Worthing Newsletter – September 2018

The next Worthing lunch will be on 10th October from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at Casa Ciro, sponsored by Bennett Griffin.

Book upcoming dates here:                                                                                                                10th October 2018 – Book Here                                                                                                            12th December 2018 – Book Here­­

Bennett Griffin Logo HQ small

Supreme Court rules that an unhappy marriage is not grounds for divorce

In late July 2018, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case of Owens v Owens [2018] UKSC 41.  The verdict was inevitable and will re-ignite the debate over whether it is high time no-fault divorce is introduced in the UK.

The background to Owens v Owens has been extensively discussed.  The Supreme Court’s ruling means Tini Owens must wait until 2020 to petition her husband for divorce as it is only at this point that her husband’s consent will not be required.

The reasons for the Supreme Court’s decision

Ultimately, the court’s hands were tied.  Parliament has legislated under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 s.1(2)(b) that the only ground for divorce is an irretrievable breakdown of a marriage for one of the following reasons:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion of at least two years
  • The parties have been separated for two years, and the respondent consents to a divorce
  • The parties have been separated for five years (no consent required)

Regardless of how the appeal judges, or indeed even the judge at first instance, felt about fault-based divorce itself, they were duty-bound to apply the law.

Why is divorce law in the UK seemingly so out-dated?

Refusing to allow a 68-year-old woman to become free from a spouse she clearly no longer loves and cannot bear to live with seems archaic and tyrannical.  Countries as culturally diverse as China, Australia, and even predominantly Catholic Spain have moved to a no-fault divorce system.

Why has the UK, which has brought in same-sex marriage and prides itself on being a progressive, family-friendly country, hung onto its Victorian-like divorce system?

Prior to the passing of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857, the church ruled the roost when it came to marriage.  Unless you were Henry VIII (and even he had to wait seven years and create his own church), the only way out of a marriage was via an annulment, unless you were extremely rich.  But it must be remembered, back in the days of yore, most marriages ended around eleven years thanks to one spouse’s death (interestingly, the average length of a modern marriage prior to a divorce being granted is 11.5 years).

The 1857 Act opened up divorce to ordinary folk, provided you were a man.  Men were permitted to apply for divorce based on their wife’s adultery.  Women could divorce on the grounds of adultery too, if they could prove there was an aggravating factor, such as the husband had committed rape or incest.

In 1923, the Matrimonial Causes Act of the same year gave men and women equal rights to divorce on the grounds of adultery and from 1937, couples could also divorce on the grounds of cruelty, desertion, and incurable insanity.

The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which we are subject to today, was born out of the massive social changes ignited following the end of the Second World War.  Both the church and the government worried that divorce laws had become unfit for purpose.  The Divorce Reform Act 1969 provided the ground of ‘irretrievable breakdown’ and the associated five reasons (‘cruelty’ became the wider term of ‘unreasonable behaviour’).

This means current divorce law in England and Wales is almost 50 years old.  In that time, we have experienced the Women’s Revolution, the LGBT revolution, the digital, internet and social media revolution, and we are now heading rapidly towards the AI revolution.  Yet our society is still operating under a mish-mash of divorce laws that have barely changed in a century.

A push for change in the 1990s

The government has not been blind to the fact that English divorce law is about as fit for today’s society as bringing back the scold’s bridle or corporal punishment.  In the mid-1990s there was a major push to bring in no-fault divorce; however, so many changes and compromises were made to the proposal as it made its way through Parliament, it was eventually abandoned.

Today it would be difficult to find a family law solicitor who supports fault-based divorce.  Unless a couple want to wait two years (and that is only with consent) to leave their marriage, someone has to be blamed for the relationship failure.  Any lawyer will tell you this leads to at best negative feelings, at worst full-scale hatred between couples, leading to unnecessary pain and stress.  And against this backdrop, spouses are expected to work out matters involving finances and children peacefully between themselves.

