Leicester Futures Christmas

On the 8th December the Torr Waterfield team was invited to a night of whiskey and rum tasting at the very chic Manhattan 34. Rachel Priestley, Mike Waterfield and I answered the call of the Futures Network. This was one last meet up for all members of the Futures Network before everyone went off to enjoy their Christmas and New Year.

 

As expected it was a slightly smaller turn out than previous Futures event due to Christmas being around the corner. With 40 attendees there was defiantly no shortage of people to chat and mingle with. A few new faces came along and were instantly welcomed. One new member commented on how relaxed the whole evening felt, with no pressure to sell yourself or business. This is a place a swap ideas, not business cards! Manhattan 34 was the perfect setting for such an event being Leicester’s coolest bar in the cultural quarter while feeling welcoming and warm from the cold outside. I love the unwavering dedication to the 30’s with jazz music and staff in fedoras. I especially love that Manhattan 34 are able to pull this look off without looking cheesy or being gimmicky.

 

Michael Goodchild, founder of the Futures Network opened with a speech on plans for the Futures Network for 2012. An exciting announcement was also made by Michael about setting up an online viral marketing campaign which will feature professionals from the Futures Network. He welcomed any suggestions and help from everyone interested. On offer for tasting for the evening were Auchentoshan, Amarula and Patron. Each unique in scent and flavour, they all proved to be very popular but the Amarula was my personal favourite with a warm, almost spicy flavour, perfect for season with sweet fruity aftertaste. It was obvious from the start that there would be multiple tastings of each with many keeping within arms reach of the table for more! Having now been to three Futures events there are people I am starting to become familiar with, who I would never have before had the opportunity. I was surprised when people were coming over to say hello as they remembered me from previous events

 

We all look forward to seeing what The Futures Network will bring to Leicester in the New Year!

To view all of the pictures from the event go to our Facebook group and click ‘Like’ to see what we got up to!

http://www.facebook.com/Torrwaterfield

http://www.thefuturesnetwork.co.uk/

 

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Autumn Statement – What it means for SMEs

On the 29th November an updated forecast was published by the Office of Budget Responsibility on the UK economy. This was followed up by a statement from Chancellor George Osborne later that same day in the House of Commons.

 

It has been a few days since these announcements and you have had time to absorb everything. Still a little confused on how it is relevant to you and your business?

 

Determined to help, we have compiled some key points that will affect the SME around Leicestershire.

 

The Autumn Statement lays out an action plan by which the Government aims to;

–         Protect the economy

–         Build a stronger economy for the future.

 

There are three major areas that are going to affect SME;

 

Availability of Credit

Employment regulations and

Youth contracts

 

Credit –

The government is hoping to increase the amount of credit available to small businesses. The government will be contributing £20 billion to the National Loan Guarantee Scheme and another £1 billion to the Business Finance Partnership. It is hoped this will encourage banks to reduce the cost of borrowing for SMEs.

 

Employment regulations –

The government is also changing employment regulations to make it easier to let staff go which some worry that may become a culture of hiring and firing.

 

There will be research into reducing the complexity redundancy processes for companies with more than 100 employees down to 60, 45 or even 30 days where possible. The government also want to look at ways of making tribunals cheaper and quicker with very simple cases going through a ‘Rapid Resolution’ programme.

 

Youth Contracts –

With new figures of youth unemployment emerging at over one million the government are now giving incentives to businesses that take on young people. These include;

 

–         Wage incentives for 160,000 young people so private sector businesses can afford to take on more staff

–         Aiming to create 40,000 apprentice places through cash incentives for small businesses.

 

Of course this is a very brief summary and if there is anything you are unsure about or if you want advice on how to improve your business call us on our FREE phone number 0800 652 1614.

Leicester Futures Lifestyle Event.

Last night Torr|Waterfield were invited to Fat Cats in Leicester for a fun night of socialising, live music and small business networking.

With a free drink on arrival and delicious canapés through the night the tone was set for a relaxed evening that was more about getting to know each other rather than what we all did for a living. The evening kicked off with a short speech from Michael Goodchild, founder of the Futures Network, thanking everyone for coming and making the event possible. Michael was followed by the acoustic band playing chart covers singers such as Neyo. New business Proof.is had a fantastic showreel up on the big screen, demonstrating their skills in photography and video production.

