MENTORING BOOSTS ENQUIRIES AT LOMAS

A family-owned office furniture and business supplies company, is already reaping the benefits of marketing support and mentoring through Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub.

Lomas Office Furniture and Stationery Ltd, based in Blackburn, specialises in the supply of new office furniture, office design and re-fits, stationery, IT and educational supplies; and its customers include both public and private sector organisations across the country.

The business, which employs 14 members of staff and has a turnover of £1.4m, embarked on a mentoring programme through Boost, which has already led to the recruitment of a new member of staff to meet the demand from increased enquiries. That support came through Boost’s fully-funded Growth Mentoring programme delivered by Orvia.

Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council, and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The business identified support was needed with its marketing strategy, to improve its social media presence and refresh its website content.

Help was also needed to review internal processes, and ensure marketing and communications initiatives across the organisation were working efficiently.

The business was matched with specialist marketing mentor Jean Atkinson, a chartered marketer and owner of Eden Marketing, who conducted an audit to assess current activity and identify areas for improvement, review sales systems and processes, assess the CRM system capabilities and investigate website and social media platform analytics.

Mark Rolfe, sales and marketing manager at Lomas Office Furniture & Stationery Ltd, said: “We had a great experience working with our mentor Jean Atkinson. She focused our attention on what we needed to do to achieve what we wanted. “Jean helped us to put processes in place for managing social media and website content, and developing a growth action plan which we continue to work with.

“We are already seeing the results of the mentoring with enquiries on the increase and being able to readily identify the source of our conversions.

“We envisage that the mentoring will have an impact on our turnover over the next few months. We have already recruited a new member of staff in our sales team to focus on the increased number of enquiries.”

Ann Holcroft, operations manager at Orvia, added: “Mentoring is all about giving a business a new perspective or learning from people who have been there and done it. Jean was a great match to the business and was able to help the team identify small yet effective changes to its marketing strategy. We’re pleased to hear this has already had a positive impact on the business and hope those enquiries keep coming.”

Boost Business Lancashire has received £3.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information, visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

THE IMPACT OF COLOUR ON CHILDREN’S LEARNING

With the final term coming to an end, our clients within the education sector are preparing for a Summer of building extensions and playground upgrades. When it comes to internal work, we’re finding that colour is playing a big part in the internal re-design of spaces. Whether it’s splashes of colour on the seating or wallpapers depicting forests scenes, there’s something to be said for creating an environment which increases a student’s desire to learn. So, where does colour fit in?

Colour has the ability to inspire, excite, soothe, heal and even agitate. This is particularly true for children, who can be extra sensitive to colour’s impact. So the importance of picking out just the right colour for social spaces and classrooms is extremely important.

  1. Red has the ability to energise the body and excite the mind, increasing heart and breathing rates. However, some research suggests that too much exposure to red encourages aggressive behaviour and an inability to focus. The bottom line: Red is great as an accent but might not be the best colour for children who are fidgety or restless.
  2. Orange. Largely underused, orange is perhaps one of the most misunderstood colours in the paint deck. This warm, friendly and youthful colour is actually great for children since it’s said to encourage confidence, extroversion and independence. The social nature of this colour also puts children and their friends at ease, inspiring communication and cooperation.
  3. Yellow. Most of us associate yellow with feelings of happiness and cheerfulness. Studies also pair this bright and cheery colour with motivation; softer yellows can aid concentration, while brighter ones can increase memory. Beware of using too much bright yellow, though. In large doses it may create feelings of agitation and even anger.
  4. Green. This calming, natural colour has a soothing impact on a child. Scientists have also found that green may improve a child’s reading speed and comprehension. There’s no need to keep this anxiety-reducing colour to a minimum.
  5. Blue. Having the opposite effect of red, blue decreases feelings of anxiety and aggression and lowers blood pressure and heart rates. Children who experience tantrums or other behavioural problems may appreciate the soothing effects of a blue room.
  6. Purple. Often associated with royalty, purple is ambitious and self-assured. It’s also the colour of passion, creativity, wisdom and spirituality. This deep and emotive colour is great for inspiring sensitivity and compassion in children. But if children are particularly sensitive, you may want to keep this colour limited to accents.
  7. Pink. Although it’s usually associated with typical girly spaces, pink has a calming feel that can translate to both sexes.
  8. Warm colours. Warm colours inspire happiness, coziness and comfort in most people. They can also make large, open spaces feel more intimate for young ones. Of course, this doesn’t mean you’re limited to brown and tan — use these easy colours as a platform for brighter and more daring shades.
  9. Cool colours. Some of us associate cool colours with sterile, hospital-like environments, but lighter cool colours can have a calming effect on children. Plus, many of these colours help small spaces seem a little bit more open. Try layering in shades of cream for some softness and contrast, and consider comfortable and cuddly textiles for warmth.

So, next time you’re looking to refresh your social and classroom spaces, give us a call and we’ll happily assist in creating the right environment where children can shine!

 

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY – STAND/SIT DESKS

It’s time to change how the workplace works. Try the stand/sit workstation solution from Lomas to improve your employee’s wellbeing and productivity while having a positive effect on the overall company’s culture.

In May we wrote a blog on the benefits of stand/sit desks in the workplace. Well now you have the chance to try before you buy with our amazing 45 day trial offer in partnership with Fellowes.

Contact us to find out more about taking part in the 45 day trial and see how stand/sit desks can benefit your business.

