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Gwynne Graphics – Creative Design Agency

Gwynne Graphics is an award winning design and marketing agency registered in Whitstable, Kent. Established in 2007,  the agency is family run by Krissie Gwynne and her partner Rejane Gwynne, who work with clients throughout the UK and globally.

Our services:

  • Illustration and Graphic Design
  • Branding
  • Vehicle Livery Design
  • Photography
  • Web Design
  • Copy Writing
  • Web Hosting and Maintenance
  • Marketing Support
  • Social Media Marketing

Our Rates:

New clients get 10% discount on their first job plus join our loyalty scheme and get 10% off every 5th job!

We offer packages to suit everyone’s pocket:

  • Start-up Package which includes a basic one-page website, logo and stationary
  • Web Hosting and Support
  • Pay As You Go

To find out more or to get a quote, please contact us or visit our Gwynne Graphics website

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Photographer Tim Stubbings Sponsors StartMyBiz & GrowMyBiz

We are delighted to announce that respected Canterbury photographer Tim Stubbings is sponsoring the StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz projects to support local entrepreneurs and show his appreciation for the area that has given him so much inspiration for his work.

Tim told Canterbury City Council that what he loves most about photographing the local area is that, “combined with my natural curiosity, we live in a place that’s rich in material – from the arts, to heritage and of course retail. Despite living here for 20 years, the streets and towns that I think I know well always bring up something new.” This passion for the District shines through Tim’s work and makes him one of its most interesting and relevant Commercial photographers.

Tim was keen to sponsor StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz because as he observes “It’s common for new graduates and aspiring entrepreneurs to not have the confidence to take early risks and instead move straight into mainstream employment. By providing access to local knowledge and resources the GrowMyBiz and StartMyBiz projects could make all the difference turning an idea into something that sells.”

If you’re a local entrepreneur and would like to find out more about the benefits of sponsoring StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz, then please email Natalia Sukhram Economic Development Officer MIED on  Natalia.Sukhram@canterbury.gov.uk or call  01227 862 053.

You can see Tim Stubbing’s stunning images spanning Editorial and PR, Brochures and Publications, Corporate Portraits, School Prospectuses, and Real Estate and Architecture on his website.

 

 

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Marketing that Works

Marketing that works is one of a series of free workshops hosted by StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz, aimed at helping to support local businesses. These events benefit start-ups who will learn to set up and implement marketing that brings them their first customers and established businesses who want to improve the effectiveness of their marketing.  Julie Waller and Gerard Jakimavicius who offer the workshops are experienced trainers and run the workshops in a relaxed informal manner making people feel at ease so they get the most out of the day.

Breakfast Banter – Business Networking Events

Business Banter is an opportunity for local businesses to meet and network in a relaxed informal setting four times a year. The Banters are held from 8am which allows businesses to catch up over a breakfast roll before the work day begins. There is usually a guest speaker who talks for approximately 15 minutes on any range of business related subjects from employing apprentices to the budget. These events have proved a great success over the years and the people who attend tell us they get a lot out of them. We welcome any local business to attend these free sessions.

 

Making a holiday work when running a small business

A recent survey found that three quarters (76%) of small business owners and entrepreneurs forego holidays in order to keep their business running smoothly.

But while there may never be a good time to take a holiday when you’re the boss, entrepreneur Lara Morgan says time out can benefit your business. She sold her business (Pacific Direct) in 2008 and now invests her time in small, high growth ventures.

“After I failed to sell my company in 2004 I took a three week holiday without phone or email access,” she says. “It turned out to be a much-needed opportunity to plan and reflect on the business, and it paid dividends because I sold the firm happily four years later.”

Brian Whigham, managing director at full-service digital marketing agency Venn Digital, says handing over the reigns to take a holiday can also boost your team, and it’s a mistake to assume they can’t cope without you.

“If, after three years, you can’t leave your business alone then you’re doing something wrong,” he says. “It’s empowering for my team to know that they’re trusted to make the right decisions – without me ringing in every day to see what everyone’s up to – and it’s great to see my business carry on as normal when I’m not there. That’s how I know I have a successful business,” he explains. “That said, I’d never go on holiday without phone coverage.”

