Issuu on Google+

B4

B4 TITLE

Magazine

ISSUE 08 AUTUMN 2008

FINANCE

ADVICE

C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

www.b4-business.com

P ROMOTION

PEOPLE

SPOTLIGHT

ISSUES

MEET

• IT

PROPERTY •

REVIEW

• •

NEWS

B EYON D

The Corner Club Take Your Time Gentlemen, Please

Chiltern Railways An Interview With Chairman Adrian Shooter

Grove Technology Park The Vision Becomes Reality

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


Apartments in Oxford intimate hotel offering

encapsulates the amenities and personal service of an

more space and home-from-home comfort that only a fully serviced apartment can provide.

short and long stays, AiO stands for comfortable living space, traditional and contemporary design and helpful, caring staff. Specialising in both

Oxford’s Premier Confe

In Association with Apartments in Oxf


PLEASE ENQUIRE ABOUT OUR NEW CONFERENCE & EVENTS FACILITY AT PARK END STREET OXFORD

CANTAY HOUSE, PARK END PLACE, OXFORD OX1 1JD T: + 4 4 ( 0 ) 1 8 6 5 2 5 4 0 7 2 F : + 4 4 ( 0 ) 1 8 6 5 2 5 4 0 7 8 E : b a s e d @ o x s t a y. c o . u k W : w w w . o x s t a y. c o . u k

rence Centre - Coming Soon

ford Ltd T: +44 (0)1865 254072

F: +44 (0)1865 254078


Inside

60

PROPERTY:

Keith Stacey heads up one of Oxfordshire’s leading independent Estate Agents, Breckon and Breckon. In a period of what many will regard as a property crash, Keith injects some reason and hope for property owners. “The biggest problem we have at the moment is the general lack of confidence from buyers. Every time a potential purchaser opens a newspaper or turns on the TV they are constantly being told the property market is in turmoil and because prices are no longer rising, they are sitting back and waiting for better news. In general terms, the number or viewings we are arranging has not declined, it is the ‘viewings per offer’ ratio which has gone through the roof. “In 2007 we averaged 12 viewings per offer and in 2008 that figure is now closer to 25. The offers which come in also vary – some are sensible and some are speculative. Primary locations in Oxford will always generate decent prices, but the secondary areas in Oxford really have to represent good value for money in this climate in order to attract interest.

Since the last issue of B4, the economy has taken a turn for the worse – we are reminded every day we read the news, visit a petrol station or pay, seemingly, for anything. If we are in or on the edge of a recession, there are plenty of people in business in Oxfordshire who firmly believe that being in Oxfordshire is a saving grace, that we live in a bubble and that the area has too much going for it to allow a widespread downturn. Optimistic? Naïve? Time will tell.

And good service is the focus of many of our articles in Issue 8. Adrian Shooter, Chairman of Chiltern Railways, certainly has the customer in mind with his aims to maintain a high level of service for his passengers, and to make the whole train journey experience really make you think twice about taking the car. Emma Righton, founder of OxordShortlets, tells us how service is the key driver in her business and how good service has helped her to develop a formidable reputation in the provision of serviced accommodation. And finally, with service in mind, Tim House, co-owner of the new Corner Club in Turl Street has an impressive history of great service running through his veins. Tim only knows one way when it comes to service and hospitality at this impressive private members club. Hopefully you will find B4 Issue 8 an interesting and entertaining read. We have certainly been thinking about the way forward and hope that our informative guide to B4 in the future will help you to see how your business can get involved in B4 – see overleaf. After 8 Issues, we really feel that we have made progress in terms of establishing the magazine within the business community in Oxfordshire. The commitment of organisations such as Oxford Inspires, Oxford Innovation, The Oxford Science Park and Chiltern Railways to B4 shows that we are going in the right direction, but we know we can be better and value any feedback, as ever. Richard Rosser Editor

B4 SPOTLIGHT

EXPERIENCE WILL TELL

Welcome to Issue 8 of B4

Nonetheless, businesses are making plans, barricading the doors, getting the sandbags in and taping up the windows like some huge tornado is lurking. And maybe this is what we all need. A chance to re-boot, to chop away the fat and become leaner, more focused on providing a good service, and really earn our money. I personally think it is a time of opportunity, where those who are good at what they do will prosper, and those who have papered over the cracks will be found out.

WILA

B4 PROPERTY

“Property is still selling. Our office at 118 High Street have sold just as many properties in the March to May period as we did in the same period last year. “The whole property market is founded on confidence. We have buyers, they are just incredibly cautious. There is, in my opinion a small issue with regards to finance. I feel the message that mortgages are hard to come by is over-hyped. It is not as big an issue as it is being made out to be. I would say the key reasons for the slow down are split 80% due to lack of confidence and 20% (as a maximum) based on the inability to obtain finance. “Poor advice and marketing also accounts for a lot of the failed sales. Agents really need to step up and get everything right. Websites, staffing, newspaper advertising and experience in the office really need to be spot on to ensure clients properties have the best possible chance of being sold. As a company, we have experienced the tough markets of 1985-1995. We understand this market and have reacted accordingly. There are agents who have been in business for 10 years and have only ever known a rising market. As a result, there are still problems with over valuing from agents who have not yet adjusted to the changed environment.

“At the start of this year, we knew that we had to change the way in which we worked. It really has gone from a market where the seller was king to the buyer being king. Because of this, we have the most up-to-date mailing list we have ever had. We keep in regular contact with all of our buyers to ensure we have a thorough understanding of their requirements. This traditional approach of knowing both your buyers and sellers has reaped huge rewards in these trying times. We are also ‘working chains’, negotiating discounts on our clients’ purchases in order to allow them to consider lower offers on their sales. We advise clients to concentrate on the difference between their sale and purchase prices rather than the individual figures.” Breckon & Breckon have expanded at a time when many agents are trimming costs. They have opened two new offices (Summertown and Witney), and relocated their King Edward Street office to a much more prominent location on Oxford High Street. Keith feels this was essential to enable his company to deal with the tougher times ahead. “To survive in this market, every aspect of our business has to be 100%. Our offices are all in primary locations and have been fitted to the highest standards. They continue to attract an ever increasing number of buyers. both locally and from out of the area.” “It is difficult to accurately predict how much longer we will remain in a falling market. I believe that prices will have fallen a little further by the end of the year, hopefully to be followed by a degree of stability. As soon as the media start to report a more stable market, I believe that confidence will return relatively quickly. “A falling market is a fragmented market. In a rising market all properties go up pretty much the same, one goes up and the others follow suit quite happily. In a falling market, sellers generally want to ‘try marketing at a higher price’. There is reluctance to accept that falling prices also affect their own home. We very much experienced that type of response earlier this year, but there are clear signs that sellers are now accepting the fact that in order to sell they need to be accurately priced. For the vast majority of people, this

Another Grove success story, Wila provide lighting solutions for high tech office buildings. With over five thousand live projects this year spanning the globe, Wila’s stock is high in an extremely competitive industry. B4 met with CEO, Mike Collett, to discover a portfolio that boasts projects ranging from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France to Miami and Hamburg airports.

is good news as it means that prices can now try and find their new level. and the quicker this happens the better. “Oxford itself is a very transient market. The University, the hospitals and businesses have always attracted a large number of incoming purchasers. There is a school of thought which says there is a huge pool of people waiting to buy as so many potential purchasers have been sitting on the fence or taking short term rental contracts. This is reflected in the number of instructions increasing. Breckon & Breckons instructions have increased by over 100% over the past 8 months. There is a lot of property out there to be bought.”

Originally founded in 1857 in Iserlohn, Germany, the business started off as a brass foundry, and only moved into lighting in the 1930’s. Largely a domestic lighting supplier in Germany until the early 1980’s, it was then taken over by another German family. This was the beginning of the transition into the world of technical lighting, beginning with energy saving light sources.

And if the residential sales side of the business is affected, Breckon & Breckon’s Letting Office in Hollybush Row stands to offset some of this pain. “It is a massive benefit to our clients to have this side of the business. Letting is obviously an option for someone who doesn’t want to sell because of uncertainty and it is great to be able to offer this in-house service to our clients.”

In 2004, Mike Collett and two other colleagues successfully completed a management buy out. “We repositioned the German headquarters to Grove. We still have a German manufacturing base and Germany is still our biggest market, but the Grove office supports the UK operation and an emergency lighting products company which operates out of the Forest of Dean.

But the message from Keith Stacey to all buyers, sellers and other agents is clear; in this market, experience is everything.

“We had sales of circa £15 million last year and employ around one hundred and thirty across Grove, Forest of Dean and Germany. We sell to around thirty five countries and have a licensing agreement to produce goods in the USA, but also sell into the Middle East, the Far East and Australia, as well as most countries within Europe.

“Sellers should really be looking at how best an agent can cope in this market. They should consider what level of experience is available to them during the sales process, is their agent capable of getting involved with their on-going purchase in order to ensure their sale stays on track? How will the property be marketed? What level of web and newspaper based advertising will the agent put in place? And as a final word of advice, what ever you do, do not tie yourself in to a lengthy contract period with your agent. If they are not doing the job properly, you need the ability to move to another agent quickly and painlessly. “It is quite clearly a market where experience will come to the fore. And this is where Breckon & Breckon will succeed. In an industry which is focussed on high tech, it is somewhat ironic that our most lethal weapon is that of experience and traditional estate agency values.” Contact details on page 88-90

60

www.b4-business.com

“We offer a design and support service to architects and engineers to help them develop the right lighting solution for the client. We then supply the product either direct, or to the electrical installer or wholesaler who will then install the luminaires.

54

“Our focus is very much on high end offices and buildings which are often challenging and unique projects. As our product is designed to last it is generally not so suited to retail roll outs as these tend to be changed and updated every two or so years, although our luminaires have been specified within flagship stores of premium high street brands such as

Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, whereby quality and performance often override cost based decisions.”

energy efficiency and, theoretically, far more flexibility in terms of installation.

“However, a number of our customers now rank energy saving as a top prioritry and great strides in have been made in this particular area in our industry. Such advances have allowed us to re-visit a project and refit the body of the fitting with a new light source which is more controllable and more efficient, and will allow for cost savings on the running of the building.

“As a business, we have started to conduct our own research and development for LED products. The next generation LED is OLED’s or organic LED’s which again, theoretically, can be built into furniture, clothes, walls etc…. It is a very high tech mixed generation material, which can make a wall of glass resemble brick one minute and a work of art the next.”

Amongst Wila’s other current and past projects are the BBC White City Offices on the M40; the “gherkin” building in central London; Said Business School and also the University of Oxford Chemistry Building in Oxford; Hamburg Airport, a one million euro project; The Riverside in Dublin; Eversheds solicitors in Manchester; John Lewis in Oxford Street; Yo! Sushi outlet in Brighton; Kuwait Oil Company Head Office, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Miami Airport.

Wila are a relatively small player in what is a very fragmented industry (there are something like seven hundred lighting companies in the UK alone). However, for any consulting engineer looking to specify a high quality downlight product, Wila’s brand name would be well known to most and would figure high on any consultant’s list of potential suppliers.

Even though lighting solutions seem to have advanced rapidly in recent years, Mike is quick to point out that technological advances of late have been fairly pedestrian, particularly in view of the solutions which will be available to us in the future. “Recent changes have been largely driven by legislation and energy requirements. Technology itself hasn’t changed that much. What is about to happen, however, is that there is going to be a big change to using light emitting diode (LED) technology. “With improvements in technology and lighting, you now get a much more efficient and enhanced light quality and less power consumption. LED’s will take these advances to another level. These will provide longer lamp life (less frequent changes), far more

The company’s focus is not just about intelligent light - it is about improving the quality of light in offices, as Mike concludes, “You and I are the most expensive assets in a building and we need good light to be able to do our jobs properly. If your office is well lit, it really does enhance the quality of performance.” Wila’s reputation counts for everything given that 99.9% of its projects are intended to provide a long term lighting solution, which by its very nature means that Wila’s repeat business for any customer is very low. And the number of current projects Wila is involved in is testament to this reputation, with two hundred and ninety projects in the first quarter of 2008 and an estimated one thousand this year in the UK alone and five thousand in Germany. Reputation intact!

Contact details on page 88-90

54

www.b4-business.com

B4 News 12 15 16 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35

Local Business News Charitable Funds The In Oxford Group HM Revenue and Customs Oxford Saïd Business School Nominet Oxford Brookes University Business School Oxford Innovation Oxford Inspires STL Communications Darbys Microsoft

B4 Spotlight 6

B4: The Way 4ward A look at B4 past, present and future

8

The Corner Club An interview with co-owner, Tim House

38 Trained on Success B4 interview with Chiltern Railways Chairman, Adrian Shooter 48 Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds Cancer Campaign A Review of a Memorable Evening at The Oxford University Museum of Natural History 50 Grove: The Vision becomes Reality Robert Lamplough, Chairman of Grove Technology Park, talks to B4 Includes spotlights on: ByBox 53 WILA 54

44 What Your Poverty Network Really Costs You Regular Feature by Paul Avins of The Oxford Wealth Club 45 The Way We Work Focus on Focus, one of Oxfordshire’s leading financial services companies 66 Calling New Business How To Get the best out of your Phone 76 Connecting B2B in Oxfordshire

B4 Property 56 North Oxford Property Services Pink & Black Savills Breckon & Breckon Expert views on the property market 58 OxfordShortlets B4 interviews Emma Righton about the ethos and future of her business 60 Property: Experience Will Tell Keith Stacey of Breckon and Breckon tries to stay positive amidst the gloom 62 Green Ethos A focus on a property developer and his development by Pink and Black Estate Agents

B4 Green

B4 Advice

64 Building a Green Lifestyle Local Builders Merchant, Buildbase, showcase their new eco-room

42 Corporate Team Mission An Interview with new man Stuart Malcolm who talks about Darbys and their CTM team

68 The Rise and Rise of Replacement Printer Cartridges Local Office Supplies company B-Line explain more

www.b4-business.com


64

B4 GREEN

BUILDING A GREEN LIFESTYLE

An Oxford builders merchant is launching an eco-room that brings together all the newest ideas to build a greener lifestyle. Johnsons Buildbase in Watlington Road, Cowley, is opening the concept room under the banner ‘Go Green at Buildbase’.

A rainwater collection system stores water in a huge underground tank for use in the washing machine, toilet or garden. Photovoltaic roof tiles will collect solar energy which will produce electricity. Roof light tunnels are a simple way to increase internal light in place of lightbulbs.

“We’ve worked with manufacturers to produce wall panels, diagrams and working products that explain the technology and what is involved. Michaela and I will be pleased to talk with customers about installation, suitability and all the other practical issues that arise.” The eco-room is the first to be installed at a Buildbase branch. The company has an environmental focus group which looks to introduce eco-friendly measures. Each Buildbase branch now has a BEM (Branch Environmental Manual) and a BEC (Branch Environmental Champion). A new brochure listing the most environmentally friendly products is also in production. Other activities include paper recycling, energy-saving lightbulbs, solar panels and bio-degradable rubble sacks.

One display shows how different energy saving insulation materials can be installed in walls, loft, roof and floors. Even the timber flooring in the eco-room is made from bamboo, a quick growing, renewable natural material.

Buildbase was the first national builders merchant to introduce FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) timber in all its branches. FSC certification ensures that Buildbase PSE (planed square edge) timber and mouldings are supplied from well-managed forests that guarantee sustainable timber production.

Richard Coles and Michaela Walter have researched and designed the new green eco-room at Johnsons Buildbase. Speaking about the idea, Richard said: “There is

Contact details on page 88-90

I NSPIRATION FOR HOME I M P RO V E M E N T

With summer entertaining just around the corner, you may be looking for new ideas to give your patio a fresh look. The best place to go for inspiration is your friendly local builders’ merchant, Johnsons Buildbase in Watlington Road. A 200 sq m patio display area has been created at the rear of the site, near the trade entrance. This extensive hard landscaping display has dozens of paving, walling, fencing and ideas. You may prefer a contemporary design with slate colour Bradstone Panache paving, timber and

aluminium furniture and sleek granite block water feature or a modern timber balustrade from Burbidge with Perspex panels. More traditional options include warm honey colour Indian Sunstone or smooth marble-like Travertine which can also be used as flooring for a conservatory or kitchen. There are pergolas and arches, even a leisure building from Grange which is a practical and attractive feature to add living and storage space in your garden.

64

www.b4-business.com

29

B4 ADVICE

news Oxford Inspires Is the cultural development agency for Oxfordshire. We work with partners in business, local government, The University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University to create new opportunities for arts and heritage organisations, nurture new festivals and spectacular events and to engage as many people as possible in exciting cultural experiences. We collaborate with cultural organisations across Oxfordshire to support their ambitions and to help them to reach a wider audience and to raise Oxfordshire's profile as a cultural destination nationally and internationally.

Award Winning Partnerships Oxford Inspires was delighted to see two of our Corporate Partnerships recognised with Arts and Business Regional Awards. Arts & Business South East’s aim is to help business support the arts and the arts to inspire business.

B4 Meet 36 The Venue That Really Works We Take a Look at The Sadler Building at The Oxford Science Park

BMW Group Plant Oxford was awarded the Arts & Business Sustainability Award in acknowledgement of the manufacturing plant’s key role in supporting Oxford Inspires, Cowley Road Carnival, Oxford Philomusica and Creation Theatre Company for the past several years. The prestigious award recognises “an established and

on-going partnership that continues to set standards in innovative arts-business collaborations.” Hook Norton Brewery’s partnership with Oxford Inspires and Oxfordshire 2007’s Faces of Oxfordshire programme was also award winning. The partnership won the Arts and Business award for Cultural Branding. In support the festival year the local brewery crafted a special limited edition beer, Inspired. The special ale was a unique way of raising awareness of the 2007 celebrations.

In celebration of UNESCO’s International Year of Planet Earth Oxford Inspires and several partners have created a county-wide Planet Earth Season. Many of our county’s community minded businesses are focussing on what they can do to make a difference and are supporting the work of Oxford Inspires as well as individual events from September to November 2008. Alongside a host of diverse cultural activities, key themes for the season include new jobs, wealth creation, and the wider socio-economic opportunities coming from the booming environmental market. A highlight will be The Earth from the Air at Oxford Castle, an exhibition of awe inspiring aerial photos taken by Yann Arthus-Bertrand which will be on display from

20 September-December. Additionally, the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute will be hosting the Tipping Point Conference; a unique forum for climate scientists, artists and others to meet, discuss and engage with the challenging subject of our time, climate change.

B4 24/7 67 Oxford United – Commercially Speaking New Man Barry Phillips introduces himself 70 The B4 / MGroup Golf Cup With a Spotlight on co-sponsors, The MGroup 73 A Bit of a Do B4 spotlights the Witney Lakes Function Suite 74 How Far Does Your Food Travel? B4 spotMax Mason of The Big Bang Restaurant talks mileage

The spellbinding Magic Hour will take place on 4th, 5th and 6th September at dusk. Artists, scientists and gardeners have been working together over six months to explore each other’s worlds and the subject of

“Post-Celoxica, I worked for a number of entrepreneurial, high net worth, growing, high tech companies, mainly focusing on funding aspects. My roles included managing the day to day general commercial issues as well as intellectual property exploitation, establishing routes to market and winding up the research and development periods to focus on profits. “The Oxford and Thames Valley region is well known for its industry specific focus on technology, innovation and media, and my practice area, coupled with my versatile, solutions-orientated and strategic approach to issues, demonstrates my particular enthusiasm for these sectors. Working on leading edge issues for businesses, who are constantly requiring to reinvent their practices in response to changing opportunities in the media and science world, is a core area of the practice.

In Issue 7 of B4 we ran an in-depth interview with Simon McCrum, Darbys new Managing Partner. As Simon’s re-generation of Darbys, one of Oxford’s leading law firms, forges ever onwards and upwards, B4 throws the spotlight on Stuart Malcolm and his Corporate, Technology and Media team. And Stuart’s rallying call is equally loud and clear "We are lawyers who have been clients - we know business!"

“From a sector standpoint, my private practice clients have included those engaged in publishing and media, life sciences, telecommunications equipment, laser and optoelectronics, networking systems, Internet infrastructure, semiconductor design and manufacture, and advanced software systems and applications products. This experience demonstrates my understanding of both sides of the negotiating table pure technology clients, whose core business is the acquisition and exploitation of proprietary technology, and technology dependent clients, whose business is dependent or heavily reliant upon that technology.”

Stuart originally qualified as a solicitor in Scotland in 1999 with the prominent Edinburgh-based commercial practice Brodies WS, having earlier graduated from the University of Glasgow with an Honours Law Degree in Commercial Law. He also has a post-graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, also from the University of Glasgow.

As one of Simon McCrum’s key lieutenants, Stuart is highly regarded, not least by Simon himself, “This is a key appointment for Darbys. Stuart is a businessman-lawyer who will be of real commercial value to our corporate and technology clients. His real-world experience as a client in corporate finance transactions in his Celoxica days puts clear water between him and many other corporate finance lawyers. This region is well known for its focus on technology, innovation and media, and we have a man in Stuart who can make things happen for our clients”.

As Head of Corporate, Technology & Media (CTM) at Darbys Solicitors LLP in Oxford, Stuart Malcolm has the youthful exuberance of the new boy at school, but I defy anyone to bully him. A powerful yet gentle Scot, Stuart is tasked with spearheading a vital cog in the new Darbys machine, and he’s ready for the battle.

You can also investigate how to have an environmentally friendly house by visiting Oxfordshire Eco-homes 11-14 September which will bring together local suppliers and homeowners to stimulate a serious green market. On 31 August enjoy a wonderful day learning about rural crafts, conservation, and local farm produce at The Wychwood Forest Fair. For more information on these and other events in The Planet Earth Season please visit www.oxfordinspires.org and follow the link.

This autumn BMW Group Plant Oxford, through Oxford Inspires, is supporting a very special event at the University Botanic Garden Oxford with Oxford Contemporary Music.

CORPORATE TEAM MISSION

Stuart joined Darbys in 2008 having previously worked at a number of commercial law firms in the Thames Valley, including Manches LLP in Oxford. He also previously spent a number of years as in-house counsel with the University of Oxford technology spin out, Celoxica Limited, and was more recently Group Legal Adviser with Oxford University Press, the world’s largest University Press. Crucially for Darbys this experience gives Stuart and his team the rare credentials of having been 'the client' on deals.

Planet Earth Season

A keen sportsman in his spare time, Stuart’s interests mainly revolve around sport, in particular golf, rugby union (where he regularly returns to Edinburgh to watch Scotland), motorsport and country pursuits. And it is this competitive streak and Stuart’s willingness to roll his sleeves up and get really involved which impressed me, not only with his steely determination to make things happen, but to do things the right way, which is very much a continuation of the marker laid down by his Managing Partner, Simon McCrum, in our previous issue.

And the ebullient Scot has high expectations of his team. “We have great seeds in the department and the seeds are growing. We have a relatively young team on the first rung but they are eager to learn and have a thirst for success. We are now recruiting for the middle rung with myself and Nick Hedges leading the team. Nick is focused more on the charitable organisations and owner managed businesses. He is very much my right hand man and we communicate regularly. There is an excellent level of teamwork.

“It is a team effort, but I am the figurehead. The buck stops with me and I take the flak if things go wrong. This is very much a fresh start for CTM and I have been brought in to reinvigorate, renew and move forward.”

Magical Moments

46 A Venue To Be Proud Of We meet Roger and Fafar Watts to find out more about Conference Centre Oxford

65

www.b4-business.com

So what is CTM?

twilight or “the magic hour” (as it’s called amongst cameramen and photographers). At the event you will be able to explore the garden during the evening and experience magical sounds and impromptu performances with some of the most exciting sounds artists and composers in the UK and abroad. The unique project is generously supported by Arts Council England Lottery programme and by BMW Group Plant Oxford through Oxford Inspires.

“Corporate embodies corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. Siân Roberts is very much our specialist in this field. The second prong is technology and media, which is more information technology, intellectual property and general commercial contract work. “We are also actively recruiting at the moment for mid-level lawyers and consequently we are expanding and the team is moulding itself into a new and exciting shape.” So what qualities do you bring to the table?

Sincere thanks to Oxford Inspires business partners: BMW Group Plant Oxford, First Great Western, Oxford Bus Company, B4 Magazine, Barceló Oxford Hotel, Bicester Village, Blake Lapthorn Tarlo Lyons, Blenheim Colour, CPM, Carbon Colour, The Corner Club, Eynsham Hall, Finders Keepers, Four Pillars

Hotels, The Feathers Hotel, Hook Norton Brewery, Infineum, Lucy Properties, Oxford Castle, Richardsons, Torpedo, and VSL & Partners. To learn more about how your business might be involved with Oxford Inspires contact Kathelene Weiss at kathelene.weiss@oxfordinspires.org.

“My personal experience is as a technology lawyer and I float in the middle of our two sub groups. I have substantial corporate finance and private equity experience dealing with spin-outs from Oxford University, primarily Celoxica.

42 www.b4-business.com

79 Park Plaza County Hall How to Get a New Hotel off the Ground 80 The George and Monty’s Brasserie One of Cheltenham’s finest hotels and brasseries 83 Cheltenham Apartments Karen Lawton gets hooked on style

“The ability to frame the advice and focus it on the client’s needs is vital. It is all about analysing client’s risks and needs and knowing what is important to them. This is particularly important with regards to negotiations, and we are well equipped to deal with these situations. We need to be able to adapt and spot what is important for our client. “Although we like to think we are all fairly down to earth people, we are able to recognise when we need to show our teeth. We don’t see the point or need to be aggressive or bad mannered for the sake of it, and, for the most part, it is not necessary in order to make progress. Straight talking is very much the ethos of the new Darbys since Simon has been here. There is nothing wrong with honesty, common courtesy and having good manners, although it is quite evident that some people see such qualities as signs of weakness. “I think in the past Darbys has, rightly or wrongly, gained a reputation as a “nice Oxford firm” which doesn’t make too many waves, but as a result didn’t make the progress it should have done. The new Darbys certainly has a focus and a clear path to success, and an overriding desire to do it properly. Darbys has been crying out for a figurehead like Simon and Simon is now looking for his lieutenants, of which I am one, who share his ambition and desire to drive forward. “I want to make sure that we can escalate and scale up. We have got to get the right people on board and slightly adapt the culture to make sure everyone is pointing in the right direction, with the same goals, beliefs and targets, even more so in a competitive world. “We have won a fair deal of new business because I have come on board, but also because new customers believe in our strategy and are equally excited about what CTM can do for their businesses. Even in this climate we are picking up new clients and new work daily. “I also know the scene and I am on top of the ‘village’ feel of Oxford, I know how it works and combined with Simon’s vision, we can make Darbys a force to be reckoned with. Darbys mean business and we won’t tolerate anything other than success for the firm. We have the people and the experience which means we are more than capable of achieving. As I have already said, we are real world people and we do understand the real world needs of our clients. No one gets to hide at Darbys, we are all accountable and we all want to deliver, not just exist and get by. Our clients expect the best and we are here to provide it. “It is a changing world, and Darbys are ready for it.”

“I would also like to place our staff in-house at some of

CTM T

E A M

PROFILES Nick Hedges Nick advises owner-managed businesses on joint ventures, company acquisitions, disposals and exits, mergers, re-structuring and refinancing. His common sense, often imaginative, and wisdom-based approach is highly valued by his stable of loyal clients.

Siân Roberts In her career, Siân has worked on many high profile transactions, including the institutional buy-out of National Britannia Group Limited, acquisitions by Capita Group plc and an international environmental consultancy business funded by West Private Equity. She is a rising star in the corporate finance world.

Edward Bible With a background in corporate recovery, Ed is described as ‘a force in the market’ by authoritative and independent surveys of the legal profession. He advises companies, directors, insolvency practitioners and creditors on corporate and commercial matters, particularly those that have an element of insolvency.

Alastair Long Qualified in French company and commercial law, as well as working in UK law, Alastair previously worked for a group of Anglo-French defence companies as in-house Legal Counsel before joining Darbys in 2007.

Secretaries within the CTM team: Kathryn James Telephone: 01865 811249 Email: kjames@darbys.co.uk Sandra Hewitt Telephone: 01865 811746 Email: shewitt@darbys.co.uk

Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com

43

42

74

B4 24/7

HOW FAR DOES YOUR FOOD TRAVEL?

When I first met Max Mason, The Big Bang, seemingly, was to be a brief flirtation with catering. Having left the navy, where he spent eight years traveling the high seas, Max turned his attention to bangers. Why? In Oxford Magazine visited Max in Walton Street to find out how things have developed from a short term project to a devoted dedication to improving food quality. “Before entering the Restaurant world in November 2004, I had spent eight years surveying the oceans of the world as a Hydrographic Officer in The Royal Navy. Once I had achieved everything I could have dreamed of - sailing the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean and spending two years working in the Antarctic - I decided to leave and do something completely different, allowing me as little time as possible to miss the life on the ocean wave. Setting up and then running a busy restaurant seemed to fit the bill perfectly. “My friends always thought I was mad to do this. I, however, knew this was low risk. I didn’t need to spend fortunes renovating the property. The costs were pretty low, but quite amazingly, customers liked the understated nature of the property and I had little reason to change it. “I soon realized that it wasn't about designing a fashionable place, where it was cool to be seen, but more about quality of food and the value of the ethics behind it. The restaurant is constantly full, so what reason is there to change things?" But it’s more than just a restaurant. Max’s restaurant has a heartbeat, a passion and a desire to achieve and this is a drum which Max bangs every day.

88 Business Contacts

“For example, Alastair Long has experience of working in a large French Aerospace company for two years and is also fluent in three or four different languages. This is vital for the team. Despite being a trainee, he already knows how to handle commercial people, he knows what they are looking for.

29

78 Aziz Pandesia Fancy a Lunch al fresco?

B4 Contacts

“Our key underlying theme is that we see ourselves as a commercial team and with my experience of life on the other side of the fence, working in house in companies which are now in the same mould as our customers, we very much see ourselves (as Simon McCrum underlined in issue 7), as businessmen who happen to be lawyers. Of course we are lawyers first and foremost, but we like to think with experience such as mine in the team, we can draw in a wider view of a particular situation and be aware of the ‘real world’ implications. Lawyers are so often criticised for not being savvy to the real world implications of business, and we certainly won’t be expecting or tolerating that criticism to be leveled at us.

our clients, to really find out how the business works and understand the pressures placed upon that business. This will enable our advice to be more focused and practical.

“My aim was always to develop a business where food miles were at a minimum, where each time a customer dined, they were supporting local suppliers and starting to break down the carbon footprint of the British restaurant world. At a time when we are all paying more to drive a few miles in our cars, it is increasingly important to highlight the waste which surrounds us, every day. “We just can’t continue the way we are going, with, on average, 2,500 food miles on every plate of food served to us in chain restaurants, something has got to give. My “silly” idea of three years ago, to source all supplies within a twenty mile radius, appears to be

74

coming to the fore and may be the only way forward for all restaurants, not just The Big Bang. I can see chains having to buy locally just to keep food at the same price.” Recently awarded the Best Rural Retailer for 2007 for the South of England in the Best Local Food category, Max’s vision is now gaining the recognition it deserves, and the food is great too. So how does Max source? “Farmer’s Markets, web sites, chat forums, anywhere I can find out who is recommended locally. And going for the smaller local suppliers, I can get to know them intimately, strike up a great working relationship, and get a fantastic product. For example, a new brewery I have started working with in Henley can’t supply the chains as their product is too niche and price sensitive, but we offer their entire range which fits perfectly with our vision. “Essentially we are all water melons – green on the outside but capitalist red on the inside. But, if it becomes cheaper to be ethical, we will all do it, and that is that is what I am trying to offer at the Big Bang, where it's not only cheaper to dine than at any chain restaurant, but also better on all ethical counts. “Even though we have a backdrop of a trying economic climate, the new restaurants keep coming, and that’s because we have slipped down a notch at home. Even cooking bangers ‘n mash at home will seem, to some, a chore. Eating out is normal for a growing chunk of the population, but still, the economics will dictate and put more pressure on restaurants to look at their procurement profiles and force the change to more local suppliers. “But, there is a danger that once we start banging the drum we have to source everything within a twenty mile radius. That is often impossible. For example we do struggle with peas and olives which buck our twenty mile trend and are a nightmare to source locally. I think as long as the core product is locally

sourced, you occasionally have to include the odd essential deviation.” So how far does the average Big Bang dish travel Max? “Our target is 100 miles”, a fair slice off the 2,500 quoted at the beginning of this article. Max Mason is extremely opinionated, in a most engaging way, and will have a view on a wide spectrum of issues, incorporating hot political topics to the colour of your tie. So what is Max’s view of our city, and how does he think Oxford needs to improve? “We have nine million visitors coming to Oxford every year and we don’t do nearly enough to keep the visitors here and enable us to showcase what we do. I think a proportion of the city at large has become lazy in its desire to work hard for tourists. Although the fact that we are Oxford is enough to attract a visitor, keeping them here for over 24 hours takes hard work. It is a basic equation that the longer they stay the more they pay and we have got to get wise to this. We need to raise the profile of the independents and steer as clear as possible from our path towards becoming a clone city. The independents are a great selling point to attract visitors - they are what people see as the quintessence of Oxford.” If you have a view about Oxford and would like to share this with Max, please contact him as per the contact details at the back of B4. And by the way, we did eat! The delightful Lucy served us with the Lamb and Mint sausage – Max’s favourite – the Pork and Apple and the Chili Pork sausage. Great, wholesome food. Pop in for a meal, and if you happen to catch Max, the conversation will be entertaining, I guarantee!

Contact details on page 88-90

Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842255.

As well as a working solar panel display, there are less familiar products, such as a Greenstore ground source heat pump system that harnesses ground heat in different ways. Other new heating systems include a boiler which uses wood pellets in place of gas or oil, or an air source heat pump that harvests thermal energy from the air.

no denying that more and more homeowners would like to live in a property that is as energy-efficient as possible. Those in the trade - architects and builders - want to introduce this technology into their plans. However, the range of different products is vast and technically quite complex. Our eco-room brings together many of the best designs all in one place.

Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.

The first-floor display is devoted to energy-saving and eco-friendly products and systems that can be specified for new homes or installed in existing properties. It has information and sample products explaining the new technology so that customers can choose which concepts might suit their home. It is designed for builders, architects, specifiers, self-builders, local authorities, schools, businesses and any homeowners looking to save energy and resources.

www.b4-business.com

75

The Big Bang – where ethical economical….and very tasty to boot.

becomes


B4: THE WAY 4WARD When we first discussed how B4 could Build Bridges Between Business, we decided to showcase businesses which displayed all the characteristics of a “good” business, which would then enable other businesses to benefit from their fresh ideas and experience. Eight issues of B4 down the line, we appreciate that Oxfordshire is fortunate to play host to a wide range of such businesses. In addition, we have also, hopefully, given our readers access to some thought-provoking issues about certain businesses and ideas as to how we can all run our businesses more efficiently.

“better” at doing business will be increasingly important to keep us all thriving. Economic change presents both threats and opportunities to businesses and the people who run them, work in them, and deal with them. At B4, we hope to focus in the future on the key aspects of performance, efficiency, profitability, and every business element these areas have an impact on.

We have analysed the content of the first eight issues to see where our focus has been greatest and this has helped us formulate the structure below for future editions. By so doing, we hope that we can attract even more examples of “good” business to help your business.

B4 Feedback Where have you, as a reader, got to in your business, and where do you need to focus your energy and resources?

We are, of course, developing B4 as a bridge between businesses, but now we also need to focus increasingly on how to build “better” businesses. We are faced with new challenges in the economy – challenges that many business people have never faced before in their careers and we feel that business performance and being

We would welcome your thoughts on this. We are all “business” people – either working in a specific sector –or on a specific aspect of business life. Our abilities as businesses and as business people to adapt, innovate and then implement change will be tested in the months to come, and at B4 we want to be able “help”

B4 PR

Brian talks with fond memories about what he has achieved and what he one day will pass on to his sons: “I started Hopcrofts Holt Service Station to serve the rural community of Steeple Aston. In many ways it still underpins what we’re doing with the rest of the group. It’s a traditional service station, so as well as petrol, there is a convenience store and the mechanical repair and MOT side.” James, who spent some time in London after leaving home but is now back in Oxford, has always known that his dad worked hard to provide for them. “I remember having to leave the house and get into the Landrover with Dad one night, when Mum was out for the evening and the garage got a recovery call.” Ten years ago, Brian felt that it was time to expand

James explains: “At Isis, we have built up excellent relationships with the biggest motoring organisations, like Green Flag, RAC, and Mondial Assistance. With Green Flag for example, they are purely dependent on offering rescue services through a network of independents. They know that we deliver good service on their behalf, so when we branched out into Banbury we did so with their backing, meaning we knew we were going to get those contracts.” In addition to the rescue side of the business, Isis also offers a very competitive servicing and MOT facility for Class IV, V and VII vehicles. Large discounts are available for business fleets.

Hightone Restorations is based in Enstone, near Chipping Norton, and the guys in the workshop are the best in the business. “Most of the staff have been there 15 or 18 years,” says James, “and they are true craftsmen. The skills they have are just not being taught to young people often enough, so there is a real problem with how we’ll replace them when they get to retirement age.” The business specialises in Mercedes and Alvis restorations, but they will turn their hand to any vintage/classic vehicles, making panelwork, ash frames and very high class paintwork. “We recently worked on an old Rolls Royce which has been left outside for 15 years while the owners were abroad. It has been exposed to the weather and was in a really bad way, but even in that state it was still worth a lot of money and we relished the challenge of bringing it back to life.” Manager, Roger Lester, is very enthusiastic and will discuss any customer’s restoration requirements. “I always wanted to have something to pass on to my sons,” says Brian, “and I’m just glad that they are now both involved because they have brought fresh eyes to the business.” So, is it not time for Brian to put his feet up, now that his sons are working with him? “I thought that I was winding down a few years ago,” he says with a smile, “but then the opportunity came up in Banbury.” I have a feeling he isn’t going anywhere for a while … Contact details on page 58

B4 meet David Woodhead of Handelsbanken, one of Oxfordshire’s newest banks who, in the words of their Chairman, Lars O Gronstedt, “always give the advice that is best for the customer, even if in the short run it is not best for the Bank.”

