Olympic standard coaching inspires Scotland’s SMEs to go for gold, says Rebecca Bonnington from Shirlaws

Olympic standard coaching could inspire Scotland’s small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to go for gold.

That’s the view of Edinburgh-based business expert Rebecca Bonnington, a Partner with international coaching group Shirlaws.

She was commenting after Elise Christie tugged at the nation’s heartstrings when she crashed out of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang this week, missing a medal for the second Games running.

But even as she hobbled off the ice supported by head coach Nicky Gooch, Elise was telling journalists that she’d be back for Beijing 2022.

Rebecca says: “While natural talent and a bullish attitude like Elise are the backbone of any athlete’s success, the pressure is now on her coaching team to make sure she’s on the podium in four years time.

“The same goes for business success, with more and more SMEs acknowledging the value of coaching as they strive to deliver results and scale their operation to the next level.

“Like athletes, there’s enormous potential for businesses to use coaching to identify and achieve their goals.”

It’s a view echoed by Tricia Fox, founder and MD of Perth-based PR and marketing agency Volpa, who has been working with Rebecca to scale up her business.

Tricia says: “Anyone who thinks success is achieved in a vacuum is kidding themselves. I’ve never heard of a single successful athlete who hasn’t worked with an exceptional coach who has helped them make the 1% difference that delivers gold. Business is no different. Rebecca has given us critical insight and a shone a strategic light on how we can leverage our existing strengths and build a better business. Her advice is based on clear strategic principles and, importantly, her experience as an entrepreneur.”

The main thrust of Rebecca’s work at Shirlaws involves coaching and consulting with high achieving executives from large corporates and entrepreneurial businesses on how to make more money, more time and reduce stress.

She’s recently developed the CIRCLE Programme which condenses Shirlaws unique business frameworks into six intensive and affordable sessions aimed Scotland’s SME and family-run firms with turnovers less than £1.5 million.

Rebecca adds: “The CIRCLE Programme has been designed by Shirlaws with the needs of such business owners in mind. The work we do makes a huge difference in a very short space of time to businesses and business owners. We know this because we’ve been working with SME and private enterprise businesses for 20 years now. Using our tried and tested models and frameworks, we help grow your business, whilst successfully giving you access to more money, more time and less stress.

“We would now like to share this incredible knowledge through our CIRCLE Programme with smaller businesses who are ambitious to grow and want to use the Shirlaws’ frameworks to create strong, sustainable businesses.

“I don’t want to work with anyone who is interested in a fast buck, I work only with clients who work hard and want to build something sustainable and of quality. If your business is above £1.5m turnover then you’ll be able to work with me one-to-one on your business. If it’s below that, the CIRCLE Programme is designed especially for you.”

There are still places available to join the Circle Programme. Contact Rebecca Bonnington on 07734 934084 or rebecca.bonnington@shirlawsgroup.com for more details.

First Scottish Business Expo promises to ‘shake up’ business networking

An exciting new celebration of business in Scotland and one that promises to ‘shake up’ business networking is set to launch in May this year.

Scottish Business Expo will bring together some of the best business talent in the country to share their experience and knowledge with fellow entrepreneurs.

The two-day event takes place on the 4th and 5th of May 2018 in one of the most iconic settings in the world – overlooking the Forth road and rail bridges and the new Queensferry Crossing. The venue is The Queensferry Lodge Hotel in North Queensferry.

The inaugural Scottish Business Expo will host eight inspirational speakers and include an exhibition, gala dinner and more. The aim is to bring businesses together, with the opportunity to display their products and services. With plenty of social opportunities to mingle with speakers and VIPs, and a packed programme of valuable learning over the two days, the event promises to deliver on its slogan, ‘More than just networking.’

The Scottish Business Expo is hosted by the Lodestone Lounge, an online community which helps entrepreneurs to navigate business growth, founded by Dr Wendy Sneddon. Wendy has just been shortlisted as one of Britain’s Top 50 Business Advisers in a competition organised by Enterprise Nation. The winners will be decided by public vote and revealed next month.