Careful planning makes holidays workable, agrees Dawn Baird, of training consultancy Sensei. She says procedures should already be in place to ensure the walls stay standing when you take a holiday. That includes identifying potential problems before you go, and setting out clearly the circumstances under which an emergency phone call may be made. “If you truly want to get away from it all, appoint someone to act on your behalf in your absence,” she adds.

“Automating key tasks gives you the confidence to step away from your desk without worrying about work piling up while you’re away,” says Matt Perkins, head of SME engagement at FreeAgent, which provides cloud accounting for freelancers, contractors and micro-businesses. He recommends using an automatic email responder and a tool such as Hootsuite to schedule social media posts. You can also set up email reminders to chase outstanding invoices while you’re away.

Tom Horigan, director of the eponymous professional services marketing firm, agrees that technology is key to balancing business ownership with down time. “I just spent two weeks in Australia but only told one client I was going away; the others I serviced remotely via email or telephone,” he explains. “I checked voicemail by dialling in rather than paying for roaming, and purchased pocket Wi-Fi for when access was unreliable.”

However, unless your idea of a break is business as usual from a sunnier clime, Gary Turner, of Xero, cautions against undisciplined use of technology on holiday. He disables access to his email on his phone to avoid work distractions while away. “If I must attend to pressing matters, I leave instructions in my ‘out of office’ to resend messages that can’t wait, marking them urgent in the subject line, and I’ve created a rule in my email settings to forward these to my phone,” he says.

If holidays seem unworkable, media trainer Geeta Nadkarni recommends implementing regular short breaks into your working life.

“Down time is crucial not just for family life but for fuelling business growth – I’ve had some of my best ideas lying on a beach not thinking about work. I therefore discipline myself to take weekends off without checking email,” she explains.

“Regular breaks build muscle towards really unplugging on holiday, and allow me to shift the way I run my business from ‘problem-solving’ to ‘dream-building’, focusing energy and resources on what we want instead of putting out fires. I can’t do this without taking breaks. After all, quality of life was the reason my husband and I walked away from our corporate jobs and made the entrepreneurial leap, so we protect it fiercely.”

What if – instead of ascribing to the notion that the fewer holidays we take, the more successful we’ll be – we reframed holidays as good for business, wonders independent digital consultant Col Skinner.

“Inspiration often strikes when we give our minds time to think about nothing, so a holiday is a vital opportunity to break the ties to your working life,” he says. “We can’t expect to sustain the same level of productivity, drive or enthusiasm by working 24/7. Not to mention the fact that my partner shouldn’t have to forego holidays just because I own a business.”

Charlotte Ashton, managing director of AB Property Marketing, agrees that owning a business need not mean foregoing breaks, but says it might change your holiday priorities.

While she used to have a “total work detox” – a fortnight with no phone, email or stress – now her key criteria for a holiday includes thinking about when the rest of the team are going to be in the office to cover any queries, what public holidays she can take advantage of to get extra days, upcoming work trips she can piggy-back a holiday onto to save travel time, which locations will definitely have Wi-Fi, and which time zones ensure some crossover hours with the UK office.

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Bolstering Your Startup on a Lean Budget with Freelancers

When freelancers become lifesavers

A business always needs in-house staff for mission-critical tasks — a core team that keeps the company on track as it scales. But many positions don’t require someone on hand full-time.

For example, creative roles — writing, design, PR, social media, etc. — are some of the best positions to contract out to freelancers. You should also consider bringing freelancers in for short-term projects. For example, if you’re launching a major marketing campaign, you might need a market research team working full-steam for a few weeks. But you certainly don’t need to keep them on after the project is complete.

Hiring freelancers can benefit budget-conscious startups in quite a few ways. For one, freelancers provide talent on demand, allowing you to scale business operations to fit your company’s dynamic needs and fluctuating resource supply. Freelancers also give you the opportunity to work with an incredibly diverse talent pool. You can easily find freelancers with niche skills — such as coding in Chinese — or impressive experience to add to your team.

Cost is another huge advantage. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has pegged the average employer cost at $29.71 per employee per hour. Roughly 70 percent of that figure accounts for wages, and 30 percent goes toward employee benefits. But because freelancers are technically self-employed, you save 30 percent with each hire. Those savings can go a long way for a startup on a budget.

