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B4

Magazine

ISSUE 18 WINTER 2011

A DVIC E P R I NT

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CO N F E R E NC E

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M A R K ET I NG

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Monsieur Alain The Face Of The 2011 In Oxford Magazine Restaurant Awards Talks To B4

More Than Just Good Advice New Faces Join The MGroup To Add To An Already Comprehensive And Irreplaceable Service

Miele A Look Behind The Scenes At Miele’s Fantastic Experience Centre

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. see page 123.


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

B4


T H E I N OX F FO O R D M AGA Z I N E

RESTAURANT

AWARDS IN ASSOCIATION WITH VISIT OXFORDSHIRE

Enter your restaurant now! Download the entry form at www.inoxford.com For updates follow us at twitter.com/inoxfordawards A W A R D S

S P O N S O R


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 Erica Conlan Tracey Jefferies Barbara Richardson Jenny Woyand Advertising sales@b4-business.com Administration Jenny Woyand admin@b4-business.com Studio Photography Studio8 Telephone: 01865 842525 B4 Platinum Partners Blenheim Palace Bottle Breckon & Breckon Bridle Career Boutique Chiltern Railways City Sightseeing Darbys Lady Margaret Hall London Oxford Airport Malmaison Miele Oxford Castle The Oxford Knowledge Company Shaw Gibbs Studio8 VSL & Partners Wenn Townsend

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

Welcome to B4 Although uncertainty is still in the air – I think we’ve all adapted to it as the norm now – I am hearing some very positive news on a daily basis from our customers at B4. Business is out there, it has to be, but what we are all having to do is add value, provide a great service and deliver. 2011 is an important year for B4 and we’re certainly looking to add value this year. We celebrate our fifth birthday and have also lined up some superb events at excellent venues for our Ambassadors and Members to enjoy – see p.6. The stunning portfolio of venues not only endorses B4 as Oxfordshire’s leading business magazine, but also establishes a great framework of events to help you do business. I made the comment in Issue 17 that we would stage events periodically, but now we have a solid 3rd dimension which gives the Oxfordshire business community face to face networking opportunities alongside high profile on and off line presence. If you would like to become a member, please see p.123 for more details.

© 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.

32. Oxford Event Hire We meet Kieran Lynch and retrace his career to date

One of The In Oxford Group’s most established titles is also getting in on the act. The 2011 In Oxford Magazine Restaurant Awards are being held on Monday 12th September at Oxford Castle. Read about our committee chairman, Monsieur Alain Desenclos (p.16), event sponsor Miele (p.20), our hosts, Malmaison (p.76) and supporters Visit Oxfordshire (p.93). So, if you own a restaurant or know one that should be entering, see the advert alongside for more details. B4 Platinum was created towards the end of last year in an attempt to recognise the growing number of long term committed supporters of B4. The list of Platinum Sponsors can be seen to the left of this Introduction, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their support in the past and for committing to B4 for the long term. It’s great to have the support of such established names and shows just how far B4 has come in five years. We look forward to welcoming you to our first B4 Platinum Dinner at Lady Margaret Hall in May.

60. Uncovering The Truth High praise for Wenn Townsend’s Senior Partner

In this issue, we welcome Conference Centre Oxford, Oxford Event Hire, Bridle, The Oxford Knowledge Company, Recognition Express, BGP, Esporta, Finders Keepers, Oxfordshire LEP, Blenheim Hospitality, Joel Harrison, Lower Mill Estate, Sam Ricketts, Zest and Oxford Fashion Week. Finally, please support our annual charity, Macmillan Cancer Support (see p.79, 100+Club) and well done to Keith Middleton (p.60) and Lesley Cowley OBE (p.83). We’re also finding our feet with social media, so do follow B4 on Twitter or join us on Facebook. Have a good year!

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

Richard Rosser Editor

About

B4

44. What Keeps You Awake At Night? Rachel McCullough of Henmans LLP delves deeper

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. WHY NOT FOLLOW B4 MAGAZINE ON

54. A Dynamic Venue for All Occasions Brendan Caffrey lifts the lid on Williams F1 Conference Centre


THURSDAY

17th FEBRUARY

Restaurant Seminar 10am - 11am 2pm - 3pm 3.30pm - 4.30pm

THURSDAY

TUESDAY

THURSDAY

MAY

JUNE

14th 24th 24th

B4 Ambassadors Only Whisky Tasting 5.30pm - 6.30pm

APRIL

B4 Ambassadors Event 6.30pm - 8.30pm

B4 Ambassadors Event 6pm - 8pm

B4 Golf Cup 12noon

B4 Golf Cup 12noon

Venue: Malmaison

Venue: Rhodes House

Venue: Southfield GC

Venue: Studley Wood GC

FEBRUARY

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

THURSDAY

JUNE

JU

THURSDAY

FRID

12th 9th 15 Keep up to date with all B4 events at www.b4-business.com or call 01865 742211 for more details

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MAY

JUNE

B4 Platinum Ambassadors Event 7pm

B4 Ambassadors Event 6pm - 8pm

Venue: Lady Margaret Hall

Venue: Blenheim Palace

JUL

B4 Gol 12no

Venu Frilford H

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B4 EVENTS

B4 EVENTS CALENDAR The B4 Events calendar for 2011 is here. Make sure you put these dates in your diary today, you don’t want to miss out on these excellent opportunities to network with other B4 Ambassadors & Members.

THURSDAY

THURSDAY

8th

17th

B4 Golf Cup Final 12noon

B4 Platinum Ambassadors Event 7pm

SEPTEMBER

NOVEMBER

Venue: The Oxfordshire GC

LY

AUGUST

DAY

SEPTEMBER

MONDAY

Venue: TBC OCTOBER

THURSDAY

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

WEDNESDAY

th

12th 20th SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

21st

lf Cup oon

In Oxford Restaurant Awards 7pm

B4 Ambassadors Event 6pm - 8pm

B4 Christmas Ambassadors Event 1pm

Venue: Oxford Castle

Venue: Miele Experience Centre

Venue: Pembroke College

LY

ue: Heath GC

www.b4-business.com

DECEMBER

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B4 Contents B4 LEAD

B4 COMMUNICATION

ENGINEERS WITH VISION

16 Monsieur Alain: With over a quarter of a century's experience at Le Manoir, we meet the face of the 2011 In Oxford Magazine Restaurant Awards.

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PART 6 – A CTI APPLICATION WITH A DIFFERENCE

54 A Dynamic Venue For All Occasions: Questions and answers from Brendan Caffrey of Williams F1 Conference Centre

B4 NEWS 11 13 15 24 37 63 79 93 95 101 103 105 107

B4 CONFERENCE

B4 DISTRIBUTION

Conference Centre Oxford B4 News B4 News VSL News West Oxfordshire Business Awards Oxford Innovation B4 Partnership Charity News Visit Oxfordshire The Oxfordshire Cotswolds OTCN Nominet IoD Charitable Funds

“The Address Book feature on Samsung Xchange allows you to search all your CRM databases simultaneously” Over the last 5 issues of B4 Magazine we have provided an insight into some of the most popular features of a modern telephone system. In this issue we highlight some of the key advantages and benefits of using the office telephone in conjunction with the computer. CTI or Computer Telephony Integration is a method of combining the functionality of the two most important tools within the office, the telephone and the computer. In essence, CTI is when a call is received at your extension and the caller’s telephone number is used to look up the caller’s contact details within a company’s CRM database. The caller’s telephone number is displayed on your screen in a small discreet notification window and will provide the means to answer the call, or to bring up the caller’s record in the CRM. Samsung have developed an exclusive CTI application called Samsung Xchange. This application provides a number of benefits when receiving or indeed making calls from the OfficeServ telephone system. As well as “popping” the inbound caller’s details, Samsung Xchange allows you to quickly and easily

dial from your CRM database and search for contacts by name or location – often in an easier way than is provided by the actual CRM application itself. In addition to CRM integration and call previewing, Samsung Xchange provides the following features: • Call control from your PC. • Internal contact manager for private contacts that are not in the company’s main CRM database. • A detailed call history to see at a glance who you have called and been called by, no more lost calls. • Dial from anywhere – Web pages, Microsoft applications, most database applications and many other places. • Presence – see the presence status of colleagues, including whether they are in DND, out of the office, in a meeting, etc. and quickly call them. • You can also use the buttons on the notification window to answer the call, or to bring up the caller’s record in the CRM. Call Control using Samsung Xchange, can completely control your handset from your PC. Make calls and pick up calls that are ringing (even calls that are not ringing at your handset), hang-up, deflect/forward calls, put calls on hold, perform transfers and consultations.

The Presence window in Samsung Xchange allows you to view a customisable, quick-searchable list of other extensions and people and see everything about them at a glance (security settings permitting): their name, number, department, whether they are in the office, available or on a call, who they are on the phone to and whether they have Do Not Disturb or Call Forward turned on. The Address Book feature on Samsung Xchange allows you to search all your CRM databases simultaneously, as well as storing an internal list of contacts that are not in any of your CRM databases. From the search results, you can quickly dial, email, or show the Contact in your CRM application to see more information. We use mobile demonstration systems which are a great way to demonstrate to you how the powerful Samsung OfficeServ system coupled with the Samsung Xchange CTI application can benefit you and your business processes. Please call us on 0845 241 7772 or email enquiries@orangestripe.co.uk to book a convenient date. www.orangestripe.co.uk

83 Lesley Cowley OBE: Spotlight on Nominet CEO's recent success. 90 Exceeding All Targets: We meet Bolton Wanderers and ex-Oxford Utd full-back, Sam Ricketts.

20 Try Before You Buy: A look behind the scenes at Miele's fantastic Experience Centre.

96 A Year In Review, A Half-Century In The Making: An exciting 50th year saw Minoli take some great strides.

32 Oxford Event Hire: Kieran Lynch tracks his career to date and explains his change of direction. 40 Confident Strides Forward with MGroup: Withnew recruits and a complete service to be proud of. 60 Uncovering The Truth: Keith Middleton of Wenn Townsend receives the Thames Valley Police Chief Constable's Commendation. 67 Enterprise Partnership Heralds Bright future for Oxfordshire Business: Stating the county’s case.

The Career Boutique is fast becoming one of Oxfordshire’s home grown successes. Despite the economic backdrop, this owner-managed business is bursting with optimism for 2011 with Managing Director, Katherine Dales, launching a series of initiatives and collaborations to underpin the business’ continued development.

86 Lower Mill Estate: Unwinding in style in a fabulous retreat where contemporary style rubs shoulders with nature.

B4 HR 34 The Boutique & The B.Hive: Continually looking to set new standards, we get the latest from The Career Boutique.

B4 FINANCE 64 Lloyds Commercial Supporting Overseas Trade: Looking to trade overseas? then look no further.

B4 ADVICE

B4 MARKETING

44 What Keeps You Awake At Night?: Henmans LLP corporate and commercial partner, Rachel McCullough, delves deeper.

59 Zest Digital: Fresh, innovative and with bags of enthusiasm, we meet Alex Minchin of Zest.

53 Avoiding Trouble: Julie Bond, Head of Litigation at Manches, on resolving disputes.

entrepreneurial goals. And B.Hive is successfully attracting some true ‘honeys!’ Recent visitors have included Rachel Johnson; controversial Editor of the Lady Magazine, and Author and Journalist Eve Pollard. The list of members is growing fast and makes for inspirational reading.

and support. Whilst her primary motivation for the Innovation Boutique is to become an instrumental part of her clients’ successes, she also believes that working to support a diverse blend of new and fresh businesses will, in turn, create grass-roots opportunities for local candidates.

“B.Hive is the ideal location and space for The Career Boutique – London,” says Katherine, ‘and will feature heavily in our programme of events and collaborations throughout next year. We have already met new clients and spoken with Lynne about our initiative to actively support fledgling entrepreneurs and business owners.”

To share your aspirations for 2011 and learn how this programme could benefit your business, contact Katherine@thecareerboutique.com

If you often wish you had somewhere idyllic to plant yourself and your laptop in between London

75 Recognition Express: Read on if your business needs a facelift. 80 Studio8: More Than Pictures: Are moving pictures the way forward?

B4 HR

THE BOUTIQUE & THE B.HIVE

B4 PROPERTY

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www.b4-business.com

B4 SPOTLIGHT

28 A Successful Delivery: Adam Sherman of Jordan&co explains how success is breeding success.

Enhancing the Experience Ask any job seeker for feedback on their experience as a candidate registered with a recruitment agency and you will undoubtedly hear the most common complaint from one and all –

Dedicated Candidate Managers will proactively liaise with registered job seekers and supply regular job alerts and advice, plus resources designed to encourage and guide individuals’ own selfpromotion. The Quest for Opportunities The team at The Career Boutique are proud to announce that a high percentage of job remits received are via recommendation. The final initiative aims to use this insight to cast a wider net to capture more opportunities for their candidates. Katherine has started speaking to a diverse crosssection of interesting professional partners to gain their commitment to recommending The Career Boutique services to their own client bases. “We are currently a small team,’ states Katherine, ‘and

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84 A Little Politeness Goes A Long Way: Why Lingo Telemarketing could be the answer to your telemarketing prayers.

B4 NETWORKING 47 Celebrate Success: Paul Avins of the Business Wealth Club recognises his clients' achievements.

“I am keen to position ourselves not only for growth but for innovative evolution.” Commented Katherine. ‘I want to ensure that we continue to practically demonstrate how committed we are to supporting candidate job searches and how we will continue to pull out all of the stops to surprise and delight our clients. I am consciously placing Service and not Sales at the centre of all that we do.” The first major commitment has been the creation of a London presence to launch a provocative Executive Talent service headed by industry renegade, Kerry Lackey. Kerry Lackey - Director of Executive Talent Europe Kerry is no ordinary recruiter. Despite fifteen years of operating within a sector which daily matches thousand’s of people to opportunities, Kerry continually looks at ways to push boundaries, challenge norms and deliver creative approaches and solutions to recruitment requests. She is passionate about people and their ability to shape and transform organisations. “I most enjoy working with businesses which see human talent as an investment and who actively champion individuality.” States Kerry. “Clone-style recruiting and poaching from competitor gene pools is 34

merely a lazy and short-sighted approach to talent acquisition and will do little to distinguish a business in its marketplace.” Kerry actively courts outstanding individuals and says that most employers would be shocked to learn that 75% of senior level candidates approached expressed an interest in moving for the right opportunity. “It is rarely about the package”, admits Kerry, “but more often about an opportunity to create a commercial legacy. In my experience, this feeling also pervades through the ranks. People want to feel engaged and be given the opportunity to make their own mark. My heart always sinks when I receive a ‘dry’ job description. This tool should be approached as an opportunity to inspire the best of talent to want to pick up the gauntlet and beat a path to a potential employer’s door, rather than be a perfunctory box-ticking exercise.” Kerry is continually cultivating a talent database of 'passive' candidates to call upon for clients. She enjoys identifying, intriguing and engaging senior talent or ‘commercial rock stars’ as she likes to call them, and introducing them to like-minded organisations. “I am genuinely passionate about representing multi-talented, (often multi-lingual) quirky and engaging individuals,” enthuses Kerry, “these guys know how to create a legacy and it is

always an education to be exposed to their mindsets.” Her current candidate base includes a Global Brand Director for one of Switzerland’s most iconic watchmakers, and a provocative CEO who’s Management Today has labeled ‘one of the consultancy world’s thinkers’. Kerry's diverse personal network, combined with a trusted team of European networkers through key cities, means that The Career Boutique Executive Talent division’s reach is broad and long and is well placed to unearth hidden gems. If you are looking for your own ‘rock star’ to make a mark in 2011, contact Kerry@thecareerboutique.com. Kerry is also launching a provocative blog in the New Year designed to spark creative evolution amongst HR Professionals. Access will be via the ‘About’ page on the Career Boutique website. Buzzing in the B.Hive The Executive Talent division has chosen the chicest of homes in central Covent Garden - B.Hive on Southampton Street. It is the latest project of Lynne Franks, a Business Club designed by women for women. Lynne has long been a champion of female entrepreneurial talent and was keen to create a feminine space where women could not only work but felt comfortable to network and support and encourage each other’s www.b4-business.com

meetings, check out B.Hive’s site at www.bhive.co Boutique bolsters business aspirations Many business pundits are claiming that SME’s will play a leading role in driving the economic recovery, an opinion which is echoed by Barclays Bank’s recent report, ‘The year ahead: a view from Britain's small businesses’. Katherine’s second initiative, The Innovation Boutique, has been specifically designed to support and engage with small and medium, entrepreneurial businesses. The focus is quite simply to enable businesses to achieve their aspirations by securing key skills and talent. The proposition is a consultative recruitment service which will not only include guidance with HR-related issues and practical recruitment strategies, but also extend affordable payment schemes to allow the operational flexibility to increase headcount on a permanent or interim basis. Oxford Innovation has immediately agreed to partner this initiative, recognising the benefits it will bring to the tenants throughout their Business and Innovation Centres. As a growing, small business, Katherine has learned how important it is to find the right advice www.b4-business.com

poor communication or lack of contact. Most recruiters lament the lack of time to maintain professional levels of communication with their candidates, but with one hundred plus CV’s for most job postings and pressing sales targets to achieve, a ten or twelve hour day still leaves little time to stay connected to everyone.

“The first major commitment has been the creation of a London presence to launch a provocative Executive Talent service

As an independent business, Katherine has the flexibility to respond to this widespread industry challenge and has committed resources in 2011 to further nurturing a service-focused culture which delivers a ‘boutique experience’ to clients and candidates alike.

there are only so many people we can reach, so I thought why not build our own team of professional evangelists who can fly the flag for us and generate more opportunities.” If recommending a recruitment service could prove beneficial to your own clients or connections, contact Katherine to arrange a meeting and hear how your recommendations could generate referral fees for your business or for a registered charity of your choice. Positive Attitudes Prevail If you find yourself in need of inspiration to launch yourself or your business into 2011, why not speak to one of the team at The Career Boutique? Their enthusiasm and desire to be creative is truly infectious and each is preparing to make their own mark during the months ahead. “When life is shrouded in doom and gloom reporting” comments Katherine “we all have a choice. Believe and bow to the negative hype or forge your own way forward with a clear and challenging vision and a huge spoonful of determination - 2011 will be a landmark year for us all at The Career Boutique.” www.thecareerboutique.com

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B4 COMMUNICATION 30 More Staff And Flexible Working Planned For Next Year: Orange Mobile report a positive outlook for 2011. 71 Engineers With Vision: Part 6 of our communications updates from Orange Stripe Telecommunications.


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B4 SPOTLIGHT

CONFIDENT STRIDES FORWARD WITH THE

MGROUP

Running a business can be a cold, lonely place and never more so than when surviving and making the most of an economic recession. Flexibility, tenacity, hard work and insight are all required. How great then to discover that a service you’ve always regarded, if honesty prevails, as a necessary evil has turned into the cavalry? And a cavalry with the capacity to provide logistical support, experienced 360 degree information about the theatre of war and its surrounding terrain and a loyalty that never wavers? Wellington never had it so good.

That’s probably enough of the war metaphor but, given that the current economic circumstances feel a lot like a major campaign to many businesses, perhaps I may be forgiven. The cavalry I’m speaking of here is the accountancy firm which would usually be restricted to an annual glimpse of the business through the compilation of the annual accounts. But Oxford accountancy firm The MGroup have far more frequent and regular views of their clients’ operations through their provision of computer-based management accounts and

environment in the financial management arena can distract from the main focus of the business. Using The MGroup to provide all these functions, it’s a form of out-sourcing and we’re keen to provide it.” They are also proud of their exceptional technological capacity which enables them to work in flexible ways, responding to each client’s individual needs and preferences. One greeting card and calendar client, a subsidiary of a German company, uses The MGroup as its fully functional

knowledge and experience base than they had before.

over to our two technical software experts for the detailed work while I keep a close eye on the end result. We’re finding this is a real growth area, not least in Sage software bespoke solutions.”

The company invested in Sage in a major way some time ago and the natural extension of this investment was the creation of a separate company, under The MGroup ownership, to provide bespoke technological solutions for their clients. One charity client provides services in the home to disabled people. They have 180 members of staff and, as well as the traditional financial management package, they have recently

Penny Casterton, a Partner since 1989, thinks, “By producing a client’s management accounts, we can see how that client is doing month in, month out. We can see any danger signs early on. This is a large part of what we do.” Close working relationships develop as a result of this improved information exchange, building all-important trust between the client and the Partner working with them, who is their main and regular point of contact with the firm. This trust is crucial when it comes to supporting clients in making difficult decisions. Penny says, “We do have to be very tough with people sometimes. For example, deferring a difficult decision is only human but it could mean the difference between survival and disaster. We care about our client’s business so we will point this out. People have to trust you to want to be spoken to firmly like that, however diplomatically we put things.”

“having access to the full range of The MGroup’s services can give the client a wider knowledge and experience base than they had before

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

other comprehensive advisory services. The result? Not one of those clients has fallen under the enemy’s attack in the last five years. Speaking with his clients, Richard Clayton, who became a Partner in 1984, increasingly finds that, “They want a comprehensive service, providing payments, credit control, sales ledger, bank accounts, payroll, VAT, book-keeping and management accounts as well as end-of-year accounts. Meeting the responsibilities associated with the increasingly complex legislative

accounts office, with all information and data being transferred electronically. There are several advantages to this form of delegation. The cost of a comprehensive service from The MGroup is usually a pleasant surprise and many clients have made savings. Others have reallocated staff previously employed in management accounting to other functions, more directly beneficial to the operations of the business. And having access to the full range of The MGroup’s services can give the client a wider

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asked for software which will enable them to track staff movements and identify gaps in service provision. The MGroup’s specialist technology company will produce this for them, probably in Access or Excel.

As well as providing a broad-based general accountancy service like all her partner colleagues, Penny has a particular interest in forensic accountancy. For example, an estate agent client fell ill and required a fairly serious operation, causing him to be absent from his business for some time. Penny worked with his solicitor to

The senior consultant of the technology company, Darren Green, has worked with The MGroup for eleven years and was made a partner of the Group in May 2010. “I am the first point of contact with the client. I go along to their offices, discuss their needs and work out what they want. Then I hand

www.b4-business.com

establish the financial aspects of the claim to his insurance company. At first glance, the income from the business seemed to have held up while he was away. On closer inspection, Penny was able to spot that, due to the rising property market, the business could have expected its income to increase over this period and she was also able to put a number on just how much that should have been. This provided a stronger claim base for the estate agent, better information for the solicitor and a better outcome for the business. The MGroup’s comprehensive approach to services is also in use by start-up organisations. Partner Peter Smith brings in skills from around the practice on a fixed price basis to meet the specific requirements of a start-up, whether small or large. Obviously the price is important at start-up, but equally important is getting the structure right and learning quickly exactly what is needed, for example, in a VAT return. The computer solutions available from The MGroup mean that they have the ability to provide a weekly accounts service, a monthly management accounts service or a training service as companies take on their financial responsibilities. Peter points out that, “Good financial management information is crucial when, for example, talking to banks. There’s considerable value in being able to show what you’ve been doing and how well you’ve managed yourselves financially.”

An exciting addition to The MGroup team this year is corporate finance for buying, selling or investment in companies. Mark Crosfield recently joined the partnership bringing his unusual experience in running a mergers and acquisitions boutique. Previously a banker for twenty years and more recently a corporate financier for fifteen years, Mark is offering a different approach to The MGroup’s clients interested in this area. He is expecting his clients to include entrepreneurs wanting to invest in Oxfordshire, businesses wanting investment by means of equity or debt, executives with redundancy packages to invest in a going concern and business owners wanting a long-term succession plan. “I have wide-ranging knowledge and experience of how deals are put together and, more importantly, how they are made to work for everyone concerned. I’ve run my own business so understand the priorities of business owners and I am able to focus on corporate finance because I have no other accountancy responsibilities.” Mark has noticed that the number of mergers and acquisitions is on the increase, most noticeably where strong companies are buying weaker companies to expand their operations. He is confident of finding targets for acquiring companies. He is in the middle of one transaction where terms were signed in November after a six month lead-in, including assessment of nine bids. The management team is buying the company

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

EXCEEDING ALL TARGETS

90

B4 SPOTLIGHT

“Oxford Event Hire has managed to develop a first class reputation for its products, service and reliability along the way”

Professional footballers, generally, don’t get a good press. The odd charitable act might provide welcome respite for a star who otherwise courts controversy, but, on the whole, your average pro is more sinner than sinned. Not so Bolton Wanderer’s Sam Ricketts. Not only versatile, dependable and improving with age on the pitch, he’s astute, savvy and focused off it. Richard Rosser spoke with the former Oxford United pro at his new home in Knutsford.

“My family’s passion has always been horses, but my Mum, Jill, would take me to football, in fact she’d take me to any sporting event I was involved in, be it rugby, cricket or athletics, and it would be my Dad, Derek, taking my sisters to all the horse shows. My Granddad, Norman, loves his football and used to come to every game when I turned pro.” Sam’s three year spell at Oxford ended rather unceremoniously, and after a loan spell at Nuneaton, he moved to Telford in 2003. His overall form, undoubted ability and growing profile started to attract the attention of league clubs and Swansea’s Kenny Jackett signed Sam on recommendation in 2004. It was Swansea’s last season at the old Vetch Field, and Sam helped his new team-mates bid the old ground a fond farewell as they secured promotion to League One. From there, Sam made the move to Hull City, and was part of the promotion winning team which saw Hull move in to the Premier League for the first time in their history. In 2009, following Hull’s frightening loss of form, Sam moved on to Bolton, where he has gone on to establish himself as a first team regular. “My Dad and my Uncle’, John Francome, the former National Hunt Champion Jockey, ‘are very much self-taught in what they do and they always told me the harder you work, you’ll get the results. My Dad taught me from a young age that if I wanted to be good at sport, other things had to be sacrificed, and from a young age it became very apparent that I had to work hard and forget about certain things. I don’t really consider them sacrifices anymore – it’s just normal to me now. A lot of the training now is maintenance. Once you get fit, it’s about trying to stay fit, but not overworking because you need that freshness on the Saturday.” Although born and bred in England, Sam has established himself as a Welsh international, thanks to his family roots. “Playing against England at the Millennium Stadium summed up how much progress I’d made. I had only 90

been out of non-league football for a year and I was up against David Beckham, and Ryan Giggs was my team-mate – quite surreal on many levels. I’ve now got forty one caps so hope to reach fifty soon, but obviously the big target with Wales is to qualify for something, which would be an achievement.

weaknesses like everyone else. It’s the same with the stadiums – you have to be 100% focused, otherwise you make the slightest mistake and you get punished.”

Kieran Lynch began his career in the catering industry whilst still at School every Saturday as a raw 15 year old under the expert tutelage of John Stott, by all accounts the leading local caterer over twenty five years ago. John’s favoured phrase was ‘Hang Fire’, but that’s one thing his protégé can’t be accused of as he established his company, Oxford Event Hire in 2000, with the purpose of filling the apparent gap in the market to provide catering equipment for a wealth of events. From tea boy to trainee to chef to entrepreneur; owner of Oxford Event Hire, Kieran Lynch talks to Richard Rosser about his epic journey through the catering industry and the reputation and successes his business enjoys today.

“I’d like to move back to the area when I retire, but I won’t be relaxing. I’d like to get into property and even coaching. I’ve got eighteen months left on my contract, so I’m not thinking about hanging up my boots just yet.”

My Dad taught me from a young age that if I wanted to be good at sport, other things had to be sacrificed, and from a young age it became very apparent that I had to work hard and forget about certain things

So as Sam continues to surpass his own targets, what advice would he give to any youngster looking to carve a career out for themselves in sport?

Sam singles Ryan Giggs, Jack Wilshere and Gary Cahill out for special mention as some of the greats he’s played with and Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard as two of his fiercest opponents. But, man of the moment Gareth Bale gets top billing. “He is phenomenal. He’s a great lad but has unreal ability and unbelievable fitness levels. He is proof of what confidence can do for a player, when they get a run of games and they’ve got the manager’s belief in them.” Grounds such as Anfield, Old Trafford and White Hart Lane are familiar haunts for Sam, who admits the novelty never wears off. It’s the same when it comes to standing shoulder to shoulder in the tunnel with Ronaldo, Rooney or Beckham. However, Sam can’t afford to be starstruck.

“I’ve made a lot of sacrifices which are now paying off, and my advice to anyone looking to reach the top in sport or business is you have to make sacrifices. You might not get there, but if you don’t follow that simple piece of advice, you won’t ever get there. There are plenty of highs and lows, but with application, commitment, talent and a little bit of luck along the way, you have to believe in yourself that you can get there.

When Kieran left school, like many teenagers, he sent umpteen letters out to colleges, hotels, and universities, and one hit the target. “I got called up for an interview at St. Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, and ended up working for Gabriel Cavalier, the head chef, on a Three year apprenticeship. It was like working in three establishments under one roof as I had to get to grips with haute cuisine for the dons, good quality for the conference delegates and also provide for the students. It was incredible training and gave me a great grounding for what I was to go on to do.”

“If you think you’ve got a talent for something, make sure you develop it. But if I can tell you to make sure you do one thing, it’s always to remember to enjoy what you’re doing. That way, you’ll make natural progress without putting yourself under too much pressure.”

Kieran then moved from the fairly safe surroundings of college employment to work at various restaurants and hotels, working his way up to Head Chef at The Dog House Hotel in Frilford. “I was then head hunted to take on the Franchise of Southfield Golf Club, where we had celebrity parties, corporate functions and all sorts of events”. Kieran doesn’t do things by halves as he got married and bought his first house the same year, still at the tender age of 21!

With thanks to Sam for his time.

