Blog – Reputation Matters

November 2021 Crab Insight

Red Tape Busters Volume 9, Issue 02, `Dealing with complaints’

 

Welcome to the November edition of Crab Insight

With the pre-Christmas rush coming up, might the increase in trade for you business also mean that there will be more complaints? We’ll be talking about how to handle them at our Online F2 Business Huddle is on Friday 12 November. 
 
 

Claudia Crab’s November Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

“Dealing with complaints”

“Thank your customer for complaining and mean it. Most will never bother to complain, they’ll just walk away.” – Marilyn Suttle (CVP-CEO, Suttle Enterprises LLC)

Put in place policies to deal with cancellations, returns and complaints before they happen, then you won’t be side tracked or have to firefight things when they do happen.

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

Your guarantee or returns policy should meet legal requirements and you should make sure that it’s not open to abuse.

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

You can find out more information about these and other solutions Crimson Crab can help with by following the link below.

 

Top tip – Understanding your compliance obligations and responsibilities when dealing with complaints is crucial, our Business MOT can help

 


F2 Business Huddle Online

Friday 12 November 2021

12 noon to 2 pm Future F2 Business Huddle dates for your diary Friday 10 December 2021

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
E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk

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

What are the benefits of outsourcing HR for my business?

Effective Human Resources is important for everyone, whatever the size of your business.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to know where to start, especially if you’re looking at managing your HR in-house.

But managing HR internally can be complex and arduous – particularly when issues arise with people in the business – so outsourcing this key function of your company is often a favourable move.

But where does one begin when outsourcing their HR? What are the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing HR? How can you protect your company’s reputation while outsourcing HR?

Human Resources covers many separate components, from recruitment and giving legal advice to managers, to payroll, conducting disciplinaries and more. There’s plenty to think about.

Outsourcing is all about entrusting a HR expert to cover the key areas of this business function to ensure you’re doing everything fairly, legally and responsibly.

Nonetheless, outsourcing does present its advantages and disadvantages, so let’s explore the positives first:

Outsourcing HR will give you access to skills and knowledge: Using an experienced HR specialist will provide you with much more than you may already know.

You’ll have peace of mind the relevant processes and procedures for any HR matter is being adhered to.

Outsourcing HR will help make your business more efficient: An HR service professional will know what they’re talking about, so you’ll be able to identify and rectify issues more swiftly.

Instead of worrying about the HR for your business, someone else can focus on any matter allowing you more time to focus on the growth of your company.

Outsourcing HR will help reduce costs: Instead of employing an HR expert which will cost your business more, outsourcing the service may have a substantial impact on how much less you spend on HR.

There are plenty of positives for outsourcing HR for your business, although you should beware of the potential disadvantages. Here are a few:

Outsourcing HR can be impersonal: Effectively, you’re asking a stranger to deal with your people issues.

This impersonal experience may have an effect on the reputation you have with employees.

Dealing with HR issues from a distance may limit its effectiveness: As the HR professional you’re using is likely to be working away from your business, their work may be less effective compared to if they were working within the business.

Protect your reputation with having clear HR processes. Whether you achieve this by outsourcing HR, or you’re looking to manage it yourself, speak to us for advice on doing what’s right for you and your team.  

Crab Insight October 2021

Red Tape Busters Volume 9, Issue 01, `HR Management’

 

Welcome to the October edition of Crab Insight

Now we are into October and the nights are drawing in.
 
The next Online F2 Business Huddle is in November, Friday 12 to be precise. 
 
 

Claudia Crab’s October Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

“HR Management”

“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” – Sir Richard Branson

Pretty much everyone involved in the Human Resources profession has come across this HR quote.   The onboarding process is central to providing a good first impression to a new employee, and cultivating their engagement with their work. However, it is imperative to nurture your greatest asset through appropriate policies and procedures that look to engage and retain employees for extended periods; such as Succession Planning for career pathing and Training and Development Programs that support professional growth.  Key aims

  • A strategic and coherent approach to the management of your people
  • Integrate the management of people with core management activities
  • Move towards a lither organisation with a flexible workforce whose talents are nurtured and developed further to enable them to make contributions to the achievement of a competitive advantage

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. Our focus is to provide easy ways of carrying out obligations. If you need practical help please do take a look at our solutions:

  The big question this month is:

What are the benefits of outsourcing HR for my business? 

Look out for our social media posts and our blog later in the month as we help you explore this in more detail.
 
