Cotton Court Business Centre

Customers

World Book Day 2018 – What Business Books Do We Recommend?

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The 1st March marks one of every child’s favourite school day – World Book Day. We’ve honoured the occasion this year not by dressing up as our favourite characters but with recommending our favourite business books! As every company is different we’ve asked our clients for their recommendations too, have a look below to see what they’ve said:

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Danny Bee – UK Media and Events

Money: Know More, Make More, Give More by Rob Moore

Harry Stezaker – DieCut Global

Brilliant Pitch: What to Know, Do and Say to Make the Perfect Pitch – Shaun Varga

Alys Stewart – Together We Balance

Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Tom Haviln – Get Staffed UK

Zero to One – Peter Thiel

Paul Livesey – Opsis

Soul Trader: Putting the Heart Back Into Your Business – Rasheed Ogunlaru

Amy Blundell – Cotton Court

The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz

Jack Barron – Cotton Court

The 48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene

2017 Our Year in Review

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As 2017 has to come to an end we look back on all the amazing things our clients have done. Some of the memories and achievements have been so amazing we had to share with you what they have been up to…

Alys Stuart – Together we balance ~~ “The best part of my 2017 was in making the decision to take on staff. Having Tracy an then Bea join me in Together We Balance was the beginning of a major stage of growth for the company. Made easier by working at Cotton Court as all the facilities are in place and renting an extra desk was very simple to do.”

Daniel Fisher – Tienda Digital ~~ “Another Christmas comes, another Christmas party, another secret Santa and another year of delivery amazing projects for clients. When we look back and reflect on this year, a few things do stand out.

Relocation
This year we relocated back into the heart (city centre) of Preston to where it all began. Tienda Digital is proud to be in the heat of Lancashire and will continue to grow the digital sector here for years to come.

Awards
This year we came close to winning ‘Small Business of the Year’ (twice) but missed out to ome amazing winners. We are proud to be finalists in any award as it shows what we do is not only recognised but appreciated. Our very talented Eleisha Cartlidge only went and won ‘Employee of the Year’ at the Women In Business Awards. This is testimony to her hard work and dedication over the last few years.

TOOLi App
Our client TOOLi was voted the number 1 in the “Top 6 Apps For Tradesmen That Are Revolutionising The Industry” during 2017 which again is great news for not only ourselves for developing the app but for the guys at TOOLi.

Drop App
Tienda Digital worked with our client Drop to develop a new social connect app which has now launched and will be promoted to universities throughout the UK in 2018. The app has the potential to be huge and we will be supporting the guys at Drop to make sure this happens.

retailTRUST
It’s always nice to end the year on a high and this one is no different, Tienda Digital has been appointed to develop a mobile app for retailTRUST, a national trade charity that supports everyone involved in retail and the related service industries.

We would like to thank our clients, friends, family, business associates and even everyone who has liked tweeted or shared our social profiles this year. We wish you all the luck for 2018 and beyond.”

Roger Singleton – Riscon Solutions ~~ “My yearly highlight was the training of 10 staff at CARE International, an NGO based on the remote island of Tanna in the country of Vanuatu in March 2017. The training content was in Drinking Water and Sanitation system assessment in rural communities. Since that date, the team has undertaken over 50 system assessments and upgrades on the island.”

Danny Bee – UK Media And Events ~~ “We have delivered some fantastic events across the country for some of our clients, and being asked to produce Grace Davis’s performance in Cathedral Square, Blackburn for the x-factor semi-finals week (in less then 48 hours) was an amazing experience, achievement and honour. To top the event of the outcome and support shown towards Grace was phenomenal!”

Mark Drage – Ambledene ~~ “Ambledene was all about change this year whether that be the new logo or the fact we have added a new gin related monthly newsletter which allows people to see the best tried and tested gins of each month. Our new logo consists of two A’s combined to subtly create an ‘M’ this allowing us to showcase the Ambledene Accountancy Director Mark at the forefront of the business. To top the year off Ambledene Accountancy has helped their clients Vibe Tickets secure immense investments. Vibe tickets allows fans to exchange and negotiate on the price of tickets for live events. It has built a following of more than 70,000 users across eight countries since 2013. The investment will help them potentially become the number one destination for live events for fans across the globe.”

Craig Davis – Wise ability ~~ “My personal highlight was earlier in the year 3 of my candidates began work on the same day. This was particularly pleasing as the candidates had worked very hard to develop their skills and overcome their disabilities in order to find full-time employment. All 3 remain in work and have moved to unsupported employment, highlighting their individual capabilities and motivation to succeed.”

