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Blog 4 Managing Risks Post-Brexit

In an uncertain world of global change, we still need to run our business and manage risks. Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations in Europe, the principles of Risk Management remain the same.

For the UK, membership of the European Union brought with it a desire to bring all member states into closer alignment on employment and worker protection, social issues, taxation and other fiscal measures. However, there are significant differences in the business environment we all operate in and, of course, different regulatory requirements around the world.

This is still the case with or without Brexit, the withdrawal of UK from membership of the European Union trading block, and whether trading inside or outside the EU. With ongoing development of new trading partners worldwide, it is now even more critical to take a positive step in managing risks whatever the national regulations require.

10 Ps of Managing Risk Post Brexit. 10 Basic Principles provides comprehensive guidance to those with responsibility for corporate governance at Board level, management staff responsible for establishing and monitoring procedures to support strategic objectives of the business, plus others who provide advice and guidance to the business community.

External factors are a potential risk for any size organization as they are outside your control and not always easy to anticipate. While the focus here is on internal risks, it also highlights where external factors need to be considered.

The ten elements of operation that represent the main risk areas are:

  1. Premises location, premises, amenities, distribution routes, access for customers
  2. Product  industry sector, product features, life cycle, trends, materials, green issues, quality
  3. Purchasing  supplies, storage/ warehouse facilities, stock control, payment terms, cost
  4. People  workers’ skills, training needs, motivation and commitment, incentive packages available, employment contracts
  5. Procedures  production procedures, record keeping, reporting systems, monitoring and review, use of standards, emergency procedures
  6. Protection  personal protection of workers and others, property and vehicle security, insurance cover, information systems, data security
  7. Processes production processes, waste, scrap disposal, skills, technology, new materials
  8. Performance  targets set, monitoring, measurement tools, consistency, validity of data
  9. Planning  access to relevant data, management skills, external factors, short and long term planning, investment options
  10. Policy  policies that support strategic plans of the firm.


Each element interacts with, and impacts on, others.

The 10 Ps approach considers each of these 10 areas of business management for risk factors and controls in place, providing prompts and tools for assessing risks and prioritizing subsequent risk reduction activities. These risk factors include:

  • employment
  • legislation
  • security
  • competition
  • finance

Clearly a wholly theoretical approach is of limited value when businesses do not operate in such a nice neat way. But, it is vital that all risks are considered strategically at the most senior level, not just financial risks.

Although these 10 principles cover the main elements comprehensively, it is hardly a nice easy number to remember. They are, therefore, broken down into 4 distinct groups of

  1. Physical properties  Premises. Product. Purchasing supplies
  2. People elements  People. Procedures they follow. Protection
  3. Actions  Processes. Performance against targets. 
  4. Management issues  Policy and Strategy. Planning and organizing

These all overlap or interact with each other constantly, so cannot be separated out too far. However, they do provide a structure from which to identify and evaluate risks to the business, and to initiate and monitor controls to reduce these risks.

While many text books focus on the Policy of the firm as a starting point, businesses tend to start from the concrete and move on to strategic issues in a more untidy, organic way. Wherever you choose to start with the 10 Ps, you will inevitably move backwards and forwards to the Policy and Planning elements, especially if a smaller firm.

As all OH&S legislation in EU depends on a risk assessment approach to managing and controlling risk, there is a lot of guidance available on what this involves. While this book is not exclusively concerned with health and safety risks, where there is a legal requirement to carry out such assessment, it is prudent to start from this point.

The principles of Risk Assessment:

  1. Identify hazardous conditions, properties, processes that could cause harm, injury or damage
  2. Consider what this harm, injury or damage might be, who could be affected, and how serious the result of exposure might be
  3. Evaluate the likelihood that such harm, injury or damage will occur, identifying any control measures that exist,
  4. Make judgments about adequacy of controls in place, identify gaps in provision, prioritize actions needed to correct the situation
  5. Monitor and evaluate over time, and when circumstances, materials, or processes change.

