Smart Moves for Business Growth

Sometimes you can be running so fast to stay still, that you don’t have time to stop and think about ways that you can make your business more productive. You may think that you already have enough customers and it’s hard work enough keeping them happy, and that you’re business is as big as it’s ever going to get.

But what if you could make just a few simple changes, to your daily actions for example, or your attitude to change, to start experiencing business growth again? It can take just a small adjustment to your way of thinking and your everyday habits to stop the feeling that you’re always fire-fighting, and give you back control of the hours available in every working day.


Professional business expansion consultant David Hardisty, based in Horsham, Sussex, could be the kind of expert you need to come in, examine your business practices, and recommend more productive and efficient strategies that have been proven to work time and again across the range of small, medium and large organisations.

Road to Nowhere

“You don’t have to be a small business owner to experience this feeling of going nowhere and that you’re business is stagnating instead of expanding,” says David. “It can hit large corporations too, especially the ones that may be weighed down with bureaucratic processes that slow progress down and unwittingly strangle business initiative.”

I ask David how just a change in thinking can steer a floundering company back onto the path of success again?

“Of course it’s not just the thinking,” laughs David. “Ideas have to be followed up by action based on those ideas. But a lot of the time the solutions are so simple that business people wonder why they didn’t adopt these attitudes and shifts in performance sooner. Then again it’s frequently hard for those inside the business to see what’s wrong. An objective observer such as myself can look at what they’re doing and pinpoint the wasteful procedures, as I’m not inhibited with thoughts such as, ‘I can’t suggest this new process, it might upset my manager’.”

Productivity Barrier

David gives me an example of time management techniques, where employees are told to limit the time they spend on reading and responding to email to, say, the first hour of the day. “Checking and replying to emails can be a huge time waster and a major barrier to productivity. Some people get so many that they spend a large amount of time reading them all, and often break off from achieving a milestone to respond to an email that arrives in the middle of the day. Focus on the task at hand, not the requests for your time that keep pinging up in your emails. Otherwise you’re always running in circles and have a hard time acheiving completion of a project,” says David.


Adopting efficient time management processes is one of the tactics that David recommends. “Prioritise your tasks so that you do the deadline-driven tasks before other urgent work. It may sound obvious, but you could be working in an environment where your colleagues say ‘It’s always been done this way, so why should we change?’ There’s every reason to change if it benefits the business, and not the employees liking for legacy ways of doint things.”

Smarter Sales Tactics

A large amount of a business’s success relies on their sales and marketing team, of course, and again these efforts may not be pursuing the most effective strategies. “What company can say they have an ultra-efficient system to research and chase every sales lead that the business gets? In these days of the internet, there are some very efficient automatic mechanisms that can capture email addresses and phone numbers of prospects, and then automatically send out a reminder for follow-up action with the possible lead.”

“For example,” Dave elaborates, “when a business hands out shiny printed pamphlets of their products, anyone, hot lead or just a casual peruser, can look at the brochure and then chuck it out. But if you only distribute this information via virtual PDFs, and then only distribute the PDF after an email address and phone number is given, you have collected contact information for qualified leads, and saved on print costs of publishing your shiny brochure too!”

Embrace Change

So sometimes effective business growth can be achieved by adopting new online sales and marketing techniques, that are less invasive and more efficient.

David comments in parting, “Absolutely be prepared to embrace new technologies and systems if they can bring change for the better into your business. Sometimes the time these systems save, and the efficient organisation they can bring to your business in terms of shareable cloud-based products, can be the difference between success and failure in today’s competitive world.”

If you would like to know more about economic growth and business innovation in the UK, take a look at

For more information on business growth and expansion expert David Hardisty, go to or visit him on Facebook at


Growing Up with Digital

For most of us in the last few years, the internet has made a big impact in the ways that we shop, keep in touch with each other and keep up-to-date with local and global events.

But the Internet, eCommerce and the digital online world has also made a drastic difference to the range and type of job vacancies and careers that you can choose to follow. In recent years some industries and markets have moved almost entirely online, requiring a different and evolving skillset.

Emerging Job Types

Emerging techniques and technologies are rapidly presenting better, more efficient ways for companies to communicate with, market to and sell to their customers, forcing the marketing world to adapt and adopt these new far-reaching and measurable methods.

