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B4

Magazine

ISSUE 17 AUTUMN 2010

A DVIC E I T

CO M M U N IC AT IO N

T R AV E L

www.b4-business.com

E DU C AT IO N

PA RT N E R S H I P S

F I NA NC E

P R O P E RT Y

H E A LT H

R & R

H R

E V E N T S

Shining Light WILA: At The Forefront Of Lighting Technology

Henmans The Role Of A Modern Day Litigator

Under The Hammer Carter Jonas: Going, Going, Strong!

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


Don’t get left out Now over 300 members


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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 Alex Neale assistanteditor@b4-business.com Editorial contributors Katie Avis-Riordan Erica Conlan Alex Neale Barbara Richardson Jenny Woyand Advertising sales@b4-business.com Administration Jenny Woyand admin@b4-business.com Studio Photography Studio 8 Telephone: 01865 842525 B4 Partners Begbroke Science Park B-Line Career Boutique Darbys London Oxford Airport Lloyds Commercial Orange Oxford Castle Oxford Innovation Oxfordshire Town Chambers Network Studio8 VSL & Partners Wenn Townsend WILA Subscriptions For free Subscription, please contact: Telephone: 01865 742211 info@b4-business.com

Welcome to B4 If the attendance at our recent B4 Ambassadors Event at Malmaison is anything to go by, it would appear that B4 has now added a significant extra dimension to businesses of Oxfordshire. To have 237 guests attending an informal drinks event on a wet Thursday in September tells me that we are providing businesses with a very useful platform to promote themselves on three very strong fronts. Firstly, B4 Magazine, now entering its fifth year, is growing in pagination with 3,000 copies mailed out to influential names in business throughout Oxfordshire. Secondly, the website has almost three hundred signed up members, growing by approximately twenty new members a month. Finally, B4 events are providing us with a vital ingredient – face to face contact. Although we don’t want to become known for regular events – there are plenty of excellent networking organizations who satisfy that demand – we will be staging events periodically during the year. In fact our next event is at RBS Williams F1 Conference Centre on 28th October, followed by a Christmas Lunch at Malmaison on 20th December.

© 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.

30. Voice of an Angel Joel Roberts, all the way from the States

If you are a reader of B4 but your business is not involved, please don’t hesitate to call me to find out how your business can benefit, from as little as £150+VAT per annum for web membership which ensures you are invited to our members’ events. Can you afford not to be involved? In this issue, we welcome Orange, Lloyds Commercial and the Institute of Directors who have all joined B4 as Ambassadors and Members. WILA, who provide intelligent light solutions, are the subject of our lead article. We meet Mike Collett and Claire Styles and see a thriving, cutting edge company based in Grove which has an increasingly voracious appetite for growth. We meet the man behind Mission Mexican Grill, Jan Rasmussen, and hear about his plans for expansion in this booming burrito market, and two young men who are relatively new to the business world, Nathan Thomas and David Cozier, who talk to B4 about their passion for their respective businesses.

41. Ian Wenman Chairman, Ian Wenman, on the Oxfordshire business landscape

Joel Roberts, talks to us from California about his change of direction and how he is fast becoming one of the leading media consultants in the business. There’s a profile on scottfraser’s new office in Witney and we return to Northbrook House with VSL to assess the success of a rather novel marketing campaign. We also meet with four women enjoying success in very different fields. Paula Holloway, Principal of St Clare’s, Oxford, Clare Connor of women’s international cricket fame, Katherine Dales of The Career Boutique and fashion designer, Karen Cole.

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.

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

Inside

61. Orange Mobile High Definition Voice for UK businesses

Richard Rosser Editor

About

B4

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.

69. A Real LIfe Experience Why St Clare’s is top of the class


B4 Contents B4 LEAD

B4 TRAVEL

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24 WILA: In its 157th year, WILA continues to push the boundaries of lighting technology.

48 Open a New Office in Witney? No Problem!: Overcoming a series of obstacles, scottfraser are proud to unveil stunning new premises in Witney.

B4 NEWS 29 35 51 55 63 67 83 86 91

B4 PROPERTY

52 Going, Going, Strong: Estate Agents, Carter Jonas, are rolling out a series of property auctions to run throughout the year.

A RAMADA WITH A VIEW!

Begbroke Charitable Funds OTCN IoD Business Link Nominet News B4 Partnerships Charity News Visit Oxfordshire VSL

Built in a dramatic waterfront location in the rejuvenated London Docklands, the Ramada Hotel and Suites provides excellent guest care and facilities in a stunning new contemporary development. B4 enjoyed the Ramada Hotel’s excellent hospitality for the night in advance of a trip abroad, flying from the nearby City Airport. This four star hotel has a stunning waterfront position and offers supremely comfortable accommodation and superb cuisine with a welcoming atmosphere. For those who like to keep fit, there is also have a Fitness Room on the Ground Level with all the main Cardio machines. With air-conditioning throughout and treble-glazing, a restful night's sleep awaits at the Ramada Hotel and Suites, and that’s exactly what we needed ahead of our early start and flight to Italy.

“This four star hotel

This was the ideal prelude to a holiday, and safe in the knowledge that the car would be in secure parking for our two week trip, we started to unwind as soon as we checked in.

has a stunning waterfront position and offers supremely comfortable accommodation and superb cuisine”

But maybe I had hit holiday mode too soon. Firstly, the helpful front desk staff helped me to print out our e-tickets for the flight which I realized were still

airport. Don’t be so relaxed if you fly out of City Airport as the check in and security checks are igorous and very slow.

The kids loved the small apartment we had booked, complete with mini kitchen, ‘two TV’s Dad!’ and super comfortable beds.

B4 SPOTLIGHT

firmly in electronic format on my laptop – what a plonker I am! Secondly, when we could see the planes literally blaze a trail over our scrambled eggs at breakfast (and what a great breakfast that was by the way), we got complacent and had to run to the plane after our five minute cab ride to the

Thanks to The Ramada for a great start to our holiday, although next time we won’t get too relaxed! General Information: The Docklands are home to London City Airport and ExCeL, London’s premier events venue, whilst also on the doorstep is Canary Wharf. The O2 Arena is only few stops away by DLR. Rapidly become a leading London location, it is with easy access from Stansted Airport, just along the M11. Easily connected by the A12 and A13 as well as the award winning Docklands Light Rail at Prince Regent station, London's heartland is within easy travelling distance of this Docklands hotel. Parking facilites: Outdoor Parking: Mon-Sun 9:30am-5:30pm 12.00 GBP Per Day or 2.00 GBP Per Hour - Pay and Display. Complimentary car parking is also available in front and at the back of the hotel on first come first serve basis.

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B4 COMMUNICATION

B4 ADVICE

30 The Voice of an Angel: Joel Roberts, regarded as the top media consultant in the business, talks to B4.

36 Focused on Resolution: Andrew Crocombe of Henmans and his role as a modern day litigator. 72 Added Bite: Graham Bridgman joins Darbys and tells B4 why it’s a perfect match for all concerned.

40 Ian Wenman: The Chairman of the Oxfordshire IOD talks to B4 about his take on business in Oxfordshire.

79 Attracting & Retaining Buyers: Richard Baxter of Withy King on considered business exits or opportunities to expand.

84 Mission Possible: What a story. The man behind Mission Mexican Grill and his quest for more.

80 Embracing Sustainability: Lloyds Commercial spotlight the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

96 The Energy Behind Women's Cricket: And you thought you got through a lot in a day! Meet Clare Connor, representing all that is good about modern day sport.

B4 BUSINESS SERVICES

100 Karen Cole: Meet the lady behind the Merino fashion phenomenan.

64 Downsizing: The increasing number of downsizers hasn't escaped Barbara Richardson's attention.

www.ramada.com

www.b4-business.com

24 B4 Partnerships: Help a local charity, arts organisation or amateur sports club, for nothing

56 In the Right Gear: VSL report on the success of a rather different marketing campaign at North brook House.

39 TBAC: Could you become a TBAC Mentor?

B4 FEATURE

ORANGE ORANGE FIRST TO LAUNCH MOBILE HIGH DEFINITION VOICE FOR UK BUSINESSES - THE

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60 Orange: Orange are the first to launch mobile high definition voice for UK businesses - the biggest advance in calls in twenty years. 71 Engineers With Vision: Part 5 OfficeServ: Orange Stripe Telecommunications with more leading office solutions for Oxfordshire businesses.

B4 EDUCATION 68 A Real Life Experience: Principal, Paula Holloway, talks to B4 about St Clare's, Oxford, one of the country's leading international residential colleges.

B4 EVENTS 59 Minoli Supports Pre-Raphaelite Exhibition at The Ashmolean

B4 HR

BIGGEST ADVANCE IN CALLS IN TWENTY YEARS

H

G EARIN

IS

IN B E L I EV

G

ove the m t ns on ersatio ents just go m s conv Busines noisy environ calls ar in cle stal and ar with cry ted cle easier ners sta portant ess ow t im of busin be the mos device 75% ality to their mobile qu ll ca of ey nality say th functio one owners siness to hold ph ts of bu uggle 33% onmen ntly str noisy envir ta ns in co sations conver

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www.b4-business.com

www.b4-business.com

Orange today announces the biggest advance in voice calls in twenty years with the launch of its mobile High Definition (HD) Voice service, enabling businesses to benefit from the next era in mobile communications. Increased call clarity and the filtering out of background noise makes important business conversations possible, no matter where they are conducted.

Robert Ayres, of Raycox Turf, said. “Having trialed HD Voice for a number of weeks, I was impressed by the difference it made to my phone calls. The ability to have a faultless call experience, regardless of where I was, made important business conversations that much easier and meant I didn’t have to worry about being in a quiet space to make any calls.”

Call clarity has emerged as a necessity for many businesses. Recent research* from Orange has shown that 75% of business owners believe clear call quality to be the most important aspect of their mobile device; with 33% saying they routinely struggled to hold phone conversations due to the noisy environment they work in. With HD Voice, neither a noisy work environment or being out of the office are barriers to a successful call with customers, colleagues or suppliers.

Martin Stiven, VP of Business at Everything Everywhere, the company which runs Orange UK, added. “HD Voice is going to change the way businesses are able to communicate through our business mobiles, from conducting calls in places that were not previously possible, to the ability to hear emotions in people’s voices. We’re about bringing people closer together, and HD Voice does just that, making business colleagues feel as if they’re speaking face to face. People are going to love the clarity of calls and the lack of background noise. Once you’ve used it, you will want to keep it.”

Orange HD Voice also eliminates the perceived distance between callers, making it easier to hear the emotions in people’s voices. According to the research, this is seen as crucial with 80% of business owners stating that it is very important to hear people’s emotions when conducting a conversation. Almost one in five (18%) even admitted that they had lost a deal because of a misunderstanding over the phone, as they couldn’t hear what was being said. HD Voice also opens up new opportunities for better ways of working in business. In addition to benefiting industries with significant background noise, like construction and manufacturing, the arrival of HD Voice is hotly anticipated by the broadcasting industry, which believes that the service could reduce both its reliance on expensive ISDN lines and the need to ferry guests to studios for interviews. The BBC is trialing the solution as a low cost alternative to the traditional methods of live contribution for both its reporters and, potentially, for guests, and to improve the sound quality for breaking news reports, which will often be achieved using a mobile phone.

HD Voice for business is now available on the Nokia E5 and the Samsung Omnia Pro B7350 handsets with more HD enabled handsets to follow in the coming months.

44 Invest in Your Best Asset - You and Your Team?: Katherine Dales puts herself through the mill, just for B4, to prove that staff well-being is vital.

B4 IT

For more information on HD Voice for business please visit: www.orange.co.uk/business/hdvoice *Research conducted by Redshift between 13/08/2010 and 18/08/2010. Sample: 1,000 business owners. HD Voice runs on the 3G network and uses the WB-AMR (Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate) speech codec. This provides excellent audio quality due to a wider speech bandwidth of 50–7000 Hz compared to the current narrowband speech codec of 300–3400 Hz. The WB-AMR (Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate) delivers significantly enhanced sound quality while utilising the same network resources. www.orange.co.uk/business

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76 Oxford Digital Marketing: ODM's Simon Wallace-Jones explains how his company is helping his clients to make the most of the internet.


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B4 ADVICE

LLOYDS T S B

Organised by Lloyds TSB Commercial, one hundred local companies gathered at Iffley Road to hear how the London 2012 Games will boost the local economy and, as sustainability underpins the Games, how this will bring about a greater shift towards sustainable thinking in the business community.

COMMERCIAL

Mark French, area director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, introduced the event and discussed how firms can bid for London 2012 contracts, benefit from the legacy of the Games and use the momentum as a springboard for further growth.

Lloyds TSB Commercial is a trading name of Lloyds TSB bank plc and Lloyds TSB Scotland and provides dedicated banking services for customers with an annual turnover of up to £15 million, from start-ups to established companies looking to grow.

As London 2012 aims to be a sustainable Games, Mark also urged firms in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire to assess their ethos and approach to doing business from a sustainability perspective. He underlined the role sustainability and ethical trading will play for those companies hoping to secure London 2012 contracts, as well as the cost savings and benefits environmental policies will bring to businesses in the decades to come.

Lloyds TSB was voted Bank of the Year for the sixth year running at the Real FD/ CBI FDs' Excellence Awards 2010 in recognition of the support it offers its business customers. Lloyds Banking Group has over one million small and medium sized business and not for profit customers and has launched a three-year programme of support for SMEs.

4. Lloyds TSB will not change the availability of overdrafts during the period of a customer’s agreement, as long as their accounts are kept within agreed terms and limits

EMBRACING

This follows research from Lloyds TSB Commercial that revealed twenty per cent of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe they are not doing enough to become environmentally responsible. Some thirty five per cent of companies questioned said concerns about the amount of time and money that would be needed to be invested to become environmentally responsible is the main reason why they have not yet addressed the issue. Some thirty five per cent stated that they intend to adopt sustainable policies, but only once the UK economy has recovered.

SUSTAINABILITY

Businesses in Oxfordshire must act quickly if they are to successfully capitalise on the commercial opportunities which will be created by London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, claimed a panel of experts speaking at an event at Oxford University.

However, out of those SMEs that have taken an environmentally responsible approach to doing business, the main benefits of doing so included reduced operating costs (thirty four per cent) and positive customer response (thirty eight per cent).

5. The price of existing loans or renewed overdrafts will reflect the cost of funding. The margin Lloyds TSB charges over the cost of funding will only increase where there has been a material increase in risk (subject to a minimum 1.5 per cent over the cost of our funds). Lloyds TSB will be transparent about pricing and help customers understand the price of their facilities. Where margins increase, Lloyds TSB will provide a clear explanation of the reasons

Former Olympian, Adrian Moorhouse, who won gold in the Seoul 100m breaststroke in 1988, spoke at the event about his own experiences of the Olympic Games. London 2012 hopeful and Lloyds TSB ‘Local Hero’, Sebastian TullyMiddleton, an athletics champion from Oxfordshire, was also present for a question and answer session.

6. Lloyds TSB’s fees will be competitively priced. And arrangement fees on loans and overdrafts will not be greater than 1.5 per cent of the overall value of the facility.

Adrian commented. “Just as athletes train, prepare and ensure they are fit and ready to compete, businesses need to do the same. It’s

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www.b4-business.com

pitch for any available funding in the future – and we know from our limited experience of the new Government that funding is going to become an increasingly scarce commodity. We may need to look more to Europe for sources of support for our innovation and development.

“The consultancy work is very rewarding because I’m getting heavily board member of the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership, which kept him busy. I interviewed Ian at his beautiful farm south of Chipping Norton, which he moved in to three years ago with his family. With two holiday cottages, rare breed pigs and cattle, Ian admits he enjoys the lifestyle, but still has a strong fire burning in his belly which revolves around the welfare of business in Oxfordshire. “I am half way through my three year tenure as chairman of the IOD. It’s a really interesting organisation to be involved with, particularly because the IOD in the south is a very strong part of the IOD as a whole, so I go to London and have regular meetings in Pall Mall, with Miles Templeman, Director General of the IOD and Graeme Leach, the Chief Economist from the IOD. It has provided me with a fantastic insight into the economy and the impact of the new coalition government. This, undoubtedly, helps to increase my effectiveness as Chairman of the IOD in Oxfordshire.” More recently, the phenomenon of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP’s) has blasted a hole into Ian’s time, putting something of a brake on the development of his own consultancy and non-executive work. “The consultancy work is very rewarding because I’m getting heavily involved with companies, helping them to navigate

LEP’s are controlled by business, rather than local government. So you should see more emphasis on the roles of the IOD, CBI, the Chamber of Commerce, the FSB, and the Oxfordshire Town Chamber Network. “There has been some quite unfortunate press recently where the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership and Council have been shown at loggerheads, which isn’t strictly true. This is new territory for all of us, even the Government, so there is bound to be an abundance of confusion and misunderstanding . “The Government decided to send a 2-page letter to business organizations, business people and also all local government, which basically says, ‘form a local enterprise partnership – come up with your own thoughts and ideas’, without any real direction. The result? Confusion, chaos, a lot of time wasted and second-guessing in spades.” “As B4 goes to press and throughout October, the situation should get clarified, but at the moment it isn’t clear what we will end up with. The upshot of all of this is that we hope that we in Oxfordshire will be either an enterprise partnership on our own or possibly an enterprise partnership that’s part of the Thames Valley. It is in my view important we have an LEP in some form or other, we have to have a strong voice to

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‘New World’ – if I can call it that – with money being so tight and the economy being so harsh, we are going to look to organizations such as Frederick’s, and the altruistic actions of individuals looking to give something back to the business communities in which they have thrived.”

www.b4-business.com

TBAC offers free mentoring to anyone running a small business. It is not only free, it’s confidential and independent of any public sector involvement. The mentors have an involvement in how the service develops to suit the needs of the clients.

“We at the IOD have also helped a number of different charitable organizations, including, Young Entrepreneurs, Pegasus Theatre, and the B4 drive to get businesses and arts organizations and charities working together in partnership for their mutual benefit hits the spot perfectly. “It’s really inspiring to actually see the response of the community in the face of adversity. Seeing companies become more transparent, helping each other and looking out for one another. The new Government may have, unwittingly set an example. Working together may just be the blueprint for success in the future and because of all the different organizations we already have in Oxfordshire, we are really well placed to capitalize on this shift in community approach .”

“I think this is something which Oxfordshire needs to get its head around and do something about and fast.There are so many people with really credible and well-intentioned ideas, but if they combined with

www.iod.com www.b4-business.com

“Sustainability is not just about carbon footprints, it’s about a new way of working. It is vital that UK companies embrace this concept, using the Games as a platform to lead the global business community into a new, sustainable, era.” The event in Oxford is one of two hundred being held this year by Lloyds TSB Commercial as part of its 2012 SME Charter. The Charter is designed to help businesses under three broad dimensions: encouraging enterprise, access to finance and clearer pricing. The events will provide expert guidance and support for SMEs on topics such as starting up, employment, exporting, sustainability and finance. www.lloydstsb.com/business

COULD YOU BECOME A TBAC MENTOR?

Are you running your own business? Are things going reasonably well, but after many years are you searching for something a little more; something a bit different than merely ‘making more money’; something that is fulfilling? Do you have a desire to ‘give something back’ to the community which has helped you succeed in business? Well at TBAC we can offer you that opportunity! Mike Jennings introduces TBAC to B4 readers.

“There are companies I’m helping where I’m mentoring young business people – some are people I’ve trained in the past and who have formed their own businesses. You see their thought processes and when you help and work with them, you also see that the way people are going to make a success of business in the future is different from the way we did in the past. We’ve gone through a huge shift of the old style of dictatorial business operation to one of collaboration which is softer and more responsible in many ways.

Notwithstanding its many qualities, Ian is adamant that Oxfordshire has got it wrong in one key aspect of its business make up. “In my opinion, there are too many business organisations in the county which aren’t working effectively together. During a conversation with a director of the soon to be defunct Regional Development Agency, SEEDA, when I asked how Oxfordshire compared with other counties in terms of business organizations, without hesitation he said Oxfordshire was unique in having seventy to ninety organisations.

“We’ve invested in creating a local network of trained business and environment partners who can provide the guidance firms require in order to implement significant changes.

TBAC

So where, in conclusion, does Ian see the UK economy heading? “With reference to the economy, I’ve always personally believed we’re going to have an ‘L’ shaped recovery and this is heavily supported by the IOD. We have fallen off a precipice and will, bumble along the bottom for quite some time before seeing steady improvement. I certainly don’t want us to have another fall as that would be very worrying for everybody. We have to be careful not to repeat the same mistakes of past recessions. We have got some great things going for us, locally and nationally. Oxfordshire represents everything which is good about the UK economy with the technology, universities, tourism and the burgeoning businesses we have managed to stimulate.

involved with companies, helping them to navigate unchartered territory as they expand and develop”

“As official banking and insurance partner to the London 2012 Games, we are working with them to realise the vision of a more sustainable Games and are committed to helping businesses across the country implement green policies, economical production processes and ethical trading.

“Your experience is an untapped resource which, through the TBAC service, we are able to channel to people who need it”

“Oxfordshire is out on a limb, being one of the most northerly points of the South East, so we have to shout louder than most. The South doesn’t get the support it merits, it is clear it has the potential to make this country a world-class leading economy but we have to nurture and support it. We need to make MPs realise that although the North has a harder time – there’s more instances of deprivation and so on – if the UK is to be a world-class economy, then we need the South to prosper. If we don’t we will find that we get left behind by the rest of the world. If all we do is focus on the North and don’t assist the South, we will never become the world leading country we deserve to be.

“Funding will be a bonus, not something we can feel entitled to, and that is why we have been very lucky in Oxfordshire as we have managed to get our act together in a number of ways to reduce our reliance upon funding. There are a number of organisations for early-stage businesses, such as OBE, TBAC and The Frederick’s Foundation for Oxfordshire, with whom I have spent time recently. I think in the

your business to a host of opportunities from private and public sector contractors after 2012.

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“One of the first things I did when I got involved with the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership was suggest that we should get the main business organisations together so that we meet regularly – that being the CBI, the Chamber of Commons, the FSB and the Oxfordshire Town Chamber Network. You’d think we’d be competing but when you actually analyse it, we have different offerings for different people and businesses, and we can help each other and the business community by working together locally.

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All of the TBAC mentors run their own small businesses in Oxfordshire, and we wish to recruit other like-minded business owners to join our small team. Your experience is an untapped resource which, through the TBAC service, we are able to channel to people who need it.

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

Ian inherited a healthcare company from his late father which, by his own admission, he hadn’t given enough time to, and so, naturally, he initially devoted his energies into that business. Ian had also been appointed Chairman of the Institute of Directors (IOD), and was also a new

However, our conversation, inevitably, turns to LEP’s and what this means for Oxfordshire. “The LEP is interesting because of the changes that are going to come about as a result of their introduction. I think they will focus more on the business organisations than they have previously because the government have insisted that the

“Preparing your business for tender will create both experience and exposure, and can provide a springboard for other business. Registering on the tendering website ‘CompeteFor’ exposes

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others that are out there, they would be so much stronger and effective . Oxfordshire has so many bright, wealthy individuals and this is part of the problem. If you look at other areas in the UK where they have had to pull together – such as the North– they speak with a stronger voice, whereas we don’t seem to be able to do that. We have perhaps never had the need, in the past to pull together, now could well be the time!

Ian Wenman is a familiar and widely respected face in Oxfordshire business circle. At the tender age of 29, he became partner in local accountancy firm, Shaw and Co., now Shaw Gibbs. He oversaw the development of the practice based in Summertown, to such an extent that twenty employees became eighty housed in impressive new headquarters, also in Summertown. There are few people better placed than Ian to assess the harsh economic landscape which surrounds us now. Ian Wenman, now Chairman of the Oxfordshire IOD, talks to B4’s Richard Rosser. unchartered territory as they expand and develop. It has proved to me that we have some great minds here in Oxfordshire and a great deal to be proud of and excited about for the future. Running a company is a lonely position and if you’ve got somebody you can work with and bounce ideas off who has got a bit of history and knows what it’s like, then that can be very useful.“

“Just because you’re not a large company doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think big. Although London 2012 will directly buy and manage a comparatively small number of contracts with tier one suppliers, there are lots of opportunities for SMEs further down the supply chain.

www.b4-business.com

B4 PROPERTY

IAN WENMAN It was only last year when Ian made what many might consider a surprising move out of the relatively safe environment of a thriving local professional firm, but he insists his timing was right. “I was fifty and I thought that, before I knew it, I would still be reviewing accounts at sixty five and I didn’t want life to pass me by. There was still so much I wanted to achieve.”

Mark French added. “The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are about much more than just elite sporting competition. They represent a unique opportunity for businesses up and down the country, and will leave a valuable legacy.

Games are about much more than just elite sporting competition. They represent a unique opportunity for businesses”

1. Lloyds TSB will encourage enterprise, boost access to finance and provide clearer and fairer pricing for customers – including a pledge to help 300,000 new start ups by 2012.

3. Lloyds TSB will agree to any reasonable request for competitive commercially-priced finance (whether short-term or long-term) from viable business customers.

Other speakers at the event included Professor Carolyn Roberts, director of the Technology Strategy Board based at the University of Oxford.

“The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic

The key points of the 2012 SME Charter are:

2. Lloyds TSB will run a programme of 200 nationwide seminars every year for the next three years, to provide expert guidance and support for SMEs on starting up, employment, exporting, bidding for 2012 contracts, sustainability and finance.

vital that firms are in the best possible position to capitalise on all opportunities for growth and development.”

39

What is your commitment? All of our mentors take a two day training course, which includes a ‘live’ mentoring session critiqued by others on the course. Thereafter, we accept that you will give as much time as you are prepared to give. Each mentoring session lasts 90 minutes, and our mentors typically do two or three sessions per

month. Sometimes, mentors take a sabbatical where their own business demands their attention. Mentors also get together for a lunch every two months, to meet and exchange thoughts and ideas. What do you get out of it? Nothing financial. No pay, and no expenses. What you do get is pleasure; a deep feeling in your soul that you are doing something of value for someone else. Our clients understand that your experience is exactly what they need. As mentors, it is our role to listen, to empathise, and (where appropriate) to believe in them. You already have the experience, and our training will help you with the other skills. This is what our mentors say: “Being a TBAC mentor is fascinating and rewarding. Each business owner you meet has a different and intriguing story of how and why they are in business – and the challenge of talking over their particular issues as a ‘critical friend’ is really rewarding. It is great to use the knowledge and experience you have built up over the years of running one’s own business to benefit others. I wish we had known about TBAC at certain stages of our business development.” “I’ve been in business in Oxfordshire for ten years, and during that time I have received good advice and informal mentoring from many other local

business people that I have met along the way and this has been one of the most positive aspects of running my own company. Now that my company is mature and established I get a real buzz from being able to put something back, to pass on the help and good advice I received and to help other entrepreneurs learn from my experience. Being a mentor and spending time looking at other businesses is a great way to hold up a mirror to my own business and to ask myself if I’m missing anything in my own company.” This is what our clients say: “Brendon was brilliant. He understood our business and its challenges in minutes and made specific, concrete suggestions without making us feel like we were idiots for not having done it earlier.” “Bob was fantastic! He made me feel that I was doing well and gave me the initial confidence that I needed so this in turn enabled me to be a better business minded person, although I am still learning!’ “Dave was helpful and positive. He understood our company and aims very quickly and was nothing other than totally helpful.” www.tbac.org.uk

www.b4-business.com

39

B4 TRAVEL

43 A Ramada With A View!: Visiting Docklands or flying our of City Airport - this is the perfect base.

47 Keeping The Wheels In Motion: David Cozier loves bikes and now he is fulfilling a lifelong ambition fixing other people's.

75 Camera: Fusion Bar & Restaurant: Not just a great bar but a fantastic restaurant and club.

94 Gearing Up For Success: How one man is living his dream.

92 Bicester Hotel, Golf and Spa: Our lucky reporter gets to stay, play golf and have a fabulous meal!.

B4 R&R

B4 PARTNERSHIPS

88 Treat Someone: Want to spoil someone special, or why not incentivise the staff. Read on for some mouth-watering deals.

88 The Joy of Pegasus: Want to feel inspired? How a tired theatre was given a new lease of life.

For all contacts see page 102


THINK SMARTER, FLY OXFORD • SUMMER SERVICES TO JERSEY & GUERNSEY WWW.DISCOVERJERSEY.COM • PRIVATE CHARTER FROM 4 SEATS TO 15, 200MPH TWINS TO 600MPH JETS • REGIONAL AIRLINER CHARTER FOR CONFERENCES, EVENTS, FROM 20-100 SEATS • HELICOPTER SERVICES (22 MINS TO LONDON) • SIGHTSEEING & TRIAL TRAINING FLIGHTS • OXFORDSHIRE’S AEROSPACE HUB WITH OVER 20 BUSINESSES EMPLOYING 800 PROFESSIONALS

www.oxfordairport.co.uk 01865 290600


B4 News 237 Queuing out of the door at Malmaison for B4 Ambassadors Event Following a presentation of the 2010 B4/MGroup Cup to James White of InTouch CRM, we heard from The Goodhead Group’s CEO, David Holland, who told us why Oxfordshire is a great location for one of the UK’s leading printers which employs 600 in Bicester and Banbury. Ian Wenman, Chairman of the Oxfordshire IOD, then talked about the need for businesses in Oxfordshire to shout louder and strive to raise Oxfordshire’s profile in an increasingly competitive world.

We had a massive 237 Ambassadors, Members and Guests at our 30th September B4 Event held at Malmaison, superbly hosted by Malmaison General Manager, Andrew Creese and his staff. It was quite an unbelievable turnout for a wet Thursday night in Oxford. Apologies to those of you who had to queue, but hopefully the quick thinking of the wine waiters to attend to you with a welcome glass of wine before you got your badges helped to numb the pain.

