Posted by The PC Support Group

Fri 20th, Sep

Windows 7 officially reaches end-of-life in January 2020. So, if you’re one of the thousands of UK businesses still using it, now’s the time to upgrade - or you could be issuing an open invitation to cybercriminals.

While your PCs won’t suddenly stop working, from January 14 Microsoft will stop updating or supporting your operating system, meaning that automatic security and bug fixes will end, making it increasingly costly to maintain and vulnerable to attack.

And you can guarantee that cybercriminals will be targeting Windows 7 users after January 14, because they know that their defences are down.

If you haven’t already, our advice is to start planning now to upgrade to Windows 10 and make the switch well before the January deadline. This way you’ll avoid any period where you’re not supported and the associated risks.

While Windows 10 isn’t right for everyone, there are many advantages of upgrading from 7 to 10:

  • It’s simple, with a minimum of disruption – in most cases you can keep your files and software on your existing PC
  • Many programs you use will already have been updated to work on Windows 10, so you can just carry on as normal
  • Although, the layout and interface is different with a little patience you’ll be able to transition and use it relatively easily
  • There are many great additional features and functionality on Windows 10 that will be a big help for your business, such as the Cortana virtual assistant and enhanced security
  • Support for Windows 10 is expected to run until at least 2025, so a small investment now will provide peace of mind for the next five years or more.

So, if you’ve decided to go-ahead and upgrade, here are just a few things to bear in mind:

  • You’ll need to calculate how many users you have and how many licences you need
  • While Windows 10 will run perfectly happily on most existing hardware, it may struggle on older machines, so now may be the time to upgrade some of your hardware too
  • Although as mentioned earlier, most software has been updated to enable it to run on Windows 10 you will need to check that this is the case with all the software you use before going ahead
  • Once you’ve established what you require, you’ll need to identify a budget and potentially look into financing options
  • Time, resource and investment will be required but upgrading will almost certainly bring productivity and business efficiency benefits, which will deliver a fast return on your investment.

If you’re still using Windows 7 and would like to discuss your options and find out how we can

help you to make an informed decision about your next step – email us on info@pcsupportgroup.com, leave a message here and we'll get back to you or call our team on 03300 886116 for an informal and confidential chat.

www.pcsupportgroup.com

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Liverpool John Lennon Airport – giving local business a competitive advantage

Posted by Liverpool John Lennon Aiport

Fri 20th, Sep

It’s great to see so many fellow Chamber members continuing to grow and develop their business despite the uncertain business environment that we all currently operate in and when it comes to international business. Liverpool John Lennon Airport is well placed to help companies large and small, with direct access to a growing range of destinations across Europe. We believe that the Airport is a great asset for the City Region, ideally placed to help companies take advantage of the connectivity afforded by the Airport, increasing levels of international business and helping the visitor economy by attracting more visitor numbers from overseas.

With flights to over 70 destinations, including a growing range of European cities, LJLA can help local companies do more overseas business. Over the past 12 months we have attracted new airlines and a range of new routes as well as continuing to work closely with existing carriers to develop additional and new services too.

However the Airport recognises that there are many more opportunities for the region’s businesses to explore, if the Airport’s connectivity was improved further. It is for this reason that we are continually looking to better understand what local businesses want from the Airport, particularly regarding what new routes companies would like to see available from Liverpool. This is why we are asking Chamber members to tell us about their travel habits and needs, by completing a short business travel survey ( www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/97WF9FQ ) the information from which will be used in talks with existing and prospective airline partners as we look to develop more routes.

Whilst this increased connectivity is important, the best customer experience is essential too. LJLA is the faster, easier, friendlier Airport of choice for passengers from across the region and is recognised for its relaxed, hassle free environment and best in class operational performance. Queue times at Airport security remain low, with 97% of all passengers taking 10 minutes or less to pass through security and over 80% taking less than 5 minutes and there’s a much higher chance of their flight being on time, with Liverpool having the UK’s only 5-star airport rating for flight punctuality.

Having an airport within the City Region gives Liverpool a competitive advantage over other regions across the UK which it can capitalise on. By working together the Airport can help local businesses to grow, increasing their reach and realise their ambitions too. 

Liverpool John Lennon Airport are sponsoring the Liverpool Chamber Exporter of the Year Award 2019. Find out more about the awards and how to apply here.

