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B4

Magazine

ISSUE 16 SUMMER 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

Team Minoli Celebrating its 50th year, B4 traces the history and looks to the future with Jonathon Minoli

Magna Carta College Dean, David Faulkner, documents the evolution of a new breed of business school in Oxford

RM How learning can be inspiring and engaging

B U I L D I N G

B R I D G E S

B E T W E E N

B U S I N E S S


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With annual memberships starting at £150+VAT*, entitling you to a business directory listing and unlimited press release, event, job vacancy and offer uploads, it’s no wonder our membership is increasing daily. Call us now on 01865 742211 to book your membership or e-mail sales@b4-business.com for more details. The B4 Website – the most efficient way to network your business from your PC! *Quoted rate is Membership for up to 5 employees. Rate increases for 6 to 20 employees to £250+VAT per annum, £375+VAT for 21 to 50, £600+VAT for 51 to 100 and £850+VAT for over 100 employees. Ambassador scheme is separate and subject to a separate charge.

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www.b4-business.com Contacts If you want to contact B4 Magazine Telephone: 01865 742211 info@b4-business.com Publisher B4 Magazine is published by Designs On Ltd, The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford, OX3 0BT Chairman Colin Rosser colin@designs-on.co.uk Editor Richard Rosser editorial@b4-business.com Art Editor Keith Simpson artwork@b4-business.com Assistant Editor Jessica Flood assistanteditor@b4-business.com

Welcome to B4 Whatever your view of the state of the economy, there seems little doubt that business is tougher for the majority of Oxfordshire businesses than it has been for years. That means we are all looking for value. Gone are the cavalier days of incurring expenditure ‘just because we did it last year’. Business owners are looking for employees to go the extra mile, less inhibited to ask for more. Employees are seeing a new generation of job seekers prepared to work for nothing, just to get a foot in the door. Is the working environment a healthier place when the chips are down, when everyone is keen to impress and desperate to stay in a job? In my opinion, anything that eliminates apathy in the workplace has got to be a good thing.

Editorial contributors Eliane Chavagnon Katie Avis-Riordan Clare Macaulay Emma Connolly

Many of us like to be kept on our toes, to retain a hunger to succeed, whereas others will happily drift. If anything comes out of this downturn, I fully expect those who have bumbled along will catch a cold. It’s not a case of ‘more fool them’, more a case of ‘don’t do it again, that’s your final warning’.

Advertising sales@b4-business.com

This quarter’s issue of B4 features Minoli Tiles, one of Oxfordshire’s leading businesses, celebrating their fiftieth year in business. It’s quite clear that value is ingrained into Jonathon Minoli’s business ethic, as it is with Katherine Dales at The Career Boutique, who tells us why recruitment consultancies should be providing value for money.

Administration Patrick Burrows & Maria Sanchez-Minguet-Vazquez admin@b4-business.com Studio Photography Studio 8 Telephone: 01865 842525 Field Photography Cookie Kinkaed 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

Also in this issue, Simon Kelner, Editor of The Independent, invited us to interview him at his offices in London, and we found out why he had been lured back into the Editor’s office once again. We had the good fortune to talk to India Hicks, entrepreneur extraordinaire about her growing empire and her plans for further expansion. New to B4, we welcome David Faulkner, Dean at Magna Carta College. David has called upon his considerable experience and knowledge to establish a new breed of business school, and continuing the education theme, we visit RM in Didcot where we discover more about the future of learning.

The Independent’s Editor, Simon Kelner, is back in the hot seat.

28. Big Names Go East Flexible, serviced office solutions.

Enjoy the summer, and don’t forget, if you’re not yet a B4 web member, you can join the growing list of Oxfordshire’s fantastic businesses on the site at www.b4-business.com.

36. Keeping Up With India

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.

20. Never Go Back?

A final word of congratulations to Blenheim Palace for securing the title of Oxfordshire Business of the Year at the recent Oxfordshire Business Awards. This is a phenomenal achievement for Chief Executive, John Hoy, and the dedicated team at Blenheim, and a deserving reward for their hard work (see B4 News for more details).

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

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

Inside

Richard Rosser Editor

About

B4

Mother, model, fundraiser…. and you thought you had a long ‘to do’ list!

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.

58. Managing To Balance B4 talks to Keith Middleton, Senior Partner of accountants, Wenn Townsend.


B4 Contents B4 LEAD 16 Team Minoli: Celebrating fifty years with one of Oxfordshire’s leading business.

Well informed and obviously experienced driving instructors gave us a fifteen minute safety, car and course introduction in one of the briefing rooms, so we

territory to give this fantastic machine a real run, but it wasn’t long enough and the gap was widening. With just three laps of the 1.9 mile course, Jenson Button would have been hard-pushed to catch him. How rude. It was my treat and he’d made me look like I was driving a go-kart. The next thing we knew, we were back in the paddock, just craving to have another go; what a truly fantastic introduction, although it definitely makes you want to go out there again. It’s no wonder Silverstone get up to three hundred thrill-seekers every day. The Silverstone Ferrari experience also presents a great opportunity for corporate team bonding, or even as a gift for friends or family.

“Before I knew it we were storming around the circuit at speeds in excess of 120 mph”

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

felt in safe hands. We were then off to the starting area, given a helmet, and a short introduction to the controls, especially the six speed F1 paddle shift which undeniably takes some getting used to. The Ferrari 360 Modena’s engine size is a whopping 3586cc V8 and 400 brake horse power, capable of 0-60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. Before I knew it we were storming around the circuit at speeds in excess of 120 mph. I was out first with Greg trailing...only to see him flash past in a blur before the first corner with, I’m sure, a cocky wave and a chuckle. That was it, I was hell-bent on catching him and we weren’t even into the first corner. Deep-seated in the Ferrari 360 Modena we had a qualified instructor at our side, so the thrill overrode any apprehension, as we were confident that we were in safe hands. I therefore had no doubts in really pushing the car to its limits – after all, the Ferrari is capable of hitting 186 mph. With this in mind, there are certainly no restrictions preventing you from seizing the opportunity to experience the full package of this fantastic car……and catching Barnes!

In our case, it had made for a rather frosty aftermath. Greg had not only beaten me on the track, but his instructor scores were better – in every department. We collected our certificate and souvenir photo back at headquarters, still not talking. Sure we’d driven one of the fastest cars in the world, but I’d come a miserable second and wanted to get back out there to show Barnes it really wasn’t the done thing to outshine your host.

With thanks to Helen Hoban at Silverstone for her help, and Greg, if you’re reading this, Silverstone want to talk to you about driving etiquette at some stage.

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B4 ADVICE 58 Managing To Balance: Senior Partner, Keith Middleton, talks to B4 about the plans for the future of local accountancy firm, Wenn Townsend.

B4 CONFERENCE 102 The Crazy Bear: Five great reasons to visit The Crazy Bear.

40 A Grand Venture: B4 meets Property Director, Roger File, to hear more on Blenheim Palace’s burgeoning property portfolio.

B4 HR

44 Giving You Complete Control: We take a look at the impressive home technology delivered by Lewis Building Technology. 90 Frontdoorz Leaping Ahead In The Property Stakes: Cathy and Sonia share all about their inspiring business, helping clients find the perfect home.

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BOTTLE FOR PR An impressive individual with a wealth of experience in PR, Claire set up BOTTLE PR six years ago with fellow Director Will, employing their first member of staff in early 2005. Both Claire and Will have impressive career backgrounds, having worked for some of the world’s largest PR agencies, in addition to holding senior in-house PR positions. Their combined experience has enabled them to create a formidable team, totalling twenty-four, with industry specialists ensuring Bottle really can do PR for its deliberately diverse client base, with great effect.

a week, and, of course, we will travel wherever we have to in order to service clients’ accounts or to pitch for an account. Being based in Oxfordshire means we are not weighed down by large overheads, so we can invest more in senior staff. Many of the established London PR firms will use senior staff to pitch for work but the account will then be passed to a junior, which doesn’t always ensure the results match the original pitch.

Claire and Will’s infectious work ethic has enabled them to attract the best in terms of employees and clients, as Claire explains: “We are workaholics and work 24/7. PR is all-consuming and relentless. There is never any respite as there’s always another journalist to call and always another spin on a story. Since day one, we have had ‘outstanding quality’ at the heart of everything we do.”

The BOTTLE PR philosophy is based on the four key principles which are adhered to from the initial pitch to the work which follows from winning an account. “We ask the same four questions after we have pitched, after we have planned a campaign and while we are implementing a campaign. Is it

Will and Claire have a clear vision as to how they want the company to progress, with the invaluable input of non-Executive director, Neil Backwith, who advises on BOTTLE PR’s strategy, and two Directors, Carole Scott and Karen Cooper, who themselves have impressive PR careers Diversity has been the key to BOTTLE PR’s success, as Claire explains. “Unlike some PR companies, we don’t restrict ourselves to one specific sector, but deliberately employ experts in certain fields, ranging from financial services, technology, property & construction, energy, and ‘green’ PR, to name just a few. We can then use this expertise across all accounts, where relevant.” Growth has certainly been boosted by the impressive wealth of knowledge which BOTTLE PR has accumulated, together with the ever-expanding network of journalists and know-how, as Claire continues: “We are undoubtedly well-known and have earned a great reputation in a relatively short period of time. We have to continually refresh our links with the press.” Being based outside London is regarded as an asset. “Our location isn’t a hindrance, as BOTTLE PR has representation in London two or three times www.b4-business.com

68 Orange Stripe: The Latest In Innovative Computer Technology: Got a brilliant idea for a new company or technology? Learn how to protect your patent with help from Begbroke Science Park.

96 Real IT Support : Richard Hillsdon gives an insight into the honest, friendly advice and quality systems provided by Oxford Home IT.

All the hard work has certainly paid off, as BOTTLE PR has a fantastic reputation, being listed by ‘PR Week’ as one of the UK’s top 120 agencies, and as the sixth fastest growing PR agency outside of London: a huge achievement.

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B4 IT

28 Big Names Go East: High quality, serviced offices providing your business with a flexible and cost effective solution.

BOTTLE PR has earned a deserved reputation as one of the brightest and most exciting PR agencies outside of London. Lead by the inspiring partnership of Claire and Will, it is soon obvious why BOTTLE PR is trusted to deliver. Claire Cairns spoke to Richard Rosser and Jessica Flood about the agency’s success story, their passion to succeed and, more importantly, their commitment to deliver.

“Is it Vivid, Grounded, Relentless and Magnetic?”

32 Passion And Commitment: RM are a leader in the field of education. We find out more about RM from Human Resources Director, Russell Govan.

86 The Business of Technology: Got a brilliant idea for a new company or technology? Learn how to protect your patent with help from Begbroke Science Park.

B4 PROPERTY

36 Keeping Up With India: Phenomenal businesswoman, India Hicks, on how she juggles family and work commitments plus a fair share of jetlag!

24 Practice What You Preach: Magna Carta College, a new breed of business school, based in Summertown.

See the Silverstone website for more details: www.silverstone.co.uk

www.b4-business.com

20 Never Go Back?: Simon Kelner, Editor of The Independent, shares his thoughts on returning to the role for a second time, and gives us his verdict on the future of the printed word.

B4 EDUCATION

For £99 in this sort of car, it really is excellent value for money. Unless you book on a major event day, friends are also welcome to watch as you race around the course. Just make sure you don’t take Barnes.

The southern circuit course includes the Hanger Straight, which is the perfect

B4 SPOTLIGHT

B4 MARKETING

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Not many of us will get the opportunity to experience that feeling of slipping into the seat of a high-performance car, but Silverstone, the home of British Motor Racing and venue to the British Grand Prix for the next fourteen years, offers a variety of ‘edge of your seat’ driving experiences. I visited Silverstone with fellow B4 Ambassador, Greg Barnes of Breckon and Breckon, for a never to be forgotten spin in a Ferrari 360. Richard Rosser reports for B4. From start to finish, the Silverstone experience was slick, well co-ordinated, and, most importantly, memorable. As soon as we arrived, friendly staff checked us in and off we went to enjoy a coffee in the on-site café while we waited for the drive briefing. We were amazed at the number of people arriving - all equally enthusiastic and pumped full of adrenaline. Driving experiences range from single-seater racing cars to the infamous Aston Martin.

B4 NEWS 9 27 39 47 57 61 71 77

FERR-ILLING

B4 R&R

“We are becoming something of a thorn in the side of the London agencies, pitching against them on a regular basis – and often winning ”

“Many regard PR as something of a ‘Black Art’”

Vivid? Is it Grounded? Is it Relentless. Is it Magnetic? As long as we stick to these four clear principles, we will stay on the right track. We don’t want to be enormous and lose sight of our principles. I think a team of fifty would be more than sufficient to ensure we don’t lose sight of what we are about.” Everyone at BOTTLE PR is equal. ‘Hierarchy’ simply doesn’t exist. “We believe our work ethic is clearly equitable to good results, and everything BOTTLE PR does has to correspond with our four core values. The very nature of PR means we all have to work Hard every day at getting results for our customers. Every morning we will review the papers and key online news sites to see what news stories there are for our clients to ‘piggyback’ . It’s a great way to start the day and creates a real buzz around the office. Individuals are each assigned a newspaper or online publication and share helpful stories regarding each others’ clients.” As well as specialising in ‘traditional’ PR, BOTTLE PR has a firm grasp on the fast-moving world of digital PR, a trait essential for a successful agency. BOTTLE PR has grown precisely because it has

been able to keep up with the movement of digital PR and understands the importance of digital media, whether this is blogging or social media. The team know how to realise the full potential of digital PR and incorporate it into their campaigns. BOTTLE PR is an energetic, yet personable company which knows how to get the job done, and its team have performed PR miracles for start-ups through to some of the world’s biggest brands. As a testament to the company’s accomplishments, see below. - Clients featured on 3 out of the 5 business news slots on the Chris Evans BBC Radio Two Show in One Week. - 14 national press and broadcast interviews for a retail client in one day. - 80% rise in year on year sales for a drinks client as a direct result of BOTTLE’s PR campaign. - Huge increase in website enquiries from 50 per day to over 30,000 for a utility supplier after a positive profiling piece on Watchdog. - Client featured in the Financial Times three times in one week. Many regard PR as something of a ‘Black Art’. BOTTLE PR work in compliance with the new global standard for calculating the value of PR, as revealed in the ‘PR Week’ industry magazine in June. Seven new principles have been unveiled, decided upon by senior officials and two hundred delegates, as a step away from the method of Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE), which measures the success of PR through the amount of advertising space achieved. The new principles look for quality rather than quantity. BOTTLE PR use awareness surveys to assess whether a change in perception has been achieved for a client. The agency studies real business objectives, such as an increase in leads or website traffic, to assess the effectiveness of a PR campaign. Claire concludes this is the way forward. “We fully comply with these standards and see them as a far more reliable form of measurement. As a company, we do our job well and our track record speaks for itself. The future of PR is inextricably linked to the future of BOTTLE PR and we have as good a graspon future developments as any PR firm in the country.” www.bottlepr.co.uk

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23 Recruitment Consultancies – Help or Hindrance?: Katherine Dales of The Career Boutique emphasises that recruitment consultancies should be delivering and that we shouldn’t settle for second best.

B4 MARKETING 48 Bottle For PR: Claire Cairns tells B4 how hard work, commitment and a clear vision have made Bottle one of the country’s most successful PR firms. 54 Joined Up Thinking: A new Destination Management Organisation (DMO) to raise the pro file of Oxfordshire worldwide. 78 Pleasant Persistence Gets Results: Work on your database intelligently with Lingo. 98 A Not So Mini Investment: Mini Plant Oxford continues establishing its good links within the Oxford community through supporting Oxford Inspires cultural projects.

B4 NETWORK 64 Seizing The Business Day…: Local businessman, David Griffin, launches the Newbury Business Wealth Club.


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B4 SPOTLIGHT They say never go back, but in Simon Kelner’s case, going back meant a new desk and a different phone extension. Having edited the paper for ten years in his first spell, it was hardly unknown territory, as Simon explained. “Being under the same roof meant it was a fairly natural move to return as Editor. My previous tenure was immensely rewarding and once it became clear that I was the right man for the job, it would have taken something cataclysmic for me to say ‘no’”.

NEVER GO BACK?

That first phase as Editor encapsulated Simon’s pioneering spirit in one key move when in 2003, Simon lead the change to The Independent’s more compact format which was the catalyst for an instant upsurge in sales. Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery, and if the subsequent move of the broadsheets to similar tabloid formats wasn’t meant to be flattering, it was certainly a fairly large feather in Simon’s cap. His career in journalism began in modest surrounds at The Neath Guardian in 1976, and from there Simon moved to positions at The Kent Evening Post, The Observer and The Mail on Sunday’s Night and Day Supplement, to name just a few. Simon was appointed Editor of The Independent in 1998, and held the post until 2008. The ensuing two years as Managing Director proved more testing for him. The widely predicted recession was gathering pace and accelerated a number of demanding decisions which fell upon Simon to make, as he acknowledges. “It was a very tough two years and we were faced with some impossible decisions. I shan’t deny it was a struggle, but we are still here and still fighting.

Having recently commenced his second spell as Editor of The Independent following a two year stint as Managing Director, Simon Kelner is clearly relishing the challenges of an industry facing some serious questions about its future. Richard Rosser and Jessica Flood met with Simon at The Independent’s offices in London.

“If I learned anything as Managing Director, I really started to appreciate that, in fact, the best role on a newspaper is the Editor’s. I am expected to make big calls but I can still be creative, a mix which certainly brings out the best in me.” The paper is certainly making observers take notice and circulation is ‘pleasing’. When The Guardian starts to question why Simon is seemingly experimenting

where is the speculation? Newspapers provide a benchmark, they provide a voice of authority. Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums are great. They are instant. But where’s the structure, where’s the rationale, where’s the thought process? “They said newspapers would suffer when the radio came along and they said newspapers would die with the internet. I shan’t deny that the internet is having an effect, and it’s making us think about how we run our business in the future. But we can co-exist, we don’t need to hold our hands up and throw in the towel. We all want information, and if you took away information disseminated through newspapers, you would have a huge hole in the delivery of content. It would be horrendously destabilising.” Attracting the customer in today’s economic climate drives most businesses, and Simon’s creative bent is fundamental to the long term success of The Independent. Preferring to keep his audience guessing rather than sticking to one definite style for his paper’s front cover, Simon likes to experiment and invariably attempts to provide an eclectic mix which catches the eye on the newsstand. He asserts. “I am not one for rules and guidelines. Nothing is off limits ... if it’s interesting, then we’ll go with it.” Simon likens his role to that of a theatre impresario assembling a cast to entertain. In Simon’s case, his cast comprises a team of journalists who are growing in stature as celebrities, ‘must reads’ for The Independent’s 195,000 readers. “I need to feed our readers with information that they will keep coming back for. If I can convey this information through a team of journalists which attracts its own following, then I have succeeded. The pressure to get that right has always been there, but right now the feeling is that this pressure is greater than ever before because we can see the results of the alternatives so openly every single day. “People have been writing off newspapers for a very, very long time and it’s still

“People have been writing off newspapers for a very, very long time and it’s still a very vibrant industry ” with different cover formats and fonts it’s obvious that the competition is finding the new Editor’s creativity and unpredictability irritating, and that is surely proof enough that he is making an impact.

a very vibrant industry. Artists weren’t worried when cameras were invented, cinemas weren’t boarded up when televisions came on the market, and the i-Pod didn’t kill off the music industry.”

Quite clearly comfortable back in his seat as Editor, Simon’s second baptism, if indeed that’s possible, wasn’t quite ‘of fire’ but was fairly warm. “I was appointed during the lead up to the General Election following the acquisition of the paper by Alexander Lebedev in late April. But I hit the ground running and it was a hectic time to start back, but, nonetheless, enjoyable.”

Without being drawn on what plans are being made for the future, Simon discloses that management at the paper are exploring new models which they feel will enable the paper to continue to operate profitably. Following on from the move by The London Evening Standard to give the paper away for free (see B4 Issue 14) in anticipation of increased advertising revenues to compensate for lost cover revenue, will The Independent follow suit? Alexander Lebedev is also the owner of The London Evening Standard, and just because the paper is on the verge of profitability after losses quoted as ‘cavernous’, The Independent is not the same beast as The London Evening Standard, and being distributed for free would shatter the incredulity levels which The London Evening Standard reached when it made its ground-breaking announcement to go free towards the end of 2009.

The fast moving developments epitomised by the General Election highlighted the powerful role that the internet and, increasingly so, social media are now playing in delivering updates, opinion and, more importantly, providing a platform for measuring the thoughts and decisions of an undecided electorate. Simon admits that trying to keep up to date with the rolling news story was hard work, and actually quite impossible to compete with digital media which could provide up-to-the minute coverage. Even an edition printed at half past four in the morning the day after Britain went to the Polls became out of date as the waking public, and even, by his own admission, Simon himself, headed to the internet or the television set to research what had occurred overnight. However, when questioned whether events such as the General Election can highlight the shortcomings of newspapers versus digital media, Simon was adamant that newspapers still have a crucial role to play in society. “Without newspapers, where is the comment, where is the analysis,

“There will no doubt be modifications. This is most certainly a period of transition for newspapers. The changes we have seen at papers such as The London Evening Standard have proven to be good calls, despite the levels of astonishment these revolutionary moves stimulate. It is an exciting time for newspapers and I most definitely want to be a part of The Independent’s future so that I can be a part of and maybe a catalyst for positive change.” The Independent are proud sponsors of The Woodstock Literary Festival. www.independent.co.uk

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PASSION &

COMMITMENT

news OxFocus Extended Following a successful launch series, it has been agreed to run the OxFocus speaker-networking event for Oxfordshire in 2011.

RM are expanding, and rapidly. From their head office based just outside of Oxford and with just over 2,000 employees, RM designs and sells technology to schools and colleges, from computers to new software and hi-tech foldable whiteboards. An ambitious and passionate organisation, RM’s five year target is to be the market leader in the implementation of new technology in all spheres of education. This highly professional organisation are well on their way to making this prospect a reality, as Russell Govan, the company’s HR director, enthusiastically explained to Richard Rosser and Clare Macaulay of B4.

A joint initiative by OTCN and Charles Russell LLP, OxFocus features as its speaker a senior figure from a business or organisation with a strong story to tell. After an August break, OxFocus resumes for 2010 with Andrew Smith MP (September 13), Dr Stephen Bold, MD, Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd (October 11), Kevin Gell MD, Tessella plc (November 8); and Nicholas Wirth, Technical Director, Wirth Research (December 13). Booking details are available at www.oxfocus.co.uk which will post first news of the 2011 series speakers. OxFocus co-host William Axtell of Charles Russell LLP and Rob Jonckheer of Manches LLP. Picture by Alison Nicholson/OTCN

In another OTCN innovation, preview interview excerpts from the OxFocus speakers and other Oxfordshire business leaders are also now available online.

Covered Market project impresses The OTCN-Oxford Civic Society led business heritage initiative which is telling the fascinating stories of the people behind the city’s Covered Market, has had a high profile visitor.

RM aims to provide affordable and effective new technology for schools. They are very focussed on their clients and their employees, looking after both with the upmost care and attention. Employees are knowledgeable, passionate about the brand and demonstrate real care and commitment to making a difference in today’s classrooms. This is

undertaken to help develop schools and schoolchildren in the UK. He believes the key to their success is a culmination of factors, all achieved through RM’s passionate approach and hard work. “Our aim is to design great learning spaces, and we’ve really focused our attention on that over the last couple of years. Integrate the improved learning space with innovative technology, a

learning environments and advanced software which, for example, allows them to mark children’s work online instead of trawling through piles of paperwork. RM is steadily evolving. Annual turnover exceeds £20 million and is expected to grow to over £50 million by 2014. One of the major factors in the

“Our aim is to design great learning spaces…” highlighted through RM’s fantastic relationships with schools and teachers across the UK, who never fail to be impressed with RM’s personal approach. A case in point is Andrew Goulty, Head Teacher of the Rodillan School in Leeds. The school has developed with the help of RM under their Building Social Future programme, which has been hugely successful. School children can benefit from new technology, such as smart boards, to encourage interactive learning. Russell is clearly proud of RM and the work

sensible prioritised action plan and really good leadership and then you’ve got a great school”. RM employees do not just sell a product, they become involved in all aspects of education development, applying a very hands-on approach to business, continuing the ethics of the company’s creators, Mike Fischer and Mike O’Regan. The integration of new technology into the classroom allows teachers to concentrate on learning and attainment, while RM employees ensure the technology is functioning correctly. RM are striving to make life easier for teachers, through better

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current and projected success is international development, particularly in the USA. The market for advances in education State-side is, surprisingly, trailing the UK. No wonder, then, that there has been a tremendous response to RM, providing the company with the perfect opportunity to grow and reach the aforementioned targets. Future trade and expansion in India is also important to RM. India and the US look set to provide phenomenal expansion opportunities for RM, with India’s input in the education system growing at a rate of sixty-five per cent per annum (compound).

www.b4-business.com

A particular recent success has been the implementation of the Glow intranet system in Scotland, a deal which RM won over big-name

furniture, and advanced equipment to create comfortable and creative learning spaces for the future, all of which stimulate the children and they

Paul Hudson, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s South East of England Committee, stopped by to meet Covered Market traders and get an update on how the project was going. Mr Hudson (pictured, right) said: “I was very impressed by the enthusiasm and pride of the traders and their

buzz, and clearly the employees are well looked after, many joining the company as graduates and carving out successful careers for themselves.

“The flexible and hard-working team at RM work under the belief that they really can make a difference…” competitors such as Microsoft and IBM. Glow has been highly successful, and currently connects 800,000 learners and teachers. This typifies the confidence that teachers and schools have in the developing RM brand. Providing products from the TTS (Technology Teaching Systems) range, such as a life-size Roman Centurion outfit for history lessons, helps to encourage effective interactive learning. The company make sure they do their research to provide the best possible service to schools, and work to combine all the elements of their research to achieve this. They use their extensive knowledge to provide schools with ICT technology, excellent

Incentives such as these contribute to RM’s creative

Innovation and growth!

The foyer of RM’s headquarters is adorned with awards, recognising its hard work and dedication to service, and only recently RM were voted the UK’s top IT employer by the external organisation of The Corporate Research Foundation, an award it has won for the last three years.

81 B4 Partnerships: Finding the right partner for everyone’s benefit.

B4 TRAVEL 62 On The Right Track: B4 puts Chiltern Railways through its paces.

B4 R&R 31 Frilford Raises Its Game: One of the South’s premier golf clubs, we hear from Executive Director, Alistair Booth and General Manager, Jimmy James.

• It’s launched a new tender alert service to let businesses in its member groups know about public sector contract opportunities. • A new group, NetworkB, has been launched to allow businesses located in an area that does not have an OTCN member group to be part of its fast-growing and proactive business network.

As Russell concludes. “RM has a very special culture. The business is fun, it is creative and it really is helping the next generation to learn more efficiently and with a great deal more fun along the way.” www.rm.com

www.b4-business.com

For more on the project see: www.otcn.co.uk/coveredmarket/index.html

OTCN continues to develop new services to deliver on its primary aim to promote business in Oxfordshire:

respond positively and learn more. The flexible and hard-working team at RM work under the belief that they really can make a difference, and this stems not only from the products they provide but also from how the employees are treated. The company is an enjoyable place to work, with annual balls and dinners, and a recent addition: The Entrepreneur of the Year scheme. Employees are given the opportunity to create innovative products and, if they are successful, they are entitled to a percentage of profit.

customers in wanting to record the long and fascinating story of what is one of Oxford's really special assets. There are very few covered markets left and it adds greatly to the retail vibrancy and choice that Oxford offers. The project demonstrates that heritage is just as relevant to the here and now and supporting the business and tourism aspects of the local economy. I look forward to seeing the exhibition at the end of the project.”

