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OFFICIAL MAGAZINE FOR KENT INVICTA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE • JUNE / JULY 2015

Flying High Kent is on the move with a series of major investment projects

Also Inside: • Travel solutions with ABA • Spotlight on Canterbury • Ask the Expert • Big Interview with Facts International • Members News • Chamber Events


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CONTENTS

Welcome

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Plenty of optimism in a county that keeps on the move. The easier it is to get people and goods moving around the county, the better it is for our economy and the investment being committed is encouraging. Also exciting is the growth of the Canterbury district, which has the second largest economy in Kent. Driving the recovery from the difficult days of recession has been a series of key economic advantages and we examine their impact on page 19.

Welcome to the latest edition of Thinking Business and we are delighted to welcome Lyddair Limited as a new Member of the Chamber. Their arrival is particularly appropriate as our cover feature on page 26 looks at the moves that are under way to improve the area’s transport network, be it on the sea, on the road or in the air. These are exciting times for the county with some significant investment being committed, which is crucial to support our import, export and tourism sectors, which are so important to Kent.

We also take a look at the work of Kent-based Turner Contemporary, one of the UK’s leading art galleries that, despite the many financial pressures facing the arts and culture sector, remains free to visit. Responsibility for ensuring that free entry continues is in part down to Samantha Lloyd, the gallery’s Head of Enterprises and Resources, and we look at a typical day in her working life in our 24 Hours feature on page 17. Kindest regards.

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Members Corner Business News Members News Focus on Finance Members News International Trade Policy 24 hours with... Spotlight On.. Ask the Expert Business News Travel Cover Feature Big Interview

Editorial and General Enquiries Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent. TN24 0LH Tel: 01233 503 838 Fax: 01233 503 687 Email: info@kentinvictachamber.co.uk Web: www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk Chief Executive: Jo James Publisher Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited 3tc House, 16 Crosby Road North, Crosby, Liverpool L22 0NY Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: admin@benhampublishing.com Web: www.benhampublishing.com Published June 2015 © Benham Publishing Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: karen@benhampublishing.com

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Members News The Economy & Us Members News Members Benefits Getting Started Chamber Events Chamber Exhibitions Business News Regional News New Members The Last Word Movers & Shakers

Production Manager Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: mark@benhampublishing.com Media No. 1425 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. © 2015. 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.

Front cover image courtesy of Lyddair Ltd

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MEMBERSCORNER

Double digit salary growth for Kent’s professionals The growing economy is bringing new opportunities for Kent’s employers, but also new challenges to attract and retain the skilled individuals they need, as 70% plan to increase headcount in the next year.

Members Corner from Linda Marsh

Director of Membership Services Over the last month we have been working on bringing you a whole programme of events right up to December! All these events are now posted on our website so why not have a look and come along to meet new business prospects.

On 27th March 2015 KICC hosted its second B2B in West Kent. This was a great success and saw a significant increase in footfall through the River Centre. There were some great speakers, all engaging and getting us thinking about how we can maximise our business potential. A full programme of B2B’s are planned across Kent and to find out more about these just look on our website or give us a call, we would be happy to help you find the best one for you. The SME Procurement Conference held on 28th April at our Ashford Head Office saw over 100 business people all keen to find out about the tendering opportunities across the County, we will certainly be looking to do another event like this as the feedback has been really positive. The first “Get Social” academy was held in the Ashford office on Friday 8th May, this session was on LinkedIn. The feedback was really helpful and the next session will be in July on Twitter, so watch this space! Did you know that advertising through the chamber has never been easier or more cost effective ? The coverage is up to 24,000 businesses across the County, this, could be a great opportunity for you to get your brand recognised. Other exciting opportunities for promoting your business could be through sponsorship, again another platform for getting your message across; these are available to all members. We have designed a sponsorship and advertising rate card, so if you are keen to find out how we can help you further why not give me a call.

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Within construction, for example, the boom in house building and the commencement of some major projects have lead to a demand for a range of construction professionals.

Coupled with the loss of some individuals to the profession during the recession, this is highlighting the issue of skill shortages even further and leading to substantial pay rises. According to our latest analysis of job placements, while salaries have risen across the UK by an average of 1.8%, some professionals in Kent have seen increases over 10%. Some of the greatest salary increases have been in procurement and construction with a number of roles in Kent’s commercial construction sector seeing over 10% pay rises.

This is not just limited to construction, in the procurement and finance professions jobseekers also often have the pick of two or three jobs, get snapped up quickly by employers and often receive a counter offer from their current employer, which can push their salary up even further. Employees rarely move for salary alone but it is an important consideration and employers need to look at what they can offer in order to attract and retain employees in this competitive environment. To access Hays UK Salary and Recruiting Trends 2015 www.salaryguide.hays.co.uk

Conference & Training Facilities

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce has excellent conferencing and training facilities that can accommodate small meetings to large conferences, from 2 – 100 delegates. Various room layouts are available including boardroom, theatre and cabaret. This purpose built facility, designed with your needs in mind, is the ideal location for all your business events both large and small. It is ideally situated just south of the M20 Junction 10 and just 2 miles from the Ashford International train station. Our facilities offer great flexibility and include • Rooms to accommodate from 2 - 100 • A comprehensive catering and refreshment service • All audio and visual equipment available to hire • Ample FREE and safe car parking • FREE Wifi • Air conditioning (Conference room/Paris room) • A friendly and welcoming ambience • Room hire prices start from £115.00 for our smaller rooms and go up to £335.00 for the largest room for a full day hire. Half day or evening event prices are available on request. • Refreshments and catering are available, prices starting from £1.45 for tea and coffee. All our prices exclude VAT. • We offer discounts for Chamber Members and regular users.

For further information, including prices and availability, please call 01233 503838 or email lynda@kentinvictachamber.co.uk


BUSINESSNEWS

Not all roads lead to Rome In My Opinion 'From Dinosaurs to Androidians' After 30 years' software development and database management in Italy, eCommIT's Head of development, Carlo Audino, relocated from Rome to Medway to pursue the challenge of leading a UK software house into the digital age. A difficult move perhaps?! “No, not at all!” says Carlo. “Medway is the ideal location for a Start-up business as it is situated in an enviable location between London and mainland Europe and has excellent services and small business support, including financial incentives, free business advice and affordable small business workspace. Kent has four universities, with a high number of students graduating from an enviable local Faculty of Science with state of the art school of computing.” Based at the Tannery Court Business Centre, Strood, eCommIT provides tailor made

software solutions to the business sector and is proud to code in multiple languages for Linux, Windows and Android. A dedicated computer programmer, Carlo spent much of his youth tinkering on an old Texas Instruments home computer, a TI99. “After reading the instruction manual I was able to create my very first program in Basic using instructions such as : 10 print “heart” !!!”. And so began his IT 'adventure'. In the early 80s, he gained entry to the Italian State police force and was immediately assigned to IT where he came face to face with three of the few existing mainframe now

'dinosaurs' of that time, an IBM3090, IBM3083 and an IBM4381. This important 'handson' introduction to IT has given Carlo the kind of vital experience he feels is missing in IT today. He believes that part of the problem nowadays is that many young software 'experts' rely heavily on copying and pasting code and therefore find it difficult to understand and analyse programming requirements at grass roots level. This kind of insight is paramount, especially when facing one of the biggest preoccupations of businesses today: IT security.

Businesses urged to support disaster appeal

The local Nepalese and Gurkha community have appealed for businesses to support those hit by the Nepal earthquake.

Jeremy Burke

Partner Commercial Property

Many people dream of owning a pub. Sometimes this may be a second career opportunity. As with any new business enterprise it is not something to be entered into lightly. Experience is desirable but not essential. However, proper planning and most particularly expert advice are essential. Some key issues to consider are: • Tenant or Owner? If you have little or no experience it is probably more sensible either to seek an employed position as manager or possibly the tenancy of a pub owned by a brewery. As an employed manager you will need to take legal advice on the employment contract and productivity targets offered. A solicitor or accountant can look at previous performance of the business and assess its suitability and your experience. Alternatively you may be self-employed and ‘tied’ to a particular brewery. Accommodation may be offered but do understand that entitlement to reside often ceases when employment comes to an end. The terms offered and the security of tenure will need to be thoroughly checked. • Capital: If you are proposing to run your own business you will need to have your own capital to invest. A freehold with a long lease will require specialist legal advice which must be taken before any commitment is made. • Choice of Pub/Food: A charming pub in the country can look idyllic but location as always is a key factor. Assess where your core business is likely to come from, the existing trade, and the scope for expansion. The sale of alcohol alone is relatively unprofitable and many pubs now offer food or have become gastropubs.

Ray Johnson, joint Folkestone coordinator for the Help For Nepal Earthquake Disaster Relief Appeal Folkestone, said: “Following the immediate initiative of arranging a collection point for goods to be received in Folkestone, there has been an overwhelming response. “We have now received in excess of one garage full of essential items which are being boxed up with the assistance of Inner Wheel, a local support organisation. These boxes will be sent to a holding area

in Heathrow for dispatch in due course for those in need in Nepal. “We are now focusing by collecting funds via the Folkestone Rotary Club to assist the Nepalese children’s project, Maiti Nepal Kathmandu. Maiti Nepal UK was founded in 2010 and is supported by British actress and Gurkha justice campaigner Joanne Lumley. Ray said: “This fundraising will provide direct benefits without delay. The

project already has in excess of 400 displaced children and we are pleased we have identified an immediate need which will be a way of supporting those in the heart of the communities.” You can send donations to Independent Insurance Services, Church House, 136 Sandgate Road, Folkestone, Kent CT20 2BN, payable to Folkestone Rotary Club or BACS by using reference “Nepal” to Lloyds TSB, Folkestone Rotary Club, 30-93-34, 00575212.

• Staffing: A successful pub is only as good as its staff, so employ the best you can and look after them. If you are going to offer food for example you will need a good chef. Specialist legal advice will be required for employment contracts and consideration of restraint of trade provisions for key staff members. In my opinion if you treat a pub as a serious business proposition, do your homework and seek the relevant professional advice it may well deliver you your dream occupation.

For further information visit www.girlings.com

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MEMBERSNEWS

Outset UK achieve Silver for Investors in People Outset, a leading employment law and people management firm in Maidstone, has been presented with a prestigious national award recognising its commitment to its people. “We have achieved the Investors in People Silver Standard which signals that our organisation puts people first and excels in areas such as people management, leadership and performance evaluation,” said Chief Executive, Jonathan Gauton. Fewer than 600 organisations in the UK have been given the award. The award measures business planning and leadership to management effectiveness and performance and showcases a company’s ambition, drive and focus. Jonathan continues, “We are proud of our achievement, and continue to work towards the next level of Gold for Investors in People.”

Providing quality teachers Three R’s Teacher Recruitment was established in 2001 and has offices in Ashford, Medway and Tunbridge Wells. We specialise in teaching jobs in Kent on a daily, long term or permanent basis. We can provide subject specific, general cover, Foundation Stage, KS1, KS2 teachers and Cover Supervisors. We pride ourselves on our honest, reliable and friendly service and our exceptionally high standards. At the heart of it Three R’s Teacher Recruitment works tirelessly to support local schools and teachers. Our recruitment matching service is regularly praised and we are confident we can help you. A primary school in Kent made these comments about our service: “‘The reason we choose Three R’s, apart from their efficiency and helpfulness, is the fact that we know that they are fully compliant with safeguarding procedures. We are able to accept supply teachers from Three R’s confident in the fact that they will have been stringently checked in terms of employability, experience and with enhanced and up to date DBS checks. This information is forwarded to us without fail and the supply staff who are recruited on our behalf are always, therefore, of an excellent standard and arrive with the necessary documentation. This is fundamentally essential to us in terms of our safeguarding and child protection procedures as well as knowing that we have employed the best teaching cover possible for the learning needs of our students.’ Three R’s are seeking to recruit qualified teachers for immediate placements to register with us please e: alison@3rs-ltd.co.uk

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ThinkingBUSINESS June - July 2015

Skills boost for Shepway ‘Shepway District Council and East Kent College have signed an agreement that vows to promote further education and skills, boosting the local economy and increasing job opportunities. The Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed at East Kent College’s Folkestone campus by Principal Graham Razey and Leader of Shepway District Council David Monk, will enable the organisations to work together to create opportunities and garner support. East Kent College Principal Graham Razey said: “This is an important agreement that is another step forward for the local economy and for the College. Working together will enable us, together with our community partners, to identify Shepway’s skills needs and deliver a range of programmes suitable for the area.” Shepway District Council recently contributed £500,000 to East Kent College’s Folkestone campus, part of a £4.4m programme of redevelopment. Graham said: “Working with key stakeholders, such as the Kent & Medway Economic Partnership and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, is also an important aspect of the agreement. One of our aims is to work jointly to secure funding and support for key projects, particularly capital funding for further developments at the Folkestone campus.” The Memorandum of Understanding will focus on developing high quality

programmes including: further education; the support of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) into employment; apprenticeships and workplace learning; higher education and professional learning; and community learning. Apprenticeships will be a particular focus with Shepway District Council extending its apprenticeship scheme for a further three years. Since its launch in 2012, the scheme has supported more than 150 new career opportunities, offering

businesses up to £1,500 towards the cost of taking on an apprentice. In future, employers and apprentices will be referred to East Kent College when appropriate and the organisations will look at ways to encourage more young people to consider an apprenticeship as a sustainable and viable career path. East Kent College also has campuses in Broadstairs and Dover. For more information visit www.eastkent.ac.uk

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MEMBERSNEWS

Bringing Tudor Park Marriott & Kings Hill in a new strengthen Golf offering partner Bringing a new business “partner” on board can be a valuable addition to your business, especially if you are running the business single handedly. So what should you consider before taking such a step? The introduction of a business “partner” is an effective way to raise capital and to expand your business, in addition to providing someone to share the burden of day to day operational responsibility. A “partner” who is prepared to put their own money into a business will be keen to see it succeed and should bring new or complimentary skills to your own. Make sure they support your values and vision for the business to ensure a successful integration into the firm. The right “partner” should enable the business to grow but the wrong “partner” could cause many difficulties, which are complicated and expensive to unravel. You may need to take legal advice on the structure of your business at such a time. If you run your business as a company, you will need to issue new shares or transfer existing shares and attend to any Companies’ House formalities. In addition, you should put in place an appropriate agreement between the owners of the business as to how the business is run. This applies whether you operate as a company or partnership.

Sarah Astley is an Associate at Gullands Solicitors s.astley@gullands.com or visit www.gullands.com

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The Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club and Kings Hill Golf Club have joined the Visit Kent Golf Partners Programme that promotes the Golf in Kent brand as one of England’s finest golfing destinations.

The hotel is a welcome addition to the group as it is one of one of Kent’s premier hotels and home to a par 70, 6,041-yard championship golf course designed by noted golf course architect Donald Steel. Located close to Maidstone just off the M20, the hotel provides an excellent stopping off point for golfers on their way down to the east coast links of Kent or on their return journey back towards London. The addition of Kings Hill further strengthens the Garden of England’s golf offering. Founded in 1995 on open heathland and woodland in central Kent, course designer David Williams has made excellent use of the natural features and gently undulating topography to create a course that has quickly established itself as one of the best golfing challenges in Kent. The Tudor Park Marriott and Kings Hill join a distinguished group of golf club partners: the three Open Championship venues in Kent comprising of Royal St George’s, home of 14 Open Championships, Royal Cinque Ports and Prince’s Golf Club, Final Open Qualifying venues, North Foreland and Littlestone, the London Golf Club which

hosted the Volvo World Match Play Championship in 2014, Lullingstone Park and Pentland Golf’s Boughton, Etchinghill and London Beach Golf Clubs. Golf in Kent is also supported by accommodation providers, Shepherd Neame Coaching Inns and Hotels and Hand Picked Hotels, which have two hotels in Kent, Chilston Park Hotel and Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa. The Visit Kent Golf Partners group was originally set up by Visit Kent in 2009 when it launched a three-year campaign,

timed to capitalise on the staging of The Open Championship at Royal St George’s in 2011, to develop the county into a credible golfing destination. “The game of golf goes back over 100 years in Kent and the county possesses an impressive array of championship links, notable lowland and parkland courses and some relatively undiscovered tracks that make it one of England’s most varied and desirable golfing destinations,” said Cheryl Parker, Head of Development, Partnerships and Funding at Visit Kent.