Jilly Jackson – Digital Touch ~~ “The highlights of the year for Digital Touch have been plentiful, including offering Photoshop training alongside our main Retouching work. This seemed to happen overnight and by chance and though it is not a lucrative part of the business, time is made, because a huge amount of pleasure is gained when sharing knowledge with people who are equally as enthusiastic when exploring the amazing world of Digital Art.
This year we have also taken on another retoucher Luke, who specialises in complex fantasy style artwork. He is incredibly patient with an exceptional eye for detail when taking on any task, making him a huge asset to Digital Touch.
The driving Force for what we do is the positive feedback we receive every single day from our many clients. However, due to the privacy required it is difficult to translate these to valuable online reviews, but nevertheless we still sit proudly in the top 5 of our all-important TrustPilot.
Towards the end of the year, we joined up with the guys at Manchester’s Digital Garage, who are assisting with improving our Adwords account and Analytics. Blogging on Social Media and Networking on Business groups have been incredibly beneficial and again Digital Garage will be working with us to maximise the use of LinkedIn as we look forward to generating additional B2B work in the New Year.
This year has been wonderfully empowering and 2018 has been tasked with the challenge of surpassing expectations.”

Andy Neale – Global Amigos ~~ “2017 was an amazing year for Global Amigos we: offered work experience, helped with CV’s and gave a reference which

allowed one of our first supporters to achieve employment after just one month of full-time volunteering!; our Podio magazine was shortlisted for the ‘Start-Up Social Enterprise Of The Year Award’ – for the annual SELNet Awards (Social Enterprise Lancashire Network) The ceremony alone was a highlight itself; Our founder Andy volunteered in India during the summer, supporting international communities. When he returned to England he had a clearer long-term vision for Global Amigos as a result; later on in the year, we won the project management contract for Preston At Night, enabling us to further share our passion for all things Preston. To top the year off it was an honour to have Podio PR1’s name and Christmas message shining brightly on the big screen at Preston’s Christmas Light Switch on, for the second year running.”

Spotlight On Success: GetStaffed

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Our ‘Spotlight On Success’ series takes a look at the people we work with, to showcase their talent and look at what really makes them successful.  

 

We’re big believers that it’s important for entrepreneurs & business owners to surround themselves with successful people. It’s not just about networking or getting advice from others. The people you interact with on a daily basis can impact upon the way you feel, think and act. We’re proud to have a wide network of successful, driven & experienced clients and contacts to surround ourselves with, and provide our clients with an environment conducive to successful business.

 

In this edition, we turn our attention to fifth floor resident success story, GetStaffed. They’ve received a considerable amount of attention recently, with a string of high value client wins and continuous growth.

 

Who are they?

GetStaffed are a Preston based staffing solution provider, with a national footprint. They’re headed by young entrepreneurs Tom Havlin & Tom Craig, two highly driven individuals who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.  

Tom Havlin (Managing Director) & Tom Craig (Operations Manager)

 

What do they do?

They’ve got a proven track record of providing high quality staff for the events and promotions industry. They don’t just recruit and supply a team, they invest in the personal development of their staff, meaning their clients receive the absolute best in service and expertise. They provide everything from bar staff and managers, to brand promotion teams and mobile bars.

 

Find out more about what they do here…

 

Who do they work with?

GetStaffed work with clients across the UK of various sizes, predominantly in the events and promotions sectors. They’ve provided mobile bars for small functions, through to large teams for established festivals like Creamfields & large venues such as Victoria Warehouse.

 

They’re in high demand, meaning that they’re constantly recruiting and training high quality staff for events across the country, 7 days a week. If you know someone who might be suitable, fill in an application form here…

What makes them successful?

The drive and determination of the directors and management is without a doubt one of the key critical success factors for GetStaffed. The ‘hands on’ approach from these individuals ensures that the company ethos is adhered to at all times, and their reputation grows from strength to strength.

 

Jack Barron, Marketing Director at Cotton Court says:

 

“In addition to strong leadership, a considerable factor in their success is the amount they invest in their own people. The training and routes of progression offered to their staff ensures ‘buy in’ from people at all levels of the business.

 

The management are approachable, but more importantly, they care about the individuals who work for them as much as they do their clients. That is how you win and retain high quality, loyal staff. It’s these staff that are their true selling point and are the foundation of their extremely good reputation.”

