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50 years of success - Established 1974

50 Years of Success
Established in 1974

"Helping you gain
.control of your career"

Looking Forward

As the year 2021 draws to a close I don’t think anyone will disagree that it has been another odd one!

But, hopefully, you’ve weathered it and are starting to look forward to what will, hopefully, be a brighter new year. Or does the thought of the future scare you?

It’s a good question and one that every person will answer slightly differently. Some people will find the idea of all the changes that are taking place exciting, providing wonderful opportunities. Others (perhaps those who are a little older) will find the thought of robotics, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and the fact that jobs for life are becoming less and less common, frightening.

But whatever your views, you must admit that technology has made life easier for most people. What would we do without our mobile phones, apps, and the ability to access all the information we need at the touch of a button?

The pandemic has forced more people to work from home. And many are happy with this (no long commutes, no travelling expenses, more time with the family).

But it does have its drawbacks and many good employers now believe that dealing with clients from home (because you can) and catching up with your emails in the middle of the night might not be the blessing they envisaged. They feel that employees must be able to disconnect and relax. Otherwise they will lose their creativity and ability to innovate. Also, opportunities for learning from more experienced colleagues are more limited.

So, whether you view the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the Digital Revolution – with anticipation or terror you can’t escape the fact that there are going to be huge changes in the next 5 years and the only way you will be able to benefit from these changes is if you keep up.

That’s why learning for life is so important. The old idea that you trained, took a job when you left school or college and then stayed in it for the rest of your life is virtually dead. You’re going to have to keep broadening and upgrading your skills if you hope to stay in employment. And what better way to do this than by distance learning? You don’t need to take time off to improve your education, so your boss might be willing to pay for your training. Alternatively, it’s a good way to gain new qualifications that will allow you to move on – and the fact that you’ve taken the initiative might just impress a prospective employer. So why not have a look at  and see what’s there that could put you ahead of the competition.

Finally, before I leave you, I just want to wish you all the best for 2021 – health, happiness and success to all of you!



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Writing for Company Magazines or Newsletters

Many large organisations will have magazines or newsletter for their employees. Some have them for their customers too. These may be paper based, but more frequently they are sent by e-zines sent by email or made available on the company website. But whatever format they use, they still need people to write for them – ideas for articles, snippets of information etc.

Newsletters are often short, maybe only one or two pages. Those that are for staff only will usually contain information about upcoming events or announcements, changes in management, new staff, retirements, deaths, competitions, suggestion schemes and that kind of thing. They may also advise of any factors, international or political, that may affect the company. There may also be the chance for staff to contribute to the newsletter in the form of ‘Letters to the Editor’. The aim of this is to promote a feeling of team spirit, making staff feel part of the organisation. Continue reading

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Could You Blog For Your Company?

You probably already know this, but a blog is a special type of website where articles (or ‘posts’) are added regularly and displayed in date order, usually with the most recent one at the top.

You may already host your own personal blog on topics that interest you or about which you are particularly enthusiastic. Or, one of your duties at work may be to write posts for the company’s website. It’s this kind of blogging that we are going to look at now.

Blogs typically use ready-made templates for their design, and are an integrated part of a company’s website, accessible from the homepage. Another important aspect of blogs is that they are usually interactive. This means it is possible for readers to comment on any post, ask questions, make suggestions, and so on. Continue reading

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Making A Complaint… Tactfully and Effectively

When you have reason to complain about something – poor service, poor quality goods, failure of someone to reply to your email, or whatever – you should do it promptly, firmly and politely.

Many situations can be sorted out by a quick phone call but if you feel your complaint isn’t being taken seriously then an email or letter may be required. And the added advantage of this is that it leaves a written record if you still don’t get things sorted out to your satisfaction.

So here are a few points which will help you make a more effective complaint.

