marketers get more ROI from their demand gen campaigns. Today, after several years in operation, the company goes one step above the rest by providing sales training sessions to help clients get a much greater ROI on their leads. Bridging the gap between sales and marketing, it helps some of the world’s largest organisations get better results from their campaigns. “We act consultatively,” explains Ryan. “Under-promise, over-deliver. We promise our clients that they will never pay for an invalid lead, and our values have not changed since our establishment four years ago. As our business grows, so does the importance of our core values.” With extensive experience managing sales teams at marketing companies, Ryan understands both sides of the demand generation coin which puts him in a strong position to help the firm’s clients with both marketing campaigns and sales enablement. At MyOutreach, the firm’s content syndication campaigns rely on three core pillars to help customers reach their targets faster and more effectively. These include: reach the right people at the right time; increase sales revenue with content syndication; and enable your sales team to succeed. But in such a competitive marketplace, the company must consistently stay ahead and therefore, it is unique in the lead gen industry as it can guarantee leads anywhere in the funnel on a cost-per-lead model. “We insist that we do not get paid unless the client is happy,” Ryan continues. “This puts all the risk on us as a vendor, and removes the risk from the client. Focusing on creating an exceptional customer service is our number one priority, and we have found that winning new business, getting repeat customers, and even hiring new talent has become easier.” Understanding the importance of connecting with the audience in today’s digital age, MyOutreach’s webinar services are designed to help other companies do just that. Its virtual event services include live and simu-live webinar registrations, on-demand webinar syndication, and fully managed webinars, meaning MyOutreach takes care of everything from start to finish, so company owners can focus on what they do best – engaging with their audience. Recently, for its webinar services, MyOutreach gained recognition in the prestigious SME News Business Elite Awards 2023, being named Best Webinar Solutions Provider 2023 – UK. Having being head of a successful start-up for several years now, Ryan has advice for like-minded entrepreneurs looking to build their business from the ground up. “I was given some valuable advice early in my sales career: “replace yourself”,” he states. “This encourages developing people to take on your main responsibilities so you can grow and develop yourself. This has stuck with me and we implement that into our core workings by developing from within before we consider hiring externally.” Contact: Ryan Young Company: MyOutreach Web Address: www.my-outreach.com Feb23655

8 | SME News Q2 2023 Employees are facing huge financial challenges and stress during this cost-of-living crisis. The CPIH index remains stubbornly high despite dropping slightly to 7.8% as of April 2023, with food and non-alcoholic prices rising 19.1% over the past year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Meanwhile, the base rate at 4.5% is at its highest level since 2008, which significantly raises the cost of credit and mortgages for individuals. And to make matters worse, the average cost of fulltime childcare for children under two years of age has increased to £263 per week, rising to £321 in London, according to the National Childbirth Trust. As well as facing more pressure to raise wages, employers’ own costs, such as core materials, energy costs, rent, and insurance costs, are increasing. We are also seeing the start of a war on talent, particularly for highly skilled individuals and for low-paid individuals. This is because, unusually, costs and wage pressures are rising at the same time. But we are also seeing a vibrant market in terms of recruitment with several vacancies, which means employers are seeing talent move to competitors. Top challenges for employees Mercer’s recent Inside Employees’ Minds survey highlights the challenges that employees are facing – and it is not just lower income workers (earning less than £40,000) who are suffering financial stress because of high inflation. Almost 60% of high-income earners (earning over £80,000) have lowered their spending due to price increases, while almost 70% of low-income earners have cut their expenditure. Among employees aged 18-54, covering expenses is the biggest concern. Meanwhile, just a quarter of low-income earners are confident about being able to retire, compared to 57% of high-income employees. One-third of employees prefer more flexibility in the workplace than they have today. Attract and retain talent Financial stress is one of the major causes of stress, and one of the best ways to attract and retain people is to create a happy, inclusive and engaging workplace. Employers that lack big margins to be able to hand out huge wage increases need to find a way to engage, attract, and retain employees. They need to find ways to help their employees and this can be achieved at low to no cost for you as an employer but drive significantly more value and more impact for your workers. Employees are facing a whole host of cost pressures – but the biggest ones are often mortgages, cars, childcare, and food. It is, therefore, worth reviewing your