Expert advice on the business of running a garment decoration company

LAST MONTH’S TOP BUSINESS STORIES

  • Business minister Matthew Hancock announced on February 26 that the government-backed Prompt Payment Code will now promote 30-day terms as standard, with signatories committing to pay within 60 days. Those that don’t comply will be removed from the Code.
  • The Low Pay Commission has recommended a 3% increase to the adult National Minimum Wage. The proposal, announced on February 23, would see the minimum wage rise to £6.70, an increase of 20p.
  • The UK government spent a record £11.4 billion with SMEs in 2013 to 2014, according to figures published on February 25.
    To find public sector contracts, go to the updated Contracts Finder website, www.gov.uk/contracts-finder

Think like your customers to get the best out of LinkedIn

Have you ever met someone who claims to get business – lots of business – through LinkedIn and wondered how they do it?

First you need to understand that people are looking for what you have to sell on LinkedIn as well as Google. Why? Because they might also have a connection to you, or to someone who knows you, or to someone who has bought from you before. And that means you are no longer a cold connection, but a person they have something in common with.

Next, take a look at how you are presenting yourself and your business on LinkedIn. A few hours of attention to your LinkedIn profile will make a massive difference to the way you appear on the world’s only significant global business social network. After all, if your profile (and your business’s profile) doesn’t accurately represent what you do and what your value proposition is, you won’t be found by people searching LinkedIn for your services.

Start by describing what you actually do, in terms that your customers might use: “D2G expert”, “UK textile printer”, “contract embroiderer”, “specialist schoolwear supplier” or similar. Put this description in your LinkedIn headline: you have 110 characters to use, so make full use of them to describe what you have to offer. So you could say: “UK textile printer specialising in high value contracts for the UK and European leisure industry.” And that’s only 97 characters.

Then, claim your vanity URL from LinkedIn. This is a type of custom URL that customers will find easy to remember: Google ‘vanity URL’ to find out how to get the URL you want.

Finally, make sure you have uploaded an appropriate picture of yourself. Bear in mind, for new contacts this will be their first impression of you. You can never have a second chance at a first impression, so if you’re wearing a Hawaiian shirt on a stag-do in Bournemouth, chances are your contacts will always think of you that way.

Zoe Richards is the project manager at North Laine Solutions (NLS), an integrated digital marketing & communications agency.
www.nlsltd.com

Q&A

A customer has asked me to print a picture of a celebrity onto some T-shirts. They say a photographer took the photo and has allowed them to use the image, but I’m a bit worried that they (and my company) might be sued given the recent Rihanna/Topshop case. What’s your advice?

The Appeal court recently confirmed that the Rihanna/Topshop case was not about image rights, which are not recognised in England courts. The case was decided in Rihanna’s favour largely because the courts perceived a risk of the public thinking that the use of the particular image meant that Rihanna endorsed the garment in question. This was because she had previously had a public association with Topshop and the image closely resembled promotional shots for the Talk That Talk album.

If there is permission from the copyright owner, the image could be used. But you should consider whether the public would believe that there was an endorsement involved.

Intellectual Property law largely exists to prevent the public from being misled in such ways. If you think there is any possibility of confusion in the public’s mind it may be best not to take the order. In any event your contract terms should always ensure that your customer indemnifies you for any legal actions taken against you where images are supplied by them.

Dean Orgill is the chairman of law firm Mayo Wynne Baxter. Mayo Wynne Baxter provides a comprehensive and personal service to a broad spectrum of local, national and international clients.
www.mayowynnebaxter.co.uk

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