Archive for the ‘Information’ Category

Could you be Hopkins Homes Young Entrepreneur of the Year?

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Hopkins Homes and top marketing agency Clarity {Included} are delighted to announce the launch of an exciting project designed to encourage young entrepreneurs of the future to create their own businesses and raise money for local charity Lighthouse Women’s Aid.

The initiative begins in January when James Hopkins will present candidates from University Campus Suffolk with a start up grant of £150 at an exclusive launch event at the company headquarters in Melton. Participants can take part in the challenge individually or create teams of up to eight people.

Once they have received their funds from Hopkins Homes, teams will benefit from a workshop with Emma Pratt, Managing Director of Clarity {Included} normally valued at £1200. Emma will guide the teams through creating a business plan and marketing strategy. It will then be up to young entrepreneurs to generate as much income as possible throughout the first three months of 2013.

Funds raised will be donated to Lighthouse Women’s Aid to enable the charity to continue its life saving work supporting women and children who have suffered from domestic abuse. Jo Cresdee Marketing and PR manager of Lighthouse Women’s Aid says:

“Relationship abuse is an issue that has a devastating effect on the British economy, costing businesses approximately £1.9 billion each year in time taken off sick by men and women to get over the injuries they have sustained. We hope that by being involved in a project such as this we are able to raise awareness of what is often considered a taboo subject and provide more support for local businesses so that they are more able to tackle the issue.”

The project will conclude in March 2013 with an awards ceremony and prizes for the most successful teams. Ipswich Town Football Club is supporting the competition by providing a VIP experience at the last home match of the season for the winning group.

The East Anglian Daily Times will be following the progress of the each business team, providing coverage of the ideas created. Terry Hunt, editor said:

“Entrepreneurialism drives our economy, and the importance of start-up businesses to the economy cannot be over-estimated.”

Perhaps the most exciting element of this initiative is that it will allow budding business minds to show case their talents to a group of the county’s most successful investors and venture capitalists who will be actively looking to candidates to provide viable business ideas for them to fund in the future.

“This is your chance in the Dragons Den of Suffolk, make the most of it, get involved and show us your business idea has potential.” Said Emma Pratt, Managing Director of Clarity {Included}

If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity there is still time to sign up. Please contact Jo Cresdee at Lighthouse Women’s Aid (jo@lighthousewa.org.uk), participants can be any age as long as they are in some form of education.

Read it in the press

For further information please contact Jo Cresdee on: 01473 228 270 or 07944 070 362

 

What makes a brand valuable?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Interbrand’s latest brand research published in January on the world’s most ‘valuable’ brands, using their own special formula, not the ‘price’ of the company. Some interesting reading.

What of your own brand? How much would it be worth alongside against its competitors? What are your customers using to choose you or perhaps your competitors? Your brand can be a huge help to your competitive edge, if you are interested in developing your brand presence, give us a shout.

Getting start-up investment

Monday, September 12th, 2011

If you need funds to launch, beyond what you can supply, you have a number of routes to investigate.

1.  Your own funds: first port of call, what can you invest yourself? Worth noting that if you seek other sources of funding expect to have to answer why haven’t you backed with more of your own money?

2. Friends and family loans: usually offered as straightforward loans (rather then equity stakes), unlikely to based on detailed financial analysis as they trust you and want you to do well, significant personal implications if something occurs and you can’t pay back.

3. Bank loans: hard to come by in these times of limited lending but not impossible.  Will require a solid business plan with decent back-up of how a loan will be repaid, and what it will be used for.  Benefit of being a loan to a limited company, saving some elements of personal risk.  Although a personal guarantee can be required.

4. Equity investors: your very own dragons.  They will want to see a solid business plan, and will expect a slice of the business for the money they put in.  They will generally also offer contacts, expertise and guidence where you need it (but not always – some will just be a straight cash injection). When you get an equity investor, you get someone with a legitimate say in your business – so choose carefully.

Need extra help, get in touch we should be able to help you out.

PS – Valuing your business when taking on equity partners is a whole other ballgame – how much for how much… confused, give us a call.

Cash flow forecast (yawn) but it could save you life

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Thinking in detail about what your business start up, or business expansion, is going to cost you and exactly when can stop a business with the potential to achieve from failing.  We see many people who rightly attempt some analysis of what their business will cost to run, essential to working out if it can yield the profit you need from it.

Most get as far as demonstrating some knowledge of required start up costs in year one.  This is where it can get very misleading.  Shown against your potential revenue it gives you a loss or profit figure for that year.  What is doesn’t show you is just how far into the red you need to be able to afford before the business turns.  This is where you need a ‘caah flow’ forecast.  This can be used to map outward expenditure by period (day, week, month) against forecast revenue.  This will tell you how much capital you will need at the most costly point.  It will be quite different from the year end figure shown in your annual forecast of profit and loss.

Peter Jones Academy Launch

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

As a partner organisation in Fulcrum Venture, we sponsored the launch of the Peter Jones Academy in Suffolk.  This fantastic development, shaped and driven by so many of the wonderful educators and business people of Suffolk, centres around a course in business and entrepreneurship for 16-18 year olds being taught at Suffolk One (www.suffolkone.org).  All supported by the team and business partners of the Eastern Enterprise Hub (www.eehub.co.uk).  If you are based in East Anglia, and can do something to support our young talent please get involved.

Fulcrum Venture – effort into results

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Clarity Included is a partnership member of the newly formed Fulcrum Venture organisation.  Fulcrum Venture has been created drawing together the investment resources, management expertise and contact networks of key independent business people.  Its aim is to work with young enterprises to help accelerate their growth potential.  If you have a business you would like to start, or speed up its growth please talk to us: www.fulcrumventure.com

Entrepreneurialism back to end the year

Monday, December 13th, 2010

There has been a definite upswing in small business confidence in the last couple of months.  Since October we have consulted with a number of brand new start-ups to help them get the balls rolling and plates spinning, including:

  • a 3d design studio
  • a handmade furniture online retailer
  • a gym for training gym trainers (yes, very fit)
  • a practice of beauticians
  • a recruitment business for healthcare
  • an executive recruitment business
  • a management training business
  • a community financing operator
  • a commercial embroidery start-up
  • …. and on.

Good luck to each and everyone of you – it’s grass roots activity like this we need to stimulate our economy from the ground up.

If you have a business idea and you’d like impartial help or advice, drop us an email.  We can help you arrange your set-up, marketing, business systems and financing if you need it.

Strategic partnership with serious business technology people

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Clarity Included are working closely with Ridgewood Strategy providing communications and market strategy consultancy to their established consultancy business in process and technology integration. This enhances CI’s access to high level business information consultancy and allows Ridgewood to add a further dimension for the successful integration of its technology and business strategies.  We’re delighted at the chance to help embed and communicate some seriously clever stuff, good things to come.

Brand restructuring project for CI

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Clarity Included is working with a market leading construction business on a complex strategic project to reshape its brand strategy.  The project includes the rebranding and merging of companies within the group to create a platform for the business to grow in its chosen markets.  The work includeds co-ordinating the change management and staff integration alongside the rebranding with all internal and external communications.

Annual Reporting Appointment

Friday, September 17th, 2010

We’re delighted to announced the appointment of Clarity Included to direct the communications and design delivery for the upcoming annual Report and Accounts for FTSE 250 business – Morgan Sindall.  This complex communications project comes at a time of substantial change for the client and poses some exciting and interesting challenges in reporting to investors, analysts and shareholders.  The report will be published in March 2011.