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ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014


Welcome In this issue we have given focus to improving the skills of our young people, something that is important to us all. It is all too easy to forget that today’s young people are tomorrow’s workforce and future business leaders. The national apprenticeship week held back in March was a great catalyst to promote the opportunities that businesses can give to young people. Over the past few years the Kent business community have really got behind the Apprenticeship schemes and offered so many young people a chance to learn about the world of work and get that important first step on the career ladder. We have been greatly incentivised via grants by national government as well as additional top ups by Kent County Council, all leading to a very positive uptake by employers. Inside this issue on page 18, Lindsay Collins, Director of Kent Association of Training Organisations, explains the current thinking behind the reforms to the way in which Apprenticeships are going to be funded. Something that will have a great impact on employers looking to take on young people via Apprenticeships.

Having looked at it in some details, I do have concerns on the impact to small businesses, which lets not forget, equate to 90% of the businesses in our County. Medium and larger sized business would be able to take on the extra burden, but small businesses might just find the additional administration one stage too far. With youth unemployment still a major concern in Kent, we do need to play our part in supporting opportunities for young people. If the reforms do go ahead, we need to work together to find ways to lessen the burden for small businesses and ensure that Kent’s young people get the opportunities they rightly deserve. We will keep you updated on how things progress.





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Editorial and General Enquiries Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent. TN24 0LH Tel: 01233 503 838 Fax: 01233 503 687 Email: Web: Chief Executive: Jo James Publisher Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited 3tc House, 16 Crosby Rd, Crosby, Liverpool L22 0NY Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: Web: Published June 2014 © Benham Publishing Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email:

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Production Manager Fern Badman Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Media No. 1367 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.

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



BitesizeNews Students learn the ways of the Chambers Three Students from Kent Schools were guest of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce at this year’s British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference at the Queen Elizabeth 11 Conference Centre in London. Charlotte Rush the Chair of Young Chamber at Homewood School joined Jordan Cochrane and Ross Chudasama from Oakwood Park Grammar School together with CEO Jo James, Chairman Carole Barron, Chair of the Chamber, together with Tudor Price Chamber Business Manager and Richard Lavender Director and Young Chamber Coordinator for Kent. The conference had guest speakers including Karen Brady CBE Small Business Ambassador, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Rt Hon Ed Balls MP, Rt Hon Kenneth Clark MP, Lord Mandelson, Rt Hon Vince Cable MP and many leaders from British Industry. The conference was of particular interest to our students as several presentations and debates were centred around Education and Business Partnerships including Apprenticeships and work readiness.. We at Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce place great importance in involving students with as many businesses as possible and attending this Annual Conference and meeting both Employers and Government Ministers is an opportunity not to be missed. Both Homewood and Oakwood Grammar Schools should be very proud of the students who represented the schools.

BRIDGE strengthens links between Dover and Calais With freight traffic between Dover and Calais expected to rise by 40% by 2030, the importance of strengthening the route between the two independent ports is currently the focus of cross-Channel collaboration and major investment. Seeking to protect the long-term resilience of this internationally important trade link, described as a ‘European motorway of the sea’, the BRIDGE (Building the Resilience of International and Dependent Gateways in Europe) Project brings together the Port of Dover and Port of Calais. Currently those two busiest Roll–on Roll–off (Ro-Ro) ferry terminals in Europe handle more than one third of RoRo cargo between the UK and continental Europe, representing goods worth more than 70 billion euros. The BRIDGE Project, which aims to ensure that Dover and Calais are part of European efforts to create a fully integrated freight corridor combining road, rail and maritime transport and linking the UK with Northern France, Benelux and North-East Spain, was recently unveiled at a joint event held in the French port. Calais Port 2015 sets out plans to increase capacity through the development of a new harbour, a new cross-Channel terminal with a further three crossChannel berths and one Ro-Ro berth, and 80 hectares of new platforms. To handle the increased traffic, Calais, like Dover, is reorganising cross-Channel traffic flows and the road networks in and around the Port. Major investment being undertaken under the Calais 2015 banner also

The group enjoyed a full briefing by Donna Pearce before being guided around the reactor which was on Shutdown for routine maintenance. It was impressive to note that an additional 1500 technicians were on site to carry out this routine maintenance which obviously brought in business revenue for the local area. The group also had an opportunity to see the newly completed flood defence wall that has been built around the Station B.


ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

Tim Waggott, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, said: “BRIDGE recognises that, by collaborating, we can complement each other and enhance the resilience of this international trade route. “We connect the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland with the continental mainland, so it is essential that Dover works closely with our opposite numbers in Calais. By developing efficient port facilities and transport connections on both sides of the Channel we will be perfectly placed to meet the needs of our customers, communities and strengthen the local economies.” In the short term, the BRIDGE project will ensure that the two ports operate efficiently by adapting the berths to the highest technical standards of ship accommodation, as well as focusing on the enhancement of the local transport networks to improve the resilience of the trade route. A Memorandum of Understanding between the two ports was signed by the Côte d’Opale Chamber of Commerce and Industry (as the port manager) and Dover Harbour Board.

Power Station hosts visit The Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Economic Development Group made the April meeting a visit to Dungeness Nuclear Power Station B Site operated by EDF. The visit was arranged by the outgoing Chairman of the Group Richard Lavender who now hands over after many years in the hot seat to Terry Botfield.

includes the development of a rail motorway terminal linking the Port in Nord-Pas de Calais with Perpignan in the south of France, enabling the transhipment of trailers between rail, road and ferry in the Port.

Statement from Lydd Airport, Kent in response to today’s high court judgements, handed down by Mr Justice Ouseley RSPB v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Lydd Airport Action Group v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

this part of Kent, create jobs and bring hope to families throughout the area.

Lydd Airport executive manager Hani Mutlaq said: “The judge has today confirmed what we all knew: there was no legal basis for an appeal against the Government’s decision to back our exciting plans for the redevelopment of Lydd Airport.

“The airport is now nearing completion of a number of pre-commencement conditions required to enable planning permission for the runway extension to be implemented.

“With this distraction behind us we can press ahead with delivering a project which will help regenerate

“We hope to invite contractors to tender for the runway construction project in late summer and anticipate that work will begin before the end of the year.”


Go Dotty Go Dotty week is back for 2014, and we want to do things even bigger and better this year. Children’s Hospice week is from the 13th – 20th June and Demelza is Going Dotty in a huge way! So, what can you do? You can go as Dotty as you want too and do anything as long as it involves dots: Wear something Dotty to work …. Show your love of the Demelza dots. We have lots of dotty things for you to buy so you can be part of Team Dotty!, including t-shirts, badges and mugs. Have a Dotty cake sale or tea party and Go Dot- tea for Demelza! Dotty, our mascot will be out on his road show so you can book him to come along to your company. if you are doing anything during the week. Be as Dotty as you want. By supporting Go Dotty, you can

help families like Katherine’s: “We made our own referral to Demelza House and Joshua has now been going for over 3 tears. Demelza has been our lifeline. I can honestly say that without Demelza in our life I don’t know what we would do. Demelza is the only place where Joshua can get 100% respite. Please, please support Demelza so they can help other families like us have the break they desperately need”. £20 could pay for a music or art therapy session for a child giving them the opportunity to express themselves and create memories for their families. Download a Dotty fundraising pack and let the fundraising office know what you are

planning to do to raise funds for Demelza, and make a difference during Go Dotty week 2014. Contact the fundraising office on: 01795 845288 or

If small businesses were more inclined to take strategic advice would they grow faster?

“We’ve just started working with Maidstone IT company, Absols Ltd., to create a marketing strategy designed to give them a stronger online presence.”

This is what the Government’s £30m Growth Voucher programme is aiming to test by allocating Growth Vouchers for up to £2,000 matched funding towards the cost of obtaining advice on 5 key business growth topics. Canterbury-based marketing company, The Purple Edge, has achieved accreditation to offer marketing advice under the Growth Vouchers scheme. “Successful applicants can use their vouchers to obtain advice on a wide range of marketing

To qualify Paula Wilkinson of Absols met with a Growth Voucher business coach and went through a simple process to identify which of the 5 topic areas would benefit their business most. Paula says, “Marketing came out top and we chose The Purple Edge to assist us. We’re at the start of the analysis process but have already put some of the advice into practice and received a major new client opportunity as a result. The scheme has spurred us on to take action.”

- an age old saying that stands especially true in this modern technological age. Websites are often referred to as an online shop front - you’ve got to persuade your customers to come in and take a look around, not scare them off.

Funding for advice to help small businesses grow topics,” explained director Sharon Wilding, “from market research through to making communications planning more effective.

First impressions are last impressions

To find out if you qualify and how to apply go to at apply-growth-vouchers, or contact Sharon Wilding, The Purple Edge Marketing BACKGROUND The 5 key topics are: • Improving leadership and management; • Making the most of digital technology; • Managing cashflow, late payments and negotiating finance; • Marketing, attracting and keeping customers; • Developing skills and taking on staff.

A window jam-packed full of blurred photography and hand-written signs isn’t how to get customers into your shop. Considered design, clear messaging and professional typographical layouts are required - and that’s what a dedicated web designer will provide you with. You want your potential customers to know what you do as quickly as possible it sparks that initial interest and leads to deeper exploration. A skilled web developer will also make sure everything behind the scenes works, and works well. Considerations for online draw parallels with reality - does your shop entrance have a steep staircase and a heavy door? Or do you have a ramp and automatic sliding doors? Is your type big enough for everyone to read? Can your sub menu pages even be accessed by touch screen devices? There’s a lot to consider - that’s where an experienced and qualified design and development team come in, who have solved these problems on numerous occasions and keep abreast of developments in solving them. Invest in your shop front, and inspire customers to invest in you. by Barry Holloway, Digital Designer

Oak Creative Advertising and Design Royal Oak Building, Hythe, Kent CT21 4JF The Growth Vouchers programme will run until March 2015. To apply for a voucher go to

Tel: 01303 812848

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Work vital to foster wellbeing By Liz Almond

As a Health and Wellbeing Coach, it is important to me that I inspire others to know that they can change their lives dramatically by following their passion and by putting their happiness first. I have fully recovered from a number of health concerns including Depression, Anxiety and Chronic Pain Syndrome, by using a combination approach of medicine, mindset and energy techniques. I work with clients who need to make major breakthroughs in their lives – often around their identity e.g. Clients with chronic pain/illness/fatigue, in the menopause/mid life, retirement, becoming a parent, new business owner, or someone stuck in a job they hate, but

secretly wanting to do something else. I take a spiritual approach and I teach my clients different holistic therapy techniques to help change behaviour, anxiety, negative thoughts and to become more balanced and relaxed in their life. I empower my clients to learn for themselves about what is going on in their lives, rather than telling them what is happening and what they need to fix. I am a qualified Coach, Reiki Master Teacher, Neuro Linguistic Programming Trainer, as well as a Master Practitioner of Hypnosis, Time Line Therapy and

Why the right image is the right choice A lot of my clients tell me that in the past they had been somewhat reluctant to have professional headshots taken because they worry about looking overly formal or stuffy. Unfortunately, they then tended to end up using candid but poor quality camera phone images. In reality, it’s obvious to your potential clients that it wasn’t taken professionally and they will immediately make a judgement based on this. If you don’t take your business seriously then you won’t take them seriously either. My job is to take your natural personality and present it in a professional studio environment. I am a headshot and portrait photographer. I specialise in this area of photography. I don’t shoot landscapes, weddings, architecture or any other forms of photography, although I do enjoy street photography. I work mainly with Kent based business owners or those who are client facing and are serious about how they are visually portrayed to their clients. Often this means professional imagery for social media, a company website or for printed promotional material.


ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

If you are serious about your business then a headshot session within Kent is £129, which includes 5 retouched images provided by a password protected digital download. If you have any more questions or you would like to book a session, please drop me a line via email at

Emotional Freedom Technique. I am also trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as being a Teacher Trainer. I run a Reiki School and offer NLP and Mindfulness Meditation training. My main services are 1-1 coaching, workshops as well as all day breakthrough days. I have a full time room in Coxheath, Maidstone, and will also work in homes, hospitals as well as businesses as required.

AKD Contracts joins Constructionline AKD Contracts from Dartford, has been certified as a professional and trusted supplier by Constructionline, the UK’s largest pre-qualification certification scheme, owned by the government.

“Those businesses that become certified by Constructionline are immediately able to differentiate themselves from competitors...” To become a certified member AKD had to demonstrate that they meet Constructionline’s rigorous pre-qualification (PQQ) criteria. Constructionline assesses a wide range of information during the certification process, from professional conduct, financial information, and proof of insurances, previous experience and references. This process ensures Constructionline’s 8,000 registered buyers, from both public and private sector organisations, can rest assured that suppliers registered with Constructionline are ‘fit-to-supply’. Philip Prince, sales and marketing director at Constructionline, said: “Those businesses that become certified by Constructionline are immediately able to differentiate themselves from competitors, as providing a professional service that potential clients can rely upon. Our thorough certification procedure helps inspire confidence in construction suppliers that they can deliver a job to the highest standards.”