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Faringdon Chamber President Nick Elwell. Picture by Alison Nicholson/OTCN

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...and OTCN member groups and their volunteer leaders continue to play a huge part in supporting the local economy and their communities:

• Monument Park, Chalgrove hosted a well-attended Home-based Business Support Day to launch a pioneering initiative for this vital and growing sector of Oxfordshire business; • Faringdon Chamber President Nick Elwell (pictured) led the management committee for a varied and vibrant 2010 Faringdon Arts Festival; • and there’s much more! www.otcn.co.uk and our twitter stream, otcniain, have the latest. The Network has hit the 30-member group milestone with Networking Women, TBAC Centres Ltd, and She’s Ingenious! the latest to join, alongside OTCN’s now 17-strong events network.

www.b4-business.com

www.otcn.co.uk

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51 Ferr-illing: Buckle up for a thrilling, high speed spin around Silverstone. 52 Back In The Big League: Oxford United chairman, Kelvin Thomas, talks to B4 about the club’s recent success and building on it for the future. 74

The Grand Duke: Try out delicious cocktails in stylish surroundings – B4 chats to the man behind it all.

82 Hot Ticket: A taster of the events due to be taking place at The Oxford Castle this summer. 92 Southfield Golf Club: Colin Whittle tells B4 how Southfield Golf Club has coped through the recent recession and his plans for the future.

For all contacts see page 105


Launching Auctions into Oxford We are building a catalogue for our first Oxford based auction to be held on

30 September 2010 We are currently taking entries for the above sale, with a deadline date for entries of 19 August 2010.

If you have property which could be suitable for auction then please contact either your local office or our auction department on:

T: 01249 706070 E: arthur.chambers@carterjonas.co.uk

carterjonas.co.uk Offices throughout the UK

The Property People


B4 News Blenheim Palace scoops prestigious business awards! It was a double celebration for Blenheim Palace on Friday June 19th when the Palace won the Business of the Year and the Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Awards at the prestigious Oxfordshire Business Awards 2010. The glittering awards ceremony held at the Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel, Sandford, was attended by over 450 business people from around the county. It is a huge accolade for Blenheim Palace to win the Oxfordshire Business of the Year Award which has been presented to business for 16 years running since 1995, recognising the excellence of Oxfordshire-based companies. The Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Award was presented to Blenheim Palace for commitment to promoting tourism, leisure pursuits and customer focused hospitality in Oxfordshire, for adding value to the county and for providing employment in this sector. His Grace, 11th Duke of Marlborough commented: “It is a great credit to everyone and we are very proud of these important achievements which recognise the hard work and enthusiasm of all the staff here at Blenheim Palace”. John Hoy (pictured), Chief Executive, commenting on the Oxfordshire Business Awards said. “To win both Business of the Year and the Tourism, Hospitality and

Leisure Award is an incredible achievement, particularly in the current challenging economy. These awards will help our continuing efforts to raise the profile of tourism in the region.” Well done Blenheim, from all of us at B4.

Idyllic setting for a summer party to remember Imagine your very own sanctuary overlooking the Oxford skyline, entertaining customers, friends or family, with silver service and space to mingle. Why not book your next party, whether it’s a corporate get-together or something more informal for friends and family, perhaps a special celebration, on the Rooftop at Malmaison? Connect with all that’s good about Oxford on a brilliant sunny day and make sure Malmaison is next on your list of party venues. Call Emma Maguire or Andrew Creese now on 01865 268400 to arrange a no obligation viewing or e-mail events.oxford@malmaison.com. ALSO !!!!! Malmaison are making the most of the best season of the year by introducing weekend barbecue lunches, open to everyone in the exercise yard, every Saturday and Sunday. For £12 per person, you can relax and take in the stunning views of the magnificent prison while tucking into freshly barbecued food. Contact 01865 268000 or see their website, www.malmaison-oxford.com for more details.

The Design House Design House in Oxford opened the doors to the new displays of kitchens from Poggenpohl the luxury German kitchen manufacturer on the evening of Thursday 20th May at the Woodstock Road studio.

The showroom was visited by most of the kitchen industry press as previously Design House had won the industry accolade of Best Kitchen Showroom in the UK and Ireland, no mean feat in such a competitive market place!

The evening was hosted by Celebrity Chef John Burton-Race who cooked live in front of the assembled guests and clients.

The new kitchens and portfolio of products now allows Design House to complete a client’s project from around £15,000.

As well as seeing the two new kitchens that were launched in Milan last month the guests sampled some wonderful mussels with saffron and divine lemon tarte all prepared on the latest Siemens and Miele appliances.

Design House’s portfolio can be viewed at www.designhouseoxford.com or please phone for an appointment on 01865 510112.

www.b4-business.com

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focused public relations

…bottled

consumer brands • online brands • business-to-business IT • consumer technology • science and innovation

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t +44 (0)1865 882988 f +44 (0)1865 882553 e getit@bottlepr.co.uk w www.bottlepr.co.uk

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 News St. Edward’s work experience With GCSEs finished, a fair number of sixteen year olds across the country are legally allowed to leave school and pursue individual career choices. However, St. Edward’s School offers an established work placement scheme that scatters their post-GCSE students across the UK, in some cases globally, to experience what each individual’s potential career choice offers them. Mr. Edmund Hunt, the head of careers at St. Edward’s says that ‘Well-organised, high-quality placements give students a chance to get ahead and to match their skills and interests to the job they really want.’ ‘B4 Magazine’ has offered me a taste of what work in a busy company is like and the demands and deadlines that frequently need to be met. Not only did I discover the fast-paced working environment of the company but also how important it is to build up metaphorical bridges and links between local and global organisations alike.

Blenheim Palace Sawmills In 2008, Blenheim Palace Estates refurbished the original Sawmills in Coombe, Oxfordshire, which until the last century had been a working mill and is even mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Blenheim Palace Estate’s (see page 40) eco credentials at the newly developed Sawmills won the Ice Energy Award Environmental Award for Property and Construction at the Oxfordshire Business Awards in 2009.

The unique and tranquil setting has led to successful letting of 85% of the premium office space, located in an elevated position alongside the River Glyme. Blenheim Palace Sawmill’s current tenants include ADS Advertising & Design Ltd, Timber Windows.Com, Barlow’s Timber merchants and Historic Futures Ltd. Two units are now available to let measuring 140sqm and 126sqm. For more information, visit www.blenheimpalace-sawmills.co.uk

West Oxfordshire business awards announcement Preparations for the 1st Annual West Oxfordshire Business Awards are well underway with venue, date and categories to be announced shortly. The Awards are being co-ordinated by a group of leading West Oxfordshire businesses, including B4 Magazine, together with Business Link, Abingdon and Witney College and West Oxfordshire District Council. Details regarding the event are being finalised prior to the formal launch announcement

in August. Those interested in receiving further information should register their interest at www.woba.co.uk where they can sign up for the Awards Newsletter or simply request more information on specific aspects of the Awards such as how to enter, what sponsorship opportunities are available, dates and much more. The event is scheduled to take place in March 2011 at a West Oxfordshire venue. Formal applications for entry will open in September.

Healthy Work, Rest and Play To perform well during boardroom battles and long gruelling road shows executives need to know how to sustain their energy levels and stamina. Helen Money Nutrition works closely with clients providing nutritional advice to combat stress and fatigue. Formerly a fund manager, Helen worked in the City for 16 years and understands the demands work can put on you and that meals are often eaten

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away from home. Helen Money Nutrition will work with you to create a plan that is tailored to your individual needs, and is achievable and sustainable in your working environment. Call Helen today on 01865 339672, or email helen@helenmoneynutrition.com. To read more about Helen Money Nutrition visit www.helenmoneynutrition.com.

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B4 News Hine Solicitors launch party a great success More than one hundred guests enjoyed the Hine Solicitors official launch party at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum in May. Guests heard a short introduction to the firm presented by Andrew Morris, one of Hine Solicitors’ Higher Courts Advocates. The launch party was held within the impressive surroundings of the Atrium of the recently restored Ashmolean Museum which provided the perfect backdrop.

Senior Partner Tony Hine said. “The evening was a great success and I am absolutely thrilled by the number of people who are clearly eager to welcome us into their community. I can promise this will be ‘a new voice for Oxford’.” Hine Solicitors opened their new Summertown office in February 2010.

Oxford

For more information or to arrange an appointment with Hine Solicitors please contact Michelle Jewell or Jennifer Trigg on 01865 339660 or email: michellejewell@hinesolicitors.com or jennifertrigg@hinesolicitors.com

Venturefest 2010 gives entrepreneurs a new platform for growth This year Venturefest Oxford was once again successful in bringing together investors, innovative companies and entrepreneurs to network, learn and do business. B4 were proud Media Sponsors of the event. While the day’s events of key speakers and training sessions on ‘hot topics’ such as funding and innovation were highly popular as always, Venturefest can also report that a number of entrepreneurial businesses were successful in securing funding on the day.

Showcase, featuring some of the most exciting innovations emerging from throughout the UK, as well as three winners of its inaugural “Best of British Innovation” competition. Delegates also had the chance to test drive the MINI E, an electric version of the MINI that isn’t commercially available yet. Next year’s event will take place on Tuesday, 21 June, 2011. The venue has yet to be announced, so please visit www.venturefest.com to keep up-to-date with the news.

Venturefest also presented its annual Technology

80,000 Euros generated from one single e-Mail Orchadis Media announce a new record for the total amount of business raised from one single issue of an active email newsletter campaign.

work, by creating, writing and sending out regular e-newsletters and tracking the behaviour of your audience.

The latest newsletter for The Céramiques Du Château Art Gallery, who sell beautiful Picasso Ceramics, resulted in their readers spending a total of 80,000 Euros, all thanks to the expertise of Orchadis in putting the e-Newsletter together!

Orchadis look after a wide variety of clients, including IT companies, software vendors, consultants, lighting specialists, golf clubs, restaurants, and racing drivers and they could help you too!

E-newsletters are an extremely cost effective way of winning new business and keeping your brand visible with prospects. Orchadis do all of the hard

For marketing that generates sales, please call Chris Hooton on 01865 339 429.

Win Two Tickets to The Crazy Bear’s Annual Summer Garden Party Sunday 29th August, 2pm Until Midnight This year live entertainment includes Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Sam Brown & The McRobbies, DJ’s, fire shows, magicians, burlesque dancers, a pianist, parkour performers and more. The Crazy Bear’s famous Thai Banquet, Hog Roast and Barbecue are included in the ticket price. Tel 01865 890714 to reserve your tickets.

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The Crazy Bear Hotel, Bear Lane, Stadhampton, Oxfordshire, OX44 7UR. www.crazybeargroup.co.uk To win two free tickets (worth £55 each), e-mail editorial@b4-business.com with your name and contact telephone number. The winner will be notified before the end of July. See article on page 102.

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B4 News Blink Design produces ECB Women’s and Girls’ Cricket Poster

Blink, designers of B4 Magazine, were recently contracted to design and print a new ECB poster to help raise the profile of women’s cricket amongst schoolgirls. A total of 86,000 posters were printed for the ECB to distribute throughout England and Wales. The ‘Fun in the Sun’ poster has been released as part of the ECB’s bid to increase the number of girls aged nine to fifteen playing cricket and raise awareness of the opportunities available in both schools and clubs nationally. Sue Redfern, National Development Lead for Women’s and Girls’ Cricket, gave Blink the brief, and commented. “We gave Keith Simpson the outline brief and he came back with a striking and very attractive design. We made a few tweaks here and there, but the end result was very much based on Keith’s original designs. The poster is slightly different in terms of design from the normal ECB style to specifically engage with girls and make it appealing. “From initial brief to delivery, Blink were attentive and maintained incredibly high customer service levels. I’m very pleased with the finished product.” England women’s captain Charlotte Edwards has lent her support to the initiative encouraging more girls to play cricket, and ahead of a busy summer of international cricket, Edwards turned up at Beechwood Primary School in Reading to talk to pupils about the benefits of the sport (see picture). “There have never been more opportunities for girls to play cricket.” Edwards said. “The game is a great way for girls to be active, have fun and learn new skills and when is there a better time to give it a go than in the summer holidays?” The initiative follows on from the recent visit of international stars Anya Shrubsole and Aimee Watkins to Devon’s Axminster Cricket Club as part of a similar drive to get more women playing cricket ahead of the NatWest Women’s Series between New Zealand and England. Clare Connor, Head of England Women’s Cricket, will be featuring in a forthcoming edition of B4 Magazine.

The Editor Recommends: Alison Haill of Oxford Professional Consulting Giving presentations or even brief overviews of our business at networking events, I had always attempted to do this ‘off the cuff’ with little or no preparation. For a recent presentation, however, I knew I had to up my game and prepare thoroughly. Alison, a specialist in leadership communication at Oxford Professional Consulting, offered to help and she totally transformed my approach, mindset and message. The delivery of my presentation was clear, structured and yielded instant results – customers came up to me immediately after the presentation to book memberships for our new B4 Website! “Most people have some issue to do with speaking in public, so it's always a real pleasure to be able to help.” Alison told me. “Clients say they value my feedback on their presentations because I’m honest and direct! I start by identifying what the barrier is and then we work on the message itself. I help clients choose ‘power-words’ so they are really clear and convincing.” Alison is professional, detailed and leaves no stone unturned. With her considered and understanding approach, she quickly pin-points areas for improvement and raises your overall game with impressive results. I would have absolutely no hesitation recommending Alison. Richard Rosser, Editor, B4 Magazine www.oxfordprofessionalconsulting.com

www.b4-business.com

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TEAM MINOLI Once in a while you look at a business objectively and can appreciate, without knowing too much about the internal organization, that it is run properly with a team that has a solid reputation to uphold. Minoli Tiles are a perfect example. Managing Director, Jonathon Minoli, and his trusted team not only care about their business, but deliver to their long established customer base a professional and articulated service and a first class product. To a man, Team Minoli are most certainly proud to be custodians of a family business started fifty years ago by Luigi & Peter Minoli. B4’s Richard Rosser met with Jonathon in Minoli’s new corporate showroom at Minoli’s base in Cowley. Minoli Tiles has evolved from its humble beginnings in Islington in the late 1940’s when Luigi Minoli, who started the business, produced and installed Terrazzo. In the 1950’s, the business moved to Oxford and built a Terrazzo factory in Divinity Road and phased in supply of English and Italian tiles alongside the existing Terrazzo business. In 1960 the company moved to its current site on Transport Way and continued to develop and mature into one of Oxfordshire’s most respected businesses and also one of the leading independent suppliers of high quality tiles in the UK, under the stewardship of Jonathon’s late father, Peter. The recently opened corporate showroom symbolises the ethos which drives the business to continue improving, to ensure there is a platform for growth well into the future and to never rest on its laurels and become complacent.

from how we did things during my father’s tenure. Business was always conducted properly under my father, and he taught me to never be greedy, never to be dishonest. It sounds really basic, but these guiding principles are the reason why we are still here today. That was the education that was offered and it stuck.”

This is a business which quite obviously coarses through Jonathon’s veins. Working alongside his father since the late 1980’s, he has only ever known one way of doing business. “My father was and still is this business. Without him, I wouldn’t be talking to you today. His business principles and everything I know live on with me and I very much see myself as a custodian of the business, holding the fort until the next man, or woman comes along, whether that’s one of my children, Lucy or Luca, or someone outside of the family, perhaps one of the younger team members here who are showing such promise.

Kate Minoli retired from the business in 2007, even though Jonathon left her desk untouched for a good six months. “I honestly didn’t think she would leave, but it became clear she had moved on and, in hindsight, it’s quite remarkable that she stayed for so long after losing my father. She was a real rock and we still talk daily about the business, so she still has a ‘desk’ here, so to speak.” Jonathon says with a wry smile, pointing over his shoulder”.

“Big enough to cope and small enough to care…” “We are simply building on the foundations laid by my father, the ethos, the mentality, the way of addressing clients, suppliers, the team, everything stems 16

Following the loss of his mentor and guiding light (Peter passed away in 1994), Jonathon wasn’t totally alone far from it in fact. “My mother Kate also worked in the business, predominantly on the buying side, and we had to take over the running of the business, it was good to have Kate to bounce ides off and provide me with some guidance. Without her, it would have been a much harder furrow to plough.”

The foundations laid by Jonathon’s father and the continued support of his mother are therefore key reasons behind Minoli’s success and Jonathon is clear in his mind why the business works as it does today. “My father made a lot of good decisions a long time ago and we have stuck by those. He was risk averse but, at the same time, took risks, so I suppose the phrase is ‘calculated risks’. For Jonathon, the business is about the team, a principle clearly defined during the company’s recent rebranding. “We talked a great deal about the new identity we wanted the business to have going forward, prompted by our upcoming fifty year anniversary. For me the business only functions with the team, which may sound obvious, but outwardly displaying that we are a team www.b4-business.com


B4 LEAD gives everyone an even greater sense of togetherness and common purpose.” The result was a separate branding on workwear and delivery trucks with the logo ‘Minoli One Team’. Simple but effective. Team Minoli is a close unit which can boast an impressive list of long term members which have supported the business since Jonathon first joined at the age of Nineteen. “We have a phenomenally low staff turnover, and to that extent we are exceptionally lucky. Personnel have matured through the business, they have developed and have moulded themselves into the obvious candidates for roles at the next level. I couldn’t have asked for a team unit with so many essential qualities, but the consistent theme running through the team are the principles instilled by my father many of whom worked with him. More recent joiners quickly get to grips with our way of doing business, so it is a continuous process of succession which works very well.

The market for Minoli is essentially business to business, as much as 90%, as Jonathon elaborates. “Our area of operation is London Centric, London and the Home Counties, although we have an extensive client base on the corporate side from the Midlands down, incorporating Bristol through to Essex. On the wholesale side of our business we have at least two very good clients in every major town, and on the development side in some cities we have a large number of excellent clients, although we are in the middle of a very quiet time for developers, to say the least. “In context, we would be referred to in our industry as a major independent. We are relatively small compared to the multi-nationals, but we offer an exceptional product which is sourced predominantly from Italy. We can more than hold our own and have a solid reputation in the industry for being reliable with a product to match. Big enough to cope and small enough to care sums us up.

“The direct consumer business is a relatively small but important part of our business as we tend to supply through wholesale clients, but we have to raise the profile of that side of the business locally. I think the common misconception of our business is that we are solely consumer facing, and I would like to think that our reputation on the wholesale side will translate to and help us to develop the consumer market.” The impressive new corporate showroom is, for now, the showcase of the business and was officially opened to Minoli’s clients during two Open Days in late June, which were a great success according to Jonathon. “We felt that we had to separate our professional clients, as their needs are very specific and often need to be addressed without interruption. This new space provides that facility. “The feedback we received before the Open Days was great, but we were overwhelmed not only by

“...outwardly displaying that we are a team gives everyone an even greater sense of togetherness and common purpose…”

“Chris Richards, our Warehouse and Transport Manager, has been with us since he was seventeen, over twenty five years ago. Douglas, who assists him, has been here for just about thirty years. On the sales side of the business, Darren, our wholesale sales manager, has been here since 1996. Daniel, who works with house builders and developers , one of our key areas, started with us as a Saturday boy and has progressed through the showroom and marketing department. “Laurence Parsons has been in the showroom for eight years and my accounts team, including David Wright, who looks after all the finances and started with us in 1997. The sales and administration is run by Sophie Doran, who has been here since 1995 and started as an office Junior

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“We are still on first name terms with the vast majority of our customers. There is a strong bond with our clients, typified by our relationship with Renault for whom we have supplied every showroom & workshop for almost a quarter of a century.” Following on from record years in 2006 and 2007 and the first three quarters of 2008, the recession has certainly had an impact on the business, however, the business is strong enough to come out of the recession intact and well placed to capitalise on the upturn. “When the housing market fell away, it was bound to have some effect. I honestly can’t see the recovery many experts are predicting. It’s going to be tough and with so many of our clients dependent on construction, we have to be cautious.

the attendance but the compliments which were made to the team over the two days. I wasn’t sure we would attract the numbers we wanted because we are all focusing on our businesses even more during these testing times, but the support we witnessed and the positive feedback received during and subsequent to the event has been most gratifying.” The new showroom completes an identity overhaul for the business, an identity which had its roots in a hand-drawn logo which Peter Minoli painstakingly created in the 1960’s. “I was personally very fond of my father’s designs, but time moves on, and it was made clear to us that the branding of the company didn’t reflect at all what we did, where we had come from and how we had evolved. Some clients had commented that how we 17


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B4 LEAD portrayed ourselves externally wasn’t a true reflection of the real business, so it was a change we had to action.” The evolution of the new brand was as painstaking as that created by Peter Minoli, but the new look, which was adopted in 2006, has gone down well with customers and the industry. “We are very happy with the look. It is clean, crisp and unfussy. We were recently awarded with Excellence in Tile Industry Marketing Award and we were also first runner up in the Excellence in Distribution category. I have always been reluctant to get involved in the awards scene, but, on reflection, it has been good for the team to receive recognition for their hard work and definitely boosts morale.” The day to day workings of the company are fairly low key, Jonathon acknowledging that his role is merely to ensure his finely tuned team are continuing to do what they have been doing so well for so long. “Every department within the company has a manager and I will sit with them formally, weekly, and just catch up, make sure everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to and that we are all moving forward in the same direction. “My role outside managing the company is to maintain relationships with our larger corporate clients, which involves a significant amount of travel throughout the UK and Europe. I keep in close contact with the vast majority of the manufacturing plants which are

“In the last two years, when the economy has been difficult, we have had to look at our service levels and of course pricing. As we have always been very competitive, we have had to be very creative in making sure the offer to our clients is ultra competitive, and an entire range of ‘Core Essentials’ product was launched this year and has been extremely well received. Some clients had their heads turned by competitors with low priced product, but they don’t seem to stay away very long, as service and quality are crucial”. “Many of our wholesale clients regard us as their ‘warehouse’ and the relationship borders on partnering. We have a very smooth chain of supply that is especially beneficial to the south east House builder, where next day delivery is often crucial. It is our reliability that cements our position in this very competitive market. “The cornerstone of our business is our warehousing and the huge investment in stock. But this is something we have always done – it’s ingrained into our psyche. It has always been our way to have a large amount of stock which is closely monitored, with our own fleet of trucks, our own drivers and everyone in the business is employed. So we have complete control over every aspect of the business and as good a level of control as you could hope to have over our suppliers. “We have been very fortunate to align ourselves, purely by coincidence, with suppliers who share our vision,

“...we have established and reliable lines of supply, and it’s hard to find that anywhere else.” predominately in Italy, some in Spain and a small but growing number in the Far East. “We can see business starting to pick up, and hopefully by the Autumn we will begin to see the fruits of the substantial investments made and building begins again and confidence in the general economy increases” The established source of Minoli’s product probably always will be, Italy, and it’s that foundation of supply that is the key to the company’s future. “Despite sourcing some product from emerging markets in the Far East, if anything, we’re sourcing more product from Italy. Our customers rely on us because we have established and reliable lines of supply, and it’s hard to find that anywhere else. “We have two Italian producers with whom we have built up relationships in excess of thirty years. They get it right in terms of quality and design and there is no reason to change a model which has served us so well for so long and is still developing.” Generally, Minoli turn around an order in twenty four hours, and this next day service for its corporate clients has been pivotal to the company’s overall success, is central to their offering and has created a loyal and regular client base. www.b4-business.com

our ethos and our business practices. It all works like clockwork, although, unfortunately there have been some casualties as some suppliers have struggled to operate during the recession. Interestingly, it is the family owned companies which have survived, those who almost entirely reflect our modus operandi.” Nothing would please the current custodian of Minoli more than to see the family business move into a fourth generation of ownership, but, for now, Jonathon Minoli and his team are continuing to build for the future. “We have come through a difficult period in the company’s history, but we know we are as strong as we have ever been. I take immense pleasure from running this business with a team that share my enthusiasm and will to succeed. We have been fortunate with the staff and supplier relationships which have been cultivated and nurtured over the last fifty years, but, above all, the original Minoli business remains at the core of everything we do. As long as we don’t lose the passion and commitment which has become our trademark, then this business will continue to flourish well into the future.” www.minoli.co.uk

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

NEVER GO BACK? Having recently commenced his second spell as Editor of The Independent following a two year stint as Managing Director, Simon Kelner is clearly relishing the challenges of an industry facing some serious questions about its future. Richard Rosser and Jessica Flood met with Simon at The Independent’s offices in London.

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They say never go back, but in Simon Kelner’s case, going back meant a new desk and a different phone extension. Having edited the paper for ten years in his first spell, it was hardly unknown territory, as Simon explained. “Being under the same roof meant it was a fairly natural move to return as Editor. My previous tenure was immensely rewarding and once it became clear that I was the right man for the job, it would have taken something cataclysmic for me to say ‘no’”. That first phase as Editor encapsulated Simon’s pioneering spirit in one key move when in 2003, Simon lead the change to The Independent’s more compact format which was the catalyst for an instant upsurge in sales. Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery, and if the subsequent move of the broadsheets to similar tabloid formats wasn’t meant to be flattering, it was certainly a fairly large feather in Simon’s cap. His career in journalism began in modest surrounds at The Neath Guardian in 1976, and from there Simon moved to positions at The Kent Evening Post, The Observer and The Mail on Sunday’s Night and Day Supplement, to name just a few. Simon was appointed Editor of The Independent in 1998, and held the post until 2008. The ensuing two years as Managing Director proved more testing for him. The widely predicted recession was gathering pace and accelerated a number of demanding decisions which fell upon Simon to make, as he acknowledges. “It was a very tough two years and we were faced with some impossible decisions. I shan’t deny it was a struggle, but we are still here and still fighting. “If I learned anything as Managing Director, I really started to appreciate that, in fact, the best role on a newspaper is the Editor’s. I am expected to make big calls but I can still be creative, a mix which certainly brings out the best in me.” The paper is certainly making observers take notice and circulation is ‘pleasing’. When The Guardian starts to question why Simon is seemingly experimenting

where is the speculation? Newspapers provide a benchmark, they provide a voice of authority. Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums are great. They are instant. But where’s the structure, where’s the rationale, where’s the thought process? “They said newspapers would suffer when the radio came along and they said newspapers would die with the internet. I shan’t deny that the internet is having an effect, and it’s making us think about how we run our business in the future. But we can co-exist, we don’t need to hold our hands up and throw in the towel. We all want information, and if you took away information disseminated through newspapers, you would have a huge hole in the delivery of content. It would be horrendously destabilising.” Attracting the customer in today’s economic climate drives most businesses, and Simon’s creative bent is fundamental to the long term success of The Independent. Preferring to keep his audience guessing rather than sticking to one definite style for his paper’s front cover, Simon likes to experiment and invariably attempts to provide an eclectic mix which catches the eye on the newsstand. He asserts. “I am not one for rules and guidelines. Nothing is off limits ... if it’s interesting, then we’ll go with it.” Simon likens his role to that of a theatre impresario assembling a cast to entertain. In Simon’s case, his cast comprises a team of journalists who are growing in stature as celebrities, ‘must reads’ for The Independent’s 195,000 readers. “I need to feed our readers with information that they will keep coming back for. If I can convey this information through a team of journalists which attracts its own following, then I have succeeded. The pressure to get that right has always been there, but right now the feeling is that this pressure is greater than ever before because we can see the results of the alternatives so openly every single day. “People have been writing off newspapers for a very, very long time and it’s still

“People have been writing off newspapers for a very, very long time and it’s still a very vibrant industry ” with different cover formats and fonts it’s obvious that the competition is finding the new Editor’s creativity and unpredictability irritating, and that is surely proof enough that he is making an impact.

a very vibrant industry. Artists weren’t worried when cameras were invented, cinemas weren’t boarded up when televisions came on the market, and the i-Pod didn’t kill off the music industry.”

Quite clearly comfortable back in his seat as Editor, Simon’s second baptism, if indeed that’s possible, wasn’t quite ‘of fire’ but was fairly warm. “I was appointed during the lead up to the General Election following the acquisition of the paper by Alexander Lebedev in late April. But I hit the ground running and it was a hectic time to start back, but, nonetheless, enjoyable.”

Without being drawn on what plans are being made for the future, Simon discloses that management at the paper are exploring new models which they feel will enable the paper to continue to operate profitably. Following on from the move by The London Evening Standard to give the paper away for free (see B4 Issue 14) in anticipation of increased advertising revenues to compensate for lost cover revenue, will The Independent follow suit? Alexander Lebedev is also the owner of The London Evening Standard, and just because the paper is on the verge of profitability after losses quoted as ‘cavernous’, The Independent is not the same beast as The London Evening Standard, and being distributed for free would shatter the incredulity levels which The London Evening Standard reached when it made its ground-breaking announcement to go free towards the end of 2009.