Would you like to sponsor a Liverpool Chamber Award? We still have a few sponsorship opportunities availbale. Contact Lee Stanley at lee.stanley@liverpoolchamber.org.uk or on 07383 090348.

To buy tickets for our Annual Dinner & Awards event on the Thursday 14th November, please click here.

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Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Wed 11th, Sep

September feels like a ‘back to school’ month both literally and figuratively and, despite an incredibly busy August, we’re excited at the prospect of a developing programme of events, campaigns and initiatives taking place this side of Christmas and into our 170th anniversary year in 2020.

We’re here to enable our businesses to connect, support and thrive, hence the creation of our new branding and the refreshing of our events programme and membership service portfolio in the coming months.

You can read all about our upcoming events in tomorrow’s newsletter but would encourage members to participate in our upcoming ‘Extraordinary Conversation’ with Richard Harpham (Escape Hunt CEO) and our Annual Dinner with Karen Blackett OBE (Chair of Mediacom). We’re aiming to bring the best and the brightest to Liverpool and provide influence, insight and inspiration to members.

We’ve got campaigns lined up around talent, transport and trade activity which will benefit all members over the coming months and we look forward to your participation and support in them.

 

Quarterly Economic Survey – Four minutes well spent

The Quarterly Economic Survey may sound interminably dull but it’s a crucial piece of evidence to support the Chambers’ ability to present an evidence base to government and the Bank of England regarding business sentiment, performance and outlook. It impacts upon the setting of interest rates and is a key source of data for regional and national strategic policy decisions (even in these times).

We want to have a good response from local companies to inform this picture – if you are in a position to complete the survey on behalf of your business (and have not already done so) please do so prior to Monday 16th September. It takes four minutes.

We’ll present the results on 25th October at our quarterly business breakfast and the British Chambers will present the aggregated anonymised data to government later this month. Your input genuinely helps and does have a material impact on the decisions made which impact upon business.

You can access the most recent report here along with our latest monthly economic outlook here.

Complete the survey here

 

Chamber’s Brexit Hub Refresh – Our resource to help you prepare for the future

Yes we’re all sick of it, but Brexit continues to loom large for all businesses. British Chambers of Commerce have updated the information on their ‘Brexit Hub’ resource page.

The Brexit hub contains access to a ‘Business Brexit Checklist’ which companies can use to perform a Brexit readiness assessment – an increasingly desirable course of action for organisations whether they trade overseas or not.

The resource also contains a Risk Register and ‘unanswered questions on No Deal’. They are all accessible through the hub.

British Chambers of Commerce are continuing to report case studies, testimonials and issues raised by businesses from across the UK. If you have specific insights you can share concerning your Brexit preparedness or impacts upon your workforce, investment plans or operations please share with us at policy@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

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The University of Liverpool Management School

Posted by Professor Julia Balogun

Dean University of Liverpool Management School

Tue 10th, Sep

The University of Liverpool was founded in 1881 and is the original ‘red brick’ University, named after our iconic Victoria Building, designed by Alfred Waterhouse, at the top of Brownlow Hill.  Today the University is a member of the Russell Group, a prestigious cohort of research-intensive institutions.

The University of Liverpool Management School was formed in 2002 and has since grown to support 3500 undergraduate students and over 1250 postgraduate and MBA students.  The School shares the University’s ambitions for teaching and research and our Vision is to be “a globally connected Management School whose transformative research and teaching places us at the forefront of influential leadership knowledge. This brings us together with students, business and society in learning to make a difference”.  

Our research is embedded into our teaching programmes to ensure that students are taught the latest thinking and techniques.  We encourage them to apply their learning into the real-world and support them in developing the skills they need to be successful in their future roles. 

Our internationally renowned faculty engage in research that is not only influential in their field, but that helps to shape policy and support businesses at a local level but also nationally and internationally.   At a regional level, for example, research carried out at the School has helped improve operational efficiencies in business agility and supply chains to support sustainable SME growth and develop new procurement approaches for social housing. At international level, the School’s research is supporting integrity in sport, helping to inform national strategies for rural development in South America, enhancing the lives of rural women in India, and creating a new patent index.

Whilst we strive to be globally connected, we are very committed to our civic duty as a Higher Education Institution to support and contribute to our local Liverpool community and we are delighted to be sponsoring the Chamber’s Local Hero Award at this year’s Awards Dinner. 

