Staffordshire Business School
aspires to be a leader in making a real impact on business and society through
research and innovation. Our team have successfully delivered many industry/business
and government funded research projects and have extensive experience of
leading large team projects including local, UK, EU and internationally funded
projects. Many of our team members combine rich industry and practitioner
experience with academic rigour in conducting world-leading research in the
areas of entrepreneurship and innovation, digital transformation, environmental
health etc. Here are some of the exciting research projects that researchers at
Business School have been doing:
Austerity, Welfare and Work: Exploring Politics, Geographies and Inequalities
In his new book, Prof David Etherington provides bold and fresh perspectives on the link between welfare policy and employment relations as he assesses their fundamental impact on social inequalities. Drawing on international and national case studies, the book reviews developments, including rising job insecurity, low pay and geographical inequalities.
Environmental health inequalities resource package
Prof Jon Fairburn is the lead author of a recent World Health Organization publication. The publication is aimed at local, regional and national policy makers hoping to improve environmental health especially for deprived and other groups. Jon has been collaborating with WHO for over 10 years on this subject.
Covid-19 and Smart Cities – What’s Changed? Getting ahead of the Game
Prof Fang Zhao and her team have been conducting research and analysis of a range of changing scenarios of smart cities in post-Covid-19 and pinpoint the opportunities and challenges for businesses, city councils and universities. Their research focuses on strategies, tactics and digital transformation.
The Impact of COVID-19 on BAME Owned Businesses in the UK
The project led by Dr Tolulope Olarewaju is investigating the specific challenges that BAME business owners faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, the strategies that they used to keep their businesses afloat, and how they engaged with financial and regional support. The project is funded by the British Academy.
People, Place and Global Order: Foundations of a Networked Political Economy
This book co-authored by Dr Andrew Taylor explores how the convergence of technology and globalisation is shifting value creation out of products and processes and into digital networks and, in the process, leaving many people behind. He is looking into examples and models of how people and place may flourish within global networks.
Leadership typology reveals how smart city leaders prefer to tackle inequality
The research of Associate
Professor Alyson Nicholds sheds light on how leaders, operating in different
organisations, roles and sectors prefer to tackle inequality differently. Her
latest writing draws on organisational concepts of leadership and philosophy to
show the benefits this type of understanding can reap for society.
Entrepreneurs in Residence
Business School has recently
appointed Entrepreneurs in Residence providing students and staff with hands-on
experience in conducting research to spot business opportunities, conduct market
analysis and better understand consumer behaviour, leading to business venture
For more information and collaboration
and partnership, please contact Prof Fang Zhao – Associate Dean Research and
Enterprise at email@example.com.
There are two parts to the Survive and Thrive project – a series of webinars and 1 to 1 business support. This project aims to support businesses in Staffordshire and the surrounding regions.
The webinars are designed to be interactive and resources to download during the webinars will be made available, as well as examples and the opportunity for chat and questions. If you are unable to attend the webinar then you can watch a recording.
Several of the webinars link to each other and we would encourage you to sign up for all of the webinars.
Practical Hints and Tips for Small and Micro-businesses occurred on Staffordshire Day (May 1st) – Recording here
How to critically assess your business operation and ask really good questions in light of Covid 19 – 2pm May 21st Recording here
How to Create Clear Messaging & Develop Customer Relationships Online – 2pm May 28th Recording here
Strengthening your business and its future prospects: adapting your operations and supply chain management 2pm June 4th Recording here
Are you in the right place? How to connect to the right audience & analyse your performance 2pm June 11th Recording here
E-commerce 1: A fun, no techno-babble guide to having a go with electronic commerce! 2pm 18th June Awaiting editing
E-commerce 2: A detailed navigation of the e-commerce strategy template introduced in the E-Commerce 1 webinar 2pm June 25th Recording here
How to manage your staff and their wellbeing out of the lockdown and beyond 2pm July 2nd Recording here
Introduction to advanced operations for key social media platforms 2pm July 7th Recording here
How to develop & integrate email marketing into your business 2pm July 9th Recording here
Managing change, risk and longevity – what does the future hold? 2pm July 16th
Paul Dobson, Senior LEcturer,Staffordshire Business School
It’s been a challenging, confusing and worrying time for
most industries during this current Coronavirus Crisis. But the hospitality
sector in particular stands to be one of the hardest hit as it struggles to
contemplate how it can continue to trade successfully keeping social distancing
in mind, coupled with a rapidly shrinking economy. As part of Staffordshire Business School’s
support to organisations I’ve been supporting the local and international hospitality
sector and as the French businesses are ahead of us in coming out of lockdown
I’ve noted some points to help prepare UK organisations.
