Four ways business consultants should be using social media

Four ways business consultants should be using social media

Busy, time-starved consultant struggling to see the relevance of social media to your small business?  Here are four ways I think you can benefit from allocating some time to Twitter and Linkedin.  You don’t have to try all of them – perhaps only one of them is relevant to your current situation.  But I challenge you to give yourself a month to try just one of them and then let me know whether or not it has been time well spent!

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Why traditional PR skills are still important in our digital age

Why traditional PR skills are still important in our digital age

You cannot help but notice it, the word “Digital” is increasingly becoming a prefix to “PR”, and as the scale and disruptive reach of social media and digital marketing channels grow and grow I am often asked if traditional PR skills are still important?   I think they are - both for internal teams and also for agencies.

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How to bridge the leadership gap

How to bridge the leadership gap

A guest post by Andy Radka of Creative Partners innovation and enterprise ltd.

Which gap exactly?  The gap between knowing what leading is all about, and putting this into practice!  This is the critical space we need to work in to find ways to bridge the ‘knowing – doing gap’ which can plague both individuals and organisations seeking to strengthen their leadership capability.

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Time to fathom the depths

Time to fathom the depths

Is it just me, being one of the last of the baby-boomers?  Am I just out-dated at my age in this age?   Or, is anyone else worried by the lack of depth around the serious and important topics, projects, and themes in our work lives, and indeed in wider society?  Don’t we all need to spend more time to do things properly?

I have just watched on TV the crew of a high-speed RNLI lifeboat slow down to almost a stop to take depth soundings as they enter a narrow and dangerous cove.  Yes, their mission is urgent, but unless they stop to fathom the depth their urgent mission itself is in jeopardy.  This got me thinking: how little time is spent fathoming the depths of complex and challenging business changes before we speed ahead at full throttle.

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Consultants and Culture - 19 July in Hull

Six of the best from Hull’s refurbished Ferens Art Gallery

With the next face-to-face meeting of the Yorkshire Mafia Independent Consultants and Freelancers / Consult Yorkshire taking place in Hull, UK City of Culture 2017, I think it is incumbent on us to plan to take in a bit of culture.  And as we are meeting in the the Ferens Art Gallery, we should take advantage of some of the superb art that will be, both literally and figuratively, on our doorstep.

I came across this Yorkshire Post article that should prove useful, suggesting six art works on display at the Ferens.

And one of my own ...

Personally, I am also planning to take in Elizabeth Thompson's The Return From Inkerman.

All Yorkshire based Independent Consultants and Freelancers welcome - hope to see you there: 09:45 on Wednesday 19 July.


3 reasons you shouldn't visit our monthly networking meetings

3 reasons you shouldn't visit our monthly networking meetings

People often post on Linkedin asking for recommendations for networking groups to attend so they can increase the number of people in their community, and hopefully their chances of finding new clients. But I don’t recommend the monthly networking session that I have attended for over five years and here I’ll explain why I don’t think it’s for everyone…

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Are you ready for 1 April 2017 changes to the VAT Flat Rate Scheme?

Are you ready for 1 April 2017 changes to the VAT Flat Rate Scheme?

For many of us running small and micro-businesses, HMRC’s VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) has provided a helpful, simplified means of calculating and submitting our VAT returns and dues.  For those with modest input costs to our business, there can even been a small tax advantage when using the scheme.  However, this situation is changing from 1 April 2017, with new rules for “limited cost traders” as HMRC seeks to tackle “aggressive abuse” of the FRS.

If you are, or think you might be a limited cost trader, you need to get yourself prepared for the imminent change.

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Bank of England Seminar

On 7th June Consult Yorkshire hosted a fantastic seminar on behalf of the Bank of England. An audience of around 30 SMEs from the Yorkshire area gathered to hear Juliette Healey, the Bank’s Regional Representative for Yorkshire, talk about what was happening in the economy.

 Juliette Healey presenting the Bank's outlook

Juliette Healey presenting the Bank's outlook

Normally numbers, facts and graphs would be a guaranteed way to put an audience to sleep, but in this case it was the exact opposite. The information presented was utterly fascinating and totally relevant to the issues of smaller businesses, and Julliette’s clear and detailed delivery maintained the audience’s rapt attention.

A survey of those attending confirms this - 100% of those attending found the event informative, and 100% found the networking before the event useful. If anything the feeling was that it would have been even better with more time for Q&A. Attendees would clearly like to come to a similar event in the future, with a particular emphasis on information about the Northern Powerhouse, specifics on the Yorkshire & Humberside economy, and sustainability.

 Questions from the audience

Questions from the audience

The event was kindly hosted by St Philips Chambers of 41 Park Square, Leeds, who provided an outstanding venue in the centre of Leeds and a tasty breakfast for everyone who had had to set off early to get there

Google AdWords News

Google recently announced some significant changes to AdWords which are coming this year. It’s time to get ready for them right now.

New Text Ads

Google recently changed where the text ads display on the search page. There used to be three at the top of the page and then ten down the right hand side. The ten down the side disappeared, to be replaced with 3-4 at the top and the rest at the bottom.

The reason for that change is now clear. There wouldn’t have been room at in the right hand column for longer text ads. In addition, the change made the search results more mobile friendly.

Going forward, test ads will have two 30-character titles (up from one 25-character title), one 80-character description (up from two 35-character lines) and a longer display URL.

So it will change from:

To this:


Local Search Ads in Google Maps

Businesses will be able to show their logos on the search screen as points on the map, and will be able to include relevant ads and offers.

 Image Source: Google Blog

Image Source: Google Blog


Responsive Display Ads

More and more searches are being done on mobile (hence the changes to the text ads), and Google has made display ads for mobile fully responsive. No longer will you have to create a whole range of different ad shapes for different places where they might be shown, now you just supply headlines, a description, an image and a URL and Google does the rest.

 Image Source: Google Blog

Image Source: Google Blog


Mobile Device Bidding

Again, because of the importance of mobile, Google has change the bidding defaults. It used to be that you set a bid for desktop devices and varied it for mobile and tablet; now you can set them independently, or can nominate a different default to desktop and vary the others compared to that default.


For more detailed information please visit http://www.insight-bp.co.uk/blog/

Management Recruitment – The five most costly mistakes organisations make

At next month’s Leeds Business Week event I will reveal the five most costly mistakes organisations frequently make when they are looking to recruit at senior management or Director level.  This is based upon his career success as a headhunter stretching back over 25 years working with leading business organisations in the private, public and not for profit sectors.

Come along to make sure that when you next recruit you recruit an exceptional leader helping to make your business exceptional.

How To Increase Your Prices

Leeds Business Week is an extraordinary opportunity to immerse yourself in a wide variety of learning opportunities, and Consult Yorkshire is delighted to be participating again.

One of the things you can discover is how to charge a higher price for your product or service. Let’s face it, every business would like to be able to increase prices and make more profit, but it always seems so hard. When you talk to your customers the first thing they mention is price, and everyone wants a discount, so your prices are always under pressure.

Help is at hand.

It might seem that the only thing your customers worry about is a lower price. In fact, there are a number of psychological factors that customers, whether business or consumer, use to decide whether to pay a particular price. These factors aren’t complicated and they lead to pricing ideas which are easy to implement at little cost, and which can make an immediate difference to your bottom line.

Want to find out more? Then come along on the 14th October and get three new ideas to increase your prices.