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Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 
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Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 
Connect. Support. Grow.


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Connect


Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

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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.

How much is staffing costing your care business?

By Jayne Scarman | Unique IQ

One of the biggest expenses in any business is its staff, with a particular pinch point being the recruitment of new staff, especially when its driven by a high turnover rate. The care industry is no exception, with the recent Care Association Alliance Social Work Study revealing that the average turnover rate for the care sector is 27% – amongst the highest of any industry. Last year’s recruitment and retention in adult social care services report from the Social Care Workforce Research Unit concluded that ‘longstanding difficulties in recruitment and retention had worsened because of the growing gap between overall levels of demand for social care and expenditure’. It’s estimated that there...

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Tell your children – they’ll hold you to account!

By Ian J Preston | IJP Consultancy Ltd

“What’s Your Biggest Challenge Right Now?” is a great question to ask on so many occasions. As a Business Coach I ask it frequently of my clients. I also ask it of people when I meet them a networking events. It never ceases to amaze me what a challenging question it can be in itself and quite often it is followed by a period of silence, then “That’s a good question. No-one has ever asked me that before” Another (less challenging) way of asking the same thing is to say “If I could wave a magic wand over you and/or your business and change one thing, what would it be?” It is a question we should ask ourselves constantly, followed by “What are we going to do about it? Albert Einstein is often...

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How to improve your local SEO in under five minutes

By John Hoey | The Marketing People

Burntwood-based in-house marketing agency The Marketing People have recently released a series of short videos to help fellow Chamber members get the most out of their business. In their latest offering, they show you how to dramatically increase your local web visibility immediately. If you are looking to improve your company’s local search rankings, use Google My Business. It’s easy to set up, it’s extremely effective, and best of all, it’s totally FREE. The Marketing People’s SEO Manager John Hoey shows you the simple steps to set up your Google My Business account and quickly connect with customers based upon your location. Easily add your e-mail address, phone number, cover photos and...

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Selling is the lifeblood of your business!

By Ian J Preston | IJP Consultancy Ltd

Selling well is the key to the success of any business. Sales equals orders which means revenue coming in and hopefully profit. In SME’s and larger organisations this profit pays the wages, R&D, covers premise and manufacturing costs and importantly covers marketing and other growth expenditure. For smaller businesses including ‘solopreneurs’ and sole-traders the money coming in is even more important than that! As well as funding your business it’s also what put’s the shoes on your kids’ feet, the clothes on your back, pays for the car and the holidays, fills the fridge and helps you sleep at night! Whether you are in a business large or small, surely therefore it must be worth investing...

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How do you take a guilt-free holiday from your business?

By Clare Whalley | Meta4 Business Coaching Ltd

Perhaps you’ve been running your business for some time now or you could be just a few months in, either way, the thought of taking a holiday and one where you’re able to switch off just isn’t an option right now…or is it? This image conjures up feelings of freedom, fun and complete escapism, doesn’t it? And the fact that it looks like a private pool makes for an even better holiday where you can fully relax and be entirely YOU. Does that feel like wishful thinking; a dream so far away it’s not worth thinking about? You may feel like you can’t take a holiday due to the amount of work you have on or you’ll lose momentum building up your pipeline, to earn the money you need in order to pay...

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Be careful how you gather evidence - it could affect your claim

By Laura Rollason | Spencer Shaw Solicitors

When taking a claim to an employment tribunal, it is important to have evidence that supports your claim. It can be tempting to try all means to obtain evidence. However, the recent case of Phoenix House v Stockman showed that it is vital to follow the correct procedures or risk damaging your case. Phoenix House v Stockman The claimant, Mrs Stockman, had secretly recorded a meeting with the Director of Resources at Phoenix House during a dispute. While her employer did not know about the recording, Miss Stockman was later dismissed. An Employment Tribunal found that the dismissal was unfair, and this was not appealed. The case came to the Employment Appeal Tribunal to decide whether Mrs...

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If you're not doing these 3 things, you're not as secure as you think

By Rob Savage | Avatu - the information security advisors

Email security is a big problem, even for smaller companies. But many believe they've 'got it covered' by their inbuilt or superficial protection…but many organisations are actually more vulnerable than they think. Email is – BY FAR - the biggest risk when it comes to information security. Incredibly, 91% of all cyber-attacks start with an email. You might also be surprised to hear that more than 4 in 10 UK businesses suffered a data breach in the past 12 months. And you're now 40% more likely to be a victim of cybercrime than burglary (but many companies are better prepared to prevent a burglary than a data breach). Many organisations don't realise that small, simple and cost-effective technologies...

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Nine reasons to work with a web design professional

By Darren Langley | Darren Langley Web Design

Imagine this: You want a website that appeals to your intended customers while still maintaining professionalism. You know that the site is essentially the online face of your brand, and thus, it is crucial to create the best experience possible. You then set a course to make the website happen. Would you: 1, design the site by yourself or 2, hire a professional web designer to do it for you? Would the benefits outweigh the costs of hiring someone that is an expert in this field of work? Let’s find out. 1 - Time is money Professional web designers have experience. They know what to do and how to do it. This means that they tend to work more efficiently and quickly, thus saving you lots...

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Small Business Birmingham: How the UK’s second city came out on top

By Neil Lancaster | Adams Moore

With an ‘EU exit’ now delayed for the foreseeable future, small businesses up and down the country will be wondering how, when, or even whether to invest at all during a time of such economic uncertainty. While Brexit-proofing should remain high on any SME’s list of priorities, where a small business is based in the UK could have a significant impact on an start-up’s future success once we officially find ourselves within a post-Brexit era. Perhaps surprisingly, the Small Business Index 2019 from mobile payments platform SumUp revealed that Birmingham was in fact the best place for a UK small business to be based. Analysing 100 of the most populous cities in Europe, the index observes several...

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Seven advantages to online learning

By Reza Pazhoheshnia | Star IT Euro

The latest challenges facing traditional universities and colleges, including higher expenses, budget cuts, as well as course shortages, have caused many students to find alternatives. With nearly four million students currently enrolled in fully online diploma programs and seven million taking no less than one online course included in their degree program, online education has become the most popular higher education alternative. The continually improving standing of online learning has also helped fuel its expansion, as initial skepticism has faltered when confronted with evidence that implies that online learning may be just as efficient as face-to-face schooling. Consequently students,...

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