Specialist digital marketing and eCommerce recruitment agency Intelligent People, based in St Albans, has stayed at the forefront of the digital revolution. Many of the agency’s clients rely on Intelligent People to find new recruits with the cutting-edge skills necessary to remain competitive in an ever evolving technological world.

Lack of Candidates

“We have many internet-based job vacancies which are candidate-scarce, or in other words require experience and know-how that’s very much in demand by our hungry clients,” says Intelligent People co-founder Doug Bates. “A lot of these job areas didn’t exist 5 years ago. Some of our clients are small high-tech start-ups, who want candidates with leading edge skills, as the company is an early adopter of brand new digital approaches.”

“Other clients are mainstream organisations trying to keep pace with the many online ways to promote brand, send marketing messages and win customers over, because they now realise these are techniques that they have to adopt to effectively stay abreast or ahead of the competition.”

Pioneering Skills

I ask Doug what pioneering skills are in hot demand by small tech businesses just starting out?

“Start-up tech companies don’t have the luxury of separate dedicated marketing and product management teams, so employees have to be ‘jack’ or ‘jill-of-all-trades’ to some extent,” he replies. “And start-ups want to expand quickly and acquire customers as soon as possible. That’s when the company comes to us with a ‘growth hacker’ job vacancy.

Growth Hacking

“A growth hacker is a marketer with the ability to exploit multiple digital channels, an insight into and involvement in product management, and an ability to analyse data and code, to maybe build marketing itself into the product. Basically, someone focused entirely on business growth, and who has the ability to use any channel and strategy possible to achieve this.”

What other cutting-edge job opportunities are there out there?

“Demand for candidates for Chief Customer Officer or CCO vacancies has risen sharply recently,” says Intelligent People co-founder Chris Mason. “Again, 5 years ago there was only a handful of forward-thinking businesses that had a CCO on their executive team, but the idea is being embraced with more enthusiasm now.”

Customers are Crucial

“Between the customer service team being normally focused entirely on customer sales transactions, and the marketing team on brand image and communicating advertising and marketing messages, there’s a gap for an executive-level member of an organisation who will handle customers, including the process of engagement and the ability to understand exactly what they want and need. After all customers are the life blood of any business.”

Chris adds, “The job title can vary too, but the job function is still the same – someone who understands how to communicate with and listen to customers across multiple digital channels. Today there’s more opportunities to sell on more platforms than ever before, and a CCO knows how to use all these technologies to influence customers’ decisions.”

Catching Up with Digital

What kind of job role would an organisation search for, that suddenly finds themselves behind the times in using digital channels, and desperately wants to catch up and overtake the early adopters?

“Sounds like they would need to find a digital strategy consultant,” chuckles Chris. “That’s someone who’s really switched on when it comes to exploiting digital techniques to market a brand and sell products across all channels. A digital strategy consultant would assess all the available digital technologies that a company can exploit to reach their target audience, and from experience they can recommend which channels are the most effective and would bring the most sales and the fastest return on investment (ROI) for that organisation.”

Invaluable Candidate

Doug quips in, “This candidate would be invaluable to a business that hasn’t yet sorted out its complete approach to marketing and selling online, and is still sticking to the old ways until forced to embrace online advertising, search engine tactics, mobile platforms and other ways to reach customers wherever they go. All while being able to track and monitor the results of all these activities with data analysis tools.”

I knew that the online world has changed a lot of things in our everyday lives, but didn’t realise that the recruitment market had been revolutionised too. Doug and Chris have given me a fascinating insight into today’s and tomorrow’s technology recruitment needs.

For more information on Intelligent People and the interesting range of job opportunities that they offer, go to

Removing the Stress from Weddings

A lot of businesses are based around the idea of taking the strain and hassle out of life so your customers can use their time instead to have fun instead of concentrating on tedious or complicated tasks.

A wedding planner, for example, may at first seem like a frivolous luxury when you have so many other things to spend money on with a wedding fast approaching. But a wedding should be a lovely celebration of love, family and friends, and if it can become a stress factor in the lives of the couple and family involved, which happens more often we’d like to admit.

