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Spotlight On Success: National Apprenticeship Week 2018

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We’re celebrating national apprenticeship week this week by getting to know what our apprentice enjoy most about working. Here is what they had to say

Name: Harry Stezaker Employer: Diecut Global
Job Title: Commercial Team
Apprenticeship Framework and Level: Business Admin level 2
Start Date: 5th June 2017

What is your job role?
I am a sales representative/prospector, this involves me being the first point of call for all
customers, therefore I deal with there enquiries and I generate business; this means that the
majority of my day is spent on the telephone.
What do you like most about doing an apprenticeship?
I prefer being in an apprenticeship more than full-time education as I both learn and earn
money whilst doing so.

What are your favourite things about your job?
My favourite things about my Job would be the colleagues I work with, they’re kind and
helpful whilst also being quite wise and instructive. As well as this I like my job role as a
salesman because there is no better feeling than making a sale.

Why would you recommend doing an apprenticeship?
I would recommend an apprenticeship for the following reasons:
Earning money whilst learning
Gain good life experiences due to being in the workplace
Gain a good head start in life economically
You mature a lot quicker.

What is your career goal?

My goal whilst working with Diecut Global is to become the leading salesman in my
company, this would give me both the experience and the correct thought process to get
further in life with my future aspirations.

 
Name Grace Bennett
Employer: Cotton Court Business Centre
Job Title: Business Administration Apprentice
Apprenticeship Framework and Level: Business Administration Level 2
Start Date: 4th September 2017

What is my job role?
My role is varied and a typical workday involves me answering calls for either
customers within the building when they’re otherwise engaged; answering calls for
virtual offices which I then email to inform them so they can get back in touch. It also
involves setting up and organizing conferences which are held within the building on
a daily basis; whether that be groups of 4 or 104. On a daily basis I also handle all
the mail for our virtual office customers, office and desk clients. As well as, making
sure all conference are presentable and clean throughout the day.

What do you like most about doing an apprenticeship?
I like the fact that my NVQ work ties in with my day to day on the job work make it easy to
complete both whilst learning new things on the job

What are your favourite things about your job?
There are many favourite areas in my job role but one that sticks out the most is the
ongoing day to day interaction I have with other clients and visitors. Also, I like the
variety I get with my job and that I’m always learning new things.

Why would you recommend doing an apprenticeship?
I have chosen to become an apprentice because then I can advise young people to
consider an apprenticeship after school instead of college. Also, that apprenticeships
are for anyone no matter what your starting point is. I also choose to become an
apprentice to expand my skills in the workplace whilst still learning and staying in
education. I believe this network will allow me to meet a wide range of people,
whether that be fellow ambassadors or people when out and about visiting schools
and career fairs. Also, benefit me on how other businesses work and what each
individual business entails.

What is your career goal?
In the future I would like to be in a job which i enjoy also one which will broaden my
horizon for the forthcoming years. I would also like to say that I now manage all
virtual office customers and enquiries and that I would like to build my way up to a
managerial role.

 

Name: John Alty
Employer: Compeller Ltd
Job Title: Digital Marketing Assistant
Apprenticeship Framework and Level: Level 2 IT.
Start Date: 23rd July 2016

What is your job role?
My Job Role at Compeller is ever changing as my skill sets improve and I get a wider
understanding of the industry. But primarily my Job is based on building and managing PPC
campaigns on Adwords for our clients. My time is also spent creating various reports and
website audits every month.

What do you like most about doing an apprenticeship?
It was a good option after college to start an apprenticeship and get into the working world
early, instead of committing to 3 years of university. I’ve always worked so I thought why not
carry on.

What are your favourite things about your job?
Learning new things and gaining experience in the industry is a very rewarding experience
and I couldn’t have found a better place to do so. Working office hours is enjoyable and fits
in well with day to day life. Being able to have weekends and evenings free is something that
you can’t get with a lot of jobs.

Why would you recommend doing an apprenticeship?
It’s a great way to get into the world of work and learn new things while being paid to do so.
What is your career goal?
Improve my knowledge and confidence to the point where I can independently make
decisions within the company.

 

Name: Lydia Bury
Employer: Compeller
Job Title: Digital Marketing Apprentice
Apprenticeship Framework and Level: IT user skills level 2
Start Date: 3rd January 2018

What is your job role?
Managing and building PPC accounts and various SEO techniques, writing google ads,
copywriting and putting together content for websites.

What do you like most about doing an apprenticeship?
I like the fact that the coursework links in with the work I’m doing with Compeller and that it
is relevant to my job role. It’s also great to be learning and gaining experience as well as
being paid.

What are your favourite things about your job?
I like the variety I get with my job and that I’m always learning new things. I’ve also been
really lucky to find a fantastic company to work for.

Why would you recommend doing an apprenticeship?
I would recommend an apprenticeship as you are getting experience on the job, gaining a
qualification as well as getting paid. I would recommend an apprenticeship over going to
university as you’re gaining insight into how the industry works, getting paid as well as
coming out with a qualification.

What is your career goal?
Gaining experience and knowledge to work my way up to a managerial role within the
marketing industry.

Spotlight On Success: UCLan 190 Alumni Pt.3

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For our final special Spotlight On Success series focusing on successful UCLan alumni, we take a look at our commander-in-chief, the Managing Director of Cotton Court, Robert Binns.

 

Robert Binns – The Cotton Court Group

Current Title: Managing Director

Course Studied: Mechanical & Production Engineering

Robert is the Managing Director of The Cotton Court Group, operating a portfolio ranging from a business centre, through to leisure, property and tech. After leaving school he went on to have a successful career at BAe Systems, before starting a number of his own businesses and acting as a consultant for many others.

He’s a well-known character around Lancashire and beyond, and has a solid reputation for nurturing entrepreneurs and businesses.

What did you like most about UClan?

When asked what he liked most about UCLan Robert said:

“I studied at UCLan just as it was becoming a university, and whilst working full-time at BAe systems. Studying at UCLan was a good opportunity for me to get a new experience outside of the workplace and provided me with new opportunities within BAe and my career as a whole. Many people think of studying at university in the traditional sense; attending 5 days a week for three years. There’s so much more out there and different ways people can study. Doing it whilst in full-time employment was still quite a new and novel approach at the time, but I’m glad I did it.”

He also adds…

“I think my favourite part of studying though, was the applied mathematics class I had until 9pm after a full day of work and studying…it was certainly an education!”

What about UCLan contributed to success in your career?

“The course was critical to my progression in the aerospace industry at the time. Aside from my success on the course being directly tied to my employment, it provided me with opportunities to progress within BAe that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I went on to work alongside some of the highest level people across the organisation, worked with nearly every department and gained a lot of new opportunities as a result.”

He continues…

“The methodical and systematic approach I apply to managing the businesses and projects I work on today, is without a doubt the direct result of the solid foundation laid during my time at UCLan.”

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:

————–

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

Spotlight On Success: UCLan 190 Alumni PT.2

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Daniel Fisher – Tienda Digital

Current Title: Managing Director

Course Studied: Marketing

Years Studied: 2007 – 2011

 

 

 

 

Daniel is the Managing Director of Tienda Digital, and is responsible for the management of the team as well as relationships with clients. After leaving UCLan he had a number of senior positions within companies before starting his own successful business, which has won a number of awards and work with clients around the UK. He’s also the president of the local BNI chapter, and a well respected member of the local business community.

Working from the fifth floor of Cotton Court with his team, he’s a well-liked character and ‘go to’ source of information on web and app development.

What did you like most about UCLan?

When asked what he liked most about UCLan Daniel said:

“University was obviously a lot of fun, and a great time in my life. UCLan has a really friendly atmosphere and a community feel to it. There’s plenty of opportunity to socialise as well as work hard. I felt like i learned a lot of social and life skills that have really helped me in the business world too.”

