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SBC Stafford Eye

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Read on Welcome to Stafford The business focussed newsletter sent out to all businesses in the Borough, produced by Stafford Borough Council and Think Local 4 Business. In producing this magazine we want to ensure that you know about the assistance and advice that is available to companies in the Borough, as well as asking you what you would like to hear about in future editions of the Stafford Eye. There is news about the support that Stafford Enterprise and Staffordshire University are offering to businesses in the Borough. We have news on companies who are enjoying fantastic success and leading the way for the whole country in terms of growth and development, showing the possibilities that come with working in Stafford Borough. If you have any comments about this newsletter, or if you have a story about your business that you would like to see featured in the next edition of the Stafford Eye, then please let us know. Contact Ed Handley Tel 01785 619 588 Email [email protected] Essential Contacts and much moreYour BUSINESS Newsletter ISSUE 08 WINTER 2011 THINK LOCAL! STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY SUPPORTING GROWTH MAKING THE MOST OF APPRENTICESHIPS See page 03 See page 03
Page 1: SBC Stafford Eye

…Read on

Welcome to Stafford … The business focussed newsletter sent out to all businesses in the Borough, produced by Stafford Borough Council and Think Local 4 Business.

In producing this magazine we want to ensure that you know about the assistance and advice that is available to companies in the Borough, as well as asking you what you would like to hear about in future editions of the Stafford Eye.

There is news about the support that Stafford Enterprise and Staffordshire University are offering to businesses in the Borough.

We have news on companies who are enjoying fantastic success and leading the way for the whole country in terms of growth and development, showing the possibilities that come with working in Stafford Borough.

If you have any comments about this newsletter, or if you have a story about your business that you would like to see featured in the next edition of the Stafford Eye, then please let us know.

Contact Ed Handley

Tel 01785 619 588

Email [email protected]

Essential Contactsand much more…

Your BuSInESS Newsletter

ISSuE 08 WInTER 2011




See page 03

See page 03

Page 2: SBC Stafford Eye

voice 2 voice Ltd Ranked first in the Midlands and ninth fastest growing Technology Company in the uK in the 2011 deloitte Technology fast 50

Voice 2 Voice Ltd attributes its 2,610% revenue growth to its loyal, ever growing client base and dedicated staff. This personal service to clients has managed to keep them informed of changing technologies and applying these technologies to assist their clients to thrive in their industry. Voice 2 Voice Ltd have announced that they ranked ninth nationally in the 2011 Deloitte Technology Fast 50, a ranking of the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in the UK. Rankings are based on percentage revenue growth over five years. Voice 2 Voice Ltd grew 2,610% during this period and has taken the number one spot for the Midlands Region as well as the top spot in the Telecommunications and Networking Sector. The founder and Managing Director of Voice 2 Voice Ltd, Warren Stroud, credits a loyal growing client base, dedicated staff and fast evolving technologies with the company’s 2,610% revenue growth over the past five years. He said, “Our dedication to our client service has gained us a well-established name in the telecommunications industry. This

results in our continuous commitment to providing our clients with the highest standard of technical and sales expertise.” David Halstead, Partner leading the Deloitte Technology Fast 50, said: “The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 gives great profile to technology companies and is internationally recognised as being one of the most important business awards in the sector” “The 2011 Deloitte Fast 50 shows that tremendous growth rates are still possible, with internet and software sectors showing particular strength and making up over half (56%) of the companies in the Fast 50 ranking.” “The Technology Fast 50 awards are an opportunity for businesses to gain recognition for their successes and achievements over the last five years. This year’s ranking highlights the importance of finding a niche product or service to beat the recession.”

Contact Voice 2 Voice Ltd

Tel 0845 241 8399

Website www.voice2voice.co.uk

pg 02 ISSuE 08

Stafford company leading the way in the uK

Addmaster receives

Queen’s Award for Enterprise

Addmaster Md paul Morris was the proud recipient of the Queens Award for Enterprise for 2011 at a special presentation at Addmaster’s offices in Stafford.

The award was presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Sir James Hawley and his wife, Lady Hawley.

