Be Fit For Investment

Resting on your laurels can be detrimental to your profitability and success. While it is an achievement to start a business and survive the initial period of existence, not focusing on growth could put your business at risk from various factors. In this article we have summarised why company growth matters and how you can grow.

5 Key Areas Important For A Stable Business:

  1. Trading conditions for the supply of your goods and services

Your relationships with suppliers and consumers matter. You need clear terms related to the supply of goods or services, whether these terms relate to consumers or other businesses. Your trading conditions specify the product, delivery, passing of risk, payment, what you will do, what you want your buyer or user to do, warranties that are given and exclusion of liability

business team working

  1. Employment policies, contracts and procedures

It is sensible to have procedures relating to sickness, diversity, mental health. Contracts will need non-competition and data protection clauses. Employment policies are formulated to deal with grievance and disciplinary procedures.

  1. Trade mark your brand and protect your know-how

It is important that Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are registered because it has a balance sheet value. Unless the IPR has been protected as a trademark, registered design or where applicable, certain type of software patented, entrepreneurs lose out because that value will not be recognized in full. Read more about IPR

  1. Use a company structure that is appropriate for your business; a limited liability or a form of social enterprise
  1. Corporate governance to set out the rules i.e. what happens if a partner/shareholder dies or leaves and how will disputes be handled

Corporate governance deals with events occurring in relation to your co-shareholder/partner: They leave, lose capacity, death etc. Well drafted Articles of Association will cover all eventualities.

All entrepreneurs, whether commercial or social, need the five key areas as a sound foundation because potential investors must be secure and comfortable in the knowledge that the fundamentals for growth and risk management are in place.

Photo source: Business image created by Snowing - Freepik.com

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Dragon Boat Race Day

This event will be held on 29 July in the grounds of Chillington Hall, an amazing country house built in 1724 situated in beautiful gardens landscaped by the worldwide renowned Capability Brown. Chillington Hall is worth a visit on its own account and the Dragon Boat Race Day makes it a must to visit.
 
We are delighted to be one of the sponsors of  this colourful and inspiring event that will raise funds for The Lord Mayor’s Appeal Charity.

 

dragon boat events
The Lord Mayor’s Appeal is about bringing together businesses, employees, communities, and charities to find solutions to some of London's most pressing issues relating to mental health and wellbeing in schools, workplaces and the creation of youth zones that will transform communities in areas of high deprivation to contribute to a brighter future for young Londoners and the communities in which they live.
 
On the Dragon Boat Race Day there will be outdoor entertainers, live music, salsa, craft stalls, food stalls, Kids Zone - The Dragon Boat Race Day will be a day of fun and friendship in the presence of the Lord Mayor, Lady Mayoress, Livery Companies and City Corporates.
 
You will have a great day and you could even be in our Dragon Boat Team and try to win The Lord Mayor’s cup.  If you want to accept this invitation, contact us at
eva@thebrookeconsultancy.com
lynne@thebrookeconsultancy.com

 

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Data Protection Act 2017 deals with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

You need to prepare now for the new law that starts in May 2018

The New Law

The Date Protection Act 2017 (DPA 2017) is currently going through Parliament.  It will enshrine the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in English law and it will come into force on 25 May 2018.  The UK's decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of GDPR.

Our Solution

You will have received lots of material about GDPR that set out the problems, but which doesn't guide you to practical solutions.  This article is different because in addition to pointing out the problems we are proposing a solution that involves us working with you and technology expert, Bernard Heilpern of Technically Clear.

What you need as a business is an analysis of how the DPA 2017 will apply to you and a technology solution that will identify the issues and how they can be resolved.

