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  • Business

    • How to write a job offer letter

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    • Virtual Reality

      VIDEO: Virtual vision

      I’m sure most of us have seen virtual reality (VR) headsets being used for gaming and entertainment. The advancement in VR has really taken off in recent years, and is now being used in a variety of different fields, including: military training, education and sport. NASA uses VR software to control robots on Mars. It has even begun to be used to treat mental health conditions by providing relaxing meditation experiences aimed at reducing stress and anxiety. Excitingly, this software (smartphone-based options particularly) is being increasingly used in architecture and garden design. VR creates a digital 3D experience that we…

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    • 7 tips for conducting a good interview

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    • 6 things to keep in mind when reading a CV

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    • Job description

      7 tips for writing a job description

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    • Social Media

      VIDEO: How useful is social media to your business?

      Social media is a part of most people’s everyday lives, and with businesses using it more frequently we were interested to know how beneficial you think it is to your business. We put together a short survey to find out how people in our industry use social media, why they use it and if they find it beneficial to their business at all. The results are in and are surprisingly varied. Twitter came out on top as the most used social media platform with 78.5% of people saying they used it, Facebook and Instagram followed closely behind at 76% and…

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    • Making Tax Digital

      Making Tax Digital becomes law

      From 1 April 2019, the government’s major Making Tax Digital programme has become law for over one million VAT-registered businesses earning more than £85,000.   The new rules, first announced in 2015, will mean most businesses above the VAT threshold will need to keep their records digitally. As well as submitting their VAT return using MTD-compatible software for VAT periods starting on or after 1 April.   MTD will make it easier for businesses to get their tax right first time. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been urging businesses to get ready and has already written to every business…

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    • Perennial

      Perennial launches online budgeting tool

      In 2018, Perennial helped people in horticulture access nearly £4 million in financial assistance. A recent financial wellbeing survey of working-age people found that 94% worry about money. Of this group over three quarters say it impacts their work. Less than half of employees surveyed had a financial plan and debt was cited as an issue for 58% of people. Perennial is combating some of these money worries for people working in horticulture, including those who are self-employed, looking for work or retired, with its easy-to-use online budgeting tool.   Wendy Tozer, Debt Advice Manager at Perennial, says: “Most of…

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    • flexible working hours

      Flexible Working: Is flexism holding back businesses in 2019?

      It is widely accepted that only 6% of the British public hold a traditional 9 to 5 working hours role. Flexible working seems to be more important to the workforce in 2019 than ever before, but is ‘flexism’, the discrimination against people who work flexibly or want to work flexibly, holding businesses back in 2019? According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), flexible working describes a type of working arrangement which gives a degree of flexibility on how long, where, when, and how many hours an employee works. According to a recent BBC News article, 68% of people…

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    • Shared parental leave

      What is Shared Parental Leave ?

      Shared parental leave provides an opportunity for eligible parents to take advantage of additional flexibility in the way they choose to care for a new arrival to the family. It allows parents to share caring responsibilities evenly or have one parent taking the main caring role, depending on their preferences and circumstances. Unlike maternity/adoption leave, eligible employees can stop and start their shared parental leave and return to work between periods of leave with each eligible parent able to submit three notices booking periods of leave (although an employer may allow more). In April 2015, the government allowed new parents…

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    • Zero Hour Contact

      Zero Hours Contracts – Get Yours Right in 2019

      A zero-hour contract is a type of contract between an employer and a worker, where the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours, while the worker is not obliged to accept any work offered. Everyone employed on a zero hours contract is entitled to some statutory employment rights. Any individual on a zero hours contract is entitled to at least the national minimum wage, paid annual leave, rest breaks and protection from discrimination. The above is the main difference between a zero hours worker and a freelancer, but with a zero hours worker, unlike a freelancer, it…

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    • staff retention

      The importance of staff retention

      Staff retention can drastically improve business performance for numerous reasons. Pro Landscaper speaks with staffing experts to summarise the crucial reasons below: Consistency A moderate level of staff turnover is natural in any company and this can be a good thing. Fresh ideas and new approaches are good for development and morale. But a high level of turnover can be unsettling for workers and clients. Training and maintaining a high level of service and brand style can be challenging when constantly introducing new members to the team. Lowers internal morale Many people – clients and employees alike – value long…

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    • staff

      Handling staff during the Christmas period

      As fabulously festive as Christmas time is, the holiday can wreak havoc with many industries that find their workload increasing through the winter months. Grounds maintenance is a prime example. Colder weather strikes up the need for additional services such as gritting and snow ploughing, making staff attendance essential. Pro Landscaper sits with Eddy Griffiths, head of operations at grounds maintenance and landscaping giant CGM, to discover how he manages staff at this time of year. When asked how busy the winter period is compared with the rest of the year, Eddy starts by saying: “In theory the winter months…

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    • andrew wilson

      Andrew Wilson: Breaking into the garden design industry

      Andrew Wilson provides Pro Landscaper with an insight into the position of garden design graduates upon leaving the London College of Garden Design. He tackles the pressing issue of breaking into the market as a new designer and suggests what could assist them in such a competitive market. As I waved goodbye to our LCGD class of graduates in July, I couldn’t help but wonder: ‘How many of them will make it?’ I always ponder on this subject – in fact many of them do make a success of their new career, but it’s a long and winding road as…

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    • landscaping profession

