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Proud to be an Export Champion

East of England Export Champion 2020 4Col thumbnail2US2U Consulting have been awarded the prestigious title of 2020 Export Champion by the UK Department for International Trade.

This is in recognition of the international work we have done over the last few years, with international projects and trade visits to the likes of Belgium, Ireland, Canada, USA and across the Middle East - along with the insights our teams can share with other businesses looking to export their goods and services. Read more >>>

News & Events

Happy Birthday to US2U Consulting!

It's great to be celebrating 18 years of US2U Consulting in Barbados, where Director & Founder Rachel Blackburn is pictured currently holidaying! Thank you to all of our clients, team members and suppliers who have supported us since we launched.

Here's to continuing to make a positive difference to our clients in the future!

 

 

 

 

 

Boom: The Foreign Secretary Visits Boniface Engineering to Celebrate 40 Years of Engineering Excellence

US2U Consulting organised for The Right Honourable Elizabeth Truss MP to join Directors, Managers and Staff at Thetford-based Boniface Engineering in January 2022 in her capacity as MP for South West Norfolk.

This was part of the year-long 2022 celebrations as Boniface Engineering has reached the milestone of 40 years of designing and producing equipment for the vehicle recovery industry. It produces bespoke equipment for a range of clients across the UK including the AA, Neil Yates Recovery and McPhie Recovery. They also export to many countries including Germany, Japan, the USA and Denmark.

Mike Boniface started the business in a small workshop on 18 January 1982 and today it employs 65 people across three sites.

During her visit, Liz Truss learnt more of the history and exports of the business, enjoyed a factory tour and then saw some recovery equipment in action. The Boniface Team created a lorry crash scene on site so they could demonstrate a "roll over recovery" and show how quickly their equipment can clear the highway following a crash or breakdown and therefore improve road safety.

Liz Truss has been recognised for her passion for road safety previously and said "I had a fantastic visit to Boniface Engineering and saw an impressive demonstration of one of their recovery trucks."

Mike Boniface said "The visit was a big success and it's great to have our achievements recognised by our local MP, especially one who is so busy fulfilling her UK-based and international roles."

Photo: Matt Woods Photography

40th Birthday Celebrations with Boniface Engineering Ltd

US2U Consulting are excited to be working with long-standing client Mike Boniface and his team at Boniface Engineering Ltd in Thetford, England on a range of plans throughout 2022 to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Mike started the business from a small workshop in January 1982 and they have been engineering recovery equipment for the UK and export markets ever since.

Now part of US-based Miller Industries, Boniface Engineering was US2U Consulting's first client back in 2006. One of the first things we have done with the Boniface team is to create an anniversary logo which will be used on all activities this year. This is adapted from the ruby shape, which is often used to celebrate 40 years!

This emblem will feature across the company's marketing this year, as well as appearing on clothing, promotional merchandise and birthday cupcakes (pictured) - with plans for it to feature on special 40th birthday recovery vehicle livery later this year!

As well as their birthday celebrations, we are also pleased to be working with them on other marketing and recruitment projects this year.

Congratulations to all at Boniface Engineering Ltd on the achievement! 

boniface birthday truck

Visit Our Services to find out how US2U Consulting can assist your organisation.

Norwich School's Young Chamber Initiative: Supporting the Next Generation

Developing the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs is important to us. As part of our sustainability strategy, US2U Consulting has become the main sponsor of the Norwich School Young Chamber initiative for 2022/23. Developed by Norwich School with the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, the initiative sees students establish and operate their own commercial business ventures in small teams - providing them with valuable experience and learning opportunities at this early stage in their careers.

In addition to providing some funding for senior school pupils to start their own small businesses, we also plan to assist with developing an entrepreneurial toolkit that the pupils can use to develop their skills. 

"We're very grateful for your support in terms of enthusiasm and in this case, financial support" said Tom White, Head of Economics and Business Enterprise and Young Chamber Coordinator, Norwich School.

As a former Norwich School student that has gone on to establish his own business venture - online art shop By Kerwin, there are also plans for US2U Consulting team member Kerwin Blackburn to provide entrepreneurial advice to those participating in the initiative - particularly around the topics of e-commerce and the start-up business journey.

We look forward to getting started and learning more about the companies being set up at Norwich School, based in Norwich's Cathedral Close.

Change the Race Ratio Reaches 100 Signatories

Change the Race Ratio - the initiative to drive greater Diversity and Inclusion among British businesses, established by the Confederation of British Industry - has reached its initial target and milestone of 100 signatories. We're proud to be part of the 100 signatories and look forward to the next 100, alonside making continued progress on these issues.

Read our story about committing to the campaign in early 2021 here.

For more information about how to increase Diversity and Inclusion in your workplace contact US2U Consulting, or find out more about Change the Race Ratio here.

The East of England CBI Dinner 30 November 2021

As an elected member of the East of England Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Rachel Blackburn attended the quarterly regional meeting followed by the annual dinner at The Graduate Hotel in Cambridge. Lord Bilimoria, pictured with Rachel, attended the dinner and made the keynote speech. Karan Faridoon Bilimoria, Baron Bilimoria, CBE, DL, FCA is a British Indian entrepreneur, life peer in the UK House of Lords, and a university chancellor.

He founded the global beer brand Cobra Beer and currently operates as the company's chairman. In addition to his business activity, Bilimoria is a politically active crossbench member of the House of Lords, currently serves as Chancellor of the University of Birmingham and is President of the Confederation of British Industry.

