Author Archives: Gill Hutchinson

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Guest blog Job seekers often receiving poor adviceudy, new dust cannon

Job seekers often receive poor advice

Job seekers often receive poor advice

Stuart Blake, an experienced career coach in the West Midlands believes many job seekers are not receiving good quality advice. This is especially true when it comes to preparing their CV’s. In the current UK economic climate, there are hundreds of people chasing each advertised role. The key difference between a successful job search and failure lies in helping people to really stand out in this crowded market. Because so many people are job searching right now, we would like to share his advice about CV preparation as our guest blogger.

Stuart Blake at Coach 1st has had years of experience working in recruitment and is now a qualified and trained career, executive and transformation coach. “The stark reality is that 95% of CV’s are binned in under 5 seconds, without being read to the end. It’s sad for those individuals but any CV that has errors, inaccuracies or does not flag to a potential employer the value they can bring to that organisation, is simply a waste of time and effort”.

Thousands of graduates or school leavers looking for their first, critical post on the career ladder are being simply being advised by careers departments up and down the country to ‘Google a CV template’ and fill it in. These students are being failed by the education system because these templates produce poor quality CV’s that do not sufficiently differentiate job seekers as individuals. Employers see hundreds of these ‘standard’ CV’s that tell them very little about each candidate. These are the CV’s that are destined to be filed in some CRM system rather than being read with interest by a recruiter or potential employer. To get an individual placed on the shortlist for interview the CV has to be in the top 5%. For the individual student concerned this is especially demotivating as application after application gets rejected, often without them understanding why that is happening.

Even people with many years of work experience have the same problem, especially when they decide to have a career change. These mature job seekers need to focus more on the transferable skills learned in one environment that will be valuable to an employer in a different sector. A CV with lengthy personal profiles and very little detail that will grab the attention of a future employer will also fail the 5 second attention span test.

So, how do you get your CV into the top 5% that are actually read from start to finish?  Stuart advises “try to put yourself in an employers’ shoes. What can you say about your successes and achievements in your life or work experience to date? Ask yourself, are these achievements verifiable and would they be really useful to a future employer? Above all, to be successful you must describe what makes you different from the hundreds of others who attended the same or similar school or university”.

If you need help in your job search and would welcome some professional advice call Coach1st on 03301 333 910 or email stuartb@coach1st.co.uk.

More about our guest blogger, Stuart Blake 

Stuart  is a member of the ICF and EMCC and has certificates in Career Coaching, Life Coaching and Executive Coaching.

He is an empathetic, motivational individual who supports businesses and individuals to be the best they can be in every way. In over 30 years in the business, Stuart has advised over 52,000 job seekers and written over 17,000 CV’s.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Guest blog Job seekers often receiving poor adviceudy, new dust cannon

 

 

 

 

 

Since 1986, Stuart has spent his career in the recruitment/employment sector, working both in the UK and Europe for some of leading staffing companies. As a Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer he has led businesses successfully in the Private and Public sectors having created significant ROI along the way.

As well as coaching individuals, Stuart runs webinars  that help people improve their job search results and land their ideal job. To find out more visit coach1st.co.uk   or book  his next  Take Control of your Job Search webinars here.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | BetaDen Cohort 3 showcase invitation

Invitation to Betaden showcase on 18th March

Invitation to Betaden showcase on 18th March

 

 

 

 

 

The eight entrepreneurs in  Cohort 3 finish their nine-month accelerator programme for early stage technology businesses. You’re invited to share their success at this virtual event on Thursday, 18th March. The founders are pitching  for a variety of support, including future investment,  industry customers and development opportunities. The live stream will showcase innovation in action through seven minute pitch decks followed by a live and interactive Q&A at the end of the presentations. You are cordially invited to take part, simply click on the link below to reserve your place.

Book your place here

The businesses taking part are offering exciting new solutions in the following specialisms: Blockchain, PropTech, Drone Technology, App Technologies, Health Tech, Fintech and Software debugging solutions.

Each business has has an exciting 9 months at BetaDen, developing their  products and services and making the most of new commercial opportunities. Their enormous progress is testament to all their hard work and commitment during a time of unprecedented business disruption.

BetaDen is based at Malvern Hills Science Park, Successful participants on the next cohort start in March and will enjoy a programme of support worth around £50,000 including 30 hours of access to Worcestershire’s 5G test bed.

Gill Hutchinson of Aardvark Marketing is the specialist Technology Marketing Mentor on the BetaDen program.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | BetaDen cohort 3 showcase

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Ready for the economic bounce back?

