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Welcome As you read though this edition of Thinking Business you can’t help but think that 2014 will certainly be a year of opportunity for businesses in Kent and Medway with significant investment in infrastructure, growth and education.

East Kent College has secured £9.7 million to develop its Broadstairs Campus. The South East LEP have submitted draft plans bidding for £1.2 billion from Government to leverage £10 billion investment into the South East. Then we have a potential £85m redevelopment of Newnham Court Shopping Village in Maidstone. If you add in the £43 million Regional Growth Fund available to businesses in East Kent, £20 million for businesses in North Kent and £5 million for West Kent and Maidstone, there certainly is significant investment to assist businesses looking for growth. There are definitely positive opportunities but as you will read on page 31, Nick Rowell, the Chamber’s Director of Policy urges us all to take heed and not to get carried away. Probably very sensible advice.

If you are looking at growing your business and creating more jobs, then have a look at the Regional Growth Fund schemes, they offer interest free loans to those businesses seeking growth. More importantly, your Chamber is here to offer free advice, guidance and application support. Of course, there is something looming for us all starting this year, and that’s Automatic Pensions Enrolment. Your starting date will depend on your company size and full details can be found on page 6. This is the second in a series of articles from Wilkins Kennedy which will guide members through the implications and obligations of the system. Finally, this year your Chamber is extending the opportunities for you to promote your business and give you access to a wider client base. You will see on pages 42 & 43, we will be holding 4 business to business exhibitions this year, in addition to a joint Construction/Manufacturing Expo. You can find full details of the Chamber’s Exhibitions on our dedicated exhibitions website I hope you enjoy reading this edition of Thinking Business.





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

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

Production Manager Fern Badman Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Media No. 1342

Publisher Benham Publishing 3tc House, 16 Crosby Rd, Crosby, Liverpool L22 0NY Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: Web: Published February 2014 © Benham Publishing Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email:

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

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. © 2014. 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.

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Historic Dockyard Chatham secures Heritage Lottery Fund Investment The Historic Dockyard Chatham has received a grant of £4.53m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to support its £8.75m Command of the Oceans project. Command of the Oceans will secure the repair and preservation of a range of The Historic Dockyard’s Scheduled Ancient Monuments and its 18th Century Ship’s Timbers Archaeological find. It will create galleries, interpretation and visitor facilities to reveal the story of the dockyard and deliver an appropriate sense of arrival for visitors not only to The Historic Dockyard but to the wider Chatham Dockyard and its Defences Tentative List World Heritage Site - through the creation of a 4.5 hectare area of heritage-based public realm and a Discovery Centre. The Historic Dockyard Chatham is the world’s best preserved example of a dockyard of the age of sail. During the 18th century the site played an instrumental role in supporting the Royal Navy secure worldwide supremacy at sea. Chief Executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Bill Ferris OBE, said: “Command of the Oceans is arguably the most significant single project undertaken by the Trust in pursuit of its own educational charitable purposes since the “Wooden Walls” gallery opened in the late 1980s. The project meets a number of urgent conservation and visitor needs.”

Archaeological remains of the NAMUR, the ship beneath the floor Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: “The Historic Dockyard at Chatham is an extraordinary site that charts Britain’s impressive naval history. We at HLF are delighted to be supporting the ‘Command of the Oceans’ project which will dramatically improve the visitor experience at Chatham and reveal important archaeological finds for the first time.” The HLF grant unlocks a further £4m for the project including a £3m contribution from the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), responsible for the regeneration of the adjacent Chatham Maritime site and £1m from a range of Charitable Trust’s & Foundations.

Visualisation of the Mast Houses and Mould Loft & Wheelwrights’ shop, creating the ‘free to enter’ arrival and orientation plaza for Visualisation of the Mast Houses and Mould Loft & Wheelwrights’ shop, creating the free to enter arrival and orientation plaza for The Historic Dockyard and the wider Chatham Dockyard and its Defences sites


ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

Jonathan Sadler, Development Director at HCA said, “This is an exciting time for The Historic Dockyard and Chatham Maritime. The HCA is delighted to contribute to a scheme which will have wider regeneration benefits including opening up key sites for residential and commercial development.” The grant will enable Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust to start project delivery early in the new year with completion anticipated in Spring 2016.


SEARCHING FOR SUCCESS? Are you digging yourself into a hole? “I read once about the concepts of a lateral idea and the vertical idea. If you dig a hole and it’s in the wrong place, digging it deeper isn’t going to help. The lateral idea is when you skip over and dig someplace else.” Seymour Chwast-american graphic designer, illustrator, type designer.

Artist’s impression of the NAMUR Gallery with interactive displays

At Oak Creative we have a team of the most lateral thinking creative minds determined to seek out the best solutions for your business. We love exploring and trying new ideas. Albert Einstein said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” so if you want success in promoting your business in 2014 try something new and make great discoveries.

Does design work for you? “Design is not what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Steve Jobs entrepreneur, marketer, and inventor. Co-founder of Apple Inc. At Oak we love to create visually appealing images whether for identities, websites, packaging or any other project we undertake... BUT the most important thing to us is that our Designs WORK. From the outset we aim to forge a relationship with our clients so that we become part of their team, understand their business, and use all our creative energy and experience to make the design successful.

Artist’s impression of the new ‘free to enter’ Chatham Dockyard and its Defences Discover Centre

Our clients come to us with thoughts that we turn into concepts and finally into designs that work. A fusion occurs that is a combination of intelligent thought and creative talent. The door at Oak Creative is always open to pop in and discuss what we can do for your business.

Oak Creative Advertising and Design Royal Oak Building, Hythe, Kent CT21 4JF Tel: 01303 812848 Artist’s impression of the Master Navigation Mark – the starting point for Discovery Trails, leading to The Historic Dockyard and the wider Chatham Dockyard and its Defences sites

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Automatic Pensions Enrolment – Employer Timeline “Staging Dates” Colin Bannister Director of Financial Planning, WK Financial Management 01622 238345

Following on from my introductory article regarding automatic enrolment the first piece of information you as an employer will need to know is when this new legislation affects your company, therefore this article will start there. When the Government planned to introduce this new pension system it was decided that phasing the impact in over several years made sense from the point of view of employers, employees, pension providers and also the regulator in charge of overseeing the introduction. Similarly by starting with the largest employers first greater resources should be available from the employers, pension and payroll providers to overcome any initial “teething problems”. Since October 2012 many national companies have passed their staging dates and their schemes are in place. A staging date is determined by the total number of employees in your largest PAYE scheme, based on the information held by the HMRC at 1 April 2012. For companies formed between April 2012 and 31 March 2013, and April 2013 to date the staging dates are 1 May 2017 and 1 July 2017 respectively. Thus many of you, as employers, may have now received a letter from The Pensions Regulator confirming your staging date. The first notification letter is sent 12 months in advance of the staging 6

ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

date so that you can commence your preparations and have everything in place prior to your official staging date. This will have the benefit of enabling you to trial any new process before you become legally liable for getting it right. The importance of your staging date is that you will need to have made all your decisions, applied for and have in place your auto enrolment pension scheme. Most employers will wish to let their staff know of the changes in advance of this date and there are legally-required letters that must be issued no later than 30 days after this date. If you have not yet received your staging date letter, you can find out your specific date at official website It is possible to bring forward or postpone your staging date to better fit in with your accounting and scheme renewal dates and in the next article will look in more depth at these options and the aspects you need to consider. For further information please contact Colin Bannister on 01622 238345 or by email on

For quick reference a summary of the dates: Staff on Payroll

Staging Date

250 – 349

1 February 2014

160 – 249

1 April 2014

90 - 159

1 May 2014

62 - 89

1 July 2014


1 August 2014


1 October 2014


1 November 2014


1 January 2015

54 – 57

1 March 2015

50 -53

1 April 2015

40 – 49

1 August 2015

30 – 39

1 October 2015

Less than 30

Between July 2015 to April 2017



CMR Insurance Services – The Credit Insurance Specialists Businesses come to CMR for protection against the risk of not getting paid for their B2B sales, but as our clients will testify we provide much more besides. Such as your CMR personal account manager – a friendly face who will handle every aspect of your bad debt insurance, expert assessments and monitoring of your customers’ financial strength, and help to ensure that a single late payment doesn’t damage an otherwise good business relationship. And, if you’re exporting, CMR can provide in-depth reviews of your export markets as well. You don’t need to know what goes on under the bonnet to be able to drive a car, therefore you don’t need to know everything about credit insurance to be able to benefit from it; CMR will be both your ‘mechanic’ and your ‘chauffeur’, you can just enjoy the ride.

Where reliability and flexibility count Business owners often say they spend too much time on administration or that it’s something they loathe doing. Paragon Office are accountable, administration professionals who not only enjoy the challenge of managing office tasks and processes but take pleasure in unburdening our clients of that chore. Working with diverse businesses, either remotely or in-situ, we offer a flexible and reliable resource saving both time and money. In addition, our event planning and marketing support service has a proven track record, helping clients engage with their target audience to generate new business, or canvas existing clients to explore new opportunities.

Your local contact is Gary Hately: - 07789 200206

Investment brings jobs to Medway Locate in Kent, the county’s investment promotion agency, helped create almost 200 jobs in Medway in the first half of 2013. The agency worked with five companies that invested in Medway in the first half of the year, either through starting-up in the area, expanding an existing operation there or moving from another part of Kent. They created 196 jobs and ensured a further 60 were retained in the area. In a major show of faith in Medway, three companies, including a large financial services operation, recommitted to the area by expanding their operations, two of them within Chatham Dockyard, Medway’s premier business park. Over the same period, 21 new companies showed an interest in Medway, of which more than half were from outside the county and a quarter were start-ups. They came from a variety of sectors including the creative industries, manufacturing, ICT, life sciences as well as retail & wholesale. At the start of the year, Locate in Kent was working with 126 companies actively interested in investing in Medway, of which 11 were based in the United States, seven in France, three in India and two in Italy.

Queen’s Award for riding group An award said to be equivalent to “a corporate MBE for volunteers” has been presented to the Cobbes Meadow Group Riding for the Disabled in Chartham, Kent.

Outsourcing sales is beginning to catch on Outsourcing your B2B sales activities is an extremely cost effective and a virtually risk free solution to find customers and offers fresh initiatives for sales growth. Sellective offers small and medium sized companies throughout the South East sales support to help them gain more business. Sellective offer all the expectations associated with that of an employed Sales Manager with a busy Sales Department - but without the need to actually have one! As you only pay for the resource you use, using Sellective is an excellent opportunity for a company with maybe a limited budget to increase its current sales activity, possibly because of an unexpected opportunity within its marketplace. All services and prices are tailored around your organisations requirement and more importantly your budget. Sellective can offer specific services or an effective package but in most cases costs start at no more than the price of a local newspaper advert. Remember you only pay for the resources you need from one month to one year! Sellective offers Invicta Chamber Members a free consultation so before you consider employing sales staff or even advertising get in touch and explore the alternatives. To find out more visit or ring David Nash on 07527 493571.

Cobbes Meadow RDA, an independent charity which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, has received royal recognition for the work it does in providing horse riding and carriage driving opportunities for children and adults with various forms of learning and physical disabilities. “It is run entirely by volunteers and funded by donations and the award is a fitting tribute to the tireless work carried out by the group”, said David Hall, Chairman of the Trustees of Cobbes Meadow RDA. David received the award on behalf of the group when it was presented by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Mr Richard Oldfield, accompanied by Mrs Jane Loudon, one of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Deputies, during a dressage day.

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



BitesizeNews Leeds Castle 2014 Open Air Classical Concert date announced Heritage Events have announced the 2014 Open Air Classical Concert at Leeds Castle, Kent, will take place on Saturday 12 July and tickets are now on sale. This ‘Best of British’ open air classical concert is a firm favourite with concert-goers from across the UK and beyond, and will

Honour for event organiser The driving force behind much of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust’s event organising and fund-raising activity for the past 15 years has been rewarded for her tireless work in the New Year’s Honours List.

feature the world famous Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by John Rigby. Visit for more details.

Kent Life celebrates new lease Kent Life has successfully concluded negotiations to secure the future of the popular visitor attraction at its 28-acre site at Lock Lane, Sandling, near Maidstone. The Continuum Group has operated Kent Life since 2008, developing the celebration of the county’s rich rural heritage, and welcoming increasing visitors young and old to the attraction, which has won a host of awards over the past 12 months. Juliana Delaney, chief executive of the Continuum Group Ltd, said a two-year management agreement had been agreed with Cobtree Manor Estate Trust.


ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

Mrs Janet Tootal, wife of Trust secretary Patrick Tootal, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Battle of Britain Veterans. Janet has organised the annual Memorial Day at Capel-le-Ferne in its current format since the year 2000 and is well known to the men Churchill first referred to as “the Few”. She organises their transport to events and makes sure the men – all well into their nineties - are well looked after. Her organisational skills have seen the Memorial Day event grow steadily over the years, with several thousand people now regularly attending the service and parade in early July. Janet also organises many other events during the year and has been a crucial part of the fund-raising team behind The Wing, the Trust’s new visitor experience. An accomplished singer, she also features on two audio CDs that have been sold to raise funds. This year’s Memorial Day on Sunday 6 July will be particularly busy, as the structure of The Wing is set to be virtually complete, giving the event an extra special backdrop and reminding visitors of how much work has gone into reaching this stage.