The focus will now turn to the Private Member’s Bill introduced to the House of Lords by Baroness Butler-Sloss.  The Divorce (etc.) Law Reform Bill requires the government to re-examine the current rules around divorce and civil partnership dissolution and consider a no-fault system.

Never have so many struggling families so desperately needed a change of law that reflects the non-confrontational and respectful family law court system that is miles ahead of the current legislation.

Bennett Griffin are award-winning solicitors based in West Sussex with offices in central Worthing and Ferring.  Our experienced and specialist solicitors offer a comprehensive service and will work with you in an honest, considered, and practical manner.  Our family law team can advise and represent you in matters regarding divorce.  Please contact us on 01903 229 999 or by email at info@bennett-griffin.co.ukfor more information.

The information contained in this article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be legal advice. Professional advice should always be taken on the application of the law in any particular situation.

Tunbridge Wells Newsletter – September 2018

We are sorry to announce that the Tunbridge Wells lunch at the lovely Tunbridge Wells Hotel, has been placed on hold until the New Year!

We would love to see you at the other lunches and these are available to book on the dates below.

Brighton & Hove
11th September 2018 - Book Here
13th November 2018 – Book Here

Eastbourne
28th September 2018 – Book Here
23rd November 2018 – Book Here

Worthing
10th October 2018 – Book Here
12th December 2018 – Book Here

Eastbourne Newsletter – September 2018

The next Eastbourne lunch will be on 28th September from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, sponsored by Humphrey and Co.

 Book upcoming dates here:                                                                                                               28th September 2018 – Book Here                                                                                                         23rd November 2018 – Book Here

H&Co_logo_hi-res

 MAKING TAX DIGITAL FOR VAT GUIDANCE ISSUED

HM Revenue & Customs have now issued their detailed guidance on the digital record keeping and return requirements for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT.

VAT Notice 700/22 clarifies that spreadsheets may still be used to keep business records if there is bridging software that links to the Government gateway. There will however be a one year “grace” period during the first year of MTD when businesses will not be required to have digital links between software programs, referred to in the VAT Notice as a “soft landing”.

The VAT notice includes a number of helpful examples illustrating different accounting systems and the digital links required to comply with MTD for VAT.

The VAT notice is essential reading for all VAT registered businesses.

 

When Does MTD for VAT start?

The Making Tax Digital rules apply from your first VAT period starting on or after 1 April 2019. A ‘VAT period’ is the inclusive dates covered by your VAT Return.

For example, where a business submits quarterly returns covering the periods to 28 February, 31 May, 31 August and 30 November, the business will need to comply with Making Tax Digital rules for the VAT quarter starting 1 June 2019 and ending on 31 August.

“Soft Landing” for MTD for VAT for the first year

For the first year of MTD for VAT (VAT periods commencing between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020) businesses will not be required to have digital links between software programs. The one exception to this is where data is transferred, following preparation of the information required for the VAT Return, to another product (for example, a bridging product) that is Application Programme Interface (API) – enabled solely for the purpose of submitting the 9 Box VAT Return data to HMRC. The transfer of data to this product must be digital.

For the first year of MTD for VAT (VAT periods commencing between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020), where a digital link has not been established between software programs, HMRC will accept the use of cut and paste as being a digital link for these VAT periods.

However, for VAT periods starting on or after 1 April 2020, there must be a digital link for any transfer or exchange of data between software programs, products or applications used as functional compatible software.

Use of spreadsheets in preparing  VAT returns

Example 3 in the VAT Notice describes a business that uses a spreadsheet and bridging software from April 2019, which allows the information to be transferred to HMRC via an API.  It uses a spreadsheet to record all sales, purchases, and expenses in a digital format. The VAT Return is then prepared within the spreadsheet, using formulae already written into the spreadsheet.

