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There are a lot of tedious tasks that we put off or would rather just not do! Often, these types of tasks don’t take too long, but can cause delays if not completed. If you find yourself battling with this, it may be time to ask:

Where could you save 10 minutes a day?

That’s the exact question Lorna Leonard, Managing Director of Leonard Business Services, asked her team at the start of 2023. Focusing on tasks that were being put off for various reasons, Lorna found a potential time saving of 54 hours a month!

Today Lorna joins us to share her story of how saving just 10 minutes a day can potentially lead to 8 days’ worth of time saved, in addition to the pitfalls and solutions she found along the way.

You’ll learn

  • Who are Leonard Business Services
  • Why did the 10 minute initiative start?
  • The power of saving 10 minutes a day
  • What challenges did they face?


In this episode, we talk about:

[01:25] An Introduction to Lorna Leonard and Leonard Business Services – a virtual finance department who are certified to ISO 9001. Lorna also joined us on a previous episode, Chaos to Calm, to talk about their experience working during the COVID pandemic.  

[03:25] The challenge: Lorna started off with only 1 other member of staff, over the years they’ve grown to 7, with an increasing number of associates. With the organisation growing, Lorna was unable to be as hands on as she was before, so some things started to slip through the cracks. She wanted to ensure that was nipped in the bud early on.

The nature of her business needs very specific qualities in individuals, ones that are hard to come by. So, she was seeking to save as much wasted time with her current team as possible.

[04:50] Nothing is ever down to human error, it always comes down to a process – Some words of wisdom from Rachel Churchman, a Blackmores Managing Consultant who works with Lorna with on-going support. Processes change, they need regular review and updates to ensure they work well for you. Lorna found that a number of their processes created bubbles of inefficiency, which resulted in various 10-15 minute tasks that others found frustrating to complete.

[05:50] Saving 10 minutes a day: As a result of the process review, Lorna decided to focus on just saving 10 minutes a day – taking baby steps to tackle a bigger problem. She asked all of her staff to think of any tasks they found frustrating, and added them to a log. She kept that log going until May, to capture a snapshot of the issues before tackling them. This is just so she could measure the results more accurately later on.

[08:15] What tasks did Lorna’s staff highlight as frustrating?: A lot of problems were a result of software systems not talking to each other, meaning a lot of basic merging / collating of data had to be done manually between 2 systems.

[09:25] How they calculated the potential time-savings: Using the log, they estimated the time taken for each task, including consideration for which other members of staff may be affected by the same issues. At the end of the May, they found that there was a potential time-saving of 54 hours, which amounts to a full 8 days of work!

[11:25] Taking principles of ISO 9001 to heart:  Lorna has truly embraced one of the key elements of ISO 9001 – addressing non-conformities through looking at your risks and weaknesses. By taking a step back and shining a spotlight on the negative, you can work towards making a positive change, and continually improving your way of working.

[13:30] How did Lorna’s team feel about the iniative: At the start, it was like pulling teeth. Many felt as if the wasted time was a reflection on their performance rather than a failure of processes and systems which weren’t working as efficiently as they could. Once improvements were starting to be implemented, the team could see just how valuable this exercise was. Lorna even received kudos (through an internal perk system) from the Team!

[16:45] A part of the exercise involved accepting some things that you can’t change.

[17:00] The tip of the iceberg: One issue can lead down a deeper path. For example, Lorna found that their expenses app wasn’t integrating with their accounting app – resulting in a manual exchange of data. By talking to app support, they were able to find a solution. 2 weeks later Lorna found that, that solution resulted in fixing a problem elsewhere that she wasn’t even aware of!

[18:30] For the things that can’t be changed, there is always a possibility to look at more long-term solutions that may require a roadmap to get to. The key takeaway is that you’re making worthwhile improvements, no matter how quickly or long they may take to achieve.

[19:30] Other types of solutions found: Most of the solutions came down to outsourcing. For example, Lorna is not a software expert, so resolving the software system issues would have taken a long time. Luckily, she found an associate in Michigan who specialised in API development, who could create ways to make the systems talk to each other using Zapier. It wasn’t always possible as some apps don’t allow for custom triggers, but there was a lot of issues he could help resolve. Lorna now thinks of him as an extension of the team.

[22:00] Another example of time-saving: Lorna’s team often have to fill out P11D’s and submit them to HMRC on behalf of clients. The format that is provided made it difficult for staff to fill out, meaning it caused a lot of headache and wasted a lot of time just trying to reformat them in an easily editable way. They managed to source a system that does this for them, at a small cost per year. It was definitely worth it – saving the whole team 3 days’ worth of time a year!

[26:00] Leonard Business Services is a perfect example of how taking a proactive approach can lead to great success. They have won a number of awards over the years, and will no doubt win many more in the future.

If you’d like to learn more about Leonard Business Services, check out their website! Also take a look at Lorna’s LinkedIn, where she shares a lot of insightful business tips.

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Anyone whose been involved in the implementation or maintenance of an ISO Management System will know it’s not a small feat. There’s a lot of time and teamwork involved in getting a system in place for certification, so it’s definitely a cause for celebration when you finally do get that certificate at the end!

But what can you do with that? A lot of companies will get an ISO certification as a necessity, whether that be an industry requirement, legal requirement or client requirement. Often times, they’re quite content to just let those interested parties know about it and leave it at that. Which is a shame, as we think it’s something worth shouting about.

It’s a display of your commitment to best practice, whether that be in quality, health & safety, information security, risk management or any combination of those – and better still, it’s a globally recognised certification.

In this episode, Stephanie Churchman, Communications Manager at Blackmores, will take you through a few ways you can celebrate your ISO success.