New sponsor for Roller Hockey Club Maidstone Roller Hockey Club has announced Kent-based RAP Interiors as its new club sponsors. The club, which is based at the YMCA in Loose, near Maidstone, produces some of the country’s best players, and

regularly competes, and wins, at the highest level. The sponsorship deal runs for two years. Maidstone Roller Hockey Club Chairman, Nick Williams, said, “Everyone at the club is absolutely delighted to have RAP Interiors on board as our sponsor. They are a well-established and wellrespected business, who already do much to support youth projects and youth-related activity across Kent. We are thrilled about this new partnership.” “As a club, our focus is to bring this unique sport to more local children in the area and build upon the success we’ve already had across our teams.” “We are looking forward to working with Julie Anderson and her team at RAP Interiors to engage with more young

people and encourage them to come and try this fast-moving and exciting sport.” Julie Anderson, Director and founder of RAP interiors, said, “We are excited about supporting Maidstone Roller Hockey Club. The club has big ambitions to grow their membership, particularly the youth section and we are passionate about supporting projects that engage with young people so this was a natural fit for us.” “As young people move into the world of work they will find that employers are looking team players and confidence and I believe that there is nothing quite like sport to help young people develop these skills.”


MEMBERSNEWS

Lord Digby Jones backs Kent-based Investment Fund Top British businessman Lord Digby Jones has declared that the Times of Tunbridge Wells Investment Fund is “precisely what the country needs”. On learning about the multimillion-pound fund, Lord Digby Jones, who served as Director General of the CBI and Minister of State for Trade and Investment, said: “This is precisely what the country, the community and people need! The nation has to earn its way in the world before politicians are let loose spending the stuff and this initiative gets to grips with the core issue: harnessing innovation and understanding risk." Launched at the beginning of March alongside the Times of Tunbridge Wells newspaper, the

£5 million Dragons’ Den-style investment fund is the biggest of its kind in the South East. The fund is designed to help limited companies based in Kent, from start-ups looking for seed capital to businesses needing cash to expand. It is already attracting a wide variety of applications from across the county. Suitable candidates will be invited to pitch their idea to a group of High Net Worth businesspeople. Just as in the hit BBC business show Dragons’ Den, investors can either declare themselves ‘out’ or offer funds in return for an equity

stake in the applicant’s business, although the investors reserve the right to use other financial structures. Those interested in applying for funds should send their full business plan together with a covering letter about themselves and their company to: Times of Tunbridge Wells Investment Fund 16 Lonsdale Gardens Tunbridge Wells Kent TN1 1NU Closing date is July 1.

New Eurostar route underlines Ashford’s connectivity Ashford saw its high-speed connections to the Continent boosted when Eurostar launched a new direct service to the south of France from UK stations.

Passengers will be able to travel direct from Ashford to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille up to five times a week. It means Ashford will offer direct services to France’s three largest cities - Paris, Marseille and Lyon - as well as Lille. Journey times from Ashford to Lyon is 4hrs 5mins, to Avignon it’s 5hrs 13mins and to Marseille it’s 5hrs 51mins. Return fares start from £89 per person for Lyon and £99 return for Avignon and Marseille. The launch is a further boost to Ashford’s unrivalled rail, road, sea and air connections to London, the rest of the UK and Continental Europe.

These excellent links were recently hailed in a survey of developers, investors, property experts and businesses, who said that connectivity and easy access to 360 million consumers across Europe has helped make Ashford the ‘preferred place for business in Kent’. Andrew Osborne, Economic Development Manager at Ashford Borough Council, said the expanded rail services would provide greater opportunities for leisure and business travellers, boost local tourism and leisure industries, and make Ashford even more attractive as a business location for companies trading with France.

Jo James, Chief Executive of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, which is based in Ashford, says: “Ashford’s location is one of its most significant assets and the fact that it is incredibly well connected and accessible makes it a vibrant hub for businesses. “This new Eurostar service represents a huge boost to businesses in Ashford, both for those who already trade in France and also those looking to expand their customer base on the Continent. We also anticipate an extremely positive impact on inbound tourism to Kent.” With the new route comes new partnerships for Eurostar’s 2 for 1 offer for entry to exhibitions and collections, simply by showing your Eurostar ticket. The MuCEM in Marseille, a national museum dedicated to Mediterranean cultures, and the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, a science centre and anthropology museum, are now part of this offer. For more information visit www.eurostar.com

Average UK household has 7.4 internetconnected devices According to a recent Digital Adspend report from Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the average UK household now owns 7.4 devices connected to the internet. UK homes have an average of 1.3 laptops and 1.2 tablets, one games console, 0.6 desktop computers and 0.5 connected TVs. 40% of homes now own one tablet, 19% have two and 11% own three or more. In summary, we are more connected than we have ever been before and it doesn’t end there. As we work towards a smarter home, we’ll see an increase in additional home products becoming more connected too. Mobile Work Life Balance If we look at the results in this article, business people are choosing to work more from home or another location, other than the workplace. Employees want more options available to have a better work life balance, but still get the job done. Most importantly, you cannot ignore this trend. Mobile working is huge. Microsoft office apps exceed 100 million downloads Just over a year ago, Microsoft took a bold step and made versions of its Office apps completely free on iOS and Android. Since then, Microsoft office apps have been downloaded in excess of 100 million times. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it confirms that business apps are dominating the marketplace and frequently appearing in the Top 100 list in the App Store. Talk to us We can provide a range of mobile and tablet devices which enable your team to work securely, have access to shared company documents and files in a managed, cloud-based system. The right technology in their hands helps them deliver more. A truly mobilised workforce means more face-to-face interaction with your customers and a better, more profitable business for you. Call: 01892 835522 Twitter: @active_digital www.activedigital.co.uk

Your Kent Mobile Communications Partner

Winners ‘Excellence in Customer Service’ Kent Invitca Chamber Awards 2015

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MEMBERSNEWS

Connections that improve engagement and performance ‘Exploration and Discovery’ in Kent In establishing The Rare Skills Set in Tunbridge Wells after 25 years’ working in London for wide-ranging clients, Sue Redden and Nick Holker can bring an increasingly valuable offering to local SMEs and emerging businesses. Our specialism is brand and communications, but with a significant twist. We make sure that the promises made to candidates and employees are actually reflective of the delivery rather than based on far-reaching aspiration. If they aren’t, we help close the gaps and change the messaging. Through a stimulating, inclusive process, we help businesses communicate their employee

experience, articulating a very real proposition and enabling them to build a strong 'Employer Brand' which benefits all stakeholders: business owners, customers, employees, candidates, and suppliers. In short, we connect organisations with their people to improve engagement and performance. We also help them create a strong identity that differentiates them from others and helps attract the right candidates.

How are we different? Very few agencies or consultancies have quite the specialist focus that we have at a time when brand advocacy is so strongly influenced by employees. We explore, we discover, we articulate, we create and we communicate. It’s a logical process that gets the right results. www.therareskillsset.com

We make sure that the promises made to candidates and employees are actually reflective of the delivery rather than based on far-reaching aspiration.

Could your marketing be more fruitful?

The economy may be growing, but is your business?

To launch, grow or make your business more financially sustainable, you need to connect more effectively with more people, and ensure a good return on your marketing investment. One hundred years ago, US department store merchant John Wanamaker is said to have complained, ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.’ Today we have Google Analytics, social media tracking codes, automated Customer Relationship Management systems and a host of other technologies to help maximise the effectiveness of our marketing efforts, but businesses are still making some costly mistakes. Strategic marketer Anwen Cooper has created Get Fruitful Marketing™, to help ambitious SMEs avoid the pitfalls, by applying the art and science of marketing to grow their businesses. Anwen believes that marketing is all about championing a business and its customers. She is on a mission to help businesses across the Garden of England who share her vision of bringing more joy to more people. Anwen brings 15 years’ experience of marketing, having worked with over 50 different businesses to drive record-breaking sales through the height of the recession. After 10 years in London, she recently returned to the heart of her home county of Kent to start a family and her own business. Get Fruitful Marketing launched officially at the Chamber West Kent B2B on 30th March, when Anwen premiered her unique market stall (pictured), giving away locally-grown apples and a running a prize draw to win a basket of local fruit produce. She is passionate about supporting local business, and wants to bring her fresh insight and expertise to help others feel more confident and in control of their growth plans. She launched the Get Fruitful Marketing Manifesto with a presentation for the Chamber’s breakfast networking event at Chilston Park on the 19th May. You can read more about her approach at www.getfruitfulmarketing.com

June - July 2015 ThinkingBUSINESS

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MEMBERSNEWS

BitesizeNews CRM Logistics win the Queen’s Award

CRM Logistics has won the Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade. The company has increased their sales by almost 600% in the last five years to international companies by offering freight, transport and warehouse services at the highest level working in partnership with some very high profile accounts. Managing Director Matt Smith congratulated all the staff at CRM Logistics on the award and thanked customers and suppliers for their continued support.

Students impress Biotech Company Students were given a taste of scientific research after linking up with Discovery Park tenant AlgaeCytes Ltd. The project was supported by a Royal Society Partnership grant between Jackie Wilson from Sir Roger Manwood’s School and Dr John Dodd from AlgaeCytes Ltd. It gave young people the chance to meet and work with local scientists as well as build and develop their scientific understanding. The next generation of scientists, all pupils at Sir Roger Manwood’s School in Sandwich, carried out a range of microbiology research techniques, usually taught at university level.

World Nano summit puts Discovery Park tenant on a global stage When it comes to succeeding in business the advice is usually to think big. But for delegates at the inaugural World Nano Summit, held at Discovery Park, Sandwich, the talk was of all things great and very, very small. The conference, organised by Discovery Park tenant, the World Nano Foundation, brought together many of the greatest minds in the nanotechnology sector and advocates of science and business in the UK. Discovery Park tenant ALPHA Nano Solutions Group, was among the pioneering firms whose services were showcased on the day. ALPHA Nano Solutions shared the stage with some of the biggest names in nanotechnology, including renowned physicist Dr Anita Goel, whose company Nanobiosym, is working on a diagnostic detection device called Gene Radar.

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A taste of Kent’s Magna Carta story Kent’s Magna Carta story will go on tour this summer as a new travelling exhibition launches. Invited guests gathered at Shepherd Neame Brewery Store for the preview party of Magna Carta Rediscovered, a Kent-wide touring exhibition commemorating Magna Carta’s links to The Garden of England, and to sample a new ‘historic’ ale. June 15 marks 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta, the foundation stone of democracy that paved the way for English common law and supports the freedoms enjoyed by nearly two billion people across the world today. Visit Kent has been awarded £81,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding to create a one-off touring exhibition to showcase Kent’s unique links to this period of medieval history, bringing neverseen before artefacts and untold stories of intrigue, battles and bravery to new audiences across the county. The centrepiece will be the 1300 Faversham Magna Carta, which leading scholars credit as one of the most important Magna Carta artefacts in existence. The preview party, hosted by Visit Kent and Shepherd Neame with support from Faversham Town Council and Southeastern,

was the first opportunity most of the guests had to see the ancient charter, as it has not been on public display since it was first issued to the town 715 ago. Chair of the national Magna Carta Trust 800th committee Sir Robert Worcester, Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame, Visit Kent chief executive Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE and Faversham Town Clerk Jackie Westlake OBE unveiled the charter and lead the party in a toast with Shepherd Neame’s commemorative 1215 ale. The traditional strong English ale (8% abv) was brewed to commemorate the Great Charter’s 800th anniversary, and is infused with medieval ale ingredients such as mugwort, yarrow, woodruff and fennel, all of which were used before hops became prolific. Sandra said: “This was a wonderful event to mark the start of our commemoration year. Our exhibition gives people the chance to explore Magna Carta’s close links with Kent and its evolution into a universal symbol of freedom from oppression.

“It is a rare chance to view the Faversham Magna Carta, one of Kent’s - and the country’s - most important treasures.”

Magna Carta Rediscovered touring dates 23rd May to 28th June The Alexander Centre, Faversham 2nd to 19th July Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury 25th July to 6th September The Kent History and Library Centre, Maidstone 10th to 19th September Maison Dieu, Dover 24th Sept to 6th Oct Jury Room, Guildhall, Sandwich (displayed with 1300 Sandwich Magna Carta) 10th October to 6th December Rochester Cathedral (displayed with the Textus Roffensis)

Battersea is on your doorstep

Did you know that Battersea has a rehoming centre in Brands Hatch, Kent? My name is Victoria Lawrence and I am your Regional Community Fundraiser for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Last year alone we provided shelter, care and veterinary treatment to 8,435 lost and abandoned animals. This simply would not have been possible without the support of local businesses and individuals. By joining Battersea's fundraising family, your company will be giving customers and staff the chance to contribute towards the staggering £18.4m that it will cost to run our charity this year, as well as raising much needed awareness for our local Brands Hatch centre. We receive no government funding for our work so all donations make a real difference in our ability to find dogs and cats the forever homes they deserve.

There are many ways that companies can show their support for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home everything from staff dress down days to cake sales, and one-off donations to Charity of the Year adoptions. I am here to provide branded fundraising materials, advice and press release quotes. I also ensure all donations are personally acknowledged so that your customers and employees are aware of the difference they are making to the animals that arrive at our doors every day of the year, including those here in Kent. It would be great to speak with you about working together. Please contact me at v.lawrence@battersea.org.uk.


MEMBERSNEWS

A new Super Agency is born Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce helped celebrate the launch of a new member at the Kent 2020 business Show at Detling Showground.

The official launch was for Capricorn Twelve, a Super Agency that recognises change in our world we live in today, the first in Kent and probably in the UK. Managing Director and founder Karl Neal said: “Key areas of business are so closely connected these days so bringing a broad range of services together just made sense. Our focus is business development, marketing, IT, data management and telephony.

In our experience these areas are so closely connected thanks to advances in technology. “In addition, we recognise there are many professionals working on their own now and small companies are on the increase. Some of these individuals and companies are absolutely at the top of their game but no one to represent them and support them. By harnessing this situation we’ve been able to create a super agency that offers such an interconnected service. “We have twelve experienced experts working together across key areas to help drive business forward for clients and support their on-going objectives. “The point is when we visit clients for one thing they nearly always want something else we do because it feeds into something we are already working on for them, so much of what we do now is connected.”