Auto Enrolment: blind data and eligibility... a lorra lorra fun! Colin Bannister Director of Financial Planning, WK Financial Management 01622 238345

In the last article we looked at how an employer could find out what their staging date is. As a reminder, this is the date by which you must have a suitable qualifying pension scheme in place and have automatically enrolled those eligible employees. (see So, you know what your staging date is ...what’s next? Paramount to the successful implementation of any auto enrolment (AE) plan is to make sure that the HR or staff data that is held on your business systems is accurate and up to date. It’s especially important to ensure that these records hold accurate dates of birth as this is vital to the eligibility criteria, and holding accurate address data will ensure the member communication is received by the employee. The data should not contain ‘blank spaces’ in the data fields as for some software systems, these spaces cause an error, for example, Date of Birth is usually held in the format ‘xx/xx/xxxx’ so ‘_xx/xx/xxxx’ will create an error and therefore extra work for somebody to resolve. Small details it may seem, but critically important to avoid annoying and time consuming extra work. The Pensions Regulator has recently published its first section 89 (of the Pensions Act 2004) report which highlights key lessons to help employers avoid non-compliance. The report identified a large retailer that had reached their staging date and failed to meet their regulatory duties in identifying and enrolling eligible employees. One of the reasons that the retailer gave was that the data quality was insufficient to be able to identify the staff that needed to be assessed for eligibility. It’s therefore paramount to spend time making sure the data is accurate and reliable. Time spent on this will pay dividends. The next step is to assess or categorise the workforce. You can of course buy software or middleware to carry out the assessment. One word of warning with this though - it’s still important to understand who needs to be enrolled. One of the failings mentioned in the Section 89 report above, was that the bespoke software failed to correctly identify the staff that should be enrolled. Employers

will need to know the number of staff that will be enrolled so that they can, at the very least, make sure funds are available to make the necessary pension contributions. So who needs to be enrolled? The workforce should be split into 3 main categories: eligible jobholders, non-eligible jobholders and entitled workers. All Eligible Jobholders need to be enrolled into the workplace pension scheme. An eligible jobholder is aged between 22 and State Pension Age, has qualifying earnings above the earnings trigger for automatic enrolment (ie £10,000 in 2014/15) and is working or ordinarily works in the UK under their contract of employment. They will be entitled to an employer pension contribution and depending on how the pension scheme is structured, the employee will be required to make a contribution to the pension scheme as well. Non eligible jobholders are not eligible for auto enrolment but can choose to opt in to a pension scheme. These include workers who either are aged between 16 and 74, are working or ordinarily work in the UK under their contract and have qualifying earnings payable by the employer in the relevant pay reference period but below the earnings trigger for

automatic enrolment (£10,000 2014/15). Or, are aged between 16 and 21, or state pension age and 74, are working or ordinarily work in the UK under their contract and have qualifying earnings payable by the employer in the relevant pay reference period that are above the earnings trigger for automatic enrolment (£10,000 for 2014/15). Such an individual does not have to be automatically enrolled however, the individual can give notice requiring their employer to include them in the employer’s auto enrolment scheme. Provided they have earnings of at least the minimum qualifying level (i.e. £5,772 in 2014/15) the employer will be required to make an employer pension contribution for them. Entitled workers are aged between 16 and 74 and are working or ordinarily working in the UK under their contract, and who do not have qualifying earnings. They can request to join the pension scheme but will not entitled to an employer contribution. For full guidance on the rules on who must and can be “auto enrolled” together with information on overseas employees, directors and temporary workers log on to Of course, your financial adviser will also be only too pleased to help you.

You are recommended to seek competent professional advice before taking or refraining from taking any action on the basis of the contents of this article. Information concerning taxation treatment is based on our understanding of current law and HMRC practice. Levels and bases of, and reliefs from taxation depend on the individual circumstances of each client and are subject to change. WK Financial Management Limited is an appointed representative of Ashcourt Rowan Financial Planning Limited (ARFP) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. ARFP is entered on the FCA register ( under reference 133576. Company no. 01799538. Registered office: 60 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4N 4TR. WK Financial Management Limited under reference 200591. Company No. 03919710. Registered Office: Gladstone House, 77-79 High Street, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9HY.

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



BitesizeNews New Paddock Circuit opened Buckmore Park Kart Circuit may have reached the grand old age of fifty in 2013, but it won’t surprise people to learn that this iconic venue is in the prime of life. In fact, it has just given birth to a brand new member of the family, the Paddock Circuit. This new addition comes complete with gradient, hairpin and a fast straight. In fact, it takes after its mother, the very circuit on which such legends as Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton learnt their craft as youngsters.

What are your employees up to outside of office hours? The lines between work-life and home-life are becoming increasingly blurred and there are more and more examples of the two worlds colliding with damaging repercussions for both the employer and employee.

Youngsters were the driving force behind the decision to build the new facility. The circuit has been designed to cater for the everexpanding demand for simple ‘turn up ‘n’ drive’ karting. The circuit has invested in new fleets of karts to suit 8-11s and 12-15 year olds as well as a fleet of karts for adults. The circuit is open most weekends and school holidays, but check the website for opening times and price. and families will have the opportunity to book an exclusive session. For more details visit or email

Jacky Moor appointed as Director at Burravoe Translations Burravoe Translations Services has announced that Jacky Moor has joined the company as Director responsible for business development and client relationship management. The company, based in Ashford Kent, has been supplying translations services to businesses and private individuals on an international basis as well as throughout the UK. Jacky joins the company to contribute to its ambitious business plans to drive the business forward. Her remit as Director will involve all aspects of business development, working closely with customers and increasing sales revenue. Having previously run her own successful rental and management company, served as a Magistrate for many years and as Chairman of a Hospice Fundraising Committee, as well as Chairing a busy programme for parents of Benenden School including international visits, Jacky brings a huge amount of expertise and management experience to the role.


ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

This is partly due to the usual suspects like Facebook, Twitter and so on but also the fact that employers can be held responsible for employees’ actions outside of work, for example incidents of harassment taking place at an office party.

Subject to a few exceptions, an employee is generally free to do as they like in their own time. Exceptions include where: • The activities would bring the employer into disrepute, for example an employee insulting their employer’s customers on social media. • The activities being linked to their job responsibilities, for example a bank employee caught shoplifting (where financial trust is key) or a delivery driver in a motoring offence (where mobility is necessary to fulfil the job description). • An employee working for a competitor. All employment contracts include a duty of fidelity preventing this but there needs to be a clear conflict and a recognition of what information may be at risk. An accountant working for a rival firm is likely to be a problem, whereas as a cleaner working for the same two firms is likely to be acceptable. So is it acceptable to carry out surveillance activities in cases of suspected wrongdoing? There are cases where employers have used surveillance, however employers would be well advised to seek advice before taking action in specific circumstances. For advice on any employment issue contact Laura Claridge at Gullands Solicitors

Where experience counts LKM Recycling trading as London & Kent Metals Ltd has more than 35 years’ experience in the metals industry, delivering next generation total waste management to the UK and abroad. With a close knit team we strive for the best in our field of expertise and deal mainly with ferrous and non-ferrous materials. As the business has grown and developed over the years to suit the needs of our customers, we now also deal with plastics, cardboard, wood, glass and paper and are continuously searching for new markets and opportunities to expand in any way possible. From buying to selling, LKM are always looking for effective solutions and benefits to help our clients become more efficient and sell to us rather than send their waste to landfill. Located on the Eurolink Industrial Estate in Sittingbourne Kent, we have recently moved into our new head office next to our processing/recycling depot and weighbridge, with a separate storage and containership depot a short walk around the corner. We also have an Autospares shop which deals in end of life vehicles, servicing and sale of used vehicles only a short drive away.

Our export terminal at Chatham docks caters for regular materials shipment to our clients in Europe. With expansion constantly on our minds and our focus on creating new relationships with clients, in addition to Pakistan we have started exports to Bangladesh and India along with our continued efforts to supply our materials to our clients across the world.


‘Tale of Two Cities’ We’ll drink to that! Blackbox Document Solutions Limited has set its focus on London and Rochester as strategic locations to serve its clientele.

Blackbox has a wealth of experience in supplying document solutions to improve printing, scanning, copying and faxing. The two new office locations will only enhance the high quality service provided by Blackbox. “Our response times for machine fixes will be dramatically improved and stock levels of parts and consumables will be increased to enhance a speedy device repair. Blackbox offers a full range of Multi-Functional Devices to print, copy, scan and fax and can usually drive down printing costs by as much as 40%. has invested heavily in new personnel and automated service software to provide all of its clients a professional, quality service. If you would like to find out how Blackbox Solutions can improve your office document workflow and save money, please email

When Ant and Dec’s latest Saturday Night Takeaway ITV series came to a close, the epic finale featured the ‘Into the Unknown’ challenges. This series saw two ITV shows feature in the challenges – The Cube and The Rovers Return from Coronation Street with The Rovers Return task involving Ant and Dec pouring three pints of ale. Dartford and Bexley business Mobile Bar Hire Ltd received the call to provide the equipment for the challenge, including ale hand pumps, back bar props and casks of ale. Always looking to support local business when sourcing their kegs of ale, Mobile Bar Hire turned to Caveman Brewery in Dartford for its Neanderthal ale. Mobile Bar Hire Ltd ensured a technician was onsite throughout to watch over the whole process. The portable bar specialists also filled the back bars with products including Dreamy Cocktail Mixers and Lanson Champagne. Company director Ragbhir Sandhu said “It was a pleasure to provide our services to ITV. We saw this as a great opportunity to bring Kent products into the limelight”.

KSP tenants scoop prize at Kent Chamber Business Awards Kent Science Park (KSP) tenant AbBaltis made quite an impression at the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2014, which were held at the Canterbury Cathedral Lodge. Giedre Brandao, who started the medical diagnostics company in 2010, took home the award for Entrepreneur of the Year, and the team were also shortlisted for the Achievement in International Business category. This is the ninth year the awards have been running, with a record number of entries made. There were six categories in total and AbBaltis entered two, both for which they were shortlisted. There were over 130 people in attendance on the night, most of whom were finalists and had completed a two-stage application process. Giedre Brandao said: “This is the first time we have entered these awards and it is outstanding to win, especially as we are such a young business start-up that has grown organically. It was an incredibly humbling process and well worth the application. “In the last few years, we have accomplished so much as a business, and I have also achieved a great deal personally. Inspiring people is what inspires me, and I hope that our success does just that.” 2014 is set to be another exciting year for Giedre and her team, with plans to grow the business through expansion into new areas. This means looking at what the medical diagnostics market needs and bringing that technology in-house to aid profitability and improve the diagnosis of patients in the long-term.

When experience matters

James Speck, Site Director at Kent Science Park, said: “AbBaltis are at the forefront of medical diagnostics and wholly deserve to be recognised.”

Kent based Marketing, PR & Sponsorship agency Purple Tangerine has worked with many Kent businesses over the years including: HS1, Brands Hatch Circuits and Kent Tennis. Founded in 2000, the company is led by Nigel Jones who has more than 20 years’ experience in creative marketing with leading brands including: P&G; adidas; Mars; Motorola; Kellogg’s; Bausch & Lomb; and PepsiCo. He has held senior positions with the world’s largest advertising and public relations businesses including; Saatchi & Saatchi and WPP. The original idea behind Purple Tangerine, which is still the same today, is to offer results driven creative marketing consultancy to our clients.

Based in Kent, with consultants peppered throughout the world, the team has experience in: • • • • • • • •

Social Media Marketing Strategy Commercial Sponsorship Web Development Online Marketing Public Relations Advertising Business Development & Sales.

The AbBaltis team with awards’ judge Stephanie Barwick (from left to right: Algidija Buginaite, Leva Zi, Giedre Brandao, Stephanie Barwick, Fransua Razvadauskas, Emily Downs and Katarzyna Hampelska).

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Austen Allen Homecare Austen Allen Homecare are specialist providers of social care services and support to anyone of any age and ability and those who wish to have the freedom to choose an agency which takes a person centred approach. As one of the fastest growing care agencies in North Kent, the key to our success is simple. We aim to seek for continuous improvement in what we do. Our aim is always to encourage service users to remain independent taking into account any medical or physical constraints. From your initial enquiry to creating your care plan, Austen Allen Homecare will deliver a service which suits your needs and wants and give you peace of mind. We operate a professional and reliable service to clients in the comfort of their own homes and our dedicated care professionals are trained to the highest standards.

Services Provided Many families and friends have limited knowledge in dealing with their loved ones care needs which can be challenging when sourcing care services. Our experienced team will provide step by step guidance and support for all your loved ones care and health needs. Austen Allen Homecare have the capacity to provide a range of services to privately funded, Social Services, and Direct Payment clients.

Drawing on experience In my work as an Auditel cost management consultant, I draw on more than 25 years’ experience as a project manager and business manager, including more than 10 years at director level. index.htm

Pay as you go motoring puts rental in the driving seat It can now be cheaper to rent a vehicle long-term than buy it, according to Jeremy Feeney of Celebrating 20 years in business in Maidstone and 45 years in the motor industry, he says low inflation has transformed the economics of vehicle ownership. He said: “A new car loses 40% of its value in the first year. If you rent a car on a 12-month contract, and cover 24,000 business miles with an HM Customs and Revenue mileage tax allowance of £687.50 this would cover the rental cost of a vehicle such as a Ford Focus

- in the past year and Jeremy puts this down to changed perceptions to vehicle rental. It offers a mixed fleet of 40 commercial vehicles and private cars. Vans range from a 3.5 tonne long wheelbase Ford Transit and cars from a Peugeot 106 to a Mercedes Convertible. Much of that work has been in fast-changing business areas such as print, publishing and creative services, maximising value from large budgets, for example a £15 million account, procuring creative for major NHS public health campaigns. I’ve also headed up the production side, managing large teams and processes in multi-site locations, including everything from workflow planning to client services.

