Guilty Business Pleasures

Just because you work in a high-end business, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re able (or wish) to afford the goods that are on offer there. Sometimes, it may be that you opt for cheaper options elsewhere. This latest piece in our series on local business people looks at the guilty (and sometimes unexpected business pleasures) of high flyers.

Rachel Staunton, Made to Measure, Westminster

Running a boutique in a popular location, Rachel brings together collections from some of the world’s best known locations. She understands the importance of looking the part too and is elegantly dressed, whether at her flagship store or when appearing at a range of social events.

As a leader in local retail who is well known to members of the business community, it might be expected that she always dresses this well. But what about her days off? Does she, for instance, where Prada when relaxing at home?

Over a beautiful cup of coffee at Coffee Geek and Friends, she laughs loudly as I put the question to her. “I like it that you imagine that people see me that way, but home life is a lot more mundane, albeit in a good way!

She explains that she’s more likely to be found in “a comfortable old pair of jeans and a favourite T-shirt” than anything more stylish. Currently in the midst of a home renovation project, casual clothes are better suited to carrying out the necessary work. But they also make sense when playing with the children and taking part in family baking days. Does she ever feel that she should dress up, in case she bumps into clients when out and about?

“There is an element of that. I’m well aware that fashion is, in part, about theatre. Those who want to look great are obviously attuned to the appearances of others. If I’m out to dinner, then I do make the effort. That’s not just because I’m worried about bumping into others though – it’s because it makes me well good and also comfortable within the environment.”

Finally, I wonder if Rachel might have a fashion tip for our readers. She pauses and then offers some simple advice: “Wear what you like, not what others think you should wear. If you’re comfortable in your own skin, then you’ll naturally be more confident, which makes you look even more stunning.”

Charlie Evans, Chef, London

Charlie’s experience of working in some of the world’s leading restaurants has made himself a go-to chef for those seeking inspiration when it comes to innovative recipes with a truly European flavour. When back in London, however, is Charlie’s cooking all about deconstructing famous dishes and producing meals that are based on French classics? We decided that it was time to find out!

A visit to Charlie’s home, in a rather lovely area of Islington, provided the opportunity to learn more. Seated in his kitchen, offering a surprisingly green view of this part of London, I wondered aloud whether his cooking at home was a reflection of what diners expect to find in a top restaurant. Charlie was honest enough to say that there’s quite a difference!

Working in a commercial kitchen can be a draining experience. By the time that I’ve finished the shift and made my way home, it’s often the early hours of the morning. I’ll sometimes grab something to eat at the restaurant, but most days it’s a matter of grabbing something at home, before heading for bed.

I’m guessing, I suggest, that he doesn’t have the energy to cook a proper meal at that time of night?

Ha! You’re right there! I’ll mainly use this…“, he says, pointing to a toaster on the kitchen side.

It appears that the guilty pleasure in this case is more often than not “cheese on toast, maybe beans on toast, or sometimes just thickly spread butter on there”.

The only real sign that this is a professional that I’m talking to is when I look more closely at the toaster. Charlie explains that he specifically opted for this Breville toaster because it had some nifty functions. It apparently has the option to pop up the toast and take a look at how it’s toasting, before it’s finished. It sounds pretty handy and Charlie tells me that he used the Number 67 website to compare the various toaster models on the market.

As nice as that sounds, surely it’s not toast every day of the week? It doesn’t sound very healthy.

“When I have a bit more time, I will cook Sandie [his wife] a decent slap-up meal. But she’s just as likely to do the cooking at weekends.”

So, there we have it…guilty pleasures from two of Westminster’s finest entrepreneurs. What about you? Do you have similar guilty business pleasures?

Business Coaching at Westminster Enterprise Centre

The Westminster Enterprise Centre, part of Paddington Development, provides business support for residents and businesses in London on a one-to-one basis and through business training. In line with its objectives, a collaboration between the Centre and business coach Angela Belotti has led to a 6-month coaching programme to support a group of micro-business owners, and individuals at a turning point in their professional life.

