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B4

Magazine

ISSUE 15 SPRING 2010

A DV I C E I T

www.b4-business.com

CO N F E R E N C E

M A R K ET I N G

E D U C AT I O N

N ET W O R K I N G

F I N A N C E

P R O P E RT Y

H E A LT H

R & R

H R

SC I E N C E

Scottfraser Group Managing Director, Andrew Greenwood, on the evolution of this leading Oxfordshire property consultancy

Jennings Local businessman Mike Jennings talks about business his way

Oxford Instruments Chief Executive Jonathan Flint takes B4 inside one of Oxfordshire's leading and most established companies

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www.b4-business.com Contacts If you want to contact B4 Magazine Telephone: 01865 742211 E-mail: info@b4-business.com Publisher B4 Magazine is published by Designs On Ltd, The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford, OX3 0BT Chairman Colin Rosser E-mail: colin@designs-on.co.uk Editor Richard Rosser E-mail: editorial@b4-business.com Art Editor Keith Simpson E-mail: artwork@b4-business.com Editorial contributors Sarah Airey Karen David Reya El-Salahi Chris Hooton Robin Swailes Proofreading Shani Farrant Advertising E-mail: sales@b4-business.com Administration Charlotte Jarvis E-mail: admin@b4-business.com Studio Photography Studio 8 Telephone: 01865 842525 Field Photography James Lyon E-mail: james@urbancurve.com

Welcome to B4 After months of procrastination - for all the right reasons, I hasten to add - I am delighted to announce the launch of our new website at www.b4-business.com. However, without the support and patience of our initial B4 Ambassadors and Members, we wouldn’t be in the position we are today. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to them for bearing with us and hope that they agree it was worth the wait. This magazine has evolved to become an excellent voice for businesses in Oxfordshire, but combine that potency with our new website, and we believe that B4 on and off-line provides all Oxfordshire businesses with the perfect platform to raise their profile and connect with like-minded businesses which strive to keep business local, and thereby reinforce the undoubted strengths of Oxfordshire as a first class county to do business in. Turning to the magazine, this issue turns the lead article spotlight on local property consultancy, scottfraser, who have carefully crafted a sophisticated image and a first class business.

I would also like to extend a warm B4 welcome to some local heavyweights. Local property firm, Carter Jonas, provide an insight into the local property market, established law firm, Henmans, talk us though dispute resolution, and leading private bank, Coutts and Co, introduce B4 readers to their existing and planned services. This issue also features local businessman, Mike Jennings, Frilford Heath’s new General Manager, Jimmy James, and a young lady who would put most of us to shame with her sheer hard work and determination to succeed - Katherine Dales of The Career Boutique.

Subscriptions For free Subscription, please contact: Telephone: 01865 742211 E-mail: info@b4-business.com

Enjoy the Spring!

Shaw Gibbs Partner Peter O'Connell on maximising value on exit

50. You’ve Got Mail Jordans Managing Director, Adam Sherman, talks about history, acquisition and growth.

We take a look behind the scenes at Christ Church College with Head Custodian, Tony Fox, and Emma Bellenie opens the doors of local public school, Magdalen College. After all of the hard work, we all need some ‘R&R’, so tempt yourself with our features on The Randolph, Ethos Hotel and The Trout. For something more sporty, make sure you book tickets to support the Blues at this year’s Major Stanley’s fixture in November.

58. Are We in Recession or Recovery?

Each business with an Oxfordshire postcode is entitled to one free copy per issue. For additional copies and for businesses outside of Oxfordshire, there is an annual subscription charge of £25.

© Designs-on Ltd and B4 Magazine. Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure that the content of this publication is accurate and correct in every way, the publishers cannot be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies or errors within the publication. Information reproduced from this publication is permitted with the express permission of the publisher and the advertiser, where relevant. All information is correct at time of going to press.

29. Is Your Business For Sale?

Jonathan Flint, Chief Executive of Oxford Instruments, provides B4 readers with a fascinating insight into the world’s first ever ‘spin out’ company, and, further afield, John Arney, Managing Partner of leading City equity firm, Candover, talks to B4 about the recession and what we can learn from the mistakes made.

B4 Partners Begbroke Science Park B-Line Career Boutique Darbys London Oxford Airport Oxford Castle Oxford Innovation Oxfordshire Town Chambers Network Studio8 VSL & Partners Wenn Townsend WILA

Put Together in Oxfordshire B4 is all about Oxfordshire. Designed, produced and printed in Oxfordshire.

Inside

Richard Rosser Editor

About

B4

Robin Swailes tells B4 why things just don’t add up

Magazine

B4 Magazine was established to provide Oxfordshire businesses with a clear voice to raise their profile and to help businesses connect. Direct mailed to three thousand business decision makers in Oxfordshire every quarter, B4 is widely regarded as one of Oxfordshire’s leading business publications. B4 stands for Building Bridges Between Business, and that is what we have done and will continue to do, now aided by the launch of our first class website at www.b4-business.com. B4 is funded by paid for display advertising and editorial, although some editorial is granted without charge at the discretion of the Editor.

62. Coutts & Co We meet Maggie Bradley of Coutts who tells B4 more about the bank’s services and plans for the future


B4 Contents B4 LEAD

B4 OFFICE

14 From Strength to Strength: We shine the spotlight on local property consultancy, scottfraser

9 13 19 91 97 99 105

a £60 million care home in Wantage, Oxfordshire

ENGINEERS

B4 FINANCE

PART 4 – INCIDENT ALARMS & UNRETURNED CALLS

62 Coutts & Co: Probably the most famous bank in the world opens its doors to B4.

WITH

B4 NEWS

69

VISION

B4 IT

B4 News Oxford Innovation Begbroke Science Park Charitable Funds Nominet OTCN Business Link

This quarter, Nigel Pursall of Orange Stripe continue’s focusing on the key features of a modern office telephone system. We spotlight the enviable ability of our systems to provide incident alarms & alerts and remote manufacturer upgrades. In these tough times a missed sales call reflects directly in monthly sales revenue figures. We bring to your attention a very clever and affordable reporting tool that will provide you with an end of day report itemising calls you have not answered and not returned. Whether your business requires a small half size unit or the full 19 inch chassis version, both can be configured to perform remote overnight software upgrades as new system features are released. We can also force the system to alert you, or us as the maintainer, via email if a fault occurs or should a pre-set system rule be broken. Both systems are controlled by the same powerful processor which means both small to medium size businesses and larger corporate businesses can benefit from the same advanced technology now available to support an installation. Very often it is difficult to monitor activity within a telephone system every minute of the day or night. An alarm can flag unauthorised calls, particularly to premium, international or mobiles when cost can be significant or indeed if a call coming into your business has remained unanswered for say 30 seconds. It may be that you need to make a decision to overflow calls to the back office admin team when reception can’t cope with demand, the system alerts will help you make that decision sooner rather than later. . During the day a business will receive a variety of calls into sales or service. If a call, particularly into your sales team remains unanswered it becomes a missed call statistic and will be included in a ‘missed call’ report.

B4 SPOTLIGHT

Come 5pm you may have a number of missed calls. If a missed call has subsequently called you again and been answered or you have called them back, the missed call from earlier will be removed from this report. Therefore, the end of day report that is now significantly more important to you is the

24 Jennings - A Home For Your Business: Local businessman Mike Jennings talks to B4 about his business and his interest in helping other businesses.

‘unreturned missed call’ report. With this information available you can now task an agent to make a call to these missed callers. In issue 14 we introduced MyCalls which is a suite of call traffic reporting applications. It is MyCalls that will provide you with the reports you need to retain awareness to any unfortunate missed calls. Recent changes in business laws have also seen call recording become a necessity for many businesses. Call recording is part of the MyCalls suite of applications. We want to show you how we can help you improve your telecommunications and we would be happy to provide you with a free, no

“…we can monitor your system 24 hours a day 7 days a week” obligation, consultation. This can if you wish include a system demonstration to see where we can make a difference. Orange Stripe Telecommunications are direct partners with NEC. Our advice is to take full advantage of a local supplier supported by an industry leading manufacturer with a product range that is taking the market by storm at the moment. We can also start to make some significant savings to your line rental and call charges. Take a look at previous B4 issues for a reminder of Parts 1 to 3 and look out for another ‘engineer’s vision’ in the next issue of B4 Magazine. Find our contact details at the back of B4. www.orangestripe.co.uk

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41 Your Estate: Rebecca Kashti of Darbys simplifies the will making process 53 It Pays to Act Early: B4 welcomes local law firm, Henmans to discuss dispute resolution.

30 Candover: An insight from leading City equity firm, Candover, into the recession and how we can learn from our mistakes.

58 Are We In Recession or Recovery?: Local businessman Robin Swailes fears we are far from out of the recession.

85 WILA: Based in Grove, WILA are responsible for lighting up stunning locations around the world.

B4 CONFERENCE

100 Real Characters: B4 throws the spotlight on two talented youngsters who have seen their hard work reproduced in print.

70 Magdalen: Great School, Great Venue: More than just a school? An insight into this local leading public school's other business.

B4 ADVICE 29 Is Your Business For Sale?: Shaw Gibbs Partner, Peter O’Connell, helps to maximise returns for businesses looking to exit

34 Venturefest: The heart of Oxfordshire’s economic ecosystem.

B4 RECRUIT 54 Determination & Style: Katherine Dales of The Career Boutique on her drive to succeed.

B4 SCIENCE 20 Oxford Instruments: Chief Executive, Jonathan Flint, introduces B4 to one of Oxfordshire's most established businesses.

B4 OFFICE 50 You’ve Got Mail: How does B4 arrive through your door? With the help of local distributor Jordans - we find out more about this local firm. 69 Engineers With Vision: Part 4 - Orange Stripe with more useful communication tips. 83 Business Parks: News from the county’s business parks

B4 PROPERTY

B4 MARKETING

44 A Wider View: Carter Jonas on the local property market

33 Life in the Fast Lane: Local office supplies firm, B-Line, steps up a gear with a move into the glamorous world of motor racing.

80 Not Your Average Care Home: We look at

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DETERMINATION

& STYLE

AN INTERVIEW WITH KATHERINE DALES, B4 AMBASSADOR AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF OXFORDSHIRE BASED THE CAREER BOUTIQUE Katherine Dales is a woman with a mission; she is determined to change the tarnished image and reputation of the recruitment industry in this country. An industry rebuked for the ‘hard sell’, persistent cold-calling and disproportionate fees, Katherine is under no illusion that she has a mountain to climb, but her strides are long and each one planted with resolute conviction. On first impressions – and Katherine will wholeheartedly tell you that “first impressions definitely do count!” – she oozes style, sophistication and confidence, but underneath the charming exterior lies a steadfast and steely determination and an astute business brain that reflects the law and psychology degree securely under her belt, giving you the impression that she could probably change anything she put her mind too. Unphased and undaunted by the economic uncertainty surrounding her, Katherine established

In truth these principles could and should probably be applied to most businesses, so for Katherine why the recruitment industry? “Nobody dreams about being a recruitment consultant when they are growing up – and recruitment has many highs and lows. However the highs and drive of being able to actually make a difference to someone’s life is such a great feeling – you are actively introducing people and forming relationships.” Katherine says she had a gut instinct that she was always destined to be her own boss and it was just a matter of time before she found her vocation. The fast pace and challenges of the recruitment industry fuel her passion and ambition. Born and raised in Oxfordshire, Katherine believes that the region is an industrious and entrepreneurial county, offering a cosmopolitan and vibrant lifestyle due to its close proximity to London. She understands the business

company is looking for; what kind of people and personality traits make the company what it is.” Katherine also believes that it is the ‘after sales service’ that The Career Boutique provides to clients that significantly differentiates her company from others and has contributed to its success. “Most agencies don’t even consider how they can add value after making a placement. Filling a role is comparable to just putting ‘bums on seats’, rather than providing the client with an all round service. At The Career Boutique we offer coaching, workshops and seminars with prominent, respected partners and specialists and an interactive web site integrating lifestyle tips and advice with careers opportunities.” At the best of times most organisations look for value for money, but during a recession the emphasis becomes greater and added value almost an expectation.

“we offer coaching, workshops and seminars with prominent, respected partners and specialists” The Career Boutique at the beginning of 2009 and bucked the trend of what was happening to fledging businesses up and down the UK; the business achieved and maintained a healthy bottom line and is growing from strength to strength.

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

To what does Katherine attribute The Career Boutique’s success? The predictable answers are forthcoming; “hard work, determination” but in Katherine’s case there is no doubt this is true, but there is also more to it and the clue is in the name ‘The Career Boutique’. Katherine has developed a business ethos based on the way successful boutique hotels approach their clients. She delivers a high quality, empathic, personal service with integrity and a definitive after-sales service. She wants her business to have style and appeal and most importantly to make a difference to her clients. 54

community within Oxfordshire, but is also acutely aware that many employers are put off using recruitment agencies because of the ‘hard sell’ and high fees. This isn’t unique to Oxfordshire of course, but The Career Boutique is initially focusing its efforts on educating clients within the region as to the benefits and potential added value that a recruitment consultancy can offer a company seeking the right staff. Katherine explains; “A good consultant will take away the time and headaches you have to spend going through the whole employment process. They will also take away the stresses of ensuring legalities are adhered to. In times of recession particularly, there is so much more that clients can be looking for from utilising the services of a recruitment consultancy. The consultant should be an addition to the company, an extra arm that intuitively knows what that

Of course, as a recruitment consultant you witness the impact of the recession first hand and Katherine candidly observes that Oxfordshire is reflective of much of the country, with many businesses still struggling. However, she is quick to point out that the shoots of economic recovery are definitely sprouting and there is certainly evidence of greater optimism in the market place at the moment. “There is a positive shift amongst the Oxfordshire business community, with many organisations beginning to feel confident enough to recruit again,” Katherine explains, “albeit that they are proceeding with caution, opting for the ‘Temp to Perm route’, whereby staff are initially employed with temporary contracts, with an agreed review after a specified period for the possibility of a more permanent role.”

B4 RECRUIT the employee, because it allows a reasonable period for both parties to determine whether the placement is mutually beneficial. The number of highly skilled, high calibre job seekers has undoubtedly risen over the past 12 months, but Katherine makes an interesting analysis that some of these candidates are not willing to meet the high and exacting standards set by some employers;

It is clear that the exacting standards Katherine has of herself are also expected of others and she does not suffer fools gladly. When asked who her role model is, who inspires her, she doesn’t hesitate in her response; “A cliché I know, but my mother is my greatest role model. She has a strong work ethic, yet always manages to maintain a healthy and enjoyable work, life balance. She taught me that whatever I wanted in life I could achieve as long as I worked hard, persevered and believed in myself. Some might consider these to be old-fashioned values in the 21st Century, but I am legitimate proof that they are still totally valid today. For example, to be considered as a B4 Ambassador alongside some defining members of the Oxfordshire business community, when my own business is still young, is an honour and a privilege and a personal achievement.”

B4 NETWORK 73 The New B4 Website: Want to know more about our fantastic new site? Look no further.

A self-confessed workaholic, it is quite clear that Katherine is striving to achieve her own work, life balance, but in her defence and to her credit, she is representative of most successful young entrepreneurs who live and breathe their business. However, her meticulous style is an obvious giveaway that she totally embraces the finer things in life! She is, after all, part of the ‘Carrie (Sex and the City) Bradshaw generation!’;

And so, when asked the inevitable question of where this ambitious lady would like to see herself and The Career Boutique in five years time (apart from boasting an enviable collection of Jimmy Choo shoes, of course!), Katherine retorts, smiling; “In short of world domination, you mean? I would like to see The Career Boutique grow and maintain its unique ability to make people smile and content in the work place, when for some, whether employing staff or looking for a job, can be a very scary and daunting time.” Katherine Dales can be contacted via The Career Boutique web site, where you will also find details of The Career Boutique’s regular seminars for employers. www.thecareerboutique.com

Katherine also observes that the ‘Temp to Perm route’ can be beneficial to both the employer and www.b4-business.com

78 Watch Out: Not only putting a face to a name, the new B4 site aims to put voices to faces and provide a great platform to promote your business.

“Some people feel that if they have vast experience or are highly qualified in a particular area that they should be given preferential treatment. In fact, all candidates, whatever level they are at, should be willing and able to work to an employer’s guidelines and expectations.”

“Glamour brings confidence in all aspects of our lifestyle and why not in our careers? The Career Boutique website is deliberately stylish, offering lifestyle tips and advice to help individuals feel good about themselves and make the most of their skills and what they have to offer prospective employees”.

www.b4-business.com

54

The Nuts and Bolts Man: The brains behind the new B4 site explains how he went about the build.

TOP 5

Katherine Dales offers her Top Tips for employers seeking the services of a recruitment consultant; 1. Always select by reputation and/or recommendation 2. Ask about ‘Added Value’ services 3. Ensure the consultant or agency demonstrate a good understanding of your business and your needs - especially in times of recession 4. Good candidate knowledge exhibits professionalism 5. Expect unwavering flexibility and cooperation

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B4 ACCOMMODATION 66 The Randolph: In the lap of local luxury - B4 enjoy the delights of Oxford's only five star hotel. 86 Our Ethos: Strking the perfect balance between a hotel and home.


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B4 R&R

THE CUSTODIAN

VENUE INFO For several months each year the college makes available its accommodation, catering services, meeting rooms and the services of an experienced staff for conferences, meetings and seminars. The setting, the exceptional facilities and the professionalism of our staff make Christ Church the perfect venue for all kinds of events.

On a bright February morning, Christ Church was bathed in brilliant sunshine, looking magnificently manicured. As the ever ebullient Head Custodian, Tony Fox, made his way from Tom Tower, across the resplendent Quod at Christ Church, the tourists were out in full force, turning their attention towards the bowler-hatted custodian as if he was a film star.

• Christ Church has accommodation for up to 300 delegates in single and twin study bedrooms of good size and variety. One hundred and thirty rooms, including singles and twins, offer private shower and toilet facilities. All rooms are modernised and comfortably furnished and equipped with telephones and tea and coffee-making facilities.

“I know we are the number one

• Conference delegates take meals in the college’s magnificent Tudor Hall which seats up to 300.

attraction. Most of the tourists will have us on their ‘to do’ list”

• An unsurpassed venue for conferences and events of all kinds. • Christ Church, the largest college in Oxford and among the best-known, is one of Oxford's premier conference locations.

Tony Fox doesn’t lap it up, well, he might do just a little bit secretly, but he is the consummate professional, taking the attention in his stride. The more he ignores the flashing cameras, the more they want – maybe that’s a trick he’s learnt!

Christ Church is the most popular college, Tony isn’t backwards in coming forwards. “I know we are the number one attraction. Most of the tourists will have us on their ‘to do’ list as the history of Christ Church is difficult to overlook when coming to Oxford. It’s a must.”

Approaching his tenth year of service at Christ Church, almost six of them as Head Custodian, Tony is quite clearly at one in his role, but explains that he has helped boost the College’s tourist trade. “I had a great teacher when I came in as a custodian. He taught me everything I know now about the history of Christ Church, and when you are talking about an institution which has been here since the seven hundred’s, then that’s a lot of history!

Tony isn’t being arrogant. He has a charming and endearing direct way of talking which is so adored by the tourists. You know where you are with Tony, that’s for sure, and when he politely requested an errant tourist to get off the grass, it didn’t matter whether the tourist understood English….he practically leapt off!

“When I arrived, we weren’t making the most of the network of businesses in Oxford. Now, I make sure the local hotel concierges, other attractions, even the other college custodians, all know me and we work together. I even attend Trade Fairs.” Asked if

Tony’s hard work has helped swell the annual turnover from less than 125,000 to well over 250,000 visitors per annum, a record which he is extremely proud of. With his team of seven custodians, he and his colleagues are the heart and soul of Christ Church, who maintain order in a dignified and controlled manner – although I am sure the odd tourist has experienced their wrath on

more than one occasion! The web sites and brochures can tell you all you need to know about the history of this beautiful College, but ninety minutes in the company of a Head Custodian who has been drenched in the tradition and history of the College for nearly ten years, will tell you more than any web site or brochure could ever start to. I know I’m not alone, but I was twenty-four when I first toured Christ Church – what a crime. Did I know that Lewis Carroll (the pen name of Charles Dodgson) was a former tutor of the College? Or that he based Alice in Wonderland on a former Dean (Henry Liddell) and his daughter Alice? Did I know that the tree where the Cheshire Cat (the former Dean’s cat, Dinah) “sat” in is in the grounds of this monumentally famous College? Did I know that the characters from Alice feature in the beautiful stained glassed windows towering over the world famous dining room? No, no, no and no!

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Yes, you may know that over half of England’s Oxford educated Prime Ministers studied at Christ Church, but did you know that Cardinal Wolsey intended to enclose the wide perimeter of the main Quod?

used for scenes for the first two Harry Potter films, but did you know that students in Peckwater Quod chalk their annual sporting achievements on the walls of the buildings, currently showing more success for the ladies?!

You may know that Christ Church Cathedral is one of the smallest Cathedrals in England, but did you know that the small door at the back of the high table in the dining room leads to a rabbit like staircase and tunnel, the inspiration for Carroll’s “rabbit hole” in Wonderland?

Christ Church is open to visitors, subject to restrictions, but a private tour is a guaranteed opportunity to find out more about the inner workings and secrets of a slice of Oxford where time is always five minutes ahead of itself!

• As well as hosting conferences for many prestigious clients, Christ Church also runs its own events.

With many thanks to Head Custodian, Tony Fox, for a fascinating insight to an incredible College.

For enquiries about Christ Church Programmes, and Conference enquiries please contact: Philippa Duffin or Helen Weller. Tel: 01865 276174 / 286877

Yes you may know that John Wesley was educated at Christ Church before taking a fellowship at Lincoln College, but did you notice the rather modern looking contraption in one of the Cathedral’s stained glass windows dating back to the late 19th Century? Have a careful look, it’s a toilet, probably one of the first ever depicted in a stained glass window, along with a Welsh Dresser!

49 Major Stanley’s: An invitation to support the Blues at this year's Major Stanley’s fixture.

77 A Helping Hand: Support a local charity by getting involved with the new B4 website.

57 An Adventure in Art For All the Family: A preview of this wonderful event which comes to Waterperry in the summer.

B4 R&R 37 Jimmy James: We meet Frilford’s new General Manager for a chat about his recent appointment.

Contact Tony at the e-mail below for your very own private tour of one of the world’s most fascinating attractions. www.chch.ox.ac.uk

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43 The Trout: A great local pub which has been refurbished with style and care.

23 The Pole: A fascinating film raises money for deserving local Oxfordshire charity.

• Conference facilities are available for many weeks throughout July, August and September as well in the Christmas New Year and for several weeks around Easter.

It is a well known fact that the dining room was www.b4-business.com

B4 CHARITY

• A conference delegate at Christ Church has access to spacious quads and gardens, a renowned Picture Gallery, a Cathedral and the tranquil Christ Church Meadow.

88 The Real China: Fantastic Chinese food in first class surroundings - B4 meet the family behind the UK's largest Chinese buffet chain.

93 Fire and Stone: More than just great pizza - a great venue in the heart of Oxford. 94 North Oxford Golf Club: Bob Harris IS North Oxford Golf Club and here Bob talks to B4 about coping with the recession.

B4 REWARD 61 The Republic: Andrew Bowen talks to B4 about his move from retail giants Tesco to his own business and a new lease of life. 65 Fudge Kitchen: If you're looking for a treat, look no further - and we've got a great reason to go with B4 Rewards.

38 The Custodian: The main man in the bowler hat, Tony Fox of Christ Church, hat tells B4 more about his background and what his role involves.

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B4 ACCOMMODATION

OUR ETHOS

B4 R&R

Ethos Hotel Oxford promises guests the perfect balance between home and hotel; a place where the warmth and comfort of home meets the luxury and style of a boutique hotel. Reya El-Salahi reports for B4. Located just a short walk from the City Centre, in a quiet residential area off Abingdon Road, the hotel is smart, spotless and uber stylish. Decorative touches including the huge lime-green feather wall hanging in the reception area and the pair of golden ornate chairs on the first floor landing demonstrate just why Ethos is best described as a boutique hotel. Spread across three floors, the hotel lay-out more closely resembles a house than a hotel, and with 12 en-suite rooms including well-equipped kitchenettes, generous wardrobe space and super-king size beds, Ethos definitely feels more home than hotel. Ethos co-owner, Simon Walshaw, explains that this is central to the concept behind the hotel, “We want guests to view the hotel as their very own mini house, just with someone looking after you, bringing you breakfast each morning and clearing up after you every day”. Just the sort of home we could all get used to! Having missed Valentines Day due to work commitments, my partner and I decided to celebrate mid-week instead with a hotel break in Oxford. Upon arriving, the friendly front-of-house hostess at Ethos led us to our spacious room on the first floor. Not only did our bright room come with one of the largest, most comfortable beds I have ever had the pleasure of sleeping in, but free phone calls, Wi-Fi, Sky channels and breakfast were all included as standard. When most hotels charge

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www.b4-business.com

through the nose for these sorts of add-ons, Ethos’ inclusivity came as a unique and welcome surprise. Our room was bright, airy and full of character. From the hand-made cream head-board (which Simon designed himself) to the beautiful embroidered green bed spread, attention to detail is clearly an important feature of Ethos. Having played such a personal role in designing the hotel, Simon revealed he relied heavily on the five senses to ensure his ideas resulted in a good night’s sleep remaining a top priority. And with super soft bed linen, under-floor heating, well insulated walls and light blocking curtains, our stay left us feeling thoroughly relaxed and rejuvenated. As well as a great nights sleep, Ethos Hotel offers all the best bits of a hotel alongside the independence of rented accommodation. The rooms resemble studio flats with everything included from a microwave to cutlery, which enable guests to treat their stay as a home from home. “I want our guests to feel they never have to leave their rooms… unless they want to of course” David Beaumont Ethos co-owner explains. Some rooms are even accessible independently of the hotel reception with easy access for disabled guests and key-less entry technology. With guests including a mixed bunch of families, tourists, students and business people, the focus on independence is key to ensuring Ethos receives high levels of repeat traffic. Money being tight for many, and with Oxford

FIRE & STONE

renowned for its ‘London prices’, a hotel which actively encourages guests to spend less is understandably popular. ‘Do Good – Feel Good’, is Ethos’ mission statement, and you can feel great knowing that all the homely comfort is balanced with a collection of eco-conscious features literally built into the hotel, enabling sustainability to remain key. Eco-friendly features include black-out curtains, opening windows, fair-trade natural products, green tariff sustainable energy, reclaimed building materials, a thorough recycling programme, grey-water well and pump, Tri-Iso insulation (providing minimal outside sound yet maximum heat transference) and energy efficient lighting, appliances and Pilkington Eclipse Advantage™ windows (for solar control and low emissivity).

Fire & Stone is the new George Street restaurant serving deliciously different stone-baked pizzas, salads and, as of May, a new range of pasta dishes. The stylish décor and the positive reports we had heard about the restaurant meant that B4 were excited to be invited to experience the delights of Fire & Stone.

Since opening back in August 2008 Simon cheerfully admits that occupancy has steadily increased month per month, which he puts largely down to a result of word of mouth. With the City centre and all its amenities in walking distance, free night parking and a unique level of homely comfort and independence, it’s clear to see why Ethos Hotel has grown from strength to strength as a great base for anyone planning a visit to Oxford.

Walking into the restaurant, diners have a choice of dining on the ground floor, with views onto George Street, or take the large spiral staircase circling the oven, offering views of the pizzas cooking in the open planned kitchen, to the basement level.

www.ethoshotels.co.uk

The stylish and modern restaurant is fitted with reclaimed timber and bright uses of colour, integrated throughout with orange backed booths and a central bonquet seating arrangement in the colours of the logo. With a capacity of 217 set over two floors, plus a modern bar area for informal drinks, Fire & Stone is perfect for private dining events on the lower level or exclusive hire throughout the whole venue.

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Fire and Stone has superbly managed to mould itself into a great corporate venue, whilst at the same time appealing to families and couples. Ideal for the office Christmas Party, networking events or other work celebrations, please contact the management on site to arrange a viewing to discuss what Fire & Stone can do to assist with your event. With a central location within walking distance of Gloucester Green Car Park, it really is a

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fantastic venue for private corporate events. The restaurant offers an exciting, contemporary menu with not only a large range of deliciously different pizzas, but also some tasty salads, starters and desserts. Plus (and you heard it here first) they are also planning on launching a new pasta range in May. The team of dedicated restaurant chefs make everything from scratch, with the finest fresh ingredients, making sure that you always have a first rate experience each and every time you visit. Choose from the ‘Sydney’, a crisp, oven-roasted smoked bacon pizza with free range egg, shaved smoked ham, mozzarella, Fire & Stone’s tomato sauce, basil and chives, or a ‘San Margherita’, Fire & Stone’s signature pizza, with tomato sauce, sliced vine-ripened tomato, grated mozzarella and freshly picked basil. If you want to venture further afield, why not go to South Africa for the ‘Capetown’, comprising sliced Italian pepperoni, ground spicy beef, mozzarella, Fire & Stone’s tomato sauce and green chilli, topped with fresh basil and oregano. The ‘Bombay’ stands out as an unusual concept. A roast tandoori

marinated chicken breast with spiced tandoori yogurt base, combined with broccoli, sliced red onion, mozzarella, spiced mango chutney and cucumber with mint yoghurt. Customers will be fascinated by the spaceship type oven which forms a dominating centrepiece to the whole restaurant, enabling diners to actually see the chef busy making their pizzas. The pizza dough is made on site every day in the restaurant’s kitchens to provide the crispiest pizza base possible. The bases are ample enough to support the substantial toppings. All produce at Fire & Stone is sourced from local and specialist suppliers ensuring that all ingredients are authentic, fresh and, just as important, are low on ‘food miles’. You will be genuinely impressed by the whole package at Fire & Stone and with a wide range of pizzas and other treats on the menu, make Fire & Stone a must on your next outing in Oxford, or pop in to discuss options for your next corporate event. For reservations, please call 0844 371 2550 or email reception@cgrestaurants.com, or visit www.fireandstone.com.

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For all contacts see page 112


Birmingham B irmingham M Moor oor S Street treet • Banbury Banbury • Bicester Bicesster N North orth • Haddenham Haddenham & TThame hame P Parkway arkway • London London Marylebone Marylebone

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Cheaper C heaper fares. fares. Award Award winning winning service. ser vice. If you’re ’ travelling t lli to to London L d or Bir Birmingham Bi mingham i h on busi business, b iiness, make k life lif easier i of Chiltern’s and take the train. 95% 9 Chiltern’s trains arrive on time, while our business fares to London London are still cheaper than most other train operators. operators. • TTables ables and and p power ower so sockets ckets at at every ever y sseat eat Designated •D esignated mobile-free mobile-free ‘Quiet ‘Quiet Zone’ Zone’ on on every ever y train train Chiltern •C hiltern Carnet Carnet with with 12 12 Anytime Anytime Tickets Tickets for for the the price price of of 10 10 Mobile •M obile PPhone hone Timetable Timetable and and Journey Journey Check Check Alerts Alerts Business Service and Journey •B usiness Travel Travel S er vice a nd Jo urney Planner Planner Easily •E asily accessible accessible Park Park and and Ride Ride facilities facilities for for all all of of North North and East Oxfordshire a nd E ast Oxf fordshire at: at: Haddenham H addenham and and Thame Thame Parkway Parkway SatNav: SatNav: HP17 HP17 8EP 8EP Bicester North SatNav: OX26 6EF B icester N orth S atNav: O X26 6 EF

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B4 News King Charles House, Oxford - Make A Smart Move To The City Smart office accommodation in the heart of Oxford and just minutes away from the railway station is rare to find, so it’s no surprise that the suite at King Charles House being marketed by Carter Jonas is attracting a lot of attention. This second floor space is self contained and benefits from educational - D1 – consent to part. Suitable for any business that needs a city-centre location, however, it provides total space of over 9,500 sq ft. “There are only two buildings offering

this size of accommodation within the city centre, with King Charles House offering the addition of a high profile building.” Says agent, Jon Silversides. “The location couldn’t be more convenient as it is right next to Oxford station, surrounded by cafes and restaurants and just a short walk away from the city’s central shopping area.” To arrange a viewing contact Jon Silversides at Carter Jonas on 01865 517000 or email jon.silversides@carterjonas. co.uk See page 44.

The Lady Godiva girl bares all – Vicky Jewson announces her next feature film You may remember Vicky Jewson’s first film Lady Godiva? Vicky, then aged just 19, raised £1.2 million to make Lady Godiva, which went on to be released in cinemas nationwide and sold in major retailers.

ago at Gees Restaurant, raising 50% of the budget on the night. Investors receive EIS tax relief and will be entitled to a (pro-rata) 5% in Vicky’s holding company, Jewson Film Productions Ltd, and therefore a % in all her future success.

Vicky’s next film, “Born Of War”, is due to shoot in August and is a girl-with-a-gun thriller. Vicky launched her fundraising campaign three months

For more information, please email info@ jewsonfilmproductions.com

Witney Big(ger) Breakfast Run Five Members of the Witney Big Breakfast networking group banded together to enter this years OX5 run for the Oxford Childrens’ Hospital at Blenheim Palace. Team members were Clive Taylor of Total Credit Management, Jamie Mcintyre of Abacus Suppliers Ltd, Jo Sensecall of Marketing Sense, Chris Banbury SMTS Ltd, and Max Askew of Askew Nelson. Four years ago, Clive’s daughter, Harriet, underwent eye surgery in the newly opened hospital, and he has seen this race as a way of giving something back. “It’s a great event that seems to get bigger every year. We hope to raise around £1000 this year”. The Witney Big Breakfast Networking Group meets at Hacketts Wine Bar, Witney, at 7.30am on Thursday mornings. New members are very welcome. Contact Clive Taylor on 07970 871353 or Clive@ totalcreditmanagement.co.uk / www.witneybigbreakfast.co.uk.

Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK Coutts Oxford are raising money to support the work of Make-A-Wish Foundation by cycling from the Norwich office to Coutts in Reading. Team members from Oxford were, at time of going to press, preparing for the 40 mile leg between Oxford and Reading on 30th April. The target is to present the charity with a cheque for £10,000. Donations can be made at www.justgiving.co.uk/thamesvalleyandeastanglia. See the Coutts article on page 62.

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Charity Registration No. 295672

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PUTTING THE SHOW BACK INTO BUSINESS. Meetings and private events at the Mal Oxford.

Mal life. In these times your business needs an edge. That daring difference that speaks volumes to your client or your competitors. At Malmaison, we put the show back into business.This is no glitzy display with no real depth, but a collection of glamorous meeting and private dining rooms, each with a deep-rooted love for style, ultra tasty cuisine, outstanding wine and an undying dedication to providing amazing hospitality. It’s pure theatre, with absolutely no dramas. Add some show to your business. We dare you. That’s Mal life.

To book call in or call

01865 268 400

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B4 News Goodhead Appoint Colin Rosser as Deputy Chairman In Oxford Group Chairman, Colin Rosser, former Chairman of the Goodhead Group plc, has been appointed Deputy Chairman following his initial appointment as a non executive director in September 2009. Understandably delighted to be returning to his former company, Colin told B4. “To go back to Goodhead after an absence of sixteen years has been quite amazing. Goodhead is now one of the largest printers in the UK and a leader in the field of heatset web offset. “We have a huge battery of presses, modern factories and our central locations in Bicester and Banbury place us in a great position to service our customers. After some testing times, the future is looking very bright.’

B4 Announced as Venturefest Media Sponsor To coincide with the launch of the new B4 website, B4 are proud to have been appointed Media Sponsor of this superb annual event.

exposure both on and off-line, we would be pleased to hear about your plans and explore ways B4 can help to promote your event.

As part of the development of B4, we are aligning ourselves with key local events, thereby raising awareness of the event and B4 as a leading local provider of news, events and offers from the county’s leading business.

A key element of the new B4 site is to help businesses avoid otherwise unforseen date clashes which can scupper even the best laid plans. To make sure your events are well attended and therefore help you achieve maximum impact, become a B4 Member today. See more about Venturefest on page 34.

If you would like to partner with B4 and secure vital

21 Years of Putting their best foot forward Reaching 21 years is a milestone in the life of any business and one of Oxford’s best-loved shoe shops comes of age in 2010. New Inn Hall Street based ECCO Oxford, is looking good and as strong as ever. When Hilary and Harry Fletcher acquired the business it sold just 20 ladies’ styles. Now, 21 years on, they stock 175 ladies’ and 80 men’s styles.

This focused, energetic partnership have not only regenerated the shop now attracting local and international visitors, but created an enormously successful online business that dispatches nationwide. ECCO Oxford is inviting customers to join their 21st birthday celebrations. For information email info@ecco-oxford.co.uk

Saturday drop-in surgeries Shaw Gibbs Financial Services in partnership with Manches Llp are pleased to announce the launch of their Saturday consultation clinics, which will offer free advice on all aspects of Financial Planning including pensions, investments and inheritance tax planning. The informal consultations with fully qualified advisers will take place at the Shaw Gibbs office at 264 Banbury Road, on the 5th June and 3rd of July. Places are expected to fill up quickly so to reserve your appointment, please contact Jemma Risk on 01865 292291 or email jemma.risk@shawgibbs.com. Spaces may be available on the day however to secure a time convenient to you it is advisable to book in advance. For further information please visit www.shawgibbs.com or www.manches.com

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news Lightning Fish ... Lightning growth! It’s been a momentous year for innovative Oxfordshire company Lightning Fish. Oxford Innovation are proud to have had the opportunity to support this Banbury-based company over their 18 months of successful growth. Lightning Fish Ltd and its 3 founding members occupied a 600 sq ft office in the Colin Sanders Innovation Centre, Banbury, in August 2008 and have never looked back! Incorporated on June 14 2008, Lightning Fish was founded by Simon Prytherch (CEO), Mike Montgomery (Development Director) and David Hunt (CTO) - some of the most experienced names in the videogame business. Lightning Fish is a videogame developer specialising in family-oriented titles for all the major consoles - Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Windows and Smart Phones. Despite being a young company, the team has previously released more than 100 games, many selling tens of millions of units. The company enjoyed rapid early growth due to the innovative nature of its products. Oxford Innovation was able to provide a package of support to Lightning Fish which was also crucial to their development in the most important early years. The company developed significantly with the announcement of a strategic partnership with Black Bean Games in February 2009. The partnership was to create a new family line of products called NewU, available on the Nintendo Wii platform. NewU Fitness First Personal Trainer was the first game released in the NewU franchise, and was launched in May 2009. NewU Inside Out was the next product released, and is the only interactive fitness product for Nintendo Wii that combines both fitness and nutrition. It uses real video instead of computer graphics to teach users. Use of the studio at the Innovation Centre enabled Lightning Fish to devise

a new approach to traditional green screen recording, including introducing ways of shooting from multiple angles to ensure plenty of content for the Wii. It is these innovative approaches that bear the hallmark of Lightning Fish, and this is reflected in the company’s impressive growth rate over the past 18 months. Due to its equally impressive projected growth, the company has recently made the decision to ‘go it alone’ and leave the Innovation Centre. It’s a big decision, and means leaving the Innovation Centre and all it’s support services. By the end of 2010 Lightning Fish expect to double their current number of employees to around 40 people, making the need to take larger office space with room for its own studio very apparent. Speaking about the decision to leave the Innovation Centre, CEO Simon Prytherch said it was not an easy decision to make. “The Innovation Centre has given us the perfect environment and supportive infrastructure in which to grow, and the services it has provided us with have been invaluable. It is only when we’ve had to budget for all those services included in our monthly rent did we realise the true value of the services we receive from the team at the Innovation Centre”. The Centre offers small companies, like Lightning Fish one year ago, flexible and affordable office space with a 4 week notice period to vacate at any time. This proved invaluable to Lightning Fish as, once in the Centre, they gradually moved from their original office to one three times the size. The flexibility gave them the opportunity to ‘upsize’ only when necessary, so Lightning Fish could plan and budget accordingly. Simon added “Oxford Innovation has been and remains a key factor in Lightning Fish’s growth and success, we’ve significantly benefitted from capitalizing on the ethos of the Innovation Centre”. Sales and Marketing Manager for Colin Sanders Innovation Centre, Lilian Bannister, was

complimented by Lightning Fish for encouraging businesses to network with each other in the local community, for mutual benefit. Lilian was also praised for her genuine interest in their company, in recommending them for business awards to recognise their business achievements. Speaking about Lightning Fish, Lilian said “Iam sad to see them go, but for all the best reasons. They have effectively managed and planned their growth within the Centre and are now on the next step of their master plan. They have been a pleasure to work with”. The Colin Sanders Innovation Centre, Banbury, is managed by Oxford Innovation. It was opened in 1999, and named after Colin Sanders, a local entrepreneur and inventor. The Centre supports a range of innovative media and technology businesses. For more information visit: www.lightningfishgames.com www.oxin.co.uk

About Oxford Innovation Oxford Innovation manages a network of Innovation Centres that provide flexible office and laboratory space to over 400 technology, knowledge-based and creative companies. Innovation Centres are different to business centres: they provide companies with a professional environment to grow along with a range of support services. Oxford Innovation also manages three

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highly successful Investment Networks that link investors with entrepreneurs seeking funding from £20,000 to £2 million. During the last five years, the Investment Networks have helped over 90 companies raise over £19.5 million. Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION), Europe’s leading technology business angel network, and 2009 Angel Network of the Year

winner, has recently announced results showing that it has enjoyed a record-breaking year of helping innovative companies to secure funding. A range of Innovation Services are also available to ambitious businesses, including investment readiness, raising finance, networking, mentoring, protecting IP and new business opportunities.. www.oxin.co.uk

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FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH Scottfraser’s ambitious expansion plans in 2005 created an environment that was potentially primed for culture clash between the sales and lettings disciplines. Overcoming this has helped form the basis for a highly effective and innovative property consultancy in Oxford. Founded in 1998 by Andrew Fraser Greenwood (Group Managing Director), scottfraser was never intended to offer estate agency services. Instead the focus was on the acquisition of land and property suitable for investment on behalf of UK and overseas clients. It was not long before the company expanded to encompass Lettings and Property Management leading to the opening of dedicated lettings offices in Summertown and East Oxford. In 2004 the development of offices and apartments at the award winning Portus House in Headington, prompted Andrew to start talks with long time friend and former colleague David Blythman (Managing Director – Sales). David was asked to join the company and spearhead the development of the award winning residential estate agency alongside the already successful lettings business, which, by this point, had opened a third branch in Headington’s Portus House. Andrew and David are firm friends, but also highly competitive individuals. They soon realized that the new estate agency would create a potential conflict between Andrew’s practice of nurturing a long term

mutually beneficial relationship with landlords and investors, and David’s desire to sell everything in sight. In practice both the lettings and sales departments worked hard to create a new style of property business that merged sales and lettings practices in a positive way that benefitted investors and landlords alongside property sellers and developers. “Scottfraser provides customers with a unique experience within the property industry. We base our interactions with potential landlords or sellers on providing the best possible advice for that customer. We have a shared objective in the company to make the business successful financially but not at the expense of our customers best interest, or the service provided to them.” Andrew goes on to say, “Offering expert impartial advice on the property market allows landlords to deal with their investments in an informed fashion to either maintain their portfolio or sell.” David adds. “We are individual in our approach to customers, if we feel a specific action is required when handling certain situations, then we take that

“scottfraser provides customers with a unique experience within the property industry”

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B4 LEAD

“both the lettings and sales departments worked hard to create a new style of property business that merged sales and lettings practices”

action immediately without having to go through endless paperwork and red tape. Making a difference is part of our ethos and key to ensuring repeat business through satisfied customers.”

investor is buying as a going concern. The existing landlord has income right up to the day the property is handed over and the new landlord has income from the day they take the property on.”

For both lettings and sales, referrals and industry confidence are incredibly important to gaining new business. It is the aim of scottfraser to ensure that each client is treated as an individual and receives exceptional service.

David notes. “It is important to ensure that when our customers wish to consider their investment future, we are at the forefront of their minds. We believe that we have achieved this as we have very few clients who chose to move away to other agents to either sell or let their property. There is constant ebb and flow between the two disciplines and it is down to our expert team to ensure that this is managed professionally and efficiently.”

The synergy between the two departments is evident. David notes. “When sales became part of the scottfraser brand, we introduced several features to improve the exposure of the company including professional photography, floor-plans, more structured canvassing/market research and improvement of advertising to name a few.” Andrew adds. “The sales team benefitted from the lettings approach improving their long term customer service and feedback.” David comments. “Obviously there is competition between the departments, but we work together to ensure that the client’s best interests are met. For example, in the event an existing landlord decides to sell their property, the lettings team work to ensure it is well presented to assist in the sale. Equally, the sales team ensures that the tenant is communicated with correctly to prevent them becoming dissatisfied and therefore jeopardizing the landlord’s income.” Scottfraser also goes back to its roots with an acquisitions department, headed by Lucy Taylor (Associate Director). Lucy is constantly on the look-out for properties primed for buy-to-let investment. If the sales department are instructed on such a property, or a landlord decides to sell, she works tirelessly to secure an investment buyer from the companies investor portfolio. For landlords, Lucy adds. “The changeover between investor landlords is always mutually beneficial as the

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As Andrew states. “We work to ensure that any of our landlords feel confident that they can invest further in the property market, knowing that we have their best interests at heart. We assist our landlords to develop from single property owners to multi-property investors, thus increasing their income stream and overall investment value. Key to this is advising landlords when to sell their investments and what to buy, in fact so great is the confidence our investors have in scottfraser, that many clients purchase blind based solely on the advice we have given them.” The residential sales arm of the business has become a core part of the scottfraser brand. With more than 35 employees, scottfraser continues to grow from strength to strength, always encouraging team members to pursue new and exciting ways to push the business forward. Their success comes from attention to detail, a high quality portfolio of properties and, most importantly, from referrals from satisfied customers. With further expansion plans and promotions into areas such as student letting, scottfraser continues to go from strength to strength. www.scottfraser.co.uk

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Sales: 01865 759500 Summertown Lettings: 01865 554577 East Oxford Lettings: 01865 244666 Headington lettings: 01865 761111

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Begbroke Science Park

news

Green Shoots in the North Oxfordshire Countryside In these difficult economic times where doom and gloom meet you at every turn of the radio dial it is heart warming to hear of growth, recovery and enterprise. Oxfordshire is a hot bed for scientific innovation and this in turn leads to new companies, new jobs and hope for future generations. It is pleasing therefore to see expansion of this sector in North Oxfordshire. The Begbroke Science Park, whilst nestling in the countryside to the NW of Oxford, is quietly bustling with activity. The site operates at the interface of academia and industry, supporting interdisciplinary applied research alongside high-tech start up companies. It is home to 31 companies and more than 12 research groups from 6 different University departments and collectively employs over 400 people on site. Enquiry levels are up, new companies are coming to the site and existing ones are showing signs of growth. The Director of Begbroke, Peter Dobson said “There’s a vibrancy to Begbroke which is sparked by the unique mix of activities we have here. Companies really value the ease with which they can get started and stay focused on their business objective while we get on with the practicalities. It’s not just about the desk, chairs, phone, and reception, it’s about recognising the stage companies are at and helping them move forward by networking, mentoring and signposting. Or, simply by creating the right environment for them to do that for themselves. That is what we have at Begbroke and that’s why visitors from across the world come here to take away the blueprint”. For more information about events, conference facilities and available space, call 01865 283700 Begbroke the right environment for conferencing

Begbroke Science Park case study: Zyoxel Ltd Zyoxel is a recent spin out from Oxford University after raising a £1 million investment from CN Innovations Holdings, a Hong Kong multinational. Tom Hockaday, managing director of Isis Innovation, said ’Successfully raising funding in the current environment is a challenge, one which Zyoxel has met with a strong technology and business proposition.’ The Zyoxel technology could transform the pharmaceutical industry, Dr Tim Hart, CEO, explains “Zyoxel is developing novel bioreactors which aim to reduce the average cost of drug development by at least 10% and so get new drugs to market more accurately and quickly.” Begbroke is open to all science based start up companies although as Tim Hart says “being a brand new University spin-out, with a requirement for cost-effective flexible office and lab space, Begbroke was an obvious home for us. The space is high quality and with inherent links back to the University, its an appropriate and practical location from which to build our business. Commuting is easy and public transport convenient. It’s a wonderfully quiet, green and spacious environment for our scientists to work”. Zyoxel is making good of the location by taking advantage of the networking opportunities through the coffee mornings, CEO forum and the wide variety of business based events that are attracted to the site. It also benefits from the regular minibus links with the centre of Oxford, and its clients enjoy the ease

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Dr Tim Hart with inventor Professor Zhanfeng Cui

with which they can access the site, park and take advantage of the well appointed meeting rooms and high quality restaurant. The collaborative “can-do atmosphere at Begbroke is appreciated by all site users, and is one we actively foster” said Professor Dobson.

www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk

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OXFORD INSTRUMENTS

As one of the county’s leading and most established businesses, Richard Rosser met with Oxford Instruments Chief Executive, Jonathan Flint, to find out more about a company which has found itself at the forefront of turning innovative science into successful, commercial tools and systems for industry and research for over fifty years.

Oxford Instruments were trailblazers as the world’s first university ‘spin out’, long before the phrase became fashionable. Emerging from the physics department of Oxford University fifty one years ago, founder Martin Wood developed the world's first superconducting magnet. He firmly believed this could yield good commercial applications, and founded Oxford Instruments on that basis. This was the seed from which a multi million pound business has grown. The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange in the mid-eighties on the back of the huge growth in MRI machines, as Jonathan explains. “One of the key applications for super

job to be done. The role was perfect for me and I am thoroughly enjoying taking this great company to the next level. “We have a superb engineering base and some of the best scientists in the world in their respective fields, but that all comes at a cost. My conclusion when I arrived was that the business was too small, even fragile, to support this burden, and I had to redress this imbalance. Every business has the problem of fixed overheads, but for us, the overheads are extreme. There are some huge fixed costs to maintain, and the only way to do that is to increase revenue.

the prototype work was completed at the JET laboratory at Harwell.” The ITER contract most certainly represents a huge boost in Jonathan’s aim to take the company to the next level, and he admits that the associated benefits of a contract of this magnitude and profile could enable him to navigate Oxford Instruments into clear blue water, well beyond his initial targets. “Yes, we hope there will be more beyond this contract. It is part of the long term growth Strategy. We have so far reported on three of the five years in the plan, and so far we have shown very good growth, annualised at about 15% per year, so we are on course.”

“My ‘grand plan’ when I arrived was to double the

“We have a superb engineering base and some of the best scientists in the world” conductors is to make very big magnets which don’t use any electricity, a key aspect where you need high magnetic fields. The main commercial application today is in MRI scanners, the standard diagnostic tools you see around the world. The MRI business enabled Oxford Instruments to grow at an almost unfathomable rate, with sales increasing from £5 million to £50 million per annum.” Jonathan has been in office for five years, with a background managing high technology businesses. His aims and ambitions for Oxford Instruments are quite clear. “What I really liked about Oxford Instruments was the fact that it already had a first class reputation with excellent technology, and yet there was still so much to do, so much potential and opportunity. I could see there was an excellent foundation from which to catapult Oxford Instruments to the next level. “The business, arguably, had not delivered the financial results that one might expect for a business that has got some of the best technology in the world. It had and still has, undoubtedly, a fantastic brand name in the academic and research markets, but I felt that there was still an important

20

size of the business in five years, through overhead efficiencies and increased turnover, thus resulting in increased profitability. So far, we have seen good organic growth and we have made some acquisitions, but, in particular, in 2009 we won one of the largest contracts in Oxford Instruments’ history. The ITER project is a governmental collaboration to produce a new form of energy. It is a long term science programme which will involve building a vast super conducting magnet, currently under construction in Southern France. The aim is to produce a sustainable new source of energy, which if successful will change our world. It is very exciting. It is not nuclear powered, in the conventional sense, and it doesn’t produce any long lived radioactive waste. “The fuel originally comes from sea water, and so, potentially, it is a sort of panacea to the environmental issues the world faces. However, there is a lot of engineering to be undertaken and it is still by no means certain when the programme will reach completion. ITER are building a prototype demonstrator, and we were lucky enough to win the contract to provide the super conducting wire for that programme. Interestingly,

By Jonathan’s own admission, given that Oxford Instruments is involved in the embryonic stages of processes in research and manufacturing, it is easy to lose sight of the end product, as Jonathan continues. “Our products are used in research programmes, or as part of a process, and we lose sight of, or we don’t see the end result of that research or that process very often. For example, we provide tools that are used in five early stages of the eight stage manufacturing process of High Brightness Light Emitting Diodes (HBLEDs). This is a very energy efficient new form of lighting that, if we replaced all light sources with HBLEDs in the UK, we would save circa £17 billion in annual energy costs (20% of all electricity consumption in the UK is for lighting). “Another example, and one which is less grand but in its own way is protecting our society from hazardous substances, is our hand-held X-ray Fluorescence analyzer that can detect the presence of lead in toys. Remember the scare a few years ago – now our detectors are being used by the major toy manufacturers to ensure their toys are

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B4 SCIENCE compliant to the new laws on the amount of lead allowed in consumables. “Almost all of the research and processes that we are involved in reflect all of the big issues of today. Everything that we are involved in centres around the quest for new sources of energy, or ways to conserve energy, to preserve our environment and to help in health issues. We are at the sharp end of shaping our future, in so many critical areas.” Some responsibility, and it is a burden which Jonathan appreciates. “We are under no illusions as to where we stand. We have to take a very responsible path in our research as we are pioneers in many ways. It is very rare to have a company with such longevity, and with such firm links to the University, we are a solid and reliable provider of solutions in key areas. We are used as a model in case studies and this adds to our burden of responsibility, a burden we relish and hope we will carry for another fifty years.” “As for the future, we are in the privileged position of technology provider for the UK Government’s ‘Grand Challeneges’ programme. These are huge, socially important issues such as security and healthcare. We provide the tools for the companies who want to provide more secure banking systems, the more insightful clinical analysis machines, or the tools that will enable companies to inspect for heavy metal pollution. Each and every one of the Grand Challenges rely on our tools, and that gives me great personal satisfaction.” Being based in Oxfordshire is a significant advantage for Oxford Instruments, according to Jonathan. “On balance, I am very glad that we are based here in South Oxfordshire. We have the like of Culham and Harwell on our doorstep, with some of the greatest scientists in the country. It does provide a good pool of labour, lessening the need to attract staff from the wider world. In a world of rapidly changing technology, Jonathan concludes with a word of warning for the future. “Technologies that use energy much more efficiently are the key. We can say goodbye to wasteful cars and wasteful lighting. It is vitally important that there are new mechanisms for doing what we do now, without degrading our lifestyle, but in a vastly more energy efficient way. Technology must be the key to that. “The other big change is knowledge about our environment. What we all do has huge effects on pollution, healthcare, on the materials we use, and the food we eat. We have been in the dark ages since the dawn of science. We don’t really know how we interact with our environment at an atomic level. However, we are now beginning to realise that we can design drugs for specific ailments, that we can look in detail at the structures of food and drink to see how it nurtures society, in fact all manner of things that weren’t possible before are now possible with atomic level processors. “Water will become a major issue, a major threat. The population is constantly striving for a higher standard of living, which demands more water. Couple that with climate change and global warming, and the supply of water will become a major issue. It is beyond reasonable doubt that climate change is happening, and it is generated by human activity. You can’t put your head in the sand just because someone didn’t properly record his results. Climate change is here, and we have to do something about it.” With thanks to Jonathan Flint for his valuable time. www.oxford-instruments.com

FACTS & FIGURES 1,300 worldwide (just under 50% in the UK, with 220 in Oxford). Turnover £206 million in 2009 Employees

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…bottled

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media relations · branding and messaging · company/product launches digital/new media pr · thought leadership · speaker bureau · public affairs · media training experiential pr · sponsorship · event management · issues management


B4 CHARITY

THE POLE

On April 15th the Lord Lieutenant and the county’s business community went Beyond the Pole to raise funds for the Oxfordshire Community Foundation’s (OCF) Do it for Oxfordshire campaign. Luckily – unlike the stars and crew for the film – they only had to go as far as the Phoenix cinema in Oxford. Sarah Airey reports for B4.

To make and market the film, executive producer Helen Baxendale (Cold Feet and Friends) and her director partner David L Williams, went to the ends of the earth – well Greenland and then Facebook. David says, “We were shooting on floating sea ice in Kap Tobin. Filming was really tough for the cast and crew. Temperatures were 20ºC and we were 800 miles from the nearest town.” Kap Tobin has only one shop (selling guns) and a bar (only open every other Friday because there are too many shootings!). Not many films require the crew to be taken on set by sledges pulled by huskies, use a single frozen bucket as a loo, or rely on a marksman to keep the locals (polar bears) at bay. But Greenland is also “A land of towering icebergs and glittering fields of boulder ice where one day you would see 50 miles of pack ice and the next there would be only sea right to the horizon.” The scenery is truly spectacular, but the main point of the film is to highlight

doing their bit for exploration – and film making - but also in the US, home of the Hollywood blockbuster. Getting the audience on side has been the marketing trick for the film without a marketing budget. Which is where Facebook comes in. David says they are relying on “word of mouth and people power” to get distribution, with a fan group to encourage lobbying cinemas to show the film. “The film has a warm heart, and people want it to succeed. Belief is very galvanising and people want to get involved in something they believe in.” Fans of the cast, which includes Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood), Stephen Mangan (Green Wing) and Rhys Thomas (Fast Show) have all helped especially the True Blood fans who have really got behind the film in America. Go to www.beyondthepole.com to find out more. David has worked tirelessly in support of the film, he likens it to touring with a band. Both he and Helen will be in Oxford at the OCF’s red carpet showing of the film. “It is great to come to Oxford, the birthplace of Oxfam and where we

“The OCF is about local people helping local people, and has supported over 750 community groups with grants totalling £2.5 million” global warming. It follows the fortunes of the first carbon neutral, organic, vegetarian expedition to the North Pole - doing its bit for climate change and attempting to get into the Guinness Book of Records.

have massive green support.” The audience will also see the première of The Shift, a short film directed by David Trumble, a young Oxfordshire director and ex pupil of Cherwell School.

A true labour of love, the film is dedicated to the couple’s children. David says, “This is a passion project. We have done this because we want to be involved in something good, that we believe in.”

Anna Moon, newly appointed chair of the OCF says, “We are really excited about this, the first event in our Do it for Oxfordshire campaign. On April 16th, we asked all Oxfordshire workers to ‘Do it in Blue’ and bring a £1 to work.”

This is worthy, but can it be comedy? Helen says, “Climate change has always been an interest, but first and foremost we wanted to make great entertainment.”

“The OCF is about local people helping local people, and has supported over 750 community groups with grants totalling £2.5 million. This year we expect to make £300,000 in grants to over 100 organisations.” There is more information on the OCF at www.oxfordshire.org

So, is it entertaining? Fortunately, audiences have really warmed to this polar comedy, not just in the UK where there is a history of the plucky Brit underdogs

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Mike Jennings likes to play it fair in business. Straight, unfussy, but, above all, fair. After all, if you’re treated fairly, you tend to reciprocate. But that’s not Mike’s agenda. It’s just his approach. He’s not courting loyalty from his tenants by insisting on treating them fairly. It’s just his way, his modus operandi, his raison d’être. “One of our key values in business is fairness and fairness means different things to different people. Take, for example, business negotiation. Normally, the seller states a price and the buyer tries to negotiate, and often they will meet in the middle. We don’t do that. We say ‘these are the premises and this is what we think is a fair price and this is the reason why we think it is a fair price.’ If the potential tenant doesn’t agree with the price, then we will go to the next

do they have to assign the lease? All of these issues are swirling around whilst they are trying to run their business. We take this fear and worry out of the equation and replace it with empathy. “We like to know our tenants’ businesses so that there are no surprises when it comes to either upsizing or downsizing. The tenants make our business work, and we help them to perform, to deliver, and if they are successful, our business is successful. Having an awareness of their business allows us time to accommodate their requirements. Again, it’s pragmatic. Put unnecessary pressure on a business and it is bound to have implications.” It’s important to define Mike’s interpretation of successful here. “Success equals

“The whole deal of renting premises is not about the price of the premises, it’s about understanding and empathising with the prospective tenant” interested party. However, if the prospective tenant then says, ‘I really want this unit, but at the moment I can’t afford it’, then the dynamics change.

