Our favourite small businesses

As part of Small Business Saturday the team have taken the time to tell us about their favourite small businesses.

Auto Repair Medway

autorepairRob is our Head of Product (and possessor of hair that will stand up in the wind as shown in this photo!).

It’s always great when you can find a local car mechanic you can trust and Auto Repair in Medway are just that.

Rob says “my car’s  windscreen wipers stopped working and needing replacing.  The guys at Auto Repair called Ford for the part but were quoted an extortionate price, so told Ford to keep the part.  They phoned me and advised a quick search online for the part and it saved me hundreds of pounds.”

 

Nin Com Soup, Old Street, London

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Matt’s the youngest of our team and he loves a nice warming lunch (his Mum would be pleased with him!), so he heads to the amusingly named Nin Com Soup within Old Street underground station.

“Great flavours in their ever changing range of soups, and a name that makes me smile every day” says Matt about his favourite lunchtime haunt.

“And they take Bitcoin, which fits with our FinTech business.”

 

Stephen Jones Millinery, Great Queen street, London

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Resident fashion expert Lorelei puts us all to shame with her daily fashionable outfits, and here she is outside Soho milliners Stephen Jones.

Here am I outside of this beautiful shop of hats and fascinators thinking of my next big event.”

And her enthusiasm doesn’t end there. “This shop makes me want to be part of some royal parties where I can look fabulous.”

Deliciously French, Cookham, Berkshire

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Despite growing up to the west of London, Head of Engineering Stuart fancies a bit of the French life, with his local French delicatessen Deliciously French.

“Honestly, it’s not just the wine I like” says Stuart.  “I do also love a bit of cheese to go with it.”

Deliciously French’s ethos is sourcing produce from family run establishments, which keeps small businesses going on both sides of the channel.

 

Hello Gorgeous Hairdressing, Battersea,

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“Who doesn’t love phoning to make an appointment and being met with the welcome ‘Hello Gorgeous'” says Carolyn, Product Delivery Manager for Ormsby Street.

“I’ve been going here for years and it still makes me smile when they answer the phone.”

Their motto is ‘luxury is a necessity’ which shows a small business who know their customers and know how to make them feel special.

 

 

Ormsby Street, Old Street, London

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New boy Parsh tries to earn some brownie points by telling us that we’re his favourite small business.

“I’ve enjoyed my first two weeks here” he says.  “Coming from a larger business with a larger team to a focused small business like Ormsby Street has been a great experience so far.”

Parsh is responsible for developing our understanding of the credit scoring, late payment and company performance data that we use to make our services like CreditHQ support small businesses in getting control of their money.

 

On this day … 26th October … Ormsby Street featured in Small Business Saturday

We’re proud to have been chosen by Small Business Saturday as one of their Small Biz 100, and 26th October is our featured day.

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We can add this to the list of historic things that have happened on this date, including:

1994 – Egypt and Jordan sign a peace deal to end 46 years of war

1992 – General Motors Corp. Chairman Robert Stempel resigned after the company recorded its highest losses in history

1959 – We see the far side of the moon for the first time

1949 – U.S. President Harry Truman raised the minimum wage from 40 to 75 cents an hour.

1947 – Future US President (?) Hilary Clinton was born

1942 – British actor Bob Hoskins was born

1916 – Former French President Francois Mitterand was born

1881 – The “Gunfight at the OK Corral” took place in Tombstone, AZ. The fight was between Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and Doc Holiday and the Ike Clanton Gang

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses. In 2016 Small Business Saturday will take place on Saturday, December 3rd

Can you nudge your customers towards paying you sooner?

Who wouldn’t want to make their customers pay their bills on time?  As business owners we’re always aware of our cash flow situation.  We’ll know who owes us money and when they’re due to pay us.  We’ll also likely know who might pay us late because they ALWAYS pay us late.

Wouldn’t you like to try and make them pay on time?

HMRC have just started using one of the ‘tricks’ that’s been researched by the Government’s ‘Nudge Unit’ to persuade tax avoiders to do the right thing and pay their tax.

The trick … stick a handwritten post-it note on the letters that ask for payment.  Simple.

The Government’s ‘Nudge Unit’, or Behavioural Insights Team to give them their formal name,  use insights from behavioural research, tests and trials, with a view to ‘enabling people to make better choices for themselves.’  This could be getting people to pay their tax, using public services only when they need them, or making appropriate career choices.

The non-payment of tax is a similar scenario to the non-payment of invoices, so it might be worth the cost of a few post-it notes to see if it makes a difference to whether the serial late payers start paying on time.

What do the notes say? Nothing particularly earth shattering.  HMRC simply say “Please give me a call if you would like to discuss”, followed by the first name of an individual and a phone number.  That’s it.

They’ve also tried highlighting previous late payments (e.g. ‘Your payment was late last time, so if there are any issues please call …) or their payment performance compared to the wider group (e.g. ’90% of our customers pay their invoices on time …), both of which result in a upturn in payments.

Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

More reading:

https://www.cchdaily.co.uk/hmrc-sending-personal-post-it-notes-tax-avoiders

http://www.behaviouralinsights.co.uk/blog/

 

 

The making of new entrepreneurs

We’re always happy when a new person joins the Ormsby Street team.  We get an injection of new experience, a new outlook, a new voice that can question why we do things the way we do.  It’s an opportunity to sanity check how we’re going about things.

Today we’re joined by Matt, who’s coming in to support our commercial activities with channel partners, and he’s also a young entrepreneur keen to make a difference.

Matt’s our first recruit who is taking part in the New Entrepreneurs Foundation, a programme designed to take the best young entrepreneurs and give them the tools to make a difference in the business world.

He’s with us full time as any other team member, but he gets some time away from the business to attend events as part of the programme, learning about strategy, negotiating, intellectual property and much more.

Hundreds of young business people have graduated from the programme, going on to start businesses of their own, employing hundreds of people and raising millions in funding, and we’re pleased to play our part.

mattMatt’s going to get exposure to all aspects of our business, from how we build our small business software tools, to understanding our customers challenges, and how to sell into the enterprise market.  In return, he’ll bring his learnings from the programme into our processes and approach.  It’s a win win!

Great to have you on board Matt!

 

 

Late payment stories tell the tale of small business struggles

We recently contacted our customers to see if they were willing to share their experiences when it comes to late payments and they were more than happy to share the challenges faced by small businesses in the UK.

In the first couple of years we struggled massively with cash flow. We have to pay for materials & labour and only on completion of a job are we allowed to invoice which we then wait on average 50 days to get paid. Money is so tight that myself & my husband do not pay ourselves big wages

I’ve used your debt recovery service on two occasions when client just didn’t pay and on both occasions the legal letter was enough to get a payment within 1 week.

The trouble is we are a relatively small business that bigger companies seem to think can bank roll them whilst they get their work done.

From stories on no wages for the business owners for months on end through to legal proceedings after 18 months of debt chasing, small business owners are a sturdy bunch and we’re happy to say all of them came out the other side and are continuing to battle for money they’re owed.

As a reward for sharing their stories, the following companies receive these gifts to bring some positivity to their working day:

Proserve Building Solutions in Portsmouth receive a brand new Apple Watch, whilst MB Fire Protection of Dartford and Rutland Scaffolding based in Rutland both receive a year’s subscription to Evernote Premium.  All will receive a year’s free access to our credit information tools.

There will be more on late payments from our small businesses as we share more on what they were faced with and how they’ve developed approaches to handling one of the major challenges of being a small business owner