Author Archives: Gill Hutchinson

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

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

The 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. Over the lockdown period we have been able to support our customers through the ups and downs of their economic activity, 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.

Aardvark Marekting Consultants | The road to recovery

The road to recovery

The road to recovery

How hackneyed the term ‘new normal’ sounds. Yet it is ill-defined.  The economic picture has never been so mixed. Some sectors in healthcare or food & drink are booming, our hospitality industry is in lockdown / survival mode and other business sectors are somewhere on the spectrum in between. Many do not yet have a confirmed date for re-opening, so the ‘new normal’ isn’t yet established. As we emerge from hibernation, most of us are unsure about the future.

If your business is getting started again, there will be many things to think about. Cashflow, grants or loans, staffing and furlough, risk assessments, signage etc may be top of the list. Successful marketing is the only activity that will bring in vital cash. Is it on your to do list?

Marketing was probably the first thing you cut when lockdown started. Those businesses that were able to retrench and reduce marketing activity to keep a presence in their marketplace, will now be better placed to take advantage of the opening process. If you gave up marketing activity altogether, you may well be behind those competitors that had the resources to keep going. Whatever your history, now is the time to review future marketing.

The challenge is balance. How to achieve balance between the need to bring in new business without breaking the bank in the process?  What environmental changes have happened over the lockdown period? Will the increased use of technology make a difference? Will there be legal challenges in terms of keeping everyone Covid-secure? Are your existing or new consumers going to be nervous about spending on your products or services at the same level as they did before?  Lack of business confidence and tight cashflow in your customers’ business could leave your order book looking thinner for several more months. Or it may be that demand is going to be exceptionally high and this may present challenges of shortages of stock or capacity.

Whatever your precise situation, good marketing and clear communication will help you make the most of any opportunities that present themselves. Measuring results quickly will be key to good decision-making. Priorities and the balance of activities may need to change but will only be effective if you’ve already got good communication channels in place. Whilst hoping for a smooth road to recovery, my guess is that there will be bumps ahead for many businesses.

The marketing specialists at Aardvark have a limited number of free hourly sessions when we can discuss your plans and ‘sense check’ them with you. If you would like to take advantage of one of these review sessions and get ahead of your competitors,  call Gill on 07790 341 239 to get your date in the diary.

Not opening just yet? Read our 5 marketing actions for business survival here

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Gill Hutchinson from Aardvark Marketing appointed BetaDen Mentor

Gill Hutchinson from Aardvark Marketing appointed BetaDen Mentor

Gill Hutchinson from Aardvark Marketing appointed BetaDen Mentor

The third cohort are being welcomed into Worcestershire’s specialist Technology business accelerator, BetaDen, based at the Malvern Hills Science Park. Amongst the new mentors appointed will be Gill Hutchinson of Aardvark Marketing. Her brief is to provide support as a Technology Marketing specialist.

Aardvark Marketing | Gill Hutchinson from Aardvark Marketing appointed BetaDen Mentor

 

 

 

 

 

Gill has wide experience of working with tech start-ups having recently clocked up 3 years coaching in the Nat West Entrepreneur Accelerator in Birmingham. In Worcestershire she has coached and mentored entrepreneurs on the Women2Web and the Worcestershire Accelerator programs and  many businesses through the Manufacturing Growth and Growth Accelerator schemes.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with these exciting new entrepreneurs, which are a mixture of small technology and start-up businesses” says Gill.  “The products and services are all developing exciting new uses of Artificial Intelligence and innovative software applications, which mean a variety of marketing challenges to be overcome for them to be successful”.

BetaDen applicants must get through a rigorous selection process to attain a place on the 9-month program, with over 100 entries made for this intake of just 8 coveted places. Linda Smith, Founder and CEO of BetaDen said: “We were thrilled with the quality and aspiration of applicants that applied to join our third Cohort program. It was clear when sifting through the applications that Worcestershire’s network is fast becoming a hotbed for emerging technology talent.”

Aardvark Marketing Consultants Ltd | Gill Hutchinson from Aardvark Marketing appointed BetaDen Mentor

 

 

 

 

The arrangements at BetaDen have had to undergo some alterations to make the site Covid-19 secure, however the start of the program hasn’t been delayed and both businesses and mentors are keen to get started.

If your business could benefit from specialist marketing support call Aardvark Marketing on 0121 222 5743 or contact us .

Members of the Diamond Branded team

Why are promotional products vital to any marketing strategy?