Would you like to sponsor a Liverpool Chamber Award? We still have a few sponsorship opportunities availbale. Contact Lee Stanley at lee.stanley@liverpoolchamber.org.uk or on 07383 090348.

If you would like more information on how to enter our awards, please click here.

To buy tickets for our Annual Dinner & Awards event on the Thursday 14th November, please click here.

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Posted by The PC Support Group

Thu 29th, Aug

We’ve all heard the same marketing slogans many times.

Committed to service excellence. Passionate about great service. Service is at the heart of everything we do. Great customer service is our top priority.

It’s admirable of course to aspire to do great things for customers. But the problem is that, all too often, the reality doesn’t match the rhetoric.

Words like excellence and passionate raise our expectations, we’re now looking for something special, something extraordinary. The bar has been well and truly raised.

Sadly, we can all point to examples of really poor service from businesses that make extravagant claims about their quality of service. And, when this happens, it’s the gulf between the desired state and the reality that we notice most.

In fact, as customers, competent, timely, efficient and friendly service can be enough for us to feel positive about the organisation we have been interacting with. For many of us, displays of passionate, extraordinary service can be a bit unsettling!

At The PC Support Group you won’t be surprised to hear that we too try very hard to deliver a really good quality service for our clients. We’ve spent a lot of time and energy defining what we mean by this, and how best to achieve it.

Fortunately, we get lots of positive feedback about the service we provide and it’s always a source of pride and motivation for us when it happens. We’ve also won quite a few awards for it, so we must be doing something right!

So, I’d like to share with you some of the things that we have learned about service over the years – and what we do to ensure that our people understand what good service looks like - and help them to spot the right opportunities to go that all-important extra mile. If you’re also striving for great customer service, then many of these insights can easily be applied to your own business.

As usual, most of this isn’t rocket science, a lot of it is about applying common sense. But you’ll probably agree with me that common sense is actually not so common!

To download our free “Achieving Service Excellence” guide click on the link here or if you would like to speak to us about our IT support and telephony contracts, please call us on 03300 886 116 or leave us a message here and we will get straight back to you.

www.pcsupportgroup.com

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Posted by Helen Jackson

Content Strategist, HelenJ Marketing

Tue 27th, Aug

A big YouTube story hit the headlines a few weeks ago, the chaos surrounded Brooke Houts, a YouTuber with over 300,000 subscribers.

The controversy was around an unedited clip of footage mistakenly uploaded to her channel, which appeared to show Houts abusing her Doberman puppy, Sphinx. In the footage, it appears Houts spits on the dog and grabs and pins him to the floor, applying force in the process.

I am not suggesting that Houts’ following would obediently follow her into animal abuse - but with a following of perhaps not epic proportions but a fair amount, her actions are viewed by many impressionable young viewers.

There has been many strong reactions and opinions to the latest YouTuber scandal with PETA calling for Brooke Houts’ channel to be removed - view tweet.

Houts isn’t the only YouTuber over the last few years to reach headlines for all the wrong reasons - YouTuber Logan Paul issued an apology after he uploaded a video of the Aokigahara forest known in Japan as 'suicide forest' - he filmed a dead body and uploaded it to his YouTube channel as part of his vlog - I mean, talk about lack of respect - not only for his impressionable YouTube audience but the person filmed and their distraught family.

Before the video was removed it had garnered over half a million likes and 6.3 million views.

With Paul's subscribers mainly made up of teens and tweens, it's worrying that children are accessing this content without their parents' knowledge. Logan Paul states that his demographic is supposed to be early to mid twenties. And whilst he accepts that his suicide forest vlog was unacceptable, a lot of his other content isn't really aimed at the younger generation.

In an interview with Good Morning America he said:

"I'm gonna be honest with you, Michael. I think parents should be monitoring what their children are watching more," Paul said in the interview. "Every parent I meet whose kids are under the age of like 12 I go 'Hey, you let your kids watch my stuff?'" 

Some responsibility has to lie with the parents, particularly when content such as this is accessed at home. That said, it’s fair to say that these so-called ‘influencers’ are influencing in all the wrong ways.

There was even a bit of Insta-controversy recently in the UK with TV Personality Scarlett Moffatt supposedly abusing her position in the public eye. She had approached My Suitcase Boutique and asked for a custom-designed tulle skirt, costing £150, to wear to New York Pride. In exchange for exposure, the designer had made the skirt and received tracking confirmation that the TV star had signed for the garment.