Unforeseen Mishaps

Any number of unforeseen mishaps could happen to potentially ruin the day, and sometimes the whole event can seem like an exercise in trying not to upset other people, rather than focusing on what the bride and groom want. When it comes down to it, any about-to-be-married couple would breathe a sigh of relief to have an organised efficient professional take the whole tricky organising and event arranging out of their hands.


Tania Nursiah began her wedding planner business, St Albans-based Orange Blossom, when she had her first child and could no longer devote long hours to her job as a director of a City-based investment bank. Her work experience has paid off in her new career as she has precise on-the-ball time and project management organisational skills from her demanding deadline-driven background.


“The services of a wedding planner may seem a luxury at first, but once I sit down and start talking to a wedding couple, and explain what I can do for them, they’re sold on the idea of a third party taking care of details for them,” says Tania. “There are so many things to plan and order and be delivered and arranged in a typical wedding, that when you set a wedding date you might not think of at first. Any family who’s experienced this, knows the long list of tasks – wedding invitations, booking suitably sized venues, finding accommodation for your guests, seating plans, outfits for everyone, flowers, rings, and last but not least – food and drink!”

I feel exhausted just listening to this list, which of course doesn’t even try to cover everything to be planned and put into action on time! “Some more traditional wedding ceremonies include a lot of conventional protocol too – which the couple may not even be aware of, until they inadvertently offend someone by not sending invitations by post to potential guests who have verbally declined, or not ordering flowers for the mother of the groom, but remembering the mother of the bride, for example!”

Lucky Success

Tania smiles and I expect she’s heard stories of a lot of past wedding woes, that the bride and groom have been told of and desperately want to avoid. It’s a minefield if you stop to think about it. How does anyone ever manage to have a happy conflict-free day? Sheer luck, perhaps!

I remember back to my wedding day – we didn’t know the registry office venue had a maximum capacity of 40 people, as we’d invited 80 to the ceremony! Thankfully it was a beautiful sunny day and half the ceremony guests stood in the lovely well-kept garden outside the venue door – but if it had rained, we may not have pulled that one off! Also the music machine broke so the bride walked down the aisle to a hushed silence.

If we’d hired a wedding organiser like Tania, none of these potential risk factors would have been a problem.

No Worries

“The whole special wedding day, and the run-up to it, should be as enjoyable and memorable as possible, and the bride and groom probably don’t have the time to plan meticulously, or the knowledge and experience to know what could go wrong, or what’s expected of them according to custom and etiquette for more formal ceremonies,” Tania explains.

“A wedding organiser will know exactly what to plan, check out and organise to go smoothly and to schedule. Above all, a wedding planner gives the couple and their family the precious gift of time and peace of mind to enjoy the wedding preparations without stress or anxiety, so that everyone is as relaxed as possible come the big day.”

To find out more about Orange Blossom and remove the worries from your wedding, go to or take a look on Facebook at

Cheaper Heat and Hot Water for Lower-Income Customers

What do you do when you’re living on a limited income, don’t have any savings and you’re told you need a new boiler?

This could be shocking news when you think of the £1,500-2,000 or more that’s needed to fork out for a brand new boiler. Not to mention installation and labour costs.

This very same problem happened to my 81-year-old mother, who was in the very same situation I described above. My mother’s only income was a restricted amount from pension investments. Even though she only has a small two-up two-down terraced house, which didn’t require a massive boiler, we were still looking at costs of £1650 when we got quotes from big name well-established traditional boiler and heating system suppliers.

Unconventional Thinking

But that was our problem – we were thinking conventionally, and when I started looking for alternative solutions from newer younger boiler supply companies, I discovered Hassle Free Boilers, a new boiler supply, installation and maintenance company that has stepped out of the usual mode and offers brand new boilers – including installation, regular servicing and breakdown repair – for a low monthly repayment fee. So no huge upfront one-off payment needed – in fact, no upfront payment at all required – just monthly affordable repayments over a period of 2-12 years.


Hassle Free Boilers offered the answer to my mother’s dilemma. First of all, they sent a team of surveyors to her house to assess the most suitable type of boiler for its size, available space and number of bathrooms. Then once a boiler type was chosen, and a quote and installation date agreed, a team of engineers installed the brand new boiler, cleaned up any resulting mess and made good on any decorating amendments that were necessary after the install.
My mother now has a lovely new energy-efficient combi (combination) boiler, a warm house and lots of hot water. She can look forward to yearly boiler maintenance services, plus any breakdown labour and parts costs, all included in her regular repayments.