Outline of the Main Issues and what you will be required to do

First let us outline the main issues and what businesses are required to do; this list is not exhaustive:

  • analyse and document what personal data you hold about living people, where it came from and who you share it with, and decide what procedures you need to put in place.
  • seek and obtain positive 'opt in' written consent to the sending of marketing material to a recipient, have a facility so such consent can be withdrawn easily, and maintain an up to date list of those who currently consent. Any existing 'opt out' consents will not suffice.
  • have a GDPR compliant Privacy Policy
  • be able to respond to requests by clients or customers, such as:
  1. Right to be informed
  2. Right to rectification (to correct the information held)
  3. Right to access
  4. Right to erasure
  5. Right to restrict processing (to know how the data will be used)

general data protection regulation 2018Fines

The Act significantly increases maximum fines up to the higher of 2% of annual turnover worldwide or €10m.  In certain cases, it can be the higher of 4% of worldwide turnover and €20m but that scale of fines will be only likely to apply to large corporations. Also, the Information Commissioner's Office may order processing to stop until an organisation is GDPR compliant, which would be disruptive. However, the level of fines for small to medium sized companies will be high. Compliance must therefore be taken seriously.

Obtain a report from us at a cost of £200

We are working in collaboration with Bernard Heilpern of Technically Clear, an IT specialist.  Therefore we offer a service of providing a report which includes liaising with Bernard in order to:

  • analyse the scope of the service required to comply with DPA 2017
  • consider jurisdiction and the transfer of the data to other countries
  • assist with the compliance program and software including data audits, data-mapping and supplying compliance reports
  • settle policies procedures and contracts

Summary: For the fixed price of £200 we will deliver a report that will analyse your needs and will outline a combined legal and technology solution. It will recommend what needs to be done, how to present data information and how to prevent access to your data information.

Contact us: If you would like us to help contact Lynne Brooke on 07717 813925 or via email.

 

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Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Risk Management

Statistics:
According to YouGov Study:
• On average small growth companies have 8 legal cases per annum
• Costs of legal failings, £13.6bn

The study surveyed 20 different sectors and 1,000 companies, asking respondents to indicate losses related to a wide range of legal issues. The most common legal issues faced by business owners were related to employees and suppliers, regulatory matters, tax, disputes, and software. 80% of small SMEs fail in the first 5 years and the cost of failing to take advice is c.£13.6bn.

Affordability of Legal Risk Management
These statistics show that the failure to take legal advice is enough to destroy most businesses no matter how well they do.

You don’t have to choose between getting a product to market and legal risk management.

Of course, you want to concentrate on your product, getting it to market, branding, social media and sales and not pay for legal risk management but you can afford it and the structure of that is set out in the summary.

legal expenses insurance

Legal Risk Management
Business owners need to pay attention to legal risk management designed to stop sudden expenses or claims drive you off course or out of business.

• To be able to combat claims from clients and customers. These need to be contained in your own bespoke trading conditions.
• Employment Policies and Conditions: Compensation for discrimination claims are unlimited and can sometimes not be warranted forcing you into a settlement.
• Protect your IP and your branding: It’s the most important thing you will have on your balance sheet.
• Corporate governance: That includes resolution of disputes, what happens (to shares) if a partner / shareholder dies. It governs who you are or will be in business with, regulatory issues. You can set the rules now.
• Correct Corporate vehicle: Are you using the entity that suits your business objectives, limits risk and is tax efficient.

You will need to have all this in place to raise investment by third parties in your business.

Legal Expenses Insurance You need to take out legal expenses insurance, it’s not expensive. It means that when you need to defend a claim or make a claim you can rely on your legal expenses insurance so that you can resist or make claims without the fear of the financial consequences if you lose.

Summary
Legal risk management and correct corporate structure is a necessity. The Brooke Consultancy can put this in place by adapting to your financial resources and cash flow.

The Brooke Consultancy is a source of multi-disciplinary advice from one source, to learn more about that download our free Big Business Booklet on our website, contact Lynne Brooke on 07717 813925 or email to have an initial free conversation about business development, legal risk management and affordable costs.

Sources: The Brooke Consultancy, The Letter of The Law

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General Data Protection Regulation – Prepare Now For New Law In May 2018

The Data Protection Act 1998 requires every organisation that processes personal information to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), unless they are exempt. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

Unless one of the exemptions applies, individuals should generally be able to choose whether or not their personal data is disclosed to another organisation. If your intention to disclose information in this way was not made absolutely clear at the outset, at a time when the individual had the option not to proceed in their business relationship with you, then you will usually have to get the individual’s consent before making such disclosures.

data protection

Businesses need to prepare now to ensure they will be compliant with changes to data protection laws when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25th May 2018.

