Networking: how easy is it to get to know you?

Robert Zarywacz wants to meet the real YOU  We live in a connected world where it is easier than ever before to connect with individuals anywhere, whether in the same town or thousands of miles away. You would have thought that we would soon become ‘one world’, but often it seems the tools giving us … Read more

Ask Trina Curtis

NDBA members share their experience by answering 10 questions. This issue Trina Curtis of CoDEStorm is in the hot seat 1. What was your first job? I was a waitress in Westward Ho!  I enjoyed getting to know the holiday makers and regulars and can still balance several plates up my arm. 2. What is … Read more

Superfast broadband needed by North Devon businesses

Fast, reliable broadband is an essential business tool for businesses. David Thorne of Simpkins Edwards is campaigning for universal access to the service North Devon broadband: superfast or snail’s pace? Large parts of North Devon are finding broadband running super slow compared with the rest of the UK. Superfast fibre broadband was only installed by … Read more

Lost in the cloud?

Businesses are continually being urged to go online, but as the internet changes so fast Robert Zarywacz asks if anyone really knows how to use it? The internet is a fantastic tool. I first started using it to work with clients and launched our first web site way back in the 1990s. Since then the … Read more

Unsocial media

Duncan Casburn of Flint Hosts asks how social is social media? Is the term ‘social media’ the ultimate oxymoron? Have we become victims of Orwellian doublespeak by delving into the depths of social media addiction, in doing so becoming ironic social hermits, all hidden away behind iPads and smartphones with no interest in the outside … Read more

Training employees is worth the investment

Rozz Algar, from Herne, examines the value that training employees provides to forward-looking businesses For SMEs, the challenge of recruiting and retaining good staff is a key one, so every penny you spend on this endeavour needs to be money well spent. What is the value of training employees? The truth is that poorly trained … Read more

Ask Elaine Isaac

NDBA members share their experience by answering 10 questions. This issue Elaine Isaac of Convallis Software is in the hot seat. 1. What was your first job? I washed dishes in the coffee shop kitchen at the Royal & Fortescue Hotel, Barnstaple. After a while, I eventually got promoted to serving in the coffee shop. … Read more

How can you recruit effectively?

In an exclusive series of HR articles, Alice Hellmund, HR Consultant at FitzgeraldHR, continues with how to get your recruitment process right to recruit effectively Case study: We keep hiring people who leave us in the first year, either of their own accord or we have to let them go as they’re not quite right … Read more

Easy access makes sense for business

Rob Lott from Calvert Trust Exmoor gives some simple tips on increasing your business through improving your accessibility and ensuring easy access Have you ever lost a potential sale because the customer couldn’t access your premises, service or information? There’s a very good chance that if you have, you won’t even know about it. Why … Read more

Continuous improvement: working effectively

Rozz Algar, from Herne, explores how to ensure continuous improvement really does continue in your business All too often businesses (even the best of businesses) start to be slowed down by the very things that should be making them tick – the processes and the people. Processes become overly complicated, chains of command too long, … Read more

Staff performance matters

In an exclusive series of articles on how to address challenging personnel issues, Lucy Fitzgerald starts with staff performance management How do you deal with an underperforming employee? One of our staff members, John Smith, has been underperforming for three years. Despite many attempts to improve his performance with coaching and training, nothing has changed. … Read more

Ask Gloria O’Connell

NDBA members share their experience by answering 10 questions. This issue Gloria O’Connell of Marsdens Cottage Holidays is in the hot seat. 1. What was your first job? My first job was working on the till in Woolworths. I loved it as it enabled me to chat to people all day and get paid for … Read more

A business power tool

Business Action editor and communications specialist Robert Zarywacz thinks many businesses neglect one of the most powerful tools available to them Technology has a major influence on how we communicate. I remember sending telexes in my first job, while faxes came and went, followed by email, SMS texts, tweets and now ‘posts’ on various online … Read more

Difficult conversations

Rozz Algar, from Herne, explores ways in which businesses and individuals can develop skills and strategies to face tricky scenarios and situations head on Have you ever had to have a conversation with someone that you know is going to be tricky? Can you think of a time when after the event you wished you … Read more