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Dacorum Borough Council Subsidised Workshops

Social Media for Business – Create a Simple Action Plan that works for any business
Tuesday 3rd March 2015, 9.30am – 12.30am
Maylands Business Centre, Redbourn Road, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 7ES
Cost: £45+VAT
Are you using Social Media but not really getting the results you want? Or wondering why you’re not getting more connections or responses (let alone leads and business!)
Or simply have no idea what to say, where to start or how to get going?
From deciding which platform(s) to focus on, to creating a unique plan for your business, this informative and interactive session will help you focus on the key strategies to get Social Media working for your business.

To book your place please contact 01442 531002 or email maylands.reception@dacorum.gov.uk

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Funded HELP for small businesses is starting 26th Feb 2015! Have you signed up?

This funded, supportive eight step programme for small businesses provides a unique mix of practical support, expertise, shared learning and strategic focus on the best way to grow your business, and will be delivered by Hertfordshire Business School in Hatfield.

Meeting monthly at 6pm for two hours, a team of ten business experts and practitioners will in turn focus on different aspects of your business and lead you through current business theories, analysis, personal reflection and action planning with buddy support and peer input from other like-minded businesses.

Sign up today and check your eligibility for funding. Contact l.stevens@herts.ac.uk or phone 01707 28552

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HMRC scam guidance issued.

New guidance has been issued by HMRC advising  how to distinguish bogus e-mails such as phishing scams from genuine HMRC e-mails. The guidance gives an up-to-date record of genuine communication which has recently been issued by HMRC,  also a list of warning signs which could indicate that an e-mail is fraudulent. Warning signs include requests for personal information, demands for action to be taken immediately, and e-mails which aren’t addressed by name. The guidance also emphasizes the risk of viruses from e-mails with attachments. Suspected bogus e-mails should be reported to HMRC for further investigation.
To read more about the guidance, go to:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/genuine-hmrc-contact-and-recognising-phishing-emails

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Get and Stay Organised – (Time Management) course

Dacorum Borough Council
Subsidised Workshops

Get and Stay Organised – (Time Management)
Thursday 19th February 2015, 9.30am – 12.30am
Maylands Business Centre, Redbourn Road, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 7ES
Cost: £45+VAT
All businesses have limited resources and managers make huge efforts to plan how they are going to be deployed. A resource which sometimes gets overlooked is time and this is a resource which once gone is gone forever!
Getting organised and staying that way demands a degree of commitment and this training workshop will help you discover some highly effective ideas about staying focussed and organised even when under work pressures.
The session will show you how to prioritise and how to take an objective view of where you find yourself. It will give you workable tips about how to better manage your time and helps others to do the same.

To book your place please contact 01442 531002 or email maylands.reception@dacorum.gov.uk

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Policy makers urged to support the self-employed

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published a report recommending that the Government adjusts  its policies to suit a growing self-employed workforce. The report requests that policymakers  assist the self-employed with training and skills development. According to the IPPR, self-employed people in the UK are more likely to have lower levels of qualifications than those in paid employment. The IPPR also revealed that 40% of the overall increase in UK employment since 2010 has been due to an increase in self-employment, which is set to continue. Commenting on the increase in self-employment levels, IPPR researcher Izzy Hatfield stated: “This could have big implications for how these workers save for their pensions, access training to boost their productivity and ensure that their earnings keep pace with inflation.”
To find out more about the report, go to:
http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2015/01/government-urged-to-adapt-policies-to-self-employment-boom/

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New caps proposed on card processing fees

The EU has recommended new caps on the interchange fees that banks charge to card providers, which may reduce charges for retailers processing credit and debit cards. Under the recommended caps, the interchange fees charged to card providers such as Visa and MasterCard would be restricted to 0.3% on credit cards and 0.2% on debit cards. If approved by the European Parliament, the new fees could be in place by autumn 2015. The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS)  is very happy with  the plans, with James Lowman Chief Executive of the ACS, commenting: “We are pleased with this proposal which takes us one step closer to making the card charges convenience retailers face much more manageable”.
To read more about the proposal, go to:

ACS Welcomes EU’s Fairer Card Fee Proposals

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Customer Service Skills workshop

Just a few spaces left on this popular workshop being held at Maylands Business Centre on Wednesday 14th January.  £45.00 + VAT

Delivering Excellent Customer Service – Course Outline

Duration: 3.5 Hours

How can you differentiate yourself from your competitors ?… by giving excellent customer service. It is crucial that all customer service is delivered to build partnerships with your customers, so that you are their natural ‘first choice’ for the goods and services you supply.

Course Description: This workshop explores ways to deliver excellent service to all your customers even when they present you with difficulties. A difficult customer is potentially a very loyal one. If the customer knows you can deal with any problems really well they will have a greater loyalty to you.

However some customers can be very challenging to deal with from an individual and an organisational perspective. This workshop will help you identify how you can deliver excellent service and help you and your people deal with challenging customers with confidence. It will give you ideas to help you increase your customer base and delight all customers at the same time.

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Majority of employers failing to comply with DSE rules

Nearly three out of  four (73%) employers are not complying with the Display Screen Equipment Regulations, according to research commissioned by Specsavers, with only 47%  fully understanding their obligations. The survey of nearly 140 health and safety managers also showed that one out of every  ten respondents expected employees to pay for their own eye care, and about one in two merely contributed towards the cost, despite the law requiring employers to pay for eye tests and fully fund specially prescribed corrective lenses.
More information about the survey results is available at:
http://www.specsavers.co.uk/corporate/news-information/employers-need-more-help-with-dse-regulations

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Small companies recruitment problems cost economy billions

The Everline Small Business Tracker has revealed that the amount of time it takes small companies to recruit appropriate staff is costing the UK economy approximately £18 billion each year.  Each small business owner spends on average around 100 hours each year on recruitment and staff development, equating to almost £3,200 worth of their time. However, nearly one in six business owners trying to fill a vacancy in October 2014 were not able to find an adequate candidate. The number of vacancies in small companies in November 2014 (520,000) was the highest since 2004, and a substantial number of  small companies are planning to step up recruitment into 2015. Commenting on the findings, Charles Davis, Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) Director stated: “As small businesses continue to create jobs and this reduces unemployment faster than expected, we are seeing skill shortages become an ever greater challenge.”
Read more about the Small Business Tracker figures at:

Skills shortage to hinder UK growth

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