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Blogs

Check out our blogs section where Chamber representatives, members and high-profile business figures write about a range of topics. If you are a member and want to submit a blog, please click here.

Diversity in Leadership: Become the success story you are today

By Ahmad Boston | British Muslim TV

This blog is part of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce’s (ABCC) Diversity in Leadership campaign. The Diversity in Leadership campaign works with some of the regions’ biggest employers in order to boost the numbers of women and those from black and minority ethnic (BAME), lesbian gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and disability groups being represented on boards of directors and in leadership roles. Click here to find out more about the campaign.  Born and raised in Sandwell, one of Britain's most economically deprived boroughs, blind from birth and belonging to a humble working-class family, the odds of success were certainly stacked against me, my dreams and aspirations in life I...

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Diversity in Leadership: Spotlight on female leaders

By Amy Reynolds | Mazars

This blog is part of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce’s (ABCC) Diversity in Leadership campaign. The Diversity in Leadership campaign works with some of the regions’ biggest employers in order to boost the numbers of women and those from black and minority ethnic (BAME), lesbian gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and disability groups being represented on boards of directors and in leadership roles. Click here to find out more about the campaign.  Amy Reynolds is a tax partner at Mazars, based in Bristol. In this blog, she discusses mentoring, coaching, her advice to other women and how she rose the ranks in a competitive industry. I originally trained as an accountant in industry,...

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What actually makes a 'good' or 'proper' will

By Reiss Matthews | Enoch Evans LLP

What actually makes a ‘good’ or ‘proper’ Will that does what you want it to do? Is legal terminology necessary? Imagine you are writing your own Will. You say: "I give my personal effects to my brother." Imagine now a solicitor writing the same Will, which reads "I give free of taxes to my brother absolutely all my person chattels as defined by s55(1)(x) Administration of Estates Act 1925 as amended by s.3 Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Act 2014." Do both not do essentially the same thing, regardless of legal terminology and statutory references? Not necessarily! What do you class as "personal effects"? jewelry, vehicles, books or perhaps in this day and age digital assets? Whilst personal...

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When does unfavourable treatment amount to discrimination?

By Kathy Halliday | VWV

An Employment Tribunal found South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust had unlawfully discriminated against an employee by sending an important email to her work account which she did not have access to because she was on maternity leave. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld the employer's appeal, saying that the Employment Tribunal (ET) had applied the wrong test. The EAT said that the ET must consider why the email was sent in that way in order to decide whether the conduct was discriminatory. The Facts Mrs Pease was on maternity leave while the Trust was carrying out a redundancy process. An email was circulated requiring action from those at risk of redundancy, however...

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Official changes in the destruction of sensitive data

By Tom Whitehouse | HSM (UK) Limited

Recent updates made by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) raise a number of questions over the effectiveness of third-party document shredding services. With the responsibility under GDPR to destroy documents containing personal information, is it time for organisations to take responsibility before it’s too late? In November 2018, CPNI, the UK’s government authority for protective security advice, released a definitive statement on the secure destruction of sensitive information and assets. In short, the statement declares that with immediate effect, mobile paper destruction and waste to energy incineration (excluding DSTL) service providers are only accredited...

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Small business branding - from ‘mediocre’ to ‘marvellous’

By Katie Connor | 52 Degrees North Graphic Design Ltd

Branding is a big word. Say it and most people think of the logos and ad campaigns of global giants like Nike, Starbucks, and Apple. So for some small businesses, contemplating branding (and brand strategy) can feel like wishful thinking. Surely it’s too costly, complex, and sophisticated an endeavour for a small business right? The truth is, your small business is already branded, whether you know it or not. Far from being just your company logo, your brand is made up of the whole business eco-system. It’s your business values, story and how you answer the phone. The cleanliness of your premises and your company vehicles. Your invoices and sales documents and of course, the quality of...

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Surgeries insurance for the modern practice

By Adrian Littler | CLA (Risk Solutions) Ltd

Visit a modern medical centre, dental practice or veterinary surgery and the variety of equipment needed to operate effectively is staggering; dental chairs, devices such a nebulisers, defibrillators and sterilisers plus all the specialist instruments. Vets have even more equipment to meet the needs of a wide variety of animals; from scanners and X-ray imaging to dental equipment. Equipment in modern surgeries is expensive and that is before other items such as computers, phone systems, furniture and security is considered. Many medical practices have combined into larger health centres to provide a more comprehensive service to patients. The result is a much larger building, more staff and...

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Your router could be inviting hackers into your home

By Sheetal Sharma | OmniCyber Security

When it comes to home security, Britons will do all they can to make sure their property, contents and family are secure. The same applies to protecting their online data at home. They use a firewall, keep their anti-virus software up to date and regularly update their software to keep their details away from unscrupulous hackers. Unfortunately, it appears that all those good intentions could be undermined by something that we all take for granted . . . the humble router. Security experts in Finland have discovered that your router can easily be hacked and your data compromised within minutes. By simply renting a cloud-enabled computer, a cyber-criminal can guess your network’s password...

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Human value of business success

By Paige Rinaldi | Handle King

All businesses provide some form of customer service, despite whether operating as a small, medium or large enterprise, communication channels are crucial. Customer frustration can be avoided and so can the dreaded negative electronic word-of-mouth, as long as resources are implemented to manage and maintain customer satisfaction. Customer service is the process of ensuring satisfaction through various support channels including face-to-face, phone, email and chat for accuracy and speed in response. Representatives behind these assorted touch points are the solution providers for all types of customer queries, it is the quality of service delivered that ultimately affects a company’s reputation. Challenges...

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The road to Birmingham 2022: Why effective project management is key

By Peter Marsden | Entec Si

The countdown to the 2022 Commonwealth Games is well underway, and the West Midlands Combined Authority has already pledged significant improvements to the region’s transport links and other vital services in time for the event. However, in order to ensure cross Midlands initiatives are delivered on time and on budget, those involved must ensure that they choose partnerships carefully and implement strong business relationships. Peter Marsden, managing director at business change consultancy, Entec Si, discusses how businesses can implement processes and practices for effective communication throughout projects such as Birmingham 2022. Entec Si has a long history of working in Birmingham and...

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