The fast moving developments epitomised by the General Election highlighted the powerful role that the internet and, increasingly so, social media are now playing in delivering updates, opinion and, more importantly, providing a platform for measuring the thoughts and decisions of an undecided electorate. Simon admits that trying to keep up to date with the rolling news story was hard work, and actually quite impossible to compete with digital media which could provide up-to-the minute coverage. Even an edition printed at half past four in the morning the day after Britain went to the Polls became out of date as the waking public, and even, by his own admission, Simon himself, headed to the internet or the television set to research what had occurred overnight. However, when questioned whether events such as the General Election can highlight the shortcomings of newspapers versus digital media, Simon was adamant that newspapers still have a crucial role to play in society. “Without newspapers, where is the comment, where is the analysis,

“There will no doubt be modifications. This is most certainly a period of transition for newspapers. The changes we have seen at papers such as The London Evening Standard have proven to be good calls, despite the levels of astonishment these revolutionary moves stimulate. It is an exciting time for newspapers and I most definitely want to be a part of The Independent’s future so that I can be a part of and maybe a catalyst for positive change.” The Independent are proud sponsors of The Woodstock Literary Festival. www.independent.co.uk

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

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B4 HR

RECRUITMENT CONSULTANCIES: HELP OR HINDRANCE? It is a universally acknowledged fact that Recruitment Consultants have held a similar reputation to that of Estate Agents: one of questionable trustworthiness, hard selling and dubious tactics to ensure that the ‘bum is on the seat’ and the invoice is paid. However, times are changing and in a time of recession, as with any area of our lives, we are seeking value for money. If we have to spend money on recruitment, we want to ensure we are getting a quality, high end, professional service. But how can a Recruitment Consultancy really add value to your business? Katherine Dales of The Career Boutique gives B4 readers her view.

However, some roles are extremely hard to fill and can be very time consuming, time that busy HR departments can ill afford. This is where a consultancy can really earn its money. Since the recession, the amount of people who have applied for individual jobs has increased dramatically, in some cases, tenfold. This makes finding the right candidate harder. A consultancy can help you avoid many of the costs and bottlenecks involved in recruiting, and allow you to focus your time and resources on other aspects of your business. A good Recruitment Consultancy should offer you just that… consultancy. They should be another arm of your business and know the in’s and out’s, do’s and don’ts and ethos of your company. They should be able to promote and advise potential candidates during the process, as well as using this information when interviewing and screening them. This is essential to decipher whether a candidate’s personality, ethos and values match that of your company – something you just cannot see from a CV. This in itself will provide a value added service, as any good recruiter will know you get a ‘gut feeling’ about a match between potential candidate and client, and this can often prove invaluable, although intangible – without meaning to sound too mystic! Therefore, insisting a consultant visits your business and spends time getting to build a relationship with you and your business is essential – a consultant should be able to be honest with you at all times, even if you don’t like what they have to say. A good, high quality consultancy will also attract good high quality candidates and subsequently have a fantastic list of candidates who are looking for their next role or merely ‘keeping an eye out’ on the market. For candidates, a crucial benefit of using a consultancy in times of recession is the access to

www.b4-business.com

business relationships between top level management and consultancies. The affiliations and relationships certain consultancies have with clients enables quick visibility of available and suitable jobs, both current and forthcoming, so a candidate has a good chance of getting noticed for jobs even before the vacancy advertisement has been placed. The Career Boutique has an established reputation for working with high profile, successful organisations interested in securing only the most outstanding individuals. Our professional search techniques pinpoint top performers who would not normally respond to advertisements. We adopt a ‘project’ like methodology for each vacancy, providing update reports for clients regularly, implementing alternative methods if needed. We do not ‘fit’ our services where they are not 100% needed, can add value and will be honest and open with you about this in order for you to gain maximum value for money. We provide a value added service through seminars, workshops, partnerships, lifestyle tips and recommendations and candidate care programs (monitoring candidates once they have started in a role to ensure they settle in well and get up to speed quickly) and strongly believe that recruitment is not a 9am-5pm service, and quite often interviews need to be organised outside of office hours. So, yes, I do believe that working with the right Recruitment Consultancy can most certainly be a help and an extra level of expertise that can add value, save time and money and produce some excellent candidates that would never otherwise have come to light. However, using the wrong consultancy can most definitely be a hindrance and can be expensive. The answer? Be selective and go for high quality, good reputation, excellent, value added service and honesty to ensure you get more than a ‘tick box cv’! If you are looking for someone to fill a specific role or unique job, the only people we will put forward are those that match your needs. Visit our website at www.thecareerboutique.com, to find out more about how we operate, and why we are unique in the world of recruitment. www.thecareerboutique.com

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Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

For most companies, it is the HR department that deals with, among many things, the recruitment of senior personnel. Advertising on the company website, free job boards, free newspapers or even an informal ‘recommend a friend’ scheme from current employees is normally adequate when recruiting more junior personnel., thus avoiding recruitment costs.


PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH With the first students arriving only last April, Magna Carta College, which originally found its home in a single room at Wolfson College, has now re-located to its long term home in Summertown and serves as a learning hub to nearly two hundred and fifty students from over twenty nations. Richard Rosser met with Dean, Professor David Faulkner (Emeritus Professor University of London) to learn more about the origins and future of Magna Carta College. Words by Clare Macaulay.

Although in its relative infancy, the college is already seeking permission to double its number of students (through widening the range of courses) and is keen to explore the potential of new spheres of learning through such opportunities as distance learning and internships. A private Business School, its mission is to deliver postgraduate education in international business and business law that is excellent both in knowledge content and student learning experience to students drawn from all over the world. In a climate in which post-graduate education is an increasingly valuable commodity, and indeed an expectation of the corporate employer, the college offers high quality teaching to meet this demand and looks set only to grow.

Professor Faulkner decided to practice what he preached in the lecture theatre to his students and turn his theoretical knowledge into a tangible reality. “I teach strategy. What do we say in strategy? We say ‘if you’re going to get sustainable competitive advantage, do something that could have sustainable competitive advantage’. Don’t try and do something new, do something you know about because otherwise people who already know about it will beat you out of the market.

Magna Carta College is the brainchild of its Dean, Professor David Faulkner, a man with an enviably weighty academic and employment record. After reading PPE at Oxford, he worked as an academic economist, headhunter and management consultant, (with the National Economic Development Office, McKinsey & Co, Arthur D Little and Korn/Ferry International) before returning to academia, completing his doctorate at Templeton College - eventually becoming an Official Student (Fellow) of Christ Church and Professor of Strategy and Director of the MBA programmes at, firstly, the Said Business School in Oxford, and, latterly, Royal Holloway University of London.

“So I looked at myself and thought, what do I know about?”

After working at the latter for six years the red tape of academia started to stifle, as Professor Faulkner explains. “Everything went to committees and the committees then referred things and nothing happened, and I got very, very frustrated. One day I thought, ‘I could do this better than they do’”. Seeking a way to by-pass such bureaucracy and take control of his own career, 24

“So I looked at myself and I thought, what do I know about? For the last twenty years I’ve been running and teaching the MBA, so that’s what I knew about. So I set up my own college.’

The ease with which the Professor makes this last statement belies the hard graft that made such an act possible. As he admits. “It took quite a long time. I thought it would take a month or two and we’d just do it... I thought I knew about MBA’s, but, actually, I knew all about teaching MBAs. I didn’t know about setting up colleges.” It would take almost a year for the first student to walk through the doors of the college, only possible after wading through acres of red tape. The college had to become a member of the British Accreditation Council (BAC), accredited by an existing university (the University of Wales) and A-Grade www.b4-business.com


B4 EDUCATION sponsorship with the Border Agency (in order to gain visas for foreign students). All of this was achieved after an abundance of official visits and ‘tick boxes’. Ironically, Professor Faulkner’s escape from bureaucracy quickly seemed to become anything but. Moreover, the first year was marked by a merger. Professor Faulkner joined forces with his former student Ejaz Chowdary and his longstanding associate Syed Gilani, who had bought The West London School of Management and Technology (which was subsequently sold). The partnership is one that Professor Faulkner celebrates as enabling. “I don’t think we would have taken off in the way we have, were it not for the merger.”

Yet there is still room for growth and expansion. Despite having students from twenty countries, Professor Faulkner admits this is not representative of the heavy proportion of students from the Indian sub-continent, and they are exploring ways to enable a greater diversity. Moreover, the college is keen to work with the local community, as Maggie notes. “Training companies are not running overnight training as they used to, and I think it’s a big mistake not to continue educating and to train your staff. It’s very short sighted.”

The three men, along with his wife Maggie, make up the team which leads the college, GIlani and

This is something she would like to see Magna Carta tackle, education at the college not being just restricted to foreign students but also seeking to work with local businesses, and exploring opportunities for distance learning, exploiting the new technologies available that don’t necessitate face-to-face learning.

Chowdary providing an invaluable capacity for resourcing students. Together, the four work in a team that Maggie describes as having ‘total trust’. “There is no need for counter-signing documents

Professor Faulkner sees the possibilities and opportunities of private higher education soaring, and predicts a ground shift in the power bases for providing such education, marking it as a ‘growth

seems a subtle challenge to the hegemony of existing public institutions, and a nod towards the shifting future for the trends of higher education that Professor Faulkner predicts. The Magna Carta is fundamentally a document that symbolises limits to royal power (giving concrete rights to barons against the monarchy in the 13th Century) and represents an attitude that inescapably recognizes small and medium enterprises as the dominant constituents of an industry; it has been picked up throughout history by such representatives to challenge any absolute reign or monopoly of power. The Magna Carta College, though not direct competition for such institutions as the Saïd business school, offers a progressive repositioning of the teaching of higher education from the

reigning establishment to a wider spectrum of possibility. At the conclusion of our interview, Professor Faulkner’s trailing reminiscing of his own Oxford undergraduate experience balanced his

“if you’re going to get sustainable competitive advantage, do something that could have sustainable competitive advantage” by a solicitor. The four of us are all equal and we don’t make a decision unless there’s total agreement.” Both Maggie and Professor Faulkner admit that their meetings are often ‘animated’. Such animation seems to pay off, and exemplifies the much sought anathema to the polite bureaucracy of the institutions and meetings he has left behind. Most importantly, it is a method that evidently gets results. Magna Carta’s success lies in its offer of high quality teaching at a competitive price. Unlike similar colleges in the USA, there is no requirement for a GMAT exam or work experience, and MBA courses are offered at £8,500. The teaching is first class. www.b4-business.com

area’. “I foresee that private universities and colleges will become much more significant over the next ten years. That is of course a prediction, but all the signs back this up as taxation is the alternative and parents are pushing to get their children degrees. ‘Since undergraduate degrees are highly subsidised, and not MBAs... it’s one of the first things the government cuts back on, ergo more and more private colleges are going to develop... resulting in more competition but also greater demand. So it should just become bigger.” Professor Faulkner admits that the Establishment have demonstrated some unease with the success and rapid growth of the college, and despite his firm statement that ‘we are not aiming at the same market, at all’ in the very name of the college there

own nostalgia with a recognition of an inevitably shifting future. Change and progress is what Magna Carta College is about. Its rapid evolution, fuelled by the relentless energy and passion of its founders, staff and students sees it set only to go on to further success and growth. Watch this space. A low-key launch will take place on the 21st July 6pm-8pm. If you wish to attend, please contact Maggie Faulkner at: maggie.faulkner@magnacartacollege.org. www.magnacartacollege.org

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news .uk policy process revamped to encourage wider stakeholder engagement The Policy Advisory Body (PAB) which provided policy advice to Nominet’s Board since its inception in March 1999, ceased to operate following its meeting in May 2010. The Policy Advisory Body reviewed its own role and function, and made recommendations on how the policy advisory process could be set up and run to deliver improved policy advice to Nominet’s Board. Nominet consulted on these proposals with their members and stakeholders during March and April 2010. Nominet has recently made some significant changes to the process it has for setting policy regarding the .uk domain name space. The new process has an open approach to developing policy for the .uk domain name space that focuses on specific issues. Each issue will be dealt with in specially convened issue groups that bring the relevant stakeholders into the centre of the process. Any businesses or individuals with a concern regarding .uk domain name policy can get involved in guiding policy development by emailing policy@nominet.org.uk for more information.

Following the consultation the new .uk policy process has been launched. The issues-based, stakeholder-led approach fits well with Nominet’s amended constitution that encapsulates our public purpose, ensuring the Board takes all stakeholders’ views into account when developing policy. The idea of all interested parties from the wider UK Internet community being encouraged to engage in policy discussion through specific issue groups on particular topics is central to the new policy advisory function. The issue groups are supported by a .uk policy

stakeholder committee of 8-10 people, chosen to include expertise from across the domain name industry and representing the interests of other stakeholder groups. This committee will help the issue groups and enable and encourage the advisory process, as well as playing a key role in an annual .uk policy conference. The committee will also advise issue groups on: • Stakeholder engagement • Any overlap between issue groups • Particular concerns that issue groups have • How to identify and recruit relevant stakeholders In addition a secretariat will provide administrative support for the new process, ensure proper stakeholder engagement is taking place in issue groups and assess the progress of issue groups annually. Any businesses or individuals interested in forming an issue group, or contributing to this new flexible policy process, can contact us for more information by emailing policy@nominet.org.uk. We look forward to seeing how the new .uk policy process shapes up in the coming months.

Reserved short domains will soon become available Nominet is planning to release two letter, one character and other reserved .uk domains later this year, and we recently ran a consultation on our proposed release mechanism and the domains to be made available for registration. Domains that may be released: • All currently reserved one character domains in .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk and .net.uk • All currently reserved two letter domains in .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk and .net.uk • We may also release a series of domain names previously reserved e.g.

Nominet started operations in 1996. Nominet’s rules currently prohibit the registration of certain domain names, including the majority of all one and two character strings. Originally there were technical reasons for this prohibition, but these have since been overcome. Nominet’s Policy Advisory Body therefore advised Nominet to release the domain names, and to make sure that this is done fairly we have consulted with the public on how we should release these domain names. The consultation paper at www.nominet.org.uk/ about/consultations/reservedshortdomains/ outlines our proposed method for releasing the domains and the costs involved.

• Domains that use a Second Level Domain at the third level, e.g. sch.org.uk

The consultation period ran for three months and closed on 8 June 2010. You can read a summary of the responses we received from .uk stakeholders at http://www.nominet.org.uk/about/consultations/ reservedshortdomains/responses .

However, there are a number of exceptions for domain names that were registered before

We will now consider all the feedback we received and use it to help us create a draft release plan. We

• Domain names that use a gTLD at the third level, e.g. biz.org.uk

www.b4-business.com

will then publish that plan on our web site for final comments before we open the application process. Any news about the consultation and the release will be published on our web site, our RSS news feeds and the @UKShortDomains Twitter feed. We anticipate that the domains will be released later this year. It is not possible to reserve any of these domains in advance. If your company plans to apply for one of these domain names, you should begin speaking to your brand protection, web site and technical advisors now in anticipation of the sunrise process beginning. Companies should also bear in mind that whatever form the process takes, applications for a domain name will need to be made via a Nominet registrar. If you have any questions, contact us by email shortdomains@nominet.org.uk

www.nominet.org.uk

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B4 PROPERTY

BIG NAMES

GO EAST

A year ago B4 reported that the landlords of East Point Business Park had taken direct action to attract new occupiers by joining forces with a local serviced office provider. The idea was to try to broaden the appeal of the Park and adapt to current occupier needs for flexible, quality business premises. At a time when the commercial property market has been struggling, over 16,000 sq ft has been let to over 20 companies.

Following the outstanding success of its first twelve months, Clarendon Enterprise Centre is making a further 80 workstations available at Sandford Gate on East Point Business Park, Oxford, in July 2010.

In addition to serviced offices, managed office space is available in the adjacent building, Heritage Gate. Candy Woodington, who runs the East Point offices of Clarendon Enterprise Centre on behalf of the Park owners, Frontier Estates, says: “I like to think of our facilities here as an incubator for

Marlborough House at Heritage Gate also houses the Clarendon Conference Centre. It offers facilities with a variety of meeting rooms for groups of six to a hundred delegates, available from as little as £15 per hour. Oxford County Council and the Primary Care Trust both regularly use these facilities and

“We also offer complimentary wi-fi access for downloading emails or surfing the internet – and excellent coffee!” Within a few weeks of opening its doors, the Centre had let 2,500 sq ft of serviced office space to a software specialist requesting bespoke office space and other well known companies quickly followed, including Rolls-Royce, Tara Tripp Hearing, Houlihan Smith, NJ Commercials, B Channel and IMS. Once all these requirements had been fulfilled, Clarendon soon found itself with a waiting list and already has takers for over a third of the new workstations.

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companies looking to grow beyond a typical serviced office client. Companies may move into our serviced office space in their early stages of growth. Later on, we can offer them managed office space if they wish, and then potentially dedicated premises elsewhere on the Park. The convenience of not having to worry about all the logistics associated with committing to permanent office space is a strong pull for them”.

have found that this works well in terms of the flexibility, spacious facilities and excellent customer care. Another major feature of the Centre is its Business Lounge, which can be used free of charge, on an ad hoc basis, by local business people and networking groups. Candy is particularly keen to attract more of the latter and says: “We already have Business Network International and The

www.b4-business.com


GREAT

SERVICE ”Having been in other serviced offices in Oxford for six years it has been a refreshing experience moving to the Clarendon Enterprise Centre. Not only are the facilities outstanding but the team is efficient, organised and enthusiastic, no request is too small and advice is given freely. Our clients are delighted with the new practice facilities and have commented on the luxurious business lounge and the friendly welcome at reception. The Clarendon Enterprise Centre and the team will be a great asset to our business development.” Tara Tripp, Managing Director, Tara Tripp Hearing Care.

Infinite Group as regular users. Sometimes they need a training room but quite often just want space for a get together of two or three people. Our Business Lounge provides an ideal environment which proves to be an attractive alternative to hotel lounges or motorway service areas. “We also offer complimentary wi-fi access for downloading emails or surfing the internet – and excellent coffee!” Keen to use local suppliers where possible, Clarendon employed Sonia Kearns from frontdoorz to design the Business Lounge and Interiors 4 Business for the interior fit out. Taking that local contact forward, Candy is constantly on the lookout for ways of creating extra levels of customer care such as hosting popular informal breakfast seminars at the Centre and also offering opportunities for other networking groups.

www.b4-business.com

Commercial agents Savills and VSL manage the lettings at the other buildings at East Point; recent tenants include the Christian charity Innovista, which has moved from their premises in Summertown to take 3,100 sq ft on the first floor of Meridian House. Nick Berrill of Savills, who managed the Innovista letting, says: “One of the things that appealed to the new tenants was the availability of Clarendon’s on site meeting rooms and Business Lounge, where they can meet and greet visitors on an informal basis or hold one to one talks outside the office environment”.

”Centrally-located on the Oxford ring road, our new managed offices at Clarendon were the perfect choice following our move from serviced offices. The Centre offers fantastic facilities including plenty of parking, meeting rooms and space for future seminars and conferences. The managed office solution is simple and easy, the support team on site has been able to advise us every step of the way and, having designed our ideal office environment, we’ve not looked back.” Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates.

“East Point is a unique place to work from because it offers such flexibility, from a one person serviced office up to a fully tenanted office area of up to 35,000 sq ft.”

www.eastpointoxford.co.uk www.clarendon-enterprise.co.uk

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B4 R&R

FRILFORD RAISES ITS GAME B4 were fortunate to witness first hand the great strides Frilford has made in improving the club’s already excellent facilities at the recent B4/MGroup Golf Cup qualifier. On and off the course, Frilford are striving to maintain their reputation as one of the leading golf courses in the South of England. General Manager Jimmy James and Managing Director Alistair Booth are certainly an effective partnership. We have spoken to both in the past two issues of B4 Magazine and whilst it is easy to talk a good game, this amiable and hard-working partnership have delivered everything they have promised, and more. Our visit for the B4/MGroup qualifier was destined to turn into something of a damp squib, with torrential rain forecast for the entire day. It only transpired later, ironically on what turned out to be the most glorious of June days, that a plumbing fault had flooded a small part of the clubhouse,

go to ensure quality golf. “The greens are in the best shape they have been for years, thanks to the new Irons,” beamed Alistair! “We have also invested in new precision maintenance equipment which allows us to take any cutting item and not only sharpen the blade but also adjust the height and the level of the blade, enabling accuracy and precision of cut commensurate with the terrain. “We are also working out a comprehensive winter works programme to make the courses even better in 2011, as we have many prestigious tournaments coming to Frilford in the next four years.”

“I knew this club was special before I came here but it was special from an objective point of view. Now that I am living and breathing Frilford, I am seeing it from a different perspective. I hope that what my team and I are putting in place is only serving to enhance that view for the members and the visiting clubs and societies. Testament to the work we are all doing is the fact that we are attracting some great events for the future and the feedback from everyone who plays is tremendously positive. “We have been delighted with the numbers of golfers returning with friends to take advantage of

“I knew this club was special before I came here” necessitating a 3am start for Jimmy and his team. But there was no fuss, no drama, no excuse made for any potential dip in service. There was no need. We were treated royally from start to finish and our guests, to a man, were complimentary of the whole day. The greens were immaculate and the course, whilst challenging, was a pleasure for all of those who challenged it, even though some, who will remain nameless, were well and truly beaten by it! We witnessed, first hand, the two new Turf Irons which are high end green irons, mesmerising equipment which shows the lengths the club will www.b4-business.com

Off the course, the new driving range is now fully functional, utilising the latest Huxley matting for the perfect strike (all you need is the perfect swing) proving very popular with members and also societies. “The range was well used by the PGA when they had their tournament here recently and also amateur golfers at the Brabazon tournament which we hosted.” Added Alistair. As Jimmy James enters the mid-way point of his first year at the helm, how has he adapted to life at Frilford? “It has been everything I could have wanted and so much more.” Said Jimmy, bursting with joy that he has the great pleasure of working in a business which he can see improving daily.

our Summer Sizzlers and with the great strides we have made on the course, we fully anticipate huge interest in the Winter Warmer packages we have created.” It really is a pleasure to connect with Frilford. It is a club which could quite easily adopt the stereotypical elitist Golf Club stance. But it falls well short of this unenviable tag and retains a humble and overwhelmingly appealing attraction for the golfer and, indeed, any visitor to the club. Maybe that’s why memberships are up 5% year on year! www.frilfordheath.co.uk

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PASSION &

COMMITMENT

RM are expanding, and rapidly. From their head office based just outside of Oxford and with just over 2,000 employees, RM designs and sells technology to schools and colleges, from computers to new software and hi-tech foldable whiteboards. An ambitious and passionate organisation, RM’s five year target is to be the market leader in the implementation of new technology in all spheres of education. This highly professional organisation are well on their way to making this prospect a reality, as Russell Govan, the company’s HR director, enthusiastically explained to Richard Rosser and Clare Macaulay of B4.

RM aims to provide affordable and effective new technology for schools. They are very focussed on their clients and their employees, looking after both with the upmost care and attention. Employees are knowledgeable, passionate about the brand and demonstrate real care and commitment to making a difference in today’s classrooms. This is

undertaken to help develop schools and schoolchildren in the UK. He believes the key to their success is a culmination of factors, all achieved through RM’s passionate approach and hard work. “Our aim is to design great learning spaces, and we’ve really focused our attention on that over the last couple of years. Integrate the improved learning space with innovative technology, a

learning environments and advanced software which, for example, allows them to mark children’s work online instead of trawling through piles of paperwork. RM is steadily evolving. Annual turnover exceeds £20 million and is expected to grow to over £50 million by 2014. One of the major factors in the

“Our aim is to design great learning spaces…” highlighted through RM’s fantastic relationships with schools and teachers across the UK, who never fail to be impressed with RM’s personal approach. A case in point is Andrew Goulty, Head Teacher of the Rodillan School in Leeds. The school has developed with the help of RM under their Building Social Future programme, which has been hugely successful. School children can benefit from new technology, such as smart boards, to encourage interactive learning. Russell is clearly proud of RM and the work

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sensible prioritised action plan and really good leadership and then you’ve got a great school”. RM employees do not just sell a product, they become involved in all aspects of education development, applying a very hands-on approach to business, continuing the ethics of the company’s creators, Mike Fischer and Mike O’Regan. The integration of new technology into the classroom allows teachers to concentrate on learning and attainment, while RM employees ensure the technology is functioning correctly. RM are striving to make life easier for teachers, through better

current and projected success is international development, particularly in the USA. The market for advances in education State-side is, surprisingly, trailing the UK. No wonder, then, that there has been a tremendous response to RM, providing the company with the perfect opportunity to grow and reach the aforementioned targets. Future trade and expansion in India is also important to RM. India and the US look set to provide phenomenal expansion opportunities for RM, with India’s input in the education system growing at a rate of sixty-five per cent per annum (compound).

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B4 EDUCATION

A particular recent success has been the implementation of the Glow intranet system in Scotland, a deal which RM won over big-name

furniture, and advanced equipment to create comfortable and creative learning spaces for the future, all of which stimulate the children and they

buzz, and clearly the employees are well looked after, many joining the company as graduates and carving out successful careers for themselves.

“The flexible and hard-working team at RM work under the belief that they really can make a difference…” competitors such as Microsoft and IBM. Glow has been highly successful, and currently connects 800,000 learners and teachers. This typifies the confidence that teachers and schools have in the developing RM brand. Providing products from the TTS (Technology Teaching Systems) range, such as a life-size Roman Centurion outfit for history lessons, helps to encourage effective interactive learning. The company make sure they do their research to provide the best possible service to schools, and work to combine all the elements of their research to achieve this. They use their extensive knowledge to provide schools with ICT technology, excellent

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respond positively and learn more. The flexible and hard-working team at RM work under the belief that they really can make a difference, and this stems not only from the products they provide but also from how the employees are treated. The company is an enjoyable place to work, with annual balls and dinners, and a recent addition: The Entrepreneur of the Year scheme. Employees are given the opportunity to create innovative products and, if they are successful, they are entitled to a percentage of profit. Incentives such as these contribute to RM’s creative

The foyer of RM’s headquarters is adorned with awards, recognising its hard work and dedication to service, and only recently RM were voted the UK’s top IT employer by the external organisation of The Corporate Research Foundation, an award it has won for the last three years. As Russell concludes. “RM has a very special culture. The business is fun, it is creative and it really is helping the next generation to learn more efficiently and with a great deal more fun along the way.” www.rm.com

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

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scottfraser p private rivate finance We are proud to We o announce the launc launch h of sco scottfraser ottfraser private private finance gi giving ving buy b buyers ers and sellers impartial an and nd marketwide advice ad vice on mortg mortgages, gages, insur insurances, ances, trusts and tax planning. To T o get a head-s head-start, start, contact us to arrange arrange an n appointment with our spec specialist cialist independent financia financiall ad advisors visors on (Your may repossessed 01865 759500.. (Y Yo our home ma y be reposse essed if yyou ou do not keep up repayments rep payments on your your mortgage. Think Think carefully before securingg debts against yyour our home).

On-line Mar Marketing keting With more and With d more on-line competition iin n the property market it is diffi difficult ficult to ensure that your your prop property perty is seen b by y potential buy buyers erss as their next home, rrather ather th than han just one of a long list. T To o he help elp our sellers stand out from m the cro crowd wd we are launc launching hing b bespoke espoke websites for man many y of our properties. These photography T hese websitess include professional pho otography and comprehensive buyers which comprehensi ve information for potential buy ers w hich give individual show gi ve indi vidual properties the opportunity to sho w their best features.

T he restr rictions within this order prev vent HMO properties The restrictions prevent being le et to students/sharers unless planning permission let for C4 use u is obtained for that property prop perty from your your local council. At prese ent Oxford City Council have have a moratorium moratorium on present gr anting planning permission on change change of use for new granting HMO pr roperties in the East Oxford aarea. rea. properties Therefore if you Therefore you have have a property tha that at was was let to students/ sharers on o the 6th April 2010 you you may m y continue to do so ma without obtaining o permission. Ho wever er, if yyou ou subsequently However, let to a family, family y, you you cannot then return n to letting to sharers/ students without obtaining planning permission p for C4 use. Our br an nch managers and key staff members have have taken branch the timee to in vestigate the changes changes and ho w they affect investigate how our land dlords, including taking advice adviice from Oxford City landlords, Council.