Other exhibitors such as Head & Griffin and the Digital Marketing Mentors gave short speeches throughout the night showing support for the Futures Network and letting everyone know what they did.

Everyone had something great to say about the night;

The evening was a resounding success!  I particularly enjoyed David’s speech from Digital Marketing Mentor, on the future of marketing, which highlighted both the positive and negative impacts social media can have on your business”. – Katie from Torr|Waterfield

Networking newbie Chloe Moorhouse found the whole evening very productive. With aspirations to be a writer and set up her own design business she described Jana’s speech on fear of the unknown as ‘inspirational’.

“I came thinking that networking would be really scary and formal but everyone here has been really lovely. I have now have set up meetings to discuss my business plans and see how I can take it further” – Chloe Moorhouse.

 

The night winded down on a high note with many feeling like they had a good night out with friends rather than business associates. Freelance artist Miranda ‘Panda’ Tyers said “I will definitely come to the next Futures Event”, promising to bring her sketch book to share. As expected the Torr|Waterfield team were the last to leave insisting that the night was still young.

Overall the night was perhaps one of the most successful the Futures Network events. We all look forward to next time.

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Photographed George Horne @ Proof and Rebecca Wilson from Torrwaterfield

Leicester Business Event 2011

On Thursday the 29th September, Torr|waterfield attended the Leicester Business Event 2011 at the Walkers Stadium. Arriving for an early setup before 8 am, Rachel, Alistair and Rebecca set up our stand in the Keith Weller room. Once the team had finished dragging our stand boxes up stairs there was just enough time for a quick breather and freshen up before the doors opened.

 

Crowds slowly made their way round the floor finally reaching our table and giving people the chance to find out more about us. Alistair and Rachel happily answered visitor’s questions on how we can help their business moving forward. Meanwhile, our new marketing person, Rebecca, walked around the other exhibitors introducing herself and Torr|waterfield.

 

This year, visitors required a pre paid ticket for entry to the event which meant that there were inevitably fewer attendees but this allowed our team to have quality time with anyone that visited our stand. People attending this year clearing were more interested in developing contacts and finding out more about each other and receiving freebies from exhibitors, leaving us with more sweeties to take back to the team.

By lunch time, more of the Torr|Waterfield team popped along to show their support. As many of our clients were also exhibiting on the day the team saw it as a good chance to say hello and have a quick catch up with a few familiar faces. This included popping over to our good friends at The Futures Network stand who were advertising their next event (more about that in our next blog).

 

At the end of the day we had a prize draw for an Amazon Kindle and a bottle of marmalade vodka. Rob Elliott from Bray and Bray went home with the Kindle and Luke Clarke from B&R won the vodka. Well done to both of you!

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Torr|Waterfield is planning to attend many more events like this over the coming months. If you are running a networking event soon, we would love to hear about it. Feel free to contact our marketing team; Rebecca.wilson@torrwaterfield.co.uk

 

 

 

 

A survival’s guide to networking events

With the Leicester Business Event coming up next week, we thought it would be a good idea to give you all a little crash course in large networking events such as these. For first timers, the experience can be daunting, slightly overwhelming and for those not used to business networking, out right scary.

Here are a few tips for those of you wanting to get the most out of your day at Walkers Stadium. Some of the points we make might sound a little obvious but at the same time so easy to forget on the day.

