Archive: AVN Insights

The hidden jewel of recruitment that you could be missing


Looking back to the 1980’s when I was growing up there were set roles within a family. Once children were born the mums took a back seat in their career and took on the new role as housewife/full time care giver to the children while the dads continued with their career journey.

My parents generation (born in the late 50’s) were the first to start breaking this tradition, my mum started to work nights to bring in a second income while still being there in the day for the children. She was a very skilled nurse who before children got to a senior ward position being responsible for the care of entire wards. She was lucky that that skill set and career allowed her to work post children.

My mums generation was a turning point for working mums but there are still hurdles in our way now 30 years later!

My scenario

Childcare costs for 2 children – At its peak I was paying £500 a month for nursery and £100 a month for after school club. Then there are holiday clubs to pay for during xmas, Easter, summer and 2 half term weeks (that there is a untapped gold mine in itself for businesses that could provide school holiday childcare).

For others 

Part Time positions – these are very rare especially if you want to work in a specific industry. I have degree educated friends with 18 years working experience who since having children are struggling to get back to work in a part time position suited to their working knowledge.

Flexible working hours – some firms are stuck in this 9-5 regime. Stuck in an office clocking in clocking out!

A different approach

So how can employers reduce or even remove these hurdles so they can gain access to this pool of workers with years of experience, talent, ideas, knowledge and more?

Firstly look at the hours you offer –  Could the role you want to fill start that little bit later (say 9:30) so school/ nursery problems do not get in the way of employment.

Could the role finish earlier for school pick up times (say 2:30/3:00) is there a reason you need someone there 9-5?

If the right person could get the work done in less hours would you consider them?

Could the role be job shared between 2 people from this pool of talent rather then having to completely train someone new to the world of work?

How much time could be saved by getting someone who can hit the ground running with flexible hours vs someone who can work any hours, but will need guidance for months taking up your time to work on your business?

Helping with childcare costs would also be a huge pull for this pool of talent. Do you offer childcare vouchers as part of your pay scheme?  Could you offer an onsite nursery? (ok that is quite far fetched but if it could mean you had the best talent in your industry at your fingertips is it something you could consider).

As a part time working mum to 2 little boys I feel very grateful I get to work in a job I love where I can demonstrate everything i can bring to a company. My 18 years of work experience is not going to waste by being replaced by a fresh out of uni graduate who can work all hours needed but having to have help all the way through as they learn.

This is not a rant against hiring the fresh out of uni graduates (why, I was one many years ago!) But it is just to say in this century where we can plug in to work anywhere and at any time I think its worth being flexible and forward thinking, allowing yourself access to the pool of talent that lies on the other side of maternity leave.

Thank you for reading (and hopefully changing the way you hire)

Laura Newby


Article Source: Laura Newby

Why did I choose to pay more?



I have had many discussions as a Practice Growth Expert about how your first impression when you are quoting really makes a difference and could allow you to increase your prices. Until last week I have never experienced this as a customer… that was until i needed a new/replacement garden fence.

The lovely UK weather of the last few years had destroyed our fence to the point where we ended up with a shared back garden with our neighbours. This meant the dreaded search for someone to fix the situation. We had a recommendation from a friend of a friend and by looking on social media I found what looked liked two more reputable firms.

Next came my 3 quoting experiences –

Firm A – Friend of a friend

A letter was posted through my door with a quote from them viewing my garden from my next door neighbours. It had a few sentences on (some with question marks) for the job and the quote was £840

Firm B – Found on social media

I called and left a message. I was called back within 10 minutes and we picked a date that suited us both for someone to come see the job required. They arrived on time that day with a folder and the man who was quoting had a branded uniform and van.

They listened to me as I showed him the job and took some notes. He then asked me a number of questions that I had not thought of including; did i want the vegetation near the boundary removing; did i want them to remove the old fence; did i want to save the existing concrete posts?

They then showed me some examples on his phone of previous jobs he had done to help me choose the panels I wanted as well as the Facebook page of testimonials he had.

I chose the panels I wanted and he said to save me time for only £4 a panel he could get them treated in my choice of colour (with 12 panels I was happy to pay the £48).

He then asked me for an email address and said he would email me a quote within the next 2 hours.

I received an email an hour later with a quote broken down in to all the aspects of the jobs for £1140

Firm C – Found on

I called and left a message. I was called back the following day and we arranged a date that suited us both. On the day they arrived 15 minutes late. They measured up for the job and said they could save the current concrete posts. They asked what type of panels I wanted (I said same as i have now as I didn’t know what was available) he said he would call me later with a quote.

He called later and left a voicemail message asking me to call back. I did and whoever answered didn’t say a company name so I was unsure I had reached the correct person. He said it was the business I was looking for and said it would cost £950.

My other half said let’s save money and go for the cheapest option. However, the phrase “cheap is never great and great is never cheap” sprung to mind.

Looking at the service I received from each of the businesses I was truly blown away by firm B and happy to pay £300 more.

Why did I choose to pay more?

Each of these businesses were offering me the same service a new 12m fence. I was not enquiring “just incase” I literally had no fence left so I was a definite client.

I thought I would wait to see if any of these businesses would chase up these quotes to see if I was going to take them up or if I had any further questions.

Surprisingly within a week none of them had contacted me but with my mind made up I called and booked Firm B. Again he gave me a number of options on dates and said he will email me the week before to confirm.

I have a clear idea of exactly what I am paying for, what extras I have chosen (and how they benefit me) and I have confidence in the company providing me the service.

So yes it is costing me £300 more then the cheapest quote but as a customer I am confident in my purchase.

As a business how you quote could be the difference between a sale and losing a potential client, the difference of a cheap quote and a quote that provides the client with value and how your business is viewed by other potential clients through recommendations of satisfied customers!

It’s made me (quite a thrifty person) spend £300 extra.

What could it do for your business?

Laura Newby




Article Source: Laura Newby

9 years 4 months 6 days…


The 1st October 2007 I started my journey working with Owner Managed Accountancy firms helping them to become the most successful and enjoyable to run in the world.

Starting out slow it was a case of answering reactive queries slowly building my relationships and gaining that ‘know, like and trust’ factor.

Over the years I have worked with hundreds of firms helping with subjects including pricing, marketing, systemising, cross-selling and growing.

I moved to proactively calling firms, becoming a monthly touch point to ask questions and brainstorm ideas with.

I then began my role as a presenter, running live training events to members at our head offices and running training webinars online on a number of topics that were being discussed on the one to one phone calls.

Now I would like to start to record these ideas in this blog. Bringing these ideas on a new easily accessible platform which i hope is productive and helpful to all that read it!

Thank you for taking the time.



Article Source: Laura Newby



01246 571191



7 Midland Way, Barlborough, Chesterfield, S43 4XA, England

Registered in England and Wales  , Registered number 09312053  , 7 Midland Way Barlborough S43 4XA