Top tip – Understanding your compliance obligations and responsibilities when outsourcing is crucial, our Business MOT can help

 


F2 Business Huddle Online

Friday 12 November 2021

12 noon to 2 pm Future F2 Business Huddle dates for your diary Friday 10 December 2021

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
E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk

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

How can I maintain my business reputation when outsourcing services?

The reputation of your business matters. It matters most to your growth and development; if you have a poor reputation in the eyes of clients and prospective customers, you’ll struggle to progress from where you’re currently at.  

But while juggling the busy life of running a business, along with all the other things which may be on your plate, you may look at using the services of an expert to support you with some key business functions.

We’re talking about outsourcing the likes of HR, marketing, accountancy, sales and more.

So, when you find yourself outsourcing key functions of your business, how can you maintain your reputation when it’s somebody else doing the work on your behalf?

In a nutshell, it’s down to ensuring that you carry out ‘due diligence’ – the process of getting hold of all the material information you need in order to make an informed decision.

We’ve listed five questions to ask yourself to help ensure that your outsourcing partner service is not going to damage YOUR business’s reputation.

Do the people behind the company you’re outsourcing to understand you?

Before agreeing to outsource a key service, it’s important that your provider knows about your business’s short, medium, and long-term goals.

With this knowledge, they can ensure that every action they complete is aligned to your business strategy and, if it isn’t, they shouldn’t be doing it.

Sometimes, involving your team (that’s if you have one) in this process can be hugely valuable as their opinion may help your decision making.

Do you understand them?

We’re not talking about knowing everything about them, such as the names of their family or what their favourite food may be, but about whether you understand why they do the job that they do.

Outsourcing is, ultimately, trusting someone to do something for your business that you would be unable to do for yourself and / or do it in a better way. Be sure to understand why the person you’re outsourcing to does what they do, and always check they know what they’re talking about.

Are they experienced in doing what they’re going to do for you?

While we’re touching on ensuring someone knows what they’re talking about, ask for a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates the person you’re outsourcing to has already done what you are asking of them.

It’s no good outsourcing your marketing to someone who has zero experience in this area. Their success stories, and the testimonials off the back of this, will help inform your decision on whether they’re a good match for you.

Beware – people are very good about talking about themselves when they are selling their services to you. Don’t be taken in by them telling you what you want to hear, and ensure you get your questions answered in a comprehensive way.

A demonstratable knowledge of a particular subject, which comes with experience, should be evident in a company selling a quality outsourced service.

How do they compare to their competitors?

Many companies fail to conduct competitor analysis. When looking to outsource a key function of your business, it’s important to compare the market. You need to find the partner that works best for you.

For example, if you’re looking to outsource your company’s HR with an HR expert, take time to look at what their competitors may say too. This will not only help you to identify key elements of their services, but also provide you with the confidence that you’ve chosen the right partner.

Are they trusted by others?

Testimonials and case studies are everything. Without these, you’re leading into an outsourcing partnership blind.

Before agreeing to outsource, ensure that your provider is trusted by others and, even better, trusted by others in the same sector as you.

For more information and support about outsourcing – and to ensure you’re continually protecting your reputation – get in touch with our team today.

Nothing’s broken yet, but it may be too early to tell…

It has been a month since David Lowe took over Crimson Crab as Director after Rob and Wendy Briggs announced their retirement, so here’s what he has to say now he’s feeling a little more settled.

I’m delighted with how the first month has gone at Crimson Crab, and I don’t think that I’ve broken anything yet, but it might be too early to tell.

Over the last several weeks, Rob has been distilling his 10 years of accumulated knowledge into the squidgy object that passes for my brain.

It’s been a steep learning curve and my mind is spinning. This isn’t because Crimson Crab’s operations are complex (they’re not, they’re commendably simple, even though the subject matter that we deal with sometimes can be), it’s because there’s just so much of it.

As an example, the F2 Business Huddle doesn’t just happen by itself and I’m beginning to appreciate just what a slick operation Wendy and Rob have built up.

The last thirty or so days have then been an odd mixture of relishing the challenge of taking Crimson Crab forward, tempered with the knowledge that I’ve got a tough act to follow.

I’m getting a sense of what the company is about and also how we might in future be able to offer our clients more of the things that they need.

A couple of new ideas are presenting themselves and over the next few months I’ll be exploring whether they’ll resonate… I’m excited to share these with you.

On a personal note, it’s probably fair to say that I’ve been a little distracted during September.

A group of us made an attempt to get my friend who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease (and his purpose-built wheelchair) to the top of Mount Snowdon.