Finally, John Hoy, Chief Executive of Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire’s leading tourist attraction, introduced the new Visit Oxfordshire tourism organisation which has been established to raise the profile of Oxfordshire as a tourist destination (see www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com). As always, John spoke passionately about Oxfordshire and the wonderful hotels, attractions and events which many of us take for granted. John was also graciously praising of what B4 has achieved and is fully behind our endeavours to link like-minded businesses in Oxfordshire and promote Oxfordshire as a great place to do business.

“Many thanks for your generous hospitality at Malmaison and to congratulate you on a very successful occasion. Everyone seemed to network very well and it was great to see lots of old friends as well as to make some new contacts. B4 is a real force and that is a great credit to you all at B4. Well done and thanks again for a super event.” Here are just a couple of the other notes we received after the event: “The B4 Malmaison reception was a great success. The number of people attending reflected the popularity for B4 Magazine and its role in supporting the local business community. A storming triumph to get 250 people together on a wet Thursday evening.” Richard Venables, Director, VSL & Partners “Congratulations on a great evening….really useful and enjoyed it Richard.” Paul Horsell, Senior Manager Commercial, LloydsTSB Commercial

RBS Williams F1 Conference Centre hosts the next B4 Ambassadors Event We have been invited by RBS Williams F1 Conference Centre in Grove to stage our next Ambassadors event with them on Thursday 28th October, from 6pm to 8pm. This is a stunning venue and a great opportunity to see the private Williams F1 Grand Prix Collection in all its glory. If you would like to be included on the guest list, please e-mail Jenny@inoxford.com. We will then

confirm your place. Please note, Ambassadors and Members of B4 are most welcome to bring a guest. Please note, the policy on guests is that you are most welcome to come along to an event as a guest once, but thereafter, you must be a Member or Ambassador to be eligible to come along again. For full details about B4 Membership and Ambassadors, see the Advertising section on the www.b4-business.com website.

The B4 Christmas Lunch, in association with The Career Boutique and Malmaison Come along an join us for an informal Christmas Lunch on Monday 20th December. Starting at 1pm, Malmaison are putting on a three course meal for just £35 a head (not including drink). Open to B4 Ambassadors and Members only and their guests.

interest or send your cheque for £35, made payable to Malmaison, to us at B4 Magazine, The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford OX3 0BT. Enter Christmas week as you mean to go on – who knows, we might have a drink or two after in The Visitors Room!

Please e-mail Jenny@inoxford.com to register your

www.b4-business.com

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

Make business a pleasure. Take the train.

Cheaper C heaper fares. f res. Award fa Award winning winning service. ser vice. If you’re travelling to Lond London don or Birmingham Birmingham on business, make life easier of Chiltern’s and take the train. 95% o Chiltern’s trains arrive on time, while our business fares to London are still cheaper than most other train operators. operators. • TTables ables and and p power ower so sockets ckets at at every ever y sseat eat Designated •D esignated mobile-free mobile-free ‘Quiet ‘Quiet Zone’ Zone’ on on every ever y train train Chiltern •C hiltern Carnet Carnet with with 12 12 Anytime Anytime Tickets Tickets for for the the price price of of 10 10 Mobile •M obile PPhone hone Timetable Timetable and and Journey Journey Check Check Alerts Alerts Business Service and Journey •B usiness Travel Travel S er vice a nd Jo urney Planner Planner Easily •E asily accessible accessible Park Park and and Ride Ride facilities facilities for for all all of of North North and East Oxfordshire a nd E ast Oxf fordshire at: at: Haddenham H addenham and and Thame Thame Parkway Parkway SatNav: SatNav: HP17 HP17 8EP 8EP Bicester North SatNav: OX26 6EF B icester N orth S atNav: O X26 6 EF

chilternrailways.co.uk/business chilternrailw ways.co.uk/business

20% faster journey times from 2011


B4 News London Oxford Airport Enjoys Increased Traffic Oxford Airport is continuing to evolve as a thriving ‘London’ alternative for private and charter aircraft users having seen a 44% growth in executive traffic over last year to date compared to a 5% EU average. Some £20m has been invested in the last five years with hangarage increasing by 80%, construction of a new main runway, installation of an instrument landing system and an award-winning business aviation terminal.

With the same runway length as London City airport, longer opening hours than most of its peers and enhancements such as pet importation approval, Oxford Airport, just an hour from the west end of London, has attracted several engineering air taxi and charter operators with lower costs and ease of access. Partially in readiness for the Olympics, an additional 4.4 acres (1.8 hectares) of new aircraft parking area is currently being constructed. Airline charters have also increased this summer in partnership with organisations like Destination Oxford, bringing conference and event delegates into the region by air for the first time.

Cherwell Boathouse wins Fine Wine List of the Year in Imbibe Magazine The cream of the pub, hotel and restaurant trade gathered in London in September to discover the winners in Imbibe’s first Wine List of the Year competition, run in association with Louis Roederer Champagne. With judges having narrowed down hundreds of entries to just 25 finalists, the atmosphere was tense as the overall winners were announced by

Imbibe’s editor, Chris Losh. Fine Wine List of the Year was always going to be an exceptionally tight battle, but in the end, the judges thought that the wines from the Cherwell Boat House were not just incredible value for money, but also chosen with real care. Visit www.cherwellboathouse.co.uk

Witney Shopping Fun Day WITNEY traders received a boost when the town staged its first fun day dedicated to attracting more visitors. More than 100 businesses took part in September’s event, which included a children's treasure hunt, live music and street entertainment.

feedback from the public. It was the first time we’d done it and we learned a lot! This was about raising the profile of Witney as a whole so the main objective was met. We're already planning for 2011, and need more traders to get involved in what is a team effort between independents, multiples and our main shopping centres”.

Janette Reed, chair of Witney Independent Traders’ Association and owner of Cotswold Kids, said: “On the whole it went well, and we had lots of good

To keep in touch with Witney, www.witneyshopping.co.uk funday@witneyshopping.co.uk

visit

Up to £1,000 available to businesses to cut travel costs Businesses in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Milton Keynes can claim a grant of up to £1,000 to reduce their business travel or make it greener. This is an EU match funded grant. On completing the short form on www.sustainableroutes.co.uk you receive a Travel Efficiency Plan. The Plan shows the savings from simple changes at work and highlights areas for using the grant.

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It is easy to apply for and support is available from ‘ngage solutions’ who manage the project. The grant is approved within a week, although no expenditure incurred before approval can qualify. For more information: www.sustainableroutes.co.uk, philip.wootton@ngagesolutions.co.uk

11


The West Oxfordshire e Business Bus Awards s e is now open for entries Brand new business awards have been en launched launc and entries now being accepted for organisations based in West Oxfordshire. The West Oxfordshire Business Awards will recognise and reward the achievements of organisations, large and small, across West Oxfordshire and acknowledge the accomplishments of those businesses that drive the corporate success of the region.

The Whit-horn West Oxfordshire. Made of softened willow bark, secured with hawthorn spines with a reed mouth-piece, like an oboe. It was used to rouse the village at dawn. This hand-crafted object reflects our aim of celebrating our local area, rousing the community and telling of something noteworthy and newsworthy.


..... Have you got what it takes?

The West W t Oxfordshire Business Awards are open to any organisation based in West Oxfordshire. The eight awards categories are: s'REEN"USINESSOFTHE9EAR!WARD s)NNOVATIVE"USINESSOFTHE9EAR!WARD s3MALL"USINESSOFTHE9EAR!WARD s,ARGE"USINESSOFTHE9EAR!WARD s9OUNG"USINESS0ERSONOFTHE9EAR s#HARITYAND#OMMUNITY!WARD s4OURISM (OSPITALITYAND,EISURE!WARD s.EW"USINESSOFTHE9EAR!WARD

The awards ceremony will be celebrated at an evening dinner event held at the prestigious Eynsham Hall on 11 March 2011 with a host of prominent Oxfordshire business people as well as the 24 finalists.


CALLING ALL SUCCESSFUL INVESTORS. EXPECTING A LARGE CAPITAL GAINS TAX BILL? WOULD YOU LIKE TO REDUCE IT?

CALL US NOW!

www.shawgibbs.com Call David Rickwood on 01865 292185 or email david.rickwood@shawgibbs.com


B4 News Masai Warriors descend on Witney The Witney Big Breakfast networking group had some special visitors recently in the form of five Masai warriors and their Chief. They were visiting this country as part of a trip to publicise the plight of the Masai tribes’ diminishing water supplies. The event was run in conjunction with the Africans Childrens Fund. Clive Taylor of The Witney Big Breakfast commented. “We had a fascinating insight into the need for water

and the fund is working to provide rain water collection wells and drains to achieve this. “A simple investment in this enables them to be less transient and keep their children in education, the main aim of the African Childrens fund.” The Witney Big Breakfast meets every Thursday at Hacketts, Witney 7.30 – 9.00am, Cost £10.00. New members welcome. Call Clive Taylor Chairman on 07970 871353.

Steven McLaughlin joins Carter Jonas as Rural Partner Carter Jonas announces the appointment of Steven McLaughlin as Rural Partner to be based at the firm’s Oxford office. A highly qualified and experienced rural professional, Steven will take on a range of rural and estate management responsibilities, helping to build the firm’s service offerings in areas such as rural finance, commercial mediation and rural professional services.

Graham Candy and Richard Drew. Graham Candy says of his appointment: “We are very pleased to welcome Steven to the rural team. He joins us with an already extensive and successful track record in the rural sector and is well known to many of our clients. He also has many skills and qualifications that will benefit our other areas of business, and as such he is set to play a major role in our future development.”

Steven will be working alongside fellow Partners

www.carterjonas.co.uk

Senior Surveyor joins Southern Region Residential Development Team September 2010: Carter Jonas has appointed Alex Nell as Senior Surveyor for Residential Development. Based principally at the firm’s Oxford office, Alex will join the firm’s regional team that provides specialist advice on all aspects of residential development to private, corporate and public sector landowners throughout the south of England. James Bainbridge, Head of Residential Development at Carter Jonas welcomes him to the

team: “We are very pleased to have Alex on board. He brings with him a wealth of experience from the London market which can be put to good use in the residential development market throughout the southern region.” Alex says of his appointment: “Carter Jonas has a fantastic regional reputation for excellence. I am glad to be in a position to make a positive contribution to the firm’s continued success.” www.carterjonas.co.uk

Oxfordshire Theatre Company play Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Guests joined the company and performers for drinks and were encouraged to give feedback about the piece to writer and composer Nick Wood and

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Matt Marks. Louise Wiggins, Administrative Director said “We were delighted to host the event at the Museum. We are aiming to develop the piece into a full-scale touring production, with seven performers and two live musicians. It will be a large, ambitious project for the company and to realise this we are looking for collaborators and partners.” www.oxfordshiretheatrecompany.co.uk

Photograph: David Fisher

Oxfordshire Theatre Company hosted an evening at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, to showcase an original piece of musical theatre about the life of Geologist William Buckland, who established the museum’s first collection.

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01865 318013 www.pennyandsinclair.co.uk

CENTRAL NORTH OXFORD

CENTRAL NORTH OXFORD

A stunning box bay fronted four/five bedroom Victorian town house situated in the heart of Walton Manor presented in good order throughout. The property retains many period features including sash windows and open fireplaces and to the rear is a c.80ft west facing garden with pedestrian side access to the rear.

A bay fronted semi-detached Victorian house built in 1899 to a design by H.W.Moore improved by the present owners to create a comfortable family home. The property benefits from period features and off road parking to the front and is offered with full planning permission for a ground floor rear extension.

Entrance hall, kitchen/breakfast room, sitting room, dining room, cloakroom, four bedrooms, study/bedroom five, two bathrooms and a west facing garden.

Entrance hall, sitting room, dining room, breakfast room, kitchen, conservatory, dry cellars with utility area, two bathrooms, four bedrooms, garden and off road parking.

Guide £1,195,000

Guide £1,250,000

SUMMERTOWN

NORTH OXFORD

A beautifully presented five bedroom town house presented in immaculate condition throughout, providing light and spacious contemporary accommodation with an integral single garage and additional parking to the rear. Summertown is within an easy walk of the property offering a range of shops, restaurants and cafes.

A beautiful five bedroom town house presented in popular Woodstock Road offering flexible accommodation arranged over four floors and still retaining many character features. The property offers off road parking, single garage and a one bedroom apartment and two bedsits within the property.

Hall, kitchen/breakfast room, sitting room, dining room, utility room, cloakroom, five bedrooms (two ensuite), bathroom, two balconies, off street parking and a single garage.

Hall, kitchen/breakfast room, sitting room, one bedroom apartment, studio apartment, bedsit, six further bedrooms, two bathrooms, garden, off street parking and a single garage.

Guide £995,000

Guide £1,350,000

Mayfield House, 256 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7DE


B4 News InTouch CRM win The 4th B4/MGroup Golf Cup In a close fought contest, James White, CEO of InTouch CRM, and his colleague, Darren Watkins, muscled in to first place at this year’s B4 / MGroup Golf Cup final at The Oxfordshire on 16th September. The thirty strong field of two ball teams represented qualifiers from this year’s rounds at Frilford Heath, Studley and Southfield. With thanks to the organisation of Alistair Booth and Jimmy James at Frilford, Ken Heathcote at Studley and Colin Whittle at Southfield, the tournament wouldn’t have reached

such a climax without them. Special mention must go to Tim Pettifer, General Manager of The Oxfordshire Golf Club, and his team for hosting an excellent final. Tim commented. “It was a pleasure to host the tournament final again this year and the event certainly seems to be gathering quite a momentum year on year. As one of the leading courses in the county, it is important for us to host prestigious events such as this, and we look forward to seeing B4 and The MGroup back again next year.”

Jenny Woyand joins B4 from Leipzig We are delighted to have welcomed Jenny to B4 Magazine for a six month internship, a scholarship scheme of Inwent gGmbH, as Jenny explains. “The scheme is called ‘Worldwide Learning’ essentially giving practical experiences worldwide for Students of Universities of Applied Sciences and Bachelor Alumni of Universities of Applied Sciences. My application for the program was the subject of a strict selection procedure, so I am delighted to be here in Oxford having made it through this process!”

“My experiences here at B4 are invaluable. My English is improving and I am learning more about publishing, which is what I want to do after I leave Oxford. I am grateful to B4 for giving me the opportunity to work in such an interesting company and have had some really interesting assignments. I am now working on the next B4 Event at RBS Williams F1 Conference Centre, which is really exciting for me.” We would like to wish Jenny all the best in her future career and to say well done for making such a great start at B4.

Saturday morning surgeries at Shaw Gibbs Shaw Gibbs are pleased to announce the next dates of their Saturday consultation clinics which will offer free advice on all aspects of Financial Planning and Personal Taxation. The informal consultations with fully qualified advisers will take place at the Shaw Gibbs office at 264 Banbury Road, on the 6th of November and 4th of December, and the 1st Saturday of each month thereafter. Appointments are expected to fill up quickly so to reserve your place, please contact Jemma Risk on 01865 292291 or email jemma.risk@shawgibbs.com. Appointments may be available on the day however to secure a time convenient to you it is advisable to book in advance. For further information please visit www.shawgibbs.com

WILA in Bike Blenheim 60 mile Sportive Claire Styles, WILA Group Limited and Steve Coogan, Alchester Rugby Club, completed the challenging 60 mile Sportive Bike Blenheim Bike Ride on Sunday 3rd October 2010. “A huge “Thank You” to everyone involved in the organisation of the event at Blenheim Palace and Breast Cancer Care and to all the marshals who braved the conditions and held the traffic where possible. It was a well organised and challenging

www.b4-business.com

event. Both Steve and I enjoyed ourselves, even if at times we wanted the wind and rain to stop and the hills to disappear and as for the ford nearing the end we were already soaked through so what harm could a little more do.. it was all good fun and fingers crossed we will be back again next year… Who knows we may attempt 100 miles!! “Finally, a big Thank You to all the people who gave up their Sunday's to provide the great food.

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B4 News Christmas comes but Once a Year But has been in the planning stages since the spring, here at 333! Acutely aware that everyone is having to make their leisure spending cost effective, The Oxford Centre has held its price of Christmas parties at 2008 levels Prices start at £22.00 per person for a three course meal with all the trimmings, and we’ll even throw in a glass of bubbly to get your party started! With capacity for up to 270, but with the flexibility to cater for private parties of just 40 or more, The Centre has gained an enviable reputation for providing a first class dining experience for a wide range of events. The experience can be enhanced with the provison of ice sculptures, chocolate fountains, casino tables, or even an ice cream counter! ‘Christmas is undoubtedly our busiest time of the year’ says B4 Ambassador and General Manager Andrew Lund-Yates, ‘and despite a relatively small team, we consistently provide in the region of 4000 Christmas meals in the three weeks leading up to Christmas Eve. Despite the economic downturn, we have seen bookings increase over the last couple of years, so it’s not all doom and gloom here in Oxford’

For those of you who haven’t visited us yet, we’re just off the northern ring road, on the Banbury Road with ample free car parking. The Oxford Centre’s Christmas brochure is available in hard copy by telephoning Jessica on 01865 554719, or via download at www.the-oxford-centre.co.uk More information available from Andrew Lund-Yates 01865 554719

We are 99% sure that whatever your business the Federation of Small Businesses works for you In addition to the work we do representing the interests of small businesses, FSB members have access to an extensive range of exclusive benefits and services. Whether you need support from our legal or tax advisers, or help recovering from a serious illness, the Federation enables you to navigate commercial challenges with expert advice at your side. Potential benefits include: With 99% of UK businesses classified as small businesses we can be fairly sure that the FSB already works for you. The Federation of Small Businesses is a member-led national organisation for the self-employed and for business owners. It is a not-for-profit, non-partypolitical organisation with local branches set up to promote and protect all small businesses.

• Free 24 hr/365 day legal helpline • Free Cover against Revenue and Customs investigations • Free Access to over 100 legal documents without charge • Free assistance and support for members with a serious illness • Free business banking • Preferential rates for accepting debit and credit cards through Streamline • Mobile card payment terminals • FSB credit card • Financial services

• Preferential Fuel card • Insurance Services The benefits negotiated by the FSB mean that your business could easily save more than the cost of your subscription. To add to this we also offer the opportunity to develop business contacts through our programmed of local events, an entry for your business in the FSB online directory and many other opportunities. With over 213 members nationally and over 2600 in Oxfordshire the FSB is the UK's largest business support organisation. The FSB is dynamic, growing in membership and increasing in influence. www.fsb.org.uk

Supplements In This Edition Of B4 If you weren’t quick enough to grab your copy of An Italian Adventure or our Celebrations Supplement, you can see both of these on-line at www.b4-business.com. Just click on the monitor on the left hand side of the screen, and the supplements will appear in front of you with all of the other electronic versions of all 17 B4’s. The Celebrations Supplement will be added to throughout the year to give you some great ideas

www.b4-business.com

for your celebrations. If you would like to appear in Celebrations, just call us on 01865 742211. An Italian Adventure has been published in association with Baglioni Hotels, a phenomenal group of five star hotels throughout Italy and France. But if you want a taste of Baglioni closer to home, visit their hotel in London. It’s all in the brochure so have a look now.

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Begbroke Science Park Where Science and Industry Meet

Building a Business Next Steps to Success 18th November 2010

If you want to take your company to the next level, join us at this Begbroke Transfer event.

Speakers at the event are all experts in establishing and nurturing young businesses. They will help you explore the risks associated with expansion, helping to avoid the common pitfalls and plot your rate from now to future success.

Sessions on the day will cover: r Selling your product, the importance of revenue generation. Have you got a product? Is it ready to sell? How do you sell and how do you tackle the global market. r Protecting your business. How to do a patent search, the long term costs of patent protection and infringement protection, expanding your ip and generic or niche research, which approach is best for you? r Expanding the business. We will use case studies to look at how and when to expand your business, as well as considering change management and when to out source or employ different staff functions.

“The last Begbroke Transfer event was one of the most high value, practically useful conference and networking events I have been involved with. It brought together a wealth of experience and knowledge in the technology commercialisation space, reflecting our region’s inherent expertise in this area.” Tim Hart, CEO Zyoxel

Places are strictly limited. To book your place at Begbroke Transfer on November 18th please contact the events team on 01865 283781 or email events@begbroke.ox.ac.uk

Begbroke Science Park Tel: 01865 283781 Sandy Lane Fax: 01865 374992 Yarnton Oxford events@begbroke.ox.ac.uk OX5 1PF

Begbroke Transfer ®


B4 SPOTLIGHT

B4 PARTNERSHIPS

In previous issues of B4, we have introduced you to B4 Partnerships, a novel scheme intended to give local charities, arts organisations and even local amateur 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. 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 organisation is a business, and a sports club

exposure in programmes, use of facilities etc… Following on from the launch of the scheme and the growing number of businesses taking memberships on the new B4 Website, we are 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

news of other partnerships on our B4 Charities page (see p. 83). 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. Similarly, if you would like complimentary exposure and would like to partner with an existing or suggested potential member of B4, get in touch now. Organisations looking for partners include: The New Theatre, Macmillan Cancer Support, Creation Theatre, Oxfordshire Theatre Company, Henley Festival, Sobell House and Oxford Radcliffe

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

Hospitals Charitable Funds.

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 some circumstances, web exposure on our sister site, www.inoxford.com, and in our sister publication, In Oxford Magazine. The profile for the sponsor will be in the form of banner advertising on the partner’s B4 web page, but we are already being offered additional benefits, such as complimentary theatre tickets,

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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.” The excellent ROBIN network has partnered with Bottle PR, and Grant Hayward of ROBIN commented. “The support that BOTTLE PR has provided ROBIN and the inVOLve initiative has been tremendous, raising our profile and helping to promote events and activities. We value our partnership with BOTTLE PR highly, and are delighted to be even more closely associated with them through the excellent B4 Partnership scheme.” Read about Pegasus Theatre in this edition who have partnered with Henmans (see page 98), and

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

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


B4 LEAD

WILA

IN ITS 157TH YEAR, WILA CONTINUES TO PUSH THE

BOUNDARIES OF LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY

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WILA is at the forefront of lighting technology, having a long history of innovation and technological competence. Established in 1857, the company became a major lighting manufacturer in the mid 1930’s, based in Iserlohn, Germany. Surviving wars and economic downturns, the business has focused on high performance, energy efficient and sustainable lighting since the early 1980’s; long before the current green trends. It’s fair to say that WILA is, and has been a leader in this area, and will continue to be, for the foreseeable future. In 2005, Mike Collett, led a management buyout of the WILA business in Germany and relocated its HQ to Wantage, Oxfordshire, where the UK

and to manage projects against tight construction schedules is, of course, a constant challenge. WILA has built a team of engineers, lighting designers and applications experts who are able to work alongside and partner with consulting engineers, architects and installers to ensure that the lighting demanded for each project is delivered. Mike Collett explains. “WILA is the specialist for professional quality lighting solutions. We create and construct innovative high performance, energy efficient and sustainable products providing lighting professionals with the right lighting tools to improve the visual environment.” This is no easy task with the increasing legislative

As staff get back to work in the early afternoon, there is a cool blast and slight increase in luminance, which then gently dissipates throughout the afternoon until the end of the working day (picture 3). The different values are programmed into the control system with fade times between each stage. According to the theory of cool light, the eye is more influenced by ambient light than the luminance from the work surface. So although the total direct component gets warmer as light levels increase, any physiological effect from the indirect light shouldn’t be affected. WILA was involved in the Astra Zeneca project from the outset, with WILA products selected by the

“energy efficient and sustainable products providing lighting professionals with the right lighting tools to improve the visual environment” operations of WILA are based. Mike is now WILA’s CEO and majority shareholder. The business still has firm roots in Germany, where the vast majority of its goods are produced, but increasingly, as its UK operations grow, there is the need to focus on achieving more locally. Over the past five years, the UK element of the business has doubled in size and has been involved in many prestigious and technically challenging projects. WILA employees around 35 people in Wantage, mostly involved in sales, engineering and technical sales support, and a further 100 staff in Germany. This number will increase in the coming months as WILA will have begun to start local production of products specifically for the UK market in October. A new 9,000sqft production facility will be located in Abingdon and focus its production efforts on linear and emergency lighting products. This investment comes with the belief that to grow the business further, there is a need to be closer to the customer, even more so as one of WILA’s core strengths is its ability to build product to each projects’ specific needs. The ability to rapidly develop a solution based on a client’s specification

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demands on building design in terms of energy efficiency, the changing demands of the workplace and increasing levels of building management and control systems, creating ever more complex design considerations. One example which epitomizes WILA’s expertise is the recently completed Astra Zeneca Laboratory building in Macclesfield. This new research and development building was a major capital investment project in the UK for Astra Zeneca. The building houses a large laboratory, spread over four floors, a large office and atrium, together with meeting rooms and leisure areas. It is, by design, a very diverse and multifunctional building highlighting a real need for flexible lighting. In line with much scientific research, it is perhaps then fitting that a global pharmaceutical company has decided to install a dynamic lighting concept that works with the biology of the human body. WILA have discovered that blue light early in the morning (picture 1) stimulates staff as they start work, so a high, cool luminance pervades early in the day, changing to a lower and warmer level by midday (picture 2).

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engineers, architects and clients to meet the design aesthetics. WILA’s applications team were heavily involved in the development of the lighting technology to deliver the light performance required by the building’s occupants. In this case, direct and indirect suspended lighting utilising DALi controls and a range of cool colour temperature lamps were selected and installed. In reality, there are few practical applications of dynamic lighting in the real world. Together, WILA and Astra Zeneca are in many ways breaking the mould by introducing the concept on such a large scale, and any findings in terms of productivity levels or staff wellbeing will be of great interest. Understandably, though, research into the effects on staff won’t take place until a full twelve months have passed. The development of LED technology has placed renewed focus on the science behind lighting; this in turn is further pushing the boundaries for both the human experience of lighting and the practical elements of reducing energy consumption and lowering CO2 levels considerably.

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Xonic Intelligent light | efficiency | design | transparency

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WILA Lighting Limited 8-10 The Quadrangle | Grove Technology Park | Wantage | Oxfordshire | OX12 9FA Tel: +44 (0)1235 773500 | Fax: +44 (0)1235 773533 | Email: wila@wila.co.uk | www.wila.com


B4 LEAD

In September, WILA completed the supply of over 1,000 linear LED light fittings for the dealer room at investment bank Nomura’s London HQ, a world first! The project, which has taken just over nine months from concept to delivery, is testament to WILA’s ability to deliver the first linear LED solution on such a scale, not only in the UK, but worldwide. The dealer room operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks per year and as such requires not only good lighting, but lighting that is maintenance free and energy efficient.

This attitude is further enhanced by WILA’s commitment to the quality standard ISO9001 and Investors In People. Claire expands. “Since 1997, we have set ourselves the objective of maintaining the highest standards of training and development, combined with good people management and motivational activities. This is embodied through our accreditation to the Investors In People standard. We consider ourselves to be at the forefront of technology, but, obviously, we need great people to deliver the solutions and services that our customers want. So it’s important that we

Mike’s own commitment to the Lighting industry goes beyond WILA. He was recently appointed President of the Lighting Industry Federation, the main industry body responsible for lobbying government on best practice and assisting government and industry to work together to improve lighting and its effects on our everyday life. Mike concluded. “I think it’s important to both be involved in and be a part of our wider industry. It’s too easy to stand on the sidelines and do nothing. I think that by playing an active role within the

“We also feel that, as a local business, we should support the community in which we are based” “With other LED based projects, such as Dublin Airport, St Martin’s Lane and Land Securities (both in London), all completed, WILA is at the cutting edge for the application of this new technology, and is delivering ‘light for tomorrow, today’.” Maintains WILA’s Personnel Director Claire Styles. Mike believes that the investment in new UK facilities and a commitment to embracing and developing new technology, together with a team dedicated to deliver great results, is a winning combination.

develop people and provide good training, ensuring that we have the right skills and attitudes in place as we grow the business. “We also feel that, as a local business, we should support the community in which we are based. Currently we sponsor Bicester based Rugby Club, Alchester RFC, which was formed in 2008, and has achieved success in its first league season. We sponsor a number of children in India and Africa, helping to improve their lives, and we are a supporter of Helen & Douglas House.”

industry, we can help to shape it and deliver a better overall result. At the moment, there is a lot of pressure on industry to deliver sustainable lighting and reduce CO2, but this needs planning and commitment in respect of our current environmental needs and the future generations. I believe that industry working closely with government can make significantly greater strides together than they otherwise would separately. We have a common goal and we need common strategies to reach that goal.” www.wila.com

www.b4-business.com

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INTOUCH


Begbroke Science Park

news

Wildcat Autonomous Vehicle Arrives At Begbroke And One Day Will Drive Itself Out This autumn you could see a Wildcat being tested on the roads around Begbroke Science Park. This is part of on-going work by Dr Paul Newman and his Mobile Robotics Group, who have moved out to Begbroke to combine two avenues of research - mobile robotics and intelligent transport systems. Until now the group has focused on smaller scale robots. Three of these, Homer, Lisa and Marge, were tested at the Science Park last summer. These robots use laser and vision to perceive their environment. The group’s expertise in autonomous navigation means the extension to smart transport is the obvious next step. In Dr Newman’s vision of travel in the future “cars will do more for you, using on-board computing and sensing to take some of the strain and boredom out of driving in traffic jams. I want cars that understand their immediate surroundings, tirelessly assess the risks, and take steps to avoid them.” Amidst much excitement, the modified Bowler Wildcat arrived on site in September. The vehicle itself has a huge amount of computational horse power on board and sports a variety of sensors including laser scanners, and high-end cameras. It also uses inertial navigation, which works in the same way as the balance mechanism in your inner ear, incorporating accelerations and rotations into its estimate of the distance travelled.

centimetre of a precise location point.” In time, the Wildcat will be able to use this competency to drive autonomously.

Dr Newman says “Typically, GPS technology will tell you where you are, but there will always be a few metres of error. That is nowhere near good enough for autonomous cars – imagine trying to negotiate the Pear Tree roundabout in a car that might steer you 6 feet to the left! Initially the group will be working on sensors that will let the vehicle know where it is to better than one

The vehicle will initially be tested on the roads around the Science Park, scanning, seeing and learning. Then it will be out and about on Oxfordshire’s roads, pushing the limits of machine navigation and perceptions. But don’t panic – the Wildcat will be driven at all times under human control – autonomous driving remains an exciting concept....for now!

Wildcat outside Institute of Advanced Technology at Begbroke Science Park.

Sigmavision’s TreadReader Goes On Trial Sigmavision’s tyre inspection device “TreadReader” is to go on trial with major fleet operators like DHL. “TreadReader” allows fleet operators and manufacturers to measure and monitor tyre wear in order to extend the life of tyres and in turn reduce operator’s tyre and fuel costs. The TreadReader device is able to scan any tyre and produce a digital map of the surface then calculate the tread depth and diagnose tyre wear at different positions across the tyre. The field trials have been made possible by a £150k investment with another £350k needed to take the product to full commercial launch, in to a global market which is potentially worth £3.6 billion. Sigmavision are based at Begbroke Science Park and have benefitted from the flexibility offered on site to expand out of the Centre for Innovation and Enterprise into dedicated workshop space enabling production of test devices. 3D image of a scanned tyre

For more information about Begbroke Science Park events please contact: events@begbroke.ox.ac.uk

www.b4-business.com

www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk

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THE VOICE OF AN

ANGEL

Joel Roberts, a former, prime-time, KABC Radio talk show host in Los Angeles, is now president of his own highly successful media and communications consulting firm based in LA and New York. In publishing circles, Joel is widely regarded as the top media consultant in the business. With no expense spared for B4 readers, our intrepid editor got on a plane bound for LA to conduct B4’s virgin transatlantic interview. As if!

Affable, engaging, downright nice in fact, Joel Roberts, I thought, could do no wrong. The problem with this interview was that Joel was talking to me from his sun drenched office in LA and didn’t hold back setting the scene. Throughout the conversation, Joel would interject with subtle reminders regarding his environment. “I’m off for a 50k bike ride this afternoon Richard!”; “It’s just so hot here!”; “You gotta get to LA, Richard, it’s beautiful out here with the ocean, the beach……” Alright, alright Joel, please stop, it’s bloody raining here! But I suppose that is what Joel Roberts is good at. Communicating. Getting his message across. I’d never met the man. By my own admission, I didn’t know much about Joel before our conversation. But by the end of it, I could almost smell the bike oil on his three hundred and fifty seven geared bike, hear the waves crashing and, most importantly, see the bikini-clad…… Sorry, you see what I mean. He is a great scene-setter. It was honestly one of the most powerful interviews I have ever had. Talk about being energized. I nearly pulled my bike out of the shed after that one (‘nearly’ but not quite, due to flat tyre!) This skill, this art, this gift of communicating and telling others how to do it has 30

been nurtured and developed from a seed the first day Joel put his earphones on in a radio station, to the day he realized he had an amazing gift, borne out of a traumatic incident, but more of that later.

“This is where Joel Roberts absorbed countless hours of information.” LA is the radio capital of the world and New York is the media capital of the world. But because New Yorkers commute underground on the subways and residents of Los Angeles commute on the freeways, LA comes out on top in radio. This was Joel Roberts’ university, his education, his grounding. This is where Joel Roberts absorbed countless hours of information. Where his brain disseminated what was good from bad, where his brain compartmentalized the nuggets which would be dynamite for a blue chip pharmaceutical comwww.b4-business.com


B4 SPOTLIGHT pany one day, where the endless hours just listening to ordinary folk would one day lead Joel to the golden goose. The good thing about working in a radio station was that Joel loved it, but the best thing was that he didn’t even know he was absorbing this information like a sponge, and that one day everything would fall into place and Joel would begin his new journey as one of the most, if not the most, respected media consultants in the world. The move from radio to his new life as a media consultant, however, was ultimately forced upon Joel in bizarre circumstances, as Joel explains. “I would never have left radio, but about ten years ago I had a life changing accident. I was at a big event standing in front of two masive speakers when the audio engineer hit the wrong button. I got ‘blasted’ and have, ever since, been 40% deaf. “I had to reinvent myself. I had to find a new

they had developed. It had not even been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) here in the United States. All I was doing was media coaching this guy for a serious bit of exposure that he was going to get on the ABC television network. “I did my job and I got paid and, for a few months, didn’t hear anything from these people. I didn’t really expect to hear from them, to be honest. The interview aired and went very well. Then I got a call from Novartis to let me know that the drug had indeed been approved by the FDA and they wanted me to train every clinical director in the United States. I suggested they bring them all together in a seminar, but they said ‘no’. They wanted to send me out on tour. So I went to thirty different cities in about six weeks. “At the end of the tour, I was at the Novartis campus in New Jersey where I was training someone for a national TV show the next day; The

imagine it. That’s what this man does, he paints a picture and gives you the courage to deliver that picture to a wider audience, with conviction. Joel admits that, as he was driven back to Manhattan that afternoon, on that most perfect of days, his head was in a spin. “What happened that day arrived on the proverbial silver platter. I remember realizing then that we really did live in a business environment in which the skills that I had as a broadcaster, in terms of my ability to grab an audience quickly and keep their attention, to tell stories, frame issues, involve, enroll and enfranchise an audience in an idea, were completely applicable to the business world. “That realisation was only further accentuated when I read a book called ‘The World is Flat’, by Tom Friedman, a columnist for The New York Times. Essentially, it’s about globalisation and explains how the great Western powers no longer enjoy the supremacy they did for quite some time. Ironically,

“I would love to tell you that I’m a genius and have great foresight, but I really did not realise what I had until about eight years ago.” course. I could no longer wear headphones thirty hours a week, because it would irritate my auditory nerves and exacerbate my tinnitus. Initially, I created a seminar called ‘Excellence and Media’ which was designed to do two things; it was designed to show people how to get the attention of the media and how to deliver terrific interviews once they were there. They were my only two goals at the time.” What Joel didn’t know at the time was how applicable his media background would be to the business world. For eighteen months of this embryonic business, Joel and his wife, Heidi, put together a media and coaching consulting team. Today, their company is the leading provider of media coaching to authors. His clients now range from major publishers and best-selling authors, to Fortune 500 corporations such as Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Novartis, Wal-Mart and Target. He also coaches prominent politicians, CEOs, entrepreneurs and celebrities, and leads his signature “EXCELLENCE IN MEDIA: The Language of Impact” seminars throughout the world. So how did this all come about? Joel had a ‘Eureka!’ moment which he recalled with genuine excitement as he sat in his office (his sun drenched office, no doubt with pretty birds singing in the garden, which probably has palm trees, and a pool). “I would love to tell you that I’m a genius and have great foresight, but I really did not realise what I had until about eight years ago. I got a call from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, which is one of the top five pharmaceutical companies in the world, asking me if I would do media coaching for their lead clinical trial director dealing with a new drug www.b4-business.com

Today Show on NBC. At the end of the day, my life changed. It sounds dramatic, but here it is. The communications director from Novartis opened the door and brought in twelve people behind her. She said they were the brand directors for Novartis. She told me that if they could articulate their selling proposition as I did, then they would be a stronger company. “That was the first time I thought ‘I have something here that is very, very useful to business’. I would love to tell you that I was aware of that all along, but the truth of the matter is, I was not.” Totally involved in every word this man uttered, from thousands of miles away in his sun-drenched office, surrounded by swaying palm trees and a two thousand dollar bike propped up alongside his desk, damn it Joel even had a helmet on (and I like to think he was puffing on the biggest Cuban cigar, but that wouldn’t quite fit with the 50k bike ride would it?!). I had flown around the States with Joel, on his whistle stop tour. I had returned to the campus for one last coaching session, Joel’s desk scattered with boarding tickets from thirty flights in under fifty days. And, most importantly, I had sat in that office with the unassuming Joel, until twelve of the most powerful minds in one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies literally gave themselves up, almost like a group of school kids would do having decided honesty was the best policy, and visited the school head en masse to tell the truth. I was there when Joel was putting the last handful of papers into his battered briefcase and I saw Joel, unflinching, as the ‘gang of twelve’ came clean. I didn’t see the huge penny drop in Joel, but I could

the technologies we have exported to the world, broadband and cable that we laid down, the satellites that we put up, the computers that we devised and sold all over the planet, all that technology has better enabled everybody else to compete with us. He says that ‘anyone can plug and play, connect, compete and collaborate’. And it is true. It then becomes an issue of how do you and I, as business people, deal with this new world which is louder and more crowded than it has ever been. “I characterise the dynamic that we are facing now as business people, as entrepreneurs, as communicators, in the following way: I say the stakes are higher than ever before and the moment is briefer than ever before. What I mean by the ‘stakes are higher’ is exactly what Friedman is talking about. I am talking about the fact if you are an architect in Bangalore, India and you have got a great idea for a design of a building in Boston, go and submit your idea because you probably have as good a shot at it as an architect in Boston. “The good news is we have more potential customers than we have ever had and the challenge is that we have more potential competitors than we have ever had before. So standing out in that loud, crowded world becomes a challenge and it is particularly a challenge when you look at the second half of my equation which is ‘the moment is briefer than ever before’. That really reflects the trends that people like me have exported to the world, for better or for worse. I come from the heart of the American media scene and, for better or for worse, we have all been co-conspirators in reducing the length of the international attention span. All those nine year olds 31


o a. s t ic fit fr ro d A l p Ai Al han p Or

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B4 FEATURE that were raised on Nintendo are thirty now and it could be that they are the ones offering ‘the job’. “I am privileged to teach all over the world. I have taught extensively recently in London, Australia, Asia, China, Singapore, Japan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, the Middle East and all over Europe, and I can tell you that this business of the ever dwindling attention span is now, sadly, an international phenomenon. So I look for the strategies that will enable us to be heard in a loud, crowded world. It turns out that that duel dynamic, ‘stakes are higher, moments are briefer’, is very expertly navigated by media people, if I may be so bold. So what I do is teach business people, CEOs, entrepreneurs, sales people how to use media techniques, strategies and principles in order to better sell their product and their service.”

“I will still be learning ‘till the day I die.”

Joel advises me that there is a saying in the States, something along the lines that if you can nail it on The Today Show, you can nail it anywhere. “What we mean by that is if you can get your message so compelling and concise that you would be able to deliver it extremely effectively in four minutes on national TV, then you will be able to enroll potential investors, excite shareholders, and inspire employees. As Mark Twain is reputed to have said (but he is not the one who said it), ‘If I had had more time I would have written a shorter letter.’ It was actually Pascal who said that, and that really does point out a fundamental truth of communication. It takes a lot of thinking to be brief. Einstein had to think an awful lot to come up with E=MC².

“In many cases, they approached us. But I did not plan to spend the rest of my life in the drug industry and we quickly moved out into other fields. We have worked with automotive companies, retail and high tech companies, government, banks, everything from Fortune One Hundred companies, to start ups and entrepreneurs of every conceivable type and size.

“The remarkable thing is that it is consistent internationally. We have had people from Singapore, Dubai, Italy, France, England, Argentina, you name it. What I call the ‘language of impact’ which is what I call my work, a copywriting phrase, and what will be the title of my forthcoming book, the language of impact really is the new literacy; and it is international.” Despite his phenomenal success, Joel remains totally and utterly grounded. “I will still be learning www.b4-business.com

That structure didn’t fall into place overnight, continues Joel. “It took some thinking. I was like a piano player who plays mainly by ear, and that is exactly the case with me. I can play the piano but I can’t read music. Whatever I have is because, ironically, I have a good ear. It is a very different way of approaching things.” The question I am bursting to ask was whether Joel wished he had turned his attention to coaching sooner than he did. “I have no regrets. I was in talk radio for ten years, and 5000 hours behind a microphone. It did something to me that nothing else could have done; it altered my DNA. There is no way on earth that I could be doing what I am doing now if it had not been for my decade in talk radio. It taught me so much. But the second could never have happened without the first.”

What that ‘gang of twelve’ knew when they walked into that office in New Jersey was that Joel’s coaching was already having a massive effect. Nobody could predict that the drug which Joel had been expertly effecting the communications coaching for would be one of the break-through medical projects of the last ten years. That resulted in every pharmaceutical company around being very open to what he had to say, as Joel explains.

“Last week, in Hawaii, we were talking with one hundred of the top trial lawyers in the United States, and it was fascinating because these people face the same dynamic that we do. It is true they have to speak to twelve men and women in jury boxes who are more or less locked into the box. But as I told the lawyers, just because the jurors are captive, it doesn’t mean they are captivated. And just because they are seat-bound does not mean they are spellbound; their attention span has been diminished and they have expectations of this thing called ‘a trial’ which is really a phenomenon of dueling narratives. The jurors have expectations that are as much informed and infused by the media as anybody else, so you still have to punctuate what you are doing and provide the DNA, so to speak, not only the literal DNA but the DNA of the story. It turns out that my media background is never irrelevant.

that I could share with people.”

“I say the stakes are higher than ever before and the moment is briefer than ever before…” ‘till the day I die. First of all I love teaching. I am no longer a broadcaster the way that I was because of what happened with my hearing, but the story has a happy ending; I love teaching. “Much of what I learn is through interaction with people in our seminars. I am constantly developing new ideas, new strategies, techniques, models and distinctions. If it weren’t for my students, and there must be well over 100,000, I wouldn’t know much. When I was a broadcaster, what I did I did very intuitively. Only retrospectively, when I had to teach what I had learned as a broadcaster, did I begin to look at it in an organised fashion and in structures

“I think that mastering what I call the language of impact is no longer an option for business people, it is an obligation. We live in a world now, whether we like it or not, where everyone is a publisher and everyone is a broadcaster. Anyone can blog or podcast tomorrow. The technology of mass communication has been democratized, but the techniques have not. This is what my company fundamentally stands for. We are the democratizers of the techniques of mass communication. And in my view, those techniques are essential for success in today’s business environment.” Many thanks to Joel and Heidi for their valuable time. Joel Roberts will be speaking at e Business Wealth Club Open Day on Tuesday 26th October. For information see: www.thebusinesswealthclub.com/openday. He is also leading his signature 3-Day Language of Impact Seminar in London on 5, 6, 7 November. For info contact: michelle@joelroberts.com or www.joelroberts.com With thanks also to Katie Avis-Riordan

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When you book your Studley Wood

Christmas Party...

. . . you really appreciate the importance of Christmas

£30 SON PERICPHEINRCLU DES WH ATION CHARITY DON

Bring your colleagues, friends or family to experience our sumptuous festive dinner in a traditional winter wonderland setting at Studley Wood.With live entertainment, plus music from our resident DJ to dance the night away. Exclusive & Shared Party Nights For groups of 2 - 160, available from 1st December to 23rd December 2010.

“Putting the importance back into Christmas” Studley Wood will donate £2.00 of your ticket money to Sobell House Hospice, our nominated charity for 2010. Package includes: • Welcome glass of bucks fizz • 3 course sumptuous festive dinner • Christmas crackers and novelties • Live entertainment and our resident DJ to dance the night away

For more information contact : Helen Wilkes on 07966 545311 or Email: helen@studleywoodgolfclub.co.uk Ken Heathcote on 01865 351144 or Email: ken@studleywoodgolfclub.co.uk The Straight Mile, Horton-cum-Studley, Oxon OX33 1BF. www.studleywoodgolfclub.co.uk

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news Oxford United Go Down - All In The Name of Charity Oxford United Chairman, Kelvin Thomas and Manager, Chris Wilder joined 100 people taking part in an abseil this September. The duo were raising money for the Oxford Children’s Hospital and for Kelvin, who admits hating heights, the event was a real challenge. He said: “I did abseil once before as a kid, but I am really not a fan of heights. But I am always delighted to do anything I can for the Children’s Hospital, so it’s been great to do this and raise some money along the way.” Chris Wilder added: “We’re both lucky enough to be fit and healthy, so we try to do our bit for good causes like this.” The pair hope to raise over £1,000 between them and the event looks set to bring in over £25,000 to help children and babies across the hospital Trust. Also abseiling was a team of 13 from the voluntary motorcycle group SERV which delivers urgent blood

and breast milk between hospitals and patients. Danny Bateman said: “Although we are a charity ourselves, we all care greatly about the Children’s Hospital and when we heard about the abseil our volunteers were very keen to take part.” Dale Harris, who works at the Elmer Cotton Sport Shop in Oxford, has taken part in every Children’s Hospital abseil. He said: “This is the fifth abseil I have done for the hospital that looks after my daughter, Mya. It’s a cause I really care about so it is great to do something that is this much fun, whilst raising money at the same time.” Children’s Hospital Fundraiser, Penny Hambridge, said: “It was a great day, and as usual so many people have really pulled out the stops. Events like this mean we can provide additional medical equipment and better facilities for our young patients and their families. We’re incredibly grateful for all the support.”

Oxford United chiefs on the ropes for Children’s Hospital photo copyright www.markbassett.co.uk

Oxford Heart Doctor Running Seven Marathons In Seven Days Doctors are often called superheroes by their grateful patients but cardiologist, Dr Tim Betts, might just be the real thing.

The consultant, who specialises in the investigation and treatment of heart rhythm disorders, is running seven marathons in just seven days - coast to coast - across the hills of the Wainwright route. This 190 mile challenge is in aid of the Heart Centre Campaign. He explains: “This is a once in a lifetime experience – I really don’t think I’ll ever be stupid enough to try anything so mad again. But I’m very proud of what the Oxford Heart Centre already offers and wanted to do something equally outstanding to help contribute to the development of a world-class facility.”

Dr Tim Betts and his trusted trainers take on the ultimate fundraising challenge.

Tim is running with his friend, Iain Rock, carrying their water, provisions, wet weather gear, maps and first aid kit in back packs. It’s one of the biggest

challenges the fundraising team has seen, so we are hoping people will dig deep and help Tim reach his goal of raising £5,000. You can read more or sponsor him at www.c2crunners.com Tim’s sponsorship will help to create state-of-theart research and training facilities at the Oxford Heart Centre, which treats thousands of patients across Oxfordshire and beyond. Whilst fundraising for high-tech facilities is incredibly important, smaller scale projects – like improving the hospital environment - can also have a great impact on patients. The Heart Centre garden is now taking shape with planters, benches and gravel in place. It has been funded by in-memoriam gifts and also thanks to the generosity of local businesses like Smiths of Bletchington and Rodas Design.

COMING UP: Sunday 17 October – It's Not Just a Walk in the Park 2010, 10.30am Oxford University Parks Join this very special three-mile sponsored walk around the beautiful Oxford University Parks, raising funds for the Oxford Cancer Centre and the Oxford Heart Centre. Enter online at www.orhcharitablefunds.nhs.uk

Wednesday 8 December - Christmas Concert at Dorchester Abbey National treasures Sir Terry Wogan, Patricia Hodge and Hannah Gordon provide the readings, whilst Winchester Cathedral Choir brings the music to this wonderful event in aid of the Children’s Hospital. Call 01865 743444.

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

www.b4-business.com

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FOCUSED ON

RESOLUTION

Andrew Crocombe is a partner at leading Oxfordshire law firm, Henmans. He has extensive experience in the resolution of commercial and professional indemnity disputes and leads the commercial disputes team within the dispute resolution department. Here Andrew talks to B4’s Richard Rosser about the role of a modern day litigator. Words by Alex Neale.

“My role is as a Litigation Partner at Henmans is all about helping commercial clients to resolve their disputes. I deal with what might be termed as “corporate divorce”; that is, disputes where there is a breakdown in relationships between:

the Tuesday, in court again that following Wednesday, and the case was then listed for trial less than 2 weeks later. The case settled just before trial. It was a whirlwind, very exhilarating and we achieved a great result for our client."

• companies who’ve been in a relationship – normally a contractual relationship – which falls apart because something’s gone wrong, • directors within or parting from companies, • shareholders (for example where there is a breach of a shareholders agreement) or shareholders falling out with the company’s directors, • the seller and purchaser of a business post sale (such as claims arising from the breach of warranties in the sale agreement).”

“My job requires me to trawl through lots of client files and papers with a fine tooth comb. This might seem mundane, it often is, but sometimes you get these amazing journeys you go through very quickly and it’s all very exciting... and very hard work.”

There are six partners in Andrew’s team, with a wide range of disciplines which complement Henmans other practice areas namely dealing with

Traditionally, the Henmans litigation team will act in the £50,000 to £5million bracket of cases. Andrew knows that, for the majority of his clients, instructing Andrew is a distress purchase. “There are one or two types of businesses that will know that they will be hit by disputes whatever they do, and accordingly they budget for those disputes. But if you look at the

“It’s a very tough role to portray as exciting and interesting, but I thoroughly enjoy what I do”

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

claims against professionals, property litigation, contentious probate disputes and disputes involving charities. The Henmans litigation team is very much corporate focused. With fourteen litigators in total (in addition the firm also has litigators specializing in personal injury, clinical negligence, employment and family disputes), this is a team which certainly ranks as one of the biggest in the South East outside of London. With clients ranging from PLC’s (including 3 motor manufacturers) through SME’s to sole traders, the range of clients and cases which Andrew works on is wide and extremely fulfilling. “It’s a very tough role to portray as exciting and interesting, but I thoroughly enjoy what I do. I learn lots of amazing things about companies, businesses, the processes they go through, what it is they manufacture or sell. You can often become an expert in the field! Recently, we were dealing with a high-level employee who left employment in the sporting arena to go to work for a rival team. We had to get involved in identifying whether that person possessed trade secrets or not and whether they were in breach of the restrictive covenants. The injunction application was served on a Friday evening - we were instructed on the Monday morning, we were in court on 36

budgets of 99% of my clients, they haven’t thought at the beginning of the year, ‘We’d better tuck away a bit of our budget for a bit of litigation’. We’re nearly always a distress purchase. As a consequence, we are normally engaged on an ‘as and when’ basis. This makes the job very interesting given that you never know what case is around the corner.” “Most of our clients are sensible enough and commercial enough to look for a commercial resolution that suits their business needs, maintains relationships and keeps lawyers as far away as possible. Of course, there are some cases where it is imperative that lawyers get involved at a very early stage and we would encourage clients to speak to us as soon as they are aware of a dispute so that we can inform clients of the strength of their position and help them to find a solution at an early stage and before the parties’ positions become entrenched. Whenever we are instructed, our primary aim is to identify what the client’s business needs are and what it is it they’re trying to achieve. In some cases, it becomes clear early on that the client’s relationship is something which they do not want to be damaged by the dispute and we are tasked with finding a way to get a resolution to that dispute which does not undermine the relationship.” www.b4-business.com


B4 PROPERTY

“Some clients come in and say ‘this is the outcome I want, this is where we are – how do we get from A to B?’”

“One thing I say to a lot of clients is that the rights and wrongs of a dispute actually only properly become relevant at the moment when you’re stood in front of the judge at the trial, but until then, it’s all about negotiating and the parties perception of the strengths and weaknesses of their own case, their financial strength and their aversion to risk.” “Some clients come in and say ‘this is the outcome I want, this is where we are – how do we get from A to B?’ You’ve got to work out how to do it and keep everyone on side. There are various things we can do to try and maintain those relationships, and mediation is one of the tools that we will look to use, often at an early stage.” Andrew is also the treasurer of The Oxford Mediation Group and an active mediator so knows more than anyone that mediation is a useful tool to adopt in the quest to achieve a commercial settlement. “Mediation is something which we will encourage parties to consider in most cases given that the parties can have much more control of the outcome, so long as they work together to find a resolution, than they would ever have in a court room. Andrew is also instructed by a number of leading professional indemnity insurers and his practice focuses on acting for construction professionals (including surveyors, architects and engineers), solicitors, accountants and financial advisers. He also advises insurers on insurance coverage disputes, including dishonesty issues and successor practice issues. www.henmansllp.co.uk

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new media 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 BUSINESS

“Your experience is an untapped resource which, through the TBAC service, we are able to channel to people who need it”

TBAC

COULD YOU BECOME A TBAC MENTOR?

Are you running your own business? Are things going reasonably well, but after many years are you searching for something a little more; something a bit different than merely ‘making more money’; something that is fulfilling? Do you have a desire to ‘give something back’ to the community which has helped you succeed in business? Well at TBAC we can offer you that opportunity! Mike Jennings introduces TBAC to B4 readers. TBAC offers free mentoring to anyone running a small business. It is not only free, it’s confidential and independent of any public sector involvement. The mentors have an involvement in how the service develops to suit the needs of the clients. All of the TBAC mentors run their own small businesses in Oxfordshire, and we wish to recruit other like-minded business owners to join our small team. Your experience is an untapped resource which, through the TBAC service, we are able to channel to people who need it. What is your commitment? All of our mentors take a two day training course, which includes a ‘live’ mentoring session critiqued by others on the course. Thereafter, we accept that you will give as much time as you are prepared to give. Each mentoring session lasts 90 minutes, and our mentors typically do two or three sessions per www.b4-business.com

month. Sometimes, mentors take a sabbatical where their own business demands their attention. Mentors also get together for a lunch every two months, to meet and exchange thoughts and ideas. What do you get out of it? Nothing financial. No pay, and no expenses. What you do get is pleasure; a deep feeling in your soul that you are doing something of value for someone else. Our clients understand that your experience is exactly what they need. As mentors, it is our role to listen, to empathise, and (where appropriate) to believe in them. You already have the experience, and our training will help you with the other skills. This is what our mentors say: “Being a TBAC mentor is fascinating and rewarding. Each business owner you meet has a different and intriguing story of how and why they are in business – and the challenge of talking over their particular issues as a ‘critical friend’ is really rewarding. It is great to use the knowledge and experience you have built up over the years of running one’s own business to benefit others. I wish we had known about TBAC at certain stages of our business development.” “I’ve been in business in Oxfordshire for ten years, and during that time I have received good advice and informal mentoring from many other local

business people that I have met along the way and this has been one of the most positive aspects of running my own company. Now that my company is mature and established I get a real buzz from being able to put something back, to pass on the help and good advice I received and to help other entrepreneurs learn from my experience. Being a mentor and spending time looking at other businesses is a great way to hold up a mirror to my own business and to ask myself if I’m missing anything in my own company.” This is what our clients say: “Brendon was brilliant. He understood our business and its challenges in minutes and made specific, concrete suggestions without making us feel like we were idiots for not having done it earlier.” “Bob was fantastic! He made me feel that I was doing well and gave me the initial confidence that I needed so this in turn enabled me to be a better business minded person, although I am still learning!’ “Dave was helpful and positive. He understood our company and aims very quickly and was nothing other than totally helpful.” www.tbac.org.uk

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IAN WENMAN

Ian Wenman is a familiar and widely respected face in the Oxfordshire business circle. At the tender age of 29, he became a partner in local accountancy firm, Shaw and Co., now Shaw Gibbs. He oversaw the development of the practice based in Summertown, to such an extent that twenty employees became eighty housed in impressive new headquarters, also in Summertown. There are few people better placed than Ian to assess the harsh economic landscape which surrounds us now. Ian Wenman, now Chairman of the Oxfordshire IOD, talks to B4’s Richard Rosser. It was only last year when Ian made what many might consider a surprising move out of the relatively safe environment of a thriving local professional firm, but he insists his timing was right. “I was fifty and I thought that, before I knew it, I would still be reviewing accounts at sixty five and I didn’t want life to pass me by. There was still so much I wanted to achieve.” Ian inherited a healthcare company from his late father which, by his own admission, he hadn’t given enough time to, and so, naturally, he initially devoted his energies into that business. Ian had also been appointed Chairman of the Institute of Directors (IOD), and was also a new

unchartered territory as they expand and develop. It has proved to me that we have some great minds here in Oxfordshire and a great deal to be proud of and excited about for the future. Running a company is a lonely position and if you’ve got somebody you can work with and bounce ideas off who has got a bit of history and knows what it’s like, then that can be very useful.“ However, our conversation, inevitably, turns to LEP’s and what this means for Oxfordshire. “The LEP is interesting because of the changes that are going to come about as a result of their introduction. I think they will focus more on the business organisations than they have previously, because the government have insisted that the

pitch for any available funding in the future – and we know from our limited experience of the new Government that funding is going to become an increasingly scarce commodity. We may need to look more to Europe for sources of support for our innovation and development. “Funding will be a bonus, not something we can feel entitled to, and that is why we have been very lucky in Oxfordshire as we have managed to get our act together in a number of ways to reduce our reliance upon funding. There are a number of organisations for early-stage businesses, such as OBE, TBAC and The Frederick’s Foundation for Oxfordshire, with whom I have spent time recently. I think in the

“The consultancy work is very rewarding because I’m getting heavily involved with companies, helping them to navigate unchartered territory as they expand and develop” board member of the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership, which kept him busy. I interviewed Ian at his beautiful farm south of Chipping Norton, which he moved into three years ago with his family. With two holiday cottages, rare breed pigs and cattle, Ian admits he enjoys the lifestyle, but still has a strong fire burning in his belly which revolves around the welfare of businesses in Oxfordshire. “I am half way through my three year tenure as chairman of the IOD. It’s a really interesting organisation to be involved with, particularly because the IOD in the south is a very strong part of the IOD as a whole, so I go to London and have regular meetings in Pall Mall, with Miles Templeman, Director General of the IOD and Graeme Leach, the Chief Economist from the IOD. It has provided me with a fantastic insight into the economy and the impact of the new coalition government. This, undoubtedly, helps to increase my effectiveness as Chairman of the IOD in Oxfordshire.” More recently, the phenomenon of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP’s) has blasted a hole into Ian’s time, putting something of a brake on the development of his own consultancy and non-executive work. “The consultancy work is very rewarding because I’m getting heavily involved with companies, helping them to navigate 40

LEP’s are controlled by business, rather than local government. So you should see more emphasis on the roles of the IOD, CBI, the Chamber of Commerce, the FSB, and the Oxfordshire Town Chamber Network. “There has been some quite unfortunate press recently where the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership and Council have been shown at loggerheads, which isn’t strictly true. This is new territory for all of us, even the Government, so there is bound to be an abundance of confusion and misunderstanding . “The Government decided to send a 2-page letter to business organizations, business people and also all local government, which basically says, ‘form a local enterprise partnership – come up with your own thoughts and ideas’, without any real direction. The result? Confusion, chaos, a lot of time wasted and second-guessing in spades.” “As B4 goes to press and throughout October, the situation should get clarified, but at the moment it isn’t clear what we will end up with. The upshot of all of this is that we hope that we in Oxfordshire will be either an enterprise partnership on our own or possibly an enterprise partnership that’s part of the Thames Valley. It is in my view important we have an LEP in some form or other, we have to have a strong voice to

‘New World’ – if I can call it that – with money being so tight and the economy being so harsh, we are going to look to organizations such as Frederick’s, and the altruistic actions of individuals looking to give something back to the business communities in which they have thrived.” Notwithstanding its many qualities, Ian is adamant that Oxfordshire has got it wrong in one key aspect of its business make up. “In my opinion, there are too many business organisations in the county which aren’t working effectively together. During a conversation with a director of the soon to be defunct Regional Development Agency, SEEDA, when I asked how Oxfordshire compared with other counties in terms of business organizations, without hesitation he said Oxfordshire was unique in having seventy to ninety organisations. “I think this is something which Oxfordshire needs to get its head around and do something about and fast.There are so many people with really credible and well-intentioned ideas, but if they combined with others that are out there, they would be so much stronger and www.b4-business.com


B4 SPOTLIGHT effective . Oxfordshire has so many bright, wealthy individuals and this is part of the problem. If you look at other areas in the UK where they have had to pull together – such as the North– they speak with a stronger voice, whereas we don’t seem to be able to do that. We have perhaps never had the need, in the past to pull together, now could well be the time! “One of the first things I did when I got involved with the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership was suggest that we should get the main business organisations together so that we meet regularly – that being the CBI, the Chamber of Commons, the FSB and the Oxfordshire Town Chamber Network. You’d think we’d be competing but when you actually analyse it, we have different offerings for different people and businesses, and we can help each other and the business community by working together locally. “Oxfordshire is out on a limb, being one of the most northerly points of the South East, so we have to shout louder than most. The South doesn’t get the support it merits, it is clear it has the potential to make this country a world-class leading economy but we have to nurture and support it. We need to make MPs realise that although the North has a harder time – there’s more instances of deprivation and so on – if the UK is to be a world-class economy, then we need the South to prosper. If we don’t we will find that we get left behind by the rest of the world. If all we do is focus on the North and don’t assist the South, we will never become the world leading country we deserve to be. So where, in conclusion, does Ian see the UK economy heading? “With reference to the economy, I’ve always personally believed we’re going to have an ‘L’ shaped recovery and this is heavily supported by the IOD. We have fallen off a precipice and will, bumble along the bottom for quite some time before seeing steady improvement. I certainly don’t want us to have another fall as that would be very worrying for everybody. We have to be careful not to repeat the same mistakes of past recessions. We have got some great things going for us, locally and nationally. Oxfordshire represents everything which is good about the UK economy with the technology, universities, tourism and the burgeoning businesses we have managed to stimulate. “There are companies I’m helping where I’m mentoring young business people – some are people I’ve trained in the past and who have formed their own businesses. You see their thought processes and when you help and work with them, you also see that the way people are going to make a success of business in the future is different from the way we did in the past. We’ve gone through a huge shift of the old style of dictatorial business operation to one of collaboration which is softer and more responsible in many ways.

