BES Connect – Event Q & A with Ian Smallwood

Last week saw the first BES Connect event take place at The View Hotel in Eastbourne on Wednesday 7th November. The event brought introducers and business advisors together for a morning of networking with service providers from around the county. The aim of the event was to enrich and enhance the position of the business advisor by offering the opportunity to talk to trusted providers all under one roof about how they too can help business owners from around Sussex.

The event included talks from some of the South East’s leading business support providers including The Department for International Trade, the Manufacturing Growth Platform, the Green Growth Platform and Locate East Sussex. Guest speakers also included local business champion and MP for Eastbourne Stephen Lloyd.  Business East Sussex would like to say thanks to all those who contributed to the event, and we hope you found it valuable.

Ian Smallwood is the Head of Business Services at Business East Sussex, and the organiser of BES Connect. Here, we ask about the inspiration behind the event and his advice for getting the most out of the support available to businesses in East Sussex…

What was the idea behind the BES Connect event?

The aim of Business East Sussex is to consistently seek new ways to ensure we can put clients in touch with the best support services for them. We do this in many ways, but we know often business advisors and introducers are time poor. We felt that if we could offer the opportunity to speak to finance, marketing and business experts under one roof, we could help to make business support accessible and offer the chance to build face to face relationships. We also really wanted to show that there is no catch to the support. It’s there for the taking, it’s just that many people don’t know or assume accessing it is a hassle, which it isn’t.

What do you find are the challenges for business introducers?

We find that often as the role is so varied and demanding, introducers need to know what support is available and that it is reliable. Our team offers a wealth of experience for introducers and have spent many years building relationships with providers we trust and are happy to recommend. It can often seem as if it’s hard to decipher who the best people to contact are – the event aimed to show introducers what kind of support is out there and offer a contact for each of the support providers.

What were some of the notable points of the event?

We were very fortunate that some of the most innovative growth platforms attended the event to impart their expertise and let people know what help they can offer. We were also thrilled that MP Stephen Lloyd wanted to be involved in the event. He has helped to secure funding for Eastbourne’s new shopping centre, and has played an integral role in supporting business development in the town, so it was great to hear his thoughts. Stephen encouraged businesses to access advice and to accept the support on offer. The Q&A sessions proved really valuable, giving people the chance to bounce thoughts about business in the region and support around the room.

What one piece of advice would you give to business owners in Sussex?

Don’t underestimate the support available across the region. There’s everything from mentoring to grants, so if you have plans for growth, come and discuss them! There are plenty of organisations who can help, and the Business East Sussex Growth Hub can point you in the right direction if you’re unsure who to contact.

 

To find out more about business support available in East Sussex, please contact us.


How to cope with sudden business growth

Sudden business growth can be exciting, but small businesses can find upscaling a challenge if it comes about suddenly. Growing your business is often the ultimate business goal, but it does require you to be adaptable. Here, our business experts offer advice on fulfilling large contracts and coping with sudden business growth:

Have a plan

When business growth comes around suddenly, it can seem easiest to muddle your way through it. Having a proper plan in place can help to ensure things run smoothly from your end, but also help you to provide the best possible products or services to your clients. It can be easy to think short term, but your plan should be sustainable further down the line.

Look at your finances

Finances can be one of the trickiest things to manage as a small business owner. It’s time consuming, but crucial to get right. If your business is expanding, think about all of the additional expenditure you may have. Taking on additional staff and streamlining processes costs money. Keeping track of outgoings and invoices is imperative – be sure to set clear payment terms if you don’t already have them.  Credit checking prospective clients and suppliers can help to give you reassurance about payments. If you need access to funding to support your business growth plans, you can apply for a grant.

Think about operations

Naturally, one of the most important things to consider during expansion is whether you can actually deliver operations wise. What’s more, can you deliver on budget and on time? Be sure that you can manage client expectations where possible and outline what’s expected from both parties and by when. It’s important not to over commit – don’t win big money business but overlook reputation and client satisfaction. Things to consider include whether you need more staff, whether you need to change your processes or automate and update systems.

