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Inside 05 business matters 12 the expert 13 fine print 24 inspirational leaders 28 hospitality feature 38 diary 39 events and training 44 new members 46 five minutes with 46 movers & shakers

the magazine for sussex chamber of commerce members

december 2016/january 2017

University launches a revolution Page 24

Sussex Chamber of Commerce

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contents

december 16/january 17 business edge

Sussex Chamber of Commerce

Sussex Chamber of Commerce currently represents over 1,000 member businesses. Membership of Sussex Chamber of Commerce offers access to invaluable business advice, money saving benefits, networking opportunities and provides a voice for businesses at a local, regional and national level. Business Edge is delivered free of charge to all Sussex Chamber of Commerce members as well as key business decision makers across the county. It has a circulation of 4,000 copies per issue. Business Edge is a Sussex Chamber of Commerce publication. If you have any stories you would like to tell us about or any comments please drop us an email at enquiries@

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welcome

business matters

business matters

business awards

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business matters

ask the expert

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business matters

business matters

fine print

feature: business support

sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

SUSSEX CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Unit 4, Victoria Business Centre, 43 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill RH15 9LR

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inspirational leaders

construction feature

business matters

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business matters

feature: hospitality and tourism

business matters

business matters

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business matters

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diary

events & training

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FEATURE EDITORS

40 feature: legal focus

John Dean & Francis Griss email:deangriss@btinternet.com

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feature: events

new members

DISCLAIMER Distinctive Publishing or Business Edge cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that may occur, individual products or services advertised or late entries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or scanned without prior written permission of the publishers and Business Edge.

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movers & shakers

five minutes with ...

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

Front Cover Image: Glow Wild Winter Lantern Festival 2016 | Wakehurst

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welcome

december 16/january 17 business edge

Welcome to the December/ January Issue!

Accolade for architects

The awards season is upon us. The Sussex Chamber is very pleased to announce two regional award winners that will now compete for the national Chamber Business Awards in London, hosted by the British Chambers of Commerce. The Chamber Business Awards is one of the UK’s most contested and prestigious business award programmes. Please read the magazine for further information about our regional winners. This issue of Business Edge brings you some of the highlights from the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors. The historic county of Sussex has so much to offer visitors and has some of the best weather in the UK. The county is ideally placed to attract both business visitors and tourists with its major airport and seaports. Not only does the South East attract the highest number of visitors after London, but it also employs the largest workforce in these sectors, second to London. The county also hosts festivals big and small and is also known for its cutting edge technologies in the city of Brighton as well as its architectural buildings, from castles to modern tourist attractions. Sussex has some amazing attractions, national heritage sites and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Its soil, climate and environment are conducive to producing amazing products, food and wine. With an assortment of Michelin star restaurants, pubs and hotels, it is truly heaven for food-lovers. Furthermore, the county boasts a variety of leisure activities and pursuits to suit sea or land lovers to help you burn off some of those extra calories. A brisk or more leisurely walk across the South Downs can be absolutely breathtaking. We have some exciting news coming up in the New Year. Membership packages are being developed and enhanced further, ready for a new look early in 2017. Further announcements and news will follow. The British Chambers of Commerce also have their annual conference coming up on the 28 February 2017 and we have our next Business Leaders Conference on the 22 March 2017, so please put these dates in your diary. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Do you have any news that you would like to share? Chamber members have the opportunity to share news stories with the business community though our Business Edge magazine or via our social media. Should you wish to find out more about your membership benefits, please call our office on 01444 259 259.

Ana Christie Chief Executive Sussex Chamber of Commerce

Local architecture firm Koru Architects has won a Green Apple Award for the Built Environment, being presented with the Gold Award for the architecture category in a glamorous ceremony at The Crystal, London. The prestigious international award was for a zero-carbon eco-house designed by Koru Architects, located in Lloyd Close, Hove. The detached property, which also houses Koru Architects’ company office, is run on 100% renewable energy via solar panels and a biomass boiler, even generating enough power to export a surplus to the grid. It is constructed using natural materials such as sustainable timber, hemp-fibre insulation and natural paints. The award was for the environmental credentials of the project along with positive engagement with the local community. Koru Architects has entered the annual Brighton and Hove Eco Open Houses Show six times so far, and plans to continue to do so in order to educate the public about sustainable housing and inspire the community to take action. Company director and senior architect Mark Pellant said: “The Koru Architects team are honoured to have their work recognised with this Green Apple Award. We are delighted to have been recognised by the internationally renowned Green Organisation and to have received one of their highest eco- accolades for one of our designs. “That said, we won’t be resting on our laurels and will strive to produce many more innovative sustainable buildings”. The Green Apple Environment Awards, run by the Green Organisation, were established in 1994 as an annual campaign to recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice around the world.

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www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

Time for your team to step up We all probably know someone – a family member, friend or colleague – who has recently bought a fitness tracker. Or maybe that person is you? The latest wearable technology can monitor your heart rate, calculate your daily step total and even tell you how much physical activity you have undertaken that day. As we focus on the quest for the holy grail of 10,000 steps per day, we recognise the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle. In the workplace too, the importance of physical activity is well-documented. Evidence suggests that a physically active workforce can lead to lower levels of staff sickness, absenteeism and even increased productivity. Guidelines produced by NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) recommend that all employers take action to introduce and monitor an organisationwide programme to encourage and support employees to be physically active. How can this be achieved? Company away days, team-building sessions and longer term activity programmes are just some of the many ways to embark upon this. Spending a day or more away from your usual working environment tackling exciting outdoor activities can offer tangible benefits for your entire team. Blackland Farm is one such escape from office life. Situated in the glorious Sussex countryside just an hour by train from central London, Blackland Farm is a multipurpose activity centre. Their experienced staff work with you to create a programme tailored to meet the needs of your group and your training objectives. If a single day isn’t long enough, they can provide all the equipment you need to camp overnight (or, if you’d prefer some creature comforts, there is plenty of accommodation nearby).

There are many benefits to treating your team to a day – or more – at Blackland Farm. Impeccable hospitality – their teams are dedicated to making your visit enjoyable and productive. Excellent value for money – experience high quality service in a stunning setting for a reasonable price. Space to think – collaborate and create without the usual distractions. Harness the power of adventure – improve team working and communication skills through outdoor activities. The 120 acre site has a range of outdoor activities that will put your team through their paces. For the adventurous, they can offer activities ranging from abseiling, assault courses, canoeing, climbing walls, grass sledges, kayaking, low ropes, rock climbing and zip wires, to name but a few.

Shake up your routine in 2017 Businesses across Sussex are urged to go head-to-head against their competitors through the national initiative Workplace Challenge. It is a well-known fact that employee well-being plays a major factor in business performance and productivity, thus increasing output and profit. It is vital that businesses invest in their workforce to keep staff happy, healthy and productive! The ‘New Year - New Business’ challenge runs for eight weeks throughout the months of January and February 2017. The challenge is simple and anyone from any workplace can take part for free: Get active – do whatever activity you like, and whenever you like Log all your activity – via the workplace challenge website or using the workplace iPhone or Android app. Don’t forget – activity makes points and points mean prizes!

On an individual level, participants often notice increased confidence and selfawareness, and have the satisfaction of knowing they’ve successfully scaled a climbing wall or zoomed down a zipwire! As well as having a memorable and enjoyable day, they’ll develop skills they can apply to their everyday work, from improved problem solving to enhanced communication.

Track your progress – and compete for fun on the workplace challenge individual and workplace leaderboards

Blackland Farm is owned and run by Girlguiding, a charity giving girls and young women the space to be themselves and discover their full potential. By choosing Blackland Farm for your activity day you can be confident that you’re investing in more than the future of your own team.

So, what are you waiting for? Shake up your routine in 2017!

The more we exercise, the healthier we’ll be, the better we’ll feel and the less sick days we’ll need – reducing the burden on businesses and the economy.

Sadie Mason Director, Active Sussex

www.blacklandfarm.org.uk

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

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business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

Sussex Business Awards 2016 Finalists Announced The shortlist for the 28th annual Sussex Business Awards 2016 has been announced and hundreds of applicants have been whittled down to just forty one finalists. Representatives from 27 towns across the county make the shortlist and 2016 is set to be a hot contest to receive one or more of the prestigious seventeen trophies. Six companies make the shortlist twice, including The Base Skatepark CIC, Stelfox, International Logistics Group (ILG), Cheesmur Building Contractors, Yelo Architects and The Dental Barn. To reach their crucial decision, the judges reviewed all the entries to come to their longlists. Candidates then go through a rigorous reviewing system, including

phone, face to face and panel interviews, to determine who will be in the running for one of the most highly coveted awards in Sussex. Taking his place as chairman of the judges for the third year in a row was Mike Herd, executive director of the Sussex Innovation Centre and a previous winner of the Sussex Businessperson of the Year, commented: “The exceptional quality of the entries really shined through, and I know a lot of worthy winners have been chosen. Congratulations to all the shortlist!” Sussex Businessperson of the Year finalists have been automatically selected from entrants to the Sussex Company of the Year and the Small Business of the Year Awards, as well as direct entries. Winners will then be decided after a series of face to face interviews in front of a panel of judges. Entries were judged by an expert panel which included representatives from Mazars, Morgan Sindall, HSBC, Southern Railway, Vantage Professional Risks, Checkatrade.com, Sussex Innovation Centre,

Checkaprofessional.com, Wealden District Council, Sussex Chamber of Commerce, University of Sussex, Natures Way Food, Coffin Mew, The Argus, Platinum Business, Heart FM and Title Sussex. This year’s ceremony will take place on Thursday 1 December 2016 at The Grand Brighton and will be presented by comedian Simon Evans. The Awards sell out each year so make sure to book your tickets soon. Tickets are available online at www.sbawards.org.uk. Tickets cost £90 each (plus VAT) or £850 (plus VAT) for a table of ten. This includes champagne reception, three course meal, and two bottles of wine on each table, as well as entertainment, dancing and a few surprises. For more information or to buy tickets, please contact on T: 01273 666200 or E: sussex@midnight.co.uk. Follow us on

@SussexBizAwards.

The launch of The D.R.E.A.M. Centre Appeal by Chailey Heritage Foundation Sally-Anne Murray Development Director, Chailey Heritage Foundation

Historic Sussex charity Chailey Heritage Foundation has launched another ground-breaking project set to enrich the lives of children and young people with complex disabilities: The D.R.E.A.M. Centre Appeal is an aspiring project designed to transform the Foundation’s current assembly hall, built in 1958, into an indoor state of the art centre where young people with

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high health needs will enjoy a mixture of sports, performing arts, rebound therapy and a 4D immersive zone. Well known for its pioneering work since 1903, Chailey Heritage Foundation is committed to making The D.R.E.A.M. Centre a reality as soon as possible so that young people with complex disabilities can benefit from new experiences and opportunities and get the most out of life. Sally-Anne Murray, Development Director for Chailey Heritage Foundation, who is heading up the appeal said: “This project has already caught the imagination of the young people and their families and we are really looking forward to engaging

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with local businesses and the local community to make this dream a reality.” If you would like to support the appeal or find out more, please contact fundraising@chf.org.uk or visit the appeal website www.chf.org.uk/

DreamCentre

tel: 01444 259 259


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business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

Managing a Profitable Enterprise Terri Rayner Account Executive at Sutton Winson

The English wine industry in the balmy South East has been growing in leaps and bounds in recent years. This rise in popularity is due to the expansion of existing vineyards and new wine production ventures. With the festive period around the corner, we are likely to see consumers developing a taste for homegrown wine. However, frost is a significant hazard to many UK vineyards, particularly in the spring months, where it can damage or kill buds that would otherwise develop into grapes. Destruction, caused by frosts not only puts at risk the season’s crop but because of the perennial nature of grapevines, it can influence the productivity of vines for years to come. A vineyard’s exposure to frost risk depends on regional and local climate conditions, site topography and management’s ability to mitigate against the risk by employing frost protection strategies. The ability to minimise the risk of crop loss or damage is fundamental to managing a profitable vineyard enterprise. Presently, there are no available insurance products covering frost. Reasons for this are the lack of market knowledge, and confidence in the quantitative effect of frost on winegrape production, as well as the ability to accurately model risk in vineyards.

A new Frost Risk model comes to the rescue Winemaking is an art. Like all works of art it requires patience, time and thoughtful planning. Since 2011, Sutton Winson has been working alongside the English Wine industry to develop an exclusive insurance package that understands the unique risks faced by growers and producers. As a member of the United Kingdom Vineyard Association, it is their aim to educate insurers, wine producers and growers on the requirements of the expanding industry. Bespoke insurance policies have been developed that cover Business Interruption; Property, Liability and Motor; Environmental Impairment Liability; Storm and Hail damage to crops, Excise Duty following a stock theft and Risk Management that assists with vineyard’s Health & Safety and Business Continuity Planning. With Sutton Winson’s funding, a detailed frost risk model applicable to scales below 1 x 1 km to better inform producers and the insurance sector about inherent vineyard frost risk has been developed by Alistair Nesbitt from Climate Wine Consulting. Furthermore, these new tools have the capability to map ultra-high resolution (1 x 1 m) vineyard terrain,

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using satellite imagery to show areas in vineyards at high risk of frost damage. The models were trialed in two vineyards in England to validate their ability to accurately identify frost risk. The results were met with positive feedback, and in both cases, they identified inherent risks and were able to indicate potential crop and wine value losses without mitigation practice implementation. In addition, the models demonstrated the risk of catastrophic spring frost events across England and Wales with an analysis of yield loss in 1997. If the same event occurred today the wine production sector could lose an estimated loss of four million bottles of wine. The work that has been undertaken has enabled them to provide a comprehensive frost risk analysis of vineyards on a case-by-case basis, make informed recommendations on frost mitigation strategies and present residual risks to drive insurance products. The models that have been created are best suited for existing vineyards with over 5 years of yield, production and finance data, as for new vineyards there is not yet enough historic data to reliably calculate losses.

Supporting the industry Sutton Winson is consistently working to ensure their business continues to nurture the wine industry. They partnered with Plumpton College, the UK’s center of excellence in wine education, training, and research, to award Irene Harte as the first winner of the Sutton Winson New Winegrower Scholarship. Irene was delighted to be presented with £1,000 towards her Masters in Viticulture and Oenology. Irene has been passionate about wine since her very first taste. Her impressive academic background includes a First Class Honors in a BSc Hons Botany and Microbiology. In addition, she has traveled to Japan to enroll at the famous wine school in Kanazawa, Le Chateau de Chinon. Whilst there, she dedicated herself to understanding grape varietals in extreme climatic fluctuations. This award will allow Irene the exciting opportunity to demonstrate her ambition to establish a commercial vineyard on the South Coast. Chris Foss, Head of the Wine Department at Plumpton College commented: “Wine production is a risky business, but it can be a very rewarding occupation. I’m delighted that Sutton Winson is encouraging new, dynamic entrepreneurs into our industry.”

