small business

small business

Custom packaging tech firm tops fastest growing business list after 9000% growth

An eco-packaging tech firm, who achieved 9077% growth, has taken the top spot as the fastest growing technology company in Central Europe.

Warsaw-based startup, Packhelp, has topped the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe list and joins Newcastle-based FinTech firm, DivideBuy, as the top ranked firm for the UK.

Packhelp has a mission to make custom branded packaging accessible to all businesses, fusing the printing industry, the packaging industry and the modern world of graphic design together in one easy to use tech platform.

Deloitte’s UK Fast 50 is one of Europe’s foremost technology awards programs. Now in its twenty-third successful year, it is an acknowledgement of the 50 fastest-growing technology companies based on revenue growth over the last four years, from 2016 to 2019. 

Konrad Kwiatkowski, CMO & Co-Founder at Packhelp said: “As a start-up we are proud to be acknowledged by such a credible accolade and our success is testament to our fantastic team of 170 professionals making this possible with their hard work every day.”

“Packhelp is trusted by over 22,000 brands across Europe who want custom branded packaging without the eco footprint and in a product range tailored to their needs. We’re a European business helping European brands grow globally. We live in one of the hottest Startup environments in the world and we are really proud to see 15 other local companies on the list too.”

Packhelp is available across Europe – For more information or further advice visit

Hypervelo online fitness studio is keeping Worcestershire fit through Covid

New Worcestershire UK-based online spin and fitness studio, Hypervelo, is one of the first clubs in the UK to offer live streamed Les Mills classes.

Launching 8.30am Saturday 3rd October, Les Mills RPM and Bodybalance fitness class firm favourites of participants worldwide will be available to all Hypervelo members via Zoom with more Les Mills classes to come in over the next few months.

Only a handful of clubs have been granted the live streaming partnership with Les Mills which now completes Hypervelo’s timetable of more than 20 interactive and on-demand fitness studio classes.

Fitness instructors Sharron Manders and Jane White set up Hypervelo at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic to help people keep fit and healthy at home during the lockdown. Membership has grown rapidly through recommendations from their core following and many participants have enjoyed staying fit, safe and socially connected so much that they have chosen to continue their Hypervelo home fitness membership despite gyms reopening. This trend is in line with Les Mills’ own research that attitudes to working-out are changing as 80% of gym-goers are now choosing to exercise at home.

Stuart Hyde, Hypervelo member, has decided not to return to the gym. He said “Hypervelo’s classes are full of motivation, energy, fun and great music. They have transferred all of those characteristics of a physical spin studio to online in a way I didn’t think was possible”. They are supportive and encouraging you all the way through a class and push you to reach your fitness goals at your pace. You will honestly wonder why you hadn’t joined in sooner!

Linda Chen recommended Hypervelo to her friends. She said, “These classes are amazing, really friendly, good fun, hard work but above all for me personally, inclusive. As someone with a disability, joining exercise classes is often hard, Jane and Sharron sensitively teach and demonstrate alternatives  and options , the option to fail is never given. My fitness, mobility and confidence has improved over the time I have been attending these on line classes. They are both very motivational it is impossible to leave a class without a smile. I love seeing everyone on screen.

Hypervelo co-owner Sharron Manders, who represents Great Britain in European and World Sprint Duathlon, said “We are passionate about cycling, spin and fitness and set up Hypervelo at the start of lockdown to help keep people motivated and working towards their fitness goals. What’s unique about us is that all our classes are live streamed so we are able to interact with participants and offer the same coaching and technique feedback as if they were in the studio with us.

Jane White, co-owner and instructor across the Hypervelo blended mix of programmes said, “It’s as important as ever for people to stay healthy and feeling connected to a community and having fun while you’re getting fit is even better for the soul. Hypervelo is focussed on offering our members a range of fitness and flexibility classes and Les Mills is the perfect partner for our whole-body conditioning approach.

Hypervelo has a monthly subscription service, no joining fees and are offering free trial passes throughout October 2020.

For more information please contact:
Jan Black
Visit the newsroom of: Hypervelo

Swansway Motor Group celebrates 17th birthday!

North West based, family owned and run Swansway Motor Group has now reached the ripe old age of 17! That means that if Swansway were to be a human being, they could hop in one of their many cars and start to learn how to drive!

David Smyth, director of Swansway, commented, “It’s strange, just like when you have children and you wonder how they ever got to be the age they are, as time has a habit of sneaking up on you when you’re not looking!”

Swansway, whose head office is based in Crewe, opened 17 years ago with only five car dealerships to its name and has grown to 23 dealerships representing many different car brands including Audi, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, SEAT, Peugeot, Honda, Jaguar and Land Rover as well its own multi-franchise used car division, Motor Match!

David Smyth continued “A huge thank you to everyone who has helped us to reach our 17th year of business. Swansway is a family business with a real family feel and I know this is reflected in the service we give our customers.”