benefits package to see what else you could be offering employees, and it doesn’t have to cost you a thing. At Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB), we offer a free, no-obligation audit of your benefits offering. Salary exchange: childcare and electric cars Salary exchange or salary sacrifice is a contractual arrangement whereby an employee gives up part of their basic earnings in return for a non-cash benefit. But it is also helpful for employers by allowing them to make NIC savings. While employers are very familiar with salary exchange, usually in the context of pension contributions, few know it can also be used for other things, including childcare contributions such as nursery and electric cars. By offering a Workplace Nursery Scheme through salary exchange, you can help your employees save a minimum 20% on their nursery costs. If they are a higher rate taxpayer, they can save 40% or around £400 a month on childcare costs, based on average weekly costs of £263. With rising inflation and interest rates, many employers are looking for cost-effective ways to support their staff. We explore the low or no cost options. Low-cost solutions to help your employees and business during the cost-of-living crisis Jan23723 Mercer Marsh Benefits is a trading name used by Mercer Limited who are autho Number

Another win-win for employers and employees is the electric car scheme where workers can use a portion of their pre-tax salary to help buy an electric car. Not only do employees reduce their motoring costs and benefit from not paying tax and NI contributions on the portion of their salary they have sacrificed with current HMRC treatment, but it also helps employers improve their environmental credentials while reducing their own NI costs. Mortgage advice With mortgage interest rates rising again recently, an individual who is coming towards the end of their fixed rate could see their mortgage repayments go up by hundreds of pounds a month. While employers cannot control interest rates, they can help their employees access the best mortgage rates by setting up an arrangement with a mortgage advice company, which can offer them free independent mortgage advice and access to mortgages that they would not have been able to otherwise. Discount vouchers For a small set-up cost, you can also offer your employees discount vouchers to help them save money on their food shopping, go out for meals or for holidays. This costs as little as just £2.30 per employee each month – a small price to pay to help your employees during this cost-of-living crisis. Review your benefits package This is just a snapshot of what employers can offer their employees. Much more is available. At MMB, we offer a wide range of benefits from fitness and health to genetic testing and pensions. Employers can brand these benefits in their company name and offer more for employees than they currently receive. At MMB, we offer a free, no-obligation audit of your benefits, so you only pay for our services when you decide to when you decide to work with us. We help you understand your workforce, so you can tailor your benefits package to what works best for your staff. We will talk you through what we can do to help you support your employees. At a time when people are more likely to switch jobs for a small change in salary during this cost-of-living crisis, employers can improve retention by reviewing and updating their benefits packages to make them much more attractive to employees. Contact Details Company: Mercer Marsh Benefits Contact: Rachel Riley Website: www.mercer.com horised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference Number 121935). Mercer Limited is registered in England and Wales (Registration er 984275). Registered Office: 1 Tower Place West, Tower Place, London, EC3R 5BU.

10 | SME News Q2 2023 Based in Milton Keynes, White Event Production Ltd is a white label event production and content creation agency. We speak to Producer, Ben Carter in order to learn more about the industry and the firm as it celebrates success in being named Best B2B Event Production Company 2023 – UK. White Event Production Ltd is a small event and video production company specialising in supporting event management professionals and working in collaboration to provide a joined-up event production solution. The company offers a range of services and flex to suit the budgets or the requirements of its clients, such as in-house skills to support with end-to-end project design and management, and enough in-house equipment to support medium to large events. “We support a wide spectrum of industries, including many blue chip brands, which is quite an achievement considering our company size,” explains Ben Carter, Producer at White Event Production, as he tells us more about the company’s inception. “The rationale behind ‘white’ is as in ‘white label’. That is, approximately 50% of the time we support event and production agencies with skills they do not have in-house, such as design, video/ content production, and web services, acting as their silent partner or production division; and the remaining 50% of the time we service our end clients where we look to reflect their brand values and ethos.” Just a handful of the big named brands that have used White Event Production over the years include Severn Trent, Aston Martin, Amey, Michelin, and Wren Kitchens, as well as agencies such as the Volkswagen Group, Mercedes-Benz, Motability, BP, State Street, and Bupa. “We