New Appointed Director General One of the fallouts from the great Brexit debate was the British Chamber of Commerce’s (BCC’s) long standing Director General, John Longworth. His defiant move in favour of leaving the EU was in opposition to the BCC’s neutral, balanced position of evaluating the arguments for and against, and he paid the price of deviating from this agreed line. Up until October Adam Marshall had been standing in as Acting Director General but has now been appointed permanently in this role. This is great news, and rather like Gareth Southgate’s “interim” appointment as England football manager, most of us have been mystified at the delay in Adam’s appointment and wondering what he would have to achieve to secure it. Anyway, Adam is a great friend of Sussex and has been down to us on many occasions to support our events, not least the Brexit policy forum debate held at Gatwick Airport with Chris Grayling MP and Greg Mountain. Adam’s policy knowledge and debate management skills were in evidence on that day and I know of no other who has both the insight and personal attributes to deal with politicians at the highest level. Having such a person at the helm of the BCC is extremely important to us. Part of what we can offer to our members, as the BCC’s accredited Chamber for Sussex, is a strong voice into Government and the senior policy makers. We continue to state Sussex’s business priorities on our member’s and our partner organisations in the region’s behalf, on subjects such as infrastructure, business rates reform, skills and education and see evidence of these priorities appearing in government policy statements. We wish Adam every success in his new role and hope to welcome him down to Sussex again in the near future.

Terri Rayner, Account Executive at Sutton Winson commented: “We want to be part of this exciting new development in our region by supporting new entrants and finding out from existing producers how we can help them manage the risks inherent in the production of a wonderful product, English wine.”

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259

David Sheppard Chairman Sussex Chamber of Commerce


business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

Taking Part or Not – Employment Law Post Brexit? Once the UK leaves the European Union, a key question is what will happen to that large body of employment law originally derived from Brussels?

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Over the years workers’ rights across the spectrum of our economy have been affected by EU directives. Employment protection legislation for individual rights, ranges from working time, annual holidays, women’s rights, family-friendly policies, to ‘atypical’ workers and anti-discrimination legislation. Protection for collective rights can be encompassed by Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations, together with information and consultation.

legislation across Member States. A number of different legal approaches have been used to incorporate these EU-derived laws into UK law, such as secondary legislation under the European Communities Act 1972, for instance TUPE, as well as through stand alone acts of Parliament, for instance the Equality Act 2010. The Working Time Directive is one of the most high profile elements of EU-derived affecting employment. One of the main provisions of the Working Time Directive – the workers’ week being limited to 48 hours – is already subject to an opt out in the UK. This Directive is an illustration of the complexity of how the UK transposes different elements of EU law and how interpretation is influenced by a wider domestic context. An example of this is EU-derived regulation on family-friendly provision in the workplace. Successive governments have promoted this and it is difficult to imagine that there might be a policy shift aimed at undermining this in relation to EU-derived regulation.

Will far-reaching changes for employment relationships emerge with a renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the EU and for many laws that govern it? Many Human Resources and related professionals must be thinking about how triggering Article 50 and subsequently the UK Government’s negotiations on structuring a new EU relationship, might affect the workplace. In theory, post Brexit, opportunities may well be there for UK government to change our employment law if it could win parliamentary approval for such a move. The reality is, though, that the legal framework within which EU-derived employment law is transposed into UK law is complex and dismantling it will not be straightforward, even supposing there is the appetite to do it. It is fairly sure nothing will change in the short term.

We will have to wait to see what comes out of negotiations before reliable commentary and analysis of what the future might herald for EU-derived employment law, is anything other than speculation. The political and economic relationship negotiated by the UK will inevitably determine any changes to workplace rights. If the UK was to seek continued access to the single market or to join the European Economic Area, like Norway, the UK could still be required to accept the majority of EU regulations. The unravelling of EU-derived requirements from non-EU-derived requirements will present legal and practical challenges, particularly in situations where an interpretation of EU Directives and European Court of Justice rulings has been made by domestic courts and case law has drawn on that.

European law has been initiated in Brussels via directives and then, following agreement, it would be transposed into national

Overall, the UK has an appropriate employment regulation framework providing sufficient flexibility for employers

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and appropriate employment protection for workers. So perhaps, it is more likely there will be a tinkering with specific areas less popular with UK employers. Maybe less will change than is imagined. ‘Taking Part’ is very much the firm’s style, providing employment law advisory services, HR consultancy and employment related training from offices in Sussex and at Heathrow. The firm has five specialist employment lawyers, and a number of legal and HR consultants, and is recommended by the leading UK legal directories, as a provider of commercially driven, practical employment law advice and for having an impressive international reach. Sherrards’ national client base includes organisations in the private, public, and voluntary sectors. Taking Part is very definitely something that firm’s principal, Harry Sherrard, believes in. He established his own legal practice in 1999 having qualified in 1988. Alongside this legal career he has pursued a lifelong passion for all things motorsport. Whether it was managing to get a job with the Jordan Formula 3 team, racing a saloon car at the iconic Goodwood Revival Historic Race weekend, or long distance, endurance rallying across the Sahara Desert and, supporting the Race 2 Recovery team of injured servicemen, he sees no reason why he couldn’t be Taking Part in it all! Additionally, he has written and published two books on employment law and a third, the latest, about his amateur motorsport career called, guess what, ‘Taking Part’.

tel: 01444 259 259

Harry Sherrard Principal at Sherrards Employment Lawyers


advertorial

december 16/january 17 business edge

Sussex company invests to offer high-tech 3D Digital Services for local manufacturers. Benchmarq Ltd, based in Billingshurst, West Sussex, specialises in computer-aideddesign (CAD) software, hardware, training and professional services. The company has recently invested in new technology to expand its 3D digital product and service range even further, with this being of particular interest to manufacturing companies. The company represents the Evixscan™ range of precision, 3D industrial scanners and offers sales of the equipment together with a comprehensive range of after sales support, training and, importantly, 3D scanning services and related services. These include: • 3D scanning to capture whole object surfaces to an accuracy of up to 10 microns. • Optical measurement of the scanned objects over the whole body or any selected parts of it. • Deviation analysis with comparison to a reference or master object/model, typically a 3D CAD model, for enhanced quality control. A wide range of

graphical, tabular and textual reports are produced. • Reverse engineering to recreate the geometry of scanned objects where no CAD model exists or has been lost. • 3D modelling of proposed design changes, adaptations or modifications. • Stress, heat transfer and vibration simulation using finite element analysis (FEA). • Rapid prototyping and reproduction using 3D printing in a variety of materials, using the most appropriate print technology.

• Jewellery and similarly finely-detailed objects.

• CNC machine outputs are also supported.

• Reproduction of museum pieces or other historical objects and artefacts.

Benchmarq’s 3D digital services and technology can be applied to objects ranging from millimetres up to a few metres in size, in a wide variety of fields of application, for example:

• Damaged or broken items in need of repair.

• Architectural masonry and plasterwork.

For further information contact Benchmarq on 01403 787 930 or visit www.bmarq3d.co.uk

• Manufactured components in a variety of materials (metal, plastic, rubber, wood etc.). • Medical products, equipment, prostheses etc.

Integration is everything. Nothing exists alone. Ballard Chalmers is one of the UK’s leading enterprise software engineering companies, specialising in custom development for the Microsoft Enterprise Application Platform. We are principally dedicated to software development and integration for the Microsoft Cloud, as well as on-premises and hybrid systems. Our expertise is in Microsoft .NET, SQL Server, BizTalk Server and SharePoint Server. To arrange a free informal technical review and discussion with one of our experts, or for more information call 01342 410223 or visit www.ballardchalmers.com.

software, engineered

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

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ask the expert

december 16/january 17 business edge

When Cutting Cost is No Longer Cutting it

Adam Clark Chief Network Engineer, Structured Communications

When BT and Openreach split in 2006 there was a noticeable shift in the industry. Companies of all sizes began offering services at various costs for phone lines, calls and broadband among other things. Competitive cost is important for businesses and consumers alike when considering who to give your money to each month, but is there more to it? The value of going to an SME focused telecoms provider can’t be ignored.

Quality If you take the example of using Nan’s phone from 1976 at the office, you can be sure it isn’t going to have a built in directory or voicemail. While Nan’s phone will allow you to order takeaway, it’s not going to cut it when it comes to hosting an international conference call. Equally, the broadband connection needs to be reliable. Users typically won’t be able to identify issues with oversubscription, however Telecoms providers can monitor their network and usage to forecast capacity growth ensuring users get a fair service.

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Redundancy within a carrier or wholesale provider is also important, while individual broadband faults can and do occur, the impact is typically limited to a single site and or connection. Failure at a higher level within the network can impact you far more should you take multiple services from a mutual provider. Investment in critical infrastructure at a carrier level should not be over looked. An SME focused provider is making investments with the targeted client in mind.

Personalisation Nothing is more upsetting than your time wasted while you wait to get something addressed. The telecom giants have call centres and automated menus leading you down a path to (hopefully) a human and not always one that can answer your query. If you are just a number and an invoice, how can anyone really be accountable to your needs if they don’t actually know who you are? It is possible to obtain products and services from a provider with a dedicated team who personally answers your call or email.

Trust It’s common practice in the telecoms industry for providers to lock a client into a long contract. Unfortunately, this means that the provider has you at their mercy even if your situation has changed or you want to run for the hills. There are no rules that say lines and broadband must be provided on

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a long contract. What is stopping providers from offering shorter, flexible contracts on everyday services with the responsibility to provide great service and keep you happy? * The answer? Nothing. Why is this such a radical concept for the majority of providers? What exactly are they afraid of? SME focused providers can tailor services and contracts to suit the specific needs of the client. One size does not fit all. *For some services such as Leased Lines and new FTTC circuits, a minimum 12-month contract is required.

Direct-to-Network Not all telecoms providers work directly with Openreach. Some providers are resellers and may be two or more steps away from the network. The boast about being direct-to-network is in lower cost and quicker response time. Resellers add cost in order to make a profit and relaying fault issues from one to the next until actually reaching the network. This will only add delay in getting the fault fixed. Direct-to-network providers can be faster at addressing a fault and because the middle men are not involved, also helping to keep service costs lower. There are SME-focused providers willing to fill the demand for personalised telecoms. It shouldn’t be too much to ask for your provider to value you and your business and have the flexibility to provide telecoms at a reasonable cost.

tel: 01444 259 259


fine print

december 16/january 17 business edge

Rock’n’rolling IFA marks anniversary with mortgage acquisition Mike Oliver Mike Oliver Associates

Mike Oliver Associates is turning 15 years old, and celebrating with the acquisition of independent mortgage advisory service Chase Mortgages. It’s a far cry from the seven years Geordie-born Mike spent in the late 1980s behind a keyboard, achieving local radio airplay with his rock band, One Two XL. “It was pop rock - big hair, white shirts and braces,” he recalled. Having failed to hit the big time by the end of the decade, though, he swapped chinos for smart suits to retrain as an independent financial adviser (IFA). After climbing the career ladder, Mike promised himself that he would be running his own business by the time he was 40. He hit his target nine days shy of his 41st birthday. The Haywards Heath-based IFA now advises private clients and commercial organisations across the South East with a wide array of financial services: estate planning, mortgage advice, buildings and contents cover, equity release, savings, pensions, asset protection, later life advice, investments and taxation planning. Mike said: “As I’ve gone through life, my goals have changed – from musician to IFA, employee to running my own business. Those experiences help me better assist clients through the life-changing moments that affect their finances - marriage, birth, divorce, illness, retirement and death.” Mike, who outside the office is known for his unstinting support for local charities, added: “Managing finances can be daunting but as we help clients realise their ambitions, it becomes so much more interesting for them.” He was recently presented with a special award from Mid Sussex District Council for services to the community by the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Mark Spofforth. Like his transformation from rock musician to IFA, Mike reinvented the company after the 2008 recession. He decided on a departmental approach, with advisers focusing on different customers’ life stages. The company’s higher profile attracted the attention of local, familyrun Chase Mortgages, whose proprietors were looking to retire. “Although we acquired Chase, they actually chose us,” Mike said. “They were naturally cautious about handing over their clients, many of whom had become friends, to another broker and had vetted a number of firms before they found us. Their clients trusted their advice implicitly so we were able to pick up the baton of trust and provide a wider financial service under one roof. “We have a lot to celebrate this year, but we’ve been too busy to enjoy it so far!”

Inclusive Talent Management: How Business can Thrive in an Age of Diversity By Stephen Frost and Danny Kalman - Published by Kogan Page A US study concluded that, when holding variables such as gender, age and weight constant, an inch of height is worth $789 a year in salary. That means that a person who is six feet and two inches tall, but who is otherwise identical to someone who is five foot five, will make on average $7,101 more per year. This book argues that there is a problem in the way businesses tackle a lack of diversity at senior levels with regard not just to physical differences but also to women, disabled people, gay people and ethnic minorities. How, ask its authors, do we explain that 58% of Fortune 500 CEOs are over six foot, compared to 14.5% of the US population? The authors argue that this restricted diversity means that companies are continuing to compete for the best talent in a limited pool and contend that managers need to rethink their approach to diversity and inclusion. Inclusive Talent Management holds a mirror up to current discriminatory and unfair practices, providing practical steps for incorporating diversity and inclusion into management strategy. The book includes insights and examples from more than 60 leading organisations around the world across a range of sectors. Among those praising the book is António Simões, CEO of HSBC Bank plc, who said: “Thought-provoking and practical, it is the book every executive who cares about people should consider reading.” Author Stephen Frost works with clients worldwide to embed inclusion into their decision making. He teaches at various business schools and was formerly Head of Diversity and Inclusion for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Fellow author Danny Kalman is a talent management consultant, executive coach and regular speaker on leadership development. He was Director of Global Talent at Panasonic Corporation from 2008-2013. Kogan Page is the leading independent global publisher of specialist professional books and content with more than 700 titles in print. Its authors come from some of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions, international commercial organisations or professional associations in leadership, management, marketing, branding, human resources and coaching.

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feature: business support

december 16/january 17 business edge

IT'S NOT WHAT YOU SAY, IT'S HOW YOU SAY IT Getting your message right is just as important as the rest of your branding. The language and tone of voice that you use in conversation and also marketing will influence perception of your brand and the type of customers and subcontractors you will attract. For example, take two online car dealerships. One uses formal, respectful language giving detailed description of car and engine spec etc, not really focusing on the price of the vehicle (ie: Ferrari) the other uses modern, fun language and catchphrases focusing on offering credit terms etc, targeting a completely different audience. If you have, or want to grow your business abroad, you need to know and and understand your audience and their different dialects. We have in our team a native French speaker, who understand his French customers, can speak to them, but just as importantly understands their sense of humour. Electrolux got a quick lesson in English Slang. Thinking it was highlighting its vacuums high power it decided to go with the advertising slogan “Nothing Sucks Like an Electrolux” Strangely enough it never really took off! A punchline for a joke in the UK will not always translate exactly the same in French and will therefore not have the same end result. This can also be the same when advertising. You need to ensure your team buys into the Companies Brand and tone of voice. This will help give your brand personality. They need to understand and believe in how you want the company to be perceived in the European market. The way they communicate with potential new clients can make or break any new business opportunity. To that end, make sure you fully research your audience, get expert help if needed. Doing this wrong from the offset can alienate HB0 ad_180x120.qxp_Layout 1 14/10/2016 16:44 Page 1 customers and damage your brand.

