Category: Strategy Management

Getting To Know You: Business networking strategist, Andy Lopata

A specialist in professional relationships and networking for over 20 years, we talk to Andy Lopata, who was called  ‘One of Europe’s leading business networking strategists’ by the Financial Times.

What do you currently do?

I am an author, podcast host, speaker and mentor on professional relationships. That’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it?!

In short, I focus on how people in business can build, nurture and leverage professional relationships, whether for their career or as part of their role. In my book ‘Connected Leadership’ and ‘The Connected Leadership Podcast’ I look at how those relationships underpin executive success; while I work with a number of clients, either delivering presentations or in a mentoring capacity, on developing deep relationships and strong influence with key stakeholders.

My most recent book, ‘Just Ask’ focused on the role of those relationships in supporting us through challenging times, encouraging readers to surround themselves with people … Read the rest

Strong support for coronavirus vaccine passports

Most Britons back vaccine passports if they mean the end of social distancing.

A survey showed strong support for Covid status certificates in every setting except shops, though a significant minority would be reluctant to visit pubs and restaurants if they had to show one, suggesting a threat to hospitality revenues if they were introduced.

The government said last week that Covid certificates “could play a role in reducing social-distancing requirements”. Any final decision is months off, so pubs and restaurants will initially open with distancing rules in place such as people from different groups staying at least one metre apart.

Polling by YouGov last week found that 61 per cent said they backed certificates being introduced if it allowed venues to lift social distancing, compared with 29 per cent who did not.

For music festivals and sports stadiums, 62 per cent were supportive compared with 28 per cent against, … Read the rest

Debenhams to briefly reopen 97 stores in closing down fire sale

Debenhams is to reopen 97 of its high street stores on Monday for a closing down sale to clear stock before they finally shut their doors on 15 May.

The department store, which collapsed last year, said it would be offering up to 70% off fashion and homewares and up to 50% off beauty and fragrance in its final closing down sale.

The stores, in England and Wales, will begin to close their doors on 2 May and the process will be completed 13 days later. Debenhams’ 15 Scottish stores and its flagship shop on London’s Oxford Street will not reopen.

Debenhams’ exit from the high street after more than 200 years will leave gaps at the heart of many town centres around the country alongside the closure of all Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton stores as well as some Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser and John Lewis outlets.… Read the rest

Facebook will not notify over 530m users exposed in 2019 breach

Facebook has not notified the more-than 530m users whose details were exposed on a hacker forum in 2019 and has no plans to do so, according to company representatives.

Business Insider reported last week that phone numbers and other details from Facebook user profiles were available in a public database. The social media company acknowledged in a blogpost on Tuesday that “malicious actors” had obtained the data prior to September 2019 by “scraping” profiles using a vulnerability in the platform’s tool for syncing contacts. Facebook has said it plugged the hole after identifying the problem at the time.

But a Facebook spokesperson said on Wednesday that the company would not be notifying users affected by the hack and that it was not confident it had full visibility on which users would need to be alerted. He said the company also took into account that users could not fix the issue … Read the rest

British tech start-up takes on Amazon in the battle for the High Street

Forbes 30-under-30 alumnus goes head-to-head with Amazon with smartphone-based retail checkout solution

In 2015, MishiPay CEO Mustafa Khanwala waited 20 minutes in a supermarket line to pay for a can of drink. The queue gave him time to consider retail’s most persistent pinch point and trigger the development of MishiPay: a high concept Scan & Go solution that promises to truly revitalise retail.

Khanwala wasn’t the only one thinking about the costly problem of check-out queues, but he is the only one to have found a viable answer, and now the Forbes 30-under-30 alumnus is going head-to-head with Amazon with smartphone-based tech that promises to truly revitalise retail.

The checkout queue has been with us since Memphis retailer Piggly-Wiggly introduced it to the world in 1916, and the model has remained fundamentally unchanged for 104 years.

