Blog

Move It May 2020 for Wessex Cancer Trust

Choose your distance and get sponsored to run, cycle or swim for Ferndown Business Network member Wessex Cancer Trust this May!

Whether you choose to tackle 5km or 500km, it’s all about getting active and moving more in May. It’s completely up to you how you decide to move it! So whether you’re a dancing queen or tai chi makes you happy, there are loads of ways to get moving and raise money for local families affected by cancer.

Raising just £100 could pay for a month’s supply of the products needed to provide the complementary therapies that we offer in our Cancer Support Centres. Raising £400 could fund a 10 session one to one support package, tailored to the individual, to help manage the emotional impact of cancer.

Sign up to make a difference to families affected by cancer in Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight!

Find out more at: https://www.wessexcancer.org.uk/Event/move-it-may-2020

Making Your Vehicle Stand Out

March marks the release of the 20 plate registration numbers. If you’re buying or leasing a new vehicle and require upgraded, updated and uplifted graphics Ferndown Business Network member Signs Express Bournemouth can help bring your brand to life!

On average your vehicle could be seen by over 3,000 people every hour in a typical working day. Powerful and high impact, effective vehicle graphics are the perfect way to create a 24/7 marketing campaign at a slither of the investment.

Vehicle graphics are one of the most powerful forms of advertising and there are plenty of options to explore for all budgets! 

Custom Decals & Stickers

A great option for self-employed business people or start-ups, custom graphics and stickers are quick to apply and can start from £125+VAT.

Decals are a simple alternative to a larger vehicle livery, due to their fast turnaround and ability to be easily removed they also provide a great option for promotional events and ad-hoc usage. Our custom graphics can also be provided on a supply only basis, applied at your leisure.

FAQ – What are decals?

Decals is another term used for vinyl graphics and vinyl signs, commonly used as a term to describe text and logos on cars, vans and lorries amongst other transportation modes. 

Vehicle Wraps

At the other end of the scale, wrapping is a great solution for covering large areas of a vehicle. Vinyl can be very versatile which makes it a popular choice for those looking to completely or partially brand their business vehicles or make a statement with a privately-owned car.

Not only can wraps add the wow-factor, they can protect original paintwork, helping with resale value and also act as a theft deterrent which can lead to lower insurance premiums.

FAQ – How long do vehicle graphics last?

Professionally applied vehicle graphics should last for years if they are cared for correctly. We advise that you do not wash your vehicle for a week after vehicle graphics are applied and do not jet wash the graphics as this may reduce their life. 

For permanent vehicle graphics, we always offer to laminate the graphics which should prolong the colour of any digitally printed images. 

Reflective Vehicle Markings

Reflective markings can serve two important purposes; keeping your branding visible in all conditions and helping to comply with health and safety standards.

Certain vehicles will have to comply with Chapter 8 regulations which includes having fluorescent yellow and retro-reflective red markings applied to the rear. Chevron markings are also essential for ESVs including ambulances and police vehicles, in addition to blue and yellow battenberg graphics.

To make your vehicles really stand out 24/7, reflective vinyl adds the wow-factor and is great in low-light conditions.

FAQ – What are reflective vinyl graphics?

There are specialist vinyl materials available which offer reflective qualities for high impact graphics throughout the night. We can apply your vehicle with rear chevrons or build reflective graphics into your livery design for high visibility of your vehicle. Legislation requires new commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes of any age to have reflective outlines to the bodies and rears of the vehicle.

Fleet Graphics

To achieve a recognisable brand, it’s important to have consistent messaging across all elements of the business and this includes any company vehicles you may own or lease.

From simple text and logos to a full wrap, there are plenty of options to create a professional look which helps to enhance your corporate identity. Most vehicle visuals can also be removed if a vehicle is no longer needed, is being returned or sold making it a convenient option for fleets of vehicles.

There are many types of vehicle graphics with different options for a range of requirements. Signs Express Bournemouth offers a bespoke service and can cater for a wide range of requests. 

FAQ – How do I remove my vehicle graphics?

We would advise all graphics and wraps to be removed by a professional to ensure no damage is done to the vehicle. For a small fee, Signs Express Bournemouth offer this service.

Six steps to successful vehicle graphics

1. Identify – Vehicle graphics can serve many purposes, including showcasing your products and services or providing vital safety protection when out on the road. It’s important to consider what you want to get from your graphics before deciding the route you take.

2. Consult – it’s okay to not fully understand what you want or require from your new vehicle graphics, contact us to discuss requirements and we can recommend what will work best. Our bespoke consultative service can open up a range of possibilities!