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feature: business support

december 16/january 17 business edge

FRAME ARCHITECTURE ARCHITECTURAL & INTERIOR DESIGNERS Frame Architecture seeks to create buildings/spaces that combine the modernist ideals of light and space with a more ‘crafted’ form of architecture that puts an emphasis on detail, texture and a sense of place. We offer the following services to clients in the residential, commercial and retail sectors: • Site and building acquisition • Feasibility studies • Concept design • Developed design including planning applications • Technical design for building regulation submissions • Technical design for tender documentation purposes • Specifications, including National Building Specifications • Preparation of contract documentation • Contract administration • Site inspections In addition to the above architectural services we also provide an interior design service, as well as a visualisation service utilising the latest computer generated imagery techniques.

At night, do you know what’s happening in your factory, office or warehouse? We do ...and we use security audit technology to let you know! Digital age security services for Sussex from a local company.

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CREATING A FRAME FOR LIVING

Halo Corporate Finance Ltd is an established, independent finance house providing all aspects of commercial finance to Corporations, SMEs, Partnerships, and Sole Traders as well as vehicle finance options for Private Individuals. We act both as principal lenders (utilising our own funding) and as a broker (facilitating transactions for 60+ banks and finance houses, many on an exclusive or semi-exclusive basis).

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feature: business support

Making life easier for SMEs - accountant offers system free to businesses Businesses are benefiting from access to a top-of-the-range accounting system being given away free by a firm of Durham accountants. Mullen Stoker have become a Gold Partner of the SageOne accounting system and are giving the system to clients and nonclients alike over the next year. SageOne is a range of cloud-based online software, offering everything that small businesses or start-ups need to run their accounts and payroll.

december 16/january 17 business edge

Unsuccessful bidders – challenging an EUregulated tender award decision

Gary Stoker, one of the founders of Mullen Stoker, said: “SageOne is a terrific system and, having become a Gold Partner, we are delighted to introduce clients and non-clients alike to the advantages of the software.

Going up against the Government because you’ve been unsuccessful in a tender isn’t something you decide lightly or without sufficient ammunition.

“SageOne allows us to work with the companies on making their financial systems as efficient as possible, which is really useful for smaller businesses who have limited resources and small numbers of staff.”

Many unsuccessful bidders don’t challenge for the simple reason that they think this will affect future procurement opportunities. This is simply not true – EU principles surrounding equal treatment and non-discrimination prevent this.

Stephen Buzzeo, Regional Online Development Manager for Sage (UK) Ltd, Accountants’ Segment, said: “One of the big advantages of SageOne is that it saves time because accountants can access the software directly, instead of the information having to be transferred forward and backwards by email. The time that saves means that the system provides real added value for those companies that use it.”

If the procurement was above a certain financial threshold and doesn’t fall within an exemption, there is a mandatory standstill period of at least 10 days between dispatch of the contract award notices and signing the contract with the successful bidder. If the contract hasn’t been signed, in addition to awarding damages the Court can also set aside the contract award decision. If the contract has been signed and the standstill obligations complied with, your only remedy is likely to be damages.

Mullen Stoker Chartered Accountants, which is based on the Belmont Industrial Estate, Durham, works throughout the North East and beyond with a client base that covers all types of business sectors and all types and size of businesses from Groups of companies through to individuals. The company was created by Neil Mullen FCCA ACA and Gary Stoker BSc MBCS along with several highly qualified and experienced staff who had all previously worked together, most for more than a decade. In July 2012, Stephen Green FCCA ACA CTA became Tax Director, giving further strength to the board.

If you would like further information on procurement challenges, please contact either Lisa Downs (ldowns@rawlisonbutler.com or 01293 558593) or Stuart Evans (sevans@rawlisonbutler.com or 01293 558525).

Lisa Downs

Stuart Evans

To find out more about the SageOne offer, the company can be contacted on: 0191 374 0300, email info@mullenstoker.co.uk Mullen Stoker House, Mandale Business Park, Belmont Industrial Estate, Durham DH1 1TH.

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This document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this document.

tel: 01444 259 259


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december 16/january 17 business edge

Specialist lending for businesses in Sussex Businesses across Sussex could be missing out on opportunities due to a lack of finance or delays in funding, warns specialist lender Together. Together’s regional development manager for the region, Jon Elliott, said: “There is a general lack of awareness amongst SMEs regarding the funding options available, other than the mainstream banks, which can often mean missed opportunities for businesses. “At Together, we have greater flexibility than mainstream lenders and are able to act fast. This can often allow businesses to move quickly on a purchase or investment, and ensure they don’t miss out because of tight deadlines.” For businesses looking to grow, specialist finance is able to deliver the essential funds needed - whether it’s for short-term cash flow or a major investment. Jon, who has over 37 years’ experience in banking, added: “I work with clients across Sussex, bringing Together’s common sense approach to the region and offering

the professional sector the opportunity to enhance their offering and to receive reciprocal business. “We have a broad network of professional introducers including accountants, solicitors, banks and financial advisors, who will refer clients to us knowing that they can be assured of excellent service and a speedy decision.

For more information, call Jon on 01908 871 387 or email jon.elliott@ togethermoney.com or visit

www.togethermoney.com/southeast

Jon Elliott Regional Development Manager, Together

“Our recent figures are testament to our success - we increased lending by nearly 40% in the 12 months to 30 June 2016, reaching over £1 billion for the first time in our 42 year history, and have a loan book in excess of £1.8 billion.”

Supporting the professional sector

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Contact Jon Elliott the Regional Development Manager for the South East. Call us on - 01908 871 387 or visit togethermoney.com/southeast

This advertisement is intended for professional intermediary use only and must not be distributed to potential clients.

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business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

Reducing overhead costs: VAT and other indirect taxes

Justine McInnes Indirect Tax Director, RSM LLP, Gatwick

The significant cost which Indirect Tax creates for businesses is often largely forgotten.

£100,000 (plus £20,000 VAT), for CHL’s signature chocolates.

This article gives an overview of some Indirect Tax areas (VAT, Customs Duty and IPT) where savings can be made. These areas are not only applicable to the hospitality industry, but also to many other sectors.

• This commission amount could be restructured as a discount or a rebate on the main supplies.

VAT savings VAT savings can take the form of absolute or cashflow savings. Some examples are as follows: • “Non-VATable” payments which are actually consideration for a supply • A.B. Sent Ltd, a VAT registered business, books some rooms for its employees at the Cosy Hotel, and pays a deposit of £1,200 (treated as non-VATable). • Following a change of plan, the hotel rooms are no longer required and A.B. Sent forfeits its deposit. • Prima facie, A.B. Sent cannot recover any VAT on the deposit because it is not consideration for a supply. However, closer inspection of the booking terms reveals a clause stating that the deposits are actually payment for CHL (the Cosy Hotel’s owners) guaranteeing the availability of the rooms. • Thus, depending on the precise circumstances, the sum of £1,200 should in fact be consideration for the supply by CHL of the above guarantee. If so, A.B. Sent can potentially recover input tax of £200 on the forfeited deposit. • Similar principles apply to other prima facie non-VATable payments; for example, compensation may not for VAT purposes, be “damages”, but rather consideration for a supply - such as the recipient agreeing to discontinue legal action.

Restructuring supplies received • Hugh G.E. Suppliers Ltd pays CHL commission of £20,000 plus VAT, in relation to bulk orders amounting to

• If so, the consideration for the main supplies would now be £80,000 plus VAT of £16,000. Thus, at the very least, CHL would receive a cashflow advantage. Furthermore, if CHL is making any exempt supplies, then the VAT saving of £4,000 would reduce its “pot” of irrecoverable VAT.

Output tax • In a competitive market, customers frequently have to be charged on a VATinclusive basis. • For example, CHL charges customers for using its spa facilities. The basic cost to CHL of providing these facilities is £80 per customer. CHL decides that its maximum margin is £40 – giving a total customer charge of £120. • Due to market pressures, CHL has to treat the charge as VAT-inclusive and account for VAT of £20 – thus reducing its margin to £20.

• When completing the importation documentation however, S.P. Eedie uses the classification code for Bamboo furniture, as opposed to wooden furniture – resulting in CHL paying Customs Duty at 5.6%, instead of 0%. • Furthermore, S.P. Eedie pays the Duty as soon as the furniture reaches the UK, even though it is going to be stored in a Customs warehouse for 60 days (which allows payment to be deferred until the furniture is released). CHL should therefore review its importation procedures/documentation to see: • Whether imported goods are being classified correctly for Customs Duties purposes (misclassification of goods occurs relatively frequently); and • Whether its cashflow position can be improved by using any relevant reliefs to defer payment of Duty.

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)

• In such circumstances, it is worth investigating whether there are any exempt or zero rated elements in the transaction which can be “carved out”.

• As is frequently the case, the cost of CHL’s insurance policies eg Real Estate, public liability and employee health insurance, is very high and thus, so is its IPT cost.

• As it happens, part of the £120 charged by CHL includes a book entitled “Gorgeous!”. This is valued at £24. If CHL can show that the book is a separate zero rated supply, it should only have to account for VAT on £96 ie £120 minus £24.

• Examples of the many ways to manage this cost include: • “carving out” any administration services contained in the policies, so that IPT is only paid on the insurance element (this can give IPT savings of up to 30%).

Other Indirect Taxes

• restructuring policies as trusts or service contracts.

Customs Duties

Conclusion

• CHL is a regular importer and on this occasion, decides to import some furniture from China. It uses S.P. Eedie Transport Limited to ship the furniture to the UK.

To summarise, recognising and managing Indirect Tax cost should be an integral part of the tax strategy of any business. As part of this strategy, Indirect Tax cost should be subject to ongoing monitoring as the cost may fluctuate with business changes.

Southern Water is counting down to competition Work on the smooth transition of Southern Water’s non-household customers to specialist retailer Business Stream is well underway as the industry prepares for market opening. Around 100,000 non-household customers in the Southern Water area will be affected by these changes, although the vast majority will not need to take any action unless they are directly contacted. From April next year, competition aims to stimulate innovation and deliver choice to non-household customers such as businesses, factories, shops, churches, charities and public sector organisations

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like schools and NHS trusts. Local water companies, like Southern Water, will continue to look after the pipes and infrastructure for all customers. Southern Water and Business Stream will work together to ensure every customer involved experiences a seamless transition to Business Stream, which as part of the Scottish Water Group has been at the forefront of a competitive retail market in Scotland for more than eight years. Southern Water’s Head of Retail Mark Field said: “Our market reform readiness programme is well under way to deliver the business changes needed to meet the

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

challenge of a new market and continue to deliver our customer promises.” Southern Water will continue to serve non-household customers until April 2017 when Business Stream – a leading expert retailer which has helped businesses across the UK save more than £133 million and conserve more than 24 billion of water - will take over. Jo Dow, Chief Executive of Business Stream, added: “We are looking forward to offering Southern Water’s customers the service levels, innovations and competitive rates that our other customers have benefited from over many years.”

tel: 01444 259 259


december 16/january 17 business edge

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How often do you think about your phones? THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE TO BT

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business matters advertorial

august/september december 16/january 2016 17 business edge

Big fish give Azure thumbs up Microsoft has opened three new UK data centres to support its Azure platform of cloud services and many major organisations are already signing up. This will be a wake-up call for businesses in the South East who need to think seriously about adopting cloud-based solutions so that their security and data protection standards are compatible with the big fish they so often rely upon for revenues. Microsoft’s new data centres will also appeal to many organisations who don’t want to store data outside the UK because data protection rules and regulations may change following the Brexit vote.

Two big names to sign up for Azure are the Ministry of Defence (MoD), employing 250,000 people, and the South London & Maudsley NHS Trust, which is the UK’s largest mental health trust. Their decision to start using Azure is a huge endorsement for Microsoft’s cloud computing platform and will encourage many others to follow suit. Indeed, one industry analyst comments to the BBC: “No one has a more complex environment than the MoD’s ICT network, so that should provide a degree of reassurance to other potential customers.”

Flexibility The big advantage to choosing Microsoft Azure is its flexibility. It doesn’t force your company to switch completely to the cloud as Azure’s services can be integrated with your own on-site data centres. Gary Jowett from CNC in Brighton explains: “Secure cloud services will be essential for most companies in the future but we always advise newcomers take a hybrid approach to start with. You should keep some of your capabilities on-site and gradually move your

IT processing and data storage over to the cloud. This is why Azure is such a good choice because it gives you the flexibility to tailor the way you use it to suit your business activities and growth plans.” Another advantage it offers is it’s designed to fully support Office 365 – the successor to Microsoft Office. So the standard work tools – Outlook, Word, Skype for Business, Access (the replacement for Excel) and PowerPoint – are still available to your employees. “Azure is the obvious choice for many Sussex firms because that’s what big public and private sector organisations they do business with are already adopting,” says Gary. “So when your company tenders for new business with one of these organisations, you can easily show that your processes and data storage already adhere to the same high quality standards. Quite simply, it makes winning new business with a Government department or a major corporation much easier.”

SAY HELLO TO YOUR NEW IT DEPARTMENT. The benefits of outsourced IT You gain access to a whole team of highly skilled people that are always available, and right up to date with all the latest technology, knowledge and trends. Alongside online monitoring and management tools, we can provide 24x7 cover with regular strategy meeetings. We would love to talk to you and offer a complementary systems check-up with no obligations to use our services.

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tel: 01444 259 259


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december 16/january 17 business edge

Alternative providers: the right solution for your business? Let me start by saying that I don’t think there is anything wrong with going for the mainstream, big name products. (I’m an Apple devotee afterall). Saying that, I’m also a big believer in seeking out alternative suppliers and most of the software on my Apple kit has been developed by one, two, or ten man bands. The most important thing is that you have the right tool for the job. And that doesn’t always mean having a recognisable logo on the side of it. Finding the right piece of software (or other equipment) isn’t always easy. Sometimes you’ll be tempted to go with the big names because you think that, by paying that premium, you’ll be getting the best product on the market. But that’s not always true. In my experience, going with an alternative provider can get you a system that is better for you and your business, offers you more for your money, and comes with a more personal service than you’d get with the big guys.

But how do you find these alternatives? 1. Educate yourself The very first thing you need to do when shopping around is ‘know what you need’ and then read up and learn about the various products. This helps you cut through the jargon that will come from the sales people you’ll eventually speak to and also firms up your idea of exactly which features you need (as well as those that you really don’t). You might start off this education process on the market leader’s website, although I would encourage you to read up on blogs and industry publications to get a good idea of what kinds of options are out there. Once you feel like you have a reasonable understanding of the market, the next logical thing is to head over to your favourite search engine.

