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Welcome As I welcome you to the final edition of Thinking Business for 2013, my first thought is 'where has the year gone?'. I remember in my youth, (obviously I have a good memory!), people telling me that as you get older the years pass quicker, I now know what they meant. It didn’t seem that long ago I was full of aspiration for 2013 and looking forward to further developing your Chamber and now I sit here reflecting on the past 12 months. It certainly has been a good year, with your Chamber being one of the fastest growing Chambers in the UK with growth of 11 percent and its thanks to you all, our members, who make the Chamber an attractive network that others want to belong to, and for that my thanks go to you all. In 2014 we will continue to focus our engagement with you on information that is relevant to you and assist you in developing your business. At the start of 2013 we had ambitions to increase the business support services that we provide. I’m pleased to say that we now offer free business advice to both start up and existing businesses, which is currently being funded via local authorities and Kent County Council. In fact, over the past 12 months we have helped more than 800 start up businesses across the County. We also wanted to give you further opportunities to meet new contacts and promote your business in 2013 and we have achieved this via extending our Business to Business Exhibitions. Building upon our successful, longstanding exhibition in Ashford, this year we ran additional B2B’s in Canterbury and North Kent.





Alongside this we held two sector specific exhibitions for the Construction and Manufacturing/ Engineering sectors. These have been well received by members and from the feedback we have received from you, we will be organising an additional B2B in West Kent in 2014. The Kent Construction Focus Group (Kcfg), continues to grow from strength to strength, making it the largest and most active sector group within the County if not within the South East. If you are in the construction sector and have yet to join Kcfg, its something you should certainly look at for 2014. The number of Kent companies now using our Export Documentation continues to grow month on month, and its great to see so many of you now looking at new International markets. Of course one of the key changes this year was moving away from our inhouse monthly newsletter to working with Benham Publishing on our new business magazine. I have been delighted with the positive feedback that we have had from members and we will continue to make it a publication you want to read and be part of. So what for the coming year? We want to really focus on the services that we provide to you all as members and ensure that they are truly of value to you and will ensure that your Chamber continues to be one of the leading Accredited Chambers in the UK. I do hope 2013 was a good year for you and that it continues throughout 2014. Have a great Christmas break and see if you can turn off your phone and truly relax.

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Chamber News Members News International Trade 24 hours with... Membership Benefits Policy Spotlight on... The Economy Cover Feature Big Interview

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: Web: 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: Web: Published December 2013 © Benham Publishing Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email:

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Members News Ask the Expert Chamber Chatter Getting Started Chamber Events Chamber Exhibitions Regional News New Members The Last Word Movers & Shakers

Production Manager Fern Badman Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Media No. 1341 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.

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Kent ready for economic recovery, says report With businesses reporting increased orders, millions of pounds of investment incentives on offer and with major strengths in sectors likely to grow, the county’s economy is set fair as the recovery takes hold, according to the 2013 Kent Property Market Report. The report, which reviews the county’s commercial, retail, tourism, rural and residential markets and its regeneration programmes, is produced by Kent County Council, leading international property consultants and chartered surveyors Caxtons and investment promotion agency Locate in Kent. It was launched at Discovery Park, Sandwich, which, with its Enterprise Zone status and state-of-the-art facilities for life science companies, is a key symbol of Kent’s potential for growth. The report finds that, while the county’s property market faced another challenging year in 2012, there are grounds for optimism as the economy shows signs of improvement. It highlights: • More than £60million being made available across the county from the Regional Growth Fund and other financial support programmes such as Expansion East Kent and TIGER; • Major strengths in sectors likely to grow, especially in the life sciences, low carbon, environmental goods and services, advanced manufacturing, creative and digital and landbased sectors; • Benefits coming through from major infrastructure investments of recent years, such as High Speed One; • Major development sites in the Thames Gateway, Ashford and elsewhere in the county opening up some of the most significant investment opportunities in the region. Mark Dance, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We know that businesses across the county are still coming to terms with the challenging financial environment – but the news of an emerging economic recovery is very welcome.” There is growing confidence in Kent’s residential property market with average values increasing by 1.1% year-on-year to April 2013, just below the UK average, and an upsurge in demand from buyers has been reflected in an equivalent rise in land sales as developers secure sites.

Report Partners: Pictured with copies of the Kent Property Market Report 2013 at Discovery Park are (l-r): Paul Wookey, Chief Executive, Locate in Kent; Paul Barber, Managing Director, Discovery Park; Paul Carter, Leader, Kent County Council; Mark Dance, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Kent County Council; Ron Roser, Chairman, Caxtons; Neil Chatterton, Managing Director, Caxtons Meanwhile, high streets in Kent performed well with average rents continuing their upward trend and outperforming the rest of the South East and the UK. Although yields saw little movement, the county still outperformed the UK average, while Leisure and Tourism’s contribution to the county’s economy grew by £200million to £3.4billion with 57 million visitors, supporting more than 65,000 jobs. In other key areas: • Kent’s Business Parks held their own during 2012 in terms of average rental growth and yields, but occupier demand remained light; • The Office sector saw falls in average rents, although the rate slowed from -5.6% in 2011 to

-2.6% in 2012. Yields suffered as investors sought safe haven investments, largely in London; • In the Industrial and Distribution sector, rents fell, reflecting an over supply of secondary stock and lack of business confidence; • Warehouse average rents fell by 1.2% to -0.02% after two years of growth, a positive position compared to a 1.5% drop in the South East as a whole; The Kent Property Market Report is also supported by Maidstone-based DHA Planning, Lloyds TSB, RICS South East, and Kent law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore.

EU Funded HR Advisory Service for Medway & Swale The Chamber are working with Medway Council on an EU funded project that provides free face to face HR advice and support to SME businesses in the Swale & Medway area. If you need some advice on your policies, contracts or have recruitment and personnel issues, contact the Chamber on 01634 919012 and ask for an HR review. For details on the IMPRESS project go to


ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014


Nova IT Solutions Wins Regional Award Canterbury-based Nova IT Solutions won the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Online Business of the Year for the South East region which was sponsored by Dell.

Left to right: Carole Barron (Chamber Chair), Jo James (Chamber CE), Heather Novak (Nova IT), Roland Novak (Nova IT), Dr. Adam Marshall (BCC) The Award recognises businesses that have used the internet to increase sales and profits to grow their business. Heather and Roland Novak were presented with their certificate at the Kent Invicta Chamber’s AGM on the 25th October and went into the national finals on the 28th November for the title of National Online Business of the Year 2013. Nova IT Solutions are a Multi Award Winning company that provide outstanding IT Support Services, seven days a week. With a small, but growing team, Nova IT Solutions have been recognised for their business excellence in both the

Kent Invicta Chamber Awards, Keiba Awards and are previous BCC Regional Winners. More than 120 Members turned out for the AGM to see them collect the award. Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs for the BCC addressed members, highlighting the representational work that BCC are doing working alongside national government to ensure that the voice of business is heard. It was a great opportunity for members to hear first hand the work that the BCC are doing on their behalf to ensure an environment that is conducive to business growth and enterprise.

A fantastic opportunity available to Kent Invicta Chamber Members Did you realise that you can catch the attention of over 25,000 visitors a year by advertising in the Kent Invicta Chamber HQ in Ashford or sister office in Maidstone. Well you can, for as little as £180 + VAT for a whole year! All you need to do is supply an A3 poster & business cards to benefit from this special discounted rate. What a great advertising opportunity available within membership.

If you would like to know more contact Amanda

Trish Stretton MD at People face2face Ltd I’m all about developing and encouraging people to be ‘engaged with your business’ and ‘involved in its success’. With a comprehensive CV in organisational development that includes international collaborations for Leadership Development and Talent management. I’ve set up training functions from scratch, grown them into value added business services, downsized them, recruited for them and developed team members to support businesses in good times and bad. I’ve been in the learning and development industry for 26 years and have seen trends come and go! Back in the 80’s, I cut my teeth on running courses for ‘Youth Training’ including developing the first Retail NVQs. This gave me a real insight to building confidence and self-worth in people, something I continue with to this day. I’m also great at getting to the bottom of things quickly and helping people solve their problems effectively. I’m now growing People face2face Ltd internationally, a company I set up in 2002 and an Approved Centre for the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM). We provide Coaching and Mentoring qualifications (Levels 3, 5 & 7), Disciplinary & Grievance programmes, Master-classes, team events, one to one coaching/mentoring, Keystone (a 5-day development course for support-staff), consultancy and bespoke training events. Discounts are available for KIC members. If you need help to develop great attitudes and effective behaviours in your people email, alternatively visit

Roberts: Or Tel: 01233 503838

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Automatic Pensions Enrolment – What You Need To Know Colin Bannister Director of Financial Planning, WK Financial Management 01622 238345

This is the first of a series of articles which will look at the key aspects of the new workplace pension law commonly referred to as auto-enrolment. Auto-enrolment means that every employer has a legal duty to help their staff in the UK save for retirement, by automatically enrolling the majority into a qualifying workplace pension scheme. In stages from 1 October 2012 until 1 April 2017 employers will have to automatically enrol the vast majority of their workforce into a pension scheme and make contributions on their behalf. By October 2018 a total employer contribution of 3% will be required. It is also the employers’ responsibility to: • review any existing pension arrangements already offered to its employees; • provide a qualifying scheme for workers;

• automatically enrol all eligible jobholders into the scheme; • pay an employer contribution for eligible jobholders to the scheme; • enrol any non-eligible and entitled jobholders at their request; • inform all eligible jobholders that they have been automatically enrolled and that they can opt out if they want to; and • register details of the scheme with The Pensions Regulator. Employers’ timeline or “staging date” is determined by the total number of employees in their largest PAYE scheme and the larger companies have already passed many of their deadlines. For mid-sized and smaller companies, prompt action will be required to make sure they have genuine choice over the best solution for them and their employees. The Pensions Regulator will write to each employer confirming their staging date, 12 months, then three months beforehand. To prepare for auto-enrolment an employer will need to categorise their workforce into the three new types of employee; eligible, non-eligible and entitled workers. A review should also be undertaken of any existing pension arrangement and other employee benefits offered. Employers who fail to comply with their new duties may be subject to statutory notices, penalties, escalating fines or even imprisonment. In addition to the requirement to auto-enrol, employers are banned from offering incentives to workers to opt out of an auto-enrolment scheme. There are separate penalties that apply to employers using prohibited recruitment conduct. The articles in this series will take a more in-depth look at the different aspects of auto-enrolment and how they affect both you as an employer, and your employees. For further information please contact Colin Bannister on 01622 238345 or by email on


ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014


Hospice opens charity shop Shoppers in Westerham can now bag some feel-good bargains at a new charity shop, raising funds for Kent’s only children’s hospice at home. The new chYps Children’s Hospice at Home shop in Market Square opened its doors to the public on Monday 28 October. Dozens of shoppers eager to grab a bargain turned out to see Westerham man and British produce campaigner James Bradshaw cut the ribbon. Money raised from sales at the shop will help chYps to care for seriously ill babies, children and young adults in their own homes across Kent.

Help to develop start-up businesses Great news for Start-ups. The Enterprise Foundation is a national charity providing low cost accommodation for business start-ups specifically from under-represented groups.

Special offer from Kent’s premier sign and vehicle graphics company SEC Signworks has come a long way in the past three years and the essence of the company is summed up in four key virtues: Quality, Service, Professionalism and Price. Quality in terms of accuracy of colour and logo reproduction, materials selected for the job, final installation and staff and training. Service in terms of offering the right advice for the best job and sticking to the promise made – getting the sign made and installed within the agreed time frame. Professionalism comes with experience and SEC Signworks has this in abundance. Finally, SEC Signworks charges a fair price for a great job. The product range covers just about everything you would expect from a sign maker, A-boards, banners, built-up letters and logos engraved plaques, exhibition display, factory and shop signs, site boards, vinyl graphics, vehicle livery and window graphics as well as the vinyl wrapping revolution. The company can wrap anything from a Smart Car to a Double Decker Bus, whether just for a colour change or a full, digitally printed campaign. Furthermore, the team has been branching out with the vinyl wrapping process to vinyl wrap trailers, walls, reception areas, doors, filing cabinets, lockers, large generators and more. The company has transferred all of this work from its existing Faversham workshops to a dedicated workshop in Aylesham. Member to member offer The company has slashed its prices with a 10% discount. This starts with immediate effect and also covers any work currently in progress.

The Enterprise Foundation has launched two major centres in Leeds and Birmingham with five new centres planned for the Kent/Medway area, Maidstone will open early 2014 followed by Chatham and Folkestone with Ashford and the Tonbridge & Malling District centres following mid-year. The charity provides a number of key features for beneficiaries: • • • •

Grants Available – for Rent Subsidy No Hidden Charges – allowing you full control Easy-in, Easy-out Agreements Free Meeting Rooms – at no additional cost to beneficiaries • On-site Mentor - providing practical assistance. • Regular Networking Events & Workshops for members to attend. If you are a recent start-up, social enterprise or charity then please call us on 0300 1231060, ask for Roy Laming the General Manager for the Southeast. Roy Laming 0300 1231060

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BitesizeNews Kent’s best kept technology secret? Avocet Strategic Resourcing specialises in the supply of IT personnel. Its expert consultants have more than 50 years’ specific industry and one aim – to attract Kent-based IT talent for Kent-based IT positions. Its team passionately believe in getting the recruitment process working effectively. For them, people are the heart of technology. How do they support their clients? • Sourcing elusive technical skills – the team may already know the person it’s difficult to attract • Saving precious time and money • Presenting a small number of suitable individuals • Offering access to a Kent wide network of IT professionals • Only charging fees on successful placements • Discretely approaching passive candidates on a client’s behalf, offering anonymity The company recruits permanent and contract personnel and offer Chamber members a 20% discount. Working with Avocet allows clients to concentrate on what they do best – their core business.

GeoMedia award-winning design consultancy GeoMedia has been awarded the Creative Business of the Year at the Kent Independent Traders Awards. According to the company: “We were incredibly pleased to win the award. Over the past five years, we have worked very hard to integrate into the local community and to build a reputation for extremely high quality design, so we are proud to finally have the recognition and to be an award-winning agency. “We see that Kent has a lot to offer and is full of opportunities. Over the years we have been working with some great companies based in Kent. “Unfortunately, people’s perception is that you have to go into London to get truly creative design work, but we know that there is talent within Kent that should be being utilised and kept here in Kent. We

are making them aware that design in Kent can rival London agencies, as well as being cost effective. “GeoMedia’s success is down to the passion with which we approach every project. Our aim is to increase the value in a client’s brand; to achieve this we create original design that is truly versatile, producing solutions that are exciting, fresh and memorable. We take great pride in being a part of the development process of businesses, helping them to grow and in turn contributing to the development and prosperity of Kent as a county.” To find out more about GeoMedia you can view their website: or Contact Simon on

Your customers or your business – who do you serve? Once the darling of the stock market, Ryanair have been forced to admit that their unfriendly and unhelpful customer service practices are affecting their business.

Contact Karyn Dooley on 0845 4590085 or visit New Parent Portal technology helps schools communicate with parents An exciting new internet solution is proving popular with both staff and parents at large independent school ESMS. Kent web development company developed the solution, known as a Parent Portal, to solve a problem often experienced by schools: inefficiency in handling communication with parents. director Adrian Brown said, “By using this Parent Portal, both parents and the school save valuable time and effort.” Parents log in to view information about their children and to book activities and events. The portal is integrated with the school’s management information system (MIS), meaning that data is retrieved and updated instantly. For more information visit


ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014

The statistics are clear. It costs 5-10x to acquire a client and 1x to keep them. But if a client is lost through poor product or poor customer service then it is 50-100x more costly to get them back. So the mantra here is this - look after your existing clients! Ask yourself these questions about how you treat your customers: • Do you know who your top customers are? • When was the last time you saw them face to face? • Do you understand their business pain (how can you solve it)? • Do you know what business service delights them? • Do you know what they hate (in regards to business practices)?

• Are they likely to recommend you to someone else? • Would they still do business with you if you messed up? • Do you have a customer satisfaction process in place? • Do you find out why customers leave? Talk to us about how we can help your business to grow through looking after your clients. Our clients have won18 business awards over the last 4 years for growth through our approach. You can too! Dr Wayne Wright – Managing Partner [W]sq solutions W: E:


Work takes off on new Kent landmark Leading Kent builder Epps Construction has made a flying start to work on one of the most iconic building projects currently underway in the county. The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust asked the family firm, one of the county’s top construction companies, to build The Wing, a visitor experience and education centre that will be at the heart of the National Memorial to the Few at Capel-le-Ferne. The Ashford-based company, which specialises in helping clients achieve cost savings by using innovative methods, has already finished piling the site and the uniquely-shaped building will soon start to appear. Managing Director Richard Epps said he was “absolutely delighted” to have won the contract to build the centre, which has been designed by Folkestone firm Godden Allen Lawn in the shape of a Spitfire wing. The building also features a central first floor viewing gallery that will offer spectacular views over the Channel, from where the Luftwaffe appeared day after day in the summer and late autumn of 1940. “This is a fantastic opportunity to create a stunning building that will stand as a reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of the aircrew of the RAF,” said Richard.

Epps was given a significant helping hand at the start of the project when Battle of Britain veteran Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC AE took to the helm of an Epps Construction excavator to make a start on clearing the site. The Wing, set to be open in time for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in 2015, will feature high-tech audio-visual displays that will tell the story of the battle, as well as an education area where schoolchildren will be able to learn about the historic event. The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust needs another £1m to complete the hightech experience, but has raised enough cash to complete the building itself. It was helped by Epps Construction’s expertise in carrying out a ‘value engineering’ process in which it worked with Godden Allen Lawn to reduce the costs of the project without affecting its appearance.

“Live as if you were to die South East businesses get up to £2,000 tax cut tomorrow. Learn as if you About 200,000 businesses in the South East could see their National Insurance Contributions (NICs) cut by up to £2,000 when the new Employment Allowance is introduced in April 2014.

were to live forever.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Across the UK 1.25 million businesses and charities will benefit from the new allowance on employer NICs. In the South East 68,000 will pay no employer NICs at all.

As a soft skills training provider, I specialise in the design, delivery and evaluation of training initiatives and have worked with a wide range of organizations of various sizes in the public and private sectors for almost twenty years.

The allowance will mean that a business that employs one person on £22,400 will pay no employer NICs on that employee’s earnings. A business employing five adults full-time on the national minimum wage will see their employer NICs bill reduced by over 80 per cent.

Though standard and bespoke training packages, I always aim to work closely with clients, placing a high priority on understanding organizational culture and business needs, and to ensure accurate training design and appropriate delivery style.

Available every year, the allowance will be simple to claim and easy to administer. Businesses will confirm their eligibility for the allowance through their regular payroll processes and up to £2,000 will be deducted from their employer NICs liability over the course of the year. Businesses paying NICs of £2,000 or less will pay no employer NICs at all. Over 90 per cent of the benefit of the new allowance will go to businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and we want to do what we can to support them.”

Flexibility is offered concerning course duration, including full days, half days, short sessions, early or late sessions and Saturday training. My Consultancy Service offer 360° Feedback, Mystery Shopper, and Team support to identify issues and support struggling team members. A Counseling Service is available for staff needing additional help and support: Contact details: telephone 07881029702, email, website

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Board set up to help deliver Marketing opportunity for the ‘big six’ projects Kent visitor businesses A new strategic board is being set up to support delivery of six key initial projects which are critical to the future economic growth and prosperity of the Ashford borough.

Tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses can sign up now to take part in the highlight of the county’s spring calendar – Kent Big Weekend 2014 – to be held on March 29 and 30 marking the start of English Tourism Week.

The ‘big six’ schemes are: the Commercial Quarter, Elwick place, Designer Outlet expansion, Ashford International College campus, Junction 10a and Jasmin Vardimon International Dance Academy.

This popular Visit Kent event, now in its eighth year, showcases the wide range of visitor attractions and experiences available across the county to Kent people – from bushcraft, art and pottery classes to wild animal parks, historic houses, cathedrals and castles.

The proposal to set up a new Ashford Strategic Delivery Board was agreed by Ashford Borough Council’s Cabinet. The board will bring together key public and private sector partners and provide a coordinated approach to the delivery of key projects identified by the council. Councillors say that the ‘big six’ initial projects are all priority projects in the council’s corporate plan and include large scale developments that will unlock major opportunities, deliver new jobs, housing, retail and cultural facilities, whilst supporting the improvements to the heart of the town centre and the wider borough as a whole. The board will be directed by Ashford Borough Council to ensure local democratic accountability and will include Kent County Council, the Homes and Communities Agency, Skills Funding Agency, Arts Council England, the Highways Agency, the local college and Kent Invicta chamber of Commerce. The move comes after the cessation of the Ashford Locality Board.


ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014

All Kent Big Weekend free tickets and opportunities made available by businesses in the county will be promoted on the event website. Residents are then invited to browse through the attractions and apply for tickets. All applications are placed in attractions ballots and allocated randomly once the ballots close. Kent Big Weekend 2013 received a record 92,000 ticket applications to visit 123 different attractions. Ticket seekers made 68,892 visits to the Kent Big Weekend website, which recorded more than 1,190,000 page views. To register your business to be part of Kent Big Weekend 2014, and for further information, go to


The company where you can have it all Can women have it all – family and career? One business is showing that it is possible. With Tina’s desire for a healthier work/life balance, they decided to base their business model on employing people who want a ‘2nd Career’, who built careers in the City but now have a family or other areas of interest. E2W, targets people who want a fulfilling career, are highly qualified and experienced but need to achieve a balance in their lives. The office hours are 9.30am–2.30pm but, because they are employing people that are used to juggling and multi-tasking, are efficient and experienced, they generally get a full day’s work done in five hours without compromising other important aspects of their lives and time with the family. Tina said: “In 2002 I was faced with a dilemma. I wanted to return to work and to continue my career, something I felt I had earned during my City days, but I did not want to compromise on my responsibilities of being a mother. “I wanted it all and knew I was not alone so we setout to create a City-based environment in Kings Hill but with the flexibility and understanding of the needs of the people we employ. Mark and Tina Freed E2W, which is based in Capital Space’s Churchill Square Business Centre in Kings Hill, has created a business model around extraordinary people, flexibility, a gap in the market and a positive work/life balance.

The business model used by Mark and Tina is dependent on a lot of factors but one of them is crucial – the extraordinary people they employ.

“Financial Institutions, even today, are missing out on a significant, qualified resource pool. They just don’t understand or can’t accommodate the ‘working parent’ into their business or recognize people as more than ‘an employee’. Their loss is our gain.”

The company is run by Tina and Mark Freed, an entrepreneurial team that spotted an opportunity back in 2002. Tina spent many years working in the City at the London Stock Exchange and Credit Suisse and was a high-flying mother who sold her soul to the daily commute. Mark sold financial software to global financial institutions and both of them travelled, worked long hours and juggled parenthood. In 2002, with the desire to gain more control over the balance of work/life, Mark and Tina spotted a gap in the market, a missing link between the financial software clients for whom Mark worked and the financial powerhouses for whom Tina worked. E2W builds relationships with ‘C’ Level contacts in financial institutions on behalf of their clients, who benefit from a reduced cost of sale and increased revenue. It is not a telemarketing company or a sales generation company but instead focuses on relationship building and sector insight. The company now has offices in the UK, North America, and Singapore and has recently opened in Switzerland.

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



BitesizeNews Kent wine takes off with British Airways A Kent sparkling wine took off with the inaugural British Airways A380 flight.

ADEY sets up R&D laboratory at Kent Science Park The UK’s No.1 magnetic filter manufacturer, ADEY Professional Heating Solutions, has invested in a new research and development facility at Kent Science Park to be run by leading industry chemist and former Fernox water treatment specialist Mo Jassal. Queen’s Award for Innovation for its MagnaClean filter. The new lab will provide research and rigorous test facilities for the development of existing and new formulations. A technical services team will also be based at the site.

As the world’s largest airliner departed Heathrow for Los Angeles, passengers in First Class enjoyed Balfour Brut Rosé, an English sparkling wine produced near Cranbrook.

Mo Jassal said: “As the pioneers of magnetic filtration, ADEY’s a dynamic and progressive business, leading innovation in the plumbing and heating industry.

The wine is produced using the traditional Champagne method at Hush Heath Estate and Winery. Producer Richard Balfour-Lynn said: “I’m absolutely thrilled by British Airways’ decision to stock Balfour Brut Rosé on the A380. It’s particularly exciting that this has been brought about by First Class customers’ request.” The Hush Heath wine is also stocked on board the A380’s Hong Kong route, which launched on October 22.

With more than 13 years’ experience in developing chemical solutions for the plumbing and heating industry, Mo Jassal has been appointed Chemical Technical Manager and will head up the team at the new laboratory in Sittingbourne. As the pioneers of magnetic filtration technology, ADEY has gone from strength to strength since the company was established ten years ago in the garden shed of ex-British Gas installer Chris Adey. Last year, the company was awarded the prestigious

“It’s invested heavily in the new R&D lab and is committed to growing its chemical offering and exploring other product opportunities in the future. “It’s an exciting time to be joining the company and be part of a large science and technology community on the Kent Science Park campus.” James Speck, Site Director of Kent Science Park, said: “It is wonderful to have another market-leading company operating from Kent Science Park.”

PopUp Ashford open for business PopUp Ashford has opened its doors and its first raft of budding entrepreneurs is ready to welcome keen shoppers. Company hosts first UK hop symposium Shepherd Neame hosted the first UK Hop Symposium, a full day in and around Faversham, Kent, in which leading industry figures discussed one of beer’s vital ingredients. Supported by the British Guild of Beer Writers, the British Hop Association and TG Redsell Ltd, the inaugural UK Hop Symposium included a hop garden walk, talks from expert guests, displays and Shepherd Neame’s traditional hop blessing ceremony.


ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014

Ashford Town Team, set up by Ashford Borough Council, has joined forces with PopUp Britain to launch Kent’s first PopUp Britain shop in Ashford town centre, and offer a selection of start-up businesses the chance to test their trade on the high street. PopUp Ashford, based in Park Mall, opened its doors on Monday 14th October and celebrated in style with a big launch party. One of the shop’s first retailers Briony Benge-Abbott of Blooming Briony said: “It is great to be in PopUp Ashford and a real privilege to be in the first group traders. “My company is very new so this is a unique opportunity to meet new potential customers and see what they think of my designs, while also really supporting the initiative itself and to help bring Ashford town centre to life.” The pop-up shop will run for six months, with different retailers sharing and co-funding the space for between two and four weeks at a time. The shop has the capacity to house up to 10 start-ups, and

there is still time for businesses to book their slot ahead of the impending Christmas rush. The first start-ups to occupy PopUp Ashford include: • Blooming Briony, a homeware company with designs based around original oil paintings by the company’s founder • Laser Inspired Designs, an Ashford based engraving and gift personalisation company • Lovertons Ltd, an import/export agency that has introduced the Beutisa Range of specialist skincare • The Rainy Day Box Co, which creates beautiful boxes packed with fun activities for kids PopUp Ashford will not only give local entrepreneurs a town centre shop front and direct access to consumers, but will also help to boost Ashford’s retail offer and encourage more businesses to give the town centre a chance. Local businesses interested in taking part should go to


Mitchell & Cooper awarded Employer of the Year title Uckfield-based manufacturer Mitchell and Cooper won Employer of the Year at the East Sussex Women in Business Awards.

Inventor teams up with actress on life-saving project Kent Science Park-based inventor Alexander K Bushell has collaborated with actress Joanna Lumley OBE to launch two products aimed at helping to confront one of the world’s most serious problems – the supply of clean drinking and irrigation water.

The event, which took place at the Cavendish Hotel in Eastbourne, celebrated the achievements of inspirational East Sussex businesswomen. Employer of the Year was awarded to Mitchell and Cooper after it impressed the judges with its ability to demonstrate a female-friendly approach to employment by ensuring that its policies help both men and women fulfil their potential. Kat Cooper, Project Director at Mitchell and Cooper, said: “As a large proportion of our workforce consists of manufacturing staff, the jobs can be fairly physically challenging at times, which can naturally attract more males than females, but we work hard to make Mitchell and Cooper a company that encourages women in the industry through offering comprehensive training and opportunities in every aspect of our operation. To be recognised for this is a real honour.” As a leading manufacturer of kitchen and bar equipment, Mitchell & Cooper design, produce and supply an impressive array of innovative products.

Alexander Bushell (L), Joanna Lumley OBE and Kane Kramer, BIS Chairman (R). Alexander has developed the Raincatcher and SDS (Solar Desalination System), both of which could potentially save many lives. The Raincatcher is a simple, cost-effective rainwater collection and filtration system that can be used for drinking water, horticultural or animal feeding. The SDS is a modular seawater desalination system that can be used for drinking or horticultural use. Alexander and Joanna unveiled the products at the 2013 British Invention Show at the Barbican Centre in London. Joanna said: “All over the world I have seen with my own eyes the difference clean water can make to a community: quite simply it’s the difference between health and disease, life and death.

“Pure water is in short supply even in countries where clean rain buckets down from the skies, and yet women are still struggling to care for their children with foul water contaminated by sewage. These brilliant products are specially targeted at the poorest communities, and I am both excited and proud to be involved in their development.” James Speck, Site Director at Kent Science Park, said: “The Raincatcher and SDS are two revolutionary products that not only provide a solution to an ongoing problem, but can also make a huge difference to people all around the world. With Joanna’s backing, Alexander can eventually supply these products to places where clean drinking water isn’t readily available.”

Kat Cooper with the award

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



North Kent to Benefit from £4.4bn deal with Centrica for four-year LNG supply Centrica agrees to import 3m tonnes of liquefied natural gas from Qatargas, as previous contract nears expiry

Centrica will receive further gas supplies from Qatargas, which notes that climate-change policies ‘have dampened gas consumption’. Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has turned to Qatar for its energy supplies in a £4.4bn deal that will mean one eighth of Britain’s homes being supplied with gas heating from the emirate until 2018. The agreement announced on Wednesday underscores the UK’s dependency on imported fuel as North Sea supplies run out more rapidly than predicted. Centrica signed a deal with Qatar’s national gas company, Qatargas, to import 3m tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – enough to supply 13% of domestic gas use, or about 3m households – from now to the end of 2018. The company will pay about £4.4bn for the fuel. The fuel, which will be delivered by tanker to the north Kent coast, comes amid growing global competition for liquefied natural gas, with prices in Asia significantly higher than those in Europe. In the US, meanwhile, gas prices are at historic lows, as an over-production of shale gas has led to rock bottom prices. The role of gas in global energy supplies, and the effects on greenhouse gas emissions, are expected to form a large part of the annual global analysis, entitled World Energy Outlook, which will be published by the International Energy Agency. 14

ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014

Centrica’s deal extends an earlier agreement, of February 2011, between it and Qatar, one of the most gas-rich regions on Earth. More than half of the supplies agreed under that deal had already been delivered, the company said, so there was need for renewal. The deal could be seen as an indication that prices in the UK could rise further. Centrica’s previous contract with Qatargas will expire in June 2014, so the securing of new supplies will have involved a calculation about gas prices in the next five years ahead. Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica, said: “We are delighted that we continue to deepen our relationship with Qatargas and continue to build our LNG business by integrating our positions along the gas value chain. “It is vital that the UK has a diverse range of sources of supply to meet its energy requirements. In a competitive international market, contracts like this underpin the UK’s access to global LNG supplies for the benefit of customers.” Michael Fallon, the energy minister, said: “Longterm deals of this kind, with reliable suppliers like Qatar, are vital for our future energy security.” The UK’s vulnerability over imported gas was flagged up this year when technical problems with one of the main pipelines into the UK caused a temporary shutdown. The pipeline quickly reopened but the incident highlighted the fact that the UK had few gas storage facilities and frequently only a few days’ supply of gas to hand.

Given the running down of the North Sea gas fields, the widespread dependency on the fuel for heating and for power generation, which is only set to increase, any fresh technical problems at the UK’s supply pipelines could lead to renewed concerns. The government this year turned down an application for public money for a new gas storage facility. Khalid Bin Khalifa Al Thani, chief executive of Qatargas, told an energy conference in Singapore last week that the market for gas in Europe had been sluggish because of the effects of the recession. He said: “The continued economic slowdown, coupled with the impact of European energy and climate-change policies and their unintended effects on the energy markets, has seriously dampened and even reversed in some cases the growth of gas consumption that was achieved in the continent during the last decade. “There is no doubt that the European economies will start recovering in the near future and consequently gas consumption growth will return. While at the same time, European domestic gas production continues to decline. “We are therefore hopeful that the serious loopholes and inconsistencies in energy and climate-change policies will be addressed and corrected soon to encourage long-term investment in gas infrastructure and enhance the energy security of Europe.” Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent The Guardian


Vince Cable counts on Russia visit to boost exports Business secretary Vince Cable’s trip to Russia is part of Export Week, with 5,000 businesses expected to take part in events across Britain. The visit is part of the biggest ever Export Week, with 5,000 businesses expected to take part in events across Britain. The government is aiming to raise the number of UK firms that export from a fifth to a quarter. Cable said: “British small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the lifeblood of our economy. Many are doing incredible things and selling their services and products abroad, but too many do not realise their global potential.

The business secretary, Vince Cable, is leading a business delegation to Russia as part of a government drive to boost trade between the two countries as well as increasing the number of UK firms exporting goods and services around the world. Cable is being accompanied on the trip by representatives from more than 30 British companies who are hoping to capitalise on fast-growing economic links with Russia. Between 2009 and 2012, exports of goods and services to Russia grew by over 75% from £4.3bn to £7.6bn.

“I am in Russia this week launching the biggest ever drive to encourage SMEs to export. This campaign will help us reach the many businesses across the country that are ready to export and grow but have yet to take the plunge. “This can be a big step for many businesses and the government’s expert international trade advisers will guide companies every step of the way, with practical advice and support to find international customers.” Keep an eye out for the Chamber’s forthcoming “Doing Business in Russia” event. The Guardian

Quarterly International Trade Outlook Q3 2013 Indicators are still showing growth, with the Trade Confidence Index for Q3 2013 at its third-highest level on record. Other leading indicators are also pointing to stronger growth ahead in more parts of the world economy. However we need to remain cautious in our optimism about the prospects of growth in the world economy. We are faced with potential policy and political pitfalls, including the US debt ceiling, the Eurozone crisis, the “Abenomics experiment” in Japan, and a possible escalation of tensions in the Middle East. It is clear that a sustainable recovery will have to rely significantly on diversifying and restructuring our economy towards exports, and achieving a positive balance in our trade with the rest of the world. British companies have massive untapped potential to expand, but they need the right backing to help compete and penetrate into new expanding markets. Not only will British companies find the support they need to export through our Chamber Network, but they will also benefit from the expertise and insight we now offer on expanding markets around the world. With this in mind, we’re delighted to be working in partnership with UK Trade and Investment to accredit and develop British Chambers of Commerce in 21

key growth markets across the globe, with more to come. Because these organisations are strongly rooted in the business communities in their home markets, they will give exporters a route into fastgrowing countries, allowing them to access specialist trade support and services globally as well as locally. Only by increasing the scale of support for our businesses and encouraging them to ‘think global’ will we begin to rebalance.

Fully Funded Trade Visits to EU for Kent Businesses The 2 Seas Trade (2ST) project is an EU Funded Interreg IVA project which aims to encourage and support SMEs in Kent, East & West Flanders and SW Netherlands to trade within these regions. The project will run until June 2014. The following sectors have been identified as the main (but not sole) focus group for the project based on strengths in Kent, East & West Flanders and SW Netherlands: • Business & Professional Services • Environmental Technology • Creative Industries • Logistics • Sustainable Construction • Food & Drink Businesses working in other fields are also welcome to participate in the programme, especially if they are completely new to international trade. For details visit or contact the Chamber

To read the full report visit John Longworth Director General, British Chambers of Commerce

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



24 HOURSWITH Zoe Cairns ZC Social Media

Days that revolve round spreading the social media message The working day begins for Zoe Cairns between 8 and 9am and, like many business people, it starts with answering her emails and catching up on other admin work or attending a local networking event. Zoe runs a business that specialises in training clients in effective use of social media she spends a fair amount of time online. However, she also gets out and about as Zoe also provides 1-2-1 training and workshops for local businesses and national clients. Zoe said: “Much of my day is taken up with training and initial consultations. Some mornings, I will be working on social media campaigns, or maybe running a workshop or a webinar session. “Other days I will go out to networking events, including those run by the Kent Invicta Chamber, ABC Networks, Dawn over Dartford and many more.

“I may also travel to meet a client or a prospective client. I have a team who manage our clients social media accounts, I am the social media strategist and am able to go out bringing in new work. I love meeting new people and finding out how I can help them more with their online presence. “The important thing for me is building long term business relationships. Some companies jump on every social media platform going but they do not realise that it is not enough just to do lots of posts and tweets. There is more to it than that and that is the message I communicate when I meet new people.

The important thing for me is building long term business relationships. Some companies jump on every social media platform going but they do not realise that it is not enough just to do lots of posts and tweets. There is more to it than that and that is the message I communicate when I meet new people.


ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014

“Social media is about building relationships, building a know like and trust, whether it be online or face to face so a lot of my time is taken up with helping clients to realise how important those relationships are. “No working day is ever the same. Some days I will be working in Kent, or will be invited nationally or internationally to speak or train. “I am also an international speaker and I’ve spoken at events in Poland and across the UK. Recently, I did a social media tour in the Black Country.” Like many people who run their own business, Zoe works a lot of hours but, for her, it is very much a passion in what she does. She said: “I am not particularly rigid about when I stop work at the end of the day because I love what I do and, for me, it’s more like a hobby. “However, when the day is done we’ll kick back in the evening and maybe sit down and watch a film and forget all about work. I also have two huskies so I do a lot of walking.”



great member benefits from your Chamber

Legal Services

AA Roadside Assistance

Did you know that included in membership of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce is a FREE Legal Expenses Insurance service? There is also a FREE Legal Helpline available to all Chamber members enabling you to get valuable advice free 24-7, 365 days a year.

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and BCC bring members a fantastic offer to help reduce the costs of roadside assistance services.

Unfortunately, no matter how well you plan and manage your business you never know when you are going to face unexpected, expensive legal fees. Free with your Chamber Membership is the peace of mind that is a Legal Expenses Insurance policy. Upon joining Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce you will receive a Legal Expenses Insurance policy covering your business for up to £670,000 worth of legal services – safeguarding you against the unexpected costs of professional legal services. The equivalent entry-level open market premium for this level of cover is estimated to be around £125 per annum; this is substantially more with the number of employees you have. This is genuine value for your business included in Chamber Membership at no additional fee. Secondly, included with membership is a FREE Legal Advice Line service – free advice, 24-7 – no more expensive, short meetings with solicitors for some basic advice; it’s free with your Chamber membership. To find out more, visit

We have negotiated fantastic rates up to 61%* less than their standard Fleetwide prices – offering you a genuine return on your membership fees and helping to reduce your business motoring costs. All this from the AA, the UK’s largest breakdown organisation. Who can take advantage of this saving? • The service is open to all members of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce interested in saving money on their bottom line • 1-to-Many vehicles including prestige cars, trucks, vans and other commercial vehicles What is included in the packages? Members can take advantage of a wide range of cover options. To take up this fantastic member’s saving, please call 0800 55 11 88 quoting reference 0360 and let them know you are a member of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. †BCC survey showed 31% of Accredited Chamber members received the maximum discount when buying AA Fleetwide Cover through this offer (sales: Jan 07 – Jun 07). Saving based on Fleetwide 3 standard rates for 3-6 vehicles, inclusive of Insurance Premium Tax. Offer prices are for any fleet size and any Fleetwide option. All prices are subject to change. Fleetwide does not apply to: specialist vehicles, ie: taxis, mini cabs, hire vehicles, ambulances, DPVs (Disabled Passenger Vehicles), police vehicles, vehicles on tradeplates, minibuses, privately owned vehicles (unless used for business purposes), motorcycles and courier vehicles, or any vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gvw. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Available for new customers only. Offer prices are only available while your Chamber membership is current. We

reserve the right to review pricing at any time. Full terms and conditions available on request by calling 0800 55 11 88. Automobile Association Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Registered Office: Fanum House, Basing View, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 4EA. Registered in England and Wales number 2414212.

Fleet Advantage Chamber Fleet Assist has a new exciting sister product to complement the excellent breakdown service being used by Kent Invicta Chamber Members. Chamber Fleet Advantage offers you a brand new service that helps to take the hassle out of fleet management and allowing you to concentrate on running your business. The service consolidates the payments for servicing, maintenance, tyres, batteries and exhausts, windscreen replacements, vehicle hire and fuel into one manageable invoice. This is supported by regular reports detailing usage and costs so activity by staff can be monitored and effectively managed. If you would like to know more contact Membership by phone on: 01233 503838 or Personal cover You can save 25% on AA Breakdown Cover at enrolment and 10% at each renewal for ALL levels of cover. What’s more, when you become an AA member you get access to lots of fantastic deals, visit for more information and other offers. All this from the UK’s No 1 breakdown organisation. * Terms and conditions apply.

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014


Chambers of Commerce celebrate UK export success and encourage more firms to ‘go global’ during Export Week

Stand Up for EU Over 400,000 jobs in the South East of England rely on UK trading links with the European Union.

• Chambers of Commerce join forces with UKTI to promote UK exports during Export Week. • BCC announces launch of Export Britain - the new online resource to help businesses find connections in new markets overseas • British Chambers of Commerce and business groups working with UKTI to develop Chambers of Commerce in 21 key growth markets overseas Monday 11th November marked the start of national Export Week, designed to celebrate the exporting successes achieved by UK firms, and to encourage more businesses to take their first step towards ‘going global’. Chambers of Commerce are the largest private sector providers of international trade services in the UK, and are committed to helping businesses find new markets and trade the world. Local Chambers of Commerce will be running joint events with UKTI to promote UK exports, and will be doing all they can to tell the world exactly why exporting is good for Britain. Nationally Chambers, via the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), have long recognised the need to better support our exporters. As part of our efforts, we have launched our very own online resource, Export Britain, to showcase the opportunities available in key international markets, and help businesses reach out to find new connections overseas. As announced by the Business Secretary at our International Trade Conference last month, we will be working with UKTI alongside other business groups to develop and accredit overseas Chambers of Commerce initially in 21 key growth markets. This will give UK firms practical support when they travel overseas, and provide them with a first port of call in the countries they wish to do business in. Export Britain links UK exporters with these organisations. Export Week raised further awareness of the great opportunities out there for would-be exporters, and the fantastic support available for those who need it. We believe that export growth must be a national priority, both for government and businesses. UK exporters are more optimistic now about their prospects, with confidence higher than it has been since before the economic crisis. But we need more companies that haven’t considered exporting to have a go, and start saying yes to the opportunities that exist in new markets across the globe. Chambers of Commerce are here to support firms every step of the way, to help them make in-roads and connections in new countries and provide practical assistance such as training and export documentation. But businesses and government must be more ambitious for Britain. Both need to show leadership and join forces to kick-start a global trade revolution, which will help to secure a lasting economic recovery for decades to come.

This is an amazing statistic, but one that is drawn from the only study that has attempted to estimate the jobs at risk if we lose that trading relationship. It is important people understand the real impact of potentially leaving the European Union. It would be felt in every city town and village. Recently, Nick Clegg gave a speech delivering a strong defence of Britain’s place within the EU. He issued a call-to-arms to businesses, charities, organisations and politicians to show their support for Britain’s continued membership in a reformed EU. The millions of people living in this country that recognise the benefits EU membership provides the UK have been too quiet. We have allowed Eurosceptics to go unchallenged with ludicrous mythmaking so often the order of the day in much of our national press. The stakes are now too high for those that recognise the vast benefits of EU membership of all political persuasions to remain silent. Businesses understand this. A recent CBI poll showed that 8 out of 10 small UK businesses were in support of our continued membership. Richard Branson has come out declaring “why he is IN” saying that EU withdrawal would leave Britain “isolated and irrelevant in our own backyard” and not “taken seriously”. We need to make our voices heard. Express your support for staying in the EU however you like: write to the Government, write to the newspapers, make your position clear in the conversations you have and the work you do, tweet about it. Whatever you do, just don’t let the isolationists speak for you or dominate this debate. And if you are for IN, don’t wait for others to say it; make yourselves heard. Catherine Bearder MEP Member of the European Parliament for South East England

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Luxury living and responsive care Personalised and high quality homes for the over-60s are the core business for the Miramar community in Herne Bay.

Care Services Manager, Torie Pollard said the key to what Signature offers is recognising and treating each resident as an individual. She said: “We have a range residents all with different needs. Some people are here for assisted living, they receive no care from us but they take advantage of the facilities such as the community spaces and the restaurant.

Torie Pollard, Care Services Manager

“Others receive more domestic help, more social care and we have residents receiving nursing care. We employ a range of carer support staff from registered nurses to care assistants.

Owned by Signature, a company with seven such homes mostly in the south of England, the Miramar was a former hotel then a nursing home but it was taken over in 2008 and completely rebuilt to provide a range of accommodation and community facilities for up to 95 residents.

“Person-Centred Care is the model that has come to the fore in the last couple of years. We recognise individuality, working with each resident and their family to identify their needs and planning how we will meet these specific needs. It is a very responsive service.”


ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014


There are several types of accommodation within the development from studio apartments to twobedroomed homes. All are self-contained and come at a different cost.

The community philosophy along with a commitment to providing higher quality services and facilities is proving successful for Signature and is being expanded across the country.

Mrs Pollard explained the fluid relationship the company has with residents, helping them balance their needs and their incomes, with a number of financial advisors who can help individuals meet the challenges of current low returns on pension investments.

Mrs Pollard explained: “Our communities are very different. We have high-end décor, better sized living spaces, and all of our communities are established in very nice surroundings.

The Miramar and Signature’s other homes around the country are built on a community model, where each resident can have as much involvement with their neighbours as they choose, or can be as private as they want. There are community areas on each floor, larger areas where people from all floors can come together and places where events can be held involving the wider community. On top of that the Miramar has its own minibus to supplement a full social programme with trips and visits.

“Each of our communities has a range of facilities but everyone has their own apartment, their own home, their own front door. “We have eight homes around the country with two to open next year (2014) and two the year after. The company is growing but always with an eye to providing luxury accommodation. “There has to be a sense of caution, of moving slowly, to ensure everything is done properly. We are a company that is growing steadily and sustainably.”

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Enterprise Europe South EastUK

helps small businesses grow by providing easy access to European markets, technology partners and researchers Enterprise Europe South EastUK also helps demystify the funding process, by providing introductions to strategic partners and hosting workshops. Crucially, the service is aimed at both businesses seeking distributors or trading partners for their existing product, but also for technology-intensive companies, whose innovation might benefit from testing, intensive research and development or a manufacturing or licensing partner in Europe. The range of sectors supported is as varied as there are businesses in the South-East – from ICT to medical and from environmental technologies to innovations in maritime or engineering. A key part of the service is an online database of 14,000 opportunities. You can use the database to find European partners seeking trading opportunities, research and development collaborations, or funding partners – or you can post your own profile to promote your innovation. Busy businesses may also sign up to The Radar, a system that provides priority notifications when European businesses in your sector are looking for partners. 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 or visit One such event was held in Canterbury in November, entitled “Meet the Technology Strategy Board”. Hosted by Enterprise Europe Network South EastUK the workshop saw south-east businesses of all sizes and sectors learn how to apply for SMART Awards, Horizon 2020 and Eurostars projects, and learn how to take advantage of R&D tax credits and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. With talks by the Technology Strategy Board, The Intellectual Property Office, RIFT UK and Enterprise Europe Network South EastUK, the event showcased the Network’s “no wrong door” policy for emerging businesses seeking wideranging support. Enterprise Europe South EastUK is a free service delivered by the University of Greenwich and partners in south-east England to help you grow by saving you time, money and reducing risk. Enterprise Europe South EastUK is the local office of Enterprise Europe Network, a vast conglomerate of 600 business support offices in more than 50 countries. For Kent businesses, the Network can help you find partners in Europe for opportunities in licensing, co-development, manufacturing, trade or research and development. Enterprise Europe South EastUK can also help you find partners to join your bid for major European funding, such as Horizon 2020 (or can introduce you to existing European consortia who may need one extra business to complete their bid). 22

ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014


The Economy & Us: Pensions – Help! The Government’s pension fund, the National Employee Savings Trust, is designed as the default option for 10 million people comprising one-third of the UK workforce. Unfortunately, it’s misconceived. NEST assumes 2.5% inflation, and a yield to savers of 2%-3% over and above the total cost of inflation and NEST’s own charges (set to equate to 0.5% pa). That’s an assumed long term yield of about 5.5% pa. The inflation assumption is probably too low (what do you think?). As for the yield assumption, the best available estimate is the 3%-4% yield on long-term bonds in the UK and US. This benchmark is the collective forecast by the world’s best investment brains – probably an overestimate as the world’s rich are awash with cash for lack of promising investment opportunities. So, with inflation @ 2.5% and fees @ 0.5%, the pension fund will most likely earn 0.5% pa of growth in our prospective retirees’ purchasing power. The cost of fees (which could be tiny) will be important. An average NEST saver earning £20-25k will be obliged to contribute about £1000 a year, matched by the employer’s £750 plus £250 tax relief. That’s

£2000 into the pot each year. I calculate that £2000 contributed for 40 years @ 2.5% real-terms yield (NEST’s own assumption) produces a pot of £127,000. NEST’s website boasts a pension calculator to tell how much it might earn by your retirement date, but unfortunately in November it wasn’t working. More to the point, for an annuity income of £20-25k nowadays you need a £450,000 pot. At 2.5% growth, this would require annual deposits of £7,100 for 40 years, not £2000. Worse, at the more realistic 0.5% growth it would require an £11,000 deposit annually for 40 years. NEST charges 1.8% on annual deposits, and 0.3% pa on funds under management (which NEST equates to the market’s norm of 0.5%). At first sight this looks reasonable. But NEST isn’t a normal provider: with obligatory auto-enrolment, it has no advertising costs and huge economies of scale –

big enough to negotiate tiny transaction costs. If 1 million employees (10% market penetration) deposit £2000, the 1.8% initial charge alone will yield NEST an annual fee of £36 million. If they deposit £7,100 pa for 40 years, at 2.5% annual growth the lifetime fee per employee totals £28,000, ie in today’s money £28 billion fee income annually. (£280 bn pa if all 10 million use NEST.) With its 40-year timescale, this fund needs to be a disinterested public institution. A proper independent Trust, not a pretend fee-geared business. Our government must establish such a low-cost, low-risk pension fund for the nation. A competentlymanaged cohort of staff, with access to (flat-fee) advisers, should suffice to administer a basket of index-linked funds, automate the records for individual savers, and pay out the pensions earned. National pensions are too important to ‘sub’ out to a market that has blatantly failed.

Nick Rowell Director of Policy Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Direct line: 01622 753568 Email:


ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Fighting the case as aviat A commission of inquiry is debating how best to tackle the need for more aviation capacity to service the south east of England and the wider UK. The Airports Commission is working on an interim report to be followed by fuller recommendations. Airports throughout the UK have put together their case so Thinking Business asked four of them to summarise their arguments.

London Gatwick Airport served by two runways

‘It’s got to be Gatwick’ Gatwick Airport argues that it is the best option for expanded capacity. It says: “Today, Gatwick supports new connections to key destinations across the globe – from China and Russia to Vietnam and Turkey. Next year, it will add direct links to Jakarta and New York. “The progress Gatwick has made to date shows you do not need a ‘mega-hub’ airport to deliver the connections passengers want. “In fact, a two-runway Gatwick would deliver the same level of connections as a three-runway Heathrow – and in some scenarios more – plus many other significant benefits over the competition. “Importantly, putting a new runway at Gatwick would have much less environmental impact than an expanded Heathrow – affecting around one twentieth of the number of people impacted by Heathrow today. It would also remain within the legal air quality limits, which Heathrow breaches today. 26

ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014

“What’s more, reducing reliance on one dominant airport will give passengers a greater choice of airlines and destinations, more competitive prices and better service overall. “Passengers at London’s airports would also be less vulnerable to the effects of disruptive events such as snow than if there was a single mega hub. “Gatwick is the most affordable option at between £5bn and £9bn. It would be privately financed and open by 2025 – several years before the other options. Gatwick would also share the cost of improving rail and road infrastructure with the Government, which only requires minimal investment. Today Gatwick already has direct links to 126 stations around the South East and central London is less than 30 minutes away on direct services. It is also next to the M23. “Finally, expanding Gatwick will help spread the economic benefits of airport expansion - £1.66bn per year and around 19,000 new jobs - across the South East rather than concentrating it in one location, meaning many more local people and businesses would benefit.”


tion debate gathers pace The argument for additional capacity at Heathrow Heathrow argues that it offers the fastest, most cost effective and most practical route to the hub capacity the UK needs. The options it has put forward could be delivered by 2025-2029 for £14-18bn; and deliver more flights while reducing the number of people exposed to high levels of noise. All could operate within climate and air quality limits and, for passengers, there will be a greater choice of destinations, airlines and flights at lower airfares than from a hub airport built from scratch elsewhere. Heathrow says: “The UK is in a global race for trade, jobs and economic growth. The international economy is changing with the rise of emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, India and China. There are only six hub airports worldwide that have regular, direct connections to more than 50 long-haul destinations. “The UK needs more hub capacity and we do not believe that Gatwick is able to support long-haul flights to growth markets. We have always recognised the importance of point to point airports like Gatwick and the links they can provide to destinations with strong leisure demand like New York, Los Angeles and Florida.

“But that won’t solve the UK’s lack of long haul connections to emerging markets around the world that are important for future business and trade. Only a hub airport, with its transfer passengers, can support these routes. “Large hub airports with a home-based, major network airline will increasingly shape the nature of intercontinental connectivity. London has one of these Premier League hubs and also has the natural advantages of geographic location and local demand, which should mean that the UK is a winner, but unlike its competitors, the UK is hampered by a lack of hub capacity. “A third runway at Heathrow would deliver greater economic benefits to the UK than any other option for new runway capacity. It will create jobs, facilitate trade, boost spending to the wider economy and improve public finances. We estimate that benefits of £100 billion present value (PV) would accrue to the UK from expanding Heathrow.“ continued

Heathrow Terminal 4

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



‘Strong case for new airport’ The team behind plans for a new airport for the area believe that the value of aviation to the UK cannot be underestimated. Daniel Moylan, the Mayor of London’s aviation adviser, said: “More than 50% of our manufactured exports, by value, to countries outside the EU travel by air. It is imperative that we have a top-class hub airport if we want to capture the economic and social benefits of worldwide connectivity. “Heathrow cannot become that airport. It occupies a severely constrained site and blights a massive number of people with unacceptable levels of noise: 766,000 residents, at the last Government count. That makes it the most noise-polluting airport in Europe by quite some margin. “The Mayor’s detailed submissions to the Airports Commission show how relocating Heathrow as a four-runway hub airport to the east of London would cost the same for airport infrastructure and take no longer than building two new runways at Heathrow. A new airport would have room to grow and would reduce by more than 99% the number of people exposed to aircraft noise levels that significantly increase the risk of heart disease. Meanwhile, the Heathrow site would be released for development that would create homes for more than 180,000 people, and over 40,000 local jobs. “There are no quick or cheap solutions to our aviation capacity problems. The Airports Commission needs to rule out Heathrow and Gatwick expansion as undeliverable and not fit for purpose, and then we can crack on with building the new airport that will add £7bn a year to the UK economy and secure our country’s success for the foreseeable future.” 28

ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014


Manston seeks support in airport debate

Stansted Terminal

With plans to be a regional passenger and freight operation, Manston Airport submitted its plans for the long-term future to the Airports Commission and, as your local airport, would like to ask for your support.

Stansted Airport ‘offers the most flexible option to meet growing demand’

The Kent airport is calling for better use of the existing runway in the South East and for Manston to be officially designated as a ‘reliever airport’ for Heathrow and Gatwick.

Stansted owner M.A.G has presented a range of options which it believes should be on the Airports Commission’s shortlist for further study in 2014 and 2015.

• Capacity development at Stansted would support London’s development to the east and along the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor, and act as a catalyst for growth and productivity

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of M.A.G, said: “Stansted is uniquely placed to meet the UK’s aviation capacity needs now and over the next 15 years. Almost overnight, Stansted could double the number of flights it handles without any need for significant investment in new infrastructure.”

• Stansted is a scaleable and flexible solution, able to offer additional capacity then grow incrementally to two, three or four runways

M.A.G’s submission, ‘Capacity for Growth’, includes: • Options for an additional runway, either to the north-west of the existing runway (with capacity of between 70 – 80 million passengers a year) or to the east of the existing runway (with capacity up to about 90 million passengers a year) • An airport with four runways (with capacity of between 140 to 160 million passengers a year) designed and operated as an effective hub airport

• Fewer residents are exposed to noise at Stansted than at other major airports in the South East; 258,500 at Heathrow compared to 1,250 at Stansted. • The space for additional runways, terminals, roads and rail connections is more readily available at Stansted than at alternatives • Stansted is likely to represent the most costeffective solution; it is estimated that a onairport cost of developing a four-runway hub at Stansted would be about £10bn – much less than the cost of an Estuary Airport or expansion at Heathrow.

It also argues that reducing Air Passenger Duty would support the growth of regional airports, such as Manston. Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive of Manston Airport, said: “We could be welcoming 10 million passengers per year by 2033, and up to 16m passengers and 1m tonnes of freight by 2050, by taking low-cost passenger and freight traffic from the region’s congested airports, and providing a maintenance repair and overhaul service for the South East. “No new runways will be delivered within 10 or 15 years, if not longer, and there’s a real danger the competitiveness of the South East and London will be compromised. It is essential that in the interim we make the best use of those runways and airports already been built. Manston is available for growth now.” “Last year, Heathrow handled 2,378 dedicated freight charters. These could be redirected to Manston to act as a South East freight hub, thereby freeing up important capacity at the UK’s busiest airport”, says Charles.

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS





ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014

Personal touch remains crucial in a rapidly-moving world Sunway Travel’s story began in 1973 when Mike Colley decided to start a business in the Kent village of Longfield. Forty years later and the company is still thriving under his son Nigel. Nigel, now the Managing Director, said: “Sunways Travel started as a small village travel agency consisting of my father and a desk. “He soon realised the benefits of branching into corporate travel and began dealing with local businesses to make their travel arrangements. He then opened two further retail travel branches in Dartford and Bexley Heath.” Nigel joined the business as a junior working at the Dartford retail branch straight from school and worked his way up to become Branch Manager at the age of 25 at the Bexley Heath branch. He said: “Crippling rents forced us to close down the two branches as the bank and the building society that were leasing us the premises literally doubled their rents at the rent review. It killed the high street and there were about 7-8 travel agencies in Dartford alone so we decided to re-group back at Longfield. “It turned out to be a good decision for us and we concentrated on more corporate travel. We were able to bring the best staff back to Longfield - and clients followed, too. We still have a client from those days, 20-plus years ago. “We have seen a new generation come through and we are now booking their children’s children.” He believes that the family approach is important, saying: “It has gone from a more personal service industry to a virtual service industry and is becoming more like that every day. What holiday shops are doing is turning their premises into virtual showrooms.

“They have said “woe is us”, “the internet” but they didn’t do anything about it. That is why we are still here and feel we have a great future. “In 1998 we managed to acquire some land in Longfield, the site we are in now, and we built our own offices. We own the building and are proud of that and it puts us in a strong position.“ He believes that the location helps the business, encouraging people to come into the office.

We have seen a new generation come through and we are now booking their children’s children.

“They have less staff and you get more of a virtual experience. You are more likely to be handed a tablet than a brochure to look at these days. “That is a good thing for us as more people are coming back to us for service. Package holidays are back in vogue and so I can only see that as being good as that’s what we do. We do individualised, tailor-made holidays but they are still part of a package that has industry backing and financial guarantees. “It is a very different world and different business to what it was 40 years ago. We have had to adapt and evolve and we think we have done that well. Many travel agencies that have gone to the wall; in almost every case it has been because they didn’t ‘adapt, adopt and improve.’

Nigel said: “Longfield is a thriving community and is actually growing, bucking the trend for village trading. The South-east of England is one of the biggest targets in the country for new housing growth and I can only see that as being positive for us. “We have seen people come back in here that we have not seen for 3,4 or 5 years who have probably been booking direct and they are coming back in here now. “I have seen a complete 360 degree turnaround on the internet. It has gone from a threat that everyone is going to book direct because of the belief, not


My love of technology has been a great help for the business as I have been able to make decisions with an understanding and I can see where it fits in to making us more efficient and a better experience for our clients.

necessarily true, that it is going to be cheaper, to one with concerns that there is no back-up and no service from start to finish and no-one there to help you when things go wrong. “People book things blindly because the pictures look great but, if they came in to us and showed it to us, we would say that we would not even consider booking them in that hotel. The personal knowledge of the staff here is why people book, year after year after year because of the trust.” That is not to say that the company has not moved with the times. Nigel said: “My love of technology has been a great help for the business as I have been able to make decisions with an understanding and I can see where it fits in to making us more efficient and a better experience for our clients.

“We are part of the national consortium of independent agents, Advantage Travel Centres, and there is an arm called Focus Partnership that consists of some of the top independent business travel management companies in the UK. I helped form the Technology Panel and within a couple of years was Chairman of the panel, and then ViceChair of the overall Focus Partnership board so I’ve always been involved in industry innovations. “We have a great piece of technology for our clients called PA Dashboard that was developed with Travel Managers and PAs in mind which allows them 24/7 viewing of all current bookings we have made for all their travellers on a PC or tablet. Technology that makes life easier is great but not technology for technology’s sake.”


Nigel is writing a book containing advice for businesses based on more than 30 years in the business, designed to help them write a travel policy and know what questions you should ask your travel management company or prospective new one. Contact Nigel for more information, or for a free review of your existing travel policy.

Nigel Colley Managing Director, Sunways Travel Email: Tel: 01474 706976

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Children’s charity cops £2,000 from Sweeney run A children’s charity is £2,000 better off, thanks to a charity fundraiser that became a cross between The Sweeney and Top Gear. D&D Autos workshop manager Matthew Pestridge and his brother-in-law Nick Fuller were part of a four-strong team that took a Sweeney-style Jaguar from London to Frankfurt and back as part of a charity challenge. The only hitch was that in true Top Gear style they first had to find and buy their car - using a budget of just £500. The intrepid duo, who modeled themselves on characters from the seventies cop show the Sweeney, succeeded in their challenge and managed to raise £2,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Matthew’s first job was to help in the hunt for a vehicle that met the budget criteria – and, in keeping with the theme, it had to be a Jaguar.

When it’s good to talk Eastwell Events started business in March 2013, running One to One or Speed Networking events for the SME sector, and has had a great six months. It was set up by friends and neighbours Bryan Hall and Bob Morgan, who feel their One to One networking is the most efficient and effective method of face to face networking as everyone speaks to everyone else attending the event for three minutes (90 seconds each).

Dockyard. They also ran the networking at the Kent Construction Expo in November.

In Ashford, they run the events at The Kennington Carvery every two weeks and will be starting events in North and East Kent soon.

In addition to running their own events, they are bidding to run events on clients’ premises and at other conferences so if you have new employees to integrate, or a client event coming up and want to add something different and useful to your audience do get in touch, they will be happy to discuss your requirements.

They have also successfully run events for the Invicta Chamber B2B exhibitions at Ashford and Canterbury as well as the Engineering and Manufacturing exhibition at Chatham Historic

Hyphenalia and National Engravers announce partnership Hyphenalia, based in Tonbridge, Kent, has nominated National Engravers to work with them to provide life-long etched commemorations. National Engravers will design and create engraved plaques and other memorials, containing details of the person (s) or company that is being remembered and/or recognised, in partnership with Hyphenalia who provide the web-based content that will sit behind an image that can be scanned. Wendy Nash, Founder, Hyphenalia, said: “It seemed a logical move for us to work with a company that can provide the hardware of what is required.

“National Engravers is a very switched on company who are not only creative but a pleasure to work with and that is very important given the subject matter of what we do.” Greg McCarthy, owner, National Engravers, said: “When Hyphenalia approached us we just thought it was a wonderful opportunity to be part of a company that is looking ahead and offering something different.” Kent based National Engravers are specialist engravers providing a whole range of engraving solutions including trophies & awards, signage & plaques, personalised gifts, glassware and Industrial Engraving.

They found one on an auction site for exactly £500. With 85,000 miles on the clock and some of the bodywork far from pretty, the pair tried unsuccessfully to haggle, until they told the seller that they were raising money for the world-famous children’s charity. At that point the seller dropped the price to £450, including car tax and MOT. After 16 hours on the road, they stopped over in Cologne before heading to Frankfurt via the scenic route the following morning. They returned via the direct route the next day, completing 1,200 miles. Matthew said: “We were supposed to scrap the car in Frankfurt but we had fallen in love with it by then so we didn’t.”

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Challenges and Milestones…

…15 months in the history of The Norton Knatchbull School Challenges and milestones have characterised the past 15 months at the Norton Knatchbull School, and it has been an exciting time of opportunities, improvements and achievements.

The headteacher and staff with IB students on results day July 2013. We are driven by the challenge of providing an excellent academic education for all whilst developing the whole person and opening up a wide range of choices for every one of our students. In November 2012, we were proud to have our efforts praised by the education watchdog, OFSTED, which recognised that NKS is a school with many strengths and the determination, vision and ambition to maintain a fast pace of continuous improvement in all aspects of its work. We were delighted when this judgement was echoed by a further OFSTED inspection in June 2013, this time of the Mathematics Department, which recognised that the school is determined to provide outstanding service, has raised expectations in mathematics as well as generally in the school, and has thus delivered clear improvements in the quality of teaching. Turning the challenge of on-going serious government funding cuts into an opportunity, we have combined the best characteristics of the A levels and the International Baccalaureate and can now present an exciting curriculum offer of an enhanced A level route, featuring 34 subjects and the additional option of the AQA Baccalaureate at its core. The wide range of extra-curricular opportunities available to sixth form students presents an additional attraction, and our strong academic results at post-16 level confirms that NKS is an excellent place to study at. We were delighted 34

ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014

with our International Baccalaureate results this summer, which were the best the school has had since the programme was first introduced at NKS in 2006. The average point score was 36.9 (out of 45). This is equivalent to four A* grades at A level and not surprisingly, an amazing 70% of the cohort moved on to Russell Group universities including Oxford and Cambridge. We were also very pleased once more with our A level results this year. In total, our students achieved 58% A*, A or B grades and an overall pass rate of 100%. The vast majority of our students always move on to continue their studies at university, but there is small but growing number embarking on excellent apprenticeship opportunities locally and regionally as well. The school reached yet another milestone this year by responding to a growing demand for a grammar school education for boys in this area. In September 2013, for the first time in its long history, the school welcomed six forms of entry into Year 7, with 177 students enrolled. Following this success, our school govenors are keen to explore the possibility of permanently increasing our PAN (published admissions number) to 180. Challenges are often best met by courage and creativity. We set ourselves the ambitious long-term goal of raising £500,000 to significantly improve the facilities for all students at the school. The concept

of the NK5 Appeal was born and students, staff, governors and parents joined together to take the first steps in making this dream turn into reality. A range of fundraising activities has since taken place but the most high-profile event to date must surely be the fabulous “Dinner, Dance and Donate” evening in March 2013 which raised nearly £10,000. Maybe the most amazing and certainly humbling aspect of this exciting venture has been the overwhelmingly generous support of a large number of local businesses and private donors, who have flocked to support the school in the pursuit of its ambitious dream. By popular demand we are currently preparing to hold another such evening, with a date set for 29th March 2014 – reserve your tables early! The funds raised so far have allowed us to reach a first milestone by creating an additional fullyequipped science laboratory for our students, which opened for teaching in October 2013. Responding to the ever-growing challenge of climate change, we have set ourselves the task of becoming an Eco School and have made significant progress in this quest. This year, the school has been “going green” through the installation of solar panels on the roof of the Brabourne building, which are expected to generate about half of all the electricity we use; and through exchanging the old oil boilers in the main building with far more efficient gas boilers which will significantly reduce our heating bills. Over the summer holidays and during the forthcoming autumn term we further enhanced the efficiency of these by replacing the old heating pipes and radiators in the main building with far more efficient installations. These costly but much needed improvements have been made possible as a result of our successful capital bids for government grants, utilising the capital funding opportunities that are now open to Academies. We aim to continue to explore such funding opportunities in the future, both to improve the fabric of the school and to provide new facilities for our growing school community, and are currently working on some exciting plans to translate our vision into reality with the help of architects Roberts & Limbrick. In the midst of all of the challenges and changes over the past 15 months, there has, nonetheless, been some striking degree of continuity: our students are enormously talented and creative; our staff passionate and inspiring; our governors experienced and committed; and our parents positive and supportive. Our aim is, and always has been, to foster ambition, strive for excellence, and help our young people to become happy, successful and productive members of our school and the wider community.


Cancer charity initiative raises hundreds of pounds Staff from three companies came together to support the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity in an initiative inspired by BBC2’s Great British Bake Off.

Ashford-based security risk and intelligence company The Inkerman Group and its subsidiary companies, Burravoe Translation Services and TASK International, raised more than £400 by taking part in the Great Pink Bake Off. Staff from all three companies donned their aprons

to bake a selection of cakes, wore pink to work and held a bake-off at their Elwick Road offices, with some of the non-bakers awarding 1st, 2nd and 3rd place based on the appearance and taste of the cakes! The money raised will go towards the £20 million a year needed to support Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s essential research.

Confidence rises among SMEs

Kart circuit reaches landmark With great racing and Formula 1 star and Buckmore old boy Johnny Herbert in attendance, Buckmore Park Kart Circuit’s 50th year celebration was a great success.

CEOs and MDs from London and the South East are full of optimism, according to the latest quarterly Vistage Medium-Sized Business Confidence Index.

Many of the kart circuit’s old boys came back to the Chatham circuit in join the celebrations.

The research was based on responses from 459 CEOs, MDs, executives and owners of largely medium sized businesses conducted in September by Vistage, the CEO organisation. Key findings included: • In London and the South East, 74% report improved economic conditions (and a similar proportion expect this to continue over the next year) compared to only 15% at the start of the year • Confidence levels in London and the South East have now leapt above the national average - at the start of the year, confidence in the region was below the national average • The majority of medium-sized businesses in London and the South East are now very much ‘in hiring mode‘ with two thirds expecting that their number of employees will increase over the next year

John Surtees OBE, the only man to win the World Championships on two and four wheels and a great supporter of the venue for many years, popped in during the day as part of his work for the Henry Surtees’ Foundation Charity set up by John in memory of his son Henry who was killed in a motor racing accident at Brands Hatch.

• Because of improved confidence, 51% of the London & South East businesses are increasing their expenditure on capital investments • 83% of the London and South East businesses expect that their revenue will increase over the next year (and 71% expect improved profitability). Only 1.5% expect that sales revenue will fall over the coming year. Steve Gilroy, CEO of Vistage, said: “These figures show the recent blossoming of confidence amongst Britain’s medium-sized businesses, and are matched by my own conversations with dozens of CEOs and business owners in recent weeks at Vistage events around the UK. “Medium-sized business owners are reporting that they are investing again; they are recruiting; and many already have buoyant order books that they are now tooling up to deliver.”

Johnny Herbert was the star of the show, demonstrating a restored 135cc Cobra/Komet which he used to win the British Karting Championship in 1982. Also joining in on the day was Indian Formula 1 star Karun Chandhok who started his motor racing career at Buckmore as a youngster.

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS




EXPERT Honey Pearce Area Manager, South East Manpower Group

Q How do I prepare for an interview? Be prepared for these questions • How would you describe yourself?

Some people always excel at interviews and often it’s down to more than just luck. The secret is preparation. If you know what you want to say beforehand, you’re already one step ahead of the rest. Remember, the employer has invited you because they think you’re capable of doing the job. More than that, they’ll be hoping you’re the perfect solution to the vacancy.

• What motivates you?

Here are a few proven strategies that will help you take control of the interview.

• What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Do your homework • Make sure you have a good understanding of the company

This final question is tricky, you can’t claim to have no weaknesses, but don’t stress anything too negative, either. Admit to any weak points then explain how you’ve overcome them.

• Visit the company’s website • Be ready to explain why you’d like to work there Making a great impression • Look smart and professional • Take a copy of your CV

• Give an example of when you have coped well under pressure?

Questions to ask • What are the opportunities for training and progression? • What are my precise responsibilities? • How long will it take you to make a decision?

• Be confident and engaging, smile and make eye contact, relax

Finally, if the questions you had prepared have already been answered let the interviewer know. Avoid irrelevant questions, show dedication at this stage and find out about details once you’re successful!

• Focus on answering the questions and, if unsure, ask for clarification, be concise, don’t waffle.

Further information on interview techniques and job vacancies can be found at

• Give yourself plenty of time to get there


ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014


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December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Q3: What motivated you to set up the business? I have always harboured a desire to run my own business and I had reached a particularly suitable point in my life that made it an ideal time. I have always been of the mind-set that I am willing to work hard providing the rewards are there and I feel that being self-employed is the working environment that best supports this ethos.

Q4: What do you like most about working for a start-up? I like the flexibility of working from home and being able to work at times that suit me and my customers. I like the responsibility of being able to make my own decisions and see their outcome. I think the most pleasurable aspect for me, though, is the pride in seeing what you have achieved. Customers when they use me are buying into me and this gives me a great feeling of pride and achievement that is not present to such an extent when you work for a larger organisation.

Q5: What has been your greatest business success to date? My greatest and most important success for my business was securing work as a subcontractor on a project carried out for a large supermarket chain, worth £42,000 over a seven month period. This was secured only 5-6 weeks after I started trading and was essential to give me the confidence that people would buy into me.

Q6: What has been your lowest moment?


Robert Turner

Business name: Leviathan Water Treatment Start-up date:

19th May 2013


Q1: Tell us a bit about your business? My business is concerned with all aspects of water treatment within the “built environment”. Essentially, the Water Utilities are responsible for getting water to and from a property but whilst inside a property it is the responsibility of the building owner to maintain suitable levels of water quality. The services that Leviathan Water Treatment can offer range from chemical water treatment of water to ensure the efficiency and longevity of water systems to Health and Safety Risk Assessments concerned with the control of Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires Disease.

Q2: What gives your business ‘the x-factor’? I think that my greatest selling point is the combination of the years of knowledge and experience accumulated in this field, coupled with my flexibility to react to customers’ needs and timescales that might not be possible in a larger organisation. 38

ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014

One disappointment quite early on was the failure to secure a particular contract undertaking water hygiene monitoring for a significant portfolio of sites. I had invested a fair amount of time and effort into securing the work and it was looking very promising but at the last minute the client decided to remain with their incumbent contractors. This was a big blow as I had not yet secured the supermarket contract and left me wondering whether I was going to be able to win sufficient business to keep myself afloat.

Q7: In terms of business achievements, where do you want to be within the next 5 years? In 5 years, I would like to have taken the company to a secure financial position and be employing a number of people, expanding the scope of services that can be offered in house. In particular I want to be able to feel that I have made the most of any opportunities which have come my way.

Q8: What would be your top tip to someone thinking of starting up their own business? I think it is important to put time and effort into the your business plan. Even if you have been working in a particular industry for a period of time, running a business requires a different mind-set and you need to be confident in your own mind that the approach you are taking is viable. I also think flexibility is the key. Opportunities may arise that do not fit with your original plans and you need to be willing to be adaptable in order to make the most of these.


Chamber Events Breakfast Networking with Business

Thursday 13 February 2014 Priestfield Stadium, Redfern Avenue, Gillingham, Medway, Kent, ME7 4DD Thursday 20 February 2014 Mercure Tunbridge Wells, 8 Tonbridge Road, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 4QL

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. Thursday 12 December 2013 Salomons, David Salomons Estate, Broomhill Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 0TG Thursday 12 December 2013 Holiday Inn Rochester, Maidstone Road, Rochester, Kent, ME5 9SF Guest Speaker – Mark Landon Thursday 9 January 2014 Cote Brasserie - Bluewater, The Village, Greenhithe, Kent, DA9 9SE Thursday 23 January 2014 Holiday Inn Express Canterbury, 2 Upper Harbledown, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 9HX Wednesday 12 February 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH

Friday 7 March 2014 The Dog & Bear Hotel, The Square, Lenham, Kent, ME17 2PG Thursday 13 March 2014 Holiday Inn Ashford North, Maidstone Road, Hothfield, Ashford, TN26 1AR

Afternoon Tea

Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 1.30pm - 3.00pm Non-Members: £20.00 + VAT Members: £15.00 + VAT Friday 17 January 2014 Chilston Park Hotel, Sandway, Lenham, Kent, ME17 2BE

Tonbridge The River Centre 10 December 2013 Medway F-Keys Ltd 17 December 2013 Guest Speaker – Rosemary Williams

Other Events

Kent Invicta Chamber Christmas Lunch

Friday 21 March 2014 Coniston Hotel & Restaurant, 70 London Road, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 1NT

Lunch Networking with Business

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. Thursday 27 February 2014 Ramada Encore Chatham Hotel, Western Avenue, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4NT

After Hours

No booking required. Just turn up! 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.

Dartford Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre 7 January 2014 Guest Speaker – Sonia Hurren

Tuesday 10 December 2013 Time: 12.00pm - 2.30pm Chilston Park Hotel, Sandway, Lenham, Kent, ME17 2BE Non-Members: £29.50 + VAT Members: £24.50 + VAT Kent Invicta Chamber Awards 2014 Wednesday 26 March 2014 Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, The Precincts, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2EH

Ashford The Panorama “Special” 14 January 2014 Canterbury The Abbots Barton 21 January 2014 Medway F-Keys Ltd 21 January 2014 Guest Speaker – QJ, The RockStar Approach™ Maidstone Best Western Russell Hotel 28 January 2014

Workshops Sales & Marketing Friday 6 December 2013 Without sales you don’t have any customers without any customers you won’t have any income and without any income you don’t have any profit and therefore no business. Come and learn why sales and marketing is crucial to the success of your business and learn the top tips for increasing your market presence and your sales to customers. Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce (Maidstone), Archbishops Palace, Mill Street, Maidstone, ME15 6YE 9.30am - 4.30pm Non Member £20.00 + VAT Member £15.00 + VAT

Product Design Wednesday 11 December 2013 Design can help you improve your sustainability credentials, create products and services that make people happy and it has positive benefits on business’s bottom line. Find out about product design and why it matters. Design disciplines, the processes, methods and the thinking behind it. Perhaps you’ve already embarked on a design project? Once you’ve completed a design project you’ll want to measure its success. The Royal Wells Hotel, 59 Mount Ephraim, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8BE 9.30am - 12.30pm FREE

Revised Incoterms® Rules 2010 Monday 16 December 2013 This workshop will be relevant to export sales, purchasing, shipping, finance, customer service staff and senior managers from both exporters and importers as well as those from freight forwarders, shipping and financial institutions.

Classification of Goods - Using Commodity and Tariff Codes Monday 16 December 2013 This workshop will consider the terminology used and the structure of the Harmonised System, Commodity and Tariff codes. It will examine the General Interpretative Rules that are used for classification and the use of tools available to assist in the establishment of the correct code.

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Kent, TN24 0LH

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Kent, TN24 0LH

9.30am - 12.15pm Non Member £159.00 + VAT Member £145.00 + VAT

1.15pm - 4.00pm Non Member £159.00 + VAT Member £145.00 + VAT

To book either visit or email or call 01233 503838

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Putting you in the picture Carlos Dominguez is a freelance architecture and interiors photographer with more than twenty years’ experience. He has photographed locations all over the UK and abroad. Carlos relocated to Broadstairs in Kent with his family last year after living in London for 25 years. He is originally from Madrid and studied photography and design at City of Westminster College; his first two big commissions were photographing the Universal Exhibition in Seville in 1992 and a commission to photograph all the Crown Estate properties in London (more than 100 sites) for the Crown Estate archives. His commissions vary in size from a single location to multiple location projects such as photographing 105 hotels for a large hotel chain (all the Holiday Inn Hotels in the UK), tunnels, art galleries, museums, factories, hospitals, schools, hotels, spas, car factories, petrol stations, skyscrapers, conference facilities, universal exhibitions, cityscapes, property developments, shopping centres, airports, quarries, motorways, railway depots and recycling centres His clients include architects, property developers,

museums, hotel chains, conference venues, interior designers, graphic designers, marketing agencies, advertising agencies and private companies. His photographs are used on websites, in books, brochures, e-marketing, presentations and a variety of promotional materials. Carlos is keen to establish links with companies in Kent and the South East. He offers his services as an architecture and interiors photographer and can also help you with your photo library or to organise presentations on iPads and smart phones. He designs and produces coffee table books of some of the projects he photographs; these books are a favourite marketing tool for many of his clients. He can be contacted at e.mail:

Firm urges business to support charity’s work A law firm whose staff helped galvanise the biggest turn-out yet for the Pilgrims Hospices’ annual Light up the City fundraiser is encouraging others to support the charity. difference – for example, supporting the charity’s Sponsor a Nurse campaign. “It costs £20 an hour to cover all the costs of ensuring a Pilgrims nurse can provide care where it’s needed, whether it’s on the ward, in a day hospice, in a patient’s home or at a community outreach group. “Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering your time, or running an event, it all helps the charity to continue providing such a high level of care.” Kent-based Furley Page, the main sponsor of the event for the second successive year, pulled together a team of more than 20 partners, staff and family to take part in the charity’s night-time 3k walk and 5k run. They were among nearly 850 runners and walkers – the largest number of participants so far – who lit up Canterbury by donning hi-vis clothing or fancy dress or carrying torches or glow-in-thedark accessories. Furley Page partner Harvey Barrett, who helped judge the fancy dress competitions and presented prizes, said: “We want to encourage others to get involved in the charity’s fund-raising initiatives. There’s a huge amount that businesses and individuals can do that will make a real

The amount raised from the Light up the City event is not yet known but the charity is expecting it to top last year’s total of £14,000. Deborah Kellond, Pilgrims Hospices regional fundraising manager, said having local companies such as Furley Page behind the charity was critical to the success of events like Light up the City. Furley Page senior partner Peter Hawkes said: “We were more than happy to sponsor this event again.” Pilgrims Hospices provides free care and support to patients, their families and carers but it needs to raise more than £10.5 million every year. To find out how you can support Pilgrims Hospices, visit or call 01227 812621.

Stirling Careers Consultancy – helping people through the transition stage Freelance Careers and Outplacement Consultant, Alistair Stirling, works with organisations making people redundant in Kent who want to make sure that their employees are helped through the transition process. This also frees up HR time and energy. Alistair, owner of Stirling Careers Consultancy, said “Being made redundant can be a life-changing event and can be very daunting and a knock to one’s confidence. “The contemporary job market is challenging and competitive and Stirling Careers Consultancy can take you step-by-step through the four stages of applying for jobs from job search to job offer.” Alistair can deliver workshops and one to one career guidance whereby individuals can explore their career options on a one to one basis e.g. re-training, following a particular passion, hobby or interest or working in the local community. Email Alistair Stirling at

Revitalize your health and fitness Fuelled by the passion to improve individual health, Revitalize is a one stop shop for health and fitness. It provides osteopathic care for pain and injuries, personal training for fitness goals and sports massage for relaxation and revitalization. If you need bespoke training or diet programme, or tailored rehabilitation to get back on your feet after suffering a debilitating injury, Revitalize Health and Fitness Clinic has everything you need to help you reach your goal. Revitalize is far more than a local personal trainer or manual therapy clinic. It applies the latest research and knowledge emerging from the industry to provide the most effective services available. Please visit our Facebook page or Google maps reviews to find out how Revitalize has helped hundreds of individuals in Gravesend and surrounding areas. Despite growing quickly as a provider of healthcare services, Revitalize is dedicated to improving the provision of freely available information on health and fitness. This is achieved by working with charities such as The Grand, Gravesend, to improve activity levels of youths and adults in Gravesend. To find out more visit our website

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Managing Sickness Absence Many employers reported enhanced levels of sickness absence prior to Christmas this year and with winter far from over there are still many more coughs, colds and viruses to be had. Most absence issues can be managed without the need for escalating matters so that formal meetings and warnings become necessary. However, an employer should deal with matters formally when the absence levels present an unacceptable level of disruption to the business. Some employers have sickness absence policies which provide for a trigger point, after which the absence, or series of absences, will be dealt with formally in accordance with the procedure set out in the policy. Even when an employer does not have such a policy in place, it should still hold formal meetings with the employee to establish the following; the reasons for the absence; when the employee is likely to return to work (in cases of long-term absence), or when the employee is likely to show improved

attendance patterns (in the case of short-term, intermittent absences). Investigating the reasons for the absence is likely to involve obtaining medical or occupational health evidence and consulting with the employee. In consultation with the individual, the employer should consider whether there are any reasonable adjustments open to the employer to enable the individual to return to work in some capacity in the foreseeable future. The employee should be asked for their suggestions but it is not enough for an employer simply to rely on these without the benefit of expert advice. 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 at or phone 01622 678341.

From Bukoba, Tz to Buckingham Palace, UK

Chamber Annual Diary/Directory of Members

Aseri Katanga, the Chair of Trustees and founder of Computers 4 Africa, members of the Kent Invicta Chamber, attended a Commonwealth Reception at Buckingham Palace.

Just a reminder that we will not be producing the Diary for the coming year, as previously mentioned in our e-briefing.

The reception was hosted by Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of Kent, and the Duke of Gloucester also attended. Aseri was one of eighty invited guests, each selected as influential charity workers who were born in Commonwealth countries and are currently residing in the UK. They are all dedicated to benefiting their home communities. Aseri said: “This was a day to remember.” This opportunity arose as a direct result of Computer’s 4 Africa supplying one million children with computers. To mark this occasion Aseri and Diane-Louis Corner, the British High Commissioner 42

ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014

to Tanzania, made a presentation of laptops to the Twayambe School, Bukoba. The High Commissioner recognised the efforts to bridge the digital divide by using donations from the UK. This resulted in Aseri’s visit to Buckingham Palace.

The publication in previous years has been produced and distributed to members with full cost being recouped by advertising sales. Unfortunately the continued drop in advertising sales over the past few years has made it not commercially viable to continue. We continue to promote members details both on the full membership list which is available for members to download via the members area of the website and also on the members directory, which is visible for anyone to view visiting the site.

B 2B Kent




High value, cost effective, all inclusive free conferences and exhibitions

Becoming a sponsor is a brilliant marketing strategy and a great way of reaching new customers

@KentB2B /KentB2B Kent B2B Exhibitions

We have a limited number of sponsorship opportunities available for our B2Bs during 2014. We have packages to suit any size business, whatever your budget and tailored to your business objectives. Sponsorship of our B2Bs will give: -Massive exposure for your business over several months -Great PR for your business -Significantly raise your brand awareness -New business contacts from all four corners of Kent

West Kent B2B Kent B2B East Kent B2B North Kent B2B

(The River Centre, Tonbridge) - 30 April 2014 (NEW) (Ashford International Hotel, Ashford) - 8 July 2014 (Cathedral Lodge, Canterbury) - 10 September 2014 (The Woodville, Gravesend) - 16 October 2014

Interested? Give Carole a ring on 01732 758530 / 07768 067745 or email:


Syn at The Grand Since 2010, The Grand hotel in Folkestone has hosted three charity exhibitions based upon local character Dr Syn. Now, it has announced an exhibition for October 2014.

The exhibition will be free to enter. All artwork submitted must be based on their interpretation of the Dr Syn books. The Grand also invites students to read a selected extract from Dr Syn then write their own version. They should use no more than 500 words and their piece should be their interpretation of what it would be like if the stories were based in the present day. As part of the exhibition The Grand will be hosting a competition with the top ten pieces of art and top ten short stories printed in a limited souvenir edition brochure for the exhibition.

Dr Syn, a Smugglers Tale of Romney Marsh was the work of Russell Thorndike and, in previous years, the exhibition has focused on local artist Terry Anthony. However, for the 2014 exhibition the hotel would like to invite the local community to participate.

In a change to previous exhibitions there will be two aspects to this exhibition with artwork and literary featuring. Staff are inviting local schools to participate in the exhibition in the hope that this Kentish legend will inspire them.

Further details will be released in the New Year. All work must be submitted by the 30th September 2014 and the exhibition opens to the public on Saturday 18th October 2014 for two weeks. If you school would like to be involved or you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact Aimee Langley on

Apprenticeship Funding reforms questioned Government proposal which would radically reform the funding of Apprenticeships, have been questioned by leading representatives from Kent’s business and further education community. The reforms, which are being consulted upon jointly by the Government’s Department for Business Innovation & Skills and Department for Education, have proposed radical changes to the way Apprenticeships are paid for with three options being put forward. Graham Razey, Principal of East Kent College, which last year placed nearly 300 Apprenticeships with local businesses, said: “We all recognise that skills are a vital part of a business’ ability to grow and nurture the talent of our young people. However, to place a greater burden on the employer in terms of the cost and time it takes to manage Apprenticeships could discourage many from offering them. “Not only would this reduce access to much needed training for our young people it would importantly hold back our economic recovery.” Geoff Miles, Chairman of Kent Economic Board, said: “For Apprenticeships to work they require

the commitment of everybody concerned, the employer, the individual trainee and also the government. “Kent remains a county of small businesses with more than 90 per cent employing less than 10 people, and many are already finding it difficult to cope under the burden of regulation. Kent has made such huge strides in terms of promoting Apprenticeships and it is therefore vital that we do everything we can to make them work for local firms and boost local skills. We have passed on our concerns to Government.” The Government is asking business for their views on three options, with the first one proposing to channel the training funding via the employer. Payments would be made directly into a bank account, after the employer has found and commissioned the training provider. This would require the employer to pay the training provider from their own funds and

then submit a monthly return of cost via an online portal to claim back the government contribution, up to a maximum of 70 per cent of the costs. It has been proposed that a percentage of the training costs would be paid to the employer when the apprentice has successfully completed the Apprenticeship. Secondly, the option of channelling funding via the employer with payments being made via the PAYE system, rather than directly into the employer’s bank account, being proposed. The third option proposes funding via a single training provider. Employers would pay an agreed contribution toward the training cost, with current figures suggesting this would be 30 per cent. Upon receipt of the employer’s contribution the training provider will then be able to claim the government contribution towards the training.

Law firm celebrates excellent results Kent law firm Furley Page is celebrating a strong set of results in the annual rankings published by The Legal 500 UK Awards 2013, a top independent national guide to excellence in the legal sector. Furley Page is recommended in 13 practice areas, including corporate and commercial, commercial litigation, property litigation, debt recovery, commercial property and construction, with two teams singled out for particular praise – employment, and agriculture and estates. Also highly rated are the private client teams of personal injury, charities and not-for-profit, private client (personal tax, trust and probate) and family. Several solicitors are singled out for praise. The Legal 500 says head of corporate, Susan Jennings, is “a great allrounder” and “calm under pressure”. Head of employment Andrew Masters is said to have “extensive knowledge of employment law” while his team “consistently provides an excellent service” and demonstrates “an ability to decode the law into layman’s speak”. He “really knows the independent education sector”. Senior partner Peter Hawkes said: “These excellent results are testament to Furley Page’s commitment to maintaining and developing the strength of our teams. We constantly strive to provide clients with the highest quality service and we’re proud for this to be recognised by this guide.”

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS


B 2B Kent




High value, cost effective, all inclusive free conferences and exhibitions

Exhibitions are a brilliant marketing strategy and a great way of reaching new customers Chamber Members - for priority booking and early bird prices start from £275+VAT BOOK YOUR STANDS NOW!

West Kent B2B (The River Centre, Tonbridge) - 30 April 2014 (NEW)

Kent B2B (Ashford International Hotel, Ashford) Ashford) - 8 July 2014

East Kent B2B (Cathedral Lodge, Canterbury) Canterbury) 10 September 2014

North Kent B2B (The Woodville, Gravesend) Gravesend) - 16 October 2014

Kent B2B Exhibitions

-Defined stand space -Electricity -FREE clothed table -FREE advertising for your com company pany on our online list of exhibitors -FREE places at our workshops ‘Maximising your exhibition to ma market rket your business’ Presented by Tony Buddin (usual price £25+VAT) ‘Social media for exhibitors’ prese presented nted by Zoe Cairns (usual price £25+VAT)



To take up our early bird offer and to choose a great

position for your stand just give Penny a ring on 01732 758530 or email:


Crucial times as strategy takes shape? These next few weeks are some of the most crucial in the development of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SE LEP) plans for investing our indicative allocation of £165m from the European Structural and Investment Fund programme 2014 to 2020. This funding will help us realise our ambitions to continue to be an economic powerhouse for the country by stimulating more growth and creating new jobs. This European funding is only part of the £3 billion public funding I am committed to attracting to the South East over the next ten years. I will also be looking to match fund this with £2 billion private sector funding through banks and other commercial investments. These are big numbers – but they are no pipe dream. It will be achieved through ensuring we have clear ambition, a strong plan and are loud and articulate about the scale of opportunities available in the South East. I look forward to working with you and the Kent and Invicta Chamber to develop and deliver that message, It is a message we have been developing over the last six weeks through the consultations on our draft plans for using the European funding, Since we held the official launch of the consultation on our plans on 16 October we have undertaken a host of local events for people across the whole of the SE LEP area – especially with the business community – to involve them in helping us develop our vision with some tangible initiatives. These have included a number of events in Kent.

These events have helped us develop both our European strategy and our Strategic Economic Plan further for discussion at our Full Board meeting on 13 December ahead of submitting the draft Plan to Government by 19 December and our final European Strategy by 31 January 2014. The proposals we have put together that you – the business community – have been helping to shape, along with higher education institutions, local authorities, other partners and interested organisations, draws on a strong evidence base. We set out an integrated package to deliver our growth priorities for the South East and outlined how partners will work together to boost skills and employment, stimulate economic growth, and attract investment and matched funding into our area While we still have a few more steps to take before we submit our plans to Government, I would like to pay tribute to everyone who has played their part in helping us. Officers from a host of partner organisations have worked tirelessly to get us to where we are now. However, our efforts will not stop and the real hard work will be delivering on our promises. As with the shaping of the proposals we will need the full help of the Kent and Invicta Chamber of Commerce and others to turn our ambitions into actions.

Peter Jones Director, South East Local Enterprise Partnership

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Welcome to new members Adkins Consultants Ltd Maidstone 01622 236500 Construction Consulting Inc. Estimating & Surveying Alan Fletcher Solutions Gravesend 07808 932256 Management Consultancy Avocet Strategic Resourcing Gillingham 08454 590085 IT Recruitment The British Assessment Bureau West Malling 08004 047007 Certification, Accreditation Carlos Dominguez Photography Broadstairs 07836 717861 Architecture and Interior Photography Clockwork Moggy Rainham 01634 388916 Branding/Web Design/Graphic Design/Illustration CoachSME Ltd Maidstone 01622 850670 Business Coaching, Mentoring. Speaker & Author. Training Courses, Worshops & Master Classes Crowder-Langley Rainham 01634 306387 Finance/HR David Barton Solicitor Advocate Ashford 01580 292409 Legal Advice and Court Representation for Motorists

East Kent Electrical Margate 01843 290107 Electrician

Mike Northern Legal Whitstable 01227 779188 Legal Services

Exquisite Vintage Teas Sittingbourne 07897 402909 Catering/Baking/Weddings

Parker Ascott Beckenham 02089 148304 Recruitment and Development Organisation

The Grand Folkestone 01303 222222 Hotel HOCA Practice Rochester 01634 296663 Chartered Architects, Quantity Surveyor Hollywood Bowl Maidstone 08774 176773 Bowling Corporate Events, Food & Drink Ixion Holdings (Contracts) Ltd Chelmsford 01245 505630 Education & Training Kevin Bush Snodland 07780 696895 Promotion of Elelctrical Safety KPM Swanley 01322 663328 Marketing Communications Lemon Creative Faversham 01227 752081 Graphic Design Consultancy Leslie (Ashford) Limited London 02076 298282 Property Development Investment Leydon Lettings Canterbury 01227 713913 Lettings

Penelope James Public Relations Canterbury 01303 844555 Public Relations Peninsula Times Ltd Rochester 01634 780041 Publishing, Marketing, Graphic Design People Face2Face Ltd Whitstable 01227 793346 Training Company Platform 4 Training Ltd Maidstone 01622 850318 Training Consultancy PreciousPatchz Chatham 01634 313862 Embroidery/Digitiging Priestley Coaching Ashford 07879 330060 Coaching & Training

Shopper Anonymous Kent Ltd 07545 045037 Orpington Customer Service Excellence, Service Measurement Shumi Group Limited Dover 01233 721621 Retail/Hair & Beauty/Property Sleeping Giant Media Folkestone 01303 240715 Digital marketing Sonia Hurren Parent & Teenager Coaching Northfleet 01474 338803 Parent & Teenager Coaching Squiders Limited Maidstone 01622 205130 Web Design, Web Development Stirling Careers Consultancy Bromley 07904 614946 Careers and Outplacement Services Swiftcure Limited Upper Belvedere 01322 441144 Damp Proofing & Timber Preservation

Raylets Letting Agency Bexleyheath 01322 210170 Letting Agent, Property Manager

The RockStar Approach™ Canterbury 01227 832154 Personal Impact & Presentation

RED Event Management Rochester 01580 230672 Event Management

True Telecom Maidstone 08008 404060 Telecoms Service Provider

Dempson Crooke Ltd Maidstone 01622 724007 Paper Converter - Packaging

Logic PM Limited Maidstone 01622 535505 Professionally Chartered Construction Project Management Consultants

Revitalize Health & Fitness Clinic Gravesend 01474 247629 Osteopathic Treatment for Injuries, Personal Training, Sports Massage Therapy

Display Developments Ltd Erith 01322 444400 Plastic Processor

MEP Ltd Aylesford 01622 718642 Manufacture of Aerospace Parts

Richard Torble Photography Faversham 07791 513706 Photography Services

Wingham Well Spring Dover 07976 613398 Natural Spring Water, Water Coolers, Hot Beverages Younique Designs Ltd Rochester 01634 405595 Workspace Designer & Consultant

December 2013-January 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS




The Last Word Name:

Tony Smith


Right Guard Security

Job title:


I formed Right Guard security in 1990 in response to an escalation in public order and crowd safety issues within the entertainment industry. From working at home with a pen and paper, continuously striving to maintain our high standards of professionalism and expertise is why we are here now over twenty years later. Still following the same work ethics.

Q.What was your first job and what was the pay packet? A.Paper round – £3.00. Q.What do you always carry with you to work? A.Blackberry. Q.What is the biggest challenge facing your business? A.Current economic climate. you were the Prime Minister, what one thing would you Q.Ifchange to help business? A.Greater support for small buisnesses. Q.What can you see from your office window? A.Top of Canterbury Cathedral. Q.If you could do another job what would it be? A.Police commander. Q.As a business person, what are your three main qualities? A.Motivation, high standards and customer service. Q.What was your biggest mistake in business? A.Not reading the small print. Q.What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? A.Never give up. Q.Who do you most admire in business? A.Richard Branson. 50

ThinkingBUSINESS December 2013-January 2014

The recessions over so are you geared up for growth? Award winning business coach, Andrew Priestley, specializes in working with owners, managing directors and managers of established small to midtier companies UK and worldwide. “As the recession fades fast, MDs need to focus less on the day-to-day operation of the business and take a more proactive focus on growth, profit, cashflow and the strategic direction of your business.” “I help MDs focus on business performance with a strong emphasis on professional development i.e., being a much better business leader.” Growth leads to appointment Computer Rescue Ltd is committed to providing rapid response IT technical support. Since its establishment, it has experienced swift growth and remains committed to driving the business forward. To this end, it has welcomed its new Marketing Administrator, Gemma Capewell on board. Gemma will be building the business’s profile. Reeves and GB Freeski chill out Reeves are supporting GB Freeski in the build up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. As part of this partnership, a team of nine from Reeves, including partners Nigel Fright and Shirley Smith, were coached by GB Freeski’s Head Coach Pat Sharples and some of the athletes at an exclusive clinic and team building day at Manchester’s Chill Factore. Dubbed the ‘FReeveski’ clinic, during the day, Reeves staff and partners took part in a packed programme, receiving a warm address by Great Britain’s elite athletes, familiarising themselves with the vibrant Freeski world before talking teamwork, commitment, tax and sport accounting, taking a behind-thescenes glimpse at the future of British freeskiing and Winter Olympic snowsport and hitting the slopes. Elite athletes Rowan Cheshire, Pete Speight, Molly Summerhayes and World #5 Slopestyler Katie Summerhayes were on hand to support the event. New recruit Simon Robinson joins Quantum PR Specialists in corporate, planning and public sector communications, Quantum PR has added experienced journalist and PR consultant, Simon Robinson, to its ranks. Simon, 30, joins the Ashford-based firm as an account manager following a decade of working in PR and as a reporter on various titles across the county. Charlie Vavasour, Managing Director at Quantum PR, said: “It’s a pleasure to have Simon join the Quantum team. We are experiencing a sustained upturn in new business and Simon will play a key role in developing our proposition and growing the company.” Simon added: “I am delighted to join the team of such a well respected agency. With Quantum continuously gaining new contracts there is plenty to keep me busy. I look forward to building upon Quantum’s good reputation.”

Thinking Business  
Thinking Business  

December 2013 - January 2014. Official magazine for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce.