Get Expert Advice And Make New Contacts At Shaftesbury’s First Business Expo

A brand-new business event will offer Shaftesbury business people the latest information on tax and employment law and will share tips on making the most of an online presence.

Alfred met the man who devised the free advice day and found out what’s on offer.

The first-ever North Dorset Business Expo is being held at the Royal Chase Hotel from 10am on Wednesday 26th June. Wincombe-based accountant, Daniel House, of DH Accounting decided to arrange and host this networking and information day after he attended similar functions elsewhere in North Dorset.

“Blandford put on a couple a few years ago and they were very well attended. And then there was the Dorset Business Day in Sturminster Newton last year. There are other events like this going on in and around the area, but nothing in Shaftesbury,” said Daniel. “I’ve been up here now for five years and I’ve not noticed anything like this for businesses. There are so many small businesses in this area that I just thought we would have a go and try and fill that gap ourselves.”

Organiser Daniel House

Many local businesses have confirmed that they will attend and showcase their services. “I think there are twenty exhibitors lined up at the moment. They will have trade stands, marketing material and they will be available for chats,” said Daniel. The majority of the companies and experts present are from our immediate area. “The vast majority are local, either Shaftesbury- or Blandford-based. There are a few from a bit further afield too,” he added.

Financial and professional services are well-represented. “There’s us, as an accountant. We’ve got financial advisors, mortgage brokers, insolvency people,” said Daniel. But there some attendees that will be offering services that you might not expect to find at a business expo. “There are people who do aerial photography and Shaftesbury Chiropractic. Something for everyone, really.”

Daniel has arranged separate talks in the morning and afternoon. The first speaker is an expert on legal issues surrounding employing or dismissing staff. “Kate Brooks, an employment solicitor, will be there giving advice to employers about regulations and things they’ve got to watch out for. We’ll be able to answer any questions that employers have about happens if they want to get rid of an employee and what process they would have to go through to make sure they do it legally. If they’ve got a dispute with someone, she will advise how best to overcome it,” said Daniel. “Employers will find it quite useful. At the end of the session, we have got the questions and answers, so they can ‘pick her brain’ on anything specific.”

After Kate’s presentation, the second guest-speaker will help business owners and management identify how they could reduce their workload and work fewer hours. “There is a business coach talking about improving your efficiency in the workplace. Simon Rigby is based down near Blandford. He has one-to-one meetings with businesses that want to free up more time, become more productive or work on an exit strategy,” explained Daniel.

Royal Chase Hotel

Simon’s hour-long session begins at 11.15am and runs until the lunch break. And at 1.15pm, James Chetwode from Wincombe-based sales, marketing and online specialists Chain Digital will share valuable advice about online promotion.

Then it’s a talk on tax. “The last talk of the day is by Zero, the cloud-based bookkeeping company, all about making tax digital,” said Daniel. He says that’s currently a hot-topic for VAT registered businesses and it will apply to many more traders from next year. “From 1st April it is going to hit other businesses down the line,” said Daniel.

All of the talks can be booked on Eventbrite. “They’re free to attend but we would like people to book so we know numbers and people can reserve a place,” said Daniel. “Just go to the Eventbrite website and search for North Dorset Business Expo. It will come up if you select ‘all events in Shaftesbury’.”

The level of interest shown in the event has pleased Daniel. “We’ve already got so many people signed up, both just to attend and also to go to the individual seminars. Hopefully, it should be a very well-attended event.”

Knowledge is power and the information that the expert speakers will give should be useful to local business. Daniel believes that meeting new people, making contacts and gaining referrals will be another important aspect of the day. “It’s a good way to let a lot of people know about changes in tax law and the things that are changing in the accountancy world, and it will be a good chance for us to all network. I think they’re both probably equally important,” said Daniel.

You can sign up at the Eventbrite website here.