After 2 months enduring some of the strictest lockdown
controls in Europe, France is slowly opening up its economy and society. And
the vast, hugely varied accommodation sector, which historically welcomes
visitors across the world, is undergoing a rapid and radical revolution to
ensure it can continue to attract customers in these unprecedented times.
The newly forced need to keep distance and natural sense of
personal safety has fallen well into the hands of some of the self-catering
sector. Private homes and villas, especially those that can offer generous
outside space as well as little or no contact with others, have seen a huge
demand since the 11th of May when the French Prime Minister
officially declared that travel up to 100km was now permitted. The public, who
have been largely “imprisoned” with massively limited scope to be outside their
own homes since the middle of March inevitably have an overwhelming desire for
a change of scenery. However, this is not a universal permission and policy,
and restricted zones still exist across France, and indeed many local
governments, even in the less-infected “green regions” are enforcing the
continuation of heavy trading restrictions and forced closures of accommodation
providers. But where these rules do not apply, the flood gates have opened and
demand, all from customers within the 100km radius, has been significant. Also
worthy of note is that the average length of stay has seen a dramatic increase
for this time of year.
That’s not to say that this is return to normal times for these accommodation owners. French hospitality organisations have had a massive increase in questions about sanitation, personal responsibility and uniform industry standards on cleanliness and contact that the UK accommodation businesses will need to be prepared for when lockdown restrictions are relaxed. As of today, these restrictions haven’t been totally clarified in France, and only “best practice” guides from local tourism authorities exist online. Some of the leading booking platforms and websites for this sub sector are advising “safety gaps” between customers of, for example, 24 hours to allow any surfaces to become less likely to cross contaminate in the future. What is apparent from discussions with French hospitality businesses is that there is an increased desire for customers to have “direct online contact” with the service rather than through online booking platforms. This could be a welcome shift in attitude as this not only allows peace of mind for the customer, but also less commissions for the business owner to pay to the booking platforms which have come under much public criticism and scrutiny of late because of their high charges. One of the French businesses I’ve talked to has had an 800% increase in Facebook messages, their analytics has shown an increase in both mobile and desktop visitors to their website and the number of emails has increased by over 200% compared to last year.
The B&B (Chambres d’hote) and Hotel sector have reported
an uphill challenge. With a mix of different guests under their roofs, all with
potentially varying attitudes to respecting the new government guidelines, this
poses a significant threat to their short- and medium-term existence. However, those
that can offer genuine space, especially outside, have a clear advantage over
those that cannot. Going from one restrictive box to another isn’t likely to be
a great draw for the new discerning needs of the Covid-19 era traveller. Forced confinement has brought about a new
desire to be out and about in nature, and burn off all those excessive calories
consumed since March.
But with the high season fast approaching during which these
businesses would traditionally run at maximum occupancy, the reality is that
these organisations will be forced to not only give “buffers” in between guests
checking out and the next ones checking in, but also run at a lower occupancy
to ensure that interaction between different customers is minimized. Therefore
“Making Hay whilst the sun shines” will this year inevitably bring about a
lower yield, and reduce the vital cashflow which sustains many of these
businesses during the quieter months.
An example of changes implemented is the hotelier Tim Bell and Ingrid Boyer in the Auvergne region of Central France. Tim has developed their website to include a link to their Covid-19 guidance on their home page (see https://chabanettes.com/). This is updated on a regular basis and outlines their commitment to client’s safety. He implements rapid alterations to its usual offerings and has created the foundations for business continuity and customer confidence. He has also set up a Facebook forum for like minded accommodation owners in Europe seeking support and advice. Tim collates industry data, statistics and best practice ideas from all over the accommodation sector and share his opinions and advice with the group.