2. Remember Google has more than one page When you first type in your search, you’ll find the big names in the industry, without any trouble. But as I said before, just because they’re the market leaders doesn’t mean that they are the right provider for you. Try looking at the second (or even third!) page of Google. Maybe type in the market leader along with the word “alternative.” I’ve personally found that little addition brings

up a whole range of smaller, but still high quality companies. As you find these potential providers, you’ll naturally start to make some mental notes. But why keep it all in your head?

3. Make a List I’m not normally a big list builder and I’m not suggesting you necessarily have to go through a big Pro/Con process, but writing up a list of all the providers you think have the right solution for you. Why not rank them and make some notes about what each brings to the table. Now that you’ve got your list together, I’m going to suggest something rather radical: give them a call.

After you’ve had the chance to talk to someone, maybe had a demo of the system, you’ll be able to go back to your list with a better idea of which product is right for you. All of this information might actually end up making your decision harder, but you’ll have far more confidence that whatever decision you make will be the right one. It might be the market leader. It might not. But either way, you’ve now located the tool that is the perfect fit for your business. It’s a process that takes an investment of time, but in my experience, this extra time is never wasted. If you have any questions about OpenCRM, please get in touch. I would love to hear from you. Find us at www.opencrm.co.uk or drop us a line at hello@opencrm.co.uk.

4. Talk to Someone No really, I want you to pick up the phone and speak to their sales people. Yes they want to sell you something, but by talking to them you’ll get a better idea of the full potential of the system and it will give you a feel for their company culture— possibly the fastest way to gauge how they handle customer service.

Graham Anderson, is the CEO and founder of OpenCRM, one of the UK’s leading customer relationship management systems.

You may even be able to negotiate a better deal.

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business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

What businesses can learn from railway industrial action Stuart Furneaux, HR & Accountancy manager at Search Consultancy, Brighton, tells us why industrial action on Southern Rail can be a learning curve for businesses The recent, ongoing industrial action that has frustrated commuters and employees is said to be the longest rail strike in 50 years, and has had a significant impact on the nation’s economy. Southern Rail’s plan to impose a driver-only operation of its services is what triggered industrial action from the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT). Since then, there has been an increase in service cancellations, causing misery to commuters. Although the rail operator has desperately tried to shift blame on to the union, the reality is that the franchise currently has the worst cancellation rate of any provider, and has not recruited the necessary staff to run an operation vital to the economy, responsible for facilitating 165 million passenger journeys per year.

Who has been hit the hardest The unfortunate reality is that the recent strikes have experienced a negative impact for many on their time, convenience, money and jobs. The biggest sufferers of the ongoing railway industrial action have inarguably been the commuters, and this has sent a ripple effect through the economy. We know through our clients at Search that many business owners have felt the crippling effects of industrial action over the summer. While the exact impact is still being calculated as strike action continues, visitor economies of the south coast have reported substantial financial losses as a result of railway transport failures. Brighton and Hove Football club announced that it lost approximately £300,000 over two matches because of strike action. Sea Life Brighton, the city’s seafront aquarium, has experienced a fall in visitor numbers of 5% since the disruption began last April during a period where a rise would normally be expected. The aquarium’s management put this down to the city’s economic reliance on the rail network, with over 40% of visitors to Brighton arriving by train. Many other tourist attractions across Brighton have experienced a similar fate, with travel uncertainties and strike action having a

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negative impact not just on Brighton, but the wider South East region, and even the country as a whole.

Impact on the hospitality sector Earlier this year, when the prospect of industrial action was looming, the London Policy Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses predicted that ongoing strike action could have a negative impact on the hospitality sector. It was expected that the businesses which would feel the impact more severely would be those in hospitality or retail, sectors so often at the front line of consumer spending. Restaurants, hotels and shops were warned to brace themselves for cancelled booking and lost sales that would take time to recover from.

What employers can learn In striving to avoid industrial action, employers need to place more emphasis on employee engagement and development rather than allow resentment to grow to the point where employees revert to assistance from unions representing their interests. Organisations must maintain a strong employer-employee relationship in order to mitigate disruption that can occur when the threat of strike action looms large. Therefore, employers should do their best to monitor employee satisfaction and motivation through ensuring that they have line managers who are well versed in people relations and consultative management skills. It’s important to remember just how influential the role of first line manager is, with line managers often having more impact on how team members feel than senior manager and directors. It’s important that managers at all levels are equipped with the tools and people skills they need to manage any difficult situations. Flexibility is another key consideration for organisations. Here at Search we specialise in providing temporary and permanent staff to 30 industry sectors, so we’re well aware from our clients how important it is to be able to source flexible staff at short notice to cover any situation where there is a resource gap. Fostering and maintaining solid relationships with local recruiters can prove useful when disruption and uncertainty hits the business.

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SEA PR Celebrates One Year Of Giving Times Brighton based PR company SEA PR launched in 2012 with the aim of delivering social action public relations for businesses including social enterprises, charities and organisations keen to develop their social value & impact. They use the media to inform and encourage social change. In four years the agency has used its wealth of experience to work with a variety of organisations on important issues such as the living wage, suicide prevention, combating loneliness and isolation in older people, disability awareness and more. In October last year, SEA PR launched Giving Times - A Voice or Everyone’, providing a FREE digital news platform for charities across the South East to get their news stories out to the wider public and for businesses to promote their charitable work. Tracey Allen, owner of SEA PR explained: “It’s no secret that charities have been hit hard over the last few years so we wanted to aid them with getting the media coverage they need to support their campaigns and raise their awareness, after all, people can’t give to what they don’t know about”. Since launching, Giving Times has delivered more than 600 stories and received more than 30,000 unique visitors to the website, with a combined audience of over 6,000 readers per month.

Stuart Furneaux HR & Accountancy manager at Search Consultancy

tel: 01444 259 259

Tracey Allen Owner - SEA PR


construction feature

december 16/january 17 business edge

Beard Completes New Heritage and Training Centre For World-Class Engineering Firm Guildford-based construction firm Beard has completed the new £1.3 million Ricardo Heritage Centre on the edge of Brighton City Airport in Shoreham for global engineering firm Ricardo - the makers of Britain’s first mass-produced engine. The 400 sqm state-of-the-art, highspecification exhibition and training facility, which marks Ricardo’s 100th anniversary, will be the new home for the company’s many historic cars, technological exhibits and displays. Beard worked closely with Ricardo to create the new one storey purpose-designed building which provides a highly flexible exhibition space and a conference and training facility, equipped with the latest audio visual technology, accommodating up to 100 people.

Tight construction turnaround “Not only were we tasked with creating a dynamic new ‘showcase’ building within a tight 31-week build programme, its location at the end of Brighton City Airport’s runway, meant that parts of the construction had to be done at night after it was closed. Due to height restrictions when the airport was live, any lifting or works operations over 7 metres, which included the piling, had to be carried out while the airport was not in operation,” says Tony Taylor, Beard special works manager. “However, our Beard team is committed to prompt and faultless delivery and we completed this terrific new centre for Ricardo, on time and within budget. They were an inspired and driven client who we really enjoyed working with and who we hope to work with again in the future.”

The new centre will also provide a hub for Ricardo Knowledge training courses, institution lectures and school educational programmes. Tim Dray, project manager for Ricardo, praised Beard’s site manager, Dave Woolley: “From the outset of this project, Dave set to work creating a safe and well managed site whilst trying to get ahead of the construction issue information to ensure there were no construction issues later in the project. I hope to work with Beard on further projects at Ricardo.”

GCL Building Technologies first for Smart Intrastructure. For high quality cabling & electrical installation on time, every time call GCL on 0845 6000 919 www.gcl.uk.com l sales@gcl.uk.com

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23


Inspirational Leaders

december 16/january 17 business edge

University launches a revolution A revolution is under way at the University of Chichester, which aims to change the way students are taught Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and also to tackle the UK’s worrying skills shortage.

Professor Higson factfile

n STEM subjects a top priority for University n A revolutionary approach to teaching is introduced n New Technology Park aims to create jobs

Prof Higson brings to his latest role more than 20 years’ experience of taking ideas from research into full commercialisation, based on technologies ranging from biomedical biosensors through to smart wound dressings and sensors for use within the water industry and environmental monitoring.

Britain leads the world in many areas of science and technology and its researchers regularly produce breakthroughs in everything from bioscience and engineering to physics and chemistry. However, for all the success there is still much concern about the dearth of students who are opting to pursue careers in the field. That concern is what is driving the revolution at the University of Chichester, which is promising to transform the way that STEM subjects are taught by breaking down the traditional barriers between the subjects. Overseeing the change is Professor Seamus Higson, C.Eng. C.Sci., FIMMM, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Sustainability and Enterprise) who took up the post in September 2015. Under his guidance, the university, which was previously better known for creative subjects such as theatre, writing and the arts, is also developing a portfolio of education and research that will attract more students wishing to study STEM subjects. A key part of the approach is the creation of a new multimillion pound Engineering and Digital Technology Park at the university’s Bognor Regis campus, which was approved by local councillors in the summer and has received public sector funding. Designed to link the university with schools, colleges and businesses, it is estimated that the park will bring an extra £12.4 million into the local economy each year and potentially create 350 jobs by 2023. The university aims to complete construction by early 2018 and support has come from

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URT Group, Solartron, Inpress Plastics, Sony and Toshiba Medical as well as many other small and medium-sized enterprises in Bognor Regis and the surrounding areas, all of whom are experiencing a STEM skills shortage. Prof Higson said: “The park will provide cutting-edge skills to a new generation of young people and we already have committed support from industry to move their business into the Park. “This is part of a paradigm shift for the university and the biggest STEM launch the UK has seen since the Sixties. “Employers are telling us that there is a skills shortage of young people who have taken STEM subjects and we know that there are many manufacturing companies along the south coast who are struggling to find skilled graduates. “What we are doing is encouraging more young people to consider these subjects and not just discount them because they think they are ‘difficult’. We really do need to win over hearts and minds to encourage them to view these subjects as the basis for careers. “I think the introduction of fees has helped win hearts and minds. Now that students are

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paying £9,000 a year, they are looking at where careers and jobs are when they finish university and that means where there are skills shortages. “We are also changing the way that we teach STEM subjects. Previously, it has tended to be undertaken in silos – a mechanical engineer did not know what a materials scientist did, for example. “However, industry does not work like that. They have teams from different disciplines who work together so we are running projects like designing racing cars or bridges that need all kinds of disciplines and which bring the students together. “We are also building glass walls wherever we can so that students on one degree can see what those on another are doing. They can see the laboratories and workshops where they work and the equipment they use. It breaks down the barriers. “We are determined to be recognised nationally and internationally for what we are doing and employers are telling us that the approach is what they want to see because it replicates how the workplace operates. It really is a revolutionary approach to the teaching of STEM subjects.”

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His career has spanned academic departments of Chemistry, Medicine, Biotechnology, Materials Science and Engineering across every part of the university sector and he joined Chichester from Cranfield University having served terms as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Biosciences and as Head of the Cranfield Biotechnology Centre. Prof Higson is a longstanding college member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council of the UK, serves in an advisory/consultative capacity for a number of public and professional bodies and has acted as an expert witness in a number of intellectual property and patent legal cases in the US and Europe. A chartered scientist and Engineer, Prof Higson is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. He is also the author of more than 125 research papers along with a number of textbooks.


december 16/january 17 business edge

Inspirational Leaders

Prof Seamus Higson

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Sustainability and Enterprise)

“We are also changing the way that we teach STEM subjects. Previously, it has tended to be undertaken in silos – a mechanical engineer did not know what a materials scientist did, for example. Prof Higson | University of Chichester

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25


business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

Riding the wave of People Power By Helen Bailey, MD of Aviatrix, a strategic research consultancy working in the hospitality industry for over 25 years. Brexit was a perfect demonstration of people power and having their say whether we like it or not. In our businesses we know the strength of consumer power and there is evidence all around how tough it can be when you don’t understand what your customers want. Looking through the eyes of your customers and staff is vital if you are going to unleash the people power in your business. Whilst you may be clear on how you see your business, this does not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of others and without these insights you will not have the full view of your business and be able to see the infinite potential of your business. There are many ways to find out what people think from focus groups to online surveys, ethnographic studies to online communities - all methods will get you closer to what your customers want and how they would like it.

By having a continuous listening programme in your business with customers and staff you will always know what your people want. Too many times I see money wasted in ideas that are not in alignment with what customers want. Research beforehand could have eliminated all the unnecessary costs and angst. What listening practices do you have in your business to ensure you don’t make expensive mistakes?

Focusing on your female customers can increase efficiency as over 80% of buying decisions are made by women. Women make great research respondents as they are the most experienced buyers on the planet - they tend to talk in detail and think about the bigger picture.

It stands to reason that a resilient and productive workforce should feature highly on every business agenda. However, this driver for change and the reality are often two very different concepts. A good, locally based, occupational health provider will enable businesses to reach this goal by taking the time to understand their specific work culture and, importantly, understand the barriers to implementing good practice. One size does not fit all and recognising that every workplace is different enables a bespoke approach to be applied.

Why tourism is so important to the Wealden District

A good occupational health provider can aid in the development of strategies that align to your values and behaviours as opposed to simply applying a generic framework to occupational health and wellbeing. This ensures the service is not only fit for purpose but often cost effective too.

Tourism is very important to Wealden; in 2015 the total tourism spend was £294,610,000 and it employs nearly 7,000 people equating 15.7% of its total employment figure.

The role of occupational health is to support the employee throughout their employment, from assessing their fitness to work when they start work with you, to ensuring that the proper support is offered in accordance with the relevant legislation. Occupational health offers health surveillance, determined by statute and best practice and ensures that the roles and duties of your employees do not cause any adverse effects on their health.

Wealden’s outstanding natural environment holds a great variety of landscape, countryside and coastline. The iconic Seven Sisters, a famous stretch of coastline lies within the South Downs National Park. Close by is Pevensey, famously known as William the Conqueror’s landing place in 1066 and the Pevensey Levels, a nature reserve of national and international conservation importance. The High Weald in the north of the district is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a large number of ancient, undisturbed, wildflower-

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Helen Bailey MD of Aviatrix

Using a locally based occupational health provider makes smart business sense

rich hay meadows and pastures providing important habitats for wildlife conservation. Famous residents include AA Milne, writer of Winnie the Pooh and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famous as the creator of the Sherlock Holmes books. Wealden has a great tourism offer with over 80 attractions to visit. In terms of leisure pursuits, the countryside provides many opportunities for walking and for the more energetic visitor; activities include golf, fishing, sailing and cycling. For those who wish to relax there are award winning vineyards to visit, parks and gardens to enjoy and spa hotels to experience.

When choosing your occupational health provider choose a proactive one, one that focuses on preventive measures and provides access to a wide myriad of well-being services We all know that resilience makes good business sense.

