FSB Cornwall Business Bitesize

Welcome to the weekly newsletter that acts as a roundup of what’s going on in your local area.

Local Events

FSB Cornwall Women in Business Conference – “In Confidence”
Friday 6 March 2020 from 10.00-5.00pm Falmouth Hotel
The Federation of Small Businesses in Cornwall are holding the most major Women in Business conference that the county has ever seen on 6 March 2020 at The Falmouth Hotel. An all-day event, the aim is to focus on personal development, inspiration and confidence for; women running small businesses, about to start their own business or playing a key role in a business. Is this you?  Last year we had a waiting list for our Women in Business event so book on now to avoid disappointment.

Networking with our partner – Your Partnerships?

You’ll find a warm welcome and great networking opportunities all over Cornwall when you attend a Your Partnerships event. As one of FSB Cornwall’s partners, there’s always other FSB members around to chat to and lots of new contacts to make. Find out what’s happening near you by taking a look at their website.

Local News

Could you supply your goods or services to Bristol Airport? Join us for a special Meet the Airport Team – 29 January
The FSB is delighted to invite all our members from across the South West to join us for a special event where you can find out more about selling your goods and services to one of the biggest players in the region – Bristol Airport. We have worked with the airport to set up a special ‘meet the airport team/meet the buyer’ morning on Wednesday, January 29, and this is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about the airport and find out how you could potentially join their supply chain. Find out more and book on here.

Leading to Grow Programme
Microbusinesses (businesses with between 1-9 employees) can apply to the Leading to Grow Programme, to grow, innovate and increase productivity through adopting digital and new technologies. The programme will be delivered by a consortium of Small Business Charter accredited business schools across England. Places are fully funded by the Business Basics Fund from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK. More information can be found here.

New £3.1M grant fund launches
A new £3.1 million grant fund has been launched to help small and medium sized businesses in Cornwall to boost their productivity and grow. BIG (Business Investment for Growth) Productivity offers grants from £2.5k up to £150k to qualifying businesses and can meet up to 45% of project costs for small businesses, and up to 35% for medium-sized businesses. Find out more here.

Business Issues
Three weeks until self-assessment deadline
A reminder that the self-assessment deadline is fast approaching on the 31 January. According to HMRC, there remains more than five million taxpayers who are yet to complete their self-assessment returns before the deadline. Find out more about it from HMRC.

Fake reviews blighting small firms
New research from FSB reveals the impact of fake and malicious reviews on small businesses that trade online. One in five report having issues with fake reviews, with a similar proportion affected by sudden changes to terms and conditions.

Making the Most of your Membership
Pensions and Payroll – a marriage made in heaven
Managing payroll is a tricky task for any company, whatever their size. Larger businesses can struggle to process high volumes of data accurately and on time. Small businesses find it difficult to stay on top of ever changing HMRC regulations, and it all costs time and money. Check out our blog from FSB Workplace Pensions if you’ve ever thought about outsourcing your pensions or payroll admin.

Is your business insurance due for renewal?
FSB Insurance Service understands small businesses. From listening to members like you, we can equip you with the right insurance products for your business. Click here to find out more and obtain a quote.

Smart lock, smart home, smart living.

Technology is laying the foundation for a truly smart home when it comes to security, where will be in the next ten years?

Already there are smart meters to track energy usage, smart thermostats to control heating systems, smart doorbells and cameras for home security as well as smart home assistance devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home Mini. Today, the ‘smart, connected home’ is the exception. In a decade or less it will be the norm.

Residential smart lock technology allows the user to go above and beyond what a standard door lock can offer. The smart lock provides multiple features accessed through an app on a smart phone giving a greater picture of home security. Undoubtedly a driver for this is that more people now want everything to be accessed through their personal device.

With a smart home lock there is no need to carry keys which eliminates the chance of them being lost or stolen, and it also allows users to cancel keys on the go if they need to restrict access. And because such technology works with most existing euro cylinders or multipoint locks (depending on different manufacturers models), it still complies with current home insurance standards.

