Crab Insight January 2021

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 04, COLLABORATION

 

Welcome to the January edition of Crab Insight

The first edition of Crab Insight for 2021 (Crimson Crab’s tenth anniversary year) so a very happy new year from us all at Crimson Crab and may 2021 be infinitely better than 2020 for us all. 

As we enter lockdown three we have been thinking a lot about collaborative working. Essentially there is a golden thread of collaboration running through Crimson Crab.The golden thread of collaboration.

We collaborate on things like 

 
 
 
Mainly because it’s a great opportunity to add extra value. It’s also a hugely beneficial way of working on many levels especially during lockdown.
 
If you would like to discuss a potential collaboration with us please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
 
 

Claudia Crab’s January Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

Trading Disclosure

“Your customers and clients have a legal right to know who they are dealing with.” Robert Briggs – Compliance Director Crimson Crab Ltd

This means that they are entitled to know your legal trading entities name, be it yourself as a sole trader, the names of all the partners for a partnership or the corporate name of a registered body.

If you trade under a name other than that of the legal trading entity then you should disclose the full details of the legal trading entity including an address where you will accept service of documents.

For corporate bodies, there are specific requirements to give the full registered name, registered office address, registration number and place of registration.

All of this information needs to go on business documents including letters and emails and websites.

We can provide a “letterhead” check to make sure you have it right

 
Top tip – A great starting point for any business review is our Business MOT
 

F2 Business Huddle Online

Friday 12 February 2021

12 noon to 2 pm

Get your ticket on Eventbrite

 

Reputation Advocates

When you need a reliable and dependable expert click on the crabAccredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate Logo

 

 


Feedback

We love to receive feedback and it really helps us to improve our services for everyone.

Until next month look after your reputation!!

Ethical, legal, responsible trading wave
T:023 9263 7190 | E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk 

Copyright (c) 2021 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.

 

Essential GDPR Training Package for Front Line Staff

SLCM Business Support Ltd logo

 

 

Crimson Crab Limited and SLCM Business Support Limited are pleased to announce the release of their Data Protection / GDPR e-learning package, which gives employees working within businesses the essential knowledge they need to keep their employer on the right side of the law.

The course aims to reduce the risk to businesses of one of their employees causing a breach or other personal data incident which might lead to reputational damage. It’s written in plain English, uses easy to understand terms and requires no prior or deep legal or technical understanding. It will help businesses demonstrate that they are complying with the ‘integrity and confidentiality’ principle[1] of the GDPR,

The package provides for an understanding of:

  1. Some basic definitions used in privacy law
  2. The Data Protection principles
  3. The rights of people whose information is being ‘processed’
  4. The practical things that employees can do day to day to keep data safe.

Successful completion of the course, which takes around 30 minutes, requires that a short, multiple-choice test is passed.

Based on best practice, all the information contained within the training course has been taken from the information provided by either the Information Commissioner’s Office (the ICO) or the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

For more information about this service please email enquiries@crimsoncrab.net

[1] Article 6(1)(f) of the General Data Protection Regulation requires that personal data shall be ‘processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures (‘integrity and confidentiality’).’

Accelerate your business with an effective annual plan

writing

If you fail to prepare then prepare to fail. A phrase we’ve all heard and will continue to hear for many years to come because it’s true.

Business owners who are enthusiastic about accelerating their company, whether that’s from the expansion of services to growth in profit, need a thorough and effective plan to achieve the results they desire.

But where does one begin when approaching the annual plan?

We’ve listed some core areas to consider when producing an annual plan which will be effective in helping you accelerate your business.

It’s worth noting if you’re not a business owner then the following points can still be transferable into other roles and possibly your personal life.

1. What do you want to achieve with your business?

Everything you do should play a part in your long-term ambition for the company.

From major projects to minor decisions, if what you set out to achieve isn’t aligned with your long-term goal it should be left out of your annual plan.

Be mindful of what you, as a business owner, wish to achieve within the next three, five or even ten years. Keep your annual plan focused on these goals.

2. Set realistic goals which won’t guarantee failure

Many plans can be too ambitious to the point they are destined to fail before they have been implemented.