The programme started in November and has since provided fortnightly one-to-one coaching sessions to its participants. Although the content of each session is being tailored to the participants’ individual business and personal circumstances, some of the areas on which the coaching is focussing includes:

  •  Clarifying business or personal ambitions.
  •  Defining business vision, purpose and values.
  •  Business diagnostics, strategic planning and performance evaluation.
  • Goal setting in line with business vision or personal ambition.
  •  Defining the target market, ideal customer and the product/service.
  •  Promoting the product/service.
  •  Developing a decision and achiever mind-set.
  •  Time management, work-life balance, life priorities alignment.
  •  Personal and professional growth.

Although, the programme has yet to reach its mid-point, participants have already been benefitting from it. The results for some have shown an increase in projected turnover by over 50%, focussed and effective marketing activities, re-defined the business target market and product range, improved websites, had the offer of an executive employment position, and made and implemented significant life changes.

Here is what the programme participants are saying about the value gained from the coaching to date.

The Coaching for Achievement programme with Angela is allowing me to learn the power of focusing my energies on what it is I want to achieve in business and perhaps more importantly being given the tools with which to do it. I feel empowered by the experience and I cannot wait to learn as much as I can and apply it to this and future business ideas”. – Judy Barr Designs


The coaching process is helping me to stop, take time out, reflect, and do a reality-check on my life. I have discovered that I am at a crossroads. The various exercises that Angela has been taking me through are helping me to review, to focus on what important decisions I need to make and do next to move on into the future“. – Tim Skene, Centre Manager at London Jesus Centre.


Working with Angela is like placing a mirror in front you – a mirror that is able to put a spot light on areas of your personality or habits that need improvement. We all may be aware of these areas but may not have the discipline to push for change. These sessions with Angela, have made me accountable to show progress and improvement, at every session, adding great speed to the rate at which I am able to achieve my objectives.
Further, Angela has a unique ability to allow you to envision your goals, clarify them and see elaborate details of your goal coming alive. This conceptual and prolonged process of Q&A pushes for clear short term and long term planning that serves as a scientific approach to achieving your goals. I have understood the value of Angela’s method of planning and her critical and periodic feedback on the strength of my plan.

I am ever grateful to Westminster Enterprise Centre for giving me this opportunity to work with Angela.  I have greatly benefited through my sessions with her. They have resulted in a positive turn in my personal and professional life through awareness and accountability”.  – Programme participant.


Being able to deal with doubts by answering questions to myself instead of being told what to do isextremely powerful. This has allowed me to trust myself more and it is not just about being confident outside, with others, but also confident inside, with my own thoughts.

“Might be …” or “would be nice …” have now become “Doing” and “what’s next”. 

I have also learned that getting things done is not just about ticking a to-do list, but about reviewing what’s been done and how to develop from it further for a desirable outcome.
Started to focus on what has been achieved instead of what is missing -that turned out to be so much easier.
In actual results, productivity level has skyrocketed”. –  Programme participant.


As an artist, it has been extremely challenging to think and act business minded. To have been coached by Angela, my thinking process and attitude to business is finally getting unlocked. At every session my brain is tugged to get finally to understand how I can make success happen and where my old thinking has had me tangled to prevent opportunities. I come out of every session with fresh perspectives, making me feel more confident towards my success criteria getting complete”. – Claire Dell, CEO of Declaire Decore

If you wish to explore how coaching can benefit your business or personal life, contact Angela at contact@angelabelotti.com

For information on business support at Westminster Enterprise Centre, call 020 7266 0636 or email at info@westminster-enterprise.org.uk

Building a brand without a budget

5 Tips to build a brand with limited or no marketing budget

A brand is built up by a company to identify one item, a family of items or all items of that seller. It is important to build it correctly to represent the organisation.

Here are 5 tips to create a brand with limited or no marketing budget
1. Networking

The oldest trick in the trade, communication. As humans we have been speaking for countless of millenniums, we have technically been networking for as long as that too. The point of networking in business terms is to create a trustworthy, genuine link between companies or personnels.

The best way to network is to simply get out into the world and mingle by going to relevant events, joining groups of interests and reaching out to potential key figures to create relationships.

It is wise to aim to be a ‘powerful human resource’, this is so that other people will always remember to turn to you when they need ideas, help or just to refer to.

