Too busy to blog? We can write them for you!

Blogging is a fantastic marketing and business development tool.

But blogs take time to write; time you probably don’t have.

Why not let us write your blogs for you?

The process is quick and easy:

  • A brief chat to share your ideas and expertise.
  • We research and write your draft blog.
  • You feedback your comments.
  • We finalise your blog and it’s ready to go live.

Surrey-based Claire Dee Communications is run by Claire Dee, a trained journalist and communications professional. Claire ghostwrites blogs for businesses large and small on everything from accountancy and engineering to learning and development and the law.

Please contact us to learn more – we’re happy to help!


Chancellor’s Budget: balanced and sensible

This week Chancellor George Osborne delivered his sixth and final Budget as part of the current coalition government.

And all in all, it was a relatively balanced and sensible offering.

As a local business owner, what was in it then for the small business community?

  • Abolition of the onerous annual tax return
  • Removing class 2 national insurance for the self-employed
  • Extending small business relief
  • Reviewing business rates
  • Ambitious ultra-broadband plans
  • Cancelling planned fuel duty rises
  • Changes to venture capital trusts and enterprise investment schemes

In his own words, Osborne was sending a clear message about future growth of the UK economy through the country’s many and growing entrepreneurs: “…if you back enterprise, you raise more revenue…”

But a note of caution, with the fast-approaching general election in May, not all of these ideas could become a reality.

As Guildford-based solicitors Barlow Robbins noted: “With polling day just over seven weeks away, Mr Osborne’s sixth Budget was always going to be heavily laced with politics.  Some of the proposals the Chancellor announced may not survive to become legislation depending on the result of the election.”

Indeed.  So while I welcome all of the above, forgive me if I don’t break out the champagne just yet, despite the fact wine duty has been frozen…

SMEs – the unsung heroes

According to the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), small businesses are the life-blood of the UK economy and account for 99.9% of private sector companies while providing 60% of private sector jobs.

Credible data in a crowded information-overloaded world.

I have the pleasure of working with companies large and small, global and local, and am continually impressed in particular with the SMEs (small and medium enterprises).

While they’re all individual, they also have several distinct characteristics in common:

  • Ambition – they know what they want, are already on the right path to achieve it, and have no intention of stopping until they do.
  • Bravery – it takes guts to set up on your own and go for it and they have this in spades.
  • Creativity – smart ideas come from smart people who think way outside the box and beyond.
  • Drive – determination and hard graft is what turns a small business into a medium enterprise and the potential for it to be snapped up by a multinational.  Think Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!
  • Energy – day in and day out they seem to have an insatiable appetite for what they do and maintain a consistent level of high energy.
  • Fun – and perhaps this is why all of the above is possible; they have fun!

It’s not all a breeze, however, with ever-increasing hurdles in the form of access to finance (or lack of), complex employment legislation, tax bureaucracy and red tape…  But as many SMEs prove, if you want to make a difference you will.

In the words of the late Apple founder and entrepreneur, Steve Jobs: “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”

So let’s hear it for our SMEs; the unsung heroes of the UK economy.

Mind your own business

Halfway through October already.

Time really does fly when you’re having fun.  And in my case that’s so true; running my own business.

Which is why I’ve just been reading through one of the few interesting flyers on how to further improve and develop your company.

It has the usual top tips.  From the obvious – know what you want – to the less predictable and often overlooked – know where you’re going.  The one common theme throughout, however, is ‘you’ in all its various guises: you, you’ll, you’re, your.

Without ‘you’ there is no your business.  It would look, feel and behave differently and would therefore be different and not yours.

The flyer’s overriding message is be proud of what you have brought into the world, and continue to nurture and grow it: yourself.  Yes, add new team members and seek expert advice from the outside, but always ensure you mind your own business and keep your hands firmly on the tiller.  As without you, it may still work but it won’t be the same.

Think Michael Marks and Tom Spencer.  Clearly, 100+ years later they are no longer in charge(!), but where would Marks & Spencer in the early days have been without them.  Exactly.

Age of entrepreneurship

Yesterday the Chancellor delivered his Spending Review speech and I watched with both my business owner and business adviser hats on.  It was painful viewing: necessary, but nonetheless painful.

And the key phrase of the day today?  We have now reached the age of austerity.  True.  But I also believe we have reached the age of entrepreneurship.

When I set up my consultancy business – Claire Dee Communications – just over a year ago most people thought I was mad.  A start-up in a recession: it’ll never work.  But it did, very well actually, and we’re already in profit.  Why?  Because not only is necessity the mother of invention, she is also the sister of entrepreneurship.

In a recession many organisations shed highly skilled people, but they still need to undertake highly skilled activity.  So they turn to small businesses and freelancers who ooze knowledge, experience and skill.  And so these acorns become young oaks and then woodlands and beyond.

An excellent example of business growth in difficult times was perfectly illustrated at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2010.  Earlier this week I attended their very glamorous ceremony at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel in London, and I came away feeling proud and inspired.

In particular, I recall the words of the overall winner Ayman Asfari of Petrofac: aim high.  I couldn’t agree more; and I will.