Ready for the economic bounce back?

Ready for the economic bounce back?

The UK economy is set to bounce back into growth, with an average of independent forecasts for the UK Government at 4.3% for 2021 and 5.8% for 2022.1 Whether we experience a fast or medium paced recovery, the message is clear, business activity is now set to recovery and growth in the next 2 years.

For many SME’s, this means they could be working at or near capacity in the near future, as areas of the economy that have been under COVID restrictions are allowed to open and the predicted consumer spending boom begins as people who have accumulated savings in liquid bank deposits during lockdown spend once more.2

During the ups and downs of the last year, the majority of Aardvark Marketing clients have continued their marketing even when times were tough. These businesses have either grown or are ready and waiting to take advantage of the easing of restrictions. If your business stopped marketing activity or reduced it drastically to survive the pandemic, now is the time to put plans in place or risk getting left behind your nimbler, better prepared competitors.

If you are planning to expand rapidly in the spring or summer this year, now is the best time to get activity plans in place. Aardvark Marketing can help with planning and implementing great marketing activity to get your business into a stronger competitive position in 2021. Whether you need someone you can trust to help you design the strategy and plan activities or you’d like us to do all your marketing activity as your outsourced marketing department, now is a good time to take the first step. Pick up the phone and talk to Gill or Chris on 0121 222 5743 or email info@aardvarkmarketing to arrange a convenient time for a meeting.

Gill and Chris Hutchinson at Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Ready for the economic bounce back?

 

 

 

 

 

  1. HM Treasury Forecast for the UK Economy: a comparison of independent forecasts. ISBN: 978-1-911680-44-4 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/
  2. Bank of England Monetary Policy Report February 2021
Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Merry Christmas from the Aardvarks

Merry Christmas from the Aardvarks

Merry Christmas from the Aardvarks

Phew – what a year!

In extraordinary times we have been very grateful for the continued support from our clients, suppliers, referrers and wider business network – thank you everyone! On a personal note, I’ve loved helping people unfamiliar with online meetings to get connected and virtual meetings with colleagues, friends and neighbours have been a great way to connect and support each other through this tough year.

New clients this year have included those in Worcestershire’s IT and Tech accelerator, Betaden. We’ve been privileged once again to be recognised as UK’s Best Outsourced Marketing  Company winning a Technology Innovator award for the fifth consecutive year.

We’ve continued to support our chosen charity, the Worcester Foodbank, and I know many of you enjoyed the Business Community Carols from All Saints which supported this essential local service.

Next year will continue to bring fresh challenges for businesses of all shapes and sizes, so please get in touch for a free initial consultation if you are contemplating changing course and would appreciate our advice.

Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas and a successful New Year 2021,

Gill and Chris Hutchinson
Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Merry Christmas from the Aardvarks

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Invitation from Rev Rich Johnson to the Business Community carols 2020

Your invitation to the Business Community Carols 2020

Your invitation to the Business Community Carols 2020

Last year over 150 of the local business community came together to enjoy great hospitality and carols at All Saints Church in the heart of Worcester.

This year, we’d like to bring people together again, just in a different format! We’ll be live streaming from All Saints on YouTube at 6pm on Tuesday, 15th December. So we warmly invite you to join us this year from the comfort of your own home or office, crack open some mulled wine or prosecco and sing along to traditional carols (the words will be on the screen!). There will be some light hearted fun with sketches provided by local businesses, a Christmas auction and the winner of the Christmas Quiz will be announced. Here’s a taster from Rev Rich Johnson:

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Invitation from Rev Rich Johnson to the Business Community carols 2020

 

 

 

 

We’ll need to provide you with a specific YouTube link a few days before the 15th so if you’d like to join us email mark.smith5@lloydsbanking.com and we’ll make sure your place is booked!

You’ll be able to download the order of service from the All Saints website soon.

Mindful of the growing needs of those less fortunate in our community at a really important time of year, any donations from this event will be supporting the  Worcester Foodbank.

We’d like to spread a message of hope and happiness at this festive time of year, so please feel welcome to share this message within your organisation and with your wider business connections.

 

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Steatite joins BetaDen as industry partner

Steatite joins BetaDen as an industry expertise partner

Steatite joins BetaDen as an industry expertise partner

Steatite is delighted to announce that it is to work with Worcestershire’s commercial technology accelerator, BetaDen as an industry expertise partner for its fourth cohort of business.

