Eight Interactive: Custom-made Animated Video, E-Learning & Software Demo Solutions

Eight Interactive: Custom-made Animated Video, E-Learning & Software Demo Solutions

Eight Interactive: Custom-made Animated Video, E-Learning & Software Demo Solutions

There’s definitely a place in your business communications for the written word. Engaging content, well-written, spelt properly, grammatically correct and SEO optimised to make Google love it. And when that need arises in your business please do remember that, with AA Editorial Services, your words are my work. 

That said, vlogging (video blogging), infographics and animations have an important role to play. Human beings are visual creatures. As this article points out, 65 percent of us are visual learners. It’s easy to see then why engaging visuals are superheroes when it comes to transferring knowledge and skills. This blog from Eight Interactive, using both videos and words, explains the key benefits that e-learning  brings to both the learner and the business providing them with the learning. 

Based in Swindon but serving the UK via the wonders of technology, Eight Interactive are UK leaders in e-learning video production and animated videos for businesses. 

Eight Interactive elearning and animated video

You don’t need elearning courses or software demos?

No problem! How about an animated video celebrating your personal and business highlights? One like this: https://youtu.be/1VVgw-QO9PA

Well, not one exactly like that #obvs. But something similar. And if you want words to go with it you know who to call huh? 

Find out more about getting a 2108 highlights animated video from Eight Interactive here.

Festive offer from Eight Interactive

Normally a video like this costs £150 + VAT.

Our festive offer for this video is £99 + VAT

So there’s something to rock your stocking.

Find Eight Interactive on social media

The Benefits of Outsourcing your HR Functions

The Benefits of Outsourcing your HR Functions

The Benefits of Outsourcing your HR Functions

The moment you take on people as employees and create that contractual relationship – even if only one employee – you have HR responsibilities.  Add employees and the dynamics begin. From ensuring you pay them accurately and on time – perhaps the most important thing you should be doing – to the variety of representations of your duty of care to employees.  Whether mental health, diversity, office relationships, banter, disputes etc, they are all aspects that can detract from your core business and that you may not want to deal with yourself.

That’s a lot of HR issues for a small business to handle. But there’s more to think about than that – as if all that weren’t enough. As this article from Forbes about the benefits of HR outsourcing points out, ‘With today’s emphasis on company culture and loyalty, the role of human resources management and the types of benefits a company offers has become increasingly important for a business’s future.’

But what if you’re a small or medium-sized business? How on earth can you be competitive in these areas? That’s a big ask. As a small company it’s not likely you’ll have the budget to have the requisite personnel on your own payroll. And, even if you do, HR issues are often a minefield. Minefields, as we know, are things fraught with danger. They need experts to traverse them without causing an epic explosion. And anyway, having your own in-house HR department might not be the best use of company funds. Wouldn’t you be better off investing the cost of a HR department on your businesses core activities? An investment that will, over time, fuel your business success.

As for the HR – Outsourcing is your saviour

Human Resources

According to the CIPD, the main HR function that businesses outsource is payroll. Hot on payroll’s heels is the provision of complex advice, including case management.

The CIPD cite the benefits of outsourcing as including increased efficiency and access to expertise. To return to Forbes: ‘some mistakes in HR management will not only hurt employee loyalty, but can lead to fines.’  It’s not sound business sense to trust HR responsibilities to an employee who either:

  • Deals with these issues on a part-time basis only
  • And/or has not had enough training in HR matters

Any mistakes made could turn out to be expensive indeed, and in more ways than one.

Better by far to bolster areas of weakness with an outsourced HR solution that is both cost-effective and expertise-effective.

Note that the CIPD voice a note of caution about HR outsourcing. They say ‘it can also present challenges, such as loss of local knowledge and processes and fragmentation of the service provided.’

That’s a fair point. But you can address it by finding, where it’s possible, your HR outsourcing support in your locality.

Should you be a Swindon or Wiltshire business in need of experienced HR outsourcing support then look no further than Paul Himple, who is Go-Legal HR.

About Go-Legal HR

Go Legal HR offer a comprehensive service focusing on all aspects of the legal compliance that goes hand-in-hand with employing people. 

Bringing 32 years of experience to the job in hand, Paul works with small to medium sized businesses providing with their HR solutions. These are businesses that employ staff but neither have nor need a full-time, in-house HR advisor or manager. He also supports internal HR personnel lacking the necessary expertise in employment law.

The Go-Legal expert advice and hands-on help covers four key areas:

  1. Employment contracts, and policies and procedures
  2. Employee relations including dispute resolution and mediation
  3. Employment tribunal preparation and support
  4. Recruitment and selection

Go-Legal on Social Media

Go-Legal social media

Why not check him out on social media and give him a call for your all your HR solutions?