What about UCLan contributed to success in your career?

“Again I’d say the social element. Without sounding too much like a party animal…I did study hard as well! But developing my social and communication skills have had a direct impact upon how I engage with clients and colleagues now. I met a lot of people on my course who have gone into similar lines of work who I’m still in touch with now. We often pass business referrals to each other so aside from just making friends at uni, I made lifelong business connections too.”

He also adds:

“I also learnt a lot on my placement. I took time out of studying to work in the business setting and the skills developed in this time are still used today. I’d recommend anyone going to uni to do a placement if the opportunity arises.”

 

Jack Barron – The Cotton Court Group

Current Title: Group Marketing Director

Course Studied: Events Management

Years Studied: 2011 – 2014

 

 

 

 

Jack is responsible for the development of marketing strategy within The Cotton Court Group of companies, as well as overseeing its implementation. Before attending university he had already spent a number of years within the events marketing industry. He left UCLan to work within an agency in Manchester, whilst studying part-time for his MSc in Marketing Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University.

What did you like most about UCLan?

Discussing what he likes most about UCLan, Jack says:

“The biggest thing for me with starting university after being in industry and as a mature student, was that the people teaching me had actual real world experience. I greatly respect academia, but there needs to be the balance between theory and experience actually applying it. I got that from my teaching staff. The ability to directly link the theory with anecdotes from their career and explain how it would be implemented in industry, was exactly what I was looking for.”

He also continues:

“I decided to study my masters degree at a different university. Mainly because I was working in Manchester, but also because I thought there was some value in having another degree from a different institution on my CV. Whilst I got good value from studying for my masters, the uni was missing something compared to when I studied in Preston. UCLan had a great feel to it, I got great support from my teaching staff and it felt homely. I just didn’t get all that when I went elsewhere. I suppose you could say UCLan had the ‘X Factor’.”

What about UCLan contributed to success in your career?

“In my third year I decided not to do a conventional dissertation and instead opted for the consultancy project. This was still a hefty piece of work, but was more appealing as I got to spend time with people in industry and solve a real business problem for a well known client. This piece of work got me noticed by an agency in Manchester, who then approached me to work for them as their digital marketing manager. I later became a director in that company and then went on to other roles as a result. That piece of work was the catalyst for most of my success in the last few years.”

 

If you’re considering investing in your career development, and would like more information on how UCLan can help you do that; contact their course enquiries team on: +44 (0)1772 892400

If you’d like to find out more about the UCLan 190th birthday celebrations, visit the site at: https://190.uclan.ac.uk/

Spotlight On Success: UCLan 190 Alumni pt.1

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During the month of February, we’re helping to celebrate the 190th birthday of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), by looking at some of the successful past students that we work with on a day-to-day basis.

If we were to simplify what UCLan’s end product is, it would be: the keys to a successful career.

While the university has numerous famous and high profile alumni across the world, we’re going to look at the success stories of those that operate within the local area and help make Central Lancashire a great place to do business.

Amy Blundell

Current Title: Centre Manager
Course Studied: Events Management
Years Studied: 2006 – 2009

Amy is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Cotton Court Business Centre, and holds several other responsibilities across the group of companies. Managing a team, she has ultimate responsibility for ensuring things run smoothly for the centre and the clients it hosts within it.

She works closely with the Managing Director, and assists in the strategic development of the highly successful centre and group of companies.

What did you like most about UCLan?

When asked what she liked most about UCLan, Amy said:

“I think one of the main things I liked about UCLan was the city centre campus. I looked at some universities and they were that far removed from the local community it just didn’t appeal to me. The UCLan campus still provided that protected environment, but on the doorstep of the city and everything you could need “

She also added:

“I also liked the fact that the majority of the lecturing staff on my course had industry experience, and weren’t just academics. They could back up theory with real world anecdotal experiences that really put it all into context”

What about UCLan contributed to success in your career?