Jane Kilby Tourism Officer, Wealden District Council

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Pippa Crouch

Managing Director, Global Occupational Health Solutions

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business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

Help with expanding into foreign markets For small and medium sized businesses looking to expand into non-English speaking markets the barriers can seem daunting. Brian Carbarns, of international sales facilitators and business promotion specialists Westgate International Partners, looks at the evolving landscape. In an age where both British reserve and post Brexit blues present a challenge, seeking to maintain a healthy interest in European business initiatives further afield is the undoubted way forward. International trade is still a precursor to increasing turnover in certain markets, in spite of economic uncertainty surrounding rules and regulations.

Time to rejoice It’s time for “Fizz lovers” to rejoice… English Sparkling Wine has reached the world stage, and Sussexbased company Fizz on Foot has been the compere by bringing tours to these vineyards! Fizz on Foot showcases the best of English wine and the many thriving vineyards now producing award-winning wines. Ian Shearer, Managing Director, believes that English wine will be a lucrative facet to the tourist industry in the South East to complement an already thriving area visitor destination. It is important that we expose these jewels to the world and get people talking about how English Wine is a very valid competitor against the likes of France, Spain and Italy with their already well established Wine market. The tours have incorporated one day events to welcoming European, and International guests wanting to get the most out of the booming English Wine Industry. Our calendar is also bustling with corporate and company tours, all of which raising the profile and expectations of this sector. As well as for leisure, Wine has become a serious area for study and qualifications in the UK so a hand on tour is a great introduction for what could be for many, a long road of education in this unique product. “English Sparkling Wine is at the heart of all our Food and Wine Experiences, as well as our Walking and Wine Tours. With each cork popped, a new celebrated, patriotic, and cherished memory is created!”

One of the key challenges for British business is language and breaking down these barriers in Continental Europe can be demanding. ‘British English’ will no longer be spoken to the degree it once was in the European Union, nevertheless English will continue as the language of communication, particularly among the smaller countries within the union, where French, German and Spanish are not in the ascendency.

French speaking territories Anyone who has done business in France will know they can be quite proud and nationalistic and unless the product or software originates in France it’s often of little interest. How to get round this? Being able to read a menu or say a few basic phrases in a heavy British accent is not enough. A good, proficient level of French will grab their attention and attitudes will shift enormously. This will generate respect from a French businessperson and they will find it both helpful and collaborative. It can lead, although not always, to a personal invitation to a sumptuous lunch or dinner by the decision-maker/influencer and lead to a collaborative relationship rather than being seen as just ‘another investment’ on their part. Some recent examples of this mindset spring to mind: A French manufacturer was complaining how their current supplier couldn’t provide them with an additional feature for one of their products. The dialogue became quite technical and talking to a shop floor production manager originating from Marseille meant that French was a must. My client ended up making prototypes for this particular product feature which would incur extra production cost for their factory in the UK. However, we managed to get the French company to give them a production run large enough to cover the extra tooling and make some margin. Repetitive orders were then forthcoming.

Similarly, following lots of cold calling in French we managed to get our client a meeting with a senior civil servant in a French Ministry. After researching their challenges we played some of these issues back to them in a slide (in French). This immediately resonated with them as it was familiar territory. This then resulted in meetings in the UK with our client, with presentations in French to 20 or so regions in France, all of which ultimately led to a significant order. In both examples business would not have been possible using limited French and / or English as a medium of communication.

Portuguese and Spanish speaking territories and business cultures Speaking proficient Portuguese and Spanish are helpful tools for the sales person. However, one should not fall into the trap of thinking that being invited to lunch more than once means that an order is in the bag. Spanish and Portuguese speaking business people in Europe, and particularly in Latin America, are the most charming there can be… nevertheless their friendship with you as an individual should not be seen as a precursor to concluding a business deal. As in any sales process finding the right channel is key, but in small / medium sized companies speaking Spanish or Portuguese is a must, particularly when dealing with production outlets and local government authorities in Latin America. After that, it is a case of accompanying your local agent to the end client and ensuring actions on them and you are mentioned - respect is earned this way as it shows the end client that the local channel have succeeded in getting the manufacturer over here and conversely that this local agent must be serious and a good person to know. An expression I once learned, when living in Spain, was ‘querer es poder’, which translates as ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’. Wherever there is change there is opportunity and whenever the latter happens it is time to reflect, plan and the seize the day and look to foreign markets for commercial expansion.

Brian Carbarns MD, Westgate International Partners

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hospitality and tourism

december 16/january 17 business edge

When being hospitable pays off In an age that seems increasingly reliant on technology, corporate entertainment remains a key business tool. The main reason is that it helps companies to maintain personal relationships with their clients. In a fast-moving age dominated by the Internet, texting and Cloud Computing, the personal touch remains highly valued because it is often when client and customer are together, and relaxed, that business is done, that relationships are forged and deals struck. Creating that kind of environment takes many forms. For many companies, it often revolves around sporting events, a trip to the races, a day at the cricket or perhaps a meal followed by watching a football match. However, there are other options for the more adventurous, daytrips, teambuilding events, extreme sports challenges, or for the

MARKET

more cultural, events such as trips to the theatre or to take in a show.

has invited, that their presence is seen as important.

They may be diverse events in nature but the key to them all is that they represent time spent away from the office and a sense that the company staging the corporate hospitality truly values those whom it

Those companies that are prepared to invest in corporate entertainment do so if they can see something to be gained from showing clients and staff alike that there is life after work. And that can pay dividends.

&

S

experience

aT NEWHAVEN FORT Fort Road, Newhaven, BN9 9DS

Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th December Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th December 10:00am - 4:00pm

open from 10:00am

& delicious Mince Pies

www.newhavenfort.org.uk

For further information email: info@waveleisure.co.uk or call 01323 493061.

Free bus service each Saturday from Newhaven Town to the Fort. Contact CTLA for timetable, email: www.ctla.org.uk or call 01273 517332.

Business Edge Magazine Christmas Market Advert.indd 1

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18/10/2016 11:20

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hospitality and tourism

december 16/january 17 business edge

A Unique Place for Your Event

HASTINGS

WHITE ROCK

THEATRE

Looking for a prime location to host your event? Our unique and theatrical venue has a number of adaptable spaces for weddings, meetings, conferences, exhibitions or a special celebration. With experienced hospitality and event management staff, The White Rock Theatre can help you create the perfect event.

Situated in a prime position on the sea front in Hastings, the White Rock Theatre offers traditional hospitality in breathtaking surroundings, making it the perfect venue for meetings, rehearsals, workshops, conferences, parties, celebrations and more. Offering a range of spaces that can be adapted to suit your requirements, from one to one meetings to large seminars, birthday celebrations to community events, the White Rock Theatre has a history of staging versatile and quality events. A dedicated team of professionals will work with you to tailor your event to suit your needs, and your budget. Offering outstanding technical support and a technician to work with you throughout your event alongside a dedicated Duty Manager, ensuring your event runs smoothly. The Hospitality Team offer fantastic catering services from tea, coffee and biscuits to buffets and full sit-down meals, tailored to your every need. Visit whiterocktheatre.org.uk for more details.

For further details or to arrange a tour contact Kiera Turner on 01424 462290 or email kturner@whiterocktheatre.org.uk

whiterocktheatre.org.uk

MEETINGS AND EVENTS

AT CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL

• Corporate hospitality • Cocktail receptions • Meeting rooms • Luxury accommodation

At Chichester Cathedral we offer a blend of luxury and flexibility that makes our venues equally well suited to large corporate events and small meetings. The prime location of all our venues offers your guests the convenience of a city centre location within the tranquil setting of the Cathedral precincts. From the medieval Vicars’ Hall to the elegant tranquillity of 4 Canon Lane, we have something to suit every occasion.

01243 813586

bookings@chichestercathedral.org.uk

www.chichestercathedral.org.uk www.cathedralenterprises.co.uk

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business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

Marking 80 years of innovation This year marks 80 years of innovation for Sussex-based Vent-Axia, the UK’s leading ventilation company. The company has celebrated with an official time capsule ceremony at the company’s headquarters in Crawley, as well as staff celebrations at both Crawley and the Dudley manufacturing facility. We find out more about this local success story and how they celebrated this landmark anniversary. On Friday 9 September 2016, Vent-Axia celebrated its 80th anniversary at its headquarters in Crawley and to honour the occasion Henry Smith MP for Crawley and The Worshipful, the Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Raj Sharma buried a time capsule in its grounds as part of a celebration ceremony. The time capsule is to be buried for 80 years and contains items that reflect Vent-Axia today, such as its innovative LoCarbon Svara, the UK’s first App-controlled bathroom fan, and photos of the Vent-Axia team; plus objects that reflect the current time we live in, such as current issues of local papers and a pound coin. The time capsule has been registered with The International Time Capsule Society to record its location, contents and the date it is to be opened. At the celebration event guests toured the Crawley facilities, seeing some of the latest fans manufactured on the production lines. This was followed by words from VentAxia’s Managing Director, Mark Hoskins, Henry Smith MP and 91-year-old former employee Edna Barnett who shared her memories of working for the company for over 40 years.

very proud to continue today with launch of our latest best in class products, as we look forward to the next 80 years ahead,” said Mark Hoskins, Managing Director at Vent-Axia. Speaking at the event Henry Smith MP said: “I am thrilled that Vent-Axia, an innovative, locally based, world-class company, is celebrating its 80th Anniversary. I am proud that this iconic and historic business continues to manufacturer in Crawley and wish the company continued success over the next 80 years and beyond.” As well as the official celebration event, Vent-Axia has been celebrating its 80th anniversary across the company in a number of ways. Staff enjoyed a lunchtime celebration at Vent-Axia’s head office located at Manor Royal in Crawley with lunch and cake to celebrate Vent-Axia’s 80 years. A formal photograph of the staff was taken to mark the occasion and staff members were given 80th Anniversary mementoes and a framed copy of the photograph from the day. Similar celebrations also took place in Vent-Axia’s Dudley manufacturing facility. In addition to these celebrations, Vent-Axia is supporting any staff undertaking charity fundraising. With many members of staff being active in fundraising, Vent-Axia’s ‘80 for 80’ initiative is supporting their efforts with a donation of £80 to member of staff’s

“We are delighted to be celebrating our 80th Anniversary at Vent-Axia. From the very beginning, with Joe Akester’s invention of the world’s first electrically-operated window fan, Vent-Axia has been a company built on innovation. We have continued this ethos over the years, developing, expanding and innovating to create the very best in ventilation. This is a tradition that we are

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chosen cause to help them meet their target, whether it is running 10k or baking cakes.

Looking back over 80 years Founded by Joe Akester in 1936 when he invented the world’s first electricallyoperated window fan, Vent-Axia has been a leading British manufacturer ever since. A company steeped in 80 years of British heritage and innovation, Sir Winston Churchill was one of the company’s first customers with Vent-Axia supplying ventilation for No 10 Downing Street during World War II. Vent-Axia’s first official premises were in Collinette Road, Putney, London, but in 1961 Vent-Axia relocated to Manor Royal industrial estate in Crawley, West Sussex. At the time the Manor Royal was in its infancy and VentAxia had fields opposite its offices. However, as the company grew Vent-Axia moved to the opposite corner of Fleming Way and Newton Road, to larger premises on Manor Royal, which is where it is situated today. In 2013 Vent-Axia further invested in Crawley with the launch of three new production assembly lines creating 20 new site jobs. Vent-Axia now employs 253 staff at its headquarters in Fleming Way, Crawley, West Sussex. A multi-million pound company, Vent-Axia’s innovations are present in a wide range of landmark projects from buildings in Her Majesty’s Royal Estates to the White House. As a result, the VentAxia brand has become a household name featuring annually in the UK Superbrands league table and holding the prestigious Royal Warrant. Headquartered in Crawley, West Sussex and with 80 years as an influential industry leader, Vent-Axia continues to set the standard in ventilation. Each year the company supplies air management solutions for over half a million installations across the residential, commercial and industrial sectors in the UK and around the World.

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business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

Wakehurst Introduces Team Building Options Bush craft and honey making are not normally something you would do alongside your work colleagues, but these are just two offerings that Wakehurst can now encorporate into your day when you hold a meeting at its country estate, in Ardingly. Sitting in the High Weald, Wakehurst is a glorious mix of beauty – a stunning Eliazbethan mansion and world class botanic garden - as well as being a centre for learning, science and world seed preservation. It is the home of the Millenium Seed Bank, opened by HRH Prince Charles in 2000. Part of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Wakehurst can host events of all sizes, from small one to one meetings right through to large conferences of over 100 delegates. The location is easily accessible just 10 miles from Gatwick and the business hub of Crawley. There are three magnificent rooms in the mansion that can be arranged in various ways to suit different needs, plus meeting rooms in the Millennium Seed Bank. Susan Stuart, Venue Hire Manager, said: “Doing a workshop with your work colleagues is a great way of team-building and making the day positive and memorable.” Delegates are welcome to discover the gardens, either before or after their meeting and for those with more time, they can walk through the Loder Valley nature reserve.The whole estate totals 535 acres. Wakehurst’s in-house caterer, Ampersand, will provide refreshments and catering on a bespoke basis. Kew hold ISO14001 environmental accreditation.

Enter the Chestnut Tree House Business Awards 2017 Chestnut Tree House, the children’s hospice for Sussex and South East Hampshire has launched the charity’s Business Awards 2017 and are looking for nominations from now until 3 February 2017. Held biannually, this will be the third event to recognise the many businesses and individual employees who have been outstanding in their support of the hospice over the past two years. Terrina Barnes, Corporate Fundraising Manager for Chestnut Tree House, said “Hundreds of businesses have raised thousands of pounds to help us provide care to local children and families, both at the hospice and in their own homes, over the past thirteen years and we’d like to thank them and recognise their generosity and loyalty. “We are inviting businesses to nominate themselves, or name individuals in their organisations who have put in extraordinary effort to support us in so many ways. We receive less than 7% government funding and need to raise a staggering £6,850 per day to provide all our care services – both at the House and out in the community across Sussex and South East Hampshire – for children with life-shortening illnesses and their families.” The award categories for 2017 are: Outstanding Individual Fundraiser: An inspiring and exceptional individual who has shown true initiative and drive to make things happen; a proactive champion of Chestnut Tree House. Fundraising Team of the Year: The winning team will demonstrate how, through working together, they took ownership of their fundraising to the benefit of their company and the hospice.

be looking for a new, unusual or simply downright barmy idea, with a successful outcome. Outstanding Voluntary Project: Unusual and creative projects will be in the spotlight – those that make the best use of volunteers’ personal skills, interests and passions for the benefit of the hospice and their company. Outstanding Long-term Supporter: Chestnut Tree House is thirteen years old and some businesses have helped with fundraising, sponsorship or staff volunteering for many of those years. Outstanding SME Supporter: This category will look for a recent project, during the last 12 months, where staff, customers and their clients have all worked together for the benefit of themselves and Chestnut Tree House. Outstanding Small Business: This award will go to the company who has engaged their local community and staff in raising funds and awareness of Chestnut Tree House. Outstanding Corporate Supporter: Sometimes the benefits of fundraising go beyond the financial rewards; Judges will search for a corporate supporter who can demonstrate the value of its support to the charity and their organisation. The closing date for nominations to be received is Friday 3 February 2017. Nominations will be judged by an expert panel including Hugh Lowson (Chestnut Tree House), Maarten Hoffman (Platinum Business Magazine), Amanda Menahem (Board member of Coast to Capital LEP) and Tim Breden (Managing Director of Yomdel and BeSourced). The awards ceremony will take place during the evening of Thursday 9 March 2017 at the beautiful South Lodge Hotel, Horsham.

Most Innovative Fundraising Idea: This is where the fun begins, as judges will

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business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

Taking a breath of fresh air: how to source a quality cleaning contractor for your business Ben Everitt Head of Marketing, Ivory Tower Cleaning Ltd

While it might not feel like a particularly interesting challenge to tackle, finding a decent cleaning provider for your business is undeniably important. Whether you want a tidy and hygienic office environment to encourage staff positivity and productivity, or your premises are a showroom for your clients who will make important judgements about you based on the experience they have there, the quality of your cleaning contractor can directly affect the performance of your business. The question of what makes a good cleaning service is on the surface fairly simple; in essence the customer has a requirement for quality and reliability. It sounds straightforward enough, doesn’t it? So why do businesses so often seem to struggle to make a confident choice of supplier, and all too frequently regret the experience they go on to have? Lisa Cullen, owner of Ivory Tower Cleaning Ltd, gives an insight on some common stories: “You hear some pretty awful reports, to be honest. If it’s not the staff failing to turn up, it’s a shoddy standard of work, the client not really knowing if the site’s been cleaned or not.” Of course, not everyone tells these tales of woe, but it’s too often that way in her experience. Lisa thinks that this marks out cleaning as an anomaly in the business services world: “It’s disappointing that businesses have these experiences as that’s really the environment where you’d expect professionalism to be a basic deliverable; absurdly, the domestic customers often get a better standard of service because they’re the fee-payer and they complain if it’s not good enough. It’s frustrating to think there are a lot of companies out there putting up with sub-standard service.” A large part of the problem for businesses when it comes to choosing a cleaning supplier seems to be the relatively undifferentiated state of the cleaning marketplace. It’s a congested arena, a lot of small players with unremarkable brand profiles, many of whom make very similar

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claims for themselves. So how do you know how to make the right choice? Lisa said: “It should be about them (the cleaning company) making a clear, confident statement of who they are, what they do, why they’re good at it. It needs to deal with facts and not vague fluffy statements that anyone can come out with.” She describes her own efforts in this regard. “I used to run the housekeeping departments of 5-star hotels. It’s good to tell people this because it’s an effective way of letting them know that you get ‘cleaning’ and what quality means in that context. Then we talk about the types of vacuum cleaners we use, the staff background and so on. It’s important to give people a clear idea about what you bring to the party.” For the potential customer, it’s therefore important to know what questions to ask as you review the options open to you. The starting point for most is an internet search or a visit to a cleaning company’s website. A lot of work can be done at this stage to pare down the list of contenders, before you get more engaged with the candidates: The branding and corporate identity first impressions count. Many companies operate under an unremarkable name and logo, a very rational statement of ‘we are cleaners’ or an obvious pun on some aspect of cleaning. These are fine for the casual domestic customer, but where your business

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is concerned you should be looking for more. If the branding reflects thought and investment, and references softer qualities beyond just the basic cleaning service, that is a positive indication of the commercial mindset of those running this company. What overall impression do you get from their website? Does it reflect obvious, branded, design values? Is there depth of content, is it presented in an engaging and visual way using images and video? Is there a clear and easily navigable structure? Or is it a very bland online pamphlet, or a chaotic, poorly thought-out mess? Has the company actually paid attention to the grammar and the spelling on its site (it’s amazing how often this isn’t the case)? Is it just a mobile number on the site, or is there a landline number, with defined hours of service? Is there a story about the company and how it came to be? What’s the background of the company founders, why can they say they understand the cleaning category, why can they be trusted to run a professional outfit? Perhaps most importantly, what do these people offer or do that is different to the rest. Is there anything new or innovative about what they provide? Do they use superior machinery and better cleaning materials? What kind of training do the staff receive, if any, and based on what principles? How does the company ensure quality control?

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business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

Once you’ve formed a shortlist, you’ll be moving into the process of contacting prospective cleaning suppliers. Here are some key areas to focus on: How prompt is the response to your initial call or email? If you find yourself having to chase a cleaning company in order to just open the conversation, cross them off the list; it will almost certainly be a theme of the relationship. How energetic and intelligent is the initial conversation you have? Are they enthusiastic and interested, asking about your business, what it does and what happens on your premises. Do they reflect some knowledge of your category and show some immediate initiative and enthusiasm e.g. do they show understanding of customer vs staff areas and the differing needs those drive, do they acknowledge any confidential information or valuable property that they may need to work around? A meeting is essential, and they should be suggesting it. When you do meet up you are looking to continue initial positive impressions; looking for whether they arrive smartly dressed / in a company uniform, do they get up close to the areas they’ll be cleaning and talk about how they would deal with them and how they would improve on their current condition e.g. removing accumulated dust, cobwebs, polishing metal and glass surfaces, looking at forgotten corners like display cases and skylights? In any quote you are then provided with, ensure attention has been given to the detail: have they accurately captured the areas that need cleaning, the specific requirements of each area? Have they mentioned how many staff will be in attendance, at what times, whether they will be the same faces so that you can feel comfortable knowing who’s coming? Have you checked that they are definitely insured? Can they supply risk assessments and COSHH data sheets for all activities they will be engaged in and all materials they’ll be using? What about SLAs; any signs of a service commitment, what guarantees do they make to you (especially in terms of continuity of service), and do they also set out clear ts+cs of their own so both parties know where they stand in relation to each other? While much of this stuff might sound obvious or basic, it’s surprising how often cleaning companies can fall short on these principles; and you should therefore exercise discernment. Lisa offers some final thoughts: “It’s striking how businesses can put a lot of effort into the decision for other services, but very often people seem to feel like there’s not much point with your cleaning; it’s a much of a much-ness mentality. I’d like to see clients become more demanding, because there are a number of quality cleaning companies positioned to stand out. Raising expectations can benefit both the client and the serious cleaning businesses out there.”

The changing face of Field Place Grade II listed Field Place in Worthing, West Sussex, is a fine example of an 18th century English Country House. With 14th Century origins, the house retains high-quality Jacobean oak panelling and carved fireplaces dating from 1624. The Cooke family lived in the house for over 300 years, followed by the Westbrooke-Richardson’s. The Henty’s, a successful farming family owned the property during the mid to late 1700’s. They used their wealth to upgrade the house into a fine Georgian residence, and were responsible for the present house frontage. During the agricultural depression, the Henty’s revenue declined and Thomas Henty sailed to Australia in 1828 with his wife, their 9 children, and a flock of Merino sheep acquired from the flocks of King George III. The family found life hard in Australia, but eventually prospered. Thomas’ youngest son, Francis later built a house in 1876 called Field Place in Victoria, which still stands. Towards the end of the 19th Century Col E W Margerson who also owned Findon Place, occupied the house. In 1909, Alfred Bates purchased Field Place Manor House and spent £250,000 on renovations including the installation of an underground electrical supply. During the Second World War, the Manor House

and surrounding area was used by the RAF to test early radar. There’s been much talk about a network of tunnels under Field Place. The Radar reunion people would return each year after the war and chat about tunnels as long as six miles. Before D-Day, the underground tunnels stored 500 Harley Davidsons before going over to France. The tunnels entrance was unfortunately blocked and even to this day, the whereabouts of the main entrance remain uncertain and records are protected by the 73 year secrecy rule. The house was bought by Worthing Borough Council in 1956 for £17,500. Improvements were made, the original flint barn dated 1773 was refurbished and reopened in 1988, and used as a venue for wedding receptions, plays and dances. The Manor House was refurbished in 1989 revealing much of the original panelling and stone work. Nowadays, the house and grounds of Field Place form part of the South Downs Leisure group, one of five sites the local charitable trust run. The house still retains its original Georgian façade and is situated within eight acres of beautiful Green Flag award winning grounds, which are used for Weddings and corporate events, amongst other uses.

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33


business matters

december 16/january 17 business edge

A wonderful world of wood at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum Lucy Hockley Cultural Engagement Manager, Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

Many people are drawn to wood and, if you stand in the Museum’s Market Square area, it can be seen in many different forms. To start, simply look uphill to the managed woodland at the top of the site. Look to your left and you can see the modern Gateway Project buildings, still with unfinished roofs and with lots of their timber frames visible at the time of writing. Turn around in the Market Square and you can see many rescued timber-framed buildings – the Museums reason for being! Plus, at certain times of the year, the awardwinning modern structure, our Downland Gridshell building, can be glimpsed through the trees. You can appreciate the form and beauty of this material in all of these forms, without having any specialist knowledge.

Woodland and coppice When walking through our woodland it can be hard to remember that the landscape is a managed one, shaped by generations of people who have worked there to create both parkland and woodland. We particularly notice their impact in areas of coppice and in the ornamental tree clumps that were planted in the mid-19th century as part of the Victorian landscaping of West Dean Park. Today, the woodland is traditionally managed by a member of Museum staff and volunteers, taking firewood to our houses and for cooking in the Tudor kitchen. The coppiced materials are used on the Museum site, and most recently some hazel was cut to make

the built-in furniture in the Anglo-Saxon hall house exhibit, which opened on 14th October. Whilst a woven bed surrounded with bundles of wood (as a sort of raised mattress) might not sound particularly comfortable, the shape of the weaving encourages lots of people to touch this tactile material.

Modern timber framing The Museum’s new Gateway Project buildings (part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) are, in essence, similar to the Gridshell building – modern buildings utilising the technology and engineering of today but inspired by our timber-framed exhibit buildings. Timber frames will be visible within these modern structures, but their construction is different to elsewhere on site – they use the latest timber-framing techniques, with crosslaminated timber (CLT) and stainless steel connections. Some of the roofing uses chestnut shingles and 56,000 are still being made for this covering. The new Gateway Project buildings – housing a new shop, café, learning and community space, and galleries – will be open to the public from Easter 2017. The modern Downland Gridshell building is very well-known and has been open for 14 years. This beautiful open space, designed by Edward Cullinan Architects, is an awardwinning structure, with its thin oak lath ‘gridshell’ structure visible from the interior. To construct the gridshell shape, these

very long laths were laid out like a massive trellis at height, before being gradually lowered into the shape you can see today – an operation that took over six and a half weeks to accomplish. The gridshell construction was selected as it has no internal walls except for one at each end. This means that, when we need to repair a house or building, entire timber frames can be laid out and repaired within the space. Recently, the whole structure of the medieval building from Sole Street was laid out, after the repairs had taken place, to check the individual timbers before it was reassembled on-site. This is flat-pack construction on an impressive scale! It is also how the timber frames would have originally been constructed. So, next time you are struggling with a flat-pack wardrobe take heart! The Museum also uses the Gridshell space to teach adults about the construction and repair of timber frames, as well as a vast array of other practical building conservation skills, such as flint walling, stone carving or lime plastering. There are also courses that are more leisurerelated, but still linked to the Museum, such as coppice management, learning about medicinal trees or animal tracking to name but a few. The Gridshell also makes a fantastic venue for concerts and weddings, and has fabulous acoustics. In an age when many of us spend our days indoors and in front of screens, the opportunity to make something by hand or learn a new skill is very appealing. It also has benefits for wellbeing, as does being outside in a beautiful landscape. Here at the Museum we know that there are many opportunities for people who wish to forge careers in historic building conservation or a specific traditional craft, and we always try to bring together likeminded individuals on our site to promote this aim. The buildings that the Museum’s founders sought to save, such as Crawley Hall and Titchfield Market Hall, are valued very highly in our society. The specialist skills of the framers, both modern and ancient, as well as furniture makers, coppice workers and others can be appreciated by many as they visit the Museum, which immerses them in the environment created by these craftspeople.

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advertorial

december 16/january 17 business edge

A chance to learn about the history of art Arts organisation Commission an Artist has launched free History of Art courses to help people better judge the art that they are buying or commissioning. The organisation, which finds artists to produce original works for everything from business premises to homes, hopes that by offering users a basic understanding of the history of art their appreciation of artists will deepen. Writer and arts enthusiast Sarah Mcdonald will be among those advising those taking part on the courses. Helen Johnson, who runs Commission an Artist, said: “Art is one of those subjects that

evokes a lot of debate and, for some people, it can prove difficult to pick the right piece for their home or business. “While it ultimately comes down to a subjective view based on what you like, having a better understanding of art can help make the decision easier. “This course offers that understanding. We are offering online courses about all kinds of types of art to improve people’s knowledge, help them to impress their friends or even give them a taste to go on and do something professional. Who knows where it will take people.” You can find out more about the course at commissionanartist.com You can find out more about the organisation at 01325 495639

/uk_artists /commissionanartist /commissionanartist

Email info@commissionanartist.co.uk Website: http://commissionanartist.

co.uk/reseller-programme

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35


finance focus

december 16/january 17 business edge

The self-employed and retirement Tim Maakestad Partner at Kreston Reeves and Director of Kreston Reeves Financial Planning

As a professional adviser, I advocate the building up of value within savings for the future. This is important for everyone but I have particular concern for the self-employed. Whilst in control of their respective careers, matters can be sadly lacking in relation to retirement provision. Employees traditionally have had the potential benefit of joining their employer’s defined benefit/defined contribution pension scheme, or in more recent years the opportunity to take part in auto-enrolment, where the self-employed have no such benefit. Instead they must make their own provision, which can create difficulties in relation to cash flow and prioritising for that eventual retirement day - all whilst continuing to run a successful business. With the erosion in people’s confidence in pension arrangements stemming from recent issues such as the funding of the BHS pension scheme, coupled with the public’s general suspicion of how these investments work, pension contributions are not seen

as a priority. It is only with the advent of auto-enrolment that a consistent process is now in place to ensure that the employed save towards their retirement. Unfortunately, unless business owners are incorporated then the same process is not available for the self-employed, thus leaving them in a more vulnerable position. It is important to think about pensions right from the start of a business enterprise or when first choosing self-employment. The state pension entitlement is worsening in relation to the benefits available and the age at which these can be drawn. Successive Governments have recognised that a reasonable standard of living cannot be delivered through this route and have continually looked to reduce future state commitments in favour of the private sector. This is set to continue with the eventual ‘means testing’ of state pension entitlement as a possibility. This therefore leaves individuals, and especially the self-employed, with their own responsibility for delivering income at retirement. It is not ‘rocket science’ but the earlier one starts saving for retirement and the greater the level of contributions paid, then the overall value at retirement will be higher. As a “rule of thumb” and depending on growth etc., an individual who decides to delay making contributions to a pension plan for five years will need to double their contributions when they do start, to achieve the same level of pension fund value at retirement age. If we then add in that the self-employed tend to be involved in more manual occupations, then the requirement

to receive monies earlier rather than later due to the loss of, for example, physical strength, is even more important. The self-employed should save towards retirement through using a combination of regular contributions that works with an individual’s cash flow, together with lump sum contributions at the end of the accounting year. Not only will this provide tax relief for the individual with a steady stream of investment but it will also maximise contributions if profits allow. As always, professional advice is a must and the self-employed should work closely with an independent financial adviser to plan for a specific date when benefits are required. For advice and further information about retirement for the self-employed, please contact Tim Maakestad, Partner at Kreston Reeves and Director of Kreston Reeves Financial Planning, by phoning +44 (0)1293 776152 or emailing tim.maakestad@ krestonreeves.com.

This material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation. Kreston Reeves LLP (Registered number in OC328775, registered office: 37 St Margaret’s Street, Canterbury CT1 2TU) is registered to carry on audit work and is regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. A list of members’ names is available at our registered office and details of the licensing bodies for our insolvency practitioners can be found at our website. Kreston Reeves Financial Planning Limited (Registered number 3852054, registered office: 37 St Margaret’s Street, Canterbury CT1 2TU) are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. All of the above addresses are registered in England.

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finance focus

december 16/january 17 business edge

Accounting for an Economic Powerhouse – The UK’s Creative Industries Sector A recent report published by HMRC suggests that businesses within the UK’s Creative Industries Sector now account for a substantial quantity of applications for Research and Development Tax Relief.

This represents a mutually beneficial partnership between Government and the UK workforce in an area that’s expanding and becoming a key driver in our economy. It’s therefore likely that Tax Relief will remain available to and potentially be targeted at additional Creative Industries in future as seen by the recent introduction of Video Games Tax Relief, High-End Television and Animation Tax Reliefs.

The Creative Industries include occupations in fields such as animation, architecture, design, fashion, software, and video games. Of key interest is the data contained in a table entitled: “Industry Sector Analysis of Number and Cost of R&D Tax Credit claims, 2014-15” Applications from the Information & Communication Sector under the small businesses’ “SME R&D Scheme” numbered 4530, the second highest, not far behind Manufacturing and over one thousand more

than in the category: Professional, Scientific & Technical, within which research and development projects might be thought to be de-rigueur. Clearly the growth of the Creative Industries in the UK is being tracked by a correspondingly high level of R&D Tax Relief applications.

Returning to R&D it’s vital, however, to ensure that an R&D Tax Relief application submitted to HMRC isn’t overly influenced by a creative disposition. Keeping it simple and delivering straightforward and relevant information, to give your claim the very best chance of success, is where Cooden Tax Consulting comes in. We work with you to sift through any potentially over imaginative components in your claim and prepare a sound and specific application on your behalf. We’ll take your ground breaking ideas to the taxman and see if HMRC can’t help fund further innovations in the Creative Industries.

Validate your claim. Contact us NOW!

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37


diary

december 16/january 17 business edge

Events December 7th

Construction Forum

Clair Hall

08.00 - 10.30

8th

Business Networking Breakfast

Brighton Racecourse

08.00 - 10.30

14th

Christmas Lunch

Ockenden Manor Hotel and Spa

12.00 - 14.30

January 17th

Grow Your Connections

Uckfield Town Council

08.00 - 10.30

25th

Business Networking Breakfast

Norfolk Arms

08.00 - 10.30

31st

Business Networking Lunch

TBC - SOUTH

12.00 - 14.30

February 9th

Business Networking Breakfast

TBC - NORTH

08.00 - 10.30

15th

Business Networking Lunch

TBC - EAST

12.00 - 14.30

1st

A Telemarketing Masterclass

The Kings Church

12.00 - 17.00

2nd

Grow Your Connections

TBC - SOUTH

17.00 - 19.00

9th

Business Networking Lunch

TBC - NORTH

12.00 - 14.30

22nd

Business Leaders Conference

Jury’s Inn Brighton Waterfront Hotel

12.00 - 18.00

28th

Business Networking Breakfast

TBC - EAST

08.00 - 10.30

March

Business Leaders Conference

Testimonial from the last conference:

Following the success of our first conference in July we are pleased to announce that our next conference will take place on Wednesday 22nd of March at The Jury’s Inn Brighton Waterfront Hotel. Please put this date in your diary. To book your place call 01444 259259.

www.sussexchamberofcommerce. co.uk/event/810/business-leadersconference/

Discounts available for bookings of more than 1 place - please call the office for full details. A buffet lunch will be included.

EVENT FEES Member price £70.00 + VAT Non Member price £100.00 + VAT

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www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

“We weren’t sure what to expect when we signed up for this event, this was the first one that the Chamber had organised. The event was very well organised as you would expect in a very nice venue. We had presentations from four business leaders and entrepreneurs. The four presenters were from varied areas of business, they all told their stories which we found interesting, funny and inspiring. All in all the event was very enjoyable and we wouldn’t hesitate to get involved again.”

Nicola Thomas, ARCH-angels Architects Ltd

tel: 01444 259 259


events

december 16/january 17 business edge

Training December 1st

Inward Processing Relief (IPR)

The Kings Church

09.30 - 12.30

5th

Exporting - Understanding the Paperwork

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

6th

Senior Management Skills for Agile Businesses - NEW for 2016

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

12th

Personal Customer Service in the Digital Age

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

13th

Introduction to Supervision & Team Leadership

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

January 9th

Conducting Effective Appraisals

The Kings Church

09.30 - 12.30

9th

Interviewing & Recruitment Success

The Kings Church

13.30 - 16.30

23rd

An Introduction to Export Procedures

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

26th

Time Management & Personal Effectiveness

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

30th

NEW - Train the Trainer

The Kings Church

09:30 - 16:30

February 1st

Essentials of Supervision & Team Leadership - 2 Day Course

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

2nd

NEW - Team Building and Conflict Resolution

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

9th

Confident & Effective Communication Skills

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

13th

Telesales: Profit not Pain

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

17th

Becoming an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

The Kings Church

09.30 - 12.30

27th

Using Documentary Letters of Credit, Drafts & Bills

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

1st

A Telemarketing Masterclass The Kings Church

The Kings Church

12.00 - 17.00

9th

Personal Customer Service in the Digital Age

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

14th

Persuading & Influencing with Impact

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

20th

Exporting - Understanding the Paperwork

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

22nd

Managing People for Business Success - 2 Day Course

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30

March

Please check the website for the full 2017 Calendar - www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

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39


legal focus

december 16/january 17 business edge

Cyber security - are you safe from an attack? Debbie Venn Partner and Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications, asb law LLP

Cyber attacks affect nearly every organisation with attackers attempting to steal information, data and money causing no end of disruption to day-today operations, as well as reputation and stability. Recent research produced by Cyber Streetwise and KPMG shows that 68 per cent of companies in the South East think there will be more cyber attacks in 2016 compared with 2015, but 56 per cent believe it’s unlikely or very unlikely that they’d be a target for an attack.

What is cyber security and how can I protect my business? Cyber security is about protecting your computer-based equipment, systems, information and data from unintended and/ or unauthorised access leading to change, theft and/or destruction. You can protect your assets, reputation and customers, manage risk and gain a competitive advantage by taking simple steps and practicing best behaviours to reduce threats and protect vital information, such as:

• Passwords – implement a policy that promotes good password practice (e.g. use lower and upper case, numbers and symbols, with a periodic reset rule). • Emails – delete emails which appear to be suspicious as they may contain fraudulent requests for information or links to viruses. • Remote working – ensure that sensitive data is encrypted when stored or transmitted online. • Removable media – restrict and encrypt the use of removable media such as USB drives, CDs, DVDs and memory cards. • Privileges – manage user privileges so that staff only have access to the information and parts of the IT system they need. • Updates – download software updates as and when available, as they contain vital security upgrades. • Software – install anti-virus software on all of your devices to help prevent infection. • Security – use firewalls, proxies, access lists and other measures to protect your networks, including wireless networks, against external attacks.

• Training – make your staff aware of cyber security threats and how to deal with them through regular training sessions. Businesses are encouraged to risk assess their vulnerability and put adequate measures in place to prevent an attack and protect valuable data, not only their own, but that of their customers too. It’s important to recognise your obligations when handling and storing customer data to ensure it is kept securely and you comply with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998. New EU laws are also set to provide common standards for data protection and cyber security across the EU, for so long as the UK remains an EU member state, or if the principles are implemented through any transitional laws. Our highly experienced team is on hand to help should you need any guidance in understanding your obligations. For more information on cyber security and data protection, please contact Debbie Venn, Partner and Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications at asb law LLP. debbie.venn@asb-law.com +44 (0)1293 603624 www.asb-law.com

Helping you grow, manage risk and drive business efficiency. To start a conversation, please contact Russell Bell on +44 (0)1293 603637 ww.asb-law.com

www.asb-law.com

Origin Two, 106 High Street

the law firm clients would design

40

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Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 1BF

tel: 01444 259 259


legal focus

december 16/january 17 business edge

Flood Damage: A Warning to Landlords & Tenants With winter fast approaching, landlords and tenants need to be prepared for the change in weather and potential flooding that may affect their properties. Now is a good time for both sides to check their leases and find out who is responsible for fixing the damage to their commercial premises. Last December was the wettest December in a century, resulting in flood damage to many thousands of properties across the country. Despite some improvements and government commitments for future works, in September, a government review found that 530 key infrastructure sites in the UK are still vulnerable to flooding. Flood damage to property can come in many forms. It could lead to loss of stock, make the property unfit for use or even inaccessible altogether. This could lead to businesses being unable to trade, leading to loss of profit and have serious long-term effects on a business. Whilst insurance policies are likely to be in place, they will not cover all eventualities. Commercial leases will provide which party should insure the property and what ‘Insured Risks’ need to be covered under the policy. However, flooding will not always be included. If it is included, the party who is insuring the property should claim under their insurance policy and use any payment from their insurer to repair (and if applicable, rebuild) the property. If flooding is an ‘Uninsured Risk,’ the parties will need to check who is responsible for repairing and rebuilding the property. This should be contained in the lease and the relevant party will need to pay to put the property back in the condition required by the lease.

The majority of modern commercial leases will include a provision where payment of rent is suspended if there has been damage to the property by an ‘Insured Risk.’ If the tenant’s payment of rent is suspended under the lease, the landlord will look to recover loss of rent from their insurer (provided it is an Insured Risk) under their insurance policy. Payment of Rent will only recommence once the property has been repaired and can be occupied by the tenant to run its business. Ultimately, the devil is in the detail and any suspension of rent will be determined by the provisions in the lease.

especially if they are in a high risk flood area. However, for those properties where insurance is unavailable, the parties will need to be aware of the provisions in their lease and look to discuss commercial solutions with each other in the event of their property being flooded. If you have a commercial property query or would like to get in touch with one of our friendly experts, please call us today on 01273 838 594.

In cases of severe flood damage, it may not be possible to put the property back in the condition required by the lease. For example, it is common to have a provision in the lease that if the property cannot be reinstated within a 3 year period, the parties may have a right to terminate the lease altogether. Commercial Leases, especially those longer than 5 years, will often contain a break clause provision to deal with this eventuality. Again, the devil is in the detail as to whether the landlord, tenant or both can terminate the lease and whether it applies where damage has been caused by an insured or uninsured risk will be specified in the lease.

Simon Garner, Assistant Solicitor in Commercial Property.

Before the winter weather sets in, landlords and tenants should check their leases for the provisions concerning flooding,

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41


feature: events

december 16/january 17 business edge

Making the right decisions Whether you are booking a conference or a Christmas event, you need to know the answers to some pretty important questions when it comes to selecting a venue. So how do you get it right? Well, it’s all down to first impressions - do you like the décor, does it look like it can generate a good atmosphere, are the staff friendly? It is crucial to select venues that make as many people as possible feel welcome.

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Older staff members might not appreciate a busy pub, younger ones might not want a restaurant whose clientele are normally on the older side. It’s worth putting a bit of thought into making a choice that strikes the right balance. Choosing the right menu is important as well. People like choice so even though most guests will go for the traditional Christmas meal, it’s a good idea to make sure there is an alternative - and definitely a vegetarian option.

When assessing the venue you are looking at a number of important factors. Can the venue cope with the numbers expected to attend, has it got a good meeting room, will it provide equipment like projectors and Internet access, are the staff friendly and flexible in helping you meet your needs? If the answers to those questions are yes then the event is likely to be a success.

Similar considerations apply when booking a conference. Again, the key to making such events a success is spending a little time choosing the right venue and making sure that you get the right support from its staff.

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


feature: events

december 16/january 17 business edge

SEA LIFE Brighton has opened its doors to corporate events! As the world’s oldest operating aquarium, with all of its original Victorian architecture from 1872, SEA LIFE Brighton has opened its doors as an ideal venue for truly bespoke and unique events. It has been open for more than 140 years attracting visitors who admire its 3,500 underwater creatures including sharks, turtles, seahorses, rays and even an anaconda!

A stalwart of Brighton & Hove’s business community, SEA LIFE Brighton was once again named ‘The Best Place to Visit’ at the 2015 Brighton and Hove Business Awards, testament to its enduring charm and appeal.

most unusual venues in the City, it is one that everyone loves to come back to time and time again. The best bit is that there is always something new to see - a new creature or a whole new exhibition.”

SEA LIFE Brighton pride themselves on their ability to organise truly memorable events - from lectures read from the Glass Bottom Boat to drinks receptions in the arcade - they can cater for all. The aquarium has previously been booked for corporate networking events, private parties, comedy nights, cocktail parties, seminars and lectures, quiz nights and many more.

Exclusive hire of the venue offers access to the entire aquarium and events can be booked from 5pm until midnight, or later should the need arise. For more information please visit our website

www.sealife.co.uk/brighton

Chair of Brighton and Hove Tourism Alliance, Soozie Campbell, commented: “Not only is SEA LIFE Brighton one of the

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business matters

october/november august/september 2016 business edge

Business Support provided by Sussex Skills Solutions Sussex Skills Solutions understands the importance of building a confident and highly skilled workforce for businesses across Sussex and the wider area. We look to deliver business growth by supporting local companies, identifying their needs, and finding appropriate solutions through apprenticeships and skills training. We offer a range of services to enable this business growth, from short one-day compliance workshops to longer-term professional development. With highly experienced trainers who pride themselves on delivering effective courses, flexible scheduling and competitive prices, our

Hastings, Sussex Skills Solutions will become the largest provider of Apprenticeships in Sussex. By combining the expertise of both colleges, Sussex Skills Solutions will be able to train new or existing staff in a number of areas including: Construction (Brick, Plumbing, Painting & Decorating, Carpentry & Joinery and Maintenance Operations), Engineering, Motor Vehicle, Hospitality, Accounting, IT, HR, Sales, Team Leading, Management, Customer Service, Childcare and Health & Social Care. Whether you have an existing member of staff who may benefit from undertaking an Apprenticeship, or need support in recruiting a new Apprentice into your organisation Sussex Skills Solutions is here to help. Commercial Courses are the perfect choice for increasing the skillset of your employees. The commercial course offer includes First Aid at Work, Health & Safety, Hospitality, IT and Management. For more information on these please contact Karen Gillespie on 030 300 38439. As a new joint venture between Sussex Downs College and Sussex Coast College,

For more information on how Sussex Skills Solutions can support you, please visit www.sussexskillssolutions.co.uk or call 030 300 39777 and speak to staff in our Lewes or Hastings office.

PROVIDING APPRENTICESHIPS & SKILLS TRAINING

Are you drowning in paperwork? Dreaming of a paperless office? Discover DocuWare – the smart solution to document management Store information digitally in a single, secure location. Access documents any time, anywhere. View, download, modify and share – all at the click of a button. Call 0844 800 4822 to find out more.

DWS can help your business improve efficiency and increase productivity with affordable workflow solutions. As a Xerox Concessionaire, we also have exclusive access to the full Xerox range including printers, copiers, scanners and multifunction devices.

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02/08/2016 15:17

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feature: technology

october/november 2016 business edge

A Paperless Office Pipe Dream or Reality? Phil Britton Joint Managing Director Document Workflow Solutions (DWS)

Old habits die hard The concept of a paperless office is nothing new. Yet the average workplace is usually defined by a paper mountain (or two). While printers hum, photocopiers churn and filing cabinets overflow. We’re paper addicts: a generation who were taught to keep a copy of everything - just in case. The technology to go paperless exists but are we ready to embrace it? Innovative workflow tools mean we have the power to scan in our existing paper and eliminate the need for new paper enitrely. Thanks to highspeed broadband, cloud applications and high capacity storage, the sky’s the limit. But fear of the unknown seems to be holding us back.

Upping our green credentials There’s no denying that going paperless is the eco-friendly option. Using less paper can only help the environment but the point of going paperless isn’t simply to make digital copies of everything. The ultimate goal is to create a more efficient and productive workplace.

Accessibility is key In fact, going green isn’t the key motivator for going paperless. The virtual office is. With

employees spread far and wide, it’s critical to have a paperless online system, so that information can be accessed any time, anywhere. Customers expect us to have instant access to their purchase history. Paper can be misfiled, making an important document hard to find. Just as customers don’t want to be put on hold while we search, employees don’t want to feel frustrated by archaic, inefficient processes.

What does it take to go paperless? The cost of equipment has come down dramatically in recent years. A scanner, basic document management software and a place to store/back-up data is all that’s needed. A solicitor or accountant can advise on which documents (if any) must be kept in hard copy format.

How secure is it? A paperless system that uses proper encryption is very secure. After all, what’s the difference between signing a piece of paper and faxing it or attaching your scanned signature to an electronic copy and emailing it? They both get sent down a wire. Even the government recognizes a digital signature just like a physical signature. That said, maintaining tight security over business information is vital. Someone must be responsible for monitoring the system, training new users, performing regular backups and guaranteeing privacy.

All things considered n A paperless office creates more space by doing away with bulky filing cabinets n Digital data can be backed up in multiple locations, whereas paper data would be lost in a fire n Email replaces the need to print and send documents, reducing the cost of paper, ink and postage n The chances of losing important documents are lower when scanned and filed electronically n Paperless systems enable employees to work remotely, improving efficiency and morale n Paperless companies are viewed as environmentally friendly and cuttingedge

What’s the verdict? While a totally paperless office may still be a pipe dream for some, an office that uses less paper is an achievable goal for everyone. Maybe the answer is paper-light rather than paperless - a middle ground where tech-lovers and paper-hoarders can live in harmony. The balance is really down to company culture and vision. If the focus is on becoming more efficient, informationsecure and cutting costs, then paperless is the way to go.

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

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new members

december 16/january 17 business edge

Welcome to Sussex Chamber of Commerce Membership of Sussex Chamber of Commerce can help you increase profits, get the best from your people and find new clients. Also, it saves you money, gets your voice heard and puts you in contact with even more businesses. 360 Auto Lease Sussex

Bespoke Training Eastbourne

Flooring Hut Ltd

Unit 11B Golding Barn Industrial, Estate, Henfield Road, Henfield BN5 9XH

57 Holliers Hill, Bexhill-on-Sea TN40 2DD

Unit 6-7 Southcourt, Southcourt Road, Worthing BN14 7AF

01273 311237 www.360autolease-sussex.co.uk/

Aerodynamic Test Equipment Ltd Crown Technical Centre, Burwash Road, Heathfield TN21 8QZ 01435865245 www.aerotech-ate.com

Albourne Winery Ltd Albourne Farm, Shaves Wood Lane, Hassocks BN6 9DX 01273832341 www.albourneestate.co.uk

ASB Law Origin 2, 106 High Street, Crawley RH10 1BF 01293 603 603 www.asb-law.com

Avantis Wealth

Bluebell Railway Ltd

01903 377027 www.flooringhut.co.uk

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Sheffield Park Station, Sheffield Park, Uckfield TN22 3QL

The Explorer Building, Fleming Way, Crawley RH10 9GT

01825 720800 www.bluebell-railway.co.uk

08703817000 www.grantthornton.co.uk

Body Matters Gold Ltd Maple House, 198 London Road, Burgess Hill RH15 9RD

Hawes Building Ltd Newlands, Lewes Road, Polegate BN26 5SG

01444871369 www.bodymattersgold.com

001323 483085 www.hawesbuilding.co.uk

Brighton Gin

HyperSphere Limited

15 - 17 Belfast Street, Brighton BN3 3YS

Sussex Innovation Centre, Science Park Square, Brighton BN1 9SB

07794279293 www.brightongin.com

0203 026 8722 www.hyper-sphere.com

Carrot Event

ITL Vacuum Components

8 The Drive, Hove BN3 3JT

Identity House, Westham Business Park, Westham BN24 5NP

01273 447299 www.avantiswealth.com

01323 469111 http://carrotevents.co.uk

Aviatrix

Cosmetics Laboratory Ltd

4 East Drive, Brighton BN2 0BQ

Unit 6, Lawson Hunt Industrial Park, Horsham RH12 3JR

Ivory Tower Cleaning and Property Services Ltd

01403 261500

Flitterbanks Barn, The Drive, Maresfield TN22 3ER

Avolon Civils

Digiquip Group Ltd

01825 729 353 www.ivory-tower.co.uk/

Top Floor, The Lion Building, Brighton BN1 8AF

Unit 4 Wayside,7 Commerce Way, Lancing BN15 8SW

01273 921 257 www.avolongroup.co.uk

0344 499 4810 www.digiquip.co.uk

Baystar Ltd

Eastbourne & District Chamber of Commerce

01273 277516 www.aviatrix.co.uk

Beechover Court, Forest Road, Brighton RH12 4SY 01293 851459 www.baystar.co.uk

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01323 332 316 www.bespoketrainingeastbourne.com

Menzies Road, Ponswood Industrial Estate, St. Leonards-on-Sea TN38 9BB 01424442121 www.itl-vacuum.com

Kinley Systems limited Compass Park, Junction Rd, Bodiam TN32 5BS 01580 830688 http://kinleysystems.com/

7 Hyde Gardens, Eastbourne BN21 4PN 01323641144 www.eastbournechamber.co.uk

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


new members

december 16/january 17 business edge

Lawton & Dawe Properties

SASH Charity

Training Team

99 Portland Road, Hove BN3 5DP

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, East Surrey Hospital, Redhill RH1 5RH

12 Gleneagles Court, Brighton Road, Crawley RH10 6AD

01737 768511 ext 2633 www.sashcharity.org

01293536943 www.trainingteam.co.uk

SJ Engineering Specialists Ltd

Vervate

Leigh Road, Terminus Industrial Estate, Chichester PO19 8UF

4a Castle Street, Brighton BN1 2HD

+44(0)01273 917791 www.lawtonanddawe.co.uk

Magnify Creative 1 West Street, East Grinstead RH19 4EY 01342 776556 www.magnifycreative.co.uk

01243784741 ext 107 www.smithandjewell.co.uk

Maximation Ltd 16 College Road, Ardingly, Haywards Heath RH17 6TT 01444892093 www.maximation.co.uk

Metro Drinks Ltd The Workshop, Endlewick House, Polegate BN26 6RU 01323485602

MLM Building Control Office 14, 95 Ditchling Road, Brighton BN1 4ST

Southdowns Leisure (Field Place)

01273 275162 www.vervate.com

VW Heritage

The Boulevard, Worthing BN13 1NP

47 Dolphin Road, Shoreham-by-Sea BA43 6PB

01903 905050 option 3 www.southdownsleisure.co.uk

08458737241 www.vwheritage.com

Sussex Pages Ltd

Westgate International Partners Ltd

Softec House, London Road, Albourne BN6 9BN

7 Saint Bartholomews Close, Chichester PO19 3EP

01273 833 222 www.sussexpages.com

01243 538778

Sussex Wildlife Trust

Woodhart Group

Woods Mill, Henfield BN5 9SD

4 The Parade, Valley Drive, Brighton BN1 5FQ

01273492630 www.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk

01273539124 www.woodhartcarpentry.co.uk

Unit 2, The Mallings, Lewes BN7 2RG

Target in 1

Worth School

01273 483 111 www.mylifelivingassistance.co.uk/location/lewes

Unit A, Bayhorne Lane, Horley RH6 9ES

Paddockhurst Road, Turners Hill, Crawley RH10 4SD

01273 021030 www.mlm.uk.com

Mylife Living Assistance

01293 773021 www.targetin1.co.uk

Plantbottle 4 Northgate, Chichester PO19 1BA

The Bevern Trust

01243 699954 www.plantbottle.co.uk

Bevern View The Willows, Deans Meadow, Lewes BN8 5DX

Plumpton College Ditchling Road, Plumpton, Lewes BN7 3AE 01273890454 www.plumpton.ac.uk

Power Electric Services Ltd

01273400752 www.bevernview.org

TR Fastenings Ltd Trifast House, Bellbrook Industrial Estate, Uckfield TN22 1QW 01825 747200 www.trfastenings.com

01342 710200 www.worthschool.co.uk

Yelo Architects First Floor Olivier House, 18 Marine Parade, Brighton BN2 1TL 01273 608444 www.yeloarchitects.com

Zeltiq Ltd Unit 4, The IO Center, Redhill RH1 5GJ 01293312070

8 Hawth Way, Seaford BN25 2NG 01323894782

Track Eleven

Rathbone Results

14-16 Sussex Road, Haywards Heath RH16 4EA

Piltdown Lodge, Lodge Lane, Uckfield TN22 3YP 02087980175 www.rathboneresults.com

Reflex Nutrition Ltd The Science Park, Sea View, Brighton BN2 6NT

01444 226004 www.trackeleven.co.uk

Tradebe Solvent Recycling Ltd Middleton Road, Morecambe LA3 3JW 01524853053 www.tradebe.co.uk

01273303817 www.reflex-nutrition.com

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

47


movers and shakers

Coffee With The Boss

december 16/january 17 business edge

5 minutes with

Globy Ouseph General Manager, Sofitel London Gatwick Hotel

By the end of his first month as general manager of the four-star Sofitel London Gatwick Hotel, Globy Ouseph would have drunk 254 cups of coffee. The moment he took up the top post, he made it his priority to meet and chat with every member of staff individually. So he invited each and every one of the 254-strong team to join him for a mini coffee break – a feat that took him 1,275 minutes. “It has been fascinating to meet everyone. They are a very friendly group and I have learnt a lot about the hotel,” said the 36-year-old. “I have found out about their hobbies, passions and what they love about the hotel. When I first started in the industry, I never even met the general manager, but I felt it was important that I got to know my team and they could feel I was approachable.” Globy began his career in India as a hotel management trainee and found himself working in all aspects of the hotel trade. He said: “I have changed beds, checked guests in, been a PA to the General Manager, and was once even given the job of separating male and female crabs in a hotel kitchen.” The only department he hasn’t worked in is maintenance, but he admits that DIY is not his strong point. Globy worked at the Hilton Waldof in central London for more than ten years and was recently the hotel manager for the 605room Sofitel London Heathrow. As well as his coffee time approach at the 518-room Sofitel London Gatwick, Globy has created a giant group WhatsApp for all members of staff so they can share daily highlights and successes. Next on his agenda will be to oversee a £0.5m refurbishment of the two AA-rosette La Brasserie restaurant and the more informal Le Café, as well as the hotel’s two bars – La Terrasse and Kua bar - plus the executive lounge. The refurbishment will be carried out in stages from the end of this year. And Globy is planning to extend his coffee time invitation to local businesses.

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Emily Rae Co-owner, Plants4Presents

Emily Rae is a co-owner of online gift service Plants4Presents and runs the nursery just outside Newick. The company employs six staff and sends more than 20,000 gift plants a year to homes up and down the country. Emily helped her mother Isobel launch the company in 2004 and runs the day-today operations

What was your first job and what was the pay packet?

What can you see from your office window?

My first job must have been stuffing envelopes after school for a local business, I think it was a penny an envelope.

Trees, sky and our biomass boilerhouse.

What do you always carry with you to work? Layers of clothes. The temperature varies all the time under glass and between the nursery and my desk in the office so I always have a few jumpers and jackets to hand.

What is the biggest challenge facing your business? More than 90% of our business is online so the biggest challenge is keeping up in an ever-changing online world. We are relaunching our website and fighting to ensure we are accessible to the widest possible market.

If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change to help business? Wow, one thing! Our society needs unifying after the damage done by the referendum. I would work hard to reduce the inequality which has led to the current divisions and tackle the fears that many people are feeling. I would work to patch up the damage done to the relationships with our European neighbours and seek to change the EU from within rather than throwing away all the good work done over the past few decades. I would also invest in State-assisted childcare services so that returning to work is a viable option.

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

If you could do another job what would it be? I love my job but if I had to do something else I would be interested in promoting horticultural and growing to a wider audience, perhaps through writing or teaching.

What was your biggest mistake in business? My biggest mistake has been tolerating staff with a poor attitude. It brings the whole team down. We have such a great set of people working at the nursery – it really does make the world of difference.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? This advice is stolen from my father who is business coach and mentor. 1. Sell things that people want to buy 2. If an idea will fly, it will fly quickly.

Who do you admire most in business? I admire anyone who is able to see an opportunity and turn it into a successful business. A great example is Tam O’Braan from the Wee Tea Company. Tam came to me in 2013 looking for a tea plant supplier to start a plantation in Perthshire. It was a brave proposition and there were many doubters but he now employs tens of people in rural Scotland and has built a successful brand.

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