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

“We like to get to know our tenants, and that means from the first time we meet them. We help evaluate their needs and the parameters within which they are working. What constraints do they face, what hopes do they have? We can then help to house them suitably, to make sure they are comfortable and their business is given the best possible environment in which to breathe and flourish. That makes sense doesn’t it? Why stifle a business unnecessarily, especially a new business? We want to prolong the enthusiasm of a new business, the vitality of an entrepreneur, not flood it with rules and regulations…. and invoices! “The whole deal of renting premises is not about the price of the premises, it’s about what is fair and understanding and empathising with the prospective tenant. What is right for them now and what is right for them in the future. Most people who run businesses have got worries about property. They worry whether the property is too big, is it too small, where are they going to go if they need to expand, what happens if they expand in the future and they haven’t moved in time, can they get out of the lease, can they get a new lease easily,

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happiness. It doesn’t mean they are necessarily growing, it means they are making enough money to earn a decent living. Some businesses grow and they have other issues. They have to take on more staff, bigger premises and they have issues with customers. We try to make it as easy as possible for businesses to grow and deal with the ensuing problems they face, but if they don’t grow, it doesn’t mean they aren’t successful.” Overheads are an unavoidable burden to every business, but some overheads are, in Mike’s opinion, unnecessary. “A lot of landlords, particularly for a large site, have some pretty hefty upfront costs with agents and solicitors. Typically, an agent could be 10% of the first year’s rent and a solicitor could cost several thousand pounds for both the incoming tenant and for the landlord. We have found a way to avoid those costs by doing it ourselves. Our in house, trend setting four page lease for example is quick to read and easy to understand and helps build trust and relationships with our tenants. It is a fact that all of our tenants can leave with a maximum of three months notice, but, in most cases, they usually choose to stay because of the business environment we have created.” Fairness is just one of Mike’s highly commendable business principles. Add to

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

JENNINGS

A HOME FOR YOUR BUSINESS Landlord, tenant, strained relationship. That’s how it normally works, isn’t it? Maybe I’m doing other commercial landlords a disservice, but the philosophy adopted by Mike Jennings, throughout his Jennings commercial properties, is to first and foremost provide a good home and a great service for his tenants, but being their landlord ranks a clear second. Richard Rosser met Mike at Monument Park in Chalgrove to understand what is so unique about his approach.

this courtesy, honesty and trust and you get an overall picture as to how the landlord and tenant relationship works when Mike Jennings is your landlord. Warm and cuddly? Maybe. But it works, and it works very well. “Relationships and constant communication help to enable a business to grow, but are equally vital when things take a turn for the worse. When a business struggles, for whatever reason, we will talk to them, help them, enable them to recover. There may be variables which the business can’t control, and we are there to listen, understand and help. It’s a two way street, so if the business doesn’t communicate, how can we understand, and, more importantly, how can we help. By helping a tenant through a tough time, and enabling it to get back on track only serves to solidify our relationship with them. One of the key motivators for Mike in his day to day dealings with his tenants is being able to work with an owner who is the manager and daily controller of the business. “Once you separate ownership and control, the business becomes more risk averse, slower, and turgid. The motive in the business tends then to be purely profit because the people that manage a business think that they are doing the best for their owner by making profit the prime motive. All of these motivational theories which are based purely on profit frankly annoy me. What really motivates individuals is not financial wealth, it is happiness. What makes people happy is the independence, the freedom of running your own business. The people I am dealing with are lovely people, and they are, above all, happy.” Mike has created a community, and in a world where sustainability is high on most agendas, Mike believes social sustainability lives and breathes at his business parks. “I remember going to meetings where we had people from the public sector in to talk about sustainability. They were happy to discuss economic and environmental sustainability, but when it came to explaining social sustainability, they were flummoxed. I started thinking about what it could

do you get them involved. How can we link people from the local villages into what we are doing for businesses on the business park? We are looking at setting up a Homeworkers’ Hub, which is going to be a cafe style premises. It will have therapy rooms and meeting rooms and a café. It will be open for anyone to come in and sit down and have meetings there. The building is there, but it is in concept at the moment.” This is Mike’s vision for business in the future, particularly small business (up to ten employees), where the owner drives the business and they will be interested in ethics, green issues and doing business properly. ‘The whole scandal of ministerial expenses and bank bonuses is a massive turn off for those of us who do business the right way, and these sorts of episodes are not sustainable. Such scandals have promoted qualities such as business ethics and the importance of human relationships in business. You have to choose your clients, in our case tenants, carefully, which we do. You have to choose your suppliers carefully, and above all you have to be very good with your staff. Staff have to be first class, and that doesn’t mean well educated or well trained. It doesn’t mean that they have got experience, because you can give your experience. They have to have the same values. They have to be courteous, they have to be fair, and they have to have empathy with the people they are serving.” Being cynical, I put to Mike that this approach is simply a way to ensure his staff are loyal, that they stay with him and don’t get poached, after all, the only problem with good staff is that they become a target for others. I couldn’t be further from the truth in my presumption, which visibly angers Mike. “What I am doing here is building a team, where we all share the same values, good honest values which we feel are right and fair. This means investing in training and other benefits, but that is my choice. I want to develop each and every member of staff so that they benefit and the team benefits. If their future lies

“I like to know my tenants’ businesses, to such an extent that I will know what they need before they do” be and to me it’s about community. To me it’s about how you involve people, get people working together, so they are supportive and help each other. Not just people who run businesses, but also people who work in businesses, how

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elsewhere, they leave with my blessing and I start again. The same goes for tenants. If they outgrow their premises, my team has played a part in helping that business to grow, and for that they deserve, and get, immense credit. Just

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B4 would like to thank the following Ambassadors who have generously given their backing to the new B4 Website, now live at www.b4-business.com. The site is an essential networking resource, great for circulating offers to fellow members and crucial for issuing press releases to help you shout about your business. Make sure you are listed by calling us on 01865 742211.

ALLEN ASSOCIATES www.allen-associates.co.uk

BRECKON & BRECKON www.breckon.co.uk

COTSWOLD WILDLIFE PARK & GARDEN www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk

Reggie Heyworth Managing Director

Kate Allen Managing Director

BLENHEIM PALACE www.blenheimpalace.com

OXFORD & CHERWELL VALLEY COLLEGE www.ocvc.ac.uk

John Hoy Chief Executive

VSL www.vslandp.com

Sally Dicketts Principal

LUCY PROPERTIES www.lucyproperties.co.uk

Ian Ashcroft Property Director

Richard Venables Director Greg Barnes Director

“We have supported B4 since day one and it undoubtedly reaches the right people in Oxfordshire businesses. When we moved premises, it was the only logical way to tell the business fraternity, and with the new B4 website, I am really excited at the possibilities of connecting with local businesses on a more regular basis. There is no doubt B4 has got it right and they have our full support.” Greg Barnes, Breckon & Breckon

TORPEDO GROUP LIMITED www.torpedogroup.com

Iain Lewis Director

Claire Cairns Managing Director

IN OXFORD MAGAZINE www.inoxford.com

David Beesley Chairman

Colin Rosser Managing Director

Stuart Harrison Owner

James Dillon-Godfray Head of Marketing & Development

DARBYS www.darbys.co.uk

Andrew Creese General Manager

SHAW GIBBS www.shawgibbs.com

Trevor Osborne Chairman

THE PROFITABLE HOTEL COMPANY www.profitablehotelcompany.co.uk

LONDON OXFORD AIRPORT www.oxfordairport.co.uk

Nick Maynard Surgeon

MALMAISON www.malmaison.com

TREVOR OSBORNE PROPERTY www.topgroup.co.uk

BOTTLE PR www.bottlepr.co.uk

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B-LINE www.b-line.co.uk

OXFORD RADCLIFFE PRIVATE HEALTHCARE www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk/ privatehealthcare

Simon McCrum Managing Partner

WENN TOWNSEND www.wenntownsend.co.uk

Peter O’Connell Partner

WILA www.wila.com

Tony Haines Partner

WILA www.wila.com

MIke Collett Chief Executive Officer

Claire Styles Director

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

“We trust people first until they abuse that, and only then are we more cautious”

because I invest in my staff and tenants, it doesn’t mean they are attached to me. If there was any form of attachment, I would say that was wrong. Staff and tenants alike are free to take whatever course suits them and I know the team and tenants we have reflect that fairness in business works. For Mike Jennings, work is a pleasure, perhaps, even by his own admission, an addiction, but not just his business. A champion for small business locally, Mike spends a considerable amount of time focusing on Oxfordshire small businesses. “Almost ninety per cent of businesses in Oxfordshire employ less than five people, and the vast majority are ‘sole traders who receive next to nothing in terms of help and advice. The majority of help from government is aimed at much larger businesses, presumably based on the assumption that the larger businesses are the more likely to grow. But every small business has the potential to grow. Take for example one of our tenants who started his business last year on the park with £5,000. He knew where he wanted to be, he knew what he wanted and he wanted to be quick. He set up a business doing internet sales of garments and now, a year later, he is turning over £1m a year, he is employing six people, and he has not stopped innovating.” Many B4 readers will know that the Thames Business Advice Centre was set up in 1985, and for more than twenty years built up an excellent reputation for helping new and growing businesses across Oxfordshire. After a brief hiatus, Mike and his fellow TBAC directors have given this excellent organization fresh impetus and now operate out of six centres in the county, offering start-up premises to members together with a free mentoring service, with all profits being reinvested in the mentoring services. “Everyone in business should have a mentor. Ask a successful businessman or woman if they want help, and the majority will say ‘no’, even if it is free. Ask again, and explain the benefits of mentoring, highlight the sheer depth of experience they can draw on from the mentors, and even the most successful entrepreneur should at least consider the offer. Think of the ideal person to help with your business, someone who has been there and experienced the highs and the lows. That’s the advice and experience you need to tap in to and that is why so many mentors are successfully helping so many business individuals, and getting so much personal satisfaction as a result. “Those being mentored are amazed at the quality of the advice which is given free and therefore comes from the heart.. The service is growing and we are now actively seeking more mentors.” Mike is also spearheading the launch of a skills centre at his Garsington site, which will be primed around showing people what it is like to be an entrepreneur, but it will also be ethically and value based, as Mike explains. “It will teach what fairness is about, why trust is important and how fast trust works in business. It is not just going to be about marketing and selling and finance and how to deal with the bank. What we want to do is teach people the basics of running a business and also that you don’t have to focus on profit all of the time. There are other motives for being in business. The skills centre will aim to put the heart and soul back into doing business.”

Mike Jennings has created a virtuous circle of success and happiness. Through his own business, TBAC and the proposed new skills centre, he is enabling his business philosophy to percolate throughout Oxfordshire businesses. Mike’s confidence in everything he does will undoubtedly benefit those individuals and businesses he engages with. There is something quite old fashioned in his principles, but at the same time, bizarrely, incredibly forward-thinking. Maybe it goes to prove that everything goes in cycles, and that Mike is re-igniting the cycle of fairness in business. www.jennings.co.uk

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Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

As if that wasn’t enough, Mike is also involved in the Frederick’s Foundation, a micro finance organisation for people who can’t get money from the bank, as Mike explains. “They want to set up in Oxfordshire and need £250,000 of donations to start lending, and we are exploring ways of making it work alongside TBAC.”


OXFORD

DUBLIN

DALKEY

DERRY


B4 ADVICE

IS YOUR BUSINESS FOR SALE? Peter O’Connell, Head of Corporate Finance at Shaw Gibbs talks about business sales and the process involved in helping shareholders maximise their value on exit. Now that the economy is moving into a period of recovery, many business owners are starting to consider how they may sell or exit their business. It is however essential that prior to starting the sale process vendors examine their business to ensure that it is attractive to purchasers. Specifically they should identify any issues which may result in purchasers reducing the value or at worst walking away from the purchase. “The process of grooming or preparing a business for sale is as important as a well managed and negotiated sale process. We too often see businesses rush into a sale process as the owners have not considered or planned their exit strategy and simply want to exit immediately. In many cases issues have come to light during the due diligence process and have resulted in the purchaser renegotiating the price” So what is involved in the grooming process? The process can be split in to a number of areas,

Costs should be carefully managed to ensure there is no unnecessary spending. However, this should never be at the expense of investment and future profitability of the business.

taken to exit, many of the costs associated with the additional operational capacity can be cut. This may have a twofold effect in improving overall profitability and in showing potential purchasers that the business is operationally efficient.

An example of this is marketing spend. Clearly in the short term cutting marketing spend would result in higher profits for the company and thus in theory increase value, however cutting back on marketing may affect sales in the longer term. A sophisticated purchaser may therefore identify the cut in marketing and would adjust the offer price to reflect the potential long term implications. In this situation, businesses should look at their marketing spend and concentrate on areas where there are proven and measurable results.

Managing the process The grooming process can often start by having a vendor led financial and legal due diligence exercise carried out. This can identify weaknesses in the business and focus management effort to resolve these prior to starting the sale process. The business can then work with an adviser to help it in the period leading up to sale, being available to discuss key decisions and review financial information on an ongoing basis.

Legal considerations Every business will have legal contracts of some sort, whether it is commercial contracts, property leases or contracts of employment. It is important that these contracts are up to date and signed before entering in to a sale process as they will be

“Beyond the grooming process it is essential to have an experienced corporate finance and corporate legal adviser to help you through the sale process. They will be able to negotiate the sale price and the warranties and indemnities on your behalf as well as advise you on the agreements

“The process of grooming or preparing a business for sale is as important as a well managed and negotiated sale process” including financial, legal and operational issues. This may be as simple as improving and decorating premises. “We have seen extreme examples where purchasers have been so impressed with the premises on arrival that they have made an immediate decision to acquire the business almost at any price” Financial considerations The majority of businesses sold in the UK are sold at a price which is based on a multiple of maintainable profits. Therefore in order to achieve a higher sales price, businesses should concentrate on achieving higher profits which they can demonstrate to a potential purchaser are maintainable in the long term. This process should ideally be carried out for a period of 3 – 5 years. www.b4-business.com

closely examined as part of a legal due diligence process. A significant number of businesses rely on verbal contacts or do not have written contracts of employments with members of staff. Again if any issues are identified with contracts this can impact on value and may even result in increased warranties and indemnities being requested by a purchaser.

that you will be required to enter into as part of the sale process.”

Operational considerations As with financial considerations, in the 3 – 5 years leading up to the planned sale of the business, managers should look at the operation of the business to achieve maximum operational efficiencies. Some businesses will be structured operationally to cope with larger capacity if they are on a growth strategy. Where a decision is now

If you are interested in attending this seminar, please contact Peter O’Connell by email at peter.oconnell@shawgibbs.com.

Shaw Gibbs Corporate Finance team are holding a series of free breakfast seminars looking at different aspects of corporate finance, the first of which will be held on 20 May and is looking at the sale process, including preparing a business for sale.

Details of other seminars can be found at www.shawgibbs.com/news/seminars_events.html

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CANDOVER Candover is one of the longest established private equity houses in Europe, with a strong track record and extensive pan-European network created over thirty years in the buyout market. With a focus on investing in the mid-market since its foundation in 1980, Candover has recently used its experience to complete larger buyouts, culminating in an impressive one hundred and thirty seven buyouts totalling more than €46 billion in aggregate, generating a gross IRR of 30% per annum. B4’s Richard Rosser met with Candover’s Managing Partner, John Arney, to discuss Candover and the current plight of the UK and economy.

Can you give our readers some background about Candover? “We have a team of fifteen investment executives, comprising eight nationalities and the ability to operate in all main European markets. We also work with a number of senior industrialists,

“We also look for transactions where circumstances suggest a high price will not be paid, i.e. a distressed seller, and where we can acquire majority control. “Once a company is in our portfolio, we work

oil crisis or war. This time, there was an endogenous shock. “The financial sector pulled the real economy into recession after the bursting of a super-bubble in many of the Anglo-Saxon economies. For the UK,

“we work closely with the management to identify and pursue opportunities to create value” described as Active Board Members, who sit on the boards of the companies we own and advise on new transactions.” What sort of opportunities do Candover look for? “Candover is essentially a generalist investor, but we have extensive expertise and a proven track record in four sectors – Energy, Industrials, Consumer and TMT. We look for investments which have the following characteristics: • stable or growing markets with demand for products and services having a high degree of non-discretionary spend • a market leading position (number one or two) with a clear route to get to that position via organic growth and/or consolidation of an industry through strategic acquisitions • genuine technology IP or other barriers to entry, which means that price should not be the leading purchase criteria for the company’s products or services • a solid core business which has not been created by a series of recent acquisitions • a high level of cash conversion • strong senior and divisional management

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closely with the management to identify and pursue opportunities to create value. Typical examples include identifying opportunities for portfolio companies to reposition their strategy, including geographic expansion and new product development; identifying options for organic revenue growth, either through changes to existing operations or through capital investments; or identifying potential acquisition targets which will deliver clear strategic benefits “We strive to back leading management teams who have the vision and drive to grow the value of their businesses during the period of the buyout and beyond. Exits can be achieved through trade sales, secondary buyouts or IPOs.” Turning to the UK economy, how do you summarise the reasons for the sharp decline into recession? “This has been a balance sheet recession, something not experienced in the UK in living memory. The closest analogy is probably Japan from 1990 onwards. To understand this, think how a normal recession works, then reverse the causality. In most recessions, the real economy slows down due to either declining aggregate demand and/or an exogenous shock - such as an

see Northern Rock and HBOS, amongst others, and in the US, Lehman Brothers, AIG et al. These were companies that took on way too much leverage and abandoned basic conservative accounting principals. The de-leveraging of the financial sector has impacted the real economy as banks seek to restore margins and rebuild capital bases and liquidity buffers. “The man-on-the-street and small or medium sized business cannot get loans on the same terms as before - interest rates and fees are much higher and significantly more substantial deposits or security are required. In summary, lax lending practices, and arguably insufficient oversight and regulation of the financial sector, led to over-leveraged individuals and companies. When the bubble burst, credit was withdrawn from the real economy leading to de-stocking, and reductions in investment and spending by companies and individuals and, hey presto, the Western world found itself in the midst of a major recession.” How do you diagnose the current state of the UK economy? ”Here in the UK we are currently in the early stages of an extremely fragile recovery from an

www.b4-business.com


B4 SPOTLIGHT

unprecedented recession. The UK economy will probably grow by circa 2% this year and by a little more than that in 2011. The Government's forecast of 3.5% growth in 2011 strikes me as over optimistic. ”The recovery to date has been driven principally by public sector spending (i.e. loose fiscal policy) but from here on, the private sector needs to take the strain. Continued economic recovery is contingent on the private sector starting to pick up - this requires more domestic consumption, investment and exports. But I am far from convinced that the private sector is fully fit for the challenge at the moment, which may slow down the rate of recovery."

However, one of my prime concerns for our manufacturing companies is that despite growing sales, profits are at risk from resurgent raw material prices as global demand for commodities such as oil and steel accelerates, due to continuing strong growth in Asia.” What lessons can be learned from this recession? ”At the macro level, a significant lesson would appear to be that Governments should not take for granted that markets are always rational and disciplined. Having brought the global economy to the brink of meltdown, the financial sector needs to regain its strength, focus and discipline and Governments across the Western world are going to need to encourage and enforce such behaviour.

Can we recover? ”As I said before, it's now over to the private economy, as the massive government stimulus packages provided in the UK and internationally begin to recede. Companies and individuals need to consume (i.e. not save) and UK exporters need to excel. In order for exports to grow, we are largely dependent on a global recovery, driven by SE Asia. This is the first recovery not led by the US economy, which is currently in as fragile a state as the UK's.”

”At the micro level, whether you are an individual or a company, do not over-extend yourself. If you find yourself in trouble with too much debt, don't bury your head in the sand, but instead take bold, decisive action and communicate with your lenders. In the few sticky situations our companies have found themselves in, we have consistently seen the benefit of our long-standing relationships with our lenders and our open and honest approach to business.

What is your outlook for the UK economy in 2010 and beyond? ”I am planning on a long period of low, unexciting

”At the human level, we've been reminded that business is ultimately about people. Candover's business revolves around backing the highest

conditions, whilst weaker managers compromise a business’s health.

can

Will a change of Government have any impact on the UK economy? ”I doubt it will make much economic difference who governs provided there is an outright winner. In truth, the economic policies of Labour and the Conservatives are not so different. A hung parliament (or weak minority) would be bad for the UK economy as it will delay the start of necessary debt reduction which must be the burning economic priority for the new government. The budget deficit is large (12% GDP) and the growth of outstanding debt is unsustainable (moving towards 100% GDP). As a Sovereign issuer of its own currency, the UK is not subject to the same constraints as Greece, Spain and even France. However, a credible plan to reduce the deficit is necessary to keep the countries AAA rating, without which UK borrowing costs will rise.” Finally, on a more positive note, what are Candover’s tips for key sectors to watch in the future? “We focus less on sectors and more on company specifics. We look for industry leading businesses - whether that be number one or number two in a niche, local, regional or global market - in growing markets with the strongest management teams available. Having said that, we particularly like the energy sector and specifically the oil and gas

“A hung parliament would be bad for the UK economy” growth in the UK. I doubt we are at risk of high inflation - on the contrary, deflation is of greater concern. As demand recovers and grows, we are seeing the turnover of our companies follow suit.

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calibre of managers to get the most out of market leading businesses. This recession has underlined that the very best managers can navigate businesses through seemingly impossible trading

service sector. where we have made a number of exciting - and profitable - investments.” www.candover.com

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Who cares about turning things around? We do RSM Tenon can help both individuals and companies facing financial difficulties. Services include:        

Business stabilisation Turnaround planning Creditor negotiations Individual voluntary arrangements Funding procurement Debt management Reconstructions Liquidity / viability investigations

To start your turnaround, contact RSM Tenon. RSM Tenon, Aquarium, 1-7 King Street, Reading, RG1 2AN Tel: 0118 935 0350 Email: reading@rsmtenon.com Web: www.rsmtenon.com RSM Tenon Recovery is a trading name of RSM Tenon Limited.


B4 MARKETING

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE

B-Line Business Supplies are no strangers to the world of networking across Oxfordshire. Bumping into a Beesley, which sounds like a board game, is as commonplace as bumping into a table. However, David and Phil Beesley’s latest networking venture has taken them trackside, to the high profile world of sports sponsorship through their endorsement of local racing driver, James Walker, in his quest towards his ultimate goal of Formula One. James Walker is one of the UK's most promising racing drivers and also one of its most naturally talented. James was born in Jersey but has been living in Summertown, North Oxford, for the last ten years. Last season, James was at his most competitive, fighting for the title in the World Series by Renault, securing wins and podium places at Spa-Francorchamps, Silverstone and Monaco. This season, he is representing Liverpool Football Club in the Superleague Formula, a 750 brake horsepower series, a fascinating combination of

Behind every talented sportsman or woman, sponsors are a necessity in the modern day, and Phil Beesley explains how the thrills and spills of motor racing fit into B-Line’s marketing mix. “Our core services include stationery, print and furniture and we know that networking works well for our business. We also take a great deal of pleasure in introducing the thousands of Oxfordshire business people we meet to each other. Getting involved with James significantly enhances our profile locally, and will enable us to expand our reach. “The B-Line logo looks great on the car and we are

with over sixty people in their famous Brooklands VIP Suite, it was the perfect opportunity to mingle with other business people and have a brilliant day out. We’re planning our European schedule at the moment and looking forward to inviting some of our clients to Brands Hatch on August 1st.” “James also hosts monthly networking lunches in Oxford for his members and is planning a track day at Silverstone, where he will share some of his racing know-how and then let us loose racing around Silverstone! His team are planning a couple of other high profile Oxfordshire events in

“Getting involved with James significantly enhances our profile locally, and will enable us to expand our reach” football and motorsport, which has proved extremely popular in Europe and is growing in stature in the UK. James is driving for last year’s champions, and commented. "It was fantastic to be invited up to Anfield to watch the Liverpool v Portsmouth game. I was invited onto the pitch at half-time to be introduced to the Liverpool fans, an unforgettable moment. I was made to feel very welcome and I hope I can do them proud on the race track."

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really looking forward to incorporating the professional photos of James racing at the classic tracks such as Silverstone, Nürburgring, Magny Cours and Brands Hatch into our marketing material. “James and his team have put together a really interesting programme for this season’s new members of James Walker Motorsport. As well as the corporate branding opportunities, we benefit from VIP hospitality at all twelve races. We had a fantastic day at Silverstone on Easter Sunday and,

the summer, which means there will be plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded business people and have some fun. We might even win a little additional business this season!” If you would like to join B-Line at James Walker Motorsport, please contact James Walker or Chris Hooton at the Oxford offices of Orchadis Media on 01865 339 429 or email jameswalker@orchadis.com. www.b-line.co.uk 33


Venturefest is an annual event that has been running for 12 years. It brings together three core groups: venture capital investors, innovators with ideas that are ready for investment and entrepreneurs eager to build new and growing businesses.

and is the perfect place to celebrate Oxford’s success at linking tradition and innovation. David Kester will speak to the issue of design and its vital role in adding value to great technical innovation.

This year, Venturefest will be held at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford on 22 June. The free event is an invaluable opportunity for advice, resources and social interaction for start up and middle market enterprises with an innovative edge. During the last 12 years, there have been a total of 196 presentations from companies ranging from university spin-outs to government research projects. As Venturefest has matured over the years, the companies attracted to present have also matured – there has been an increase of hundreds of jobs created in the region by companies that have presented at Venturefest in the last three years alone.

“BEST OF BRITISH INNOVATION 2010”

THIS YEAR AT VENTUREFEST Venturefest is built around three workshop streams of talks, presentations and debates, which provide delegates with the chance to learn, invest, network and keep up to date with emerging technology. The streams are complemented by an exhibition of key business support organisations, a technology showcase which is a window into young high technology businesses, and a closing gala dinner event. The Innovation Futures Stream will showcase the latest developments from the best of British universities, demonstrating what’s emerging in the world of technology. Key note speaker, David Kester, CEO of the Design Council, will provide insights from his experience of refocusing the Design Council as the national strategic body for design, leading central government policies and regional programmes that strengthen competitiveness, drive innovation and support growth in the creative economy. The Funding Stream provides an opportunity for businesses to pitch to potential investors, and a platform for investors to hear about the great investment opportunities being developed across the UK. Jon Moulton, CEO of Better Capital, founder of Alchemy Partners and one of the country’s most formidable business minds will be the keynote speaker of the Funding Stream.

“This year Venturefest is searching for the best new technologies emerging from the UK”

This year Venturefest is searching for the best new technologies emerging from the UK. “Best of British Innovation 2010” will identify three of the most progressive technology businesses, showcasing them to the investors, innovators and entrepreneurs at the event. The competition is open to all UK-based companies, whatever their size. Innovations can cover any area from communications to computer hardware, pharmaceuticals to renewable energy. As well as brand new technologies with a planned launch in 2010, the competition is also open to products currently in development, new versions of an existing technology and innovations in business models creating improved business opportunities. For more information please contact the Best of British team bestofbritish@venturefest.com or visit www.venturefest.com to download the application form.

COULD YOUR IDEA SAVE THE COUNTRY £1 MILLION? Venturefest is also looking for innovative new ideas, concepts and initiatives which could save UK public sector organisations £1million or more. The initiative is open to businesses and people of all ages, and Venturefest welcomes suggestions in any area of public service. These could include efficiency measures, new technology, fresh innovations or the creation of new streams of revenue; there are no restrictions on the kind of ideas submitted. People with a great idea can provide a brief outline of their idea in 50 words or more, detailing their idea, which government organisation it is appropriate for and how it may work. Ideas will be voted for on the Venturefest website and presented to entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders at the event. To enter, visit www.venturefest.com or email save£1m@venturefest.com

The Learning Stream offers practical advice, “how to” sessions and examples which help innovators set up, fund and run successful business. These sessions will be highly interactive and will cater to the needs of both new and experienced managers. Three BMW e-Minis will be available for inspection throughout the day and they will be demonstrated to the audience as we bring the day’s proceedings to a close. This year’s dinner will be held at Oxford’s newly-renovated Ashmolean Museum. The world’s first university museum, the new Ashmolean is a stunning demonstration of modern architecture and museum design,

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B4 IT

“Venturefest is built around three workshop streams of talks, presentations and debates, providing the chance to learn, invest, network and keep up to date with emerging technology

VENTUREFEST THE HEART OF OXFORDSHIRE’S ECONOMIC ECOSYSTEM Every year, investors, entrepreneurs and innovators throughout the country converge on Oxford to share an exciting day discovering the latest innovations, uncovering opportunities and making new contacts at Venturefest. While the need to invest in our high tech, high value economy has never been clearer, Venturefest Oxford brings together the creative minds and innovative ideas to significantly boost the country’s economy and help lead the UK into a prosperous, climate-resilient future.

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Finding Companies Outstanding People The Career Boutique prides itself on the personal relationships it has with its clients. Our reputation is built on professionalism, integrity and trust.

01235 854 046

www.TheCareerBoutique.com


B4 R&R Jimmy James joined Frilford early in 2010, and you’ll be hard pushed to find a man more at ease in his environment, all the more remarkable given these are relatively new surroundings for this amiable former military man. Richard Rosser met up with Frilford’s newest recruit to discuss his background, the club and how the two are the perfect match to take Oxfordshire’s most prestigious golf club forward.

JIMMY JAMES FRILFORD HEATH’S NEW GENERAL MANAGER

“During twenty four years in the armed forces, I served in a number of fascinating places and I honestly cannot recall a day that I didn’t enjoy the job. I worked my way to the top of the ladder I was climbing, and once I got there, I began to plan my exit, some six years before I actually left.” Jimmy began straddling his then and now careers by getting involved with the golf club committee at Army Golf Club in Aldershot, and that gave him the taste of what he wanted to move on to. A decent player in his own right (Jimmy plays off a respectable nine), he has obviously found a role which suits him to a tee (sorry, ed). The move after twenty four years in the army was a fairly simple one in the end, as Jimmy explains. “After I came back from Afghanistan, I had some time on my hands. I had made some contacts, made some connections, and everyone who knew me knew it was what I wanted to do. It was not a case of where, it was when! I spent some time with Colonel John Hunt of the Berkshire, whom I knew through my committee days at Aldershot. I went and spent some time with him and just realised that everything I wanted to do in this job was correct. I just got the feel for it.

“I now take the skills and all of my experience from that very different arena into my job here at Frilford. I was taught to manage people in a very stressful environment, so I have learned how to get the best out of people. I have unusual skills which may never be called upon – after all, how many Arabic speaking golf club secretaries are there?! “I learned so much during six years at Goring as the club’s focal point and made so many good friends there. This job opportunity arose and I felt that it was time to progress, develop, to take all the skills and the knowledge base that I had put together. I was very fortunate to be offered this position, as with it come so many new things to learn and so

everyone. “Financially, people are I think more astute about their disposal income at the moment. Everyone is looking for greater value for money. They are looking for a product that is representative of what they are paying. So you have got to look at every avenue, every revenue stream, and play with it. You have got to identify new opportunities. You have got to be looking to the future and ‘let’s not talk about yesterday, let’s talk about tomorrow’ is probably my favourite saying at the moment because we are looking at so many things. Short, medium, long term we are going to say, ‘what do we want to do? What can we achieve? What’s within our remit?’ We have such a great amount of space, land and opportunity here

“let’s not talk about yesterday, let’s talk about tomorrow is probably my favourite saying” many new things to do. I am Charlie in the Chocolate Factory because this Club has so much appeal for such a wide audience – new doors are opening for the Club all of the time, which is wonderful. At one golf course you are trying to juggle how to get 250 members onto a course when everyone wants to play at 9.08 on a Saturday morning. That’s not such a problem here at Frilford, so to that end there are different things that you are encountering. A fantastic club, over one hundred years old, very well established, great reputation and an opportunity to bring some of my skills to help the club move forward.

that we can improve the product we are delivering. We can look to the future. “I am looking forward to putting Frilford Heath Golf Club in a position where its reputation reaches further than it currently does. That is only achieved by the product being in demand and I think that is going to be the thing that will be our measure in five years time. If in five years’ time we are widely known because we have fifty four holes of champion standard, testing golf, then we will have done our job.” www.frilfordheath.co.uk

Jimmy arrived at Frilford during a difficult time for

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Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

“I grew up in South Cornwall, originally at The Lizard, and then moved to Camborne, where there were three job opportunities: unemployment, tourism or farming. I decided to join the forces in September 1980 as a sixteen year old who had rarely been north of Exeter, and found there was a whole wide world out there. I joined the Royal Army Pay Corps, essentially HR in the army.