Please feel free to call us for more informatio information. on.

Therefore, if you Therefore, you ha have ve a property th that hat you you wish to rent to students/sharers students/sharers but are concerned concerne ed about the changes changes to HMO O legislation please feel free e to contact us. We We are happ happy py to pro provide vide impartial advice advicce and a free market appr appraisal aisal for yyour our property property..

Adrian A drian W Wraight raightt - 01865 759500

T racey Ha H yden - 01865 244666 Tracey Hayden


scottfraser.co.uk 205a Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7HQ 267 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1XQ 77 London Road, Oxford, OX3 9AA

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India Hicks is not an easy woman to introduce. A mother, model, prolific fundraiser, award-winning designer, author and television presenter, her list of accomplishments seems inexhaustible, with each neat label of career proving reductive unless considered in the light of her full spectrum of successes. Richard Rosser and Clare Macaulay managed to sneak a peak into the whirlwind world of India Hicks on one of her recent whistle-stop visits to Oxford. Daughter of the eminent interior designer David Hicks, granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten, India currently lives an exotic existence in the Bahamas, but is strongly tied to (and frequently visits) Oxfordshire, where two of her four children attend boarding school. From the opening of our interview, an indication of her firm determination that must have garnered such success is evident. Control drips from each deliciously articulated word, and when informed of previous business successes to have been interviewed by B4, India’s immediate response to a list of male only names is ‘Not many women’. Like the country her name borrows from, India seems to embody the paradoxical partnership of both the exotic and the British – the former manifested in her Island lifestyle,

public have discerned that she is not an artificial face for the product, but nurtured its growth. “My fingerprints were all over the collections… Here was a collection that had been designed and given birth to by somebody, I hadn’t just come along and thought ‘mmm that smells nice, what’s in it?’ The organic and honest product is one that Hicks argues the current buyer demands, and she ensures her products are weighted with her self and not just her name in response to this. “With the recession affecting all of us, customers really look before they spend. And I think they want something that really is of value.” India places value in such parallels as the ‘green message’ of her product echoing her own eco-friendly habits on the island, such as ‘air drying’ her clothes, watering the garden only ‘when God feels like it’. The products, she stresses, have all the synthetic dyes / colourants removed, and everything is recyclable and reusable. However, in an unusual mismanagement of her language, India passionately declares that such attention to detail ensures

“My fingerprints were all over the collections… Here was a collection that had been designed and given birth to by somebody, I hadn’t just come along and thought ‘mmm that smells nice, what’s in it?’” the latter exemplified in her position in line to the throne. Aptly then, her home in the Bahamas mixes Peter Jones’ floral fabric and ‘tea at four’, with a beach location and tropical surroundings. India’s unique ability to reconcile such apparently opposite influences in one body seems to have spilled over into and formed the foundation of success for her designs. It is a combination the consumer has responded to eagerly and one that India looks set to take advantage of further, with new exciting projects already firmly on the horizon.

Photography: Cookie Kinkaed

Since 2006, India has worked as a creative partner on two hugely successful projects with Crabtree and Evelyn. Her collections scooped coveted prizes at the CEW awards (‘Island Night’ won the CEW Best New Celebrity Fragrance award in the UK whilst ‘Island Living’ scooped Best New Fragrance at the UK CEW Awards in 2008). The level of sales far surpassed expectations; so much so that India has to catch herself almost complaining at the problems such high demand caused. She breaks a long explanation of the consequent challenges they faced, ‘it caused enormous problems with forecasting and shipping…maintaining stock was very, very difficult’, with a ripple of laughter. ‘But please don’t get me wrong, you want sales to surpass forecasts’. India insists on how important it was for her to be engaged and driving every stage of the design, and how in some areas (for example with the fragrance itself) it was a real ‘learning curve’. Leading on from this, her relation of the process is consistently framed in organic images, (she describes Crabtree and Evelyn as having its ‘roots firmly in the botanical world’), and she is thankful the press and 36

that products ‘transcend the messages of her life’, presumably rather than ‘transmit’. Amusingly, considering the weighty carbon footprint her frequent flying has probably endowed her with (India describes herself as permanently being ‘bloody jetlagged’ from all the air miles she racks up) the slippage is probably apt. Her work on the collections pivoted on her home in the Bahamas exemplifying how her home on ‘The Island’ seems to seep into all of her work. ‘Island living’ and ‘Island Night’, as their names suggest, derive their scent and style from Bahaman influences (Casuarina is ‘inspired by the island breezes that sweep over our veranda each day...orange blossom, palm leaves, and salt air’ and Spider-lily after her favourite island flower a ‘fragile white beauty that grows by the edge of the sea’). Her interiors book in 2003 'Island Life' was followed with ‘Island Beauty’ a lifestyle fitness/beauty book published in 2005. Even her own children seem to be products of the island - in her blog she writes ‘I have produced four little island savages. Sometimes I worry about this’. Her inspiration from island life evolves her already acute sense of aesthetic gained both in front of and behind the camera (she modeled for a number of years and has a photography degree – in which she gained honours), and in growing up under what she describes as ‘the imposing eye of David Hicks’. Her regularly updated blog is scattered with images of her children, home and colourful array of animals (a Japanese fighting fish being a recent arrival). www.b4-business.com


B4 SPOTLIGHT

KEEPING UP WITH

INDIA

India Hicks is not an easy woman to introduce. A mother, model, prolific fundraiser, award-winning designer, author and television presenter, her list of accomplishments seems inexhaustible, with each neat label of career proving reductive unless considered in the light of her full spectrum of successes. Richard Rosser and Clare Macaulay managed to sneak a peak into the whirlwind world of India Hicks on one of her recent whistle-stop visits to Oxford.

The relationship between her design and the Island is a reciprocal one. Whilst the island organically moulds and influences her design, so the influence of her work extends upon the island. In 1999 she and her partner designed ‘The Guest House’, a retreat in the style of an old Caribbean plantation house which was subsequently built by local carpenters and tradesmen, whilst her charity work gives much needed support to a local school. Her work and the island are seemingly inextricable, her boat she notes, is ‘named after my Crabtree and Evelyn fragrance...Spider-Lily’, but this is in turn named after her favourite island flower. India Hicks proves that a balance between motherhood and career success is possible. Though she admits she does find the question of balancing the two intimidating and to some extent, unanswerable. “I think as a woman it’s more interesting when other things are going on as well as being a mum. Although, understandably, working and being a mum to four pushes you to the absolute limit, I do somehow manage to keep the scales even, albeit with tremendously hard work and some sacrifice.” India freely declares she has quite a strong feminist attitude, explaining that in business she doesn’t want to be treated any differently. “I’ll just get on with it.” She asserts. It was this attitude that prompted her to travel on a worldwide three-month promotional tour for her Crabtree and Evelyn fragrance without mentioning to the company that she was pregnant. She did not want to be ‘mollycoddled’. Yet the mollycoddling of India Hicks, (who also bungee jumps, scuba dives and has run marathons) is something difficult to imagine.

“Working and being a mum to four pushes you to the absolute limit, I do somehow manage to keep the scales even” When questioned about the future, India mentioned, but was unable to talk in detail, about two upcoming projects, another new collaboration with Crabtree, and a separate venture into jewellery design, but her voice hums with excitement at the mere whisper of them. If her own words are anything to go by, “One of the things I have learnt over my working career is that if you are enjoying something, you do it well”, it would seem that the delight with which she viewed such prospective endeavours bodes only towards more success. Tracing her journey so far, this is not a difficult thing to imagine. Follow India on Twitter and Facebook – see: www.indiahicks.com or visit Crabtree & Evelyn on Carfax in the centre of Oxford.

37


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


news Innovation in the form of a Jelly... A little bit of New York is coming to Banbury with a free event for home workers at Colin Sanders Innovation Centre, Mewburn Road, Banbury, following the success of similar events in Shropshire last month. Jelly was started in New York three years ago by a couple of home workers who felt the need to get out more. Described by its founders as a casual working event where people come together to work for the day or part of the day, to work, chat and share ideas, it is being organised by the Colin Sanders Innovation Centre who work with many start up and small companies. Isolation is one of the biggest challenges of working from home and Jelly is a friendly way for home workers to get out of their home office for a change of scene, a good chat and a shot of inspiration. Free wifi access along with free parking will be provided by the Colin Sanders Innovation Centre, which provides another alternative to working from home in the form of rented desks and office space. As long as you have a laptop and you are a business person then you qualify to attend. Even if a business is still being researched, people are welcome to come along for the day, or part of the day, and share workspace with other motivated business people. What Jelly is definitely not, is an opportunity to sell, it is co-working, not networking. The idea is for home-workers who do not share an office with colleagues, to get together with like-minded people for a change of scene, to chat, exchange help and advice, work together and share ideas. Lilian Bannister, from the innovation centre, says of the forthcoming Jelly “I strongly believe in the power of co-working and Jelly to help freelancers and home workers get out of the house, pick up tips, advice and new ideas, and meet inspirational people”. Jelly is still a novel concept in the UK, but is spreading fast, with Jellies being set up across many regions in coffee shops, community halls and business centres – anywhere that offers free wifi, enough powerpoints for people’s

Recent success from Colin Sanders Innovation Centre, Banbury, is from RDVS, an engineering company whose growth since being based in the innovation centre has been phenomenal. RDVS provides complete electrical system and component design services to the automotive industry, and offers support for manufacturers at every stage of the product development process - from concept to launch. They work across all main automotive sectors:- electric cars, niche vehicles, commercial and military vehicles. Speaking about his time in the innovation centre, Rob Millar, MD of RDVS says, “RDVS moved into Colin Sanders Innovation Centre in early 2006. One of the early attractions to us was the “easy in / easy out” licence terms which allowed us, as a young company, to move to our own premises without feeling hugely burdened by the commitment that a more traditional agreement would have entailed. On arrival we found that the centre staff were hugely supportive and pro-actively sought out assistance for us on a range of issues. The most obvious was that they promoted programmes that were running within the Oxford Innovation (OI) network. We subsequently entered onto several programmes which were crucial in forcing us to stand back from the day to

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laptops, table space and access to refreshments. The first Banbury Jelly was held on Wednesday 23 June. Further Banbury Jellies will be held every fourth Wednesday from 10am to 4pm in the Colin Sanders Innovation Centre. For further information go to: http://wiki.workatjelly.com/Banbury-UK 12 free places will be available every month, attendees must register for a place at the following website: http://banburyjelly.eventbrite.com and follow us on twitter at BanburyJelly. Further Banbury Jellies will be held every fourth Wednesday, from 10am to 4pm in the Colin Sanders Innovation Centre. 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 companies. For enquiries contact 01295 817600 or visit: www.oxin.co.uk/colinsanders

day work and look at our business from a more objective standpoint. A key programme was Designing Demand - funded by the Design Council but managed by Oxford Innovation. This was a huge help to us - assisting with looking at the products and services that we provided and how they could be tailored and presented to our customers. On completion we had a defined product portfolio and also an increased understanding of how to present the portfolio to potential customers. In summary, I believe that our rate of growth was significantly influenced by the support we have received from OI, and from Lilian Bannister, Sales and Marketing Manager for the centre, in particular. The flexible terms offered to us were a crucial part of engaging us in their network. We entered into the innovation centre as four people and when we recently moved out we were 19 and took on premises bigger than the entire centre. I’d heartily recommend the centre to any growing business as a step to the next level.” For more information about RDVS visit: www.rdvs.co.uk For more information about the Colin Sanders Innovation Centre Banbury, and Oxford Innovation, visit: www.oxin.co.uk/colinsanders

39


A GRAND VENTURE Blenheim Palace, the magnificent stately home of His Grace the Duke of Marlborough set in over two thousand acres of sweeping landscape, regularly attracts visitors from far and wide to Woodstock, with over half a million tourists visiting each year. However, it is also the only world heritage site in the UK that does not receive any public funding, due to it effectively being in private ownership. Maintaining the Palace will always be an expensive business, but with exceptional expenditure and the perennial challenge to attract visitors, the trustees are always having to think outside of the box. Jessica Flood went to meet with Roger File, Property Director at Blenheim Palace, to find out how he has helped create an essential support to the Palace.

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

Blenheim Palace is not just a first class destination for the day tourist, the event holder or a high profile film location, it has also become more than adept at generating vital income streams, from its significant property portfolio which has been a relatively recent development. It was all change at Blenheim Palace in July 2003 with the appointment of Roger File as Property Director. Roger’s career background was in commercial property, but he quickly impressed throughout a long interview process and landed the role. Whilst Roger admits that he has found working on a rural landed estate an altogether different proposition to commercial property, he is a true believer that good management skills can be adapted to make any business model work. Roger’s role, much like the Palace itself today, is one of diversity. An open brief to develop and move the Palace’s property business forward has led to responsibility for repairs, maintenance and major projects, 40

for example, the recent dam refurbishment, at a cost in excess of £1 million. “The Property team is relatively small considering we support the Palace with an extensive portfolio of over 12,000 acres with over 200 houses. Between my colleague Matthew Neilson and I, there’s not much we don’t get involved in at various times. We also support the visitor business, through the maintenance team led by Chris Keeler, from handling the events to erecting marquees, and basically anything which involves a screwdriver.” Construction has played a huge part in the development scheme, under the eye of Property Manager, Matthew Neilson, who oversees the estate’s day to day management and is in charge of letting and managing the property portfolio.

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B4 PROPERTY

“With an estate like Blenheim Palace, it’s an integral part of the local community and the local community is an integral part of Blenheim Palace” As Roger, Matthew and the team got a firm grip on the property capabilities of the estate, it was only a matter of time before they tapped into the development potential at Blenheim Palace. The easy option would have been to outsource development responsibilities to an external contractor, but, instead, Blenheim estate Contractors was formed, led by Construction Manager, Clive Wilkins. Over the last five years, Blenheim estate Contractors have developed over forty new residential units, as well as converting 50,000 square foot of commercial office space including the award winning Blenheim Palace Sawmills business unit scheme near Long Hanborough.

party developer, with the aim to provide affordable housing in smaller villages. This has come about through a partnership with The Vale Housing Association on our first site on the Banbury Road, Woodstock. We are also looking at potential sites outside the Estate boundary to develop and add to our portfolio.”

But this is only the beginning, as Roger elaborates: “We are currently looking at local sites with a viable option of beginning building schemes for a third

The team rose to the challenge, and were it not for the contribution made by Roger and the Property team, the bill would have been even harder to

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Most recently, Roger and his team undertook a major project to complete the extensive reparations required on the Blenheim dam within the grounds. “We knew there were minor issues, but when we had our last ten year inspection, we hadn’t quite expected the extent of the work and the challenges it would bring.”

stomach. Providing funding for exceptional maintenance such as this is obviously of great importance, although, as Roger concludes: “The Palace is in good shape, but there are always things to do. I would broadly estimate that in the next twenty years, the Palace will require between twenty and forty million pounds worth of work to maintain it. Our role is therefore as important as ever, and we have to make sure that we keep the bills down and continue to develop the property side of the business.” Property and Maintenance team pictured (left to right) Mick Eddington, Mark Tomkin, Lester Sillence, Dave Hodgins, Adrian Carvell, Grace Cameron, Roger File, Matthew Neilson, Clive Wilkins, Paul Loakes, Chris Keeler, Jeff Lamborn). www.blenheimpalace.com 41


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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 UNITED FC www.oufc.co.uk

BROOKSTREET DES ROCHES LLP www.bsdr.com

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

Reggie Heyworth Managing Director

Kelvin Thomas Chairman

BLENHEIM PALACE www.blenheimpalace.com

MINOLI www.minoli.co.uk

Jonathan Minoli Managing Director

John Hoy Chief Executive

BRECKON & BRECKON www.breckon.co.uk

VSL www.vslandp.com

Greg Barnes Director

Richard Venables Director Paddy Gregan Partner

“B4 is all about making the right connections and promoting business in

OXFORD CASTLE www.oxfordcastle.com

LONDON OXFORD AIRPORT www.oxfordairport.co.uk

Oxfordshire and the wider Thames Valley. Providing a quality publication with excellent content and the addition of its new B4 website is a great link-up to network businesses in the area.” Paddy Gregan, Brookstreet des Roches LLP James Dillon-Godfray Head of Marketing & Development

Jean-Pierre Morilleau General Manager

NOMINET www.nominet.org.uk

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

Lesley Cowley CEO

RIACH ARCHITECTS www.riacharchitects.com

Douglas Riach Sole Principal

IN OXFORD MAGAZINE www.inoxford.com

Colin Rosser Managing Director

www.b4-business.com

MALMAISON www.malmaison.com

David Beesley Chairman

TREVOR OSBORNE PROPERTY www.topgroup.co.uk

Andrew Creese General Manager

SHAW GIBBS www.shawgibbs.com

Trevor Osborne Chairman

THE PROFITABLE HOTEL COMPANY www.profitablehotelcompany.co.uk

Stuart Harrison Owner

DARBYS www.darbys.co.uk

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

43


GIVING YOU COMPLETE

CONTROL

Chris Lewis is already a well-respected name in Oxfordshire. As owner of the successful and established Chris Lewis Fire and Security, he is already more than adept at providing security and peace of mind to home-owners and businesses. However, detecting a gap in the market, Chris has recently expanded his business, establishing sister company Lewis Building Technology. Jessica Flood reports from the company’s first show home.

Inspired by a growing customer requirement for system integration, Lewis Building Technology offers the expertise to fully transform your home into a pool of convenience. Merging everyday requirements for home security, audio visual technology, heating, and lighting, it offers a one stop shop for anyone wishing to create hi-tech home. At the moment, their niche is the upper end of the residential market, though their future projected success is expected to incorporate more commercial ventures as well. Their fundamental proposition is to network together a building’s disparate technologies, and nowadays, offices are always equipped with the necessary communications infrastructure. The technology that the Lewis Building Technology team can provide is, without a doubt, smart. Their recently completed show home is packed full of gadgetry to make for an easy life. Wireless 44

touch-screens dotted around the house, provide intuitive control of televisions, music and video servers, heating, lighting, window dressings, and all aspects of the security system. And as well as being able to interact with each system individually, the company’s ‘brains’ have used clever cause-and-effect programming to make the systems interact seamlessly with each other. For example, if the doorbell rings while you’re engrossed in a movie in the home cinema, the DVD player will pause and the lights go up a fraction. And, so you don’t have to leave the comfort of the cinema room’s reclining chairs, the same touch panel from which you played your movie, also lets you view real-time CCTV footage of the caller, talk to them via the door intercom, and grant them access to the house by unlocking the door remotely. At first glance, it may seem that this tech exists to enable a more sedentary existence but there are real environmental and economic benefits being

demonstrated in this house. The system is IP-based and in constant contact with all that exists on the World Wide Web. Using a basic weather forecast feed from Google, the house’s window blinds can be cunningly utilized to maintain a constant and comfortable inside temperature – for example when the sun hits the south-facing windows, the blinds lower automatically to prevent rooms from overheating, avoiding the need for air-conditioning. When the intruder alarm is set, and therefore the house is unoccupied, the system ensures that all the lights and televisions are turned off, and throttles down the central heating. When I listen to Justin Rhodes, Lewis Building Technology’s Managing Director and self-confessed ‘geek’, it’s clear that this is just the tip of the cost-efficiency iceberg. He talks enthusiastically about the dramatic energy-saving effect of dimming lights by an unnoticeable 10%, and utilizing simple ambient light sensors to graduate office lighting so that bulbs close to windows are dimmed more www.b4-business.com


B4 PROPERTY

than those in the centre of a room. But Justin’s real passion is clever programming, and he eagerly demonstrates the iPhone app which can deliver remote access to every aspect of the show home’s systems. It seems as if anything is possible; the secret is to fully understand and enhance whatever the client is trying to achieve. There is no ‘basic package’ or standard requirement

integration, and a genuine desire to listen to and understand customers’ motivations, both of which it has acquired from the many years installing sophisticated security systems for its high-end residential and commercial customers. The technology on display is undeniably ‘sexy’. Large flat-screens swing into action at the press of a button and tempt you to choose from a raft of

the bathroom sports a waterproof TV. Yet, the brilliant thing about this show home is what you don’t see. Twenty-six kilometers of Cat 6 cabling is trunked around the building, invisibly connecting every electronic device in the house with the centralized control system secreted in the loft. To request your free, no obligation home assessment, and begin your journey to a

“being able to link up with your iPhone, you can be anywhere in the world and yet never more than a finger press away from your home’s systems.” for Lewis Building Technology’s clients – each installation is tailor-made to suit the needs and desires of the individual. Key to the company’s success is their thorough understanding of IT www.b4-business.com

high-definition movies. Preprogrammed mood lighting complements a fibre-optic starlight effect in the ceiling of the home cinema and motion-activated spotlights on the stair treads. Even

comfortable, energy-efficient and ultra-convenient way of life, make Lewis Building Technology your next call. www.lewisbt.co.uk 45


Begbroke Science Park

news Begbroke tenant wins RSC Young Industrialist of the Year Award Dr. Jon-Paul Griffiths, co-founder of Oxford Advanced Surfaces Group PLC at Begbroke Science Park, has won 2010’s Young Industrialist of the Year Award. This annual award was established by the Royal Society of Chemists (RSC) in 2008 and is awarded to individuals for significant contributions to industry early in their careers. Dr. Griffiths’ research into applications of carbene chemistry (which led him to co-found Oxford Advanced Surfaces) secured the £2000 prize. The RSC is ‘the largest organisation in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences’, making this achievement an impressive testimonial for Dr. Griffiths and a great way to boost Oxford Advanced Surfaces’ profile. Oxford Advanced Surfaces is a spin out company from Oxford University’s Department of Chemistry which aims to transform materials to improve the performance of existing products as well as creating new applications. Their newest product is an innovative anti-reflective coating that can be applied to surfaces such as eyeglasses, mobile phones and computer screens to reduce glare.

Dr. Jon-Paul Griffiths, co-founder of Oxford Advanced Surfaces Group PLC

A graduate of Nottingham Trent University, Dr. Griffiths gained his PhD in the Synthesis of Novel Electrical Conducting Organic Materials. He then joined the University of Oxford’s Department of Chemistry as a Post Doctoral Research Associate where he developed fundamental chemistry behind using carbene intermediates for surface modification; this work then progressed into more industrially focused areas such as adhesion promotion and disinfection. It was here he met Dr. Mark Moloney with whom he co-founded Oxford Advanced Surfaces in September 2006.

Jenson Button’s Championship Car comes to Begbroke Science Park! On Tuesday 25th May, Materials KTN sponsored the PerkinElmer/ Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Technology day, at which Jenson Button’s 2009 Championship winning car was on display. The event was held at Oxford University Begbroke Science Park where speakers from the Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team and PerkinElmer showcased the technology which, through their technical partnership, has enabled them to revolutionise Grand Prix racing. Button’s car was an excellent demonstration of PerkinElmer’s invaluable contribution to the design and manufacture of F1 cars today. Their analytical expertise has provided the motor racing industry with advanced monitoring technology and improved manufacturing techniques resulting in increased efficiency and performance. One example of this is their ability to do trackside analysis of gearbox oil for traces of wear metals in order to inform decisions about changing the gearbox – this decision is critical as a gearbox change before the four race limit will result in a 5 place penalty on the starting grid! The day proved very successful, attracting a wide range of people from school children to F1 enthusiasts to academics, all enjoying an exclusive photo opportunity with the car. For more information about Begbroke events please contact events@ begbroke.ox.ac.uk

www.b4-business.com

Current World Champion Jenson Button in the incredible Brawn GP F1 car.

www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk

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B4 MARKETING

“Is it Vivid, Grounded,

Relentless and Magnetic?”

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BOTTLE FOR PR

BOTTLE PR has earned a deserved reputation as one of the brightest and most exciting PR agencies outside of London. Lead by the inspiring partnership of Claire and Will, it is soon obvious why BOTTLE PR is trusted to deliver. Claire Cairns spoke to Richard Rosser and Jessica Flood about the agency’s success story, their passion to succeed and, more importantly, their commitment to deliver. An impressive individual with a wealth of experience in PR, Claire set up BOTTLE PR six years ago with fellow Director Will, employing their first member of staff in early 2005. Both Claire and Will have impressive career backgrounds, having worked for some of the world’s largest PR agencies, in addition to holding senior in-house PR positions. Their combined experience has enabled them to create a formidable team, totalling twenty-four, with industry specialists ensuring Bottle really can do PR for its deliberately diverse client base, with great effect.

a week, and, of course, we will travel wherever we have to in order to service clients’ accounts or to pitch for an account. Being based in Oxfordshire means we are not weighed down by large overheads, so we can invest more in senior staff. Many of the established London PR firms will use senior staff to pitch for work but the account will then be passed to a junior, which doesn’t always ensure the results match the original pitch.

Claire and Will’s infectious work ethic has enabled them to attract the best in terms of employees and clients, as Claire explains: “We are workaholics and work 24/7. PR is all-consuming and relentless. There is never any respite as there’s always another journalist to call and always another spin on a story. Since day one, we have had ‘outstanding quality’ at the heart of everything we do.”

The BOTTLE PR philosophy is based on the four key principles which are adhered to from the initial pitch to the work which follows from winning an account. “We ask the same four questions after we have pitched, after we have planned a campaign and while we are implementing a campaign. Is it

All the hard work has certainly paid off, as BOTTLE PR has a fantastic reputation, being listed by ‘PR Week’ as one of the UK’s top 120 agencies, and as the sixth fastest growing PR agency outside of London: a huge achievement. Will and Claire have a clear vision as to how they want the company to progress, with the invaluable input of non-Executive director, Neil Backwith, who advises on BOTTLE PR’s strategy, and two Directors, Carole Scott and Karen Cooper, who themselves have impressive PR careers Diversity has been the key to BOTTLE PR’s success, as Claire explains. “Unlike some PR companies, we don’t restrict ourselves to one specific sector, but deliberately employ experts in certain fields, ranging from financial services, technology, property & construction, energy, and ‘green’ PR, to name just a few. We can then use this expertise across all accounts, where relevant.” Growth has certainly been boosted by the impressive wealth of knowledge which BOTTLE PR has accumulated, together with the ever-expanding network of journalists and know-how, as Claire continues: “We are undoubtedly well-known and have earned a great reputation in a relatively short period of time. We have to continually refresh our links with the press.” Being based outside London is regarded as an asset. “Our location isn’t a hindrance, as BOTTLE PR has representation in London two or three times www.b4-business.com

“We are becoming something of a thorn in the side of the London agencies, pitching against them on a regular basis – and often winning ”

“Many regard PR as something of a ‘Black Art’” Vivid? Is it Grounded? Is it Relentless. Is it Magnetic? As long as we stick to these four clear principles, we will stay on the right track. We don’t want to be enormous and lose sight of our principles. I think a team of fifty would be more than sufficient to ensure we don’t lose sight of what we are about.” Everyone at BOTTLE PR is equal. ‘Hierarchy’ simply doesn’t exist. “We believe our work ethic is clearly equitable to good results, and everything BOTTLE PR does has to correspond with our four core values. The very nature of PR means we all have to work Hard every day at getting results for our customers. Every morning we will review the papers and key online news sites to see what news stories there are for our clients to ‘piggyback’ . It’s a great way to start the day and creates a real buzz around the office. Individuals are each assigned a newspaper or online publication and share helpful stories regarding each others’ clients.” As well as specialising in ‘traditional’ PR, BOTTLE PR has a firm grasp on the fast-moving world of digital PR, a trait essential for a successful agency. BOTTLE PR has grown precisely because it has

been able to keep up with the movement of digital PR and understands the importance of digital media, whether this is blogging or social media. The team know how to realise the full potential of digital PR and incorporate it into their campaigns. BOTTLE PR is an energetic, yet personable company which knows how to get the job done, and its team have performed PR miracles for start-ups through to some of the world’s biggest brands. As a testament to the company’s accomplishments, see below. - Clients featured on 3 out of the 5 business news slots on the Chris Evans BBC Radio Two Show in One Week. - 14 national press and broadcast interviews for a retail client in one day. - 80% rise in year on year sales for a drinks client as a direct result of BOTTLE’s PR campaign. - Huge increase in website enquiries from 50 per day to over 30,000 for a utility supplier after a positive profiling piece on Watchdog. - Client featured in the Financial Times three times in one week. Many regard PR as something of a ‘Black Art’. BOTTLE PR work in compliance with the new global standard for calculating the value of PR, as revealed in the ‘PR Week’ industry magazine in June. Seven new principles have been unveiled, decided upon by senior officials and two hundred delegates, as a step away from the method of Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE), which measures the success of PR through the amount of advertising space achieved. The new principles look for quality rather than quantity. BOTTLE PR use awareness surveys to assess whether a change in perception has been achieved for a client. The agency studies real business objectives, such as an increase in leads or website traffic, to assess the effectiveness of a PR campaign. Claire concludes this is the way forward. “We fully comply with these standards and see them as a far more reliable form of measurement. As a company, we do our job well and our track record speaks for itself. The future of PR is inextricably linked to the future of BOTTLE PR and we have as good a graspon future developments as any PR firm in the country.” www.bottlepr.co.uk

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If you don’t have a plan for yourself, you’ll be part of someone else’s - American Proverb

In these changing times effective planning is key The MGroup’s experienced team are here to assist you with all aspects of planning for you and your business. We are here to help with the development of your business from IT support to your funding requirements and to advise on Personal and Corporate Tax, Investment and Inheritance planning.