Such locks are battery operated and wire free, wireless, cloud or mobile based – so no need for the expense and inconvenience of hard wiring – and are already in widespread use in commercial markets such as hotels, universities, airports, serviced offices etc.

What are the advantages of this technology over a traditional key and lock arrangement?

For residential customers in serviced apartments and the like, more powerful cloud based solutions are a common choice. Cloud access control provides a simple and secure solution to manage keys, users and doors across multiple locations – typically using a combination of smart phone app and smart RFID tag.

No software installation is required; all that’s needed is an online device with an Internet connection. An online account is created and this is used to create access groups, manage users and view entries to the property from a smart phone, tablet or other device.

A hub unit fitted inside the building uses 2G, 3G or 4Gcellular connectivity to communicate with the wireless lock equipped doors. Users simply present their RFID tag to the lock which instantly engages so residents, visitors etc can enter easily and according to their access rights.

What about the individual home?

For the domestic homeowner there are a number of options on the market and most make use of the smart phone to take the place of the ‘key’.

Some take the form of a traditional handle set and have a prominent reader unit at the top. Users can configure, control and unlock their smart door lock from their smart phone via a secure Bluetooth app. They can give family and friends access by sending a virtual key to their smart phone and keep track of who comes and goes via the app.

Another variation is to have a smart motorised lock. The advantage of this is that the door looks just like a normal door with a standard-looking handle and keyhole; there is no impression from the outside that the door is smart. The electronic unit is housed on the inside of the door and again works with a smart phone app. But the attraction of this product is that it also has an auto unlock feature.

With auto unlock activated, coming home is as easy as it gets. Automatic GEO location detection determines your position when you enter the auto unlock zone, approx 500 – 1000m from the door,  and when you get in Bluetooth range approx 0 – 5m, it unlocks your door for you. Not only that, but with automatic timed locking it can do exactly the same thing in reverse and automatically lock the door when you leave the house.

As with most things, the key to success lies in recommending the right product for the customers’ needs. But with smart security, the technology is already here to deliver tomorrow’s smart home today.

For further information visit: www.saltosystems.com


Paxton Introduce the Net2 Entry Premium Monitor – Elegant. Intelligent. Secure

Paxton Introduce the Net2 Entry Premium Monitor – Elegant. Intelligent. Secure

Paxton, the UK market leader of electronic IP access control and door entry solutions, has announced the launch of the Net2 Entry Premium Monitor, the latest addition to its award winning door entry system.

The new interior monitor provides a greater personalised experience together with an elegant aesthetic design. The smart, slim monitor, with simple user interface, includes a quality glass touch screen and 25 background themes making it ideal for a range of applications. This includes high-end residential, commercial buildings and healthcare sites.

The monitor has a host of new features including a concierge function, offering simple visitor and site management. This enables users who are busy or away to divert the monitor to reception, and if the caller is missed, enhanced call administration provides a video snapshot and event log of visitors.

Additional features include a high quality digital camera enabling two-way communication between users or the concierge, and a line-out for use with a T-Loop antenna for users with hearing aids.

The monitor is available in two variations, with or without a handset. A desktop stand is also available, making the monitor adaptable for various environments.

Gareth O’Hara, Paxton’s Chief Sales Officer says: “Following the successful release of the Net2 Entry Touch Panel last year we wanted to further increase the premium product options for our installers. By combining the latest available technology and listening closely to our customers’ feedback we continue to make improvements to what is one of our fastest growing product lines.The elegant design and personalised experience provided by the Premium Monitor perfectly compliments our Net2 Entry range.

“As with all Paxton products this user-friendly solution is supported by our industry leading technical support, 5-year guarantee and a hassle free returns service.”