Wealth of experience at HR Clinic Mike Pearson, Human Resources Adviser, brings a wealth of experience and a supportive problem-solving approach to your people issues. Mike had a 35 year career in Personnel/HR in Glaxo and Smiths Group operating companies, his last post before retirement as HR Director of Portex in Hythe and of other Smiths Medical UK companies. He sat on Employment Tribunals in Ashford for 17 years, hearing over 200 Tribunal cases, has been successively Chair, and then HR Adviser, of a national charity for over 20 years, and provided advice to some Chamber member companies in the last few years. He says: “The services I provide to you as employers include • advising on workplace people problems of any kind with the aims of reaching a satisfactory solution whilst endeavouring to avoid an employee submitting a claim to an Employment Tribunal • reviewing your people policies and procedures • ensuring that your people issues are handled in conformity with employment law and good practice • hearing appeals or grievances raised by your employees, as an independent person • assisting in recruitment and selection for a key appointment

• supporting the person in your organisation who handles HR/Personnel matters, and developing that individual’s skills and confidence in handling HR issues I only charge you for the time directly spent on your HR issue, with no retainer or standing fee. You can email me at mike.hrclinic@gmail.com

BitesizeNews Offering quality healthcare KIMS Hospital, located in Maidstone, is the largest private hospital in Kent. With more than 200 consultants the hospital is committed to providing the highest standard of clinical and nursing care across more than 35 specialties. Founded in 2014, as the results of a £120 million private investment programme, KIMS mission is to bring cutting-edge medical and surgical services to the heart of the Kent community. KIMS is the only tertiary level private hospital outside of London and its ITU and HDU capabilities provide a much needed alternative for Kent’s patients who would normally have to travel to London to receive specialist treatments. Since opening KIMS has conducted a number of surgical ‘firsts’ for the region, including successfully performing the first ever open heart surgery in Kent in November 2014. The team at KIMS Hospital are committed to providing patients with the highest standards of care with an unrivalled commitment to pursuing excellence and innovation.

It’s not just how much you earn, but how much you keep that’s important! • Tax saving strategies • Profit improvement planning • Inheritance tax planning • Financial planning advice

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www.mageegammon.com

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INTERNATIONALTRADE

Launchpad® for India, UK India Business Council’s low risk market entry platform The UK India Business Council now provides Launchpad, its market entry service to help UK companies enter India, in Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon, and Mumbai. Tushar Chaudhary, who heads the initiative and also leads its client relations activities, discusses what UK companies need to know about entering India. We were confident that the UK India Business Council - backed by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) - had a strong brand in the UK, and that there was a growing need for a bespoke market entry platform focused on India. The Launchpad concept is based on two core elements; to provide a lowrisk and low-cost market-entry model, and to remove all the time-consuming hassle - such as company incorporation, hiring staff, understanding local tax and legal issues - so clients could concentrate on their core business. Both aspects have proved very popular. It is a low cost service and more importantly, clients know in advance how much their first-year's market entry strategy will cost, and because the service is tailored to their specific needs, they receive advice and guidance which they could not gain via generic market research or online platforms. The beauty of Launchpad is that it can be applied to almost any sector and

any size of company. We have, for example, clients from Higher and Further Education, from Manufacturing, and from Infrastructure all using the service.

identify potential partners, distributors and suppliers, gather market data, or discuss such key issues as branding and positioning of the company's products or services.

The key to its success has been the quality of Launchpad consultants, which UK India Business Council have recruited to spend that crucial first year working with each client.

Feedback from our UK clients has confirmed our belief that there is no substitute for having a specialist consultant on the ground, to represent your business as it looks to enter the Indian market.

We work with specialist HR agencies to identify potential specialists, according to the sector in which the client works, and typically, we'll interview four or five before making our final selection. In each case, they have to demonstrate the correct skill-set, good local contacts in India and between 10 and 15 years’ experience in the target sector. Such knowledge allows them to both take critical decisions, and act as brand ambassadors for their clients in India. The client-consultant relationship is very flexible, so they might work on specialist market research activities,

I and my colleagues in the UK India Business Council also manage both the performance of each consultant, and their market-entry project, to ensure they are achieving the client's objectives. In turn, the client and their consultant are supported by a strong and sophisticated eco-system; including UK India Business Council members in India, the British Business Groups, UKTI, and such national trade bodies as the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

I think the mind-set among UK companies has evolved from 'Why India?' to 'How India?', and over the coming months and years we are going to see a lot more UK companies active in the market. India's potential as a market and a trading partner is well understood, and the new Government has stressed its desire to make the country a global hub for international business, across all sectors. I am confident UK companies will be a key driver in the next phase of India's development, attracted by new business opportunities, the size of our domestic market, the abundant availability of skills, and the aspirations of our ever-growing middle class.

What next? To find out more about UKIBC’s market entry platform Launchpad, email Tushar at Tushar.chaudhary@ukibc.com or call direct on +91 124 453 7808

The Launchpad concept is based on two core elements; to provide a low-risk and low-cost market-entry model, and to remove all the time consuming hassle - so clients could concentrate on their core business

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INTERNATIONALTRADE

Quarterly International Trade Outlook Q1 2015 by John Longworth Director General, British Chambers of Commerce

There has never been a better time for British businesses to broaden out their horizons and explore international markets. Improvements in trade finance, online connectivity, and trade agreements have dramatically increased access to markets worldwide. The results of the Quarterly International Trade Outlook (QITO) for Q1 2015 are a testament to this point. Manufacturers are turning to export markets abroad to fuel their growth ambitions as weak industrial growth persists in the UK. This is a credit to the strength and expertise of the UK’s manufacturing sector. Furthermore, almost half of the manufacturing firms we surveyed added new staff to their labour force – with the vast majority of these new roles being full-time positions. While the recent strong performance in the economy has continued to build momentum, this has not been accompanied by a corresponding increase in exports.

To address this imbalance, we need a clear focus from the government to implement ambitious plans that will help Britain recapture its reputation as a premier trading nation. Chambers of Commerce are doing their bit to support businesses interested in accessing markets around the world. Whatever the size or nature of your business, international expansion can be daunting with many hurdles to be negotiated. To take the fear out of exporting, we’re building an international business network of overseas British Chambers and business groups that provide British companies with practical advice each and every day when they start to do business in markets around the world.

By building trusted and proven international networks and removing barriers to trade, we will encourage more British businesses to look beyond our shores. The world is alive with business opportunities, so let’s get behind our British exporters and help them trade the world and shine on the global stage.

BCC Forecast Elsewhere growth in the Eurozone remains weak and the Chinese economy is expected to continue to slow. Trade Global The World Trade Organisation has reduced its forecast for world trade growth in 2015 to 3.3%.

The BCC expects the overall UK trade deficit to continue narrowing in the next few years

The Overseas Business Network (OBN) is a new source of support for British companies seeking to do business in high-growth, difficult to access markets across the world. It provides a range of services to SMEs that are complementary to those already provided by UK Trade and Investment. It is being developed through a partnership between UKTI, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the British Chambers of Commerce. If you’re a UK business, OBN can link your company to: • market information on the Export Britain web sites. • local services, support and advice in 41 markets overseas • intelligence on new business opportunities • office space in British Business Centres in some countries • travel arrangements and regulations • a global British business network, operating at home and overseas. Contact our Export Team to find out more.

International Events

The outlook for the global economy remains moderate with the growth prospects of individual countries likely to remain mixed. While the outlook for advanced economies such as the UK and US is improving - despite weak growth in Q1, growth in emerging market and developing economies is likely to be lower, particularly among oil-exporting countries.

The Overseas Business Network – a Global Chamber network

The downgrade comes in response to weaker-than-expected GDP growth and muted import demand in the first half of 2014. UK The BCC forecasts a real net trade balance of -2.2% of GDP in 2015, before falling slightly to 1.9% of GDP in 2016. The BCC expects the overall UK trade deficit to continue narrowing in the next few years The BCC forecasts that UK exports will grow by 3.7% and imports will grow by 2.3% in 2015. In 2016, we forecast exports to grow by 2.6% and imports to grow by 1.6%.

Webinar Series: Discover opportunities in Singapore, Colombia and UAE The British Chambers of Commerce is hosting a webinar series for UK businesses looking to break into Singapore, Colombia and UAE You will hear impartial advice given by experts on the ground from the British Centres for Business, UAE. They will provide you with valuable information about doing business in those markets, providing insight that goes beyond facts and figures. 17 June: Discover Singapore: Business Opportunities for British companies 8 July: Discover Colombia: Business Opportunities for British companies 21 July: Discover UAE: Opportunities in the Technology and Creative Sectors Go to www.exportbritain.org.uk/events to register

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POLICY

What are we doing to combat cyber threats to your business Crime is something which affects us all from time to time. As Chairman of the Kent Business Crime Advisory Group I was struck by the changing pace of crime.

John Taylor Chairman of the Kent Business Crime Advisory Group

The Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) is a collaborative initiative between industry and government. The aim is to share information in an 'on-line' secure environment and learn about cyber threats in order to reduce the impact upon business

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Criminals are becoming more sophisticated; exploiting opportunities to commit online crime whilst social and demographic changes are also affecting patterns of crime which demands new responses. We are fortunate in that we have a long history of working with the police; some three years ago the Chamber helped to form a Business Crime Advisory Group. The aim is to look at ways that our police and businesses across Kent can work together in partnership to reduce the effects of crime on our business activities. Kent Police now regard the Group as a mainstay in their approach to fighting crime. The Group meets around four times a year and is proving to be an excellent platform to share views and instigate appropriate projects. Last December I became the Chair of this partnership Group and I am determined to see it go from strength to strength. It has never been more important to keep pace with the changing nature of crime. The work of the Group is particularly focused on how to protect our businesses from cyber-crime and the threat from organised crime groups. Cyber-crime can have a devastating impact on businesses of all sizes. Criminals who commit this kind of crime do not respect national or international boundaries. We must all be on our guard. Linking as the Group does with County, Regional and National agencies working in this field of crime prevention. I asked the Police to let me have the following article Please take some time to read it. We will arrange for further information and assistance articles to appear in future issues of Chamber magazine aimed specifically at aiding businesses in protecting themselves from the insidious affects of such criminal activity. Launched in March 2013, the Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) is a collaborative initiative between industry and government. The aim is to share information in an 'on-line' secure environment and learn about cyber threats in order to reduce the impact upon business, particularly businesses that may not necessarily have the resources to combat cyber threats. The national CISP is now part of the UK Computer Emergency Response Team CERT-UK. Launched in

March 2014, CERT-UK works closely with industry, government and academia to enhance UK cyber resilience. The regional concept is modelled on that of the national CISP. The benefits of joining the CISP are to provide our businesses with; • Opportunity to engage with industry and government counterparts in a secure 'on-line' environment • Obtain early warning of cyber threats • Seek advice from other CSIP members • Participate in building shared knowledge • Learn from experience, mistakes and successes of others without fear of exposing organisational sensitivities Criminality in cyberspace develops and mutates in a way that policing has never experienced before, involving international networks and market places. The threats to the UK are significantly changing on a regular basis. To successfully respond, our partnership between business , government agencies and academia must reach beyond words into real joint working. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's) are the backbone of the British economy and it is vital that they understand the importance of protecting themselves from cyber-crime which any business of any size is vulnerable to. This is set against the background that GCHQ report 80% of successful cyber-attacks could have been prevented through simple cyber hygiene. I encourage all businesses across Kent to join, be part of, and (as appropriate) contribute to CISP. To do so you need to be a member of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Go to the CERT-UK website (www.cert.gov.uk/cisp) where you can apply for CISP membership (business or individual) in one of the drop down menu options. The SEROCU Cyber Crime Team member (Craig Jones) will arrange sponsorship of our membership via Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce.


24 HOURSWITH 24HOURSWITH

The hard work that keeps art galleries free

The Kent-based Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s leading art galleries and, despite the many financial pressures facing the arts and culture sector, it remains free to visit.

Samantha Lloyd

We are a charity and for the gallery to remain free to visit we have to be sustainable, which means bringing in income from other sources

Responsibility for ensuring that free entry continues is in part down to Samantha Lloyd, the gallery’s Head of Enterprises and Resources, and that means her varied working day can range from working with artists and designers to produce a range of items to sell in the shop and online to arranging the catering for corporate venue hire. Situated on Margate seafront, on the same site where JMW Turner stayed when visiting the town, Turner Contemporary presents a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions, events and educational opportunities staged in a unique space. The organisation was founded in 2001 to build on JMW Turner’s connections with Margate. The gallery was designed by architect Sir David Chipperfield and since opening to the public in 2011, has fast become a visitor attraction of national and international importance. Samantha, whose post is sponsored by the Foyle Foundation, said: “We are a charity and for the gallery to remain free to visit we have to be sustainable, which means bringing in income from other sources”.

“My days are very varied. For instance, we are staging an exhibition of work by artist Grayson Perry this summer and as a result I have been working closely with the internal task team to ensure everyone is fully prepared for the the various launch events taking place around the exhibition opening. “Part of my job is to oversee the retail side of our operation which runs alongside the exhibition. Grayson Perry produced three specially commissioned works for the shop that include a scarf, mug and plate along with posters and postcards. “Another part of my role is to bring in income from corporate events through hire of the venue and, therefore, on any given day I could be overseeing everything from negotiating room hire to making sure that the catering is in place. “I do not have a typical day and, unlike a lot of people, it does not start with admin tasks. I see my job more as being an ambassador for Turner Contemporary, making people aware of what we can offer beyond the exhibitions and programming activity.

“That means attending a lot of networking events, including the Chamber of Commerce breakfasts, or perhaps meeting prospective clients, regional, national or international. “For example, recently I went to France to see the Louvre-Lens, an extension to the world famous Parisian museum, to see if there is anything we can learn from what the gallery has achieved within a similar regeneration environment.” The vision of the organisation is Art Inspiring Change and it is committed to giving everyone access to worldclass art, an approach that has worked. Turner Contemporary has proved itself a catalyst for the regeneration of Margate and East Kent, already welcoming more than 1.5 million visitors in four years. Samantha said: “Beyond my time at the gallery, I attend evening events at comparable venues to ensure I know what is going on in the sector and also as a networking opportunity to inform others about us, the work that we do and what we can offer. I work hard but I absolutely love the job. It’s very exciting and I feel very privileged.”

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At Canterbury College we have ACTIVE LINKS with employers Whether you are looking for recognised qualifications, training to meet Government legislation or short courses to update employee skills, we can offer businesses and individuals training that will make a real and positive difference to your business. Our services include: t Apprenticeships As the largest provider of Apprenticeships in East Kent, we have over 500 Apprentices in training studying over 40 different Apprenticeship options. t Compliance and Legislative training t Leadership and Management programmes t Bespoke training to suit your individual needs t Microsoft and Cisco Academy t Venue Hire Canterbury College offers affordable training, meeting and conferencing facilities which are unmatched in the city centre.

Recruitment Service Apprenticeships

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Jobs

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SPOTLIGHTON...

Plenty of cause for optimism in Canterbury The Canterbury District has the second largest economy in Kent with a recent study identifying 58,966 jobs and businesses worth ÂŁ2.7 billion.

Driving the recovery from the difficult days of recession has been a series of key economic advantages. Most residents enjoy a high quality of life while Canterbury attracts significant numbers of higher education students and has good transport links to the strategic road and rail network including new fast rail links. The district also has competitive wage levels and land and building costs for employment use.

In business terms the city has major economic assets such as a cluster of universities and a reputation as an important visitor destination and centre for shopping as well as a strong tourism sector with visitors coming to see the likes of the Cathedral. It has also seen strong recent growth in business and professional service activities over recent years, helped by good rates of new business start-ups. One of the causes for optimism is the Kingsmead development. A multiplex

cinema, restaurants and other indoor leisure outlets are on their way to the area following the selection of property company Bouygues Development, part of Bouygues UK, as the city council’s preferred development partner. The project, which is on the site of the former coach park, current Serco depot and other parcels of land, will also include student accommodation and other residential development. There will be a mix of national and local occupiers.

In addition, Bouygues Development has designed a public area that is intended to become the heart of the leisure aspect of the scheme, hosting a variety of events including markets, an outdoor skating rink at Christmas and local theatre productions. City councillors took the decision to select Bouygues Development at a full council meeting in April and the development opportunity for this key site was fiercely contested through a formal procurement process.

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SPOTLIGHTON...

Bouygues Development was selected following extensive negotiations with seven developers, which were subsequently reduced to a shortlist of three developers for the final round. Canterbury City Council’s Chief Executive Colin Carmichael said: “The standard of all the bids was very high, and we’re delighted to have selected such an experienced company as our partner for this exciting regeneration project for Canterbury. Bouygues Development has an excellent track record of developing large-scale, complex mixed-use regeneration projects such as the one we envisage for Kingsmead.