Call 01865 552925 or visit our website to feel in control of your own destiny in 2010.

Cranbrook House 287 / 291 Banbury Road Oxford OX2 7JQ Tel: 01865 552925 Fax: 01865 557732 Website: www.theMgroup.co.uk


B4 R&R

FERR-ILLING

Not many of us will get the opportunity to experience that feeling of slipping into the seat of a high-performance car, but Silverstone, the home of British Motor Racing and venue to the British Grand Prix for the next fourteen years, offers a variety of ‘edge of your seat’ driving experiences. I visited Silverstone with fellow B4 Ambassador, Greg Barnes of Breckon and Breckon, for a never to be forgotten spin in a Ferrari 360. Richard Rosser reports for B4.

From start to finish, the Silverstone experience was slick, well co-ordinated, and, most importantly, memorable. As soon as we arrived, friendly staff checked us in and off we went to enjoy a coffee in the on-site café while we waited for the drive briefing. We were amazed at the number of people arriving - all equally enthusiastic and pumped full of adrenaline. Driving experiences range from single-seater racing cars to the infamous Aston Martin. Well informed and obviously experienced driving instructors gave us a fifteen minute safety, car and course introduction in one of the briefing rooms, so we

territory to give this fantastic machine a real run, but it wasn’t long enough and the gap was widening. With just three laps of the 1.9 mile course, Jenson Button would have been hard-pushed to catch him. How rude. It was my treat and he’d made me look like I was driving a go-kart. The next thing we knew, we were back in the paddock, just craving to have another go; what a truly fantastic introduction, although it definitely makes you want to go out there again. It’s no wonder Silverstone get up to three hundred thrill-seekers every day. The Silverstone Ferrari experience also presents a great opportunity for corporate team bonding, or even as a gift for friends or family.

“Before I knew it we were storming around the circuit at speeds in excess of 120 mph” felt in safe hands. We were then off to the starting area, given a helmet, and a short introduction to the controls, especially the six speed F1 paddle shift which undeniably takes some getting used to. The Ferrari 360 Modena’s engine size is a whopping 3586cc V8 and 400 brake horse power, capable of 0-60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. Before I knew it we were storming around the circuit at speeds in excess of 120 mph. I was out first with Greg trailing...only to see him flash past in a blur before the first corner with, I’m sure, a cocky wave and a chuckle. That was it, I was hell-bent on catching him and we weren’t even into the first corner. Deep-seated in the Ferrari 360 Modena we had a qualified instructor at our side, so the thrill overrode any apprehension, as we were confident that we were in safe hands. I therefore had no doubts in really pushing the car to its limits – after all, the Ferrari is capable of hitting 186 mph. With this in mind, there are certainly no restrictions preventing you from seizing the opportunity to experience the full package of this fantastic car……and catching Barnes!

In our case, it had made for a rather frosty aftermath. Greg had not only beaten me on the track, but his instructor scores were better – in every department. We collected our certificate and souvenir photo back at headquarters, still not talking. Sure we’d driven one of the fastest cars in the world, but I’d come a miserable second and wanted to get back out there to show Barnes it really wasn’t the done thing to outshine your host. For £99 in this sort of car, it really is excellent value for money. Unless you book on a major event day, friends are also welcome to watch as you race around the course. Just make sure you don’t take Barnes. See the Silverstone website for more details: www.silverstone.co.uk With thanks to Helen Hoban at Silverstone for her help, and Greg, if you’re reading this, Silverstone want to talk to you about driving etiquette at some stage.

The southern circuit course includes the Hanger Straight, which is the perfect

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“We have got to drive the club forward and drive the business forward� 52

www.b4-business.com


B4 R&R

BACK IN THE

BIG LEAGUE

Last year B4 met up with Kelvin Thomas, the Chairman of Oxford United, to talk about the goals he and Team Manager, Chris Wilder, had set the club ahead of their nail-biting season. Ultimately, triumph didn’t meet with disaster and promotion back to The Football League was secured in an thrilling 3-1 win over York City in the Conference Play Off Final at Wembley in May. Fast forward ten months, and Kelvin can plot again. Celebrations are special because they don’t happen every day, but rest assured Kelvin and his cohorts enjoyed the fruits of their success, culminating in a memorable open top bus ride from The Kassam Stadium to a packed Broad Street. This was a just reward for the hard work that the club had put in on and off the field, but there had always been a clear vision as to what their collective target was, as Kelvin explained. “I think we had clear goals in the sense that when I first came in I always said I wanted to get the club into profitability and to get back into the Football League. “This time last year, the future for me wasn’t as clear as it is now, but the targets were always crystal clear for the club and the team. As the season progressed, it got to a stage where I couldn’t walk away from what we were building. “Now that we have achieved our goals, stability is vital if we are going to push on further. We have got a big challenge ahead of us and we have got to ensure that we continue moving forward. We have to ask ourselves how do we become better, what do we need to do to become better, how do we attract more fans? We have achieved, we have celebrated and we have reflected. We now have to go again, and for me personally that means a commitment to Oxford and living here full time. It’s been well documented that I have clocked up the air miles over the past year, but this season I will be spending much more time at the helm, hopefully steering us to more success with Chris. “Chris is a year into a three year contract, and I am a firm believer that the Chairman-Manager relationship is one of the most important relationships that a football club can have. Our relationship is a very strong relationship and we have had a very successful year. Of course we have had some ups and downs, but we have come through even stronger. Getting into the Football League is a major achievement for Chris, but it also solidifies Chris’s position. Currently, he feels that his ambitions can be fulfilled at Oxford and he firmly believes this is a good place for him to be. You can never say never in football, and I’ve always said to him that if a bigger club comes along, and it was the right fit for him, then we wouldn’t stand in his way. He turned down Burton and Peterborough this www.b4-business.com

season, but now we have progressed, the bar is raised and I would be very surprised if he felt any clubs below the Premiership and Championship represented a step up for him.” The seemingly never-ending ownership of the stadium debate has played second fiddle to the team’s on-field endeavours this season, and as tenants, does Kelvin feel ultimate ownership of the stadium is still a key objective? “We have got to drive the club forward and drive the business forward. Football is our business, but around that we have got to ensure that we are driving the business forward from the commercial aspects and hospitality aspects. We have to look at improving all areas of the football club. That is the

“Now that we have achieved our goals, stability is vital if we are going to push on further” key and why my presence here is so important. The ownership of the stadium is an area that we need to try and solve. It is a key area and probably the most difficult area to influence. It still inhibits us as a business, it is not ideal but it is like a lot of other businesses that rent their buildings who would prefer to own the building they operate in. It provides more freedom and more flexibility, and it remains a priority.” Football always has and always will be a fickle business, and the commercial department has seen a predictable rise in local businesses wishing to be associated with the club, all, of course, welcome to Kelvin and his commercial team. The impact of promotion back to The Football League first hit Kelvin whilst atop the open bus during the team’s victory parade. “That really brought it home to me, as it really showed me what the result, this team and this club have done for Oxfordshire, for

business and for the wider community. The level of support at Wembley was fantastic (see p62), but to see that many people come out, voluntarily, to line the streets and show their appreciation reinforced my belief in the potential we have here. It was a great feeling and gave me even more resolve to make sure we don’t stand still after our fantastic achievements of last season.” The knee-jerk reaction in football these days is to capitalise on anything that moves, but Kelvin has made sure success hasn’t gone to his head. “Getting back into the league allowed us to raise prices but they were probably due a raise anyway. I think people understood that, we haven’t raised prices for four years now. However, we have got to create value, and we have got to maintain a good product so that the fans keep coming. We feel we are great value for money at all levels, whether it’s the first tier seats or the corporate packages we have put together. I think we have got the balance right because we haven’t had any complaints about the increase in prices. The last thing we want to do is alienate supporters, but there is a fine line trying to get that balance.” Perhaps the icing on the cake for Kelvin has been the welcome the club has received from the rest of the football community in The Football League. By his own admission, Oxford were a club which, over the years, had made many friends and had always acted properly and enjoyed a great level of goodwill from all levels of the game. Being back in The Football League gave Kelvin the chance to experience just how much goodwill there was for the club at the recent Football League Conference in Malta. “It was incredible and we had such a terrific welcome from all of the other League Chairmen. We weren’t aware just how much we were liked as a club by the Football League fraternity, and it is most certainly good to be back.” Let’s hope that’s the last Conference Kelvin will be seeing for a while! Good luck to the team this season from all of us at B4, and to get involved with the Club, contact Kelvin or his Commercial Director, David Jackson. www.oufc.co.uk

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JOINED UP THINKING A Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for Oxford and Oxfordshire Tell anyone, anywhere in the world that you are from Oxfordshire and the chances are, they will have heard of or even visited the area. There are many reasons for this. Our wonderful reputation as a first class provider of education, the excellent minds which have enriched the world of science, research and technology, a mind-boggling collection of leading medical facilities, not to mention the natural beauty of Oxfordshire which is unquestionable. But, we have often fallen short of actively promoting Oxfordshire to the world, rather relying on the world to discover us. That is about to change. Oxford City Council, together with Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership, has been leading the work on the development of the new DMO. The tourism task group has acted as a steering group, together with the involvement of key partners who have given their time to give Oxfordshire one clear voice. Representatives from the District Councils, Tourism South East, Destination Oxford and Oxford Inspires have combined with representatives from the business community to formulate a coherent strategy to benefit Oxfordshire businesses and the wider community.

concept of the DMO. Together with support from the majority of the local districts, this has enabled the interim launch mode to begin. Work has already started on developing campaigns, marketing and web strategies as well as initial promotional activity to be carried out over the next few months, before a full launch in April 2011. A Shadow Board has been appointed during this interim phase, with representatives from the private and public sectors, as well as Tourism South East. A formal board will be elected for March 2011, with public sector representation from the key core funding partners, whilst private sector representatives will be elected by the DMO‘s members. Susi Golding has been appointed as interim Project Director and has worked tirelessly to co-ordinate the evolution of the new DMO thus far with great effect. John Hoy, Chief Executive of Blenheim Palace, and Charles Holmes, Chief Executive of Four Pillars Hotels, have steered the new DMO together with Michael Crofton-Briggs of Oxford City Council. How do I get involved? DMO Membership and key benefits There are 7 levels of membership available:

A considerable amount of work has been carried out to ensure that the new DMO has the right structure, including the development of membership levels and associated benefits, as well as ensuring the new DMO fits in with the organizations which currently represent Oxfordshire at different levels.

Granite, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond, with costs ranging from £100 to £10,000 per annum. All levels automatically include membership of Tourism South East.

Since October 2009, businesses have been pledging their commitment to the

The DMO’s members would benefit from a range of marketing opportunities

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www.b4-business.com


B4 MARKETING

and related services, with the opportunity to buy into additional activity and services throughout the year. Therefore, membership can be tailored to specific businesses’ needs, and give businesses the flexibility to target their activity. Copies of the partnership document with membership details can be obtained from Susi Golding, Promoting Oxfordshire Manager at Oxfordshire Economic Partnership, and who will be Interim Project Director during the initial phase of the DMO. Frequently Asked Questions I’m already a member of Tourism South East (TSE). What happens to my membership in 2010?

organisations and that your DMO membership fee for 2010 is amended accordingly. I’m already a member of Destination Oxford. What do I do about my membership for 2010? As with Tourism South East, you should renew your membership as usual. When you join the DMO, Destination Oxford and the DMO will handle arrangements to ensure your membership covers both organisations, and that your DMO membership fee for 2010 is amended accordingly. Additional FAQs with responses can be obtained from Susi Golding (see below).

You should go ahead as normal and renew your membership. When you join the DMO, TSE and the DMO for Oxford and Oxfordshire will then handle arrangements to ensure you become a full member of both

Further information and a copy of the partnership document or further information please contact Susi Golding: s.golding@oep.org.uk or 01865 815539

“we have often fallen short of actively promoting Oxfordshire to the world, rather relying on the world to discover us. That is about to change”

www.b4-business.com

55


The

tenners

Play lunch or dinner your way. One note, two notes or three notes.

£10

Two courses for one person (no wine)

£20

Two courses for two people (no wine)

£30

Two courses for two people with wine

Mal life. After the huge 2009 hit ‘Two thousand and Wine’ Malmaison have announced their much anticipated encore. ‘The Three Tenners’, bringing divine dining to a whole new audience and more than a touch of flexibility to the table in 2010. Play lunch or dinner your way, one note, two notes or three notes. We dare you. That’s Mal life. See website for full terms and conditions.

To book call in or call

01865 268 400 or email: oxford@malmaison.com

For the best rates GUARANTEED visit malmaison.com

OXFORD

Hotel | Bar | Brasserie

Oxford Castle, 3 New Rd, Oxford, OX1 1AY


news From cycling18 year-olds to 80 year-olds abseiling; our amazing supporters help transform Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Working for a charity that supports an NHS Trust as large and varied as ours, means that everyday we meet the most incredible supporters who inspire us with their dedication and bravery. Joe Robinson and Susan Pickering are two great examples, who - though poles apart in age - share a determination to help their hospitals, no matter how tough the challenge. When Joe was involved in a tragic car accident last year, his 17 year-old school friend, Grace Hadman lost her life and Joe was given just a 3% chance of survival by surgeons at the JR. Joe explains: ‘I was put into an induced coma for 24 days and the John Radcliffe’s surgeons, doctors, consultants and nurses fought day and night to keep me alive. They defied the odds, went beyond the call of duty and succeeded.’ When he learned that it had cost an estimated £1 million to treat him, Joe decided to do something positive. Less than one year after the accident, together with his brother and a friend, he embarked on a journey from Paris to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford by bike. They kept their supporters up-to-date with the trials and tribulations of the journey by leaving short messages on Twitter and giving media interviews along the way. The trio managed to complete the arduous route through France in just three days, despite numerous punctures and torrential thunderstorms. At the

Staff from the Neuro Intensive team received the cheque from Joe, his fundraising total now stands at over £35,000

hospital Joe presented a cheque to delighted staff. Joe smashed his target of raising £20,000 and has now raised over £35,000. 80 year old Susan Pickering also wanted to raise money for the Neuro ITU, having watched the care a friend received whilst suffering with CJD. Unlike many people her age, she didn’t organise a coffee morning or cake stall, but challenged herself to complete eight abseils in her eightieth year! She explained: ‘People might say ‘slow down’ at my age, but my attitude is to do these things while you can. My dear friend Brenda received wonderful treatment throughout her illness and I did the first abseil in her memory – a leap of faith perhaps that one day a cure will be found for this dreadful illness.’ The footage of Susan skilfully coming down the 100 foot wall of the Women’s Centre has become a big hit on You Tube (search ‘80 year old abseils’) and will hopefully inspire many more people to take part in our fundraising abseils.

80 year old Susan Pickering abseiling down the Women’s Centre at the JR.

COMING UP: Sunday 19 September - Abseil for the Children's Hospital Show your support for the Children's Hospital and Fund for Children. This 100 foot abseil costs £10 to enter and we ask you to raise a minimum of £100 sponsorship. Only 150 places available, so register early to avoid disappointment.

Joe and Susan’s stories illustrate that no matter what your age, you can make a positive contribution to your local hospitals.

Sunday 17 October – It's Not Just a Walk in the Park 2010, 10.30am Oxford University Parks Join hundreds of people of all ages, shapes and sizes on this very special three-mile sponsored walk around the beautiful Oxford University Parks. This event raises funds for both the Oxford Cancer Centre and the Oxford Heart Centre – you choose where your money goes. Enter online at www.orhcharitablefunds.nhs.uk

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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MANAGING

TO BALANCE Keith Middleton, Senior Partner of respected local accountancy firm, Wenn Townsend, talks to Richard Rosser of B4 about how his firm is managing to straddle generations and maintain a long established client portfolio in the face of huge technological change. Keith also looks to the future and explains how his firm will continue to provide outstanding client care and commitment.

With an illustrious history spanning over one hundred and thirty years and with a reputation for huge resources of experience, getting the message out to non clients that we are constantly updating our IT infrastructure and communication links, (to include smart phones, online taxation, and powerful computer servers), so as to ensure that our technology resources

Keith began his career in accountancy at a 2 partner practice in Swansea before joining Deloittes, where he spent eleven years, of which five were in France. When he joined Wenn Townsend twenty three years ago, he had seen both ends of the spectrum in terms of firm size, and firmly believes in the importance of finding a happy medium. “I strongly believe that an

“our clients know that we are able to come up with a fast response to pretty much any issue raised” are cutting edge, is not always easy. “The problem for us is that people know Wenn Townsend is one of the oldest accountancy firms in the country, and whilst some will take comfort from that fact from an experience point of view, unfortunately, some could assume that we could be too traditional and set in our ways”.

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

“Happily though, our clients know that we are able to come up with a fast response to pretty much any issue raised, such as tax matters, benchmarking and solutions to problems. The fact that we have retained and added to our client portfolio is testament to the fact that we have managed to do that with some considerable success.” However, in spite of the technology, Keith firmly believes that it is important to find a balance in life and that time away from work is essential. Acordingly, there are procedures in place to ensure that the firm continues to run smoothly and that any client issues are dealt with promptly so that, wherever possible, that relaxation time is undisturbed.

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accountancy firm of our size and place in the market is ideal as we have the resources available to help our smaller clients grow and achieve their objectives whilst also being able to offer sound advice to our larger clients – which they listen to!” “The majority of our clients are family owned and managed companies which presents us with the opportunity of helping them to deal with the issue of passing the business on to the next generation. Where succession isn’t an option, our role is to help prepare the business for sale or put a plan in place to secure management taking over the business on a day to day basis for the retiring owner.” Unfortunately, outside of our client base, it seems to be a well kept secret that we have extensive knowledge and experience in corporate finance issues such as the sale and acquisition of businesses and company re-organisations and this is an area which we must address in the near future”. Relationships between the firm and their clients is also subject to change with retiring partners. “Because Wenn Townsend has been in existence for over 130

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B4 ADVICE

years, internal succession planning is also very important. We have to ensure that a retiring partner’s detailed knowledge of a client, often built up over decades, is transferred seamlessly over to the new partner. We have to demonstrate to our clients that there is a safe pair of hands to continue to guide and advise them. Indeed, I look after some clients where I am probably the third or fourth partner that they have had over the last 80 years. Inevitably, there are moments when a new partner is taking over and they have to find their feet, but we have managed for over one hundred and thirty years without too many dramas.” Acting as a safe, but innovative, pair of hands for a family business which has passed through the generations is key to Wenn Townsend’s success. The fact that they have retained so many family businesses over the years exemplifies

work very well with local firms of lawyers as well as Thames Valley Police. Despite the welcome distractions of fee-earning, Keith’s focus remains on managing the firm, where he maintains that the firm works exceptionally well together, as a team. “Everyone in the partnership has got a will and a desire to take us forward and there is a great level of communication between us all. The thing that has changed from my point of view is the degree of responsibility. You have got to think of us as a group rather than on an individual basis. There are eleven of us with ages ranging from the early thirties to the late fifties, so we can come up with lots of different approaches to getting a solution. Ultimately, it is what we do for clients; we find solutions for them, and we see our own practice as a client for which we have just as much responsibility for. Not detracting from the considerable effort that previous partners have put in,

“Everyone in the partnership has got a will and a desire to take us forward; there is a great level of communication between us all” the high regard their clients hold them in, especially in the face of new generations wishing to make change for the sake of change. From a practical point of view, for the last fifteen years or so, Keith has been involved, to an increasing extent, in forensic accounting. “I have actually been to court sixteen or seventeen times as an expert witness on quite a number of different areas, mainly concerning money laundering, fraud and divorce. I have built up an excellent network of contacts who keep coming back and we

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I really do think we have got a smashing group of diverse individuals, some of whom have come from outside the firm and others who are completely home grown. That balance is vital to ensure we retain our edge.” www.wenntownsend.co.uk

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OXFORD CASTLE GARDEN, OX1 1AY Performances: 7.30-10pm (Site Open 5.30pm) Tickets: From £12 (Concessions Available & Group Discounts) Tickets Available from: www.wegottickets.co.uk/oxfordcastle Box Office Tel: 0844 871 8804.

WWW.OXFORDCASTLE.COM


news Free e-marketing guide from Business Link Business Link has recently published a free 28-page guide on e-marketing to help small businesses to make the most of the power that Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) can bring them.

guide is part of our drive to encourage firms to make the most of their online presence – the benefits are substantial:

This follows a recent Business Link survey of 1200 business owners and decision-makers in the South East that found that many risk missing out on the benefits of ICT due to a lack of knowledge and fear of spiralling costs and wasteful investments.

• Online sales can reduce processing costs as order automatically update your business information • A good and well-promoted website reaches a wider audience to increase sales opportunities and open new markets. • Your website helps you compete harder by being open 24/7.”

Business Link Operations Director Peter Griffiths commented, “Making the right investments can help keep costs down, drive new sales and reinforce existing customer and supplier relationships. The free

The new guide has useful sections on building a website, online marketing, social media, e-commerce and much more. Phone Business Link on 0845 600 9006 for your free copy.

Business planning begins at home! Running a home-based business can be a very attractive option for some people, largely due to the lack of travel and low overheads involved. But it also can involve some major disruption to home life, particularly when it comes to matters like storage, security, legal issues and client meetings. However small your home business might be, a business plan is vital. It needs to contain core elements, comprising your sales and marketing, management and staff, operations and financial

strategies, as well as an executive summary background information. In addition, though, should include information on how you maintain a balance between your home working life.

and you will and

Attending a Business Link start up course before you launch your business will give you all the information you need on writing a plan. Julie Van Onselen, who recently launched her own home-based consultancy business serving the dermatology pharmaceutical industry, is full of

praise for the course. “For anybody thinking of starting a business, Business Link should be the very first point of contact,” she says. “The free start-up workshops give you a great foundation and gain all the tools and confidence you need to drive your business forward.” To find out more, and for help with business planning, call Business Link on 0845 600 9006.

Business Link’s experienced and talented senior team Business Link’s new senior management team is now in place, following the hand-over of responsibility for running the service across the South East to Serco. Chief Executive Graeme Sibley is a former Managing Director of a national support services operation in the Parkwood Group, and has held senior positions with BAA at Heathrow. Operations Director Peter Griffiths was formerly a Director of Business Link Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, while Head of Finance Carolyn Watson was head of Finance and IT at Sussex Enterprise.

Sue Adams, former Human Resources Manager at Business Link Surrey becomes Head of Human Resources, and Deborah Wyatt is now Director of Partnerships having been a Director of Business Link in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Laura Pelling, who formerly co-ordinated Business Link’s marketing activities across the South East, now becomes Marketing and Insight Director. Graeme explains, “We’ve made every effort to ensure that it continues to be ‘business as usual’ as we’ve made the transition to the new service arrangements. Above all, local businesses are still able to use Business Link as the primary gateway to a massive array of services and support from our partners.”

Business Link Senior Management team. from left to right: Peter Griffiths, Deborah Wyatt, Carolyn Watson, Sue Adams, Graeme Sibley and Laura Pelling.

Contact Business Link by: 0845 600 900 6 email: info@businesslinksoutheast.co.uk web: www.businesslink.gov.uk/southeast

www.b4-business.com

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ON THE RIGHT TRACK Highly Commended at the 2009 National Rail Awards, Chiltern Railways have it down to a tee when it comes to ensuring comfort, value and punctuality. A staggering 95% of their trains arrive on time and 90% of passengers say they would recommend the service. Richard Rosser reports for B4. Words by Eliane Chavagnon.

But Chiltern Railways don't stand complacent. With £250 million of private money being pumped into an upgrade of the line, from 2011, Chiltern customers travelling from Banbury, Bicester North and Haddenham & Thame Parkway to London, Birmingham, Shakespeare Country, Buckinghamshire and, of course, Wembley, will all benefit from faster, more reliable journeys. Ticket prices will remain great value, starting from as little as £5 for a one-way Advance to London. The Chiltern Railways website, which is regularly updated with live travel news, contains special offers and excellent ideas for family days out. Whether you're commuting or traveling for business or leisure, there are plenty of value for money options. When traveling to London, don’t forget that a season ticket can save you money even if you only travel three days a week and, with a monthly or longer ticket, you also get free travel at the weekends anywhere on the Chiltern route. Travelling solo is certainly one way of appreciating Chiltern Railways, but how does Chiltern perform when it comes to group travel? Being the person in charge of a group outing can be testing, especially when elderly or young

Oxford United gained promotion back to The Football League (see page 52). I expected hundreds of Oxford football fans to have come up with the same idea of jumping on the train. The car park at Haddenham & Thame Parkway was packed to bursting (I am told Bicester was even busier), but even though there was a predictable delay waiting for the return journey, due to the sheer volume of fans waiting for trains, it really was nothing to complain about. Given the undoubted pressures on the system, Chiltern coped extremely well. From the cleanliness of the trains to the courteous staff, it was a pleasure to use the train on such a memorable day. The light and well-ventilated carriages were spacious, and parking was no problem at all. If you are travelling alone Monday to Friday it’s definitely worth looking into Chiltern’s ‘Car Share’ strategy and arriving between 6am and 9am to qualify for free parking. Trains run directly from local stations to Wembley Stadium itself, so you don’t have to think about organising further travel when you arrive. There are a variety of exciting events scheduled at Wembley, including live music at the Arena Square, and while you’re there, don’t miss the chance to visit the Square of Fame, a landmark of bronze hand-prints which celebrates outstanding talent

“Since 1996, Chiltern estimate to have spent over £400 million expanding their facilities” children are your responsibility. Attentive customer service is therefore a pre-requisite, especially if the group is heading to a big event and is unfamiliar with the area. As a family of ten ranging from nine to sixty nine years old, we had the chance to put Chiltern to the test, and travelled on what must have been Chiltern’s busiest ever day – the recent Conference Play Off Final at Wembley where

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of notorious music and sporting idols situated between Wembley Stadium and the Arena. For future reference, it’s also worth bearing in mind that Wembley station is only a ten minute rail link from Marylebone if you want to explore London at the same time. A fundamental value of Chiltern Railways revolves around spending quality time with the family, which is why they’ve been working with National Family Week,

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B4 TRAVEL

introducing some fantastic 2 for1 offers to be used at over one hundred popular attractions, including restaurants. Group travel discounts allow four people to travel together for the price of two adult off-peak fares. Plus, up to four more children can travel for just £1, and for under-fives, it’s completely free. Meanwhile, for larger groups of 10+, there is an entitlement of a 25% discount when booking; so long as you do this seven days in advance, Monday to Friday. You might even want to consider using their services for school trips, taking into account the variety of educational attractions easily accessible from Oxfordshire, such as Warwick Castle. Since 1996, Chiltern estimate to have spent over £400 million expanding their facilities in keeping with technological advancements. For example, Chiltern were the first to introduce mobile phone ticketing so that you can purchase your ticket on the go direct from your phone. This earned Chiltern The Innovative Transport Project of the Year for Text Ticketing at the London Transport Awards in 2008.