Be adaptable

When you own a small business it can sometimes be hard to relinquish control and accept that others may have valuable insight to offer about certain aspects of running your company. Instead of being protective over your current way of operating, listening to others can help you see things from a different angle. Growth often requires a level of change and being open and adaptable can help make the process run more smoothly for everyone involved.

Consider who your valuable customers are

It can be tempting to view having as much business as possible to be the goal, but ultimately, it’s better to focus on those customers who bring the most value to your business. Trying to please everyone means you could be unwittingly overlooking those who matter the most to you long term. If you are unsure about any aspects of business growth, you can consult a Business East Sussex advisor who can offer advice to help.

Get your core team in place

Don’t underestimate the importance of a loyal and skilled team in dealing with sudden expansion. Good staff can be hard to find, so thinking about what you can offer employees as well as what they can offer you is important. Think about the skills your business needs that it doesn’t currently have in order to fulfil your growth ambitions. Start with the most pressing need – if you urgently require a specific skillset, prioritise in order of importance.

To find out more about support available please contact us or call 0844 415 2260. If you are an introducer supporting an SME, you can register your interest in our Business East Sussex Connect event to find out more about our services.


Could your company benefit from a business grant?

If you own a small or medium sized business, it’s likely you’ll have thought about plans for expansion and the funding needed to take on that new contract, buy new equipment or deliver your services on a larger scale. A business grant is a great way to get access to funding where you may previously have struggled – and what’s more, the money is free!

Understandably, sometimes the jargon that comes with business finance puts entrepreneurs and business owners off, so here, our team of experts have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked business grant questions:

Why are business grants available? What’s the catch?

Put simply, there is no catch! Business grants are available for small and medium sized businesses operating in the East Sussex area. The money has been made available via the European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) and the South East Business Boost. The ERDF aims to help economies flourish and invests in regions to enable growth and opportunities. The grants available mean if you fund 70% of the capital item’s cost, we can fund up to 30%!

What can I use a business grant for?

There are a number of potential uses for the business grants that are available including buying new equipment or machinery and investing in streamlining processes. You are not able to gain funding towards running your business as it stands, you must be able to prove that the item you’re applying for funding towards is going to help you grow your business and expand.

Examples of recent uses businesses have had for grants include a Hastings based Coach Company buying a new coach, and a bespoke furniture manufacturer, a promo company and an Arboriculturalist using their grants towards new equipment. You can read case studies from some of our recent grant success stories to find out more.

How much money can I get?

The business grant money has been made available so that up to 30% of the cost of a range of capital items can be funded.  The amount you’ll be able to get varies dependent on certain factors, but the grants available range from £1000, right up to the sum of £10,000.The amount of funding each business can apply for is generally determined by the business’ needs and project. The whole application process can take as little as one month.

How do I know if my business is eligible?

There are a number of criteria your business should meet in order to be eligible to receive a grant. You can find out more about exempt industries and what your business should do in order to tap in to the funding available by visiting our grants page.

What happens during the application process?

Applicants will generally go through a three stage process. Initially, a business’ eligibility for the grant will be checked. If the applicant meets the criteria, then the project up for funding will be assessed. The final step involves filling in the full application – this is usually done face to face with a Business East Sussex advisor. This part of the process usually takes between 1-1.5 hours. This will then be looked at by the panel once submitted. No references are required.

Is there other business support available from Business East Sussex?

Yes! Our business support services extend beyond helping with access to finance. We can also offer access to business mentoring for applicants. Our team of experts can guide you through the application process for finance access, as well as advising on business growth and fulfilling large contracts.

How do I find out more or apply for a grant?

You can find out more at any time by contacting our friendly team of business experts. If you are a consultant supporting a business owner and would like to meet other businesses and the Business East Sussex team to find out about services available in East Sussex, you can register your interest in our Business East Sussex Connect event taking place in Eastbourne on November 7th. Please note, due to limited spaces for this event, the event will be invite only. Please register your interest by and one of our team will be in touch.

