Category Archives: Made Simple Group News

Is your business covered for Christmas?

Just because you’re on a break doesn’t mean your business is too

I know, I know, it’s not even November yet and here’s a post about Christmas (56 days away)! But trust me; if you run a small business this could be priceless.

Many of us take a break over the festive period, however, that doesn’t mean that business has to take a break too.

With our Holiday Cover service we’ll allocate your business a number for you to give to your customers or potential customers. We’ll then answer calls (answering as either “reception” or in your company name depending on what package you opt for; Basic or Plus) and take messages which will be forwarded onto you via email.

The service can be used for just 1 week or up to 4 weeks. Normally we’d pick up calls Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:30pm, over the Christmas period we can answer calls on (exact times may change; keep your eyes on the blog for updates):

Monday 23rd December: 9am to 5:30pm
Tuesday 24th: 9am to 12:45pm
Friday 27th: 9am to 5:30am
Monday 30th: 9am to 5:30pm
Tuesday 31st: 9am to 3pm Continue reading

Get Social with London Presence

Connect with us!

As well as being contactable via traditional means (mail, email and telephone), we’re also big on Social Media. We can be found on:


We love connecting with our customers via these channels. So if you have a question, feedback to give or just fancy a chat, get in touch!

Oh, and don’t forget, we can also be contacted via the comments section in this very blog.

Brought to you by Mathew Aitken at …

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Collecting mail from us? Don’t forget your ID.

Collecting your mail?

If you choose to collect mail directly from our office, don’t forget to bring photo ID with you. We accept:

• Passports
• Driving Licenses
• ID cards

It’s also handy, but not compulsory, if you can bring along a print-out of the email that states you have mail (or a smartphone/tablet displaying this).

Please get in touch via the comments function below if you have any questions.

Brought to you by…

Welcome to the brand new London Presence

Consider London’s momentous year capped; London Presence has had a makeover.

We’re delighted to present the all new LondonPresence.Com. Not only have we given the site an overhaul, we’ve also sculpted our services and processes so that they fit into our new way of thinking.

For ease of understanding we’ve broken our services up into four different areas (click the links for more information):

Mail Forwarding
Phone Services
Virtual Office Packages (Mail & Phone Services combined)
Holiday Cover

We’d really love to know what you think of the new site. So get in touch via our contact page, Twitter or Facebook.

Get Festive with a Christmas Market

Do you love Christmas? If you do, then London is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the festive spirit. And winter markets are the perfect place to do just that.

Here’s a list of just a few of the markets open this winter in London:

  1. Old Spitalfields Market: Visit this market for events, art, a seasonal food market and late night shopping.
  2. Cologne Christmas Market on the Southbank: The perfect place to visit for German food and hand made gifts.
  3. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland: How about a little mulled wine and a skate around the ice rink?
  4. Clerkenwell Christmas Fair: On Friday 3 Dec, why not come down to EC1 for carol singers, great food and craft stalls all hosted in Smithfield Market?

This post was brought to you by Colleen Van Dyk at London Presence

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Why Use A Mail Forwarding Service?

You have a home, you have a letter box and you have a postman. So why would you consider using a mail forwarding service for your business? It’s a fair question and one we’re eager to address. For too long the Mail Forwarding service has been seen as a retreat for the not-so honest (or outright dodgy) businessman. Due to our stringent ID checks, not so anymore. So how could you benefit from a mail forwarding service?

If you own a business and give your home address out in any capacity, be it as your registered office (see here) or as your trading address, customers will turn up at your door. Fact. Whilst this may be fine with some – others may not be so keen. So why not provide your customers with an alternative address where they can reach you via a letter? There’s nothing deceptive in protecting your home address. And if your customer turns up at our offices we’ll politely inform them that we are a mail forwarding service and encourage them to leave a message for us to pass on. We will not give out your details.

Secondly, how often have couriers attempted to deliver an item to your house only for you not to be in, resulting in a Saturday morning spent down at the post office? With a mail forwarding service this would be a thing of the past as our offices are manned Monday to Friday, 9am to 17.30pm meaning we can sign for and then forward on these items. Live in London? You can even come and pick the items up.

Finally – it can add prestige to your business. When you’re launching a new business, it is vital to keep costs down while still appearing professional.  Working from home may be the smartest decision at this point in time, but let’s face it – appearances do matter. Our mail forwarding services, allow you to use a prestigious Central London mailing address without the high prices involved in renting a physical office.  Put your best foot forward and give your potential clients more confidence in your business.

Let’s Get Quizzical

Last Tuesday we at the Made Simple Group took part in the annual Catch22 quiz event. Fuelled by free booze and nibbles we propelled ourselves to the lofty heights of third… from last. The blow of such a placing was softened somewhat by winning the “best team name” prize (‘It’s just a big iPhone!’) but even this was sullied by our suspicions that the award was given more for helping the organisers with some technical issues beforehand rather than our witty moniker.