A site plan gives visual reminders about areas of activity sometimes forgotten. It is useful for highlighting movement of people and goods through the firm, plus potential for conflicting priorities of use. Assumptions about any existing controls should be questioned to confirm that

a)      they still exist as they were originally intended to and

b)      they are still appropriate for the changing risk factors facing firms today.

The 10 Ps approach brings together the most common elements in a way that recognizes the importance of all risk factors to the successful operation of the firm, and cuts across management functional boundaries. There is no single right way to manage the myriad of risks facing business today and other tools might include use of industry Standards, Benchmarking or Management System Standards. The emphasis is on tackling all potential risks to the business equally in the first instance, to overcome problems associated with financial risks taking precedence over operational-level factors. 

The 10 Ps approach encompasses all elements to demonstrate full compliance with any formal code, involves the holistic evaluation of risk factors, and positive management action to protect the interests of all parties against potential loss. 

4 Case Studies are included in the book:

  • Case Study 1: Health services
  • Case Study 2: Call Centres (Centers)
  • Case Study 3: Food production and/or Processing
  • Case Study 4: Engineering

[Checklists and charts can be downloaded from www.pencoedpublishing.co.uk].


Blog 3. Being your own Publisher

Fed up with hassles and restrictions when dealing with a publisher for your books? Me too, so I decided to do it myself. Five years ago, I would not have considered it – too difficult to reach group buyers, too much marketing effort needed – but now, your side of the bargain seems to be expanding while theirs shrinks and you are expected to do all this anyway.
Forget the “vanity publishing” tag – this is about becoming a professional publisher as well as an author. I am referring to non-fiction in this instance, as I do not write fiction, but many of the principles will still apply. There are three important elements to consider:
- ISBN – there is no point considering publishing unless there is an ISBN number. Most book shops will not stock without an ISBN and you need one to sell via sites such as Amazon. You usually buy them in a block of 10 for around £150, or you can now buy a single number, and register your details with Nielsen ISBN Agency for UK and Ireland. It is a simple process and they have lots of guidance online to help – see www.isbn.agency@nielsen.com . Once you register a title against a number, they include details on their own list that goes out to bookshops who can order online via Nielsen who pass the order on to you. You still have other numbers available, of course, so you can publish more titles in the future.
- Printing – the first book I published ‘Peg loom Weaving: all you need to know to get started’ ISBN 978-0-9926100-0-5 was A5/ full colour/ 145 pages/ illustrations on front cover and around half the pages in the book. As a practical crafts guide, I specifically wanted spiral bound so that readers can open it flat, though bear in mind libraries do not like spiral bound as you cannot see the title when lined up on shelves unless you include an outer ‘flap’ across the spine. My local printer was happy to take on the job as long as it was pdf-ready to print. Once set up on their system, they can print off small quantities as and when I need them, for example 20 at a time.  It is ideal as it does not involve storing large quantities of books or having to have a minimum of 500 printed at a time. This works out at around £5 a copy and we sell them for £12.50 each.
- Other recent titles published need a different format, so my printer recommended Cambrian Printers in Aberystwyth. “Before Hiroshima: Forgotten Prisoners of War in Burma, Japan & Far East” is A5 with laminated cover and a mix of black and white/ colour illustrations. The next book “Walking Wales: The Art Lover’s Guide to Wye Valley Way” is square format with full colour illustrations and laminated cover. There is also an E-book version which was converted for me online, for around £90. The latest version is B5 (so a bit bigger than A5 and therefore more expensive to print per page) and is a revised version of my book published in 2002 “10 Ps of Managing Risks Post-Brexit: 10 Basic Principles”.  The best feature with this printing company is they have a choice between digital or traditional printing methods. The digital print is from pdf-ready file and can be in any small quantities you need at a time. If you need a bigger print run of 1000 or more, they will shift to traditional printing to keep the prices lower. Digital print is around £5-£10 a copy depending on page size and number of colour illustrations.
- Practicalities – there are basic bits of information that have to be included in every book. These include the inner title page plus author name/ date first published. It also includes publisher’s name and contact details/ printer’s name and contact details/ standard statement about ‘all rights reserved’ etc ( provided by Nielsen)/ and a note that the book can be ordered direct from publisher. Once you have a printed copy, you have a legal obligation to send it to the Legal Deposit Office of The British Library within one month of publication. Also register the titles with Public Lending Right scheme www.plr.uk.com for any payments due from libraries if book is borrowed, and ALCS the Author’s Licensing & Collecting Society Ltd www.alcs.co.uk who collect payments made when photocopies of your books are made – I still get money from them each year for my Health & Safety books published 15 years ago!  
Remember to have several copies to send out to relevant reviewers – if you get positive feedback, there should be the option to add a few sentences to the back cover as the digital format makes it easy to amend. List the title and details on Amazon. They add their own p&p amount for the total price charged to the customer, then they take off their own fee before passing the payment on to you. It is usually a bit less than the full selling price, but it involves little effort other than posting books out to customers. Website and social media pages are important, under your own and the publishing name.
E-books – sites such as Amazon have a facility where you can set up the book as an E-Book – Kindle Publishing guides you through the process, or you can pay someone to set your text out for you. The structure is a bit different from how you might produce your version for print, and it is easy enough to do but can be very time-consuming.
The only other issue now is the volume of sales and how you keep the income as publisher (total sales received) separate from income as author (% of total sales received). It depends how many millions you make I suppose.