You can apply for a grant by contacting our team who will be able to guide you through the next steps.


We are Hiring: Growth Hub Navigator

JOB TITLE– Growth Hub Navigator

TEAM – Business East Sussex

LOCATION – Hastings

REPORTING TO – Growth Hub Manager

SALARY – £25,000-£27,000

CLOSING DATE: 27th July 2018 (Interviews expected w/c 6th August)

Please email info@ldbgroup.co.uk with a copy of your CV to request an application form.

MAIN PURPOSE OF THE ROLE

To raise awareness of the support available through the Growth Hub to help businesses to grow

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • To promote the services of the Growth Hub
  • Represent the Growth Hub at appropriate marketing events, exhibitions, networking events and other relevant meetings
  • Proactively build market awareness of services through social media, building relationships, networks and client referrals
  • Identify the most appropriate referrals to both local and national providers
  • Ensure impartial and transparent referrals to local, national and private providers
  • Determining the businesses needs by questioning and listening to their requirements
  • Completion of business diagnostics and ongoing support
  • Follow-up referrals with businesses and providers to monitor take-up and level of satisfaction
  • Relationship management
  • Maintain accurate and up to date records including regular and timely updating of CRM
  • To support continual process and service improvement
  • To undertake such other tasks as considered appropriate by your Line Manager or Chief Executive

Contact and Communication

  • With individuals and businesses wishing to grow their businesses
  • With external partners, funders and stakeholders
  • With colleagues and partners to projects

KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES

  • Achievement of key contractual targets
  • Businesses correctly advised and signposted on services and support available
  • Ensuring delivery of the Group’s business plan objectives and targets
  • Colleagues satisfaction with support for specific projects
  • Adherence to all Data Protection, Confidentiality and Compliance protocols
  • Meeting prescribed targets relating to our quality and contractual standards, including ensuring the CRM system is up-to-date at all times.

Financial Accountability – None

Employees responsible for – None

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Requirement:

Education, training and qualifications

Essential

  • Educated to Level 3 standard or equivalent

Desirable

  • Professional business qualification

Skills, knowledge and abilities

Essential

  • Ability to work accurately and to tight deadlines.
  • Good communication skills, written and oral.
  • Presentation skills including the use of Powerpoint
  • Flexibility – the role will require significant flexibility in being able to work across a range of projects, and with a range of stakeholders
  • Strong organisational (including time management)
  • Determining the businesses needs by questioning and listening to business – both face to face and telephone
  • Highly developed networking skills
  • Numeracy, computer skills, including the use of spreadsheets, word processing and other relevant software packages
  • Knowledge of the local economy and wider economic influences
  • Preparation and delivery of presentations
  • Identification and signposting of leads

Desirable

  • Credit analysis and risk/debt management
  • Financial analysis/credit assessment
  • Coaching and/or mentoring
  • Decision making
  • Understanding of marketing and sales
  • An understanding of the projects being delivered and target beneficiaries
  • An understanding of the range of business support, training and finance offered

Experience

Essential

  • Working with and providing advice to, and understanding the needs of, businesses (of different sizes and sectors) and stakeholders
  • Customer Service Representative or business support/enquiry handling background

Desirable

  • Previous experience in a commercial/financial environment
  • Previous inward investment/commercial property experience

Personal attributes

Essential

  • The ability to work as part of a team, within an office environment but also self-motivated to work alone in a peripatetic capacity
  • Ability to work with a range of people including the general public, partners and public sector colleagues.
  • The ability to work to deadlines, with good time management and efficient work patterns.
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Creativity – the ability to generate solutions for businesses
  • Ability to establish and build relationships with external parties, other business partners and key influencers
  • Ability to assimilate new information readily and to apply it practically

Role Specific Requirements

  • Ability and flexibility to travel within the county and more widely to ensure the delivery of outcomes is an essential of this role
  • Networking is a core part of the role and you may be expected to attend these events outside of the core working hours
  • It is expected that the successful applicant will have access to a suitable vehicle which will need to be insured for business use. Costs incurred for vehicle use for activities in connection with the position will be reimbursed at an agreed rate per month.