“It’s really inspiring to actually see the response of the community in the face of adversity. Seeing companies become more transparent, helping each other and looking out for one another. The new Government may have, unwittingly set an example. Working together may just be the blueprint for success in the future and because of all the different organizations we already have in Oxfordshire, we are really well placed to capitalize on this shift in community approach .” www.iod.com

www.b4-business.com

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Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

“We at the IOD have also helped a number of different charitable organizations, including, Young Entrepreneurs, Pegasus Theatre, and the B4 drive to get businesses and arts organizations and charities working together in partnership for their mutual benefit hits the spot perfectly.


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

• Meetings for up to 80 delegates Mal life. In these times your business needs an edge. That daring difference that speaks volumes to your client or your competitors.At Malmaison Oxford, we put the show back into business. This is no glitzy display with no real depth, but a collection of glamorous meeting & event

• 95 luxurious bedrooms • Brasserie and bar

spaces, each with a deep-rooted love for style, ultra tasty cuisine, outstanding wine and an

• Private dining

undying dedication to providing amazing hospitality. Your meeting or private event should

• Teambuilding activities

be pure theatre, with absolutely no dramas. Add some show to your business. Go on,

• Exclusive-use events

we dare you. That’s Mal life.

• Roof-top garden • Marquee events

To book call in or call

OXFORD

01865 268 400 or email: events.oxford@malmaison.com

For the best room rates GUARANTEED visit malmaison.com

Hotel | Bar | Brasserie

Oxford Castle 3 New Rd, Oxford, OX1 1AY


B4 R&R

A RAMADA WITH A VIEW!

Built in a dramatic waterfront location in the rejuvenated London Docklands, the Ramada Hotel and Suites provides excellent guest care and facilities in a stunning new contemporary development. B4 enjoyed the Ramada Hotel’s excellent hospitality for the night in advance of a trip abroad, flying from the nearby City Airport. This four star hotel has a stunning waterfront position and offers supremely comfortable accommodation and superb cuisine with a welcoming atmosphere. For those who like to keep fit, there is also have a Fitness Room on the Ground Level with all the main Cardio machines. With air-conditioning throughout and treble-glazing, a restful night's sleep awaits at the Ramada Hotel and Suites, and that’s exactly what we needed ahead of our early start and flight to Italy.

firmly in electronic format on my laptop – what a plonker I am! Secondly, when we could see the planes literally blaze a trail over our scrambled eggs at breakfast (and what a great breakfast that was by the way), we got complacent and had to run to the plane after our five minute cab ride to the

“This four star hotel

This was the ideal prelude to a holiday, and safe in the knowledge that the car would be in secure parking for our two week trip, we started to unwind as soon as we checked in.

has a stunning waterfront position and offers supremely comfortable accommodation and superb cuisine”

But maybe I had hit holiday mode too soon. Firstly, the helpful front desk staff helped me to print out our e-tickets for the flight which I realized were still

airport. Don’t be so relaxed if you fly out of City Airport as the check in and security checks are igorous and very slow.

The kids loved the small apartment we had booked, complete with mini kitchen, ‘two TV’s Dad!’ and super comfortable beds.

www.b4-business.com

Thanks to The Ramada for a great start to our holiday, although next time we won’t get too relaxed! General Information: The Docklands are home to London City Airport and ExCeL, London’s premier events venue, whilst also on the doorstep is Canary Wharf. The O2 Arena is only few stops away by DLR. Rapidly become a leading London location, it is with easy access from Stansted Airport, just along the M11. Easily connected by the A12 and A13 as well as the award winning Docklands Light Rail at Prince Regent station, London's heartland is within easy travelling distance of this Docklands hotel. Parking facilites: Outdoor Parking: Mon-Sun 9:30am-5:30pm 12.00 GBP Per Day or 2.00 GBP Per Hour - Pay and Display. Complimentary car parking is also available in front and at the back of the hotel on first come first serve basis. www.ramada.com 43


INVEST IN YOUR BEST ASSET YOU & YOUR TEAM! Katherine Dales – B4 Ambassador and Director of The Career Boutique introduces Health Matters 360 as a valuable asset to look after your staff’s wellbeing – especially in these hard economic times. The credit crunch is taking more than a toll on the bottom line. With 1 in 10 employees visiting their GP for stress at work and 7% taking medication, employers now need to do much more to keep their team fit and well at work.

Health Matters 360 take a unique integrated approach that combines physical, nutritional and mind matters through 1.2.1 programmes, seminars and workshops as well as residential health hubs and corporate health and performance programmes.

By taking a more positive, proactive approach to health you can ensure that your people are fit for business.

“Every year UK businesses lose £26 billion and 70 million working days because of workplace stress”

And the good news is that there is now evidence that shows that companies who invest in their people through health and wellbeing programs are seeing really positive results; • reduced days lost to sickness • reduced long term absenteeism • AND an uplift in performance and productivity by as much as 20%* At B4 we decided to put this to the test with our very own B4 Ambassador Katherine Dales of The Career Boutique. Katherine is committed to offering her clients the highest calibre candidates and adding value whenever she can, so she is now working with an exciting new company called Health Matters 360, who are passionate about keeping people fit and well in the workplace. Katherine says ‘We want to give our clients insight and tangible hands on advice and recommendations for helping minimise the stresses, straines and pressure of everyday life.’

The HM360 team created a 1-2-1 programme to put in place a strong foundation to boost her energy levels and support the more negative impacts of stress. The team are still working with Katherine but so far what is the outcome? Katherine feels much more energised and is finding her new approach to her work/ life balance very rewarding.

much less susceptibilty to irritating illnesses and painful migraines. Katherine says “ I have really enjoyed working with the HM 360 team, I have much more energy and I am more focussed and able to deal with the inevitable stress that is a natural part of life particularly as The Careeer Boutique has just expanded into London. At The Career Boutique, we pride ourselves on working with the very best candidates and clients and are also committed to helping them stay fit and well. Interestingly, as well as strong CPD programmes, candidates are increasingly asking what employers policies are around positive proactive health support. Thanks to HM360 I have had an insight into what it really means when they talk about keeping people fit for business and I am delighted to say that I will be investing in some of the best business assets I have …. me and my team” Special thanks to Danesfield House Hotel and Spa in Marlow and The Olde Bell at Hurley for the use of their facilities during the programme. For more information visit: www.thecareerboutique.com www.healthmatters360.co.uk * Wellbeing and Performance Report by Morgan Redwood

Her overall health is stronger and she is showing

KATHERINE’S PROFILE Lifestyle: Highly career focused with little time for other activities

whilst she loves her business and working hard perhaps the stress was beginning to spill over into other aspects of her life and was starting to have a negative effect on her health.

Health Matters: Stressed, tired all the time, finding it diffcult to relax, migraines, dizzy heads, no time to eat properly , no execrise

Of particular concern was her inability to “recharge the batteries”, regular dibiliating migraines and a string of illnesses like coughs and colds.

Katherine loves her business and thrives under the excitement and pressure of running a very successful company.

As Katherine is a passionate about the importance of a positive work/life balance for her candidates, clients and her own team, she felt it was time to take posiive action and improve her own health and wellbeing.

Age: 28

However, when she met the Health Matters 360 team, she realised that

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www.b4-business.com


B4 HR

MIND MATTERS • Successful business people often appear to thrive under high pressure, deadlines and enjoy the challenges of an environment that is demanding. However, if sustained over a long period, high achievers can start to find it difficult to ‘switch off’ as cortisol remains at high levels in the body. • Just as the body needs to recharge so too does the mind. By building a strong framework of mental ( as well as physical and nutritional ) resilience individuals and organisations alike can truly thrive. • HM360 helped Katherine reframe the importance of her mental resilience as a real business asset that needs to be monitored and nurtured, as any asset needs attention. • Making time for herself allows Katherine to ‘defrag’ the days events, and approach the next day refreshed and able to tackle the inevitable challenges and thrive on them.

NUTRITIONAL MATTERS • Katherine was skipping breakfast which is a major problem for business people as it starts the whole day off badly. HM360 suggested a no added sugar bar or piece of toast with peanut butter if in a hurry. • Katherine was using unhealthy stimulants like coffee, sweets and fizzy drinks to get her through energy dips. HM360 suggested she replaced these with water, watered down fruit juices, herbal teas and fruit and nuts to support a longer energy release. • She was also taking no time to relax and focus on her food and often eating ‘on the go’ which can really effect digestion. HM360 recommended that she simply ate away from her desk to allow her body to really digest the food. • Katherine had also suffered a series of illnesses for which she had been prescribed antibiotics. HM360 recommended that she took some specific supplements to support her immune system to recover from the illness and the antibiotics.

PHYSICAL MATTERS • Historically Katherine has always been very physically fit, active and involved in multi level exercise programmes but the success of her business and the workload had interrupted this routein. • Our objective was to create a manageable exercise programme that was accessible, regular and importantly fun that she could easily build into her week and create the physical and emotional results that she wanted.

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Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

• Step 1: prioritse/diary time during the week to invest in physical exercise and ‘me’ time. • Step 2: Build in 1 training session a week that was combined with social time with friends/partner • Step 3: create a programme that is not a drain on physical resource but an energiser • Step 4: Introduce a 45mins stength and conditioning session 2 or 3 a week that will quickly create the physical and emotional results

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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 TRAVEL

KEEPING THE WHEELS IN MOTION Only set up in March this year, Alex Neale charts the astonishing success of this small family business to show how one man’s passion became a profitable business venture. Alex talks to David Cozier, the man responsible for it all. The concept is simple – a mobile bicycle company offering commercially competitive rates. The website claims “Whether it’s building them, servicing them, fixing them or riding them, quite

“I built myself a little single speed bike. It was a new craze, like the single speed old retro racers. People kept asking me where I got it from and I told them I built it myself.”

And it doesn’t stop there. Dave is currently exploring the possibility of working with schools and providing workshops for students who show a particular interest or aptitude.

Inevitably perhaps he ended up building a few for friends but it wasn’t until he was honeymooning in Australia last Christmas that he made the courageous decision to leave the security of his job to set the business up.

But Dave would be the first to admit he can’t give up his motor just yet. With so much stock to carry he still has to rely on four wheels. He might be carrying fifty tyres or thirty different types of bicycle chain at any one time – all the spare parts that

“Whether it’s building them, servicing them, fixing them or riding them, quite simply we love them…” simply we love them…” And it’s a formula that works. With major clients like Oxford University and Oxfordshire County Council already on board, there is clearly a demand for his services. Dave spent his youth gaining valuable experience working in a bicycle shop as well as qualifying as an engineer following a four year college course. But it was a project last summer that changed the direction his career was to take.

www.b4-business.com

might be needed that day. “I was just doing up a few second hand bikes at first but then I contacted the university and they were keen to get me in.” Luck was on his side. Although they already used a mobile bicycle repair company there was an excess demand not being met. “I kind of filled the gap there. I do four sites for them a month now and then the County Council approached me and I started working with them about a month ago. So from when I started in March it has just taken off.”

It seems that nothing is too much trouble. With such a focus on customer care and quality of service and if the glowing testimonials of satisfied customers featured on the website are anything to go by, this is a business that will continue to strengthen and grow. www.oxfordbicyclecompany.co.uk

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OPEN A NEW OFFICE IN WITNEY? NO PROBLEM! Exciting Oxfordshire Estate Agents scottfraser have recently branched out into Witney, opening stunning new premises on the corner of Corn Street and Market Square, the site of the former Leigh & Sons premises, opposite the famous Buttercross. B4 met with Chris Rowntree, who has partnered with the existing scottfraser management in the Witney venture, to find out that it’s not been plain sailing.

‘You have to keep the name of the previous business displayed above the door and you cannot have any signage of any kind saying who you are or what you do displayed on the building.’ This was the decree of the conservation officer rightly protecting the town’s heritage and the face of the premises Chris wanted to turn into scottfraser’s Witney premises, and it was quite a blow, as Chris recalls. “You’re probably not alone if you’re thinking we must have been completely mad to take on such a building, but what a building and what a unique and stunning location – not withstanding these constraints, surely the ideal position for an estate agent in Witney? “After a lot of head scratching we came up with an ingenious solution to our challenge. If we suspended internally illuminated light boxes, set back in the window, with our name and branding etched, surely this would still be visible from the street? Furthermore if we didn’t pack our windows with properties and endless selling messages, the office would look more inviting and welcoming. We talked to the planners and they liked it. The idea developed further with

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the introduction of iconic images of Witney and surrounds to feature within a number of these boxes, and why not get Witney involved by running a photography competition open to all local ‘shutter-bugs’? “With the signage ‘cracked’ we turned to the interior – ‘Not like any other estate agent’, was our helpful brief. ‘What do you mean?’ our design team replied, incredulously. Yes, we want the office to be businesslike but we want it to be welcoming, a place where you want to be and want to stay. A welcoming reception area. A private area where confidential matters can be discussed. A bright and spacious environment to work and conduct business in. A pleasant space to be; for both staff and visitors alike. A space unlike any other estate agent, in fact! Talking of staff, Ruth Mankelow, Sales Consultant (pictured above) has joined from scottfraser Headington, together with Simon Liddicot, Sales Consultant, a well known Oxfordshire estate agent.

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B4 PROPERTY

“With the signage ‘cracked’ we turned to the interior – ‘Not like any other estate agent’, was our helpful brief. ‘What do you mean?’ Our design team replied, incredulously”

Witney is a thriving and expanding market town providing the perfect place for the growth of scottfraser operations. So with the location and premises under control, Chris provided the third vital element in any successful trinity, and that was himself to head up this exciting new venture. A former Sales Director of a large southern based corporate and partner in a Cotswold property firm, Chris will be bringing in excess of twenty years experience in the industry to run the office.

“I’m really excited at the prospect of opening in Witney and the plans we have for the office will be something not seen before in the town” beamed Chris. “Having lived locally in Enstone & Burford for nearly twenty years, I have become a regular user of Witney’s facilities and it will be an honour to trade in such a great town from these fine premises. “I am delighted with what we have achieved in a relatively short period of time. Witney is already well represented with some excellent estate agents, but we think we can offer something different, and know we will make a success of the new operation. “scottfraser have built up a great reputation in

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Oxford, through the hard work of, in particular, Andrew Greenwood, Group MD (pictured above with Chris Rowntree) and David Blythman, Sales MD, so I’ve got a good reputation to uphold here in Witney, and I am relishing the opportunity. “The property market isn’t on its knees, as many national journalists would have us believe, and we firmly believe that there is strong demand for property in this area, demand which we can help supply.” From all of us at B4, we wish Chris and the scottfraser team every success with the Witney branch. www.scottfraser.co.uk

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Photography: Scotts Photography

scottfraser estate agents are long established market leaders in the sale, letting, management and acquisition of quality property throughout Oxford and surrounding villages.


news Promoting business in Oxfordshire Countywide business network OTCN has a busy winter ahead with a wide range of positive business support initiatives on its agenda. • Scoping setting up an international trade club to bring together businesses in its member groups and events networks who either import or export. The aim is to create a powerful new way for these businesses to exchange ideas, experience and expertise (see picture). • Extending the link-up with St Gregory’s at Cowley which is getting businesses involved in supporting the school, and finding ways the skills and facilities there can benefit local firms. See www.otcn.co.uk/education_links.htm • Preparing for the end-of-project exhibition which will showcase the pictures and profiles created for its Heritage Lottery-Funded ‘Who is Oxford’s Covered Market’ project with Oxford Civic Society. See www.otcn.co.uk/coveredmarket/index.html • Building its NetworkB group - www.otcn.co.uk/ networkb/index.html - for businesses that would like to draw on the benefits of being part of OTCN but aren’t in a part of the county which currently has a member group. • Building its exclusive online Christmas Lights Switch-On events listing at www.otcn.co.uk/xmas_lights.htm as part of its work to promote business in Oxfordshire’s towns at a crucial time of year for traders.

Pictured: Sven de Cauter & Rafael Martinez Garcia of Oxfordshire business training company The Learning Ladder flagging up the benefits of international trade. Picture by Alison Nicholson/OTCN

Expertise in, and it can be grant-funded! Oxfordshire businesses have two grant-funded opportunities to bring in additional expertise. Companies or organisations could be eligible for a grant of up to £4,000 worth of consultancy on a sustainability theme through a SEEDA Innovation Voucher scheme.

Also, a £1,000 grant is available to local employers through the Oxford Brookes University Graduate Internship Programme aimed at boosting graduate recruitment. OTCN is promoting both schemes at www.otcn.co.uk as part of its role as a communications channel to Oxfordshire business.

Bulk buying cuts costs OTCN has responded to suggestions from its member groups by launching a new bulk buying initiative. Members asked OTCN to explore ways that the size of the Network, which covers some 5,000 businesses countywide, could be used to secure cost reduction benefits on goods and services.

Pictured. Darren Taylor of OTCN NetworkB member, Solar Solutions Direct Ltd at Eynsham, one of the companies to have already switched to B-Line. Picture by Alison Nicholson/OTCN

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Following a tendering process, Oxfordshire company, B-Line, agreed a discount offer on stationery for OTCN member group businesses. In the first of what is planned to be a series of bulk buying group offers, businesses in any OTCN member group or events network can claim a 10% discount on the cost of its current stationery supplies. B-Line have also committed to exploring with OTCN member groups the possibility of running the same environment-friendly service they have with Monument Park, Chalgrove where stationery deliveries are, whenever possible, arranged for an agreed day of the week. In addition B-Line have agreed a commission on their sales from the Bulk Buying Group to support the work of OTCN Ltd, the not-for-profit limited company which is the driving force behind the Network. There’s more at www.otcn.co.uk/bulk_buying.htm

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Arthur Chambers was appointed Auction Manager in 2009 and has been looking forward to the opportunity to generate exceptional interest in his new territory. Every property on the list will be featured in adverts at least three times over a five week marketing period in five different newspapers. All adverts will run in papers across the region, considerably enhancing the exposure of every one of the properties going under the hammer, and Arthur is confident of a steady stream of potential auction lots. “There’s an abundance of the type of property in this area which typically does well at auction. Redevelopment opportunities, pony paddocks, woodland, building plots, all manner of residential properties and commercial investment properties. The residential properties include those in need of modernisation and improvement which have the potential to make superb homes, although there are not so many repossessions at the moment, as one would imagine. Agricultural land and buildings also, generally, do very well at auction.” There are many good reasons for a seller to send their property to auction. Certainty on the timing for contracts and payment can make an

might affect you specifically. You might want your solicitor to look at the draft contract, secure your mortgage offer in writing or have a survey done. The certainty of the timing may be attractive to you as a purchaser as well. If you’re successful in winning the auction, you will have been able to arrange with your builders when they can take access for your refurbishment contract, for example. But if you aren’t able to complete within the contract deadlines and you default, you may not be offered the opportunity to complete at a later date. If you are lucky enough to have a seller willing to extend the date, you are likely to find yourself paying interest on the outstanding completion payment at a relatively high rate. If all goes well though, you’ll know you’ve paid the right price on the day. The bidders are all around you so you can see and hear the market in action. There’s no going backwards and forwards over the telephone. Some sales can go through in five, six, seven minutes, sometimes as little as two minutes – quite a concentration of the normal market negotiating process! Arthur comments. “A would-be purchaser knows that any property

“There’s a general theory, I think, perhaps from the past, that an auction is all about selling something quickly and not necessarily worrying about the money. Those days are, somewhat, gone. It’s amazing some of the results you get.” auction sale extremely attractive. Contracts are effectively exchanged when the hammer comes down, with 10% of the purchase price paid there and then. The seller retains control over the whole process because they decide the terms of the contract in advance. For example, the period between auction and completion of the purchase is fixed: no negotiation is possible. This generally means that there are no hold-ups in the process as the draft contract, conditions of sale, searches and associated information have been seen by all interested parties in advance of the auction. Sellers who have a special reason for wanting a transparent sale process find auctions attractive. For example, charities, trustees acting on behalf of beneficiaries, or executors find this transparency useful. “There’s a general theory, I think, perhaps from the past, that an auction is all about selling something quickly and not necessarily worrying about the money. Those days are, somewhat, gone. It’s amazing some of the results you get. You will sometimes get a higher price than if you sell by private treaty or tender.” Adds Arthur. Arthur speaks from experience. He managed a recent auction sale at Carter Jonas’ Bath centre which saw a piece of land go for £120,000, well above its guide price of £80,000. If you are considering purchasing a property at auction, Arthur advises that you should carry out as much research as possible in advance – it’s too late after the auction, or even during the auction. Carter Jonas make comprehensive information packs available online well before the auction date, but you may also want to investigate other issues in advance that

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offered at auction is there to be sold and that the reserve price is never higher than the guide price. If you are willing to match what the vendor wants to achieve and you’re successful in winning the auction, you’ll come away with the contracts exchanged. No last-minute disappointments when a seller pulls out because they’ve changed their mind.” Carter Jonas’s first auction on 30th September started with stone-built Daisy Hill Barn which had both planning consent and listed building consent for a conversion to a two-bedroom home. It was followed by a small tranquil pasture paddock and larger pasture and woodland with a stream running through. Two dilapidated properties, ripe for refurbishment, were offered either side of a water meadow on the River Itchen with an island thrown in for good measure, which you could only reach on foot. More land - a third of an acre of an “interesting site” on the edge of a village – and then the last lot, a 250 year lease of an office suite in Abingdon with vacant possession. Despite this considerable variety, on the day, it is Arthur’s responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly. “I’m responsible for making sure that successful buyers sign the contracts immediately after the auction and pay their deposits. I’m not the auctioneer, I’m the business manager, making certain it all happens as it should.” It sounds as if 250 years of experience are in very safe hands. www.carterjonas.co.uk

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B4 PROPERTY

GOING, GOING, STRONG

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

Breaking new ground for their operation in Oxford, estate agents Carter Jonas are rolling out a series of regular general property auctions to run throughout the year. The planned events take advantage of expertise stretching back over two hundred and fifty years which they acquired when they merged with Dreweatt Neate last year. Oxford will be the auction centre for their operations from Northampton to the East of Swindon, and from Oxford to Winchester. Arthur Chambers of Carter Jonas met with B4’s Barbara Richardson to explain more.

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s a m t s i r h C

at Oxford

e l t s a C

Oxford Castle Art’s & Craft’s Market Every Friday & Saturday from 11am - 5pm The Market has a variety of stalls with local traders selling unique handmade goods from jewellery, sculpture and original paintings and prints to hand knitted items, silk scarves and more. Whatever the occasion, you are sure to find something different at Oxford Castle Art & Craft Market!

Oxford Castle Christmas Grotto and Children’s Winter Wonderland Friday 26 November – Wednesday 22 December 2010 10am to 6pm. Oxford Castle Gardens will twinkle with a Christmas Grotto and a Children’s Winter Wonderland with art work by local children on display plus stalls and demonstrations from local craftspeople.

Oxford Castle’s Creative Christmas Saturday18th December Sprinkling a little magical fairy dust across Oxford Castle professional performance artists will enchant viewers in Oxford Castle Market Square, whilst Creation Theatre re Company’s Drama Club present performances from Great Expectations from Nicholas hola l Nickleby.

Oxford Christmas Market Friday 26 November – Sunday 12 December 2010 Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 8pm – Sunday to Wednesday, 10am to 6pm. Nothing is more special at Christmas than a traditional German Market. Come and nd sample the mulled wine and gingerbread and to add to the festive atmosphere, school hool choirs and brass bands will perform.

New Year Eve at Oxford Castle Friday 31st December This New Years Eve why not spend it with us at Oxford Castle!

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.OXFORDCASTLE.COM OR INFO@OXFORDCASTLE.COM


news Why not join us at our monthly Pub Hub? IoD Oxfordshire Branch Pub Hubs provide an ideal opportunity to meet like-minded company directors in a convivial environment - if you have not been to one yet make sure you can get to the October event. IoD members and potential members are invited to drop in to The Fishes, North Hinksey Village, Oxford, OX2 0NA, on the last Thursday of every month. It is an ideal venue to meet fellow members, and IoD Oxfordshire Branch committee members. Don’t forget to join us at our free event on Thursday October 28, 2010, from 6:30pm to 9pm!

Oxford, Oxfam & Innovation: Oxfam House, Cowley IoD members are invited to visit Oxfam House on Wednesday 24th November from 6-9pm, and obtain an exclusive insight into one of Oxford's most respected and globally recognised organisations.

(Humanitarian Director) and Hugo Sintes (EDP Manager). There will be a Q&A session at the end as well as informal ‘networking’ sessions at the outset and close where attendees will get a chance to chat with key Oxfam staff.

Hear from senior Oxfam staff members about the highly innovative and commercial approaches that underpin large parts of our work. Discover how we are working closely with the Oxfordshire business community to respond to global catastrophes and alleviate poverty in some of the world's most challenging environments.

Complimentary wine, soft drinks and canapés will be provided through the generosity of one of Oxfam's local corporate supporters. The IoD will be donating a sum of money to Oxfam from the attendance proceeds, as IoD members will be charged £20 and non-members £25 per person for the evening.

Presentations will be given by Jane Cocking

Festive Dinner - laughing All the Way to Oriel College The Festive season is soon upon us so prepare your party frocks and dust off your dinner jackets in preparation for your Branch’s annual Festive Dinner. Join fellow IoD members and their guests at Oriel College, the fifth oldest of Oxford's colleges on Friday 10th December from 7-11pm. Situated in the centre of Oxford city, and regarded as a friendly and attractive establishment, Oriel was founded in 1326 by King Edward II.

with a classic jazz quartet and bonhomie in the company of some of Oxfordshire’ most accomplished and personable residents. A drinks reception followed by a sumptuous dinner including wine and coffee will be prepared and served with care, flair and attention to detail. Wondering how to entertain your customers, clients or colleagues this Christmas? For just £75 per head for members and £80 for non-members - look no further than Oriel.

Expect an evening of exceptional entertainment

For more information on all these events, please contact the Institute of Directors Event Bookings, on 02380 266548 or email: eventbookings.south@iod.net or online at www.iod.com/south

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Main Photograph: www.studio-8.co.uk

B4 PROPERTY

IN THE RIGHT GEAR

12 months ago commercial property agents, VSL & Partners and Lambert Smith Hampton embarked on a new marketing campaign to promote the newly refurbished offices at Northbrook House, The Oxford Science Park. The idea was to not only offer an attractive rent and 18 months rent free period as an incentive but also to give away bicycles to employees of the tenant taking new office space. Richard Venables of marketing agents, VSL & Partners, explains “the incentives seemed to have worked and we are pleased to be placing an order for 14 bikes for our new tenant”. J A Kemp & Co, a leading firm of UK & European Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys have just moved into an office suite of 3,400 sq ft. Colin Merryweather, Head of J A Kemp & Co’s Oxford

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office states, “After 10 years on the Oxford Science Park we were looking for larger premises to accommodate future growth. We enjoy the location of the Science Park and the proximity to so many technology companies whilst Northbrook House provides us with top quality office space at competitive terms. Our staff were also delighted with the bonus of getting some new bikes!”