If you have a goal to achieve within three years, such as generating £500,000 worth of business, split that goal up into three realistic checkpoints and work towards them each year.

Perhaps you have a plan to sell your business within five years, then include five core actions to achieve over the forthcoming five years to make that intention a reality.

Being realistic with the goals you set has a huge effect on your attitude and enthusiasm to see positive results.

3. Understand what’s happening in your market

If you’re selling oranges when the orange industry is declining, you must be prepared to adapt and start selling apples instead.

The reality of economics is it isn’t just about what you wish to achieve but what your target audience is investing in and wish to have.

If you fail to understand what your market is, and who your target audience is, your annual plan will certainly not accelerate your company.

4. Detail is important…

…and it’s essential to keep you on track. Without specifics in your annual plan, you are leaving yourself susceptible to going off on tangents and becoming distracted from your real long-term goal.

Be mindful that too much detail can also distract you from reacting to what’s happening in the world – so always allow room to analyse what’s going on in the present day and how your business can be a part of that.

Single-mindedly following everything you planned at the beginning of the year, some of which may have become irrelevant part-way through the twelve-month period, also prevents you from being resilient. This can be a threat to any business.

5. Ask the opinion of someone who isn’t a part of your business

Get a second pair of eyes to take a look at your annual plan. But do choose wisely, perhaps a business partner, colleague, or even a coach.

6. Embrace new tools to help you keep on track

There are numerous tools available to support people with bringing their annual plan to life.

Software such as Trello, Asana and Monday can be useful systems to use as you look towards the next twelve months, although we make no recommendations in respect of any of the software mentioned.

7. Change your attitude towards your annual planning forever

Your annual plan has the power to reinvigorate the journey your business is on – as well as your professional journey too – so take the time out to invest in bringing everything together to produce something that will help you accelerate your long-term aims and objectives.

In summary, however, you choose to approach your annual plan it’s important that those affected by it are enthusiastic about helping you achieve it. Make sure that they understand the Golden Thread linking goals and targets to the long term business aspirations and crucially involve them in the development of the plan.

Know your customers cancellation rights – they’re a pretty big deal!

Failure to inform your retail customers of their rights to cancel the use of your product or service may have serious ramifications to your business.

Without clarity on cancellation rights, it can become more of a challenge to resolve any disputes which may arise, so it’s important for any business owner (and their team) to clearly set out their company’s approach to cancellations.

In this month’s blog, our focus is on two core areas regarding cancellation rights for consumers. Selling without face to face contact and selling away from your usual trade premises.

If you don’t understand what the law means to your business it may well jeopardise your reputation.

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

Its name is quite a mouthful but it’s important for any business that deals with consumers to understand how the rules on cancellations work.

A consumer is someone who is buying something for their own use which, means that they are not buying it for their business, or profession.

The law states if a consumer goes to a shop to purchase goods or services, they have no right to cancel a purchase UNLESS they are given rights to do so by the sales contract or any agreement in place. This is often referred to as a Returns Policy. This does not apply where goods are faulty or misdescribed or a service is not provided to a reasonably competent standard.

Cancellation rights apply when a consumer buys something online or through a catalogue or away from the trader’s usual premises, so for example in their home or at a craft fair.

Whether you’re a tradesman providing a service, or an independent business selling telecoms contracts, it’s essential you inform your customers of their rights to cancel when they have one.

By doing this you are making it clear that they can cancel – within the set down 14-day time period – and move on to elsewhere, hassle-free.

It’s worth noting when someone buys something online (the purchaser) they get 14 days to cancel as long as you tell them about their cancellation rights.

If you as the trader fail to tell them and explain how they can be exercised, the purchaser has up to one year to cancel and you have to refund the purchase price, cost of delivery and pay for the return costs in full.

Cancellation must be distinguished from Termination of a contract. This has a very specific legal meaning.

Termination is where someone has breached the conditions of the agreed contract. It’s a get-out clause for either party who have failed to adhere to what was agreed.

It is a criminal offence not to tell a consumer they have cancellation rights if they are completing agreements off-trade premises.

Be sure to tell your clients about their cancellation rights – even more, so where failing to inform them could cost your company money!