One of the themes for the meeting was the fact that CBI research shows that only one in five businesses currently invests in developing their leaders and managers to support their business goals. We support the CBI's recommendations to boost labour productivity in these challenging times when all sectors appear to be facing recruitment and retention issues. These include:

 Adopting leadership, management and people practices that retain, engage and develop all staff, unlocking a healthier, more motivated and productive workforce by:

 Establishing and communicating a strong company purpose that encourages motivation

 Embedding effective performance management that keeps staff engaged and accountable in goals that are important and contribute to organisational success, while not being onerous

 Setting people management objectives for leaders and managers and put them on a par with commercial targets

 Ensuring leaders and managers regularly communicate clear expectations around organisational priorities, while also asking staff about their workload and wellbeing

 Regularly recognising and rewarding staff to appreciate what the team does

 Keeping track of employees' engagement levels and establishing ways staff can provide feedback and ask questions which are acted upon

Please get in touch with US2U Consulting to explore how we can help you manage these challenges.

Net Zero Update

Following our commitment to Net Zero, signing up to the SME Climate Hub and updating our sustainability policy back in March 2021, it's great to provide an update.

Some people will remember that it was back in January 2013 that we worked with ABC Taxis in Norwich to help them get funding for and launch their first two environmentally-friendly cars - see the story here. Since then we have worked with many businesses to help them become more sustainable. In the last few months we have been pleased to be working with two early stage businesses where their whole focus is developing world-leading solutions which are using ground-breaking science and engineering to change the way that we consume energy and materials. These are ETA Green Power based at the Hethel Innovation Centre in Norfolk and Xampla based at the Cambridge Science Park.

ETA Green Power has developed a game-changing high density Electric Drive System to enable the Off Highway sector accelerate electrification and support emission reductions - they deliver a direct substitution for existing hydro-carbon fuel based solutions, all without additional costs or power compromise.

Xampla created the world's first plant protein material for commercial use. It's great to be working with such cutting edge businesses and passionate people. Please see what both companies say about working with us on our Testimonials page.

What Next?

US2U Consulting Director Rachel Blackburn said "We will continue to work with clients following the sustainability agenda so that we continue to make a positive difference in many different ways. Recently our office has moved into an eco-friendly building (pictured) with very high energy efficiency which demonstrates our commitment to this agenda. The next stage is for us to switch our vehicle fleet to electric vehicles and install a charging point.

Read our 2021 Sustainability Policy here and contact us to find out how you can take steps to make your orgnisation more eco-friendly.

 

Creative Swiping Update

For many years we have been arranging for leaders and managers to visit other businesses to learn from different approaches and "Creatively Swipe" ideas to bring back to their workplace to drive continuous improvement. This experiential type of learning is often complementary to workplace and classroom-based learning so helps to be all-inclusive.

Recently we have gone one step further and have taken the Creative Swiping ideas to a company during an interactive workshop so that the whole workforce could discuss ideas and implement the most suitable. Dr Nick Johnson (pictured), Founder and Former CTO of telecoms firm ip.access shared his career story and learning points during a most engaging afternoon in September. We structured the session so that leaders and staff have been able to record the learning points in a way they can be implemented and progress reviewed to check things are on track.

Please get in touch to learn more about how Creative Swiping can help your business.

US2U Consulting Podcast - 30 Tips for Developing Resilience

Welcome to the latest episode of the US2U Consulting Podcast. In this edition, US2U Consulting Director & Founder Rachel Blackburn discusses her list of 30 top tips to help anyone develop resilience - whether facing professional or personal challenges. She also looks at what exactly we mean by 'resilience' - and it is something that is more important than ever as the UK reopens following the pandemic period, and many of us still face unique work and lifestyle changes.

Watch or listen to the podcast below and let us know which tips you found most insightful. The list of 30 tips is underneath:

 

1. 4 Step Assertiveness 2. Relaxation Techniques 3. Healthy Lifestyle 4. Role Models 5. Sleep 6. Avoid Getting Defensive 7. Positive Affirmations 8. Ask for Support 9. Emotional Control 10. Identify Triggers 11. Manage Negative Self-Talk 12. Reframe Mindset 13. Set SMART Goals 14. Focus on the Controllables 15. Don't Victimise Yourself 16. Optimism 17. Compartmentalise Feedback 18. Positive Outlook 19. Empathy 20. Acceptance 21. Take Responsibility 22. Maintain Perspective 23. Focus on the Positives 24. Support Network 25. Be Flexible 26. Lifelong Learning 27. Don't Panic 28. Systematic Problem Solving 29. Anticipate Things Going Wrong 30. Gratitude

Which are you favourite tips from the podcast? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Contact us to find out how we can help you or your organisation become more resilient.

Marketing and Branding with US2U: Are We Your Missing Piece?

One of US2U Consulting's key strengths is the diversity of the services we offer and the expertise we have on hand to make a positive difference to any organisation. Our experienced and flexible team of specialist consultants allows us to build long-lasting relationships with our clients; providing the necessary advice and services to them as they grow and face ever changing challenges. 

Among these are our Marketing and Branding services - through which our team can make your company and your offering stand out from the crowd and boost your audience and sales.

We have recently been working with long-standing client, Great Yarmouth based metals testing business ASAMS Ltd, on their new company brochure (front cover pictured) - working with them to scope, design and write the brochure, as well as producing the artwork and both printed and digital versions. Their brochure provides clear, concise messaging around ASAMS' services, featuring engaging written content and high-impact artwork that is effective when seen in printed form or when viewed online. We are really pleased with the result and it will be a great asset for them as the country opens up again. Click below to view the full online version.

ASAMS Ltd Brochure 2021 - produced by US2U Consulting

We can also work with any client to develop their holistic marketing strategy - whether it requires revamping a logo, creating a new company slogan, or producing an integrated digital marketing campaign - with regular e-newsletters, social media content, bespoke commercial videos or even a series of podcasts.

Learn more about Our Services, and Contact Us to discuss further.