“This is a highly prestigious award that brings great credit to Paul and his team, as well as the county of Staffordshire”, said Sir James. “Addmaster have exceeded all expectations by pioneering great sales in a challenging export market. We wish them continued success in the future.” “We are very proud to receive this award which is a culmination of 11 years hard work,” added Paul, 42. “We have not only invented a new business model in our industry sector but used it to develop and promote world firsts in many markets. This includes Biomaster, a unique but simple antimicrobial additive that is safe, durable and effective in all applications against bacteria such as MRSA, E.Coli & Campylobacter.”

Also in attendance was the chairman of Staffordshire County Council, Frank Lewis, MBE.

If you would like to know more about Addmaster, you can contact them on:

Tel 01785 225 656

Email [email protected]

Website www.addmaster.co.uk

Page 3: SBC Stafford Eye

ISSuE 08 pg 03

Would you like to raise your business profile for free, feature more highly on google rankings and make more contacts locally?

www.thinklocal4business.co.uk offers you all of these opportunities and much more. Created and funded by local councils in Staffordshire, the Think Local website is completely free to use for all Staffordshire based businesses.

Redeveloped with the needs of businesses in mind, the site offers the opportunity to get involved with the social media revolution. No longer just a static business directory, www.thinklocal4business.co.uk takes the best features from Facebook and Linkedin and combines them in one fantastic package.

So what does the new version of www.thinklocal4business.co.uk offer your business?

An improved and more flexible business directory.

A detailed web presence, effectively a mini website.

Opportunity to publish photos and videos related to your business.

Higher search rankings on Google – the whole site is Search Engine Optimised to promote your business.

Ability to create networks of local business contacts and regularly communicate with them.

Ability to publish events of your choosing and invite other businesses to attend.

Opportunity to publish press releases and news stories for free.

In addition to this, the site allows you to search for any other local registered businesses via Google maps and Streetview, offers links to business support and useful contacts at your local council. Log on today and see what www.thinklocal4business.co.uk can do to help your business succeed!

If you want to find out more about the opportunities this initiative can pose for your business:

Contact Mary Timmis

Economic Development Officer Stafford Borough Council

Tel 01785 619 584

Email [email protected]

Website www.thinklocal4business.co.uk

Think Local 4 Business

So in future, remember


Page 4: SBC Stafford Eye

Staffordshire universitysupporting economic growth across the region

pg 04 ISSuE 08

Businesses wanted for new Local nature partnership Staffordshire University has been awarded

a Higher Education Innovation Fund grant of £4.8 million over the next 4 years to support the local and regional economy.

Since 2002 Staffordshire University has helped to set up 200 new businesses employing over 340 staff and placed 136 students on internships with over 80 companies. The University will be continuing their support to businesses and focusing on three main areas; embedding enterprise, achieving innovation and creating growth. Sandra Booth, Director of Enterprise and Commercial and leader of the bid said: “Over the next four years at Staffordshire University we will be able to intensify our knowledge exchange activity and widen the use of our existing programmes supporting enterprise. Through bespoke training and consultancy solutions we can assist businesses to remain competitive through access to the latest technologies within the University.” Staffordshire University has a successful track record of collaborating with businesses with initiatives such as award winning Knowledge Transfer Partnerships* and Innovation Vouchers, providing a link for businesses to access academic knowledge and expertise and a stable route to growth. *Knowledge Transfer Partnerships facilitate the transfer of knowledge, technology and skills to a company through the collaborative work of the three partners, the company, the University and a recent graduate. By working together the company can develop an area of the business and the graduate can gain commercial skills and experience”.

Contact For Business

Tel 01782 294 178

Email [email protected]

Staffordshire’s leading businesses are being urged to help form a new partnership which will work to ensure the environment is taken into account in local decision-making.