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In just under a year’s time, the most extensive privately funded rail infrastructure development yet will see journey times along the M40 tracks significantly reduced – you can expect to see an astonishing 20% off travel times from Oxford to London. This route will eventually be branded as ‘Chiltern Mainline’ and will deliver a high-speed route between London and Birmingham. Additional improvements will include new platforms and trains with increased passenger capacity. Rest assured that the extensive developments will not prompt an increase in ticket prices either. Chiltern Railways’ mission statement remains firmly centred on making sure that their services are ‘the only viable option for travel in our region’. So, perhaps for a different and varied adventure this summer, see the Chiltern website for great ideas and irresistible offers, perfect for a hassle-free outing with family or friends, no matter how many of them. www.chilternrailways.co.uk

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SEIZING THE BUSINESS

DAY...

Having just taken the reigns of the first franchise of the successful Oxford Networking group, ‘The Business Wealth Club’, David Griffin of The Business Wealth Club Newbury spoke to Jess Flood about the origins and values of the club, his plans for the future, and the struggles he overcame to be in the inspirational position he finds himself today.

“You never know what’s going to happen each day so you just have to seize each day. So I’m just going to do something I’m passionate about, I’ve got a broad experience in business, and helping people so that’s what I want to do”

Business Coach, Investor and Internet Marketer, David Griffin, has some big shoes to fill, and some high expectations to live up to by taking on the franchise which has been so successful in Oxford. Founded by Paul Avins, an award winning business coach, Author of Business SOS and creator of the Turbo Growth System, Paul started the group because he was frustrated attending networking clubs that added no real value, would not allow more than one industry to attend and didn’t inspire people to succeed in Business. “I believed that Business owners deserved a better experience, one that blended proven, profit making ideas and strategies with a motivating and supportive environment.” Explained Paul. This format has become a lifesaver for Businesses during the Recession and The Business Wealth Club Oxford now has over 50 members, including some original members and some members travelling fortnightly from London or even further afield! David first met Paul three years ago when he attended a wealth workout conference at which Paul was the guest speaker. David was impressed. “Paul is very dynamic, very experienced with an impressive range of strategies to drive business growth, and he’s very personable as well.” A friendship had begun, but, unfortunately, tragedy struck David not long after Paul had first inspired him, as David contracted ME. Although now fully recovered, ME left David in bed for eight months and bound to a wheelchair for a further two years. Instead of letting the disease defeat him, David drew strength from it and used the time to learn about investing in property and how to harness the power of Internet Marketing. “You never know what’s going to happen each day so you just have to seize every moment. So I thought ‘I’m just going to do something I’m passionate about’. As I recovered, I realised that I had a track record as an entrepreneur, and I knew I could help Newbury based business owners if I launched as The Business Growth Co-Pilot and started my business coaching career.” This upbeat attitude and a desire to help others in the business world revived memories of Paul’s business model. Three months later, David noticed a small footnote inside one of Paul’s books, suggesting he was thinking of expanding The Business Wealth Club. Feeling destined to see the message and inspired by Paul’s work, David felt the time was right to take the next step and got in touch with Paul. Paul was picky though. Passionate about his concept and the vision, he didn’t want to franchise it out just to anyone who had the money to pay for it. After lengthy negotiations, Paul knew David was a good fit for the brand. David is pleased to have been chosen to spearhead the new Club in Newbury and is excited about the launch and the future. “We had three members before we even launched, which is great, and we had a great attendance on the Open Day. “Part of the Value of the Club is contributing to local charities where we operate. We are going to have a nominated charity … Wealth Club Members can submit names of charities in the local area and, together with local radio station, Newbury Sound, the Club will choose one. We want a Charity that’s not so well known, but adding huge value to the community. They will be gifted a membership for a year and the members will help them raise their business profile and raise more money for the charity.” Helping the charity help themselves, sounds like a highly worthwhile alliance. Though David is from Salisbury, the decision was made to launch the

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B4 NETWORK franchise in Newbury as there are fantastic businesses in Newbury which has great communications, being on the link between the A34 and the M4. David believes the key to The Business Wealth Club’s success is blending a positive, proactive, responsibility lead culture, and mixing it with monthly business training, planning sessions and business coaching. David will be raising the club’s profile locally getting involved in the speaking circuit to become known to more potential members and business leaders.

“learning from past mistakes, learning from life’s experiences, and putting all of this to good use for the future” Being able to hit the ground running, minus the risks of a brand new company, was one of the draws of the franchise for David and gives the Newbury development many advantages. “I could’ve started on my own, but the fact that there’s a model that’s worked very well, is a huge plus for me. Paul will be the first to admit he has made mistakes, so I’ll learn from him, and add my personality and my experience. We’re very fortunate because Oxford’s been going so long and has great members, some of whom live towards Newbury, and they’ve said they’ll support the club as they have experienced first hand the value of membership to their business. What type of person joins this kind of Business Club? David explains how it’s all about attitude. “It’s the type of person that is supportive of others and wants to grow themselves and accelerate their business, whatever the economy is doing. You get a lot of business owners who think they know it all . . . they’re not the type of members we are looking for. You need to be open-minded, and say ‘I didn’t know that’, or ‘I might know that but I’m not applying it’. We want to see our members apply simple and consistent systems and make a success of their business.” David is a committed learner having invested thousands of pounds in his own development over the years and is dedicated to putting all of this to good use for the future, whether it’s in terms of expanding The Business Wealth Club franchise, boosting the work of local charities, or helping his clients adapt and learn new skills. David’s positive attitude looks set to reap rewards as he concludes. “The last few years have actually been an absolutely fantastic period of my life, despite my health challenges. I’m excited about the future: working with Paul and his team; working with the Business owners in the Club and adding value to Members to ensure the Business Wealth Club, Newbury, is as successful as the Oxford Club.” To find out more or to book your place as a guest, visit: www.thebusinesswealthclub.com or call the team on 01869 278900

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MAGDALEN: Great School,Great Venue Located in the heart of Oxford, with stunning facilities and ample parking to host conferences, corporate events, wedding receptions or parties, Magdalen College School is the perfect choice for your next event.

Call Emma Bellenie on 01865 242191 or email ebellenie@mcsoxford.org to find out more or to arrange a no obligation visit. www.mcsoxford.org


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.

SCIENCE OXFORD www.scienceoxford.com

IOD www.iod.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

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

Ian Wenman Chairman

“B4 has quickly and effectively established itself as a valuable resource to enable Oxfordshire businesses to get their message out to the Oxfordshire business community and beyond.” Ian Wenman, Institute of Directors

ORANGE STRIPE TELECOMMUNICATIONS www.orangestripe.co.uk

Nigel Pursall Managing Director

TORPEDO GROUP LIMITED www.torpedogroup.com

LONDON OXFORD AIRPORT www.oxfordairport.co.uk

David Surley Head of Customer Services

Iain Lewis Director

NORTH OXFORD GOLF CLUB www.nogc.co.uk

THE CAREER BOUTIQUE www.thecareerboutique.com

Katherine Dales Managing Director

Bob Harris Club Manager

JENNINGS OF GARSINGTON LTD www.jennings.co.uk

Mike Jennings Managing Director

www.b4-business.com

MANCHES www.manches.com

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

Sally Dicketts Principal

THE OXFORD WEALTH CLUB www.oxfordwealthclub.co.uk

Paul Avins Managing Director

CETA www.lowerpremium.co.uk

Richard Smith Managing Partner

David Quick Managing Director

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

MAGNA CARTA COLLEGE www.magnacartacollege.org

David Faulkner Dean

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ORANGE STRIPE

THE LATEST IN INNOVATIVE COMPUTER & TELEPHONE TECHNOLOGY

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

Orange Stripe have in a short space of time quickly become a trusted name in Oxfordshire. Under the helm of founder, Nigel Pursall, Orange Stripe deliver and implement effective computer and telephone systems for the modern office. Nigel spoke to B4’s Jessica Flood and explained how Orange Stripe’s reputation has been well earned.

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B4 IT

“Customers come back to us because we are a reliable, small company providing an excellent service....”

After a long career in the industry, Nigel set up Orange Stripe four years ago, in which time the company has gone from strength to strength. A loyal client base and good links within the local community have been cemented. B4 has featured a number of the services provided by Orange Stripe over the last four issues, and Nigel notes that B4 has helped greatly in promoting the company to other Oxfordshire businesses. Though currently based just outside Oxford, Orange Stripe are looking at a base in central Oxford, demonstrating that links with the Oxford area are clearly important. As a member of the local Oxfordshire BNI group, which meets once a week to share business connections and referrals, Nigel is a firm believer that networking and word of mouth are vital to the success of any business. Another key contributory factor to Orange Stripe’s success is their client retention, according to Nigel. “Clients come back, and this is because of the excellent customer service that we give. Customers ‘stick’ to us because they know we are a reliable, small team providing an excellent level of service and a great product range which does what it says on the tin. To cap all of that, our clients get consistently good, honest advice regarding the installation and ongoing use of their system”. Nigel is hands-on in the business, running a small team of professionals. When Orange Stripe started, Nigel re-established a longstanding relationship with the Samsung product range. Recently, however, NEC, their other main system supplier, approached Orange Stripe to become a direct reseller, therefore with these two manufacturers, Samsung and NEC, we can provide any solution any business is ever likely to need. Orange Stripe are undoubtedly suppliers of innovative and reliable systems, but their core commitment is to provide a simple system that increases office efficiency.

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We have covered a range of topics in recent issues of B4. Whilst being mindful of the potentially complicated nature of the telecoms industry, our aim being to provided a good overview of a range of key useable system features of a modern telephone system for readers to consider whilst assessing options for their own replacement system. This type of modern technology isn’t expensive; for instance a voicemail system can be implemented for around £300. We offer Call Management Software free of charge*. The system can also provide managers with a ‘missed call list’ from the day’s phone activity; a record of any calls that have come in which were not answered or returned, allowing important business enquiries to be followed up. This sort of simple but effective system holds appeal for a broad range of companies, from small to medium enterprise to the larger corporate organisations and call centre’s.

“think twice, get it right first time” With the use of an NEC Unified Messaging system, an employer can utilise this type of system to monitor minute by minute how their employees are working, whether on the phone, who to and for how long or are they drafting an email. If they haven’t used the phone or keyboard for a period of time, this too can be flagged. This is an exceptional way of unifying business tools and systems, for maximum efficiency. “You don’t always need to get really technical with phone systems.” Commented Nigel. “Sure you can do some really clever stuff, for example linking an office in Oxford to an office in Sydney, Australia, connected together via the internet, but it doesn’t always have to be so clever and technical. A phone system can make a company more efficient simply by installing & configuring it correctly.”

With the tagline, ‘think twice, get it right first time’, Orange Stripe make sure the systems are installed effectively by being completely involved in the process, from the initial phone enquiry through to the sale, installation and ongoing support. Clients know they are getting a service they can trust. They can pick up the phone if something goes wrong with the system or simply if it’s a small name change, someone will be there to help. As well as having a brilliant reputation for installing excellent phone systems, which has mainly spread through word of mouth in the area, as well as business links, Orange Stripe also work with BT Wholesale to cut down monthly line rental costs. Experts in their field, the team can look at a phone bill and see exactly where a company could be making a saving, and then make this potential cost saving a reality. Nigel sees a bright future for Orange Stripe. “The year started quietly, businesses have clearly been cautious because of the economy. But now, and especially after the recent budget announcement, it’s like businesses are saying ‘right, that’s over, now let’s get on with our business’.” Nigel notes, with a huge number of least cost routing providers to choose from each with their own tariffs & charging bands, it can be a minefield choosing the right supplier. We are winning business because customers want a provider they can trust and who offer a close and effective relationship rather than the odd few pence saving per month, the team at Orange Stripe can provide this. “You could call us a ‘one stop shop’ as we can provide the telephone system hardware, as well as costs savings. But more important than that, we are a small company with a healthy reputation and nowadays it’s all about looking after the customer and making sure they don’t have a reason to look elsewhere.” www.orangestripe.co.uk

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EAST POINT BUSINESS PARK Oxford Ring Road TO LET 100 sq ft – 14,000 sq ft A range of high quality offices available on flexible leases

6 LANDSCAPE CLOSE Weston Business Park Weston on the Green TO LET 1,431 Sq Ft Modern detached two storey offices

SEACOURT TOWER Botley TO LET First Floor North Wing – 2,905 sq ft Second Floor West Wing – 4,702 sq ft Modern office accommodation within landmark building

Units 1-5 Oxford Industrial Park, Yarton, Oxford TO LET 9,000 – 54,000 sq ft Refurbished modern industrial/ warehouse units

unrivaled local and regional expertise Richard Venables Tom Barton

rvenables@vslandp.com tbarton@vslandp.com


news A Cloud of uncertainty over commercial property At the risk of sounding like a broken record we continue to experience very challenging conditions in the commercial property market. As we write we are anticipating severe cuts to public spending in the forthcoming budget and know that the public sector will be going through the pain which the private sector has experienced for the last 24 months. The commercial property market is experiencing high levels of supply and low levels of demand and as a consequence landlords are prepared to offer excellent deals. Anomalies still exist though and Oxford City Centre has a dearth of office space and continued demand from the education sector which is supporting higher rental levels and more aggressive lease terms.

At VSL & Partners we have seen some increased activity in recent months as some parts of the private sector can see their markets stabilising and are prepared to risk taking new accommodation. In the lead up to the late May Bank holiday weekend we saw a number of properties go under offer as businesses took stock of the new Government and decided to get ahead with their business before the summer holiday period. The breadth and depth of the Oxford economic market also ensures that there is always some demand and we have even seen some pick-up in demand from the retail market as evidenced by our deals below. News this month that BMW MINI is planning to invest in a new facility at Cowley is excellent news for the area

Deals, Deals and more Deals….. Here are a selection of deals VSL & Partners have completed in the first half of 2010.

268 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford – New letting to Helen & Douglas House.

165-167 Botley Road, Oxford – New letting to the Oxford Wine Company

Station Point, Eynsham – Letting of 10,000 sq ft warehouse and 5,000 sq ft offices to Oxfordshire County Council Countryside Services.

9 Corn Street, Witney – Sale of retail unit freehold with vacant possession.

East Point Business Park, Oxford Ring Road – Letting of 3,000 sq ft at first floor, Meridian House to Innovista.

First Floor, Summertown Pavilions, Oxford – Letting of 2,700 sq ft to Nucleus Holdings.

The Terrace, Harwell Business Centre – Sale of two units to AML and Explosive Learning Solutions.

Glenmore Business Centre, Wantage – Sale of units to Business Enterprise Heritage Trust of Unit 4 Glenmore of 1,294 sq ft and Unit 12 sold to VAR Solutions comprising 988 sq ft.

Chancerygate, Kidlington – A sale of industrial units Summit Veterinary Pharmaceuticals of 4,547 sq ft and GPS Sprayers Ltd of 2781 sq ft .

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www.vslandp.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.

CITY SIGHTSEEING (OXFORD) www.citysightseeingoxford.com

HENMANS LLP www.henmansllp.co.uk

Jane Marshall Transport Manager

MCS www.mcsoxford.org

BOURTON MILL www.bourtonmill.net

Gavin Peck Manager

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

Emma Bellenie Events Manager

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

Professor Peter Dobson Director

Chris Lewis Managing Director

EGROVE PARK www.sbs.oxford.edu/conferencing

Jill Greiveson Conference Manager

Julia Iball Managing Partner

“We believe B4 is a great forum for business leaders within Oxfordshire to keep each other updated with their news. Henmans LLP is proud to be associated with B4, excited at the launch of their new website and looks forward to making more connections with businesses across the region.” Julia Iball, Henmans LLP

THE M GROUP www.theMgroup.co.uk

Gary McHale Partner

MACDONALD RANDOLPH HOTEL www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk

Michael Grange General Manager

GROVE TECHNOLOGY PARK www.grovetechpark.com

Robert Lamplough Chairman

www.b4-business.com

SCOTT FRASER www.scottfraser.co.uk

David Blythman Managing Director, Residential Sales

JORDANS www.jordanandco.co.uk

Adam Sherman Director

CHRIST CHURCH www.chch.ox.ac.uk

Tony Fox Head Bursar

OXFORD RADCLIFFE PRIVATE HEALTHCARE

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

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

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

LADY MARGARET HALL www.lmh.ox.ac.uk

Bill Kemp Head of Conference Services

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THE GRAND

DUKE

The Duke of Cambridge, a vivacious and popular cocktail bar hidden but well-placed on Jericho’s Little Clarendon Street was rated as one of the top 5 cocktail bars in the UK by the Guardian. After being taken over and refurbished in 1998 by Julian Rosser, it was duly transformed. It is trendy and sophisticated - the perfect place to sip deliciously unique cocktails in clean, comfortable and elegant surroundings. Eliane Chavagnon met with Julian Rosser for B4 Magazine.

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B4 R&R

The diverse drinks menu sets high standards as Oxford is notorious for its bars and student population. There are, of course, tasty nibbles available to fill the gap after a few cocktails such as chilli crackers, corn chips with salsa and guacamole and toasted pitta bread with humous. But make no mistake, ultimately, the Duke is infamously known for its wonderful assortment of cocktails, as Julian explained. “The Duke was one of the first cocktail bars in the country, and has maintained this pioneering reputation ever since. “We’re quite tucked away, but I like that. If we were on the High Street, we would have to have doormen with bright jackets, but that’s not us. We’re not a venue for people looking to drink as much as they can before going clubbing, that’s not what we’re about at all.” Entering the bar, you can’t help but catch the sparkle from the chandeliers and reflection from the dark walnut floor, and Julian is obviously proud of The Duke. “We spend an awful lot of time making sure the place is clean, and we don’t cut corners.”

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Its superb finish matches the quality cocktails, which, although not cheap, do give great value for money. Only generous measures of premium spirits and the freshest ingredients are used, and you won’t find alcho-pops or Red Bull at The Duke. Cocktail-making is fairly understated at The Duke. “We’re not the kind of bar which will try and wow the customers with a show. The finished cocktail is our show, not the making of it. I don’t want to go to a bar and watch them throw bottles around; I’m there to have a nice drink, presented well in a glass full of ice.” Julian and the mangers are always seeking to test out new cocktails which go onto the specials board at discounted price. “We think about what’s good at the moment and what fruits people like. We just play around with things. One which we’ve come up with recently, Black Forest, has done really well. It came about from watching Heston Blumenthal searching to create the best Black Forest Gateau. I wondered if we could make that into a cocktail and we did. It’s got dark crème de cacao, Chambord, a splash of Frangelico, raspberry, and the most important

ingredient, kirsch. We float cream on top and it really does taste just like a Black Forest Gateau.” For a refreshing cocktail on a sizzling day this summer, the Duke of Cambridge is definitely the place to go. The Strawberry Daiquiri and Mojito are the Duke’s best-sellers, and I cannot think of a better cocktail to enjoy on a hot day. Sunday to Thursday, the renowned Duke happy hour starts at 5pm until 9pm, which on Fridays and Saturdays lasts until 7.30pm when they’re open until 1:00am - an hour later than during the week. The House, on Blue Boar Street, is also owned by Julian, and even just one year old, students have really taken to it as it has proved to be equally as popular as the Duke. With a slightly more modern ambience to the cocktail bar there is also a games room upstairs and a heated terrace open all year. www.dukebars.com

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news OxFocus Extended Following a successful launch series, it has been agreed to run the OxFocus speaker-networking event for Oxfordshire in 2011. A joint initiative by OTCN and Charles Russell LLP, OxFocus features as its speaker a senior figure from a business or organisation with a strong story to tell. After an August break, OxFocus resumes for 2010 with Andrew Smith MP (September 13), Dr Stephen Bold, MD, Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd (October 11), Kevin Gell MD, Tessella plc (November 8); and Nicholas Wirth, Technical Director, Wirth Research (December 13). Booking details are available at www.oxfocus.co.uk which will post first news of the 2011 series speakers. OxFocus co-host William Axtell of Charles Russell LLP and Rob Jonckheer of Manches LLP. Picture by Alison Nicholson/OTCN

In another OTCN innovation, preview interview excerpts from the OxFocus speakers and other Oxfordshire business leaders are also now available online.

Covered Market project impresses The OTCN-Oxford Civic Society led business heritage initiative which is telling the fascinating stories of the people behind the city’s Covered Market, has had a high profile visitor.

Paul Hudson, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s South East of England Committee, stopped by to meet Covered Market traders and get an update on how the project was going. Mr Hudson (pictured, right) said: “I was very impressed by the enthusiasm and pride of the traders and their

customers in wanting to record the long and fascinating story of what is one of Oxford's really special assets. There are very few covered markets left and it adds greatly to the retail vibrancy and choice that Oxford offers. The project demonstrates that heritage is just as relevant to the here and now and supporting the business and tourism aspects of the local economy. I look forward to seeing the exhibition at the end of the project.” For more on the project see: www.otcn.co.uk/coveredmarket/index.html

Innovation and growth! OTCN continues to develop new services to deliver on its primary aim to promote business in Oxfordshire: • It’s launched a new tender alert service to let businesses in its member groups know about public sector contract opportunities. • A new group, NetworkB, has been launched to allow businesses located in an area that does not have an OTCN member group to be part of its fast-growing and proactive business network.

Faringdon Chamber President Nick Elwell. Picture by Alison Nicholson/OTCN

www.b4-business.com

...and OTCN member groups and their volunteer leaders continue to play a huge part in supporting the local economy and their communities:

• Monument Park, Chalgrove hosted a well-attended Home-based Business Support Day to launch a pioneering initiative for this vital and growing sector of Oxfordshire business; • Faringdon Chamber President Nick Elwell (pictured) led the management committee for a varied and vibrant 2010 Faringdon Arts Festival; • and there’s much more! www.otcn.co.uk and our twitter stream, otcniain, have the latest. The Network has hit the 30-member group milestone with Networking Women, TBAC Centres Ltd, and She’s Ingenious! the latest to join, alongside OTCN’s now 17-strong events network.

www.otcn.co.uk

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PLEASANT PERSISTENCE

GETS RESULTS

Since launching almost two years ago, Lingo Telemarketing has gone from strength to strength. Su Copeland and Antonia Lennon, Lingo’s Director and Team Leader respectively, explained to B4’s Richard Rosser how their novel approach to telemarketing has won them new customers and enabled them to attract high quality staff.

“Professional business-to-business telemarketing works” states Su. “When done correctly it is a proven and effective method of building relationships, gaining a greater insight into customers and generating leads.” Su explains that Lingo was borne out of recognising a widespread and fundamental gap in the market in Oxfordshire for a competent telemarketing agency. “Whilst working for companies in the past I struggled to find good external telemarketing providers with the right business acumen. It became apparent after talking to a number of our clients that they were encountering the same problems as ourselves, so we decided to launch our own telemarketing company based on the values we always wanted but could never find.” “We had a very clear vision of what we wanted to create with Lingo. It was very much about getting the right mix of experienced people who can actually add value and talk knowledgably to senior decision-makers, so we represent our

relationship with our clients to assist with the groundwork, which inevitably means our clients are predominantly based within at most an hour and a half of our base in Cassington. “We like to meet our clients on a regular basis to feed back crucial information to them, nothing which can’t be done over the phone or by e-mail, but we do find the regular close contact helps to breed successful long term campaigns which are good for everyone.” Lingo works on a project basis, without the incentive of commission, a model which Antonia believes enhances the overall service Lingo’s clients receive. “I think it’s important that we’re not commission-based because we work on the basis of quality, not quantity. When you have the incentive of commission dangling like a carrot in front of someone, is that person going to necessarily care about the quality of meetings he or she is being incentivised to book or

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

“We like to meet our clients on a regular basis to feed back crucial information to them” customers brands correctly. We’ve got very high standards and work hard to maintain these in everything we do for our clients. Old school aggressive, hard-sell tactics do not work and are not conducive to a long-term business relationship. Our mantra is ‘Pleasant Persistence’ and we find this generates the best results, whilst engaging with customers.” Although Lingo primarily targets Oxfordshire based businesses, its core customer make-up is certainly not restricted to Oxfordshire, as Su adds. “Our customer portfolio is fairly wide-spread, and the nature of what we do means we can take on work on behalf of anyone, but we do like to have a face-to-face

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are they just booking an appointment with whoever they can convince to agree to one. It takes real skill and experience to build relationships that lead to quality leads, appointments and ultimately sales, and at Lingo we have the right team to achieve this.” Whilst some will have a pre-determined view that telemarketing simply revolves around selling, in reality it consists of a variety of tasks such as arranging appointments, qualifying database contacts, notifying people about products specific to their needs, inviting delegates to events, conducting essential market research and carrying out comprehensive customer surveys. These are

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B4 MARKETING

all time-consuming, and a busy company may find itself neglecting them. But this is precisely where Lingo will help, as Antonia explains. “I think a lot of people underestimate the value of a phone call because there’s so much talk at the moment about digital marketing and email. People forget that personal contact face-to-face, and also voice-to-voice, is often more effective in terms of gaining immediate direct feedback and building relationships. That’s unbeatable, in my opinion.” Lingo recommends that telemarketing and telesales is most effective when integrated with a company’s broader marketing initiatives. “Telemarketing in conjunction with direct mail, advertising and digital communications can be used to increase response levels and conversion ratios” says Su. What’s more, Lingo will gather quantifiable information, taking into account individual and unique business needs. Although the rise of online business-to-business tends to promote e-Newsletters and the like as the definitive way to communicate and network with other people, Antonia advises that a real conversation with someone will also reduce the risk of misinterpretation. An additional step Lingo takes is to help businesses recognise weaker areas to concentrate on, in turn teaching them how to tackle such issues in the future, as Su explains. “There are always certain areas where there are faults, and at the end of the day, we say ‘this is the area that you need to address.” One common oversight is companies don’t realise that data ages very quickly. ”Many databases we receive are old databases or haven’t been regularly maintained – people have moved on, details have changed, so we have to basically validate the whole thing and start the whole customer process again for a lot of clients.” A company’s database of customers and prospects is often its most powerful marketing tool and it is therefore unsurprising that Lingo has been receiving

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plenty of positive feedback from returning clients who have appreciated its support, proactive service and advice. “I think it’s because they like the environment and can see that we’re doing an honest job for them” reassures Antonia. “They can also come in and meet the team. We had one of our new clients in today - a director who sat with one of our guys from 9am until 2pm. I was just delighted to hear the conversations he was having. A lot of companies go by script, get it approved and just bang the telephones. Here we actually encourage our clients to come in, sit down, have a listen, have a chat with the team and find out how it’s going.” Su points out that the quality of Lingo’s staff has played a crucial role in the success of the business. Building a great team has not happened by accident though and the Lingo recruitment procedure is very thorough. “We invest a lot of time and effort when selecting new team members” says Su. “The applicant of a shortlisted CV will undergo a rigorous selection process starting with a telephone interview to assess how they speak on the phone. If successful after this stage, they then go on to have a face-to-face interview. This is important, as it will determine their compatibility with the existing team.” If they pass the first two stages, the candidate is then invited in for a final test stage where Lingo can assess their telephone technique in a real life environment and also their IT skills when using the CRM system. It is obvious that Lingo really does seek the best-of-the-best in order to complement its exclusive team. Moreover, its success puts so called ‘cold-calling’ into a new light. Lingo’s victories over many businesses’ often-intrinsic preference towards e-mail and the internet is an indication that human interaction is indeed a crucial feature of building relationships between businesses so that ultimately, everyone is a winner. www.lingotelemarketing.com

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t a s h ’ e w r i t h o s g d r ? u o o f m y x a e e O T v e f a l b H es to o G s ch? r s e e k p ir e h t it ta ng Busin off s y b r i a d D a s r Le de l o h ng is x e k noc

k u o y Can

l er a fi i n l fi a u e q h t p r u fo d C n p f l 2 u 2 o Sign roup G Club on t a G f l l M a o B4/ hfield G r the fin e of t e o r f u f o y , S f b i l e u l a at e r C u h f q l t o p nd G o a t e r y e i l h h t Ju s d n i r o f sh x i n O fi e s Th ou r y e f i fi i e l g r a a u h c Q

Top 3 qualifiers: Tenon (Team 1) John O’Brien VSL

Top 3 qualifiers: Geoff Coppock & Richard McVeigh The MGroup Studley Wood Golf Club

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. 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

B4 PARTNERSHIPS

In the last issue of B4, we introduced you to B4 Partnerships, a novel scheme intended to give local charities, arts organisations and even local sports clubs the opportunity to secure complimentary exposure both on and off line with B4, 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.

some circumstances, web exposure on our sister site, www.inoxford.com, and in our sister publication, In Oxford Magazine.