“I very much enjoyed my time at Southfield, loving the buzz that this work created. Leaving Southfield to setup my own catering company was the natural next step. As a catering company we concentrated on weddings, dinners and corporate functions. We quickly got a name for ourselves, getting into a stronger position all of the time as our brand awareness grew. So did our client base Some of our more famous ones being Sir Richard Branson and Damien Hirst”. Kieran then realised just how much he was spending on the hire of

Sam has generously donated a signed Bolton shirt. To win it, enter our www.inoxford.com Big Draw competition for the month of February – details on the website.

“I remember standing next to Torres once and just looking at him – he must have thought I was a bit weird. It’s like Madam Tussauds, you look out of curiosity if anything. But as soon as the game starts, you have to stop and blank out who it is, and they just become another player with strengths and www.b4-business.com

OXFORD EVENT HIRE

Off the field, Sam recently got married to his partner, Kimberley, whom he met in Cardiff, and is settled in Cheshire, although he would like to move back to Oxfordshire after his career ends.

Now at high flying Bolton, Sam is committed to improving. “When you’re playing in the Premier League, the margins are so fine and that’s why it’s so close this season. Every player has to be very fit and strong, and, due to the high speed of the game, injuries are an inevitable consequence. Throw in other factors such as increasingly lightweight boots and hard pitches and it’s surprising there aren’t more injuries each game.”

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catering equipment. “It occurred to me that if we made the investment in our own equipment, we could be doing just as well, or even better. “One thing lead to another, and probably ten years ago we made the move from outside catering to focussing 100% on providing equipment for other caterers and establishments, changing our name from Lynch Catering to Oxford Event Hire and became established as a Limited Company”. “It’s just gone from strength to strength. We’re well on the map now, even though some people still think we provide catering. The hardest thing was to convince someone who is a competitor one day that they can be our customer the next, but we’ve made the transition successfully and are delighted with the progress we have made in a relatively short period of time.” Oxford Event Hire provides everything required for any function, including tables, chairs, crockery, cutlery, fridges, freezers, BBQs and hog roasters - even chocolate fountains and popcorn machines! As Oxford’s leading catering equipment hire company, Oxford Event Hire pride themselves on customer service and premium quality products, with a vast quantity of stock so they never run out! “We’ll do what we need to do to make sure our client’s event is a success, whether large or small. Oxford Event Hire has managed to develop a first class reputation for its products, service and reliability along the way.” www.oxfordeventhire.co.uk

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B4 R&R

B4 EDUCATION

B4 PRINT

68 The Randolph: A night in the Presidential suite.

50 A Preparation For Life: We meet d'Overbroeck's College Principal, Sam Cohen.

48 BGP: One of the country's leading printers is on our door-step in Bicester and we meet CEO, David Holland.

73 Full Marks For Frilford Heath: Excellent progress report from Jimmy James and Alistair Booth.

B4 EVENTS

76 Daring to keep it Local: Why it’s important to source locally for Malmaison.

39 Joel Harrison: Have you got a nose for whisky? This man can find the right whisky for you.

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

Born just outside Aylesbury in 1981, Sam grew up in Bicester, playing for Chesterton Boys until he was spotted by Oxford United as an 11 year old. Sam admits to an element of naivety about a game which he would go on to make a career in. “I’d never been to a game at Oxford, I didn’t really know much about it, but they asked for the three best players from all the local sides to go along, so I went along. I wasn’t really under any pressure because my family weren’t into football. I was just going along to play football, funnily enough, as a centre midfielder back then.” A refreshing insight – how many more youngsters would blossom if they were allowed to play without parental pressure?

B4 CHARITY 78 Making A Difference: That's exactly what B4 Ambassadors, WILA, are doing for Helen & Douglas House.

For all contacts see page 109


Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

B4 News

New Ownership at Conference Centre Oxford After extensive negotiations, Conference Centre Oxford (CCO) was acquired in November 2010 by W E Black Ltd. This included Apartments in Oxford, the accommodation side of the business.

events. The venue is unrivalled locally, whilst the ‘hands on’ management team endeavour to accommodate all enquiries and requirements, however unusual or demanding.

The company and its new owners now enter 2011 with renewed vigour and enthusiasm. Roger Watts remains at the helm as General Manager and is working closely with his new, locally based Directors, Richard Gamlin and Tony Nolan, to actively promote the business into new and exciting areas of activity.

A series of social and evening events for the forthcoming months are being planned to provide an alternative city centre venue, which will no doubt reflect the flexibility of this multi-functional, state of the art venue.

CCO has attracted some excellent business in its first full year of trading. The Chiltern Rail Inquiry, for example, which ran from October 2010 until its conclusion in January 2011, has been a resounding success for CCO. The facilities at CCO cater for a wide range of uses and events and future bookings are now being taken for, amongst others, short term meeting room hire, educational overflow facilities, a 21st Birthday Parties and large conference

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The outlook for CCO, with stable ownership and its flexible approach, is extremely positive. The new owners are extremely pleased about the direction the business is taking and are looking forward to the year ahead. It would seem that the quality of the accommodation and the level of service on offer demonstrates that CCO is finally getting the level of recognition it warrants. www.oxstay.co.uk www.conferencecentreoxford.co.uk

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We’ve stacks of experience Our expert team know the Oxford area and can advise on all property matters from residential sales, lettings and development to rural and planning issues, commercial property and architecture and building enquiries. If you need any advice in relation to your property needs, call Carter Jonas. Mark Charter Residential T: 01865 404406 E: mark.charter@carterjonas.co.uk

James Bainbridge Development T: 01865 404437 E: james.bainbridge@carterjonas.co.uk

Mike Robinson Planning T: 01865 404401 E: mike.robinson@carterjonas.co.uk

Steven McLaughlin Rural T: 01865 404446 E: steven.mclaughlin@carterjonas.co.uk

Scott Harkness Commercial T: 01865 404453 E: scott.harkness@carterjonas.co.uk

Colin Buggey Architecture and Building Consultancy T: 01865 404423 E: colin.buggey@carterjonas.co.uk

carterjonas.co.uk The Property People

Offices throughout the UK including 5 in London


B4 News Sage 50 Accounts – Hints & Tips Seminar Series with Shaw Gibbs Shaw Gibbs are pleased to announce the next series of their free seminars in conjunction with Sage. The sessions will help existing users of the Sage accounting software range to understand how to use the features and functionality of the program that they may not be aware of. Following each seminar will be the opportunity to discuss any questions with an in-house specialist and

talk with a Sage representative. The seminars will cover a range of topics and will take place at 264 Banbury Road on 15th February, 29th March and 10th May. For a further information including details of how to register, please visit www.shawgibbs.com or call Jemma Risk on 01865 292291.

Holiday Lettings & TripAdvisor Take on Vacation Rentals Globally Maximising income for holiday home owners has been the bread and butter for Summertown based holidaylettings.co.uk for 11 years. Recently bought out by TripAdvisor, 2011’s mission is to develop a global presence and following for holiday rentals. Encouraging a trend to rent villas and apartments instead of hotels and packages, while helping home owners raise an income from their homes, is at the very heart of this Oxfordshire business – one to watch. Photo: Holiday Lettings directors Andy Firth, Jonathan Dees, Daniel Birch, Ross Elder with Christine Petersen, President, TripAdvisor for Business

Helen Money and TLA Fitness Team Up For your business to perform well you need to perform well and that means being in peak condition. Helen Money Nutrition provides nutritional advice, meal plans and diet analysis for weight loss, stress and fatigue, medical conditions, pregnancy and sports. Diet plans are tailored to client’s individual needs making advice achievable and sustainable in your working environment.

Helen Money Nutrition and TLA Fitness have joined forces to offer combined packages providing specialised nutritional advice and personal training. Call today on 01865 339672 or email helen@helenmoneynutrition.com. To read more about Helen Money Nutrition and TLA Fitness packages visit: www.helenmoneynutrition.com/affiliates

And now new for 2011, born from B4 networking

New Insolvency Practitioner Carolyn Dunn has been appointed as a partner of Jamesons Insolvency and Business Recovery LLP, based at Jamesons House in Witney. The firm, set up in 2009 by the partners of Jamesons Chartered Accountants, seeks to provide advice to local companies and individuals at a time when it is needed most. Many individuals and company directors struggle on in the hope that their financial problems will improve, only to discover that had they sought

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independent and objective advice sooner, they may well have been able to avoid formal insolvency proceedings. Carolyn commenced her insolvency career in 1985, and now joins Jamesons after spending 17 years at Taylor Rowlands Chartered Accountants and Insolvency Practitioners, based in the North East. For a free initial consultation Carolyn can be contacted on 01993 707860.

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Birmingham Birmingham M Moor oor S Street treet • Banbury Banburryy • Bicester Bicester North North • Haddenham Haddenham & Thame Thame Parkway Parkway • London London Marylebone Marry ylebone

Make business a pleasure. Take the train.

Cheaper Cheaper fa fares. res. A Award Aw ward w winning inning service. ser vice. If you’re travelling to London or Bir Birmingham mingham on business, make life easier and take the train. 95% of Chilter Chiltern’s n’s trains arrive on time, while our business fares to London are still cheaper than most other train operato operators. rs. • TTables ables a and nd p power ower sockets sockets at at eevery ver y sseat eat •D Designated esignated m mobile-free obile-free ‘‘Quiet Quiet Zone’ Zone’ on on eevery ver y ttrain rain •C Chiltern hiltern C Carnet arnet w with ith 12 he p price rice of 12 Anytime Anytime Tickets Tickets for for tthe of 10 10 •M Mobile obile PPhone hone Timetable Timetable and Check Alerts Alerts and Journey Journey Check • Business Business TTravel ravel S Service er vice and and Journey Journey Planner Planner •E Easily asily ac accessible cessible Park Park a and Ride allll o off N North nd R ide ffacilities acilities for for a orth and Oxfordshire and East East Oxf fordshire at: at: Haddenham Haddenham and and Thame Thame Parkway Parkway SatNav: SatNav: HP17 HP17 8EP 8EP Bicester Bicester North North SatNav: SatNav: OX26 OX26 6EF 6EF

chilternrailways.co.uk/business

20% faster journey times from 2011


B4 News Green Shoots Amongst Cherwell School Sixth Formers Local Loyalty Independent, a Young Enterprise company, are running a discount booklet scheme for local, independent businesses in Oxfordshire. In recent years Oxford has become a "clone town" with High Street names dominating the retail landscape. This has had an adverse affect on the strong independents which are now suffering. Local Loyalty wants to revive the independent retailers and as such have created a business scheme to help

give independent businesses a lifeline. They have already successfully launched the scheme, however, are looking for new or existing businesses to get involved in their scheme. The booklets will be distributed throughout the county and will be available at several trade fairs including the Cowley Trade Fair on 29th January. Why not get involved and call Stanley Bijura on 07580 276565.

New Year... New Rates At The Oxford Centre With Christmas already a fading memory, the team at 333 Banbury Road are looking forward to an exciting 2011! ‘Last year was challenging in the Conference sector, to say the least, remarked General Manager Andrew Lund-Yates, ‘but already our forward bookings for 2011 are stronger than they were at this time last year.’ It is the mark of the team ethic at The Centre, that everyone takes a role in promoting the facilities on offer at every opportunity, be that networking events taking place at the venue or being involved with clients old and new at events elsewhere in the region. ‘We all take pride in the product that is The Oxford Centre, whether that’s preparing superb dishes for any one of our 4,000 or so customers annually, or getting involved behind the scenes with the green issues such as the food waste trial currently being undertaken in partnership with the City Council. We all recognise that The Centre plays an important role in the activities of many businesses within the City and further afield, and we are looking forward to continuing that service throughout 2011 and beyond.’ With Delegate Rates starting at £20.83 plus VAT, The Oxford Centre are doing their bit to help facilitate events in the local business community! For more information on the full range of facilities on offer, check out the web site www.the-oxford-centre.co.uk

The TLA/B4 South Park (Headington) Fitness Club Get fit in 2011 with B4 Magazine and our good friends at TLA Fitness. Join us for a lot of re-energising fun! Not to mention escaping the indoors! The rush of post exercise endorphins, refreshing and invigorating, huge amounts of exercise variety and nearer the summer time 'getting a tan'! Just £8 per session with the first class FREE!!!!!! First nightmare, we mean session - Wednesday 2nd February at 17.30. Meet at the entrance to the park on Warneford Lane by the children's play area at the Morrell Avenue end. There is parking on both sides of the road. Classes are designed for all abilities. Lose weight, get fit &

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tone up in a fun and productive environment. Every training session is unique and lasts for one hour, led by fully qualified and highly motivated instructors. Visit the TLA Fitness web site at www.tlafitness.com/tla-membership/ to book or call Tom on 07554 400 401. For those that come along to the B4 Fitness club their first session will be absolutely FREE!, thereafter you will need to choose one of two options, either Direct Debit or Block Booking purchases.

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MONSIEUR

ALAIN

Pedigree is a term often bestowed too lightly, honours are often lavished for the wrong reasons and disingenuous respect is frequently gained. To have pedigree takes years, to earn honours for the right reasons must always be applauded and to gain genuine respect, well, you must be doing something right. Alain Desenclos ticks all of these boxes and many, many more. Richard Rosser had the pleasure of talking to Monsieur Alain, as he is affectionately known, about his career and his future having left his ‘home’ of twenty six years, the unparalleled paradise that is Le Manoir. It is quite easy to walk in to a Michelin-starred restaurant and feel inferior, almost embarrassed. All too often guests are patronized, even humiliated, certainly left feeling the staff are doing them a favour, not the other way around. For those B4 readers who have had the pleasure of experiencing Le Manoir, nothing could be further from the truth. Credit in huge measure must, of course, go to the inimitable Raymond Blanc, who has cultivated a joie de vivre which is the envy of restaurants domestically and world-wide. Behind every good man, or so the saying goes, there is a good woman. Alain would never thank me for prefacing any amount of praise with such a well worn idiom, but you get my drift. Alain Desenclos has helped to mould Le Manoir into what it is today. It is a little known fact that Alain was actually Raymond Blanc's first boss when he started as the most junior member of the waiting staff at La Sorbonne in Oxford, as Alain explains. “I was working at a club in Mayfair when I was offered the possibility of opening La Sorbonne in Oxford. We opened in 1967 and we were one of only eight restaurants in the UK to be awarded the Michelin star. In 1981 I joined Raymond at his restaurant, Les Quat’ saisons in Summertown, and in 1984 we got our 2nd Michelin star and the time was right to move to a different level, hence Le Manoir was created.” Le Manoir has been Alain’s ‘home’ for the past twenty six years, but it has taken all of those years to make it what it is today, a first class hotel and revered restaurant. “We started with ten bedrooms and a restaurant and, over the last twenty five years, we have expanded to thirty one bedrooms. Our guests enjoy themselves and, I suppose, could be forgiven for thinking business at Le Manoir is easy. To make something look easy takes a lot of hard work, every hour of every day. It is a big undertaking, but we have evolved Le Manoir to the extent that it is an institution. “The secret has to be Raymond. He is always changing the smallest details to make things perfect. What is perfect today may not be perfect tomorrow, and he has an eye for detail which is incredible, which keeps Le Manoir moving forward, which keeps Le Manoir very near, or at, the top. Complacency is 16

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B4 LEAD always a danger in any business. Raymond can never be accused of complacency. He is a proud man and his standards are unmatched.” Alain has kindly agreed to be the Chairman of our In Oxford Magazine Restaurant Awards Committee (In Oxford Magazine being published by B4’s publishers, The In Oxford Group). With two great names involved in Alain and Awards sponsor, Miele, we couldn’t have wished for a better platform to launch the inaugural awards, and Alain’s standards and experience will undoubtedly mean that the winner of this year’s awards will be deserved. “Eating out is an experience. You can have a great meal, but without music it is not a great experience. You can have a fabulous meal, but without the character and charm of an engaging waitress, it is not a great experience. You can have a spectacular meal, but without good wine, ambience and the knowledge that the restaurant manager is managing the restaurant as he or she should be, it is not a good experience. “At Le Manoir, we have added heart, music and beauty in to attract customers. It is never enough and it is always changing. I think it’s not sufficient to have a meal and a glass of wine, you have to offer your customer far more to catch their attention. In a way, Le Manoir is a great experience and you feel it when you go there because the place is bustling and busy. The quality of the food and service is excellent so therefore, by word of mouth, we get people coming back. We take great care at looking at some of the complaints we have and we learn from our mistakes. “We know we are making progress because we have achieved many awards. We invest in training our staff and that, above everything else, is the key to a successful establishment. Not only do we need to have a very able chef, but also somebody who is able to provide exceptional service. One without the other does not make for a great experience. “Having been a maître d' for twenty six years, I have been fortunate to visit many restaurants and many hotels, but complacency is rife amongst far too many. We are all in the same industry, and it really doesn’t matter what level you’re at. We’ are all expected to give a high level of service to the customer. Your customer should be your number one. Too many places run a business to make money, and that’s their only aim. What these restaurants miss is that this is a short term philosophy. If they made some money and invested the rest in food knowledge and service, their product, or their dining experience, would improve and they would be even more profitable. It is a very simple equation, and it works.

“Monsieur Alain is one of the greatest and has helped shape the culture of Le Manoir and define its excellence, unfailingly giving his best to hospitality through the years, and becoming the face of Le Manoir. He is leaving a legacy behind him that will continue for years to come” Raymond Blanc “I appreciate there are plenty of other factors which complicate this equation. It is not always easy to promote in a small restaurant, so staff get restless and move on. At Le Manoir, we are fortunate to have many positions which need filling, and many of our staff started out with the sole purpose – to improve their English. They enjoyed the experience of working at Le Manoir, but learning English was their main target. Of these, many had talent, and have been promoted. Their targets are now very different – they have learned the language and now they want to continue to develop at Le Manoir.”

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B4 LEAD

RESTAUARNT A WA R D S

REVIEW COMMITTEE Chairman of the judging Committee: Monsieur Alain Desenclos Alain recalls that when he started out in Oxford in the 1960’s, when his English wasn’t at its best, Oxford was ‘a desert’ in gastronomical terms. “The only thing you could find was onion, cabbage, potatoes, nothing special. It was only many years later when you started finding raspberries, strawberries, fine cuts of meat and fish... the market was a desert! I remember eating at places in London in those days and it was horrendous. Everywhere has improved immeasurably. Then you’ve got great movements like the Organic food movement, the slow food movement, people promoting local produce and that’s had a massive impact on the quality of food you eat in restaurants. “Unfortunately, there are still too many places which are too complacent. We have realized at Le Manoir that you have to keep giving more. Getting ourselves exposure in magazines opens us up to new markets. For example, our beautiful gardens appeal to the gardening fraternity and so they visit us because of our gardens but enjoy the restaurant while they are here. It adds another dimension. At Christmas, we have carol services, we do special evenings with personalities and all of these extra activities help to put our name on the map in as many places as possible.” Lack of food knowledge is one of Alain’s biggest criticisms of other restaurants today. “We have cheese training, for example, and after that training, the staff will know almost eighty different types of cheese on the cheese trolley. Every day, before service, we have a meeting with all of the staff on duty at lunch, and we go through the menu and we ask questions. They should know, by heart, what’s on the menu. There’s nothing worse than a customer asking, ‘What’s that?’, and you have to say, ‘Sorry, I don’t know, I will ask the chef’. Everybody serving the customer should know what’s on the plate. We go through all the dietary requirements of all the customers we have dining that day. We invest in training because it pays off.” If the guests at Alain’s star-studded retirement party are anything to go by, Alain is regarded fondly by a whole host of satisfied customers. But a joyous celebration marks the end of a perfect union. It can’t be easy to relinquish a love

affair of twenty six years, so I, tentatively, ask Alain what he plans to do now that he has retired.

Committee Members: Julie Archer, Director, Archer Yates Associates

“Of course I miss being as involved as I was because when you’re working seventy hours a week, being fully involved in the bustling restaurant, with the training, the staff, the customers, the atmosphere, of course you miss it. It’s a bit of a shock! At the end of the day, I’ve worked for 44 years and I couldn’t carry on forever, even though, at times, you think it will never end – in a good way!

Dr Daren G Bowyer, Home Bursar, Pembroke College Jacquie Bugeja, Head of Registration & Coroner's Services, Oxfordshire County Council David Gambier, Managing Director, Great Experience Travel Susi Golding, Project Director, Visit Oxfordshire

“But, when you work with people who are, on average, twenty two years old, for twenty to thirty years, you don’t see the retirement coming. They keep you young. However, the industry is getting harder, it is more demanding. Vegans, people with allergies and so on…..you have to become a specialist in a lot of things. “I am now going to concentrate on my part time consultancy with Le Manoir and also helping other restaurants who might need some assistance. Of course, we have the Awards, which I am very excited about. It is interesting that nobody else has tried to stage a Restaurant Awards in Oxfordshire before, but I am sure Richard and the team will do a magnificent job. “It is essential that The In Oxford Group run the awards, but I have been given the strict task of maintaining their independence so that the winner is a worthy winner, not simply the restaurant which has advertised for the longest! We have a great committee from a wide range of backgrounds, and also some great reviewers who will help me review the restaurants for the next few months. “I am sure the Awards will be a great success. Colin, Richard and myself met a number of times to test our theory about how the awards should be structured, who should be on the committee and review panel, and how the restaurants would be reviewed. We feel we have left no stone unturned, and with the excellent backing of Miele, who are undeniably the perfect company to sponsor the awards, and Visit Oxfordshire, we have a great platform to produce a memorable awards which, we hope, will be here for a long time.”

Mark Ritchie, Managing Director, Newbould & Ritchie Ltd Donald Sloan, Head of Department of Hospitality, Leisure & Tourism Management, Oxford Brookes University Mark Taylor, Partner, Darbys Solicitors LLP Reviewers: 1. Alison Haill, Oxford Professional Consulting 2. Anna Hobson, University of Oxford 3. Carys Williams 4. Clark Wiseman, Studio 8 5. Dan Channer, Finders Keepers 6. Emma Gascoigne, Chiltern Railways 7. Harry Carrier 8. Ian Wenman, Institute of Directors 9. James White, InTouch CRM 10. Jean-Pierre Morilleau, Oxford Castle 11. Jo Willett, Business and Innovation Centres 12. John Hobart, University Museums 13. John O’Brien, Chartered Accountant 14. Lesley Cowley OBE, Nominet 15. Maggie Bradley, Coutts and Co 16. Maggie Faulkner, Magna Carta College 17. Paddy Gregan, BrookStreet des Roches 18. Pat Fegan, Oxford Development Ltd 19. Philip Campbell, MEPC 20. Rachel Faulkner, Bicester Vision Partnership Manager 21. Richard Gorst, St Clare’s, Oxford 22. Richard Venables, VSL Commercial Property 23. Sandie Schofield, CETA Insurance 25. Sarah Mayhew, Oxford Castle 26. Sarah Wiseman, Wiseman Gallery 27. Tom Parnell, d’Overbroeck’s College 28. Tracey Jefferies, PR twitter.com/inoxfordawards

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TRY BEFORE YOU BUY AT THE

MIELE EXPERIENCE CENTRE

Miele, the German premium domestic appliance manufacturer, has a state-of-the-art Experience Centre at its Abingdon headquarters which gives visitors the opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ on a range of domestic cooking, cleaning and laundry appliances. The extensive 18,000 sqft interactive demonstration showroom opened in 2005 and provides visitors with the perfect opportunity to see Miele’s wide range of domestic appliances, allowing them to choose the products that suit their lifestyle in a non-pressured, sales-free environment. The Miele Experience Centre offers a truly hands-on experience with a range of fully live appliances to enable visitors to try them out as they would at home. Visitors can experience a favourite recipe cooked with a bespoke cooking programme, get to grips with the varied culinary creations possible with a Miele steam oven or try out the innovative hobs range including an induction wok, salamander grill and a tepan yaki. Visitors can also see Miele’s expertise in laundry care first-hand by testing a washing machine programme on a favourite garment, and even put an award-winning vacuum cleaner through its paces to test the agility and performance power. The Miele Experience Centre also offers a range of courses to help both new and current customers understand how to use their appliances more effectively. Miele Appliance Academies teach both experienced and new Miele owners how to use their appliances to their full potential including learning about the latest cooking technology features, such as Moisture Plus - an innovative programme which allows a burst of steam to be injected into the oven to product perfectly tender meat. Even if you aren’t a Miele owner there are simple cooking courses on offer to suit all skill levels. Those looking to learn new cooking skills will enjoy the

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Miele Simply Cooking courses where you can learn the art of preparing and producing wonderful dishes - choose from skills courses such as Basic Bread Making, and Preparing and Cooking Fish to learning specific cuisines with courses including A Taste for Thai and an Introduction to Italian Cooking. Sian Rees, Miele Marketing Manager said: “If you’re

In 2009 Miele also opened its second showroom, the Miele Gallery in Cavendish Place, London W1, allowing those in the capital to be able to experience Miele appliances and witness the latest cooking technology in action. The Miele Gallery also offers cookery courses and live demonstrations of the products.

“Even if you aren’t a

Miele appliances are elegant, modern and timeless in design, combined with advanced and innovative technology to always deliver outstanding performance, brilliant results and peace of mind. The intelligence of Miele products means that household care and chores, from cleaning to cooking, almost take care of themselves. From a wireless food probe that identifies when your joint of meat is perfectly done without the need for you to keep a check on it; a ‘hand wash’ laundry programme that is proven to be more gentle than actual hand washing when caring for your most delicate fashion items; to a wine conditioning unit to ensure that your selection of wines are always ready to serve at the ideal temperature - Miele appliances take the risk and skill out of the equation.

Miele owner there are simple cooking courses on offer to suit all skill levels” looking to invest in an appliance that will be in your home for the next 10 to 20 years you want to make sure that it not only fits into your home, but your lifestyle too. Because Miele appliances can help make daily household tasks less of a chore it’s important that you find the right appliance for you, so that you can ensure it really will make a difference to your life. At the Miele Experience Centre you can meet our team of appliance experts and home economists who can help guide you through making the all-important appliance decisions for your new kitchen or utility room, in a relaxed and hassle-free environment.”

Visitors can book one-to-one appointments by calling 0845 365 6610 or visit www.miele.co.uk/showrooms for more information about the Showroom events including Simply Cooking courses, Appliance Academy and Let’s Do Lunch.

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

www.b4-business.com

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K E Y M E M B E R O F S TA F F


Y O U R K E Y P E O P L E A R E S T U C K I N T H E S N O W. BUSINESS AS USUAL?

You may have already experienced the effect that extreme weather has on the smooth running of your business. When key people can’t make it to work, there is a serious impact on your productivity. At The Oxford Knowledge Company, we help our clients protect their businesses against the impact of bad weather. Our clients don’t have to worry about staff not getting into the office, whatever the reason. We set up systems which allow them to work remotely, enabling them to be as productive as if they are sitting at their desk. Business as usual. Call us now on 01865 322100 to discuss how we can ensure your business continues to run smoothly, whatever the weather.

P OW E R YO U R B U S I N E S S W I T H T H E I . T. S O L U T I O N S E X P E RT S S T R AT E G Y • S Y S T E M D E S I G N A N D I N S TA L L AT I O N • D ATA S E C U R I T Y • M A N A G E M E N T A N D S U P P O RT D I S A S T E R R E C OV E RY • S M A RT E R WO R K I N G • B U S I N E S S R E L O C AT I O N • C O N N E C T I V I T Y • T RO U B L E S H O OT I N G W O O D S I D E , H I N K S E Y H I L L , OX F O R D OX 1 5 B E | 0 1 8 6 5 3 2 2 1 0 0 | W W W. OX F O R D - K N O W L E D G E . C O M


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

UNIT 2 NETWORK OXFORD Oxford Ring Road TO LET 20,415 sq ft Last Remaining Unit in Phase 1 Production/Warehouse Unit with Large Yard Area

unrivaled local and regional expertise Richard Venables Tom Barton

rvenables@vslandp.com tbarton@vslandp.com


news Deals, Deals and more Deals….. Here are a selection of deals VSL & Partners have completed in Quarter 4 2010.

Windrush Park, Witney – sale of 14 acres of industrial development land to confidential owner occupier. Additional 2.7 acres sold to Minns Estates for new design and build opportunities.

4240 Nash Court, Oxford Business Park – Letting to Zinc Ahead Ltd comprising 5,818 sq ft.

4300 Nash Court , Oxford Business Park – Letting to IBC Solar comprising 9,000 sq ft.

Rowles Way, Station Field Industrial Estate, Kidlington – industrial units 2C and D to Howes Models comprising 5,500 sq ft.

King Charles House, Oxford – Letting of 4,500 sq ft to the University of Oxford Endowment Management Ltd.

Old Post Office, High Street, Abingdon – Sale of mixed residential development and retail scheme .

126 London Road, Headington – Let to Laura’s Flowers.

Unit 3 Chancery gate, Kidlington – Sale of Unit 3 and letting of Unit 28 to BH Blackmore.

Unit 6 Isis Business Centre, Oxford – Let to Chris Lewis Security comprising 1,500 sq ft.

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www.vslandp.com

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600,000 500,000

Take Up

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news 2009

2010

So... How bad was 2010? Last year it seemed it was just one problem after another affecting property decision makers. The snow in January, the volcano cloud in April, the election in May, the Public Spending Review in October and yet more snow at the end of 2010.

But how did Oxfordshire fare?

The Office Market

Industrial Market

1,000,000

VSL & Partners have just completed their review of market activity for the last 4 years focusing on the central Oxfordshire and A34 markets covering Bicester, Witney, Oxford, Abingdon and Didcot.

3,000,000

900,000 2,500,000

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Take Up Supply

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0 2007

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Take Up and Supply (offices > 3,000 sq ft)

Take Up and Supply (industrial units >5,000 sq ft)

Office take up in 2010 crawled to 210,000 sq ft which is approximately 50% of that achieved in 2007 (414,000 sq ft). Take up in 2008 and 2009 hovered around 300,000 sq ft.