So where did Hassle Free Boilers get such an innovative business model?

Canadian Business Model

“Canada,” says Lee Brooker, marketing director of Hassle Free Boilers. “We’re part of the award-winning highly eco-friendly group Ecovision, who are committed to helping people lower their carbon footprint by saving energy. We had heard of a scheme in Canada where people can repay their hot water and heating systems over a period of years, rather than in one lump sum. And as efficient heating is essential in most parts of Canada, it’s a very popular scheme. So Hassle Free Boilers and Ecovision decided to apply the principle in the UK and subsequently it’s really taken off.”

Who are Hassle Free Boilers?

Of course a brand new energy-efficient boiler has advantages all of its own, apart from making a home much more comfortable. Less fuel is required to get a building to an optimum temperature, which means savings on your energy bills. “So in a way, a brand new boiler pays for itself,” Lee says, “by reducing your heating and hot water bills considerably. Depending on the age and efficiency of your old boiler, it could have been 55% less efficient than a new A-rated boiler – and the resulting savings could be hundreds of pounds a year.”

Trusted Boiler Brands

Lee explains that Hassle Free Boilers only install the most trusted brands of boiler, such as Vaillant, Worcester Bosch and Ideal. “These are quality boilers with a great reputation and performance record,” Lee adds, so our customers only get the most reliable and efficient boiler makes.”

Offering the best of all worlds, Hassle Free Boilers also offers more conventional repayment plans, such as buying a boiler outright for the total cost. “But what we call the ‘Hassle Free’ option – the low monthly repayment plan – is our trademark and by far the most popular choice,” Lee says.

Having a wider variety of choice in the heating and hot water systems industry can only be a good thing for the customer, so I (and my mother!) say congratulations and thanks to Hassle Free Boilers for their innovation.
For more information on Hassle Free Boilers and its pay-monthly scheme, go to

The Pros of Car Window Tinting

How would you like your car to look exclusive and have an extra degree of privacy that most vehicles don’t? You can in an instant transform your car in this way by adding a layer of glass window tinting film in a selection of shades to give you an element of class and partial or complete invisibility.

Family-run glass tinting professionals Tintmaster, based in London Colney, Hertfordshire, are specialists in vehicle window tinting. You can either drive to their busy workshop to have the window film applied to your car’s windows, or their installers can come to you, making the company a truly mobile service provider. Being mobile is an ongoing theme with smart-thinking new service-providing companies as convenience to the customer becomes increasingly important and could be the factor that sets a business a step or two ahead of any competitors.

Positive Outlook

Being a well-established family business that has led the window glass tinting market sector locally for over a decade, Tintmaster has a very positive outlook on customer service, and everyone who works there is happy to go the extra mile (literally!) for each valued customer.

“Tinting car windows has become very popular in the last few years,” says Tintmaster founder Martin Schlatter. “The main reason for this is because car owners want to add a classy touch to their vehicles. Car tinted windows are often associated with luxury limousines or snazzy sports cars, but in fact you can easily apply a layer of film to car window, apart from the windscreen,” says Martin. “It doesn’t take long to cut the film to size and apply it, but the effect is startling, giving an ordinary car a touch of executive elegance and exclusivity.”


Practical Benefits

There are other practical benefits that applying window tinting film gives a car, although these may be often overlooked. “Window film can reduce the sun’s glare from inside the vehicle, making the interior more shaded and cooler. Sometimes we’re asked to work on vehicles other than cars, such as a tractor, and sticking a layer of tinted film on a tractor’s glass windows stops the sun’s rays from dazzling the driver and keeps prevents them from over-heating on a sunny day,” Martin says.

Car window tinting film can also reduce the levels of UV radiation that reach a vehicle’s interior, protecting the passengers and also preventing the car furnishings from fading too quickly.

Benefits of window tinting film

Shielded from Vision

“There’s also the privacy aspect,” Martin adds. “No matter if you’re driving, or crawling along in a traffic hold-up, or parked somewhere away from home, or even on your driveway, tinted windows reduce visibility of the contents of your car quite considerably, so belongings and people in the car are shielded from view to a certain extent depending on the shade of film that you choose.”