The VAT Return information is then sent via a mandatory digital link to bridging software, which digitally submits the information directly to HMRC.  Example 6 shows how a spreadsheet would be acceptable in order to consolidate VAT information prior to submitting a Group VAT return.

Whilst spreadsheets will continue to be permissible it is unclear at this point how bridging software will work. In most cases our preferred system is Xero Bookkeeping Software. (Link to Xero page on website).

If you haven’t already done so, please contact us to help you get ready for this significant change in VAT accounting and reporting.

Brighton & Hove Newsletter – September 2018

The next Brighton & Hove lunch will be on 11th September from 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM at the Ginger Pig Pub in Hove, sponsored by Sarah Hurst Skin & Beauty.

Book upcoming dates here:                                                                                                                    11th September 2018 – Book Here                                                                                                        13th November 2018 – Book Here

 What are thread veins and how can they be treated?

Sarah Hust thread vains

The word vein for these little red blood vessels that we see on the surface of our skin, known as Telangiectasia, (and if your reading this then the chances are that you have them yourself) is confusing.  These aren’t veins at all but blood capillaries that show through the surface of the skin.  Sometimes we may have only one or two, but they can also be extensive.  Don’t despair because this condition is extremely common and you’re not alone.

Cause

The cause of these little blighters can be down to several factors and sometimes there may be no obvious cause.  They often develop as we age, and the structural integrity of the skin becomes more impaired and fragile.  Our blood vessels as well become less elastic.  There are several other factors which include hormonal changes, particularly during pregnancy and menopause. Genetic factors, working conditions, exposure to extreme temperatures, other skin traumas, smoking, diet and certain medications can also be amongst the causes.

Electrolysis

Advanced electrolysis is a tried and tested method for successfully treating thread veins, particularly when they are on the face.  On the legs, then smaller ones can often be treated with a great deal of success, but for more extensive ones on the legs, then I would advise that you seek an expert who does sclerotherapy as this would be a more successful method.

The use of IPL and laser is also known to be a successful treatment for thread veins and we are soon looking to bring you’re an exciting new treatment in this respect so keep a look out.

Having practiced Advanced Electrolysis for over 30 years, I can hand on my heart say that this method of treatment works brilliantly to bring about amazing transformations.  We have recently started recording the results and are looking to bring you some case studies to show you what can be achieved over a period of several treatments.  Here we are showing a couple of Clients who have had an amazing reduction just after one treatment.  Combined with following an advised homecare routine with supplements, skincare and mineral make-up the results are just incredible.

Electrolysis Treatment

I’ll keep the description of the treatment brief, because the results speak for themselves.  The tip of a (very tiny) needle is inserted into the capillary and current applied to cause the blood vessel to cauterise.  Following so far?  The result?  The blood can’t flow through the capillary and it’s disappeared. Treatments usually take place at monthly intervals.  There is a little downtime in that you may have some tiny scabs for a few days, but this doesn’t stop you from getting on with your daily life as anyone else would barely notice.  Several treatments may be required to fully get the results you are looking for depending on the severity.

Want to find out more and if this treatment is suitable for you? 

Then call us on 01273 270709 to book in for a no-obligatory consultation with Sarah and she can discuss it through with you.  Or email us on sarah@sarahhurst.co.uk and we can send you through our treatment guide.

Announcing our new logo and brand!

LLC blog - Announcing our new logo and brand

Here at the Ladies Lunch Clubs, we are excited to unveil our brand refresh which includes a new logo, colours and font.

The logo is a few years old now and originally was designed to fit in with Consortiums brand which has subsequently changed. We believe the new look more closely identifies us with the Consortium brand, and will help make the lunches better known and more recognisable amongst businesses and businesswomen across Sussex, Kent and Surrey.

You will soon be able to see our updated brand at our events, website, social media and all future email communications.

Although our brand has changed, our core values of helping businesswomen connect with other local professionals in an atmosphere of good food and good company, no membership fees and no long-term commitments will remain the same (something we have supported since our inception 13 years ago!)