Closing date: Friday 27th July

Please email info@ldbgroup.co.uk with a copy of your CV to request an application form.


Business East Sussex Support Sessions come to Brighton!

The team at Business East Sussex are pleased to announce they will be exhibiting at this year’s Let’s Do Business Brighton exhibition as part of the innovative new Enterprise Zone. The zone, sponsored by Barclays Eagle Labs will feature local business support services offering exhibitors and exhibition goers the opportunity to find out about business growth, funding and support sessions.

Among the support services on offer from the BES business experts, will be access to finance including grants that are available now for SMEs in the East Sussex area. Available through the European Regional Development Fund, the grants available for businesses in the region start from £1,000 and go up to a maximum of £10,000. The Enterprise Zone support sessions will enable companies to find out if they could be eligible and how to begin the application process.

There will also be the opportunity to put questions to Business East Sussex’s Business Support Navigators in real time following previous support sessions instrumented via the hashtag #AskFred. The Business East Sussex team, made up of 10 business experts, each with their own area of expertise, will also be informing visitors about free events taking place in the local business community including Ready for Business events for start-ups and entrepreneurs, and marketing workshops to help businesses with promotion.

This year’s exhibition takes place at a new venue, the Amex Stadium in Falmer on June 14th and will offer an exciting array of speakers, stands and networking opportunities. For those wanting to make the most out of the day, there will be a pre-event networking breakfast with Juice FM at the Stadium, and post-expo exhibitors and visitors are invited to network in the Sussex Skills Solutions Lounge while watching the first game of the 2018 World Cup.

The Business East Sussex team have a wealth of experience offering support services and funding to a number of businesses from a variety of industries – you can read about ways they’ve recently helped other businesses and may be able to help you too by visiting our case study page. In total over the last 12 months, the 10-strong team has engaged with over a thousand businesses, as well as offering support consultations to 450.

Business East Sussex is hoping to extend its offering of support and access to funding to more female entrepreneurs across the county, following a successful 12 months helping female led businesses. This has led to Business East Sussex sponsoring the Medium Business category at the JP South Events Women in Business awards taking place this July. Judging for the event takes place on 29th May and the panel will include a member of the Business East Sussex team.

Ian Smallwood, Head of Business Services for Business East Sussex says “The Business East Sussex team is often out and about in East Sussex meeting businesses and spreading the word about how owners can benefit from our services. It’s great to be a part of this year’s Enterprise Zone, which makes life for busy and time poor business owners easy by offering a number of support services all under one roof. The Business East Sussex team is looking forward to meeting everyone on stand B1 on June 14th.”

To find out how Business East Sussex could help your business please visit the contact us page.

To find out more about the Let’s Do Business exhibition and Enterprise Zone, or to pre-register please visit letsdobusiness.org/brighton-expo


Managing a business while on holiday

Research suggests that many entrepreneurs find taking a holiday challenging, as managing a business while on holiday can be difficult. With the UK’s early heatwave making many consider taking time off to enjoy the weather; it raises the question of how entrepreneurs flying solo or managing small teams can get a well-earned break without relinquishing control over their business.

While many entrepreneurs and business owners decide to forgo holidays in favour of building their companies, there are plenty of reasons it’s wise to take a break. Here, our team of business experts offer their advice for managing a business while on holiday without taking your eye off the ball:

 

  • Prepare – It seem easier said than done, but ensuring you start preparing for your annual leave in sufficient time can help you to feel more comfortable about going away. Think about what you have scheduled in for that time in advance, and prepare and delegate as necessary. Managing a business while on holiday is easier if you let any important contacts know you will be away and your return date so that you know you won’t be missing anything important.

 

  • Learn how to delegate effectively – When you start a business, it’s tempting to want to keep control of many things. It’s good to get in to the practice of delegating if you have a team, as it will stand you in good stead for when work becomes unmanageable. Managing a business while on holiday is easier done if you’re not trying to run things alone. Think about the strengths of your team and what they like to do – people generally respond better to being given tasks if it’s something they enjoy or excel at. If you’re flying solo, consider making it clear when customers / suppliers can expect replies from you and see if someone you trust is able to handle any emergencies in your absence if necessary.

 

  • Make sure your handover is clear – It’s unfair and won’t go down well if you land work on staff without making sure everyone knows what they’re doing and how to do it. The key to managing a business while on holiday is to create a handover where tasks and priorities are clearly outlined. Make sure you’ve sent it round with sufficient time for people to ask questions if they don’t understand to minimise the risk of being contacted while you’re away.

 

  • Do research on your holiday destination – Most places have Wi-Fi, but be sure to check if you are going somewhere remote if you will be able to receive and make calls or emails. Be sure to let people know times you definitely won’t be contactable – EG when you are on the plane and who they should contact instead in case of an emergency.

 

  • Schedule and automate where possible – Scheduling and automating processes can help to keep things ticking over while you are away without the need for passing work over to someone else. There are plenty of services out there that can help to make life easier when managing a business while on holiday.

 

  • Set aside a specific time to check in with colleagues – and stick to it! It’s tempting to check emails by the poolside, but especially if you’re going away with family, time away from checking in at work is healthy. If you know you’ll want to check emails and calls set aside a specific time frame and stick to it. If things can wait until you return, only deal with what’s urgent.

 

  • Don’t forget to set your ‘out of office’ – This will stop you being chased by people for things so can help you to really get the break you deserve. It’s wise to add the date of your return so people know when to expect a reply, and a note explaining what to do if the matter in question is urgent.

 

  • Have a clear diary for when you return – Managing a business while on holiday becomes much less stressful if you know you have set aside time to catch up on your return. Don’t over fill your diary the week you are back and set aside time to catch up with your team as well as your emails.

To find out how the business experts at Business East Sussex could help you better manage or grow your start-up or SME, please contact us here or call us on 0844 415 2260


Spring clean your business finances

If there’s one area that’s integral to keeping a successful business running, it’s keeping your business finances in order. Despite this, it’s an area of business many entrepreneurs and small business owners find difficult to manage. With the end of the tax year having just passed and spring in full swing, there’s no better time to spring clean your business finances and assess your spending, so our experts have compiled their top tips concerning all things cash!

Tighten your bookkeeping processesIt sounds dull, but ensuring efficient management of all your invoices and outgoings is a crucial part of keeping a small business running. If this is something you do yourself alongside other duties, consider employing someone to do this for you or look in to trusted online systems that can support you with this.  It can seem like an extra expense, but if you can streamline processes and save valuable work hours you may find in the long run, it’s more than worth the investment.

Assess your outgoings and operationsNaturally, this will be something most business owners are used to doing, but opening up to different options for various aspects of running your business could help you make changes you hadn’t thought about. For example, could you automate some processes to make them simpler?  Is outsourcing some aspects of your day-to-day running costs effective? Could being located in a certain area help to grow your business? These are all questions to consider so you can ascertain where to make savings and where to spend.

Apply for a grantOne thing many entrepreneurs wish they could do is grow their business, but a lack of funding can put unnecessary obstacles in the way. Despite what many people believe about having limited access to business finances, grants are available in East Sussex to help fund business growth.

Get support and advice from a trustworthy source The business advice team at Business East Sussex can offer support, mentoring and advice on all aspects of your business finances. Support sessions are available with advice on starting, growing and financing a business. You can find out how to get the right support for your business here.

Check out free resources – One of the great things about access to the internet is that there are many resources available free of charge and at the click of a button that can help you to keep your finances in check and manage business admin. Take a look at the Let’s Do Business Group advice section for useful free options.

Have a sound invoicing system – and stick to it! This will make business finances much less hassle. Be sure to send out invoices as soon as you can after work has been completed, and clearly outline your payment terms.  If you often undertake high value jobs, be clear before any work is undertaken when you’ll need payment so people know how much is required and by when.