It should be written as soon as possible after a mistake has been made. Get straight to the point. There is no need to apologise. The recipient is a lot less likely to take action if your email appears weak and apologetic; so be firm and the reader will regard you as someone who means business, someone who is determined to put matters right. Continue reading

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Marketing Emails Made Easy

Marketing emails may be written for a wide range of purposes and it’s a skill you could learn with a little practice.

Typically marketing emails include details of new products or services, special offers, discounts, company news, events, and so on. They are usually sent to those who have signed up to your company’s mailing list – this may have been, for example, to get money off a first order, to receive a discount code, or out of genuine interest.

One of the key aims in writing a marketing email is to get the recipient to open and read it. These days people are often inundated with emails, so there is no guarantee that they will open yours unless you can create a compelling subject line that entices them to read on. Here are a few tips and suggestions:

  • Avoid using all capitals. This visually off-putting, and it makes it more likely your email will be blocked by spam filters.
  • Likewise, avoid using the word ‘free’. This word is typically associated with spam emails, and its presence in the subject line makes it more likely your email will be blocked. Other words to use with caution for this reason include cash, money, bonus and guaranteed.

Continue reading

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Do I Need A Business Plan?

We keep hearing about businesses being forced to close during the pandemic that will never re-open  and warnings that unemployment will rise – especially amongst young people. So, if you can’t get a job, what’s the answer? Start your own business! And, once you’ve decided what you want to do, what’s the first think you need to think about? Your business plan, of course!

So why do you need a business plan?

Even starting a simple business requires that you take into account many different considerations. They include the business’ name, type of organisation, premises and equipment, financial and technological requirements, marketing, insurance, staff, administration, and many more. Unless you make thorough plans, there is every chance that you will neglect some important aspect and the business will fail. Continue reading

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Dealing With Complaints The Stress-Free Way

We don’t get a lot of complaints here at Business Training as we try very hard to provide good quality study materials; a first-class service and we treat all our students as individuals.

But over the past 18 months with the disruption caused by the pandemic there have been unavoidable postal delays and I suspect that more people are becoming impatient and stressed by the whole situation. So, it has been more important than ever to try to understand their problems and sort them out efficiently.

So this month, let’s have a look at how to handle complaints effectively so that everyone feels it’s a win-win situation. Continue reading

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Boosting Your Creativity

One popular method used to aid creativity is brainstorming. This usually involves a group of people, but what if you are working remotely from the office or you are a freelance? Don’t worry, it’s perfectly possible to use solitary brainstorming techniques. This is a great way to generate lot of ideas, from which you can then select the best for whatever project you are working on. Here is our recommended method:

Start by arming yourself with a notebook and pen, or use a tape recorder. Don’t think you will remember everything you thought of during your brainstorming session later – you won’t!

Make yourself comfortable before you begin. Find a quiet room, free of distractions. Some people do, however, find they can work better with their favourite music playing in the background. Choose what works best for you.
Continue reading

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Get Ahead With Your Emails

Being able to write business-like emails is probably a major part of your job, whichever department you’re in. And being able to do this well will probably be a contributory factor in how much you are valued at work.

You must plan what you want to say and then make sure you have done it in a concise and clear way. At the same time you must give all the necessary information. We know that emails are, ideally, brief. But this is no excuse for omitting important information and then having to send a follow-up email.

When you have composed your message make sure that you check it very carefully before sending it. Once you have clicked the ‘send’ button it is on its way. You can’t change your mind. Continue reading

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Using Your Time Effectively

Here in the UK we are now in our second lock-down. Not quite as stringent as the first, but still tight enough to make life seem very different and rather scary. Many people are working from home and others are simply not able to work at all. So, they find themselves with lots of time on their hands and nothing much to do.

Not working and having lots of time to spare might have sounded wonderful twelve months ago…nothing to do but watch lots of TV, listen to music and work out. But with all the job insecurity, worry about catching the virus, not to mention boredom it’s not half as much fun as it once seemed.

So, what can you do to use your time more constructively? Continue reading

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Susan Metcalfe - head of Business Training - discusses business, training and work issues. Come and join in the conversation or just enjoy the read!