The Trust still needs to raise more money to fit out the visitor experience, which is why the year will also be busy in fund-raising terms, with a number of organisations arranging events on behalf of the Wing Appeal. The former West End hit Flare Path, by Terence Rattigan, is being staged at the Gulbenkian by the University of Kent Players between Wednesday 19 and Saturday 22 February and is expected to raise as much as £5,000 to get the year off to a good start for the Trust. It will be followed by a concert by the Squadronaires, part of the RAF Central Band, at the Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone on 15 March. The event is being put on the Old Harveians Association and will also result in a donation to The Wing. Two weeks later, on the morning of Friday, March 28, The Brigade of Gurkhas will provide a spectacular curtain raiser to the 2014 season of events at the Capel-le-Ferne home of the National Memorial to the Few when the Gurkha Band, led by Director of Music Major Paul Norley, provides a marching display. Details of all the events can be seen at


Lions on track to help keep Air Ambulance flying at night Night-flying Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is appealing for runners, swimmers and cyclists to sign up for this year’s Tonbridge Lions Triathlon and help save lives 24 hours a day. Lions Clubs across the South East have pledged to raise £250,000 for the Marden-based charity over the next 10 years. The funds will be a significant contribution towards the additional £1million-a-year needed to provide a 24-hour service which was launched on December 18th last year. The triathlon is to be held on May 5th at Tonbridge School’s sports complex which was used by the Australian Olympic team as a training base for the London 2012 games. Competitors can choose a sprint consisting of a 400-metre swim, 25km ride and 5km run or the standard route which is double the distance. Triathlon chairman Tom Simmons said: “This is the second year the Tonbridge Lions Club has arranged for the Tonbridge Triathlon to be linked up with Kent,

Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance. “We once again welcome the opportunity to be able to offer the means for the general public to take part in the triathlon and also raise funds for this muchloved and vital charity. “The Air Ambulance needs approximately £6m each year to maintain their service in the counties and provide 24- hour cover. The pilots, doctors and paramedics are extremely dedicated to their task and deserve all our support.” Tonbridge was the first Lions club launched in the UK in 1949 and has raised more than £275,000 for charity in the last 10 years. The triathlon alone has raised more than £125,000 over 24 years and organisers are aiming to raise a total of £13,000 from this year’s event. There are 500 places available with an entry fee of

Members of Tonbridge Lions Club pictured at the Air Ambulance base at Marden £46 for the standard distance, £42 for teams of three and £39 for the sprint. To book a place go to or call 07549 949615.

Is Customer Service Really So Important? People may not complain. They just won’t come back. Almost two thirds (58 per cent) of people would stop buying from a company as a direct result of poor customer service with a member of staff, according to the results of the latest research into the financial services, retail and utilities sectors. Also: • 63 per cent of people who have a good customer experience with a member of staff would purchase again from the same organisation • 69 per cent of people who have had a good customer experience with a member of staff recommended that organisation to others • 70 per cent of people who have had a bad customer experience with a member of staff say they will warn others not to use that same organisation ‘Are you being engaged?’, The Institute of Customer Service, 2014 Think about the last time you received bad service and how it made you feel. Now do the same but think about a good service experience. Service excellence is vital to any organisation’s success. I have over 20 years experience in helping companies improve levels of staff and customer engagement, service and sales in all business sectors. For a free and confidential consultation, please contact me: email, telephone 07881029702, website

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Spice Girls Bus ‘The Movie’- we did it It goes to show how long we’ve been around. Our experience and ability to vinyl cover almost anything is second to none. SEC Signworks Missions Statement We’re looking to attract clients with multiple vehicles as well as small business owners with just the one asset. When it comes to clients with bespoke signage requirements we can cater for everyone and anyone - anything from your small car to large goods vehicle. We’re expanding our services across North Kent and South London, so visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @SECSignworks to see the wide range of signage we supply.

Just a few reasons why SEC Signworks is so unique • Over 35 years experience in vehicle wraps and signage production • Controlled environment workshop to ensure only the best quality is supplied • Fully flexible, qualified and experienced sign fitters • With a fully insured logistics service we can collect and deliver anything from scooters to HGVs • We have the latest technology in digital printing and laminating • Creditworthy parent company

A Little Taste:

Roller shutter door graphics for Quality Walls & Floors

Brick style locker wrap for Kent College

Bike Graphics for FWD Construction

Advertising boards for Canterbury RFC

Lidl bus full wrap

Shop Fascia and hanging sign for Alberry’s Wine Bar

Car graphics & contravision for Mackenzies Chartered Accountants

Flat cut lettering for East London Mobile Workshop

Fleet graphics for Shepherd Neame

Playing to your strengths Pinchpoint coaching (South East Business Services Ltd) provides effective coaching support to people in business and life situations. We provide coaching for Directors, Managers and team leaders, to support and enhance implementation of strategic customer service and cultural change programmes, and general performance improvement. Focusing on: • interpersonal skills • creative problem solving • leadership • improving customer focus. Coaching provides a flexible and cost effective way to enable team leaders/managers to more effectively support their teams and deliver the required strategic plans and higher performance. Strengths Based Coaching Understand your talents and build them into strengths to relieve Pinchpoints and drive higher performance WHY: The ways in which each unique individual naturally thinks, feels and behaves are our individual talents, and using and developing these talents into strengths allows individuals and teams to grow and succeed. The challenge is that without help many of us would not necessarily know what our real talents are or understand how to maximise them. BENEFITS: • Cultivates a positive culture focused on talent discovery and strengths development • Develops self-awareness and insights needed to achieve better performance and team working • Promotes growth and top performance based on what each individual and team naturally does best • Coaching directly related to workplace challenges and objectives so highly productive • Applies to all individuals regardless of role • Provides a common language and framework enabling individuals and teams to develop and perform better Member to member offer (KICC): Pinchpoint offer a free Gallup StrengthsFinder© assessment and individual feedback session to Kent Invicta Chamber members in order to demonstrate the benefits of Strengths Based coaching. We will also provide some interesting ideas on how your organisation/team could use the Gallup StrengthsFinder© in developing team effectiveness and productivity. To take up this offer simply contact Phil Auden at South East Business Services Ltd Tel: 05603 445508 Mobile: 00 44 07949 780446 email:

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



BitesizeNews Professional help only a click away for Maidstone’s charities and community groups An innovative website to link businesses who want to support their local charities and community groups has been launched in Maidstone. The Big Exchange website, the first of its kind in Kent, allows charities or community groups to find help and support from local businesses and to develop relationships together. The project idea has been developed by Maidstone Borough Council and Voluntary Action Maidstone. Charities and organisations, of which there are 350 in the area, will be able to see what businesses across Maidstone can offer, then be matched up with them to take their help and build relationships. The website is: You can also follow on Twitter: @TheBigExchange

Reeves Merges with Gatwick rival Reeves has announced its merger with CLB Gatwick, (formerly part of Haines Watts) a well-established accountancy practice. The four partners and staff at CLB, which has offices in Horley, have merged activities with the nearby Reeves Gatwick office. CLB has an annual fee income of £1.2 million and a turnover of nearly £2.4 million is anticipated from the combined offices. This acquisition allows Reeves to build on its existing position in the area, which is a vital hub for businesses in the South-East.

Pictured from left to right: Nigel Fright, Farouk Durrani, Allan Pinner, John Pannett, David Turner, Martin Neve, James Peach, Clive Stevens. Not pictured: Paul Roe and Shirley Smith


ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

£9.7 million boost for East Kent College East Kent College has won more than £9.7 million of Government funding to develop its Broadstairs campus, bringing substantial benefits to the local area. also provide a large number of apprenticeship places across a much wider range of careers than is currently available.” A hotel and hospitality training centre will be built within the Yarrow Building, providing an ideal learning environment for skills relating to event management, hospitality, travel and tourism. Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive of Visit Kent, said: “This is game-changing news for young people as well as the tourism and hospitality industry in East Kent and right across the county.” An innovation space for creative industries start-ups, incorporating a business administration academy, will also be developed within the Yarrow Building. Graham Razey, principal of East Kent College, outside the historic Yarrow Building

The College has been awarded £9,736,000 by the Skills Funding Agency to upgrade its Grade II-listed Yarrow Building, providing new training facilities focused on the priority growth sectors of tourism, creative industries and business. Graham Razey, principal of East Kent College, said: “This is a significant investment and we are delighted that, depending on planning approval, we are going to be able to turn a historic building into a real-work environment for our students. The new facilities will

The project totals £10,700,000 with East Kent College financing the costs not being met by the Skills Funding Agency’s College Capital Investment Fund. As well as the upgrade of the Yarrow Building, which had been designated for disposal due to the level of work required, the funding will also support the redevelopment of several other areas on the Broadstairs campus. Architects have begun working on plans with the aim of having the new facilities in place by September 2015. East Kent College will now be applying for planning permission to Thanet District Council.

IAB enters Book-keeping Hall of Fame The International Association of Bookkeepers has been voted Professional Institute of the Year in the 2013 BKN Bookkeeping Awards. The success means that the Kings Hill-based organisation takes its place in the Bookkeeping Hall of Fame. It was voted for by bookkeepers, accountants, business owners and members of The Book-keepers Network & Forum (BKN). “The most satisfying thing about winning this award is that the nominations and votes come from those who work within our profession, meaning it is a reflection of the regard in which we are held by our peers,” said Malcolm Trotter, Chief Executive of the IAB.

Malcolm Trotter (centre) accepts the Professional Institute of the Year award from Ross Brinsdon (left) and Steve Hillman (right)of BKN


Dachser opens joint venture in Indonesia Dachser has continued its global expansion in the Air & Sea Logistics business field by forming a joint venture in Indonesia. PT Dachser Indonesia now offers services ranging from air and sea freight to customs processing. Headquartered in Jakarta, the joint venture, in which Dachser is the largest shareholder, launched operations with currently 25 employees. Additional locations in the country will be added in 2014. “Our presence in Indonesia means that—after Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia— we now have a foothold in another Southeast Asian country that is experiencing strong growth. Not only are we expanding our service portfolio for intra-Asian transport—especially our cooperation with Singapore—but we are also further connecting the region to our global logistics network,” says Thomas Reuter, Managing Director of Dachser Air & Sea Logistics.

Businesses support £85m redevelopment The £85 million redevelopment of Newnham Court Shopping Village will not only create more than 1,000 jobs, it will lead to major improvements to the local road network which will help to attract more businesses to Maidstone and boost the tourism industry in Kent. That’s the verdict of the county’s business sector as developer Land Securities presses ahead with plans to modernise and upgrade the retail park alongside J7 of the M20. The project, which includes new Debenhams and Waitrose stores and an enlarged Notcutts, has been hailed as a big vote of confidence in the future economic prospects of the county town. Jo James, chief executive of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, said the investment is more evidence that Kent is emerging from recession. “Whenever a major player like Land Securities commits to huge projects like this in Kent it’s a clear sign that our economy is really gaining momentum,” said Jo, whose organisation represents more than 1,100 companies across the county. “Not only will the project support more than 1,000 high-quality jobs with companies of the reputation and standing of Debenhams and the John Lewis Partnership, there is also the boost to the construction industry during the building phase. This is great news for Kent and we warmly welcome the development,” she added. Improving shopping facilities at Newnham Court are also likely to help attract other businesses to relocate to the area, according to John Hawkins, director and manager of Turkey Mill Business Park. The 100,000 sq ft park is home to around 70 companies and the 20 acre estate is located a mile from the development site.

“When we market the offices at Turkey Mill, prospective tenants consider a range of factors when deciding whether to locate here. One of these is local facilities and I believe that improving and extending the shops at Newnham Court will help persuade companies to relocate here, generating additional employment opportunities,” he added. Existing tenants of Newnham Court Shopping Village are also delighted with the improvements to be made to the site. Dominic Scotton, operations director of Pennies Day Nurseries, who will relocate within the site, said: “The injection of so many more jobs near Junction 7 will help us to create sustainable extra employment in our nursery, kids’ clubs and nannying services This is a really exciting project for local, family-run, businesses like ours.” Leonardo Gagliano, general manager of the Hilton Maidstone Hotel sited close to Newnham Court, said: “I can only support economic development in the area as part of our long-term commitment to the local market, especially the tourism industry in Maidstone and Kent. I was delighted to read about so many new jobs that will be generated, particularly for the young. People need opportunities to be able to live and work without moving away from their communities.” Maidstone Borough Council is expected to make a decision on the Newnham Court Shopping Village planning application early in the new year.

Steven Ryan, who worked for more than 20 years in the industry, has been tasked with directing the country organisation.

