Awards Logo Star

Countdown to our Annual Awards

With only two working days left until the Edinburgh Business Awards 2015 excitement is at fever pitch. This year the #ECCAwards will take place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa at 7pm Monday 2nd March 2015.

The Awards have once again seen a significant increase in the overall number of entrants. David Birrell, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce said, “I would like to congratulate everyone who has taken time to enter. It is great to see so many businesses and individuals from our Capital City with positive stories to tell. We have a huge breadth of experience, talent and resource here in Edinburgh.”

Guest speakers at the glamorous ceremony will be Gavin Oates, owner and MD of Tree of Knowledge (Winner of Young Entrepreneur of the Year award 2012) and David Duke, CEO and Founder of Street Soccer Scotland will also speak on the night. David was named as The Sunday Times ‘Change Maker’ of the Year in 2012 and is an international speaker on social change and enterprise. We cannot wait to hear from them!

The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is delighted to be collaborating with a range of prestigious sponsors this year including City of Edinburgh Council, Mearns and Company, The Armed Forces Reserves Scotland, Transport for Edinburgh, Santander, Skanska, The Royal College of Surgeons, Insureness, Central Radio Taxis, Vision Events, Royal Bank of Scotland, and CommsFM.

For further information please email awards@edinburghchamber.co.uk or for information regarding future sponsorship opportunities please email sian.downes@edinburghchamber.co.uk.

 

Big Changes in 2015: Heehaw the Video Production Company

heehaw logo

2015 is bringing about some big changes here at Heehaw. We’ve wound down our digital, web and print work, and we’ve returning to our roots; redeveloping Heehaw from Digital Agency to Video Production Company. It’s been a fantastic decade of building brands, understanding audiences, and creating bespoke communications for our clients, but now we’re taking all of that vital experience and focussing it on our core strength; our video, film and animation production work.

Our video department has had a fantastic 2014, building some new relationships with some fantastic companies, as well as creating brilliant new work for clients we’ve worked with for years. 2015 got off to an excellent start with a film trip to Hong Kong and we’re in the middle of producing exciting video projects for Standard Life, SSE, Destination Stirling, ICAS and the City of Edinburgh Council. We’re also working on a documentary about the legendary night club The Hacienda!

We’ve got a shiny new production office in Great King Street lined up and we can’t wait to get our gear in there and the big screen on the wall!

If you already work with us the likelihood is you’ll already know how excited we are about this move because we won’t have been able to shut up about it, but if you aren’t one of our clients, and you want to know more, just give us a shout and we’ll fill you in.  Please do check out our new showreel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKuHg7bP5XI

International Reputation

By Martin Allen, Account Director, Grayling

With most companies now having an online presence international communication is not as far away as some firms think. At Grayling, we know that building a reputation internationally isn’t easy but it is possible, especially for B2B specialist products or high end consumer goods where exports are key. While it won’t win the business alone, a positive media and digital presence can easily prompt that first email or phone call. It can be a real differentiator for that first internet search and shortlist so it needs careful consideration.

For B2B firms there is generally a plethora of international media, helpfully, much of it in the English language. The difficulty is being set up to deal with any requests that come in at a local level where an affinity with languages is much more important.This is why many large B2B companies set up regional offices around a central hub. It ensures consistency of standards and quality. The same should be true of communications. For any brand the consistency of message is vital to brand and reputational integrity which is why Grayling used a similar model with The 2014 Ryder Cup.
That isn’t to say local markets shouldn’t have their say, ensuring that a message or product works across boundaries can avoid a lot of embarrassment, for example, VolksWagen’s ‘Passat’ means ‘go to the WC’ in Russian!

A good tactic is to ‘piggyback’ on an existing, more generic theme, for example Scotland’s reputation for food, drink and clothing. This is something which can be exploited very well by smaller firms looking to expand without wanting to put local infrastructure in place.
During The Ryder Cup, several Scottish clothing and fabric manufacturers reported that demand from areas like the Middle East for their shirts and jumpers, was far in excess of the domestic market. This tactic can certainly open doors with the minimum of investment. It needs to be done carefully and done well; perhaps with a partner agency like Scottish Enterprise but it is very possible.