Optimize your freelance experience, freelancers have the skill sets necessary to help carry your startup. But to make the most of this experience, you need to consider a few best practices:

  • Do a trial run. If your mind isn’t made up about hiring freelancers, test it out first. Hire someone to fill one position for a short-term project. Take inventory of the benefits and drawbacks, and decide whether it makes sense to branch out in the future.
  • Evaluate where you’ll save. Review your company structure to find where freelancers might be a good fit. Outsource any short-term tasks or assignments and ongoing projects that aren’t absolutely critical to daily operations. As new projects arise, consider the ways outside talent could build a stronger but more cost-effective team.
  • Keep records of your freelancers. Evaluate them once they complete a project, to gauge performance and nail down specific skills you should look for in future hires. You can also keep track of freelancers you potentially want to offer jobs to later on.
  • Be prepared to adapt. Expect a learning curve when working with freelancers, for both you and your new hire. Cloud-based tools, collaborative software and frequent communication will lessen the barriers of working with external help. But you can build a strong working relationship faster by clearly defining project goals, setting reasonable deadlines and checking in on projects.
  • In the past, finding a qualified freelancer could be as difficult as finding a qualified full-time employee. But today, there are hundreds of websites and resources ready to match you up with a freelancer that’s right for you. Sites such as SuperTasker are also dependable resources for completing standardized digital tasks.

Whether you’re cash-flow positive or in the red, like every entrepreneur, you’ll need to tread lightly when making early hiring decisions. Freelancers could be the money-saving solution you’ve been looking for. Just make sure to outsource the right tasks to the right people, and your lean mentality will get you seeing green sooner than later.

To view full article click here.

The 9 Growing Pains Entrepreneurs Need to Overcome

If you’re looking for a glamorous lifestyle, don’t choose an entrepreneurial career path. While the rewards can be lucrative, the beginning stages are almost always littered with challenges and growing pains. This is especially true when attempting to push a startup past the initial launch, as you’ll face a number of growing pains.

Here are nine major ones:

1. Getting overwhelmed by growth
For entrepreneurs with successful ideas or startups, there’s always pressure to grow and expand: t’s just the mindset of 21st century entrepreneurs. You come up with an idea, you launch it and you grow it. Most entrepreneurs want the biggest enterprise they can build — and they want it as quickly as possible.

While there’s nothing wrong with growth, you have to be careful with how and when you pursue it. As Entrepreneur.com contributor Robert Kiyosaki writes, “Just because you’re successful building a small business doesn’t mean you’ll be successful building a big business.” In other words, some entrepreneurs and businesses are better suited for smaller scale operation.

Every entrepreneur will eventually have to deal with the growing pains of expansion, and it’s up to you to determine whether or not it’s the right time to push forward. How you deal with this growing pain may determine the future success of your business.

2. Learning to say no
Saying no isn’t natural for most people. Humans are innately born with a desire to satisfy others. We prefer to say yes. However, successful entrepreneurs have to love the word “no.” In fact, you’ll need to say no more than you say yes.

You may never get to a point where you’re comfortable saying no, but you have to do it anyways. Otherwise, you’ll end up compromising your business at the expense of making people happy. It’s an uncomfortable growing pain but one that must be dealt with, nonetheless.

3.Transforming into a leader

There is a big difference between being an owner and a leader. A business owner looks at things through a black and white lens. Numbers have to add up, spreadsheets must be organized and people are nothing more than assets. A leader, on the other hand, must have both business intelligence and emotional intelligence.

A leader cares about employees, takes their interests and suggestions to heart and makes decisions that benefit employees, customers and the business.

4. Creating a focused vision
Along with that need to become a leader comes the demand for a focused vision. “This is a meaningful vision that you write down and which represents the highest agreement among all the people involved in the new venture,” writes Ken Blanchard, entrepreneur and best-selling author. “It’s where you and the founders of the organization declare who you are, what you’re up to and why it matters.”

While it sounds neat and easy on paper, creating a focused vision is far from easy. If multiple founders are involved, it’s tremendously difficult to get everyone on the same page.

5. Trimming costs and developing a lean environment
Once your startup begins to grow, you have to find a way to trim costs and develop a lean environment that takes expenses and profit margin seriously. It’s never easy to make changes when something is already “working,” but you will have to if you want your business to experience long-term growth.

To read the full article click here.

