Small businesses need Brexit actions, not just words

Responding to the announcement that the Government is set to launch a £100 million no-deal Brexit awareness campaign, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Policy & Advocacy Chairman Martin McTague, said:

“If the Government is serious about ensuring small firms are ready for a potential no-deal Brexit in only three months’ time, it needs to put its money where its mouth is.

“Increasing awareness is important but it’s not a silver bullet. The fundamental issue for a lot of small businesses is that they don’t have funds to put aside for expert help with navigating customs declarations and tariffs in the event that we suddenly become a third country. And the few that did have such funds have already lost money by putting contingencies in place and stockpiling ahead of 31 March. Marching them back up the hill again will be a challenge.   

“That’s why concrete financial support is a must at this stage. The Government should urgently make Brexit vouchers of up to £3,000 available to small firms that trade overseas to help them access the support they need.

“The lack of preparedness among some is frightening. Thousands of small businesses that currently trade with the EU still don’t have the Economic Operator Registration and Identification numbers required to keep trading with the bloc post-Brexit and access Transitional Simplified Procedures. EORI numbers should now be issued automatically to all VAT-registered small firms that trade with the EU.

“Ultimately we want a pro-business Brexit – one that encompasses a comprehensive deal and a transition period. A sudden, chaotic exit on 31 October would be hugely damaging.”  

As experts in business, FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in Government. Its aim is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk. You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy.

Small businesses spell out priorities for Boris Johnson after talks with new Prime Minister

Following the announcement that Boris Johnson MP is to become the next UK Prime Minister, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on the new government to resolve the Brexit impasse, thereby allowing policymakers to focus on three key issues that are front of mind for small firms.  

The UK’s largest business group is urging Johnson to:      

·         Modernise a regressive business rates system by extending the two-year 33% rates discount enjoyed by small retailers with rateable values up to £51,000 to manufacturers, and making this discount permanent, whilst also following Scotland’s lead by giving nurseries 100% rate relief.  

   ·         Assist small businesses struggling with spiralling employment costs by uprating the £3,000 Employment Allowance, delivering a promised national insurance holiday for firms that employ those furthest from the labour market, introducing a rebate for Statutory Sick Pay, and shoring up apprenticeship funding at the upcoming Spending Review, ensuring small firms are not excluded from the apprenticeship system.

·         Significantly increase investment in the UK’s broadband and phone infrastructure, ensuring all small firms have access to the upload and download speeds they are entitled to under the Universal Service Obligation (USO) and reliable 4G connectivity.    

Representatives from FSB met with Boris Johnson and his team last week to discuss priorities for the new administration.  

Responding to today’s announcement, FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry, said:  

“We need to see a real sense of urgency from this new Prime Minister when it comes to creating a pro-enterprise environment. As things stand, small business confidence is at rock-bottom: political uncertainty has left us unable to invest, grow and plan for the future. The UK has long been one of the best places in the world to do business. It’s crucial that we keep it that way.     

“We had promising discussions with Boris Johnson during his campaign and look forward to working with him on the issues that matter most to small businesses.  

“Securing a pro-business EU withdrawal agreement that can command a majority in the House of Commons is task one for this new administration. Brexit has been absorbing government bandwidth for years now, leaving domestic challenges unaddressed. Chief among these are a broken business rates system, spiralling employment costs and derisory broadband and phone connectivity.           

“We need to get back to basics. Closing the UK’s productivity gap and increasing GDP growth will only happen when small firms have the political certainty, tax reform and world-leading infrastructure needed to take risks and innovate. Time is of the essence for this new government.”   

As experts in business, FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in Government. Its aim is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk. You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy.    

Sayers Solutions Summer School Announced

Sayers Solutions is offering a selection of business owners and marketing managers to work through the 4 Part Plan.

Clarence Music Festival 2019 in Parks Week

Yorkshire’s (maybe the UK’s) longest running free music festival.

Set on the hill of Clarence Park.  The Music Collective will close the Parks Week celebrations with their annual free music festival.  Showcasing a range of artists and groups performing across the 2 day event.

Parks Week celebrates 10 years of the Friends of CHaT Parks (of whom I am a trustee of) and 100 years of Holmfield Park.  As there are in fact, three parks in one.  Clarence, Holmfield and Thornes Parks.

Support the Festival and the Parks Week celebrations by promoting your business to this cross generational audience.

Friends of CHaT Parks Parks Week

During the celebrations of Park Week, the Friends of CHaT Parks are offering 2-4-1 at the Game of Thornes, with Golf, Pitch and Putt and brand spanking new tennis courts available.

They will also be running guided tours of the variety of attractions across the Parks, including the Aviary, Conservatory, Weather Station, Secret Garden and Archeology Dig for Wakefield Castle. 

There are treasure maps for Park Investigators, with prizes to be won and a community fair at the beginning of the week, introducing you to the variety of the groups that operate in the parks.

The Friends of CHaT Parks want to celebrate the parks and all the activities that happen.