Wendy is an experienced business and leadership coach, who has been supporting businesses with strategic planning and team management for more than 20 years. She is a fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management, associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, and award-winning author of business management guide, Get Out of Your Way.

Wendy explains: “We’re shaking up the traditional business networking model with our first Scottish Business Expo. It’s about getting more out of a business event: more fun, more inspiration, more creativity, more challenge. We’re looking forward to welcoming business owners from all sectors, people who are already passionate about what they do but are motivated to do more to ensure continued business growth. Over the next few months we’ll be sharing more details about the two-day calendar, as well as our own tips on business networking.”

Tickets for Scottish Business Expo are available now, with options ranging in price through day guest, weekend guest to Silver and Platinum VIP packages, which include a 90 min slot onstage. For all ticket prices and details of how to get involved as a speaker or exhibitor, visit ‪ www.scottishbusinessexpo.co.uk

Balhousie Care Group’s chairman shortlisted as IoD Regional Director of the Year

Balhousie Care Group’s Chairman Tony Banks, who has been instrumental in turning around the fortunes of the care home firm, has been shortlisted in this year’s Institute of Scotland Director of the Year Awards.

Tony, who founded the award-winning care home group 25 years ago, is a finalist in the Tayside Regional Director of the Year category.

The news follows a hugely successful year for Balhousie Care Group, which runs 25 homes across the north east of Scotland including Dundee, Angus, Fife, Aberdeenshire, Perthshire and Stirlingshire. 2017 saw it secure a £49m refinancing deal, appoint its first Chief Executive, win several awards and gain the highest Care Inspectorate rating (Category 6) for two of its care homes. The Perth-based company also secured a major win at the UK-wide National Care Awards, when Operations Director Louise Barnett was named Operations Manager of the Year.

Over the last two years, Tony has overseen the launch of Together We’re Great, an initiative which has seen a positive cultural shift company-wide, and a Participation Charter which enables residents to be more involved with their care decisions.

Louise Barnett, Balhousie Care’s Operations Director, said:

“Tony is always looking for new and innovative ways for developing the business and the people in it. His leadership and belief in delivering the best care for our residents makes our organisation a special place to be.”

IoD Scotland said this year’s judging panel was impressed by the “very high standard” of entries. The awards ceremony takes place in Glasgow on 22nd March 2018.

To find out more about Balhousie Care Group, visit www.balhousiecare.co.uk

Leading law firm Miller Hendry strengthens its teams in Dundee and Perth with six key appointments

Leading Tayside solicitors and estate agents Miller Hendry has announced a raft of six key appointments and promotions, expanding and strengthening its teams in Dundee and Perth.

Aileen Scott and Beverley McMahon have been promoted into the roles of Senior Associates.

Aileen’s promotion enhances the Private Client Department in Perth, underlining the firm’s ongoing commitment to the ‘Fair City’. She boasts experience in the administration of executries, estate and inheritance tax planning, guardianships, wills and powers of attorney.

Beverley is a key member of Miller Hendry’s Residential Property Department in Dundee and is highly experienced in dealing with all aspects of residential conveyancing, including buying and selling properties, equity release arrangements, re-mortgages, boundary disputes and transfer of title, with a particular interest in domestic leasing.

The third appointment is Michael Johnston who strengths the team in Perth’s Residential Property Department. Michael joined the firm after completing his traineeship in Aberdeen.

Elsewhere, Lindsay Kirkwood has graduated from her trainee position within the firm to take up a new role as solicitor in the Private Client department in Dundee.  Claire Pirie has been appointed as a trainee solicitor in the Private Client Department in Perth, while Stacey Culloch moves into the same role in Dundee.

John Thom, Chairman of Miller Hendry, said: “I am delighted to announce these six appointments which underline Miller Hendry’s ongoing commitment to investing in our people to meet the growing demand from clients for our range of specialist services.

“I firmly believe that it is crucial to invest in training and promote from within. By developing our own talent pool we provide the drive for staff to work hard for both clients and the firm.”

Water’s Edge introduces the next generation of workspace with Smart Building technology attracting UK-wide interest

Intelligent workplace design is credited with boosting creativity, productivity and ultimately profitability. It’s a blueprint that tech entrepreneurs and developers of the Minecraft console editions, Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns, are embracing in their latest business venture.

