Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

May we take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy new year, whilst wishing you every success in 2011.From all the team at A1.
Merry Christmas

Friday, 17 December 2010

week included A1 Bookkeeping Franchisee training, Oxford Business Network, First Aid Training, Management accounts,

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Why should my website have a privacy policy?

It's easy to forget about things as you focus on the look and feel of the website and a good privacy policy could quite easily be one of them. But a privacy policy is essential for your website, as data protection and other laws give people a right to know how you're going to use their personal information.
week included first aid training, First aid at Christmas presentation for PIP, Bookkeeping, New franchisee sign up, Didcot play centre,

Thursday, 9 December 2010

How to write an eye-catching press release

So how do you write a press release which will catch the eye of a busy editor or journalist? These tips were produced by

The key to writing a good press release is to keep it short and to the point, well structured and relevant. The perfect press release would not only be related to the recipient's business area, but should also be newsworthy. Using my own experiences of reading several thousand releases over the past few years, here are some key steps to writing that perfect press release.

1. Make your Press Release Newsworthy
2. Write a Good Headline
3. Summarise the key points
4. First Paragraph is crucial
6. Notes to Editors
7. Keep it Short and Sweet
8. Relevancy
9. Style & Formatting
10. Hire an Expert

To see a full copy of this article, please click here to visit the web site

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Closing the gap on knowing and doing

6 months ago our Director, Mike Foster, started to work with John Harris at SMI based on Milton Park. Mike had identified that he was busy but not moving towards his personal goals. Mike said " I have a corporate background in banking and leisure, where I had undertaken many time management courses and knew the theory inside out, but I was never moving certain areas of my life forward. Many business coaches offered me a consultative solution, but the real solution was found when I met John at SMI and started to use the practical tools and guidance that truly made a difference in my life. Not only did I find more time immediately for short term goals, but enough time to start a new business venture in Didcot"

"The concept is that through a structured process and professional support, you develop new, effective work habits. I have certainly introduced new habits and changed many things as a result of this fresh approach.

My learns are summarised in the SMI overview of:
Improve your planning skills: Set real goals based around your priority activities, effectively implement and track your progress toward these goals.
Identify what is a High Payoff Activitiy for you and schedule time for them
Know exactly how much time you currently spend on your priorities vs. how much time you need to spend to ensure you achieve your targets.
Create a Plan of Action to allocate daily time more effectively: reduce time spent on Low Payoff Activities, develop disciplined work habits, take control of your professional and personal time.

For more details or if you want a great speaker, see

Friday, 19 November 2010

week included management accounts, deveoping an online E-learning solution for our First Aid DVD, exhibiting at the Oxon Business road show

Friday, 12 November 2010

week inc loss of a good friend, Bookkeeping, launch Didcot play centre activities and great session with Henry Maitland of Core Evolution.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Keep your First Aid knowledge fresh in case of need

It is the HSE’s "strong" recommendation that first aiders are to refresh their first aid knowledge on an annual basis. So this comprehensive guide to First Aid DVD can easily support this requirement. SPECIAL OFFER PRICES

Friday, 5 November 2010

Week included bookkeeping, first aid training, marketing support, Didcot play centre promotions,

New penalty regime for Pay As You Earn

Our thanks to Chapman Robinson & Moore accountants for bringing this to our attention.
Are you aware of the new penalty provisions for late PAYE payments?You could already be accruing penalties but not be made aware of them by HMRC until after the end of the tax year.Read the full article on our website to ensure you will not get caught out by the new system. Read more

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

When times are hard

How good are you at following up your quotations or even returning calls or emails? How important is an efficient and timely response by your business in the eyes of your prospective customers? If you do not return calls promptly or follow up on the request for information, how does that leave your prospect feeling?
A1 Director, Mike, said "over the last few months I have spoken to many suppliers, asked for quite a few quotes and placed orders worth £,000's of pounds. I have been gobsmacked on the lack of interest in my contact, the minimal number of quote follow ups and even new suppliers with £'s promised to their bank account thinking they have a right to my business!".
Surely in these hard times, businesses need to be more focused on their sales enquiries and pipeline than ever before, as the choice is now greater, more competitive than ever and does not just walk through the door.

Friday, 22 October 2010

week included the finishing touches for the new Treehouse play centre in Didcot opening on Sat 23rd.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Keep your First Aid knowledge fresh in case of need

It is the HSE’s "strong" recommendation that first aiders are to refresh their first aid knowledge on an annual basis. So this comprehensive guide to First Aid DVD can easily support this requirement.

