Get in Touch
Cotton Court | Church Street | Preston | PR1 3BY

Cotton Court Business Centre

Latest News

Luke Massie – You and your dream are nothing without your team!

By Comments Off on Luke Massie – You and your dream are nothing without your team!

Over the last couple of weeks we have been making some vital addtions to Vibe’s marketing and technical teams. During this period I took a few mornings out of the office to make sure that I had some dedicated time to reflect on where Vibe Tickets has come from, and more importantly where we are going.

I asked myself a few key questions: What’s worked well for Vibe so far? What are the main mistakes we have made along the way? How should I do things differently? How do I avoid the pitfalls as we scale this company?

Although not a direct answer to any of these questions, I know for certain that all of our solutions have come from, and all of the problems have been mitigated by great teamwork and contributions from individual team members during moments of brilliance. This has ingrained within me the strongest belief that it is incredibly important that you get the right people involved in your businesses as early as possible, no matter what obstacles may be in the way.

Passion is everything and if there is one key lesson I’ve learnt in my entrepreneurial journey so far its that talent and money can only get you so far, dedication and trust are worth far more than anything else.

“You can’t do it alone”

I have known for some time that I would never be able to execute my business proposition alone, but I did initially feel that I would be able to outsource the majority of work and simply manage a small number of key partners rather than having to build a proper team.

My biggest mistakes have always come when my team have not been involved in the decision making process and the execution. Outsourcing is always risky. After some of my early experiences with Vibe Tickets, I would strongly recommend that anyone who is considering using an external agency for your core offering whether that be product or marketing is very careful and considers all the alternatives before committing – otherwise this could come back to bite you!

When ever I am doing talks or sat on panels one of the first questions I’m asked is: How do you go about building your team?

Through personal experience there are Three Things I suggest you consider:

1) Find yourself a cofounder: Find someone with desirable skills that complement yours. Someone you trust, someone who shares the same vision as you and someone you can always rely on. A number of years ago I was lucky enough to be introduced to Jon Hill, a software engineer with over 15 years experience scaling development teams with a real commercial eye. He is someone I can talk to, express my thoughts about opportunities and someone who could see my vision and turn it into a product. Jon become my partner, an early shareholder in Vibe and is now Technical Director of Vibe Tickets. With Jon at my side in the early days I was able to focus on building a product which we could test in the market, well before we started looking for investment.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaahyaaaajgfmnmrhoge5ltviodctndy1nc1hzjqzlweyodqynddlowzmnq

2) Identify the skills you need and ONLY the skills you need: In a start up there is no room for waste. You need to stay lean and mean. A common mistake a lot of start up founders make is; they don’t identify what skills they actually need, therefore never have the correct tools/ resources needed to execute their concept. Founders in many instances are focusing on things that don’t really matter. Creating roles for the sake of creating roles is NOT cool. Investors are much more happy when a small focused team does what is required. Take Whatsapp for example, when they sold out to Facebook for $1billion they only had 6 staff… yes thats 6!

aaeaaqaaaaaaaac9aaaajgzhymu1n2m3lwq1yzctngyync1im2fjlwjjmja5odm3nzrlna

3) Hire smarter people than you – This is so cliché but it is the single best thing you could ever do. Many Founders do not hire people smarter than themselves and my theory on this is; people fear being exposed for their knowledge gaps. Or they feel their authority as leaders will be questioned. I think its a common misconception that Founders feel like they have to know everything, when the reality is, we all have our own skills, strengths and weakness. The best founders in the world, find the best talent and surround themselves with better people than themselves at particular things. I’m so lucky to have found: Jon Hill, Jim Mann, Rosa Martinez, Hannes Pretorius, Helen Clemson, Jonathan Smillie, Nadia Rumyantseva to name a few. Every member of the Vibe team have there own area of expertise and are much smarter than me in those disciplines. That is what makes us unique.

I hope this helps, feel free to reach out to me

Keep spreading the #GoodVibes

Luke Massie

The next generation of business leaders honoured at Young ’Uns Awards 2016

By Comments Off on The next generation of business leaders honoured at Young ’Uns Awards 2016

The Cotton Court team enjoyed a night at the Lancashire Business Views Young ‘Uns Awards in Blackpool.  100’s of business celebrated at the sell-out event, with 24 businesses collecting specially crafted trophies to mark their exceptional business performance.

