Sabina ReedOur coordinator, Sabina Reed, shares some thoughts on whether as a business to business supplier you should publish your pricing or not.

Many businesses struggle with a decision about whether to publish their pricing information on their website or to have a price on application approach.

However, prospective clients may be deterred if they must approach you to ask about pricing, perhaps believing that if they have to ask the price if will be out of their affordability range, or that the offering may be too ‘cheap’ – or simply that it will be embarrassing to enquire and then find they can’t afford it.

This creates a dilemma – should you publish your pricing?

At Holy Brook we tend to be pretty transparent about our pricing – for our finance team for example we publish our hourly or daily rates, and our quotes are based on this and an estimate of the time we expect work to take.

Our reason for this is we know that when our customers are looking to make a purchase or obtain a service many businesses spend a lot of time and effort in conducting market research.  When doing so they like to have the facts to hand to enable them to decide.

Of course there are reasons to consider not publishing pricing.

One reason we often hear is that this may lead to the competition or new entrant to the market will find out what you charge and adjust their pricing accordingly, perhaps for a lesser quality offering?

However, if they really want to find out the chances are they already know what you charge. It would only take a call pretending to be a prospective customer or a conversation with a previous client to ascertain a price. In the age of social media, it is easy to access this information.

Alternatively it might be that you like to sit with a potential client and talk them through your service before they make a decision?  This often is right where the service is very personal, although we feel that it makes it easier for people to have a relaxed conversation about this side of things if they already know the sort of price range they are looking at.

Are you worried about deterring people who shop around on price? Don’t be, those people are firstly more likely to be put off by not being able to search and secondly if you are offering a unique service are unlikely to be a regular or loyal client anyway.

Branding also needs to be considered. Are you offering a service that has lots of market competition, or do you offer a bespoke or tailored service or product where no two contracts will be the same?  If, like us, you offer a bespoke service, it might still be worth considering publishing a starting price for the service or product.

Ultimately, it’s your choice whether you publish your pricing, however if you don’t it may be helpful to include a line or two on your site as to why you don’t have your prices on there. Or perhaps try a short trial of adding or removing your prices dependant on how you do it now to see if there is any change in new business enquiries.   You could even publish the pricing for some products and not others – depending on the type of product.

Financial Management Spreadsheet

ASPIRE2-LOGO-for-website-261x300We are so delighted to have had some incredible charities apply to be our charity of the year once again.  This year the team got together over lunch and chose South Reading charity, ASPIRE2, which works with across 9 South Reading schools, particularly supporting disadvantaged children and families through outdoor learning, a community arts festival and holiday and after school activities. 

We’ll be fundraising and offering pro-bono support to them over the coming year.

We hope that many of our clients and others in our network will want to get involved in supporting them, so watch this space…

Our founder, Rachel Eden, is for the second year running a finalist in the Santander Thames Valley Venus Awards Entrepreneur of the year category.

Although only in their 2nd year, the Thames Valley Venus Awards are extremely popular, Venus Awards founder Tara Howard said: “We received more than 1,000 nominations and applications for the 15 award categories, which highlights the huge contribution that women in business are making to businesses in the Thames Valley Region,”  Launched in November, participants have been whittled down to the Finalists stage through a combination of sponsor and public judging.

20180417_143342The Venus Awards – dubbed by Channel 4 as “The Working Women’s Oscars” – celebrate the vital contribution that women in business make to the local, regional, and national economy, and are unique in that anyone can nominate a friend, client or family member.

The winner will be announced on on 8th June 2018 at the Madejski Stadium at an award ceremony and dinner in Reading.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed for Rachel.

 

The full list of Finalists are:

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Finalists 2018 in all the Venus categories

 IKEA Green Business

 

  • Cathy Cornish of Wild to Wonderful Garden Design
  • Victoria Lochhead of Frankie & Ruby
  • Julianne Ponan of Creative Nature

 

Parfitt Cresswell Solicitors Influential Woman of the Year

 

  • Louise Fetigan of Little Troopers
  • Katherine Knight of Intelligent Health
  • Emma-Jane Taylor of The Inspirational Mentor

 

Marshalls Volkswagen Customer Service

 

  • Nicola Butler of Nikki Butler Medical Tattooing
  • Jayne Tilsley of Wadworth Brewery
  • Lesley Wallace of Dream Doors (Basingstoke & Newbury)

 

ShowState Marketing & PR

 

  • Nikki Ball of Reading Buses
  • Sophie Comas of Rimu Marketing
  • Vanessa Hunt of Vanessa Hunt Consulting Ltd

 

Sandler Training Sales Director of the Year

 

  • Clare Waterfall of Cascade Software
  • Sam Stanfield of Powered by Pie
  • Rachel Gray of Experian

 

 

Sandler Training Executive PA of the Year

 

  • Robyn Thompson-Vango of Reaction Engines
  • Kate Napier of Rank Group
  • Sarah Heineman of Woodford Investment Management

 

 

The Reading Chronicle Business Mother of the Year

  • Debbie Whiteley of Pink Spaghetti PA Services
  • Rachel Lambden of Heritage Estate Planning
  • Sara Southey of The Southey Way

