Cotton Court Business Centre

Author: Grace Bennett

New Digital Art Classes from Digital Touch!

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Cotton Court Client Jilly of Digital Touch is setting out on her new venture of teaching her passion; digital art!

Here’s what Jilly had to say about it!

Digital Touch is delighted to have started taking our first bookings and will be teaching bespoke Digital Art on a one to one basis.

This service is available week days, (alternate weeks) : 5pm – 7pm or 6pm – 8pm

For more information please contact us at info@digitaltouch.co.uk

Latest Downtown in Business Events

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Downtown in Business Lancashire have got some great events in the next few weeks! Have a look below and click the links to sign up!

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Beyond the Breach: A Cyber Security Business Forum

 Date Tuesday 18th July 2017
 Time 16:00 – 17:30
 Location   Cotton Court Preston

No matter the size of your business, if you have devices connected to the web, you are vulnerable and can be exploited, even held to Ransom!Following the second global attack, we will look at the probability of an attack on smaller businesses. What are the implications, and can you defend your digital asset in the event of a cyber invasion?

Virtually every Internet-facing entity will have exploitable vulnerabilities by either a deliberate or opportunistic attack, without specific measures in place.

Our specialist experts include Jeremy Coates, CEO of Magma Digital, Ian Hudson MD of Hudson Hill, and Mark Pegram of Sanitas Data Security. They will outline the numerous issues that can affect your business, and guide you through effective initiatives in safeguarding your digital assets.

Sign up here!

 

Schools OUT: End of term drinks

 Date Thursday 20th July 2017
 Time 17:30 – 20:00
 Location   Review Bar Guild Hall Preston

Downtown celebrates the summer with Schools OUT at the fabulous Review Bar located in Preston Guild Hall.Schools OUT is a great way to connect with new prospects and catch up with old. Enjoy a welcome drink and some munchies, compliments of the Review Bar.

Please feel free to invite your colleagues and client.

Sign up here!

 

New Course – Lettings for Landlords The Basics

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Clients of Cotton Court The Residential Landlords Association are running a new course for first time landlords! To sign-up click the link at the bottom. 

 

Our Lettings for Landlords – The Basics takes you through the key lettings processes, signposting you to all the legal obligations that are required of Landlords and Letting Agents, and sharing best practice along with way.

Lettings for Landlords – The Basics covers the fundamentals and carries 3 basic CPD points. Should you require training for accreditation and licensing purposes you may wish to complete our Principles of Lettings* course which is the approved course for such schemes including RLAAS.

Let this course help you understand and refresh your knowledge on the lettings process while still having change in your pocket. Without the food trimmings and assessment, this course provides the raw ingredients you need. It may not get you accreditation or licence recognition but will provide you with all the necessary facts for being a great landlord and just that – no more no less!

Letting Agents and their staff who want to learn about lettings from the landlord’s perspective may also like to attend.

This course takes you through the fundamentals of being a landlord and is integral to understanding the landlord’s obligations and responsibilities, not only with your property, but with your tenants too. So what better way to understand the basic principles of lettings, than with the RLA’s Lettings for Landlords – The Basics?

Refreshments are provided on arrival, bring your own lunch and enjoy the Lettings for Landlords – The Basics, no more no less. Please note there will be short comfort breaks throughout the day.

The course content reflects the new Deregulation Act 2015 for properties in England and is aimed at the England market only, currently there are no changes for properties in Wales; please see the RLA Wales website for updates on this.

Objectives

This course covers the basics of the landlord’s obligations/requirements in relation to their tenants, properties and any agents they use.

Course Content

This course deals with the key principles that affect landlords. Topics covered are:

  • Pre-tenancy
  • During the Tenancy
  • Ending a Tenancy

Lettings for Landlords – The Basics is designed to meet and follow ANUK standards. Attendance on this course will give you 3 basic CPD points. A certificate of attendance will be issued to all attendees; please note – this certificate cannot be used for licensing or accreditation purposes.

What’s the difference between basic and core CPD points? Read RLAAS’ guide to CPD points.

 

To sign up click here!

Clients Holker IT Recruit Two New Members of Staff!

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Our client Holker IT, that are also based in Colne, has enrolled new recruits Nina Akrigg and Timon Holden onto a new Government initiative.

The duo will attend a Level 4 Apprenticeship for Cyber Security Technology and Risk Analysis to be run by Training 2000 in Blackburn.