Lancashire’s young business people celebrated at the Young ‘Uns Awards 2016 as the next generation of movers, shakers and decision makers were crowned at the ceremony at Winter Gardens Blackpool.

From legal eagles to digital dynamos and red-hot retailers those making waves in business throughout the county were recognised across 11 categories including Young ‘Un Entrepreneur of the Year and Young ‘Un Employee of the Year.

Rob was asked to be a sector specific independent judge in the awards and got to consult

A special congratulations goes to Brandon Seddon who was presented with the Tourism and Hospitality award by our very own Rob Binns.

The awards, now in their second year, are organised by Lancashire Business View – the magazine for commerce, industry and regeneration. The event, which was themed around prohibition-era America, took place in the Spanish Ballroom at Winter Garden.

30430952276_60b40331a5_o

Winners 2016

Young ‘Un Apprentice of the Year

  • Connor Smyth, BAE Systems – WINNER
  • Emily Read, NatWest
  • Junaid Mahetar, Northern Industrial
  • Jonathon Hart, Utiligroup

Young ‘Un in Creative and Digital

  • James Brockbank, Digitaloft – WINNER
  • Tom Grattan, Factored
  • John French, Fat Media
  • Tom Wells, Nublue

Young ‘Un in Construction and Property

  • Tom Wickstead, Andrew Porter
  • Sonia Duffin, Duffin’s Estate Agents
  • Andrew Livesey, Lantei Compliance Services – WINNER
  • Alex Fowler, Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors

Young ‘Un Employee of the Year

  • Andrew Livesey, Lantei Compliance Service – WINNER
  • Jennifer Woolley (nee Whittaker), The Write Angle
  • Amanda Lilley, Thomas Consulting
  • Zain Javed, Xyone Cyber Security

Young ‘Un Entrepreneur

  • James Brockbank, Digitaloft
  • Tom Grattan, Factored
  • Brandon Seddon, MyBarstaff
  • Sophie Craig, Ruby Cosmetics – WINNER

Young ‘Un in Finance

  • Emily Read, NatWest
  • Gary Clifton, NFU Mutual Preston
  • Chloe Greenbank, Rotherham Taylor  – WINNER
  • Ian Taylor, RSM

Young ‘Un in Law

  • Rachel Harrison, Farleys Solicitors
  • Jonathan Holden, Forbes Solicitors
  • Andrew Holden, Napthens Solicitors  – WINNER
  • Matthew Catterall, Taylors Solicitors

Young ‘Un in Manufacturing and Engineering

  • Connor Smyth, BAE Systems – WINNER
  • Kieron Riding, Northern Industrial
  • Amanda Lilley, Thomas Consulting
  • Victoria Oracz, Vision Support Services

Young ‘Un in Retail

  • Kimberley Lord, Always and Forever
  • Natalie Seward, Debenhams
  • Kendal Christensen, Marsden Building Society
  • Victoria Mawdsley, The Mall – WINNER

Young ‘Un in Tourism and Hospitality

  • Martin Wilson, Bartle Hall Hotel
  • Ellie Yates, Canal Boat Cruises
  • Oliver Brown, Crow Wood Leisure
  • Brandon Seddon, MyBarStaff  – WINNER

A huge congratulations to all the winners!

Cotton Court Director Rob Assesses the UCLan Launchpad Assessment Day

By Comments Off on Cotton Court Director Rob Assesses the UCLan Launchpad Assessment Day

Last week Cotton Court Director Rob Binns was welcomed back by the Business School at UCLan to help assist in their selection process for the LaunchPad Leadership and Development Programme.

LaunchpPad includes great things like a team building residential, membership to the Institute of Directors, a qualification with the Chartered Institute of Management and much more. They have have regular workshops covering employability, values, skills development, coaching etc. Being on LaunchPad gives you access to opportunities (jobs, events, travel) before other students and in some cases such opportunities are exclusive to ‘LaunchPadders’.

The purpose of the Assessment Centre is to select candidates with high potential for the LaunchPad programme. There is also a developmental element to the Centre as we want the students to have a realistic experience of the kind of procedures they may encounter when applying for jobs in the future.

Rob would like to thank everyone at the UCLan Business School and congratulate the final selection for this years cohort!