DACHSER opens joint venture in Indonesia

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Boosting exports must be a national economic priority, says BCC • The UK deficit on trade in goods and services was £3.2bn in November 2013, compared with a deficit of £3.5bn in October 2013, but the October deficit was revised up sharply from the £2.6bn initially estimated • There was a deficit of £9.4bn on goods in November, partly offset by a surplus of £6.2bn on services • Imports from the EU increased to £19.2bn in November, a record high • In the three months to November 2013, exports of goods were 1.5% higher than in the same three months of 2012, but imports of goods were 2.2% higher Commenting on the UK trade figures for November 2013, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: “Although there was a small fall in the trade deficit, these figures are disappointing, and indicate a large deficit in the fourth quarter. However, it is not entirely surprising – our economy is growing at a faster pace than those of our major trading partners in Western Europe, and imports tend to increase in such circumstances. Longer term comparisons show that exports are increasing, but this is at a slower pace than is needed. “Boosting exports must be a national economic priority, particularly when it comes to diversifying our exports towards faster-growing economies outside the EU. Even within Europe, there is scope to do this, as central and eastern European economies such as Poland are growing faster than our traditional trading partners. More support for SMEs looking to trade internationally is needed, and this means giving UK businesses more resources in areas such as trade finance, insurance and promotion.” 14

ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

Chamber International Trade advice takes a step forward This month sees an addition to our International Trade Service with the engagement of our own International Trade Adviser. With the growth in enquiries from both importers and exporters showing no signs of abating, the Chamber has secured the services of Graham Card to help Kent’s businesses start, grow and expand their international trade ambitions. We will be offering 1:1 appointments for both Members and Non-Members at our offices in Ashford. This addition complements our existing range of services of: • Export Documentation • International Trade training • Cargo Insurance • Foreign Exchange and Finance • Credit Insurance • Letters of credit preparation

Graham Card MIEx (Grad) ABFA dip AMCILT Cert PFS CeMAP FRGS Graham is a graduate of the Institute of Export, holds the diploma of the Asset Based Finance Association, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers. He has spent his working life in UK and international trade, and commercial trade finance. His core experience is in supply chain logistics and documentary credits together with sales and sourcing of the most appropriate finance facilities for UK, as well as import and export situations. To book an appointment visit our website

Export Documentation – It doesn’t have to be a pain Having the relevant, appropriate and correctly completed documentation is one of the most complex and potentially problematic areas for a new export business to navigate, and therefore one of the biggest barriers to effective exporting. Navigating your way through the ever-changing regulations for the relevant documents can be timeconsuming to get right and costly to get wrong: the accurate completion and official authentication of export documentation is vital if customs penalties and delays are to be avoided and shipments are to make delivery deadlines. British Chambers in the UK act as issuing bodies authorised by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) for the issue of all nonpreference EC Certificates of Origin and by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for preference documents such as EUR1’s and A.TR certificates, in addition British Chambers act as agents for the Arab British Chamber of Commerce for the issuing of Arab-British Certificates of Origin and being a source for all other export-related documentation. Chambers can also make arrangements for legal documents to be apostilled or signed by a notary

public. Asking your local Chamber for advice before shipping can save you time, money and stress. The Kent Invicta Chamber export team is on hand every day to help guide you through the paperwork. Email: or call 01233 5038385.

Did you know? Bolivia holds the record as one of the wettest countries in the world. The annual rainfall is over 5000mm. The climate varies with altitude. It ranges from humid and tropical to cold and semi-arid. I wonder if they’re ready for the pack-a-mac?


The MINT countries Fact or Fiction? With the arrival of a new acronym for potential markets the British Chamber of Commerce has a handy “Market Snapshot” on their Export Britain website which will help you make up your own mind. This edition we take a look at Indonesia.


SWOT analysis Strengths Low public and external debt levels. Weaknesses Infrastructure Bottlenecks Opportunities Urbanisation. Rapidly growing productive population. Threats Weakening currency. Inflation.

Capital: Jakarta Largest city: Jakarta Administrative divisions: 34 provinces Currency: Rupiah (Rp) Area: 1,904,569 km2 Population: (2012) 237,424,363 Calling code: +62 Official language: Indonesian Ease of trading across borders: Importing a standard container of goods into Indonesia requires: 7documents, 23days, £407. Introduction Indonesia has the largest economy in Southeast Asia and is one of the emerging market economies of the world. In 2012, Indonesia edged out India to emerge as second fastest G-20 major economy just behind China. Indonesia has undertaken wide-ranging reforms to address various structural weaknesses and improve competitiveness. Recent reform measures have put greater emphasis on improving regulatory efficiency, enhancing regional competitiveness, and creating a more vibrant private sector. Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate) 2011 2012






Indonesia’s trade with the UK Sector segmentation growth Sectors to watch: • food • electronic components & boards Manufacturing: • repair & installation of machinery, • soaps, detergents etc • utilities.

Total merchandise trade Leading import partners

Fastest-growing exporters into Indonesia Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2012 Mexico India Egypt China Korea Vietnam UAE Malaysia -

Export of goods and services




Import of goods and services




Opportunities for UK businesses





Short-term interest rates (%)




The recent trend of increased foreign business interests in Indonesia is likely to continue. The government’s ambitious economic master plan, which aims to increase connectivity across the country through infrastructure development, provides opportunities for UK businesses. Important opportunities exist in mining and agribusiness equipment and services, telecommunications, education and professional training, research, medical equipment and construction.

Exchange rate (per £)








Unit labour cost




Source: Oxford Economics Economic outlook In 2012, the Indonesian economy slowed down to a 6.2% GDP growth due to weak export figures due to depressed global demand and a slowdown in domestic consumption. The country’s first annual trade deficit of $1.6 billion USD (Statistics Indonesia) also put pressure on the Rupiah causing a 6% slide, making it the worst performing Asian emerging market currency in 2012. The core pillars of economic growth are relatively sound fiscal and macro-prudential management, political stability, a growing middle class and vast natural resources. Trade outlook Indonesia’s intra-regional trade has picked up strongly in recent months, but exports to China, the US and the EU have continued to fall. Trade within Asia will be Indonesia’s fastest growing source of growth. Exports to the Middle East and North Africa region are also expected to witness solid growth. Indonesia import needs will rise rapidly, both in terms of capital goods for infrastructure and consumer products for the domestic market. Vietnam and India will be Indonesia’s fastest growing import partners.

Export Britain website launched The site is a resource for businesses looking to export and take advantage of one of the world’s oldest established networks. Brought to you by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the site provides information, advice, resources and links to the local and international Chamber network for British businesses starting or growing their export business. Take a look for yourself

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



New Unique Product Saves Fuel and Cuts Emissions!! Drive Green, Go Green The World’s first MultiVitamin for your Vehicle

Envirotabs are a revolutionary new product from a Nobel prize winning invention in 1973 and designed for use with any vehicle, diesel, petrol or bio-fuels. It acts as a metal conditioner and is not a fuel additive, ensuring more economical use of your fuel. It has been proven to decrease harmful emissions, increase vehicle performance, increase the mileage on your fuel and also increases the life of your vehicle. How Does it Work? The little tablets dissolve with the fuel to form a fine coating within the combustion engine catalyzing the metal and not the fuel. This action allows more of the fuel to burn in the power stroke of the engine, and less in the exhaust stroke. This then leads to a reduction in emissions and makes the Engine perform more efficiently. It simultaneously improves fuel economy, increases power and reduces emissions by creating a micro-thin coating in the combustion chamber that allows fuel to burn quicker. They burn off carbon deposits and catalytically causes a chemical reaction This chemical reaction allows the impurities and the hard carbon deposits to completely burn off. They change the surfaceheatabsorption characteristics of metal reducing the burn rate which in turn reduces the wear and tear of the of the engine and the gases produced from combustion. This reduces the oil temperature within the combustion chamber making it a more of an effective lubricant and prolongs the life of the engine. By increasing the burn in the combustion chamber (rather than as after-burn), performance can be increased, while reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Heat recovery is the single best method that can reduce harmful emissions, increase fuel economy, improve engine performance, and extend oil and engine life. Does it work with all types of fuels? Yes - The Envirotab works at the chemical level of the combustion process and therefore, works exactly the same way, regardless of the type of fuel in which it is used. It is formulated for use with all types of petrol and diesel fuel grades, including bio-fuel, 16

ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

which include E-85, two-cycle mixed fuels, and blends of diesel (winter, summer and bio). Works in any combustion engine-car, truck, motorcycle, generator, mining and agriculture machinery - you name it! Just put the fuel tabs in your fuel tank before filling up, per dosing instructions. The tablet will dissolve in seconds and before you are done filling up. Once dissolved it passes through the fuel line and past the fuel filter, using the fuel as a carrier. The product does not modify or alter the fuel in any way. Is it safe? Fully insured and backed with a 100% money back guarantee, it cannot harm your engine. These have been tried, tested and undergone double blind testing as well as having millions of hours of commercial use for nearly 40 years. First used by NASA and the US Ministry of Defence it is now available to the general consumer. Jane Gercken, of Benham Publishing, purchased the Test Drive Kit in November and has been using them ever since: “As a driver who only really uses my car for my daily commute, I have found them to be very beneficial. I used to fill up every 2 weeks, but since using the product I have found it is nearer 3 weeks! I have definitely noticed the extra few pounds I haven’t spent on petrol!” Anna Williams started using the fuel tabs in December: “Our car is the family car, used all day every day, dropping the kids off at school, after school activities, several shopping trips and weekend activities, as well as the daily commute to work and back. I have noticed the difference, the fuel certainly lasts longer. Plus, with it reducing emissions, I would recommend anyone to give it a go!”

The fuel tab packs are available to purchase through your local Independent Distributor. They include: • Informational CD • 28 tablets • Mileage Tracking Form • Guidelines for Maximum Performance • Product Benefits CALL 01233 643500 for more information or visit


Red Eagle Recruitment Specialist Red Eagle Ltd is a privately owned recruitment business that has been established since 2004. With their head office based in Folkestone and onsite offices throughout Kent they are ideally placed to provide temporary labour to industry throughout Kent. Our clients range from small independent import/export businesses to internationally recognised manufacturing operations. We supply fields, glasshouses, food production packhouses, through to electrical manufacturing operations, recycling and waste depots, HGV drivers, chilled and frozen warehouse staff and delivery drivers, all aspects of the industrial sector. In total our business operates with up to 1000 workers out on assignments per day.

Wayne Hodgson FIRP – MANAGING DIRECTOR Wayne has over 14 years recruitment experience specialising in Red Eagle’s six core sectors. He has a proven track record for establishing long term business relationships with high profile clients achieved through his determined approach to customer service. His knowledge of the industry, ever changing legislation in addition to his passion for providing a cost effective labour solution for all his clients are the foundations to his success.

Site Labour Supplies Ltd is part of the Red Eagle Group and specialises in the supply of labour to the Construction and Trades industry. Managed by experienced construction qualified consultants SLS is able to provide ad hoc and long term project staff to a variety of sites and assignments. From CSCS labourers and CPCS plant operatives through to experienced trades people with own tools and work wear, all workers supplied will be checked to ensure they have the right experience and ticket for the assignment required.

As a business Red Eagle are knowledgeable about all current legislation affecting their industry and have been involved in a number of projects with clients helping them achieve AWR (Agency Worker Regulations) compliance, understanding auto enrolment pensions, applications for GLA licencing and actively working with government authorities to stop worker cohesion and trafficking. Red Eagle is committed to providing the best staff, at the best price, without comprising standards or worker welfare. Our obligations are to our clients and our workers.

Site Labour Supplies

SLS operate a genuine 24/7 operation and cover the whole of the UK from rural house build site projects, inner city high rise development, shop repairs and refits, new builds, demolition, site clearance, engineering assignments and road/rail development. Some of the roles recently recruited for include: • Bricklayers

• Recycling Operatives

• Ground workers

• Scaffolders

• 360 Drivers Having strategically and proactively driven Red Eagles’ growth year on year since its inception Wayne has ambitious and focused plans for the future. Wayne is a Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals, has passed the Certificate in Recruitment Practice and achieved an NVQ Level 4 in Management. He has been instrumental in Red Eagle achieving a number of business awards in additional to receiving a number of personal business accolades

• Dumper Drivers • Steel Fixers • Carpenters

• Painters • Plasterers • Joiners

• Electricians

• Banks Person

• Labourers

• Hod Carrier

Site Labour Supplies can be contacted via

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014


New Partnership to Deliver Economic Growth in Kent & Medway Kent and Medway are at the heart of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP). As part of the SE LEP, we need a strong voice to attract new investment, plan for the future and take action to remove the barriers to economic growth.

To ensure greater emphasis at a local level, the SE LEP have now created a more devolved model which will allow greater local input and opportunity to meet the needs of the Kent & Medway business community.

Geoff Miles Chairman, Kent and Medway Economic Partnership

With that in mind, Kent and Medway Economic Partnership (KAMEP) has now been established as a formal, public-private body to drive forward growth and prosperity in Kent and Medway. KAMEP’s Board consists of 11 business representatives, 8 local authority leaders, and one representative from each of higher and further education. A draft economic growth plan for Kent & Medway, Unlocking the Potential: Going for Growth has been put together along with Growth Without Gridlock in Kent and Medway: which outlines the key transport priorities across the area. The Board will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of the objectives and outcomes. These draft documents can be viewed on the KAMEP website. This is the first draft of Unlocking the Potential: Gowing for Growth and Growth without Gridlock in Kent and Medway and this has been incorporated in the overall SE LEP Strategic Economic Plan, which was submitted to Government on the 19 December. The document is a bid for £1.2 billion from Government to lever in £10 billion investment into the South East by 2021 and to deliver 100,000 new homes.

The document sets out a coordinated programme of activity to deliver growth and outlines: • the SE LEP’s bid for a local Growth Deal: a share of the £2bn national Single Local Growth Fund; • our developing proposals to shape wider public spending; and • our ‘asks’ of Government to support the delivery of business and economic investment in new ways. SE LEP is currently awaiting feedback from Government on the draft plan, once this is received then a full Strategic Economic Plan for the SE LEP area will be submitted by the end of March. This document will then support the South East’s allocation of funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund for 2015/16 and beyond, and there is likely to be a period of negotiation with Government on this over late spring and summer. A new website for the Partnership has been set up, and over the next month this will be developed further to provide up to date information on KAMEP and how it will drive forward economic growth in Kent and Medway. Copies of all meeting dates, along with relevant minutes and documentation are available to download from the site. The 11 business representatives on the Partnership are there to represent the needs and views of the business community in Kent and Medway and work is underway to ensure that we have a two way communication channel between the Partnership and the wider business community.

