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TO LET FLEXIBLE BUSINESS ACCOMMODATION We currently have a range of flexible business accommodation to let ranging in size from 145 sq ft. Set in a beautiful landscaped grounds with excellent facilities, the campus provides a motivating environment in which to work. Kent Science Park is the ideal place to locate and grow your business. Kent Science Park LaunchPad offers you a dedicated business support team providing you with access to professional advice designed to help accelerate your business growth.

Use includes: Office Laboratory Technology Engineering

Features of KSP LaunchPad include: UÊLaunchPad Offices and Laboratories To Let U LaunchPad Onsite Business Support & Marketing Team UÊLaunchPad Professional Advisors UÊLaunchPad Events and Networking UÊLaunchPad High-tech Facilities UÊLaunchPad Access to Europe

A wide range of business accommodation is available to let across Kent Science Park

Kent Science Park is one of the finest business locations in Kent. UÊÊ"ÛiÀÊxää]äääÊõÕ>ÀiÊviiÌʜvÊ Ã«iVˆ>ˆÃÌÊ>VVœ““œ`>̈œ˜ÊÃiÌʈ˜ÊÊ ÈxÊ>VÀià UÊÊ7ˆ`iÊÀ>˜}iʜvÊ>VVœ““œ`>̈œ˜Ê̜ʏiÌÊ ÜˆÌ…Ê}ÀœÜ‡œ˜Êë>ViÊ>Ü>ÞÃÊ>Û>ˆ>Li UÊÊ>˜`Ê>Û>ˆ>LiÊ܈̅ÊVœ˜Ãi˜ÌÊÌœÊ `iÛiœ«ÊLi뜎iÊLՈ`ˆ˜}ÃÊ̜ÊÌi˜>˜ÌÊ `iÈ}˜Ê>˜`ÊëiVˆwV>̈œ˜ UÊÊ œ“«ï̈ÛiÊÀi˜ÌÃÊ>˜`Êyi݈LiÊÊ i>ÃiÊÌiÀ“à UÊ ÝVii˜ÌÊÌÀ>˜Ã«œÀÌʏˆ˜ŽÃ Uʈ}…ʏiÛiÃʜvÊÃiVÕÀˆÌÞ UÊÊ Àœ>`L>˜`ÊVœ˜˜iV̈ۈÌÞʈ˜ÊiÝViÃÃʜvÊ £ääÊLÃʈÃÊ`iˆÛiÀi`ʜÛiÀÊ>ÊÀiȏˆi˜ÌÊ ÃˆÌi‡Üˆ`iÊwLÀiʘiÌܜÀŽ UÊʈÀÃÌÊV>ÃÃÊiÛi˜ÌÊv>VˆˆÌˆiÃ]Ê Vœ˜viÀi˜Vi]ʏiVÌÕÀiÊ̅i>ÌÀiÊ>˜`Ê “iï˜}ÊÀœœ“à UÊÊ-«iVˆ>ˆÃÌÊ /Ê>˜`ʏ>LœÀ>̜ÀÞÊÊ ÌÀ>ˆ˜ˆ˜}ÊÀœœ“à UÊÊ6ˆLÀ>˜ÌÊVœ““Õ˜ˆÌÞʜvʜÛiÀÊÈäÊ LÕȘiÃÃiÃÊi“«œÞˆ˜}ʜÛiÀÊÊ £]ÎxäÊ«iœ«i UÊÊ>ÌÕÀiʏ>˜`ÃV>«i`ÊV>“«ÕÃÊ i˜ÛˆÀœ˜“i˜Ì UÊÊ"˜‡ÃˆÌiÊV>vjÊ>˜`ÊŜ«]ÊÃ܈““ˆ˜}Ê «œœÊ>˜`Ê£x‡>VÀiÊëœÀÌÃÊ>˜`ÊÊ iˆÃÕÀiÊv>VˆˆÌÞ

KSP is set in beautiful landscaped grounds

Land is available for bespoke development

Excellent facilities throughout the site

ALL ENQUIRIES

Tel: 01795 411500 kentsciencepark.com

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CONTENTS

Welcome The past few months have certainly been a busy time for your Chamber and it was great to see so many of you attending the B2B Exhibition in Canterbury last month. In response to your requests, we have increased the number of exhibitions we are running this year and on pages 42 & 43 you will find details of the next B2B which is being held on the 17th October in Gravesend and the Construction Expo on the 6th November in Maidstone. Aside from the events, we have been very successful in tendering for public sector contracts to deliver business support across the County; details can be found on page 4. There is funding available for businesses based in East Kent and those in the North of the County, via the Regional Growth Fund bids secured by Kent County Council. Additionally, on page 13, there is information on funding for businesses based on the Romney Marsh. Please do take the time to look at details of these funds, even if they are not relevant to you, you might just know someone who could benefit from financial assistance to help grow their business. If you read the articles from John Longworth, Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce on page 19 and Nick Rowell, Director of Policy for Kent Invicta on page 31, you will see that the Chamber

movement is lobbying on behalf of its members to ensure that the environment is right for business growth. Although funding streams like those above are very welcome, on a national scale more needs to be done to provide an environment that is conducive to business growth and enterprise. As your Chamber, we are continually looking for ways to not only improve the environment in which we all operate but to look at products and services that will assist you with profitability and productivity. It’s your Chamber, so please do let us know if there is more that we can be doing to help you, our members. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our Chamber events over the coming months.

Regards,

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Chamber News Members News International Trade Membership Benefits Policy Regional Focus Cover Feature Big Interview The Economy Ask the Expert

Editorial and General Enquiries Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent. TN24 0LH Tel: 01233 503 838 Fax: 01233 503 687 Email: info@kentinvictachamber.co.uk Web: www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk Chief Executive: Jo James Publisher Benham Publishing 4th Floor, Orleans House, Edmund St, Liverpool L3 9NG Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: admin@benhampublishing.com Web: www.benhampublishing.com

Jo James Chief Executive

Published October 2013 © Benham Publishing Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: karen@benhampublishing.com

Getting Started Members News Chamber Chatter Chamber Events Chamber Exhibitions 24 hours with... Regional News New Members Movers & Shakers The Last Word

Production Manager Fern Badman Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: studio@benhampublishing.com Media No. 1340 Disclaimer Thinking Business is published for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor at Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in Thinking Business are not necessarily those of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. © 2013. Please note that submitting an article does not guarantee publication. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in this journal, Benham Publishing and its agents can accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributions in advertising or editorial content. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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CHAMBERNEWS

Chamber Business Support Services Working in partnership with Local and County Councils in Kent & Medway, the Chamber has been contracted to deliver a range of business advisory services and application support to assist both start up and existing businesses in Kent and Medway. FREE Business Advice and Start up Support Canterbury, Shepway, Thanet and Dover If you’re looking to apply for an interest free loan of up to £2m from the Expansion East Kent fund (see under ‘Funding’) or just need some impartial business advice, Kent Invicta provides free 1:1 advice sessions across the area Call 01227 721628 or email businesssupport@kentinvictachamber.co.uk Romney Marsh, Shepway, Ashford The recently published Marsh Millions (see under ‘Funding’) interest free loan for business growth is supported by the Chamber and other local partners. Free 1:1 advice sessions are available across the area to advise you on your suitability and to assist with your application. Call 01233 503838 or email businesssupport@kentinvictachamber.co.uk Ashford, Maidstone Working with Ashford & Maidstone Councils and Kent County Council, the Chamber offers a free enhanced Business Support programme (KICC Start). The programme includes, Self employment workshops, business planning workshops, 1:1 advice sessions and skills workshops in Finance and Sales. Additionally, you can take full advantage of connecting with local businesses who offer a range of pro bono and incentivised offers to help you get your business moving. Call 01233 503838 or email businesssupport@kentinvictachamber.co.uk Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge Working with the West Kent Partnership the Chamber along with Partners Produced in Kent and Centre of Micro Business, offers a free business support programme. The programme includes self employment workshops, business planning workshops, generalist 1:1 advice sessions, specialist 1:1 advice sessions for rural or land based businesses and skills workshops in a range of subjects and sectors, for both start up and existing businesses Call 01732 783589 or email businesssupport@kentinvictachamber.co.uk Dartford, Gravesham, Medway, Swale and Thurrock The TIGER interest free loan fund (see under ‘Funding’) is supported by the Chamber where we offer free 1:1 application support for all applicants. 4

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013

A dedicated Adviser will hand hold you through the application to ensure you maximise your opportunity. We can also offer free 1:1 advice on the suitability of your proposal prior to application. Call 01233 503838 or email businesssupport@kentinvictachamber.co.uk Medway We run a number of free business planning workshops and 1:1 Advice sessions across the area that provides entrepreneurs and established businesses with the knowledge, information and advice they need to develop and grow. We also provide a free onsite HR review for any established business in the Medway area. This includes free access to an online HR template and information site plus regular legal up dates. Call 01634 919012 or email businesssupport@kentinvictachamber.co.uk Swale Supported by the Council, we run a free business support programme across the Borough of Swale which includes, Self employment workshops, Business Planning workshops and 1:1 advice sessions. These events are run in Sittingbourne, Sheppey and Faversham and are free to access for both Start Up and established businesses Call 01795 379012 or email businesssupport@kentinvictachamber.co.uk

Funding

Expansion East Kent Could your business create jobs in Canterbury, Dover, Shepway or Thanet, if you had additional capital to support growth? The Expansion East Kent scheme may be able to provide that funding. Through the Regional Growth Fund, Kent County Council has successfully bid for £35 million to provide 0% interest loans to invest in East Kent business. The loans are essentially to assist with business growth and create additional employment.

Kent and Thurrock. There are four types of loan products available through the TIGER fund: • Capital Investment Loan - Provides loans to support businesses investing in plant, machinery, buildings and equipment • Young Innovative Enterprise Loans - Provides loans to support young businesses developing technologically new products, services, or processes • Innovation and Development Loans - Provides loans to support businesses developing new products, services or processes, or expanding existing production www.tiger20million.co.uk

Marsh Million The Marsh Million Business Loan Scheme is funded by Magnox, Kent County Council, Shepway District Council and Ashford Borough Council. The Scheme offers 0% interest loan support of up to £10,000 to small and micro businesses and start ups with the potential for growth in Romney Marsh www.marshmillion.co.uk

Start Up Loan The Start Up Loans scheme is a government funded initiative that provides start up support in the form of a repayable loan together with a business mentor for entrepreneurs across England and Northern Ireland. Pre-starts aged between 18 & 30 can access low interest loans of up to £9500 and benefit from free support with you business plan preparation and ongoing mentoring. www.startuploans.co.uk

Partners for Growth Loan and Grant

www.kent.gov.uk/expansion

Residents or businesses trading in the Medway district can apply for funding to help growth or start their business.

TIGER Fund

• Established businesses can apply for a 0% interest loan of up to £10,000

Could your business create jobs in Dartford, Gravesham, Medway, Swale or Thurrock, if you had additional capital to support growth? As with the East Kent Expansion Programme, £20 million has been successfully gained through the Regional Growth Fund to provide 0% loans to invest in North

• Pre-start businesses can apply for a start up grant of up to £1000. Free business advice and application support is provided through the Chamber. www.medway.gov.uk


CHAMBERNEWS

Ashford gets superfast 4G mobile services Ashford Borough Council has welcomed the switch on of cutting edge 4G mobile services from mobile network EE in Ashford on 28 August, making the town amongst the most connected places in Europe.

Member 2 Member Offers Did you know that as a member of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, you can benefit from exclusive special offers made available by other members? Well you can and I am sure you will be surprised at just how many offers there are available to you. Should you wish to make or amend an offer (which is only available to members) all you need to do is provide a pdf, make sure there is a clear offer that is only available to other members and don’t forget to include an expiry date. Then send your pdf or any amendments to Amanda and she will do the rest. amanda@kentinvictachamber.co.uk The most recent offers are listed below, to see full details please refer to the website: 10% off your first order from Pomegranate Catering http://www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/2011/wpcontent/uploads/Pommegranate1.pdf Three Great Offers from Ramada Encore Chatham http://www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/2011/wpcontent/uploads/Ramada-Encore-Chatham1.pdf Save on your recruitment bill but don’t scrimp on service http://www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/2011/wpcontent/uploads/360-Employment.pdf

Superfast 4G mobile services – also known as LTE – are on average five times faster than 3G services and are expected to make the area even more attractive for local residents and businesses, enabling them to do more on their smartphones and tablets while on the move. EE, which also runs the Orange and T-Mobile brands in the UK, currently runs the biggest 4G network in the UK. Independent research has found that 4G is likely to drive economic growth locally by improving business productivity and helping businesses increase mobile-commerce, while also allowing residents to quickly and easily access social network sites, stream TV and music, and access government, banking, shopping and other online services on the go. Cllr Graham Galpin, Ashford Borough Council’s portfolio holder for the town centre and urban economy, said: “The arrival of 4G mobile services is fantastic news. The borough is growing, economic prospects are strong and we want businesses of all sizes not only to be attracted to the town but to succeed here and be positive case studies for other businesses in the future. “We are delighted that 4G through EE is now here as it will be hugely beneficial to local residents and small businesses, which form the backbone of our local economy. With the latest generation of mobile technology now live in Ashford it can only help them to improve their productivity and make doing business in the town even faster, easier and more efficient. We talk about a lot about our geographical connectivity but this news extends that to communications connectivity too.”