It wasn’t a total success, as the wheels on the chair buckled about ¾ of the way up, but we managed to get 43 of the 47 participants to the summit.

If you’d like to see in 8 minutes what was for most people 7 or 8 hours’ worth of effort, please follow the link at The Ascent – YouTube

Finally, I’d like to say a big thank you to Wendy and Rob for entrusting me with their baby.

I’ll always give my best efforts to maintain the standards and expectations that you’ve set for Crimson Crab and I’m confident we’ll continue to give the community that’s been built up around it the ongoing high levels of service and attention they deserve.

 

It’s time for positive change: A joint statement by Wendy and Robert Briggs

We are approaching a season of our lives that will provide us with ample opportunity to reflect on an amazing ten years of Crimson Crab.

It’s time for us to retire… but Crimson Crab is still going places!

Words cannot express the journey we have been through, since launching the company on 15 August 2011, but we leave with our heads held high with the knowledge we’ve supported thousands of people with doing business ethically, legally, and responsibly.

When Wendy set up the company, we welcomed Trading Standards South East Ltd as our first client. This led to an impressive portfolio whereby others wanted to take advantage of the services we provide.

The year 2012 saw Rob join as Compliance Director, and Wendy became the Managing Director of the business.

People started talking about us – and how Crimson Crab are the experts to support with all-things business compliance. It was an exciting season for the business.

 

So, it was time to invest in building a brand, which was when Claudia Crab was designed by the talented Ric Robinson.

 

 

 

 

A few years later, in 2015, it was time to update our logo and branding, so we could appeal to even more businesses. This was completed by Graham Martin, from Red Pixel Creative, and remains the logo you see today.

 

 

The first Crab Insight was published in October 2013 – it was all about updates on changes in the law that affect business owners. There are some avid subscribers who have read every one of the updates since.

We launched the Reputation Advocates early on in our journey. It was always our desire to engage with businesses to align with our values of ethical, legal and responsible trading, and by being a Reputation Advocate a business owner demonstrates that they operate to a certain level when doing business and allow Crimson Crab to carry out a level of diligence on them. Also if anything went wrong, we’d step in to help. Accredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate LogoIt has been truly humbling to work with companies from across different industries. We’ve supported local authorities, charities, volunteers, hotels, small traders, solicitors, solopreneurs, start-ups, sailing schools, public schools, health and care providers, and many more.

Many of these companies took advantage of our Business MOT, one of the first services we developed and still popular today.

And for those companies, the F2 Business Huddle – which launched in March 2016 – has provided a superb opportunity to keep companies connected both in-person and, most recently, online.

For us, there have been huge lessons learnt. Yes, they came during the good times, but more often than not the best learning experiences were during the not-quite-so good moments, but this has played a major part in making us who we are today.

So, what of those lessons:

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Always maintain multiple income streams and look to developing new ones at every opportunity.

Be sure to collaborate with others. Be open to appropriate opportunities, build fresh and exciting ideas, and continually add value (in different ways) to both clients and prospective clients.

Get an agreement settled and in writing. Verbal agreements are never okay, as written agreements cannot be misconstrued. Have everything you agree set out in writing to avoid heartache if anything should go wrong.

Always, without fail, do yearly business planning, set targets, and measure against them. It takes time to do this, but it’s incredibly rewarding, especially when you track your achievements.

Think about your long-term five-to-10-year goals – and move towards them relentlessly with a laser focus. Don’t let anything get in your way. We’ve learnt to understand exactly what we want, and we’ve got to where we desired to be, in good time.

It wouldn’t be right to close this chapter of our lives without shining the spotlight on some key people who have been absolutely brilliant throughout our Crimson Crab journey.

Some have been with us since the beginning, while others have only been a real delight in recent years, but nonetheless, they are people we both are grateful to have in our lives.

Malcolm Ward. He gave us intensive support when we started Crimson Crab. Malcolm taught us about the foundations of business building allowing us to continue to construct and grow Crimson Crab.

John Simmons. John is a man of integrity, honesty and compassion, at the moment he is on the National Three Peaks Challenge raising money for The Rowans Hospice.

Jo Burfitt. Whilst living her own busy life with JMB Virtual Assistant, Jo has been continuous in helping us in many different ways. She’s good fun, too.

CJ Driscoll Chartered Accountants. Chis Driscoll himself was a great help when we started. Colin, Simon and Lorraine continue this tradition of supporting the business with accountancy.

Chris Jay, Jo Brooks, Jo Burfitt, Sam Poole and Will Chalmers. For helping us raise an impressive £439 for our NHS Hero’s during the lockdown, with our Great Virtual Quiz events. Sam has also supported us with some of the social media publicity for these events and continues to support Crimson Crab marketing with themes, word of the month, “question of the month”, and more.

There are many many people we appreciate here’s our shoutout to a few of them:

Steven Ashfar, Andreas Nest, Peter Clarke, Steve Thomson, Nikki Forster, Gethin Jones, Kelvin Uchemefune, Guy Woodcock at EL Direct, Guy Robinson, Ricki Scott, Roy Goring and Gayle Tong. All of whom have helped and inspired us in ways that they may not even realise. All people, dear to our hearts.

There’s plenty more new and exciting things happening within the business, such as our Reputation Academy online training courses, so we’d welcome you to explore them for yourself.

But, now, it’s time for us to enjoy retirement and spend time exploring the outdoors and making memories with our family and friends.

We leave Crimson Crab in the capable hands of Dave Lowe – we welcome him as a Director of Crimson Crab, with specialist knowledge in data protection, and this marks the start of the next chapter in Crimson Crab’s incredible journey.

We’re not disappearing, you’ll still see us about! But, as we will never ever stop saying, thanks for everything and until next time look after your reputation.

Crab Insight September 21

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 12, `Outsourcing’

 

Welcome to the September edition of Crab Insight

Now we are into September and the kids are back at school the weather has finally improved and we are all sweltering behind the desk again and it’s time to get back to business.
 
The Online F2 Business Huddle is back this coming Friday 10 September and we’re looking forward to catching up.
 
Crimson Crab celebrated ten years in business last month.  Over the last ten years, we’ve helped loads of businesses with their compliance conundrums and data protection difficulties. and look forward to helping more in the future.
 

Claudia Crab’s September Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

“Outsourcing”

“If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.” Ryan Khan – Founder of The Hired Group, author of Hired! The Guide for the Recent Grad, and star of Hired on MTV Networks.

Outsourcing is the business practice of hiring a party outside a company to perform services and create goods that traditionally were performed in-house by the company’s own employees and staff. Outsourcing is a practice usually undertaken by companies as a cost-cutting measure. As such, it can affect a wide range of jobs, ranging from customer support to manufacturing to the back office. Key Points

  • 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 is also used by companies to focus on the core aspects of the business, trusting the less critical operations to outside organisations.
  • On the downside, communication between the company and outside providers can be hard, and security threats can escalate when multiple parties access sensitive and personal data.

To make sure you do everything possible not to get let down by someone else, do your diligence before selecting an outsourcing partner. Our focus is to provide easy ways of carrying out diligence. If you need practical help please do take a look at our solutions:

 

 

The big question this month is:

How can I maintain my business reputation when outsourcing services? 

Look out for our social media posts and our blog later in the month as we help you explore this in more detail.
 
Top tip – Understanding your compliance obligations and responsibilities when outsourcing is crucial, our Business MOT can help

 


F2 Business Huddle Online

Friday 10 September 2021

12 noon to 2 pm

Future F2 Business Huddle dates for your diary

Friday 8 October 2021

Friday 12 November 2021

Friday 10 December 2021

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
E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk  

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

Data Protection – Data Minimisation

If you need to collect information about people to deliver your services it’s important to think about data protection before you do it, as this article from the BBC shows.

Collecting information that’s neither relevant nor necessary, or if you’re not making it clear what you’re using the information for, will mean that you’re not applying the data protection principles.

Whether you’re introducing a new app, implementing a CRM system or just using personal data for invoicing, you need to be sure that you can give your potential customers the confidence that you know what you’re doing with their information.

Our top tips are:

  • Understand your responsibilities
  • Identify how the data protection principles relate to the specific activities of your business
  • Don’t make the protection of your customers’ data an afterthought

If you need to find out more about how data protection affects your business, book a free 15-minute initial consultation.

Book a free consultation

Crab Insight August 2021

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 11, `Customer Relationships’

 

Welcome to the August edition of Crab Insight

Well, the summer holidays are upon us, but sadly the weather can’t seem to make up its mind to be kind. Due to the holiday season, we won’t be holding an Online F2 Business Huddle in August, but we’ll be back in September. 
 
Crimson Crab celebrates ten years in business this month, being incorporated on 15 August 2011.  Over the last ten years, we’ve helped loads of businesses with their compliance conundrums and data protection difficulties. We certainly look forward to helping more in the future.
 
So we very much hope to see you at the September Online F2 Business Huddle – in the meantime have a lovely summer.

