My weekly reflection – Friday 5th May 2017


This week has been all about the move. Packing over the long weekend and then the actual move on Wednesday. Preparing the old office for handback on Thursday and then unpacking and sorting out at the new office on Friday. Our clients have been so accommodating and supportive we are extremely grateful to them all, but looking forward to being able to get back into the thick of it next week and being able to add new services for them from the new venue.

A new home, so we may have interrupted service this week…….

Due to our continued expansion we are on the move.

From 1st May our new address will be:

Suite 11 Keynes House

Chester Park,

Alfreton Road


DE21 4AS


We hope to be fully installed and back to regular service from Monday 8th May so feel free to pop in for a cuppa and the guided tour.

If you need something urgently this week please call and we will do our very best to support you.

My Weekly reflection – 28th April 2017

I was delighted to chair this years Marketing 2020:the dark side of digital event at the University of Derby on Monday afternoon/ evening. It was a fascinating, and scary, insight into what happens when digital marketing goes wrong, or is used maliciously.

Some great client meetings and a lot of planning for our imminent office move. We’ve seen some great, and some not so suitable, venues and think we’ve made a decision. One more piece of information and we can say all systems go…… or not!


UPDATE: we’re moving next Wednesday! Yikes!

East Midlands Chamber of Commerce

We’re delighted to confirm that we are now members of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce & we’re looking forward to getting to know our fellow members at events over the new few months

Read on…

As a follow on from last weeks World Book Day here ae some thoughts from our Business Manager – Elouise Smith



I walked into Waterstones the other day, and the place was vibrant with life. Not a speck of dust on a cobweb covered shelf housing a couple of unloved books to be found. There was a queue at the tills, the coffee shop was busy, the slide (!?) for the little ones was in full use and just the smell made me feel intelligent – offering the potential to walk out with a purchase of great meaning or self-development in my hands like a shield as I ventured back into the real world.

So how apt that we have a World Book Day, were we celebrate all things book! Something that has been happening annually now for the last 20 years suggesting, no, confirming that actual books and reading are most certainly not going out of fashion.

Within those 20 years the fear that the book shops days were numbered was very real. As technology continued to progress and ‘digital’ was becoming a part of our everyday lives to a point that we could never have imagined, the ‘tools’ and media that we could access became infinite and universal. I remember my mother telling me that I had to learn maths because I couldn’t carry a calculator with me everywhere I went…sorry ma! (although she was correct, you always need your basic mathematical skills kids!!) So as our phones moved off the wall and into our pockets and mainly because the internet became portable changing how we access music, videos, and of course books so too did the consumer’s choice.

What happened? In very general terms: Continue reading

3,2,1 Apprenticeships are Go!

Our Apprenticeship Expert Elouise Smith discusses the new apprentice levy during National Apprentice week


Here we are again, apprenticeships are the buzzword from the 6th – 10th of March, and, it’s the 10th anniversary for National Apprenticeship Week! 10 years, that’s a big anniversary that just happens to coincide with another one that is about to become a buzzword around apprenticeships – levy.

Here are the facts; almost 2 years ago it was announced in the summer budget that the government would introduce an apprenticeship levy, so this isn’t a surprise, but come 6th April do we really know what’s actually happening?

Apprenticeships are the employers’ duty, or at least the government thinks so. Control of apprenticeship funding is being handed to the employers and, rightly or wrongly, whether you agree or not, any companies with a payroll of £3million plus will have to pay this. In real terms this means that only 2% of UK businesses will be financially affected.   However, each business that qualifies to pay the levy will be given an ‘allowance’ of £15000 towards the 0.5% fee. This should help soften the blow of additional administration etc.

Is the government therefore cost saving and forcing the hand of employers to take apprentices?

Does a big payroll mean big profit?

Will these companies find a way to push the cost down onto their clients?

Employment Agencies are a good example, the ones that are big enough to be paying the levy, of course won’t be paying it, because I would expect that the cost will be passed onto their clients, who could potentially be hiring agency staff, so it could be that many more businesses will be paying this levy than the website would have you believe.

Is this negative association really the right message for apprenticeships and the positives that they bring? As it appears that in one way or another most businesses are paying this levy, it will be interesting to see what Apprenticeship week brings, and how the positives are publicised amongst this potential cloud hanging over it all.

Fundamentally this is about people and work. It’s about encouraging, empowering even, employers to take untrained people into their businesses and train them up, as we find nowadays that the education route perhaps isn’t always relevant, achieved or successful in leading to the goal of a job. Continue reading

My weekly reflection – Friday 3rd March 2017


I’m having to write this earlier than usual because I’m off to the Chamber Enterprising Women Awards dinner tonight at Colwick Hall in Nottingham. I’ll let you know who wins next week!


This week we’ve launched a couple of digital campaigns for clients to coincide with the new month & we celebrated World Book Day by posting favourite books from our friends, clients & suppliers. I now have a list to order that I don’t think my postman will appreciate!!  (If you want to check out the suggestions just look at the posts on here from yesterday.)

We also had a couple of conversations with suppliers we will be welcoming into the fold later this month to broaden and strengthen our services. Exciting times. And we spent a fabulous (if wet ) day in Ashbourne as the guests of Flint Bishop & Smith Cooper watching the Shrovetide football match. A great day out in a busy week.

But now a glass of something special & a very posh frock are calling – have a great weekend!

World Book day – what would you have chosen?

We’d like to take this chance to say a huge thank you to all our contributors today.

If you would like to answer any (or all) of the following questions then please let us know on and we’ll post your answers very soon


What is your favourite business book?

What was the last business book you read?

Is there a book you want to make time to read this year?

What book (business or otherwise) would you take to a desert island with you?

World Book Day: Annmarie Hanlon

Annmarie Hanlon is Programme Leader BSc (hons) Marketing (Digital)


What is your favourite business book? Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky  An older book, but memorable as it explained the notion of crowd power

What was the last business book you read? Cognitive (Internet of) Things: collaboration to optimize action by Arvind Sathi  it looks at the connected world and how the internet of things will influence our future. From artificial intelligenece to driverless cars

Is there a book you want to make time to read this year?  The analytical marketer, how to transform your marketing organisation by Adele Sweetwood.

What book (business or otherwise) would you take to a desert island with you?  So many to choose from! Wild swans by Jung Chang.  I selected at random at the airport and read on a flight back from Hong Kong and despite jet lag had to stay aake and finish the cultural journey through different generations living in China.

World Book Day: Rachel Hayward

Rachel Hayward is Managing Director of Ask the Chameleon Ltd.


What is your favourite business book? Starting your own business, the good, the bad and the unexpected by David Lester

What was the last business book you read?  Single Minded by Claude Littner

Is there a book you want to make time to read this year?  Game of thrones  – whole series (again, got half way through and got confused) and The Winning Bid by Emma Jacques

What book (business or otherwise) would you take to a desert island with you?  Mort or Shepherds Crown by Terry Pratchett