Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When is a startup not a startup..?

Imagine you are a designer starting up your own business. Its a great idea, all you need is some premises and some clients...Great idea, there are plenty of low rent office spaces available, lets take our pick.., some even specialise in creative industries too as well as acting as an 'incubation space' for developing business.

Sounds good doesn't it?

Well, yes in principle.

But in practice, it can have a massive effect on established businesses. Lets look at this way:

Any business competing for a speculative pitch will have overheads. These are set by things like rates, electricity, telecoms, rental as well as salaries etc. If an established company (who pays standard rates and overheads) has to compete with another who has significantly subsidised overheads then how can this be a fair and level playing field?

The answer is, it simply cannot.

So in an attempt to promote 'new' start-ups by providing advantageous overheads what actually happens is that established businesses are forced to either reduce their costs in order to compete or move into the similar premise under the guise of a 'new start-up'.

This is happening and has happened all over Derby and it has created a somewhat false economy. With 'start-up' companies being able to win business thanks to nominal overheads.

As an incubation start-up one would expect a company to get around two years of subsidised accommodation, but in many cases this has continued for over 5 years. How can a start-up a start-up after 5 years trading?

It is about time that these businesses got into the real world and started to compete on a level playing field. The outlook is not ideal and clients who benefit from these artificially low costs will have a shock at some point when the 'real' world catches up!

I fear that Derby will loose its established 'real' businesses if this trend continues. It's worth remembering who in fact is paying for these subsidies. Yes, its all the established businesses who have worked hard to get where they are...we are all adding nails into our own coffins if we continue this way.

Its a good thing that we have our own premises here at Parkhouse Evans Ltd and no rent to pay (we pay our rates and utilities of course!) So this allows us to compete effectively but I wonder how long we can sustain this before we have too have to take some action?

If you are looking for creative premises, we do offer desk space, parking and all the equipment you may need, plus a friendly environment too - give us a call on 01332 291141 to find out more.

A clear winner...

We are proud to be associated with one of Leicester's premier accounting firms. Clear and Lane have been providing top quality accounting advice since 1984 and has grown to become one of the regions top independent firms.

We were asked to look at developing a new house style for their advertising. This is always a challenge when a company has a lot to say - especially as all the best adverts we see have a simple key message. This advert is a good example of communicating a large volume of information in a very confined space. We think it gives C&L a fresh new look.

If your business needs a fresh new look, please give us a call on 01332 291141 and we can have a chat about how we can help you to generate more opportunities.

Leicester - puts you at the heart of policing

This natty little flyer has been designed to communicate all the key messages that Leicestershire's new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has to offer.

PCC's are obliged to produce a plan and outline all the goals they have for policing in their area. This flyer sets out the key goals and objectives.

All businesses have messages to communicate. Let us help you to communicate us on 01332 291141 for a chat about how creative design can help your message and we will show you how you can benefit.

Crime Comissioners Promise

We have just completed the Nottinghamshire  Police and Crime Plan brochure. This document sets out all the goals that the new Police and Crime Commissioner aims to reach. We have worked in close partnership with Better Times, a PR firm who specialise in public sector / police / communications.

The brochure will be distributed to stakeholders throughout the county and will also be available on line as a download.

If you don't have a brochure isn't it time you did? please call us on 01332 291141 for a no obligation chat and we can discuss the benefits and value a brochure can give to your business.

Bees bees nuffink but bees...

Our friend Dr John is an avid beekeeper. With a number of hives up in Scotland he has been looking after bees and his colonies have been producing honey for years.

This winter was particularly harsh and hundreds of bee colonies have been wiped out. If this is due to the cold or to an increase in bee mortality we are not sure, but we were delighted to discover that one of his colonies survived...

The picture shows the bees enjoying the (rare) Scottish sun.

We wish Dr John and his bees all the best - lets hope they build into more colonies and begin to thrive again.

Friday, April 12, 2013

A 'Cold'en Eagle

Colden - geddit?!

We spotted this eagle shaped icicle outside our front door last week.

It's funny how we all make shapes out of random objects such as clouds and the like...Humans, we are amazing eh?!

If you have any funky pics you' like us to post, please send them to and well submit them to a rigorous 'funk' test - if they pass we'll post!

Chameleon Boy...

On a recent visit to Banbury, Jonny was captured posing discretely in the CPB reception. Note how the shirt is the perfect colour combination to allow him to blend into the CPB picture. Its almost uncanny...

Thanks to Garreth for taking the piccy!

To find out how CPB can help your business visit their new website (designed and developed by us) click here, or if you want to see what we can do for your business just call us on 01332 291141 for an informal chat - you may even get to see the shirt for real..!