Industrial take up in 2010 was only 394,000 sq ft, 40% of that achieved in 2007 (916,000 sq ft).

Supply levels have increased by 23% since 2007. Supply levels at the beginning of this year reached 864,000 sq ft in comparison with 700,000 sq ft in 2007. This increase in stock is entirely due to surplus stock being returned to the market. Only limited new building has been undertaken since 2007. It is highly unlikely that any speculative new build will be undertaken for at least the next 18 months until investor confidence returns.

Supply levels have increased by 60% since 2007 from 1.5 million sq ft to 2.39 million sq ft by the end of 2010. However, a large proportion of this relates to several large warehouse units in the Didcot area. No new building has been undertaken since 2007 and we are starting to experience a lack of supply opportunities in the units of less than 20,000 sq ft. Industrial land availability is now very limited.

3,000,000 Are There Any Positives 2,500,000 • Whilst activity has been limited, there is still some activity.

less than 2,000 sq ft signalling an increase in confidence from the smaller service sector.

2,000,000

• For tenants looking for new office property there are still some fantastic leasehold deals available around the ring road and in other major business 1,500,000 Take Up parks. 1,000,000

Supply

• Oxford Business Park achieved over 50,000 sq ft of lettings in 7 different deals reflecting not only the quality of the accommodation but also competitive 500,000 deals available to occupiers.

• Within the industrial market we have seen a rebalance of demand with a reduction of enquiries from the domestic trade and service sector and an increase in demand from export driven manufacturing businesses. • The smaller industrial freehold market has seen an adjustment in pricing leading to competitive deals being offered but supply is now limited.

0 2007 2009 with rental 2010 levels holding firm • City Centre office availability2008 remains limited and other tenant incentives are much lower than those available on the ring road.

• The investment market has recovered, driven by low rates of returns from bank savings, but there is a greater differentiation between prime and secondary investments. Investment opportunities remain scarce in Oxfordshire.

• We are starting to see a recovery in the small office market. In the last 2 months we have seen an increase in enquiries from occupiers looking for space

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www.vslandp.com

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B4 DISTRIBUTION Based in Witney, Oxfordshire, Jordan&co, a subsidiary of Air Business, specialise in the mailing and distribution of printed material and offer an in house, one stop solution for all connected services. For over a quarter of a century, their focus on honest and reliable customer service has enabled steady and impressive growth, attracting the interest of Air Business with its independent international distribution system. This business relationship allows Jordan&co to remain focused on their local customer base whilst offering access to a much broader service, as Adam explained. “The main services that we currently provide, our core business if you like, is international postal distribution. Bolted on to that is the fulfillment side. This involves taking the circulation data from our customers, cleaning and sorting it, then wrapping, enveloping and shipping it out. “We also have a circulation department. We do the ABC audits (Audit Bureau of Circulations) and BPA audits (Business Publications Audit of Circulations) for a lot of our customers. Some just can’t find the time to get their audits through or leave it until the last minute. It can be a nightmare for them. So instead we manage this throughout the year. When it comes to audit time, everything is in impeccable order and goes through easily.” By using Air Business, customers can concentrate on what they are good at, namely publishing. And with a 100% success rate from the audits they have managed it all seems to make perfect business sense.”

A SUCCESSFUL

DELIVERY Here at B4 we value the importance of a reliable distribution service, which is why we entrust Jordan&co, a subsidiary of Air Business, with the delivery of your posted copy of B4 magazine. But, as Adam Sherman, Group Managing Director of Air Business, is keen to point out, there is so much more to the service they offer. Adam was talking to B4’s Erica Conlan.

So how is one of the largest and most successful mailing businesses in the UK finding the current market? From a relatively small company – Air Business had an £8 million turnover five years ago – this year they are on target to turnover £32 million, and next year £43 million. So what’s the reason for such dramatic growth? “Right now there has never been a greater difference between the service our business provides and our major opposition. Battling with erratic postal cost increases from foreign post offices, we chose to share some of that with our customers. Our major opposition tended to absorb it with the net result that they have had to look at cheaper ways to route their material, resulting in an enormous deterioration of their service, whereas we have been able to continue to use proper, good quality services. All of our hard work making sure our service is second-to-none has really paid dividends because we are the undisputed number one player in the market now.” The company has convinced The Guardian Weekly, The Guardian newspaper, The Observer and Private Eye to use their services as a direct result and also proudly list Emap and Informa as customers.

“All our hard work making sure our service is second-to-none has really paid dividends because we are the undisputed number one player in the market now

But Adam is alive to the pressure that his business is facing from electronic mail. “There’s certainly a lot less direct mail. But what’s been interesting is that a lot of publishers have found that the response rates from electronic campaigns, the main threat to direct mail, has been quite low and many move back to direct mail.” Up until now the company has been able to replace the downturn with genuine market growth. For the future, Adam is looking at further acquisition and exciting times lie ahead. “We are in the final stages of a major purchase which we hope will be completed in the first quarter of this year. We are extremely excited about it and hopefully our customers will be too.” For more information please contact Adam on 01727 890 610 or email adam.sherman@airbusonline.com www.airbusonline.com

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www.b4-business.com


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B4 COMMUNICATION

MORE STAFF AND FLEXIBLE WORKING PLANNED FOR NEXT YEAR Recent research from Orange suggests that over a quarter (26%) of small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) plan to hire more staff in 2011 than they did in 2010. The survey of 2,181 UK SMEs also found that many businesses were optimistic that 2011 will be a positive year, with 76% predicting either a more prosperous year for their business, or the same level of success as 2010.

The survey also highlighted more SME priorities for 2011. An overwhelming three-quarters (74%) of SMEs are considering or plan to introduce flexible working options this year, citing staff efficiency as the main driver. This strong desire to provide flexible working tools is supported by the fact that more than half (52%) plan to spend more on information technology over this year compared with 2010, singling out communications equipment as the top technology to support their business. When asked what technologies they would like to see more of in 2011, social media, business applications and mobile WiFi were listed by SMEs as the tools needed to further their business. “These results provide an interesting snapshot into SMEs’ plans for 2011, and it’s great to see that businesses are positive about this year. What is also encouraging is the overwhelming number of companies that plan to introduce flexible working. It demonstrates a strong desire to drive a more efficient business, and is also a great way to help employees strike the right work/life balance.” Martin Lyne, SME Marketing Director, Everything Everywhere “The findings from the Orange research certainly echo our own plans for this year. Despite the challenging financial climate, 2010 was busy for us and our projections for this year are positive. We’re even planning on hiring more staff and doubling our headcount. We’re also seeing many businesses now collaborating through social media, and plan to invest more in this area in order to reach out to existing and new customers.” Dr. Andrea D’Ercole, Managing Director of ItalyAbroad.com www.orange.co.uk/business

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“Social media, business applications and mobile WiFi were listed by SMEs as the tools needed to further their business” www.b4-business.com


T

oo big? Too small?

Our clients say we’re just right!

During a recent satisfaction survey, we were perceived to be just ‘the right size’ for our clients: sole trader or corporate entity. Find out if we’re the right size for you at:

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

“Oxford Event Hire has managed to develop a first class reputation for its products, service and reliability along the way”

OXFORD EVENT HIRE Kieran Lynch began his career in the catering industry whilst still at School every Saturday as a raw 15 year old under the expert tutelage of John Stott, by all accounts the leading local caterer over twenty five years ago. John’s favoured phrase was ‘Hang Fire’, but that’s one thing his protégé can’t be accused of as he established his company, Oxford Event Hire in 2000, with the purpose of filling the apparent gap in the market to provide catering equipment for a wealth of events. From tea boy to trainee to chef to entrepreneur; owner of Oxford Event Hire, Kieran Lynch talks to Richard Rosser about his epic journey through the catering industry and the reputation and successes his business enjoys today.

Kieran then moved from the fairly safe surroundings of college employment to work at various restaurants and hotels, working his way up to Head Chef at The Dog House Hotel in Frilford. “I was then head hunted to take on the Franchise of Southfield Golf Club, where we had celebrity parties, corporate functions and all sorts of events”. Kieran doesn’t do things by halves as he got married and bought his first house the same year, still at the tender age of 21! “I very much enjoyed my time at Southfield, loving the buzz that this work created. Leaving Southfield to setup my own catering company was the natural next step. As a catering company we concentrated on weddings, dinners and corporate functions. We quickly got a name for ourselves, getting into a stronger position all of the time as our brand awareness grew. So did our client base Some of our more famous ones being Sir Richard Branson and Damien Hirst”. Kieran then realised just how much he was spending on the hire of

32

catering equipment. “It occurred to me that if we made the investment in our own equipment, we could be doing just as well, or even better. “One thing lead to another, and probably ten years ago we made the move from outside catering to focussing 100% on providing equipment for other caterers and establishments, changing our name from Lynch Catering to Oxford Event Hire and became established as a Limited Company”. “It’s just gone from strength to strength. We’re well on the map now, even though some people still think we provide catering. The hardest thing was to convince someone who is a competitor one day that they can be our customer the next, but we’ve made the transition successfully and are delighted with the progress we have made in a relatively short period of time.” Oxford Event Hire provides everything required for any function, including tables, chairs, crockery, cutlery, fridges, freezers, BBQs and hog roasters - even chocolate fountains and popcorn machines! As Oxford’s leading catering equipment hire company, Oxford Event Hire pride themselves on customer service and premium quality products, with a vast quantity of stock so they never run out! “We’ll do what we need to do to make sure our client’s event is a success, whether large or small. Oxford Event Hire has managed to develop a first class reputation for its products, service and reliability along the way.” www.oxfordeventhire.co.uk

www.b4-business.com

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

When Kieran left school, like many teenagers, he sent umpteen letters out to colleges, hotels, and universities, and one hit the target. “I got called up for an interview at St. Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, and ended up working for Gabriel Cavalier, the head chef, on a Three year apprenticeship. It was like working in three establishments under one roof as I had to get to grips with haute cuisine for the dons, good quality for the conference delegates and also provide for the students. It was incredible training and gave me a great grounding for what I was to go on to do.”


ime to awaken T your beautiful business... ...our clients say that’s what we did for them!

During a recent satisfaction survey, over 90% of our clients told us the reason we exceeded expectation was the proactive & practical approach of our people. Find out how we could awaken your business at:

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THE BOUTIQUE & THE B.HIVE The Career Boutique is fast becoming one of Oxfordshire’s home grown successes. Despite the economic backdrop, this owner-managed business is bursting with optimism for 2011 with Managing Director, Katherine Dales, launching a series of initiatives and collaborations to underpin the business’ continued development.

“I am keen to position ourselves not only for growth but for innovative evolution.” Commented Katherine. ‘I want to ensure that we continue to practically demonstrate how committed we are to supporting candidate job searches and how we will continue to pull out all of the stops to surprise and delight our clients. I am consciously placing Service and not Sales at the centre of all that we do.” The first major commitment has been the creation of a London presence to launch a provocative Executive Talent service headed by industry renegade, Kerry Lackey. Kerry Lackey - Director of Executive Talent Europe Kerry is no ordinary recruiter. Despite fifteen years of operating within a sector which daily matches thousand’s of people to opportunities, Kerry continually looks at ways to push boundaries, challenge norms and deliver creative approaches and solutions to recruitment requests. She is passionate about people and their ability to shape and transform organisations. “I most enjoy working with businesses which see human talent as an investment and who actively champion individuality.” States Kerry. “Clone-style recruiting and poaching from competitor gene pools is 34

merely a lazy and short-sighted approach to talent acquisition and will do little to distinguish a business in its marketplace.” Kerry actively courts outstanding individuals and says that most employers would be shocked to learn that 75% of senior level candidates approached expressed an interest in moving for the right opportunity. “It is rarely about the package”, admits Kerry, “but more often about an opportunity to create a commercial legacy. In my experience, this feeling also pervades through the ranks. People want to feel engaged and be given the opportunity to make their own mark. My heart always sinks when I receive a ‘dry’ job description. This tool should be approached as an opportunity to inspire the best of talent to want to pick up the gauntlet and beat a path to a potential employer’s door, rather than be a perfunctory box-ticking exercise.” Kerry is continually cultivating a talent database of 'passive' candidates to call upon for clients. She enjoys identifying, intriguing and engaging senior talent or ‘commercial rock stars’ as she likes to call them, and introducing them to like-minded organisations. “I am genuinely passionate about representing multi-talented, (often multi-lingual) quirky and engaging individuals,” enthuses Kerry, “these guys know how to create a legacy and it is

always an education to be exposed to their mindsets.” Her current candidate base includes a Global Brand Director for one of Switzerland’s most iconic watchmakers, and a provocative CEO who’s Management Today has labeled ‘one of the consultancy world’s thinkers’. Kerry's diverse personal network, combined with a trusted team of European networkers through key cities, means that The Career Boutique Executive Talent division’s reach is broad and long and is well placed to unearth hidden gems. If you are looking for your own ‘rock star’ to make a mark in 2011, contact Kerry@thecareerboutique.com. Kerry is also launching a provocative blog in the New Year designed to spark creative evolution amongst HR Professionals. Access will be via the ‘About’ page on the Career Boutique website. Buzzing in the B.Hive The Executive Talent division has chosen the chicest of homes in central Covent Garden - B.Hive on Southampton Street. It is the latest project of Lynne Franks, a Business Club designed by women for women. Lynne has long been a champion of female entrepreneurial talent and was keen to create a feminine space where women could not only work but felt comfortable to network and support and encourage each other’s www.b4-business.com


B4 HR entrepreneurial goals. B.Hive is also successfully attracting some true ‘honeys!’ Recent visitors have included Rachel Johnson; controversial Editor of the Lady Magazine, and Author and Journalist Eve Pollard. The list of members is growing fast and makes for inspirational reading.

and support. Whilst her primary motivation for the Innovation Boutique is to become an instrumental part of her clients’ successes, she also believes that working to support a diverse blend of new and fresh businesses will, in turn, create grass-roots opportunities for local candidates.

“B.Hive is the ideal location and space for The Career Boutique – London,” says Katherine, ‘and will feature heavily in our programme of events and collaborations throughout next year. We have already met new clients and spoken with Lynne about our initiative to actively support fledgling entrepreneurs and business owners.”

To share your aspirations for 2011 and learn how this programme could benefit your business, contact Katherine@thecareerboutique.com

If you often wish you had somewhere idyllic to plant yourself and your laptop in between London

meetings, check out B.Hive’s site at www.bhive.co Boutique bolsters business aspirations Many business pundits are claiming that SME’s will play a leading role in driving the economic recovery, an opinion which is echoed by Barclays Bank’s recent report, ‘The year ahead: a view from Britain's small businesses’. Katherine’s second initiative, The Innovation Boutique, has been specifically designed to support and engage with small and medium, entrepreneurial businesses. The focus is quite simply to enable businesses to achieve their aspirations by securing key skills and talent. The proposition is a consultative recruitment service which will not only include guidance with HR-related issues and practical recruitment strategies, but also extend affordable payment schemes to allow the operational flexibility to increase headcount on a permanent or interim basis. Oxford Innovation has immediately agreed to partner this initiative, recognising the benefits it will bring to the tenants throughout their Business and Innovation Centres. As a growing, small business, Katherine has learned how important it is to find the right advice www.b4-business.com

Enhancing the Experience Ask any job seeker for feedback on their experience as a candidate registered with a recruitment agency and you will undoubtedly hear the most common complaint from one and all –

poor communication or lack of contact. Most recruiters lament the lack of time to maintain professional levels of communication with their candidates, but with one hundred plus CV’s for most job postings and pressing sales targets to achieve, a ten or twelve hour day still leaves little time to stay connected to everyone.

“The first major commitment has been the creation of a London presence to launch a provocative Executive Talent service

As an independent business, Katherine has the flexibility to respond to this widespread industry challenge and has committed resources in 2011 to further nurturing a service-focused culture which delivers a ‘boutique experience’ to clients and candidates alike.

Dedicated Candidate Managers will proactively liaise with registered job seekers and supply regular job alerts and advice, plus resources designed to encourage and guide individuals’ own self-promotion. The Quest for Opportunities The team at The Career Boutique are proud to announce that a high percentage of job remits received are via recommendation. The final initiative aims to use this insight to cast a wider net to capture more opportunities for their candidates. Katherine has started speaking to a diverse cross-section of interesting professional partners to gain their commitment to recommending The Career Boutique services to their own client bases. “We are currently a small team,’ states Katherine,

‘and there are only so many people we can reach, so I thought why not build our own team of professional evangelists who can fly the flag for us and generate more opportunities.” If recommending a recruitment service could prove beneficial to your own clients or connections, contact Katherine to arrange a meeting and hear how your recommendations could generate referral fees for your business or for a registered charity of your choice. Positive Attitudes Prevail If you find yourself in need of inspiration to launch yourself or your business into 2011, why not speak to one of the team at The Career Boutique? Their enthusiasm and desire to be creative is truly infectious and each is preparing to make their own mark during the months ahead. “When life is shrouded in doom and gloom reporting” comments Katherine “we all have a choice. Believe and bow to the negative hype or forge your own way forward with a clear and challenging vision and a huge spoonful of determination - 2011 will be a landmark year for us all at The Career Boutique.” www.thecareerboutique.com

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news Outstanding entries The deadline for entries to the inaugural West Oxfordshire Business Awards has now passed and the organisers are delighted with the number of entries. From sole traders to large businesses, new businesses to green businesses, charities to tourist attractions, entries have been received from a wide range of organisations based in West Oxfordshire. Mike Leggett, chair of the organising committee commented. “The number of entries is encouraging for this first year of the Awards. Looking through the list of entries encapsulates the wide range of businesses in the region. The judges now have the unenviable task of selecting winners from a very strong field of entrants.”

The winner of each category will be entered into the overall West Oxfordshire Business of the Year Award.

The West Oxfordshire Business Awards will recognise and reward the achievements of organisations, both large and small, across West Oxfordshire, and acknowledge the accomplishments of those businesses that drive the corporate success of the region. The eight awards categories and their sponsors are as follows: • STL Green Business Award • Owen Mumford Innovation Award • Cornbury Park Small Business Award • Torpedo Large Business Award • Bridle Insurance Young Business Person Award • ngage Solutions Charity/Community Award • Eynsham Hall Tourism & Hospitality Award • Floremus.com New Business Award

Carbon Neutral event The West Oxfordshire Business Awards ceremony, an evening dinner which is taking place on Friday 11 March at Eynsham Hall, will be a carbon neutral event. OxTreeGen has calculated the carbon usage associated with the event including the travel of all of the guests, who will include prominent Oxfordshire business people as well as the 24 finalists. OxTreeGen is offsetting this by planting trees in the Oxfordshire countryside. Mark Lay of OxTreeGen commented. ”We are delighted to be supporting the West Oxfordshire Business Awards by ensuring that the Awards ceremony is carbon neutral.”

Automatic entry into the Oxfordshire Business Awards All 3 finalists in each of the 8 categories of the West Oxfordshire Business Awards will automatically be entered into the Oxfordshire Business Awards www.oxfordshirebusinessawards.co.uk, confirming the alliance of the two awards. The Oxfordshire Business Awards, which are held in June 2011, cover a wider geographical area than the West Oxfordshire Business Awards. Additional WOBA sponsors – in addition to the category sponsors, the West Oxfordshire Business Awards are also sponsored by the following: • Wesley-Barrell • Scotts Photography • FinePrint • OxTreeGen

www.b4-business.com

The West Oxfordshire Business Awards are being organised by a committee comprising the following companies and organisations: • B4 Magazine • BOTTLE PR • Floremus.com • Jack FM • Marketing Sense • Olamalu Web Development • Southill Partnership • West Oxfordshire District Council • Abingdon & Witney College With thanks to the sponsors, organisers and, above all, the businesses which have entered the awards, this promises to be a fantastic event which will become a regular fixture in West Oxfordshire’s business calendar.

www.woba.co.uk

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B4 EVENTS

“This work with whisky is a vocation, not a job. It allows me to go out and educate people and share my passion for whisky”

JOEL HARRISON

The science behind alcoholic beverages can often put some into a state of unnecessary confusion. Oaked or unoaked, the age, country, region... why bother to delve into the background of your favourite tipple? Joel Harrison, a Whisky Tasting Ambassador and Consultant, believes it’s ‘the personality in the glass’ that makes whisky so unique and aims to educate drinkers on how best to get acquainted. Alex Neale met with Joel to find out more.

Joel and business partner, Neil Ridley, hail from similar career backgrounds; a far cry from where they find themselves now, as Joel explains. “Neil and I met when we were working in the music industry. We were at different companies but doing the same job in A&R discovering new bands, signing and making the records - we were big rivals! We left our respective jobs at a similar time, both of us intent on setting up our own consultancies in the music industry. “To support each other in that we met up for a drink, which is when we both realised we loved whisky. Having had a night when we drank some incredibly good whisky, thanks to a friend of ours who is a collector, we set up a blog called Caskstrength.net. Increasing numbers of people started to read it, so much so that drinks companies were contacting us asking if they could send some bits and bobs, asking if they could take us to various distilleries. Of course, we weren’t going to say no to that!” Joel and Neil then partnered with Diageo to do some tastings using a model called The Flavour Map. “It’s a brilliant concept drawn up by an independent group of whisky journalists. The map has different areas of flavour and plots on it different whiskies according to taste. It’s certainly made me appreciate flavour a lot more; nowadays, I look for personality even in my wines and beers. I’m certainly not a snob, but if you take me to a pub, I’ll want a real ale, something with a bit of flavour and depth to it. “When I start any kind of tasting, I’ll say at the start, ‘This is a discussion, a www.b4-business.com

conversation, not a presentation’. I don’t want it to just be me stood at the front like a lecturer, it’s very much about involving people in the process of how whisky is made and why it tastes like it tastes. We’re looking past the taste of alcohol and searching for the beautiful subtleties of toffee or vanilla or rose hip or heather, the sorts of things that can come through in the whisky.” Joel believes that whisky must be understood to be enjoyed. “If I took a friend of mine to see Oxford United play, they might not come back again due to the quality of the football and the pitch. But if I took them on the experience of explaining to them about the team’s history, taking them to meet my mates at the pub before the game, experiencing the atmosphere on the old London Road behind the goal during the game, then out for a pint after, they’re going to appreciate it a lot more! “This work with whisky is a vocation, not a job. It allows me to go out and educate people and share my passion for whisky which is a position I feel incredibly privileged to be in.” B4 Ambassadors only are invited to join Joel and The Flavour Map on Thursday 17th February in The Visitors Room at Malmaison, Oxford Castle (5.30pm to 6.30pm). Non B4 Ambassadors will have the chance to meet Joel at the B4 Ambassadors Event on the same evening in the A Wing, starting at 6.30pm. If you would like to come along at 6.30pm and you are not a B4 Ambassador or Member, e-mail editorial@b4-business.com with your request. 39


CONFIDENT STRIDES FORWARD WITH THE

MGROUP

Running your own company can be a, lonely business and never more so than when surviving and making the most of an economic recession. Flexibility, tenacity, hard work and insight are all required. How great then to discover that a service you may have regarded, in the past, as a necessary evil has turned into the cavalry? And a cavalry with the capacity to provide logistical support, experienced 360 degree information about the theatre of war and its surrounding terrain and a loyalty that never wavers? Wellington never had it so good.

That’s probably enough of the war metaphor but, given that the current economic circumstances feel a lot like a major campaign to many businesses, perhaps I may be forgiven. The cavalry I’m speaking of here is the accountancy firm whose work one might expect would usually be restricted to an annual glimpse of the business through the compilation of the annual accounts. However, Oxford accountancy firm The MGroup have a far more frequent and regular knowledge of their clients’ operations through regular meetings

bank accounts, payroll, VAT, book-keeping and management accounts as well as end-of-year accounts. Meeting the responsibilities associated with the increasingly complex legislative environment in the financial management arena can distract from the main focus of the business. Using The MGroup to provide all these functions, is a form of out-sourcing and we’re keen to provide it.” They are also proud of their exceptional technological capacity which enables them to work

management accounting to other functions, more directly beneficial to the operations of the business. Having access to the full range of The MGroup’s services can give the client a wider knowledge and experience base than they had before. The company invested in Sage almost 20 years ago and the natural extension of this investment was the creation of a separate company, The MGroup Computer Solutions, to provide bespoke IT solutions for their clients. One charity client provides services in the home to disabled people.

“Having access to the full range of The MGroup’s services can give the client a wider knowledge and experience base than they had before

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

with the assistance of up to date information from computer-based management accounts. This allows a good understanding of the client’s business resulting in comprehensive advisory services. The result? Not one of those clients has fallen under the enemy’s attack in the last five years. Speaking with his clients, Richard Clayton, who became a Partner in 1984, says he, “increasingly finds that, they want a comprehensive service, providing payments, credit control, sales ledger,

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in flexible ways, responding to each client’s individual needs and preferences. One greeting card and calendar client, a subsidiary of a German company, uses The MGroup as its fully functional accounts office, with all information and data being transferred electronically There are several advantages to this form of delegation. The cost of a comprehensive service from The MGroup is usually a pleasant surprise and many clients have made savings. Others have reallocated staff previously employed in

They have 180 members of staff and, as well as the traditional financial management package, they have recently asked for software which will enable them to track staff movements and identify gaps in service provision. The MGroup Computer Solutions will produce this for them, probably in Access or Excel. The senior consultant of Computer Solutions, Darren Green, has worked with The MGroup for eleven years and was made a partner of the firm in May 2010. “I am the first point of contact with

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

the client. I visit their offices, discuss their needs and establish their requirements. I am supported by our two technical software experts for the detailed programming work while I keep a close eye on the end result. We’re finding this is a real growth area, not least in Sage software bespoke solutions.” Penny Casterton, a Partner since 1989, thinks, “By producing a client’s management accounts, we can see how that client is doing month in, month out. We can see any danger signs early on. This is a large part of what we do.” Close working relationships develop as a result of this improved information exchange, building all-important trust between the client and the Partner working with them, who is their main and regular point of contact with the firm. This trust is crucial when it comes to supporting clients in making difficult decisions. Penny says, “We do have to be very firm with people sometimes. For example, deferring a difficult decision is only human nature but it could mean the difference between survival and disaster. We care about our client’s businesses so we will point this out, however difficult this may be.” As well as providing a broad-based general accountancy service like all her partner colleagues, Penny has a particular interest in forensic accountancy. For example, an estate agent client fell ill and required a fairly serious operation, causing him to be absent from his business for

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some time. Penny worked with his solicitor to establish the financial aspects of the claim to his insurance company. At first glance, the income from the business seemed to have held up while he was away. On closer inspection, Penny was able to spot that, due to the rising property market, the business could have expected its income to increase over this period and she was also able to quantify just how much that should have been. This provided a stronger basis for the claim for the estate agent, better information for the solicitor and a more favourable outcome for the business.

you’ve managed yourselves financially”.

The MGroup’s comprehensive range of services also provides support to many start-up organisations. Partner Peter Smith ensures all the skills from around the practice are introduced, as they are needed to meet the requirements of a start-up business, whether small or large. Peter points out, “obviously fees are important to many start-up businesses, so we are happy to provide fixed fees, but of equal importance is getting the right advice and structure from day one.

An exciting new dimension to The MGroup’s services this year is Corporate Finance, the provision of support for the acquisition or disposal of or investment in companies. Mark Crossfield recently joined the partnership bringing his specialised experience in running a mergers and acquisitions boutique. Previously a banker for twenty years and more recently a corporate financier for fifteen years, he is expecting clients to include entrepreneurs wishing to invest in Oxfordshire, businesses requiring investment by means of equity or debt, executives with redundancy packages to invest in a going concern and business owners wanting a long-term succession plan. “I have wide-ranging knowledge and experience of how deals are put together and, more importantly, how they are made to work for everyone concerned. I’ve run my own business so understand the priorities of business owners and I am able to focus on corporate finance because I have no other accountancy responsibilities.”

“By utilising the Computer Solutions skills of The MGroup, we are also able to help establish strong record keeping and management information packages. Peter also points out that, “Good financial management information is crucial to start-up businesses, especially when they need the support of bankers. There is considerable value in being able to show what you’ve been doing and how well

Mark has noticed that the number of mergers and acquisitions is on the increase, most noticeably where strong companies are buying weaker companies to expand their operations. He is confident of finding targets for acquiring companies. He is in the middle of one transaction where terms were signed in November after a six month lead-in, including assessment of nine bids.

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

“Good financial management information is crucial when, for example, talking to banks”

Pictured left to right: Peter Smith, Darren Green, Mark Crossfield, Penny Casterton, Sturge Taylor, Geoff Lane, Richard Clayton

The management team is buying the company with an executive/investor joining the team. Two executives will stay, one will leave and one will join.

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

Mark’s bespoke, professional service fits comfortably within the client-focussed MGroup where experience counts. Another specialisation of The MGroup is its international service. Their first international client was a single Minnesota-based company’s sales rep who commissioned their services back in the 1980s. The US company went on to buy an Oxfordshire engineering company that now employs nearly 200 people and is still a client of The MGroup. Good experience led on to introductions to an accountant in Santa Barbara and other US companies. “The Americans like to use us as a springboard into Europe as we have experience in handling all the issues that arise,” says Geoff Lane, The MGroup’s partner, who has a large involvement in the technical aspects of their work for overseas clients. “We’ve built up expertise in, for example, the tax differences between the UK and the USA and the associated interactions.”

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Another sales rep wanting to base himself in Oxford, this time from one of the biggest wine companies in Chile, led on to a similar expansion of international business. “Once their accountants get comfortable with you, you get to know the issues and they recommend you to others in the same industry. Having worked with the initial company, we’re now very confident in dealing with others ,” says Geoff.

Oxford business community having been senior partner of Darbys Solicitors and he now works in a consultancy role for a number of local businesses.

These relationships work both ways of course. The MGroup now has a good set of contacts with companies and accountants in the US, Chile and South Africa as well as throughout Europe. These contacts can be useful for companies wanting to establish export business in these areas. One of Geoff’s most unexpected discoveries in working with overseas businesses has been that Chile actually has more red tape than the UK!

The MGroup is clearly up to any challenge from its clients, able to rely on partners who have not only been in business themselves for more than twenty years but also on advanced technological solutions and expertise. Even Wellington, with his legendary ability to inspire loyalty and capacity to organise supply logistics, could not have been so well supported.

The MGroup resources have been augmented by the recent addition of Sturge Taylor, whose role is to provide support in a number of ways, particularly in the promotion of business opportunities for the firm and it’s client. Sturge is very well known to the

www.themgroup.co.uk

Geoff believes that “making advances into any area of business requires experienced and seasoned campaigners and Sturge fulfils both of these requirements and has a commanding presence within the local business community.”

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Ask any number of businessmen that question and you are unlikely to get the same answer twice. Some circumstances represent a clear and present danger to the continued success of one business, whilst those same circumstances represent a golden opportunity to another. The point is that even though every business is different, there is a morass of opinions and experiences available to consult and to draw on; some are wise, some weird and some wonderful. It can be difficult to distil these down into a coherent but manageable form and to provide meaningful guidance for business. Our approach is to recognise that all businesses are different and all have different priorities and concerns. Where we can, we use template documents, not just because they are cost effective and not as a product in themselves, but as a starting point. They are templates and they will need to be adapted. We do not try to apply standard answers to what are inevitably unique situations. There are three main areas that we think deserve the most attention. If you have these areas under control, you should be able to sleep soundly: Regulating contracts Your business sits in the centre of a web of contractual relationships. Whether the agreements are recorded in writing or not, your business will have contracts in place with each of your suppliers, customers, employees, partners and your service providers.

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

Each of these agreements exposes your business to a degree of risk and accepts a degree of obligation. Carefully considered contracts will control your exposure and limit your risk. If you use standard terms and conditions, or if your suppliers insist that you accept their standard terms and conditions, you should review these to make sure that they are binding and enforceable. Where you have or need bespoke agreements, you need to be sure that they provide the protection you intend and secure the commitments that you rely on. When it comes to considering contracts, the key points to keep in mind are: • Does the document reflect the reality of the situation? • Are the contract terms reasonable and enforceable? • Is your contracting partner providing the goods or the services that you expect?

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B4 ADVICE

WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT?

Ask lawyers that question and you will get a list as long as your arm. This list will include a whole host of valid concerns but they will range from the immediate to the theoretical. Rachel McCullough, partner in the corporate and commercial department at Henmans LLP, delves deeper.

• Does the agreement include excessive or inadequate commitments or obligations, or is it actually hollow – is it worth the paper it is written on? The underlying theme with all of these considerations is protection. Do your contracts protect you or leave you at risk? Value protection The issue of protection is not simply considering what is included in the web of contracts that you are a party to; your business also needs to safeguard the intangible assets that you rely on. Businesses all too often write off the idea of intellectual property protection as an inappropriate use of scarce resource, something that global pharmaceutical companies spend millions on but that is not immediately relevant to “normal” business. This approach represents a huge missed opportunity. Intellectual property takes many forms ranging from know how, to copyright in software, websites or in written materials, to registered or unregistered designs and trade marks. All businesses have it, many are underpinned by it, few fully exploit it. Not focussing on intellectual property can represent a huge risk. If the core of your business relies on a particular piece of software or if your main trading resource is your website, consider the position if it was no longer available to you.

Governance There is a raft of regulation that your business needs to comply with and ignoring the problem, in the hope that it will go away, is not an option. To take just a few examples where regulations have recently been introduced or tightened up: the Information Commissioner has new powers to impose fines of up to £500,000 for breaches of the data protection regime; the Advertising Standards Authority extends its remit to cover online advertising from March 2011; and, the Bribery Act comes into force in April 2011 and imposes criminal penalties on companies and individuals – most worryingly, companies are liable for the activities of a broad range of “associated persons”. Complying with the various governance requirements is an ongoing process but some recommended steps are: • Compliance starts at the top and the Board must buy into the process. The Board needs to oversee compliance within the business and the individual members of the Board must also ensure that they perform the director’s duties set out in the Companies Act; • Identify which areas of the business are regulated either by law or by codes of conduct or trade bodies. Failure to comply will lead to adverse publicity or other penalties. Prompt assessment of changes in the regulatory regime or in the way in which the business works can avoid this risk;

“If the core of your business relies on a particular piece of software or if your main trading resource is your website, consider the position if it was no longer available to you” To ensure that your business is not missing out on potential revenue streams and is not over-dependent on a third party, you should consider: • Identifying what you have, what you rely on and how you regulate its use by others or how your use of it is restricted by others; • Ensuring that where it is yours, there is a clear chain of ownership confirming the position and where it is not yours, ensuring that your authorisation to use it is clear; • How to strengthen and protect your position either by registration or by entering into specific agreements; • The value of the intellectual property to others. Might it be of use to others, possibly outside your own market or geographical area, and can it be sold on without damaging your own competitive edge?

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• Ensure that the right people are aware and take ownership of the right issues. The law and the regulatory landscape changes all the time and it must be clear who is responsible for watching out for changes and in identifying the most efficient means of compliance; • Compliance has a positive aspect as it can help your brand image. If you are compliant and your competitors are not, this can be a marketing opportunity. What next? If you think you have these areas safely under control then you should sleep soundly. If any of the issues mentioned rung alarm bells with you then please do contact Rachel McCullough, one of our corporate partners, on 01865 781000 or by email at welcome@henmansllp.co.uk. www.henmansllp.co.uk.

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B4 NETWORKING

CELEBRATE SUCCESS

For the last 4 years, Paul Avins, Award Winning Business Coach and his team hold a black tie party for around 100 of their Private Coaching Clients and Business Wealth Club members to recognise and celebrate their amazing achievements.

This year it was particularly hard to single out extraordinary achievement - because let’s face it, any business that has not only survived, but has thrived in 2010 deserves merit. But as his team sifted through the application forms, some outstanding stories of overcoming adversity, incredible growth and bucking industry trends stood out for recognition. 26th November turned out to be a very cold and blustery night – but thankfully the snow held off long enough so everyone could make it to the Champagne reception at the Bicester Golf and Country Club. The evening started with the presentation of a number of “Wizard Wand Awards” to some special people and Businesses who, although they hadn’t qualified to win the main awards, for various reasons were acknowledged by Paul for their extraordinary achievement or special commitment. These included Mario Crispino of AVI Works (Business Wealth Club Oxford member) and Paul’s longest serving Private Coaching Client Daryl Fernandes of Ludger Ltd. Dave Griffin, the first Business Wealth Club Mentor and Franchisee, received a heartfelt Wand with grateful thanks from the whole Wealth Club Team. The first award given out was a special one - and a

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first! The 40 Second Wizard Award was voted for by all of the Members of The Business Wealth Club Oxford - and to be honest, it was a land slide win by Alan May from Dream Conservatories on Line. Most of the voting forms we received said the same things - that they always looked forward to Alan's memorable 40 second presentations to brighten up their mornings. Who could forget such greats as the "Vote For The Conservatory Party" speech made around election time?

Ayd Instone of Sunmakers made a very colourful winner of the ‘WOW’ Marketer of the Year Award after achieving amazing results on You Tube with his World Cup song among his list of wins for the year (for the second year running!).

“Any business that has

Paul and his team put a lot of time and thought into selecting all of the award winners - but the award for Business of the Year is always special. For a business to win this one, they have to have excelled in all the crucial areas of their Business including Sales, Marketing, Team development and, of course, bottom line growth.

not only survived, but has thrived in 2010 deserves merit” Team of the Year was awarded to Hillary and Harry Fletcher of Ecco Shoes Oxford. 2010 has been a very challenging year for retailers everywhere - but this dynamic team have kept on growing and learning with other team members, taking on more responsibilities, freeing the owners to concentrate on other opportunities. Beat the Banker Award. This was quite a hotly contested category, but in the end, the fantastic results achieved, growth in sales over 150%, by Dr Jane Leland from Healthy & Wealthy made her a deserving winner.

Penny Furguson (MD) of Programs for Life received Paul’s Turbo Growth Award after achieving a turnover of over £1.2 million in her first year.

This year the stand out winners were the whole team from Profitability, which has to be one of the most appropriate Company names we have ever come across! Paul and his team feel VERY privileged to have shared the last year with all of their clients and members of The Business Wealth Club and here at B4 we look forward to reporting on next years Awards night – hope to see you there! www.thebusinesswealthclub.com

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BGP

In Issue 13 of B4, we featured an interview with the charismatic Sir John Madejski, chairman of Reading FC, founder of Auto-Trader and owner of BGP, one of the country’s leading printers. Here, Richard Rosser speaks to David Holland, CEO of BGP, and discovers that having weathered a stormy period in the aftermath of losing a major contract from BT, BGP has invested, consolidated and is now looking a great bet for an excellent 2011. There is a steely determination about David Holland. It’s not arrogance, or complacency, but an awareness that what BGP have achieved over the past few years, despite losses and a turbulent economy, has left them well placed to tighten its grip on its market, to attract more business, to produce efficiently for its customers and, above all, to deliver a healthy bottom line. “The facts are that whilst the rest of the market has been reducing shifts and laying people off, we have actually done the complete opposite. Our investment has been significant when, broadly speaking, virtually nobody else has invested at all. We have employed several hundred more staff meaning we have over seven hundred staff, five hundred and seventy of whom are full time. We have also just set up a new mailing operation in Buckingham with over one hundred casual staff.” As an almost entirely non-union operation, the temptation is to cut corners when employing such big numbers of staff, especially casual staff. Not so BGP. “We don’t pay the minimum wage. We pay casual staff as if they were full time, and whilst our unit costs are very good relative to the opposition, operating on the cheap is not our ethos. We have tried to bring the workforce with us on everything that we’ve done, and that has been a big part of our recent success to be honest. “We’re all facing the same way. There’s a good rapport between the different strata’s of the organisation and that has to be healthy, particularly in a difficult economy.” BGP inhabits the large, web offset market, of which there are really only a handful of major players. Of those, BGP are probably the fourth largest in the country, as David continues. “Most of the competition has been distressed in terms of making significant losses. We’ve made losses, but that’s only been part of our scaling up. We have, as a result, now won a lot of new business, and we expect that by the spring we’ll be a regularly profitable business with a very strong contractual base.” Significant recent contractual wins have been hard fought but will provide BGP

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B4 PRINT with an excellent stream of regular contractual work going forward. One of these significant wins was the work from DC Thomson who decided to curtail their own in-house printing rather than go through a major re-investment cycle. This includes titles such as The Beano and Dandy. David is convinced that BGP provide new and existing customers with a much needed safe pair of hands in an uncertain economy. “Much of the other business we have won has been organic, from existing customers, although I think it’s true to say that with some of the buyers, the security of supply for the future starts to be a concern as they start to make their own strategic decisions about who is going to be able to supply for the long term. “What they’re worried about is that prices are being suppressed over lots of markets. With the technology that we’ve got, as long as we operate it cost-effectively, and we have a decent level of utilization, we can make money out of the current market prices even though they’re depressed. Whereas, with most of the competition, they really just have to take a

about £1million a year – it’s not going to be anything like replacement depreciation level.” That’s not to say, however, that if an opportunity comes up which will actually boost profitability significantly above the level that David and BGP expect, then, continues David, “obviously we’ll do it, but this kit is very, very robust. It’ll last for many years, fifteen plus, and so whilst we’re always looking at enhancements and improvements, you’re not talking about breaking the bank to do it. It would be easily self-funded.” But what about the variables, the recession, the factors which BGP can’t control? It might have established a relatively bullet-proof infrastructure, but how will BGP cope in the face of every day threats to the printed word? “When the recession hit in 2008, advertising fell off the cliff. Probably the biggest adverse trend was the movement of classified advertising online. A lot of business to business magazines that were fringe titles closed. The consumer market, however, has been quite strong. If you actually look at the results

which is growing very fast. The work we have done for Sky has undoubtedly helped them achieve their aim of increasing subscribers. “With regards to new business, we have definitely won business against our competition because of our location. One particular niche publisher increased their share of business with us, despite a competitor offering to undercut our print prices. What the competitor couldn’t undercut were our distribution costs. We’re right bang in the middle of the country which is a big plus compared to some of our competitors who are based on the peripheries of the UK.” Being a large local employer has its advantages, but one key disadvantage of size, according to David, is the fact that BGP seems to have borne the brunt of some fairly hefty utility providers charges for power provision. “I said in an open forum the other day that having the infrastructure to actually be able to accommodate industry of our scale and other industry, particularly with the growth in this area like housing and everything else that’s being planned, there are unforeseen problems. We feel the

“The facts are that whilst the rest of the market has been reducing shifts and laying people off, we have actually done the complete opposite” margin hit because some of their equipment – or the majority of it – is not capable of actually coping with the current level of price. The equipment they’ve got is old and is much less cost-effective.” The major work-horse of this part of the printing industry is a 32-page, 8-unit press. It’s like two 16-page presses put together. They represent about 40% of the population of all the presses in the market, and epitomises the leaps and bounds that BGP have made, as David explains. “We’ve got one but we retired it about two years ago. They just can’t live with the current price level and new technology; they’re more expensive on energy, they’re more expensive on people... they’re rust buckets really. They reflect the fact that people haven’t invested because they haven’t had the belief that investment would actually give them a return. “We have recently installed a new Ferag Rotative Gathering Stitching and Inserting System at a cost of £3million, right next to a high-speed binding line that’s only two years old. They’re in the same room, two great big metal monsters, just eating up the work. Nobody else is investing like we are and nobody has put the presses in that we have. “We have spent about £40million on capital and we’ve had to fund transitional costs of about another £50million. Our annual depreciation charge, as a result, is £6 million. Going forward, I’m expecting that our capital expenditure will only be www.b4-business.com

of most of the major consumer magazine outfits, their profits have either been stable or increased slightly. One or two have been hit, but now you can see advertising growing again, not just online but press as well.

charges levied against us as a business for our power provision were excessive and unjustified. All I’d say to anyone else looking to build on an industrial scale is plan everything, don’t leave any stone unturned.”

“The directory market undoubtedly suffered because of the classified ads, but now what a lot of publishers are doing is offering a portfolio of advertising where adverts appear on and off line and even on your mobile.

On the plus side, BGP is, according to David, very much a family business. “There are a lot of inter-relationships in the company and at Banbury. I believe in that. We will be looking more at apprenticeships and so forth going forward and obviously people have to have the right attributes for us to take them on, but I personally favour them if they’re the offspring of our employees. I know that’s the old fashioned way of thinking, but I like to work that way. In the schools, they probably think that print is a bit of a ‘smokestack’ industry, it’s all grubby and they’d rather be on a computer screen and we’re perceived as environmentally unfriendly.

“Generally speaking, most innovations in graphic arts tend to improve the print market. When colour TV became affordable for the majority, everyone said that magazines would fade away, but actually it created such an awareness of colour that it really spawned the consumer magazine scene. Similarly with the internet – a lot of unsolicited advertising gets lost in the crowd on the internet and so leading supermarkets and a major media provider all regard print as very powerful. The ability to switch on a big amount of press power in a short amount of time is quite important to them.” David has also witnessed a trend of work being repatriated to the UK because of the economy. “Work which went abroad is now coming back because it’s cheaper here.” In terms of clients, BGP count some huge names in their portfolio. “We do everything for Dennis Publishing, including Men’s Fitness and Viz. We do a lot of work for a major supermarket and retail chain, and that’s a growing business because they find that print does actually help their business – they’ve got a number of publications plus a new one which we started printing nine months ago

“In fact, our environmental record is fantastic in terms of tree planting – we have forestry, the FSC management accreditations. The industry is actually very environmentally friendly. Our carbon footprint is quite low despite the fact we are big users of energy. We need to make youngsters aware that it’s actually quite an interesting, technical industry with a lot of career opportunities. “We’ve certainly turned a big corner this year and we’re looking forward to 2011 with a great deal of confidence that BGP will turn in an excellent performance.” www.bgprint.co.uk

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D’OVERBROECK’S COLLEGE

A PREPARATION FOR LIFE Forget any preconceptions you may have about independent education. With outstanding academic results placing d’Overbroeck’s as the number one school in the country in 2010 for ‘value added’ - combined with the pioneering of the AQA Baccalaureate - the College’s Principal, Sami Cohen, has a unique and innovative vision for his school, as Erica Conlan found out. d’Overbroeck’s College is located in the heart of Oxford, a city with a worldwide reputation for academic excellence. A co-educational independent school, it started life providing for sixth form students only, but in 2005 began taking pupils from the age of eleven. It now has four hundred and forty students aged between eleven and eighteen, and a maximum class size of fifteen, reducing to ten in the sixth form. Based on three sites, the school is firmly united by one overriding ethos that places the needs of individual students before institution or tradition. It is a dynamic approach that sets d’Overbroeck’s apart, explains Sami. “Most other schools in Oxford are hundreds of years old. We are one of the youngest. We are open to innovation, thinking ahead all of the time, rather than saying ‘We have always done it this way’. So, we are much more agile as a result.” This agility and refusal to allow the needs of the system to overshadow the needs of each student is fundamental. “We don’t ever want to say, ‘This is the system, you fit in with it or else.’ We want to say ‘This is a system that interplays with its students and is constantly moulding around them, recognizing that every student is an individual with their own strengths, and areas that can become stronger, and we need to help them all to do well.’” What this means in practice is that the school offers a much greater degree of flexibility in the subjects that students can take at A-level, continues Sami. “I start with the subjects that are right for the students. We rarely say that they cannot combine physics with history or French with biology, for example. We want them to explore their strengths.”

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This flexibility is paired with an interactive teaching style that encourages students to analyse, question and debate. An approach that makes perfect sense in today's world, according to Sami: "People don't just stay in one job now. They change jobs along the course of a career. The skill set has also changed. We need people who can analyse and evaluate and express themselves, so these are the skills our classes are geared towards honing.”

“This is a system that interplays with its students and is constantly shifting around its people, recognizing that every student is an individual ” d’Overbroeck’s strong A-level results speak for themselves. Last year was the first that A* grade came in at A-level. 27% of all d’Overbroeck’s students achieved this when compared to the national average of 8%. One in three of the upper sixth students are expected to get straight A’s in all of their subjects and 10% go on to Oxford or Cambridge each year. But, Sami is keen to stress that exam results are not the be all and end all. “They’re not the only way I would measure a successful education, there’s a lot more to it than that. However, at the end of the day, you

need strong exam results to go to the next stage. University education is becoming more competitive and is set to become even more so with the rise in tuition fees and cuts in funding, so results matter.” A dedication to providing a broad education has led to the pioneering of the AQA Baccalaureate, designed to be taken alongside A-levels and consisting of three elements; an AS level in critical thinking, one hundred hours of activities, such as Duke of Edinburgh, voluntary work, debating or sport and a five thousand word project. “It shows universities breadth, strength and ability to handle bigger workloads, and to work independently – an important quality that we want to develop in our students and that universities want to see developed in their undergraduates,” explains Sami. And the innovation extends to the scholarships offered. Alongside fairly regular scholarships, there is a scholarship for environmental awareness and the Julie Bailey scholarship, “designed to go to someone who could never afford independent education but who is an outstanding student who we could give an opportunity to. This year is also the first time we are offering an enterprise award to a student showing strong entrepreneurial qualities. We are always trying to find new and different ways to recognize talent and ability.” With such a focus on its students’ needs along with the strong partnership between school and parents, combined with a passionate belief in the highest possible quality of teaching and staff, Sami’s aim for the college to make its mark on education, not just in Oxford but on the world, seems eminently achievable. www.doverbroecks.com

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B4 EDUCATION

“We don’t ever want

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

to say This is the system, you fit in with it or else”

www.b4-business.com

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B4 ADVICE

AVOIDING TROUBLE Julie Bond has been resolving disputes for 31 years and these days sees as much value in avoiding trouble as going to Court…. Any litigator will tell you that there is nothing quite like winning a trial. It is a complete affirmation of your skill and judgment as a lawyer and justifies the huge effort involved. The sense of triumph is very satisfying. Whilst, thank goodness, I do not have much experience of losing cases, it tends to leave you in something like a state of shock. It is worse for clients. When we win, the client is often so relieved that the trial is over that it takes a while for the result to sink in. For the client who has lost, it is much worse. The shock is caused not only by the financial trauma but the sense of being disbelieved or publicly humiliated and it can take a long time to recover from it. Even where they are corporate clients, the individuals involved in a case are all, in essence, private clients. The process is lengthy, stressful and fraught with risks but fortunately we manage to settle the vast majority of cases without getting this far. I think it is because I have watched so many people go through it, that in recent years I have become such an advocate of mediation as a better process for dispute resolution and have become passionately committed to helping clients avoid the problems by risk and crisis planning in anticipation of disputes. This is really no different from learning a fire drill, but it can help a lot. An intelligent response to the risk of fire is to fit extinguishers and alarms and practice evacuation and yet businesses tend not to think in the same way about litigation risk. A serious dispute or regulatory enquiry can be catastrophic to a business and will not always be fully insured. It is in the end more satisfying to keep people out of trouble or at least make cases easier to handle when they arise. Claims very rarely come out of the blue, whether the client is claimant or defendant. Usually they arise from a known problem which has been rumbling on for a while but which has never been identified as a serious threat. The earlier a problem is identified as a "risk event" with the potential for future trouble, the better it can be controlled and managed and the better the outcome. What is needed is the inclusion of disputes as an element of the crisis plan for other types of risk. Therefore if you have a risk assessment in connection with the spillage of toxic materials, the associated crisis management plans should include the steps which should be taken right away to protect the company from claims associated with the spillage, not just the clean up. To get the best outcome you need to start the process of “claims management” long before a claim is made. Once clients have done this once, they get better and better at it, too. Before anyone starts to think that this is just a way of trying to sell legal services, they should note that the first person my clients are told to call in the event of a crisis is not me, but their PR consultant. Bad publicity at an early stage can never be undone and can have an adverse effect on legal outcomes in subtle ways. For example, making claims more likely and more numerous, and regulatory authorities more likely to make enquiries. Reputational damage may be more costly than legal liability. It is hard to get your best case out there two years after the event leading to the claim if what you are trying to say now www.b4-business.com

differs from what was reported at the time and is on the Internet, let alone Facebook, Twitter etc. In an example like the one I have given, the situation could move very fast and you can find yourself having to handle media enquiries even before you know all the facts of what had happened. Bad publicity can make the whole organisation look shifty and incompetent and indeed create other problems too. Think of all the recent high profile disasters where careless words have affected the share price! Moreover one enquiry often leads to another. An enquiry by the HSE into toxic spillage might easily reveal other health and safety failures and result in much more widespread problems. A crisis plan is not a luxury. The damage caused by a regulatory enquiry can be huge even if there is ultimately no prosecution and is a major risk in itself. This type of problem does not only apply to "disaster cases" like the example I have given but also to many more common commercial situations, and not only where our client is defendant. A problem with a supplier leading to quality or delivery issues for example, can have the same effect.

“Bad publicity at an early stage can never be undone and can have an adverse effect on legal outcomes in subtle ways” I confess however that I do tell clients not to leave it too long after they have called the PR Consultant to call me, and to give me the chance to work alongside the PR team, because there are usually urgent legal issues, too. Getting ahead involves analysis of the type of claim or regulatory problem which might exist, anticipating what potential claimants might be thinking, identifying and preserving evidence and controlling the proliferation of internal documents which might, in the long-run prove embarrassing. These days, Courts lean in favour of disclosing documents - even legal advice from in-house Counsel. Active steps must be taken to protect confidential material. What we try to do is deal with this and then we can usually just wait to see what happens offering guidance as matters develop. If we get it right, the case, if it happens, will be closed down quickly and both the direct and indirect cost will be less. Much as I like trials, these days I tend to measure success by the trials we have not had or the claims not pursued, but I hope there are still some out there to be fought - and won! Julie Bond is Head of Manches' litigation department in the Thames Valley. She is also a trained mediator. Julie can be reached on 01865 722106 or email julie.bond@manches.com. www.manches.com. 53


A DYNAMIC VENUE FOR ALL OCCASIONS Williams F1 Conference Centre Manager, Brendan Caffrey, talks to B4 about the key strengths of one of the county’s most sought after venues and explains why there are more reasons than one to choose this first class venue.

As a Conference Venue, Williams F1 is unique in the county, but from how far away do you attract clients? On the corporate side, we welcome guests from Europe on a weekly basis. Being only 90 minutes from LHR we are a 'destination of difference' for events and of course our sponsors are global companies. We also welcome visitors from all around the world with our public tours and race day experiences, which many people make an integral part of their itinerary. Please outline the capabilities of the venue in terms of highlighting the wide range of events you have staged, and also the capacities. We offer 10 multi-purpose event rooms suitable for between 2-200 guests. We accommodate almost anything from board meetings to product launches, Award Ceremonies and Exhibitions. Our rooms are very flexible and we work with our clients to ensure they get the best out of the Centre to give them the best possible experience. Team building and training are also very popular events we host, on the basis that Williams has a very strong ‘Team’ ethos. You offer some excellent activities for delegates to participate in to add an extra dimension to their event or conference. Please provide details. Whether you’re looking for fun, or to arrange a structured team building event, 54

we offer some unique activities. Our original F1 Simulator is very popular. Guests get to sit in an actual F1 car and drive two laps of the Silverstone circuit with the objective of achieving the fastest time. This really is the ultimate in boys toys! We can also arrange for various giant Scalextric options that can be very intense; be it a simulation of preparing for qualifying on a race weekend to achieve pole position or an endurance session which gets everyone running around and very competitive.

“Whether you’re looking for fun or to arrange a structured team building event, we offer some unique activities” The ultimate though has to be the AT&T Williams PitStop Challenge. Working on actual F1 cars, guests are trained on changing the wheels with the goal of setting the fastest pit stop time” (the goal being 4.7 seconds, as the AT&T Williams team do!) www.b4-business.com


B4 CONFERENCE Please give our readers some idea of the extent of the team and the support they provide – for example, the IT side and support in terms of making sure presentations work before the event, the excellent waitresses, conference support staff and reception staff.

where possible we get comments relayed directly from the team about our strategy and pit lane gossip.

I’m very lucky to head up a team who have a real passion for delivering 1st class events and who are passionate about maintaining our 100% guest satisfaction record.

The comments we have received lead us to believe it can actually be more enjoyable to watch the race in the Centre than at the circuit as there is more to do and see and it’s at a fraction of the price!

We have our own in-house AV Technician, who is able to assist our clients with their presentations prior to their events and set up on the day. When hiring the Ayrton Senna theatre, he will run the presentation to ensure a smooth transition from speeches to videos to Q&A sessions.

Please give our readers a sense of the value of memorabilia housed at Williams and one or two particular items of interest

Our in-house caterers, CaterMasters, offer a 5 star service with a wide range of menu choices to fit any event requirement. Our own troupe of serving staff offer a friendly and efficient service, with no

request too much trouble. Of course any event is only going to run smoothly if it is well prepared and planned. The team in the office and our Event Managers all work closely with our clients to ensure every aspect of the event is covered and should a challenge arise. A swift solution is found with as little fuss and disruption as possible.” How else do you feel you add value? We also offer a great Corporate Hospitality experience. On certain of the Grand Prix dates during the year we screen the race in the Centre. The day is a real experience with the guests typically arriving for breakfast before enjoying time in The Collection and ‘playing’ on the Simulator, Batak and Scalextric. An hour prior to the start of the race we gather everyone together for an introduction and a live telephone link with a senior member of the team at the circuit. Guests then enjoy the race on the big screen (or in the bar if they prefer) and www.b4-business.com

At the end of the race and following a de-brief, guests enjoy a 3 course buffet before departing.

Memorabilia…where do I start! The Williams F1 Conference Centre houses Sir Frank’s private Grand Prix Collection, probably the largest private collection of Formula One cars in the world. Currently we have over 38 original cars on display, all maintained to running order. In addition,

there is the Technology Room which gives an insight into what it takes to design, manufacture and build a car to get it to the race track. Our Trophy Room houses just a sample of the team’s victories over 32 years of racing. Even if you’re not an F1 fan, you cannot help but be inspired by The Collection. Does Frank Williams play an active role on the Conference side of the business in terms of getting involved in events? Sir Frank is very aware of what is happening on a daily basis here in the Conference Centre. He often attends meetings with Sponsors and on occasion may attend a function here. He is not available as a motivational or after dinner speaker, but we can sometime make arrangements for a senior member of the team to participate at a client’s event, if appropriate. www.williamsf1conferences.com

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CENTRAL NORTH OXFORD

WALTON MANOR

A stunning box bay fronted four/five bedroom Victorian town house situated in the heart of Walton Street 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 delightful Edwardian house providing flexible good size family accommodation over four floors situated in a quiet and highly sought after side road. The property is situated in the heart of Walton Manor providing immediate access to the wide range of shops, restaurants and bars located along Walton Street.

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, kitchen, cloakroom, utility room, large basement room, three bedrooms, family bathroom and garden.

Guide £1,195,000

Guide £695,000

JERICHO

WATERWAYS

A charming mid terrace two bedroom Victorian cottage in the heart of Jericho with potential to extend into the loft space which currently offers a velux window. The property offers flexible accommodation, double glazing and a south facing garden with pedestrian access to the rear. The property is within a short stroll of the popular Walton Street.

A well presented three bedroom ground floor apartment offering spacious accommodation with a separate utility room, allocated parking and ideally located for walking into Summertown with its wide range of shops and restaurants or catching the bus from the Woodstock Road into Oxford City Centre for more comprehensive amenities.

Entrance hall, sitting/dining room, kitchen, utility room, shower room, conservatory, two bedrooms, family bathroom, loft room and south facing garden.

Guide £420,000

Entrance hall, ensuite master bedroom, two further bedrooms, family bathroom, kitchen/sitting room, cloak cupboard, utility room, allocated parking.

Guide £550,000

M ayfield House, 256 Banbury Roa d, Su m m er tow n, O xford OX 2 7 D E


01865 318013 www.pennyandsinclair.co.uk

CENTRAL NORTH OXFORD

NORTH OXFORD

A bay fronted semi-detached four bedroom Victorian house built in 1899 to a design by H.W.Moore in this highly sought after North Oxford side road with ample off road parking and many period features. Planning permission has been granted for a rear extension to create an impressive kitchen/breakfast/living room.

Situated in a popular side road in North Oxford, this four bedroom 1930's semi detached house has been extended and now offers comfortable family accommodation with the benefit of a 100' west facing rear garden and off street parking. The property is situated a short distance from Summertown and its range of shops.

Entrance hall, sitting room, dining room, breakfast room, kitchen, conservatory, dry cellars, four bedroom, 2 bathroom, off road parking and gardens.

Hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, four bedrooms,  two bath/shower rooms, off street parking and 100ft west facing garden.

Guide £1,250,000

Guide £495,000

SUMMERTOWN

RAMSDEN

A stunning top floor apartment with the benefits of two west facing balconies and a mezzanine study with the option of using this as a third bedroom. This award winning building is situated within walking distance of Summertown and its range of shops and restaurants and benefits from communal gardens and allocated parking.

A delightful period cottage situated in a peaceful location in the popular village of Ramsden. The property enjoys well stocked gardens to both front and rear with the benefit of far reaching views across fields to the rear. To the side of the property is a driveway leading to a single garage. The popular Royal Oak pub is a short stroll away.

Entrance hall, sitting/dining room, mezzanine study, kitchen, ensuite master bedroom, bedroom two, bathroom, two balconies, gardens and parking.

Entrance porch, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, cloakroom, three bedrooms, family bathroom, enclosed rear garden, pretty front garden, driveway and garage.

Guide £550,000

Guide £425,000

Contact: 01865 318013

www.pennyandsinclair.co.uk


THE PLACE TO B2B! With state of the art function spaces and private hire ranging from an art gallery to a crypt Oxford Castle is conveniently located between Oxford train station and the city centre. Surrounded by stimulating buildings and serviced by an array of restaurants, a stylish hotel, and first class catering, Oxford Castle is the place to B2B!

Oxford Castle,  New Road, Oxford, OX1 1AY – www.oxfordcastle.com – 01865 201 657


B4 MARKETING

ZEST

DIGITAL

From a young age, Alex Minchin has made an impressive impact online. The Oxford online marketing consultant and passionate business owner uses an effective combination of search engine optimization (SEO), social media, web development, and user testing to help local businesses achieve maximum exposure. In his own words, he is “a gateway to showing businesses exactly what can be achieved online.” Alex Neale reports for B4. “I designed my first website at the age of twelve and carried on until I was fifteen, when I began to get really frustrated that nobody would ever visit them. I’d do all this hard work making the websites and when I went to check who had been to it, it was just me! That’s when I took an interest in how to drive traffic to a website and how to make a website work; through SEO and other marketing and creative disciplines. SEO and online marketing are sometimes considered complete wildcards. SEO, in particular, is regarded as a bit of a ‘dark art’ as some might say. It's a marketing strategy and one that fills the void between offline, and online, in terms of how accurate customer behaviour can be measured. With online sales now accounting for 10% of all retail sales in the UK, compared to just 0.5% in 2000 (IMRG), I think the early adopters of online marketing are showing the rest what they're missing out on!" “At the age of sixteen, I sold my first site for quite a lot of money... well, for a sixteen year old! Then, I went to university in Chester to study graphic design. I love graphic design and photography but it was more like a hobby than a career. When I came out of university, I worked for a web design agency just outside of Oxford where I learned a lot about the business side of things. I left on amicable terms, and my (then) Managing Director was really helpful by offering his advice.” “When I left, one of my big clients came with me which, again, the company were really gracious about. The client is now who I’m in business with – James Woollard - he invested in me after just three weeks. His guidance, in addition to the support shown to me by others, has been incredible.” Alex now runs Zest Digital Ltd, an online marketing consultancy based in Oxford. “I specialise in web-builds, but only small projects; projects that I can take from the very root. We’re about social media or optimising a website, or both, as an overall package. Then I bring in elements such as feedback sampling and user testing. We help clients understand how visitors interact with their site. Everything online leaves a trail, which means you can really get to understand your audience, your visitors, and how they’re engaging with your site, and from there you can look for ways to improve it.

“In a years’ time, I hope to have people working for me. I think it’s important to hire people better than you at certain things; both to compensate for my weaknesses to make the business stronger but also to push me to be better.” www.zestdigital.co

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Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

“I tend to bring in alliances to help with projects, and I’m still establishing those and working out who’s right for me in terms of the projects that I’ll be getting to work on. I’m currently working with an accountancy company in Oxford who are undergoing a re-branding, and I’m also working in conjunction with a branding agency. We were both in it from the start - we had the initial meetings and it’s working really well because we both understand where the potential crossovers are. We’ve allocated responsibilities and as long as those guidelines are there then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work. I focus on the post-build, so I like to help plan because it makes my job easier later on.


UNCOVERING THE TRUTH

“What the use of fingerprints was to the 19th century and DNA analysis was to the 20th, forensic accounting will be to the 21st century”, so said Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister when speaking as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in October 2006. By Tracey Jefferies. Despite the rather intriguing term (the word forensic usually conjuring up the idea of modern television thrillers involving skulduggery which the attractive forensic scientist solves) forensic accounting, in some form or another, can be traced back to America in the early 19th century. As the economy grew, companies continued to expand by conducting business further afield and using different banks in these areas in an attempt to hide income. Accountants were hired by the US Department of Justice to investigate those companies they suspected of engaging in illegal financial practices, with a view to combating tax avoidance. Put simply, in today’s world forensic accounting is an investigative style of accounting, which has evolved over time to include several types of

extremely complex) that it became apparent some of the money stolen was being moved to offshore accounts and some held in the names of other family members. Over the next four years and working with Phillip Croxson, Financial Investigator from Thames Valley Police Economic Crime Unit, (who also received a Commendation), it was established that approximately £16million had passed through over 40 different bank accounts, many of them offshore. After eliminating the value of transfers of funds between the various bank accounts and money from ‘legitimate’ sources, such as his earnings from being an accountant, it was deemed that approximately £4million was left from illegal sources, which had been converted into shares and property.

evidence but more usually it’s a case of painstakingly piecing together information until all the gaps are filled”, explained Keith Middleton. “I was absolutely surprised and delighted to receive the award but see it as an accolade that recognises the expertise and experience of everyone working at Wenn Townsend.” Keith Middleton joined Wenn Townsend 24 years ago and fellow partner Tony Haines believes that experience plays a vital role in forensic accounting: “Founded in 1876, and one of the longest established accountancy firms in the country, Wenn Townsend has played an important part in the accountancy landscape of Oxford and surrounding areas. Our hard won reputation underlines the firm’s ability to adapt to the ever-changing needs of our clients. It perhaps goes without saying that we need to be able to demonstrate a wide range

“Forensic accounting is a bit like trying to solve a jigsaw. You have an overview of a situation, a few facts and lots of small clues, which don’t necessarily appear to be obviously connected ” financial scrutiny and is used to determine illegal financial activity. It’s perhaps not a term easily recognised or used by the man in the street, but it is an area of investigation that Oxford-based accountancy firm Wenn Townsend knows more than most about. In December 2010 the Thames Valley Police Chief Constable’s Commendation was awarded to Keith Middleton, senior partner of Wenn Townsend for, “outstanding investigative ability during a complex financial investigation lasting over five years, resulting in a confiscation order for over £4million”. The award was related to a case involving an accountant (who also happened to be a Justice of the Peace) who was convicted on several counts of theft from his clients, false accounting and one count of attempting to pervert the course of justice, for which he received a custodial sentence. It was while investigating the theft (which was, in itself

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Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, 2002 there is a basic assumption that assets owned at the time of conviction have been bought with the proceeds of crime, unless it can be shown that money from legitimate sources has been used. Accordingly, even though the theft from clients, for which he was convicted, only amounted to approximately £40,000, the Court agreed that the shares and property worth over £4million had been bought with the proceeds of crime and were therefore to be confiscated. “Forensic accounting is a bit like trying to solve a jigsaw. You have an overview of a situation, a few facts and lots of small clues, which don’t necessarily appear to be obviously connected. As you start to investigate, gaps appear that perhaps weren’t obvious at the start. By filling these gaps you can either confirm legitimate practice or be led nearer to the truth. Sometimes you discover surprising

of industry expertise and we do. However, we’re also acutely aware that experience plays a vital role in maintaining our reputation for innovative practice. It is without a doubt that it was Keith Middleton’s vast experience, combined with his accountancy expertise, that led to such a satisfactory outcome and subsequent award.” Forensic accounting is a term that we’re likely to hear bandied around more often in the future and not always linked to crime. In domestic situations like divorce, forensic accounting can uncover hidden assets which one partner is seeking to hide. Conversely, it can also help to put a client’s mind at rest – they suspect their partner of hiding assets but forensic accounting proves to the contrary – the outcome ensures peace of mind and saves both parties money and unnecessary anguish. www.wenntownsend.co.uk

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

“The Thames Valley Police Chief Constable’s Commendation was awarded to Keith Middleton, senior partner of Wenn Townsend for, “outstanding investigative ability during a complex financial investigation lasting over five years ”

www.b4-business.com

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Pocket P ockett Landline. Laand dlin ne. IIt’s t’s lilike ke w earring g a suit su uit wearing o verr yo ourr ov verralls lls. over your overalls. Look the business with a local landline number that has all the convenience of a mobile.

BlackBerry® Curve™ 9300 smartphone in chrome

BlackBerry® Bold™ 9780 smartphone Nokia E5

O OCH123895/A/1210 OCH123895/A /A A//1210


news Spotlight on: Isansys Lifecare Limited Isansys Lifecare Limited, the singlesource provider of complete realtime physiological patient data acquisition systems and services, today announces its official debut as a company. The new business, focussing on providing continuous, real-time patient data to healthcare professionals using the Isansys Lifecare Platform is being headed by CEO and Co-Founder Keith Errey, the high-profile former CEO and Co-Founder of wireless body monitoring technology innovators Toumaz. The privatelyfunded company’s business operations and worldclass engineering team are based at Milton Park Innovation Centre, Abingdon. Isansys Lifecare has been created to harness the very best technologies and practices in the wireless healthcare space to provide realtime, continuous and high quality physiological data that meets the complete technical, clinical and regulatory needs of clinicians and other healthcare professionals. Isansys was formed in June 2010 by Keith Errey and Rebecca Weir, who bring extensive industry knowledge and unrivalled expertise in wireless healthcare technologies and devices, end-to-end monitoring systems, clinical trials, regulatory affairs and business operations. Keith Errey was the Co-Founder of Toumaz, the AIM-listed spin-out of Imperial College London that pioneered the “digital plaster” now being commercialised for wireless body monitoring applications. The founders’ collective experience uniquely positions Isansys to deliverbest-in-class, patient data systems and services from a singlesource – thus reducing cost and complexity for users and facilitating every stage of project lifecycle, from initial demonstrative clinical studies to fullscale system implementations. Key application areas include patient monitoring in hospitals, clinics, care facilities, and at home. Commenting on the company’s formal launch, CEO Keith Errey said: “We are hugely excited to be launching Isansys at what is a pivotal time for

Co-Founders Keith Errey and Rebecca Weir

healthcare professionals and organisations looking to benefit from the well-documented need of such systems to improve patient outcomes and reduce the number of adverse events, while simultaneously reducing the overall costs of healthcare. As the clinical and political recognition of the need for significantly improved patient monitoring has gathered pace, we recognised the massive opportunity that is open to a singlesource provider that can navigate the technology landscape and the regulatory framework. In this way we help organisations cost-effectively explore the potential of these new data systems and services in their own environment and according to their own specific needs. The lifecare industry is growing fast, with many companies now offering good individual technologies such as wireless sensors, low-power connectivity units, back-end software and apps. However, the challenge is to put it together and provide the clinical and professional care

community with the new information that can be gained from continuous monitoring of all patients. This enables them to spend more time in caring for those patientswithout involvement in the hassles and complexities of the technology and the regulatory burdens. By offering an all-encompassing service solution, Isansys is able to provide primary carers, hospitals, clinics and care-at-home organisations with rapid access to this data and almost immediate benefits for patients and healthcare payers.” With customer trials and pilot deployments already underway and planned, Isansys will shortly be announcing results from a key European clinical trial based on the Isansys Lifecare Platform. Future announcements will also be made highlighting Isansys’s key strategic partnerships. For more inforrmation www.isansys.com

please

visit:

About Milton Park Innovation Centre Milton Park Innovation Centre is the result of a collaboration between MEPC and Oxford Innovation. The Centre is state-of-the-art and purpose-built to provide high quality offices and business support

www.b4-business.com

for up to 60 small and growing companies in Oxfordshire. The Centre comprises 39,000 sq ft over three floors, comprising offices, meeting rooms and conference facilities. Flexibility has been a key

consideration in the design: space can be let on flexible licence agreements in a range of unit sizes from 90 to 1,500 sq ft. For more information please visit: www.miltonpark-ic.co.uk

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As the New Year starts and economic pressures require you to look hard at your marketing plans for this year, you may be thinking about taking your goods and services to an international market for the first time. You would be in excellent company in Oxfordshire where Lloyds TSB Commercial can provide specialist support services for importers and exporters alike. Tim Burden brings over 30 years’ experience in banking and specialist qualifications in financial services and international trade to the Lloyds TSB Commercial team in Oxfordshire and provides support for businesses with a turnover of up to £15 million. Tim provides an insight into the sorts of financial issues that every company with international

what currency, in order to plan the supply of goods or services. So Tim suggests that planning overseas activities is a far better way to managing the risk of international trade. This would include trading, at least in the beginning, with customers in similar markets to the UK, with clients who may have some contact with the existing operation, either directly or indirectly. It should come as no surprise that the major export markets for the UK are Europe, the United States or the Commonwealth countries. As well as these informal ways of securing payment, there are also formal devices such as letters of credit, guarantees, bonds and collections. A letter of credit is a common means of securing payment in international trade. It is a written

overseas clients. However, the supplier can still reduce his risks by asking for deposits with orders, using documentary collections, seeking bonds or guarantees, and possibly undertaking credit checks on customers. Once the invoice has been issued it may also be possible for the supplier to accelerate the cash flow by raising funds against invoices issued. Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance may be able to help with this, although the supplier may need to agree to funding his domestic business by the same means. Another area for consideration is the cost of trading with overseas clients and the extended lead-in times will also need to be taken into account e.g. shipping time. When it moves from domestic business into international business, the organisation may find itself carrying heavier costs

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

“Lloyds Commercial assists its clients to establish the customer’s all-important ability to pay” trading aspirations should carefully consider. He knows that often the first move into overseas markets is unplanned, where the business owner receives an unexpected enquiry from a potential overseas client. Seeing an opportunity, the business owner may be tempted to take contractual obligations on trust when starting out in order to reduce the associated paperwork and cost. However, the basic requirement for profit should be driven by the requirement to get paid by overseas client and the associated need to know when the scheduled payments will arrive, and in

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commitment by a bank overseas to make payment to the exporting supplier on behalf of the customer under specified conditions, which will include presentation of agreed trade documents (e.g. invoice, bill of lading, inspection and insurance certificates, etc.) and within pre-agreed timeframes. A letter of credit substitutes the bank's credit for the customer's credit, thus reducing the payment risk, particularly when the relationship is a new one. A more mature relationship may mean that a supplier is a little more relaxed when trading with

for longer periods than it may be used to. Duty, VAT, freight and insurance will need to be considered to ensure goods arrive safely with the overseas customer. Transporting goods between countries and possibly an extended credit period may mean a longer overall trading period for international trade compared with its UK equivalent. A key question to answer is ‘Is the supply chain sufficiently robust to enable the business to fulfill orders overseas?’ Indeed, there may be a need to set up overseas agents or distributors, responsible

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B4 FINANCE

LLOYDS COMMERCIAL SUPPORTING OVERSEAS TRADE Barbara Richardson of B4 talks to Tim Burden of Lloyds TSB Commercial about the essential support he provides businesses trading overseas.

for not only identifying potential clients but possibly also holding stock to meet urgent demand. In addition, having alternative suppliers available, on notice and with reliable lead-in periods, is important to the flexibility needed to meet the expectations of a new market. Whether paying overseas suppliers or taking payment from overseas customers, foreign exchange can obviously be a significant risk. Tim points out that changes in exchange rates between the date of contract and the date of payment can mean the difference between profit and loss, particularly if margins are fine. Lloyds TSB Commercial provides spot and forward dealing services for its clients, with specialised experts to call upon as needed for large or complex

exchange risk because it fixes an exchange rate and allows budgeting at a pre-determined rate of exchange. If the company agrees to take payment in a foreign currency, it may need a currency account in the UK or possibly overseas, particularly if there is countertrade in the same currency. Well-established support organisations for importers and exporters exist and there are emerging forums locally. For example, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), a government agency, work with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets, and encourage the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice. Tim Burden maintains close working relationship with UKTI and other

North Oxfordshire’s MP, Tony Baldry, has expressed his concern that support for Oxfordshire companies with prospective international trade plans is insufficient. OITF has an exploratory survey out at the moment, investigating what may be required from such a forum with the aim of launching in February this year. (www.otcn.co.uk/i_t_forum.htm) The future for international trading of UK companies seems bright. Investment website Morningstar (www.morningstar.co.uk) says that “There is a strong case for economic growth in emerging markets. And while those countries as a group contribute about a third to global GDP, they contribute more than half to global GDP growth, contribute a third to global trade, and are home to over 80% of the world’s population.”

“Whether paying overseas suppliers or taking payment from deals. A spot contract is a binding obligation to buy or sell a certain amount of foreign currency at the current market rate, for settlement in two business days’ time. This allows the company to buy or sell foreign currency on the day it chooses to deal.

organisations and suppliers of advice which lie outside the immediate financial areas of Lloyds TSB Commercial’s expertise, advising on suitable prospective overseas markets or building an export plan.

A forward exchange contract (or forward contract) is a binding obligation to buy or sell a certain amount of foreign currency at a pre-agreed rate of exchange, on a certain future date. A forward contract is the simplest method of covering

In Oxfordshire, the Oxfordshire Town Chambers Network (OTCN) is working with partners, including Lloyds TSB Commercial, to set up an Oxfordshire International Trade Forum (OITF) in the County.

www.b4-business.com

The Economist suggests that, over the next five years, half of global trade will be in emerging markets. Tim Burden wants his clients to be alive to this opportunity and it is easy to see why. Tim is happy to have discussions with any business looking to trade internationally whether a Lloyds TSB customer or not. Tim can be contacted on 07921 105530 or timothy.burden@lloydstsb.co.uk. www.lloydstsb.com/business

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Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

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B4 SPOTLIGHT The bid centered on the county's hightech businesses, scientific institutions and of course, its world-renowned academic status and strength. In selecting Oxfordshire as one of just 24 LEPs in the UK, the Government has shown not only that it recognises these strengths, but that there is a position for the county at the heart of the UK's future economy, itself led by this country's strengths in technology, innovation and design. Widely regarded as replacement organisations for the soon-to-be defunct Regional Development Agencies, LEPs have been heralded by the Coalition Government as a cornerstone of its agenda to empower business-led initiatives for the regeneration of local economies. Following a successful initial meeting, the Oxfordshire LEP is now up and running, with representatives from the private and public sectors working together to identify local opportunities for new jobs and economic growth, and to help deliver that growth through targeted funding. Along with the 23 other Enterprise Partnerships established so far, Oxfordshire LEP is now in a position to support bids for funding from the £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund - declared 'open for business' by the Government in October. Chairman of the Oxfordshire LEP and UK Country Manager for southern-Oxfordshire based company Infineum, Dr Martin DareEdwards, pictured, said: "Our initial priorities have been identified as business support, addressing skills deficiencies, inward investment and enabling infrastructure. "In the short-term our aim is to help develop a small number of bids for Government investment enabling specific projects in these priority areas to be taken forward. These will be focused on developing markets and creating high value private-sector jobs in those sectors with greatest economic potential. "The partnership is not aiming to act as an arbiter on what goes forward to Government, but rather to endorse and support proposals that will help achieve the ambitions set out in our original bid document. "At the same time we need to be realistic – the chances of securing funds are limited so we need to support a limited number of bids that reference back to the original bid document, are as fully developed as possible and that we are confident are deliverable."

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The partnership is currently proposing to back the following projects for the first round of Regional Growth Fund bids being submitted in January: • East West Rail infrastructure - being developed by the East-West Rail Consortium with support also coming from the South East Midlands Enterprise Partnership. • Realising the potential of Science Vale in general and the space sector in particular through investment in infrastructure and skills – being led by Science Vale UK and the International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) • Realising the potential of Oxford’s West End through investment in Frideswide Square infrastructure - being developed by the West End Partnership.

ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP

The partnership is also intending to support the development of future proposals for later rounds of Regional Growth Fund bidding including: • Technical Skills and Apprenticeships – confirmed as a priority by the Employer Skills Survey.

When the Government threw down the gauntlet for local areas to bid for permission to set up Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), a group of top names from the private and public sector in Oxfordshire came together to state the county's case.

Dr Dare-Edwards said: "Oxfordshire already has a proven track-record of excellence in support for and actual delivery of investment and innovation for new wealth-creation opportunities.

HERALDS BRIGHT FUTURE FOR

OXFORDSHIRE BUSINESS

"We want to build on this work through partnering other key growth-opportunity initiatives in our local region, and also across the whole of the UK." He added: "Technologies for space, bioscience, material science - especially for the nuclear energy sector - and related information analysis for all of these sectors, lie at the heart of Oxfordshire's justified claim for investment support to high-growth business regeneration. Ultimately, we want to engage with Government in a new way of working in which local needs are taken into account nationally." Representatives of the following organisations make up the Executive Board of the Oxfordshire LEP and the wider LEP Forum: Infineum UK, Blake Lapthorn, ByBox, CPM, Oxford Inspires, Oxford Instruments, IoD, Goodman, MEPC, Chiltern Railways, Science and Technologies Facilities Council (CTFC), Defence Academy, Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Oxford City Council, Oxford and Cherwell Valley College (OCVC), University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Blenheim Palace & UKAEA. www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/lep

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THE RANDOLPH For thousands of visitors to Oxford, The Randolph Hotel not only represents the perfect base, plum in the middle of Oxford city centre, but it has the undeniable class, sophistication and style which underlines its five star status, unique in Oxfordshire. Stefan Grünert and his partner, Jenny Woyand, had the enviable task of reviewing The Randolph Hotel’s Presidential Suite and restaurant. It’s not every day you get the opportunity to review a stunning five star hotel, and this was an experience both of us will never forget. I must declare from the outset that we were five star virgins, so spent the first couple of hours not speaking to eachother – we couldn’t as our mouths were hanging open! Not a good start – we had been told the wrong date for our visit so it was a mad dash to grab some clothes and look vaguely presentable as we drew up outside the hotel. The entrance is impressive, with lush flags adorning the frontage and an impeccably dressed concierge there to greet us. We had that five star feeling already ……. and loved it!

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The only downside to staying in the Presidential Suite was that given we were in such a sophisticated environment, it wouldn’t have been the done thing to stand on the reception desk as we were checking in to tell everyone. I was tempted to ask throwaway questions such as, ‘Out of interest, does the PRESIDENTIAL SUITE have lights? Does the PRESIDENTIAL SUITE have a bed?’ etc….. just to flag up with those surrounding me that we were, for a day at least, the most important people staying in this magnificent hotel. I was sold before we opened the doors to the suite, and, to be honest with you, if we had walked in to a tiny room with two single beds and curtains hanging off the rail, my enthusiasm and excitement wouldn’t have waned. The reality was that we were in probably the most stunning room we could have

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B4 R&R

hoped for. Vast, stupendous, lavish, stunning and just very, very, very, very damn good. This was something we could both get used to, but, alas, in the immortal words of Jennifer Hudson, this was for, ‘One Night Only’. If I told you there was a library in the suite, you probably wouldn’t believe me, but if I tell you it had two ‘deluxe’ lavatories, then that gives you an idea

seen. Resplendent with magnificent artwork, huge windows looking out on to the city and tables dressed with almost military precision, this was fine dining at its very best.

mustard, the salmon is sliced in front of you. Accompanied by a glass of champagne from the chef, minutes ticked by like hours, cocooned in our own little world of heavenliness.

We were cordially welcomed by our waitress and the Head Waiter came to introduce himself. General Manager, Michael Grange, also came to wish us an enjoyable evening and ask if we had

Thereafter we enjoyed rucola on pumpkin ravioli with pine nuts, crème brulée, fine wine, coffee… .the list goes on. I feel it would be harsh for me to go into too much detail having enjoyed such a

“If I told you there was a library in the suite, you probably wouldn’t believe me” of the size of this ‘chamber’. The King Sized bed looked good enough to stay in for a whole month, but no time to linger and gawp, it was time for dinner. I have never felt like a King before, or even a President, but as we closed the door on our favourite room in the whole world, I held Queen Jenny’s hand as we walked, at least ten feet tall, to the sweeping staircase, and we floated all the way down to the bottom.

any problems. Problems? In The Randolph? Sacre bleu! I can’t imagine the word ‘problem’ has been uttered once.

Just how can another hotel compete with this?

We had never experienced anything quite like this before, was this real? Such a genuine, warm and heartfelt welcome from everyone we met only served to underline why The Randolph has a worldwide reputation as Oxfordshire’s leading hotel. You can’t buy history and experience, and The Randolph demonstrates that on every level.

Our perfect evening continued in what I can only describe as the most beautiful dining room I had

We almost forgot that we were there to eat! Starting with freshly sliced smoked salmon with green

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mesmerizing experience. To visit The Randolph once in your lifetime is a must. Of course you don’t have to do it in quite the style we were fortunate enough to enjoy. There are a range of excellent rooms which can ensure your experience is just as spectacular. But for us, our expectations are now firmly fixed on the best room in the house, wherever we are! And we are both determined that, one day, we will return to relive the experience. www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/randolph

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www.oxfordairport.co.uk 01865 290600


B4 COMMUNICATION

ENGINEERS WITH VISION PART 6 – A CTI APPLICATION WITH A DIFFERENCE

“The Address Book feature on Samsung Xchange allows you to search all your CRM databases simultaneously” Over the last 5 issues of B4 Magazine we have provided an insight into some of the most popular features of a modern telephone system. In this issue we highlight some of the key advantages and benefits of using the office telephone in conjunction with the computer. CTI or Computer Telephony Integration is a method of combining the functionality of the two most important tools within the office, the telephone and the computer. In essence, CTI is when a call is received at your extension and the caller’s telephone number is used to look up the caller’s contact details within a company’s CRM database. The caller’s telephone number is displayed on your screen in a small discreet notification window and will provide the means to answer the call, or to bring up the caller’s record in the CRM. Samsung have developed an exclusive CTI application called Samsung Xchange. This application provides a number of benefits when receiving or indeed making calls from the OfficeServ telephone system. As well as “popping” the inbound caller’s details, Samsung Xchange allows you to quickly and easily www.b4-business.com

dial from your CRM database and search for contacts by name or location – often in an easier way than is provided by the actual CRM application itself. In addition to CRM integration and call previewing, Samsung Xchange provides the following features: • Call control from your PC. • Internal contact manager for private contacts that are not in the company’s main CRM database. • A detailed call history to see at a glance who you have called and been called by, no more lost calls. • Dial from anywhere – Web pages, Microsoft applications, most database applications and many other places. • Presence – see the presence status of colleagues, including whether they are in DND, out of the office, in a meeting, etc. and quickly call them. • You can also use the buttons on the notification window to answer the call, or to bring up the caller’s record in the CRM. Call Control using Samsung Xchange, can completely control your handset from your PC. Make calls and pick up calls that are ringing (even calls that are not ringing at your handset), hang-up, deflect/forward calls, put calls on hold, perform transfers and consultations.

The Presence window in Samsung Xchange allows you to view a customisable, quick-searchable list of other extensions and people and see everything about them at a glance (security settings permitting): their name, number, department, whether they are in the office, available or on a call, who they are on the phone to and whether they have Do Not Disturb or Call Forward turned on. The Address Book feature on Samsung Xchange allows you to search all your CRM databases simultaneously, as well as storing an internal list of contacts that are not in any of your CRM databases. From the search results, you can quickly dial, email, or show the Contact in your CRM application to see more information. We use mobile demonstration systems which are a great way to demonstrate to you how the powerful Samsung OfficeServ system coupled with the Samsung Xchange CTI application can benefit you and your business processes. Please call us on 0845 241 7772 or email enquiries@orangestripe.co.uk to book a convenient date. www.orangestripe.co.uk

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THE COMPLETE MARKETING PACKAGE FOR RESTAURANTS

Attract & Keep Customers Coming Back B4, In Oxford Magazine and InTouchCRM are offering restaurants in the Oxford area an exclusive chance to sign up to a marketing programme tailored to the needs of restaurants and food establishments.... and we’re not charging a penny!

Come along to our FREE seminar and find out how we can help with: • A FREE system to create and maintain your customer database • A FREE monthly email newsletter for your business • Additional marketing and technical support • Complimentary* video and exposure on the In Oxford Magazine website www.inoxford.com to drive more customers to your door

When & Where? Thursday 17th February 2011 at Malmaison Hotel in Oxford with complimentary refreshments. Choose from 3 sessions: Session 1: 10am - 11am Session 2: 2pm - 3pm Session 2: 3.30pm - 4.30pm Places are limited to 20 in each session, so sign up now to avoid disappointment and email us at: events@b4-business.com

www.inoxford.com

www.b4-business.com

*depending on package agreed


B4 R&R

FULL MARKS FOR FRILFORD HEATH 2010 has been a busy year at Frilford Heath Golf Club, or as the Captain wrote in his annual report, “Twenty Ten was a year of great change at Frilford Heath Golf Club”

Jimmy James, General Manager and Alistair Booth, Executive Director have now been in situ for 12 months and have overseen the changes and developments at Frilford. Alistair says. “Jimmy and I sat down at the end of last year and listed all the projects, great and small, that we wanted to tackle with a 1, 3 and 5 year plan. This list is still being added to, but core to our plans was to try and increase the membership.” Remarkably, Frilford have been able to increase membership by 5.4% in the year and are going for further 5% growth in 2011. This is quite an achievement when the majority of golf clubs across the UK are experiencing a fall in membership of between 5 and 10 %. Frilford is definitely ‘bucking the trend’ which speaks volumes for the quality of the three courses and the facilities within the clubhouse and practice areas. In fact, there have been improvements in all areas of the golf club. Behind the scenes in the offices, a new server has been installed along with office furniture. Club 2000 upgrades allow, amongst other things, members to enter competitions via touch screen displays around the clubhouse and, with the introduction of on line entries, members will be able to enter competitions from the comfort of their homes or offices later on in 2011. The clubhouse has seen refurbishment of the dinning room and snack bar and a major refurbishment of the ladies locker room which will see the completion of Phase 3 by March 2011. Investment has also seen the introduction of three new flat screen TV’s, one being 60,” that not only

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show the satellite sport channels but which are also ideal for presentations, a facility which has been used more and more during 2010 with companies taking advantage of the excellent seminar and training facilities at Frilford. An increase in the members discount to 20% by using the Member’s Card along with three new menus during the year, a new wine supplier and daily specials has resulted in significant growth in the food and beverage business from members and non members alike.

“Frilford is definitely ‘bucking the trend’ which speaks volumes for the quality of the three courses and the facilities” Out on the course is where the investment has been most noticeable. Not only has the Club recruited an additional three ground staff, but there has also been a significant increase in capital equipment. New technology and equipment has been imported from the US, two turf irons have been acquired in addition to the latest green cutting machinery with ancillaries. There is also an ‘Amazone’, which cuts and collects longer grass such as rough in the summer and leaves in the winter. Last, but by no means least, the latest hi-tech grinding and sharpening machine has been

purchased which will ensure that the blades of the cutting machines will not only be at their optimum sharpness, but also set as precisely as they can be. Frilford’s partnership with Natural England has seen real rewards with the return of rare plants and species that are only found in a very few areas in the UK, never mind Oxfordshire. The Club has also continued to strive to improve the golf facilities for its members in not only providing three championship courses and three practice areas but also the first stage of a new Driving Range. This will be developed during 2011 with the intention of having a covered area for winter 2011/12, with teaching and refreshment areas. All in all the changes that have taken place at Frilford Heath over the last 18 months and the plans for the next 3 to 5 years augur well for members and visitors alike. This has been recognized by the EGU and EWGA with Frilford being awarded the English Golf Captains Final in August 2011 by the EGU, The Brenda King Foursomes by EWGA in 2012 and the prestigious “English Amateur” in 2013 by the EGU. Alistair and Jimmy hope to make further announcements during 2011. There is never a better time to become a member of Frilford Heath Golf Club, one of the UK’s premier clubs, as it continues to invest and develop the golf club, not only for today but also for the future. For more details about membership, please contact generalmanager@frilfordheath.co.uk or visit www.frilfordheath.co.uk

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INNOVATE & CULTIVATE JOIN A COMMUNITY OF DYNAMIC COMPANIES IN A CONTEMPORARY, STATE OF THE ART, CUSTOM-BUILT INNOVATION CENTRE. Range of office sizes to suit start ups and growing companies: • • • • • •

Fully serviced office suites for start up companies Semi-serviced suites available for larger companies Regular networking opportunities Business support services available to assist growth Excellent rail and road transport links Virtual Offices from £99.50 per month includes telephone answering, mailing address & access to meeting rooms

Cutting edge conference, meeting and training facilities: • • • •

Hire by the hour or day Air conditioned Complimentary wifi Free parking

Milton Park Innovation Centre 99 Milton Park, Abingdon, OX14 4RY t: 01235 854000 e: miltonpark@oxin.co.uk www.miltonpark-ic.co.uk

Milton Park Innovation Centre is managed by Oxford Innovation on behalf of MEPC. www.oxin.co.uk www.mepc.com

www.miltonpark-ic.co.uk


B4 MARKETING

“There’s no point in being in business if people don’t know you’re there ”

RECOGNITION EXPRESS

Recognition Express was established over thirty years ago to provide ‘unique and promotional solutions to a large customer base of household names’. Scot Andy Olejnik bought the Oxfordshire franchise after growing out of jobs which required him to travel thousands of miles each week – a move which not only allowed him to work close to home, but also enabled him to work with his daughter who now helps him to run the office. He had lived in Banbury for twenty five years, but claims he only really got to know the county once he began working there and catering for its local businesses. Alex Neale reports for B4.

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

“I’ve been involved in the print and promotional side of business ever since I left school in Scotland. After doing my graphics and technology qualifications in Edinburgh, I moved down to the Midlands and joined a company who specialised in product marking. I worked my way up to production manager there, and at the same time studied at Birmingham University for a BA Business Studies degree. After leaving Birmingham, I worked my way around some senior management positions until the start of this year when I began working in Dudley - a good fifty five mile drive from home.” Andy worked out he had been averaging 1000 miles a week, which is when he decided that he wanted to find a job where he could focus on one area. There was no question that Oxfordshire was where he wanted to stay. “I’d dealt with Recognition Express in the past; I knew the company and I’d always been really pleased with the products. In conversation one day with my local Recognition Express supplier, I was told that the Oxfordshire franchise was available because the chap that previously had it had won ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’. The rest is history really. “Recognition assists organisations with promotion – be that of the organisation

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itself, the image of the organisation, an event, or a product. There’s no point in being in business if people don’t know you’re there, and even companies who have been around for a long time need to be careful not to slip off the radar. There are always newcomers who will tend to do a lot of advertising, so for them we supply everything and anything – pens, mugs, t-shirts, signage, banners, exhibition stands, and point-of-sale units for shops. “A company I’m working with at the moment are having a market launch of a new piece of equipment that they’ve spent a lot of money developing and they don’t want to just hand out leaflets because that will probably end up in a filing cabinet or in the bin, they want something a little more functional. For that we’re looking at USB memory sticks, mugs, and nice engraved pens - not just biros. They want something people will use – the most popular product at the moment are the USB flash drives. “I feel very lucky to be part of a company that is constantly growing - there are about 46 franchisees in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany and I believe there’s going to be one in South Africa very shortly. We are, quite simply, a local company serving Oxfordshire, and it’s great to be focused on one county!” www.re-oxfordshire.co.uk

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B4 R&R

DARING TO KEEP IT LOCAL

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

Andrew Creese first came to prominence in Issue 13 of B4 as the new General Manager at Malmaison Hotel, Oxford Castle. He can look back at just over a year’s hard work with a great deal of satisfaction. B4 caught up with Andrew to reflect on his tenure to date and look forward to one particularly exciting event in 2011. For a 32 year old, Andrew Creese has the aura of someone at least ten years his senior. Confident, direct and professional, it’s no wonder Andrew has made this hotel his own and one of the best performing in the group. “We’re very proud of our occupancy rates – consistently in the 90%’s, month on month. There was a very good foundation of business when I came here in 2009, but we have built upon that, and I have my exceptional team to thank for helping us achieve that.”

Andrew also recognises the spirit in the business community as key to the hotel’s success and a crucial factor in helping him keep Malmaison Oxford near the top of the pile in terms of performance against other Malmaison hotels. “The business community here in Oxford is phenomenal. We see a lot business come through word of mouth and recommendation, which must prove we are doing something right. Being chosen as one of B4’s key venues in 2010 really gave us a boost in terms of business and provided us with two great opportunities to showcase the hotel.

“There’s no doubt that successful teams fuel performance, and the management team at Malmaison are no different. Head Chef, Russell Heeley, and Andrew’s right hand man, Giles Hammond, help to provide the spine for Malmaison to continue to excel.”

“I’ve never seen people queueing out of the building before like at the September B4 Ambassadors Event, and it was a sight to see our waiters and waitresses keeping those in line topped up with a drink. We’ve had some great events here, but in terms of networking and showcasing the hotel, I think it will take some doing to beat the 237 we had here that night.”

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For a chain, it would be easy to presume that Malmaison Hotels source nationally for their product and rely on central purchasing. Of course some items are purchased centrally to benefit from economies of scale, but Andrew points out that, in line with keeping connected with the business community in Oxfordshire, it is group policy to work with local suppliers and keep food miles down. “It makes complete sense to work with local suppliers. Sure we could get cheaper prices by sourcing centrally, but then we would, without question, suffer on quality, and it’s imperative not to let standards slip.” Food purchasing is left to Russell Heeley, Andrew’s talented Head Chef who has been with Malmaison since day one. His purchasing record takes some beating, and understanding, as Andrew explains. “It’s amazing what Russell sources from the most www.b4-business.com


“It’s about supporting the local community and its suppliers and putting money and revenue out to them” unusual of suppliers. All of the suppliers have to be diverse these days and Russell sourced all of his Christmas turkeys through the fishmonger, which made me scratch my head!” Working with local businesses is highly important to Andrew, as he explains. “We’re not a company that’s reliant on lorry-loads across the UK to get the cheapest price possible. It’s about supporting the local community and its suppliers and putting money and revenue out to them. We are then able to showcase that through our menus, and our head chef then has the individuality to be able to reproduce what he likes, within reason. “Russell can pick up the phone in the morning to the local suppliers, and he can find out what’s fresh off the boats that day or what the butchers have got in, and they are then able to decide and arrange their menu and their specials around that. You’ve got elements of the menu being fixed and that’s where you’re ordering the same stock, week in, week out from the suppliers. But for me, it’s all about the specials and being different, so if you’re coming into the brasserie as a regular, then it’s not the same menu every week – hopefully there’s enough there with fresh specials to interest you. www.b4-business.com

“Russell will say to the young Chef de Partie in the kitchen, ‘this is what we’ve got in, you design a menu from it and let’s see if your dishes can sell out in the brasserie’. It’s an education to these guys. To cost out meals, design them, get them onto the menu……that’s teaching them how to be a chef.” Sourcing locally will also be a key element of the 2011 In Oxford Magazine Restaurant Awards, being held in the Exercise Yard of Malmaison on September 12th later this year. It’s a high profile event, as Andrew recognises. “It’s very important for us that we are involved. It not only raises the profile of the business, but it gives us a great opportunity to say to existing and new local suppliers, ‘supply us for the awards and showcase yourself to all of these local restaurants’. It’s better than any advert they could take out. The opportunity to get your product onto the plate of so many restaurant owners doesn’t come along every day, so it’s a fantastic opportunity for them to get involved.”

One other way Andrew is looking to connect with the local community is through the In Oxford Magazine Big Draw. By entering the text entry competition on the www.inoxford.com website, you can get the chance to win a two hour consultancy, with a friend, with Head Chef Russell Heeley, or one hour with five friends and the Malmaison Mixologist (cocktail maker to you and me) or an hour with Malmaison’s sommelier, plus five friends. “This is another great initiative we are delighted to be a part of. It keeps us in the public eye and these are great experiences for the general public to be able to come in and try out and hopefully go and tell their friends about.” So why not make it your New Year’s resolution to book a table at Malmaison, or why not treat yourself to a night in the cells? Sample the first class cuisine and, at the same time, support local suppliers at this excellent city centre hotel and brasserie. www.malmaison.com

So if you want to get involved as a supplier, sponsor or just want to buy a ticket for the Awards, contact B4 on 01865 742211. 77


B4 CHARITY

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Claire Styles, Director of WILA Group explains the importance of WILA’s corporate social responsibility of giving to charity.

Supporting good causes in times of economic downturn may seem unrealistic, especially when many companies continue to cut nonessential expenditure. However, these challenging times are when many charities most need support, as their income streams are impacted by supporters’ reduced ability or willingness to give. In terms of return on investment, this can be one of the best times to support charities, when giving has the greatest impact on charities’ ability to deliver their services. The demand for many charities’ services has also increased due to growing pressures on their beneficiaries.

Claire says “Making a difference to a charity or a good cause can be achieved in several ways, including giving or raising money, in kind support, or giving time through volunteering. Some companies are deterred from engaging in charitable support due to concerns about not being able to ‘do enough’ or the impact on their business when all energies are focused on improving the bottom line. However, a great deal of the most rewarding support is offered on an achievable level and still delivers valuable benefits on both sides. For WILA benefits can include improved employee

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engagement, morale, recruitment and retention; team building opportunities; positive publicity and more. These benefits can be all the more valuable in challenging times. The key to successful support is identifying what you can and can’t do, recognising the potential benefits for both parties and working together to ensure that we achieve them.”

“The key to successful support is identifying what you can and can’t do, recognising the potential benefits for both parties ” “WILA has been working with Helen & Douglas House since June 2010, following the company’s involvement with The Grand Event, a fundraising event at Grove Technology Park in August 2009. As well as visits to Helen & Douglas House by WILA directors, the charity has met with staff members

to present its work and talk about ways in which they can become more involved in supporting the charity. The company has underwritten its support with a £5,000 donation, equivalent to 33 days of a nurse providing one to one care to children and young adults at the charity’s hospice for children and young adults in East Oxford. Through the company’s links with Alchester Rugby Club, fundraising for the hospice is also taking place alongside one of the club’s cup games” says Vanessa Fay, Corporate Fundraising Manager, Helen & Douglas House. Vanessa adds “WILA’s commitment in supporting Helen & Douglas House offers a fantastic opportunity to work together in attaining the benefits WILA aims to achieve from its charitable support. Equally importantly, it is delivering lasting benefits for many young people and families supported by Helen & Douglas House. Each year, the charity provides respite, emergency and end of life care for over 300 children and young adults from Oxfordshire and the neighbouring counties, as well as a diverse range of support for their families. This couldn’t be achieved without the support of local companies like WILA.” www.wila.com

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Charities Macmillan Cancer Support and B4 Magazine invite you to join the 100+ Club We call on all businesses to make a real difference in 2011! In a break with tradition, B4 are proud to announce their first ever charity partnership. We are supporting Macmillan in 2011 for the following reasons: • Every week, 58 people in Oxfordshire will be told they have cancer and one in three of us will receive a cancer diagnosis at some point in our lives. • Macmillan Cancer Support provide financial, advisory and care services to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. • 2011 is Macmillan’s Centenary – what better time to support a well-loved charity? The Macmillan 100+ Club, which encourages 100 Oxfordshire business to pledge to raise £1000 for Macmillan in 2011, offers sound business benefits to our customers and partners who take part: • Engage your community to build stronger relationships and demonstrate your corporate values whilst securing valuable PR and media coverage. • Work with your staff to develop better team relationships, enhance skills for personal development or boost staff morale and retention

• Drive sales by creating incentives and sales promotions for your customers to increase their loyalty to your brand Every company which signs up will receive A bespoke 100+ Club Fundraising Pack containing everything needed to get you started. Your logo on a specially developed B4 website page to provide networking opportunities. A quarterly newsletter to hear about your fellow 100+ Club members fundraising efforts and exploits! An invitation to a special networking event at the end of the year to celebrate reaching Macmillan’s £100,000 target. Why not make 2011 the year your company makes a real difference to Oxfordshire families, and has fun taking part in a great challenge. For more details email: oxfordshire@macmillan.org.uk or call: 01869 322279.

Appeal to businesses to support Help For Heroes “I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the tremendous courage and commitment shown by our injured servicemen and women and make a very small contribution to their rehabilitation. Help for Heroes is a fantastic charity and makes a real difference to the lives of some extraordinary people.”

A solicitor from Oxford law firm Withy King, who will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in June to raise money for Help for Heroes, is appealing for support from the region’s business community. Chris Kane, a partner at Withy King Solicitors, will be part of a 40-strong team of rugby players and supporters attempting to reach the 5,895m summit of the world’s highest free-standing mountain. A camera crew from the International Rugby Board-funded Total Rugby programme will be accompanying the trip.

The cost of Chris’ venture is being funded by Withy King, Baker Tilly and HSBC so every penny raised from corporate sponsors and individuals will go direct to the charity. Oxford businesses who have already pledged their support by contributing £250 to become corporate sponsors include: Shaw Gibbs, James Cowper, B4 Magazine, Chapman Robinson & Moore, Clydesdale Bank, NatWest and Lloyds TSB Commercial. To find out more or to sponsor Chris, please contact 01865 792300, chris.kane@withyking.co.uk or www.bmycharity.com/kilimanjaroJune2011

Enter The In Oxford Big Monthly Draw In Oxford Magazine aim to raise funds for the Oxford Children’s Hospital with our text entry competition.

our many great prizes. With 25% of all profits being donated to the Oxford Children’s Hospital, why not have a go?

For just a £1 text entry, plus standard network charges, you stand the chance of winning one of

Visit www.inoxford.com and click on the Big Draw banner advert on the right of the screen.

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Clark still holds the same beliefs he held back in Issue 3. “Service and quality are our keywords. Not only do we offer extremely fast turnaround times, but we provide an excellent end product. Today’s technology is a huge factor in helping us deliver, but there is still a huge amount of our time which goes into making sure that the product fits our customer’s vision.

and online marketing making us more of a boutique creative agency. Studio8 provide feature rich content through their photography and high definition video services, together with the means to market your website and brand online. “Studio8 work with companies either direct, their PR agencies and/or their marketing companies to

effective offline too, we are passionate about exploring the potential of video online. Having a video on a website, if used properly, can be incredibly effective. “As soon as you land on a webpage and see the ‘play’ icon on a page, you can’t help but click it. It’s because everyone likes entertainment and the play

“We will consider any brief, focusing on achieving results that quite simply bring your ideas to life – and we won’t let your budget spiral out of control.” “Our high specification equipment is vital. Versatility is also a fundamental part of studio8’s character and adaptability to almost any project is one of our key strengths. We will consider any brief, focusing on achieving results that quite simply bring your ideas to life – and we won’t let your budget spiral out of control. But Studio 8’s services have now become broader, as Clark elaborates. “We now also provide video

help create and deliver digital content effectively. We are a team of creative minds, including photographers, videographers and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) experts. “Some clients choose to use only one of our services, some utilise our skills and come to us for a one stop shop to help sell more online, it really depends on what the client is looking for. Of course, although photography and video can be

button has become synonymous with entertainment ever since the first video recorders were used at home. We instinctively know that video on a website is going to provide us with moving images and hopefully sound in the way of speech or music. It is a very engaging and easily digestible way of receiving information and is becoming more used to digest information than potentially boring text.

STUDIO8: MORE THAN JUST PICTURES

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B4 MARKETING

In Issue 3 of B4 Magazine, all those years ago, I wrote that, “B4 are indebted to Clark and Brooke Wiseman for bringing the faces behind the interviews to life. Without exception, our customers have been bowled over by this refreshing and energetic young couples’ zest for what they do. They bring new meaning to the phrase ‘artistic passion’. A photo-shoot with Clark leaves you feeling invigorated and ready to face the world – more therapeutic than boring ‘click, click, click’”. That was nearly five years ago. Ever since then, Studio 8 has become a second skin for B4. Richard Rosser reports.

“If I presented you with a page of text content about a subject such as how to fix a problem on your iPad and provided you with an option to watch a quick 2 minute how to video on the subject – which would you prefer to use? “We are becoming increasingly busy these days and mobile information is available to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where we are. We surf the internet on our mobile phones, iPods, iPads, Laptops, Desktop PC’s and now even digital TV such as the Apple TV. It is because of our busy

lives that we enjoy the ease of video content. It is quick, easy and entertaining. “Online Video is now the most rewarding tool for any business wanting to increase brand awareness and traffic back to their website. Online videos now account for 60% of web traffic – that sums it up really! “It’s a little known fact that YouTube is the World’s 2nd largest search engine after Google and being owned by Google, this is why video results show

up on Google searches you perform. We suggest videos are added to your company’s YouTube channel as this is the easiest way to embed to your website, share with others and embrace the endless clicks waiting for a well optimised video.

Call Studio8 on 01865 842525 or email info@studio-8.co.uk to find out how they can help create high definition web videos for your business plus full broadcast quality high definition videos. www.studio-8.co.uk

ONLINE VIDEO FACTS 1. 77% of adults have viewed videos online. About 33% of these adults are in college or have completed a degree. 2. YouTube has an average of 100 million unique visitors per day, viewing about 6 billion videos. 3. An average viewer watches about 273 minutes of online video. 4. More businesses have invested in online video ads in 2009, growing up to 45% in 2009. 5. After viewing an online ad, about 46% of

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viewers take action, whether through visiting the company’s website, asked for further info or purchasing a product or service. 6. 65% of viewers watch online ads all the way to the end. 7. By 2011, it is expected that $4.3 billion will be spent because of online video ads. 8. Most people (about 65%) who watch online videos are between 35-64 years of age and 67% of these have middle to high incomes.

9. Online videos account for 60% of Internet traffic. 10. Of the Top 50 Internet Retailers, 68% have videos on their site. 11. 60% of web traffic is video. 12. Nearly 31 billion videos were viewed in the month of December 2009. 13. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine and at times gets more visits than Google. Source: Google

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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 SPOTLIGHT

“I was surprised and delighted to receive this great honour”

NOMINET CHIEF EXECUTIVE AWARDED OBE Local businesswoman Lesley Cowley, who is Chief Executive of Nominet and a B4 Ambassador, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List for services to the internet and e-commerce. As CEO, Lesley has been the driving force behind Nominet's commitment to shaping the development of the internet to make it a trusted and secure space for all. Based in Oxford, and employing 115 staff, Nominet is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .uk Internet infrastructure. As one of the world's largest Internet registries, it maintains a 'directory' of more than 9 million domain names ending in.uk, and runs the technology which locates the computer hosting the website or email address you are looking for. It also plays a major role in shaping Internet policy and governance internationally. Lesley has been Chief Executive of Nominet since 2002. In 2007, she won the CBI First Women Award for Technology. In 2006, she was a top five finalist in Britain’s Best Boss awards and received a special commendation. Lesley is an elected Council Member and Vice Chair of the Country Code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO) of ICANN. She is a Fellow of: The British Computer Society, The Institute of Credit Management, The Chartered Management Institute and the Royal Society for Arts. She is a Member of the Institute of Directors, The Inspirational Women Network and is a STEM Ambassador to schools.

She was a founding Trustee of the Nominet Trust charity and served on Board of the Trust until December 2010. She is currently a Trustee of the Jenner Hall charity. Lesley Cowley commented: "2010 was a major year for us in many ways and this is a wonderful start to 2011. I was surprised and delighted to receive this great honour. This award is recognition of the hard work and commitment of all of the Nominet staff, and everyone involved with Nominet, to make using the Internet a trusted and positive experience for all." Baroness Rennie Fritchie DBE, Chair of Nominet, said: "Lesley has worked with vision and commitment to ensure that the UK has one of the largest and most successful Internet infrastructures in the world. But she has also gone well beyond the call of duty to ensure that the UK is actively influencing international policy to make sure the internet is a safe and trusted place. All involved with Nominet congratulate her on this deserved award." www.nominet.org.uk

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“It’s still all about

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

building good business relationships through getting to know, like and trust each other”

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B4 MARKETING

A LITTLE POLITENESS GOES A LONG WAY Not long ago, Su Copeland, B4 Ambassador and Director of Lingo Telemarketing was asked to give a presentation to a networking group about how to get the most out of telemarketing. ‘It was fun’ she recalls. ‘I started by asking for everyone to volunteer the words that immediately popped into their heads when they heard the word ‘telemarketing’!

Apparently other keys to success are doing your homework before picking up the phone, and setting aside regular dedicated calling time. The Lingo team recommend at least one day per week.

Expletives aside, the responses were along the lines of ‘cold calling’ ‘intrusive’ ‘hard sell’ ‘call centre’ ‘scripted’ ‘hate it’.

‘We always ask if we’ve caught people at a convenient time, after all, they didn’t know we were going to call.’

I wonder why we think that just because we’re calling someone on the phone, all the rules of politeness, respect for people’s time and good old-fashioned relationship-building go out the window?’

Apparently, asking this question is greeted with horror by many traditional sales people who counter ‘But they might say ‘No’’. But at Lingo they are insistent that this is one of the most powerful techniques in their repertoire. It’s polite and provides an opportunity to reschedule if someone is busy.

The fact is many people don’t like doing telemarketing. Yet it is one of the most effective ways of opening doors. So I asked Su for some tips on how to make it easier.

‘We work on the basis of creating high quality opportunities, and these don’t happen under timed pressure when one party isn’t really listening. We just reschedule and keep going in a positive and friendly way, we call it ‘pleasant persistence’.

Relax, Enjoy ‘It’s still all about building good business relationships through getting to know, like and trust each other- it just happens to be on the phone.

So what other tips are there to help make it more comfortable to do your own telemarketing?

If you approach it as another form of professional networking, such as we already do with B4 magazine and events, you can relax, be yourself and enjoy the calls.’

So Why Outsource? Ultimately though, there is a skill to consistently deliver good telemarketing results. It is also very time consuming. How many salespeople and business owners can spare a day a week? ‘Yes, we help people that hate doing telemarketing or haven’t got the resource to consistently focus on the calls. And we work particularly well supporting local and national field sales teams. Our best clients pop in our offices to share feedback and prospect lists, and we spend our time opening doors so that they can concentrate on where they excel, which is face-to-face. Also, because everyone on our team has business experience across many sectors, we come up with fresh approaches and become a business development extension of a client’s company.’ If you’d like to find out some more about how Lingo can open doors for you, you can check them out at: www.lingotelemarketing.com or give Su and the team a call at 01865 886 340.

Well, do your homework to turn a ‘cold call’ into a ‘warm call’, check who the right person is to speak with in your particular instance, introduce yourself clearly and then listen and respond to what you learn.

HOW NOT TO DO TELEMARKETING - TOP 10 For fun, Su and the team have put together a top ten list on how not to do telemarketing, all of which they have come across and corrected over the years.

anyone, as long as you’ve made 80 calls.

a follow up phone call.

4. Lie – especially if you don’t know the answer, no one will notice.

8. Go on holiday just before a campaign starts.

1. Just pick up a directory or use an old database any data will do.

5. Don’t tell anyone else in your company what you’re doing!

2. Follow a script.

6. Just speak with reception – who needs to know the Director’s plans anyway?

3. Target yourself on number of calls – who cares if you don’t have a proper conversation with

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9. Just do one day, and just call each company once – people are bound to answer first time and immediately want to buy from you. 10. Don’t take time to properly record the conversation – so that you can call them back and ask the same questions in a few weeks!

7. Send an email when the company has asked for

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B4 PROPERTY

LOWER MILL ESTATE B4’s Editor and family were invited to enjoy life at Lower Mill Estate, just four miles from Cirencester, the gateway to the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire. Far too often brochures are the masters of spin, but in the case of Lower Mill Estate, the generous narrative was more than justified.

As we drove in convoy the more than tolerable hour to Lower Mill Estate, with a car load of food, kids and, don’t forget, the dog, the rain lashed down and the roads became narrower. OK we took a wrong turn, but given the conditions, that was no mean feat. We’d pored over the website, been knocked out by the brochures, and just wondered where on earth this amazing Estate could be hidden. No lights, little sign of life. We were, to all intents and purposes, cut off from the outside world. Until we took a turn, that is, down a dark lane, and there were the gates, with a queue of about seven cars waiting to get in. We waited, some of us patiently, and akin to passing through the back of the wardrobe, our Narnia opened up in front of us. I’d wondered how this had been achieved, and as we turned each corner, there was more, row upon row of ingeniously designed houses, cottages, a quaint little bridge here, a stunning spa there. The rain continued to lash. We were impressed, it was hard not to be. Imagine arriving on a brilliant summer’s day. Wow! Someone had been busy. This was stunning, and we hadn’t seen our house yet. We pulled up to the ‘Sales Barn’, not office, please note. Greeted warmly, I was given instructions and

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gate openers, all very professionally produced. Over a bridge, through the gates and into a sub world of Narnia, the Five Star Exclusive Howells Barn estate, or, as the brochure says, ‘estate-within-an-estate, which has everything from a super-heated pool, a kids-only four-bedroom den, and a gorgeous hide built out over Somerford Lagoon which is perfect for intimate parties.’ Bells and whistles. This was special. We pulled up outside Number 1 Clearwater, known as Reid Villa. As driver, bell-boy and general doormat, I was left to unload the cars in the driving rain whilst shrieking children, and, I hasten to add, a grown woman, ensured the neighbours knew we’d arrived with shrills of near hysterical laughter and joy. As I dumped load one in the doorway, a welcome respite from the relentless storm, I was told which rooms had been taken, and by whom, with no offer of assistance. Even the dog had a room sorted. As I dumped load four, there had been no let up in the histrionics – I was just pleased the owner hadn’t been there to meet us, but I guess I’ve blown that one now! The house was stunning. Practically 75% of the ground floor was glass walled, providing, as we were to find out, a mesmeric outlook onto the lagoon and nature, just as was intended. The ground floor is largely open plan, with a single wall dissecting the lounge area from the kitchen, but still retaining a wonderful flow throughout. With first

class contemporary furnishing and fittings, ample balcony space and a small garden giving the perfect extension for balmy summer’s evenings, this was a house to die for. We saw both faces of the property, a sanctuary in a winter’s storm but, as the weather steadily improved, almost as soon as we had crossed the threshold upon arrival, the harsh conditions relented and we witnessed stunning blue skies for the rest of the weekend, and the property really came into its own. We had little time to soak in our new surroundings as we had booked to eat at the nearby Wheatsheaf in Oaksey (www.thewheatsheafatoaksey.co.uk), a ten minute journey away. We were seated in a quaint snug area, with dimmed light and candles making for a magical setting. The kids were enchanted, and so were the adults. This was a wonderful way to start our short break. The food was great too. Ed chose the Italian roast tomato soup, whilst Tina and I plumped for the delicious chicken rillette with spiced tomato chutney to start. Abi and one of her ‘bestest’ friends, Elena, abstained, most probably because they had both chosen to eat half a cow each for their mains. Ed joined in the steak-fest whilst Tina opted for the venison loin and faggot. I decided that the classic steak and kidney suet pudding sounded perfect for a stormy night, and wasn’t disappointed.

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A fantastic meal, and if you choose to follow our path, a restaurant that comes highly recommended. We returned to base and after more gallivanting from the children, hot chocolate at the breakfast bar in the kitchen and a spot of late night TV on the huge plasma screen above the fireplace, we were off to bed. We awoke to a new world. Birds singing, not just one song, but a variety of never before heard cackles and grunts, shrills and croaks. I walked onto

the troops. Where had the enthusiasm gone? Where was all the hollering and whooping? No need to worry, they were at home, enjoying what we were here for, relaxation. The calm before the storm – maybe they knew what was to come more than I did, and they were quietly steeling themselves for the rigors of……..THE ECO POOL!!!!! More later. Following breakfast and a mixture of showers and baths, we were packed and ready to make the short journey to the spa. We drove, how lazy. Unforgivable, even. But our excuse was that ‘we

It was perfect, albeit a good mile away. Just me and my son, kicking a ball. He was happy, I was very happy. A small part of me started to wonder what if. What if we’d discovered this place when they were younger, what if we could have come here every weekend since they were little? But no point wondering. Just enjoy. And we did, for two hours. We had great fun, in the long grass, kicking over rugby posts, falling over in the mud, laughing, laughing and laughing some more. But what’s the time? Surely the manicures would be over by now? We went back to the Spa. ‘Just

“an expansive modernist building where stress-free indulgence achieves its most eloquent expression” the balcony and feasted on a sight for sore eyes. This I could get used to. Even the dog was at home, peering out over the balcony, most probably salivating at the plethora of birds just a paw away. We were all happy, at one with the environment and basking in every moment. The kids were already up, watching TV. Old habits die hard I suppose. With the sun, yes, the sun that we thought had gone away just twelve hours ago, filtering in through this near total glass edifice, we were inside and outside all at the same time. ‘Who’s up for breakfast?’ I shouted, trying to rouse

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didn’t know the way’, quite pathetic. Anyway, we got there and signed in. The ladies had arranged a manicure, whilst Ed and I were going to have a swim. But, as those of you with teenagers will know, always be prepared for a change of heart. ‘Don’t fancy it.’ Said Ed. ‘How about a game of footy?’ I asked. That hit the spot. We drove out of the Spa (car park that is – we’re not that lazy), and asked a security guard if there were any fields we could play football in. We were given directions to a rugby field and went home to get boots and kit on.

finishing off.’ Said the lady on the front desk. Ed and I popped our heads into the treatment room to be met with twenty brightly painted nails belonging to one happy ten year old and a very happy eleven year old. Mum was sitting patiently, totally relaxed, just how it should be. Ed and I went to change for the pool and the girls joined us ten minutes later. The £6 million Spa at Lower Mill Estate is the heart of this sprawling community. As the brochure says, ‘…..an expansive modernist building where stress-free indulgence achieves its most eloquent expression. Escaping in this estate is not just about

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HILLTOP CHAUFFEURS P R I VAT E

H I RE

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B4 PROPERTY entering a charmed landscape, it’s about taking time to lavish attentions on every aspect of your well-being.’ An indoor and outdoor 20 meter pool are the focal points of the spa, with a steam room, sauna, technogym, gallery, library and a restful residents’ lounge. The tranquil treatment rooms play host to over sixty therapies, including hot stone massages, body-wraps, facials, pedicures and, as we know, manicures. Whilst mum continued to relax on one of the sumptuous sun beds by the side of the indoor

still laughing. They weren’t going in, not now, not after witnessing the needles. But! Elena broke first. ‘I can’t not go in.’ A double negative, but it worked. She was going in, for sure. No messing with this one, she leapt out of the pool, flung open the glass door, went to the side of the pool and, hang on, a moment’s hesitation and Ed had come up on the rails. He jumped in! Fully in! He must have been mad. We don’t tolerate swearing, but at least one word came out that’s not on the acceptable list, but it was so bloody cold that

intended to be. “Almost twenty years ago, on a hot summer’s day, I saw from the helicopter I was flying an enticing spot by a lake in Gloucestershire. “A chance lunch with a friend led me to discover that it was for sale, and three weeks later I was the proud owner of what is now the Lower Mill Estate. “Nothing was further from my mind than turning the land into, what many now call, one of the

“Nothing was further from my mind than turning the land into, what many now call, one of the world’s leading vacation home settlements” pool, I played sharks with the kids, not easy when there are plenty of other legs in the pool to grab by mistake! The girls spent the first ten minutes with their hands above water, having been told their nails would crack after their treatment if exposed to water. But let’s face it, that’s like telling a child not to eat an ice cream for twenty minutes – it was never going to happen.

I had to laugh, just this once. He was in the shower as quick as he had jumped in, and he screamed one word……..’NEEDLES!!!!!’

Anyway, back to the Eco Pool. At one end of the indoor pool there is a glass door. On the other side of it there is some decking alongside what looks like a pond. It has lilies, it has murky water, but, rather unnervingly, it has pool steps. Curiosity got the better of the kids. ‘Let’s go see.’ Lordy, do we have to! So we went, and Dad was dared to go in first. One foot in. Siberia. Two feet in. Ice Box. Ankles, calves, knees. Put me in a body bag and slam the freezer shut, I’m going to freeze right here, right now. Waist – as we all know, that’s the worst bit – chest, sod it, I may as well go under. Half a second, tops.

It was great fun, cold, but great fun. Another hour in the pool, change and back to the house.

Out ten times quicker than I went in, I ran for the shower. Hot shower, lovely. Needles!!!! It’s like needles. Warm, but like needles, all over my body, burning hot needles. Back in the main pool – it’s even worse. The needles subsided, the kids were

He had a vision where we could co-exist with nature, in absolute comfort, it has to be said. Let me leave you with an excerpt from Jeremy’s Foreword to his book, ‘Second Nature’, which encapsulates all that Lower Mill Estate is and is

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Back at the Eco Pool, Elena went in, followed by Abi. They were all at it. Ed came straight back out and did it again! As if it were some superstition this time – he couldn’t rest on one, had to do two!

Next activity? Dog walking. Just Tina and I this time, talking, strolling and spending time together, for a change. A pleasant walk back to the rugby pitch and beyond. The dog was in his element. Running, sniffing, running, tail wagging throughout. As the night drew in, we were still some way from home. The lights of this brilliant place were pinging on, one by one, and we could see, from the field, what developer Jeremy Paxton saw that day he popped his helicopter down for a swim in the lake.

world’s leading vacation home settlements, an architectural icon and a global standard nature reserve. I just wanted a place in the country for my family amongst nature. “Over the years, as Lower Mill grew on me more and became by home, I began to look at the possibilities of sharing its 550 or so acres with other people and building a limited number of vacation homes that harmonized with nature and people. “What we have quietly developed here still excites me on a daily basis, even all these years on. “It’s a beautiful place that hundreds of people now call home. If it inspires you to want to return to ‘Swallows and Amazons’ and become part of the Lower Mill community, either by buying a home of occasionally renting one, I think you’ll be as happy here as we have always been.” I can’t recommend at least renting at Lower Mill Estate highly enough. Contact Lower Mill Estate at the web address below. Disappointment isn’t an option. www.lowermillestate.com

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EXCEEDING ALL TARGETS Professional footballers, generally, don’t get a good press. The odd charitable act might provide welcome respite for a star who otherwise courts controversy, but, on the whole, your average pro is more sinner than sinned. Not so Bolton Wanderer’s Sam Ricketts. Not only versatile, dependable and improving with age on the pitch, he’s astute, savvy and focused off it. Richard Rosser spoke with the former Oxford United pro at his new home in Knutsford. Born just outside Aylesbury in 1981, Sam grew up in Bicester, playing for Chesterton Boys until he was spotted by Oxford United as an 11 year old. Sam admits to an element of naivety about a game which he would go on to make a career in. “I’d never been to a game at Oxford, I didn’t really know much about it, but they asked for the three best players from all the local sides to go along, so I went along. I wasn’t really under any pressure because my family weren’t into football. I was just going along to play football, funnily enough, as a centre midfielder back then.” A refreshing insight – how many more youngsters would blossom if they were allowed to play without parental pressure? “My family’s passion has always been horses, but my Mum, Jill, would take me to football, in fact she’d take me to any sporting event I was involved in, be it rugby, cricket or athletics, and it would be my Dad, Derek, taking my sisters to all the horse shows. My Granddad, Norman, loves his football and used to come to every game when I turned pro.” Sam’s three year spell at Oxford ended rather unceremoniously, and after a loan spell at Nuneaton, he moved to Telford in 2003. His overall form, undoubted ability and growing profile started to attract the attention of league clubs and Swansea’s Kenny Jackett signed Sam on recommendation in 2004. It was Swansea’s last season at the old Vetch Field, and Sam helped his new team-mates bid the old ground a fond farewell as they secured promotion to League One. From there, Sam made the move to Hull City, and was part of the promotion winning team which saw Hull move in to the Premier League for the first time in their history. In 2009, following Hull’s frightening loss of form, Sam moved on to Bolton, where he has gone on to establish himself as a first team regular. “My Dad and my Uncle’, John Francome, the former National Hunt Champion Jockey, ‘are very much self-taught in what they do and they always told me the harder you work, you’ll get the results. My Dad taught me from a young age that if I wanted to be good at sport, other things had to be sacrificed, and from a young age it became very apparent that I had to work hard and forget about certain things. I don’t really consider them sacrifices anymore – it’s just normal to me now. A lot of the training now is maintenance. Once you get fit, it’s about trying to stay fit, but not overworking because you need that freshness on the Saturday.” Although born and bred in England, Sam has established himself as a Welsh international, thanks to his family roots. “Playing against England at the Millennium Stadium summed up how much progress I’d made. I had only 90

been out of non-league football for a year and I was up against David Beckham, and Ryan Giggs was my team-mate – quite surreal on many levels. I’ve now got forty one caps so hope to reach fifty soon, but obviously the big target with Wales is to qualify for something, which would be an achievement. Now at high flying Bolton, Sam is committed to improving. “When you’re playing in the Premier League, the margins are so fine and that’s why it’s so close this season. Every player has to be very fit and strong, and, due to the high speed of the game, injuries are an inevitable consequence. Throw in other factors such as increasingly lightweight boots and hard pitches and it’s surprising there aren’t more injuries each game.”

“My Dad taught me from a young age that if I wanted to be good at sport, other things had to be sacrificed, and from a young age it became very apparent that I had to work hard and forget about certain things

Sam singles Ryan Giggs, Jack Wilshere and Gary Cahill out for special mention as some of the greats he’s played with and Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard as two of his fiercest opponents. But, man of the moment Gareth Bale gets top billing. “He is phenomenal. He’s a great lad but has unreal ability and unbelievable fitness levels. He is proof of what confidence can do for a player, when they get a run of games and they’ve got the manager’s belief in them.” Grounds such as Anfield, Old Trafford and White Hart Lane are familiar haunts for Sam, who admits the novelty never wears off. It’s the same when it comes to standing shoulder to shoulder in the tunnel with Ronaldo, Rooney or Beckham. However, Sam can’t afford to be starstruck. “I remember standing next to Torres once and just looking at him – he must have thought I was a bit weird. It’s like Madam Tussauds, you look out of curiosity if anything. But as soon as the game starts, you have to stop and blank out who it is, and they just become another player with strengths and www.b4-business.com


B4 SPOTLIGHT

weaknesses like everyone else. It’s the same with the stadiums – you have to be 100% focused, otherwise you make the slightest mistake and you get punished.” Off the field, Sam recently got married to his partner, Kimberley, whom he met in Cardiff, and is settled in Cheshire, although he would like to move back to Oxfordshire after his career ends. “I’d like to move back to the area when I retire, but I won’t be relaxing. I’d like to get into property and even coaching. I’ve got eighteen months left on my contract, so I’m not thinking about hanging up my boots just yet.” So as Sam continues to surpass his own targets, what advice would he give to any youngster looking to carve a career out for themselves in sport? “I’ve made a lot of sacrifices which are now paying off, and my advice to anyone looking to reach the top in sport or business is you have to make sacrifices. You might not get there, but if you don’t follow that simple piece of advice, you won’t ever get there. There are plenty of highs and lows, but with application, commitment, talent and a little bit of luck along the way, you have to believe in yourself that you can get there. “If you think you’ve got a talent for something, make sure you develop it. But if I can tell you to make sure you do one thing, it’s always to remember to enjoy what you’re doing. That way, you’ll make natural progress without putting yourself under too much pressure.” With thanks to Sam for his time. Sam has generously donated a signed Bolton shirt. To win it, enter our www.inoxford.com Big Draw competition for the month of February – details on the website.

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Egrove Park, Oxford A Place To Think Egrove Park is Saïd Business School’s purpose-built executive education centre situated in 37 acres of parkland two miles from Oxford city centre. Service, flexibility and personal attention are the keynotes at Egrove Park. Facilities include: • wide range of meeting rooms – from a lecture theatre seating 100, to smaller syndicate rooms for break-out sessions • the latest high-tech and multimedia facilities and full IT/AV support from our Microsoft Certified Technicians • 63 en-suite study bedrooms • on-site gym, sauna, two squash courts, an all-weather tennis court, a croquet lawn and a snooker room • award-winning food and drink • easy accessibility by road with plenty of free, secure parking

To find out more call Jill Grieveson on 01865 422757, email conference.egrove@sbs.ox.ac.uk, or visit www.sbs.oxford.edu/conferencing Saïd Business School, Executive Education Centre, Egrove Park, Oxford, OX1 5NY


news Over the past few months Visit Oxfordshire, the new Destination Management Organisation for Oxford and Oxfordshire, has been hard at work to ensure everything is up and running for 2011. The new website, www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com, was launched in mid-September, and already receives over 110 000 unique visitors a month. It is designed to give visitors (and residents) ideas on things to see and do across the county as well as the ability to book accommodation and purchase attraction tickets online. There are also dedicated pages for meetings and conference as well as for press, and a corporate section for more information on how to join this exciting new tourism organisation and take advantage of all the partnership benefits.

Attracting Group Tours An important sector for the county is the groups market, so to give group tour organisers some new ideas of what there is to see and do across Oxfordshire, a series of itineraries has been developed with themes ranging from ‘A pageant of Oxfordshire gardens’ to ‘Oxford for art lovers’ and even a ‘Girls get away tour’, which stretches slightly further afield! More information on the itineraries can be found at: www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com/group-travel. The new itineraries will be used to help promote Oxfordshire at a number of group travel fairs Visit Oxfordshire will be attending from January to March 2011. If your tourism business is interested in stand partnering with Visit Oxfordshire or would like to become more involved in the groups market then please contact Jo Butler (jbutler@oxford.gov.uk).

Destination Oxford and The American Fam Trip! Destination Oxford, the conference bureau for Visit Oxfordshire, recently saved the day for a group of American hosted buyers at EIBTM 2010. The group was due to go on a familiarisation trip to Edinburgh following EIBTM(a world-wide trade exhibition aimed at conference organisers,

which takes place annually in Barcelona). However, with Edinburgh airport closed by snow, Destination Oxford came to the group’s rescue, and within 24 hours had organised an alternative trip, showcasing some of Oxfordshire’s highlights for the conference market. It was an example of true partnership working, with the American group being truly impressed by the organisation and what Oxfordshire has to offer. Thanks must go to Four Pillars Hotels, Findlay Chauffeur Services, Blenheim Palace, Chirst Church, the Ashmolean Museum, the Macdonald Randolph and the Big Bang for helping to give the group a truly world-class welcome from a world-class county. Destination Oxford’s presence at EIBTM has also already led to a number of conference enquiries for the county. So, a successful exhibition all round! For more information see: www.destination-oxford.com

How do I get involved? Whether your business is aimed at the leisure or business tourism market, full information on how to become a partner of Visit Oxfordshire can be found at www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com/corporate. Partnership packages range from just £100 to £10,000 per annum, and all levels include membership of Tourism South East.

and related services, with the opportunity to buy into additional activity and services throughout the year. Therefore, partnership can be tailored to specific businesses’ needs, providing the flexibility to better target their activity. For more details on how your business can join Visit Oxfordshire please contact Susi Golding – sgolding@oxford.gov.uk.

Visit Oxfordshire partners benefit from a number of marketing opportunities

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

www.lmh.ox.ac.uk


news Forum brings West Oxfordshire’s tourism industry together 150 local businesses and organisations attended the Oxfordshire Cotswolds Annual Tourism Forum in November to discuss the latest developments in tourism and find out about support that is available. It was a record number of attendees for the annual Forum, which is run by West Oxfordshire District Council to bring together everyone involved in tourism across the district. The Rt Hon David Cameron, MP for Witney, introduced the evening via videolink and talked about the importance of tourism in West Oxfordshire and further afield, while praising the District Council for supporting the industry locally. Tourism is estimated to be worth around £232 million to West Oxfordshire’s economy each year and supports nearly 4,000 full-time jobs. Latest figures are due to be released soon and are expected to show an increase in the value of tourism to the area. The Forum, held at Witney Lakes Resort, included a screening of the new Oxfordshire Cotswolds DVD which features some of West Oxfordshire’s key attractions and landmarks. An update was given on the Council’s Tourism Strategy one year after it was launched to set out the Council’s plans to support tourism and promote West Oxfordshire as a must-see visitor destination. James Berresford the Chief Executive of Visit England who was a guest speaker at the event said: “It is great to see a Council so committed to tourism and leading on delivery, but also working closely with all its tourism partners. This is going to be vital in further building the visitor economy and helping us at Visit England to achieve our national targets. The Council has a clear direction with its Tourism Strategy and should be commended on its approach to supporting this sector.” The Council has a dedicated tourism team which works to promote the district and support members of the industry. Work includes marketing the district

Speakers at the Oxfordshire Cotswolds Tourism Forum; Cllr Richard Langridge - Cabinet Member for Local Economy and Communities, Hayley Beer - Tourism Services Manager - WODC, Kevin Gibbons - Director SEOptimise and James Berresford - Chief Executive - Visit England.

under the banner of the ‘Oxfordshire Cotswolds’ and running a dedicated website, www.oxfordshirecotswolds.org. Further information about tourism and the Council’s work, including the Tourism Strategy, is available online at www.westoxon.gov.uk/tourism or call 01993 861558. The Prime Minister’s introduction is now available to view at www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvn5F03SXFo

The Oxfordshire Cotswolds Event Diary launches in March 2011

Events Diary

West Oxfordshire District Council has appointed The In Oxford Group, publishers of the Witney Shopping Map, to revive what was formerly known as WOWO or What’s On West Oxfordshire.

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10,000 copies of this 40 page what’s on guide will be published six times a year, with distribution through high footfall outlets in West Oxfordshire and selected outlets beyond. Publisher Richard Rosser commented. “WOWO was a very similar publication to our In Oxford Magazine which has enjoyed almost ten years as Oxfordshire’s leading What’s On Guide. There is no reason why the new Oxfordshire Cotswolds Events Diary cannot enjoy similar success”. West Oxfordshire Tourism are very excited about the new publication and to be working with such an established publisher and feel the new publication will be a vital tool to promote the large number of events we have in West Oxfordshire each year to both visitors and local residents. For more information about either stocking The Oxfordshire Cotswolds Events Diary or having a display advertisement in the publication please contact The In Oxford Group on 01865 742211 (asking for either Richard or Rob) or email richard@inoxford.com. To have your events added to the events diary please contact Diane Blackwell on 01993 861553 or email diane.blackwell@westoxon.gov.uk

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MINOLI

A YEAR IN REVIEW A HALF-CENTURY IN THE MAKING

In the face of very testing market conditions, 2010 saw an unprecedented marketing drive by the Oxford-based tile company. The opening of their new Corporate Clients showroom, the company’s 50th anniversary and the launch of four exceptional new product ranges have all been supported by a year-long campaign of advertising, direct marketing, public relations, events and a comprehensive refresh of the Minoli website. The crescendo of this carefully orchestrated push was Minoli’s lead-sponsorship of the Pre-Raphaelites and Italy exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, culminating in a private viewing event on November 18th. Hosted by Managing Director, Jonathon Minoli and

Dr Christopher Brown, Director of the Museum, some 500 guests comprising clients, suppliers and staff gathered to mark the 50-year milestone in style with a cocktail and canapé reception. During his speech, Dr Brown spoke of the significance of the collection on display, highlighting paintings by some of the most famous artists of the era such as John Ruskin and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Holman Hunt and Edward Burne-Jones. He also described the appropriateness of Minoli’s involvement, given the company’s deep-rooted Italian heritage, their close ties with preeminent manufacturers in the region and their specialisation in Italian floor, wall and mosaic tiles. The overwhelming success of the event is testament to the strength of Minoli’s client relations

and the company also chose the event as the launch-pad for a special new celebratory collection of contemporary tiles. So what of the preceding months and the build-up to this phenomenal finale? Products and promotions The launch of four new tile collections has shaped the company’s promotional calendar throughout the year. Given the economic climate and recognising the changing needs of their corporate clients, Minoli adapted the focus of their buying strategy. Working with some of the leading tile producers in the world, the team not only selected the styles colours and finishes to best suit local demand but also influenced the design process.

“The overwhelming success of the event is testament to the strength of Minoli’s client relations” 96

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“Consistently getting the right product, to the right place at the right time is a fundamental requirement” By way of example, launched in March, the Core Essentials range was specifically compiled in support of house builders and developers with particular emphasis on sourcing even better value tile ranges without compromising quality or choice. Alongside it, the Contemporary Essentials range comprised more luxurious products at the cutting edge of tile technology, creating stunning wall and floor finishes in ceramic and porcelain. The subject of a new advertising campaign, the ranges were promoted in key trade and regional titles with co-ordinated direct marketing and PR activity. The new Creative Essentials range was launched in the summer to coincide with the opening of Minoli’s new Corporate Clients showroom. Rich in

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contemporary colours, textures and shapes, the collection aims to create stunning and unique finishes throughout kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces. The fourth collection was first shown at the Ashmolean event as a celebration of all that represents the company’s product portfolio unmatched quality, creative flair, outstanding value and exclusivity. Jonathon Minoli summed up how client needs help shape their product strategy: “The secret of our business is to be a good middleman. As a tile distributor we don’t actually manufacture the tiles, although we are able to influence the design. Our role is to select from a factory’s output, the tiles most likely to be in tune with our clients wants and needs and in turn, those of their clients. It’s also

about bringing new products to market - those that inspire and create a step-change in style and fashion. “In truth, our dealings with the public are limited, so we have to listen to the needs of the retailer or the designer who is public facing. Where they notice a movement in taste, we have to react to ensure they are able to offer cutting edge products, as well as the more traditional lines that are a constant to the industry, but still far from a commodity. “Consistently getting the right product, to the right place at the right time is a fundamental requirement when acting as a distributor. Truly understanding, anticipating and being proactive to client needs is a carefully crafted skill that we have sought to develop throughout our business.”

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The physical and virtual In June, launch activity started for the opening of the new Corporate Clients showroom - a stunning new purpose-built facility. Professionally designed and fitted-out to showcase selected tile ranges within an inspirational environment, the first floor and atrium also includes casual and formal meeting spaces, a coffee bar and lounge area. Professional clients were invited to preview the facility over two open days. The event sparked immediate sales success with new and existing clients and now stands as a destination for specifiers, architects and developers who can select tiles and meet at the centre. To bring the look and feel of the website (www.minoli.co.uk) in line with all other 98

communications, and to accommodate the influx of new product collections, Minoli’s online presence has also seen significant improvements in 2010.

creative development, event planning and campaign timing have all been executed with diligence and a close eye on response rates and return on investment.

The home page allows product exploration by range and tile category (floor, wall and mosaic) whilst still retaining separate areas for different types of customer. There’s plenty of information about the Company’s abilities and a full catalogue of products with beautiful imagery, technical specifications, downloadable PDF guides and suggestions of coordinating alternatives.

That said, they have managed to remain true to their initial objectives and produced measurable success in terms of increased business with existing clients and in winning exciting new contracts across the South East. Retail showroom traffic has also been favourable, a factor of their ongoing local promotional philosophy.

The fruits of labour Given the prevailing economic conditions, the Minoli team have had to plan their activities with great care and precision. Media planning and

Of all Minoli’s activities, the very visible success of the Showroom launch and 50th Anniversary Ashmolean events will probably stand out as the most memorable highlights of the year.

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Of all Minoliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, the very visible success of the Showroom launch and 50th Anniversary Ashmolean events will probably stand out as the most memorable highlights of the yearâ&#x20AC;? 2011 and beyond For the coming year, Minoli are hoping to build on the successes of the past 12 months and continue to develop client relationships both new and old, especially as there are some signs that their core customer base is beginning to build again, as they themselves see the end of the house building decline.

accompanied by new promotions, brochures and sales literature.

and their clients return to sites, developments and projects, big and small.

With some very positive signs of an upturn, Minoli has plans to make major investment it is distribution capabilities, with orders placed for new delivery vehicles to both replace existing and to expand the fleet and its capacity.

In all Minoli can look back at 2010 and marvel at what has been achieved in strengthening the foundations for the coming years.

There will be a new spring launch of ranges, equally as exciting as those launched in 2010, all

They also feel that recruitment will be required to strengthen the team as the year begins to take off

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www.minoli.co.uk

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news New initiatives for a New Year

Today and yesteryear at Oxford’s Covered Market: Stewart Wadforth, Jon Lindsey & Son (by David Fisher) and, below, customer service from 10th December 1960 (image courtesy of The Oxford Mail/Oxford Times/Newsquest Oxfordshire)

It’s an exciting start to 2011 for countywide business network OTCN with the opening of our ‘Who Is Oxford’s Covered Market?’ project exhibition. The Museum of Oxford is to host the exhibition which will mix photographs, written portraits, archive material, a short “behind the scenes” documentary, and an interactive education section for children. It’s a highlight of the innovative Heritage Lottery-funded project between OTCN and Oxford Civic Society, and will run from late January until early April.

Also new for 2011, OTCN is working with colleagues on a major initiative to boost international trade in our county. The aim is to bring together export and import businesses to share ideas and experience, create a forum for latest news and information, and explore opportunities to work together. As you’ll read elsewhere in this edition of B4, the Oxfordshire International Trade Forum is a joint venture between OTCN, FSB, Cherwell, Vale, West and South Oxfordshire District Councils, and UKTi, kindly supported by Lloyds TSB Commercial and London Oxford Airport. The high profile speaker/networking event series OxFocus - a joint venture between OTCN and leading law firm Charles Russell LLP - start its 2011 run in February. A full list of speakers is at www.oxfocus.co.uk. And continuing the partnership and new development theme, OTCN is working with the Royal Institute of British Architects on a conference for the spring, exploring the impact the planning system and its implementation are having on business in the county. There’ll be details at www.architecture.com/ Later in the year, Woa! Rhino will be the cry as dozens of large brightly-painted rhino sculptures emerge as a feature visitor attraction for Oxfordshire. The project aims to create a high profile visitor trail, drive footfall to towns, tourism and hospitality venues, offer a valuable marketing opportunity to business, link local artists, companies and schools, and raise money for charity. It’s being brought to Oxfordshire by local company About the Place Ltd and Wild in Art the UK leader in mass participation public art events. There’s more at www.woa-rhino.org.uk and on twitter with @woa_rhino

Chances to save and win From classroom furniture supplies to web design, building services to print, OTCN’s tender alert service is letting Oxfordshire businesses know about opportunities to win new contracts. It’s another great reason to be part of the OTCN Network with many more tender opportunities to come in 2011.

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OTCN is also expanding its Bulk Buying Group where local companies commit to offering significant discounts to Network members. Joining existing partner, B-Line office supplies, will be firms covering business telecommunications, retail rent and rates advice, and plant & tool equipment hire. There’s more at www.otcn.co.uk and on twitter with otcniain

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news .uk domain registrations rise despite economic uncertainty 2 million by the end of the year – the highest-ever annual figure. The register itself is also growing, and passed another significant milestone when it reached nine million .uk domain name registrations in mid-December. The growth in .uk registrations coincides with the highest ever levels of consumer preference for .uk websites over .com alternatives. The report reveals that 80% of British consumers would prefer to visit a .uk address rather than a .com.

Nominet’s annual domain name industry report reveals strong growth in .uk registrations, increased consumer preference for .uk sites over .com sites, and for the first time, the extent to which websites are used in UK advertising. The overall market for global domain names continues to grow, with a 6% increase on 2009's figure. Almost 200 million domain names were registered worldwide at the end of August 2010. The report also found that growth in .uk domain registrations remains strong despite uncertainty about the economy, with new registrations increasing by 11.5% over the last year. March 2010 in particular saw over 200,000 new registrations alone, the highest monthly figure since the dotcom boom. Forecasts indicate that the total volume of new registrations in 2010 will reach

Knowthenet.org.uk helps consumers get the most from their internet experience Last month Nominet launched www.knowthenet.org.uk, an educational website aimed at helping consumers and businesses to get the most out of the internet in a safe and secure manner. Despite the internet playing such a huge role in everyday life, 76% of Britons admit to knowing at least one person who is not competent online, highlighting the need for greater awareness and understanding of the web. Security risks are also growing with almost 80,000 people falling victim to internet fraud in the first nine months of 2010 – a 10 per cent jump on last year. Research among UK consumers and small business owners revealed that the top internet related concerns were online banking, safe and legal downloading, security and limiting content for young children. To increase awareness of these issues and help internet users to better protect themselves, knowthenet.org.uk provides advice, information and video content for consumers and business users across three broad categories of internet activity:

For the first time, the report also examined the role of domain names in advertising. Overall, 65% of print and television adverts were found to contain a website address, with a greater proportion of print adverts (83%) featuring URLs than television adverts (61%). More than half of adverts (55%) used a .uk address rather than a .com or other alternatives, reflecting the high consumer preference for .uk sites noted above. Commenting on the report, Phil Kingsland, Director of Marketing and Communications at Nominet, said: "Given the continued caution around the global economy, it’s great to see the domain name industry continuing to show strong growth. Registrations in the .uk domain space have been particularly good this year, with some of the highest levels of new registrations that we’ve seen since the dotcom boom, despite the current focus on austerity. It demonstrates that in a recession, people are turning to the internet to help set up new ventures and pave the way for future growth." You can download a full copy of the Nominet Domain name industry report 2010 at www.nominet.org.uk/go/dnir

choice and phishing scams to privacy settings on social networks. • Doing business online - explaining key issues businesses need to understand when doing business online, from SEO to intellectual property. The website features a library of accessible articles on a wide range of topics, organised by their relevance to businesses and consumers. The aim is to provide a starting point for people to gather information on how to get the most out of the internet, and points users to other, trusted internet resources from websites such as www.getsafeonline.org and www.identitytheft.org.uk for more detailed information. We have conducted research that shows that even confident web users can be vulnerable, and we see knowthenet.org.uk filling a particular gap in the market for impartial advice. For Nominet, knowthenet also plays an important part in our commitment to making the internet a more trusted space for everyone who uses it – our vision is to be a leading force in making the internet a trusted space, which everyone can be part of and has a positive impact on people’s lives. Knowthenet.org.uk is one of the ways we see making that vision becoming a reality.

• Getting started online which includes the basics of blogging, social networks, online banking etc. • Staying safe online, in order to ensure that once they are online, people remain safe, including a library of material on a range of topics from password

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www.nominet.org.uk

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news An eventful but difficult year I’m writing this as 2010 draws to a close and we reflect on what has been an eventful but difficult year for many people. One positive thing we’ve noticed is an increase in offers of help for good causes from within our membership – perhaps a sign that the ‘Big Society’ is really taking hold!

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

Directors and their businesses really do want to be involved in the community in a co-ordinated but effective way. After all, business is not just about making money; it’s also about putting something back, which at the same time gives one a sense of being part of the far bigger and very rewarding Oxfordshire community – which is certainly what Oxfordshire IoD is all about. Here’s to a really worthwhile and successful 2011 – and I hope to see you at one of our upcoming events. Ian Wenman Chairman Oxfordshire IoD

“Driving Your CAR to Success…” with Elizabeth Kuhnke following the IoD Oxfordshire AMM A short session for the annual members meeting (AMM) at which you’ll have the opportunity to hear what we’ve been doing during 2010 and what we have planned for the coming twelve months. The AMM will be followed by international best-selling author and Executive Presence Coach, Elizabeth Kuhnke, giving a fun and inspiring talk on “Driving Your CAR to Success” by Connecting, Articulating and Resonating. The talk will befittingly take place in the North Oxford BMW garage, giving

you the chance to peruse the latest models. Where better to sit in the driver's seat and update your executive skills? North Oxford Garage, Wolvercote Roundabout, Oxford. Date: Tuesday 29th March - 6.30pm Tickets: £20 for IoD members; £25 for non-members

Banish the January Blues After the social whirl of the festive period, January can seem very long, cold and dark. So, we have organised the perfect opportunity to banish those January blues: our ‘Mid-Winter Social’ at the Summertown Wine Café on Tuesday 25th Jan 2011.

collective questions, knowledge and experience. Add some wine, charcuterie, cheese, olives, pizza and live music to the mix and you have got yourself a party! While the focus is on young and new directors, all members are encouraged to attend hope to see you there!

Following the success of our 'Late-Summer Social’, we’re offering our members and their guests another evening of outstanding company and excellent food. This informal social event provides a great opportunity to meet fellow directors, find out more about what each of us does, and share our

Summertown Wine Café, 38 South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JN

For more information on our events, please contact Claire Fisher on 02380 266548 or email: eventbookings.south@iod.net or online at: www.iod.com/oxfordshire

www.b4-business.com

Date: Tuesday 25th January - 7.30pm Tickets: £20 for IoD members; £25 for non-members.

General enquiries to Ian Wenman, Oxfordshire Branch Chairman at: chair.oxfordshire@iod.net, or the Branch Administrator, Rebecca Upright at: admin.oxfordshire@iod.net

105


news Businesses asked to sign up for children’s hospital fun run Businesses across Oxfordshire are being urged to sign up for the Oxford Mail OX5RUN. This annual fun five-mile charity event is guaranteed to promote team-building and boost morale, whilst raising significant sums for the Oxford Children’s Hospital. The run takes place on Sunday March 20th in the glorious grounds of Blenheim Palace and only costs £10 per person to enter. Last year 1,000 people signed up for the event which raised £57,000 every penny of which goes directly to helping children treated across Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals. Director of Allen Associates, and event sponsor, Rob Allen explains: “The Oxford Children’s Hospital is a world-class organisation and this is a great opportunity for the Oxfordshire business community to show its continued support. We would love to see teams from companies across the region signing up.”

All businesses that enter can compete for the Corporate Cup, which last year was awarded to the “Hardly Athletic” team of employees from Unipart. Communications Manager for ORH Charitable Funds, Sarah Vaccari, explains: “The support we get from the local business community is incredibly important and this is such an easy and fun way for companies to get involved. The healthy rivalry for the Corporate Cup adds a bit of extra excitement to the day. Why not suggest that your company enters a team?” Blenheim Palace is home to the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The Duke is pictured with Rob Allen, who will also be running the London Marathon for the Children’s Hospital I April, Jo Coady of the Oxford Mail and Sarah Vaccari, Communications Manager for ORH Charitable Funds

The Duke of Marlbourough and Oxford Mail’s Jo Coady start runners Rob Allen and Sarah Vaccari. Image © Anthony Moore, Oxford Mail.

Stars come out for Dorchester concert Sir Terry Wogan, Hannah Gordon, Patricia Hodge and the amazing choir of Winchester Cathedral entertained a packed crowd of 700 expectant supporters of the Oxford Children's Hospital in Dorchester Cathedral this Christmas. No-one was disappointed as the celebrity guests regaled the audience with some wonderful readings, and the choir performed beautiful Christmas carols. Sir Terry said: " I am very glad that I came and could help in some way the children in the Oxford Children's Hospital". Children’s Hospital Fundraiser, Penny Hambridge said: “It was a wonderful evening thanks to the efforts of a volunteer committee who worked tirelessly to create this tremendous fundraiser. We are incredibly grateful for their continued support. “ Sir Terry Wogan, Hannah Gordon and Patricia Hodge, with the Dorchester Concert Committee

The evening looks set to raise over £50,000 – an incredible amount which will help to provide additional state of the art medical equipment, and better facilities for our young patients.

Amazing Amey abseilers Amey – the Oxford-based public services company – continued to fundraise towards its £100,000 pledge for the Cancer Centre with an abseil this Autumn. 53 staff conquered their nerves to take part in the 100 foot sponsored drop from the roof of the Women’s Centre. Paul Stammers, a bid writer at Amey said; “Standing on the parapet was nerve racking, but the instructors were very encouraging. Once I started the descent it felt great and I landed with a big grin on my face.”

Helen Clear, Internal Communications Manager for Amey added: “This was a personal challenge for me; stepping over the top was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but the sense of achievement at the bottom was incredible!” Head of Community Fundraising Graham Brogden said: “It is really heartening to see that companies like Amey recognise the importance of their local community – and events like abseils help to make the whole thing great fun for staff.” Staff from Amey ready themselves for their 100 foot abseil

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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B4 Contacts BrookStreet Des Roches LLP Paddy Gregan Partner

ADVICE ACCOUNTING Wenn Townsend Tony Haines Partner

Institute of Directors Ian Wenman Chairman

t: 01235 836655 w: www.bsdr.com

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Henmans LLP Julia Iball Managing Partner

t: 01865 559900 w: www.wenntownsend.co.uk The MGroup Richard Clayton Partner

BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS

t: 07770 893834 w: www.iod.com

44

OTCN 101 t: 01865 893354 ext 464 w: www.otcn.co.uk

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

40

Manches 53 Richard Smith Managing Partner

t: 01865 552925 w: www.themgroup.co.uk

BUSINESS SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT B-Line David Beesley Chairman

t: 01865 722106 w: www.manches.com

Shaw Gibbs Peter Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connell Partner

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

Withy King Richard White Head of Employment

t: 01865 292200 w: www.shawgibbs.com

Bayswater Framing Simon Beesley Managing Director

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

Wellers Stuart Crook Partner

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

White & Black Legal LLP t: 0800 035 2656 w: www.wablegal.com

t: 01865 723131 w: www.wellersaccountants.co.uk

BUSINESS SUPPORT

VJ Hancock t: 01993 822817 w: www.vjhancockandco.ltd.uk

BUSINESS SERVICES

TBAC t: 01865 893305 w: www.tbac.org.uk

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

BUSINESS ADVICE Oxford Professional Consulting Alison Haill Managing Director

t: 01869 278900 w: www.thebusinesswealthclub.com Sci Net t: 01869 349949 w: www.sci-net.co.uk The Clarkson Alliance t: 01865 355580 w: www.theclarksonalliance.com

LEGAL Darbys Solicitors Simon McCrum Managing Partner t: 01865 811700 w: www.darbys.co.uk Beechwood Solicitors t: 01865 883344 w: www.beechwoodsolicitors.com

www.b4-business.com

CHARITIES Macmillan 79 Julian Knowles Fundraising Manager

AUDIO VISUAL

t: 01865 436 791 w: www.oxfordprofessionalconsulting.com The Business Wealth Club Paul Avins Founder & CEO

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47

t: 01869 322279 w: www.macmillan.org.uk

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

Oxford Inspires t: 01865 815525 w: www.oxfordinspires.org

Image Audio Visual Solutions Andy Fegan Managing Director

Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds 107 Graham Brogden Head of Community Fundraising t: 01865 743442 w: www.orhcharitablefunds.nhs.uk

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

BUSINESS AWARDS West Oxfordshire Business Awards t: 07772 085578 w: www.woba.co.uk

BUSINESS CONSULTANTS The Profitable Hotel Company Stuart Harrison Owner t: 01993 706632 w: www.profitablehotelcompany.co.uk

37

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

Kelly Associates t: 01865 761738 www.kellyassociates.co.uk

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M E D I A

S P O N S O R


B4 Contacts DEBT COLLECTION Total Credit Management Clive Taylor Director t: 01993 832266 w: www.totalcreditmanagement.co.uk

DISTRIBUTION Air Business Ltd 28 Adam Sherman Group Managing Director t: 01727 890 620 w: www.airbusonline.com

INSURANCE CETA Insurance Ltd David Quick Managing Director t: 0845 4583071 w: www.lowerpremium.co.uk Bridle Insurance Neil Fox Chief Operations Officer t: 0845 0349648 w: www.bridleinsurance.co.uk

Opendoorz Cathy Dunbabin Director

Cotswold Wildlife Park Reggie Heyworth Managing Director

t: 01865 339434 w: www.opendoorz.biz

t: 01993 823006 w: www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk

TRANSPORT

Crazy Bear t: 01865 890714 w: www.crazybeargroup.co.uk

Chiltern Railways Adrian Shooter Chairman

Egrove Park Jill Grieveson Conference Manager

t: 08456 005 165 w: www.chilternrailways.co.uk

t: 01865 422757 w: www.sbs.oxford.edu/conferencing

Isis Chauffeur t: 01993 709023 / 07545 601515 w: www.isischauffeur.co.uk

Four Pillars Hotels Chris Green Group Marketing Manager

Hilltop Chauffeurs Nathan Thomas

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

t: 07825 500852 / 01865 595262 w:www.hilltopchauffeurs.co.uk

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

LOCAL GOVERNMENT West Oxfordshire 95 District Council William Barton Business Development Officer w: www.westoxon.gov.uk/business

NETWORKING GROUPS B4 Magazine Richard Rosser Editor t: 01865 742211 w: www.b4-business.com Advantage Business Networking t: 0800 093 4111 w: www.advantagebusinessnetworking.co.uk Ladies that Lunch t: 0845 330 1078 w: www.ladiesthatlunch.co.uk Venturefest t: 07523 901104 w: www.venturefest.com Witney BigBreakfast Club t: 01608 811533 w: www.witneybigbreakfast.co.uk

www.b4-business.com

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

London Oxford Airport James Dillon-Godfray Head of Marketing and Development t: 01865 290 600 w: www.londonoxfordairport.com Visit Oxfordshire Joanne Butler Tourism Team Leader

Magdalen College School Emma Bellenie Events Manager t: 01865 242191 w: www.mcsoxford.org

93

Malmaison 76 Andrew Creese General Manager

t: 01865 252200 w: www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com

CONFERENCE, EVENTS & VENUES CONFERENCES

RBS Williams F1 Conference Centre Brendan Caffrey 54 Conference Centre Manager t: 01235 777900 w: www.rbswilliamsf1conferences.com

Conference Centre Oxford Roger Watts Director

11

t: 01865 797979 w: www.conferencecentreoxford.co.uk The Oxford Centre Andrew Lund-Yates General Manager

t: 01865 268400 w: www.malmaison.com/hotels/oxford

15

Blenheim Palace Hospitality t: 01993 813 874 w: www.blenheimpalace.com Heythrop Park Resort Adam Vint Sales Manager t: 01608 673470 w: www.heythropparkresort.co.uk

t: 01865 797979 w: www.the-oxford-centre.co.uk

111


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B4 Contacts VENUES

TUITION

Blenheim Palace John Hoy Chief Executive

Oxford International Study Centre t: 01865 201009 w: www.oxinstudycentre.com

t: 01993 810501 w: www.blenheimpalace.com

Bloxham School Nick Irvine Marketing Director

Oxford Castle Jean-Pierre Morilleau General Manager

Oxford Event Hire Kieran Lynch Owner

North Oxford Golf Club Bob Harris Managing Director

32

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

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

FINANCE

EDUCATION

The Oxfordshire Golf Club Tim Pettifer General Manager

BANKING LloydsTSB Commercial Paul Horsell Senior Manager Commercial

COLLEGES Magna Carta College David Faulkner Dean

64

t: 07801 472889 w:www.lloydstsb.com Coutts and Co t: 01865 389039 w: www.coutts.com

t: 01865 593131 w: www.magnacartacollege.org

IFA’s

Oxford and Cherwell Valley College Sally Dicketts Principal

Optimum Wealth Management t: 01865 511098 / 07836 572467 w: www.optimox.co.uk

t: 01865 550550 w: www.ocvc.ac.uk

HEALTH AND LEISURE FITNESS

St Clare’s, Oxford Paula Holloway Principal

Bourton Mill Gavin Peck Manager

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

t: 01865 251261 w: www.bourtonmill.net

OXFORD UNIVERSITY

Esporta Andy Wheeler Sales Manager

Begbroke Science Park Peter Dobson Managing Director

t: 01865 318300 w: www.esporta.com

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

TLA Fitness 13 t: 07554 400 401 w: www.tlafitness.com

SCHOOLS

www.b4-business.com

Southfield Golf Club t: 01865 242158 w: www.southfieldgolf.com Studley Wood Golf Club Ken Heathcote Managing Director

Tadmarton Heath Golf Club t: 01608 737278 w: www.tadmartongolf.com

HEALTH CARE

INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE

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

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

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

FURTHER EDUCATION

d’Overbroeck’s College t: 01865 310 000 w: www.doverbroecks.com

73

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

British Study Centre Nicholas Philips School Director

t: 01865 760158 w: www.oxfordeventhire.co.uk

t: 01869 241204 w: www.bicesterhotelgolfandspa.com Frilford Heath Golf Club Alistair Booth Director

t: 01295 724332 w: www.bloxhamschool.com

t: 01865 201657 w: www.oxfordcastle.com

Bicester Golf & Health Club Mark Odom Health Club & Spa General Manager

50

GOLF

Monica Franke t: 07970 119721 w: www.monicafranke.com Oxford Radcliffe Private Healthcare Alex Barnes Assistant Director, Private Patients t: 01865 221033 w: www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk/ privatehealthcare

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 North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club t: 01865 513560 (Clubhouse) w: www.northoxfordltc.org.uk

The B4/MGroup Golf Cup t: 01865 742211 w: www.b4-business.com

113


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B4 Contacts Oxford United Football Club Kelvin Thomas Chairman

Oxford Home IT Support Richard Hilsdon Managing Director

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

t: 01865 594020 w: www.homeitsupport.biz

Oxford University Rugby Football Club Tim Stevens Club Administrator t: 01865 432000 w: www.ourfc.org

Oxford Digital Marketing Simon Wallace-Jones Co-Founder t: 01865 600 508 w: www.oxforddigitalmarketing.co.uk

MOBILE PHONES Everything Everywhere Martin Lyne SME Marketing Director

WEB OPTIMISATION

30

Studio8search Nicola Wiseman Director

80

t: 01865 842525 w: www.studio8search.com

WELLBEING

w: www.everythingeverywhere.com

Helen Money Nutrition 13 t: 01865 339672 w: www.helenmoneynutrition.com

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT Surefire Digital Rob Jones Director

HR

Zest 59 Alex Minchin Director t: 0843 289 0161 w: www.zestdigital.co

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AND COACHING

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

Sue Stockdale Ltd Sue Stockdale Director

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

LIGHTING

t: 01367 244855 w: www.suestockdale.com

Orange Stripe Telecommunications Nigel Pursall 71 Managing Director

WILA Group Ltd 78 Mike Collett Chief Executive Officer

RECRUITMENT

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

t: 01235 773500 w: www.wila.com

WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT

Miele Company Ltd Zoe Naylor Financial Controller

The Career Boutique Katherine Dales Managing Director

34

t: 0845 5204010 w: www.thecareerboutique.com

IT & TELECOMMUNICATIONS DATABASE MANAGEMENT InTouch CRM James White Managing Director t: 0845 310 9973 w: www.intouchcrm.co.uk

IT SERVICES Nominet 83 103 Lesley Cowley OBE CEO t: 01865 332211 w: www.nominet.org.uk Oxford Knowledge Company Mark Salisbury Director t: 01865 322100 w: www.oxford-knowledge.com

Blink Designs Keith Simpson Senior Designer t: 01865 742211 w: www.on-the-blink.com Chris Fulton Design Chris Fulton Owner t: 07745 033707 w: www.chrisfultondesign.co.uk Momentum Solutions t: 01865 793520 w: www.momentumws.co.uk Olamalu Christoph Corvin Director t: 01993 764566 w: www.olamalu.com Torpedo Group Limited Iain Lewis Director t: 01865 733710 w: www.torpedogroup.com

MANUFACTURING

20

t: 0845 365 6600 w: www.miele.co.uk

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

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

MARKETING & DESIGN ADVERTISING In Oxford Magazine Colin Rosser Chairman t: 01865 742211 w: www.inoxford.com

www.b4-business.com

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THE OXFORD CENTRE

333 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 7PL Telephone:01865 554719 Facsimile:01865 559072 www.the-oxford-centre.co.uk

W Which hich o off these these two two w will ill help help y you ou get get to the the top top of of Google? Google?

Answer? o odmtips.com/b4-baby dmtips.com/b4-baby

Oxford Digital Marketing Internet Internet Marketing Marketing Training Training & Coaching Coaching

01865 57 59 55


B4 Contacts CORPORATE IDENTITY Recognition Express Andy Olejnik Managing Director

75

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

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

Print, Design and Focus Sue Carter Director t: 01993 774543 w: www.printdesignfocus.co.uk The Goodhead Group David Holland Chief Executive

48

t: 07773 316 204 w: www.bgprint.co.uk The Oxford Duplication Centre t: 01865 457000 w: www.oxfordduplicationcentre.co.uk Blueprint Imaging t: 01993 892360 w: www.blueprintimaging.com

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

Lingo 84 Su Copeland Managing Director t: 01865 886340 w: www.lingotelemarketing.com

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 Ridge and Partners t: 01993 815000 w: www.ridge.co.uk

BUILDERS MERCHANTS PUBLIC RELATIONS Bottle PR Claire Cairns Managing Director t: 01865 882988 w: www.bottlepr.co.uk

MARKET RESEARCH / TELEMARKETING

PROPERTY & BUILDING

GB PR Gail Buckle Owner t: 01865 742940 w: www.gbprconsultancy.blogspot.com

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

MARKETING

Love Communication Jo Love Owner

The Project Managers Peronel Barnes Director

Jennings Mike Jennings Managing Director

t: 07887 775271 w: www.lovecommunication.co.uk

t: 01865 893303 w: www.jennings.co.uk

t: 01865 751531 w: www.the-project-managers.com

The Buzzworks t: 01993 813848 w: www.thebuzzworks.co.uk

COMMERCIAL OFFICES

PHOTOGRAPHY

Tracey Jefferies Tracey Jefferies Founder

Studio 8 80 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

www.b4-business.com

Clarendon Enterprise Centre t: 01865 910100 w: www.clarendon-enterprise.co.uk

t: 01865 820183 w: www.traceyjefferies.co.uk

M40 Offices t: 01844 260500 w: www.m40offices.co.uk

WEB PERFORMANCE

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY AGENTS

Studio8search 80 t: 01865 245777 w: www.studio8search.com

VSL and Partners Richard Venables Director

Obergine t: 01865 245777 w: www.obergine.com

t: 01865 848488 w: www.vslandp.com

24 27

Carter Jonas Scott Harkness Partner t: 01865 511444 w: www.carterjonas.co.uk

117


B4 Contacts Oxford Innovation Ltd Jo Willett Sales and Marketing Director

Finders Keepers Frank Webster Director

Apartments in Oxford t: 01865 254000 w: www.oxstay.co.uk

t: 01865 811127 w: www.oxin.co.uk

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

The Royal Oxford Hotel t: 01865 248432 w: www.royaloxfordhotel.co.uk

Meeson Williams Ltd t: 01865 349011 w: www.meesonwilliams.com

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

DEVELOPMENT

Intelligent Property t: 01865 920107 w: www.intelligent-property.co.uk

63

The Trevor Osborne Property Group Trevor Osborne Chairman t: 01225 832302 w: www.topgroup.co.uk

ESTATE AGENTS Breckon and Breckon Keith Stacey Managing Director t: 01865 244735 w: www.breckon.co.uk Penny & Sinclair James Penny Director t: 01865 318013 w: www.pennyandsinclair.co.uk scottfraser (Witney) t: 01993 705507 w: www.scottfraser.co.uk

INTERIOR FURNISHING & DECORATION Jill Treloggen Interiors Jill Treloggen Owner t: 01993 700515 w: www.jilltreloggen.co.uk Lewis Building Technology t: 01865 782424 w:www.lewisbt.co.uk Minoli Tiles 96 Jon Minoli Managing Director t: 01865 778225 w: www.minoli.co.uk

LETTING AGENTS Breckon and Breckon Greg Barnes Director t: 01865 201111 w: www.breckon.co.uk

Westwood Hotel t: 01865 735408 w: www.westwoodhotel.co.uk The Holt Hotel t: 01869 340259 w: www.holthotel.co.uk

Kemp and Kemp t: 01865 510000 w: www.kempandkemp.co.uk

RENTAL ACCOMMODATION

Scott Fraser t: 01865 761111 (Headington office) w: www.scottfraser.co.uk

Lower Mill Estate 86 t: 01285 869489 w: www.lowermillestate.com

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

ARTISTIC AND CULTURAL

Alchemy Barbara Richardson Managing Director

Creation Theatre w: www.creationtheatre.co.uk Oxfordshire Theatre Company t: 01865 249444 w: www.oxfordshiretheatrecompany.co.uk

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

Henley Festival t: 01491 843400 w: www.henley-festival.co.uk

PROPERTY SERVICES Chris Lewis Fire & Security Chris Lewis Managing Director

Oxford International Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Festival t: 07812 350 892 w: www.oxfordwomen.co.uk

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

Oxford Playhouse t: 01865 305313 w: www.oxfordplayhouse.com

frontdoorz Sonia Kearns Director

Oxford Philomusica t: 07775 904626 w: www.oxfordphil.com

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

CORPORATE ENTERTAINMENT

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

Sam Strange Magic Sam Strange Owner

R&R

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

ACCOMMODATION Macdonald Randolph Hotel Michael Grange General Manager t: 0844 879 9132 w: www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk Ethos Hotel Simon Walshaw Co Managing Director t: 01865 245800 w: www.ethoshotels.com

118

11

ENTERTAINMENT 68

Pegasus Theatre Dominique Cadiou Development Director t: 01865 812160 w: www.pegasustheatre.org.uk

FOOD & DRINK SUPPLIES LM Champagne t: 07919 133476 w: www.LMchampagne.co.uk

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OXFORDSHIRE VENUES 2011 C O N F E R E N C E | E V E N T S | P R I VAT E D I N I N G

B4 OXFORDSHIRE VENUES 2011 Included as a brochure for B4 Issue 19 which will be mailed out to 3,000 business decision makers in April 2011, B4 Oxfordshire Venues 2011 is designed to provide those looking to book venues in Oxfordshire with a superb range of the best establishments in the county. Detailing key information about each venue, contact details and high quality images, giving excellent visual representation, B4 Oxfordshire Venues 2011 is designed to give decision makers an excellent portrayal of the wide range of venues available and their individual capabilities.

EXPOSURE FOR THE B4 OXFORDSHIRE VENUES 2011 BROCHURE The publication is being compiled now and will be launched on www.b4-business.com as an eMagazine in December 2010. Thereafter, we will be adding pages as new venues book, providing those who book sooner rather than later with maximum exposure in the lead up to the print date in April. The electronic version of the publication will remain on line for 12 months until it is re-printed in 2012. In addition, we will be promoting the publication through: • B4 weekly e-Newsletters • Banners on www.b4-business.com • Banners on www.inoxford.com

DISTRIBUTION As a supplement to the mailed version of B4 Magazine, 3,000 copies will be sent out in April 2011 to businesses in Oxfordshire. We will be printing a run on of 3,000 copies for distribution throughout the year to advertising venues and key B4 Magazine outlets.

RATES Single page editorial: Double page editorial:

£500+VAT £800+VAT

NB There will be no advertising pages in the publication

T O B O O K O R F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N , C A L L R I C H A R D O N 0 1 8 6 5 7 4 2 2 1 1 T O D AY


B4 Contacts Joel Harrison 39 e: info@caskstrength.net w: www.caskstrength.net

RESTAURANTS 4500 Miles From Delhi Nav Kandola Owner

WHY NOT JOIN THEM? 300 members and rising.

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 Fire & Stone t: 0207 632 2313 w: www.fireandstone.com/pizza/oxford Le Manoir t: 01844 278881 w: www.manoir.com Saffron t: 01865 512211 w: www.saffronrestaurantoxford.co.uk Mamma Mia t: 01865 514141 w: www.mammamiapizzeria.co.uk The Mission Mexican Grill Jan Rasmussen Owner t: 01865 202016 w: www.missionburritos.co.uk

RETAIL

Become a B4 Member or Ambassador and in return, we’ll give you: • Presence in the B4 online and magazine directories • Access to the B4 site to upload unlimited press releases, event details, offers and jobs • Invites to all B4 Ambassador Events in 2011 at: Malmaison, Rhodes House, Blenheim Palace & The Experience Centre at Miele Memberships for just £150+VAT per annum for companies with up to five employees*

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

It’ll be the smartest move you’ve made this year!

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see www.b4-business.com for full details NOW! *rates increase as employee numbers increase: 6 – 20 employees £250+VAT, 21 – 50 £375+VAT, 51 – 100 £600+VAT, 100+ £850+VAT Ambassador rate £500+VAT per annum. Please call us for Platinum Ambassador rate details. VAT at 20%. Tel: 01865 742211.

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BES T

TIC APPLIANC

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which.co.uk

AWA R DS 2010

German quality, style and expertise. Oxfordshire address.

If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking to buy a domestic appliance or planning a new kitchen, visit the Miele Experience Centre in Abingdon. Try out our entire range and experience the quality and style that epitomises Miele. And as well as great product advice we also run cookery demonstrations and courses to help you get the most out of your Miele or learn new culinary skills.

For more information or to book an appointment please call 0845 365 6610 or visit www.miele.co.uk/showrooms Experience Centre Abingdon, Fairacres, Marcham Road, Abingdon OX14 1TW

Win a Miele Steam Oven www.miele.co.uk/draw

FOREVER BETTER


B4 Issue 18  

B4 Magazine B2B in Oxford

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