Blog – Reputation Matters

Crab Insight February 2021

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 05, LEADERSHIP

 

Welcome to the February edition of Crab Insight

Leadership is important at the best of times and through the challenges of life – especially with everything that’s happening at the moment. 

That’s why Leadership is our chosen word of the month. It also goes hand in hand with corporate governance which is Claudia Crabs February Focus.

We want to explore various themes around leadership, so do look out for our social media posts throughout the month.  We would love to hear your thoughts.

Leadership is a key part of our collaborations:

 
 
 
Mainly because at different times different people take leadership roles within our collaborations and that is fantastic as it leads to other opportunities.
 
If you would like to have a chat about corporate governance please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
 
 

Claudia Crab’s February Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

Corporate Governance

 

“Good corporate governance is about ‘intellectual honesty’ and not just sticking to rules and regulations, capital flowed towards companies that practiced this type of good governance.“ – Mervyn King former governor of the Bank of England

Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices and processes by which a company is directed and controlled. It refers to the way in which companies are governed and to what purpose. It identifies who has power and accountability, and who makes decisions.

Good governance is when a business ensures that there is a robust decision-making process in place. Without good governance, an organisation lacks policies and procedures to ensure accuracy, consistency and responsiveness to key stakeholders including customers, shareholders and regulators.

It has eight major characteristics:

  • participatory,
  • consensus-oriented,
  • accountable,
  • transparent,
  • responsive,
  • effective and efficient,
  • equitable and inclusive and
  • follows the rule of law.

It can be broken down into four simple words:

  • People,
  • Purpose,
  • Process, and
  • Performance

This follows Crimson Crabs strapline  Ethical  |  legal  |  Responsible

Top tip – A great starting point for any business interested in governance is our Business MOT
 

F2 Business Huddle Online

Friday 12 February 2021

12 noon to 2 pm

WE ARE LIMITED TO 100 PLACES

FOUR PLACES ARE LEFT

TO AVOID DISSAPOINTMENT 

Get your ticket on Eventbrite

 

Reputation Advocates

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Membership Renewals

Supporting your most valuable resource

 

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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.

Secure your cash flow: Disclose your legal trading entity

Your clients have the legal right to understand exactly who they are dealing with. If they don’t, you could find yourself with agreements being void and not getting paid for the work you do…

Imagine it – business is booming and you have just had one of the strongest quarters to date.

Then suddenly, your customers stop paying and you have no legal way to get your money as a result of not abiding by trading laws and disclosing your legal trading entity.

But what is the legal trading entity?

In a nutshell, it’s the name of the business used for tax purposes. It’s the ‘legal’ name of the person or entity that owns it.

If you’re a sole trader, a plasterer for example, then the legal trading entity of your business is your name with or without your initials or forenames.

So, if your name is Richard James Smith, the legal name for your business could be Richard James Smith, Richard J Smith, Richard Smith R. J. Smith, R Smith or simply Smith.

If you trade under a name which does not include your surname, for example, Phoenix Plastering Services you would have to give your surname to every current or potential client.

For example Smiths Phoenix Plastering Services or Richard Smith trading as Phoenix Plastering Services together with an address at which you can be contacted. In legal parlance an address at which you will accept the service of documents.

For unincorporated partnership in gets a little more complicated as the legal trading name is the last names (with or without initials or forenames) of all of the partners.

For limited liability companies, partnerships and corporations, the business’ legal name is the one that was registered with Companies House including Ltd, LLP, PLC etc. In addition, there are specific disclosure requirements for these types of business including full corporate name, registered office address, registered number and place of registration.

The trade or business name is the name a company uses for advertising and sales purposes. It’s imperative you understand that this is different from the legal trading names previously described.

It’s a legal requirement that your legal trading entity is included on all business documents and their electronic equivalents which include invoices, letters, emails and websites.

If you’re a business that may trade under a different name to your legal trading entity and may be unsure of the rules, get in touch with the Crimson Crab team today.

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

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

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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


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Clarity and courage coaching for confidence


Feedback

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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.