2. Social Media

With the worldwide rise of social media, almost every person has ties to a social media platform of some sort. This is key to building a brand in the 21st century because the potential that comes with social media is too high to ignore. Many brands use this to market campaigns to a wide audience.

You can’t just make an account on a website and gain millions of viewers straight away unfortunately so here are some advice on how to create a large following over time.

Interacting with customers is always beneficial, it adds a human interaction element between a company and their customers, it will also help build relations and a good reputation.

Constantly publishing good content that will increase traffic to your pages will inevitably increase the traffic too.

3. Blogging

This is proven to be a staple technique to build brand identity and it also helps search engine rankings for a website by increasing your backlink count and with the use of keywords, so it is certainly worthwhile investing time into. A blog is a form of controlled media that is similar to social media posts but usually much more in-depth and specific. It can be used for many purposes such as creating informative content that others may find useful, to provide knowledge on how to use specific predicts or almost anything.

A great reason to blog as mentioned before is to help search engine results, this inevitably raises your domain rank on search engines, which brings in a lot of attention to a website as Google will rank your page higher and higher

4. Visual

The forefront of an organisation is the visual branding, it plays a big part in how people perceive a company and it must equal to the company’s uniqueness, differentiation and value.

It is very important to spend as much time as possible perfecting your brand image because it is imperative to ensure the first impressions are consistent with everything about the company.

Branding isn’t just a simple logo, it is the whole package. It includes brand colours, presentation and templates used, just to name a few. The aim should be to produce a brand that has a combination of clear colours, design, symbols and a unique style.

An example would be at London Management Centre, the website has a clear orange, black and white colour scheme which remains consistent throughout their entire website and email campaigns for their training courses about leadership training.

5. Standards and Consistency

If you take a look at major corporations, they have always set their standards high. They would not be where they are now if they didn’t consistently make great products, have clear policies and offer amazing customer service.

Being able to maintain brand consistency is to ensure that everything is done to a very high level. A customer will always be loyal if they know their chosen companies will deliver what they expect and beyond. Apple for example has its customers who are always made to believe they are being delivered the most revolutionary products on the market.

Along with the products, ensure that everything else you do is flawless, including any marketing campaigns and customer service; the whole package has to be prestigious.

Intellectual Property Workshop

Create and Protect Your Business Brand

Date:       23rd November 2015 (Monday)
Time:       11.00 a.m. to 1.00 pm (registration 10.45)
At:            The Westminster Enterprise Centre, 59 Elgin Avenue, London W9 2DB (entrance on Chippenham Road)

You are invited to a FREE seminar covering the four main areas of intellectual property (trade-marks, patents, designs and copyright) and how to protect your Intellectual Property rights.  It’s a great opportunity for all businesses, looking for the latest information and advice on IP.  Direct from the Intellectual Property Office.
This key seminar provides:
•    a better understanding of  the importance and relationship between trademarks and brands
•    details on how to make the most of your business’s Intellectual Property
•    more awareness of the other forms of intellectual property such as patents, design and copyright?
3 Key Questions:
1.   Do you own your trading name?  You may for example have a limited company and a matching domain name and yet still be infringing some ones trade mark?

2.  Do you own your own web site?  Are you aware of the rules of copyright ownership?  In a recent survey 74% of businesses were unsure of who owned the copyright in their business when it was created by a third party?

3.  Once you identify and secure ownership of the IP within your business you have the potential to fully exploit it.  Many businesses are now for example successfully franchising their business, could you?

This event will answer your questions.  It will introduce you to the world of IP.  Demonstrate how it can be used to benefit your business.  Hear plenty of
practical examples.  You will be signposted on your journey for instance by, utilising the IPO free health check and online search facilities.

Can you afford to miss the opportunity to secure the future of your business?
Why not take time out from your busy schedule to come along to an event that will make a difference.

Book your FREE place today on eventbrite  

For more information please contact Kim Sadler at PDT 
020 7266 0636
Email: kim@pdt.org.uk

Time Management Workshop

TIME MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP 9th July 2013 (Tuesday) 10 am – 12 pm here at the WEC

We live in a fast moving world with competing demands coming at us from all ends.   It is easy to feel overwhelmed and lose sight of the things that matter the most.  Days, weeks, months… can slip by in a fury of activity and tasks which – while keeping you busy – only marginally contribute to your end-goals, those that truly matter to the overall quality of your life.