 “Non-fiction - Make the most of your life experiences”

Blog 2: What is the attraction of non-fiction over fiction writing?

Courses on Creative Writing encourage you to use real experiences, observations of people and events, to introduce into a fictional piece of writing so creating realistic characters and a believable plot structure. However, if your main skills relate to:

-          passing on information in an easy-to-understand way

-          encouraging others to have a go at a subject they are perhaps new to

-          avoiding the use of jargon where possible and getting straight to the point.

then non-fiction is a natural route to follow.

How do you choose a non-fiction topic?

Think about all the books, magazines or articles you have read where you have thought “well I could have written this/ explained it better than this” – what sort of topics were they on?

  • ·         Work related - what jobs have you done? Are you considered to be an expert, provide training to others, or the one they come to for advice?
  • ·         Leisure activities - such as exercise, dancing, learning a new sport whether in classes or by yourself. Planning to run a half-marathon or do a long-distance trek for charity? Hobbies such as crafts, textiles, baking, fishing, gardening or even wine tasting are interesting topics
  • ·         The arts - this could be the work of national and international artists, whether they are well known or a bit obscure, or contemporary artists. Study of a specific historical period, such as World War II or Welsh emigration to Patagonia, can have a wide audience.
  • ·         Theatre and entertainment – reviews of small-scale local productions or West End shows in London, live broadcasts of international exhibitions, regional theatres and museums offer a lot of scope for short articles or blogs
  • ·         Travel experiences - as a solo/couple/mature/family traveller at home or abroad, especially holiday packages, accommodation, and the journey itself.

All of these can form the basis of books and articles to be published.

Practical exercise to explore some of your ideas:

1.       Identify one topic you have experience of for EACH of the following

Work related/ leisure activity/ the arts/ theatre/ travel

2.       For each, make a note of what the experience is, what has interested you personally about it, and basically what you could say about it.

3.       Summarise the main sections or chapters you could break it down into for each topic.

4.       Using one of these ideas, produce a “mind map” to add details about who it could be aimed at/ what is the focus of the piece/ where would readers be likely to see it published?

5.       Change the focus to potentially appeal to 3 more target groups and ask the same questions for each.

Researching the topic

 There would be little to make it personal to you as the author if you rely only on accessing existing sources. With non-fiction, you are still giving something of yourself to every piece of writing, even more than in fiction. Basically, you have to get out there and do something in order to give a true picture of this topic for your reader. You both need to identify with it in some way.

For example, my publications on health and safety came about from my work representing small firms, a PhD based on this work, and therefore credibility when I approached a publisher about a simple guide. Now 15 years since publication of “Managing Risks: 10 Principles”, the revised version in 2017 applies to firms outside the UK and EU regions – “10 Ps of Managing Risks Post-Brexit: 10 Basic Principles”. The critical factor is that whatever the outcome of talks on Brexit, firms still need to manage risks wherever they are based.