The sector in which he operates is having to rethink more
radically about its traditional services to ensure competitivity and customer
confidence. This ranges from the provision of catering which is leaning
initially more towards a “Room Service” culture to a complete overhaul of the
check-in/check-out customer touch points, looking to technology and globally
recognised physical safety barriers to reduce risk of viral spread. For an
industry which relies heavily on close, personal contact for their reputation
and overall experience, keeping a balance between customer satisfaction and
safety is proving challenging, but not impossible. Clients now expect a more
sterile and distanced world, with supermarkets leading the way in some innovation
and rethinking of the customer journey that the hotels are learning from, such
as one-way corridors.
Until the world is safely vaccinated against the virus, the accommodation industry will have to adapt quickly and radically to guidelines, legislation and customer fears. History has told us that businesses that do this will have the best chance of survival, and those that don’t not only fear a downturn in business, but also a very visible online reputation for ignoring what is now the number one priority for the 2020 traveller – Safety.
The MSc in Digital Marketing Management is one of our awards to meet the changing demands of industry. Marketing is going through a fundamental change with ever more marketing carried out online – a major consequence of this is the incredibly detailed data that is generated which leads to data driven policy.
To get our Masters students ready for the industry we have two modules:
‘The Management of a Digital Marketing Project’ – this module will prepare a tri-partite agreement between the student, the academic staff and the organisation as to the focus of the project, existing benchmark measures, what is to be achieved and how to make the project sustainable (so that it can continue after the student leaves). This is carried out between January to March/April
The Work Based Digital Marketing Project – a credit work experience (450 hours) to deliver the project with the organisation concerned. (April to August)
The project can be in any type of organisation e.g. private sector, public sector, charity or a university. It is desirable but not essential for the work project activity to take place at the premises, or it could be a mix with some days in the company and some work off site.
We have built in flexibility to the work-placement so it could be that you would like a portfolio of tasks to be completed rather than just one main project. Examples could be – creation of a digital marketing strategy, audit and re-launch of social media, budget and investment plan for marketing, devising and implementing a training plan for existing staff.
As the module is part of the course then paid remuneration is not required. However, we would expect travel expenses and any other identified costs of the project to be paid – these can be discussed and agreed before the placement starts.
Below are profiles of some of the students on the course so reach out direct to them if you are interested or if you want to discuss it with a staff memebr contact Jon Fairburn 01782 294094 firstname.lastname@example.org
a lot of experience developing and leading teams to achieve results. This is
proven through a history of achievement working with Active Lives Education, Cheshire
Football Association, Birmingham County Football Association, Walsall Local
Authority, Sported UK, Sports Across Staffordshire, and The Football
I have a keen interest in Digital Marketing. I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Digital Marketing Management. I have experience in creating and managing marketing and communication strategies and also have experience in website management, email and text marketing, social media management, content curation, and online paid advertising.
I currently run a business called Active Lives Education however am looking for a project that helps me gain further experience in digital marketing, to develop my skills and develop a career or business in this field.
I hold a foundation degree of science in Film and Television Production and have recently graduated from my BA degree in Events Management (2 year fast track) which I gained a 2:1 in. I have a large work experience portfolio from volunteering to paid work. For 4 years I was a manager of a Children’s play centre then moving onto the cash manager of B&M. I now work as an Events Assistant at Moddershall Oaks. For my volunteer work I have experience of working for the likes of Channel 4, Woman of the Year and Stone Food and Drink Festival. I have also worked several corporate events such as the Hotel Marketing Conference and Land Rover.
I have skills within Web design, as well as using all social media
platforms for brand building. I also have quite a good understanding with
photoshop and other computer software that may be needed, I am a quick learner
and can pick up things fairly quickly.
Ideally, I would like a placement within a sector that holds
Events, but I would be open to offers.
Or if you’d like to have a look at some of my volunteer work you can find this on Instagram: @amottevents
I have recently graduated from my BA Events Management (2 Year Accelerated) in which I achieved a first-class honours. I have previous work experience as a bar supervisor for three years as well as voluntary work experience with Channel 4, The Stone Food and Drink Festival as well as being a student representative for my course.
I currently work for The Student Hub at Staffordshire University as a Digital Marketing Ambassador. In this role I manage multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) as well as improving the overall engagement and reach of the platforms.