The Staffordshire Biodiversity Action Plan partnership is one of 22 partnerships across the country that have been awarded Government funding to develop their potential to become a Local Nature Partnership (LNP). Working at a strategic level, LNPs will be made up of individuals, businesses and other organisations who will work together to develop an environmental vision for their area. LNPs were one of the key proposals in the Natural Environment White Paper, and it is anticipated that they will work alongside other bodies such as Local Enterprise Partnerships to ensure that the natural environment is integrated within social and economic strategies for the area. Dr Jon Flanders, of the Staffordshire Biodiversity Action Plan partnership, which was selected by DEFRA to carry out the capacity-building exercise within the county to assess the support for a LNP, said: “It is

vital that the natural environment is a key consideration when formulating plans for the economic and social development of Staffordshire. “Society receives multiple benefits from good environmental management and a healthy natural environment provides countless benefits for business and communities. We are keen to get members of the business community involved in the LNP because we need input into, for example, how we can develop a Green Economy.”

Detailed information on Local Nature Partnerships can be found on DEFRA’s website at:




For more information on the Staffordshire Local Nature Partnership and how your business can get involved:

Contact Dr Jon Flanders

Tel 01889 880 121

Email [email protected]

Page 5: SBC Stafford Eye

ISSuE 08 pg 05

IT Security is Key

We have all heard the stories about data being stolen and fake identities created and it is tempting to think “I am a little company in Staffordshire with a couple of computers or a small network so why would anyone bother with me?”

I.T Systems & Solutions Ltd offer security audits and help with computer and network security, for more information:

Tel 01782 372 000 Email [email protected]

Website www.itsystemsandsolutions.co.uk

Just stop and think for a moment about the data you hold; customers names and addresses, customer credit card details, log on identities for your on line banking, employees details. You probably hold much more confidential information than you realise. How many of you share passwords or have a spreadsheet with your passwords saved? Maybe you use the same password for every access, and what would happen if that was discovered? You may work in a specialist industry that would have highly prized data worth stealing? Network security is vital to protect your business, your staff and yourself. Maybe you only need to make a few changes to significantly enhance your level of security you have at present. Small companies are often reliant on a few key members of staff and we undoubtedly trust them with all sorts of details, but do you really know who does what on the internet when you’re not there? Are you aware that whatever your employees are doing on the internet could have serious

legal implications for you as a business owner? Not to mention the time wasted. Security audits are a great way to see where you are and where you need to be in terms of protection. Following on from an audit, solutions ranging from simple free changes to more complex solutions requiring professional IT support can be provided.

Some simple tips: Ensure you use complex passwords,

using upper case, lowercase, numbers and figures.

You could make up a sentence based on something totally personal to you and use the first letter of each word and add a few numbers & capitals. Because it is so personal, you should remember it.

Do not use the same password for every account log in you use.

Whatever you do in terms of IT security, always use a company who has professionally trained and qualified technicians. They can offer the level of advice and support your data and systems deserve.

DiscountSolar Energy


Stafford Area Community Solar (SACS)

Do you want to get an annual return on your investment of up to 10% tax free

by generating your own electricity?

Did you know that by fitting six solar panels to the roof of a typical three-bedroom semi-detached house you would receive an annual income of around £250 as well as making a

saving on your electricity billsIf you have a suitable roof and would like to request a free, no-obligation survey:

Contact Robert Hine Sustainability Matters

Tel 01785 603 387

Email [email protected]

Contact The Solar Team MEB Total Ltd

Tel 08452 263 233

Quote the promotional code SACS

Page 6: SBC Stafford Eye

Apprenticeships can ensure that your workforce has the practical skills and qualifications your organisation needs now and in the future. Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes for new and existing employees designed around the needs of employers, which lead to nationally recognised qualifications. The mixture of on and off the job learning ensures they learn the skills that work best for your business. The event is being organised in conjunction with partners including Stoke & Staffordshire LEP, Stafford Works, Staffordshire County Council, Stafford College, South Staffs College, PM Training, and The National Apprenticeship Service. It will be held on Thursday 8 March 9am

until 12.30pm in the Ingestre Suite at the County Showground. Said Mary Timmis, Economic Development Officer from Stafford Borough Council, “Apprenticeships are not just for large businesses, small businesses can benefit too whatever the sector they are in and whether looking at new or existing employees. With the announcement by Government of plans to make the whole process of taking on an apprentice easier and the offering of financial incentives specifically to smaller businesses, this event couldn’t come at a better time. The aim of the event is to raise apprenticeship awareness, change some of the perceptions around apprenticeships and encourage local businesses to

seriously consider the benefits of becoming involved”. At this free of charge event, local businesses will hear from Training Providers on how apprenticeships are delivered and what support is available to them as employers, as well as from a small local business who recruits apprentices and an actual apprentice.

