Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dorset Professionals Group Race Night

This is our third networking event for professionals in the Dorset area with the aim of building a network for those below Director or Partner level.

Join us and bring a friend/colleague for a fun packed race night using “fun” money and prizes for the best tables.

Tuesday 3 April 2012 

Bring your business cards and enter our prize draw!

6.00pm onwards

£10 per person

Food: Chilli & Rice or Vegetarian Curry

Follow us on twitter @OMDorsetProfs

RSVP by Monday 26 March to Kim Lowe on [email protected] or 01749 335032. Please let us know if you require the vegetarian option or have any specific dietary requirements and send your cheque made payable to “Old Mill Jackson Ltd” to FAO: Kim Lowe, Old Mill, The Old Rectory, South Walks Road, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1DT.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Launch of new system for monitoring customer service engagement on Twitter

Consumers now have a new way of measuring the quality of customer service provided by major firms through the Twitter social networking system.

EngagementIndex, which monitors and ranks firms by the quality of their response to tweeted enquiries, has just been launched. It’s the brainchild of Mark Shaw, author of ‘Twitter Your Business’ and Twitter advisor to a number of major organisations.

EngagementIndex will be a help to both consumers and to businesses, large and small, who are using social media for customer service.

By measuring the quality of activity on Twitter and providing rankings, it will become one of the measures by which consumers assess who to buy from. Allowing firms to see how they rank alongside competitors should spur them to improve their service, and provide an indicator of the organisations which deliver best practice.

Passionate about both Twitter and customer service, Mark Shaw has formed EngagementIndex by teaming up with mathematical modelling expert, Chris Arnold. Together they have created an easy to understand method of measuring and scoring social media activity by firms.

“If businesses have shown up on Twitter, they need to do it properly,” said Mark Shaw. “EngagementIndex allows everyone to see how well companies are delivering customer service on Twitter, by monitoring the speed and frequency of their replies to queries and comments.”

Initially, EngagementIndex will be operated for a number of leading firms across a variety of sectors, and it's begun by looking at leading supermarkets. But its principles can be applied to other types of Twitter users, such as celebrities and politicians.

“EngagementIndex is all about measuring quality,” said Mark. “It’s got nothing to do with the number of followers or how long the business has been on Twitter.”

To find out more, visit the EngagementIndex website or follow @EngagementIndex on Twitter.

Update February 2013

It appears that the EngagementIndex is no longer running. Both the website and Twitter account have disappeared.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Economia magazine - the ICAEW's replacement for Accountancy

This month, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) launched a brand new magazine, Economia. This replaces Accountancy as the free monthly publication supplied to its members.

Economia claims on its opening page that it will “talk with authority and provide intelligent insight on the issues that matter”. But the question was: would they be issues that mattered to me?

I have been receiving the Accountancy magazine free as part of my subscription for many years. From time to time, I would come across articles that were relevant to me, but working in the private sector, in an SME, I found much of the content too technical and globally-orientated to be of real interest. I always felt that you had to be in practice or at least a CFO of a large organisation to fully appreciate what it had to say.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to see much difference in the ICAEW’s new, self-produced magazine. I was wrong. I was impressed with the number of articles in the first edition that I found that I wanted to read rather than just skim. For example, there is an excellent article about why it’s smart to market in a recession. Admittedly, the firms referred to are global names, but the advice is sound for large and small businesses alike.

There is also a big feature on growth, including an article on “The Squeezed Middle”, emphasizing the importance of medium-sized firms, which the CBI has claimed “are essential to economic recovery”. The ICAEW outlines its 10-point plan for growth, which it recommends to the government, supported by plenty of comment from leading businessmen and women.

The technical briefing was clearly presented, helping you to see at a glance what was pertinent, whilst the business trends section was both informative and thought provoking. And the ‘life’ section, including features on investments, tailoring and eating out was a nice addition, amusing and informative, and perhaps a belated recognition that accountants are real people.

In my opinion, “Economia” appears to be designed with the twenty-first century accountant in mind. The focus is firmly set on business issues that affect all accountants, whether in practice or business. This emphasis is welcome. Long may it continue!

by Rachel Knowles (ACA)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Get buzzing about business

A group of South Coast businesses have joined forces to host The SME Growth Clinics and Workshop Exhibition, a free event being held on Wednesday 21st March at AFC Bournemouth between 11 am – 6 pm.

The 14 companies involved have pooled their resources and expertise to offer advice and workshops alongside the exhibition.

Whether you’re looking to raise your brand awareness, develop new business relationships, learn from the experts or network with other companies, the event will be beneficial to all small to medium businesses based on the South Coast.

One of the event partners, Nick Andrews of IBD Group, comments: ‘Making connections and building business relationships is currently such a vital part of a successful company. Being able to talk to a wide range of business experts who are willing to pass on their knowledge to you, all under one roof, and at no cost, is a rare opportunity.’

The Business Buzz partners are Filer Knapper, The HR Dept, AFC Bournemouth, Just Jobs, tasty marketing, Margaret Green Animal Rescue, Humphries Kirk, Belmont, The National Trust, Glossy Mag Co, J2 Networks, IBD, Shirlaws and Letters and Logos.

To find out more information, or to book on to the event, please visit www.business-buzz.co.uk.