If you would like to support Clarence Music Festival and Parks Week please get in touch.

Shepley Music Festival

During the first half of 2019 Sayers Solutions was assisting Shepley Spring Festival by matching stall holders, sponsors and advertisers to help support the Festival in May.

The Market Hall offered a variety of items for festival attendees to purchase.  There were a handful of stands from the folk festival circuit, including musical instruments and items, handcrafted items and face painting.

Sayers Solutions brought along local retailer and creator of handmade decorative items for the home, Fleur and Grey.  Sophie brought her beautiful items, which can usually be seen in her shop in Skelmanthorpe, Huddersfield.

In the hall was also Jackie Howley and a few of her Temple Spa team, Lisa from Body Shop at Home and Gemma from FM Fragrances.  Sam from Utility Warehouse was in the bar area and able to chat with festival goers and introduce the benefits of the discount club and Jake from Zero Yorkshire brought his van-shop, which can usually be seen at markets across West Yorkshire.  Jake sells plastic free items, including bamboo toothbrushes, reusable makeup cloths, and herbs, spices, oats and coffee, amongst much, much more.

The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust for me was the success of the weekend – although the Edward II concert on Saturday evening was pretty special.  The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust brought their eBay shop; a beautiful range of clothing donated to the charity to raise funds.  The Next PJ’s and the soft pashmina scarves were easy pleasers and the outdoor jackets and hoodies were a firm favourite.

There was even one lady who acquired her whole wardrobe from the Laura Crane Trust stand, as she had forgotten her suitcase – she had the wine and knickers, because apparently you always pack these together ….  When the hall was open, there wasn’t a moment that there wasn’t someone buying something from the stand.

Another highlight was FileDoc and their Table Tennis exhibition matches and coaching.  Godfrey Gabriel, Managing Director of FileDoc is also a passionate player and coach for the Huddersfield Table Tennis Team.  FileDoc also brought a bucket full of branded table tennis balls for players to go home with.

Kirklees College was on the wrist of every festival goer as the sponsors of the wristbands and other local businesses – Stafflex Reliance Precision and Alan Simmons Music – benefited from featuring in the programme.  Both items are keepsakes and so will continue the exposure during moments of reminiscing.

Several of the stands also donated prizes, along with Huddersfield Giants with their generous donation of a signed ball, for a raffle which was drawn on Sunday evening.

The whole festival was a great success, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. 

The new potential home of the Shepley Spring Festival, Storthes Hall, is the perfect venue for every event.  They host weddings, business meetings, networking events and even music festivals and is also a lovely place to chill out with the family and friends.  A hidden gem enclosed in woodland, not 15 minutes from Huddersfield centre and the M1.

Sayers Solutions would like to thank Shepley Spring Festival for letting us get involved and for their hard work, pulling together this amazing festival bringing only the best artist from the folk genre, attracting local traditional dance teams, bringing joy in their passion and skill – have you seen them dancing with swords? Its mesmerising!! Without the hundreds (probably thousands) of volunteer hours worked to run the festival it wouldn’t be possible,

Sayers Solutions often matches organisations, utilising the contact network built up from 9 years of networking and working in Huddersfield / Wakefield corridor, based in the HD8 area of Huddersfield. 

If you are looking for a product or service, and wanting to develop your business, then please get in touch and we can see how we can help.

Networking and other events

Sayers Solutions likes to get out and about and is connected to several local networking organisations. 

Merewyn Sayers, the owner of Sayers Solutions, also runs the HD8 Network and is one of the West Yorkshire Area Leaders of the Federation of Small Businesses, and a keen attendee of networking and other business events.

The range of events available to the business community is very broad and varied, with none being the same experience twice.

There are weekly meetings, monthly pub meetup, structured, unstructured, knowledge sharing, direct selling exhibitions. There are so many to choose from.

Events are always better with familiar faces, so if you fancy coming along some time and catching up, let me know and I will get you invited.

Where do you like to go to? 

Which groups are you members of?

We love events and we like to share what is happening, so if you want to hear about the events going on in the business community commutable from the HD8 area including Wakefield, Huddersfield and sometimes Leeds and Barnsley then subscribe for more information or check out our blogs or YouTube channel.

Shepley Spring Festival 2019 Advertising

Click here to download the sponsorship pack

4 Part Marketing Plan at WordPress Leeds

This week Sayers Solutions will be delivering the 4 Part Marketing Plan seminar at the monthly WordPress Leeds event.

The seminar looks at the 4 essential parts of creating a plan

  • Where do you want to go
  • Where are you now
  • What do you need to do
  • How are you going to measure it

If you would like more information about the 4 part plan or arrange a consultation with Sayers Solutions, please do not hesitate to get in touch –
https://www.sayerssolutions.co.uk/make-an-enquiry/

4 part Marketing Plan

This January, Sayers Solutions brings you the opportunity to build your marketing plan through interactive online group sessions, with Sayers Solutions guiding you and the added bonus of peer support and learning.