Northbrook House is an iconic building designed by Ian Ritchie Architects and completed in 1996. It is now owned by a joint venture between a fund managed by AEW Europe LLP and a fund managed by Mountgrange Investment Mgmt LLP, which recently spent over £500,000 refurbishing the building. Dominic Moore, Asset Management Director, was keen to set this building apart from the rest of the office stock in the Oxford area. “With

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“With 500,000 sq ft of empty office space around

Oxford letting any building in this market is a challenge. We have got a quality product and are prepared to agree aggressive deals”

500,000 sq ft of empty office space around Oxford letting any building in this market is a challenge. We have got a quality product and are prepared to agree aggressive deals and I hope that this bike offer has given added stimulus to our campaign”. He adds “We are giving an allocation of one bike per 150 sq ft of space taken to our tenants. We have teamed up with a local bike shop, Reg Taylor Cycles of Iffley Road, to supply these bikes and give a voucher to the value of £250 for each bike so they can get a decent bike and not just any bone-rattler!” The scheme seems to have worked well and J A Kemp & Co have just picked up 7 new bikes for their employees. They were due to receive a further 7 but decided to donate the other 7 bikes to Helen & Douglas House a local children

& young adults’ hospice, ‘’The staff only needed 7 bikes so we decided to donate the remaining bikes to the deserving charity of Helen & Douglas House, said Colin Merryweather of J A Kemp & Co. Jennifer Hudson, corporate fundraiser at Helen & Douglas House, is delighted with the vouchers and states that they will help us raise vital funds for the hospice as star raffle prizes. As a charity we rely on voluntary donations to provide over 80% of the money we need to run the two hospice houses. The money raised through raffles in the local community helps fund specialist hospice care for children and young adults. www.northbrook-house.co.uk www.vslandp.com

NORTHBROOK HOUSE    



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Quoting Rent: £20.50 per sq ft. Office suites available from 3,500 sq ft to 16,000 sq ft. Dedicated on site car parking. Access to amenities within the Oxford Science Park including restaurants, crèche and estate security. For further information see website www.northbrook-house.co.uk.

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͊ ^ E K / d  > h d  Z ' E K  ŽŶŐƌĂƚƵůĂƟŽŶƐƚŽ:ĂŵĞƐtŚŝƚĞĂŶĚĂƌƌĞŶtĂƚŬŝŶƐŽĨ/ŶdŽƵĐŚZD ǁŚŽǁŽŶƚŚŝƐLJĞĂƌ͛ƐĮŶĂůĂƚdŚĞKdžĨŽƌĚƐŚŝƌĞŽŶϭϲƚŚ^ĞƉƚĞŵďĞƌ͘ dŽƉůĂLJŝŶŶĞdžƚLJĞĂƌ͛ƐƋƵĂůŝĨLJŝŶŐƌŽƵŶĚƐƚŽƐƚĂŬĞLJŽƵƌĐůĂŝŵĨŽƌƚŚĞϱƚŚϰͬD'ƌŽƵƉ ƟƚůĞ͕ŬĞĞƉĂŶĞLJĞŽŶƚŚĞϰǁĞďƐŝƚĞĨŽƌĂŶŶŽƵŶĐĞŵĞŶƚŽĨĨŽƌƚŚĐŽŵŝŶŐĚĂƚĞƐ͕ or register your interest by e-mailing ĞĚŝƚŽƌŝĂůΛďϰͲďƵƐŝŶĞƐƐ͘ĐŽŵ “Just a quick note to say thank you very much for today. Very very enjoyable and well run day, just a pity about my golf.” Peter O’Connell, Partner, Shaw Gibbs ͞:ƵƐƚĂƋƵŝĐŬŶŽƚĞƚŽƐĂLJĂŚƵŐĞƚŚĂŶŬLJŽƵĨŽƌLJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJĂŶĚƚŚĞǁŽŶĚĞƌĨƵůŐŽůĨĐŽŵƉĞƟƟŽŶ͘ ůƚŚŽƵŐŚŶŽƚĂŶ͚ĂĐƟǀĞ͛ŵĞŵďĞƌŽĨƚŚĞƚĞĂŵďŽƚŚ'ĂƌLJĂŶĚĂŶŚĂĚĂŶĂŵĂnjŝŶŐƟŵĞĂŶĚƌĞĂůůLJĞŶũŽLJĞĚƚŚĞŝƌĚĂLJ Ăƚ^ŽƵƚŚĮĞůĚĂŶĚLJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJĂƚdŚĞKdžĨŽƌĚƐŚŝƌĞ͘ /ǁŽƵůĚƌĞĂůůLJůŝŬĞƚŽďĞĂƉĂƌƚŽĨŝƚŶĞdžƚLJĞĂƌĂŶĚ/ǁŝůůďĞĞŶƚĞƌŝŶŐĂƚůĞĂƐƚϴƚĞĂŵƐŝŶŽƌĚĞƌƚŽǁŝŶ͊^ĞƌŝŽƵƐůLJƚŚŽƵŐŚ a big well done – very impressive it was a wonderful day. <ĂƚŚĞƌŝŶĞĂůĞƐ͕DĂŶĂŐŝŶŐŝƌĞĐƚŽƌ͕dŚĞĂƌĞĞƌŽƵƟƋƵĞ ͞:ƵƐƚǁĂŶƚĞĚƚŽƐĂLJĂďŝŐƚŚĂŶŬƐƚŽďŽƚŚdŚĞD'ƌŽƵƉĂŶĚϰDĂŐĂnjŝŶĞĨŽƌŚŽƐƟŶŐLJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJΖƐĞǀĞŶƚ͘'ƌĞĂƚŐŽůĨ͕ ŐƌĞĂƚĐŽŵƉĂŶLJ͕ŐƌĞĂƚĨŽŽĚĂŶĚĞǀĞŶƚŚĞǁĞĂƚŚĞƌǁĂƐŬŝŶĚ͊ǀĞƌLJŽŶĞ/ƐƉŽŬĞƚŽƌĞĂůůLJĞŶũŽLJĞĚƚŚĞĚĂLJĂŶĚ/ ĂŵƐƵƌĞƚŚĞLJĂƌĞĂůůůŽŽŬŝŶŐĨŽƌǁĂƌĚƚŽŶĞdžƚLJĞĂƌ͘͟ :ŽŶĂƚŚĂŶtŝůůŝĂŵƐŽŶ͕ĂƌďLJƐ


B4 EVENTS

MINOLI SUPPORTS PRE-RAPHAELITE EXHIBITION AT THE ASHMOLEAN On 16 September 2010, the Ashmolean launched its first major art exhibition in one of the country’s newest and most important temporary exhibition centres. THE PRE-RAPHAELITES AND ITALY brings together over 140 pictures from the Ashmolean’s important Pre-Raphaelite collection with loans from museums and private collections around the UK and abroad, some of which will be displayed in Britain for the first time. Minoli are proud sponsors of the exhibition which is open until 5th December. Richard Rosser reports for B4. Minoli’s name belies the deep-rooted Italian heritage of the company. Indeed, when relocating to the university city of Oxford in the late 1950s, Minoli branched out from manufacturing Terrazzo (a traditional Italian product) to supplying Italian tiles. As the company celebrates its 50th anniversary, how appropriate that they are lead sponsor of the Ashmolean’s PRE-RAPHAELITES AND ITALY exhibition as part of the celebrations. Minoli services both private and professional clients, such as designers, house builders and architects, throughout London and the Southeast. From their state-of-the-art showrooms in Oxford Minoli showcases the latest in Italian floor, wall and mosaic tiles and is proud of the part it is playing in this exhibition, as Managing Director, Jonathon Minoli commented. “I am a great lover of pre-Raphaelite art and when we first heard about the museum’s plans to stage an exhibition, it was basic common sense that we should be involved. The exhibition is stunning and I am obviously ecstatic that we have been able to associate ourselves with such a prestigious event.” Held in partnership with the Ravenna Museum of Art, where the exhibition opened to critical acclaim, THE PRE-RAPHAELITES AND ITALY challenges what we know about the influence of Italy - its culture, landscape, and history - on one of Britain's most significant and enduringly popular art movements. In re-examining their early years, curators Colin Harrison and Christopher Newall aim to shed new www.b4-business.com

light on the artists who emerged as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the 1850s. From the influence of the movement’s champion, John Ruskin – one of Italy’s most dedicated tourists - to their illustrations of early Italian art and literature, the exhibition explores the idea of Italy itself - a place which captured the imagination of a whole generation of British men and women and which was the source of such varied artistic responses.

“THE EXHIBITION IS STUNNING AND I AM OBVIOUSLY ECSTATIC THAT WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ASSOCIATE OURSELVES WITH SUCH A PRESTIGIOUS EVENT” Having just returned from a trip to Italy, and in particular Florence and Venice which are featured heavily in Ruskin’s collection, it was not surprising to see just how many keen art lovers were mesmerized by the exhibition. Highlights of the exhibition have been made possible with exciting loans from private and international collections. United for the first time in Britain are the magnificent drawings by Edward

Burne-Jones, for the mosaics of the American Church in Rome. The most prominent Pre-Raphaelite painters, such as William Holman Hunt and John Brett, are represented with major works which have been rarely displayed in public. The fascination and pure joy which Italy inspired in these artists permeates the whole exhibition – and aims to resonate with the affection and interest which people still have for Italy today. The Museum’s Director, Dr Christopher Brown says, “THE PRE-RAPHAELITES AND ITALY is a real triumph for the Ashmolean. Displaying one of the great strengths of our own collection with loans from around the world has allowed us to put on an exhibition which is both a visual delight, and an interesting and revealing treatment of the subject. “We are extremely excited to have launched one of the newest and most important temporary exhibition venues in the heart of Britain, with this magnificent exhibition. We are particularly pleased that Minoli, a company with its roots very much in Italy, generously agreed to be the lead sponsor.“ If the excitement generated by the opening night is anything to go by, the Oxfordshire art loving public will be attending in their droves. Exhibition: THE PRE-RAPHAELITES AND ITALY Dates: 16 September - 5 December 2010 Venue: Ashmolean Exhibition Galleries Entry: £8 / £6 concessions. Booking: www.ashmolean.org/exhibitions/tickets 59


B4 COMMUNICATION

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ORANGE ORANGE FIRST TO LAUNCH MOBILE HIGH DEFINITION VOICE FOR UK BUSINESSES - THE BIGGEST ADVANCE IN CALLS IN TWENTY YEARS

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Orange today announces the biggest advance in voice calls in twenty years with the launch of its mobile High Definition (HD) Voice service, enabling businesses to benefit from the next era in mobile communications. Increased call clarity and the filtering out of background noise makes important business conversations possible, no matter where they are conducted.

Robert Ayres, of Raycox Turf, said. “Having trialed HD Voice for a number of weeks, I was impressed by the difference it made to my phone calls. The ability to have a faultless call experience, regardless of where I was, made important business conversations that much easier and meant I didn’t have to worry about being in a quiet space to make any calls.”

Call clarity has emerged as a necessity for many businesses. Recent research* from Orange has shown that 75% of business owners believe clear call quality to be the most important aspect of their mobile device; with 33% saying they routinely struggled to hold phone conversations due to the noisy environment they work in. With HD Voice, neither a noisy work environment or being out of the office are barriers to a successful call with customers, colleagues or suppliers.

Martin Stiven, VP of Business at Everything Everywhere, the company which runs Orange UK, added. “HD Voice is going to change the way businesses are able to communicate through our business mobiles, from conducting calls in places that were not previously possible, to the ability to hear emotions in people’s voices. We’re about bringing people closer together, and HD Voice does just that, making business colleagues feel as if they’re speaking face to face. People are going to love the clarity of calls and the lack of background noise. Once you’ve used it, you will want to keep it.”

Orange HD Voice also eliminates the perceived distance between callers, making it easier to hear the emotions in people’s voices. According to the research, this is seen as crucial with 80% of business owners stating that it is very important to hear people’s emotions when conducting a conversation. Almost one in five (18%) even admitted that they had lost a deal because of a misunderstanding over the phone, as they couldn’t hear what was being said. HD Voice also opens up new opportunities for better ways of working in business. In addition to benefiting industries with significant background noise, like construction and manufacturing, the arrival of HD Voice is hotly anticipated by the broadcasting industry, which believes that the service could reduce both its reliance on expensive ISDN lines and the need to ferry guests to studios for interviews. The BBC is trialing the solution as a low cost alternative to the traditional methods of live contribution for both its reporters and, potentially, for guests, and to improve the sound quality for breaking news reports, which will often be achieved using a mobile phone.

HD Voice for business is now available on the Nokia E5 and the Samsung Omnia Pro B7350 handsets with more HD enabled handsets to follow in the coming months. For more information on HD Voice for business please visit: www.orange.co.uk/business/hdvoice *Research conducted by Redshift between 13/08/2010 and 18/08/2010. Sample: 1,000 business owners. HD Voice runs on the 3G network and uses the WB-AMR (Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate) speech codec. This provides excellent audio quality due to a wider speech bandwidth of 50–7000 Hz compared to the current narrowband speech codec of 300–3400 Hz. The WB-AMR (Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate) delivers significantly enhanced sound quality while utilising the same network resources. www.orange.co.uk/business

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news Free Guide for business leaders Business Link has created a new 'Guide to being a successful business leader' to help youimprove your leadership and management skills. This includes practical information and top tips on: • improving personal productivity. • increasing confidence. • improving communication skills. • connecting with employees. • developing the skills of your employees. If you are an owner manager or company director, you may have the opportunity to apply for up to £1,000 to help develop business leadership skills. Contact Business Link on 0845 600 9 006 to discuss the support available and to request a copy of the free Guide.

Oxfordshire manufacturer, Optical Filters, values business support as part of its strategy for growth Thame based Optical Filters has become a world leader in the design and manufacture of specialist glass and screens. Applications include avionics, marine, public information displays, defence and test & measurement equipment. Over the past four years they have achieved a steady growth trend. Optical Filters was established in 1988 and has since expanded its manufacturing sites in Thame and the US and invested in research and development to maintain its leading edge. The company has enjoyed support from Business

Link since 2006, including regular Business Reviews with experienced and impartial Business Link Advisers. As a result of these meetings and ongoing follow up, Optical Filters accessed extra support. Sue Beasley, Head of Operations at Optical Filters explains, “Business Link is really tuned in to our needs and future plans. They bring to our attention high quality programmes and opportunities, delivered by their many partners. For example, Business Link referred us to the Manufacturing Advisory Service and PERA who delivered an NVQ in Business Improvement Techniques (BIT) to

members of our workforce.” With its technical expertise and strong R&D resource, Optical Filters, have succeeded in designing its products into a wide variety of both commercial and defence projects throughout the world. For information about how Business Link can help you to start, maintain or grow a business, call 0845 600 9 006 or visit www.businesslinksoutheast.gov.uk/southeast. To find out more about Optical Filters visit www.opticalfilters.co.uk.

Business regulation changes From 1st October, the national minimum wage increased, and a number of business regulations came into force. Information is listed on the Business Link website www.businesslink.gov.uk/southeast/ccd. The national minimum wage increased to hourly rates of £5.93 for over 21s; £4.92 for 18 – 20 and £3.94 for under 18s. Apprentices under 19 or 19 and over and in their first year of their apprenticeship will be entitled to at least £2.50 an hour. Employers who do not pay the correct minimum wage risk an automatic penalty of up to £5,000. Other legislation changes affect the following areas: • Equality and diversity, the Disability Discrimination

Act 1995 will be superseded by the Equality Act 2010 • Building Regulation • Retail • Recruitment agencies and personnel supply • Employment business and agencies • Licensed premises Peter Griffiths, Business Link South East Operations Director, said: “Clear guidance on regulations is one of the many benefits businesses get from using Business Link. We know that this is important information which users value. The information is easily accessible on our website or by phoning our telephone help line.” Contact Business Link on 0845 600 9 006 or visit www.businesslink.gov.uk/southeast/ccd.

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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B4 PROPERTY

DOWNSIZING

Amidst the plethora of media coverage and erudite analysis of the housing market, you don’t often see any mention of one of the biggest issues for the Thames Valley area – the numbers of people selling their homes to downsize to a smaller property. A recent survey of estate agents by DownsizeProperty has established that one third of the homes the agents sold in this area over the last year were sold on behalf of downsizers. Barbara Richardson writes for B4.

It’s a familiar challenge to anyone in their late fifties or sixties: the children have left home, the dog has passed on to celestial walks in the sky and every time you open a cupboard, stuff falls out on you. You realise, with an impending feeling of doom, that the time has come to move. Barbara Richardson, Director of DownsizeProperty, says, “This is a major crossroads in any couple’s life. The house is often perceived by the husband as the physical manifestation of everything he’s achieved in life. For the wife, she cannot imagine letting go of all the emotional connections with her children’s early lives that the house represents.” Often, the process starts with a desultory look through the local property pages. This generally produces two normal reactions: horror that prices are so high (because the typical downsizer hasn’t taken much notice of the property market for some twenty or thirty years) and then a dawning realisation that the difference between the cost of their house and what must be its current value may just offer an excellent financial opportunity. But however attractive the numbers may appear, one

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estate agent, Waterfords in Sunningdale, says that people are “often intimidated” by the whole process. There may well be an additional opportunity to improve the value of a property by obtaining planning permission for an extension or additional building. The function of the local authority’s planning department is to manage the process of planning control, not to provide advice on the prospects for achieving planning permission for an as-yet-undefined idea. An approach to them for advice is therefore not likely to provide the encouragement needed to embark on this perilous journey. From 1 April 2010, South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning website says that it is no longer able to offer a free permitted development advice service. It does offer three options to finding out whether the development you are proposing can be undertaken without applying for, and achieving, planning permission. You can: 1. get free advice about what is permitted development from the government’s

website at www.planningportal.gov.uk;. 2. get an informal written opinion from one of their officers for a fee of £45; or 3. get a formal determination by applying for a Certificate of Lawful Development for a fee of £75. Of course, the first step in this process is deciding just what sort of extension or development will actually add value. The danger of considering any changes to the house and property you’ve called home for a number of years is that you put your own requirements at the top of the list rather than the sort of alterations that will add value by appealing to the largest number of people in the market. If only you knew what those were. So you turn to an estate agent. Estate agency is a fairly competitive market – just look up and down your local High Street and count the number of agencies there. The temptation therefore is for an agent to encourage you to put your house on the market straight away, without any planning improvements, alterations or refurbishment, so that you sign up with them now. If they give you any reason to extend your pre-sales process, they must worry that the next estate

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agency door you enter may just be one of their competitors. Of course, this is not universally true and there are agents who will advise you on the basics of preparing your house for sale. “Where there is realistic potential for planning permission to add value, we generally find we need the advice of one of our specialist planning

impact on them and avoid a protracted planning process.” Once the planning process is underway, it’s time to think about reducing the contents of the house and associated garages, sheds or whatever. This is a significantly difficult process for anyone to cope with and the key to getting started is to choose one

setting out your home to present its ability to support a certain “lifestyle” rather than your life. This objective view of your own home is probably too much to handle for most people. But it is crucial – an average of 42% of houses were evealed by the DownsizeProperty survey to be sold for less than their full potential value due to their condition or presentation.

“We rely on our own property development experience to suggest the sort of scheme that will add value and to recognise the sort of scheme that will not” advisors or architects, or both,” says Barbara Richardson. “We rely on our own property development experience to suggest the sort of scheme that will add value and to recognise the sort of scheme that will not. Then we will prepare a careful programme of scheme development, including approaches to those who may be affected, like the neighbours. A short discussion with them so that they can see the preliminary plans may provide the opportunity to reduce the

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item – it doesn’t matter how big or small – and dispose of that. This can take longer than it seems like it should but, once achieved, it releases the psychological barriers that make this whole process so difficult. This one breakthrough leads on to a critical appraisal of other things that you haven’t used for years and a realisation that some of them may just produce a capital return.

With overwhelming statistics like these, and the opportunity it provides to move on to somewhere more convenient as well as release some portion of the capital receipt for investment, it’s a good time to consider embarking on DownsizeProperty’s ‘How To Downsize Painlessly’ course – see the website for details. www.downsizeproperty.co.uk

The final mental leap that you have to make is

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news 25 years of .uk Do you remember 1985? It was the year that the first mobile phone call in the UK was made; ‘Back to the Future’ became the highest grossing film of all time; the Live Aid concerts raised £50million and Windows 1.0 was launched. Another milestone from that year may have almost slipped under the radar, but its significance 25 years later could hardly have been predicted: the first .uk web addresses were registered. Since its inception in 1985, the .uk registry has witnessed huge growth in the Internet and become the fourth largest domain registry in the world with over 8.5 million domain names. We are delighted to celebrate 25 years of .uk. In that time, the Internet has changed the lives of billions of people around the World. Businesses rely on it for buying and selling goods, governments use it for interacting with citizens, and individuals rely on it for organising and managing many aspects of our lives, whether that is online banking, shopping or entertainment.

• Today – there are now more than 8.5 million domain names in the register

Throughout its 25 years of growth .uk hasdeveloped a strong reputation as a trusted and globally respected domain.

Research from Nominet shows that 77% of British consumers preferred to use a .uk domain name rather than a .com address when searching for information online and that at a small business level, 9 out of 10 companies choose a .uk as the domain for marketing their business.

Key milestones include the following: • 1985 – first registrations of .uk domain names • 1996 – Nominet was set up to manage the .uk domain name space and its 26,000 registrations • February 2000 – 1 million domain names in the register

It is impossible to predict what the UK Internet will look like in 25 years time. Nominet is committed to working with its registrars and the wider Internet community to ensure that .uk continues to be developed efficiently, effectively and most of all, responsibly – with Internet users at the heart if everything we do.

Nominet hosts W3C office for UK and Ireland positive impact on people’s lives. As part of this strategy we invest significant resources in a range of different areas - securing the DNS through Domain Name System security extensions (DNSSEC); the definition of Internet standards at the Internet Engineering Task Force; the sharing of best practice through the Nominet Internet Awards and at the Internet Governance Forum; and improving and encouraging the safe use of the Internet for educational, inclusion and other charitable purposes through the work of Nominet Trust. The work of the W3C in setting web standards sits well with these activities.

Nominet is now hosting the UK and Ireland office of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the international community created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee to develop standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web. We have taken over the office from Professor Michael Wilson at STFC based at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and Phil Kingsland, our Director of Marketing and Communications will be the new W3C office manager. Nominet has been a member of W3C for 4 years. We believe the work they do promoting web accessibility standards, and developing other standards that help web users to trust in the reputation of the Internet is well aligned with Nominet's public purpose remit and vision, which is to be a leading force in making the Internet a trusted space, which everyone can be part of and has a

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As hosts of the W3C office Nominet will become the local face of W3C's global mission and will promote the adoption of W3C Standards by disseminating information and organizing events. We will reach out to the relevant local communities and encourage them to engage with W3C and will ensure all relevant news from W3C is communicated to the members and other stakeholders of W3C in the UK and Ireland. We will seek input, comment and engage in discussion and debate with all stakeholders on key W3C topics of the day. Specifically, we will carry out various projects either directly for W3C or as part of other ongoing Nominet projects that seek to fulfil the W3C mission of leading the World Wide Web to its full potential. With our connections into the local Internet community we believe that we can add value to this role. We are looking forward to working closely with W3C and its members. If you wish to contact us about any W3C related issues or get involved, please email: phil.kingsland@w3cuk.co.uk.

www.nominet.org.uk

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A REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE The success of St Clare’s, Oxford, one of the country’s leading international residential colleges, is clear for all to see. On the back of resounding success in the recent International Baccalaureate results, B4’s Jenny Woyand met with Principal, Paula Holloway, to see how St Clare’s is building on its already outstanding reputation.

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B4 EDUCATION

“It really was a baptism of fire into what was still a new role, but I knew it was for me and that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life”

Paula Holloway has been Principal for five years and her career, prior to joining St. Clare’s, took her on a worldwide journey which started with the Graduate Entry programme of a major UK bank. It was, however, thanks to banking and her husband’s posting to Hong Kong, that her career path moved into teaching. “I was at a loose end in a country where I was competing with well-qualified locals who were also bi-lingual. Quite by chance, I stumbled across a tiny advertisement in the South China Morning Post which said ‘Wanted, teacher of Geography’. I started teaching in a Chinese school the following week where my smallest class was 54 students, an experience which was, initially, quite overwhelming. It really was a baptism of fire into what was still a new role, but I knew it was for me and that it was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.” Paula went on to teach around the world for the next twenty years, working in the Middle East, Hong Kong and South Korea.”Probably one of the most interesting jobs I had was working for the Maktoum family in Dubai between 1991 and 2000. They had founded two schools, the Rashid School for Boys and the Latifa School for Girls, where I was Head. The school was established for Arab nationals and it was a wonderful place to work.” Upon her return to England, Paula ran Ashford School in Kent, and then became Principal of St. Clare’s, Oxford. The College aims to enable students to achieve the best results they can. Examination results are clearly an important part of this but St. Clare’s aims to enrich the lives of its students and make them aware of other people, other cultures and the world in which they live. Students have a wide range of backgrounds and sometimes come from communities where they have lead more sheltered lives. “We provide them with what should be a www.b4-business.com

life-changing experience – I believe that every one of our graduates leaves St. Clare’s a more rounded, better-educated person with a strong sense of who they are and how to get the most out of their lives.” St. Clare’s offers students aged between 15 and 18 from all over the world the opportunity to study the International Baccalaureate Diploma, an internationally-recognised qualification which is being adopted by more and more schools and colleges in this country and elsewhere – there are now over 3000 schools which offer the IB. St. Clare’s has been providing the Diploma longer than any other school or college in England and, in fact, there are only thirteen schools and colleges worldwide who have taught the IB longer than St. Clare’s. The programme combines in-depth study of six subjects, three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. Students study the literature of their own country, a second language, a science, a humanities subject and mathematics. It is also possible to study Music, Theatre or Art or, alternatively, a second science, a second humanities subject, or a third language. There is huge flexibility in subject choices which allows students to take medicine, engineering, law or practically any other subject at university. The Diploma does not force students to specialise unless they want to. In addition, the College currently teaches 24 different languages as well as a number of more unusual subjects like Astronomy and World Politics. The Diploma also formally incorporates participation in community service, sporting and creative activities in its CAS programme. “What makes the Diploma such an outstanding educational experience”, explains Paula “is its truly holistic approach to education. In addition to the elements already described, the course includes a Theory of Knowledge paper and an Extended Essay which is a 4000 word piece of original research. The latter can be a bonus when applying to university as the students can show that they have the skills and discipline to carry out a piece of real research. It is also important to remember that St. Clare’s is a sixth form college with a strongly-developed ethos where a relaxed, informal atmosphere is combined with a strong work ethic. Students are encouraged to be self-reliant, independent and to take responsibility for their own

actions. The assessment of the IB Diploma is through a series of internal assessments and by terminal examinations at the end of the second year. A student can score up to 7 points per subject with an additional three points for the Theory of Knowledge paper, the Extended Essay and the CAS programme. The maximum or perfect score is 45 points which is very difficult to achieve. Fewer than 90 students worldwide achieve the perfect score each year. We have students every year who attain this incredible result but this year three students, two of whom were on scholarships, obtained 45 points. St. Clare’s is a true boarding school with over 90% of its 255 students living at the College, the balance being made up with day students. St. Clare’s is currently undertaking a complete refurbishment of its residential properties – if you have noticed the restoration of a fine Victorian building on the corner of Banbury and Staverton Roads, then you are looking at the College’s latest residential house. Because most of the students are from overseas, the College does not empty out every weekend but has a wide programme of activities. Day students are made very welcome and are adopted by a residential house. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the fees so that day students can take part in the extensive after-school programme and become integrated into the life of the College as a whole. Paula pointed out that during the current culture of institutional accountability that the College has been inspected by a number of different bodies – the Independent Schools Inspectorate, the British Council, the British Accreditation Council and Ofsted for which it received an Outstanding rating. As so many of its students need a visa in order to study in this country, it is important to know that the College has also been awarded Highly Trusted Status by the UK Border Agency. With approximately two hundred and fifty students from forty one different countries, St. Clare’s continues to fulfil its mission of advancing nternational understanding and education. www.stclares.ac.uk

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Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

Under normal conditions, visiting the Principal would send the fear of God into me not, I hasten to add, that I was a persistent trouble-maker at school. But there is an air of calm as I enter the main building of St. Clare’s, one of twenty-seven properties in North Oxford, which began life in the front room of co-founder Anne Dreydel’s house in 1953. You would have needed considerable imagination to see how those early beginnings would be transformed into a leading IB World College.


time to meet time to play at The Oxfordshire

OXFORDSHIRE’S PREMIER RESORT INCORPORATES A LUXURY 4* HOTEL, DIVERSE CONFERENCING AND BANQUETING FACILITIES, 18 HOLE CHAMPIONSHIP STATUS GOLF COURSE, EXCLUSIVE SPA AND A CONTEMPORARY RESTAURANT. OUR PRIME LOCATION IS JUST TWENTY MINUTES FROM THE HISTORIC CITY OF OXFORD AND JUST 5 MINUTES FROM JUNCTION 7 OF THE M40 PROVIDING EASY ACCESS TO THE CITIES AND AIRPORTS OF BOTH LONDON AND BIRMINGHAM, MAKING US THE PERFECT LOCATION FOR CONFERENCES, MEETINGS AND TEAMBUILDING IN THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND.

Conference & Events

Golf

Our clubhouse provides the perfect venue for business events, providing a relaxing, professional environment to discuss and develop your business. A choice of six modern conference suites, provide the flexibility needed by today’s conference organisers. The Fairway Suite offers a combination of three separate rooms divided by inter-linking walls which can be opened up to accommodate up to 150 people theatre-style or 54 people boardroom; ideal for seminars, exhibitions and product launches. All meeting rooms offer natural daylight and provide delegates with complimentary Wi-Fi.

From entertaining important clients, to a day out with a group of friends, The Oxfordshire welcomes corporate events and golf societies all year round. The stunning modern American open park land championship golf course is a relative rarity in Britain, designed by the world renowned architect Rees Jones, including two of the world’s top 500 holes, as recently voted by Golf Magazine.