  1. When you enter the exhibition area you should get an info pack. We are going to suggest something crazy here… read it! So many people will walk in and become so distracted with everything going, looking through all the information handed to you by the very nice person at the registration desk may just completely slip your mind. This info pack will contain all the exhibitors for the day and where you can find them. It will also let you know when and where to be for the important seminars or speed networking. Just spend the first 10 minutes looking through all this info and plan out a route around the floor.  There might be a company or potential client there and you had no idea they were exhibiting. Wouldn’t this be the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself personally? It can be infuriating at the end of a tiring day, you are leaving to discover you missed a VIP all because you forgot to check a flyer in your goodie bag.
  2. Allow your self enough time. Book out 2 hours of your day to this event and by looking through the info pack you have a good idea if you want to stay longer or not. Two hours is a good amount of time at least to visit every stand and introduce your self. If there are any talks that you want to attend, factor this into what time you arrive and how long you wish to be there for. Rushing round the exhibition as you have a previous engagement is never a good idea.
  3. Business cards! Again, another obvious one but make sure you bring more than you usually would. With the combination of 80 stands and over 750 attendees, that’s a lot of business cards. We are not suggesting that you take hundreds of cards with you on the off chance that you will talk to that many people. BUT there will be times when leaving a business card at a stand will save you so much more and effort. One of the staples of these events is that there will be many competitions, handing over card instead of writing your info 10 times in row is saves writers cramp.
  4. Be open minded! LBE is particularly known for it’s 60 second speed networking sessions. To many the idea of talking non-stop and selling your self is a total nightmare, but its always worth a go. You might find that it is an excellent way to sell your company’s product and meet that all important lead. On the other hand you could find that it really doesn’t suit you or your business style, which is fine. But you won’t know unless you try it.
  5. Don’t put too much pressure on your self. Definitely get as much as you can out of the day, but do not feel let down if it doesn’t generate the leads you had hoped. Try and see all the positives from the day such as;

You got your brand name out

Perhaps you have a few new contacts

Learnt more about your market

Got some excellent feedback on your services/products.

All of these things are a learning experience and will help in the long run. Hopfully with these points in mind you will be ready to go and prepared for any networking event that is thrown your way!

See you on Thursday!

Leicester Business Event 2011

A quick heads up for everyone, we will be at the Leicester Business Event 2011, held at the Walkers Stadium on the 29th September. Doors will open at 9.30 am till 4.30 pm. This is an excellent opportunity for all Leicester based businesses to exchange ideas and details.

 

There will be a few intensive networking sessions and seminars on marketing and how to improve sales. With over 80 exhibitors, it is definitely worth making the effort to come along.

 

For more information on how to book tickets follow the link

Leicester Business Event 2011

Torr|Waterfield accountants will be there, offering our knowledge and services to all. We will also be having a draw for some fantastic prizes (to be announced). So come along and introduce your self, our team would love to meet you.

What do you actually pay accountants for? Let’s be honest…

 

It is very tempting when running your own business to save a bit of cash by sorting all of your own finances. It can’t be that hard, you think.

 

Add up sales here make deductions here, then work out the VAT, do your tax returns fill out the forms, arrange audits, calculate fixed asset, learn a new language, create world peace…

 

Ok so maybe not quite everything on the list is relevant to your business but think about all the time and energy you are putting in to working out your accounts. Think of all that time you are away from focusing on your clients and making important sales. What if your knowledge of finances is not as great as you thought it was and you end up paying more tax than necessary? There is potentially a huge lost to your business there, far greater than the cost of hiring an accountant.

 

So you start trying to find an accountant. You think ‘X accountants seem fine, I’ll go with them. After all, accountants all do the same job. Right?’ Well, yes and no. Accountants tend to have a standard list of services they offer but that does not mean that you should not be expecting more for your money.

 

The key difference between an average accountant and brilliant accountant wants you to make more profits and grow as a business. torr|Waterfield has gone to great measures to help business growth because we know it means you will want to work with us long term. Normal accountants won’t give you marketing tools or regular business health checks, what’s the point? You are already paying them to do a job. Why spend time on extra perks for an existing client when we could be spending time on getting new clients? It’s a tough world for businesses at the moment as we all know so by strengthening the businesses we work with, we ensure that we will have strong long term clients.

 

Simple as.

 

So when you are shopping round for an accountant, think about what you are getting for your money; a bog standard service or a company willing to invest its time into you?

torr|waterfield

We have seen this before, many times. Boring old accountancy blogs, that only accountants can understand. Jammed packed with so much jargon, we are never really sure if they are even speaking English!

What’s the point?

Never mind alienating your audience; you are doing the whole accountancy industry a disservice by confusing clients and enforcing a horrible stereotype.

Well torr|waterfield says no more! Accountants should be more than number crunchers; they should want to see your business succeed. They should be able to give advice on what direction is best for you and your business financially… Oh wait, we already do that!

Because we are so passionate about local business, we think ‘being in the know’ is important and we want to share our knowledge with everyone. We hope to bring you a series of blogs that aim to help your understanding of what is accountancy and how to help your business grow.

Watch this space!