Tintmaster has also branched out into supplying and installing tinted window film to homes, offices, and public buildings. “If you want to let the light in but still have privacy, we can apply window film in to give a translucent, clouded effect, so that basement rooms in a house, conservatories in a private garden or interior glass walls and windows in an office building are private even if they’re overlooked,” Martin says. “There’s also something called safety window film, that can bring windows up to health and safety regulation standards by preventing the glass from shattering into fragments if damage occurs to a window. This one is popular in schools, for example, to protect the people inside the building if window breakage occurs.”

Splash of Colour

And when it comes to buildings, both residential and commercial, window film can easily add a splash of transformative colour in a wide range of shades. “With coloured tinted film, you can still see through the glass but it all has a coloured hue!” says Martin. “So if you want to colour the light coming into a room to, say, your favourite football team, or if you want to make your office windows reflect company colours, it’s an easy splash of colour you can add to create a stunning and dramatic look.”

So one small change like applying shaded window film to your car, or coloured window film to your home and office, or security window film to a public building, can change the look, quality of light or security quite drastically.

Tintmaster is a great example of a company helping people change their surroundings quickly and easily but dramatically, with maximum effect. Well done Tintmaster for offering a service that gets our vote for being unusual and different.

Go to for more information on Tintmaster and the services they offer or visit their Facebook page at:

Messy Designer's Table with Blank Note and Tools

How to Start an Unusual Business

happy-business-womanEveryone has heard the expression “What were they thinking when …” being spoken ironically from an important person we know. Of course, this was said after a few absurd new products or methods of doing something, or about something that was read or heard about by that individual. Believe it or not, it happens around the earth much more frequently than we realize.

All a human being has to do is various creative surfing on the Internet and they’re likely to obtain barraged with plenty of stories of unusual business ideas that turned common people into millionaires suddenly. A number of ideas that were so bizarre, that not even  your wildest dream could you imagine them coming factual. All I had to do was put in the terms unusual business ideas into a top search engine, and after jumping around to a few websites I stumbled upon some genuine good stories.


Bookshelves Into A Coffin

 What one can do with creative thoughts is absolutely astonishing. A Dutch designer shaped a bookshelf that can be rehabilitated into a coffin. Now a site known as Last Things sells two-part bookcases with detachable shelves and both sections hinged jointly to fold up into a box to be used as a coffin, and if you look more you’ll be certain to find other online entities offering alike things.


Domain Names

 Until newly, establishing companies would pay much more in non-refundable charge to purchase domain names. A fresh company was shaped by professional domain name creators from dissimilar countries who would charge their customers small amount. Once the customer paid that fee he/she would be given a list of available domains by means of email every day for 30 days and after the client trailtoprofitabilityselected one, he/she would pay again small money to register it. You can do the similar by visiting the website that offers anyone this identical service and an opportunity for domain name creators to obtain half the registration fee for each name they create that is registered.


Strange Advertising Techniques

 A 21 year old man came up by way of a strange advertising technique that made him a millionaire fast: The Million Dollar Homepage. This screen had a matrix of around 1, 000 by 1,000 pixels and when displayed, all the observer has to do is run their mouse pointer above it and company names would appear. He would charge every company $1 per pixel and a lot of them bought more than a few adjacent pixels to form images on behalf of their companies.

A large UK brewer formed a beer-flavored ice cream that tasted similar to Newcastle Brown Ale. British customers tried it and appreciated it. At the present this brewery has a joint venture among Doddington Dairies that is as well located in Northeast England. Now you can only type in the language beer ice cream in almost all search engines and locate more than a few sites about companies offering ice cream prepared with beer.


Technique Called Dropshipping

 There are few hundreds, if not thousands of factual stories out there, telling how regular people came up by means of rather unusual business ideas and made fortunes from them. I have used a technique called dropshipping to create my business. So, if you ever had a business thought then later told yourself that it was quite dumb and would not at all work, give it another consideration, you may be astonished at how successful it may be.

In the end, you should be happy to learn that an unusual business idea can change your life, so give it a try and start the road to success