4+ Hotel & Dining

WIN

A SUPERB GOLF BREAK FOR 4 PEOPLE: 4 BALL, DINNER AND B&B AT THE OXFORDSHIRE

Our brand new 4-star hotel and spacious clubhouse offer a wealth of facilities ideally suited for corporate guests. Our accommodation comprises of 46 executive en-suite rooms and 4 luxury penthouse suites all designed in a contemporary interpretation of a traditional English Country House. All executive rooms and penthouse suites are individually climate controlled with their own private balconies, handmade furniture, 24 hour room service, complimentary Wi-Fi and use of Tempus Health & Fitness Spa. The hotel is complimented by a new signature restaurant, Sakura, which specialises in serving exquisite modern European fare to traditional English cuisine for the discerning guest, created by head Chef Richard Buy. The restaurant boasts wonderful picturesque views across the rolling Chiltern Hills and our championship golf course with its beautiful cherry blossom trees after which Sakura was named.

Golf days can be individually tailored to the requirements of participants and resources available. Why not take advantage of our professional team to alleviate the pressure of organising your own day, and leave the strain to us.

Tempus Health, Fitness and Spa Corporate guests in need of some rest and recuperation after a long meeting will find themselves well-catered for at Tempus. Complimentary to all hotel guests, the luxury spa incorporates a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, spa pool, 3 individual treatment rooms and a state-of-the-art Life Fitness centre. Relax and rejuvenate with some of the best pampering and therapies available, using 100% natural and organic Pinks Boutique products, complemented by a selection of indulgent Carita anti-aging therapies, Vita Liberata sunless tanning and unique Lava Shell massage treatments.

For further information or to make an enquiry:

Send your contact details to info@theoxfordshire.com and quote “Business Travel Competition” Rycote Lane, Milton Common, Thame, Oxon. OX9 2PU


B4 COMMUNICATION

“On-going support is very important to us, our attitude of ‘think twice, get it right first time’ is testimony to our customer satisfaction”

ENGINEERS WITH

VISION

PART 5 – OFFICESERV Engineers with Vision - Orange Stripe Telecommunications in partnership with the new Samsung OfficeServ range of telephony systems provide Oxfordshire businesses with industry leading office solutions. The diverse range of applications and system functionality within the Samsung OfficeServ are suited to any business and provide the perfect solution to any telephony requirement you may have. Whether you are a small business of 2 or a larger office of 500+, we have a system size to fit your business. Samsung is taking the world in imaginative new directions. www.b4-business.com

From front of house requirements in Hotels and Leisure Centres to call recording and reporting applications for Call Centres and Law firms, Samsung systems and applications offer a wide range of solutions and can be implemented into many vertical markets. We can now provide sub £100 IP handsets with LCD as illustrated. The stylish new range of Samsung IP handsets can be demonstrated at your office to help you make the correct choice for your business. On-going support is very important to us, our attitude of ‘think twice, get it right first time’ is testimony to our customer satisfaction. We have

remote high speed links into all the systems we install for rapid system administration and diagnostics at no charge. B4 Magazine has enabled us to reach out to the business community within Oxfordshire and bordering counties offering a range of product articles from voice over IP to conference calling. Are you moving premises…? Do you have any questions or require advice relating to implementing new telephony…? Give us a call…you never know we may just have the Samsung answer. No obligation consultation. www.orangestripe.co.uk 71


ADDED BITE

B4 met with Graham Bridgman, the Debt Recovery guru who has just brought his business into Darbys Solicitors. Graham certainly knows the Debt Recovery business. Having issued his first county court summons in 1979, his ability and experience in the field of recovering debts was a massive attraction for Simon McCrum of Darbys. Having met Graham, we can safely say that this man has teeth.

Although he studied law at King’s College in London, Graham admits that law wasn’t much of a turn on for him. How did he then become a lawyer? “I didn’t do a law degree because I wanted to become a lawyer. I came out of King’s not knowing what to do. I started looking around at law-type jobs and ended up in the legal department of Thames Water. I was one of three new debt recovery clerks appointed due to an explosion of debt in the industry. My job was to get blood out of stones.

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

“Thames Water sponsored me to become a solicitor, which was brilliant. I was young, newly married and with a baby daughter, so it was fairly tough because while the other students were studying in the holidays, I was back at work doing my job. However I passed the exams, did my training, and qualified. “I stayed at Thames for a few years repaying my debt to them... it wasn’t written into my contract or anything but it was clearly the right thing to do. However, the problem at that time for me was that it was serious ‘dead men’s shoes’ – there were a lot of middle-aged lawyers in the structure above me, and I wasn’t going to be promoted any time soon. So I departed and went to run the in-house debt-recovery team for Xerox Finance, in Uxbridge. Then I then went into private practice to head up the debt recovery departments in a couple of Thames Valley solicitors firms. “I set up my own firm, Graham Bridgman & Co, on 1st September 1996, as a debt-recovery practice

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with a number of clients who had followed me from place to place, including some fairly large, nationally-known, businesses who were happy to continue to instruct me – even though I was a one-man band – and who seemed to trust what I did. “My clients tend to be credit and finance managers at businesses and, although they may only move job once in a blue moon, I’ve often managed to retain the company these people leave and pick up the company they’ve gone to. It’s fulfilling in the sense that we must be doing a reasonable job because, otherwise, that wouldn’t be happening.”

“We are then ready to cross-examine contracts, look for clauses, consider mediation, do whatever we need to do to get our client’s money back” Graham is a Fellow of the Institute of Credit Management and received their Meritorious Service Award in 2009 for his contribution to the Institute, including his long membership and past chairmanship of the Thames Valley Branch committee. Graham relishes the fact that, as a litigator, he is

constantly exposed to new businesses and the need to understand what a client does, and how they do it, in order to the best job for them…. “You have to learn and understand a wide range of industries in quite some depth. You’ve really got to get into the business and understand what makes it tick and the processes they go through. Having to adapt to new situations is one of the reasons that I like law as an occupation.” So how did Graham end up becoming a partner of Darbys? “I was at a management forum for law firms run by Darbys and Simon McCrum, the managing partner, was one of the speakers. He went round the table asking about the challenges facing each of us and, unlike many of the others concerned about the recession and the housing downturn, my challenge was that I had too much work – I rather think Simon’s eyes lit up at that. So he came and introduced himself and he followed me up after the event. Darbys already had a debt recovery service for businesses called INTHEBLACK - that he thought was good, but which he felt would benefit from a specialist like me, particularly if he and Darbys could give me the support I needed to enable me to grow the business. “The whole arrangement and opportunity seemed good to me and to my clients - I have involved them in this from the start - so we’ve brought my clients into Darbys and I’ve joined the firm as a partner”. So, fourteen years to the day after having set up Graham Bridgman & Co, Graham moved on to

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B4 ADVICE

Darbys and it’s been non-stop since. “My existing clients are all comfortable with the move, and in most cases it will actually save them money - my service was very personal, but we are now challenging the market and are more than competitive.” I met with Graham on the day he was finalising his new debt recovery product. “Darbys already had a free 7 day letter service for their clients. We have now made that even better! We still offer free 7 day letters before action but now, with INTHEBLACKplus, if the debtor pays in full our clients actually get back more that they had outstanding! If the debtor doesn’t pay we are ready and waiting to sue, bankrupt or wind them up”. “Rather than INTHEBLACK sitting within commercial litigation, which is how it was before I joined, Debt Recovery is now a department in our own right and we can call for support and expertise from a host of specialist lawyers around the firm as and when it is needed. That’s one of the reasons I’m here, because I get the support of a first class technical structure - we’ve got a commercial litigation department and an insolvency department, for example, the latter having a partner who is also a qualified Insolvency Practitioner, which is pretty unusual. I have a duty of care to my clients and, if I was no longer going to be doing the work myself, I had to be satisfied that it was going to get done properly.

much more of my time managing and developing, which is really why I’m here”. The litigation machine that is Graham Bridgman plus the existing Commercial Litigation team at Darbys led by partner Nick Wright is waiting to kick in if all else fails. It has been honed and preened through their joint experiences over the years. Darbys have got a good man on board who certainly knows his stuff, and woe betide you if you are on the wrong end of an action with Graham’s team against you.

“...they’re constantly being exposed to new things and having to learn. That’s one of the reasons why I like law as an occupation” “We are then ready to examine contracts, chase documents, look for clauses – to do whatever we need to do to get our client’s money back. We will also claim interest and do all the calculations for you – you don’t have to worry about it, as long as you give us the numbers and the dates, we will crunch it. We will claim every penny you are entitled to, under your contract and under the late payment legislation. Often letters of claim miss these things out and interest can add up to an awful lot of money.”

It’s not hard to see what attracted Darbys to Graham, but for Graham, the reasons he is here are clear. “I was impressed with Simon McCrum’s clear vision for the firm - he thinks that this is a good fit and that it was something that Darbys could benefit from. I certainly intend to give real impetus to this vital service. “I’m also now able to offer my own clients a broad base of legal services through all of Darbys’ specialist teams – they’re the one-stop-shop that I wasn’t. Up until now I’ve been very specialist and although I’ve done quite a bit of work in commercial drafting, I don’t do employment or property work for example – that’s not my province. Now that I am in a firm with a wide range of expertise, hopefully my clients will think they can push some other work our way! “It had to work the other way as well - my clients had to feel relaxed about coming in here and that has taken two forms; first, that they’re not going to get charged differently to the way they’ve been charged up until now. – in fact it will probably be less. Second, they also needed to be relaxed about the firm, so Simon and I have made it our business to meet with my clients face-to-face in advance to talk to them. They like what they see and we all see a very positive future”. To find out more about Darbys new ‘INTHEBLACKplus service, email Graham on intheblack@darbys.co.uk

“So it was a good fit, and it allows me to spend

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B4 R&R

CAMERA FUSION BAR & RESTAURANT I made the mistake, and so, I am sure, have countless others. So just in case there was any doubt…… Camera is a great bar, but it’s also A GREAT RESTAURANT!!!! As we found out recently, even though it’s a well-worn phrase, Camera is a secret which needs telling. The food was superb, and that’s no exaggeration.

phenomenal. From the passionate Swedish manageress, Maria, who embodies the zest and personality of this treasure trove of gastronomic delights to the chef who has recently arrived from Bangkok House in Hythe Bridge Street, and the savvy owners, Jake Oppon and Simon Marshall (of The Bridge and Anuba), Camera is a must. We hadn’t eaten all day, and I had no idea what format or style of food awaited me. Fortunately I

“The food, the service and the passion for this to succeed is phenomenal” OK, so most people will know this spot just off St Ebbes behind Sainsbury’s and a stone’s throw from Marks and Spencer as a bar. To be honest, the square footage is dominated by bar space and a great dance floor in the basement – accessed by a walkway that James T Kirk would have been proud of. So the restaurant part could easily be overlooked. But I can’t stress this enough, the food, the service and the passion for this to succeed is

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didn’t succumb to the half eaten aromatic duck roll which my daughter had discarded in her dance school packed lunch, as Aromatic Duck was the first thing I saw on the menu. The ever attentive Maria gave us a quick overview. “The menu is tapas like – choose what you want, and if it isn’t enough, we will do you more.” But at an average £4.50 a dish, it’s hard not to get carried away and order the lot! From Steamed Dumplings to Sea Bass pan fried with Ginger and Spring

Onion, and from Tina’s favourite (and it lived up to expectations) Thai Green Curry to King Prawns fried in panko bread crumbs, whichever way we turned, we were rewarded for our abstinence during the day. The first round of food only encouraged us to order more, yet for an evening meal in Oxford, and we’re talking first class food, none of your pre-heated nonsense, eight dishes with (was it really three Tina?) Gin and Tonics, plus a couple of Asahi beers for me, we barely scraped over £50. So for a cold beer and a couple of dishes to tide you over after work, something to keep you going on a long night out, or dinner for two on a special occasion, Camera will deliver. With dancing and a great venue for a drink to continue the night, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better venue in the centre of Oxford. It’s a difficult combination – bar, dancing and food. But Camera has pulled it off, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there were two queues next time we visited – one for the bar and one for this cracking restaurant. www.cameraoxford.co.uk

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OXFORD DIGITAL MARKETING Richard Rosser meets with the engaging Simon Wallace-Jones of Oxford Digital Marketing (hereafter ODM) who explains how his company is helping its clients to learn the vital internet marketing skills to be successful online. Words by Alex Neale.

Having been involved in the Internet since the early days, Simon is emphatic about the stage most small and medium businesses have reached in their use of the Internet in their marketing. “Businesses have moved from the ‘should we’ phase and are now firmly in the ‘how do we‘ phase of Internet usage within their marketing mix. Most business people want to get better results from their on-line marketing and are thirsty for the information and skills on how to do this as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Over the last year, as part of spreading the word about what ODM can do for Oxfordshire businesses, ODM has staged a monthly seminar, which they will roll-out in other parts of the country as ODM grows. Simon explains the purpose of the seminars. “The aim of our introductory seminar is to take attendees through a framework that helps them to plan their digital marketing more effectively. “Attendees are going away from the events and implementing some of the Internet marketing

on-line marketing, (e.g. SEO, list building, video marketing, social media marketing and website functionality) into their marketing mix. The volume of choices available for online marketing overwhelms most business people, so we provide structured ways to help attendees take practical steps to improve and monitor their success. ” For example one area people struggle with is how to write content that works well for visitors and SEO. “Some people really struggle with that. There are two parts to the advice I give people. Firstly not all

“Most business people want to get better results from their

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

on-line marketing and are thirsty for the information and skills on how to do this as efficiently as possible” “The key goals of our customers are ensuring they have enough of the right types of people visiting their web sites and converting these visitors into actual customers. For example, they want to know how to do SEO (Search Engine Optimization) themselves or learn how to write content for their websites or, more recently, use social media effectively for their business.”

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strategies we talk about and this is having an immediate impact on their businesses. We get great feedback from the seminars, which are helping to establish our reputation, build good will and also give people a chance to see how we think and get an insight into some of our courses. “Our courses help customers gain the skills necessary to implement different elements of

content is meant to be read. Take for example a glossy brochure. Is every bit of copy important? Some of it is just there as background and will be flicked over by most readers. Likewise with some of your web-copy, you are writing some of it just for SEO. Secondly, on any website there are a concentrated number of pages that are written for both search engine and human visitor. There are also tricks one can use to ensure that the content

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B4 IT

“The volume of choice available for online marketing overwhelms most business people”

is not stilted, but that it is well optimized for a keyword. For example, using a bulleted list can sometimes allow you to use the keyword in a much more natural way.” Once you have mastered getting enough people to visit your web-site the next challenge is converting them into customers, as Simon explains. “People want to learn how to get more customers, or bring more visitors into their pipeline. They want to know how to best design their web-sites with the aim of raising their conversion rates, as cost effectively as possible.” ODM is a training and coaching company focused on helping people to build their skills so they can implement themselves rather than a service provider aiming to do the implementation for them. “I have implemented solutions for many years starting in direct marketing in the 1980’s leading, in early 1990’s, to the web. In 1997 I co-founded a software company to develop a large web marketing system. That company (RelayWare) still exists and is doing very well, servicing Fortune 500 customers. We pioneered B2B online marketing with big international blue chip companies way back in the days when you used to connect to the internet with a modem and when B2B marketing was just a thing of the future! I learned a lot from working with big companies like Sony and 3Com

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and also pioneered some extremely advanced techniques.” “ODM was launched because we knew there would be a demand for this advice and for the development of Internet marketing skills in smaller companies. We originally launched Oxford Digital Marketing in about 2002, but it was too early. The market wasn’t ready at all, so we put it on ice. A couple of years ago, we re-launched and initially worked on implementation and formulating strategies, helping companies work out how they were going to stitch everything together. “Increasingly, we were being asked to show people how to do it themselves. As a consequence, we have reduced the amount of consultancy work we’re doing, and now most of what we do is through workshops, public trainings, in-house trainings and coaching.” Simon is building up to launch a coaching group that will focus on the ‘How to’ aspect of implementing these techniques. The coaching club will really support people weekly in a very practical way to make decisions about their own websites and to increase their know how in the area of online marketing and sales.

internalise these skills in order to manage the constant change in the on-line world more effectively. We plan for a long-term relationship with our customers. Whatever level their Internet marketing is at, we want to help them learn how they can take the next step. We want to be there to help them move to the next level. When they are ready they can just plug in with us and we’ll hold their hand as they move up a gear. ‘We’ve decided not to build an implementation team ourselves but rather tap into some of the many excellent implementation people there are out there. There are plenty of designers, web site builders, writers and so on. We’re building a network of associates whom we know and trust who we can recommend to our customers when they don’t have the time, inclination or resources to do the implementation work for themselves. “Through training and coaching our approach helps our clients to consistently improve the results they get from their on-line marketing, converting what can sometimes be a minefield into a market of opportunity.” www.oxforddigitalmarketing.co.uk

“Our belief is that a lot of companies need to

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B4 ADVICE

ATTRACTING & RETAINING BUYERS It is trite business advice that “businesses need to move forward just to stand still”. Owner-managed businesses and larger corporate enterprises need to be constantly alert to both potential expansion opportunities and well structured exits from either the whole or parts of their businesses. For those considering exits or succession issues, the deals market has been quiet. Sellers have natural concerns about the current climate being a difficult time to sell and realise their companies’ true value. Many corporate and strategic acquirers remain nervous and banks are still not lending in the way one might hope. A degree of confidence is returning, however, and with careful planning and sound advice from experienced professionals, there are deals to be done as well as opportunities to protect what one has and thereby enhance value once buyer confidence is fully restored. Real opportunities Despite the current climate, there are real opportunities for businesses willing to work hard to maximise the value in their balance sheets with a view to either facilitating future expansion or making themselves as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Businesses should treat the current lull in transactional activity as an opportunity to review their contractual arrangements in order to protect themselves against any market, customer and/or supplier vulnerability. That will automatically make them more appealing to potential acquirers and more able to fulfil any ambitions to expand. The increasing importance of ‘getting the basics right’ by way of tighter credit control procedures and implementing the best possible procurement arrangements cannot be overstated. Funding options It’s also important to think widely about how acquistions and exits might be funded and explore all the options. Many private investors and equity houses are still interested in investing in small businesses. It’s worth talking to corporate finance boutiques to establish what private routes may be available. For companies that are experiencing difficulties, they may be able to secure inward investment before ‘the writing is firmly on the wall’. Corporate and other investors are often interested in salvaging the better parts of a business and sometimes would prefer to deal directly with the company before it gets into the hands of an administrator. For those doing well and looking to grow through acquisition, this is a buyers’ market and there are a wide range of opportunities at home and abroad. Despite the lack of available bank credit, there are alternative forms of finance available – such as asset-backed lending – which can free up cash to fund growth.

RICHARD

BAXTER

www.withyking.co.uk

Richard Baxter is a highly-regarded corporate lawyer who has recently joined the Oxfordshire practice of Withy King as a Partner from a large firm in London. Richard has extensive experience working for blue chip clients, professional service firms, professional investors, entrepreneurial ownermanaged businesses and SMEs. Richard’s extensive experience makes him ideally placed to advise businesses on the current operational challenges they face while keeping in view their long-term objectives in terms of disposals or expansion.

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Solutions There is no doubt that these are challenging times but there are solutions – the important thing is that you come to us as early on as possible so that we can discuss your circumstances, explore your options and find the best ways to mitigate the challenges. To discuss your operational issues, exit or acquisition plans with Richard Baxter, please email him at richard.baxter@withyking.co.uk


LLOYDS T S B COMMERCIAL Lloyds TSB Commercial is a trading name of Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Lloyds TSB Scotland and provides dedicated banking services for customers with an annual turnover of up to £15 million, from start-ups to established companies looking to grow. Lloyds TSB was voted Bank of the Year for the sixth year running at the Real FD/ CBI FDs' Excellence Awards 2010 in recognition of the support it offers its business customers. Lloyds Banking Group has over one million small and medium sized business and not for profit customers and has launched a three-year programme of support for SMEs. The key points of the 2012 SME Charter are: 1. Lloyds TSB will encourage enterprise, boost access to finance and provide clearer and fairer pricing for customers – including a pledge to help 300,000 new start ups by 2012. 2. Lloyds TSB will run a programme of 200 nationwide seminars every year for the next three years, to provide expert guidance and support for SMEs on starting up, employment, exporting, bidding for 2012 contracts, sustainability and finance. 3. Lloyds TSB will agree to any reasonable request for competitive commercially-priced finance (whether short-term or long-term) from viable business customers. 4. Lloyds TSB will not change the availability of overdrafts during the period of a customer’s agreement, as long as their accounts are kept within agreed terms and limits

EMBRACING SUSTAINABILITY

Businesses in Oxfordshire must act quickly if they are to successfully capitalise on the commercial opportunities which will be created by London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, claimed a panel of experts speaking at an event at Oxford University.

5. The price of existing loans or renewed overdrafts will reflect the cost of funding. The margin Lloyds TSB charges over the cost of funding will only increase where there has been a material increase in risk (subject to a minimum 1.5 per cent over the cost of our funds). Lloyds TSB will be transparent about pricing and help customers understand the price of their facilities. Where margins increase, Lloyds TSB will provide a clear explanation of the reasons 6. Lloyds TSB’s fees will be competitively priced. And arrangement fees on loans and overdrafts will not be greater than 1.5 per cent of the overall value of the facility.

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B4 ADVICE Organised by Lloyds TSB Commercial, one hundred local companies gathered at Iffley Road to hear how the London 2012 Games will boost the local economy and, as sustainability underpins the Games, how this will bring about a greater shift towards sustainable thinking in the business community. Mark French, area director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, introduced the event and discussed how firms can bid for London 2012 contracts, benefit from the legacy of the Games, and use the momentum as a springboard for further growth. As London 2012 aims to be a sustainable Games, Mark also urged firms in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire to assess their ethos and approach to doing business from a sustainability perspective. He underlined the role sustainability and ethical trading will play for those companies hoping to secure London 2012 contracts, as well as the cost savings and benefits environmental policies will bring to businesses in the decades to come.

vital that firms are in the best possible position to capitalise on all opportunities for growth and development.” Other speakers at the event included Professor Carolyn Roberts, director of the Technology Strategy Board based at the University of Oxford. Mark French added. “The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are about much more than just elite sporting competition. They represent a unique opportunity for businesses up and down the country, and will leave a valuable legacy. “Just because you’re not a large company doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think big. Although London 2012 will directly buy and manage a comparatively small number of contracts with tier one suppliers, there are lots of opportunities for SMEs further down the supply chain. “Preparing your business for tender will create both experience and exposure, and can provide a springboard for other business. Registering on the tendering website ‘CompeteFor’ exposes

“The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are about much more than just elite sporting competition. They represent a unique opportunity for businesses” This follows research from Lloyds TSB Commercial that revealed twenty per cent of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe they are not doing enough to become environmentally responsible. Some thirty five per cent of companies questioned said concerns about the amount of time and money that would be needed to be invested to become environmentally responsible is the main reason why they have not yet addressed the issue. Some thirty five per cent stated that they intend to adopt sustainable policies, but only once the UK economy has recovered. However, out of those SMEs that have taken an environmentally responsible approach to doing business, the main benefits of doing so included reduced operating costs (thirty four per cent) and positive customer response (thirty eight per cent). Former Olympian, Adrian Moorhouse, who won gold in the Seoul 100m breaststroke in 1988, spoke at the event about his own experiences of the Olympic Games. London 2012 hopeful and Lloyds TSB ‘Local Hero’, Sebastian TullyMiddleton, an athletics champion from Oxfordshire, was also present for a question and answer session. Adrian commented. “Just as athletes train, prepare and ensure they are fit and ready to compete, businesses need to do the same. It’s www.b4-business.com

your business to a host of opportunities from private and public sector contractors after 2012. “As official banking and insurance partner to the London 2012 Games, we are working with them to realise the vision of a more sustainable Games and are committed to helping businesses across the country implement green policies, economical production processes and ethical trading. “We’ve invested in creating a local network of trained business and environment partners who can provide the guidance firms require in order to implement significant changes. “Sustainability is not just about carbon footprints, it’s about a new way of working. It is vital that UK companies embrace this concept, using the Games as a platform to lead the global business community into a new, sustainable, era.” The event in Oxford is one of two hundred being held this year by Lloyds TSB Commercial as part of its 2012 SME Charter. The Charter is designed to help businesses under three broad dimensions: encouraging enterprise, access to finance and clearer pricing. The events will provide expert guidance and support for SMEs on topics such as starting up, employment, exporting, sustainability and finance. www.lloydstsb.com/business

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FACILITIES            

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

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


Charities Oxfordshire Business Awards Presentation to Creation Theatre and SeeSaw

Robin The ROBIN network brings people and organisations together from the business, public and voluntary sectors to share skills and resources. It provides opportunities and facilitates collaborations bringing a wide range of benefits to all involved. ROBIN is managed by Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action, the umbrella organisation support charities and voluntary and community groups in Oxfordshire.

The 2010 Oxfordshire Business Awards Dinner was attended by over 450 business people who were all there to celebrate either their own success or support a nominee.

on the night. A presentation to David Parrish of Creation Theatre Company and to Rosie Nicol-Harper of SeeSaw was made by the Secretary of the Oxfordshire Business Awards, Jane Reeve.

Each year, there is an after dinner raffle. This year, the Sponsors Committee decided that the two finalists from the 2009 Oxford Times Charity and Community Award, Creation Theatre Company and SeeSaw, would both benefit from the monies raised

Planning for the 2011 Awards has indeed started and very soon you and your business will be able to enter the Awards via the Awards website at www.oxfordshirebusinessawards.co.uk

BOTTLE PR is an active member of the network and was the first company to sign up to the relatively new inVOLve initiative, which utilises the skills and talents of employees to support local voluntary and community groups – never more crucial with funding cuts already biting.

membership.” www.ocva.org.uk/robin

The support that BOTTLE PR has provided ROBIN and the inVOLve initiative has been tremendous, raising ROBIN’s profile and helping to promote events and activities. We value our partnership with BOTTLE PR highly, and are delighted to be even more closely associated with them through B4

The Ley Community The Ley Community is an independent drug and/or alcohol rehab offering a highly structured, abstinence based therapeutic community pathway to recovery, at a self contained site near Oxford. We hold a 3 star excellent rating with the Care Quality Commission and are a registered charity. We offer a Peer Driven motivational programme which places service users at the heart of their recovery through shared responsibility with peers,

engagement and participation in group counselling, psychosocial intervention, harm reduction, peer groups and key worker sessions. Our programme facilitates a change in service users’ attitudes and behaviour towards drugs/alcohol and crime, building self-confidence and self-esteem. We give service users the ‘tools’ skills, knowledge and understanding to maintain wellbeing, be crime free and in employment. www.ley.co.uk

Pegasus only UK company in simultaneous world-wide performance Oxford’s Pegasus Theatre has been chosen to take part in a performance that will take place simultaneously in 40 cities around the world at 7pm on Sunday 17th October 2010. The Gaza Mono-Logues, has been created by Iman Aoun, Artistic Director of ASHTAR Theatre in Palestine inspired by young people living in Gaza during the Israeli bombings of 2008/09. The monologues interpreted by Pegasus companies kicks off the Pegasus celebration of the

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UN International Year of Youth and will prelude a new play by local poet Jenny Lewis ‘After Gilgamesh’ to be performed at an International Youth Arts Festival ‘Mesh’ in August 2011 at Pegasus and around Oxford. A young representative from the Pegasus companies will go to the United Nations in New York in November to take part in an international presentation of the Gaza Mono-Logues alongside other partner organisations.

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

MISSION POSSIBLE Occasionally at B4 we will come across a business which exhibits all the hallmarks of a phenomenon waiting to explode. The Mission Mexican Grill has enjoyed a stunning rise over the past few years, with two branches in Oxford and a startling success in Reading. With more branches on the immediate horizon and a sound structure which is already attracting interest, it is surely just a matter of time before we see this well run outfit appearing on high streets the length and breadth of the UK. Katie Avis-Riordan met Jan Rasmussen, owner of The Mission Mexican Grill, to discover just how high this ambitious young man is aiming.

What strikes you most about Jan Rasmussen is his energy, his enthusiasm for his product. The Mission Mexican Grill is not a means to an end, it is Jan’s passion. It just so happens that Jan and his team are very good at what they do.

I was working 7 days a week, 18 hours a day. But alongside this I was always developing the Mexican idea as a separate business.

So how did it all start for Jan? “I studied engineering at Cambridge University, more the business side of manufacturing engineering. I then got stuck in SAP and ICT consultancies, moved around and ended up in the States where I got into the whole dot com thing. Whilst in the States, I really fell in love with Mexican food.

You didn’t trial test the market at all with the food you have got now? No. It is difficult to do if you are not doing it one hundred per cent. You either do it one hundred per cent or you don’t. Whilst at Greens, we were doing business plans and looking for property, funding, suppliers and staff. It took four or five years from the day we wrote a business plan to the day we actually opened the doors to the first Mission Mexican Grill.