Friday, 15 October 2010

week included bookkeeping & management accounts, marketing support, Launch plan for the Treehouse play centre in Didcot,

Monday, 11 October 2010

Didcot Play Centre

You may have recently seen the coverage in the Oxford Mail announcing a naming competition for a new children's soft play activity centre in Didcot that is being opened by the A1 Director, Mike Foster.

If you have children, grandchildren or friends that may be interested, please see

A1 Group to open a second office in DidcotAs part of the above development, A1 will be opening its second office in Didcot Town centre, very close the the Orchard Centre at 76 Broadway, Didcot
The next Business Builder Forum to be hosted by Chapman Robinson and Moore accountants will be on the subject of Time Management and 'How to find the time to do the really important things'. See web site for more details

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Child and working tax credit awards

It is suggested that Child and Working Tax Credit awards can be maximised if the family's income is low in one year and high in the next year. The Tax Credit award for the first low year is substantial, and the award is not changed for the second year if the income increase is within £25,000 of the total income for the first year. However, note that this income disregard of £25,000 is being reduced to £10,000 from April 2011.
This income pattern can be achieved if you run your own company and take dividends from that company only every other tax year. In practice there are a number of difficulties as follows:
Your family may need the cash. If income is not taken as dividends, it will need to be extracted in another form.
If you take a loan from your company this can create tax charges for you and your company.
If you deliberately deprive yourself of income to increase a Tax Credit award you can be deemed to receive that income in the appropriate tax year.
This was of particular interest to A1 Director, Mike Foster, since the arrival of Molly. So if also relevant to you we recommend a discussion with your accountant before varying your income for tax credit purposes.

Friday, 8 October 2010

See P69 of SHP, the official magazine of IOSH, for Safety and Health practioners that covers our First Aid DVD
week included bookkeeping, first aid training, DVD sales, The Treehouse play centre at Didcot

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A1 First Aid continues as a membership benefit for Tourism businesses

We are delighted to support Tourism South East, who are seeing many funding changes, by continuing as a membership discount benefit for all their members wanting First aid training. Together with a number of blue chip companies offers, we offer all TSE members a reduction of our usual competitive prices.
For more details, please see A1 mentioned on the TSE benefits page
To join Tourism South East, then contact them direct or via Didcot Chamber of Commerce, who have a partnership scheme with TSE.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Week included Bookkeeping, seminar planning & promotion, B4 networking event, Didcot Play Centre
Thanks for all the caring emails and calls this week following my day trip to A&E. Appreciated.

Minimum wages increases

As from 1 October, employees will no longer have to be aged 22 to become eligible for the top hourly minimum wage adult rate.The new rates can be see on the Direct Gov website

Friday, 24 September 2010

I am loving Google Chrome
week included Didcot Play Centre build, Bookkeeping, Franchisee meetings, Oxford Business Network event, Visit to LIW exhibition,

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Off to the NEC in Birmingham for the Leisure Industry Week event to see what new play equipment is available for the new Didcot play centre

Monday, 20 September 2010

Consider all the costs of taking a premises lease

If you are thinking of taking on a lease for your business premises, then please make sure that you consider all the related costs.

Many business owners see the rent details, but do not consider the additional upfront costs such as Stamp Duty Land Tax, searches, land registry fee, legal fees, change of use planning fees, survey costs and rent deposits.

Marketing Plans

A good marketing plan will help to keep you ahead of the competition and transform your objectives into a strategy that will benefit your company and customers.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing offers a range of advice, guidance and free documents to help you plan your next effective marketing activity.

Their Marketing Planning Toolkit is a great example of the free support available.

At A1 we help business owners implement and project manage their marketing plans. If we can help, then please call us on 01865 378559.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Didcot's new Play Centre will be called 'The Treehouse' and 2 winners of the naming competition will enjoy a years free entry

Five ways to ensure success for your small business in 2010

Mark Dixon, CEO of Regus, the world’s leading global provider of innovative workspace solutions has put together five essential tips for any budding entrepreneur and small business owner on how to maximize their long-term success, stand out from the crowd and minimise potential financial risks in 2010.

1. Focus on what you do best and outsource the rest
2. Project a professional image on par with your services
3. Spend wisely
4. Grow wisely
5. Network, Network, Network

To see the full article go to the bytestart web site

Friday, 17 September 2010

week included Bookkeeping, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers event in Oxford, Cufflink golf, First aid training, Didcot Play centre naming

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Increase set for national minimum wage

The national minimum wage is to rise by 2.2 per cent.
As from 1 October 2010, the hourly adult rate will go up from £5.80 to £5.93.
There are new rates for workers aged 21, for 18-20 year olds and for 16-17 year olds. An apprentice minimum wage of £2.50 per hour is also to be introduced.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Compulsory retirement age is under review

The government is proposing to scrap the default retirement age of 65 by October 2011. The plan has been set out in a new consultation paper.