Why are promotional products vital to any marketing strategy?

Promotional Products are seen to be a little like an old marketing tool. Used to get sales and clients by leaving gifts or to be handed out at trade shows. Promotional products are still a vital strategic  promotional marketing tool  to be used in a marketing campaign. In the age of the internet and technology, standing out above your competitors is even more important than before. Anyone can google a company and order from the first company on the list, but if you want good customer retention then an effective promotional product sat on the desk will do more than just a google search.

What do Diamond Branded do?

Diamond Branded are a promotional products company who help with effective strategic promotional marketing. They pride themselves on their customer service and care to ensure their clients are getting high quality promotional products that are used to help increase brand awareness and customer loyalty. They have over a hundred suppliers they can use and are not tied to any particular product partner. Ensuring you get the best price and the best quality.

How can promotional products help you stay fresh in your client’s mind and make more sales?

Clients are not always ready to buy, it could be the new budget has been signed off, or just down to timing. Sometimes it is just getting in front of the right people at the right time. You can’t always plan when that time might be but you can remind them of your business passively through promotional products. The Bamboo 5W Wireless Charger is a great example of a promotional product that sits on your clients desk all day everyday, and it is made from eco friendly materials. Bamboo grows quickly and takes up less space than standard wood from trees so it has a lower footprint.

How can SMEs benefit from eco friendly promotional products?

Promotional products do not need to be expensive, when using promotional products it is always important to understand your audience and cater your promotional products to them. With sustainability being an important corporate message to a lot of consumers nowadays, it is also important to consider using eco friendly alternatives as a staple of your promotional products marketing strategy. Eco friendly promotional products are more important to our world than just the brand’s image. It is thinking about the Earth and how we need to get carbon emissions down.

How can you tell if a promotional product is eco friendly?

There are a lot of products and services that claim to be eco friendly, and promotional products are no exception. It is important to ask the right questions when looking into eco friendly promotional product alternatives. You need to find out why a particular product is better for the environment. Such as if the promotional product is made from recycled materials, you need to establish what materials are used, and can they be recycled again. If you have a wooden promotional product, you want to make sure it is sustainably harvested, you may even want it to be FSC wood.

 

Our guest blog comes form Diamond Branded, a promotional products company based in Bromsgrove. Their small personable team offer a friendly service with free artwork and design. Diamond  has built a loyal and tight customer base by offering good quality, affordable promotional items, and very competitive pricing.

 

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | " I have a voice"

“I have a voice”

“I have a voice”

Some of you may recognise this image, it’s from the 2010 film The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.  The particular scene is the rehearsal for the Coronation where Lionel provokes George VI into shouting “I have a voice” to which Lionel calmly replies, “Yes you do.”

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | I have a voice

 

 

 

 

In the last few days, we have seen two major organisations make public announcements of a change of mind in response to an outcry from their customers or the general public.  The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company announced that it would not make any charge to the NHS for use of the ExCel Centre as the London Nightingale Hospital  and Liverpool FC reversed its decision to furlough some non-playing staff and apologised to fans.

Those of us old enough to remember the early 1990s may remember the campaign for Dolphin-friendly tuna, which has resulted in a 99% reduction in Dolphin deaths in tuna nets. Consumers actively sought out tuna labelled as “Dolphin-Friendly”.

As a junior marketing executive working in snack foods in the late 1980s I also remember the drive to remove artificial colours, flavourings and preservatives from our products in response to the consumer demand, driven by the book “E is for Additives” by Maurice Hanssen.

We don’t have to be  royalty, a Government  minister,  an ‘influencer’, or business leader to have a voice.  As consumers we all have a voice and brands, businesses and even governments will listen.

All we need to do is to speak up and let other people add their voices.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | 5 marketing actions for business survival

5 marketing actions for business survival

5 marketing actions for business survival

There are daily changes to the way UK business works right now. Naturally, our first actions are to ensure all employees are safe and everyone in a non-essential role is working from home. Tough times mean a review of finances and likely cashflow, perhaps with some modelling of different scenarios. The knee jerk reaction for most businesses, certainly smaller businesses, is to immediately cut everything that’s seen as ‘non-essential’ which includes marketing or staff training budgets.

Immediate  changes

What is happening now is changing the way we work, and there may be some activity that is novel now but will become the new ‘normal’ in the future. People in crisis will seriously consider new ideas because necessity really is the mother of invention.  Many of us will change our behaviour and use our new freedom to reach out to new suppliers and sources of help. That will mean new opportunities for many businesses if they can start having the right conversations and making the right connections.