SUGAR COATED GRAFT

If your business is planning a big event, then what better way than a personalised and inventive centerpiece to mark the celebration in style. Mark Reynolds visits The Cake Shop in Oxford’s Covered Market to see if their work really is too good to eat. Arriving in the Covered Market at 8.30am is a rare event for me, and I am pleasantly surprised by the buzz about the place. The fruit and veg stall is noisy and colourful, the coffee shops are filling up with people queuing for lattes and carrying newspapers, and the artists of The Cake Shop are going about their craft as the world walks by. This is a relatively quiet Saturday morning for Sally Davis. They are making preparations for Christmas and working on their advance orders for the festive period, but this is nothing compared to the summer, when they might be getting ready for the collection of 20 wedding cakes in a single day.

and we invest a lot of time and care making sure that people get something special, something they're happy with.”

In 2005, B4 met Sally for the first time and since that time her business has gone from strength to strength. In case you didn't see that article, here are some things to get straight before we continue. They are not bakers. There are no industrial ovens and vats of selfraising flour. The items that Sally’s customers keep coming back for are not baked on the premises, and in some ways the word cake is misleading. The “raw material” that is the cake base is delivered to the shop by their suppliers, and leaves as a work of art. “When a member of staff joins us, it takes about 3 years before they do wedding cakes and 10 years for them to be fully up to speed and able to run with any new order” says Sally. “It’s a very highly skilled profession

In addition to their staple diet of weddings and other family celebrations, which provide around 70% of their revenue, they have been doing a lot more corporate work in the last few years. Companies have used them for launch events, anniversaries or to say goodbye to a special employee. They have worked closely with Mercedes, Blackwells, Oxford University Press and even the National Lottery for their 21st double rollover celebration. Because they are based in Oxfordshire, Sally if often already familiar with the businesses that contact her to discuss their requirements, so its much easier for The Cake Shop to work on something bespoke for them with a genuine understanding of what they are trying to

Most of their staff have enjoyed the craft of cake decoration at home, and therefore now come to work to do something they love. Making sure that her staff are happy at work is a top priority for Sally in ensuring that her business is successful. “We work hard and take it seriously, but try to retain that family business feel. Most of the team are female, so we often have to be sensitive to peoples family arrangements and ensure that we offer a flexible working environment”.

achieve. Sally acts as the sales force for the Oxford based clients and is proud of the high level of personal service they are able to offer; “If OUP had just called Sainsburys, or some other national supermarket chain [who represent The Cake Shop’s main competition]. they would just not have been able to get that standard of service. The big supermarkets are unlikely to employ sales people as specialised as we can be, so their service can be very impersonal”. When planning a special celebration, or a big company event, you can call the Cake Shop team to talk about the type of cake that would suit the occasion. After an initial consultation, either on the phone, or at one of their stores, you could email them pictures of your building, or of the product you are trying to promote and then they can get to work. If you can take the time to visit them, their shops in Oxford and Banbury host some amazing examples of their craft and many of the intricate decorations they produce are on display to give you some ideas about what they could do for you. In their Oxford store on that cold Saturday morning I felt a real sense of pride in their craft, both from the hard working women and the director of the business. They all share a passion for their craft and for some of the amazing work in the window, seeing is believing. Contact details on page 78

www.b4-business.com

41

59

www.b4-business.com

Review What has made your business a success? Share some of the secrets and the tips with the B4 readership, and blow your own trumpet for a change.

B4 INTERVIEW Martin Keown can often be found patrolling the touchlines of the local football fields of Oxford, watching his two sons, Niall and Callum, play the game he loves. The former Arsenal and England stalwart is easy to spot, not just because he has one of the most well-known faces in the area, but also because, in among the over-excited parents , he remains quiet, watchful, keeping his counsel, never raising his voice. It is a nice irony that the one person on the touchline who really knows what is going on out there on the pitch, is the least inclined to pass comment. “I am consciously like that because I remember what it was like playing,” he explains. “It is so frantic in the middle that you need relaxed people around you, especially on the touchline. As a player you want clear, concise messages. You don’t want ranting and raving. Most of all, you don’t want destructive criticism. It just won’t go in if a manager, or parent, behaves like that.”

Fondly remembered by Gooners and England fans alike as the most competitive, focused and intense of footballers, the former centre-back now cuts a very different figure. Calm, studious, thoughtful, he goes about life post football with as little show as possible. “I was certainly well placed to witness the football explosion,” he says. “I saw both ends of it. In the early part of my career, things were not much different from most walks of life, but in my last four or five years, it changed my life completely. It wasn’t just the wages, but also the amount of attention you received. Discretion and privacy were hard to come by and that is what you crave now.” Born in Oxford, Keown first gained attention as a swash-buckling, free-scoring centre forward in the local boys league. He was spotted by Arsenal scouts, signed with the north London club as a 14-year-old schoolboy in 1980 and was almost immediately transformed into a defender. He made his debut at the age of 18 in 1984, before walking out on Arsenal

Spotlight “The discipline shapes you for the rest of your life,” he says. “It is quite a challenge when you retire because you have been part of a group for so long, sharing the emotional highs and lows, driven by this single, collective aim, every minute of every day, to win the next game. Nothing in life compares with looking around a dressing room and seeing the host of talent that I could. Drawing off those individuals and gaining strength from their presence was incredible.” The racing driver, Jackie Stewart, describes sport as the ideal gymnasium for business. And Keown agrees that the single-mindedness, the determination and the ability to focus on the task in hand are major advantages for the sportsman entering business. He learned the hard way, however, another essential lesson.

As one of Oxfordshire’s most successful ever sportsmen, Martin Keown has been at the epicentre of football’s transformation over the past ten years. Jim White, who has covered all the world’s major sporting events for The Daily Telegraph, talks to Martin exclusively for B4.

www.b4-business.com

FACTS

2. Bank’s shares listed on Stockholm Stock Exchange since 1873. 3. In 1905, moved to present headquarters in the Kungsträdgårdsgatanarea. 4. Merged with Bankaktiebolaget in 1914 to give it 36 branches in new towns in Sweden. 5. In 1917, acquired Norrlandbanken to help it take advantage of the flourishing northern forest industry. 6. In the 1980s, opened branch subsidiaries and offices in London, New York and Singapore.

“Above anything else, Handelsbanken is a traditional bank. We don’t have tiered telephone answering systems, we do everything from the branch and look after our customers’ needs 100% from the branch. Our success is based on offering a higher quality service, delivered through experienced personnel. We start with a blank sheet of paper and build a solution to fit the requirement, whilst all key decisions are made by management in Oxford.

7. The bank is now represented in 20 countries with over 600 branches worldwide. 8. Today, it is one of the leading banks in the Nordic area with total assets of SEK 1,900 billion (approx £140 billion).

“Each proposal is assessed on its own merits and we are able to be flexible in providing customers with a solution. Our managers do not have the restrictions of fixed products and rigid parameters and are therefore able to achieve much more for our customers. As you can see from the branch, we are not surrounded by brochures and leaflets offering packages, deals or special rates.

9. A universal bank offering a complete range of financial services. 10. Swedish subsidiaries, which are integrated in the bank's business operations: Handlesbanken Fonder (mutual funds), Handlesbanken Finans (finance company), Handlesbanken Liv (life insurance), SPP (life insurance), Stadshypotek (mortgage company) and Stadshypotek Bank.

28

www.b4-business.com

“As a professional player, the first thing you are told to do is to get yourself a financial adviser. I am not so sure it is critical. When you are playing, obviously you don’t have the time, or the inclination, to get involved in anything other than playing. But if you let some of the responsibility go, you have to identify people, back them and trust them and that is not always easy. In my opinion, a player’s best investment would be in themselves. My advice would be to be very cautious of financial people and don’t let big decisions out of your hands. Try and keep control. It is very easy for an impressionable, young player, to make financial mistakes, and to be taken advantage of. I’d like to

think now that I am involved with good people.” Several of Keown’s contemporaries seem to have managed the trick of transferring their skill on the pitch into the boardroom: Robbie Fowler in property, Jamie Redknapp in publishing and David James in the media, to name the most prominent. Keown believes they are by no means unusual. “Actually,” he says, “the players who are good businessmen are the ones you don’t hear about. Players are paid very well now and it is particularly important that they keep any business interests private, which, admittedly, is easier said than done.” Although in depth discussions about business are not completely off limits, Martin is visibly more comfortable when discussing his true passion, football. Following a short spell with Reading, Martin spent a year helping Arsène Wenger, who drew upon Martin’s considerable defensive experience to the full , whilst also leaving Martin to act as mentor to the first team players of today. Terry Neil is among those who credit Martin for injecting steel and discipline into the team’s youthful new back line. Martin remains, however, modest about his involvement.

We interview high profile individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. From Chairmen of Rail Companies to Indy Car Champions. From John Hoy to John Varley and Trevor Osborne to Ian Darby.

manager. Some of his practical coaching work for this course will, hopefully, be achieved working with Oxford University 1st XI. “Whether I am suited to management is hard to say,” he suggests. “It is very different to coaching: you can be the best coach in the world but not make the grade as a manager. But actually I’m enjoying not having to be so rigid in my life, having the time to recharge my batteries and re-acquaint myself with my family. And I have enjoyed going on the courses with genuine football people. It makes me realise how much the game really means to everyone.” Martin feels strongly that this is the best thing about the sport which has given him so much: the passion it instils. “The game of football is a business now, there’s no denying it,” he says. “But a love of the game has to rule supreme, plus talent, that still is paramount. And so it should be. Let’s face it, these days you can become very wealthy in the game. But if a parent puts their child into the game simply to make their family rich, they will be found out. You cannot succeed in football without loving it. There are a lot of very sucessful people within the game, but they still get something from it. Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes … they are not still playing for financial reasons. It is because they are still in love with the game. That’s how it should be.”

He is now in the midst of taking his A licence, the necessary qualification to become a Premiership

19

www.b4-business.com

“The bank’s ethos is to establish a long-term relationship with its customers and this is facilitated by recruiting staff from the local area who have local knowledge and therefore understand the customers’ needs in their everyday working environment. Local knowledge is key to developing the business and this is a huge foundation upon which all Handelsbanken branches are built. This experience is also imperative when protecting the Aa1 credit rating of the bank (source: Moody’s July 2007) .

accounts, the Oxford branch can certainly look back on their first year as one in which they have exceeded expectations. But there again, Handelsbanken are different, as David explains. “We don’t have targets, we don’t get bonuses and we are not driven by commission. Our modus operandi is to get the job done for our clients. The team and the branch network, which is growing around us, are here for each and every one of our clients. With a strong spine to back us and encourage us, we can only see Handelsbanken growing in Oxford, as it is around the country.” This claim is borne out by the increase in UK branches from 25 in October 2006 to over 40 by the end of the year.

“We strive to provide a quality service to established businesses and high net worth individuals (the rough guide is deposits or borrowings of circa £500,000 for business customers). Our flexibility enables us to provide banking services for an individual and their business, rather than presenting a company director with the ‘inconvenient’ scenario of dealing with separate bank managers for business and personal affairs.

Not only is Handelsbanken growing and developing its customer base but it is also, a good employer, coming 11th in the 2007 Sunday Times "Best 100 Companies to Work for. This stems from the Swedish philosophy of striving to focus on a strong work/life balance and is concisely summed up by one of David Woodhead’s area managers, Derek Burgess, a Handelsbanken veteran of 17 years: “When you work for an organisation such as this you feel confident in your area of responsibility. You don’t have to remind yourself of the bank’s latest approach because everything remains consistent locally.”

“Our simple and refreshing approach is reaping rewards as customers are coming to us through recommendation and not via cold calling.” The team at the branch is small but effective and offers everything the bank needs to be able to develop its customer base. David was joined by Andrew Dicks as Corporate Manager, Will Organ and Kate Grant as Individual Banking Managers and Louise Bywaters and Karen Leydon who look after all documentation and legal work. Bryan Hunter has recently joined the team to focus on asset finance and leasing.

So, if you are looking for a different type of bank, offering a different approach, and crave the attention of an experienced and attentive manager, Handelsbanken are well worth talking to.

With three Oxford University colleges, two independent schools and a number of partners in local professional firms amongst its first-year

Contact details on page 66

29

www.b4-business.com

“Post-Celoxica, I worked for a number of entrepreneurial, high net worth, growing, high tech companies, mainly focusing on funding aspects. My roles included managing the day to day general commercial issues as well as intellectual property exploitation, establishing routes to market and winding up the research and development periods to focus on profits. “The Oxford and Thames Valley region is well known for its industry specific focus on technology, innovation and media, and my practice area, coupled with my versatile, solutions-orientated and strategic approach to issues, demonstrates my particular enthusiasm for these sectors. Working on leading edge issues for businesses, who are constantly requiring to reinvent their practices in response to changing opportunities in the media and science world, is a core area of the practice.

In Issue 7 of B4 we ran an in-depth interview with Simon McCrum, Darbys new Managing Partner. As Simon’s re-generation of Darbys, one of Oxford’s leading law firms, forges ever onwards and upwards, B4 throws the spotlight on Stuart Malcolm and his Corporate, Technology and Media team. And Stuart’s rallying call is equally loud and clear "We are lawyers who have been clients - we know business!"

He flourished under Wenger’s tuition, and the lessons he learned in the Highbury dressing room were valuable ones to take on into business once he had finally hung up his boots in 2004.

18

10

1. Founded in 1871 in Stockholm.

CORPORATE TEAM MISSION

It was in 1996, however, aged 30, that Martin’s entire approach to his profession changed, when Arsène Wenger arrived at Highbury as manager. They seemed an unlikely combination, the cerebral, professorial Frenchman and the raw-boned, aggressive English defender. The assumption, from a distance, was that the Englishman would soon be on his way to less sophisticated surroundings. Instead, the pair enjoyed a partnership that accrued three league championships and three FA Cup wins in six seasons. This was some swansong, Keown playing on for Arsenal until he was 37, his career extended, he suggests, by the sensible habits and meticulous approach encouraged by Wenger.

FROM EXPERIENCE

As Branch Manager, David has a lot to smile about. Having opened the branch in August 2006, Handelsbanken took on their first customer in September and have made great strides since. David is at pains to stress that Handelsbanken like to see themselves as offering something completely different to their customers, but is equally adamant to underline that Handelsbanken do offer a complete range of traditional banking services.

B4 ADVICE

in 1986 to join Aston Villa. He then moved to Everton, before returning to Arsenal in 1993 for £2 million.

SPEAKING

On a July afternoon in Oxford, lightning is crashing all around and the rain is pummeling Seacourt Tower. Do I really have to go up seven floors? At least Charlie Bucket had some chocolate as consolation in his elevator. But seemingly on cue, the lift doors ping open and the sun shines, casting a fantastic rainbow in the distance, with David Woodhead’s beaming, welcoming smile a close second.

“From a sector standpoint, my private practice clients have included those engaged in publishing and media, life sciences, telecommunications equipment, laser and optoelectronics, networking systems, Internet infrastructure, semiconductor design and manufacture, and advanced software systems and applications products. This experience demonstrates my understanding of both sides of the negotiating table pure technology clients, whose core business is the acquisition and exploitation of proprietary technology, and technology dependent clients, whose business is dependent or heavily reliant upon that technology.”

Stuart originally qualified as a solicitor in Scotland in 1999 with the prominent Edinburgh-based commercial practice Brodies WS, having earlier graduated from the University of Glasgow with an Honours Law Degree in Commercial Law. He also has a post-graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, also from the University of Glasgow. Stuart joined Darbys in 2008 having previously worked at a number of commercial law firms in the Thames Valley, including Manches LLP in Oxford. He also previously spent a number of years as in-house counsel with the University of Oxford technology spin out, Celoxica Limited, and was more recently Group Legal Adviser with Oxford University Press, the world’s largest University Press. Crucially for Darbys this experience gives Stuart and his team the rare credentials of having been 'the client' on deals.

As one of Simon McCrum’s key lieutenants, Stuart is highly regarded, not least by Simon himself, “This is a key appointment for Darbys. Stuart is a businessman-lawyer who will be of real commercial value to our corporate and technology clients. His real-world experience as a client in corporate finance transactions in his Celoxica days puts clear water between him and many other corporate finance lawyers. This region is well known for its focus on technology, innovation and media, and we have a man in Stuart who can make things happen for our clients”.

As Head of Corporate, Technology & Media (CTM) at Darbys Solicitors LLP in Oxford, Stuart Malcolm has the youthful exuberance of the new boy at school, but I defy anyone to bully him. A powerful yet gentle Scot, Stuart is tasked with spearheading a vital cog in the new Darbys machine, and he’s ready for the battle. A keen sportsman in his spare time, Stuart’s interests mainly revolve around sport, in particular golf, rugby union (where he regularly returns to Edinburgh to watch Scotland), motorsport and country pursuits. And it is this competitive streak and Stuart’s willingness to roll his sleeves up and get really involved which impressed me, not only with his steely determination to make things happen, but to do things the right way, which is very much a continuation of the marker laid down by his Managing Partner, Simon McCrum, in our previous issue.

And the ebullient Scot has high expectations of his team. “We have great seeds in the department and the seeds are growing. We have a relatively young team on the first rung but they are eager to learn and have a thirst for success. We are now recruiting for the middle rung with myself and Nick Hedges leading the team. Nick is focused more on the charitable organisations and owner managed businesses. He is very much my right hand man and we communicate regularly. There is an excellent level of teamwork.

“It is a team effort, but I am the figurehead. The buck stops with me and I take the flak if things go wrong. This is very much a fresh start for CTM and I have been brought in to reinvigorate, renew and move forward.” So what is CTM? “Corporate embodies corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. Siân Roberts is very much our specialist in this field. The second prong is technology and media, which is more information technology, intellectual property and general commercial contract work. “We are also actively recruiting at the moment for mid-level lawyers and consequently we are expanding and the team is moulding itself into a new and exciting shape.”

Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.

Mark Reynolds talks to Brian Weedon and his son James to learn how their expanding group of companies is thriving because of the core family values. and branch out into Oxford. He did this when he saw a gap in the market after a company called JT Rescue went bust. With his existing knowledge of the motor industry, his aim was to provide high quality vehicle recovery and repair services in the Oxford area. April 2005 saw the acquisition of the AR Mills recovery business, which has provided them with an additional depot and workshop facility for Isis Rescue – this time in Banbury. Although involved in all three businesses, it is Isis Rescue that takes up most of his two sons’ time. It clearly means a lot to Brian to have his sons working with him, and James and Thomas are more than up to the challenge. James Weedon (Operations Manager) and Thomas Weedon (General Manager) work hard to ensure that their family business thrives by delivering a friendly and efficient service to both business and private customers.

B4 MONEY

NOT ANOTHER BANK

THE ROAD TO RECOVERY There are two things that are important to Brian Weedon: family and business with his wife Janet. He has been running his own business in Oxfordshire for over 35 years, and when you meet him and his sons you just know that they’ll still be doing it in another 35. Their latest acquisition was Hightone Restorations, which can offer those of you with vintage or classic cars an expert service to bring your pride and joy up to scratch again. They also run Isis Repair and Rescue, whose fleet of vehicles with the trademark “dreaming spires” logo is a common sight to Oxford’s motorists. But it all started at Hopcrofts Holt …

B4 LIFESTYLE

So what qualities do you bring to the table? “My personal experience is as a technology lawyer and I float in the middle of our two sub groups. I have substantial corporate finance and private equity experience dealing with spin-outs from Oxford University, primarily Celoxica.

42

“Our key underlying theme is that we see ourselves as a commercial team and with my experience of life on the other side of the fence, working in house in companies which are now in the same mould as our customers, we very much see ourselves (as Simon McCrum underlined in issue 7), as businessmen who happen to be lawyers. Of course we are lawyers first and foremost, but we like to think with experience such as mine in the team, we can draw in a wider view of a particular situation and be aware of the ‘real world’ implications. Lawyers are so often criticised for not being savvy to the real world implications of business, and we certainly won’t be expecting or tolerating that criticism to be leveled at us.

Finance From choosing the right bank to insurance issues, from advice concerning mortgages and pensions, it’s all here.

CTM

our clients, to really find out how the business works and understand the pressures placed upon that business. This will enable our advice to be more focused and practical.

T

“For example, Alastair Long has experience of working in a large French Aerospace company for two years and is also fluent in three or four different languages. This is vital for the team. Despite being a trainee, he already knows how to handle commercial people, he knows what they are looking for.

E A M

PROFILES

“The ability to frame the advice and focus it on the client’s needs is vital. It is all about analysing client’s risks and needs and knowing what is important to them. This is particularly important with regards to negotiations, and we are well equipped to deal with these situations. We need to be able to adapt and spot what is important for our client.

Nick Hedges Nick advises owner-managed businesses on joint ventures, company acquisitions, disposals and exits, mergers, re-structuring and refinancing. His common sense, often imaginative, and wisdom-based approach is highly valued by his stable of loyal clients.

“Although we like to think we are all fairly down to earth people, we are able to recognise when we need to show our teeth. We don’t see the point or need to be aggressive or bad mannered for the sake of it, and, for the most part, it is not necessary in order to make progress. Straight talking is very much the ethos of the new Darbys since Simon has been here. There is nothing wrong with honesty, common courtesy and having good manners, although it is quite evident that some people see such qualities as signs of weakness.

Siân Roberts In her career, Siân has worked on many high profile transactions, including the institutional buy-out of National Britannia Group Limited, acquisitions by Capita Group plc and an international environmental consultancy business funded by West Private Equity. She is a rising star in the corporate finance world.

“I think in the past Darbys has, rightly or wrongly, gained a reputation as a “nice Oxford firm” which doesn’t make too many waves, but as a result didn’t make the progress it should have done. The new Darbys certainly has a focus and a clear path to success, and an overriding desire to do it properly. Darbys has been crying out for a figurehead like Simon and Simon is now looking for his lieutenants, of which I am one, who share his ambition and desire to drive forward.

Edward Bible With a background in corporate recovery, Ed is described as ‘a force in the market’ by authoritative and independent surveys of the legal profession. He advises companies, directors, insolvency practitioners and creditors on corporate and commercial matters, particularly those that have an element of insolvency.

“I want to make sure that we can escalate and scale up. We have got to get the right people on board and slightly adapt the culture to make sure everyone is pointing in the right direction, with the same goals, beliefs and targets, even more so in a competitive world. “We have won a fair deal of new business because I have come on board, but also because new customers believe in our strategy and are equally excited about what CTM can do for their businesses. Even in this climate we are picking up new clients and new work daily.

Alastair Long Qualified in French company and commercial law, as well as working in UK law, Alastair previously worked for a group of Anglo-French defence companies as in-house Legal Counsel before joining Darbys in 2007.

“I also know the scene and I am on top of the ‘village’ feel of Oxford, I know how it works and combined with Simon’s vision, we can make Darbys a force to be reckoned with. Darbys mean business and we won’t tolerate anything other than success for the firm. We have the people and the experience which means we are more than capable of achieving. As I have already said, we are real world people and we do understand the real world needs of our clients. No one gets to hide at Darbys, we are all accountable and we all want to deliver, not just exist and get by. Our clients expect the best and we are here to provide it.

Secretaries within the CTM team: Kathryn James Telephone: 01865 811249 Email: kjames@darbys.co.uk Sandra Hewitt Telephone: 01865 811746 Email: shewitt@darbys.co.uk

“It is a changing world, and Darbys are ready for it.” “I would also like to place our staff in-house at some of Contact details on page 88-90

43

www.b4-business.com

Advice A local professional company gives us advice concerning a topical issue or something which we should all be addressing. From wills to budgets and data protection to employment law.

B4 PROPERTY B4 MEET

THE VENUE

THE RIGHT PROPERTY

THAT REALLY WORKS

B4 visit The Sadler Building based at The Oxford Science Park. A flexible venue with conference facilities & meeting rooms that allow you to create the right impression for your clients.

Righton Property Limited is the fresh face of established local property company, OxfordShortlets. B4 talked to Emma Righton about the wide range of services the business now offers, reinforcing the existing short lets business. Having set up the business in 2001 to cater for demand in the specialist area of short lets, the company now has four divisions to meet the needs of the serviced rental market supplying both short and longer (6 months plus) term corporate tenancies. They also offer professional advice to owners on how to enhance their properties to suit the needs of this niche market. All properties in the Righton Property portfolio are fully furnished and equipped to a high standard. All rental periods include taxes, utility bills and the provision of a weekly linen change and optional cleaning service, enabling visiting professionals from the UK and overseas to arrive and take up residence

with the minimum of hassle. This is a comprehensive and thoughtful service, with the emphasis on eliminating inconvenience and facilitating an effortless settling-in period for the customer. Emma Righton and her team are now experts at providing a bespoke service to the many visitors looking for temporary accommodation within the city of Oxford and beyond. They offer an attractive and economical alternative to a hotel, giving visitors the opportunity to stay in more spacious and private accommodation and to become a “local” for their time away from home and integrate fully with Oxfordshire. The company's knowledge of the properties and the area ensures that visitors' individual needs are met and the ideal location chosen. The face of Oxford is continually changing and the city is an increasingly desirable destination to work and live in. As many areas in Oxford are being regenerated, a number of companies are employing short term contract staff, or alternatively attracting staff from other parts of the country to work in Oxford for a week or more. Add to that the obvious influrence of the student population, and you begin to understand the true extent of Oxford's transitional population. It is

interesting to see that even in the 2001 census. Oxford headed the table for the percentage of residents changing address in the past 12 months. The changing face of Oxford is often underestimated, but these facts certainly focus the mind.

Property

To get the most out of their temporary staff, employers know how important it is that they feel comfortable in their living environment. Being confined to a hotel room for more than a few nights often becomes unappealing, whereas a stay in a well-appointed apartment or house can make all the difference. Having the flexibility and ability to be able to entertain colleagues and friends helps to set an apartment or house apart from a soulless hotel room. Righton Property’s corporate clients are finding this an increasingly more economical approach, especially when two or more colleagues can share a larger property, but still preserve their own space. If you have always automatically booked a hotel for your visiting staff and never considered a serviced apartment before, speak to the team at Righton Property Limited to find out how short-stay accommodation could work for your company.

ALL

Contact details on page 58

C

Rank 1

www.b4-business.com

28

Percentage 20.1

Cambridge

19.5

City of London

17.0

4

H A N G E

The percentage of residents in the 2001 census known to have changed address within the UK in the previous 12 months (top ten:

District Oxford

2 3

Southampton

16.9

Exeter

16.9

Wandsworth

16.9

7

Ceredigion

16.6

8

Nottingham

16.6

9

Manchester

16.3

10

Lancaster

15.9

5 6

www.b4-business.com

29

Leading lights in local property circles give their views on the market, covering residential sales, lets and commercial property.

Now firmly entrenched as an integral part of Oxford’s business fabric, The Oxford Science Park (a joint venture between Magdalen College and Prudential) is thriving as a centre of excellence for both science technology and business occupiers. The Sadler Building, which is also open to non Science Park companies, can only serve to enhance the park’s reputation and standing as a first class business venue in Oxfordshire. The South East’s large skill base has attracted innovative, leading edge organisations at the forefront of research and development, together with fast-track companies using The Oxford Science Park as the ideal catalyst for business start-ups. More than 530,000 sq ft of office and laboratory space has been developed to date. This includes approx. 100,000 sq ft completed during 2007, comprising Fletcher House, Winchester House, the Sadler Building (the new amenity building) and a new building for Nominet, the internet registry for .uk

36

www.b4-business.com

www.b4-business.com

domain names (see B4 Issue 6).

Sadler Building Facilities:

Further development is currently being planned and plots are available for pre-letting. The Oxford Science Park is a unique and exciting location, designed specifically for science, technology and business occupiers. Situated within the City boundary in attractive, landscaped surroundings, close to the Oxford ring-road and within easy reach of the A34, M4 and M40. A direct bus route to Oxford is also available.

Meet

4 air-conditioned m

The Sadler Building is designed as a focal point for the Science Park with extensive breakout areas and lake frontage. The ground floor includes the Sadler Bar/Brasserie and a range of meeting rooms. On-site caterers provide quality fresh food presented in a modern, unique style. Whether you are looking for a quick coffee and a muffin, “grab and go”, a three course lunch or a working lunch in one of the spacious meeting rooms, the choice is yours.

37

Where do you do business? In a bespoke conference venue or a golf course? We give you some ideas.

B4 TECHNOLOGY

Formula One racing team choose best-in-class communications engine from STL

softphones as well as physical IP handsets and these

effectively and efficiently with suppliers, colleagues,

We have a team of 65 people who travel to each

cannot travel to overland - as every kilo of equipment

partners and sponsors is key. So it is very important to

Grand Prix location and we also have a further 30

costs us money to send out to the relevant country.”

Racing team to provide IP platforms for the team’s

keep up with the latest in communications

used to have.

using different wind tunnel premises elsewhere in the

are very useful, especially at ‘fly away’ races which we

STL Communications have recently announced that they have partnered with the Spyker F1

staff members in the testing team, who carry out our Making it all happen

UK for the next four months. With the Samsung With the new system, Spyker have been able to

OfficeServ 7400, they can now simply set up a

remove the 2Mb link which they used to have for

remote office at the temporary site (for all of the staff

voice traffic between Silverstone and Brackley, as all

who are normally based at Brackley) and everyone

voice and data communications now run over their

can carry on using their usual office extension

communications. The announcement sees the

technology, as well as the latest in engine technology.

sophisticated testing programme at locations all over

installation

Adrian Collinson, Head of IT explains:

the world. Both of these teams have benefited from

When the original Samsung systems were installed in

single 100Mb LES circuit. They have also reduced the

numbers as normal: a further example of a situation

using the IP phones and we were able to use them

September 2005, it was vital that the changeover did

amount of physical space which the previous

which could have been a serious headache for Adrian,

of

Samsung’s

award-winning

OfficeServ IP Voice Server in order to deliver sophisticated business communications, including

“The telephone system we had been using was very

in all remote locations during the 2006 season. They

Samsung’s Wi-Fi technology, in one of the fiercest

complex, out of date and expensive to maintain. We

have made a huge difference for us during this time.”

technological test beds on earth. Richard Rosser finds out more. Few things move faster than the Formula One

not disrupt day to day business activities in any way.

equipment was taking up at Silverstone by around

The race season was still very much in progress and

80%.

wanted to stay with STL Communications as we have been very happy with their service and their level of

Solving a logistical nightmare

during that time, as STL Communications’ Managing

technical knowledge, so in late 2004 we asked them

Historically, Adrian needed to liaise with a local

Director Brendon Cross explains:

for advice on which system to consider for the future.

telecoms provider to rent a number of analogue and “A smooth transition was essential and a team was

the possibility of adding Samsung video-conferencing STL

Communications

project

phones to the system. This is something which Adrian is very interested in and which would be a huge

expertise

from

Samsung

whenever it has been required, including having

They then spent time working with us to scope out

ISDN lines for each event. This was an administrative

our requirements and to specify exactly the right

headache in itself and also meant that a full directory

put in place to ensure this. The team wasn’t as big as

personnel

of contact numbers had to be issued for all of the

we thought it needed to be, as one of the joys of the

implementation.

people at each location, making the whole process

Samsung product is that it’s so simple to work with.

system for our needs.”

the

advantage for the business, especially when

technical

industry. Less than two years ago a chapter in the was acquired by the privately-owned trading and

managed

throughout, but have also been able to call on additional

history of F1 came to an end when Jordan Grand Prix investment organization, Midland Group. Midland F1

but is now very simple to deal with. In the longer term, Spyker F1 are talking to STL Communications about

communication capability could not be compromised

on

hand

from

Korea

during

communicating with personnel trackside.

the “With STL Communications and Samsung as partners, we have been able to transform our remote

People POWERING A SUCCESSFUL TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP Racing was born as a result of that purchase, and the

company announced the official registration of its

STL Communications, a Samsung Platinum partner,

recommended the Samsung OfficeServ 500 for the

very costly and time-consuming from a management

perspective. There were also costs involved for the

With one lead engineer on site full time, plus a

project manager, we were able to set everything up in

“They really do function as an extension of our IT Team,” adds Adrian. “STL Communications fully

communication capabilities whilst also reducing costs and improving reliability.” Concludes Adrian: “Every

lines themselves and for calls made to and from each

the week beforehand and get the two systems

understand our comms set-up and we trust them to

pound saved is an extra pound that can be spent on

country.

running in parallel. The transition was made in one

do whatever is required to keep things running

car development, which in turn equals better results –

of Formula One, just a few short months later in

total, 150 at head office and a further 50 in Brackley.

Now, with the IP phones, these can simply be

morning to avoid any disruption to business.

September 2006, Midland F1 Racing was purchased

The initial implementation was a hybrid VoIP solution,

plugged in on arrival and will run in exactly the same

team for the 2006 FIA Formula One World

head office at Silverstone, supported by an OfficeServ

Championship in late 2005. Then, proving as always

7200 at the wind tunnel in Brackley. The system was

that change and progression is the norm in the world

by Dutch company Spyker Cars NV. This created

hour, at a time to suit our client, in this case early one

installed in September 2005 with 200 extensions in

with a mix of digital and IP handsets designed to

way as phones which are located at head office. This

As the client knew exactly what they wanted, it made

smoothly.

They

have

remote

diagnostic

and

and it’s great to know that our communications

management capability, but to be honest, we have not

technology is one thing that I don’t have to worry

really needed to use this, as the Samsung system is so

about.

reliable. There were some minor issues in the early

Spyker F1 Racing, which entered its first race at the

meet individual requirements throughout the

means that staff can simply log in and use the phone

it much easier to deliver and also provide a system

days, but nothing serious and they responded quickly

“For me, the three key system benefits are ease of

2006 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

business. More recently, in September 2006, the

as if they were in the office and that they can be

which was as simple as possible for Adrian to manage

to these, coming to site at short notice if we needed

management, reliability and cost-efficiency. From my

head office system has been upgraded to the latest

called on their normal office number, as Adrian

Spyker F1 are looking forward to the 2007 season

Samsung OfficeServ system, the 7400. Adrian

explains:

with confidence and with the determination to

continues:

continue

what

their

predecessors

in-house. Some suppliers want to do all the work as

supports and underpins these other benefits and makes them possible. I have been extremely pleased

office extension number, so from an administration

The solution which Spyker F1 now have supports their

perspective and in terms of productivity, it’s a huge

business effectively and will continue to do so for

with both systems. A key requirement for us was the

many years to come. All staff have full voicemail

ask for?”

reported upon. The new Samsung system also includes 30 Wi-Fi handsets to support office-based

believe

that

communication is the heart of their business. Both internally and externally, the ability to interact

18

6

quite amazing that STL Communications have implemented sites for us that they have never been to. It’s that simple – it just works. What more can you

outbound communications are properly tracked and

requirement for analogue lines from local providers. The IP phones are also extremely simple to set up,

F1

with the whole implementation and with the new

have to worry about.”

communications over the one link, with no

phones with us and were amazed when we plugged

Spyker

system itself. We have already told Samsung that we

efficiently – and it’s great to know that our communications technology is one area that I don’t

them in and they ran off the main switch

and

are very happy to be used as a reference site. It is

facilities and the system also uses the Samsung CMS call management suite, to ensure that all inbound and

The engine is certainly the heart of a Formula One –

always looking to be better and to do things more

quality-of-service (QoS) enabled SDSL connection at each location and we can run all of our voice and data

racing

car

them to. What we are doing is very ‘leding edge’ and we are

ability to use IP handsets during testing and also at race locations, something which we trialed initially in late 2005 at the Brazilian Grand Prix. We took two IP

Driving communications change

improvement all round. We just arrange a single

perspective, it is the Samsung technology which

their responsibility, such as config changes or call tracing, they still come out and help us if we need

“We always planned to upgrade as soon as the 7400 became available, but we have been really pleased

demonstrates Spyker F1’s desire to build the team on best-in-class technology.

them. In fact, even if it’s not strictly something that is

this brings in more revenue, but that is not our style. We want what’s best for our customer.”

“It’s so much easier now as everyone retains their

started.

Determination which will no doubt be helped by their recent engine deal with Ferrari, a partnership which

immediately. It was so simple.

Planning for the future

meaning that we only need one engineer on site and

staff who are mobile around the premises, which

In the short term, Spyker F1 are about to upgrade their

even he has far less work to do. We also use IP

replaced the previous DECT technology that Jordan

wind tunnel in Brackley, meaning that they will be

www.b4-business.com

www.b4-business.com

Contact details on page 62

19

IT & Comms One of the fastest growing business sectors, if not the fastest. We cover businesses at the cutting edge of technology and communications.

J NGLE HELLS

Without them we wouldn’t have a business. But how do we protect them and ourselves? How do we incentivise them? And what happens when it all goes horribly wrong?

www.b4-business.com


B4 PR businesses through this process – not just “comment” on what is going on in our region. We would like to know about the challenges you face as a business (or as an individual within a business) and how you are planning to evolve your business. B4 readers are active in their help and support of other readers in the role of suppliers, consultants or advisors and we have a wealth of knowledge between us to enable our entire business community to prosper in the turbulent times that are predicted in the near future. B4 - “Better” Business At B4, we try to look at all business as a complex series of interactions between a range of forces. If we called in a management consultant, they would, perhaps, look at a business by conducting a full business review and audit to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of each area of the business. As a business magazine, we need to ask these questions as well, after all, we do know enough people to provide the answers!

On the Human Resources side, we could ask• Are your people performing? • What do they require to perform more effectively? • Are they motivated? • Do you communicate well with your people? • Are your goals and those of your people aligned?

On the IT side, we could ask• Are you using IT to its full capacity? • Do you have an IT strategy? • Is your IT adding to your competitiveness? • Are your people trained to take full advantage of your IT? So, just by looking at two key business areas, we open up a range of issues and challenges that someone in your organisation must be reviewing or working on. If we add other business areas to the mix, such as premises, clients, risk management, CSR, environmental issues and finance, we suddenly have a very complex equation that must be treated in one entity – your business. Economic challenges can put pressure on all of these relationships - between sectors, between people and between budgets. This pressure can make effecting change difficult or very uncomfortable. At B4, we are moving towards a focus on how the business areas work together, as well as how each business sector “performs”. Moving Forward In the course of the next 4 issues, starting with Issue 9, we will be focusing our attention on the following key areas and welcome your involvement. These sections aren’t fixed and we won’t necessarily be featuring each one in every issue, but this is a framework we are developing. If you would like to be a part of B4 and have something to share, we look forward to hearing from you. Article by John Kennedy.

B4 NETWORKING

B4 CSR

IS YOUR NET WORKING?

Susannah’s role really came about because of the success of the Children’s Hospital Oxford (CHOx) campaign. A wide range of different individuals and businesses threw their weight behind the appeal and formed a truly dynamic partnership that has, to date, raised £13.7 million. B4 are introduced to the new causes Susannah will be championing and also highlight some of the Corporate fundraising success stories from the Oxford Children's Hospital Campaign.