“With little or no inflation, the way around this is to take out a rental vehicle. We live in a world that is changing at a much faster pace and where people are concerned about long-term commitment. I have re-engineered the company, offering motoring for the age of uncertainty.” Hiremorecar, based near Maidstone West Station, has enjoyed its fastest-ever growth - more than 70%

SEC Signworks stand by Superdrug Superdrug’s traditional Routemaster bus was converted by South East Coachworks nine years ago. SEC Signworks have been responsible for the branding & re-branding of the bus since that time, coping with regular, new campaigns & promotions. Superdrug celebrates its 50th Birthday this year & is promoting this in style with a tour around the UK, taking in London, Birmingham, Glasgow & more & promoting brands such as Live Life Beautifully, TRESemmé, Dove, Lynx, VO5 & Impulse. After installing all of the latest branding to the exterior & interior of the bus, SEC Signworks also manufactured a giant birthday card no less than 1.6 metres wide & 2.2 metres high, so that Superdrug

can attempt a new Guinness World record for the most signatures in a greetings card. In the meantime, our local work continues at a prolific rate with everything from a fleet of 5 vans for Guardian Security to traditional handmade wooden ‘A’ boards for local restaurants, pubs, coffee houses – basically anyone not keen on the modern plastic or metal frames. For any signage requirements don’t hesitate to get in touch! Email:

What all this gives me is a deep knowledge of the nuts and bolts of procurement and project management, as well as an ability to grasp the detail quickly and get to the nub of the issue. My goal as a consultant is to use the breadth of my own experience, together with Auditel’s impressive processes and tools, to identify underlying cost and spend issues for my clients and help to resolve them. If overhead costs are an issue for your company, or you simply want a health check on what you spend, I will be more than happy to discuss how we could help. I will take the risk of not finding any savings and construct a cash-flow positive project for you. Please contact me for an initial discussion via

Tel: 01795 534888

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Payment by results – why wouldn’t you want to do it? When we first looked at developing a Payment by Results model (PbR) we naturally started by looking at what other agencies were doing and any commentary on the subject. Here’s what we found…

"PBR hasn't caught on because it needs a lot of effort to make it work properly."

"When client procurement people talk about PBR, what they really mean is that they want a discount."

“To be effective, payment by “By and large, payment by results is a bad thing for agencies and a bad thing for our industry more broadly.”

results requires a degree of sophisticated evaluation that is very rarely found in, and paid for by, the client world.”

I guess it’s hardly surprising that there are agencies out there that are dead against PbR – those that have created a perception that it’s complicated and hard work. Perhaps it is simply that they are less confident about their capabilities than they claim and that actually the reason for dismissing PbR is because it will end up costing them financially! I have yet to find commentary from an agency that says ‘we welcome PbR – we have an opportunity to prove our value and share the rewards for the work we do’. I guess that’s where we come in. The ingredients for a successful, balanced and compelling PbR model are relatively straightforward to define and administrate… • Committed KPIs around agency performance

• Clear definition and measurement of what is important to a client • Establishment of measurable campaign and market performance objectives • A shared emotional and financial commitment to good outcomes Perhaps as important as its simplicity to administer, it affirms your agency’s emotional commitment to your business – with PbR you really are in it together. And if you are committed to long term relationships with your agency, I would suggest it is a key component in both of your futures.

British furniture maker celebrating 45 years of excellence Tudor Oak is a name well-known to the connoisseurs of fine hand-made furniture and bespoke joinery in this country and abroad. Despite the tough times, which forced many home-grown businesses to close, the company continues to thrive and is expanding. This year the company celebrates its 45th anniversary. Tudor Oak is one of the oldest manufacturers of bespoke furniture and architectural joinery, and one of few remaining in this country to this day. There are not many companies of this class left in this country, where such attention is paid to the production process from start to finish – from the original design conception, initial drawings, all the way to the final touches, such as brasswork. Only the best timber is used – as the name suggest, 12

ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

the company’s cabinetmakers and joiners mainly use English Oak (also known by its Latin name, Quercus Robur), but have a number of pieces produced in European Walnut, Cherry and Yew. The production process is complex and intricate; the work is done by hand by highly skilled craftsmen who have honed their skills working for the company for many years. The craftsmen use many traditional methods and Tudor Oak polishing process has taken

years to perfect and is unique to the company. Tudor Oak is the member of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, the British Furniture Manufacturers association (BFM) and the Woodland Heritage. For more information on the event please contact Sasha Kamenetski on or visit


Stay ahead of the Medway Norse competition blazes a trail The ever-changing ways in which information is consumed presents proactive businesses with a real opportunity to thrive, says Charlie Vavasour, Managing Director of Ashford-based public relations agency Quantum PR. A positive reputation is the most important non-tangible asset a business possesses, and can play an integral part in ensuring lasting business success. Building and protecting this all-important reputation is achieved through interaction with consumers. The ways in which this conversation takes place has changed in recent times. With the advent, emergence and integration of the internet, 24-hour news, smart phones and social media into everyday life, businesses must now be prepared to engage with their potential new customers in an entirely different way. The fundamentals of reputation management have not changed. It’s still

about getting the right message to the right people using the most effective and appropriate method/s of communication. But now this task requires a more nuanced and integrated mix of PR and marketing across a number of platforms. Coupled with this needs to be a recognition that communications must be two-way, enabling real engagement with audiences. Those businesses that embrace this opportunity in the correct manner, developing close and immediate connections with their customers, will thrive, benefitting from increased brand recognition, reputation and reach. Those that don’t may get left behind.

Medway Norse is a pioneering Joint Venture Company (JVC) between Medway Council and Norse Commercial Services, one of the UK’s most dynamic and fast-growing facilities management and contract services providers. Formed in May 2013 Medway Norse began trading on 1 June that year, and currently has an annual turnover in excess of £16 million. The company provides a cost efficient range of services, including cleaning, catering, building maintenance, grounds maintenance, local authority transport and printing. As part of Norse Commercial Services, Medway Norse has the financial stability that is so vital in times of economic pressure. With a strong balance sheet, industry-leading business retention and staff turnover, and 96% customer satisfaction, Norse delivers first-class services that customers value and trust. The company’s dynamic commercial flair, business efficiency experience and financial strength, combined with its ethical, sustainable policies, offer a business partner solution that proves attractive to the private and public sector alike.

Making every occasion special

Medway Norse is also committed to spending 40% of its budget with contractors who are small or medium sized local businesses, reflecting the firm’s commitment to supporting the local economy and supply chain.

Launched in 2012, Cadenzza is a multi-brand fashion jewellery retail concept that follows the philosophy “jewellery isn’t just for special occasions – it’s for making every occasion special”.

And as partner Medway Council shares in the profits of the joint venture company, contracts made with Medway Norse mean more money spent in the area stays in the area.

Its unique concept showcases the latest creations from top fashion designers and emerging talents with an in-store layout that mirrors international fashion magazines. It is aimed at all trend-conscious women who attach importance to quality, and want to express their personality through fashion. As part of the Swarovski Group, Cadenzza reflects more than 115 years of quality and trend expertise, and benefits from an outstanding network within the fashion industry.

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Business EU Barometer 1st Quarter 2014

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

Base: 3,443 Which scenario will have the biggest negative impact on your business?

Base: 3,443 What impact do you believe the Prime Minister’s renegotiation option will have on your business?

Base: 3,443 Which scenario will have the biggest positive impact on your business?

Did you know? New Zealand

Students on their exams are allowed to use textmessaging language. Teachers must treat these abbreviations as standard English and may not penalize students ......... lol smiley face.


ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

• Business wants more decisions made in the UK: the scenario viewed most positively was for the UK to remain in the EU, but with specific powers transferred back to Westminster. 54% of respondents believe this would deliver a positive impact for their business (although this is down two points on Q4 2013 and seven points on the same quarter last year). • Most businesses think withdrawal from the EU would be bad for their business: the scenario viewed most negatively was full withdrawal from the EU. 61% of respondents believe this would have a negative impact (down one point on Q4 2013). • There is little support for further integration: 36% of respondents (down six points on Q4 2013) believe further integration would have a negative impact. 24% (unchanged) believe this scenario would be positive. • Uncertainty about the Prime Minister’s renegotiation strategy is rising: Almost one in five businesses are unsure about the impact of the Prime Minister’s renegotiation and referendum strategy. The figure is the highest on record at 19% (up three points on Q4 2013). BCC Comments “In the space of a year, business opinion on a renegotiated relationship with Europe has started to cool, and more UK firms are gradually stating they ‘don’t know’ how this would impact on their future prospects. Although we can’t be certain, there are a number of possible explanations. The on-going recovery, coupled with less frantic media headlines around the state of the eurozone over the last twelve months, could mean that businesses are less concerned about the UK’s relationship with the EU compared with a year ago. As voters head to the polls for Euro-elections here in the UK and across Europe, the increase in businesses who say they don’t know how these potential scenarios will affect the UK’s future should be a wake-up call for Britain’s political elites. Our findings suggest that the Prime Minister may soon need to shore up flagging business support for his ‘renegotiation and referendum’ strategy. Businesses are pragmatic about the EU, not ideological – and that debate over Britain’s future

Base: 4,664 Do you think the UK should join the Eurozone? Base: 2,685 Which, if any, of these would be a reason for the UK to join the Eurozone? (Based on those who think the UK should not join the Eurozone)

Base: 4,567 Do you think the UK should leave the EU? Base: 2.643 Which, if any, of these would be a reason for the UK to leave the EU? (Based on those who think the UK should not leave the EU) place in Europe must be rooted in hard evidence and good information.” John Longworth, Director General Further information Written and researched by Tom Nolan, Policy Manager - British Chambers of Commerce, 65 Petty France, London, SW1H 9EU T: +44 (20) 7650 5800 More information on the Quarterly Economic Survey is available at

UKTI Biz Opps opens its doors to all comers Originally set up as a private members style site, the Government’s policy of greater export growth has lead to a relaxing of the registration requirements for the Biz Opps site Register for free sales leads Are you a UK company looking for export leads and new markets? Register now for UKTI’s free sales leads service, brought to you from UKTI offices worldwide.

Each month hundreds of Business Opportunities are published across all sectors and in over 100 markets on our website. ome.html?guid=none



With world cup fever fermenting slowly, we take a look at what else Brazil has to offer Capital Brasília Largest city Sao Paulo Administrative divisions Brazil is a federation composed of 26 States, 1 Federal and Municipalities. Currency Real (R$) (BRL)

come from Europe, followed by 16% from the US and China. Following a dip in imports from Asia, the share of imports from Asia is expected to rise. The UK falls behind the likes of Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria and Chile, accounting for 1.7% of imports into Brazil.

SWOT analysis Strengths World’s sixth largest economy High population

Area 8,514,877 km2 Population 193,946,886 (2012) Calling code +55 Official language Portuguese

Weaknesses Income Inequality Lack of investments in industry Excessive Bureaucracy

Opportunities 2014 world cup and 2016 Olympics Growing middle class Manufacturing Threats Export Driven Economy Real Currency Very High Interest Rates

Brazil’s trade with the UK

Ease of trading across borders Importing a standard container of goods into Brazil requires:

8 documents

17 days


Introduction The UK is the fourth largest investor in Brazil, UK exports to Brazil increased 23% in 2010 and 9% in 2011. Brazil has a mixed economy with abundant natural resources. The Brazilian economy has been predicted to become one of the five largest in the world in the decades to come. In the last 15 years, the country has pursued a strategy of export-led growth and regional integration. The economy is relatively well diversified with a strong manufacturing and agricultural base. But economic activity is still concentrated in the southeast, particularly in the state of São Paulo.

Sector segmentation growth Sectors to watch: • Uti.ned petroleum products • Other extraction activities

Manufacturing • Aerospace • Domestic appliances • Pesticides & other agrochemicals

Fastest-growing exporters into Brazil

Total merchandise trade - Leading import partners

Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate) GDP Export of goods and services Import of goods and services Inflation Short-term interest rates (%) Exchange rate (per £) Population Unit labour cost

2011 2.7 4.5 9.7 6.6 11.7 2.00 0.9 6.8

2012 2013-16 1.0 4.5 -0.8 8.5 -1.2 8.0 5.4 5.0 8.5 7.8 2.03 1.99 0.9 0.8 -5.6 -1.0 Source: Oxford Economics

Economic outlook Brazil’s economy slowed unexpectedly, growing by 0.6% in the three months to September versus the previous quarter. Growth for 2012 now looks set to be closer to 1%, compared with 2.7% last year and 7.5% in 2010. President Dilma Rousseff launched the first in a series of measures aimed at injecting up to $50bn (£32bn) into the economy over the next five years, and increasing the private sector’s role in the economy. The plan included privatising about 14,000km of railways and roads, followed by selling ports and lowering energy costs.

Trade outlook Latin America, China and Europe are Brazil top exporters over the medium term. However, Brazil exports to Europe are set to decline in the medium term, while exports destined for Asia and the US continue to increase as a share of total exports. Trade with Asia (excluding Japan) already accounts for more than a quarter of Brazil’s merchandise exports. The continued rapid industrialisation of these Asian economies is expected to drive further demand for raw materials from Brazil in coming years. China and Vietnam will be the fastest-growing export destinations over this period, ensuring that China retains its position as the most important destination for Brazilian exports. 40% of Brazil’s imports

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2012 Malaysia Poland Mexico UK Vietnam Bangladesh Canada Hong Kong Germany India

Opportunities for UK businesses One of the world’s most rapidly developing economies with GDP per head greater than either India or China. Certain sectors of the Brazilian market have experienced higher than average growth, such as air transportation, telecoms, oil and gas, and mining. Under the second phase of the Growth Acceleration Program the Government of Brazil will spend around US$470 billion in development of the country’s energy generation and infrastructure as well as stadiums as it prepares for the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Other promising areas for UK companies include construction, aerospace and aviation, electrical power, safety and security devices, environmental technologies, retail, and transportation.

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



24 HOURSWITH Networking the key to working day

The day starts early for Luke Quilter. The Managing Director of digital marketing company Sleeping Giant Media likes to fit in a visit to the gym before getting to his desk for 7.45am.