 

When asked what he thought made them successful, Managing Director of GetStaffed, Tom Havlin said:

Tom Havlin, Managing Director, GetStaffed

“We’ve built a solid reputation for being reliable and for providing high quality of staff to events across the country. I think our major point of difference, what sets us apart from our competitors, is the time and money we spend on the development of our team, whether that be team building and social activities, or personal professional development.

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve got a big team, but myself and Tom Craig know every single one of them, and we’re always at the events ensuring the reputation of the brand is upheld. We’ve had some big client wins recently which are helping to stimulate the growth of the business, with much of that additional revenue going back into staff training and development. We believe we’re successful because of the people we work with, and we win their commitment and loyalty by demonstrating it ourselves.”

 

How can you find them?

You can get in touch with GetStaffed by email at: info@getstaffeduk.com

Visit their website at: http://www.getstaffeduk.com/

Or call them on: 01772 921107

How can you ensure customers pay on time? And what to do when they don’t!

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When you go above and beyond for clients, you expect to get paid just as fast. The biggest disappointment for a small business owner is when those expectations are not shared by the client when the invoice is due for payment.

Staying silent and hoping they will pay on time out of courtesy is not the way forward. You need to find a better way and fast, so here are our top tips on how to get your clients to pay on time…

  • Make it Convenient:

Arrange a set date each financial period when it is convenient for your client to pay, ensuring they are expecting and prepared for the invoice can also ensure they pay it on time! This tip also shows your clients that you are flexible with when they pay and that you want to make the transaction as easy and stress-free as possible for both of you.

  • Using technology:

Stop using paper to send your invoices as it is a prone way for your clients to make excuses as to why they haven’t paid I.E It got lost in the post. Instead, offer them an online invoicing process with the ability to pay there and then. There are plenty of online cloud-based accountancy and invoice websites. Some of these include Xero; The Sage Group; Go Daddy also Chaser a credit control software. Chaser and Xero are seamlessly integrated meaning that you won’t have to input and data as it uploads automatically from Xero.

Go Cardless is also a renowned website which chases your payments for you o ensuring you spend no more time following up late payments.; late payments or bad debt. Like chaser, you can also import all of your information from other websites, whether that be Xero or Sage 50.

We have many clients within our business centre that are always willing to help small business. If you would like any information then just email us on info@cottoncourt.co.uk and we will pass on your information.

  • Switch to a recurring billing:

If you’re the type of entrepreneur who has different billing dates each month, then you may need to rethink your strategy. However, if you choose to partner with a recurring invoicing system, you may find that your client remembers to pay on time EVERY time.

  • Nurture your client’s relationship:

If you have a good relationship with your clients then you should have respect when it comes to getting paid on time. If you both get to know how each other work then it will make it easier if you need to pick up the phone and ask about your payment.

  • Speed up your invoicing delivery:

If you improve your payment delivering terms to every two weeks rather than monthly or even weekly. Then this may help the client by training them to become timely with payments. Meanwhile, you get paid more often so timing becomes less of an issue because your cash flow will also improve.

  • Reward early payers:

Instead of an “overdue fee” implement a system that takes a set percentage of your client’s bill if they pay within three days or less of receiving the invoice. This may seem like your losing money but will strengthen yours and your client’s relationship as then will pay early because who doesn’t like a cheaper bill!

  • Get expert advice:

Every small business owner has the same approach when running their business “Hands-On”. But if the cash flow is a growing concern, then take a cue from bigger Companies and contact a financial advisor. They can provide the skills, information and discipline you need to get your finances back on track.

  • Collecting overdue accounts:

Despite your best efforts, there will likely come a time when a client will miss a payment deadline. How you react and respond to the situation can make a big difference.

The number one step is to get in touch immediately! You may feel like you should wait and hope they pay. However, with each passing week, you’re less likely to get paid.

After 30 days, start charging interest. You should have a payment policy which will specify your terms of overdue payments. Be sure to include your late payment fee on any subsequent invoices you send.

Continue getting in touch with your clients as they will need significant “nagging” to make their payment. Every time you get in touch with your client make sure to indicate your payment terms and the amount of interest that has occurred…

Spotlight On Success: UK Media & Events

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As part of our ‘Spotlight On Success’ series, we’re looking at some of the success stories from our Cotton Court community both past and present.

We’re immensely proud of the people we work with, and want to give praise where praise is due! We’re massive believers that you are a product of the company we keep, so it’s important to us to work closely with our successful clients and to nurture the up and coming businesses that call our 19th century mill home.

To launch the series, we’re looking at UK Media & Events (UKMAE) who’ve been residents of Cotton Court’s second floor for nearly 2 years.

Who are they?