“I then moved back to England and to work in London with an American company. I got very bored of sitting behind a computer and wanted to do something with my life. I wanted to run my own business and as my wife Sharon and I knew Oxford very well, we decided to move here and look around for premises. We couldn’t find anything

So The Mission was always running alongside Greens. Were you ever looking to try and do both? Greens was actually quite an easy thing to sell. There is always demand for good coffee shops and that’s what we had created. It never entered my head to run both, as I was passionate I could do so

Can you see burritos becoming as popular here as you say they are in the States? We did run a competition at the end of term of teams of four eating burritos one after the other. That got really popular. I think the record was just under four minutes. That epitomises how people are really getting into burritos. There are lots of facebook sites about the food and it seems to be a food that people get quite geeky about. There are hundreds of ways to make a burrito, but our burritos are very personal because we make the burritos I used to like. We are desperately trying to be authentic and we do get very good reviews. We have got Victor Garcia, a Mexican chef. He concentrates on the food and operations. The food is all Mexican but the assembly is Californian! We are extremely popular with the students and, as a consequence, we do a lot of university work. We served at a lot of balls last year and this year we have done even more. On one night we did 3,500

“It took four or five years from the day we wrote a business plan to the day we actually opened the doors.” for a long time, but eventually set up Greens Café in St Giles. We gradually started to get in with the local scene. I always had the dream of starting a Mexican food outlet and when the property in St Michael’s Street came on the market, The Mission was born. Greens was just a café, not geared to Mexican food at all? We tried a few Mexican ideas but nothing full blown. There were no coffee shops with internet in Oxford at all, so Greens pioneered that phenomenon in Oxford. We built up an excellent following of Americans. It was a tough business and

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much more if I could devote 100% of my energy into The Mission. It all happened quite quickly once we found a place. Why The Mission? We opened in March 2008, but spent absolutely ages thinking about names. The mission district is a back area of San Francisco where the burrito was invented. It is like a city inside a city; very Mexican with genuine sombreros and mariachi bands. We spent ages talking about the brand, but we kept coming back to that. We did lots of research out in America, after all, burritos are such an established food out there.

burritos! That was a bit manic. I think everyone we employed worked that night including Reading and here. We have also done weddings and a Chilli Festival in Portsmouth. What’s the secret of a good burrito then? We make sure all of our meat is fresh, with fresh vegetables together with beans and tortillas. We make everything with a pan and a knife. There are no fryers or freezers. Everything comes in and goes out; it is a high turnover of food. We have four or five dishes and we sell a few things in high volume. They are always cooking downstairs and that is the nice thing about the food. You never have any

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wastage at the end of the day; you sell what you have and then start again the next day. So do you close when you run out of stock? We judge it quite well at the moment. If we run out of chicken late in the evening, say, we explain to customers that everything is made fresh and suggest they would like to try our signature pork carnitas this time. We go through tons and tons of beans a week. In comparison to Greens, the business is really very simple, and that adds to the attraction. Greens was really complicated; you had

fifteen minutes. We have a good price point; we are a full meal for a fiver. I think the recession has helped us as people are scaling down. We are very filling and we are classic fast-food – customers know they can be in and out really quickly. We like to think of ourselves as positioned between McDonald’s and Nando’s. Our target market is generally between twenty-five and forty. Was King Edward Street an easy site to find? No, not really. It was local and we didn’t have a huge amount of money for expansion. After that

Have you had some approaches? We have been getting a few approaches from banks and investment organisations. We have also had some approaches from private equity companies. But, we are still very small; the London guys get a lot of attention. But we all know each other and know what they’re doing. There is one London company that was heavily invested in and they have grown really quickly. What is your long term aim? Five is a decent chain, but we want to get it to ten

“Five is a decent chain, but we want to get it to ten and then try and work out where to go” teas, coffees, soft drinks, ten sandwiches and ten paninis. It can get quite complicated when there’s a big queue. Ordering at Greens was a nightmare because you have so many different suppliers. Here we have three main suppliers and that’s it. It’s normal to see queues outside both of your Oxford stores, and I should imagine, also in Reading. How many people do you serve a day? We get hundreds of people a day, and when it is busy we can make a burrito in less than a minute. You could never grow an operation like Greens. Whereas the plan with The Mission was to always grow it as a chain. How quickly did you open your second location in King Edward Street after the first Mission? Within six months we were looking for another place in Oxford because we just didn’t have enough seats. We were at absolute capacity and always had a queue of about forty people; but customers are never queuing for more than ten or

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we had more investment and therefore more options. We were lucky to get that property. You have expanded in Oxford and into Reading. Now that you have Bristol on the boil, do you need a few more outlets before you start getting recognition as a chain? The Reading one is very slick and people immediately thought we were part of a chain. There is also a lot of talk in the press about burrito restaurants. I think in the last year eight or nine have opened in London. We are, kind of, riding a wave. The burrito business is very much at the forefront of the industry at the moment; we are where the coffee chain was ten years ago. There are a few independents doing it; and the big chains from America are just starting to come in. What’s the next target after Bristol? We are looking at properties in Bath or Cambridge. Bath would be ideal. We want to be in towns in the south of England with quite a heavy student base.

and then try and work out where to go. After that, the operations get really stretched. You need to set up the organisation within the company. At the moment, I am desperately learning as much as possible about the industry. I have no background in restaurants at all. I can see how ten would work, but beyond that, you start getting very specialised. In our first year we did about £0.5 million turnover, the second year, just about £1 million. It should be £2 million this year. Victor concentrates on the operations side, but everything else is me. We are just starting to pick up the whole internal communication and motivation side of the business now. There are members of staff that I haven’t met now, whereas six months ago I probably interviewed all of them. That just shows how quickly we are evolving! Try The Mission’s great new online ordering service: www.missionburritos.co.uk

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news Condé Nast Traveller Award for Oxford Oxford was recently voted one of the country’s top destinations by readers of Condé Nast Traveller Magazine. This is fantastic recognition by a respected title, underlining that we are fortunate in Oxfordshire to

be blessed with some wonderful sights, incredible restaurants, first class hotels and superb shopping. We are sure this will be the first in a long list of awards recognising all that is great about Oxfordshire.

Press Trip Following Susi Golding's attendance at an international Visit Britain workshop in London in September, Visit Oxfordshire recently welcomed a group of thirteen journalists from South East Asia in partnership with Bicester Village and Blenheim Palace.

Commented Susi. “Visit Oxfordshire will do many things for the profile of Oxfordshire, but a key part of our role is to make us more accessible to visiting journalists. I am sure this will be the first in a continuing line of journalists coming to experience what hundreds of thousands tourists enjoy every year.”

Coverage In The Independent On Saturday 11th September, Visit Oxfordshire was promoted to the nation in a special ‘Traveller’ supplement which went out with The Independent.

This was the first public promotion of the new Visit Oxfordshire logo which has been designed by Rob Scotcher at Blink Design. Harriet O’Brien, reporting for The Independent, visited Oxford for two days,

and during her visit took in Oxford Castle – Unlocked, Malmaison, The Ashmolean, Modern Art Oxford and Fallowfields.

Support Visit Oxfordshire! Why not get involved and join a growing number of Oxfordshire’s leading businesses to support Visit Oxfordshire, the new voice to promote Oxfordshire as a tourist destination. The list of members is growing daily, and here is just a snapshot of some of those involved:

RBS Williams F1 Conference Centre, Fallowfields, OUFC, Oxford Castle, Oxford Castle Unlocked, Oxford Preservation Trust, Barcelo, Broughton Castle, Eynsham Hall, Linton Lodge, Christ Church College, London Oxford Airport, Hawkwell House Hotel, In Oxford Magazine, Modern Art Oxford, The Oxford Belfry, The Oxford Centre, Cotswold Lodge Hotel, Bicester Village, The Big Bang.

The Randolph, Blenheim, Four Pillars, Malmaison,

How do I get involved? Visit Oxfordshire Membership and key benefits. There are 7 levels of membership available: 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. Visit Oxfordshire’s members will benefit from a range of marketing opportunities and related services, with the opportunity to buy into additional activity and services throughout the year. Therefore,

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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, Project Director. Frequently Asked Questions I’m already a member of Tourism South East (TSE). What happens to my membership in 2010? When you join Visit Oxfordshire, TSE and Visit Oxfordshire will then handle arrangements to ensure you become a full member of both organisations and that your Visit Oxfordshire

membership fee for 2010 is amended accordingly. I’m already a member of Destination Oxford. What do I do about my membership for 2010? When you join the Visit Oxfordshire, Destination Oxford and the Visit Oxfordshire 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). Further information and a copy of the partnership document or further information please contact Susi Golding: sgolding@oxford.gov.uk or 01865 815539

www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.co.uk

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TREAT

SOMEONE Over the past year, through B4 and our sister magazine, In Oxford, we have been making lots of people very happy with some phenomenal value for money vouchers. Whether it’s a night in the cells at Malmaison or a year’s membership to Bourton Mill gym, a bottle of Dom Perignon at Oxford’s newest club, Roppongi, to a great meal at Oxford’s leading Chinese Restaurant, Shanghai 30’s, we have a great list of options for you to choose from. So treat someone special, reward someone in the office for a job well done, incentivise your sales team or why not just pamper yourself? Here’s a snippet of some of the experiences of our colleagues Jenny and Stefan (this lucky couple even got to stay the night in The Randolph’s Presidential Suite, but that’s a story for another day!) www.inoxford.com

ANDREA & ACHILLES The name Andrea & Achilles represents not only an outstanding team of hairdressers, it also offers Oxfordshire’s leading hair colour specialists who are keen to achieve the best result for you and your hair.

4500 MILES FROM DELHI

What’s The Deal? £50 voucher towards your treatment. See website for terms and conditions.

If you ask us for our opinion, then we would certainly recommend 4500 Miles from Delhi. It’s a fantastic central venue with absolutely awesome food. Nav Kandola and his team have created a modern and fresh restaurant which serves tasty food with fantastic service. What’s The Deal? £50 voucher towards your meal. See website for terms and conditions.

MALMAISON

ETHOS HOTEL This independently owned hotel comprises twelve outstanding modern designer boutique style bedrooms, which is built with your comfort in mind, surrounded by high quality furniture, underfloor heating and windows which can be opened to hear the birds singing. What’s The Deal? We have just 10 Sunday evening stays at the ultra chic Ethos Hotel to give away for just £75 – represents a saving of over £50!!!! And as an extra bonus, we are giving you £50 to spend at Shanghai 30’s (see this page for details), Oxford’s leading Chinese restaurant, just 5 minutes away. What could be better! 88

MALMAISON ROOMS Staying at Oxford’s Malmaison is an experience that would be hard to match, just make sure you don’t find yourself spending the night in the padded cell, or running into one of the prison’s former residents, rumoured to still inhabit the hotel! Go on ……. we dare you!

Dining in a prison where villains once marked time is quite an experience and one you can enjoy at Malmaison in the heart of Oxford Castle. The ‘Mal’ represents the best place to go if you are looking for a business lunch or a candlelight dinner. If you haven’t already tried the special main courses from the menu then why not treat yourself to the chocolate torte served on slate – yummy! What’s The Deal? £50 voucher towards your meal. See website for terms and conditions.

What’s The Deal? We have just 8 cell rooms to 'cell' every month for just £75 - normal rate £170. See website for terms and conditions. www.b4-business.com


B4 R&R

SHANGHAI 30’S BOURTON MILL HEALTH & LEISURE CLUB This is an amazing deal. £150 for a £540 annual membership. As one Oxford’s leading gyms, based right in the centre of Oxford, Bourton Mill has fantastic, professional staff and superb facilities. What’s The Deal? £150 for a £540 annual membership giving you access to the gym at all times and all classes. See website for terms and conditions.

COFFEE REPUBLIC The freshness of the food is something which Coffee Republic are very proud of. Everything is made on site, not bought in. Even the Coffee Republic coffee is roasted, blended and produced in Milan. That’s what really sets Coffee Republic aside. It is genuine, in everything it does. What’s The Deal? 10 x £5 vouchers for just £25. So visit Coffee Republic 10 times and it costs you just £25 for £50 worth of food, coffee, smoothies, whatever you fancy. Vouchers sent in blocks of 10, so use one on one day and the others when you want. Limited stocks available – see website for full terms and conditions. www.b4-business.com

ROPPONGI Located right in the heart of Oxford, indulge in a glamorous night in the VIP lounge where you will be treated like royalty alongside the celebrities who have been known to make an appearance. For an exclusive night in the glamorous yet comfortable venue, whatever you’re celebrating, a night in Roppongi is truly unforgettable.

Shanghai 30’s is Oxford’s leading Chinese Restaurant. Located on St. Aldates overlooking Christ Church College, you couldn’t want for a more beautiful setting. Take yourself or someone special to Shanghai 30’s to be introduced to Chinese food at its best. Oh, and don’t forget to tell George you are there – he’ll look after you if you mention In Oxford Magazine or B4 Magazine. What’s The Deal? £50 voucher towards your meal. See website for terms and conditions.

What’s The Deal? All you need are five good friends to share a bottle Dom Perignon and a bottle of Grey Goose Vodka (with mixers) in the club’s exclusive VIP area. That’s a package worth over £300 for just £100! See website for full details.

ESPORTA Some members join to change their lifestyle, their physique or their general health. Others have more radical ambitions and goals, accepting Esporta’s encouragement to push themselves to thrilling new limits. Whatever your reasons for joining, Esporta is one of Oxfordshire’s leading health clubs and it could be the best decision you’ve ever made. What’s The Deal? One month pass just half price with our offer. See website for full details.

LACYS Visit this beautiful lady’s fashion shop in Little Clarendon Street which has been here for over 20 years. Stocking a great range of independent lines, see www.lacysoxford.com to get a taster of the lines you can find within this great boutique in one of Oxford’s trendiest streets. What’s The Deal? Grab one of 10 £50.00 vouchers for just £25.00 each. 89


EAST POINT BUSINESS PARK Oxford Ring Road TO LET 1,000 sq ft – 32,000 sq ft A range of high quality offices available on flexible leases

BEAVER HOUSE Hythe Bridge Street Oxford TO LET 6,000 sq ft – 16,000 Sq ft Modern Offices in City Centre Location with Car Parking

36 ABINGDON TRADE CENTRE Nuffield Way Abingdon TO LET 3,720 Sq ft Modern Trade Counter

No.1 PARKSIDE Witney TO LET 21,616 Sq ft Prominent Warehouse Unit With Self Contained Yard

unrivaled local and regional expertise Richard Venables Tom Barton

rvenables@vslandp.com tbarton@vslandp.com


news Holding Our Breath... The summer actually saw an increase in activity within the commercial property market in Oxfordshire. However, we are all holding our breath to find out the results of the government spending review due out on the 20th October 2010. It is only then that we will really understand how severe public spending cuts will be. The office market is still characterised by a significant amount of supply and there are still some great offers available to tenants. Office availability remains limited in the city centre.

The industrial market is actually starting to suffer from a lack of supply. There is only limited availability of stock for units below 20,000 sq ft in size. In south Oxfordshire there are several buildings over 200,000 sq ft and these are proving very difficult to relet. We have recently had a meeting with a client who is looking to undertake some limited speculative development of industrial units but this is very much the exception. We see no signs of any other development in the near future until stock levels reduce significantly.

Deals, Deals and more Deals….. Here are a selection of deals that VSL & Partners have completed in the last 3 months.

Blacklands Way, Abingdon Business Park – 3 units totalling 16,000 sq ft let to Paul Mason Consulting.

Rowan Place, Oxford Business Park – Letting of approximately 14,000 sq ft to Grant Thornton LLP.

Seacourt Tower, Botley – Letting of first floor west wing 5,900 sq ft and 5th floor Seacourt Tower of 1,705 sq ft to Oxford Outcomes Ltd.

9400 The Oxford Business Park – Ground floor office suite of 7,000 sq ft acquired by VSL & Partners for the Oxford Research Agency.

Buxton Court, Minns Business Park, Botley – Part First Floor, 3,800 sq ft acquired by VSL for Picker Institute Europe.

76 Banbury Road, Oxford – 5,632 sq ft let to the Zacharias Trust.

85 London Road, Headington – Retail unit let to Nisa Ltd.

24 Friars Entry, Oxford – City centre retail unit let to Cafe Brasil.

Northbrook House, The Oxford Science Park – Letting of part second floor comprising 3,800 sq ft to JA Kemp.

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www.vslandp.com

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BICESTER

HOTEL, GOLF AND SPA

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

To properly review this superb venue, not only did I play the golf course, I had the good fortune to spend the night in the hotel and eat in the restaurant. I didn’t have the time to get my nails done or have a facial, but then again, it most probably would have been wasted on me! James White reports.

Bicester Hotel, Golf and Spa is located just off the A34, just a few miles from Bicester itself. Upon arrival, the reception team were friendly and helpful. In fact throughout my stay, everyone made me feel welcome and relaxed.

luxurious courtyard or golf course. Ample allowance has also been made to cater for disabled guests with wide hallways, a selection of specially designed bedrooms and bathrooms, together with a lift.

fillet of sea bass proved to be very good choices, whilst my colleague chose the terrine of ham and the steak medallions. Breakfast in the morning was equally impressive, a full cooked breakfast setting us up nicely for our round of golf.

The hotel is stunning and the significant investment over the past few years has reaped rewards. The rooms are spacious, well furnished and sumptuously designed. My room had a lounge area with a four poster bed, great for a romantic weekend away!

Alongside Bicester’s new accommodation offering, there is a spectacular new Orangery, seating up to two hundred theatre style, and one hundred cabaret style. There are also flexible conference rooms, a further two meeting rooms, new kitchens, fine dining restaurant, brasserie and additional bar facilities. This enables the venue to cater for all types and sizes of functions, both in the corporate and private markets.

The eighteen hole golf course is set in one hundred and thirty four acres of magnificent countryside, with eleven lakes to complement its impressive layout, making it a challenging, yet rewarding round of golf for players of all abilities.

Set in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside, The new luxury accommodation comprises fifty two bedrooms. Two of the rooms are bridal/executive suites. All rooms are en suite and decorated to a high specification, with views overlooking the 92

My colleague and I ate in the hotel’s restaurant and enjoyed an excellent meal. The salmon and the

The course is a challenging 6,255 yards, but has testing fairways and strategically placed bunkers. There are a good number of different and testing holes, and I found the back nine particularly challenging.

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B4 R&R

“This enables the venue to cater for all types and sizes of functions, both in the corporate and private markets” Hole fifteen is a very difficult long par four, with water on both sides, requiring a good, strong drive and then a long shot over yet more water. The twelfth is a picturesque par three (again over a lake) which poses more than a few questions over club selection. Overall the greens were excellent and the bunkers well maintained. A great course adding to a wonderful visit. Leisure seekers can choose from the impressive gym, which includes a variety of cardiovascular and resistance machines, plus a large free weights area, exercise classes catering for both fitness and www.b4-business.com

relaxation, or use of the poolside, which not only looks magnificent but has a Pool, Hydro-Spa, Steam Room, Sauna and Tropicariums to relax in. The Forest of Wellbeing offers a range of Elemis Beauty Treatments and Spa Pamper days where guests can indulge in complete relaxation. The beauty manager leads a team of highly qualified professionals who are on hand to advise visitors of the treatments that will best suit them and their lifestyle. The Forest of wellbeing also offers a range of

alternative therapies, including: · Chinese & Thai Massage · Reflexology · Acupuncture · Sports Massage Therapy · Bowen Technique · Physiotherapy Just a stone’s throw from junction nine of the M40, make sure you take time to visit Bicester Hotel, Golf and Spa – the facilities are first class. www.bicesterhotelgolfandspa.com 93


GEARING

UP FOR SUCCESS From courier to chauffeur, Erica Conlan talks to Nathan Thomas of Hilltop Cars about his love of motoring and the life changing moment when he decided to go it alone to start his successful executive chauffeur service based in Oxford. Now boasting a brand new E320 Mercedes, the man behind Hilltop Cars has grand visions for the future, and his passion and commitment shines through. He offers corporate accounts, has already attracted a broad range of business clients and is proud to say that he undertakes a substantial amount of chauffeur driving for F1 motor teams. Aged just thirty five, and with a huge range of experience behind him, now is his moment. “My vision is to always put the customer first. It is all about customer service, going the extra mile, trying to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. My clients may have come back from long business trips or they could be visiting this country for the first time. I am their first impression of this country and I strive to think about their needs.”

“My vision is to always put

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

the customer first. It is all about customer service, going the extra mile, trying to put yourself in your customers’ shoes” Nathan knows it is this attention to detail that makes him different. Reliability is paramount, but the little touches also count. As a chauffeur, he prides himself on his professional appearance. Every customer is offered a complimentary newspaper and non-alcoholic drink when booking. To those new to the area, he is willing to share local knowledge where he can, but is sensitive to individual needs. ”Some customers want to talk, but, on the other hand, if they don’t want to, that’s fine. It’s something I have learned to gauge

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B4 TRAVEL

very early on.” Whilst Nathan is now achieving his dream, his journey to reach it has not always been straightforward. “I was always in love with cars. Since I was a child all I ever wanted to do was work with them – not repairing them, but driving them. I’ve always had it in my head that I wanted to do chauffeur work of some description and that I wanted to work for myself.

“As soon as I got my driving licence and whilst I was still in sixth form, I began working on a temporary contract for a local courier firm.” “As soon as I got my driving licence and whilst I was still in sixth form, I began working on a temporary contract for a local courier firm. I needed to earn some money, but at the same time I was actually out there doing what I loved most.” Of course it helped having a thorough knowledge of the area having grown up in Oxford and working as a courier gave him an even greater appreciation of the city layout. As Nathan points out. “Those were the days before satellite navigation and you just had an A to Z.” Deep down, Nathan knew courier work was not for him long term, but having no one to guide him or give him advice, his ultimate dream job still seemed a long way off. “I needed a job, I needed to earn a living, I knew I needed qualifications so I steered away from it for a while. I began working for B-Line as a driver and worked my way up to transport manager, getting to know the business side of things, going on courses. It was there that I met my wife, Kay.” But it was with the birth of their daughter, Molly, that Nathan took a step back to reassess his life. ”It made me realise that now was the time to do something positive to achieve my ambition. It was a ‘now or never’ moment in my life.” With Kay, now his business partner, at his side, Nathan found the confidence to step away from the security of a salaried position and start his very own business. He has a grand vision for the future with the launch of his new website just around the corner, and plans to branch into weddings. “I am looking at offering a wedding service. I know I can offer a great service at competitive prices.” With such a hunger to succeed and a determined focus on quality of service, his ultimate goal of expanding his client base and building up fleet numbers doesn’t seem such a dream after all.

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

Clare is currently Head of England Women’s Cricket at the England & Wales Cricket Board, driving a hugely successful period for the women’s game. In 2009, the England team won the ICC World Cup, the ICC World Twenty20, and retained the Ashes. Outside of cricket, Clare combined playing for England whilst teaching English at Brighton College and heading up the school’s PR & Marketing operations for seven years. Clare has also worked extensively in the cricket media, presenting for Channel 4 Cricket, summarising on Test Match Special and writing a column in The Observer. In April 2009, Clare was appointed to the International Cricket Council’s Cricket Committee as its first female member, and in August 2009, Clare was awarded Honorary Life Membership to the MCC. Clare’s most recent appointment came in September 2010 when she was appointed a member of the Board of Sport England.

Phew! And you thought you were busy?! So where do we start, probably at the very beginning. Do you remember the first time you picked up a cricket bat? Yes, I can vividly remember straining with both hands to drag a full size bat behind me at Preston Nomads CC where my dad played and where I spent much of my childhood growing up. I was only a toddler and the bat was bigger than me!! I also remember my dad taking me to buy my first bat when I was six or seven years old.

nine year old at Brighton College Prep School. I had my first taste of captaincy in my first year and captained the Under tens to an unbeaten season. Thanks to my parents and coaches who encouraged me and made me feel like anything was possible, I didn't feel different or unusual but now I can see that I was! My cricket career in boys' teams at school gave me a strong technical and mental grounding. Although I don't think I recognised it at the time, I was often out of my comfort zone, especially when I opened the batting in the Brighton College 1st XI against some big, strong eighteen year old fast bowlers!

How did your career develop from there? I joined the colts' section of Preston Nomads aged eight and played in the age group boys' teams until my mid-teens as there was no set-up specifically for girls. This was totally unheard of and even more so when I started playing in the boys' teams as a

Have you had a career outside of cricket, or have you always been ‘wedded’ to the game? Until starting my current job at the ECB as Head of England Women's Cricket in 2008, I had a life in cricket but never a career. Playing for England for

“I am an ambitious person for women's cricket, and as an individual, I know I have a huge amount to give back to sport, whether that be to women's cricket specifically or to sport generally.”

CLARE CONNOR OBE

the ICC World Cup, the ICC World Twenty20, and retained the Ashes.

Clare retired from playing for England in 2006 with over 100 international caps and having led the side for 6 years.

Clare has enjoyed a dynamic career outside cricket. For 7 years, she combined playing for England whilst teaching English at Brighton College and heading up the school’s PR & Marketing operations. Clare has worked extensively in the cricket media, presenting for Channel 4 Cricket, summarising on Test Match

Clare is currently Head of England Women’s Cricket at the England & Wales Cricket Board, driving a hugely successful period for the women’s game. In 2009 the England team won

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Special and writing a column in The Observer. In April 2009, Clare was appointed to the International Cricket Council’s Cricket Committee as its first female member and in August 2009 Clare was awarded Honorary Life Membership to the MCC. Clare’s most recent appointment came in September 2010 when she was appointed a member of the Board of Sport England.

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THE ENERGY BEHIND WOMEN’S CRICKET Clare Connor is a former England cricket captain and has just capped an astonishing four years since she retired from competitive sport with a glittering list of accomplishments. At the age of 30, she was awarded the OBE after leading England to a first Ashes win in forty two years. Her competitive career saw her accumulate over one hundred caps having lead the side for six years. Richard Rosser spoke to Clare about a golden era for women’s international cricket and a list of personal achievements befitting Clare’s outstanding contribution.

ten years wasn't a job as we weren't paid. It was a dream come true and it was made possible with the support of Brighton College because I taught there for seven years whilst also playing for England. I taught English (I read English at Manchester University from 1995-1998), coached hockey and cricket, and later became a Housemistress and Head of PR & Marketing. I was also privileged to work in the cricket media. I worked for Channel 4 for three summers as a co-presenter of The Cricket Show on Saturday mornings, wrote a column for The Observer and summarised on radio for Test Match Special - great times!! You have overseen a fantastic period of success for the national team. There have, I should imagine, been many highs, but, if you can, please provide our readers with an insight into the rollercoaster you have been on, picking out your highlights. I did indeed experience a rollercoaster ride as an England cricketer. There were deep, dark lows and tremendous highs and I guess that's why sport is so powerful and such a great teacher. When I took over the England captaincy midway through a tour down under in January 2000, we were at rock-bottom. We had been stuffed out of sight in Australia, we still had five one-day internationals to go and play in New Zealand. There were divisions in the team and a blame culture had started to emerge. I had a job on my hands, that was for sure!! Gradually though, we climbed the rankings, and by 2005 we had regained the Ashes after forty two

years and we had established an honest, tough, high performance environment that was a special thing to be a part of. I am sure the profile of the national women’s team has done the game an awful lot of good. However, is there plenty of talent coming through, or is it difficult to attract girls to the game, in the face of so many other distractions? There is really exciting talent coming through the system now. We have developed a more robust Talent ID system, we have our best players playing against each other more often, we have more specialist coaches working with these players and we have full-time physio and strength and conditioning support for them. There are challenges though, as faced by other sports. Too many young girls today grow up aspiring to be size zero, rather than knowing what it means to look active and healthy. I'm afraid that, too often, the media thrusts the wrong role models, so-called celebrities, down their throats and that makes me fearful for the future. I see it as part of my role on various committees and Boards to campaign for more role models to come from the world of sport. You have undoubtedly made your mark with appointments to the ICC and, more recently, the Sport England Board. What do these appointments mean to you and what do you hope to be able to achieve for women’s cricket in these lofty roles?

Olympics and Paralympics on the horizon is an exciting place to be. I think I will learn a great deal strategically from those opportunities. As for how such roles can benefit women's cricket, I think it's about having a voice and using that to best represent our sport in a multitude of influential circles. You were made an MBE in 2004 and OBE in 2006, and you are only 34. What does Clare Connor have left on her ‘to do’ list? How long have you got?! Honours such as those obviously make me feel very proud and hugely grateful to everyone who has backed me and supported me. But in a practical sense, I feel that there is a huge amount that I'd like to achieve. There is enormous scope for progress in women's cricket as it is still a relatively young and under-exposed sport in terms of the commercial and PR world. In addition, despite recent growth in terms of numbers of female participants and clubs, there is still a long way to go to alter perceptions that it is just a male sport. I am an ambitious person for women's cricket, and as an individual, I know I have a huge amount to give back to sport, whether that be to women's cricket specifically or to sport generally. That excites me and drives me each day to make a difference. With thanks to Clare for sparing B4 some of her valuable time and good luck to her in the future from all B4 readers.

I am very honoured by the appointments that have come my way in the last eighteen months or so. To be on the Board of Sport England with the 2012

“There were deep, dark lows and tremendous highs and I guess that's why sport is so powerful and such a great teacher” www.b4-business.com

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B4 PARTNERSHIPS

THE JOY OF

PEGASUS

It is hard to believe that Pegasus Theatre, based in Magdalen Road, is approaching its fiftieth anniversary. As its own website proudly declares, it has, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;pioneered theatre and arts education work with young people, the local community and professional artists at the start of their career.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Richard Rosser met with Gill Jaggers and Dominique Cadiou of Pegasus to find out how the breathtaking new facilities were born and the exciting plans for the future. Written by Alex Neale.

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In 1962, Oxfordshire County Council set up drama work with young people in the old Schools Meals Service canteen in Magdalen Road. Under the name Oxford Youth Theatre (OYT), the initiative attracted local support and, in 1969, when the theatre had expanded beyond the capacity of the site, a fundraising campaign to create a purpose built space was launched. The result was a breeze block building, christened Pegasus Theatre – it became the new home of Oxford Youth Theatre and was opened in 1975.

reason I have been here for so long is because I have been infected by Pegasus, and that is what is happening to Dominique.” Says Gill with a wry smile.

From the early 1980s onward, Pegasus’ national reputation grew for work which brought young people and professional artists together to produce high quality performances. Today, Pegasus plays an active role in supporting companies in artistic, technical and marketing matters and has been instrumental in launching the careers of companies such as Théâtre de Complicité, The Right Size, Peepolykus, Network of Stuff and Gelede Dance. In 1995, with activities again beginning to outgrow the site, The Pegasus Theatre Trust was established to prepare for a future capital development and independence from Oxfordshire County Council. Independence and the start of the capital development scheme came in 2006.

Mike is assisting with the fundraising at Pegasus, getting the name out in the business community and attracting new supporters. Mike is also, clearly, hooked. “ I’ve been associated with Pegasus for just over a year. I volunteer for the organisation and give at least one day a week to it. It completely overtakes everybody who gets involved at whatever level – you suddenly become completely infected by all the energy, passion and vitality that’s around the organisation and the kind of things that everybody gets involved in. “

The culmination of the capital development scheme was reached earlier this year when the stunning new, state of the art, facilities were opened. This represented a crucial turning point in the life of Pegasus Theatre and the end of a long road of a hard work, as Dominique, the leader of the dedicated fundraising team, explains. “We received the first tranche (£2.7 million) of funds from the Arts Council and the Lottery around five years ago. Soon after we received £900,000 from Oxfordshire County Council and £250,000 from Oxford City Council. “We were still short of our target, and so supporters did what they could to help push us past the post. But we needed £2.5 million, and no amount of goodwill can stretch that far, despite the admirable efforts of many of our closest supporters and friends.” Gill Jaggers joined the theatre fifteen years ago. What started as a short term project has turned into a full time career. Gill recalls how the final funding was

“In my experience, it’s all about the passion. Dominique is involved now because she has been infected by the passion that’s in the organisation, ditto Mike Kelly.”

Gill continues on this theme. “From the outside, it sounds like a very simple arts organisation that does theatre with young people, but, actually, it’s a lot deeper than that because the work we do is very much about exposing young people to ideas and issues, even images that they will never come across in their normal, everyday life... We give them a chance to really think about it, and demonstrate how they’ve managed to get through a complete thought process to get to the other end and say, ‘Ah! I understand this now and this is what I’m going to think about it in the future. All of these experiences and thoughts are now feeding into my future’. “Their development and their future passion are very much developed through the way they work with us on various projects. They may only be involved for a short amount of time but during that time, they’ve been exposed to some very interesting experiences with the professional tutors they work with and the other young people they get involved with. There are all shades of the community; from the poor to the very rich, from the advantaged to the very disadvantaged; different cultures, ethnicities, religions... all in the same project, all in the same building, all working together. It has a very profound effect on people – you’ve got people who leave as a teenager, coming back ten years

“In my experience, it’s all about the passion. ” secured. “We started talking to the board, got the trustees to give money where they could and they all did, and they continued to give. We talked to people like Phillip Pullman who had been involved for ten years. He was very supportive and had never really been asked for money, and he gave. We also went to various trusts and foundations and received generous donations.” Dominique, who joined the theatre two and a half years ago, and was very much a part of the final drive for funding, continues the story. “We applied to the Department for Children’s Schools and Families, who had just launched a programme called ‘My Place’ which was all about giving young people 21-st century, world-class facilities where they could go and feel at home and feel good, somewhere they felt it was their place to enjoy, to shape. We were successful in our application for the fast-track project, and so, suddenly, within a year, we had everything we needed. We were ready to go!” The building started and within a year, it was open. It was a whirlwind baptism for Dominique, which she has enjoyed ever since. “My background prior to Pegasus was in fundraising, but I had never worked in the arts, always in human rights and international development. I was away from Oxford for about ten years, travelling around different countries and came to Oxford from Lebanon. “I have never been involved with a capital project before and to raise money for a building is quite an interesting change. It happened and that’s really nice, but the really hard work starts now. I am going to stay on as Development Director to really help the organisation build partnerships and links with the corporate sector, and to really grow our income from voluntary donations. I think we are going to suffer from the cuts in government funds, so we have to be tuned in to different sources of revenue, essentially private donations.” Gill Jaggers, Pegasus’s Head of Marketing, knows all about ‘staying on’. The www.b4-business.com

later saying, ‘I didn’t realise just how much this was going to affect me and my future and my character’. “I think Pegasus is far more relevant than it has ever been because it encourages young people to be risk-takers, to be innovators, to look at different ways of doing things but to be confident about it because it will definitely set them up for life in the future. It also teaches them the self-discipline that young people often lack, which is really empowering. If you can discipline yourself, you can actually make sure you go all the way and go through with something. I think we encourage that and give that to young people. “We believe in long term engagement with young people on in-depth projects where they can grow and have fun. Pegasus holds a special place in the hearts and minds of all who cross its path. It is a place where life-long friendships are made and where young people are able to enjoy growing up and learning about the world through cultural activities as well as achieve amazing creative results.” Pegasus has recently formed a B4 Partnership with local solicitors, Henmans, and Managing Partner, Julia Iball, is clearly delighted to be associated with this mind-blowing organization. "We have a longstanding interest in the arts in Oxford - we continue to sponsor the Ashmolean and the Playhouse among other organisations - and are delighted to be able to support Pegasus. The new facilities are really a leap for the theatre, making it an incredibly impressive venue but retaining the flexibility to continue to work with diverse groups." www.pegasustheatre.org.uk www.henmansllp.co.uk 99


KAREN COLE Karen Cole epitmoises the ‘go-getting’ female businesswoman we have grown to love over the past twenty years. Anita Roddick was a pioneer of this feisty new generation who had hardened businessmen looking over their shoulders in fear. Richard Rosser talks to Karen about the growth of her clothing business and how she has converted sheep’s wool into something of a cult. Words by Alex Neale.

Not one for history and how did she get here, Karen is looking to the future and knows her course. “When I started, I had no idea things would explode in the way they have done. I was ‘mum’, with three boys, and was unsure of the direction in which the business would go. But I suppose if you’re looking to plug a gap in the market, and you make a good plug, you should really expect to make a success of it.” With turnover increasing handsomely year on year, Karen’s trump cards are numerous. “We currently only sell through independents and have a great network of one hundred and fifty retailers. Staying with them breeds tremendous loyalty. We have been courted by the large chains and department stores, but to date have been unable to come to an arrangement that suits us all.” One of the key success stories for Karen, however, has been the use of the New Zealand Merino – yes I had to ask too! So a mixture of Karen and her website will help to explain. “Merino is sourced from the beautiful Southern Alps of New Zealand, where the Merino sheep graze in free range conditions on alpine and sub-alpine grasses. A Merino is a specifically bred sheep, although you’re not really supposed to call them a ‘sheep’ as they are their own breed of animal. “ A Merino farm is typically 3,000-8,000 hectares in size and there are approximately only three sheep per hectare. In this unique high country environment, the Merino breed has evolved to produce a remarkable fleece that is renowned for many qualities. It creates a micro-climate next to the skin, providing warmth in the winter cold, yet allowing the body to stay cool during the summer months. It is a breathable fibre, and has the ability to draw moisture away from the skin, keeping the body dry. Karen continues. “We use a very fine Merino which has an incredibly low micron count. It won't irritate or itch the skin and it has a high warmth capacity for its low mass. It doesn’t curl, it doesn’t shrink, it’s got completely long-lasting properties – you can machine wash it five hundred times and it won’t break down. It’s incredibly strong.” As the TV adverts would say, here’s the science bit (from the website). ‘Merino resists cling and static build up, and reduces garment soiling by repelling

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www.b4-business.com


B4 SPOTLIGHT liquids, dirt particles and build-up of unpleasant odours. It is very easy to care for, it is machine washable and has outstanding wrinkle recovery.‘

always been very hands-on with the buyers, the suppliers, the manufacturers, and it’s that incredible attention to detail which has created such loyalty.”

So it’s not only a great product, it’s ethical, as Karen explains. “We believe in the importance of ethical sourcing and we support a supply chain of social and economic sustainability. New Zealand Merino wool is a renewable, sustainable and 100% biodegradable resource. The New Zealand manufacturers comply with New Zealand Government Department of Labour Health and Safety Workplace Regulations. Our Merino is obtained through a visible production network that

“This season, our client base has significantly increased because of the loyalty and trust we have built up. We deliver on quality, price and style.” By her own admission, Karen is something of a control freak. “I wouldn’t deny that for a minute. But, I’m very good at supporting other people and when you’re handing huge budgets over to people and manufacturers, they are who they are because they’ve been in the business for a long time and

what you want to hide and show the bits you want to show.” Internationally, Karen is enjoying a massive growing following in Sweden. “They account for a huge amount of our business because they totally get the whole Merino movement. In terms of the internet, we certainly have an online presence and a mail order catalogue at www.karencole.co.uk. Everybody sells and shops online nowadays and I would have felt like a bit of a dinosaur if I didn’t. This way, retailers can go online and they can see what they could have bought and most will ring up and order more.”

“We believe in the importance of ethical sourcing and we support a supply chain of social and economic sustainability. New Zealand Merino wool is a renewable, sustainable and 100% biodegradable resource” guarantees quality, source and supply. The traceable Merino fibre chain provides assurances that production meets suitable standards for animal welfare, management of the environment and socially responsible practices.” The Merino ticked so many boxes for Karen, and now the success of Karen Cole Merino, seemingly, knows no bounds. “What we have done with Merino has been done in the sport arena before but never in fashion, so that’s when we started developing tops and dresses and the whole thing snowballed and grew from there.” “Not all of our clothes are made from Merino, but most of the winter collection is. We also have a massive lace collection in the winter time as well. It’s a full collection. I still try to use my New Zealand manufacturers, so a lot of the manufacturing is still done over there, and even when it’s not done in New Zealand, it’s still managed by my New Zealand factories in Hong Kong. “I go back at the end of every season to fine tune the samples that we’ve sold and put designs in place for the following season, so it’s really hands-on which is possibly the secret of my success. Others are recognizing that they are having to go back to basics now, but I have never really deviated from working that way. We have

www.b4-business.com

because they’re speaking the same language. It’s quite easy to identify like-minded souls and to work effectively with them. It goes right through to the retailers as well – those girls who have been around the block a few times really know their stuff, they’re so incredibly loyal, and they’ve got such an eye for detail and style... they’re just amazing. I have enormous respect for them – they walk into our showroom and know exactly what they want. “Without our independents, people like Sue Rosser at Lacys in Oxford, we wouldn’t be where we are. We only stock in the best boutiques in the best locations. We have waiting lists of retailers eager to get our product, but we are loyal to those we have been dealing with.”

So what of the future for this irrepressible fashion guru? “We want to just keep expanding, break into new territories and let the Merino speak for itself. All of our new business seems to come from people talking about it and retailers recommending to other retailers. People want to know of collections that deliver on a customer satisfaction level and on a business level. We are really going to push the mail order catalogue and the website. We are open and transparent in everything we do, and like to think this pays off. For example, when Emilia does a fashion shoot, all of our stockists will get a high resolution disk to use in their own publicity. It helps get the name out there and that’s what we have to keep on doing.” www.karencole.co.uk

Karen also has her own ‘muse’ in the shape of film actress, Emilia Fox. “Emilia is the face of our label. She’s representative of who our audience is – she’s an English Rose who happens to wear our Merino extremely well.

Local Stockist: www.lacysoxford.co.uk

“Most of our clients have got quite good disposable incomes, their ages ranging from 25-80. Principally, they are 35-40 year olds who want to look like 25 year olds and I think the strength of our clothes is that we respect the fact that women’s bodies are changing, and even though we might be getting older, we still want to look good. Our shapes hide

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B4 Contacts ADVICE ACCOUNTANTS Wenn Townsend Tony Haines Partner

BrookStreet Des Roches LLP Paddy Gregan Partner

OTCN 51 t: 01865 893354 ext 464 w: www.otcn.co.uk

t: 01235 836655 w: www.bsdr.com

SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT

Henmans LLP Julia Iball Managing Partner

t: 01865 559900 w: www.wenntownsend.co.uk The MGroup Richard Clayton Partner t: 01865 552925 w: www.themgroup.co.uk Shaw Gibbs Peter Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connell Partner t: 01865 292200 w: www.shawgibbs.com

B-Line David Beesley Chairman

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t: 01865 781000 w: www.henmansllp.co.uk

t: 01865 594550 w: www.b-line.co.uk

Manches Richard Smith Managing Partner

Bayswater Framing Simon Beesley Managing Director

t: 01865 722106 w: www.manches.com

t: 01865 351000 w: www.bayswaterframing.co.uk

Withy King 79 Richard White Head of Employment

BUSINESS SUPPORT TBAC 39 t: 01865 893305 w: www.tbac.org.uk

t: 01865 792300 w: www.withyking.co.uk

INCA Accounting Graham Carson Client Relationship Manager t: 01865 821100 w: www.incauk.biz

BUSINESS SERVICES

BUSINESS ADVICE

ARCHIVING AND STORAGE

Oxford Professional Consulting Alison Haill Managing Director

Ardington Archives t: 01367 718710 w: www.ardingtonarchives.co.uk

t: 01865 436 791 w: www.oxfordprofessionalconsulting.com

AUDIO VISUAL

Oxford Management Solutions Paul Ovington Founder

Bang & Olufsen t: 01865 511241 w: www.bang-olufsen.com

t: 01865 792178 w: www.oxfordltd.co.uk

Image Audio Visual Solutions Andy Fegan Managing Director

The Business Wealth Club Paul Avins Founder & CEO

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t: 01865 811127 w: www.oxin.co.uk Oxford Inspires t: 01865 815525 w: www.oxfordinspires.org

t: 01235 865500 w: www.image-av.co.uk

BUSINESS CONSULTANTS

The Clarkson Alliance t: 01865 355580 w: www.theclarksonalliance.com

The Profitable Hotel Company Stuart Harrison Owner

LEGAL

t: 01993 706632 w: www.profitablehotelcompany.co.uk 72

t: 01865 811700 w: www.darbys.co.uk Beechwood Solicitors t: 01865 883344 w: www.beechwoodsolicitors.com

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BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS Institute of Directors Ian Wenman Chairman t: 07770 893834 w: www.iod.com

Macmillan w: www.macmillan.org.uk Oxford Innovation Ltd Jo Willett Sales and Marketing Director

t: 01869 278900 w: www.thebusinesswealthclub.com

Darbys Solicitors Simon McCrum Managing Partner

CHARITIES

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Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds 35 Graham Brogden Head of Community Fundraising t: 01865 743442 w: www.charitablefunds.org.uk ROBIN Grant Hayward Local Business Partnership Coordinator, Oxfordshire t: 01865 251946 w: www.ocva.org.uk/robin The Ley Community Steve Walker Programme Director t: 01865 378600 w: www.ley.co.uk

DEBT COLLECTION Total Credit Management Clive Taylor Director t: 01993 832266 w: www.totalcreditmanagement.co.uk

www.b4-business.com


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HILLTOP ROAD OXFORD OX4 1PF TELEPHONE: 01865 242158 WWW.SOUTHFIELDGOLF.COM


B4 Contacts DISTRIBUTION Air Business Ltd Adam Sherman Group Mamanging Director t: 01727 890 620 w: www.airbusonline.com

Hilltop Chauffeurs Nathan Thomas

Four Pillars Hotels Chris Green Group Marketing Manager

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t: 07825 500852 / 01865 595262 w:www.hilltopchauffeurs.co.uk The Oxford Bicycle Company Ltd t: 07766239800 w: www.oxfordbicyclecompany.co.uk

t: 0800 374 692 w: www.four-pillars.co.uk 47

INSURANCE

Kassam Stadium Rachel Harwood General Manager

TRAVEL

t: 01865 337602 w: www.thekassamstadium.com

City Sightseeing Jane Marshall Transport Manager

Lady Margaret Hall Bill Kemp Head of Conference Services

t: 01865 790 522 w: www.citysightseeingoxford.com

t: 01865 611079 w: www.lmh.ox.ac.uk

London Oxford Airport James Dillon-Godfray Head of Marketing and Development

Magdalen College School Emma Bellenie Events Manager

t: 01865 290 600 w: www.londonoxfordairport.com

t: 01865 242191 w: www.mcsoxford.org

NETWORKING GROUPS

Visit Oxfordshire Joanne Butler Tourism Team Leader

Malmaison Andrew Creese General Manager

B4 Magazine Richard Rosser Editor

t: 01865 252200 w: www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com

CETA Insurance Ltd David Quick Managing Director t: 0845 4583071 w: www.lowerpremium.co.uk

LOCAL GOVERNMENT West Oxfordshire District Council William Barton Business Development Officer w: www.westoxon.gov.uk/business

t: 01865 742211 w: www.b4-business.com Advantage Business Networking t: 0800 093 4111 w: www.advantagebusinessnetworking.co.uk BNI t: 01865 339301 w: www.bnihomecountieswest.co.uk Ladies that Lunch t: 0845 330 1078 w: www.ladiesthatlunch.co.uk Venturefest t: 07523 901104 w: www.venturefest.com Witney Bigger Breakfast Club t: 01608 811533 w: www.witneybbc.co.uk

TRANSPORT Chiltern Railways Adrian Shooter Chairman t: 08456 005 165 w: www.chilternrailways.co.uk Isis Chauffeurs Russell Morris t: 01993 709023 / 07545 601515 w: www.isischauffeur.co.uk

www.b4-business.com

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CONFERENCE, EVENTS & VENUES

t: 01865 268400 w: www.malmaison-oxford.com RBS Williams F1 Conference Centre Kirsty Hatton Sales Executive

CONFERENCES

t: 01235 777900 w: www.rbswilliamsf1conferences.com

Christ Church College Tony Fox Head Custodian

VENUES

t: 01865 276492 w: www.chch.ox.ac.uk The Oxford Centre Andrew Lund-Yates General Manager t: 01865 554719 w: www.the-oxford-centre.co.uk Conference Centre Oxford T: 01865 797979 w: www.conferencecentreoxford.co.uk Cotswold Wildlife Park Reggie Heyworth Managing Director t: 01993 823006 w: www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk Crazy Bear t: 01865 890714 w: www.crazybeargroup.co.uk

Blenheim Palace John Hoy Chief Executive t: 01993 810501 w: www.blenheimpalace.com Oxford Castle Jean-Pierre Morilleau General Manager t: 01865 201657 w: www.oxfordcastle.com

EDUCATION OXFORD UNIVERSITY Begbroke Science Park Peter Dobson Managing Director

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t: 01865 283700 w: www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk

Egrove Park Jill Grievson Conference Manager t: 01865 422757 w: www.sbs.oxford.edu/conferencing 105


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B4 Contacts COLLEGES Magna Carta College David Faulkner Dean t: 01865 593131 w: www.magnacartacollege.org Oxford and Cherwell Valley College Sally Dicketts Principal t: 01865 550550 w: www.ocvc.ac.uk

Esporta 88 Andy Wheeler Sales Manager

Oxford United Football Club Kelvin Thomas Chairman

t: 01865 318300 w: www.esporta.com

t: 01865 337505 w: www.oufc.co.uk

GOLF

Oxford University Rugby Football Club Tim Stevens Club Administrator

The B4/MGroup Golf Cup t: 01865 742211 w: www.b4-business.com Bicester Golf & Health Club Mark Odom Health Club & Spa General Manager

INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE St Clareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Oxford Paula Holloway Principal

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t: 01865 552031 w: www.stclares.ac.uk

SCHOOLS St Edwards School t: 01865 319 204 w: www.stedwards.oxon.sch.uk

TUITION British Study Centre Nicholas Philips School Director

t: 01865 432000 w: www.ourfc.org 92

t: 01869 241204 w: www.bicesterhotelgolfandspa.com

HR

t: 01865 390864 w: www.frilfordheath.co.uk

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AND COACHING

North Oxford Golf Club Bob Harris Managing Director

Sue Stockdale Ltd Sue Stockdale Director

t: 01865 553977 w: www.nogc.co.uk

t: 01367 244855 w: www.suestockdale.com

The Oxfordshire Golf Club Tim Pettifer General Manager

RECRUITMENT

Southfield Golf Club t: 01865 242158 w: www.southfieldgolf.com

FINANCE

Studley Wood Golf Club Ken Heathcote Managing Director

BANKING LloydsTSB Commercial Paul Horsell Senior Manager Commercial

Helen Money Nutrition t: 01865 339672 w: www.helenmoneynutrition.com

Frilford Heath Golf Club Alistair Booth Director

t: 01844 278 300 w: www.theoxfordshiregolfclub.com

t: 01865 246620 w: www.british-study.com

WELLBEING

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t: 01865 351122 w: www.studleywoodgolfclub.co.uk

The Career Boutique Katherine Dales Managing Director

t: 0845 5204010 w: www.thecareerboutique.com

IT & TELECOMS DATABASE MANAGEMENT InTouch CRM James White Managing Director

t: 07801 472889 w:www.lloydstsb.com

HEALTHCARE

Coutts and Co t: 01865 389039 w: www.coutts.com

Monica Franke t: 07970 119721 w: www.monicafranke.com

t: 0845 310 9973 w: www.intouchcrm.co.uk

Oxford Radcliffe Private Healthcare Alex Barnes Assistant Director, Private Patients t: 01865 221033 w: www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk/ privatehealthcare

IT SERVICES

HEALTH AND LEISURE FITNESS Bourton Mill Gavin Peck Manager

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t: 01865 251261 w: www.bourtonmill.net

SPORT Alcester Rugby Club t: 01789 764061 w: www.alcesterrfc.co.uk/contact-2.asp Chipping Norton RUFC t: 01608 643968 w: www.chippingnortonrugbyclub.co.uk

www.b4-business.com

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Nominet 67 Lesley Cowley CEO t: 01865 332211 w: www.nominet.org.uk Oxford Home IT Support Richard Hilsdon Managing Director t: 01865 594020 w: www.homeitsupport.biz

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Local Company with Global Reach As an Oxford based distribution and fulfilment 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 Office.

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 “B4” to learn how you can benefit from this.

• Airfreight

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

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

Which o Which off th these ese two two will will help help you y ou get get to the the top top of of Google? Google?

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Oxford Digital Marketing Ma arketing IInternet nternet Marketing Marketing Training Training & C Coaching oaching

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B4 Contacts MOBILE PHONES Everything Everywhere Martin Lyne SME Marketing Director

MANUFACTURING LIGHTING

w: www.everythingeverywhere.com

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

t: 01235 773500 w: www.wila.com

Surefire Digital Rob Jones Director

SCIENCE

TELECOMMUNICATIONS Orange Stripe Telecommunications Nigel Pursall 71 Managing Director

Oxford Instruments t: 01865 393378 w: www.oxford-instruments.com

WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT Blink Designs Keith Simpson Senior Designer

MARKETING & DESIGN ADVERTISING

t: 01865 742211 w: www.on-the-blink.com

In Oxford Magazine Colin Rosser Chairman

Chris Fulton Design Chris Fulton Owner

t: 01865 742211 w: www.inoxford.com

t: 07745 033707 w: www.chrisfultondesign.co.uk Torpedo Group Limited Iain Lewis Director

CORPORATE IDENTITY Recognition Express Andy Olejnik Managing Director

t: 01865 733710 w: www.torpedogroup.com

t: 01295 257611 w: www.re-oxfordshire.co.uk

WEB OPTIMISATION 76

t: 01865 600 508 w: www.oxforddigitalmarketing.co.uk

Zest Alex Minchin Director t: 0843 289 0161 w: www.zestdigital.co

Science Oxford Dominic McDonald Head of Public Engagement and Business Networks t: 01865 728953 w: www.scienceoxford.com

TECHNOLOGY

t: 0845 241 7772 w: www.orangestripe.co.uk

Oxford Digital Marketing Simon Wallace-Jones Co-Founder

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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

t: 020 3239 8055 w: www.surefiredigital.co.uk

Studio8search t: 01865 842525 w: www.studio8search.com

Lingo t: 01865 886340 w: www.lingotelemarketing.com

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WILA Group Ltd Mike Collett Chief Executive Officer

DESIGN ADS t: 01993 885122 w: www.adsoxford.co.uk Orchadis Media t: 01865 339 429 w: www.orchadis.com

FREELANCE COPY WRITING AND EDITING Stoneleigh Associates Erica Conlan Proprietor t: 07837 480 432 e: erica.conlan@stoneleighassociates.com

www.b4-business.com

MARKET RESEARCH

MARKETING The Project Managers Peronel Barnes Director t: 01865 751531 w: www.the-project-managers.com

PHOTOGRAPHY Studio 8 Clark Wiseman Managing Director t: 01865 842525 w: www.studio-8.co.uk Lyon Photography t: 01865 481550 w: www.lyonphotography.co.uk

PRINTING Lynx DPM Dee Patel Managing Director t: 01865 891989 w: www.lynxdpm.com Print, Design and Focus Sue Carter Director t: 01993 774543 w: www.printdesignfocus.co.uk The Goodhead Group David Holland Chief Executive t: 07773 316 204 w: www.bgprint.co.uk The Oxford Duplication Centre t: 01865 457000 w: www.oxfordduplicationcentre.co.uk

PUBLIC RELATIONS Bottle PR Claire Cairns Managing Director t: 01865 882988 w: www.bottlepr.co.uk GB PR Gail Buckle Owner t: 01865 742940 w: www.gbprconsultancy.blogspot.com

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B4 Contacts Love Communication Jo Love Owner t: 07887 775271 w: www.lovecommunication.co.uk The Buzzworks t: 01993 813848 w: www.thebuzzworks.co.uk Tracey Jefferies Tracey Jefferies Founder t: 01865 820183 w: www.traceyjefferies.co.uk

PROPERTY & BUILDING ARCHITECTS Riach Architects Douglas Riach Principal t: 01865 553772 w: www.riacharchitects.com Gray Baynes & Shew LLP t: 01865 305130 w: www.gbs-ox.co.uk

BUILDERS MERCHANTS Buildbase David Robertson Central Regional Director t: 01865 787763 w: www.buildbase.co.uk

BUSINESS PARKS Grove Technology Park Robert Lamplough Chairman t: 01235 772992 w: www.grovetechpark.com Jennings Mike Jennings Managing Director t: 01865 893303 w: www.jennings.co.uk

COMMERCIAL OFFICES Clarendon Enterprise Centre t: 01865 910100 w: www.clarendon-enterprise.co.uk M40 Offices t: 01844 260500 w: www.m40offices.co.uk

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY AGENTS

LETTING AGENTS

VSL and Partners Richard Venables Director

Breckon and Breckon Greg Barnes Director

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t: 01865 848488 w: www.vslandp.com

t: 01865 201111 w: www.breckon.co.uk

Carter Jonas Scott Harkness Partner

Finders Keepers Frank Webster Director

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t: 01865 511444 w: www.carterjonas.co.uk

t: 01865 302308 w: www.finders.co.uk

DEVELOPMENT

The Letting Centre t: 01865 759 930 w: www.thelettingcentre.com

Lucy Properties Ian Ashcroft Property Director

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

t: 01865 559973 w:www.lucyproperties.co.uk

Alchemy 63 Barbara Richardson Managing Director

The Trevor Osborne Property Group Trevor Osborne Chairman

t: 01491 577748 w: www.alchemy.me.uk

t: 01225 832302 w: www.topgroup.co.uk

PROPERTY SERVICES

ESTATE AGENTS

Chris Lewis Fire & Security Chris Lewis Managing Director

Breckon and Breckon Keith Stacey Managing Director

frontdoorz Cathy Dunbabin Director

t: 01865 244735 w: www.breckon.co.uk Penny & Sinclair James Penny Director

t: 01865 339444 w: www.frontdoorz.co.uk

t: 01865 318013 w: www.pennyandsinclair.co.uk scottfraser (Witney) t: 01993 705507 w: www.scottfraser.co.uk

t: 01865 782444 w: www.chrislewisfs.co.uk

Live Oxford Richard Quarterman Proprietor

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INTERIOR FURNISHING AND DECORATION Jill Treloggen Interiors Jill Treloggen Owner

t: 07896 843475 w: www.liveoxford.com The Homebuyer Centre t: 01865 589 529 w:www.thehomebuyercentre.com

R&R

t: 01993 700515 w: www.jilltreloggen.co.uk

ACCOMMODATION

Lewis Building Technology t: 01865 782424 w:www.lewisbt.co.uk

Macdonald Randolph Hotel Michael Grange General Manager

Minoli Tiles 59 Jon Minoli Managing Director

t: 0844 879 9132 w: www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk

t: 01865 778225 w: www.minoli.co.uk

Barceló Oxford Hotel Cormac O’Hara General Manager t: 01865 489988 w: www.barcelo-hotels.co.uk

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www.b4-business.com


Ethos Hotel Simon Walshaw Co Managing Director

RESTAURANTS

t: 01865 245800 w: www.ethoshotels.com Oxford Association of Hotels and Guest Houses Stefan Wynne-Jones Chairman / Publicity t: 01865 862138 w: www.stayoxford.co.uk Ramada Docklands 43 t: 0207 540 4820 w. www.ramadadocklands.co.uk The Royal Oxford Hotel Tom Crampton-Smith Owner

4500 MIles From Delhi Nav Kandola Owner

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t: 01865 244 922 w: www.milesfromdelhi.com/oxford Branca t: 01865 556501 w: www.branca-restaurants.com Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant t: 01865 552 746 w: www.cherwellboathouse.co.uk Camera 75 t: 01865 245551 w: www.cameraoxford.co.uk

t: 01865 248432 w: www.royaloxfordhotel.co.uk

Le Manoir t: 01844 278881 w: www.manoir.com

Westwood Hotel t: 01865 735408 w: www.westwoodhotel.co.uk

Mamma Mia t: 01865 514141 w: www.mammamiapizzeria.co.uk

ARTISTIC AND CULTURAL

The Mission Mexican Grill Jan Rasmussen Owner

Creation Theatre w: www.creationtheatre.co.uk Oxfordshire Theatre Company t: 01865 249444 w: www.oxfordshiretheatrecompany.co.uk Henley Festival t: 01491 843400 w: www.henley-festival.co.uk Oxford International Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Festival t: 07812 350 892 w: www.oxfordwomen.co.uk

t: 01865 202016 w: www.missionburritos.co.uk

RETAIL SHOPPING Lacy's 88 t: 01865 552094 w: www.lacysoxford.co.uk

CORPORATE ENTERTAINMENT

Karen Cole t: 020 7495 2665 w: www.karencole.co.uk

Sam Strange Magic Sam Strange Owner

Witney Shopping t: 01865 742211 w: www.witneyshopping.co.uk

t: 01865 742211 w: www.samstrangemagic.co.uk

ENTERTAINMENT Pegasus Theatre Dominique Cadiou Development Director

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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

t: 01865 812160 w: www.pegasustheatre.org.uk

KIDS & FAMILY

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

Sports Xtra t: 01608 679995 w: www.sports-xtra.com

www.b4-business.com

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BES T

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B4 Magazine Issue 17