3. Manage – especially for large fleet projects a seamless experience is essential to maintain an efficient service and make sure everything is delivered on time and budget. 

4. Innovate – the industry is always changing with new products and ideas, as part of the largest sign company in the UK and Ireland we have access to all of the latest innovations to make you stand out from the crowd.

5. Propose – the key to a good design is collaboration, our in-house design capabilities allow us to create engaging concepts and ideas for your vehicle. We can help you turn a simple idea into a unique and eye-catching design.

6. Customise – any type of vehicle can be wrapped from cars and vans to lorries and buses, but our capabilities don’t stop there, the more interesting the better!

Graphics don’t stop with cars, vans and lorries. At Signs Express Bournemouth we have wrapped a wide range of bespoke transport including everything from planes and boats to tuk-tuks and large machinery. 

Contact us today on 01202 797 239 to start your vehicle graphics journey.

Have you made a Will yet?

People put off making a Will for a variety of reasons, either believing that those they would wish to inherit will automatically do so, or because they don’t think it is relevant to them at this particular time.

Life can change immediately

The reality is that life can change immediately, with no warning.  The result being you put off making a Will until it’s too late, creating a complicated situation for the people left behind.  It could mean that some or all of your inheritance either goes to the wrong person or to the state.

Everyone needs a Will

Everyone needs to make a Will, in particular anyone with dependants. Anyone who owns a property or has any type of asset which you would wish relatives, friends or charities to benefit from should also make a Will.

Plan what will happen to your estate

Making a Will enables you to plan exactly what will happen to your property (estate) following your demise. This ensures that those you would like to benefit actually do so in accordance with your wishes and at the same time avoiding any disputes between relatives.

Get some advice

For help and advice on creating a Will please contact Ferndown Business Network David Booth at DB Consultancy on 07949 021118. Email david@dmsuk.info or let’s speak via FaceTime or Skype: theoxfordwillco_1

FOREVER HAND SANITIZER with Aloe & Honey

A handy disinfectant that can kill 99.99% of all germs, bacteria & viruses

Enriched with soothing Aloe and nourishing Honey, one squirt of this handy disinfectant can kill 99.99% of all germs, bacteria & viruses – reassuring to know if you’re networking and/or shaking hands & meeting with lots of people every day.

Forever Hand Sanitizer

Unlike other ‘Hand gels’ on the market which dry your skin

Forever Hand Sanitizer softens and moisturises hands as it cleans.  With a refreshing scent of lemon and lavender.  A must-have for your pocket and bag.  (Code 318  Price £3.63)

Available on-line

Don’t forget that these products are available via Ferndown Business Network member ‘Dr Peter’s’ online shop (www.wessex-aloe.com) or by calling him on 07947 685785.

Don’s story

Don Hedges, a grandfather from Hampshire, was diagnosed with gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) during Christmas 2008. 

“I first realised something was wrong some 12 months before, I felt unwell and noticed I was putting on weight and feeling breathless. My GP suggested it was irritable bowel syndrome but feeling frustrated with the diagnosis I sought a second opinion. A second GP sent me for an ultrasound at my local hospital, which revealed a large mass in my abdomen.

Upon referral, to Southampton, it was confirmed as a gastrointestinal stromal tumour(also known as a sarcoma) and revealed that it would be difficult to remove through surgery alone. The site of my GIST meant that an operation to remove the tumour would result in the loss of my stomach, left kidney, spleen, pancreas and a large part of my transverse colon. 

The surgeon explained that if the tumour could be shrunk using a drug therapy then he may be able to remove the tumour whilst preserving more of my organs. 

The oncologist agreed that treating the tumour with imatinib (a type of cancer medication) would be the best option. I started on imatinib on 10 February 2009. 

On 31 July 2009, I underwent eight hours of surgery to remove the GIST –  my treatment with imatinib had reduced the tumour by 50%. Although the surgery had to remove part of my stomach, a part of my pancreas and all of my spleen, it had removed the tumour with good clearance.

Having spent 4 years on imatinib as an adjuvant treatment and now 10 years on, my oncology team have now given me the tick in the ‘cancer-free’ box. At the moment I’m feeling good, I’ve now retired and spend time with my family and in particular my grandsons. I’m able to manage the long term effects of the cancer and its treatment effects, but more importantly, I am determined to keep active and maintain a positive attitude.

A key player in my journey was Wessex Cancer Trust.  Having been diagnosed with cancer your friends and family can find it difficult to deal with and don’t really know how to interact with you.  They find it difficult to talk to you about it.

Wessex Cancer Trust gave me a place where I could talk about things that bothered me and share my anger about the situation.