 

 

Reading University Inspirational Woman

 

  • Anna Sampson of Boomerang Creative
  • Louise Fetigan of Little Troopers
  • Julianne Ponan of Creative Nature

 

Benefex HR Manager of the Year

 

  • Hayley Fisher of Allied Bakeries
  • Ruth O’Loughlin of Oxfordshire County Council
  • Emily Murphy of IKEA Group

 

 

Grandesco Entrepreneur of the Year

 

  • Sue Randall of Oxford Fine Dining Ltd
  • Sam Willoughby of What’s on 4
  • Rachel Eden of Holy Brook Associates Ltd

 

 

Santander Director of the Year

 

  • Sharon Collins of Venture Life
  • Elona Mortimer-Zhika of Iris
  • Sally Preston of Kids Foods

 

 

 

Local Buzz Small Business

 

  • Anna Davies of Therapists on the High Street
  • Celia Smith of Bluebell Biscuiterie
  • Sarah Riggott of Sarah Riggott Ltd

 

 

Wise Owls Lifetime Achievement

 

  • Jackie Chappell of The Ironing Lady Ltd
  • Gerry Lejeune OBE of Berkshire Community Foundation
  • Jo Cooke of Hoarding Disorders UK CIC

 

 

The Breeze Radio Employer of the Year

 

  • Judith Tinker of M-four Promotions Limited
  • Katherine Knight of Intelligent Health
  • Sambit Mohapatra of Siyona Tech

 

 

Prysm Group Networker of the Year

 

  • Amanda Ayres of The Business Girls Network
  • Aduke Onafowokan of The Sister Sister Network
  • Jade Binsted of Ribbons Media

Photograph: 2018 Finalists at Newbury Racecourse at the Thames Valley Finalist Announcement. Photo by John Rose of John Rose Photography.  

IMGP8723We’re running a short series of interviews about our team members to help you get to know us better.  Here is more about Sabina Reed

What do you do?

As Holy Brook’s co-ordinator I arrange our quarterly meet ups, organise our systems, assist with bookkeeping and any other ad-hoc tasks.

We also have several bookkeeping clients that I work for as part of our finance team.

I’m currently ensuring Holy Brook is compliant under the new Data Protection Regulations that will come into effect from May this year.

2. Why are you a Holy Brook Associate?

I really enjoy working as part of a team with such a wide skill set. When we all come together we look at things from a different perspective giving new dimension to scenarios. It enables us to work with a wider range of clients on a variety of projects.

3. What do you like most about working/living in and around Reading?

I love the links Reading has to the rest of the south, you are a short journey from the capital or an hour or so drive to the coast with so much lovely countryside on our doorstep to explore. I think it is an ideal location for business

4. Who or what would be your ideal client or project?

I enjoy doing a wide variety of tasks and learning new things, so my ideal client or project would be a small business or start-up. I enjoy helping to put processes in place to get finances in order making it easier for business’ as they grow and establish

5.  What are your favourite things to do outside working with Holy Brook?

Things I love to do when not working include singing in a choir, gardening, exercising: Zumba, swimming, walking, cycling, spending time with family and friends, making things: from knitting and sewing, card making to making silver jewellery. I also enjoy cooking and baking. I’ve recently signed up with Free Cakes for Kids Reading.  Free Cakes for Kids Reading is a community service to families who find it difficult to provide a birthday cake for their child

At Holy Brook Associates we support our clients to improve the way they run their organisation.  This includes bookkeeping and financial management help, support in communicating with your audience more effectively and being more strategic and innovative in your thinking.

We are Reading based but work across Thames Valley, London and at times further afield.  We are a small team of skilled professionals and we aim to operate in an ethical way.

We aim to be an ethical organisation and give back.  Holy Brook Associates is looking for a charity to focus our pro bono and charitable activities on in 2018.

Our criteria

Holy Brook Associates is looking for a forward thinking charity who will really benefit from what we can offer.

We will chose our charity following agreement between associates based on the following criteria

  • How your mission and activities fit with ours
  • The benefits to the Reading community
  • How well we believe we will be able to support you
  • Your planned use of the funds and pro bono work we can offer you
  • Your ideas for how we can collaborate and support you

Benefits to you

Holy Brook Associates will offer the chosen charity:

  • pro bono work based on a needs-based consultation with our coordinating director (Rachel Eden)
  • support with events that your charity organises
  • Join in your fundraising activities
  • cash donations based on our activities

We are happy to consider other areas of support if you have ideas.

How to apply

We will be accepting applications until 24th April 2018.   Our application form is here or for an informal discussion please contact Rachel.eden@holybrook-associates.co.uk

Case study:  Charity of the Year 2016 – Trust House Reading

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 From the Reading Chronicle 23rd February:
Trust House Reading received a cheque on Thursday 9th February for £260 from local training and professional services firm Holy Brook Associates, who chose Trust House as their charity of the year.