Aims and Objectives

As with any writing, you need to have some form of plan in mind. Ask yourself:

-          What is it that is so interesting about this topic?

-          What is already out there and what will you be adding that is different?

-          Who will want to read it and why?

-          Overall, what is the purpose of the piece – to inform/ encourage/ entertain?

-          At the end of the piece, what do you want the reader to think or feel or do?

Structuring the piece

You will all know how important the introduction is for the reader – but this also helps in non-fiction when you finally sum up everything for the conclusions.

The topics covered in each chapter or section depend on the subject and length of the piece, but broadly you need to make sure it moves easily through each section with a clear logic. Unlike fiction, the cliff-hanger ending to each section is not a requirement but there does need to be something that makes the reader carry on!

Develop an outline plan for the structure of this piece as a book rather than an article.

Options for getting work published

Many more options for non-fiction than fiction.

  • ·         the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook has always been the starting point for finding a publisher- go through with highlighter to find the ones who publish your topic/ look closely at what their website guidelines state/ choose 5-10 possible publishers to approach to start with
  • ·         Specialist book publisher/ Specialist magazine or journal
  • ·         Online magazines/ Join a Forum or Review section of a relevant online magazine
  • ·         Letters to the Editor/ short pieces in weekly magazines/ in-store free magazines
  • ·         Self-publish as an E-book
  • ·         Self-publish and print locally especially if a short-run book
  • ·         Publish as your own Blog or on your own website as an article

Another question is whether you should consider having an agent, perhaps not such a vital consideration as for fiction.

Researching markets

There are many publication routes now, including on-line, so you do have to do some detective work. Once you have a specific topic in mind, this makes it easier – where do people interested in this subject go for information, advice, or simply to know what is current.


Non-fiction is a great starting point if you are new to writing for publication, or want to pass on information to others. Whether writing for a select few personal friends and family, or for a wider audience, the same approach is needed to make sure it reaches the audience in the way you want it to.

Being awarded Writer of the Year 2015 has been a further step in establishing credibility as a non-fiction author, and taking the step to become Pen Coed Publishing has opened further channels. Basically, the older you are, the more experiences you have to draw on – just use them!


Blog 1: Swanwick Writer’s Summer School 2017

This is the perfect place to help you focus on your own writing, whatever your preferred genre, hear what others are doing and maybe find a new approach you never thought of before. Mainly a “mature” bunch of participants, but there are also extra subsidized places for young people who show promise and, of course, a mix of those in their 30s and 40s.

I overheard it referred to as their “annual retreat”, a bit of “me” time with no distractions except maybe the bar and the evening entertainment. But, make no mistake, this is serious business! Everyone learns something from other participants as well as in the organized sessions.

These are either 2-session short courses or 4-session specialist courses covering a wide range of topics from fiction for children, poetry, comedy and script-writing, and even forensics or writing intimate scenes. Something for everyone, clearly.

Following positive reviews from my 2-session course last year, my 4-session specialist course this year was a more in-depth look at writing non-fiction. It was a great group of people with a fascinating mix of topics, either as magazine articles or full-length books. It ranged from writing a biography or nostalgia, self-help and development, how to write at 50+, family or food articles, to explaining concepts of Economics or riding a Harley Davidson around Saudi Arabia. Wow! We finished with discussions about who to target as potential readers, how to get published, and a plan of action to take forward.

It is a lovely venue with plenty of food (buffet-style), a bar open twice a day, tea and coffee available all day plus cakes and biscuits at break time. So, everyone comes away with lots of ideas, new friends, encouragement and plans to get published before next year’s Summer School. Oh yes, and probably carrying a few extra pounds from all that food. Swanwick is 70 years old next year 2018. So am I. Cause for celebration I think – next year I may talk about travel writing…





About the Author

About Dr Jacqueline Jeynes B.Ed(Hons), BA(Hons) Creative Arts, MBA, PhD

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