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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.

Password Managers: Maximising your online security

By Tom Whitehouse | Jask Creative

Up until now, human nature has told us that keeping two or three memorable passwords is the best way to access your online accounts. Storing those passwords through memory, on paper scraps, or via a ‘super secure’, aptly named “misc” folder on your desktop are genuine methods of password management. Whilst this may well be the easiest way of remembering logins, times are now changing. The rapidly approaching GDPR regulations in May are slowly but surely altering the values of everyone involved in personal information management. People are quickly realising that those two or three easy-to-remember passwords are vulnerable, leaving you wide open to attacks on your online accounts. So, what’s...

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Web design and best practices

By James Blackman | Cocoonfxmedia Ltd

In today's competitive online business environment, it is not only techies and developers who need to know what the best practices for building websites are. Decision makers and management should also have an insight into web design if they are to steer their organisation's web development towards a superior online offering that potential customers will notice. Here, we review what it means to have a responsive website, as well as how to achieve it. Why Do You Need a Responsive Website? Website optimisation is necessary so that an organisation’s online operation presents a professional appearance and works efficiently behind the scenes. For a business product or service to succeed, site...

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Four ways you can save money by colocation

By Kat Cooke | SCC

IT is no longer hiding in the back office; it’s at the forefront of businesses all over the world – and it is also costing more than ever before. It’s a valuable asset to your organisation and IT will inevitably grow and evolve over the coming years as technology continually progresses. So, how can you keep IT costs down, whilst also growing in accordance with new, exciting technology? It’s simple; co-locate. Colocation There’s a whole host of benefits when colocating your IT to an accredited data centre, but one of the main ones is cost saving. Colocate and make these benefits a reality: 1. Free up space The cost of renting and even owning office space is certainly not cheap, especially...

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Businesses can save money by being more evironmentally efficient

By Jayne Kennedy | B&M Waste Services

Rather than viewing waste as costly but necessary problem, taking a step back and looking at potential improvements will enhance your organisation’s environmental and financial performance. Know what waste you generate: It is easy to assume that you produce ‘general’ and ‘recyclable’ waste, but to tailor the right solution, at the right price, you need to understand the actual type, quantity and source of waste generated at your business premises. Whatever the size of your property, take the time to look at the waste going into your general waste containers - you might be surprised at how much, and the type of, recyclable material that is mixed in there. Embed practical recycling processes:...

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Assessment model will reduce development ambition in lower-value areas

By Abigaile Bromfield and Glenn Harris | Midland Heart

The new National Planning Policy Framework is welcome, but ministers need to reconsider the way it proposes housing needs should be assessed, say Abigaile Bromfield and Glenn Harris Revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) probably didn’t feature at the top of your summer reading list, but for us, and many like-minded folk working to deliver affordable housing, it certainly did. Recent research from Savills reaffirmed that the availability of land is the biggest barrier to housing associations like Midland Heart developing more homes, and planning clearly has a substantial role to play within that. We were first consulted on the proposed planning reforms as part of the Housing...

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Using images online without permission

By Stuart Rea | FBC Manby Bowdler

In the digital age we live in when around 2.5 billion people worldwide use social networks, it’s tempting – and easy - to cut and paste information and images from the internet for your own purposes. But if you do, it could land you in big trouble! Partner and IP specialist Stuart Rea has this advice: If Facebook and other social media platforms appear to have a cart-blanche ‘we can use your images’ policy then why can’t you do the same and use other people’s images without asking for permission first?  After all, it’s better to apologise later than ask first, right? Wrong. Using images online without permission isn’t as prevalent as you might think, purely because the law offers image owners...

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Create business success without sacrificing your soul

By Clare Whalley | Meta4 Business Coaching

Getting out of overwhelm I speak with small business owners all the time who are too busy working with clients (often who they do not love) and little to no time to focus on business development so the can get in front of the clients they want to work with, delivering what they really want to deliver. Perhaps you’re working with a few big clients who demand lots of your attention and it’s draining your resources? You could be working with a small team but are still fire-fighting your way through the majority of client issues yourself, working long days and feel like you are giving your heart and soul without reaping any of the rewards. You know what you need and want to be doing, but do not...

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ACTING EARLY CAN SAVE MONEY ON END OF LEASE COSTS

By Akim Kamangira | KWB Commercial Property Consultants

If you lease office or manufacturing space you can save money, and budget accurately for repair works required at the end of your lease, if you assess your likely bill for repairs and reinstatement at least a year in advance. To do this, you will need to engage a building surveyor to assess the cost of dilapidations well before the end of the lease. Dilapidations costs for tenants to repair, reinstate and decorate the premises at the end of a lease can run into many thousands of pounds, even if they have a Schedule of Condition which documents the state of the premises when the lease started. A dilapidations bill is often unexpected as well, as tenants are focussing on their new premises. Having...

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Get the financial planning habit

By Prithpal Saimbi | Close Brothers Asset Management

Everyone knows an Arranger. It’s the person who organises all the social nights out, has their summer holiday booked months in advance and never has a meeting out of place in their diary. Equally, most of us will know a Drifter – that friend or colleague who seems to exist in an eternal fog of confusion, and yet somehow manages to just about get by. Most of us would probably put ourselves somewhere in the middle. We might appear focused and organised at work, while our social life looks like complete chaos - or vice versa. While it’s true that some people find being organised easier than others, getting better at it and establishing habits that work for us as individuals is as much about...

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Step Inside the factory of the future

By Terri Hiskey | Epicor Software

Step inside the factory of the future and what do you expect to see? You might have visions of robots, drones, and voice-enabled technology, machines that can communicate with other machines, and biometric security systems. Well, the reality is that we’re much closer to this vision than you might realize. For example, a recent study from Epicor has found that 41 percent of businesses are already implementing some form of robot technology [1]. This is a trend that we’re also seeing among our customers. For example, in the Netherlands, Boers & Co FineMetalworking Group is in the process of trialling Industry 4.0 initiatives in their manufacturing facilities, while British producer of engineered...

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