Tayforth Properties Ltd. – which is jointly owned by Chris and Paddy and operated by Managing Director Stewart Clark – is currently developing the historic Shed 25 building overlooking Dundee’s City Quay marina into the highly-anticipated Water’s Edge commercial office development.

Perth-based Smart Building specialist d3 Audio & Visual – who have worked with the likes of Manchester United FC, DC Thomson, Skyscanner, the Scottish Ambulance Service and the Welsh Rugby Union – has been enlisted to install a single connected system that will control and monitor everything from lighting and heating to security and energy usage via a smartphone, tablet or computer.

When complete in early 2018, Water’s Edge will combine a stunning quayside location with cutting edge technology, ultra-fast broadband and flexible workspaces. The development will also host one of Dundee’s largest restaurant/cafés which is due to open at the end of 2018.

Andrew McCully, Co-owner, d3 Audio & Visual Technologies, explained:

“Given our track record in the field of smart technology, d3 Audio & Visual is delighted to be collaborating on Tayforth’s vision for this ground-breaking project. Water’s Edge really stands out from the pack with some innovative technology and smart design to automatically control internal operations. Everything in this workplace – access, alarm, lights, temperatures – will be fully automated and can be controlled simply and quickly with a smartphone or tablet. This makes for a great working environment as well as saving energy and cutting down on utility costs.”

Stewart Clark, Managing Director of developers Tayforth Properties Ltd., added:

“Nationally there’s a great demand for Smart Building space, and Water’s Edge has attracted a great deal of interest from employers across the UK because it ticks all the boxes in terms of technological specification, design and location.”

Businesses who are interested in finding out more about Water’s Edge should contact Stewart Clark on 07782 637 420 or email stewart.clark@tayforth.com

GDPR

GDPR help at hand for Tayside businesses

With only 100 days until new data protection laws come into place on 28th May 2018, many Tayside businesses are, as yet, unprepared for the changes that will have huge impact on the way they communicate with their customers.

To help prepare marketers and businesses for the introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) one of Scotland’s leading marketing agencies, Volpa, is providing counsel on the practical implications for the industry.

Volpa will host a series of free events in Perth and Dundee that will see experts in marketing, Tricia Fox and Fraser Kirk, give advice for any marketers or business owners who use email databases, print mailers and telemarketing to promote their business; all of which are affected by the incoming legislation.

Volpa’s CEO, Tricia Fox commented: “GDPR is just around the corner and it is clear many businesses are extremely ill prepared for the changes. Now is the time for the marketers to make sure they are putting in all the necessary steps in place to ensure they don’t get caught out when the legislation is rolled out in May. What business owners should be particularly concerned about is the potential loss of data if they fail to re-obtain consent before the law comes into place and, in so doing, lose the opportunity to communicate with past customers and potential future customers.

“We would encourage anyone working in the industry in Tayside to attend our events to make sure they are fully abreast of what is to come. Volpa can also provide advice on GDPR compliance for those unable to attend.”

Volpa: ‘GDPR, WTF?’

Dundee: Discovery Point on February 13, between 10am – 12pm

Perth: McDiarmid Park on February 27, between 10am – 12pm

Both events are free to attend but attendance should be registered at the Event Brite page.

INDUSTRY BODY AWARDS PR BOSS ‘ACCREDITED PRACTITONER’ STATUS

Tricia Fox, Managing Director and founder of independent PR and Marketing agency Volpa, has been awarded ‘accredited practitioner’ status by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), the industry’s leading professional body in the UK.

The ‘accredited practitioner’ status is a hallmark of commitment to public relations’ professional excellence and is awarded to those who have shown clear evidence of keeping professional skills and knowledge up to date through the CIPR’s continuing professional development (CPD) programme.

Tricia, who founded Volpa in 2002, completed 120 hours of CPD, as required by the CIPR. This included guest lecturing slots at Forth Valley College and Robert Gordon University, several training courses run by the PRCA aimed at further developing her skillset and judging the 2017 CIPR Pride Awards for the Midlands region.

