bordercars – Severn Valley Business Group

Author: bordercars


Kent born and bred (I'm a Kentish Man, born west of the Medway) Millwall fan and B2B sale professional of 30+ years, I've run Border Vehicle Contracts for 16 years now, supplying SMEs with cars, vans & advice. Likes include real ale, classic bikes & music. Bass player extraordinaire. Garden labourer.

GDPR assistance

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This came in from my email clients marketing app managers. May be useful for some of us?


Happy Days


Being a Trustee

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As I’ve been a member here for some time and you all know what I get up to in my business life I thought I would do a bit about what else I get up to.
Different folks have many different reasons for becoming a trustee. For me, from 1974 I have been in sales positions in industry, initially for some of the big boys – Grand Met (Sodexho now?), Autobar, Initial group etc, supplying the likes of British Airways, BT, and THF. and for the past 21 years by myself, for myself and after a health scare a couple of years back felt it was time to try to put something back into society.
I first thought of doing something for Lingen Davies Cancer fund in Shropshire, but was persuaded that being a Trustee may be a better use of my skills than making tea or rattling a tin.
I was introduced to a small charity based in Shrewsbury. Taking Part. There’s a team of just 8 staff plus a squadron of volunteers, funded in the main by Central and Local government, trying to assist people with a wide range of health and social difficulties, with whatevers troubling them.  
Trouble is of course that source of income has been progressively turned off over the last 10 years whilst demand, for various reasons, has gone up…
Traditionally a lot of small “unsexy” charities have had trustee’s boards made up of incredibly dedicated people overseeing (for want of a better expression) people of extraordinary passion for their cause. Unfortunately what is often missing is a business brain, able to take a helicopter view and contribute to the future viability of the organisation.
Taking my own example – 3 hugely dedicated trustees who have been with the charity since its inception 15 years ago  – a retired police dog handler, a nurse and a librarian. 8 staff widely experienced in social and advocacy concerns and one overworked but again hugely loyal manager. The prospect of having someone on hand with wider business acumen came as a huge relief and revitalised the whole undertaking. You could do that.
What exactly is a Trustee? A Trustee is a person who serves on the board of a charity. They may be known as Trustees, Directors, Board members, Governors or Committee members.Responsible for the general control and management of the ADMINISTRATION of their charity. Importantly they never have any involvement in the day to day delivery of the charity’s services.
For further information on the specific duties of a Trustee take a look at the Charity Commission  various PDFs on the subject
Commitment time wise varies greatly from charity to charity but personally it takes up around 30 hours a year in meetings etc plus perhaps a further 10 hours reading reports, so not too onerous.

So to Summarise 

There are quite a few charities out there in need of a bit of advice guidance and business acumen

We as business people Can add that extra dimension

I can guarantee you will derive a lot of satisfaction whatevey charity you coose (or chooses you!)


So you know your Highway code?

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I can’t make Friday weeks fun and games – road testing Santas new sled

So to get you all in the mood here,s some car and motoring related quizzes

The Theory test one is scary.

A bit early I know but Happy Christmas to all, See you in the new year



Decision making. Or making decisions?

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Whilst its easy enough to make some decisions, ones that won’t hurt too much if they aren’t the best choice, decisions involving complex information, large sums of money and affecting you, your family, staff, finances etc need a bit more thought and the application of hardness tests.
Thinking about this I came across a bit of advice on the subject from Dartmouth College, Massachusets for their students when deciding on courses to take. As they are an Ivy League College I am happy to accept they know what they are talking about. They split it down into 7 steps which I will set out below. Apply your own knotty problem to them and see how you get on..
Step1. You realize that you need to make a decision. Try to clearly define the nature of the decision you must make.
Step 2. Collect some pertinent information before you make your decision: what information is needed, the best sources of information, and how to get it. This step involves both internal and external “work.” Some information is internal: you’ll seek it through a process of self-assessment. Other information is external: you’ll find it online, in books, from other people, and from other sources.
Step 3. As you collect information, you will probably identify several possible paths of action, or alternatives. You can also use your imagination and additional information to construct new alternatives. In this step, you will list all possible and desirable alternatives.
Step 4. Draw on your information and emotions to imagine what it would be like if you carried out each of the alternatives to the end. Evaluate whether the need identified in Step 1 would be met or resolved through the use of each alternative. As you go through this difficult internal process, you’ll begin to favor certain alternatives: those that seem to have a higher potential for reaching your goal. Finally, place the alternatives in a priority order, based upon your own value system.
Step 5. Once you have weighed all the evidence, you are ready to select the alternative that seems to be best one for you. You may even choose a combination of alternatives. Your choice in Step 5 may very likely be the same or similar to the alternative you placed at the top of your list at the end of Step 4
Step 6. You’re now ready to take some positive action by beginning to implement the alternative you chose in Step 5.
Step 7. In this final step, consider the results of your decision and evaluate whether or not it has resolved the need you identified in Step 1. If the decision has not met the identified need, you may want to repeat certain steps of the process to make a new decision. For example, you might want to gather more detailed or somewhat different information or explore additional alternatives.

There you have it. Hardly necessary for choosing red or white wine, but a useful tool when considering major purchases, pensions, family moves etc.



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As I mentioned at last weeks meeting apprenticeships have been around since the year dot. The old men of the tribe, by teaching the younger ones the skills of hunting, gathering, tool making etc helped to ensure the ongoing success of the group.

Through the ages as people started to specialise and sell/ barter their skills, such as wheelwright, blacksmith, baker etc a younger person would learn at their side, eventually either taking over or setting up on their own. Even Mickey Mouse did his apprenticeship.


Modern apprenticeships as I found out, are much more structured, and usually run by an outside agency who will administer and audit the scheme, find a suitable applicant (who doesn’t have to be a school leaver) and supervise their placement.

Apprenticeships are available in all trades / professions, attract local and central Government financial assistance, but do have their own sets of rules, regs, exceptions and complications.

For this reason I asked Kath Jackson from Kidderminster College to do a presentation and would recommend anyone considering taking on an apprentice to go to  take a good look round and call Kath on 01562 820811, who I am sure will help you out.

In conclusion, the right person, on the right course can very quickly become a useful member of your staff and don’t underestimate the great personal satisfaction you will have of seeing someone blossom, gain skills and personal confidence and find their rightful place in society.




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