Self-scan checkouts, introduced in 1992, are both unpopular and inefficient, and Amazon Go’s high-tech … Read the rest

Three entrepreneurs join the Board of UK’s leading business organisation

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has made three new appointments to its member-led national Board of Directors.

I.T., cyber security and digital transformation specialist Olu Odeniyi and information management entrepreneur Alison North are joining the Board as Directors.

Meanwhile, recruitment and employment services entrepreneur, Tina McKenzie, is taking up the newly created role of Deputy Chair, Policy and Advocacy (UK).

All three are experienced member volunteers at FSB, and will join the existing national Board of Directors, which is made up of FSB member small business owners.

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “FSB is proud to represent the UK’s small business and self-employed community. Our volunteers, alongside a dedicated staff team, work hard to support entrepreneurs right across the country and in every sector, and to give small businesses the big voice they deserve. Tina, Olu and Alison bring a wealth of experience and enthusiasm, and I’m delighted … Read the rest

Understanding this could save your business from new cyber threats

The Verizon Business Mobile Security Index (MSI) 2021 reveals that many businesses may have left themselves vulnerable and open to cybercriminals in the rush to ensure their workforce could operate remotely.

Every year, the Verizon Mobile Security Index is renowned for providing unique insights into the current mobile threat landscape and what organisations are, or in many cases aren’t, doing to protect their data and key systems. In addition to analysis from Verizon’s experts, the report includes insights and real-world data from leading security and management companies Asavie, Blackberry Cylance, Check Point, IBM, Ivanti, Lookout, NetMotion, Netskope, Proofpoint, Qualcomm, Thales, VMware, and Wandera.

This year, the Verizon Mobile Security Index 2021 findings are based on an independent survey of 856 businesses across Australia, the US and the UK. It surveyed professionals that are responsible for the buying, managing, and security of mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices for their Read the rest

IR35 changes undermine self-employed at “worst possible time”

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has said that the changes to IR35 self-employed taxation coming into effect today are undermining the sector at the “worst possible time”.

IPSE research has shown that half of freelancers are planning to stop contracting in the UK after the changes – unless they can get contracts unaffected by them. Instead, they are planning to seek contracts abroad, stop working altogether, seek an employed role or retire within the next year.

Clients seem to be reacting badly to the changes too: nearly one in four contractors said in February that their clients were either uncertain or had made no indication of what they would do in response to the IR35 changes.

Meanwhile, a quarter said that their clients were planning to blanket-assess all their contractors as ‘inside IR35’ and one fifth will only engage contractors working through umbrella companies. Nearly one … Read the rest

Fuller’s to raise cash after burning through £5m every month in lockdown

The pub group Fuller, Smith & Turner has revealed that revenues fell 80% during the past year on the back of coronavirus lockdowns as it seeks to raise cash to see it through the reopening of UK hospitality.

The company said it had burned through between £4m and £5m for every month of full lockdown, when its pubs and hotels were forced to close.

The pubs sector has been among the hardest hit during the pandemic, with restrictions in place since late March 2020 that have ranged from total bans on opening to curfews and requirements to sell “substantial meals” with drinks. Fuller’s said its pubs will have been closed on 73% of the days between 30 March 2020 and 12 April 2021.

Fuller’s plans to raise about £54m via a share placing to give it enough cash to spend on the reopening of British pubs as well as to … Read the rest

Google adjusts remote working as it looks to reopens offices

Google is changing its work-from-home policy as it looks to get more people back into its offices.

The tech firm will only allow employees to work from home for more than 14 days a year if they apply for it.

Google will continue it current work-from-home arrangements until 1 September but will allow people to return voluntarily from next month.

The tech giant was one of the first companies to offer working from home when the pandemic struck last year.

“It’s now been a year since many of us have been working from home, and the thought of returning to the office might inspire different emotions,” Fiona Cicconi, Google’s head of people operations, wrote in a company email on Wednesday.

Google is currently preparing for a broad reopening in September, when employees will be expected to be in the office for at least three days a week.

Until then, the … Read the rest