UKMAE are a full service creative media & events company that operate nationally across a variety of sectors. They’ve got over 30 years industry experience, and the team is made up from a diverse set of skills and backgrounds.

What do they do?

UKMAE don’t like to be pigeonholed. One week they may be running a conference, the next they’re doing a Christmas light switch on. No two weeks are the same, which is owed and contributes to their varied experience and adaptability over 30 years.

They conceive, plan & manage events, and they do it well. Their client base ranges from SME’s and local councils, to international brands. Their services are truly scalable and bespoke to the requirement of each client.

Their wide ranging experience means they’re well positioned to design & create every aspect of the print, digital, merchandise and display materials that accompany your events or marketing campaigns. In addition they can even arrange sponsorship opportunities at major events, aligning your brand with the perfect target audience and gaining you maximum exposure.

Find out more about what they do here…

 

Who do they work with?

UKMAE have a long client list from small SME’s, through to brands like Vauxhall, United Utilities, UCLan, Lancashire County Council, Kia, international giants Bauer media group and many more. Their scope of operations are national, but their home is here in Lancashire, and we’re incredibly happy to have them as part of the community here at Cotton Court. They’re certainly well known and considered some of the bigger personalities within the building!

   

What makes them successful?

Their wide range of skills and experience make them adaptable and of course contribute to their success. But from an outsider looking in, it’s clear that the personalities within the team, as well as their drive and passion for events is what really gives them their point of difference and ‘X-Factor’.

Jack Barron, Marketing Director at Cotton Court says:

“From a business perspective the ability to scale their services and overall operation is a huge asset, as is their extensive network of contacts and suppliers.

In an ever changing marketplace, and indeed world, the ability to adapt to the environment & requirements of the market is the key to success, and these guys have a great ability to do that”

When asked what he thought made them successful, Managing Director of UK Media & Events, Danny Bee says: “ We have spent years within the industry harvesting a network of suppliers that we wholeheartedly trust, enabling us to leverage their varying skill-sets to produce the best service possible for our clients, offering great solutions for any budget. Our business model is based on our great relationship with our suppliers enabling us to provide one element of an event, from a single piece of equipment hire to absolutely everything often at a price no more than if our client was to source it all themselves and doing all the work in the process.

How can you find them?

You can get in touch with UKMAE by e-mail at: hello@ukmae.com

Visit their website www.ukmae.com

Or call them at: 0800 999 4414

 

September News

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This is what some of our customers are up to during the past month…

Firstly, Tienda Digital have rebranded their website. Here is an overview of why they thought a change would be good…  “As experts in digital solutions we need a brand that would not only look digital but up to date with current trends and this is exactly what the new logo does. Our old one was more focused on the software side and was professional and corporate but we wanted something more creative.” Also, Well done to Tienda Digital for becoming a finalist in the Sub 36 awards!

Get Staffed

Secondly, Tom Craig and Tom Havlin from Get Staffed UK organised an event at Baluga to celebrate all there staffs hard work and to thank them for being on hand to help out at an array of events. A huge well done is in order for Tom Craig being nominated as employee of the year, and also Tom Havlin for entrepreneur of the year. Both are in the finals of the Sub 36 award! These awards allow small companies to be acknowledged by the public and boost their overall audience.

UK Media & Events

UK Media and Events helped organise the Lancashire Encounters Brief Encounter experience last weekend in Preston town center. This ‘brief encounter’ involved a giant walked through the streets, illuminated with other parts of the procession, starting at Winckley Square, Heading up Cannon Street, Fishergate and down Cheapside into the Flag Market. Danny from UK Media and Events LTD added: “ We’re extremely happy with the way Brief Encounter 2017 ran. So proud of all the exhibitors, suppliers and volunteers and really pleased so many attendees got to enjoy the wide variety of cultural entertainment all in one evening! Lancashire Encounter 2018 will be truly amazing as the full weekend festival returns next year!! We can’t wait!”

Vibe Tickets

We would like to say congrats to Luke Massie from Vibe Tickets for being nominated for ‘Young Entrepreneur of the year’ at the 2017 Nat-West awards. This year the Young Entrepreneurs category contains people who are aged 30 or under, their stories should be “rich in anecdotes of seized opportunity and dynamic response to the many pitfalls that lie in wait for those who are passionate for progress.” The winning entrepreneur will be a beacon of inspiration to business people irrespective of age and industry.

Downtown In Business

Finally, we are sad to see Roger Jonas leaving Downtown. Roger joined downtown in 2008 to support the development of our ambitious events programmed throughout the North. He is passionate about working for a business that makes a difference and is recognized for that. After 9 years working with Downtown he has met many people all of which will miss him dearly.