BetaDen is based at Malvern Hills Science Park, midway between Steatite’s computing and communications facilities. Cohort 4 is a nine-month accelerator programme for early stage technology businesses. Successful participants will have access to a programme of support worth around £50,000 including 30 hours of access to Worcestershire’s 5G test bed. The application process is now open and the programme will begin in March 2021.

As a global provider of cutting-edge bespoke technology within the computing, communications and power sectors, Steatite has invaluable expertise and will be providing mentoring support to the cohort 4 members for the duration of the programme. The company is particularly looking forward to helping drive forward emerging technology with a particular focus on edge AI systems, remote monitoring and sensing, image processing, robotic automation, and self-organising sensor networks.

Matthew Richards, Managing Director of Steatite comments: “BetaDen has supported 22 early stage technology businesses to date, helping to develop successful routes to market, creating new jobs, and securing hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment. As BetaDen enters its 3rd year, we are proud to be offering our support and experience as an industry expertise partner for the upcoming cohort 4 programme. The objectives of BetaDen, Steatite, and no doubt the successful cohort 4 participants are aligned. New tech ideas today are tomorrow’s SMEs.”

Linda Smith, founder and CEO of BetaDen, said: “In Steatite, we’re delighted to welcome an industry partner who can offer cohort members the benefit of their unrivalled experience and connections in the field of high-value add manufacturing, in particular computing, secure communication systems and antennas. With our focus on 5G, Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Robotics for applications across a range of industrial supply chain markets for Cohort 4, Steatite’s expertise will be invaluable to Cohort members looking to develop their technologies in these areas.”

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Betaden Cohort 4 applications now open!

Companies interested in applying for BetaDen cohort 4 can visit www.beta-den.co/apply-now/ and most submit their application by Friday 18 December. Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview in early 2021, with successful applicants joining BetaDen in March 2021.

Gill Hutchinson of Aardvark Marketing is the Technology Marketing mentor at Betaden

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Betaden Cohort 4 applications now open!

Applications for BetaDen Cohort 4 are now open

Applications for BetaDen Cohort 4 are now open

BetaDen – Worcestershire’s commercial technology accelerator based at Malvern Hills Science Park – has opened applications for its fourth cohort of businesses.

Early-stage technology businesses joining the nine-month accelerator in March 2021 will have access to a refreshed programme of support worth around £50,000, including 30 hours access to Worcestershire’s 5G test bed and guidance from industry partner Steatite, part of Solid State Plc. Cohort 4 members will also benefit from a £10,000 proof of concept grant, mentoring from BetaDen’s handpicked team of commercial and technology experts and office space in Malvern Hills Science Park site.

Linda Smith, founder and CEO of BetaDen, said: “BetaDen recently celebrated its second birthday and, to date, has supported 22 early stage technology businesses, helping them develop successful routes to market, secure hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment and create news jobs in that time. “Building on that experience, we have honed the programme for Cohort 4, focusing even more on our unique access to Worcestershire’s 5G test bed and making ever greater use of our industry networks. In Steatite, we’re delighted to welcome an industry partner who can offer cohort members the benefit of their unrivalled experience and connections in the field of high-value add manufacturing, in particular computing, secure communication systems and antennas. Its expertise will be invaluable to Cohort members looking to develop their technologies in these areas.”

BetaDen is unique in the technology sector, both in terms of the value of the support package it provides and the fact that cohort businesses do not need to surrender equity in their businesses to access this accelerator. As well as providing support to early-stage businesses, it also creates opportunities for established businesses to develop technology-based ideas within the accelerator, effectively supporting in-house R&D activity.

Linda continued: “As we open applications for cohort 4, we are focusing our attention on companies developing new and emerging technologies in key areas: 5G, Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Robotics for emerging applications across a wide range of industrial supply chain market places.”

 

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Betaden Cohort 4 applications now open!

 

 

 

 

Companies interested in applying can visit www.beta-den.com for further information and must submit their application by Friday 18 December. Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview with our advisory board in early 2021, with successful applicants joining Cohort 4 in March 2021.”

Gill Hutchinson of Aardvark Marketing is the Technology Marketing mentor at Betaden

Aardvark Marketing Consultants |

Worcestershire grant to support green economy

Worcestershire grant to support green economy

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Worcestershire grant to support green economy

 

 

Could your business diversify, innovate or develop a new low carbon product or service?

With the Covid-19 pandemic we are seeing a call to reset the new ‘normal’ to be greener and embrace a low carbon future.  This will require all of us to change our habits, what and how we buy, how we use energy, making more informed decisions along with many other aspects of our lives as well.  This change creates an opportunity for existing and new small and medium sized (SME) businesses to look at diversifying or building their portfolio of products and services to capture part of this market opportunity.