Blaylock’s Shoe Shop – Old Town

Blaylock’s Shoe Shop – Old Town

Blaylock's Shoe Shop

Old Town - Swindon

It’s a mildly curious thing that Swindon’s Old Town has, within a few yards of one another, three long-established family businesses. On Wood Street there’s Deacon’s Jewellers,  founded in 1848 and now in its sixth generation as a family business. Then there’s Gilbert’s furniture store on Newport Street. I’ll cover that one in another post, so for now suffice to say that. this business was established in 1886, becoming a fixture on its present location from the early 1870s.

Then there’s the subject of this blog post: Blaylock’s shoe shop on the corner of Bath Road. This business is a youngster compared to the other two, being started in 1920 when the senior Blaylock – Robert – opened a shoe repair business in Swindon’s Gorse Hill. This brilliant business remains one of the south of England’s leading independent shoe businesses, with a wide range of brands for adults and children.

I lOVE this shop and I do buy most of my footwear from it. It’s what I call a proper shoe shop – with shelves in the shop itself stacked with boxes and boxes of shoes. Going in there is a great nostalgia trip – with some good old fashioned service.

The business is now directed by Robert’s grandson David, and managed by David’s son Mark. In this 2014 feature in the Wiltshire Business Online News, David said:

‘In terms of how we run the business, we have tried to maintain the same principles. We believe people come to us because of our stock, our staff and the service we offer.

We still endeavour to give personal service and carry a range of stock you wouldn’t find in a normal High Street store.”

NB: When Robert Blaylock’s business moved to Old Town in 1928, it was first situated in what is now Pizza Express in Bath Road before it later moved to where it stands today.

Now – with a nod to Mark Childs, author of The Swindon Book from where (well – actually The Swindon Book Companion) I sourced this material – though it’s in my own words – is a potted history of this wonderful Swindon business:

Established by Robert Blaylock (1896-1955 – from Bowness, on Windermere in Westmoreland), this Old Town shoe store is four generations old.

When a youngster, young Blaylock contracted rheumatic fever. The condition left him with heart problems and medical warnings that he should do nothing manual. Warnings that he appeared not to heed given that the age of 15 saw him apprenticed to a local boot and shoe repairer.

WWI brought Robert to Swindon and a billet at the Chiseldon Camp where he repaired army boots. Come the end of the war, he remained in Swindon and opened a boot repair workshop at 254 Cricklade Road. In his spare time Robert was an active lay preacher at Florence Street Mission Hall. There he met Lilian Skinner, whose father, Daniel Skinner, ran the mission. The couple wed in 1921, moved into 158 Cricklade Road and produced seven children. One wonders if they were the worst shod …. ?

By 1928 Robert moved his business to No 5 Bath Road, Old Town where, at the rear of the premises, the operated a shoe repair business.

The landlord of No 5 refused to give Robert Blaylock a lease, though Randolph Pollard, gent’s outfitter next door at No 3, had a long lease. When No 5’s landlord decided to sell, Pollard bought it, moved his business in and transferred his lease at No 3 to Robert Blaylock.

By 1949, Robert Blaylock had failing health and not one son willing to take on the business. Yet, his son Robert Arthur resigned from his position in the National Provincial Bank to take it on. Shades of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ there methinks!

Thus, when the property came up for sale, Robert Arthur bought it and the adjacent property on the corner of Devizes Road, along with a little lock-up called the Corner Cabinet which sold antique glassware. In so doing, he expanded the business.

Robert Arthur’s son, David John Blaylock, was also not inclined to follow in his father’s footsteps. Yet, like his father, he too relinquished his clerical work with Swindon council to keep the business going. (More George Bailey heroism!) He ran it from 1988, and in 1997 his son, Mark Adam Blaylock joined him.

As well as shoes, Blaylock’s also sells handbags, polishes, shoe trees and laces.

Phone: 01793 534271

See also: https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8790518.Muriel_retires_from_shoe_shop_after_50_years/

 

 

 

 

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Wiltshire author talks ‘transformation’ in new book by world-renowned experts in living in the moment 

Wiltshire author talks ‘transformation’ in new book by world-renowned experts in living in the moment 

Wiltshire author talks ‘transformation’

in new book by world-renowned experts in living in the moment

Press release:

Wiltshire author talks ‘transformation’ in new book by world-renowned experts in living in the moment 

Latest news from Vision Maker Press

Wiltshire author talks ‘transformation’ in new book

NAZ ASHUN, Vision Maker Press

Wiltshire author and publisher Naz Ahsun has contributed to a new book, published this month, which aims to inspire readers to live more fulfilling lives.