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Ten essential people practices for your small business

Moving from entrepreneur to employer can be an intimidating step. These structures and processes will help to ease the transition.

Your business is up and running. You are starting to grow and need to get people on board. This may be exciting, but it can also be extremely stressful. When you become an employer, you are opening the doors of your company to a plethora of different needs and values, not to mention the complexity of ever-changing employment law.

While it can seem daunting at first, taking on staff doesn’t need to be a complicated endeavour. Here are 10 essential people practices that you should consider before taking the leap from entrepreneur to employer:

1. Contracts of employment

Protect your commercial interests with well-drafted contracts of employment that include robust clauses to uphold confidentiality when employees move on.

2. Pay and benefits

It’s worth investing in market data, because a well researched pay and benefits package is key for attracting good people. Creating a simple pay model for different roles is useful to create consistency. It’s also important to be very clear about timescales and criteria for pay reviews.

3. Holidays

Under UK employment law, you need to offer full-time workers a minimum of 28 days holidays per year. Bank holidays can be included in this. Be clear about the rules around when holidays can be taken and how many days can be taken at a time.

4. Health and safety

It’s a legal requirement to ensure your workplace is free of hazards. At the very least, you need to have an accident book, a first-aid kit, and all workstations need to be ergonomically designed.

5. Pensions

It is now a legal requirement to enrol employees automatically into a qualifying pension scheme, which you then contribute to. Further information can be found on the Department of Work and Pensions website.

 

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5 Alternative Locations to Get Work Done

Being an entrepreneur can mean long days at the office sitting behind your desk. This can contribute to mental stress, and sitting for long periods of time just isn’t good for your health.

The solution? Get out of the office once in a while and ease the stress of being cooped up in the office all day. If you work from home (I did this for years) you will be amazed how much more productive you can be going somewhere else even if it’s just for a few hours!

The amount of technology that we have at our disposal as entrepreneurs makes it possible to run our businesses from remote locations, and an increasing number of companies are now allowing their employees to work remotely one day a week. Thinking about working remotely? Here are five creative locations that you can run your business from.

 

1. Coffee houses

Your friends and family probably already assume you work from Starbucks every day, because that’s what entrepreneurs do, right? All joking aside, coffee shops can be a great remote location to work from. While they can be quite noisy and full of distractions, they are a great place to head to when you need a quick break from the office and a caffeine refill, of course.

If I need to get out of the office I’ll head to a coffee shop and handle tasks such as answering emails and putting together to-do lists while having a cup of joe. Even if something urgent comes up while I am out of the office, I can handle it from a coffee shop if needed.

 

2. Co-working spaces

Working remotely from a co-working space has two significant benefits. First, you get out of the office and surround yourself with new people, which can be a breath of fresh air at times. Second, you surround yourself with other like-minded entrepreneurs — this can spark inspiration and even breed business connections and relationships.

There are co-working spaces popping up all over, so there is a very good chance there is one very close by to your location. While many do offer private offices, I would recommend joining and getting the general membership, allowing you to work from the common areas. Take a day to go check out the local options in your area — you just might find your next go-to remote location. This was what I did before “upgrading” to a private office once I started hiring employees.

 

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When Are You Actually Ready to Launch a Startup?

How does any entrepreneur know the time is right to start a company? The answer is different for every individual. But when students ask me — and my Babson College students ask me several times a week — I tell them they should invest 10 years of experience before starting companies. It may be possible to get that experience by the time you’re 21, if you’ve spent the previous decade developing a specific product — sandals that you’ve designed — or a key skill — programming applications on a smartphone, for instance.

Otherwise, a young graduate should first identify a field that interests him or her, then work in its leading company for a decade before launching a new venture.

One of my students, for example, wants to import world-leading luxury brands to his home country. I told him to seek employment at one of the world’s leading managers of such brands — Paris-based LVMH would be a good choice.

The reasons for my suggested strategy are simple. First, experience will help young would-be entrepreneurs develop their skills and find out what they are really good at, compared to rivals. Second, it will help them develop a network of potential suppliers, employees, investors and customers.

Finally, it will let them see market opportunities that their employer is not tapping into, opportunities on which they might eventually base a new venture.

The strategy pays off. Here are the stories of two people whose delay in starting companies illustrates the value of getting good at a skill that will be critical to entrepreneurial success.

 

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