THE CUSTODIAN On a bright February morning, Christ Church was bathed in brilliant sunshine, looking magnificently manicured. As the ever ebullient Head Custodian, Tony Fox, made his way from Tom Tower, across the resplendent Quod at Christ Church, the tourists were out in full force, turning their attention towards the bowler-hatted custodian as if he was a film star.

“I know we are the number one attraction. Most of the tourists will have us on their ‘to do’ list”

Tony Fox doesn’t lap it up, well, he might do just a little bit secretly, but he is the consummate professional, taking the attention in his stride. The more he ignores the flashing cameras, the more they want – maybe that’s a trick he’s learnt!

Christ Church is the most popular college, Tony isn’t backwards in coming forwards. “I know we are the number one attraction. Most of the tourists will have us on their ‘to do’ list as the history of Christ Church is difficult to overlook when coming to Oxford. It’s a must.”

Approaching his tenth year of service at Christ Church, almost six of them as Head Custodian, Tony is quite clearly at one in his role, but explains that he has helped boost the College’s tourist trade. “I had a great teacher when I came in as a custodian. He taught me everything I know now about the history of Christ Church, and when you are talking about an institution which has been here since the seven hundred’s, then that’s a lot of history!

Tony isn’t being arrogant. He has a charming and endearing direct way of talking which is so adored by the tourists. You know where you are with Tony, that’s for sure, and when he politely requested an errant tourist to get off the grass, it didn’t matter whether the tourist understood English….he practically leapt off!

“When I arrived, we weren’t making the most of the network of businesses in Oxford. Now, I make sure the local hotel concierges, other attractions, even the other college custodians, all know me and we work together. I even attend Trade Fairs.” Asked if

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Tony’s hard work has helped swell the annual turnover from less than 125,000 to well over 250,000 visitors per annum, a record which he is extremely proud of. With his team of seven custodians, he and his colleagues are the heart and soul of Christ Church, who maintain order in a dignified and controlled manner – although I am sure the odd tourist has experienced their wrath on

more than one occasion! The web sites and brochures can tell you all you need to know about the history of this beautiful College, but ninety minutes in the company of a Head Custodian who has been drenched in the tradition and history of the College for nearly ten years, will tell you more than any web site or brochure could ever start to. I know I’m not alone, but I was twenty-four when I first toured Christ Church – what a crime. Did I know that Lewis Carroll (the pen name of Charles Dodgson) was a former tutor of the College? Or that he based Alice in Wonderland on a former Dean (Henry Liddell) and his daughter Alice? Did I know that the tree where the Cheshire Cat (the former Dean’s cat, Dinah) “sat” in is in the grounds of this monumentally famous College? Did I know that the characters from Alice feature in the beautiful stained glassed windows towering over the world famous dining room? No, no, no and no!

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B4 R&R

VENUE INFO For several months each year the college makes available its accommodation, catering services, meeting rooms and the services of an experienced staff for conferences, meetings and seminars. The setting, the exceptional facilities and the professionalism of our staff make Christ Church the perfect venue for all kinds of events.

• Christ Church has accommodation for up to 300 delegates in single and twin study bedrooms of good size and variety. One hundred and thirty rooms, including singles and twins, offer private shower and toilet facilities. All rooms are modernised and comfortably furnished and equipped with telephones and tea and coffee-making facilities. • Conference delegates take meals in the college’s magnificent Tudor Hall which seats up to 300. • An unsurpassed venue for conferences and events of all kinds. • Christ Church, the largest college in Oxford and among the best-known, is one of Oxford's premier conference locations. • A conference delegate at Christ Church has access to spacious quads and gardens, a renowned Picture Gallery, a Cathedral and the tranquil Christ Church Meadow.

Yes, you may know that over half of England’s Oxford educated Prime Ministers studied at Christ Church, but did you know that Cardinal Wolsey intended to enclose the wide perimeter of the main Quod?

used for scenes for the first two Harry Potter films, but did you know that students in Peckwater Quod chalk their annual sporting achievements on the walls of the buildings, currently showing more success for the ladies?!

You may know that Christ Church Cathedral is one of the smallest Cathedrals in England, but did you know that the small door at the back of the high table in the dining room leads to a rabbit like staircase and tunnel, the inspiration for Carroll’s “rabbit hole” in Wonderland?

Christ Church is open to visitors, subject to restrictions, but a private tour is a guaranteed opportunity to find out more about the inner workings and secrets of a slice of Oxford where time is always five minutes ahead of itself!

• As well as hosting conferences for many prestigious clients, Christ Church also runs its own events.

With many thanks to Head Custodian, Tony Fox, for a fascinating insight to an incredible College.

For enquiries about Christ Church Programmes, and Conference enquiries please contact: Philippa Duffin or Helen Weller. Tel: 01865 276174 / 286877

Yes you may know that John Wesley was educated at Christ Church before taking a fellowship at Lincoln College, but did you notice the rather modern looking contraption in one of the Cathedral’s stained glass windows dating back to the late 19th Century? Have a careful look, it’s a toilet, probably one of the first ever depicted in a stained glass window, along with a Welsh Dresser!

• Conference facilities are available for many weeks throughout July, August and September as well in the Christmas New Year and for several weeks around Easter.

Contact Tony at the e-mail below for your very own private tour of one of the world’s most fascinating attractions. www.chch.ox.ac.uk

It is a well known fact that the dining room was www.b4-business.com

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B4 ADVICE

YOUR ESTATE Rebecca Kashti, a Partner at Darbys Solicitors in Oxford, is Head of the Private Client team and specialises in wills, Probate, Court of Protection work and Elderly Client work. She is also a member of The Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners, a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and is also Head of the Schools Team and works closely with both Preparatory and Senior Independent Schools across Oxfordshire and other counties. Here Rebecca talks to B4 about the will writing and maintenance service provided by Darbys. Making a will is not the most inspirational of tasks we face. Having made a will, it needs to be maintained and updated, and for that reason, it’s easy to see why so many people put it off. However, it is one of the most important exercises we will ever undertake and penalties for not writing and maintaining a will can be severe, as Rebecca explains. “There are many reasons for having a valid will, not least to make sure that your assets pass to your chosen beneficiaries when you die. Wills are also a very useful tool in Inheritance Tax planning, particularly for married couples. Our job is to prepare your will as quickly as possible and we can often provide a same day service if urgency is a priority. By not sorting out your estate and preparing for a fate we all face, the tax implications on death can provide your loved ones with a huge and quite avoidable tax burden. ”As part of the Purple and Blue services we offer to our clients who have written their will with us, we will arrange an annual review of their affairs with their stockbroker, bank manager and whoever else they want to be in at the meeting. In this way we are adding value to our relationship, and of course it is good for our business to have a satisfied

Rebecca is now getting the message out to as many of Darbys’ clients as possible, as well as knocking on new doors to help promote this excellent service, as she explains. “I am also offering free wills clinics to the businesses within Blue, and to the schools within our schools scheme. We are suggesting to development directors, at Independent Schools and Universities, that we can run their legacy campaign. We can provide them with the entire technical backup, we will write the wills for them and in this way we relieve development directors of a lot of work which they are happy to pass over. “Our goal is to get this service in to as many new clients as we can. We are offering to go to clients’ premises and set up individual appointments with directors and employees there and then. We can even come along with a printer and print off the will as soon as we have finished the appointment.” Part of developing a new product is making it as accessible as possible, and Darbys have realised that making themselves more accessible is going to be key to their future success, and they will have to do more than arrange clinics at their client’s workplace. “For the first time at Darbys we are

“we like to think we would be the first port of call for the next of kin to help settle the estate”

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

customer who is effectively entrusting us to oversee their estate. “We feel we are simplifying the mechanics of the will making process by keeping on top of changes as they occur during our clients’ lives. We provide a file where all key documentation is maintained, and when the right time comes, the spouse or child can pick up the file and have as accurate a snapshot as possible of our client’s affairs. It is their financial and legal snapshot, and we like to think we would be the first port of call for the next of kin to help settle the estate.”

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going to do Thursday night opening, and Saturday morning opening by appointment only. We have got to be accessible. If you are working and you cannot come and see us in during the day, come on a Thursday night, or on a Saturday morning and we will sort things out for you.” Darbys have totally eliminated the obstacles to setting up and maintaining a will. Contact Rebecca today to get your affairs in order. www.darbys.co.uk

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THE TROUT W O L V E R C O T E

With a rich literary history, it is easy to see why The Trout Inn is a pub of dreams; from Lewis Carroll to CS Lewis you can understand why so many people have sat on the banks of the Thames staring into the fast moving waters and watching the world drift by. Pubs like The Trout Inn are special, they are part of our fabric and help separate Oxfordshire from the more mundane shires.

When you step into The Trout Inn you will find an exquisite country pub with a slight contemporary twist. Incorporating historic values of the building together with modern aspects such as stone fired ovens, deep leather seating and spacious teak furnishings. It is the perfect place to enjoy alfresco drinking and dining in the shade of the willow, catching up with your friends and family or in fact any occasion surrounding good food and wine.

195 Godstow Road, Wolvercote, Oxford OX2 8PN â&#x20AC;˘ Tel: 01865 510930 â&#x20AC;˘ www.thetroutoxford.co.uk


B4 R&R

TROUT

THE

As a venue for any occasion, The Trout in Wolvercote is one of Oxford’s finest all-rounders. Located just 10 minutes from the City Centre, The Trout has a rich history as one of Oxford’s finest public houses, but was converted in to one of Oxford’s most highly respected pub restaurants several years ago.

The Trout is still very much a pub at heart. In the summer, it is a dream location, with a huge terrace flanking the fast flowing river, making it the perfect setting for a leisurely lunch or a chilled glass of wine. The restaurant has a character of its own, cleverly crafted and preserving the unique characteristics of the original public house. Whether it’s a romantic meal for two, a celebration or a quick bite to eat in the bar, The Trout is a more than adequate host. Our occasion was a reunion of three couples, and although we predicted a fair degree of hilarity amidst the excellent food, fine wine and warm surroundings, we could never have foreseen grown men crying and, quite literally, fits of laughter. An evening to remember certainly, and it is the laid back atmosphere at The Trout, with impeccable

limited to scallops, two of us, and crab cakes, the other four. Clean plates all round would imply everyone was satisfied. Our mains were spread across the board, including spit chicken, roast garlic, lemon and thyme; seabass fillets, crab & crayfish, lemon and mascarpone risotto; Peroni beer battered haddock, pea purée and tartare sauce; venison fillet and sweet potato mash; salmon escalope, watercress and baby potatoes and, finally, fillet steak and bordelaise sauce with horseradish mash. To complement the meal, we ordered a bottle of Chablis (Jean-Marc Brocard) and the Castillo de Clavijo (Rioja Gran Reserva). But we weren’t finished there, and still found room for sumptuous desserts including brownie and

can still be special! If you can’t think up an excuse to go with family and friends, you could always hold a get together for your company at The Trout. Group dining opportunities can be discussed direct with management, whether it’s a breakfast with clients, a product launch or a networking event, The Trout can cater for your every need. Food options range from ‘Feasting Plates’ which are shared dishes based on selections from the menu, to ‘Kitchen Classics Menus’, which are two or three courses, ideal for a business dinner. With a more than accommodating car park, and in close proximity to the Ring Road and central Oxford, you can have the best of both worlds at The Trout. A riverside setting offering first class food,

“so welcoming and perfect in so many ways that special occasions can happen on a regular basis – just be creative” service and attention, which allows customers to sit back, relax, and be themselves. We started in the bar as our guests treated us to champagne. On a busy Saturday night, it was standing room only, but this was a wonderful way to start a memorable evening. We then moved on to our table for the meal. Although there were six of us, our starters were

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vanilla ice cream, Bakewell Tart from the specials menu, Baileys chocolate pot (which was as naughty as it sounds), treacle tart and mango and passion fruit Eton Mess.

a memorable atmosphere and professional service, with ample parking and great communication links. The Trout can offer you and your company all of these and much, much more.

The Trout is special. It is so welcoming and perfect in so many ways that it’s the sort of place you like to keep for special occasions. However, the temptation is to break the rules and a regular visit

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A WIDER VIEW CARTER JONAS ON THE COUNTY PROPERTY MARKET The property market in 2009 threw a few surprises even to its closest observers. After the plummet of 2008, prices were widely expected to stay static or fall further. But property involves more than selling houses and agents who offer a complete range of professional services get a wider view of the county market. We ask the experts at full service property firm Carter Jonas how the different aspects of the market are performing, and what are the prospects for 2010?

Architecture & Building Consultancy Colin Buggey is Partner for Carter Jonas’ Architecture & Building Consultancy Division, specialising in project managing refurbishments and professional advice for period buildings. Business got off to a good start this year, with major country house refurbishments for private clients in Berkshire, Hertfordshire and Leicestershire. His in-tray is currently filled with a major student accommodation project for Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford, a new building for Davenies School in Beaconsfield and planned maintenance surveys for Woodstock Town Council. “It has certainly been a promising start, but there is still an underlying lack of confidence, especially in the private sector,” says Colin Buggey. “The good thing is that construction costs are extremely competitive and I really cannot recall a better time to build in that respect.”

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

The team has an impressive bank of experience and regional knowledge built up over decades: “Major refurbishments are long term investments and our clients, whether private individuals or organisations, look to us for the best way to use their resources for the most value-added outcome,” he adds. Residential Sales The Carter Jonas residential sales team says the market is doing better than expected, reflecting the national picture. The firm’s shop window in Summertown is certainly seeing a brisk turnaround of property details and predictably the most

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desirable areas are performing best. “In central North Oxford, where there is high demand from London and overseas, prices have moved ahead far more than the average,” says Mark Charter, Head of Residential Sales. “This is where affordability tends not to be an issue and buyers can move quickly to secure properties. It’s a location where nothing stays around for very long. “Added to this, the sterling exchange rate is very favourable to international investors and we are seeing more buyers from the Middle East, Europe and South Africa.” The large country house market is holding up well too: “Large rural properties on our books are selling quickly and at the asking price. We expect this to pick up even more now that the weather is improving.” He adds. Lettings Some vendors are the ‘accidental landlords’ from a year or so ago who couldn’t find buyers for their properties and let them instead. Some are now starting to sell, although according to Lettings Manager Christopher Way, there are opportunities for landlords with good properties in popular locations: “Demand is running high and there’s an acute supply shortage, in turn placing an upward pressure on rents. “We have tenants lined up and waiting for suitable properties. Although budgets are lower than they were a few years ago and no-one is paying over the odds, most are quality applicants looking for longer term commitments. Corporate lets are also

doing well, and this year we are placing a lot more people from the military.” He acknowledges that lending is still an issue, especially for buy-to-let. “It is around though, and interest rates are low, so it’s a good time to finance if you can strike a deal.” Are there signs of growth? “It’s still too early to say”, he says. “The ingredients are there for an upturn – low interest rates, high demand and a shortage of stock waiting to come to market. It will happen eventually and it will be the landlords that move sooner than later who will yield the better returns.” Residential Development Demand for New Homes is particularly strong, as Sara Parker, Manager of the New Homes Regional Team, explains: “Our properties are selling very well and a good proportion of buyers tend to be downsizers or families looking to move for work or schools. Another factor that makes new homes popular is the growing number of people looking to move straight in, rather than have to do a lot of work.” Miles Collison, Associate for the Residential Development Division adds: “Such buoyancy is leading house builders who were dormant through 2008 starting to acquire development land again and schemes for around 15 to 30 homes are popular. However, residential development land prices have dropped much more than house prices since 2007 and banks are very cautious on their lending criteria. Despite this, we have agreed sales on some key development sites in the county

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B4 PROPERTY

recently and these will lead to more new houses coming to the market later in the year.” James Bainbridge, Head of Residential Development, confirms this view: “There is still a shortage of land coming forward for development, and many developers are now looking for sites for development next year and beyond. Land values have risen over the last six months and have now generally returned to early 2006 levels and there is quite strong competitive interest for most sites that come to the market." Commercial Another challenging twelve months are ahead for the Commercial Division as occupier interest remains relatively scarce in the industrial and office sectors. “On a positive note our Oxford team closed four encouraging deals in the first week of the year, although each one has taken between 6 and 12 months to conclude,” says Commercial Division Partner Scott Harkness. “It would be easy to think that the county is awash with commercial stock, as the total availability across Oxfordshire is currently around 3m industrial and 1.1m sq ft office space (source: Carter Jonas Research for available property over 2000 sq ft Jan 2010). This is true to a degree within, say, the Oxford out-of-town office market, but not in the city, where there is a steady level of demand and availability is limited,” he adds. Carter Jonas sees this market as a good one in

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which to expand and build for the future and has appointed Charles Gardner from The Crown Estate as Partner. Based in Oxford he will grow its

“THE TEAM HAS AN IMPRESSIVE BANK OF EXPERIENCE AND REGIONAL KNOWLEDGE BUILT UP OVER DECADES” investment and asset management business. "Investors need to understand occupiers, and our team in Oxford knows its market." says Charles. "The next 12 or so months will be a very exciting time for investors." he adds. Farming Farmland is the one type of property that has weathered the financial storm. Between 2006 and 2008 prices almost doubled with a drop back in late 2008 being matched by an equivalent rise in

the first half of 2009. They have remained high despite the price of wheat plummeting, compared to the highs of 2007/8 and an increase in input prices. “We are optimistic that the rise in values will continue as people recognise the benefits of investing in agricultural land,” says Partner Richard Drew. There is also pent up demand for good commercial farmland which may increase as fewer properties are expected to be marketed in the first half of 2010, partly due to the impending election. “Whether we shall see more properties on the market in the autumn depends on the outcome,” he adds. Purchasers range from commercial farmers who are looking to expand to spread their costs, European farmers, to whom English farmland still appears cheap especially with the current exchange rate and bankers who are already returning to the market with the return of bank bonuses. Commercial farms, particularly in the Oxfordshire area are likely to sell very well in the spring market, though land that is less attractive can sell for well below average prices. Smaller areas of land are continuing to sell above guide prices where they have real amenity attraction, despite there being fewer enquiries for such land. “This seems to be due to potential purchasers looking to place their money in land, considering it to be inherently safe,” Richard Drew concludes. www.carterjonas.co.uk.

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CLIENT SUPPORT We can offer independent advice in all areas of financial services.

OXFORD 30 St. Giles, Oxford OX1 3LE Te l . 01865 559900 email . information@wenntownsend.co.uk CIRENCESTER 5 Gosditch Street, Cirencester GL7 2AG Te l . 01285 659778 email . partners@wennsci.co.uk ABINGDON 10 Broad Street, Abingdon OX14 3LH Tel . 01235 548700 email . partners@wennsab.co.uk www.wenntownsend .co .uk


B4 R&R

MAJOR STANLEY’S Tim Stevens, Oxford University Rugby Club’s Administrator and a proud B4 Ambassador, is planning ahead. Not only is his club’s annual showpiece tussle against arch rivals at Twickenham just around the corner, he is pulling up trees in his efforts to revive the annual Major Stanley’s fixture, the 89th in an amazing history. The Oxford University ground at Iffley Road, enjoys one of the most attractive and enviable settings in this country and the excellent playing surface is complimented by seating which can comfortably accommodate up to 1400 spectators. Quality floodlighting allows the ground to host evening matches and frequently the venue is used to host touring international teams.

The 89th Annual Major Stanley’s Match

The tastefully decorated Pavilion provides a good venue for social gatherings, as well as for hosting corporate or hospitality events.

Time: 12pm Marquee and Bar open 1pm Lunch Served 3pm Match Kicks Off 4.30pm Drinks in the Marquee and Meet the Players

Today OURFC is a proud and enterprising club which has kept pace with the significant changes that have taken place in rugby union. Since the formation of rugby in Oxford, more than three hundred players have gone on to gain representative International Honours and Oxford is still recognised as a significant breeding ground for academically gifted players. The Major Stanley’s Match is the oldest and best supported University sports fixture held in Oxford. The match is more than just a unique sporting occasion, it is an event, a vital part of the social calendar well attended by Oxfordshire businesses, University Alumni, locals, students and school children. Traditionally the highlight of the Varsity build-up, the match versus the Major Stanley’s team sees the Blues come up against an invitational side for an

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Date: Wednesday 17th November, 2010 Venue: Iffley Road Rugby Ground, Jackdaw Lane, Oxford

Prices: £675 (ex. VAT) for a table of ten. Tickets are available from Oxford University RFC, Jackdaw Lane, OX4 1SR. For enquiries please contact Tim Stevens on (01865) 432000 or www.ourfc.org afternoon of festival rugby. Named after the famous selector who first acquired Iffley Road for the use of OURFC, the game may no longer be used as a trial for England, but that does not detract from the quality of the opposition, nor the standard of rugby.

This year’s game on Wednesday 17th November will revert to the popular 3pm kick off having been played in the evening for a number of years. The marquee and bar will open at 12 noon, allowing businesses to network and mingle in an enjoyable pre-match build up, as Tim stresses. “We are trying to recreate the popular scenario where a business will look upon the Major Stanley’s occasion as a great opportunity to entertain and mix with other local businesses. One thing we lack in Oxfordshire is a sporting event to bring local businesses together, which is surprising given that so many sports fans populate the wide range of businesses in Oxfordshire. “We are going all out to make this year’s Major Stanley’s match an event to remember. We have some great marketing ideas to attract the attention of businesses who might not otherwise give the fixture a second thought, and we know we will be able to build on this year’s success in to the future. “Included in the package is a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine per person, a reserved seat in the best location (West Stand), a Match Programme and entertainment from guest speakers. We believe the package price of £675 (ex VAT) for a table of ten represents terrific value for money, especially when you consider tickets alone for sporting events can set you back north of £50.”

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YOU’VE GOT MAIL To correctly piece together the story of Jordans, it is important to merge three key aspects. The first, and arguably most important being the history of Jordans. Secondly, an insight into the background of our B4 Ambassador, Adam Sherman, and, finally, the reasons behind the takeover of Jordans by Air Business who acquired Jordans in 2009. Jordan & Co was founded as a partnership in 1983, by Harry Lloyd and his wife Sue, to provide a one stop mailing solution for publishers, marketing agencies and printers. Harry started the company having been employed as Distribution Manager for seventeen years by a major international publisher. The business was incorporated two years later in 1985. From the outset, the company was run from a modest three bedroom semi in Witney and subsequently moved into a 1,000 sq ft industrial unit in Range Road, Witney. Unlike today, most of the company’s initial work was completed

continued growth, the company subsequently moved into two larger units in Range Road and, in 1989, they moved into Units 3 & 4 Parkside, in Station Lane, Witney. As growth continued, the company also took over Units 2 & 5 Parkside, giving them around 30,000 sq ft in total, and almost fifty employees. Jordans had become a major player in the mailing industry with an enviable reputation for excellence. Adam Sherman has been in distribution for twenty years, as he explains. “I originally started as a courier for DHL, collecting packages in London. I then went into various sales roles, moved into general management, working both at home and abroad, returning to the UK in 2000. “I spent some time with TNT, and then did some consultancy work, shortly following which I moved to Air Business.” Founded in 1986, Air Business was one of the first international mailing companies in the United

“The company progressed from strength to strength, based on a simple but extremely important philosophy of good, honest customer service

manually. Harry then bought his first forklift for £500, swiftly followed by his first computer. He was the MD and also the forklift driver! He still has that first computer and keeps it as a memento of those times before email or even faxes were invented.

Kingdom. From the start, the company decided not to rely on the services of any one single post office, and realised the importance of allowing publishers, mailers and Air Business to exercise their powers of choice in an increasingly competitive market.

The company progressed from strength to strength, based on a simple but extremely important philosophy of good, honest customer service. With

The company’s innovative approach has made Air Business one of the largest and most successful mailing companies in Britain, operating directly

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through a dozen post offices and over forty local mailing agents around the world, and offering its customers what it believes to be the largest range of international mail services available from any supplier. In July 2002, Air Business became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Irish Post Office, An Post. The company’s innovative and customer-driven approach to business remains the same, but it also means that it has the security of a 900m Euro organisation behind it. This has enabled Air Business to go from strength to strength, with its independent international distribution system offering publishers and direct mailers unrivalled value and choice, making it the fastest growing mailing companies in the UK. As Adam explains, the system Air Business employs is extremely sophisticated. “We have a very clever optimum routing system called Pathfinder which holds about 30,000 different lines of mailing options. From the client data, we are able to optimum route every piece to get it to its destination in the timelines required by the customers. “We have relatively little handling commensurate with the volume of work that we do. The items are routed, polywrapped or put in envelopes and distributed through our global network. We deal with all of the major postal authorities in the world, including US Post Office, but our main suppliers within Europe are major European postal offices, such as the Swiss, French and Belgians (not forgetting Royal Mail where they are competitive). By handling approximately one hundred million pieces of mail a year, we get through an awful lot of work. “The publishers that we deal with are mainly high end. We hold the single largest contract in the www.b4-business.com


B4 OFFICE

Jordans are a vital part of the B4 process, delivering your posted copy of the magazine every quarter. Based in Witney, B4’s move to Jordans, on the recommendation of our new Oxfordshire printers, Stones in Banbury, enabled us to bring the whole production of B4 within the county. B4’s Richard Rosser met with Adam Sherman, Jordans’ Managing Director, to find out more about the company’s services.

industry worldwide with Informa and they outsource everything to do with fulfilment and distribution to us. This is a contract to supply over five years, and we are delighted to be working with them. We won that against our primary opposition, DHL, and it has given us a great base to work from.”

business, we liked the people, and they shared the same ethos as Air Business, which is very much customer focused. It took about six months of talks before we decided to make the acquisition, but it came with very good references from people that were neutral and knew both companies.

Air Business are also responsible for delivering The Spectator, The Week, and The New Statesman, The Tablet and The Jewish Chronicle worldwide, to

“We had no previous dealings with Jordans before we started talks as we didn’t really compete with each other either. We got to know the people, the

“With a turnover of £8 million in 2004, that has risen to £26 million in 2009 with a target of £50 million by 2012

name a few. “We have a lot of work in the academic sector, so we handle a lot of academic journals and, again, we hold one of the biggest contracts in that sector which is for Taylor and Francis, based locally in Milton Park.” Air Business’s growth has been impressive to say the least. With a turnover of £8 million in 2004, that has risen to £26 million in 2009 with a target of £50 million by 2012. That will be achieved through organic growth and acquisition, as was the case with Jordans. “Fantastic customer service will always remain at the heart of what we do, irrespective of our size. Our strategic plan is to grow intelligently, rather than just grow for the sake of it. When we first decided to go down the acquisition route, we had in mind a company which we could blend with. So often companies see the financial benefits of acquiring but give little thought to the cultures of the businesses, and that’s where things go wrong. “We chose Jordans primarily because we liked the www.b4-business.com

family and the business and we quickly came to the conclusion that, yes, this was a good company. “Our three values as a business are very clear: integrity, which Jordans had in abundance; accountability, which for us is not hiding behind the fact that we are using third party suppliers as an excuse for something not working, we chose them, therefore if things go wrong, it’s down to us to fix it; accessibility, that for us is answering the phones when they ring and getting back to people quickly, not screening calls. The fit was perfect on the first two and we have now adjusted the third! “It has actually been a match made in heaven. It has been a great acquisition. We are very happy with the business and very happy with the people. Jordans gives us increased volume, which is important, and it gives us increased capacity. Air Business is primarily into shorter runs, around 10-15,000 circulations, predominantly international. Jordans is the opposite, with a lot of UK wrapping, and an average run might be 100/150,000, predominantly in the UK.

“This meant that we could talk to some of our international customers who we didn’t do the UK for because the volume was so much greater and vice versa. A good case in hand is Private Eye which is a recent acquisition for Jordans. As a domestic customer, they have now converted their international circulation to Air Business. “The plan is to cross sell our strengths to our respective customer bases and also look for new business growth as well. The other added benefit of the acquisition is that, heaven forbid, one of the premises burnt down tomorrow, the business could be handled seamlessly at the other site instantaneously. This satisfies a key requirement of our parent company.” Building on the strong foundations of the existing business, Air Business have clearly reaped the rewards which acquisition of Jordans has given them. Jordans always had stability, longevity and strength, but now it has a bit more muscle. Jordans have also widened their scope for Oxfordshire based customers looking to take advantage of the Air Business tentacles internationally. Whether it is courier services, post, international or domestic, freight, exhibitions, wrapping, there really is a very comprehensive range of services on offer. Although Adam’s business is now worldwide, it is important to him that Jordans and Air Business have a healthy local focus. “We do have excellent local accounts, such as Reed Elsevier, but I would love to see more customers from the immediate area. It makes perfect sense, it is good for them, as they have someone local, and it is good for us because it lowers the transportation side of the distribution (which is reflected in the prices), and this all adds up to a very strong green argument for using us, so please let us know what we can do for you.” www.airbusonline.com 51


B4 would like to thank the following Ambassadors who have generously given their backing to the new B4 Website, now live at www.b4-business.com. The site is an essential networking resource, great for circulating offers to fellow members and crucial for issuing press releases to help you shout about your business. Make sure you are listed by calling us on 01865 742211.

NOMINET www.nominet.org.uk

SCIENCE OXFORD www.scienceoxford.com

Dominic McDonald Head of Public Engagement

PENNY & SINCLAIR www.pennyandsinclair.co.uk

Wendy Sinclair Director

FRILFORD HEATH GOLF CLUB www.frilfordheath.co.uk

Alistair Booth Director Lesley Cowley CEO

“As CEO of the Internet registry responsible for managing .co.uk domain

THE OXFORD WEALTH CLUB www.oxfordwealthclub.co.uk

names, I am very aware of the value of having an online presence to businesses in our region. We have been pleased to feature regularly in B4 Magazine over the past three years and we recognise that the new B4 website will be a great resource for Oxfordshire businesses.” Lesley Cowley, Nominet

THE M GROUP www.theMgroup.co.uk

LONDON OXFORD AIRPORT www.oxfordairport.co.uk

CUSTOMERS REALLY MATTER www.customersreallymatter.co.uk

Mike Jennings Managing Director

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Stefan Wynne-Jones Chairman

ORANGE STRIPE TELECOMMUNICATIONS www.orangestripe.co.uk

James White Managing Director

Bob Harris Club Manager

JENNINGS OF GARSINGTON LTD www.jennings.co.uk

OXFORD HOTEL ASSOCIATION www.stayoxford.co.uk

David Surley Head of Customer Services

Gary McHale Partner

NORTH OXFORD GOLF CLUB www.nogc.co.uk

Paul Avins Managing Director

Nigel Pursall Managing Director

LIVE OXFORD www.liveoxford.com

MANCHES www.manches.com

Richard Smith Managing Partner

RICHMOND VILLAGES www.richmond-villages.com

Elizabeth Parker Manager

PENNY & SINCLAIR www.pennyandsinclair.co.uk

James Penny Director

CHARITABLE FUNDS www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk

Graham Brogden Head of Community Fundraising Oxford Radcliffe Hospital Charitable Funds

FINDERS KEEPERS www.finders.co.uk

Frank Webster Director

JILL TRELOGGEN INTERIORS www.jilltreloggen.co.uk

Jill Treloggen Owner

FOUR PILLARS HOTELS www.four-pillars.co.uk

Chris Green Group Marketing Manager

THE OXFORDSHIRE GOLF CLUB www.theoxfordshiregolfclub.com

Richard Quartermain Proprietor

Tim Pettifer General Manager

www.b4-business.com


B4 ADVICE

IT PAYS TO ACT EARLY Business to Business disputes are a fact of life. How the very early stages of these disputes are handled will often determine how easily such conflicts can be resolved and whether the parties involved can sustain an ongoing business relationship.

Commercial relationships are invariably governed by contracts (written or otherwise). These contracts are often the subject of lengthy negotiations and involve businesses in considerable time and expense. To dispute resolution lawyers such as Henmans LLP’s Andrew Crocombe and Tom Maple it appears surprising, therefore, that once the terms of the contract are agreed, these contracts are often forgotten about even when a dispute arises. Andrew, a Partner in Henmans LLP’s Dispute Resolution Team and a Mediator with Oxford Mediation, says “Our task is made more difficult, and therefore becomes more costly, if the parties have not adhered to the terms they agreed. The contract should be the first port of call when any hint of a dispute arises. If there is any uncertainty as to how the terms of the contract can be construed it is vital that a business seeks legal advice at a very early stage before any steps are taken that might prejudice its position”. Tom, an Associate in Henmans LLP’s Dispute Resolution Team, adds “Clients often leave it far too late before seeking our advice. This often means that by the time we are instructed, the attitudes of both sides have hardened which makes the prospect of resolving the matter on commercially beneficial terms, and without permanently ruining the business relationship, much harder”. Both Andrew and Tom are firm advocates of businesses obtaining prompt legal and commercial advice to boost their position in disputes and improve the ultimate outcome. By getting early advice businesses will benefit by gaining an understanding of: • the legal merits of the dispute • the commercial benefits of the various options available and the likely outcome • the steps they need to take to improve their position • the amount of time and resources that need to be expended to deal with the dispute • whether to seek an early resolution to the dispute and, if appropriate • the use of informal negotiations or processes such as mediation or arbitration Henmans LLP is highly recommended by both the Chambers and Legal 500 directories for their dispute resolution work. Andrew and Tom have over 20 years litigation experience between them. In that period they have acted for diverse clients including various motor manufacturers, professional indemnity insurers, sports governing bodies, PLC’s, limited companies and owner managed businesses. If you would like to discuss any matters with Andrew or Tom they can be contacted on 01865 781 000 or by email on andrew.crocombe@henmansllp.co.uk and thomas.maple@ henmansllp.co.uk. Alternatively please visit our website at www.henmansllp.co.uk/cdr

“in the early stages of a dispute; clients often leave it far too late before seeking our advice” www.b4-business.com

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DETERMINATION

& STYLE

AN INTERVIEW WITH KATHERINE DALES, B4 AMBASSADOR AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF OXFORDSHIRE BASED THE CAREER BOUTIQUE Katherine Dales is a woman with a mission; she is determined to change the tarnished image and reputation of the recruitment industry in this country. An industry rebuked for the ‘hard sell’, persistent cold-calling and disproportionate fees, Katherine is under no illusion that she has a mountain to climb, but her strides are long and each one planted with resolute conviction. On first impressions – and Katherine will wholeheartedly tell you that “first impressions definitely do count!” – she oozes style, sophistication and confidence, but underneath the charming exterior lies a steadfast and steely determination and an astute business brain that reflects the law and psychology degree securely under her belt, giving you the impression that she could probably change anything she put her mind too. Unphased and undaunted by the economic uncertainty surrounding her, Katherine established

In truth these principles could and should probably be applied to most businesses, so for Katherine why the recruitment industry? “Nobody dreams about being a recruitment consultant when they are growing up – and recruitment has many highs and lows. However the highs and drive of being able to actually make a difference to someone’s life is such a great feeling – you are actively introducing people and forming relationships.” Katherine says she had a gut instinct that she was always destined to be her own boss and it was just a matter of time before she found her vocation. The fast pace and challenges of the recruitment industry fuel her passion and ambition. Born and raised in Oxfordshire, Katherine believes that the region is an industrious and entrepreneurial county, offering a cosmopolitan and vibrant lifestyle due to its close proximity to London. She understands the business

company is looking for; what kind of people and personality traits make the company what it is.” Katherine also believes that it is the ‘after sales service’ that The Career Boutique provides to clients that significantly differentiates her company from others and has contributed to its success. “Most agencies don’t even consider how they can add value after making a placement. Filling a role is comparable to just putting ‘bums on seats’, rather than providing the client with an all round service. At The Career Boutique we offer coaching, workshops and seminars with prominent, respected partners and specialists and an interactive web site integrating lifestyle tips and advice with careers opportunities.” At the best of times most organisations look for value for money, but during a recession the emphasis becomes greater and added value almost an expectation.

“we offer coaching, workshops and seminars with prominent, respected partners and specialists” The Career Boutique at the beginning of 2009 and bucked the trend of what was happening to fledging businesses up and down the UK; the business achieved and maintained a healthy bottom line and is growing from strength to strength.

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

To what does Katherine attribute The Career Boutique’s success? The predictable answers are forthcoming; “hard work, determination” but in Katherine’s case there is no doubt this is true, but there is also more to it and the clue is in the name ‘The Career Boutique’. Katherine has developed a business ethos based on the way successful boutique hotels approach their clients. She delivers a high quality, empathic, personal service with integrity and a definitive after-sales service. She wants her business to have style and appeal and most importantly to make a difference to her clients. 54

community within Oxfordshire, but is also acutely aware that many employers are put off using recruitment agencies because of the ‘hard sell’ and high fees. This isn’t unique to Oxfordshire of course, but The Career Boutique is initially focusing its efforts on educating clients within the region as to the benefits and potential added value that a recruitment consultancy can offer a company seeking the right staff. Katherine explains; “A good consultant will take away the time and headaches you have to spend going through the whole employment process. They will also take away the stresses of ensuring legalities are adhered to. In times of recession particularly, there is so much more that clients can be looking for from utilising the services of a recruitment consultancy. The consultant should be an addition to the company, an extra arm that intuitively knows what that

Of course, as a recruitment consultant you witness the impact of the recession first hand and Katherine candidly observes that Oxfordshire is reflective of much of the country, with many businesses still struggling. However, she is quick to point out that the shoots of economic recovery are definitely sprouting and there is certainly evidence of greater optimism in the market place at the moment. “There is a positive shift amongst the Oxfordshire business community, with many organisations beginning to feel confident enough to recruit again,” Katherine explains, “albeit that they are proceeding with caution, opting for the ‘Temp to Perm route’, whereby staff are initially employed with temporary contracts, with an agreed review after a specified period for the possibility of a more permanent role.” Katherine also observes that the ‘Temp to Perm route’ can be beneficial to both the employer and www.b4-business.com


B4 RECRUIT the employee, because it allows a reasonable period for both parties to determine whether the placement is mutually beneficial. The number of highly skilled, high calibre job seekers has undoubtedly risen over the past 12 months, but Katherine makes an interesting analysis that some of these candidates are not willing to meet the high and exacting standards set by some employers; “Some people feel that if they have vast experience or are highly qualified in a particular area that they should be given preferential treatment. In fact, all candidates, whatever level they are at, should be willing and able to work to an employer’s guidelines and expectations.” It is clear that the exacting standards Katherine has of herself are also expected of others and she does not suffer fools gladly. When asked who her role model is, who inspires her, she doesn’t hesitate in her response; “A cliché I know, but my mother is my greatest role model. She has a strong work ethic, yet always manages to maintain a healthy and enjoyable work, life balance. She taught me that whatever I wanted in life I could achieve as long as I worked hard, persevered and believed in myself. Some might consider these to be old-fashioned values in the 21st Century, but I am legitimate proof that they are still totally valid today. For example, to be considered as a B4 Ambassador alongside some defining members of the Oxfordshire business community, when my own business is still young, is an honour and a privilege and a personal achievement.” A self-confessed workaholic, it is quite clear that Katherine is striving to achieve her own work, life balance, but in her defence and to her credit, she is representative of most successful young entrepreneurs who live and breathe their business. However, her meticulous style is an obvious giveaway that she totally embraces the finer things in life! She is, after all, part of the ‘Carrie (Sex and the City) Bradshaw generation!’; “Glamour brings confidence in all aspects of our lifestyle and why not in our careers? The Career Boutique website is deliberately stylish, offering lifestyle tips and advice to help individuals feel good about themselves and make the most of their skills and what they have to offer prospective employees”. And so, when asked the inevitable question of where this ambitious lady would like to see herself and The Career Boutique in five years time (apart from boasting an enviable collection of Jimmy Choo shoes, of course!), Katherine retorts, smiling; “In short of world domination, you mean? I would like to see The Career Boutique grow and maintain its unique ability to make people smile and content in the work place, when for some, whether employing staff or looking for a job, can be a very scary and daunting time.” Katherine Dales can be contacted via The Career Boutique web site, where you will also find details of The Career Boutique’s regular seminars for employers. www.thecareerboutique.com

www.b4-business.com

TOP 5

Katherine Dales offers her Top Tips for employers seeking the services of a recruitment consultant; 1. Always select by reputation and/or recommendation 2. Ask about ‘Added Value’ services 3. Ensure the consultant or agency demonstrate a good understanding of your business and your needs - especially in times of recession 4. Good candidate knowledge exhibits professionalism 5. Expect unwavering flexibility and cooperation

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B4 R&R

AN ADVENTURE IN ART FOR ALL THE FAMILY…. If you’ve ever wondered how a violin is made, or how a vase is created from a lump of clay, or how simple drops of paint turn into intricate illustrations then let Art in Action provide you with the answers. Held in the grounds of Waterperry House, near Wheatley, this festival of fine art and master craftsmanship welcomes 24,000 visitors each July. It’s a unique event because the 150 demonstrating artists set up their studios and demonstrate their craft, allowing the public to observe and enquire as well as buy and commission work.

The range of art is awe inspiring. Marquees house the artists who are mostly grouped by discipline. In 2010 this includes Painting, Sculpture, Drawing and Printmaking, Ceramics, Calligraphy and Illustration, Glass, Metalwork and Jewellery, Textiles and Woodwork. New this year is a marquee dedicated to International Art featuring artists from across the world including the world renowned Bruce Rogers, a didgeridoo maker, performer and teacher who is regarded as one of the best in Australia. Art in Action is a great supporter of sustainability and this year Andrew Purves, organiser of the woodwork marquee, has teamed up with the One Oak Project. This environmental education project of the Sylva Foundation aims to reconnect people with growing trees for wood and using wood for a whole host of purposes. The woodwork marquee will include two demonstrators who will use wood from a tree felled at Blenheim in January. Irving Rodas will be making furniture and Martin Damen will be making spoons and bowls. Andrew Purves intends to have all the demonstrators in 2011 using www.b4-business.com

wood from this same oak. Another highlight will be the lectures given by the acclaimed photography Nick Fleming on his extensive experience photographing spiritual communities in Northern India. He will also give advice on how to improve your photography. There is a comprehensive lecture series organised for a number of years by NADFAS (National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies) and this year leading authorities will be elaborating on stained glass, printmaking, porcelain and Amish quilts. Another unique feature of Art in Action is the wide selection of practical classes on offer for all ages. There are places for up to 4000 visitors to take a class in a broad and eclectic number of subjects, from mosaic making for 3-7 yrs to piecing and patching African style for the over 16s. Many of the classes are run by some of the UK’s most prestigious and established colleges and institutions, including the Drawing School of the New English Art Club, West Dean College, the Prince’s School of Traditional Art and the Guild of

Glass Engravers. A number of classes can be booked in advance online (www.artinaction.org.uk), but demand is high. Following a class, enthusiasts can purchase art materials and publications to refine their skills or just get started. There is also the Craft Market where more than 100 designer-makers sell quality goods. In addition there is live music, performing arts and storytelling for children. Visitors can take guided tours of Waterperry gardens and the exquisite frescoes on the walls of Waterperry House. There is a great range of refreshments, a good selection of wines, champagne and Pimm’s and numerous organic and artisan food stalls throughout the site. Art in Action is truly a celebration of creativity as well as a great day out for families and art lovers. People come year after year – often, they say, as much for the atmosphere as for the works on show. Art in Action 15-18 July 2010 www.artinaction.org.uk

57


ARE WE IN RECESSION OR RECOVERY ? Welcome to the third B4 article written by Robin Swailes, a local businessman, property investor, developer and actively involved in Oxford business through North Oxford Property Services. Robin has written for B4 before, discussing investment and property in relation to the Oxford market. In February 2009, Robin’s article recommended B4 readers invest in gold at $900 an ounce. Fourteen months later, it has increased by 27%.

Editor: You got lucky with your gold prediction (!) last year, so what is your take on the markets today? Robin: Richard, I have laid out a chart documenting some of the key events leading up to the present market. The chart is not comprehensive, but it is indicative of the burden of debt incurred by the global economy. Take a look at the financial stimulus that was required to try to maintain the banking, insurance and mortgage infrastructure. And yet.....the stock market has increased by 50% from its low only 14 months ago.

result and the cause. To date we have seen little pain. Yes, there has been extra unemployment and businesses in general are paddling harder to maintain profitability (apart from the banks who seem to be having bumper profits) but relative to the 1930 depression, we have seen nothing significant. On 30th August 2008, Alistair Darling said ‘this is the worst crisis for 60 years’ so where are the effects of this? I am an optimist by nature, a bear, but I cannot determine how you can lose over 3 trillion dollars and breeze through the problem in 18 months. There will be a consequence, in my view.

The Business Trends survey from accountants BDO shows both confidence and output back at pre-recession levels. BDO's survey covered 11,000 companies from a range of industries. It is true that none of the experts predicted the downturn. Surely if there is something sinister in the near future, someone will see it coming! Editor: After your successful gold tip, can you give the readers your view on the property market and other investments that you think could be worthwhile. Where are you putting your money? Robin: Gold is still a great hedge. If the economy

“I am an optimist by nature, but I cannot determine how you can lose over 3 trillion dollars and breeze through the problem in 18 months” Editor: It seems that we are on the road to recovery, but I fear all is not well? Robin: Yes, well, I feel a bit like Noah, building a boat in my back yard....and it’s not raining. There is always a consequence, a relationship between the 58

Today I read an article that business confidence has reached its highest level in four years, according to a survey of UK companies. There were caveats about business optimism being short term if sustained investment were not present.

enters some unexpected turbulence, gold will be the place to be. The problem with gold is that it does not pay a dividend. Personally, I prefer gold coins. Krugerrands have no premium as a coin and can be traded in any www.b4-business.com


B4 ADVICE country in the world. They contain one ounce of gold and are easily transportable. Half sovereigns are less expensive and still change value with the underlying price of gold. Editor: And your view on property ? Property is less liquid than gold, it takes time to sell and therefore is not a ready form of cash like gold. However, for a medium to long term investment, I

specific focus on Oxford: • You cannot build higher than 18.3 meters in the centre of Oxford. This is to protect the skyline of dreaming spires from vantage points around the city. This means no sky scrapers to dilute the scarcity of property in Oxford. • If you are a developer and wish to develop nine or more units on a site, 50% of the development

the environmental agency will not generally give permission to develop houses, change properties into flats or increase the residential numbers. This means less opportunities to develop meaning the shortage of residential units in Oxford will remain. From the point of view of our letting agency, North Oxford Property Services, we are desperate for Landlords who own Oxford City Centre Property. This is because ALL of our professional properties

“Property is less liquid than gold, it takes time to sell and therefore is not a ready form of cash like gold. However, for a medium to long term investment, I am still of the opinion that property will perform well” am still of the opinion that property will perform well. Property can also return a significant yield and you do not have to purchase it outright - you can take a mortgage to leverage your investment over the medium to long term. To date (and there is always an exception) since records began, there has never been a seven year period when property has fallen in value. We all know property is limited as land to build on is not in abundance and the planning regulations become more restrictive as time progresses. With

will be required for social housing, thus removing half of the new properties from the open market. • The new flood risk assessment of Sept 2009 means that 730 properties, previously considered to have a one per cent chance of flooding in a year, were now 10 times less likely to flood. However, most homes hit by the July 2007 floods remain at the same level risk and roughly 420 homes in Oxfordshire are now deemed at greater risk, including some homes in Abingdon, Wheatley, Steventon and Oxford. Where a flood area exists,

are fully let. We have a list of quality tenants waiting for quality property. Whatever the market does, Oxford property will always perform relatively well compared to other areas in the UK. So, even in this climate, Oxford is a small oasis where property investment is still in demand. If you would like information on investing in Oxford, ring Debbie of North Oxford Property Services on 07891 794696

THE CRISIS……SOME KEY EVENTS TIMINGS

EVENTS

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

9th August 2007

French Bank, BNP Paribas, tells investors that they will not be able to withdraw funds due to a ‘complete evaporation of liquidity in the market’.

ECB pumps 203.7 billion Euros into banking market to improve liquidity.

13th September 2007

Northern Rock fails

£1 billion withdrawn in deposits on next day

1st October 2007

UBS announces huge losses

$3.4 billion loss

21st April 2008

Bank of England swaps risky mortgage debt for secured Government Bonds to improve bank liquidity

£50 billion injection

16th August 2008

Alistair Darlings ‘worst crisis for 60 years’ statement

15th September 2008

Lehman Brothers file for Chapter 11

To be revealed

16th September 2008

US Federal Reserve announces $85 billion rescue package for AIG

$85 billion

21st September 2008

Bradford and Bingley nationalised

To be revealed

9th October 2008

Bank of England injects £200 billion short term support

£200 billion

26th November 2008

US Federal Reserve injects a further $800 billion

$800 billion

31st December 2008

FTSE drops 31.3% - biggest drop for 24 years

10th February 2009

BMW Oxford lays off 850 workers. Sales down 30.9% on previous year

18th March 2009

US Federal Reserve states it will buy $1.2 trillion of debt

April 2010

FTSE up 50% since February low of 3,830

$1.2 trillion

HOW CAN THIS ALL STACK UP TO EQUAL A RECOVERY? Robin Swailes is not a regulated financial adviser. He does not operate as a financial adviser. His opinions in this and future articles of B4 are his own in his capacity as an Oxfordshire businessman. Please seek advice from regulated financial advisers prior to committing to any form of investment. Information for chart supplied by Robin Swailes.

www.b4-business.com

59


B4 REWARD

“Oxford is doing

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

well for us. We have a loyal following”

THE REPUBLIC

Coffee Republic first opened its doors in 1995. Unable to find a quality coffee chain that matched their New York experience and expectations, brother and sister Bobby and Sahar Hashemi opened their first store in fashionable South Molton Street. Since then Coffee Republic has grown to one of the best known, and acclaimed coffee chains in the UK, with sites from Glasgow in Scotland to as far south as Plymouth in Devon. B4 met up with Andrew Bowen of Coffee Republic in Oxford’s New Inn Hall Street to find out what got him hooked. Andrew has to make his first point abundantly clear. “My wife Claire and I are in this together. We both made the career choice three years ago to do something completely different. My background is Tesco retail. She is a midwife and we decided that we wanted a career change, really to be our own bosses. I looked around for an opportunity, and found Coffee Republic. It was something I was used to doing having worked for Tesco for twenty five years. It was retail, close to my heart. It was a strong brand, but a small company. “I met the guys, felt that I could do business with them and, since then, we have grown quite rapidly.” In just three years, Andrew and Claire have got three shops, as Andrew continues. “We started in Maidenhead, then we bought Oxford, and last year we opened in Abingdon.”

rewards.” “The owners certainly have the money to invest into the brand and have got some big plans to expand. The coffee market is growing strongly, and although our competitors have got massive investment programmes – Costa, for instance, are opening 150 shops a year – there is still plenty of demand and we can thrive.” Andrew admits that there is consolidation in the market, and that the average coffee customer is becoming more discerning. “People demand better quality coffee now, whereas ten or fifteen years ago, we all tolerated the vending machine coffee, dire though it was. Coffee customers know more about what they are drinking now, and become attached to a brand as a result.”

“We work well with the businesses here. For instance, when St Peter’s College kitchen closed at Christmas, we opened early and did breakfasts for them as they had a course going on. Darbys, in New Inn Hall Street, are another good corporate customer.” With a first floor large enough to hold sixty, Andrew is meeting with success renting out the space for evening courses. Although Andrew would be the first to admit he doesn’t have a fully fledged internet café, the eight web linked PC’s upstairs provide another attraction for students and tourists. “We have to be innovative and try to stand out. In terms of the product, we have ‘Shake Republics’ and ‘Tea Republic’ – twenty two different types of tea served in a tea pot. We have fresh food, all sorts of coffees and, I hope, great service.

Having invested significant capital in the three stores coinciding with the recession, in hindsight Andrew admits he may have grown by one store too many. “Yes, we were stretched, but now that everything has settled down, we are reaping the

Andrew is excited about the future, and particularly in Oxford, he sees a very buoyant time ahead. “Oxford is doing well for us. We have a loyal following amongst the students and with the new Ashmolean now open, we have had a real boost on the tourist front. With the weakening pound, the Japanese and American tourists are back in force, as they were notable by their absence last year.

“The freshness of the food is something which Coffee Republic is very proud of. Everything is made on site, not bought in. Even the Coffee Republic coffee is roasted, blended and produced in Milan, not an industrial estate in middle England. That’s what really sets Coffee Republic aside. It is genuine, in everything it does.”

B4O FFER

Through Corporate Rewards we are offering 10 x £5 vouchers for just £25. So visit Coffee Republic 10 times and it costs you just £25 for £50 worth of food, coffee, smoothies, whatever

you fancy. Vouchers sent in blocks of 10, so use one on one day and the others when you want. Limited stocks – see www.b4-business.com and click on B4 Rewards for more details.

www.b4-business.com

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COUTTS & CO

B4’s Richard Rosser met with Coutts’ Client Partner, Maggie Bradley, to find out more about the bank’s services and plans for the future.

As the UK private banking arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Coutts & Co offers clients a range of products and services, from sophisticated investment solutions to expertise in trust and fiduciary planning and UK tax and banking services. Coutts’ commercial banking arm also provides a full banking service to UK businesses. The first Coutts & Co regional office to be opened was Eton in 1961, and today Oxford is one of 21 regional Coutts branches. Maggie Bradley joined the team earlier in 2010, and sees great opportunities for what she and her team can offer clients. “The rationale behind me joining as client partner is to co-ordinate a strategic expansion and help with complex cases, working very closely with the team that we already have here. “We are an extremely experienced and ambitious team with a very good background in financial services. Mark Couzens has been with Coutts for over three years and has very strong connections to Oxford, having worked in the area for over twenty years. Steven Walker has been in Oxford for nine months, having moved from our office in Milton Keynes. He also has a wealth of experience, with a strong background as an independent financial adviser.” Coutts operates in three very distinct areas, the first being basic banking requirements, but on an enhanced basis, as Maggie explains. “We are a

different lifestyles and attitudes to risk. We have a very strong investment team and there will be a lot of developments that will take place over the next six, nine, twelve months and beyond.” Finally, Coutts offers clients access to the Wealth Institute. “This is an education programme and also a help programme, for individuals in certain circumstances. We have looked at the businesses our clients and prospective clients are involved in and tailored what we feel is a unique service, across four clear areas. The first is the family business. Given the commitment families give to their businesses, a difficulty they have is not the actual day-to-day running of the operation, but the succession planning, and that is a key area of Coutts’ expertise. “There is then our philanthropy offering. More and more of our clients, having made their money, were looking at ways to give back, and we now have a dedicated service to assist clients in establishing their own charities, trust funds and other mechanisms to efficiently give back. “Our other more recent focuses include our Womens’ Initiative. Research has shown that the Coutts brand was more aspired to by men than women, but we still had a good proportion of our clients who were females and who were doing very well. We now run events which are more focused towards women, and this helps lead discussion on dealing with the stresses and strains that they might go through, and this has proved very popular with our female clients.

“We are a compact but extremely experienced team with a very good background in financial services” very dedicated team, and our clients deal with us on a one-to-one basis with a very personal service. We take a lot of pride in ensuring that our clients are well looked after and that their every need is catered for. We handle our clients’ mortgages, if requested, and can provide a bespoke arrangement which fits in with their profile. For example, a lot of our clients will have very specific earning patterns which means we have to tailor a mortgage to suit this and also bear in mind the tax implications.” Coutts is renowned worldwide as a leading and exclusive banking institution and Maggie is keen to expand on Coutts’ second distinct role as a wealth manager. “We are continually reviewing the investment arrangements that we have for clients and the services that we can provide for them. We listen to client feedback, which is why we are currently looking at a number of alternative options that clients might be interested in, always bearing in mind that our clients have very

62

“The final area is education – we have a programme to help the next generation deal with their new found wealth. Everyone thinks money is going to be the salvation to all of their problems, but it just brings a different set of issues to consider.” Coutts will be spearheading some of these exciting new initiatives in Oxford with events to be announced in the future. For more information about these or how your banking and investment requirements can be enhanced, contact Maggie on 01865 389039 or maggie.bradley@coutts.com or visit the website www.coutts.com/oxford www.coutts.com

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B4 FINANCE

“At Coutts our clients are at the

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

absolute heart of everything we do”

www.b4-business.com

63


Oxford Castle

Flower & Gardening Festival 4th â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6th June 2010 11am â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6pm Oxford Castle A wonderful variety of flowers, plants and products to fulfill every gardeners need! To participate please contact Oxford Castle Ltd 01865 201657 or ocl@topgroup.co.uk Spaces are limited!

www.oxfordcastle.com


B4 REWARD

B4 OFFER B4 readers can get a £14.99 box of fudge for just £7.50 through B4 Rewards at www.b4-business.com

FUDGE KITCHEN

Luxury fudge maker, Fudge Kitchen is making its mark in Oxford with their new shop on Broad Street. They have seven other stores in the UK, but the Oxford branch is the first to feature their new branding, store design and packaging. Fudge Kitchen defied the credit crunch by opening the new store last October. With 12,000 independent UK shops having closed in 2009 and a 50% drop in new store openings in the last eighteen months, some argued it was a high risk time to launch a new retail venture. However, sales are strong thanks to the booming tourist and university footfall in Oxford. Sian Holt, MD at Fudge Kitchen comments: “If you have confidence in your product and research the market thoroughly, the recession actually provides a window of opportunity. Small retailers like Fudge Kitchen can certainly benefit from the reduced premiums and support available in the current climate.” All Fudge Kitchen fudge is made by hand every day on site. The fudge can be seen being stirred in huge copper cauldrons, before an expert fudge maker turns out the hot mixture onto a marble slab. There are twenty mouth watering flavours to choose from including Vintage Vanilla and Banoffee Bonanza. Sian Holt, MD at Fudge Kitchen comments: “Customers already familiar with the Fudge Kitchen experience will know how great it is to watch the fudge being made and chat with our expert fudge makers. There are always samples to try so if you’re passing, pop in and see us!” Fudge Kitchen has many loyal customers including DJ Chris Evans who raved about the dreamy fudge on his Radio 2 show after tasting it at a local food

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show. Fudge Kitchen Oxford has just presented Helen & Douglas House with a cheque for £900. The money has been raised from sales of a new flavour fudge invented by Leah Graham, 13, who has been visiting Helen House with her family since she was four years old. Fudge Kitchen asked Helen & Douglas House hospice for children and young adults to invent a

“the best fudge in the world produced freshly and locally” new flavour to celebrate the shop opening and the vanilla, banana and chocolate recipe has gone down a storm with visitors to the shop, with three full batches selling out. Jennifer Hudson of Helen & Douglas House comments: “The staff at Fudge Kitchen Oxford have been fantastic. The amount raised is equivalent to 64 hours of nursing time for the children and young adults who visit our hospice.” Fudge Kitchen has also unveiled a new range of sauces that will have desserts crying out for more. Their best selling fudge flavours have been

transformed into deliciously creamy sauces that can be enjoyed over waffles, ice-cream, pancakes and meringues. They can also be used in recipes, as a cake topping, milk shake base or if you simply can’t wait, scooped straight from the jar. The Classic Toffee Fudge Sauce, Chocolate and Orange Fudge Sauce and Rich Chocolate Fudge Sauce will be available to buy from Fudge Kitchen shops around the UK, online and from other selected stockists. And if you’re not yet drooling at the thought of the melt in your mouth delicacy, how about inviting your valued clients on a fudge making experience in the Fudge Kitchen Oxford shop where they’ll get to roll out thick and creamy fudge on giant marble slabs. They could then take home one of the newly invented ‘Home Kits’ so they can continue their new found skills with friends and family at home…and eat lots of fudge of course! The boxes of fudge also make ideal gifts for clients and employees. So what does the future look like for this innovative and very tasty company? Well, Fudge Kitchen plans to grow their increasing wholesale market from the Oxford shop so speciality outlets, food halls, delis and farm shops in the surrounding area can also sell ‘the best fudge in the world’ produced freshly and locally. Fudge can also be purchased on line at www.fudgekitchen.co.uk.

65


THE

RANDOLPH

Having lived in Oxford most of my life, staying in a hotel in the centre of your own city is always a strange experience. But when I walked away from The Randolph, Oxford’s only five star hotel, it was as if I had been staying in a first class London hotel with all of the trimmings.

The Randolph represents all that Oxford is world famous for: style, charm, elegance, refinement and oodles of class. I arrived at The Hotel for tea with General Manager, Michael Grange, at 5pm. I asked Michael what the future held for The Randolph having weathered a difficult economic storm in 2009.

Ashmolean, and at the very epicenter of the City, The Randolph presents conference delegates and smaller business gatherings with the sort of location which is the envy of other conference venues. With its catering stamp of excellence a given, it is a match made in heaven for a business looking for a suitable venue.

“We are very pleased with our performance in 2009. We certainly held our own and the leisure business through the hotel in 2009 was very

For Michael, the early signs of a healthier 2010 on the conference side of business are looking good. “Last year I think people just didn’t feel that they

the conference do boost moral and provide a welcome respite for the delegates. As many B4 readers will know, the networking which takes place after the conference is almost as important as the conference itself.” Michael is seeing a fair increase in the amount of international business the hotel is doing, and cites the proximity to London and the development of London Oxford Airport as key factors. “We are seeing a lot of business coming from overseas. By

“THIS YEAR, WE ARE SEEING SOME FAMILIAR FACES COMING BACK TO US” strong. In 2010, we are promoting the conference business and meetings side of the hotel. We have always been victims of our own excellent reputation as a first class hotel when it comes to the conference and events side of the hotel. The flexibility and excellence of our conference product is significantly underestimated, or just hasn’t received the profile it deserves, because of the success enjoyed as a hotel.” Set against the backdrop of the recently refurbished 66

could have conferences. Many businesses chose to have their conferences at a dedicated conference venue, rather than run a three or four day event with the added hotel costs on top. Many didn’t feel it was right to be seen wining and dining in a five star hotel, and this did hurt us. “This year, we are seeing some familiar faces coming back to us, and I think the experience for many of streamlining their conference was a bit of a shock to the system. After all, the extras around

offering potential customers the mix of professional conference facilities coupled with the ‘Oxford experience’ is proving to be very alluring for a number of customers.” The Randolph is certainly quite an all-rounder, having established The Spa as a thriving addition, and the teas are still a favourite with the tourists and those customers looking to savour a ‘proper tea’.

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B4 ACCOMMODATION

Following my chat with Michael, I met my wife and we were shown to our fantastic suite. Having driven past The Randolph thousands of times in my life, even though I had ventured inside for the odd

Tina chose the Ham hock terrine with mustard pickle, whilst I was instantly drawn by the free range egg Benedict. Even though I was famished having missed lunch, again, this was a naughty but perfect

pounds, or he is just naturally generous with his cheese portions, but I have never seen a cheese plate like Giuseppe delivered. Ten, count them, ten different cheeses on one plate. And she got

“WE ARE SEEING A LOT OF BUSINESS COMING FROM OVERSEAS” event, I had never been upstairs. The room was incredible. We had a sumptuous lounge, a bathroom which I could have lived in and a bedroom with one of the most gargantuan beds in the world. With a dinner reservation for 8pm preying on my mind, a quick change of shirt and freshen up were called for, and by 8.05pm we were in the dining room. The pace of life at The Randolph is its attraction. My earlier comparison with a London hotel did not mean to give you the impression that this hotel suffers from hustle and bustle, far from it. Leisurely, unhurried and measured. Our aperitifs appeared as we perused the menu – concise but hitting all of the right notes. www.b4-business.com

starter, one of my favourites, and it didn’t disappoint. Although I was sorely tempted by the Roasted 21 day aged Scottish rib steak ‘carved at the table’, I had the free range chicken ‘Coq au Vin’ with celeriac mash and, accompanied by a bottle of Chablis (not all of it!) Tina favoured the Grilled fillet of Lemon sole, spinach, anna potatoes with chive butter sauce. For dessert, I couldn’t resist – The Randolph does bring out the devil in you doesn’t it! – the Lemon sponge pudding (with lemon custard!)

through them, every single one of them! It was an evening to remember, and Giuseppe epitomised the extremely high levels of hospitality we experienced throughout our stay at The Randolph. After an absorbing night’s sleep that those of us with kids are only allowed to experience, seemingly, once every five or so years, we took breakfast in the room before checking out, and the annoyingly short drive to work! www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/randolph

However, the most memorable moment of the evening was Giuseppe’s cheese trolley. He obviously thought Tina could do with adding a few 67


TIME TO MEET AT T H E O X F O R D S H I R E The T he O Oxfordshire, xfordshire, n now ow w with ith g golf, olf,

Q Conferences for up u to 180 guests

ho otel & spa, is one of the coun nty’s hotel county’s

Q Day delegate rates rate es from £40 plus V AT VAT

lleading eading v venues enues ffor or c corporate orporate e events, vents,

Q 24 hour delegate rates from £150 plus V AT VAT

ex xhibitions and meetings, prov viding exhibitions providing state-of-the-art suites st tate-of-the-art conference sui tes for

Q Dedicated events team Q Team Te eam building and d activity days

up p to 180 delegates. Q Excellent transport transporrt links by road, rail or air The Th he new 50 bedroom luxury 4* hotel hote el with wi ith spa and leisure facilities will be

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completed c ompleted iin nM May ay 2 2010 010 a and nd b bookings ookings are are

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now no ow being taken for these new facilities. facilities.

theoxfordshire.com m

The Th he Oxfordshire, Rycote Rycote Lane, Milto Milton on Common, Thame, Oxon. OX9 OX9 2PU 2PU


B4 OFFICE

ENGINEERS WITH

VISION

PART 4 – INCIDENT ALARMS & UNRETURNED CALLS

This quarter, Nigel Pursall of Orange Stripe continue’s focusing on the key features of a modern office telephone system. We spotlight the enviable ability of our systems to provide incident alarms & alerts and remote manufacturer upgrades. In these tough times a missed sales call reflects directly in monthly sales revenue figures. We bring to your attention a very clever and affordable reporting tool that will provide you with an end of day report itemising calls you have not answered and not returned. Whether your business requires a small half size unit or the full 19 inch chassis version, both can be configured to perform remote overnight software upgrades as new system features are released. We can also force the system to alert you, or us as the maintainer, via email if a fault occurs or should a pre-set system rule be broken. Both systems are controlled by the same powerful processor which means both small to medium size businesses and larger corporate businesses can benefit from the same advanced technology now available to support an installation. Very often it is difficult to monitor activity within a telephone system every minute of the day or night. An alarm can flag unauthorised calls, particularly to premium, international or mobiles when cost can be significant or indeed if a call coming into your business has remained unanswered for say 30 seconds. It may be that you need to make a decision to overflow calls to the back office admin team when reception can’t cope with demand, the system alerts will help you make that decision sooner rather than later. . During the day a business will receive a variety of calls into sales or service. If a call, particularly into your sales team remains unanswered it becomes a missed call statistic and will be included in a ‘missed call’ report. Come 5pm you may have a number of missed calls. If a missed call has subsequently called you again and been answered or you have called them back, the missed call from earlier will be removed from this report. Therefore, the end of day report that is now significantly more important to you is the

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‘unreturned missed call’ report. With this information available you can now task an agent to make a call to these missed callers. In issue 14 we introduced MyCalls which is a suite of call traffic reporting applications. It is MyCalls that will provide you with the reports you need to retain awareness to any unfortunate missed calls. Recent changes in business laws have also seen call recording become a necessity for many businesses. Call recording is part of the MyCalls suite of applications. We want to show you how we can help you improve your telecommunications and we would be happy to provide you with a free, no

“…we can monitor your system 24 hours a day 7 days a week” obligation, consultation. This can if you wish include a system demonstration to see where we can make a difference. Orange Stripe Telecommunications are direct partners with NEC. Our advice is to take full advantage of a local supplier supported by an industry leading manufacturer with a product range that is taking the market by storm at the moment. We can also start to make some significant savings to your line rental and call charges. Take a look at previous B4 issues for a reminder of Parts 1 to 3 and look out for another ‘engineer’s vision’ in the next issue of B4 Magazine. Find our contact details at the back of B4. www.orangestripe.co.uk

69


M AGDALEN: G S ,G V REAT CHOOL

REAT

ENUE

In its five hundred and thirtieth year, Magdalen College School, Oxford, is one of the country’s leading private schools with a first class academic reputation. But like so many organisations with excellent facilities and premises, it is the way of the world that such assets need to fund themselves and further development. Emma Bellenie, Magdalen’s Events Manager, spoke to Richard Rosser about how the school is expertly pushing not just educational but also corporate boundaries.

Without doubt, Magdalen College School has an enviable reputation as one of the country’s finest independent schools. In September, the Sixth Form will open its doors to girls for the first time and, in the last two years, the school has opened a magnificent new building that includes a stunning Dining Hall. As the school’s Events Manager, Emma Bellenie is tasked with promoting these stunning facilities to the corporate market with a view to maximising additional income. Further projects are planned for the future which will see Magdalen further cementing its leading position. I met Emma in the new wood paneled dining hall, a facility which has served the corporate community so well since it was opened. “I have been delighted with the amount of excellent business we have seen through the school and new dining hall. It’s a very flexible facility which we can adapt to almost any need or requirement. The lighting and lofty ceilings have been designed to cater for a wide range of events, from networking to product launches, candlelit 70

dinners and silver service.” The portraits of Headmasters past adorn the oak paneled walls of this sparkling new facility, cleverly blending the modern contemporary feel without neglecting the school’s tradition, a balancing act which is central to Emma’s task. “First and foremost, this is a school, and we never forget that. But we have

“There’s nothing I relish more than controlling the event from start to finish” to adapt to the world we live in and that means generating revenue from other sources where we possibly can, without interfering with the everyday running of the school. We are obviously able to offer far greater access to our facilities www.b4-business.com


B4 CONFERENCE during school holidays, but potential customers shouldn’t discount considering us during term time – we can adapt the school, even during term time, if at all possible, as long as it isn’t to the detriment of our pupils.” Emma has witnessed the full range of lettings in her seven years at Magdalen. “We have accommodated weddings, balls, intimate dinners, language schools using our classrooms, seminars, networking events and conferences, in the dining hall and school grounds. We are incredibly central

In fact, when it comes to organising, you won’t find anyone more dedicated than Emma, be it a wedding or corporate function in the dining hall. “There’s nothing I relish more than controlling the event from start to finish. I do have customers who want to take care of certain aspects of their event, which is understandable, but if you would like to leave it to me, I am more than happy to take over the organisation, lock, stock and barrel.” Emma makes sure she is on hand throughout the event, overseeing the venue planning from the first

“we have to adapt to the world we live in and that means generating revenue from other sources” to Oxford and have on site parking for one hundred and fifty cars, so although we may not be a dedicated venue or conference facility, we are more than a match for bespoke venues, and we have the parking, location and historical attractions on our side.” The school’s grounds are also idyllic, and in the area known affectionately as ‘The Spit’, Emma has

staged a number of high profile Balls and other black tie events. “It’s a stunning venue, and we certainly attract customers looking for something different. The grounds are delightful, and with the city providing a picturesque backdrop, you would be hard pushed to find such a compelling venue.” The school has staged a number of wedding receptions, and happy couples have been known to arrive by punt down the River Cherwell. No reasonable request is beyond Emma’s capabilities, and by her own admission, she prefers to take control of a booking. “I like to manage the whole event, from organising the marquee, catering and table decorations, the DJ and band or other entertainment.”

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delivery of flip chart or flowers to linen or balloons. Nothing happens without Emma’s 100% involvement, to make sure your event goes without a hitch. “It’s the way I run events. I need to make sure there are no problems which can easily scupper the success of an event. I want my customers to come back or to spread the word that we have a first class

facility here, and I like to think my customers believe they have had first class service.” For events ranging from three to three hundred, contact Emma Bellenie at Magdalen College School to arrange a tour of the venue and find out what Emma can do to enhance your event. From punting down the Cherwell to corporate cricket days, Emma is experienced in organising whatever supplementary requests you may have, whether its accommodation or vintage port, huge cinema screens or a personalised cake. “We are ready to make sure your event goes better than you ever imagined.” www.mcsoxford.org

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t o s g s e u e n o b i y s o u e t B v s Ha it take eading t L a s ’ h e h? r w c i r e h p s r i d e r h t o off s Oxf eam? y b ar D s T r e f d l l o o h G sng u o y n Ca

xi e k c kno

r ’s a e y is rs h e t fi f i l o e ua n q o p r u fo C p f l u Sign roup Go final at e of e e G r h f M t , / r b 4 u fo e l B e y C r f i f h l l t a o p u G o q e t r d i e n h h a t n rds i o f h x is O n e fi h u T o y s f i r e e g fi r i l a cha u Q

Studley Wood Golf Club Wednesday, May 12th

Frilford Heath Golf Club Friday, June 11th

Southfield Golf Club Thursday, July 22nd

l a n i F The Oxfordshire Thursday 16th September Costs: £150+VAT for a team of two at each qualifier (book all three for just £375+VAT). Rate includes: Snack on arrival, round of golf and two course meal aer day’s play.

For more details call us on 01865 742211 Our chosen charity this year is The Oxford Heart Centre Campaign, which is aiming to raise funds for the second stage of the cardiac expansion at the John Radcliffe Hospital.


B4 NETWORK

“Without content, even the best sites are meaningless”

THE NEW B4 WEBSITE

Over the next few pages, we dig deeper into the origins of the new B4 website, find out more about the new partnership programme, and see behind the scenes at the recent B4Tv video shoots. The Background We have been planning the new B4 site for almost two years now. The project began with detailed discussions between B4 and Iain Lewis of Torpedo and Rob Jones of Surefire Digital, both B4 Ambassadors and experts in their respective fields.

business community who can show, through their effective endorsement of the site, that the site is worth supporting. This is bearing fruit, with over fifty new members signing up to the site before launch without any real knowledge as to what they were buying in to.

The brief was to come up with an overall structure which would enable B4 to become the signpost for business in Oxfordshire with regards to press releases, events, jobs and much more. These early meetings were invaluable, and both Iain and Rob deserve much credit in helping the new site come to life.

Site Content and Optimisation We have spent a considerable amount of time cutting and pasting almost five hundred archived B4 articles onto the site. A tortuous but ultimately rewarding exercise which has given us excellent content for search engine optimization which is not only good for us but also good for the businesses on our site.

The Build Without clear ideas and a vision, it is very difficult for a web developer to build a site. Prior to handing over our ideas to Chris Fulton (who gives us his take on the new site on page 74), the site developer, senior designer Keith Simpson drew up detailed plans of each page we were looking to create. This made Chris’s job infinitely more straightforward, and gave us all clarity in our thought process. The Ambassador Concept Without content, even the best sites are meaningless. Over the past year, we have been introducing the Ambassador concept to B4 readers. Individuals who have supported our publications over the past ten years, from a wide range of Oxfordshire businesses, have been promoted as our spine, customers respected in the www.b4-business.com

Ongoing, the site content will change daily as B4 members have the ability to update their pages, issue press releases, post jobs, events and offers to the site without our involvement. This will give the site a life of its own and ensure the site is always worth coming back to for the latest business news in Oxfordshire. The Target Our first year target is to have three hundred members on the site, and we are almost half way there. Beyond that, the intention is not to have a comprehensive directory of businesses in Oxfordshire, but a good quality directory. This will only be possible with recommendations for new members and potential members approaching us on the recommendation of existing members and Ambassadors.

New Ideas We have tried to develop more than just a business directory on line. B4Tv (see Page 78) has brought some Ambassadors to life through interviews conducted at Studio 8, and the proposed Partnership Programme (see page 77), will enable charitable and arts organizations to get involved in the new site without having to pay for a membership. The Future There is already a long wish list for Phase 2, but key functions which we will be introducing include a social networking bolt on and the ability for businesses to visibly recommend and refer other members on their pages. This will be in the form of B4 member logos alongside quotes about that business or quotes from them about your business. Feedback The site is not going to mature and improve without constructive feedback. We like to think that we do things properly at B4, but there is always room for improvement, and your constructive feedback is most welcome. It’s always good to hear where we are getting it right, but if you think the site lacks something or an aspect of functionality is not quite there, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Please help us to grow the new B4 site and ensure business in Oxfordshire has a strong web profile. www.b4-business.com

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THE NUTS & BOLTS MAN We have been very fortunate to discover a dedicated, enthusiastic and hard-working young man in Chris Fulton. Over the past year, Chris has become very much part of the team at B4. His single-minded determination to deliver what we asked has been phenomenal. It’s the first phase of a long road. The B4 website is by no means the finished article, but we very much hope that Chris will be part of the future development of Oxfordshire’s Business Network, online. Here Chris takes us through the process from his perspective.

“Over the last couple of years my freelance web design and development work has grown from a small sideline into a full-time career. Most of the time, work doesn't just fall into my lap - and I've become very used to scouring job adverts, making networking contacts, generally putting myself about and relying on happy customers to spread the word. In the summer of 2009, a job came up on Dailyinfo based around marketing, design and communications, which intrigued me. I went along to an interview and found myself talking to Richard Rosser. “After a short chat, it became apparent that a full-time post for Designs On Ltd, the parent company of In Oxford Magazine, B4 Magazine and Blink Design, didn’t fit perfectly with my work as a freelancer - but an upcoming project did require a web designer, developer such as myself, and before I knew it, I was building the Witney Shopping website (www.witneyshopping.co.uk). “Witney Shopping was a fantastic introduction to working with the Designs On team. Thankfully, Richard and the Designs On staff value relationships highly, and when the time came to build the new B4 website (www.b4-business.com), our efficient and successful relationship meant that I was the first to be approached. Even better, since I now knew how we worked together, I could give a more accurate quote and could be more confident of staying on-time and on-budget with the project.

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“The B4 website was, in many ways, a more ambitious project than the Witney project. From a design perspective, I was helped enormously by Keith Simpson of Blink, the in house design arm of The In Oxford Group, providing the graphic elements and page layout ideas to work with, ensuring I wasn’t starting from a blank white page. Even so, the development of a system with the kind of functionality the B4 site now contains presented some interesting conceptual questions for me to get my teeth into. However, I relish a

“In web design, as with any project, communication is paramount in keeping everyone on the same page” challenge, and once work began, it became clear that something quite special was coming together. “In web design, as with any project, communication is paramount in keeping everyone on the same page. Being based in Oxford meant that I could work in the office with Richard and the

rest of the team, so feedback could be as quick as showing a page to someone across the desk and getting a reaction there and then. The initial specifications I was working to were comprehensive, but as always there were slight changes in direction as the project progressed, even though the ‘end game’ was always clear. “Many web designers say that the most important word in their vocabulary when speaking to clients is ‘No’. As in ‘Can we have the background in bright pink?’ - answer, ‘No’. I’d have to disagree. Thanks to a good working relationship with Richard, we were able to talk on the same wavelength about ideas he’d had, and I was able to translate the technical ‘geekery’ and code that actually supports the site into concepts that made sense to him. As a result, we were far more likely to have a discussion where we both understood where we were coming from. Richard was able to benefit from my understanding of today’s world wide web, and I can put his considerable understanding of his business clients to good use in how the site actually works. “The result is a website that looks good, works well and is intuitive to use both for B4 members who list their businesses on the site and visitors looking for information or wanting to join Oxfordshire’s Business Network. I’m proud of not only how it works currently, but the care and foresightedness that’s gone into making sure that it will still look good and run smoothly for years to come. The

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B4 MARKETING

ease with which B4 members can upload press releases, job adverts, special offers or events means that every time you go back to the site, there will be something new going on, and early

“Designing a website that looks pretty is useless unless that site can make a significant impact on sales” reports from users seem to suggest that they’re very happy with the difference it will make to their businesses. “Most importantly, the site has a clear purpose, to build bridges between businesses, and because everything has been built around this, it’s not just eye-candy. Designing a website that looks pretty is useless unless that site can make a significant impact on sales, and I believe the B4 website offers a unique networking advantage to its members that will actively make a difference in how they conduct business, over and above the benefits of having the entire back-catalogue of B4 Magazine working for

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their search engine optimisation. “Who knows what will happen next. I’m only twenty four, so the whole of life is still stretching ahead of me. Freelancing gives me the flexibility to take on any projects I like, and my skillset is growing more every month. Set up three years ago, my other company, Simplicity Photography (www.simplicityphotography.co.uk), is continuing to provide me with exciting new photographic opportunities, and in the design world I’m becoming involved in bigger and even more ambitious website development, video production and editing, as well as sound engineering both live and in the studio. “Currently my work most closely resembles a diverse collection of hobbies, so going to work really is doing what I love. “Over the next year I’d love to be able to grow a team around me. I work well in collaboration with others, and already have a good network of designers and photographers who I can call on, but to take on permanent staff would be both a big leap for my business, and a massive boost in productivity and quality of output. It’s an exciting adventure, and part of the fun is not knowing what will happen next.”

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Avoid Embarrassing

Date Clashes www.b4-business.com


B4 CHARITY

B4 PARTNERSHIPS

B4 have come up with a novel idea to help local charities, arts organisations and even local sports clubs to secure complimentary exposure both on and off line, and at the same time give local businesses excellent profile by association. Fundraising in a buoyant economy is hard enough, but turn off the ‘goodwill to all men’ tap during a recession, and it becomes significantly harder. Charities find it a struggle to promote the wonderful causes they raise money for, arts organisations find it harder to fund promotion and sports clubs struggle to attract the players who have other, more pressing, commitments. So how do we help to solve the problem? With the new B4 website, we are aiming to link Oxfordshire businesses. A charity is a business, an arts

some circumstances, web exposure on our sister site, www.inoxford.com, and in our sister publication, In Oxford Magazine. The profile for the sponsor will be in the form of banner advertising on the partner’s B4 web page, but we are already being offered additional benefits, such as ten complimentary theatre tickets every season by Pegasus Theatre. Gill Jaggers, Head of Marketing at Pegasus Theatre, is delighted with the scheme. “B4 Magazine has come up with a great idea - excellent coverage with the opportunity for a good local company to profile

to meeting our new sponsor and working with them in the future. We will certainly be adding value to the relationship with tickets for shows and no doubt we will be able to build on the relationship in the future.” We already have partners waiting for sponsors, such as Pegasus and Creation, and potential sponsors will be proposed to the partners for approval. Due to the nature of existing sponsorships and other relationships, it is not always a straightforward matching process, as the relationship has to be a comfortable one from the

“Businesses already enjoy successful alliances with theatres, museums and charities, and the reciprocal benefits are clear”

organisation is a business, and a sports club represents business men and women from a wide range of businesses. Businesses already enjoy successful alliances with theatres, museums and charities, and the reciprocal benefits are clear. However, through the new B4 website, we are offering businesses the opportunity to align themselves with a charity, arts organisation or sports club (hereafter ‘the partner’ which has agreed to participate in this scheme, or an organisation which a business might recommend to us), just by becoming a B4 website member (there is no additional charge to become the partner’s sponsor). In turn, the partner will receive a complimentary B4 web membership, and, in

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themselves alongside our events. We look forward to meeting sponsors and working with them in the future in a mutually benefical partnership. We will certainly be adding value to the relationship through tickets for shows and would be happy to discuss other initiatives.” Creation Theatre enjoys an excellent reputation in Oxfordshire, and Marketing and Sales Manager, Cheryl Pearce, jumped at the opportunity to be associated with the scheme. “When we first heard about the concept, it took very little to persuade us to get involved. Opportunities such as these don’t present themselves to us on a daily basis, and the chance to promote what we do to a fantastic local audience was too good to be true. We look forward

outset for both parties – there has to be a ‘fit’. However, once a fit has been established, the relationship through B4 will hopefully just be the start of a long term association which will be of mutual benefit. With both parties able to promote their relationship through B4 as members, we are optimistic that this will be viewed upon as an ideal way for businesses and the huge number of excellent local charities, arts organisations and sports clubs to secure much needed profile. Organisations interested in sponsoring or being sponsored should contact us at B4 on 01865 742211.

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B4 MARKETING

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The new B4 website aims to be much more than just a business directory. By placing faces with names, we are bringing Oxfordshire’s business community to life through the Ambassador pages, leading businessmen and women across a wide range of Oxfordshire businesses. However, the world of online video opens up a whole new world. It has been widely reported that 80% of content we absorb from the web in two year’s time will be through video footage. The surge in popularity of You Tube, the scarcity of time on our hands and our increasing impatience and thirst for information NOW can easily convince us that this isn’t wild speculation. Video is more engaging, it is easier to absorb and, as they, say, ‘ a picture paints a thousand words’. The new B4 site shows a series of videos which have been shot either on location or in the studio of B4 Partners, Studio 8 in Kidlington. Fronted by B4 presenter, Reya El-Salahi, we began our shoots on a snowy day at Blenheim Palace, and an interview with Palace Chief Executive, John Hoy. We then moved on to Oxford Castle, to interview Estate Manager Jean-Pierre Morilleau, and then back to London Oxford Airport, to interview Marketing Manager, James Dillon-Godfray. This was followed by an intensive day in the studio where 12 further videos were shot. This is only the start, and with plans afoot to video seminars, conferences and other events, B4Tv will be the platform to promote your business to a global audience, within hours of the event, explains Studio 8’s Clark Wiseman. “The possibilities and reach which video can offer is mind-boggling. Within days of John Hoy’s video going live, not forgetting it was only accessible through You Tube and not the B4 site which hadn’t then been re-launched, over two hundred people had seen John’s video.” We are all having to be more accountable for everything we do, and stats like this show that B4Tv is on the right lines to help businesses make the right decision and seek to raise their profile through an effective, reliable and local platform, albeit with the support of a world wide phenomenon in You Tube. To find out how easy it is to get your company in the spotlight, call us on 01865 742211. Whether it’s a studio shoot, site visit or seminar, we can help put together a package to suit you.

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

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NOT YOUR AVERAGE CARE HOME

Humanitarian Terry Waite CBE has opened a state-of-the-art care home at Richmond Letcombe Regis, a new £60 million retirement village near Wantage, Oxfordshire.

The retirement village, built and operated by Richmond Villages, part of the Barchester Healthcare Group, is the only development of its type in Oxfordshire; it offers a variety of homes and excellent levels of care, services and facilities for the over 55s. The care home is located at the heart of the village and has 51 care bedrooms for those requiring 24-hour nursing and dementia care. These large, beautifully decorated furnished rooms go well beyond what many expect a care bedroom to look like, with exceptional features including a fully profiling bed and an easily accessible en suite with a wet room shower facility. The care home will provide long and short-stay care, rehabilitation, post-operative and palliative care as well as specialist dementia care within a dedicated Memory Lane community. Each resident will have a named carer who will oversee their personal needs and will encourage participation in daily activities within the village wherever suitable. Terry Waite says: “Richmond Letcombe Regis is an impressive retirement village that provides quality of life and high standards of care for those who need it. I’m pleased residents in the care home will be valued and considered part of the wider village

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community here. The Memory Lane community is a superb concept, with this promoting self-esteem and dignity for those with a dementia, whether this is Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, while also offering support for their families. I believe life should be cherished, whatever your age or state of health, and am very encouraged to see that Richmond Villages holds true to this philosophy.” Richmond Villages’ Memory Lane communities provide skilled coordinators who work alongside care teams to create lively and involving programmes including baking, gardening, gentle exercise and outings. Additional resources include memory boxes, an enclosed sensory garden, low risk walkways, rummage boxes and lifestyle skills areas. Paddy Brice, managing director of Richmond Villages, says: “We are very proud of our care home at Richmond Letcombe Regis, where we will be encouraging both a sense of community and personal independence. Our Memory Lane community within this will provide a homely environment with specialist care, where someone with a dementia can live with their dementia, not just exist with it.”

are 34 independent living apartments, for those who can live independently, but who like the idea of being in a safe and sociable community where care and assistance is available if needed, and 23 assisted living apartments for those who still want their own front door but who require some help with day-to-day living. Facilities available to all residents include a wellness spa with a swimming pool, gym, health and beauty treatment rooms and a hair salon. Other facilities include a restaurant, IT and crafts room, library and a bowling green. Guest suites are available for visiting relatives. The convenient location of this retirement village near Wantage, just ten miles north of junction 14 on the M4, makes it easily accessible for those living near Newbury, Oxford, Reading, Swindon and West London. Care bedrooms are priced from £850 per week. Independent living apartments are from £295,000 (with one bedroom), assisted living apartments are from £240,000 (with one bedroom). Telephone 01235 773970 or visit www.richmond-villages.com

Also currently available within the retirement village

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B4 PROPERTY

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FACILITIES            

A wide range of function rooms to suit any event type. Outstanding catering in the traditional dining hall or classically designed new dining room. Flexible and affordable accommodation in 300 delegate rooms (185 of which are en-suite) A tranquil setting in beautiful gardens extending to the river and bordering the University Parks. On site car parking. Excellent IT, AV and conference support facilities. A range of leisure facilities, including punts, tennis courts, and gym. A secure site with 24 hour access via an electronic key system. Disabled access and accommodation. Laundry, ATM, snack and change machines. Easy access (only 15 minutes walk) to the city centre. A College with a unique place in the history of the University of Oxford with elegant, classical and neo classical buildings

For further information contact: t: (01865) 611079 or e: conferences@lmh.ox.ac.uk


B4 PROPERTY

PARK LIFE Oxfordshire is blessed with a wide range of state of the art business parks offering new and established businesses excellent facilities, good communication links and, above all, expert management. Business parks represent a huge percentage of our working population in Oxfordshire and there are some excellent businesses many of us have never

heard of. We look forward to profiling these in future editions. If you would like to promote your business park, or you are a tenant on a business park and would like to raise your profile, talk to us about featuring in this section which we are looking to expand in future editions of B4 Magazine.

Award winning office premises in an idyllic rural setting Lockinge Estate near Wantage has over the past 30 years been sympathetically converting original Victorian buildings to create a range of high quality, award winning character office accommodation within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to meet changing business demands. The Estate prides itself on offering modern facilities with flexible arrangements in a sustainable location with a range of local services and convenient access to major road and rail networks. For further information on available office premises please contact Lockinge Estate Office on 01235 833200 or abowler@lockinge-estate.co.uk. www.lockinge-estate.co.uk

Grove Business Centre It is a simple formula of keeping costs down by cutting out long winded bureaucratic formalities and avoiding the heavy legal costs associated with leases. An 'easy in - easy out' licence gives our tenants maximum flexibility. There is no limit to how long you can remain at the Centre, but should you wish to leave, we only require one month's notice. Key features: • rates from £54 per week (+VAT) • inclusive of rent, rates, heating, lighting and electric • Minimum start-up costs • No capital outlay • One monthly invoice • Fully furnished offices available at economical rates • Reception facilitles during office hours • Self operated photocopying at low cost • Ample free parking. For more information call 01235 772992. www.grovetechpark.com

Culham Science Centre Culham Science Centre is one of the UK’s most prestigious research centres, with a strong focus upon cutting-edge science and technology. Scientists and engineers working on the largest fusion experimental facility in the world, JET (Joint European Torus), rub shoulders with the Centre’s commercial businesses some involved in smaller, but no less significant, research and development into other energy solutions. From solar power to lithium batteries; space transport propulsion systems to electro magnetic power, Culham encourages innovation of all kinds. The eighty hectare site situated in beautiful rural Oxfordshire, offers a pleasant working environment with excellent catering and conferencing facilities. There is something on offer for everyone at Culham, whether you are a large organisation or a small one, our community is growing with the brightest of futures. Tel: 01235 466491. www.culham.org.uk

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7–11 July 2010

will YOUNG

Bryn TERFEL NIGEL

Kennedy SYMPHONIC

queen ronan KEATING

AND SO MUCH MORE...

Box Office: 01491 843404

www.henley-festival.co.uk


B4 SPOTLIGHT

WILA With operations based in Iserlohn, Germany and Wantage in the UK, WILA, is a leading specialist for quality lighting enhancing the visual environment through high performance, energy efficient and sustainable products. WILA are the company of choice for many designers of offices and public buildings worldwide.

In the past few years, in spite of the difficult economic conditions, WILA has continued to grow and expand, not only increasing turnover and employee numbers, but also geographic coverage. Today WILA has over one hundred and thirty staff engaged in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of technical lighting products, selling its lighting services to over forty countries around the world, from Australia to Russia and from the

above). WILA sees this opportunity as significant in terms of new product development and also in terms of refurbishment and upgrading of existing lighting installations.

practice, and are kept up-to-date with technological developments. This is vital to ensure that everyone understands the significance of lighting and the role that lighting can play in all types of buildings.

“The opportunity to lower both energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions is one that should not be missed, especially as it is also an opportunity to improve the overall benefits provided by better lighting, higher productivity, more positive surroundings, reduced absenteeism,

“WILA is a major brand in the lighting industry and we believe that we have an important part to play through innovation and a commitment to sustainable lighting. We continue to develop, train and encourage all of our teams across the UK and Germany and utilise the IIP framework to achieve

“good lighting is vital, and we are recognising the increasingly important emphasis placed on lighting and how it can bring the best out of staff” Middle East to the USA. WILA products can be seen in many prestigious locations. Among the many interesting and challenging projects are work at Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport, a further phase at Hamburg Airport and an extension to Dubai Airport. WILA have also supplied products to the Qatar Museum, the Caja Magica Tennis Stadium in Madrid, Google’s Offices in Munich and Astra Zeneca’s Offices in Manchester. In the past three years, WILA has seen an average growth of some 20% year on year, and CEO Mike Collett sees this as an indication that lighting in general has an important part to play in modern building design. “From an occupant’s perspective, good lighting is vital, and we are recognising the increasingly important emphasis placed on lighting and how it can bring the best out of staff. “The lighting industry is an exciting place to be right now, as we enter a phase of highly disruptive technological development with the introduction of new LED based lighting (such as Exilum pictured

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and many other indirect employee benefits. “WILA has adopted many initiatives to ensure that not only do our products perform well but that they do so in an efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable manner; we take our own responsibility in this area very seriously. Our businesses in the UK are carbon neutral, through the carbon footprint offset program, we use energy at our factory in Germany supplied from sustainable and renewable sources, our products comply with EuP (Energy using Products) and other environmental legislation such as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), and we are registered to EN ISO 14001, the environmental management system.” Director Claire Styles explains how WILA ensures its network of contacts is kept up to date with the latest developments in the lighting industry. “We run many seminars and educational activities to ensure that the designers, consulting engineers, architects and interior designers that we work with have the latest information on good lighting

this. In May 2010, Mike will take up an additional role as President of the Lighting Industry Federation (LIF); the UK’s main representative organisation for lighting, the LIF represents the lighting industry at government level and is involved in developing European standards for lighting. “Our UK Group Technical Director, Peter Le Manquais, is active in many technical boards, such as the Lighting Industry Federations and the LED Applications Group, which is looking at setting standards for new LED products and defining how best these new products can be used to enhance buildings with minimal environmental impact. “WILA is at both the forefront of new technology and has the opportunity to influence new thinking. WILA is innovative and believes in a sustainable approach to everything it does, and our products deliver the right performance in an efficient and effective way.” www.wila.com

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B4 ACCOMMODATION

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OUR ETHOS

Ethos Hotel Oxford promises guests the perfect balance between home and hotel; a place where the warmth and comfort of home meets the luxury and style of a boutique hotel. Reya El-Salahi reports for B4. Located just a short walk from the City Centre, in a quiet residential area off Abingdon Road, the hotel is smart, spotless and uber stylish. Decorative touches including the huge lime-green feather wall hanging in the reception area and the pair of golden ornate chairs on the first floor landing demonstrate just why Ethos is best described as a boutique hotel. Spread across three floors, the hotel lay-out more closely resembles a house than a hotel, and with 12 en-suite rooms including well-equipped kitchenettes, generous wardrobe space and super-king size beds, Ethos definitely feels more home than hotel. Ethos co-owner, Simon Walshaw, explains that this is central to the concept behind the hotel, “We want guests to view the hotel as their very own mini house, just with someone looking after you, bringing you breakfast each morning and clearing up after you every day”. Just the sort of home we could all get used to! Having missed Valentines Day due to work commitments, my partner and I decided to celebrate mid-week instead with a hotel break in Oxford. Upon arriving, the friendly front-of-house hostess at Ethos led us to our spacious room on the first floor. Not only did our bright room come with one of the largest, most comfortable beds I have ever had the pleasure of sleeping in, but free phone calls, Wi-Fi, Sky channels and breakfast were all included as standard. When most hotels charge

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through the nose for these sorts of add-ons, Ethos’ inclusivity came as a unique and welcome surprise. Our room was bright, airy and full of character. From the hand-made cream head-board (which Simon designed himself) to the beautiful embroidered green bed spread, attention to detail is clearly an important feature of Ethos. Having played such a personal role in designing the hotel, Simon revealed he relied heavily on the five senses to ensure his ideas resulted in a good night’s sleep remaining a top priority. And with super soft bed linen, under-floor heating, well insulated walls and light blocking curtains, our stay left us feeling thoroughly relaxed and rejuvenated. As well as a great nights sleep, Ethos Hotel offers all the best bits of a hotel alongside the independence of rented accommodation. The rooms resemble studio flats with everything included from a microwave to cutlery, which enable guests to treat their stay as a home from home. “I want our guests to feel they never have to leave their rooms… unless they want to of course” David Beaumont Ethos co-owner explains. Some rooms are even accessible independently of the hotel reception with easy access for disabled guests and key-less entry technology. With guests including a mixed bunch of families, tourists, students and business people, the focus on independence is key to ensuring Ethos receives high levels of repeat traffic. Money being tight for many, and with Oxford

renowned for its ‘London prices’, a hotel which actively encourages guests to spend less is understandably popular. ‘Do Good – Feel Good’, is Ethos’ mission statement, and you can feel great knowing that all the homely comfort is balanced with a collection of eco-conscious features literally built into the hotel, enabling sustainability to remain key. Eco-friendly features include black-out curtains, opening windows, fair-trade natural products, green tariff sustainable energy, reclaimed building materials, a thorough recycling programme, grey-water well and pump, Tri-Iso insulation (providing minimal outside sound yet maximum heat transference) and energy efficient lighting, appliances and Pilkington Eclipse Advantage™ windows (for solar control and low emissivity). Since opening back in August 2008 Simon cheerfully admits that occupancy has steadily increased month per month, which he puts largely down to a result of word of mouth. With the City centre and all its amenities in walking distance, free night parking and a unique level of homely comfort and independence, it’s clear to see why Ethos Hotel has grown from strength to strength as a great base for anyone planning a visit to Oxford. www.ethoshotels.co.uk

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REAL CHINA

The first Real China opened in 2005, and since then, nine more restaurants have been opened by Charnjit Singh Grewal and his family. On Friday 16th April, The Real China opened its eleventh restaurant at Oxford Castle, and Richard Rosser caught up with the family to find out more about the UK’s largest buffet style Chinese chain.

The irony of The Real China is that Charnjit Singh, a Punjabi Sikh, acquired his first Chinese restaurant from a Chinese businessman, who in turn acquired his Indian Restaurant. Having honed his skills in the restaurant business with ventures into pizza as well as Chinese restaurants, Charnjit saw a niche in the market. As the champagne corks popped in the background of the Oxford restaurant prior to the official cutting of the ribbon, Charnjit explained how the business had developed over a relatively short period of time. “I could see the potential in the business from day 88

one. I was genuinely intrigued at the popularity of the ‘all you can eat’ concept and felt it was a concept we could develop and refine as a family, and make successful. What appealed to me was the fact that the diner can take control. There is no waiting for a waitress to take your order, you can literally walk through the door of any of our restaurants, pick up a bowl and away you go.

The food is of an exceptionally high standard, as Charnjit’s daughter, Kuldeep, explains. “Ever since my brother and I were fourteen, we have helped mum and dad with the business, and delivering a quality product has always been our priority. That’s what brings your customers back, and that is a philosophy we have always maintained and stuck to.”

“Of course we have staff on hand to take drinks orders – we have to draw the line at helping yourself somewhere! – but the real engine room is the kitchen where we have a large team of chefs preparing the food.”

Kuldeep’s brother, Sundip, is kept busy running the day to day business in addition to the family printing business. He stresses to me that each and every one of the restaurants in the group abides by not only the same high quality food principles, but www.b4-business.com


B4 R&R the standard of the interior is just as important. “We make sure that the food is always of a high standard, but we want to make the whole Real China experience is a pleasurable one, and that means ensuring the restaurant is attractive, comfortable and inviting. We take great care with the interiors of all Real China restaurants. We don’t follow a format, but prefer to allow the individuality of each restaurant shine through. For example, our Cheltenham restaurant is based in a new retail site and is purpose built with high

complete with pancakes, cucumber, spring onions and obligatory hoisin sauce, or tuck into spare ribs in capital sauce, spring rolls, curry triangles or stir fried wild mushrooms. Kuldeep recommends the chicken in chilli sauce (szechuan style), the chicken curry, Singapore rice noodles, sweet and sour pork, mixed vegetables ‘Fu Yong’, broccoli and cauliflower, not forgetting the green beans in garlic. With talented chefs always looking to create new dishes, the food is prepared fresh on site every day,

“ I was genuinely intrigued at the popularity of the ‘all you can eat’ concept and felt it was a concept we could develop and refine”

Keeping a tight grip on the finances, Gursharan Kaur Grewal is tasked with keeping the rest of the family in check. “We work well as a team and share the same goals, so there are no loose cannons. Everyone knows their job, and I don’t think we would have got to eleven restaurants if we didn’t know what we were doing. We are aiming to open three more this year alone, so they are keeping me busy!”

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and, as we spoke, a seemingly never ending stream of piping hot food comes out of the kitchen to fill the gleaming silver buffet station which forms an attractive centrepiece in the restaurant.

The family chose Oxford simply because the city centre presence proved too tempting to turn down, according to Kuldeep. “I have been based here for

For businesses, the hidden gem at The Real China is the banquet hall downstairs seating sixty, perfect for a celebration or Christmas Party. Your host will bring a selection of starters and mains for everyone to tuck in to, all in the privacy of your own restaurant within a restaurant. Karaoke can be arranged to complete your event, as Kuldeep comments. “We really want to emphasise the corporate side of the business which is really popular in our other restaurants. Being so central, we know our product will attract businesses, and the banquet hall downstairs, which is free to hire,

seven years, but there was never any burning desire to come to Oxford because of that. We had been looking for a new restaurant for a while, and the opportunity at the Castle came up and it ticked all the right boxes. It’s just a coincidence that I am here, but I know the area well and strongly believe this will be as successful as our other ten restaurants.”

provides an excellent self contained venue for your private event. “We also offer outside catering. Depending on the size of event, we will send our chefs and equipment and cook on site. Being a family business, we are flexible, and Sundip or myself will be your main point of contact to ensure whatever you need, we will do our best to provide it.”

A new departure for The Real China Oxford is the serving of sushi, which has proved very popular. A magnificent range of speciality dishes as well as authentic favourites should ensure there is something for everyone. Try crispy aromatic duck,

For more details about party or corporate bookings, or simply to reserve your table, call the restaurant on 01865 721888. www.therealchina.co.uk 89

Photography: www.lyonphotography.co.uk

ceilings, chrome fittings and a large glass frontage. Here in Oxford, we have the original Castle stone playing a major part in the interior, and the restaurant revolves around that.”


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news ORH Charitable Funds is the charity that supports Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, made up of the John Radcliffe, Children’s, Horton General and Churchill hospitals, as well as the Oxford Heart and Cancer Centres. much to the support of Nexus Leisure and GO Active, who put on events across the region; from cycling in the reception of the JR (pictured) to “swimming the Channel” in Didcot. The Oxford Mail and Times have once again shown their commitment to the Children’s Hospital with April’s Oxford Mail OX5RUN, which will be featured in the next B4 magazine. Thanks to them and all the local companies who took part in the event, as well as Allen Associates for their continued support of the annual five mile run. Darby’s solicitors are also continuing their support of ORH Charitable Funds through their Oxford Business Conference at Kassam Stadium on September 30th. There’ll be a range of high profile speakers and also workshops looking at business issues in this region. See the next B4 and our website for more details coming soon. Thanks of course must also go to B4 magazine for giving us these invaluable pages.

Cardiac Matrons Ruth Titchener and Teresa Wilson – pictured with Director of Nursing and Clinical Leadership, Elaine Strachan- Hall raising money for the Oxford Heart Centre

As Spring and summer finally approach, we have been inspired to create new ways of thanking supporters to make sure they know how much their gifts are appreciated and introduce new projects and campaigns. A video that features patients and staff talking about how fundraising has made a difference to them can now be viewed at www.orhcharitablefunds.nhs.uk. We also have a video and regular updates about the monumental painting being installed in the Community Atrium that joins the West Wing and Children’s Hospital, which will transform a rather drab wall into a fantastically colourful creation. This is thanks to the enthusiasm and fundraising efforts of of hospital supporter Felicity Waley-Cohen and world renowned artist Michael Craig-Martin. So do look at our website to find out all the latest news or why not go one step further and visit the atrium to see this wonderful example of public art which is bringing colour into the lives of our many young patients?

An easy way for any business to support Charitable Funds is to take a table at our up-coming black-tie dinner and auction on Saturday June 26. The event is being held at the historic Christ Church College, Oxford, and will be raising money for causes across all our hospitals - including the Cancer Care Fund; the Oxford Transplant Centre; the Oxford Heart Centre; the Newborn Care Unit; and the Hospital Innovation and Enhancement Fund. For more information about this event please contact: Anu Basra on 01865 743447 or anu.basra@orh.nhs.uk. If you would prefer a more active way of getting involved, how about joining our Heart Centre abseil on Sunday May 23? Getting a team of colleagues together to take part in the 100 foot drop from the Women’s Centre is surely the best team bonding exercise out there – and at only £10 a head it’s great value too. Call 01865 743444 to find our more.

Getting the message out there about helping your local NHS hospital is vital and we have been delighted by how many schools in Oxfordshire have supported us recently. Sorcha Maynard and her friend Sophie Kitchen (pictured), both 12 year-old pupils at the Dragon School in Oxford, showed off their entrepreneurial skills by transforming £2 into £500 through a school business challenge recently. The girls made homemade fudge and sold eggs from their own chickens - and all the money raised by pupils was donated to the Oxford Cancer Centre and the Surgical Oesophageal Fund. Our new ORHeros programme is just being launched and we’d love to hear from any schools or school children who might be interested in getting involved. Call Marianne on 01865 231523 for details. Like schools, local businesses are essential partners for us. The success of February’s ‘Put Your Heart Into It’ fundraiser for the Oxford Heart Centre owed

Sorcha Maynard and Sophie Kitchen are pictured with consultant surgeon Nick Maynard and Daniel Gill of the Dragon School

Our team is always eager to hear from anyone who has fundraising ideas and we work hard to make sure that businesses that support us find the experience positive and enjoyable. So do get in touch: www.orhcharitablefunds.nhs.uk; 01865 743444; campaign@orh.nhs.uk

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B4 R&R

FIRE & STONE

Fire & Stone is the new George Street restaurant serving deliciously different stone-baked pizzas, salads and, as of May, a new range of pasta dishes. The stylish décor and the positive reports we had heard about the restaurant meant that B4 were excited to be invited to experience the delights of Fire & Stone.

Walking into the restaurant, diners have a choice of dining on the ground floor, with views onto George Street, or take the large spiral staircase circling the oven, offering views of the pizzas cooking in the open planned kitchen, to the basement level. The stylish and modern restaurant is fitted with reclaimed timber and bright uses of colour, integrated throughout with orange backed booths and a central bonquet seating arrangement in the colours of the logo. With a capacity of 217 set over two floors, plus a modern bar area for informal drinks, Fire & Stone is perfect for private dining events on the lower level or exclusive hire throughout the whole venue. Fire and Stone has superbly managed to mould itself into a great corporate venue, whilst at the same time appealing to families and couples. Ideal for the office Christmas Party, networking events or other work celebrations, please contact the management on site to arrange a viewing to discuss what Fire & Stone can do to assist with your event. With a central location within walking distance of Gloucester Green Car Park, it really is a

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fantastic venue for private corporate events. The restaurant offers an exciting, contemporary menu with not only a large range of deliciously different pizzas, but also some tasty salads, starters and desserts. Plus (and you heard it here first) they are also planning on launching a new pasta range in May. The team of dedicated restaurant chefs make everything from scratch, with the finest fresh ingredients, making sure that you always have a first rate experience each and every time you visit. Choose from the ‘Sydney’, a crisp, oven-roasted smoked bacon pizza with free range egg, shaved smoked ham, mozzarella, Fire & Stone’s tomato sauce, basil and chives, or a ‘San Margherita’, Fire & Stone’s signature pizza, with tomato sauce, sliced vine-ripened tomato, grated mozzarella and freshly picked basil. If you want to venture further afield, why not go to South Africa for the ‘Capetown’, comprising sliced Italian pepperoni, ground spicy beef, mozzarella, Fire & Stone’s tomato sauce and green chilli, topped with fresh basil and oregano. The ‘Bombay’ stands out as an unusual concept. A roast tandoori

marinated chicken breast with spiced tandoori yogurt base, combined with broccoli, sliced red onion, mozzarella, spiced mango chutney and cucumber with mint yoghurt. Customers will be fascinated by the spaceship type oven which forms a dominating centrepiece to the whole restaurant, enabling diners to actually see the chef busy making their pizzas. The pizza dough is made on site every day in the restaurant’s kitchens to provide the crispiest pizza base possible. The bases are ample enough to support the substantial toppings. All produce at Fire & Stone is sourced from local and specialist suppliers ensuring that all ingredients are authentic, fresh and, just as important, are low on ‘food miles’. You will be genuinely impressed by the whole package at Fire & Stone and with a wide range of pizzas and other treats on the menu, make Fire & Stone a must on your next outing in Oxford, or pop in to discuss options for your next corporate event. For reservations, please call 0844 371 2550 or email reception@cgrestaurants.com, or visit www.fireandstone.com.

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NORTH OXFORD GOLF CLUB We last spoke to North Oxford Golf Club’s Manager, Bob Harris, at the back end of 2008. On the verge of redeveloping the Club House, but faced with revenue and potential membership shortages, it was certainly going to be a very testing sixteen months for the Club. So how have Bob and the Club performed in that trying period, and what of the future? Bob Harris talks to B4’s Richard Rosser. There are very few spaces in the car park as I pull in to North Oxford, just a short drive from Oxford City Centre on the way out to Kidlington and the A34. Although not the most proficient with a club in my hand, I certainly envied those preparing from the boots of their cars to stretch their legs across one of Oxfordshire’s favourite golf courses. Bob Harris is a man in demand this morning. I wait my turn behind two lady members who are keen to have a word. The ladies exit, giggling like schoolgirls, as Bob has obviously worked his charm once again. But this is symptomatic of the scenario facing Bob on a daily basis. He has to listen to his members as they are his bread and butter, but he has to do what he can to attract new members, whilst striving not to upset the existing membership. It’s the conundrum many businesses face – how do you attract new customers with a too good to be true offer without upsetting your existing loyal customers? It’s a challenge Bob Harris is more than up for, as he explains. “When we last met, we knew we had to start to appeal to the next generation, and that is becoming clearer as every year goes by. Our ‘headline packages’, if you like, for the younger generation, are one third off the price of a normal membership for 26 to 29 year olds and two thirds for 21 to 25 year olds. This is our marker to attract the younger generations, and it is working. Our net loss of members in 2009 was just 20, which, considering the economic landscape in 2009, isn’t such a disaster. “The Club House has also been completed, and this has given the whole Club a new lease of life. It has enhanced the community aspect of the Club, not that it was waning before. We have enjoyed a marked increase in functions and the time spent by members at the Club socialising,

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and that’s good for everyone.” Another barrier facing Bob in his recruitment drive is the stigma attached to golf clubs generally. “There is still that fear that you’re treading on egg shells when you go into a golf club, and that’s wrong. Golf is a sport, it is somewhere you can switch off and relax. I guarantee there will be members at golf clubs up and down the country who play in fear that they will make a mistake, that the club captain will be storming over the fairways to give them a ticking off. That’s not what golf is about and I would be crestfallen if that member was at my golf club. We do what we possibly can to make everyone welcome, and to ensure that North Oxford can attract new members, tomorrow’s golfing generation.” The midweek or weekend roll-ups are a great way for new members to integrate with the existing community at North Oxford. “No matter the member’s golfing prowess, they are welcome to our roll-ups which are incredibly successful.” The focus now, however, is on making sure more and more people know about North Oxford, and Bob is going to great lengths to make sure people know the course is there. “It never surprises me to hear locals didn’t realise there was a first class course on their doorstep. We have a huge catchment area locally, but to some potential members, it’s not obvious we are here. Trees were wonderful when things were buoyant. They provided sound proofing and a secure perimeter, but now we have got a much tougher market place, we need contractors, societies, individuals, golfers and non-golfers to know that there is a golf club here. We have therefore opened up the firs so there is a vista across to the Park and Ride. Passers by and those sat at the traffic lights can now see a window onto the course.”

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“There is still that fear that you’re treading on egg shells when you go into a golf club, and that’s wrong”


B4 R&R Bob has also secured reciprocal sponsorship deals with Esporta and The Holiday Inn, and is obviously working overtime to come up with new ways of attracting members. In terms of demonstrating their support for the Club, the existing members adequately displayed where their loyalties lie during a recent bond issue. “It was oversubscribed and we could have raised more, but we hit our target of £100,000 and this has enabled us to offer members credit terms ourselves without having to use an outside credit house. I am really proud of our members that they think so much of the Club to support us in this manner, and I think it bodes well for the future.” Bob is now praying for a blistering summer and an Englishman to win a major. “That would be a massive boost for golf generally in Great Britain. With Westwood, Poulter and Casey there or thereabouts, it looks as though we have a good chance of success and that would have massive implications for every course in the country.” Ever the realist, Bob knows that an Englishman with a green jacket on isn’t going to solve all of the problems. “We all need a lift from time to time, and I see the struggles that a lot of my members have on a daily basis. They love their golf but if there’s no work, golf memberships go out of the window. It doesn’t matter if

“ I am really proud of our members that they think so much of the club to support us in this manner” Englishmen sweep the boards this summer, if my members haven’t got work, they can’t pay the bills. We are doing everything we possibly can to make it easier for them, such as offering a payment structure over the course of the year and reducing memberships for the younger age groups. It will continue to be hard, but nobody said it would be easy, and that’s the challenge we face. As long as we all do our best, keep smiling and keep the members happy, we have done our job.

“I don’t care if my members have tattoos or earrings, and we have them – they are as good as gold. We have some great packages, it’s great fun and I urge anyone reading this who wants to come and have a look at what we have to offer, to pick up the phone and come and have a chat. We don’t offer tee time slots, just turn up and play. It couldn’t be easier.” www.nogc.co.uk www.b4-business.com

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Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

“I really feel confident that we have got the Club in a good shape. We have invested, refurbished and changed a lot of our working practises for the better. We are reaping the rewards and we are running a pretty steady ship. We like to think we are open to all, but when potential golfers and members read about golf clubs subjecting their members to twenty man committees and taking blood tests from applicants, it doesn’t do the likes of North Oxford any favours at all.


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news Improving safety and security in .uk being involved in phishing (attempting to gain access to sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details by pretending to be a trustworthy body). Several registrars used the lock and in doing so closed down many sites involved in phishing activity. In January 2010 we extended the lock to cover illegal activity more generally. Registrars are not obliged to lock down domains, however, if a registrar is satisfied that a domain name is being used illegally or a registrar is concerned that they are hosting illegal content the lock is an option they can consider.

Nominet’s vision is of a world where the Internet is a trusted space, which everyone can be part of and has a positive impact on people’s lives. Working towards this vision over the past year, we have looked at what we can do to improve the experience of people and businesses using .uk by investing in development of our systems in the area of safety and security.

management. DNSSEC prevents the interception and tampering with DNS queries between nameservers, which, in turn, prevents the faking of websites, and ultimately makes the Internet safer.

DNSSEC As part of the global effort to improve the security of the Domain Name System (DNS), amongst other registries we are implementing DNSSEC (secure extensions for DNS) in the zones under our

Phishing Lock Last year we launched the Phishing Lock to enable registrars (the companies that register domains on behalf of consumers and businesses) to quickly lock down domain names that are suspected of

The first phase of this programme is to add DNSSEC information to the top-level .uk domain which we successfully implemented on 1 March 2010.

Phishing Feed We have also introduced a Phishing Feed. The Phishing Feed takes a live feed from an industry leading online security monitoring organisation and disseminates it to registrars. As a result if a domain name registered on a registrar’s account is flagged up as being involved in phishing they will receive immediate notification. The registrar can then apply the investigation lock to disable the domain name. As with any new functionality we will keep a close eye on how these new services are used and monitor take up. Ultimately we are committed to finding ways to make .uk a safer and more secure environment. Obviously no one single change will achieve this but all of these initiatives will definitely help.

UK Internet industry takes .uk forward At an Extraordinary General Meeting in February, Nominet's members voted overwhelmingly in support of a set of changes to our constitution. The amended constitution encapsulates Nominet's public purpose, ensuring that the business takes all stakeholders' views into account when developing policy and making business decisions. This will ensure that: • Nominet conducts its business for the public benefit • Nominet has a well balanced board that is able to make good business decisions for the public purpose • The Nominet board has the ability to set prices for registrations and renewals • Nominet will work with its members to find a way for other stakeholders to have a voice in business

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decisions and policy development. The proposals were developed following an independent governance review in 2009 and two consultations which we held to gain feedback from Nominet members and the wider UK Internet community. The vote was also cast against the backdrop of the Government's Digital Economy Bill, which includes reserve powers to regulate the UK domain name industry. In advance of the EGM, the Government made it clear that if members voted in favour of the proposals then there would be no need for Government intervention. We believe that our members have now proven their commitment to considering the needs of all stakeholders by reaffirming our public purpose, and ensuring that we are governed according to best practice standards. We hope that by implementing

in full the changes that respond to the Government's concerns, the reserve powers will not be necessary. This vote is a defining moment for the UK domain market, the UK Internet landscape and Nominet. Our members have demonstrated that, together, we are committed to a self regulated .uk domain space that takes into account the views of all stakeholders. We would like to thank all the members who have voted. Turnout was over 38%, representing more than 72% of the possible votes that could be cast. This is more than double the turnout for any recent Nominet votes. We remain proud of the reputation of .uk and of the UK domain name industry that has helped make .uk a leading force in the global Internet.

www.nominet.org.uk

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INTOUCH


news New networks, extra events as OTCN grows The Oxfordshire Town Chambers Network continues its rapid growth with two new member groups linking up to take the total to 26 (and counting!). One is a new group aiming to bring together businesses in Shrivenham, the other a Women’s Business Network for Greater Leys and Blackbird Leys in Oxford. There are details of both at www.otcn.co.uk. Meanwhile the Business Headington group is building its membership. Waitrose and In Oxford Group, publishers of B4, are among its new members and took part in a meeting to plan a 2010 programme of events and initiatives for the area (see picture). The events network which sits alongside the member groups and their 1600+ member businesses in OTCN is also growing. ‘#oxtweetup’, which brings together individuals and businesspeople who are linked on the social media site Twitter, ‘Ladies that Lunch…and Men Too’, ‘Chippy Lippys’ and ‘4Networking’ take the number of events networks within OTCN to 15 and a combined database in excess of 3,500. There are details at www.otcn.co.uk/ events_network.htm which also links in our now successfully launched high profile monthly speaker/networking event, OxFocus. Bringing together Business in Headington. Picture by Alison Nicholson/OTCN

A busy channel to business From re-use and recycling to social media and grant funding for rural businesses, the Network is proving to be a valued route to communicate with business across the county.

• Radio stations JACKfm and FM107.9 who worked with us to promote their drive to encourage local businesses to use new digital and social media as part of their marketing mix.

OTCN Ltd, the not-for-profit limited company that is the driving force behind the Network, is working with a number of organisations to promote key events or initiatives to Oxfordshire business. Among those making use of the Network’s communications channels are:

• The Southern Oxfordshire LEADER programme which is urging local farmers, growers, foresters, and food businesses in southern Oxfordshire to bid for a share of a £1.89m fund. There’s more on that at www.southernoxfordshireleader.org.uk (see picture)

• The www.retrader.org.uk website that allows businesses and other organisations to pass on materials they no longer need and get pre-used materials from others.

Organisations which would like to consider ways they can draw on the strength of the Network should contact us via iain@otcn.co.uk

LEADER Leaders, Jane Bowler, Miles Saunders and Anne Gow, three of those to successfully bid for funding so far. Picture by Alison Nicholson/OTCN

Positive stories of county’s economy OTCN and its member groups are in prime position to monitor developments in the county’s economy. A notable milestone for our retail centres was the re-letting of the last of the nine ex-Woolworths premises in the county. In Henley this is part of a remarkable retail turnaround. In the year since the local paper, The Henley Standard, launched its ‘Think Local’ campaign a total of 25 retail businesses started trading. The Oxfordshire Craft Guild, a member organisation of OTCN, had a very successful Exhibition at the Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock. 35 Guild members took part in the six-week exhibition, showcasing a wide variety of quality craftsmanship and achieving overall sales 25% higher than in the previous year. There’s more about the 75-member Guild, which includes

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ceramicists, glass workers, jewellers and silversmiths, textile artists, and workers in wood, papier mache and stone, at www.oxfordshirecraftguild.co.uk Our towns also continue to build a reputation for innovation, the latest being the launch of the world’s first dedicated town iPhone application for Thame (see www.thamenews.net/readmore.asp?Content_ID=5180) …and OTCN Ltd continues to develop its track record in project delivery. Work is underway to create portraits of Oxford Covered Market traders which will be the feature of our Heritage Lottery-funded project there; we’ve announced the three Witney schools to secure prizes in our ‘Bags of Life’ recycling/re-use initiative for the town, and we’re scoping new ideas to promote business in Oxfordshire’s towns through 2010 and beyond.

www.otcn.co.uk

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REAL

CHARACTERS For the past five years, B4’s parent company, the In Oxford Group, has published an annual visitors guide and map in various guises. This year saw a major departure in the way both publications were put together, using the skills and expertise of two very talented, young individuals.