Being Here…Too, Short Stories of Modern Day Enlightenment, is filled with inspirational tales from people of all ages, nationalities and professions, covering topics from career goals to parenting. It’s the latest book from award-winning authors Ariel and Shya Kane, from New Jersey USA, and will be available from Monday (November 12).

Naz, who is co-founder of publishing firm Vision Maker Press and is known to many as the presenter of The Outer Limits show on Swindon 105.5, says a series of coincidences led to her involvement in this book. In her story she talks about how she’s transformed her relationship with her body image, food and nutrition.

“Way back in 2011, I was heading for Spain for an Easter break. At the airport, I wanted to get a light, easy read to take on holiday with me. That’s when I spotted Men, Money and Chocolateby Menna Van Praag.  On my first night in Barcelona, I opened the book and didn’t put it down until I finished it at dawn. I knew when I finished that I just had to meet the author, who touched me so deeply.

“However, it wasn’t until 2013 this became a reality when I spotted a social media post by the same author. She was holding a writing workshop in London. I immediately signed up and was not disappointed. I also got more than I bargained for as I also met my, now, fiancé who had been facilitating the workshop with Menna Van Praag!”

Naz discovered the author and her fiancé were part of a growing movement known as the ‘Transformation Community’ which holds seminars all over the world where she met fellow authors Ariel and Shya Kane.

In 2016, members of the community were invited to contribute to Being Here…Too, sharing their experience of transformation in their day-to-day lives.

Naz, who earlier this year published her own second book, The Little Book of Animal Wisdom, said: “I was thrilled my story was chosen as one of the ones to appear. My chapter is called Frolicking with Frittatas and it shares my story of how I experienced instantaneous transformation about my body image and diet – all it required was a little help from ruby red peppers, succulent egg, spongy courgettes and a dash of transformative fairy dust.”

The book’s publication will be celebrated locally on November 12 at an event called How to Access Enlightenment in a Busy Modern World, when Naz will read her chapter to the audience at The Henge Shop, Avebury from 7-9pm and entry is £5.

Details are available directly from The Henge Shop on 01672 539229.

 

Latest Swindon Ramblings

I’m always looking for new and interesting angles to share when out and about in Swindon.

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When I’m not being Born again Swindonian and writing Swindon-related books I offer proofreading, editing and writing services as AA Editorial Services.

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Press release: Swindon sports commentator in running for national award

Press release: Swindon sports commentator in running for national award

Swindon sports commentator in running for national award

Chris Dawes nominated for award to find the UK’s favourite motorsports commentator

Swindon sports commentator in running for national award

Swindon businessman Chris Dawes has been nominated for a national award to find the UK’s favourite motorsports commentator.

Chris is a professional commentator, who also runs Open Dawes Training, providing public speaking and presentation training, as well as media training for sports people. He’s in the running for Commentator of the Year in the annual awards run by Motorsport Media, which broadcasts Motorsport Radio.

Chris is a regular commentator at Wiltshire’s Castle Combe circuit where his commentating career started.

He’s just completed his seventh professional year of commentating and is one of the most sought-after, with only one weekend away from the microphone between March and November. He commentates and presents at events held at circuits across the world, with UK venues also including Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Snetterton, Oulton Park, and Cadwell Park.

“I am completely blown away to have been nominated,” said Chris. “I’m a huge motorsports fan and to have been able to turn my hobby into a career as a commentator is a real honour.”

Chris first fell in love with motorsports as a child, when he visited the races at Castle Combe with his father. He was encouraged by his wife, Claire, to apply for a commentator’s role eight years ago, and has never looked back. In fact, he’s now a member of the Board of Castle Combe Racing Club.

Chris is up against nine other finalists. These include the likes of BTCC, DTM, and Formula 3 commentator Chris Hartley, ITV’s British Touring Car Championship commentators David Addison and Paul O’Neill, TV’s Superbike commentator and former rider James Whitham, and highly respected national and international commentator Mark Werrell. The winner will be announced on December 9, during a live show on Motorsport Radio.

Chris added: “The winner is based on online voting. I think it will be rather a large ask to win, considering the other, fantastic commentators in the running, many of whom I have always looked up to. I am so fortunate to have had the pleasure of working with and being mentored by many of them too. I am just so chuffed to have been nominated.”

To vote for Chris, visit https://motorsportawards.com/commentator-of-the-year/. For information about Chris’s commentating visit https://chrisdawescomms.co.uk/, or for Open Dawes Training, visit https://www.opendawestraining.co.uk/.