This workshop is intended to provide you with the strategies to be in control – rather than to be controlled by – time.

The main ingredient for developing efficient time management habits is having clarity on your goals, be it your long term goals of the ‘where-do-you-see-yourself-in five-years-time’ kind to the mini-goals for the week, day or hour.

Our objectives for this workshop are two-fold:

•    To present you with a plethora of time management tools and techniques so you can choose those that best fit your specific situation.  Like with most other things, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for time management.  We will help you identify those that you can realistically implement in your work and day-to-day living.

•    To help you develop awareness of what truly matters to you.  If you are not clear about what you want then external factors and other people will have a greater influence over your priorities. We will use a SMART coaching model to help you attain proficiency in setting goals and attaining them.

Our guiding principle in working with you is to recognise that ultimately you are the expert on your life and will not try to force fit you into a single template.  This workshop will introduce you to a range of resources and tips but ultimately the power of decision on how you spend your days is yours.  We will seek to inspire you to embrace that power and find your own unique balance between work, play and everything in between.

to book for this seminar please call 020 7266 0636 or email kim@pdt.org.uk

Financial aspects of running your own business seminar

20th June 2013 (Thursday) 11.30 am until 1.30 pm @ the Westminster Enterprise Centre, 59 Elgin Avenue W9 2DB (entrance on Chippenham Road)

Financial aspects of running your own business seminar. George is an experienced accountant having worked for HMRC in senior roles for thirty years, followed by fifteen years working in profession practice. This seminar  will be about various aspects of self-employment;

  • Record Keeping
  • Tax and VAT (very important if you have your own restaurant)
  • National Insurance

He will also talk about the pro’s and con’s of being a sole trader, partnership or limited company status. This will be followed by a question and answer session as well as networking.

To book for this seminar please call 020 7266 0636 or email kim@pdt.org.uk

Many thanks for organising the Finance Workshop that took place last Thursday.  I found the workshop was well delivered and insightful.  I believe we all felt able to ask any questions as well as to share from our personal experience, which deepened the discussions that took place on the day“. Samantha Udondem

“Just  a few words to say that the seminar was very informative. George explained a lot and the information was very clear and easy to understand.
A very confusing topic was made much less frightening.
Many thanks to George”Jillian Bellingy

A brilliant overview of tax and record keeping for sole traders and ltd companies. An extremely approachable  and knowledgeable speaker, definitely recommended!” Fiorina Fortunato, Fortunato Solutions Ltd

Introduction to Sales Mastery

Date:          18th June 2013 (Tuesday)

Time:         10.00 to 12.00 p.m. (registration 9.45)

At:              PDT Westminster Enterprise Centre, 59 Elgin Avenue London, W9 2DB (entrance located on Chippenham Road)

Selling for success

Bob Etherington Selling for Sucess

Sales are the mouth piece of any business.  Non-sales people are naturally nervous about selling.  They do not want to be associated with stereotypical pushy salesmen.  Some people are naturally born to sell the rest of us have to learn the skills…

The objectives of this workshop are to:

  1. provide you with an understanding of the importance of approach in the sales process
  2. develop your knowledge and selling skills

Bob Etherington has been developing his reputation for sales success since the 1970’s in a career that has spanned many key global markets and several recessions. He has sold products and services from Houston to Tokyo and from Norway to Johannesburg. He was a Main Board Director of Reuters Transactions Services Ltd and since 2001 has run his own training company. He now leads strategic sales programmes for all levels of the selling profession and is in demand as an inspiring and charismatic speaker at conferences everywhere. He is the author of several best-selling books on selling and negotiating.