At the moment employers can force employees to retire once they reach the age of 65 whatever their circumstances and without paying any compensation

Friday, 10 September 2010

week included First aid training, an appearence in the Oxford Mail re Didcot Play Centre, Tourism South East event, Bookkeeping, Franchise


Following the Governments initiative and publicity of recent times, more employers are considering Apprenticeships for their workforce. Apprenticeships are the proven way to train your workforce and can make your organisation more effective, productive and competitive by addressing your skills gaps directly, even in uncertain economic times.
There are real business benefits to taking on apprentices, whilst funding exists to support your investment. For more details why not take a look at the web site

Monday, 6 September 2010

Help to refresh your First Aid knowledge

Our new DVD is ideal for enhancing new skills or providing a revision of your existing skills.
It is the HSE’s "strong" recommendation that first aiders are to refresh their first aid knowledge on an annual basis. So this comprehensive guide to First Aid DVD can easily support this requirement.

The introductory price is only £49.99.For more information, a trailer and to buy now, please see

Evaluation copies and free prize draws are now available on the web site.

Friday, 3 September 2010

week included completion of Didcot Play Centre lease, Paediatric First aid training, more First aid DVD, golf day, sponsor Didcot Town match

Friday, 27 August 2010

week included too many visits to the solicitor for my lease! First aid supplies service, A1 Bookkeeping franchise, First aid DVD

Sunday, 22 August 2010

5 trends to make money this year

At the start of every period of growth, experts always identify a series of trends that businesses will move towards. Hot trends tend to mean hot demand – and where there’s demand, there are profits to be made. have published their findings on what is considered to be the top 5 trends to make money in 2010.

They are:
1. Target green to save the environment
2. Package to take advantage of the current economic climate
3. 24/7 Health concerns
4. Look after the difficult (often most profitable) consumer
5. Digital technology

Friday, 20 August 2010

week included Didcot Play Centre lease, Didcot Chamber, New clients, Email marketing campaigns, Golf with Withy King Solicitors & Birthday!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Mini play centre in Didcot

Thank you for visiting our research page. Your feedback for our final research would be most appreciated. This blog posting includes the location, floor plan and design ideas. Your comments on these would be welcome. Please read more below:

Proposed location near the Orchard centre in Didcot

Proposed building facing the SODC car park

Proposed layout
Entry door from car park at bottom, reception, tables and toilets to the left. Baby & toddler zone in yellow and the 4 yr + Play frame in green, with party room & offices to right.

Your feedback please
Please see below 4 design ideas that we have developed for the play frame inside the mini play centre for Didcot, due to open for October half term. Which and what do you like?
From our initial market research, we have found an accessible building, that offers a much needed facility for the town. You will see that our proposed design enables the parents or carers to sit and relax with a coffee (Lavazza brand) whilst being able to view 95% of the play frame, by looking over the baby / toddler area (3’s & under) and into the play frame providing you with peace of mind that your children are safe.
We would be grateful if you had time to review all 4 designs and let us know by email to or comment below, what you (and perhaps your children also) like or dislike about each.
Your views and help with this final research is very much appreciated, as we want to ensure we get it right first time!

Friday, 13 August 2010

week included networking, another Tourism South East event, DVD sales, online learning platform to support first aid DVD.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

First aid DVD signed up by another industry distributer. Online learning module in development. see

Happy Birthday to the Oxford Business Network

The local business networking group, the Oxford Business Network, has recently celebrated its first anniversary with 94% of the members renewing their membership.
The network aimed at relationship building and the fact that 'people buy people' continues to grow. For more information, please see the OBN web site

Monday, 9 August 2010

Cupcakes for a celebration or as a gift

Mike's wife, Sally, has recently launched her new business venture.
The Oxford Cupcake Company, offers a range of delicious homemade cupcakes for all occasions. To see the flavours available and the type of occasions covered, then please visit her cupcake web site
Our DVD, A comprehensive guide to First Aid, is now available via

Friday, 6 August 2010

week included bookkeeping, first aid DVD sales, email marketing software demo, lease negotiation, Bookkeeping franchisee meetings,

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Planning your success

Unless you are lucky, rarely does success come without planning. It is generally linked to effectiveness, organisation and productivity and has strong reference to good goal setting, vision, tracking and 'high pay off' action.

