The Abbey Information Exchange

Welcome to the Abbey Information Exchange. At Abbey we believe strongly in
continuous professional development and we’d like to do all we can to help
our customers, suppliers, colleagues – in fact everyone we know – develop
and grow. So in this forum we’re going to be sharing tips, articles, news,
videos, in fact anything and everything we think will give your personal and
professional efforts a boost.

Product Liability insurance? We have you covered.

This week on the exchange, we want to discuss insurance and more particularly, product liability insurance (PLI). During the pandemic, we have seen a surge of individuals turning their hands to making leads and collars as a way of bringing in extra cash to their household. Although it is wonderful to see so many people engaging with leatherwork and crafts, this does, however, raise questions. Are the products I am making safe for distribution?

Apply for QEST scholarship funding of up to £18k

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust or better known as QEST, will once again be taking applications this summer from individuals across the UK. Successful applicants will receive scholarships and apprenticeships of up to £18,000 to help fund vital training and education to sustain essential skills for over 140 craft disciplines including leatherwork and saddlery.

Receive a £500 grant from the HCA.

The Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) is offering grants of up to £500 for craftspeople operating as sole traders and small businesses to invest in something that will help make their business more sustainable during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant can be used for market research, buy tools and equipment to make new products and for training and skill development.

Why content is key during COVID-19

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, businesses across the world have been forced to change how they work. Over the last month many of us have felt the disruption to our own marketing strategies and business models, but perhaps one thing that is comforting during these extraordinary times, we are all riding this wave together. New ways of thinking, adaptability and agility are all required to ensure businesses survive. However, what is apparent is that content (now more than ever) is crucial to our success. Big brands are flooding our social media with content competing for share of mind, while also reminding and reassuring consumers they can still fulfil our needs.

Top Tips for working from home during COVID-19.

In these unprecedented times we find ourselves in, we are having to adapt how we work. With most of the UK now working from home (WFH) full time, our normal day-to-day routine has been thrown out of the window. Although, working from home is becoming more common, especially for businesses in the service industry, I suspect for some individuals - like myself, do not work from home. However, like with anything in life, you adapt. This week we share some top tips for working from home during COVID-19 with some help from Helen Reader, HR Saddlery.

Covid-19: A guide to government help.

Coronavirus is all consuming right now. It’s consuming our businesses and the way we run our lives. Day-to-day we hear new advice as uncertainty looms and for businesses across the UK, including our own, could this be our darkest hour?  In response to the turbulent economic landscape, the BBC reported yesterday 19 March 2020 that the Governor of Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, took the decision to cut interests rates for a second time in just over a week, bringing them down to 0.1% from 0.25%. Interest rates are now at their lowest ever in the Bank’s 325-year history. This decision coincided with additional measures announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Budget to help businesses survive this crisis. Even today, 20 March, Rishi Sunak is to announce and employment and wage subsidy package to help protect millions of jobs.

Warming up to Cold Calling

Cold calling, a word many of us dread and have negative connotations towards. However, the truth be told it still remains one of the most important stages of the selling process and as it’s your first interaction with a potential customer, you need to ensure you bring your ‘A’ game.  For many SME’s and micro businesses, staff are not pigeonholed to doing one job. They are expected to perform multiple tasks on top of their main job function (we know this all too well at Abbey England) and cold call sales might just fall under that umbrella.

Add invaluable skills to your business and apply to Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses. It’s FREE.

The Goldman Sachs 10KSB helps make small businesses big. The course, which is entirely funded by GS, provides invaluable skills to help businesses scale up, create employment, expand to new markets and make long term behavioural changes. The course is taught by leading business lecturers in illustrious universities such as Oxford, Leeds and Aston, and Goldman Sachs also fund your accommodation – an expense that can be a significant financial burden for SMEs.

Why we should all be adopting Agile Project Management.

During this read, you will come across terms like SCRUM and SPRINT so let’s make one thing apparent from the start - we’re not talking about the Six Nations Rugby. In fact, these terms are also used in Agile Project Management to describe teams and processes. Having been introduced to this way of managing projects through Made Smarter’s Digitalisation Leadership Programme and seeing it operate successfully...

The Best Free Tools to Help With Your Social Media Strategy.

Whether you’re an active member on social media or not, your business should be. One of the most compelling reasons for being involved is that you should be where your customers are. For example, if you had a shop or chain of shops, and a brand new shopping centre opened that was attracting large crowds of your target audience, you would probably want to open up a shop there too. According to We Are Social, in January 2020 3.8 billion people use social media...