thrive on supporting organisations as well as agencies, however big or small,” Ben continues. “We are a full-service company with the ability to produce an event from design to delivery, or we can be brought into bridge gaps within an existing project. Our dynamic and scalable work processes make us very versatile and creates efficiencies with consistent quality assurance.” Winning big names is a great achievement for a small firm, however Ben and the team at White Event Production cannot afford to rest on their laurels, and are constantly aware of the need to innovate and offer something a little different in order to stand out from competitors. The firm’s clear differentiator, as Ben tells us, tends to be its honesty paired with its proactive dedication to ensure the best end result. “We are not afraid to turn work away if we feel expectations are not aligned but this often results in our clients re-evaluating and still producing the event or creating a greater relationship with new or existing clients,” he elaborates. “Most of our work comes from referral and recommendation and so it is an organic growth. Our social media presence, especially when we were one of the first event companies to return to being kept busy during the pandemic, helps our reputation of achieving great things.” The events industry continues to be rather turbulent post Covid-19, and White Event Production prides itself on not only surviving the pandemic, but actually growing during this period as the firm merged with an equipment supplier to increase its hire stock and, in turn, work opportunities. Ben explains that the firm was also one of a few companies to hold an event during the pandemic, which involved a lot of close work with a wide variety of stakeholders with creative yet conscientious event design and planning. Following this, and the diverse skillset present at White Event Production (such as content creation, web and video production, and live streaming) the team were kept busy during the pandemic. “We were one of the first companies to return with a vengeance when the time was right,” Ben continues. “Which caused many of our local competitors to stop in their tracks and view us in a different light!” Today, the industry still has its challenges, with companies reacting to the cost-of-living crisis by cutting back accordingly or, due to sudden changes in demand for events, the requirement to work to very tight, last minute timeframes, but Ben believes that White Event Production is more than capable of riding this wave of disruption. Of course, dedicated and loyal team members have helped the firm to grow, achieve, and survive over the years and, when recruiting, Ben looks for colleagues who are passionate, conscientious, and who are enthusiastic to learn. Even if their technical skills may not quite be up to scratch, if someone demonstrates the right qualities then he will look to support and train them on the job. Whilst hard work at White Event Production is obviously very much expected, Ben tells us that the rewards are plentiful. “There are some mantras we work by, such as “only as good as our last event” but also internally the “one team” and “rough with the smooth”,” he enthuses. “We all chip in and do not have rigid job descriptions with an ethos of flexing to do the best for our clients. This does mean going the extra mile and pushing ourselves to deliver the best, but this looks to get rewarded with flexible working, staff outings, and Friday drinks, when all areas of the business look to catch up at the end of a usually busy or diverse week.” Recently, as testament to the dedication and hard work of all involved in White Event Production, the firm has been recognised in the SME News - Business Elite Awards 2023 and named Best B2B Event Production Company 2023 – UK for its efforts. Understandably delighted by this prestigious accolade, Ben is quick to ensure that his colleagues and team members also get the recognition that they deserve, stating, “Our achievement has come from a core team with a diverse and over-lapping skillset that complement each other. We very much offer a ‘one team’ approach which produces increased dynamics and cost efficiencies our clients like. We put as much pride and commitment into a small conference as we do a large multi-day event.” Now, White Event Production is looking forward to a bright and lucrative future, with growth on the cards. There are plans which include the expansion of an additional storage and projects space to house the firm’s recent investment in video equipment, from multiple large LED display screens to LED panels, to make very large video walls which aims to supplement its growth in video production. As well as this, there are planned investments in video and lighting hardware but, more importantly, investments in growing the team with the right people. The Main Event Apr23023

Contact Details Contact: Ben Carter Company: White Event Production Ltd Web Address: www.white-production.co.uk

12 | SME News Q2 2023 Getting Busy with the Fizzy! Based in Wales, Gasm Drinks Ltd (Gasm) is leading the way when it comes to cocktails. But not only are the products designed to hit the spot, they are also designed to be sustainable. We find out more about this pioneering family-run firm in the wake of it being recognised in the SME News Business Elite Awards 2023. Who doesn’t love a refreshing spot of sparkly on a warm summer’s day? Enjoyed by the middle classes for many years, delicious champagne cocktails have now been brought to the masses by Gasm Drinks Ltd. Combining the perfect mixture of fizz with deliciously powerful spirits, Gasm is the brainchild of Montgomeryshire-based husband-and-wife duo, Sam and Richard Davies. After years of experimenting in the field, followed by nine months of intensive tasting with the expert assistance of a renowned sommelier, the couple have produced the ultimate blend of champagne-style cocktails which infuse the finest prosecco with homemade fruit gins. These delectable delicacies come in three tantalising flavours and two sizes: the original sloeberry, plum, and razz (raspberry), all of which are available in 37.5cl and 75cl. All of them combine excellent wine from Veneto (the only prosecco worth drinking) with handpicked fruits and fine gin to create something truly memorable. Being the first to bottle this well-known combination, Gasm has created a “chill, pop, and go” fun fizz cocktail that is suitable for any occasion. But as well as being able to nip into the nearest trendy bar and enjoy a snifter, Gasm products are available online for you to sit and enjoy with friends on a picnic, whilst relaxing on the yacht, or even in the comfort of your own home! Not only that, but Gasm tipples are fully recyclable and vegan friendly to boot – What more reason do you need to crack open a bottle and pour a celebratory drink? Recently, in recognition of its innovative product, Gasm Drinks was named Best Champagne Style Cocktails Producer 2023 – UK in the SME News Business Elite Awards. So, what’s next for the visionary entrepreneurs who have revolutionised the fizzy beverages market? Sam and Richard plan to continue to produce and bottle in their home country of Wales, thus further reducing their carbon footprint, whilst continuing to take the hospitality industry by storm! Contact: Richard Davies Company: Gasm Drinks Ltd Web Address: www.gasmdrinks.co.uk Feb23256

Currencies 4 You provides tailormade solutions for thousands of corporate and private clients every year, with an overall aim to protect clients from volatile fluctuations in the currency markets. We find out more about the fast-growing firm from the Founder, Suraj Gokani, as it celebrates a win being named Fastest Growing Foreign Exchange Specialists – UK. More Bang for your Buck! With the cost-of-living crisis in full swing, it is important to get as much bang for your buck as possible! But help is at hand… Geared to ensuring its clients achieve more for their money, Currencies 4 You is a global payment specialist with customer service as its core. Aiming to make the entire process of international foreign exchange stress-free, as well as saving its clients time and money, Currencies 4 You analyses the markets and supports the client through the journey by providing competitive rates on their international transfers and as well as being able to make payments in more than 130 currencies. Geared to both corporate and personal use, Currencies 4 You has a solution for everyone. Whether you’re an individual transferring money overseas for your new life in the sun, investing in high value goods, or simply making regular international money transfers; or a business that is importing or exporting, has an overseas payroll, or simply receives payments in a foreign currency, Currencies 4 You can help you achieve more for your money whilst helping mitigate exposure to volatile currency fluctuations. “It’s simple and cost effective to start making international payments,” explains Suraj Gokani, the firm’s Founder. “Once your account is open, your personal relationship manager will be on hand to walk you through the seamlessly easy process for making an international transfer. Currencies 4 You’s strategy is to make your payment stress-free, cost effective and, of course, speedy.” As well as caring for its clients, sustainability is of the utmost importance to the company, with the team always questioning what is purchased and how environmentally aware it is, recycling as much as possible and ensuring it only uses sustainably resourced products. Recently, for its dedication to clients and unique product offering, Currencies 4 You was recognised in the SME News Business Elite Awards 2023 as the Fastest Growing Foreign Exchange Specialists – UK. This prestigious accolade is testament to how hard Suraj and the team have worked on establishing the brand since the company’s inception. Now, Suraj shares his advice to other SMEs who want to be successful: “Make sure that you place the customer at the heart of your business and that your clients always experience the best experience that they can have. Live your values, coach, mentor, inspire your team by leading by example.” With regard to the future, Currencies 4 You is on the path to growth. There are plans to further develop the fintech side of the company as well as expand in other countries. With international offices already set up in Portugal and Spain, the firm is looking to enter new territory and is actively seeking out new ventures in Dubai, the USA, and Poland. We wish the business all the very best for the future! Contact Details Contact: Manish Gokani Company: Currencies 4 You Web Address: www.currencies4you.com Mar23089