 In addition The Holy Brook Associates team have donated over 65 hours of time, which included creating and running a successful policy seminar with a follow up report making recommendations for improving support for local survivors of Rape and Sexual Abuse.

 Namita Prakesh, Centre Manager said “The seminar that Holy Brook organised has really helped us develop our vision and raise profile and the donation they are making will help to support our vital work

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Are you missing from this picture?

Our founder Rachel Eden explains why the new job we are creating is a brilliant opportunity to help make a difference:

I started Holy Brook in February 2015 with a simple goal – to help organisations be better at achieving their mission.   Three years on and we are working with a real range of clients – from a 3D Print hub, to a charity that is over 100 years old.  What they all have in common is that they are passionate about what they do and are making the world a better place.

If you are looking for work that really makes a difference for an amazing set of clients and are a keen, self motivated individual I want to hear from you because we are now ready for a new person to join our team.  I am incredibly proud of our team, and you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside and share knowledge with some brilliant people.

I’m really excited about how Holy Brook is growing, and the person we recruit to this role is going to be a really important part of our next steps, and will have a huge opportunity to help shape how we develop.

Part-time Assistant Coordinator role

 An exciting new opportunity to join a growing and dynamic training and professional services company, as a key member of our team.

 The role will be flexible and will grow with your experience but may include

  • Event administration and support
  • Client care, analysing client feedback and follow up
  • Invoicing, credit control and purchase ledger for Holy Brook
  • Supplier management
  • Updating records
  • Ordering supplies
  • Occasional note taking
  • Diary management
  • External work commensurate with experience and expertise for our clients including accounts admin and event support

Personal Characteristics: A reliable and enthusiastic individual, the successful candidate will be numerate and have strong communication skills.  You are a self-starter who shows initiative and can work with minimal supervision at timesYou will be committed to Holy Brook’s ethos and care about supporting our clients and team in the best possible way.

Experience :  Ideally you will have worked in an office environment and has experience with spreadsheet applications like Excel or Google Sheets.  You will be comfortable with Microsoft Office tools.  Experience of using the Xero accounting package would be an advantage but is by no means essential.  We are recruiting for aptitude and attitude more than a specific set of experience.

Pay:  £9.50 /hour (will always be at or above the living wage as calculated by living wage foundation)
Hours – 16 hours a week, days to be negotiated ideally Tue-Fri.  For the right candidate we might be able to be flexible about number of hours, please contact us to discuss.

Usual work location – Grow @ Green Park, Reading a modern and friendly co-working office.  May be able to work from home on occasion and some limited travel may be needed for clients.
Holiday: 5 weeks a year pro rated.
Probationary period of 3 months
Company pension scheme
Opportunity to work overtime on occasion to suit
Training package available

We offer a supportive working environment and many opportunities for training and development.

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applicants of all backgrounds.

Closing date for applications Friday 5th May 2018, interviews week commencing 14th May.
To apply please send your CV and a covering letter explaining why you are applying to Rachel Eden 
Rachel.eden@holybrook-associates.co.uk

Connect TVT stock interiors and education event, comm by Louize Clark at GrowWe’re running a short series of interviews about our team members to help you get to know us better.  Here is more about Mark Mason

  1. What do you do?

I’m a ‘Creative Juicer’ an enabler and a facilitator who uses design thinking methodology to engage others, allowing them to be more creative themselves. I enjoy running workshops and guide organisations through the design process, supporting them in solving the challenges they face. Post-It Notes and Sharpie pens are my tools of choice and I welcome a good brainstorming session. I take great satisfaction from seeing individuals and organisations move forward (Holy Brook word of the year) based on interventions that I have delivered.

  1. Why are you a Holy Brook Associate?

Just over two years ago Rachel asked me if I would like to chair some meetings for one of her bigger clients at the time. I said yes and the relationship was formed from there. I relish working as a team and I’m looking forward to some of the initiatives we are going to collectively deliver this year.

  1. What do you like most about working/living in and around Reading?

I’ve been working in the area for over 25 years and moved to Arborfield, near Wokingham, just over 14 years ago. For the last three years I’ve been working more centrally in Reading and love the people, the communities, the culture and the history that Reading has…and not many people know about! I’m also an avid Reading FC supporter, having switched my allegiances from Arsenal to my ‘local’ team and enjoy watching games with family and friends.

  1. Who or what would be your ideal client or project?

My passion is working with and inspiring the next generation and I welcome the opportunity to work with organisations who share the same beliefs and values.

  1. What are your favourite things to do outside working with Holy Brook?

So, you already know I like football, well I also help coach my son’s U15 team. We play like Barcelona in our heads and like Reading in reality (especially this season – for both teams) and we always have a great deal of fun! I’m really into walking too and have a misty eyed obsession with the Lake District in Cumbria, having notched up many miles and ‘bagged’ most of the tallest peaks.

The one thing Reading doesn’t have is mountains, but it does have some very good countryside to enjoy. A little known secret is that I also like flying kites, big ones (known as traction kites) that drag you along and can lift you off the ground. My thinking is that a session in a good wind with a big kite beats any workout down the gym…and is a lot cheaper 😉