Pitched as the simplest door entry system available, Net2 Entry consists of just three components that auto-detect on set up; external panel, interior monitor and door controller, for a true plug and play solution. For installers interested in learning more about the Net2 Entry system, free half day training is currently available at the Paxton Technology Centre in Brighton.

For further information about the Net2 Entry Premium Monitor, please visit: http://paxton.info/3349

Top 5 DIY SEO tips for locksmiths

Top 5 DIY SEO tips for locksmiths

Website owners use search engine optimisation (SEO) to help search engines find and rank their web pages, so consumers can find them more easily. The majority of Internet searches (80%) is done via Google, as a result most SEO tips you’ll come across are geared toward getting noticed and ranked by Google.

There are a lot of SEO courses, and articles online, and there is always something new added to process. Try not to get overwhelmed, you don’t need to use them all. There are a few basic principles, which will help you to improve your search ranking straight away…


Make sure that you use the correct type of keywords on your website; Google’s Keyword Planner will help. Use keywords in articles, page titles, headlines, image names, and in your menu. Try not to overuse keywords though or it might think you’re trying to cheat the system. Instead, consider using variations of the same word and add a blog that you can post relevant information to (including keywords of course). Try to make posts at least once a month, to make sure information is up to date, and add links to external sites (more in point 3).


This is a short snippet of information that summarises a webpage’s content. Its main purpose is to get a click on your link so sales phrases with a call to action like ‘learn more about our services’, ‘get a quote’, or ‘call for a free consultation’ encourage this. Search engines – such as Google – show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched-for phrase (typed in by the consumer) is contained in the description, so try to think about what someone would be searching for; such as ‘locksmith in London’ or ‘change lock in Manchester’. Try to keep it under 150 characters, to make sure that Google and other search engines can display it correctly. Also, make sure that your meta description is unique, as Google may penalise you for copying a competitor. If you can, write a meta description for each page of your website; at the very least, your home page needs a correct meta description.

Here is an example of APECS meta description.


All search engines like to see links to other authoritative sites, as well as links within your own site to more of your own content. Make sure that you add links to MLA website and the APECS website for better Google ranking. Also add social share buttons under each post in your blog to will help with Google ranking and your own online promotion.


These are links to your website from other sites. If you have social media already, then definitely add more links on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that take people back to your website. Having other quality sites linking to your content also goes a long way to improving your ranking so consider digital newspapers in your area, Trustpilot, or any other platforms, where people could add reviews on your business. Make sure that you only link well-known websites when leaving links to your page, because Google will judge your website by the quality of the incoming and outgoing links.


So many people will be searching for a locksmith on their mobile phones or tablets. What’s more, Google has included mobile-friendly as one of the aspects it looks for when ranking a site. Check if your website is mobile friendly here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

For additional information on SEO and marketing ideas, check out APECS website https://apecs.co.uk/MarketingTools and www.youtube.com/user/GoogleWebmasterHelp

6 year sentence for £600,000 locksmith fraudster

Andrew Taylor, 55, of Ondine Road, London, has been sentenced to six years imprisonment after abusing his position of trust to defraud his employer – Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust – of £598,000. The jury unanimously found him guilty of Fraud by Abuse of Position, contrary to sections 1 and 4 of the Fraud Act 2006 (at Inner London Crown Court, 26th March, 2018).

This is the first conviction secured by the NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA) since its establishment as a new Special Health Authority in November 2017.The judge also set a timetable for confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and the NHSCFA will now progress action to recover moneys obtained by Taylor during the course of his offences.

Andrew Taylor had worked for the Trust since 1998 and had been the Guys and St Thomas’ permanent locksmith from 2006. Due to the specialist role he performed, Taylor was responsible for sourcing and obtaining a best value quote for locksmith supplies to the NHS body. In March 2007 Surety Security (an incorporated Limited company from 2009) began to supply the health body with locksmith materials. Investigations revealed that Surety Security was actually owned and controlled by Taylor himself, and he exploited his position of both purchaser and supplier of security hardware requirements for the Trust over a number of years, charging the NHS extortionate mark-ups of up to 1,200%.