Lecturing and presenting is one of the activities a professional can undertake to gain accredited practitioner status. Tricia will once again be speaking at the launch of the Goddess Formula at Mal Maison in Dundee on 1 February. The Goddess Formula is a non-political, nationwide organisation for UK based women of any age, culture or creed; a networking organisation to share business passion and personal business success stories. Tricia will be sharing her own inspirational story at the event.

Tricia commented: “It is fantastic to be formally recognised as an accredited practitioner by the UK’s leading public relations professional body and a great way to be rewarded for all the hours spent on my CPD. I am looking forward to putting my lecturing skills further into practice when I speak at the Goddess Formula launch on 1 February, where I’m sure I will meet many other inspirational women business leaders, all of whom will have great stories of their own.”

Volpa is a full service marketing agency boasting dedicated publicity, creative and digital departments. Specialists in the tourism, hospitality and food and drink sectors, Volpa now has a team of ten and is on course for a £1 million turnover within the next eighteen months. The agency has received a raft of awards over the years, including three times winner of the Scottish Event Award for Best Marketing Strategy for its work on Scotland’s premier sound and light event, The Enchanted Forest.

 

Balhousie Care Group appoints new manager in Arbroath

Award-winning care home provider Balhousie Care Group has appointed a new manager for its Antiquary care home in Arbroath.

Cath Maclean brings to the role 20 years of experience in nursing and care homes. Originally from Stornoway, Cath now calls Arbroath home. As manager of the Antiquary home, she is responsible for almost 60 residents, 20 of them in a self-contained facility for people with Alzheimers or other forms of dementia.

Cath joined the care home industry 18 years ago, with a long-held passion for caring for people with dementia. “My gran died at the age of 45. Although it wasn’t diagnosed at the time she had Alzheimers. I was a kid at the time but I think the stories I heard about my gran from my mother – who worked as a general nurse – stuck with me. I’ve got quite a passion for looking after people with dementia and the different characteristics they display.”

Cath’s appointment brings her together with a former colleague, Lynsey Robbie. The two worked for another care home provider. Lindsay is now operations manager for Balhousie Care Group, responsible for eight care homes including Balhousie Antiquary.

Louise Barnett, Operations Director for Balhousie Care Group, said:

“We’re delighted to have Cath heading up the team at Balhousie Antiquary. I feel strongly that she will provide strong leadership and inspiration for the staff there as they follow a path of high quality care.”Award-winning care home provider Balhousie Care Group has appointed a new manager for its Antiquary care home in Arbroath.

Cath Maclean brings to the role 20 years of experience in nursing and care homes. Originally from Stornoway, Cath now calls Arbroath home. As manager of the Antiquary home, she is responsible for almost 60 residents, 20 of them in a self-contained facility for people with Alzheimers or other forms of dementia.

Cath joined the care home industry 18 years ago, with a long-held passion for caring for people with dementia. “My gran died at the age of 45. Although it wasn’t diagnosed at the time she had Alzheimers. I was a kid at the time but I think the stories I heard about my gran from my mother – who worked as a general nurse – stuck with me. I’ve got quite a passion for looking after people with dementia and the different characteristics they display.”

Cath’s appointment brings her together with a former colleague, Lynsey Robbie. The two worked for another care home provider. Lindsay is now operations manager for Balhousie Care Group, responsible for eight care homes including Balhousie Antiquary.

Louise Barnett, Operations Director for Balhousie Care Group, said:

“We’re delighted to have Cath heading up the team at Balhousie Antiquary. I feel strongly that she will provide strong leadership and inspiration for the staff there as they follow a path of high quality care.”Award-winning care home provider Balhousie Care Group has appointed a new manager for its Antiquary care home in Arbroath.

Cath Maclean brings to the role 20 years of experience in nursing and care homes. Originally from Stornoway, Cath now calls Arbroath home. As manager of the Antiquary home, she is responsible for almost 60 residents, 20 of them in a self-contained facility for people with Alzheimers or other forms of dementia.