The foundation of the SMI Success Planner system is the Ten commitments:
1. Use only one planning system
2. Keep it with you at all times
3. Block out time for planning each month
4. Schedule your priorities
5. Organise every day based on your goals and 'high pay off' activities
6. Prioritise each day
7. Close out each day with decisions
8. Record your commitments and promises
9. Organise your communications
10. Track your progress towards your goals

For more information about this and other SMI programmes, then we would suggest a conversation with John Harris on 01235 854045

Monday, 2 August 2010

Recognition from the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Further recognition has been given to A1 by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.
Last year, A1 were shortlisted for Bookkeeping Practice of the Year 2009. This was as a top 5 practice from over 3200 in the UK.
Now Mike and the team have been asked to coordinate the Oxfordshire member events for social or continued professional development.
Mike said "we are delighted with this recognition from our professional body and we are pleased to make our contribution to the objective of promoting bookkeeping as a profession and continually improving industry standards"
ICB members can contact Mike for more information on the forthcoming events.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Week included First Aid DVD distribution, Planning Permission, Networking, TBAC meeting (recommended), Bookkeeping clients

Friday, 23 July 2010

Week included First Aid DVD distributors, First Aid Training, Didcot Play Centre, Oxford Business Network, InTouch, GH Safety (recommended)

Monday, 19 July 2010

Another distributer takes on our First Aid DVD Ideal for first aiders to refresh their knowledge.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Week included Tourism South East event, Email marketing seminar, First Aid DVD, New Bookkeeping client and team training

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Need a First Aider trained in July? We're running a 3 day FAW qualification with Abingdon & Witney College on 26-28 July.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Warning signs of fraud in your business

Increased fraud, and other types of financial crime is one of the unfortunate consequences of the current economic downturn, according to the ACCA's head of business law, John Davies.
Mr Davies advises businesses to look out for the following possible warning signs in the behaviour of their staff:
• Increased levels of stress
• Lifestyle not commensurate with salary
• Personal financial problems
• Reluctance to take annual leave
• Unwillingness to delegate
• Cosy relationship with contractors and suppliers

Business owners should also watch out for possible financial indicators of fraud, such as:
• A rise in cash transactions
• Large variations in expense claims between offices
• Poorly reconciled cash expenses
• Rising costs with no explanation, or that are not commensurate with increases in revenue
• Customer complaints and large volume of refunds to customers

Friday, 9 July 2010

Week included Oxford Business Network, New premises viewings, client referral, Kidlington Voice, First Aid DVD sales

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Late payment the key concern for small business owners

The latest Economic Downturn Panel survey shows that late payment problems are causing small business owners more sleepless nights than any other issue currently.
In all, 42% of FPB members who took part in the survey reported a deterioration in prompt payments from customers – typically bigger businesses.
However few business owners in the UK take an assertive approach with their credit control and allow the customer to dictate the terms. A low percentage charge interest to their debtors in the fear that customers will simply take their business elsewhere.
Under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, small businesses have a Statutory Right to Interest (SRI), meaning they can in theory charge for late payments. The payontime web site provides more details and a calculator to see what you could charge.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

First Aid DVD is now available to buy

Our new DVD is now available to buy at Amazon or direct via our own DVD site.
It is ideal for enhancing new skills or providing a revision of your existing skills and is designed to support the HSE’s "strong" recommendation that first aiders are to refresh their first aid knowledge on an annual basis.
This is a comprehensive guide to First Aid and the introductory price is only £49.99.
For more information, a trailer and a link to buy from Amazon, please see

Friday, 2 July 2010

Week included First Aid Training in Camber for Tourism South East member, Email marketing software demo, Franchise Show

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Budget Highlights

The first budget of the new coalition took place on the 22nd June. A useful summary can be found at the web site.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Week included Annual interest statements for clients tenants, Web site launch, Bookkeeping Franchise discovery event and a holiday!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

First Aid DVD is launched

In partnership with Concept Filming and Just Do it Guides, we have just launched our first aid DVD.

Our easy to navigate DVD covers all the latest protocol and techniques in a clear step by step guide, combining video, demonstrations, presentations, voiceover, text and high quality graphics to give you the knowledge and importantly the confidence to act in a first aid situation. It is suitable for first aid in the workplace or at home with your family.

It is ideal for enhancing new skills or providing a revision of your existing skills and is designed to support the HSE’s strong recommendation that first aiders are to refresh their first aid knowledge on an annual basis.