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS




great member benefits from your Chamber

Childcare Vouchers

Private Medical Insurance provided by AXA PPP

What are Childcare Vouchers? Childcare vouchers are a tax efficient government scheme to provide working parents with tax free funds towards paying for their childcare.

“I need my staff healthy, happy and here.”

Why provide access to childcare vouchers for your employees? • Provide a benefit that actually saves you the employer up to £331 per annum every time an employee joins the scheme and provides an immediate return through National Insurance savings. • Provide an employee benefit that saves them up to £933 per year off the costs of their childcare. • Incentivise employees to return to work and provide access to peace of mind savings towards costs of childcare provision. • Reduce absenteeism by providing your employees with a solution towards their childcare costs. • Potentially opens up, retains and attracts access to a wider pool of talent and skills. • Complement and add value to your organisation’s work life balance strategy. Why kidsunlimited? • kidsunlimited are the preferred supplier for the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. • We are committed to providing schemes that are simple to operate and administer, backed by dedicated and accountable staff. • kidsunlimited will work with your business to support you with the Earnings Based Assessment calculations, and clearly communicate the options available to employees in regards to choosing the correct amount of Childcare Vouchers applicable to their personal rate of tax. • Unique Wellbeing Services that provide advice, assistance and guidance to employees to help with the challenges of raising a family. • Committed to working with you to communicate this valuable benefit to your employees in a way that suits your culture and benefit goals. • Committed to raise awareness of Childcare Vouchers and how they can benefit your employees, particularly for those with children in the 5-15 year age group. • kidsunlimited also successfully operates over 60 childcare nurseries across the UK (3 in Kent), so understands the importance of the relationships involved when administering Childcare Vouchers. Wellbeing Services Wellbeing Services are incorporated in to the kidsunlimited Childcare Voucher scheme and are available for all employees and their families to access free of charge. Access details will be sent out once employees have registered. kidsunlimited Wellbeing Services are designed to provide guidance, assistance and peace of mind to parents to help with the challenges of raising a family. If you would like to know more contact Membership by phone on: 01233 503838 or 20

ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

Free services for your Business from AXA PPP healthcare As part of your existing Chamber membership you have access to two valuable services from AXA PPP healthcare at no additional cost. • Personal Business Assistance: If poor health ever keeps you away from work, anxiety about how everyone else is coping is the last thing you need. The Personal Business Assistance service from AXA PPP healthcare will ease some of your worries while you get on with recovering. If your illness means you need a stay in hospital, or if it becomes difficult to keep up contact with your customers and suppliers, we’ll help you stay in touch. • Health at Hand: Few things matter more than the health of you and your family, so when you’ve got a nagging health worry it can be hard to focus on your work. But how do you know what information to trust, or when it’s time to make a trip to the doctors? AXA PPP healthcare’s Health at Hand is staffed by qualified nurses, counsellors, midwives and pharmacists. Their team of nurses and counsellors are there for you and your employees around the clock, with midwives and pharmacists available during the day. They’ll also send you information and give you a follow-up call if you need it. Go to for more information and to activate your free services now. Additional benefits When you’re running a business where everyone really counts, time off with illness affects productivity, adds to costs and reduces service. So it makes financial sense to look after the health of your team. AXA PPP healthcare’s Chamber Business Healthcare plan offers features normally only found at bigger businesses – helping you and your employees stay healthy, happy and at work. AXA PPP healthcare’s modular plans let you choose the cover that suits your business – and only pay for the benefits that you need. You can also adjust your level of cover to suit your workforce, for example by choosing more cover for those people you really couldn’t cope without. If you take out the Chamber Business Healthcare plan for yourself and your business, AXA PPP healthcare will give you either: 10% Cashback on premiums when you join and at each renewal* - OR 50% discount on your Chamber Membership for 3 years* If you’re already with another provider AXA PPP healthcare could beat your renewal premium by as much as 15%. They can also talk to you about your options for covering existing conditions. As a Chamber of Commerce member AXA PPP healthcare will also provide an Employee Assistance Programme, which offers expert support and guidance for everyday problems including debt and stress, at no additional cost to you. For more information call AXA PPP healthcare on 0800 38 77 54 and mention that you’re a Chamber of Commerce member or click here for more information and to get a quick, no-obligation quote online. *Offer terms and conditions • • • •

This offer is only available to members of participating Chambers. This offer is available to direct new customers of AXAPPP healthcare only. The cashback is paid on the premiums received by AXAPPP healthcare less insurance premium tax. The cashback will be paid after every premium received, so if you pay monthly you will receive the cashback monthly. • AXAPPP healthcare reserves the right to change or remove this special offer at any time.


New era dawns for workers’ health Some of the biggest changes in the NHS’s history took place in 2013, raising questions around the future of treatment and care provision in the UK and causing a shift in how people will access healthcare in the future. related conditions will become more common, with one million people expected to have dementia by 2026, at an estimated cost of almost £35 billion. Forecasts also suggested that by 2031, 46 per cent of men and 41 per cent of women will be obese, and the number of people in Britain with arthritis will have increased by a staggering 100 per cent to 17 million, according to the charity’s ‘Future of Health and Social Care Timeline’. These shocking statistics may seem unimaginable now, but the huge strain that these sorts of health and social problems would place on both the country’s healthcare infrastructure and employers should be taken seriously today before it’s too late. Paul added: “A rise in health problems, both physical and mental, would certainly result in more staff requiring time off work and, at a time when longterm sickness absence is already costing the UK’s private sector an estimated £3.1 billion every year, employers will inevitably need to take more responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their staff.”

From rising dental price bands, to growing waiting lists for surgical procedures such as cataracts and knee replacements, the signs of change are already clear. As the NHS takes a step closer to its deadline of saving £20 billion by 2015, further shifts in service provision are likely to become apparent. As the health service strives to make efficiency savings, services classed as ‘non-urgent’ are likely to be increasingly rationed as the NHS focuses its resources to the areas of most immediate need – cancer and heart treatment. For employers, this could spell an increase in staff sickness absence, as employees requiring ‘nonurgent’ procedures face a longer wait for treatment. Paul Shires, Executive Director at Westfield Health, said: “The NHS is undergoing a period of immense

change and, as we move closer to the savings deadline, some of the biggest shifts in service provision could be yet to come. “People may need to become more accustomed to self-funding healthcare if they want to access treatment quickly and return to work, helping to ease some of the growing pressures facing the NHS, especially with public health problems predicted to rise in coming years.” Predictions made by The King’s Fund, an independent charity working to improve health in England, suggest that by 2018, 2.9 million people will be living with three or more long term health conditions – that’s a million more than in 2008 and at an additional care cost of an estimated £5 billion. And, as life expectancy continues to increase, age-

In 2012, Westfield Health launched Hospital Treatment Insurance (HTI), creating a new market in the health insurance sector in a bid to help employers tackle the issues facing businesses as the NHS continues to evolve. The product allows staff to avoid lengthy NHS waiting lists to receive ‘non-urgent’ treatment sooner. Combined with Westfield’s health cash plans, staff can also access pre and post-operative care such as physiotherapy and private consultations without worrying about the cost. Hospital Treatment Insurance is available to all members of Kent Invicta Chamber with five or more employees, either as a standalone product or, for more comprehensive cover, it can be used in conjunction with Westfield’s Chamber Primary Health Plan. For more information about the Chamber Plan, visit or call 0845 602 1629, available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Dartford, well-connected and open for business Dartford may be the smallest borough in Kent but it prides itself on being one of the most business-friendly and has become home to some of Britain’s fastest growing firms in recent years. Smart investors and savvy business owners have already cottoned-on to the huge potential of locating close to some of the best connected infrastructure in the country but Council Leader Jeremy Kite said that the recession has created huge opportunities for those still looking to expand. He said: “The recession really couldn’t have come at a worse time for us, hitting just as all the investment in infrastructure was pretty much complete we were about to market the opportunities around Ebbsfleet for all sorts of businesses. “However, we’ve weathered the economic uncertainty much better than most places and as we emerge all the great infrastructure is still here and smart businesses are moving in. We’ve got great schools, a great workforce, countryside to the east, major city attractions to the west and some fantastic housing - all the way from first-time buyer accommodation all the way to executive village homes.”

Dartford is 17 minutes to London and two hours to Paris thanks to Ebbsfleet International Part of its attraction is the town’s superb location and unrivalled transport links. In fact, it’s hard to think of anywhere in the whole south east better placed to do business. Dartford is London’s closest Kentish neighbour and the orbital M25 delivers commercial traffic right to the heart of the town and links to the A2 and M20 in the town - a benefit not lost on a host of transport and logistic firms who have helped swell the town’s phenomenally successful business park, Crossways. But it’s not just road connections that are attracting business. The town centre boasts a brand new rail station to serve the platforms where Dartford lad Sir Mick Jagger first met Keith Richards and offers 45 minute journey times from Charing Cross, Victoria and the City. 22

ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

Few would deny, though, that it’s the rail connections to the east of the borough that have done most to transform business travel and put the town on the international map. Dartford is home to Ebbsfleet International, opened in 2007, that brings journey times to St Pancras of just 17 minutes and mainland Europe in around two hours. And even the buses are something special. Dartford operates the innovative Fastrack network of dedicated bus lanes with a modern fleet of wi-fi equipped vehicles which defy hold ups by exerting priority over traffic lights whenever junctions are near. The Fastrack service links up all the major destinations in Dartford with Bluewater and onto Gravesend.

Skills and employability are a major focus for the Council. Dartford offers some of the county’s top performing Grammar Schools and the rapidly expanding chain of Leigh Academies has its roots firmly in the town delivering two of Kent’s most over-subscribed non-selective schools. With all this going on, it’s not surprising that town leader Jeremy Kite is keen to welcome new businesses and he is keen to encourage SME’s in particular. “The larger global firms, including backers of the Paramount theme park announced in 2012, already have Dartford firmly on their radar and our task is to try to ease them into the town and help them with the big strategic issues like skills and infrastructure. However, I’m a big believer that it’s smaller firms that give a town its resilience, its energy and its sense of community. That’s why we have been working especially hard to ensure we have some great incubator and flexible high-growth space in the town. They are proving terrifically successful.”


and meets the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) Excellent standards. Contact: Dartford Town Centre is undergoing a period of revitalisation and regeneration, building on the Prospect Place development on the north side of the town. There are proposals for new developments in the town and work will start soon on the construction of a new Tesco store, retail units and homes in Lowfield Street. In 2011, Dartford was one of the first towns to be named as a Portas Pilot town, receiving a £80,000 grant. This was match-funded by Dartford Borough Council and is being used to draw people into the town centre and support local businesses. One of the projects is the Portas Bursaries, giving local people the chance to try out their business ideas on stalls in the town’s markets with support from the Council and the National Market Traders Federation. Contact:

James Cobley, one of Dartford's market bursaries Kite also made a refreshing offer to businesses thinking about Dartford as a location. “We value businesses here and don’t mess about when it comes to making them welcome. If you call me at the civic centre I’ll take you around personally and show you what the town has to offer.”

provides over 30,000 sq ft of modern and affordable office, studio and workshop space. Professional business advice and support is available from the qualified on-site team. The Base’s attractive, contemporary design is environmentally sustainable

Funding is also available for businesses looking to set up in Dartford in certain priority sectors via the TIGER fund. The fund offers financial assistance to businesses looking to invest in new products, processes or markets, or looking to expand and create increased sustainable employment. TIGER loans are interest-free and must be used for specific investment projects which create jobs, support innovation and attract additional funding through TIGER support. Contact:

The Bridge is an innovative mixed-use project to the north of Dartford town centre in the shadow of the Dartford Crossing that successfully combines residential and business use. A partnership between Dartford Borough Council and Prologis, The Bridge features more than 1,500 new homes and 1.8 million square feet of business space – including The Nucleus, a high quality business hub offering advice and support for new and fledgling businesses. Additional units encompass a science park, logistics centre and commercial office space. The Bridge also includes more than 80 acres of public space, public transport links via Fastrack, a primary school and youth centre and sports and leisure facilities. Dartford is already home to lots of great schools, but another one – the Leigh UTC (University Technical College) – is also being built on The Bridge site. It will specialise in engineering and computer science courses for 14-19 year-olds. Contact: The Base is Dartford’s newest business centre and was designed to appeal to start-up businesses as well as existing small and medium-sized enterprises. One of the first projects in the regeneration of the Northern Gateway, The Base is a short walk from Dartford town centre and its transport links. The centre opened in 2011 and

The Nucleus Business and Innovation Centre, a dynamic, collaborative and professional working environment in a fully serviced setting