14 | SME News Q2 2023 Bobble Digital Limited is an award-winning and pioneering digital marketing agency based in Leeds that has implemented its own digital strategy to improve its clients’ online presence and deliver long-term results. With a flexible and responsive approach to its work, Bobble Digital delivers results by carefully considering each channel and campaign. “At Bobble Digital, we don’t believe that one size fits all,” explains Manpreet Singh, the firm’s Chief Executive Officer. “We believe in innovation. It’s not just about identifying the key digital channels. It’s also about being relevant, following and understanding digital trends to stand out from the competition.” This is all achieved by Bobble Digital by focusing on what it is good at, across six core services which include marketing strategy, SEO, PPC, paid social, video and display, and analytics, all of which are specifically tailored to meet its clients’ ever-changing needs. The firm’s core values and deliverables have remained at its core for the last six years since its establishment, and Manpreet’s knowledge, leadership, and expertise are all woven into the very fabric of the firm. He strongly believes in customer service and doing the best thing for his clients, which is why Manpreet stands by the mantra of “if it works for you, it works for us”. With a motto of “strategic digital growth”, Bobble Digital establishes this through its agile methodology called the PIER system, an acronym for Plan, Implement, Evaluate, and Repeat. “We use this model to develop digital marketing strategies and we deliver results by carefully considering each channel and campaign,” Manpreet elaborates. “We’re here to take our clients on a digital journey, with exceptional business growth being the final destination.” More recently, the company established its new unique selling point, called Bobble Insights, which is a new piece of technology that ensures high account optimisation and delivery for clients across all core services that it offers. This innovative platform identifies all the core and fundamental tasks that need to be completed to ensure campaigns are delivering at 100% efficiency to maximise results. And the data that Bobble Digital harvests from this platform helps it to quickly profile, analyse, and identify campaign opportunities and areas for growth. This then provides a campaign optimisation score which pulls through channel performance from all digital channels, not just one. A recent project which has utilised this model is the firm’s client, Panintelligence, which is an embedded analytics platform for SaaS (Software as a Service) that rivals giants like Yellowfin and Sisense. The firm sought Bobble Digital’s help to focus on SEO activity to improve site performance and mobile usability. Manpreet tells us more. “Amongst the incredible work Panintelligence was doing, they were also completely changing their brand messaging to reflect their brand growth,” he begins. “To achieve this further, keyword and competitor research was a must.” As part of its strategy, Bobble Digital completed the following: indepth competitor analysis; liaison with the developers to improve the site’s technical performance; on-page content optimisation focusing on keyword gap analysis to identify the relevant target audience; sitemap optimisation to improve crawlability and remove all issues with redirections; and support with the new messaging and content, including new keyword research, while ensuring the site didn’t lose its overall visibility and share of voice. “As a result of our work across SEO, PPC, and paid social (in particular LinkedIn), we helped Panintelligence reach its marketing goals by increasing its website’s desktop performance by +34 points and mobile performance by +67 points,” enthuses Manpreet. “On top of this, we increased their visibility by +1.46% based on the tracked keywords compared with the leading organic competitors.” More than 40% of Leeds’ businesses that Panintelligence has received have been a direct result of Bobble Digital’s SEO and paid media As the leading digital marketing agency in Leeds, Bobble Digital Limited has implemented its own digital strategy to improve its clients’ online presence and deliver long term results. In light of it being recognised as Best Digital Marketing Agency 2023 – Leeds, we find out more from CEO, Manpreet Singh about its innovative approach and commitment to building a more sustainable society. Strategic Digital Growth Feb23554

strategy. Thanks to its commitment to monthly link building and external SEO coverage, the firm was able to help Panintelligence and CEO, Zandra Moore gain massive reach across paper and online publications. But it’s not all work, in fact Manpreet is very focused on giving something back to communities too, and is keen to help the environment. He tells us that when the Amazon Rainforest was on fire, it really hit him hard and made him rethink the position of the company regarding sustainability. Today, Bobble Digital actively supports the Rainforest Trust UK, where a percentage of all of its revenue each month goes towards protecting key rainforests around the world. “To date, we’ve helped protect more than 1,800 acres of rainforest space in the world, which for a small business like Bobble, is a large space!” he says passionately. “This is all down to the amazing work of the team, our clients who trust us, but also our relationship with Rainforest Trust UK.” Recently, as testament to its hard work, dedication, and commitment to both its customers and sustainability, Bobble Digital gained nationwide recognition in the prestigious SME News Business Elite Awards 2023 and was crowned with the title of Best Digital Marketing Agency 2023 – Leeds. Understandably