The befrienders at the charity listened, they didn’t judge me or tell me I should do this or that, but gave me the chance to get things off my chest or just drop in for a cuppa. 

That support was, and still is, key to the maintenance of the emotional strength needed to deal with what can be a long, dark journey. That support allows people to share the journey with others without burdening their family, who are also going through a dark time thinking that they might lose you.

So while the clinicians do their bit to make you physically well, the journey is so much easier with the emotional support given by the Ferndown Business Network member Wessex Cancer Trust. Without them, I would not have sustained the positivity needed to survive the journey.”

A treat for your lips

Here’s one product we wanted to matchmake specifically with you – yes, YOU – because we think it’s bound to be love at first sight.  We’re talking, of course, about Aloe Lips – our rich and nourishing lip balm, great for protecting lips all-year round.  Why do we think it’s such be a good match, you ask?  Just take a look at its ingredients…  

Aloe Vera 

As with most of our products, the key ingredient in Aloe Lips is our own-grown Aloe Barbadensis Miller leaf extract.  Aloe has many properties which make it ideally placed in a lip balm.  As well as having a high water content, which makes it nice and moisturising to help soothe and soften lips, Aloe Vera is also naturally cooling, which can help to relieve painful chapped lips.  

Jojoba 

During the winter months, the cold can make our lips dry, cracked, sore and in desperate need of moisture.  In the summer, unprotected lips are at risk of sunburn, which dries out the skin and lips and can leave them peeling and flaky.  

The hydrating properties of jojoba can help to prevent skin flaking and help to deliver moisture, making Aloe Lips a treat come rain or shine.  

Wax 

Wax is often used in skin-softening treatments due to the way it helps to smooth.  It also works as a barrier between the skin and other contaminants.  Aloe Lips contains several different kinds of wax to provide maximum luxury, including beeswax – a natural skin protectant which soothes and hydrates without clogging pores.  

But you don’t need to take our word for it!  Good Housekeeping recently reviewed our Aloe Lips and it seems they share our love for this pocket-sized wonder!  Their expert testers loved the flavour and the fact that the condition of their lips “improved within two to three days”. 

Whether you’re off out, staying in and cuddling, or celebrating with your friends rather than a romantic partner, your lips could always use a little more love, so don’t forget to keep your Aloe Lips close by. (Code 022  Price £3.07) 

Don’t forget that these products are available via Ferndown Business Network member ’Dr Peter’s’ online shop (www.wessex-aloe.com) or by calling him on 07947 685785.

Why use Multiple Sibling Trusts within a Will?

Leaving assets to a single Trust is a better solution than leaving assets absolutely, but is it the best solution when there are multiple beneficiaries? Multiple Trusts provides both you and your beneficiaries with even more flexibility.

For example if all of your Trustees (who may also be beneficiaries) of a Trust cannot agree on a course of action, it may be that the funds cannot be utilised for the benefit of beneficiaries as a result, meaning the Trust can’t operate effectively.

Separate Trusts are also useful in solving those tricky ‘who gets what’ issues that can arise. Allowing different Trustees to act across a number of Trusts means that each Trust can be managed independently of others. Establishing separate Trusts for each beneficiary also means that individuals needs can be accounted for, as you are able to choose who, what and how you wish your beneficiaries to benefit.

Where the Trustees of a Trust are concerned with one family or member of the family as opposed to numerous individuals with different needs, the management of the Trust can also be simpler.  A group of simple Trusts is much simpler to manage than a single Trust with many purposes, mixed assets, multiple beneficiaries and more potential for conflict amongst them.

For help and advice on creating Multiple Sibling Trusts within a Will please contact Ferndown Business Network member David Booth at DB Consultancy on 07949 021118 or email david@dmsuk.info or let’s speak via FaceTime or Skype: theoxfordwillco_1

Marketing is so much more than promotion

No matter the size of your business every penny you spend & every hour you commit to your marketing has to count towards you achieving your business goals.

Promotion is an important part in your marketing efforts but ‘effective marketing’, the entire marketing that satisfies the needs of your customers is so much more. You can have a great promotional campaign but if your product or service isn’t wanted or you are charging prices that are above what your target customers will pay then it will struggle to deliver.

To have ‘effective marketing’ you need to consider a wider range of factors than just promotion. Much of it isn’t difficult with the result being that it can transform the impact of your marketing. Here are just a few ideas:

• Start with product. Give customers what they need not what you think they need. Think wider than the actual product – consider the other features that surround your product – delivery methods and times, guarantees, installations, refunds, exchange policies – all of which can make your product or service more attractive.