We would love to hear any thoughts or feedback you have about the re-brand – if you would like to let us know, please do contact us at info@consortiumbiz.co.uk.

From the Ladies Lunch Clubs team

P.S. Have you heard about our Membership Listings? For just £20 (plus VAT) you can gain lifetime access to an online listing on our website which includes your name, the name of your company, a hyperlink to your website and a company description. For more information and to see how it works, please see our website’s Members page.

Afternoon Tea & Networking at Stanmer House – 22nd August 2018

Wednesday 22nd August, from 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Sponsored by:

Consortium Business Solutions

Consortium Business Solutions

Join us at Stanmer House in Brighton for networking and a spot of traditional afternoon tea.

Arrive from 3:30 to mingle with other guests, followed by a selection of finger sandwiches, mini cakes and homemade scones, plus tea or coffee, all for just £18 + booking fee.

Please feel free to share the invite – we hope you can join us.

NOTE: If the booking widget hasn’t appeared above this message, you can book directly on the Get Invited page for this lunch. We can still take BACS payments in exceptional circumstances, but this must be done by prior arrangement with us at info@ladieslunchclubs.co.uk.

Please note that by signing up to one of our events we believe that we have a legitimate interest in keeping you updated about future events. Each email communication you receive from us will have the option to remove your e-mail address from our list. Alternatively, you can email info@consortiumbiz.co.uk. You can read more about how we manage your data in our Privacy Policy.

Summer BBQ Networking at Mailmaison Brighton – 31st July 2018

Tuesday 31st July 2018, from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Sponsored by:

Consortium Business Solutions

Consortium Business Solutions

Join us at Malmaison in Brighton for a summer BBQ-themed networking event with other like-minded businesswomen.

With stunning sun trapped terraces overlooking the Marina, it really is the place to relax and meet new contacts.

Arrive from 5.30 to mingle over a complimentary cocktail, before tucking into a delicious barbecue for £30 plus booking fee.

Please feel free to share the invite – we have no membership fees, no long-term commitments just good food and good company!

*Free parking available

NOTE: If the booking widget hasn’t appeared above this message, you can book directly on the Get Invited page for this lunch. We can still take BACS payments in exceptional circumstances, but this must be done by prior arrangement with us at info@ladieslunchclubs.co.uk.

Please note that by signing up to one of our events we believe that we have a legitimate interest in keeping you updated about future events. Each email communication you receive from us will have the option to remove your e-mail address from our list. Alternatively, you can email info@consortiumbiz.co.uk. You can read more about how we manage your data in our Privacy Policy.

Worthing Newsletter – April 2018

Hello and welcome to our April newsletter!

We are looking forward to another busy couple of months following the success of our last few lunches.

We hope you enjoyed our Worthing lunch at Casa Ciro on 11th April, there certainly was great feedback on the day! We are looking forward to our Brighton & Hove lunch at the Ginger Pig on 8th May and our Eastbourne lunch on 18th May - these dates are already selling out fast so please book soon to avoid disappointment!

There is also still an opening for a Sponsor of our wonderful Tunbridge Wells lunch – this is a great opportunity to boost your business or your own personal profile. For further information about this please contact info@consortiumbiz.co.uk 

We have a few Upcoming Special Events:

4th May - ‘Where Cricket Meets Ladies Day
With special guest speaker, Celia Delaney. It should be a great day and don’t forget there will be a prize for the best dressed Lady on the day – so get your glad rags out!!

8th May - Networkout Club at The Grand Brighton
Join us for a unique fusion of traditional business networking with fitness training. This version is the run series. Followed by Breakfast in the The Grand’s Sp@ Café with use of the lovely showers and changing facilities.

24th May - Consortium’s Seminar: What is a Marketing Strategy and why do you need one? - tickets are still available to book at 1st Central Cricket Ground, Hove.