Cath joined the care home industry 18 years ago, with a long-held passion for caring for people with dementia. “My gran died at the age of 45. Although it wasn’t diagnosed at the time she had Alzheimers. I was a kid at the time but I think the stories I heard about my gran from my mother – who worked as a general nurse – stuck with me. I’ve got quite a passion for looking after people with dementia and the different characteristics they display.”

Cath’s appointment brings her together with a former colleague, Lynsey Robbie. The two worked for another care home provider. Lindsay is now operations manager for Balhousie Care Group, responsible for eight care homes including Balhousie Antiquary.

Louise Barnett, Operations Director for Balhousie Care Group, said:

“We’re delighted to have Cath heading up the team at Balhousie Antiquary. I feel strongly that she will provide strong leadership and inspiration for the staff there as they follow a path of high quality care.”

Thousands to descend on Scone Palace as it hosts world championship in medieval combat in a first for U.K.

Scone Palace is getting back to its medieval roots this May when it plays host to the world championships for full- contact medieval combat, a sport rising in popularity around the globe.

Thousands will descend on the historic visitor attraction, known for being the crowning place of medieval kings, when it hosts the International Medieval Combat Federation World Championships from May 10th to 13th 2018.

Set to be one of the hottest tickets for 2018, the event will attract 25,000 visitors, 500 competitors and 500 officials from 31 countries worldwide. Many of the competitors will set up a medieval encampment on the grounds of the Palace. Tickets are now on sale for the event, which will include full-contact medieval battles, duelling, team fights, archery, falconry and much more.

This marks the first time that the U.K. has hosted the championships, which take place every three years at historic venues around the globe.

While medieval re-enactment fighting has been popular for decades, countries around the world are signing up for full-contact events, in which ancient combat is revived as a regulated sport featuring historically accurate weapons and armour. Organisers and participants say the sport is relatively free of injuries and that rugby players sustain more bumps and scrapes than those taking part in full-contact medieval fights.

Scone Palace’s hosting of the world championships came about after William Murray, Viscount Stormont, son of the Earl and Countess of Mansfield, learned about the growing popularity of the sport. While working in New York, William met several American and Canadian fighters and the Vice-President of the International Medieval Combat Federation. William then offered to host the 2018 World Championships at Scone Palace.

William said of his first brush with full-contact medieval combat:

“It was quite the spectacle, like watching boxing in armour. It was hugely entertaining to watch, and not for the faint-hearted. I was brought up watching the film A Knight’s Tale, so I found myself completely taken by the sport. It’s a real coup for us to be hosting the World Championships.”

Stephen Brannigan, head of House Opening for Scone Palace, said:

“We’re thrilled to be hosting the International Medieval Combat Federation World Championships at Scone Palace, which we believe is the perfect setting for the event. It’s going to be a real-life Game of Thrones and an event for everyone – adults, kids and families. We know they’ll share our excitement for witnessing this fascinating and upcoming sport.”

More information available at www.scone-palace.co.uk and tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk 

Balhousie Care Home

Balhousie Care Group back in the saddle as it makes Business Insider Top 500 list

The startling revival of leading care home provider Balhousie Care Group has been acknowledged with a listing in Scotland’s Top 500 Companies from Business Insider magazine.

The 25-strong group celebrated 25 years in the business last year with a £49m refinancing deal, numerous industry awards, and top Care Inspectorate ratings for two of its facilities.

Balhousie Care’s homes and staff have won accolades for their services and for initiatives which promote a person-centred, individualised approach to residential care. The latest award, which puts Balhousie Care and the Scottish care industry on the national map, was won by Operations Director Louise Barnett, who was named UK Operations Manager of the Year in the National Care Awards.

The £49m refinancing deal means better financial security and even more improvements ahead for Balhousie Care’s homes and operations.

Chief Executive Steve White said: “We’re delighted to be recognised in Business Insider’s Top 500, which is an acknowledgement of all our hard work. This is an exciting time to be part of Balhousie Care Group. There’s a real buzz among staff, both in the homes and at head office level. We know we are on a firm footing financially and have a growing reputation as a leading care provider.”

The Business Insider list called 2017 “a year of rebounds”, with a number of Scotland’s top companies showing a turnaround in turnover or profit compared to 2016. Balhousie Care was ranked 390 out of 500 companies.