To summarise, every business must understand the rights their customers have to cancel and should always clearly share these before any transaction takes place.

For further information about cancellation rights please get in touch.  

Crab Insight December 2020

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 03, RESILIENCE

Welcome to the December edition of Crab Insight

As we approach the winter solstice on 21 December 2020, the shortest day of the year, with the least amount of daylight and the first day of winter (astronomically), we reflect on what has been a strange and difficult year.

December is the twelfth and last month in the modern-day Gregorian calendar. Back in Roman times, the calendar only had ten months and began with March. Hence, “December” comes from the Latin word decem, meaning “ten.”

The winter period was not even assigned months because it was not an active time for military, agriculture, or civil life. In some businesses, the same is true now and things can be a bit slow coming up to Christmas making it a great time to get in some business planning, so that is our focus for this month.  

Claudia Crab’s December Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

Business Planning.

Resilience is working together when you’re miles apart. Which takes planning and preparation.

Robert Briggs – Compliance Director Crimson Crab Ltd

Bring everything together in a succinct business plan for your best year ever in 2021.

  • Think about what your customer wants to achieve and what is their challenge in achieving this.
  • What do you offer to reduce their challenge?
  • Think about who your ideal customer is.
  • Describe what makes your businesses unique in terms of values, your unique selling point (USP).

As a result of this thought process, what are your strategic goals for the next 3-5 years?  A strategic goal is your long-term, “big picture” objective for your business, which helps improve the way the business operates.

And crucially what must be done now (in the next 1-3 months) to achieve the strategic goals? These short-term goals are tactics that address current problems or challenges, they simply improve or fix what the company is already doing.

If you want a copy of our one-page business plan, please write a review for us on Google and send us an email telling us what your major challenge is.

Top tip – A great starting point for any business planning exercise, is our Business MOT
 

F2 Business Huddle Online

 

Friday 11 December 2020

12 noon to 2 pm

It’s going to be the biggest ever

F2 Business Huddle

and in November there were

seventy Huddlers

 


Reputation Advocates

When you need a reliable and dependable expert click on the crabAccredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate Logo

New Reputation Advocates

Mediator Network logo

We are here to help mediation thrive.

Find out more

Renewing Reputation Advocates

Profile Training logo

Coaching and mentoring – because life is more enjoyable when you have a plan.

Find out more


Feedback

We love to receive feedback and it really helps us to improve our services for everyone.

Until next month look after your reputation!!

Ethical, legal, responsible trading wave
T:023 9263 7190 | E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk

Copyright (c) 2020 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.

 

Crab Insight November 2020

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 02, COMFORT

Welcome to the November edition of Crab Insight

We are well into the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness so beloved of John Keats. In business, we are contemplating the coming winter but we would like you to invite you to have comfort in the knowledge of what your customer’s cancellation rights are when buying a product or service – that’s our focus for the month along with returns and complaints!

Claudia Crab’s November Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

Cancellations, returns and complaints.

Don’t get caught out. Put in place clear policies and procedures so you are not sidetracked or have to firefight things on the back foot.Robert Briggs – Compliance Director Crimson Crab

Cancellation

It is important to differentiate between cancelling a contract and terminating a contract. Cancellation refers to ending a contract in circumstances set out in the contract or implied into the contract by legislation.

You need to know when a purchaser has cancellation rights and provide the necessary information and the correct documentation at the right time, particularly when the purchaser is a consumer as they have clear rights and there are legal sanctions if you get it wrong.

There are three sets of circumstances where the parties to a contract have cancellation rights.

  • Contractual cancellation rights i.e. those given in the wording of the contract (terms and conditions or agreement) itself.
  • Those given by the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 when making sales to a consumer (an individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft or profession) away from trade premises (e.g. in the consumers home or at a trade fair) or remotely (e.g. online)
  • Where credit is being provided and the customer is an individual consumer, a sole trader or a partnership of three or fewer people.

Returns

If you are selling on line to consumers then you need to think about returns.

Your guarantee or returns policy should meet legal requirements and not be open to abuse.

Under the Consumer Rights Act, consumers can return items which are faulty (and in certain other circumstances).

If the return is for this reason then you will have to reimburse the shipping costs (in and out) as well as the purchase price.