24th May - Consortium’s FUNdraising Charity Quiz night!!
At the Egremont Pub in Worthing, all proceeds will be in aid of Sussex Cancer Fund. Tickets are still available for teams of 4, or individuals – it’ll be fun and there will be bar food available too!

4th July  - Afternoon Tea at The Grand
This will be hosted by the fabulous local Charity, Sussex Cancer Fund and will offer the infamous afternoon tea at a very reasonable price with at least £10 per head going to the Charity.

Please see the bottom of the newsletter, for a list of all of our remaining dates for 2018 which are bookable.

We have no membership fees and no long-term commitments – just good food, good company and networking. We hope you can join us!

Our next Worthing lunch will take place on 13th June at Liming Mexican Grill & Bar sponsored by Bennett Griffin. The venues will be rotated for the remaining lunches this year – further details will follow in the next few newsletters.

We hope you can join us!

Grandparents and Divorce – The Forgotten Victims

When it comes to divorce, a great deal of focus is put on the nuclear family – the parents and the children.  Grandparents are often left in the dark, wondering if, how and when they will ever see their beloved grandchildren again.  This can be especially true for the paternal grandparents if the children live predominantly with their mother, as it is only natural that in most cases, she will prioritise her parent’s relationship with her children.

Resolution, a group of 6,500 family law solicitors who follow a Code of Practice to promote a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family matters, states that grandparents are in a unique position of being able to help children through their parents’ divorce by providing a listening ear and talking to them about how they are feeling[1].

Anger and blame

Every parent wants to protect their child, whether they are four years old or forty.  If your son or daughter’s marriage or cohabitation has disintegrated, it is human nature to want to take sides.  However, in order to support your grandchildren, this is best avoided.  In most cases, the best role you can play is a supporting one.  Both the parents and the grandchildren need reassurance that although things are difficult now, life will get better in time.

Can I insist on seeing my grandchildren if the parents are divorcing?

Grandparents do not have an automatic legal right to have contact with their grandchildren.  If one or both parents are preventing you from having contact with your grandchildren (either by in person or by phone, email etc), and you have done your best to address the situation through informal means, you will need to take advice from a family law solicitor.

The family law system in England and Wales is designed to help parties resolve family law disputes between themselves.  If gentle approaches such as writing a letter to the parents fails to change the situation, your solicitor may suggest a round-table negotiation or mediation session to try and break the stalemate.

Mediation and negotiation are both voluntary processes.  Your solicitor can invite the parents to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to establish if mediation is suitable.  However, they cannot be forced to attend, although such a refusal may be seen in an unfavourable light by the judge should the matter proceed to the Family Court.

If negotiation or mediation are unsuccessful in resolving the dispute or the parents refuse to attend mediation, grandparents can apply for a Child Arrangement Order under section 8 of the Children Act 1989.

In most cases, grandparents must obtain leave from the court to apply for a Child Arrangement Order.  In deciding whether to grant leave, the court will have regard to:

  • The nature of the proposed application for the Order;
  • The applicant’s connection with the child;
  • Any risk there might be of that proposed application disrupting the child’s life to such an extent that it would harm them.

The most important point to remember when going through the court process is the judge is concerned with your rights to see your grandchildren only to the extent of their welfare.  The welfare of the child is the overriding consideration of the Family Court; therefore, the decision as to whether to grant a Child Arrangement Order and what form the Order will take depends on the importance of the grandparental relationship from the child’s point of view.

What rights do I have if social services are involved with my grandchildren?

If your grandchildren’s parents are experiencing problems and social services have become involved, you may be able to obtain a Special Guardianship Order so you can take over the care of your grandchildren.

A Special Guardianship Order is an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian.  It has been described as ‘a half-way house’ between residence orders and adoption orders.  Parental responsibility is conferred with Special Guardianship, meaning you can make decisions regarding the day-to-day care of the children, their schooling and medical requirements.