“Networking works. Anyone who knows me will know that I have a passion for networking, much as the boys at Rebellion Games (see page 20) have a passion for Computer Games. I know it works, but I also know that it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Ironically, I am talking to Richard with a problem on my hands. I am due to go to a networking event tomorrow morning but cannot make it, something has come up. But can I get anyone to cover me !?”

B4 have invited David Beesley, Chief Executive of B-Line Business Supplies, to head up our regular Networking feature. We want you to submit your queries, event dates, news and anything you think David might be interested in, to David at networking@b4-business.com. Over to David.

As we are talking, David receives an e-mail, which David reads aloud, “I will be pleased to cover you tomorrow David, please confirm times.” David reclines with a smile “perhaps they heard us talking!” “But that is the nature of the beast. Ask anyone and I will challenge them to tell me they have never got any benefit from attending networking events. You may not get an immediate result and you may have to think hard about a benefit you have enjoyed and trace it back to an event, but I guarantee, you will have won business because you attended a networking event. Some people I know rely on networking events – it is their bread and butter. “That said, it really is “horses for courses”. Not everyone can get up at 6am for a 7am start. Networking is for grafters. Some might say those of us who attend regular networking events, especially early morning events, have some sort of death wish. Not so in my opinion. These people enjoy networking and it is obviously working for them. “Taking all of this into consideration, some people either refuse to be converted or don’t need to be converted. I am not here to try and spread the word or brainwash readers into attending the next local networking event. My aim through this section is to: 1) Open up the doors to organisers of networking events to promote their events Organisers work very hard to put on events and deserve an outlet to help promote what they are trying to do. All networking organisations who would like to benefit from free publicity in B4, the B4 web site or the weekly B4 e-Newsletters, please contact me to find out how you can benefit from B4’s generous offer to help 2) Provide tips on good networking 3) Answer any queries readers may have about networking organisations and where to find your nearest networking group

8

Club B4:

4) Report on success stories where we can show that networking really works “B4 have provided me with a platform to help Networking in Oxfordshire flourish and with the interaction of the Networking events and businesses in Oxfordshire, I am sure together we can make a difference.”

“The CHOx fundraising team can quote a long list of fascinating examples. BMW donated the two hundredth Mini from their production line for a raffle; Accord sponsored an abseil; new local station Jack FM recently covered the printing costs of sending out a Christmas card to all the charity’s supporters; while Allen Associates publicised the campaign in their e-newsletter and then sponsored a fundraising dinner at Ditchley Park; and Champion Recruitment wrote out cheques to the tune of £160,000!”

I am also pleased to announce the B4 Club to readers. The B4 Club is not a networking group but a club where businesses can offer their products or services at a discount to B4 Club members. The aim is for companies to become members of the B4 Club and offer membership to their staff,

Networking Quotes

who in turn benefit from these discounts, ranging from money off event tickets, discounts in

“Effective business networking is the bringing together of like minded individuals who, through relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another” Lauren Neilson in Tips to help you become a Networking Guru! From www.articlealley.com Director of Small to Medium Enterprise Growth http://www.smegrow.com

restaurants, special offers for hotels, shops and other organisations. We will carefully select the offers we promote but we will not rule out any offers simply because they may appear obscure. What we have to do, however, is ensure that the offers are good value, they are honoured and that B4 members really do see the benefits of B4 Club membership.

“Networking is not about selling – although this can be one of the many results…it’s about developing confidence, gathering market intelligence, finding new business opportunities, career development and even simply finding friends.” Karen Gill – Managing Director – Everywoman (women’s business support group)

We have to ensure that the staff of businesses making offers are fully briefed, that there are not too many restrictions on offers and that the system, overall, works for both the card holders and the businesses making the offers. Other

benefits

associated

with

business

“As long as it is applied effectively, structured and monitored closely, Business networking can easily account for between 10% and 25% of a companies annual sales.” Michael Sloyan – Founder and Managing Director – The British Business Club

• Advertising discounts with B4 and Oxford Black

“It isn’t what you know, and it isn’t who you know. It’s actually who you know, who knows you, and what you do for a living.” Bob Burg

web site

membership are as follows:

Book III • Guaranteed exposure on B4 e-Newsletters • Web presence for your business on the B4

• Guaranteed invite to B4 launch events

“More business decisions occur over lunch and dinner than at any other time, yet no MDA courses are given on the subject.” Peter Drucker

• Discounts on entry to B4 ticketed events • Direct contact between B4 and your staff to promote offers and discounts so you don’t have to worry about a thing

“Informal conversation is probably the oldest mechanism by which opinions on products and brands are developed, expressed, and spread.” John Arnolt

• Ability to purchase individual B4 memberships for staff, family and friends, customers and suppliers

“The best prospect is the client who has already dealt with you. The second best is the one referred to by a client who has dealt with you previously. The third best is the one referred to you by another trusted professional or friend.” Marilyn Jennings

Newsquest, Oxfordshire, donated services of inestimable value to the Children’s Hospital when they backed the campaign with publicity over a five-year period including a two-page spread every week during its fifth year as a supporter. Not only has the campaign’s coverage in the Oxford Mail and Oxford Times helped to raise over £3 million, it also built awareness of what can be achieved when the NHS and the communities it serves work together. This will help to improve healthcare in the region for decades to come. Along the way, the coverage, as well as the OX5 Run, which is now an established fundraising event, and other activities organised and supported by the company, have allowed Newsquest to demonstrate to their staff, readers and advertisers its commitment to “making local life better”.

There is a lot said about corporate social responsibility these days, and the CHOx campaign really proved how corporate support for a local charity can take on many different guises. Susannah certainly saw massive diversity in the ways local businesses helped. “Corporate support can be tailored to match a business’s budget, the size of its workforce and the time that it has to spare,” says Susannah.

So, if you are interested in B4 Club memberships for your company, individual memberships or you would like us to promote an offer for you, please contact Richard on 01865 742211 or e-mail Clubb4@b4-business.com for further details.

9

www.b4-business.com

Promotion

STL Communications provided support for the Children’s Hospital Campaign in a number of ways, the most glamorous of which was the Black and White Ball held at Blenheim Palace. The idea for the event came from a CHOx networking evening held at Trinity College. The ball involved over 170 customers, clients and associated firms in a fabulous evening that included songs from Zoe Mace, a charity auction and dancing the night away! As well as being great fun, the event raised nearly £20,000 for the appeal. Moreover, STL have been able to engage with potential clients who share their commitment to the community and with whom it would have otherwise been difficult to connect: a good cause and good for business.

Corporate support has not been limited to donations of money and goods, and here are just a few examples of the diverse ways in which businesses helped support the Oxford Children’s Hospital Campaign: Renault F1 Team gave a £150,000 gift to the Children’s Hospital Campaign in 2005 to name the Renault F1 Play Terrace on Tom’s Ward. Since that time, they’ve continued supporting the hospital with gifts of auction items, toys for the children and a six-foot electric Formula 1 car. Recently, promising development driver Lucas di Grassi (right) visited the hospital to the delight of children, parents and staff. Both the original commitment and subsequent visits have received positive media coverage, and the gift has resulted in a long-term relationship that continues to benefit both children in the hospital and Renault FI’s community profile.

Branding our business is crucial and so is marketing it. With advice from leading marketing companies in the area and examples as to how local businesses have improved their brand, or how they network with each other.

Corporate engagement can mean the difference between success and failure. Company-led fundraising has a big impact, not just in terms of its financial contribution, but in raising a wider awareness of the campaign amongst employees and their families and in the local media. Sponsorship of an event or a donation of services or goods can act as a springboard for the fundraising team. For their part, the corporate partners benefit from their association with a local campaign and a cause that is close to many people’s hearts. If you would like to get on board, Susannah would love to hear from you and discuss any ideas.

The Midcounties Co-operative made a commitment to raise £150,000 to name the Children’s Radiology Waiting Area. One of the key strategies that enabled the Co-op to achieve their goal was product-related marketing. In addition to a creative array of events, activities and team participation in the OX5 Run, the Co-op asked every customer that went through one of their 130 stores in August last year to add 50p to their bill for the Children’s Hospital. Over 120,000 customers said “yes”. Not only did the appeal reinforce their “Healthy Families” advertising campaign and illustrate the Co-op’s policy and tradition of community service, it enabled them to engage with their customers while showing real commitment to their wellbeing.

HEALTHY FUNDING

Facts & figures about current projects at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals • ORH Charitable Funds is a registered charity (no. 1057295) that is made up of approximately 750 different funds, each with a specific purpose. These range from the large appeals like the Children’s Hospital campaign to much smaller funds that support specific wards or areas of research. Charitable gifts are used to support activities that are above and beyond the NHS standard. • The Children’s Hospital Campaign has now reached a total of £13.7 million, thanks to all the support from the local community. Opportunities are still available to name an area in the new hospital for gifts in the region of £20,000 to £1 million. • The ORH, NHS and Strategic Health Authority are investing £29 million to expand Oxford's already excellent cardiac services. As part of the Oxford Heart Centre’s programme of expansion, there is a £2 million fundraising target to ensure that the environment for patient care and research is optimized.

The In Oxford Group have provided invaluable exposure to the Children’s Hospital through their fantastic range of high-quality printed publications and also in their numerous websites and e-newsletters. Column inches are like gold dust and the In Oxford Group have certainly provided charitable funds with their own gold mine. The article you are reading and the cancer campaign advert on the following page are further examples of the In Oxford Group’s continued commitment to charitable funds and the long-term drive to raise funds.

Susannah Maxa has experienced corporate fundraising from both sides of the fence: initially during her time as a director with STL-Intellion, when she played a major part as an active committee member for the Oxford Children’s Hospital, and now in her new role as a consultant for Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds. For more about Susannah's successful term at STL-Intellion, see B4 Issue 4.

• Older people’s services are also undergoing renovation – £200,000 is sought to augment the NHS Trust’s £4 million investment to improve the environment for patients and staff. The campaign target includes the provision of a garden, pianos for day rooms, and a van to enable patients to explore mobility and other issues in their homes with an occupational therapist prior to discharge. • A £2 million cancer campaign has just been launched to add “the icing on the cake” to the new £109 million Cancer Centre being built at the Churchill Hospital in Headington, Oxford. See overleaf for more details. Contact details on page 78

52

www.b4-business.com

www.b4-business.com

53

B4 PR

CSR Corporate and Social Responsibility for those of you who were asking – and if you have to ask, you’re not doing it! What do you do for the local community and the workforce?

B4 LIFESTYLE Phil’s desk belies his status as MD of a thriving stationery, print, furniture and office machines company. It is unnervingly clear, bearing only two cups of coffee, my pad and pen, Phil’s mobile and a half-finished toilet roll – we are both suffering from colds.

“Staffing is always key in any business. Without good people we would find it very hard to grow our business organically, as getting larger contracts on board is the only way we will grow. That will in turn attract more of the larger accounts, diluting our dependency on a handful of key customers.

Phil’s desk belies his status as MD of a thriving stationery, print, furniture and office machines company. It is unnervingly clear, bearing only two cups of coffee, my pad and pen, Phil’s mobile and a half-finished toilet roll – we are both suffering from colds.

“We are confident our new structure, totalling 18 employees, will help provide the platform for growth. Paul Nelson and Dominic Capella head up our stationery sales division; Lorraine Thomas, who has previously worked on the stationery side of the business, heads up our print division; Kevin Warman fronts our furniture business and Kay Beesley (Phil’s sister) is responsible for the call centre and customer management and is also the business machines expert.

As many Oxfordshire businesses will know, the driving force behind this business has always been, and continues to be, Chairman and Chief Executive Dave Beesley, but son Phil is very much the day-to-day strategist and it is Phil who is entrusted with B-Line’s future. But the story begins with Dave Beesley. “Dad started from a bedroom in our house in Marston in 1987,” says Phil reminiscing, “and home was the office for the business which was about to grow. Dad then purchased a small stationery business in Kidlington which was, to all intents and purposes, a database of names and addresses. “The office then moved to Kidlington to be next to the stationery business and the graphic design and print broking business was started in Kidlington, with a second-hand furniture business run out of a barn in Oxford. The office machines side of the business came on stream more recently. “The businesses were then consolidated into one site, where we are now, in Enslow in 1995. This was a catalyst for real growth as it brought everyone together under one roof and has been a fantastic move for us.

DELIVERING THE GOODS

“The transformation of the business since then has been extraordinary and we now have a clear vision of the future and know exactly where we want to be in the next five years. The web has been a phenomenon for many businesses, and we are no different. In February of this year, we registered our one millionth pound of sales since we went online five years ago, and £0.5 million of these sales has been generated in the last 12 months.

B-Line is a familiar name in Oxfordshire business circles. Run by an immensely likeable family, Oxfordshire’s premier office supplies company has carved out a strong niche for itself from relatively humble beginnings. Phil Beesley, Managing Director of B-Line Office Supplies, invited B4 to find out more about the origins of B-Line, how it has developed and where it is going.

“The web has fuelled our stationery development. Our clients are now much more conversant with the web and find it incredibly easy to use.” (See “What happens when you place your order”.) “With management reports and invoices available online, this customer interaction with our back office is unique in the industry. We slightly open ourselves up to misuse of data in terms of customers being able to obtain alternative quotes with the availability of prices online; however, we feel this service overrides any dangers and gives us a competitive edge. “We are in the process of launching our new corporate identity, with four clear colour sectors representing our key divisions – Stationery (Blue); Print (Red); Furniture (Green) and Machines (Purple). With four vibrant corporate brochures to help market each division and a new DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant website with much easier navigation being launched, we are excited about the future.

“We have just reported 25% growth year on year, and that is our target once again for this financial year. With this team in place, this target is a realistic one, and we feel more than confident that we can achieve it. The individual department heads are customer managing and getting in some good quality new business.” Although best known locally, B-Line’s tentacles extend from Taunton to the Shetlands and from Northern Ireland to the Channel Islands. The company operates a full-scale national business with next day delivery throughout mainland UK. Amongst its 850 “live” accounts, many of which are B4 customers, a number have Head Offices that are local which brings with them a National network of branches. B-Line will also deliver to mainland Europe if necessary and is fully conversant with trading overseas. Even though the process is significantly more automated now, the customer, according to Phil, is very definitely still king. ”We are massively into customer contact, and we have a very high profile at a number of Oxfordshire’s networking events. With the increasing importance and use of the web, our day-to-day role takes on more of a customer services function, giving advice and nurturing relationships. We like to add value where we can, whether by helping to reduce costs or just networking on behalf of our customers. A lot of this takes place over the phone or face to face at networking events – hence our high profile.” B4 can endorse this approach 100%. B-Line are not only great at what they do, they are also a wonderful team to do business with. Why look anywhere else?

Did you know? B-Line sold, over the last five years: • Enough paper to cover the new Wembley pitch 1092 times over! • Paper clips, equivalent to 112 miles, or a line of paper clips from Oxford to London and nearly back again. • Enough Coffee to make 840,000 cups.

Article continues overleaf

www.b4-business.com

36

B-LINE BUSINESS SUPPLIES

LOOK

O UT F OR

Established in 1987, B-Line is a thriving and professional business supplies company that has enjoyed unparalleled success through working in partnership with its customers while at the same time managing the supply chain to ensure that customers’ expectations are exceeded at every opportunity.

A selection of the exciting attractions along the Chiltern route:

• • • • • • • • • • •

Severn Valley Railway Cadbury World Birmingham Sea Life Centre Thinktank Shakespeare Country, including Stratford-upon-Avon Warwick Castle Bicester Village Outlet Shopping The Hell-Fire Caves Bekonscot Model Village Roald Dahl Museum Chiltern Hills Country Walks

At all times B-Line will add value to your business, from our “Single Source” supply solution and the benefits our dedicated account managers can bring to your business, through to the totally bespoke approach we take to managing and working with you.

KEY PERSONNEL Paul Nelson – Responsible for ‘Key’ accounts, and ensures that all B-Line staff have the tools and support they need to provide our customers with the highest levels of products and services at all times, and that we grow our business successfully in partnership with our customers. Kevin Warman – Responsible for the success of B-Line’s Furniture division, Kevin and his colleague Nathan conduct site surveys and will consult with you, produce CAD plans if necessary, organise delivery and installation at a time of your convenience. Our experience is at your disposal. Lorraine Thomas – Together with Sally, Lorraine is responsible for the success of our Print & Design business, consulting on your requirements, providing detailed quotes and ensuring delivery is on time. Your brand is in safe hands with B-Line Print & Design. Kay Beesley – Our customers are managed with passion by Kay, Kashia and her team, from product enquiries to pricing and order processing, ensuring that we exceed your expectations at every opportunity. Dominic Capella – By having Dominic involved in your business we are able to add value to the business partnership. By ensuring you are purchasing “value for money” products, we guarantee ongoing savings in your overall purchases.

www.b4-business.com

37

Office From paperclip to coffee machine and glitzy reception areas to the boss’s chair. Where would we be without some of our key office suppliers?

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Chiltern Railways is the award-winning local railway for Oxfordshire, providing regular, reliable train services along the M40 corridor between London and Birmingham. With stations at Banbury, Bicester North and Haddenham & Thame Parkway, the Chiltern route is easily accessible from a wide part of the county. B4 experiences the Chiltern service and learns more about what Chiltern can offer Oxfordshire residents.

The prospect of getting to Wembley with my ten-year-old son in August for the football season’s curtain-raiser, the Community Shield, was soured by the fact that I knew getting in and out of Wembley would be “awkward”.

“Groupsave” offer – enabling three or four passengers to travel for the price of two on off-peak trains – and you’re well on your way to a great value day out. And it’s not just Wembley that is within reach. There are dozens of exciting attractions along the Chiltern Railways route, so travelling from your local station can be a great way to get you and your family and friends out and about. A big advantage of travelling by train is that many attractions also offer discounts or other benefits for rail ticket holders – check www.chilternrailways.co.uk/daysout for the latest deals.

All too often the knee-jerk reaction is to get in the car because that’s what most of us do – it’s there, we’re lazy and we take the consequences on the chin. But believe me, if you are planning a trip to the new Wembley Stadium, Chiltern Railways is the only way to do it. No traffic, no parking, no panic: stress-free travel, and that’s quite a novelty. With trains running directly from your local station to Wembley Stadium – the Chiltern station is literally right outside the venue – you’ll be there in no time. Extra trains normally run on event days too, so you don’t even need to worry about getting home after a late finish.

All that, and we haven’t even mentioned London yet. Chiltern Railways’ “2 for 1” entry offers give great discounts to rail passengers at over 100 top London attractions, restaurants, theatres, exhibitions and more. Kids love taking the train and there’s room for them to move about. You’ll seldom hear “Are we there yet?” Plus you will be able to reacquaint yourself with some of the finest countryside in Britain as it rolls past you – the green stuff which is all a blur when you are in the car!

One worry about public transport is reliability, but the Chiltern Railways service is one of the most reliable in the country. 94% of trains run to time, and the service is also one of the most highly regarded by passengers, as 90% would recommend it to others. So, a simple transport solution that is reliable – surely this must come at a price? Not a bit of it: our trip to London cost just over £20. Moreover, with Chiltern’s “3 For Free” offer you don’t have to pay for parking when three or more rail passengers travel in the same car. Even better, combine that with the

Contact details on page 78

66

www.b4-business.com

67

www.b4-business.com

Issues Globalisation, high fuel prices, parking problems, crime – you name it, we can cover it.

B4 LIFESTYLE B4 CARS Ryfield Oxford is the new name for Chrysler in Oxford, following the recent change in ownership. Ryfield are one of only five Chrysler Group Gold Academy Dealerships in the UK. Boasting staff with over ten years’ experience of the brand in Oxford, Ryfield also represents the brand at two sites in Birmingham. Laurence Mills invited our resident car “nut”, Nick Walker, to test drive the Grand Cherokee Overland. This is the most successful Grand Cherokee model in the UK, available with both the 3.0CRD Diesel engine and the range topping 5.7Hemi V8 Petrol engine.

P EE

J

ND RA

E KE RO E CH

the

Malmaison’s sommelier, Virginie Thoraval, visited Oxford’s former prison building many years ago as a schoolgirl and was so frightened she promised herself she would never return. Luckily for us, she changed her mind, and now works in the same building housing the stunning premises of Malmaison.

to pay at the pumps, however, with a 13.6mpg urban return (or 18.1mpg on the EC

If Virginie were a wine, the tasting notes would describe her as “a young, vibrant and adventurous French appellation with a refreshing sparkle and amazing legs.” She extols the virtues of the Oxford Malmaison customers who, she says, are willing to try different wines to complement their food. Although she’s French (with a wonderful accent to match), she says that the British are far more likely to experiment. In fact, her decision to move from France to study in London and Scotland was motivated by a passion to learn about a greater range of fine wines than the French experts were willing to recommend, as well as by the opportunity to expand her expertise to fortified wines such as port and sherry (which the French don’t drink as much). She now has the largest wine list of all the Malmaisons, with over 400 bin numbers to choose from. In case this intimidates you, there are informative tasting notes on the wine list and Virginie is on hand to recommend the perfect accompaniment to your choice of food to meet your budget and palette. Virginie is extremely knowledgeable about the exact locations of her vineyard sources, so if you want a wine from a particular region where you have bought property or that you have visited on holiday then Virginie can recommend something special for you.

model is no better but it does deliver 420bhp. This

unit with intuitive controls. When I first tried to find an address, I thought I had discovered its Achilles heel until I realized that it was actually set to Austria instead of the UK! Other Equipment? steering I found

a

tad

heavy. However, that was more than compensated for by the comfort of the driving seat and the bird's-eye view you have of the

Everything you’d expect is in place: a 6-speaker CD Hi-Fi, front fog lamps, electric everything, power folding and heated mirrors, an independently – opening rear tailgate glass and a reversible cargo tray in the estate compartment for those muddy boot moments. Jeep have also got around to putting fingertip controls for the excellent stereo on the steering wheel or, more accurately, behind it. It's the

I drove the 3.0-litre V6 CRD diesel version and was soon wondering why anyone would bother buying one of the petrol versions. The diesel is an engine There

is

a perception by that

4x4s

are

politically incorrect in this day and age and that they have no real place in a society trying to cope with global warming, so it was with some trepidation that I carried out this test. When the car is virtually brand new in gleaming silver, it does rather stand out from the crowd, and not just because of its size. In comparison with others in this class it is a good-looking car with very sensible proportions and masses of road presence. Jumping into the car, I bang my leg on the lower dashboard. It hurts! Now, at 6’0”, I’m not that small but it did seem a bit odd that the entry is a bit cramped. I’ve got size 10 feet and the fact that my toes caught the underside of the dash also seemed to be at odds with a car this big. Maybe this car is designed for mums on the school run rather than beefy farmers in their wellies! This aside, the car is actually a big step forward for Jeep and it feels as solid as it looks. That's reflected in the handling, to some extent, which even with power

26

all

car has been carefully priced to undercut top Discoveries, Shoguns, Mercedes M-classes and BMW X5s – its intended rivals – and is way cheaper than Toyota’s Land Cruiser Amazon and the Range Rover.

options. The Sat Nav is a latest spec

road.

many

with

combined test cycle). The 6.1 litre from the SRT-8 standard, which means it scores very well against competitors with pages of

G

MALMAISON UNCORKED!

slower-moving traffic

assurance of a BMW 540i or an AMG Mercedes. There's a penalty

www.b4-business.com

borrowed from Mercedes and to be frank it shows. It has bags of torque, and when you accelerate hard

final touch to a smartly-styled display. News of the three-year, 60,000-mile warranty should also convince many wavering buyers that the importers are serious about the long-term quality of these tough-looking off-roaders.

there is a genuine feel of real gutsiness that makes you want to explore the full extent of this car’s capabilities. The auto box mates beautifully with the diesel engine and always feels very relaxed in drive mode.

with very little body roll and minimal pitch in acceleration or braking. Able to sprint to 60mph in a quick enough for me. It’s also very economical, as far as a car of this kind ever can be. Unlike its petrol Predator, Limited and plush Overland trim.

was in the back, given the huge size of this vehicle. and the luggage space is generous. This MK3 Grand Cherokee is very different from the original version we had in the UK.

www.b4-business.com

down the muddy track with some trepidation. However, I soon realized that this car was more than a match as it stuck to the job in hand, coping admirably with the huge ruts and mud-filled potholes. On the open field, with soft mud, the car again dealt with the terrain without fuss. In some ways, it actually felt too easy, almost as if this car was designed to deal with the very toughest terrain doubt deal with nothing tougher than the odd kerb outside school. Dropping the car back to Simon at Varsity, I was pleased that he greeted me with, “The car always looks better with mud on it”, because it was absolutely plastered! Clothed in mud, you also feel more comfortable driving on the road with other cars as they can quite clearly see that you really DO need

Being a turbo diesel, my test car wasn't the quietest

a car that can handle tough conditions.

on the road, but I was impressed at the pulling power throughout the rev range. If you like your speed, however, don't drive it after trying the potent 5.7 Hemi V8 (7.1s and 130mph) which blasts past

The Overland version I tested had everything as

puddles everywhere. The Jeep four wheel drive system is state-of-the-art and very simple. It looked a bit too simple at first and I have to say that I set off

Move

possible. Odd then, that most of these cars will no I would not quibble about the space, either for passengers or luggage, in the Grand Cherokee,

mere 9 seconds on the way to 124mph, it’s certainly

stable-mates, there are three specifications on offer:

friends owns a farm and I asked him if I could test the car down a farm track and across a field. It had been raining hard during the day and there were deep

although I was surprised to find how little space there Still, the squareness of the cabin gives it a roomy feel,

Unlike many cars of this size, it handles really well,

Being a 4x4, you just have to see how it performs off road. But that’s a problem. Try and find somewhere local off road and it’s just not that easy. One of our

In summary: a very good car, tough and civilized that will do most things you ask of it, great value and good-looking too. Contact details on page 62

27

Covering car reviews, local transport issues and features, we help you get out and about.

SOMMELIER ( S Ê - M Ê L - Y AY ) :

a trained and knowledgeable wine steward working in fine restaurants who specializes in all facets of wine service: wine procurement; storage; wine cellar rotation and the development of the wine list. Working alongside the culinary team, the sommelier suggests wines that will best complement each particular food menu item within the taste preference and budget parameters of the customer.

Virginie speaks with passion and excitement about her role at Malmaison, which she describes as “selling pleasure”. She enjoys getting to know what the customers really want and suggesting interesting wines to accompany their choice of dish. She says the customer is always right because they know what they like, so her job is to understand their palette and recommend the perfect all-round dining experience.

She loves the family atmosphere in the Malmaison team and especially enjoys working with head chef Russell Heeley, who is also keen to experiment with different combinations of tastes. As Virginie was educating me on the correct way to taste wine (I had to have several attempts to get it right and unfortunately she forgot the spitoon…), Russell came and joined us, and the pair started to discuss wine and food combinations. Their passion and enthusiasm for their jobs was obvious as they shared ideas for ways to delight the Malmaison diners. Virginie’s top tips for wines to accompany a dinner party: • Start with an apéritif to get your mouth watering, such as bin no. 84 Chapel Down Brut, Pinot Reserve. This is a British sparkling wine (BRITISH? Seriously, you have to try this!), made by the same method and grown in a similar chalky soil to Champagne, but at a suitably understated Brit price! Order this discreetly by bin number and challenge your dining party to guess where it’s from.

salmon with bin no. 121 Saumur Langois Chateau, which has a lemon twist to refresh your palette. • Turkey is usually a little dry, so Virginie recommends a creamy wine to complement it, such as bin no. 104 Chablis Domaine des Marronnies, Bernard Legland. (Virginie sniggered because apparently “Legland” is rude in French – ask her why, because I couldn’t possibly say...) • Virginie says if you prefer red wine then there’s no reason to stick with the old-fashioned rules: go for bin no. 570 Pinot Noir, Madfish, Western Australia which tastes of blackcurrant with a hint of cinnamon for a real treat. • With a hearty pudding there’s nothing better than Pedro Ximenez Viejo, Napoleon, Vinicola Hidalgo. This syrupy sherry tastes like liquid Christmas pudding! Harvey’s Bristol Cream is a blend of this sherry and a fino sherry, but after tasting the PX solo I said I’d no idea why anyone would want to mix it with anything. “Except Russell’s Christmas pudding!” added Virginie with a twinkle in her eye.

• Or how about a glass of sherry? Virginie recommends Fino Manzanilla La Gitana, Bodegas Hidalgo. • Virginie says that the typical Brit starter of prawn cocktail is notoriously difficult to partner with a wine because of the mayonnaise. (Virginie recalls being asked to recommend a drink to accompany mayonnaise dishes in her Wine & Spirit Education Trust exam. She answered “water!” The examiner agreed; she passed with merit!) • As an alternative starter she suggests smoked

Contact details on page 78

68

www.b4-business.com

24/7 We all like a good night out, be it a meal or a night in a luxury hotel. We feature some of Oxfordshire’s best hotels, restaurants and things to do in your spare time – if you have any!

69

www.b4-business.com

B4 TRAVEL

B4 GREEN

BUILDING A GREEN LIFESTYLE

An Oxford builders merchant is launching an eco-room that brings together all the newest ideas to build a greener lifestyle. Johnsons Buildbase in Watlington Road, Cowley, is opening the concept room under the banner ‘Go Green at Buildbase’.

The first-floor display is devoted to energy-saving and eco-friendly products and systems that can be specified for new homes or installed in existing properties. It has information and sample products explaining the new technology so that customers can choose which concepts might suit their home. It is designed for builders, architects, specifiers, self-builders, local authorities, schools, businesses and any homeowners looking to save energy and resources. As well as a working solar panel display, there are less familiar products, such as a Greenstore ground source heat pump system that harnesses ground heat in different ways. Other new heating systems include a boiler which uses wood pellets in place of gas or oil, or an air source heat pump that harvests thermal energy from the air. A rainwater collection system stores water in a huge underground tank for use in the washing machine, toilet or garden. Photovoltaic roof tiles will collect solar energy which will produce electricity. Roof light tunnels are a simple way to increase internal light in place of lightbulbs.

no denying that more and more homeowners would like to live in a property that is as energy-efficient as possible. Those in the trade - architects and builders - want to introduce this technology into their plans. However, the range of different products is vast and technically quite complex. Our eco-room brings together many of the best designs all in one place. “We’ve worked with manufacturers to produce wall panels, diagrams and working products that explain the technology and what is involved. Michaela and I will be pleased to talk with customers about installation, suitability and all the other practical issues that arise.”

A long-haul trip with two young children isn’t Buildbase was the first national builders merchant to introduce FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) timber in all its branches. FSC certification ensures that Buildbase PSE (planed square edge) timber and mouldings are supplied from well-managed forests that guarantee sustainable timber production.

Richard Coles and Michaela Walter have researched and designed the new green eco-room at Johnsons Buildbase. Speaking about the idea, Richard said: “There is

Contact details on page 88-90

I NSPIRATION FOR HOME I M P RO V E M E N T

With summer entertaining just around the corner, you may be looking for new ideas to give your patio a fresh look. The best place to go for inspiration is your friendly local builders’ merchant, Johnsons Buildbase in Watlington Road. A 200 sq m patio display area has been created at the rear of the site, near the trade entrance. This extensive hard landscaping display has dozens of paving, walling, fencing and ideas. You may prefer a contemporary design with slate colour Bradstone Panache paving, timber and

64

Beyond

The eco-room is the first to be installed at a Buildbase branch. The company has an environmental focus group which looks to introduce eco-friendly measures. Each Buildbase branch now has a BEM (Branch Environmental Manual) and a BEC (Branch Environmental Champion). A new brochure listing the most environmentally friendly products is also in production. Other activities include paper recycling, energy-saving lightbulbs, solar panels and bio-degradable rubble sacks.

One display shows how different energy saving insulation materials can be installed in walls, loft, roof and floors. Even the timber flooring in the eco-room is made from bamboo, a quick growing, renewable natural material.

Green

aluminium furniture and sleek granite block water feature or a modern timber balustrade from Burbidge with Perspex panels. More traditional options include warm honey colour Indian Sunstone or smooth marble-like Travertine which can also be used as flooring for a conservatory or kitchen. There are pergolas and arches, even a leisure building from Grange which is a practical and attractive feature to add living and storage space in your garden.

www.b4-business.com

www.b4-business.com

www.b4-business.com

65

What is your business doing to cut emissions, reduce its carbon footprint or simply cut waste?

A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

everyone’s cup of tea. Certainly a trip which

48

www.b4-business.com

of

the

interesting

emergence

of

family-friendly hotels in South Africa. This has been

embodied grace, style and elegance with a large helping of contemporary flair. The hotel’s resident

prompted in many cases by hoteliers having children

canine Tubie was the star attraction for the kids, but

themselves and therefore what parents are looking

for the adults it was the attentive staff, wonderful

for.

room and amazing hospitality which ticked all the boxes.

For those B4 readers who have been to South Africa, I don’t have to harp on about its merits. Suffice it to say that the service, the hospitality and the excellent

The attitude of the staff towards the children was a joy throughout the trip. Over-sincerity and cheesy smiles

Winchester Mansions also provided us with an

value for money place it firmly at the top of many

in the hope of an end-of-holiday tip were off the

excellent base from which to discover Cape Town and

readers’ holiday destinations. Sure, South Africa has

agenda. South Africans of all backgrounds were

its environs, with a gentle cable car ride up Table

its problems. The relatively recent end to apartheid

genuinely warm and friendly, simply eager to set the

will not wash away the divide between colours, still

kids at ease, to the extent that Abi even spent an

very evident. Driving through the townships, having

afternoon in the Safari lodge offices helping out – the

just left the airport in Cape Town, provided an instant

only downside being that she didn’t appear to get on

lesson to the children that although this might be a

the payroll.

Mountain top of our list. The cableway was first built almost 77 years ago, and the trip to the breathtaking summit at 1,085 metres takes just four minutes. The view is stunning, with 360-degree

holiday for them, life here was very different from what they were used to.

Stop 1, Cape Town, 11– 15 July

Our route from Cape Town in the South to Madikwe

Cape Town to be met by a representative of

views

of

Cape

Town

and

the

neighbouring towns and villages.

After an 11-hour flight from Heathrow, we arrived in Safari Lodge, five hours north-west of Johannesburg,

B4 likes to spread its wings far and wide when the opportunity arises, and this was one adventure we just couldn’t miss out on. Our lucky reporter took his wife and two children, on a trip of a lifetime. They benefited from the invaluable help and guidance of Abigail Shaw at Bushbaby Travel, winner of the Sunday Times Travel Magazine Reader Awards 2007, Most Considerate Family Tour Operator.

advantage

involves as much travelling as ours requires much consideration.

Conservation Corporation Africa (CC Africa). David

We then drove down to Simonstown, about one hour away, to meet the busy penguins at Boulders Penguin

was expertly planned for us by Abigail at Bushbaby,

proved to be a mine of information about every

Colony, part of the Table Mountain National Park.

who specialise in bespoke family holidays to South

aspect of life in South Africa.

Almost 3,000 African jackass penguins, so called because their call resembles the bray of a donkey,

Africa and the Indian Ocean. Abi’s promise that Africa is a great place to share with your children did not fall

Our first accommodation was on the seafront at Sea

reign supreme amidst rounded rocks in the fish-filled

flat.

Point. About a ten minute drive from the bustling V&A

False Bay. These endangered, flightless birds are free

The accommodation chosen for our route took

Dutch-style hotel that has, for more than 80 years,

Waterfront,

www.b4-business.com

Winchester

Mansions

is

a

Cape

to roam the seas and return to their private haven, Foxy Beach at Boulders.

More adventurous – with features from Sandy Lane in Barbados to South Africa and from London to Newbury, we give you some indulgent ideas!

49

7


B4 SPOTLIGHT

THE

CORNER CLUB

Richard Rosser meets Tim House, who, with his business partner, Peter Frankopan, became the new owners of the former QI Club, in Turl Street, in 2007. As the proud owners of the stunning Cowley Manor and L’Hôtel in Paris (recently awarded a coveted Michelin Star), I wasn’t expecting to meet such an approachable, down to earth and far from intimidating guy as I did in Tim. But that sums up The Corner Club. Don’t conjure

taking longer than we would have hoped, but it has

The new club has corporate facilities – how will

up images of having to sit a pre-test to get in, don’t

been worth it and we are currently building up a

you integrate these?

fear that you will have to be able to recite up to

reputation very slowly and methodically. We don’t buy

the minute FTSE stats and you most certainly won’t

into the “this is the only place to come” pitch because

“We are going to run it as a club, but also as a

be asked to write a few books before you even get

you only end up getting blown apart by people who

business. It will be a getaway and a meeting place, so

close to a membership.

might not think we are good enough. So we have

quite a difficult blend to achieve. We have doubled the

worked very hard on getting everything as we wanted

space and we are going to double the facilities. The

This is an entirely new proposition. A club for you. A

it and we know we have a good product which will

corporate facilities which we offer were never here

club where you can pitch up for a half hour meeting

work.”

before, so I guess if there were any concerns or worries for the members, it would have been that it

over a cup of tea in stress-free surroundings. A club where, fearful of coining a well-worn phrase,

The club is smart but homely, just like going home with

may have become too corporate. But we are

“everybody knows your name”. Not a place where you

a few friendly faces to bring you a drink or a sandwich,

managing to blend the two quite well at the moment

will find Norm slouched over the bar, but a welcoming

allowing you to unwind in peace, slumped in the

so that it doesn’t feel like a corporate club, yet

place nonetheless, where you are the focus…….but

smartly upholstered armchairs, with the buzz of the

possesses the facilities to appeal to the corporate

don’t think this means you will pay a price.

student world drifting in though the large sash

sector.

windows. “There is obviously excellent crossover between the

And an hour with Tim House is more than enough to convince me that this club is genuine in what it offers

What has the reaction of the existing members

members and the corporate sector and we are

and wants to offer it well. It wants to serve and

been?

currently on a membership drive, so it is quite an exciting time for the Club at this evolutionary stage.”

provide value. Tim and his partner Peter don’t believe in the hard sell. Never have done and it won’t start

“It has been mixed. There has been immense support,

here in the heart of Oxford’s University thoroughfare.

but on the other hand there will always be people who

But the existing and new members will still feel

are afraid, or even resistant to change, but that applies

they belong to a club?