Stress in the Workplace

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Stress is an unfortunate natural part of life. We all deal with it in different ways and have different thresholds. It’s easy to let pressures from home and work build up to unbearable levels, or impact upon your daily routine. One thing is for sure, it’s unpleasant and is a productivity killer for owners and managers of small to medium sized businesses.

We’ve spoken with some of our highly successful clients that operate from Cotton Court, and asked how they deal with and minimise day-to-day stress.

They’ve provided us with some top tips for you to follow:

Firstly, take a break: go for a walk; talk to someone who isn’t connected to your job or just phone a family member. By you doing this you are allowing yourself to have a break away from work which will leave you rejuvenated when you go back to the designated task.

Secondly, if stress within the workplace is a common everyday occurrence then invest in either a stress ball or fidget cube something to camley relieve the stress without involving colleagues.

Furthermore, go and have a drink because when you’re thirsty or have had a lack of liquid throughout the day you will naturally under-perform due to your body not having enough energy to allow you to work. So whether that be a brew or just a glass of water always have a drink by your side to minimize stress.

The best way to avoid or overcome stress within the workplace is to be organised, whether that be: writing a to do list; creating a daily list of jobs or implementing a time management system.

These are the stress avoiding tips we came up with, within our workplace…

  • Take a Break.
  • Prepare for the day.
  • Drink Water.
  • Stress ball / fidget cube.
  • Move onto the next task – and come back to it later on.
  • To do list – Most important to least important.
  • Personal items to allow you to relax – photo of family member or loved ones.
  • Have a brew.
  • Time management

 

Thank you to…

Tom Craig & Tom Havlin from Get staffed.

Daniel Fisher from Tienda Digital.

Danny Bee from Uk Media And Events.

For their contribution with this post.

Lancashare Host Their First Sponsors Event

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Lancashare, the counties new online platform filled with free information and resources for Lancashire based businesses, held it’s first sponsor event this August at the award winning Stanley House Hotel & Spa!

Lancashare has received phenomenal buy in from businesses across the county in it’s first 8 months of operation attracting membership from hundreds of businesses across the county.  Cotton Court are proud to be sponsors of their ‘Office Space’ pages and were invited along to the VIP event with around 35 other sponsors.

Canapés and fizz were served whilst sponsors networked to strengthen relationships whilst Lancashare founder, Lisa Edge, provided an update on Lancashares’ achievements and future plans!  A short video snippet of the event can be found here:

More information about Lancashare can be found via their site here: http://lancashare.co.uk

Clients UK Media and Events Host Summer Events

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Hundreds of children experienced a giant robot and dinosaurs in the centre of Preston.

St George’s Shopping Centre played host to Titan’s latest visit to the city.

The eight foot robot is able to sing, dance and can shoot water from his eyes, the dinosaurs are even better with two babies and a giant t-rex to entertain you! According to UKME’s director Danny Bee “Everyone was facinated by both the robot and the dinosaurs, it’s great to see so many kids entertained by something so small!”

  

UKME have another jam packed weekend ahead with Movies on Moor Park, three free showings of different films and also Euxton Cricket Club’s beer festival!

Hope the rain stays away for you guys!

Clients Tienda Digital Top The App Chart!

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Cotton Court Clients Tienda Digital have topped the charts for the best apps for tradesman with newly built app Tooli! See what Tradesman Saver had to say about the app below.

A relevant newcomer to the tradesman app world, TOOLi is fast becoming a rousing success with tradesmen all around the UK. It allows tradesmen to search for jobs, connect with other tradesmen and receive special discounts and offers from companies and suppliers in the industry – which is just ideal if you’ve got your eye on a new power tool. Simply download the app, create a profile, update your portfolio with images of some of your amazing work and show your availability for accepting new work. You have the benefit of both being contacted for new work you might be suitable for, as well as being able to search for it yourself, which takes the worry out of being out of work for too long. It can even be used for those looking for subcontractors to help finish a particular project they have underway – simply post an ad for the job and let the available subcontractors come to you. And since everyone has to upload a full profile, complete with a portfolio, to use the app, it means you’ll be able to carefully curate your team of subcontractors through looking at samples of their previous work. An all-round winner for tradesmen looking to find their next big adventure, TOOLi has definitely risen to the top of our list as one of the best new apps in 2017 for tradesmen. Best of all, it’s free too!

You can download the TOOLi app for free on the Google Play Store (Android) or App Store (iOS).

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