To support SME businesses in Worcestershire the County Council are running 2 free assessment programs which could lead onto 40% contribution capital grant of up to £100,000.  These 2 programs are: Renewable energy generation and Low Carbon Innovation projects with funding coming through the European Regional Development Fund.

The Low Carbon Innovation grant provides 12 hours of tailored advice from either Simon Maycock or Ewan Bent to your business.  Simon and Ewan are experienced business leaders coming from the energy and low carbon market.  The guidance and advice they have and are providing has been invaluable to business owners in helping them shape their ideas and moving them significantly closer to commercialising their concepts.  So much so that many of the businesses helped have requested continued support.

To find out more about the grant, the support programme and how to apply, read more here

In our 5 steps to business survival guide, we refer to innovation and strengthening your competitive advantage. This support program may be the perfect vehicle to help you develop a new product or service.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Worcestershire grant to support green economy - ERDF logo

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Technology Innovator awards 2020- Best Outsourced Marketing

Aardvark outsourced marketing service win Technology Innovator award for 5th consecutive year

Aardvark outsourced marketing service win Technology Innovator award for 5th consecutive year

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Technology Innovator awards 2020- Best Outsourced MarketingThe team at Aardvark Marketing have again been recognised for their contribution to the UK marketing industry as outsourced marketing experts. The 2020 Technology Innovator Awards returns for its fifth year, allowing Corporate Vision magazine to reward those talented and dedicated individuals and firms working in this demanding sector for their innovation and excellence in their business practice, as well as their outstanding overall performance.

With all the current economic uncertainty, outsourcing your marketing can be a smart business move” says Gill Hutchinson, Director at Aardvark Marketing. “Our skilled marketers provide a highly effective service for a fraction of the hassle and cost of hiring employees and with maximum flexibility for your business. We have been able to support our customers through the ups and downs of their economic activity in this very difficult year, keeping their customers informed and making sure they are ready to take full advantage of opportunities that arise as we get closer to business as usual.”

According to TechTarget, companies choose outsourcing to lower costs, improve efficiencies and gain speed. Because the third-party provider focuses on that particular task, it is able to do it better, faster and cheaper than the hiring company could. This means they can focus their resources more specifically on their own core competencies, thereby helping them gain competitive advantages in the market. Three other reasons for outsourcing are because they’re unable to hire in-house employees with the specialised skills and experience needed or this allows them to shift regulatory requirements to the third-part provider or to enable them to innovate their systems and processes.

Laura Hunter, awards manager at Corporate Vision says “Our 2020 Technology Innovator Awards are based solely on merit, rather than the number of votes received. We reward businesses based on their excellence in their industry, the quality of their products and their dedication to service.”

If you’d like to know more about how outsourced marketing could provide your business with the competitive advantage it needs, please contact Gill Hutchinson at Aardvark Marketing on 0121 222 5743 or email us here.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | detail of the Red Bull signed shirt

Win a signed Red Bull Formula One shirt!

Win a signed Red Bull Formula One shirt!

The Worcester Foodbank needs you

Foodbanks across the UK have experienced a huge growth in demand. They provide essential support  to families in serious need of practical help. Foodbanks support families with more than just food parcels and can signpost to a wide variety of support services including Mental Health.

Gill and Chris at Aardvark Marketing are supporting Mark Smith and the Commercial Team at Lloyds Bank, raising money for the local Worcester Foodbank. We’re asking clients and professional contacts to join in a bit of fun  –  a prize draw to win a fabulous signed Red Bull Formula One shirt. This shirt was kindly donated by County Building Supplies and has been signed by drivers Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly, Team Principle Christian Horner and Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Image of a Signed Red Bull Formula One shirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst the prize draw is free to enter, it’s  our intention to team up with our charitable trust, Lloyds Bank Foundation, who we will ask to double any donations that entrants make to the Worcester Foodbank.

To enter and to make a voluntary donation (suggested amount of at least £10), please:-

  1. Donate to Worcester Foodbank here
  2. Kindly send a copy of your receipt  to info@aardvarkmarketing.co.uk  (only this receipt will enable Lloyds Bank Foundation to double your donation).

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | detail of the Red Bull signed shirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

The closing date for the draw is 5pm on Friday 31st July and we’ll be asking Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of the Worcester Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to draw the winning entry.  With their permission, we’ll publish the winner’s name and their company on LinkedIn by Tuesday 4th August.

You’ve got to be in it to win it!

Thanks in advance for your generous support for this essential charity.