“There was always a strong emphasis on employability, especially in the second and third year. It can be easy to forget that university is actually all about setting you up for your future career. Just from talking to people who went elsewhere, I think some uni’s can forget that too. There was lots of opportunities to engage with industry, involvement from local businesses and plenty of workshops focused on employability skills.”

She continues…

“Many people think that event management is about wedding planning or arranging parties. In reality it’s a management heavy degree, with some event focused modules. There were a number of modules specifically around leadership, strategy, management and professional skills. I think it’s these modules that really helped me develop, and prepared me for life in the business world. I apply some of the knowledge learnt to everyday situations here at the business centre and within the group”

Eleisha Cartlidge – Tienda Digital

Eleisha Cartlidge from Digital Agency Tienda Digital, Preston

Eleisha (left) at the Women in Business Awards

Current Title: Marketing Executive
Course Studied: Marketing/Marketing Management
Years Studied: 2013 – 2017

Eleisha works as a marketing executive for Cotton Court fifth floor residents Tienda Digital. Working as part of an award winning team, she implements strategies and campaigns across the full spectrum of digital marketing for national level clients and local SME’s alike.

 

Eleisha has recently won the ‘Employee of the Year’ award at the Lancashire Women in Business Awards, owed to her ability, strong work ethic and endearing character. She’s a well-liked personality at Cotton Court Business Centre, with a sharp wit and outgoing personality.

What did you most like about UCLan?

When asked what she most liked about UCLan, Eleisha said:

“One of the main reasons I decided to study at UCLan was the clear focus on employability and the success that previous students of the course had enjoyed in their career.

It was important to me when selecting a university, that they had a good track record of students finding successful employment in a career related to their course of study.”

What about UCLan contributed to success in your career?

“After my second year at UCLan, I went on a year-long placement in industry, learning whilst on the job. This not only allowed me to gain the theoretical knowledge behind successful marketing, but gave me the practical skills to work in an agency.

This sandwich approach to learning was one of the key ways in which UCLan contributed to my future success. After my year placement and upon returning for my final year, I continued to work part-time in the agency and was taken on full time after I graduated. I’m still at Tienda now and we’re going from strength-to-strength.”

 

If you’re considering investing in your career development, and would like more information on how UCLan can help you do that; contact their course enquiries team on: +44 (0)1772 892400

If you’d like to find out more about the UCLan 190th birthday celebrations, visit the site at: https://190.uclan.ac.uk/

Spotlight On Success: UCLan

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Our ‘Spotlight On Success’ series takes a look at the accomplishments of the people we work with, and the factors that make them successful.

 

As the saying goes… “You are the average of the company you keep”, and we’re big believers that one of the keys to your own success, is by surrounding yourself with successful & positive people.

 

This week we have the privilege of covering one of the biggest local success stories and an organisation we’ve had the privilege of working with over the years, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

View of St.Peters Church & the University Library from the Adelphi roundabout

Alongside working with UCLan over the years, we’re also host to many of its alumni at Cotton Court Business Centre. Many of the business owners, their employees and our own staff are past students. Starting their journey to success on their Preston city centre campus, or one of the many off campus facilities around the northwest.

 

2018 see’s UCLan’s 190th birthday, with a series of events and celebrations being run by the university and the local community to mark the occasion. In honour of our relationship with UCLan, and the impact it’s had upon our own organisation and those we work with, we’re running a special Spotlight On Success series throughout the month of February.

 

Each week we’re going to look at the successful UCLan alumni we work with, and find out how their time there influenced and shaped their future success.

 

Who are they?

 

The University of Central Lancashire are a higher education establishment based in Preston city centre, but with a presence in towns such as Burnley, Moor Row and even a campus in Cyprus.