• Speak to your customers. Ask them what they need and want from you. Find out what they think of your product or service and how it can be improved.

• Ask your customers for reviews. If they are liking what you do then encourage them to share with others what they think of your product and to post reviews on-line.

• Regularly monitor your sector and competitors. Consider how tastes are changing or new products are being launched and adapt where necessary.

• Make it easy for people to acquire your product. That maybe how they can find you or buy your product on-line. Make sure your website is mobile responsive and is search engine optimised.

• Develop your team. Ensure that everyone who works for you has great knowledge about your business and offer. Ensure they also have the right attitude & provide the level of service your customers would expect.

• Be responsive to your customers. Ensure you follow up on enquiries quickly – not many buy products or services from a company they have had to chase or have had to wait a long time to respond.

• Deal with customer complaints well. No doubts you have all had customers who haven’t been completely satisfied but how you deal and resolve their compliant will make all the difference to whether they buy from you again or recommend you to others.

• Measure, measure, measure. If you don’t measure your marketing you can’t understand, control or improve it. Use tools such as Google Analytics to see how well your website is working, monitor your email performance or conduct market research to understand what your target audience think about you and your product or service.

Measure4success blog

Measure4success is the blog for e-nexus Ltd.  We are a member of Ferndown Business Network and a Bournemouth based Marketing consultancy specialising in Strategic Marketing Planning and Performance Measurement.  Learn more about what we do and how we can support your business by emailing info@e-nexus.co.uk or by visiting our website at www-e-nexus.co.uk

How well are your assets protected?

Do you have a plan in place to ensure that your wealth passes to the right people at the appropriate time in a manner that provides protection and is efficient for tax purposes? 

Ferndown Business Network member DB Consultancy use Asset Protection Strategies for those who wish to protect themselves and their family’s future inheritance.  They use a tried and tested combination of Wills, Trusts and Powers of Attorney to cover the most common threats to wealth made up from homes, savings, investments, life assurances, pension plans & death-in-service benefits.

Wills ensure the most effective legal ownership of your home whilst setting up Trusts means that your assets are protected from the threat of:

  • The financial burden of long-term care
  • Future insolvency problems
  • Children getting divorced
  • Surviving spouse entering a new relationship
  • Inheritance and other taxes
  • Avoiding the delays associated with probate
  • Legislation changes

David Booth, Director of DB Consultancy said: “We work closely with our clients to create a plan that suits their specific requirements. We put them in control of their financial affairs and provide them with peace of mind. Our approach also ensures that the people you choose can manage your financial and welfare affairs should you become unable to do so due to mental or physical incapacity. This important aspect of planning gives the ones you trust control of important decisions, rather than a government agency.”

DB Consultancy provide a full range of services and bespoke advice in all areas of Estate Planning including Wills, protecting wealth using Trusts, Inheritance Tax Planning and Lasting Powers of Attorney.  Based in Ringwood, Hampshire we benefit from 30 years of experience in Wills and Estate Planning.  We also work in association with The Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation Ltd.

For help and advice on how best to protect your assets please contact Ferndown Business Network David Booth at DB Consultancy on 07949 021118. Email david@dmsuk.info or let’s speak via FaceTime or Skype: theoxfordwillco_1

Have you calculated your staffs’ holiday entitlement properly?

The first month of 2020 has almost been and gone ….are you all sorted with your staffs’ holiday entitlements for the year?

Here’s some advice and guidance from Ferndown Business Network member, Just Ask Juli

When staff primarily worked Monday – Friday 9am-5pm it was all very straight forward; now however with more and more people working over the weekends, on part time contracts or working compressed working weeks things have gotten a bit more complicated.

It’s our legal requirement as employers to make sure that all our staff receive their statuary minimum holiday entitlement and to make sure that bank holidays are calculated in a fair and consistent manner. Be very careful if your team are primarily part time and you just give them the day off when a bank holiday occurs; you may well be giving more holiday than they are entitled to (which makes you a great boss) or more importantly you may not be giving enough (which makes you an illegal boss)!

So some tips if your work force works differing hours:-

• when calculating holiday entitlement switch from “days” to “ hours”

• make sure its very clear in their contracts as to whether their holiday entitlement includes or excludes bank holidays (note there is a legal minimum that must be observed)

• show clearly on their holiday forms how you’ve calculated their entitlement. Its often useful to show the bank holiday entitlement as a separate figure

• and finally .. remember this year a standard Monday bank holiday has been moved to a Friday so a different calculation may be necessary for some of your team

The HMRC website gives lots of help and useful tools https://www.gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights

Need some help? Just Ask Juli!

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