Furley Page Solicitors

Employment Law Update 2013 –14 In conjunction with Kent Invicta Chamber

Bridgewood Manor Hotel Chatham ONE DAY ONLY

24 October 2013 8.30am – 12 noon

Employers and HR professionals £55 to Chamber members £65 to non-members

HOW TO BOOK

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said: “I’m delighted that 4G is arriving in Ashford, and am looking forward to seeing it make a big difference for residents and businesses in the area. 4G will change the way that people use their smartphones, tablets and mobile Wi-Fi, both for work and for pleasure.”

Tel: 01233 503838 Email: events@kentinvictachamber.co.uk Online: www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/furleypage

4G mobile from EE is now available in 105 towns and cities across the UK, and EE is aiming for 98% of the population to be covered by the end of 2014.

www.furleypage.co.uk October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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MEMBERSNEWS

Taste of success Biddenden Vineyards’ signature wine Biddenden Ortega has been awarded a Gold Star at this year’s Great Taste awards. The wine is one of only two English wines to have ever been awarded a coveted star in the awards. The Great Taste awards, which are run by the Guild of Fine Food, saw nearly 10,000 entries of which only 3445 products were awarded a star rating.

Please visit our website (www.biddendenvineyards.com) for further details & dates, or contact the vineyard direct on 01580 291726.

This year’s award means that Biddenden Vineyards’ juice, cider & wine are all star winners – a clear indication of the consistent style and quality of their full range. The vineyard is open throughout the year, with free admission and tastings and free tours run on selected dates.

Safe Anaesthesia Worldwide Surgical operations have been performed for more than 5,000 years yet anaesthesia was only introduced 170 years ago. Prior to that, surgery was inflicted on patients who had to be held down. It is scarcely believable that anaesthesia is still not available to millions of patients for surgery and childbirth in the world’s poorest countries because essential facilities including oxygen, electricity and technical expertise are unreliable. The Kent-based charity Safe Anaesthesia Worldwide (SAWW) is striving to correct this situation by supporting research and supplying novel equipment specifically designed to overcome these difficulties. For example, SAWW can supply a simple British built anaesthetic machine, which will work reliably even where there are no local facilities at all, for just £3000 - a fraction of the cost of a conventional machine. This equipment is transforming the lives of thousands of people in low-income countries. Donations are vital to our work. To learn more please visit website: www.safe4all.org.uk

ODH Installations

Exploring New Markets

ODH Installations is a small local plumbing, heating and gas company, based in Maidstone, specialising in installation, servicing and repair of gas and plumbing systems.

John Lary has worked in import/export administration and logistics for over 40 years and now, as an independent consultant, is offering the use of his experience and contacts to companies in Kent as a hands-on consultant, on an ad hoc, single project or regular basis. All enquiries from members of the Chamber will be welcomed.

At ODH, all the engineers are City & Guilds qualified plumbers and all its engineers are gas safe registered. Clients range from commercial fit-out

Contact details: specialists in offices and hospitals and the RAF to one-off domestic jobs in the local area, which could be as small as a dripping tap or a full central heating installation. All of the company’s work is carried out to the highest standard, along with the manufacturers guarantee so you will be in the best hands when it comes to plumbing and heating.

John Lary Import/Export Logistics Consultant Tel: +44.(0)1634 314067 Mob: +44.(0)7443426764 e-mail: john.lary@hotmail.co.uk

By Dr Roger Eltringham MBChB, FRCA Medical Director and Chair of Safe Anaesthesia Worldwide

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MEMBERSNEWS

BitesizeNews Sharp Statistics Solving your spreadsheet frustration The near ubiquitous use of Microsoft Excel means that it becomes the default option for handling and analysing data. While initially it seems a good solution as the amount of data grows and the number of files increases keeping track of everything becomes complicated and the amount of time spent in Excel can become excessive. Sharp Statistics (www.sharpstatistics.co.uk) can automate data analysis and data handling routines saving time and avoiding mistakes. Using more advanced tools than standard macros Sharp Statistics builds automation solutions that are robust and well integrated into Excel. As well as automation, Excel can be easily extended to save the cost of buying yet another software package. Building tools into Excel saves the problems of transferring data between applications and keeps a familiar interface for the user. Call George on 07513 410395 for further details or to arrange a free consultation.

Helping with IT solutions TMB Group is a professional IT solutions provider which has been helping SMEs in the South East of England for more than thirty years. To maintain its local feel, it has established offices in Kent, Hampshire and Essex. It provides a wide range of services from Implementation and System Support, through Managed Services to Accounting Solutions. Whatever your IT needs, the company has the staff, expertise and experience to provide the professional advice that will enable you to make the right technical choices matching your IT strategy to business needs. For more information call 0845 1300 922 or visit www.tmb.co.uk.

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ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013

Off the record conversations By Amanda Finn, Solicitor with Gullands

Employers have always been cautious about having conversations with employees about sensitive issues lest that conversation be seen as a breach of contract or prejudice any subsequent capability or disciplinary procedure. Until recently, there has been only one-way to have a truly “off the record” conversation with an employee. This involved invoking the Without Prejudice moniker of lawyers. For this to be engaged there must be an existing dispute before the comments can be made. In practice this usually meant starting a disciplinary or performance management procedure so that you were in dispute with an employee. Unfortunately this often led to increased hostility rather than a means of exploring options as, to instigate the dispute, you would have to give full details of the issues that the employee was failing on. Recent changes in employment law now allows employers to engage in discussions and negotiations about termination on mutually acceptable terms. These discussions will not be admissible as evidence in unfair dismissal claims without the need for the parties to be in conflict before the discussions are had. The arrangement works both ways and it is also open for the employee to instigate the discussion. The hope is that it will avoid litigation and allow parties to explore and find mutually acceptable

terms on which to part. There are however limitations to this. The discussions are only confidential in ordinary unfair dismissal claims, not automatic unfair dismissal (for example, based on whistleblowing accusations) and are not applicable to discrimination or breach of contract claims. The discussions will also be admissible if either party engages in improper behaviour. A non-exhaustive list of types of behaviour that would meet these criteria is available in the ACAS code on this topic but would include a threat to dismiss or discriminatory words. My advice is, therefore, to tread carefully. The new arrangements do not offer the flexibility and openness envisaged by the government. It is difficult to know at the point of the conversation what claims the employee will bring and therefore whether any words spoken will be admissible or not. Gullands Solicitors is offering Gullands Sentinel to help local businesses minimise the potential for employment disputes and their consequences. For details, contact Amanda Finn by email a.finn@gullands.com or phone 01622 689795.

Royal event accolade for company Maracom Limited has more than sixty years’ experience in providing installation, maintenance and repair services for the commercial heating industry. Its services are provided to commercial, industrial, public and private clients and over the years the company has built up a strong client base that includes The Royal Household, Local Authorities, The Metropolitan Police, NHS Trusts, Housing Associations and Facilities Management Companies. As holders of the prestigious Royal Warrant for services to Her Majesty the Queen, Maracom Limited was invited to participate in the Buckingham Palace Coronation Festival, which was a showcase for fine innovation, excellence and tradition through The Royal Warrant Holders Association. Its presence at the Coronation Festival was to celebrate a milestone of service by the Queen but also to demonstrate the value of the company’s experience to advise others on how to get the best out of their heating systems and explore new opportunities.

The Coronation Festival took place on 11th – 14th July and, over the course of the event, Maracom was able to show many of the 48,000 people that attended the event the diversity of services that it has delivered. This included the contract awarded by FCT Flames to install, move and maintain the Olympic Flame during the London 2012 Olympic Games. The company was also able to present some of the work that it has been doing in conjunction with a number of partners in the sector that aims to guarantee the quality of its renewable energy services.


MEMBERSNEWS

Become a person of influence Building your influence online should be one of your initial goals in your social media strategy. The more influence you have online, the more successful your social media activities. When we first start using social media, no one will be familiar with who we are and what we do, and we, therefore, need to establish a ‘know, like and trust‘ factor before people will start to listen and check more about us. To establish our “know, like and trust” factor we need to provide good quality information, tips and advice and not just spam selling our products.

ZC Social Media Academy runs an award called “Most Influential Person of The Month”. This is not for the highest Klout score, but for the person who has had the most significant change in their Klout score over the last month. The image shows Zoe Cairns and Beverley Adams Reynolds of Exquisite Vintage Teas (August 2013).

To find out how much influence we have when we first start online and throughout our social media journey, we can use a tool called klout.com Klout will give us a score out of 100, it will tell us who we influence, who influences us, and if we rank. The higher our score the more influence

you have with your online community eg your twitter followers, Facebook fans, and LinkedIn connections. The score is generated by the amount of retweets, mentions, likes and comments you have received, as it means people are listening and engaging with you. Your objective is to constantly increase your Klout score. If your followers, connections and fans are liking, retweeting and mentioning your twitter name, messages and information, the more viral and popular you are becoming online, and the more your messages and brands are being seen by more people. Keep a monthly record of your Klout score to make sure you are continuously growing. If you do decrease have a look at the date of when it dipped and check your social media schedule as to what you posted, commented on or said, did you engage as much that day or week? Zoe Cairns ZC Social Media http://www.zcsocialmedia.com

packaging

• Very competitive parcels rates • Carriage by a national carrier

web

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO YOU? • The opportunity to work with a long established Kent based company

signs

Orbital Marketing Services Group is now offering a parcel collection service to new and existing clients giving you the opportunity to send parcels via a national carrier at rates that could save you up to 10% on your existing charges!

exhibitions

Save money on your parcel distribution!

illustration

Instead of return on investment, think of social media generating you your return on influence. Influence is where you have authority and credibility and are seen as a expert within a particular subject or topic, and people look to you for that information.

corporate branding

Lots of businesses ask me ‘what will my return on investment be on my social media activities?’ We always explain that social media is not just a sales tool, it’s a communication and traffic generating tool that can be used in addition to all of your other advertising and marketing methods.

• Experienced and friendly customer service • The opportunity to use additional OMSG services and facilities such as warehousing, PCI registered contact centre, pick/pack, polywrap and enveloping enclosing, litho and digital printing plus data management. For further information, please contact CAROLE LONGHURST on 07841 251006.

Design for web & print www.oakcreative.net October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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MEMBERSNEWS

The only way is up, unfortunately

Othalias Security

There was a brief buzz of excitement earlier in the year as it seemed that petrol and diesel prices might be falling by a couple of pence per litre.

Over the past eight years, Othalias Security has built a reputation for exceeding their clients’ requirements.

Across much of the country, that is exactly what happened. What happened next was the usual course of events: the prices quickly went back to their previous levels. Then, they rose a bit further and, ever since, they have continued to rise. This will happen again, sooner or later, and it will continue on a regular basis. The market for a product like oil can only go one way, in the long term. Steve Gale is part of the team that looks after member accounts at The Fuelcard People, our fuel cards partner. He said: “Every now and then, pump prices might drop briefly. The overall trend, though, will remain upwards, because demand is always rising for oil products. Unfortunately, while there is plenty of crude

waiting to be extracted and processed, the last supply of raw material was created millions of years ago. In simple terms, they have stopped making it.” The Fuelcard People are impartial experts and, covering the whole market, are ideally placed to find an exact match for any member’s specific needs. You should expect to save up to 5p per litre on national average pump prices, for both petrol and diesel, saving 10p per litre on motorway refuelling. Even if you already have a fuel card from elsewhere, The Fuelcard People’s preferential pricing means that you should still call them and check. More information is available at www.discountfuelcards.co.uk

Businesses urged to make their breakfast the best of Kent Self-catering holiday businesses can now promote the best in local produce by supplying Kent Hampers for guests.

to their visitors. Businesses that supply boxes of vegetables or hampers to self-catering accommodation are also being encouraged to sign up to become an accredited supplier.

Part of a campaign that encourages all businesses that serve breakfast in Kent to sign up for a free accreditation scheme aimed at promoting the use of the county’s produce, Kent Hampers provide selfcatering guests with all the ingredients they need to enjoy a great Kent Breakfast.

About 40 businesses have joined the Kent Breakfast scheme so far, and organisers are urging those that serve breakfasts but have yet to join, including B&Bs and self-catering businesses, to attend one of two workshops being held this autumn, including one at Ightham Mote, near Borough Green, on November 5, from 10.30am to 1pm.

The campaign, launched last year by Visit Kent and Produced in Kent, aims to encourage the breakfast makers and suppliers of the county to ensure that at least 60% of the ingredients used are sourced from within Kent. Now those who have self-catering accommodation can offer a Kent Breakfast Hamper or welcome pack

The Kent Breakfast campaign is funded through Defra’s Rural Development Programme for England. For more information on Kent Hampers or to register for a workshop, visit www.visitkentbusiness.co.uk, email enquiries@visitkent.co.uk, or call Sally Roger on 01227 812906.

Whatever the challenges are, they will design a solution that will meet your expectations every time. Should you have a new project, they will create an innovative solution and then work with you to refine the efficiency. With regard to existing operations, they will bring new ways of approach to ensure safety and professional standards are met at all times. Services provided: • Corporate Security • Front of House - Meet & Greet • Close Protection Service • Construction Sites • Bars, Night Clubs & Outdoor Events • Mobile Vehicle Response Unit • Unoccupied Premises & Construction Sites • Car Park Monitoring

All of Othalias’s security officers are skilled and licensed individuals approved by the SIA (Security Industry Authority). www.othaliassecurity.com

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MEMBERSNEWS

BitesizeNews Japanese university appoints college in Kent for UK project Kogakuin University of Japan has signed an historic agreement with Warnborough College, Canterbury. The exclusive partnership enables Kogakuin students to be taught a semester in Canterbury and the agreement was signed by Kogakuin University President, Professor Akisato Mizuno, and Warnborough College President, Dr Brenden Tempest-Mogg. The inaugural group of 21 students arrived in August to study English and British architecture with course-related field trips built into the programme. Professor Mizuno said: “This is an excellent opportunity for our teachers and faculty to live and learn in the beautiful and historic city of Canterbury, and build up friendships with the local community.” For more information visit our website at http://www.warnborough.ac.uk RW Coaching seeks to boost business effectiveness Freelance business coach and mentor Rosemary Williams is keen to work with owners and managers in Kent who want to improve their business effectiveness. Rosemary, owner of RW Coaching, said: “I specialise in working with sole traders, owners and managers of businesses who employ up to 20 people. “The overall aim is your personal development, raising confidence and effectiveness. Through coaching we see a balanced view of your business from all angles, enabling you to identify and focus on priorities.” Call Rosemary to book your 1-1 session now 07532 162087 or email her on r.williams@rwcoaching.co.uk

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ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013

Team advises on healthcare company sale Corporate team members at Maidstone-based Brachers LLP advised Private Equity funds on the sale of Digital Healthcare Limited The team was led by James Bullock, Head of Corporate, and Matt Simmonds, Corporate Associate, and the transaction was completed in four weeks with a sale price of £3.1million (net of cash acquired). Digital Healthcare is based in Cambridge and has 35 employees, all of whom are expected to remain with the business. Its principal area of business is providing solutions and services to manage and support systematic population-based retinal screening programmes. James Bullock The team advised eight funds, including those managed by YFM Equity Partners, Foresight Group LLP and Beringea LLP, on the sale of the diabetic retinopathy screening services provider to EMIS Group Plc.

James said “The deal realises a significant investment for our clients and no doubt Digital Healthcare will continue to thrive under its new ownership.” Brachers Corporate team specialises in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, joint ventures, share schemes and complex corporate restructuring.

Reeves named as 2013 Accountancy Age – Best Employers Reeves, one of the major accountancy and financial services firms practising in London and the South East of England, were recently named as one of the 2013 Accountancy Age – Best Employers. The programme was created in 2011 and is a joint project of Accountancy Age and Best Companies Group.

philosophies, practices and demographics of each nominated firm. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience.

This survey and awards programme was designed to identify, recognise and reward the best accountancy practices to work for in the United Kingdom, benefiting the area’s economy, its workforce and businesses. The 2013 Accountancy Age – Best Employers list is made up of 12 firms including Reeves.

Reeves Managing Partner Clive Stevens said: “We are absolutely delighted to be identified as one of the top 12 Accountancy Firms to work for. This is even more meaningful because the results are based on feedback from our staff and it is testament to how well we are working with our staff and how much they have helped us to shape our firm.”

Firms from across the United Kingdom entered the two-part survey process to determine the Accountancy Age – Best Employers. The first part consisted of evaluating the workplace policies, systems,

The highest-ranked practice will be revealed at the British Accountancy Awards on 20th November 2013. The rankings will also be published on Accountancyage.com.


MEMBERSNEWS

The Marsh Million – boosting rural business

Could you be eligible to apply for an interest-free loan from what is known as the ‘Marsh Million’? Many businesses in the Romney Marsh area, including several in the borough of Ashford, definitely are and they are being urged to access this new funding opportunity.

The Marsh Million is a three-year, economic growth fund for the Romney Marsh, which aims to boost business in this rural area. It is backed by Magnox Ltd, which has put £500,000 into the fund. Magnox operates the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority-owned Dungeness A power station. Further funding that tops the fund up to the one million mark comes from Kent County Council (£400,000), Ashford Borough Council (£50,000) and Shepway District Council (also contributing £50,000). Local companies, entrepreneurs and soletraders will be able to apply for unsecured loans of up to £10,000 aimed at promoting local business growth, supporting new enterprises and boosting access to training. Geographically, much of the Romney Marsh lies in the borough of Ashford. In fact, businesses of up to 50 employees in the following parishes are eligible to apply for the interest-free loans: Aldington Appledore Bilsington Bonnington Kenardington Orlestone Ruckinge Stone-cum-Ebony Warehorne Wittersham Cllr Clair Bell, Ashford Borough Council’s portfolio holder for tourism and the rural economy, said: “I am delighted to be part of this exciting project that will create jobs and stimulate employment in the Marsh area. Helping the area develop new job and business development opportunities following the decommissioning of Dungeness A is vital. “It is important that businesses are aware this money is available for interest-free loans and that they qualify. By working in partnership with Kent and Shepway councils this project will harness the considerable potential that exists in the Marsh, making maximum use of skilled people and demonstrating the collective will to increase economic prosperity in the rural part of the borough.” Details on how to apply for the loans are available at www.marshmillion.co.uk

Furley Page promotes real estate specialist A talented real estate expert has been promoted to associate by leading South East law firm Furley Page. Newly-wed Anna Joiner (nee Whittle) has built an enviable reputation across Whitstable and beyond thanks to her passion for property work and her technical expertise. The 31-year-old, who has worked at the firm’s Whitstable office for seven years, has a wealth of experience in all aspects of both the residential and commercial property market. She has a particular interest in commercial property, having helped numerous Whitstable businesses to acquire and dispose of leasehold and freehold commercial premises. Anna works as part of the highly regarded Real Estate team at Furley Page, which is ranked by Chambers UK and The Legal 500 for the quality of its commercial property services, and is also a member of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme, a recognised quality standard for residential practices. Such is her enthusiasm for property that Anna and her new husband, who live in Whitstable, have just finished building their own home. Anna said: “Having recently embarked on a self-build project, which encompassed a number of legal and practical issues, I’m able to use that first-hand experience to assist clients, share points of best practice, and ensure their development runs smoothly.” Myfanwy McDonagh, partner and head of residential property, said: “Anna has an extremely efficient

approach and provides very clear advice to enable her clients to reach commercially sound decisions. “The breadth of Anna’s experience also enables her to identify and advise on issues that are private client in nature, such as taxation and succession, in the context of a property transaction. Her relaxed and friendly manner means that clients really enjoy working with her and her technical expertise ensures they can trust the advice she gives.” For further information contact Anna Joiner at alj@furleypage.co.uk, call 01227 274241 or visit www.furleypage.co.uk

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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INTERNATIONALTRADE

This is Stockholm calling... By Daniel Hunter (IOE)

British businesses in the construction sector were given a boost when the Business Secretary Vince Cable confirmed the signing of two new contracts in Sweden with an order value of nearly £30 million. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) helped the two British companies, Astins and Measom, to win contracts for the New Karolinska Solna (NKS) University Hospital in Stockholm – the world’s largest hospital build and servicing project, and one of the most modern hospitals in Europe. 95 jobs have been created or safeguarded in the two UK companies due to these contract wins. The deals are part of a collaborative project with Swedish construction company Skanska, to secure drywall partitioning contracts and UKTI has worked in collaboration with Skanska from the early stages of the project. Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The UK has world-class expertise in architecture, design and engineering, and British companies, from the largest to the smallest, are leading the way in sustainable construction solutions.” “The announcement that Astins and Measom have secured high-value contracts on a major Swedish infrastructure projects underlines the fact that construction is a sector where Britain has a strong

competitive edge and shows why we are working hard to help more UK firms gain business overseas.”

organisation has continued to offer help and advice. We are sincerely grateful.”

For companies looking to succeed in the Swedish construction market, winning business is only one key element. Understanding Swedish labour law, building legislation, taxes and the price index are all crucial to success.

Dominic Tutt, Managing Director, Astins Bygg AB, said: “We are thrilled to be involved in working in Sweden to deliver this project. It represents a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our expertise in the Swedish market and to learn from our Swedish colleagues. We are convinced that our joint collaborative working practices will result in a world class facility upon completion.”

UKTI’s collaboration with Skanska on this project involved managing the market entry process by assisting and supporting the UK companies wishing to explore this project further, and ensuring they had the information required to ‘price-up’ their tenders so they were realistic and competitive. This process ensured that the UK companies were successful when pitted against established domestic Swedish bidders as well as existing and potential international competitors. Andrew Measom, Managing Director of Measom, said: “This project signifies a remarkable milestone within the company’s development, and is a great opportunity to establish Measom as a specialist delivery partner in Europe. Having access to UKTI and its range of professional services was invaluable to us and since securing the contract the

“Our thanks must go to UKTI who have supported us every step of the way and continue to do so now. We plan to rely on their support going forward as we look to continue our expansion into Europe and beyond.” Johan Karlström, CEO of Skanska AB said: “Our cooperation with Skanska UK and other UK companies has been instrumental in the bidding phase as well as in the construction of the NKS hospital. Besides bringing valuable knowledge and experience of major healthcare projects they have also contributed to the work place safety of the NKS project.”

Manston Receives Cargo Boost Saudi Airlines Cargo has chosen Manston Airport for its first freighter operation in the UK. One of the world’s major players in the cargo aviation market, Saudi Cargo Airlines will operate twice weekly flights from Kenya to Manston, returning to Saudi Arabia, beginning on 1 October. Allan McQuarrie, Group Manager Freight Development at Manston Airport, said: “We are delighted that Saudi Airlines Cargo has shown such confidence in the airport. It is a great boost for us and emphasises Manston’s capabilities in the dedicated freighter cargo market.” The 747s will be bringing in fresh produce and flowers for onward transport by road to distributors and wholesalers. Export cargo from all over the UK will be transported to Manston and then to Saudi and beyond on a scheduled basis using the airline’s worldwide network. 14

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013

Peter Scholten, vice-president cargo commercial at Saudi Cargo Airlines, commented: “Manston was the airport of choice for our clients in Kenya for perishables exports to the UK, and there is a growing demand for maindeck cargo from the UK to Saudi Arabia. This combination of two different markets is a perfect fit for our network.” Saudi Airlines Cargo operates a fleet of 15 freighters and sells the belly-capacity on 145 passenger aircraft for Saudi Arabia’s flag carrier Saudia, spanning a rapidly expanding global network of 225 destinations. The Manston service will operate Nairobi-Jeddah-Manston-Saudi Arabia. Allan McQuarrie added: “Our reputation for freight handling is growing as more and more carriers choose Manston. We can turn around a fully loaded

747 in around 90 minutes; cargo is loaded straight onto trucks rather than into a warehouse to be moved at a later date. When moving fresh produce this can be vital as it can often add another day to a product’s shelf life. “The lack of congestion at Manston means we rarely have any delays that involve aircraft circling and not being able to land. Thanks to the excellent road infrastructure that links Manston to nearby London and the rest of the UK, the produce can be on a motorway within minutes of leaving the airport. “We are expecting a very busy winter period this year, and Saudi Cargo will add to the current freighter capacity operating into the airport on a weekly basis.”


INTERNATIONALTRADE

Export Communications Review grant from UKTI The Export Communications Review (ECR) provides companies with impartial and objective advice on language and cultural issues to help them improve their competitiveness in existing and future export markets. An Export Communications Review costs £500 + VAT (£100); however, eligible companies receive a subsidy of £250 plus cost of the VAT towards the cost of this review.

London Gateway Open for Business The Mayor of London was welcomed to London Gateway by DP World vice chairman Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah and London Gateway CEO Simon Moore. And as part of his tour, he had an excellent view of the whole massive port and logistics park site from the top of one of London Gateway’s giant quay cranes.

Website: • Does your website directly target international customers? • Can international customers understand the products and services you are offering? • Is your website optimised for searches conducted abroad? • Are you aware of local on-line competition? • Do you use on-line social and business networking in other countries? • Can you answer enquiries arising from your website in other languages? The Export Communications Review can help you answer these questions and address the following issues to help you grow your international business

Free Manston International Airport, Ramsgate Exporting - Understanding the Paperwork 14th November 2013 — 09:30 - 16:30 “London is set to regain its position as one of the world’s greatest ports, and establish itself once again as a gateway to world trade,” he said. “This gargantuan site will create tens of thousands of jobs in our capital and in the South East, whilst helping to drive continued prosperity for the rest of the UK. DP World’s investment is a huge boost to the economy and a massive vote of confidence in London’s future.” The Mayor’s visit coincided with the release of new figures from Oxford Economics that show the London Gateway development will deliver 27,700 jobs in London and the wider South East region, and contribute £2.4 billion to annual GDP. Simon Moore said: “We were delighted to welcome Boris Johnson to London Gateway and explain the benefits of Britain’s new port for the capital and the South East”.

Written and spoken communications:

And Finally.............

Language Training:

Did you know, Liechtenstein is the world’s major exporter of false teeth.

Translation and Interpretation: • Do you know where to go to find translation and interpreting services and how to get the best out of these services? Overseas Trade Shows and Exhibitions: • How do you prepare to handle different languages at overseas trade shows or exhibitions?

Non-Members: £225.00 + VAT Members: £205.00 + VAT

Doing Business in the Netherlands 24th October 2013 — 15:00 - 19:30

• Are your letters and publicity materials and spoken communications geared to the needs of overseas customers? • Do you know how to meet your language training needs in the UK and recruitment of export staff with language capability?

Letters of Credit 15th October 2013 — 09:30 - 16:30

Innovation Centre Medway, Chatham

Companies can benefit from up to three subsidised reviews. How Can Export Communications Review Help Me? The UKTI’s Export Communications Review will enable your business to maximise the effectiveness of your communications with overseas customers.

International Events

Thanks largely to this domination of the denture market, Liechtenstein tops the world trade league for per capita exports with around £50,000 worth of goods per person each year. There are even two false-teeth factories specialising in making dark-brown teeth, for export to countries such as India where people chew tooth-blackening betel nut. We’ll leave you to chew that one over!

Non-Members: £225.00 + VAT Members: £205.00 + VAT Innovation Centre Medway, Chatham HORECA - Flanders Expo, Ghent 19th November 2013 — 08:00 - 17:00 Free Cross Border, Ghent UK / Belgian / Dutch - Logistics Sector - B2B Networking Lunch 26th November 2013 — 12:30 - 13:30 Free Port of Sheerness, Sheerness Revised Incoterms® Rules 2010 16th December 2013 — 09:30 - 12:15 Non-Members: £159.00 + VAT Members: £145.00 + VAT Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Sevington Classification of Goods - Using Commodity and Tariff Codes 16th December 2013 — 13:15 - 16:00 Non-Members: £159.00 + VAT Members: £145.00 + VAT Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Sevington

Contact UKTI for more details 0845 0342111.

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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Mental health ‘more important than ever’ Ignore mental health at your peril - that’s the message from two leading national charities who have called on every council in the UK to prioritise mental health. With the public health grant only ring-fenced until 2015, Mind and the Mental Health Foundation published a new report calling for mental health to be a core part of all public health strategies. The Building Resilient Communities report follows the World Health Organisation’s prediction that depression will be the second biggest cause of illness by the end of this decade. Simon Lawton-Smith, Head of Policy at the Mental Health Foundation said: “We ignore public mental health at our peril. The recession means this is a challenging time for many individuals and wider communities. It is now more important than ever that people’s mental health is made a public health priority.” Mind’s Director of External Relations, Sophie Corlett said: “As public health teams find their feet within local authorities, now is a key moment to be making the case for the importance of public mental health. We want to see teams recognising that improving the wellbeing of their community will improve their wider health outcomes as well as saving money.” Westfield Health’s Chamber Primary Health Plan, which is available to all members of this Chamber, offers a full confidential counselling service, which includes a 24 hour counselling and advice line, as well as up to six face to face counselling sessions or CBT sessions. For more information about the Chamber Plan, visit www.westfieldhealth.com/chamber or call 0845 602 1629, available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Business EU Barometer

£

1ST QUARTER 2013

The new Business EU Barometer from the British Chambers of Commerce gauges business sentiment on issues relating to EU policy and the UK’s relationship with the EU. This quarter, respondents were asked to give their view on the potential impact of different scenarios for Britain’s future relationship with the EU. The key points to emerge were: đŏ

Business wants more decisions made in the UK: the scenario viewed most positively was for the UK to remain in the European Union, but with specific powers transferred back from Brussels to Westminster. Over 64% of respondents believe this would deliver a positive impact to their business.

đŏ

Most businesses think withdrawal from the EU would be bad for Britain, but the status quo and / or further integration is also viewed as bad for business: Over 60% responded that full withdrawal from the

Methodology The BCC’s Business EU Barometer for Q1 2013 received 4,387 business responses. The respondents were surveyed by postal and online questionnaires over the period 18 February to 11 March. In the manufacturing sector 1,140 firms, employing approximately 95,000 people responded (26% of the total number of responses). In the services sector 3,247 businesses with around 245,000 employees responded (74% of the total).

European Union’ would impact negatively on their business. But 42% believe that remaining in the European Union with no change to the current relationship would be a negative outcome too. đŏ

Business’s top three priorities for any future repatriation of powers from Brussels to Westminster are employment law (54%), health and safety law (46%) and regional development policies (33%).

% responding negative impact 80

13.7%

Employment laws

70 Health and Safety laws

60

No impact

10.7%

Don't know

11%

50

Regional Development

40

Justice and home affairs

30

64.6% Negative

Public Procurement

20

0

10

Positive

0 Withdrawal

Remain, but transfer powers back

Integrate further

What impact will each scenario have on your

continued membership of the EU but with specific powers

business?

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013

10

20

30

40

50 %

No change

What do you believe would be the impact on your business of

transferred back to Westminster?

16

Withdrawal & new trade agreement

What powers should be transferred back to Westminster?


2

MEMBERSHIPBENEFITS

great Member Benefits from your Chamber

Chamber Health Plan - Keeping you and your employees healthy

Chamber Merchant Services – credit and debit card processing

Why you should choose the Chamber Primary Health Plan to look after your employees.

Discounted rates for card payment acceptance, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce members can take advantage of discounted rates for credit and debit card acceptance through First Data Merchant Solutions. Merchant Solutions are provided by FDR Limited, trading as First Data Merchant Solutions, as agents for Bank of Scotland they focus on helping customers increase profits and reduce costs. And however you take cards – face to face, by phone, email or via the internet – there’s a range of options to meet your needs. Attractive Benefits and Additional Services: • British Chambers of Commerce nationally endorsed service • No set up fee for Chip & PIN * – save up to £175 • Preferential rates for members • No Minimum Monthly Charges • No Authorisation Fees • Complete Payment Solutions – Card Present, Virtual Terminals and ECommerce • State-of-the-art Chip & PIN terminals including IP Secure Connect solutions • PCI DSS Complete Solutions with unlimited scanning • Mobile short term hire for events, trade shows and exhibitions • Quick and Simple application process *Joining fees. These can differ dependant on your business but are FREE to Chamber members signing up for a Chip and PIN terminal. A nominal fee of £50 is required for e-Commerce or Virtual Terminal accounts. If you’d like to find out more about our discounted offer through First Data Merchant Solutions, call 0800 652 5808 Quote T925 and your Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce membership number between 8.30am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

There are a myriad of benefits to choosing the plan that will benefit both you and your employees. From just £1.10 per employee, per week, the Chamber Plan could help you to reduce absenteeism and the costs associated with it, recruit, retain and reward your staff, improve staff morale, motivation and productivity and even reduce your risk of stress and musculoskeletal litigation.* With the Chamber Plan, employees will have access to 12 different healthcare benefits and services, including money back towards their everyday healthcare treatments, such as glasses, contact lenses and sight tests, dental treatment, physiotherapy, chiropractic and consultations. Plus fast access to MRI, CT and PET scanning facilities, personal accident cover and more. The Primary Health Plan helps to encourage proactive employee health. Immediate cover is available for all your employees and there is no medical required to join. In addition, pre-existing medical conditions are covered (except for Personal Accident Cover). *In conjunction with a robust stress policy and line manager training. For further information on the Chamber Primary Health Plan call 0845 602 1629 or e-mail enquiries@westfieldhealth.com or visit www.westfieldhealth.com/chamber for further details.

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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Flexible working – how we can help everyone to win As with all changes to Employment laws, it can feel as though the odds are stacked against employers. Flexible working is a prime example – feeling pressured to offer your employees flexible hours and leave may seem counterproductive, particularly when times are hard. But that flexibility, harnessed correctly, through appropriate staff contracts and handbooks can prove both motivational and rewarding, improving productivity and profits.

Where to start?

Flexible Workspace for growing businesses in Sittingbourne

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Whitehead Monckton’s Employment team can review your current contracts and give numerous options for improvement. So if you want to check if you’re at full stretch Simply contact us

01622 698047 www.whitehead-monckton.co.uk

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ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013

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POLICY

BCC message to Conservative Party: Be more ambitious The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has issued a clear message to the Prime Minister and his colleagues to ‘get moving’ on the delivery of pro-growth policies that will benefit the nation as a whole. BCC Director General John Longworth has urged Conservative ministers to ‘show more ambition’ for Britain’s growth prospects to help transform our economic performance from being merely good to truly great. The BCC identified seven areas where the Prime Minister and Chancellor need to follow through on their pro-growth promises: • Delivering business-critical infrastructure – roads, rail improvements, HS2, airport capacity, digital infrastructure and long term energy security, far more swiftly to underpin business investment • Committing to a step-change in support for exports and global trade, by prioritising real help for exporters in all future spending and tax plans • Fixing Britain’s broken business finance system, with the Business Bank scaled up to make a real difference, working directly with high-growth SMEs • Recognising the importance of research, education and skills in a knowledge based economy, to ensure employment opportunities and the development of our future skills base • Securing our energy supplies for the future – with go-aheads for new nuclear and fracking, alongside renewables • Reforming or re-negotiating Britain’s place in the European Union, minimising lengthy delays that generate uncertainty for businesses • Delivering a tax and regulatory system that promotes enterprise. The government has made great strides on reducing red tape and lowering Corporation Tax. But it must act, swiftly, to address the iniquitous business rates regime that is stifling the growth and confidence of companies across the UK, and go still further to incentivise investment and entrepreneurship.

John Longworth, Director General, British Chamber of Commerce Mr Longworth said: “Britain’s economy is improving, but we are not out of the woods just yet. We still face some deep-seated structural problems that require a laser-like focus from the political class, who need to show more ambition for Britain’s growth prospects. “David Cameron and George Osborne have made a number of pro-growth commitments that have struck a chord with business. Yet we should be impatient at this critical moment in our history and the economic cycle. “The Government needs to get moving on its promises, rather than just talking the talk. If ministers allow short-term politics and Whitehall obstruction to frustrate the delivery of their growth commitments, our recovery – and our economic future – will be poorer for it, and could be permanently damaged. “The Government’s full attention must be focused on jump-starting business investment and our export potential. So delivering on infrastructure, business finance, training and trade is crucial. “What I would like to hear is that the Prime Minister and his team will do everything in their power to deliver improved conditions for business growth. In return for delivering an environment that supports enterprise, businesses will respond with innovation, job creation, and wealth generation. “So my message to government is this: for goodness sake, get on and do what is in the long-term national interest. This won’t always be straightforward, but it should be at the forefront of government thinking at all times. Only a relentless focus on supporting economic growth will guarantee a secure future for generations to come.”

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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REGIONALFOCUS

Supporting the growing economy in Canterbury Canterbury has a diverse and vibrant economy and one of the organisations supporting its growth is the City Council.

Partnerships and Advocacy The team supports Canterbury 4 Business by managing its website, arranging all meetings and events (such as its annual conference) and providing general admin. On the coast, a similar arrangement is in place to support Herne Bay Town Partners. The council’s local economy team promotes and encourages new investment into the district, offers business support and advice, maintains and generates economic intelligence and acts as an advocate for the economy and strategic partner for businesses in the district. The activities of the team are diverse and wideranging and fall into six broad areas of work:

Business Support This includes signposting to business support information, delivery of small scale business support and networking events, business directory, signposting to access to finance and operating a commercial property register within the district. The team works with procurement teams across East Kent to ensure that Canterbury businesses have the opportunity to tender for contracts. They also manage Whitstable Enterprise Centre, the Red Dog Studios, the Canterbury and Herne Bay general street markets and Wincheap boot fair. 20

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013

Investment The team supports initiatives and activities that facilitate the provision of physical infrastructure, promote and attract commercial investment, support business development as well as employment, skills and inclusion initiatives. Members engage in activity to attract, encourage and secure both reinvestment of existing firms and also inward investment work, much of which is done in partnership with Locate in Kent.

Town Centre Management The Coastal Towns Centre Manager provides direct support to coastal businesses and drives footfall into the coastal town centres. The team also manages the relationship with Canterbury City Partnership now that they have been commissioned to deliver some of the outputs previously provided directly by the team. This includes supporting the progress to Business Improvement District for Canterbury City Centre.

The council holds Memorandums of Understanding with Canterbury Christ Church University, University of Kent and Canterbury College. These provide the basis for partnerships between the various organisations and bring about progression into work and develop skills for business.


REGIONALFOCUS

Canterbury factfile • The Canterbury district has an eclectic mix of businesses among its estimated 4,854 workplaces. • More than a third (1,672) are from the retail, distribution, hotels and restaurants sector.

Advocacy is an essential part of the team’s remit and its members take every opportunity to raise the profile of the local economy wherever and whenever this will advantage the council’s aims for the local economy.

Economic Development Policy The core aim of the team is to help create the right local conditions for economic success, focused on achieving long-term and sustainable economic benefits to the district. Members develop strategies while interpreting Government and other policies in relation to the economy. As part of this, the collection, development and analysis of economic intelligence is of paramount importance as this underpins strong policy.

External Funding/partnership Projects The team engages with, and supports, a number of projects with partners, some of which have attracted significant levels of European funding.

• In terms of the district’s manufacturing base, this is primarily located on the 12 business parks and main commercial areas close to the Thanet Way near Herne Bay and Whitstable. • The district’s business profile is dominated by smaller businesses, many of which are hugely influential in their respective markets, including in the gas, oil and petrochemical industries, electrical goods and telecoms sectors.

In the past few years they have been a partner in Transmanche Enterprise Network (TEN); the project was aimed at small businesses with less than 10 employees looking to open up trade links with Europe. The team are just coming to the end of their involvement in the 2Seas Trade Project – a smaller project than TEN but with similar planned outputs and outcomes. The project has allowed further opportunities to businesses who were involved in the TEN project but it has slightly less restrictive parameters when it comes to what kind of business can get involved and so is more inclusive. Their most recent project is StartMyBiz, a partnership committed to supporting people to start businesses and to making the city and district a great place in which to do so. The project has already proved to be hugely successful and after only six months had received more than 110 initial enquiries and supported nine new/developing businesses to create or safeguard 11 jobs. To contact the team please visit www.canterbury.gov.uk/business

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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EUROPEANPARTNERS

Enterprise Europe South EastUK

helps small businesses grow by providing easy access to European markets, technology partners and researchers Enterprise Europe South EastUK is a free service delivered by the University of Greenwich and partners in south-east England and is the local office of Enterprise Europe Network, a vast conglomerate of 600 business support offices in more than 50 countries. project led from the region. Professor Harvey said “EEN were brilliant in being able to help find partners - and more importantly step in at the 11th hour to fill gaps with partners who fell by the way side.” Based in Tonbridge, Complete Printing Group (CPG) sought a European partner for a printing project that required specific expertise and contacted EEN. A request sent via the Network’s intranet to contacts in Italy resulted in an introduction to Italian firm Rubbettino. Paul said “we have been delighted with the help and guidance we have received during the Enterprise Europe Network process… My client provides a multinational service and these books have been sent out to their members all over the world… I am now actively looking for this kind of work with a view to working with Rubbettino again.” Enterprise Europe South EastUK has offices in Rochester, Chatham, Southampton and Oxford, and is a partnership between the University of Greenwich, Business Support Kent CiC, The European Info Services Centre and Oxford Innovation. For more information call 0844 724 2244, e-mail info@enterpriseeurope-se.eu Here are just a few examples of how the team has supported businesses and innovators in Kent: Rochester-based Veetee Rice sought new European markets for their microwaveable rice products and contacted EEN. Market research from network partners helped identify France as a suitable target market and following a pilot launch Veetee signed a lucrative contract with French supermarket chain Casino and is now selling to Germany, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Belgium. Kirit Patel, Business Development Manager at Veetee, said EEN “gave us the confidence to approach other countries and break into new markets. The insider knowledge has been invaluable.” Professor Pat Harvey of the University of Greenwich in Medway sought international partners to join a bid for major European funding to develop a world-leading biorefinery. The D-Factory project will use salt water and CO2 to cultivate biomass from microalgae, a process key to the sustainable production of food supplements, biofuels and biochemicals. Professor Harvey contacted EEN’s Andy Hebb who introduced her to Portuguese company iBET and UK firm Dynamic Extractions Ltd, who both joined the consortium. The application was successful, bringing around €10.5 million worth of funding to an international 22

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013

or visit www.enterpriseeurope-se.eu.


LEGALCLINIC

Understand the risks of home-working Selwan Yousif, Partner Flexible working has fast become the norm in many business sectors due to hours of work becoming less defined and improvements in work/life balance. However a recent case saw Aberdeen City Council receive a £100,000 fine from the ICO for breaches of data protection, and highlights the need for all organisations to examine their policies and procedures for homeworkers. There are a wide range of advantages and disadvantages to working from home for both employers and employees. However this case demonstrates the importance of ensuring staff fully understand the rules surrounding data protection when working from and outside the office. This can usually be achieved through adequate training and guidance. Data protection is just one of the many areas employers’ need to consider when contemplating home working for employees. Employers’ need to ensure there are clear policies in place which address areas such as health safety and welfare, risk assessment, hours of work, annual leave/sick leave, equipment, discipline, insurance and discrimination to name but a few. To ensure you avoid any potential risks associated with home working seek advice from an experienced lawyer.

Be careful what you guarantee Lisa Barton, Litigation Executive We regularly see cases within our debt recovery department where clients are experiencing issues with personal guarantees. A personal guarantee is a promise from an individual to meet payments on behalf of a third party (including small businesses). It is always important to read the small print so that guarantors understand what their obligations are under the guarantee. Here are a few things to consider when giving a personal guarantee, which will hopefully help you avoid risk: DO’S • carefully review and consider the implications of giving a personal guarantee as it will effect you as an individual and could have implications on your family life • negotiate with the bank to attempt to dispose of the need to provide a personal guarantee, if that cannot be achieved, then try to provide the minimum the bank will accept for security for the loan 11th – 16th November

• attempt to cap your liability to an amount that you can reasonably afford in the event of default by the company Kentec Kentec T Training raining iis s o one ne o off tthe he UK’s lleading eading PASMA PASMA Tr aining UK’s Training providers and as ssuch uch iis sw orking providers working closely w ith PASMA PASMA to promote prom ote closely with Week’. ‘‘National National Tower Tower Safety Safety Week’. eam at tthe he Come ssee ee o ur tteam Come our Construction 2013 at the the Construction Expo Expo 2013 Mercure Mer Great reat D Dane, ane, M Maidstone aidstone Me cure G th o wi n a ffree ree on tthe he 6 November November tto win place pl our PASMA ur PA SMA ace on one of o Tow Tower er for for Users Users training training ccourses ourses

• take independent legal advice as to the terms of the guarantee - banks usually insist on this in any event • remember that if you are giving a guarantee together with one or more persons, the guarantee is likely to be joint and severable. This means the lender could come after one or more of you in respect of the loan DON’T • give a personal guarantee without understanding it’s terms and weighing up the consequences of providing it • forget that when a lender agrees to release you from your obligations under the personal guarantee you should insist on confirmation from the lender in writing • forget that the lender will not release you from your obligations under the guarantee until the debt has been repaid in full including any interest and charges

www.kentectraining.co.uk Tel: 0333 666 0555

To find out more about Hatten Wyatt please contact us using the details below. www.hatten-wyatt.com 01474 35 11 99 51/54 Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1BD

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

25


COVERFEATURE

Is Kent’s construction sector turning the corner? No one can put their finger on when it happened exactly, but a sense of optimism has recently returned to the Kent construction sector after one of the longest periods of recession ever known. Other groups also represent the thriving sector; there are regular meetings of the Forum for the Built Environment (FBE) and Constructing Excellence has recently launched in Kent . The sector will receive a further boost on November 6th when Construction Expo 2013 takes place at the Great Danes Mercure Hotel, near Maidstone. Building on the success of last year’s event at Chatham, this year’s Construction Expo will be bigger and better. This free to attend event is sponsored by KCC and public sector procurement specialists Scape. There are seven prominent keynote speakers, including Government Chief Construction Advisor, Peter Hansford; the Leader of KCC, Paul Carter as well as an exhibition with more than 100 stands. The event features a KCFG breakfast meeting, a lunch reception supported by Kent Developers Group, a Kent Business Portal, a Meet The Buyer Event and in the evening the Construction Expo Dinner with special guest Chris Cowdrey, the former Kent and England cricket captain. Kent College This region has always been more resilient to economic downturns than other areas, mostly due to Kent and the South East being one of the financial power hubs of the UK economy, and its location; proximity to London and Europe are key factors. But the biggest weapon in the armoury is the sheer size and diversity of companies and organisations involved in construction in Kent.

The dinner will feature the launch of the 2014 Kent Design & Development Awards and a charity auction with Kaddy Lee Preston. The Construction Expo is the largest dedicated construction event happening in the UK this year, and an important showcase for Kent’s construction companies.

The number of consultants, contractors and suppliers across the region means that the sector, as a whole, plays a very significant role in the Kent economy as it generates £1.7 bn per annum – about 8% of the county’s economic output, and, directly employs 38,000 people, which represents 6% of the total workforce in the county; the national figure is 4.5%. The sector has the support of one of the largest, and most successful, regional business groups in the country – the Kent Construction Focus Group (KCFG). With 160 members representing all facets of the industry, KCFG has been running for 12 years, and is centred around breakfast meetings that feature prominent industry speakers on the 1st Tuesday of every month in venues all around Kent. However, KCFG extends beyond networking as the group has also been involved in a number of Kent’s Town Team initiatives, having worked closely with Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce to actively promote local construction excellence, as well as supporting the Kent Design and Development Awards, run by Kent County Council (KCC). Collaboration between members on Kent projects is also encouraged. 26

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013

Isle of Sheppey Academy built by Kier Construction


COVERFEATURE

Revival of construction sector comes with a warning The construction sector’s recovery from tough times has come with a warning about the need to address skills shortages. Medical Response Centre, Ashford, built by Kier Construction Working closely with the Kent construction industry is specialist marketing and business development company DxM Consult. Set up by Alan Adkins, with partner James Ward recently on board, DxM Consult is a Kent Invicta Chamber member that works with key clients, such as Scape, to ensure the participation of Kent’s contractors and consultants in major programmes of work in the South East. For example, KCC has a primary school Basic Need requirement that aims to provide 10,000 new primary school places by 2016. A big challenge but one that the expertise in Kent is well positioned to take on – delivering through local businesses, wherever possible. For more details of KCFG and its members visit www.kcfg.co.uk. See www.kentconstructionexpo.co.uk for more details on the Expo.

According to industry experts, the new confidence in the sector will see increasing amounts of activity in areas like the South East, partly benefiting from the knock-on effect from rises in workloads in Greater London. The Construction Products Association has sector predicted growth of 1.9% in 2014 and 3.8% in 2015 However, with the upturn comes a challenge; industry skills body CITB recently issued a warning to the UK construction industry that it faces a skills ‘time bomb’ if it fails to recruit workers to replace more than 400,000 people set to retire in the next ten years. CITB was commenting on market research published by the Office of National Statistics, which showed that across the UK: • 19% (equivalent to 406,000 people) of the UK construction workers aged 55+ are set to retire in the next 5-10 years; • 24% (equivalent to 518,000 people) of UK construction workers aged 45–54 are set to retire in the next 10-20 years; • 37% of the UK construction workforce is self-employed and 23% (equivalent to 182,800 people) of those are set to retire from the industry in the next 5-10 years; • The East Midlands and the South West will be particularly hit but Greater London, with the largest number of construction workers in the UK (318,000 people), is set to perform better than the rest of the UK in terms of the average proportion of workers leaving the sector: 12% (equivalent to 38,500 workers) over the next 5-10 years.

Repton Manor Primary School

There are signs that the industry is responding; a recent Home Building Skills report found that 50% of all home builders and 80% of housing associations have taken on apprentices this year. The report, published by the Home Builders Federation, National House Building Council, Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Zero Carbon Hub, found that 33% of home building companies want to increase spend on training.

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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BIGINTERVIEW

BIGINTERVIEW

28

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013

It’s the technology that is changing the way we print and Kent company Magenta Imaging Solutions (MIS) is at the forefront of its introduction to the county. Near Field Communication (NFC) allows users to print without touching the printer, something which is proving very useful in fields such as construction where muddy hands are the norm.

“That frees up people’s time to do more productive work and we estimate that we save companies between thirty five and forty per cent on their printing bills.”

The system, pioneered by Samsung, allows users to hold their hand-held device, be it an iPad, notepad or Smartphone, close to the printer which will automatically activate. For MIS Director Colin Griffin and his co-director Jonathan Devito, who created MIS after a career which saw them both rise from trainees to directors with other companies, it’s the latest development in a fast-moving world which has changed the way we print and continues to do so. Colin, who helped create the Tunbridge Wells company three years ago, said: “The company specialises in cutting our clients’ costs and we use the latest technology to achieve that. “Traditionally, a company has a lot of machines – a printer, a fax, a scanner, maybe a photocopier in the corner, and has no real idea how much all those machines are costing them. “The usual way people work out how much their printing is costing is by putting in a ream of 500 pages and seeing how far the cartridge gets them but that does not give them a clear picture. “What’s more, you get different makes of machines and people buying different cartridges so there is no real control on spending. “What we do is bring it all together into one machine that can do it all for them. We go into a company and determine how much their printing is costing then present them with a report and a solution. “Up until then, they normally have no idea how much they are spending, They know it’s a lot but they do not know exactly how much and they are shocked when they read our report.

This is really helpful in the construction industry, for example. We have clients in construction and they need printers in their site offices where people like site managers and architects can pop in and out to use them.

“We offer them a fixed price per page so they know exactly how much it will cost them.

To ensure that the latest technology is used, MIS chose to partner with the world leader in business systems technology, Samsung, to provide customers with document solutions .

“Our machines are also more efficient. For instance, they can scan whole documents rather than having to put one sheet on and scan it then the next. With our machines, you can place the document on the machine, press the button and walk away.

In addition to hardware, MIS has an extensive business partner network which means it is able to offer a wide range of software solutions from printing to scanning, data capture to electronic document management.


BIGINTERVIEW

NFC really is the latest development in printing. Traditionally, you printed by pressing the button, that was how it was always done, but not with NFC.

That includes the exciting new field of NFC. Colin said: “NFC really is the latest development in printing. Traditionally, you printed by pressing the button, that was how it was always done, but not with NFC. “With NFC, you stand close to the machine and hold your hand-held device up and it starts the printer. “This is really helpful in the construction industry, for example. We have clients in construction and they need printers in their site offices where people like site managers and architects can pop in and out to use them. “However, they may have dirty hands, which is not good for the machines. This way, you avoid the machines getting dirty and dusty. “Another advance is wireless technology. Construction companies want machines that can be set up in site offices without having to worry about leads and plugs, and our wireless technology allows them to do just that.” Colin’s business works across many sectors and he senses a renewed confidence among clients as the economy recovers. He said: “There was definitely a downturn in confidence among businesses and we went through some tough times ourselves. “There was a loss in confidence in the ability of the banks to lend and a loss of confidence for business but we are seeing that change. We are sensing a new confidence in the sectors in which we work now.”

Colin Griffin Director Magenta Imaging Solutions (MIS)

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

29


ECONOMY

The economy and us; is the financial crisis over? Ministers have seized on recent economic data, jubilant to justify their taxation and spending policies and claiming we have “turned the corner”. Here, we look at the evidence. First the good news; a strengthening economy. This year, annualised GDP is growing by almost 3%. The UK Purchasing Managers Index is up from 50 (flatlining) to 57. Stock markets are up across the EU as cash-rich global investors back the developed world’s big brands ahead of emerging economies. Fewer of us are out of work; unemployment is below 2½ million, 7.7% of the workforce. Only(?) 1 in 13 of the UK’s available workforce is on the dole. As for our personal wealth, house prices rose 3.2% in the year to August. The number of loans to firsttime buyers grew by one-third in the 12 months to June 2013; these buyers now account for 1 in 5 new mortgages. Good, eh? Ministers may feel that with more than 60% of Britons occupying their own homes and feeling better-off (even if take-home pay is still falling in real terms), they’re well set for getting returned to power in 2015. What could go wrong?

What got us into this mess was believing that “boom and bust is over”. After 40 years of incomes broadly stagnant in real terms, we were overconsuming on easy credit, fuelled largely by inflated house prices.

are easier, business loans remain hard to come by and costly. The FT (15/09/2013) reports that half the new jobs created since recovery began are part-time and nearly a quarter of the past year’s new jobs are in real estate.

Now, with household debt and Government debt each at three-quarters of GDP, financial institutions’ debt (banks etc) is still a whopping 1½ times GDP.

And you, how secure are you financially? Markets expect the UK base rate to reach 3% in 2018; yields on 30-year US bonds, a good long-term indicator, are 4%. Annuities for a 65-year old man today average 5% of his pension pot: £400k yields £20,000 annual pre-tax income, not inflationproofed. What ROI would you need to beat inflation and produce (say) £400k in current buying power? How soon could you retire?

With our chronic housing shortage, taxpayerguaranteed help to those with a 5% deposit is making demand exceed supply, inflating house prices. So the “haves” feel richer, household debt rises faster than government debt while financial sector debt rises to fund the indiscretions of both… and would-be-haves are once more enticed to overpay. In our real economy, output lags 3% below 2007, with workers’ productivity still falling. The number of long-term unemployed is still rising. If mortgages

No, the financial crisis is not over. And protection money is still going to the already-rich: the Bank of England reckons that 40% of the benefit of QE so far has gone to the richest 5%, including bankers. No wonder real incomes are still falling.

Nick Rowell Director of Policy Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Direct line: 01622 753568 Email: nick@tpbs.co.uk

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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BUSINESSISSUES

Sandra Matthews-Marsh Chief Executive Visit Kent

Name: Business name: Start up date: Website:

Q How do I best promote my business to visitors to Kent? The first thing to do is to acknowledge the importance of digital marketing. Leisure and tourism accounts for the most purchases online, more than books, more than similar products, so it makes sense to have a web presence. Every business in the tourism sector in Kent, even the smallest, is entitled to a free listing on our website (www.visitkent.co.uk). It is worth putting thought into the entry. For instance, have you said where you are? It sounds obvious but it is so frustrating for someone reading an entry, thinking they like the place, then struggling to find the location. It’s also important to be honest in what you write. Remember, leisure and tourism products tend to be sold unseen to people from outside the area so the potential for failure is high. Do not exaggerate what you have; it is better to be honest and surprise people when they arrive than hype yourself and disappoint them. And take care when people do arrive. People come to you looking for a nice break and will be put off by a dirty bathroom, a stained cup or someone being grumpy because they are having a bad day. In an age of social media and sites like TripAdvisor, the word can get out in seconds so it makes sense to get the service right.

* If you would like advice on marketing yourself as a Leisure and Tourism business, contact (enquiries@visitkent.co.uk)

ASK THE

EXPERT 32

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013

John Adams Careerz Limited January 2013 www.careerz.co.uk

Q1: Tell us a bit about your business? We are based in Canterbury and offer cost-effective recruitment services plus a range of coaching and HR services aimed at small to medium sized business throughout Kent, London and the South East. Q2: What gives your business ‘the x-factor’? We have quickly gained a reputation for offering outstanding value. We charge 12% of the basic salary, which is market leading, plus we offer a high level of service. I have an extensive recruitment background, having worked as a Recruitment Manager for a number of blue chip companies. This gives clients the confidence that we have the experience and focus on service to deliver results. Q3: What motivated you to set up the business? I would say that I am entrepreneurial by nature and enjoy using my creativity and resourcefulness, so setting up my own business was a natural thing to do. It is also in my nature to help others so, offering small to medium companies an alternative to more expensive recruitment agencies really motivates me. Q4: What do you like most about working for a start-up? I enjoy the variety that running your own business offers. It can be difficult fitting it all in, so being able to prioritise is important. It can be stressful at times, however having personal control over what gets done motivates me. Q5: What has been your greatest business success to date? I would say it is recruiting two key employees for a technology company based in Essex. The client was initially sceptical that we would find suitable local candidates as we were based in Canterbury. However we delivered what we promised and we now have a very satisfied client and two happy employees. Q6: What has been your lowest moment? It would have to be trying to get through to recruitment decision makers some days. Unfortunately, the recruitment industry often gets bad press so it can be challenging getting an opportunity to prove that we really are different. Fortunately, we are starting to get recommendations from satisfied clients which is really valuable in helping to open new doors. Q7: In terms of business achievements, where do you want to be within the next 5 years? My vision is to grow Careerz and create employment opportunities for local talent who wish to make a career in the recruitment industry. I enjoy coaching and mentoring so recruiting and developing our own talent, who share our vision, will be a key part of our growth strategy. Q8: What would be your top tip to someone thinking of starting up their own business? Definitely consider working with a mentor or a coach. Having someone to go to with challenges and being there to keep you on track and fully focused can really make a difference


MEMBERSNEWS

£1.5m investment announced at event centre

Reeves support skier Chemmy

Plans have been announced for an investment of £1.5 million at the Kent Event Centre, strengthening its position as the largest and most flexible conference venue in the county. The Kent County Agricultural Society confirmed the go-ahead for the project during the Kent County Show, which attracted 75,000 visitors to the Detling site between 12-14 July. The new structure will replace the existing Kent Pavilion building which was opened by the Duke of Kent in 2004. The new single span Kent Pavilion will be 44 metres wide and 72 metres long. It will seat up to 4,000 people in theatre style. Work will start in October and the new Pavilion will be officially opened at next summer’s Kent County Show. Glyn Charlton, the KCAS honorary finance director, said: “This investment will further enhance the already excellent range of facilities here at the Kent Event Centre.” The project, funded by a Barclays Bank loan, is to be built by the Kent-based company Cardy. The project will be completed by the end of April 2014 with no disruption to current events. The Kent Event Centre has been at the Kent Showground at Detling, near Maidstone since 1964.

Event Centre Manager Alison Wallington said the investment will underline the Kent Event Centre’s status as the premier venue in the region. The last major expansion came in June 2011 with the opening of the Clive Emson Conference Centre. Alison said the ongoing programme of investment in facilities at the centre, boosting choice and capacity for clients, was paying dividends in attracting more bookings. She said: “By investing in facilities and maintaining a clear focus on customer service we are enjoying a hugely successful year, with bookings into 2014 looking very healthy.” For more information, contact the Kent Event Centre on 01622 630975 or visit www.kenteventcentre.co.uk

Reeves, one of the major accountancy and financial services firms practising in the South East of England, has announced that it is in partnership with Chemmy Alcott. Reeves will be supporting Chemmy Alcott, Olympic skier and television personality, as she trains to compete in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. It has also announced that it will provide funding and financial services support to Great Britain’s elite Freeski team and athletes in the build up to the Winter Olympic Games. On 14 July, a group of staff took part in ‘The British 10k London Run’ to raise money for both the London and Chatham offices local charities – St Luke’s Community Centre and The Friends of Wisdom Hospice respectively. Also, an eight-strong team from Reeves took part in the Standard Chartered Great City Race. This annual 5km corporate running challenge, which takes place around the closed off streets of the City of London, raises money for Seeing is Believing.

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A comprehensive coaching system with more than 70 hours of sales training sessions that can be delivered in bite-sized chunks by Sales Managers or in-house trainers. Easy to implement and hugely engaging, expect lasting results and on going reinforcement of best practice, whether it be sales or sales through service. Sales Activator is the most unique and innovative product available at an affordable price providing you with a return of investment of at least 15% whilst not losing productivity. Officially recognised by the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management as “one of the most exciting developments for the sales profession in decades”. Sophie Steel, Consultant Trainer & Coach Mob: +44 (0)7824 829396 Tel: +44 (0)1233 730881 www.salesactivator.com

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October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

33


CORPORATETRAVEL

Opportunities for business and pleasure at Manston Time is running out for Kent businesses to register for an international trade seminar which will advise companies on how to unlock trade opportunities in Holland. The ‘Doing Business in the Netherlands’ seminar, being held on Thursday 24 October at Manston Airport, is being organised by UK Trade & Investment and Air France KLM, in cooperation with Kent International Business and the 2 Seas Trade Project. The event will demonstrate, through real life trade successes, how Kent firms can make the most of the business opportunities on offer in the Netherlands. Lewis Scott, Regional Director for UKTI South East, commented: “The Dutch market is one of the most open and internationally-orientated in the world. English is widely spoken and opportunities for trade are plentiful in all sectors. This makes the Netherlands an ideal environment for UK businesses wanting to expand their operations overseas.” Companies interested in attending can register free online by 14 October by visiting http://netherlands.ukti.gov.uk/registration-doing-business-in-thenetherlands

Cargo coup for Manston Continuing a successful year for Manston, Saudi Airlines Cargo recently chose the airport for its first freighter operation in the UK. One of the world’s major players in the cargo aviation market, Saudi Cargo Airlines is now operating twice weekly flights from Kenya to Manston, returning to Saudi Arabia. Allan McQuarrie, Group Manager Freight Development at Manston Airport, said: “Saudi’s arrival is a great boost for us and emphasises Manston’s capabilities in the dedicated freighter cargo market.” The 747s will be bringing in fresh produce and flowers for onward transport by road to distributors and wholesalers. Export cargo from all over the UK will be transported to Manston and then to Saudi and beyond on a scheduled basis using the airline’s worldwide network.

Win flights to New York For those seeking a break from work, Manston Airport is offering the chance to win two return tickets to New York. Included in the prize is free airport parking and access to the business lounge which has comfortable seating areas, dedicated workstations, wifi and complimentary refreshments and newspapers. The winner will fly from Manston to New York, via award winning hub airport Schiphol, on the twice daily KLM flights from the airport near Ramsgate. The KLM route to Schiphol in Amsterdam runs to and from Manston twice a day, seven days a week with outbound flights at 6:20am and 10:35am. For those not lucky enough to win tickets, a return flight to New York can be purchased from just £425 – perfect for a little Christmas shopping. New York is just one of the 130 destinations worldwide that can be reached from Manston via Schiphol. Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive of Manston Airport, said: “There are so many advantages to flying from Manston, not least the low cost parking yards from the terminal, a fast and easy check in process and not having to battle the M25.” To be in with a chance of winning two return flights to New York, visit www.manstonairport.com. For more information on KLM flights from Manston, to book and check in online, visit www.klm.com or call 0871 231 0000. 34

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013


MEMBERSNEWS

Cineworld Cineworld can offer exceptional prices on venue and conferencing hire.

Basepoint Centres Ltd Basepoint Centres Ltd are a group of business centres located across Southern England, The Midlands and East Anglia. The Old Rectory - Basepoint’s Northfleet Centre is a newly refurbished Grade II Listed Building providing offices, virtual offices and meeting room facilities.

Whether it’s a business conference, a children’s birthday party, a hen night or an awards ceremony, its facilities are perfect for holding whatever event you can think of, big or small. Featuring state-of-the-art digital projectors, your presentation will look fantastic on the big screen, with your audience watching on from the comfort of our luxurious seating. We can even show your alltime favourite film. Partnered with local restaurants and caterers Cinnamon Spice and Horton’s Drink and Dine, Cineworld can put on a buffet for your event at a small extra charge. With its children’s birthday parties deal you can fill a screen with up to seventy excited adults and children for only £150 when choosing one of our selected films.

Maybe you’d like to do something a little bit different? Well how about a gaming session! Bring along your games console, Cineworld will hook it up to its projector and presto! You can play your own video games on the big screen. Perfect for birthdays, stag and hen nights or as a special treat for your employees. Prices for all venue hire start from £250 (inc. VAT) per two hour session, with the exception of the children’s birthday party deal. For more information, to book, or to request a site tour, please call Cineworld Ashford on 01233 620670 or email at ashford@cineworld.co.uk Cineworld Ashford, located in Eureka Entertainment Centre, just off Junction 9 of the M20.

Wholly owned by charitable trust, The ACT Foundation, whose mission is to ‘ACT to enhance the quality of life for people in need’, any profit from the Basepoint operation is used by the Trust to further its charitable objectives within the communities that it serves. Locally, The Old Rectory offers financial support to The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Services, as part of their own objective to help develop a sustainable community. The management team of The Old Rectory often organise fundraising events to support their locally chosen charity. If you are interested in any of their services or wish to involve yourself with their fundraising, please get in touch with Michelle Gagie, Centre Manager on 01474 338701 or email michellegagie@basepoint.co.uk

Plot-Tec UK Ltd Plot-Tec UK Limited has more than 35 years’ experience in the electrical/electronic industry. It has had to adapt to changes in technology, market fashions and business demand. It has gained skills in all aspects of commercial/industrial product life cycle from unit/panel build, installation, commissioning/testing, repair/support. The fields covered are diverse ranging from Avionics, fibre-optics/telecoms, TV/brown goods through to industrial controls.

The company is now in a position to offer contract labour on an hr/day/week rate to businesses requiring additional support for paternity/maternity cover, sickness/holiday cover or additional resources for projects which are overrunning. Whatever your need may be we will be happy to discuss what we can do for you. Tel: 01634221900 or email: peterarajs@plot-tec.co.uk

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

35


CoRpoRatE CHrIstMas PaRtIes WiTH a DiFFeREnCe‌

Kent’S bEst Kept seCRet Probably Kent’s best multi activity event provider For over 20 years The Wright Event has been providing bespoke corporate events. Our expertise enables us to tailor an event to meet ĂŠÂ?Ă Âą´œaOnOÂąaÂŚĂ Âąa‰aÂŒÂźÂ´8ÂŒXV8ÂźÂ?Ă ÂąaÂŒÂźF8´aXÇaÂŒĂ aĂˆ|aÂąaĂˆa|8Ça ÀÎÎ8OÂąa´Â?mÂ´ÂźĂ ÂŒÂŒÂŒtm8¹‰†8ÂŒXVĂˆaO8ÂŒÂ?mmaÂą8ĂˆXaÂą8ÂŒtaÂ?mÂ?mmÂąÂ?8X XÂąÇÂŒt8OÂźÇÂźa´VOÂ?Ă ÂŒÂźÂąĂŠÂœĂ ÂąÂ´Ă Ÿ´8ÂŒXÂźa8‰FĂ †XÂŒtÂź8´…´¥ mÂ?Ă ÂąÇaÂŒĂ aXÂ?aÂ´ÂŒÂŽÂź‰aaŸÊÂ?Ă ÂąÂŒaaX´ĂˆaO8ÂŒÂœÂąÂ?ÇXaaÇaÂŒÂźÂ´8Âź‰8ÂŒĂŠ Â?Âź|aÂą†Â?O8ÂźÂ?Ϋ8ÂŒXO8ÂŒ8OÂź8´ÇaÂŒĂ anÂŒXa¹´mÂąaÂŚĂ ÂąaXÂĄ ¢ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¢

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@facilitatorkent fab turn out for the Medway After Hours Club last night @InvictaChamber #PackedEvent

RT @InvictaChamber: As a Chamber Member... I’m well connected.: http://youtu.be/F2lnAW23S78 via @youtube #JoinYourChamber #Wellconnected

TWBC_Business

Shirley Mansfield

@TWBC_Business - 17 Sep

@coachsme - 16 Aug

Free 1to1 #business #startup advisory sessions @InvictaChamber; call 01732 783589 or email businesssupport@kentinvictachamber.co.uk.

Great marketing session this morning. Some fresh air and a break then hitting sales next at @InvictaChamber workshop

LinkedIn

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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MEMBERSNEWS

Warnborough College Celebrates its 40th Anniversary at the Cathedral Lodge Warnborough College marked its 40th anniversary in Canterbury in a series of events in mid-August. Julian Brazier, the MP for Canterbury, sent best wishes for a successful celebration. Guests from the four corners of the globe were welcomed to the Warnborough Headquarters on Lower Bridge Street.

The College’s inaugural convention on Fine Arts and Art History saw delegates being welcomed by John Gilbey, head of the Canterbury City Council. Speakers came from as far as the Philippines, USA and Switzerland, with local support in the form of renowned Canterbury gallery owner, David Lilford. Dr Jill Kiefer, from California, director of the Warnborough Fine Arts programme, was encouraged by the success and stated that the 2014 convention

would be even bigger. “Canterbury, with its combination of history and culture, is the perfect city to host an international conference”, she said. Worthies were honoured during a special 40th anniversary awards presentation. An Australian Aboriginal Elder from the Bibilmum Noongar language group, Robert Francis Isaacs, received an honorary degree from Warnborough College (Ireland) in recognition of his contribution to social work and Aboriginal affairs, leading to the social and economic advancement of Aboriginal people in Western Australia. Robert has already been honoured with an Australian Order of Merit and currently serves as a Justice of Peace in Perth. The Reverend Canon Dr Richard G. Martin of All Saints Church, Brisbane, associated with Warnborough since its founding in Oxford in 1973 had a school of religious studies dedicated to him. He was appointed in 1986 as honorary Chaplain to Warnborough College by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and was instrumental in encouraging Warnborough to relocate to Canterbury in 2001. Other notable guests included Dr John Allen (Baltimore), Dr Ray Morland (Australia), Judge Dr Linda Wilde (California), Allan Lappay (Philippines), Dr Michael Henss ( Zurich), Dr Matina Chronopoulou and Mrs Sybil Hofmann (Athens), David Christy and daughter Sarah (Indiana), and

Robert Tao (Beijing). They all enjoyed their time in Canterbury, Dover and an afternoon tea at historic Walmer Castle. Dr Brenden D. Tempest-Mogg, College President, said “We are extremely delighted with the support we have received for our 40th year. Everything was very positive and the atmosphere was just incredible.”

St George’s Business Park - home to 61 companies in Sittingbourne Enterprise Centres are not just providers of flexible work space but have an on-site centre managing team offering a range of useful services to support growing businesses. This centre, established in 2000, provides a variety of businesses with flexible accommodation on easy-in easy-out monthly licence terms. Set in an attractive landscaped business park, customers and their visitors enjoy the benefits of free parking, 24/7 access and on-site security. With good access to Sittingbourne town centre, St George’s is located on the Eurolink Industrial Estate, with excellent links to the A249 for the M2, M20 and Sittingbourne railway station. A dedicated on site centre management team can provide call answering on demand, and are trained to activate high speed quality telephone and internet services as required. The manned reception offers printing services and mail handling including daily post collections and deliveries. All building maintenance and repair on this landscaped park is managed by an on-site handyman who keeps the site well presented for a professional business image. Virtual services are offered for start-ups or those who want to work from home but need a business centre address or use of meeting rooms. For any enquiries about availability contact the Centre Manager on 01795 432605 or see our website www.capitalspace.co.uk/Sittingbourne/St-Georges-Business-Park.

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CHAMBEREVENTS

Chamber Events Breakfast Networking with Business An opportunity to put your business in the spotlight to highlight its products/services and how these can help other businesses. You will make new contacts and generate business leads, whilst sharing ideas, and experiences with like-minded business people. Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 08:00 - 09:30 Non-Members: £20.00 + VAT Members: £15.00 + VAT Join us for a delicious full English breakfast and lots of networking. 12th November 2013 08:00 - 09:30 Guest Speaker - Rachel Downer Abode Hotel, 30-33 High Street, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2RX Hosted by Sezen Zeki 15th November 2013 The Dog & Bear Hotel The Square Lenham, Kent ME17 2PG Hosted by Colin Davies 15th November 2013 Best Western Manor Hotel Hever Court Road Singlewell Gravesend, Kent DA12 5UQ Hosted by Louisa Felstead

Lunch Networking with Business This lunch time event slots neatly into the business day and provides the ideal opportunity for you to meet fellow professionals, grow the profile of your brand and to build new business relationships. Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 12:00 - 14:00 Non-Members: £25.00 + VAT Members: £20.00 + VAT Join us for a delicious two course lunch and lots of networking. 24th October 2013 The Royal Wells Hotel Guest Speaker - David Hatcher 59 Mount Ephraim Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8BE Hosted by Colin Davies 25th October 2013 (Members Only) AGM/Buffet Lunch 12.00 – 2.00 Free Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point Waterbrook Avenue Sevington, Ashford TN24 0LH Hosted by Jo James, Chief Executive 26th November 2013 Everest Inn Ashford 113 Station Road Ashford, Kent TN23 1PJ Hosted by Sezen Zeki

After Hours

Ashford The Conningbrook Hotel 5th November 2013

No booking required. Just turn up! The After Hours Club is a popular and highly successful ‘casual’ networking event.

Dartford Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre Guest Speaker - John Austin-Brooks 5th November 2013

Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 18:00 - 19:30 Free to Members and Non-members. Complimentary Tea and Coffee will be served. A Cash Bar is often available. Tonbridge The River Centre 8th October 2013

Tonbridge The River Centre 12th November 2013 Ashford Cineworld 14th November 2013 Canterbury The Abbots Barton 19th November 2013

Canterbury The Abbots Barton 15th October 2013 Medway F-Keys Ltd Guest Speaker - Mark Jennings 15th October 2013

Medway Free F-Keys Ltd Guest Speaker - Lisa Settle 19th November 2013

Maidstone The Russell Hotel 22nd October 2013

Maidstone The Russell Hotel 26th November 2013

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY 10th December 2013 Kent Invicta Chamber Annual Christmas Luncheon 12.00 – 2.30pm Chilston Park Lenham Sandway Kent ME17 2BE £24.50 + VAT Members £29.50 + VAT Non Members

To book either visit www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/events or email events@kentinvictachamber.co.uk or call 01233 503838

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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MEMBERSNEWS

What does the new employee-shareholder status mean for businesses? Employers and employees are reminded that on the 1st September a new type of employment status, in addition to employee and worker, came into force the “employee-shareholder”. What does this mean? Essentially, if you accept employee shares you will benefit from tax advantages on shares worth between £2,000 and £50,000. Not all employees who own shares in their employer’s business will be employed under an employee-shareholder contract, as there are certain conditions that will need to be met. However in return for accepting shares, employees will be expected to give up certain employment rights which ‘standard’ employees would have, including rights in relation to some types of unfair dismissal, statutory redundancy pay and certain statutory rights to request flexible working and time off for training.

What about tax? The first £2,000 worth of shares issued will be exempt from income tax and national insurance contributions. Is this compulsory? It should be noted that existing employees cannot be forced to take up the new employee-shareholder status. Is this a good idea? This really depends on the size, type of company as well as type of employees to whom the new employee-shareholder status is offered. There is a requirement in the legislation that before an individual becomes an employee-shareholder, they must receive advice from a relevant

Selwan Yousif, Company Commercial Partner at Hatten Wyatt incorporating Morlings independent adviser as to the terms and effect of the agreement. There is also a requirement of a seven day ‘cooling off’ period after the day on which the individual receives the advice. For more information contact 01474 351199 or visit www.hatten-wyatt.com

Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group specialises in helping SMEs to overcome short-term stress caused by problems such as communication breakdowns with funders, slow paying customers and bad debts, loss of turnover and issues with HMRC. easier to agree if the business has a good compliance history. Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group has successfully negotiated more than 1,000 arrangements in the past 10 years. In the company’s experience, HMRC’s demands on businesses struggling to pay their tax are now more onerous than ever. HMRC often require a business plan, including detailed financial forecasts, in support of an application for A TTP arrangement. Tax arrears are a common problem. From November 2008 to June 2011, there were more than 400,000 Time to Pay (TTP) arrangements entered into in the UK worth some £7.7bn, according to the latest available HMRC data. A TTP allows a viable business that has built up arrears of tax to make payments over a period that it can afford. HMRC never reduces the amount of tax due and all future liabilities are required to be paid in full and on time going forward. These arrangements are entered into on a case-by-case basis and usually

The company knows that external pressures, such as HMRC most commonly stem from underlying problems within the business. Its experts can negotiate with the Revenue on your behalf as well as identify and address the root causes that are affecting a business’ cashflow..

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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MEMBERSNEWS

Architectural Designs for Planning & Building Application Looking for a architectural design service for new build, extensions or loft conversions who can meet all your design & planning approval requirements? Extensions: I will provide the client within the a package to design for them an extension to their property, be it a Single storey or Double storey design, to the Side, Rear or both. Within this I will guide the client as to how to make the best use of the space available to them. I will explain clearly in terminology they are comfortable with what is allowed by the Planning department of their local councils. Also as part of the design process I will help with the choice of fit & consequentially finish of project.

Loft Conversions: As with Extensions I will provide the services to design an answer to a client's needs; find them a way to make the best use of a space little used for

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more than storage when, it could provide a client with extra Bedrooms, a Study or Bathroom. As before making sure all is clearly explained so the client comfortably understands what they are getting & how the project could look.

Property Conversions: I also provide a service to those who purchase properties wishing to either convert them from Houses in to Flats with the plan to rent them or sell them on, or to have a property which they wish to improve too then move on or rent.

I'm here to help. Choose Square & Level Practise for quality, value and service. I can provide a wide range of

architectural, construction and project management services. I am accustom to delivering projects on time on budget. My tailored solutions are designed to promote project efficiency and profitability. I am personally involved with every project, giving you peace of mind. Square & Level Practise can provide a turnkey service working effectively with other project team members including builders, council officials and the client's tradesman. I maintain strict client confidentiality on all work. T: 01622 721738 or 07813 655605 for friendly efficient help and advice E: barry@squarelevelpractise.co.uk W: www.squarelevelpractise.co.uk


MEMBERSNEWS

Find your way through the employment law maze Employment law is a maze. It is complex, constantly changing and has serious implications for businesses of all sizes. Now help is at hand to clarify employment legislation at a workshop in Medway presented by leading South East law firm Furley Page. The Furley Page team will guide delegates through recent developments in employment law and offer practical guidance on how to prepare for change. The effects on HR policies and procedures and people management will also be examined. Andrew and Amanda will cover new cases, employment reforms and all current and future changes to employment law. The workshop costs £55 to Kent Invicta Chamber members and £65 to non-members and includes bacon rolls and coffee. To book call 01233 503838, email events@kentinvictachamber.co.uk or reserve your place online at www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/furleypage Andrew Masters, Partner and Head of Employment at Furley Page

For more information about Furley Page visit www.furleypage.co.uk

The Employment Law Update 2013 / 2014 workshop, run in partnership with Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, will be held on 24 October and is open to chamber members and nonmembers whatever the size of their workforce.

Emma Harraden, Marketing Manager Hatten Wyatt incorporating Morlings

Over the years I have been networking within Kent and have met some great businesses and friends. However one thing that did become apparent was the unfortunate lack of female representation at some of these events. Now this is not to say that women were not present at all or even not invited – but after delving into the reasons behind this I discovered that some women do genuinely feel more confident about networking among other women; enjoy developing relationships with other women or simply are passionate about sharing their experiences and journeys with other women. We launched Professional Women in business in 2012 in Gravesend to provide a platform for women in business to come together to share, advance their careers and develop. The concept was simple, a little risky, but was clearly something we were all excited to be a part of. The first event attracted over 40 women in business and has since grown to almost 60. Guests range from those starting out in business to those who are looking for a change from a corporate career – or even just want to raise their profile.

Leading the interactive workshop will be Andrew Masters, Partner and Head of Employment at Furley Page. “This workshop will help employers and HR professionals keep up to date with the ever-changing complexities of employment law,” says Andrew. “As well as practical guidance, there will be question and answer sessions so there’s plenty of opportunity for delegates to raise issues of concern.”

I continue to network within other mixed groups and will never suggest either format works better – it is essentially up to the individuals to decide what works well for them. Variety and mixture is a simple recipe for success. I take great satisfaction in knowing that in some cases our events have provided women with the confidence to try other events and enter further into the ‘big wide world of business networking.

Andrew will be joined by Amanda Okill, a Senior Solicitor who specialises in employment law. The workshop is to be held at Bridgewood Manor Hotel, Walderslade Woods, Chatham. Registration is from 8am, with the workshop starting at 8.30am and finishing at noon.

Women in business networking: what is that all about?

emma.harraden@hatten-wyatt.com Amanda Okill, Senior Solicitor specialising in employment law

01474 351199

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24HOURSWITH

24 HOURSWITH Hilary Steel Owner, Kent Ideas www.kentideas.co.uk

Depending on whether I have a speaking engagement or dinner with a client, my day usually ends about 9-10pm.” “I tend to be on the road a lot when I am working and now that the Kent Ideas team has grown, many of the tasks I used to be responsible for have been delegated and, as our team communication is outstanding, things run smoothly.” “I do feel that, the busier you are, as long as your day is planned properly the more productive you can be.”

Organisation the key to a busy working life

“I do have a busy life and although the

day never really finishes I chose this lifestyle. I wanted to be able to work when needed and not have to adhere to set hours.” “Having said that, I am also a carer for my elderly parents so they also take up a percentage of my time.” “Having ‘me time’ is also important. I enjoy long walks in the beautiful Kentish countryside usually with a pub lunch involved. This usually happens on a Sunday, but the great thing is if we want some time out during the week because we work weekends we can arrange it.”

For Kent businesswoman Hilary Steel, the key to managing her busy life is good organisation and having the right people around her to help make it all happen. The owner of Kent Ideas is involved in different projects relating to business growth and development in Kent.

6.45am, either on my way to a networking breakfast or to the office to make a good start on the day.”

This ranges from publishing the quarterly Kent Women in Business Magazine to organising events and working with Business women through personal and professional development.

“Meetings usually begin about 11am, which could be planning the next event, working with a client who is focusing on the confidence and development of herself or her team or interviewing a business owner for the next edition of the magazine.”

This means that good planning is crucial, as is a flexible mind set. She said; “My working day starts between 6-7am, beginning with electronic admin. I am usually out of the door by

“Often, I will meet clients in the afternoon, or perhaps attend a session with my own mentor, which keeps my business goals and activities on track.

Often, I will meet clients in the afternoon, or perhaps attend a session with my own mentor which keeps my business goals and activities on track Launching the 1st edition of ‘KWIB’.

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REGIONALNEWS

Helping businesses to achieve their potential It was an honour and privilege to be appointed the new chairman of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) from August.

My predecessor, John Spence, laid down solid foundations for all of us to build the continued success of the SE LEP on. He worked tirelessly to help tackle and remove the blockages preventing business across our partnership from fulfilling their potential. My background is in investment banking - I spent my working life in the City as a partner of Laing & Cruikshank, and subsequently worked for Bankers Trust on Mergers and Acquisitions. I have also held several non-exec directorships of UK, US, and Australian companies. I am committed to strengthening the input of the business community in our work and we have amended SE LEP’s structures to achieve just that. Through the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and others we have enhanced the role of the local partnerships supporting SE LEP. This will help us deliver specific solutions to local challenges faced by businesses. It will also strengthen our overarching work around issues such as the Lower Thames Crossing, aviation capacity, and developing our EU and Growth Strategies. With regards to the Lower Thames Crossing, the government’s preferred corridor for the new tunnel or bridge will be announced very shortly, if it has not already. SE LEP has backed the need for a Lower Thames Crossing and believes Option C - connecting the M2

with the A13 and M25 between junctions 29 and 30 – will deliver the greatest benefit to the economy. We also feel that Option C variant should be backed on all the possible options for the connectivity it offers from Dover through to the Midlands. I very much hope that together we can drive forward a new crossing that allows the expansion between Greater Essex and Kent of both vehicle and rail connection. This will help make it easier and faster to do business in our area. I have also started discussions with universities in Kent and the rest of the LEP to look at how we can support and fund turning the innovations and discoveries of their academics into successful and sustainable businesses. As this initiative progresses I would look to you for help in finding mentors and non-executive directors to provide expert support and guidance to these companies. Some of you may also wish to become business angels/investors in them. I am looking forward to working with you to ensure we are as agile and flexible as possible in the way we support you to flourish and create jobs. We must work together to send a loud and clear message that the SE LEP area is THE place to be if you want your business to grow and flourish. You will also be able to keep in touch with our work through our website, www.southeastlep.com, and signing up to our bi-weekly briefing by emailing lep@essex.gov.uk

Peter Jones Director, South East Local Enterprise Partnership

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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NEWMEMBERS

Welcome to new members 360 Employment Evolution Maidstone 01622 232603 www.360employment-evolution.com Recruitment & Training

First Choice Mobility Ltd Westbrook 01843 292136 www.1stchoicemobility.co.uk Mobility, Disability, Repair & Service

MHA MacIntrye Hudson (Kent) LLP Canterbury 01227 464991 www.macintyrehudson.co.uk Accountancy & Business Advice

Active Financial Partners Sittingbourne 01795 477744 www.activefinancialmedway.co.uk Independent Financial Advisers

Grosvenor Profiles Ltd Sittingbourne 01795 519911 www.grosvenorprofiles.com Supplying Aluminium Extrusions for Architecture, Technology and Industry

Nicola Bowen Rees Sevenoaks 01732 469455 Marketing (Digital, Direct, Integrated) Comms, PR, Business Development

Alexander Centre Trust C.I.C, The Faversham 01795 594460 www.thealexandercentre.com Community Venue AMJ IT Limited Ashford www.amj-uk.com IT Services

01233 663205

Ashford Volunteer Centre Ashford 01233 665535 www.volunteering-ashford.org Charity/Voluntary AWH Consultancy Rochester www.awhconsultancy.co.uk Business Development & Project Management

Hidsons Gravesend www.hidsons.co.uk Motor Trade, Car Dealer

01474 546470

Impact Hypnotherapy Ashford 01233 896569 www.impacthypnotherapy.com Psychology of Winning, Changing Mindsets IQ Fire Solutions Ltd Hythe 08006 122709 www.iqfiresolutions.com Fire-Alarm Installation & Maintenance JPB Recruitment Chatham 07799 135930 www.jpbrecruitment.co.uk Permanent Commercial Recruitment

ODH Installations Maidstone 07590 108805 Installations, Repairs & Service to Gas Othalias Security Ltd London www.othaliassecurity.com Security

08432 891790

Plot-Tec UK Ltd Rochester 01634 221900 www.plot-tec.co.uk Electrical Automation Contractor Pomegranate Catering Ltd Canterbury 01227 733444 www.pomegranate-catering.co.uk Catering & Event Management RK International Machine Tools Ltd Erith 01322 447611 www.rk-int.com The Sale of New and Used Machine Tools

Basepoint Northfleet Northfleet 01474 338701 www.basepoint.co.uk Work Space to Let, Meeting Room Facilities, Virtual Offices, Networking Hubs

Kent Insurance Brokers Maidstone www.kentinsurance.co.uk Insurance Brokers

BdR (Civil and Structural Engineering) Hadlow 01732 851416 www.bdr.uk.com Civil & Structural Engineering Consultancy

Kent Wine Academy Ltd Ashford 01233 502997 www.kentwineacademy.co.uk Wine School

Bell Hotel, The Sandwich 01304 613388 www.bellhotelsandwich.co.uk Hotel

Ketles.com LLP (KAS Call Answering) Rochester 01634 226688/226000 www.ketles.com Call Answering, Telecoms Provider

Business Wealth Club Sevenoaks, The Edenbridge 01732 400099 www.thebusinesswealthclub.co.uk/sevenoaks Business Training & Coaching

Lloyds TSB Bank Plc - Mid Kent Maidstone 07788 183144 www.lloydstsb.com Banking Services

Canterbury & District Mental Health Forum Canterbury 01227 788211 www.canterburymentalhealth.org.uk Mental Health Forum

Lloyds TSB Bank Plc - North Kent Chatham 07834 946197 www.lloydstsb.com Banking Services

Stringwind Repairs Ashford 01303 488284 www.stringwindrepairs.co.uk Sales & Repairs of Musical Instruments - Making Instruments & Tools

Centrasys Limited West Malling www.centrasys.co.uk Business Support Services

01732 897889

Magenta Imaging Ltd Ashford 01892 513307 www.magentaimaging.com Business Equipment to Scan, Print & Copy

Sunways Travel Longfield 01474 704186 www.sunways.co.uk Corporate & Leisure Travel Agency

Cineworld Ashford Ashford www.cineworld.co.uk Leisure and Entertainment

01233 620670

Marlowe Theatre Development Trust, The Canterbury 01227 456448 www.marloewtheatre.com Fundraising in Support of the Marlowe Theatre

Target Your Potential West Malling 01732 617006 www.targetyourpotential.co.uk Supporting Young People into Employment

Computers 4 Africa Aylesford 03000 112233 www.computers4africa.org.uk Charity - Accepts Donations of Working IT

Media Dynamiks Ashford www.mediadynamiks.co.uk Marketing PR & Training

01233 329616

Vector Resources Sittingbourne 01795 250220 www.vector-resources.co.uk Sales Management Consultancy & Solutions

Fast Forward International Sittingbourne 01795 431012 www.fastforward.uk.com UK & European Transport, World Wide Forwarding

Medichem International (MFG) Ltd Queenborough 01795 581151 www.medichem-int.co.uk Manufacturer of Hair & Body Care Products

Willow Tree Private Health Clinic, The Hextable 01322 662299 www.thewillowtreeclinic.co.uk Health Clinic

08009 778020

Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa Wilmington 01322 615136 www.alexanderhotels.com Hotel Sharp Statistics Tonbridge www.sharpstatistics.co.uk Software Development

07513 410395

St George’s Business Park Sittingbourne 01795 432605 www.capitalspace.co.uk Provider of Workspace, Meeting Rooms

October-November 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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LASTWORD

MOVERS&SHAKERS

The Last Word

Russell Lelean – Office Manager

Name: Kirk Smith Russell has been in the travel industry since he left school and joined us at Sunways Travel Company: White Rose Finance After gaining my Maths degree, I jumped onto the corporate ladder and spent 20 years based in London and working in the consulting and professional services sector. I’m fortunate enough to have been able to help create entirely new ventures and fix other well established businesses. In moving on and developing my own business concern, I took on a partnership with White Rose Finance. Helping businesses gain access to funds requires in-depth and broad experience across a range of business issues. There’s nothing better in my professional life than working closely with a client to understand what they are trying to do, help shape their plans and enable them to get on with things and succeed.

Q.What was your first job and what was the pay packet? A Saturday job in a Sports shop (alongside a few other precocious A.teenagers). I think the pay was £12 to £15 - I’d hit the big time. Q.What do you always carry with you to work? A.Phone, wallet, pen and pad. Q.What is the biggest challenge facing your business? Helping businesses overcome inertia when thinking of funding - there is a A.very wide range of fully authorised, specialist and supportive financiers beyond the high street. you were the Prime Minister, what one thing would you Q.Ifchange to help business? Cash is King - implement policies to help businesses protect and preserve A.working capital. Q.What can you see from your office window? A.A horse chestnut tree, Norman Castle and a few tourists. Q.If you could do another job what would it be? A.A music producer. Q.As a business person, what are your three main qualities? Practical approach, building relationships and solving problems (and A.busting corporate jargon speak). Q.What was your biggest mistake in business? Travelling halfway across the world to see a client who had a habit of A.cancelling meetings at the last minute. Q.Who do you most admire in business? Warren Buffet - he invests for the long haul, focuses on the common sense A.issues of business, is not swayed by fads and supports his people. 50

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2013

nine years ago. He’s passionate about travel and speaking to clients about their holiday needs. He says sharing his knowledge and passion for this ever-changing industry is one of the many reasons why he loves his job. From a tailor-made itinerary round South America to a last minute all-inclusive holiday to Turkey, every day and every enquiry is different. Russell has now been promoted to Office Manager in charge of all aspects of Sunways Travel’s leisure and Business Travel Management divisions.

REBECCA JOINS CONSTRUCTION TEAM AT MPW

MPW Insurance Brokers have welcomed Rebecca Head as Account Handler to their Construction Division. Rebecca has previously worked on high profile clients for commercial and private cover and has 18 years’ experience in the industry. Rebecca comments; “The last six years I have specialised in the property and construction industry and was attracted to MPW who have a dedicated construction division. I wanted to use my skills further in this area and I am already enjoying working on a large development project in London.” Outside of work, Rebecca has a passion for fashion and spending time with her young family.

Have you got a new appointment you want to feature in Movers and Shakers then simply email karen@benhampublishing.com


Thinking Business  
Thinking Business  

October-November 2013. Official magazine for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce.