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Blogs

Check out our blogs section where Chamber representatives, members and high-profile business figures write about a range of topics. If you are a member and want to submit a blog, please click here.

The future is sweet for Birmingham

By Ian Noble | Mondelez International

This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce to provide insight on the findings of the Birmingham Economic Review. The Birmingham Economic Review 2019 is produced by the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, with contributions from the West Midlands Growth Company. It is an in-depth exploration of the economy of England’s second city and is a high quality resource for organisations seeking to understand Birmingham to inform research, policy or investment decisions. This post is featured in the full Birmingham Economic Review 2019 and the Summary Review. These are available here. Mondelēz International is one...

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Avoiding GDPR Fatigue

By Pav Kaur | HSM UK

Over the last 18 months, it’s clear that GDPR has contributed to the complete overhaul of the way we handle our data. So many have made strides forward and for the right reasons. Yet for some, GDPR is felt as a weight on the shoulders of their organisation – but does it need to be? For those playing the word association game, the word pressure is usually synonymous with GDPR. It wasn’t too long ago that the phrase ‘GDPR’ sent shudders down the spine of anyone trying to desperately understand the new regulation, let alone prepare their business for it. Fast forward almost a year and a half from the 25th May 2018, a lot has changed. Generally, individuals are now beginning to understand the...

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5 security awareness topics your users need to know about NOW – part 1

By Rob Savage | Avatu - the email security specialists

Organisations can’t stop themselves coming under attack from thieves and other criminals trying to disrupt their business, damage their reputation or steal their data. But they can prepare themselves in better way and minimise the risk. In this blog, and the four others that follow in the series, we’ll cover five simple issues you need to be talking through with your employees right now. We start with phishing: don’t take the bait 1. Phishing: don’t take the bait Ensuring that employees have a great understanding of how to spot a phishing attack is often proven to be the most impactful element of a strong security awareness programme. According to the UK government’s 2018 Cyber Breaches...

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Sales is a Dirty Word

By Keith Rozelle | sales marvel limited

Ever been speed networking? It's all the rage these days as networking groups continually seek to differentiate themselves through innovating. And, as I pointed out in my Is Sales a Dirty Word? blog a few weeks ago, it’s vital you're ready when prompted for your "pitch." They are also, if taken seriously, extremely productive as you could be delivering 15-20 pitches in less then 30-minutes, so Top Tip No.1 is: Avoid stuttering like a teenager asking for their first date - Practice your Pitch well before the event... 2. After drafting your Pitch, ask yourself "so what?" This will ensure that you set out tangible benefits - e.g. "We optimise sales processes. (So What?) So that none of your...

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I hate marketing...

By Clare Whalley | Meta4 Business Coaching Ltd

…is a phrase I hear on a regular basis.  Small business owners who come to me with feelings of lack of control and structure in their business, the conversation around business growth always starts here; my marketing isn’t working; no one’s engaging with it and I’m not sure what to talk about anymore…  “Marketing is really just about sharing your passion” - Michael Hyatt  It’s no surprise to find that when you’re feeling out of control in your business and you’re not attracting the clients you really want to be working with, that your passion for marketing goes out of the window too.   The more disenfranchised you feel in your business the more your marketing message goes off track – you...

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Building Birmingham through social enterprise

By John Carlin | Wates Construction

As of November 2018, Birmingham is proudly a ‘Social Enterprise City’. This is, in large part, thanks to the city possessing the largest contingent of social enterprises outside London. The latest baseline survey of social enterprise activity in the city conducted on behalf of the Birmingham Social Enterprise City steering group and published in July 2019, revealed that there are currently 564 social enterprises successfully operating in Birmingham. The five most populous trade sectors for social enterprise across the city are: Education and Training (52%), Health, Social Care and Welfare (41%), Community Development and Regeneration (26%), Advice, Counselling and Guidance (18%), Creative,...

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Diversity in Leadership: Diversity starts with us

By Dr Justin Varney | Birmingham City Council

This blog is part of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce’s (ABCC) Diversity in Leadership campaign. The Diversity in Leadership campaign works with some of the regions’ biggest employers in order to boost the numbers of women and those from black and minority ethnic (BAME), lesbian gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and disability groups being represented on boards of directors and in leadership roles. Click here to find out more about the campaign.  Often we talk about diversity and inclusion as it affects other people, it a topic which is easier to discuss in the abstract or through the prism of headline statistics rather than our own lived experience. As a white educated man it is...

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How we use Twitter: 5 Tips

By Tom Cash | Foxmere Technologies

Nine months. Nine long months. This is how long it has taken us to reach 1000 followers on Twitter. Although we're far from the follower count of Barack Obama we have still learned a lot of valuable lessons on our journey, so far. We know, for sure, that @foxmere could have done it faster or gained more followers by now. However, we're grateful for what we have achieved and for the engaged and committed audience that we have built along the way. Here is what we have learned: 1. Build bold content Make your tweets stand out. Use media and creative layouts where possible as these are more likely to drive user engagement. In fact, a tweet with an image is likely to drive 150% more retweets. Example...

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Reduce your HGV insurance by preventing falls from vehicles

By Adrian Littler | CLA (Risk Solutions) Ltd

Every year, more than 2,000 serious injuries are caused by falls from vehicles that are reported to HSE (Health and Safety Executive). Insurance claims for one injury can often be over £100,000. Falls from height are one of the most common causes of death from industrial accidents with 35 of 144 work-related fatalities in 2017/2018. With 3 million people in Great Britain working on or near vehicles as part of their regular job, falls from cabs or trailers pose a serious risk to your business. Considering these statistics, taking measures to prevent this type of accident can save your haulage business from losses and reduce your haulage insurance premium. Risk assessments for hauliers Carrying...

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Planning building work? Get legal advice

By Linda Heyworth | Sydney Mitchell LLP

When a property development involving a building that is listed or in a conservation area is undertaken, it is reasonable for the contractor employed to do the work to assume that the employer has used due diligence to obtain the necessary planning consents. In a recent case, a contractor was retained to undertake extensive works to a building, including the construction of a basement-level swimming pool. The building is in a conservation area and the works involved an element of demolition of the existing building, which in turn meant that Conservation Area Consent (CAC) needed to be sought. Although the various planning permissions were obtained, no application for CAC was made and the local...

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