The design enables you to learn at your own pace, watching the DVD in full or you can pick and choose the areas you need to refresh your own knowledge or support your own learning.

For more information and a trailer, please see

Friday, 18 June 2010

Week included First Aid DVD launch for sale, First Aid Training, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers seminar, British Franchise Assoc meeting

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Taking legal action to collect debts

If you are not getting paid for products or services provided, then one consideration is taking such action against the debtor. Some people try to avoid this as they think it will be expensive in legal fees.
We were delighted when our client received the full amount for their debt (in excess of £30k), when Withy King solicitors recovered the gross amount plus costs for their fees. We fully recommend a conversation with Stephen Woods and his colleagues if assistance is needed.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Week included First Aid training, the successful Oxford Marketing Conference, Business Improvement Programme meeting and web analytics.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Using social media

Social media is being used by the majority for promotion or information gathering. At a recent breakfast of the Oxford Business Network, Alice Elliott, spoke about the subject and I took away the phrase 'manage the noise'. This changed my use of social media overnight and reduced my time commitment, but improved my outcomes. We now use Twitter, Blogger, LinkedIn and facebook to send out our messages, but also collect information on what others are saying about our keyword areas. But in a much more focused manner, instead of trying to speak to or listen to everyone!

If you are not using Social media, then we recommend a look at the way of marketing your business as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

VAT – Cash accounting

Were you aware that the threshold for the this VAT scheme increased to £1.35m? Recent research has shown that many business owners still thought the limit to be £660,000 and were therefore missing out on the chance to consider this option for their business. You can use this scheme if you estimate that your turnover during the next tax year will be no more than £1.35m. This scheme works with your cashflow, as you do not need to pay VAT until your customer has paid you. If your customer never pays you, you never have to pay the VAT. For more information, please see the HMRC web site

Friday, 4 June 2010

Week included Sage import, Sending quarters commercial tenants invoicing, First Aid Training, Bookkeeping franchise discovery seminar

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Oxford Marketing Conference 2010

Final bookings are being taken for this years conference to be held on Thursday 10th June 2010 at the Kassam Stadium conference centre.
For more information please see

Friday, 28 May 2010

Week included First aid training, Oxford Business Network, Oxford Marketing Conference planning, Expansion of the A1 team (welcome Shirley)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Have you booked yet for the Oxford Marketing Conference on Thurs 10th June. Bookings close soon.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Minimum wage to rise

Minimum wage to rise by 2.2 per cent
The government has announced that the national minimum wage is to rise by 2.2 per cent. As from 1 October 2010, the hourly adult rate will increase from £5.80 to £5.90.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Week included Email marketing software demo, property management accounts, Didcot chamber golf day, Rotary club presentation on First Aid

Thursday, 20 May 2010

A1 Financials Bookkeeping Franchise

Interest is really taking pace, with currently over 50 discussions progressing with prospective franchisees. If you know anyone who may be looking for a flexible business opportunity or is interested in running their own bookkeeping business, then we would appreciate if you could direct them to

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Oxford Marketing Conference 10th June. The early booking offer is due to expire this Friday. So book now to avoid disappointment.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

VAT - Fuel Scale Charges

The VAT Fuel Scale Charge system is a simplified means of taxing the private use of business fuel. The scale charges are amended annually. If you are claiming all the VAT for your business fuel and have personal use, then following the recent budget the amounts to include within your VAT returns has changed. See the HMRC web site for more details.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Landing or lead pages for your web presence

Have you tried landing pages, squeeze or lead pages for your business to drive traffic and convert your enquiries (usually unknown web visitors) to sales?
Lead pages are one page web sites designed to provide only enough information to attract attention, develop their curiosity and inspire them to enquire or opt in to your specifically targeted opportunity. They are:
• a way to maximize conversions
• a method of dynamically customising the content per visitor or lead
• a proven way of having specific keyword driven pages
• a way to increase your return on investment immediately
• an opportunity to really test your campaigns

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Annual refresher training for your first aiders

You may have also missed the HSE notification that the HSE now 'strongly recommends' that first-aiders undertake annual refresher training, over half a day, during any three-year FAW/EFAW certification period. It is not mandatory as first thought, but a strong recommendation, due to the difficulty employers find releasing staff for training.