The government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR.

We suggest you visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website. This includes practical guidance, including:-

A. Overview of the GDPR. This is for those who have day-to-day responsibility for data protection.

B. The 12 steps to take to prepare for GDPR. This has been relaunched, with updated guidance and with increased focus on the need to act now to prepare for May 2018. The steps start with:

  1. Awareness

You should make sure the decision makers and key people in your organisation are aware that the law is changing to the GDPR. They need to appreciate the impact this is likely to have and identify areas that could cause compliance problems under the GDPR. It would be a useful start to look at your risk register if you have one.

  1. Information You Hold

You should document what personal data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with. You may need to organise an information audit across your organisation.

The GDPR requires you to maintain records or your processing activities. If you have inaccurate personal data and have shared this with another organisation, you will have to tell the other organisation so it can correct its records.

C. Getting Ready For the GDPR. This is a checklist divided into Steps.

The GDPR will significantly increase the maximum fines, so compliance needs to be taken seriously.

You need to start looking at how to comply now before it is too late.

If you want help, in the first instance, contact Lynne Brooke via Email or our Contact page.

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UK’s Top Solicitor – Lynne Brooke

Successful people hire and cooperate with reliable professionals. VouchedFor is a website presenting solicitors, accountants, financial and mortgage advisers.

certificate of excellence for Lynne

All professionals are reviewed. In order to keep everything transparent and fair, all reviewers are verified. Lynne Brooke belongs to best solicitors - as chosen by his clients. Visit the VouchedFor platform and read all reviews Lynne received.

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Social entrepreneurship: Challenging Traditional Methods, Offering New Solutions

Social entrepreneurs address social and environmental challenges in their unique and creative ways. They drive transformation in fields like education, environment and health. Social entrepreneurs often combine poverty alleviation goals with entrepreneurial acumen and enthusiasm. They challenge traditional business methods and practices and encourage new solutions.

Similar to business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs create stable and sustainable organisations which are established either as not-for-profit or companies.

The Brooke Consultancy LLP helps and advices social entrepreneurs regarding business structure and about becoming a member of the Social Stock Exchange. Although social entrepreneurs focus first and foremost on the social value creation, they aim at optimising the financial value too.

Thanks to a successful cooperation with The Brooke Consultancy LLP, Home From Home Care achieves with its activities a greater impact on the society. Home From Home Care (HFHC) specialises in residential services for adults with learning disabilities and special needs. HFHC focuses on offering quality services and care to improve the lives of people with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD), Sensory impairment, Mental Health Issues.

home from home care

Home From Home Care was created in 2004 by parents of a child with learning disabilities who understand what it means to want a person with special needs to live a happy life and reach their potential. Combining their family perspective and vision with the services offered by professionals, HFCH employs today over 300 staff.

In order to meet the criteria of The Social Stock Exchange (SSX), Home From Home Care cooperated with The Brooke Consultancy to complete an Impact Report. Becoming a SSX member leads to greater impact through capital allocation or capital raising.

Today's social entrepreneurs like Home From Home Care are innovative, creative and resourceful. They aim at positive solutions to care to improve lives of many people. It is meaningful to change the perception of individuals with learning disabilities.

The Brooke Consultancy LLP assists entrepreneurs with the preparation of the Impact report which is necessary for a company to become a member of the SSX. Contact us to receive more information about Impact reports and SSX.

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Lynne Brooke according to VouchedFor one of the country's top legal professionals

It's important to hire an expert to make sure, your situation is handled effectively and professionally. VouchedFor is an independent service, a platform where you can find, rate and review professionals. The identity of all reviewers is verified.

You can search thousands of financial and mortgage advisers, solicitors and accountants. Not only can you find a professional you can also voice your opinion and contribute to trust online. Solicitors specialise in different areas of law, and therefore, look for one whose reviews are about similar issues to yours.

lynne certificate of excellence

In April 2016, The Sunday Times published via VouchedFor a guide with UK’s top solicitors. Next to Lynne Brooke’s name were the following listed areas: Employment, Immigration, Business, Disputes, Intellectual Property, and Finance.

