Solo Newsletter 84, October 2013

1 Regular Updates: Apprenticeships and Digital Youth Academy.

2 Wright’s Rants: Too many businesses chasing too little money from too many customers.

3 Influencer of the Month: None this month as I am off on holiday.

4 Recommended sites and newsletters:
Postponed till next month.

5 News and Offers: Books and Events FREE Lunch in November


1Regular Updates:

Apprenticeships and Digital Youth Academy DYA.
The £1,500, nationally available Apprentice Grant for Employers (AGE) continues into next year but the 1,000 offers on the £3,000 London Apprenticeship Incentive have all been taken, even before the planned closing date of the end of December 2013.


This is not surprising as you could have had a good worker for less than £1 an hour. Given its success, let’s hope the incentive will soon be re-instated.


This will give you some time to create a Vacancy Profile, detailing exactly what is on offer from your company in terms of the vocational activity the apprentice will follow and the particular apprenticeship that will be chosen.


With over 250 different types of apprenticeship being offered at different skills levels and in some cases multiple options within the qualification, you need good advice and time to choose the right curriculum / programme for the person who will best meet what your business needs.

An added complication is that almost no College offers every option and most specialise in a selected number of vocational sectors and you need to check where the vocational subjects you want are covered to reduce travel time and cost.


One of my clients ended up with choosing the more generic Customer Service apprenticeship at level 2 rather than a more specific course for a potential dispensing optician.


The rates are changing this month to a minimum wage of £2.68 an hour. No change in a minimum 30 hour week or the minimum of 12 months before the qualification can be awarded.

However, in some places it is still possible to recruit a currently unemployed, enthusiastic 16 to 24 year old to help support you in your business for less than £1 an hour.

Do the maths. At the minimum wage of £2.68 an hour for 30 hours a week it will only cost you £80.40. An annual cost of £4,181, less a £3,000 incentive, is only £1,181, £22.70 a week, 76p an hour – “I don’t believe it!”
Compare that to the minimum wage for a 20 year old of £6.19 an hour.

One month to go before we are providing an end to end service to help you get the best apprentice you can from your local training provider through Small Business Solutions Ltd for £1,000 – what better way to spend part of your £3,000 incentive.

DYA Colleges, Students and Employers
Most Colleges have now started new groups of students including Westminster Kingsway and The Skills People at Lewisham and Southwark College.


In addition we are talking to Ealing and Hammersmith.

See our videos on the web at


A new licensed provider this year will be Barnados.

If you want to know more give me a call: 07973192712.

New DYA Products and Initiatives

Traineeships are now available from a few Colleges and our level 1 Digital Social Routeway programme or units from it, can be incorporated.


Work has started on planning for our Nominet funded project to provide Micro businesses, charities and social enterprises with new websites designed by newly trained young people using WordPress, who were formally unemployed.

Our thanks to Nominet for granting us the money and to our team in Derby for winning the money against strong competitors.


 See our website, for more details and to sign up to become a supporter of our 1000 Jobs with DYA Campaign.

For advice on the process and help with your recruitment of Apprentices, email me on

2 Wright’s Rants: Too many businesses chasing too little money from too many customers.
Many, new small businesses have the wrong strategy in today’s market for surviving in the face of increased competition.


Our message is differentiate your business or merge, or do both.


For the full facts, see my rant on my WordPress blog at as well as on my Wright’s Rant Group on LinkedIn.

3 Influencer of the Month: None this month owing to my step-daughter’s wedding last week and a holiday to recover next week.

Instead a reminder of last month’s winner, Robert Clay.

Robert is one of the less well known gurus and has avoided TV exposure but he has outstanding advice on marketing and excellent resources on his website.

Robert has successfully set up, grown and sold a number of his own businesses and been instrumental in the success of many more. Several of his clients have become millionaires and some multi millionaires.

4    Recommended sites and newsletters: None this month, but a reminder of last month’s Marketing Wisdom owned by   Robert Clay

5 News and Offers

Once again, a two course lunch with wine in north London’s Chez Ton Ton restaurant / bistro for only £10, plus get both of my books for free.

I will reserve a table from 12 noon to 3pm for up to 4 people to join me for lunch with wine at Chez Ton Ton in East Barnet, north London to experience the benefits of “Peer Support” from a “Mastermind Boardroom” style group of fellow business owners.  The lunch will be on Wednesday November 6th.

 You must book and pay for the event in advance via Eventbrite at

To learn more about Mastermind Groups, click here for my brief video.
In return for attending the lunch you will receive a copy of both Business Wisdom
Breaking The Barriers To Business Growth (BTBTBG) co-authored by 13 Right Angle Consultants, available from Amazon for £15 plus P&P but from me, Free.

Breaking the Barriers to Business Growth:

A Compilation of Expert Insights into Growing Your Business
By Sarah Williams, Paul Ovington, Albert Wright
See this book on Amazon ».
If you are a business in north London I would like to invite you to a free, monthly, open networking event in Finchley at Cafe Buzz on the first Monday of the month attracting an average of 25 people.

Michael Lassman, chairman of the North London Region, hosts the event.

The next meeting is Monday October 7th. Book your free place via Eventbrite at

On Thursday October 17th there will be a similar event in Enfield at Baskerville’s Tea Shop.

Book your free place via Eventbrite at  and learn more about Start up and Small Business Loans and free skills training