To solve this issue for employers, we are just about to launch a First Aid Training DVD, that will cover all the topics of the EFAW or FAW course. The DVD will allow you to pick and choose the areas of most relevance to your business or where the first-aider feels their personal knowledge needs refreshing.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Week included a week off in Center Parcs! But what a week for business planning!!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

What are people saying about you

Have you heard about Samepoint. This site is a conversation search engine that lets you see what people are talking about.
Discover, learn and share new web sites and ideas.
So not only can you establish what people are saying about you, but also about your industry, product or service.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Oxford Marketing Conference 2010

This years Marketing Conference will be held at the Kassam Stadium on Thursday 10th June from 9am. We have held the price at last years cost only price of £50 + vat.
Do not miss your opportunity to maximise your marketing at OMC 2010.

Places are limited, so to book your place today PLUS if you book before 21st May, you will receive a marketing pack worth over £1,000 including:
• FREE or discounted consultations
• FREE website marketing review
• FREE or discounted seminars & workshops
• FREE online CRM database software
• A range of FREE expert articles

For more information, please see
Please feel free to pass on the details to colleagues, clients and contacts you think may be interested in developing their marketing as part of an interactive conference day.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Week included VAT exemptions, Inst of Certified Bookkeepers seminar, First Aid DVD, Online forums and web based secure log in areas, InTouch

Monday, 26 April 2010
Book before 21st May and you will receive a pack including discount opportunities worth over £1,000

Friday, 23 April 2010

Week included Oxford Business Network, First Aid DVD, Oxford Marketing Conference bookings, VAT Flat rate scheme, Forecasts, Lead pages,

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

First aid training for Tourism South East Members

We are delighted to have been selected, along with a number of blue chip businesses like Barclaycard, BUPA and AA, as a provider of a membership benefit to all members of Tourism South East.
We have agreed to offer a 10% discount against our usual first aid training prices, so this presents a further saving for Tourism businesses for their first aid provision.
For more details please see the TSE membership benefits pack

Monday, 19 April 2010

Book early for the Oxford Marketing Conference on 10th June and receive your early booking pack of free offers and discounts. Limited places

Friday, 16 April 2010

week included Email marketing seminar, First aid conference, New employee, Tourism South East event, Client year end accounts preparation,

Thursday, 15 April 2010

New rights to training for employees

Employers have been issued with guidance on the new right of employees to request training in the workplace. Under the new legislation, eligible employees will have a legal right to ask their employer to give them time away from their core duties to undertake relevant training. While employers will be obliged to seriously consider requests, they may still refuse a request where there is a good business reason for doing so. The legislation is set to come into force on 6 April 2010 for employers with 250 or more employees and will be extended to all employers from April 2011.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Oxford Marketing Conference 2010

This years conference will be on Thursday 10th June 2010 at the Kassam Stadium conference centre.
For more information please see
Bookings now open for the Oxford Marketing Conference 10 June 2010. Early booking package available. See

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Great networking event with the Oxford Business Network and the Chamber of commerce at Williams F1 in Grove last night.

Monday, 12 April 2010

10 reasons for losing a business pitch

1. Not preparing answers to potential questions or objection
2. Too much 'we' and not enough 'you'
3. Appears just another pitch - No passion or interest demonstrated
4. Poor presentation structure
5. The “gift of the gab" front man
6. Not knowing your audience
7. The information dump
8. Failure to back up sales quotes
9. Failing the “so what” test
10. Missing the appointment time

Friday, 9 April 2010

week included business start up books, P11d(b) returns, Twitter integration with CRM tool, producing clients rent statements, first aid DVD,

Thursday, 8 April 2010

InTouch software. Includes Twitter integration for contacts & ROI tool link to Google Analytics.
Have you seen our software offering full Customer Relationship Management & email marketing?

New fit note scheme

Changes to the way that workers take time off sick come into effect this April. Under the new system, doctors will be allowed to advise what sort of tasks that employees can perform rather than simply issue a sick note that declares someone too ill to work. It is hoped that the ‘fit notes’ will reduce costs for employers and prevent long-term sick leave absences.
The DWP has produced guidance for both employers and doctors on the fit note scheme, which can be found at

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Week included Email marketing product demo, Payroll P35's, Property management client statements, Samepoint research, Email autoresponders

The top 10 reasons to be email marketing

The top 10 reasons to be email marketing by Ed Rivis
I have just finished reading a great book from Ed Rivis titled ‘email marketing dynamite’
He provides his top 10 reasons why almost every business should be email marketing.
1. It is easy to get started - within hours
2. Low cost set up
3. It powerfully increases traffic to your web site
4. Responses can be instant
5. It can increase brand recognition
6. It can increase customer loyalty and retention
7. It can be used to nurture prospects
8. Other people can easily promote you at no cost to you or them
9. It can be 100% automated
10. It can be scientifically tracked and optimized from results
He goes on to share his experience of how entrepreneurs are using email marketing to build multi million pound businesses.
If this is an area that interests you, then please take a look at our InTouch email communication product on our web site for more details call us on 01865 378559.