In cases where the children are very young, or the parents are permanently unable to take care of them, you may wish to apply to adopt your grandchildren.  If you wish to adopt your grandchild, the parents will need to give their consent unless:

  • they cannot be traced
  • they’re incapable of giving consent, e.g. due to a mental disability
  • the child would be put at risk if they weren’t adopted

Making the decision to adopt a grandchild is not one to be taken lightly.  It is therefore important you speak with your solicitor and other professional support services when considering such a step.

Final words

The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is often not given the credit it deserves.  Grandparents provide love, warmth, security, wisdom, and attention to children.  If your grandchildren’s parents are separating or experiencing personal difficulties, your presence is crucial to provide stability and support.  If the ability to be a loving presence in your grandchildren’s lives is being withheld, you should seek legal advice.

Bennett Griffin are award-winning solicitors based in West Sussex with offices in central Worthing and Ferring.  Our experienced and specialist solicitors offer a comprehensive service and will work with you in an honest, considered, and practical manner.  Our family law team can advise and represent you in matters regarding your grandchildren.  Please contact us on 01903 229 999 or by email at info@bennett-griffin.co.uk for more information.

The information contained in this article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be legal advice. Professional advice should always be taken on the application of the law in any particular situation.


[1] http://www.resolution.org.uk/grandparents/

Upcoming Events

Brighton & Hove
8th May 2018 – Book Here
10th July 2018 – Book Here
11th September 2018 - Book Here
13th November 2018 – Book Here

Eastbourne
18th May 2018 - Book Here
27th July 2018 – Book Here
28th September 2018 – Book Here
23rd November 2018 – Book Here

Tunbridge Wells
5th June 2018 – Book Here
7th August 2018 – Book Here
2nd October 2018 – Book Here
4th December 2018 – Book Here

Worthing
13th June 2018 – Book Here
8th August 2018 – Book Here
10th October 2018 – Book Here
12th December 2018 – Book Here

Tunbridge Wells Newsletter – April 2018

Hello and welcome to our April newsletter!

We are looking forward to another busy couple of months following the success of our last few lunches.

We hope you enjoyed our Worthing lunch at Casa Ciro on 11th April, there certainly was great feedback on the day! We are looking forward to our Brighton & Hove lunch at the Ginger Pig on 8th May and our Eastbourne lunch on 18th May - these dates are already selling out fast so please book soon to avoid disappointment!

There is also still an opening for a Sponsor of our wonderful Tunbridge Wells lunch – this is a great opportunity to boost your business or your own personal profile. For further information about this please contact info@consortiumbiz.co.uk 

We have a few Upcoming Special Events:

4th May - ‘Where Cricket Meets Ladies Day
With special guest speaker, Celia Delaney. It should be a great day and don’t forget there will be a prize for the best dressed Lady on the day – so get your glad rags out!!

8th May - Networkout Club at The Grand Brighton
Join us for a unique fusion of traditional business networking with fitness training. This version is the run series. Followed by Breakfast in the The Grand’s Sp@ Café with use of the lovely showers and changing facilities.

24th May - Consortium’s Seminar: What is a Marketing Strategy and why do you need one? - tickets are still available to book at 1st Central Cricket Ground, Hove.

24th May - Consortium’s FUNdraising Charity Quiz night!!
At the Egremont Pub in Worthing, all proceeds will be in aid of Sussex Cancer Fund. Tickets are still available for teams of 4, or individuals – it’ll be fun and there will be bar food available too!

4th July  - Afternoon Tea at The Grand
This will be hosted by the fabulous local Charity, Sussex Cancer Fund and will offer the infamous afternoon tea at a very reasonable price with at least £10 per head going to the Charity.

Please see the bottom of the newsletter, for a list of all of our remaining dates for 2018 which are bookable.

We have no membership fees and no long-term commitments – just good food, good company and networking. We hope you can join us!