“We have earned a reputation as a regional specialist in cyber security and these appointments will help to re-inforce that position,” said Matthew Metcalfe, managing director Holker IT, a Cyber Essentials Plus accredited company.

“The threat posed by hacking cannot be over-stated and every business is vulnerable to attack. It is absolutely imperative that all firms – small, medium or large – take the necessary steps to ensure their computer systems are protected from theft and damage to both hardware and software.

“At Holker IT, we have created a dedicated cyber security department to tackle the issues and this new course is a chance for Nina and Tim to increase their knowledge.”

Padiham-born Nina, who lives in Brierfield, is a former student at Mansfield High School and Burnley College, where she gained a national diploma in performing arts.

“My working life has included administration and sales positions, but I have a strong background in IT and I am relishing the opportunity to develop a career in cyber security,” said the 33-year-old mother-of-two.

Timon, 22, lives in Blackburn and formerly attended St Mary’s College and Edge Hill University where he achieved a degree in film and media studies.

“Cyber security is so important these days and it is very clear that Holker IT is determined to be at the forefront. I want to be a part of that.”

Together We Balance Celebrates Their First Birthday!

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This week marks one year of Alys Stewart (Together We Balance) starting her own business, and we’re happy to say she’s doing extremely well! Alys moved into Cotton Court six months into her new venture and her business has only gone up since working here! Here’s what Alys has to say about her experience at Cotton Court:

 

My decision to move to Cotton Court was prompted by the lack of parking at my previous office and the competitive rates offered in comparison to other hot desk/desk share providers. I have spent the last 6 months working from here and can honestly say that I got far more than a free parking space and a cost effective desk. Some of the extras are what I would expect from any good office solution provider – for example pleasant and friendly reception staff, use of kitchen facilities and meeting rooms when available. There are, however, some unexpected benefits, the main one of these being the positive impact on my business of sharing the space with other small business owners in various stages of growth. I regularly get to network with these business owners for free, whether that’s while taking a few minutes break at my desk, while making a drink in the kitchen or at a social event. I have been able to discuss my challenges, receive actionable support and advice and have had access to other’s larger networks – all the sorts of things you would expect from an organised networking event without the additional cost, both in terms of money and time. I have also been able to assist others with their general bookkeeping queries, the sort of things that you wouldn’t bother your Accountant with but would have otherwise spent some time googling without the added security of knowing that the advice was correct. Finally, the staff at Cotton Court are more than receptionists, they have an understanding of the needs of small business owners and are a good port of call for all sorts of queries, either by dealing directly when it’s about photography or marketing support or indirectly by pointing you in the direction of someone who can help; their flexibility in dealing with last minute meeting room space is also much appreciated! I know that I will be with Cotton Court for a while as my business grows.

Alys has also added a new element to her business and is using the facilities at Cotton Court to deliver a series of workshops! To find out more or to book onto her latest session click here

Calyx Drinks is raising money for Alzheimer’s Society!

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Please help Calyx Drinks raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society by donating directly to our fundraising page – https://www.justgiving.com/Calyx-Drinks?utm_source=Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraisingpage&utm_content=Calyx-Drinks&utm_campaign=pfp-email.

Please donate on our page or come and join us at Cotton Court, Church Street. PR1 3BY on 15th June between 10am and 12pm for Cupcake Day 2017. This is to increase awareness of dementia and raise funds to help this important cause. Please donate to help create a better world for those affected by dementia and to find a cure for the future.

Our syrups will be available with tea, coffee and cupcakes on the third floor at Cotton Court between 10am and 12pm on Thursday 15th June. 

You can donate on this page or come along to give your donation on the day with a cupcake and a brew. Or join us afterwards on Fishergate, Preston outside the George’s Centre where we will continue to raise funds throughout the day. It’s going to be a fun and exciting day!

Calyx Drinks make healthy drinks and syrups from flowers giving you a unique taste and experience. Please visit our website www.calyxdrinks.co.uk for more information and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/calyxdrinks and Facebook www.facebook.com/calyxdrinks

JustGiving sends your donation straight to Alzheimer’s Society and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.

Cloud Accounting – Xero Basics Workshop with Together We Balance

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Our client Alys Stewart of Together We Balance is running a Xero Basics course at Cotton Court next week! To sign up just visit the link at the bottom of the page.

Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services. Xero provides business owners with real-time visibility of their financial position and performance in a way that’s simple, smart and secure.
This workshop will cover the basics of using the Xero cloud accounting software to simplify your bookkeeping and accounting process and is suitable for Sole Traders, Business Owners, Staff involved with bookeeping data entry as well as bookkeepers and accountants who want to expand the software they can use with their clients.
Areas to be covered in this initial workshop include –
Company setup
Creating and editing customers and suppliers
Sales invoices, purchase invoices and credit notes
The Chart of Accounts
Bank Accounts, payments and receipts
Futher workshops are planned to include reporting, bank feeds, VAT returns, contra invoicing, project tracking, inventory control, integration and other, more advanced aspects. Dates are TBA. A discount code for these future will be available to all attendees.
PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN LAPTOP OR MACBOOK, remember your charger.

To sign up just click here!

The 10 Step (Ethical) Plan to Ensure SEO Success – Mark Preston SEO

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From the success of his last event our client, Mark Preston SEO is holding another SEO course! Read all about what he will be speaking about on the day below:

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This is a one day course, where you will learn how to ethically drive a constant flow of visitors to your website and push your online brand awareness using the power of search engine optimisation.

It is so important that you fully understand what SEO is and how it impacts your business. If you get it wrong, it has the potential to do more damage than good. If you want to arm yourself with the skills and knowledge to pro-actively increase new business day after day, get booked on this one day SEO workshop seminar.

Who should attend?

If you own or manage a website, you need to attend this course.

  • Start-ups
  • Small business owners
  • Marketing executives
  • Web designers and developers
  • Bloggers
  • Website managers

I will teach you my 10 step plan I’ve personally used to help businesses, just like yours

Step 1: An Understanding of SEO

  • Introduction to search engines
  • Why ethical SEO should always be top priority
  • Paid vs organic search traffic
  • Why ranking factors matter

Step 2: Data is so Important

  • What’s data got to do with SEO?
  • Google Analytics: What, why, where and how
  • Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools): What, why, where and how

Step 3: Performing a Basic Website Audit

  • Why perform an SEO website audit?
  • Factors to consider when performing an audit
  • How to complete a basic SEO audit on your website

Step 4: Research is the Foundation

  • What is keyword research and why is it important?
  • Top free keyword research tools
  • The best paid keyword research tool
  • How to find keywords that will drive new business
  • Understanding your target audience
  • Keyword mapping explained
  • Competitor research

Step 5: Local SEO

  • Why you should consider local SEO, even if you trade Nationally
  • Local means local
  • Local SEO ranking factors
  • How to rank top on Google maps/places

Step 6: On-Page

  • Why on-page optimisation is important
  • Always put the user first
  • How to optimise a page for the related keywords
  • Deleting pages and what 301, 302 and 404 codes mean

Step 7: Content

  • Duplicate content myths
  • It always starts with the impact
  • How long should my content be?
  • Writing content for conversions

Step 8: Links

  • What are links and why we need them?
  • How to spot a bad link from a good link
  • Historical bad link clean-up
  • How to source new link opportunities
  • How to acquire new links

Step 9: Social Media

  • What’s social media got to do with SEO?
  • Which social media platform should I use?
  • How to use the power of social media to increase rankings

Step 10: Analyse, Measure and Tweak

  • How do I measure the success of my SEO campaign?
  • What is conversion rate optimisation and why it is important?
  • My best conversion rate optimisation tips
  • SEO is a constant marketing strategy – never stop!
  • Keep focused – Create an SEO strategy plan

Included within the ticket price

  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Buffet lunch
  • All course material and training documentation
  • Ability to email me anytime in the future to ask any pressing SEO questions
  • 25% discount on my personal SEO training

Don’t miss out – Book your ticket now!

Cotton Court Supports UCLan’s LaunchPad Programme

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We’ve been delighted to be involved with the Launchpad project over the past couple of years by attending events, hosting their business simulation weekend and our director, Robert Binns making up part of the expert panel.

The LaunchPad leadership development programme is unique to the School of Business and the School of Management at UCLan and provides students with opportunities to enhance their professional skills allowing them to become the global leaders of the future.

On Friday 12th May the Cotton Court team enjoyed a night at the UCLan LaunchPad ball at The Samlesbury Hotel. We also invited some of our clients including Tienda Digital, Ambledene, Together We Balance, Bird, Lancashare and Invoke Media! The LaunchPad ball is a celebration of all of the groups of students that have been through their programme, it was great to find out more about the programme from current & former students and staff.