The Best in Oxford started life as A Visitor’s Guide to Oxford, in eight different languages. It was an expensive mistake to make – tourists, it would appear, like to speak and read English! There followed various guises of the guide until The Best in Oxford was first published in 2009. Along with the A2 map of Oxford, over 15,000 copies were sold into Oxford University colleges (for visiting conference delegates and students), University departments, local businesses and retail outlets. This year, we appointed Anna Hobson to edit The Best in Oxford and Jack Noel to draw an attractive ‘character’ map of Oxford. We had previously worked with Jack on the Witney Shopping Map, so it was completely new territory for us. Jack and Anna have proved more than adept at transforming the publications, ensuring sales of the packs should easily outstrip last year’s record total. To find out more about the effort and application which went into the process, we spoke to Jack and Anna about their experience. “The map was not so much drawn as redrawn.” Explained Jack. “I began by tracing out the roads, and then dotting in the buildings that I knew well,

such as the Ashmolean and Carfax Tower, and then just filling in the buildings between them. Each time I went over the illustration, I put in more and more detail. I was originally hoping for at least one helicopter flyover (!), but it's so easy to look at everything from above online that I couldn't quite justify putting it on expenses. It would probably have stood out! “I walked around the centre in the early stages of production, but, if anything, it was actually a little overwhelming. There is such a range of architecture and unique intricacies to every building that you could spend a week drawing each one. It worked much better to start on a general level and then hone and hone until the buildings looked recognisable. “The most enjoyable stage was putting in the people and the little details, that's when it kind of became a little world for me. I felt like James Cameron creating Pandora. “The final finessing was quite collaborative. I had been looking at it all so long that it took fresh eyes to spot all the mistakes I'd made. I was never going for 100% accuracy - I'm not a camera - but with a place like Oxford, every building is important to

someone, especially with all of the historic University buildings. If people recognise the place and can use the map to get around the centre, then I'm pleased. “I created the map completely inside a computer. I used a Cintiq tablet, which is a second screen you can draw on, kind of like a fancy Etch-a-Sketch. The only time I used pen and paper in the process was when signing the prescription for my headache tablets. Most of the time you work zoomed right in, and occasionally I'd look up and realize I'd spent three hours rendering the guttering on a building that was going to print out at 4mm tall, and so I kept making printouts to judge how it was all going to end up. “The map was a great project to work on and I'm really pleased with how it's come out. I also now know Oxford better than ever! (Although only when viewed from above.)” We are now working with Jack in the creation of a brand of maps called In Maps, and, at the time of going to press, we were looking to appoint to start work with a freelance sales representative on a map for Cheltenham.

“the making of The Best in Oxford has been an invaluable, challenging and exciting experience” Anna Hobson

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B4 SPOTLIGHT Anna initially approached us in 2009 to work on reviews for In Oxford Magazine. As we got to know her and her diligent style, we became increasingly confident that she could handle the editor’s role for The Best in Oxford. “When I moved to Oxford in the summer of 2009, I was deeply inspired by the prestigious literary history of the city to develop my writing skills and utilise my English Literature degree. Whilst looking for work, I contacted several publishers and local businesses requesting journalistic and editorial experience. Designs On promptly responded and I began writing reviews for restaurants, shops and art galleries for In Oxford magazine. “Within a few weeks, Richard Rosser asked me to consider taking on the role of editor for the 2010 edition of The Best in Oxford Guide, a glossy pocket sized guide providing a comprehensive introduction to the best the city has to offer. I was keen to accept this opportunity as it would allow to me to gain new skills and learn about the processes involved in the industry. “The initial stages of planning presented a steep learning curve for me, but as I gained confidence, I was able to take on more responsibility and embrace the challenge. Working closely with the team and local clients, we refreshed the design of the guide and, despite the inevitable changes in direction inherent to a creative project, produced a modern and high quality publication in March.

“occasionally I'd look up and realize I'd spent three hours rendering the guttering on a building that was going to print out at 4mm tall!”

“The whole process was enjoyable and although it was hard work at times, I have had a privileged view of Oxford and learnt about the traditions, the history and the literary greats, and I couldn’t be more proud of the finished product. Recently I started working for the Oxford University National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in clinical trial administration, and I would like to pursue this as a career. Publishing hasn’t been completely left behind as I have recently established a local creative writing group and hope to produce a publication within the next few months. “Being an integral part of the making of The Best in Oxford has been an invaluable, challenging and exciting experience and has been the best introduction to this beautiful city that I could have wished for.” With our thanks to Jack and Anna for their hard work and dedication on these projects. For a sample copy of The Best in Oxford and The Oxford Map, or to purchase bulk copies, please call us on 01865 742211 or e-mail richard@inoxford.com.

Jack Noel

www.b4-business.com

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Imagine the scene . . . . . . in this tranquil and picturesque setting. The sun streams through the trees, wildlife stirs, the smell of freshly mown grass and the sound of golfers teeing off. It can only mean one thing . . .

. . . the new 2010 golf season is here!

Join Oxfordshire’s Hidden Gem, a modern golf club with traditional values. On joining Studley Wood, enjoy the challenge of our superb golf course 365 days a year, with indoor & outdoor covered practice facilities. In addition the membership benefits include: • FREE recipricol playing rights on 11 other quality golf courses. • FREE basket of balls on our driving range every day of the year. • Enjoy up to 20% discount in the Golf Shop, Bar & Restaurant. For more information contact ken@studleywoodgolfclub.co.uk The Straight Mile, Horton-cum-Studley, Oxon OX33 1BF.

Tel: 01865 351144 Fax: 01865 351166 www.studleywoodgolfclub.co.uk

Studley Wood . . . for everything golf


B4 would like to thank the following Ambassadors who have generously given their backing to the new B4 Website, now live at www.b4-business.com. The site is an essential networking resource, great for circulating offers to fellow members and crucial for issuing press releases to help you shout about your business. Make sure you are listed by calling us on 01865 742211.

CITY SIGHTSEEING (OXFORD) www.citysightseeingoxford.com

THE CAREER BOUTIQUE www.thecareerboutique.com

David Strainge Transport Manager

OXFORD CASTLE www.oxfordcastle.com

Jean-Pierre Morilleau General Manager

BEGBROKE SCIENCE PARK www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk

Professor Peter Dobson Director

BOURTON MILL www.bourtonmill.net

Gavin Peck Manager

CHRIS LEWIS - FIRE & SECURITY www.chrislewisfs.co.uk

Chris Lewis Managing Director

QUEENS LANE COFFEE HOUSES

Cem Muldur Proprietor

Katherine Dales Managing Director

“The Career Boutique is very proud of its association with B4 - the credible and professional voice of the Oxfordshire business community. B4 provides a valuable platform for networking and really is a catalyst for helping local businesses to grow.” Katherine Dales, The Career Boutique

OXFORD UNITED FC www.oufc.co.uk

SCOTT FRASER www.scottfraser.co.uk

David Blythman Managing Director, Residential Sales

Kelvin Thomas Chairman

TOTAL CREDIT MANAGEMENT www.totalcreditmanagement.co.uk

JORDANS www.jordanandco.co.uk

Adam Sherman Director

Clive Taylor Managing Director

BARCELO OXFORD HOTEL www.barcelo-hotels.co.uk

Cormac O’Hara General Manager

www.b4-business.com

HUNTS www.hunts.co.uk

OXFORD RADCLIFFE PRIVATE HEALTHCARE www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk/privatehealthcare

Alex Barnes Assistant Director Private Patients & Overseas

SCOTT FRASER www.scottfraser.co.uk

Andrew Greenwood Group Managing Director

THE M GROUP www.theMgroup.co.uk

Richard Clayton Partner

THE OXFORD CENTRE www.the-oxford-centre.co.uk

Aimee Joy Commercial Director

STUDIO8 PRO PHOTOGRAPHY www.studio-8.co.uk

Andrew Lund-Yates General Manager

Clark Wiseman Managing Director

BLINK DESIGN & PRINT www.on-the-blink.com

Keith Simpson Senior Designer

DARBYS - CONSULTANT www.darbys.co.uk

Sturge Taylor Consultant

HENMANS LLP www.henmansllp.co.uk

Julia Iball Managing Partner

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news Managing Your Way into the Recovery • Your overdraft – how long is it for, what are the interest rate and charges? • Reduce your customer payment terms to 10 days • Margins - focus on profit not just turnover • Review your energy bills and switch suppliers to save money • Highlight where savings can be made with your suppliers Planning – is your Business Plan fit for purpose? • Focus on what you want to achieve in the next 12 months. • Contact Business Link to arrange a FREE Business Review • The public sector and, increasingly the private sector, demand companies demonstrate commitment to quality, equality, health and safety and the environment, so prepare policies in these areas prior to a bid.

Business confidence is reported to be growing, but there is still a long way to go. Now is the time to ensure your business is ready to come out of recession.

People - economic instability can affect employee morale. Effective management is essential to promote a positive outlook and steer a business through difficult times. • Ask employees for their ideas on cost-cutting in their department • Praise employees for a task well done • Look at how you can develop your staff and increase confidence. Companies that don’t train staff are 2.5 times more likely to fail.

Finance - ensure your cash is flowing

How is our local construction industry? Business Link takes a look Construction is one of the key industries in the South East, accounting for 11% of the business base and 5% of employment. The sector has grown at a faster rate than the economy as a whole over the past 10 years, however the industry has been hit hard by the recession.

be at the forefront of the recovery.

Reliance on customers’ ability to borrow money in order to carry out construction work, and evidence of cash flow difficulties and access to finance issues among SMEs, means that the sector is not likely to

The full survey can be obtained from Business Link along with a new guide called Construction: A Guide to Getting Paid on Time.

Business Link research suggests that growth is more likely to be occurring among small businesses, i.e. those employing between 11 and 49 people, and start-ups, trading for two years or less.

Pinewood Studios benefit from £1000 grant for smarter working The Pinewood Studios Group is one of the first companies to be awarded a grant of £1,000 to help reduce the cost of business travel though a project called Sustainable Routes.

said: “The Sustainable Routes grant is really easy and quick to access. I can’t think why any small business that is active in reducing their travel costs and CO2 emissions wouldn’t apply for the £1,000.”

The grant will help the studios at implement a company wide Travel Plan that encourages more sustainable travel for the tenants, staff and visitors, a reduction in the number of vehicles arriving at each of their three sites every day and an overall reduction of CO2 emissions.

The grants could be used for a multitude of options such as consultancy on remote working infrastructures, developing flexible working policies, video conferencing equipment and fuel conversion. To find out more about Sustainable Routes visit www.sustainableroutes.co.uk

Graham Clarke of The Pinewood Studios Group Contact Business Link by: call: 0845 600 900 6 email: info@businesslinksolutions.co.uk web: www.businesslink.gov.uk/southeast

www.b4-business.com

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B4 would like to thank the following Ambassadors who have generously given their backing to the new B4 Website, now live at www.b4-business.com. The site is an essential networking resource, great for circulating offers to fellow members and crucial for issuing press releases to help you shout about your business. Make sure you are listed by calling us on 01865 742211.

OXFORD INNOVATION LTD www.oxin.co.uk

THE CAKE SHOP www.the-cake-shop.co.uk

Jo Willett Sales & Marketing Director

MACDONALD RANDOLPH HOTEL www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk

Chris Farren Director and CMTA Chairman

IMAGE AUDIO VISUAL SOLUTIONS www.image-av.co.uk

Andy Fegan Managing Director

Michael Grange General Manager

ETHOS HOTEL www.ethoshotels.com

CHRIS FULTON www.chrisfultondesign.co.uk

Chris Fulton Owner

Simon Walshaw Co Managing Director

OURFC www.ourfc.org

MCS www.mcsoxford.org

Tim Stephens Club Administrator

BROOKSTREET DES ROCHE www.bsdr.com

Paddy Gregan Partner

OXFORD HOME IT SUPPORT www.eurosolve.com

Richard Hillsdon Managing Director

LOVE COMMUNICATIONS www.lovecommunication.co.uk

Jo Love Owner

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SUREFIRE DIGITAL www.surefiredigital.co.uk

DESIGN HOUSE OXFORD www.designhouseoxford.com

Richard Stone Managing Director

SUE STOCKDALE LTD www.suestockdale.com

Sue Stockdale Director

Ken Heathcote Partner

Rob Jones Director

FRONTDOORZ LTD www.frontdoorz.co.uk

TRACY JEFFERIES www.tracyjefferies.co.uk

Tracey Jefferies Director

Cathy Dunbabin Director

SAM STRANGE www.samstrangemagic.co.uk

MISSION MEXICAN www.missionburritos.co.uk

Sam Strange Owner

OXFORD PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING www.oxfordprofessionalconsulting.com

Emma Bellenie Events Manager

STUDLEYWOOD GOLF CLUB www.studleywoodgolfclub.co.uk

Jan Rasmussen Owner

BAYSWATER FRAMING www.bayswaterframing.co.uk

Alison Hail Managing Director

CETA www.lowerpremium.co.uk

David Quick Managing Director

THE PROJECT MANAGERS www.the-project-managers.com

Peronel Barnes Director

Simon Beesley Managing Director

INCA www.incauk.biz

Graham Carson Client Relationship Manager

RICHARD ROSSER www.b4-business.com

Richard Rosser Managing Director

GAIL BUCKLE www.gbprconsultancy.blogspot.com

Gail Buckle Owner

To become a B4 Ambassador, please call us on 01865 742211. Our B4 Ambassadors are featured in every edition of B4 Magazine on these pages and permanently online at www.b4-business.com

www.b4-business.com


B4 R&R

GET

OUTTA HERE

If you have a holiday home or travel business and would like to promote holidays to our readers, please call us to find out how you can obtain a listing. From seaside retreats in Cornwall to luxury apartments in the City, and from refined villas in the Mediterranean to exotic destinations in the Indian Ocean, B4 Holidays hopes to bring our readers some excellent suggestions in future editions of B4 Magazine. Magical Maldives The stunning new Diva resort is set on one of the largest islands in the Maldives, a haven of space and tranquillity with lush tropical vegetation running alongside white sandy beaches.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. Designed to look like an ancient Arabian fort that blends seamlessly with the surrounding landscape, this hotel is guaranteed to wow even though most discerning traveller.

The island is surrounded by a magnificent sheltered lagoon rich in marine life, just perfect for snorkelling and swimming, and close to some of the Maldives’ best dive sites. Here whale sharks, parrotfish, and rays are regularly spotted, and over 55 dive sites are easily accessible.

Traditional hotel features abound, including three restaurants, a spacious swimming pool and luxurious Anantara Spa but guests can also enjoy authentic Arabian experiences such as sunset camel treks, tented Bedouin feasts, falconry, archery and 4x4 desert safaris.

With a range of luxurious suites and villas, six restaurants and bars and an impressive spa, Diva is perfect for families or couples seeking luxury, modern facilities and plenty of choice.

Prices start from £1,175 per person for 5 nights half board, flights, and transfers. Tel: 01844 261475 www.opusoneluxuryholidays.co.uk

Prices start from £1,490 per person for 7 nights, bed and breakfast, flights and transfers.

Play the Jack Nicklaus Golf Trail Stay in one of two fully-equipped two bedroom / two-bathroom apartments on El Valle golf resort and play any of the other three Polaris courses with a free bus transfer. Just 15 minutes from Murcia airport to one of Costa Blanca’s top golf courses with stunning clubhouse restaurant and Irish bar. For further information please contact islip.properties.sl@virginmedia.com

Tel: 01844 261475 www.opusoneluxuryholidays.co.uk Abu Dhabi Desert Oasis Surrounded by breathtaking sand dunes of the Liwa Desert in Abu Dhabi is the stunning new five-star

www.b4-business.com

or islip.taxis@virgin.net Rickerbys House and Monte Carlo St.Endreol France his newly-built but traditional 3 bedroom townhouse on a luxury golf and spa resort in the South of France - with a shared pool and beautiful club house and restaurant - is a perfect base to enjoy vineyards and chateaux one day, local villages and markets the next, and the beaches and towns of St Tropez and St Maxine the day after that. See more at www.cherokeeholidays.co.uk or ring Angie on 07917 080815 Rickerby House, The Lake District Rickerby House is a large, grand former manor and farm house a couple of hundred yards from the shore of Derwentwater, in the village of Portinscale near Keswick. Spacious and fully-equipped, it is a great venue for a family holiday. The fells, the Lakes, and the forest walks and bike trails of Whinlatter are a 5 minute drive away, and the pubs and market of Keswick are a lovely stroll away. It is a perfect place to experience everything the Lakes has to offer. See more at www.cherokeeholidays.co.uk or call Angie on 07917 080815

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T H E

B E S T

I N

OX F O R D Info r m atio n Pa c k s fo r you r B u s i n e s s Vi s i t o r s Impress your customers, visiting members of staff and other guests with The Best In Oxford, our comprehensive guide to what we consider to be the best of Oxford. Brought to you by the publishers of In Oxford Magazine, with over seven years of experience in Oxford, we like to think we know a good restaurant when we see it, or a decent hotel or a great place to see. Combine this with The Oxford Map and you have the perfect pack of information for your visitors. With over 15,000 visitor packs distributed to University of Oxford conference departments for visiting delegates and a growing number of Oxfordshire businesses placing orders for 2010, make sure you reserve your copies.

+ =Just

ÂŁ2.35 per pack Call 01865 742211 to ask for a sample pack or place your order now No minimum orders, although discounts apply for bulk orders.


B4 PROPERTY

SMALL COMPANIES TAKE FLIGHT AT GROVE Simon Ames, Director of Grove Business Centre, tells B4 readers why taking care of the daily running costs from the outset of a new business’s life can provide the perfect springboard for growth. “One of the most important aspects of starting a small company is keeping all costs tightly under control from day one. Amongst the initial, daunting challenges is the matter of finding an office in which the embryo business can survive without the start-up costs and day-by-day overheads costing the proverbial ‘arm and a leg’. “The Grove Business Centre was established to tackle this problem at its root. The formula is a simple one: it provides for a secure private office with no capital outlay required. A licence covers the occupancy arrangement and this runs on a rolling basis until the tenant decide to leave by giving just one month’s notice. There is only one bill to pay each month, inclusive of rent, business rates, heat power and light. The lowest weekly cost of an office big enough for two people under this arrangement is £54 plus VAT.

www.b4-business.com

“Our range of individual unfurnished offices at the Centre start at 120 sq ft (for two) up to suites of 1000 sq ft for larger teams, so there is always room to grow. A staffed Reception operates during normal office hours. Conference facilities and rooms for meetings or staff training can be booked by the hour or day for a modest fee and there is a centralised, self-service photocopy facility with low rates. Our offices are linked to a modern telephone system with favourable call charges and these are itemised and incorporated in the single monthly invoice. “We also offer a ‘fully furnished office’ concept. A typical example has two modern desks with chairs, a filing or storage cabinet, desk lamps, pictures on the wall - even a waste paper basket. Telephones are quickly installed to customer order, making it ready for immediate occupation. Sign on today – move in tomorrow.

“In our experience, many small companies find mutual benefit from working in the same environment with others, often leading to new and exciting opportunities amongst them.” Grove Business Centre is located at the heart of Grove Technology Park, close to Wantage and Grove and easily linked to the main roads and motorways. For more details, e-mail info@grovetechpark.com or call 01235 772992 and ask Debra or Robin for an information pack. Best of all, make an appointment for a ‘no obligation’ inspection visit and see for yourself what Grove Business Centre has to offer. www.grovetechpark.com

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B4 Contacts ADVICE

CONFERENCE

Accountants

Conference Venues

Wenn Townsend Contact: Tony Haines E-mail: aehaines@wenntownsend.co.uk Telephone: 01865 559900 Address: 30 St Giles, Oxford. OX1 3LE Website: www.wenntownsend.co.uk

Magdalen College School 70 Contact: Emma Bellenie, Lettings and Events Manager E-mail: ebellenie@mcsoxford.org Telephone: 01865 242191 Address: Cowley Place, Oxford OX4 1DZ Website: www.mcsoxford.org

Shaw Gibbs LLP 29 Contact: Peter Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connell E-mail: Peter.OConnell@shawgibbs.com Telephone: 01865 292200 Address: 264 Banbury Road, Oxford. OX2 7DY Website: www.shawgibbs.com

Solicitors Darbys Solicitors 41 Contact: Jane Reeve E-mail: jreeve@darbys.co.uk Telephone: 01865 811700 Address: 52 New Inn Hall Street, Oxford. OX1 2DN Website: www.darbys.co.uk Henmans LLP 53 Contact: Julia Iball E-mail: julia.iball@henmansllp.co.uk Telephone: 01865 781000 Address: 5000 Oxford Business Park South Website: www.henmansllp.co.uk The MGroup Contact: Richard Clayton E-mail: team@themgroup.co.uk Telephone: 01865 552925 Address: Cranbrook House, 287-291 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 7JQ Website: www.themgroup.co.uk

Government Organisations Business Link 105 Telephone: 0845 600 900 6 Website: www.businesslink.gov.uk/southeast

FINANCE Banks Coutts and Co 62 Contact: Maggie Bradley Telephone: 01865 389039 Address: The Clarendon Suite, 120 High Street, Oxford OX1 4DF Website: www.coutts.com

Equity Candover 30 Telephone: 0207 489 9848 Website: www.candover.com

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Lady Margaret Hall Contact: Bart Ashton Email: conferences@lmh.ox.ac.uk Telephone: 01865 274320 Address: Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6QA Website: www.lmh.ox.ac.uk

PROPERTY Residential Property Scott Fraser 14 Contact: David Blythman E-mail: david@scottfraser.co.uk Telephone: 01865 761111 Address: 77 London Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 9AA Website: www.scottfraser.co.uk North Oxford Property Services Contact: Robin Swailes 58 E-mail: post@nops.co.uk Telephone: 01865 311745 Address: 47 Walton Street, Jericho, Oxford OX2 6AD Website: www. north-oxford-property.co.uk

Commercial Property Carter Jonas 44 Contact: Jon SIlversides E-mail: oxford@carterjonas.co.uk Telephone: 01865 511444 Address: Anchor House, 269 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7LL Website: www.carterjonas.co.uk VSL Contact: Richard Venables E-mail: rvenables@vslandp.com Telephone: 01865 848488 Address: 22 Bankside, Kidlington, Oxford. OX5 1JE Website: www.vslandp.com

Business Parks Jennings 24 Contact: Mike Jennings E-mail: hello@jennings.co.uk Telephone: 01865 893300 Address: Hampden House, Monument Park, Chalgrove, Oxfordshire, OX44 7RW Website: www.jennings.co.uk

Retirement Care Villages Richmond Villages 80 Contact: Elizabeth Parker Telephone: 01235 773970 Website: www.richmond-villages.com

Letting Agent Finders Keepers Contact: Frank Webster Telephone: 01865 311011 Address: 226 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford, OX2 7BY Website: www.finders.co.uk

OFFICE Office Supplies B-Line 33 Contact Name: Kay Thomas E-mail: kay@b-line.co.uk Telephone: 01865 594550 Address: The Green Hangar, Horton Road, Stanton St John, Oxford. OX33 1AG Website: www.b-line.co.uk

Telecoms Orange Stripe Telecommunications 69 Contact: Nigel Pursall E-mail: nigel.pursall@orangestripe.co.uk Telephone: 07775 588 811 Address: Unit 23, 116 Commercial Road, Swindon. SN1 5BD Website: www.orangestripe.co.uk

Lighting

COMPUTE Nominet 97 Contact: Phil Kingsland E-mail: nominet@nominet.org.uk Telephone: 01865 332211 Address: Minerva House, Edmund Halley Road, Oxford Science Park, Oxford. OX4 4DQ Website: www.nominet.org.uk Oxford Home IT Support Contact: Richard Hillsdon E-mail: help@homeitsupport.biz Telephone: 01865 594020 Address: Prama House, 2nd Floor, 267 Banbury Road , Oxford. OX2 7HT Website: www.homeitsupport.biz Customers Really Matter Contact: James White E-mail: james.white@yourcrm.co.uk Telephone: 0845 310 9973 Website: www.customersreallymatter.co.uk

SCIENCE Oxford Instruments 20 Telephone: 01865 393200 Address: Tubney Woods, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX13 5QX Website: www.oxford-instruments.com

RECRUITMENT The Career Boutique 54 Contact: Katherine Dales E-mail: contact@thecareerboutique.com Telephone: 0845 5204010 Website: www.thecareerboutique.com

MARKETING

WILA 85 Contact: Claire Styles E-mail: claire@wila.co.uk Telephone: 01235 773500 Address: Unit 8/10, The Quadrangle, Downsview Road, Wantage OX12 9FA Website: www.wila.com

Design & Marketing

Distribution

Torpedo Group Limited Contact: Iain Lewis E-mail: laura@torpedogroup.com Telephone: 01865 733710 Address: The Tack Room, Worton Park, Cassington, Oxon. OX29 4SU Website: www.torpedogroup.com

Jordans / Air Business 50 Contact: Loraine Hirst E-mail: loraine.hirst@airbusonline.com Telephone: 01727 890620 Address: 4 The Merlin Centre, Acrewood Way, St Albans, AL4 0JY Website: www.airbusonline.com

Blink Design Contact: Keith Simpson E-mail: art-work@btconnect.com Telephone: 01865 742211 Address: The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford. OX3 0BT.

Public Relations Debt Recovery Total Credit Management Contact: Clive Taylor E-mail: clive@totalcreditmanagement.co.uk Telephone: 01993 832266 / 07970 871353 Website: www.totalcreditmanagement.co.uk

BOTTLE PR Contact: Claire Cairns E-mail: ClaireCairns@bottlepr.co.uk Telephone: 01865 882988 Address: 33 Acre End Street, Eynsham, Oxford. OX29 4PF Website: www.bottlepr.co.uk

www.b4-business.com


40% of businesses throw their clients’ personal details in the bin

Communicate through sponsorship

At Crusader we specialise in:    

Sponsorship Management All sporting hospitality Bespoke events Ticket sales

If you would like more information on how to develop a sponsorship programme please contact: Charlie Allen M: 07540 637261 E: callen@csmltd.org or Piers Lawson M: 07771 794835 E: plawson@csmltd.org

Cr usader Sponsorship Management & Events Cotswold Innovation Centre, Rissington Business Park Upper Rissington, Gloucestershire GL54 2QB T: 0 1 4 5 1 8 1 2 2 7 7 F: 01451 812201 www.csmltd.org

If your staff don’t know what’s confidential…

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B4 Contacts Photography and Duplication

NETWORK

Studio 8 78 Contact: Clark Wiseman E-mail: info@studio-8.co.uk Telephone: 01865 842525 Address: 8 Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 1AA Website: www.studio-8.co.uk

The Oxford Wealth Club Contact Name: Angela Beaugeard E-mail: oxfordwealthclub@paul-avins.com Telephone: 01869 278900 Website: www.oxfordwealthclub.co.uk

Chris Fulton 74 Contact: Chris Fulton E-mail: chris@chrisfultondesign.co.uk Telephone: 07745 033707 Website: www.chrisfultondesign.co.uk

Days Out / Attractions / Events

Website Design

LEISURE Art in Action 57 Address: Waterperry House, Waterperry, Near. Wheatley, Oxfordshire OX33 1JZ Website: www.artinaction.org.uk

ACCOMMODATION Restaurants The Randolph Hotel 66 Contact: Michael Grange E-mail: michael.grange@ macdonald-hotels.co.uk Telephone: 0844 879 9132 Address: Beaumont Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2LN Website: www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk /randolph Ethos Hotel 86 Contact: Simon Walshaw E-mail: swalshaw@ethoshotels.co.uk Telephone: 01865 245800 Address: 59 Western Rd, Oxford OX1 4LF Website: www.ethoshotels.com

Restaurants Malmaison Contact: Andrew Creese E-mail: acreese@malmaison.com Telephone: 0845 365 4247 Address: 3 New Road, Oxford. OX1 1AY Website: www.malmaison.com

EDUCATE Oxford Innovation Ltd 13 Contact: Joanne Willet Telephone: 01865 811127 Address: Harwell Innovation Centre, 173 Curie Avenue, Harwell Science & Innovation Centre, Didcot, Oxfordshire. OX11 0QG Website: www.oxin.co.uk Begbroke Science Park 19 Contact: Barbara Allsworth Email: enquiries@begbroke.ox.ac.uk Telephone: 01865 283700 Address: Oxford University Begbroke Science Park, Sandy Lane, Yarnton, Oxford, OX5 1PF Website: www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk Venturefest 34 Email: info@venturefest.com Website: www.venturefest.com

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Oxford Castle 88 Contact: Jean-Pierre Morilleau E-mail: jp.morilleau@topgroup.co.uk Telephone: 01865 201657 Address: The Treadwheel, 43 Oxford Castle, Oxford. OX1 1AY Website: www.oxfordcastle.com Christ Church College 38 Contact: Tony Fox Telephone: 01865 276150 Address: Saint Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1DP Website: www.chch.ox.ac.uk

Sporting Events Oxford University Rugby FC 49 Contact: Tim Stevens E-mail: tim.stevens@sport.ox.ac.uk Telephone: 01865 432000 Address: OURFC, Jackdaw Lane, Iffley Road, Oxford, OX4 1SR Website: www.ourfc.org

Fire and Stone 93 Email: reception@cgrestaurants.com Telephone: 0844 371 2550 Address: George Street, Oxford OX1 Website: www.fireandstone.com

Coffee Shops Coffee Republic 61 Contact: Andrew Bowen Telephone: 01865 204735 Address: 35 New Inn Hall Street, Oxford OX1 2DH Website: www.coffeerepublic.com

Retail Fudge Kitchen 65 Telephone: 01865 794154 Address: 5 Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3AJ Website: www.fudgekitchen.co.uk Witney Shopping Contact: Richard Rosser E-mail: richard@inoxford.com Telephone: 01865 742211 Website: www.witneyshopping.co.uk

BEYOND Hotels UK Baglioni Hotel Telephone: 0207 368 5700 Address: 60 Hyde Park Gate, London SW7 5BB Website: www.baglionihotels.com

TRAVEL

Golf Clubs

Public Transport

Frilford Heath Golf Club 37 Contact: Alistair Booth / Jimmy James E-mail: alistair@frilfordheath.co.uk E-mail: jimmyjames@frilfordheath.co.uk Telephone: 01865 390864 Address: Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5NW Website: www.frilfordheath.co.uk

Chiltern Railways Telephone: 08456 005 165 Website: www.chilternrailways.co.uk

North Oxford Golf Club 94 Contact: Bob Harris E-mail: manager@nogc.co.uk Telephone: 01865 553977 Address: Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 8EZ Website: www.nogc.co.uk

Restaurants The Trout 43 Contact: Stuart Challand Telephone: 01865 510930 Address: 195 Godstow Road, Wolvercote, Oxford OX2 8PN Website: www.thetroutoxford.co.uk The Real China 88 Contact: Charnjit Singh Telephone: 01865 721888 Address: 41, Oxford Castle, Oxford. OX1 1AY Website: www.therealchina.co.uk

If you wish to list your business on this page, the charge is £75+VAT for a basic listing and £100+VAT for a listing including explanation of the business. The rate includes presence in 4 issues of B4. B4 Is Designed by

E-mail: studio@on-the-blink.com Telephone: 01865 742211


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Delivering a very reliable and professional service to families and businesses for working parents we really do rely upon Richard and the Live Oxford team. Live Oxford help us to maintain theextremely high standards so necessary forsafeguarding and protecting our children. LiveOxford really are an intrinsic part of our team. Valerie Grady, Director, Willow Cottage Nurseries.

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B4 Magazine - Issue 15