Award categories announced – Radio Interview

Listen to Pam Knight of White Knight Marketing as she explains the awards process, the new categories and talks about the new home for Taunton Deane Business Awards to Darren Cullum of Tone FM.

Taunton Deane Business Awards get new home.

For the past year we have been looking for a more permanent home for the Awards and we have now found one in Taunton Chamber of Commerce.
“This will be a great natural progression for them and we will work with the Chamber to take the event to its next level”.

Guest blog from Taunton Deane Borough Council

By Ian Timms

As assistant director for Growth and Development, the awards are something which the council has enjoyed supporting over the past three years. We think it’s a great way to support the business community in Taunton Deane and celebrate the fantastic ability of those operating in our area.

There are a range of categories, meaning that businesses from across Taunton Deane can enter and show off their talents and achievements of the last year .

For TDBA18, I am part of the judging panel.  I am expecting the judging to be very tricky based on the standard of previous years, a challenge that I welcome and am excited to learn about businesses that may have slipped by me.

Following the judging, I am very much looking forward to the award ceremony.  These had a great “feel good factor” to them last year where all of those that entered celebrated their success.

Taunton Deane Business Awards are sure to be equally exciting this year.

Make sure you get your entry in, I’m looking forward to meeting you.

Taunton Deane Business Awards 2018

PKF Francis Clark have been involved in the Awards since its inception and we have relished being part of the continued growth and development of the awards over that time.


Reach for the stars…..!!!

The Taunton Deane Business Awards (TDBA) is a fantastic opportunity for business owners in Taunton Deane to showcase the talent, diversity and entrepreneurial skills that exist in the area.

Since its beginnings as a start-up in Newton Abbott in 1919 – and no, before anyone asks I was not one of the original Partners in the business….!!! – PKF Francis Clark has grown to become the largest firm of independent chartered accountants and business advisers in the South West.  It is our commitment to the communities in which we work that has delivered our success as a multi-award winning firm, and also help deliver success for many of our clients.

Like most successful businesses, our aim for our clients is to give them a personal, relationship-based approach, ensuring a high level of individual client care. This combination offers real added value service to clients, regardless of the size or stage of development of their business.

Recognising the potential that exists within Taunton Deane and the surrounding area, we have recently expanded our premises in Taunton and continued to strengthen our local team even further, demonstrating our commitment to the growth and prosperity of Taunton and the surrounding area.

Although we act for some very large local businesses which have an international profile, small and medium-sized businesses form the backbone of our business, and indeed of the UK economy in general.  We feel very strongly that an initiative to celebrate and support those businesses is something that as a Firm, and as a community, we all should support.

We have been involved in the Taunton Deane Business Awards since its inception.  During that time we have seen many really fantastic businesses with inspiring, enthusiastic and passionate people, both at their helm and working within them.  We have also seen these businesses benefit from taking the time to really sit back, reflect and think about their business from an objective viewpoint, and see where they have come from and where their ambitious plans are taking them. Feedback tells us that the businesses that have entered – whether or not they won an award – have found the process a positive and worthwhile experience.

As the deadline for getting your applications in draws close, I wholeheartedly recommend that you take that time to fill in the entry form.  It is not an onerous  process, will benefit your business simply by forcing you to take a small amount of “time out” and think about what you have achieved and where you are going, and you never know where it might lead……..Martin Lock


By Martin Lock, Partner, PKF Francis Clark Taunton 
Francis Clark logo

Digital Innovators: staying ahead of the game

Twenty years ago next month, a little piece of digital history was made in Taunton. At A C Mole & Sons old office on Billetfield, we filed the UK’s first ever electronic personal tax return. Next day we were on the front page of the Financial Times and a new era of tax compliance had arrived. Since then we have acted as a test site for almost every new step in HMRC’s journey towards an ever-more digital world.

And next month we take another step with the launch of the pilot programme for HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) project.  HMRC’s ambition is that by 2020 there will be no more tax returns. Everyone who currently files a return will have an on-line account which HMRC will “pre-populate” with information it already holds. The current system will be turned on its head – instead of the taxpayer filing and HMRC checking, HMRC will partly or completely supply the figures for the taxpayer to check on-line.

Businesses face an even bigger change. From April 2018, every business with sales – and every landlord with rent – in excess of the VAT threshold will be required to maintain their business records using apps and accounting software. They will also have to electronically file a summary of their income and expenses quarterly, with a final submission after the year end. From April 2019 all businesses and landlords with sales or rent above £10,000 will have to adopt MTD. A year later limited companies will join the programme. This will be compulsory, not optional.

For many the change will be difficult.

There has been much discussion – and disagreement – over the costs and benefits. The pilot programme will hopefully show us who is right.