Enquiries also established that, apart from two very low value jobs, Surety Security had no  customer other than Guys and St Thomas’, suggesting that the company was set up and used solely as a vehicle to facilitate the fraud. After initial enquiries established that the value of the materials Taylor had obtained for the Trust had been billed at a vastly inflated mark-up, he was suspended, but resigned before disciplinary procedures were completed.

NHS investigators obtained witness statements from Taylor’s wholesale supplier, which confirmed the huge mark-ups the locksmith had charged his own Trust. They also obtained statements from a number of Guy’s Hospital employees to prove the method and value of the fraud. The locksmith’s computer was seized and forensically imaged by NHS forensic computing specialists, revealing template Surety Security invoices saved onto Taylor’s profile. Meanwhile financial investigators were able to prove that Taylor controlled the Surety Security finances.

The NHSCFA financial investigators also established that Taylor was leading a cash rich lifestyle beyond his legitimate means, which included paying for his son to attend a private school whose fees were £1,340 a month, and purchasing a brand new Mitsubishi L200 vehicle at a cost of £27,400.

Sue Frith, interim CEO of the NHSCFA, “This is a significant and rewarding outcome for the NHSCFA, and sends a clear message that we will intervene and take action against those who commit fraud against the NHS and who take money originally intended for patient care for their own personal gain. Andrew Taylor exploited his position at Guys and St Thomas’ to satisfy his own greed and personal lifestyle. The sentence imposed today should act as a clear deterrent to anyone else who thinks that NHS funds are there for their own gain, instead of being there to meet the healthcare needs of everyone. The NHSCFA’s action now continues to pursue the money taken by Taylor in order to return it to the NHS.”

If you suspect that anyone is committing fraud or another economic crime against the NHS, tell NHSCFA about it – you can call our 24-hour, confidential reporting line 0800 028 40 60 or visit our main website to report online: www.cfa.nhs.uk

Can’t stand the heat?

Are you specifying the correct closers for metal fire doors?

Specifying a door closer for a metal fire door has historically been fairly straightforward; a specifier will look for documentation to see if a door closer is certified and how long it is rated for. However, a recent revision to certification to help improve safety means that this process has become more detailed – and it could catch specifiers out if they are not aware.

While many door closers are stated as being approved for metal fire doors, in a number of cases this only applies to insulated metal fire doors.  And with around 8 out of 10 metal fire doors sold in the UK being the non-insulated type, this means many door closers are not fit for purpose – with potentially disastrous results.

Non-insulated metal fire doors provide certified fire resistance for integrity only, protecting against the passage of fire and smoke. However, as the name implies, these fire doors are not certified for insulation and so cannot protect against the passage of heat. This becomes an issue for a door closer that is filled with a mineral or semi-synthetic mixed oil, as it can actually ignite when it reaches a high enough temperature. While UNION door closers are filled with an inert glycol oil which will not ignite, other brands of door closers use a flammable oil and thus their correct use should be carefully checked.

Certifire, the testing organisation, has recently revised its certification to more accurately state the type of metal fire door a door closer is approved for use. But with so many installers and specifiers unaware of this risk, UNION is urgently calling on installers and property owners to check any door closers fitted to non-insulated metal fire doors are suitable.

David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at UNION, explains, “This is a hugely serious issue that all specifiers and installers need to be aware of. We believe many door closers could have been incorrectly specified for non-insulated metals fire doors, which could pose a real danger to lives in the event of a fire. Certifire has taken a proactive stance on this matter and updated the certification documents to give a specifier or installer more detailed information.