For further information or to register your place, please contact:

Contact Mary Timmis

Tel 01785 619 584

Email [email protected]

Apprenticeship for growth

pg 06 ISSuE 08

SUN 4 DEC 10.30am - 4.30pmSUN 11 DEC 10.30am - 4.30pmMON 19 DEC 9.00am - 8.00pm TUE 20 DEC 9.00am - 8.00pm WED 21 DEC 9.00am - 8.00pm THU 22 DEC 9.00am - 8.00pm FRI 23 DEC 9.00am - 8.00pm SAT 24 DEC 8.00am - 4.30pmSUN 25 DEC CLOSED

MON 26 DEC 10.30am - 4.30pmTUE 27 DEC 10.30am - 4.30pmWED 28 DEC 9.00am - 5.30pmTHU 29 DEC 9.00am - 5.30pmFRI 30 DEC 9.00am - 5.30pmSAT 31 DEC 9.00am - 5.30pmSUN 1 JAN CLOSEDMON 2 JAN 10.30am - 4.30pmTUE 3 JAN Normal Trading

Christmas Town Centre Opening Hours:

These times are a guide only; please check with individual stores for specific opening times. For more information on Stafford Town

Centre, visit: www.stafford-towncentre.co.uk

Stafford Borough Council and partners are organising an event aimed at encouraging local businesses to find out about apprenticeships, the benefits to all parties concerned and what support is available, including financial incentives.

Page 7: SBC Stafford Eye

ISSuE 08 pg 07

for future editions of the Stafford Eye, we want to hear from you about the questions or problems that you would like the answers to. We can then find out the answer for you and publish it in our next edition, or if your problem needs a quick response, we will contact you directly.

For instance, some of the following might be questions you need answers to;

How do I go about employing someone to expand my business?

How do I find out what my obligations are under data protection laws?

Where can I go to get help reducing my energy and heating costs?

Who can I speak to about Health and Safety law?

If you want us to feature a subject you want to know more about, we will get the experts advice and feature it in our next edition, or contact you directly.

Contact Ed Handley

Stafford Borough Council

Civic Centre / Riverside / Stafford ST16 3AQ

Tel 01785 619 588

Email [email protected]

How do I find out about…?

Be a part of Stafford’s


Page 8: SBC Stafford Eye


pg 08 ISSuE 08

If you need this information in large print, Braille, other language or on audio cassette, please contact:

Email [email protected]

Tel 01785 619 000i

STAffORd EnTERpRISE was established in 1987 and for the past 25 years has offered free and confidential help to anyone considering self-employment.

Are you thinking of setting up your own business

STAFFORD ENTERPRISE is an Enterprise Agency offering FREE and CONFIDENTIAL advice for those wishing to go into business. Since 1987 it has helped many busi-nesses set up and continues to provide ongoing support. The agency also works with other organisations to achieve the objectives of supporting and assisting small businesses in the local community. During the past 12 months, we have conducted 400 one to one meetings with budding entrepreneurs. These covered a wide range of business ideas with clients who have a diversity of knowledge, each

with specific needs. To complement and support the one to one counselling, we also offer a two and a half day Business Start Up course, there is a small charge for this, but it is heav-ily subsidised. The course covers topics including marketing, advertising, finance and bookkeeping. These have proved very popular and over the past year over 160 clients have attended one of our courses. A survey undertaken by Barclays Bank in conjunction with the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies has over a three

year period shown that anyone seeking advice and support from an Enterprise Agency when starting a business is:

More likely to survive

Less likely to close in financial distress

More likely to grow; and

Have better overall financial management.

Tel 01785 257 057

Email [email protected]

Website www.staffordenterprise.org.uk