On the other hand, if the consumer is exercising their right to cancel the contract if you haven’t told them that they need to pay return postage it will be down to you.

Complaints

Your policy, procedures and processes for dealing with complaints should support your long-term business goals and provide for continuous business improvement.

Again you need to think about compliance with any rules specific to your industry or more widely.

Finally you need to consider alternative dispute resolution or ADR and how that will impact your complaints process.

Top tip – A great starting point to find out where you are, is our Business MOT

 

F2 Business Huddle Online

The next FREE

F2 Business Huddle online

is on

Friday 13 November 2020

12 noon to 2 pm

It’s going to be the biggest ever

F2 Business Huddle

so far

All the favourite features that you have come to know and love at the F2 Business Huddle – online


Reputation Advocates

When you need a reliable and dependable expert click on the crab

Accredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate Logo

New Reputation Advocates

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Clarity and courage coaching for confidence


Feedback

We love to receive feedback and it really helps us to improve our services for everyone.


Until next month look after your reputation!!

Ethical, legal, responsible trading wave
T:023 9263 7190 | E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk

Copyright (c) 2020 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.

Avoid the HR blame game

HR management is critical for every business and helps companies succeed in hiring the right employees for a job, keeping team members engaged, and supporting their growth and development.

So why do so many companies fail with effective HR management?

Your workers are your greatest asset. It’s important that you take care of them in order for them to take care of your business. If you don’t, it’s probable that unwanted headaches may arise.

Looking after your team may come naturally to you as a business owner or manager, but having the appropriate policies and procedures in place ensures clarity and fairness.

Without the correct policies and procedures, you can make your business susceptible to various HR issues.

An example of such a problem that Crimson Crab has had to deal with related to the apparent lack of understanding of a leave policy. Something both employees and employers must be on the same page with.

The director received a text from an employee outside of the business working hours, with a request for leave.

The employee had already booked their holiday while expecting the response from the director to be an approval.

The request was for a significant break at a busy time of year. There was an unwritten rule that all such leave should be brought up first to avoid putting pressure on other team members to provide cover.

Quite rightly, the director acknowledged the request for leave, saying they would think about it.

A little while later, the request for leave was declined, and you can imagine the discomfort and uproar this caused between the employee and their boss… not to mention the workforce too.

Some time later the employee left the company. This triggered a formal complaint via an Employment Tribunal.

Eventually, the former employee withdrew their case and didn’t lead to a ruling. However it had consumed much time, energy and money which may have been used more profitably elsewhere

A lesson was certainly learnt. And what might that lesson be?

It’s important to have a robust policy which is clear to all staff and most importantly is consistently adhered to, and applied without fear or favour in a timely way.

If it was crystal clear how leave requests and there approval worked within this particular business – which forms an important element to any company’s HR management– none of this would have taken place.

It’s essential that everyone understands the HR policies and follows the processes in place.

For more information on how to keep your HR policies up-to-date with Crimson Crab, and to avoid the horrible consequences of issues which may arise, get in touch with a member of our team today.

Crab Insight October 2020

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 01, Reassurance

Welcome to the October edition of Crab Insight

Our word of the month for October is Value. As we focus on HR management throughout this month, we believe having a team who know and feel appreciated can have a huge positive impact in many areas of your company. So make sure you show your staff that you value their work.

Claudia Crab’s October Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon
“If you are taken to a Tribunal and don’t have policies in place to cover such things as grievances and disciplinary matters – it’s too late and all you can do is damage limitation.” Robert Briggs – Compliance Director Crimson Crab

Make sure you deal with your greatest asset, the people who work for you, through appropriate Human Resources policies and procedures. Our sister organisation HR Wise provides a suite of documents which create a framework to facilitate good management including:

  • an employment contract (statement of particulars)
  • a staff handbook with a full set of procedures
  • access to an email support line

 

Top tip – Visit the HR Wise website for more information

 

F2 Business Huddle Online

The next FREE

F2 Business Huddle online

is on

Friday 13 November 2020

12 noon to 2 pm

Get your ticket on Eventbrite

Reputation Advocates

 

When you need a reliable and dependable expert click on the crab

Accredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate Logo

Feedback

We love to receive feedback and it really helps us to improve our services for everyone.