Content is king though. Online presence, regular blogs, comments in the media, will show up. It will single you out as a company or individual who knows what they are talking about. Remember, anything you say or do is stored and searchable online so if you do plan to ‘go native’ make sure you have everything doubled checked first!

dragon image to go with Doing business news article

Taming the dragon: How Scottish firms can do business in China

By Linda Fu, International Client Relations Director, HBJ Gateley

By most measures, China’s economic growth has been one of the biggest success stories of the last 20 years. The International Monetary Fund reports that China’s overall economy has replaced the US for the number one spot globally. Despite recent slowdowns, China’s economy is now worth $10 trillion dollars and is still growing at 7% annually. No wonder foreign investors are flocking to this new economic power. For entrepreneurs in Scotland, setting up business in China could seem an overwhelming prospect – the language barrier notwithstanding, there are well-documented cultural differences to consider. However, Chinese appetite for top quality plays very well into Scotland’s long heritage of high-end manufacturing and world-class services, which provides an excellent starting point for businesses with aspirations in the Far East.

Scottish exports like malt whisky and certain food products already fare well, particularly those at the premium end of the market where margins are most attractive. It also helps to get around the hitherto-tricky issue of reconciling Scotland’s production capacity with the enormous volume of the Chinese mass market.

The quality of professional and business services is also well-suited to the Chinese market, with lots of new and growing businesses seeking the input of experienced and knowledgeable advisers. Historically, though, Scotland has shown stronger ties dealing with Europe rather than Asia. However, in recent years the Scottish Government’s China Plan has established a positive relationship between the countries to encourage more reciprocal business. Organisations like the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and Scottish Development International (SDI) are excellent places to start.

One of the fundamental elements of making your first foray into China is to establish a link with a local contact or agent on the ground, who must be the conduit through which you grow your presence in the country.There are several organisations, HBJ Gateley included, with the relationships and understanding of the Chinese market to facilitate the necessary links. This is a critical step in the process; any Scottish company wishing to trade with China needs to have a full-time employee in the country – this helps demonstrate commitment to investing in China and is an essential element of any export strategy.

Other practical considerations include the extent to which regional authorities are open to business with the West. This can vary significantly, so it’s wise to have a solid grasp of where your efforts are likely to be most fruitful before committing any resource.China presents a huge opportunity for Scottish companies to trade with one of the largest economies in the world. At the moment, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s possible, with much greater opportunities for both countries than is currently being achieved. The good news is that we have the organisations and the links already in place to grow Scotland’s relationship with China. Whether you are a seasoned exporter with an eye on Chinese growth, or a small start-up with a specific opportunity in the country, the support exists to make your venture a success.

Little’s – We’ve Updated Our Website

We have been busy over the last few weeks updating our website and we are pleased to announce it’s now live.

Whether you are on your desktop, tablet or phone, our new drop down navigation allows you to find our company information and services with ease. Within our Leisure Tours page we have uploaded pdf sample itineraries giving you a taste of the sightseeing tours we offer.

We now feature a section on client testimonials giving you further information about our experience, back office support and on the ground operations when managing events, conferences and VIP movements.

The Little’s blog is a great way to keep up to date about what’s on in Scotland and any new services we have on offer. As 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, our Operations Director / Touring Expert, Kenneth Good will blog monthly about his favourite Scottish culinary experiences, hoping to inspire our clients to discover Scotland this year.

Our new look website first launched in January 2014 as part of the Little’s rebrand. We are always looking to improve and look forward to adapting our website to suits our clients ever changing needs.

For more information about our services, contact our Business Development Manager, Harjeet Kaur Sandher on +44 (0)141 883 2111 or email sales@littles.co.uk

www.littles.co.uk