Swansway Group now employs over 1,000 people, operates ten franchises and a non-franchise division, across 23 retailers, from Birmingham in the Midlands to Carlisle in the North.

4 Ways to Save Money and Boost Your Business

Whether you’ve just started your business or you’ve been running it for a number of years, you’re sure to have noticed just how competitive the business world now is in the auto sector. There are a number of external factors that are contributing to this: increasing numbers of people launching businesses, pr

essures from overseas trade, as well as domestic, political and economic issues.

As an individual business owner, you may not be able to do anything about these factors, but there are steps you can take today to save money and boost your business. Here are four ways to make your motor business more competitive, whether it’s large or small.

Market Smarter

No business will succeed without effective marketing; after all, it doesn’t matter how great your service is if potential customers don’t hear about it. That’s why marketing can be the most essential expenditure of all, but it’s important to keep tight control on it, and a constant eye on the results. Your marketing campaigns should always provide a significant return on investment, but all too many businesses are using marketing strategies that may be outdated and loss-making.

Old methodologies such as radio, television and newspaper ads are not nearly as effective as they once were, thanks to the changes in how we consume media. If you want to reach young, affluent consumers and forward thinking business clients, then social media marketing can be the ideal solution, so all businesses should have a strong and uniform presence across all the major social media platforms. It can also be much more cost-effective than traditional forms of marketing.

Optimise Your Website

Every auto business owner should now realise the importance of having a website, and it’s something you should pay particular attention to. Your website will often be the first thing that people thinking of buying from you will encounter, so ensure that it reflects all that your brand stands for. Your website should also offer an opportunity for people to purchase directly from it, or pay for car or van servicing and other services that you offer. By doing this, you can cut out the middle man and maximise profits, and in doing so, you will unleash the full potential within your website. For that reason, paying to have a professional website created can be a business boosting income generator.

Save Money on Your Insurance Costs

As your business grows, it becomes even more important to keep a tight grip on your overheads, and one of the biggest expenditures for a business in the automobile trade can be insurance. Smart businesses turn to a specialist website such as Quotezone when they want motor trade insurance, as they allow you to compare a number of motor trade insurance quotes and policies, and find the one that’s perfect for you. Finding your trade insurance this way can not only save you a significant amount of money, but it can also save you time, and in business that can be the most valuable commodity of them all.

Don’t Pay Too Much for Your Bills

Often the biggest overhead that any business faces, whether in the automobile sector or not, is their utility bills, but this means that it’s an area in which large savings can potentially be made. Once again, it pays to use a leading comparison site, and don’t forget to check the latest prices on a regular basis. Electricity companies don’t always reward loyalty, so switching providers on a regular basis can make a real difference to your bottom line.

By having great value trade insurance, competitive energy bills, a high-quality website and a social media presence that’s used for marketing purposes, you can gain a competitive edge over your business rivals. That’s true in any business, whether you sell cars, vans, or provide business to business services.

Small Business: 5 Tips for Converting More Visitors in Customers

On average, only 4% of website visitors convert. This means that around 96% of the people who visit your website are doing little more than bumping up your traffic numbers instead of your sales. This, of course, is a problem because while it is important for your website to provide value to your audience, its main purpose is to sell your products or services.

So, what do you do to convert all those leads into customers and keep moving your business forward? In this post, we’ll explore 5 strategies that will help you optimize your conversions and increase your bottom line.

Improve Your Checkout Process

With how convenient online shopping is today, people aren’t willing to spend ages going through a lengthy checkout process with countless shipping options before making the payment. Ensure that yours is as easy and fast as possible to avoid losing customers halfway through.

Optimize Your Newsletter

We know that newsletters have the potential to be an incredibly powerful and affordable component of any marketing strategy. That is if you know how to make the most out of them. Your newsletter needs to be designed, formatted, and optimized to bring subscribers back to your website and convert again.

One of the most important components of an effective newsletter is your onboarding workflow. As further explained in the link from SendinBlue, your newsletter needs to contain triggers that motivate customers to come back for more. This is done by developing a balance between incorporating valuable content and new products, special offers for subscribers, etc.

Tailor Your Content

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of tailoring their content to draw general traffic instead of paying customers. Take time to understand your buyer personas, from their age and gender to industry position and interests. This will help you draw the type of traffic that will lead to sales.

Eliminate Distractions

If your blog posts are filled with links, comments, and other elements that could draw readers away from the prospect at hand, your conversion rate will suffer. Your audience should be able to stay focused on your articles from start to end. The way you format your articles plays a large role in making this happen.

For example, your paragraphs should be no longer than four sentences. There should be bullet points and subheadings wherever applicable, as well as high-quality pictures that relate to the content. Highlight or use bold words where you want their attention to be drawn and make your call-to-action eye-catching.