 

They can trace their history back to 1828, 23 years before Cotton Court opened its doors, when Prestonian businessman Joseph Livesey inspired a group of locals to form the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge. Over the years as it expanded, the name of the organisation changed, before finally being granted university status in 1992, becoming the University of Central Lancashire.

 

The university has a community of over 38,000 students and staff, and is an important part of the economy in the areas that it operates.

On Campus

What do they do?

 

UCLan is a public university, providing a range of higher education courses & research, and playing an important role in supporting local enterprise. It is ranked as the leading UK university for incubated start-up businesses still active after three years of trading, is ranked second in the UK for the number of graduate start-ups still active overall, and ranked third in the UK for estimate turnover for active firms.

 

It’s clear to see from those facts that the university has a strong focus on the application of its courses to the world of business, enterprise and entrepreneurship.

 

Who do they work with?

 

UCLan accepts students from across the UK, and has a strong contingent of international students. They offer a range of courses including foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of study. They’re also actively engaged in research in a variety of topics, with the standard being considered world class.

 

In addition to working with students, the university actively engages and supports local business, public sector and non-profit organisations, playing an important part in the local community and economy.

 

They’ve also recently supported The American University of the Caribbean (AUC), taking on over 700 medical students after being displaced from their Caribbean island campus as a result of Hurricane Irma.

The university library

What makes them successful?

 

UCLan’s diverse course offering, its solid reputation and ability to move with the times has proven popular amongst students from around the world. Preston’s good transport links and central location within Lancashire, mean that it is within easy reach of many major cities for students travelling home for the weekend, or those that live within the northwest and commute to study.

 

Jack Barron, Marketing Director at Cotton Court and UCLan alumni says:

 

“For me, UCLan’s ability to move with the times and adapt to societal and market changes has been one of its main strengths and key to success. They offer a wide range of courses that appeal to many different audiences, but they don’t suffer from over-extending; they grow organically and ensure they do everything well. Their teaching staff and lecturers are world class, the campus is a good mix of historical and modern, and the location is ideal.

 

The universities involvement with local businesses and the connections they’ve made has been equally important and mutually beneficial. Many students go on to work within local SME’s and larger organisations, and there is a strong effort to support entrepreneurialism. Student placements within local businesses are common, and provide benefits to both the business and the student, and solidify the symbiotic relationship the university has with local stakeholders.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCLan, and it positively impacted upon my future career. They’re valued partners and clients of Cotton Court, and we wish them a happy 190th birthday!”

 

Sana Iqbal, President of UCLan Students’ Union says:

“UCLan students succeed because they are given many opportunities to make the most of their student experience and develop skills to improve their employability.

At the Students’ Union, we provide a range of volunteering opportunities for students in a number of areas including: Sports, Societies, Democracy, Student Media, Inspiring projects and Academic representation. These roles allow students to explore interests, express their passions and enjoy their time at UCLan to the best of their ability – all which leads to a happy and successful future!”

 

 

How can you find them?

 

You can get in touch with UCLan course enquiries by email at: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

 

Visit their website at: http://www.uclan.ac.uk

Or call general enquiries on: 01772 201 201

 

If you’d like to find out more about the UCLan 190th birthday celebrations, visit the site at: https://190.uclan.ac.uk/

Strategic Transport Plan Consultation Event

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On Wednesday 24th January we’re looking forward to hosting Transport for the North as they start the public consultation on the Strategic Transport Plan.

This is your chance to find out more about the recommendations and what it means for you and your area and give your feedback which will help shape the Plan in its development.

These consultation events are open to everyone and are your chance to hear from Transport for the North representatives and ask any questions you might have.

First stop is in Preston, at Cotton Court!

They’d like to invite you to a special pre-briefing at 3pm, where you can hear from their Strategy Director and discuss their proposals.

 

The outline for the session is as follows:

4pm – 5pm: Presentation from Transport for the North representative and Q+A

5pm – 6pm: Drop-in Q+A

6pm – 7pm: Presentation from Transport for the North representative and Q+A

7pm: Event close

If you are able to attend, please register your interest here

 

 

Working 9 ’til 5: Is it Time for a Change in Working Hours?