REDUCE | REUSE | RECYCLE

Do you look at ways in which you can Reuse, Reduce and Recycle within your organisation? Years ago it was all about recycling, but now the 3 Rs have provided us with the opportunity to look at how we reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

The 3 Rs are:

  • REDUCE: trying to reduce the amount of waste we produce in the work environment
  • REUSE: thinking of ways in which you could reuse something such as shredded paper for lining your guinea pig’s cage
  • RECYCLE: identifying products an packaging which can be recycled and turned into something else

The 3 Rs in the Workplace

Reduce

  • Pack your lunch in a reusable box rather than foil or cling film
  • Avoid wasting paper and other materials – use only what you really need
  • Encourage your company to adopt waste reduction techniques throughout the organisation
  • Share memos, journals and other publications rather than everyone having their own copy. Make better use of notice boards for shared information
  • Avoid using paper when a phone call, e-mail or personal visit might do instead
  • Only print or photocopy when really necessary – use the double-sided and/or reduction facility whenever possible.

Reuse

  • Choose refillable items such as printer cartridges, glue etc.
  • Reuse folders rather then order new ones
  • Use scrap paper to take notes and messages. If you need to stick them up, sticky tack (such as Blu Tak) can be reused many times.

Recycle

  • Recycle toner cartridges
  • Purchase recycled and low waste products.
  • Recycle cans, plastic and glass bottles, paper, card, etc.

 

Contact us now to discuss how we can help you to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We can provide you with collection bins for ink cartridges and waste paper as well as equipment such as shredders. Contact us to discuss your requirements.

 

BENEFITS OF STAND/SIT DESKS

With more of us leading sedentary lifestyles (sitting down for 8 hours a day, travelling in cars), obesity, heart disease and diabetes is on the rise. So what does this have to do with office furniture?

Standing desks have been around for years (Charles Dickens wrote much of his work whilst standing)! Over the years standing desks have become less common in typical workplace settings – until now! Many modern versions are adjustable, so that you can change the height of the desk and alternate between sitting and standing.

There are a variety of benefits to choosing sit/stand work desks (for employees, creativity and productivity):

  1. Standing Lowers Your Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity
  2. Using a Standing Desk May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
  3. Standing May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
  4. Standing Desks Appear to Reduce Back Pain
  5. Standing Desks Help Improve Mood and Energy Levels
  6. Standing Desks May Even Boost Productivity
  7. Standing More May Help You Live Longer

Time for a change? Then take a look at the product specifications and contact us to discuss introducing Sit/Stand desks into your workplace.

Product Specification:

The Sit-Stand desks are available in both a rectangular and wave shapes as per the photo below. The lifting speed is 40mm per second and the desk comes with collision protection too. The desk can also hold up to 90kg in weight so no need to worry about over loading! The Sit-Stand desk can be delivered in three weeks and the product comes with a two year warranty.

Desktop Options:

  • L1200 x D800mm
  • L1400 x D800mm
  • L1600 x D800mm
  • L1800 x D800mm

Height Adjustment:

Height 650mm to 1250mm with a 25mm thick top.

If you would like more information regarding the Sit-Stand Desk please contact our furniture department. They will be happy to help answer any questions about this new product. This product is available to order today!

GET YOUR COFFEE FIX

From early morning starts and late meetings to fuelling our creative energies or completing a project, thousands of people know that a cup or two of the hot stuff is what they need to get things done. Traditionally tea drinkers, the UK have embraced the coffee bean with gusto!

Did you know…

People in the UK are drinking 70 million cups of coffee a day, so it’s clear we love this hot drink, in and outside of the workplace!

Here are five reasons all businesses should stock up on good quality coffee:

People stay around.

Making great tasting coffee easily available on-site to employees and visitors not only provides a feel good factor about the environment, but also encourages people to stay rather than head off somewhere else to find a latte, cappuccino or Americano.

And any old jar of instant isn’t the solution. If the coffee on offer isn’t particularly special, people will go out to find a better option. Around 47% of workers say they leave the office to purchase coffee from the high street each day.

It improves performance.

Recent news reports that coffee could help ward off dementia, after researchers found that caffeine can boost an enzyme in the brain that protects against this illness. There have been a range of studies concluding that coffee can power our mental performance in lots of useful ways at work.

Caffeine has been found to improve brain energy levels, which helps to enhance cognitive performance, increase alertness, decrease mental fatigue, quicken reactions and increase the ability to concentrate and focus attention.

Fairtrade is on the up

2016 saw Fairtrade coffee sales rise in the UK by 8%, with new ranges launched in coffee shops and supermarkets last year and more consumers choosing Fairtrade options for their shopping baskets.

Cuts down wastage

Making a coffee at work using a mug or cup can help play a part in reducing waste. This is because we throw away an incredible seven million disposable coffee cups every single day but only recycle 1% of this waste and a parliamentary enquiry has just been launched to look at the impact this is having. It’s likely that recommendations will be made to reduce this waste.

By drinking from a cup that can be washed and re-used, people are helping reduce the environmental impact of disposing of hard to recycle coffee drink containers.

It feeds the office plants

If you make fresh coffee at work and have leftover grounds, these do not need to go to waste. They can be added to the soil around office plants to boost drainage, aeration and water retention. The recommendation is to rinse the grounds first for use on most plants, but leave them as they are for acid-loving plants such as azaleas and gardenias.