“It is the ethos of the company to do things low key

to anything in life. However, although we have made

and to build up a reputation based on what we do

changes with regards to the operation of the club, we

“Before we took over, the club was fairly events led, so

rather than what we might be perceived as doing.

haven’t changed the product dramatically. Quite a lot

there were quite a lot of specific event evenings, book

of the change is cosmetic, but a great deal is to do with

readings, launches, quizzes, general discussion groups

service and the style of service.

and music. And that won’t change dramatically. There

“We came in and took over an institution if you like,

was and still is a wine club where one of our suppliers

and we were very conscious not to get on our high horses and say we were going to change the world

“We come from a different background to the

will come in and talk about our wines to the members

and, at the same time, say it’s better, it’s grander it’s

previous

and

based around a dinner. We have retained that ‘diary’

smarter, because that is not what we are about.

restaurateurs and do not have a “club” background, so

and most evenings something will be going on. We

we have taken some aspects of how we run the hotels

also do quite a lot of film nights and comedy nights

“We wanted our approach to be low key and to get

and restaurants and applied them to our club,

now. But as we have double the space, we don’t have

The Corner Club right and do it in our own time. We

hopefully to improve it. The emphasis will be on good

to stop that side of things and can now have a book

didn’t rush anything and we have got everything done

food and drink with great, friendly service.”

launch running simultaneously with a corporate event.

incumbents.

We

are

hoteliers

properly, just as we wanted it. Admittedly it has and is

8

www.b4-business.com


www.b4-business.com

9

Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.


B4 SPOTLIGHT “So we like to think that we have built on what was a

members and we wanted somewhere where we

will be British, locally sourced and organic where

very successful recipe before we came in and

would feel comfortable and looked after, ‘far from the

possible; no pretensions, just about the produce itself.”

developed and enriched it.”

madding crowd’ if you like, so that we could get on with what we were doing, i.e. chatting, interviewing or

Tim is so passionate about the club and its future and

From what I see and hear, you could be inundated

meeting people. When we moved to Oxford we were

combined with the pedigree this team has within it, it

with applications. How will you control this?

conducting a lot of meetings and didn’t have an office

is hard to see The Corner Club being anything but a

space, so this was ideal. And there are a growing

roaring success.

“As regards membership, we are looking to cap it at

number of people working from home who may not

around 750. The membership tends to use the club at

want to invite customers or suppliers into their home

“We want people to come and try us out and see what

different times of the day so there is quite a nice ‘roll

for a meeting, and thus The Corner Club presents, we

we are offering. Just come and have a look at our

through’. We also have a late licence so we are open

hope, the perfect alternative.

facilities and experience our product. It is a new brand which needs to be seen and experienced before one

until quite late. Essentially, we are a ‘bolt hole’ in the middle of Oxford. We open at 10am and most nights

“The real raison d’être is that we are developing the

makes a judgement. The membership is what the club

will be open until midnight, and, on some occasions,

club into a five star service product in a very calm

stands for, but non members can also benefit.

until 2am.

setting, at a very affordable price level.

“It is a great base whether you work or live here. Our

“We need to be competitive, there are other options,

in five star hotels around the world, and I have a five

meeting rooms can be booked for just an hour –

but we are confident that there are 750 people in

star hotel and restaurant background. We know what

which is great for interviews or meetings.”

Oxford who require that something extra that we are

standards we need to meet, but, five star service

offering, and that if our pricing isn’t too dissimilar from

without the intimidation and attitude. Smart hotels and

You have managed to create a space which feels

the average high street coffee shop, the added value

clubs can be quite intimidating places, but there is

welcoming and tranquil, which I presume was the

we are offering in terms of the ambience, service and

absolutely no room for that here.

intention?

style will enable us to comfortably meet our target.

“We have hopefully created an environment which is

“We want to create a feeling of belonging.”

then……well we won’t!”

And are there further plans for expansion?

The Corner Club is for you and me. It’s the ideal pit

“Julie Von Sperling, our General Manager, has worked

“It is our golden rule, and if we get that wrong comfortable and where the staff know and like you so that you are a familiar face. We feel that is unique,

stop, the after work “swift half” which is never just a

especially in the context of a growing number of coffee bars where you are just another customer trying

“We also have plans for a sixty cover restaurant

half! It’s a place to impress and de-stress. It’s an ideal

to hear yourself think over the strains of a gasping

downstairs as we have acquired the building next door.

venue to meet and greet. It’s everything you’d want,

Gaggia!

This will be open to the public and to the existing club.

and more. And when I left, they knew my name!

This will give the whole building an excellent buzz and feel, even though it will be a separate entity. The food

Contact details on page 88-90

Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.

“We stumbled across the Club because we joined as

“We want to create a feeling of belonging.”

www.b4-business.com

11


Oxfordshire Solicitors Appoint ‘Genie’ The Secretary HMG LAW, the Oxfordshire based firm of solicitors, is benefiting from a virtual secretary to deal with heavy workloads and lower their overhead costs. Like all busy legal practices, HMG is faced with the challenge of ensuring they are adequately resourced at all times whilst trying to keep their workflow as efficient as possible. Keeping this balance often led to HMG using temporary staff to complete support work. Ideally, this approach would allow the firm to get the specialist help it needed on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis, but the reality of using temps was very different. Firm administration manager, Pauline Swain, comments: “We went down the typical route of using a local temping agency to cover sickness and holidays. Not only was this relatively expensive, but it was difficult to ensure they were proficient or had experience in the right areas.” HMG decided to trial outsourcing their transcription to an external company through their digital dictation system. They soon found a new source of support in Voicepath, an outsourced transcription provider, based in the UK,

which specialises in providing a high quality typing service for law firms. The speed, reliability and availability of Voicepath’s transcription service has allowed HMG to increase the speed of work flowing through the firm overall and to smooth out the peaks and troughs in its workflow, staff sickness and holidays without resorting to the expense or inconsistency of temporary staff. Pauline comments: “We call Voicepath our ‘Genie’. If our secretaries start to feel their workload becoming too excessive they know they can simply outsource it at a push of a button. Our secretaries also like to get involved in fee earning activities and other responsibilities. Outsourcing gives them the time and flexibility to achieve this. Stephen Ewens, Head of Property concludes: “Having Voicepath to manage the whole process is exceptionally convenient. In a relatively short space of time it has proved itself as a very beneficial service to the firm.” Please visit: www.hmg-law.co.uk or www.voicepath.com. Alternatively call Voicepath on 01926 821904.

Chase Makes Waves In Major Campaign For Envirowise Chase Marketing has won a four-way pitch to revitalise an existing, national campaign that encourages businesses to look at their water use and water waste.

The campaign we created is both hard hitting and thought provoking. For more details, see breaking news on www.chase-solutions.co.uk.

Envirowise is a Government funded programme, managed by AEA Technology and Serco TTI, dedicated to putting the sustainable use of resources at the heart of business practice.

In our latest business drive, we are offering the first 10 companies to respond an exclusive 50% off* the first project placed with us. *Discount applies to account management and studio time and is dependent on first sight of project specification

This project not only required our creative and copywriting skills, but some in-depth research into current European legalisation and the impact this will have on the future attitudes of society, stakeholders and customers.

Just send an email to jill@chase-solutions.co.uk with B4 offer in the subject line, your contact details and convenient time/day, and we will call you!

Oxford Playhouse’s 70th Anniversary Campaign Oxford Playhouse Chair, Graham Upton returned from his two week 1,100 mile sponsored bike ride on Saturday 28th June, having raised £39,093 for the Playhouse's 70th Anniversary Campaign. Graham visited regional theatres the length and breadth of England and saw a play at each of the 14 venues on his itinerary, writing a blog about his journey and the productions he saw on the way. Graham aims to raise £100,000 in total to kick start Oxford Playhouse’s 70th Anniversary campaign. In October 2008, the Playhouse will be celebrating 70 years in Beaumont

12

Street. Part of the celebrations include the launch of a major fundraising campaign which aims to raise £1 million by October 2009 as well as boost regular gifts from the theatre’s supporters. The money raised by Graham will help to support a range of new initiatives. Graham Upton says “We have set an ambitious target for sponsorship, but I hope people will be willing to dig deep and support me.” See www.oxfordplayhouse.com for further details.

www.b4-business.com


B4 News TBAC In the last edition of B4, we reported the revival of TBAC, a committed, non-profit making organisation which aims to help business start-ups and small businesses. The TBAC board (Mike Jennings, David Beesley, Roger Mumby-Croft and Gordon Beach) would now like to appeal to all people who have been involved as past members, mentors and supporters who would like to know more about The new TBAC board's intentions to recommence business counselling and mentoring. If you or your company / organisation would like to be involved in supporting TBAC in any other way, the board would be pleased to hear from you, so e-mail

hello@tbac.org.uk. The board are also looking for corporate supporters, mentors and any successful business people who would like to help others to get started in business, even spare office space that can be used by a start up or small business would be welcome. The profits made from the current TBAC Office Centres - four in total based in Abingdon, Witney and two in Oxford - will be used to support mentoring going forward and TBAC are looking for spare office space in all towns and large villages in Oxfordshire in order to support local business communities.

Bicester Means Business Businesses in Bicester have joined forces with local government to create the Bicester Vision Partnership. The aim of the group is to work together to develop, implement and market a shared vision for the town. Their priorities will include attracting inward investment, enhancing the character of the town and communicating with local businesses, residents and community groups.

rapidly in the last thirty years and is about to have another phase of major development. We are keen to make sure that we match this growth with facilities for people who live or work here. Bicester has an awful lot going for it and we need to spread that message and demonstrate that Bicester means business.'

Rachel Faulkner was recently appointed as the Partnership Manager. She is confident that the partnership can achieve great things. 'Bicester has grown

You can contact Rachel or find out more about the partnership at their website www.bicestervision.co.uk

Venturefest 2008 Venturefest – Oxford’s enterprise fair supporting and promoting business and innovation – welcomed 1,000 attendees on 30th June and 1st July. The event, celebrating its 10th successful year in 2008, plays host annually to a range of business seminars and special resources for those seeking to start and grow their business. See more at www.venturefest.com and don’t miss your chance to participate in 2009. Venturefest is free of charge and open to all.

B-line Race For Life

It was Spring 2008 and what came with it was the realization that it was the B-Line girls turn to raise money for a charity after Phil Beesley, MD of B-line Business Supplies jumped out of a plane in 2007 and raised £1,000 for the Children's Hospital Oxford. 'Girl power' kicked in as it was decided to 'Race for Life' in the Oxford parks on 8th June 2008 for Cancer Research. Sales director, Kay Thomas arranged the 'A' team and 'B-Line Babes' were formed and raising money for the chosen charity commenced immediately. "I am thrilled to announce that after launching our site on Just Giving, we were inundated with generous sponsors from family and friends to customers and we absolutely smashed our £1,000 target". The total raised

www.b4-business.com

to date stands at £1,653 this figure is still rising. With all the frantic activity raising sponsorship and training, race day was soon upon the B-Line Babes. . . and what a fantastic day it turned out to be, the sun was shining and with the 'B-Line Babes dressed in pink with fluffy pink tiaras (to stand out in the crowd for our supporters to spot us) everyone was ready for the challenge ahead, including the support crew. Everyone had a fantastic day and fun was had by all. Look out Dave Beesley it's your turn next year!!!

13


Christmas Parties Wrapped Up Two-fifths of office workers in the Midlands have never had an office Christmas party (Canon) – booking the perfect Christmas get together can be a complete nightmare, but The Regal on the Cowley Road has taken all of the pain out of partying by offering Oxfordshire businesses a special corporate party package. “We’ve had feedback from some of our clients that their previous Christmas parties tend to be a bit disappointing – there’s nothing worse than watching your boss dance around the photocopier. This year we’re supporting local Oxfordshire firms by offering a special rate for corporate parties in our brand new

venue” – Jason Preston, General Manager – The Regal. The venue has just undertaken a major refurbishment, and its Grade II listed interiors, state-of-the-art sound systems and VIP cocktail bars make for an amazing party destination. Oxfordshire businesses will receive discount rates and fantastic deals on sparkling receptions. If you’d like to find out more about events and bookings at The Regal please contact Jason on 01865 241261, or email jason@the-regal.com we’d love to hear from you. www.the-regal.com.

Elite Talent Seek Sponsors The Oxfordshire Football Association approached Oxford United in 2007 and asked them to establish the Oxfordshire Girls Centre of Excellence. The aim of the centre is to identify girls who have potential and to develop their football talent. The first season was a huge success, with teams established at four different age groups. Coached twice a week by professional coaches the teams played matches against other centres. Next season will

see the girls playing against the likes of Chelsea. The FA only covers part of the cost of running the centre and sponsorships are needed. £1,500 will sponsor one age group at the centre for one season. For this, the sponsor gets some perks, which includes an executive box, three times a year for Oxford United men’s home matches. Any business that is interested in sponsoring an age group should contact Richard Blackmore on 07900 584441 or e-mail: blackmore196@btinternet.com

The Oxford United Girls U12 Centre of Excellence team with their coach, Jason Carbon.

The Varsity Match – Thursday 11th December, Twickenham We are delighted to announce a new working relationship with Oxford University Rugby FC to promote corporate packages at the most prestigious amateur rugby fixture in world rugby, the Varsity Match.

We will also be promoting fixtures and other sponsorship opportunities for the club in In Oxford Magazine and on our web site.

page 10 for further details. We would like to take this opportunity to wish the team all the very best for next season.

To book your place, call Tim Stevens on 432000 or see the advert on

On The Bordeaux Line Back at the start of June, I spent a week travelling around wineries in Bordeaux, a trip that culminated in an afternoon at Chateau Rauzan-Gassies – a second growth chateau in the famous 1855 classification. There, as almost everywhere else in the region, money was being spent on new fermentation tanks, new visitors’ centres, and most of all French oak barrels (at euro 650 a pop). With the exception of Champagne, Bordeaux is possibly the wealthiest wine – producing region in the world. Like any port city, Bordeaux has long looked to the wider world for a market to its riches, with the British, Irish, Dutch and Scandinavians all playing influential roles in the region’s history. Recently though, the influence has come more from America and the Far East – partly due to the growing wealth and enthusiasm of these populations for top-end wine, and partly due to the writings of Baltimore-based wine critic Robert M. Parker.

14

Parker’s praise of the 1982 vintage made his reputation – it was a year of sublime wines that many of his more experienced rivals criticised prematurely – and there is no denying the strength of his tasting ability. The controversy that surrounds his name comes more from his own 100 point scoring system, used to grade each of the up to 100 wines he tastes most days. Although Parker himself urges caution with the use of these scores, the predictable outcome has been spiralling price-tags for those wines scoring well (usually over 90 points). Many writers, most notably Englishman Hugh Johnson, have expressed their worry of such an obvious scoring system used in such a subjective field as wine criticism. Although sitting on the fence over Parker is not common response, I do try. Back at Rauzan-Gassies, they are seeing increased sales to the Japanese market, partly thanks to good scores from Parker since 1998 after many years out of his favour. Personally, I still think the second growth scoring they received back in 1855 will benefit them much more, much longer.

COMPETITION: To stand a

chance of winning a Pimms, Which famous Bordeaux appellation is home to Chateau Rauzan-Gassies? Answers to: competition@ b4-business.com

www.b4-business.com


news Geratology Sensory Garden Appeal The Charitable Funds Team work on a very diverse range of activities from multi-million pound campaigns such as the Children's Hospital to more modest projects and those areas that might not have as much general appeal but are equally as important to the hospital and the community it serves. Geratology Ward Sister, Ann Readhead, is spearheading an appeal to raise £200,000 for the Trust’s new Geratology Unit. The old children’s wards on level 4 in the JR building are undergoing an amazing transformation. The creation of 40 single en suite rooms and a sensory garden will

further enhance the environment helping the hospital to treat older people in the acute setting with even more dignity. “So far we have raised £125,000 from supporters of all ages. I have been overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and hope others will follow their fantastic example to help me finish this appeal,” said Ann. If you are interested in supporting the Geratology Appeal please contact Ann on 07881 518088.

Children's Hospital Abseil Registrations are now being taken for intrepid participants to brave a 100ft sponsored abseil at the John Radcliffe Hospital on Sunday 21st September. Entrants can take part on their own or use it as a fun team-building exercise. April’s Cancer Campaign abseil was a huge success, raising in excess of £46,000. STL Communications entered the largest corporate team, after encouraging their employees to take part by offering to pay the £10

registration fee for each of their participants. The team included Director Brendon Cross (pictured left) who said, ”STL were really pleased to be able to support the Cancer Campaign and there has been a real enthusiasm from everyone involved. It was a long way up though and it didn’t help having to pose for the picture at the top.” If you’d like further information, please contact Penny on 01865 743445.

It’s Not Just A Walk In The Park! Wesley Smith, Presenter of ITV Thames Valley News is lending his support to a new event, in aid of the Cancer Campaign. He is encouraging people of all ages to join him for the inaugural family sponsored walk on Sunday 26th October. Also on board are Purple by Darbys Solicitors who are sponsors of the event and Boots the Chemist who are providing goodie bags for all those who take part. Our thanks to them for their support. If you are interested in getting your company involved with other Charitable Funds events please contact Graham on 01865 743442. The 3 mile walk through the University Parks in Oxford promises

to be a great day for all the family to come together and do something special with the extra hour we gain on the day the clocks go back. We are asking all participants to raise a minimum of £50.00 sponsorship so why not have a staff challenge to see who can raise the most? Advance entry is just £7.50 (or £10.00 on the day) for all participants age 16 or over. Every entrant will receive a goody bag and certificate to celebrate the event. For more information or to register your interest, please call Janet Sprake on 01865 743443.

Success Generates Success Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.

To build upon the success of Susannah Maxa’s work with the hospital and the business community, the fundraising team will be recruiting a Corporate Fundraising Officer in due course. “We want to build on the tremendous success, wealth of corporate experience and contacts Susannah has brought to the team. As Susannah has clearly demonstrated, having substantial knowledge and an understanding of the business world is crucial to the

www.b4-business.com

success of this role. We are sorry to see Susannah’s period of consultancy come to an end and look forward to developing the role and relationships with the business community,” said Graham Brogden, Head of Community Fundraising for Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds. If you are interested in hearing more about this post, please contact Graham on 01865 743442 for an informal discussion.

15


In Oxford

G R O U P

The In Oxford Group comprises In Oxford Magazine (Oxfordshire’s Number one monthly What’s On Guide - see www.inoxford.com), B4 Business Magazine, The Oxford Restaurant Guide and Blink Design & Print. Other annual titles include the Classic and Contemporary Map and Guide, a great product for conference delegates and visitors to Oxford.

In Guides Expand Into Warwick And Guildford The expansion of The In Guides continues, following the success of In Cheltenham Magazine, now in its fifth month of operation. Sarah Eze is planning to launch In Guildford Magazine following a period of intense research and sales prior to going live, “ I am very excited about the proposed In Guildford Guide. Guildford and the surrounding areas has a vibrant business community with many places of interest where there is certainly a place for a Guide of the high quality and format of the successful In Oxford and In Cheltenham Guides. I look forward to launching within the next six months.” Bryony Whiteley was faced with something of a problem in her plans to launch in Warwick and

Leamington, plans which were further cast into confusion when she was advised by the local District Council to encompass neighbouring Whitnash and Kenilworth! After much collaboration, the WWaLK In Guide was born, “Warwick, Whitnash and Leamington, Kenilworth”! And Bryony added, “ With a great blend of culture, contemporary living and top class events, the proposed WWaLK In Guide promises the perfect platform for Warwick District." If you would like to find out more about launching an In Guide in a new area and benefiting from the link up with the In Guide brand and associated on and off line promotion, please call Richard or Colin on 01865 742211 or e-mail richard@inoxford.com.

B4 And The In Oxford Group – Corporate Sponsors Of Oxford Inspires Oxford Inspires, the cultural development agency for Oxfordshire, recently welcomed B4 and The In Oxford Group to its impressive list of corporate sponsors.

Richard Rosser, Managing Director of The In Oxford Group, and B4 Editor, commented, “We have admired the work of Oxford Inspires for a while now from afar and it is great to finally team up with this

impressive organisation who have achieved so much for the local arts and business communities.”

New Designer Joins The Group

Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.

We are pleased to welcome Kimberly Manning to The In Oxford Group as associate designer and web developer. Kim, who is 23 , is currently completing her MA in Publishing with a focus on print and digital design at Oxford Brookes University. She hails from Seattle, Washington in the USA, and obtained her BA in Politics and International Relations at Scripps College in Claremont, California. While in California she worked for four years as an events coordinator at the European Union Center of California, and held the positions of Associate Head of Design and Head of Advertising at the Claremont Student

Newsmagazine. In addition, she has been Parliamentary Intern for Robin Harper MSP in the Scottish Parliament. Her work experience in the UK publishing industry includes internships at Berg Publishers in Oxford and HarperCollins Publishers in London. She has also worked as a freelance web designer. Kim will be the face to face contact for In Oxford Magazine and In Cheltenham Magazine, so please call her on 01865 742211 to introduce yourself, as she is keen to get to know all of our customers.

Fed Up Clashing With Other Events? From the next edition of B4, we will be running a diary page where you can list your event for future months and, effectively, reserve your spot inOxfordshire’s busy business calendar.

intentions, only to find your plans ruined by the local accountants who have had their garden party planned for months, or, worse still, you end up clashing with a massive sporting fixture you completely overlooked.

For just £25+VAT, register your date with us, and we will fix your date in the calendar, be it a business function, a party, a networking event or an exhibition. Call Sue on 01865 742211 to find out more.

How often have you set up an event, with all good

16

www.b4-business.com


news 2000 AD Print Contract Blink Design, the print and design arm of The In Oxford Group, are delighted to announce that it is now in the second year of printing the weekly 2000 AD, Britain’s cult sci-fi comic, with local Publishers Rebellion, who are Europe’s number 1 developer of videogames. 2000 AD has been at the cutting edge of contemporary pop culture since 1977. It is a multi-award winning cocktail of explosive sci-fi and fantasy, infused with a mean streak of irony and wry dark humour. Imaginative, hard-hitting stories and eye-popping art have made 2000 AD essential reading for its legion of fiercely loyal fans for over 30 years now.

Oxford Innovation Working With The In Oxford Group Oxford Innovation is the UK’s leading operator of Innovation Centres and runs Investment Networks that link investors with businesses seeking funding. The company also manages business support projects and specialises in partnerships with regional development agencies, government, universities and businesses. With six Innovation Centres in Oxfordshire and access to over 400 companies and their employees, The In Oxford Group are delighted to announce that its

publications, including B4, In Oxford Magazine and The Oxford Restaurant Guide, will be delivered to each centre and housed in our OxSpot racks. “This is exactly the sort of association which can help us get great exposure for our advertisers. And it is great that Joanne Willett of Oxford Innovation has chosen to promote news about their network through B4, therefore adding yet another excellent name to our growing list of supporters.” Commented MD Richard Rosser.

B4 Join The Wealth Club B4 are delighted to announce their recent membership of The Oxford Wealth Club, which offers its members exceptional business opportunities through active networking of your business by other members, operating like a highly efficient sales team.

All members are business owners, and have already achieved a high level of success in their own business. Working together, learning from each other, generating contacts and providing new business for other members, The Oxford Wealth Club is perfectly placed to help any business to grow its business profits and wealth skills.

“We are very excited to have Richard and his team join the Club as he has a passion to help local business succeed and a commitment to add value whenever he can.” Said Paul Avins Oxford Wealth Club founder and business coach.

Web Design Simplified Our design and print arm, Blink Design, have long been more than adept at providing a service for a growing list of print and design customers, however, the design of web sites has always been something of an unknown territory. Although we have designed and maintained our own www.inoxford.com web site and also the successful Oxford Castle site at www.oxfordcastle.com, we have not actively promoted the web design service.

www.b4-business.com

However, we can now design and implement your website by working in conjunction with local web developers, Web Boutiques, and can now provide your business with an easy to use, attractive and flexible web solution. Call Kimberly on 01865 742211 to find out how we can get “launch web site” off your list so you can concentrate on your business.

17


news Oxfordshire Employers Urged: Make The Switch And File Online The Taxman has revealed that over eighty per cent of employers filed their end-of-year returns online this year – an increase of around 10% compared to 2007. Of a total of 1.6m returns received by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), around 1.4m (87%) were received online. There was also a 23% increase in the number of individual employee PAYE records (P14 Returns) filed successfully, with almost 60m received in total. Currently, employers with more than 50 employees have to file their end-of-year returns online, but smaller employers have the option to file online or on paper. In the run-up to the 19 May filing deadline, HMRC was urging smaller employers to file their end-of-year returns online – highlighting the fact that online filing is quicker and easier – and it seems that more and more are listening to this advice. Mike Shipp, HMRC’s Director of PAYE, SA and NICs said: “I’m delighted that so many employers have successfully filed online. We were determined to make the experience as customer friendly as possible and these figures suggest we’ve gone a long way to achieving this.

about 4.6 million P45s and P46s sent over the internet in 2007/2008.

New system In April, HMRC successfully launched a new computer system for processing in-year forms. The system validates forms on receipt and rejects all those that do not meet its quality standards. If this happens, an error message is sent to the submitter. This will improve the information held by both HMRC and employers. If you are not already working online, HMRC’s message to employers is ‘start now’, to ensure that you are ready for the changes. You will need to make sure you have the correct software and that all relevant staff are aware of the need to send in-year information online. And don’t forget, employers will risk a penalty if forms are sent on paper when they should be sent online. To help employers, HMRC have published a list of the most common errors that may occur when sending in-year forms online, which you can see by visiting www.hmrc.gov.uk/inyear

Some more changes Many employers are already using the free ‘Online Return and Forms – PAYE product’ provided by HMRC. In October 2008, a new Online ‘Form and Returns service’ will be launched. All data provided since April 2005 will be automatically transferred onto the new system, but incomplete or unsubmitted forms stored on the current service will be deleted. Employers are advised to check these forms now and, if needed, submit them before the switch is made. There is advice on all of these changes on: www.hmrc.gov.uk/inyear/changes-return-forms.htm

Making it easier HMRC are planning to make access to all of their online services much easier. In the near future they hope to deliver a ‘single sign on’ whereby customers will have access to all of their services through one online account. At the moment users have to sign out and log back on before moving from one service to another. Improvements are happening all the time so, if you are not already an online convert, maybe it’s time to sign up and sign on. Contact details on page 88-90

“We will continue to encourage smaller employers to file online by listening to their requirements, and meeting those requirements whenever we can, and I hope those small employers who file using traditional media are encouraged to make the switch to online services.”

In-year changes on the way And while many employers are filing their end-of-year returns online, you can also file PAYE in-year information online. While it’s currently optional, there are some important dates you need to be aware of: From the 6th April 2009, all employers who have 50 or more employers will need to send all their in-year starter and leaver information forms (P45 and P46), along with similar pension information, online. By the 6th April 2011, all employers will have to send their in-year forms online. Statistics already show that many employers have already made the move to in-year online, with

www.b4-business.com

19


Do you still get a kick out of going to work - or is it time for a change?

An innovative range of products and services has fuelled a period of sustained growth and STL Communications are consequently looking to fill a number of vacancies. We supply and support a broad range of communication technologies, including telephone systems, lines, calls and mobiles, to a wide range of business customers. These customers include local government, education, health, professional services and a number of UK based F1 teams! Applicants for all positions will be highly motivated and driven with a real appetite for success and progression within a growing company. Sales Consultants Supported by the STL Marketing and Business Development teams, the role is to sell innovative STL lines, calls and cellular services to businesses looking to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Candidates for these positions may already work within related sectors OR they may be looking to re-train to sell in this lucrative industry. Candidates will be able to demonstrate success and full training will be provided in all cases. Key attributes required for these positions include: • • • • •

Highly motivated self-starter Capable of selling at Director level Able to build relationships Deliver quality written communication Work as part of the STL team

£25k per annum plus commission (year one OTE £50k+), car allowance, 20 days holiday rising to 25, company pension after qualifying period & subsidised gym membership.

Business Development Team Leader (telephone appointment making) Consistent lead generation is one of the keys to our success and members of the business development team regularly move on to work within other areas of the business. Key attributes for the supervisory role include: • Ability to organise a team of 3/4 full & part-timers • Campaign management skills • Team motivation and coaching capability • Management of feedback from the sales team • Effective interviewing techniques Full training on STL products & services will be provided £24k per annum plus bonus (year one OTE £30k), 20 days holiday rising to 25, company pension after qualifying period & subsidised gym membership.

Business Development Team members (telephone appointment making) - full & part time Reporting to the Team Leader you will be responsible for the generation of leads and appointments for the sales team. Telesales experience is an advantage, but the ability to communicate with decision makers is more important. If you are successful in this role you will be given the opportunity to progress through the business.

Marketing & Communications opportunity This position would suit a marketing and communications 'all-rounder' looking to make a real difference to the company. This is a broad role and responsibilities will include: • Preparation and design of marketing material • Campaign structuring • ROI reporting • Management of website and internet presence • Press Release compilation & distribution • Event management • Vendor accreditations £25k per annum plus bonus, 20 days holiday rising to 25, company pension after qualifying period & subsidised gym membership.

£18k per annum pro-rata plus bonus (year one OTE £24k), 20 days holiday rising to 25, company pension after qualifying period & subsidised gym membership.

Sales Apprentices (September) Following the recruitment of our first Sales Apprentice in 2007, we are delighted to announce that we are planning to repeat this exercise in 2008. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain a sales foothold within a dynamic business in a lucrative sector. The successful candidate could be a graduate, or possibly even a sixth former who has elected not to attend University. Professional sales, product and services training will be provided over the two years of the apprenticeship. £16k per annum rising to £18k after 6 months plus bonus (year one OTE £24k), 20 days holiday rising to 25, company pension after qualifying period & subsidised gym membership.

Written applications together with a current CV to: Michele Lodge, STL Communications Limited , Park House, Station Lane, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 4LH. www.stlcomms.com


news Saïd Programme Designed For Senior Managers Without A Strong Grounding In Finance Whatever their functional specialism, senior managers need a sound understanding of their organisation’s financial strategy, if they are to succeed and have a strong voice beyond their own department. Yet, many CEOs and surveys report that this is not the case and a lack of financial understanding holds back even the most talented manager. Saїd Business School has developed a finance programme for senior executives without a background in finance to directly address this situation. The Oxford Finance for Executives programme, which ran for the first time in April/May, is a one week intensive programme designed specifically for managers who have little or no knowledge of finance. It explores the concepts central to financial decision-making and offers participants a toolkit for interpreting financial

statements and accounts. Programme Director, Professor Alan Morrison commented: ‘Any manager, who wants to make a real impact on corporate decision making, has to understand the fundamental workings of finance. Participants on the programme will leave with a far better understanding of what makes a good investment decision, how to pay for growth, communicate with investors and make the decisions which create shareholder value.’ The programme focuses on providing participants with the technical skills, knowledge and confidence to communicate effectively with finance specialists and to make the decisions which create value for their organisations. Unlike many similar programmes, Finance for Executives is highly interactive with a hands on approach combining

lectures with real life cases studies and discussion groups led by senior finance practitioners and business leaders. The next programme will run from 29 Sept – 3 October and costs £5,250. Full details of the programme can be viewed at www.sbs.oxford.edu/ffe

Wafic Saïd Creates £25m Strategic Development Fund For Saïd Business School, University Of Oxford Mr Wafic Rida Saïd, lead benefactor of Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, has established a Strategic Development Fund for the School with a capital value of £25m. The gift was announced as part of the launch of The Campaign for the University of Oxford (see www.ox.ac.uk). The Fund will support initiatives and opportunities at the School which are of strategic value in its development.

This Strategic Development Fund will allow us to advance our goal of establishing the School as a truly exceptional institution. The Business School is an integral part of one of the best known universities in the world and as such it is able to provide a depth and breadth of education and research that few other business schools are able to match. This Strategic Development Fund will ensure that it is able to offer its faculty, students, staff and corporate partners the excellence in service that can be expected of a leading global school.”

Professor Colin Mayer, Dean of the Saïd Business School, said: ‘We are enormously grateful to Mr Saïd for his generous ongoing support of the School.

A Lesson In Major Programme Management A new MSc in Major Programme Management, the first degree programme to be offered by the BT Centre for Major Programme Management at Saïd Business School, will begin in October 2008. Janet Smart, Director of the BT Centre, said: ‘This is a completely innovative and exciting course. It is the first such programme in the world to be delivered by a leading business school and we believe it meets a pressing and significant need among practitioners. Major programme management is a rapidly emerging and increasingly professional discipline, but one which lacks formal development opportunities for its practitioners. This new programme will address this and will help shape best practice, and build much needed networks in the specialism.’ The MSc is a part-time modular masters-level degree programme, designed to allow programme managers to join the course without significant interruption to their working lives. The MSc consists of ten, week-long residential modules

www.b4-business.com

delivered over a two-year period, with periods of private study between modules. The programme has been developed after careful consultation with a number of major programme practitioners to ensure its relevance for working professionals. Visiting speakers representing practice in a wide range of sectors will contribute to the teaching of the programme. Oxford will also draw on its unparalleled pool of influential alumni involved in this field as speakers and advisors. Because major programme management is an evolving discipline, the curriculum for the MSc will be informed by current research. The Centre’s research activity will feed directly into the teaching on the new MSc programme, enabling participants to benefit from the latest understanding of best practice in the area and more broadly within business studies. More information can be found at: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/BT/

21


Do your business systems leave you in the dark? Let us guide you in the right direction At Sci-Net we understand that it’s not enough to just provide you with a piece of software from a box. We know that to make your business run smoothly, we need to review how your business currently operates, then look at how we can improve it using technology. By doing this we can really improve the efficiency and profitability of your business, as we have with so many others. We also know that for some companies it is hard to know where to start. Whether you are starting afresh or looking to replace existing software that isn’t living up to your expectations, we can guide you through the entire process. We will work with you to decide which software will be most appropriate for your business, then design, develop, tailor and maintain it, enabling you to manage information and streamline your organisations services. We specialise in implementing and supporting Accounting, Finance and Enterprise Business systems. As partners for leading providers, such as Sage and Microsoft Dynamics NAV, we can provide you with the perfect solution for your business.

10% off all new orders placed before 31st January 08. Quote Reference ‘B4Nov07’ to receive your 10% discount.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic discount! Phone us on 01869 349949 now to receive specialist advice and a demonstration of the best solutions for your business. • ERP systems • Accounting & Finance • Stock & Warehouse Management • Distribution • Supply Chain Management

01869 349949 www.sci-net.co.uk

• • • •

Manufacturing & Assembly Business Intelligence & Analytics CRM Document Automation


news Introducing ENUM – The Key To Free VoIP Calls For Your Business ENUM is an exciting technological development that will enable businesses to benefit from cheaper or even free telephone calls in the near future. Many of us have already experienced the benefits of using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony (making telephone calls via the Internet) within our own networks. For those who haven’t, the main advantage is that calls within the same VoIP network are free. However, VoIP calls across different networks generally use the telephone network and this costs money. ENUM is the technology that enables VoIP calls across different networks without the need for connection to the telephone network; instead all calls can be routed via the Internet and are therefore free. ENUM (telephone number mapping) is a suite of protocols that defines a rule making it possible to relate a domain name to a telephone number, and then use that domain name to identify various communications devices such as fax, mobile phone, voice-mail, email, IP telephony addresses or web pages. ENUM uses the Domain Name System (DNS) to

create a connection between the addresses of computers on the Internet and domain names, which are much easier for people to memorise. The majority of Internet users are probably only familiar with domain names in combination with web sites or email addresses. However, in future the ENUM protocol, working with the DNS infrastructure, will make it possible to obtain information about telecommunication services and access them via domains. Another key benefit as this technology develops, will be the ability to have unique local control of the information associated with your ENUM registration. For example, you could save all your contact details: fax and phone numbers (work, mobile and home), email and home addresses, voicemail etc. all in one ENUM entry. You can then add rules to redirect people to one or other of these contact details depending on what time it is and so on. For example, calls after 5.30pm could be routed to your mobile, whilst all contacts during office hours could be via email.

months. Full details of how ENUM will work and how you can register will be available on our web site soon at http://www.nominet.org.uk/go/enum. You could soon be reaping the benefits of free VoIP calls across your network of suppliers and customers.

Nominet has won the contract to run the Tier 1 registry for UK ENUM, and you will be able to buy ENUM registrations from registrars within a few

Nominet Strengthens Its Award-Winning Dispute Resolution Service Nominet operates a Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) to resolve disputes over which party has the rights to a .uk domain name. We accept .uk domain name registrations on a ‘first-registered, first-served basis’ and almost all are problem-free, but about 1 in 1,600 causes someone to make a complaint. For most people the court system is too expensive and difficult, so we provide the DRS as a cheap and quick alternative.

The DRS has won several awards, but we are continually looking for ways to improve the service. Nominet acts as a neutral third party helping both sides of the dispute to find a solution through mediation. If that is not possible an expert may be appointed to settle the dispute. We have recently appointed 14 new experts to our panel of independent experts from a variety of relevant professional backgrounds including IP lawyers, mediators, arbitrators and senior barristers.

We are also making some significant changes to the way the service operates following a recent review, including the introduction of an online system to make it even easier for parties in a dispute to make their case. We are confident that these measures will make the DRS an even more effective and popular solution for protecting domain name holders.

Nominet Helps Develop New Open Source Server Technology Recently we were pleased to be a part of the release of Unbound, a new open source alternative to the BIND domain name system (DNS) server, which we helped to develop. Released by NLnet Labs, VeriSign Inc, Nominet and Kirei, Unbound is a recursive DNS server, which is used by Internet Service Providers to support DNS look-ups by Internet users. DNS is the feature of the Internet that matches domain names (such as www.nominet.org.uk) with IP addresses and is used for web browsing, email, messaging, and Internet-based telephony.

secure alternative to BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) which has been the most popular choice for DNS servers since the 1980s. One of the main advantages of Unbound is that it is high performing and very fast. It also supports DNSSEC, a security enhancement that is essential to help protect DNS transactions. By making the software freely available to developers (at http://unbound.net/) we hope to give back to the Internet community and spread the deployment of DNSSEC. This in turn will enable Internet Service Providers to provide a faster, safer Internet experience for their customers.

From its first prototype in 2004, Unbound was designed to be a faster, more

www.b4-business.com

23


news Oxford Brookes MBA Students Test Their Creative And Leadership Skills In Apprentice-style Challenges To Raise Funds For Oxfam Skills and qualifications are no longer the only ticket to success in today’s fast moving, competitive business environment. The next generation of innovators and wealth creators needs creativity, leadership skills and entrepreneurial flare to get on. The diverse range of tasks presented to the BBC’s wannabe Apprentices demonstrates that employers are looking for something extra in their executives – which applies as much to charities as to businesses. Charities like Oxfam require as much creativity to compete for funds to fight poverty as any commercial enterprise does to develop new markets and products. So when Paul Gaffney, Module Leader for Marketing at Oxford Brookes University Business School, was looking for an assignment that would give his MBA students the

opportunity to think creatively while under pressure, the Oxford-based charity was the perfect partner.

day as a team member at the Kumho BMW Championship at Brands Hatch.

“Our MBA students have the choice to do a dissertation, individual or group consultancy and this was our first consultancy project,” comments Paul.

Testing students’ leadership skills was a prominent feature of the fundraising challenge. An appointed ‘leader’ in each group was given Apprentice-style feedback on how they had performed and could improve their leadership skills

Oxfam and the Business School devised an Apprentice-style challenge for 30 students to come up with a creative range of fundraising experiences, to be auctioned on eBay. They also had to find sponsors to provide those experiences for free. Groups of students were briefed at a workshop facilitated by Oxfam and then joined by executives from IBM Europe. Ideas included being part of a Bollywood production, a day with the editorial team at the Spectator and – the top money spinning experience, generating an impressive £1500 – a

Daniel Ganly, Head of the MBA, said: “This was a great way to give the students a real challenge, which forced them to use their creative skills. I was proud of the way the students performed and delighted that they managed to raise thousands of pounds for Oxfam.” The event was so successful that Oxfam and Oxford Brookes University Business School are looking to extend the experience to the Executive MBA later in 2008.

Launch Of The International Centre For Coaching And Leadership Development On Wednesday 18th June the Business School launched the International Centre for Coaching and Leadership Development with an evening event held at Oxford Brookes Restaurant. The event was attended by 50 guests from national and local organisations such as public sector, private sector and SME’s including guests for Metropolitan Police, Ministry of Justice, Oxfam, Miele, Intel, the Royal Military Academy and Huntingdon Life Sciences. The guests enjoyed a fine dinner, an opportunity to network with HR professionals from other companies and opportunity to discuss and debate three myths in coaching. The event was led and hosted by Elspeth Macfarlane (ably assisted by Joy Butcher and Doris Jepson) whose day had begun early when she went live on BBC Radio Oxford at 7.50am to talk about teaching leadership and coaching and the launch of the Centre. Following pre-diner drinks and networking, Prof Janet Beer welcomed the guests and Elspeth introduced the format of the evening inviting guests to contribute to the evening in table discussions around three current myths in coaching. David Langford then explained Brookes

www.b4-business.com

history in teaching coaching and mentoring at the Westminster Institute; and being recognised as the first HE institution to offer award bearing qualifications in coaching and mentoring. He explained the recent move to the Business School and the development now to offer professional coaching services – coaching, coaching supervision, coaching accreditation. Following David’s scene setting introduction three current debates in coaching or “myths” were presented to the audience. Firstly Ian Wycherley presented the myth that “coaching is for the individual not the organisation”, secondly Dr Tatiana Bachkirova presented the myth that “anyone can coach” and thirdly Christine Champion presented the myth that “The effectiveness of coaching can not be evaluated”. The guests then enjoyed a sumptuous dinner during which table discussions around the three myths were facilitated by a Brookes member of staff. Towards the end of the dinner, a representative from each table presented their thoughts on one of the myths to the entire restaurant.

The evening concluded with David summarising the feedback and Elspeth thanking the guests for their contributions and involvement. The evening was extremely important as an opportunity to show case Brookes products, competence, ability and experience in this field. It was also very important in building relationship and establishing a community of practice. As a result of this event, Business Futures are already following up opportunities of working with a number of organisations that attended the launch.

Contact details on page 88-90

25


There’s more than one way to meet.

24-hour residential rate from ÂŁ99 per person, with free internet connection for the facilitator at the Holiday Inn Aylesbury.* 24-hour residential rates from ÂŁ125 per person, with free internet connection for the facilitator at the Holiday Inn Oxford.* We have a conference academy and a comprehensive range of meeting rooms to suit your needs and a dedicated conference team will be available to ensure all your needs are met and your event runs smoothly.

To book call your preferred hotel Holiday Inn Aylesbury 0870 400 9002 Holiday Inn Oxford 0870 400 9086 holidayinn.co.uk

*Terms and conditions apply


news Introducing Oxford Innovation Oxford Innovation is the UK’s leading operator of Innovation Centres and manages 13 centres across the country that provide flexible office and lab space for over 350 high-growth technology companies.

The company also delivers a range of business support programmes, including the Innovation Advisory Service South East, the Oxfordshire Enterprise Hub, and three Investment Networks that raise funding for start-up and growing companies throughout the UK. The Networks

include Oxford Investment Opportunity Network, the Thames Valley Investment Network and Oxford Early Investments which collectively have helped over 90 companies raise £20m during the last five years.

Announcing The Launch Of Milton Park Innovation Centre MEPC Milton Park, based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, has appointed Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of Innovation Centres, to manage the new building.

L-R: David Kingham (Managing Director, Oxford Innovation); Nick Cross (co-founder, Milton Park); James Dipple (Managing Director, MEPC Milton Park); Philip Campbell (Asset Manager, MEPC Milton Park) and Ian Laing (co-founder, Milton Park).

Due to open this Autumn, construction has already started on the Milton Park Innovation Centre, which will comprise 39,000 sq ft over three floors, split between offices, meeting rooms and conference facilities. Flexibility has been a key consideration in the design of the new centre: the space can be let on flexible licence agreements in a range of unit sizes from 90 to 1,500 sq ft. Plans also include a ‘graduation centre’ alongside the building to provide grow-on space for businesses that need more than 1,500 sq ft of space.

James Dipple, Managing Director of MEPC Milton Park Ltd, said: “By their very nature, high-tech, high-growth businesses often look for substantial help in their early years. Companies that join the Milton Park Innovation Centre will have access to a complete support package as well as benefiting from the perfect environment for collaboration and innovation with other science and technology companies.” Dr David Kingham, Managing Director of Oxford Innovation, said: “Working with MEPC Milton Park, our aim is to develop a flagship Innovation Centre that will be a hub of entrepreneurial activity for early stage technology companies on Milton Park and provide added-value support to give them the best possible start.” www.miltonpark.co.uk

Growing A Healthy Business In Oxfordshire Ian Harrison, founder of Alchemy Healthcare, made contact with Oxford Innovation, providing him with instant access to a wide range of support services for his highly innovative business. He arranged a flexible licence agreement at one of Oxford Innovation’s six centres in Oxfordshire to become a ‘virtual client’. This immediately gave his company a professional image, with a business address and telephone service without incurring the costs of taking office space, but it was the unique support community that proved most valuable to Ian and his business. The Oxfordshire Enterprise Hub is a SEEDA (South East England Development Agency) backed project, managed by Oxford Innovation, that helps entrepreneurial individuals and organisations like Alchemy Healthcare to bring their highly pioneering and distinctive ideas to market.

The Oxfordshire Enterprise Hub have been working with Ian on his latest application for R&D funding. Through his links with the Oxfordshire Enterprise Hub he was also introduced to the Diagnox Laboratory at Cherwell Innovation Centre. Here he was able to use bench space and specialist lab equipment for the time he needed without having to enter into lengthy and costly agreements.

Ian said “I would strongly recommend that any entrepreneur or innovative company in Oxfordshire should get in touch with Oxford Innovation. The range of areas in which they have supported Alchemy has been well beyond anything that I could have expected and I really couldn’t put a price on the impact this support has had.”

Alchemy Healthcare has also benefited from another of Oxford Innovation’s unique support services. Designing Demand is an innovative programme devised by the Design Council to help businesses focus on how strategic design drives improved performance and produces a stronger bottom line. Ian was also able to assess new markets for his product with the help of the Innovation Advisory Service, another project funded by SEEDA and managed by Oxford Innovation.

Ian Harrison (right), founder of Alchemy Healthcare, at a business strategy workshop as part of the Designing Demand Innovate Programme

To find out more about the range of services Oxford Innovation provides, call: 01235 838555. email: marketing@oxin.co.uk. web: www.oxin.co.uk.

www.b4-business.com

27


Understanding your world Your tax affairs are safe in our hands whether they be private or corporate matters. Rooks Rider offers a truly integrated legal service to provide our clients with Onshore and Offshore advice for their private and corporate legal requirements. We have experience in every offshore destination and our lawyers can ensure that all your tax issues are dealt with in the most advantageous manner. We have advised clients and protected their interests since 1761.

Please visit us at www.rooksrider.co.uk


news Oxford Inspires Is the cultural development agency for Oxfordshire. We work with partners in business, local government, The University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University to create new opportunities for arts and heritage organisations, nurture new festivals and spectacular events and to engage as many people as possible in exciting cultural experiences. We collaborate with cultural organisations across Oxfordshire to support their ambitions and to help them to reach a wider audience and to raise Oxfordshire's profile as a cultural destination nationally and internationally.

Award Winning Partnerships Oxford Inspires was delighted to see two of our Corporate Partnerships recognised with Arts and Business Regional Awards. Arts & Business South East’s aim is to help business support the arts and the arts to inspire business. BMW Group Plant Oxford was awarded the Arts & Business Sustainability Award in acknowledgement of the manufacturing plant’s key role in supporting Oxford Inspires, Cowley Road Carnival, Oxford Philomusica and Creation Theatre Company for the past several years. The prestigious award recognises “an established and

on-going partnership that continues to set standards in innovative arts-business collaborations.” Hook Norton Brewery’s partnership with Oxford Inspires and Oxfordshire 2007’s Faces of Oxfordshire programme was also award winning. The partnership won the Arts and Business award for Cultural Branding. In support the festival year the local brewery crafted a special limited edition beer, Inspired. The special ale was a unique way of raising awareness of the 2007 celebrations.

Planet Earth Season In celebration of UNESCO’s International Year of Planet Earth Oxford Inspires and several partners have created a county-wide Planet Earth Season. Many of our county’s community minded businesses are focussing on what they can do to make a difference and are supporting the work of Oxford Inspires as well as individual events from September to November 2008. Alongside a host of diverse cultural activities, key themes for the season include new jobs, wealth creation, and the wider socio-economic opportunities coming from the booming environmental market. A highlight will be The Earth from the Air at Oxford Castle, an exhibition of awe inspiring aerial photos taken by Yann Arthus-Bertrand which will be on display from

20 September-December. Additionally, the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute will be hosting the Tipping Point Conference; a unique forum for climate scientists, artists and others to meet, discuss and engage with the challenging subject of our time, climate change. You can also investigate how to have an environmentally friendly house by visiting Oxfordshire Eco-homes 11-14 September which will bring together local suppliers and homeowners to stimulate a serious green market. On 31 August enjoy a wonderful day learning about rural crafts, conservation, and local farm produce at The Wychwood Forest Fair. For more information on these and other events in The Planet Earth Season please visit www.oxfordinspires.org and follow the link.

Magical Moments This autumn BMW Group Plant Oxford, through Oxford Inspires, is supporting a very special event at the University Botanic Garden Oxford with Oxford Contemporary Music. The spellbinding Magic Hour will take place on 4th, 5th and 6th September at dusk. Artists, scientists and gardeners have been working together over six months to explore each other’s worlds and the subject of

Sincere thanks to Oxford Inspires business partners: BMW Group Plant Oxford, First Great Western, Oxford Bus Company, B4 Magazine, Barceló Oxford Hotel, Bicester Village, Blake Lapthorn Tarlo Lyons, Blenheim Colour, CPM, Carbon Colour, The Corner Club, Eynsham Hall, Finders Keepers, Four Pillars

www.b4-business.com

twilight or “the magic hour” (as it’s called amongst cameramen and photographers). At the event you will be able to explore the garden during the evening and experience magical sounds and impromptu performances with some of the most exciting sounds artists and composers in the UK and abroad. The unique project is generously supported by Arts Council England Lottery programme and by BMW Group Plant Oxford through Oxford Inspires.

Hotels, The Feathers Hotel, Hook Norton Brewery, Infineum, Lucy Properties, Oxford Castle, Richardsons, Torpedo, and VSL & Partners. To learn more about how your business might be involved with Oxford Inspires contact Kathelene Weiss at kathelene.weiss@oxfordinspires.org.

29


YOUR LIFE

Independent Insurance Consultants Financial Advisers Free Independent Insurance Advice on all aspects of Business Insurance Laboratory Equipment, fixtures and fittings Computers Office contents

Employee Benefits Specialists Fully independent advice on: Pension Planning to include Corporate, Self-Invested, Personal and Stakeholder Shareholder and Keyperson Life Assurance

Employers Liabilities Public liability and Products Business Interruption Professional Indemnity

Group and Individual Permanent Health Insurance Relocation advice for employees Residential and Commercial Mortgages

Director’s and Officer’s Protection Legal expenses For a free consultation please contact: Rob Evans on Tel: 01865 813 306 email: r.evans@focus-oxford.co.uk or Steve Ilott on Tel: 01865 813 300 email: s.ilott@focus-oxford.co.uk

For a free discussion please contact: Rob Evans on Tel: 01865 813 306 email: r.evans@focus-oxford.co.uk or Gary Hunt on Tel: 01865 813 301 email: g.hunt@focus-oxford.co.uk

Focus Independent Financial Advisers is authorised and regulated by The Financial Services Authority Consumer Credit Licence No: 290364 FSA Registration No: 146762

Seacourt Tower,West Way, Botley, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX2 0JL Tel: 01865 295 295 Fax: 01865 251 453 www.focus-oxford.co.uk

YOUR LIFE


news The Force Is With STL Oxfordshire communications provider STL has this week signed a three-year agreement to supply the Force India F1 team with support and services. Commenting on the agreement STL Managing Director Brendon Cross (pictured with Team Principal Colin Kolles) said, 'we are delighted to renew our agreement with Force India and it's particularly appropriate in the week of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone which is also the home of the team.' Cross went on to say, 'F1 is the ideal testing ground for the services we provide and Force India is an excellent showcase for our telephone systems and peripheral equipment.'

next three years and we look forward to working with them'. The Samsung telephone systems that STL support allow the team to communicate seamlessly regardless of where the race or test teams are in the world. Use of the very latest IP technology means that only one extension number is published for each member of staff regardless of whether they are in the back of a support vehicle or behind their desk in the factory. 'Using Samsung technology STL have really managed to streamline team communications whilst at the same time reducing costs', said Adrian Collinson, Head of IT at Force India F1.

Colin Kolles added, 'we are delighted to have secured the services of STL for the

Bad Bohemia "Many office spaces can be dull and uninspiring. Equally some office art can be just as dull or, perhaps more importantly, seemingly irrelevant to the space in which it hangs. Having worked on commissions for interior designers providing bespoke paintings for amongst other things show flats in Mayfair, London, artist Taryn Arnold is extending her talents to the office environment. Taryn, pictured above with STL Communications Director Bill Smith for whom she has recently completed a commission, has set up 'Bad Bohemia'.

The ethos of the company is to provide paintings that are specifically designed to complement the office space and the company for which they are created. Taryn comments "whether my clients have a specific idea for a painting or would like my suggestions and advice, I am happy to deal with people directly to ensure the painting is right for them." Bill comments "We are very happy with the paintings from Taryn and have already ordered another for my office wall!" For a free consultation Taryn can be contacted on 07967 502739 or Taryn@BadBohemia.co.uk

Come And Work With STL An innovative range of products and services has fuelled a period of sustained growth and STL Communications are consequently looking to fill a number of vacancies. We supply and support a broad range of communication technologies, including telephone systems, lines, calls and mobiles, to a wide range of business customers. These customers include local government, education, health, professional services and a number of UK based F1 teams! Applicants for all positions will be highly motivated and driven with a real appetite for success and progression within a growing company. See advert on page 20.

www.b4-business.com

Contact details on page 88-90

31


news T2 The Employment Team at Darbys Solicitors are expanding their innovative service called T2, which goes further than telling businesses what the law is. It trains their key people in how to use the law in practical terms and how to actually deal safely with all HR situations. T2 offers bespoke training and seminars in response to the constantly changing UK and European laws that have to be absorbed and implemented quickly, by HR and recruitment departments.

Providing practical training on the full spectrum of HR law, T2 consists of a team of experts who are not only employment lawyers but who themselves have first-hand experience of working in companies large and small. To find out more about T2 contact Victoria Marcham on 01865 811236 or email her at: vmarcham@darbys.co.uk.

Overseas Workers? New Rules! Darbys Head of Immigration Law, Jenny Harvey, has been advising businesses about the latest legislation, which places new demands on businesses that employ overseas workers. As a result of changes in the law since February 2008, employers could pay a £10,000 penalty for every overseas migrant they employ who isn’t entitled to work in the UK. Jenny has this to say to B4 readers: “It’s been a criminal offence to employ someone illegally for a decade and relatively few employers were prosecuted under the old law. However, since February 2008, businesses have faced the added danger of being penalised under civil law and incurring heavy on-the-spot fines. They should therefore review their recruitment procedures where overseas workers are concerned. If you use the ‘toolkit’ we have developed, these penalties can be avoided.”

For further information visit the Home Office website: www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk /employer/ on procedures and documentation required by businesses. To discuss the toolkit that Jenny has developed, contact Jenny Harvey on 01865 811700 or email: jharvey@darbys.co.uk.

Darbys At CLA Game Fair 2008 The agricultural team will be exhibiting at this year’s CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace, where they’ll also be launching a new scheme entitled ‘GREEN’. It’s an innovative legal resource designed specifically for the Agricultural sector. Samantha Leigh, Head of the Agricultural team at Darbys says: “We’re inviting CLA Game Fair visitors to join our Green scheme and want as many farmers, estate managers or land owners to know about it. Our team of legal experts will

also be available to discuss any legal issues people might have. We’re extremely looking forward to welcoming them to our stand (F1042) during the three days.” In addition to the ‘legal eagles’, a live eagle will be on the stand on day two of the fair for everyone to enjoy!

Calendar Of Events 2008 Friday 25 - Sunday 27 July CLA Game Fair, at Blenheim Palace (Stand number F1042) Friday 1 - Sunday 3 August Festival of British Eventing 2008 at Gatcombe Park (Stand number 2A)

www.b4-business.com

Wednesday 24 September RBS Economic Seminar 2008: ‘Life after the Credit Crunch’ at Williams F1 Conference Centre, Grove For more details contact Jane Reeve on 01865 811218 or email Jane at: jreeve@darbys.co.uk

33


Better for getting to London from the north or east of Oxford. If you travel regularly to London or Birmingham from Oxford by train (or by car) you may well find that taking Chiltern Railways from Bicester North or Haddenham & Thame Parkway suits you better. Both stations are easy to get to with plenty of secure parking spaces, but it’s not just the convenience you’ll appreciate. Our award-winning service could work out cheaper and more reliable than your current rail journey. And of course, compared with driving all the way, it saves on petrol, congestion charges and frustrating traffic jams. Yet even though you pay less, you get more on the Chiltern line. More time to work, think or relax; on comfortable air-conditioned trains. More reliability, with 95% of Chiltern trains arriving on time in the past year and a 90% customer satisfaction rating. So next time you’re off to London on business or for a day out, try travelling via Bicester North or Haddenham & Thame Parkway. Better for business, better for pleasure, better all round.

Visit www.chilternrailways.co.uk

J10

Motorway Services

BICESTER NORTH STATION

M

40

A41

J9 A44

A40 A34

A418

A34

A40

Motorway Services

J8a

OXFORD A4142

A420

J8

A418

J7

HADDENHAM & THAME PARKWAY

A329

London Marylebone

A34

J6

Haddenham & Thame Parkway SatNav: HP17 8EP Bicester North SatNav: OX26 6EF


news Microsoft Office Live Small Business http://smallbusiness.officelive.com has reached a pivotal milestone: in less than two years since its November 2006 commercial debut, the online service that helps entrepreneurs take, promote and manage their businesses online has surpassed more than 1 million subscribers. This milestone demonstrates that increasing numbers of small businesses - particularly those with fewer than 10 employees, which the Office Live Small Business service is specifically designed for, are realising the importance of having a web presence. Although Internet access is prevalent among U.K small businesses, many very small businesses still lack a company website, signaling a strong opportunity for millions more to get online. “From the outset we knew we wanted to make it simple and affordable for small businesses to develop and maintain a website, Office Live Small Business provides a one-stop-shop to help small businesses easily take, promote, and manage their businesses online” said Tim Kimber, UK Product Manager for

Microsoft Office Live Small Business. “We designed our features specifically with the needs of small businesses in mind. Our e-mail marketing feature, as well as the updated adManager search marketing tool are user-friendly, low cost and seamlessly work together.”

his product has been so crucial that it is the most cost effective way of marketing that he could hope for…”Basically, it is giving Paipo Glide a future.”

Office Live Small Business customers who immediately saw the positive effects of having a web presence are Isabelle Gellé of Les Perfums d’Isabelle http://lesparfumsisabelle.co.uk, who runs a small online business that creates and sells perfumes that are composed only of natural essential oils and Andy Bicks, who creates custom built surfboards from plywood http://paipoglide.com. Isabelle was able to increase her sales by 40%, a success which she believes is down to Office Live Small Business search optimisation. What’s more, the PayPal option allows 90% of her customers to pay immediately. As a result, her website serves not only as her online presence, but as a medium for e-commerce. For Andy, he believes that using Office Live to promote

Reaching Your Customers – The Power Of The Web The explosion of the internet has brought about a number of free online tools which can help small businesses achieve these goals. By harnessing the power of the web, small companies can combine a ‘big business’ professional image with the trusted reliability of a local brand – and watch their customer base expand rapidly as a result! Below, Tim Kimber, Office Live Product Manager at Microsoft UK offers some tips on how businesses can use the web to attract a loyal customer base: Create a professional website For most people, a well designed website conveys greater accessibility, professionalism and clarity about what the business offers. You can give your company a ‘big business’ feel by taking just a couple of hours to produce a welcoming website. Free online tools, such as Microsoft Office Live Small Business provides you with web hosting, web design, a domain name, and even search engine optimisation. Bin your amateur email Many potential customers are often scared off by

www.b4-business.com

businesses that trade through personal email addresses such as Hotmail and Gmail. Rather than risking looking like a cowboy trader, small businesses can boost their image by using a more suitable email address. This will give your future customer a sense of security, leading to an increased chance of them making their first purchase, and importantly, returning to you for future business. Retain your sense of identity Consumers tend to be more attracted to a local supplier due to the sense of community they represent, as opposed to a ‘faceless’ international giant chain. The free web tools which are now available, such as Office Live Small Business, allow you to strike the right balance of professional sheen and small business charm, resulting in an enterprise which consumers can trust. Make the most of the tools at your disposal Project management analysis and email marketing packages are no longer the reserve of established, big-budget enterprises. By tackling projects in an organised way, you can work more efficiently and

set your business up for success. There are a number of business tools available free of charge on the internet, which can highlight what your organisation has to offer to a wider spread of future clients. Remember: Customer satisfaction is still king Whilst a professional image and effective marketing can generate a number of business leads, no promotion speaks as loudly as a happy customer. Using a professional email address serves as a trustworthy and secure basis for after-sales care. Also, by using a web-based contact management tool you can stay in touch with clients and in time turn a one-off purchase into a long-term relationship. For further information on how to build your customer base using the power of the web please visit http://smallbusiness.officelive.com/

Contact details on page 88-90

35


THE VENUE

THAT REALLY WORKS B4 visit The Sadler Building based at The Oxford Science Park. A flexible venue with conference facilities & meeting rooms that allow you to create the right impression for your clients.

36

www.b4-business.com


B4 MEET

Now firmly entrenched as an integral part of Oxford’s business fabric, The Oxford Science Park (a joint venture between Magdalen College and Prudential) is thriving as a centre of excellence for both science technology and business occupiers. The Sadler Building, which is also open to non Science Park companies, can only serve to enhance the park’s reputation and standing as a first class business venue in Oxfordshire. The South East’s large skill base has attracted innovative, leading edge organisations at the forefront of research and development, together with fast-track companies using The Oxford Science Park as the ideal catalyst for business start-ups. More than 530,000 sq ft of office and laboratory space has been developed to date. This includes approx. 100,000 sq ft completed during 2007, comprising Fletcher House, Winchester House, the Sadler Building (the new amenity building) and a new building for Nominet, the internet registry for .uk

www.b4-business.com

domain names (see B4 Issue 6).

Sadler Building Facilities:

Further development is currently being planned and plots are available for pre-letting. The Oxford Science Park is a unique and exciting location, designed specifically for science, technology and business occupiers. Situated within the City boundary in attractive, landscaped surroundings, close to the Oxford ring-road and within easy reach of the A34, M4 and M40. A direct bus route to Oxford is also available.

The Sadler Building is designed as a focal point for the Science Park with extensive breakout areas and lake frontage. The ground floor includes the Sadler Bar/Brasserie and a range of meeting rooms. On-site caterers provide quality fresh food presented in a modern, unique style.

Sadler Building Amenities

Whether you are looking for a quick coffee and a muffin, “grab and go”, a three course lunch or a working lunch in one of the spacious meeting rooms, the choice is yours.

• • • • •

• • • • • • •

4 air-conditioned meeting rooms all with wireless internet connection Windrush seats 6 in boardroom style Evenlode seats 8 in boardroom style Cherwell seats 14 in boardroom style or 10 “U” shape Thames seats 22 in boardroom style 40 theatre style

Stylish reception & breakout areas Brasserie Grab & Go Coffee Bar Bar with pool table Wireless internet access Photocopier/fax LCD Projector

Contact details on page 88-90

37


B4 SPOTLIGHT

TRAINED ON SUCCESS Old habits die hard. Bad habits can have a vice grip on both mind and behaviour. Notoriously hard to break, they are devilishly easy to resume. Just ask any London commuter refusing to leave the car at home. Richard Rosser interviews Adrian Shooter, Chairman of Chiltern Railways, to find out why your new habit should combine a train and convenience rather than a car and stress.

Chiltern Railways was privatised twelve years ago and Adrian Shooter lead a management buy out at that time having worked for British Rail. He assembled a team together of young, aspiring talent, most of whom are still with him today, and decided they could offer something rather different. “The very simple thing that we have always tried to do is to ask our customers and prospective passengers what do they want us to do and how we can do what we are doing better.” Prior to our meeting Adrian has been finalising details of a mailshot to passengers parking at the Banbury station stressing Chiltern’s desire to make sure there is always a car parking space available and underlining the effort to ensure walking times to the station are kept to a minimum. The letter, from Adrian, will also ask for feedback as to how passengers think the company can make the whole “parking at the station” experience less onerous. “Parking is vital for us. We attract a lot of our custom from the villages surrounding our stations, and by definition, the majority of our customers will have to drive to use our trains. We therefore have to get parking spot on. We have invested considerably in car parking spaces, in fact three thousand in the last ten years and an additional one thousand are planned for the next twelve months.”

staff, ensure that our customers have a good experience, good information and a comfortable seat with good parking, then people will flock to us. And they are. In the UK over the last ten years, there has been a 40% increase in the amount of people using the train. The figure for Chiltern has been 120%. “Our punctuality is also the best of any rail operator. People can then rely on us to get them to London, Birmingham or wherever with the minimum of hassle. It is quite clear that Adrian has his customers’ best interests at heart. Service and the way this service is delivered top his agenda, and the desire to uphold the level of service which Chiltern provide has to run through the organisation. “As Chairman, my job is to make sure that all of our staff know exactly what our customers want and deliver it through day to day customer service, listening and helping. We even have staff tasked with helping customers who are struggling with ticket machines. We are also investing in innovative ways to help you buy your tickets. “For example, we are the first company to invest in the technology which enables customers to buy their ticket on the internet and have it sent to their mobile phone, seconds later. So no tickets sent in the post, just an immediate SMS ticket.

We are talking on the day that petrol sales (in terms of volume of actual petrol sold) are down 20% year on year, underlining that there is a trend away from driving for some. “That tells me that we have to really step up our plans and ensure that we have more trains and more coaches. This, coupled with the parking plans, is my key focus at present to enable us to cope with the increased volumes.

“The next innovation which we are current trialing is to enable our customers to buy their ticket from their mobile phone. Use of the mobile phone also enables us to communicate with our customers more efficiently by relaying information to their mobile phones about how punctual their booked service is going to be. We can advise delays, if there are going to be any, if a customer has booked via the internet or mobile phone.”

“We have found that, since privatisation, if we can provide a good service, trains that run on time, friendly

I had a great experience taking my son to The Charity Shield last year. I was almost looking for reasons not to

38

use the train – it all seemed too easy and I suspected a catch somewhere. But no, it was effortless. Adrian explains that Wembley is a big deal for Chiltern and that they can transport up to 10,000 people for a match. “We often lay on special trains for special events. A big part of the operation is making sure we have sufficient numbers of staff to communicate and help passengers with any problems they may be having, or simply to direct them to the right areas and the right platforms.” And just to underline the customer care which Chiltern rank so highly, steps have also been taken to ensure that their trains are safe places to go. Significant investment has been made in CCTV’s at stations and parking attendants at stations from early in the morning until late at night. CCTV’s are centrally monitored and linked to police stations and all trains have CCTV. “In the very limited number of occasions where there are problems, we will ensure this doesn’t happen again. We have a deal with the Metropolitan Police Service where the police can travel to work free of charge on production of their warranty cards. They are therefore obliged to act if they see anything suspicious.” In the next three to five years, there are some exciting plans in the pipeline for Chiltern and its customers. “We are looking at various initiatives. Firstly to further speed up our trains between London and Birmingham – this will mean that places such as Bicester will have up to ten minutes knocked off the journey time to London. This will be done by eliminating the areas where the trains have to slow down. We will also be further upgrading our trains. “Another project we are investigating carefully is a route from London to Oxford via High Wycombe. The route would run from Bicester North to a new station at

www.b4-business.com


Bicester Village, and then continue on into Oxford. We would also have a station at the Water Eaton Park and Ride site. This is exciting because this would then link in with the bus services for the north of Oxford and also the bus services to the John Radcliffe, which would assist both patients and staff. “It would also assist the people driving in from the west of Oxford who come in to the city via Bicester. The service will cut journey times from Bicester to Oxford from fourteen minutes to eight or nine with a train every thirty minutes. Providing all goes well, the service should be up and running within five years.” Adrian is also spearheading an exciting new initiative to provide Bicester with the facilities and services which this growing residential town demand. Bicester has expanded rapidly since the 1970s and is recognised as the fastest growing town in Oxfordshire. With further expansion planned, it is vital that all the town’s stakeholders are kept involved and informed about the progress. It is for that reason that the Bicester Vision Partnership was formed. The Partnership is funded by the three tiers of local government with significant additional investment from public sector partners including Chiltern Railways, Bicester Village, Stockdale, Bicester Country Club, British Bakels, London and Metropolitan, Bicester Chamber of Commerce, Oxford and Cherwell Valley College and Fresh Direct. And given the amount of traffic coming to Bicester courtesy of Chiltern Railways, it is clear why Adrian is keen to develop this aspect of Bicester. “Last year, we carried 64,000 tourists from London to Bicester North who then took our Bicester Village Taxi Bus. This year the numbers will be even higher. Consider the numbers if there was a direct service without having to use the taxi bus?” And Adrian concludes with some breaking news for B4. “We have just launched a brand new service through our sister company, Wrexham and Shropshire, which will run five trains a day from Marylebone to Banbury, then on to Telford and Shrewsbury, ending up in Wrexham. It is a fantastic service – have a full meal on the train and a lovely day out in Shrewsbury.” So next time you are thinking of a day out or a trip to London, leave the car at the station and enjoy the view. It’s simple.

A BOUT U S Chiltern Railways is owned by Deutsche Bahn AG and is part of DB Regio, Deutsche Bahn’s local and regional service provider.

MISSION STATEMENT “To be the best Passenger Railway in the UK. All day, every day, we aim to offer a safe, reliable, welcoming and value for money service. Our business will prosper because customers use us repeatedly and recommend the service to others.”

Since winning the franchise in 1996, Chiltern Railways has run scheduled passenger services along the M40 corridor between London Marylebone and Birmingham Snow Hill and London Marylebone to Aylesbury via Amersham along the London Underground Metropolitan line. In 2002 the company extended operations as far as Kidderminster and in 2004 took over services between Stratford-upon-Avon and London. As one of the franchises forming the UK's National Rail network, Chiltern are dedicated to providing passengers with a safe, reliable, welcoming and value for money service which offers a real choice and a viable alternative to other modes of transport. Chiltern provide a wide range of great value tickets and one of the most punctual and reliable rail services in the country. They invite you to come and give them a try - and enjoy the ride! Contact details on page 88-90

39


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

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


B4 ADVICE

CORPORATE TEAM MISSION In Issue 7 of B4 we ran an in-depth interview with Simon McCrum, Darbys new Managing Partner. As Simon’s re-generation of Darbys, one of Oxford’s leading law firms, forges ever onwards and upwards, B4 throws the spotlight on Stuart Malcolm and his Corporate, Technology and Media team. And Stuart’s rallying call is equally loud and clear "We are lawyers who have been clients - we know business!" Stuart originally qualified as a solicitor in Scotland in 1999 with the prominent Edinburgh-based commercial practice Brodies WS, having earlier graduated from the University of Glasgow with an Honours Law Degree in Commercial Law. He also has a post-graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, also from the University of Glasgow. Stuart joined Darbys in 2008 having previously worked at a number of commercial law firms in the Thames Valley, including Manches LLP in Oxford. He also previously spent a number of years as in-house counsel with the University of Oxford technology spin out, Celoxica Limited, and was more recently Group Legal Adviser with Oxford University Press, the world’s largest University Press. Crucially for Darbys this experience gives Stuart and his team the rare credentials of having been 'the client' on deals. As Head of Corporate, Technology & Media (CTM) at Darbys Solicitors LLP in Oxford, Stuart Malcolm has the youthful exuberance of the new boy at school, but I defy anyone to bully him. A powerful yet gentle Scot, Stuart is tasked with spearheading a vital cog in the new Darbys machine, and he’s ready for the battle. A keen sportsman in his spare time, Stuart’s interests mainly revolve around sport, in particular golf, rugby union (where he regularly returns to Edinburgh to watch Scotland), motorsport and country pursuits. And it is this competitive streak and Stuart’s willingness to roll his sleeves up and get really involved which impressed me, not only with his steely determination to make things happen, but to do things the right way, which is very much a continuation of the marker laid down by his Managing Partner, Simon McCrum, in our previous issue. “It is a team effort, but I am the figurehead. The buck stops with me and I take the flak if things go wrong. This is very much a fresh start for CTM and I have been brought in to reinvigorate, renew and move forward.” So what is CTM?

“We are also actively recruiting at the moment for mid-level lawyers and consequently we are expanding and the team is moulding itself into a new and exciting shape.” So what qualities do you bring to the table? “My personal experience is as a technology lawyer and I float in the middle of our two sub groups. I have substantial corporate finance and private equity experience dealing with spin-outs from Oxford University, primarily Celoxica.

42

Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.

“Corporate embodies corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. Siân Roberts is very much our specialist in this field. The second prong is technology and media, which is more information technology, intellectual property and general commercial contract work.


“Post-Celoxica, I worked for a number of entrepreneurial, high net worth, growing, high tech companies, mainly focusing on funding aspects. My roles included managing the day to day general commercial issues as well as intellectual property exploitation, establishing routes to market and winding up the research and development periods to focus on profits. “The Oxford and Thames Valley region is well known for its industry specific focus on technology, innovation and media, and my practice area, coupled with my versatile, solutions-orientated and strategic approach to issues, demonstrates my particular enthusiasm for these sectors. Working on leading edge issues for businesses, who are constantly requiring to reinvent their practices in response to changing opportunities in the media and science world, is a core area of the practice. “From a sector standpoint, my private practice clients have included those engaged in publishing and media, life sciences, telecommunications equipment, laser and optoelectronics, networking systems, Internet infrastructure, semiconductor design and manufacture, and advanced software systems and applications products. This experience demonstrates my understanding of both sides of the negotiating table pure technology clients, whose core business is the acquisition and exploitation of proprietary technology, and technology dependent clients, whose business is dependent or heavily reliant upon that technology.” As one of Simon McCrum’s key lieutenants, Stuart is highly regarded, not least by Simon himself, “This is a key appointment for Darbys. Stuart is a businessman-lawyer who will be of real commercial value to our corporate and technology clients. His real-world experience as a client in corporate finance transactions in his Celoxica days puts clear water between him and many other corporate finance lawyers. This region is well known for its focus on technology, innovation and media, and we have a man in Stuart who can make things happen for our clients”. And the ebullient Scot has high expectations of his team. “We have great seeds in the department and the seeds are growing. We have a relatively young team on the first rung but they are eager to learn and have a thirst for success. We are now recruiting for the middle rung with myself and Nick Hedges leading the team. Nick is focused more on the charitable organisations and owner managed businesses. He is very much my right hand man and we communicate regularly. There is an excellent level of teamwork. “Our key underlying theme is that we see ourselves as a commercial team and with my experience of life on the other side of the fence, working in house in companies which are now in the same mould as our customers, we very much see ourselves (as Simon McCrum underlined in issue 7), as businessmen who happen to be lawyers. Of course we are lawyers first and foremost, but we like to think with experience such as mine in the team, we can draw in a wider view of a particular situation and be aware of the ‘real world’ implications. Lawyers are so often criticised for not being savvy to the real world implications of business, and we certainly won’t be expecting or tolerating that criticism to be leveled at us.

our clients, to really find out how the business works and understand the pressures placed upon that business. This will enable our advice to be more focused and practical. “For example, Alastair Long has experience of working in a large French Aerospace company for two years and is also fluent in three or four different languages. This is vital for the team. Despite being a trainee, he already knows how to handle commercial people, he knows what they are looking for. “The ability to frame the advice and focus it on the client’s needs is vital. It is all about analysing client’s risks and needs and knowing what is important to them. This is particularly important with regards to negotiations, and we are well equipped to deal with these situations. We need to be able to adapt and spot what is important for our client. “Although we like to think we are all fairly down to earth people, we are able to recognise when we need to show our teeth. We don’t see the point or need to be aggressive or bad mannered for the sake of it, and, for the most part, it is not necessary in order to make progress. Straight talking is very much the ethos of the new Darbys since Simon has been here. There is nothing wrong with honesty, common courtesy and having good manners, although it is quite evident that some people see such qualities as signs of weakness. “I think in the past Darbys has, rightly or wrongly, gained a reputation as a “nice Oxford firm” which doesn’t make too many waves, but as a result didn’t make the progress it should have done. The new Darbys certainly has a focus and a clear path to success, and an overriding desire to do it properly. Darbys has been crying out for a figurehead like Simon and Simon is now looking for his lieutenants, of which I am one, who share his ambition and desire to drive forward. “I want to make sure that we can escalate and scale up. We have got to get the right people on board and slightly adapt the culture to make sure everyone is pointing in the right direction, with the same goals, beliefs and targets, even more so in a competitive world. “We have won a fair deal of new business because I have come on board, but also because new customers believe in our strategy and are equally excited about what CTM can do for their businesses. Even in this climate we are picking up new clients and new work daily. “I also know the scene and I am on top of the ‘village’ feel of Oxford, I know how it works and combined with Simon’s vision, we can make Darbys a force to be reckoned with. Darbys mean business and we won’t tolerate anything other than success for the firm. We have the people and the experience which means we are more than capable of achieving. As I have already said, we are real world people and we do understand the real world needs of our clients. No one gets to hide at Darbys, we are all accountable and we all want to deliver, not just exist and get by. Our clients expect the best and we are here to provide it. “It is a changing world, and Darbys are ready for it.”

“I would also like to place our staff in-house at some of

CTM T

E A M

PROFILES Nick Hedges Nick advises owner-managed businesses on joint ventures, company acquisitions, disposals and exits, mergers, re-structuring and refinancing. His common sense, often imaginative, and wisdom-based approach is highly valued by his stable of loyal clients.

Siân Roberts In her career, Siân has worked on many high profile transactions, including the institutional buy-out of National Britannia Group Limited, acquisitions by Capita Group plc and an international environmental consultancy business funded by West Private Equity. She is a rising star in the corporate finance world.

Edward Bible With a background in corporate recovery, Ed is described as ‘a force in the market’ by authoritative and independent surveys of the legal profession. He advises companies, directors, insolvency practitioners and creditors on corporate and commercial matters, particularly those that have an element of insolvency.

Alastair Long Qualified in French company and commercial law, as well as working in UK law, Alastair previously worked for a group of Anglo-French defence companies as in-house Legal Counsel before joining Darbys in 2007.

Secretaries within the CTM team: Kathryn James Telephone: 01865 811249 Email: kjames@darbys.co.uk Sandra Hewitt Telephone: 01865 811746 Email: shewitt@darbys.co.uk

Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com

43


B4 ADVICE

WHAT YOUR POVERTY NETWORK REALLY COSTS YOU… We’ve all heard the expression “You become like the people you spend time with”, but have you thought about the potential impact of this on your business and ultimately your wealth? When you decide to step out and run your own business it becomes a very lonely existence. After all, who do you talk to about your challenges and worries? The competition; your employees; your wife or husband? Not likely! This very reason is why there has been a growth in business coaching services and mentoring which provide a sounding board as well as proven tools and strategies. In this issue I want to focus on you and your relationships or networks you interact with on a regular basis. In the last issue I covered the 8 categories and types of people you need in your Wealth Network but there is also a very powerful group of people who, if you don’t recognise them, can ‘derail’ your enthusiasm and passion for your business, eventually leading to its crash. It is called your Poverty Network! What is this powerful group and just how do you spot it? It’s all about the mindset and in particular the negative attitudes of the people in the group. I tell the business owners I coaching “you can survive the loss of a large customer, a key member of your team and

44

even financial losses! But having a toxic person in your life will eventually kill you and your dreams.” So the 4 toxic people we should be aware of: Distracters – These people are great to be around and may even be some of your closest friends. They are people you like to have fun with or chill out with, but who stop you being focused, can kill your momentum and in the end you pay a very high price for the short term pleasure of their company. They are like the fast food of negative relationships. Mr / Mrs Negative – These are very easy to spot as they only see the glass as half empty and have all the reasons why you should NOT do something. Quite often these people can be in your close family, which makes their comments even more toxic! Doubters – These people don't believe in, (or cannot see), your vision or dreams. They will erode your confidence. On the face of it, you think you can shrug their comments off but their limiting beliefs cling to you in your tough days and you will hear their doubting words going round in your head when you least expect it.

Hangers on – Unlike the others, these people are very happy with what you are doing but don't add value to your project. All they want is for you to carry them with you so they don't have to work as hard. These people are a dead weight and if you identify any in your business cut them loose as soon as you can. After all the heavier you are the slower you go. Within the next month, my coaching to you is; to take ten minutes to see if you can recognize any toxic types in your business network and your personal network. Then start identifying how much of your time you are spending around them. Set a goal to cut this by 50% in the next two months and see how much more focused, productive and positive you become. I guarantee the results will speak for themselves. In the next issue I will cover 10 key strategies to show you how to survive and thrive in a recessionary climate. Paul Avins Speaker, Trainer, Coach, Author, Entrepreneur Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com


B4 ADVICE

THE WAY WE WORK

The world is a financial minefield and changes in circumstance can change your life overnight. The Focus Group specialise in finding both proactive and reactive solutions working closely with other professionals, such as lawyers and accountants. Nick Walker and Gary Hunt of Focus explain how. A Home From Home - Nick Walker Divorce is stressful and unsettling for all involved husband, wife & children. But with access to products and facilities not normally available in the public domain, we can tailor-make the mortgage arrangements to ensure that the family is able to move forward in the best way possible. A typical family in the Oxford area live in a 3 bedroomed semi detached property with a value of £300,000. A divorce could well mean that instead of requiring one property, suddenly there is a need to provide two similar properties for the divorcing couple and children. Even with a modest current mortgage of £100,000 on the matrimonial home, purchasing two, more modest properties, at £250,000, and without any significant savings, would require mortgage arrangements of at least £300,000.This still represents a significant increase in borrowing for the family but, more importantly, it can put major stresses on the couple when they are least able to cope.

Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.

Proper expert advice is essential to ensure that there is not further pressure placed on an, already stretched situation. Whilst both parties may well have their own representation both legally and financially, increasingly, today, separations tend to be more amicable and agreeable and therefore discussions can take place in a mutually open environment. We often assists lawyers by providing assessments of mortgage capability for both parties, and advising the individuals on the best and most appropriate schemes. Arrangements can be suited to particular needs and requirements because we are always aware that every situation is different and that, at the end of the day, our business isn’t about money, it’s about people. Plan Before To Protect Afterwards - Gary Hunt

Working closely with other business advisors, such as accountants and solicitors, is key to our solution process when advising their business clients. Any expenditure on insurance is usually viewed as a "stress purchase” but a balance needs to be sought between a potential loss in the future, with a financial cost now. But not enough companies look into the subject, and are therefore unnecessarily exposed to a potential financial risk. Confusion also exists between the terms shareholder protection and key person protection. Shareholder Protection This is often referred to as Director Share Purchase or Partnership Cover, depending on the nature of the organisation. A legal document should exist to confirm the agreement of the owners as to how the business is structured and how the ongoing ownership would change upon death or serious illness of one of the owners. It is usual for the affected owner to want their ownership value to pass to their family, but similarly the surviving owners would normally want to retain the ownership of that part of the business if possible. This can be achieved with proper planning. Unfortunately many organisations have no such agreement and no insurance protection. But a well planned agreement will confirm what needs to happen but, most importantly, adequate insurance needs to exist. In essence, the insurance monies pass to the surviving owners who then pay these monies to the family in exchange for the affected owner’s share of the business. Each owner therefore needs insurance on their life written in trust for the benefit of the other owners. This

can either be for life assurance only or to include critical illness. Key Person Protection Why would a company insure a filing cabinet or a desk, but not the ‘key’ people who actually generate the profits for that business? No reason at all, but that is a typical scenario that exists in the UK today. Establishing just who is 'key' is not easy as all employees will in some way be important, to all organisations. Perhaps a key person provides expertise, contacts or other assets, but his or her loss could prove very damaging. A banks confidence may be undermined; a customers decision to review agreements with the firm may be put at risk; changes to credit arrangements are common and there can be staff instability. The cost of replacement could well be high, in terms of recruitment, training and upgraded remuneration. Yet management must move quickly, to prevent competitors from seizing the advantage. The business needs an immediate injection of cash, above and beyond the normal needs of the firm, to fund the transition or replace lost profits. Insurance protection should therefore be established on the lives on those employees considered to be 'key', whereupon these monies would pass to the employer to compensate for such a loss. This is really all about sensible business planning and eliminating risks that do not need to be taken. TV entertainers Ant & Dec have just taken out this type of insurance as they understood just how much each would be affected should the other one die or suffer a serious illness. Even Ant & Dec know that it’s no laughing matter. Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com

45


B4 MEET

Roger and Fafar Watts are no strangers to the business scene in Oxford. As directors of Apartments in Oxford, the sister company of Cantay Group Limited and an inspirational alternative to hotel accommodation launched in 1998 in St Thomas’ Street, Roger and Fafar have triumphantly established this business as a roaring success. Almost unnoticed, however, they have simultaneously masterminded the creation of a state of the art Conference Centre which will rival the best Conference Centres in the county, if not the country. Set up a Conference Centre in the heart of Oxford? No problem. Yes, problem, and Roger and Fafar Watts will be the first to tell you that tantrums and tiaras have been the order of the day for a while now. Unforeseen obstacles, red tape, planning issues, this amiable couple have had it in spades, but they have come out smiling and can see the finishing line in sight. “It’s been traumatic to say the least,” admits Fafar, “but now we can see the fruits of our heartache and endless hours toiling away at this project which has dominated proceedings for us whilst we have had to continue to run the existing Apartments in Oxford business. Thankfully, we have managed, with the help of our excellent team, to keep things ticking over to plan, and the next task ahead is to get the Conference Centre open. Then we will see the true benefits.” And what an achievement this will have been. The plans for, what will be one of Oxford’s key central locations (no mean feat in a city deluged in history), are impressive to say the least. “The Centre is ideally situated to take advantage of everything Oxford has to offer, ”continues Fafar, “and will be one of the first new ventures in Oxford’s West Quarter redevelopment. Just a few minutes walk from the Oxford rail and bus stations, the venue will specialise in events for between twenty and four hundred delegates. Whether a business is looking to use the whole Centre or a single room, our flexibility ensures that we can customise our facilities to match your requirements.” And what facilities these are. The Centre will be fully air-conditioned to guarantee year round comfort, with a built-in wireless network, in-house audio-visual services and webcasting, not to mention the on-line

A PARTMENTS I N O XFORD In the past ten years of its operation, Apartments in Oxford has provided accommodation services to many national and international organisations, academic and visiting tourists. Guests have traveled from all over Europe, USA, the Middle East, China and Australia.

46

conference service. The Centre features two large function rooms, eight meeting rooms of varying size and a Business Centre, all fully equipped with the latest Audio-visual, sound, IT and recording equipment. In addition, a full catering and bar service will be available, and also the welcome bonus of limited on-site parking. Whilst Fafar has been assisting her husband Roger with the management of the apartments and the preparations for the new Conference Centre, Roger is project managing the development of the Conference Centre, “Fafar and I have been in this together from the start and have got through it together with the team, from the directors to the staff on site. That team is about to expand considerably with the appointment of personnel in key positions to help us run the Centre. That is Fafar’s next task and once we see bodies in place, with the finishing touches to the Centre, we will know we are in business. “I must take my hat off to Fafar and the front of house team at the Apartments, as having to contend with the shenanigans and issues which we have all faced with regards to this project has been trying at the best of times, and without sheer perseverance and determination to pull this off, we could have fallen at one of a number of hurdles. “We know Oxford is ready for this and we know we will have a product which will provide businesses with a great solution to their conference problems. Location is key, but the quality of facilities and services we will be able to provide will be superlative. “It really will be a package, a solution. With the on-site event management team, we will be able to

It is currently a common understanding that serviced apartments are a global phenomenon proving to be financially and inventively more attractive than hotels. Apartments in Oxford aim to provide comfortable and luxury accommodation, with services provided that exceed those offered by hotels and most other serviced apartments offer. The continual refurbishment, updating of IT facilities and maintenance of the thirty four apartments makes this splendid establishment one of the leading luxury

co-ordinate every aspect of the conference. All our customers will have to do is ensure they get the bodies in to fill the spaces they have booked, the rest will be down to us, not just in the preparation but on the day to make sure basic glitches don’t scupper well laid plans.” But don’t get focused on the business side. This isn’t just a Centre for delegates and speakers, this is a multi-faceted, multi-talented, multi-tasking Conference Centre, as Roger explains, “We will be able to stage wedding receptions, fashion shows, product launches, trade fairs, society meetings, even shows. In fact anything that needs space, we will be able to accommodate it.” To find out more about Conference Centre Oxford, contact Roger or Fafar now – details in the contact section. The Conference Centre will be open for business from this November, with the large function rooms available for hire from March 2009. Facilities: Fully air conditioned Built in wireless network In-house audio-visual services Web casting and on line video conferencing service Full catering service Thirty four serviced apartments on the same site On site parking 24 hour security

Contact details on page 88-90

serviced apartments in Oxford, if not the UK. In conjunction with Conference Centre Oxford, the two businesses will be providing the ideal facilities to satisfy most business and meeting requirements. Apartments in Oxford and Conference Centre Oxford are creating exceptional living and working environments to suit every business and tourist need, with professional services that can be tailored to meet your requirements.

www.b4-business.com


Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.

A VENUE TO BE PROUD OF

www.b4-business.com

47


B4 SPOTLIGHT

OXFORD RADCLIFFE HOSPITALS CHARITABLE FUNDS CANCER CAMPAIGN B4 and The In Oxford Group are proud to support Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals (ORH) Charitable Funds by promoting the phenomenal work undertaken by the fundraising team, historically with regards to the Children's Hospital, Oxford (CHOx), and now with the focus on the new Oxford Cancer Centre on the Churchill site in Headington. The Cancer Campaign aims to raise ÂŁ2million to enhance patient comfort at the new Centre, and provide some additional high-tech equipment over and above what limited NHS resources would otherwise allow. As well as funding several state-of-the-art Computer Integrated Theatres, the money raised will go towards improving the hospital environment for patients and visitors, by landscaping the garden terrace areas, for example, and furnishing day rooms. The Centre, due to open later this year, represents a ÂŁ109m investment in cancer services and facilities by the ORH Trust.

1 11

2 12

T HANKS Charitable funds would like to thank the following, pictured where noted:

48

3 13

Martin Keown 3, 5, 19 Neil Ashley - Cancer Campaign Chairman 1, 12 Nick Maynard - Consultant Surgeon 2, 12, 19 Susannah Maxa 4 Kate Allen - Allen Associates 5 Rob Allen - Allen Associates 6 Janey Petterson - Event Photographer John Fissenden - Amber Wealth Creation 8 Richard Rosser - In Oxford Group & B4 Magazine 9, 10 Dave Beesley - B-Line Business Supplies 7, 11 Phil Beesley - B-Line Business Supplies 7

4 14

5 15

Kay Thomas - B-Line Business Supplies 7 Paul Nelson - B-Line Business Supplies Alan Verrinder - Action Coach 10 Jayne Woodley - Barclays Bank PLC Edward Lee - Blake Lapthorn Tarlo Lyons Christine Plews - Blake Lapthorn Tarlo Lyons Paul Stanner - Boots the Chemist 17 Tom Clarke - Boots the Chemist 17 Fiona Hazeldon - Co-op Corporate bank 18 John Chelsom - CSW 19 Mike Pickering - Midcounties Co-operative 20

www.b4-business.com


On 5th June at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, almost one hundred invited guests attended a reception to hear more about this crucial campaign. It was organised by Susannah Maxa, in her role as corporate fundraising consultant for the Charitable Funds team, and in conjunction with The In Oxford Group. Former Arsenal and England international soccer star and local Oxfordshire resident Martin Keown, acted as guest speaker, explaining that "It is very important for me to support a local cause and encourage others to give up their time to help." Martin has not only pledged his support for the campaign, but will also be working even more closely with the team in the future to help raise the campaign's profile. Susannah Maxa said of the event, "We had a fantastic response. What I thought was going to be an awareness-raising exercise for the campaign turned into a highly successful evening, with over a dozen businesses wanting to get involved." Campaign Chairman, Mr Neil Ashley, former Chairman of support services group Amey, was also on hand to welcome all guests, introduce Martin and passionately reinforce the message to those in attendance. With such an important task in hand, the experience and direction given to the campaign by someone of Neil Ashley's standing is vital. The fundraising team were overwhelmed with the success of the event, and examples of the fruits of the evening are highlighted in the right hand column. Susannah added, "We would like to thank our key

sponsors, Allen Associates and those who encouraged others to attend, and of course our guest speakers." Nick Maynard,Consultant Surgeon and Clinical Lead of the Oxford OesophagoGastric Unit, also gave an emotive speech, getting to the heart of the reasons why this fundraising is so crucial for the Centre. He later commented, "It was a fantastic evening and I relished the opportunity to talk to some of Oxford's business community about what we're trying to develop in the Cancer Centre and how they might be able to help. I very much hope there will be more evenings such as these to follow up the enthusiastic response we got on the evening." The actual pledges which have been subsequently confirmed via follow-up meetings, or where meetings are pending, include the following: • Purple by Darbys have already agreed to sponsor the 'It's Not Just a Walk in the Park' three mile family sponsored walk around Oxford University Parks on 26th October. Darbys are now working with Charitable Funds to determine how else they can support the Campaign. Managing Partner, Simon McCrum, is also delighted to be associated with the campaign and is firmly on board. • Owen Hughes, Director of Eyes Wide Open Communications, has already met with Charitable Funds and is providing invaluable marketing advice to help raise awareness of the campaign.

with Graham MacDonald and Gavin West of Kemp & Kemp, are getting their heads together to plan a fundraising event with a difference - watch this space all Gumball rally fans! • Michael Grange, General Manager of Oxford's famous Randolph Hotel, and Sean Denny, Conference and Banqueting Operations Manager, are hosting a fabulous fundraising dinner and auction on 18th July, in support of the campaign. • Other pledges on the night that are still in the process of being followed up are: Edward Lee and Christine Plews of Blake Lapthorn Tarlo Lyons; Paul Stanner and Tom Clarke of Boots the Chemist; Fiona Hazeldon of the Co-Operative Corporate Bank; John Chelsom of CSW; Mike Pickering of Mid-counties Co-Operative; Jo Willet of Oxford Innovation and Robin and Debbie Swailes of North Oxford Property Services. Susannah concluded, "Without the support of these companies and the likes of The In Oxford Group and B4 Magazine, David Beesley (B-Line) and John Fissenden (Amber Wealth Creation), we wouldn't have attracted the quality of businesses to the event in the first place. The campaign will only keep going with even more businesses getting involved at all levels, and we are so grateful to everyone who has helped get us this far."

• John Fissenden of Amber Wealth Creation, together Contact details on page 88-90

6 16

7 17

Robin & Debbie Swailes - North Oxford Property Services 10 Lesley Quirk - Unipart Conference Centre Heather Carter - Blenheim Palace Lesley Ballance - Co-op Corporate bank 18 David Parrish - Creation Theatre Mike Good - Critchleys Kathryn Pocock - Critchleys Simon McCrum - Darbys 12 Paul Lowe - Darbys 14 David Parry - Darbys 13 Jenny Harvey - Darbys/Vinculum

www.b4-business.com

8 18

Owen Hughes - Eyes Wide Open Communications 13 Ian Walker - Jack FM Jacqui Birks - James Cowper Graham McDonald - Kemp & Kemp 14 Gavin West - Kemp & Kemp 15 Michael Grange - MacDonald Randolph Hotel Sean Denny - MacDonald Randolph Hotel Andrea Freeman - Oxford Business Jo Willett - Oxford Innovation Ltd 11, 16 Steve & Nicky Moralee - Oxford Princeton Project 20 Graham Maxa - Prodrive 8

9 19

10 20

David Quirk - Qi Europe Uk Ltd Rona Cant - Rona Cant 15 Max Mason - The Big Bang 9 Alan Popham Georgia Bernard Alice Gosling - Director of Fundraising, Charitable Funds 5 Barry Willsher - Heads Up 6 Graham Brogden - Charitable Funds 17

49


B4 SPOTLIGHT Meeting on a hot Monday lunchtime in Grove, I feared my appointment had been postponed. But as the faint hum of a distant helicopter grew louder, I was bizarrely reassured that the interview with my flamboyant subject was on. Robert Lamplough is not only a successful farmer and now successful business park owner, he is also the “star” of Pearl Harbour, Memphis Belle and any other blockbuster where a spitfire fly-past has been required! So, as I sit down with Ben Affleck’s stunt double, I’m not quite sure what to expect, although I’m sure Robert would be the first to stress to our female readers, playing Affleck’s stunt double as the pilot of a high speed plane didn’t necessitate even the faintest resemblance to, I’m told, a Hollywood heartthrob! But Pearl Harbour and World War II is where the history of Grove begins as a place of work, as Robert explains. “There were a total of approximately eight hundred operational airbases during WWII, supporting one thousand British and one thousand American bombers, a quite incredible number. Between 1939 and 1945 (with a peak in 1942) a further 444 airfields were built, including Grove. “By the time it was built (by local Norman James Cross in 1943), it was actually operated by the Americans, who thereafter handed the base back to the Ministry of Defence and it was operated as a support base for the 2nd Tactical Air Force. This was the Air Force set up after invasion to operate on continental Europe, with the sole aim of destroying the effectiveness of the German Air Force.

“Former air bases are frequently converted into business parks due to the infrastructure in place, both surrounding and integral to the airfields. Certainly at Grove, the road network, water towers and sewage presented a perfect structure for further development. It was a mini city, albeit an industrial / military one, set up for the purpose of supporting the war effort. Grove was a base which had to support three thousand personnel. And on D Day there were up to seven thousand people on site. This gives you some idea of the structure and of the buildings in situ. “Out of personal interest, I have gone out of my way to save the T2 hangar which to me is a central piece of the architecture at Grove. We have done our best to maintain it – we have preserved the layout and we have taken names of aircraft which operated out of here during the war as names for roads. And we are proud of our heritage. “Post War, the site was closed and passed over to the original owners and then to British Non Ferrous Metals, who carried out purification of metals and extraction.” Remember “Bungalow Bill” he of Joan Collins fame and the infamous “pack of cards” property company? Wiggins fronted a property company who were the next owners of the site. He put up a series of very attractive buildings, but then saw the bottom fall out of the property market and proceeded to go bust. In doing so, he took with him the parent company which owned the land. In 1990, with the company in receivership, the site fell into the right hands, as Robert continues. “In 1996, we got involved. There were a couple of companies in situ, with a handful of employees and

practically impossible access. It had even been forgotten by the local community. The original attraction was to find a home for my Spitfire and I happened to discover Grove. I was told by the receiver, Cork Gully, that if I wanted the hanger, I would have to take the whole site – it was all or nothing. “I therefore looked at the whole package and discovered that it comprised of approximately fifty acres, of which thirty four acres was zoned in the local plans for employment use. The negotiations were a whirlwind, a matter of weeks. We purchased the site “warts and all”. We then had to seriously consider how we were going to develop the site. “We had a site with between 150,000 and 200,000 sq ft of buildings, it was already zoned and it already had its access road in place. There was also an agreement in place with the local authority that we could expand out to 500,000 sq ft of buildings. With that framework in place, we set about devising a plan to advance matters and get the site working profitably for us. We had a number of options to contemplate. “We had a sewage farm and a complete perimeter road which came with the package. We hadn’t been made aware of this previously, and whereas is often the case these days when acquiring land, i.e. the borders shift the wrong way, we were discovering that we had purchased more than we had realised from the outset. “With up to 200,000 square feet of rusting or dilapidated properties, with little or no income to cover further expense, it was a massive headache. Not only that, but the buildings contained a plethora of substances from the laboratories which occupied the

GROVE

THE VISION BECOMES REALITY It is not often that the subject of a B4 interview arrives by helicopter, but then Robert Lamplough, Chairman of Grove Technology Park, doesn’t “do obvious”. Faced with a sprawling former airfield when he acquired the land now home to his business park, the easy option would have been to lock up and throw away the key. But you get the feeling Robert Lamplough isn’t one for the easy life – he certainly likes a challenge.

50


building where the main Grove management offices are now located. The other particularly eerie experience was unlocking the doors of offices which had all been vacated on the same day to find all of the calendars on the walls stopped on exactly the same date. It was a bit like the end of the world, walking around a ghost town.

of tenants in one area of the park. We then began to refurbish buildings for occupation by smaller, local businesses. We made life very easy and occupying space very attractive. There were no concerns which come hand in hand with owning the freehold of a commercial property and we were able to secure tenants relatively quickly.

“Through our agents and my right hand men, Simon Ames and Steve Head, we all put our heads together and decided, contrary to advice we had taken from professionals in the industry,” and Robert stresses that they were novices in the field of property management, “that we ought to capitalise on the dying embers of what we had taken on. In our case, these embers were the two or three small companies which we inherited on site and we wanted to build on that, rather than a broad brush knock down and rebuild.

The family and community feel is imperative for Grove and holds true today. ByBox (see page 53) began life in the smallest unit available, now occupying one of the largest units on the site. This flexibility enables the park to retain and allow its tenants to grow with the site and remain in situ.

“The view of the professionals was that although Wiggins had built excellent new buildings, they were of the opinion that companies would not want to move in when there was a mix of new and dilapidated buildings, plus a network of roads and street lighting which were in desperate need of an overhaul. “Attracting new business into the park had to be taken one step at a time. It was very much a homegrown as opposed to a corporate approach. We honestly felt that if we had cut off the heart beat of the park as it was then, in the shape of the handful of companies here, we would find it very difficult to attract our first tenant if we decided to start from scratch. “We started to refurbish the buildings surrounding the Wiggins buildings and, relatively quickly, we managed to find tenants for these buildings, thus forming a core

On reflection, has the vision for Grove become a reality? “In hindsight, everything we set out to do and the way we wanted to achieve our targets has been carried out exactly as we wanted to. We have retained the community feel of the Park and will continue to develop, retaining these values. We don’t straight jacket, we don’t stifle growth and we provide for business expansion at each and every phase. Other agents for property investors are amazed at the low turnover of businesses on site and the very low number of our tenants who fall in arrears.” So what of the future of Grove?

“We have now developed out just over 50% of the site which is fully occupied. One of our first tenants who actually constructed a building on site were John Lewis of Hungerford. Aasvogel followed shortly after. As a waste separation plant, this would prove to be a massive attraction to other tenants who would need a waste facility, as most of them do, especially with increasing environmental concerns. "We are currently looking at various ventures for the land available but we also have one eye on even more development to fall in line with the proposed residential properties which are earmarked for development in the local community - some 2,500 new homes which translates to 6 to 7,000 people adding to the existing 20,000 resident in Wantage and Grove. “We believe that during the first phase of development, there will be pressure for releasing more industrial land, with the prime location being an additional release of land adjacent to the existing park at Grove.”

“I cannot stress how important it is that the local authority listens to us as we feel we have quite often been ignored, and that has been to the detriment of the local authority and the people who live in the area. On occasions, they have been quite helpful, but they really should listen to us about what is happening so that we can work together to provide a suitable solution for the long term good of the residents and businesses in the area. “We have good relations with the local community, but we feel that the local authority doesn’t have a good enough handle on what the local community and the local business community needs. There needs to be a more considered approach if the evolution of the area is adequate enough to allow the sustained growth and development of Grove.”

Contact details on page 88-90

FACTS & F IGURES GROVE TECHNOLOGY PARK is a modern and exciting business community located in the heart of the Thames Valley on a 32 acre (13 Ha) parkland site. It is immediately adjacent to Wantage / Grove (local population over 20,000) in South West Oxfordshire. In the past two years it has attracted more than 70 new companies, mostly in the high-tech and service sectors. Existing buildings of 116,000 sq.ft/10,800 sq.m have been sub-divided into self-contained units ranging from 200 sq.ft/18.sq.m up to 28,000 sq.ft/2,600 sq.m available for let, subject to availability.

51


Businesses grow at Grove


B4 SPOTLIGHT

BYBOX

For any company to grow its turnover from £119,000 in 2002 to a projected £28 million in 2008, it demands further attention. B4 met up with ByBox Finance Director Kevin Hole to discover how the company has grown so dramatically in such a short space of time, and what plans are afoot for the future.

ByBox was founded in 2000 and acquired Logibag SAS, the global market leader in electronic left luggage lockers since 1986, in 2005. ByBox's vision was to apply Logibag's technology to make supply chains more efficient. In September 2003, ByBox acquired Hays Field Support Services (a division of Hays plc) and in just four years ByBox has grown the Field Service business from £6m to £24 million. So how did they do that?

which was effective from 1st October 2003. Automatically, ByBox had a customer base of, circa, £6.5million but we had to grow the business as quickly as possible in order to make it profitable. As part of the deal with Hays, Hays were delivering parcels into the boxes. They agreed to carry on doing that, but only for a period of four months. So, by 1st January, 2004, ByBox had to establish its own in night distribution network.”

”We started off life as a business which rented electronic lockers to other logistics companies, to deliver parcels to field service engineers. It wasn’t until around March 2003 that the company landed its first major deal, a rental deal with Hays, the parcel carriers. They had a network of key operated storage boxes all around the country, approximately 12,000. They delivered spare parts for service engineers, using their own Hays DX delivery network. Around that time, ByBox had a more “intelligent” offering, an electronic box which provided much more management information.

At that time, there were only two in night distribution operators, one being Hays, and the other ANC. ByBox approached both. However, the ByBox board decided that the only logical way forward was to create their own network. This meant the company had to establish its own national distribution centres, recruit the staff to man them, write the software to hang the whole operation together – all within six weeks!

“This tracked parcels in and out of the box and would give management reports concerning the timings of the parcel movements, all through barcode reading. Since then, we have developed a wide range of services which further improves the level of management information available. “We have also developed an intelligent returns cycle so that engineers can return spare parts through the system. In April 2003, ByBox signed a deal with Hays to rent ByBox boxes. They agreed to rent 300 exchanges (approx. 3,600 boxes), which obviously gave ByBox significant rental income, and, in return, ByBox had to provide the boxes and maintain them. Kevin continues, “Hays’ biggest customer then was BSkyB, and a couple of months after we signed the deal with Hays, BSkyB informed Hays that they were no longer happy with the service and that they wanted to trial an alternative, which they did, and Hays lost the contract. Overnight, Hays’ turnover fell from £10million to £6.5million. “ByBox then entered into negotiations with Hays plc to “buy” the Hays Field Support business from them,

The turnover of the business has increased astronomically since, and the roll of honour below underlines what massive strides the business has made in such a short space of time. But it doesn’t stop there. ByBox have now created a nightly service operating through a series of 10 regional Distribution Centres and the national Hub at Coventry – a customer can now order up until midnight for delivery the next morning, a service which is saving ByBox’s customers, literally, millions of pounds a year. This impressive and huge cost saving service is attracting blue chip customers such as BSkyB, Virgin Media, Konica Minolta, GlaxoSmithKline to ByBox. A network of ByBox boxes is being established in France and by the end of June, ByBox had 100 exchanges all over France. “We are also now starting to tap into the consumer market, which is the real Holy Grail. In France, there is a contract in place with La Poste who have purchased these lockers for the French public to collect parcels from - ideal for tower blocks and inner city areas, although expensive. However, La Poste have invested heavily in this and they are now rolling out all over France. “Royal Mail have been in discussions with us for 5 years. They have been trialing our boxes for failed deliveries, so if you miss a delivery, it will go to a ByBox locker for you to collect. The customer can then collect

any time of day or night, whenever they feel like it. It worked incredibly well, but they shelved the development, for reasons best known to them. “You can only begin to imagine the cost savings to The Royal Mail as the postman doesn’t have to go back a second or even third time. In addition, the sorting office doesn’t have to be open outside of normal office hours as nobody needs to go and collect. “We are about to sign deals with Transport for London where we will install these lockers in main stations in Central London for internet purchases made by consumers. The variable cost of providing such a service is negligible as we already have coverage in these areas. We now deliver into seven hundred locations in the country and so this model is perfect for development. We are therefore very close to the consumer already. “Just imagine the green impact of this – it is phenomenal. We also operate at night so there is no congestion – a fantastically strong green message. I strongly believe there is no real end to the growth potential. Just think of the possibilities of mail order. We are also now launching a pre 10am service here and we feel the timed next day delivery market is worth over a £1 billion pounds per annum.” It really is all very impressive - a business which has obviously ticked all of the right boxes. Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com

53


B4 SPOTLIGHT

WILA Another Grove success story, Wila provide lighting solutions for high tech office buildings. With over five thousand live projects this year spanning the globe, Wila’s stock is high in an extremely competitive industry. B4 met with CEO, Mike Collett, to discover a portfolio that boasts projects ranging from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France to Miami and Hamburg airports. Originally founded in 1857 in Iserlohn, Germany, the business started off as a brass foundry, and only moved into lighting in the 1930’s. Largely a domestic lighting supplier in Germany until the early 1980’s, it was then taken over by another German family. This was the beginning of the transition into the world of technical lighting, beginning with energy saving light sources. In 2004, Mike Collett and two other colleagues successfully completed a management buy out. “We repositioned the German headquarters to Grove. We still have a German manufacturing base and Germany is still our biggest market, but the Grove office supports the UK operation and an emergency lighting products company which operates out of the Forest of Dean. “We had sales of circa £15 million last year and employ around one hundred and thirty across Grove, Forest of Dean and Germany. We sell to around thirty five countries and have a licensing agreement to produce goods in the USA, but also sell into the Middle East, the Far East and Australia, as well as most countries within Europe. “We offer a design and support service to architects and engineers to help them develop the right lighting solution for the client. We then supply the product either direct, or to the electrical installer or wholesaler who will then install the luminaires. “Our focus is very much on high end offices and buildings which are often challenging and unique projects. As our product is designed to last it is generally not so suited to retail roll outs as these tend to be changed and updated every two or so years, although our luminaires have been specified within flagship stores of premium high street brands such as

54

Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, whereby quality and performance often override cost based decisions.”

energy efficiency and, theoretically, far more flexibility in terms of installation.

“However, a number of our customers now rank energy saving as a top prioritry and great strides in have been made in this particular area in our industry. Such advances have allowed us to re-visit a project and refit the body of the fitting with a new light source which is more controllable and more efficient, and will allow for cost savings on the running of the building.

“As a business, we have started to conduct our own research and development for LED products. The next generation LED is OLED’s or organic LED’s which again, theoretically, can be built into furniture, clothes, walls etc…. It is a very high tech mixed generation material, which can make a wall of glass resemble brick one minute and a work of art the next.”

Amongst Wila’s other current and past projects are the BBC White City Offices on the M40; the “gherkin” building in central London; Said Business School and also the University of Oxford Chemistry Building in Oxford; Hamburg Airport, a one million euro project; The Riverside in Dublin; Eversheds solicitors in Manchester; John Lewis in Oxford Street; Yo! Sushi outlet in Brighton; Kuwait Oil Company Head Office, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Miami Airport.

Wila are a relatively small player in what is a very fragmented industry (there are something like seven hundred lighting companies in the UK alone). However, for any consulting engineer looking to specify a high quality downlight product, Wila’s brand name would be well known to most and would figure high on any consultant’s list of potential suppliers.

Even though lighting solutions seem to have advanced rapidly in recent years, Mike is quick to point out that technological advances of late have been fairly pedestrian, particularly in view of the solutions which will be available to us in the future. “Recent changes have been largely driven by legislation and energy requirements. Technology itself hasn’t changed that much. What is about to happen, however, is that there is going to be a big change to using light emitting diode (LED) technology. “With improvements in technology and lighting, you now get a much more efficient and enhanced light quality and less power consumption. LED’s will take these advances to another level. These will provide longer lamp life (less frequent changes), far more

The company’s focus is not just about intelligent light - it is about improving the quality of light in offices, as Mike concludes, “You and I are the most expensive assets in a building and we need good light to be able to do our jobs properly. If your office is well lit, it really does enhance the quality of performance.” Wila’s reputation counts for everything given that 99.9% of its projects are intended to provide a long term lighting solution, which by its very nature means that Wila’s repeat business for any customer is very low. And the number of current projects Wila is involved in is testament to this reputation, with two hundred and ninety projects in the first quarter of 2008 and an estimated one thousand this year in the UK alone and five thousand in Germany. Reputation intact!

Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com


Xonic Intelligent light | efficiency | design | transparency

Xonic 4two - One luminaire for two workplaces

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


B4 PROPERTY

PROPERTY NEWS Turbulent Property Market? There is a definite ‘flight to quality’ in all sectors of the property market, with prime properties in solid locations still attracting interest. Savills’ estate agency had a better first quarter of 2008 than in 2007; for commercial property there is firm demand for good quality investments where the fundamentals, such as location, are sound; and our professional department is busy with valuations for a variety of purposes, including loan security, as local banks still have appetite where the loan is well secured.

The Oxford property market is slightly insulated against turbulence, thanks to the driving forces of education, tourism and the constraints which have prevented too much development. With the credit crunch, rising food and fuel prices and wavering consumer confidence, we envisage that 2008/09 will be a testing time for Oxfordshire but, at Savills, we will continue to innovate and capitalise upon local property market strengths. Contact details on page 88-90

Tom Lindley, Director, Savills Professional Department

Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.

Sensible Offers Despite the media, both national and local, continuing to report that property prices are falling by up to 30%, this is not a true reflection of the market as a whole in Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties. In our recent experience, offers we have received have been for the asking price or what we would term, ‘sensible’ offers.

people are struggling to sell. What we should ask ourselves is, “would these same houses sell more easily in a buoyant market?” Often the answer is “no”. By presenting your property at its very best, which may involve spending a small amount, and by asking a sensible price, you should still be able to attract a buyer. It may just take a little longer. See article on page 62.

It would be foolish to ignore the fact that some

Contact details on page 88-90

Tracey Jefferies & Claire Moloney of Pink & Black

Credit Crunch What Does It Mean? Lack of credit means fewer houses are sold, fewer houses sold means more houses are let. If you would like your Oxford property let contact us 07714 708 687. We have been established for eighteen years which makes us the expert. Many good tenants waiting on our tenant lists. Contact details on page 88-90

Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.

Rental Expansion With the sales market having seen better times, the demand for rental property has certainly seen a boost, fuelling an already busy summer period and with many property owners looking to hold on while they wait for the market to settle.

Greg Barnes of Breckon & Breckon

56

Rents are increasing steadily with the demand looking set to continue even when the housing market recovers. Improved rental yields confirm the views of many landlords who are looking with a long term view to retain their portfolios. According to ARLA’s quarterly survey, Buy to Let landlords are increasingly resolved to maintain their portfolios of residential

investment property. This is despite the fall in house prices. Only a tiny minority, 1.3%, expect to sell because of current market conditions. 7.3% may alter their let portfolios, while four out of ten expect to increase them during the coming twelve months. Our recent expansion in to Witney has been well received with a strong demand from tenants. The office is perfectly located and is a wonderful showcase for our properties and we really do feel that we can offer a service with a difference in West Oxfordshire. Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com


The Credit Crunch fewer houses sold more houses let

Oxford's Letting Agency 47 Walton Street • Oxford • OX2 6AD

01865 311745 www.nops.co.uk


B4 PROPERTY

OXFORDSHORTLETS B4 met Emma Righton, founder of OxfordShortlets (founded in 2001 and now part of Righton Property Limited). Emma spotted the need for quality, short let serviced accommodation in Oxford, a product she has developed and honed, drawing upon her varied, work and life experiences. “I had my first business (farm book-keeping service) at the age of eighteen, a business which I had sold by my early twenties. I then became a hop trader, a career I absolutely adored, including the necessary beer tastings! But the desire to travel was too great so in my mid twenties I upped sticks and travelled extensively through Southern Africa, my claim to fame being that I was thrown out of Zimbabwe, although they did allow me back eventually”. “When I returned to the UK, I helped set up a company specializing in health screening, based in London providing health tests for the workforce. As that business faced problems in the late eighties due to the worsening economic climate, I moved on to work as commercial manager for a publishing company until I married a farmer in 1991 and came to live in Oxfordshire”. “I continued to work in publishing, had two children and completed an MBA before the need to diversify in agriculture encouraged us to convert some redundant farm buildings into holiday cottages at our farm in Noke. It was as a result of this that I started to look closely at the serviced accommodation market as we were achieving excellent occupancy rates and were constantly turning away business. It was apparent that we needed more properties hence OxfordShortlets was born”. “That was in the summer of 2001. Shortly after we set up, tourism was badly affected by a series of events including 9/11, Sars and the foot and mouth crisis. Our entire American market disappeared overnight and business was poor, but despite this OxfordShortlets thrived and slowly established itself as the major provider of quality serviced accommodation in Oxford. However, it would be fair to say that I shot myself in the foot slightly as clients then preferred to stay in Oxford rather than Noke”. “Two more children and two businesses to run kept me busy and as OxfordShortlets was continuing to grow I decided, in 2004, to move the offices into Oxford. This revolutionised the company and transformed it from a holiday let business run from a home office, to a high quality serviced accommodation provider, administered from a suite of offices based in Summertown”. “We were now established and our targets and

58

aspirations had moved up a gear overnight. We had a lot to shout about and advertised heavily (including in B4’s sister publications) as we continued to grow”. “I’ve been asked what it’s like to run OxfordShortlets and the easiest description is that it’s like running a hotel with all the rooms spread across the city. The logistical implications are challenging as a result, and I certainly need to draw on experiences in the past, but this is our product and we are very proud of what we have achieved”. “We operate within a niche market as neither the hotels or long let property agencies are our direct competition. However, we do provide many of the facilities your average hotel will offer and give an attractive alternative – high quality serviced accommodation, a home from home, at affordable rates for the short or longer term”. “At the end of a hard day, most of us like to get home, have a meal and relax. Staying in a hotel can often be an extension of the day, you don’t switch off, you don’t relax and your performance the next day can be affected. Offer someone their own front door, no fuss, clean and high quality accommodation, and somewhere where they can kick off their shoes and prepare a quick bite to eat, and that is more akin to perfection than just having to interact with strangers, when, for the most part, that is all you have been doing all day.” The clear message coming from Emma is that it is not only the product, which is key, but also the service, which goes with that product. “My business focuses on providing not only the guest but also my property owners with an exceptional level of service. My thesis for my studies at Oxford Brookes focused on service quality as a means of competitive advantage for businesses. I now have the opportunity to put that into practice and we have a very slick team who are attuned to delivering a quality service at all times” “We have had growing pains and we have learnt over the past seven years what we need to do to be a success. We have also raised the bar in terms of the quality of property we deal with. Whereas once the target would have been to expand the portfolio, the aim now is to bring on new properties, which meet a certain standard. We are more adept at identifying the right sort of property and matching a certain customer with a certain property. Properties are also checked on

a more regular basis to ensure they are up to standard”. “We now know the type of properties we need to offer in order to achieve the right levels of occupancy. Owners that are in tune with what we want to achieve, providing properties that tick all the right boxes, do very well as their occupancy and rental income will be higher. These owners recognise that they can make their properties work harder”. “One of our main challenges is to let Property Owners know what we are about. It is essential that our Owners get what we do as the mechanics of our type of letting is very different to traditional long lets. This includes getting “me”, “my style” (My team tell me that it is exhausting, professional and fun) and our “ethos” (Committed and caring). I recognise that this plays a big part when Owners are deciding to place their trust in us to look after their property. It is our key transaction, as without properties, we don’t have a business. All new properties come through me and I will introduce them to our team to ensure they know who is responsible for each aspect of the servicing of their property. It is this understanding that enables us to retain a high proportion of our owners as they have bought into our philosophy and are now building on their property portfolios which we are managing on their behalf”. “It is also vitally important that we match the right property to the Hirer (clients), and that is why we conduct quite lengthy research on our potential Hirers to ensure they are allocated a property which suits their needs. This is one of the key reasons why we don‘t accept on line bookings, as we feel time spent getting to know them at the pre-booking stage gives us a better chance of securing repeat bookings, as well as avoiding possible problems in relation to the accommodation during the term of their stay. We are able to establish basic requirements such as distance to work and the type of property that they would prefer. Our local knowledge and understanding of our property portfolio is vital to ensure that we meet customer expectations”. Emma stresses “that good financial and operational systems, advanced web site promotion and the ability to listen to both their owners and their hirers (customers) are some of the major factors that set OxfordShortlets apart from their competitors”.

www.b4-business.com


“Serviced accommodation means all utilities, phone and Internet connection, housekeeping and linen services provided. This is the fundamental difference between our services and those provided by a traditional long term letting agent. “We also hold a wealth of information about each of our properties as this enables us to provide support quickly for our customers should a problem arise. The service angle of lettings is often neglected, but it is fundamental to our success. “Our forthcoming move to our new offices in South Parade, Summertown together with the recent development of our five websites, places us well to deal with the current supply and demand in the letting market brought about by the recent downturn in the property market”. “My key aim now together with my new business partner is to consolidate the business and sharpen it, making it as efficient and cost effective as possible. We need to keep the team focused to ensure we meet expectations and continue to deliver on service quality”. So how will OxfordShortlets continue to flourish in the future? “The idea is that we will build our portfolio of properties and services in Oxford for both short and long term letting and replicate what we have here on a wider scale in major cities within the UK. At the moment, we are taking on properties on behalf of agents like ourselves in other areas and promoting these through our ShortletsNetwork division. This enables us to achieve market share without the weighty overheads and logistical problems of running satellite operations. It also provides our existing customers with consistency of product and service within other cities”. “But our future development and success in new territories depends on quality control, fine tuning and identifying as early as possible where we can make improvements and avoid problems. This all makes for happy customers and all goes to reinforce what we are about – client care. Contact details on page 88-90

EXPERIENCED

T

E A M

Righton Property Limited’s experienced team provides comprehensive property services through it’s various divisions: OxfordShortlets RightonLets RightonDecor ShortletsNetwork

Righton Property’s commitment to you: • To provide a professional and fair service at all times. • To maintain a high duty of care. • To ensure excellent financial management. • To exercise clear and concise communication. • To Endeavour to exceed your expectations.

www.b4-business.com

Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.

• • • •

59


B4 PROPERTY

PROPERTY:

EXPERIENCE WILL TELL Keith Stacey heads up one of Oxfordshire’s leading independent Estate Agents, Breckon and Breckon. In a period of what many will regard as a property crash, Keith injects some reason and hope for property owners. “The biggest problem we have at the moment is the general lack of confidence from buyers. Every time a potential purchaser opens a newspaper or turns on the TV they are constantly being told the property market is in turmoil and because prices are no longer rising, they are sitting back and waiting for better news. In general terms, the number or viewings we are arranging has not declined, it is the ‘viewings per offer’ ratio which has gone through the roof. “In 2007 we averaged 12 viewings per offer and in 2008 that figure is now closer to 25. The offers which come in also vary – some are sensible and some are speculative. Primary locations in Oxford will always generate decent prices, but the secondary areas in Oxford really have to represent good value for money in this climate in order to attract interest. “Property is still selling. Our office at 118 High Street have sold just as many properties in the March to May period as we did in the same period last year. “The whole property market is founded on confidence. We have buyers, they are just incredibly cautious. There is, in my opinion a small issue with regards to finance. I feel the message that mortgages are hard to come by is over-hyped. It is not as big an issue as it is being made out to be. I would say the key reasons for the slow down are split 80% due to lack of confidence and 20% (as a maximum) based on the inability to obtain finance. “Poor advice and marketing also accounts for a lot of the failed sales. Agents really need to step up and get everything right. Websites, staffing, newspaper advertising and experience in the office really need to be spot on to ensure clients properties have the best possible chance of being sold. As a company, we have experienced the tough markets of 1985-1995. We understand this market and have reacted accordingly. There are agents who have been in business for 10 years and have only ever known a rising market. As a result, there are still problems with over valuing from agents who have not yet adjusted to the changed environment.

“At the start of this year, we knew that we had to change the way in which we worked. It really has gone from a market where the seller was king to the buyer being king. Because of this, we have the most up-to-date mailing list we have ever had. We keep in regular contact with all of our buyers to ensure we have a thorough understanding of their requirements. This traditional approach of knowing both your buyers and sellers has reaped huge rewards in these trying times. We are also ‘working chains’, negotiating discounts on our clients’ purchases in order to allow them to consider lower offers on their sales. We advise clients to concentrate on the difference between their sale and purchase prices rather than the individual figures.” Breckon & Breckon have expanded at a time when many agents are trimming costs. They have opened two new offices (Summertown and Witney), and relocated their King Edward Street office to a much more prominent location on Oxford High Street. Keith feels this was essential to enable his company to deal with the tougher times ahead. “To survive in this market, every aspect of our business has to be 100%. Our offices are all in primary locations and have been fitted to the highest standards. They continue to attract an ever increasing number of buyers. both locally and from out of the area.” “It is difficult to accurately predict how much longer we will remain in a falling market. I believe that prices will have fallen a little further by the end of the year, hopefully to be followed by a degree of stability. As soon as the media start to report a more stable market, I believe that confidence will return relatively quickly. “A falling market is a fragmented market. In a rising market all properties go up pretty much the same, one goes up and the others follow suit quite happily. In a falling market, sellers generally want to ‘try marketing at a higher price’. There is reluctance to accept that falling prices also affect their own home. We very much experienced that type of response earlier this year, but there are clear signs that sellers are now accepting the fact that in order to sell they need to be accurately priced. For the vast majority of people, this

is good news as it means that prices can now try and find their new level. and the quicker this happens the better. “Oxford itself is a very transient market. The University, the hospitals and businesses have always attracted a large number of incoming purchasers. There is a school of thought which says there is a huge pool of people waiting to buy as so many potential purchasers have been sitting on the fence or taking short term rental contracts. This is reflected in the number of instructions increasing. Breckon & Breckons instructions have increased by over 100% over the past 8 months. There is a lot of property out there to be bought.” And if the residential sales side of the business is affected, Breckon & Breckon’s Letting Office in Hollybush Row stands to offset some of this pain. “It is a massive benefit to our clients to have this side of the business. Letting is obviously an option for someone who doesn’t want to sell because of uncertainty and it is great to be able to offer this in-house service to our clients.” But the message from Keith Stacey to all buyers, sellers and other agents is clear; in this market, experience is everything. “Sellers should really be looking at how best an agent can cope in this market. They should consider what level of experience is available to them during the sales process, is their agent capable of getting involved with their on-going purchase in order to ensure their sale stays on track? How will the property be marketed? What level of web and newspaper based advertising will the agent put in place? And as a final word of advice, what ever you do, do not tie yourself in to a lengthy contract period with your agent. If they are not doing the job properly, you need the ability to move to another agent quickly and painlessly. “It is quite clearly a market where experience will come to the fore. And this is where Breckon & Breckon will succeed. In an industry which is focussed on high tech, it is somewhat ironic that our most lethal weapon is that of experience and traditional estate agency values.” Contact details on page 88-90

60

www.b4-business.com


Residential Letting 路 Property Management

A Refreshing Approach... Residential Letting & Management Search & Acquisition Refurbishment & Furnishing

Tel: 01865 201111 15 Hollybush Row, Oxford OX1 1JH


B4 PROPERTY

GREEN ETHOS

From the day Henry Reily-Collins could talk, he would tell anyone who would listen that he was going to be an inventor. He spent the best part of his childhood being the leader of the Jedi gang who built the best bases and tree houses in the woods. Even at this early age, he was aware that the structures had to be well-built and strong enough to withstand attacks from rival gangs. “I have always had an affinity with architecture. The older the better, as they tend to be easier to play games in or climb on! Fascinated by old churches and cathedral structures, I have since recognised, by looking at crystallographic structures under the microscope, how many of the structural techniques that we use to build these mammoth buildings are also seen in nature”, Henry explained. Henry’s family has been in business in Oxfordshire since 1940. The name Hallidays is synomonous with Hallidays Fine Antiques, based in Dorchester-on-Thames; a family business owned by Edward and Binnie Reily-Collins (Henry’s parents) along with Hallidays UK Ltd that manufactures bespoke panelled rooms which they design, hand-make and install throughout Europe and America. Hallidays Developments, the latest addition to the family business, specialises in the sympathetic restoration of period properties, incorporating a wealth of original features alongside innovative technology, while keeping an environmentally friendly ethos & outlook. Henry’s sister, Melanie Reily-Collins elaborated: “Our aim is to combine history with technology, art with science. In dealing with period properties, we feel that we reach right into the core of recycling – taking old buildings and breathing new life and purpose into them. We approach housing projects with a different attitude, putting the building and its surroundings first and deriving the finished product from what it has to offer us - uncovering its past as we go, capturing its originality and incorporating these historical elements into the final design. Wherever possible, we recycle and reuse period materials that were either present in the original building, or can be found locally – such as reclaimed beams, tiles and flagstones.” With an enquiring mind inherited from his father, and his mother’s exacting standards, Henry has been at the forefront of the Hallidays Development’s Green Ethos. Henry won the prestigious Worshipful Company of Ferroners’ (Ironmongers) prize at The University of Manchester in 2007, attained his Masters degree with Honours in a five year course of Material Science and Engineering, and has now designed a £3 million renovation project; Dandridge’s Mill in East Hanney, praised by the Low Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust for innovative, eco-friendly design. All this and he’s only 23. Henry Reily-Collins’ prize-winning research for assessing crack damage to nuclear reactor vessels,

62

potentially saving thousands of lives and money, was taken over by his university, so his inventive mind looked around for the next project, and latched onto using new state of the art, low carbon technology to convert an old silk mill into sustainable luxury apartments. Adapting centuries-old technology, he is using an Archimedean Hydro Screw to generate power from the flowing mill race. The screw will generate 4KW of electricity which will be distributed to the apartments. This is all neatly designed to be backed up in the summer months when the flows are lower, by a solar PV array installed on the roof. Lurking under the mill stream’s water surface, collector loops for a Water source Heat-pump are laid low on the river bed so they can’t be seen, but are designed to provide 100% of the under-floor heating, on-demand hot water, and “another little carbon free bonus”, according to Henry, “in summer time the system will provide under-floor cooling to lower the temperature to around 17°, taking the edge off hotter days.” Step inside, and a sophisticated lighting system starts up. Henry is using light bulbs that will last thirty years before they need changing and consume a mere 7W in comparison to your every day power hungry 50W halogen. Tackling advanced lighting technology that has been ignored so far, Henry has again been praised for pursuing where others have given up to really benefit from the low energy, high power LED technology available today (see page 54 article on WILA lighting). Henry does nothing by halves. Looking over the specs for energy saving in new buildings, he decided what they asked for was too low, and has gone for 25% above the regulations on insulation. Rainwater (of course) is channelled into the river to be turned into electricity, and the system he has installed will allow every householder to key into a home page of their own home, neatly displaying their individual energy consumption for all utilities, against what has been produced by the renewable sources. “The savings will happen in front of their eyes, people need to see and feel how effective these technologies can be if we are ever going to get away from this oil crisis.” With his mobile phone playing ‘we’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz’ – Henry firmly believes in harnessing wonders and liberating energy. Dandridge’s Mill is a conversion of an historic silk mill into four 3-4 bedroom, exclusive, low energy, high spec, and spacious residences due for completion in mid-September 2008. For further details please contact: Pink & Black on 01865 515919 or info@pinkandblackproperty.com

www.b4-business.com


Affordable Housing Agri-Business Architectural Design Building Consultancy Client Accounts Commercial Property Portfolio Management Commercial Agency Commercial Consultancy, Development and Investment Development Estate and Farm Agency Healthcare Hotels Leisure New Homes Planning Private Finance Residential Property Rural Asset Management Urban Design Valuations

Covering the full property spectrum

Savills Oxford 11 West Way Oxford OX2 0QL 01865 269000 oxford@savills.com

Savills Oxford - Residential 256 Banbury Road Oxford OX2 7DE 01865 339700 summertown@savills.com

savills.co.uk


BUILDING A GREEN LIFESTYLE An Oxford builders merchant is launching an eco-room that brings together all the newest ideas to build a greener lifestyle. Johnsons Buildbase in Watlington Road, Cowley, is opening the concept room under the banner ‘Go Green at Buildbase’.

The first-floor display is devoted to energy-saving and eco-friendly products and systems that can be specified for new homes or installed in existing properties. It has information and sample products explaining the new technology so that customers can choose which concepts might suit their home. It is designed for builders, architects, specifiers, self-builders, local authorities, schools, businesses and any homeowners looking to save energy and resources. As well as a working solar panel display, there are less familiar products, such as a Greenstore ground source heat pump system that harnesses ground heat in different ways. Other new heating systems include a boiler which uses wood pellets in place of gas or oil, or an air source heat pump that harvests thermal energy from the air. A rainwater collection system stores water in a huge underground tank for use in the washing machine, toilet or garden. Photovoltaic roof tiles will collect solar energy which will produce electricity. Roof light tunnels are a simple way to increase internal light in place of lightbulbs.

no denying that more and more homeowners would like to live in a property that is as energy-efficient as possible. Those in the trade - architects and builders - want to introduce this technology into their plans. However, the range of different products is vast and technically quite complex. Our eco-room brings together many of the best designs all in one place. “We’ve worked with manufacturers to produce wall panels, diagrams and working products that explain the technology and what is involved. Michaela and I will be pleased to talk with customers about installation, suitability and all the other practical issues that arise.” The eco-room is the first to be installed at a Buildbase branch. The company has an environmental focus group which looks to introduce eco-friendly measures. Each Buildbase branch now has a BEM (Branch Environmental Manual) and a BEC (Branch Environmental Champion). A new brochure listing the most environmentally friendly products is also in production. Other activities include paper recycling, energy-saving lightbulbs, solar panels and bio-degradable rubble sacks.

One display shows how different energy saving insulation materials can be installed in walls, loft, roof and floors. Even the timber flooring in the eco-room is made from bamboo, a quick growing, renewable natural material.

Buildbase was the first national builders merchant to introduce FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) timber in all its branches. FSC certification ensures that Buildbase PSE (planed square edge) timber and mouldings are supplied from well-managed forests that guarantee sustainable timber production.

Richard Coles and Michaela Walter have researched and designed the new green eco-room at Johnsons Buildbase. Speaking about the idea, Richard said: “There is

Contact details on page 88-90

I NSPIRATION FOR HOME

With summer entertaining just around the corner, you may be looking for new ideas to give your patio a fresh look. The best place to go for inspiration is your friendly local builders’ merchant, Johnsons Buildbase in Watlington Road.

I M P RO V E M E N T

A 200 sq m patio display area has been created at the rear of the site, near the trade entrance. This extensive hard landscaping display has dozens of paving, walling, fencing and ideas. You may prefer a contemporary design with slate colour Bradstone Panache paving, timber and

64

aluminium furniture and sleek granite block water feature or a modern timber balustrade from Burbidge with Perspex panels. More traditional options include warm honey colour Indian Sunstone or smooth marble-like Travertine which can also be used as flooring for a conservatory or kitchen. There are pergolas and arches, even a leisure building from Grange which is a practical and attractive feature to add living and storage space in your garden.

www.b4-business.com


B4 GREEN

www.b4-business.com

65


B4 ADVICE

CALLING NEW BUSINESS

For businesses looking to increase their client base or identify sales leads, the telephone is a powerful tool, but getting a positive response from telemarketing might not be as simple as it seems. B4 find out more about how to get the best results using the blower.

A carefully planned campaign can generate new leads in both current and new market sectors, and contribute to market research. And, while cold calling has gained a somewhat damaged reputation in recent years, the experts remain convinced that direct dialogue will always prove more powerful than sending a message to your market and waiting for the response. According to local telemarketing expert, Oya Creasey: “Telemarketing is an important tool, both for building and growing a business and for breaking into new market sectors, but it does need a clear strategy and an in-depth knowledge of exactly what you are trying to achieve.” “Persistence and passion come first - believe in what you are trying to sell and be determined to show your target audience the benefits your product or service will offer them.” “There’s no standard response, so make sure your understanding of what you are selling is faultless and

be ready to think on your feet and work around the response you receive.” Oya has devised a series of tips for those embarking on a telemarketing programme to help them avoid some common pitfalls. • Record your calls, log everything relevant so when you call them again, you have information from earlier conversations to hand. • Set yourself targets (the number of numbers you will dial; the number of conversations; the number of appointments you aim to arrange) . • Block out specific time and clear the space you are going to be working in so that there are no distractions Posture is important, sit proud - it helps you to breathe better and regulate your voice. • Use the appropriate equipment, headsets free up your hands so that you can make notes and are more comfortable when you are on the telephone for long periods. • Positive mental attitude is vital, remember it’s not personal and even over the phone people can sense

if you’re feeling down • Voice control, the pitch of your voice is important, so practice. • Make sure the data you have is up-to-date and has been TPS checked. • Smile… it will really make a difference. Embarking upon any telemarketing project is always going to be hard work and it can be advisable, for many reasons, to access expert help. “In today’s economic climate, outsourcing your appointment generation can make sense,” says Oya Creasey. “Rather than employing somebody full time, or taking time out of your own schedule, using a professional on an ad hoc basis is more cost-effective and yields qualified appointments.” Oya Creasey is the Managing Director of the newly established Pebble Marketing UK, a local B2B telesales agency. She is an industry expert with extensive experience across a range of sectors. Contact details on page 88-90

66

www.b4-business.com


B4 24/7

OXFORD UNITED COMMERCIALLY SPEAKING While sporting attentions turn from Spain’s success at Euro 2008 towards Wimbledon, the Olympics and beyond, Barry Phillips’ mind remains firmly set on football. As the new Commercial Manager of Oxford United Football Club, Phillips’ remit is vast and varied.

The region’s leading professional football club is alive with business, and from ticket enquiries at the Box Office to forging ever-greater commercial partnerships, no stone appears to go unturned. “Many people assume that the close-season is a hive of inactivity at a football club, aside from the wheeling and dealing of player transfers” says Phillips. “Nothing could be further from the truth. The dynamics here mean that great amounts of energy and efficiency need to be applied by our staff, with enquiries coming from both existing and potential partners. The close-season sees relationships formed that endure for the coming season and often, seasons beyond. “It’s not simply a case of what happens on the pitch. And as a commercial operation, we set standards which belie our current Conference status. And whilst we enjoy long-established partnerships with locally-based businesses, we are also delighted to welcome others keen to promote their businesses in association with the club. “Oxford United is a huge part of the local community and provides a platform for SMEs and large national corporations alike. Finding the right vehicle for these businesses is therefore essential, and I am determined to ensure that any financial commitment to the club is money well spent. “There is a great history at this football club, a great fan-base and massive potential, which I am eager to harness. I would therefore be delighted to invite interested businesses along to the stadium to present the range of opportunities we can offer, but also to formulate tailored packages to suit their own requirements.” So spirits are high at Oxford United and the new season is expected to be an exciting one as the club looks to consolidate a great end to last season, and ensure a return to the Football League.

Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com

67


THE RISE AND RISE OF REPLACEMENT PRINTER CARTRIDGES B-Line has always positioned itself at the forefront of developments in the stationery world. They were one of the first to adopt the internet as a way of providing a streamlined and efficient order process for their customers, they were also one of the first to produce a ‘Green’ book of recycled office stationery products and recently have backed it up with ISO 14001 environmental standard accreditation. So what’s next on the development trail for B-Line and its customers... ? Replacement cartridges for both Hewlett Packard and Brother Laser printers. B-Line are in the process of introducing to their customers the Xerox branded range of HP & Brother replacement cartridges, and while the range is not exhaustive, it covers many of the most popular printers... there are forty-six replacement cartridges for HP colour printers, a further twenty-six for mono printers together with a range of sixteen replacement toners and drums for Brother machines. So what are the considerations and advantages or replacement printer cartridges? Attitudes are changing and the fact that printer, fax and copier consumables now represent as much as 40% of a consumer’s overall purchase, this is fast becoming a key area of focus in every business in terms of cost reduction. A typical price calculation for HP branded versus the Xerox replacement will produce savings of 15-20% or more. Always choose the higher page life cartridge wherever available (this will normally

have an X at the end of the manufacturer’s reference, e.g. HP4127X). Other advantages in choosing this option not only include better value for money, but these replacement cartridges produce less waste and packaging and also reduces the carbon footprint by reducing deliveries. There was a time when there was very little confidence in anything but the original cartridge due in the main to historical ‘quality’ issues. However, these have largely been overcome, as they had to... this is a £2billion pound per annum market in the UK and manufacturers had to sharpen up their act if they wanted to capture some of it. Xerox have radically changed the market now that they have become involved in replacement cartridges. Clearly trust is key in the decision making process here... the Xerox brand provides that trust and in fact Xerox invented toner more than sixty years ago and today they manufacture more toner and cartridges than anyone. So if you are interested in making significant savings on an area of rapidly growing expenditure, call the B-Line Team without delay on 08701 633340. Contact details on page 88-90

68

www.b4-business.com


B4 GREEN

www.b4-business.com

69


THE B4 / MGROUP GOLF CUP The B4 / MGroup Golf Cup was launched in May at Frilford Heath with 8 teams competing for the second year. Round 2 took place on Thursday 12th June at Southfield Golf Club and Round 3 took place on Thursday 10th July at Studley Wood. Round 4 and the Presentation Evening will take place on Friday 12th September at the The Oxfordshire Golf Club. Any interested parties wishing to take part in Round 4 or next years competition should contact Colin Rosser on 01865 742211.

L EADER BOARD Rank 1 2 3 4 6 7 8

70

Team MGroup Carter Jonas Tenon Darbys B4 Magazine Blenheim Palace Manches Barclays

R1 90 73 73 75 72 72 73 52

R2 74 79 78 73 72 64 63 75

www.b4-business.com


B4 24/7

ABOUT O UR C O -S PONSOR

Co-Tournament sponsor, The MGroup, offer a range of services that go far beyond the traditional role of accountancy. Over recent years, the company has undergone significant change resulting in an increased range of services and a more dynamic and proactive service to clients. The partners have a wealth of experience from both industry and practice, and this is supported by over forty dedicated staff. The MGroup has specialist teams that can provide Audit/Assurance services for all types of businesses, and assist with all accountancy and administrative issues. Meet the Partners:

Richard Clayton Richard qualified in 1982 and became a partner in 1984. Richard likes to work with business owners helping them to grow profits and retain personal and business wealth. His special interest areas are in property and construction services, business sales and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, forensic accounting and litigation support. Richard also heads a specialist team that provides support to clients involved in Agricultural Services and Farming. A prominent local footballer, Richard had spells with Reading and Oxford United Football Club. He is also a keen golfer and a member of Frilford Heath Golf Club. Geoff Lane Geoff qualified in 1979 and became a partner of the firm in 1983. Geoff's special interest areas are strategic planning, human resource issues and technical aspects of international corporate work. Geoff is a keen supporter of Oxford United Football Club.

Penny Casterton Penny qualified in 1983 and became a partner in 1989. Penny likes to work with owner managed business. Penny's special interest areas are forensic accounting work, property management and construction industry services.

Peter Smith Peter qualified in 1990 and became a partner in 1996. Peter is a member of the Council of the Oxfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Peter's main area of involvement with the Council is to support efforts to enhance the tourist industry across the county. Peter's special interest areas are business turnaround, business start-ups and charities. Gary McHale Gary qualified in 1999 and became a partner in 2003 Gary is a member of the Oxfordshire Business Enterprise assisting new and established businesses. Gary has a keen interest in changing Financial Reporting Standards. He is a member of Studley Wood Golf Club and the Frewen Club of Oxford. Gary's special interest areas are financial modelling, international corporate and start-ups. Alec Pridsam Alec qualified in December 2000 and became a partner in the practice in May 2003. Alec has a keen interest in working with sports clubs and associations. Alec's special interest areas are IT and property and construction.

Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com

71


B4 24/7

A BIT

OF A

DO At Witney Lakes Resort, the Function Suite caters for weddings, grand balls, birthday and anniversary parties, christenings, awards ceremonies, Christmas parties, luncheons and dinner dances. With our expertise and flexibility, special occasions can be personalised and tailored to individual requirements making them truly memorable, whatever the occasion. Accommodating up to 200 guests, the Function Suite is a self contained, air-conditioned suite with its own bar, full waiter service, stage for musicians and dance floor. The room overlooks the impressive Witney lakes and, weather permitting; guests may descend by the spiral staircase onto the private patio area to enjoy pre-meal aperitifs. Dining choices depend on the nature of the occasion and can range from an informal finger buffet through to a more structured, formal sit-down lunch or dinner. Our Head Chef can suggest several pre-set menus for special occasions, or alternatively welcomes your preferences if you have a specific meal in mind. We are happy to cater for guests with special dietary requirements with advance notice. We particularly pride ourselves on offering an exceptional level of personal service and presentation during your special occasion. The Function suite also has wheelchair access via an elevator and has plenty of car parking for guests. Prices range from ÂŁ9.95 (inc vat) per person. For further information please contact the Resort team on 01993 893000 or alternatively e-mail: businesssales@witney-lakes.co.uk

Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com

73


HOW FAR DOES YOUR FOOD TRAVEL? When I first met Max Mason, The Big Bang, seemingly, was to be a brief flirtation with catering. Having left the navy, where he spent eight years traveling the high seas, Max turned his attention to bangers. Why? In Oxford Magazine visited Max in Walton Street to find out how things have developed from a short term project to a devoted dedication to improving food quality. “Before entering the Restaurant world in November 2004, I had spent eight years surveying the oceans of the world as a Hydrographic Officer in The Royal Navy. Once I had achieved everything I could have dreamed of - sailing the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean and spending two years working in the Antarctic - I decided to leave and do something completely different, allowing me as little time as possible to miss the life on the ocean wave. Setting up and then running a busy restaurant seemed to fit the bill perfectly. “My friends always thought I was mad to do this. I, however, knew this was low risk. I didn’t need to spend fortunes renovating the property. The costs were pretty low, but quite amazingly, customers liked the understated nature of the property and I had little reason to change it. “I soon realized that it wasn't about designing a fashionable place, where it was cool to be seen, but more about quality of food and the value of the ethics behind it. The restaurant is constantly full, so what reason is there to change things?" But it’s more than just a restaurant. Max’s restaurant has a heartbeat, a passion and a desire to achieve and this is a drum which Max bangs every day. “My aim was always to develop a business where food miles were at a minimum, where each time a customer dined, they were supporting local suppliers and starting to break down the carbon footprint of the British restaurant world. At a time when we are all paying more to drive a few miles in our cars, it is increasingly important to highlight the waste which surrounds us, every day. “We just can’t continue the way we are going, with, on average, 2,500 food miles on every plate of food served to us in chain restaurants, something has got to give. My “silly” idea of three years ago, to source all supplies within a twenty mile radius, appears to be

74

coming to the fore and may be the only way forward for all restaurants, not just The Big Bang. I can see chains having to buy locally just to keep food at the same price.” Recently awarded the Best Rural Retailer for 2007 for the South of England in the Best Local Food category, Max’s vision is now gaining the recognition it deserves, and the food is great too. So how does Max source? “Farmer’s Markets, web sites, chat forums, anywhere I can find out who is recommended locally. And going for the smaller local suppliers, I can get to know them intimately, strike up a great working relationship, and get a fantastic product. For example, a new brewery I have started working with in Henley can’t supply the chains as their product is too niche and price sensitive, but we offer their entire range which fits perfectly with our vision. “Essentially we are all water melons – green on the outside but capitalist red on the inside. But, if it becomes cheaper to be ethical, we will all do it, and that is that is what I am trying to offer at the Big Bang, where it's not only cheaper to dine than at any chain restaurant, but also better on all ethical counts. “Even though we have a backdrop of a trying economic climate, the new restaurants keep coming, and that’s because we have slipped down a notch at home. Even cooking bangers ‘n mash at home will seem, to some, a chore. Eating out is normal for a growing chunk of the population, but still, the economics will dictate and put more pressure on restaurants to look at their procurement profiles and force the change to more local suppliers. “But, there is a danger that once we start banging the drum we have to source everything within a twenty mile radius. That is often impossible. For example we do struggle with peas and olives which buck our twenty mile trend and are a nightmare to source locally. I think as long as the core product is locally

sourced, you occasionally have to include the odd essential deviation.” So how far does the average Big Bang dish travel Max? “Our target is 100 miles”, a fair slice off the 2,500 quoted at the beginning of this article. Max Mason is extremely opinionated, in a most engaging way, and will have a view on a wide spectrum of issues, incorporating hot political topics to the colour of your tie. So what is Max’s view of our city, and how does he think Oxford needs to improve? “We have nine million visitors coming to Oxford every year and we don’t do nearly enough to keep the visitors here and enable us to showcase what we do. I think a proportion of the city at large has become lazy in its desire to work hard for tourists. Although the fact that we are Oxford is enough to attract a visitor, keeping them here for over 24 hours takes hard work. It is a basic equation that the longer they stay the more they pay and we have got to get wise to this. We need to raise the profile of the independents and steer as clear as possible from our path towards becoming a clone city. The independents are a great selling point to attract visitors - they are what people see as the quintessence of Oxford.” If you have a view about Oxford and would like to share this with Max, please contact him as per the contact details at the back of B4. And by the way, we did eat! The delightful Lucy served us with the Lamb and Mint sausage – Max’s favourite – the Pork and Apple and the Chili Pork sausage. Great, wholesome food. Pop in for a meal, and if you happen to catch Max, the conversation will be entertaining, I guarantee! The Big Bang – where ethical economical….and very tasty to boot.

becomes

Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com


Photography: Studio8. Tel: 01865 842525.

B4 24/7

75


B4 ADVICE

CONNECTING

B2B IN OXFORDSHIRE As part of Barclays Commercial Bank - Oxford Team's ongoing drive to add value for customers, the first Connect tradeshow event was organised for customers to exhibit, and for other customers, prospects and professionals to attend. 76

www.b4-business.com


More than 300 business leaders met to discuss the current economic climate and how it could impact on Oxfordshire business at the inaugural business to business 'Connect' event. "The one day business exhibition and seminar held at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford on 25th June was one of the largest business to business events held in Oxfordshire and highlighted the county's business innovation and expertise at its best," said Ian Workman, organiser and Area Director for Barclays Commercial Bank. The keynote speakers were Sir Richard Needham, Director for International and Commercial Affairs, at Dyson, and Dr Hamish Stevenson the founder and

CEO of Oxford-based Fast Track, alongside Prasanna Thombre, Director for Risk Solutions, Barclays Commercial Bank. Sir Richard shared his vast experience on how to react in an ever changing business market while Dr Hamish Stevenson spoke about what it takes to become one of Britain's top performing private companies. Mr Thombre, product head of interest rate derivatives solutions at Barclays, talked about the origins of the UKs economic difficulties, its impact on businesses and professionals in the Oxfordshire area. Mr Workman added: "The expo gave more than 50 local companies, the chance to showcase their talent,

products and know-how as well as being able to network with other professionals." Workman continued: "This is the first event of its kind and I'm aiming for this to become a 'must attend' annual event in the local business calendar. The goal is to offer a first class opportunity for businesses to network and gain an insight into topical business issues." Chris Grigg, Chief Executive, Barclays Commercial Bank, hosted an evening drinks reception following the main presentations and exhibition. Barclays Commercial Bank offers a dedicated banking service that grows with your business. For more information visit: www.barclays.co.uk/commercial/ Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com

77


B4 24/7

AZIZ

PANDESIA

I consider myself very lucky to live in Oxford, one of the most attractive cities in the country. Although, I have to confess, I am guilty of occassionaly taking this historic city for granted. Having just enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Aziz Pandesia, over looking the picturesque river Thames, I have been reminded of just how fortunate I am! Reviewed by Clair Padley.

A short five minute stroll from the bustling city centre, you will find yourself at Folly bridge, one of Oxford’s most tranquil riverside locations. Here, sitting magnificently beside the bridge, you will discover a unique Oxford dining experience. Aziz Pandesia opened its doors in 2006, sister restaurant to the legendary Aziz on the Cowley Road. This elegant award winning restaurant and bar serves exceptional Indian and Thai cuisine, together with speciality cocktails and drinks, all of which can be enjoyed on the pontoon during the summer months. This is the perfect place to unwind and relax away from the crowded city.

we sipped our freshly made cocktails and admired the stunning views. We were greeted by Aziz himself and his eldest son Abdul, who manages Pandesia. Both share an enormous passion for what they do and were delightful hosts.

As we walked over the bridge we could see the pontoon, the tables set ready for lunch with crisp white linen, gleaming in the sun. It was a sight you’d expect to see on the Riviera. My first thought was why hadn’t I been here before?