So if you would like to partner with a local charity, arts organization or sports club, get in touch and we can make the arrangements.

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.

Organisations looking for partners include: Pegasus Theatre, The New Theatre, Macmillan Cancer Support, Sobell House and Creation Theatre.

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

Following on from the launch of the scheme and the growing number of businesses taking memberships on the new B4 Website, we are

Sobell House Hospice Charity has been supporting Sir Michael Sobell House for over thirty four years. The Hospice provides specialist palliative care and support to residents of Oxfordshire affected by life-limiting illnesses and their families. The charity’s

“we are offering businesses the opportunity to align themselves with a charity, arts organisation or sports club”

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

www.b4-business.com

delighted to announce a number of successful partnerships have already been struck. These include local commercial property consultants, VSL, and Oxfordshire cultural organization, Oxford Inspires. VSL Director, Richard Venables, commented. “This is a great way for us to secure valuable profile for a great local organization, which we have been supporters of for some time. Oxford Inspires are delighted with the exposure and we are their visible supporters on the B4 website, so it really is a ‘win win’ for everyone.” Another association has seen Oxford’s leading Tennis Club, North Oxford Tennis Club, partner with Buyers’ Edge.

aim is to offer psychological, social and spiritual care to those facing illness, death and bereavement. Kelly Houghton of Sobell House commented. “We focus very much on quality of life and respecting the uniqueness of the individual. We are delighted to be associated with the B4 scheme as it offers a great opportunity to promote these vital services which Sobell House provides to the local community. We look forward to meeting our new sponsor and working with them in the future.” Organisations interested in sponsoring or being sponsored should contact us at B4 on 01865 742211 or e-mail editorial@b4-business.com.

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HOT TICKET

Summer is officially here, and come rain or shine there is a feast of fun to be had at Oxford Castle this summer. From The Oxford Castle Big Lunch community picnic to whiling away the hours Malfresco style on Malmaison’s roof-top terrace, mounting Oxford Castle Unlocked’s tower to take in the best views of Oxford, to the toe-tapping titillation of the open air Summer Night Concerts in Oxford Castle’s beautiful gardens. Summer is definitely not over until after the fat lady sings (or rolls out of the Food & Wine Festival) at Oxford Castle.

Now, imagine a summer's day on which millions of us, throughout the UK, sit down to have lunch together on a patch of common ground. A day to break bread, raise a glass, and to spread smiles across Britain's face. Well, imagine no more. It's called The Big Lunch, it’s taking place across the country, and we would like to invite you, the people and friends of Oxford, to join the fun at The Oxford Castle Big Lunch! The Oxford Castle Big Lunch is an opportunity to get together with friends and neighbours, old and new, between 11am and 3pm on Sunday 18th July 2010 as a simple act of community spirit at Oxford Castle. Pick up a take-away and basque beneath

For the past 40 years there has hardly been a great hall or theatre the world over that hasn’t had its spirits lifted by the toe tapping swing laced tunes of the Pasadena Roof Orchestra’s infectious 20’s and 30’s infused beat. Start the season in style with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra at Oxford Castle Wednesday 21st July. Having graced stages and studios worldwide with legendary artists Chuck Berry, Gene Pitney, and Paul McCartney Chris Beck and the Valentine Vagabonds will perform classic hit songs of the 50s / early 60s as well as Chris' own, hugely popular original material on Thursday 22nd July. Hot on their heels is TooT N’Skamen on Friday 23rd July; they look the part, they sound the part,

without doubt the closest that many of us will ever get to the dream that is Take That. Under the same management Take That 2’s show features all of the dance routines that we know and love, as well as live band pyrotechnics and several fabulous costume changes – Thursday 29th July will be a night not to be missed! Catch them while you can! The brilliant Three Bonzo’s and a Piano play on Friday 30th July with very Special Guests. After first breaking up in 1969, they reformed in 2006 for a series of London shows and a UK tour; however a tour planned for late 2008 was cancelled when the band split yet again... As each went their separate ways, Rodney, Roger and Sam decided to get together with Dave

“soak up all of the spirit of this summer with everything that Oxford Castle has on offer!” the bunting on picnic blankets, or reserve a table at one of the many restaurants and enjoy an afternoon of free, family friendly entertainment. The Big Lunch on Sunday 18th July coincides with the annual Archaeology Day, part of The Festival of British Archaeology. Oxford Castle Unlocked is celebrating the day by presenting the public with an opportunity to learn about their local heritage, to see archaeology in action, and to get involved in free guided tours of Oxford Castle. A series of talks will take place inside the visitor attraction, whilst outside you’ll get free access to the ancient mound, and free entry for children to the Oxford Castle Unlocked Visitor Attraction. So be sure to soak up all of the spirit of this summer Sunday with everything that Oxford Castle has on offer! Kicking off the summer season with a song, and crossing musical genres the Summer Night Concerts feature night after night of internationally adored names and a day of celebrated local bands with performances from the kings of swing, King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys, rock ‘n’ roll legends Chris Beck and the Valentine Vagabonds and ska heroes TooT N’Skamen, to name but a few.

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and their stage performance is second to none – expect to hear the classic hits from Bad Manners, Madness and the rest of the two tone ear. TooT N’Skamen are guaranteed to please each and every Modrapheniac! Voulez-Vous? A Ha! Abba Revival are the hottest Abba tribute band this side of Sweden! Let this stunning act take you on a wild ride back to the party decade where Abba ruled the dance floor, and get Super Trouper-tastic on Saturday 24th July. Combining dazzling musicianship and riveting stage performances King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys are more than just the world's greatest swing band, these guys are an institution! Catch the Kings of Swing on Sunday 25th July, then on Wednesday 28th July sit back, relax and enjoy the authentic sounding renditions of some of the finest and most memorable big band and swing songs from the last century with the Frank Sinatra Tribute Night feat: Atila Huseyin & The Colors Big Band. Take That have to be the hottest pop property of today! To say that they are a phenomenon would just be an understatement, and Take That 2 are

to continue the fun... in the form of Three Bonzos and a Piano, a most “Magnificent Shambles! ! Imagine... The Beatles, or book a ticket for Saturday the 31st July to see the next best thing in the gorgeous grounds of Oxford Castle. Musically, no detail is overlooked to re-create the true sound and excitement of The Beatles. Complete with outfits that range from the early Cavern days through to Beatlemania and beyond, close your eyes, and you could be forgiven for thinking they’re the real thing! The grand finale on Sunday 1st August sees Oxford Castle host a mini music festival, OXFORD BIG BANDS DAY. Join us from 4pm for an afternoon of bunting, beers, a bbq, and two stages with music from some of Oxford's best bands and musicians including Charly Coombes (formerly of Supergrass) and The New Breed, and rising stars such as The Scholars, and Spring Offensive, going acoustic for the first time! The Market Square will be alive between 6pm and 9pm every Tuesday to Saturday throughout August with Open Mic’ Performances from some of the hottest local talent. Pull up a pew, soak up the

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B4 R&R

atmosphere, or try to spot Oxford’s next big thing! September sees The Sullivan Opera Company & The National Festival Orchestra take centre stage in the Castle Gardens with their performance of ‘The Yeomen of the Guard’, followed by the Oxford Castle Food & Wine Festival sprawling across the entire site on the 17th, 18th and 19th September. Sample wonderful local produce and unusual foods from a selection of stalls, give in to the temptation of tasters from all of the Restaurants and Bars at the complex, and watch chefs showcase their talents with live cooking demonstrations. Be sure to take a tour of the Oxford Castle-Unlocked visitor attraction or take part in the rich offer of educational and entertaining events that they have in store for children and adults alike... but be aware, there is still SO much more to do and explore at the Castle this summer, from the rich programme of art exhibitions at the O3 Gallery to the many restaurants and bars situated around the wonderful ‘Covent Garden’ style Market Square. So take your time, and make the most of Oxford’s oldest, and most exciting ‘New Quarter’... Tickets to the Summer Night Concerts are available from www.wegottickets.co.uk /oxfordcastle or See Tickets 0844 871 8804. Visit www.oxfordcastle.com for more details.

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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.

BOTTLE PR www.bottlepr.co.uk

SUREFIRE DIGITAL www.surefiredigital.co.uk

STUDLEYWOOD GOLF CLUB www.studleywoodgolfclub.co.uk

Ken Heathcote Partner

Rob Jones Director

FRONTDOORZ LTD www.frontdoorz.co.uk

QUEENS LANE COFFEE HOUSES

Cathy Dunbabin Director

SAM STRANGE www.samstrangemagic.co.uk

Cem Muldur Proprietor

MISSION MEXICAN www.missionburritos.co.uk

Sam Strange Owner

Jan Rasmussen Owner

Claire Cairns Managing Director

“B4 is an excellent and highly professional resource for businesses within Oxfordshire. We’re proud to be an Ambassador of B4 as its reputation and credibility are very high within the region.” Claire Cairns, Bottle PR

OXFORD PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING www.oxfordprofessionalconsulting.com

BAYSWATER FRAMING www.bayswaterframing.co.uk

Alison Haill Managing Director

ETHOS HOTEL www.ethoshotels.com

Simon Walshaw Co Managing Director

OURFC www.ourfc.org

CHRIS FULTON www.chrisfultondesign.co.uk

Chris Fulton Owner

ALLEN ASSOCIATES www.allen-associates.co.uk

Tim Stephens Club Administrator

LUCY PROPERTIES www.lucyproperties.co.uk

Ian Ashcroft Property Director

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Kate Allen Managing Director

DESIGN HOUSE OXFORD www.designhouseoxford.com

Richard Stone Managing Director

OXFORD HOTEL ASSOCIATION www.stayoxford.co.uk

Stefan Wynne-Jones Chairman

OXFORD INNOVATION LTD www.oxin.co.uk

Jo Willett Sales & Marketing Director

TRACEY JEFFERIES www.traceyjefferies.co.uk

Tracey Jefferies Director

Simon Beesley Managing Director

INCA www.incauk.biz

Graham Carson Client Relationship Manager

TOTAL CREDIT MANAGEMENT www.totalcreditmanagement.co.uk

Clive Taylor Managing Director

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

Peronel Barnes Director

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THE BUSINESS OF

TECHNOLOGY Setting up a new company, technology-based or otherwise, is an exciting thing to do and is an activity filled with opportunities, hopes, challenges and, of course, pitfalls. The current economic climate accentuates all of this. Fortunately, help for budding entrepreneurs is available from a range of sources. One source was an event at Begbroke Science Park on June 17th which brought together almost eighty delegates from start up companies, investors and research groups to share their experiences of the opportunities and pitfalls associated with taking new high tech products to market.

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B4 ADVICE

Begbroke Transfer drew on the experience of a panel of national and local entrepreneurs, all experts in their field, to walk delegates through the maze that is the transfer of new technology to the marketplace. The first challenge to be faced by the inventor is whether to license the technology or set up a start up company. Convention might suggest that licensing technology is a quick and safe route to market, albeit with reduced returns, and that setting up a company is the hard, risky but rewarding choice. In practice, Tom Hockaday, Director of Isis Innovation believes that from some perspectives you have to ask what the difference is. “Convention isn’t always right, licensing can be hugely demanding and some companies just blossom easily in to life. In essence, for both routes, you need someone who values your idea enough to either invest in you to develop it, or license it from you so they can invest their own company resources to develop it.” Having established the route to market, how do you protect your IP whilst finding your investor/licensee? The obvious answer is to patent the idea, which requires that the first publication of the idea is the patent itself . “If you disclose the technology to an investor without a patent agreement in place, any patent

Personnel discussed finding the right Captain and noted the importance of wisdom, previous experience, and of being able to see through the issues to find the solution. “The CEO needs to have a hunger for the business which matches your passion, and must be single minded and able to take advice.” Rob also noted that your CEO will not be in place forever. “Companies at different stages in the lifecycle need different styles of management.” This was evident in the case studies presented by three CEOs of Begbroke Businesses. Tim Hart, CEO of Zyoxel, one year old, showed the need for boundless energy, building the team, building relationships and laying all the right foundation stones. Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore, five years old, talked about investment, more investment, market positioning and more investment. Mike Evans, CEO of OGT, fifteen years old, talked about running a profitable business, securing your market sector and evolving your business offering to meet changing market needs. For all three of these captains, and their crew, the ship itself is paramount. The pitfall associated with finding the right property to run your business from was clearly set out by David Lupson of CAM-SCI, a consultancy that advises on the

“If you disclose the technology to an investor without a patent agreement in place, any patent application is then blown” application is then blown.” Said Dr Herb Askew of Askew Business Consulting Ltd. Even if a provisional application is in place, unprotected disclosure can limit your options. The message here is to be careful about what you say. Of course, patents aren’t always the answer. In some circumstances, the disclosure required by an un-protectable patent would be commercial suicide. “This whole business of raising funding is common sense.” Said Lucius Carey, OBE. Lucius is the founder and Manager of Oxford Technology Management which specializes in making and managing investments in start up companies. “All you need to do is sell an investor a proposition that he’ll make money from the investment. Always discuss valuations in your first meeting and make your proposition for the size of investment you want, and what sort of deal you want. If you don’t stick up for your product, no one will, but be realistic. 100% of nothing is worth less than 5% of a successful business. Once your investment is secured, the fun begins. Tim Hart, CEO of Zyoxel likened running a company to sailing a ship. “You need a ship, a captain and a crew.” Sticking with the ship analogy, Professor Dobson, Academic Director of Begbroke Science Park, warned that racing yachts aren’t staffed like a passenger ferry, and if you want your start up company to succeed, getting the right team is paramount. It may be that the right team includes members of the original research group, but be aware of the transfer of the “post doc” culture in to your business. Rob Cook of Biotech

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management and development of Science Parks. In the early stages of a technology-based start up company a standard commercial property offer could well be too limiting. David advises. “You want your lease to support and enable your business plan, not straight-jacket it”. David also suggested entrepreneurs should look in particular for four things - close proximity to the things you need for your business to survive, flexibility in the terms, high capacity broadband and clarity in the real costs. Start up companies are different and Science Parks with Innovation Centres, like Begbroke, are very fit for purpose. Of course, businesses of all shapes and sizes will face challenges along the way, particularly in a period of recession. Support is available from a range of sources such as events like Begbroke-Transfer and Venturefest, and organizations like the Oxford Economic Partnership, Oxfordshire Business Enterprises, TBAC and the Innovation and Growth Team. In addition, Oxfordshire benefits from a plethora of business networks. Business Link are a great first port of call as they are able to offer good advice and excellent signposting tailored to the specific needs of individuals and organizations. What is more, the majority of these services are free - although you would need to pay for your breakfast at the network meetings! For more information about Begbroke Science Park, please contact Dr Caroline Livingstone at enquiries@begbroke.ox.ac.uk

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FRONTDOORZ

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

LEAPING AHEAD IN THE PROPERTY STAKES

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B4 PROPERTY Searching, styling, negotiating and sealing the deal… Is there anything frontdoorz can’t help you with? frontdoorz is a local independent Property Search and Property Styling company, offering a range of specialist services that are designed to save time, money and effort for those who are buying, selling or renting property. Cathy Dunbabin and Sonia Kearns work in partnership to provide search services for buyers or tenants, in addition to styling for sellers. Emma Connolly reports for B4. Searching With a background in sales and property spanning many years, Cathy uses her experience, expertise, and award-winning negotiation skills not only to find clients their perfect property, but also to secure it at the best price. Her clients include a wide range of business professionals relocating to the Oxfordshire area, as well as people who are just moving around the corner. frontdoorz’ services are highly

property will appeal to the widest possible audience, will command the highest price and will result in a speedier transaction. We compile a room-by-room report giving honest, constructive advice, informing our clients of exactly what they can do, and more importantly, what they don’t need to do, in order to improve their property. The intention is to prevent costly, time-consuming mistakes and to create dramatic results with minimum outlay.” Property styling ensures the client’s property stands far above the competition. The transformation of their clients’ home greatly increases the opportunities for selling or renting quickly, at above-market value. When styling a house for a sale, Sonia explains. “It’s not necessary to spend thousands of pounds to reap the financial rewards. When you’re selling, you want to spend as little as possible so that you can save the excess cash for your new home. However, investing in the right areas can ensure you increase the value of your property, giving you extra

“Fantastic listening skills, bundles of empathy and the ability to negotiate on price from a position of knowledge of the market” recommended by a wide range of professional companies, including solicitors, financial advisors and letting agents.

pounds in your pocket for your new pad. That investment will primarily be your time and a bit of effort.

Cathy explains how their service works. “As an independent property search company we are able to explore the whole property market to find the home that fulfils the specific criteria of our client. We deal with estate agents directly and filter the properties for our clients, so they don’t receive lots of poorly matched property details or waste time viewing unsuitable properties. Due to excellent long-standing relationships with agents, we have early access to new or potential instructions - even properties that are being discreetly marketed. This gives our clients an unbeatable advantage.”

“It’s important to understand what attracts buyers, what they’re looking for and the pitfalls to avoid. The aim is to enhance your property’s best features and to correct or hide any weaker aspects. Living-in and selling a property are two different things – it’s necessary to let go of the emotional attachment and think of your home as the vehicle that will enable you to take that next step towards an exciting new adventure.”

Sonia goes on to explain. “We spend a lot of time with our clients to draw out exactly what is essential to them. We determine exactly what it is that they want, whether it’s a particular school, transport links, or access to a work place.” frontdoorz research and view all potential properties and compile a shortlist. Clients are then accompanied on all viewings. Once their client has chosen a property, Cathy and Sonia use their experience and knowledge of current industry data to determine what price should be paid in the current market. They then negotiate to secure the property at the best possible price. “An agent’s role is to drive the price achieved upwards for their client, while we drive it downwards. We’ve saved an awful lot of money for buyers in negotiations.” Emphasises Cathy. “In most cases, our service pays for itself through the savings we can negotiate.” Once they’ve secured the property, they then actively manage the transaction to a successful completion by liaising with all associated professionals. You would think that such a personal and stress-free service would come at a price, but that’s not the case, as Cathy confirms. “When you engage us for our property search service, we charge a £500 retainer. On legal exchange of contracts, we charge 1.0% of the purchase price when buying, or a full month’s rent on rental properties (minus the retainer fee).” Property search is definitely no longer a luxury service only available to a select few. Styling Property styling is frontdoorz’s other vital service. Sonia describes how this works. “We understand exactly what potential buyers and tenants look for when viewing properties. We know that a professionally styled www.b4-business.com

Sonia concludes how frontdoorz are truly focused on giving their customers an excellent service. “I think the important thing is that we are very approachable, very friendly and incredibly honest. It’s about building relationships with people. We have found we can do this to great effect, for the benefit of all parties.” Whether you’re looking to buy, rent or sell, you can be assured that Cathy and Sonia will be working with you, for you, and providing informed and expert advice throughout the whole process. www.frontdoorz.com

T ESTIMONIALS “If you were to put the search for your perfect new home in somebody else’s hands, what skills would you want them to have? Fantastic listening skills, bundles of empathy and the ability to negotiate on price from a position of knowledge of the market. Cathy has these skills in spades, she understands what clients are looking for and so they only see the properties that they need to and importantly she makes sure that the right price is paid - killer deals in heels!” Daniel Kitchen, Principal Optimum Wealth Management “Using frontdoorz to negotiate when we purchased our new home not only enabled us to buy the property we had set our hearts on but made a challenging period extremely easy and straightforward. frontdoorz secured the deal, using market knowledge to get an incredible £50,000 off, the already reduced, asking price!” Candy Woodington, Operations Director Clarendon Enterprise Centre 91


SOUTHFIELD GOLF CLUB

Richard Rosser talks to Colin Whittle, General Manager of Southfield Golf Club (SGC), about what this first-class golf course has to offer and how the Club is meeting the challenges posed by the recession, and the changing nature of golf club membership. Words by Katie Avis-Riordan.

Colin opens with a sobering statistic. “Golf Club membership over the country is in a very depressed state and I think we are in a similar position to most other golf clubs; 85% of golf clubs have now got vacancies. We are in the same boat as the rest, but by the same token, there are two million itinerant golfers in the country, and that seems to be a growing number. There are lots of golfers who cannot quite justify being members of golf clubs, especially in these difficult times, perhaps they only play once or twice a month. There are also those who like the choice and freedom to play at various golf courses.

Southfield. “We have had a high number of very keen Asian golfers here over the years. They like to play courses that are on the ‘tick list’ as it were and I’m sure there is more scope to take advantage of the ‘Oxford’ attraction and our University heritage”.

“Catering for the itinerant golfer is becoming increasingly important. There are a number of things we can do. Key to this is the need to keep reinforcing our very existence. It is quite surprising how many people in the city don’t even know there is a golf course here.”

Southfield is first and foremost a members club, and Colin is therefore tasked with attempting to attract more visiting golfers to the club without upsetting the club’s fabric. “It is very difficult to balance that equation, but it is something we have to do and I am trying to push the boundaries all of the time. We have just applied for Golf Mark, which is the kite mark for junior golf, as that is a market we are working very hard at attracting to the club. This will help us to recruit more juniors. We have three PGA professionals here and one of them is quite active in local schools. We are trying to help younger players as much as we can.”

We have arranged a series of open days and there are also excellent offers available on green fees, and Society rates, but that’s not all. “We have also created reciprocal arrangements. One thing I am quite hopeful will lead to more visitors from further afield is our

Colin and the members are also massively proud of the course they have nurtured over the past five years, attributed to the excellent input of Head Green Keeper, Justin Lee. “Justin joined us from The Oxfordshire, and has transformed the course, which is now

“The course does sell itself and I never get any negative feedback, which is really gratifying”

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

association with Harry Colt, who was the designer of the golf course. He is probably the most famous golf course designer ever and has left his mark on over three hundred golf courses worldwide, including classics such as Wentworth and Sunningdale. “There is a Harry Colt Association, but independently, a number of clubs have got together and formed the Harry Colt Reciprocal Organisation, to capitalise on the ‘Harry Colt’ brand. It now has twenty clubs participating in the UK and the list is growing all the time. There are some top courses, including Moor Park and the Hallamshire and as a member you can play at any of these courses for a minimal fee. This is an added value benefit to membership at Southfield. The Oxford tourist is another target for Colin, who acknowledges that a fair few visitors from America and the Far east find their way to

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recognised as one of the finest in the home counties; it is in excellent condition all year round. It is a well drained course, so we are open virtually all of the time. It has some memorable holes and a really good set of par 3s; they are a very good test. The twelfth-hole par 3 was one of Henry Longhurst’s favourite holes, and he commented that it was one of the best par 3s in the country. “The course really does sell itself and I never get any negative feedback, which is really gratifying. Once a golfer finds us, more often than not, they will return.” Southfield Golf Club has played host to The B4/MGroup Golf Cup over the past four years. This year’s final qualifier takes place on Thursday July 22nd. For information about playing in the qualifier, call B4 on 01865 742211.

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B4 R&R

HISTORY

OF THE CLUB Southfield Golf Course is home to three golf clubs. Oxford University Golf Club, which was formed in 1875, originally played in an area down on Cowley Marsh where the University cricket grounds were. They dotted holes around the cricket ground, and up the hill, just touching upon what is now the far end of the course, as Colin continues. “That was laid out by James Braid, who was another famous golf course designer. They played there for a number of years, but it wasn’t very satisfactory. They tried a few other locations around Oxfordshire, but in 1922 the University acquired the current site, which was Southfield Farm and commissioned Henry Shapland Colt (Harry Colt) to design and layout the course. Oxford City, had been playing since 1899, and Oxford Ladies, since 1901, in various different locations, all moved here in 1922 and so Southfield became the home of the three golf clubs. The University golf club ran the course from 1922, but as the years went by there were less University Students and staff playing and more and more City people were playing, so just after the war, the University handed over the main control to Oxford City and Oxford Ladies.”

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New Bar menu From 1st July 10% OFF and a free Glass Wine

To book call: 01993 812291 – www.feathers.co.uk


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

OXFORD HOME IT SUPPORT www.eurosolve.com

SUE STOCKDALE LTD www.suestockdale.com

Richard Hillsdon Managing Director

CUSTOMERS REALLY MATTER www.customersreallymatter.co.uk

Sue Stockdale Director

RICHARD ROSSER www.b4-business.com

Richard Rosser Managing Director

James White Managing Director

LOVE COMMUNICATIONS www.lovecommunication.co.uk

GAIL BUCKLE www.gbprconsultancy.blogspot.com

Jo Love Owner

Gail Buckle Owner

Nick Maynard Surgeon

“B4 is a fantastic way for people in Oxfordshire to find out about other

HUNTS www.hunts.co.uk

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

businesses, and I am proud to be an Ambassador. It is now clearly Oxford's leading business magazine.” Nick Maynard, Oxford Radcliffe Private Healthcare Cormac O’Hara General Manager

Aimee Joy Commercial Director

VSL www.vslandp.com

THE OXFORDSHIRE GOLF CLUB www.theoxfordshiregolfclub.com

LIVE OXFORD www.liveoxford.com

Richard Sherrott Director

Richard Quartermain Proprietor

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

Tim Pettifer General Manager

Andy Fegan Managing Director

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/b4-ambassadors

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REAL IT

SUPPORT

Richard Hillsdon of Oxford Home IT Support has made a success of giving good honest service. Clare Macaulay met with Richard to document the rise of his business and the plans for the future. Words by Emma Connolly. After twenty five years of working for big corporations, Richard Hillsdon decided he’d had enough. “One Monday morning, it was just me and a telephone, thinking exactly ‘what do I do now?’ I had designed a website, put it up, and phoned everyone I could think of. That was four years ago, and now we’ve got 750 customers and there’s two of us full time’.

everybody saying that business has been a disaster, it’s certainly not in all areas, and there are people out there with the money. If your customer bases are a slightly higher demographic than average, then most of that sector doesn’t really seem to have been affected at all by the recession, they’re still spending as much, and we’re still selling as much.

Providing an alternative IT service with Oxford Home IT Support, Richard is proud to claim a quality service. ‘We’re driven by the fact we don’t like to see people ripped off, we like to see people fully informed before they make a decision. They know what they’re going to get and why we’re doing it – we explain everything in English.’

“Our customer base is anyone with a PC, which is everyone, although we’ve shifted towards the higher demographic. North Oxford is now providing us with a huge amount of business, which is fantastic.

IT is thought of by many to be an intimidating and scary area; many of us do not really understand the jargon. This is where Richard and his company aim to stand out. “There are definitely people trying to scare you into buying things, or even embarrassing you into buying things, especially if you’re a small businessman, ‘well if you were a real business you’d have one of these…’, however, Oxford Home IT Support is not one of these companies. It’s about getting equipment that does the job, not making huge profits. Our motivation

‘Turnover is up 50% on last year and we’ve proved that work is out there – you just have to try that bit harder to find it.” Oxford Home IT Support has an open approach to advertising as Richard explains. “We try and do all the things that don’t cost us any money. Basic things, emails – they’re essentially, if you’ve got the right systems, next to free. With the right emails, they can have a huge impact. Sometimes you have to do things more than once. We did some offers at Halloween which had absolutely no impact or response, at all. We did exactly the same offer at Easter, and sold out!”

“We like to give customers all of the options so they’re more knowledgeable, and can make a more informed decision” is to save customers money. And because we only make a small amount of money on equipment sales, we’ll only recommend and supply equipment we think is reliable.”