After many messages from the brand to the star, the brand owner was blocked and unable to further contact Moffatt to retrieve the skirt or ask for the exposure promised. The incident has since been resolved and labelled a misunderstanding - the skirt has now been sent back to the brand.

So, it begs the question, are influencers influencing the younger generation correctly? And what measures are currently being taken to protect the impressionable viewers from potentially destructive or incorrectly persuasive content?

Let’s start with a definition - what exactly is influencer marketing?

For once, Wikipedia has nailed the definition:

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing involving endorsements from influencers, people and organisations who possess an expert level of knowledge and/or social influence in their respective fields.

It’s fair to say that many brands would jump at the chance to get their products in front of a large target audience who hangs off every word of an influencer. If you had the budget, why wouldn’t you? It's guaranteed sales and exposure.

Take Love Island, for example, the 2019 series has just wrapped up and each of its stars has been plunged into the ‘influencer’ sphere. With runner-up Molly-Mae Hague having now amassed a whopping 3 million followers. 3 MILLION.

Over previous series, no one has ever come out with so many followers. With many averaging around the 1.2 mil mark. But 3?? That’s a lot of influence she has at her fingertips.

I'm not saying she would, but if she decided to be reckless with which items she promoted - what’s in place to help control this?

ASA and CMA bring out an official guide for posting ads

In September 2018, the Advertising Standards Agency and the Competitions Market Authority together released official guidelines around transparency and influencer marketing. The story was covered by The Independent - and it stated that any user being paid for promoting a product or taking part in any kind of promotional marketing, had to use labels including either “ad,” “advertising” or “advert.”

Basically, influencers are responsible for making it clear that the content uploaded is clearly an ad. No longer are labels like ‘spons’ and ‘in partnership with’ tolerated.

If a user has to hunt for signals that the post is an ad - it’s not acceptable.

“If they do not label their posts properly, fans or followers may be led to believe that an endorsement represents the star’s own view, rather than a paid-for promotion,” the Competition and Markets Authority says.

The ASA pointed out that they have in the past banned a number of influencer posts for failing to make clear they were ads, including those by reality TV stars Louise Thompson, Millie Mackintosh and Marnie Simpson.

Reporting content on YouTube

YouTube relies on its community to report content that is offensive or breaching their community guidelines. It is estimated that there are 200 million illegal videos on YouTube - including full-length albums and movies. But once a video is reported, it is not automatically removed.

If the reported content is found to have violated the community guidelines, the content is removed. Or, if it's appropriate for the platform but not for younger viewers, an age restriction is implemented.

Read more about how to report video content on YouTube.

If you're worried about what your children are accessing on YouTube, this video from TechBoomers shows how you can manage parental controls.

The rapid increase in ‘influencer marketing’

Since 2014, the search term ‘influencer marketing’ has increased in popularity, as you can see from the below Google trends data. This graph shows the increase in searches worldwide - so it’s not just a country-specific increase - this is a global takeover! Argh.

When I first started working in marketing agencies, I don’t think I ever really came across this term - it was usually dubbed ‘blogger outreach’. Now there are all kinds of terms that sit alongside influencer marketing - there are also micro-influencers. These influencers have fewer followers, obviously, but they might have more of a dedicated and engaged following - they’re also cheaper to work with for brands with smaller budgets.

Fast fashion brands are perfect for the influencer community - they can showcase the product easily in beautiful, sunny and usually ‘perfect’ images - they’re selling a lifestyle, not just a new wardrobe.

It's easy for impressionable teenagers to get swept up in the influencer world - they're shown new products every day that their new social idols are promoting so they want it all too.

In fact, someone I know asked his children what they wanted to be when they grew up and they both said YouTubers. Influencer marketing is now a viable career for many growing up with this technology at their fingertips.

Instagram’s latest changes could negatively affect influencer marketing

Last month, Instagram announced it was trialling the removal of likes and comments on its posts. The trial is currently taking place in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Brazil and Italy.

Mia Garlick of Facebook Australia and New Zealand said: "We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love."

Now that the pressure of likes and interaction has been removed - what will happen to those who make their living through Instagram paid promotions?

It will be interesting to see the results of this trial period - now that users can’t see how much attention a post is getting, will it become as popular or the content as viral as it once was?

Will this new stance of putting the emphasis on sharing content you love as opposed to content that will garner the most interest and likes negatively affect the paid promotion side of the platform?

