Claim up to 33% of your innovation costs

You’ll probably know that the UK Government is keen to promote R&D investment to encourage economic growth – one way this is being tackled is thorough R&D tax credits whereby you can potentially claim back up to 33% of your innovation costs. Most agencies that are eligible are in the habit of submitting claims as and when the nature of their work allows. However, I’m discovering that some agencies are unaware, so I’m making some enquiries on behalf of two firms that assess and often successfully process R&D Tax Credit claims to HMRC. Claim values for some agencies can make a significant difference, and every...

How prepared are you?

Following the early spread of COVID-19 here in the UK, I posted this short piece Review>Plan>Act on Coronavirus which touched on the significant impact of the virus on one of my clients, and the ever-present need for proactivity in our working behaviours. As some clients start to emerge from lockdown, designers are advised to assume that clients (both existing and new) will be most receptive to, and look to surround themselves with, the very best talent they can afford to partner with to tackle the challenges and uncertain times ahead. To help them survive, and potentially thrive, clients will look...

Creative Leaders conversations light the way

A pleasure to be invited by Simon Dixon to contribute my thoughts to the final part of the DixonBaxi series of insight based pieces conversing with creative leaders across the industry around how they are coping, and how their vision of the future is affected by the C-19 crisis.  DixonBaxi reached out to friends and heroes in the industry they know and admire to ask their thoughts on three questions, to which I gave these responses:  What do you think your most potent learning has been during this situation? Those on the front foot who invest in developing and understanding...

Review>Plan>Act on Coronavirus

Right now, creative firms are busy gaining clarity and being proactive on how they address the challenges of the coming months. Having a clear strategy for survival is essential for many.     I’m seeing and directly involved in the significant impact of Coronavirus on one of my clients. In recent months we’ve been gearing the business for expansion and suddenly we are in survival mode, busy reviewing, rapidly planning and acting on decisions to ensure the business stays afloat. We’re forming a plan of action that ensures operational continuity at a sustainable cost to the business, whilst thinking how we can be constructive and proactive...

Will good client service always be the designer’s Achilles heel?

I’ve just managed to look at the 6th annual report on What Clients Think 2019-20 launched in late November by Up to the Light in association with the DBA. It presents the findings of 525 interviews conducted with clients of design agencies, and aims to monitor the health of client/agency relationships. It’s probably the closest you’ll get to getting inside the head of your clients – and prospective clients – and finding out what they really think about you. The findings make compelling reading.   If you’ve been following these reports for several years now, as I have, you’ll also get a sense of deja vu. Many...

Testimonial from Dr Susie Ranford, Managing Director at 4c

Rewarding way to start 2020 hearing that my work with product design and engineering consultancy 4c in Glasgow has served the talented Dr Susie Ranford in her role managing a significant transitional period at the firm through 2019… “I have found the work that you did with 4c partners Robin and Will very insightful and helpful to me over the last year. I believe that it has helped me put in place what I hope is a good support structure which will serve Will and the team well in 2020 and beyond. Thank you!” Dr Susie Ranford – Managing Director,...

How to find an emotionally intelligent Mentor

Useful piece on Fast Company… Everyone wants a good mentor. They can help you get ahead at work, and provide an important sounding board when you’re trying to make a tough decision or deal with a tricky coworker. But finding the right person can be easier said than done. A 2019 study found that while 76% of people believe that mentoring is important, only 37% say they have such a relationship….more.

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The serious business of your VALUE PROPOSITION

Let’s be clear, identifying and articulating a compelling Value Proposition (VP) can be challenging work.  The ‘gold’ in your firm that defines what makes you special can be buried quite deep or in unexpected places. It may be found in your process, your behaviours or somewhere else, and demands a keen eye to know where to look and how far to dig to potentially unearth the treasure that those working in the business either simply don’t manage to find, or see clearly for themselves. VP know-how Many of you will know that a true VP will succinctly define ‘what you...

Supporting future growth at UNLTD_XYZ

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Now 12-months in, and having a great time working again with the very talented Jason Smith of UNLTD_XYZ. Having worked together previously between 2008-09, I was delighted to be invited to work with Jason again in a part-time consultative role across his business to further enhance best practices and help shape and implement a plan for growth. Working closely with Jason since August 2018, I focused initially with Jason on defining the business goals and objectives and necessary resources to help shape a strategy and implement a tactical plan for developing the business in specific areas of interest that also represent tangible...

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