Luke Quilter Managing Director, Sleeping Giant Media

I try to get back into the office at some time in the day and catch up with the team. We employ 27 people now and it is important that I know what is happening.


ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

He said: “I like to get in to work early. I tend to go to bed early in order to get up early. You can get a lot done before other people arrive and it really is a good time to work. “Once that early work is done, I tend to be out of the office a lot, meeting people, spreading the message about digital media. “I attend, and sometimes deliver, talks and seminars, and I also attend a lot of networking events. I spend a couple of days a week in London. “Networking is important for me. I see it as a way of explaining to people how digital media can benefit their businesses. “I try to tell people what it’s all about, explaining to how they can use digital media to communicate with their customers but simplifying it for them. “I steer clear of the jargon because people are really not interested in that. What they want to know is how they can grow their business and networking gives me an opportunity to tell them how digital media can help them achieve that.

“I try to get back into the office at some time in the day and catch up with the team. We employ 27 people now and it is important that I know what is happening. “We are fortunate in that we have a pleasant workspace with a pool table and a beer fridge and, at the end of the day, especially on a Friday, some of the team will stay back, play a bit of pool and discuss what’s been happening. It’s about creating the right culture in which people can work.” When not working, he likes to keep active. Sleeping Giant Media has a charity arm ( which stages challenge-based fundraising events, in which Luke takes part. He said: “I do a job I love but the fundraising events mean that I have to find time for other things. “Taking part in the charity events means I have to keep fit, running, maybe doing some kayaking, things I might not otherwise do.”


Two Great Offers Available to Kent Invicta Chamber Members and Non Members Ad Frames Do you realise that you can catch the attention of over 25,000 visitors a year by advertising at the Kent Invicta Chamber office in Ashford or Maidstone? Well you can, for as little as £99.00 + VAT (was £180.00 + VAT) for a whole year! All you need to do is supply an A3 poster and business cards to benefit from this special discounted rate.

eNewsletter Advertising Rates Business Update Email

Two emails a month to circa 4,000 recipients from Kent Business Community. Your logo displayed in the side bar with a link back to your website and one strap line underneath. Minimum term of three months at £50 per month for members £70 per month for non-members.

International Email One email per month to circa 1,000 directly involved with export in Kent. Your logo displayed in the side bar with a link back to your website and one strap line underneath. Minimum term of three months at £50 per month for members £70 per month for non-members.

If you would like to know more, please contact Amanda Roberts or call 01233 503838.

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Apprenticeship Reform There is overwhelming grave anxiety among the provider base which is represented by KATO, the Kent Association of Training Organisations, regarding the Apprenticeship Funding Reforms proposed by Central Government. The concerns are with regard to the potential and probable, disengagement with Apprenticeship provision by a high proportion of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The Kent Association of Training Organisations, KATO, is a provider network representing over 60 Training Providers and FE Colleges across Kent and Medway. Below is a summary of the proposed changes which have been provided by KATO.

The Change • The employer is the customer. Employers will receive a Government contribution of a % of the total cost of training and assessment charged for training delivery by the chosen training provider. . • In order to claim government funding for Apprenticeships (regardless of the final funding route) employers will be expected to adhere to ‘a number of essential terms and conditions’.

Funding Changes • The employer will be required to co-invest for all age groups and will make a direct financial contribution towards the cost of training, including 16-18s. The amount is not yet set, but is likely to be above 20% of the total cost • The employer will be reimbursed for contributions up to a maximum figure linked to a Maximum Government Contribution.

The possible administrative systems a. PAYE Scheme • Employers will have to register apprentices on line to claim funding • Upon registering their apprentice via the website, the employer provides their PAYE reference(s) and is authorised with HMRC to deduct Apprenticeship funding from their PAYE payments. • Employers will have to calculate payments due and deduct this from PAYE payments due, or claim it back if it is more than they owe HMRC. The employer then applies to HMRC for a reimbursement. • The employer reports the apprentice’s completion on the website • This links to the website and notifies the employer that they are eligible to deduct a completion payment (PBR: payment by results) from their next PAYE payment • Employers may have to adapt current payroll mechanisms to claim money back from HMRC Employers Role • Employers will have to go on line and identify which training provider/s is best suited to deliver the training they want and then contact them • The employer will negotiate with providers on price, payment schedule and delivery. Payments will be freed from public control and set by the market between employers and providers. However the apprenticeship frameworks will have maximum values against them. • The employer meets the costs of training according to the negotiated payment schedule they agree with the training provider and reports payments made through the website to HMRC. • Employers may have to register with awarding bodies 18

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• The employer will also have to negotiate with assessment companies on price and payments. This now has to be completely separate from the training. This money is contributed to and claimed back from HMRC in the same way as with the training. b. Apprenticeship Credit Scheme • The employer uses an authorisation code provided at registration to set up their Apprenticeship Credit account online. • The employer is then able to make payments into their account at a time of their choosing, which automatically triggers payment of the government contribution into the account. • The employer makes electronic payments to the registered training provider as agreed with their provider. • The same process is used to pay the assessment provider Administration • Employers will have to set up and sign contracts with all training and assessment suppliers to protect government money they are receiving. Or maybe risk having it clawed back

Training Providers • Training Providers will continue to receive the funding directly for the delivery of English and mathematics GCSE’s part of apprenticeships • Will no longer receive any other funding for apprenticeship delivery • Are unlikely to have the resource to promote apprenticeships to schools, at skills fairs etc. It is expected that employers will assume this role. • Will be able to offer services to employers around registrations, recruitment, monitoring progress, carrying out reviews, pastoral care, reporting back, applying for certificates etc, BUT this will be at an agreed price as they are no longer funded to carry out those tasks.

Time Line • The employer-routed funding mechanism is expected to be available in 2016, meaning that, until then, funding for Apprenticeship training will continue to be routed via providers • The transition period while both the new and the old systems co –exist is likely to be around three years Lindsay Collins Director of Operations Kent Association of Training Organisations Unit C5, St Georges Business Park Castle Road, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 3TB




Title: Company: Web: Tel:


Neil Chatterton

Managing Director Caxtons Commercial Limited 01474 537733

What makes property an attractive investment? The UK economy has been gathering considerable momentum, driven by a surge in consumer confidence, and this has led to growing interest in property investment. Why? Well, savings accounts are only paying 1-2%, gilts are showing an average return of 2.7% on a ten year debt whereas property ranges from about 5 to 10% plus. Property can offer attractive returns, relative to other sectors, but these can vary significantly. At the lower end of the scale, representing the lowest risk, but still producing initial yields of 4½ to 6% are residential properties, modern well-let offices, prime retail units in London and larger cities, retail warehouses and convenience stores let to the larger supermarkets.

At the top end, at more than 9%, are retail units in tertiary locations and parades, older offices, perhaps, part vacant and older style industrial properties. Property offers the potential for diversification, both in terms of property type and location, thereby reducing risk, so that a typical portfolio may include both residential and commercial property and within the commercial element, a balance of retail, industrial and office property. Another significant attraction is the prospect of exploiting asset management opportunities. These may include physical changes to a property. For example, splitting disused upper parts away from shops and converting these to residential use, thereby, enhancing income, or renegotiating leases to achieve longer or improved terms which can enhance capital value. Other examples can include changes of use, extensions and conversions. Perhaps one of the greatest attractions of property is the ability to borrow against it and to use the money released to purchase other property. This is known as gearing and most property portfolios will be geared to some extent. For example, even with a modest level of gearing of say 20%, you can have, say, a five million pound portfolio at a cost of only four million pounds, with the other one million pounds being borrowed and secured against the properties. Looking at this another way, you can borrow money at 4% and achieve returns of 7% to 8%. Finally, there is the potential for both rental and capital growth. Over time, although they can rise and fall, depending upon market conditions, rents have increased significantly and as they do so, the return

on the initial purchase cost will rise considerably. The capital value of property is also likely to increase over time. The result of this is that in addition to obtaining an income return, over the longer term there is potential for significant growth in the capital value of your property investment. A key thing is to take professional advice so that you understand the complexities of what can be a complicated process. For professional advice, contact either Neil Chatterton or Charlotte Bland at Caxtons Chartered Surveyors on 01474 537733, or

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Shepway –

Kent’s Connected Coast Shepway District is going for growth based on good communication links and a strong commitment to encouraging business. With the arrival of High Speed 1 at the end of 2009 building upon already excellent communications links – the M20, Eurotunnel, and Lydd Airport as well as Dover Port and Eurostar on its doorstep - the district is well placed to take advantage of its strategic location between London and mainland Europe. One of the major reasons for optimism is the redevelopment of Folkestone Seafront and Harbour, which took a major step forward in August 2013 with the unanimous approval of outline planning application for a mixed-use scheme on the 36-acre site. The scheme, which offers the opportunity to add life back into the seafront and harbour and help to reunite the town with its coast and includes residential, retail and office uses as well as sports and cultural facilities in keeping with its maritime environment. A temporary facility has also been located at the western end of the site to trial watersports along this part of the Kent coast, another way of generating income. This approval follows on from some other developments that have greatly improved the attractiveness of the coastal Kentish town.

In June 2011, for example, Rocksalt, a restaurant run by the former Head Chef of Claridges Mark Sargeant, opened to great acclaim. The restaurant is set on the harbour with views of the English Channel and is designed by award-winning Guy Holloway Architects.

Areas around the harbour have also benefited from improvements, with the most notable changes being the introduction of a new water feature on the route between the town and the popular Sunny Sands beach, and the refurbishment of the harbour arm. For more information on Folkestone Seafront and Harbour, go to

Exciting developments support growth agenda Other projects due to happen in the area include development work at the Shorncliffe Barracks, Nickolls Quarry, Hawkinge West and Link Park sites. As well as helping these developments come to fruition, the district council has made a number of key interventions, aimed at improving business start-up and survival rates, increasing skills and encouraging business growth. These include: Supporting Start-Up Business: In August 2013, The Factory Floor, in partnership with the district council, launched a new incubation facility in the heart of the Creative Quarter. The 20

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centre has proved to be extremely popular. For further information go to The New Romney Business Incubation Centre, a flexible workspace for 15 startup businesses has just opened. It arose from a partnership between Shepway District Council, Romney Resource Centre, Magnox and Kent County Council which emerged following a report - The Romney Marsh Socio-Economic Plan that examined the impacts of decommissioning of Dungeness A site, with the aim to set out an action plan to offset the impact and provide support to the local economy. The plan highlighted a demand for small business spaces but said that there was a lack of supply. A council analysis concluded that there could be capacity to support 30 new enterprises and for 100 businesses to receive specialist advice via events and workshops in what is known as a ‘Business Incubations Centre’, serving the Romney Marsh Area. With a grant from Kent County Council of £40,000, the final piece of the jigsaw was in place to kick-start the centre. Already, Shepway District Council which leads on the project, has allocated £70,000 over the initial three years. It was announced recently that Magnox would fund the project with £100,000 over the same time span. The new facility is at the refurbished Unit 12 at Mountfield Road Industrial Estate, providing a business address and facilities (such as meeting rooms, IT support, printing and photocopying) as well as professional business support and advice provided by Enterprise First. For more information contact the Romney Resource Centre on 01797 367455. Shepway Apprenticeship Scheme on target The Shepway Apprenticeship Scheme, funded by Shepway District Council, has supported more than 150 apprenticeships, meeting its target of helping to fund 75 local apprentices and businesses each year. In the first two years of the scheme, a grant offer of £1,500 to local employers hiring local people as apprentices has helped Shepway businesses to recruit local people and help to progress their careers. The scheme has entered its third year and will continue to offer local employers the incentive of £1,500 of grant funding to support local people into employment. As well as securing funding to support an apprenticeship, The Economic Regeneration Team can help you with recruiting your apprentice and identifying a suitable apprenticeship training course, through links with a range of local training providers. If you are interested in taking on an apprentice or want to find out more, please contact 01303 853402 or email Marsh Million The Marsh Million is a £1 million, three-year, economic growth fund for Romney Marsh, which is being funded by the Magnox Socio-economic programme, Kent County Council, Ashford Borough Council and Shepway District Council. You can apply for investment support from the Marsh Million Business Loan Scheme if you are a sole trader, partnership, limited company or a not-for-profit enterprise based on the Romney Marsh. If you also have less than 50 employees and are seeking a 0% interest loan between £2,500 and £10,000, you can find out how to apply by visiting

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014


The Economy & Us:

How will your kids be better-off? Sixty years ago Walter Reuther, leader of the US automobile workers union, visited a highly automated Ford factory. Pointing to all the robots, his host gleefully asked:

“How are you going to collect union dues from those guys?” He replied, “You know, that is not what’s bothering me. I’m troubled by how you’re going to get them to buy Fords”.

With inflation-adjusted wages – and savings – broadly stagnant across the developed world, most of us are considering our options. Is automation squeezing out jobs? Are the richest 1% ‘milking’ the rest of us 99%? Are there more folk competing globally for scarce energy/ water/ food? Yes, all of the above. I want to explore how we, and our children, may avoid this stagnation quagmire. Do you think I’m exaggerating? OK, Kent business is boosted by population growth @ 2%pa – but public services like the NHS, education, social care are now inadequate. And consider this: the UK’s Local Government Pension Scheme, one of the world’s largest worth about £180bn, has just opted for passive, index-linked fund management, much as recommended in December’s The Economy & Us: Pensions – Help!. Evidently the Trustees foresee too little buoyancy in the global economy for picking winners on any large scale. Likewise Neil Woodford, outstandingly successful City fund manager, will invest only in “compelling” long-term opportunity (including small-cap and unquoted stocks), like Warren Buffett’s “value investing”. In other words, only “special situations” will now yield worthwhile returns: special situations for you – and your children’s – cash, and career, and clientbase. The idea is not to do what everyone else is doing, but to discover new money-making opportunities, especially where you can combine with other people’s cash, energy or talent.

Conventional education is unlikely to help much. Our national curriculum prescribes “facts” to be learned: exam grades depend on trotting them out. Children are schooled to avoid making mistakes – that rich source of experiential learning. Conformity counts, making it hard to choose a “road less travelled” if you’ve ever submitted to booklearning…. And middle-income livelihoods, the reward for exam success, are getting fewer. You already know most of the solution. A loving, respectful childhood, to engender emotional security/ resilience and promote EQ; a healthy diet, exercise, sleep; a habit of prayer/ “mindfulness” (we become what we contemplate). Above all we need the mindset to recognise opportunities, matching them with our own strengths and weaknesses. Requisite know-how, apart from EQ, includes how to envision customers’ buying process and interpret Accounts in depth. Your kids must learn these things from you – not school – especially by your example, making you better-off, too. You may need to take a course or two. Hardest for most of us is the strength to acknowledge our mistakes, especially our faults, and find the upside in them. The joy lies in making something out of nothing; and, of course, financial independence.

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

Good luck!

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Drive is on to improve the Increasing numbers of people will be given an opportunity to earn while they learn, after more than 20,000 new Apprenticeships were pledged by employers as part of the recent National Apprenticeship Week. Announcements were being made by hundreds of businesses around the country, not just corporates but many smaller companies with Kent businesses among those supporting the initiative. The announcements about the success of National Apprenticeship Week followed new research revealing that nearly half (44%) of employers intend to take on one or more apprentice in the next five years. Taking on an Apprentice will bring numerous benefits to your company, according to the South East Apprenticeship Company. SEAC says that Apprentices provide a low-cost staffing solution, which will help you to build skills tailored to your business, allow you to “home grow” your managers of the future, plan for retirements and introduce innovation and fresh ideas into your workplace. The South East Apprenticeship Company offers an alternative way for your company to take an apprentice – they employ and you “host” the Apprentice on a placement basis. This low risk option is of particular benefit to companies that don’t have the infrastructure to employ an Apprentice direct or haven’t had an Apprentice before. SEAC carry out the recruitment, free of charge, source the training provision and take full employment responsibility for the Apprentice i.e. payrolling, performance management HR matters, safeguarding and Health and Safety. They then provide ongoing support. There is also a Government grant of £1,500 available to companies that have not had an Apprentice in the last year and have fewer than 1000 staff. To find out more, call 0844 879 3239 or visit the website at Also supporting the idea is IPS International, one of Kent’s leading providers of Apprenticeships, workbased training programmes and technical courses across a wide range of occupations. Their staff are professionally qualified and experienced in their subject area and are selected for their ability to transfer skills and knowledge. They offer a complete service from initial training analysis through to programme delivery. 24

ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

IPS Apprenticeships is an Approved Training Agency which offers a unique approach to the recruitment of Apprentices for employers who wish to take on an Apprentice but do not have the infrastructure to directly employ one or are experiencing a recruitment or head-count freeze. The company provides a full recruitment , employment and support service to the host employer. In addition, Traineeships is a new programme which is available for 16-23 year olds who need a little help to take that step into work or an Apprenticeship. They will be given a focused period of work preparation and employability skills including maths

and English. IPS Apprenticeships will look for a high quality, substantial and meaningful work placement where they can prove themselves to the employer. Also supporting young people into work is Northfleet Technical College where the Sixth Form has more than 180 students, many of whom have chosen to study Level 3 Engineering and Applied Science BTECs. The college is proud of its achievements and the fact that this year it had its first female student, Rebecca Curley, completing the Engineering course and gaining a Double Distinction


skills of our young people In addition to this, they have students who have been successful in gaining places at University to study Aeronautical Engineering at Under Graduate level.

so that they gain valuable experience. So far, the college has had students working in retail and acting as support assistants in Primary and Secondary schools.

Some students have chosen to enter the teaching profession and are taking degrees in Early Years education, as well as for Secondary Education.

And at Canterbury Christ Church University Business School, they prepare their students for the job market using a very ‘hands on’ approach.

As well as applying to University, students from its Sixth Form have secured higher level apprenticeships with companies such as AMEC and Thameswater.

They know that more and more employers are looking for experience alongside academic credentials. Internships, placements, industry speakers, as well as a whole range of business simulations help students gain a real understanding of the workplace. New for 2014 is a Bloomberg

As well as working hard in school, students are encouraged to take up work placement opportunities

Room which offers the latest trading software and real-time data to generate the excitement and intensity of the trading floor. Many of the students work on live projects, adding value to businesses through social media, marketing, finance and project management. The college welcomes the opportunity to work with more organisations in Kent in these knowledge sharing partnerships. To find out more please visit or contact Sam Clark on or 01227 782928.

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Land-based skills rise in popularity again The term Land-based industries originated at the time when agriculture and horticulture were going through seriously difficult times.

The global market was taking its toll and UK farmers and growers were forced to compete with food producers in countries where wages and standards of living were very different. Seasonality was becoming a thing of the past and consumers increasingly expected to be able to buy whatever they wanted whenever they wanted it. The food produced in this country no longer topped shopping lists – it had been superseded by food from abroad. One consequence related to the way in which agriculture and horticulture colleges were affected. Farming was unable to offer progressive career options thus few young people considered entering industries perceived to be ‘failing’.


ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

Requirement for education and training diminished, universities and colleges gradually reduced their provision, departments were closed and institutions amalgamated. Looking for ways to consolidate and establish themselves in difficult times, institutions adopted the term ‘land-based’ and began offering education and training in a wide range of new subjects that all had one thing in common; they were all inextricably linked, in a variety of ways, with ‘land’. Times have changed and we have witnessed a complete reversal. Our planet is facing major challenges connected to our ability to effect food security for a massively burgeoning global population whilst dealing with the issues associated with climate change. The agriculture and horticulture industries – and their support services – offer graduates and skilled personnel excellent career options. Although of paramount importance, the foodproducing industries aren’t the only important contributors in the land-based sector. Kent’s own land-based college, Hadlow – one of the UK’s leading land-based institutions – also offers a range of subjects.

Fisheries Management is a popular option and fish farming is destined to become increasingly significant. Garden Design and Landscape Architecture benefit from the vast interest now taken in these disciplines. Hadlow, one of the first colleges to offer degree programmes, excels in these subjects. Landscape Management, Countryside Management, Animal Conservation and Biodiversity and Applied Behavioural Science and Welfare programmes also support increasingly vital disciplines. Patricia Crawford is responsible for the management and coordination of the Hadlow College Press and PR office on behalf of: PAT CRAWFORD & ASSOCIATES Tel: 01732 852243/07771 635684/01622 817319




ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

Company that can trace its beginnings to a life treading the boards Emma Reynolds is one of those businesswomen whose career could have turned out very differently had she stayed on the same path. Although now Managing Director of the highly successful Reynolds Group, Emma began her working life as a dancer, performing professionally at a high standard in everything from ballet to theatre as well as being involved in choreography. However, in time she felt that she needed a new challenge and founded the Reynolds Group, a family-run business which now has more than 20 years experience in the health, fitness, arts and training sectors and which employs 150 people. The company’s latest venture is the Reynolds Retreat, a health, fitness and wellbeing centre located at Borough Green just outside Sevenoaks in Kent, which is due to open in July. For Emma, it‘s an exciting move that fulfils her desire for new challenges. She said: “Before I started the company, I was a professional dancer. Dancing was the major focus in my life. “The training was very vigorous and I was working at a high standard but in time it felt like every day was the same. I was doing the same thing over and over again and it was not enough for me. “The result was that gradually things evolved into setting up a business, initially using my experience in performing arts and moving into training.” The company’s story began in 1987 when the first Reynolds Performing Arts school was launched in Sittingbourne, followed in 1989 by one in Minster and a third in 1990 in Dartford. In 1996, the first combined Reynolds Health club and Performing Arts centre opened in Dartford, followed a year later by the launch of a full-time training course in Performing Arts In 1999, the second Reynolds Health Club opened at The Old Parsonage in Rainham and in 2001 Reynolds gained a Government contract to deliver full-time training in Performing Arts and Fitness. The year 2003 saw the Reynolds Health Club open, incorporating Reynolds Training and the Dartford club, followed in 2008 by the Reynolds Health Club in Sittingbourne. That was followed by the launch in 2010 of Reynolds Beauty Training and the Reynolds Fitness Spa brand in 2011, the year the Reynolds Training Academy opened in Dartford. The Reynolds Retreat is the latest venture. Set within 17 acres of parkland with a tree-lined driveway, historic yew trees and walled Victorian garden, the beautifully restored and extended 25,000 sq.ft. Victorian property offers some of the most luxurious fitness, thermal spa and treatment facilities in the country.

Emma said: “One of the big attractions is that the site comes with a lot of land, which allows us to offer a range of services. “We have retained the former Victorian family home and introduced a fitness spa and a pool with water which does not contain chlorine but contains silver and copper.

The centre is a three phase development, which also includes a hydropool, massage areas and a sauna and because we have 17 acres we hope to place pods around the site.

“It is a relatively new technology. Having no chlorine means there are no chemicals in the water, no smell, no danger of it turning your hair a different colour if you have had it dyed, which can happen with chlorine. It is a more pleasant experience. “The centre is a three phase development, which also includes a hydro-pool, massage areas and a sauna and because we have 17 acres we hope to place pods around the site.”


Our ethos is that we operate within communities and we try to support those communities wherever we can. It is part of our commitment.

Reynolds Retreat will also have a wedding function room and a restaurant, the latter allowing the company to continue its community-based programme. There has always been more to the company than simple commercial considerations because the Reynolds Group believes that commercial and social business considerations should go hand in hand. The company is committed to its local communities and its projects include Apprenticeship programmes, local team sponsorship, healthy school initiatives, workshops for children in danger of being excluded from school, production touring performances as well as numerous fundraising events, performances and donations to charities totalling to date more than £950,000. One of the initiatives at the Reynolds Retreat is a programme to involve local people in growing the food which will be served in the restaurant. Emma said: “Supporting the community has always been an important focus for us. “At Reynolds Retreat, we have the lovely Victorian walled garden and will be growing produce for the restaurant. “As part of that, we are running NVQ courses so that people can gain qualifications in food production and we also plan to run a chef’s course. “Our ethos is that we operate within communities and we try to support those communities wherever we can. It is part of our commitment.”

Emma Reynolds Managing Director and Founder Reynolds Group Web:

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Fish Hook Careers, In-House Recruitment Specialists for Kent celebrate their “first year anniversary” in business Is your organisation looking to bring your recruitment in-house to avoid expensive fees from recruitment agencies? Welcome to Fish Hook Careers, an independent In-House Recruitment and Social Recruiting consultancy. We specialise in Marketing, PR, Digital and Creative job opportunities across the East of England, Kent and London. With offices based in Southfleet, Kent, Fish Hook Careers is a privately owned consultancy which was founded in 2013 by Louise Ashford-Hodges. With over 11 years recruitment experience, Louise is a fully qualified MREC CertRP Specialist providing recruitment solutions across Commercial, Sales, Marketing, Digital and Creative appointments. She has had the pleasure to recruit for some of the UK’s leading brands within Retail, FMCG, Food and Drink, Publishing, Engineering, Agency, Digital, Education, Charity and Not-for-Profits across the East of England.

Concur continues growth through apprenticeships Kent Science Park (KSP) based company Concur Technologies is going from strength to strength as it takes on more employees and space on the Park. Concur is a global business providing integrated travel and expense management solutions to companies of all sizes, be them multinational corporations or small-to-medium sized enterprises with less than five staff. The company’s UK audit centre, which is based at KSP, now employs more than 120 people from the Swale area. Last year saw a 25% growth in the business, in which they expanded to two buildings on the Park and took on more staff to meet their growing needs. Amongst the most recent additions to the Concur team are two apprentices from Sittingbourne. They joined the firm last year on a 13-month apprenticeship scheme, where they have been working across several areas of the business to learn different skills and processes. Apprentice Julianna Coomber, 18, said: “Upon leaving sixth form I decided to undertake an apprenticeship as I wanted to get work experience whilst gaining a qualification at the same time. The role at Concur was ideal - with it being such a large organisation there are plenty of skills to learn and opportunities to progress.” Concur was inspired to take part in the national apprenticeship scheme last year, with one reason being the opportunity to develop multi-skilled employees from the ground up. The scheme has been very successful and Concur intend to place both apprentices in full-time roles after their apprenticeship is complete. They are now looking to employ a further four apprentices.

Working together with Managing Directors and HR functions, we will help you take control of your recruitment by attracting and engaging multiple professionals to your brand directly. With our 360° approach, we will also support filling your job requirements and help you implement an in-house social media recruitment strategy to build an online network of local professionals who are relevant for your business. For our services please contact Louise Ashford-Hodges on email: or visit and follow us on Twitter news: @FishhookCareers

Keith Simson, Services Director at Concur, said: “the heart of Concur is its people, and that is why we spend so much time supporting and nurturing their development. Getting the right people doing the right jobs is crucial to our continued growth. “We are firm believers in the benefits of the national apprenticeship scheme, as both a way of curbing youth unemployment and bringing new ideas into the business.”

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014


West Kent gets Wheels to Work scheme For those living in the West Kent area and struggling with transport there is now a solution in the form of West Kent Wheels 2 Work. This is a moped loan scheme for residents aged 16 or over, who have a firm offer of full time work, training or education but are unable to reach it due to a lack of suitable public transport. This will be particularly useful for those who work shifts or live in rural areas which are poorly served by public transport. It would also help those who do care or cleaning jobs, which require them to move between customers. An inclusive price of £28 a week provides W2W clients with the loan a moped along with a new helmet, reflective jacket and gloves. This price includes tax, insurance and the necessary training to get riders on the road. All that is needed for people to get started is a provisional licence and a CBT course (Compulsory Basic Training). This usually takes a day, the cost of which will be met by the scheme.

Offering sound financial advice Downton & Ali Associates are representatives of Openwork Limited and have extensive experience in the Financial Services industry offering advice across a wide range of financial products such as Mortgages, Pensions, Annuities, Investments, Protection and General Insurance. We specialise in listening to and understanding our client’s circumstances. Regardless of individual lifestyles or monetary status, we aim

to achieve the financial goals of both private and corporate clients. You can contact us via email

The scheme is funded by Kent County Council and has been endorsed by Kent Fire and Rescue Service and is being run by the East Surrey Rural Transport Partnership. To qualify you must live in a household which pays Council Tax to one of the Borough or District Councils within Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling or Tunbridge Wells. Ways to contact the scheme: Phone: 01883 732791 Email:


A tailored service LJPM Ltd is a construction consultancy serving London and the South East, working across all sectors with considerable involvement in education and commercial projects. With many years’ experience in the industry, we believe that our technical knowledge, flexibility and collaborative approach allow us to offer a proactive, tailored service at a highly competitive price. We can act as CDM Coordinator, Contract Administrator, Independent Certifier/Advisor; carry out Building Surveys as well as provide

Architectural and Project Management services. With high standards recognised by our ISO 9001 accreditation, we have traditional values and a modern approach. To discuss our services further, please contact Les Johnson on email

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS


CRAR – An unfair advantage for Defaulting Tenants? April saw the introduction of the new Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) rules, requiring 7 days’ notice to be given to a Tenant of an intention to seize goods. The initial perception by Landlords of the new rules had been that it abolished the element of surprise. Landlords had largely criticised such changes as allowing Tenants an unfair advantage, with those Tenants who were inclined to do so, an opportunity to remove assets from the Premises before seizure. Tenants had conversely welcomed the changes in abolishing what they perceived as an unfair remedy for Landlords where monies may only be overdue by one or two days, causing adverse effects to their business without warning. However, an important provision within CRAR which had largely been ignored is one which can ensure the element of surprise remains and ensures the changes are not such a stark contrast to the old procedure. It is imperative Landlords understand the new procedure and comply with the rules to avoid adverse consequences. ‘Distress’ was previously a self-help remedy allowing immediate seizure of goods owned by a Tenant in order that they be sold to discharge arrears owed. Landlords had the element of ‘surprise’ available to them as soon as a Tenant entered arrears.


ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

Where a Landlord can show good reason to believe a Tenant may deliberately remove assets from the premises (i.e. assets are easily removed or of high value), a Landlord can Apply to reduce the notice period required under CRAR, ensuring an almost immediate seizure of goods. Whilst this imposes a further step and cost to the Landlord, those who have previously encountered problems with arrears from Tenant’s, can draw heart that the perceived

advantage to Tenants might not be as great as initially believed. Whilst the exact circumstances in which the notice period might be reduced are yet to be fully determined, cases testing these margins are likely to evolve quickly as Landlords perceive a real advantage in enforcing against defaulting Tenants. CRAR has imposed several additional changes including that it may only be used towards rent arrears (not service charge or rates), enforcement must be undertaken by a certified bailiff between 9am to 6pm (or the Tenants usual business hours), and cannot be used against assets required for the Tenants trade (subject to a fixed aggregate limit). Accordingly, commercially aware Landlords are seeking to regain the advantage by obtaining additional Personal Guarantees, ensuring increased rent deposits are held from the outset or the use of alternative enforcement options as soon as a Tenant defaults upon their Lease. Should you wish to discuss the recent changes in CRAR or the commercial options available for enforcement, please contact Andy Rudkin at Buss Murton on 01892 502367


Tough challenges ahead for Sleeping Giant Media charity pledge Sleeping Giant Media have pledged to raise £10,000 for Combat Stress this year. 2014 marks Combat Stress’ 95th anniversary and the Centenary of the First World War so they couldn’t think of a better time to help them achieve their mission.

Combat Stress help more than 150 British armed forces Veterans in Kent, and 5,400 across the UK who are suffering from debilitating mental health conditions including, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety disorders. To achieve this target, employees of the Folkestonebased search and social marketing agency will be taking part in a number of charity events throughout the year, including: • July 14, runners gearing up for the British 10k in London • July 26, a group taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge • In August a group will be kayaking along the Kentish coastline, 150 miles. For this one event alone, the fundraising target is £5,000. For all of the events planned, Sleeping Giant are looking for corporate sponsors, in particular suppliers of equipment and clothing for the kayaking challenge. The first corporate sponsor to sign up was Belmont Sandbanks Care Homes. For more information on the corporate sponsorship packages available visit k-giant-challenge.


KSP charitable endeavours raise more than £2,200

Marketing video is a perfect way of engaging prospective clients, keeping visitors on websites, having a social media presence, and being accessible on smartphones and tablets.

Kent Science Park (KSP) tenants have been taking time out of their busy schedules to raise money for charity.

At i54newmedia we encompass all types of visual and audio production and are especially aimed at business with our corporate and marketing videos.

Our previous clients have ranged from the smallest business to national firms in manufacturing, construction, plumbing, health and safety, the NHS and many others. High profile conferences and events are no problem. We are filming an increasing number of online courses as training changes.

Because of our extensive library of stock footage and images we can use motion graphics and music to construct slide shows and presentations - perfect for an online presence. Our range of voiceover artists gives that perfect finish.

We help our clients to feel at ease at every stage and we believe they should enjoy the process as much as we do.

When clients come to us we spend time listening to what is needed and give assistance with scripting and planning, which we feel is vital.

At i54newmedia we chose our strapline ‘i-ntuitive, i-nteractive, i-nnovative’ as it sums up our video marketing services so well.

AbBaltis and AmicusHorizon held events to raise money for two charities – Macmillan Cancer Support and Sport Relief. AbBaltis held a coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support – a leading charity providing practical, medical and financial support for people with cancer.

The call centre team also joined in the fun and games of the evening by holding a raffle, playing games and baking cakes in the name of Sport Relief. Altogether, they raised £2,110 and manned 50 phone lines between 18:30 and midnight.

They raised over £130 by selling a selection of homemade cakes and coffees from their in-house ‘barista’.

AmicusHorizon were supported in their efforts by a number of local businesses, including those based at KSP, who provided raffle prizes and sponsorship for the evening.

AmicusHorizon recruited more than 100 volunteers from within their Response team to take donation calls for Sport Relief – raising money for people living tough lives at home and abroad.

Cucumber Catering, who are based on the Park, supported both events by donating a large sponge cake to the Macmillan Coffee morning and cupcakes to keep the AmicusHorizon volunteers going throughout the night.

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Using mediation to resolve disputes Ashford Mediation Service helps to build happier more productive communities by using mediation to resolve disputes. We are an Independent Charity and most of our services are free. Over the past 19 years we have helped 1000s of people find peaceful resolutions to disputes.

Department for Work & Pensions Award for General Manager Robert Richardson, General Manager of The Grand, in Folkestone, won the award for “Employer Engagement” in the region at this year’s annual Department for Work & Pensions/Job Centre Plus employer awards.

Our Mediation process enables the parties to find beneficial solutions to problems which they are struggling to find themselves. Today mediation is seen as an effective alternative to going to court and enjoys high success rates. Mediation can be used in a number of different situations which include: Neighbourhood Disputes - Noise, Parking, Dogs, Boundaries, anti-social behaviour. Community Mediation - Any form of dispute within a community. Family Disputes - Disputes between parents, children and other family members. Conflict in Schools - Disputes between Parents, Pupils and Teachers. Peer Mediation - The training of young people in schools and colleges to become mediators. All our mediators are professionally trained and all Mediation is conducted confidentially in a neutral setting. Our impartial mediators create a structured yet informal environment so each party can put forward their views. The mediation process is clear and easy to follow to help the parties feel in control at all times. Our mediators will never take action without the permission of the party concerned. This enables all participants to feel they are actively involved and buy-in to the end result. Most of our services are free, however as a charity we need support either financial or in kind to help us to continue to serve the community for the next 19 years. To find out more about our services or to donate please call 01233 896237. Our services aid the business community by helping to create a positive, productive community in which people can thrive.

“I’m over the moon to have won and had our efforts to reduce employment recognised on a larger scale.” He was honoured at the event in Folkestone for initiatives including; • Holding four classes in interview techniques for job seekers at the Folkestone Job Centre Plus office • Hosting the Ministerial visit for Esther McVey MP and providing the case studies and the opening address to DWP personal and Job Centre Staff from Kent and London • Starring in two media adverts for the DWP which were also filmed at The Grand • Taking 20 people on work experience, employing the bulk of them • Delivering presentations on behalf of the


ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

Folkestone Job Centre to the Director of JCP for London and the South East at the Microsoft Offices in London. • Last year on behalf of the Job Centre in Folkestone Robert hosted a hoteliers job skills live Twitter Q&A which achieved total impression of more than 26,000 twitter users. The total number of recruits that Mr. Richardson has coached via Work Experience have now passed 40 since 2010 which is a great achievement, even more so is the fact that employment at The Grand has been found for the majority. Robert said: “I’m over the moon to have won and have our efforts to reduce employment recognised on a larger scale.”


The full service from Orchard Garage Orchard Garage Limited is a used car dealer with full servicing and repair workshop and MOT testing centre, based in Dartford. We look after cars, small vans and motorbikes.

Queens’s Award for Travel Counsellors By Barbara O’Neil, your friendly Travel Counsellor, happy to arrange all kinds of travel, for Business or Leisure, near or far

At Travel Counsellors we are over the moon at present with the announcement that we have been nominated and have won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade. This is a great honour as we are the only travel company ever to receive one. It is not something you enter, but are nominated for unbeknown to yourself. Then follows a thorough investigation into EVERYTHING connected with the firm-it’s Directors, Finances, Taxes, Ethics, Staff relations and attitude to clients- in fact, the very Ethos of the Company. If all the very exacting At Orchard Garage Limited we strive to give our customers value for money along with a high standard of customer care. Most of our customers come to us through recommendation and stay with us. We are always available to offer help and advice on any motoring needs and never pressurise anyone into something they don’t want or need.

We have a selection of used cars for sale, in a range of makes and models, from family cars to small hatchbacks and all cars come HPI checked, serviced, warranted, with a full year’s MOT. For more information on our used cars or services please browse through our website

standards are satisfied the firm is told in confidence that they have been nominated... and then we WON! You can see why we at Travel Counsellors are so proud to have won this prized award and recognition of the high standards that we set ourselves.

You may safely put your business in my hands. Any time that you wish to travel anywhere - be it business or pleasure, just e mail on

Sales Activator If you are looking for a holistic approach to coaching and development, Sales Activator’s diverse range of Coaching Solutions and tools will help you revolutionise your sales team’s performance. A holistic coaching solution that guarantees a permanent improvement in sales results enabling sales managers to leverage the potential of their team through interactive and bite-sized development sessions. Our e-learning modules are ideal for managers looking to reduce training costs and maximise productivity. With our guided and assessed self-learning the modules are scalable, customisable and trackable making our e-learning an affordable, flexible and highly efficient solution. Capture coaching outcomes, measure consistency and maximise the

potential of the Toolkit with our powerful Online Sales Coaching Aid (OSCA). Accessed via a secure website that’s tailored to your company, OSCA charts individual capabilities, pinpoints development needs and generates reports to track and direct your team members’ progression. So it’s no wonder we have been officially recognised by the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management as “one of the most exciting developments for the sales profession in decades”.

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Chamber Events, Seminars & Workshops BUSINESS BREAKFAST Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 08:00 - 09:30 Non-Members: £20.00 + VAT Members: £15.00 + VAT Join us for a delicious full English breakfast and lots of networking. Thursday 19th June Holiday Inn Rochester Maidstone Road Rochester, Kent ME5 9SF Friday 27th June Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel 8 Tunbridge Road Pembury, Kent TN2 4QL Thursday 10th July Ramada Encore Chatham Western Avenue, Chatham, Kent ME4 4NT Thursday 17th July Boys Hall Boys Hall Road, Willesborough Ashford, Kent TN24 0LA Wednesday 30th July The Marlow Theatre The Friars, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2AS Friday 1st August Brands Hatch Thistle Main Road Gorse Hill Dartford, Kent DA3 8PE

BUSINESS LUNCH Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 12:00 - 14:00 Non-Members: £25.00 + VAT Members: £20.00 + VAT Come and enjoy a superb Nepalese fusion light lunch where the chefs prepare all of their own spices to ensure only the best flavours and highest quality is on offer.

Wednesday 11th June Guest Speaker Zoodikers Consulting Time: 12.00pm – 2.00pm Best Western Russell Hotel 136 Boxley Road, Penenden Heath Maidstone, Kent, ME14 2AE “The importance of turning into a true social business” By Katie King, Managing Director of Zoodikers; social media commentator on BBC TV and radio It’s more than just a marketing tool, and is something that businesses have to live and breathe. Information gleaned from social interactions can help to define future decisions. Only this way can businesses exploit its full potential and ensure a return on investment.

Networking Lunch BBQ Thursday 12th June Time: 12.00pm – 2.00pm Members: £20.00 + VAT Non-Members: £25.00 + VAT The Conningbrook Hotel Canterbury Road Ashford, Kent, TN24 9QR An opportunity to put your business in the spotlight to highlight its products/services and how these can help other businesses. You will make new contacts and generate business leads, whilst sharing ideas, and experiences with like-minded business people. Menu Beef Burgers and Sausages served with a selection of Chef’s salads and Jacket Potato.

AFTERNOON TEA Details (unless otherwise stated): Time:13.30 – 15.00 Non-Members: £20.00 +VAT Members: £15.00 +VAT

During the afternoon, we will serve you a selection of finger sandwiches and a selection of cakes and a plain scone served with clotted cream and jam, plus a selection of teas. Friday18th July Audley Mote House Mote Park Maidstone, Kent ME15 8NQ

Networking Golf Day Special Wednesday 2nd July Time: 08.00 – 15.00 Price: £60.00 + 20.00% VAT Teams The Kent Invicta Chamber Golf Day is open to all businesses. As teams of four golfers, businesses will play against each other over 18 holes. The teams and individual players will have the chance to win some fine prizes. Registration and Dress Code 8.00am - 9.00am for a 9.30am Tee-Off followed by lunch Strictly Golf Attire and Smart Casual (Lunch). Great prizes on the day Includes Longest Drive and Nearest the Pin. Cost £60.00 + VAT per player. This includes tea/coffee on arrival, bacon rolls and networking followed by 18 holes of golf and a two-course lunch. Buggies Buggies are charged at £20 each. These can be booked by calling the golf club on 01622 632006.

AFTER HOURS No booking required. Just turn up! Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 18:00 - 19:30 Free to Members and Non-members. Complimentary Tea and Coffee will be served. A Cash Bar is often available. The After Hours Club is a popular and highly successful ‘casual’ networking event. The informal atmosphere and relaxed environment is the ideal place to relax and chat to fellow business people. Tuesday 17th June The Abbots Barton 36 New Dover Road, Canterbury, Kent CT1 3DU Tuesday 24th June The Russell Hotel 136 Boxley Road, Penenden Heath, Maidstone, Kent ME14 2AE Tuesday 1st July The Conningbrook Hotel Canterbury Road, Ashford, Kent TN24 9QR Tuesday 1st July Guest Speaker Andy Olsen “A Site For Sore Eyes” Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre, Brunel Way, Dartford, Kent DA1 5GA Tuesday 15th July The Abbots Barton 36 New Dover Road, Canterbury, Kent CT1 3DU Tuesday 22nd July The Russell Hotel 136 Boxley Road, Penenden Heath, Maidstone, Kent ME14 2AE Tuesday 5th August The Conningbrook Hotel Canterbury Road, Ashford, Kent TN24 9QR Tuesday 5th August Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre, Brunel Way, Dartford, Kent DA1 5GA

SEMINARS Revised Incoterms® Rules Tuesday 10th June Time: 9.30am – 12.15pm Non-Members: £159.00 + VAT Members: £145.00 + VAT Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue Sevington, Kent TN24 0LH The Incoterms® Rules are an essential business tool for export import because they define the responsibilities of each party to arrange loading/unloading of the goods, delivery, import export clearance and freight contracts Since the last revision in 2000, there have been fundamental changes in global import export practice and 38

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procedures. The New Incoterms Rules, implemented from 01 January 2011, have been developed to take account of these changes. The New Incoterms Rules may now be used for trade both between and within countries and customs – free blocks. All parties involved in export import in any capacity should clearly understand The New Incoterms Rules to maximise legal certainty in transactions. This half day seminar will consider the general features of the rules and will examine each of them in detail. It will therefore be particularly relevant to export sales, purchasing, shipping, finance, customer service staff and senior managers from both exporters and importers as well as those from freight forwarders, shipping and financial institutions.

Classification of Goods - Using Commodity and Tariff Codes Tuesday 10th June Time: 1.15pm – 4.00pm Non-Members: £159.00 + VAT Members: £145.00 + VAT Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue Sevington, Kent TN24 0LH The correct classification of goods using commodity and tariff codes is fundamental for customs compliance, establishing correct duty rates, origin of goods, intrastat, export control and many other customs procedures. New Harmonised Systems

CHAMBEREVENTS codings are being introduced in 2012 and increasingly security procedures at ports of exit/entry are being linked to commodity and tariff codings. This half day seminar will consider the terminology used and the structure of the Harmonised System, Commodity and Tariff codes. It will examine the General Interpretative Rules that are used for classification and the use of tools available to assist in the establishment of the correct code. Where possible, the seminar will have live access to The Tariff, enabling the trainer to demonstrate the methodology. Please note that we cannot confirm individual product classifications during the seminar. Who Should Attend All staff involved with international trade - Sales, Purchasing, shipping, management at all levels, logistics, freight forwarders.

How businesses should be using Digital Marketing in 2014 Monday 16th June 2014 Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent, TN24 0LH £20.00 + VAT Come and find out more about.... Search Engine Optimisatation - Outlining some do’s and don’ts of online marketing followed by Q&A Online Marketing.

Marketing Workshop Friday 20th June Time: 9.00am – 12.00pm Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce The Gate House, Archbishop’s Palace Maidstone, Kent ME15 6YE £75.00 + VAT Come and learn why marketing is crucial to the success of your business and learn the top tips for increasing your market presence. Understand why your brand, positioning and marketing messages are so critical to success

Sage 50 Accounts - Refresher/ New Businesses Workshop Wednesday 25th June Time: 9.00am – 12.30pm Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue Sevington, Kent TN24 0LH £70.00 + VAT 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

Sage 50 Accounts Advanced

Successful Marketing Workshop

Thursday 26th June Time: 9.00am – 12.30pm Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue Sevington, Kent TN24 0LH £70.00 + VAT

Friday 18th July 2014 Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Medway Innovation Centre, Rochester Airport, Maidstone Road, Chatham, Kent, ME5 9FD £75.00 + VAT

Already know the basics but want to go that extra bit further Foreign Exchange inc. Revaluations • Project Costing • Recurring Sales Invoices • Stock inc. Purchase and Sales ordering • Product Lists inc Discount tables

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Workshop Friday 4th July 2014 Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent, TN24 0LH £75.00 + VAT This workshop will cover how to audit your own website, some simple to implement techniques that will show you how to help your website rank, what to look out for to keep up to date with the changes, best practice for continued success and what to look out for when looking for an SEO consultant or agency.

Getting The Most Out Of Employees Friday 11th July 2014 Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent, TN24 0LH £75.00 + VAT

Understand why your brand, positioning and marketing messages are so critical to success. Learn how to develop effective marketing messages and then how to get the right messages to the right prospects.

Social Media Strategy for 2014 Tuesday 29th July 2014 9.00am - 12.00pm Tudor Park, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 4NQ £75.00 + VAT Your Social Media Strategy Plan. This workshop will show you how to get started and how to increase your social media marketing to increase your online traffic. You will learn how to develop your online awareness and presence, build your online social media communities and how to drive more traffic to your online websites.

Succeed Online Workshop Wednesday 6th August 2014 Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Medway Innovation Centre, Rochester Airport, Maidstone Road, Chatham, Kent, ME5 9FD £75.00 + VAT In the world of online marketing there are a multitude of different channels to choose from and it is hard to know which ones will be best for your business, clients and products. In this workshop we will cover PPC, SEO and social media and the strengths and weaknesses of each, what will work best for different businesses.

Dealing with Conflict in the Workplace

Your staff are your greatest asset! This workshop will show you how to motivate your staff in order to ensure that you have committed, hard-working and happy employees. The session is run by Rachel Downer of Canterbury HR.

Tuesday 19th August 2014 Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Tudor Park, Ashford Road, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 4NQ £75.00 + VAT

Facebook For Business Marketing

No matter how well you manage your staff, there will be times when you have to deal with conflict in the workplace. This workshop will help you deal with the “elephant in the room” and give you the confidence to have difficult conversations with your staff. The session is run by Rachel Downer of Canterbury HR. Rachel is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and she is a qualified mediator.

Friday 11th July 2014 Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Mercure Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 4QL £75.00 + VAT 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.

To book either visit or email or call 01233 503838

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014


Students from Sandwich practice microbiology at high-tech park Students from Sir Roger Manwood’s School in Sandwich have been given the opportunity to conduct experiments in a professional laboratory at Discovery Park, Europe’s leading science and technology park. The project is being managed through Discovery Park tenant, AlgaeCytes, an innovative science business that develops and commercialises algae derived bioactive ingredients. There are fourteen AS Level Biology students taking part in the 8-week practical project, which began this week. The laboratory that the students will be working from has been donated by Discovery Park. The project will see students learn microbiology techniques; from growing and monitoring the growth of algae, to monitoring how bacteria affect the growth of algae and conducting cell counts. The experience will see them learn techniques usually taught at university level. They will get to see firsthand how professionals conduct experiments and deliver data. Students will then present their findings and results at the end of the project. AlgaeCyte’s youngest Research Technician, Leah Lewington-Pearce will be leading the workshops. Leah and John Dodd, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of AlgaeCytes, have designed the student programme together. John Dodd said: “We are glad to be working with Discovery Park to extend what we do in the laboratory, as a business, out to the community. We believe events like this one will help to generate the scientists of the future who may one day want to work for us.” Kimberley Anderson, Project Manager at Discovery Park, said: “Working with our local schools is an important part of our community activity and I am delighted that we have been able to support this project.”

Developing staff and improving performance Platform 4 Training offers a training and consultancy service. With over 20 years of experience, working within all sectors, Jackie Bullivant helps organisations to improve performance by developing their people at all levels. Having been a manager herself, she understands the challenges and complexities of human behaviours and managing people, whilst appreciating the demands and necessity of achieving tasks and goals in a timely manner. In partnership with HR, L&D, and managers Jackie designs, delivers and evaluates stimulating and engaging training programmes aimed to meet the needs of the organisation and delegates’ learning objectives. Jackie is passionate about improved performance and behaviour change following training. The money invested in training should bring positive results and not just be a tick in a box.

Until recently most clients have been in London, Jersey and Guernsey, and now based in Kent, Platform 4 Training wants to develop local Kent based relationships. If you would find value in exploring learning solutions for a one to one, small or large group basis, which are professional and affordable, then why not contact Jackie and find out what is on offer to your organisation.

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014


New ISAs -

“We are backing a Britain that saves” In the Budget on 19th March 2014, George Osborne announced some significant changes for the Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs). On July 1st, the annual ISA allowance is due to rise to £15,000. Previously there was a limit on the amount that could be paid into a Cash ISA, however, savers will be able to put the full amount into a Cash ISA if they wish to. ISAs will be much more flexible going forwards. The plan is to merge the two different ISAs to create one single New ISA.

ISAs will be much more flexible going forwards. The plan is to merge the two different ISAs to create one single New ISA.

Celebrating ten years in business Mary O’Leary established Downs Inventory & Property Services in 2004 to provide an independent service to the Lettings Industry in East Kent.

At the moment, it is not possible to transfer a Stocks and Shares ISA to a Cash ISA, however, this will be changing. Therefore if your circumstances change and you want to hold your money in cash, you will not lose the tax efficient status. This is great news for savers who have had an awful time over the last 5 years due to the abysmal interest rates. Before the Budget, the planned ISA allowance for 2014/15 was £11,880. Any ISAs opened between 6th April and 30th June should automatically become a New ISA on 1st July with the higher limit of £15,000. You should then be able to top up your New ISA. However, if you do open a Cash ISA before 1st July please double check that you can definitely add to it later this year. For example, if you open a Fixed Rate Cash ISA it may not be possible to add an additional contribution at a later date. Be sure to check with your Cash ISA provider. To discuss the features of ISAs and for help with managing your existing plans, contact Louise Pepper APFS, BA Hons on or visit Louise Pepper T/A Bespoke Financial Planning is an appointed representative of Financial Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Formerly Residential Services Director at the Barbican Estate in London, she wanted to use the knowledge and skills gained over more than 25 years in residential management Inventory compilation, Mary, says is no simple process. The detail required these days means it can be very time consuming particularly on older, larger or character properties which is why a lot of Lettings Agents prefer to outsource the work and Landlords like an ‘independent’ service. With two universities and various student properties, Canterbury provides a hectic environment for Mary during the summer months but her services extend to all professional lettings year round in the whole of East Kent. With a keen eye for detail, snagging for property developers and new owners is also a service provided as well as specific property condition reports for lawyers and solicitors. Mary, who is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Housing and an Executive Member of the AIIC (Association of Independent Inventory Clerks), is looking to continue growing her business with the assistance now of her husband and other associates.

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Name: Jayne Gibson, founder Company: Willow Tree Clinic Q1: Tell us a bit about your business? We are a private health clinic offering a wide range of GP and nurse services as well as Occupational Health Services to businesses. We also have a Aesthetics Clinic, Beauty Therapist, Counsellor, Hypnotist, Sports Injury Rehab and Complimentary Therapy. Q2: What gives your business ‘the xfactor’? We cover so many services that we are able to provide every client with a holistic care package and the peace of mind that they are being treated by qualified practitioners and have access to a nurse 24/7. Q3: What motivated you to set up the business? As a qualified and registered nurse with a large aesthetics client base, I could see the need for not just anti-wrinkle injectables but for other services to be made available especially as there is increased pressure on the Nation Health Service and the local community often want services a lot quicker than they are able to get. Q4: What do you like most about working for a start-up? I feel a great deal of satisfaction and pride when I see how our service is benefiting from us and when


ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

we get continued repeat business. We feel now that we are valued by our clients and the local community. Q5: What has been your greatest business success to date? I took on a school leaver as an apprentice and gave them a chance to get experience in business and administration. She has now passed and permanently joined our team. Q6: What has been your lowest moment? Definitely the first month when you open and have all the bills to pay and just sit and pray that the clients will come through the door. Which, thank God, they did! Q7: In terms of business achievements, where do you want to be within the next 5 years? I hope to have this clinic running to its full capacity and will be looking to open another Willow Tree Clinic next year. Watch this space we could be coming to you! Q8: What would be your top tip to someone thinking of starting up their own business? Go for it! Be confident and fully believe in what you are doing and you will succeed although be prepared to spend a lot of time awake.