Our next lunch will take place on 5th June – we hope you can join us!

We still have an opening for Sponsorship for our popular lunch in Tunbridge Wells. If you are a local business and would like to boost your brand, full sponsorship details can be found here.

You might be toying with the idea of setting up your own business, or have already taken the leap and set up on your own – congratulations! The professional services sector is a popular industry for start-ups with a varied range of consultants and specialised business services providers.

Read our top tips on how to set the best foundation for a successful business:

  1. Pick and define your business niche

You will need a clear idea of what solution your business is going to provide and which of your future customers’ pain points you can solve. Do you have a specific skill set combined with relevant experience that other people would be willing to pay for? Identify your core service and consider potential complementary services that you or business partners could provide to enhance your offering. Define what you as a company and individual stand for.

  1. Research and refine your ideal customer

Once you have identified your company ethos and service proposition, put some time aside to do extensive research into your ideal customer as well as the environment they operate in. How many other companies are there who offer the same or a similar service that you will need to compete with? What sets you apart? Are there government initiatives or other external factors that would aid or obstruct your efforts?

  1. Have a financial back up plan

It is likely that you may not earn much in the early days. You may have chosen to stay in part-time employment whilst you work on setting up your own business, in which case the financial risk is manageable. If you have decided to leave your current job and run your business full-time, you will need a financial back up plan as it takes time to set up a successful and profitable business. Do you have any savings, or would family and friends be able to lend a helping hand if the business doesn’t take off as planned?

  1. Surround yourself with like-minded people

Make sure your family and close friends are on board with the idea and will be able to support you if the going gets tough. Join local start up initiatives, engage in dialogue with other businesses in a similar situation and be prepared to take their advice, or at least consider their point of view. Think about partnerships with other companies who may be able to refer business to you and be pro-active in asking for recommendations and making new connections.

  1. Be adaptable

The business environment is ever changing and only those business owners who can adapt will be able to run a successful business in the long term. There will be a whole range of skills you may need to learn in order to run a business, such as bookkeeping, HR, IT and/or sales, until you are in a position to employ staff or outsource to specialist providers. You may need to tweak or expand your service offering to fulfil your customers’ needs so encourage open dialogue with your customers and keep an open mind.

  1. Have a marketing strategy

Plan and write down how you are going to launch the business and market it to your identified customer base over the next 12 months. Set specific objectives of what you want to achieve and work out how you are planning to achieve them. If you would like some help with this, we would love to help.

Consortium Business Solutions was established in 2013 by Lara Squires and offers marketing and business development solutions to the professional services sector. Now consisting of five staff members, the team provide marketing support through traditional and digital channels, alongside social media consultancy services and event organisation.

You may also be interested to read Lara’s personal account of having set up her own business in this blog post ‘5 lessons I’ve learnt setting up my own business’ which was in our March newsletter too.

Upcoming Events

Brighton & Hove
8th May 2018 – Book Here
10th July 2018 – Book Here
11th September 2018 - Book Here
13th November 2018 – Book Here

Eastbourne
18th May 2018 - Book Here
27th July 2018 – Book Here
28th September 2018 – Book Here
23rd November 2018 – Book Here

Tunbridge Wells
5th June 2018 – Book Here
7th August 2018 – Book Here
2nd October 2018 – Book Here
4th December 2018 – Book Here
Worthing
13th June 2018 – Book Here
8th August 2018 – Book Here
10th October 2018 – Book Here
12th December 2018 – Book Here

Eastbourne Newsletter – April 2018

Hello and welcome to our April newsletter!

We are looking forward to another busy couple of months following the success of our last few lunches.

We hope you enjoyed our Worthing lunch at Casa Ciro on 11th April, there certainly was great feedback on the day! We are looking forward to our Brighton & Hove lunch at the Ginger Pig on 8th May and our Eastbourne lunch on 18th May - these dates are already selling out fast so please book soon to avoid disappointment!