Until next month look after your reputation!!

Ethical, legal, responsible trading wave
T:023 9263 7190 | E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk

Copyright (c) 2020 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.

How to protect the reputation of your business when outsourcing

There are many benefits to outsourcing work, from increased efficiency to cost advantages, it seems a no-brainer to take advantage of another’s skillset when the time is right for your business.

But, if you fail to do the due diligence when outsourcing and something goes wrong, it may cripple your business.

As a responsible businessperson, if you fail to conduct the reasonable steps to avoid a tort or offence within your company and they do arise, you’re at fault.

That’s why we’ve listed some considerations to support you with ensuring you carry out the due diligence and protect the reputation of your business when outsourcing.

  1. Do both sides of the agreement hold the same expectations?

Mismatched expectations can create countless obstacles in business. One way to avoid this from happening is to ensure everything is written down on paper, then agreed and understood by everyone involved with the outsourced work.

  1. Have a contract agreed.

Similar to the expectations have a contract which states what work will be carried out, completed by when and by who, as well as a clear price too. A contract has the power to be a simple reference for a solution to any conflict.

  1. What’s the reputation of the business you are outsourcing work to?

Seems obvious, right? But companies do fail to do their research regarding the reputation of someone who is completing work for them.

If the service someone provides isn’t recommended, why would you use them to support your company? You wouldn’t.

  1. Do they know their health and safety?

If an outsourced service poses a health and safety risk to your workforce and you don’t mitigate it, then if an accident takes place the responsibility falls on your shoulders.

  1. Is the company you’re outsourcing to savvy with data protection?

GDPR – you’ve heard it before and will continue to hear all about it into the future. Why? Because peoples’ personal data matters.

If you’re outsourcing work to someone required to deal with data within your business (making them the processor), for example, the personal details of your clients, then you as the controller are responsible for how the outsourced work is handled. You also need a written contract covering data processing.

  1. Are those claiming to be an expert actually an expert?

If you’re looking to outsource an element of your business, such as HR, then is the person claiming to have the ability to complete the work actually competent in it?

For further details on how to avoid having a negative impact on your business for when you outsource work, get in touch with Crimson Crab.

Crab Insight September 2020

Red Tape Busters Volume 7, Issue 12, Reassurance

Welcome to the September edition of Crab Insight

Our focus this month is on outsourcing. The business practice of engaging an external party to perform services or create goods that traditionally were done in-house by the company’s own employees. 

For example, a business may take the decision to outsource bookkeeping duties or the functions of human resource departments, such as payroll or recruitment, or health and safety activities as doing so may be more cost-effective than retaining an in-house specialist for each area or for a business owner trying to become an expert in each.

When used properly, outsourcing is an effective strategy to reduce expenses, and can even provide a business with a competitive advantage over rivals.

Whatever your outsourcing strategy you need to make sure that the company carrying out the work you require will not present additional risks to your business.

Claudia Crab’s September Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

To make sure you do everything possible not to get let down by someone else, do your diligence before selecting an outsourcing partner.

Robert Briggs – Compliance Director Crimson Crab

Outsourcing can be used to reduce labour costs, together with the cost of overheads, equipment, and technology.

Skill and knowledge gaps can be filled using third party experts.

Outsourcing may also be used to focus on the core aspects of the business, trusting the less critical operations to outside organisations.

On the downside, communication with the outside provider can be hard, and security threats can escalate when multiple parties access sensitive and personal data.

 

Top tip – A great starting point to find out where you are, is our Business MOT

 

F2 Business Huddle Online

The next FREE

F2 Business Huddle online

is on

Friday 9 October 2020

12 noon to 2 pm

It’s going to be the biggest ever

F2 Business Huddle

so far

All the favourite features that you have come to know and love at the F2 Business Huddle – online


Reputation Advocates

When you need a reliable and dependable expert click on the crab

Accredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate Logo
Feedback

We love to receive feedback and it really helps us to improve our services for everyone.


Until next month look after your reputation!!

Ethical, legal, responsible trading wave
T:023 9263 7190 | E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk

Copyright (c) 2020 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.