Don’t spend budget on training unnecessarily   It can seem like there’s a million and one things to learn when running a small business, particularly if you don’t yet have budget for many staff members. There’s marketing, GDPR, first aid, HR and more to keep track of, but there are a number of local free or low cost workshops and events available to help with this – these can also help you to save on precious business finances.

Remember time is money! It’s tempting to think of business finances and money as only physical expenditure, but by spending unnecessary time on things, you’re also wasting resource and subsequently time that could be spent generating your business more revenue. Are you tied up in meetings most days without opportunity to actually get work done? Perhaps you find yourself replying to emails all evening without a break? Think about ways you can be more productive to save your valuable time – are those networking drinks really a must do? Do you need to travel for hours to a meeting or could it be done over Skype? Chances are there are small tweaks you can make to your diary to save time and money.

Do you want to find out how to manage your business finances? Simply contact us here or call one of our friendly business experts to arrange a support session on 0844 415 2260.


BES to sponsor Women in Business Awards

Business East Sussex (BES) is delighted to be sponsoring one of the categories at this year’s Women in Business Awards.

BES is sponsoring the Medium Business Award which is open to all businesses within the Sussex area which is owned, part owned or wholly or partly run by a woman with 10-50 employees that can demonstrate exceptional performance, growth and market leadership.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Ian Smallwood, Head of Business Services at BES, said: “We’re delighted to sponsoring such a prestigious set of awards.

“We work with a number of female-led businesses throughout East Sussex and are seeing more and more coming through as women take the entrepreneurial route of working for themselves.”

To enter the awards visit: www.jpeventssouth.co.uk/events/es-women-in-business/

There can be no doubt that women are underrepresented in the workplace and in business.

Statistics in America show that women are less likely to receive the first critical promotion to manager—so far fewer end up on the path to leadership—and they are less likely to be hired into more senior positions.

And, here in the UK, there has been a great debate in recent months about the gender pay gap – with high profile Radio 4 reporters discovering they are paid less than their male counterparts and big companies revealing their statistics on wages.

Higher rates

Government data has shown that 74% of firms pay higher rates to their male staff. Just 15% of businesses with more than 250 employees pay more to women than and only 11% of firms said there is no difference between the rates paid to either gender.

However, there are institutions and businesses which eschew this norm. To that end, the Women in Business Awards, organised by Johnston Press, are a celebration of women in the workplace.

March 8th also marks International Women’s Day (IWD) which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women across the globe. This year, the theme of IWD is a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. There’s a strong call to #PressforProgress motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

BES will supporting IWD on social media and is calling on all businesses in East Sussex to show their support for gender parity  and use the hash tag #PressforProgess .


Top tips to love yourself and your business for entrepreneurs

So, you’ve started your own business. You have the funding, the sales are rolling in and you have started to make a small profit… but you’ve hit a wall emotionally and physically.

If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. The task of starting or running your own business is not an easy one – and the path is littered with burnouts; the people who care for their businesses more than themselves.

Here at Business East Sussex we help businesses secure finance and grants to help your dreams of becoming your own boss come true. But we are also here for the whole business and that includes YOU… the person running it.

So, with February being the month of love we decided to look at the things you can do to love yourself, which in turn will help you love your business more and help it grow.

One of the most important factors is to try and avoid stress, or at the very least recognise when you’re experiencing it. According to the Health and Safety Executive, some 526,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2016/17 and 12.5 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17.

But it’s not just workers that suffer from stress. People at the top suffer too. Managing stress is an important factor to running a successful business.

Here are our top seven tips on how to avoid stress and look after yourself while you’re running your own business:

Manage energy, not time

Your energy limits what you can do with your time, so manage it wisely. If you are burning the midnight hour checking your accounts every evening you may not have the energy to perform to your optimum the next day.

Build a great team

No one succeeds in business alone, and those who try will lose to a great team every time. Build your own great team to bolster success. Some may not be in the position to hire staff to help – however that does not mean you are not in a team. Your suppliers, if good enough, could be regarded as part of your team, your customers too, along with family members. If you have people, however close they are to the business, to rely on then you’re winning. As an entrepreneur, you should not try to do everything on your own. It’s good to be ambitious, but is wise to know your limits. To be successful, you don’t need to make yourself miserable

Embrace training

So, you have started your own business and things are going well. But for how long, and why? Just because you have become a successful entrepreneur does not mean you have to stop learning. Training, in whatever medium, will up skill you and give you that competitive edge. Perhaps an advice session with Business East Sussex is what you need to go from ticking over to taking off in your business.

Work-Life Balance

Relaxation is big business these days – and even if you run your own business you need to schedule in some time to relax. Being aware of your energy levels, time and your priorities is key to achieving a good work-life balance. It’s important to know your peaks and troughs. Are you a morning person? If you are, assign tough, high-concentration tasks to the mornings. Don’t leave the tough tasks until its night time and vice versa. That way you can always still get chance to put the children to bed.

Say no

You can’t do everything. So why even try?

Make your workspace work for you

Working for yourself does tend to require long hours and not much downtime, so invest in equipment that will support you. That includes getting a comfortable chair, an ergonomic keyboard, a support stand for your laptop. You’ll thank yourself later.

Disconnect

We live in a connected world these days and running your own business can mean you’re even more connected than the average man on the street. In your contacts will be customers, suppliers, partners, potential partners – and what’s more – you’re probably connected with these contacts on social media. You probably do your own marketing via social media too. How do you avoid the burnout that too much social media can cause? Well it seems flippant to say put your phone down – but it does really start with that. But others are advocating more – like a full digital detox. Studies show sustained time away from our screens is good for our health. But how do you start? List your devices says Dr Sally-Ann Law, a psychologist and personal life coach.  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/better/technology/9-ways-to-start-and-stick-to-a-digital-detox/) and then try and focus.  Stay in the moment with your loved ones and co-workers.


Tips to cope with the collapse of Carillion

Thousands of Carillion’s suppliers are beginning to feel the impact of its collapse with subcontractors that are owed money by the contracting giant starting to lay off workers. Business East Sussex looks at the situation and the sources of help and support available affected businesses.

 The recent and spectacular collapse of Carillion has really highlighted how complex the supply chain network of major businesses is in today’s corporate world.

It has also brought to the fore that in these collapses, it is usually the smaller creditors that will be most significantly affected. Initial estimates indicate unsecured creditors of Carillion will receive less than 1p for every £ that they are owed. Whilst Suzannah Nichol, CEO of UK Build, warned: “Previous collapses show that 17-18% of creditors do not survive the next five years.”

She also added: “The knock-on effect will be ricocheting right through the supply chain”

If your business is one of the, possibly as many as 30,000 creditors of the collapsed group, Business East Sussex strongly advises you firstly to take independent legal advice about your position and the process to register your interest with the Insolvency Service.

Secondly, talk to your finance providers. It will be vital to your business to keep them on your side. Be prepared for that conversation, not just how much you are owed but what that loss will mean to your cashflow over the next six to 12 months. Help them to understand what the size of your finance needs are likely to be over the coming months. They will be much more likely to work with you through this if they are confident that you understand your situation and in your ability to trade through it.

Longer term, it is important to consider what is your business strategy going to be to replace the lost income and how you can de-risk that growth to give your business as much protection as possible in the future?

The following resources have now been made available to all workers and businesses affected by Carillion’s liquidation and to those who are seeking further information:

  • a webpage set up by the Insolvency Service for those affected and seeking advice;
  • a dedicated website set up by the Special Managers, PWC, as well as a dedicated helpline Tel: 0800 063 9282.
  • more general advice on business support is available through the BEIS Business Support Helpline Tel: 0300 456 3565 and is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. There is also a text phone service available on 0208 742 8620

If your business has been affected by the collapse of the Carillion, the Business East Sussex Growth Hub is on hand to offer free help to businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to access the support and advice they need. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable advisors will guide you to the most relevant sources of support, advice and finance across the county.

Contact 0844 4152260

e-mail info@businesseastsussex.org.uk

Twitter @BizESussex


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