Watch my introduction video by clicking here

Sayers Solutions 4 part marketing plan

Weekly online interactive group sessions with like minded businesses.

Explore and discover –

  • Where you want to go
  • Where you are now
  • What you need to do
  • How you will measure it

These sessions will provide you an introduction to models and techniques to develop your plan.

You will also receive suggestions and input towards marketing activity and campaigns for your business throughout the process.

To book your place please click here.

However please be quick as places are limited!

Guest blog

Reflections – Rachel Devereux

In a recent conversation with Rachel on our journey to the Tedx in Liverpool, we were chatting about the reflective practice and I mentioned my recently published blog. Coincedentaley Rachel’s revalidation for the NMC wass due and she explained she was having to think about what she could write her reflection on and the conversation continued. So I seized the opportunity and invited Rachel to write a guest blog for me to publish, here on Sayers Solutions.

And this is what she wrote –

“In business I hadn’t thought to include reflective practice – perhaps because it’s so blatantly obvious. But then are the simplest things often the things we procrastinate over, put off or move to the bottom of the to do list?

In any line of work, reflection is good to help you move forwards and continue to provide excellent service.

Reflection happens automatically – “oh no, why did I say that”,

It happens as a peer observation – “Dude, I think you went a bit over board there”.

But often we find our selves in a cycle of negativity or defensiveness if these observations are not dealt with sensitively. Having a person, a time and an agenda to your reflection can help keep it focused and productive.

How often do you sit down and actually carve time out to reflect?

You may do a SWOT or a PEST analysis in your business plan. Perhaps you have a coach to help you move forwards.

But have you fitted in Reflection as part of the timeline in your business? Perhaps a periodic 6 monthly review, or even a reactive reflection on a specific event – your best or worst week?

In nursing reflective practice is something we are encouraged to do often, and in cases of serious incidents there is often a scheduled time for reflection to help people deal with emotions and learn coping strategies or procedures for if similar happens again.

The model I have used has been Gibbs cycle of reflection, 1988.

This model looks at

Description – what happened. Describe the event.

Feelings – how does the event make you feel

Evaluation – how was it good and not so good.

Conclusion – how could it have been more positive, what could you do differently, skills to learn?

Action – what will you implement and by what time scale?

This is not a complex model, there is not a right way or a wrong way to do it.

  1. Choose an event, follow the steps, ask why questions.
  2. Understand what happened, how it could be perceived and how it could be better.
  3. Celebrate what did go well, look at what needs new skills.
  4. Pop an action plan together.

I believe the answers are often found in the simplicity. We get so caught up in looking for answers outside of ourselves, trying to find the holy grail, the quick fix or the problem solver. When all we need is a moments peace and a flash of insight.

I’m going to ask you honestly, how many people have their best ideas in the shower, playing golf or walking near the reservoir?

These are our moments of insight, the ones that sucker punch us and catapult us into our next wave of awesome.

The best time to do reflection is when you have switched off from the event, when you have found your calm and quietened your mind.

If you schedule in time for reflection also schedule in time for non-contemplation. Book a laughter date with a friend, go for a walk, do something that lights you up and switches your mind off the problem.

Then sit down with a coach, reflection/accountability buddy, or alone and write under the headings.

You will find having switched off before you begin it is easier to tackle the task more objectively and get greater insight and understanding.

Something I can’t stress enough is to not get sucked into the downward spiral of spending too much time in memory. Yes, we must visit it for reflection, yet we don’t need to relive it. We need to remember that our memory is simply a distorted reflection of our observation. It is not real, it is not fact, it is our interpretation. We can gain valuable information to help us to learn and grow but we do not need to pick the scab and open old wounds.

And after your plans and projections then remember the only day we have to enjoy is today, plans and projections are simply seeds – some will grow, some will be dormant, and some will be entirely unexpected.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today. Let us begin – Mother Theresa.

Life is like any other contact sport. You may encounter hardships of one sort or another. Wise people find happiness not in the absence of such hardships, but in their ability to understand them when they occur.Sydney Banks

New years is the perfect time for reflection, you can reflect on the previous year.

Work out what went well, where you wasted time and money and how you can put steps in place to get a full diary and make 2019 your best yet.

As for me, I already have public events and businesses booked in for January and February helping people create healthy happy lives. I am also going to be offering Reflections and Resolution classes for groups who want to understand how they have been using stress to stop them achieving their best in business. Please be in touch if you are wanting support with reflections, resolutions, Veganuary, dry January or any other health, environment and wellbeing topic.”

Rachel is a Holistic Nurse and Healthy Life Coach with over 14 years NHS service and a MSc in Long Term Health Conditions.

She currently coaches people to change habits to avoid future ill health, runs health MOTs including biometrics and provides environmental healthy home cleaning options. Rachel also delivers a not-for-profit baby sling education and lending service – this helps create health from birth, with normal carrying positions supported for optimal positioning and comfort. 

www.racheldevereux.com www.slinglibrary.com

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