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With flexible working now becoming increasingly popular we take a look at what UK workers think about the standard 9-5 day

More than half (58.6 per cent) of UK workers believe that the traditional 9-5 is an outdated concept, with three quarters (77.2 per cent) admitting that they work better at certain times of day. This is according to a recent study from CV-Library.

The survey of 1,200 professionals explored how the nation’s workers feel about 9-5 working hours, and whether these are still fit for purpose. The data revealed that two thirds (67.6 per cent) would prefer to work hours that suited their natural pattern and when they work best. When asked what time of day they are most productive, respondents cited the following:

In the morning – 64.2%

In the afternoon – 20.9%

In the evening – 9.3%

Late at night – 5.6%

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments, ‘There are ongoing debates surrounding the traditional 9-5 and whether this ‘one size fits all’ approach is still beneficial. It’s clear from the data that UK professionals know their own work patterns and would prefer to tailor their working hours around when they’re at their most productive. Allowing for more flexible hours could be hugely beneficial, not only to employees but also their employers. Something as simple as letting staff start an hour earlier or later depending on their needs could be all it takes.‘That said, flexible working does tend to bring with it issues of work-life balance. Doing away with the structured 9-5 could further blur the lines between work and private life”

By taking this approach, it’s vital that you monitor your employees contracted hours and not putting in too much overtime. According to the study, a whopping 86% of working professionals believe that all companies should offer flexible working and of these 86% only one quarter have the opportunity to work from home when they would like too.

Biggins concludes, ‘Flexible working is becoming increasingly popular, and is, in fact, something many professionals take into consideration when applying for jobs. Businesses need to consider carefully whether they should be offering this style of working, as this could be the key to securing and retaining talented members of staff. Not only this, but with such a huge percentage saying they work better, or just as well, at home, employers can feel safe in the knowledge that they’re getting the most from their workforce, even when they aren’t operating under the traditional 9-5.

Flexible working is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the debate of working hours, with more and more people choosing to work remotely is it time that your company embraces the future?

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.”

Entrepreneurs: Making Your Small Business Look Bigger

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If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, you may have at times looked into ways to make your business appear larger and more established than it is. There’s numerous benefits of doing so, and dependent on your industry may even be essential to winning clients.

This phenomenon isn’t unique to the business world, humans and animals alike have always used the perception of size and stature as a way to ward off dangerous predators or lure in potential mates. Whether it’s puffing your chest out or fanning a tail feather, nature has got it covered.

But why?

Why would you want to mislead people about the size of your business? Well I’m sorry to say, regardless of what you may have been told, size does matter. There are of course occasions where this isn’t the case, but for many, a well established business that is turning over large amounts of revenue and has its own staff, is a successful business.

In the minds of your customers, success often means that a business must be doing something right. That they’re obviously providing a good level of service and that they know what they’re doing. Of course we can all think of examples where this isn’t the case.

Making your business look established and larger than it is can have numerous benefits. They include and are not limited to:

  • Added credibility
  • Able to win larger contracts
  • Can compete with larger competitors
  • Customers feel more secure
  • Suppliers feel more secure

It’s not lying

Unless you outright make claims about the size of your business or how long it’s been running, you aren’t lying. You are changing the perception of your business in the eyes of your customers. That’s what we call ‘positioning’ in the marketing world.

If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, the difference between success and failure can at times hinge on the revenue from a small number of clients. Every single client win has a big impact, and every single loss has an even bigger one.

Ethically positioning your business to appear larger and more established isn’t a dark art or deceptive. It’s a smart business move that can improve the confidence of your potential and existing customers. Helping you win crucial new clients and maintain the confidence of existing ones.

We’ve created a short ebook to help entrepreneurs and small business owners make their businesses look more successful. Download it HERE.