From 19th – 21st May, we hosted the Business Simulation weekend. Former Launchpad Student, Will Taylor, was in attendance and has provided us with a guest blog.

“So this weekend I was lucky enough to spend my time helping current launchpad students during a business simulation (of which I took part in the previous year) that would test not only their current understanding of a business startup, but would also test them with regards to executing and applying core ideas within a pressurised setting.

I can honestly say this weekend has enabled me to witness amazing talent shine beyond all belief, especially watching a student’s confidence soar past anything they could have ever expected! It really has been an honour watching and helping the future of the business world flourish and utilise all potential avenues provided.

 

Since I took part in the business simulation last year, Cotton Court has always held a close place for me as it has provided me not only with a plethora of tools to help further my future, but the experience, knowledge and mentoring of the Amazing Rob Binns and the Cotton Court team.

– Will Taylor

Since completing the Launchpad programme Will Taylor and Dan Collins both part of the programme last year have used their experience to develop and set up their own business – Impulse North

The website Impulse North allows Prestonians to check what local bars and clubs have on offer each evening in one place.

Big News for Cotton Court Clients Vibe Tickets!

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Fast-growth transparent ticketing app, Vibe Tickets, has appointed Cornel Lazar as marketing director to assist in developing the brand as the company continues to expand its offering.

Cornel not only brings with him a profound knowledge of the entertainment industry, having worked for Ticketmaster Resale brands, GET ME IN and Seatwave, but his digital experience will ensure that Vibe continues to provide an innovative digital solution to disrupt the traditional ticketing industry.

Since 2013, Vibe Tickets has grown exponentially, attracting investment from a range of different sources including Virgin founder Richard Branson and North-West entrepreneur Scott Fletcher MBE. The app is now operational in eight countries and, with plans to further expand its global footprint and develop its offering, the appointment marks an important step forward for the company.

Luke Massie, founder and managing director at Vibe said: “Cornel’s experience in the fast-paced ticketing industry and his enthusiasm for digital innovation really stood out to us. His ambition is endless and his drive to disrupt the market will be vital for Vibe as we reach our goal of becoming the global ticketing marketplace app of choice.

“The secondary ticketing market is highly competitive. It’s therefore vital that we recruit the right talent to help us promote the message of transparency and continue to grow. This is an exciting transition period for Vibe, and we look forward to taking advantage of Cornel’s expertise as we pursue our ambitions.”

Commenting on his appointment, Cornel Lazar said: “I’ve always had a passion to work with entrepreneurial figures that are making bold moves to disrupt the industries they’re working in. Leaders like Luke are changing the way we transact and interact in the UK and across the world, and it’s this type of digital innovation that I want to be part of.

“The future for Vibe is extremely bright. We have something here with masses of potential I’m relishing the task of attracting investment, expanding our global presence and helping the Vibe brand stand out amongst other industry names.”

Vibe is set to increase its UK presence with the opening of a second office in London in the coming weeks and is targeting further high profile appointments in the first half of 2017.

 

VOOM has played a huge part in Vibe’s story too – from the positive exposure to being mentored by Richard Branson himself, there’s no doubt that the lessons that they’ve learned from the world’s most famous entrepreneur have massively contributed to their success.

But for them, the benefits didn’t stop after reaching the final of the competition last year. As part of the Virgin family, they’re also proud to be the face of the official launch of #VOOM2017.

The competition, designed by Virgin, will help Richard Branson find the UK’s next outstanding business idea. By providing financial support, advice and national exposure, it will drive the country’s budding entrepreneurs to make their dream a reality.

Speaking to and working closely with Richard Branson since VOOM 2016 has played a huge part in our journey here at Vibe Tickets. Vibe’s founder, Luke Massie, has spoken to broadcaster Nikki Bend about what it’s like to work with the entrepreneur:

“As a disruptive business, we’re excited to be part of the conversation that’s encouraging the UK’s next generation of entrepreneurs. What every VOOM pitch shares is passion, and the goal of the competition is to shape this passion into a solid and successful business.”

As part of the official launch and to celebrate the arrival of Vibe Fibre, Luke will be presenting from the VOOM bus around the country, and talking about the Vibe journey so far. The mobile festival of business, with a twist of rock ‘n’ roll will be full of workshops, business advice and exciting pitches – click here to find out more.

 

We can now happily also annouce that Luke has taken another brand on his shoulders filming for HSBC’s new Human Ambition Instagram campaign! Watch out next month for his adverts!