Lasting changes?

12 weeks is a game changer! Conventional wisdom tells us it takes a month to change a habit for good, so it’s dangerous to assume that these new practices will be put aside at the end of the crisis period and we’ll all go back to ‘business as usual’.

What can you do during the crisis?

Aardvark Marketing would like to share our 5-point process for analysing the state of your current and future marketing. Every business is different, so not all of this will apply to you, however having a checklist of actions you can take will get you thinking and acting in the best way to future-proof your business.

1.

  1. Trim

Make lists of your current expenditure – invoiced costs are easiest but consider also the time and employees dedicated to deliver all your marketing activity.

Sort the list into things that can safely stop with little immediate impact, for example, activity promoting an upcoming trade fair or conference, things that could continue in-house and things that require external expertise, for example SEO work or new content on your website.

Some activities can probably be scaled back to a ‘hold’ level delivering savings without undermining your business.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | 5 marketing actions for business survival - innovate

2. Innovate

This one requires some thought. How can we deliver the same benefits for  customers with a different method of delivery?  Most obvious here are making use of new virtual meetings to replace the face to face meeting. For some this just makes more use of working practices they were already doing, for others it may be a steep learning curve to get everybody familiar with a new IT system. For some hospitality businesses, such as pubs or cafes, they may be able to supply a home delivery service for vulnerable people unable to get out and about as before.

If you cannot see a way to build you an immediate income stream from the innovation, then consider building community or prospective customer goodwill. Could you offer something to a charity or to essential workers to make their life easier and save them time or effort? If you can, this makes a good PR story for your business, which will pay a dividend in the future.For some, going back to a ‘barter system’ and trading our expertise with someone in another business could be a way to innovate and support each other.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | 5 marketing actions for business survival - strengthen

3. Strengthen

If you work in a non-essential business, what you have right now is the gift of time. Time is a precious and finite commodity for most of us and we never seem to have enough of it. Why not use this time to think, to review and implement change away from the usual hectic day to day challenges you dealt with previously?

For many family businesses, this already happens when the ‘board meeting’ is the Sunday lunch discussion topic or the review time directors take when they are away from the business during the Christmas holiday.

Dust off your business plan and ask yourself if your current competitive advantage will continue to work in the future. What are your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from your existing and new competitors? What is truly unique about your organisation and what do your existing customers truly value about your product or service? What will customers pay a premium for? Is your offering just a “me too” or is it better/different from others?

If there are real differences, does your marketing convey this to potential customers consistently and effectively?

This could be a great time to do some in-depth customer interviews to replace your day to day customer survey tick boxes.

Finally, in the strengthen section, we should consider our team. Can they use this time more productively by learning something new that will save us time or money in the future? A skills gap analysis could enable you to launch a new product or service or improve your existing systems and processes by building in-house expertise.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | 5 marketing actions for business survival - prepare

4. Prepare

When the crisis eases and we try to get back to normal, how will you get your customers, sales and profits back to where they used to be (or even better)?  Now is the time to plan for different demand scenarios.  You may face floods of old customers wanting to purchase (have you got enough stock and capacity?).  Or you might be dealing with a shortage of money, lack of confidence and procrastination over key decisions which could leave your order book looking thin for many more months.

Think about these and any other possible scenarios, how you would quickly spot which one you are in and what you can do to turn around or make the most of the opportunities.  Good marketing will have a role to play, whatever your situation.  Most importantly, how will you know if it is working?

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | 5 marketing actions for business survival - track

5. Review and learn

As we sit in the middle of an unprecedented crisis, what can we learn from the experience about ourselves and our businesses?  How resilient are we to external shocks, the stuff we can’t control but can turn our world upside down.

If you haven’t done this before, now is the time to try some ‘what if…? exercises. Think about your current customers; what would happen if they suddenly stopped your contract, paid you on less favourable terms, demanded bigger discounts? How resilient is the business to an interruption in your supply chain, i.e. do you have a few key suppliers or have you the ability to switch between several for a vital component or service? Or, you might have a scale-up challenge if you suddenly needed to service ten businesses for every one you had previously and your capacity to deliver this number became squeezed. Would you have the additional expertise in-house, would you be able to quickly hire expertise to deliver this or is new recruitment of skilled employees your only option?