But tax is not the only driver of digital change. Software and mobile technology offers information capture, storage and analysis potential that once we could only dream about. As a firm we are able to offer services that would simply not be possible without new technology.

A lot has changed over the last twenty years. A lot will change over the next twenty. We continue to play our part in this evolution. By sponsoring the Digital Innovator award, we want to ensure that one thing stays the same: Taunton being a leader of digital innovation.

AC Mole logo

5 benefits of entering local awards

Do you have to win an award to benefit?

There is no doubt that entering awards can be a bit daunting. Putting yourself forward for anything where you will be judged can make you feel vulnerable, but think about it logically; the judges are looking for success stories! They are not looking at your failures – they are looking for your best points. When you look at it like this you can see that there is nothing personal about it and therefor no reason to feel vulnerable – it is all about scoring against a set of given criteria – and you need to do your best to match that criteria. If you do not win, it is not because you failed, it is because someone else met the criteria a little bit better.

So, once you have overcome the nervousness and plucked up courage to enter, what good will come of it?

1. You will have spent quality time examining your company

When was the last time you gave yourself permission to step away from the coalface and really look at what you are doing well and what your business journey looks like? Just doing this brings its own benefits; you will make changes as a consequence. A dispassionate analysis of your business will have you facing the hard truths you have lived with and chosen not to face; it will also have you celebrating your success when you actually think about how you can measure it!

2. You will gain free publicity

The organisers of the awards will be looking to make a lot of noise in order to encourage entries. If you publicly state you are entering they will likely celebrate with you and with your permission use your example as a company willing to share their success story = free publicity and an association with success! Even if you don’t win, the early association will stick; you have cleverly used the opportunity and declared that you have faith in your business; confidence is contagious!

3. You become part of ‘The Club’

Whenever you do anything like enter a local award you are automatically accepted into the Club – those that have also entered; you share that experience, you have that in common. As with all organic networks it opens doors, it gives you common ground and an opportunity to meet other companies you may want to build associations with at a later date.

4. Motivation

No matter how big your team, knowing you are going for an award instils a sense of pride and real camaraderie; you are all in it together. Your company’s achievements are also theirs. It also helps with recruitment and retention; a successful business with engaged staff is a far more attractive proposition to one with little or no motivation for success.

5. Being a finalist is almost as good as winning!

If you are shortlisted you will still get a huge amount of kudos. You will probably be entitled to use the awards logo on your stationery, website etc etc. Everyone will know that you have got right down to the last three and that means that you have been recognised, and recognition is what awards are all about. there is no shame in being pipped to the post – you have another chance next year!

Entering local awards is all about demonstrating that you are confident in your business, it is about learning how to tell your story of success in way that is understandable. It forces you to really look at your business as you try to explain it to a third party who may know nothing at the outset of reading your application, and that is never a bad thing to be able to do.

As one of the organisers of the Taunton Deane Business Awards, of course I am hoping you will take up the challenge of sharing your successes with us, but as a marketer I am saying to you – look at the opportunities they bring and grab them. You have to be #InItToWinIt but you don’t have to win it to grab the benefits!

Last year 42 companies left entering the awards until the last 3 days – imagine the opportunities that could have had if they had told people they were entering? This year I am pleased to see people shouting about it on social media as soon as they have entered – this great show of confidence in their business is a great reflection of the optimism, drive and determination these companies have – everyone of them is already a winner!

Pam Knight, Director of White Knight Marketing

Guest Blog from Claims Consortium

A community network strengthens our core business

By Debbie Mawer, Director of People and Culture

There is enormous strength in being part of a local initiative that celebrates good business.

For a small to medium-sized business with a customer-base in the area there are clear advantages in being recognised in local awards. On the face of it, a large business like Claims Consortium Group has little need to play an active role in activities that are created for local consumption, such as the Taunton Deane Business Awards (TDBA), but we feel that is far from the truth.

We work in the insurance industry, and I can honestly say that not one of our clients is located in Taunton Deane. But one of our most important assets is our people. We have grown considerably in recent years and now employ more than 300. It is this level of growth that makes our association with these awards important. The vast majority of our people live in Taunton Deane, and we must keep our finger on the pulse to understand how we can attract, maintain and engage them.

We network with businesses in the locality, to understand what is affecting or influencing them socially and economically. We can share experiences and promote areas such as technology that we know will be key in Taunton’s future.

We also like to source suppliers locally. Services such as marketing, printing, furnishing and so on are all provided by local businesses, because we can build solid, long-term and reliable relationships.

We have been successful in the Taunton Deane Business Awards in the past, and we’re looking forward to celebrating the achievements of other local businesses this year. Sponsoring the awards is just one part of our role in giving back and being an active member of the community. We’re proud to support and be part of #TDBA17.

Claims Consortium Group Logo