All top solicitors have received the highest volume of positive client reviews in the past two years – visit the VouchedFor platform to read reviews Lynne received. VouchedFor lists over 10,000 professionals, and over 40,000 clients have reviewed their advisers, solicitors and accountants.

Lynne Brooke belongs to UK's best professionals as chosen by his clients.

Sources: The Brooke Consultancy, VouchedFor.co.uk, The Sunday Times

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Corporate Responsibility Now.

Corporate Responsibility is now a global movement and is a part of sustainability. That means that, while a company focuses on financial success, it has to pay more than lip service to ethics, and the social impact of its activities.

An example of corporate responsibility would be a company prior to the passing of The Modern Slavery Act 2015 making sure that its supply chain is clean. That is now a legislative requirement under the Act and the Supply Chain Regulations under that Act which applies to all companies with turnovers of £36m+.

Corporate responsibility is not a short term development, it is about the development of the company in the context of corporate responsibility, sustainability and stewardship.

A working definition by The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its publication Making Good Business Sense, states:

Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large.

CSR is about capacity building for sustainable livelihoods. It respects cultural differences and finds the business opportunity in building the skills of employees in the context of the community of which it is part. It is more likely than not that CSR is now simply known as Corporate Responsibility.

Corporate Responsibility and Transparency

Companies are subject to increasing demands to be transparent about their activities and approach to Corporate Responsibility. That has to be dealt with in their accounts if they are a listed company or if the private company has a turnover of £36m+.  In fact it is good practice for private limited liability companies to address Corporate Responsibility in their Annual Report.

This process of transparency means that people are better informed about companies and their behaviour and that impacts upon the issue of investment. Lack of regard to corporate responsibility and corporate behaviour puts a company at reputational risk.

Consumers need to trust companies and that means that companies need to be proactive, keep the public regularly informed about their activities, show how they manage operations and the impact they have on the communities in which they operate.

Put simply, companies need to move away from taking resources and exploiting their workforce. Markets need to be built using sustainable energy resources and, while creating value, need to benefit employees and stakeholders.

Corporate Responsibility and Growth

CSR is not an optional add on, it’s an integral part of companies taking serious steps to build their corporate reputation and create a strong base for engaging employees, shareholders and all stakeholders in the segment of society in which a company operates.

In addition to corporate governance and policies, Corporate Responsibility can be discharged by a company contributing to, for example, a sponsorship programme for educating street children in a country that has that need and for those children to be given the opportunity to compete on an equal playing field.  Or supporting a charity that drills wells relatively inexpensively to provide fresh water to enhance the life and environment of an entire village and its present and ensuing generations.

Corporate Responsibility is a necessary part of any company and its growth. It is essential that management addresses the issue of Corporate Responsibility as a question of, not only complying with legislation like The Bribery Act 2010, but also embedding it as part of its policies, governance, values and beliefs that find practical expression in how a company conducts its business.

We deal with the issue of Corporate Responsibility and Social Impact on our CSR-dedicated page.

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Love The Arts, Love The Hearts

Listening to Chopin, Beethoven and Mozart - music touches us emotionally. Words fail to express what music can. It lets us feel less pain and distress. Music even has the ability to heal.

Last Thursday (June 23rd) even the unpleasant weather couldn't discourage people from attending the Hearts in Harmony (HIH) charity event in St. John's Smith Square. At the beginning of the event, Shan Liew, the HIH founder, explained how important music and charity work are in her life, so she decided to combine both. While the Orpheus Sinfonia was playing, people in the audience were encouraged to donate to the Great Ormond Street Hospital (also known as: GOSH).

GOSH provides care to hundreds of sick children and supports families every day, since 1852. By attending the charity event and donating, people enable the Great Ormond Street Hospital to fund a brand new defibrillator.

The Brooke Consultancy was and is grateful to have had the opportunity to attend and support Shan Liew in her noble efforts.

charity event HIH

For more information about upcoming charity events that combine a good cause with the love for the arts - please visit Heartsinharmony.co.uk.

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