“Professionals can overcome this issue by following three simple steps. First of all, check all relevant Certifire documentation and make sure this has been updated for any recent amendments. Next, check whether the documentation includes details on the type of fire doors that the door closer has been tested on. Finally, where metal fire doors are covered, are there any restrictions on the type of fire door?  By following these steps you can discover if you have any issues to resolve with your door closers.”

For complete peace of mind, all UNION door closers are supplied with a glycol mix that has been successfully tested on non-insulated fire doors by two UKAS accredited fire testing facilities. Therefore, those choosing a UNION door closer can be safe in the knowledge that they are fitting a device that does not contain an oil that could possibly ignite in the case of a fire. Anyone worried that they may have a door closer that is not safe can also call 0845 2232124 for more information and advice.


The organisers of Lockex 2018 – Security & Fire Safety would like to remind all locksmiths, auto locksmiths, security specialists, fire safety officers, architects, designers, planners, and specifiers that this June’s event at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry is not your ordinary trade show.

Therefore, if you were expecting a weekend of irrelevant exhibitors and stands that exist only to promote themselves with nothing in return for the visitor, three precious days off wasted and leaving with an empty wallet, wishing you’d stayed at home with the family – or worst – worked instead, then please do not come to Lockex 2018, this is not the show for you.

*Okay, now here’s why you should go…

If, however, you prefer an industry event that listens to its visitors and exhibitors, monitors current events and responds to them accordingly, features the biggest and best names from the locksmith, auto locksmith, security, and fire safety sectors, offers all-inclusive packages to its stand holders and lets the visitors leave with more than they came with; free parking, free meal tickets, free goody bags, exclusive raffles and competitions – tool kits, champagne, cash prize draws, super car driving experiences to name a few – plus free training workshops and seminars, working demonstrations, product launches, key note speeches and a ‘Pavilion of Trade Bodies’ dedicated solely to the advancement and development of the visitor’s own career, and it’s been meticulously planned to avoid any major sporting event taking place this year, then sure, maybe, this could right for you.

But, seriously…

Lockex 2018 – Security & Fire Safety promises be a one-stop-shop for everyone in the industry of the latest designs and developments from across the globe. Exhibitors from all over the UK – and indeed the world – from Aldridge to Yale and everything in between will be hosting live demonstrations, displaying new products, and offering genuine free prizes and competitions.

The Lockex team has taken all the key parts from the first event – well organised, visitor-orientated, industry relevant and an exhibition that was actually enjoyable –  plus added some extra aspects to make sure newcomers and past guests alike will be satisfied. While the show may have expanded its reach – to reflect the ever-increasing concerns and considerations of security and fire safety – there will be no compromise on the quality of displays, demonstrations or exhibitors at the event.

From the breakfast butties on arrival and free parking, to the jam-packed schedule of training seminars and live evening entertainment, Lockex isn’t a show that’s going to waste your time and sting you with hefty parking charges and overpriced food and drink. In fact, it’s the show visitors can’t afford to miss.

The reimagined workshop space right in the heart of the Ricoh Arena, with eight demo zones and staging for the official key note speaker Neil Vann, means visitors won’t have to miss a moment of the show by walking out of the exhibition to attend their free seminars (plus exhibitors will get more traffic to their stands). The new 72-square metre ‘Pavilion of Trade Bodies’ will be hosting organisations such as the GAI, DHF, NSI, FDIS, SSAIB and UK Construction Week with representatives from all regions on hand to discuss CPD points and the latest certifications, compliance, and career options.

And finally, Lockex 2018 – Security & Fire Safety has teamed up with Fix Radio – the UK’s first radio station for tradespeople – to make sure the Ricoh Arena will sound just as good as it looks!

Click here to register today

Lockex 2018 – Security & Fire Safety takes place 8th, 9th and 10th June 2018 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. For more information and to register your interest as a visitor (and sign up for more updates as and when they go out) please visit: www.lockex.org

A simple way to enhance vehicle security

Theft of tools or cargo from vans is all too common an occurrence. It’s not just a matter of replacing the items that have been stolen – van break-ins can leave people unable to work, behind on their schedules, losing contracts and facing higher insurance costs.

Vehicle manufacturers are improving security on their latest models, but there are huge numbers of vans and light goods vehicles on the road which have inadequate protection. You’ll see vans out there with clumsy hasps and padlocks which offer only a mild deterrent but plenty of hassle for the driver.

Smart and practical

New to the UK is the Vanlock, a universal auxiliary lock developed by Czech security specialists Tokoz®. The beauty of the Vanlock is that it can be retrofitted to almost any rear or sliding vehicle door. It’s practical with a dual slam-latching and locking action, which means the driver isn’t constantly fumbling for keys or risking things by leaving the vehicle unlocked ‘for a minute’. That slam-locking technology is backed up by an internal emergency escape toggle. Vanlock is purpose made for the job, strong and corrosion resistant with stainless steel components and a Makrolon® cylinder cover. It’s available in black or white, to suit most vehicle livery or fleet colour schemes.

The Vanlock utilises a euro profile single cylinder so they can be masterkeyed into an existing Tigris master keyed system, they can be keyed alike or simply keyed to differ. For those operating a fleet or working in situations where varying security levels are required, the Vanlock can be part of a larger fleet master-key system.

And there’s more

With vehicle security a major issue, Vanlock is sure to be a hit, but it is only part of a wider range of Tokoz® security products that are now available in the UK. Recognising the need to secure larger moveable domestic and personal items such as wheelie bins and motor bikes to even larger industrial equipment such as cement mixers, Tokoz® has introduced the X SAFETY BOX range. This too is locked with a euro profile insert cylinder, allowing these locks to be included as part of a wider home or business master key system.

The new Tokoz® Vanlock and X SAFETY BOX range are available in the UK exclusively from security experts Access2. To find out more call +44 (0) 191 215 0530.

#FSBConnect Cornwall at ExpoWest – Sustainability tips to save you money

We are delighted to announce that Gill Pipkin is our guest speaker for this event. Along with our usual organised networking, Gill will be talking about how using sustainable practises in business can be beneficial to the bottom line and to getting new customers. Being “green” isn’t just for environmental campaigners, it is a real business issue and can also be used to great advantage when you know how. Gill is going to tell us how this means saving or even making money, gaining more customers and having a better business. You will also have free access to the Expowest Cornwall exhibition, an opportunity to network with their attendees and stand-holders before their gates open at 10am.

Across the UK there are thousands of businesses just like you looking to make new connections. To help local businesses, we host regular FSB Connect networking events #FSBConnect. These are high quality, face to face networking events that provide great opportunities, new contacts and business information in an enjoyable and relaxed format. There will be plenty of time to mingle with other attendees and the opportunity to circulate any promotional literature and business cards.

The next event is Thursday 8 March

Snickers New Body-Mapping Micro Fleece Jacket

This new fleece jacket takes working comfort and good looks on site to a whole new level.

It’s advanced workwear made from a stretchable micro fleece fabric with an advanced body-mapping design – just the job for the fast paced professional, who’s always on the go.

Warm, light and flexible, the jacket is made from a quick-drying ‘AIS’ (Advanced Insulation System) material, which is high-functionality and ideal as warm first layer garment or lighter second layer protection.

The jacket delivers an effective balance of insulation where it matters and ventilation for your body when it’s needed. What’s more, with its innovative natural anti-odour treated and quick-drying fabric, it’ll keep you dry, fresh and comfortable all day long

Added to its good looks, it has a checked fleece lining for enhanced breathability and mesh fabric in armpits for extra ventilation, plus a zipped arm pocket for added convenience and a high collar for extra warmth and protection.

To get more information on the Snickers range of Fleece Jackets is easy – call the Helpline on 01484 854788; check out www.snickersworkwear.co.uk and download a digital catalogue; or email info@snickersworkwear.co.uk