 

Latest Swindon Ramblings

I’m always looking for new and interesting angles to share when out and about in Swindon.

The Journey

15th December 2018 The Journey Last weekend saw me - and many others - in Swindon's Old Town being part of The Journey. The Journey, as described on photographer Elmar Rubio's website, was 'an immense, immersive theatrical telling of the Christmas story'. It entailed...

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A word about our sponsors

When I’m not being Born again Swindonian and writing Swindon-related books I offer proofreading, editing and writing services as AA Editorial Services.

Blog Categories

Wise Bookkeeping Swindon

Wise Bookkeeping Swindon

Beware Cheap Removals Companies: Why Cheap isn’t Always Cheerful

Beware Cheap Removals Companies: Why Cheap isn’t Always Cheerful

Beware Cheap Removals Companies

Why Cheap isn’t Always Cheerful

Removals Direct Wiltshire

Moving house is regularly cited as being the most stressful life event after the death of a spouse. This claim is probably over exaggerated albeit it still carries a lot of stress-potential.  The best way to minimize and control the potential anxiety is to exercise due diligence and do your research when choosing a removals firm. Don’t immediately opt for the cheapest – we get what we pay for – and cheap is unlikely to be cheerful. Look for competitive prices yes – but too cheap? Steer clear.

 

If, at this point, you’re thinking to yourself ‘I don’t need a professional remover at all. I can pack it myself and hire a van and do it with the help of friends’, think again. In truth, unless you live in a tiny house or flat this is a bigger job than you think. What’s more, packing up your stuff mightn’t sound too difficult but in fact there’s an art to it. Packing your treasures so that they’ve got proper protection and don’t get smashed to smithereens in transit takes expert handling.

Good removal staff will know too, how much weight they can carry in a safe way. That way you avoid a damaged back as well as cracked crockery and battered books.

Due Diligence

So – you’re planning to move house. What should you look for in a removals company?

Which.com has some useful tips in their article on choosing the best removals company.  Here’s some of what they suggest:

  1. Quotes: Get several – at least three. Give preference to those that will visit your home rather than only estimating over the phone.

If you’re wondering why this matters – it’s important when factors such as restricted access or tight staircases exist that will affect the job.

Relocating to a different area? Consider getting an estimate from a firm based in the area you’re moving to. Prices might be more competitive. Ask for a breakdown of the estimate so you can see how much they’re charging for insurance, packing, their hourly rate, mileage and any storage costs incurred. Ask too if overtime rates apply and at what point.

  1. Insurance: In brief, removers should have Public Liability Insurance and Goods in Transit insurance. That aside, questions to ask are:

 3. What happens if the move is delayed and you can’t get into the new property in the afternoon or the next day.

4. Is their insurance cover adequate? And, what is the time limit on claiming insurance after the move?

5. Are high-value possessions covered by their insurance and do they need special packing?

NB: You can of course choose to pack some of your stuff yourself. But if you do, then be aware that the removal firm’s insurance won’t cover those items.

Registration to industry bodies

Looking for this when selecting a removals firm is helpful but not essential. Indeed, a note of caution if selecting that for a criterion is this: some UK bodies are known to be unduly litigious. To demonstrate that point, I’ll point you at this article from the Daily Mirror: ‘Guild tried to take Mirrorman to court… To prove they don’t take people to court’

As a result of such occurrences, many house moving firms choose not to register.  Hence, their non-membership of an industry body doesn’t have the greatest significance.

One Swindon home removal company offering competitive prices and a great service is Swindon Removals Direct.  To find out more or to arrange a visit you can email them on info@swindonremovalsdirect.co.uk  or call: Call 07955 870078. And, if you’re feeling social, check them out on Facebook.

Latest Swindon Ramblings

I’m always looking for new and interesting angles to share when out and about in Swindon.

The Journey

15th December 2018 The Journey Last weekend saw me - and many others - in Swindon's Old Town being part of The Journey. The Journey, as described on photographer Elmar Rubio's website, was 'an immense, immersive theatrical telling of the Christmas story'. It entailed...

Aladdin at The Wyvern

12th December 2018 Aladdin at The Wyvern Aladdin: Saturday 8th December - Sunday 6th January 2019 To clear any doubt: the story of Aladdin didn't start life as a Disney franchise. Aladdin is, in fact, is a folk tale originating in the Middle East. Aladdin is one of...

A word about our sponsors

When I’m not being Born again Swindonian and writing Swindon-related books I offer proofreading, editing and writing services as AA Editorial Services.

Blog Categories

Wise Bookkeeping Swindon

Wise Bookkeeping Swindon