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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Posted by Dave Saville

Business Unit Director for Wates Construction North West

Tue 27th, Aug

With building work anticipated to commence at Liverpool City Council’s new Cruise Terminal Hotel early next year, main contractor Wates Construction has become the latest voice to join the debate on the importance of industry collaboration across the city. 

Dave Saville, Business Unit Director for Wates Construction North West:

“A silo mentality is an extremely restricting thing and fortunately it is becoming a relic of the past. We have seen time and again what can be achieved when people put their heads together. Collaboration is king and this is especially the case in Liverpool where the public and private sectors have worked together seamlessly to deliver on a joint vision, to create a world-leading city where people want to work, live and visit. One of the most successful recent examples of this can be seen in Peel Land and Property’s 60-hectare £5bn Liverpool Waters, the city’s major waterfront regeneration scheme at Princes Dock and we are very proud to be playing a part in this ambitious masterplan.

“Wates is a huge believer in partnership working so our ethos belongs in this great city. For us, collaboration takes place at every level; it happens within our own teams, with our clients and it runs throughout our supply chain. This is how we deliver projects and it’s how we make sure that this is done to as high a standard as possible. But partnership working is also fostered with our industry peers and amongst regional best practice and skills networks. It is our duty to support the industry and we simply can’t do this if we don’t all talk to one another.

“There is currently some fantastic momentum in Liverpool. In March this year Regenerating Liverpool’s Liverpool Development Update reported that there is approximately £1.44bn of construction schemes on site across the city with a further £300m taking place outside of the city centre. This investment presents us with a collective opportunity. When a city has a buzz, it attracts people, which in-turn contributes to economic growth. Further investment follows - in new buildings, new skills and new industries. We’re in the midst of an exciting period for Liverpool and I am very excited about the role that Wates is set to play in the city’s future.”

Subject to planning permission, Wates is expected to commence construction at the new Cruise Terminal Facility early 2020. The project is supported with £20m from the Local Growth Fund, which is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.

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In his latest blog Mitchell Charlesworth partner, Mike Buxton, looks at the impact of technology on the legal sector.

Posted by Mitchell Charlesworth

Fri 16th, Aug

With every industry, technology is leading the way to change and transforming ways of working. Progressive law firms that adopt new technologies are able to pass the benefits onto their clients through increased flexibility, greater transparency and reduced fees. Many traditional law firms may be left behind if these new technologies are not embraced.

Examples of technologies which are improving efficiencies in law firms include:

  • Cloud solutions. These allow fee earners to work more flexibly with clients outside of regular working hours. Cloud accounting software allows the practice owner to run the business more efficiently and frees up resources to focus on other aspects of the practice which may need improving or achieve a better work/life balance.
  • Data management tools. Law firms hold huge amounts of data on clients and case outcomes. Being able to manage this data improves client satisfaction and has the potential to win future cases. Automation tools reduce the administrative burden.
  • Case management tools. These allow the client to view progress on their case and leave comments. AI tools introduce efficiencies and give competitive advantages.

Firms need to use the tech available to them, that suits their structure and ethos. However, technology is only as good as the way it is used. Technology should be used to save the firm money and time and provide added value to the client. If the technology is not being used correctly or does not fit with a firm’s ethos, then this could be an expensive error.

Technology in the legal sector has made client to solicitor contact, from anywhere in the world, a lot more accessible. The move from a traditional 9-to-5 working day to a more fluid, flexible working culture means clients want a more flexible solicitor who is available when they are. This can mean flexible working for employees which can help attract and retain talent within the practice.

This change in working habits has also seen a trend in smaller boutique legal practices establishing themselves. Technology allows smaller firms to complete with the larger practices, by giving them flexibility and access to powerful research tools.

An example of this is in the family sector. Small, nimble, process driven family law practices can provide a service to a client who wants a quick and easy solution. These firms ensure that the client is happy whilst the fee earner ensures that their low costs business remains competitive and provides a flexible working environment.

The risk ahead is for the firms that fail to innovate. Adopting basic tech tools and looking for opportunities to introduce newer technologies will improve efficiency and drive productivity, allowing firms to remain competitive and improve client service.

If you would like to discuss technology in your law firm or how cloud accounting software can support your practice, please contact Mike Buxton on 0151 255 2300 or email mike.buxton@mitchellcharlesworth.co.uk 

To read Mike’s blog on Brexit please click here.