Remarket Your Brand

Remarketing or retargeting is the process of bringing people back to convert. For example, if you have a clothing store and a customer spent most of their time browsing your shoe selection but didn’t check-out after adding your product to their cart, a retargeting tool will place a cookie that serves them ads of your shoes on other websites.


Some external factors that influence conversion rates are simply out of our control, such as your industry and economic downturn. That said, following these steps will go a long way in helping you increase sales and turn more leads into paying customers.

Terrified Of Hiring? Here’s What You Need To Know

The idea of hiring someone is often terrifying, isn’t it? When you’re a new business, or a small business that’s looking to grow, you know that you have to make decisions very carefully. The wrong choice could see you suffering. As a startup, your budget may not be the biggest, and so you’ll often need to be very careful about how you spend and what you invest in. You’ll often want to make sure that you are cautious with the money that you do have, and that you know you’re going to get the best possible return whenever you spend. This is very much the case when it comes to staffing and spending on recruitment. And so, if this is what you’re thinking about now, you know you need to get it right.

When you reach the point where you do need to hire some help, it feels like a stressful pivoting point. You’re at the point of growth, but you know that one wrong move could really affect your success. This is why you need to make sure that you are making the best possible decisions, and that you know how to hire successfully. And yes, it can be done easily, painlessly, and on-budget! You just need to know the right steps to take and you’ll definitely be able to make this work out for you, find the best possible candidates, and grow as a business. So let’s take a look.

  1. Be 100% Sure

Before you begin, it’s handy for you to be 100% sure of what kind of help you need. Ask yourself, are you really ready for this? Do you know what kind of person you need and how they can help you? When you are certain, it’s time to start looking.

  1. Get Clarity

Then, you need to get very clear on what you’re looking for. You need to know the jobs you need help with, and the role in general. It’s important for you to think about the exact kind of person that you need. Because when you start looking, you need to make sure that they tick all the boxes.

  1. Headhunt

When you know what you’re looking for, the next trick is for you to have a look to see if you can find the best possible person. Headhunting can seem like hard work – but it really doesn’t have to be. You can take a look online, on places like LinkedIn and even using google to find freelancers or virtual assistants. This may be a way to find the employee you’re looking for.

  1. Advertise Expertly

But you may not just be able to rely on headhunting, unfortunately. Instead, you may find that you need to be able to advertise as well as look for the right candidates yourself. For this, it could be that you look to advertise on social media to find candidates. You will also want to use the most suitable job boards and websites too. There’s also the option to use agents, if you budget allows for it.

  1. Be Tough

From here, you then need to think about who the best fit might be. And remember, this is business – so you don’t have to worry about being kind to people. Instead, you will want to make sure that you’re able to shortlist candidates that are most suitable, and that you’re focusing on what you really need. This is the best way to find the right fit. Don’t be too emotional about it.

  1. Aim To Uncover

When you are conducting your interviews and deciding between your shortlisted candidates, you need to try and get to know then as well as you can. Try to break down that professional barrier. Because sometimes, someone can look fantastic on paper but then not be the best fit personality wise – and that can make all the difference. Go the extra mile, and do a criminal background check. Make sure you know everything you possibly can about the candidates.

  1. Go With Your Gut

Then, you should be in the best possible position to make a decision and know that it’s right. It can oftentimes feel as if there’s a lot of pressure on you to hire someone that’s experienced or smart or anything else. Even the cheapest hire! But, you’ll often find that you have a gut instinct about who will be the best fit for your company or has the most potential. And this is something that you really do need to listen to! So, good luck!


Study: How healthy are freelancers and entrepreneurs who work from home?

Before going freelance or launching a business, many people might think it’s all long, leisurely lunches and spontaneous trips to the beach when the sun comes out. But new research from PR Unlocked shows how working from home can impact the health and wellbeing of self-employed workers, highlighting the importance of community, work-spaces and routines.

Two-fifths of the freelancers and small business owners work from home five days a week and a fifth said it varies week-to-week. A minority work six or seven days a week (4% and 1% respectively), 16% work three days and 15% work four days.

Two-thirds (66%) have a dedicated workspace in their home, but just over a third (34%) don’t. For freelancers and entrepreneurs who don’t have a home office, they work from their dining room or kitchen table, on the sofa, in bed or from a garden office.

Prolonged sitting or not having a proper desk can have a negative impact on our bodies. Pilates teacher Kerrie-Anne Bradley and Founder of Pilates at Your Desk said: “Sitting incorrectly puts undue pressure onto our hips and lower back. It creates imbalances throughout the body. Those of us sit like a cashew, for example, where the bottom is tucked under and the upper back and shoulders are rounded forward are at more risk of facing issues like back and neck problems, and tight hip flexors. Sitting like a cashew tends to happen when we work on a bed and sofa. Basically, where the laptop isn’t at eye-height and you are less able to sit up on your sit bones; the boney bits under your bottom.”