Print

Launch of Barnardo’s 150 years campaign!

By Comments Off on Launch of Barnardo’s 150 years campaign!

Friday marked the start of the fantastic week long celebrations for Barnardo’s 150 year anniversary campaign!

The team at Cotton Court and Bird have pledged to find 150 businesses to pledge their support to Barnardo’s. We are be running the campaign with support from Paul Wilcox and the Barnardo’s team.

During the 150 hours we’ll be aiming to spread the word across our region, encourage pledging and celebrate all of the businesses that have pledged support so far.

Our launch event took place at Preston train station on Friday and went off without a hitch! We were able to reach out to commuters and many of them pledged their support on behalf of their company!

14718643_10154494606876181_7703253773275406890_n 14680957_10154494606711181_6824108027422768334_o 14753753_10154494606361181_2169241208068315079_o

All this week will be working around the clock to get as many pledges as we can! If you would like any infomation on how to pledge or need help choosing a pledge pop us an email to info@cottoncourt.co.uk or check out our website www.barnardos150years.co.uk to get some ideas from companies that have already pledged!

Clients UK Media & Events help deliver successful Ordination Mass in Preston

By Comments Off on Clients UK Media & Events help deliver successful Ordination Mass in Preston

The first bishop of a new cathedral for Indian Catholics in Preston has been ordained at the home of Preston North End.

More than 12,000 people attended the Ordination Mass of Fr Joseph Srampickal.

Pope Francis created the new diocese – or eparchy – in July, making it one of only three worldwide.

The Grade II-listed St Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, which shut in December 2014, was designated as a cathedral.

It reopened to serve an Indian branch of the Roman Catholic Church.

14610975_1818155435073800_3808657320660271385_n

Twenty-five bishops and more than 200 priests and many nuns attend the service, with people from Australia, Canada and South America.

The Indian community are from the Syro Malabar Rite, which claims to have been founded by St Thomas The Apostle in India and is one 22 Eastern Catholic Churches in unity with the Pope.

St Ignatius was built in 1836, seven years after the legalisation of Catholicism in England, and was staffed by the Jesuit Order.

Welcome To Our Business Hub New Clients Advantage Wellbeing!

By Comments Off on Welcome To Our Business Hub New Clients Advantage Wellbeing!

Cotton Court would like to give a warm welcome to client Advantage Wellbeing and managing director Danny Green to the building!

Former Royal Marine Commando and personal trainer Danny started the company this year after finding a gap in the market with getting employees fitter and healthier.

Here’s what Danny and Advantage Wellbeing had to say about their company!

9 million deaths from non-communicable diseases each year occur in the working age population, roughly 80% could be prevented by tackling: poor diet, including smoking and alcohol and lack of physical activity.
 
We’re Advantage Wellbeing and we’re on a mission to destroy these statistics by improving health and productivity in the workplace.
 
Advantage Wellbeing is a community where businesses and business owners come to get ideas on:
 
Health
Nutrition, and…
Boosting performance
 
Sound’s a little cliche, doesn’t it?
 
But here’s what makes Advantage Wellbeing different from all the rest:
 
In a sea of health and fitness blogs, sub-par supplements that claim extreme health benefits and fitness class instructors forcing their way into your office to bend your employee’s into positions on their lunch break…
 
Advantage Wellbeing is unique because we don’t disrupt your employee’s while they work. Our services provide education on tap when it suits your employee’s.
 
Thing’s like…
 
The Wellbeing Lab, where employees complete execution plans in their own time.
 
Lunch N Learn seminars that provide a nutritious lunch, while teaching your employee’s how to improve their health.
 
Wellbeing Clinics where you can have a consultant on hand in your office to assist employee’s when it suits them.
 
Along the way, we have perfected a large number of strategies and tactics. More importantly, we document each strategy into step-by-step “Execution Plans” so our best ideas can be implemented into your business.
 
Our website is undergoing some work to facilitate “the wellbeing lab” but in the meantime feel free to email us at info@advantagwellbeing.co.uk
 
Yours in health 
 
Dan Green 

logo-lightblue

Clients DieCut UK Successfully Installs another New Machine!

By Comments Off on Clients DieCut UK Successfully Installs another New Machine!