You’ll learn

  • Why promote your ISO certification?
  • How can you promote your ISO success?
  • How can Blackmores help you celebrate your ISO success?


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:30] Mel will be back in the next episode after taking a well deserved break 😊

[01:15] Why celebrate your success? You / your team worked hard to put that Management System in place and get it ready for certification, so it’s worth celebrating when you finally do get that certificate. It’s also a globally recognised certification that displays your commitment to Best Practice.  

[02:23] #1 Certificate Award ceremony – This is something you may need to organise ahead of getting your final certificate. It’s worth asking your certification body if they do a certificate award ceremony. Some CB’s will invite clients to a location to hand out certificates in a batch – or they may be happy to come an officially award you your certificate on your own premises. Either way, it’s a great opportunity to get a photo that you can then use later on your website or in social media, in addition to making it more of an event.

[03:09] Publish a blog or news article – This is a newsworthy event! And you should take the time to write a short statement for your website – Bonus points if you can get some statements from those involved with the process. It doesn’t have to be overly long, it can just be a short paragraph.   

[03:35] Social Media Post  – Social media is the main place a lot of people get information nowadays. Many platforms have character limits, so you can keep it short and sweet, as this is just to inform your wider audience who may not regularly visit your website. On platforms like LinkedIn, you can even tag some key members involved so they can add their own comments and experience under the post.

This is also a great opportunity to work in collaboration with your Certification Body – as they’re also keen to show off their clients successes. It’s worth getting in touch with their marketing team and ask if they’d be happy for you to tag them in a post– so they can reciprocate with a post and tag of your company – which would in turn expand your audience for that post significantly depending on how much reach the certification body has.

[04:54] Website Promotion – You could make a more permanent addition to your website. A lot of businesses tend to have a page for awards and accreditations, which is the perfect place to display the digital badge that your certification body will provide following certification. You could also link your current certificate if so inclined. Another place we often see clients displaying those digital badges is the website footer, it’s unobtrusive but makes for something a bit more eye catching when displayed next to the typical links you see in website footers.

[05:35] Email Signatures – Are another subtle way to make sure those digital badges get some use and imprint themselves in the minds of anyone you contact. It’s a relatively easy update to make and is just another way to make sure it’s seen by both internal and external contacts on a daily basis.

[05:55] Newsletters – Many of you will have some sort of weekly, monthly or annual communications with your clients and prospects. Make sure to include a mention of your certification in the next update. If you wanted to make it something special, make it a main feature and include some story behind the why and how you went about Implementation. Let your audience know why that certificate is important and highlight any notable success as a result of that certification, i.e. with ISO 50001 (energy management), you may have already made significant changes to reduce your energy consumption. Whether that be switching all your lighting to a more eco-friendly option or sharing some actual figures on energy reduction following certification.

[06:50] Case Studies – This is just another way to get your ISO journey written down in a concise, easy to digest format that can then be shared via your website and social channels. It’s another great place to highlight the why, how, any challenges you overcame and what your next steps are.

Keep it to 1 page if possible – as people often get turned off by looking at a daunting page count. Bullet point what you can and expand where needed, as that helps to break up walls of text and just makes it a bit easier for people to read. Take a look at some examples online for layout inspiration – there’s no shortage out there. Of course, if you work with us, we’re happy to do all the design and writing for you.

[07:45] Podcast / Video – Not everyone is going to have the means to publish videos and podcasts – So this won’t be applicable to everyone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to drop this idea entirely. For example, we feature a lot of clients on our podcast and we’re more than happy for them to use their episode in marketing, or on their site or wherever they want to. So, if you work with a third party that has a podcast or produces their own videos, it’s worth an ask to see if they’d be open to featuring you.

For those that do have the means to do this in-house – It’s highly recommended that you do either one or both of these, as you can then link back to them in social posts and other marketing. 

[08:50] This isn’t a one time thing – you can re-use a lot of these resources elsewhere, and remind others that you hold certain certifications when appropriate.

[09:15] The main takeaway is – You worked hard to earn that certificate, so don’t let it be a quiet victory.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

Stitcher | Spotify | YouTube |iTunes | Soundcloud

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Our 7 Steps to Success

The Blackmores ISO Roadmap is a proven path to go from idea to launching your ISO Management System.

Whether you choose to work with one of our isologist consultants or work your own way through the process on our isology Hub, we’re certain you’ll achieve certification in no time!

What our clients have to say

The support and advise I get from our assigned auditors is immense. Forward planning for the following year is great and they are flexible and always willing to help.

Kalil Vandi

“Blackmores have assisted us almost since the start of our adoption of the ISO 9001 quality standard. Their input has improved our processes since the start, and enabled our goal of continuous improvement to be achieved. The people are also extremely easy to get on with, and they really understand our business, giving us a great deal of confidence in their advice.”

David Gibson

Photon Lines Ltd

“Blackmores are the perfect bridge between working on your ISO as an individual or company, to being audited each year.  We find that any queries we have are covered and we feel sure that we have everything as needs be before going into an external audit.”

Mandy Welsby

Jaama Ltd

“We have been extremely impressed with the service and support provided by Blackmores.  There knowledge and assistance through out our ISO journey has been amazing!”

Philip Hannabuss

Dome Consulting

“Blackmores have really kept us on our toes with the broad scope and level of detail they apply to our internal audit schedule. They always stay abreast of ISO standard changes and help us to adapt our processes and documents to embrace these changes accordingly. Having Blackmores shadow our external audits provides invaluable confidence and peace of mind – would highly recommend their services!”

Phil Geens

Kingsley Napley

“Our ISO 27001 certification project has gone so well, that there was no doubt in who we were going to ask to help us with our aspirations of becoming ISO 14001 certified. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Blackmores, and we are really looking forward to working with them for the foreseeable future.”


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