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If you’re assuming that your cloud synching and sharing services, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, are acting as your backup or are taking responsibility for automatically backing up all your data, then, please, think again!

Posted by The PC Support Group

Mon 12th, Aug

The fact that some businesses are making this assumption came across loud and clear at an event we hosted recently to help improve SME’s cybersecurity awareness and skills.  

 

It’s an understandable assumption to make, but it’s also a dangerous one too – that could extract a heavy price if you fall victim to a determined cybercriminal. Let me explain why and what to do to keep your priceless data and systems safe.

 

The boom in cloud-based services is transforming the way businesses operate, with fantastic new capabilities now at our fingertips. But it’s also a complex, and at times confusing marketplace, with new, multi-layered products and services emerging all the time, each trying to outdo their rivals with more and more features and functionality, backed by persuasive sales and marketing campaigns.

 

It’s important to remember that, while cloud file sharing and storage solutions synch your data across multiple devices, this does not add up to a robust back up system. In fact, file syncing services cannot differentiate between ransomware-encrypted files and regular files, and therefore they can sync malware infected data! And ransomware attacks on businesses are rising, up 12% in 2018, with businesses now the victims of more than 80% of all successful ransomware infections.

As a specialist IT support and services company, The PC Support Group devotes significant resources to understanding these cloud-based products, their features, benefits and complexities, so that we can help our clients to make informed decisions about their IT. But for many SMEs, often with small teams and limited resources, it can be very difficult to navigate a safe course.

 

When it comes to backing up your data and systems, our golden rules are:

  • Assume nothing!
  • Question everything!
  • Be certain that you have a dedicated back-up solution over and above your file sharing solution
  • True cybersecurity is about having layers of protection – think of your premises with combinations of locks, alarms, password protected entry systems and CCTV.

 

If you’d like to discuss your backup options and how The PC Support Group can  help you to make the most of new technology – and keep your business safe – call our team on 03300 886116 or email us on info@pcsupportgroup.com for an informal and confidential chat.

 

www.pcsupportgroup.com

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Dynamic, thought-leading business owners are failing to include a business lasting power of attorney in their crisis management preparations, a leading solicitor has claimed.

Posted by Claire Currie

Mon 05th, Aug

Dynamic, thought-leading business owners are failing to include a business lasting power of attorney in their crisis management preparations, a leading solicitor has claimed.

 

Claire Currie, head of the Private Client department at Kirwans law firm, said she has been alarmed to discover a lack of awareness among the region’s business community around the importance of making a business LPA (BLPA) to ensure their firm could continue to operate if a significant decision maker was to become incapacitated.

 

Financial LPAs have long been recognised as vitally important for those with any kind of asset, while health LPAs are equally as crucial in order that an individual’s wishes in relation to their health and potential medical treatment are recognised.

 

However, Claire said that little attention has so far been paid to this important part of business planning – appointing a lasting power of attorney to ensure the continued smooth running of the business should a problem arise that the business owner is unable to deal with.

 

She said: “In my role as partner and head of Private Client, I spend a lot of time talking to business leaders in the region and I have been genuinely concerned at the amount of people who say they have crisis management plans in place but have not included a BLPA in those plans.

 

“Without a BLPA, a huge amount of risks arise. Say, for example, one of the bank account signatories suddenly becomes incapacitated. The bank would freeze the account in order, meaning that invoices would go unpaid and even wages would be stopped. Paying tax bills could be a problem too, causing potentially long-lasting effects on the business’s credit record that may take some time to sort out.

 

“Even contracts signed by the person could suddenly become worthless, due to their lack of capacity.

 

“There would be no overnight resolution to these issues either; instead, an application would have to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy; a process that could take many months.”

 

Claire explained that business owners need to invest in an LPA that specifically concentrates on the business so that a suitable person could take over the running of it and implement pre-agreed plans that would be in the best interests of the firm.

 

It isn’t just company directors who need to safeguard their business in this way; sole traders are also at high risk of business problems and complications should they become incapacitated, and Claire advises that they too consider appointing a BLPA.

 

“Should the worst happen and a sole trader finds themselves unable to look after their business affairs, invoices and tax will still need to be paid in order to avoid problems,” she said.

 

“Many sole traders are the only people who understand what is happening in their business at any one time, and if they are removed from the equation the whole business could go to the wall.

 

“The best way to avoid these worst-case scenarios is to prepare for the worse – and then to hope it never happens.”

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