 

Claudia Crab’s August Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

“Customer Relationships”

“For some, shopping is an art; for others, it’s a sport. It can be a vice and it can be a cause. Some love it. Some hate it. Rarely is someone indifferent.” Pamela Klaffke, newspaper and magazine journalist, novelist and photographer.

 

We all know the maxim ‘Caveat Emptor’ which is a Latin phrase that can be roughly translated into English as “let the buyer beware.” While the phrase is sometimes used as a proverb in English, it is also sometimes used in legal contracts as a type of disclaimer.

However, where the buyer is a consumer there are many legal constraints to applying this literally and more often than not, ‘Caveat Venditor’ (let the seller beware) is more accurate. 

This cautions that the seller is responsible for any problem that the buyer might encounter with a service or product. In the case of business to consumer sales, this is pretty much the case anyway and any business implementing this will naturally provide a better level of customer service.

Our focus in August is to champion great customer relationships and reduce sales risks. If you need practical help please do take a look at our solutions:

The big question this month is:

How does your business respond to challenges with its customers? 

Look out for our social media posts and our blog later in the month as we help you explore this in more detail.
 
Top tip – To understand your compliance obligations and responsibilities when dealing with customers or clients you need to know what you need to comply with our Business MOT can help with this

 


F2 Business Huddle Online

Friday 10 September 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
E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk

 

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

How do I know if my company’s website is legally compliant? 

Websites are the online shop window for your business so, whether you sell goods and services directly via the internet or not, first impressions matter most. 

The method to showcase companies like yours on the internet may come in all different forms.

From a contemporary style website to something more traditional-looking, or maybe a platform that is incredibly visual or which perhaps hasn’t any imagery at all, websites need to work for you and – most importantly – your audience. 

Your business website plays an imperative part in building rapport within the minds of prospective clients. 

It also allows people to understand more about who you are, what you do, and how you can help the people engaging with the content which is published. 

But while your website may be aesthetically pleasing and functional for users, it may not actually be legally compliant. 

So, how do you know if your company’s website is legally compliant? We can help with that. 

For your website to be legally compliant you might need: 

  • Data Protection Information

This should be visible to every user on your website. On your forms, for example, you should have a statement that indicates what someone’s data will be used for. People inputting personal data onto your company’s website must know exactly how their data will be processed. 

  • Cookies Policy

Cookies are small blocks of data created by a server on a website while browsing from one site to the next. They play a part in tracking a browsers engagement so that an experience of browsing the web can become more personalised. The policy about the use of Cookies on your website should detail cookies that are being used and their purpose too. They’re usually displayed as pop-ups or other means to obtain consent. 

  • To ensure that people with a disability can use your website

People who access your goods, facilities, or services are protected from discrimination on the basis of disability, says the Equalities Act. 

The law requires that websites are accessible to disabled people, including those who are blind. 

Your business has an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to your website to help disabled individuals access their goods, facilities, and services. 

Website owners can comply with the WCAG 2.0 standard. This is the UK Government recommended best practice for website accessibility. 

  • To make sure that you are not breaching Copyright Law

You must be aware of the copyright of any images or words you use on your website. Get permission, on every occasion, and always credit where credit is due.

Furthermore, it’s imperative to have a Copyright notice on your website – to make it easier to stop others from using your content without permission.

  • To disclose the important information about your business

All the important bits of information about your business, such as the legal entity (the entity that pays tax) using a business name, or with registered companies and partnerships (Ltd, LLP, PLC), the registered office, place of registration and registration number must be disclosed somewhere on your website. 

Many businesses tend to display this information within the footer or the contact section of their website. 

  • How you talk about the service you provide

If your business is providing services you have to disclose certain specified information. Your website is an ideal place to publish these details. Remember to review them periodically to ensure they remain relevant. 

If you are a business that sells goods, services or digital online, otherwise known as retail sales or sales to end-users, you must consider the following points to ensure your website is legally compliant: 

  • Do you comply with general trading law? For example, do you make sure that you don’t engage in unfair commercial practices? If you sell age-sensitive products – such as alcohol, knives, solvents, videos and games do you comply with the rules about who you sell them to? Do you sell products to which safety legislation applies? What about the rules around food businesses and more?
  • Do you know the requirements of the Consumer Contracts Regulations? These rules specify the way that cooling-off periods work during online sales. They also have detailed requirements for the provision of information to the buyer.
  • Do you place additional charges on payments made by card? Well, if you do, you shouldn’t because it’s prohibited.

For further information about how to ensure your company’s website is compliant, get in touch with our expert team today.