As ridiculous as it sounds, we even practiced. Pointless you may think considering the whole gambit of possible questions but it did present us this one moment of magic; Question: “What is the longest river in the world?” unnamed individual:  “The Serengeti”. Yes, our calibre was high.

Despite our poor performance, the event magnified the importance of teamwork. The sports fanatic, the geography specialist, the music obsessive, the film fiend, the barman – each role as important as the next.

What makes a good team is universal, be it in the workplace, on the football pitch or indeed at a pub quiz, the attributes are still the same. Whilst success is the primary goal, it’s important to recognise the individual needs of every team member.

Trust, shared goals, valuing opinions, good communication, recognising strengths, well defined roles and recognition are all attributes that deal with the individual. If these are adhered to then the workforce is happier and more likely to succeed.

And whilst for us quiz success remains elusive, at risk of sounding sentimental, at least we left as a team. 

Forum Fracas

With our London Presence hat on we recently posted on a rather well known business forum a thread asking, “What do you love about London?” The answers were going to make up a (rather lazy) blog in regards to what is great about our capital.

Ten minutes after starting the thread I hesitantly checked up on the forum expecting a few cynical replies centring around “do your own blog”. Instead I’d received a deluge of posts from forum members letting me know in no uncertain terms exactly what they thought of London. Let’s just say the response was far from positive. Fortunately the thread became rather entertaining as Londoners came on to defend their fair city.

Perhaps it is an obvious question, but why do Internet users, or more specifically forum users feel they can act in a manner totally not suited to everyday “real” life? I took no offence at London being judged so scathingly; it’s a city, not a person. But why did people see fit to tell me why they hated London so much?

This unpleasant attitude is consistent with every active forum out there. If you visit a rock bands website and ask for an album recommendation you’ll first be lambasted for your ignorance and then shoved towards the search function. If you go to a technology forum and ask for some advice on what TV to buy you’ll be told to buy a toaster instead.

You wouldn’t tell someone to use a map if they ask for directions or ridicule someone for requesting a piece of advice, why then is common courtesy abandoned once online? Forum members use their total number of posts (proudly displayed next to their witty avatar) as a badge of honour belittling “newbies” and anyone else who has not exceeded the 4000 post mark.

Surely if you can’t write something nice, then don’t write anything at all.

Moving On

If technology had a mantra surely it would be “advance”. Odd then that so many of us get stuck in a technological rut when it comes to updating software on our computers. Let’s take internet browsers for example. A recent article states “IE6 started off 2010 with about one-fifth of the browser market share”.  Amazing considering it was launched in 2001.

Concerns have mounted in recent weeks over Internet Explorer 6 after it was revealed security flaws within the browser were to blame for the “cyber attacks” on Google that apparently originated from China. These security issues have led to calls for the UK government to make a move away from IE6 to a modern browser. The NHS for example has been urged by The Department of Health to update as soon as possible.

A petition set up by web-firm Inigo tasked with speeding up this move states “Most creative and software development companies are forced by government department clients to build websites for IE6 when most of the industry has moved on. Upgrading would be a massive task for government but if the public is encouraged to lead the way and the government follows, that would create the momentum needed”.

The continued use of the browser is adding extra pressure upon web-designers as they are being forced to work with a system that is approaching its tenth birthday (IE6 is in fact older than the first Ipod and how many times have you updated that?). If the security threat is not enough to prompt a change then perhaps the stunted growth of the web may be.

As a web based company we have our own in house development team – and of course, they always have to make sure that our sites work effectively in all browsers.  In fact, in October 2009 we updated our company formation site – and because our company formation system has to talk directly with Companies House, it was a particularly complex process.  However, whilst our savvy developers rose to the challenge elsewhere – they were considerably hampered by ensuring all processes worked in IE6.  Any developer will tell you that IE6 is a real headache (to put it politely).  So come on all you IE6 users – move with the times. 


Our local Tesco had it easy for too long. Located on St John Street in Farringdon, it has lapped up all the custom in recent years being the only supermarket within a lunchbreak walkable distance. Now though they’ve got to up their game, a flash new Waitrose has opened right next door.

So what has their retaliation been? Not cheaper prices (as far as I can tell), not more staff, not even new produce to rival their neighbour. No, instead they’ve installed self-checkouts where perfectly good manned checkouts used to be.

Now whilst studying I spent a hellish few years working in my local supermarket (job title: barcode analyst) so I’m quite the expert when it comes to “checking out”. My fellow shoppers obviously did not carry out this rite of passage though as my queuing time has tripled.

It is understandable Tesco wanting to demonstrate progression but this particular addition seems rather odd. Very rarely is the average man-on-the-street going to be faster than the trained checkout staff.

The obvious answer for supermarkets doing this are to save on staff, but could there be a more web related answer? Are supermarkets taking advantage of the web-savviness of their average shopper? By replicating the experience of shopping (or just paying) online are we settling for a lesser service in place of a sense of control?