“Ultimately, it was the quality of the design and their ability to deliver this project that gave Bouygues Development the edge, and we’re looking forward to working with them in the months ahead.” Axel Boutrolle, Regional Director at Bouygues Development, said: “We were delighted to be selected as the Council’s preferred development partner. “After eight months of hard work, we are confident that we have designed a viable scheme which keeps to the Council’s project scope and respects the surrounding area.

After eight months of hard work, we are confident that we have designed a viable scheme which keeps to the Council’s project scope and respects the surrounding area. We have put together a very competent professional team and we look forward to realising this important strategic site for Canterbury

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We have put together a very competent professional team and we look forward to realising this important strategic site for Canterbury.” The next phase of the project will see Bouygues Development working towards submitting a planning application at the start of 2016 with construction starting later that year. In addition, the Canterbury Connected

BID started work in the city in October 2014 following a successful ballot of all businesses in the defined area in Canterbury that is subject to the BID levy. With a turnout of 54% of eligible businesses and a majority of 64% of those voting, the BID joined the more than 200 locations in the UK that have adopted the BID model.


SPOTLIGHTON...

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tartmybiz-canterbury.com W sstartmybiz-canterbury.com T 01227 862 532 sstartmybizcanterbury tartmybizcanterbury @StartMy_Biz @S tartMy_Biz

The BID collects a mandatory levy on each of the 650 businesses in the BID area and with the £550,000 this raises each year, the BID has four clear priorities: Strong Brand: making sure that the city centre has a great brand and working with partners to develop campaigns that will make a positive difference to the profitability of businesses trading here, such as the return of Christmas lights to the city in 2014, and hosting a Magna Carta Family Trail to celebrate Canterbury as an important place in the history of Magna Carta Superb Destination: the city centre has to represent the very best we can offer and so the BID provides overnight deep cleaning, floral displays and a team of street Ambassadors to support levy payers

Business suppor pp ting supporting business b i

and meet and greet visitors at busy times. A Great Centre for Business: with the MyCanterbury platform (more than 22,000 users and growing) and a utility reduction service, the BID is there to help businesses trade more profitably in Canterbury city centre. A Connected City: with the best will in the world, making sure that the city and all its multitude of organisations work well together is a job that is never finished. The BID says that it is committed to playing its part in joining them up. According to the BID: “With four more years of this first BID term to come, we are committed to our city and making it the best place in Kent and the south east in which to visit, shop, study, work and do business.”

Bouygues Development has designed a public area that is intended to become the heart of the leisure aspect of the scheme, hosting a variety of events including markets, an outdoor skating rink at Christmas and local theatre productions.

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At Harwood we understand that our clients expect and demand a professional, rapid, proactive and efficient Building Control service and our service levels have been specifically tailored to exceed our client’s expectations.

Our service levels

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Immediate access to technical advice during office hours

For further information visit our website at www.harwood.uk.com or call 01227 811882

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ThinkingBUSINESS June - July 2015

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ASKTHEEXPERT

Ask the Expert Name: Natalie Winter Company: Qube Recruitment Email: Natalie@quberecruitment.co.uk

Q

Why use a recruitment agency?

There are many benefits to using a recruitment agency to source candidates. We find many of our clients simply don’t have the time it takes to sift through hundreds of CVs when a vacancy has been advertised. The amount of applications you generally receive per vacancy advertised on a job board is between 60-150, often more depending on the role. Our Consultants each have more than ten years’ experience in their respective fields and are highly experienced in screening CVs, shortlisting candidates and interviewing those candidates.

This alleviates the client from the stresses of dealing with this and the time lost from their working day in conducting these interviews. We find that a job spec is one thing and a CV is another. Recruitment agencies understand exactly what to look for and do it day in and day out; they are able to identify the personality of a candidate and find that ‘X’ factor which you cannot get from a CV alone. Many candidates don’t know how to put a great cv together so can be discounted straight away, but a recruitment agency may take the time to contact them in order to obtain more information and often you can find they are perfect for the role. If they were shortlisted as a candidate, an agency would assist them in putting together a CV that better reflected their skill set. Some vacancies can be very specific and are within a niche market sector. If an agency specialises in that sector, they will have a greater understanding of what type of candidates are available and how easy it would be to source. They would also be skilled in headhunting, as many successful placements have been made with candidates who don’t even know they are looking for their next role.

Title: Web: Tel:

Director www.quberecruitment.co.uk 0800 468 1400

Recruitment agencies have a far wider reach that most clients will have and already have access to a huge talent pool from their own candidate database. Any agency will typically advertise a vacancy on up to ten sites, including social media and their own websites which again, provides a far wider reach than just placing an advert in the local paper. To us it’s all about building strong long-term relationships. A good recruitment agency is an extension of its client’s internal HR resource. We take the time to get to know the client and their business inside out, and their requirements, in order that

we can identify the right candidates that will fit not just the role but the personality of the business and be a successful long-term placement. If you use a local agency they will have a fantastic local knowledge of the candidate market place and know exactly where to look to source ideal candidates. If you are placing temporary candidates then an agency is able to manage all the payroll issues that you would otherwise have to deal with yourself. It basically saves the client a lot of time and money if outsourcing its recruitment to an agency.

THE RIGHT JOB AND THE RIGHT PERSON ARE ALWAYS OUT THERE. QUBE RECRUITMENT BRING THEM TOGETHER AT THE RIGHT TIME, IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

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BUSINESSNEWS

Silver award for rapidly growing Ashford business An Ashford-based estate agency that has grown from one office to four in just over five years has picked up a major award for customer service.

Celebrities and Olympians join Tower to Tower Rowing Challenge Comedians and television personalities, Nick Hancock and Hugh Dennis; West Bromwich Albion Manager, Tony Pulis; former Stoke City Midfielder, Rory Delap and his wife, Helen; and Olympic medallist rowers, Anna Watkins and Debbie Flood, will join a team of charity rowers to complete a row from London to Paris to raise funds for The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice.. The rowers were announced at a press event at the charity yesterday and will join a team of corporate supporters when they take up the oars to row from London to Paris in May. The Tower to Tower team will tackle the gruelling 450 nautical mile open-water row from Tower Bridge in London to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Branded the “Everest of open-water rowing”, the crew will be battling against the tidal effects of the Thames and the Seine, and conquer a 36 hour channel crossing. The team wants to use this event to raise awareness of the challenges faced by children with shortened life expectancy and their families including severe sleep deprivation. Many children with life threatening conditions require round-the-clock care and sleep can become a challenge for the parents and carers who look after them. The Donna Louise Children's Hospice provides a vital helping hand in the form of respite stays so that families can get the rest they desperately need, safe in the knowledge that their child is well cared for. Tower to Tower aims to raise £90,000 to support the work of 2 Children's Nurses at the Hospice who can provide specialist care and support to life threatened children and their families and ensure they get the vital respite care they need. During this challenge, the team will be facing severe fatigue and sleep deprivation in an attempt to raise awareness of how hard it is to function physically, emotionally and psychologically on limited sleep. For more information and to make a donation, please visit www.towertotower.co.uk

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ThinkingBUSINESS June - July 2015

Andrew Neal, who set up Andrew & Co at the end of 2009 as a oneman operation, picked up an ESTAS award at a ceremony in London’s Hilton Hotel in Park Lane. TV Property Expert Phil Spencer presented Andrew with the silver award in the Kent section of the Estate and Letting Agent Awards 2015 – a competition that is based purely on customer feedback. Andrew said: “We invite our clients to go online and tell the organisers what they think of our service, and the awards are based solely on what they say. We won the silver award for Kent after picking up a positive feedback rating of 96%.” After starting up in Ashford, Andrew & Co opened an office in New Romney and a third in Charing before moving the Ashford operation to new premises in Middle Row a year ago. The recent launch of the Cheriton office took the number of staff employed by the new business to 14 and cemented Andrew & Co’s position as the fastest-growing estate agency in the area. Andrew, who paid tribute to the support of fellow director

Matthew Skipper, puts the firm’s success down to having the right team around him and to “being honest and doing what we say we will do”. He added: “Clearly we are facing a lot of challenge from online estate agents, but at the end of the day people like a high street

presence because it means they can come in, sit down and talk to someone face to face. “I am proud of what we do and it’s good that our customers like the way we do it. This award is particularly rewarding because it is purely based on customer feedback.”

Sales manager Chris Payne, managing director Andrew Neal, TV property expert Phil Spencer and director Matthew Skipper.

New card will help schools, colleges and SMEs

Many schools, colleges and employers want to develop stronger links to prepare young people for work but are struggling to make this happen. However, a new report from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), London Councils, the London Enterprise Panel and South East Strategic Leaders, gives practical advice on how education organisations and local business can work together to make young people ‘work ready’. Based on research with SMEs, micro- businesses, further education colleges and secondary schools in London and the South East, the report

includes case studies and a ‘connect card’ with advice on how to develop effective partnerships. Forming partnerships between SMEs and education is not easy, the research finds. Whilst many larger companies have welldeveloped education links programmes, SMEs (which account for 99.6% of all businesses in the South East) are less likely to have strong links with education. A key assertion is that relationships between

education and business need to be driven by schools and colleges. To help develop these relationships, the research partners have produced a ’connect card’ containing a checklist of five key questions designed to stimulate discussion, plus advice on understanding business needs and developing long-term relationships. The report and connect card are available at www.nfer.ac.uk/employability


TRAVEL

Demand for Air Travel continues to Rise – and Kent is well placed to take advantage, says aviation expert

With nearly four decades of aviation industry experience under his belt, Jonathan Gordon is wellpositioned to comment on trends in the air travel sector. And his assessment makes positive reading. The founder and Managing Director of Atlantic Bridge Aviation Limited (ABA), based at London Ashford Airport at Lydd, is reporting an accelerated growth in the Business Aviation market – a sure sign that the economic recovery is in full swing across the UK and Europe, he says. “Growth in privately-owned aircraft sales is another good barometer of business confidence,” adds Jonathan, who established his original aviation business in 1979 specialising in aircraft sales and worldwide delivery. “The long-term resilience of air travel to economic recessions and global events such as wars and terrorist activity is well-known and it is significant to note that after each event the aviation market has rebounded strongly. “We are in that recovery phase now, with all the recent forecasts by aircraft manufacturers and others indicating healthy traffic growth in air travel in the UK, Europe and worldwide.” Economic growth is also fuelling general demand for air travel – and with runway capacity at London’s major airports close to bursting point, Jonathan believes that regional airports in the South East are in a strong position to offer the perfect solution. “It certainly gives operational airports like Lydd an advantage,” adds Jonathan, who says that Kent's demography as part of the South East has the highest propensity for air travel in the UK. Aircraft sales and acquisitions in the General / Business Aviation sector is just one part of the ABA Group’s business activities but there is ample scope for the firm to make major inroads into what is a huge market, says Jonathan. General Aviation (or GA) consists of all private aircraft operations, including privately-owned aircraft, flying schools and training aircraft, micro-lights and sport aircraft, hot air balloons, vintage aircraft and helicopters. Exclude the helicopters and hot air balloons etc and that leaves around 101,000 private aircraft located in Europe and the UK, with the vast majority – more than

80,000 – based in countries within a 500-mile radius of Lydd. Jonathan says: “Of these 101,000 private aircraft, around 50% fall within the ‘regular trading’ market, so the potential for us to use our unique location in the South East to capture a greater slice of this lucrative privatelyowned aircraft sales and acquisitions business is very appealing. “Add in our ability to offer a client a private management contract, where we supply pilots and arrange maintenance, plus the option to generate charter revenue when he or she is not using the aircraft, and you can see the advantages stacking up,” adds Jonathan. Buying your own aircraft, however, is not the only way to fly, and a growing number of clients are opting for fractional ownership instead. “If you’re put off by the cost and organisational hurdles of owning and operating your own aircraft then fractional ownership is a great option, especially if you fly on a regular basis and want the many benefits of ownership without all the capital outlay of full ownership,” says Jonathan. “The cost of this varies depending on the type of programme you go for.

Our unique Air Share programme offers a low-cost entry level option of a Piper PA-31 Chieftain, which enables clients to own an 1/8th share in an executive aircraft for less than £30,000 while still having the flexibility to use other aircraft types in our fleet at preferential rates. “This means you can ‘test the water’ without any significant cost exposure. If it works, you can continue with the Chieftain or upgrade or both; if not, you can get out with minimal cost. Each 1/8th share on any of our aircraft types entitles our clients to 40 days’ exclusive use each year and, aside from the monthly aircraft management and overhead fee, every time they fly they only pay direct costs plus 15% contingency.

“Our fractional clients benefit from AOC (Aircraft Operator’s Certificate) rates on fuel, reclaimable VAT and potential tax advantages, not to mention the safety umbrella of using an aircraft operated by a UK Civil Aviation Authority scheduled and charter airline operator that meets rigorous safety and engineering standards.” ABA currently has a range of privately-owned aircraft for sale, including single piston engine Cessnas and Beech Bonanzas, plus twin piston engine Piper Chieftains, a Beech Super King Air B200 (fractional only) and a Beech Baron.

For further information about aircraft sales and acquisitions or Air Share, or to find out more about ABA’s full range of services visit www.aba.aero www.airshare.aero www.worldexecutiveairways.com www.lyddair.com Alternatively call 01797 322655 or email consultancy@atlanticbridgeaviation.com London Ashford Airport, at Lydd, is easily accessible from the M20 and 20 minutes’ drive from Ashford International Station, which offers high-speed rail services from London St Pancras in just 38 minutes.

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COVERFEATURE

County that’s on the move Kent is on the move with a series of major investment projects improving its transport infrastructure.

Everywhere you look can be found exciting developments which promise to bring significant benefits to economic sectors including logistics and tourism. Among organisations playing a key role in driving the county forward is the Port of Dover, which has just delivered a record year with more than 2.4 million freight vehicles handling goods worth an estimated £100 billion. The continuing success has underpinned the determination of Europe’s busiest ferry port to develop its flagship Dover Western Docks Revival project, which is designed to protect the long-term capacity of the Port and act as a catalyst for regeneration in the town.

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ThinkingBUSINESS June - July 2015

To drive the plan forward, the Port has created a new regeneration division, Dover Waterfront Limited, which will take advantage of the many commercial opportunities arising from the expansion of the Western Docks. To ensure that the momentum is maintained, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with real estate partner Bride Hall. Tim Waggott, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, said: “Working together with a major real estate partner such as Bride Hall, who have a great track record of delivering top quality developments throughout the UK, is another sign of how we are transforming a premier UK port for the benefit of the nation,

the tourism economy and our community all at the same time. “Our message is simple. This is really happening and we are moving forward on turning our shared vision into reality.” Nick Desmond, managing director of Bride Hall Real Estate Partners, agrees. He said: “The Port of Dover regeneration project reflects one of the most exciting opportunities in the UK to make a significant difference to a strategically important location.” Work is also under way over at Ramsgate’s port and Royal Harbour, owned and operated by Thanet District Council.

The council has identified the port as a strategic asset for the district and aims to build on the area’s transport infrastructure to improve the flows of goods and people, supporting both industry and tourism. Moves are also under way to further strengthen the harbour’s attractions as a destination for the leisure industry. Another key part of the strategy is working with industry to capitalise on Ramsgate’s role as the support base for some of the world’s largest offshore renewables projects, seen by the council as an important part of the local economy.


MEMBERSHIP COVERFEATURE

Travel Safe?

Do you travel for business? Do you send staff overseas?