South East LEP partners with Opensignal to highlight mobile ‘not spot’ coverage The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) is collaborating with the mobile app provider, Opensignal, to help build a picture of mobile ‘not spots’ and to estimate the impact this has on local businesses. South East LEP undertook a small, successful survey in Spring/Summer 2013 which looked at the impact that poor mobile phone reception has on businesses in the area. The survey estimated that mobile ‘not spots’ cost the average small business £10,000 a year in lost contracts and increased running costs. Over 400 businesses of all sizes, from across all areas, responded to SE LEP’s call for evidence – 84% saying their business had suffered and continues to suffer from disruption due to mobile phone not spots. We wanted to build on the success of this small sample survey to develop a more comprehensive collection of evidence. By working with Opensignal’s mobile phone app, we can understand the extent of not spots and downtime when businesses are unable to access their mobile networks. OpenSignal is an app which helps you get the best out of your phone by making sure you’re always well connected. The app helps you get better signal, find nearby Wi-Fi networks and keep track of your usage. Once downloaded, the mobile phone app automatically collects geographical information, in a secure and private way, about not spots without users having to input any information. It also helps you to search for a signal if you are out and about on site, at meetings or in a new client location and you need to make that important phone call. We are also running a social media campaign to collect additional information from business. Through the app it is possible to share, through twitter when issues are experienced such as a dropped call or emails not getting through, by tweeting a new profile @SELEP Mobile we can collect this data to help with the evidence base.

There will be further opportunity for businesses to input additional information about how downtime impacts on their business, through a Survey Monkey questionnaire, so the ‘cost’ to business can be collected as well as the geographical detail. This research will be undertaken from April to September 2014, in partnership with Kent Invicta Chambers of Commerce. This data will be used to open up dialogue with the main mobile phone operators, Department for Communities Media and Sport and other organisations, including the Department for Transport with the aim of improving reception in key locations and on key transport routes - especially on trains where ‘not spots’ are a cause of significant frustration to business users. South East LEP has a mix of urban and rural business communities and mobile not spots is a proven issue across the area. The South East LEP wants to work with businesses and technology partners, and with Government departments, to pioneer solutions to this issue through pilot programmes and by using innovation in this field to drive real solutions for business. More information is available on the South East LEP website Download the Opensignal app through the Apple App store, Google Play for Android or visit the Opensignal website If you have any questions or would like someone from the LEP to attend any meetings to explain this research or other LEP activity, we would welcome the opportunity; please contact Zoe Gordon, Business Engagement and Communications Manager on 07880 179 998 or

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

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS


Medway Norse: a force for good in the local economy In its first year’s operation Medway Norse, a joint venture between Medway Council and national facilities management and services provider Norse Commercial Services, has become a firmly established part of the local business community.

The company, which supplies a range of frontline services to Medway Council, is also actively growing its client portfolio in building cleaning, property maintenance, catering and grounds maintenance. “Medway Norse is providing secure jobs, training opportunities and millions of pounds worth of business for local companies through our supply chain,” says Operations Director Ian Price.


ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

“The company is committed to the ongoing development of the skills of our existing staff, and creating first class employment opportunities including apprenticeships,” he comments. “We also have a policy of buying locally where-ever possible, benefiting those in the region’s supply chain,” he added, quoting the example of the new head office created with the help of a number of local businesses. Norse is clearly keen to play a role in the wider business community. “We are now active members of the Invicta Chamber of Commerce and are looking at opportunities for becoming involved in events, exhibitions and discussions surrounding local business issues,” Price said. Sales Director Geoff Tucker puts the first twelve months’ success down to the company’s public sector ethos/commercial flair approach: “Medway Norse has already become synonymous with flexibility, dynamism and innovation, whilst delivering cost-efficiency, value and quality,” he says. “We prefer to develop long-term relationships with clients, sharing goals and agreeing outcomes, rather than taking the traditional, prescriptive contractor/client approach.”

Medway Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance Cllr Alan Jarrett is delighted with the company’s first year. He said: “Medway Norse has allowed us to continue to protect front line services, while providing value for money. This ground breaking joint venture, with a well-established company that understands the needs and operations of the public sector, also provides the opportunity for Medway to share in the profits the joint venture company makes by attracting new contracts from across the South East”.


Welcome to new members 7Gate Design Limited London 07930 799634 Media & Web Design Accent Home Interiors 07920 774725 West Malling Retail Home Interiors Artful Logistics Ltd Canterbury 01227 769461 Specialist Art Transport & Shipping Ashford Mediation Services Ashford 01233 896237 Free Mediation Service Basepoint Centres Ltd The Base Dartford 01322 314700 Business Centre Management Belmont Sandbanks Care New Romney 01797 366810 Private Healthcare - Res/Day/Home Bespoke Financial Planning Ashford 01233 621066 Financial Advice Blue Rocket Accounting Dartford 01322 555442 Accountancy, Tax, Business Growth Botfield Associates Ashford 01233 660065 Business Strategy & Planning/Marketing, Sales, Customer Focus. Business Services Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa Maidstone 0845 072 7395 Hotels, Restaurant, Meeting Facilities, Events Brignall Decorating Services Maidstone 01622 202667 Painting & Decorating Cadenzza Greenhithe 02036 408493 Jewellery Retail Cherish My Memory Maidstone 01622 772507 Grave Tending Chil Fire Protection Ltd Maidstone 07913 620642 Fire Extinguisher Service & Sales & All Ancillaries

Chilston Park Hotel Maidstone 08450 727426 Hotels, Restaurant, Meeting Facilities, Events

Hiremorecar Maidstone 01622 664050 Car and Van Rental (Short and Long Term) Ltd 08081 467833 Faversham Website Events Services

i54newmedia Rochester 08452 572154 Video Production, Motion Graphics, Editing

Connect2Staff West Malling 08455 196913 Recruitment Agency CRF Health Sandwich 02082 227468 Software/Harware - Life Sciences Cryoquip Limited Canterbury 01227 714350 Manufacturer of Heat Exchangers Diamond Point International (Europe) Ltd Rochester 01634 300900 Distribution & Manufacture of Embedded Computer Systems Downton and Ali Associates Dartford 01322 314959 Financial Advice English A-Z Ltd Canterbury 01227 478777 Teaching English Everywhere Business Tools Ltd Maidstone 01622 683959 Software for Sales & Marketing Evolution for Women Chatham 01634 820794 Financial Planning Fire Risk Management Consultants (Kent) Herne Bay 01227 363207 Fire Risk Management

Icomera UK Ltd Chatham 08704 460461 Provision of Broadband Products & Solutions for Public Transportation (Buses, Trains, Ferries) Invicta Engineering Solutions Maidstone 01622 686653 Engineering Language Link Uk Ltd Westerham 01959 560530 Translation, Transcription & Interpreting Linda Garcia Ashford 01233 628959 Business Performance Consultancy LKM Recycling Sittingbourne 01795 439393 Recycling Metals LXH Virtual Business Support Ashford 07957 136615 Virtual Business Support Norse Commercial Services Limited Norwich 01603 894383 Facilities Management PH Accountancy Ltd Whitstable 01227 277667 Accountant Polar Fridge LLP East Peckham 01622 873163 Air Conditioning - Refridgeration

Redstones 02031 516060 Sidcup Estate Agent, Letting Agent Reynolds Group Sittingbourne 01795 479966 Health, Fitness and Spa Smith Kiew Partnership Sidcup 01322 557553 Tax Consultancy Snapwire Chatham 07896 016670 Software Developer & Consultancy Tech Ltd Charing 01233 714919 Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineers The Elwick Club Ashford 01233 620043 Events, Venue Hire, Conference Facilities The Sales Activator Limited Ashford 01233 730881 Sales Training & Coaching Totally Media Ltd Maidstone 07908 185536 Digital Marketing Agency- Bringing Your Ideas to Life! Uk Racing Castings Ltd Queenborough 01795 585454 Magnesium Aluminium Sand Castings Unifar Ltd London 02035 607176 Export, Import Distribution Vanessa Austin Maidstone 01622 744754 Coaching

FSI Europe Ltd Maidstone 01622 772472 Supplier of Manpower and Provider of Construction Site Services

Purple Tangerine Charing 01233 712899 Marketing, Sponsorship, PR, Digital

Venue Holidays Ashford 01233 629950 Tour Operator

Harbourne Associates Tunbridge Wells 01892 822833 Recruitment, Sales, Search & Selection

R & B Star Electrical Wholesalers Ltd Maidstone 01622 626950 Electrical Wholesale

Wilmoths Maidstone Maidstone 01622 750442 Commercial and Retail Vehicle Sales/Service

June-July 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



The Last Word

Name: Andy Rudkin Company: Buss Murton Law LLP Job title: Associate Solicitor - Litigation

Q. A. Q. A. Q. A.

What was your first job and what was the pay packet? I worked in a distribution warehouse for a large high street retailer on minimum wage. Fun job though!! What do you always carry with you to work? My iPhone. It is imperative for our clients that I am on the end of the phone at all times whether that is for calls or emails What is the biggest challenge facing your business? Staying ahead of the competition in the legal market. There’s plenty of work but ensuring clients favour Buss Murton over other firms is something we obviously have to focus on. If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change to help business? I would re-consider corporate tax liabilities, especially VAT. Obviously this has further implications to be considered but I would certainly consider this as an aid to the economy What can you see from your office window? A disused Cinema and Car Park. Hopefully one day soon that will be developed into a much nicer outlook!! If you could do another job what would it be? I would be a Coroner. I think this would be a very interesting job As a business person, what are your three main qualities? Approachable, commercial mind-set and practical. Imperative in all businesses but especially so in the legal profession where our advice to clients has to be tailored according to the specific situation What was your biggest mistake in business? Not joining Buss Murton earlier than I did when I had the opportunity to do so What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? Engage with those who have been there before and ask them for their opinions. Be confident in your own decisions but respect the reasons that other businesses have been successful. Who do you most admire in business?

Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A.

Q. Sir Alan Sugar. Strong personality and very A. successful in multiple businesses. We could all learn a great deal from him in my opinion.


ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2014

MOVERS&SHAKERS Alan Fletcher Solutions

Anna Dunn joins Buss Murton Law

Alan Fletcher formed Alan Fletcher Solutions in November 2011 after a long career with BT plc.

Buss Murton Law has appointed solicitor Anna Dunn to its property team who joins from City law firm Devonshires. Anna previously worked at Buss Murton for several years, practicing in the litigation team.

Much of his 32 years was spent in property and construction where he had responsibilities to improve quality and performance. Alan later spent 13 years driving change within a large regional building design practice. Alan is now engaged in helping people to achieve their key business objectives and performance improvement. The services Alan provides focus primarily on effective leadership including strategic planning, employee engagement and motivation, communication and process evaluation. Alan is an Associate with LMI UK who is the world’s premier leadership development business operating throughout the World. Alan Fletcher Solutions provides management consultancy support either to fulfil a specific need already identified by a client or on a more general basis. Acting as mentor /business coach, Alan has helped a number of managers and directors to realise improved results leading to future success. John Bagshawe joins Bluefin Insurance Services

John Bagshawe has joined Bluefin Insurance Services’ specialist cargo and freight insurance team based in Dartford. John has had many years working in this sector in both London and Kent and is looking forward to continuing his relationship with Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce’s members. From insurance solutions to claims handling, Bluefin’s comprehensive service crosses a wide variety of related areas and can ultimately lead to time savings, risk reduction and cost control. Steve Thone joins Feature Design as editorial designer

Creative agency Feature Design has expanded on their team of creatives with the addition of Steve Thone as an editorial designer. Steve is a talented designer with a great deal of experience and has already produced some great work for a range of clients. Steve Thone: “It’s been exciting to join such a creative, dynamic team and am enjoying the projects we have been working on.”

Anna has changed practice areas and now specialises in residential and commercial property. Whilst at Devonshires, Anna worked on a number of complex cases including a £13m fraud case. She has also worked with some of the largest housing associations in the country on a range of litigation and property transactions. New IT Manager for Blackbox Solutions Team

With an IT career spanning some 15 years in industries stretching from government services to healthcare, automotive and printing, Robert Baldock has a wealth of technical expertise to bring to the Blackbox Solutions team. As the newly appointed IT Manager, I plan to use my experience and knowledge to keep Blackbox Solutions at the forefront of Document Solutions and IT Support, utilising the latest technologies and platforms to enhance the customer experience and build upon our existing portfolio of services. AKD Contracts supports local community

Adam Clarke (pictured right) has 15 years experience in the steel industry, and after achieving great results in his field, decided to be brave and go it alone. AKD Contracts were formed in October 2012 on a shoestring budget and massive commitment and many sleepless nights. “Setting up a business in the middle of a severe recession was scary to say the least, but with the support of Lloyds commercial finance and some very kind and understanding local suppliers, AKD has become a local company with an expected turnover in its third full year at nearly £1.5 million” We are proud to be associated and are offering our full support to the “fight4change charity” a charity founded by ex world champion Michael Watson MBE and Ex world champion Glen McCrory. We are also sponsoring Chev Clarke a local young boxer who is going to the Commonwealth games this summer and have also donated a new set of stairs to Dartford 5th scouts for their climbing wall.

Thinking Business  
Thinking Business  

Official magazine for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce - June/July 2014