If cashflow can sometimes create pressure, are you setting aside a war chest? When business is good, do you still look to keep costs under control, or do you forget to review this? Do you keep some cash in a savings account for a rainy day?

Do you have good communication channels with your supply chain and your customer base? Sometimes this can involve regular contact with key people, for example if you have key account managers in place, for others this may mean mass communication via a website, social media or regular emails. Have you checked which mode of communication works best for them or do you just use what is convenient for you? When information needs to be circulated quickly and accurately, how do you achieve this?

Consider time limited offers to keep the cashflow healthier, but bear in mind these will only be effective if you have already got good communication channels in place.

 

Right now we have customers who are receiving new enquiries because they continued their marketing even when things got tough (remember Brexit everyone?) and some who are struggling with cashflow but want to keep some marketing in place.  They are ready to recover as quickly as possible after the crisis abates. Are you?

If you’d like a free and confidential conversation about your business challenges, we’re still here to help. Call 0121 222 5743 or email us and we’ll be in touch.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Covid-19 as an employer, what are your options?

Corvid-19 and Employment – what are your options as an employer?

Corvid-19 and Employment – what are your options as an employer?

With all the rapid changes that have occurred over the last few days, we would like to share a guest blog from Helen Astill, an experienced HR consultant from Cherrrington HR.

Please be aware, that the situation has now changed and more support for business has been announced. You can  find a good summary here,on the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce website

Quite understandably I have had lots of queries about what to do in various situations regarding staff: that have been abroad; showing symptoms; not showing symptoms but have been in contact with someone who has; are over 70 years of age or has one of the underlying medical conditions listed by the government that suggests that they are in a higher risk category; lives with someone in the higher risk category, not showing any symptoms but doesn’t want to come to work; or very recently has children who will no longer be able to go to school when they close on Friday etc.

And most of these situations result in questions about what to do and how much should people be paid. In addition, I have had queries from businesses who are now struggling with a sudden cessation of income and wondering what their options are from a financial perspective.

The current position is:

• Self-isolating is now considered to be sickness for SSP purposes (not just the normal expectation of incapacity.)
• Current SSP rules apply, with payment from 4th day.
• Employers pay all SSP.

What has been proposed in the budget is that:
• SSP to be payable for Coronavirus related absences (including self-isolation) from day 1 [No mechanism announced yet for recouping the SSP, but that will follow at some point. It is believed that this will be backdated to 13th March, but we await confirmation of that date.]
• Reimbursement of SSP to employers with fewer than 250 staff, for up to a fortnight’s absence for coronavirus type issues.

As things stand now, people in the more vulnerable categories are entitled to SSP for up to 12 weeks because that is the period they are currently being told to self-isolate for (even though the employer will only be able to recoup 2 weeks of that from the government). A failure to pay SSP would not only be an unfair deduction from wages but it would probably be an act of discrimination: sex discrimination for those pregnant, age discrimination for those over 70, and disability discrimination for those with underlying medical conditions.

If an employee is sick for more than seven days, their employer can ask for evidence that they are sick. This usually takes the form of a fit note (or note from the NHS 111 service). Employees may face challenges obtaining a fit note because those with coronavirus symptoms are currently advised to self-isolate for 14 days and not to go to their GP and so you are advised to rely upon self-certification for the moment, but keep good records so that you can make your claim when the system is in place. If you use the Breathe HR system (or any other HR system), you could add a Corvid-19 sickness category to the drop-down sickness category list to ensure that you have a reliable record. If you use sickness absence trigger systems such as the Bradford Factor, you may have to consider either suspending it or deducting Corvid-19 related absences to ensure that people are being treated fairly.

However, if the employee is able to work from home and you have sufficient work for them, they should be paid at their normal rate.

If you have an employee who has chosen not to come to work, but is not showing any symptoms of the virus or is not self-isolating because they are living with someone who has shown the symptoms, they are not eligible for SSP (or any other sort of company sick pay) because they are not sick. These are people who may be concerned that they may pick up the virus and pass it onto a vulnerable relative. If they can’t work from home, you could offer the option of taking paid leave or unpaid leave, but ultimately if they refuse an order to return to work, it could be a disciplinary matter. However, you are urged to be compassionate and sensitive to their worries, as they are probably incredibly worried about the situation and are likely to respond emotionally rather than rationally. The ACAS website is very informative on these matters and is kept up to date – see https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

And now we have the situation that the schools are being closed – probably until the autumn term at the earliest. I am normally the first person to say that working from home is incompatible with looking after dependants, but we are living in exceptional times, so we need to make exceptional adjustments. It is better to have an employee who is partly productive than one who is not productive at all (especially if you may have other staff incapacitated by the virus) so adapting to the situation is better than nothing. As I said above, if they are working from home (and this can include online training or planning), they should be paid the normal rate of pay.

Don’t forget that you should ensure that the work can be done safely from home and that you should put in place a homeworking policy. If you haven’t already got one, please get in touch. You need to consider things like H&S and GDPR. Should employees have company IT equipment and mobile phones? Ideally, they should not be using their own personal equipment unless you are happy that it will not introduce viruses (of the computer variety!) into your systems or compromise your data.

However, if the work the employee does is one that cannot be done at home, then you have a number of options: you could ask them to take paid annual leave or unpaid emergency domestic leave (for a few days to set up care arrangements.) If they have no-one else to look after the children (especially since any grandparents over the age of 70 should be in social isolation) you may use unpaid parental leave. This allows employees to take up to four weeks of unpaid leave (per child) in any one year up to a lifetime maximum of 13 weeks before the child’s 18th birthday.

Don’t forget that for some people you may need to consider what you will offer with regards to bereavement leave. There is new legislation coming into effect in April with regards to paid Parental Bereavement Leave for those losing a child under the age of 18, so if you haven’t already got a policy for that and need one, please get in touch.

But what if the business is suffering financially? You have a few options:
If you have a layoff or short term (LOST) clause in the employees’ contracts, you can lay them off.

This means that you can send them home and “lay them off” or provide short term working (if it is less than 50% of their normal work). It is a form of temporary redundancy. To do this you would still have to pay for the hours they work (if it is short-time) or a minimum of £29 per day (£30 from 6th April). However, this is paid for a maximum of 5 days in any 3-month period (i.e. £145 or £150 depending on the dates).

If the employee has been off for 4 weeks in a row or 6 weeks in any rolling 13 week period he/she could then write to you saying that they consider themselves as being constructively dismissed by reason of redundancy and unless you wrote back saying that you envisaged that work would be back to normal within the next 4 weeks for at least a period of 13 weeks, they would be entitled to receive their statutory redundancy pay.

However, if you haven’t got a LOST clause in their contracts, you don’t have the legal right to do this. You could of course discuss the situation with staff, and they may agree to vary their terms – but if not, you have to continue paying them full pay – even if you send them home.

And of course, redundancy is an option if you have no other choice. But the government is urging employers to consider the finance packages that they are putting in place to try to preserve as many jobs as possible.

Here are some other links that may be useful in the coming weeks and months. They are updated regularly so do check with them to see if the situation changes.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

Helen Astill

More about Helen

Based in Worcestershire, Cherington HR is run by Helen Astill, who has considerable experience in all aspects of practical human resource management and development, gained from a variety of senior positions in both public and private sectors, including several years as HR and Support Services Manager at the global engineering group GKN plc.

You can contact Helen here if you’d like to talk about your particular business situation.

Aardvark Marketing Consultanrs Ltd | Keep calm and carry on

Keep calm and carry on

Keep calm and carry on

Coronavirus, flooding, stock market crash, Flybe collapse, Brexit trade negotiations …

The New Year is less than three months old and already we are facing numerous challenges to our home and working lives.

We probably all know someone who has been affected directly by these issues, whether their home has been flooded, they are having to self-isolate, or facing an uncertain business future if they have significant trade with the EU.

Most of us however have not been directly impacted.  The biggest threat for most of us is in how we and everyone else react to these issues.  We do have a choice.  At home, we can tour our local supermarkets buying enough toilet rolls, packets of pasta and tins of beans to last us to Christmas, or we can maintain our normal shopping habits, giving retailers chance to keep their shelves stocked and ensuring there is enough for everyone.

In our businesses, we can get worried that our customers will stop buying from us, buy less or pay later and take pre-emptive action putting a hold on recruitment, postponing training, slashing the marketing budget and delaying orders and payment to our suppliers.

When we panic,  we turn the risk of a difficult future into reality for people less able to cope than ourselves.  That could be the weekly paid worker who suddenly finds they can’t buy the essential goods their family need or the small business who runs out of cash to pay its staff.

If we choose to panic we become part of the problem, not the solution.

If you want to carry on marketing, but would like to make it work harder, give us a call on 0121 222 5743, email us or send us an enquiry. P.S. We are working as normal either with our usual face to face meetings or by conference calls.