Adding to the optimistic picture for the transport and tourism sectors is the development under way at London Ashford Airport, whose chief executive painted a positive picture of the future when he recently presented a report to Lydd Town Council. Charles Buchanan cited rising passenger numbers, an increase in aircraft traffic, more jobs created and substantial investment in new facilities as reasons to be optimistic in his address. Charles said: “The airport’s main traffic has been, and remains, general aviation, that is mostly private flying. LyddAero Club has been based here for many years and in the past 12 months we have added two more flying training organisations – TG Aviation and South Coast Microlights. These firms now offer a full range of flying options, from those who wish to

learn to fly to others wanting to part own and use a small plane. “In addition, there’s Eagle Aero Engineering which supports both the aircraft based at the airport and others flown in specifically for maintenance and technical checks. “Last year, with the closure of Manston, Lydd saw a small number of charter operations during the summer. Due to our existing runway length, these aircraft were not able to operate with a full payload of passengers but instead had to fly with some empty seats. This is the reason that we have been seeking permission for so long to extend the runway length. “Last summer the final planning hurdle was cleared and we are now preparing to start construction, hopefully at the end of this year. “There is a growing demand at Lydd driven by business and general aviation. In 2014

we handled 10% more passengers and 15% more aircraft movements than the previous year, and this year the trends are continuing. “As part of satisfying this demand we are investing £700,000 in constructing a new hangar, next to the existing one, that will be occupied by 20 or more private aircraft. This new facility has the potential to attract more aircraft to be based here. “As we grow so do the employment opportunities at the airport. In recent weeks we have engaged seven new staff in various roles from air traffic control to catering, six of whom already live in the immediate local area. “The year ahead looks very exciting for London Ashford Airport as we prepare to extend our runway, grow our business and develop new facilities.” The airport has spent £35 million upgrading facilities over the past decade, including the installation of an instrument landing system, a new executive terminal with VIP facilities, improved passenger check-in and security and a new departure lounge. The effect of all this development is an increasing sense that improving the county’s transport infrastructure offers great opportunities for those seeking to import and export, and the tourism trade.

There is a growing demand at Lydd driven by business and general aviation. In 2014 we handled 10% more passengers and 15% more aircraft movements than the previous year, and this year the trends are continuing.

In the global business world where international travel is crucial to developing relationships, negotiations and meeting clients many businesses require staff to travel overseas to undertake their business. As much as we live in a globally connected business world, international travel is beset with issues and possible risks as the world is also a fractured and unstable place. Your business may also need to work in more high risk environments because your work may be crucial to the development of another country’s Non-Governmental Organisations, Aid agencies, and tourism or even in exploration of resources. A lack of preparation or complacency can cause a range of headaches to the business traveller or the company they work for. Our obligations as business owners in regards to the safety of our employees extends to the full range of our activities even if they occur remotely from our base of operations, this is important internationally as much as we would in the UK. Preparation and an awareness of responsibility and risk ensures that employees can travel safely, well prepared and with a range of strategies to ensure that they are safe.

Top Tips1. Plan in advance - undertake research about the country being visited, the cities and places, learn about any risks that exist( high level threats - low level issues), understand its cultural position towards business (so no Faux Pas!!) 2. Risk Assessment - identify the major hazards and the level of risk that your employees may be exposed to (most accidents on business travel happen in the hotel or involve vehicles!) 3. Develop some strategies - phone call check in’s, communications plans, kit list (standard kit to take, extra wallet/ copies of passport ID page/ chargers etc) design an itinerary with alternatives and contingencies. 4. Pre book as much as possible - hotels/ taxis/ drivers/ resources but be prepared to change plans if necessary, remember to take copies of any agreements/ bookings. 5. Talk through the trip - hold a final briefing to ensure that the itinerary and strategies have been discussed along with contingency plans. 6. Keep in contact throughout the trip. 7. Consider external advice/ guidance, from business risk and threat agencies or a risk management company. 8. Consider external training - this could range from country briefings and travel safety training, or more specific training such as using vehicles, working in remote environments or even dealing with kidnap or violence. James Dyer is the Director of Venture Safety Services, a safety and security consultancy and training company based in Sevenoaks. He has vast experience of operating in remote and overseas environments dealing with safety and operational management. Venture Safety Services offers a range of safety and training products to support business in developing safe operations. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a qualified health and safety advisor. For more information please contact James Dyer 07896091723 archangeltraining@hotmail.com www.venturesafetyservices.co.uk

VENTURE SAFETY SERVICES June - July 2015 ThinkingBUSINESS

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BIGINTERVIEW

BIGINTERVIEW

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ThinkingBUSINESS June - July 2015

Recognising the power of market research Any good business leader knows that information is power and that good market research is crucial when it comes to planning the way forward, which is why the work of companies such as Facts International is so important.

As the UK’s leading field research provider, the company provides in-depth information to a wide range of clients, including local Kent organisations and global multi-nationals from both the private and public sectors. In charge of Facts International's research operation, whose activities includes face-to-face and telephone interviews, online surveys and mystery shopping, is Managing Director Emily Kettle. However, for all her success in the industry, market research was not the career Emily originally envisaged when preparing to leave university. Emily said: “I rather fell into it by accident. A lot of market researchers say that. I did some interviewing for Facts International when I was at university and found myself with a career.

The message we need to convey is that this is an interesting and skilful job. It is not just about asking questions, you have to design meaningful interviews and make sure that you are receiving and interpreting accurate information when the answers come back.


BIGINTERVIEW

Emily is also very committed to the team’s learning and development, part of which is the company’s successful apprenticeship programme. Indeed, apprentice Mathew Johnson was recently shortlisted for a Kent Excellence in Business Award (KEiBA), for Apprenticeship of the Year.

“I think we have a lot of work to do in educating young people about the scope and diversity of market research as a career. Young people look at marketing or PR but rarely consider market research and, as the industry grows, we are in danger of having a shortage of researchers. “The message we need to convey is that this is an interesting and skilful job. It is not just about asking questions, you have to design meaningful interviews and make sure that you are receiving and interpreting accurate information when the answers come back.” Emily’s aptitude for doing just that in her early days in the industry saw her move to global market research agency Synovate, now part of Ipsos MORI, where as a quantitative researcher, Emily was involved in managing large scale customer insight programmes for clients including Prudential, The Home Office and B&Q. During her time there, she was seconded to international fragrance house Givaudan as a Consumer Understanding Manager. Since returning to Facts International Emily has overseen many successful projects, directed significant expansion and been appointed a Board Director of parent company CIE. She said: “I initially returned with the specific job of bringing in new business. At the time, we seemed reluctant to approach potential new clients; this was something that we needed to change. Now, the team is attuned to bringing in new business. “We also took the decision to try to expand during the recession. While other companies were closing down operations, we grew and picked up some of their work. It was a brave decision but it worked. “Becoming a Board Director was an important milestone. Market research tends to be a femaledominated business until you get to the senior positions, and people still speak about the glass ceiling, so every breakthrough is important. “Our growth has been entirely organic, through demonstrating to clients the commercial value,

companies are realising the importance of good market research in areas like new product launches or introducing new ways of working. “The big trend in the industry is real-time results. You may interview people in a branch one day and a trend immediately emerges that customers have had a bad experience. “By the end of the day, the data is with the client and they can do something about it, finding out the cause and implementing actions that address the issues. This means that the pressure to provide a quick turnaround is growing for us. “Clients also realise that we can save them money as well. Recently, one of our supermarkets wanted to develop their cafés and find out what people wanted from them first. “They would have commissioned another survey but we had carried out a lot of interviewing in their stores and customers had spontaneously mentioned the café so we had the information already. We were able to write a report which saved the client £30,000 which proved the value of carrying out face to face research.” Emily likes to remain hands-on, working closely with the senior management team overseeing the operations both in the UK and the satellite office in Sydney, Australia. Indeed, one of Emily’s key strategies is to push international growth and increase the number of global clients, particularly in Australia & the US. She said: “We already do work for international clients and have contacts in Australia so it made sense to expand there. Our next expansion, which we are currently considering is the United States.” Emily is also very committed to the team’s learning and development, part of which is the company’s successful apprenticeship programme. Indeed, apprentice Mathew Johnson was recently shortlisted for a Kent Excellence in Business Award (KEiBA), for Apprenticeship of the Year.

In a category with 25 nominations, Mathew made it into the top eight shortlist, having joined Facts International as a part-time telephone interviewer, looking to earn some money while completing his studies. Following a short period helping the IT team, Facts International offered Mathew the position of Information Services and Security Apprentice. Emily said: “Our apprenticeship programme is really important to us. It goes back to the way young people view the industry. We want to show them that market research is not just about earning money, but a career that offers excitement, engagement and many opportunities to advance.” Emily herself has been recognised. From a record breaking application list running into the hundreds, she was shortlisted in the First Women in Business awards alongside some of the most groundbreaking female role models currently operating in the UK. Named in the top six in the category First Women of Business Services Emily appears alongside top female executives from organisations such as Unilever, Accenture, MasterCard and Dell UK. Emily said “I am absolutely thrilled to have made the shortlist for this category. As managing director of one of the smaller organisations, I was not expecting to be shortlisted so the news came as a welcome surprise. “I consider this to be an accolade for the whole company, who have worked tirelessly alongside me to help drive growth and innovation. “Together we have secured Facts International’s position as a leading global market research agency, with an award winning field force.”

Emily Kettle Managing Director Facts International

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MEMBERSNEWS

Furley Page Fund-Raiser supports children’s Hospice Charity Leading Kent law firm Furley Page raised £420 for Demelza Hospice Care for Children at its annual women’s Winter Party. The event was organised by Furley Page’s Family Law Team and held at the firm’s Canterbury office in St Margaret’s Street. Thirty-five guests, including local businesswomen and representatives from charities including Relate and Save the Children, were treated to sparkling wine and canapés before taking part in a raffle. Demelza community fundraiser Leila Ilkan thanked everyone for their support and gave guests a brief overview of the work that the charity does. Furley Page has been hosting similar events since 2008 to raise funds for local charities. Event co-ordinator Naomi Hayward, a solicitor in the firm’s Family Law Team, said: “We chose Demelza this year because our work often involves helping children and their families so we like to support local charities which also work with children. “Demelza provides invaluable help for children with life-limiting or lifethreatening conditions and their families and many people in our local community have benefited from their hard work and support.

Blakemore Communications

“It was wonderful to see so many people come together for a lunchtime event in aid of such a worthy cause. We’d like to thank everyone who attended or offered a raffle prize - we’re delighted with the sum raised.” Demelza’s Corporate Partnerships Manager, Donna Wells, added: “We are very grateful to Furley Page for the opportunity to speak at their event and for raising such a great amount with their raffle.

Support from the community is so important for us to be able to provide our services to over 800 children and their families.” Businesses which provided raffle prizes included The Ambrette, Café du Soleil, L’Occitane en Provence, Antoniou Hair & Beauty, The Rose Garden Spa, Cath Kidston, Edwards Harvey PR & Marketing, Dater Builders, Jane Keet, Leeds Castle and Stephanie Durling from Produced in Kent.

Lexmark Partnership Geerings of Ashford have widened their portfolio of products and services to include a range of devices and software from Lexmark International. Lexmark is a leading provider of imaging and output solutions. Its awardwinning products and services are sold in more than 170 countries, and it is a recognised global leader by many of the technology industry’s leading market analyst firms. Lexmark focus on creating environments for business growth and customer satisfaction by enabling teams to become more productive. Martin Fairman, UK and Ireland Channel Sales Director for Lexmark said, We are pleased to welcome Geerings as a Channel Partner accredited under the Business Solutions Dealer Program

(BSD). Their commitment to innovation and high quality of service makes them an ideal Partner for Lexmark. Together we will continue to drive the same innovation through them using Lexmark's world class portfolio of hardware, software and applications to improve business processes for their customers.' Geerings, who are in their fourth generation of family management, have a long history of providing the best advice, high quality equipment and reliable service to their customers. With expert knowledge on a range of

equipment options from single printers to an entire network of devices, their experienced team are dedicated to help customers increase efficiency and reduce waste. Andrew Hanson, Director for Geerings commented, 'We are delighted to work with Lexmark and incorporate their products into our range of fully integrated managed print services. Becoming a Partner will enable us to widen our offering to our customers whilst continuing to deliver real value for money.’

I founded Blakemore Communications last year because I believe that good communications can add value to businesses large or small. I’m passionate about helping them to achieve their full potential. Whatever separates different sorts of businesses, or, indeed, other organisations, all need to communicate and most could do it better. Are you satisfied with the quality and consistency of your written and verbal communications with customers and prospective customers? Do all of your company’s communications fully reflect its values? If the answer to either of questions is no, it’s time to talk to Blakemore Communications, based here in Kent, in Folkestone. Of course, businesses have particular needs from time to time. They will go through change processes and some will even face, or need to prevent, a crisis or other threat to their reputation. They will hold launches and events, they may want to change or improve their public profile. I have long experience of dealing with all of these challenges. Having trained and worked as a journalist before going on to manage press offices for three of the largest and best-known organisations in the UK, I am uniquely well-placed to offer media training and consultancy. I’ve asked the difficult questions and I’ve answered them, including in dozens of radio and television interviews. I love combining creativity with a strategic approach to communications and most of all I love getting results. I’ve already done so for a variety of clients from Broadstairs to Birmingham. The first step towards improving your business’s communications is to get in touch.

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Disputes Conflicts, failur failure re e to o agr agree ree ee Not all business runs smoothly – disputes inevitably occur. These can be costly, sour long term relationships and impact future profitability. e them as efffectively fectively as So it’s important to resolve possible. Whitehead Monckton’s Dispute Resolution team can provide you with expert advice and strategies to resolve your business disputes. Ranked in Chambers and Legal 500, we have an enviable track record - achieving excellent agreements whilst preserving future relationships. Take the first important step b before the gloves really come off – contact us today on

Tel: T el: 01622 0162 698047

Have you got the right team on your side? Expert legal advice for all business issues. At Gullands we are able to assist all businesses from inception, through all stages of development, up to and including exit strategies and disposals.

E-mail enquiries@whitehead-monckton.co.uk www.whitehead-monckton.co.uk www w.whitehead-monckton.co.uk .whitehead-monckt www.whitehead-monckton.co.uk Whitehead Whitehead Monckton Moncktton Limited Limite ed ((no. no. 0 08366029), 8366029 ), registered registered iin England nE ng l a nd & Wales. Registered King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 Authorised Wales. R egistered office of fice 72 72 K ing S treet, M aidstone, K ent, M E14 1BL. 1BL. A uthorised and under a nd regulated regulated by by the the Solicitors Solicitors Regulation Regulation Authority Authority un der no. no. 608279. 608279.

TB  /15 /15

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ThinkingBUSINESS June - July 2015

Call us on 01622 689775

www.gullands.com


MEMBERSNEWS

Company on the right road for growth Started by John Stephenson and Samir Cassem not even a year ago Your Travel has grown quickly to have two sales staff along with a full-time administration manager.

MHA MacIntyre Hudson seals merger with Kent firm Spain Brothers MHA MACINTYRE HUDSON has announced a merger with Kent firm Spain Brothers, an established firm of Chartered Accountants based in Folkestone. The Folkestone office will take on the MHA MacIntyre Hudson name, with the two partners and 20 staff continuing to operate from this location. Spain Brothers' main service lines are audit, accounting, personal and business tax advice, serving clients in not-for-profit organisations, transport and logistics, property and construction and motor in Kent and the south east.

YourTravel’s dynamic and fresh approach to corporate and leisure travel has made it easy to compete in this heavily saturated market, offering a next level concierge style service and unique benefits from the full booking pack sent recorded delivery to the 24 hour emergency line all their customers receive, This has allowed YourTravel to gain a high profile as well as a celebrity clientele.

Specialising in discounted Premium, Business and First class fares along with Luxury tailor made travel packages, the possibilities are endless with YourTravel as they can organise flights, car hire, accommodation and transfers to suit any budget or, if needed, private jets, super-cars and yacht charters all over the globe. After the first eight months of hard work, it seems to be paying off as

YourTravel are now in a race to hit the £1,000,000 turnover within the first year of trading. Owners John and Samir have said that, if the target is achieved and as a thank you for the continued and growing support they receive, they will host a night for all their clients that have booked to enjoy complimentary drinks and a chance to win an all expenses paid holiday.

Franchise Success!

Angela’s Swim School is a successful business which was founded 13 years ago, in 2002 by former team GB swimmer Angela Wilson. Her unique method of teaching in providing lessons to children and adults of all ages and abilities starting as early as 4 months. The clients are recognised from their unique strokes and beautiful technique. In February 2014, Angela franchised her swim school and within 18 months has successfully signed 14 franchises in the south of the country! Due to this success and her on-going

passion for the Swim School, it is fantastic news that Angela has been nominated as a finalist for the ‘New Woman Franchisor Award 2015!’ with EWIF, Encouraging Women into Franchising. Good Luck Angela! For more information on Angela’s amazing franchise opportunities please visit our website www.angelasswimschool.co.uk/ franchise

MHA MacIntyre Hudson chairman Rakesh Shaunak explained: "Kent continues to be an exciting market place and we continue to see it as a growth area. Our Canterbury and Maidstone offices have provided us with a favourable presence in the region for several years. However, with the Spain Brothers Folkestone office, we now have the opportunity to work much more closely with businesses across the county and take advantage of the opportunities on offer." Spain Brothers partner Peter Cheney said “We are excited to be joining MHA MacIntyre Hudson. This union will enable us to provide a greater breadth and depth of services to our current Kent client base”. "Both firms have a similar outlook and are a good cultural fit and we're confident that we'll continue to deliver our services to a high level. This merger secures our future for our clients and provides enhanced career and development prospects for our staff."

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ECONOMY&US

The Economy & Us: And Now ... ?

“…. And always keep a hold of Nurse For fear of finding something Worse.” Hilaire Belloc, ‘Cautionary Tales’

The British public have spoken. After a long election campaign with pollsters in agreement that the two main parties were neck-and-neck, 36½% of voters opted for continuity. Arguably, the 50% of Scots votes cast for the SNP were for continuity, too. What kind of continuity will we all get? Let’s take Scotland first. Last summer the SNP promised continuing prosperity; and though 55% of Scots voted to stay in the UK, the subsequent jump in SNP membership and the Party’s landslide election victory have emboldened Mr Salmond to predict full independence as “a matter of time”. Mr Cameron’s informal acceptance speech outside 10 Downing Street championed “one nation Conservatism”, at the same time as promising more devolution across the UK. So I’m not betting on full Scottish independence under the current SNP leadership. Substantial tax-and-spend devolution is already planned for Scotland. As Scots get to see the arithmetic in their own budget, the shortfall between reality and SNP rhetoric which most pundits estimate at £7bn a year - is likely to engender realism about their political leaders, too, bolstering the economic realism that prompted their 55% vote for the Union last year. This would be continuity indeed: it was “English gold” in the wake of Scots’ moneymismanagement that brought them into political Union in 1707. Domestically, for the first time in a dozen years there’s a good chance we shall have a government that isn’t on the defensive. Most Britons have got used to our limping recovery, and are focusing more on the immediate future than the recent past. Meanwhile, the really interesting developments for Britain are likely to be international. For a generation now, argument has been fierce - and largely ill-informed - about our relationship with Europe. Last year total UK exports to the rest of the world were one-third higher than to the EU. Whilst this economic ‘rebalancing’ towards exports has

much further to go, at least we can say that it has now begun. It is in the emerging economies, especially Africa and the Middle East as well as China, that we’ve been finding success, with exports to them roughly tripling since 2000. This is just as well. Opportunity for all will require more wealth at home, not least to educate a 21st century workforce by fostering and informing schoolteachers’ remarkably robust creative commitment. The key to prosperity will not be tinkering with the EU. It will be how well we all improve productivity to counter (a) the economic drag of an ageing workforce and (b) the jobs deficit caused by increasing automation. No less vital is our zest and knowhow to harvest, by exporting, the increasing wealth of emerging economies whose workforces are competing with us globally. The trick for government is to align individual opportunity with these national requirements.

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

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ACCESS EXPERTISE AND INNOVATION THROUGH A KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER PARTNERSHIP idea or innovation. A partnership can cover any important area where there is a need for additional expertise and resources. Each partnership employs a recently qualified graduate or post-graduate, to work full time to deliver a strategic project based at your premises. The KTP scheme celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and to date has supported over 10,000 projects across the UK. The success of the scheme is due to the positive benefits enjoyed by all parties involved. KTP is centred on the needs of your business, the projects are flexible and able to respond to the changing aspects of the business world. So, what is a KTP? A KTP is a partnership between a business and an academic enabling you to access skills and expertise to help your company develop a strategic business opportunity,

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The latest Government report of KTP has shown that the average business benefit for a project may include: • An increase of more than £1 million in annual profits before tax • The creation of 3 new jobs • An additional 31 staff trained What are the advantages of working with the University of Kent? The University of Kent is one of the UK’s leading universities. All of its academic schools produce world-class research and Kent is rated as internationally excellent, leading the way in many fields of study.

You will gain access to expertise, skills and innovative solutions with the potential to grow your business and increase competitiveness. The experienced and dedicated KTP staff at Kent will help you identify the right expertise to benefit your business. We will work with you to define and tailor a project specific to your company’s goals. The agreed project can run from six months up to three years with the overall aim of helping you achieve your business potential for future success. Would you like to find out more? Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are the ideal opportunity to boost your business, so get in touch with our committed team today. Please contact Lotty Bury on 01227 827701 or email c.bury@kent.ac.uk.


MEMBERSNEWS

Satisfied customers on display Here’s a photo of the Happy Eggs Bus, the latest double decker bus conversion by South East Coachworks & vinyl wrapped by SEC Signworks & before you ask, yes we even vinyl wrapped the roof! Another successful installation - this one in King Street, Deal - and a very satisfied customer. Mr. Dapper is a brand new Barber Shop and it is backed up with hugely experienced Master Barbers. Steve, Amanda and the Mr. Dapper team dropped us a quick line afterwards to say: “Hi Jamie, I just wanted to pass on my thanks to your designer Alex. We are so pleased with the signage that he worked on for us, it looks fantastic, far exceeding our expectations. I will definitely be using SEC Signworks again for all of my window signage requirements and logos and will have no hesitation in recommending your company to all of my business friends”. This year the Faversham Transport Weekend was held on the 16th and 17th May and this year it celebrated its 20th anniversary. Saturday saw a display of vintage buses and commercial vehicles in the town, as well as vintage bus rides around the

area. Sunday attracted over 400 classic cars and motorcycles, which filled the town to full capacity. The South East Coachworks workshop was open over the whole weekend with a number of buses on display inside, both finished projects and those that are in working progress. Jamie and the SEC Signworks team worked on vans for Award Heating & Plumbing,

The Little Woodshed and Majestic Flowers to demonstrate vinyl wrapping techniques and to answer questions on signage and displays. You can find details of our services at www.secsignworks.com or by visiting our Facebook page www.facebook.com/ secsignworks

Taking the right road to success

As the world’s leading car rental company Hertz needs little introduction. However, it may surprise you to learn that we’re now a serious player in the world of van rental. With over 90 years of rental expertise it was a natural step for us to include a wide range of commercial vehicles in our product range. We offer a wide choice of competitive vehicles, flexibility and first class service via an unrivalled national network.

Whether you rent, lease, contract hire or purchase your vehicles outright, we’re passionate about delivering a professional and genuine alternative to your current form of vehicle acquisition and often times we can offer greater value for money to your business than the competition options listed above. We operate our vans in the UK using our extensive network of over 140 rental locations and also supported by numerous dedicated regional Van Supersites. Our brand new supersite is open in Cambuslang Glasgow & Thurrock Essex.

Hertz Van Rental is the first and only vehicle hire company to be awarded the FTA Van Excellence ‘Partner’ status which demonstrates our commitment to the highest quality of product and customer service. If a solution offering NO COMMITMENT TO A HIRE PERIOD and the ability to ADD, REMOVE, SWAP or RETURN any rented vehicle at any time without penalty be of interest to you, then contact Hertz Van Rental today to find out more. No hard sell, no gimmicks, no pressure - just effective communication. We’re becoming the fastest growing commercial vehicle rental provider in the UK and this is due to a competitive edge over the competition in service levels, UK footprint, buying power and professional workforce. Why not join the growing community of Hertz prospects and customers by contacting me on bradley.king@hertz.com. Even if only to see how we can increase your service levels while reducing your costs.

What a difference a day makes Put twelve or so high performing CEOs and business owners in a room and the potential is enormous. Harnessing this potential is at the heart of what makes Vistage so successful, and the reason why more than 18,000 members around the world trust their guiding principles. Vistage enables groups of like-minded executives to meet one day a month to discuss their challenges, evaluate opportunities and solve an assortment of strategic and operational issues - and hopefully have some fun along the way. All this happens under the watchful eye of an accomplished leader who acts as part-facilitator, part-coach, with a commitment to the success of his members. Kent based Vistage Chair Paul Johnson has recently formed a group and is delighted to be working with local companies. Paul is an accomplished CEO and strategist; having worked for over 35 years within the varied sectors that support healthcare. Throughout his years in business, like all of us, he has faced challenges and knows what it is like to be in the lonely chair at the top of an organisation. He wishes he had known about Vistage when he was in those positions! “It was something that was always missing, meeting with peers who had no vested interest, but with the experience that I could have pulled on to help me think about alternate scenarios for action.”

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MEMBERSNEWS

Leeds Castle Classical Summer Concert Saturday 11 July 2015

This year’s Leeds Castle Classical Concert will feature the world famous Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by John Rigby.

New era for Chives

With the dawn of 2015 came a new era for Chives. We have moved to our new production kitchen in Aldington, South of Ashford and totally focusing on Event & Wedding catering. From private dining for 20 to gala dinners for 200, product launches with canapés and drinks for up to 1000 and corporate buffet lunches delivered to your office. But for something different within our private dining we can also offer our pop up grazing menus. If you are planning a dinner with a group of colleagues or friends and can’t decide where to go then we will come to you. Canapés and a 5 course grazing menu from £40 per head; you supply the venue we do all the rest, you supply your own wines and drinks, we will even bring the glasses and coolers and at the end we just take everything away as well. We know this will be both a great way to impress your clients but also a way to enjoy an evening with friends, without an expensive wine bill and a taxi home for the host. We can also host them in galleries and art studios as Art meets Food Pop ups. If you are interested in talking to us for an event soon or dare I say for a Christmas party then we would love to hear from you. Debbie & Gayle Chives the Caterers www.chivescaterers.co.uk

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Now in its 37th year, the concert is a highlight of the summer season and for the first time, features The Definitive Rat Pack. The Leeds Castle Classical Concert is also thrilled to announce two incredible talented soloists. Baritone Ross Ramgobin will mesmerise crowds with his stunning performance

of Rule Britannia plus others, while Tenor Anthony Flaum will wow with his rousing rendition of Nessun Dorma. Join the crowd of 10,000 to sing along to the traditional and uplifting music, waving flags and enjoying picnics in the vast natural amphitheatre at Leeds Castle and an emotional finale of

stunning fireworks. This magnificent Castle is once again host to the most spectacular Open Air Concert to be held on Saturday 11th July. Tickets: Picnic Style £41; Seated £51. To book tickets and find out more visit www.leedscastleconcert.co.uk

Top award reflects 32 years of hard work An award described as “the icing on the cake after 32 years in business” has left Ashford garage boss Derek Pestridge thrilled with what his team has achieved. Family business D&D Autos, which embarked on a major expansion in early 2009, just as the recession began to bite, was named Business of the Year in the 2015 annual Kent Invicta Chamber Awards. It was the third time the family had been applauded on to the stage at the annual ceremony, but the first time they had collected the top award. “In 2010 we won the Excellence in Customer Service award and were highly commended in the Business of the Year category, and the following year we again won the customer service title,” said Derek. “While we are hugely proud of our reputation for customer service - and it clearly played a large part in this year’s

success - I had set my heart on winning the overall prize and it really was the icing on the cake. It was something very special, especially as we were up against two very worthy finalists. “People get very attached to their cars and they expect everything to be just right, and so I think it’s harder for a garage to maintain high standards and keep everyone happy all the time. We have always tried to go the extra mile and it is fantastic to have had that recognised in this way.” D&D Autos moved to a larger, purposebuilt modern unit on Ashford’s Orbital Park in 2009 but worked hard to remain community-focused. It has invested in main dealer-level equipment to support the highest level of service with a

personal, family business touch, while recent investment in performance tuning equipment has added to what is on offer. Founded in 1983, D&D Autos uses the extra space available at the new premises to host training courses attended by smaller independent garages. The business regularly takes on apprentices and is the main shirt sponsor of Ashford United FC - of which Derek is chairman. With Derek to collect the award, which he described as “the ultimate reward for the efforts of the whole team”, were wife Margaret and children Richard, Matthew and Lorraine, all of whom work in the business, together with new business development manager Steve Hodges.


MEMBERSNEWS

Ashford International Hotel awarded Hotel VenueVerdict Gold Standard Accreditation in 2015 development Ashford International Hotel has achieved the VenueVerdict Gold Standard continues Accreditation in quarter one of 2015, recognising the hotel as a recommended venue for a conference or event based on customer feedback. Deirdre Billing, General Manager at Ashford International Hotel, said: “An award based on customer feedback is so important to us, as we constantly strive to improve our service and offering to create new ways of inspiring our customers. The Gold Standard Accreditation is testament to the expert team here at Ashford International and we are extremely proud.”

Only 36 venues in the UK received the prestigious Gold Standard Accreditation, based on how likely event hosts are to recommend a venue for a conference or event. The research was conducted by BDRC Continental, the UK’s largest independent market research agency. The hotel is one of nine venues in the QHotels group to achieve the Gold Standard with the group receiving 25% of the total VenueVerdict Accreditations given in the first quarter of the year; more than any other hotel group in the UK. The VenueVerdict accreditations come after QHotels was named AA Hotel Group of the Year for the second time,

underlining the group’s commitment to deliver outstanding standards of product and service. The nine QHotels venues receiving the VenueVerdict Gold Standard Accreditation: • Ashford International Hotel • Crewe Hall • Forest Pines Hotel & Golf Resort • The Nottingham Belfry • The Oxford Belfry • The Cheltenham Chase Hotel • The Midland • The Stratford • The Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort

James Bland, Client Services Director at BDRC Continental said: “QHotels continues to demonstrate its commitment to meetings and events through another set of excellent VenueVerdict results – once again nine hotels have achieved Gold Standard Accreditation, representing 25% of this quarter’s cohort. “Hard work and consistency are certainly important factors, but they will only get a hotel so far. To truly excel, you have to have an unrelenting focus on the event host’s priorities. It’s only by really understanding what they are trying to achieve that you will secure their satisfaction, trust, loyalty and - crucially - recommendation.” For further information visit www.qhotels.co.uk

Food for thought

The Kent Cookery School is based deep in the heart of Kent, located just outside of Ashford in the picturesque setting of the Mersham le Hatch estate. The school was established four years ago and is now run by husband and wife team of Daniel and Lucie Kennedy. The school offers a wide range of courses from bread making, French and Italian, to authentic Thai cuisine, Mexican street food, foraging and wild food courses. The aim of the school is to inspire everyone that comes through the door. You will be shown new and exciting produce, recipes and cooking techniques to both build your confidence in the kitchen and inspire you to continue cooking and explore new ideas and flavours and enhance your culinary skills further.

The Kent Cookery School also offers a great selection of corporate packages, ideal for team building events to inspire the work force or simply reward a hard work team. The School boasts great meeting and conferencing facilities for those in need of a dedicated work space. New this year, the cookery school is now available for private lunches or dinner known as our "chefs table". Enjoy the theatre of the chefs cooking in front of you, preparing your meal right before your eyes.

Inspired by its local surroundings, the Hythe Imperial is a glorious 4-star hotel which has stood at the heart of Hythe for hundreds of years. Enjoy the atmosphere of this quaint coastal town while soaking up the panoramic sea views from the hotel which is just a stone’s throw from the beach. Staffed by our friendly and enthusiastic team, the hotel is ideal for families, couples, business visitors and locals. As part of the ongoing refurbishment of the hotel, the hotel is currently renovating the first and ground floor bedrooms. With 100 bedrooms and no two being the same, all rooms at the Mercure Hythe Imperial Hotel & Spa are as individual as the guests who come to stay. They range from intimate and cosy, to spacious and decadent; sea view or garden view; even cottage-style suites and family rooms with bunk beds. If it’s a venue you are looking for then the Mercure Hythe Imperial is just for you. With four dedicated and flexible meeting rooms, the hotel is able to accommodate up to 200 guests. All meeting rooms come equipped with LCD projectors and feature high speed WiFi. Some even boast unrivalled views of the English Channel – providing the perfect backdrop for your event. With its stunning views and extensive grounds, the hotel has plenty of areas to explore and space for delegates to relax and unwind during those essential moments of downtime. Whether it’s unwinding in the lounge, letting off steam in the spa, or enjoying a round of golf on our hotel course, speak to one of the team to discuss the range of activities they can provide.

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MEMBERSBENEFITS

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GETTINGSTARTED

Getting Started Name: Company name: Start up date: Website: Q1: Tell us a bit about your business? Striped Leopard Accountancy are Chartered Accountants who work with forward-thinking, creative, passionate and dynamic business owners who have a strong desire to be the best in their field. We help them with prioritising their time, motivating their team, planning, systemising and getting to grips with their finances. We provide an injection of energy, an independent sounding board, someone to help motivate their team and improve the customer journey. Q2: What gives your business ‘the x-factor’? We are quirky, energetic and plain speaking. We work with our clients to help them express their individual identity and use our vast experience to educate them to understand their figures, vision, team and business better. We understand that we have to constantly improve, remain consistent at all times and never forget that our clients are our number one priority. We seek out constructive criticism and are relentlessly looking for ways to improve. We offer a huge amount of reassurance and support to our clients, we remove the fear of accountancy, numbers and business. We don’t just say that we care, we really and truly do care. If we are able to help them then we will, whether it falls under the remit of an accountant or not. We are always going above and beyond and that is what makes Striped Leopard stand out from the crowd. Q3: What motivated you to set up the business? I set up my own business because I am unwilling to compromise on the level of service I believe an accountancy practice should be offering.

Vikki Moody ACA Striped Leopard Accountancy 1 April 2014 www.stripedleopardaccountancy.co.uk

The accountancy industry is in need of a massive shake-up. Most accountancy practices are too busy watching the clock to give their clients meaningful advice. No client wants compliance, they just need it. A set of accounts is already out of date by the time they are prepared. How is that useful? Compliance is a by-product of what Striped Leopard do. We focus on a client’s future, not the past. We have instant access to information these days yet most people don’t know the turnover of their own business or how much profit they’ve made that month. Our clients have their figures at their fingertips and more to the point, they understand those figures and know how to use them to grow their business. We also offer unlimited advice to every client at no extra cost. This is vital to our client relationships as our clients are actively encouraged to speak to us on a very regular basis. If they don’t get in touch with us themselves then we will call them for a catch up. Q4: What do you like most about working for a startup? My absolute favourite thing about it is that I don’t have to consult anyone else when I want to make an improvement or change a system. I decide to do it, it’s done. That is so exciting to me after years of corporate policies and having to follow longwinded change procedures to make even the tiniest change. Q5: What has been your greatest business success to date? Striped Leopard has had an amazing first year. We have been runner up in the Chamber Most Promising New Business Awards, runner up in a customer service award and featured

as a Top Rated Accountant in The Sunday Telegraph. I consider the entire first year as a huge success though as we met our (pretty ambitious) targets and I did not work even one weekend which is a pretty considerable achievement for a start-up. Q6: What has been your lowest moment? To be honest, there have hardly been any. I am a very positive person normally anyway and this has been the best year of my life professionally speaking but I did have a moment of doubt. It was about six months in and I was feeling The Fear. This normally happens within the first 12 months when you start seeing dwindling savings and no matter what your cash flow tells you, you worry about it. I have always had a rule that we don’t work with anyone we don’t like. Mainly because I don’t feel that you can give the best customer service to someone you dread speaking to. I had gone to give a quote to someone and within five minutes I knew that the person was not someone I could get on with (they admitted that I would be their 7th accountant in two years so it was obviously not just me). However, it was a large fee and I was in the grips of The Fear. I spent a night wrestling with the idea of taking them on and I very nearly broke my own rule. I made the right decision in the end though and I haven’t looked back. Q7: In terms of business achievements, where do you want to be within the next 5 years? Our vision is for every business, regardless of size, to reach it’s potential. We want all business owners to be confident enough to become Roaring Successes, to have their

figures at their fingertips, to understand their numbers and to know how to make them work for them. We plan on taking over the world of accountancy, shaking it up and making sure it is a much better place to be. In five years we will have won the British Accountancy Awards, expanded to a second practice and be providing our phenomenal service to all those amazing entrepreneurs that want it. Q8: What would be your top tip to someone thinking of starting up their own business? Firstly, just do it. If you have the idea and the conviction then take the plunge. It’s a cliché but life is short and the days fly by way too fast. Secondly, and this can’t be stressed enough, have a plan. This includes a 36 month cash flow forecast, market research, a detailed plan of action and an overall vision. Make sure you know what your exit strategy is before you even start and make sure you are absolutely clear about what you want your business to achieve and why. This is very important for establishing brand values to communicate to your clients and team. Thirdly, start as you mean to go on. By this I mean systems and processes. They can obviously be adapted as you go along but the best way to ensure success is through consistency and the easiest way to be consistent is to have a system. That’s not to say they are set in stone, I’m all for changing things up and improving, but if you have them written down in the first place then you at least have a process to follow as does any new team member!

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CHAMBEREVENTS

Chamber Events, Seminars & Workshops Kent Healthy Business - FREE Business Breakfast “Improving economic performance through people and environment” (In partnership with Kent County Council)

BUSINESS BREAKFAST Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 8:00am - 9:30am Non-Members: £20.00 + VAT Members: £15.00 + VAT Join us for a delicious full English breakfast and lots of networking. 11 June 2015 Burlington Hotel 3-5 Earls Avenue, Folkestone, CT20 2HR 12 June 2015 Breakfast Networking Special Cineworld Rochester Medway Valley Leisure Park, Chariot Way, Strood, ME2 2SS

17 July 2015 Time: 7:30am - 10:00am Best Western Coniston Hotel, 70 London Road, Sittingbourne, ME10 1NT

According to research, UK employers pay an annual bill of £9billion for sick pay and associated costs*

18 September 2015 Time: 7:30am - 10:00am Best Western Manor Hotel, Hever Court Road, Gravesend, DA12 5UQ

Kent Healthy Business Award is Kent County Council’s free self-assessment framework. By demonstrating commitment to wellbeing and sustainability, your business could reap the rewards of a healthier

25 June 2015 The Singleton Tandoori 2 Course Set Menu The Singleton Centre, Singleton Hill, Ashford, TN23 5GR 23 July 2015 Annual Summer BBQ 2 Course BBQ & Soft Drink Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, The Precincts, Canterbury, CT1 2EH

Afternoon Tea

03 July 2015 Mercure Hythe Imperial Princes Parade, Hythe, CT21 6AE

10 June 2015 Heart of Flavour 13 King Street, Maidstone, ME14 1BA

13 August 2015 St Augustine's Westgate 125 Canterbury Road, Westgate-on-Sea, CT8 8NL 14 August 2015 Breakfast Networking Special Hollywood Bowl Rochester (includes bowling) Unit 9 Medway Valley Leisure Park, Chariot Way, Strood, ME2 2SS

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ThinkingBUSINESS June - July 2015

Working towards the standard gives you access to: • A Kent Award linked to a nationally recognised award scheme • A local health at work advisor • Expertise in health and wellbeing programmes • FREE resources for a healthier business

Networking Lunch

18 June 2015 Holiday Inn Ashford North A20, Maidstone Road, Hothfield, Ashford, TN26 1AR

29 July 2015 Breakfast Networking Special - AMF Bowling (includes bowling) 43/79 Station Road, Ashford, TN23 1PP

Workplace health and wellbeing programmes can increase employee job satisfaction and reduce staff turnover between 10 and 25%**

workforce and automatically qualify for eligibility for the government’s Health at Work Award being launched in 2015.

30 June 2015 Brandshatch Place Brands Hatch Road, Fawkham, DA3 8NQ 30 July 2015 The Royal Wells Hotel 59 Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8BE Time: Non Members: Members:

1.30pm - 3.00pm £20.00 + VAT £15.00 + VAT

These lunch time events slot neatly into the business day and provide the ideal opportunity for you to meet fellow professionals, grow the profile of your brand and to build new business relationships. Time:

12 noon - 2.00pm

Non Members: £25.00 + VAT Members:

£20.00 + VAT

Join us for an 'Afternoon Tea' where you will have the ideal opportunity to meet fellow professionals, grow the profile of your brand and to build new business relationships. During the afternoon, you will be served a selection of finger sandwiches, cakes and a scone served with clotted cream and jam to go with your tea and coffee.


CHAMBEREVENTS

After Hours 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. This event is open to Members and nonmembers. Come and join us for an evening of networking. Complimentary Tea and Coffee will be served. A Cash Bar is sometimes available. Time: 6.00pm - 7.30pm FREE to members and non-members 09 June 2015 Mercure Hythe Imperial Hotel & Spa Princess Parade, Hythe, Kent, CT21 6AE 16 June 2015 The Abbots Barton 36 New Dover Road, Canterbury, CT1 3DU 16 June 2015 KMFM Studio Tour KMFM 105.6 Medway House, Ginsbury Close, Sir Thomas Longley Road, Medway City Estate, Strood, ME2 4DU 30 June 2015 Mecure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, ME17 1RE 07 July 2015 The Conningbrook Hotel Canterbury Road, Ashford, TN24 9QR 07 July 2015 Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre Brunel Way, Dartford, DA1 5GA

14 July 2015 Mercure Hythe Imperial Hotel & Spa Princes Parade, Hythe, Kent, CT21 6AE 21 July 2015 The Abbots Barton 36 New Dover Road, Canterbury, CT1 3DU 21 July 2015 Sun Pier House Medway Street, Chatham, ME4 4HF 28 July 2015 Mecure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, ME17 1RE 04 August 2015 The Conningbrook Hotel Canterbury Road, Ashford, TN24 9QR 04 August 2015 Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre Brunel Way, Dartford, DA1 5GA

Networking Golf Day Special 09 June 2015 8.30am - 3.00pm £60.00 + VAT per player Hever Castle Golf Club, Hever Road, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7NP

Sponso r a hole f or £5 On

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the day, put your spotlight business by havin in the g a busin up again e s s b anner st one o f the hole s Your com pany log o will als be added o to any lite rature handed o ut on the day.

This includes tea/coffee on arrival, bacon rolls and networking followed by 18 holes of golf and a two-course lunch. The Kent Invicta Chamber Golf Day is open to all businesses. As teams of golfers, businesses will play against each other over 18 holes. The teams and individual players will have the chance to win some fine prizes.

Chambers Exporters Networking Lunch 26 June 2015 Non Members: Members: Venue:

Time: 11:30am - 2:30pm £15.00 + VAT £10.00 + VAT Kent Invicta Chamber, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Kent TN24 0LH Join the Chamber's export team for an informal buffet lunch and networking opportunity with fellow exporters and importers from Kent and Medway. We'll update you on: • Funding currently available from Government • Projects and programmes that are developing in other countries • Details on the latest round of trade missions • New contacts for trade through the British Chambers overseas • Upcoming training and events Our Export Team and Adviser will be on hand to answer any questions you may have around documentation, export or import. Join us to share experiences, ask questions and enjoy our hospitality.

To book either visit www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/events or email events@kentinvictachamber.co.uk or call 01233 503838 June - July 2015 ThinkingBUSINESS

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BUSINESSNEWS

Be prepared Leading names launch new for new safety Retail, Leisure and Investment regulations New regulations to protect private sector tenants are set to come into force later this year – and landlords will face a hefty fine of up to £5,000 if they fail to comply, warns Kent law firm Furley Page. The proposed changes, due to be introduced in October subject to parliamentary approval, mean all private sector landlords will have to install and maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in all rental properties. “Landlords need to be aware of this development now and ensure that their properties are compliant before the regulations come into effect,” said Furley Page property specialist Sarah Woolnough. “This is part of wider government moves to improve public safety. Regularly testing these alarms will, however, remain the tenant’s responsibility and I urge all tenants to ensure that they do so. People are at least four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no smoke alarm. It can provide vital seconds needed to escape.” Under the proposed new regulations, landlords will have to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property and test them at the start of each tenancy. They will also have to fit carbon monoxide alarms in all high-risk rooms, such as those where solid fuel heating systems are installed. According to the Government, just 8% of homes had a smoke alarm installed in 1988 - now it’s over 90%. “These new rules will bring private rented properties into line with building regulations that already require newly-built homes to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed,” said Sarah.

Social Enterprise Kent relocate Social Enterprise Kent have recently relocated to new offices and training facilities in Herne Bay, and are now offering a range of newly refurbished meeting rooms for other organisations and the local community to hire. The facilities on offer are located in Herne Bay close to the A299 with easy access from London, Thanet and Canterbury. They include two large training rooms that can be hired separately, or combined to form a large conference room with the capacity for up to 70 people. In addition to this, there are two smaller meeting rooms. Space within this conference centre will be available 7 days a week with room rates starting from just £10 per hour, and additional facilities include free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, refreshments and free parking. Social Enterprise Kent is non-profit organisation, which actively creates trading profit for re-investment into socially-beneficial activities. This conference facility has been designed for use by the local community, and income generated will be reinvested into activities in line with their founding charter of “Improving lives, supporting communities.” More details of the facilities, including photographs, can be found online at www.sekgroup.org.uk.

46

ThinkingBUSINESS June - July 2015

Agency Business

Five former members of Tushingham Moore have announced the launch of a new company, Metis Real Estate Advisors, an independent retail, leisure and investment agency business. Founded by Stephen Tregenza, Dan Davies and Paul Jones, Metis Real Estate Advisors will offer expertise and advice throughout the UK, working with owners of leading retail and leisure destinations, as well as some of the best-known brands in the industry.

Joining the three founding Directors are Jon Phillips, who joins as a Director, and Suzanne Hilditch, as an Associate Director. Between them, the Metis team has worked with some of the most highly regarded owners, developers, investors and brands in the retail and leisure industry. Dan Davies said: “We value strongly our independence and the ability this affords the business to provide expert, balanced and, most importantly, impartial advice to

clients. We are confident the quality of the team we have assembled at Metis creates a great platform for clients.” Metis has already been appointed by Grosvenor on Liverpool ONE, Aviva on Corn Exchange, Manchester, and Wykeland on Flemingate in Beverley. Stuart Harris, Commercial Director and Co-Founder at Queensberry Real Estate, added: “We welcome the launch of Metis. Their combination of expertise and independence will not only serve us well, but is just what the industry needs at a time when so many specialist companies a re becoming part of the larger businesses that dominate the industry.”