      Attracting a wider audience to the landscaping profession, with Tim Howell

      I’ve written many times about the career opportunities within the landscaping profession, and the difficulties that we face in attracting and retaining talented individuals. It’s a challenge that isn’t going away and is one that will continue to affect our business’, or us personally, over the next decade. There are already industry wide actions in place to encourage school leavers to consider landscaping as a career. Now is the time to broaden our appeal and accessibility to a far wider group of people.  At Mitie we carry out an independent survey every year to measure employee engagement. It’s well known…

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    • flexism

      Flexism in the workplace

      ‘Flexism’. The term meant for allowing flexible working hours is now commonplace in most businesses. This is essential in the modern day, as working parents or those with a duty of care for one another need hours that can work around the other integral and immovable parts of their life. This week, Pro Landscaper speaks with Giles Heap, managing director of CED Stone Group, about the principals of ‘flexism’ and how it affects his business. “While thinking about this subject and chatting to one of our employees, I realised that I personally did not think that we have any issues…

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    • no deal brexit

      Importing and exporting plants if there’s a no deal Brexit

      This notice sets out how businesses and individuals that trade in plants and plant products would feel the affect if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with a no deal Brexit. ‘Plant’ means a living plant or a living part of a plant, at any stage of growth. ‘Plant product’ means products of plant origin, unprocessed or having undergone simple preparation. In so far as these are not plants, including wood and bark.   This includes trade that is currently managed by the EU plant passport regime or subject to third country controls under EU rules. It also…

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    • website

      7 ways your website can stay ahead of the competition

      Maintaining a positive online presence can go a long way to helping you build brand awareness for your business. The way your website conveys your company’s message speaks volumes about how you want to present the firm.   When it comes to your website, staying up to date with current trends is imperative to staying ahead of the game. Creating a simple, clean design which is aesthetically pleasing, performs well and engages readers will help to improve user experience.   As a full-service agency and Google Premier Partner, at Adtrak we work across the UK providing a complete range of…

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    • communication

      The positive affects of business communication

      Adam Corrie of Synergy 3 Ltd advises on the importance of communication and how it can positively affect you and your business.   Enhancing your communication skills is a key area in business development and problem solving. It can lead to achieving the right outcome in all situations.   Whether negotiating a tender or settling a contractual dispute, how you communicate and conduct yourself is key to a successful result.   We all know how quickly a situation can gather momentum and it is important to remain in control of the direction a matter is going.   In a world…

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    • company website

      How to create the perfect company website

      Adam Corrie from Synergy 3 Ltd tells us how business presentation is most effective by building a quality company website.   Presentation and quality are now more important than ever in the competitive landscaping market. One of the most crucial aspects of your company’s appearance is your website. It is now the first place many prospective clients will look and it is a good opportunity to give a great first impression.   Creating or updating your site can seem a very daunting task. Many people lack the time to do it themselves or get confused with the jargon-filled quotes from…

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    • janine pattison

      Janine Pattison: How to survive and thrive as a garden designer

      When it comes to money, getting what you deserve isn’t always as easy as it should be in the garden industry. Janine Pattison offers some tips on persuading clients to pay up. Surviving as a garden designer can be difficult. Some clients will be unwilling to pay a fee for what they consider to be something that you enjoy and should be doing for nothing. Agreeing decent fees and then actually getting the money in once the work complete can be a struggle. Some clients will always be difficult to get money from and will invent all sorts of reasons…

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    • ppe

      Understanding PPE for landscaping professionals

      Harriet Orme from personal protective equipment (PPE) experts Zoro talks to Pro Landscaper about the importance of PPE for landscaping professionals.   For landscapers whose job involves a lot of manual labour, it’s crucial to protect workers from harm. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (1992) require precautionary measures in place.   Although other measures are available, landscapers should always have relevant PPE for the job they’re doing. It isn’t always clear what PPE is necessary however, so the following should assist you:   How will PPE help landscapers? When working in such a demanding industry,PPE must be available…

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    • no deal brexit

      What a No Deal Brexit means for UK landscaping

      On 23 August the UK government published 25 technical guidance notes giving advice about preparing for a No Deal Brexit. The UK is set to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019.   The below contains guidance from the HTA for if a No Deal Brexit should occur. A further 60 guidance notes are set for publishing in September.   The full guidance notes and other information is available through the UK and EU section on www.gov.uk.   UK Government Approach:   The technical guidance stresses that the UK Government firmly believes that a deal will materialise with the EU prior to…

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    • social media

      4 steps to handle social media complaints, with Ross Hewitt

      Social media is a part of life for nearly every business which provides a service or sells something. Eventually, someone somewhere will make a mistake. If that mistake affects a customer who is very active on social media, then they are likely to make lots of noise about it. This is where you need to react quickly to try and turn negative into positive (or shift it to neutral, at least). Step 1: Listen You need to be in a position to pick up on any mentions about your business quickly after they’re posted. Visit your social media accounts on…

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    • tim howell

      Tim Howell: ‘Seize the opportunity of summer to promote landscaping as a career’

      Summer is a great media show for landscaping and horticulture, Tim Howell says. “We should seize the opportunity to promote our industry as a career choice.” I’m writing this in late June and feeling excited, as horticulture is firmly in the public eye. Aided by countless landscaping shows on television and lots of positive coverage throughout the media. Horticultural shows and a run of great park weather, put the industry in a good light. This, paired with a focus on the benefits that our industry has a hand in, puts horticulture and landscaping back in season.   Horticulture brings reward…

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