But a lot of self-employed people don’t just work from home all day, every day. A quarter (25%) said they sometimes work from co-working spaces, and over half (55%) work from coffee shops, libraries or other public spaces. Over a third (34%) sometimes work from clients’ offices and 13% work from other freelancers’ or business owners’ homes.

When it comes to taking long, leisurely lunches – it turns out a lot of freelancers and small businesses didn’t get the memo. Over a third (35%) eat lunch at their desk and 3% don’t take a lunch break at all. Just over two-fifths (41%) take at least a 30-minute break away from their place of work, and 21% take at least an hour lunch break.
And in terms of being active, a quarter (25%) said they make time to exercise every day or most days when they’re working from home, 37% get active some days and 16% at least once a week. However, 22% of self-employed people working from home never find the time to exercise.

Kerrie-Anne added: “We should also try to move every 30 minutes. This doesn’t have to be leg-over-head stuff, it can be a walk to kitchen, squats while you wait for your coffee, or lunges while you’re waiting for lunch to cook.”

Over a third (38%) of freelancers and entrepreneurs regularly have days when they don’t speak to or meet other people during working hours, and 40% sometimes have days where they don’t see or speak to anyone else. Only 22% of the freelancers and business owners PR Unlocked spoke to said they try to meet or speak to other people most days.

As a result of working from home, 53% said they had felt unproductive, 49% isolated, 47% lonely and 36% stressed. Only 15% of the freelancers and business owners hadn’t experienced any negative feelings.

Some respondents specifically said they felt out of the loop with what’s going on in their industry, missed having colleagues to bounce ideas off, and wanted people to share problems with. And the majority (80%) of freelancers and small business owners find it difficult to switch off from work.

David Price, CEO of Health Assured, said: “When you run a small business from your bedroom or spend your days freelancing in your kitchen, you run the risk of turning your home into a place associated with work. It’s hard to relax and unwind at the end of a workday when you’re sitting within the same four walls that you’ve spent eight hours working hard in so try to create a specific space for working in. Working remotely or by yourself takes you away from the support systems that employed, on-site staff enjoy. If you have a problem, you won’t have anyone to turn to. Trying to make the effort to see someone every day can help with isolation. Go outside, get some coffee and chat with a friend.”

Although self-employed workers should make the effort to look after their health and wellbeing, it’s important to remember the advantages of this way of working.

The majority (83%) of freelancers and small business owners said one of the best things about working from home was no commute. Over half (54%) said getting to fit in household chores to their day, and a further 54% said they appreciate getting to take breaks when they want.

Nearly half (48%) said they’re more productive, a third (32%) said they get to fit exercise into their day and a quarter (26%) said they eat healthier. Some freelancers and business owners added the flexibility to work around children, look after their dogs and other pets, avoiding office politics and working around their health.

Read the full breakdown of the research, along with advice and case studies on the PR Unlocked website.

Notes to editor

PR Unlocked surveyed 406 freelancers and business owners who work from home regularly.

PR Unlocked is an online training and coaching platform to help startups and small businesses promote and market their business. It was created by Claire Gamble, MD of Unhooked Communications.

As well as a full course, PR Unlocked includes free resources, guides, articles and podcasts.


41% of British SMEs Think That Brexit Has Negatively Impacted Their Business

When it comes to Brexit and the effects on the UK’s economy, it seems like small businesses are struggling as a result of the Article 50 trigger.

According to a new study by Liberis,  41% of small business owners said that they had felt a negative impact on their business since negotiations to leave the European Union began. Amongst two of the aspects that are struggling the most include product sourcing and servicing with 27% of businesses citing these two areas as a struggle since the country’s decision to leave the

The survey, which was conducted by 500 SME owners in the UK, also found that almost two-thirds of SMEs voted to remain in the EU with the IT, marketing and online sectors compromising 77% of the total remain-voters.

The retail industry workers were most likely to vote to Leave with 17% of business owners voting to leave. This may suggest that the free market may not be as important to UK retailers.

The study also found that the highest-earning businesses with an annual turnover of over £1 million voted to leave the European Union more than any other SME. A massive 60% of micro-businesses with a turnover of less than £50,000 per year voted to remain.

Surprisingly, 54% of British business owners said that they hadn’t noticed a positive or negative impact on the Brexit decision.

When asked about the positive impacts of Brexit on their business, only 12% of business owners reported that their sales had improved since the decision. The study also found that 65% of those asked don’t believe that leaving the EU will affect their business’ ability to find, source and hire new staff.

As far as importing and exporting businesses are concerned, business owners were split on their decision on predicting their ability to source products, services or materials at a reasonable price after Brexit is finalised. 52% of these business owners assumed a negative impact.