A key element of Metis’ offer will be investment agency, with the team operating across the UK and having a proven track record of transacting deal volumes consistently in excess of national rivals. Paul Jones, Head of Investment at Metis, said: “We believe major investment instructions require highly experienced senior level resourcing, together with the very best supporting occupational expertise, to obtain the strongest results for clients. Metis’ two investment Directors continue to work side-by-side with the highest quality leasing advisors to achieve this aim.” The company has taken offices on King Street, Manchester.

Burgess Marine partners with Turks Yard, Chatham

Turks Shipyard and Burgess Marine have partnered to offer a one-stop-shop for ship repair and marine engineering excellence on the River Thames. The Turks dry dock and slipway is located in Chatham Historic Dockyard, and is ideal for a number of vessels. Both Richard Turk - MD of Turks Shipyard - and Nicholas Warren - MD of Burgess Marine - wish to offer the Thames community, and those visiting, a reliable service which they truly deserve and can depend upon.

Nicholas said: “Richard has a superb facility here in Chatham; he’s built a great business in the ideal location. "Our aspirations are to support this business further. We can provide technical management, coded steel and aluminium welders, electricians and hydraulics engineers as well as marine fitters. “We look forward to working with Richard and seeing how things on the Thames develop."


REGIONALNEWS

Partnership makes significant advances by Adam Bryan Deputy Director South East Local Enterprise Partnership

The early part of 2015 has seen your Local Enterprise Partnership take some mighty strides forward. The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), which is shared with Essex, Southend and Thurrock and East Sussex, has continued its process of maturity and secured the best possible pat on the back from Government - annual funding in advance for all of its schemes which are funded by the Local Growth Fund - worth almost £500m to our area. At the same time as cementing our “federal” operation - with local decisions made by local business and local councils working together - this confidence has been secured through the Board’s agreement of a comprehensive Assurance Framework, which comprises an Accountability Board underpinned by the rigour of a Local Government Committee, with county-level arrangements to match. Essentially it provides every guarantee to Government that due process will be followed; and, most importantly, allows the businesses and council leaders on the main board to focus more on strategic items and important discussions - eliminating process and detailed project management at that level. SELEP has been quick to devolve the money to its federated areas. Therefore, at the time of writing, some £30m to deliver those schemes

due for take-off in 2015 is in the local right bank accounts and is ready to be spent on the schemes which will help you grow. Behind the scenes, work continues to streamline processes and ensure the right balance between administration and delivery. SELEP is looking to set down a single process for monitoring and evaluating projects and ensuring that money is spent on the right schemes. It is also looking to instil a common approach to project appraisal across its areas - one which enables SELEP and its partners to produce the right answer any exam question that may be posed by the Headmaster at Whitehall in support of our local schemes. These two undertakings need to coalesce; they need to be as simple and transparent as possible. But, we have to recognise that they are still just a means to an end. What is that end? Well, SELEP’s job continues to be to direct as much Government support to this area as possible and to engage you in that journey. We need to make the right case for the right projects. We need to be ready for the next round of Growth Deals. We need to engage our SMEs better – and use the developing Growth Hub as a hook to achieving this.

We continue to work on the South East Fund - SEFUND - and are enthused by the level of interest in our area from large finance houses and major investors. We are driving the interest locally in the European funding opportunities which abound us. Talk to us about all of this. Alongside all of this, SELEP is currently setting its strategic work programme for the coming year. It is considering its position vis-à-vis the

London Plan, the Davies Commission, future Growth Deals and developing more joint work with other LEPs. Our view has to be your view, so please do not hesitate to contact us and make your views known. Be part of the debate. You can keep up to date on the latest news from SELEP via the refreshed website southeastlep.com, or the twitter feed @southeastlep.

We need to make the right case for the right projects. We need to be ready for the next round of Growth Deals. We need to engage our SMEs better – and use the developing Growth Hub as a hook to achieving this.

June - July 2015 ThinkingBUSINESS

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NEWMEMBERS

Welcome to new members Age UK Thanet Ltd Margate www.ageuk.org.uk/thanet Caring for older people Alsted Properties Limited Folkestone www.alsted.co.uk Property Development Argo Life & Legacy Ltd Canterbury www.argolifeandlegacy.co.uk Legal & Support Services

01843 223881

01303 274497

01227 700702

Blue Arrow Limited Maidstone 01622 662144 www.bluearrow.co.uk Recruitment Agency and Employment Business Breakthrough Funding Ltd Ashford 08007 720800 www.breakthroughfunding.com BRD Associates The Video Blog Company Ashford 01233 624463 www.videoblog.company Video Blog Recording, Production Services British Army - Reserve Growth Team Aldershot 01252 3482920 Reserve Growth Team - British Army Calibre Facility Services Ltd Rochester 01634 575014 www.calibrefacilities.co.uk Facility Services

Capricorn Twelve Ltd Ashford 01233 365684 www.captwelve.co.uk Business Development, Online & Offline Marketing, IT & Telecoms

Fastener Connections Ltd Ramsgate 01323 400911 www.fastenerconnections.com Distributor of Industrial Fasteners and Engineered Components

Colour Thirst Ltd Ashford 01233 822590 www.colourthirst.com Printing, Large Format, Web2Print

Faversham Golf Club Faversham www.favershamgolf.co.uk Golf - Leisure

CTA Fire Ltd Sittingbourne 01795 519822 www.ctafire.co.uk Fire Alarm Systems Maintenance & Installation

First Financial UK London www.firstfinancialuk.com Corporate Finance

CTS Vehicle Services Maidstone 01622 237093 www.ctsvehicleservices.co.uk Vehicle Leasing, Hire, Repair, Maintenance Manager, Bodyshop

Folkestone Printing.Com Ltd Folkestone 01303 277261 www.folkestoneprinting.com Design & Printing

Dreamland Margate Margate 01843 295887 www.dreamland.co.uk Operates Dreamland, Hospitality, Venue Hire, Special Events, Corporate Events

GO 4 Marketing & Public Relations Ltd Ashford 01233 636878 www.go4marketing.net Copy Writing, Design & Print, Awards & Printed Press Releases Harwood Building Control Approved Ltd Canterbury 01227 811882 www.harwood.uk.com Approved Building Inspectors, Construction Consultants

Elite Blinds & Shutters Canterbury www.elite-blinds.co.uk Blind & Shutter Installation

Higham Marquees Rochester 01474 825209 www.highammarquees.co.uk Marquee & Event Equipment Hire

01227 714716

Elite Pubs Hollingbourne www.elitepubs.com Pubs

Capital Currencies Ltd Tunbridge Wells 01892 614400 www.capitalcurrencies.com Foreign Exchange/International Payments

EnergyMyWay New Ash Green 02082 346883 www.energymyway.co.uk Renewable Energy Consultancy & Installation

ThinkingBUSINESS June - July 2015

020 3005 4200

eCommIT Strood 01634 294876 www.ecommit.co.uk Software House - Computer Programming

Canterbury Connected CIC Canterbury 01227 787055 www.canterburybid.co.uk Business Improvements in Canterbury City Centre

48

01795 890561

07889 885366

Holiday Extras Hythe 07427 652271 www.holidayextras.co.uk Airport Hotels, Airport Parking, Insurance, Hotels HR Clinic Hythe 01303 269557 Provision of Human Resources Advice to Organisations


NEWMEMBERS

Kent Recruitment Bureau Whitstable www.kentrb.co.uk Recruitment Agencies

01227 637393

Kings Hill Marketing Consultancy Ltd Mereworth 01622 817029 www.kingshillmarketingconsultancy.co.uk Research Based Marketing Consultant Krista Consulting Canterbury 08003 579790 www.kristacreative.co.uk Provision of qualification based management and business development training and coaching Lancaster Jaguar Sidcup Sidcup 02083 023333 www.lancaster.sidcup.jaguar.co.uk Corporate Car Sales Let's Do Business Group Hastings 01424 205500 www.1066enterprise.co.uk Start Up and Business Growth Finance

McCabe Ford Williams (Herne Bay) Herne Bay 01227 373271 www.mfw.co.uk Chartered Accountants, Tax Advisers & Insolvency Practioners

PaymentSense Broadstairs www.paymentsense.com Merchant Services

McCabe Ford Williams (Maidstone) Maidstone 01622 683627 www.mfw.co.uk Chartered Accountants, Tax Advisers & Insolvency Practitioners

Print Matters Ltd Waldron 01435 813044 www.printmatters.co.uk Digital colour printing, general printers, printing of T-shirts, copy shop activities

MCCH Maidstone 01622 722400 www.mcch.org.uk Charity supporting people with autism, learning disabilities and mental health needs

RJ Services Kent Ltd Rochester CCTV Install and Repair

Medway Voluntary Action Chatham 01634 812850 www.mva.org.uk Supporting the voluntary sector in Medway inlcuding training

01474 324529

Metro Bank Plc Tunbridge Wells 02034 027840 www.metrobankonline.co.uk Banking and Related Services

Mathtech Consultants Ltd Cranbrook 01580 243210 www.mathtech-consultants.co.uk Mathematical Research, Consultancy

New Appointments Group Ltd (Sitt) Sittingbourne 01795 416600 www.newappointmentsgroup.co.uk Recruitment

Maurice Ward & Co. (UK) Ltd Sunbury on Thames 01784 464519 www.mauriceward.com Supply Chain Logistics

NFU Mutual - Ashford & Tenterden Ashford 01233 500822 www.nfumutual.co.uk General & Commercial Insurance, Health & Safety Services, Financial Services

Manak Solicitors LLP Gravesend www.manaksolcitors.co.uk Solicitors

McCabe Ford Williams (Cranbrook) Cranbrook 01580 714111 www.mfw.co.uk Chartered Accounts, Tax Advisers & Insolvency Practitioners McCabe Ford Williams (Dover) Dover 01304 204006 www.mfw.co.uk Chartered Accountants, Tax Advisors & Insolvency Practitioners

NFU Mutual - Edenbridge Edenbridge 01732 867727 www.nfumutual.co.uk/edenbridge General Insurance, Life Assurance, Investments Njoy Training Tonbridge 01732 331080 www.njoytraining.co.uk Accountancy Training - Small Business Training

Royal Bank of Scotland Maidstone www.rbs.com Commercial Banking

07947 638937

01634 270010

01622 691461

School News Group Ramsgate 01843 595111 www.schoolnewsgroup.co.uk Magazine Publication/Advertising Stricklands Accountancy Ltd Folkestone 01303 764268 www.jgstricklandaccountancy.co.uk Accountants, Bookeeping, Payroll, Tax Planning The Rare Skills Set Limited Langton Green 01892 861788 www.therareskillsset.com Employment Brand Research & Communications The Workshop (Folkestone) Limited Folkestone 01303 764270 www.workshopfolkestone.co.uk Commercial Premises Office Space/Desk Space Yoomi Dartford www.yoomi.com Self warming baby bottles

01322 220011

June - July 2015 ThinkingBUSINESS

49


LASTWORD

MOVERS&SHAKERS

The Last Word Name: Company: Job title:

Paul Robinson Harwood Building Control Approved Inspectors Ltd Managing Director

After leaving school and completing many years of studying at Canterbury, Mid-Kent and Croydon colleges I started work as a trainee Building Control Officer. Since then I have gained more than 20 years’ experience within the Building Control profession, which has given me a wealth of knowledge and experience in both the private and Local Authority Building Control sectors. As a chartered building surveyor, chartered engineer and member of the Institute of Fire Engineers I have been fortunate enough to have worked on a huge variety of construction projects and have specialised over the past few years in access and fire safety issues in the design of buildings. Q. What was your first job and what was the pay packet? A. Trainee Building Control Officer with a salary of £5,600 Q. What do you always carry with you to work? A. Sadly my mobile phone (hopefully my daughters will not read this) as it is difficult to do the job without it these days. Life was a lot simpler when you could go out to do your inspections at 10.30 and come back at 4 and no one could get hold of you…happy days!! Q. What is the biggest challenge facing your business? A. Recruitment of experienced Building Control professionals along with a shortage of new people coming into the profession. Q. If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change to help business? A. I’m sure everyone in business would change the same, less taxation, VAT, PAYE, Corporation Tax etc. and more support for established businesses. There often seems a big focus on new businesses, but fewer initiatives for businesses which still need help to expand. Q. What can you see from your office window? A. The office car park, nothing exciting I’m afraid. Q. If you could do another job what would it be? A. The winch man on an air sea rescue helicopter; bit of a change from Building Control. Q. As a business person, what are your three main qualities? A. I would say I’m approachable, hard-working and I believe fair, in that I always try to treat people how I would like to be treated myself. Q. What was your biggest mistake in business? A. Thinking that the banks were here to help us particularly during the recession. On sunny days you don’t always need the banks to provide you with an umbrella. Q. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? A. If you believe in something then go for it every time. Q. Who do you most admire in business? A. I think I would have to say Richard Branson; I really like his entrepreneurial spirit.

50

Visit Kent welcomes new faces to Board of Directors

ThinkingBUSINESS June - July 2015

Visit Kent has welcomed two new faces from the private sector to its Board of Directors. Nine candidates were nominated for the four available places on the Visit Kent board for private sector directors, and the votes for election were cast by the organisation’s private sector investors. The directors who received the most votes, and have been elected, are: John Keefe, Director of Public Affairs, Eurotunnel David Statham, MD, Southeastern Sarah Wood, MD, Mulberry Cottages John Meardon, Receiver General, Canterbury Cathedral

Eurotunnel director John Keefe and Southeastern MD David Statham join the board for the first time, while Mulberry Cottages MD Sarah Wood and Receiver General of Canterbury Cathedral John Meardon were re-elected to the board for another two years. As members of the Visit Kent Board of Directors, they join Visit Kent Chairman Amanda Cottrell OBE, Visit Kent Chief Executive Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE, Chief Executive of Ashford Borough Council John Bunnett, Retail director of Shepherd Neame Nigel Bunting, Chief Executive of Canterbury City Council Colin Carmichael, Head of

Regeneration Projects, Growth, Environment & Transport at Kent County Council Theresa Burton, Director of Regeneration, Community & Culture at Medway Council Robin Cooper, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Kent Council Council Mark Dance, and Chief Executive of The Historic Dockyard Chatham Bill Ferris OBE. Chief executive of Visit Kent Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE said: “This is the first time that we have had significantly more nominations than available places on the board, which is a very positive sign of the level of confidence the private sector has in Visit Kent.”

Girlings Solicitors welcome Caroline Armitage Girlings Solicitors is delighted to welcome Caroline Armitage to their Corporate & Commercial Law department based in Ashford. With strong Kent connections - she is a past student of Chatham Grammar School for Girls - Caroline went on to study law at Selwyn College, Cambridge. She now has over 25 years’ experience as a corporate and commercial lawyer and law firm partner. Previous firms include Thomas Eggar, asb law and Burstows. Caroline brings with her a wealth of

experience as a strategic legal adviser to SMEs, charities and entrepreneurs. She specialises in helping organisations and business owners achieve their strategic goals through business change, mergers, acquisitions, disposals, restructuring and joint venture structuring, including cross border. She also advises on succession management and commercial contracts. Specialist sector experience includes manufacturing, insurance, print, charity, travel and aviation.

Her reputation as a trusted advisor has led to a number of high profile nonexecutive roles and she is currently Chair of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the leading mental health services provider in Sussex and in the south east.

‘Exploration and Discovery’ in Kent After 25 years in London helping national and international clients communicate effectively, Sue Redden and Nick Holker have established The Rare Skills Set in Tunbridge Wells.

Our specialism is brand and communications, with a twist. We connect businesses with their people, improving recruitment, engagement and performance, through a process of exploration, discovery and creation. We develop messages that communicate a proposition rather than selling an aspiration.

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Thinking Business - June 2015  
Thinking Business - June 2015  

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce business magazine June 2015