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Second annual “Dinner, Dance and Donate” evening aims to raise in excess of £10,000 for Norton Knatchbull School The Norton Knatchbull School is preparing to host its second “Dinner, Dance and Donate” extravaganza on 29th March 2014, following a very successful event around the same time last year, which raised £10,000 towards significantly developing and enhancing the school’s facilities. The school hopes to exceed the success of last year. Last year’s guests included parents, governors, students and sponsors from the local business community and were treated to a lavish black tie “Dinner, Dance and Donate” evening held at the school. The School Hall was transformed into a glittering ballroom courtesy of Jubilee Hire and The Red Balloon; a four-course sit-down meal was presented by Independent Catering and sponsored by a whole host of local producers and suppliers, who provided mouth-watering ingredients. Highclass entertainment was enjoyed during the dinner as guests were enthralled by the musical talent of the school’s students including one of the renowned NKS Jazz bands and some stunning solo performances. Another thrill of the evening was provided by auctioneer Mark Cleverdon from Hobbs Parker, who whipped the crowd into a bidding frenzy on a magnificent selection of lots, days out, personal flights, dining and beauty experiences and much more. All auction items were very generously donated by a large number of local sponsors and the auction

alone raised nearly £3,000. A high class raffle followed, and the evening was finished off with some serious dancing and animated conversation in the relaxed atmosphere of the professionally run bar area. Headteacher Susanne Staab says: “Last year, we were overwhelmed with the generosity of the huge number of local sponsors who made that evening possible. We are delighted that many of those sponsors have already committed to supporting us again this year. It is clear that the school enjoys enormous support in the local community and that they share our vision to make the school go from strength to strength. Extending and improving our facilities is a key element in that ambition. It was a wonderful occasion last year and our guests were unanimous in their praise, and hence we are organising another Dinner, Dance and Donate “Spring Ball” on 29th March 2013. It promises to be another fabulous night of glamour, glitz and entertainment, featuring sparkling wine & canapés, live musical entertainment, an exclusive auction and

raffle, and a professionally run bar and disco. At the heart of the evening guests will enjoy a delicious four course sit-down dinner prepared by ACCENT Catering, who have recently engaged Michelin star chef Graham Garratt as consultant.” Deputy Headteacher Tracey Savage explains: “The NK5 Appeal was launched in July 2012 and its aim is to raise £500,000 to significantly improve and develop the facilities of the school. We have already implemented a range of projects including a football and basketball area for the lower school and a sixth form study facility with computers and quiet work spaces. Our most significant milestone to date has been to equip an additional science laboratory, which became operational in October 2013 and is very much appreciated by students and staff alike. This was made possible by the amazing support we received through the Dinner, Dance and Donate evening in 2013 and we are very grateful for all the support we have received.” Business Manager Paula Bunnell highlights: “In this time of financial austerity and considerable budget cuts being faced year on year by all schools including NKS, we have to look at private fundraising initiatives and sponsorship to allow us as a school to continue to implement our vision to allow our students to reach their full potential, with every possible resource available to them. We are just at the beginning of this journey and welcome the support of local businesses and private sponsors. We have been truly humbled by the support and generosity we have received so far, but still have a long way to go before we realise our target.” Regular updates and all details relating to the school and the NK5 appeal can be found at If you would like to get involved please contact For more information on the aims of our NK5 Appeal and how we have progressed to date, please go to

The headteacher and staff with IB students on results day July 2013.


ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

If you would like to support us by sponsoring and/or attending this fabulous “Spring Ball” event on 29th March 2014, please contact the school on or telephone on 01233 620045. Tickets are very reasonable at £35 per person or £300 for a table of ten.

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Energy price rises, efficiency and renewable energy: the dawn of a new energy age By David Priaulx of Ecolution With the big six energy suppliers increasing their prices by a total of 36% since October 2010, more and more businesses are moving to reduce the amount of electricity they consume as well as create their own renewable energy for which they receive a sizeable chunk of their energy bill back from their supplier. It cannot be denied that rising energy costs are stumping business growth. 83% of businesses say they are missing growth targets due to rising energy prices. With no end to the above-inflation rises in sight, over half of businesses admit they may have to take drastic action such as reducing staff numbers, just to counterbalance the impact of rising energy costs. But what else can businesses do? The first step to reducing costs is improving efficiency. Businesses can make small alterations which can significantly reduce their bills. Lighting currently accounts for 20% of Britain’s energy consumption. This can be reduced by up to 80% through having energy-efficient LED lighting fitted. Other ways to reduce bills include simple things such as switching off lights and equipment that is not in use, improving insulation and replacing older appliances with newer, more energy-efficient equipment. Many energy suppliers now offer free monitoring equipment which helps consumers to keep an eye on their usage levels.


ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

One guaranteed way to reduce energy costs is to subsidise consumption by creating your own renewable energy. More and more businesses are taking steps to protect their future and fix a portion of their energy costs by installing a solar PV system. Each unit of free electricity generated is one that does not have to be purchased from the grid, with the bonus being that the consumer will also receive an income for each unit via the Government Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme, even if they self-consume everything that’s generated. This means that businesses can get a sizeable chunk of their energy bill back from their supplier. Most systems now pay for themselves in 5-7 years, with attractive finance options meaning you can keep a healthy balance sheet. Based in West Malling, Ecolution have been designing, installing and maintaining renewable systems since 1999 and have grown to be one of the top 3 names in the solar PV industry, working with organisations such as the NHS, TESCO, PWC and Kent’s Local Authorities. This success has been driven by the fact that Ecolution do everything in house: from the design of the system to the installation and then monitoring the performance of a system throughout its life. We are also a major UK distributor of solar PV products, giving security of supply and competitive pricing. It’s important to evaluate all of the associated figures when choosing a company to work with on a renewable project. The true cost of a system can be determined by subtracting the initial expenditure from what it is projected to generate over a 20 year period. A good installation by a reputable business will deliver everything it says it will and more. Ecolution have over 100 years combined experience in the solar industry. Our clients have the added security of the unique ‘Ecolution Performance Guarantee’, which means that if a system does not perform as projected, we will reimburse the shortfall in revenue, removing the risk. With energy costs currently increasing at up to 8 times the rate of earnings, has there ever been a better time to safeguard the future of your business by installing solar PV?


Low Carbon Kent By Erica Russell FRSA, Head of Sustainability and Insight, BSK-CiC Today, more than 17500 people are employed in companies that are working in the low carbon economy in Kent. This may be solar installers, people working as assessors on the green deal, manufacturers producing components for wind turbines, health and safety training for the offshore wind industry, environmental managers or recyclers.

Kent’s Offshore Wind Industry When London Array was opened last year we officially had the largest offshore windfarm in the world off the Kent coast. Kentish Flats, which was already in operation, has now had approval for a further 17 wind turbines and the project team are now moving into the development phase. Vattenfall, who operate the Flats, are committed to working with as many local suppliers as possible. Whilst this means providing information and guidance on their procurement it is also about Kent

companies stepping up to the challenge. As one business that has seen their business grow says “ success has come from investment, accrued skills and developing an in-depth knowledge of the demands and needs of the industry” James Yeoman, Checkmate. To find out more about the Kent Offshore Wind industry

West Kent businesses receive ‘green’ grant Businesses* based in West Kent can now access the new EnergyGrant+ to help them cut energy costs and increase their competitiveness. The project led by West Kent Sustainable Partnership is part funded by the European Regional Development programme (ERDF). It’s great news for local businesses wanting to make energy efficiency improvements to their premises. The fund will contribute to a wide range of CO2 cutting actions from putting in building insulation, increasing heating efficiency and lighting upgrades. Companies can receive a grant to contribute towards a third of the total costs, with a maximum grant available of £3000. For companies with high energy bills there are also a small number of free energy reviews available that would give the business a clearer picture on what measures will give the greatest return on investment. *subject to eligibility More information is available at

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS





ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

Finding the truth A chance encounter on the cricket field led Neil Miller to a dramatic change in career sixteen years ago. It was one that was to eventually lead him to set up his own business specialising in corporate investigations. The meeting happened when, having been a PE and IT teacher for two years, he turned out for a cricket team one summer’s afternoon. Now the owner of Ten Intelligence, based in London, Kent and Dubai, he recalled: “I was fielding in the slips and standing next to the owner of a London based investigation company. “As a PE Teacher, a whistle blower was often a term used as a swipe at my chosen profession. But, in between deliveries, we got talking about his work and I began to realise that the idea of tracking down fraudsters appealed to me. The result was that I left teaching and learnt my new profession in fraud investigation.” Neil spent ten years in a senior management role for two London based fraud investigation consultancies. But, in December 2012, after becoming a Certified Fraud Examiner, Neil branched out and set up Ten Intelligence Ltd in the UK and more recently in Dubai, UAE. Since its launch he has seen the workload grow steadily in the field of corporate investigations, background checks, brand protection and surveillance. “A large proportion of our work is to protect our clients from regulatory, financial and fraud risk through intelligence gathering, due diligence, background investigations and employment screening services.” Ten Intelligence furnishes their clients with relevant background intelligence which enables their clients to make sound investment decisions and help mitigate financial crime risks. “Whether it is a new member of staff, a Finance Director, external contractor, customer or third party agent, we deliver reports on their relevant experience, former employment and qualifications, check for conflicting commercial interests, identify credibility concerns, financial status and look for adverse legal and media history.” It is estimated that £2billion is lost to fraud in the UK each year, so performing background checks is a good prevention measure. However, fraud can exist in your organisation and it will usually arise from an internal audit, anonymous tip off, suspicions, complaints, allegations or sometimes the actions of whistle-blowers. Neil said: “In our experience, suspicions of fraud and similar activities are normally well founded, irrespective of the source.

“We trust our clients’ instincts and consult with them to develop a strategy, analyze the evidence and implement an investigation plan that suits the suspicion. “Unfortunately, loyalty is no longer a guarantee of innocence. We have been dealing with one case concerning staff suspected of stealing valuable information from their former employee. Just because they had worked there for 20 years does not mean they would not do something like that.

We trust our clients’ instincts and consult with them to develop a strategy, analyze the evidence and implement an investigation plan that suits the suspicion.

“As soon as an individual is presented with a perceived opportunity, mix it with greed or other external pressures and allow them to rationalise their actions, it will often result in fraud.” Ten Intelligence delivers professional support in investigating fraud. Their investigation methods include: • trained surveillance teams using modified vehicles and digital media equipment • forensic examination of computers and smart phones to evidentially collect electronic information from hard-drives, laptops and storage devices • analysis of communications and financial data • interviewing and profiling suspects • and increasingly, the profiling of social media sources.


If a suspicion has arisen, don’t panic but act quickly. Seize the initiative by developing a plan of action. Analyse the evidence and circumstances surrounding the suspicion, retain accurate records, develop a fraud theory and set out your objectives in an investigation plan

The following is Ten Intelligence’s guide for planning an investigation: 1. Analyse the existing evidence and identify who appears to be involved in the fraud? 2. Prepare and test your hypothesis. Look at the precise methods of the fraud - when, where, why, how? 3. Who benefitted from the fraud? Was it for personal gain or to hide losses? 4. Consider the possibility of a “worst case” scenario. Did it involve other people, competitors, customers or suppliers? 5. Refrain from alerting the suspects of your interest. Nor should you search through their work computers, laptops or emails without first securing an original hard drive image as evidence. 6. What evidence is there to prove or disprove the suspicions? 7. Where is, or who has the relevant evidence and how can it be legally obtained? 8. Consider the preferred outcome in terms of disciplinary action, prosecution or litigation if the suspicions are true (try to resist disciplinary action until the facts have been established). 9. Identify and retain the necessary skilled resources to achieve the objectives and legally collect the best evidence from digital forensics, surveillance, interviews, profiling, communication analysis and expenses records etc. “The amount of information you can recover from computers, including so called deleted emails, is amazing.” “I enjoy the moment when you find the evidence that proves that someone has been defrauding their employer or a supplier is up to no good. However, it is sometimes difficult to tell the client that a fraud has occurred.” Ten Intelligence has just expanded its operations into Dubai assisting clients with due diligence services into companies and investments in Dubai; but also performing anti-counterfeiting and brand protection investigations for major brand owners and law firms.

“Dubai is renowned as the city of counterfeits ranging from clothing, cosmetics, tobacco and even car and aeroplane parts. Brand owners are not only concerned about financial losses they incur from the production of fake goods, but also the safety fears that result in poorly produced goods.” Neil’s advice is clear: “If a suspicion has arisen, don’t panic but act quickly. Seize the initiative by developing a plan of action. Analyse the evidence and circumstances surrounding the suspicion, retain accurate records, develop a fraud theory and set out your objectives in an investigation plan. Whatever the investigation, each case must begin with the intention that it will end in litigation.”

10. All evidence and records should be preserved and secured. Any movement of evidence must be catalogued showing the continuity of movement.

Neil Miller Founder Ten Intelligence Ltd Web: Twitter: @tenintelligence Linkedin: neilsmiller

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



The Economy & Us: Beware the Hype The Chamber’s business survey for 2013 Quarter 4 presents a mixed picture: much good news, but problems too. Amidst all the hype from politicians and ‘expert’ bodies it’s hard to separate fact from fantasy. The UK returned to economic growth last Spring – which took politicians and the City by surprise. What’s now clear is that this recovery is largely consumer-led; in 2013 household saving fell whilst household debt rose, apparently on the back of ‘feel good’ house price inflation engineered through taxsubsidised mortgage lending. We’re not in precrunch territory, but this recovery is more fragile than politicians claim. And it’s not just the politicians. For example, Lloyds much-quoted survey for the South East leads with: “Output and New Business both increase at sharp rates”. Which is curious: only 26% of companies reported higher month-on-month Sales for December, compared with 35% or higher each month since June 2013. It’s the same with forward Orders: 29% said they were up in December compared with 33%-40% throughout the previous 6 months. I’d call that a slowing of growth, wouldn’t you? Even the supposedly well informed may

swallow the claims of vote-hungry politicians. Kent Invicta Chamber’s Q4 2013 survey shows an economy on the cusp: strong Sales for many, especially Exports; the highest investment in Equipment since the crunch began; and a return to hiring Full-time, Permanent staff as the norm rather than Part-timers and Temps. Moreover, the cost pressures on Raw Materials and Overheads declined steadily through 2013. (You can read the full writeup on the Chamber’s home page.) All this is very good. At the same time, however, forward Orders are at their weakest for over a year: Meanwhile, Competition between local firms is getting tough. Among the smallest (employing 119), 47% of Services and 46% of Manufacturing respondents reported that Competition was of greater concern than 3 months before – as did 58% of the biggest group responding, namely Professional Services. That’s almost half the

respondents saying Competition is tougher. Not surprisingly 20% of respondents, almost twice as many as at any time since the crunch, were planning to cut their Prices. That’s the problem. With general hype about a stillfragile economic recovery, too many are setting out to compete for their slice of an all-too-finite local cake. Small wonder that, traditionally, it’s the year after a recession’s turnaround that you see insolvencies peak as the survivors try to grow again too fast. Should you worry? Yes and No. Do grab your opportunities, especially if you’re one of the (20199 employee) fastest-growing firms – but take care that your customers will pay you, on time. Above all, don’t expect this consumer-credit-led mini-boom to last: look what’s been happening to forward Orders, both in Kent and across the South East. Caution may look un-cool, but please, stick around through 2014: don’t be hustled into over-extending yourself.

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

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS





Yes, under Regulation 4 ‘The Duty To Manage’ of the Control Of Asbestos Regulations 2012 It applies to the owners and occupiers of commercial premises built pre 2000 (such as shops, offices, industrial units etc) who have responsibility for maintenance and repair activities. The duty also applies to the shared parts of some domestic premises. The requirement is to assess the presence and condition of any asbestos materials. If asbestos is present, or is presumed to be present, then it must be managed appropriately.


Beverley Adams-Reynolds

Business name:

Exquisite Vintage Teas Ltd

Start up date:

Halloween 2012 – was then called Addicted to Cupcakes but totally rebranded in Sept 2013 as the teas ‘took off’


It is good practice to have an asbestos survey carried out so you can be absolutely sure whether asbestos is present or not. An asbestos management survey is the first step to effective management of asbestos in your premises by providing accurate information of any asbestos materials. Asbestos surveys should only be carried out by qualified asbestos surveyors. It is also the duty holder’s responsibility to ensure that sufficient information is made available to anyone who may come into contact with asbestos in their buildings to minimise their exposure.



Elite is running a campaign to reduce the possible risks to health for people who use buildings which contain asbestos by: Raising awareness of this duty among those that have the duty to manage asbestos. Promoting practical advice and guidance on how they might comply with it. FOR FURTHER DETAILS ON THE DUTY TO MANAGE ASBESTOS CONTACT THE TECHNICAL TEAM ON



Gareth Moss


Managing Director

Business name:

Elite Asbestos Consultancy


ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

Q1: Tell us a bit about your business? My business mission is to bring afternoon tea back to the table. I offer both domestic and corporate services with a touch of luxury and finesse. For friends and families, I have three menus options but all can be tailored to peoples’ needs. For the corporate market, I offer a classic Corporate Cream Tea. Q2: What gives your business ‘the x-factor’? It’s unique. To Kent at least. There are lots of tea shops, hotels and restaurants that offer an afternoon tea experience, and many caterers who support business functions. What I do is bring the entire afternoon tea experience to you. Q3: What motivated you to set up the business? I had a long civil service career before taking early retirement, and although I secured another part –time role I started to think that I wasn’t going to cope with a London commute for too many years… so what could I do? Being a ‘lady who liked to bake and wear pretty dresses’ I decided (somewhat naively) to set up a small home baking business and perhaps offer the odd vintage afternoon tea…The teas took off…. Hence the rebrand in September… Q4: What do you like most about working for a start-up? Well I AM the start-up so I am the business. Working for myself has given me the flexibility to recognise and change the business direction when I wanted (and needed) to… I’m a bit of a control freak so I like to be in charge of myself….. Q5: What has been your greatest business success to date? I guess that has to be winning my first Award. I was Runner-Up Start-Up business of 2013 with Kent Independent Traders. Q6: What has been your lowest moment? Oh gosh, there have been quite a few… those moments when you think “what have I done?”…. “have I bitten off more than I can chew?”… “have I got the business concept right?”…….. Q7: In terms of business achievements, where do you want to be within the next 5 years? I’m still home based, so would like to have an independent kitchen, take on an apprentice and/or staff, and possibly franchise the concept and brand. I’m also planning on a product range of luxury table linens to complement the brand that clients can buy to grace their own tables. Q8: What would be your top tip to someone thinking of starting up their own business? Get some advice on all the aspects a business needs to grow – for me personally it was getting to grips with Social Media, a huge minefield for the uninitiated… but a huge one is don’t expect your business to pay you a salary from day 1, or even year 1…. So how are you going to manage to pay your bills whilst you are growing your business…


Company underlines its green credentials Chegworth Valley has been fully approved as a supplier by the Sustainable Restaurant Association. The family-owned fruit farm, established by the Deme family in 1983, is fully organic, consisting of more than 90 acres planted with apples and pears, soft fruit, vegetables, salads and herbs. Owner David Deme said: “Our ethos is to grow the best fruit and vegetables, whilst working as closely as possible with the end user. “This gives us a greater understanding of what demand is likely to be, minimising food waste, which is a growing problem throughout the food sector.”

New start-up space welcomed Ashford Borough Council has welcomed the news that Kent Space is taking over the Letraset building in Wotton Road on the Kingsnorth Industrial Estate. Cllr Graham Galpin, Ashford Borough Council’s portfolio holder for the town centre and the urban economy, said: “This is a very positive outcome and one the council is pleased to have helped effect. Kent Space moving into the building sees an underutilised space brought into prime use for business start-ups in Ashford and will help fill a gap in the current property market. “Knowing that Letraset has been scaling down its operation, we have been working with Kent Space and Quinn Estates over the refurbishment of the building into a serviced office and self-storage centre, similar to its successful operations in Medway. This move is precisely what we want to

achieve as we continue to back businesses and their worth to the local economy.” The move follows other successful work to encourage start-ups in the borough. PopUp Ashford, the first shop of its kind in Kent, launched in October in Park Mall and for six months is offering different start-up businesses the chance to take a piece of prime retail space for two to four weeks at a time, so they can test their trade on the high street. The shop has already attracted plenty of attention and gives unique businesses maximum exposure, while bringing into use a town centre shop boosting the town centre retail offer.

Do you think they’ll ’Insaurus’? Insurance companies are used to insuring unusual items but MPW Insurance Brokers was taken aback by client Summers Place Auctions when a request came to provide cover for a 150 million-year-old Diplodocus longus dinosaur. The dinosaur, nicknamed Misty, was auctioned as the first complete dinosaur to be sold at auction in Europe. The lot was secured by the highest bidder for £400,000. Summers Place had put an estimate of £400,000 to £600,000 on Misty. The dinosaur appeared alongside items including Dodo bones and a fossilised Ichthyosaurus from

England’s Jurassic coast in the natural-history themed auction Evolution, staged at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex. Maidstone’s MPW Chairman Andy Webb said: “Since we were appointed as Summer Place Auctions’ brokers, we have had the pleasure of dealing with a fascinating variety of historical items but Misty is our most exciting one and it has created worldwide news.”

Chegworth uses minimal packaging, with fresh produce being sent out loose in recyclable or reusable boxes. By delivering to restaurants on a next day service, all fruit and vegetables can be picked in the exact quantity required. Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, said “An integral element of running a successful sustainable restaurant is a trusted set of likeminded suppliers. We are really pleased to welcome Chegworth Valley to our growing list of Approved Suppliers, providing restaurants with produce the provenance of which they can trust.” The farm is also certified as Organic by the Soil Association

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



From reel to reel recording systems to digital call recording A telecommunications company celebrating 25 years in business has charted its milestones alongside World events since 1988 – offering people a trip down memory lane. ComputerTel started business in 1988, maintaining reel to reel recording systems for banking and finance companies in London’s Square Mile. Says Phil Haynes, Managing Director and founder at the company: “These reel to reel machines were state of the art audio recording equipment, taking up a huge amount of space yet having, by today’s standard, very limited storage. “Within six short years, ComputerTel was selling the World’s first 64 channel digital voice recorder. This saved businesses lots of physical space as well as offering more storage capacity. “When you look at the size and capabilities of telecommunications equipment now, it is truly mind blowing.

We are very excited to see what the next 25 years’ worth of technology in the business brings. “Our visual timeline shows how far technology has come in such a relatively short space of time, as well as reminding us of some of the World’s important events during this time. When ComputerTel was established, Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, Robin Beck was number one in the pop charts with ‘First Time’ and text messaging hadn’t yet been used on mobile phones!” The timeline can be viewed here: 13/12/05/computertel-celebrate-25years-of-business-1988-to-2013.

Restaurant Group scores a hat trick at awards The Everest Inn Restaurant Group won an award for the third year in a row when it beat off serious competition at the Asian Curry Awards 2013. The glittering event, which was attended by more than 1,000 people including celebrities and government ministers, was held at Grosvenor House, London, and saw Everest Inn win Best Nepalese Restaurant in the UK.. A letter with good wishes from the Queen was read at the ceremony to go with messages from Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg, thanking all those doing well in the hospitality business for creating jobs and helping the economic climate. Recognition was also received for Everest Inn from the former Prime Minister of Nepal Dr Baburam for being an excellent role model for promoting Nepal in the UK. The Everest Inn’s team works closely with local councils and mayors and with many charitable organisations including the 34

ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

Rotary Club and the Jimmy Mizen Foundation which sent 18 British friends, including young children, to Nepal to carry out voluntary work in a remote school. They are the main sponsor of Ashford Town Cricket Club and support a Blackheath rugby club. They have also been supporting the Help Nepal and Maiti Nepal charity organisation in Nepal. Managing Director Pashupati Bhandari said: “The hard work and dedication of all our staff has been rewarded and we will continue to provide our great Nepalese hospitality. This means the highest quality fresh food, exceptional service and outstanding value.” Everest Inns can be found in Blackheath, London, and Ashford and Hythe, in Kent, and its new branch is opening soon in Perth, Scotland.


Big on search As Kent’s fastest growing specialist search marketing agency, Sleeping Giant Media specialises on delivering integrated search and social marketing strategies across a variety of sectors and markets. Unlike web design agencies who “also do search marketing”, the company focuses solely on search. It believes that search marketing is a stand-alone service that ultimately defines the long term performance of your site. By developing cutting-edge search marketing strategies and successfully integrating all search channels, the company drives overall business performance forwards, increasing return on investment by delivering tangible results. Using search not only generates direct sales/leads but also informs and drives the development and evolution of clients sites and overall business strategy.

Core Channels • PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) • Social media marketing • Online Reputation management • Training

sales are increased,” said Luke Quilter, Managing Director. In the company’s recent customer survey, feedback included: • 100% of clients said they would recommend Sleeping Giant Media

• Analytics

• 100% of clients said they are happy with the service levels

• Mobile marketing

They also scored 94% for customer service

“It’s our job to make sure our clients’ customers can find them online so that site traffic, and therefore,

If you would like more information, feel free to get in touch via email

More success for CWJ Staff working for law firm CWJ have been praised in the Chambers Guide, which has been ranking the best law firms and lawyers since 1990. The Chambers & Partners 2014 guide said about CWJ: “Their strength is their willingness to engage with clients in all sorts of ways, for instance through seminars and meetings. The friendliness of the firm makes a big difference.” Among those recognised for their expertise were Head of Family Law Claire Schneck, Kevin Bristow, who specialises in leave to remove cases and high net worth financial disputes, Pritti Bajaria who acts for employees, including directors and senior executives, and David Greenhalgh, Head of Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence.

Others praised include Andrew Wright, Benjamin Madden, the lead partner on the DirectCash transaction, John Bowden, who advises small businesses on business-critical corporate transactions, Nicky Androsov, who focuses on e-commerce, data protection, trading terms and conditions and intellectual property matters, Amanda Mehlin, who has expertise in debt recovery, defamation and property disputes, and Associate Deepak Gupta, who specialises in surgery developments for medical practices.

From left to right: Kevin Bristow, Nicky Androsov, David Greenhalgh, Claire Schneck, Ben Madden, Andrew Wright, John Bowden, Deepak Gupta, Amanda Mehlin, Pritti Bajaria.

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Join over 4000 followers on @invictachamber Join 1000 members in our Linkedin Group or Like Us on Facebook Twitter- Julie Waller

@JuliePWaller - 17 Dec Looking to access #RegionalGrowth #Funding #BizAdvice in #Kent ? FREE 1:1s & workshops @InvictaChamber info & booking Louisa Felstead

@facilitatorkent - 12 Dec Excellent presentation by Mark Landon of @Weightmans at this mornings @InvictaChamber breakfast @HI_Rochester KentInvictaChamber

@InvictaChamber - 10 Dec Thank you to all the businesses from every part of Kent that attended today’s Christmas lunch #wellconnected



ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

Shirley Mansfield

@coachsme - 9 Dec A lovely testimonial from my last workshop for @Invictachamber Its great to make a difference. #grownupbusiness Basepoint Northfleet

@Basepoint_north - 6 Dec Some good networking at @GravesendOTH this afternoon with @InvictaChamber. Thank you @facilitatorkent KentInvictaChamber

@InvictaChamber - 29 Nov Breakfast at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge. Thanks to our guest speaker Rachel Downer #canterburyhr



Seminars and Workshops - NEW Web address is: How businesses should be using Digital Marketing in 2014 Seminar Learn about • Introduction to core areas of digital marketing • PPC and Google Analytics • SEO • Social • Affiliate • Email • Mobile Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH 10 February 2014 - 9.00am - 11.00am FREE Getting Started with Social Media Seminar Not sure where to start with all the buzz Social Media. Join Zoe Cairns for a 3 hour workshop where she will give you a taster of how you can start using Social Media in your business and its features and benefits. What is Social Media? • • • •

Building a Know, Like and Trust Social Media Etiquette What Social Media Profiles should you be using Overview of the Social Media profiles you can be effectively using in your business – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Google + • Where to start Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH 26 February 2014 - 9.00am - 12.30pm £70.00 +VAT Mastering the Power of LinkedIn for your business Workshop This workshop will be a hands on session where you can come along and learn how to master Linkedin for your business and also make sure that your LinkedIn profile is set up and fully optimised to get noticed. We will be setting up your LinkedIn profiles and your company page on the day. We will also be going through some LinkedIn strategies on how you can effectively use LinkedIn for your business Tudor Park Hotel, Ashford Road, Bearsted, Maidstone, ME14 4NQ 27 February 2014 - 9.30am - 4.30pm £140.00 +VAT Twitter For Business Basics – Set up your twitter account and learn the jargon Workshop This workshop will enable you to set up your Twitter account, learn the twitter language and how to function twitter. It will be a hands on session where you are required to bring along your laptop in order to get set up on the day and ask for any additional help needed where you are struggling with setting up your account. Tudor Park Hotel, Ashford Road, Bearsted, Maidstone, ME14 4NQ

20 February 2014 - 9.30am - 11.30am FREE

6 March 2014 - 9.30am - 4.30pm £140.00 +VAT

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Workshop Search engine optimisation is all about ensuring that your potential customers can find your website easily on search engine result pages in an organic way, that is without paying for ads

Succeed Online Workshop Tudor Park Hotel, Ashford Road, Bearsted, Maidstone, ME14 4NQ

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH 24 February 2014 - 9.30am - 4.30pm £140.00 +VAT Sage 50 Accounts - Refresher / New Businesses Workshop Just starting up in business and need bookkeeping knowledge, or returning to bookkeeping after being away? Course covers • Company Set Up • Customers - invoicing, Receiving payments, debt chasing • Suppliers - invoicing, Making payments, working out who you owe • Bank - reconciliation and transfers • VAT - VAT Returns and submissions • Reporting • Data Maintenance and Backup

10 March 2014 - 9.30am - 4.30pm £140.00 +VAT Facebook For Business Marketing – Set up Your Facebook Business Page and Tour of the Facebook Features Workshop This workshop will enable you to set up your Facebook Page and its features needed in order to start marketing and benefiting from the features of Facebook. It will be a hands on session where you are required to bring along your laptop in order to get set up on the day and ask for any additional help needed where you are struggling with setting up your page. Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH 20 March 2014 - 9.30am - 4.30pm £140.00 +VAT Online Marketing Workshop Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH 9 April 2014 - 9.30am - 4.30pm £140.00 +VAT

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



24 HOURSWITH Phil Bolton BSc (Hons) ACIEEM MACMA Wildthing Wildlife Consultants

A walk on the wild side Ask Phil Bolton what a typical day looks like and he struggles to answer. Ask him what a typical year looks like and it is much easier because his is a truly seasonal business.

Canterbury-based Wildthing Wildlife Consultants Limited carries out work relating to site management and planning applications, assessing the needs of flora and fauna. Phil said: “I don’t really have a typical working day because my work depends on so much, including weather and temperature and the time of year. “My work changes through the year. From March to September, myself and my associates are out doing survey work. We have to be there when the wildlife is there. “I regard myself as a pragmatic ecologist and all rounder and a licensed dormice worker but I can bring in specialists when I need them for other species like bats or Great Crested Newts. This is helpful because it allows me to bounce ideas off them and visa versa. “I am not a typical surveyor who turns up at a prearranged time with a clipboard. If it rains for a week, we can’t do survey work, the same if it is too cold or too hot. “We have to be there when there are optimal conditions for the wildlife being surveyed, which is why I cannot say what a typical day is. It depends on so much. “Most of my work is in the construction and civil engineering sectors and I see part of my work as education, informing clients about their legal position and risks regarding the potential presence of protected wildlife on their site. “Some developers are worried about wildlife but if they contact our consultancy early enough many of

these worries can removed or significantly reduced. Our advice is tackle you ecology first before you do anything else, and never ignore it or put it off. Wildlife can affect all areas of a development from concept to finish.” When the main surveying season has ended, there still remains much to do. Phil said: “When the surveying season finishes we switch our attention to practical site management. The results of our surveys tell us the level of mitigation needed which will be beneficial to wildlife and enhance habitats for their long term future. “In Autumn and Winter, I tend to be in the office writing final reports or on site facilitating habitat management work out in the field. Tree and hedgerow management, reed cutting, fish health checks and the final grass cut of the year all need to be done on the estates we manage for wildlife. “But we have to be careful because many animals are hibernating at this time and that’s where we come in to check that it’s safe for my maintenance teams to proceed. “There is a sort of structure to my day. I tend to start early. For instance, if I am in the office, I will start by about seven (sometimes earlier in the summer months) and do the housekeeping things, answering emails and the like, and working on reports based on the surveys that we have carried out. I try to be finished by six. But that being said we work at night too especially when I am surveying bats so definitely not 9 to 5. I guess I really am a 24/7 business.”

I don’t really have a typical working day because my work depends on so much, including weather and temperature and the time of year. Phil, (in the hat) with Richard Taylor-Jones (Wildlife Cameraman), when he featured in BBC’s Urban Jungle series, at Bluewater Shopping Centre, one of the sites Phil works on


ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014


Chamber Events BREAKFASTS


Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 08:00 - 09:30 Non-Members: £20.00 + VAT Members: £15.00 + VAT

Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 12:00 - 14:00 Non-Members: £25.00 + VAT Members: £20.00 + VAT Thursday 27 February 2014 Ramada Encore Chatham Hotel, Western Avenue, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4NT

OTHER EVENTS Wednesday 12 February 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Kent, TN24 0LH 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 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, Kent, TN26 1AR Friday 21 March 2014 Coniston Hotel & Restaurant, 70 London Road, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 1NT

Kent Invicta Chamber Awards 2014 Wednesday 26 March 2014 Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, The Precincts, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2EH

Rochester Guest Speaker - Peter Scutts, High Profile Tuesday 18 February 2014, F-Keys Ltd, Training Suite, Suite 1, Epsilon House, Laser Quay, Culpeper Close, Medway City Estate, Rochester, Kent, ME2 4HU

Canterbury Tuesday 18 March 2014, The Abbots Barton, 36 New Dover Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 3DU

Maidstone Tuesday 25 February 2014, The Russell Hotel, 136 Boxley Road, Penenden Heath, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 2AE

Rochester Guest Speaker - Irene Hoare, South East Apprenticeship Company Tuesday 18 March 2014, F-Keys Ltd, Training Suite, Suite 1, Epsilon House, Laser Quay, Culpeper Close, Medway City Estate, Rochester, Kent, ME2 4HU

Sittingbourne Guest Speaker - Barnaby Wynter, The Brand Bucket Company Thursday 27 February 2014, Best Western Coniston Hotel & Restaurant, 70 London Road, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 1NT

Maidstone Tuesday 25 March 2014, The Russell Hotel, 136 Boxley Road, Penenden Heath, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 2AE


Ashford Tuesday 4 March 2014, The Conningbrook Hotel, Canterbury Road, Ashford, Kent, TN24 9QR

Ashford Tuesday 1 April 2014, The Conningbrook Hotel, Canterbury Road, Ashford, Kent, TN24 9QR

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 Guest Speaker - Thomson Snell & Passmore Tuesday 4 March 2014, Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre, Brunel Way, Dartford, Kent, DA1 5GA

Canterbury Guest Speaker - QJ, RockStar Approach ™ Tuesday 18 February 2014, The Abbots Barton, 36 New Dover Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 3DU

Dartford Guest Speaker - Janet Murray, Last Word Events & Training Ltd Tuesday 11 March 2014, Rowhill Grange, Wilmington, Dartford, Kent, DA2 7QH

Dartford Guest Speaker - Phil Auden, South East Business Services Ltd Tuesday 1 April 2014, Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre, Brunel Way, Dartford, Kent, DA1 5GA

WORKSHOPS Auto Enrolment Pensions Kent Invicta Chamber in partnership with Wilkins Kennedy would like to invite you to this must-attend event on the most talked about topic to affect UK pension provision for some time – Auto Enrolment. As employers, you will be aware that very shortly, you must enrol your staff into a qualifying contributory pension scheme. Wednesday 26 February 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Kent, TN24 0LH Time: 09.00am - 11.00am

Sales & Marketing Workshop 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. Friday 28 February 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Ashford, Kent, TN24 0LH Friday 14 March 2014 Sears Businesss Centre, 3-9 Station Street, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 3DU

Using Documentary Letters of Credit, Drafts and Bills This course is suitable for both importers and exporters.The content will be relevant to field and office based sales staff, purchasing staff, shipping and despatch personnel, accounts and finance staff, customer services, freight forwarders. No previous knowledge or experience is necessary and it will be suitable for experienced personnel who require an update on the latest rules. Monday 17 March 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber, Archbishops Palace, Mill Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6YE Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm

Non-Member: £20.00 + VAT

Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm

Non-Member: £225.00 + VAT

Member: £15.00 + VAT

£140.00 + VAT

Member: £205.00 + VAT

To book either visit or email or call 01233 503838

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Improve Productivity in 2014 According to the Chartered Institute of Professional Development survey 2013, nearly 1 in 4 employees are currently looking for a new job. Don Baker, Executive Director at Aspirations4Life draws on his expertise as a national rugby referee and sportsman to coach business leaders and managers to improve employee engagement. On the 2nd April Don will be presenting his findings from 25 years Leadership and Management experience and as a business coach and motivational speaker, to draw a parallel between his professional career both on and off the sports field. ‘What can Business Learn from Sport?’ will be the topic for the ‘First Wednesday’ Sevenoaks & District Chamber of Commerce monthly networking meeting to be held at The Royal Oak in Sevenoaks from 10.30am - 12.30. Don will explain how performance and potential is affected by interference in the workplace including the fear of failure and the fear of success and how employee engagement, enhances organisational performance, increases productivity and greater financial success.

Are you a victim of emotional ‘Piggy’ banking? Is ‘Succession Planning’ an issue for you? Aspirations4Life can help to identify • whether companies have the talent currently available in the workforce,

Quantum PR Sets the standard Quantum Public Relations’ industry expertise has been reconfirmed following an in-depth, independent audit covering eight core business areas.

• what key roles are essential to your business and • what succession is required for the future. Suitable internal candidates with required competencies can be assessed to evaluate their potential skills. Coaching can then prepare the successful potential candidates’ transition to the new role. This accelerates development and increases productivity due to the seamless transfer of responsibilities. It reduces risk by preparing proven internal talent and provides a career path within the organisation.

Estates Excellence – FREE health and safety help for Ashford Industrial Estates small-to-medium businesses Who are we? A group of local organisations – working together to help small businesses in Ashford. What’s the catch? There isn’t one – its free, it’s voluntary and it’s Not an inspection What we are offering? Free help and support to small and medium sized businesses

The full service agency, which specialises in corporate, planning and public sector communications, underwent the Consultancy Management Standard assessment – the kitemark of PR excellence and professionalism – carried out every three years to ensure best practice protocols are in place. The Standard, which is regulated by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), reviews people management, business planning and new business, among other business areas. Quantum passed the assessment across all areas and scored particularly well in the business planning, leadership & communication, financial systems and business improvements categories. Charlie Vavasour, Managing Director of Ashfordbased Quantum PR, said: “We set ourselves the highest professional standards at Quantum to ensure we provide the very best results for our clients, which is why we take the PRCA audit so seriously. “The Standard helps us ensure we maintain the very best operational procedures and also assures our clients that we are properly run and fully accountable. “We are pleased that our business planning efforts have been recognised as outstanding and to have scored highly in many other sections. We can now go into 2014 fully confident that our clients are receiving the best service possible.”

What will we do? First off we’ll be dropping in on all businesses to explain the project – just 15 mins of your time! What do we offer you? • An opportunity to book a free visit, to discuss fire prevention, safety and occupational health risks (Specific to your business) • Free fire prevention, health and safety health training sessions on topics specific to your business • Free occupational health testing at a mobile unit for employees who may be at risk because of their work activity – and free information on how to keep them healthy. Interested? Contact us on or call 07833 402627. Estates Excellence begins on Monday, 24th March and any small or medium size business wanting to know more about the programme should contact the Estates Excellence project team on 07833 402627 or email: live from 3rd February 4th April 2014.

The Quantum PR team (L-R standing) Charlie Vavasour, Managing Director; Rebecca Keys; Sananur Meric; Simon Robinson. (L-R sitting) Adrienne Robins; Craig Francis; Emma Brace.

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014


The best kept secret in Kent National Law firm Weightmans has been described as the best kept secret in Kent for the last 3 years. With 1300 members, 160 Partners and offices in 8 locations throughout the UK, Weightmans has the strength and depth to cater with any legal issue however big, small, specialist or general. With clients ranging from individuals to household

names, Weightmans is a firm that can be trusted. It is also a firm that retains its local feel and places client relationship at the top of its agenda. For full details of the services offered and the sectors focussed on, visit

Make it a marathon effort for Air Ambulance Night-flying Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is appealing for runners to sign up for this year’s Brighton Marathon and help save lives 24 hours a day. The life-saving charity has officially launched its night flying service and now needs an extra £1million-a-year to keep both helicopters flying. The air ambulance still has charity places available for runners who can commit to raising a minimum of £500. Among this year’s entrants is Kings Hill Properties owner Tony Petty and his colleague Neil Johnson, from Kent, who are aiming to raise a total of £10,000. Tony said: “I’m 54 and this will be my first marathon. I’m doing it to get fit and to raise money for a worthy cause. “For every property that we sell, £250 will go towards my fundraising and I’ve just started training.

In 10 days I’m up to six miles so I’ve got another 20 to go which is an awful long way.” All Air Ambulance entrants will be given an opportunity to visit the helicopter base and meet the pilot, doctor and paramedic - subject to emergency call-outs They will also receive a fundraising pack including sponsor forms, support and advice from the charity’s fundraising team, a training guide and an Air Ambulance running vest. Anyone interested in running the marathon on April 6th should call Community Fundraising Officer Michelle Woodland on 01622 833823 or email For more information visit Marathon

Constructive dismissal: A quick guide Constructive dismissal is where an employee resigns in response to their employer’s conduct in breach of a fundamental term of their employment contract. An example would be a unilateral pay cut or where the employer changes the employee’s working conditions without being contractually entitled to do so. The implied term of mutual trust and confidence is often used by employees where the employment relationship has completely broken down, as a result of the employers’ actions. What is the effect of a fundamental breach of contract by the Employer? The employee is entitled to treat themselves as having been “dismissed”. For a constructive dismissal claim to succeed, the employee needs to show that: • The employer breached a fundamental or key term of the employment contract; • Resignation in response to that breach; and • The resignation took place soon after and as a result of the breach of contract. If the employee continues working they are likely to lose their right to treat the contract as breached. If all of these conditions are met then the employee will have a claim for breach of contract and unfair dismissal. There can be one incident, or sometimes there will be a whole series of incidents which taken together amount to a fundamental breach of contract. The resignation letter should set out the reason for the resignation, as this will be used in evidence of any eventual Employment Tribunal claim. Referring to a different reason for the resignation in the letter to the breach of contract will obviously hinder any eventual claim. Employees would be well advised to raise a grievance before bringing an Employment Tribunal claim. Any compensation awarded in the Employment Tribunal can be reduced by up to 25% if the Tribunal makes a finding that the employee unreasonably failed to follow a grievance procedure. Following the procedure may also resolve the problem and spare the costs and stress of litigation. Submitting a grievance should also demonstrate that the employee acted reasonably which may assist their claim. Contact Laura Claridge at Gullands Solicitors or call 01622 689700.

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



South East LEP launches £1.2 billion bid to Government The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) has submitted draft plans bidding for £1.2 billion from Government to leverage £10 billion investment into the South East. This ambitious programme will generate 200,000 private sector jobs and 100,000 new homes by 2021. The Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) outlines the SE LEP’s bid for its local Growth Deal – a share of the annual £2 billion national Single Local Growth Fund. It sets out the ‘asks’ of Government to support the delivery of business and economic investment in new ways, which meet local needs in Kent and Medway, Essex, Southend, Thurrock and East Sussex. The Plan is focused on four key priorities: • Accelerating Growth: Enterprise and Innovation • Creating Competitive Locations: Infrastructure and Property • Building a 21st Century Workforce • Enabling Housing Growth The ‘Growth Deal’ is a competitive process with all other LEP areas across the UK. By combining and turning our size and local economic diversity to our advantage, we offer some of the most compelling infrastructure and business investment opportunities in the Country. The plan includes proposals for a new South East Fund to be known as SEFUND - to lever in new private, public and European investment. SEFUND will extend access to finance schemes for businesses across the SE LEP area and invest in property where markets are failing to kick start development. We will also make innovative new investments in partnership with our nine universities to spin out new businesses from their inventions/discoveries, and build extensive business parks on their campuses to facilitate new businesses.

It is vital that we make sure the SE LEP Strategic Economic Plan stands out from the rest, with maximum input from the private sector. We have already spoken to many businesses and the Chamber has supported the development of these plans, but we want to hear what you think. Our plan focuses on what is distinctive about our area and demonstrates where our competitive advantage will come from. Read all about it here: We would like to hear your feedback and would welcome comments through the website The South East LEP also has a new Business Engagement and Communications Manager, Zoe Gordon. Zoe Developed her career in business travel and property industry in London and worldwide before moving into Local Government in 2009. Zoe is using her skills and experience of working in both the public and private sector to help the LEP develop two-way engagement - where the LEP can hear from, and talk to the business community, so the partnership can effectively represent local business views. It is vitally important that the LEP is able to gather views and intelligence from the business community and use this to influence SE LEP decisions. Zoe would be happy to attend any local business events or meet businesses that want to know more about the LEP and its work. Any feedback on the LEPs plans would be welcomed, please share with Zoe Gordon 07880 179 998 or

Zoe Gordon Business Engagement and Communications Manager, South East Local Enterprise Partnership

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Welcome to new members 60 Minute Secretary 07701 027595 Ashford Secretarial Support AirLegAir Maidstone 07855 947383 Legal. Transport Consultancy Andrew Frisby Bethersden 01233 822100 Dor2Dor Marketing/Online Marketing/Business Guru/Printing Barclays Business (Chatham) Chatham 08456 052345 Banking for SME’s Barclays Business (Dartford) Dartford 08456 052345 Banking for SME’s Barclays Business (Gravesend) Gravesend 0845 6052345 Banking for SME’s Blue Chyp Limited Ashford 07745 455455 Supply & Fit of Entrance Products Glass Barriers Bush Grub Sittingbourne 07720 892704 Retail/Wholesale Edible Insects Chegworth Valley Ltd Maidstone 01622 859272 Organic Fruit & Vegtable Grower & Juice Producer

Don@Aspirations4life Ltd Sevenoaks 01732 750771 Executive and Management Coach/Mentor. Keynote Speaker Drain Doctor Gillingham 08000 03328 Drainage, Plumbing, General Maintenance ESI Electrical Group Maidstone 01580 392001 Elelctrical Inspections. Elelctrical Consultancy Frasers Ashford 01233 756122 Guest House, Venue, Restaurant Innov8 On Sheppey Sheerness 07718 478357 Business Incubator InXpress Dartford 07769 332021 Carrier/Frieght Services Key Environmental Solutions Ltd Sutton Valence 01622 232550 Facilities Management Last Word Events & Training Ltd Gravesend 01474 330830 Media Training

MJM Quantity Surveying Ltd Ashford 01233 611690 Quantity Surveying/Project Management Mobile App Development Maidstone 07803 178484 Making Mobile Apps for Businesses Mobile Bar Hire Ltd Crayford 08454 686888 Hospitality & Events My Curry Kitchen Ltd Ashford 01233 631368 Catering New Business Services Maidstone 01622 844500 Sales and Marketing Northgate Plc Snodland 01634 244400 Light Vehicle Commercial Hire Paragon Office Chatham 07908 132509 Management Support & Outsourced Services Pestforce Dartford Ltd Maidstone 01322 470579 Pest Controller

Sharkey South East Ltd Sandwich 07711 369820 Construction Management in Commercial Fit Out/Refurb Silent World Sans Frontieres Northfleet 01474 327845 Deaf Awareness Site Labour Supplies Ltd Folkestone 01303 852179 Construction Recruitment South East Business Services Ltd Tenterden 05603 445508 Executive Coaching & Customer Service Strategy Strata Construction Group Ltd Aylesford 01622 793045 Construction, Property Maintenance Ltd Herne Bay 07445 933462 Estate Agency. Networking Group Thornton White Deal 01304 369534 Computer Consultancy Travel Counsellors Meopham 01474 815772 Travel - Meeting Your Business & Leisure Requirements

Lindley Group, The Gillingham 01634 350216 Conferance & Events Venue

Profile Construction Consultants Ltd Aylesford 01622 791812 Planning Consultants

Maidstone Grammar School For Girls Maidstone 01622 752103 School

Quex Park Estates Limited Birchington 01843 841119 Agriculture, Tourism, Food Maufacturing, Estate Management

Cubic Pharmaceuticals Limited Rochester 01634 400480 Pharmaceutical, Export, Import, Manufacturing

Marsons Solicitors LLP Bromley 02083 131300 Solicitors with a Quality Service to Indivisuals & Businesses

Realia Marketing Hythe 01303 262101 Marketing

Youth Graces (UK) Ltd Beckenham 02087 688636 Social Enterpreneur - Care Provider

Cucumber Catering Sittingbourne 01795 477934 Catering

MicroFormat UK Limited Rochester 01634 813751 Scanning & Microfilming Services

Red Eagle Ltd Folkestone 01303 851133 Recruitment

Zein Marketing Ashford 01303 812339 Marketing Consultants

Countrywide Grounds Maintenance Ashford 07974 242839 Lawn/Grounds Maintenance. Treeworks. Gritting

Trevor Sturgess Editorial Services Maidstone 01622 862695 Press Releases, News Stories, Corporate Reports, Editing Copy, Chairing Debates Vue IT Training Kings Hill 01732 897511 Computer Training and Consultancy

February-March 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS




The Last Word Name:

Jamie Thomson


SEC Signworks

Job title:


Previous Jobs: Screen-Printer, Graphic Artist & Darkroom Technician. Spouse for 24 years: Jeanette Children: Jenny (19) & Livvie (15). Hobbies: live music – I am a regular gig-goer. Other Interests: DIY, when the chance arises. Home Town: Deal, born & bred. Something no-one knows about me: I have bungee jumped from a 200 metre crane, I have parachuted off the side of a mountain & I have walked barefoot over red-hot coals… that was some afternoon! My Key to Success: For me it’s easy, I love making signs.

Q. Trainee screen printer. This earned me £25 per week. Even in 1979 this A.wasn’t a lot of money… Cool job though. What do you always carry with you to work? Q. A.Phone, keys, money, passport & driving licence. Q.What is the biggest challenge facing your business? Getting a steady amount of work, rather than peaks & troughs. Does anyone A.have a magic wand we can borrow? you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you Q.Ifchange to help business? A National Apprenticeship Programme A. Q.What can you see from your office window? A.A double decker bus. It’s due for a part vinyl wrap later this week. Q.If you could do another job what would it be? A.I have the best job in the world. End of story really. Q.As a business person, what are your three main qualities? A.My memory, my honesty & my memory. Q.What was your biggest mistake in business? A.In 1984 I said in a loud & steady voice: “Fax machines will never catch on” Q.What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? & respect your limits… although you have every right to stray over A.theKnowborder occasionally. Q.Who do you most admire in business? Anyone who is willing to set up in business & give it 100% has my sincere A.admiration. What was your first job and what was the pay packet?


ThinkingBUSINESS February-March 2014

Succession Planning Specialist Donald Baker is now Executive Director of Aspirations 4 Life Management and Leadership Coaching in Sevenoaks, specialising in employee development, motivation and leadership, succession planning and conflict resolution. Don spent 25 years as a Senior Leader and Manager in the surveying profession. He played first class rugby and was a Midlands County referee for national games including Cambridge University v Paris University. Don is an accomplished tennis player and golfer, drawing on both professional and sporting expertise as an entertaining and motivational key note speaker. Dental sector specialist joins company Leading Kent law firm Furley Page has further strengthened its highly-regarded Corporate Team by appointing one of only a handful of solicitors in the region with the expertise to act for clients embarking on multiple acquisitions. Abbe West, aged 35, has years of experience advising on corporate transactions, from multiple acquisitions and sales to commercial contracts, in particular for the dental, veterinary and pharmaceutical industries. Having spent more than 10 years working in the niche area of sales and acquisitions of dental practices, Abbe has developed extensive and detailed knowledge of the regulatory issues surrounding the transfer of a dental practice, along with the commercial requirements of dentists. Furley Page Partner and Head of Corporate Susan Jennings said: “Abbe has an excellent understanding of the nuances of the dental, veterinary and pharmaceutical sectors. Her ability to meet tight timeframes and work on multiple sales and acquisitions is a skill in itself.” ‘Credit Insurance’ will assist businesses with their growth plans CMR Insurance Services specialise in providing Credit Insurance, covering sales to UK and Export markets. CMR will take care of your risks while you take care of your profits. CMR will check your customers credit worthiness, chase slow payers and process claims if losses occur. Gary Hately recently joined CMR having 25 years experience in credit management and being based in Kent, Gary is best located to delivering a professional local service. Mark Brenlund leads the way in Insurance Telematics Mark Brenlund, Partner in national law firm Weightmans, and based in the Kent office in Crossways Business Park, is leading the way in the emerging market of Telematics. The small boxes connecting motor vehicles with satellites and recording driver behaviour is becoming more popular with customers, both individuals and commercial, due to the financial savings they can make. As well as leading on the legal aspect of a report to the European Commission in this area, Mark has been invited to speak at the 2 day Insurance Telematics Europe 2014 Conference in London, where he will discuss evidential issues in the legal process.

Thinking Business  

Official magazine for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. - February/March 2014

Thinking Business  

Official magazine for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. - February/March 2014