I am able to use social media
platforms to build and uphold brand image. I have experience in using analytics
to improve the reach of posts as well as identifying demographics which not be
being reached and making steps to target them.
Ideally I would like a placement
in tourism, events or hospitality but I am open to offers.
I have recently graduated with a First-Class BA (Hons) Degree in Events Management and have now started studying MSc Digital Marketing Management. I have a large work experience portfolio from both paid and volunteer work. I have been a chef for the past three years at The Orange Tree Bar and Grill, I also hold a range of customer service skills which I have been able to develop by working at a bar and on a hotel reception. To broaden by experience in events management I have volunteered at numerous events such as Woman of the Year 2018, Stone Food and Drink Festival and The Royal Oak Gin festival.
I have skills in web design, brand building and analytics, I
can also use all forms of social media and some computer software which may be
required. I am a reliable team player who learns quickly, I enjoy expressing my
creativity when carrying out jobs and ensuring all tasks are completed to the
best of my ability.
If possible, I would like to find a placement within the
events, tourism or hospitality sector although I am open to other
have recently graduated with a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Events Management and am now
currently studying MSc Digital Marketing Management. I have a wide work
experience portfolio varying from paid work to voluntary. Over the last three
years I have been a bar staff member for Stonegate pubs working for Walkabout
until it closed down in April this year and now Yates Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Within my role at Yates I tend to work on the bar and occasionally the kitchen,
but recently I have taken on the role to be more involved in the social media
for the business. To help to widen my knowledge of events and volunteers I
volunteered for the Stone Food and Drink Festival in 2017/18.
main stills revolve around social media and helping to design promotional
material. I am a reliable person with work ethic and put all my effort into
anything that I do.
ideal placement if possible would be within the events, tourism or hospitality
industry. However, I am willing to try anything new that may broaden my
knowledge and skills
graduated from Staffordshire University with a 2:1 BA (Hons) degree in Business
management and I’m now studying an MSc in Digital Marketing Management. I am a
team leader at the Staffordshire
University Students’ Union. This role requires excellent communication
skills, the ability to delegate tasks to the team I am managing and making sure
the venue (LRV and Verve) is running as smoothly as possible. This has taught
me a multitude of transferable skills within customer service as I have
developed my interpersonal and leadership skills. This is reflected within my
dedication to the Staffordshire
Stallions American Football as a team player and a defensive captain.
looking for a digital marketing placement for my work based digital marketing
project. This will give me a chance to utilise the skills and knowledge that I
have learnt within my masters and apply it to a professional environment. Any
opportunity to be able to get this experience would enable me to further my
My degree has
given me an insight into a variety of different aspects within Business
Management. This has given me fundamental knowledge on topics that also relate
to the MSc in Digital Marketing Management. I have extended my academic skills
and abilities by studying into a specialised area of Business. An MSc has enabled me to have a greater
understanding of analytics, search engine optimisation and the ability to
design a global digital marketing strategy.
I have graduated with a BA (Hons) Journalism and I am now studying my MSc in Digital Marketing Management. Throughout university, I worked as a venue member for Staffordshire University’s Student’s Union in front and back of house customer service roles and as a Student Ambassador. These roles have instilled me with strong interpersonal skills and self-organisation through working in these multifaceted positions.
I have experience working as a Trainee Journalist at The Sentinel newspaper and Staffs Live, where I was responsible for researching and writing feature and news content for print and online publication. I utilised my qualifications in Reporting and Shorthand at 100WPM from the National Council of Training for Journalists, ensuring accuracy and time management.
I am an experienced CRM Marketing Assistant, where I was responsible for curating content for email marketing campaigns and market research. Studying Digital Marketing has developed my knowledge within integral marketing theories, brand development and content curation/SEO. I am now implementing this in the creation of my own lifestyle blog, The Wordsmith.
am interested in opportunities in the content marketing sector, and I am open
to writing diverse content in an array of industries.
June Dennis, Dean of Staffordshire Business School
We’ve been celebrating Global Enterprise Week at Staffordshire Business School this week and have welcomed some fantastic guest speakers. What’s been very evident is
that there is no one reason or way to start your own business – each guest
speaker has had a uniquely individual journey and experience. In some
instances, they have fallen into self-employment, in others, it was a well
thought through and planned decision to do so.
So what makes a successful entrepreneur?
There are so many lists out there that can offer you the top 3 or 7 or 20 traits you must have to be a successful entrepreneur. This is my list based on what our guest speakers shared this week!
Passion & determination – if you are to succeed, you need to be
passionate about your business proposition.
What’s the point of setting up a business in something you don’t like or
believe in? However, passion alone will
not be enough. It really does help if
you love what you do, but you need to be prepared for setbacks. I can promise you that things won’t go as
smoothly as you hoped. There will be times when you question whether you did
the right thing. That’s when you need to
be resilient and, as they say, ‘keep calm and carry on’.
Strong work ethic & self starter – when you work for yourself, it’s very easy to have a lie-in when you don’t feel like working without realising that time is your most precious commodity. Even when you don’t feel it, you have to push yourself to make that phonecall, finish the report or knock on the door. You need to be disciplined. One friend, when he didn’t have any work, used to go to the cinema or meet friends for a coffee. Another friend would purposely post leaflets around the neighbourhood to promote his business. Can you guess which one was most successful?
…but also a good finisher – basically, you won’t get paid until you
finish the job. And, you need to finish
the job in good time. So don’t
procrastinate. Sometimes, ‘good enough’
is better than not getting the job done in time. You won’t get repeat business
if you don’t deliver on time.
Creativity – you don’t necessarily have to have a new-to-the-world invention or be able to design amazing advertising campaigns, but you do need to be a good problem solver and find ways around problems that come your way. That’s being creative!
Keep an eye out for opportunities – Be a purposeful networker. You don’t have to be an extravert to develop a supportive network and you never know what’s around the corner! Nearly every contract I received resulted in further business, either from the same organisation or as a result of them passing my details on to a third party. For example, as a result of writing Mintel reports, I was contacted by the chief executive at the time asking if I could act as an expert witness in a court case. The timing wasn’t great and I had to juggle domestic commitments and workload but saying yes to this one phone call provided me with the opportunity to be one of a handful of special marketing experts – and it paid well!
Know your worth – friends may ask for freebies or big
discounts sometimes with the promise that you’ll get lots of publicity. If they value you, they will pay for your
services or goods. Occasionally, they
may be able to offer you something in kind, such as your first review or office
space. I got a free hair cut from my hairdresser
when we spent the time it took to cut my hair discussing how he could improve
his pricing policy. It was win-win and
neither of us took the other person’s services for granted. As an expert
witness, I realised no one queried how much I was charging, so I increased my fees
by £50-£75/day for each new quote. I
never got turned down….
Be prepared to learn – constantly! If you weren’t successful in getting a contract – find out why. If you made a mistake, learn from it. Get feedback whenever you can and look at ways to develop new skills.
Building brand identity: the case study of Simply Great Britain
Tuesday 19th Nov 1.00-2.00 R101 Science Centre Emily Whitehead
Building brand identity: the case study of Simply Great Britain
Tuesday 19th Nov 1.30 – 1.50pm Flaxman Film Theatre Dr Tolu Olarewaju
“The Hult Prize is both the world’s largest student enterprise competition and the world’s largest movement for social impact. Students from universities around the globe compete to win $1,000,000 in start-up funding to start a business that solves a pressing social issue. This year’s business challenge concerns climate change and is our chance to show the world that our institution is dedicated to Impact. Come and find out how to compete this year and the benefits of engaging with students from every part of our planet.”
Friday 22nd Nov 10.00 – 12.00 S205 Mellor (IT lab) Jonathan Westlake
10.00 – 11.00 Good online tools for digital marketers
11.00 – 12.00 Good online tools for entrepreneurs and the self employed
These are practical workshops come early to ensure you get a seat.A
Julia Roberts is a communications consultant with over twenty two years of professional work experience within Creative Communications and Marketing including Digital Media, Public Relations and Event Management.
Julia is also the founder and creative director of the Ginger and Spice Festival The Ginger and Spice Festival was crowned champions of British Food Fortnight Competition 2017 and was selected as regional finalists at the Rural Business Awards in both 2018/2019 and 2019/2020.
Her business Rocket Communications and Events Ltd was shortlisted as a regional finalist in the Rural Business Awards 2019/2020.
Emily Whitehead Ltd provides highly experienced training, coaching, consultancy & speaking, delivering to a wide range of businesses and organisations. Specialising principally in marketing & communication strategy, leadership & management, business structure, environmental planning & management, this work is carried out for both private clients and within funded projects (most recently ERDF projects in Staffordshire & Leicestershire). Other projects have included work with Staffordshire CC, Stafford BC, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, Staffordshire University Business School , Keele Sustainability Hub, UKCPA, WiREUK & National Forest.
Operating under Emily Whitehead Ltd, Simply Great Britain has a mission to change how Britain views small, micro business one story at a time. Working within a membership community model, Simply Great Britain celebrates, supports & connects its members both online and in person.
Jonathan is an IT specialist. Exposure over the years to a wide variety of business contexts ranging from small firms to large organisations. He has extensive experience of business techniques and transformation technology used by business. He was also instrumental in setting up Wavemaker Stoke and also runs his own small business. He is also vice-chair and secretary of the British Computer Society North Staffs branch.
It’s 2018 and the term ‘mumpreneur’ seems to pop up everywhere just lately. But why? And what does it mean?
Well, according to the Oxford Dictionary, a mumpreneur is “a woman who sets up and runs her own business in addition to caring for her young child or children”. But why? It seems like a lot of work on top of the endless list of mum duties!
Is it because us mums want to spend as much time as possible with our little darlings? Is it the getting up 20 kazillion times in the night to return a lost dummy to tiny mouths that has us too tired to get up for the old 9 to 5? Or are we just kick-ass independent women, confident enough to give the finger to corporate fat cats whilst lining our own pockets instead of theirs?
For me, it was all of the above….and then some.
In 2013, at the grand old age of 32, baby #1 came along. I loved being a mum and wanted to spend as much time with him as possible but when he was only 5 months old, it became too much trying to survive on a single poor salary and statutory maternity pay. I reluctantly trundled back to the corporate world to help put food into his little mouth.
Being able to contribute financially again felt great, but the cost, to me, was massive. I missed his first words, the first time he clapped, his first crawl, the first time he pulled himself up to standing, his first steps.…pretty much his first everything. It sucked, but I smiled and cracked on. As you do.
Stef Price Mumpreneur
Fast forward 3 and a half years and baby #2 rocks up, yay! However, this time I wanted to cling to as many precious moments as possible for as long as possible so I vowed that I would have the full 9 months of maternity entitlement if it killed me! We planned, we saved and we stocked up on nappies to within an inch of our lives to make sure it happened…and it did! And it was amazing!
Getting a bit of help
But something else happened too. I became a shirker! Well, kind of. I didn’t want to not work, I just didn’t want to work for somebody else – I was a shirker of the corporate world. I didn’t want to go back to my old job. I didn’t even want a new job. I just didn’t want a job.
I googled, I pondered and I scratched my head about how I could live the impossible dream of being a ‘stay home mum’ who works around the school run. I had a couple of embarrassing attempts at network marketing, but it didn’t feel right. I didn’t love it and I didn’t feel like I was being me.
I wanted to do something that I love, when it suited me and I wanted people to pay me for it. Is that too much to ask? Probably. Did I do it anyway? Yes!
And so was born Frog Princess, Hand Crafted Gifts.
An outlet for my ever-present creative streak, I began to make and sell hand crafted and personalised gifts. I touted my wares on my personal Facebook page and received a few sales and some positive feedback. It spurred me on and I decided to set up a Facebook group, a Facebook page and more recently, a website and an Instagram page in order to reach more people.
Some of the products available at Frog Princess
In the meantime, I’m in my second year of studying for a Bachelors degree in Business Management at Staffordshire University so I don’t have as much time as I would like to spend on my little venture, so for now, it will stay just that. Little.
However, I love what I do and I love the extra bit of money it brings. Most of all, I love that I can do it around family life and around my studies and that I have the flexibility to ramp it up or step back as and when life dictates.
According to Small Business, in 2016, 17% of Millenial mums said they planned on setting up their own business within 12 months. And whatever their reasons for doing so, whether they’re the same or different to my reasons, watch out cos mumpreneurs are taking over the world!