There is also still an opening for a Sponsor of our wonderful Tunbridge Wells lunch – this is a great opportunity to boost your business or your own personal profile. For further information about this please contact info@consortiumbiz.co.uk 

We have a few Upcoming Special Events:

4th May - ‘Where Cricket Meets Ladies Day
With special guest speaker, Celia Delaney. It should be a great day and don’t forget there will be a prize for the best dressed Lady on the day – so get your glad rags out!!

8th May - Networkout Club at The Grand Brighton
Join us for a unique fusion of traditional business networking with fitness training. This version is the run series. Followed by Breakfast in the The Grand’s Sp@ Café with use of the lovely showers and changing facilities.

24th May - Consortium’s Seminar: What is a Marketing Strategy and why do you need one? - tickets are still available to book at 1st Central Cricket Ground, Hove.

24th May - Consortium’s FUNdraising Charity Quiz night!!
At the Egremont Pub in Worthing, all proceeds will be in aid of Sussex Cancer Fund. Tickets are still available for teams of 4, or individuals – it’ll be fun and there will be bar food available too!

4th July  - Afternoon Tea at The Grand
This will be hosted by the fabulous local Charity, Sussex Cancer Fund and will offer the infamous afternoon tea at a very reasonable price with at least £10 per head going to the Charity.

Please see the bottom of the newsletter, for a list of all of our remaining dates for 2018 which are bookable.

We have no membership fees and no long-term commitments – just good food, good company and networking. We hope you can join us!

Tickets are selling fast for the next Eastbourne lunch on 18th May at the Grand Hotel, sponsored by Humphrey & Co. Be sure to book your places soon!

Cash And Digital Payments In The New Economy

One of the announcements in the Spring Statement was the possible demise of the 1p and 2p coins and the £50 note, but for different reasons. It seems that more and more of us are paying for small transactions such as our morning coffee by using contactless payments.

Those who do pay in cash and where the cost is say £2.99 we put the penny change in the charity pot and many are thrown away! The £50 note has been linked to money laundering and other illegal cash-based payments.

The increase in contactless transactions and consequent reduction in the number of small coins in circulation will have a significant impact on the charity sector as many are reliant on peoples’ small change being donated outside supermarkets and stations.

The consultation on the future of cash in the economy also considers the role of cash in tax evasion and illegal activities. The vast majority of traders and businesses accepting payments in cash will do so honestly. However, in some cases, the anonymous and untraceable nature of cash transactions is perceived to facilitate tax evasion, hidden economy activity, or money laundering. This harms the honest majority of businesses who find it harder to compete, and means less money goes towards our vital public services.

HMRC are aware that payments in cash can be a problem for tax compliance. In some cases, this is because taxpayers find it difficult to keep accurate records of all their transactions. HMRC have identified that cash is used by a small minority of people to hide or disguise their taxable income by not reporting, or under-reporting, what they owe.

The consultation paper suggests that the increasing use of digital payments and reduction in the use of cash could have a positive impact on increasing tax compliance and decreasing money laundering. However, the increase in digital payments may only have a limited impact, if the dishonest minority continue to use cash to hide or suppress their income. Could the next step be to make it mandatory to pay your window cleaner or gardener electronically? Not yet…

Upcoming Events

Brighton & Hove
8th May 2018 – Book Here
10th July 2018 – Book Here
11th September 2018 - Book Here
13th November 2018 – Book Here

Eastbourne
18th May 2018 - Book Here
27th July 2018 – Book Here
28th September 2018 – Book Here
23rd November 2018 – Book Here

Tunbridge Wells
5th June 2018 – Book Here
7th August 2018 – Book Here
2nd October 2018 – Book Here
4th December 2018 – Book Here
Worthing
13th June 2018 – Book Here
8th August 2018 – Book Here
10th October 2018 – Book Here
12th December 2018 – Book Here