delighted by this accolade, Manpreet is now looking forward to a profitable future, with the next five years being used to develop the Bobble Insights platform to add key features, including integration with AI and platforms like Chat GPT, to give more AI performance and recommendations to maximise results and data analysis. In 2023, the firm also took its first step outside of the UK into the United Arab Emirates, opening up new offices there and building a presence to target more tech sector clients. By 2025, Manpreet hopes to have established offices in the Americas and Europe too, all while expanding the teams and innovating the way in which the firm delivers results. Manpreet leaves us with some words of wisdom for other SME businesses looking to grow as Bobble Digital has. “Focus on what your good at,” he enthuses. “Don’t oversell and go beyond your means just to please a particular client or project to get the win. It’s best to stick to your expertise and advise on that which you know you can deliver instead of over promising on wider services you don’t offer. “The best advice I was ever given was “this too shall pass”, and it reminds me that when things are difficult and times are hard in business, there is still light at the end of the tunnel.” Contact: Manpreet Singh Company: Bobble Digital Limited Web Address: https://bobbledigital.com/

16 | SME News Q2 2023 Innovation at Work Providing purpose-built and carrier-neutral facilities that focus on energy efficiency and flexibility, VIRTUS Data Centres (VIRTUS) consistently exceed the expectations of customers through innovative, high-quality solutions and services. We find out more from Managing Director, Darren Watkins, as the firm celebrates success as Best Data Centre Provider 2023 – London. VIRTUS Data Centres is a trusted global leader in the data centre industry and the UK’s leading data centre company, committed to delivering reliable, resilient, and responsible digital infrastructure for all of its customers. As part of ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC), VIRTUS Europe is the home of the cloud in London, and at the heart of Europe. The company offers a wide range of flexible solutions to meet its clients’ power and space requirements, including colocation; high performance computing, cloud, and connectivity; ServiceNow; and Market Place. The dedicated solutions team works closely with customers to create their perfect data centre environment. Being modular by design, VIRTUS’ facilities provide truly flexible commercials, allowing customers to grow in a cost effective and unrestrictive environment. With a proven track record of over a decade designing and operating the UK’s most efficient facilities, with an emphasis on being a sustainable data centre, VIRTUS is committed to the highest standards of operational excellence, including safety, security, and availability. Its green credentials are of the utmost importance and VIRTUS is proud that its data centres are powered by 100% truly renewable energy – something which the firm is determined never to change. VIRTUS values individual endeavour and initiative, actively encouraging teamwork and togetherness because collective experience and expertise is the firm’s greatest strength. VIRTUS hires only the best people in the business to work in an industry which is increasingly essential to everyone and everything. It employs intelligent thinkers, people with positive attitudes who add to the quality of customer proposition and business. This team succeeds by embracing and improving collective expertise and experiences, channelling this into making VIRTUS the best option in the market. “VIRTUS’ management team is one of the most experienced in the industry, with a breadth of experience across major global IT service businesses spanning software development, hosting, IT services, cloud and networking as well as design, and build and operation of mission critical data centres,” explains Darren Watkins, the Managing Director of the firm. “We are laser focused on responsibly delivering solutions for the benefit of our customers, colleagues, suppliers, the environment, and the world, every minute of every day.” Darren began his career as a graduate Military Officer in the RAF before moving into the commercial sector. He brings more than 20 years’ worth of experience in telecommunications and managed services gained at BT, MFS Worldcom, Level3 Communications, Attenda, and COLT. Darren joined the VIRTUS team from euNetworks where he was Head of Sales for the UK, leading market changing deals with a number of large financial institutions and media agencies, and growing the company’s expertise in low latency trading. Darren is responsible for sales, service management, and strategic account management of all VIRTUS customers. Additionally, Darren sits on the board of a one of the industry’s most innovative mobile media advertising companies, Odyssey Mobile Interaction and is interested in all new developments in this sector. Darren has an honours degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from University of Wales, College Swansea. Recently, for its commitment and dedication to its customers, VIRTUS was recognised in the SME News Business Elite Awards 2023, being crowned with the prestigious accolade of Best Data Centre Provider 2023 – London. Congratulations to all and keep on innovating! Contact: Darren Watkins Company: VIRTUS HoldCo Ltd Web Address: www.virtusdatacentres.com Feb23662