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

Quality is an important factor to many businesses, but for Oxford Home IT, their reputation and continuing success is reliant upon it. “There’s no point supplying something inadequate. Our plan is to save the customer money where we can but have systems that are more reliable and easier to maintain for everybody.” Explains Richard, who believes that knowledge is the key and with the right support and advice available, the aim of the company is to enable small businesses to manage and maintain their own resources. “We work out what the customer needs, or what the business needs and how we can best do that with equipment. The phrase we hear so often is ‘How come we didn’t know about that before?’ or ‘How come no one else told us that?’ We like to give customers all of the options so they’re more knowledgeable, and can make a more informed decision.” Avoiding news of the economic climate has been difficult over the past couple of years, but with a recession threatening businesses small and large, Richard tells of their surprising growth during this predicted slow period. “Despite 96

Richard is a keen advocate of networking. “Joining The Business Wealth Club has been a hugely effective move for us. If anyone in business doesn’t go to a good business networking club, then I’d recommend it.’ Having been a member for just over a year of fellow B4 customer Paul Avins’ fantastic network, Richard notes that. ‘There’s been a direct correlation to joining that and the profits going up. We had a steady sales line that bobbled up and down for the previous three years, and then we joined The Business Wealth Club and it went swoosh, upwards!’ Customers of Oxford Home IT Support are a mixture of home users and small to medium businesses, and focusing on a quality service is crucial to the company’s reputation. “Most IT companies, when they know you’re a business, will think you have more money to spend and oversell you stuff you don’t really need, rather than offering ways that make you work more efficiently or cheaper. We spend a lot of time giving advice to people on how to do things without spending any money. There are loads of really good free services out there, but, unfortunately, most IT companies won’t tell you, because there’s no money in it for them.’ Good old fashioned honesty seems to be the selling point as well as the reason for success for this small business. A focus on the customers as well as www.b4-business.com


B4 IT the sale. “We try and look after the customer and not just the equipment.” states Richard. ‘One thing we bring is that we don’t just understand IT, we do understand business, and we know how a small business should work. Because we ourselves are a small business, we know where to find cost effective solutions. ‘It’s a case of us recommending technology that works and is more productive. We always think if we do a good job people won’t need us that often. We always think outside the box, there isn’t always one solution to fit. Lots of big houses in Oxford have Wi-Fi problems because the walls are thick, and there are lots of alternatives you won’t see in the mainstream shops, which we can get from suppliers. Unfortunately, the classic phrase is ‘if only I’d known that was possible’. The key for any business is to give more, and you do seem to get more back, and that is a philosophy that has held us in good stead so far, and will hopefully help us to keep building the business long into the future.” www.homeitsupport.biz

“Most IT companies, when they know you’re a business, will think you have more money to spend and oversell you stuff you don’t really need”

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A NOT SO MINI INVESTMENT MINI Plant Oxford is continuing its support of local arts and culture throughout 2010 after renewing its corporate membership of Oxford Inspires, the county’s cultural development agency. Through Oxford Inspires, the Plant has supported a range of projects since 2005 that have included community focused arts workshops, large outdoor concerts involving local residents, youth theatre schemes and magical spectacles such as ‘Luminox’ and the ‘Magic Hour’. The recently renewed agreement will make the Plant a major partner for 2010, and will continue the pattern of active community involvement that it has successfully developed over recent years. Kathelene Weiss, Director at Oxford Inspires, said: “MINI Plant Oxford and Oxford Inspires have built a strong partnership over recent years, and we are

During these school workshops – which were designed to encourage children to think about and explore the future of transport – Plant engineers set the children a special challenge: to see how far they could propel a scale model of the MINI along the floor using nothing but sustainable energy. The children were then invited to sit down with the visiting engineers and brainstorm possible ways of doing this, drawing on the team’s knowledge of sustainable power – developed through their own experiments with hydrogen and electric cars – to come up with a solution to the proposed challenge.

“their support will continue to make a real difference to our city’s cultural and community life” delighted to be able to continue our collaboration with them in 2010. Plant Oxford is a true advocate; their involvement has become integral to building the environment for a strong and vibrant arts sector, and their support will continue to make a real difference to our city’s cultural and community life.”

Just before the launch of the Ark, the children went to Plant Oxford with their creations to see which school would win the MINI challenge. And it was Unicorn School from Abingdon who won having achieved a distance of 17 metres by giving their car a huge push.

In addition, through its involvement with Oxford Inspires, Plant Oxford supported the local arts organisation CIAO! and their innovative arts and science project, the Ark. The project, which encouraged children in the community to think about the positives of low carbon living, was hugely successful and involved hundred of children taking part in workshops at 10 schools across Oxfordshire whilst thousands of people visited the installation outside the Museum of Natural History at the end of June.

As the Ark no doubt sails off to other destinations throughout the 2012 cultural Olympiad, Plant Oxford are very much looking to continue their cultural support in the future, not only with these one off unique and innovative projects, but also with regular events like Cowley Road Carnival which returns for 2010 bigger and better than ever.

Plant Oxford’s involvement with the Ark project not only built on its long-held interest in environmental sustainability, but also continued a pattern of active community involvement that it has successfully developed over recent years. Hundreds of primary school children first became fascinated by the MINI Plant when they learned about the development of its 100% electric, zero-emissions ‘MINI E’ at the Children’s Climate Change Conference earlier this year. Since the Conference, the Plant continued to play an active role in the run up to the final five day festival by providing hands on support and sending its own engineers to run workshops within participating primary schools.

FACT FILE 98

Dr Jürgen Hedrich, managing director of MINI Plant Oxford, said: “Involvement in the local community is a high priority for us, and we have been keen to develop the role that we play in it year by year. I am delighted that, by renewing our partnership with Oxford Inspires and local arts organisations in 2010, MINI Plant Oxford will continue to support innovative and accessible events for Oxfordshire people.” www.mini-production-triangle.com www.oxfordinspires.org Working in Partnership: The Oxford Inspires B4 membership has been kindly sponsored by VSL (see page 71).

Cowley Road Carnival Luminox 2007 CIAO Dancin’ Oxford Launch party Magic Hour at Botanic Garden

30,000 25,000 10,000 200 5000

Christmas Light Night 2009 17,000 Charity concert with Oxford Philomusica and Ronnie Scott’s Big Band 300 people raising nearly £2000 for charity

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B4 MARKETING

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CRAZY BEAR On paper The Crazy Bear at Stadhampton is a hotel, bar and restaurant. In reality, it’s an oasis of individuality, a place to relax and unwind after work, an impressive conference destination, an evening of indulgence, and so much more. 102

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The Crazy Bear first opened its doors in 1993 and very quickly started to build a reputation for fun and flamboyance - a hip hotel back in the days when that accolade was earned, not paid for. Guests were entertained by the sight of goldfish occupying the glass lavatory cisterns and enthralled by the super luxury of the interiors - brave structures, extravagant furniture and innovative materials. Today, expect all of this and more - with an eight foot brown bear towering above the bar, eye-catching art and a red London bus serving as the hotel reception. Outside, the gardens are tropical and tranquil, with paths leading to terraces, lawns, croquet and a private copse. Décor and fun aside, there are just so many reasons to pay a visit. First, the food. Award-winning, of course, with two AA rosettes. The menus are the creation of Group

Just behind the hotel is The Crazy Bear Farm and Farmshop, another great reason to visit. Ahead of its time, the farm was established to provide the group’s restaurants with rare-breed meat and eggs. The animals, including Gloucester Old Spot pigs, and Ryeland and Welsh Badger Face lamb, roam freely on eighty acres of pastureland. Chefs work hand in hand with the resident farmer and butcher to influence the animals’ diets according to the seasonal needs of the menu. Very few restaurants can claim such traceability over the produce they bring to the table. Third reason. Staff are super-friendly. Many have worked here or across the Group for many years. This, combined with the comforts of a roaring log fire, polished copper and oak beams, all help towards the warm, fun yet sophisticated atmosphere. Fourth. You’ll be in good company. Many

“Décor and fun aside, there are

just so many reasons to pay a visit” Executive Chef, Frank Bordoni. A multi-award winning chef, a familiar face on television, and a published author, Frank has led the team of English and Thai chefs at The Crazy Bear Group since 2007. In the English restaurant, Frank has recently introduced his spring menu, the Confit Belly of home reared Gloucestershire Old Spot Pork with Lyme Bay scallops, apple, chorizo and crispy potato, emerging as an early favourite. The vegetarian menu offers real choice, including Goats’ Curd and Beetroot salad, and caramelised Shallot Tatin with rocket and aged balsamic. There is also a set lunch menu, at just £14.50 for two courses, which changes monthly, with recipes and ingredients from the neighbouring farm shop (more about that later). This month, it includes Potted Home Cured Old Spot Ham, Cornish Mackerel Salad and warm old fashioned Gooseberry Tart with clotted cream. Sunday lunch is extremely popular, served from midday to 10pm, and just £23 for three courses. Afternoon tea is served Monday to Saturday with finger sandwiches, tea cakes, scones and an excellent selection of infusions. Often enjoyed with a glass or two of champagne. The Thai restaurant serves modern Thai food, prepared by Thai chefs who have trained at The Royal Thai Palace and who are rated among the best in the UK by none other than The Royal Thai Embassy. Dishes include Crispy Duck Salad with mango, roasted cashews, pomegranate, spring onions, and cherry tomatoes. A nine plate tasting menu is excellent value at just £25 per person. A takeaway menu is also available.

established blue chip brands from far and wide have their business meetings here. It’s a refreshing environment for morning meetings, brainstorms, presentations, day and overnight conferences. They choose from The Oak Room, The Log Cabin and a magnificent Glasshouse which can host up to 350 people. It’s also popular for parties and press launches. With acres of outdoor space, The Crazy Bear is also an excellent choice for companies wishing to incorporate team building activities. And fifth. Back to the décor. Seventeen bedrooms complete the line up, all designed with creativity and charisma, ranging from art deco bedrooms, to elaborately luxurious superior suites. The pictures here will tell the story far better than words ever could. Still looking for a reason to try The Crazy Bear? OK, here’s one more. The Crazy Bear parties are legendary, the next one being the summer garden party over the August bank holiday. The famous Thai banquet will be available all day, together with an eclectic mix of entertainment, including performers Kid Creole & The Coconuts and Sam Brown, alongside fire shows, magicians, burlesque dancers, DJ’s and much, much more. Building its own reputation and loyal fan base a few junctions down the M40 is its sister hotel in Beaconsfield - an absolute masterpiece of extraordinary design – opulent, flamboyant, indulgent, daring and sumptuous in every respect. Whichever you decide to visit is, of course, up to you. But we’re sure you’ll find them both totally inspirational – one-off destinations. Somewhere to enjoy now and for many years ahead. www.crazybeargroup.co.uk

www.b4-business.com

103


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B4 Contacts ADVICE

BUSINESS SERVICES

CETA Insurance Ltd Telephone: 0845 4583071 Website: www.lowerpremium.co.uk

Accountants

Audio Visual

INCA Accounting Telephone: 01865 821100 Website: www.incauk.biz

Bang & Olufsen 12 Telephone: 01865 511241 Website: www.bang-olufsen.com

Shaw Gibbs LLP 26 Telephone: 01865 292200 Website: www.shawgibbs.com

Image Audio Visual Solutions Telephone: 01235 865500 Website: www.image-av.co.uk

The MGroup 50 Telephone: 01865 552925 Website: www.themgroup.co.uk

Business Consultants

Wenn Townsend 58 Telephone: 01865 559900 Website: www.wenntownsend.co.uk

Networking Groups

The Profitable Hotel Company Telephone: 01993 706632 Website: www.profitablehotelcompany.co.uk

Business Organisations

Business Advice Oxford Management Solutions Telephone: 01865 792178 Website: www.oxfordltd.co.uk Oxford Professional Consulting Telephone: 01865 436 791 15 Website: oxfordprofessionalconsulting.com Paul Avins Enterprises Telephone: 01869 278900 Website: www.paul-avins.com

64

The Clarkson Alliance Telephone: 01865 355580 Website: www.theclarksonalliance.com

Legal Darbys Solicitors 46 Telephone: 01865 811700 Website: www.darbys.co.uk

BrookStreet Des Roches LLP Telephone: 01235 836655 Website: www.bsdr.com Henmans LLP Telephone: 01865 781000 Website: www.henmansllp.co.uk Manches 108 Telephone: 01865 722106 Website: www.manches.com Withy King Telephone: 01225 425731 Website: www.withyking.co.uk

B4 Magazine Telephone: 01865 742211 Website: www.b4-business.com BNI Telephone: 01865 339301 Website: www.bnihomecountieswest.co.uk Ladies that Lunch Telephone: 0845 330 1078 Website: www.ladiesthatlunch.co.uk Venturefest 13 Telephone: 07523 901104 Website: www.venturefest.com

Institute of Directors Telephone: 07770893834 Website: www.iod.com

Business Supplies & Equipment B-Line 72 Telephone: 01865 358243 Website: www.b-line.co.uk

Witney Bigger Breakfast Club Telephone: 01608 811533 Website: www.witneybbc.co.uk

Bayswater Framing Telephone: 01865 351000 Website: www.bayswaterframing.co.uk

Chiltern Railways 62 112 Telephone: 08456 005 165 Website: www.chilternrailways.co.uk

Charities

Isis Chauffeur Telephone: 01993 709023 Website: www.isischauffeur.co.uk

Macmillan Website: www.macmillan.org.uk

Travel

Oxford Inspires 98 Telephone: 01865 815525 Website: www.oxfordinspires.org

City Sightseeing Telephone: 01865 790 522 Website: www.citysightseeingoxford.com

Oxford Innovation Ltd 39 Telephone: 01865 811127 Website: www.oxfordinspires.org

Cotswold Wildlife Park Telephone: 01993 823006 Website: www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk Crazy Bear 13 102 Telephone: 01865 890714 Website: www.crazybeargroup.co.uk Egrove Park 30 Telephone: 01865 422757 Website: www.sbs.oxford.edu/conferencing Four Pillars Hotels Website: www.four-pillars.co.uk Lady Margaret Hall 38 Telephone: 01865 611079 Website: www.lmh.ox.ac.uk Magdalen College School Telephone: 01865 242191 Website: www.mcsoxford.org

66

Malmaison 9 22 56 Telephone: 01865 268400 Website: www.malmaison-oxford.com Westwood Hotel Telephone: 01865 735408 Website: www.westwoodhotel.co.uk

Transport

76

Beechwood Solicitors Telephone: 01865 883344 Website: www.beechwoodsolicitors.com

Insurance

104

Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds 57 Telephone: 01865 743442 Website: www.charitablefunds.org.uk

Debt Collection Total Credit Management 110 Telephone: 01993 832266 Website: www.totalcreditmanagement.co.uk

London Oxford Airport 14 Telephone: 01865 290 600 Website: www.londonoxfordairport.com Oxford Tourist Information Centre Telephone: 01865 252200 Website: www.visitoxford.org

CONFERENCE

Venues Blenheim Palace 9 11 40 Telephone: 01993 810501 Website: www.blenheimpalace.com

EDUCATION Further Education Magna Carta College 24 Telephone: 01865 593131 Website: www.magnacartacollege.org

Oxford University Begbroke Science Park 47 Telephone: 01865 283700 Website: www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk

86

Christ Church College Telephone: 01865 276492 Website: www.chch.ox.ac.uk

Conferences

School Trips Cotswold Wildlife Park see Conferences

Distribution

Christ Church College Telephone: 01865 276492 Website: www.chch.ox.ac.uk

Air Business Ltd 108 Telephone: 01727 890 620 Website: www.airbusonline.com

Conference Centre Oxford Telephone: 01865 797979 Website: www.conferencecentreoxford.co.uk

Science Oxford Telephone: 01865 728953 Website: www.scienceoxford.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ALL OF THE B4 MEMBER BUSINESSES, LOG ON TO WWW.B4-BUSINESS.COM www.b4-business.com

105


B4 Contacts Schools

Health Care

IT Services

Oxford and Cherwell Valley College Telephone: 01865 550550 Website: www.ocvc.ac.uk

Monica Franke Telephone: 07970 119721 Website: www.monicafranke.com

Nominet 27 Telephone: 01865 332211 Website: www.nominet.org.uk

Oxford Radcliffe Private Healthcare Telephone: 01865 221033 Website: http://www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk/ privatehealthcare

Oxford Home IT Support Telephone: 01865 594020 Website: www.homeitsupport.biz

Retirement Homes

Surefire Digital Telephone: 020 3239 8055 Website: www.surefiredigital.co.uk

St Edwards School 11 Telephone: 01865 319 204 Website: www.stedwards.oxon.sch.uk

Tuition British Study Centre Telephone: 01865 246620 Website: www.british-study.com Oxford and Cherwell Valley College see Education, Schools

FINANCE Banking Coutts and Co Telephone: 01865 389039 Website: www.coutts.com

HEALTH & LEISURE

Richmond Villages Telephone: 0845 4150842 Website: www.richmond-villages.com

52

Macdonald Randolph Hotel 108 Telephone: 0844 879 9132 Website: www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk

Frilford Heath 31 84 Telephone: 01865 390864 Website: www.frilfordheath.co.uk North Oxford Golf Club Telephone: 01865 553977 Website: www.nogc.co.uk Southfield Golf Club 92 Telephone: 01865 242158 Website: www.southfieldgolf.com Studley Wood Golf Club 88 Telephone: 01865 351122 Website: www.studleywoodgolfclub.co.uk The Oxfordshire Golf Club 101 Telephone: 01844 278 300 Website: www.theoxfordshiregolfclub.com

Orange Stripe 68 Telecommunications Telephone: 0845 241 7772 Website: www.orangestripe.co.uk

Lingo 78 Telephone: 01865 886340 Website: www.lingotelemarketing.com

Marketing Bottle PR 10 48 Telephone: 01865 882988 Website: www.bottlepr.co.uk The Project Managers Telephone: 01865 751531 Website: www.the-project-managers.com

Photography Lyon Photography Telephone: 01865 481550 Website: www.lyonphotography.co.uk

Wellbeing

Blink Designs 15 Telephone: 01865 742211 Website: www.on-the-blink.com

Helen Money Nutrition 11 Telephone: 01865 339672 Website: www.helenmoneynutrition.com

Chris Fulton Design Telephone: 07745 033707 Website: www.chrisfultondesign.co.uk

Printing

Torpedo Group Limited 42 Telephone: 01865 733710 Website: www.torpedogroup.com

Blink Design Telephone: 01865 742211 Website: www.on-the-blink.com

HR Professional Training & Coaching Paul Avins Enterprises see Advive, Business Advice

64

Sue Stockdale Ltd Telephone: 01367 244855 Website: www.suestockdale.com

Golf

Software Development

Website Development

Oxford University RFC Telephone: 01865 432000 Website: www.ourfc.org

Fitness Bourton Mill 89 Telephone: 01865 251261 Website: www.bourtonmill.net

Market Research 96

Telecommunications

Sport Oxford United Football Club Telephone: 01865 337505 Website: www.oufc.co.uk

Print, Design and Focus Telephone: 01993 774543 Website: www.printdesignfocus.co.uk

MANUFACTURING Lighting WILA Group Ltd 4 Telephone: 01235 773500 Website: www.wila.com

Recuitment

MARKETING

Allen Associates Telephone: 01865 335600 Website: www.allen-associates.co.uk

Design

The Career Boutique 23 Telephone: 0845 5204010 Website: www.thecareerboutique.com

ADS Telephone: 01993 885122 Website: www.adsoxford.co.uk

IT & TELECOMMS

Blink Design Telephone: 01865 742211 Website: www.on-the-blink.com

Database Management InTouch CRM 100 Telephone: 0845 310 9973 Website: www.intouchcrm.co.uk

Orchadis Media 13 Telephone: 01865 339 429 Website: www.orchadis.com

Studio 8 106 Telephone: 01865 842525 Website: www.studio-8.co.uk

Hunts Telephone: 01865 853 633 Website: www.hunts.co.uk Print, Design and Focus Telephone: 01993 774543 Website: www.printdesignfocus.co.uk The Goodhead Group Telephone: 07773 316 204 Website: www.bgprint.co.uk The Oxford Duplication Centre 110 Telephone: 01865 457000 Website: www.oxfordduplicationcentre.co.uk

Public Relations Bottle PR see Marketing, Marketing GB PR Telephone: 01865 742940 Website: www.gbprconsultancy.blogspot.com Love Communication Telephone: 07887 775271 Website: www.lovecommunication.co.uk

TO BECOME A B4 MEMBER OR AMBASSADOR, CALL 01865 742211 OR E-MAIL SALES@B4-BUSINESS.COM www.b4-business.com

107


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k&RPSOHPHQWDU\RIoFHVLQ Oxford and Reading ensure WKDWWKHoUPUDQNVKLJKO\ in a swathe of areas in the South East.� Legal 500 (2009)

“Manches provides EUSA 3KDUPDZLWKDoUVWFODVV service in all areas.� Zoe Evans, General Counsel and Company Secretary, EUSA Pharma

9 9 9 9

City quality Sector expertise Local to you Value for money

“The quality of advice, the service and the commitment that we received from Manches was superb - they sure have the measure of those city boys!� 0LNH$GODP&KLHI([HFXWLYH2IoFHU Particle Therapeutics

Oxford | Reading | London www.manches.com

“An excellent reputation in the Thames Valley for extremely diligent and keenly priced services to clients.� Legal 500 (2008)

MACDONALD

RANDOLPH HOTEL CITY CENTRE OXFORD

Local Company with Global Reach SURPRISING RATES FOR E XCEPTIONAL CONFERENCES AND MEETINGS 24 HOUR CONFERENCE RATES FROM ÂŁ165 DAY DELEGATE RATES FROM ÂŁ55 SUMMER DAY DELEGATE RATES FROM ÂŁ45*

Facilities Include: • Conference Facilities for 2 to 400 people

Please call our conference and events team today on 0844 879 9132

• 151 Bedrooms • Interviews to Board Meetings and Training • Conferences to Exhibitions and Receptions • Free Car Park space for Organiser/Trainer • Environmental Policy & UK food purchasing policy • Excellent location to combine events with University Colleges • All projects considered

Macdonald Randolph Hotel, Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2LN T 0844 879 9132 F 01865 791678 *Summer rate applicable to new bookings, confirmed and taking between 1st June to 31st August 2010.

www.MacdonaldHotels.co.uk/Randolph

As an Oxford based distribution and fulďŹ lment company, Jordan & Co has always provided its customers with a friendly, attentive and dependable high quality service. Last year the company became part of a much bigger Group, Air Business, who themselves are owned by the Irish Post OfďŹ ce.

Services now on offer include:

We are presently running a special promotion to promote new business in the local area, offering a new and enhanced range of services. Contact us now on 01993 772 644 quoting “B4â€? to learn how you can beneďŹ t from this.

• Airfreight

Jordan & Co Unit 2-5 Parkside Station Lane Witney, Oxfordshire OX28 4YX Tel: +44 (0) 1993 892156 email: sales@airbusonline.com web: www.airbusonline.co.uk

• Domestic & International Mail Distribution • FulďŹ lment • Courier • Data Management • Warehousing including pick and pack


B4 Contacts The Buzzworks Telephone: 01993 813848 Website: www.thebuzzworks.co.uk Torpedo Group Limited see IT & Telecomms, Website Development Tracey Jefferies Telephone: 01865 820183 Website: www.traceyjefferies.co.uk

The Trevor Osborne Property Group Telephone: 01225 832302 Website: www.topgroup.co.uk

Estate Agents Penny & Sinclair Telephone: 01865 318013 Website: www.pennyandsinclair.co.uk

Crazy Bear see Conference, Conferences

Crazy Bear see Conference, Conferences

Ethos Hotel Telephone: 01865 245800 Website: www.ethoshotels.com

Fire & Stone Telephone: 0207 632 2313 Website: www.fireandstone.com/oxford

Macdonald Randolph Hotel see Health and Leisure, Fitness

Le Manoir Telephone: 01844 278881 Website: www.manoir.com

Oxford Association of Hotels and Guest Houses Telephone: 01865 862138 Website: www.stayoxford.co.uk

Mamma Mia Telephone: 01865 514141 Website: www.mammamiapizzeria.co.uk

Westwood Hotel see Conference, Conference

Oxford Castle see R&R, Bars and Pubs

Interior Furnishing & Decoration

Artistic & Cultural

Asset Management

Design House 9 Telephone: 01865 510 112 Website: www.designhouseoxford.com

Creation Theatre Website: www.creationtheatre.co.uk

The Mission Mexican Grill Telephone: 01865 202016 Website: www.missionburritos.co.uk

Breckon and Breckon Telephone: 01865 201111 Website: www.breckon.co.uk

Jill Treloggen Telephone: 01993 700515 Website: www.jilltreloggen.co.uk

Bars & Pubs

Building

Minoli Tiles 16 Telephone: 01865 778225 Website: www.minoli.co.uk

Web Performance (SEO) Studio8search Telephone: 01865 842525 Website: www.studio8search.com

PROPERTY

Richmond Villages see Health & Leisure, Retirement Homes

Business Parks

Grove Technology Park Telephone: 01235 772992 Website: www.grovetechpark.com Jennings Telephone: 01865 893303 Website: www.jennings.co.uk

Commercial Property Agents 70

Construction Project Management The Clarkson Alliance see Advice, Business Advice

Development Lucy Properties Telephone: 01865 559973 Website: www.lucyproperties.co.uk

Sights & Attractions Blenheim Palace see Conference, Conferences

Crazy Bear see Conference, Conferences The Duke of Cambridge Telephone: 01865 558173 Website: www.dukebar.com

Letting Agents

74

Oxford Castle 60 82 Telephone: 01865 201657 Website: www.oxfordcastle.com

Corporate Entertainment

Finders Keepers Telephone: 01865 302308 Website: www.finders.co.uk

Sam Strange Magic Telephone: 01865 742211 Website: www.samstrangemagic.co.uk

The Letting Centre Telephone: 01865 759 930 Website: www.thelettingcentre.com

Entertainment

Property

M40 Offices Telephone: 01844 260500 Website: www.m40offices.co.uk

www.b4-business.com

34

Breckon and Breckon see Property, Asset Management

Clarendon Enterprise Centre 28 Telephone: 01865 910100 Website: www.clarendon-enterprise.co.uk

VSL and Partners 28 Telephone: 01865 848488 Website: www.vslandp.com

Scottfraser Estate Agents Limited Telephone: 01865 759500 Website: www.scottfraser.co.uk

Live Oxford Telephone: 07896 843475 Website: www.liveoxford.com

Pegasus Theatre Website: www.pegasustheatre.org.uk

Property Services

Sam Strange Magic see R&R, Corporate Entertainment

Frontdoorz 90 Telephone: 01865 339444 Website: www.frontdoorz.co.uk

RETAIL Shopping Lacy's Telephone: 01865 742211 Website: www.lacysoxford.co.uk Witney Shopping Telephone: 01865 742211 Website: www.witneyshopping.co.uk

Henley Festival Telephone: 01491 843400 Website: www.henley-festival.co.uk Oxford Castle see R&R, Bars and Pubs

Grove Technology Park see Property, Asset Management

Lewis Building Technology Telephone: 01865 782424 Website: www.lewisbt.co.uk

Oxford Tourist Information Centre Telephone: 01865 252200 Website: www.visitoxford.org

44

Kids & Family Sports Xtra Telephone: 01608 679995 Website: www.sports-xtra.com

If you wish to list your business on this page, call B4 now to book your annual B4 Membership. This includes listing in B4 Magazine and on the new www.b4-business.com website. CALL US NOW. B4 Is Designed by

Restaurants

R&R Accommodation

Branca Telephone: 01865 556501 Website: www.branca-restaurants.com

Barcel贸 Oxford Hotel Telephone: 01865 489988 Website: www.barcelo-hotels.co.uk

Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant Telephone: 01865 552 746 Website: www.cherwellboathouse.co.uk

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

109


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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.

Richard is an organiser and a thinker, so if you have a problem he will help you solve it. He has chosen to apply those abilities to the building and maintenance business, and the package comes with honesty, sincerity and trustworthiness. So I would not hesitate to recommend Richard for any building maintenance or refurbishment work. Mike Jennings, Managing Director, Jennings of Garsington.

I have been immensely impressed with Richard’s work ethic. There are absolutely no surprises when it comes to the cost of the work done – Richard goes out of his way to ensure his customers are fully aware of all cost implications of the work he does well in advance. The only surprises are good ones – a consistently high level of work from someone who quite simply enjoys what he does. Richard Rosser, Managing Director, The In Oxford Group

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B4 Magazine - Issue 16  

B4 Business Magazine, Building Bridges Between Businesses across Oxfordshire

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