Aziz suggested we sample dishes from both the Thai and Indian menu. To begin, we had a selection of mixed starters, including Thai fish cakes, prawn toast and succulent chicken tikka, all of which were deliciously fresh and light. For main course the chef had prepared stir-fried tiger prawns with mixed vegetables in oyster sauce, and a Pandesia speciality, Abgani, a chicken curry with cashew nuts in a light cream sauce. Once again, it was all beautifully cooked and attractively presented. Aziz recommended a fresh, light Australian semillon chardonnay to accompany our lunch.

Lunchtime at Aziz Pandesia can be a quick affair, for those in a hurry there is an express lunch menu, but luckily we were able to linger over a more relaxed lunch, enjoying the sunshine and peaceful setting as

You may be thinking that all this comes at a premium, but in fact you’d be wrong, since both the food and drinks menu are very reasonably priced at this elegant establishment.

78

Aziz Pandesia boasts an enviable position on the river, so whatever the occasion, a long lunch with friends, a romantic candlelight dinner for two or just a few drinks after a busy day at work, you won’t find a more idyllic places in Oxford – but don’t tell everyone! Contact details on page 88-90

www.b4-business.com


B4 24/7

PARK PLAZA COUNTY HALL

After months of anticipation and excitement, Park Plaza County Hall opened earlier this year on London’s South Bank. For the team of 120 employees, from cleaning crew to the General Manager, the hotel’s opening was the culmination of ten months of hard work and dedication. And if you are thinking about doing the same, the hotel have provided you with just ten key points to make it happen!

Recruiting your team is vital: “Pulling together a team for Park Plaza County Hall from scratch has been a long, challenging and demanding process. From 2,000 CV’s and 500 interviews, we recruited a great team of 120.” recalls Koen de Rijcke, Operations Manager. Expect to have none or little accessible storage space.: “It’s an incredible feat to manage the arrival of 80 articulated lorries containing equipment such as beds, ovens and hair dryers when you have nowhere to put them,” says Philip Chambers, General Manager. Flexibility is the key: “If I got a pound for every time our budget was changed over the last six months,” laughs Revenue Manager Fiona Giacomini, “I’d have enough money to take a two week holiday in the Maldives.” Team challenges take on a whole new meaning: “Standing in a concrete shell during heavy drilling, covered in dust, wearing boots, high-visibility jacket and hard hats while conducting a client site inspection really pushes the team’s sales skills to the limit,” says Chris McFall, Director of Sales. Fire alarm testing takes an unexpected twist: “With every new build you will have at least one flood and one fire. The fire alarm seems to ring as often as the phones but when there is a fire, the alarm won’t sound because the sensors are covered in dust and protective red tape,” states David Hopkins, Regional IT Manager for Park Plaza UK. “Fortunately, the inevitable

www.b4-business.com

flood will wash them clear!”

has really made a difference,” says Philip Chambers.

Cleanliness is godliness: David Smith, Executive Housekeeper says: “To achieve our standard of excellence in the bedrooms, every single room needs to be cleaned at least three times before it can be sold. With 398 rooms cleaned three times each, that’s 1194 rooms to be cleaned. At 15 minutes a go, that is approximately 37 days of solid bedroom cleaning before a guest has stepped through the door.”

More About the Hotel: A four-star deluxe hotel, overlooking the River Thames, Park Plaza County Hall is close to the Houses of Parliament and the London Aquarium and within easy access of Waterloo station. The hotel has 398 guest rooms including superior rooms, studios and junior suites and seven luxury penthouses, most of which boast kitchenettes, separate living spaces, baths and separate rainfall showers. Park Plaza County Hall also offers six contemporary meeting rooms, all with natural daylight, wi-fi and the latest audiovisual and technical equipment.

Get to know your product: “The Food and Beverage team have consumed about 30 pints of coffee a day since we moved on site. And I’m sure at least twice that in after work beers,” states Suresh Abbas, Food and Beverage Services Manager. Dressing to impress is on hold until opening: “Don’t bother spending money on shoes,” says Front Office Manager Sarah Hoare, “They will either get destroyed by paint, dust, water and mud or they’ll be covered by protective blue plastic covers.” Team morale is vital: “Working the team into the ground, day in and day out with a combination of training, preparation and pre-opening activity only seemed to increase morale,” marvels Assistant Human Resource Manager Gemma Watts. Preparation pays off: “When we opened our doors on Friday 1 February, every team member and every corner of the hotel were ready. Early guest feedback has been positive and the hard work before opening

“The Spectrum Bar is bright and inviting. The cocktails are divine, particularly ‘As Good As It Gets’, a mix of vanilla vodka, raspberries and strawberries,” says General Manager, Philip Chambers. “And the tapas is perfect for those looking to snack. It’s an ideal place to meet friends for an after work or weekend drink. The hotel is in a busy and vibrant area, within walking distance to many attractions and Waterloo station.” Park Plaza County Hall has taken two years and close to £100 million to build. And if you are planning a trip to London, it comes highly recommended from B4. Contact details on page 88-90

79


B4 24/7

THE GEORGE & MONTY'S BRASSERIE Tom Rushmore and his wife Julia were invited to eat and spend the night at one of Cheltenham’s finest Regency hotels, where elegance and style combine with unrivalled award winning cuisine. Lucky devils.

80

www.b4-business.com


Built in the 1840’s, the abundance of original features complement the hotel’s newly renovated, contemporary interior. In a previous edition of B4, we interviewed Robert Cook of leading hotel chain, Malmaison. He told us that hotels had to become more like a “home from home” as we were all becoming more design-led in our own homes. And you will do well to find a more welcoming, stylish, luxurious and stunning example of a hotel in Cheltenham which provides you with just that. To stay at The George Hotel is to experience hospitality in its purest form. The owners, Alison and Jeremy Shaw, are proud of The George and this runs through from the front desk to the brasserie staff to the housekeeper. Everything is perfect, not so that you feel stifled, just so that you feel, well, just right, comfortable, at home. My wife and I were shown to our sumptuous Junior Suite, complete with separate sitting room, walk in shower, six foot bed and plasma screen TV. The attention to detail is stunning, yet at the same time

www.b4-business.com

considerate. Yes the free-standing bath is a joy, as was the positioning in front of a beautiful sash window (thank goodness it was frosted), but touches such as the ice blue nightlights to assist the early morning trek to the bathroom, show that this room hasn’t been thrown together. It has been planned with a lot of thought, and that applies throughout.

dining facilities in Monty’s Dining Room or the “snug” area of the cocktail bar. Exclusive use of the cocktail bar and or Brasserie is also available.”

We enjoyed a quiet drink with Jeremy in the cocktail bar prior to our exquisite meal in the Brasserie (located adjacent to the hotel) to find out more about this wonderful property.

The meal which followed was first class. We both had the Thai Crispy Duck, and to follow, I chose the Oriental Style Monkfish and Julia plumped for the Thai Curry. Don’t let me give you the impression we ate at the Chinese Restaurant over the road….see the web site to appreciate the full extent of the menu.

“We have strived to create a welcoming allure to The George and enjoy a wonderful level of repeat custom, both in the brasserie and the hotel. In addition, we try and hold themed music evenings as frequently as possible, which are extremely popular. “For the corporate guest, we have two contemporary meeting rooms, which have recently been refurbished. Refreshments are provided by our award-winning Brasserie chefs and we can also offer all guests private

Not only is Jeremy proud of his hotel, and rightly so, he is also a first class host and radiates the warmth which encapsulates your stay at The George.

Style, comfort and first class cuisine all wrapped up in a warm blanket of genuine hospitality….Stay at the George.

Contact details on page 88-90

81


The First step to a healthier Lifestyle The best corporate deals Fantastic student memberships Friendly, qualified staff Membership to suit you! • Cardio theatre • Free weights • 30+ classes per week • Jacuzzi • Sauna and steam room • Sunbeds • Personal Training • Injury Clinic • Nutritionist • Massage therapy • Beauty clinic • Powerplate

6 High Street Oxford OX1 4AB T: 01865 251261 E: oxford@bourtonmill.net W: www.bourtonmill.net Opening Times: Monday - Friday 6.30am - 10.00pm. Saturday & Sunday 9.00am - 7.00pm. Bank Holidays 10.00am - 6.00pm


B4 24/7

CHELTENHAM APARTMENTS Cheltenham, packed full of gorgeous Regency terraces, usually built around parks or gardens, with those pretty balconies and air of gentle elegance. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones who actually live in one, then haven’t you fancied taking up residence, even if just for a while? Karen Lawton spends the night.

We did just that in one of the lovely Cheltenham Apartments and were completely smitten. Set in a particularly desirous terrace, facing Montpellier Gardens (naturally) and smack bang in the middle of town, this airy house has been turned into four stunning serviced apartments, with parking (hurrah!). We took the Garden Apartment, looking out over the, erm, gardens! Instant gratification came with the kind of sitting room most of us can only dream of (populated with the largest and comfiest sofas we’ve ever come across), with high ceilings, Homes & Gardens décor and lovely shutters. Top that off with a fully equipped kitchen (fridge helpfully stocked with a particularly fine Waitrose sourced breakfast), a gorgeous bedroom (we’ll come to the bed later) and a rather posh bathroom and we were ready to take up residence permanently. The place was instantly relaxing and incredibly quiet, even though we were just a stone’s throw from the heart of the town. Knowing Cheltenham well, we didn’t think the location could be bettered. Whether you were staying during the festivals, the racing, or, heaven forbid, having to work, you would be perfectly placed for shopping - the prom is a mere stroll away - and relaxing, sophisticated Montpellier is across

www.b4-business.com

the road with it’s boutiques, restaurants and bars. Blancs Brasserie is around the corner and the Queens Hotel a few steps further. Sheer, unadulterated, bliss. Perhaps we should now return to that bed. I don’t know about you, but whenever I stay away I can guarantee I won’t sleep well. Let me tell you, the fab 6ft Vi-Sprung beauty in our apartment was like sleeping on a cloud. I want one, I need one, I must have one! I had to be pulled whimpering from its perfect embrace when morning came. Boy that bed was good! Anyway, bed envy aside, we thought the apartments were a brilliant idea, and remarkably well priced. We could already see ourselves booking the whole place for a stylish family Christmas or just putting up friends and “rellies” for special occasions. Each apartment is different, three with one bedroom, one with two. Why bother to shell out for an expensive hotel when you can have your very own peaceful slice of luxury Regency living? I am now off to order one of those beds…prevent me at your peril. Contact details on page 88-90

83


OXFORD UNIVERSITY • Conferences • Day meetings • Corporate hospitality • En suite accommodation • Beautiful buildings and gardens We look forward to welcoming you soon For further information please contact Gemma Sedgwick, Conference & Events Manager Tel: 01865 274320 or email conferences@lmh.ox.ac.uk

Under pressure to have green IT? Find out how you can make changes Agnito UK provide IT solutions to help your business run smoothly whilst aiming to reduce your IT energy costs. Our consultants will also advise on how to prepare your business for the known and unexpected challenges that climate change may bring. For a simple business audit or comprehensive review call us today or go to

www.agnitouk.com Tel 0870 458 2151 Fax 0870 458 2152 Email info@agnitouk.com 7200 The Quorum Oxford Business Park North Oxford OX4 2JZ

Re Ca duc Fo rbo e otp n rin t


CUSTOMERS

MATTER

An A n Email E M Marketing, arketing, T Text ext M Marketing arketing and an O Online nline Database Database system system fo or less than th han £1 per day day – It’s It’s not a dream! dream! for InTouch InTouch o is a simple to to use and highly effective eff ffe ective online onliine database database and system thatt has been developed byy C Customers Really ccommunications ommunication ns sy stem tha n dev eloped b ustom mers R eally Matter Matter at at our offices offices in Oxford. Oxffo ord. IItt pr provides ovides our cust ccustomers omers with an ac account count which can be accessed from ac cessed fr om an aanyy device device which has IInternet nternet access, access, is always always aavailable vailable and is ensuring information backed up each hour, hourr, ensur ing that that yyour our vital customer customer inf fo orma m tion is never never lost. lost. Not only does IInTouch provide nTo ouch pr ovide each user use er with all of the above above functionality, functionality, it also ccomes omes with an online o calendar, calendarr, a great great rreporting eporting tool tool and can caan be linked to to your your website ensuring w ebsite so ensu uring customer customer details don’t d ’t have don have to to be entered entered d twice! twice! IInTouch nTouch o dreaam system system for fo or a number numbe er of organisations organisations already alreaady and so why why not is a dream see what what it has tto o off offer. ffe er. TTrial rial IInTouch nTo ouch ffor or or fr free ee ffor or 2 weeks o weeks and see see what what it ccould ould off offer ffe er yyou ou and d your your organisation! orrganisa i tion! i !

Contact M Contact Matthew atth hew Ruddle aatt C Customers ustom mers R Really eally M Matter atter on n 0845 310 9973 www.customersreallymatter.co.uk/contact/register.asp or visit w ww.ccustomersreallymatt t er.co.uk/contact/regist e er.asp to to rregister egister ffor or o yyour ou ur fr free ee tr trial ial and makee the power power of IInTouch nTouc o ch a rreality eality and nott just j t a dream! d dreaam!!

TThe he homepage provides provides v a statistical statistical o overview verview of your your account account with w useful suggestions suggestions..

Add A dd detailed events events and notifications, notificaations, all shown sh hown on the homepage or full calendar calendar page

S ales & M Sales OOffice ffice 5, Ebdon Ebdon House House 8899 Ebdon Ebdon RRoad oad Weston-Super-Mare, W eston-Super-Mare, BS22 BS222 6US 6US

www.customersreallymatter.co.uk ww ww.customersreallymatter.co.uk email: email: info@yourcrm.co.uk info@yourcrm.co.uk 0845 0845 ttel: el: 08 45 3310 10 9973 9973 ffax: ax: 08 45 280 2880 2089 2089 rregistered egistered in England England No 5561195 5561195 VAT AT No 862 862 7218 7218 14

Search on your you ur data data and identify identify g roups of Search groups customers that that yyou ou w ould like tto o kknow now mor e customers would more about. about.

TBAC TBAC BBusiness usiness Centre Centre Osney M Mead ead Oxford, Oxfo ford, OX4 00DR DR


Da S £2 ily pec 9.5 De ial 0 p leg Off er ate er pe Ra rso te n

THE LODGE

Conference at The Lodge……..why not? Full Day, Half Day, Evening and Weekend bookings. New for 2007 are our Breakfast Meetings combining an early start with either a full English or Continental breakfast. The Lodge Conference Centre is ideal for any management meeting or training course that requires top level facilities supported by a superb hotel and restaurant amid idyllic surroundings in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Lodge Conference Centre, Horton Hill, Horton-cum-Studley, Oxford OX33 1AY Telephone: 01865 351 235 Fax: 01865 351 721 email: info@otmoorlodge.co.uk web: www.otmoorlodge.co.uk

Can Vitamins Prevent Mood Swings & Depression? Depression and mood swings are common problems and we are trying to find out if we can prevent them by a simple nutritional supplement. Oxford University are carrying out a clinical trial to find out whether a vitamin called folic acid can prevent mood disorders in young people who may have inherited a tendency to develop them.

We can offer you the opportunity to help if As a parent you have lived with depression or bi-polar disorder (manic depression), have children between the ages 14-24 and are interested in preventative measure for your children….

or You are a young person aged between 14-20 with a parent who has suffered from depression or mood swings (manic depression)

Perfect for corporate days or promotion with a difference. Reward your staff, entertain clients, showcase your business… or just have a great day’s racing! For more information 01242 673136 or club@bugatti.com

www.prescott-hillclimb.com Prescott Hill, Gotherington, Cheltenham, Glos. GL52 9RD

All those who take part in the trial would be given folic acid syrup or placebo syrup to take for up to three years and we would monitor their progress regularly

You are invited to participate in this clinical trial For more details about the trial, please contact: Rena Hockney, Lily McPeake or Ann Sharpley Tel: 01865-226409. Email: preempt@psych.ox.ac.uk URL: www.psychiatry.ox.ac.uk/preempt/ Ethics reference:04/Q1604/110

17.04.08 vs 1.0


Quality Re-upholstery • Large selection of fabrics • Free estimates • All contact work undertaken

Antique & Modern Fine Furniture Restoration

David Gibbons Telephone 01869 278119 Mobile 07939 316340

Don’t Leave The Safety Of Your Valuable Records To Chance! Premium Level BS5454 Secure Document Storage

Ardington Archives White Horse Business Park Stanford in the Vale Faringdon Oxfordshire SN7 8NY


Contacts If you want to contact B4 Magazine T: 01865 742211 E: info@b4-business.com Publisher B4 Magazine is published by Designs On Ltd, The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford, OX3 0BT Chairman Colin Rosser E: colin@designs-on.co.uk Art Editor Keith Simpson E: artwork@b4-business.com Editorial Richard Rosser E: editorial@b4-business.com Editorial contributor / assistant John Kennedy Advertising Sales Manager E: sales@b4-business.com

1. Advice Professional Accountants Wenn Townsend 40 Contact Name: Tony Haines E-mail: aehaines@wenntownsend.co.uk Telephone: 01865 559900 Address: 30 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LE Website: www.wenntownsend.co.uk Information: Chartered accountants and tax advisors with particular expertise in owner managed business. Offices in Oxford, Abingdon and Cirencester. The M Group 70 Contact Name: Richard Clayton E-Mail: r.clayton@theMgroup.co.uk Telephone: 01865 552925 Address: Cranbrook House 287/291 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7JQ Website: www.theMgroup.co.uk

Administration Sue Edwardson E: admin@b4-business.com

Information: The MGroup Partnership are a leading firm of Chartered Certified Accountants in Oxford, now providing a range of services far beyond the traditional role of accountancy.

Studio Photography Studio 8 T: 01865 842525 E: info@studio-8.co.uk

Solicitors

B4 Partners Apartments in Oxford Barclays Bank B-Line Buildbase Darbys The Focus Group The Oxford Conference Centre Oxford Shortlets Oxford United FC STL Communications Wenn Townsend Subscriptions For free Subscription, please contact: T: 01865 742211 E: info@b4-business.com

Key Page reference: 26

© 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.

Darbys 33 42 Contact Name: Ema Murphy E-mail: emurphy@darbys.co.uk Telephone: 01865 811700 Address: 52 New Inn Hall Street, Oxford, OX1 2DN Website: www.darbys.co.uk Information: One of the largest law firms in the region, Darbys specialist departments deliver legal services to businesses and their owners in some unique ways.

Business Support and Regulation Government Organisations Revenue and Customs 19 Employers Helpline: 08457 143 143 Newly Self-Employed Helpline: 0845 915 1545 Online Services Helpdesk: 0845 60 55 999

2. Finance Banking Barclays 76 Contact Name: Ian Workman E-mail: ian.workman@barclayscorporate.com Telephone: 07775 543496 Address: Wytham Court, Botley, Oxford, OX2 0XP Website: www.barclayscommercial.com Information: If you're just starting out, we'll give you the support and services you need to help you achieve your goals and set you on the path to success.

88

Financial Services Focus – Oxford 31 45 Contact Name: Nick Walker E-mail: n.walker@focus-oxford.co.uk Telephone: 01865 813302 Address: Seacourt Tower, West Way, Oxford, OX2 0JL Website: www.focus-oxford.co.uk Information: Oxford's leading IFA's for independent advice on Pensions, Mortgages, Life Assurance, Investments & General Insurance.

3. Meet Conference and Meetings Conference Venues Conference Centre Oxford 2 46 Contact Name: Fafar Watts E-mail: FafarW@oxstay.co.uk Telephone: 01865 254075

5. Compute IT Microsoft UK 35 Contact Name: Microsoft UK E-mail: businessaudience@infernopr.com Telephone: 0208 735 9735 Address: Microsoft, Microsoft Campus, Thames Valley Park, Reading, Berkshire, RG6 1WG Website: www.microsoft.com/ik/smallbusiness Information: Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

Web Services Nominet 23 Contact Name: Phil Kingsland E-mail: nominet@nominet.org.uk Telephone: 01865 332211 Address: Minerva House, Edmund Halley Road, Oxford Science Park, Oxford, OX4 4DQ Website: www.nominet.org.uk

Information: Oxford’s premier conference centre, at the heart of the City with first class services and facilities to ensure that your event runs smoothly and professionally.

Information: Nominet is the Internet registry for .uk domain names, and provides a safe, stable and reliable .uk namespace.

Witney Lakes Resort 72 73 Contact Name: The Sales Team E-mail: sales@witney-lakes.co.uk Telephone: 01993 893000 Address: Downs Rd, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 0SY Website: www.witney-lakes.co.uk

Software Developer

Information: With an attractive lakeside setting we are situated on the edge of the market town of Witney, Oxfordshire. Our facilities include meeting rooms, Health Club, Golf Course, Restaurant, Spa and Large function room.

Sci-Net Ltd 22 Contact Name: Duncan Ferguson Telephone: 01869 349 949 E-mail: duncanf@sci-net.co.uk Address: 5 Lakeside Farm Park, Middle Aston, Bicester, Oxford, OX25 5PP Website: www.sci-net.co.uk Information: Sci-Net has been specialising in implementing and supporting Accounting, Finance & Enterprise Business Solutions for over 15 years.

Venue Hire The Corner Club 8 Contact Name: Julie von Sperling (Club Manager) E-mail: hello@thecornerclub.co.uk Telephone: 01865 200404 Address: 16 – 17 Turl Street, Oxford OX1 3DH. Website: www.thecornerclub.co.uk Information: Private members club in the heart of Oxford.

4. Communicate Communications STL Communications Ltd 31 Contact Name: Mark Vanner E-mail: sales@stlcomms.com Telephone: 0800 316 0123 Address: STL Communication Limited, Park House, Station Lane, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 4LH Website: www.stlcomms.com

6. Office Office Supplies B-Line 68 Contact Name: Kay Thomas E-mail: kay@b-line.co.uk Telephone: 08701 633340 Website: www.b-line.co.uk Information: There are many reasons to choose B-Line as your preferred stationery, print and furniture supplier as we are totally committed to product quality, reliability, combined with a professional approach. ByBox Holdings Ltd 53 Contact Name: Kevin Hole (Finance Director) E-mail: distribution.revolution@bybox.com Telephone: 0800 6781 181 Website: www.bybox.com Information: ByBox uses its World-beating electronic box technology as a platform for the most sophisticated field service solution in the UK.

Information: Oxfordshire’s leading provider of communication solutions.

www.b4-business.com


B4 Contacts Wila 54 Contact Name: Clare Bellis E-mail: wila@wila.co.uk Telephone: 01235 773500 Address: 8-10 The Quadrangle, Grove Technology Park, Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 9FA. Website: www.wila.com Information: WILA provides Intelligent Light Solutions for commercial projects creating greater health, well-being, motivation and efficiency. Our commitment to providing excellent Service, Quality and Innovation is paramount to our success as leading innovators of lighting technology.

7. Stay Hotels

Serviced Accommodation

Letting Agents

Righton Property 58 Contact Name: Emma Righton E-mail: er@rightonproperty.co.uk Telephone: 01865 311696 Address: Righton Property Limited, 1st Floor, Cranbrook House, 287-291 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7JA Website: www.rightonproperty.co.uk www.oxfordshortlets.co.uk www.rightonlets.co.uk www.shortletsnetwork.co.uk www.rightondecor.co.uk

Breckon & Breckon 61 Contact Name: Greg Barnes E-mail: greg.barnes@breckon.co.uk Telephone: 01865 201111 Address: 15 Hollybush Row, Oxford, OX1 1JH. Website: www.breckon.co.uk

Information: Righton Property Limited manages all aspects of letting high quality serviced accommodation for business clients in Oxford and many other cities and towns throughout the UK.

8. Property

Information: Letting offices in Oxford & Witney both perfectly located and offering a refreshing approach.

Shortlets Righton Property 58 Contact Name: Emma Righton E-mail: er@rightonproperty.co.uk Telephone: 01865 311696 Address: Righton Property Limited, 1st Floor, Cranbrook House, 287-291 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7JA Website: www.rightonproperty.co.uk www.oxfordshortlets.co.uk www.rightonlets.co.uk www.shortletsnetwork.co.uk www.rightondecor.co.uk

County Hall 79 Contact: Sales E-mail: ppchsales@pphe.com Telephone: 0207 021 1938 Address: 1 Addington Street, London SE1 7RY, United Kingdom Website: www.parkplazacountyhall.com

Professional Services

Information: Park Plaza County Hall is conveniently located on the south side of the River Thames next to London's County Hall, and within easy access of Waterloo rail and underground station.

North Oxford Property Services 56 57 Contact Name: Debbie Swailes E-mail: debbie@nops.co.uk Telephone: 01865 311745 Address: 47 Walton Street, Oxford, OX2 6AD Website: www.nops.co.uk

Information: Righton Property Limited manages all aspects of letting high quality serviced accommodation for business clients in Oxford and many other cities and towns throughout the UK.

Information: North Oxford Property Services (oxfordlet.com) has been letting Oxford city centre residential property for 18 years.

Accommodation

The George 80 Contact Name: Jeremy and Alison Shaw (Proprietors) E-mail: hotel@stayatthegeorge.co.uk Telephone: 01242 235751 Address: The George Hotel, St George’s Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 3DZ Website: www.stayatthegeorge.co.uk Information: The George Hotel is one of Cheltenham’s finest Regency hotels, where elegance and style combine with unrivalled award winning cuisine.

Short Stay Accommodation Apartments In Oxford 2 46 Contact Name: Fafar Watts E-mail: based@oxstay.co.uk Telephone: 01865 254075 Address: St Thomas Mews, 58 St Thomas Street, Oxford, OX1 1JP Website: www.oxstay.co.uk Information: Luxury self-catering accommodation in Oxford, fully serviced to a high standard. For overnight, short or long stays in Oxford's City Centre. Cheltenham Apartments 83 Contact Name: Sophie Thompson E-mail: info@cheltenhamapartments.co.uk Telephone: 01242 227579 Address: 16 Montpellier Spa Road, Cheltenham, GL50 1UL Website: www.cheltenhamapartments.co.uk Information: Luxury Apartments to let in the heart of Cheltenham Spa. Our luxury apartments offer a stylish home from home for those requiring short term accommodation in the elegant and popular town of Cheltenham.

Estate Agents

Business Park

Pink and Black Property 56 62 E-mail: info@pinkandblackproperty.com Telephone: 01865 515919 Address: 14 Oakthorpe Rd, Summertown, OX2 7BE Website: www.pinkandblackproperty.com

Grove Technology Park 50 Contact Name: Steve Head (Park Manager) E-mail: info@grovetechpark.com Telephone: 01235 772992 Address: Boston House, Grove Technology Park, Downsview Road, Wantage, OX12 9FF Website: www.grovetechpark.com

Information: Pink & Black Property Consultants is a dynamic, fresh thinking and independent Oxford-based agency, offering a full range of property related services across Oxfordshire and beyond.

Information: Grove Business Centre is located at the heart of Grove Technology Park. Offering Serviced offices, starting from as little as £54 per week, we are sure we can meet your business' needs.

Savills 56 63 Contact Name: Tom Lindley E-mail: tlindley@savills.com Telephone: 01865 269013 Address: Wytham Court, West Way, Oxford, OX2 0QL Website: www.savills.co.uk

Oxford Science Park 36 Contact Name: Shannon Blaszko (Manager) E-mail: Shannon.Blaszko@oxfordsp.com Telephone: 01865 784 000 Address: 1 Robert Robinson Avenue, Oxford, OX4 Website: www.oxfordsp.com

Information: Savills has the largest valuations team in Oxford, with extensive commercial and residential property experience. Breckon & Breckon 61 Contact Name: Keith Stacey (Managing Director) E-mail: keith@breckon.co.uk Telephone: 01865 244735 Address:118 High Street, Oxford, OX1 4BX Website: www.breckon.co.uk Information: Breckon & Breckon is an independent firm of Estate Agents established in 1947 and now operating from a network of six offices in the county of Oxfordshire.

Information: The Oxford Science Park is a unique and exciting location, designed specifically for science, technology and business occupiers.

Property Services and Materials Builders Merchants Johnsons Buildbase 64 Contact Name: Mike Augar (Heavyside) Craig Tarrant (Lightside) Telephone: 01865 787700 E-mail: mike.augar@buildbase.co.uk craig.tarrant@buildbase.co.uk Address: Watlington Road, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 6LN Website: www.buildbase.co.uk

9. Market Marketing Chase Marketing Solutions Ltd 12 Contact Name: Nina Hutchins (Managing Director) E-mail: info@chase-solutions.co.uk Telephone: 01235 851529 Address: Penny Chase, Bessels Way, Blewbury, Oxon OX11 9NH Website: www.chase-solutions.co.uk Information: Our ‘thinking beyond the obvious’ approach is all about the delivery of uniquely structured and sometimes unexpected marketing solutions. As a full service marketing agency we are committed to creating inspired design as part of a complete service. Felicitas Contact Name: Karen Lawton E-mail: felicitas@btinternet.com Telephone: 07989 936270 / 01684 273656 Address: 28 Vine Way, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 5FJ Information: Working alongside small businesses, arts organisations, museums and festivals to provide marketing advice, support and a cup of hot, sweet tea. Oxford Inspires 29 Contact Name: Kathelene Weiss E-mail: info@oxfordinspires.org Telephone: 01865 815525 Address: Central Library, Westgate, Oxford, OX1 1DJ. Website: www.oxfordinspires.org Information: Oxford Inspires is the cultural development agency for Oxfordshire. We create new opportunities for arts and heritage organisations, nurture new festivals and spectacular events and work to engage as many people as possible in exciting and enjoyable cultural experiences, raising Oxfordshire's profile as a cultural destination within the UK and internationally. Pebble Marketing 66 Contact Name: Oya Creasey (Proprietor) E-mail: oya.creasey@pebblemarketing.co.uk Telephone: 01865 883406 / 07790 707968 Address: 129 Spareacre Lane, Eynsham, Nr. Witney, Oxon OX29 4NN Website: www.pebblemarketing.co.uk Information: A proven and invaluable way of creating interest, and acquiring new customers, Pebble Marketing UK specialises in delivering bespoke professional telesales and telemarketing services.

Design Blink Design Contact: Keith Simpson E-mail: art-work@btconnect.com Telephone: 01865 742211 Address: The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford, OX3 0BT. Information: Whether you are looking for a new identity or a suite of professionally produced corporate literature, Blink Design are able to provide a solution for you. Web design and maintenance also now available.

Information: We offer a wide range of building materials, timber, landscaping, hire, plumbing, kitchens, bathrooms, tiles, flooring & decorative items.

www.b4-business.com

89


B4 Contacts Photography Studio 8 32 Contact Name: Clark Wiseman E-mail: info@studio-8.co.uk Telephone: 01865 842525 Address: 8 Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 1AA Website: www.studio-8.co.uk Information: Studio8 is about making photography fun! Whether its a high energy portrait session, a classic wedding or a commercial project - studio8 have the skills to capture the images you want.

11. Play Cars Bugatti Contact Name: Ian Patton E-mail: club@bugatti.co.uk Telephone: 01242 673136 Address: Prescott Hill Climb, Gotherington, Cheltenham, Glos, GL52 9RD. Business Category: Motor Racing Website: www.prescott-hillclimb.com Information: Top class motor sport in a glorious setting, suitable for corporate entertaining, promotion & PR.

Business Club The Oxford Wealth Club 44 Contact Name: Angela Beaugeard E-mail: oxfordwealthclub@paul-avins.com Telephone: 01869 278900 Website: www.oxfordwealthclub.co.uk Information: The Oxford Wealth Club is a unique club, structured to help grow your wealth network, business skills and profits through world class training every fortnight.

Golf Clubs

Said Business School 21 Contact Name: Kate MacDonald / Clare Andrews E-mail: conference@sbs.ox.ac.uk Telephone: 01865 288846/7 Address: Conference Office, Saïd Business School, Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1HP Website: www.sbs.ox.ac.uk Information: Established in 1996, Oxford University’s Saïd Business School is one of Europe’s youngest and most entrepreneurial business schools, with a reputation for innovative business education. Oxford Brookes Business School 25 Contact Name: Business School Enquiries E-mail: business@brookes.ac.uk Telephone: 01865 485858 Address: Wheatley Campus, Oxford, OX33 1HX Website: www.business.brookes.ac.uk Information: Our mission is to prepare individuals and organisations for the challenges of a continually changing, global business.

Isis Innovation Ltd 27 Contact Name: Tom Hockaday Telephone: 01865 280839 Address: Ewert House, Ewert Place, Summertown, Oxford, OX2 7SG Website: www.isis-innovation.com Information: The technology transfer company of the University of Oxford.

Information: With an attractive lakeside setting we are situated on the edge of the market town of Witney, Oxfordshire. Our facilities include meeting rooms, Health Club, Golf Course, Restaurant, Spa and Large function room.

Sports Clubs

The B4 / MGroup Golf Cup 70 Contact: Colin Rosser E-mail: colin@designs-on.co.uk Telephone: 01865 742211 Contact: Gary McHale E-mail: g.mchale@theMgroup.co.uk Telephone: 01865 404707 Information: Oxfordshire’s premier business golf cup challenge staged over four separate dates during the spring and summer.

Private Club The Corner Club 8 See Section 3 “Meet” for contact details under Conference Venues

Health Clubs and Spas Witney Lakes Resort 72 73 See Section 3 “Meet” for contact details under Conference Venues.

Witney Lakes Resort 72 73 See Section 3 “Meet” for contact details under Conference Venues 74 The Big Bang Contact Name: Max Mason (Proprietor) E-mail: info@thebigbangrestaurants.co.uk Telephone: 01865 511441 Address: 124 Walton St, Oxford, OX2 6AH Website: www.thebigbangrestaurants.co.uk

Information: It is highly satisfying to serve local, basic British food cooked well and served with a little style. The following for The Big Bang in Oxford has grown tremendously, becoming known for serving quality, ethical, locally sourced food at a very decent price.

90

Monty’s Bar and Brasserie 80 Contact Name: Jeremy and Alison Shaw (Proprietors) E-mail: info@montysbraz.co.uk Telephone: 01242 227678 Address: 41 St. Georges Road, Cheltenham, GL50 3DZ. Website: www.montysbraz.co.uk Information: Situated next to the George Hotel, Monty's Brasserie is the perfect retreat anytime of day. It's modern, vibrant and lively, offering stunning contemporary cuisine and unique interior design. Monty's has become one of the most popular restaurants in Cheltenham.

Restaurants Oxford University

Information: Aziz Pandesia offers, brunch and its exclusive dinner menu in its café style restaurant, and wine and cocktail bar with wonderfully relaxing riverside views, on the famous River Thames at Folly Bridge.

Witney Lakes Resort 72 73 Contact Name: The Sales Team E-mail: sales@witney-lakes.co.uk Telephone: 01993 893000 Address: Downs Rd, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 0SY Website: www.witney-lakes.co.uk

10. Learn Colleges

78 Aziz Pandesia Contact Name: Aziz-Ur-Rahman (Proprietor) Telephone: 01865 247775 Address: 1 Folly Bridge, Oxford OX1 4LB. Website: www.aziz.uk.com

Oxford United FC 67 Telephone: 01865 337500 Address: Grenoble Road, Oxford, OX4 4XP Website: www.oufc.premiumtv.co.uk Information: The county’s leading professional football club.

12. Give Charitable Organisations Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals 48 Charitable Funds Contact Name: Susannah Maxa E-mail: campaign@orh.nhs.uk Telephone: 01865 743444 Website: www.orhcharitablefunds.nhs.uk

Executive Car Travel Pryors Contact Name: David Pryor E-mail: bookings@pryors.co.uk Telephone: 01235 812346 Address: 3 Mereland Rd, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 8AP Website: www.pryors.co.uk Information: High quality chauffeur driven Mercedes fleet aimed at meeting corporate clients travel needs.

Public Transport Chiltern Railways 34 38 Telephone: 08456 005 165 Website: www.chilternrailways.co.uk Information: Welcome to Chiltern Railways winner of 'Passenger Operator of the Year' at the 2007 National Rail Awards and winner of 'Innovative Transport Project of 2008' at the London Transport Awards for our innovation in text ticketing.

14. Health Medical Trials Preempt 86 Contact Name: Rena Hockney E-mail: Rena.Hockney@psych.ox.ac.uk Telephone: 01865 226409 Website: www.psychiatry.ox.ac.uk/preempt Information: Depression and mood swings are common problems and we are trying to find out if we can prevent them by a simple nutritional supplement. Oxford University are carrying out a clinical trial to find out whether a vitamin called folic acid can prevent mood disorders in young people who may have inherited a tendency to develop them.

Information: Donations to Charitable Funds improve the facilities and environment for patients at the John Radcliffe, Churchill and Horton hospitals.

13. Travel Air Oxford Airport 26 Contact Name: James Dillon-Godfray E-mail: info@oxfordairport.co.uk Telephone: 01865 290 710 Address: Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 1RA Website: www.oxfordairport.co.uk Information: Oxfordshire’s only airport and the only commercial airport between Heathrow and Birmingham International. Provides a number of air services for both private and business use.

If you wish to list your business on this page, the charge is £75+VAT for a basic listing and £100+VAT for a listing including explanation of the business. The rate includes presence in 4 issues of B4. For presence on www.blackbookoxford.com, the rate is £100+VAT for a full year, with a donation to Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals, Charitable Funds.

www.b4-business.com


making your property work intelligently... ...our complete residential property legal services will help guide you in your sale or purchase Imagine how much simpler life would be if whatever your legal

The services that we offer to individual clients include:

requirements, you could talk to just one firm of solicitors. A firm



administration of estates



agriculture, landed estates, equine and rural affairs

Tarlo Lyons’ ‘Private Client Service’ works. We provide specialist



Court of Protection and powers of attorney

legal advice on conveyancing, including fixed quotations, Wills



French private assets and tax, including property

and probate, tax and trusts, clinical negligence, matrimonial



matrimonial and family law



notarial services

your needs.



personal injury and clinical negligence claims

As one of the UK's largest law firms, our breadth of private client



residential property dispute resolution

knowledge is extensive and our passion for excellence overrides



tax and inheritance planning and trusts

everything that we do.



Wills

you could trust to give you precisely the right advice and guidance, on a friendly one-to-one basis. That’s exactly how Blake Lapthorn

problems or even buying a second home abroad. In fact, as one of the leading law firms in the UK, we can help with almost all

For further information about our services please call: Paul Quigley on 01865 254266 or email paul.quigley@bllaw.co.uk Jamie Sutton on 01865 254212 or email jamie.sutton@bllaw.co.uk Seacourt Tower, West Way, Oxford OX2 0FB

www.bllaw.co.uk the natural choice in law


B4 Magazine Issue 8