Client Diecut UK  a UK based machinery manufacturer and supplier is pleased to announce the installation of their manual die cutting machine, the Goldline 2500 at Ridge & Tyler (Print & Packaging) Services Ltd.

Health and safety was top of the priority list for Ridge & Tyler (Print & Packaging) Services Ltd when they looked into replacing an aging VK2500 Clamshell Platen. The Goldline 2500 ticked all the HSE boxes and was modified by Diecut UK to suit their method of set up, meaning all cutting tools could also be run on their semi-automatic machines.

The installation ran very smoothly & the Goldline was running jobs the next day. It is still early days but the operators at Ridge & Tyler (Print & Packaging) Services Ltd are delighted with the Goldline and have found it very user friendly. Already they are noticing set up times to be much quicker than the previous clamshell platen, resulting in an increase in their productivity.

The Goldline is available in 10 different sizes with a diecutting capability varying from 890 up to 3200 with options for scissor lift tables, heated bed and wide opening for honeycomb board or foam.

Pete Ridge of Ridge & Tyler (Print & Packaging) Services Ltd said, “we chose Diecut UK as they offer the best alternative to the dated clamshell platens and will be looking to replace our other 3 old style platens with Goldlines in due course.”

goldine-steve-767x574

Cotton Studios has great Success with Dance Talent Photoshoot!

By Comments Off on Cotton Studios has great Success with Dance Talent Photoshoot!

Cotton studios has recently commissioned to photograph over 60 young and talented dancers at Dance Talent Photoshoot. After several very successful shows the children starred in their own dance photoshoot with fabulous poses directed by Sue and Annie from the dance studio.

They had a blast at the Dance Studio and even a few of the Cotton Studios staff threw a few dance moves! Over 3000 photos later we were flooded with comments regarding the photos and how happy the parents were! We would like to thanks Sue and Annie at the studio for their fantastic directing skills and of course all of of the fabulous dancers for their time and patience!

cotton-court-210516-862 cotton-court-210516-760 cotton-court-210516-752

Clients UK Media & Events take on Lancashire Encounter!

By Comments Off on Clients UK Media & Events take on Lancashire Encounter!

Cotton Court clients UK media & Events had a blast planning and executing the Lancashire Encounter Festival last week.

The Lancashire Encounter Festival is a celebration of everything that Lancashire has to offer and took place over a weekend in Preston City Centre. There was lots to do and see including the Procession of Light that was on Saturday night.

cs4nyxqxyaa4llo

On the Flag Market people gathered to watch and get involved with the Kuljit Bhamra dance troupe in front of the Harris Museum looking good in its golden illumination.

Then it was on to Fishergate for a different type of dancing and a piece called Light Migrations by the Ludas Dance group. The young dancers created a great atmosphere with their LED light bands and their movement to the upbeat music.

The entertainment didn’t stop there – the next stop for the crowd was the covered market area where there was a ‘Sound Intervention’.  Music and light projections plus some strange costumes!

ctrgwlqxeaaricg

A celebration of gay pride and walking under red balloons were all part of the second day of Lancashire Encounter Festival. The annual Preston Pride event provided a splash of colour to the Flag Market!

lancsencounter3

Client’s Vibe Tickets Smash Through Their Crowdfunding Target!

By Comments Off on Client’s Vibe Tickets Smash Through Their Crowdfunding Target!

Customer of Cotton Court and disruptive ticketing platform Vibe Tickets has smashed its £600,000 crowdfunding target.

Founder of Vibe Luke Massie told Business Cloud:

“To set a target of £600k and pull it off is incredible. It shows other firms in the North West what is possible,” he said.

“We’ve been talking for a while about how difficult it is to raise money through crowdfunding. Vibe is one of the few firms which has managed to do it successfully.

“An investment firm got us over the line, but I can’t say who they are yet because they are a public limited company.”

Vibe Tickets allows real fans to buy and sell tickets but also make new like-minded friends at the biggest events.

vibe-tickets

Luke raised £310,000 in the first 24 hours after launching on Crowdcube, including £260k from serial investor Fletcher.

“At the beginning I was let down by a couple of people who were keen to invest £100k each,” added Luke.

“Of the 300 investors we have, only 60 have come through Crowdcube. The rest, more than £500k, has come from our users and investors – people we have approached directly.

Huge congratulations to Luke and the team at Vibe Tickets from everyone at Cotton Court!