This workshop is FREE for residents of Westminster

 Book today

 020 7266 0636

Intellectual Property Workshop Create and Protect Your Business Brand

Date:        28th May 2013 (Tuesday)
Time:       11.00 a.m. to 12.30 pm (registration 10.45)
At:            The Westminster Enterprise Centre 59 Elgin Avenue London W9 2DB (entrance on Chippenham Road)

You are invited to a FREE seminar covering the four main areas of intellectual property (trade marks, patents, designs and copyright) and how to protect your Intellectual Property rights.  It’s a great opportunity for all businesses, looking for the latest information and advice on IP.  Direct from the Intellectual Property Office.
This key seminar provides:
•    a better understanding of  the importance and relationship between trademarks and brands
•    details on how to make the most of your business’s Intellectual Property
•    more awareness of the other forms of intellectual property such as patents, design and copyright?
3 Key Questions:
1.    Do you own your trading name?  You may for example have a limited company and a matching domain name and yet still be infringing some ones trade mark?

2.    Do you own your own web site?  Are you aware of the rules of copyright ownership?  In a recent survey 74% of businesses where unsure of who owned the copyright in their business when it was created by a third party?

3.    Once you identify and secure ownership of the IP within your business you have the potential to fully exploit it.  Many businesses are now for example successfully franchising their business, could you?

This event will answer your questions.  It will introduce you to the world of IP.  Demonstrate how it can be used to benefit your business.  Hear plenty of practical examples.  You will be signposted on your journey for instance by, utilising the IPO free health check and online search facilities.

Can you afford to miss the opportunity to secure the future of your business?
Why not take time out from your busy schedule to come along to an event that will make a difference.

This workshop is FREE for those who are resident in Westminster

Book today

Call Kim Sadler at PDT
020 7266 0636
Email: kim@pdt.org.uk

Guest Speaker Profiles:
One or both of the following experts are coming to the WEC:
Gary Townley, Business Events Manager, Intellectual Property Office Gary joined the Office in 1982 working originally in Southampton Buildings, London, in the Patents Directorate.  He helped in the relocation of the IPO to Newport South Wales, training new staff before becoming head of the Patent Enquiry Unit. Gary joined the Business Outreach and Education team in 1999 and regularly provides Intellectual Property training at workshops, seminars and conferences, and is the current editor of IPInsight, the monthly E-newsletter for the IPO.

Love Your Market

Love Your Local Market – 15 – 29 May 2013
Markets involved are Berwick Street, Church Street, Strutton Ground and Tachbrook Street.
In Westminster, there will be opportunities for new stallholders to ‘Trade for a Fiver’ during the campaign.
Becoming a Market Trader
There are 5 markets in Westminster where you require a permanent licence to trade:
Berwick Street W1
This is one of the oldest markets in the country, steeped in history and located in the heart of Soho.  For further details about this market please click here
Open: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 6pm
What you can buy:
•    Fruit and veg
•    Vintage clothing
•    Fresh bread & cakes
•    Various hot food including: Vietnamese; Falafel; Chinese; Mexican & Moroccan burritos
Church Street NW8
Located in the diverse area near Edgware Road, this market is particularly vibrant on Saturdays when it boasts more than 200 pitches.  For further details about this market please click here
Open: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 6pm
What you can buy:
•    Clothing
•    Clothing accessories
•    Household goods
•    Jewellery
•    Luggage
•    Leather goods
•    Fish
•    Hot food
•    Fruit and veg
Rupert Street W1
Although currently quite a small market, it has some exciting food stalls with other traders due to commence soon.
Open: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 6pm
What you can buy:
•    Mexican burritos
•    Moroccan burritos
•    Thai food
Strutton Ground SW1
A bustling lunchtime market that serves many surrounding offices as well as local residents and tourists.  For further details about this market please click here
Open: Monday to Friday, 8am – 2.30pm
What you can buy:
•    Hot food and coffee
•    Clothing
•    Clothing accessories
•    Luggage
•    Leather goods
•    Jewellery
•    Fashion accessories
Tachbrook Street SW1
Run by Westminster Artisans this market has grown significantly in the last two years, selling a mixture of staple and luxury foods.  For further details about this market please click here
Open: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 6pm
What you can buy:
•    Fish
•    Meat
•    Cheeses
•    Fruit and veg
•    Household goods
•    Footwear
•    Variety of hot food

Useful information about applying for a permanent licence
If you are interested in applying to trade in one of Westminster’s markets, please read the leaflet becoming a permanent market trader before applying. This outlines the process for applying and the latest details on what commodities we will licence traders to sell at each of the markets. For further details with regards to availability and commodities, please check the latest availability and commodities for each Market.