Employer Annual Return P35

As we approach the end of the tax year, a reminder to all employers that your end of year payroll return is due soon. All P35 returns are due to HMRC by 19th May.
In addition this year, virtually all employers must now send their employer annual return for 09/10 by online submission.
Don't leave your preparation to the last minute as you will first have to register for HMRC's online services which can take a week or more to activate depending on the post.
It is unlikely you will receive the paper copy of the P35 as a reminder and penalties will apply for late submission.
Also remember to order your paper P60's as these still have to be issued direct to employees.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Week included P35 return, Marketing plan for induction lamps, SagePay, Franchise enq 50, WebForenics analytics, Oxford Marketing conference

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

First Aid Training is not just something you have to do to meet regulations

First Aid Training is not just something you have to do to meet the regulations. See this email I received today of a very real experience for a recent delegate.

Both Deborah and I would like to express our appreciation of the course that Deborah attended in February. This morning on of our tutors arrived and collapsed immediately with a suspected heart attack. Thanks to the course, Deborah dealt with him calmly and in a professional manner – she was amazing - that is the opinion of everyone here. The ambulance arrived very quickly but without Deborah’s actions who knows?
Once again, thank you for the quality of the course provided.
Carole Seward, Bursar, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies

Carole is right when she says we are grateful for all you did in running the training so effectively and helping the procedures to become second nature. I truly believe that we have not lost a dear friend today purely thanks to the training you gave me.

He was unconscious, unresponsive and lying in a very awkward manner when I arrived on the scene. He was not breathing, had no pulse, had partially swallowed his teeth and was turning a strange colour. If I am honest, I really only ever expected to stick plasters on people when I came on the course. But when I left the hospital once his wife was with him this afternoon, I realise that what you gave us was the ability to help people to hold on to life and reason until the professionals arrived. He was able to recognise me when he came round at about 3pm this afternoon. Considering we thought we had lost him, that is a truly awesome experience.

I had one moment’s panic when I was first called and saw that he was in such a bad way - that I might not remember everything perfectly. But it was over in an instant as I remembered all the clear steps you taught us to take.
Anyway. Thank you.
Deborah Lake

Friday, 19 March 2010

Week included First aid supplies service, Email marketing product demos, online forum development, franchise show, Tourism South East event

Thursday, 18 March 2010

HMRC latest Security messages re Scams

An email from 'HMRC Online services -' is being issued, stating the recipient has 1 new ALERT message, and should log into their Online Account to read the message.

The email contains a link to a fraudulent website that requests the disclosure of personal account information and password. The email is not from HMRC. If you have received a copy please forward it to us at

HMRC are also aware of a company that is issuing emails to advertise their service that applies for a rebate of National Insurance on the customer’s behalf, usually for a fee. These companies are not affiliated with HMRC in any way.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Plans now advanced for the Oxford Marketing Conference on Thursday 10th June at the Kassam Stadium Oxford

Monday, 15 March 2010

PAYE Annual Coding - Multiple or Incorrect Coding Notices:

You may have seen recently that the HMRC has recently introduced a new National Insurance and PAYE system which has caused a number of incorrect codes being issued for the new tax year in April 2010 due to discrepancies in their existing records .

For more information about those likely to be affected and what is happening, visit the HMRC website at

Friday, 12 March 2010

Week included the A1 Financials Franchise day, Sage Line 50 training, HMRC online filing, First Aid DVD & screen capture videos for client

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Oxford Marketing Conference 2010 to be held at the Kassam Stadium on Thursday 10th June. see

Business Improvement

We were recently invited to the launch of the Business Improvement Programme being offered by Chapman Robinson and Moore Accountants.

The event demonstrated how empowering an audience of like minded people can be and how willing business owners are to support each other.

It was interesting to hear the research results and feedback indicating the current key issues facing small firms, which are:

Personal - work/life, time, lonely at top, exit strategy
Direction - vision, key decision making information
Cashflow - to survive, to grow
Profitability - margins, pricing, external factors
Employees - key people, selection, trust,

Friday, 5 March 2010

Week included various first aid training, VAT on EU sales, Quickbooks & Sage bookkeeping, email marketing for clients, Year end Stock,

Are you using social networking?

At the last breakfast meeting of the Oxford Business Network, our speaker Alice Elliott, spoke on the subject of 'The use of Social networking in your marketing mix'. Alice spoke with expertise about Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogs. She certainly made an impression as I received 8 LinkedIn requests that day!

There was concern about the time commitment, however Alice made the important point about "controlling the noise" and managing your time to maximise its effectiveness.

Follow Alice on her blog at Thoughts of a Visual Marketer or her helpful Alice's blogging blog

Follow Mike Foster and A1 at LinkedIn or Twitter

Monday, 1 March 2010

What's in your first aid box?

We are soon to celebrate the 1st anniversary of our successful first aid supplies online shop. But what should be in your first aid box?

The HSE state there is no mandatory list of contents and deciding what to include should be based on an employer's assessment of first-aid needs. As a guide, a minimum stock of first-aid items is given in HSE's free leaflet: First aid at work: your questions answered. You should make a regular check of your box and always check the 'sterile' contents ! are in date and sufficient.
It is recommended that you don’t keep tablets and medicines in the first-aid box. Also ensure scissors are also 'sterile'.

Our range of first aid supplies can be seen at our web siteComing soon: A new First aid DVD in partnership with Concept Filming and the Just Do It guides.

Friday, 26 February 2010

A1 Financials Bookkeeping franchise discovery day in Oxford on Thurs 11th March. Please see
Week included Bookkeeping institute seminar, Sage payroll update, Tourism South East training, First Aid DVD, Oxford Business Network event

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The next breakfast of the Oxford Business Network will be on Thursday 18th March and topic of ‘Taking your product or service to market’

Monday, 22 February 2010

A great meeting this evening for the Oxford area members of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers
A1 launch first aid supplies support service. We visit you, check & restock your boxes see

Friday, 19 February 2010

A week included screen capture video, Oxford business network, first aid training, bookkeeping franchise, VAT rate change, chamber meeting

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Business networking with a small difference

Do you enjoy networking, but without the pressure of attending every weeks meeting or taking a referral each time?
We administer the Oxford Business Network, where the focus is on getting to know personalities on the basis of 'people buy people'. The events are more social, although we do have a regular business breakfast meeting.
If you would like to know more, then please take a look at the web site or call us on 01865 378559.

Friday, 12 February 2010

A week included Sage multi currency, new payroll, text marketing, ran first aid at work course and promotion at the Franchise show

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Sending email communications

Sending email communications
Have you considered the impact of using email to maintain regular contact with your network, promote a product or service, make special offers, simply send good wishes and thanks or distribute your own newsletter?
Here at A1 we can now offer you the online software to make this happen. All from only £17.99 + vat per month.
All our clients use the software in a persoanlised way to meet their requirements and we are positive your business would also benefit from using InTouch.
For more details, please see our web site or for a demo, please call Mike on 01865 378559.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Converting leads to sales

Our most popular articles over recent months have been around the subject of finding more customers.
Our enquiries with clients and contacts tells us that the enquiries have not dropped off as much as expected, but the conversation is much more difficult with greater competition for the business. So here are our 7 areas to help improve your chances of converting your enquiries.
Measure and be aware of your conversion rates.
Track enquiries to sale with a lead mangement system as it can take a few contacts to close.
Know your target audience, why you can truly help them and focus on it.
Never over promise what you can deliver.
Know what presentation of your business wins more often than not, systemise the approach and use it.
Observe your sales people winning, share success and develop others.
Don't forget to ASK for the business.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

A1 launch bookkeeping franchise business opportunity. Interested in running your own bookkeeping business, please see

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Sage made easy

From feedback from our clients using Sage software, we have found our simple summary of the keyboard functions to be most useful, so we thought we would include them on our blog

Basic Windows keys
Cut Crtl+X
Copy Crtl+C
Paste Crtl+V
Open Ctrl+O
Print Ctrl+P
Save Ctrl+S
Select all Ctrl+A

Shortcut keys
F1 - Help
F2 - Open Windows Calculator
F3 - Pop up invoice item screen
F4 - Lookup
F5 - Current System Date
F6 - Copy previous line or F6 + shift for increment (big time saver!)
F7 - Insert a line
F8 - Delete a Line
F9 - Calculate Net (reverse calc VAT)
F10 - File
F11 - Control Panel
F12 - Report Designer

Friday, 5 February 2010

A week included online VAT registrations, EU VAT queries, first aid training, online marketing support including email and social networking
We are delighted to have been chosen by Tourism South East to provide first aid training for their members.
Using is a great time saver! Now see me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogger.